Print Story House Hunting 5 & Misc
By duxup (Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 11:48:23 AM EST) house hunting, movies (all tags)
Movie Talk: Many Movies
360 Repair
House Hunting 5

Evil in Movies

I have a problem in movies that examine murders.  Not your standard horror films, or crime thrillers, but these movies that claim to be some character study in evil or something like that.  My issue is that most of the time these people are so evil, so reckless that they couldn’t exist in our world as they are portrayed.  That’s not to say evil and horrible people who do horrible things don’t exist.   Absolutely they do, but in a movie someone goes on thru and kills a dozen people in a couple days or weeks.  They’re either a hit man or just crazy or something.  They’re often portrayed as so bleakly and so incomprehensibly that you’d think this person just wants to spend their free time killing.  Yet obviously they’re 20 or 30 years old or something and have managed to not kill tens of thousands of people along the way…

I guess what I’m trying to get at here isn’t that what I find freaky about the idea of such people is not just their violent actions.  It is that they live their lives, even if just going thru the motions, like many other people without killing, without doing all those things the movies show them doing with scary music, and yet they’re capable of it seemingly with ease or more so than the rest of us.  Films never really go there.  The characters are just evil, just bad, horrific and incompressible.  To me that is all too simple and the least interesting part of such people, and feels woefully unrealistic.

Movie Talk: The Insider

Finally got to sit down and watch it in one sitting.  Russell Crowe is a great actor.  He seems like the kind of guy I’d really hear what he has to say about acting but if I saw him would just let him eat his lunch or whatever.  Al Pacino is fun to watch but if I ever wanted to yell at someone I’d like to be Christopher Plummer.  Plummer somehow can be the comforting wise elder one minute, and the next if needed like some unstoppable force that even if you had a good response to his argument you wouldn’t bother to speak up out of fear or awe.

Anyway the movie is entertaining even if not entirely accurate.  Michael Mann’s hand in the film is a bit strong.   I became aware of the dramatic music a bit too much IMO but if it had been done dry and matter of fact I might have gotten bored too.

Movie Talk: Reign Over Me

It was an alright film if you’re looking for a feel good flick and you don’t think about the film… at all.  I kept thinking Adam Sandler looked like Bob Dylan all the time but all the acting is just fine.

The issue is they just cram SO MUCH into the film.  There’s this sexual harassment subplot, this marriage on the rocks subplot, this courtroom scene where the movie makes some characters into illogical asses out of nowhere and then they’re good people at the end because it is required by the film but not that it would actually happen.  Oh and one of my growing pet peeves a hot chick therapist who always seem to so easily cross lines that dip into the land of unprofessional. 

Movie Talk: Knocked Up

You saw this film before if you saw 40 Year Old Virgin.  If you really liked 40 Year Old Virgin you will at least enjoy (maybe not as much) Knocked Up so see it if you did.

I thought both films were ok but hardly as funny as made out to be.  Knocked Up even less funny.  It is all much the same thing as the plot in these things is fairly irrelevant and the time between plot seem like improve clumsily grafted into the film (frankly some of the outtakes were comedy gold but of course weren’t in the film).  I’ll skip critiquing the comedy as I’m not sure anyone can do that effectively but I will say like 40 Year Old Virgin the jokes grow stale as they grow predicable and along the same lines over and over again. 

The only difference between those two films is that when Knocked Up tries to be a bit sentimental and it doesn’t work, or at least it shouldn’t on anyone who ever thought about relationships.  There is no way everything is so easily resolved.  The conflict in the film feels a lot more like token conflict than much else.

I got some chuckles, a couple great laughs, and that was about it.  Not worth the entire time of the movie though.

Movie Talk: Bee Movie

Mrs. duxup is a movie pushover.  She likes lots of movies, and good for her as while I’m often in agony she’s having a good time.  At least she agreed with me to some extent about Bee Movie.  The plot is the problem.  The wife described it as something along the lines of a Saturday morning cartoon plot.  It wanders, is painfully convenient, and is unsatisfying.  On a Saturday morning cartoon so what, but on a regular film it just makes the movie feel long.

There are funny moments but they’re laid out sparingly compared to the many great CG kids films out there.  There are the token “adult” inside jokes but they’re just references to celebrities (oh my that is sooooo funny….) and other films. 

It’s all just very flat.

Gaming My 360

My 360 that died / was killed last month is due to arrive today.  The wife is waiting to sign for it at home.  Total repair time for a wide spread hardware failure that resulted in MS putting $1.5 billion aside to fix… about a month.  ####ers!

House Hunting 6: The Closing Nears, The Neighborhood

Purchase Agreements Signed
Closing Day Set
Mortgage Application and such proceeding
Stuff moved into the third car garage


We chose to go with the mortgage broker who gave us the lowest rate we could find after calling around.  Not significantly lower than the others, but nothing to turn up your nose at either.  All is well on that front according to our guy.  Paperwork proceeding, even though there’s not much paper, we have awesome credit scores, bla bla. 

In a world the media’s approach is largely “you’re going to die, suck, or otherwise be irrelevant if you don’t do what we say” I find my credit score is one of the few validating forces in my life.


Being the future owner of a home that I normally wouldn’t own if not for exceptionally generous in laws I found myself at a crossroads at the voting box earlier in November.  There I stood in front of three questions regarding our schools.  If the school district was to believed the question was Do you want our school to become a ghetto school, or do you want us to make all your children above average? Choose you pitiful land owners!  The actual wording on the ballots were a bit different and broken into three questions and gave very specific numbers as to my potential tax increase. 

My little townhouse would see a minimal increase if only because it isn’t worth a huge amount.  Sure real money but nothing I would really notice.  The new house, those were real numbers to me.  On three options I voted yes, yes, no.  The last being what I read as an INSANELY large budget increase for technology.  The end result of the election was yes, no, no with my little wealthy section of the district voting yes yes yes.  Apparently I’m now a tax hating republican.  It doesn’t feel very good.

Friendly Faces

We moved load number 223 (maybe number 6) of our Subaru Outback filled with stuff to the New House.  We haven’t closed yet but the owners are nice enough to let us load our crap into car stall #3 as they’ve been out of the house for six months (although they still have car stall #1 and #2 filled with stuff).  I noted the school buss pulled up not far from us and some High School kids tumbled out. 

One girl stopped when she saw me and said hello asking if we’re moving in.  She was a nice kid and innocently noted “oh you lived over there before, you’re really moving up, congratulations”.  The wife came up and asked her mother’s name.  Turns out my wife worked with her mother for quite some time and they got a long really well.  She noted she would tell her mother.  Five minutes later I hear screaming down the street OMG insert mrs. duxup’s name!.   She asked the usual questions, was very excited (as was Mrs. duxup) and nice.  She noted that we really must be doing well.  We noted that we’re doing alright and we got some assistance from Mrs. duxup’s parents and she noted that is wonderful and she hopes to do the same for her children one day.

Mrs. duxup is more sensitive about the money issues than I am.  She’s not fond of accepting help from her parents but is pragmatic enough to know that it’s a chance of a lifetime when she talks about it (well most of the time).  Mrs. duxup is also a bit low on her self esteem tank in general, on the other hand I couldn’t care less what most people think.  We don’t have any reason to believe it is a snobby neighborhood, but if so I wouldn’t care at all if some folks felt we didn’t belong there or something stupid like that.  The wife would be a bit more sensitive to that.

That’s not to say I’m the “I don’t give a rats ass” neighborhood jerk who doesn’t mow his lawn and etc.  I find extending neighbors every cursory possible is the best route as neighbor fights IMO are way way way bad from what I have heard.  At the same time I don’t care what they think about me personally.

I make jokes about needing a top hat and monocle to move into the neighborhood.  The wife has found these jokes less funny as I’ve told them over and over and over.  I think they’re still funny but I’ll have to cut back as we now know people.  It violates my “avoid the topic of money” rule anyway.

Of course the questions following the inquires regarding the house purchase are about when we’ll start filling that space with our spawn.  The wife says about a year or so after we move in and that seems about right.  The space really does call for children. 

Anyway the neighbor lady Mrs. duxup knew told us about the neighborhood.  It seems like a good place if I take her word for it.  Plenty of kids.  There’s a neighbor behind a bunch of the houses (including ours) who I was calling “the hold outs” (apparently they have a name) who own about 12 acres of partly wooded and partly “way huge mowed meadow” and are friendly folk and let the neighborhood kids play in their massive plot of land.  I wonder if those folks REALLY knew what their land was worth if they’d sell, but even if they eventually did I’ll enjoy them being there for the time.

Mrs. duxup is quite happy that she has a friend in the neighborhood.  We don’t have many friends in the area, or friends really.   I’m a bit of a hermit, the wife is shy, we’re 29 and 30, have only lived in our area about 7 years and lived in the “everyone works nobody is home” town house area.  Making friends is hard.  I’m happy for the wife as well.

Mrs. duxup:  I’m so happy that she lives here.  I’m excited!

duxup: Does she have teenage boys who play video games?

Mrs. duxup:  Yes, I think so.

duxup: Maybe I could be friends with them?


So there we go.  I haven’t talked about the little jobs around the our townhouse we’re doing.  As always they’re little to start then become more difficult, but they are getting done.  I’m exited and also just want it all to be over ASAP.

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House Hunting 5 & Misc | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)
we're still looking... by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 01:53:34 PM EST
we'll find what we're looking for eventually. we found one that was perfect, exactly what we wanted, except for the fact that the kitchen was stupid and the stairs to the second floor were really steep and narrow. i think we both had the same vision of my (someday) massively pregnant self missing a step because i could no longer see my feet.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
Kitchens by duxup (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 02:00:39 PM EST
We saw way too many stupid kitchens when we were looking.  It was a big pain.  I always doubted “kitchens sell homes” but once I visited a few I had to agree.  I wanted nothing to do with fixing the dumb kitchens I saw, or cooking in them.

We also saw a home with oddly narrow stairs and fled from it. 

I had a couple homes early on I could have gone for but I'm glad we kept looking.

[ Parent ]
this kitchen by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 02:23:19 PM EST
had the stupidest layout i'd ever seen. so stupid that it would actually be impossible to remodel it to be not stupid, unless you chose to do some work with the foundation.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
my sister fell down the stairs twice by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:53:47 PM EST
while pregnant.  she lives in an 80 year old house in Philly.

after the second time, they had a dude come out and re-build the stairs.  he was magically able to add 3 more, so they're far closer to being up to code than they were before.  AND they now have railings to hold on to.

[ Parent ]
we're pretty sure by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 06:37:52 PM EST
that it's not possible to fix these stairs, because of the layout of the house. we thought about it....
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
my sister thought that as well by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 05:20:21 AM EST
they were able to turn the staircase at the end, and thus ableto add the 3 additional steps.  they lost only a little bit of space in the dining room for it.

a good local carpender would know how to take care of it.

[ Parent ]
base of the stairs by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 10:42:39 PM EST
is also a sort of pass-through leading to the bathroom. if it was just stairs, it'd be possible. the way it is, not so sure. the door to the bathroom would have to be relocated, and if we were to put it under the stairs instead the shower would have to be moved.

either way the kitchen is too fucked up...
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake

[ Parent ]
out of curiosity, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 02:25:49 PM EST
what rate?

>6 by duxup (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 05:42:48 AM EST
I saw some rate websites out there that offer slightly lower rates for mortgages in my area.  However I had NEVER heard of many of those companies, some didn't even have websites.  I didn't feel that I could trust them.
[ Parent ]
30 Year fixed? by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 07:32:06 AM EST
Anything under 6 is competitive at this time methinks.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
Yup by duxup (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 07:36:03 AM EST
Yeah I feel it is a good rate.  Maybe not the super lowest like some websites would tell me but ... some are too good to be true IMO.
[ Parent ]
Aye - if it sounds too good to be true it is by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 07:55:00 AM EST
Bank rate says the national average for 30 year fixed is 5.9.

I'm still hearing ads for companies who have teaser rates - "HEY - get a house with no money down and a 3.5% rate!!!" etc etc.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
wait, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 08:59:12 AM EST
did he say less than 6, or greater than 6? because &gt is greater than...

[ Parent ]
Oh - you're right by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 09:02:12 AM EST
I read it backwards.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
Less than by duxup (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Nov 22, 2007 at 08:34:18 AM EST
I think I failed remedial math...
[ Parent ]
I'm skeptical of technology in education by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:34:43 PM EST
I don't think it's a cure all, and I imagine you can learn enough to be computer literate with a two year old computer.

One of the schools we looked at stressed that they teach java, I was thinking great, they can get a high school degree with experience in a ten year old language. That would be good for about five years.

Indeed by duxup (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 05:44:44 AM EST
I think the advantage is just getting the kids hands on the darned things.  I'm not really sure how if at all we're short on technology experience and education before they go to university.  I can't say I felt that we're a bizillon dollars short in my particular district.
[ Parent ]
I have a friend by garlic (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 09:01:34 AM EST
who's 13 year old daughter can't type. Not enough computers in her classes? no. they just didn't spend any time teaching her to type. WTF?

[ Parent ]
No Typing by duxup (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Nov 22, 2007 at 08:34:52 AM EST
Now that is crazy.

[ Parent ]
evil by dr k (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:02:41 PM EST
This is usually a sign of lazy/sloppy/bad writing, the natural born psychopath that has no motivation (and little consistency) and has become a cliche. One could say this reveals a social rejection of the idea that personality is formed by the environment, people would rather believe that evil and immoral people were born that way, otherwise you might have to try to understand them, figure out ways to deal with them.

You come across these evil characters more in novels than on film, and most crime/thriller features are adaptations in the first place.

:| :| :| :| :|

There are some evil/deranged people like that by lm (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 04:25:40 AM EST
My only quibble with their treatment in Hollywood is that in real life, they're relatively rare. A few examples off the top of my head: What usually happens is that these people do live relatively normal lives (albeit typically, but not always, with warning signs that they are severely deranged) until they first taste blood. Once they start acting out on their impulses, they tend to accelerate the frequency in which they kill. Some manage to get a handle on the impulse, but the general tendency is to cycle further and further out of control once the killing starts.

I think you should buy a top hat and a monacle to wear while you mow the lawn.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
Hat by duxup (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 05:46:12 AM EST
My wife was trained in the mysterious world of millinery but she won't make me a hat.  I think she fears that I might actually mow the lawn that way...
[ Parent ]
note by garlic (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 09:06:44 AM EST
study how other sociopaths are tripped up before starting sociopathic spree.

[ Parent ]
Victimology 101 by lm (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 12:45:06 PM EST
Find a method of picking your victims entirely randomly. This will foil most of the police work done to trip you up.

The balance of not getting caught is never making a mistake. This is why, even if I wanted to be a killer (which I don't), I never would be. I don't trust myself to not make mistakes.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Taxes for Schools by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #23 Thu Nov 22, 2007 at 04:34:35 AM EST
There's nothing wrong with voting no in this case especially if you aren't familiar with the school department's finances.  Schools don't understand technology.  It's not their thing, so  they tend to be off on the numbers.  You should be able to get a copy of the budget from the school department since it's a public record.  But I will say that the  finances are a lot more complicated than most people would expect.  Of course my experience is in Massachusetts, but No  Child Left a Dime is going to be the same wherever you go in the US. 

At the end of the day though even progressives can require fiscal responsibility of government.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."

once your 360 arrives by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #24 Thu Nov 22, 2007 at 06:33:11 AM EST
you should send me a message......

I just ate about 7 pounds of meat

I'M NOT FALLING FOR THAT AGAIN by duxup (4.00 / 1) #27 Thu Nov 22, 2007 at 08:36:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
House Hunting 5 & Misc | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)