so much for Loren's basketball practice this evening

[editor's note: posted Thursday night, after midnight]
i swear the league Loren plays basketball in has the worst communication of any i've ever encountered. drove out to take him to practice tonight, only to find upon arriving on the court that his practice was cancelled, on account of they changed tonight's practice to a game and changed the time to 2 hours earlier. i swear it's like people are going out of their way to EXCLUDE Loren from playing. those people are going to get a piece of my mind. what a buncha crap. this is what we paid $75 for? so they could have no clear idea of who they were going to play against, or when, and not give out any contact information or bother to inform people when things get changed? granted Loren's been sick for a week, and missed a game and a couple practices, but hell he had a 103 degree fever- he didn't have a choice- and he was at the last practice- and heard full well that it was POSSIBLE they'd change things around for this evening- but no one bothered to confirm it, at least not to him- which, interestingly enough, might not be for a lack of attempt, considering the general lack of response to phone calls to the Loren's mom's household.....these people should be getting ahold of ME.

anyway- we showed up like normal, and although it wasn't a huge inconvenience for Loren, since his mom's is only about 10 minutes away- but for me it's an hour and a half round trip all things considered, not to mention almost 40 miles of driving.

during practices, i think the coaches do the right thing- although i'd be a little remiss not to mention that the coach that's supposed to actually be the coach doesn't do much at all except enforce discipline occasionally, and maybe help drill a lone player one on one when they get left out of a team scrimmage due to an odd number of players showing up, or offer a little encouragement or advise from outside a drill- while letting his assistants actually control the flow of practice, provide most of the coaching tips....i wonder if he's grooming them to do it on their own, or if maybe they're doing it for high school community service credit or something. i would SO feel bad if i was Loren's coach and left him out of the loop like that- wonder if they do.

stopped off and got a few groceries on my way home from all that, this evening. did a little laundry, and watched the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events. it started out looking quite interesting, but was definitely a large departure from the one book i read of the story. the movie combined events from the first three books in Lemony Snicket's series, i think. actually- to be completely honest, the movie was enjoyable enough, and filmed well, and acted well....but nothing really struck me as fantastic- and in truth, the books were a bit of a let-down from the accompanying hype, too. i rarely expect a film to live up to the hype, but books? some of them hit you like a curve ball to the side of the helmet from out of nowhere.

actually, when you get right down to it, the louder the hype, the fewer things manage to live up to it. in movies, the last time i found something that truly fulfilled my expectations was King Kong (and i'm betting Peter Jackson and his team are just getting warmed up as far as blockbusters go). the last time i was completely blown away by how well done something was....The Lord of the Rings movies come to mind most quickly, and The Incredibles. Toy Story. The Lion King. Star Wars: Episode III. Star Trek: Generations, or Star Trek: First Contact.

in books? the Harry Potter series takes the cake, as far as contemporarily-released epic stories accessible to kids, with adult appeal, adventure and humour in large supply, and believable characters you can empathize with. the acting in Unfortunate Events was superb- even Carey's expectedly-overblown Olaf was very good; he really is an amazing actor. best surprises in the movie? Meryl Streep, as the neurotic aunt, for one. since i haven't read that far in the books i wasn't expecting her, and i believe they mixed up the sequence of events to cram her (and the herpetologist uncle) in the middle of this film, rather than leave the entire film in Olaf-as-Olaf's hands. why use Carey for one character when you can use him for three? it's a long series of books, and if Olaf's not gone in them (can't say for sure if he is or isn't, since i haven't read 'em, but they blatantly mentioned Olaf getting released by Jury of his Peers) then surely Carey'll be back. but i got away from my point: most surprising things. the other that comes to mind in this movie was (can't remember the actor's name) the herpetologist uncle singing with an autoharp in one scene- nicely done. music is powerful in film!

the outtakes were great, and in some ways even better than the movie proper; surely half the people in the theaters had neither seen (nor cared to see?) the books that spawned this film before the fact, but Carey pulled them in nonetheless- and the outtakes are as fun as his antics during the film; they should be: much of his in-film dialogue came from ad-libbed monologuing during screen tests. i wouldn't classify watching this film as an Unfortunate Event- but the books were more fun. and last impression: Aussie Emily Browning could be Angelina Jolie's 14 yr old little sister.

and that's way more than enough inf press on a fair (but not outstanding) movie.

ok it's damn late- time to crash. wish i had more interesting things to say than talk about what i watched on television. maybe i'll jump backwards to things i've skipped over in the next entry, or the one after it.

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