Tag Archives: family

A Few Words on Herzog

14 Apr

In honor of National Pets day, which was Tuesday, today’s post is about Herzog – Herzog the cat, not Herzog the German director known for probing the existential depths of the human soul. Although Werner Herzog is tops, too. After all, my cat is named after him. 

This is Herzog.


“Touch my fluffy tummy! Come on, how could you not?” ~ Herzog, demonstrating what I call ‘The Beartrap Maneuver.’ He can snap shut around around a hand in one billionth of a second.

Vital Statistics

  • Neutered male tabby, 15 lbs, about 40 inches long, age 8.
  • Long enough to stand on his back legs and pull things off table tops or the kitchen counter edge.
  • Very good health.
  • +5 Lung capacity for extended caterwauling sessions at 4 AM/PM.
  • +10 strength – can pull me while wearing his harness if I am on wheels.
  • Does tricks – Sit, Lie Down, Roll Over, and Up. Recognizes ‘Bedtime’ means it is time to go to bed, ‘Blender’ presages a loud sound such as a blender, garbage disposal or vacuum, and ‘Hop Up’ warns that I am about to get up and he must vacate my lap.
  • Will not perform ‘Speak’ on command; never shuts up otherwise.
  • Alternate names: Bubs, Bubbins, Mr. Mittens, Mr. Muffins, Mr. Meowsers, Fiddles, Cuddles, Cuddle-Bear, Snuggle-Bear, other nauseatingly cute things.

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Hell Is Other People – The Amityville Horror (2005)

5 Oct

October is Horror Movie month, where we let down our hair and celebrate all things macabre and scary! Not that we don’t during the rest of the year, but still… HORROR MOVIES! People who don’t like horror are encouraged to check back November 1st for less bloody and/or disturbing films. For everyone else, let’s put on our galoshes and WADE INTO THE MIRE!

Hello and welcome to Hell Is Other People* week here at Late to the Theater!This week’s selections are all about the biggest threat facing modern mankind –other people. All this week’s selections take place in Suburbia, and while they might feature supernatural flourishes, people tend to be the at the root of the problem. So throw some plastic flamingos on your lawn and turn up the music; we’re going to get a visit from the concerned people at our HOA**!

Note: Due to lack of planning on the author’s part, the role of Poltergeist will be played by the 2005 version of The Amityville Horror, for the following reasons:

  • Poltergeist isn’t on Netflix and I can’t afford to buy it/am too afraid to illegally download it
  • I watched TAH the other day and had Opinions
  • It fits into this week’s theme of Hell Is Other People

So here we go!


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One Hit At a Time!

30 Mar

I had not intended these check-ins to become a regular feature, but life piles up and here we are.

Here is the Current State of Affairs in the Benevolent Dictatorship of Jennsylvania.

The Good:

  • I have been writing almost 3k words a night for the last week, not including blog posts. I also have some places I want to send my fiction and nonfiction writing. I attended a cool spoken word performance Saturday night, am going to a writer’s group with friends Tuesday night, and to another writing group Wednesday night. Writing and I have our teeth in each other again, and neither is backing down.
  • I am working out with coworkers in the parking lot after work. I forgot my workout clothes but don’t care, I’ll do it barefoot in my work capris and blouse. We do calisthenics and kettlebells like the wild savages we are, and it’s AWESOME.
  • I am going out of town this weekend for my family reunion. I’ve made Herzog’s appointment to be boarded at the vet, and  must remember to pack his favorite toys, something to snuggle, and a bag of spinach as a treat because he is a very strange cat.
  • I have to make something to take to the reunion, so I am making the Pioneer Woman’s Green Bean Casserole recipe. I made it a few years ago for the holidays and it was a big hit.
  • I have a new blue dress for the reunion and it is cute. I am excited.

The Bad:

  • Some fucko stole some personal information and tried to use to it to file a false tax return. This is coming JUST as I have paid off some major debts and a light appeared at the end of the tunnel. So help me, the light will not turn out to be the dumpster fire of some jackwad ruining my credit. NO SIR. I put fraud alerts on my accounts.
  • This might be the tip of an iceberg of a bigger problem. I am being VERY careful.
  • Because of a snafu with my insurance, I may have to find a new therapist. I go to a therapist once a month to check and make sure my head is staying on straight, and now I must either change after 3 years and get a referral, OR I could keep going to her and paying her whole fee out of pocket, which I can’t afford.
  • I have been loaned to another project at work, so I have two different projects to keep up with right now.

The Ugly:

  • THREE separate friends are battling cancer in various forms. All I can do is be there for them, cook them healthful meals, and offer them rides and a shoulder when they need it, but what I wish most fervently is for cancer to magically take human form so I can take it apart with my bare hands. THE THINGS I WOULD DO TO IT.
  • The news is depressing as shit and I have all but given up on keeping up with it in depth, and just follow sound bites which is the worst way to follow news.

How We Do

Some of these are things I can do something about. Some of them are things I must accept and deal with, to the best of my ability. As anyone who has read Slaughterhouse-Five or been through recovery knows, the important thing is knowing the difference.

I am strong enough to weather the things I cannot change.

And as far as the things I CAN change…



… Around here, we take those problems One. Hit. At. A. Time.

In Theaters Now: Inside Out

21 Jun
Fear, Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Anger.

Fear, Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Anger.

Go! Go what are you doing NOT going and seeing this movie right now? GO! It’s magnificent!  I needed a 20-minute cool-down cry in the parking lot afterward to settle all my Feels.

If there is any justice in the world it will be the biggest movie of the summer! Ostensibly for children it’s really for the whole family.

BONUS: During the requisite pre-movie short film “Lava,” look for people in the audience sobbing uncontrollably or inexplicably enraged. These people are single. I’ll leave you to figure out which camp I was in.

Hanging in There Entry: Robin Hood (BBC) Seasons 1 & 2

4 Mar

Slowly, things are improving.

Lately I have been dealing with both getting over a breakup and a death in the family. It’s a lot of normal to be trying to reestablish, all at once, so I am just trying to get through the days lately.

One thing that has cheered me up is the BBC’s Robin Hood. It began in 2006 and only ran for 3 seasons, ending when the principles decided to leave the show. It’s a delightful show though, about friendship and loyalty and love and all those noble qualities that Robin Hood is known for.

Heroism! Derring-do! Costumes!

Heroism! Derring-do! Costumes!

Hood himself is played by the charismatic Jonas Armstrong, who portrays Robin of Locksley as daring, charming, and even cheeky at times. I’ll say it: I grew up associating Robin Hood with a singing fox, and later with Kevin Costner (I don’t hate Prince of Thieves) and still later with Men in Tights (STILL a classic!). So a brash, cheeky young Robin was a nice addition to the stable of actors who have played the character.

As with all the other canon, Robin and his servant/companion Much (who is an Englishman, I have no idea if he’s canon or not because I’ve never read the Child ballads) are recently returned home from King Richard’s war in the Holy Land. The pair of former soldiers have a strong bond as friends,  and soon find that the old Sheriff of Nottingham has been deposed and a new one installed.

The latter is played with snide, sneering glee by Keith Allen, who I had to look up on Wikipedia but apparently is Theon Greyjoy’s father. He used to do standup comedy at punk shows. How cool is that?

The rest of the gang are here as well: Little John, Alan a Dale, Will Scarlett, and Maid Marian. The latter is a nice departure and far from a damsel in distress: she knows how to fight and is fairly headstrong in the bargain. In fact they could have made her theme music someone shouting ‘DAMMIT MARIAN!’ every time she did something irritating. I didn’t hate the character – far from it! – but just as when you see a smart person you care about make a terrible choice, I was frustrated. Lucy Griffiths was eminently likeable and radiantly beautiful – I saw she was on the pilot for Constantine (which I still haven’t reviewed!) but was replaced by Zed. I think she’s great and she’ll go far, once she finds the right vehicle.

The comedy and lighthearted fare of the show is fun; it’s a family show, I think it ran in the Doctor Who spot, or just after it, and there are far, far worse ways to introduce children to the stories of Robin Hood and his outlaws.

But the show keeps me coming back for this man:



Richard Armitage has inspired a HUUUUGE following who call themselves “Armitage’s Army.” I’m not much of a joiner, so instead I’ll tip my hat to the approximately 8 billion fansites and pages of fanfiction they have produced. Well done, ladies and gentlemen! Allow me to congratulate you on your EXQUISITE taste!

I wrote about him before in my review for North and South, and believe me he’s just getting better. 

Gisborne as a character is interesting – he starts out a drawling villain but over the course of the show became such a fan favorite that the writers were struggling to keep him a villain. I haven’t seen the 3rd season yet but I understand that he does sort of team up with the good guys, which he did now and then in the previous seasons. I love tv series for that reason, the character evolution it allows. Somebody can start out a bit player and  a few seasons in steal the show, as happened with Donna Meagle and others on Parks and Rec (I haven’t seen the final season yet! Say nothing!)

The other reason Gisborne fascinates me (besides the obvious) is that I have a thing for his character trope: the damaged ones, the broken ones who imagine that the love of another person is all they need to fix themselves. It is a form of delusion, because in order to be a better person you must first admit that you have no power over someone else and that if you truly loved them, you would let them go and that YOU are responsible for your own happiness. But it’s also the sign of a deeply romantic and sensitive soul – someone who believes so fervently in the power of love that it blinds them to the consequences of their own actions. Of course no other examples of this character type are coming to mind at the moment, but trust me, it used to be a thing I had. For many years I thought I had outgrown it – and then along came Gisborne. When he begs Marian to make a home with him, to stay with him so that his life is bearable, I was totally ready to give him the keys to my house and run down to Uhaul for some boxes to help him move in. I cannot be trusted to make life decisions any larger than ‘yes I would like bacon on my cheeseburger’ right now.

The show is a fun distraction with some distinctive and moving performances. Heavily anachronistic, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, but does insert lots of little pop culture jokes and references. There is some violence though it’s largely bloodless, and a few characters die. That said, I would say it’s a great family show. The costumes and sets are fun and creative, and some of the jokes really have made me laugh out loud. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something new and fun to get into, but if you’re looking for historical accuracy or accurate arrow physics then you might want to give it a miss.

But when it comes to archery be prepared to suspend some serious disbelief.







And just so you can see how serious I am (although I couldn’t stop giggling while watching this):



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