Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, November 11, 2013

Long Weekend of Guilt

One of those years where Remembrance Day was kind enough to bless us with a long weekend.  You've always got to tread carefully when we get a long weekend out of Remembrance Day.  On the one hand, you still need to preserve the solemnity of the day.  On the other, LONG WEEKEND, BITCHES!  I remember a tale from a year or two ago of a Calgary bar.  With the Remembrance Day long weekend, their radio spots said something along the lines of, "You'll have trouble remembering Remembrance Day when you get a load of our drink specials!"  Needless to say, that upset a lot of veterans groups, and the spots were quickly pulled.  So I did have some fun and unwind this weekend, but there was always this nagging guilt in the background that I wasn't "lest we forgetting" enough.

Saturday went easy enough.  Got some chores done, got the place all nice and tidy.  And then, because Saturday night TV always sucks, I went to fire up the ol' Blu-Ray player.  This is one of the inherent problems I have doing my Fishing in the Discount Bin series.  When I watch a movie I've already reviewed for the series, I feel guilty that I'm not getting any work done.  But then, some days, you've just got to say, "Fuck it, I'm watching The Avengers again."  So I watched The Avengers again.  Still a great movie.  Never did we think that we'd see all these heroes teaming up on the big screen.

Sunday was about the same.  I was reluctant to do anything on Sunday, because it was a work day, and I did have to head into the station to get some work done.  But I did have enough time on Sunday afternoon to watch Terminator 2: Judgement Day again.  I upgraded it to Blu-Ray about a month ago, and hadn't watched it in hi-def yet.  I mean, it was in a discount bin for $5, so why not?  Plus, I had to watch T2 again as I start devouring more information on next year's X-Men: Days of Future PastX-Men director Bryan Singer has already said that he's had some long conversations with Terminator director James Cameron in regards to Days of Future Past.  See, Days of Future Past and The Terminator have the same basic set-up of "heroes from a dystopian future going back in time to alter the timeline and keep the bad future from happening."  And, as Singer has said, The Terminator films "got it right."  So what I'm saying is, when we're watching Days of Future Past next summer, don't be surprised if there's some heavy Terminator allusions.

The holiday Monday.  I decided to just go for it, and head into the city for some messing around.  First, I needed socks.  Whenever I reach into the sock drawer, and the first three pairs I pull out are full of holes, that means it's time for new socks.  So I swung by Wal-Mart, because they always seem to have 30 pairs for $10 or some deal like that.  With socks in  hand, I then fell into my baser instincts and wandered over to the toy section to see if there was anything new in the way of collectable action figures.

And when I got the Star Wars toys, all I could say was...jackpot.

Star Wars: The Black Collection Slave Leia Figure

The latest series of the Star Wars: Black Collection is out, and of course, I had to get Slave Leia.  Forget my quest for Cocoa Pebbles.  That's nothing compared to the late 1990s, when collection Star Wars action figures became a thing, and I was on the hunt for the first Slave Leia action figure that was released.  Talk to my friends at the time, and they'll tell you of my obsession.  It was a bit on my college radio show.  It was all I was talking about when I was e-mailing with my friends.  And when I finally found one, it was a good day.

So, when I saw the latest and the greatest and the most detailed one that's now available, I knew I had to snatch it up.

Next stop was Best Buy, because I had Blu-Rays on my mind.  Pixar fan that I am, I was eager to get Monsters University on Blu-Ray.  I'd been saving my money for the "collector's edition" of the Blu-Ray, but then, when I got to the store and had both the regular version and the collector's edition in my hands, I noticed that the only difference was the collector's edition comes with a digital copy.  For those not in the know, the digital copy is the film as a computer file, so you can load it on your tablets or your smartphones and watch it wherever you are.  I'm not too big on digital copies right now.  If I had a tablet or a functional laptop, and/or I traveled a lot, I would probably then delight in loading up my tablet and watching them in my hotel room.  But until that day, I'm far more content to watch movies on my comfy couch in front of my TV with my surround sound system.  So I saved myself the $5 and got the regular edition.

And then, the main reason for this trip, the chance to unwind on this long weekend, I was off to see the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: The Dark World.   Wow.  Isn't it remarkable how superheroes now dominate mainstream pop culture?  That was the most crowded I'd seen a theatre in West Edmonton Mall in ages.

Thor: The Dark World poster

It's been two years since that incident in New Mexico (the first Thor), and Jane Foster still pines for her Thunder God.  While investigating gravometric anomalies, she comes in possession of the Aether, a mystical artifact that's craved by Malekith, ruler of the Dark Elves, and he needs it to plunge the universe back into darkness.  Of course, this is enough to bring Thor back to her, and it's a journey from Earth to Aasgard to protect Jane from the Dark Elves.  And before long, Thor is making a desperate bargain with his villainous brother Loki to save Jane and save the Nine Realms.

I found Thor: The Dark World to be...pretty good.  Not quite as good as Iron Man 3, but then, who can compete with Robert Downey Jr's oozing charisma?  Tom Hiddleston tries, as Loki proves to be quite the smooth operator himself.  Chris Hemsworth is good as Thor, and it's been great seeing how his character evolved over Thor and The Avengers.  There's some great humour, too, whenever Thor returns to Earth and there's a bit of the culture shock.  Complaints?  Well, Natalie Portman really doesn't get much to do this time out as Jane.  And we really don't get to know our villain Malekith that much.  He's just angry and destroys stuff.  It's a solid 3 out of 4 Nibs.

When the movie was done, I wanted to get out of West Edmonton Mall pretty quick.  The Christmas rush really is beginning, and the mall was starting to get pretty crowded.  And you know it's only going to get more crowded over the next few weeks.  I did browse through HMV, though.  There's this new country singer I'm starting to like named Kacey Musgraves, and I was hoping to pick up her album, but darn it, HMV was sold out.  I'm guessing her winning the CMA Best New Artist award was good for album sales.  Here's her latest single, Follow Your Arrow, which I'm really starting to like, and I hope it gets higher on the charts so I can start playing it at work.

But yeah, the Christmas rush.  As guilt-ridden as I am for doing this on Remembrance Day, I'm glad I did it.  The Christmas rush is always a busy time for us radio folk, and days off are about to become few and far between.  You've got to take that free time, no matter how it comes your way, and just make the most of it. 

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