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Jan 13th, 2017 - 11:30 pm - New foaming hand soaps
Paul Robinett candle
Good evening LJ readers,

how are things? Here they have been commando.

Here is today's escrow :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. Happy 2017! One of the fun new experiences I had hoped to do this year was order Lootcrate, a monthly "mystery box" subscription service with random, pop-culture-themed items and (usually) a t-shirt or something to wear. There are 13 (yes, thirteen!) different series, from pets to Hello Kitty to Harry Potter. The store had a wonderful sale - a random box of their choosing from a previous month (normally $40 ish), down to $20. However alas, they sold out before I had a chance to order one. Oh well!
Instead, I may try a 3-month, medium-box subscription to Skoshbox, a Japanese-based company which sends unique foodstuffs and misc. small things (such as towels, 'learn Japanese' cards, etc). More to come!

* Candle Lab

Well, it's happened, heh. After a two-year or so absence, local company Candle Lab finally brought back their annual box sale, woo! This year it was announced on Facebook and their website with relatively little lead-up to it. For the first time as well, one could order online 'in advance'.
My friend Scott and I always like to support local businesses, so we each ordered 2 boxes ($28 each). I got bergamot, blackberry, rain, pineapple, sunflower, muscadine, olive blossom and black & tan-scented candles. Plus a $5 store credit! ( x 2, as we each had two boxes). My friend Scott got a few scents including... a bacon-scented one! How about that.

* New Years

For this particular past NYE (as I believe I did last, as well) I headed over to my friend John's place. John's friend Philip and his roomie Nick were also there. We watched Anderson Cooper & Kathy Griffin, during hour 3 of their at-least-4-hour (4 hours!) live broadcast, as Kathy said amusing things and Anderson chats and goes along with it, heh.
I brought some new foods and drinks to try, as I often do. I tried some tumeric water, tomato-flavored popcorn and coconut-curry-flavored hummus (with crackers).
Around 11:50 or so we switched over to ABC, where Ryan Seacrest was counting everything down. Right before that, they had a performance by Mariah Carey, who (as the venue dictates) was lip-syncing one of her songs, but completely forgot some of her lyrics, which made for an amusing / unusual moment. The ball dropped, and it was 2017 ~

* Semi-annual house organizing

A short while I began my tradition of going through everything, and organizing / recycling / replacing / donating. I usually so do in January, when it is chilly outside. This particular year I started in the basement. I went through my old roomie's clothes and divided them into donate / keep / mail to him / toss-out-because-they-have-a-hole-in-them piles. I consolidated my empty boxes, lined the laundry-items shelves with peel-and-stick floor tiles and swept the floor. My donation pile is coming along.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : a blessed life. a good deal on Triscuits crackers. amusing moments in IFC series Portlandia. randomly getting some "your birthday is coming up" e-mail offers earlier than usual. Dollar Tree stores.

Okay. Have a good evening!

Take care,
* Geoff
Dec 30th, 2016 - 09:18 pm - 2016 year in review
random image 9 - Twilight
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Hopefully well. Happy holidays!
Each year, originally inspired by my friend QKellie, I make a list of some of the interesting foods and drinks I had an opportunity to try throughout it. In a generalized sense, makers of food often experiment the most with sweeter items, as they know there is (for better or worse) a large market for those sorts of things. But of course the occasional dessert is nice.

In 2015 I tried...

Read more...Collapse )

... and some orange creamsicle-flavored cream cheese, for a total of 173 items (42 more, than last year!). Of those items I tried, I recommend the citrus mint tea latte', vegetarian lamb and fruity crisp Oreos .

A 'tall' (12 oz) citrus jade drink, a springtime seasonal release from Starbucks, has beautiful yellow and green colors in the cup but is also 28 grams of sugar. Of course, one may ask for a 'light' version of it to be healthier.

Some trivia : Up until now, I had never met an apple I didn't like, as it were. However this year I tried the Envy apple, a new varietal I found @ Trader Joe's, but actually didn't care for it. How about that!


Over the course of 2016 I was able to watch 24 movies + 7 seasons of various TV shows + 1 'stand-alone' miniseries :

Movies : 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Adventures of Haji Baba, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Anomalisa, Carol, The Conjuring 2, The Danish Girl, Doppelganger (Asian movie), The Fits, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Forbidden Room, Gay Sex in the 70's (documentary), The Girl on the Train, Hail Ceaser!, Henry Gamble's Birthday Party, The Lobster, Midnight Special, Miss Perigrine's Home for Peculiar Children, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Take me to the River, Upstream Color, The VVitch, Zip & Zip & the Marble Gang and Zootopia.

Seasons : Please Like Me (seasons 1 and 2), Portlandia (seasons 1-3), Stranger Things (season 1) and The Returned (French series) (season 2).

Miniseries : 11.29. 63


Of those media I saw, I recommend : Henry Gamble's Birthday Party, Portlandia (season 1) and Upstream Color.

Henry Gamble's Birthday Party sounds Lifetime-movie-ish from the premise : a young teen slowly coming out of the closet to his religious family. However unalike many other overwrought scenes, his friends and family are not one-dimensional but rather undergoing transformations of their own. Equal parts funny, touching and sad, this is a great movie likely to get lost in a sea of many without others championing it.

Portlandia, an IFC series I had all but forgotten until my friend John pulled an episode up on Netflix, is the heir apparent to old Canadian show Kids in the Hall (or, perhaps, MTV's The State), where a small group of people play basically every role. Carrie Brownstein (she of 90's rock band Slater-Kinney) and Fred "SNL" Armisen use the (real) city of Portland as their template, each playing both male and female characters in a funny-but-appreciative look at "hipster" culture. The first season, where Carrie and Fred wrote skits with others (instead of just themselves, during the "optional to watch" season 2) is a good intro to the series and reoccurring characters.

What can one say of Upstream Color? The follow-up movie from the people who did sci-fi time-travel film Primer (but indeed, not a sequel to that movie). Multi-talented Shane Curruth wrote, co-stars, edited, scored -and- produced this slow-to-unfurl tale of a thief who robs people of their free will, and how this problem might be 'fixed'. With quick edits, the opening slides into nightmarish territory before taking us to a whole new third place. A trailer is here.

Although technically not a theatrical movie, Mike Posner's video for his song Be as you Are is recommended! Short, but powerful and liberating.

* * One-click charities

As I pass along each year, there are a number of website one can visit, to donate - for free! - to various charities. By simply visiting a website and seeing the ads on it (and clicking a button), a few cents are donated to a variety of causes. There is a small list of links in the column on the left-hand side of my own blog, and just recently I was able to discover even more : caretoclick.com is a simple, no-fuss site with 10 causes to support. Easy and helpful for others!

Okay. Thanks for reading, and have a good 2017!

Take care,
* Geoff
Nov 29th, 2016 - 09:30 pm - Good Will
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been organized.

Here are today's naps :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. We have been fortunate the past few days to have nice temperate weather - earlier on today I even biked! Quite a feat for late November.
Due to the variances in my work schedule, I had off two days after Thanksgiving this year (although indeed, like Easter Thanksgiving is a flexible-date celebration). I visited my parents in the Dayton area. We had a lovely dinner and set up the Christmas tree! Nicely, a neighbor boy a few houses down was looking to do some volunteer work for school, and helped bring up some boxes of decorations from the basement as part of it earlier (thus saving us some trips).

* Henry Gamble's Birthday Party (part 1 of 3)

Recently, courtesy my friend Scott's Netflix account, I watched this movie (one of two 'blind' choices I made - that is, seeing movies without doing much 'research' beforehand. The other movie was a well-meaning but not-quite-as-interesting one called Take Me to the River).
Having seen 22 other films so far in 2016, this was one of the best ones I have seen this year. When one sees meaningful pieces of art (or, for example hears meaningful songs - such as One Republic's Kids, which was on the radio for 2.5) it restores one's faith there are still stories worth telling, and character arcs which can move you.

* Henry Gamble's Birthday Party (part 2 of 3)

Pastor's son Henry, as played by actor Cole Doman.

* Henry Gamble's Birthday Party (part 3 of 3)

A summary of the plot will sound Lifetime movie-ish : young Henry, the son in a religious family, is turning 17 and slowly figuring out he might be gay. Director Stephen Cone casts the narrative wider, and we meet various friends, family and church folk coming by for his summertime pool party. This event serves as a platform for the various 'short stories' occurring around him, simultaneously.
Many scenes are amazing : the light shining in through the curtains, the mother's quiet conversation with her daughter in their car, the absolutely realistic interactions and casual glances the young people have with other. It is so rare to see a 'religious' movie which is about actual day-to-day spiritual people rather than broad sentiments which offer no hope of solution or even change. The last scene, which will provoke a wide range of emotions, will stay with you.
Movies like this tend to be lost in the shuffle (despite this winning rave reviews from people, and 2 awards @ the Sidewalk Moving Picture festival), so I will champion this as a good one :)

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : an updated Tracfone. the variety of interesting Rebecca Atwood hand soaps @ Target. being able to try birch water. website eRewards expanding their rewards offered (free movie tickets, woo!). seeing my friend Tim on Facebook.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Nov 24th, 2016 - 12:00 pm - My tweets
random image 9 - Twilight
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