Monday Mindspacing Vol. 9

1) My cousins who get on my nerves the most w/their FB quizzes/statuses have been hidden. Good riddance. I'm really tired of your inspiration and coach bag "gifts" and "what kind of lover am I" quizzes. We're really not close anyway.
2) My mom said it was funny going out with me and Stace because of all the head turning from guys. Lol.
3) You know how lots of people have this idea of grandmothers as warm and fuzzy? Mine isn't like that. I have one living grandparent and have for almost 20 years now (my dad was 36 when I was born so his parents were pretty old). She has a contentious relationship with as far as I can tell pretty much everyone she knows, some just take it better than others. It makes me sad for her.
4) Internet story commenters are idiots. I know Rashan already said that but I'm here to confirm it.
5) Can we call d.ouchebaggery what it is? One of the funniest words in the English language!!!!!! Lolololol
6) I like getting Rashan hooked on my favorite foods. 1st Mexican (3xs in 6 days). Now I have him liking the best apples ever: pink lady!
7) Whenever I eat an apple I'm STARVING within the hour. Is that normal? Some interwebbers say it is.
8) I'm obsessed with this website! http://community.livejournal.com/obama_daily/ I love my first family.
9) You know how UF killed my program and the program is moving to Wake Forest now? Oh I didn't tell you that last part? (I know I didn't, lol) Yeah... so I'm sooooo over UF. I'm excited to be a FOOTBALL SEASON TICKET HOLDER BATCHES!!!!! but all that giving back, participating alumni stuff when I graduate? Yeah right. Deuces.
10) If I ever have a restaurant the cooking temperatures for burgers would be:
Still kicking: rare
Dead, but just barely: medium rare
We killed it aka Perfect: medium well
You're going to eat that?: Well... J/k. I'd call this one Murdered.
11) Watching 750 movies is getting tiring again. That's partly because so many are so poorly done. I would say I need to stick with films critically acclaimed but then I would miss some I really liked that no critics bothered to review. I should stay away from really bad movies that people know are really bad and all talk about how bad they are. It's wearing me out.
12) Friday night I had a dream about my old job as a producer. My show was like 9 minutes light. I had forgotten to put in sports, my anchor was late getting to the set and my directors were all sleeping or AWOL during the weather break and didn't come back in time. I was SO glad to wake up from that one! Someone, I think Stace, asked me if I would ever go back to that job (in another city) like if I couldn't find a job in documentary. I'd really rather not. It's very stressful.
13) I think Mexican and burgers are about 67% of my diet. And I'm okay with that. Actually, I'm a little disappointed it's not more. Like at least 73%.


Crazy Movie Lady 26

July 19-25, 2008
I gave some pretty harsh reviews this week because I'm tiring of watching movies that need a more scrupulous editor. I sound like one of my professors: STRUCTURE!!! But it's true. Geez. If that scene doesn't advance your plot, get rid of it!! As we say in the biz, kill that baby! Your scenes are your babies. Kill them!!
393. Prom in Mississippi. HBO documentary about the town, Charleston, where Morgan Freeman lives, which has a segregated prom. He's offered to pay for the prom if it's integrated for the first time. I wish we could get some more tripods used in this film because there were a lot of shaky shots in the open. It improved quickly though. I adore the kids in this film. Really well-told story. A large number are fighting to ignore the generational teachings to segregate socially though they go to school together. I really liked this film. 4.7/5 stars.
394. Mamma Mia. Cute musical about a girl (my "Mean Girl" Karen) who invites the three men who could be her father to her wedding to meet them for the first time... without telling her mother (Meryl Streep). Y'all know I love Meryl. If you like musicals, you'll like this movie. And it has enough plot twists to entertain a lot of people who don't like musicals, too. 4.5 stars
395. Bee Movie. Hmm. Jerry Seinfeld & Renee Zellweger (who I never seem to like in films) in the animated film about a bee who makes friends with a human, then decides to sue them over honey. It was vaguely amusing, then boringly silly, then ridiculous. It dragged. I can see why it didn't do well in the box office. All that plus the crazy hype (remember that? very annoying) and oh well. 3 stars.
396. Phoebe in Wonderland. Elle Fanning is amazing in this fantasy film about a little girl who always seems to be breaking the rules. When her drama teacher casts her in "Alice and Wonderland" the characters begin to give her advice. Felicity Huffman plays her mother. Strangely serious in a way I didn't expect early in the film but still an interesting film that certainly kept my attention.
397. Dead Poets Society. Robin Williams plays an English teacher at a prep school who inspires his students to poetry in unconventional ways. Excruciatingly long with a plot you could predict from a mile away. 2 stars.
398. Benny and Joon. Johnny Depp is the weird (shocker) housekeeper a mentally ill girl falls in love with to the chagrin of her caretaker brother. The plot took overly long to develop but Depp was captivating as usual. I don't understand why netflix termed this a romantic comedy. There were definitely funny parts but I think comedy is an overly strong description. 3.4 stars.
399. Body of War. Incredibly slanted documentary about an Iraq war veteran paralyzed after just 5 days there. Heavy usage of CSPAN and a 2002 speech by Bush. The veteran's story was very compelling but the methods used to flesh out the story line were too much. I'm against the war and still felt propagandized. Very slow pacing and overly-dramatized music. 2.4 stars.
400. Visioneers. Strange strange strange film about a descendant of George Washington who lives in a time when dreaming is discouraged and people who do so and who think too much explode. I was confused by what the film was supposed to be about at times. Very weird. 3 stars.
401. Ballerina. Documentary about Russian ballerinas. It pretty inadequately followed five from a prestigious theater. I liked some of the ballerinas but didn't really feel like I connected with any but one. The worst part was the narration-- the fact that it was repetitive, insultingly condescending and intrusive, and the delivery was irritating. I know that was a harsh review but 2.4/5 stars.
402. Better Off Dead. 80s teen movie about a kid (John Cusack) who thinks his life is over when his girlfriend dumps him for a more popular guy. His already overactive imagination goes into overdrive and then he meets the exchange student now living across the street. Funny ish and odd. Definitely not my fave of the 80s teen comedies. 3.3 stars.
403. On A Clear Day. British film about a man who loses his job and realizes he's old to be looking for a new job but still too young to officially retire. To keep himself busy he decides to swim the English Channel. I liked it though the beginning dragged to set up the story. 3.7 stars.
404. What a Way to Go! Shirley MacLaine is the widow who tells her analyst how she became a multimillionaire in a comedy with quite the cast: Dick Van Dyke, Paul Newman, Gene Kelly, what!? I loved it before it even started. Funny and silly. 4 stars.
405. I Love You, Alice B. Toklas. Peter Sellers movie about a lawyer who decides to give it all up and become a hippie to the chagrin of his fiancee and family. Very very strange and semi-plotless. 2.7 stars.
406. I Do: How to Get Married and Stay Single. A perfumier is happily single but his mother and sisters insist on him getting married. After a string of horrid blind dates he hires a woman to play his fiancee then dump him to get his family to abandon the idea forever. Though slightly predictable, this French romantic comedy takes some unexpected turns. I liked it a lot. 4.5 stars.
407. Family Law. Argentinean film about a father and son, both attorneys, and the young grandson and the son's relationship to both and his wife. I wanted the plot of the film to be more apparent. What it was about, etc. 3.2 stars.
408. Brief Encounter. Classic David Lean film about an illicit romance in Britain in 1945 between a housewife and a doctor. A bit melodramatic toward the end as old films tend to be but still pretty engaging. 3.5 stars.
409. Alice's House. Brazilian film which was more like an extended telenovella. Crazy winding plot and abrupt non-ending. Drama-filled does not necessarily translate into a good film. 2.3 stars.
410. The Lady From Shanghai. Classic Rita Hayworth & Orson Welles film where she plays the damsel in distress with a secret and he the reluctant savior. Intriguing to see where the lies would unravel. It also made me discovered Rita Hayworth. Can you imagine being that person? Wow. I loved the unexpected end. 4.2 stars.
411. Son of the Bride. This film took an incredibly long time to get to the crux. Argentinean film nominated for an Academy Award about a restauranteur whose father wants to remarry his mother, who has Alzheimer's and the turns their lives take in trying to make the marriage happen. Nice pay-off in the end. I would have preferred a quicker route. 3.4 stars
412. Bigger, Stronger, Faster. Documentary by a guy whose 2 brothers are both on steroids about the reasons why they take steroids and why he did at one point but felt too guilty to continue. The stereotypical narration of a personal documentary-- overly wordy, unprofessional, boring. He asked the same obvious questions ad nauseum for an hour and 45 minutes. I watched this film because this guy at the bus stop near my apartment told me it was the only doc he liked. He would because he's one of those guys who is either on roids or has thought about it. It's not that the film didn't appeal to me because I'm not either of those, but rather that it didn't seem to have a structure. I've really liked many films, docs included in which I had no interest in participating in the topic, but that's because they were engaging in their ability to advance a plot. This seemed not to have one rather to show every thought he's ever had about steroids and body image with some movies, baseball and "experts" mixed in. I was really amazed by the amount of video and images they used I KNOW they would have to pay serious money to clear. Even though he's not on them and says he's against them, still pretty slanted and way too long. 2 stars
413. I Was a Male War Bride. Cary Grant movie where he marries a female army lt. from the U.S. but he's a French Army man. They struggle to get him recognized as a war bride. Quite funny. 4.1 stars


If I Must

I know that when I get home, internet service will be shady at best so I should go ahead and leave you guys with something to rock your children to sleep with. At least I'll have the option of going to the nearby library in which I won't be eye-stalked or touched by the security guards "trying to tuck in a tag" yes BOTH of those happened in the same hood library in Jackson. I had to immediately leave after the second one. And come to think of it, why are there security guards EVERYWHERE there? Are people poppin off in the library the size of the average Wendy's so much that you need TWO security guards? Because this is the smallest library I've ever been in. You can see the entire thing from the front door except that one back corner and it seems like everyone is concentrated at the front by the computers. On a positive note, I was glad to see Macs. On a bad note, too bad several of them did not work.

This past weekend I saw Stace for the 3rd time in 4 weeks. It was AWESOME!! I think we were best friends in a past life, too if those exist. We clicked sophomore year and have managed to stay in touch through letters, email and cell phones despite not living in the same city in 7 years. At least in this last year we've lived in the same state. That is fantastic! We have a blast together! Yay! First was our HU friend Bran's daddy's birthday party, then Stace came with me and my mom to Mississippi, then this past weekend was Dani's boyfriend's birthday celebration... allegedly. Because Stace and Dreezy were with me and Rah most of it... except Saturday! Me and Rashan's one year anniversary... AWWWW!!

We ate at Rathbun's, the restaurant of a chef who beat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef!!! My lamb scallopini appetizer with pancetta and goat cheese gouda was delicious. My Dr. Loosen Riesling was delightful. My grouper with fingerling potatoes and yellow tomatoes was a let down. Too much acid from what I believe was white wine vinegar. I figured out the vinegar because one mouthful was overpoweringly full of it. I couldn't even finish it and please believe the portion was small. For dessert, peach tart tatin. Like my meal, it took WAY too long to come out, but was delicious! In fact, it took SO long to arrive our waitress took it off of our check. It's a shame the point of the meal, the ENTREE was the least appetizing part.

For breakfast the next morning we went to the Sundial Restaurant at the Westin in downtown Atlanta. (Side note: downtown Atlanta restaurant week starts Sunday and runs for the next two weeks.... $25 3 course meals. SWOON!!! I've sent Rah my top 4 list already.) It's a rotating restaurant with 360 degree views of the city from 72 stories up. The visual elevator was closed but I did not like riding up in the circle and I didn't love eating while rotating. But the food was delicious! I had crab cakes benedict with medium poached eggs and home fries and of course a mimosa. I ordered a bellini and got that instead, though so bummer on that. When I go home, I hope to put away Classy Jojo for her birthday and see Trashy Hoho!! Ow!! Good times, good times. Lol. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain my 3+ movies a day habit, with the help of the library and netflix. If not I'll be kidnapping some computers or something!! I might get stuck with watching some of my mom's "black star power." Dun dun dun. Saaaaave meeeeee!! Adios kids!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 8

1) This month's InStyle has a travel acid peel... why on vacation would I want to torture myself in such a manner? If I'm not already going in for lipo and a nose job or something else far more painful, why?
2) And why would I want to pay $15 for .14 oz of nail polish!?!? Just because it doesn't have some sort of chemicals you've suddenly told me are bad for me? As if nail polish isn't the most expensive item you buy when you compare it to a gallon of anything else. Nail polish is easily $3-$5 for the cheap kind and you still get less than an ounce.
3) Sophomore year in college I changed my nail polish every day the first semester. Every once in a while I'd skip a day. When you live in a dorm with that many girls, there are a lot of polish options and I've always loved my nails. FINALLY a chance to indulge.
4) My friends always said they never saw me study. One time fave roomie said, "OMG! Jameil just picked up a book!" She meant a text book. I was always reading for pleasure. I would rather socialize than study. I can semi-study and maintain above a 3.0? Back then I'd rather enjoy my college years than have a stellar gpa. Now I care more about my GPA but I stand by my decision to have fun.
5) Aren't ellipsis like the best thing since sliced bead? They so adequately express the silence I allow when I talk to let you think about how crazy what I just said is. Ellipsis is the written equivalent of *face* as well.
6) When I worked at the tv station, I was the work queen. I would always point out the people on the Today show with the frozen faces from botox or who were strange looking from nose jobs and brow lifts and cheek restructuring and face lifts. Once I saw one or 2 of each confirmed, it was way too easy to pick them out. I became the expert on who got what work. This became even easier when we got all HD tvs.
7) It annoys me when stars say they're not confident or feel uncomfortable being attractive. I know that profession breeds uncertainty and self-consciouness but for the love of pete. This irritates/baffles/concerns (sometimes one, sometimes a mix of those) me in regular people, I really don't want to read it in a magazine. Furthermore, it just rings insincere to say you feel comfortable being beautiful now. I've always loved fabulosity even when I didn't yet possess the means to be it (celeb kids look a bit strange all Guccied/fadded out).
8) My mom used to let us jump on the bed and sleep upside down or sideways as long as none of our extremities were hanging off. I thought this was so cool of her. I realize now she really had bigger things to worry about. Lol. My grandma on my dad's side let us jump on the bed, too and her bed was WAY springier. Fun!
9) When I was younger (elementary school) we used to go to this fancy Chinese restaurant with these huge yellow fish. When we'd come home at night I had nightmares about those fish swimming under the covers at my feet.
10) The most recent issue of InStyle has me feeling very good riddance. I'm glad I'm getting rid of this vapid magazine. It is gauche to talk about the $1500 a month you spend on your hair and nails and face during a recession. Geez. Don't you read the NYT? You should. Then you'd know people who are still flush know it's tacky to talk about how you really don't need to cut back but you think it's cute to try in the spirit of solidarity.
11) Time zones are weird to me. When were they created, why and by who? (I know I could just look it up on wiki but this was on my mind.) I think the week and a half in MS was longest period of time I ever spent out of the EST other than the 3 weeks in Europe summer 2000. Very strange. I mean I understand that it would be really weird if when it was 10 on the east coast it was still 10 and bright o'clock in LA but still. Who figured that out?
12) Shoot me in the face if I ever date someone for 10 years. Even 5 is crazy to me. Let's be real. I don't even really want to just date anyone for 3 years. Let's make a decision one way or the other.


Crazy Movie Lady 25

July 12-18, 2009
Excellent week for film watching. I was hanging with Adei and Drew and celebrating my and Rashan's first anniversary so there was very little movie-watching the last few days but I made up for it the rest of the week.
376. Bobby. This film about how the lives 22 people intersect on the day Bobby Kennedy was killed. Crazy cast included Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Nick Cannon, Laurence Fishburn, Elijah Wood, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and on and on. This film was written and directed by Emilio Estevez, who also had a small part. It was bolstered massively by the actual historical footage from the day. Without it, the film would have fallen much more flatly. Still a decent effort 3.5/5 stars.
377. Sorry, Wrong Number. Barbara Stanwyck plays a screaming invalid harpy who overhears a murder plot and has to figure out who it's against and convince someone to help. The melodrama was ridiculous and most of the story about how her husband's (Burt Lancaster) life was unraveling was told in flashback. 3 stars.
378. Guarding Tess. Strange movie where Nicolas Cage plays a secret service agent guarding a cantankerous former first lady (Shirley MacLaine). It was funny, then took an oddly serious turn I wasn't expecting and didn't understand. Both were quite good in their roles, though. 3.2 stars.
379. Jamaica Inn. Hitchcock film about an inn housing a gang of pirates. When one pirate's niece comes to visit, they have to keep their activities from her and the constable who helped her get there. It all unravels marvelously from the first night. This one got off to a slow start but moved nicely in the last half. There was a strangely large amount of unnecessary dialogue packed into this one unlike his later works but much more concise still as it was about half an hour shorter than most of his later works. 4 stars.
380. Horton Hears A Who! Animated film with quite the cast (Carol Burnett, Jim Carrey, Steve Carrell, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogan). Needless to say but I will anyway, I came into this film with high comedic expectations!!! They were mostly met though Carrey as usual was a bit over the top. Still a cute kids movie. 4 stars
381. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Wow... this parody of a rags to riches music biopic is so overly silly. Wasn't a fan. 2/5 stars.
382. Saint Ralph. A teenage boy bargains with God to wake his mother out of a coma, he will win the Boston Marathon in the 1950s (before Africa took over). It was intriguing and amusing throughout. It only got a little too sappy toward the end but still not entirely predictable. I think my mom would really like this film. 4.3/5 stars.
383. Teddy: In His Own Words. HBO documentary about Ted Kennedy's life. It was strange that this was subtitled "in his own words" when his voice was disembodied for the entire film except when you saw archival footage. I'm assuming this film was green lighted because of the considerable amount of "never before seen" or rarely before seen footage. There was no real new ground broken and there didn't seem to really be any sort of reflection on his life which is what I expected, again from the title. That doesn't necessarily mean in depth coverage of what everyone wants to know (Chappaquiddick) but go deeper on SOMETHING. As it encompassed most of the events of his life, it was overly broad. It really seemed like the sort of film they show when someone dies. Strangely abrupt ending. This has nothing to do with the actual film but was there a requirement for reviewers of it to use the phrase "warts-and-all"? B/c it was in no less than 5 reviews. Let's be a bit more creative. 3 stars.
384.The Seven Year Itch. A man's family goes out of town for the summer and he begins to fantasize about his beautiful neighbor (Marilyn Monroe). I felt sorry for her. This is at least the 3rd of her movies I've seen and she always plays a ditz. Silly movie but amusing enough. 3.3 stars
385. Very Young Girls. Documentary about a NYC program which helps sexually exploited teenagers leave "the life" as they call their time as prostitutes, many of them starting at age 13 or 14. Very moving and heartbreaking, this film followed the director of the program and several of the girls she was helping or had helped transition out of the life. Difficult to watch and there was one story that was introduced, then ignored until the final wrap-up which was very strange but overall an excellent documentary which showed how hard it is for these brainwashed girls to take back their lives. 4 stars.
386. Thin. Downer documentary about women struggling with eating disorders. I think I wanted something more from this movie: some sort of hope, something beyond the day to day in a treatment facility but I guess that's not what the producers wanted for this film. Judging the film for what it was and not what I wanted it to be, I think there was still something missing, not necessarily from the stories of the girls they followed, though as in the last doc, there was one story that was pretty much pushed aside through most of the film even though it was very compelling-- a girl with an eating disorder w/a mom who also has one (and doesn't seem to care that she does or think about the impact of the things she says on her child). I liked that everyone was so open. I can't really pinpoint what the deal was with this film. It made me sad and hungry. I wanted to eat for them. 3.9 stars.
387. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer. Cary Grant, Myrna Loy & Shirley Temple. Classic. Have I told you lately that I love Cary Grant? Yowza. Cute movie about an artist (my boo) who has the misfortune of having a judge's (Loy) younger sister (Temple) fall in love with him then having to date her to get her infatuation to subside. Cute. 3.8 stars.
388. Uncle Buck. John Candy plays the irresponsible uncle who has to come to the rescue to stay with his nieces and nephews and do some creative parenting. Cute family movie. 3.8 stars.
389. Delicatessen. French movie where the neighborhood butcher lures men in to kill them and feed the neighbors (Sweeney Todd-style). The latest plan hits a snag when the butcher's daughter falls in love with the next victim: a clown. Sounds much more silly than it was. Kind of sickening to watch. This movie preceded Johnny Depp's (side note: isn't Johnny a weird name for such an odd man? a little too normal). It took a little too long to get to the point but the end was largely unpredictable which of course I loved. 3.7 stars.
390. Tuskegee Airmen: They Fought Two Wars. PBS "documentary" about the black pilots in WWII who escorted bombers to their missions and never lost a single bomber plane. I use the term documentary lightly because it was heavy on recreations. The narration was overused and a little too obvious. It was disappointing because this is such an important story about how the fighters were discriminated against in the military and then again when they came back to America w/o the hero treatment they deserved. This movie did not feel like it was made for a sophisticated audience. With the participation of at least 10 of the fighters, I had high hopes for this film. However because of the over-reliance on narration, their stories were not told so much as a general overview. I suppose this movie is for people who have never heard of the airmen. That doesn't include me. 3 stars.
391. An American in Paris. Gene Kelly in the musical story of an American... in Paris... who is keeping a secret from the woman he loves and who is also keeping a secret from him. There was a 15-minute dream sequence at the end that made absolutely no sense in the scheme of the rest of the film. It also too overly long to introduce the characters in the beginning. The music was wonderful especially the song from one of my fave movies (When Harry Met Sally), "Our Love is Here to Stay." Love that song! The ending dance sequence killed it though as much as I love dance, it really dragged the movie down. 3.3 stars.
392. My Favorite Wife. Cary Grant plays a man who remarries after his wife is missing for 7 years. He has to make some decisions when she shows up. Cute classic comedy. 4.4 stars.



I won a contest on Claudia's blog! Yay!! I just had to play her fave game Unconscious Mutterings where she gives a list of 12 words and I have to just type in the first thing that comes to mind! Yes!! I won an autographed copy of her new book, The Fey, AND wait for it... THIN MINTS!!! MY FAVE GIRL SCOUT COOKIE!!! Suh-weet! Do you even understand that I put those suckers in the freezer IMMEDIATELY!? Immediatement!! Lol. I got so excited I had to break in to Francais!

I've been cooking up a storm this summer. Last night I made a recipe from Darius' cooking site called Tequila Lime Chicken & Fettucini. Sounds right up my alley huh!? I subbed white wine for the tequila since someone had already imbibed all the tequila (Rashan) and added freshly grated parmesan and diced fresh Roma tomatoes to the final product!! Delicious!! Rashan and I both loved it! Mmmmm!! AND I've gotten him to eat lunch 2 days in a row when he normally only eats lunch let's say never days a week. One meal a day for that one on regular days. Wack.

Tomorrow Stace and Drew are coming to Atlanta AND me and Rashan are going to meet them at this cute restaurant for our first double date!! So cute!!

And Saturday is me and Rashan's one year anniversary! Awwwww!! So cute!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 7

1) Someone once told me I should live by myself before I get married since I never had before I moved to Florida. SO true. I miss having my own space after a while as much as I like being around my friends, family and Rashan. So nice.
2) The space program still exists for the people who were around and mesmerized by it in the Kennedy-era. If there is anyone under 30 who can tell me the point of spending billions of dollars going into space, I'd really like to hear it. However, if you can find a way to make space travel as cheap as getting on an airplane, or at least not cost millions or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, sign me up!
3) I know it's ridiculous but after watching Memoirs of a Geisha I need to go to Japan. Add it to the list of countries to visit. That list is long but go ahead and add it. Mexico should be one of the first. Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Brazil, Belize, Spain, Italy, England (only been to London's 2 airports).
4) If I had a black cat I would name her magic.
5) All Hitchcock films aren't awesome. Some of his early ones are rather boring.
6) Even if I wasn't with Rashan, it would be almost impossible for me to want to date someone from Mississippi. Do you know how many siblings my grandmother, grandfather, and great-grands had? DOZENS. Some had at least 11 siblings in two sets. GET THEE BEHIND ME!! This guy at the club said, "Your face looks familiar." I said, after a long week of family history, "You're probably my cousin." He looked faintly disgusted or at least taken aback. Well... you probably are.
7) I love old stuff with historical or sentimental significance. Seeing my mom's first shoes and socks? SO COOL!! And my grandmother's 3rd grade report card? Which came with the information that her father, born a slave, never learned to read or write so his wife, my great-grandmother, would sign his name on the report card.
8) Sometimes my grandma really over explains things to me. Yes, grandma, I understand that the x represented his whole name. I asked if he ever wanted to learn to read and write... wow...
9) My mom does the same thing!! I have to say, "Gee... thanks, mom. How did you think I managed to know how to do that living without you most of the last 9 years?" And sometimes all it takes is an exasperated look for her to say, "I know! You grown." Yeah... thanks. Lol.
10) I kind of want to start a series or even do one post called "Ask a Canadian" though I'm sure we could come up with a better name than that (what's their nickname?). Of course Sparkling Red would be my Canadian to ask questions. I'm curious about that country. Like other than being colder and having a lot of French speakers, how else is it different from the US? Some of them are really really stupid American questions and things I could likely learn from Wiki but I think questions are more fun when the answers come from real people. I never thought about Canada until reading her blog but sometimes I find a string of questions coming to my head. Do you have any for her, too? Obviously I know she doesn't represent all Canadians, but I would like her perspective. Lol.
11) Why when I was in Mississippi did more than one white person look at me like I was in the wrong place and they were shocked at my impudence? The whole restaurant when me, my mom and my grandma went for brunch, then at just me when I went alone to Starbucks, pulled out my phone and my Mac. Get like me. In both spots we/I were/was the only black people/person not working there.
12) Why did this chick ask me if I said "wi-fry" when I asked at McDs in MS if they had wi-fi? Are you really that lost in another century? You don't know what wi-fi is? I had to say, "The internet?" And she still looked confused. Like why would McDs have the internet? ... Because in all the cities I've ever lived almost every cafe/fast food/casual restaurant you eat in has the internet... Again, how is it you've never even HEARD of it?
13) Why did another woman ask me and Stace how to spell Google? This one was at least really nice. I feel bad for making some of them sound stupid but if the shoe fits...
14) HAMPTON'S VICTORIA'S SECRET LINE IS NOW ONLINE!!!!! FINALLY!!!! I need all of these for my bday in size medium except the shirt in a size small!!
15) I had so many thoughts in my head in MS that I got 3 weeks ahead on Monday mindspacing... Wow brain.


Crazy Movie Lady 24

July 5-11, 2009
After a horrid 2 weeks movie-watching-wise, I'm nowhere near caught up, still 20 movies behind BUT I've hit the halfway mark!!!! YESSSS!! Just 375 more movies to watch this year!! Woooo!!! The goal for the upcoming week: instead of the usual 14, 21. Here goes nothing!
362. The Farmer's Wife. Silent Hitchcock film about a widowed farmer now looking for a wife, enlisting his housekeeper not knowing she's interested. I've seen a French version of this film where the woman spoke only French, he spoke only English. I liked that version more mostly because at least there was SOME talking and that version wasn't 2 hours!! Wow! It's hard to imagine the time when watching a 2-hour silent film wasn't torture, but a treat. Some people probably saw it multiple times, marveling at the feat. When I watch really old movies, I try to watch them through the lens of the times but this was a stretch for me. 3/5 stars.
363. Memoirs of a Geisha. I like the melody of this film but am bothered by the fact that it isn't in Japanese. I prefer films with subtitles to films with people who look somewhat like they should (the characters apparently are actually Chinese) but speak in English. Crap. Americans. I want a kimono and a fan. Still a captivating story. 3.9 stars.
364. The Secret Agent. Hitchcock film about you guessed it, a secret agent. Nothing too shocking about this one. Bah. I couldn't get into it at all. 2 stars.
365. Hotel Rwanda. Amazing film with Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo as the man and his wife who saved more than 1200 people in the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s. I loved it partly because you would never believe it if it wasn't based in fact. 5 stars.
366. Rich and Strange. Hitchcock film about a couple who inherits a large sum of money and takes a cruise. It changes their life for the worse and at the end, they're broke again with more than a few bumps along the way. At one point I was aiming toward a 4 if it had ended the way I thought it was about to, but then it took a very boring turn. Meh. No fun. 3.1 stars.
367. Defending Your Life. Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep die and have to defend their lives on earth before they can move on or be sent back to earth. Amusing romantic comedy at times but some parts really dragged. It didn't need to be 1hr48. Meryl's part was strangley vapid. 3.2 stars.
368. Hear and Now. Personal documentary about a 65-year-old couple who decide to undergo a controversial surgery to help them hear. Their daughter is the filmmaking which adds a level of interest. BUT it falls on a lot of the same conventions most personal docs seem to adopt: over-reliance on narration being the most pervasive one. It would be more interesting to let her parents just talk about what they're feeling than to add speculations that most people would already ask about. This is at least the 3rd documentary I've watched about cochlear implants and I'm unnerved that until 40 minutes in it doesn't really talk about the implant controversy And then it's really about the negative impact on her mom. It was probably a conscious decision. I would like to see something else from the filmmaker to get a better understanding of her style. Her mother is captivating, though. And it never stops being amazing to see someone hear for the first time. I don't understand at all why they keep showing waves almost like a bridge between sounds. Is that supposed to be significant or poignant? Because it's overused and confusing. Still quite interesting though the end seemed to move a bit more slowly than I would've liked. 3.5/5 stars.
369. Fool's Gold. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are absolutely the reason I watched this film. It's a ridiculous premise-- he's a luckless treasure hunter who sacrifices his relationship w/her in search of a mysterious treasure. Th marriage is rekindled when he finds a new clue. Malcolm Jamal Warner's horrid Jamaican accent? Mess. Way too long at nearly 2 hours. 2.5/5 stars.
370. Saving Silverman. Really stupid movie with Jack Black and Jason Biggs. Take my word for it. 2/5 stars.
371. Family Business. Matthew Broderick, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman. "Comic caper" about a family of criminals who come together. Great cast, huh? And still not really there with the story line. Couldn't keep my attention. 2.9 stars.
372. Fever Pitch. Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon are a great couple until baseball season rolls around and she realizes what a Red Sox fanatic he is. First, it's weird to see them as a couple. They seem more like friends AND Drew as a high-powered person? Yeah right. Fair romantic comedy. Pretty non-descript. 3 stars.
373. Little Red Truck. Documentary about traveling acting teachers who teach a one-hour musical to a group of children in different cities around the country in one week. The organization of the film was a bit confusing because there were 5 simultaneous partner teams doing different plays and they bounced around to all of them. The worst part was the end though where *SPOILER ALERT* they showed an entire song from each performance-- about 5 minutes each. I am not a fan of children singing and listening to it for about 15 minutes was more than I could stand! Yikes! Still 3 stars.
374. The Hangover. Crazy movie about a group of friends who go to a bachelor party in Vegas, lose the groom and have to find clues as to what happened and where he is since they remember nothing of the previous night. Very funny. I was shocked to like this movie so much and laugh so hard. It helped that I was imbibing... but it still would've been funny. 4 stars.
375. The Last Word. Winona Ryder & Ray Romano are strangely connected to the man who pens suicide notes for people, she as his love interest though she doesn't know he wrote the note for someone she knows or that he even does that; Romano as a client. I liked that it was unpredictable without being random. I also like that this is the halfway mark!!! Oh yeah!! 3.5/5 stars


Quick Update

Is that not the cutest baby in the world!? Wow! I get all superlative-filled when I'm around babies. Awwww! That's my cousin's youngest son who I had a blast with in Mississippi. That's my fave picture of us. AWWWW!!

So far I've watched 3 movies today and will get in at least one more. I'm still TWENTY-TWO movies behind. LAWD!!! I need to watch 5 movies a day. My goal for Saturday is 6... We'll see... One of those may be at the movie theater. I'm sooo sick of 2 hour plus movies because most of the time they're that long and they really don't deserve to be. EDIT.

I tried tamales and pig ears for the first time when I was in Mississippi. The latter? Stace and I thought they would be fried pig ears. Instead they were BOILED on a dinner roll with cole slaw, hot sauce and mustard. NASTY. The entire consistency was straight mush. UGH. Stace took one bite and stopped. I choked down the whole thing. Not delicious and at the end I felt a bit ill.

For the latter I can dig it but tamales will never replace my fave Mexican food: CHILE RELLENOS!! Speaking of which, me and Rah had Mexican food last night and it was BANGIN!! The only I'd had without cooking myselfin almost 2 weeks! I was going through serious withdrawal and we had to go on a mission to find it because... we saw his brand new niece yesterday! AWWW! Just one day old yesterday and the cutest in the world!!

OMG my grandma saves everything! Some of it she should throw away but some? AWESOME!! I have pics of her 3rd grade report card from the school year 1937-1938. Wow!! I also saw my mom's baby shoes (the white pair was dated her birthday: June 30, 1955) and her first socks! Awwww!! I was amazed that her foot was ever that small.

Guess what? I don't really want to do anything today... or tomorrow... we'll see.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 6

1) I've realized there are some things in GQ Rashan will never wear no matter how much I like them because they will look far too "Twan" on him. In fact, there are some things I really like in there but know they would look silly on him.
2) As much as I miss the internet, I almost enjoy being unconnected sometimes... almost. I still have a need to know what's happening in the world and miss things I would otherwise be all over (family response to MJ's death, resignation of the killa from Wasilla (I think that's Palin's most hilarious nickname), the most popular stories on the NYT daily).
3) My grandmother could live without A/C because she says it gives her a crick in her neck. We love you, but my mom and I can't roll like that. Heat index of 100+ daily and we're gonna be sweat boxing it up in the house? That's a no. My mom's brothers (she's the only girl) will suffer in silence with sweat pouring down their faces. My mom? Yeah right. I don't know if she's always been the one most willing to stand up to my grandma but she certainly is now.
4) Guess who got 4 fab new hats from her grandma's collection? MEEEEEE!!! Le sigh! So great except... there were 2 others I wanted which she says she still wears. She wouldn't part with any of the jewelry. Bah humbug.
5) I brought 9 pairs of shoes (including one pair of tennis shoes) to MS with me for a 9-day stay and am determined to wear every pair just to prove to Stace I can and will!! Lol. She was with me when I packed and appalled. As of Saturday night I only had 3 more pairs to wear including one set aside for Sunday morning and another ready to be applied for Sunday afternoon. Score!! As the church folk say, "We're gonna make it!" And then I didn't go to church... hmmm... I still think we can make it!
6) Sometimes when I get behind on movie-watching like I am right now, I freak out for a day or 2, then become incredibly zen. Like well... I'm either going to get these movies watched or I'm going to spend time with my grandma and cousins and uncles and Stace when she was here. Family time, it is. That deficit can be smashed in 2 weeks of heavy movie-watching. I hope I won't have a reason to come back to MS before next year (one of my uncles just lost his transplanted kidney and is back on dialysis BUT if another kidney becomes available he might get one).
7) I'm seeing most of my family for the first time in 5 years. They never come to NC and I haven't been here since one cousin's wedding 5 years ago. I met my cousin's 8-month-old baby for the first time-- such a cutie!-- and if I see my cousin Chasity it will be the first time in probably a decade, at least 10 years. I've never met 2 of her 3 children. She was missing in action a lot of that time. I haven't seen one of my uncles who lives in Atlanta in at least 9 years, since my h.s. graduation. I keep meaning to call him but I really don't want him to ignore my calls, too, like he regularly does to his siblings who are quite exasperated with him-- he's the baby.
8) It makes my mom sad to come to Jackson because of how run down it looks. There are an outrageous number of abandoned buildings and homes. There will be 2 abandoned homes right next to an occupied one, then one more occupied, then another abandoned or extremely run down.
9) Mississippi white people are different from Charlotte white people. They looked way too shocked to see us in a decent restaurant which served brunch Sunday morning. My mom said blacks and whites still don't really interact down here or make an effort like they do in Charlotte. My grandmother says she doesn't know any white people her age other than this one white woman at her senior center who seems extra comfortable surrounded by blacks like those white women who always dated black men and probably had black children, too. How weird is that that she doesn't know any white people? It makes sense seeing as she was born and raised in MS and in a completely different time (the 1930s), but still weird.
10) My mom's first love sang at her wedding to my father. I saw the church where they got married and my grandma still had bows and flowers. So weird. Especially because she didn't want to give them to my mom. Only one of the lace bows is something I might be able to reuse.
11) I just found my mom was the secretary of the SGA her senior year in high school. Random, I know.
12) My cousin Amber asked when she found out Stace left MS early, "It ain't that bad is it?" Lolol. No, she already had a previous engagement.
13) I have THE WORST country accent when I'm down here because everyone I know sounds like that and I'm an accent chameleon. I've never had a discernible accent but I've just found it easier after years of ridicule as a child for sounding white to blend. It's unconscious now unless I'm around other people who don't usually hear me like that (it also comes out when I'm talking to my mom). I didn't even previously realize the reason behind it. That's the one that makes the most sense. Actually now I really only sound different around (usually black) people with southern accents.
14) I know you're trying to be helpful and nice, but if you're a senior citizen assistance agency, please stop giving my grandmother crap she will never use. She has enough clutter without you helping. Give her some food or some sort of non-tangible help like with her will or something. No more trinkets!!!!

*Movies of the week are posted below.


Crazy Movie Lady 23

June 29- July 4, 2009
This was a HORRIBLE week in terms of movie-watching!!! No docs, and I'm more than a dozen movies behind!! I'm going to have to spend at least one entire day at the library next week using the wifi to try to catch up. I have no internet here at my grandma's house in Mississippi and Stace the movie hater's been here most of the week. Life's gotten in the way. I've enjoyed it but I want to get back ahead of my movies. As half of this next week will be spent in Atlanta, I'll have a chance to buckle down and see at least twice as many movies as I watched last week. Not saying a lot is it? I should at least triple it! Lol. I have a few movies available to me so I definitely should say triple. Let's say triple!! Lol
358. Confessions of a Shopaholic. First, I must confess this isn't the week I'm going to catch up on my anything. Not my thesis, not my movie watching. Maybe my family history. That's it. That's what Mississippi is here for in my world. Anyway the movie. It was okay. Very predictable and quite silly at moments. Heavily laden with music in an odd way. Let's have a break in the action and play 8 bars of a popular song... and.... we're back! I've read many of the shopaholic novels and enjoyed them as those mindless airport reads. It didn't really seem like the same person but I wasn't terribly annoyed by that. This movie was just there. I was somewhat amused but then somewhat bored. Stace hated it for its predictability. We can agree it shouldn't have been more than an hour 30. Isla Fisher (the lead) is being put out of work by Amy Adams because they have the same typecast: ditzy redhead. Hmm... I think I like Amy better but this movie was still just there. Didn't hate, didn't love. 3 stars.
359. Panic Room. Wow... Forest Whittaker and Jared Leto are two of three robbers who need to get into a panic room where Jodie Foster is holed up with her daughter once she realizes they're in her house. Excellent suspense thriller by David Foster. I had issues with the effects not because they weren't cool... they were... but because they took me out of the moment and reminded me I was watching a movie. The more I can get lost in a movie, the more I enjoy it. Still 4/5 stars.
360. Good Luck Chuck. Yeah... no. Dane Cook and Jessica Alba in the most predictable film ever about a man who dates women and they marry the next guy they date which prompts women to flock to him but he likes klutzy Alba. Womp womp. And I need to make sure Netflix never sends me the unrated version of ANY movie again. Really? I never EVER need to see that much of anyone's anatomy. Also, I think my being so behind is making me even less patient than usual and perhaps another week I wouldn't have been so exasperated. Nevertheless. 2.5/5 stars.
361. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. George Clooney directs himself, Sam Rockwell, Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore in a film about game show creator Chuck Barris (Newlywed Game, Dating Game, Gong Show-- LOVED the first two shows) who claims while he was creating those shows he was also a CIA operative. Included interviews with some of the actual people which made it a little more interesting as well. Still somehow there was something missing... Not enough to be uninteresting but enough to drop it down to 3.5/5 stars. (18 movies behind)


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 5

I know I'm late... hush. I haven't had the computer since I got to Jackson, Mississippi days ago. Ack! So here it is.

1) When given a choice between two things that I like equally I'll ask, "Why do I have to choose? Can I have both?" I've been like this as long as I can remember. As a child my grandpa made me choose between riding with him on the tractor and going to South of the Border (which is only about 30 minutes from their house). I asked if I could do both and he said no. My sister chose the former, I chose the latter. Then when me and my dad got back from SOTB, the tractor ride was in progress. I asked him if I could get on. He said no. I was maybe 7 and he died when I was about 9. Guess what one of my only memories of him is? That. Oh yeah and the time I said I wanted to pick some of his veggies and he told me to go pick some squash. I joyfully ran over there to pick and yanked my hand back in pain. Squash has prickly hair all over it and most people pick it with gloves on. Thanks grandpa.
2) My mother never let us eat fast food when we were younger so I LOVE fast food today.... or at least I did. Umm... there have been too many bad fast food experiences of late and I'm getting more and more to the point where I would just rather eat at home. I know it's safer and cheaper but way more time-consuming!!
3) When Rashan hasn't posted for several days or weeks, I make a point of sitting next to him on my laptop, making sure he's looking and pulling up his page and saying, "Hmm... nothing new." Daily. Until he posts.
4) I've been thinking about one of my old college standby drinks lately and I think I need one soon: a Tom Collins. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Collins We used a mix but I think I'm ready for the grown up version-- with real lemon and simple syrup. I really love how simple simple syrup is. Actually my original standby drink in college is a rum and coke. MAN!! I loved those.
5) I saw a woman buying a pregnancy test at Target the other day and was fascinated. She was about 35 and I instantly wanted to know everything that precipitated the purchase. Not like conception-wise but was she excited about the possibility? Did she already have children? Was she married? Did she like or know very well the father? I even inspected her for a baby bump. There was a little pudge but not more than someone who gained 10 or 15 lbs. in their midsection. But I wondered since she was looking distracted and even mildly embarrassed, do some people look at buying pregnancy tests the way they look at buying c.ondoms? Are they mortified to be making such a purchase? I've always felt like whatever it is, if I'm buying it, I need it and your job is to check coats (check 'em -----) I mean my items out. Lol.
6) When I first got to Rah's, I was like, "There are so! many! movies! to! watch!" Now I'm like every 14-year-old in America with too many channels: There's nothing on tv. Awesome.
7) After 2 really bad movies in a row last week, I took the (maybe melodramatic? no...) line of thought, "Will I ever watch another good movie?" I haven't even hit the halfway mark but I think 350 films IN LESS THAN 7 MONTHS is big enough of a milestone to make me WEARY of movies!! Geez.
8) If I found out I was allergic to limes I would consume them anyway. Why not? When I make a recipe and it calls for lemon, sometimes I just use lime if I think it will fit. One citrus fruit may as well fill in for another. The farmer's market? 3 POUND BAGS OF LIMES FOR 99 CENTS!! Rashan was like, "Why did you buy all those limes?" WHY NOT!? I'll figure something out!
9) I don't like scones. I tried since they seem very jetsetterish and I like food but yeah no. They're like hard biscuits. I'm not a big bread person & I don't really like sweets like that. I'll save em for the Brits.
10) If I was gay I would be with a beautiful woman. I'm always baffled by gay women who are with manly women. What's the point? Date a man.
11) I accidently skinned myself the other day while cooking. Okay it was only my thumb.... and a very very small piece of my thumb. Not even any blood.
12) Mexican food is the love of my life. When I say to Rashan, "I feel like Mexican food tonight." and he responds enthusiastically, "Okay!" I get really excited. Then when we're there he says, "Can we eat Mexican every night?" I can hardly stay in my skin.