Sunday night, we treated Caesar's sister and our friend Clark to a showing of Chico's Angels 3: Chicas in Chains at a small theater located in the basement of the Casita del Campo in Silverlake. It was a re-imagining of Charlie's Angels as three Latinas who flunked out of the police academy but are gathered together by the mysterious Chico to solve crimes. In this episode, the Angels -- Freida Lay, Kay Sedia, and Chita Parol -- go undercover at a high school to unmask a serial murderer. So many one-liners, sight gags, the hunky and popular BMOC with a temper Peter Rison (with many shirtless scenes), and great musical numbers -- we laughed our asses off!
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Until young Patri, Raúl's teenage daughter from a previous marriage, notices the ghosts becoming more active than usual as the New Year approaches. She curiously follows them from floor to floor while her family sleeps, surprised that they actually speak to her, watch her as she asks why they are in such a hurry. They tell her of a grand feast planned for midnight and invite her to join them...on one condition.
Author César Aira uses that pivotal moment to examine Patri's place as a young woman of an age ready to flirt with boys and to find a husband but still young enough to be treated like a child. From my own interpretation of events in the book, Patri sees the ghosts as an ideal sort of man -- muscular, handsome -- and contrasts them to the men she knows in real life, who spend their off time being lazy or getting drunk. Does she see herself in the role of wife and mother? Does she want to see herself that way? That's the driving force behind the ghostly invitation to join their feast -- making Patri examine her life and her future. Also, the ghosts never come across as physically menacing, but that menace is there, subtly flowing through the atmosphere and adding tension until Patri ultimately makes her decision.
While the author does a fine job of painting the picture of the Viñas family and their life on the construction site, I struggled a bit with the section describing and analyzing architecture. Though it presents interesting information and ideas about architecture and its purpose, the section read too much like sitting through a college lecture and disrupted the flow of the story.
As a fan of tales involving ghosts and the supernatural, Aira's Ghosts provides a more mystical, more thought-provoking approach to them, and is an enjoyable read.
by César Aira
New Directions Books
paperback, 139 pgs.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Later in the evening, I talked Caesar into taking in the Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy game. Which was awesome! A 3-1 victory by the Galaxy!!
Sunday, we decided to see The Dark Knight Rises. With the events in Aurora, CO, we hesitated before deciding to go; my mind raced to what if someone wants to be a copycat? But I'm glad we went. And I'm glad we weren't the only ones: the theatre ended up about 3/4 full.
It's a decent movie. Good special effects, great acting, and a decent story that ties up the character of Batman, but leaves something open for the possibility of a different story arc. And we talked about it throughout a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Everybody Wants to Rule the World from Tears for Fears:
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
(Okay, just had to get that out of my system.)
The effects around Ted impressed both of us. You know it's all CGI, but the character doesn't look fake. Nice work!
But the comedy didn't stop there. Sunday we trekked to the Brea Improv for a show from one of our favorite comedians, Brad Williams. He is one of the funniest men on the planet, and this marked our third time seeing him in concert. And he didn't disappoint. We sat a table abutting the stage, were made fun of by the host, and laughed non-stop for the entire show as Brad shared his views on the world and his place in it. Plus, he had some fantastic and funny opening acts, like Michael Malone. I highly recommend checking out his show if he visits your area.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Armstrong Garden Center hoping to find some Gerbera daisies. Unfortunately, they'd sold out of them weeks ago so I wandered around the roses, shrubs, orchids, hanging plants, and fruit trees trying to think of something that might do well on our balcony, something that wouldn't mind lots of direct sunlight. I opted for the purple zinnias. I finished transplanting them about 30 minutes ago, watered them, and am leaving them be for now.
I consider these test plants, and if they do well under my care, I may stop by the garden center for more plants. But only time will tell.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
The suicide in the McDonald's bathroom should be routine, just one of the many that have occurred around Concord, New Hampshire, since the announcement that asteroid 2011GV1 was going to strike the Earth. In fact, Concord has so many such suicides that locals renamed the city Hanger Town. With the announcement of the asteroid, many people have changed their priorities. Some have quit their jobs to spend the rest of their time with their families. Others have viewed it as a chance to work on their bucket lists, doing the things they've always wanted.
For Detective Hank Palace, the death seems anything but routine: where is the man's phone? Why is he wearing a belt when he hung himself with a brand new one? Something isn't right, and Palace is determined to find out, though he seems to be the only policeman who cares.
On the surface, The Last Policeman could be your standard crime/mystery tale, but setting it in a pre-apocalyptic world changes the whole dynamic. All the technological advances slowly disappear one by one; transportation is very limited thanks to the dwindling gas supply; peoples' attitudes have changed, mostly to a why should I care stance, making Palace's investigation that much harder. So why does Detective Palace care? I think that's at the heart of this novel: if you knew the world was going to end, what would you do? Would you continue on as normal? Would you spend your final days with those you love? Or would you simply give up -- would you commit suicide? Palace faces all those questions, and as I was reading along, I could put myself in his shoes. I asked myself the same questions.
Thought-provoking and a good read: you can't get much better than that. I highly recommend The Last Policeman and look forward to the next book in the planned trilogy.
The Last Policeman
by Ben Winters
trade paperback, 316 pgs.
Received book from the publisher