June 21, 2006

I love doing the overnight shift because it means that my week has ended by first thing Friday morning. My four in the morning today I am all ready halfway through my week – except for the fact that I am scheduled to work a double tomorrow. I start at six o’clock this afternoon (that is Wednesday afternoon) and work straight on through until eight o’clock on Thursday morning. So I am expecting to do nothing today but work and sleep as soon as my shift wraps up and then get up and work until I collapse tomorrow morning. It is going to be a long “day”. Pulling a double is always tough but doing it with a “B” shift / “C” shift combo while doing swing shifts is not easy. By Thursday when I am done I know that I am going to be really, really tired. Then Friday I do the overnight as usual and I am done. The plan for this weekend, as it stands at the moment, is that I will grab a taxi early Saturday morning to take me to New Brunswick station where I will take the New Jersey Transit line to Manhattan’s Penn Station where I will grab the Amtrak to Utica. If all goes well I will be in the jewel of the Mohawk a little before noon where Dominica will pick me up and from there we can go to her cousin Erica’s high school graduation party in Frankfort. Our plan is to be in Frankfort until Sunday when we will drive back to New Jersey together.

Tonight was another big movie night as I continue to work through the titles of the collection that I have at my disposal down here. I was still watching The Game when my shift started and that got me a bit into the night. Then, being in a dramatic mood, I decided to tackle Brokeback Mountain which Dominica all ready went and watched without me. I am not sure what my opinion of this movie is. The actors were phenominal and it is no wonder that it was nominated for so many awards and the directing by Ang Lee was, of course, spectacular. The story line seems to be very contrived to me and it is, once again, one of those movies where I find it impossible to find a real protagonist. I realize that real life doesn’t necessarily have a protagonist all of the time but good literature does or else you just don’t care and that is how I ended up feeling with this movie. Sure there was a lot of drama but nothing bad happened to anyone that I cared about. This was a problem with the original book or perhaps the screenplay. The crew making the actual film once the story was set did a truly amazing job although by about halfway through you begin to realize that the storyline has played out and now we are inching along with minimal character development and from there on the movie just kind of winds down into nothingness and then just ends. Not the best film to watch in the middle of the night when you are trying to stay awake. It wasn’t gripping in the least.

After Brokeback Mountain I watched Duplex which Dominica, and the DVD cover, had warned me about. This is one of those awful “feel bad” Meet the Parents kind of movies where it just leaves you feeling like crap and being upset that you watched the movie. They play it like a comedy but it isn’t. It is a movie about horrible, evil people including a crooked NYPD cop and his real estate lover and his mother robbing poor couples of their money and mentally torturing them while doing it. Oh yeah, great entertainment. Ben Stiller has really become an “indicator” actor – he only takes horrible scripts. I can’t remember a really good movie that he has ever done. Or a good television show that he has appeared on. He himself is okay but you can tell that if he has read a script and liked it that you are going to be disappointed by the movie.

I took a break for a few hours and just worked on getting lots of paperwork done for work. Some work that I do lends itself really well to watching movies while working and I had a lot of that to do early on and then later in the night. So I took a break to get the other stuff done in the middle. A little before seven I decided to start the director’s cut of The Thing Called Love which is a really awesome movie starring River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, Dermot Mulroney and Sandra Bullock. This movie is a bit of a rarity because none of the stars ever did a movie as good as it again. It is also River’s final movie ever. He and Samantha started dating during this movie and she was with him when he died shortly thereafter. Although from watching this movie you would have a hard time believing that he was ever a star. This is one of the first movies that I owned on laserdisc back in the good old days of my little bedroom cinema with the 13″ computer screen and watching it always takes me back. It might have been the first movie that I discovered through the home theatre thing rather than from the regular theatre. I had never heard of it when I bought it but I had thought that it looked good. Not long after that I learned that I needed to stop using traditional cinema as my source for picking movies to own because most of the movies that I really fell in love with were rare, happenstance finds. The Thing Called Love is one of the few really good movies that talks about the huge country music phenomenon of the time. The movie deals with a group of aspiring song writers living in Nashville in the early 1990’s. From the mid 1980’s until the late 1990’s country music came from nowhere to be the most popular music in America and it really created a major culture at the time that just sort of faded away as time passed. But in the early 1990’s when this movie takes place the country scene was really something.

Eight o’clock and it was time for me to hit the hay. I had hoped to be able to sneak away fifteen minutes early but I was needed to do some work and actually had to hang around a little extra. Can’t win for tryin’. Actually, I have no idea what the expression means and I don’t know where I learned it. I turned the air conditioning back on a little before I had to go to bed hoping it would keep the house cool. It is supposed to be another hot one today reaching close to ninety but not quite. The sun is bright and shining hard. I am missing the rain that we had just a week or two ago.

So much for a long night’s rest. I was awakened by one o’clock by a series of phone calls. By the time that I had dealt with them and had gone through my email from work and then went through my regular email, etc. I was wide awake and didn’t feel like I should go back to bed as there wasn’t enough time for safety margin before I would have to be up to work tonight. I am scheduled to start work around six but there is prep work that has to be done and the final schedule hasn’t been given to me yet so I have to be awake by five at the latest. Ugh. I am way too busy.

Dad said my fourth Proliant DL360 arrived today and he had an opportunity to check it out while I was on the line so we know that it is working. One less thing that I have to worry about.

I put in some time this afternoon moving old SGL dailies over to the current database system. I have been putting that off for way too long. I got all of October, 2002 moved over during the afternoon. At four I ran out to Walmart to grab some much needed supplies for this evening. I had hoped to get some snacks but they had pretty much nothing. I did pick up some DVDs including Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 4, Sleepover, Frequency, the Pierce Brosnan version of The Thomas Crown Affair and the piece d’resistance of today’s take Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Trouble with Harry which I have been looking for for years. I have been watching it for release on Amazon but I must have last checked on Monday because it finally released to DVD yesterday. The Trouble with Harry is one of those classics that I watched with my parents when I was a kid and managed to love as a child and as an adult. It has been a few years since I have seen it and I have always told Dominica about it but she has never had a chance to see it herself so I am excited to get a chance to watch it with her. I am sure that dad is going to want to watch it again as well.

As I was leaving Walmart I stopped at the McDonald’s inside of the store and grabbed some lunch to go. While I was there my phone rang and I had to talk to the office and I didn’t manage to check the food that was given to me because I was in a hurry. When I got back to the apartment I realized that I had been given only partly the right food and that some of the food was chicken that I can’t eat. So I had to throw about half of it out. So much for making my food situation fast and easy. At least I managed to get some cheap movies while I was out. That will help my long shift pass a little more quickly.

I got a chance to talk to Dominica this afternoon. She said that her final day of dental work went pretty smoothly and she is really happy with how well the entire process ended up going. Oreo was super excited to see her when she got back from the dentist today. She said that he appears to be really happy having Dexter to play with all day long. She is going to see “Care Bears On Ice” tonight in Utica with the girls.

I got home and spent the entire evening working on a server build. Nothing too strenuous but it was a lot of work. That burned up my entire evening, as expected, but it went well as far as I can tell and I am happy with how it went. I am getting a lot more acclimated to the environment and things are coming more smoothly now. While I was doing the build I got a chance to watch Sleepover which is one of those “teen” movie but it is cute and has a good story and characters. Very predictable and nothing out of the ordinary but well done. Then I started watching the recent remake of The Thomas Crown Affair but got so busy that I had to stop watching it and save it for later.

In between other tasks I managed to keep pluggin away at the SGL updates and almost all of 2002 has been moved into the database and is searchable and accessible now. Enjoy.

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