Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I don't really like cake. Does that make me a bad person? Katherine T loves it as the alpha and the omega. I usually only eat it to be polite. It always seems like you can't really say no to someone's birthday cake without slighting their birthday, so then I say "ok, just a little piece," and then I have a bite and remember that cake doesn't taste very good, but I'm stuck with it. Its a vicious and unending cycle of madness. Unless its cheesecake, then its a whole different ballgame, because cheesecake tastes like happiness. Or at least a really good day.

Cake as a metaphor, however, works really well for me. I have to thank Katherine T for this one too. When Anna was explaining the plot of Twilight to her, Katherine T chose to interpret Bella as Edward's cake. His favorite thing to eat. Then she said "I couldn't date CAKE. How does he do it?"

I don't really believe in soulmates per se. Honestly, if I did it would be more depressing cause then you start thinking "where is he? maybe its just me. Maybe I don't get one..." But realistically, I've never seen anything that leads me to believe in soulmates. I do believe that you can have something like it, just with a little more compatability and a litte less Destiny (and I mean the concept here, not that kid who used to knock on our door and ask for money, although less of her has definitely been a blessing). The gist of all of this is that I believe in cake as a metaphor. Your favorite food that you love so much you can keep from eating it. I'm not sure I've explained this concept coherently, but that may have something to do with being extra tired and punchy this week. For those of you who already know what I'm talking about, sorry I butchered the theory. For those of you who don't, sorry if this doesn't make any sense. Katherine T, I have subtly disguised your name so that you won't feel exposed to the paparazzi. Thank you for your patience.

This all really came about because someone at work had birthday cake today, and I said yes to be kind, and then remembered that I don't care for cake...and then my internet was working, and the next thing you know I'm recording my delusional ramblings for posterity. Someday I'll write a coherent entry for this, I swear.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

District 9

That was a fabulous movie. There was nothing historical about it, so I don't have anything to criticize on that front, and I was tense through the entire film- it was amazing. Its been a long time since a movie held 100% of my attention like that. I had to go home and read something happier so I could sleep. It was intense and disturbing. I feel like I could say lots more about it, but I really don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't already seen it and might go. And you should go. These people are really the ones who should be making World War Z into a film...and anyone who knows me knows how strongly I feel about that book, so you know this must be a serious level of trust going on here.

The most important thing I learned from this is that I am, so far, unable to mimic a South African accent. I think I mostly end up sounding Scandinavian when I try- its sorta pathetic. It was really hard to effectively reenact the film when I was unable to reproduce Wikus's accent. I couldn't make myself sound like a prawn either, but I doubt that will come up in life as often as the South African thing. Including the voices really adds something to storytelling, and in this case I failed. Basically, although I was disturbed by the social messages of District 9, and think it was a great piece of art, what will really keep me awake at night is my inability to talk like I'm from Johannesburg.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Movies vs. Reality

I have a hard time watching a movie without doing my own research into what REALLY happened, or at least reading the book it was based on. Went to see Public Enemies the other day, and as soon as Johnny Depp vaulted over that counter to rob the bank I was hooked.

So, now I'm finishing up reading the book the movie was based on, and I'm even more fascinated. The most interesting part? All of the things you feel like they added to make Johnny Depp look cool were things that Dillinger really did. Jumping over counters? Check. Going to the police station where the Dillinger squad was headquartered? Not only check- he went like four times in the last month of his life. Reckless, sure, but cool. I know they couldn't do the plastic surgery that Dillinger had because you don't mess with Johnny's face, but on the whole, the Johnnies are equally cool, although one was unfortunately a criminal.

Also. Giovanni Ribisi (no idea how to spell his name, and I'm too lazy to go look it up) really looks like Alvin Karpis, who is my other favorite yegg. I thought that was weird and cool.

Know what they got wrong? Melvin Purvis? Not cool. Didn't really do that much either, just got the credit for it, and had his picture taken a lot. Also, the death of Pretty Boy Floyd was pretty accurate, except for the fact that is happened AFTER Dillinger died, and Mel Purvis didn't do it. (got his picture taken for it, though.)

What else have I learned? Bonnie and Clyde were dumb and small time. The Barkers were dumber, and Ma Barker the dumbest. Also, Shotgun George Ziegler? Disappointingly not related to Toby from The West Wing.

Knowing these things doesn't spoil the movie for me or anything like that...it just makes it so much more interesting. Don't worry, though. Pretty soon I'll move on from 1930's gangsters and start thinking about Julia Child.

Friday, August 7, 2009

BEST idea?

Are the National Parks America's BEST idea? I was thinking maybe frappuccinos, celebrity worship, or the declaration of independence, but I don't have 10 years and a film crew to prove it, do I?

So last night I went to the screening of clips from The National Parks: America's Best Idea. Could you tell? I realize that my opener may have made it sound like I didn't enjoy the film, but that's not true. It was very interesting, and I fully intend to watch it when it airs on MPBN in its entirety. I did, however, notice that, although I consider myself a patriot, its not in the Ken Burns mold.

Documentaries like that seem to have a feeling of golly-the-American-spirit-is-amazing-and-we're-sorry-about-slavery-and-the-Indians-and-all-that-and-we're-not-ignoring-it-but-lets-focus-on-how-awesome-we-are feeling to them. It works, too. I nearly cried at the Acadia bit, everything was beautiful, the whole thing made me proud, AND it was funny. What more could you want? Well, I like it when they say "Teddy Roosevelt was kind of a douchebag, but ALSO a badass and we love him anyway, and here's why:" I'm a Sarah Vowell kind of patriot, I guess.

I don't know how Sarah Vowell feels, not being in her head, but when I read her books I'm fascinated with every warped twist and turn in American history, and it makes me love it more, warts and all. Lincoln WAS awesome, no matter what else is true about him- so shouldn't we be honest and talk about how he was also emo, and maybe think "gee, I wish I could have given Abe a hug."?

I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about how Jefferson was a prissy backstabber and Adams was a pompous ass who took himself too seriously. Its EXCELLENT. They were real dudes, and I might not have liked them, had I known them- doesn't make their ideas or their writing less great.

GDub may be beyond criticism. He may have actually been perfect, other than the rotten teeth thing. I'm still looking into this one.

I guess that after all of this my point is that I love history, I just prefer it a little more tongue in cheek and a little more even handed. Yep, we rocked WWII. So did the Russians (albeit in their own way), and our refusal to talk about that was a good reason to be ticked at us. Wilson was progressive and formed the League of Nations (which pretty much failed, but was a nifty idea) but he was a bitch to women. Plus, have you seen pictures of him? He looked mean.

History is so great...and I think we have a lot of reasons to be proud. Basically, Ken and I agree...I would probably just say it in a different way. Also, I would probably insist on my narrator conveying disgust at the wealthy "cottagers" on Mount Desert Island who Gave Acadia to the Nation. Frakkin summer people.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


My thoughts lack cohesion today, but it seemed like a good opportunity to keep up the positive habits and write something here. What shall I ruminate on? My unhealthy new crush on John Dillinger? (He wasn't really a killer...just an attention whore) The fact that I need to believe that Nothing Bad Ever Happens in Canada? (Thank you, Avonlea, for making me believe that Canada is a Heaven where no one's arms ever get cut off in a tragic cannery accident and if you Accidentally Shoot Your Dog the new schoolteacher's emo/righteously angry veterinary student son will Save Its Life and Restore His Own Confidence at the last moment.) Or the fact that I hate to be undermined and made to look stupid, which is why I try to avoid making sweeping decisions I don't have the authority to back up (and also the fact that sometimes other people don't make any decisions AT ALL, forcing me to do it, and then those same people come along and undermine me later?)
This is what its like in my head all the time.
It's no wonder I sometimes start sentences in the middle, or forget to end them. In a completely unrelated, and so, kinda thematically related story I'm going to jump topics AGAIN.
Last night Sadie and I discussed an alleged poolside bar in a certain hotel she may go to later this week, and we wondered how they card people. Do you need your ID to be tucked in your bathing suit? Do they card at the door? I like to imagine that there's a giant bouncer with a line of orange buoys that runs across the pool at the start of the deep end. He cards you, and if you have a valid ID and he can see your navel, he moves the buoy rope and lets you in. Can't you hear it now? "Sorry ma'am, there's a dress code here. No tankinis."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Moon-Worshipping Freak

I was going to write something cranky and cutting this evening, probably about how much I hate when people just stare blankly at you becuase they're too stupid to solve their own problems. That, however, is a tirade for another day. I was miserable and cranky, and now I'm elated, and I don't want to go back to the way I was two hours ago.
Why are you so pleased with life? you query. Well, I don't really have a good explanation other than the fact that the moon is beautiful and visible and the night is clear and there's a thrilling cool breeze. Yes, I mean thrilling. I am a weirdo Moon-and-Wind worshipping freak, and I love it. If I didn't have to work in the morning, or if I was a more interesting person, I would find some place to go and frolic outside for the evening, but practicality usually wins out.
Seriously, though, am I the only one who feels, on nights like this, that something magic might actually happen, and I should go out and try to find it? Doesn't really matter, does it? It makes me happy. I wish, since I do feel so happy righ now, that I had more to say on the subject. I'm not 11 or in a bad novel (I don't think...), so I doubt that anyone is going to show up at midnight tonight to tell me that I'm a witch, or an ancient supernatural creature, or the Chosen One who will save the universe or anything. I guess I'm just going to have to settle for being really pleased for a whole evening, for no real reason (which somehow makes it better), and putting a few words about it up here.
I haven't really explained it at all.
Let's just say I'm thrilled with the whole world right now and wish that we had a stone circle nearby where I could go dance in the moonlight, or that I had a realistic, legal (cause getting arrested would really ruin the mood I'm going for here) way to go out skinny dipping in the dark. I may have to sleep on the ground this year after all...