Friday, January 1, 2016

I Spy with my little eye ...

New Year's last year entailed viewings of I, Frankenstein and I Origins, which both ended up being among the worst movies I saw in 2014.

Ending 2015 with I Spy was much better.

Okay, not actually I Spy -- that was a 2002 movie starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. It was just Spy, Paul Feig's Melissa McCarthy vehicle which I'd already seen and knew I loved. My wife hadn't yet seen it, though, which made it the perfect way to close out a New Year's Eve in which we didn't even land at the airport until after 6 p.m., and didn't have our kids in bed until more than two hours later. At that point, some laughter was really needed.

(And now you know why I haven't posted any of my typical year-end thought pieces: We were in Tasmania visiting my mother-in-law from the 26th onward, and I'd left my new computer back home. Oh yeah -- did I mention that my hard drive did actually die, which I forecasted in this post?)

Why was laughter so direly needed? Well, we returned home to discover that our power was off. It wasn't a power outage, mind you. It was just our power.

We can't say it was entirely a surprise. Our power had gone out earlier in the week of Christmas, and we'd needed an electrician to come out and set things straight. He blamed a slug in a wall outlet, which seems a bit farfetched, but we were willing to accept any explanation at that point. Really, it's just that our electricity in this house is faulty, a fact you can blame either on it being an old house or on the person who did the renovations cutting corners for budgetary reasons. Anyway, we're only renting this place so there isn't a lot we can do about it.

The problem with the power going out when you're out of town for six days is that you have no idea how long it's been out, and how tainted the food in your refrigerator is. Do you lose only the frozen foods and dairy products, or also your various sauces and other things that can last a little longer without a direct application of cold? By touching various things and finding them still mildly chilled -- on a day that approached 100 degrees in Melbourne, mind you -- we determined that it had probably only been that day that the safety had tripped. (And fortunately, the power did come back on just by resetting it, and has remained on for the 12 hours since then. Can you imagine having to summon an electrician on December 31st at 8 o'clock at night?) But we did have to dump a bunch of stuff, and I had to beat feet out to the grocery store to purchase some much-needed necessaries before a potential early New Year's Eve closure. Which was just as well, because I had to pick up Spy anyway -- and it meant I didn't have to corral two over-excited kids for their bedtime.

And even though chaos reigned in the first 90 minutes we were home, the kids gave us a New Year's miracle by both going to sleep without any trouble, and by about 9:15 we were settling in to Spy -- whose nearly two-hour running time would take us up to the stroke of midnight quite nicely, factoring in breaks, without anyone worrying about succumbing to pre-2016 exhaustion. 

And yes, we laughed quite a bit -- me for the second time, her for the first.

"I spy with my little eye" was actually relevant to our trip, as that was the game we played as we traveled the east coast of Tasmania with my wife's mother for the past week. Unbelievably, it was a game both my kids could play, even though the younger one just turns two today. It sounded more like "Ispymy" when he said it, but he delivered a setup and answer, just as the game would dictate -- though he didn't quite get that he was supposed to make us guess what he was spying. He just wanted to tell us what he spied. Which for a two-year-old is still quite good.

We had quite a nice time on the trip, staying in two different beach towns, going on a glass bottom boat, seeing an echidna crossing the road, spotting two different huntsman spiders within the space of about six hours (both inside the place were staying), going swimming at the beach on two different days (well, I swam at least, as the water was too cold for everyone else), eating lots of good food and admiring lots of natural wonders. It was a low-key time (in which I managed to watch only two movies!), but it was probably just what the doctor ordered after a very busy December.

Thoughts on the year just ended? Well, none right now, I guess. But don't worry. There will be plenty of that in the coming weeks, with my 2015 rankings a mere two weeks away now. 

Time to get back to reality ... and watching as many more 2015 releases as I can stand before then. 

No comments: