Thursday, October 25 2012
After walking Ramona on a leash while Gretchen walked Eleanor in the woods, I managed to convince Gretchen that today was the day to end Ramona's incarceration. She'd been walking fairly well of late and I said I thought her recovery was complete. And because keeping Ramona incarcerated had been such a pain, Gretchen was happy to agree with me. So we turned her loose and she was free to move about the cabin.
At some point I took Gretchen down to the greenhouse to show her the beautiful new cantaloupe-flesh paint in the new upstairs. Ramona came down with us and happily clambered up the stairs to the deck and, with a little encouragement, used the pet door both to enter and exit the greenhouse upstairs. This was the first canine use of that pet door (Eleanor refuses to climb the stair). The only other use of that pet door has been by Julius (aka "Stripey").
This evening as I was winding down web development tasks for the day, I mixed up an 80 pound sack of concrete and then carefully shoveled it into the voids between the rocks in the bottom of the steps leading to the greenhouse upstairs. One of those stone steps (the third from the bottom) has been a bit unstable from the beginning, and there are few things less annoying than unstable stair steps. Though I hadn't thought there was much room in there, the voids in the rock happily ate all of the concrete I'd mixed, though happily none of it appeared in other undesirable places downstream. I was so tidy in my deployment of this concrete that it was almost invisible, though it provided stability for the loose step immediately, even before the concrete had set.
This evening I joined Gretchen in front of the teevee to watch most of Bernie, a murder-comedy based on a true Texas tale and starring the only occasionally-sufferable Jack Black (not to be confused with Jack White). Our hero Bernie (Jack Black) had been working as an assistant funeral director and, because of his rapport with the elderly, ends up as the manservant for insufferable elderly heiress. Her constant neediness, demands, and psychological abuse provide a significant negative in a ledger otherwise filled with lavish dining, entertainment, and travel. Eventually Bernie can't take it any more and shoots the old lady four times with a small-caliber armadillo gun. He puts the body in the freezer, intent on giving her a proper funeral some day, and then spends the next nine months concealing her death and using her money to help the local community. When a search warrant is eventually executed and her body is found, the local population rises to Bernie's defense against his poorly-regarded victim. So the prosecutor changes the venue of the trial and exploits Bernie's cultural refinements to secure a conviction from the trailer trash jury. It was a simple little movie and a pleasure to watch. There was an oddly-stylized quality to the acting that might have been a consequence of its somewhat comedic thrust, and this clashed a bit with its occasional use of cinéma véité. Though Jack Black can be hard to take, he was rather good in the role of Bernie. There's a scene where you see Bernie performing a fabulous rendition of "76 Trombones" on stage and his acting (via Jack Black's acting) is so completely unselfconcious you want to cringe, laugh, and shit your pants all at the same time.
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