Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

I'm writing this from the inside of a -20 degree down sleeping bag. Also wearing a down jacket. Also wearing thick hiking socks.

At the moment, it's 18 degrees and dropping. That may not seem that bad to some, but average low Eugene temp this time of the year is 33 degrees. Which, at this point, sounds toasty.

The other thing about the cold is that our apartment doesn't much heat up. Scratch that. The section with the couch doesn't heat up. See, if you're standing directly in front of the heater, you feel heat. BUT, if you stand just to the side, there's a cool draft.

Now, I know it's very feminine to feel a draft. But see, this is a man draft. It is strong. It is cold. It's freezing my fingers as I type. Frankly, I'm beginning to think we need to rearrange the living room, which is tricky because there's a tree where the couch needs to be, in order to optimize the little heat that we have.

(at this point, I have suggested moving the living room into the dining area and the dining table into the living room. Danny has responded by trying to find a fan to redistribute the heat. And I think it's working. Wishing this solution could have been thought of earlier, but whatever. We've only been here 2 1/2 years)


My Life in Ruins. One of the latest Nia Vardalos releases, got creamed by critics, but I wondered if it could really be that bad.

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is that it's horrible. The jokes fall so flat that you get the distinct feeling, when you do laugh, that you're only laughing because all the other jokes are so bad. It's the ugly shirt effect - you know, you're shopping discount and find something you think you like, mainly because everything around it is so ugly.

The one part (and truly, we could not finish it, so there may be another, but I have my doubts) that was funny was funny for reasons the script did not intend.

In this scene, Georgia (Vardalos) is intending to send a letter to her superior from the cheap hotel where she and her tour guests stayed the previous night. The scruffy, unwashed, bald and pudgy desk clerk says it will be 20 euros to mail, but he could make a deal if...insert suggestive eyebrow waggling and glimpses toward his unmade bed only ten feet away. She steps back in disgust, pays the 20 euros.

On the surface? Not funny. But the guy cast as the scruffy, unwashed, bald and pudgy desk clerk is Ian Gomez, Vardalos's husband (head-scratcher, but true).

Aside from that, none of the characters were believable as human beings. Well, maybe the ones who never spoke. But the rest, no.

I won't even go into the bearded bus driver who shaves, turns out to look like Fabio's understudy, and no one notices. Maybe they notice later, but I have no desire to lose the extra 10 IQ points it would take to find out.

IQ. Now there's an amusing movie. I could list hundreds of amusing movies. My Life in Ruins doesn't happen to be one of them.

In other news, I think I promised to follow up with the funny B&B story.

So. We show up to our B&B, a lovely, secluded spot on the McKenzie River. We've visited every winter since we married, and this is our third trip. We show up and are greeted by the happy innkeeper-ess, who informs us, moments later, that ladies from Harvest House will be arriving in the morning to make wreaths.

That's right. My publishing house followed me.

If there was ever a motivation to get work done, that one scores pretty high.

Better still was the following morning, and the looks of sheer surprise to utter shock! Very fun; I've been blessed to have a wonderful house that I get to meet with in person. If I wanted to, I could walk there. If I didn't mind walking down West 11th. Which I do. But I could.

Oh, I also wrote, like, most of a chapter that day.

Speaking of characters, if the wrong way to do characters is My Life in Ruins, one of the right ways is Glee. My favorite characters are the ones that I feel like I already know, but still manage to surprise me and that's Glee. I can't tell you how much I love them. And now I'm going to watch.


  1. I LOVE Glee but last week's episode, Mattress, was full of logic problems. The disqualification was lame. And I love Sue but she hit a shrill note on the hate meter. Time to hire some new writers. The staff is short on ideas.

  2. I agree, the Mattress episode was a bit odd; I felt the pacing was kinda funky. Did you watch last night's episode, though?

    I do think there's something going around in the writers' rooms, because House is struggling, and Grey's is even more of a head-scratcher than usual.

    I'm chalking it up to Swine Flu.

    At least "V" put itself into a preemptive re-tooling timeout...


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