Monday, July 08, 2013

Apocalyptic Events

I have hot water again! Showers are lovely! But it was a bit of an ordeal getting there. At about 2 Friday afternoon, I got a call from the board guy asking if I'd heard from the contractor, since he hadn't been able to reach him. I hadn't heard anything. He said he'd try again, but if he still couldn't reach him, he'd find someone else to finish the job. At around 3, the contractor called and said he had to finish up some things where he was, but he'd be here in 2-2 1/2 hours. I figured that meant 5-5:30. They showed up at 7:30, worked a little more than an hour, then said they had to go get another part and would get dinner while they were out. They returned after 10:30. They finally finished up at 2 in the morning. There's still a bit more finishing work to do when the new door is ready, so it's not all over yet. I'm hoping that will happen today so I can stop having to be prepared for people to show up at any moment throughout the day or night. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just during the day, but the workers tend to show up at night, and the board members drop by to check their work in the evening, so I can't even unwind at the end of the day, and there doesn't seem to be a clear-cut time when I can just relax and be sure no one will ring my doorbell.

I was a bit of a zombie on Saturday because after getting to bed at around 2:30 in the morning I was wide awake at 7:30 and my attempts at napping failed. Instead, I spent the afternoon sort of dozing in front of the TV. There was a Primeval marathon, and then I watched Pitch Perfect on HBO. That was the fun little movie about college a capella singing groups. I got the sense that there was an element of satire in there and we weren't supposed to take it entirely seriously, so I didn't worry about most of the usual plot tropes since the movie seemed to be winking at them. The music was good (if a bit overproduced, to the point it sounded nothing like music being performed live by that number of people). I had to crack up at the teen movie trope that the way to excel in any music or dance competition is to be really wild and crazy and use current music -- even though you're competing against other people your age who presumably listen to the same music. You'd think after all this time, people would have figured that out, so that it reversed and the way to excel would be to do stuff like Gregorian chant while everyone else was boring and ordinary and used current music. Though I will give this movie credit for having the big differentiator be 80s music mixed into the current stuff (even if it did make me feel old).

In the evening phase of being a sofa zombie, I watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which was an odd romantic dramedy. There's an asteroid on a collision course for earth, and all efforts to stop or divert it have failed, so the world will be ending soon. That just makes life worse for a sad-sack insurance salesman whose wife runs off the moment the news about imminent doom comes out and who can't get into the debauchery his friends are enjoying in their final days. When his apartment building comes under attack during a riot, he and his Manic Pixie Dream Girl neighbor flee together, and the two of them end up going on a road trip to find the high school girlfriend he thinks may be the love of his life that he let get away and to see if they can find a way to get her back to her family before the end. If you've ever seen a movie before, you can probably imagine everything that happens along the way. It's basically a slightly raunchier It Happened One Night, set against the impending apocalypse. I'm glad I watched it, but I can't imagine ever watching it again because the end of the world stuff is rather depressing and overpowers any humor or warm fuzzies from the rest of the story. I think my favorite sequence was when they come across a TGI Fridays clone restaurant that they're surprised is still open, with a staff that's going all-out in enjoying their final days (which pretty much looks the way they always tried to make TGI Fridays look in their commercials back in their heyday. I was very disappointed when I finally went to one and found that it was just a restaurant with staff who were required to be annoying). I think the movie would have worked a lot better, though, if the neighbor hadn't been such an obvious Manic Pixie Dream Girl and had been more of a real character, instead. A collection of adorable quirks is not the same as character development.

Now to see if I can apply the new ideas I came up with while doing additional reading and research when I was waiting for contractors. The break may have done me a favor, but I need to get back on track.

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