Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My previous source of entertainment just got fired.

#45. Sleepless in Seattle (1993).

There's a moment I like when Meg Ryan is driving behind her fiancee on her way to his parents' house, and she's flipping through the crappy radio station choices. There's one station playing multiple awful versions of Jingle Bells, and she not only sings along just as badly as one singing in their car might, but continues to chant, "Horse, horses, horses, horses," after the song's over. For some reason, it always makes me laugh.

And I can only assume it's because there are some really cute moments all throughout the film (again, not cutesy) that I can keep watching this one. Because there is nothing subtle or nuanced about the story itself. I usually hate it when movies treat the audience as if they have an IQ of 2. And to be fair, I have often found myself in theaters with people who seem to betray this very quality--louding repeating "funny" dialogue is a big favorite of mine. But still. A little subtly never hurt anyone, okay?

And the kids are good. I usually hate children in movies (shocker), or at least the way they're written. And I am actually not fond of Hank's kid at all, but I still think he's well done in the movie, if that makes sense. Like I can respect the kid but I'm also glad he's not mine. (And speaking of annoying, Rosie O'Donnell is also perfect in this role but again, someone I could really do without most of the time.)

And I do secretly want the house. I remember it was on the market a few years ago. I guess it might be annoying when random tourists come by your house, though.

That was the other day. Been working on school stuff since, it's the last week of classes. I have two finals coming up and a paper. Well, two mini-papers as well for my trial class--I have to critique my performance in my trial as well as someone else to whom I've been assigned. Both are incredibly hard to do. I have to critique this guy's presentation and we're in mid-trial for them right now. He's doing a really good job, which makes MY job pretty hard. I'm wondering if it's cool to mention that a yellow tie and an earthy-toned suit are a very poor match and in fact will just plague the jury with thoughts of pea soup. "Try a cool tone for a tie with that suit." Okay, I should probably leave the suit critique out. But you know, it would probably be good advice...okay, anyway.

Bourdain had a vet trip this morning, we were worried about his weight. He is so much thinner these days but still happy and bouncy. So maybe teeth? As it turns out he has only gone from 14 to 11 pounds since April 09, and he has 3 cavities. So guess who gets to go back, get knocked out and get 3 teeth extracted? Awesome. He did really well this morning, but he has been in the closet ever since we got back.

Okay, back to Patty Griffin, my English Breakfast tea and corporate complicity. I'm 2/3 done! Woot.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What about this steak? It tastes like prison ass.

#47. Home For the Holidays (1995).

A little bit on the darker side, but absolutely full of charm, Home for the Holidays. (And in retrospect, I probably could have picked a different subject line for the Robert Downey, Jr. movie...)

So Robert Downey, Jr. admits to having used heroin during this making of this film, and I'm also pretty sure he said there are whole scenes he doesn't even remember doing. Honestly, I can't say it shows, he turns in yet another great performance.

Great supporting cast, too, Steve Guttenberg does a really good douchebag, and Cynthia Stevenson is also perfect as her...uh, sister. I mean this in a good way, but what an unlikeable bitch!

But it's full of really great lines, cute moments (not cutesy moments) and that touch of genuine reality I'm glad I cannot relate to very well, since I am lucky enough to have a family that is not severely dysfunctional. Even Claire Danes doesn't annoy me in this; (though to be fair her screen time clocks in at probably 5 whole minutes).

The story refrains from being saccharine or wrapping things up neatly. With the exception of the final Dylon McDermott scene...puh-leeeze. I know it's pre-9/11, but I just don't buy the airplane scene or how empty the plane is, I don't care WHERE it's coming from or heading toward. So regardless, it's a little gooey at the end, but I can live with it.

#46. The Shop Around the Corner (1940).

So this is the movie that You've Got Mail was based on. I hated that movie, but I'd been wanting to check this out since last year. I couldn't get my hands on it since it was monumentally on "long wait" with Netfux. So I got it a little earlier this year.

I usually dislike Jimmy Stewart, but either he's grown on me over the years or I've just mellowed out or both. I still loath Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with every ounce of my being, but occasionally I guess as an actor, Jimmy Stewart himself's not so bad.

This movie is certainly innocent; based on the pen-pal relationship he strikes up with an anonymous woman, it's more like an ode to Craig's List these days...I also love the obscenely naive idea that these people are thinking about getting engaged before even meeting. Awesome.

Now I don't recall You've Got Mail very well (aside from trying not to vomit in the theater), but I think it's more than different enough. On the other hand, I think the female lead here is pretty unlikeable...she's kind of a snippy bitch, and not in a good way! I feel like a bunch of character development got left on the editing room floor and now she just comes off like an uppity shit. I don't think it's Margaret Sullavan's fault, but not having seen her in anything else, I can't really say...!

But overall it was still a perfectly enjoyable Christmas movie. Glad I saw it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm not the one who just got butt-fucked on national TV, Dwayne.

So in the spirit of biting off more than I can chew, I thought I would try to look at FIFTY HOLIDAY MOVIES. Why not. In no order and completely whimsical. So horror, comedy, action, old and new, good and bad. Including flicks I have never seen nor wanted to see before (meaning I will finally watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation even though I loathe Chevy Chase).

But it was important to start things off right, at the very least.

#50. Die Hard (1988)

I mean, it's a classic. It never gets old and it remains full of fantabulous quotes. Since I really have nothing new to add, I chose some random trivia off imdb...

In the scenes where John McClane is required to run through a multitude of glass shards in his 'bare' feet after Hans has his men shoot out the glass partitions in the computer room, Bruce Willis is in fact wearing special 'rubber' shoes designed to look like his own bare feet. One can in fact see this if looking closely as his feet appear quite unnaturally large in some of these crucial 'barefoot' scenes.

The original script called for terrorists to hijack the building, and for a super-hero cop to stop them. Director John McTiernan modified the script to change the bad guys into robbers pretending to be terrorists so that the audience could enjoy their intention of grabbing a load of money. He felt having terrorists as the villains would make the movie less enjoyable and give it a political angle, which he wanted to avoid. McTiernan also changed the hero, John McClane, into an everyday, flawed man that rises to the occasion in dire circumstances. He felt the audience would identify more with him than with a "super-cop."

Bruce Willis was the sixth choice for the main character. It originally went to Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson before Willis got it.

The Serbian, Croat and Bosnian translation of the title is "Umri Muski" ("Die Like A True Man"; literary: "Die Manly" ). The pirated VHS translation back in 1988 was "Skupo Prodaj Svoju Kozu" ("Sell Your Skin At High Price").

#49. While You Were Sleeping (1994)

So this is a pretty bad movie. Complete with a big barf-bag-worthy ending. Well, not the ending so much as the Big Reveal Scene at the end. Wow, gag.

And yet, it still has a number of really cute scenes that make it worth watching (for me, anyway). I want to say it is all Sandy, but Bill Pullman has always made me laugh, too. He does clueless and dorky really well. The supporting cast does a nice job even if nearly all the characters annoy me with their forced quirkiness.

But you know I have a big Sandra Bullock weakness, so no big surprise that I can get through this one yet again, however silly it is. For example, I can even overlook the fact that BP asks her to marry him after knowing her for, what, two weeks? (Even though his character previously gave her a hard time for getting (supposedly) engaged to his brother after a mere three months.)

#48. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

I know, you think I'm knocking out the fun and obvious ones first. But I thought since today is Thanksgiving I should get in a few genuine Thanksgiving films, too. And this is a big one.

This absolutely falls into that "never gets old" category. And one day I will write up for you just why this movie works but something like Due Date comes off as so mean-spirited. Because I do think it's an interesting debate, and I worry I'm just biased by nostalgia. I get that PTA has charm and detail on its side--in abundance--but surely it's more than that.

And by all means, if you have any to recommend that you think I need to watch, suggest away! 50 is quite a lot, you know.

Yes I have guns in the house, but I keep them in the freezer. Next to the heroin.

Fuck it, I saw both. I saw Love & Other Drugs and then Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Pt. I.

So the first one. Hmm. I love me some Anne Hathaway. Truly. I can say I think she's genuinely talented (Rachel Getting Married, thank you very much), but I think we all know it's more that I think she's just fucking adorable. Since, uh, mostly she's done a lot of shit (don't make me name them here, you've seen a few of 'em too, probably...)

But really, I was pretty curious to see this one. You know, in a cheesy, easy bubble-gum sort of way. With the hope it had a little "there" there.

First of all, WOW the trailer is misleading. I'll just come out and say they dress it up like a rom-com or at least a romantic dramedy, and to some extent it is, but the trailer sort of goes out of its way to never tell you she has Parkinson's. Which is a huge part of the story. (And not a spoiler.)

So I have heard some people liken it to Up In the Air. But fear not, it is not so bleak and depressing. Those elements are represented, to be sure. But like the New York Times picked up on, it was never really all that comfortable with that side of itself, and weirdly mixed in an abundance of saccharine. With tits. So it was pleasant enough and all, but towards the end I found myself just kinda bored, frankly.

But overall, it was not a bad flick to watch, I don't regret seeing it or want my two hours back. And Jake Gyllenhaal was good, too, as was Oliver Platt who always plays the same role yet is criminally underused in movies.

I remember this dress, bitchin' dress. Anyway.

HP was decent. I have a hard time judging them since I gave up such a long time ago. But it was entertaining enough and it was really a fast 2 1/2 hours, to be honest.

And especially since the last book was probably also my least favorite, I don't really have a lot of room to complain. Same complaints as always, it just should have been made into a mini-series...

So here, this is even better. I remember The Elements from when I was a kid, but I was certainly never motivated to give it a go myself!! Impressive.

Jim's on his honeymoon, so I started using his office to fart in.

So I was watching 30 Rock and for some reason someone mentioned Teddy Ruxpin, which I swear to god I hadn't thought of since 1985. I never had one, but I think a friend did...but I really remember Teddy Ruxpin from the 80s. And I blame commercials, totally.

This commercial is kinda fucked up, actually. "Hey, if you're a total loser, Teddy will make you cool!"

This came up, too, and I remember this commercial really well, probably because I thought the dolls looked evil and I remember really hating them...

But I also looked for a couple commercials for some toys I had but whose commercial I didn't necessarily remember...oh, like Barbie...my very first Barbie was Day to Night Barbie (back when grammar was still used properly), here's her commercial:

And let's not put Peaches & Cream Barbie in a corner...

You know, as many Ken dolls as I guess there were, we never really had more than 1 or 2. Alex had the Ken doll for so long, until I think he got left at a friend's house? I think I had a Ken doll at one point, but I guess he's just not as much fun to dress up? ;)

And then there were commercials for games I remember...I used to really want to play this for some reason:

...and in retrospect? Well jesus that seems like a boring game! I do remember finally getting to play it at a friend's house...I guess it was fun at the time?

Ok, time to see Santa (with the big Maker's Mark billboard behind him, lol) at the Macy's Day Parade (I wish I were in NYC right now!) and then back to my paper and agency reading. Just a little, then some cooking. ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are there drugs here I don't know about?

I really hope my summer plans work out, since I seem to mostly have put my one big egg in my one really tiny basket. I checked the materials I mailed overseas, since I registered them, and found:

Your item left the United States from ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS) at 7:29 am on November 13, 2010.

Which I thought was kinda cute. My item has left the country! Safe travels, item!

So I was annoyingly sick for 8 days mid-November. I never get sick, and wow, does that suck. It's ok for a couple days because you can catch up on movies and you don't feel too bad about just lying there not moving. But by the time the second weekend approaches, it's like, um, ok, I've got shit to work on, you know? And then bam, one morning you wake up better. So that was nice to FINALLY get over. And no, mom, it was not Cape Town Plague. ;)

I didn't get to see anything too terribly awesome. First I watched Date Night because I knew it was supposed to be mediocre, but I figured it had to be good for some laughs. Plus, Tina Fey, good times, why not?

Oh sigh. So did you know? you can't just put 2 people in a movie, say, "Go!" and hope for the funny. No. You cannot. Because someone DID that here, and hey whoa, it did not work. I would have turned it off halfway through but I think the remote was just out of reach. It wasn't wretched, just such a colossal waste of time and talent.

Then I moved on to 9 1/2 Weeks, which I had somehow never managed to see before. It certainly holds up fairly well, considering how 1986 it is.

It's not the jaw-droppingly steamy number I'm sure it was in 1986, but it still has its moments. Good bonus points for the obvious fun that someone had coming up with food sex scenes and playing with the lighting. I also though the psychological aspect of the film worked pretty well and was really interesting. So that was surprisingly entertaining...

Hee hee, couldn't help it, sorry.

After that it was just some TV, some Californication, Being Human and Paradise Kiss.

And now hopefully I won't get sick again for another fifteen years! Kthxbai.

Sir, you sound like the mall Santas when they come back from lunch.

As so often happens, this is old and just never published...

It can't be that bad of an evening. First of all, I had a really, really great time seeing Sara Bareilles last night. I was stunned how packed the place was, though. Apparently it sold out months ago, and what's even stranger? House of Blues is about 4x bigger than the Dallas location. Not that Bareilles isn't worth it, I just didn't think she had that big of a fanbase! When I got there, I was instantly reminded of the Katy Perry show I saw in Dallas. Crazy.

The last time I saw SB was the night before I flew out to upstate NY to hit Cornell with Veloute. I went to each of those shows by myself and each was really incredible. I was especially happy to hear an uber-jazzed up "Bottle It Up," which was the first song of hers I heard that made me wonder who was singing...

...and that was my old post.

Back to today!

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I need to knock out a bunch of work on my corporate complicity paper, study some evidence and really study some agency law. And I also got a new case for (mock) trial starting in December. Double homicide, anyone? Woot.

I still need to see the new Potter, however much it may suck. Far more likely, however, are the odds of seeing a completely different flick. Well, so this new movie came out today and it's probably really wretched, but it has Anne Hathaway. And I kinda have a big huge weak spot for Anne Hathaway. It has Jake Gyllenhaal, too, but I'll be watching it for the lady. ;) I can't even be bothered to drop names; for one thing, it took me like a month to remember what it was called, it was so forgettable.

27 days til Texas, that's all that matters! And however much it will suck to come back, I do at least have a happy little ticket waiting for me on the fridge for the second week of January...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I won't stand to be disparaged.

This is kinda old, but that's how I roll.

So I voted in MA, yay for me. Ballots always strike me as funny. As if they have just been so severely micro-managed, when in fact, they should be as simple as they can possibly be. But 1800 people had their say and instead, something totally confusing and useless was created. I understood how to mark it, but jesus...

So each candidate's name had two little black marks next to it (quite a ways to the side, actually) and you had to connect the two marks, which made it into an arrow, pointing at your candidate. And no "all democrat" easy-access box for us like they do in Texas. I had to mark each one. (I survived, it's okay.) Was checking the box or circling the name just too complicated?

November has been off to a decent start. I got to see Kat Edmonson last week, and she is doing wonderfully, it seems.

She played a bunch of new songs (well, new for her, I'm sure The Ink Spots would beg to differ with me), so that was exciting. She didn't play all night like at the Elephant Room, needless to say, but it was still a good 90 minutes or so. (Cute new haircut, too!)

I also get to pick classes for next semester pretty soon. I nearly forgot about "professional responsibility," which is this thing that really accompanies the bar. It's just what it sounds like. And riveting, I'm sure. But other than that, I'm hoping to take a seminar class on the death penalty (similar class and format to my international human rights class I'm taking now, only, you know, the death penalty), appellate writing and advocacy (similar to the competition I did at the beginning of this year), an international practice class I'm required to take since I did the international internship last summer, and basic federal income tax. I know, but honestly? Taking it satisfies a requirement and more importantly? The woman who teaches it guest lectured in my business class and SHE IS HYSTERICAL. If I was ever going to take and survive a tax class? THIS IS IT. And? She is and owns up to being HORRIBLE AT MATH. Win, win, win, there's hope for me yet.

AND they want us to start registering for bar classes already. O_o

I'm thinking, by the way, that I will be returning to Texas! Given my area of "specialty" (can you really call it that?), it may have to be Austin and we'll see if it's even possible. How much international law really goes down in TX, anyway? So as you can imagine, I'm trying to get some immigration law and clinics under my belt while I can...

I have one more trial tomorrow and then I get a mini-break, I think. Which is grand because I desperately need to get my outline finished for my corporate responsibility paper. And the 2nd Circuit just handed down that LOVELY Shell decision, which is so fucking depressing. Yes, the Nuremberg trials were all about going after individuals, but it seems wrong to pretend that "abstract entities"--at the time, they were talking about States--also refers to corporations therefore you can't hold corporations responsible. Can I get a contemporary interpretation, PLEASE? So a corporation that has overseas subsidiaries can't be held liable for those subsidiaries' tortious acts? Good job. 2nd Circuit FAIL.

So I have spent a large part of the past few days reading about colossal shit-stain corporations that include Unocal, Coca-cola, Shell, and Pfizer. Some of them are almost funny--as in, hey, man, we're totally just passive investors, we REALLY HATED to see all that bad shit go down, but like, we were just profitting from human rights violations, we didn't, like, DO IT OURSELVES. Oh sigh.

So I had a break last night and watched Back to the Future since I was IM'ing with DM and they re-released the movie for a night in Mexico to coincide with the date to which Marty goes back in time.

Here in the US, they just released the Blu-Ray on Oct 26 (the day he goes back to Nov. 5, 1955) and re-released it in theaters for a couple non-sensical days. So I got nostalgic and gave it a re-watched. WOW, I hadn't seen the new DVD, and so much of the background REALLY pops out at you--by which I mean, 80s 80s 80s.

(His NIKES! The old Pepsi cans, especially that can of PEPSI FREE by the bed! The CLOTHES AND FURNITURE!) The product placements, mostly unintentional (hmm, maybe not unintentional, but not endorsed probably), the sheer charm of the age, the film actually has a TON of background detail. MAGIC for me.

But that was my break. I have had #s 3 and 4 of The Walking Dead for like 3 weeks now and have finally been able to read 75% of them this weekend. Hopefully I'll polish them off by Monday so I can give them back to L. (And get the next 2!) To be fair, L has been holding onto my South African paperback of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, so I'm not too worried...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I'm sure she's quite stupid and in time, gravity will get her.

Mouchette has his e-collar on again. :( I think Bourdain has been picking on him more and more, so both his ears have gotten irritated with tiny wounds that get exacerbated when he scratches. So back to the e-collar. This is always the most intensely pathetic and depressing exercise.

Speaking of depressing exercises, I'm done with trial team for at least two weeks. Yay! We get a new case just after Thanksgiving at which time we re-compete with other teams for one, smaller team. One of the coaches who will make that decision came Sunday to "evaluate us" but then left in the afternoon before I got to advocate. Ouch, thank you so much for that vote of confidence.

But all that matters right now is this:

1) my former legal writing professor asked me to come talk to her first years today about exams. I was totally secretly hoping she would ask me. :D I remember how helpful it was last year to have a 2L come talk to us, so I'm looking forward to it. Without going, "HAHA, SUCK IT BITCHES!" Ahem, *cough*...

2) my seminar paper outline was due by 6pm tonight. I sent it to my professor by 10:30am (so I'm DONE for now, DONE!!!) because

3) at 6, I will be well on my way to House of Blues to see...


I was calling to see about how parking works, when I noticed the website says all the tickets are general admission. I was like, huh? Dude, my ticket says row B, it don't say nuthin' bout no general admission, it says "box center."

"OH. Ma'am, you have a box seat."

Oh. Sweet. It was the same price, so I probably got there first, plus I'm going alone. (Again, thank you for that lesson, Paul Simon concert.) Honestly, I'm torn between being in front of the stage and isolated off in my little side box...but I'm older, so I also like sitting down and sipping on beer. ;)

Monday, November 01, 2010

You took a moment. I saw it.

I wish Bourdain didn't feel the need to come sit next to me on the sofa just to unleash farts. Wow.

Anyway. YAY November! I have Kat Edmonson to look forward to on Wednesday!

Also, guess what I am typing on??

That's not mine but it looks JUST LIKE MINE!! YAY! I have been trying to switch over all my files from my online backup, but it's going much slower and is more confusing than I expected. We'll see...

It is very sexy. The only thing that kinda drives me batshit crazy about my new laptop is the cursor keeps changing into an all-directional arrow and changing the size of the web text to MINISCULE or GIANT. I would REALLY like to figure out how to TURN THAT OFF. Or at least control it. Wth? It's completely arbitrary, as far as I can tell so far. :(

It's definitely getting chillier here in Beantown and I have about a month of classes left. Which is cool, except for the part where I need to start actually learning my business law stuff. *cough*

49 days til Texas time!

And completely unrelated to anything, Comcast FAIL. We were having problems with the cable--a few channels weren't coming in, one of them being Fox. Normally, who the fuck cares, right? But Fox shows House, M.D...so action had to be taken. (To be fair, I'm sort of disliking this season, too. Muh.)

So the guy comes out--luckily AFTER The Rally to Restore Sanity--and it takes him kind of a while. He tries 3 or 4 different things, actually. One of those things? Yeah, involved TAKING MY DVR BOX. He switched it out originlly to see if that was a problem and it wasn't. He never mentioned, "Oh btw, this has all your TV shows on it, and I'm taking it." That fucker was like 80% full.

And I mean 80% full of things I'd barely admit to watching, let alone seek out on my own...but Comcast IS going to make it right. Oh yes. They THINK they found it. GRRR. Jesus Christ. (Srsly, who does that??)

Anyway, I do at least have ZOMBIES to look foward to! I've heard some really great stuff about The Walking Dead...great scares and gore...our temporary DVR has that one little thing waiting for me!