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My Working Vacation

A summer spent between work and the weekends


I do not like summer. I don't like winter, either, but at least in winter a person can add sweaters, socks, blankets and hot water bottles to said person's person to get warm. In summer, the only way to cool off is to remove items from one's person, thereby making all other persons in the vicinity uncomfortable. No one wants to see that.

So, this summer I have decided that I will leave early in the morning to get to the swank, air-conditioned Boise Weekly digs. After soaking up all the coolness I can, I will leave late in the evening and race home where it is not so swank, but is also air-conditioned. I will continue this mode of early morning/late evening venturing to avoid the hotness as much as possible. But, what about weekends? I can't work all the time in the BW office complete with air-conditioning (that I don't have to pay for). I think I have a solution. When I'm not working, I am going to spend my days off writing, reading, and watching a little television. Well, I'll probably write a little, read a little and mostly watch television. OK. OK. Honestly. If I write anything, it will probably be a grocery list and if I read anything it will probably be WIRED magazine. Not that I don't want to better myself, but there are a lot of movies and TV shows out on DVD. I think I should take some time this summer to catch up on the ones I've missed. And that's just what I plan to do.

Coming out May 17 is Team America: World Police. In this gem of a flick by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, superheroes must protect the world by destroying terrorism. This fine film stars a cast of marionettes voiced by the likes of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Alec Baldwin (Dr. Jed Hill in the 1993 thriller Malice, Peter Hoskins in the 1992 classic Prelude to a Kiss and 'Cucumber' Frank de Marco in 1988's Married to the Mob), Dian Bachar (nervous tech in 1999's Galaxy Quest, studio tech in 2000's Rocky and Bullwinkle, Squeak Scolari in BASEketball) and Kristen Miller (Cindy in 2000's Cherry Falls, Princess Stevenson in the television series That's My Bush!, and a notable appearance in Son of the Beach: Silence of the Clams as Hottie McDaniel).

Also on May 17, if there are any copies left when I get to the rental place, I will be able to bring home White Noise. This suspense-thriller stars Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, Multiplicity, Gung Ho) as a man who believes his wife is trying to communicate with him through his hi-tech home appliances by using static. While trying to keep the dead missus online, he leaves the door open for some nasty evil spirits. Scary.

Some lesser known, but equally anticipated releases include Alone in the Dark starring Christian Slater (sweet) and Tara Reid (sheesh). This beauty is a horror film. A detective of the paranormal investigates a mysterious death on Shadow Island where ancient demons are planning a big reunion tour. Black Cadillac, with the effervescent Randy Quaid, also promises to be a fabulous film noir offering this riveting plot line: Three friends fight for their lives when their car breaks down on a deserted mountain road. As if that weren't enough, soon these pals along with the local deputy sheriff, are stalked on the mountain by (no, really), a black Cadillac. Oh, it gets better ... THIS IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY. I will watch this film but only because I'm trying to find a movie worse than Clifford (a1994 stinker starring Martin Short and Charles Grodin). Black Cadillac just might be it.

Many television series are now available on DVD, so I am going to make up for the hours spent in high school or college studying, and go rent me some o' these. I'll start with 1980's Remington Steele: Seasons 1-3, starring the dashing Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist (who's been in almost as many made-for-television movies as Patty Duke-Astin, Sally Field and Valerie Bertinelli). For when I'm feeling a little more daring, there's Night Gallery: The Complete 1st Season. For my funny bone, I have plenty of options: There's The Office, a British mockumentary written in part by and starring comedian Ricky Gervais, Seinfeld: Seasons 1-3, Kids in the Hall: Season 2 or Strangers with Candy. For more serious moments, I'll pick up Star Trek: Season 2, The Commish: Season 1, or Doctor Who: The Patrick Troughton Years and The William Hartnell Years. If I want to feel like a kid again, I'll get The Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2, Transformers: Season 1, The New Zoo Revue (remember Henrietta Hippo, Charley Owl and Freddie the Frog?), and Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Last, but never, never least, I just discovered that the ABC Afterschool Specials are out on DVD. Oh, joy! With titles like Sara's Summer of the Swans, The Skating Rink and Francesca's Baby, I may never leave the house.

So, family and friends, if you need me on any given weekend this summer, I won't be hard to find. I'll be on the couch with a giant glass of iced tea, a bag of barbecue-flavored potato chips, the air-conditioner running full blast (even though I have to pay for it) and my thumb poised over the volume button on the DVD remote.