The Holiday Workend

This past weekend was one of celebration for most people – a three day weekend worth barbecued and volleyball. Shari and I decided to take another tact and spend the extended weekend continuing with our larger house projects – a three day ‘workend’, as it were.

The Projects

Before we left for our Arizona vacation, we began planning some long overdue home projects, as well as some new things we wanted to do. The weekend after we got back from vacation we started in earnest with getting those projects done. On Mother’s Day, Shari had asked me to take down our back porch. It seemed like an odd request, but since it was fix it or take it down, I gave in and pulled that sucker down (but not without a few small … issues). So, now that it was down, we have been slowly doing all of the stuff to compensate for there being a sudden lack of roof over the patio.

Our improvements continued over the last two weeks with installing new outdoor lighting among the driveway and gardens, cleaning and fixing the bird feeder stations, weeding and planting our gardens, having four large trees taken down in the yard, as well as most of the other typical weekly chores. This week’s project was to replace the gutters – or rather, replace the gutters that were there, since there weren’t any at the junction where the roof originally met the house. So, I got my introduction on installing gutters. I’ve never done Amy gutter work before other than cleaning them, but figured I would give it a try.

Never again.

I got it done, and I think I did a good job, but there was quite a bit to learn and things I hadn’t considered when I was planning, including the costs of the extra tools and things. I also had realized how hard it was going to be to replace the fascia and the flashing. What I thought would be a 1 day project turned out to take almost three days, not to mention a lot of weird bending and balancing on the ladder. And gutter sealant is a pain in the ass to work with.

But I got it done: the water runs out the downspouts (mostly), it doesn’t leak, it’s sturdy and looks good. So we missed a picnic and our plans to go to the beach or a movie. Combined with the other stuff we did do (mowed the lawn, installed more lighting, put on a new back screen door), it was a satisfying weekend … err, workend.

Movie Time

I haven’t had time to watch many movies lately, but at least I got to see “Star Trek” (4.5 stars). I wasn’t sure how Abrams was going to pull off the re-telling of the original story but he did a good job, and it will give him or others a lot of free reign to be creative in the future. I wasn’t particularly enamored with Zachary Quinto as Spock, but that might have been just my inability to NOT see Sylar in every scene.

“The Incredible Hulk” (2.5 stars) was just as disappointing as I thought it would be. Better than the Ang Lee debacle to be sure, but even Edward Norton’s passion for the project couldn’t compensate for the shortcomings in the story and the performances, which were almost all wooden and staid.

“Blindness” (4.5 stars) was better than I had expected. A sci-fi tale about a plague of blindness that lands our main characters in a hellish quarantine, where they find that being uniformly blind doesn’t stop the best and worst of man’s base instincts from coming out. Julianne Moore plays the wife of one of the quarantined characters, who happens to be immune to the disease but acts blind even while helping all of the others. Shot in stark high-contrast, the film does a great job in that it doesn’t make any judgments about right or wrong, just shows what would happen in this horrific situation. At the same time the story avoids one of the biggest sci-fi cliches in that it doesn’t ever disclose what caused the disease or show the characters finding the cure. The disease is irrelevant beyond the device the cause of the blindness, and the film leaves it at that.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (4 stars) was pretty funny – a much-appreciated bit of humor after a long day of work. How I Met Your Mother vet Jason Segel stars as a slacker composer whose TV-star girlfriend dumps him (while he’s naked), and his long journey to get over it. Segel plays a bit of a simpering girlie-man, quick to cry at the slightest mention of his ex’s name, but things get even worse when he tries to get away from it all in Hawaii — only to discover he’s staying at the same resort as his ex – and her new beau. I found Segel’s character a little annoying at times (did I really need to see him naked 5 times?), but overall enjoyed the movie.


One Response to “The Holiday Workend

  • Haven’t seen Blindness, might have to add that to the list. I’m right with your rankings on the films you mentioned that I have seen.

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