Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, July 11, 2016

Long Deserved Long Weekend

As I keep explaining to my friends and family, summer is a busy time for us radio folk.  We're live on location from just about every fair and festival that comes along, and it's no exception for us small market guys.  For all of June, it seemed like I was on location from another small town fair.  I actually enjoy it, because you get to be outside on nice days, and occasionally slip away for a corn dog or to check out the events.  But it does get taxing.  Everything peaked with Canada Day.  Once that was in the bag, I decided to take July 8 off and treat myself to a long weekend.

I really should take more time off, because I love going to the city in the middle of a weekday.  Things are so quiet.  You can go at your own pace.  And I figured it was the perfect time to get some chores done.  My car was due for an oil change, so I got that done.  With that came a twinge of sadness.  See, I hang a new air freshener in my car every time I get an oil change.  About two years ago, at Canadian Tire, I grabbed a pack of Star Wars air fresheners.  And with this oil change, the last Star Wars air freshener was done.  Went to Canadian Tire across the way to get more, but they had none.  So I went with the traditional pine tree.

From there, it was off to my usual haunts.  Went browsing for new Blu-Rays.  With a new Star Trek movie on the horizon, of course all the Star Trek movies have been re-released.  I was on the fence about picking up the director's cut of Wrath of Khan, but when I saw it for just $10, I figured, "Why not?"

A photo posted by Mark Cappis (@chaosinabox) on

B A friend on Facebook asked if it was worth getting Wrath of Khan: The Director's Cut.  My reasoning was yes.  The original DVD release featured just the director's cut.  The original Blu-Ray featured just the theatrical version.  This new Blu-Ray has both versions, so it's the only way to get the director's cut in hi-def.  Plus, if you're more into the technical side of things, Wrath of Khan was the only Star Trek film where Paramount went back to the original negative and created a new hi-def transfer.  All the other films, all they did was up-convert the DVDs.  So it's also the best-looking version of Wrath of Khan.  Other than that, it's got all the bonus features of the previous DVD and Blu-Ray.  And besides...just $10.

Then over to West Edmonton Mall.  I was surprised.  A little busier than I expected for a Friday afternoon, but then I remembered that it is the start of summer, so the tourists are probably there.  West Edmonton Mall is no longer the largest shopping mall in the world -- I think there are, like, 5 in China that are ahead of it on the list -- but it's still the largest in North America, and that still makes it a pretty significant tourist draw.

Did my usual browsing, but again, there's not much out there right now that I truly want.  Yeah, there's some Blu-Rays I saw at HMV, but I felt no burning passion to own them, you know?  I don't know if it's depression or maturity, but I no longer feel the desire to blow entire paychecks on new Blu-Rays.  So I left HMV empty-handed.

But I was going upstairs to see a movie.  Pixar geek that I am, I had to see Finding Dory, and this was my first chance to do so.  Now, on the grand list of Pixar sequels that I desire, Finding Dory was pretty low on the list.  I really didn't think we needed a Finding Nemo 2.  I mean, they found Nemo.  Where else can we go with this story? 

Well, the creators say their entire inspiration came from one line in the original film.  When Dory first met Marlin, she describes her condition thusly:  "I suffer from short-term memory loss.  It runs in my family.  At least, I think it does.  Where are they?"  So their entire inspiration was that Dory wandered off when she was a little girl, and thanks to her short-term memory loss, forgot her way home.  So that's the movie.  Dory begins having flashes of memory of her parents and how to get home, so she, Marlin and Nemo set out to get her home.

This movie is definitely a lot more melancholy in tone than the first one.  It's shown in the colour palette, it's shown in Thomas Newman's score, and it works.  They wind up adding a real undercurrent of tragedy to Dory as she remembers her family, struggles vainly to hold on to those memories so she can get home, and then it just vanishes.  But the movie's still fun.  We get some fun new characters, like Hank the septopus (an octopus that lost an arm), and the cheery Destiny the whale shark and Baily the beluga whale.  I would put it at Pixar's second-best sequel.  Toy Story 3 still had the bigger emotional gut-punch.  I give it 3.5 Nibs.  Full review over on the main site.

That was Friday.  And I was off again to the city on Saturday.  For you see, Thursday was my birthday, and it's become traditional in my family to meet up with my parents, and they treat me to dinner and a movie.  What was my birthday movie this year?  Independence Day: Resurgence.  The first Independence Day was my birthday movie 20 years ago, so it just made sense.

Independence Day: Resurgence was fun, but....   I have the same complaint about it that I had about the remakes of RoboCop and Total Recall.  It was a little too slick...a little too polished.  The original had some kind of grit that the sequel was lacking.

I fully predicted Independence Day: Resurgence to be this year's Jurassic World:  just one great big, gigantic 1990s nostalgia trip.  But whereas Jurassic World felt free to get down in the muck of nostalgia and wallow, Independence Day: Resurgence seems more like a perfunctory checklist of things people liked about the original.  Landmark destruction?  Check.  President gives an inspirational speech?  Check.  Jeff Goldblum?  Check.

And the strange thing is, I kinda wish the movie was longer.  The original film had some breathing room, and we actually got a chance to get to know the characters.  In this one, we barely get a chance to meet the new saviors of humanity.

So, yeah.  It was fun, but...  I give it 3 Nibs.  Full review over on the website.

Then my parents took me to dinner at the Keg.  Wow.  I know, I know.  I'm enough of a small town rube that I consider the Olive Garden to be a fancy place.  So the Keg is super, duper fancy.  And there I was, wearing baggy shorts and my grubby T-shirt that I wore yesterday.  I felt mildly embarrassed just walking through the front door.  I explained to my parents that I barely go to real restaurants anymore.  Hell, I've been in Westlock for a little more than 3 years now, and there are still a bunch of popular local eateries that I haven't tried.  It's just because I have no social life, so when I go to a real restaurant, I feel mildly judged.

How I think people see me at a fast food place:  Look at that man.  No doubt he's heading home, and just stopped here for a quick bite.  Safe journey, weary traveler!

How I think people see me at a real restaurant:  It's Saturday night and he's here by himself?  Fuck that loser.

But I had a delightful meal with my parents, and then it was time to head home and record a podcast.

Yes, Saturday night was when I finally cracked open a bottle of Crystal Pepsi.  I won't rehash the details, because I recorded it all live on my podcast.  It's Pepsi, and it's clear.  And it's awesome.

Once I got home and uploaded my podcast, I decided to describe my day in meme-form.

And now, here we are on Sunday morning, and it's time to decompress.  Goof around online, do some blogging.  It's a grey, rainy day in Westlock as I write this up, so it'll be a Sunday of Netflix on the couch.  I'm so thrilled that I discovered that every Star Trek series is now on Netflix.  I've begun binging on season 2 of Enterprise.  That's the only season of Star Trek I've never seen, because it was on during my year in Japan.  I hadn't watched any Enterprise at all in such a long time.  I was watching the first five minutes, and I was like, "This doesn't seem so bad.  It seems like some classic Star Trek action.  Why did I loathe it so?"

And then they cue up the theme song.  Faith of the Heart, which was actually the theme song to the film Patch Adams, re-purposed.

And I'm like, "Oh.  Right." 

No comments: