Made it back safe and sound from my couple of days visiting the Jaguar/Land Rover headquarters in Mahwah, NJ where I had the pleasure to test drive some of the 2010 vehicles I will never have the scratch to afford. I'm not much of a car guy, proudly driving a 2003 Honda Accord that manages to get me and the family to where we have to go with a minimum of fuss, but taking the new Jaguar XF up to 110 in the blink of an eye with the radio blaring and your head pushed back laughing is definitely a nice feeling.
Home life over the weekend was a wonderful family affair, meaning it was just me, the Missus and the boy. Lots of yard work, lots of plyaing outside, and lots of movies and books and snuggling in the evenings. While in NJ I read all of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (minus the first 70 pages) in one marathon session, so Saturday and Sunday was book wind-down time, sitting outside with a Hop Hound Amber Wheat reading The Man With the Getaway Face by Richard Stark, also devoured (with the beer) in one sitting.
Both are things I can't recommend enough: put aside your disdain for the "regular" Michelob beers and check out their incredible micro brews. There's a Spring Sampler pack you can find if you go to their website and put in your zip code - you get a couple other fine beers to boot, but the Hop Hound is the king of the bunch. And Richard Stark's "Parker" novels are the essence of hard boiled crime capers - rough and unforgiving nuggets of great genre writing.
After a lukewarm welcome back, the Boy has been a blast to be around - he's starting to ask for "Daddy" a lot more than he used to, and even though Mom is still the go-to gal when it comes to being tired, hungry, or cranky, it's nice to hear him pull away shouting "I want Daddy! Watch Batman?" or some other variation on the theme. We started out watching both JUSTICE LEAGUE (where he would ask for "Hot Girl" whenever Hawk Girl is gone from the screen) and the original BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES that came out soon after the Tim Burton film, but owing to the surprisingly mature stuff going on have settled on the new BRAVE AND THE BOLD on Cartoon Network. He still gets his Batman fix, but the animation and action is much more kid-friendly.
The Missus has been (not surprisingly) exhausted taking kid duties all week, thus showing that even the miniscule amount I do has its impact. Sunday a massive headache crashed-landed early in the morning while we were out buying flowers to plant, so on the way home I stopped off at the local deli and picked up some Häagen Dazs ice cream bars to soothe her. We played some Wii Sports, watched the director's cut of PAYBACK (really good if pretty bleak, and I kinda missed the blue tint they gave the film in the theatrical release) and I happily introduced her to the wonders of THE BIG LEBOWSKI.
Damn that film holds up well. I think I like it more now than I did when it came out. One thing I forgot about was how funny Philip Seymour Hoffman is as Lebowski's (the rich one) assistant. His expressions of dismay and contempt are hysterical. And John Goodman is a shiny fat golden god in the film - I think this might be his best performance in any movie. In a world where David Fincher is about to get the Criterion treatment, I think it's high time for someone to do the Coen Brothers right on DVD.
Television has been a bit of a wash lately. I finally caught up on FRINGE last night (lots o fun) as well as THE OFFICE (eh, ok). The last night I was NJ I got around to watching the series finale of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. It was okay, but nothing to change my mind that every since the discovery in Season 3 of the mysterious Final Five, the overall show quality dipped with only periodic peeks above the surface. Seasons 1 and 2 were brilliant, and I'll probably watch those again as a self-contained unit. HEROES has been a real issue - I haven't caught a single episode since the Bryan Fuller-scripted one five or six weeks ago. I think I'll try to catch up with everything this week, but I feel reasonably sure this is my farewell to that show.
And now it's 1:45 PM. I'm working remotely and listening to the new deluxe edition of Sinead O'Connor's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. The Missus just put the Boy down for his nap, and I'm grabbing some iced tea to battle the 80+ weather up here in the office. Tonight is hopefully some more FREAKS AND GEEKS on DVD, some serious dinner out on the back porch, and a little of the "we're married and tired parents" romance that's been the order of the day for the past two years.