Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Shadow Raiders: Volume 3

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch something.  I blog about it.  You get it.  I'm currently powering my way through Shadow Raiders.  I'm on volume 3 of the series.  I watched it and blogged about it on February 2, 2019.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Shadow Raiders: Volume 2

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch a movie and blog about it.  I've stumbled across my DVDs for the old cartoon Shadow Raiders, and today we're on volume 2.  This is in my notes on January 27, 2019.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Of Pizza, Movies, and Marvels

So it appears that spring has finally sprung, and with it, my neurosis about traversing winter roads into the city to catch a movie are starting to subside.  And just in time, too, as Marvel's latest, Captain Marvel, has been thrust upon the world.  But of course, there had to be a last-minute panic.  Thursday, it was a quick trip into the city after work for a dentist appointment.  Everything was fine.  Friday...a huge dump of snow.  But, above zero temperatures for the next day.  Would everything be find on Saturday morning?  I woke up, looked outside at the sunshine, saw the above-zero temperatures on my weather apps, an "all clear" on the road reports, and I knew my day in the city was a go!

After a lovely, uneventful, springtime drive, I arrived and made my first stop at Wal-Mart.  For you see, I was in the market for some new socks and underwear.  Sorry, gang, but not all my big city purchases are always sexy new action figures and sexy new Blu-Rays.  I need the neccessities, too.  And double sorry, but you're not going to see any pictures of my sexy new underwear.  I may have lost some weight, but I've still got a long ways to go before you're seeing pics of me with rock hard abs.

For those who may not have seen my tweets or Facebook posts over the past year, it's good news.  About a year ago, my mother finally convinced me to get a full physical.  And the prognosis was good, with a big "but."  The doctor's exact words that I was in "the grey zone for diabetes," so I had to lose some weight and get my blood sugar under control.  Here we are, a year later, and the doctor says I'm down 20 pounds, and my blood sugar has gone from a dangerously high 6.3 to a more typical 5.7, officially getting me out of "the grey zone."  I haven't really noticed the weight loss, but friends say they have.  And I can pull my pants up over my gut and starting wearing them around my waist like a normal person again.

Which led me to the most delightful brain fart as I was buying underwear.  I looked at the tags and started thinking, "What's my pants size again?"   I tried discreetly looking at the tag on the jeans I was wearing, but they'd been through the wash too many times, and the writing was too faded.  So I went with a different option.  Since I always complain that I could never find pants in my size, I went to go look at the pants, to see if the ones that were sold out would jog my memory.  It seemed to work, and I made my best guess at an underwear size.

I arrived at West Edmonton Mall, just in time for an early lunch, and settled on a rice bowl from Edo Japan.  Again, all part of the attempting to eat healthier and get healthier.  I'm opting less and less for the burgers in the food court and trying to explore the healthier options...like rice bowls.  And besides, as my dietician once advised, "A burger every once in a while ain't gonna kill you...as long as it's not one of those half-pound monster burgers."

I checked my watch and saw that I had a full hour and a half before my movie.  I figured I may as well get up and explore the Mall.  Hadn't made it all the way down to the Mall in a while, so I was looking forward to just exploring.  "And this is a good time to squeeze in some cardio," said the healthy part of my brain.  On the one hand, I hate that I'm having thoughts like, "This is a good time to squeeze in some cardio," but on the other hand, I love that I'm having brain farts like, "What's my pants size again?"

I got up and started exploring the Mall.  I've traversed these halls ever since West Edmonton Mall was built back in the mid-1980s.  I love how dynamic the mall is, always changing, always something new.  But, it also gives me a sense of nostalgia.  I miss the opulence of West Edmonton  Mall in the 1980s, when they really leaned into the "World's Largest Mall" quite hard and everything about the Mall had to be the world's largest.

Which is why it's always a shock when I see that a big change is coming.  It may not seem like a big change to some, but I was shocked to see that the Brick is moving.

The Brick is one of those anchor tenants that's been in the same place in West Edmonton Mall since it first opened in the mid-1980s.  I remember my family buying a new TV from the Brick in West Edmonton Mall in 1994.  I miss the Star Wars diorama they used to have.  They had this diorama set-up designed to look like an alien world, complete with a few model AT-ATs and Star Wars action figures set up.  And then, they had camcorders set up all around it so you could try them out by filming the diorama.  They did a massive renovation to their store in the late-90s/early-2000s and a had a huge grand reopening.  I remember because my favourite radio station at the time was on location from the newly renovated Brick for, like, an entire month.

And now it's moving.  All the way to the other side of the Mall where Sears used to be.

My nostalgic stroll continued as I went into Sunrise Records.  A part of me still thinks of that store as HMV.  I browsed the shelves of Blu-Rays, and as much was I wanted to buy a few new films, I knew I had to show some restraint.  I see Chicken Run is finally on Blu-Ray, and I still think it's one of the funniest animated movies ever made, but I put back, thinking that my old DVD is still good enough.  I see the Steve Martin classics The Jerk and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels have just gotten new super-special editions, but they were a little pricey, and so I left them behind.  But I did break down for one.

Backdraft, Ron Howard's 1991 loving ode to firefighters.  Won great acclaim at the time for its practical effects...cleverly hidden propane torches to put the actors right in the middle of the fire.  This one seems to have been filling discount bins for far too long, and I've been tempted to pick it up, but seeing it in novelty VHS clamshell packaging for just $10, I couldn't resist.  When I bought it, the clerk and I complained a little bit that the retro VHS packaging was being billed as "1980s packaging," and Backdraft came out in 1990s, but whatever.  It'll still look good on the shelf.

I glanced at my watch, and saw it was a half-hour before my movie.  Even in this modern age of assigned seating at the theatre, I still like to show up about a half-hour early to claim my seat, get settled, and open up any noisy candy packaging.  So I made my way over to the Scotiabank Theatre and settled in to watch Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel Movie Poster
On the distant planet Hala, home of the Kree Empire, a Kree warrior named Vers is troubled. She’s still learning to harness her massive power under the tutelage of Yon-Rogg. Their squad of Kree commandos are sent to take down a cel of evil shapeshifting aliens known as Skrulls, but Vers is capture. She eventually escapes, and winds up on the planet designated C-35 by the Kree, but the natives call it Earth. Something about Earth begins triggering memories in Vers, and she begins to learn that she was once a woman named Carol Danvers. But, Skrulls led by Talos have made it to Earth as well. With her new partner, SHIELD agent Nick Fury, can Carol Danvers uncover the secrets of her past and save Earth from a Skrull invasion?

I found Captain Marvel to be a very satisfying superhero film.  Yeah, I've probably watched too many of these, as I saw some of the big plot twists coming from a mile away.  And the soundtrack, full of 1990s rock (as it's set in 1995) is cute, but does get a little too...obvious as the film goes on.  I was kinda worried about Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, because she struck me as kinda flat in the trailers, but she brings it in the film, and does a great job.

I give it three out of four nibs.  Full review over on the website.

With the movie done, I still had very special plans for dinner.  I had resolved that, this night, I was going to check something off my bucket list.  I love pizza.  And for many, many years, anchovies tops the list as the most hated pizza topping.  But here's the thing.  Because it is so hated, it's very hard to find an anchovy pizza.  They hardly make them anymore.  So it soon got added to my bucket list to find and try an anchovy pizza.  After some searching online, I found I could get one at Famoso.

Famoso is one of those newer restaurant chains that's been popping up in power centres all across the land.  They specialize in traditional Italian-style pizza.  I've eaten there a few times, and they do make pretty good pizza, and it was one of the few places where I could get my anchovy pizza.

I hit up Famoso in Spruce Grove, and placed my order.  They changed it up a little bit since the last time I was there.  Originally, they had you fill out your order yourself and take it to the front counter.  But now, they have the waitress do that for you, like a regular restaurant.  Having studied the menu online, I knew exactly what I wanted:  a Magherita pizza with anchovies.  The waitress asked if I wanted the anchovies pre-cooked or fresh.  I went with pre-cooked.  She said OK, and then I sat back and waited.

She brought me my pizza, and I dug in.  I tasted the cheese, the tomato sauce and...that's it.  Couldn't taste anything else.  I figured the cheese and tomato sauce must be overpowering the anchovies.  So I picked one off an ate it on its own.  I found it to be a greasy, salty little thing.  That's probably why it's not liked...and that's probably why the cheese and the tomato sauce overpowered it.  I finished off my pizza, and resolved that I'd have to try this again, to see if having the anchovies fresh makes any difference. 

The waitress brought my bill and I settled up, and that's when I realized that she got my order wrong.  My own fault for not eating there enough and not being familiar with the Italian words on the menu.  I ordered a Magherita pizza with anchovies, and I got just a plain pizza with anchovies.  I decided to let it go and just move on, but since I'm blogging about it a week later, obviously I haven't done that.  Besides, the whole mission was to try an anchovy pizza, and that's what was done.  And since I'm going to try this again with fresh anchovies, I'll be able to try again. 

But with a full belly, I returned home, on another uneventful drive on warming, ice-free roads.  I got home, and after noting my car's mileage, realized I'm getting due for an oil change.  At my last oil change, they noted I should probably get a tire rotation in the spring.  But getting a tire rotation means going to a proper mechanic, and not one of those "Quickie Lube" oil change places.  I always worry about taking my car into the mechanic.  It might be for something as simple as an oil change, but once they get it up on the hoist, they're like, "Oh, yeah, you need a new fliberty gibbet.  That'll be $8000, please." 

My car.  I love ya, but I'll always have reason to worry. 

(Oh, and the underwear fits.)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Shadow Raiders: Volume 1

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I think you know the drill by now.  I watch a DVD I own and blog about it.  This time, I'm going to crack into an entire series.  We're watching volume 1 of Shadow Raiders.  This is originally in my notes at January 26, 2019.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Venom

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  You know the drill, I watch a movie and blog about it.  This time out, we're doing the surprise hit of the fall of 2018, Venom.  I originally watched & blogged on January 13, 2019.