one year ago today …

One year ago today, my now-husband and I went to the movies. We do that sometimes, just for fun. Here’s the ticket stub (although Alamo’s receipts aren’t all that ticket-like):
The Aristocrats
We’d been waiting a long time to see The Aristocrats — I wanted to see it at SXSW in March, but knew there was little chance I’d get into the midnight screening and didn’t even try. Then it took forever for the movie to reach Austin, and I think we actually waited a week or so longer after its release until it got to Alamo Drafthouse, because we prefer seeing movies there. And on August 27, I was feeling a little nervous and thought I could use a distraction.

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weekend in Baton Rouge

I travel to the New Orleans area a couple-few times a year to see family, but I hadn’t spent a significant time in Baton Rouge in years — probably not since I left LSU in 1991, to be honest. I would drive through on the way from/to Austin and notice changes, and sometimes I would even stop to visit friends. I drove through campus once or twice, and when Beau and I visited New Orleans last November, we had lunch at The Caterie. But I hadn’t seen much of Baton Rouge.
We drove to Baton Rouge last weekend for a couple of reasons, and I still didn’t see much of the city. But that was all right, we had a good time at two rather different events: a ballet and a book signing/reading. My little brother was in the ballet, and I was part of the event for the book Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans, because it includes an essay I wrote about NO-area movie theaters.
The drive is 420-plus long and boring miles. The first part down Hwy 71 was more charming than usual because it’s currently wildflower season in Texas. Sections of grassy medians were tinted blue, pink, yellow or orange from all the bluebonnets, primroses, firewheels, Texas paintbrushes, and other flowers that I have no idea what they’re called. Whole fields were blanketed with wildflowers. I must never have driven down the highway at this time of year before because I don’t remember such startling masses of flowers. The first time I drove to Austin was in May of 1991, and I remember seeing lots of wildflowers, but not like this.

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whatever possessed me?

Anyone who’s been reading my site for awhile still might not remember the meltdown I had two years ago in December, when I decided it would be fun to make photo calendars for my family members. I was working from two computers and two printers to get everything to print properly, which it didn’t, and it drove me crazy. I promised The Beau that I would never ever attempt to create photo calendars again, especially elaborate ones with multiple photos per page. I re-promised him last year when he thought I might weaken.
I did ask him this year before I broke that promise and he didn’t give me a funny look, so either he forgot about the degree of craziness the project inspired, or else he figured I am less likely to get stressed about the project this year, since the computers behave better and I don’t have the workload I had back then and I just plain haven’t been as stressed about the holidays this year.

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farewell, good and faithful Netflix queue

We hated to do it, but we finally succumbed and cancelled Netflix yesterday.
It felt a little sad. Our queue had 250 DVDs, mostly movies with a little TV sprinkled in for variety. The queue has had at least 200 movies in it since about a week after we joined. Sure, we would watch films quite frequently sometimes, but every time someone said to me, “You know, you really ought to see such-and-such movie,” I added it to the queue. (Well, almost every time. There are limits.)
The last three movies we need to send back are Monsters, Inc., which we watched over the weekend, me for the first time, and quite enjoyed; Inherit the Wind, which The Beau watched and thoroughly hated, to the point where he could not discuss any movie afterwards and I feared for the safety of the DVD players; and Big Fish, which we’ve had for weeks and not watched, because it is rather long and we can’t seem to get in the right mood. I don’t know if we’ll watch it before sending it back.

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oh, celluloid tree …

I have not been in the mood this year to do a lot of Christmas-y stuff. For one thing, all this ruckus about “It’s Christmas and we should say Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays” tends to sour me a little on the holiday season. Arguments and expressions of prejudice should not be a part of a holiday, no matter what your relatives may tell you at the holiday dinner table.
Or maybe that has nothing to do with my reluctance to decorate the house, send greeting cards, shop for gifts, and generally participate in the flurry of holiday activity common to this time of year. It could be a million reasons. But I decided late last week that I didn’t want to mess with putting up and decorating our Christmas tree this year.
You may have seen photos of the tree from previous years. It is pink and sparkly and usually features a lot of snowflake and snowman ornaments, plus a few penguins and some more subversive decorations. For example, we established a tradition with the Drinky Snowman. We also had a cute SpongeBob candy cane, but it was real candy and finally dissolved.

Continue reading oh, celluloid tree …

the news, not buried

I have been accused of burying the lede when I have news to share. “Burying the lede” is a newspaper term for hiding the most newsworthy facts of a story deep within the body, instead of in the first paragraph (which is called a lede). For example, in this entry, I chat about all kinds of stuff before noting in the second-to-last sentence that The Beau and I are now engaged.
Tonight I am not hiding the good news. One of my essays is being published in a book, early next year.
Did everyone see that? Good.

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not so easy

We are driving to the greater New Orleans area this weekend. There’s a birthday party for one of my nieces, so it’s a nice opportunity to visit family without all the craziness of a major holiday. It’s also a good opportunity to see the city of New Orleans, post-Katrina, without all the craziness of a major holiday. I did not want my first look at the city to be at Christmas time.
My boyfriend asked me last night what we are going to do, exactly. I’m hoping we can find something fun in the middle of all the devastation and restoration. I’m not sure what. Driving around New Orleans to see how it looks is not exactly fun. Looking at my grandparents’ old house, ruined by flooding, will not be fun at all. Going to the North Shore to see the relatives at my niece’s birthday isn’t sad, and may be interesting, but it’s not exactly a whirlwind of fun.

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hi. remember me?

“Remember me? I’m the fellow you slept on last night.”
Y’all know where that quote is from, right? I’m a little punchy right now, I just saw Prime and Tristram Shandy back-to-back and it’s late and we’re going on vacation in a couple of days and I’m not packed or anything.
Last night I saw The Corpse Bride … not to review, just for fun while it was still in theaters. The voice of Joanna Lumley was in it, and also the theme music from Gone with the Wind. What’s weird is that this is the second movie I’ve seen containing both those elements (Lumley and Steiner). Anyone know the other one? No fair searching on Google or IMDb.

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Muppets for everyone!

I had this dream last night in which I was trying to buy stamps somewhere nebulous and the cashier kept offering me those generic-looking American flag stamps. I said that I’d been to the post office and all they had to sell me in 37-cent stamps were the flags and the Love stamps, and did she have anything else here? She did not. I had to buy the flags.
I don’t know what this dream Meant, subconsciously speaking, but I was browsing Metafilter this morning and found a link to some new 37-cent stamps, released today … with Muppets on them!
I have to go to the post office soon anyway, and you surely know that if I can buy the Muppet stamps, I am going to pick up a half-dozen packs at least. I am so tired of the Postal Service releasing some very cool type of stamp in a limited quantity, and then when I want stamps a couple of months later I have to get the flags or the Love. Ugh. I am stocking up on Kermit and Piggy (and better yet, Rowlf and Waldorf and Statler) ASAP.
I bet I end up sending a lot more postal mail in the next couple of months.
Hey, they also have Robert Penn Warren and Greta Garbo 37-cent stamps too. (I mean, those are two different types of stamps. Warren and Garbo were never a couple. Can you imagine?)