Tag Archives: movies

Week One Complete + All Sorts of Other Stuff

Yep, the first week of Larry’s chemotherapy is complete.  It’s been a whirlwind, a rollercoaster, and exhausting, and I don’t recommend it for anyone.  But it’s all in service of the fight that we will be winning, and I am frankly glad to get it started.  No more quarter for these fucking cancer cells in Larry’s liver.  No. More. Quarter.   Get the fuck out.

The beginning of the week was when Larry had to go and sit in the treatment center for about 3 hours hooked up to an IV.  He’s taking the Folfox treatment chemotherapy which is the standard method of treating colorectal cancer.  We didn’t do Avastin this round, which will likely be back for Round 2.   With this therapy regimen, Larry will go every 2 weeks.

On day one of each cycle, he’ll get chemo in the center.  Before he leaves, the staff then attaches an infusion pump that attaches to his port and he carries around with him, which keeps administering the chemo.  He keeps the pump with him for the next 48 hours, and after that, can then go back in and have the pump removed.   His regimen is then over for the next 1.5 weeks.  All things considered, it is something he has to deal with for like a full 2 days, but after that, he can get back to just building his strength and living his life.

Obviously it doesn’t come without side effects.   Neuropathy, nausea, and fatigue are the main ones we experienced, but I don’t think they were too overwhelmingly bad this round.   I don’t know what we can expect as this continues, but I do know the key is to keep him eating, drinking, and exercising.  So that’s what we’ll be doing, dammit.

To prepare for naps and relaxation on the couch, we got some help from Nicki to go to our storage unit and grab the chaise part of the sectional couch.  We’d put it away as our apartment just really wasn’t big enough to have it present…but now it’s like, fuck it, we want to be comfortable!

Honestly, while the walking space was intruded upon, you can still get by.   And it’s amazing to have a full couch again.  You can truly sit a few people there now to watch TV!  And I like having a chaise option to sit in.  Sometimes you don’t want to chill in the chair, right?

On the weekend before chemo, on Saturday, July 14, Larry and I happily made it out to the Hollywood Bowl.  We’d had to miss our first planned show around July 4 as we just weren’t feeling good enough to make it, but Larry’s made huge progress in feeling back to normal, at least as much as he can.  It was a huge happiness to make it to the Bowl this time though, as the performers were Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, and Michael McDonald.   Yep, the Kings of Yacht Rock were all together, and the songs and performances were amazing.  AMAZING!  And that place was sold the fuck out, as obviously many are unashamed in their love of smooth pop rock!

Anyway, that concert was a nice thing to have right before heading into chemo.  We got through the week of chemo with its ups and downs, but this isn’t really the place to go into all of that.  Just know that Larry made it like a champ, and he will continue to fight to be free of this cancer.  His youth will be an asset and we’re going to take advantage of that in this fight.

So on Friday night, Mila and Sveta dropped by and it was just a blast.  We had dinner, talked, drank wine (well, Sveta and I did), watched TV (showed Sveta the first episode of Pose, which is one of our favorite recent shows as it’s glorious) and just overall had an amazingly fun evening.

On Saturday morning, Larry & I went for a brisk walk around Glendale, and Brand Blvd was shut down in advance of the annual car thing they do here.   So here are some pics of that:

This weekend, we had yet another Hollywood Bowl concert in store!   On Saturday, July 21, it was a screening of the movie Jaws accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra.  As a reminder, Jaws is a fantastic movie, and even with it being 40+ years old, it still thrills and kicks ass.  Seeing it with a giant crowd makes it even more fun, as it was clear there were some who weren’t ready for some of the scares.   Chief Brody’s snap to attention when the shark nearly takes his arm off is still fantastic.

And now it’s today!  We just came back from seeing Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! and gotta say…it WAS FANTASTIC.  So much fun, they got some of the deeper ABBA cuts into the song (“Andante, Andante” was a particular delight), the new members of the cast portraying the younger versions were amazing, CHER was wonderful, and the story ended up being very poignant.  The ending scene might have made me cry just a LOT.  But then there were the upbeat numbers to “Waterloo”, “Dancing Queen”, and happily, “Super Trouper” that just made my heart swell with happiness.  ABBA is the fucking best and will always be.  And I’ve heard that Cher is going to release an album of ABBA covers and that just makes me so happy.  Anyway, go see it, you’ll be very happy you did so.

Finally – I have to share that my Daily Double clue from my game way back in 2016 ENDED UP IN THE 2018 JEOPARDY DAILY CALENDAR!!!  And it’s today!   And I’m so stoked.  I had seen my super bestie from the taping (Vicki) had posted a few weeks back in the J! group that her clue had showed up in the calendar.  I had bought the 2017 calendar thinking maybe my clues would be in it, but I think that the production schedules of that never would sync up – so it makes sense our clues wouldn’t show up until 2018.   So I was motivated to find a copy of the calendar (got it on eBay) and quickly flipped through it to find anything that looked familiar…and there it was on July 22!   It’s not correct that it was a Final Jeopardy (I WISH), but still, I’m psyched that my question made it:

A Weekend of Movies

Larry got sick on Friday so we’ve spent the weekend chilling at home.  You know what’s great to do when you don’t leave the house?  Watch movies!   Especially those that you have been meaning to see but didn’t!

On Saturday, after getting errands done, we finally watched I, Tonya.   That movie was incredible – Tonya Harding’s story is insane, and even though they’re clear that this movie is based off of highly unreliable narrators, you still feel a smidgen of pity for her.  Her mother looks to have been a monster, she fell in love with an abusive idiot, and she didn’t know how to “play the game” with the Figure Skating authorities so that she could be judged on more than just her athletic talent.   Margot Robbie is amazing as Harding while Allison Janney absolutely disappears into the role of Lavona Harding, Tonya’s mother.  The first half of the movie is mostly dedicated to Tonya’s life up until the point of “the Incident”, which is of course when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked.   The rest of the movie is about the attack and the aftermath, and man, what a shitshow.   I mean, the movie is still entertaining, but it’s hard to believe the shit that went down.

Today, we then watched another of last year’s Oscar films, The Shape of Water.  Yeah, the fish fucking movie.  I think I was bracing for this movie to be not my cup of tea, and it turns out I was correct in that assessment.   So, the story the movie tells is about a mute janitor woman in the 50s or 60s who works at some kind of secret government lab and she strikes up a relationship with one of the creatures being worked on there.  Comedy ensues!   Ha, not really – this has some elements of comedy but mostly it’s a weird love story where one half is a fish monster.  The production design and the performances are all very good – I won’t knock the movie for not having style, as it’s got that in spades due to it being a Guillermo del Tero movie.   But the actual story didn’t really work for me.  I’m kind of in shock that the damn thing won Best Picture this year.  It really is a movie about a woman who fucks a fish.  That’s no lie.  So cheers to the Academy for having an open mind, but I think it was an award for del Toro and a very beautiful-looking movie.  Eh, what do I know?

Okay, it wasn’t all movies.   This past week, Larry & I have been watching Cobra Kai, the Youtube Red series that picks up the Karate Kid story of Daniel and Johnny as they’re now middle-aged.  Here’s a great trailer for it which basically spells it out:

The premise is fantastic – Daniel has grown up to be a successful family man while Johnny ends up a burn out.   But then he sees a need to teach a local kid, Miguel, how to defend himself, which leads to the re-opening of Cobra Kai.  Daniel isn’t having any of that…and suddenly we get a complex world where perhaps Johnny isn’t the defacto bad guy?  We watched all of it last week, finishing up on Friday night.  It’s FANTASTIC.  The show was lovingly made by people who definitely knew their stuff from the movies, and both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka do great coming back to these roles.  Highly recommended, and here’s hoping a Season 2 is in the works, as while Season 1 certainly wraps up a lot, I could see this continuing.

I bring up Cobra Kai because it definitely triggered all the nostalgia and neither Larry nor I had seen the original The Karate Kid movie from 1984 in years, maybe decades.   Of course it’s up in our head as we are children of the 80s, but yeah, it’s been a while.   Cobra Kai references the original movie a LOT via flashbacks and so it was like, you know what, let’s watch it.  And surprisingly?   The movie is still really good and holds the hell up.   Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi is still the fucking best, and Elisabeth Shue is wonderful as Ali.  Ralph Macchio had so much charisma in his role too, but it isn’t just the performances – the story and the way it’s told is really well done.  All the memories and references are still epic: “get him a body bag!” and “sweep the leg” and “wax on, wax off” – it’s awesome.   A great rewatch.

A Quiet Place and Not So Quiet Places

We went and saw A Quiet Place yesterday.   Watch the trailer here:

Scary, right?  YES, SCARY.

At just about 90 minutes long, A Quiet Place is quite a thrilling movie and is the right length to keep you on the edge of your seat before.  Too much more than that and you’re gonna kill people.  As you see, this movie is intense.  Set in the near future, we find ourselves with a family surviving in the aftermath of a world in which a kind of creature has overrun the world and decimated the population.  The creatures are attracted by sound and WILL kill you if they hear you.  Because of that, this movie is unrelentingly quiet.  So much so that even when you’re eating snacks in the movie theater, it feels like EVERYONE can hear you.

Needless to say, the movie shows us this family (headed by John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) as they do their best to survive without getting slaughtered.  If you’re a fan of monster-ish movies (think, Cloverfield, which apparently was a momentary consideration at Paramount, but they decided to let it stay stand-alone) and can handle some high tension, this movie is for you.  It’s a thrill ride, but definitely keeps you nervous the entire time.  Whenever the sound drops out and no music is playing, you find yourself gripping your chair bracing for some fresh hell to occur.  And it does.  🙂

Anyway, it’s well worth seeing, especially in a theater when you kind of have to keep quiet too.  Go see it!

The Not So Quiet Places from my post headline is that last night we went out.  We hung out with Nicki and Rekha at the Largo Theater again, this time to see a 2-man improv show.   I think we may have hit a threshold of how much improv we want to see.  But it was funny, but $30/ticket funny?  Not so sure about that.  Regardless, I always love seeing friends and getting out of the house.   After the show, we walked from the theater over to West Hollywood, where Carey & Paras were celebrating Paras turning 30.   Ah, 30.  They were set up at Pump, a fun hotspot that is staffed by gorgeous folks, which of course is to be expected.   Had a lot of fun and managed to not get utterly shitfaced.  Yay me!

And now today, we went out and looked at furniture that we’d like to think about getting for the new house.  Went to the Living Spaces in Panorama City, which is a mile or so north of our future home.  It’s a pretty impressive store and we ended up finding a few things we’d certainly consider getting.   They have some interesting outdoor furniture for our roof deck, and we also saw some couches and a new bed frame that would be kinda perfect.  So we’ll see…quite a bit of time left and when we went and visited the GlenLA lot on our way home, one of the sales reps was indicating that our Phase is scheduled for September still but to be flexible as it could be longer.  Here’s hoping it’s not that much longer.

 

Oscar-Bait Movies? Yes, please

I’m not getting into The Last Jedi yet, but yes, I’ve seen it (three times) and I fucking love it.  I’m so pissed that the music from my favorite trailer is NOT in the official soundtrack though.  WTF, Lucasfilm?

This post today is all about some of the recent movies we’ve seen that are complete Oscar frontrunners, and happily, they’ve all been very good movies!

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

We saw this two weekends ago as it’s getting a bit wider of a release, finally.  Long story short, it’s a fantastically beautiful and sensual movie, which happens to focus on a budding gay romance in gorgeous Northern Italian rustic scenery some time in the 1980s.  Armie Hammer is a hunk of a man and Timothee Chalamet is the more earth-bound guy that gets a summer in Armie Hammer’s orbit.  The gorgeous scenery and slow but sure seduction between these two is captivating, but let’s be honest, this is a complete gay fantasy.  Nevertheless, it’s such a well-done movie that it’s hard not to get swept up into the fantasy. It helps all the performances are amazing, and critics are rightfully talking about one scene/monologue that the father figure has at the end, as it’s quite a stunner.   Funny, erotic, emotional and mesmerizing – don’t be surprised if it wins Oscars this year.

Here’s the trailer:

Next up….

The Disaster Artist (2017)

It’s possible you’ve never heard of the movie called The Room, a justifiably terrible movie made by Tommy Wiseau.  It came out in 2003 and almost immediately jumped into that weird world of cult movies, this one getting the branding of sooooooooooooooo bad it’s good.  Like, I used to say Showgirls was so bad it’s good, but there’s still a lot of decent stuff in Showgirls.  The Room is just bad all around, and in very weird, confounding ways.  Full disclosure:  I’ve not seen The Room, but have seen the scenes most people talk about and I’ve read plenty and listened to the “How Did This Get Made” podcast for it, which had a special guest of Greg Sestero, who is the guy who helped Tommy Wiseau make the movie and co-stars in it with him as “Mark.”

Basically, The Disaster Artist is the tale of how this movie came to be.   James Franco is the director and mastermind of this masterpiece and also stars as Tommy Wiseau, and holy hell, he’s amazing.  Not only is it an amazing retelling of the entire story from Greg and Tommy meeting in acting class up to and including the creation of The Room and its premiere, but the movie is fucking hilarious.  You do not need to have seen The Room to enjoy this movie as The Disaster Artist lets you in on the joke:  Tommy Wiseau is not a human.  It’s not clear at all who he really is or where he gets the money to make this movie, and he’s got absolutely no acting ability.  But Tommy had passion and with Greg’s help and encouragement, they get there.  They destroy their careers in the process, but managed to become infamous.  And here we are with this movie, so I guess it’s the silver lining.

The cast in this movie is thrilling.  Dave Franco, James’ brother, is the co-lead of this movie and does a fantastic job playing the straight man to Tommy.  Dave Franco is also super hot.  A giant assembly of comedians from that crew is also here, like Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, and Alison Brie.  Amazingly, this movie has every likelihood of getting Oscar nominations and James Franco would certainly deserve one for acting, and who knows, maybe directing?  I highly recommend catching this movie if you can, otherwise you’re just teaaaring me apaaaahrt!!!!

And finally, at least in this post….let’s get to:

Lady Bird (2017)

A very ‘feels real’ movie about a senior in a Sacramento high school who calls herself “Lady Bird.”  Lady Bird wants nothing more than to leave for a New York college but the trouble is that her family can’t afford that kind of college and she’s also a little bit unqualified academically to make it.   So she gets invested this last year of high school to make it happen.  Of course over the course of this year, situations at school and home serve to get in the way.  Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird is amazing, but it was just wonderful to see Laurie Metcalf as her mother.  You’ll be seeing both of their names likely as Oscar nominees as they both giving stunning performances.  You’d think this is purely a drama from my notes here, but there is a lot of funny stuff to be found in this movie.  And of the three movies listed here, this one had me in tears many times.  Hopefully that’s not a deal breaker, as it’s a movie well worth seeing.  Check out the trailer:

And that’s that.   Stay tuned for my thoughts on The Last Jedi as well as whatever the hell else I can think of to post about.  I have so many pictures still to get through it makes me nervous.  🙂

Finally, the Roadhouse, to complete my 2017 Year of Twin Peaks

2017 may have been a shitshow for a whole slew of reasons, but one giant reason in its favor is that it was so full of Twin Peaks goodness.   Not only did the revival on Showtime kick serious ass, we got 18 hours of it and it still managed to confound and excite us.  I really should have known that with it being Twin Peaks, it wouldn’t end neatly.   Then obviously I posted about it back in September, which was when Larry & I went to Seattle & Vancouver for a week and tagged one of the days as a Twin Peaks day:

Finding the Real Twin Peaks 2 Days after the Return Finale

I said it enough in the post, but that day was seriously one of the best days ever.  I got to see nearly every Seattle-adjacent filming location that I would have wanted to have seen….except for the actual exterior location of “the Roadhouse.”  It was located in the opposite direction of where we were heading, so it had to be dropped and I figured maybe one day, we’d go back?  Well, may not need to as the Roadhouse came to Los Angeles!

Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ The Roadhouse in Los Angeles

This pop-up was incredible.  You enter and then walk through several corridors of Black Lodge goodness, passing into an outdoor area with some sycamore trees, the entrance to the Black Lodge, and Owl Cave scribblings.  Then you head into the restaurant area where you are now in the Roadhouse.   Great food and some solid, interesting drink offerings, all themed to Twin Peaks characters or motifs.   I ended up getting a fantastic Great Northern Steak & Frites while Larry got Betty Briggs Meatloaf Burger, and then I had a Laura Palmer drink followed by a surprising hot cup beverage called Cherry Pie That’ll Kill Ya.  All followed with Cherry Pie and Donuts.  Yeah, we might have eaten a lot.

At the end of our 90 minutes or so, we left and I bought two Twin Peaks t-shirts, and then we called it a day.  This excursion also served as our ‘going out for New Year’s’ event as basically there were so many unpleasant outings for a few years it is just not fun anymore.  But staying home?  Hella fun.  We ended up watching movies yesterday, starting with Diamonds Are Forever, then renting Despicable Me 3 from ITunes (it was okay – I think I liked the previous 2 more although I did like the 80s-themed villain), and following it up with Spy, which still is just so damn funny.    Larry made a wonderful chicken parmesan dinner and then we watched the Kathy-less CNN NYE for a little and drank a bottle of champagne.  And here we are now in 2018.  Let’s make it a good year – lots of exciting things coming up, notably buying and moving into a brand new house!!!

New Year’s Eve at Home, 2017 version: