1. I still haven't called back the ex-president, although earlier this week he sent me a friend request on Facebook. I am so very, very, very unmotivated to acknowledge these attempts. Why can't he do the right thing and just crawl in a hole somewhere? (That being said... I'll call him soon. Urk.)
2. TheWife is heading down to Manhattan this afternoon for a weekend of frivolity with our old pal KK. She will eat, she will drink, she will be merry, and if she's truly lucky she'll find a significant upgrade over me. With that in mind, I posted an extremely stable piece on DadCentric last night in which I preemptively imagined the post-wife world at Castle TwoBusy — it's something of a mix between the Old Testament and The Island of Dr. Moreau, with a little Brady Bunch and cannibalism thrown in for good measure.
3. In other good news, I finally got a callback from the place where I interviewed last week; they want me in for a second round next Tuesday. Which is cool: it's nice not to be rejected.
4. Um... so you remember last week, when I mentioned that I'd probably be blowing off the trip to the in-laws? Yeah, it didn't really work out that way. We all ended up going, and while our trip ultimately lasted only a single day, I am happy to report that our early return was more a function of heartstopping boredom than a) anyone puking; or b) me punching unnamed individuals in the face.
We won't talk about the dog.
5. (This is the part where I pretend to be unaware that I failed to produce an actual post here this week. I CAN'T HEAR YOU. (plugging ears) DAHDAHDAHDAHCAN'THEARYOUDAHDAHDAH)
(um. I'll try to suck less next week.)
6. We tried a couple of Netflix movies last week. The first was Hard Core Logo, which was supposed to be something of a punk black comedy faux rockumentary, kind of reminiscent of Spinal Tap and the wonderful and much-underappreciated Still Crazy. What it was, instead, was confusing, pointless and dull. We got a little over half an hour in before we decided that we'd rather turn the TV off and stare at the blank screen than go any futher into the movie.
The second was M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, which got savaged in reviews when it came out last year but still somehow managed to intrigue me. You know what? I should have listened to the reviews. There were several - not one, but several - points during the movie where I burst out in laughter in the midst of a scene that was clearly intended to be deadly earnest and/or serious. Look, I like Mark Wahlberg as much as anyone... but the dude was awful as a high school science teacher (Really? In what universe does it seem remotely plausible that this guy has even the vaguest understanding of biology and environmental science? He can barely say "hypothesis," for god's sake.) and default lead. And Zooey Deschanel... oh. My. God. She's pretty, but that may have been the single worst performance by an actress I've ever seen. Half her dialogue comes out sounding like she's learned the words phoenetically - as if she has no idea what they mean, or how they're supposed to work together to form sentences and sound like the way people actually talk - and her facial expressions when trying to expess emotion look like my not-quite-4yo-twin girls playing "Do surprised! Look surprised! Now sad... look sad. Now silly! Hahahaha!"
Beyond which: the plot is painfully amateurish, especially coming from a guy who once produced work as nuanced and emotionally rich as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I was intrigued by the idea of Shyamalan doing the apocalypse; what I got instead was dumb, dull and often laughable. The scenes when he tries to earn his R rating by showing people engaged in acts of self-destruction? In particular, the cell phone video of a guy feeding himself to lions at the zoo? Clearly, Shyamalan was trying to recall the jarring impact of the first glimpse of the aliens from Signs, when the shaky home video of a kid's birthday party in Brazil is interrupted by the sighting of something moving in the bushes that is clearly not human. What did he end up with instead? A scene that brought nothing to mind as much as the Black Knight bit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail — and which literally had me shaking with laughter as a result.
There are a few, brief scenes that offer a glimpse of what this movie might have actually achieved - in particular, the sight of construction workers raining off the side of a building and the scene when they drive into a town in central PA and discover what can only be called strange fruit hanging from the trees - but in the end, The Happening is terrible on an epic scale. Stay far away.
7. Since I apparently have nothing of real relevance to say, I'll leave you now with your video of the week, which isn't nearly as disturbing as you've come to expect from me — instead, I've given you the gift of kiwipop, in the form of one of the most gorgeous songs ever recorded: Straitjacket Fits' Down in Splendour.