Monday Mindspacing Vol. 14

1) I'm really glad there are 2 much vainer generations ahead of mine. That means by the time I need orthopedic shoes they will look AWESOME.
2) I'm gonna need to watch at least 3 movies a day every day but Tuesday and Wednesday because my schedule is so crazy those days that it's not gonna work for me to watch anything but the back of my eyelids and Top Chef.
3) UF has gotten rid of the free NYT on campus. WHYYYYYYYY!!?!?!?!? I neeeeed NYT Dining on Wednesday!!! (And at $2 a pop, I don't want to buy it and it's not the same to read it online. I like to hold it in my hot little hands.)
4) This week I learned clams absorb all the bacteria from the water they grow in BUT they can be put in clean water after they've come to size and self-clean. So cool!
5) Dude. The newest season of Project Runway has renewed my need for a Mood bag (their fabric store). But why is this chick's name Qristal on the show?
6) This girl in the class I'm assisting said something about 1988, "The year I was born" and I couldn't hide my shocked face. WOW. Really?? I know that only makes you 6 years younger but 1988 seems so crazy young!!
7) I can't wait until I'm rich enough to have everything delivered to me. That doesn't mean I'll never leave the house, just that I'll only have to do so for things that matter or because I choose, not because no one else is going to do it.
8) What the heck do you put in a storage ottoman?
9) I wanna go to California.
10) As delicious as tapas can be, sometimes I'm gonna need some real portions. Stop teasing me.
11) I miss Rashan. It's hard to go from seeing him for weeks at a time this summer to seeing him every two weeks for a couple of days. Really hard.
12) After watching Chopped, 2 episodes of Throwdown w/Bobby Flay and Iron Chef America, my mouth is on a constant loop of salivate. It's 1 a.m.!! Make it stop!!


Nitpicking the News Vol. 1: Southern Summers

Anyone who knows me in life knows how I am when I watch the news. Some people (like my mother and sister) are irritated by it, others (like Stace and Rashan) are intrigued by it. I have a critique for everything because I used to do it. I know how it's supposed to be and point out when they should've done it different. Sometimes I'm admiring if the newscast is deserving, but sometimes not. But I notice it all the time. I had to stop watching the news for a while because it was too stressful. Actually frustrating is the more appropriate word. Anyway, I've decided to occasionally go beyond just posting the news links on the side of my blog and talk about my issues with an article.

Today's beef is with this New York Times article about the thousands of black children from the city who go South for the summer. She provides no statistical basis for this "fact." I do, indeed, know people who visit their southern relatives during the summer, but is this only a black phenomenon? That's a real question. Do white people not visit their relatives in the summer? Then the line, "No official program coordinates them, just parents seeking for relief, relatives ready for company and children looking to escape the city swelter." Who are these stupid people who don't know there's no official program? I know for some this has to be an unusual event, but really? Like there would be one that would reunite people with relatives. Though, I'm sure someone got a light bulb of a business idea from that. But what bothered me most of all is that there was only one family's perspective. If there's such a grand exodus, a yearly migration south for the summer, why do we only hear from one family? It caricatures their experiences and makes it seem like, "This is how they all do." "Watch the natives in their natural habitats." Thoughts?

*If you're looking for the movies I watched last week, just scroll down. It's the post below.

Crazy Movie Lady 31

August 23 (MY BIRTHDAY!!)- 29, 2009
480. Miss Evers' Boys. Film based on a true story about the Tuskegee study where more than 400 black men with syphilis were used as guinea pigs. The film was loosely based around a nurse (Alfre Woodard) who was the only person to work with the participants the entire 40 years they were studied and denied medical care. It focused more on her personal life than I would've preferred. I know the filmmakers wanted to put a human face on it but I did not necessarily empathize with her most of the time. After reading more about the history, I feel the film was way too kind to some of the main perpetrators. The pacing felt off-- start and stop at some points. 3.3 stars
481. The Yes Man. Jim Carrey and Zoey Deschanel (love her) in a film about a guy who never does anything but sees the light and becomes a man who says yes to everything. I didn't really believe his conversion but was amused by what happened once he said yes. Some good singing in this movie. I was also inspired to do some of this stuff like go to the airport with Rashan and pick the next outgoing (cheap) flight to wherever, go and figure out the rest later. Hilarious. Cute movie. A little long but still cute. 3.8 stars
482. The Nanny Diaries. Silly ScarJo (Scarlett Johanssen) movie about a woman who graduates from college, can't find a job so she becomes a nanny. The whimsy in this film was unnecessary. I liked the book this was based much more. I usually separate the two if the film is worthy but this doesn't fall into that category. Why would Alicia Keys' character say to a white girl, "My grandmother worked as a domestic so we wouldn't have to." Really? Face. It was also really boring. The pacing was very off. I didn't care about any of the characters. Then it tried to get deep in the end. Foolish. 2.3 stars.
483. Gotham Fish Tales. Documentary is kind of year in the life of a NYC/NJ urban fisherman, It's strange that people fish and throw them back, even the ones that seem up to size. Even stranger is the people who eat them. Even as they're talking about the bodies and seeing the c.ondoms in the river. YUM. Chronology issue when they move from summer to winter abruptly. I lost what order. Around 26 minutes it seemed like the end and there were still about 40 minutes left. I got the feeling this film would've been better as a short. Particularly because there was only sporadic following of specific characters, just a hodge podge. That's not to say the movie was bad, it just could've benefited from being a lot shorter and focusing on fewer issues. You don't need multiple people to say the same thing though out the film. Very non-sensical organization-- doesn't seem topical or chronological or anything else. There was a quote which seemed to sum up why people become urban fisherman that was buried deep at 35 minutes in that could've been more interesting earlier. I really want some CLEAN seafood, though after watching this. 3.2 stars.
484. Last of the Mississippi Jukes. Documentary about exactly what you think it's about. The overview of the history of juke joints for blues became boring because there wasn't really enough archival material to support it. I was very annoyed by the filmmaker's insertion of himself into the interviews and shots. It added nothing. The film seemed to focus around Morgan Freeman's club in Clarksdale then switched directions to focus on the SubwayLounge in Jackson which has since been demolished. Confusing beginning led to the misinterpretation. Too much of the film had nothing to do with the juke joints but was just music, which has a place, but does hearing several whole songs advance the plot? No. If the filmmaker wanted this to be the movie it is-- with lots of music and not much story-- he should've called it something else. It also should have been much shorter than 1hr26m. 2.2 stars
485. The Bridge. Documentary about people who commit suicide by jumping off of the Golden Gate bridge (most popular suicide site) which includes people actually jumping, witnesses and friends and family members of the deceased, and even a jumper who survived. There were some strange segues that didn't make any sense. Scenes that were put there just to move from one part of the story to the next. It was disturbing but mostly not because of the people jumping, but mostly the story of the guy who tried. Started to get redundant and kind of boring toward the end as strange and heartless as it sounds but it was almost gimmicky. This is one of the films for our doc issues class. I thought I might but I don't really have any ethical quandaries about watching this. I don't know that I could've or would've wanted to make this film, but I didn't feel ethically torn. there was some beautiful photography of course as the bridge absolutely lends itself to that. Huge build up to the final jump they showed which worked in some ways but not in others. 3 stars
486. She Done Him Wrong. Completely pointless early Cary Grant movie with Mae West about a popular lounge singer who finds protection from a criminal ex-lover. It wasn't bad, but wasn't good. It was just there. 2.8 stars
487. Shopgirl. Claire Danes stars in this Steve Martin film where she plays a shop girl wooed by two men. Overly whimsical and dramatic music in the first 5 minutes set the wrong tone. Another Jason Schwartzman movie. This has to be a record. 3 in less than a week. And why me? I don't even like him. He seems to not really be weird, just trying to be weird. Steve v. Jason. Who's the spaz? Toss up, right? It's also strange to have Martin's character narrate a story not his own. It implies maybe his character wins. Though either way it's bizarre. About halfway through I really, really stopped caring about either story line. 2.4 stars
488. A Farewell to Arms. Really boring movie about an ambulance man in Italy during WWII who falls in love with a nurse. As their love story unfolded, I cared less and less. 2 stars
489. Black Snake Moan. Very very early obvious reason why people didn't like this movie with Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake and Samuel L. Jackson. CR plays a s.ex addict SLJ tries to save. The opening scene was completely non-sensical and related not at all to the film only to be followed w/a s.ex scene by Ricci & JT (the latter should stick to comedy, by the way). Nearly 2 hours for this film? TORTURE!! I don't understand why CR wasn't allowed to wear clothes more than half of this movie. Ridiculous. There were some interesting enough things to move the film along but so much of it was ridiculously contrived and there were continuity issues, too. Then there was one scene with particularly bad camera work. Use of lightning was so cliche. Ever since Wednesday Adams, CR hasn't been able to get away from the creepy and/or "troubled" roles. Fantastic titular song. Still just 2.4 stars
490. P.S. I Love You. Hilary Swank plays a widow whose husband is sending her letters to help her get over his death. Harry Connick, Jr. is one of th epeople who helps her along. (For the record, he could also help me through any tragedy.) Silly actions with Lisa Kudrow's character. I only watched it because Netflix kept suggesting it. I was surprised to actually like it. Another nice titular song. More than 2 hours is too long for an alternately depressing and amusing movie that you already know the plot thrust of. 3.5 stars
491. Caramel. Lebanese film about a salon in Beirut and the women who work there. Strange song sequence with nothing happening. Some fantastic makeup, particularly on the primary female character. Not terribly interesting but interesting enough to keep me mildly engaged. 3.3 stars
492. Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist. Documentary about black people blacklisted during McCarthyism. Boring Morgan Freeman intro in that it attempted to be conversational but would have likely been more engaging had it been scripted. He's an excellent actor so he could've made even a scripted piece seem conversational. But this slowed it down considerably. The film needed more action in the pictures and it would've been really nice if there were some moving images earlier to break up the constant stream of sit-down interviews. The filmmakers have some interesting ideas, but they don't necessarily relate to the topic of blacklisting. I loved the topic and was interested in everything those included had to say, but the presentation left something lacking which was very disappointing. 2.8 stars


Stop Talking

Remember how I tried to get a rise out of the librarian in Charlotte? By selecting a bunch of crazy books? (Last paragraph.) The last two times I've been in the library the same guy has checked out my dvds for me and spoken unnecessarily. I don't want to have an overly long conversation about the title of a movie I haven't even seen. 2 minutes falls into that category. Stop talking.

Monday was the best. He's asking a guy about honey at the farmer's market, then says to me, "Some people like tea, some people like coffee, I like honey." Of course my first thought is, "Do you drink it?" How does that relate??? Lol. So it popped out to ask. IMMEDIATELY I recognize I shouldn't have but it's too late. Jameil! What is your problem!?!?! STOP TALKING! I blame my parents for that one. Not only did they teach me not to be rude, they also have those faces that beg people to converse about nothing. I don't like small talk. I can do it but I think it's stupid. Too late for this one, though. He's already going. 5 minutes of my life gone over honey. He even busted out recipes!! (Nothing you want, I think-- mix blueberries, water and honey in a blender for blueberry juice. Yuck. I don't like blueberries.) Thanks. Thanks a lot. But more importantly, what? Stop talking.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 13

1) When I told someone I'm in school for doc filmmaking she said, "Well if you ever need a singer or actress, remember me!" ... That's not really what i do... I just said, "Umm... okay." Faster than explaining.
2) I like having cable when I want to watch tv but it really doesn't add that much to my life except on Wednesday: this week Top Chef AND Top Chef Masters!!!!! and Thursday: Project Runway. SCORE!!!!!!!! I rarely turn on the tv in the first few hours I'm awake. This stems from my never having a tv in my room until I went to college. I'm not used to it and therefore don't like it.
3) Instead of saying wonderful, I used to say wunderbar (the German version of the word-- pronounced voon-der-bar). I don't know when or why I stopped but maybe I should start again.
4) Guys are beyond not sexy with nose rings. *shudder* So fey.
5) Come September I'm going to use the things I don't get for my birthday on my Target list as a shopping list. Oh. yeah. Can't wait.
6) I hate that all the power drains from my ipod when I don't use it for a while even if I don't use it at all between charges. So annoying.
7) I unintentionally pick very stupid things to get all freaked out about. Like having fewer movies on my netflix queue. Not freaked out like I'm losing it but freaked out like I need it to happen. What is the point of that? But it's like when I reach one goal or come close to reaching one I become intent of finding a new one, no matter how silly.
8) I'm in horrible shape after a month of inactivity and sparse activity for the last year. Nerd Girl posted Self's workout which I'm going to begin and I'm getting back to thrice weekly workouts starting last Monday.
9) The best toast ever is the color of my mother's skin as Stace and I discovered in MS. Lol.
10) I need a name for my inner fat girl... suggestions?
11) On why he did Top Chef Masters, Rick Bayless (the winner and Mexican food man and therefore keeper of part of my heart) said, "Every year for the last seven or eight years I’ve tried to do something completely out of my comfort zone. Something to keep me on my toes, to keep me alive." AWESOME. I need that.
12) I had issues the night before and morning of my birthday. Details to come this week. I recovered nicely at Disney World, though so the birthday was by no means a bust!


Crazy Movie Lady 30

In the midst of celebrating my birthday I still managed to stay on target! Score!! (My birthday is today... recap to come.)

August 16-22, 2009
462. Big Fish. Tim Burton film about a man who tells this fantastical stories about his life and the skeptical son who at the end tries to find out who his father really is. Very interesting. 4 stars
463. Been Rich All My Life. Documentary about 1920s Apollo dancers who reunited 60 years later (at ages 84 to 96) to dance again for another 20 years. I loved the personalities and there was some great archival footage. I think the direction of the story line could have been tweaked for greater dramatic potential as far as introducing the characters more fully earlier on and showing fewer of their performances at the beginning . I also would have liked a foot note at the end of the film. The best section was undoubtedly the one surrounding the 1940s-- full of archival and great storytelling. 3.5 stars
464. Stolen. Documentary about the largest art heist in U.S. history: 13 paintings stolen from a Boston museum. Intrusive music overtook the dialogue at times. Extreme over-reliance on art historians and experts who don't translate interestingly. As interesting as the idea of the hunt for this film is, it becomes boring very quickly. The filmmaker tried unsuccessfully to draw us into the story of the (long dead) museum benefactor's life. I never felt the parallel between her story and the heist and why her story mattered other than it happened at her museum. Unnecessarily long at 85 minutes. 2.4 stars
465. But I'm A C.heerleader. Satire about a girl whose friends and family think she's gay so they send her to camp to make her straight. Funny at first then it became an excuse for girls to m.ake out. Boring. 2 stars
466. Shades of Ray. Romantic comedy about a half-Pakistani guy whose father insists on setting him up with Pakistani girls. Very cute and very funny. I enjoyed it. 4.4 stars
467. London to Brighton. British movie starts with a girl and a woman battered and bruised and a mystery as to how they got that way. In some ways the non-linear story line was confusing at the beginning just because you had no clue what was happening and sometimes when it happened if the bruised girls weren't in it. Still very thrilling and frightening. It would've helped to have subtitles for some of these really thick British accents. 4.2 stars
468. The Lady Eve. Classic film about a scam artist father and daughter who try to dupe a rich man who turns out to not be so easily conned. Revenge on all sides leads them down various roads in this comedy. Very funny and cute. 4 stars
469. Margot at the Wedding. Strange movie full of inappropriate over shares with children. I never like Jack Black in even semi-serious roles. Unstable creatures. What is the point of this movie? Too many indie scripts wander bizarrely. 2 stars
470. The Darjeeling Limited. Strange movie about three brothers (including Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman & Adrien Brody) on a trip across India on a spiritual mission only one of them is aware of the true destination. Interesting and at times amusing but toward the one hour mark I started to wonder when it would end. I liked the ending, though. 3.8 stars
471. A Certain Kind of Death. Documentary about people who die without next of kin in LA County and how they investigate to try to find descendants. Super annoying black slates between shots and not necessarily between scenes, just to avoid jump cuts which was actually more irritating. Some really graphic shots of dead and decomposing bodies. Makes you thoughtful about life by the nature of the topic. However, it was technically (shots, editing, etc.) lacking. I liked the long silences, allowing for thought. But it made the later bad music choices that much more obvious. The long shots for interviews were particularly strange. 2.9 stars
472. The Take. Canadian documentary about Argentinean factory workers who repossess a shut down factory. Some really great opening shots. Creative and engaging which continued through much of the film. It got lost in boring, redundant, overly explanatory narration which reminded me of a D.iscoveryChannel doc. It also seemed very slanted with too much background. The people's stories were the most interesting. The filmmakers are also showing themselves on television arguing as what they call "activist journalists." (A term I have huge issues with. A journalist is supposed to be impartial.) Great music in the first half. This might have been interesting if there was less heavy handed "teaching" and more emphasis on the people's stories. There were all these unanswered questions implied by gaps in the story line. They tried to draw a parallel between the factory takeovers and the political elections that was boring, non-existent and completely irrelevant to the plot. 2 stars
473. Cinema Paradiso. Outrageously long 3-hour Italian film about a film producer who goes back to his hometown for the first time in decades, why he stayed away so long but finally chose to come back home. Really good movie, but it took me 4 days to watch it because of the length. 3.9 stars
474. Melvin Goes to Dinner. Some really bad cinematography in another non-linear film. It was all about this group of people who get together and start sharing too much information with strangers. 2 stars
475. Prison Town. Documentary about the impact of the prison industry on rural towns, one California town in particular where in many cases the prison is the largest employer. Too many prison stats. They all start to run together toward the end. Really nicely told stories from several different types of people in the town. 4.2 stars
476. Suspicion. A woman begins to suspect her charming but cad-like husband (Cary Grant) married her for her money and may even be a murderer in this Hitchcock thriller. The end was a bit trite and boring for me which took the fun out of the rest of it. 3.4 stars
477. I Heart Huckabees. Strange film about an environmentalist (Jason Schwartzman-- how is this my 2nd film with him this week?) who hires existentialist detectives (Dustin Hoffman & Lily Tomlin) to figure out three coincidences. So strange and sometimes (but not enough) funny at the same. Useless profanity at times like right at the beginning of the film. Movies that are about everything and nothing at the same time, even cheekily are ridiculous to me. 2.9 stars
478. U.nited 93. Film about the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept11 mostly from the perspective of the flight crew and hijackers. The opening seems leading and like something that will encourage people to profile M,uslims even more than they do now. The setup also seems overly long. I realized I don't really like watching films where I know the outcome sucks because it's based on history I'm aware of. It makes me antsy. I really like that they didn't use any well-known faces. Much less distracting than watching someone you recognize trying to act like a hero. Sometimes the shaky camera shots were distracting. Very difficult to watch the closer the film came to ending. Brought back all of the feelings I had that day. 3.9 stars
479. M.eet Dave. Really bad E.ddie Murphy movie where he's a ship disguised as a human come to earth to save their planet from destruction. Very silly and pointless but Eddie played an excellent alien. He was quite amusing. It was the supporting cast that was a mess. 2 stars


Whirlwind Week!

I have quite the week ahead of me starting tonight. Don't look for me from 9-11 because I will be watching TOP CHEF season premiere and the TOP CHEF MASTERS season finale. I soooo hope it's just the season finale. It's such a different dynamic from Top Chef! Last night I watched Chopped and was diggin that, too. Loves it! But if you're lookin for me? Don't.

I also need to continue unpacking. It was like when I got my bathroom & kitchen squared away and cooked three consecutive nights, then unpacked all my books and dvds and realized I didn't really have anywhere to put a lot of stuff I just stopped. So today I really, really should for real this time tackle the closet! Some stuff is put away but not enough. All of my closet space is too high-- shelving and bars. Hello 5'1"!!! I'm reaching my arms out of sockets on super tip toe. It's ridiculous.

This semester I'm a graduate assistant for an undergraduate investigative reporting course. I'm very excited about that because I get to utilize my journalistic strengths. Last semester I was teaching more technical things which is so not up my alley. I was a producer, not an editor and photog. I was teaching things I hadn't used in years. That's not to say I did a bad job, never that, but I was out of my comfort zone. But this year? Blowing it out of the water! I'm guest lecturing on two topics, the first of which arrives on September 14th. I'm excited but I need to work more on it. I'm in the brainstorming phase. Tomorrow I'm going with my sorority sisters to deliver school supplies then I have my first meeting with the professor I'm assisting.


Friday I have no plans. Phew! But Rashan will be here around 330 Saturday morning!!! He's driving down after work for MY BIRTHDAY SUNDAY!! We're driving down to Orlando sometime Saturday, the on MY BIRTHDAY SUNDAY, we're going to Disney World!!! YAY!!!!!!! I'm soooooooooooooooo excited!! SO excited!!

Then Monday is the first day of class and my life will be off to another crazy start for the final year of my master's degree!!


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 12

1) Why are white grapes green and red onions purple? Was there a color blind person giving fruits and vegetables their conventional names?
2) Let's make a pact. You know how before guys propose, they tell people they're going to? So the next person who gets engaged should have the guy call all the people he told and tell them she said no. It'll be hilarious!! Hahahahahaha!!
3) UF is mad late on the fitness trends for this one: stripperobics... really UF? And still I know that class will be extra full. One you have to get there an hour early to snag a spot for.
4) Summer in the south makes you think it will never be below 85 during the day again. I was putting my sweaters away during the move like "I can't believe I'll ever need those again"
5) My birthday is in 6 days!! How exciting!!!! I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY!!! I made a Target list of things I want because my place is the emptiest in America right now! Mostly I need something to sit on (I find Target's prices for chairs to be outrageous, though so I didn't register for any of those), some tables and some LIGHTING!! There is no on board lighting in my bedroom or living room. Fix needed ASAP. I also want a plain black bikini top to go with the bottoms I have (the top that matched was too small and they didn't have a replacement when I sent it back) and Vickie's Secret's HU line and a couple more Gator shirts since I'm a season ticket holder! Ow! I'm going to need something to wear to those games!
6) I've cooked dinner for myself the last two days and I think that's a great and delicious start to my new school year. Mmmm!
7) I'm getting behind on my movies again and... not caring. Yep. I said it. Not. Caring. Know why? Because I'm busy enjoying my life in ways that have nothing to do with watching movies.
8) I am a Danity Kane song: sucker for love. I LOVE RASHAN!! :)
9) I gave up on him blogging, though. I deleted him from my blog roll a couple of weeks ago. That was weird. But a bit freeing because it was really vexing me that he wasn't blogging. IT'S HOW WE MET!! But it obviously doesn't define us. Boo on him.
10) Chopped went to a whole new level of crazy by putting celery for dessert AND something no one's ever heard of and calling it jaggery. Umm... okay. It looks like caramel and is apparently some sort of palm sugar product. What in the world? 11) But I'm in love with the fact that I have Food Network in my home again. Ahhhh. Free cable and internet rock my world!!


Crazy Movie Lady 29

August 9-15, 2009
Stayed a little behind with the move this week but I'm not worried about it.
449. Switch. Film about a chauvinist who gets reincarnated as a woman so he can find a single woman who liked him when he was a man. I liked the concept and was intrigued and actually delighted for at least 20 minutes, which was enough to get me through another hour or so. But after an hour and 15 minutes, the movie devolved ridiculously and the characters did all these things that made no sense for them to do based on their previous development. In other words, this film jumped the shark. I did not like this movie because of the absolutely unbelievable ending. I believe the words I said were, "f you don't know how to end it, don't make the movie." 2 stars
450. Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in the film about a woman who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year- all 500+ recipes- and blog about it. Of course the idea to cook my way through one of my many Rach cookbooks popped into my head. Maybe later. Anyway the movie. Not quite deft juggling of the two story lines. At times I forgot the other half of the movie existed. Heavy focus on the Julie part which is one of many reviewers' criticism of the film-- too little Meryl. I just wanted this film to be shorter. I got it after an hour and a half. 2 hours? Yikes. 3 stars
451. Boy Interrupted. Emotional documentary by the mother of a bipolar teenager who committed suicide. It delved into his uncle's suicide decades earlier probably a bit too in depth as this story was about the boy. Though I definitely felt sorry for the kid's family, I wasn't particularly drawn in by the plot of the film. It was very nice, though, not to have the usual horrid voice overs of personal docs. 2.5 stars
452. Step Brothers. Silly Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly comedy where they become step brothers at 40 and hate then grow to love each other. They're both jobless mental children and yet this movie was funny. 3.9 stars
453. Citizen Ruth. Laura Dern plays a ridiculously good huffer who happens to be pregnant much to her surprise. I even felt high watching her get high. I did not like it. Swoosie Kurtz? Love her! But her talents weren't really on display. Burt Reynolds played a crazy pro-l.ifer. Dern gets caught between pro-c.hoice and pro-l.ifers. Pretty boring movie. I didn't really care what happened to her. That quite probably has a lot to do with her addiction. 2.2 stars
454. The Apartment. 5-time Oscar winner with Jack Lemmon & Shirley MacLaine. SO weird to see them so young! Wow! Adultery, old boys club, the only black people are janitors and shoe shine boys with 10 seconds of screen time total. A guy loans his apartment to his bosses for philandering but gets a shock when he finds out a secret about the girl he loves. I was really into the story line even though I didn't like things about it. It moved nicely. 3 stars mostly because I didn't personally like it, but I can recognize a well-crafted script.
455. A Night to Remember. Classic 1958 film about the sinking of the Titanic. For me this film was just as powerful as James Cameron's famous one made in the last 15 years. I actually liked this one more because it was shorter and I didn't go in with all the hype. I was just as horrified by the same things I was the first time around. I appreciated that there was no competing story line. (In Titanic there was the search for the rich woman's lost at sea jewels.) As with all good biopics I was compelled to find out more about what really happened. 4 stars
456. I Love You Man. This is a silly silly movie and Paul Rudd is hilariously awkward. It made me want to learn how to fence. It's about a guy who gets engaged and realizes he has no friends so he decides to find some. I really liked it. 4.5 stars. Lolol!
457. 17 Again. Matthew Perry only wishes he looked like Zac Efron when he was 17. ZE is HAWT!! MP? Not so much. But ZE's hair was a hot mess in the first several scenes of this movie. Why? Know what I loved? That they played that horrid Ed Hardy line. Hilarious. And ZE plays a really good old man now in a young man's body again. Very funny but got kind of corny at the very end. 3.5 stars
458. M. German classic from 1931 (by famous director Fritz Lang) about a serial killer gets off to an awesome start with kids singing a serial killer song for their serial killer game. The criminals are pissed because the cops are looking for the kid killer amongst them. A bit slow-moving like most old-school flicks but not too slow. Quite interesting. 4.3 stars
459. Life is Beautiful. 3-time Oscar winning Italian film about a cheerful Jewish Italian waiter who gets the girl of his dreams and a son. He must do what he can to help his family survive the concentration camp when WWII comes. Beautiful movie. 5 stars
460. Secrets and Lies. British film about an adopted woman who decides to find her birth mother but they both get a shock because neither knew the other was of a different race-- black daughter, white mother. I was enjoying it until they revealed who the daughter's father was. WACK!!! So so WACK!! 3 stars
461. People Will Talk. A conservative doctor tries to bring down a well-liked medical professor (Cary Grant) who falls in love with an unmarried pregnant woman with her own set of issues. Strange 1951 film. It was interesting enough but still boring in a way with its meandering story line. 3.3 stars


Moving On

It's that time again. Time to move on. Not from blogging. I'm too stubborn to stop. I figure if everyone is going to give it up, I'm going to stick around until they come back or the blog world evolves again and there's a new crowd. There's only so much you can say in twitter and facebook statuses. And with the plethora of recent twitter outages I'm getting to that "I'm over it" phase with twitter. I've been regularly deleting people who post too many updates or whose updates consistently irk me. I know, I'm a twitter brat. I used to be the blog bully. On twitter I let people be themselves, minus me as a follower.

That is so not the point of this post. Wow traditional meaning of mindspacing, it's been a while, how are you? ANYWAY. As you know this summer I've been on the road quite a bit. Between West Palm Beach, Charlotte, Atlanta (about 5-6 weeks total), Mississippi, and Brunswick, GA I feel like I've been in a near constant state of packing and unpacking-- some major, some minor but always a hassle. I don't like packing!!!! It was really horrid back in college when I was going home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break & Summer. I would take most or all of my wardrobe sometimes. Outrageous. And yet nothing compared to this summer! I packed all of that packing into 3 months! And now I'm moving.

But guess what? I'm moving into grad housing that will cost me $1 more for almost 3xs the space (from a 280sqft studio to a 708sqft 1 bedroom) and include water, sewer, CABLE AND INTERNET!! My current apartment includes none of that! So I'm really excited. But I have/had no one to keep me company while I pack (I'm mostly done now) or move. Most of my classmates are out of town until the weekend and I'll be done moving by Saturday morning at the latest. I'm most excited about (other than FREE CABLE AND INTERNET!!!) more counter space in the kitchen, more cabinet space in the bathroom, a reasonable place to put all my clothes, a place to entertain!!! and just generally space to spread out. If you have some low-cost decorating tips, leave them in the comments!

Josh Ozersky (whoever that is) once said, “When I was born, I was anonymous, and I aim not to die in that position.” Ditto, dude. And so I have resigned myself to dealing with the small annoyances of the day because I know they're only for the moment. I also know the quicker I accomplish something, the quicker I can move on to the things I really want to do. (Sometimes that's still not enough to get me motivated.) Just know this for certain: when I finally make that move out of anonymity, even if just partially, I won't be doing this packing crap for myself anymore!!!



Monday Mindspacing Vol. 11

1) My mom also loves the word cacophonous. We're both word nuts.
2) While in Mississippi I realized I'm maybe a little too plugged in. I was in the car with my mom and grandma and the radio was too loud. I wanted to turn grandma up, got annoyed at myself and requested a turn down of the actual piece of machinery.
3) After working out I almost always want junk food.
4) I hate the smell of vanilla. The fake vanilla. I like the flavor of vanilla but vanilla lotions, etc.? Makes me want to vomit. My mom doesn't like it either. I also don't like the smell of cocoa butter.
5) I learned how to swaddle a baby and Rashan learned how to change a diaper (years apart so NO we don't have ANY sort of announcement looming) ... by watching youtube. Lol! That is funny!
6) OMG my mother gets on my nerves after several days. I need away from her!!!! Don't ask me in that tone, "Who used all the washing powder and didn't say anything!?" I don't live here and haven't even been in the basement for any reason let alone to "use all the washing powder and not say anything"!!! Crazy lady!!
7) Did you really call me high maintenance like it was a revelation, mother? I know even as a baby I never seemed like I wasn't so what would be your point?
8) I like peanut butter and jelly but not together. I like cheese and toast, but not together. I don't like grilled cheese either unless there's ham on it.
9) It is so uncomfortable when I go somewhere and someone offers me one of the many foods I don't like and I politely decline and they press me. AHHH! If I say, "Oh no thank you" that likely means I don't like something you've offered me. Take that so I don't have to elaborate and say "I don't like..." Thanks.
10) I'm back in Florida and I have mixed feelings about it.


Crazy Movie Lady 28

August 2-8, 2009
I had actually caught up this week but got behind again (only by 3) mostly from laziness, but also partly from wanting to spend time with my family and Jojo (lol) before I left Charlotte for the summer.
432. Top Hat. Musical featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. A misunderstanding between the two sends slaps and black eyes to many of the main male cast members. Cute film but of course the dancing was the best part. Loved it! I definitely want to dance like that one day! 3.7 stars
433. Thank You for Smoking. Tobacco spin doctor tries to suppress any negativity about cigarettes, promote cigarettes all while trying to be a good role model for his son. Yeah. Lol. The music supervisor is very funny and accurate in choosing songs. Very funny. The end of this movie seemed long in coming and not because the movie was so long, but perhaps the script could have used a bit of tightening. 3.7 stars.
434. Danielson: A Family Movie (or Make a Joyful Nose HERE). Personal documentary about a family of singers who do weird indie Christian music. It's narrated by the family members & friends in an annoying way-- very amateur. My background in news writing makes me even more of a stickler for good narration than the average person because I know what it should sound like. It didn't help that I didn't like the music at all. Overly long interviews which slow down the film. I can understand why their fans, friends and family would want to see this. I don't fit in those categories and was therefore mostly baffled/disinterested. The group's one-time (? maybe still) member Sufjan is the most interesting and has the best music in the film. Indulgently, unnecessarily long at an hour 45. 1.2 stars
435. Wheel of Time. Werner Herzog documentary about the largest Buddhist ritual in part of India complete with his trademark bizarre score. He only ever uses world music. It makes sense in this movie but a lot of times it is off-putting/confusing. Long periods of music and video. I get the impression that Herzog doesn't particularly care whether you like his films as long as he likes his films. There are several strange staring contests between worshippers or monks and the camera. As one reviewer notes, Herzog is a very unobtrusive narrator in this film allowing the devotion to speak for itself. This made for times of intense boredom. 3 stars
436. Tuck Everlasting. Disney movie about a girl who runs away from home and is taken in by the Tuck family, a family who drank from the fountain of eternal youth. When she falls in love with a son in the family she has to decide whether to join him in never dying. Interesting ending but en route was at times corny and boring. 3.3 stars
437. Space Cowboys. A team that was kept out of space 40 years ago is now being summoned to go into space on a mission as geriatrics if they can pass the tests. Amusing film though the music was more than a little over the top. 3.5 stars
438. Chariots of Fire. 1981 Best Picture Oscar winner about two runners from Britain competing against each other in the 1924 Olympics to be the fastest. Boring. 2.4 stars
439. The Ritchie Boys. Documentary about German immigrants to America who were fighting for America against the Nazis as intelligence workers during WWII. Very interesting stories and some great interviewees. The narration was obtrusive and mostly unnecessary even in its sparseness toward the end. Still I enjoyed this documentary 4.2 stars
440. Labor Pains. Lindsay Lohan movie about a girl who hates her job but needs it and pretends to be pregnant to keep from getting fired
441. Jezebel. Bette Davis won Best Actress for her role in this William Wyler film. She made it when the studio wouldn't loan her out to a rival to play Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. So she got her own movie full of slaves stepping and fetching. Davis plays an arrogant New Orleans socialite who tries to make her fiance (Henry Fonda) jealous but things go awry. I know despite the Oscar she was still heated about GWTW. Clearly that's on the list of classics and I'd never heard of this one and it's not as good. 3 stars
442. Rope. Alfred Hitchcock film about two men who commit the perfect murder until they hold a dinner party and their plan begins to unravel. James Stewart has a great monologue. Hitchcock's trademark photography was not there in this film. The story line was interesting enough but the hysterics of some of the actors was at times off putting. 3.5 stars
443. I'm Reed Fish. Alexis Bleidel stars in this movie, too. I can honestly say from the beginning I didn't care much about the main characters. Then a very blah twist. At the end instead of saying "ahhh" you said, "What?" 2.4 stars
444. Guide for the Married Man. Old film with Walter Mathau as a man devoted to his wife getting coached into cheating on her by his philandering best friend. Throughout this sexist film the women were one dimensional: vapid, whores or half-naked (by 1960s standards, not 2009 standards). Butt close-ups? Really? Being a combination of one of the three doesn't add a dimension. Random familiar to semi-familiar names and faces throughout. Boring repetitive style to deliver the ways to cheat. Not a fan. I would never see this movie again. Ever. 1.7 stars
445. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Geeky unattractive 30-year-old woman transforms herself and catches the man of her dreams (Aidan from SexAndTheCity)... unfortunately he's not Greek so there's a culture clash. And yet it works (of course). Kind of corny but it was cute. With 20 minutes left I was ready for it to end so the script dragged a little toward the end of act II. Still a cute movie. 3.7 stars
446. Forgiving Dr. Mengele. Documentary about a woman who survived experiments on twins in Auschwitz by Dr. Mengele. She's a woman who controversially forgave, in her name only, the N.azis and German people. This film went wildly off course after about an hour going into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The filmmakers also touched on her effort to find Dr. Mengele's files but not in depth which to me was one of the most interesting parts of the film. I wanted the whole film to be more engaging than it was. Thought-provoking, yes. Engaging, not really.
447. In Bruges. Two British hit men are sent to Belgium after a botched job to hide out and await their next instructions. Colin Farrell plays one of the hit men. Really interesting movie as you learn the real reason they're in Bruges. 4.3 stars
448. Sabrina. A tycoon (Humphrey Bogart) takes it upon himself to break up a romance between his playboy brother and their chauffeur's daughter (Audrey Hepburn). Interesting enough film and amusing at times. 3.2 stars
*Tried to watch "M.utual Appreciation" but it was too boring and felt like a poorly made student film. This is at most the third film I've lost patience with that early on that I wouldn't finish it even to watch 750 movies this year.


Why I Love Urban Dictionary

n. a racist sore loser who can't deal with having a black president so they make up absurd conspiracy theories about Barack Obama's birth certificate.


In other news, Twitter completely and gratuitously ruined my life for an entire day yesterday. Why can I tell no one nothing quick fast and in a hurry!?!? FB doesn't count!! I have FB for some things, blog for others, twitter for still others. YOU FAILED ME. I blame all of the people who joined in the last 6 months. Every single one of you. You killed twitter. Yes you. In the green shirt. But most of all despite my one time crazy love for her, I blame Oprah. You know what your show does!! You and Oprah!! The two of you are on my list.



I like to do things that are slightly mischievous but essentially harmless. For example, the other day Classy Jojo and I went to the club. THERE WERE SO MANY HOT MESSES!! I was so heated they didn't allow cameras. What kind of bootleg atmosphere? I wanted to bring back photographic evidence of the girl who had on a red and white striped tank top, jeans and black loafers; the girl carrying a red, white and gold pleather briefcase... why???; the guy in 89 degree weather 100% humidity wearing a button down, tie, SWEATER VEST and blazer (dude... all that) and jeans and tennis shoes... how do you go SO dressed up top and so casual on the bottom?; a tpain look alike complete with white sunglasses, red polo and shoulder-length locks; a girl with a huge pink Coach monogram tote to match her bandage-style dress... why is your purse so huge?; the girl with pink leggings, a gray t-shirt and a black vest; a girl with a yellow t-shirt and some jeans. Sigh. I could go on for days.

They were stopping guys wearing baseball caps but not chicks walking in from the picnic??? You have NO dress code for women??? Come as you are??? Roll out of bed?? Don't try to tell me this is an upscale club. I've been there before when it wasn't so questionable but now? Club 9.35 never again. I told Jojo no after parties for the huge local concert with multiple acts and this is why. Horrid clientele. AND no cameras? Wack. But that night for entertainment all we did was touch buttons on guys' phones as they walked by. Lol.

With encouragement, though, I could really do some silly things. Last week I said on fb I'm sure the librarians are appalled I only check out DVDs, never any books so one of the alum of my program suggested going in and only checking out a bunch of strange self-help books. I LOVED this idea so I checked out Do Cats H.ear with Their Feet, The S.OS f.or P.MS, Son of S.titch n B.itch, and E.motional Rooms (which I was trying to check out while crying but couldn't manage to summon tears). I wanted to get a book on guns, too because I figured it would round out the crazy and make me a true Southerner but it was taking too long to find. I was CRACKING UP as I was picking out these books!! Hilariaous! Of coure being a librarian, the woman barely blinked. In it's own way even funnier than a reaction. Lol.


Monday Mindspacing Vol. 10

1) Why if so many people are right-handed are toilet flushers on the left?
2) I want to win this contest to go to the Rachael Ray show all-expense paid. Rashan said, "I think you better let Stace enter for you." Lololol. I entered, now Stace, here is your reminder.
3) Sony is too free with the label, "Sony Pictures Classics." Everything can't be a classic just because it will one day be old. Stop tarnishing the term classic.
4) Some filmmakers ought not to think so highly of themselves that they are deserving of someone spending 2 hours of their life watching their films. I know I have a way to go and need to pay my dues before I can really think people will do that (I will be amazed the day I decide to make a 2 hour film, I will also laugh). I don't think everyone has that idea.
5) Watching this film set in the 1920s makes me know overalls should NEVER come back in fashion. Ew. But I have a feeling they will.
6) I hate watching video on print (i.e. mags & newspapers) sites. They're offensive to my broadcast journalism teaching. Plus though I love some parts of convergence (blurring of the lines b/t print & broadcast, news sharing), there is no match in print. If I want to see video, I'm not going to the NYT, likewise if I want to read a good article, I'm not going to CNN. They get the job done and I have enough details. I go to them when I want it quick and fast (yes both).
7) I'm remembering a downside to sharing a bathroom with my sister: soggy bath mats. Ugh. Can't stand it.
8) Sometimes when Rashan and I are fighting (or I'm fussing about something he's nearly invariably baffled about) I get this overwhelming urge to giggle. So I (usually) give in and giggle. Fighting is such a strong word for any sort of spat we have. He's so gentle with me whenever he has to say something he thinks/knows I won't like. It's really cute. We generally get along quite nicely. Always a plus.
9) The first time I heard of the red hat society I wanted to join one. You know I love hats. I think I have to wait about 40 years to be eligible. So maybe I'll start a rival hat color society. AND WHAT!!!
10) It irritates me that I always want Chickfila on Sunday. So cliche.
11) Night gowns are awful contraptions. They're usually ugly AND talk about uncomfortable. Who would want to fall asleep in a dress unless on accident. You wake up because you're lying on a pile of fabric and it's uncomfortable.
12) I like internet smiley faces without noses. The noses look stupid to me. :) is much better than :-). I like the angry face and that needs a nose unfortunately. >-\ is hilarious.
13) Me, my mom and sister have similar cheese preferences. We hate Kraft singles and American cheese. Give us cheddar or give us death. Cheddar is my most normal request. I love cheese so I'm more than willing to try a lot of them.
14) What's the magic number for these mindspacing posts? I feel like 13 is max and I went over it only for this question.


Crazy Movie Lady 27

July 26- August 1, 2009
I got very close to being caught up this week but got sidetracked by pesky little things. Like spending time with people I like and love. Geez friends and family. 4 movies behind target. I'll wipe that out this week.
414. Grand Hotel. Classic with Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford. The premise of this 1931 winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture is the comings and goings of Berlin's finest hotel. It includes a dancer, a ruined aristocrat and a dying man spending his life savings among others. This movie was neither here nor there for me. It was interesting enough but at the same time rather boring. I think my biggest issue is I don't like to follow a lot of characters. Someone always gets short shrift and I feel cheated. 2.9 stars
415. Pan's Labyrinth. Spanish fantasy film which won 3 Academy Awards (Art Direction, Cinematography & Makeup), all deserving, about a girl who believes in fairy tales and finds herself in the midst of one during World War II. Quite gory at times which is unfortunate as otherwise it would be a kid's movie. I guess an adult version of a kid's movie. It's been likened to Lord of the Rings. I wouldn't know as I haven't seen any of the Lord of the Rings. I definitely liked this film, though. 4.3/5 stars
416. Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson. Documentary about the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For about 30 seconds I wanted to try watching that movie again but yeah no. It's basically about a drug binge. I definitely think I would understand it more now but I'm straight. It was amazing how many people from various ways of life he knew. Very strange to see President Carter talking about this odd guy in the same glowing ways as Pat Buchanan. There were some really great things done by the filmmaker of Gonzo but I must say I couldn't stand the subject. He's the antithesis of just about everything I believe in. Plus this doc was 2 hours. I absolutely understand that the filmmaker had an outrageous amount of material but... wow. Parts of it were extraordinarily beyond me. Sometimes the filmmaker went overly long on parts of history that while incredibly interesting, don't have a whole lot to do with Thompson's life. 3 stars
417. The Notebook. I dragged my feet watching this movie because I found the book horribly sappy, but I really liked the movie. Odd and unbelievable interaction between black and white people for the period in which this film was set, starting with the 1930s but that was a minor distraction. 4.3 stars
418. Alex & Emma. Predictable Rob Reiner romantic comedy. Of course I had high hopes because he did one of my all time faves, When Harry Met Sally, that I still think about multiple times a week. This, however, with Luke Wilson & Kate Hudson? As a man trying to write a novel in 30 days (with the help of a stenographer) so he doesn't get killed by the Cuban men he owes money to for gambling? No ma'am. Boring. 2.5 stars
419. Woman is the Future of Man. South Korean film which was highly sexualized. At first I had a hard time keeping the characters straight, then once I had the characters I couldn't figure out if there was some time-traveling happening and we were seeing multiple periods in the characters' lives. From reading the back I see I'm right and it's about the 2 friends who both had relations with the same woman and them remembering it. Interesting-ish. 2.7 stars
420. Color Me Kubrick. Outrageous film based on a true story about a Stanley Kubrick impersonator (played by the hilarious John Malkovitch) who bamboozled people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It cracked me up but I did want him to get caught earlier and the movie to end sooner. I didn't need to see SO many people he cheated. 3.7 stars
421. The Producers. Mel Brooks version of the story of two men who set out to make a flop when they realize flops could make them more money than a hit. They lose it when 'Springtime for Hitler' becomes a hit. Funny at times especially with Mel Brooks but at other times it was just there. 3.3 stars
422. I Loved You So Long. French movie with Kristen Scott Thomas. All of her French movies make it over here it seems. I like her a lot. In this film she plays a woman getting out of prison after a 15-year sentence for murder. You find out who she murdered, how she's now coping and watch as she tries to fix her relationship with the estranged sister she's now living with. Excellent film. A bit slow-moving at first, then it picks up. Worth the effort. 4.8/5 stars
423. Safe. Really? A sex scene after one line of dialogue? Less than 30 seconds after the credits disappear? Julianne Moore film about a wife in the affluent suburbs who becomes environmentally sensitive and has to seclude herself to be able to breathe. Boring 2 hour movie. Hated it. I don't believe a single word written positively about it ever. 1 star
424. Umbrellas of Cherbourg. French classic by Jacques Demy where every word is sung about a doomed love. Pretty engaging script but the end was not quite satisfactory. Still a great effort in this 5-time Oscar nominated film. 4/5 stars
425. O Brother Where Art Thou. Funny George Clooney movie (with 2 Oscar nods) where he is an outlaw who escapes to go find a treasure but has to take along the two men chained to him. For certain predictability I'll go 4 stars.
426. The Ugly Truth. Katherine Heigl film about a morning news producer who is forced to work with a misogynist who in turn helps her catch a man. Predictability of some sort ensues. Still, not the worst romantic comedy I've seen this week. 3.3 stars
427. Stray Dog. Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's 1949 film about a detective on the hunt for his stolen gun and his escapades to stop the man who has it from committing crimes. Beautifully shot. Pretty nice script though it could've used a little tightening toward the front end. The lead is a man I imagine to be the Cary Grant of Japan because he was pretty hot. Captivating toward the end despite some platitudes at the very end. 4 stars
428. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick film. Really? A 16-minute ape sequence and an additional 5-10 minutes, all without dialogue? Outrageous. This is why the film is 2 AND A HALF HOURS. No mas. During the Jupiter approach scene, Jameil: "Was Kubrick on acid?" Rashan: "I think so." WEIRD. I feel like 70% of this movie was dialogue-free. I know at least half. The music was good but I really think I only enjoyed and understood 20 minutes of this film. I was impressed by the special effects for the time. A NYT reviewer, "Somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring." Perfect. A generous 2 stars
429. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. French film based on a true story about a man who dictated a book by only blinking after developing locked-in syndrome after a stroke. He was paralyzed and couldn't speak but could think. His only means of communication was through blinking. I wanted the story to progress a little more quickly but I was still captivated by it. 4 stars
430. Stranger Than Paradise. Jim Jarmusch film from the 1980s. If I hadn't just seen 2001, I would've said I don't know if anything can be stranger than this movie. But that would be an exaggeration. I just didn't understand the point. A man meets his Hungarian cousin for the first time, plans to hate her, the broker a truce, she leaves, then with his friend in tow, the 3 go on a road trip to Florida. 1.9 stars
431. A Man Named Pearl. Documentary about a man who taught himself horticulture and topiaries and became the first black person to win yard of the month in his small poor SC town. Nice unasuming opening. Loved the opening. There was some really great photography. The music didn't seem to fit, though and there were multiple repetitive quotes which was the beginning of it becoming boring. It took more than 20 minutes to get to the controversy which inspired him-- racist comments about black people not keeping up their yards. This would've made an awesome short. I'm just not sure there's enough archival pictures and video to support a feature-length doc. This feeling was advanced by the music giving it a "this is almost over" feel. The Chamber of Commerce director was hilariously SC in a good way. I want to see the garden now. 3 stars