Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Sunday, December 21, 2008
When the Wind Changes
There's good news and bad news. The good news is that it got cold again. The bad news is that it will be warm again by the end of the week. Pity. I had such a good sleep—finally!—last night.

First, of course, we had to make it through another cloudy, humid day on Saturday. Since we were going to be out all day today, I didn't want to spend all day shopping, but we ended up doing so anyway. James always gets some little aircraft for a couple of his co-workers, so we went to Hobbytown to get them. While we were there, I bought another animal for the library tree: an Airedale to be Junket: The Dog Who Liked Everything Just So (by Anne H. White). We also stopped at Cost Plus World Market to get a tiny jar of clotted cream for Christmas day breakfast.

We visited the hobby shop for a while. On the Saturday before Christmas they always have some goodies for the regulars. We brought home a nice slice of sugar-free chocolate mousse cake.

Borders had a 40 percent off any book coupon, so James wanted to get the newest "1632" novel. Unfortunately, the Borders at Parkway Pointe didn't have it, but we had it reserved at the store in East Cobb. I bought Christmas cards for next year.

We stopped to get gasoline at Costco and then went inside. I'd had only a bowl of oatmeal, a cup of mandarin oranges, and a plain junior Wendyburger all day and by now it was four o'clock and I was so hungry I was getting lightheaded. We noshed on a couple of samples, got the milk and some lunchmeat, and stashed the things in the insulated bag and walked to Fresh2Order for supper.

Finally at home! After a brief sit, I had to wrap all the gifts we were bringing with us tomorrow. I wanted to get that done so we could sit down and watch Get Smart, which we've already had for a week. Netflix is going to think we ate it. :-)

I wasn't quite ten years old when the original Get Smart series appeared. I knew the star of the series, Don Adams, only as a voice—a character on a television series I couldn't watch because it was on after my bedtime (Byron Glick on The Bill Dana Show) and of cartoon character "Tennessee Tuxedo." I fell in love with the series the moment it appeared. Don Adams was the first actor I ever had a crush on. I can still remember Max and 99's anniversary (November 16). And when Time-Life released the series with all the trimmings last year, I was first in line with the money in my hot little hand.

Needless to say, I was very ambivalent about the movie. I knew of any comic actor Steve Carrell could probably carry Maxwell Smart off. On the other hand, I'd read about the script, and there was a lot not to like in it.

So I was pleasantly surprised when we finally played it last night. Now, nothing will ever live up to the series for me. And so many of the stunts in this movie were totally unbelievable. Nobody could live through that crap; it was like a Warner Brothers cartoon (which was quite apt since this was produced by Warner Brothers). One minor one is when Max keeps shooting himself with a tiny arrow. About a half dozen of them go into various parts of his face and hands and there is no blood and no marks. The rest are more outrageous.

If you could get past the cartoon junk, and the fact that one of the bad guys is telegraphed practically from the beginning of the film, it wasn't bad at all. Even Agent 99, who in the film is a tough, rude cookie who comes around to Max's side in a realistic manner, was better than I expected. Max (who in the film is a clever analyst who writes 700-page reports and speaks multiple languages; he's just not ept as a field agent) has a surprising sweetness and insight to people since he used to weigh 300 pounds and was always the butt of jokes. He manages to get through the movie by showing understanding to several people who are also taunted because of their weight. Alan Arkin is quite funny as the Chief; I read that several people were angry because he said he never watched the series. The Max/Chief dynamic is different in the film, so it was probably best that he didn't.

The filmmakers also tucked references to the series almost everywhere: there are two gags right out of the series, photos and references here and there, Hymie the robot appears at the end, and all three of the cars featured on the series appear in the movie, plus Bernie Kopell (Siegfried) has a cameo. And the puppy who plays "Fang" is adorable.

I also loved the two computer geeks, Bruce and Lloyd, who were Max's friends. A pity, though, that they had to turn nebbish Larrabee into a jerk.

Anyway, I'm going to try to hunt up an inexpensive copy.

Later on, on chat, we had our eleventh annual joint viewing of the Remember WENN Christmas episode. This was Jen's first time and, as they say, a good time was had by all. You know I'd never noticed the poinsettias on Mackie's tie????

Anyway, this is the way Sunday usually works. We stay up late Saturday night, but even if we end up in bed by three a.m., James wakes up some time right around nine a.m. and I murmer, "Where are you going?" and he says, "I can't sleep."

This morning, the morning we were heading down to Warner Robins (and we had to go cross town to pick up his copy of 1635 to boot!), he didn't wake up until 10:10! So we had to scramble to get ourselves and the gifts (thankfully all packed for transport) and some Christmas CDs into the truck. By the time we got on the freeway south it was almost noon and I was dreading going past Southlake Mall, the shopping center in McDonough, and the Tanger Factory Outlets.

There were cars backed up on a couple of the ramps, but no stop-and-go traffic whatsoever. Talk about a sign the economy is on a downturn!

Anyway, we had a nice trip down, relaxed at James' mom's watching the Patriots' game (wheee! look at the snow!), exchanged gifts after Sabra and Jason showed up, and had a late dinner of spaghetti and salad. The "kids" had to leave just before four to get a new water heater installed, and we left to spend a couple of hours shooting the breeze at Ann and Clay's house (and coping with three excited dachshunds!) before hitting the road again at six. Listened to more CDs, then I remembered to turn on the new Sirius channel which will be broadcasting from today through Christmas: it's called "a Bing Crosby Christmas" and appears to be all radio shows starring Crosby and concerning Christmas (or at least close to Christmas as one of the things we heard was a radio presentation of The Bells of St. Mary's).

Arrived home to have some soup and watch What's My Line? and just chill out.

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