Sunday, January 29, 2012

Your brother's not very polite, Eyeball.

So I like to try and see all the Oscar flicks, right? That won't be happening this year. Not because of time, but because I just learned the hard way that mindless devotion to some ridiculous goal often results in seeing really shitty movies.

I would like to draw your attention to Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Or rather, I wouldn't.

It wasn't offensive, mind you, it was no Forrest Gump, but it was pretty awful. In fact, after twenty minutes I was seriously considering walking out and getting my money back. But I was with D AND in the middle of a fairly crowded row. Then Viola Davis showed up and was easily the most entertaining thing yet.

But oh my god. I want those two hours back like you can't imagine. It's not even worth dignifying with a passionate rant ripping it to shreds because quite frankly, its own emotional core is cheaply ripped from the devastation of a real event and doesn't merit the energy.

In fact, here, Manohla Dargis of the New York Times says it far better than I:

Ms. Davis is such a good actress and such an empathetic screen presence that it’s difficult not to weep along with her, even as you wonder why. Crying is one of the great pleasures of moviegoing, but tears can be cheap. Much depends on your personal triggers, how you respond to having them pulled, who’s working those triggers and for what reason. In some movies a weeping woman is a routine cliché, but when an actress like Ms. Davis cries it can feel very close to home. You may think about your own heartbreaks. And Ms. Davis, a practiced weeper, has herself become a trigger (all those snotty tears she wept in “Doubt”). Max von Sydow, who plays Oskar’s grandfather, if more accurately his sidekick, and who brings natural gravitas to any role, is another.

The images from Sept. 11 of course remain profound triggers for many of us. Some of that day’s most vivid imagery appears in the movie: there are snippets from real television news reports, but there’s also an aestheticized re-creation of a falling man that’s mirrored, with stunning imbecility, by a shot of Oskar joyfully soaring into the air on a swing. There’s also a scene in which Linda, after receiving a call from Thomas, who’s trapped in one of the towers, gazes in horror out her office window at the burning buildings. The shot is obviously composited, but it’s nonetheless a jolt because the buildings reverberate so intensely. It’s this intensity — and our deep emotional responses — that the movie tries to appropriate for itself.

And worse than just being emotionally cheap and awful, it's also kind of fucking boring.

And should you deign to rest the weight of your story on the shoulders of a child, he probably shouldn't be irritating and you should probably try to make me care about him.

So after that horrendous shitshow of a film, how could I possibly be expected to sit through War Horse or Tree of Life? FAIL.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Markinson's gone, there is no Markinson.

So no trial for us! We got a call really late in the game that our client was (amongst other things) off his meds and, in fact, gone.

My friend who is lead counsel got a call from the caseworker while I was stapling my final motions (natch) and at one point he leaned over and made a motion with his hand. At first I thought he was telling me to stop with the papers because he couldn't hear. Then I realized he was saying stop with the papers because it doesn't matter.

On the plus side, our client did go back to his caseworker but because he had been off his meds for more than a handful of days, there was no way he could go to court and certainly no way you'd put him in front of a jury. It takes time to stabilize with what he's got. It's frustrating, I'm sure, to be in his condition because he went off his meds in the first place because he was feeling so good. So he felt like he didn't need them anymore. Apparently, this is extremely common with people who take meds to be on an even keel and doesn't surprise me in the least.

But it was very bad timing.

On the plus side, we still went into court and had to argue to keep a warrant from issuing (cause he's not there like he's supposed to be) and we tried to argue a few other things as well. We had a fairly decent judge and we won the small battle, which was the most important thing for the client at this stage.

So since the night before trial opened up considerably, I thought I'd see The Artist.

Surprising to no one, it was fantastic and very cute.

I was a little nervous because it was a packed theater, so I was worried people would be easier to hear mumbling, hacking, etc., since it's a 98% silent movie. There is music, however, so I probably had nothing to fear. But what was great was that the audience was not only held captive and completely silent, they were really into it.

I know because there was one moment in particular (no spoilers) that was quite an intense set-up and there were more than a handful of sighs of relief afterwards. Hee hee, it actually made me giggle and made the whole thing even better. Ah, sigh, it's so rare when an audience actually is a good thing.

Also, some useless trivia for you--the house they use for the leading lady's house was actually Mary Pickford's house. (And at one point the leading man is watching an old silent film of his, but I recognized it as Douglas Fairbanks' The Mask of Zorro.)

I don't think I would go so far as to say I need to own it, but I could easily sit through it again. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were really perfect. I will be severely disappointed if either is not nominated by the Academy on Tuesday and furthermore, I think Dujardin abso-fucking-lutely deserves the win. What great expressions.

But here's a clip about everyone's favorite star...Uggie the dog! I start to feel a little bad right about the time in the clip where he rides the skateboard standing up, but then again, he also probably has a fairly pampered life. And the kissing thing is ridiculously adorable, I'm sorry.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

You get all the fun stuff.

This line from Sneakers got stuck in my head after my morning.

Got to court for docket duty (being appointed to new clients) and we got a great judge. Got a client. Got RE-ASSIGNED to the courtroom next door with my LEAST favorite judge. He's actually somewhat fair most of the time, he just loves to make everyone feel like they suck (the attorneys). And as long as my guy gets out, whatever. It's just frustrating.

It's just been one of those days. Not bad or anything. Just...a lot on my plate. Fingers crossed we get to drop our next court date in February, meaning the end of my semester will be a lighter load and I can seriously focus on the bar. Because right now I keep thinking about hiding a lot. Like a lot.

On the plus side, being in court forced me to wash my hair. For the first time in three days. Hey! It looks good!

Ok, back to cramming the last of my Islamic law reading. I got to this part in the reading about macrocosmic and microcosmic law and GLAZED THE FUCK OVER. I have no idea what the fuck is going on. #whatelseisnew

Monday, January 16, 2012

Honey that is so

If we lose our motion to dismiss Friday and have to go to trial, I am officially doing nothing Friday night but drinking and watching The Artist.

Or maybe In the Land of Blood & Honey. PERSPECTIVE. IT WILL GIVE ME SOME.

In all fairness, I will feel sort of cheated if the motion to dismiss is granted. This is a ton of work (I was at school all day prepping with co-counsel and our director). The burden isn't even on me (well, in argument--I still have a ton of research that is solely my responsibility and on which huge parts of our argument are based) but it is still taking up all my time and making other things...challenging.

So I thought I'd blog a little!

And I have a docket day this week (new clients), why the hell not.

Tomorrow I also have my Islamic law class. This was not a good idea. I mean, it's really interesting, but it's also really completely fucking new, I'm very much out of my depth. All the white people in class seem to be in the same boat, based on our brief little "why are you taking this class" survey last time. Then there are people who raise their hand and give answers that make me wonder, "Um, why are you bothering with this when you already seem to have more than a really solid grasp on these concepts..." Of course they should take the class, though, it's a new offering and no one really knew/knows what to expect.

I just know I can't pronounce shit in the readings and the spelling of things is often quite interchangeable and the pronunciation is often no help when desperately trying to decide what he's talking about in the readings.

I also apparently have to give a speech tomorrow night about my summer at a school function thrown by my fellowship people. There is, at least, free booze. On the downside, a lot of my favorite professors will be there, so I want to sound awesome. So definitely having a beer or two first.

And for one last kick in the nuts, I had to take my measurements to fax in my bridesmaid dress form today. THANKS. Which reminds me, "flask garter" is currently topping my birthday wish list.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Oh, nothing, just a little something to the security camera. A little gift for the boys in the basement.

Ugh, The Descendants, really? :/ I mean, it was enjoyable, but Best Picture?? (Not that any of the other contenders in the category really jumped out at me...)

Anyway, good night, y'all!

I know what guilt is. It's one of those touchy-feely words people throw around that don't mean anything... You know, like "maternal" or "addiction."

Man, I think I fell asleep a little just listening to Michelle Pfeiffer describe War Horse.

I really need to see The Artist! And I'm very glad to see it's winning things left and right! <3

RANDOM! The Deschanel sisters...Emily and Zooey!

Rooney Mara, from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She's currently my pick in this category, but to be fair, I have not seen Tilda Swinton nor Meryl Streep's entry.

She was really, really amazing, though. I admit I was surprised she opted for the black number, considering the role, but she looks great in any case.

But speaking of SWINTON.

And in a move that surprises NO ONE...Meryl Streep takes it! She's always gracious and lovely and fucking awesome, so I'm never sad. HAHAHA, and they had to bleep her! +50 bonus points, honey. (I think she forgot her glasses at her table, she was ticked at herself.) LMAO, "I want to thank God...Harvey Weinstein...the punisher (Old Testament, I guess)!"

And there goes The Artist with a Best Picture (Comedy/Musical) win!! Complete with Uggie (the Asta-esque dog) trying to steal the show during the speech. ;)

I have to give it back to him...he can't get to the bar, otherwise.

And that was George Clooney presenting, after he stole Brad Pitt's cane. ;)

Yay! A Separation wins Best Foreign Film! I really want to see this film, I can't wait til it comes out here. I know the trailer looks kinda depressing, but Alex tells me it takes a Rashomon approach to its storytelling, which makes it far more compelling.

Oh balls, Claire Danes snakes the award from Julianna AND Mireille...but at least her dress isn't half bad.

So Morgan Freeman wins the Cecil B. DeMille Award! And in addition to the vast array of films they showcased, there was this:


I also really wish I could get into the habit of watching 2-3 films each Friday night to knock some flicks off my list I sorely need to see...watching these compilations always makes me think, aw man! I still need to see that!

Ok, back to the piffle.

So Jolie is looking really good tonight, she is.

I'm just saying...if I had to choose...

I like the normal-looking ones. And by "normal," I mean SHE EATS. There is nothing "normal looking" about Kate Winslet otherwise. If I had to make a list of THE FOXIEST BITCHES IN THE BUSINESS, this lady would beat out Angelina in a heartbeat, as would...

Helen Mirren. She's toned it down a little tonight, I see. But I wouldn't want my women to break, you know? (I'm sorry, Angelina's super-thin arms just squeak me out, ick.)


If you're a man? If you act heroic? You'll come back as an'll come back as a'll come back as Jude Law!

"I'm sorry I'm French!" It's the Foreign Press Association! Why do the foreigners always apologize!! THEY HAVE THE CUTEST SPEECHES, Y'ALL. (Ludovic Bource won Best Original Score for The Artist.)

Um, also? How in the HELL did NO song from The Muppets get nominated for Best Original Song? That's not some weird oversight, that's...that's like someone got caught giving head to someone they shouldn't have. Or...something. There's just no way. But Madonna wins it, whatever. Ok, she actually bumbles in genuine surprise and then says, "I'm not French, I have no excuse!"

Ok, some more dresses. There is no reason I should like this dress, but again, I think Nic's rocking it. (The gold detail is actual..."beading" isn't the word I want, but you get it.)

She has worn some real crap in years past and she also seems to have had some facial work done that was starting to make her look creepy, so I'm glad to see her looking a little more normal this year. I actually do dislike the dress, but she's pulling it off? I'm stressed, who knows.

Emma Stone!

Emma is probably in serious danger of wandering into OVEREXPOSED LAND, but I still really like her. And I know it's super obvious that I would like her. I can deal with that.

Miss Portman.

Natalie, honey, you got a pass last year. You were mega-preggers and wearing things that I strangely thought looked pretty smashing on you (that pink number with the giant red rose on your bosom? who the fuck wears that? but I secretly thought it was fun and flattering). THIS dress is hot pink and yet...completely beige.

Ok, here's a BAFFLING AWARD...

Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn. She's a fucking stellar actress (and yet I just...I find her vaguely off-putting, I just can't put my finger on it) and I'm sure the film is..."the acting was really great") but um, Best Actress in a Motion Picture--Musical or Comedy?? Even when announcing the nominees, Seth Rogen was all, "...the hysterical comedy, My Week With Marilyn..."

If they want to have an OTHER category, just fucking say so.

Danger! Danger! Trees! Tree! Tree! Squirrel!

Ah, see, here she is. She who has clearly sold her soul for eternal youth and/or has the best motherfucking surgeon on Earth, Diane Lane. I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

*cough* Anyway.

Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor for Beginners! I'm off to a good start--and the adorable Ewan McGregor is there as well...I have still yet to see this, but it's near the top of the list. Kenneth Branagh was nominated as well for My Week With Marilyn, but I know a sure thing when I see it. Also, props for a very solid speech, complete with bonus points for a charming bit to his wife of 43 years. AWWWW!

And whoops, Laura Dern just snaked it from Zooey Deschanel, there goes my winning streak. I'm okay with some Laura Dern...though in a category of those two, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Laura Linney...I wasn't going to be disappointed with any of those wins. (Linney's the most talented, though, bar none, fwiw.)

And why not, here is The Hollywood Couple and what Jolie's wearing tonight.

I really don't have anything against either one, I just don't really *GET IT* either, though. (Pitt has turned into a really great actor, I'm talking about the celeb obsessiveness.) It's just...goddamn I really just want girlfriend to eat a cheeseburger. SOMETHING.

Ohhh motherfucker, Kate Winslet just snaked the award from Diane be fair, my BFF's little brother worked on Mildred I kinda have a soft spot for it. He's an actor and says Kate's darling. What a surprise. ;)

Honey, I'm too tired to slap you. Bash your face up against my palm.

So Brangelina are there and everyone's fawning over them as always. Brad's still got his cane (ski accident or something?). I did finally see Moneyball yesterday, which was quite enjoyable.

However, I did not realize In the Land of Blood & Honey (written/directed by Jolie) was about the Bosnian War. IT LOOKS SO UPBEAT. Seriously, Friend L, I'm very much up for a screening! I'll just hide the sharp things. I need to start paying more attention to things. I know they were there (Sarajevo) when I was (because we were at the airport together! hee hee, um yeah,pretty sure they arrived via private jet), but they were there for the film festival.

Oh man. Sarah Michelle Gellar is clearly one of those people I shouldn't see speak if I want to keep liking her. First of all, her blue and white dress is big and splotchy-patterned and surprisingly really working! But she admits to still being married to Freddie Prinze, Jr. for 12 years and he is not with her tonight (home watching football) and their ideal date night is at IHOP. PLEASE STOP THE TALKING NOW.

Hey look, found it! Don't hate me, I think she's rocking it.


Which reminds me, I started watching Project Runway: All Stars and it just feels cheap and weird so far. No Tim Gunn, 'nuff said. Plus I strangely miss Klum.

Also delighted to see Julianna looking lovely...

And naturally she's nominated. She's up against Mireille Enos from The Killing, but I've got my fingers crossed for The Good Wife.

They're trying to make gay people straight? Good Lord! Don't they know what that'll do to the fall line?

Golden Globes night!

And my favorite lady is nominated once again! (Cinema Verite, an HBO original movie.) She's looking lovely tonight in a gold dress, it's just one of those years when I'm way too lazy to take and upload pics.

But I will muster up enough energy to break open some wine...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh, sick! You threw up on my printer!

I do at least like that I can email my director with motions and be all, "THIS WEEK WAS A MOTHERFUCKER BUT HERE ARE MY MOTIONS, SORRY IF THEY BLOW A LITTLE BIT." Pretty much verbatim there, but not in all caps. Gotta keep it classy, you know.

Ah! New Year's Resolution: drink less...and quit smoking...and quit talking total nonsense to strangers...actually, quit talking, full stop.

Man, it is fucking nasty looking outside. I went to bed around 2:30 trying to wrap up my revisions on that philosophy chapter from hell that's due today with plans to get up at 7:30 and keep working. It's almost done, but I have an undetermined number of motions to draft for tomorrow as well, which is what I wanted to set a lot of time aside for today.

But man, I slept until 8:30 because it was so goddamn dark I just didn't think it was right.

And it's absolutely one of those mornings where the cats are all fuck no and they do stay in bed. I wouldn't have to even go into school today except for that meeting. Grr. Sense I will be busting out the winter shoes finally. :( It did actually snow the other day but was melted by afternoon.

On the plus side I am really looking forward to Friday night so I can see Friend L, the ring (someone's engaged now!), and a screening of Shame. I didn't even realize the Golden Globes are this Sunday, they've snuck up like that in the past couple years. I still don't have a ton of favorite films from last year, but it's always fun to watch. It would be ideal timing because the next day is a holiday, but not for me! :( We have a trial next Friday, so guess who gets to go into the office. :/

And Sunday begins a month and a half of oral argument practices. I should probably read my opponent's brief, huh?

Ok, that was enough of a break probably. Scintillating material, I know. The only other interesting thing going on is that I got a little book of recipes for vintage cocktails for xmas and I seem to have the ingredients for an Old Fashioned (which I will have to perfect by the time March and Mad Men rolls back around) or a Manhattan. But this is not something I have had the time to try yet--nor is 11:15am really an acceptable hour, particularly when there are motions to write. Damn.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's not something you can just run away from like a hotel bill or a crying baby.

Is it wrong to be burned out on the first day?

I want to tell you about the most awesome thing I heard today. I have a 50-page competition brief due tomorrow (with a partner, so that helps) for which oral argument practice begins 3x a week starting next week.

Also this week, I have the first draft of a recommendation due for an organization taking on a prisoner's case, for which I also have to prep the presentation (again, with a friend) for next month. This one is not so bad at the moment.

Also have to finish the philosophy chapter from fucking hell that would not die. Revisions, baby.

Well, I am co-counsel on a trial next week (and because I was assigned late as co-counsel I have a fairly shit grasp on the substantive matters that lead counsel does but we're both too busy to get annoyed--me that he's not involving me and he that I'm not being more proactive) and our director said to me today--are you ready? cause this is what I was talking about earlier, this shit is fan-fucking-tastic--he said, "You can draft all the trial motions by Friday." He (knowing my shit week, thank god), picked up nearly instantly on the glazed look as well as my language. No, not THAT sort of language--though in our office that happens, too. No, I mean that because I am passive aggressive, I start to say things like "I will see what I can do/I'll do the best I can" and I think he knows me well enough by now to know that is my equivalent of "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME." So we got excused from this week's class exercise. (Meaning we just have to do it later sometime...)

I also have two interviews scheduled at the end of the month. One that I'm less excited about because it means staying here and the other I am very excited but scared about. I did not think I got the interview because of the law school "middle man" website service, but got notification today that I did. I still think I am low on their list of desirables, but I will just have to be memorable. (In an awesome way, not in a OH HOLY JESUS way.)

I was also happy to hear back from a fellowship I applied for that all my materials were received, except for a letter of recommendation I think a prof missed over the holiday. (He's sending tomorrow.) I just thought it was a very optimistic possibility that they could take the time to do that--perhaps they aren't overwhelmingly inundated with applications?? It's not a typical fellowship and would end before I even take the bar. It would begin at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and then take place largely in Auschwitz. (As I put it to my former supervisor at the tribunal when I told him I was using his name for a reference, "I hear it's a party city.") But seriously, though it's not a job opportunity, it does sound really incredible, given the field I prefer. At the end of the day, however, even if they are able to take the time to email me to say my app is incomplete, I do not come from the top tier crop these places prefer. :/