Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Review of the documentary The Beatles - Eight Days a Week

The Beatles – Eight Days a Week was good: if you enjoy the Beatles – or are from that era – you ought to see it.

It explores their earlier years, through perhaps three-fourths of the way through their career: the story ends substantially before their breakup. It's based on archival footage of concerts, interviews, and t.v. appearances – plus interviews with a few famous folks (e.g. Whoopi Goldberg) who discuss what The Beatles meant to them growing up.

Ron Howard directed it – and since it's a documentary, I'm inferring that he did the editing as well. As usual, he did a commendable job.

It does sanitize a lot of their lives, such as minimizing their drug use and omitting their extra-marital affairs. The main focus was that it was a wild ride, which they eventually got sick of – and that the four boys banded together like brothers.


I recommend.


--GG

Labels:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Choose your own adventure

Some of you might not be old enough to remember this, but there used to be a series of books called Choose Your Own Adventure.  You would be in a role ("You are an Arctic explorer..."; "You are an astronaut..."), the book would describe a situation, and every page or so you'd have to decide on a course of action.

Based on the course of action, you'd turn to a certain page in the book:  "If you stop to ask for directions, turn to page 55.  But if you choose to keep walking around the neighborhood, hoping you'll find the cafe, turn to page 91."

I was thinking today -- as a middle-aged guy might think -- about all the decisions I've made in my life, and how they've sent me down different paths.

Just as a quick example:  I could've gone to a less-expensive state university, lived at home with my parents, and just commuted to campus.  But if I'd done that, I wouldn't have met Old Roommate -- who I then wouldn't have roomed with when I finally graduated.  And I wouldn't have ran out of money partway through college, had to drop out, then got the job at the movie theatre, where I met Crash Adams, the drummer, who started the band with me and Guitar Cousin.

And if I had gone to the state university, I probably would've gone straight to graduate school -- and either gone to the same one I went to, but been five years earlier (meaning that I wouldn't have had classes with the woman who became my wife!) -- or else gone to another school altogether.  So:  spooky.


Basically, everyone's life is a series of decisions.  Each decision has consequences -- some predictable (e.g. Decide to start selling drugs; end up getting shot in the leg and having your money stolen); and some not so predictable ("right place, right time" situations). 


On the one hand, I think the trick is to make decisions that maximize the chances for the outcomes you want:  try to get whatever sort of education or work experience that prepares you for the job you want; avoid drugs; spend time with good, supportive people, not bad or negative people.

But!  Sometimes the bad choices -- as well as the negative things that happen to you -- can place you well for opportunities that you never would've expected.  As above:  I was really disappointed when I ran out of money and had to leave college.  But it turned out that that two-year(-ish) period was one of the best times of my life. 


So -- you don't know.  Do what you can; think long-term; but if things go bad, maybe it's just setting you up for something good.

Life is a long, interesting story -- and (from your perspective) you're the main character.

Take good notes:  maybe it can become a screenplay.


--GG

Labels: ,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review of the movie The Imitation Game

I rented The Imitation Game from the local DVD kiosk. It came out a few years ago, but apparently has enough turnover that it's still stocked in the kiosk: that's a good sign.

The story is based on a true story about Alan Turing, the World War II-era mathematician, and how he attempted to defeat the Nazi encryption device by building (essentially) the world's first computer. The guy is total Aspergers, by the way – which caused interpersonal difficulties (of course) with his colleagues.

The plot bounces back and forth between his childhood at boarding school, post-WW II, and during WWII. I laughed quite a few times (some good lines!), and I may have cried – so, a good movie.

As with all of the movies that I really enjoy, I got sucked in to it – even though I only meant to watch it for maybe 20 minutes, then go off and do other things and come back to later. So, highly engaging: and thus, again, a good movie.

And, good acting. Including by the kid that plays the young Alan Turing.

Recommend. Mostly historical, as well: so somewhat educational!


--GG

Labels:

Review of the movie Pan

Last night for family movie night we saw Pan, which is a prequel to the “Peter Pan” story.

The Wikipedia article says that it did badly at the box office: it earned less than half of the production costs plus advertising and promotion. There was nothing really wrong with it – it just seemed... mild. It wasn't quite boring – but it was close to boring.

Partly it was the plot; maybe it was the editing. Whatever it was: harmless, but completely miss-able. And I don't say that often.


--GG

Labels:

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A taste sensation

I was frying some eggs this morning.  On a whim, I spread some English mustard (mild, not hot) among the uncooked egg, then let it cook in.  It was surprisingly good:  I recommend.

It would probably work well with American-style mustard, as well as dijon mustard.

Gonna try it again tomorrow:  actually looking forward to it!


--GG

Labels:

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Notting Hill is still a good movie

Yesterday I tried to get The Girl to watch Notting Hill (Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts) with me.  She watched the first ten minutes or so -- and laughed a few times -- but then said that it had too much talking and asked to be excused. 

Eh:  she's still in middle school; maybe when she's older.

But, since I had it running -- I ended up watching the whole darn thing.

Yep:  still like it.  A lotta good scenes.


--GG

Labels: ,

Monday, March 27, 2017

Snake in a bucket

I keep a bucket under the faucet to salvage dripping water, rather than let it go to waste (I use it to water the plants). When I was doing some outdoor tasks after dark last night, I saw a snake head sticking out of the bucket -- so I went to investigate.

Near as I can tell, it was just resting on the bottom of the bucket -- underwater.  And then every few minutes it would stick its snout out of the water, breathe a bit -- and then go back under.  Interesting:  I didn't know that they did that.

I called the kids over to take a look.  One of my sons asked me to dump the footage onto his USB flashdrive, so he could show his class at school -- so I edited some footage together.

Once I did that, I figured I may as well post it to YouTube.



It's a carpet snake.  A constrictor.  Harmless enough.  Probably the diameter of my wrist.


--GG

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review of Reign Over Me

Reign Over Me, with Adam Sandler. Never heard of it – but the cover looked interesting; the synopsis on the back seemed okay; and: two bucks.

I often watch the DVD “making of” specials first, if I don't have time to watch the full movie at the time. So last night I watched the special features and figured, “Eh”. I wasn't impressed – but I figured, well, I'd already bought the DVD (two bucks!) – may as well watch it.

So today (Saturday), I put it on after my decadent nap, as I had a late lunch. Figured I'd just watch a half hour or so, then head outside to do some yardwork.

Nope: I ended up getting sucked in. Got sucked in, couldn't stop.

So, yeah – a good movie. Very much worth watching.

A few sexual references, and a fair amount of cussing. But: it totally hooked me; I laughed quite a few times; and I cried twice. So, yeah. Good. I recommend.

No specific scenes that I plan on rewinding to and viewing, however. But still: I liked it.

Oh! What it's about: a New York guy who lost his wife and kids in the 9-11 attacks is living life in a stupor, and he runs into his old college roommate who feels somewhat trapped by his marriage – and who (it turns out) doesn't actually have any friends.


--GG

Labels: