Truer Than Fiction

My not-so-eventful, everyday life.

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Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Satisfaction

Yesterday we got up early so that we could go over to the church and help with the church clean-up day. The main task at hand was to take back the parking lot from the jungle that had encroached into our spaces slowly but surely over the last twenty years or so. We arrived about a half hour late, but everyone seemed to just be getting started, so it was all good. Over the next three hours we managed to take back the entire parking lot.

There used to be tons, and I mean tons of vines growing all over the trees and bushes that line our parking lot, to the point where it was almost hard to tell there were trees and bushes there. Thanks to a power trimmer, some hedge clippers, a hack saw, and some back breaking labor by about fifteen people, you can actually tell things were purposefully planted here. You can now see individual trees and bushes, and you no longer have to worry about stuff scratching your car when you park.

We also managed to find some interesting items in the course of clearing the rampant vegetation. Among these items were three eight-foot lengths of PVC pipe about four or five inches in diameter, a pair of flip flops that were now paper thin, a newspaper from the 1940s, the top section of framing for an automatic door, and (I kid you not) the front grill of a pickup truck. My pastor was convinced that if we dug a little bit deeper we would probably find Jimmy Hoffa. I'm inclinded to agree.

It took us about four hours, but the effort was definitely worth it. You can now see the fence that surrounds the lot, and the overall look is a lot cleaner. My back is definitely not happy about yesterday's work (holding a power trimmer over your head for extended periods of time = SORENESS), but there's definitely a great sense of satisfaction in a job well done. A job well done where you did most of the work with your own two hands just makes it that much more gratifying.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

MI:3

Last weekend Courtney indulged me by going to see Mission Impossible: 3 with me. I didn't have super high expectations for this movie, but there's no way it could have been worse than MI:2 so I decided to give it a shot. I was right. This movie is definitely a lot more enjoyable than the second film, however, it still doesn't live up to the first.

For some reason, either because they don't want to or because the writers are just inept, they have yet to capture the cerebral feel of the first movie. In the first film it was about brains more than firepower. The first movie made you think. I had to see it a few times before I understood it all and caught all the nuances. Call me crazy, but isn't that something you'd want as a writer/director? You want people to see your movie over and over and tell their friends to see it, not just see it once and forget about it.

Anyway, suffice it to say that MI:3 is not as smart as MI, but it's light years beyond MI:2, which was just John Woo filming stuff blowing up. Tom Cruise gives a pretty good performance, but the real star of this show is Philip Seymour Hoffman. He's by far the best bad guy of any of the films and is quite scary in a psychological sense. He definitely steals any scene he is in.

The plot of the movie was pretty good, though I was kind of disappointed that they don't tell you what it is that they were all after at the end. I guess it's left as an exercise for the viewer? Whatever. There were a couple of minor twists that I didn't really see coming, but wasn't particularly surprised about either. It's not The Usual Suspects, but then, it's not trying to be.

If you're a fan of action/spy movies I recommend that you check this movie out. It won't really make the wheels turn in your head, but it's a fun experience. For others, Hoffman's performance alone is worth the price of admission. So if you're a fan of his, then you should definitely see this movie.