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dinner, a movie, and a much better day.

February 11, 2011

Earlier today, I wrote whole blog postings.. wrote them and edited them.. in my head.

I was busy doing other things, while thinking up the posts.. all this great stuff I could have written. I thought up one post in the shower. I wonder if there is some kind of waterproof recording device. I get lots of ideas for stuff to write about while in the shower, or soaking in the tub. I feel a bit bummed at not having gotten those words out.

But I went on with the day. Instead of sitting down to write after finishing the shower, I headed off with my dad – took him to see “True Grit.” Even though I really liked the original version of this film (the one made in the ’60’s with John Wayne – this was the only role Wayne won an Oscar for) I still liked the Coen Brother’s new version.

I had not planned on going to a movie this afternoon, but had heard the Coen Brothers on the NPR radio show “Fresh Air with Terri Gross.” She interviews lots of interesting people.

The interview with the CB (I’m tired of typing Coen Brothers) originally aired sometime last month, but was replayed (several times) today. I was sitting at the computer – buying songs from eMusic, and setting up a playlist on my ipod.. and looking at books on how to learn to play mandolin (even though I already have some) Instead of buying those books, I bought an iphone/ipod touch (i have an ipod touch) app called Guitar Toolkit. It is INCREDIBLY useful. Even though I have given up guitar, I can use this app for bass and mandolin as well. Wonderful!

While I was doing all this stuff on the computer, I could hear the radio in another room, and though.. hmm.. I’ll take dad to see that movie.

Dad doesn’t drive. He is more disabled than I am, and doesn’t get out of the house unless someone else drives him. My mom and aunt had headed to Twin Falls (where my brother and his family live) to help with the kids. I figured it was a good day for dad and I to head out of the house as well.

So we watched and enjoyed “True Grit.” Jeff Bridges – awesome as usual. Matt Damon.. surprising.. for me, he is a very hit and miss actor. I didn’t like the Bourne films, at all, but did like him in “Goodwill Hunting,” “Syriana,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and “The Departed.”

He was .. really good in this film. I never expected to see Matt Damon in an old-school Western. And he did well!

The girl who played the main character Mattie was truly brilliant. This was her first major film. Hailee Steinfeld is her name. The role is quite challenging to do right, and even more challenging because the young woman (I forget her name) who played the same character in the original version did so well. In some ways, Steinfield was even better than the other actress, and made the character more likable.

Even if you don’t normally dig Westerns (I haven’t seen many of them), I recommend this film. Very well done.

Coen brothers films..

These guys astonish me. They’ve made some of the absolute best films I’ve ever seen – “No Country for Old Men,” “Fargo,” “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and some of the absolute worst.. “The Ladykillers,” “Burn After Reading.”

I’ve seen a lot of their films. One of their biggest hits was an earlier one which starred Jeff Bridges. It’s called “The Big Lebowski.” Bridges’ character is called “The Dude,” and this character is his most famous.

I saw this movie, and I just can’t understand why it is so massively popular. I didn’t like it much at all – except for a few minutes of it here and there. I just don’t understand the appeal.

“Raising Arizona” – a rather quirky comedy..featuring Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter.. had some hysterical moments, and at other times it was quite slow.

I watched part of “Barton Fink” and part of “A Serious Man,” and was seriously bored by both films.

“Miller’s Crossing,” a gangster film, was rather good and worth watching.

The CB have made such an amazing variety of films! I have no idea what they will come up with next!

I’m glad I saw “True Grit.” I don’t think it was their best film, but certainly worth a trip to the theater and a matinee-priced ticket.

After the movie, I took dad to a Chinese buffet. I love Chinese (and other Asian) food, but have never been to a Chinese food buffet before. While driving up and down this very very long road with an overwhelming number of stores and other businesses on each side, I had months ago spotted this restaurant, and finally went there today.

Some of the food was lukewarm in temperature.. just like at any other buffet you’d care to visit – and some of the food was hot, having just arrived from the kitchen. ALL of the food was tasty. I tried something like 15 different dishes.. little portions of them. Tried over 2 thirds of what they had available. And it was all good. Yeah, I’m going back! $8.99 for dinner is more than worth it over there.

And now, here I am..

Lots and lots went through my head today..

I had thought of blogging sooner in the week, but had too many awful days, and didn’t want to write down more about how bad I felt, so waited for a day when I felt better (today). And, I have not wanted to write because this is the communal computer, and I don’t want anyone looking over my shoulder as I write. When I’ve written past posts, it’s mostly been at a time.. like late at night.. when mom, dad, and my aunt were already asleep, and had been asleep for awhile.

Mom and my aunt are still gone, and my dad is downstairs watching TV. I am sitting here at the desk on the landing on the upper half-floor. This home is one of those with a second story that is only partially the size of the first story – you know.. a track house with high ceiling, and stairway leading up to a landing and the bedrooms and so forth.

I like the design of the house for the most part. Except that I share a bathroom with my aunt. This is not too bad though, because she is not a neat freak. She might even be a bit more messy than I am.

So much light from the sun pours into this house! It really is quite amazing and wonderful. In the morning light comes in the kitchen and living room in the back of the house.. in late afternoon, light comes through the front of the house, and in the evenings, I can watch the sun set from my bedroom window. Lovely.

We likely will not be living in this house for long though. We are renting. We moved up here to the Boise area without having even been to this part of Idaho before. Up until now all we had seen of Idaho was Twin Falls, which is in Southern Idaho, and quite close to the Nevada border. Twin Falls is a nice town to visit, but we all felt it was too small to live in. Twin Falls is the largest town in that area.. it’s a disturbingly isolated feeling .. drive out of town and you just see sagebrush, an ugly, faded piss-yellow color of sage brush, and distant mountains.

I haven’t seen much sagebrush at all out here in the Boise area.

And there is so much more out here! There’s Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, and other, smaller towns. And plenty of open spaces too – fields, but no orchards. I’m used to seeing nothing but acres and acres of orchards – that is what I saw in California when I drove through the country.

I don’t mind not seeing orchards here though. But the open spaces and closer mountains (not very high ones, but they are certainly closer than the ones nearest where I lived in California) .. not quite used to the feeling of this place.. this area.. but I like it enough.

It is a strange thing to be living in Idaho. If you had told me 5 years ago I’d be living in Idaho, I would have thought you were crazy.

I had for many, many years wanted to move out of California, or at least move out of the city where I lived. I was terribly miserable most of the time I lived in that city, and I lived in that city most of my life. I have been thinking about it a lot these past few days, and have been counting my blessings because I finally am living somewhere else.

But I certainly never thought I would have ended up here!

I figured that if I ever moved to a different state, it would likely be Michigan, where I had lived for 2 years back in the ’80’s, or else Wisconsin (rode through and visited several places in that state) or Illinois (I lived in Chicago for 3 years back in the ’80’s.) I love the Midwest.. especially Michigan.

But, there are certain things I do NOT love about it. When I was a kid, I really liked the snow. This was in part because I didn’t have to drive in it.

I’ve only driven in snow once in my life so far. We had a freak snow storm here in Idaho over a month ago, and I was unintentionally out driving in it. I had been on a long trip around the area by myself – wandering. It had not been snowing when I left, just a light rain. Two thirds into the trip, and far from home, It started snowing.. then it really started snowing. It was damn scary. I kept sliding, slid partway into an intersection at a red light. I could have died. But, made it home safely. And it hasn’t snowed since. I am still dreading the next snow fall.

If I were living in the Midwest, I would have to deal with record amounts of snow – many FEET of it, and below zero temperatures. I am rather sensitive to cold. I have adapted pretty well to the weather here – mostly no precipitation, and temperatures in the 20’s up through the 40’s. Not that much different temperature-wise from where I lived in CA. Most winters there where I lived were in the ’40’s and ’50’s.

So it’s not bad, and we’ve had a lot of sunny days. Friends of my parents and my aunt who are still in California say they are having the most miserable winter in many years – lots and lots of blinding fog, and rain too, and almost every day being overcast. Yep. I’m GLAD I’m up here!

Not that life has been super-great so far though.

My mental health, and even my physical health have been.. surprisingly bad. I’m not going to write about all that in detail today..have done so more than enough in previous blogs..

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my life…

What I have been thinking about.. I shall write in a separate post, because otherwise this one will be at least 4,000 words. I’m already getting close to 2,000.

So, I’ll sum this one up by saying I am thankful for having a much better day today – glad for feeling better, glad about buying downloads of classic soul tunes by Smokey Robinson, Sam and Dave, and Sade.. Also glad about the songs by Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight, Billy Paul, Bill Withers, and wonderful tunes by more recent artists like Lauryn Hill, Macy Gray, Seal, Corey Glover, and Alicia Keys that I already have on my hard drive. I have made an excellent playlist for my ipod!

And, I’m thankful for one of my all-time favorite films.. “The Commitments,” about some white, Irish, working class young people who form a soul band in Dublin. Dublin soul? Yes! You gotta watch “The Commitments!”

I’m glad I dowloaded the guitar toolkit app that I can use for both mandolin and bass. This app will save me money that I would otherwise spend on music books, and the app is easier to use, and has no environmental impact – it’s all digital.

I am glad I have been continuing to enjoy the “Community” DVD’s I’ve been getting from Netflix. “Community” is one of the best TV shows I have ever seen!

I am glad I and my dad saw a good movie and had a great dinner.

And lastly, glad to be blogging again.

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