Saturday, November 2 – we awoke at about 8 in the morning, then laid in bed while watching some old Singled Out off YouTube. Man, Chris Hardwick’s 90s hair was terrible.

I got up to shower, start my laundry, then get some coffee to have while we watched a nature show about polar bears. We followed that with a Breaking Magic, then the newest China, IL, both off the DVR. I made myself some leftover chicken and pineapple fried rice for lunch, to eat while watching an Orangutan Diaries (if I recall, that was the last one we’d recorded, but it didn’t really have much of a definite end, so I can’t remember exactly). I folded my laundry after that, then we put on the original Mad Max, from Netflix. It’s one of those movies I figured we needed to see to understand the numerous cultural references from it.

Turns out, though, it’s one of those rare movies where the sequel is the one everyone fondly remembers (or sequels, in this case). The original, aside from featuring a distressingly young Mel Gibson, is more or less just a slightly-more-bleak-than-average view of Australia in the late-70s. All of the post-apocalyptic goodness comes later on. And, really, I can’t stress this enough, but for being a famous action movie, it sure was awfully boring most of the time. Eh, at least we can say we’ve seen it, now.

I put some clean sheets on the bed as Becky watched some of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame off Netflix Instant, complete with a rather astoundingly-good Spanish audio track. We turned it off, though, to go out to the gym for a good, solid 54-minute workout. With that under our belts, we returned home to get cleaned up, then we headed back out at quarter of six to hit up Tijuana Garage for dinner. It was still just barely warm enough out to sit on the patio while we ate:

…and that is not a real frog in their fountain pond. Though they do have real koi in there.

We walked around L5 for a bit after finishing our meal, then we made our way to the Variety Playhouse, to line up outside at around 10 past 7. The musician we were seeing that night, you see, was the sort who attracted an older, not-quite-so-hip audience, many of whom were perfectly content to line up well in advance of doors. So, we did just the same.

We made our way inside about a half-hour later, and got some decent seats over to the left side. Everything seemed pretty good, right up until the folks behind us decided to wait until the very moment the house lights went down to play a football clip on their phone at a stupidly loud volume. It was so incredibly rude that both Becky and I – keeping in mind that, as much as we grumble from time to time, we both normally avoid conflict – spoke sharply at them to put it the fuck away. They didn’t react to us, but they did end up leaving early, before the set finished. Given how relatively expensive the tickets were, we’re both gobsmacked that they spent the money on going to the show in the first place, if they were just going to watch football instead, then leave. This is why humanity can’t have nice things.

Fortunately, after that, our experience was perfectly lovely. It was, you see, an evening with Michael Nesmith:

Mike Nesmith being, of course, the tall, aloof member of the Monkees, the same one who generally has always put the kaibash on a four-member band reunion (though, with Davey Jones’ passing, that’s no longer an option). You might recall how we once saw his bizarre music video “movie,” Elephant Parts. Turns out he’s done a lot since then. This particular tour was called “movies of the mind,” in which he’d descriptively paint the picture of a highly particular scene for us, then play one or several of his songs that fit that description. He did play several songs from Elephant Parts, though only one Monkees song, saving “Listen to the Band” for the very end. And that was a good place to end it. We weren’t, either of us, big enough fans of his solo work to go out and buy anything, but it was still a lovely evening.

We returned home at about 11 in the evening, then played with Giles some before retiring to bed. It’s not often we go see septuagenarian musicians, but with the Monkees running only at 75% capacity these days, we figured passing up this chance would be ill-advised. I’m glad we went.

Sunday, November 3 – the first day of Daylight Savings Time. This meant that we were up and at them shortly after 7 AM, though we’d be subsequently tired out early, as well. Still, a nice, early morning! We started it off by bringing Giles to the woods behind the middle school, from which he proceeded to promptly run off and had a Dog Adventure. When we finally found him, about 10 long minutes later, we told him he was a Terrible Dog and that we’d need to get him a new Terrible Dog Collar to teach him the virtues of not running away.

Before any of that, we went out to get groceries, then I swept up and read some as Becky made our dinners for the coming week. I had a nice, long conversation with my parents over the phone as she continued cooking by making up some Leftover Candy Pudding:

The finished product didn’t look all that impressive, but trust me when I say it was all manner of delicious.

I made myself some lunch, then we ate whole watching a Breaking Magic, followed by a Smithsonian Channel special called The Incredible Bionic Man, about attempts to make a fully-functional automaton replacement of a human being, using present-day cutting-edge technology. It was quite interesting, if only for how upset the bionic man’s model was when he saw the final product, after having been so supportive of the project up to that point. Still, we’ve got a long way to go before Replicants are a thing.

I read for a while more as Becky went out shopping. When she returned, she showed me the electronic training collar she’d picked up for Giles. After we went to the gym, then returned home to get cleaned up, we got the collar set up and gave it a trial run. Now, I know the crunchier of folks out there are appalled by the notion of electronic collars, but trust me when I say that the shock is so low that he couldn’t even feel it, except on the highest setting. The idea of the collar isn’t, as you might think, to shock him every time he does something bad, either, merely to put it on when he goes out to trouble spots (like the middle school woods), then give him an immediate correction with it when he starts to misbehave. After only several uses, it would be enough to merely have it on to improve his behavior; the shock itself was no longer needed. The only other two options we had were a) never let him off-leash, which means he wouldn’t get enough exercise, or b) just hope he won’t get hit by a car. This was the best way.

I picked us up some Little Caesar’s for dinner, then we settled in to watch part 2 of How to Build a Planet, featuring a roller derby squad in Texas telling Richard Hammond he needs to wear a helmet or else he’d get a head injury. Ah heh. When that ended, we put on Happy People: a Year in the Taiga off Netflix Instant. It’s a Werner Herzog movie about traditional fur trappers in Siberia, and that’s pretty much all you need to know about it. We told Giles that he was lucky to have been born a Georgia Dumbhound and not a Siberian Husky like the dogs carrying the sleds in the movie.

We finished off the night with an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then we went to bed early, thanks to the whole “falling back” an hour thing. I had three more regular work days, then I’d be off to the West Coast on my own.