Friday, February 6, 2009

The Sure Thing

January and February are notorious for being a movie graveyard. If a movie comes out around now, odds are better than average that it will suck, and suck hard (Coraline being the exception that proves the rule, IhopeIhopeIhope). And even if it's not a total vortex, it will be a really flawed movie that is saved by a good cast.

And that's actually, kind of fine with me. I don't really want something irresistable tempting me to leave my warm homey-of-me-ownie in the dead of winter. What I really want to do is put on my oldest shirt, my rattiest sweat pants and a fresh pair of tube socks, and to sprawl on my couch under my favorite quilt and watch my comfort DVDs. Just have all my favorites piled up and throw them in the player, knowing I'll be happy.

Cause I have a bunch of go-to, surefire, could watch them a million times movies. I can throw in Pride & Prejudice (Knightly/McFayden version, bien sur) and I will sigh every time when Mr. Darcy comes striding through the fog. I can put in the 13th Warrior and get goosebumps during the scene where Antonio Banderas is sitting at the fire and slowly starts to understand the Vikings' language. I can put in When Harry Met Sally and say "You're right. You're right. I know you're right." and "Mr. Zero knew." on cue, every time. I want the Shawshank Redemption, and Andy Dufresne standing in the rain letting those years of prison wash away.

And it's not just laziness. If it was just that, I'd turn on Lifetime and not have to go through the monstrous inconvenience of having to get off the couch to change the disc. What I desire is certainty. To know that, without a doubt, I will enjoy myself. I want comfort food films. Not new. Not novel. Even the best acted, most dazzlingly shot and best scripted movie wouldn't satisfy the way that familiar does at this time of year. Let the new come with the spring.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Suddenly I'm having a strange yen for a buttered corn tortilla wrapped around a slice of fried bacon.

Okay. That would probably be more strange if it was somebody else craving it. It would actually only be strange if I was suddenly craving tofu.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Really Bad Marketing Plan

I think they're marketing the movie Coraline specifically to me. Personally. Like the only person they really want to show up is me.

First of all, 3D animation. LOVE it. Would come right after whiskers on kittens, if I was a singing nun enumerating my favorite things. Maybe it's the dazzling images. Or maybe it's just the socially acceptable excuse to wear nerd glasses.

Second, I'm watching IFC last night, and they have a promo about Coraline featuring a woman who hand knitted the stop-motion Coraline's sweaters. Hand knitted. On little tiny needles made out of straight pins. She wears real sweaters. With stars on them. Oh. My.

But really, they don't need to try so hard. Coraline is based on a book by Neil Gaiman. One of my favorite authors. His American Gods is my first or second favorite book in the world (He and Jane Austen have these really loud arguments in my head over who gets to be my favorite. But then they forgive each other and make out. Which is kind of weird). Plus, Coraline is this book that I was really glad wasn't written until I was an adult. Because if I had read it as a kid, I would never have slept again. Ever. I would have been that freaked out. But in a good way.

So, settle down, you crazy movie marketing people. Put down the net. I'm already in the boat.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Not for the squeamish

Okay, just because there's a part of me that's 9-years old and can't help giggling about this stuff. I was raised in the age of children being "empowered" to use the "correct anatomical language". I knew all the good stuff by 4. But it still makes me laugh.

The headline kinda says it all: "Surgeons remove healthy kidney through donor's vagina." The kidney is terrific. The 'gina? Not so much.

I love the way the doctors didn't seem to think that describing a surgery involving a woman's reproductive system might need to be thought out just a little, just for maximum tactfullness. Therefore you get sentences like - "The woman was chosen to be the first donor to undergo the procedure because a previous hysterectomy enabled doctors to operate without a uterus obstructing their efforts." Don't know about you, but I've never really thought of my uterus as an "obstruction".

Of course the patient didn't seem to do much better - "If you asked our patient, she said it was like getting a tooth removed." Yeah. Like getting a tooth removed - through your vagina.

Oh, anyway, I think it's great. Anything that encourages organ donation. And if there's a woman who thinks having her kidney pulled out through her lady business is a less daunting prospect than traditional surgery, god bless her. She's a tougher broad than I.

Oh, and just one more time for fun - vagina.


Last night there was a man behind me on the train who had a sneezing fit (attack, set?) that went on almost five minutes. Small sneezes, one after the other, anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds apart. It was funny the levels of empathy you go through as you listen.

Somebody's sneezing.
There he goes again. Poor guy.
Jeez, he's really having a sneezy day.
What the heck?
Is he doing that on purpose?
Oh, for chrissakes, blow your nose or something.
Now you're just being an asshole.
Is he still at it?
Oh, man. Poor guy.

And the funny thing was, you could see everyone else in the car who could hear him going through the same reactions, at almost the same time. As we'd try not to look, but not act like we're looking.

Taxing my brain

This is just starting to bug the peewalkerdoo (pardon my language) out of me. What is this, the 3rd Obama nominee to be called out for tax problems? Crimeny. You're in public service and make enough money to hire household help. Get a freaking accountant. It's like movie stars who could afford to get a limo, but insist on driving around plastered. There are people who can do that for you.

It bugs me almost as much as those commercials for some tax lawyer where some gumby says "I owed $100,000 to the IRS, but I paid only cents on the dollar. Thanks, Dewey Cheatham!" grrrrrr. Because, in all those years that you were skating, I was paying cents on the dollar to Uncle Sam, too. 100 cents on the dollar.

I'd have liked to have been running around spending the government's money too. But you know what I like more? An adequately supplied military. Bridges that don't collapse. Levies that don't wash away. Kids getting a good education. You know. Luxuries.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Giving up

Well, last year, you may remember, I tried the giving something up for Lent practice, borrowed from my Catholic friends because I've yet to find any good agnostic rituals (an area where we agnostics really show a sad lack of initiative). The thing I chose to give up was coffee. Not all caffeine. I'm not suicidal. Just coffee. And I say "just" coffee. There wasn't any just about it. It was tough. But I found it a really valuable exercise in getting out of my normal routine, and examining how one particular vice affects my life.

This year, I wanted to do something big again. And I needed to decide fairly early so that I could properly prepare for Mardi Gras. What if I thought I was giving up booze, but then the next day I actually gave up chocolate. I'd spend all of Fat Tuesday consuming the wrong bad thing. What a waste. And as I thought about it, it became pretty clear, pretty fast what I should go for.

I'm giving up meat. For a girl who's very clear that she has canine teeth and stereoscopic vision for a reason, giving up my carnivorous ways, even for a short span will be a hard row to hoe. But if I'm in, I'm going whole hog. So to speak.

And let me be clear, I'm giving up meat, not going vegetarian. For some reason, in my mind there's a distinction there. I'm still who I am - a definite omnivore with heavy carnivorous leanings. I'm just changing the way I am who I am for a little while. I think. I'm still working that bit out.

And I'm still working out the logistics. Giving up coffee was pretty straigtforward in execution. Don't fill up my cup. Done. Giving up animal protein has some more far reaching implications, healthwise. I need to make sure my body is getting what it needs, in a different form. And I'm definitely not going to try to attempt a vegan diet. Again, not suicidal. But I need to figure out getting complete proteins and all that stuff. And what things I need to avoid eating because they have hidden chicken broth or bacon bits (Texans think beans flavored with ham is a vegetarian dish). Ow. This is already making my head hurt.

But I have two friends who've decided to try this with me out of solidarity. And another friend who I eat with pretty often who's committed to being sensitive about where and what we eat. Plus, I've got a good vegetarian resource that I can bug about my diet. So, I'm pretty optimistic that I have the support system I'll need.

Now I just need to start planning on Mardi Gras. Now where did I put that woven bacon thingy recipe?

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