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I was browsing Netflix a while back and discovered that they had The Man Show on DVD. I remember really enjoying that show back in the day, so I added it to my queue. Well, yesterday I got the first disc in the mail and, as I watched it, I came to a realization….. I was smoking a lot of marijuana back when this show was airing. As a matter of fact, thinking back, I even had a little ritual for doing bong hits during the opening credits and chugging a beer during the ‘Zigysaki’ bit (Don’t do drugs, kids, they’re bad). Watching it now, (straight, sober, and nearly a decade older) the show ranged from mildly amusing to simply annoying…. Except for the ‘girls on trampolines’ part, that never gets old (yes, I’m a pig).

On bit that was still pretty good was where they went out and got people to sign a petition against women’s suffrage. That’s the right to vote, for those who need an explanation, but since most people are ignorant and the word sounds like suffering, a lot of women were more than willing to sign. They even got a few women to go and canvas for them, all while never actually explaining what suffrage meant. When someone asked, they would just get evasive answers and usually end up signing anyway. Heh, and people wonder why the government is in the state it’s in.

Well, yesterday was a good day. My father and I went for an early show of Beowulf and it was fantastic! The movie was just flat out awesome. It was action packed with a good story that really drew you in. Best of all, the theater we saw it in used digital 3D technology. Oh…. My…. God… Soooo pretty. If you have the chance to check it out, I highly recommend doing so. Oh, and the digitized, fully naked Angelina Jolie certainly didn’t hurt. Yea Gods, that woman is sex incarnate. Plus, there was much violence and carnage with just a bit of tragedy mixed in. All in all, an excellent heroic tale. Fie on the critics, Beowulf is great.

After that got my blood boiling, it was time for the bi-weekly D&D game, which went very well. We had plot with our heroes returning the girl they had rescued from slavers to her father, an earthquake striking the city, and mystic visions. We had violence with the mighty warriors delving into the fabled Undermountain (a vast dungeon beneath the city), getting ambushed by a group of goblins, retreating back to the surface to rest and regroup, then plunging fearlessly back into the depths to face the dread goblins again. Heh, it was much fun. I find that I’m really enjoying running the game again. I think part of the reason for that is the fact that I’m using source books and a prepared dungeon module to give me a solid foundation to build my plot off of. For years before this, I was coming up with everything from scratch, which entailed a lot more work. I game to have fun, not add to my workload. Happily, that’s not an issue so far and I’m looking forward to the next game.

Yep, all in all, a really good day. I seriously needed that.

 Fabulous Kendra

 Yesterday was one of those days where my horoscope turned out to be eerily accurate. I checked it in the morning like a usually do and it read, Scorpio: Making a tough financial decision could be your big challenge of the day. One part of you wants to spend the money without sticking to your budget. But you know that an impulsive purchase might not be the smartest move. You can get the best of both worlds by buying something relatively inexpensive like lunch, a book, or a CD, while putting off a major buy until you have enough time to do more research and think it over carefully.”

Since my plan for the day was to go out with Kendra on a photo safari where my biggest expense would be gas for the car and breakfast, I wasn’t all that worried. Heh, silly me. As it turned out, the weather decided not to cooperate with our plans. It was cold, rainy, and just not good hiking and taking pictures weather. So instead, we went to the mall. We had planned to go there after taking pictures because Kendra had one a free photo session at a portrait store and she wanted more information. I figure we’ll check it out, then catch a movie…. Which we did. We saw Stardust and that film is awesome. It’s original. It’s entertaining. The acting is great and the special effects are awesome. Plus, Robert De Niro plays a gay pirate. I highly recommend seeing it.

Anyway, when we checked out the portrait place, Kendra and I ended up making the appointment for the photo session that evening. So, after the movie, I ran her home so she could clean off her makeup and grab a couple of outfits. The photo session itself was a lot of fun. Kendra got her hair and makeup professionally done for the first time in her life. That took close to an hour, but it looked fantastic when she was done… and I say that as a straight male. Then they did the photo session. I have to admit, I had several ‘Who is this young woman and what has she done with my little niece’ moments. Kendra was just glam-or-ous. They did about a half dozen pictures in each outfit and the photographs turned out wonderfully. I also enjoyed the chance to get to see a professional photographer do studio work. I don’t have any experience with that or with working with a live model, so it was a good learning experience for me.

It was only at the end that we hit a snag. Kendra’s prize covered the makeup and photo session, but did not include any prints. They started talking print packages that started at over five hundred dollars. Just a basic 8 x 10 print without any touch ups or graphic effects was forty five dollars, and we got twenty five dollars off as part of the prize,  so I ended up having Kendra pick out her favorite photograph and got a print of that. The manager offered us a special deal of three more for another seventy five dollars, which sorely tempted me, but I just couldn’t afford to spend so much. At least with the one print we can scan it and make more for Kendra to give out as gifts.

All in all, though. it was a lot of fun and a very interesting experience. Now I have a much better idea of what would be involved for me to do studio work. I also have a better idea of the money that can be made at it. Heh, yeah. I just have to invest in the equipment, but still, it’s an idea. With a better camera, lighting, and a few simple backgrounds, I could offer an ‘in home’ portrait service that could make some money. I know I can match the colorization and touch up editing they were offering easily enough. It’s food for thought if nothing else.

Deliver us from evil

 

Netflix has this new feature that lets you instantly download and watch movies on your computer, so last night I decided to give it a try. I have to admit, I wasn’t really expecting much and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. My only complaint is that you have to use Internet Explorer for the service, but the image quality was excellent and the whole movie played smoothly without any lag whatsoever. The service is also good ’cause it lets me watch odd things that I might be in the mood for at the moment, but that I wouldn’t otherwise order…. Ok, the Netflix commercial is over.

 

The movie I watched was Deliver Us From Evil. It’s a documentary about Father Oliver O’Grady, who is a pedophile and was a priest in the Catholic Church for thirty years. Yeah, just a little light entertainment for a Tuesday night The docmentary left me with a severe urge to go out and punch someone in the face. I’m not going to play film critic. There’s quite enough of those on the net, but for me, the movie personalized the whole scandal. I was aware of it, of course, but only in general. The victims never had a face…..Now they do.

 

One part that particularly hit home was the story of a girl O’Grady had repeatedly raped and molested from the time she was five until she was twelve. Her parents had been friends and supporters of O’Grady’. They didn’t find out what he had been doing to their daughter until the scandal broke out. By that time, the girl was an adult. Her father asked her why she had never told them and she replied that it was because her father had always said he’d kill anyone who hurt her. When the abuse first started, she asked a friend what would happen if her daddy killed someone and the friend told her that he would be sent to jail “for ever and ever” if he did that. It was then that she decided she couldn’t ever tell anyone…. That part was like a gut shot for me.

 

The interview with O’Grady himself is also chilling. For one, he’s likable and charming. Life would be so much easier if monsters looked like monsters. For another, though he tried to come off as repentient, I definitely got the impression he’s not sorry at all for what he did. I noticed that he only used negative words like “molest” when he was talking about how sorry he was. When he was talking about specific events, he used phrases like “showing affection” or “getting closer”. He also looked fairly wistful while talking about them. This man is not cured. He’s not even ashamed.

 

He’s also not in jail. I thought I’d mention that as well. He’s confessed to daily abuse of upwards of twenty five children over a thirty year period. His youngest victim was a nine month old infant. He was sentenced to fourteen years in jail, served seven, and was deported to Ireland. Ireland, by the way, has nothing like Megan’s Law. The community he’s living in only knew him as a former priest until this documentary was made. Oh, and the church officials who covered for him? The ones who could have stopped it all back in the early 70’s? Not even a slap on the wrist for them.