It's been kind of a strange weekend. I went home Friday night and didn't do a whole lot more than watch TV coverage of Hurricane Ike. As I said before, my mom is out in Florida with my grandfather, so Dad was all alone as the storm rolled in. Having discovered some roof damage to his house even before the hurricane arrived, Dad elected to ride out the storm in Houston, putting buckets under his leaks and checking to make sure the elements didn't take hold in other ways. Anyway, I watched a lot of TV on Friday night and watched the hurricane roll in over Galveston and Houston.
Saturday I talked to Dad and discovered that their house had made it through more or less intact, but the power was out, and things were getting sort of uncomfortable. Still, the rain continued to fall, so Dad decided to stay in Spring until he could be sure that water damage wasn't going to be a problem.
On Saturday Cassidy managed to sort of strain or sprain her leg while playing with Dolly, one of the hurricane refugee dog that I'm currently hosting. Three legged dogs don't do too well when one of their legs is out of commission, so I hung out with Cassidy for a lot of the day in order to keep an eye on her (it also gave me an excuse to watch continuing coverage of the news about the hurricane). I also watched Starship Troopers 3 (it was pretty stupid and not all that enteratining- I would avoid it unless you're a diehard fan of the franchise), and I watched a David Mamet movie called Redbelt.
Redbelt was about a jiu jitsu instructor who gets sort of sucked into the world of mixed martial arts fighting (as in tournament style, with television coverage and big cash prizes). Unsurprisingly, David Mamet seems to have developed a newfound fascination with jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts (I say unsurprisingly because he seems to have a keen appreciation for all things macho, and in particular, for subjects that have their own, independent sort of mythology and folklore- the kinds of subjects that seem to organically develop their own subculture). Anyway, Redbelt was sort of mildly interesting, but it's nowhere close to being Mamet's best work, and the dialogue of the film lacks his usual crispness and understated intelligence. If you're a fan of the martial arts, in particular, it's probably worth checking out, and it's worth mentioning that Chiwetel Ejiofor does a really good job as martial arts instructor Mike Terry. The problem isn't with the way he plays the character- the problem simply lies in the fact that we've seen this character- the noble martial arts practitioner who disdains violence for the sake of violence, but who ultimately ends up with his back to the wall with no choice but to fight- we've seen this countless times before. Ejiofor brings humanity and believability to the role, but the overall plot just feels like something dreamed up by some kid who has recently become exposed to and enthralled by martial arts for the first time (not the dialogue, mind you, which isn't among Mamet's best, but is still pretty good, but the plot itself- it just feels like Mamet created the whole enterprise as a show and tell for some cool jiu jitsu moves, and to share some of the dogmatic ethical principles that he picked up at his dojo). Anyway, not the worst movie, but definitely not Mamet's best.
On Saturday night I went out with friends to see Delta Spirit at the Parish. Dr. Dog was playing that night, too, and was actually the headliner, but we were primarily interested in seeing Delta Spirit, and the Parish was really stuffy and hot, so we bailed before Dr. Dog ever took the stage. I thought Delta Spirit sounded pretty good. Not overly complicated, but they have cool, catchy songs (there were little elements of Arcade Fire and the Rolling Stones in there somewhere), and I really like their lead singer's voice. They're playing at ACL Fest on the first day, I think sometime right after Vampire Weekend, so I want to go check them out again.
Today my dad came into town to escape his unairconditioned home, and we went to Steiner Ranch to look at his new house with him. It's coming along very nicely, and it'll be a great place to hang out once he and Mom move to Austin.
Well, that's it for the moment. Just wanted to make a Sunday post since I had the chance.