movies comments edit

Maid In Manhattan is the story of a hotel maid, Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez), who meets a rich politician, Christopher Marshall (Ralpf Fiennes). He doesn’t realize she’s a maid, they fall in love, she gets exposed, they fall apart, then they come back together.

That’s pretty much it.

Maid in Manhattan is the epitome of formulaic filmmaking. I could have written this myself in my spare time at work by printing out Cinderella and changing the names. Not ten minutes into the show, you can see what roles everyone plays in the story and you know exactly what’s going to happen. If you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times. As such, I won’t go into the plot. You know the story already. If you don’t, you’ve been living in a cave.

What I will say is this: It wasn’t as bad as all that. I mean, as far as Cinderella stories go, this was an okay rendition. I’m not a big J.Lo fan, so I’m not giving extra credit that she was in it; pretty much anyone could have played any of the roles in this thing and it’d still have come out the same.

This was definitely a chick flick. Jenn walked out thinking it was pretty good. I don’t necessarily disagree, but I do think she liked it more than I did. After all, she is the proud owner of way too many Julia Roberts DVDs.

I saw it for free on a sneak preview and I’m glad I didn’t pay the full evening price for it. I could maybe see going on the matinee for a lunch date or something, but in the end, I’d say wait until it comes out and rent it. Save your money and go to Die Another Day instead.

traffic, personal comments edit

I went in this morning to get the estimate on the damage from the sideswipe on Friday. The body shop guy looked at it, noticed that it spread from one panel (my rear bumper) onto a second panel (I got nicked on the rear driver’s side panel, too) and let out a low whistle. I didn’t find that a good sign. My tail light on the driver’s side was also cracked.

In the end, the repair cost tallied up to $1067.38. Thank goodness for insurance, is all I have to say. The tail light alone cost like $200 to replace.

I’ll take it in Monday to have them start work on it. I’ll be getting a rental car, which is good. Last time I had to get my car fixed I ended up driving The Babemobile (which has since been sold off). I can only hope I don’t end up in some stupid Ford Escort.

personal comments edit

Every year I try to be creative in my Christmas gift wrapping efforts. Usually I’ll try and go for a theme, so that all the gifts under the tree from me are distinctive.

I’ve done movies (wrapped the packages in movie posters and used old film as the bows), generic (brown paper only), and high security (entirely wrapped in a layer of duct tape) to name a few.

This year I was having a difficult time figuring out what to go with. I ended up choosing a variation on a previously mentioned theme: Authentic Postal.

Every gift will be wrapped in postal-standard brown paper. They will be sealed to postal standards using brown postal tape. The contents of every gift will be wrapped in bubble wrap for protection, and each package will be labeled with an authentic-looking UPS-style tracking label, printed up on the local laser printer.

I’m stoked. I think I’m going to start wrapping stuff tonight when I get home.

traffic, personal comments edit

Just got a call from this guy Bill over at Farmer’s Insurance. I’ll take my car in to the body shop for the estimate tomorrow morning, then take the car back this coming Monday for the final work to begin on it. I’ll get a rental car Monday so I can get to work. (Yay?)

Well, this is all coming together. Hopefully my car will be done for Christmas.

traffic comments edit

My weekend was eventful from the word go.

The festivities started as soon as I left work. I got maybe half a mile before I was rear-ended. A diagram of what happened looks something like this:

Rear-Ended! (7k

Basically, I was stopped at approximately the place where one lane splits into two. This guy suddenly decides that, rather than wait, he’ll just go ahead and take the curb and try to skinny past me because, hey, 1984 Ford Pickups are tiny cars that can just squeak through anywhere. Needless to say, he scraped right up the rear of my car.

I, of course, am a little taken aback at the audacity of the driver in question, but, well, shit happens and it needs to be dealt with. So I honk my horn at the guy and he stops. I stop my car, start to get out, and he takes off. Shit.

I start my car back up and floor it to catch up to him. After about a mile of chasing the guy down, he finally pulls into a 7-11 parking lot. Turns out it’s a kid, maybe 17 or 18 years old, tops, driving his dad’s truck. No wonder he claims he “didn’t know he hit me” - he’s gonna get his ass kicked when he gets home. (How could you not know? My car rocked back and forth with the force of the impact, so he had to have felt something…)

Anyway, my car looked only cosmetically damaged… at least it was still drivable… and I called my insurance company (Progressive) when I got home.

I could not recommend Progressive Insurance any more than I already do. These guys rock. The last time I had something happen to my car, I was very pleasantly surprised with the speed with which they handled the claim - I mean, they came to me and got everything taken care of by the next day. The only thing I had to worry about was getting my car to the body shop. Yeah, boyeeee.

However, on speaking with the Progressive claims office, it turns out I have two options - I can either go through my insurance, pay the $250 deductible, and get no rental car while my car’s in the shop or I can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance - Farmers - and deal with their overhead but get a rental car while mine’s being fixed.

I chose to go the Farmers route, since I need to have transportation to get to work and all. Thus began my call to Farmers.

Around three hours after the accident had happened, this guy still hadn’t called it in to his insurance, so I filed the claim for him. That wasn’t the hard part. The hard part starts now because Farmers is this vast, slow, annoyingly inconvenient company that doesn’t like to pay out. What I “get” to do now that I’ve filed the claim is: wait two business days to hear back from the claims adjuster; take my car to them to have them take pictures and provide an estimate; wait while they process that all; then get a check that I can pay the auto body company with. I don’t know how they’re going to arrange the rental car, but I’m sure I’ll get some piece of shit Ford Escort or something that I can’t fit into worth a damn.

To sum it up: I’m a little irritated that the whole thing happened. And that was just Friday night.

Saturday wasn’t too bad. During the day I was pretty lazy and played some more Kingdom Hearts, then that evening Jenn and I went to my parents’ house to watch some holiday movies. We watched It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas (probably the best Muppet movie to come out for a loooong time, available only from and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (okay, so that’s more of a Thanksgiving movie than a Christmas movie, but still). That was pretty cool, except they always get this damn Papa Murphy’s stuffed Chicago style pizza that seems to have an inordinate amount of onions in it (I’m not an onion fan). I think next time they come over I’ll have, like, eggplant and lima beans or something so they finally get it. It’s pretty nasty.

Sunday I played a little more Kingdom Hearts and went to the Winter Hawks game against Tri-Cities. That was probably the longest hockey game in history, or at least it felt like it. I totally wasn’t into it, either. I half-jokingly asked Jenn if she wanted to go home in the middle of the second period and she was all for it. In the end, we lost in overtime, so it wasn’t even for a success that we put up with that crap. It’s unfortunate they can’t get themselves together this season. While I hope they can pull it out for the second half of the season, I admit I don’t have a lot of faith. Besides, I’m thinking if they don’t make it to playoffs, that’s money I don’t have to spend on the tickets. :)

And now it’s Monday, and I have lots to do. I still haven’t bought Jenn’s Christmas gift(s), only because she can’t tell me anything she wants, and the stuff she did say she wanted is now no longer carried by the store it was sold in, so I’m sort of up a creek. I guess I’ll do my best; since she doesn’t show any interest in anything in particular, I suppose the flip side of that is that she can’t complain if she doesn’t like what she gets.

One positive note: I just checked, and Amazon finally finished refunding me the money they wrongly charged me for my last order. Yay!