Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Anywhoo, I read this book back in jr. high (though, having gone to 6-8th grade in Chicago, didn't actually go to Jr. High, but whatever). I remember being fascinated with this true story. It's so interesting to see into someone's inner thoughts. Unfortunately, as I was flipping through it, I realized that there was no way this book was written by an actual teenager. The voice just didn't sound true. So this morning I looked it up (I love the Internet) and sure enough, while it's never been 100 percent confirmed, the story is made up. The psychologist/"editor" of the book, Beatrice Sparks may have used patient stories to weave this cautionary tale, but the more you learn about her (she's a Mormon) and the other books she's written (fascinating tales and pseudo journals such as "Jay's Journal," "It Happened to Nancy," and "Annie's Baby: The diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager," you start to see a trend.
So now I'm starting to feel jipped, in the same way Oprah and the rest of the reading public felt jipped by "A Million Little Pieces" and James Frey. We like to peep into people's hidden lives, but we don't like to be lied to. Of course, it doesn't help that Beatrice also seems to have a bit of an agenda. The article on Snopes outlines all the ways the book not only makes it clear that drugs are bad, but that any part of the 60's counter culture and broken homes spells doom for teenagers.
Regardless of her agenda, I do find it interesting why we like to know private stuff about each other. Is this a cultural thing? Mr. H. generally ignores gossip and tabloids. Maybe it's because he's English. Of course, some of the best tabloids are from England, so that can't be it. Maybe it's just human nature. We want to know what makes other people tick so we can figure out what makes us tick. When I read memoirs, I know that my life isn't that bad or that crazy or that I'm at least normal (whatever that means).
Friday, December 21, 2007
I know, aren't they cute. I knit these bears for my nephews (Jack, George and Alexander - I realize that's three nephews and only two bears. One bear had just finished washing his fur and was in the middle of blowing it dry and so was not available for this picture). For my niece, Eva Kay, I'm kitting a rabbit. The brown bear is going to Jack, who lives in Cleveland. Notice he is Cleveland Browns colors. Mr. H. wrote this to go along with the bear:
Once upon a time, after the Brown's utter decimation of The Cincinnati Bengals on September 16, 2007, when Derek Anderson threw for 328 yards and 5 touchdowns and Jamal Lewis ran for a staggering 216 yards and one TD, this bear was discovered inside the winning game ball. Fearing the wrath of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, as well of the possibility of incurring hefty fines from the league itself, Romeo Crennel hid the bear in an earthen basket and set it adrift on the Cuyahoga river. Several weeks later it washed ashore in Chicago, having somehow managed to switch waterways entirely, and was found by [Melly] one Sunday afternoon directly following the Browns thoroughly convincing 8 to 0 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Fearful of vengeful and jealous acts of cruelty by a city whose football team has abandoned them to defeat and despair, she thought it best to send the young bear to a safe and loving home, far, far away. Of course, she immediately thought of you. So please take care of this bear, Jack. He has been through so much already. Give him a name. Teach him to maul. Love him dearly.
Happy Christmas, and GO BROWNS!
Isn't that cute? So like everyone else who tries to leave Cleveland, little brown bear is just going back. He begged me to stay, but I could not let him. I know that Jack will give him a good home. Better than I could. Any little bears in my household must do the dishes. I suspect Jack will mostly have him storming castles, eating lions and tackling footballs.
The other two bears are Chicago Bears colors. The bunny will be white with blue and orange ears. As you can see, I was very taken by the football spirit this Christmas (the football spirit is the lesser known spirit of Christmas that comes and shows you games your favorite team would have won had you been a better person and cared more about your employees and neighbors. Most CEO's don't really care about this spirit that much because they just bet against their team when they're loosing, still finding a way to make money off of someone else's misfortune, so it usually gets cuts from those popular stories and movies about the Christmas spirits.)
Those are all the gifts I knit this year. I tried to knit Mr. H. an XBox 360, but the pattern for knitting a circuit board is a little beyond my skills, and I couldn't find a yarn I liked. Maybe next year.
Monday, December 17, 2007
His assessment of the evening was "I think I stayed up to late" but he decided he'd sleep in the next day so no worries. He seemed to enjoy Santa and the Chicago police officer who was ticketing Santa and his sleigh for violating various city codes such as parking on a snow route, farm animals in city limits and causing a public disturbance. Mr. H. and my brother especially liked the wandering carolers and felt that wearing a cape was the way to go. However, they didn't buy Rudolf and couldn't see his motivation.
For my part, I thought last year's performance was better, but this may be because, unlike previous years, we were on the floor (third row) instead of the balcony. It was neat being able to see the dancers up close, but you don't get a really good view of the orchestra when you're on the floor. One of my favorite parts is watching the percussionists race around during Sleigh Ride, which has lots of sound effects - I love it when they make the sound of the snapping whip.
The best part, or one of the supposed best parts, is that they audience gets to sing along to certain carols. Mr. H. doesn't normally sing, however, this year he decided not only sing but do so in his best baritone voice (I think he was trying to impress the cape wearing caroler) much to the amusement of my sister and me (and I'm sure the people behind us). And while I have a lovely singing voice, I was a little shy this year being so close to the other carolers. Next year we'll be back in the balcony and I won't be afraid to belt it out!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Thank you all, and here's to a new year of blogging and blogging.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Have I mentioned Mr. H.'s love of all things zombie? I'm not sure what the deal is, some traumatic childhood experience possibly, that has led to this obsession. Maybe it's because he hails from a country that eats things like black pudding and haggis. Who knows. Anyway, he loves himself some zombie movies. Of course he's a fan of the father of all zombie movies, Night of the Living Dead, and all of the Living Dead series - but hey, who isn't? But he literally eats up any movie with a zombie in it - Pet Sematary, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Resident Evil, Slither. These are all pretty main stream variations on a theme zombie movies. Something happens, either man induced or extra terrestrial and people start to rise from the dead and start eating people. Not the best after dinner movie, but whatever.
Lately, however, he's been branching out into other zombie themes. Most notably animals as zombies. The sheep in Black Sheep become zombies because humans can not just leave well enough alone and must play around with sheep DNA, even going so far as to cross our own with theirs. This leads to rabid zombie sheep who when they bite you (and they do bite) turn you into one of them, hooves and all. This makes Black Sheep more of a zombie/weresheep movie. Fun for the whole family. Another recent zombie flick I've been force.. er enjoyed is Fido. Zombies in this movie have been tamed and now do all the jobs that only illegal immigrants currently do - housekeepers and yard workers. A boy takes his zombie and turns him into a pet, Fido, and, well as with all zombie movies, it just doesn't turn out well.
Anyway, I can't blame the zombie movies all on Mr. H., I mean, I do encourage him. A few Christmases ago I bought him the complete Living Dead series (even the remake of Dawn of the Dead - which is a personal favorite). This year for his birthday, I bought him glow in the dark zombie figurines. I only really complain about his zombie obsession when I wake up and find him gnawing on my leg.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I don't remember the first movie I watched. The first movie experience I do remember is seeing Star Wars at a drive in when I was five or six, which is probably one of the reasons I am such a movie fan. Can you imagine sitting in a car with a huge screen blasting the images of star ships at a six year old? I wish I can remember more about the experience, but all I remember is I was there and pretty much since that day forward I have loved movies. I like going to movies, but I also like just staying at home watching them. I like analyzing how this movie is similar to that writer's or director's other movies. I like picking apart the actors' performances. But most of all, I like just letting go of myself and watching someone else's life. This is probably why I am such a terrible (read do it all the time) eavesdropper. I like learning about other people's lives (even if those people are made up). That's why I'll watch the bad movies, the stupid movies, the sappy movies. They all allow me to get a glimpse of someone else's life.
Tonight Mr. H. and I aren't going to watch a movie but some episodes of Angel. This is another thing NetFlix is great for. Watching TV shows without the commercials. But don't worry. We have plans for Thursday night that do not involve a television set.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
There were many knee slapping moments in this movie (and I actually slapped my knee at one point). When Seth and Evan realize that they truly love each other and that it's OK, when Evan's would-be girlfriend tries to seduce him but ends up throwing up on him (ah teenage love) and when Seth ends up dancing with an older (read my age) woman at a party who ends up staining his jeans with blood (I'll let you guess how) - all of those moments were great. But, as happens in so many of these movies, the real talent and hilarity come in the secondary friend character. In this case it's the friend with the fake ID, Fogell. Played wonderfully nerdy by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Fogell changes his name to McLovin (one name) on his fake ID and well, pretty much from there the hilarity ensues. Fogell's genius nerd is on par with such nerd greats as Urkel and well, the entire cast of Revenge of the Nerds.
If you haven't seen Superbad, the DVD comes out on December 4. Get ready to curl up and relive your awkward phase.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I think I've mentioned here before that while I'm not a huge sports fan, I do enjoy the sports. I enjoy watching a winning team (which doesn't make living in Chicago right about now any fun) more than teams that lose (unless of course you happen to be a MLB team located on the South Side) - but that doesn't mean I don't still like to get out there and watch the Cubs and the Bears. In fact, watching the Bears last Sunday was pretty exciting wasn't it? I mean, I turned the TV over at half time because (a) they were loosing (b) Grossman was still throwing the ball (c) even when G. could actually throw the ball well, no one was catching it and (c) they were loosing. Mr. H. went to take a shower so I switched over to TBS and settled in to watch Stir of Echos. However, Mr. H. got out of the shower and insisted I switch it back. And get this, he's not even a Bears fan. He likes the Browns. Which is the team I've basically been watching all season (at least they have a decent record). And I support the Browns like they're my home team because Mr. H. likes them. I even purchased a Browns shirt to wear while watching the games (and also for Alexander's football-themed birthday party - put hey, it's gonna get lots of use). So yeah, even though in past years I haven't been that in to football other than when the Bears actually look like they're doing well, I've jumped aboard this year (my sister having the NFL ticket and a big screen TV hasn't hurt either 'cause I really hated going to smokey bars to watch Browns games with a bunch of drunken louts).
I've gotten into it so much, I kinda want to watch the Packers/Cowboys game tonight. And, since I have Dish Network, I will be able to, because I have the NFL network. But let me tell you, and this is only because I've been paying attention to the NFL this year, the NFL is really screwed up. Maybe this is old news to all you out there - but seriously. On Comcast cable, NFL network is an additional pay channel on its "Sports Tier" (actually, that's a Comcast issue - another one of my favorite companies). And on some other cable companies out there, you can have the NFL network on your lineup, but when the six or seven games a year that they broadcast solely on NFL network are on, you're stuck watching some History of the NFL show (I bet it's riveting). So add that to the whole not paying for their players pensions stuff and the NFL totally sounds like a company I want to run out and work for (maybe not as a tight end, but I could be one of those chain carrying guys).
Does this mean I'm going to protest and not watch the NFL? No. Why? Because, like I said, I'm a good supportive wife who indulges her husband's desire to watch sports (at least it's only some sports not EVERY sport) and even enjoys it. I'm good like that.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
As far as documentaries go, this wasn't the most insightful or interesting one, but it had its moments. Filmmaker Steve Anderson explored many sides of this controversial word from people who love it to people who hate it. We learn that it isn't derived from an acronym as so many people think, but has been in the English vocabulary for 100's of years as a term for sex. It would have been interesting to learn a little more about this history of the word - how it evolved from sexual connotations to an expletive, but the movie offered little more than just a brief overview.
We get a history of its inclusion in movies (first one MASH with one instance to the chart toppers of Scarface and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). Of course we got to watch video of Lenny Bruce (who my sister has no knowledge of but knows that he is "not afraid" and likes to sing that line of "It's the End of the World as We Know it" in her best Ethyl Merman voice - I guess you had to be there) and George Carlin expounding on the words you can not say on television and radio.
What this movie did well was interview people who had strong and interesting views on the word. It was fun to watch Pat Boone explain how this kind of language is harmful to children and no one should use it and then watch Ice-T decide that if he can't use the word fuck, he's going to turn "boone" into an expletive. The funniest by far had to be Billy Connolly expounding how much he loves the word and there is no English equivalent or definition - it just is.
Mr. H. and I are pretty much of the same mind about bad language not really being bad. That at times it's appropriate, and others it's not so much. My sister left before she could finish watching the movie, but we promised to talk about it more at Thanksgiving dinner, so that should be fun. Until then, fuck off!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Note: I have moved this poll to the right-hand area. There's still time to vote!
Below are some pictures of some of the items I'm considering, just so you know what you're voting for.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Last night Mr. H. and I watched Alpha Dog. It's one of those movies that is based on real events. Which just makes the whole thing sad. These thug kids who have grown up in the lap of luxury steal a kid because his brother owes them money. Over the course of the weekend, several people see and party with this stolen kid (even referring to him as the stolen kid) and don't do anything. To them it's a game. It's a game even to the stolen kid who thinks it's cool to hang out and drink and get high with these wannabe gangsters all the while believing his brother will pay the debt and save him. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a happy ending.
I remember when this movie came out and all I thought of it was that it was a vehicle for Justin Timberlake. He has a central part, but he's not the main bad guy, and he does a decent job. The main baddie's played by Emile Hirsch (who also plays Christophe McCandless in the recently released Into the Wild). He's a drug dealer who's got his friends out selling his drugs while he takes the profits. The brother with the debt is played by Ben Foster (who also played the crazy guy in 3:10 to Yuma). Once again he turns in a great performance. Unfortunately, his story line is never followed through on and we're left wondering what happened to him.
I didn't realize until the end of this movie that it's telling the true story of Nick Markowitz (the stolen boy) and Jesse James Hollywood (the drug dealer and yes, that's his real name). I know bad things happen, and people do bad things for no good reason. But it's interesting to me to think about these kids who seemingly had everything and choose a life of drug dealing and end up killing someone. Hollywood had apparently made enough money by the age of 20 that he paid cash for a $200,000 house. Where were their parents? Hell, where was the IRS?
As with all movies based on actual events, there are fudges and time lines that are changed. But the essence of this movie relates what really happened: these kids live in a very real, very dangerous world of drugs, but to them it's just a game. And everyone around them basically treated them like they were just kids having a good time. Someday they'd grow up. Unfortunately, one of them didn't get to and other's are growing up in jail.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Last night Mr. H. and I watched Idiocracy. A film by Mike Judge (did you know he was born in Ecuador - me either) staring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph. OK, so here's the deal - Wilson's character, a private in the army, likes to shirk duty, so he gets signed up for this experiment where he's going to be frozen for a year. Rudolph, a prostitute, is the female counterpart in this little experiment. Of course, things go horribly wrong and they end up being frozen for 500 years. Well 2506 is not the flying car future of our dreams (of course, neither is 2007, but that's another post). Seems everyone has gotten pretty stupid over the preceding 500 years because well the smart people aren't reproducing and the less that smart people are. When Luke wake's up, he's literally the smartest person on Earth.
Out of my say dozen friends my age, only two of those friends have kids. All the rest of us (maybe not the smartest people out there - but not among the less smart) are either still thinking about it, or not planning on having kids. Now, I don't have any friends I would consider "less smart" so I can't really speak to whether or not those people having more kids. But I definitely do feel sometimes that there is a dumbing down of the world. Sometimes I feel dumber, but that's probably all the dumb TV I watch. Anyway, even if the "smart" people aren't having kids, are we really getting out there and helping to leave no child behind or are we just sitting around watching our big screen TVs and hoping these problems take care of themselves?
I think this is the point Judge was trying to make with this movie. Unfortunately, the scathing wit he used to make Beavis and Butthead and Office Space was dumbed down just a little bit too much.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Speaking of the basement, the family that lives in the garden apartment have decorated as much as the little steps and landing area leading to their apartment (and the laundry room) will allow. There's cobwebs, dead bodies, talking skeletons and other creepy stuff that is just one more reason to not do one's laundry. There are kids that live in the apartment, but I'm sure that was just the excuse the adults needed to decorate.
Halloween is a weird holiday. It's strange to dress your kids up and then let them go out begging for candy from strangers. We were the kids that usually had homemade costumes. We ran the gamut from hobos to mummies. And we never missed a Halloween. One year it as raining so much, our mom took us door to door in the car. It seems silly now, but back then, it was essential. Now I'm too old to go trick-or-treating unless I'm with a little kid. Good thing I have two nephews and a niece.
If you've got access to little ones, grab 'em and enjoy the candy. If not, at least put on a spooky mask and scare your neighbors.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Speaking of living in this city, lately I've been wondering if it really is that great of an option anymore. I mean (a) the city's raising taxes (b) the county's raising taxes (c) the state's raising taxes and (d) services are being cut. I know it's simplistic, and generally I'm all for more taxes to pay for services. But I'm just not seeing it. Plus, I totally don't trust our current administration to spend those taxes wisely. Apparently all of our money in Chicago/Cook County/Illinois just goes to grease someones palm (and it sure ain't mine). But where's a girl to move? I'm not sure I can handle larger than Chicago (so New York and L.A. are out). But I want metropolitan. Somewhere you can live and work in the city. So what does that leave me? Philadelphia? Boston? I'm open to ideas.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Tonight, Mr. H. and I are off to eat dinner at some bar/restaurant. You get a little money (5 bucks) but basically it's a free meal. And since we're trying to spend less money going out, doing these occasional dinners as places we've never eaten at before sounds like fun. I'll let you know how it goes.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
So I did a Google map of my route. You can see it here.
So today I'm going to describe my ride from my house to Milwaukee Ave. (Follow along the map if you like).
Once I leave my apartment, get downstairs, get my bike from the basement, and hop on, I head East on Altgeld. Atlgeld is a one-way street between Fullerton and Wrightwood. Wrightwood has a shared bike lane on it, but since it's early, I just head down Altgeld to Kedzie. The only problem with riding down Altgeld is it is a narrow one way street. If there is a car behind me, I have to get over as far as possible to let them pass. If I don't do this quick enough, I will invariable get honked at or the car will pass so close to me I think they're trying to knock me over. But, I usually leave my apartment by 6:45 a.m., so there are not too many drivers.
After five blocks on Altgeld, I reach Kedzie. One of the pretty city boulevards, it's usually pretty easy to zip past this four lane street and onto Albany. Albany is a cute little quiet street that curves from Kedzie to Fullerton. It has a light at the end of the street, so it's easy for me to make the left turn on to Fullerton. After making the left, I'm on Fullerton for all of one-and-a-half blocks. I have to say, this is sometimes the worse part of my commute. Fullerton has no bike lane on it. It also has drivers that expect to be going over 30 and apparently don't have time to slow down for a bike. What makes it even more interesting is that in a couple of places, after Sacramento for example, the right lane gets pretty narrow, so cars have to go into the other lane to get around me (if there are cars parked, which there always are). I usually get honked at while riding down this stretch. Once I get closer to Milwaukee, a lot of cars will pass by me closely as they are speeding up to get in front of me to make the right on to Milwaukee. I always try to signal that I'm turning right, but it doesn't seem to matter.
All-in-all, my ride to Milwaukee takes about 10 minutes. I hope reading about it was as fun as it was riding it this morning. I'd like to make this series of posts interactive. Feel free to ask me questions about my commute and I'll respond to them.
Tomorrow: Milwaukee Ave. - Does having a bike lane make riding easier?
Monday, October 1, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
So the premise is, Agnes (Ashley Judd - who would have thought she'd be in something so bizarre as this) is a screwed up, alcoholic woman who's getting mysterious phone calls from no one and meets a similarly screwed up Peter (Michael Shannon). They both descend into the depths of paranoia because of a perceived bug infestation. They think it's a minuscule Aphid (a type of plant lice).
Obviously not a happy movie, I spent the first 40 minutes or so wondering why this woman hated her life so. Other than her perfectly arched eyebrows, Ashley looked pretty screwed up. We then find out that several years ago, someone kidnapped her six-year old son and he was never found. Sure, that's going to screw with a girl. Throw in a ex-husband (played by Harry Connick Jr.) who was recently released from jail, like to hit and doesn't ask before he steals money and cigarettes out of her purse, and you're bound to go a little crazy. To make matters worse, she lives in Oklahoma.
I watched the second half of the movie cringing and marveling at the shared craziness. When it was over (not a happy ending - that's all I'll say), I looked at Mr. H. with what was apparently disgust and incredulousness because all he could say is "what?" like he didn't know. Now, aside from the grossness of this movie (which normally doesn't bother me - maybe it's just the idea of tiny little bugs crawling all over my skin), I thought it was pretty good. And I like movies that make you think. Maybe they're not really making it all up. What if there is some sort of conspiracy? And I usually like movies that don't really have a point other than to tell a story. And tell a story this one does. It's a watning to (1) never live in Oklahoma (b) always watch your children while you're in the grocery store and (3) don't let strange men who may or may not have been experimented on by the government stay overnight.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
It was fun. I and the other special people (mostly grandparents, but also some nannies, aunts and uncles as well as a few moms and dads) got to hear a story about the hello/goodbye window and do the head, shoulders, knees and toes song with the kids. If you're ever invited to a Special Persons day, I highly recommend you go.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My regular readers know that I recently started riding to work. And, if you pay attention to my little "how much money have I saved by riding to work" section, you'll notice that I don't ride to work every day. There are various reasons for this. Back in August, There were some sweltering days I just didn't want to ride (a bad reason, but a reason none the less). Other days I may have something to do after work that would be difficult with the bike (never drink and ride). Other days, like today, I wanted to ride my bike to work but just couldn't get the motivation up. And frankly, after reading the story in the paper and hearing about the girl killed by the garbage truck, there are days I'm just not into risking my life. Which is why I have a couple of rules for myself that make my riding experience safer.
I like to leave early in the morning to beat most of the traffic downtown. While there are more cyclists on Milwaukee Ave. in the 7 a.m. hour, I find it much less stressful to leave the house by 6:15 or 6:30 a.m. This way I don't have to deal with as many cars, and frankly, I don't have to deal with as many cyclists who don't seem to care about the other cyclists on the road any more than they care about the cars on the road. Leaving this early means I get to work early, but I go to the gym to shower there. However, this pretty much means getting everything ready the night before - what I want to wear, my toiletries and lunch. Someday I'll work at an office that doesn't require me to dress nicely. Maybe it'll be OK for me to be slightly sweaty in jeans or shorts. But for now, the office requires business casual (emphasis on the business) attire.
My other rule is I try to leave the downtown area later. This usually means gonig to the gym after work (how much exercise can one woman take?). I've ridden home during rush hour, and let me tell you, it's just not fun. Every one is eager to get home and in addition to the cars, there are a lot of other cyclists out there, who, as I said earlier, don't seem to give a hoot about the other riders.
Other than that, I just try to go at an easy pace, not get distracted and not worry about all the other riders who pass me by. I know I can go fast if I wanted to. I'd rather get home safe and sound.
Tomorrow, the first half of my ride to work!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Alas there is no real mystery of why the Cézanne is being sold (unless you're like me and have no idea why someone would buy an expensive painting just to keep it hidden away). But the chase for it leads through some interesting descriptions of wonderful meals (Mayle seems to love France and its food). I wasn't disappointed in this book, but I wasn't in love with it. The end left me a little flat as it just seemed to end and so I wasn't sure exactly why I started.
Then I remembered, I started because this is one of the books Mr. H. has that I haven't read and I needed something to read. Funny thing is, Mr. H. has never even read this book (and now probably won't). When I told him I was reading it and didn't understand the inscription in the book he told me its story. Apparently a while ago he was at a bar with his sister Andrea. While sitting having a drink, another patron of the bar started chatting with Mr. H. Apparently he was smitten and rushed home to return with this book. He said it was his favorite and Mr. H. must read it. The inscription inside says: To J... Bon Appetit. Steve Z.
Well Steve. Thanks for giving Mr. H. this book so I had something to read on the train.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Mr. H. and I watched Hot Fuzz last night. It was funny. It's by those guys that made Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. If you've seen Shaun, then you'll notice the several references to it. At one point, Simon's character, Nick, takes a short cut over several gates. He does it with the expertise of a well-trained gate jumper. In Shaun, he takes a similar short cut, falling over the gates. As in Shaun, the stupid mundane things become funny. But, as with my last review, sitting at my desk the day after watching the movie (OK, it's really three days after watching the movie because it's actually Wednesday, not Monday like I said it was at the top of this post - but don't tell anyone) I can't remember anything really funny that would totally want to make you watch this movie. Just trust me, it's funny. I watched the outtakes and some of the cut scenes the next day (which would be impossible for me to tell you if this was really Monday as it wouldn't have happened yet, but since it's Wednesday, it's totally possible), they were funny too. All in all I give this a big NetFlix it. Mr. H. has already added Shaun of the Dead to our at home collection, so I could see this joining it. Of course, this one doesn't have zombies, just weird old towns people killing other towns people because they are spoiling the perfectness of said town (which is why little English towns are so cute) - so that may keep this one off the list of must owns. But it's definitely a movie I could see wanting to watch again - so possibly an own it.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
What I was really impressed with was every one's accents. Now, relative newcomer Dallas Roberts is from Houston (go figure) so I'm not that overly impressed with his southern/western accent. Bale continues to astound me with his ability to not sound Welsh. And Crowe was not only impressive with his accent, but this is the first movie in a while that he's been in that I thought he did a really good job in. Now I remember why I like him as an actor.
OK, so the accents are the best part of this movie. But I keep forgetting to take my notebook with me whenever I see a movie so I can write a decent review. I wasn't dissapointed other than with the ending (which I won't spoil) but it's not too much of a surprise. Overall, I give this a go to if you have the time and a definite rent.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
The movie's supposed to be a comedy while keeping you guessing about who is really conning who (oh, did I mention the plot is that Owen and his girl are going to rip off her lover except you're not really sure who is actually conning who - I guess I forgot since it's a typical Leonard plot). There were few laughs and I actually figured out the con well before you were supposed to (which is saying something because normally I'm pretty obtuse about that kind of stuff).
Overall, don't rent it, don't even bother to DVR it when it comes on HBO. Just skip it all together unless you have a specific reason to see it like you're trying to watch every Sinise movie ever made (in which case, my thoughts are with you on this one).
Friday, August 31, 2007
Well, after all this time I'm going back, and taking Mr. H. with me. It's the Merc's annual Great America outing, and as customers of the Merc, we're eligible to buy tickets. I've hear it's so much cooler when there aren't millions of people at the park, just thousands. My sister's been to with the Merc before, and she said it was pretty cool. Also, my mom and my brother are coming with us. Little bro J. has never been on a roller coaster (not an adult must be over 54 inches one anyway). Now that he's over 72 inches, I don't think we'll have a problem getting him on the rides. So, maybe it's a bad idea and it'll end badly. Maybe I'll end up getting woozy like I did last time. Maybe Mr. H. won't care that all of humanity isn't represented, it's still humanity and he hates it. Maybe J. will be a scaredy cat and not go on any of the roller coasters. And maybe my mom will throw out her back. But that's not stopping me from being excited!
Monday, August 27, 2007
- The Jetta is tired now that it's hit 100,000 miles and is trying to dissuade us from driving
- The Jetta knows how expensive gas is and is just trying to save us a few bucks
- The Jetta misses the Lakeview neighborhood (and hates the Logan Square where we routinely only see one other Jetta) and so is prohibiting us from leaving
Unfortunately for the Jetta, and fortunately for us, there are locksmiths. We left the car there (being a Sunday we didn't want to pay Sunday locksmith prices) and my sister gave us a ride home (harking back to my no car days). Today, Mr. H. met the locksmith there and he opened the door (without, I imagine, the help of a rock - which was my idea on how to get the car door open). Now it's on to the shop to fix the locks (probably both since it's obviously a bad idea to have only one working lock) and to coax yet a few more miles out of our Beat up Old Jetta-liner.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
in front of the school
they flutter in the wind
scattered by some unknown force
the teasing bully
the frustration of learning
the joy of knowledge
the school year is too new
for these notes to be here
they are still needed
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The Jetta's not in perfect shape - we can only unlock the car from the passenger side, getting into first can be sticky, the rear right door doesn't open at all (nor does it have an interior covering) and the truck opening button inside the car only works every once in a very great while (having it work was one of the highlights of our anniversary weekend) - but it's still a good little car.
We tried to name it after we got it from my sister and brother-in-law. But Mr. H. has had a couple of Jetta's, so all the good names were taken: Joan Jetta, Bennie and the Jetta's, so we never did it. Now she's getting on in age and probably won't last much longer...or she shouldn't last much longer. She's been in the family for several years now, and there's some talk of teaching my brother to drive stick on her because really, how much more could he screw up the transmission? But for now, Mr. H. and I are holding on to her until she stops running or we feel we must get a new car.
PS - Sorry D - I'll write something new tomorrow.
PPS - That's not a picture of our Jetta, just another '95 I found online.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Mr. H. and I watched a movie the other night, The Science of Sleep. It's a good movie, but it's French. Which isn't a bad thing. But, having to work with a stereotypical French man every day, my tolerance level of French weirdness is apparently somewhat strained. On the good side, it has Gael Garcia Bernal in it. If you don't know who he is, you should check out his movies. He's been in the Motorcycle Diaries, and Y tu mama tambien, and Amores perros. He's a wonderful actor in some great movies. He's also very pleasant to look at.
As you probably know by now, I really like watching movies (and not just ones with cute leading men). There are some movies I think are close to perfect and there are other movies that are just entertaining. Rarely do I find a movie I actually can't stand. However, the other night Mr. H. insisted on watching Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - that awful Kevin Costner film that came out in '91. I can't believe how bad it is. I knew it was bad, I'd already seen it back then, but it's really bad. Costner in NO WAY has an English accent, the plot is almost as ridiculous as the costumes, and did I mention Costner's accent? Anyway, less than half way through I left the room in disgust. Mr. H. gave up a little while later, but that was just because it was time to go to bed. A few days later, he tried again...but after half an hour he conceded that much like Waterworld, this was not Costner's finest work.
How does one live down a truly horrendous movie? I mean, Costner had some good movies - Dances with Wolves (which actually came out just the year before RH), Bull Durham is one of my favorite baseball movies, and you already know I like The Untouchables. He was also in Night Shift as Frat Boy #1 - so he can't be all bad. But really, some of the crap he's done since then. Has it just become a pay check for him (which really, can I fault him because it's not like I'm out there trying to win any Academy Awards for my job - but then again, I don't quite have as much control over my job as I imagine him to have).
So who can say what kind of movies I'd be making if I had continued along my acting path that I took up in grade school instead changing my major to journalism. Would I be making wonderfully provocative yet somewhat annoying French films or banal, useless big budget Hollywood movies? Who knows, maybe I'd be big in Bollywood.
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