Saturday, December 31, 2005


The only kind of axe this wyrm wants to see
Should auld aquaintance be forgot...Boy, I wish I could forget some of the stuff that happened in 2005. From Schiavo to Sheehan, it's been rough.

And that, kiddies, is about as political as I am going to get. :D

Okay, while Howlin' Smaug serenades us with a smokin' rendition of Clifton Chenier's I'm A Hog For You Baby let's look back: another year in the same house and we actually are trying to keep it in good repair. We still have April and my grandson Gage with us, which I consider a blessing. Becky and I hit the big five year mark with our marriage which I consider an achievement (for me at least). We both toured northern New Mexico which I enjoyed but it was a mixed blessing for Becky (still don't know why).

My DVD collection also has swollen: 2005 saw me acquiring (deep breath) Batman: The Animated Series Volume 1&2, The Bela Lugosi Collection, The Best of Bud Abbot and Costello Volumes 1-4, Beyond The Sea, Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil, Brain Donors, The Castle of Cagliostro, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, two versions of A Christmas Carol, A Face in The Crowd, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Criterion) (again), Fractured Flickers: The Complete Collection, Freaks, The Front Page, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Incredibles, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3, The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection, My Darling Clemintine, Napoleon Dynamite, National Treasure, The Producers, Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends Season 3, Slacker (Criterion), The Sting, The Tales of Hoffman (Criterion), Top Secret!, The Truman Show, The Val Lewton Horror Collection, Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald Volume 2, Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities, Wizards and a whole buttload of Fox Film Noirs.

Oh yeah, 2005 will be remembered as The Year Smokestack Got Off His Duff And Wrote A Novel. As part of November's National Novel Writing Month, I came out of it with a nice, fun fantasy tale. Now to rewrite...

Still with me? Good. Now Smokestack's bad stuff of 2005:

The main pain was my older stepson going ballistic, attempting to beat me up and taking off to Dallas. The guy just didn't get the fact that staying out drinking, doing drugs and philandering while his girl and son were staying at home with us was not the way to run your life. The best thing coming out of this is he's been prospering in Dallas and is ready to come back. From what I've seen he's improved enough where I can give him the benefit of the doubt, but I'm going to make it quite clear to him that after this I'm out of cheeks to turn. We shall see...

As I've said before, Becky's Ru-N-Y has been quite traumatic for her. She's gradually getting better and I'm hoping she gets where she wants to be weight and health-wise. At least that's what I pray for.

And then there's my teeth. Or I should say my former teeth. I'm finally in a position where the dentures are comfortable. Now it's a matter of being able to eat withouthaving my uppers and lowers flopping around in my mouth. Someone pass the Poly-Grip...

DVD Bummers: I won Kinsey from DVD Verdict. Not a bad film, just not all that great. Guess I'll be trading that soon.
The last pain of 2005: someone ripped me off, taking my copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Criterion). Only the second time it happened for that title. I guess the lesson learned is: don't buy that title.

Okay, let's cool down a bit. I'm looking forward to 2006, but I'll discuss that next time. In the meantime I hope everyone has a Happy new Year and I'll see you on the other side.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Whoa! Christmas!

Training another generation of moiegoer
Haven't updated in a while, so let's do a catch-up:

Becky had her Ru-N-Y and, after some really rough recuperating, she's doing fine. She's lost about 50 pounds so far and I'm proud of her.

Next big news: new teeth. Yup, I got 'em. A full set. It's been rough the first month with mouth sores, learning to chew all over again, etc., but I persevered and now I'm more or less used to them. I finally got that dazzling smile I've always wanted. Now time to make a New Year's resolution to get healthy and lose some poundage. Gotta look good fer my smile...

BTW, the other Resolution is to update this blog regularly. I like to hear myself write.

I completed the NaNoMo competition in Novenmber so I'm now the proud owner of a novel: The Lumpers: When The Fat Orc Sings, a Hard-Boiled Fantasy. After the first of the year I'll have a go at editing it to see if I can actually get something publishable out of the mess. I also made some new friends doing it.

It was pretty uneventful going into the latter half of 2005. Halloween and Thanksgiving flew by (although I had to work on Turkey-Day, as I did on Christmas and will on New Year's). Gage, as usual, is a joy and blast to have living here. He's not quite gotten the idea behind Christmas but he does know it involves getting presents. He'll probably understand the Jesus and Santa notions next time. In the meantime he was overjoyed to get a new bed shaped like a firetruck (but he has yet to sleep in it - I think he thinks it's only for playing in).

As for my swag, I got a nice acoustic guitar from Becky and she got a jumbo George Foreman Grill from me (something I don't think she was too thrilled about; it was something she wanted, but she really wanted a sewing machine - however, she kept waffling on it so I went the safe route). The guitar was so's I could entertain Gage, who likes music in general and gui-tars in particular. Now comes the practice...

No DVDs under the tree this year. Surprised? I was too, but not disappointed, as I've pretty much got all the titles I really wanted this year (aside from The Val Lewton Horror Collection I told you about last time, my final planned purchases were the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3 and two of the Walt Disney Treasures series: The Chronological Donald Volume 2 and Disney Rarities) so anything else was gravy. However, I found my collection woefully sparse as far as Christmas films were concerned. I rectified the problem by purchasing two versions of A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart versions - still can't find a copy of Albert Finney's Scrooge in retail shops) along with How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the Chuck Jones version) for Gage. That, along with a blind-buy of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory concluded my DVD buying for the year. I'll elaborate on what I'm looking forward to in 2006 in my next entry.

Oh yeah, I still got fifty bucks from my mom I need to spend. It'll probably be either the Aeon Flux box set or The Ed Wood Box. I'm leaning towards Ed Wood (I've long been wanting to add it the collection), but the other one looks mighty nice. Decisions, decisions...