Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ho Ho Ow!

I saw these cacti as we were driving around Tucson one day this past week. I insisted upon stopping to take some photos - I'm sure my parents thought I was crazy but I didn't care. It's not every day that I see something like this. My mom told me that there is actually a practical reason to put hats on small cacti - it protects the growth tip of the cactus from cold temperatures, but these were so large that it was done just for giggles.

Stopping to take photos made us a bit late to In N Out Burger. The line was out the door! And it was 1:45! It was so worth the wait even though it meant that we had to take our food to the airport and eat it there in order to make sure I could check my bag in time for my flight. My dad had not had In N Out before, and he was totally sold on it.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mewwy Chwistmas Evewybody!

If you celebrate Christmas, have a very merry one! If you don't, then have a wonderful holiday season! These pictures are from the Nacimiento at the Tucson Art Museum. This thing is huge!

Look for the devil playing the fiddle in the photo above. (You can view any of these in more detail by clicking on the image)

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Go Even Further West, Young Man

The day after I arrived in Arizona we hit the road to drive to San Diego. My parents had bought tickets to see an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Natural History Museum. That drive is not exactly a short one! I looked it up on Mapquest and it said that it was 400 something miles and should take about 6 hours. When travelling with my parents it took a bit longer. As my mom said: "travelling with old people is really slow". I don't really consider them "old people", but there were more bathroom breaks, driving right at the speed limit, etc. Plus my dad's real weird about some stuff, like when we stop for gas he has to clean all of the windows with the squeegie, and calculate all kinds of permutations of gas mileage (like since the last fill up, on that particular trip, for the month(?)). It takes some getting used to. But since I was just along for the ride I couldn't complain. Except maybe about having to listen to Prairie Home Companion - drives me insane!

The exhibit was better than I was expecting. They had a lot of artifacts from the area where they found the scrolls, photographs, as well as a lot of information about the preservation of the scrolls which I found interesting after my preservation class this fall. The museum is in Balboa Park, which I love. We went to the cactus and rose gardens after the exhibit. I could have hung around there all day if I'd been allowed to!

Before some of you get jealous about how balmy it appears, it's actually long sleeve and jacket weather here. The highs have been in the upper 50s to around 60, but when you factor in the wind it feels colder than that.

This giant Christmas tree is at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.

Check out this gigantic fig tree in Balboa Park. It's about 100 years old.

This rose kind of smelled like a lemon.

I love the way the bark looks on eucalyptus trees.

These wind turbines are huge.

I'm still fascinated by mountains. I guess because I live in a place that is almost completely flat.


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And A Roadrunner In A Pear Tree

I'm in my pre-travel panic phase. It's not that I'm scared to fly or anything, it's just that I never pack until the last minute and then I decide that I absolutely must clean the house before I leave, watch all my unwatched DVDs before I leave, etc. It's weird. So I get in a big rush at the end. I'm leaving straight from work tomorrow, so that means I have to be all packed tonight. At this point I'm pretty much done though. Only an hour late!

This will only be the second time I've spent Christmas in Arizona. I've spent something like 32 of my 36 Christmases in Alabama, so this will be kind of different. I don't think of Arizona as home, it's just where my parents have lived for the last 8 years. But I guess the important part is that my family will be there, so I guess that makes it "home" enough.

And this is for Anna. Here is a roadrunner photo that I took at Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll see another one at Christmas. This is from my upcoming "Extremely Incomplete Field Guide to the Birds of Arizona". ;)

Meep meep!

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tooth Trouble - The Musical

Today was a bit discombobulating at work (but nothing like my freakout week before last!). Today was the day that we all moved to our new work area. It was good to get out of that fishbowl I was in, it’s just going to take me a little bit of time to feel like I’m in my own place. There were tons of boxes to unpack and things just had that unsettled feeling. It will get better in time.

Things aren’t the greatest in tooftown. A couple of days after I got my temporary crown last Tuesday my tooth started hurting a little bit. In fact, the last two nights I have been awakened in the middle of the night by a sore tooth. It seems to get better when I take some Tylenol, but I’m having to pretty much take it every 5 or 6 hours. My tooth is kind of sensitive to both hot and cold. It’s been coldish outside, and my tooth actually seems to start hurting a little after I’ve been outside even for a little bit. From what I can tell it’s not time to hit the panic button yet. Tooth sensitivity with a temporary crown isn’t all that unusual. So I may have to wait a couple of weeks after I get my permanent crown (not until January 3rd) to know whether I should worry or not. I just really don’t want a root canal, they’re so damn expensive (at least in this country!).

On a lighter note, if you’ve got some time to kill and you miss those good ol’ TV theme songs of yesteryear, check out this page. All your craptastic favorites are here – Hawaii Five-O, Diff’rent Strokes, CHIPS, Charles in Charge, Smurfs, Banana Splits, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Hong Kong Phooey. The Baretta theme blew my little 3 year old mind. Knight Rider is pretty rockin’. I dare you to spend less than an hour at this site, at least if you were as much of a TV junkie as I was when I was a kid. If you check it out, let it me know what some of your favorites are. (Look at me, I’m all Gen-X cool with the pop culture references! :P )

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Sick System

I usually shy away from political-type posts because I know not all of you share my political views. But I’ve really been thinking about this issue a lot lately and I think it’s important. Don’t worry, there are plenty of inane posts coming up!

Peeps, when it comes to health care, Americans are getting seriously screwed. I’ve known this for a long time, but I just watched the movie “Sicko”, which does an excellent job of putting a lot of this stuff in perspective. I know that some of you would rather eat broken glass than watch a Michael Moore movie, and I think some of his methods actually end up hurting some of the causes that he believes in, but I think this film gives us a lot to think about. I also don’t buy everything that is presented in this movie, but there is a lot of truth in it.

For-profit health care is just a flat out failure. The “for-profit” part tells you all you need to know. Companies’ only goal is to make the most money possible, not help people get the health care that they need. It’s practically criminal.

I don’t even think that this issue should be partisan in any way. It isn’t about Democrat vs. Republican or conservative vs. liberal. It’s a bunch of extremely wealthy people vs. all the rest of us. It’s shareholders and CEOs of these health care companies vs. basically anyone who needs health care. And anyone who needs health care? Um, that’s only every single person in this country at some point in their lives. We’re really getting screwed over.

In this country we’re all hanging by a thread. At any time, any of us could be involved in an accident that could put us in the hospital. Any of us could get a cancer diagnosis, or some other major disease. And I don’t care how good you think your insurance is, at some point you’re going to end up spending a lot of money. And if you’re lucky, that’s the least that will happen. That assumes that you get the proper treatment, enough time to heal properly, and get timely care. Unfortunately it’s easy to be callous about the misfortune of others. But if you live in the U.S. you are potentially a second away from being someone who needs some serious help.

And please, spare the “socialized medicine” excuse. We have lots of things that are “socialized” in this country that work pretty well. The U.S. Postal Service, city fire and police departments, libraries. Um, public schools anyone? Sure, these things don’t always work perfectly but they do a pretty good job. Would you really want to live somewhere where the fire department was a private company? Fortunately there aren’t any that I know of right now, but I’m sure that once someone figures out how to make money doing it, it will be (God forbid) just a matter of time. Again, it’s simple – the only reason that any company exists is to make money. That’s really, when you boil it down, all that any company cares about.

Let’s look at schools for a minute. I pay lots and lots of taxes for public schools. I don’t even have any kids! I’m paying for your kids to go to school. Why should I do that? Because it’s in our common interest. It’s in everyone’s interest to have an educated populace, I think that’s a pretty universal idea. Why should it be any different with health care? Some of my taxes go to pay for police service. You know how many times I’ve called the police over the years because I needed help? None. Zero. Nada. But do I mind paying for police service? No. They’ve helped lots of people in my community and someday I may need their help. Same goes for fire service. Do you know how many times my house has burned down? Not once. But do I want the fire department to try to put it out if it does? You bet your ass. I would be willing to pay taxes so that I could have the fire department come put out a fire at my house because someday I might need them to. Don’t you think you would be a little more freaked out about what you were going to do if there was a fire at your house if you had to get preapproval for them to put it out? And if you had to pay them depending on what they did? And if you had to worry about how much money you have saved up for that? Why should health care be any different?

It might be one thing if universal health care was this pie-in-the-sky thing that no one had ever done before. But there are many examples already in place of how a system like this can work. In fact, the United States is the only developed country that doesn’t have something like that in place. Go ask a Canadian, or a Briton, if they would trade health care systems with an American. You’d have to wait about an hour for the laughter to die down, but once it did I guarantee they would say no. I would love to hear what any Canadians out there have to say on this. If I’m wrong, tell me! In fact, what better way to find out firsthand from someone who’s experienced universal health care firsthand than on a blog. Most of the blogs I read have readers from all over the world. Ask those readers what they think about their health care system. I think if more Americans knew what it was like in other countries when it comes to health care, we wouldn’t put it up with what we have for a millisecond. Ask around, find out for yourself.

People say, well universal health care would mean that we would have to pay higher taxes, and I don’t want to pay higher taxes! First of all, I don’t think that necessarily has to be the case. And secondly, I say “So what?” I had a dental procedure performed last week. It cost me almost $1200. You know what I spent on dental issues in 2007? About $2500. If you think that a tax for universal dental coverage would cost more than that, you’re on crack. And if you’re thinking “Well, why don’t you take better care of your teeth if you don’t want to pay so much?”, well, I suspect I just have bad teeth because I brush twice a day every day and floss once a day every day. And what about insurance premiums? Even if you have health coverage you pay a monthly premium. How is that different from a tax? Not to mention that on top of that you pay for the office visit and your medicine. When you factor in that I purchase $60 of prescription medications a month and a couple of doctor visits per year and add those to my dental costs, I have paid way more this past year for medical care than any tax would cost. And I’m healthy!

One thing that a lot of people throw around to argue against a Canadian-type health care system is that supposedly people have to wait a lot longer to see a doctor than in the U.S. I don’t think that’s true, but consider this – I think we all know that insurance companies can refuse to provide someone with coverage due to a “pre-existing condition”. So what’s the waiting period for that? How about forever! It’s a little bit impossible to have a waiting period longer than that. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve had doctors that I’ve had to wait several weeks to see for routine checkups. Consider this too – I’ve had the same “doctor” for 11 years. You know how many times I’ve actually been given a checkup by this doctor? Once. Every other time it’s been a nurse practitioner. And I don’t think this is a rarity among other practices. That doesn’t seem right to me.

Insurance companies should not be in charge of health care. The goal of an insurance company is to make a profit. The less medical treatments they have to pay for, the more money they make. Do you see how that is a major conflict of interest? You think these insurance companies wouldn’t let you die if it meant a major financial hit to them?

I think it’s a misnomer to call this a political problem. What it really is is a moral problem. We can and should help those who find themselves through no fault of their own in dire circumstances. And by doing so, we can help ourselves too because in a moment’s time we could be in dire circumstances too. I personally know someone who has had to file bankruptcy due to medical costs, and it’s actually quite common in this country. And it’s not right. The U.S. ranks

I’m not optimistic about a better system coming about in this country in my lifetime. I think our political system is too corrupted by corporate and institutional influences, and they won’t give up that influence without a fight to the death. But we have to try, and we have to get regular people talking and thinking about this issue, because it’s the only chance we have at making a change. There is a bill in the US House of Representatives that is currently stuck in a subcommittee. So far the bill only has 87 cosponsors. If you want to contact your Congressperson and ask them to support this bill, start here.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Crack Is Wack

Medical week continues. My last contact lens tore this week, so I finally had to make an appointment to see the eye doctor so I could get a new prescription. I went to a new doctor since my old one is now really far away. She wants me to try wearing a lens in my right eye too. Blah. I tried it with a disposable this afternoon and my eye was very uncomfortable. I'll try it a few more times, but it's got to feel better than it did today.

On the way back to work from the eye doctor I had to stop at the post office to mail a package. I got my eyes dilated, so I'm sure I looked like some kind of mutant. Everything was all blurry and I was looking at the lady behind the desk while trying to look normal. I said "I just went to the eye doctor, that's why my eyes look weird." She looked at me and then said: "I don't care if you've been smoking crack. Can you sign your name? That's all I need from you." It looks kind of mean in print, but she said it in a joking way. I thought it was pretty damn funny.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pomeranian? No, Pomegranate!

Today's dental appointment wasn't much fun, but it could have been a lot worse. I really didn't feel anything when the dentist was drilling (I still hate the sound though), but then when the technician was poking around on the pitiful little nub left over before the temporary crown went on I felt a little twinge in one particular area. The anticipation that that little dull pain could pain could lead to something worse was probably the worst part, though. The dentist said that the decay on that tooth went all the way to the nerve and he had to patch over it. I really hope it doesn't abscess, leading to a root canal, which could be a possibility. I've had enough dental trauma for one year thank you very much. They gave me a prescription for some Vicodin, but I haven't filled it. My tooth doesn't hurt too much, and being drugged into oblivion doesn't sound all that appealing to me right now.

On another note, I bought a pomegranate at the store last weekend. I can't remember the last time I had one. I've been avoiding them due to their high price, but when I saw them on sale I decided to splurge. I may have to splurge again, I really love those seeds. They're great as a snack by themselves, and they are a nice salad topping. They're kind of like eating sunflower seeds that have a little juice package wrapped around them. Yum!

Who would've thought that something that looks so much like a crime scene could be so good?

I just love the way the juice is splattered here.

I've also been diggin' on these grape tomatoes. I love them as a snack and they're great on salads too. Plus they have cartoon characters on the label.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I finished up another semester of school today. Next semester may be my last one! Yeah, I know one should probably know whether their next semester will be their last if it's only a month before the next one starts. The only reason that I'm not sure yet has to do with the "thesis" experience. The reason I phrase it like that is because we don't write a thesis per se. We have a one week period where (from what I know about it) we choose three topics that have to do with library science, and we basically have that week to write a paper on each one. I'm not even sure how long the papers have to be, but everyone says it's pretty intense. So, I'm trying to decide if I want to take 2 classes, work my full-time job, work my part-time job, and do this paper-writing thing all in the same semester. The downside to putting off the papers? I wouldn't be able to graduate until August. In my opinion, it sounds like a week of hell would be worth it to graduate in May. Some people say I am crazy to even consider doing all that stuff at the same time. I do remember how difficult last summer was with 2 classes in one 5 week term. But that was 5 weeks of hell, not 1. My advisor didn't really try to talk me out of it. So that's why I'm unsure at this point. I guess I have to decide by the beginning of January.

It finally got (somewhat) cold around here. I know 80 degrees (that's what it was last Friday) may sound great to those of you who are really cold, but honestly I'm getting kind of tired of it. Winter is supposed to be cold! All this warm weather just reminds me of global warming. The temperature right now is 42, and that's as warm as it has been today. I think it's a nice change of pace.

I have to go to the dentist tomorrow and get a crown and also a filling. I'm really not looking forward to it. This will be my second crown, and at least I kind of know what to expect. The last one didn't hurt at all, and I'm hoping for a repeat of that aspect of it. It's still really going to hurt the ol' wallet, though.

If you're looking for some great Christmas music, my favorite download site has a real gem this week. I love the Aimee Mann Christmas album, and last year she did a few of the songs live on KCRW (I even posted about it here). Well, now you can download it! Just go here. Highly recommended.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Too Many People

I wrote this on Friday after I got home from work. I should have posted it then, but I got sidetracked with my final exams for school. Fortunately I was able to get my chill back a couple of hours after writing this:

I’m an introvert. That may seem like an obvious conclusion for someone to reach about themselves, but I didn’t always know this. I also think that the scale for introversion/extroversion is a spectrum – there are many degrees of this trait along the spectrum. I’m pretty far over to the introverted side. I have been so much happier with myself since I figured this out because I think that this trait is part of peoples' essential make-up. It’s like your eye color (yeah you can get colored contacts but you’re not really changing the color of your eyes). You can’t change it. It’s just part of who you are. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is an extrovert’s world. It’s hard not to feel like you don’t fit in, or that there’s something wrong with you because you like to spend lots of time alone. But now that I know that it isn’t my fault, it’s just who I am, it’s easier to be OK with being different.

I can be OK in small groups or one-on-one. Even at places like concerts or sporting events I can be just fine up to a point. Hell, if conditions are right I can even go to a shopping mall on Christmas Eve. A lot has to do with how much energy I have stored up. No concept describes how I feel better than the concept of energy. My energy is drained by being around lots of people, especially in smaller spaces. It runs me down, can give me a headache, makes my brain shut down. Introverts need alone time to “recharge their batteries”. I can relax and my brain starts working again. Extroverts are exactly the opposite. They get rundown when they’re alone. They are energized by being around other people.

Today at work seriously drained my lifeforce. Not completely, or I’d be dead. But pretty badly. It was literally like Superman and Kryptonite (Gah, how conceited – he thinks he’s Superman!). I think the fact that it happened on a Friday made it worse because it’s been building up all week. The temporary space that I’m in at work (for only one more week, thank God!) is right next to the door to the cubicle area. So every time someone leaves or exits the office they walk right by me. Arriving at work, coffee breaks, bathroom breaks, going to lunch, coming back from lunch, going to another office area, quitting time. Back and forth. What I can’t believe is how many people have to look at me as they walk by. I feel like I’m in a zoo or a fucking aquarium. Maybe it’s some universal human trait to just instinctively look at someone when you know they’re there. Whatever it is, I hate it.

At the place where I work we have a lot of people who are out in the field quite a bit, so most days it’s not too bad as far as the number of people that are around. Today sucked. Some lady who worked there for 28 years was having a retirement party, and the roaches came out of the woodwork. It was insane. I saw people I’ve never seen before. Which means I got to get stared at by whole new groups of people. Throw in the fact that a couple of people were around whose cumulative effect is more like 2 or 3 people each, and it was too much. I was going to try and finish my essay exam for one of my classes at work today. I tried, I really did, but it got to be too much. My brain just shut down. We have been given 2 hours of leave to use in the month of December at any time we want for “holiday activities”. Well, my activity was getting the hell out of there as soon as possible. I had to stop at the grocery on the way home, and I couldn't even stand to look at another human at that point. I’m still trying to ramp down, I’m still a little wound-up. I need to concentrate on finishing this test and relaxing.

I know this must sound very strange to some of you. I’m actually surprised sometimes by how much this type of thing can bother me. Maybe there is a mental component to it too, that now that I’m aware of this reaction I tend to exaggerate it. I can concede that. But the reaction is real. It’s just a part of who I am.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Season's Eatings

Someone at work sent me something via e-mail the other day that caught my attention. What they sent me was a set of coupons to Whataburger for something that they are calling "12 Days of Whataburger". "Happy Holidays From Everyone at Whataburger" it says. For those who don't know, Whataburger is a fast food chain here in the U.S. There is one coupon for each of 12 days that entitle the bearer to a free food or beverage item. I started looking at these coupons and I thought it might be interesting to see just how many calories one would consume if they were to really get into the spirit of the "12 Days of Whataburger" and use every last one of these coupons. That sounds like fun, doesn't it? (If you don't think so, just play along anyway!) Nutritional information is from Whataburger's own website.

  • Day 1 - Free Fried Pie - 230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 285 mg sodium
  • Day 2 - Free Medium French Fries - 400 calories, 20 grams of fat, 39 mg sodium (yeah, right!)
  • Day 3 - Free Breakfast On a Bun (make it sausage, it's free!) - 275 calories, 39 grams of fat, 1264 mg sodium (not a misprint! What a great way to start your active day!)
  • Day 4 - Free Fried Pie - 230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 285 mg sodium
  • Day 5 - Free 20 oz. Drink (make it a Dr. Pepper!) - 280 calories, 100 grams of fat (just kidding! it's really 0), 70 mg sodium
  • Day 6 - Free Justaburger - 320 calories, 16 grams of fat, 862 mg sodium
  • Day 7 - Free Taquito (sausage, egg, and cheese please!) - 450 calories, 28 grams of fat, 1134 mg sodium
  • Day 8 - Free Fried Pie (again? sheesh!) - 230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 285 mg sodium
  • Day 9 - Free Medium French Fries - 400 calories, 20 grams fat, 39 mg sodium (still not buyin' it)
  • Day 10 - Free Justaburger - 320 calories, 16 grams of fat, 862 mg sodium
  • Day 11 - Free Breakfast On a Bun - 275 calories, 39 grams of fat, 1264 mg sodium
  • Day 12 - Free 20 oz. Shake! (now you're talkin'!! What? Oh, chocolate!) - 1070 calories, 29 grams of fat, 472 mg sodium
  • Day 13 (I have no idea why there are 13 coupons, but there are) - Free Whataburger (Wow, the piece de resistance!) - 640 calories, 32 grams of fat, 1522 mg sodium

So the grand totals are: 5120 calories, 272 grams of fat, 8383 mg of sodium. I wonder if my diet can withstand this onslaught? Never has the word "Free" sounded so tasty!

Merry Christmas, Chocolate Brown!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

As The Worm Turns

OK peeps, this is going to make last night's post look like the biggest piece of melodrama ever.

It looks like I found a gig for next semester!

I can feel the eyes rolling already! But in my own defense I offer two pieces of information. The first is that I have been worrying about this for a bit longer than one day - I just didn't post about it until last night. And the other thing is that I think posting about stuff like that helps push me to do things I don't like to do. Knowing that there a few people out there who may be wondering: "Why the hell doesn't he pick up the phone already?!" helps me to do it. Part of it is support from you all, and part of it is kind of like a peer pressure thing. It makes it harder to procrastinate when you know that there are people out there wondering when I'm just going to get this over with already! (edited to add: I had also left a voice mail with someone 3 weeks ago, and they never called me back, which didn't exactly add to the ol' confidence.)

Anyway, I called the director of my local public library and explained the situation and asked if she would be willing to help me out. She was very nice and said that it sounds like something they can do. I'm not sure if it helped that she's a graduate of the same school that I am attending, but it certainly couldn't have hurt. So at least it looks like I can cross that off of the worry list!

It's amazing the difference that a good night's rest can make for me. I went to bed really early last night, and today I felt like a completely different person than yesterday. I plowed right through one of the assignments that I have to turn in this week, and obviously I found the cojones to pick up the phone. I didn't even need my afternoon coffee today. I know this is a truth that I have discovered several times since I started this blog, but maybe if I keep emphasizing it here it will sink in for good one of these days.

Really, y'all, thanks for your support, it means a lot to me.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Under Pressure

I'm starting to freak out a little about things that I have to do for school. This week is finals week. It will be busy, but not exceedingly difficult. I'm more worried about next semester. Next semester is supposed to be my last one, but there's a big "but". I have to have a certain amount of library experience before I get my degree. Since I have never worked in a library, that means that I have to find a job somehow. I really thought that the school would help me out more with this, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It appears as though I'm pretty much on my own. That means that I have to do maybe the one thing that scares me more than anything else in this world - I have to cold-call people and beg them for a job. "Hi. You don't know me, and I have no experience. Wanna give me a job?"

While it is to the employer's benefit that they don't have to pay me while I work there, the duties performed are supposed to be of professional-level. So since I have never worked in a library before that means that if someone decides to give me this experience they are going to have to give me a lot of training. So despite the fact that I come free-of-charge, they're going to have to take a lot of time out of their day to train my dumb ass. Who would want to do that? What's in it for them besides the good will of someone they may never see again?

Another sucky part is that I have to register for a class to log this experience. But they won't let me register for it until I have something lined up. So that means I have about a month to find something before it is too late to register. Otherwise I may have to tack on another semester. Although I guess if I find something between spring registration and the start of the summer semester and get the required work hours then I could apply for a waiver on the class. I'm not too thrilled with my advisor right now.

Considering that today I really screwed myself by not getting enough sleep (lowering my IQ by about, oh, 50 points or so), I'm going to bed now!


Sunday, December 02, 2007

At The Movies

Yesterday I went to see a movie for the first time in forever. I went to see No Country For Old Men. I thought it was really good. I had a reaction very similar to my reaction to two other Coen brothers movies, Fargo and The Big Lebowski. The first time I saw both of those films I liked them but I was also struck by this kind of "what. the. hell. was. that?!" feeling. Again, not in a bad way. Those two films are now among my all-time favorites. I don't know if it's me or the films, but there's something about them that makes them better with subsequent viewings, and NCFOM is no exception. I'm dying to see it again.

The actors in the movie are great. Tommy Lee Jones is Tommy Lee Jones. Javier Bardem is uber-creepy. Kelly MacDonald, who I've adored since Trainspotting and is Scottish as all get-out, nails the Texas accent. Josh Brolin is perfect as Llewelyn, and Woody Harrelson (who doesn't get enough recognition IMHO) is good too. It's quite violent, if violence in movies bothers you I would advise you to skip it.

Here's a trailer for your viewing pleasure: