You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2007.

The last few weeks haven’t been the easiest for me. I’ve been feeling kind of odd and off and lots of other things — no shortage of emotions here, baby! — and not really sure what to do to make it better. Then I saw some of my favorite flowers at the store and decided that they would make it better.
They kind of do.

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Last night I went to E & SB’s for dinner and then to the movies to see The Queen (which I highly recommend for the acting, for the direction, for the costumes, for the seamless archival video integration, the list goes on and on). Dinner was great – fennel pork loin and mashed parsnips and a wilted spinach/goat cheese salad – and the company was delightful.

Back when I was working as a character, my favorite guests were the ones that seemed just as excited to see us as they were to ride the roller coasters. These kids would seriously act like they were meeting their heroes, oftentimes whispering secrets or “I love you’s” into our giant ears. But the BEST were the ones that brought gifts for us, such as drawings and food. Bugs would get carrots, of course. Daffy got sardines and goldfish crackers. Sylvester got cans of tuna and cat-food. One afternoon, Sly was getting hugs from a little kid who was having a hard time moving on, so after his parents urged him once again to let someone else have a turn, the kid started petting Sly’s face (like you would a real cat) and whispering the something like the following:

“Sylvester, if you want you can come home with me and I will love you, and pet you, and play with you, and scratch your tummy, and brush you and you can eat ROAST PORK!”

Sadly, the allure of what was obviously a Very Special Dinner in that kid’s household was not enough to lure Sly away from his home at the park. But it was enough to send him into convulsive giggles.

Today I asked two separate authority figures to work around me and my needs instead of the other way around and they both agreed to do it quite happily. Squeaky wheels and whatnot, I suppose.

I also finally learned what a fixed gear bike means, in terms of stop-skidding and other bikerobatics, courtesy SB.

I ALSO saw a not-alive squirrel on my way home from school. I had to stop and stare at it a while, as I thought maybe it was just sleeping or too cold to run away or something. Then I spent the rest of my walk home trying to figure out how it died. I might have cried a teensy bit.

I need to be sure to walk a different route to campus tomorrow.

A few weeks ago a good friend and I were talking about change (the altering kind, not the jingly kind) and whether or not all change is good. On one hand, stagnation is rarely beneficial, and on the other, well, I don’t like change.

It isn’t that I want everything to stay the same forever or anything. I’ve just noticed recently that I’m much better at dealing with things leaving my life (friends, jobs, responsibilities, routines) than I am with things being added to my life. And I really really hate going into unknown situations. Ironically I also really hate making plans, so figure that one out.

Good thing I’ve chosen to spend this little part of my life in an atmosphere that requires complete upheaval every 4 months!

These things are making me smile today. First, this birdie-filled video:

and also this from xkcd:

90's flowchart

Even though impending ice storm + red wine last night = migraine + wasted afternoon, today is a good day.

First, my DVR considerately recorded about 3 hours of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia“reruns, which I think is maybe the funniest thing on TV these days. Be forewarned: it is totally offensive and totally hilarious. These characters are rude, vain, disgusting and cruel and I would hate to actually know any of them, but the actors/writers are brilliant and deliver every episode without missing a thing. Seriously, the new season starts this summer, so start kissing up to your cable-connected friends now, because it’s on FX.

And now I get to go enjoy tapas and drinks in honor of Miss E and El Chipps, two of my very favorite people in Champaign. Like I said, it’s a good day.

I’ve been spending the majority of my time this last week giving my apartment a much needed cleaning of the under-the-microwave, back-of-the-closet variety. I was inspired partially by the recent move of two dear friends and the looming start of another busy semester. Nothing spectacular to report except that I was confronted again by the fact that I’m a champion pack-rat of a particularly bizarre nature.

From my father I inherited the need to save everything just in case. But from my mother I inherited my knack for anthropomorphizing inanimate objects to the point that I feel bad for getting rid of them. I actually get concerned about hurting the feelings of my mugs that have been with me for 10 years. I worry that maybe they know that they’ve been replaced by newer, matchy-er mugs and that might give them a complex.  Or maybe that set of towels is going to be resentful that I ditched them and kept the other set.  So I find myself explaining my reasoning to these things as I pack them away so that they at least have some context to work with. I know. Nutso.

The reason I know this comes from my mother is that I have actually witnessed her telling — out loud — a doll not to be scared when the box closes, because even though it will be dark, it will be OK and that the doll should just go to sleep. I am not making this up.

See, at least I come by my weirdness honestly.

I’ve been watching a lot of Law & Order lately, and when I say a lot I mean a LOT. We’re talking maybe 3 or4 (or 5 or 6) a day, every day. I do mix it up a little, watching all three flavors, but still that is a lot of BONG BONGs.

I think my favorite part is the little vignette before the opening credits. Criminal Intent has a bit of a different slant by showing some history of the crime, but generally I like them because they feature totally random New Yorkers strolling around, usually poorly acting  out some inane dialogue, always cut short by one person looking off camera and saying, “Oh my god! Call the police!”, then the camera panning down to the body. L&O has been on for 17 seasons (!) so at 22 episodes per season, that is a lot of delightfully inane chatter.

As much as I love this show, and contrary to  Bravo’s, USA’s and TNT’s obvious wishes, I think I need to stop watching it so much. I’m finding that I try to memorize what my friends are wearing every time I see them in case Logan or Briscoe knocks on my door and asks me about the last time we were together. I think about what I was doing last Thursday in case I have to have an alibi ready to prevent wrongful arrest. Worst of all, I am starting to have nightmares featuring the grizzliest m.o.’s — like the Whoopi Goldberg machete murders I watched last night (now that is a phrase I never thought I’d type).

So, as much as I love you Dick Wolf, I’m gonna have to start the weening process now.

Over the last two days I’ve watched three well-made but very different movies — A Mighty Wind, the newest remake of Pride and Prejudice, and Children of Men — and it got me thinking about my taste in movies. I’ve always said that I can pretty much find SOMEthing to like about every movie, whether it be costumes or camerawork or special effects.  I’m also very interested in movie “chatter” – I like Premiere and Entertainment Weekly and make my daily trips to IMDB and Cinematical. The plain fact is that I love movies, I love watching movies, and I like thinking about movies. I am pretty sure this comes from a childhood spent obsessively watching movies (on Beta, natch) until they were committed to memory, credit music and all. Anything that took up that much time and brainspace MUST be worthwhile, right?

The thing about these particular three movies is that they were all good examples of what they were “supposed” to be and I fell right into them all, with little trouble switching gears between them. I doubt anyone would rent Pride and Prejudice and be shocked at the romantic wordplay and swoony resolutions, or be surprised by the frank grittyness presented by Alfonso Cuaron,  and A Mighty Wind did exactly what it was supposed to do to me – it made me laugh out loud and then made me want to listen to my folk and bluegrass albums.  I’m just not sure if my willingness to be pulled deeply into all of these worlds within hours of each other speaks more of the power of these movies, or of the willingness (weakness?) of my brain to slip quickly into the false worlds and suspensions of belief required in truly satisfying movie-watching. If the latter, then I’m sure it is due to years and years of practice accepting whatever the artists were trying to convey as worth my time and effort.

I also watched 3 other great movies in the last two days (hey, it’s winter break): Guys and Dolls, West Side Story and 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. Ah the secret is out, I love the musicals.  Now these are three particularly great musicals and they also happen to be three very different kinds of movies. Yes, there is singing and dancing in all, but the difference in feeling and emotion between 7 Brides and West Side Story is as wide as the difference between Children of Men and A Mighty Wind. Don’t get me started on people who declare all musicals unworthy – they have not given musicals a chance. You don’t have to love them, or get them, or choose them, but you do have to appreciate the artistry. But that is a rant for a different day.

My point is this (yes, I have one): I think my early childhood  exposure to the highly improbable and essentially fantastical worlds of musicals (and pretty much any other movie I could get my hands on) honed my brain to be more easily adaptable to other kinds of films.  I have no proof, and I doubt anyone would take the time to study such a thing, but it’s better than even money that those formative years had something to do with it.

Makes me worry about the kids today growing up on Wife Swap and Scary Movie 4. Who is going to make my movies for me when I’m 70?

We are about a week into 2007, which means that I’m about a week later getting this started than I intended. Which is about normal.

So far this year has been filled with friends and socializing, mostly in the name of Adequate Goodbying. But we’ll save that topic for another, less emotional day.