for all those clamoring for the info

i finally updated my watchlist page. yay. link's in the sidebar on the left. now you can get off the edge of your seats and on with your lives...or not.

best movies i've seen lately: The Gift (superb acting by both Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi), Monster (absolutely riveting performance by Charlize Theron), Ray (stunning acting and musical performance by Jamie Foxx), The Human Stain (great writing; a layered story that draws you in at an even pace, with solid performances all around but particularly by Nicole Kidman), Vanity Fair (gorgeously filmed- if somewhat long- period piece with solid performances throughout), Mirrormask (reminded me very much of Cirque du Soleil so it didn't come as a shock to find it shared creative talent with Cirque). and The Exorcism of Emily Rose (stunningly brilliant performance by Jennifer Carpenter, solid performances by the rest of the cast, unique combination of genuinely suspenseful horror film with a contemporary court drama.....very well done). links to some more info on all of 'em (if you've been living under a rock, like me, and missed 'em when they were actually fairly new) are on the aforementioned watchlist page.



made a minor edit to the last post, since the dates i wrote were a bit off. always more editing to do. and that's what i get for putting in a bunch of links instead of just writing.

just finished watching The Gift. yes, i know it's an old movie, but it's new to me. really liked it. Cate Blanchet (sp?) was fantastic. it might be the best thing i've ever seen her in, and that's saying something since she was Galadriel in Peter Jackson's LOTR films. she's really pretty damned talented. but Giovanni Rabisi (sp?) gave her a run for her money in every scene he shared with her- that guy's amazing. if you don't know who he is, i bet you do: he played the doctor who got shot in the stomach in Saving Private Ryan...i'll always think of the guy that way, since that's the first thing i ever saw him in.

ok enough with the errata notice and miscellaneous film comments. it's late.


wow- 6 weeks with no posts. thanks to Melissa for reminding me ;)

crazy. what's been happening? wish i could say more than, "not much," but i can't, so here's all the 'not much'.

last post was June 6, and i believe i watched Elektra. haven't done much since then except watch movies and work. do chores.

Loren's summer started June 21st. this is the part of the year when it's supposed to be 'a week here', 'a week there', etc. so far this summer Loren's spent an entire week here, and the rest with his mom. right now he's in Ketchikan, AK with his mom, visiting relatives. they're staying with Loren's aunt, and he's hangin' out with some friends he's known for a long time and a bunch of cousins and, of course, his bro.

i've been just workin' my butt off trying to build up some hours to use toward a week off after Loren returns. i've planned a little trip for us, nothing extravagant. Aug 5-9, pretty much, but after the 7th or 8th we're going to be playing it by ear. would be nice to just have a paid vacation so i didn't jump in all exhaustified, but i think i'm ahead of the 8 ball enough to manage to have a decent time while we're out and about. the itinerary so far:

Aug 5: get an early start driving to Maupin, Oregon. get set up in our room at the All Star Lodge (my 2nd choice...took me a little too long to make the plans i wanted and missed out on a nicer place). then i'm thinking we'll take the (very) short drive over to White River Falls State Park and do the short hike down to the old power plant, check out the falls, etc. fart around, kill time. have some dinner someplace in town, settle in to our room for some rest before rafting the next day.

Aug 6-7: so 9:45am we hook up with River Drifters, for a trip down the Deschutes River. opted for the all-day deal, and the generous gift cert that Loren's aunts and uncles got him (and me!) for Loren's birthday left only a balance of $35- totally reasonable, considering the trip's about 3 hours longer, and they stop along the way for swimming and a barbecue. they also take pictures (they have cameras set up along the banks, i gather) and sell them (for a not inconsiderable fee, i might add....pretty steep. prob'ly have to pick the best one and stick with one shot.) that whole thing should wrap up about 4:30pm or so, and then a short drive back to where we started from, and Loren and i will hit the road. i contemplated staying another night in the lodge, but i think we'll manage a 2.5 hr drive to Battle Ground State Park alright. i was thinking i'd really like to stop somewhere along the Columbia River for a day, but you almost have to spend two nights anywhere to get a whole day in, and packing up and moving every day is a little much, so i opted for the easier thing. we'll get in to the park around 6 or 7pm, if we don't stop along the way for anything else. still thinking we might get some swimming in on the Columbia River at Columbia Hills State Park, or maybe on the Oregon side of the river at the Deschutes River State Recreation Area, but that's an on-the-road decision i guess. we actually have until 1:30pm Aug 7 to keep our spot on Battle Ground Lake, so we might be able to squeeze it in. here's a good map of Battle Ground State Park; i chose it because it had some hiking and swimming, and it was on the way to Mt. St. Helens, which i've never seen. if you're REALLY interested, here's a good closeup of the spot where we'll be camping, site #37, right by the swimming beach. and here's an actual photo of very near the exact spot. so we'll stay overnight here, and the whole next day, do some barbecuing, swimming, hiking, etc. pack up in the morning and head to Mt. St. Helens.

Aug 8: i'm thinking we'll get up and check out something called Ape Cave, which is the longest continuous lava tube in the contiguous U.S., at about 1.5 miles long. basically, you go in one end and come out the other. there are two routes (from the same entrance), a short one that's a dead end, running the opposite direction of the main climb, and another that rises about 600' and requires climbing over a lot of boulders, etc. i'm going to take Loren through the whole thing. should be a blast (no pun intended!). here's a better overview of the place, with diagrams of the cave, etc. it's about a 2.5 - 3 hr hike underground, on the 'challenging' upper hike. you can get lanterns there, but they recommend bringing three light sources- that's a long time. i may spring for a lantern and a bring a few flashlights anyway. hope there's not an earthquake or eruption while we're down there, but it's actually a fair distance from the mountain, and they actually opened the mountain up for hiking to the rim of the crater at the top last week, so those in the know seem to think it's safe for the moment. Loren took a school field trip to the Johnston Observatory once (NW side of the mountain), so i'm thinking when we go check out the mountain we'll do it from the east side, the opposite side of the mountain, somewhere in the neighborhood of the Windy Ridge Viewpoint. should be plenty of hiking in the area to last us through a day. after that, it's either back home, or possibly a stop over by Mt. Rainier, or maybe even by Lake Kachess (off I-90), the only spot Loren and i've camped before. would be interesting to see if we could nab the same spot on Box Canyon Creek we did before- Loren's always good for a little nostalgia.

so that's what i've been doing in my off time, watching movies (OMG i have a lot to fill in in my watchlist...last entry was June 5th i think) and planning a little road trip.

hmmm.....what else. Chowder's been actin' funny lately, not wanting to go outside in the morning when i go to work. i think it's because the back yard's fenced off at the deck line (gotta get both the motivation and time to finish diggin' my trench!) and he's not having fun. not touching his food (or water!) until i get home. i think he's depressed. it's a dog's life. i'll make it up to him.

ok that's enough for one post. got a bunch of stuff to do this evening and i haven't even taken a shower after work yet. and i'm especially grubby today, having spent all the free time in between swapping out parts (i'm actually running something fairly complex for a change!) on my knees scraping the 1/8" - 1/4" thick grunge off the shop floor on my hands and knees with a 1" wide putty knife (best tool available). the floor is actually flat again, though, in the places i've finished. sound like i deserve a raise? i think so. call up my boss and put a good word in for me! but i'm outta here.

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