(L)On(e)ly Children

I can't even tell you how in love I am with that title. I always wanted to be an only child. To be the center of attention, to have no one to have to share with, to never have your time interrupted.

But I wasn't. From my parents' marriage, I was the oldest but a mere 19 months and one week. My mother had her, as she says, so I wouldn't be lonely. This makes me love my mother even more than I already do. She was willing to stretch and contort her body and figure so that I wouldn't be lonely. Willing to once again allow a person to share her body. And all I could think to say to her after the early adoring big sister years (there are some adorable pictures of me doting on and feeding my baby sister), was "But I didn't ask you for that." Though not an only child, I was still a bit spoiled. Not in the doesn't know how to act when out of her parents' sight sort of way but in that we never had to want for anything we needed and often got things we wanted. Let's call that loved.

My mom was a stay-at-home mom from kindergarten to 2nd grade when my sister started school. In first grade we had a field trip. We went to the hardware store which also sold garden stuff (I'm sure the reason behind the field trip) and the park. Wow. The town where I grew up is still only 5% black. It had to be even less back then. Somehow I knew that all the other kids would have soda with their bag lunches. I'm sure it came up in those conversations all school children have about their lunches-- bordering on obsession. My mom didn't let us have soda, frozen dinners, junk food or much fast food. I begged her for a soda and she refused. I woke up the next morning to a can of my favorite next to my bagged lunch and was overjoyed! My mom later told me that my dad never wanted us to be left out so he convinced her to let me have soda, then went to the convenience store while I was sleeping to get me one.

Later in elementary school I had a friend whose mom was a single mom. I'm pretty sure all the moms talked about her mom (I think my mom told me this years later) because as a result the kids were pretty mean to her. I was nice to everyone unless they were bullies. Then I would bully the bullies into being nice. G was an only child. Her lunches were always what I considered the good stuff. Those miniature tins of ravioli or spaghetti, granola bars. I can't remember what else but I loved it! I always had sandwiches which she loved. You know what that means. TRADE! It was great. Her requests though? I will never forget. Turkey was an option but she really liked cucumber, mayonnaise, salt and pepper sandwiches. Sometimes she would eat the tomatoes instead of cucumber. My mom had to cut those for me. I was too grossed out liking neither of those. I still don't like cucumber and am very tomato picky (number 5). Ok Liz, the last time I did that meme it was because you tagged me!!

I kept this sentiment for years. My sister and I have never been close. She likes being an outdoor person and is way more athletic than I am. People always asked if we were twins because she has almost always been close to my size. I'm small and she outgrew me by the time she was in 2nd grade and I was in 4th.

You might not be able to tell from that picture but people always think she's older. It used to bother me. Now I sit back and revel in it. Lol. Now she's my soror, too. That was at her first regional conference. She won a trip to Boule for dancing a couple of years ago. Is that a tiara? I can't stand tiaras but I was so proud! Awww. The baby. We don't quite get along yet on the regular but I've outgrown the desire to be an only child. I would have no one to share the outrageous inside jokes with me and laugh raucously about it. Now she's a graphic and web designer and we're gonna take over the world!!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 17

1) I get nervous about telling people they look nice when they've lost serious weight because some of them I'm not sure they did it in the healthy way. I knew girls in college who were very sweet but had some very disturbing ideas about weight and how to lose it. My mother has wanted to lose weights for a long time but always talks about doing it the right way and her disdain for diets. Before college I didn't think black women had these issues. I'm guessing that's how HBCUs gave a lot of people lessons in weight issues.
2) This guy in class was talking about feeling sick and this girl said with a nervous chuckle, "It's not H1N1 is it?" Hilarity... mostly because he had none of the symptoms. And because she threw out swine flu's government name!
3) I really enjoy the investigative reporting class I'm assisting this semester. I'm learning and I feel like I'm helping the students, too!
4) I figured out what bothers me most about the lack of blogging: the loss of community. We used to have conversations in the comments which were a happy extension of our offline lives. Now it's become a community of lurkers. Boooooo. If only I could control my compulsive need to share and save all these thoughts and feelings for my future offspring and descendants!!! I would SO stop blogging. Alas, I don't think it's fair to deprive the world of me while I'm here as I am now. Lolol
5) Tried 2 beers for the first time last week and liked both of them a lot! Downtown Brown & Zywiec. Don't ask me how to pronounce that 2nd one. Apparently it's Polish.
6) I like to cyber stalk Rashan. Except it's not really cyber stalking since I can't keep myself from commenting either on that specific thing or to him. So it's more like cyber... what? IDK but I found a blog I didn't know he commented on and saw some things he wrote. It was nice. I think I loved him a little bit more even though it had absolutely nothing to do with me. (See I know that's what y'all thought! Lolol) I got to see a side of him I kind of forgot about because our online (and offline) activity is so heavily intertwined.
7) Y'all know I'm a dedicated meat-eater, but Stace going 93% vegetarian has made me a little more willing (again) to give meat-free meals a try. Not all the time, just every once in a while. Last week I had southwestern pasta with spinach fettucine & tofu. Spicy and delicious! But here's my beef-- texture-less tofu. I like my protein to have a little bite, not be straight give. How do you veggies do it? Do you eat anything that has some weight to it other than mushrooms and some crispy vegetables?
8) I said this on twitter but it bears repeating: if you are over 18, you're too old to still be throwing up middle fingers in pictures. Lame. B/c you're so hard w/your college degree, wife/husband and kids? Girl/boy stop. Never thought it was cute but it looks even dumber at 27+.
9) I canNOT commit to a blog design! I know I'm driving somebody mad!! Lolol. I can't help it. I get bored and/or tired of looking at it after a few months and it's time for something new. This one may not be around for long because I can't stand that orange bar at the top.
10) Please tell me why there are restaurant websites which exist without their hours of operation prominently displayed... I should really be able to tell when you open and close without having to call your establishment for the answer FLYING BISCUIT GAINESVILLE (with the crazy delicious food!!!) and 101 CANTINA GAINESVILLE!! The latter's website is really bad. It was missing something else basic I can't remember right now. I felt a call-out was absolutely necessary.
11) I ate 2 dozen raw oysters yesterday and I promise you if it wasn't taking so long (because they had one girl shucking AND bartending for a minimum of 8 people. RIDICULOUS. & I had fries to distract me...) I would've probably had another dozen. YUMMY!!!!!!! & $.60 each? $.50 each on Wednesday? You might be able to count me in weekly if I can find someone to ride with me. 3 minute drive from my place and $1 drafts? Boy stop!
12) It was sooooo funny when Stace tweeted about breaking her fave shoes this weekend doing what? THE BOOTY SCOOT! HILARITY!!


Crazy Movie Lady 35

September 20-26, 2009
526. Must Love Dogs. Romantic comedy about two people unlucky in love who find, then don't find each other. Has that typical "I'm so witty" romantic comedy but seemed like it was trying too hard. Boring. Dermott Mulrooney? Heeeey. But not enough to turn this movie around. Actually I think I like everyone but Diane Lane's character. Since this film is based on her... yeah... that makes it a problem. People on movies also have glass showers way more often than I've ever seen them in life. It also spoiled 'Doctor Zhivago.' Thanks for that, never seen it. Pretty boring. 2.9 stars
527. Changeling. Angelina Jolie plays a single mother in the 1920s whose son disappears. When he returns she starts to believe he isn't hers which prompts her commitment at an insane asylum. She finds help in a crusading preacher. I don't believe Angelina Jolie as an actress. Not in this film as hard as she tries. This could be completely related to the amount of time I see her in the media completely unrelated to being in a movie. Though not her fault, it sways me. Cute clothes, though. I need every last one of her hats. The story is great. Almost everyone else around her does a nice job. Especially the villains. The "good" people seem to be trying a little too hard. Some nice photography. The music may be an overly melodramatic touch. Really, really long. At least 2 false endings. 4 stars
528. Daddy Day Camp. Cuba Gooding, Jr. stars in this film about rival camps, his being the lame rundown one. Full of adult and kiddie capers. Silly plot. I didn't understand why Cuba had nothing to do but organize camps for his kids. I wonder if I would like it more as a kid or if I had kids. I don't fall into either of those categories and didn't really care what happened to the characters so 2.4 stars
529. General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait. Slow-moving documentary, made with his cooperation, about the notorious dictator. This man said he took people to "visit the war" in another country. Really? Crazy. It's an hour and a half of him talking talking talking about everything and nothing at the same time. Extremely indulgent. 20 minutes of him only talking at a meeting? Give me a break. Yes you get to see a side of him you ordinarily don't see but the long takes of EVERYTHING are wearying. I also feel like he was trying to propagandize me which I don't like AT ALL. It was a struggle to finish. 2 stars
530. Barefoot in the Park. Robert Redford and Jane Fonda are newlyweds in a tiny apartment which is in a building full of strange characters. They interact wildly with the one who lives above them... well the bohemian wife does, the attorney husband works on being a bit less stick in the mud-ish. Strange and pretty pointless film. 3 stars
531. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Matthew McConnaughey plays a super douche (wow typecast... will he ever tire of these roles) who is forced to relive his failed relationships at his younger brother's wedding. I guess I should've read the synopsis of this film. I got excited by MM's face and blocked out any possible bad press. So chorny. That's right. Cheesy and corny. The 'spiritual guide' tho was hilarious! Lol. Michael Douglas is hilarious, too. It's the ghost of Christmas past but with doucheb.aggery. And it literally went from bad to worse. Dumb, dumb, dumb. 2.4 stars
532. Two for the Road. Audrey Hepburn is half of a married couple relieving how they fell in and out of love in Europe. Pretty depressing portrait of married life which moved back and forth through time. Hairstyles were the only way to tell when she changed. I feel slightly better than lukewarm about this film. It moved pretty nicely. 3.3 stars
533. Leave Her to Heaven. Interesting start to this old film about a man who has no idea what he's getting himself into when he marries a woman he's just met. After the interesting start, it meandered a little too slowly. I wanted to know what was going to happen but I also wanted SOMETHING to hurry up and start. Pretty crazy story and I would say the main character did a good job of playing an unstable woman, but the melodrama was too much, particularly in the court room scene. In this time of Law & Order and a plethora of other courtroom shows, I found it unbearable. 3 stars
534. Rosemary's Baby. Crazy film about the wife of a struggling actor who as she grows more and more pregnant becomes more convinced something strange is going on. More nudity than I care to see. I can't tell how I feel about this film. Definitely disturbing. 3.5 stars
535. Sunset Boulevard. An aging abandoned silent film star plotting her return employs an out of work writer who she attempts to ensnare in her plan in more way than one. Predictable at first, then captivating. Probably a bit too long. 3.8 stars
536. Maria Full of Grace. Film about a drug mule in Colombia who encounters problems once she gets to the U.S. I liked the film. My issue was with the passage of time. I couldn't really tell the number of days in which things had happened. 4 stars
537. The Wonder Boys. Michael Douglas film about a writer who hasn't published since his critically-acclaimed novel 7 years earlier, his editor (Robert Downey, Jr.) and crazy students (Katie Holmes & Tobey Maguire), as well as his affair (Frances McDormand). Interesting at first but lost its way about halfway through. I found the narrating annoying and disingenuous from the beginning and it didn't really ever lose that quality. Some continuity issues. The end was far too predictable and silly. Waste of a good cast. I bet the book was much, much better. 3.2 stars


Nitpicking the News Vol. 2: CNN.com

I go to CNN.com for a quick synopsis of the big events across the country. In the last few months, CNN.com has increasingly let me down. It's becoming more and more tabloid and celebrity-driven. The headlines are sensationalistic and not at all journalistic. They belong in Ok! magazine or some other drivel. They suck you in by making the top bar and main picture newsworthy, then bash your head in with pointless stories throughout the rest of the page. Some examples:

This last one is my favorite: senior citizens pagaent, golf ball-eating puppy, tranny, Will Smith as Mr. Mom, Obama's tv series loves, Tetris as an Olympic sport. Mixed in with real news... GIMME A BREAK!!!!!!!

When your celebrity and "feature" stories outpace your actual news stories, as a NEWS organization, you have a problem. Because really, I don't care about what Jessica Simpson or any other celeb is doing. They can live their lives while I live mine!! Please let 'em!! Or at least keep that mess at People.com. UGH!!!! I don't want to be propagandized, or have to listen to the Fox News message, MSNBC's website is too convoluted so guess what? I'm stuck with CNN when it comes to hard national news with video (because it's too painful to look at video on newspaper websites). Why me???


You Can Do It!!!

Have I told you lately how hectic Wednesdays are for me and more to the point LONG!? I have 3 classes (two I'm taking, one I'm assisting the professor) totaling 8 hours starting at 9:35am. I have to catch the bus by 9 a.m. or multiple full buses will pass me making me late to class. I rarely return home before 8:30 p.m. on these days. Sometimes later.

Today I am SLEEPY!!! And for some reason I have been waking up 10-30 minutes before my alarm goes off. Today: 8 minutes. I wanted those 8 minutes back so badly!! I can never force myself to fall asleep before 2 so last night I got 6 hours of sleep. Awesome. I had this crazy dream last night, too. Today I will do my part to get us out of class early. It's my classmate's birthday and we're supposed to be going out to dinner PLUS our professor owes us some time for not giving us the break we're supposed to get AND keeping us over. Can I get a 7:30 or earlier let out? You know you wanna.

My "favorite" part about this schedule? I have a little over an hour between each leg of action so long enough to eat but not long enough to go home or take a nap without irritating myself. AWESOME. We have guest speakers in the assisting class today so HOPEFULLY we'll get out early like we did the last time we had a guest speaker. Let's all hope for the best!!

But the non-sarcastic best is that independent study starts October 29th so after today I only have about 4 more weeks of crazy Wednesdays!!! Can we say 'Praise God!'? I believe we can! AND I can totally do it! I know I can!! AND me and Stace are going to tear up Daytona w/Bran and her whole fam and possibly Rashan for the Hampton/Bethune Cookman game in November. Can you say having a blast!?!?! That's me!! I CAN DO IT!! (But can someone send me some 'feels like you slept' vibes real quick? Because today? SLEEEEEPY!)


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 17

1) I love when people ride bikes with baskets on the front! They're so cute even if they make me think of the wicked witch from the WizardofOz.
2) I'm shocked and a little saddened by how many of my SMART fb friends are all gung ho over the new T.ylerPerry movie... why? WHY?! There clearly aren't enough bad black movies out there. We need you to come out with at least one/month.
3) Saw a guy on campus last week I was convinced got lost on his way back from Gator football stars of the 1990s wax museum: burly w/a box & an arm full of tattoos. He may have had a small hoop earring as well but I can't be sure. I was avoiding looking so I didn't laugh in his face b/c I KNEW he was gonna get blogged about. Lololol.
4) People of Walmart in person. YOU ARE KIL.LING.ME!!! Chick with the booty shorts, tank top and satin sleep cap. I hate you so much right now. AHHHHHH!! And get the chick with the blond braids MINUS the literally half her head that was black. How do you look like you have the most monstrous need for a root touch up known to man and you have FRESH BRAIDS?!!
5) Why didn't anyone tell me Chili's has 2 for 1 margaritas? Because y'all hate me. That's now obvious. Rashan says we knew but thought it was a one time thing. Let me tell you Chili's was giving out coupons this weekend at the game. It's about to be over. O.V.E.R.
6) I felt vindicated when P.atrickSwayze died b/c when we found out he had pancreatic cancer I was still working at the station and someone wouldn't allow me to say he had a terminal illness. Said person said, "We don't know that it's terminal. They haven't said that yet." I said, "It's advanced pancreatic cancer. It's terminal." Person said, "But they haven't said that, let's not kill him yet." I'm not trying to kill him. I'm just calling it like I see it. You don't bounce back from that one. I let it go then but I didn't forget. My mom thinks I'm a bad person for feeling vindicated. Whatever man. I was right. RIP my one time future husband who would never put me in a corner. I was like 8 crushin' hard on that dude! Lol.
7) Two bizarre things have changed about me with age. Neither of them I like. I am more emotional. I used to NEVER cry and now there's no telling what will set me off. It's so lame. I still don't cry as much as a lot of people I know but sometimes I feel these tears coming and I get so EXASPERATED!!! I have also developed something of a sweet tooth. I find myself wanting sugary stuff more than I ever have before. I don't fighting it, though. I try to limit my sweets (minus stuff like HoneyBunchesofOats) to once a week... unless my professor brings doughnuts. Then all bets are off!!!
8) Target has the worst shipping prices in the history of the internet. $8 to ship baby socks and A ONESIE is some GARBAGE!!!! Not next day. Standard. The slowest possible i.e. it gets there in a month. Makes me never want to order anything on Target.com again unless it has free shipping. And of course you always have to spend at least $50 IN ONE SUPER SPECIFIC DESIGNATED CATEGORY to get free shipping. WACK. Also what's the point in getting 15% off of a $125 purchase if the purchase is so heavy shipping will cost you LITERALLY 3xs that amount. BOTH ACTUAL EXAMPLES. Fall back, Target. You're trying to turn my love for your store into something sinister.
9) I can't believe I've been doing this 17 weeks. It's amazing how time flies when you're paying no attention to the most basic things. Or consumed with life... whichever.
10) Restaurants which make me download their menus to look at them annoy me. Why do I need the PDF of your actual menu? Also restaurants that don't post their prices get pushed to the side.
11) Can I get some uniformity in page numbers in books? How do they decide which numbers go at the top or bottom? I don't like picking up several of my text books and having to look all over the page for the number.
12) I am SOOOOOO glad I didn't imbibe before the game Saturday!! (Yes, we won, GO GATORS!) Temperatures of 89 with a heat index of 93+ and I'm standing the whole time? Sounds to me like a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Not cute at all. I bought a $5 pint of sorbet during the game and polished that thing off with the quickness. I realized I hadn't been to a sporting event since I left Pittsburgh (Go pitiful Pirates!)... I balked at the prices on everything. Plus since I was in ROW 10 (and in the center)!! It was too much of a hassle to fight the crowds to go to the concession stands more than once.
13) It wasn't until Rashan pointed it out that I realized how terribly out of date my profile was! The music was hilarious! Like a time warp for me! I obviously hadn't updated since I started this blog 4 years ago (on the 28th)!


Crazy Movie Lady 34

September 13-19, 2009
I'm obviously still way behind but pretty unphased. I have work to do. While watching films is important, I'm graduating in May and have a demanding assistantship. Movies get pushed to the side.
515. Nothing But A Man. Awesome Motown music in this 1950s film inspired by the early Civil Rights Movement about a man tired of bowing and scraping to white men who all call him boy. It tries to tie in some fatherhood issues but misses that a bit. There was some verité-style photography as in it seemed more documentary-like. I'm very lukewarm about this film. 3 stars
516. Blue Vinyl. Documentary inspired by the filmmaker's concerns that the vinyl on her parents' house was not sustainable and might be toxic. Very annoying voice. As a result, I found it difficult to trust the things coming out of her mouth. It also didn't help that she didn't even have confidence in her own abilities to interview. Silly film with an attempt at a serious message. Needed more focus so it wouldn't feel 3 hours long. 2.4 stars
517. An Affair to Remember. Some fabulous clothes in this Cary Grant film about two people who fall in love on a ship, but both are already involved with others. Cary Grant can make a root canal look good. He's so awesome he makes medicine sick. Heeeey Cary wherever you are, heaven I'm sure. To be clear, I'm only open to an affair if it's with him. Lolol. Some of the musical breaks were way too long. Still I thoroughly enjoyed it. 4.2 stars
518. Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968. Documentary had a strong start with very compelling pictures. Some great archival footage but not enough of the biggest and most dramatic events. Presented Orangeburg in a light I'd never considered: with two HBCUs, there was a highly educated black middle class which of course makes the town ripe for conflict which erupted into an incident which left with 3 dead black students and at least 25 injured in the 1960s who are rarely talked about. The re-enactments were cheesy. I know why they used them-- it's difficult to see the impact of the event with just descriptions. Claflin was introduced early on but then the film appeared to focus almost solely on SC State. Some of the best quotes were not on camera, though the ones leading up to it were. The story line felt haphazard when instead of focusing on Orangeburg, it lost focus when describing what was happening in the rest of the nation. Some of the most powerful images and words happened at the end which is unfortunate. 3.6 stars
519. Stevie. Documentary about the filmmakers little brother from the big brothers program who he came back to check on after I believe more than a decade later and found the man was accused of child m.olestation. Very engaging film. Well-edited, some nice photography. You could see, feel and hear the filmmaker's guilt about possibly exploiting the man who was once the lonely, abused 11-year-old boy he wanted to help. Nice story arc. I enjoyed the film as much as you can enjoy a film which deals with such heavy subjects with such openness from those involved. 4 stars
520. Billy Elliot. British film about a boy who decides to take up ballet instead of boxing to the chagrin of his father, a striking miner. To be a review cliché, he danced his way into my heart. Loved this movie. So cute. 4.5 stars
521. I'm No Angel. Did she just say, "Beulah, peel me a grape"? AND call her "Shadow." I can't. 1930s movies always rub me the wrong way because of the bending and scraping servant roles for blacks. "Yassum! Yassum!" I'd rather they had no roles than those demeaning ones. Mae West plays a performer in trouble with the law. She was a bad actress. You could FEEL her acting and this is the 2nd time I've seen her play essentially the same role in the exact same way: purring and moaning "kittenishly." They shouldn't even say Mae West & Cary Grant because he doesn't show up until the movie is more than halfway over. (It was early in his career.) Only mildly interesting slow-moving plot. 2.8 stars
522. 12 Angry Men. Film about a jury deciding on whether an 18-year-old accused of murder is guilty, which would send him to death but they all have other things to do than worry about a little murder. Henry Fonda bizarrely passed his looks down to his daughter. It's pretty creepy. Some very quality directing and photography. This made me again want to become a court-appointed attorney to save some of those innocent people getting horrible court-appointeds. But I have no desire to go to law school so some of you should go ahead and make that happen. I was really into this movie. Some ridiculous melodrama at the end which brought the rating down some but still 4.3 stars
523. Steal a Pencil for Me. Documentary about a Dutch man who wrote letters with his wife and girlfriend during the Holocaust, both of whom were in the same concentration camp with him. Though mostly in English, it was heavily-accented so I wish there were more subtitles. Some good archival footage. Very intriguing story because this story is rarely told from the Dutch perspective and because it's also a love story. Some really nice photography as well. The end got a bit off track because of the moving back and forth through time periods already covered but still a beautiful story. 4.4 stars
524. The Closet. French film about a man trying to connive his way into keeping his job-- by posing as a h.omosexual. "Light-hearted" music was heavy-handed in the beginning. The early plot evolutions and "twists" were way too obvious. I found the plot unbelievable though it got amusing toward the end. 3.3 stars
525. Sweet Charity. Shirley MacLaine shouldn't sing. She sounds terrible. It's not really even singing, but more like talking to music. They "Hey Big Spender" musical number (which was performed sans Shirls) was AWESOME!!! Someone also tell me the point of the audio slide moment where it was basically a picture montage of Shirls around the city. Lame. Indiscrimintate scene changes not apparently to advance the plot, but just because. I definitely see why Bob Fosse is considered such a great choreographer. But why are old school musicals so indulgently long? Sammy Davis, Jr. is hilarious. This made me want to watch everything he was ever in and that he hadn't died so early in my life. There was a scene with endless confetti... I'm gonna need that at some point in my life! I love confetti!! But let's do it at your place so I don't have to clean it up. Very unexpected ending I was shocked by and yet liked that I was shocked by it. That ending wasn't enough to make up for the length and Shirls' singing. 3.4 stars


I Know, I Know

You're saying to yourself, why has Jameil become a twice a week blogger? BECAUSE Y'ALL WON'T BLOG NEITHER!! AND SO WHAT!! MY TWICE A WEEK IS STILL BETTER THAN YOUR NEVER A WEEK!!

As hilarious as that statement and tirade was, that's a lie. I mean, it is better than your never a week, but school is back with a vengeance!! I come home on Tuesday and Wednesday after 5+ hours of class and Lord knows what else and have NO desire to do anything but something lazy. Ahh lazy.

This week? Monday I gave my first lecture (50 minutes) on the use of numbers and graphics in broadcast news. Sounds soooo boring but I promise I made it interesting! I included lots of examples that we discussed and I actually got a couple of good discussions going. And the professor said I did a really nice job and was a natural. Score!

Tuesday we had a 5-minute pitch for our thesis films, a presentation on a film website we liked, a presentation of a film clip similar in some way to our film and also how it was different, and a group rough draft of our proposal. MADNESS.

Wednesday we had to turn in a 2-3 minute representation of the style of our film. It is crazy how many HOURS it takes to produce a decent 2-3 minute sequence that we still want to work on. We got some really good feedback which will help for the pitch we have to give with a pitch tape to a group of filmmakers in two weeks. Which means another pitch preparation and more hours in our freezing cold editing lab. I know they have to keep it somewhat cold because of the heat generated by the equipment but Antarctica in that piece??? Geez!!! But at least John (my thesis partner) and I only have to share it with one other group in our department instead of like 40 or 50 undergrads.

I also participated in the Fastathon on campus where you pledge to not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset along with Muslims celebrating Ramadan and they will donate a meal to a homeless shelter in town on your behalf. They also give you a free meal of Indian food. I had nothing to eat or drink from 8:30 when I finally got up (not when my alarm went off) until 7:37pm!! There were bouts of it not bothering me but smelling food and coffee would set me off. Toward the end I got a little weak and very thirsty. My thirst still does not seem to have been quenched after lots of water but I feel pretty accomplished. Want to know my other temptations? My new, mostly unread, Rachael Ray magazine, one of the days I look forward to: NYT Dining section on Wednesday, a new magazine with a dining guide AND one of my professors made vegetarian, beef only, and beef and pork lasagna, chocolate chip cookies and salad. And of course this was all of an hour before the fast was supposed to end. You are all conspiring against me and I'm not gonna take it!! Lol.

In addition to accomplished I had a lot of energy once I finally ate and was crackishly energetic. It was really weird. I'm still kind of high off of it. I was chattering (talking, not shaking lolol) non-stop to the three people I talked to on the phone post-fast (my mom, Rashan and a soror in the law school I clicked with instantly in the 45 minutes we were on the phone in our initial conversation). Now that this week is "over" (no classes, but still plenty of work), I get to have a little fun!

Today I'm going to get my ticket for the Tennessee/UF game and who knows what else. How about catch up on some of those more than a dozen movies I'm behind? Interesting in theory... lolol. Tomorrow one of my classmates is having a gathering which I invited new fun soror to and she immediately accepted (down people rock! you down? Let's ride!) so that should be fun. Saturday is sorority meeting and... the game! It's my first Gators game and of course I'm worried about my outfit! Lol. I also want to get the full experience so I have to ask my classmate who I'm sitting with what I need to do to make that happen! Lolol. Sunday I think I need to RELAX!! Mellymell has not had a day of relaxation in way too long! Wow!! Let's get it!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 16

1) I have a very specific NYT reading schedule for half of the week. Wednesday: NYT dining section, Thursday: Wife/Mother/Worker/Spy column, Friday: Social Q's column, Saturday: Modern Love column, Sunday: Vows. That doesn't mean I read nothing else, but on those days, those come FIRST!! (Barring breaking news, which goes unsaid among journos.)
2) I wish I smoked so I could blow smoke rings and have an awesome long cigarette holder. Both are great for drama which you may be surprised to know, in the non-lame ways, I love i.e. dramatic but not a drama queen.
3) Aspiring rappers over 25 are so wack. GET A REAL JOB. (Full disclosure: I've never liked aspiring rappers. Way too many guys think they are the next J.eezy when clearly they are not. You're not even destined for one-hit wonder status.)
4) I saw a woman with 2 earring holes in each ear who was about 55 and thought, "Maybe my parents were right about not wanting 2 earring holes because I wouldn't want them one day." Then I thought, "Clearly at 55 I will be way more fly than her and her whole family. And 2, why on earth would you wear teeny tiny dots of earrings in each hole?" Bor.ing. So my 4 holes are safe. I'm thinking as a documentarian I could probably carry at least one more, too. I might make that happen.
5) It's probably the hater in me but I really like when Stace deletes people who don't post enough from her blog roll.
6) De-swinify yourself. All the classrooms on campus apparently have hand sanitizer and a note on swine flu to keep you little nasties from infecting yourself and others. Amen to that!
7) I'm very territorial about journalism and now that's spread to docs. I believe in education in addition to experience and think a lack thereof is a reason why the media has such a high level of mistrust with its audience. With docs I've just seen way too many bad ones. Reality tv makes everyone think you can just pick up a camera and go.
8) I had Pollo Tropical for the first time and was utterly unimpressed by what I got for the money I paid. I've realized that the more I know what goes into cooking, the less forgiving I am when I eat out. And now there's a controversy on campus because apparently prices on campus are almost double what they are in other cities. Problem. Makes me never want to eat there again.
9) Greatest achievement is getting into UF. According to these TAs I share an office with (big mouths), they're trying to get some students to see college acceptance as a gimme, not an achievement. Even as a sophomore, there's NOTHING else????
10) Is it absolutely necessary for you to repeat yourself to me every time you see me? I get it.
11) Remember Microsoft clip art from like 1999? I've seen it at least 2xs in the last 2 months and both times I was like, "Er um a dum... what???" So bizarre.
12) I get creeped out when I see the back of my head. Like in pictures. It's really weird to me.
13) When people say they don't have time for something small, it always prompts an eye roll. You have time for whatever you want to make time for. No, you probably don't have time to build a 747 from scratch today, but I think you can watch one movie seeing as you're in college and have no kids. Know why I sometimes don't watch movies? Because I'm tired and I don't feel like it. Not because I don't have time. Semantics? Probably. Bratty? Almost certainly.
14) Watching movies is AWESOME for what it does to my class participation!!! Do you know multiple times in the last week my professors have talked about films where I was the only one or one of 2 people who had seen the film discussed? AWESOME!!! I rock so hard it hurts. Ouch.
15) Lastly, why, praytell did I come home the other day to find a dude jogging in place in the parking lot? And we live about 1/4 mile from the gym... And had the nerve to give me a look like, "Why are you driving?" IT'S A PARKING LOT!! My dude... Gone 'head and make forward motion happen. You look crazy. CUH-RAZY!!!!

Crazy Movie Lady 33

September 6-12, 2009
I was horrible with movie watching this week because I'm busy. School is definitely back in session.
506. Dirty Pretty Things. The Oscar-nominated story of illegal immigrants taking whatever jobs they can while trying to escape the law in England. Sophie Okenedo, Audrey Tatou, Chiwetel Ejiofor in a great movie about the things immigrants do when they feel they have no other choices but in a very un-heavy-handed way. The ending left some to be desired but still 3.9 stars
507. My Super Ex-Girlfriend. Luke Wilson, Uma Thurman & Rainn Wilson about a super hero who's a nerd in life. High possibility for interesting but is kind of boring early on. Bad effects and cheesy music and in some very bad places. The story line was silly and ridiculous. 2 stars
508. The Dress Code. 3 minutes of a child reading dictionary definitions over the credits at the beginning? Boring. As are the early parts of the film. It's about a picked on little boy who wants to dress like a girl. Of course the only black person in this film is a sassy little girl. Ugh. Shirley MacLaine directs and acts. Brett Butler as a nun? Yeah right. Stupid forced racial aspects of the plot. Foul-mouthed children and a ridiculous unbelievable plot. Also far too long with stilted, manufactured drama. Nearly every scene needed a 30 seconds to a minute shaved off. 1.5 stars
509. Pillow Talk. Classic film starring Doris Day (in some fabulous outfits) is a prissy, uptight interior designer who shares a party line on the phone with a playboy (Rock Hudson) who drives her mad. When he sees her it's lust at first sight so he creates a Texas persona to lure her. Good times when she finds out the truth!! So cute. Great chemistry between Day and Hudson. 4.4 stars
510. Being Julia. Annette Bening is an actress who's tired of being the toast of the town until an affair turns her life upside down. A bit of a slow start but Bening is awesome! She makes not being young look FANTASTIC!! And got a new fan in me! The ending was marvelous. 4.7 stars
511. La Sierra. Columbian documentary about war in the town of Medillin between the paramilitary and the guerillas. I find it very difficult to watch films about violence, drugs and ruined young lives. A 22-year-old with more than a half dozen children by different women, teenage mothers, etc. I thought the beginning and the ending could have been stronger. The start could have been more dramatic with less set-up. The end should have come sooner. The scenes were stretched out too much. 3.6 stars
512. Dirty Filthy Love. British indie film about a guy with OCD and Tourette's (yeah...) who doesn't get help for his problems until he loses his job and his wife. The film follows his attempts to become normal and get back what he lost. It took an unexpected turn from funny to really sad a little more than halfway through. That seems to be a bit of a cop out when filmmakers do that. Still intriguing, though the end was just okay. Not stellar. 3.9 stars
513. Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life. Documentary about a teenager with a 100% deadly form of muscular dystrophy which has already killed his brother. He embarked on a journey from his home in GA to CA to get MTV's Pimp My Ride to pimp out his wheelchair. I understood the structural flaws and technical issues I saw that his friend was the filmmaker. It also had a very PR and home video feel to it. I enjoyed the great humor and watching this kid who had never left his county going on a cross-country trip and even got a little emotional. Rough start and finish. It was shown on campus at the largest showing the filmmaker and star had ever been to which was cool. I was impressed that the 12 "stars" of the film including the main one wasn't overwhelming. But they had too many other story lines in there. 3.5 stars
514. Only Angels Have Wings. Cary Grant plays a flight team manager who has to get things done even as people crash all around him. Just okay. Story line dragged. The end was cute. 3.3 stars
*Tried to watch "This Film is Not Yet Rated." Slanted documentary about the Motion Picture Association of America's rating system. I was immediately offended and annoyed by p.ornographic images IN THE CREDITS!!! The offense didn't stop within 2 minutes so I did.


Age Angst

I'll admit it.

I never thought I was, but I'm an ageist.

In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I was excited, until I was just a few days away from the day. Then I started feeling really old. The first thing that happened was I was at the gym on the elliptical and it asked my age. When I put in 26 I got embarrassed because I knew the girls next to me were probably 19 or 20. I felt really old. I kind of giggled, but still typed the age in quickly, more quickly than my weight, and thought about how I'll feel REALLY old when I'm 27!! The day before my birthday was even worse. It seemed like nothing was going right. On our way out to celebrate in Orlando, we got lost twice. I hate being lost. I got this (dramatic, likely unnecessary) sense of foreboding. Like this was a harbinger of horrible things to come in my 27th year. See what I mean by dramatic?

For some reason, and I've discussed this with a few other 27-year-olds, this is the first year our age sounds ancient to us. 18 I was excited because I could finally vote, 21 I was glad to be able to drink in public because I could finally be carded (which due to this baby face I will apparently be experiencing for at least 5 more years... I got mistaken for a high schooler twice this summer and an undergrad more times than I can count in the last year). 25 sounded cool and worldly, 26 was getting up there but still pretty cool. 27? That's the year my mom completed her first year of marriage and had her first child, me. Obviously an AMAZING year for her. It must be so cool to have a child and have her to turn out to be me. Lololol.

As you can see my confidence wasn't shaken during this time of uneasiness. I go back and forth between feeling too old and knowing my face makes me look too young to get some respect on campus. Oh and don't let me ask a question! Students who have answers on campus are usually snotty about giving them. Their first taste of power. I like to flip it on them and subtly give it back and they usually back down. That's kind of funny. I felt glad to be 27 in the class I'm assisting because in the exercise we were doing the other day where they were pitching their story ideas, it was good for them to have experience to bounce them off of.

I think I'm mostly past the temporary ageism which only exists for people who are 27 (and my old boyfriend) now. Mostly because I've been 27 for more than 2 weeks and there are more pressing issues to deal with than something I can't change. I have no effect on my relentless schedule for the next few weeks, really through October, but it makes more sense for me to be concerned about that than my impending death. Lol. I promise it really had nothing to do with that. I did wonder whether I had accomplished enough so far. I also simultaneously realized how crazy that sounded to someone 34 and 55 as were the people I discussed it with. Even a few years gives you perspective. Life is long and short at the same time. What has happened to me so far may or may not effect what happens to me in the future, but as long as I don't stop trying to change the world, like I've always have, I have plenty of time.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 15

1) It really works my nerves when people in any social networking platform (twitter, blogger, fb) post a series of youtube videos. Can you not? We see these same videos everywhere all the time. You're not breaking new ground and you're cluttering up my feed.
2) You guys have been reading my blog long enough to know I talk and think about food more than regularly. But FBers? They are all losing their minds over the amount of food talk AND TELL ME ABOUT IT IN PERSON. Wait... are you saying... that I think... about food... a lot?? Thanks for the update.
3) I read a NYT article about people leaving fb and how it seems like one day fb will be a ghost town and no one will be on it anymore and if that day comes it will be sad. Well duh fb will cease to be the center of so many universes. Ever heard of myspace? It's the nature of our society. People are always looking for the next new thing. When too many people are interested in the old thing, good-bye old thing, where is new thing.
4) Why do people follow strangers on twitter? I know I've followed some people b/c their updates are hilarious abt Top Chef and/or Project Runway but sometimes I wonder, "What is it that I've said that makes you say, I want to follow you"? Je ne comprend pas.
5) I am now PC stupid. After a year of using a mac, I now get on a PC and look like I have never seen one of them newfangled contraptions that look like big calculators. Whatever happened to the good old days of abacuses right Rashan? You old man, you.
6) On fb under mutual friends it tells you the number of friends you have in common with whoever's page your looking at. Thanks for confirming that's what mutual means! Lol. You know that's how somebody learned that word! Lol
7) It drives me BANANAS when my mom asks me continuations of a question I told her I don't have an answer for. (Fake) example: When is your film due? I don't know? I mean like what day? MOM! Okay, okay. I just wanted to know when it will be due. Well I already told you I don't know that!! Though this is a fake example, it is so close to things that have already happened it's insane! Want a real example? Right after I wrote this my mom said, "Why is your cousin moving to Atlanta?" I said, "I don't know. I haven't gotten the details." "Well did she get a transfer from her job?" "..." This time instead of getting mad I just started laughing. Only my mom. Lol. I usually get mad b/c I think she's not listening and is basically talking to herself with me happening to be on the phone. Now I think it's just how her mind works.
8) It's very hard to give film suggestions to people because of how much our personal influences, proclivities, sense of humor, personality, etc. play into how we receive a film (and most people are watching them to escape v. how I watch them: to learn and critique... which for the record I can't wait to watch a lot more escapist films). If I don't know someone very well, I really would prefer not to give them movie suggestions.
9) Just because I've watched 500+ movies this year doesn't mean I want to talk about movies with you. You probably don't want to hear me rip apart your favorite movie and I likely don't even remember if I saw it because I'VE SEEN TOO MANY!! A movie has to be really good or really memorable in some way. That doesn't mean I'll remember a decent movie that didn't really impact me. Sorry kids. After 200 they all start to run together. (Let's be real, probably after 100)
10) I am seriously irked by people who type regular things (see: fb statuses) in all caps. STOP IT!! That deserved all caps b/c you are werking my nerves so badly I had to use an e in that word.
11) It also irritates me that at restaurants and in grocery stores soda is so much cheaper than juice. They want me to be fat and unhealthy. I got really heated that my small oj cost $2.19 at cracker barrel and it was the size of a sippy cup. Let me order a small drink at any other time and I'm getting 20 oz. of soda. Dumb fat America.
12) Me and Stace are having trouble walking because of all that serious dancing we did this weekend. Had to work off that limited open bar! Empty calories for days!


Crazy Movie Lady 32

August 30- September 5, 2009
This week will be interesting because one of my friends is getting married Saturday. The bachelorette party is Friday and it will be the first time I've seen some of my friends in years. Yeah... I seriously doubt movies will be on anyone's minds. BUT I passed 500!! So excited about that! More than 1/3 of the way to my goal!
493. Mohawk Girls. Documentary about a tribal woman and filmmaker in Canada talking to young girls in her community (the Mohawk nation) about their issues. Made in conjunction with the National Film Board of Canada. Horrible music. Filmmaker's narration to introduce the characters seemed unnecessary. At the very least ineffective in the way it was used. It was used as segues but she really could've benefitted from rudimentary assistance with her delivery. The photography needed some help, too. It seemed like a student film. There were some really good stories with these girls opening up that are buried by some of technical issues and definitely by the story line (dis)organization. Some scenes are confusingly out of sync. 2 stars
494. Persepolis. Iranian animated film (in French) about a girl who wants to be an ordinary kid but she lives in a war-torn country. Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature based on a true story about the Iranian girl who goes abroad, then returns to Tehran as an adult. It moved nicely and I stayed intrigued. It wasn't nearly as depressing as you might think and there were even some amusing parts. 4 stars
495. Nursery University. Documentary about the crazy NY private nursery school application process. An admissions consultant charges $4,000 to walk you through the process... There are lotteries. And it's 20k/year for your 3yo. Yeah. Right. I will hire a private tutor or send them to regular preschool. Look how amazing I turned out in public school. But who knows what will happen when I pop out some kids. This film includes the U.S.'s oldest mother-- twins at 57. Again, pass. I barely want to have babies at 37. As skeptical as I was I felt stressed out for some of the parents. Lol. Actually there was only one parent I didn't like because he was so overbearing. There was a tacked on 5th family that they should've just left out because their story was so poorly developed. Not bad in general. 3.5 stars
496. The Garden. Oscar-nominated documentary about the largest community garden in the nation which is in South Central L.A. and feeds mostly Hispanics. There was too much time traveling on the front end of the film-- from the present to more than a decade ago, to 2003, then 2004, when the farmers were fighting to keep from being evicted. Basically the film was following whether or not the eviction will go through. There was some good drama but it seems to be nearing its climax 25 minutes into an 80-minute film. I couldn't understand based on the information presented how the farmers had a case. Very obvious slant. Became a completely different film when the true dramatic climax happened and it was GREAT! The beginning was very shaky and should have been set up more clearly to allude something happening in the film. LAers knew but we didn't. 4 stars
497. The Game Plan. Disney movie where the Rock plays a self-centered football player whose life is turned upside down when he finds out he has an 8-year-old daughter who shows up at his door alone to live with him. Kind of boring. The premise was amusing on the surface but ridiculously carried out. I know it's a kid movie but still. Maybe I'll like it when I have kids. 3 stars
498. Titicut Follies. Controversial Fredrick Wiseman documentary about the inside of a prison for the criminally insane. Banned for decades in Massachusetts. Filled with ethical issues including the rights of those who are apparently not competent to give consent to be on film. Very disturbing. 3.5 stars
499. Witch Hunt. Documentary about people in California wrongly accused of child molestation and abuse. The dramatic arc was a bit overplayed. Too theatrical. Sean Penn narrated. Seemed like it would be more interesting that it was. The endless string of interviews with little video from the time became boring to watch. Compelling stories hurt by slow pacing and unnecessarily protracted ending. It should've ended 15 minutes before it did. MSNBC production and it shows. Seemed much more like a long news piece than a documentary. 2.3 stars
500. Libeled Lady. Classic film about a woman libeled who sues a newspaper and the scheme the newspaper men enact to get out of it. William Powell, Myrna Loy (who costarred in the Thin Man films), Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow. Quite the cast, huh? Amusing hijinks typical of classic comedies but it started to feel a bit contrived and long after a while. 3.4 stars
501. Waking Ned Devine. Irish film about 2 friends who decide to bring their dead friend back to life to claim his lottery winnings. Hilariously awesome ending! Lol. 4 stars.
502. Match Point. Atypical Woody Allen film about a tennis pro torn between two women, one of whom is the fiancee of his friend. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johanssen. ScarJo is so obvious in her "me so sexiness." Effortfully sexy. Predictable happenings at first which then started to take a much more interesting turn. The opera was an interesting device. I enjoyed this one more than most of his films. 4.3 stars
503. Muriel's Wedding. Australian story of a nerdy girl (Toni Collette) with horrible friends who dreams of getting married. Some continuity issues and plot holes but still amusing enough for me to watch until the end. 3.5 stars
504. Born Yesterday. Classic Judy Holliday comedy about a crooked millionaire who hires a newspaper man to make his girlfriend smarter so she doesn't embarrass him in DC. I didn't love it. It bored me. Actually I think my biggest issue was how dumb Holliday's character was and the crap she put up with. I know it was a different time but I don't live in that time. 3 stars
505. Death at a Funeral. Outrageously farcical British film about a funeral and the outrageous hijinks when a dysfunctional group of people come together for it. A hidden gay lover of the deceased shows up and his family has to keep everyone else, including his wife, from finding out. 4 stars


Pardon Me, I'm the T.A.

People kill me. They really do. So you know how I have an office that I share with 14 other graduate assistants? These two women were in there talking the other day and one says, "I hate seeing my students on the bus." Why? Riding a bus means nothing here other than a means to get to and from class. It's free and it's (mostly) reliable. Though TWICE in the last 2 weeks, I had 3 full buses pass me. Then when a campus circulator bus came around finally, the stop after mine, he stopped and PULLED OUT A NEWSPAPER!!!! Are you serious?!?! I'm about to be late to class because I've been sitting at the bus stop for 20 minutes (I could've walked at least 1/2 way there in that amt of time but I would've been a sweaty mess) and you're playin games!!?!? UGH!!!

Anyway so the chick says she tells another T.A. and he says, "You're too aware on the bus. You need a book and some headphones." LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!! Go with that. You're not that special. I can tell from looking at you that they don't want to see you either. So if you're deep in a book, they don't have to pretend to want to talk to you.

The chick she's talking to starts going off about facebook. "So these people I went to h.s. with find me and it's like I haven't talked to you in 25 years! Why would we be friends?? But we exchange like 10 emails about what have you been doing and how many kids do you have and all that and then silence. Nothing! And I'm like why did I invest all this time in you??" Bus girl eggs her on, saying, "Now I could go another 25 years without hearing from you!" Old woman, "Exactly!" Really? You didn't know that was the nature of fb when you got on? Because it's not like you joined more than 6 months ago. Do a form letter and/or delete them or not and move on! Lame.

One of my classmates asked me if there are any rules about hanging out w/students when you're a T.A. (He's about 2 years younger than me.) I'm like, "Yeah... about that. Why would I want to? I have no idea if there are rules to that end but I doubt it." We're all students. But I'm 27. I feel old enough without being around a bunch of silly binge-drinking 19 y.o.s. Though I must admit. I am VERY curious about white frats since I pass them all on one of the buses that goes right past my building. Their culture is amusing to me. And it's funny that they look like frat boys. I used to think black girls in white sororities were sad. Now I think black guys in white frats are much sadder. That's not lonely? It's not like there aren't black orgs on the yard.

Anyway I'm headed back to Brunswick tomorrow for a mini HU reunion! The first of the crew is getting married!!!! YAY!!! I'm so excited!!! We're gonna turn that mother out!!!


Birthday Fun!!

In the air on the magic carpet ride, then on the silly jungle cruise.

Us on the teacups as they were spinning!

If you haven't figured it out yet or didn't know, Rashan and I went to Disney World for my birthday! AND Stace met us in Orlando with Dreezy (though I have no evidence Dreezy was there lol Not a single picture!) We had Mexican food and went to Universal City Walk and of course the mouse's house. I had guac, tilapia ceviche, enchilada, and beef tongue taco!! I was so excited to try tongue after seeing Rick cook it on Top Chef Masters. I liked it okay. The ceviche was delish but the guac left something to be desired. This birthday, the drink of choice was margarita! I drank them all night! But they were spaced out far enough that I felt fine the next day.
Me on the teacups, then us in the sky on the magic carpet ride.

Me & Rah at City Walk. Me opening my gift from Stace-- which I loved!!

The castle! It was threatening all day but except for a few sprinkles when we got there, no rain on us! Yay!!