Thursday, August 20, 2009

Holmes, wait! I know why the bear is white!

What's that great line we got off Rotten Tomatoes?

"Pass the Vaseline and clear the row in front of me."

And again, no one's saying this is going to be any good.

But sir, it is wafer thin!

My orientation professor made a "wafer thin" reference yesterday and I think I was the only one who got it.

But I write that line because in the Financial Times this morning (which is dutifully delivered to our door and no one else's every morning, whatever), there was a cool article about how Pepsi is about to start doing video ads in print media; very Harry Potter, the FT thought.

Also, randomly, my favorite moment of the day...wait no, I have two. First of all, we're sitting in a large room with about 120 people for a little seminar/Q&A on what to expect, and they're warning us about the dangers of stress and the ominous path it leads you down. She said, and I quote:

"People start drinking more and doing more cocaine..."

Everyone totally looked around like, "Did she really just say that?" Because I try to keep my coke use respectable. (I'm sure it was not how it was intended, but we still made jokes about it later.)

In the same session, during the Q&A, when people invariably mutter the question, one person brazenly, loudly asked, "Does the health center give out free condoms?"

There were a couple snickers, but what was priceless was the answer. He said yes, they have tons and tons. But apparently one of the admin for health services came in one day and said, "These condoms suck!" And she went out and spent money on different shapes, sizes, textures, flavors, you name it. And they don't put those out in dishes, so if you want the good stuff you have to ask.

And that was what I learned today.

I haven't found my pennies yet.

Ok, so a couple weeks ago, my mom and I went to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord. Concord is about twenty minutes away by car. We went on a Sunday morning, and though it was still "the season," a couple shops were closed (I'm looking at YOU, little candy store). But it was a cute little town and it was a great morning (weather-wise) to wander around the cemetery.

Including a family ancestor, Daniel Chester French, the graveyard is where a lot of other very cool people are buried...

I'm sure it's just because they can't lump him in with the literary group, but I like that he gets his own sign.

He was also the hardest to find, since he's up on a hill near the beginning of the graveyard. A local walking her dog pointed us in the right direction. The whole place is still worth seeing...

Great moss and great mushrooms.

This was just kinda creepy...

A lot of the graves have markers if they fought in a war. I'm really not used to being in graveyards that go back this far:

As for the famous graves, people seem to have made it customary to leave certain things on them. Like twigs on Thoreau, pennies on French's (Lincoln penny)...I forget who gets what and apparently no one else can get it right, either:

And I'm not sure why Hawthorne gets a big piece of driftwood. I can't say anything nice about this one anyway, so let's move on...

Difficult to shoot, but Emerson had a giant plot for the whole family.

Thoreau had the busiest grave by far, and rightly so. You can't see it, but there are also little notes written in Japanese under a wood block.

And last but not least, the long flat grave belongs to Daniel Chester French.

Here, people seem to get the penny thing right.

But some people still leave dimes. Are they making a wish or what?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We're here, we're queer...and we're on TV!

Let's see. I briefed a case and sent it to my orientation professor and then I joined the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Bar Association.

I think that's enough productivity for the day. Beers, anyone?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm going to get chip faced.

I will have an actual post soon, I swear. I still have cool pics I have not posted!

But it's getting hotter and I have to go somewhere before it gets too gross out where I can study. Well, read. We have pre-orientation crap to do, yay. By Tuesday.

I saw Funny People the other day, and it wasn't bad. I usually can't stand Adam Sandler, but this was a nice middle ground for him. Not stupid and not SERIOUS. The movie, however, had a hard time mixing poignant and humorous. It wasn't that it couldn't decide what to be, it just didn't mix them well.

(I was trying to think of a movie that does, and the only one I can think of that does it effortlessly is In Bruges. That is seriously a great movie.)

But in any case, I did like all the actors in Funny People and while it was an enjoyable viewing, it was much longer than I anticipated. It also didn't help that the premise of the film as I understood it was dealt with by the middle of the film, leaving me wondering why it was still on and how long it was going to dawdle on the remaining issue, which was far less interesting.

So I recommend for DVD viewing, to be honest.

But what was much harder for me to watch was a trailer that came before. I know I always grumble about how hard it will be to sit through "the new Sandra Bullock movie" but usually I'm up for some good guilty pleasure.

This is not one of those. This "offensive" too blunt?

Let me just be one of many to say right off the bat: can you fucking imagine if the sexes were switched? And even as it is, this is just not cool.

Most rom-coms of the "desperately seeking soul-mate" variety are bad enough as it is, perpetuating the nauseating notion of impossible romantic scenarios, bad dialogue and matching chocolate Labs, but when they veer into stalker territory in a seemingly celebratory fashion...well, as Tim Gunn would say, it worries me.

Who knows, maybe I'm reading the trailer wrong.

And speaking of creepy, I just wrote all that and then the trailer played behind me on the TV in here. You'll be relieved to know it's actually coming out in September, rather than March.

Ok, today I'm picking up fresh figs at the grocery store I found yesterday near school. Far more interesting, actually, was the frozen meat section, including but not limited to: yak, llama, caribou (!), wild boar (YUM), and for the win: iguana. And it really looked like the big fat iguana tail shrink wrapped on the white styrofoam platter that it was.

And HOORAY for the season 3 premiere of Mad Men tonight!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I have scruples, I got some for Christmas.

Dear John Cusack,

I'm pretty sure you can never make me hate you. That doesn't mean you don't like to try.

I mean, you know, I'll still watch. It just means I have til November to find a theater that sells beer.

Still trying to forgive you for Pushing Tin,
Ellen Aim

So despite Potter's 2 hr 33 min runtime, my AMC theatre yesterday still chose to run seven trailers with it. I do enjoy me some trailers, but especially considering the type that generally go in front of a kid-type film (not that this really is, but "they" don't care), meh, not always.

Two exceptions. First, as Veloute posted, Where the Wild Things Are looks really, really promising. Totally got my fingers crossed. Second, for a simpler, cheesy fix, I have to say I'm really looking forward to the first (good?) Disney 2D flick in a quite a long time:

And then at the end, strangely, mixed in while all the kid-type previews, they still threw this in:

(Again, I really want to like this. Even though it looks like RDJ doing himself in an SNL skit.)

Please don't suck. And I think I'm really getting tired of Jude Law, so I'll try to work on that, kthxbai.

Monday, August 10, 2009

You... just... know.

Hooray! I FINALLY got off my ass and watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Alan Rickman made everyone in my theatre giggle with his awesomeness, most notably on the subject line.

I enjoyed it more as it went along, which was nice since often they feel rushed towards the end. It goes without saying I enjoy them most when I am not fresh off a reading of the book. But ever since the 3rd movie, they've been doing a fairly decent job, all things considered. (The first two movies simply don't exist--and yes, I'm looking at you, Chris Columbus.)

I also don't want to jinx it, since the first few scenes with the kids were still kinda painful, but Emma Watson is doing much better than usual. Some of it really can be chalked up to bad lines, but not all of it...

What's wrong with you, I gave you car smile.

I am still alive! Just getting first class assignments taken care of (orientation is next week) and making sure I have all my textbooks. I have to get my student ID and take my laptop in for its certification to be used in the building. It's going to be 90 or 94 today, so I may do the computer one tomorrow.

(I know, I know, this Dentonite is going to be wishing it was 94 in a couple months, I have no doubt.)

But I DID print out the form to register to vote. So I am remembering to do some random things and not others. I also need to call my local police department to get a Firearms Identification Card. For my pepper spray. I had no idea about this, my mom clued me in, since MA is one of the (what, two?) states that require this.

I had a lot of fun with my mom being here last week--got to do lots of Boston things and eat some great Boston food. She got in on a Friday afternoon and after my first easy success of picking someone up at the airport (it's weird to live in a city where the airport is not only IN the city but is actually a fairly short distance away), we dropped off everything at the apartment and headed to the North End for dinner...and dessert.

Salem and Hanover seem to be the major roads into Little Italy, but it's more tempting to stray off the beaten path in hopes of lesser-known yet somehow cheaper fare. The restaurants over here are not terribly cheap. On the other hand, there are a bunch of yummy pastry shops that are (considering the delectables they sell).

The woman ahead of us giggled when I was (audibly) having a hard time deciding. It's a lot like being 5 and in a giant stuffed animal shop.

These were the four winners. The cheesecake is divine but I'm going back for the key lime tart. I can make cheesecake, y'know, but that tart has these little pistachio discs that are ridiculously cute and tasty. The green thing is filled with mascarpone cheese and about five other people needed to help us eat it. And of course, the essential cannoli.

To be fair, I did attempt a lemon meringue pie the other day and it was such a disaster. I usually do well with desserts but this was an all-around suck. The crust was kinda pathetic. Then the lemon part wasn't the right viscosity despite my having cooked it to 190 and the meringue seemed to have stiff peaks but then didn't cook right (so I guess it wasn't). It was spectacular. Oh well, next time.

Then I made udon noodles and those sucked, too. So I left the house for dinner.

Anyway. Back to our story. The day after my mom arrived, Saturday, we went whale watching. First, however, we wandered up to the Harvard campus for food and walking. We chose a much-praised Indian place called Tamarind. Don't. Tough chicken, lukewarm food...the onion fritter things and na'an and potatoes were good, but meh. They were totally coasting on their rep, it was lame.

Harvard was nice, but I can't say I was impressed. Seriously, after Cornell's campus...nothing will top that. But I bet the area is nicer when the leaves are turning. Oh, and great library, natch.

I did sort of giggle to notice their dorms are just as shitty as everyone else's. It was sort of depressing and I'm not even attending.

Some buildings are still pretty great though, check out the doors...

And then while we were walking to dinner (Legal Seafoods) by the wharf/aquarium, we ran into THE WORLD'S FATTEST, CUTEST BUN:

I really don't know what his "job" was, but the little girl just mumbled something about him being a "bad bunny," to me while clearly completely enamored, so that's anyone's guess.

Ok, back to playing with textbooks. Joy.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Naked blonde walks into a bar with a poodle under one arm, and a two-foot salami under the other...

I finally have access to the computer (some kid pulled the fire alarm in our building last night, but that's another post), I think it's safe to assume you know how incredibly sad I was to hear about John Hughes' passing.

I doubt anyone else comes close to being responsible for so many of the movies I've seen so many times. From an early age to this day, I still watch many of his films repeatedly throughout each year. My sisters, friends and I quote them endlessly.

It is impossible to say which is my favorite, they all take turns. Hell, I have a hard time even choosing just one picture.

I know he didn't direct Pretty In Pink, but he did write and executive produce, and that's clearly where it was at.

Even when he was associated with films I wasn't as crazy about, the writing still often had its moments.

Somehow, I don't think I ever did see Weird Science. Bet you know what's moving to the top of my queue!

I was also sure the above-the-fold story on the New York Times would doubtless be Sotomayor's confirmation, but thanks to Alex for showing me he did indeed make the cut.

He may not have directed since 1991, but it goes without saying what a saddening loss it is.

Monday, August 03, 2009

I hate this uniform. It's ugly. It makes me look like a beached whale. And on top of everything, I can't find any earrings to go with it.

Humpback whales!

The other evening, D, myself and my mother went on the New England Aquarium's sunset Whale Watch. It started at 6 and we got back around 10. It's been a long time since I've been on the open water, but it was really nice. The boat ride was fun, if a bit CHILLY and windy the further out we got.

Since it was sunset, it was hard to get some shots the proper exposure, but seeing the Boston skyline at sunset is really pretty.

There is some really great Art Deco architecture in Boston, the details of which you probably can't see well in these...

The long white building with all the flags in the background is the Boston World Trade Center...

I have no idea what building this is, but I like it.

And we go right under the path for planes landing at Logan International. Some trips end up with worse (better?) timing than others!

The rock to the right is covered in birds! To the left is one of the three lighthouses you see leaving Boston.


And then just when it was getting TOO chilly and windy--a little over an hour out--the naturalists start spotting them. It's a big feeding ground and while I didn't catch any on film, you see the sprouting spray of water from their blowhole as they emerge. Our first guy was Coral:

They know him from his tail:

And they say they're 90% sure it's a guy because they watch the whale from when it's a baby. It grows up and if they never see it with a calf after so many years, they have to assume it's a guy. Coral is now 21, so they're pretty sure.

Also, I didn't know about whale footprints!

People used to improperly think it was an oil slick the whale left behind, but it's just the force of his tail creating a vortex and making the water smoother on top. (They just told us what a whale footprint was NOT, I had to look it up myself!)

Anyhoo, we saw several other whales, including a pair swimming together. I think our side of the boat really lucked out with the best views, but they were all around the place.

It got to be sunset pretty quickly, though.

When it was nearly dark we had to head back. Everyone went inside, needless to say, where it was warmer!

Here we are speeding back into Boston!

It's pretty hard to get a shot without motion blur in these conditions, but I had two people ask me what camera I had, so I guess it was doing a better job than theirs!

And hooray, home again, home again.

And Happy 800th post to me!