Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Things I love (pt 1)

My first entry in this new series should really be BLOGGING SERIES. But it is:

Peanut brittle! Oh wow.

I will never marry a man that ... (pt 4)

I will never marry a man that is rude to waiters.

Departed should have been rated XXX

This is really quite neat.

Miami herald article.

Still gonna cry if it doesn't win on Feb 25th.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I am a person that ... (pt 2)

I am a person that hates hats. Helmets, toques, cowboy, wizard, sun, baseball, etc. From pretty well as young as I could manage to not wear a helmet without my parents intervening (or actually, much early than that as long as they weren't actually going with me) I refused to, and still do. Maybe if I was skiing down a 10 degree angled hill full of large, jagged rocks (aka certain death) ... but otherwise I'll take the small chance of death, thanks.

And I don't care if my ears are cold!

I thought you might like to see some random pictures

Me and some people I know, all but one from Deloitte.

An eagle I saw.

Me and some Ivey girls.

Me and one of my exchange buddies, Julie from France.

Me and my bff/sister, Luke (he loves it when I call him that).

Totally flipped on the cat

So, one of the stranger sights I witnessed today was the way my cat chose to exit his litter box. He came screaching out like a racoon was hot on his tail, one piece of poop flew out of his bum, then he proceeded to squat and slide rapidly across the carpet, removing another piece and leaving a brownish trail in his wake. What bizarre behavior, considering there was nothing to scare him (no loud noises and I wasn't even near the litter box). So I gave him a really hard time, including a swat and a lot of yelling.

I think I'll be one of those impatient parents who eventually resorts to beating the crap out of her kids with a wooden spoon to get them to behave. I think something on my list of "husband requirements" should be someone who can prevent me from doing this!

I am a person that ... (pt 1)

I feel like introducing yet another series of entries, because they make blogging more fun. This one is about insights into the brain of me. Yes, exciting, I know.

I am a person that doesn't like being told what to do, ever. Just on principle. I could agree 100% that what you are telling me to do is something that I should be doing (or even want to be doing!), but by telling me to do it you just made me 50% less likely to enjoy it. Or more. I am the boss of me, not you!

I don't care if you're older than me, responsible for me, in charge of me at work, or gave birth to me - at the end of the day we all have just as much right to be on this planet and to make whatever choices we deem appropriate. So leave me alone and maybe I'll do what you want anyways. And chances are you could probably just do it yourself!

I thought I was done there but I'm going to continue with a sidebar. Sidebar: this doesn't mean I wouldn't love to help you, with almost whatever you need. Just don't make it an order, or ask in a condescending way. Bad #1: "Time to take out the garbage, Tammy!" Bad #2: "Well don't you think you should help with the dishes? It would be a nice thing to do. That's a good girl." Good: "Hey, I was wondering if you could help me bring in these boxes? They're super heavy and my back is killing me."

My grandmother is, like most old people, notorious for the second one. And it kills me because I love to help her with things because she's old, but asking that way makes me really not want to.
My mother is bad at framing her question like #3 but making it sound so fake and condescending that it has the same effect as my grandmother. I don't want your brownie points, Mommy! [Still love you, for the record.]

Matt tends to just tell me what to do, but he always appreciates my help in a "partner" type of way, not a "brownie points" kind of way ... so that makes me more eager to help him, even when he doesn't give me the option of saying no!

Stuff about the 90s

I think the only songs I like from the 90s are Smells Like Teen Spirit, a handful of U2 songs (though, as a collection, it's 1/100th as good as their 80s stuff), and 1979.

There's probably a handful of others I'm forgetting at the moment, but still - what a terrible decade! Thankfully everything else was great.

- Fresh Prince of Bel Air opening credits (I can still do the entire thing)
- Leggings, the first time
- Babysitter Club, Goosebumps
- Saturday morning TV that was actually good
- Side ponytails and scrunchies
- Smurfs
- Power Rangers, Care Bears, Saved by the Bell, 90210, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Ghostwriter, The Secret Life of Alex Mac, Pinky and the Brain, Ninja Turtles
- Talk to the hand
- Slap bracelets
- The Macarena
- Stickers worn on your face as makeup (I swear this wasn't just me)

etc. etc.

Books I read in 2006

I kept a list. It's not very long, I blame school and work for that. If you consider the thousands of pages of textbooks I read, I did pretty good! It's in order, but this year I'm keeping even more details including start and end dates and pages read. I have a similar list of movies I saw, but I won't be releasing that of course. Maybe next year.

- The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
- Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
- Of Love and Other Demons, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- A Murder is Announced, Agatha Christie
- Partners in Crime, Agatha Christie
- A Holiday for Murder, Agatha Christie
- Watchmen, Alan Moore
- The Mysterious Mr. Quin, Agatha Christie
- Freakonomics, Levitt & Dubner
- Battle Royale, Koushun Takami
- League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 2, Alan Moore
- Shopaholic and Sister, Sophie Kinsella
- The Shadow Of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- Curtain, Agatha Christie
- The Physics of Superheroes, James Kakalios

The best, by far, was Battle Royale. Lord of the Flies mixed with And Then There Were None --- amped up by a factor of 100. The premiere pulp horror novel of this generation, in my opinion.

I will never marry a man that ... (pt 3)

I will never marry a man that refuses to do at least 30% of the cooking, 50% of the cleaning and laundry, and 100% of the "fixing things".

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I will never marry a man that ... (pt 2)

I will never marry a man whose idea of the perfect wedding song is Amazed by Lonestar, Don't Wanna Miss a Thing by Aerosmith, or pretty much any song by Celine Dion. That is just not the boy for me. Not that I'm not willing to compromise... actually it's true, I'm not. That's kinda the whole point of this series. Anyways!

I could go haunting indie, like the Lassie Foundation's El Rey (which I've uploaded here for your amusement if you so choose) or Girls by Death in Vegas (which you can watch here, whilst trying not to look at the images). Both are simple but effective, I think.

Or perhaps more straightforward with a bit of edge like Killing Me Softly, or Lovers in a Dangerous Time.

There's the possibility of just going with one of our/my favorite songs, like Layla or In Your Eyes. Both of which must be played at some point, really.

Finally, there's always the downright odd: White Wedding or About a Girl (Nirvana).

There's a decent list here from which I drew some of my samples (I don't normally think about these things, I promise - I'm not that kinda girl). But it really bugs me that it includes U2's One, which is so clearly not a love song at all.

Foods I get cravings for, from time to time

  • Sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub from Subway
  • Buffalo chicken wrap from The Wave
  • California sushi rolls
  • Soft tacos supreme from Taco Bell
  • Milk (1 %)
  • Pizza
  • Cheeseburger from McDonalds
  • Classic single with cheese from Wendy's
  • Apple strudel from Montana's
  • Buffalo style chicken fingers from Jack Astor's
  • Garlic bread from East Side Mario's
  • Subway cookies
  • Movie theatre popcorn
  • Apple juice

Vinyl Cafe feels like home

I'm either ashamed or proud to admit that I really enjoy all 5 books in the Vinyl Cafe series. Actually I think I've only read 3.5. They read so fluidly that, despite not being about anything more exciting than every-day life, the pages cannot be turned fast enough.

There's just something about these quirky, small town Canada, slices of life. They feel real, like a number of the tales could have actually happened to you, or someone you know. And they often harken back to pleasant childhood memories, told so vividly you can smell the apple pie.

They also inspire you to live life to the fullest. For example, in the latest installment that I'm reading now, Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe, there's a chapter where Stephanie, the main character's daughter of around my age, goes tree planting for 6 weeks. Stuart McLean spares nothing when recounting how grueling and awful a job this must be. Early morning wake-ups, sleeping in tents, working in rain or snow, bleeding hands, flies flies and more flies. But Stephanie persists to the goal of planting 2500 trees a day, because that's what the "lifers" can do and she knows that she should be capable of it too. The problem is that even working hard all day, she averages about 500. Anyways she eventually succeeds, blah blah. I want to plant trees! (kind of). There's also a hilarious chapter on practical jokes of the extreme variety (think: better than Punk'd), which makes me want to put more effort into stuff like.

The funny part is that it never reads sappy or preachy. Really they're uplifting, feel good, and often laugh-out-loud funny. Highlighted passages (from the latest book, otherwise I'd obviously include the infamous turkey):

Specimen A:

If you asked either of them, neither Kenny nor Dave could tell you exactly when this April Fool's business began. But they would tell you that one April, Dave got into Kenny's cafe in the middle of the night and replaced the gravy powder Kenny uses for poutine and hot turkey sandwiches with chocolate pudding mix. No one in the kitchen noticed anything until the cook splattered some of the chocolate gravy on the rim of a plate, wiped it with his thumb and then absentmindedly brought his thumb to his mouth. That wasn't until late in the afternoon.

As soon as he could, Kenny rewound his cash-register tape and found, to his horror, that they had already sold seven hot chocolate-turkey sandwiches. The disturbing part was that no one had complained.

Specimen B (wherein Sam joins the field hockey team):

For the first half an hour they did calisthenics. Coach walked among them and shouted encouragement. "Come on, Lee... lift those legs. Faster, Pat. You can do it. That's the spirit ... Samantha."
Samantha? Sam hadn't realized this was a coed team. He tried to spot the girl, Samantha, but because everyone was wearing helmets, he found it impossible.
It took about half an hour before the truth dawned on Sam. The coach was looking directly at him every time she had something to say to Samantha. Chris was wearing a pink T-shirt. Pat's blond hair was held back in a scrunchie. And Lee seemed to be wearing a sports bra.
And it was "Erin," the coach kept calling, not "Aaron."
"Uh-oh," said Sam under his breath.
His suspicions were confirmed at the end of practice when Coach lined the team up and handed out the team uniforms.
It was Sam's first-ever skirt.

I will never marry a man that ... (pt 1)

This is part one in an ongoing series of entries that could, as Matt would attest, be unlimited in length.

I will never marry a man that
, while undertaking his morning bathroom activities, turns the faucet on the highest level of blasting power and leaves it as such for the entire duration of said activities.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Six hour movies are really daunting

So I'm watching The Best of Youth, a 2003 Italian film following the lives of 2 brothers from the age of 20 to 40 or maybe 60 (they're still 20 at the point I'm at). Oh did I mention that I'm only 1 hour into it and I've been "watching" it for a week now? Part of the problem is that it refuses to play on my DVD player, which means I have to watch it on my laptop and that causes far too many distractions.

But I think there's also something about the fact that it's 6 hours ... it's like climbing Everest and getting bored when you can still see base camp.

Switch it off

I've been thinking that it would be nice to have 1 day a year (or more) where I turned all electronics, heating/cooling devices, etc. off. There would also be no driving or any other kind of polluting (walking, cycling, or public transportation if necessary). Wait is this what Earth Day is? Haaaaa.

Anyways it couldn't be during school because of my silly laptop, and it couldn't be on a weekday at work, so probably a Sunday sometime in the summer would be best. It would certainly mean an early bedtime!

Who blogs the most?

I think we all know the answer to this, but here are some handy facts I compiled. And I think I'll award some blog points for this, since is there anything more appropriate to award them for if not blogging? So I'll round your average number per day (according to the normal rules of rounding) and you'll get that many points.

Avg. # of posts per day since inception:

# of posts # of days blogging avg. posts / day
Kimota 538 119 4.52
CJG 48 38 1.26
James 94 75 1.25
Tammy 121 118 1.03
Luke 75 75 1.00
Jack 16 17 0.94
Dan 14 15 0.93
Peter J. 684 1747 0.39
Ron 4 24 0.17

Look people

I really need to get some more blog points so please post some trivia or math problems or anything that I can get blog points from! I'm not ready to go cold turkey yet.

Trivia Answers

1. The Lost Boys - Grandpa says it at the end of the film when he saves the family. Before this everyone believed Grandpa was unaware of pretty much everything.
Correct answer: Kimota, 1 pt.

2. Bull Durham - advice given by Kevin Costner's character.
Correct answer: Kimota, 2 pts.

Hook - Peter Pan (Robin Williams) to Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts).
Correct answer: no one!

4. Scream - killer to Sidney Prescott (not Sid Vicious) when she declares that he watched too many movies. PS. Best movie ever.
Correct answer: no one! Come on people this was easy.

5. Lost in Translation - Charlotte's photographer husband says this to Charlotte, commenting on her judgmental nature.
Correct answer: no one! But this was probably the hardest of the bunch.

6. Princess Bride - Inigo Montoya obviously, to the 6 fingered man.
Correct answer: Kimota, 1 pt. CJG got in a bit too late.

7. The Departed - Billy Costigan (Dicaprio) to Costello (Nicholson) about what he'll do to him if he keeps questioning his loyalty.
Correct answer: Kimota, 2 pts.

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Joel, commenting on sand...
Correct answer: Dan, 3 points.

9. Manhattan - one of Woody's most famous lines from any film.
Correct answer: Kimota, 1 pt.

10. American Beauty - Lester, being depressing as usual, on the day that he dies.
Correct answer: Jack, 2 pts.

Good job to everyone, especially Kimota, who picked up 7 blog points.

How to order my list

I can't seem to get the blog points list above to have line breaks in between the names, you know, so that it looks like a list instead of all jumbled together. 1 point for help!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Movie Quotes for Blog Points

I give you the quote, you tell me the movie. Points are indicated in brackets. First person to answer correctly gets the points for that question, no duplicates. Hint: most (but not all) are from favorite movies of mine.

1. "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach: all the damn vampires!" [1 point]

2. "Relax, all right? Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic." [2 points]

3. "You're a... you're a complex Freudian hallucination having something to do with my mother and I don't know why you have wings, but you have very lovely legs and you're a very nice tiny person and what am I saying, I don't know who my mother was; I'm an orphan and I've never done drugs because I missed the sixties, I was an accountant." [2 points]

4. "Now Sid, don't you blame the movies, movies don't create psychos, movies make psychos more creative!" [1 point]

5. "Why do you have to point out how stupid everyone is all the time?" [3 points]

6. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father prepare to die." [1 point]

7. "You accuse me once, I put up with it. You accuse me twice... I quit. You pressure me to fear for my life and I will put a fucking bullet in your head as if you were anybody else." [2 points]

8. "Sand is overrated. It's just tiny, little rocks." [3 points]

9. "I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics." [1 point]

10. "Remember those posters that said, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life?" Well, that's true with every day except one: the day that you die." [2 points]

Lost "Final Episode"

Made for the Consumer Electronics Show. No actual spoilers, obvs. Kinda cute.

Infinity is a Point in the 7th Dimension

So they tell me.

This is fun/stressful

Are you smart or stoopid?

Thanks to Jack for the link! Oh and I got 24.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Matched my previous output

Prior to this entry, I had recorded 56 in the month of January. This is an average of over 2 per day (!) and also equals the cumulative total of my previous 3 months of blogging. Not bad, I say, not bad. Eh eh? Thanks to everyone who has left comments, they keep me going like a picture of a loved one in the trenches.

Don't read this

I love 90210 reruns. They make me want to get up in the morning - I just love them that much. It's obviously not a good show in the typical sense, but it's excellent at what it does. And what I particularly like about it is the realism. Ok, now take a few minutes to laugh and feel free to never read my blog again. Not that you should still be reading this anyways, as I clearly told you not to so you have only yourself to blame.

But really, it portrays the popular scene of high school quite accurately. Case in point: the resident dorky, smart, nice girl that is one of the most loveable characters (Andrea) has a crush on the main guy, Brandon (Jason Priestly, who used to be really cute, who knew). They consider going out once or twice, but for the most part he passes. She moves on, meets someone more like her at college, and eventually marries him in one of the show's later seasons. Most other programs would go with the more obvious, sappy, Hollywood ending.

Anyways, it makes me happy so be quiet.

The fourth arrow

Today I discovered for the very first time that when fast-forwarding through a program on my "Sara" PVR I could make it go at NASA speeds with the illustrious fourth arrow. For over a year I had believed the fastest possible level was three arrows. I'm assuming I've just been strangely ignorant of this, and it's not a new feature? How odd.

Bearded Lady

So the bus was rather crowded today, but one college-aged brown girl stood out. She was the closest thing to the bearded lady I have ever seen. Granted, not a full-blown bear mask, but she had significant stubble on the entirety of her chin and lower cheeks.

In an act of bus karma, I was told on the very same ride that I looked like Marie Osmond. Dear old man, please keep your comments to yourself next time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cordelia and Wesley pretend to be Buffy and Angel

I enjoyed this. Not worth watching if you haven't seen Buffy, obviously.

Oh and some EW thoughts (that I happen to agree with)

Snubbed for Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, for The Departed

As wonderfully callous and mercenary as Leonardo DiCaprio was in Blood Diamond, his turn in Martin Scorsese's Möbius-strip crime epic The Departed was even more remarkable. Watching his sublimely subtle performance as Billy Costigan, a morally conflicted young man who can only do right by doing wrong (infiltrating the South Boston mob), is like witnessing Greek drama. Call it Beantown Aeschylus.

Here, DiCaprio comes across as both cocky and cornered when going head-to-head with Jack Nicholson's twisted crime boss. ''Leo's face is like a battlefield of moral conflicts,'' says Scorsese. ''The pain that comes through his eyes, he's like a young Montgomery Clift or Paul Newman.'' —Chris Nashawaty

Snubbed for Best Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen

It's no mere awards-season hype to say that Sacha Baron Cohen's turn in the viciously satirical comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan stretches the boundaries of acting. Baron Cohen, 35, not only created the gleefully un-PC Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev but, in a feat of daring without precedent in a major Hollywood movie, he took his character out of the safe confines of fiction and inserted him into the real world. Whipping up a narrative on the fly out of encounters with unsuspecting Americans, Baron Cohen sustained his performance for hours on end, even when the cameras weren't running, improvising his way through unpredictable scenarios with no recourse to saying ''cut.''—Josh Rottenberg

Snubbed for Best Supporting Actor: Michael Sheen

Just so you know, Michael Sheen is not just a one-trick prime minister. While it's true that he has now portrayed British PM Tony Blair twice, the 37-year-old Welsh actor has also played Mozart, Romeo, and a werewolf king. The first time Sheen impersonated Blair was for the 2003 British TV movie The Deal. That film was written by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Frears, and when the two teamed up again for The Queen, they re-elected Sheen, who bears a passing resemblance to Blair but, more importantly, embodies the politician's commonality, charisma, and cunning. If it were a mere imitation, Sheen would not have scored so much recognition from critics groups, or held his own on screen with Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II. —Steve Wulf

Snubbed for Best Director: Pedro Almodóvar

No other contemporary filmmaker captures women on screen quite like Pedro Almodóvar, a fact he proves again with Volver, his most female-centric work since 2000's Best Foreign Language Film winner All About My Mother. A tender homage to motherhood, Volver tells the story of a fiery young mother — played to earthy, sensual perfection by Penélope Cruz (pictured, with Almodóvar) — and her complicated relationships with her daughter, her sister, and her own mamá, who appears to be back from the dead. Drenched in typically Almodóvarian vibrant colors, the film balances comedy and tragedy, absurdity and melodrama. And the director never loses his footing — not even when Cruz's character wraps up a rueful memory of her mother with, of all things, a fart joke. —Missy Schwartz

[tammy]: If Babel wins best picture, I am gonna kill somebody.

Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations

- Good. Dreamgirls didn't deserve a chance at Best Picture. Always nice to see Beyonce disappointed.
- Does this mean Eddie Murphy is going to win Best Supporting since DGs is unlikely to get much other than Best Song? Cause that would be unfortunate.
- Yay for the Pan's love :)
- No Volver for Best Foreign Film? I'm thinking it might actually be because of the crazy, nonsensical rules for entry into that category.
- Having seen both, Leo was much better in The Departed.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Beat Me at Oscar Noms

Below are my predictions for what will be nominated in each of the 8 major categories. If, on Tuesday, we find out that you guessed more correct nominees than I did in a particular category, then you get 1 blog point per additionally correct nominee. So if I got 3 of the best picture nominees right, and you got all 5 right, you get 2 blog points. Alrighty.

- I've decided I might as well just call them blog points.

Best Picture:
The Departed
United 93
The Queen

Best Director:
Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears, The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel
Paul Greengrass, United 93
Martin Scorsese, The Departed

Best Actor:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat
Leonardo Dicaprio, The Departed
Peter O'Toole, Venus
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

Best Actress:
Penelope Cruz, Volver
Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren, The Queen
Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet, Little Children

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson, The Departed
Mark Whalberg, The Departed

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Rinko Kukuchi, Babel

Best Original Screenplay:
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan's Labyrinth
The Queen

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Children of Men
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal
Thank you for Smoking

I have a crazy new idea

So it seems that the thing all the cool kids are doing these days is multiple contributor blogging.

So I was thinking, I obviously need to jump on this bandwagon. And it seems like the best idea would be to create a blog oriented around movies. I'm open to other suggestions, but I'm going to work off this idea for now.

It would be set up within blogger, and hopefully there would be 5-10 (10 is long-term goal) other contributors. Anyone could go in whenever they felt like it and post about something movie related. It could be a mini/full review of a recent film they watched, a blurb on something in-production that appeals to them, a musing on their favorite director, or whatever - as long as it's somewhat film related.

There would be no obligation to contribute at a high level of frequency or quality. At least a few times a month would be preferable but I'll take what I can get! You don't need to be a big movie buff either; you're allowed to blog about Night at the Museum if you really want to.

So, would anyone be interested? I'm looking at YOU: Dan, Luke, Jack, Peter J., Kimota. And everyone else of course!

Also taking suggestions for a clever blog name.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Finally got to see Pan's

tonight with Matt, Mom, and Peter J. It was everything I expected/hoped it would be! More later.

[Edit] But a bit more now (from IMDB trivia):

- Received 22 minutes of applause at the Cannes Film Festival.
- Guillermo Del Toro' is famous for compiling books full of notes and drawings about his ideas before turning them into films, something he regards essential to the process. He left years worth of notes for Pan's Labyrinth in the back of a cab, and thought it was the end of the project. However, the cab driver found them and, realizing their importance, tracked him down and returned them at great personal difficulty and expense. Del Toro was convinced that this was a blessing and it made him ever more determined to complete the film.

Mini Review: Shakespeare in Love


I don't really have a whole lot to say about it, or at least don't feel like thinking about it. Anyways this is certainly a good movie. I liked the acting, especially Judi Dench who won her best supporting oscar for a performance lasting a total of 6 minutes in only a few scenes. Normally I would scoff at such a brief role even being considered - but I think she was deserving.

Gwyneth was better than she usually is. The script was a little hit and miss. Sometimes it felt like it was trying to be more tragic or poignant than it was designed for (it was a melodrama, through and through). It all felt a little choppy and there was altogether too much Romeo & Juliet. What I loved was the ending - it pretty well redeemed the entire movie for me. The final scene of Viola walking across the beach was perfect. And unexpected given the genre and where it seemed the film was heading.

But really, how on earth did this win a Best Picture oscar? Well I looked up the year (1999) and it turns out there wasn't a whole lot of competition: Elizabeth, Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, and Life is Beautiful. Personally I probably would have given it to the last one, but Shakespeare fits the hollywood bill better.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Volver at Hyland

Starting next Friday (26th). I highly encourage everyone to see it! :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Control Page Up

A certain little excel command had plagued me for as long as I can remember - how in the heck do you rotate through worksheets without using your mouse? (Similar to Alt-Tabbing your way through open windows). Ivey taught me many cool excel tricks, but I never figured this one out ... until last night! When I stumbled across it completely by chance. I was trying to Ctrl+C something and for some reason was hitting Page Up instead of C (even though they not exactly keyboard neighbours). And low (lo?) and behold, I found myself on a different worksheet.
Anyways this pretty much made my life, so I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Remaining Films and How I Plan on Seeing Them

this is really more for my benefit than for your's, but anyways.

Pan's Labyrinth ~ Peter J. has just informed me that it will be playing at Silver City starting this weekend. Now that I have means and opportunity, I just need someone who wants to see it with me! Anyone? Hello?

Children of Men ~ at Rainbow with Lucas next Tuesday.

Letters from Iwo Jima ~ ??? it's playing in Toronto but no planned showings in London yet. I'm optimistically hoping for the weekend after next.

Half Nelson ~ ziplisted, DVD is released Feb 13th.

Those are the only ones that I think could actually be list contenders, but I'll probably see a few others to round it out (Science of Sleep, Notes on a Scandal, Keeping Mum, etc.). And I think I'll be passing on Dreamgirls. Can we say barf?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

100th Post: Top 10 Movies of 2000-2005

Well, there you have it, this is my 100th post on this blog. In the tradition of the great jedi blogger, Kimota94, I am choosing to celebrate this occasion with a special post that is fun for me (and hopefully you too!) and appropriate given the history of this blog. Thus, a movie list, and this time in '10 words or less'

#10 - Monster's Ball ~ screw halle berry, this has the complexity of great literature
# 9 - Talk to Her ~ creepy foreign film at its finest ... comas and bull riders
# 8 - Sideways ~ "I am not drinking any fucking merlot!" ... enough said
# 7 - Million Dollar Baby ~ as I said before, un-editable (flawless)
# 6 - Amores Perros ~ I greatly underrated the first time, now see it's brilliance
# 5 - Wonderboys ~ what more movies should be -- plot optional, character development key
# 4 - Spirited Away ~ one of a kind, to say the least
# 3 - Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ~ best part of an epic for the film history vaults
# 2 - Before Sunset ~ sunsets really need to last longer
# 1 - Lost in Translation ~ Watching again tonight ... for the 8th time in 2 years

And that is that! Happy 100th to me.

Update on the purse

- Still missing. Tried calling my cell phone number, no one answered. Sent it a text message with my mom's work number just in case some non-thief wants to return it.
- Met mom at the train station and got into my apartment. Luckily I have spare keys already, so she just had to let me in. As Matt mentioned in an email to me, I totally spaced on remembering that the landlady could let me in - she's hardly ever in her office, and I have bad memories of my old landlord (whenever I called her for anything, she'd swear at me... long story).
- Big thanks to Matt for phoning the LTC and reporting it stolen. I only have 10 min breaks in between classes in which to relocate, plug in computer, check/send emails, get food/go to the bathroom, etc. By the time I realized it was missing I only had one of those breaks left. I was able to borrow a friend's cell phone and attempted calling the LTC and my mom at work but no answer on either counts - so I resorted to a last minute email to Matt before my internet access was cut off. So thankfully he phoned and left them his number in case it turns up.

Anyways, fingers crossed that it turns up tomorrow. And in the meantime I am only reachable via email and msn.

Oh silly purse, stop wandering away

I seem to have left my purse on the bus this morning. I'm really hoping I can recover it because if not it means having to purchase/deal with getting: a new cell phone, key copies, garage remote, and actual purse. My phone is pretty old, and it was free to me, so I didn't actually lose something valuable but replacing it is bound to be expensive.

Fortunately, as you can see, this could be a lot worse but I had removed my iPod this morning because the battery had died (otherwise it would still be in there) and a few other items worth about $30 had been tangled on the iPod headphones and in my morning rush been removed as well.

I also keep all my wallet-type things (money, credit card, ID) in with my bus pass which, thank god, I had put into my coat pocket.

So all in all, hassley, but not as hassley as it could have been. I've appealed to my mommy to call the LTC and stay at work a bit later today so I can pick up her spare keys.

Paula Abdul makes a fool of herself

I couldn't sit through more than a few seconds of this, but it's worth checking out for a bit because it is just SO over the top.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The HFPA was stupid this year

Sometimes they're good, other times not so much. My biggest gripes:

- Babel was 1/10th as good as the Departed.
- Leo didn't win anything cause he split his votes with himself! Poor pretty man.
- Ugly Betty is not funny.
- Nothing was funnier than Borat.
- Cars was terrible.
- Everything was as most pop culture-ites / critics predicted - no surprises, how boring.
- Volver or Pan's should have won Best Foreign Film ... stop allowing Hollywood-produced movies to be included in this category just because they have subtitles. You're the foreign press association for god sake!



Apparently, tanning dries out your skin so much that unless you moisturize 5 times a day you're incredibly itchy all over. Now I wish it were just my foot that itched!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

One thing I will NOT miss about London...

the crappy movie selection! Granted, things have been much better for the past few years with the Hyland and Rainbow art series. I have memberships/packs for both, and definitely get my money's worth every year.

But I happened across the listings for the theater near my dad in Toronto (ok I check the TO listings every week just to see what I'm missing):

BLOOD DIAMOND (14A) 12:20 3:40 6:55 10:25

CASNO ROYALE (PG) 11:55 AM 3:05 6:50 10:20

DREIAMGIRLS (PG) 12:35 3:30 6:40 9:50

THE GOOD SHEPHERD (14A) 1:00 4:30 8:15

LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA (14A) 12:00 3:10 6:30 10:05

NOTES ON A SCANDAL (14A) 12:10 2:30 5:00 7:30 10:00

PAN'S LABYRINTH (14A) 12:40 4:00 7:10 10:10

PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER (14A) 12:30 3:50 7:20 10:30

Not a bad film in the bunch! Honestly, this wider range of film selection is probably the BIGGEST thing I am looking forward to with regards to moving to Toronto full time.

Another question for my comptuer savvy readers

But first, just a sidenote: it's quite beneficial to have a lot of techy people to ask these questions of - thank you!

So, I'm using Outlook for Windows XP ... one of the newer versions (2003, maybe?) and I often use the task list as my personal "To do". However since I switched over to a more recent version (I had been using 2000 for the longest time), I can't seem to figure out how to clear the checked off tasks. Now I have a ridiculously long list of completed tasks dating way back to 2005! It's pretty annoying. I sorted the tasks so that the incomplete ones are listed first, but it's still kind of hard to tell which is which.

Oh and 5 points if you can help me. 10 if you can recommend some kind of better, free, downloadable software that keeps track of tasks.

Forcing myself to eat sushi

is my latest life effort. My first (and only) experience with the questionable food was 3 years ago at a work function (for my last day, I think) at the Harmony Buffet. I don't think it was very high quality food. Anyways, one of my exchange buddies eats nothing but sushi, largely because she claims it is very healthy. Let's consider the facts:

California Sushi Roll:
- rice: check
- seaweed: unknown amount of calories, but really
- avocade: suppose to be good for you?
- cucumber: check
- crab meat: can't be that bad, right
- a little bit of mayonnaise, salt, or sugar: bad

So I tried some on campus the other day, instead of getting my usual pizza or Harveys. I only ate half of it, which was nice because it filled me up quite well. I took the remains home and am eating the leftovers now. Rice doesn't keep well apparently (it's just kind of hard) and I'm not entirely sure that it's safe to eat leftover sushi? I put it in the fridge! Anyways, I don't totally LIKE it yet, but it's not all that bad!

Have I Ever Told You About My Veins

Because they're fairly unusual. It just so happens that they are ridiculously tiny and all located conspicuously over arteries. When I went to give blood with Matt, Mom, Vish, Chris, and maybe some others that I'm forgetting about now (it was a few years ago) they tried in vain for 20 minutes or so to find a suitable vein but ended up rejecting me. Last year I went for a physical at my doctor's office, and told the previous story to the nurse. She laughed, implying that the nurses at the blood clinic don't know what they're doing and that she would have no trouble drawing a blood sample. 10 minutes later, she had given up, too. They decided I was young so they didn't really need to test my blood.

I seem to have less trouble with IVs, though they usually need to be inserted into the back of my hand (when I got my wisdom teeth out) or in my wrist (at my most recent hospital visit).

The girl at the blood clinic rather rudely implied that maybe if I worked out my arms more my veins would be more accessible. I took offense.

Blogger Question

My good friend Daniel Kricke, a 20-something journalism student from Chicago, has started up a blog called Extravadanza . You should check it out, especially if you like sports and pop culture. But, he's having a problem with the blogger system and I thought I'd put it out here to all those techy types and see if someone knows the solution:

"I posted a new entry. But see how I have that blockquote at the bottom? I want to get a block quote like that on the other side of that too...like a closing quote. But it won't do it."

Anyone know? I couldn't help him, I obviously don't even know how to get ONE blockquote! (see above). 5 Albert Halls (my version of the trend sweeping the blogosphere) for the first person to figure it out.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A note on the 49 Up series

Just to let you know, I've been wanting to see this complete set for years ever since I caught bits and pieces of it with Matt and Mom as a wee one. I sure hope those super kind and thoughtful parents of mine will wait for me!

... or I might have to finish off those Babylon 5 dvds by myself... and then never be lent anything again! :)

Kicked the Crap Out of Those Old Ladies

Well I opted out of drinking for a change, as I was suppose to and really probably should have gone to the Palasad and then Barking Frog on a semi-official exchange student outing. But I shluffed off my buddy duties (it was really a mandatory event, like tomorrow morning where I have to get up at - shudder - 7:30!!). Note that this is teasing because I know most of you have to get up before then every day.

Anyways what I decided to do instead was go play cards at my Grandma's with some of her old lady friends. It started off with Canasta (which I lost, but it's all based on luck anyways), then moved into Euchre (I came in 2nd, and I had terrible cards every hand), and finally my forte because it actually requires a significant amount of skill and luck barely factors into it at all: Old Hell. Also known as Scratch and Bugger Your Neighbour. This is the game where you have to bid on how many tricks you are going to take, given a certain trump suit. See, there isn't much luck involved because if you get bad cards but bid correctly then you do just as well as if you had good cards.

So I didn't really "kick the crap" out of anyone, considering I only won 1 game out of 3, but I thought it made for a suggestive title.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pan's in London?

Take a look at this (if you would be so kind), and tell me if you think it means that Pan's Labyrinth is coming to the Hyland in February. Note that the other two movies with little pictures down there are either currently playing, or on the "coming soon" list. The only mention of Pan's Labyrinth on the entire site is that little suggestive picture. I don't want to get my hopes up.

Caption: the thing about changing the world ...

... once you do it, the world's all different.

Release Date: Mar 7, 2007.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Listen here

Kids of 90210, you don't go to "West Beverly" you go to Sunnydale High!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

How well do you know that little thing they call Earth

Play the game (takes 2 minutes) right here.

I scored a fairly hilarious 12. I successfully found Morroco, Portugal, and Austria. Don't ask me where anything in Africa is.

Foreign People are Nice

I don't know if it's their broken English (which in this case is actually pretty good) or their innocence of not knowing where anything is, but they all seem really nice.

I had 6 of them over last night. You see, I'm an exchange buddy who agreed to show two of these little foreigners around for the semester, answer any of their dumb questions, etc. One of my buddies, from Poland, just moved in on the 4th and lives with a couple of kids from Denmark. There were a few others who got to London early (and none of the other Canadian Ivey students are in town yet) so I agreed to take them all out. Asides from the aforementioned, there was one from Germany, one from Brazil, and one from Spain. An interesting bunch. It was neat to compare social customs. Rather unfortunately (or not, depending on your viewpoint), there is no such thing as a 2am last call in any of their countries. So I was pretty tired and ready to go home by 1:30 but they were still ridiculously energetic as apparently they're used to staying out till 6am. And they still seemed to get up earlier than me this morning because I had a message waiting asking me to meet them to see Rocky Balboa. Ummm just how far do you think my duties extend?

Friday, January 05, 2007

What ... the heck

I just thought it was worth mentioning that I've now blogged 5 times (not including this one) on January 5th and it's only 2:30 in the morning.

What have I become?

Ebert on Amores Perros

Here's a little bit of what he had to say about it:

"Amores Perros at 154 minutes is heavy on story--too heavy, some will say--and rich with character and atmosphere. It is the work of a born filmmaker, and you can sense Gonzalez Inarritu's passion as he plunges into melodrama, coincidence, sensation and violence. His characters are not the bland, amoral totems of so much modern Hollywood violence, but people with feelings and motives. They want love, money and revenge. They not only love their dogs but desperately depend on them. And it is clear that the lower classes are better at survival than the wealthy, whose confidence comes from their possessions, not their mettle.

Amores Perros will be too much for some filmgoers, just as Pulp Fiction was, but it contains the spark of inspiration."

He gave it *** 1/2.

A Note on my love of EW

If you hadn't noticed (even after my explicit mention of it), I seem to have a bit of crush on Entertainment Weekly. Such is not the case, folks! In fact, I find their magazine kind of skims the bottom of the "not quite tabloid" bowl of journalism, along with People and Time. And don't get me started on their idiot of a movie critic, Liz Schwarzbaum. Seriously, don't believe a word she says, she's the devil people!!! Deep breath. Exhale.

Ok, so their magazine is crap, but a lot of their writers are good people (and journalists). I enjoy Dalton Ross and Michael Slezak in particular. I frequent their website so often because it is updated so consistently and with so much content that is relavent to ME. Every weekday morning all significant shows that were on the night before have been "TV Watched". A columnist writes up about 1000 words on what they liked or didn't about the episode, and any other random thoughts. Insta water cooler!

They also have this daily blog called "Popwatch" that brings to light recent happenings (deaths, nominations released) and also a scad of other useful and hilarious things. Many a youtube video has been introduced to me this way (including perhaps the best video of the year, national phenomenon Dick In a Box!!!). I also appreciate their intense love of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars.

Anyways, just wanted to clarify...

Reviews in 5 words or less

I think it's pretty funny that this post will get far fewer comments than my previous "note to self" entry. It's also ironic that it instructed people to "please ignore" and received more comments than any other in over a month!! Oh you people. You know, continuing on my ramble, I used to be able to consider a post with only 4 comments a complete failure in blogging. Oh the good old days of 20+ comments... which I abandoned for you people. You people!!! (Just kidding, I love and appreciate all of your readership). Anywho:

An Unfinished Life: simple, graceful
Happy Feet: cute... I guess...
Ice Age 2: decent plot, some funny parts

And Manhattan Murder Mystery hasn't arrived in the mail yet, so I'll save it for another day.

Review: Amores Perros


Dogs, of all things, are the interlinking motif that ties together the three stories in Amores Perros. They are not entirely separate (though each has its day in the sun), but rather filmed ala Pulp Fiction.

So basically, Gael Garcia Bernal plays a young man in love with his brother's wife. His brother is a bit of an asshole: he robs pharmacies, yells a lot, beats his wife, and threatens to kill his brother multiple times. So we're rooting for Gael, even if he decides his way out of this is to enter his poor puppy into intensely violent dogfights. Warning: animal lovers take heed when watching this film. Although, I am nothing if not an animal lover, and I made it through okay, largely by reminding myself that all the dead dogs were courtesy of the Prop Department. There is an explicit announcement at the beginning of the film that no animals were harmed.

Moving along, Gael gets into a bit of a car crash where he injures a famous model who happens to be having a bit of an affair. She is recovering in her apartment when her precious dog chases falls into a hole in the floorboards and mysteriously disappears. This is definitely the weakest of the three arcs, but it's not nearly as silly as it sounds, and it fits well with the general theme (more on that later).

Finally, an old homeless man collects stray dogs and goes about his business as a ... well, this part I don't want to spoil for you. Needless to say, he has a colorful past and is up to trouble now. He's on a quest to reconcile with his estranged daughter, and ends up getting involved in Gael's life along the way.

Essentially the theme of the whole thing, as I see it, is that striving for something more than you have earned (greed) will be your downfall. This is seen in"one last dogfight", the extra-marital affair, and the loss of a family. The script is nearly flawless, with a whole chunk of poignant lines and scenes. One in particular that comes to mind is the confrontation between the homeless man, his "boss", and his "job".

But the most magnificent thing about the film is the direction. The stories are mixed together with such elegance that it would have taken years for any par-level director to achieve. The film is also visually stunning. The sets are rich in detail and there are dozens of awe-inspiring shots.

The tagline for Amores Perros is "Love. Betrayal. Death." These are seen in each of the arcs, and all are executed superbly. This is one of the best films of the decade.

A few notes on "Spanish Directors"

1) It took nearly 3 hours straight and uninterrupted to prepare, so please do read it if you can!
2) Interestingly, the always wonderful Gael Garcia Bernal has worked with 3 of the 4 directors (Amores Perros, Babel, Bad Education, Y Tu Mama Tambien).
3) I am now very tired, but I feel compelled to do my write up of Amores Perros (which I just watched for the second time tonight) before bed seeing as I already spoiled the punchline: how wonderful I think it is!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Guide to Your Spanish Directors

These are three of my favorite directors in the world and one newcomer. Most people give me a very blank stare when I mention any of their names - even those that claim to be rabid movie fans - so I thought I'd try and straighten it out for everyone. Quiz next week, 6am sharp, be there.

Almodovar, Pedro.

YOB: 1949
POB: Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Notable Works: All About My Mother (2000) - lost mother takes care of pregnant nun and transvestite friend, seeks father of dead son. Talk to Her (2002) - two men take care of two women in comas. Bad Education (2004) - look at how very repressive schooling changed the lives of two gay men. Volver (2006) - woman's mother returns from the dead to impart some wisdom and fix some situations (not as "magical" as you think, don't worry).

Academy Awards: Best Foreign Film (All About My Mother), Best Original Screenplay (Talk to Her), and a nomination for Best Directing (Talk To Her). Hopefully Volver will follow suit this year!
Tammy's Awards: Talk To Her placed #2 on my 2002 movie list. Bad Education placed #5 in 2004.

Comments: Definitely my favorite of the bunch. I've never seen a movie of his that I didn't find incredibly interesting, unique, and having of a point. He writes and directs all of his own features. Some are better than others, mostly in terms of the plot. The 3 mentioned are all masterpieces, with Volver being the best in my opinion. One last mention: he is incredibly gay, and most of his films feature homosexuals, transvestites, strange sexual acts, etc. Not for the conservative movie-goer!

Cuaron, Alfonso.

YOB: 1961
POB: Mexico City, Mexico (ok so technically not a Spanish director, but whatever)

Notable Works: Great Expectations (1998) - Gwenyth Paltrow in the Dickens classic. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2002) - 2 guys, 1 girl, 1 road trip, 1,000,000 sexcapades. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) - third in the series. Children of Men (2006) - the world's population has inexplicably become infertile for the last 15 odd years, some girl is found pregnant, hilarity ensues.

Academy Awards: Y Tu Mama Tambien was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. No wins yet.
Tammy's Awards: Y Tu Mama Tambien placed #3 on my 2002 movie list.

Comments: After a couple of fairly un-noteworthy American films (and some Mexican tv writing), he made it onto Hollywood's foreign radar with his indie sex pic, "And Your Mother Too". He took the Harry Potter franchise into the dark direction it needed to go in with the third film. J.K. Rowling requested him specifically. He was asked to direct the rest, but declined in favor of making his own films. Children of Men has certainly received much critical acclaim so far this year; I have yet to see it.

del Toro, Guillermo.

YOB: 1964.
POB: Jalisco, Mexico (ok so apparently he's Mexican too)

Notable Works: Blade II (2002) - I have no idea. Hellboy (2004) - comic adaptation about a devil wannabe-good-guy. Pan's Labyrinth (2006) - girl contemplates post-war Fascist repression in some sort of fantasyland. It looks kind of like an adult version of Mirrormask.

Academy Awards: none yet.
Tammy's Awards: none yet.

Comments: certainly the least acclaimed director on the list, but I feel like he's going places with Pan's Labyrinth. It's being hailed as one of the best films of the year / all time by critics and fans alike. I can't even remember the last time I saw a 96 on metacritic; that's practically unheard of. Even The Queen and The Departed (both universally loved by critics this year) can't touch that kind of score. Unfortunately, I left Toronto 1 day before it premiered there (a fact which I am very distraught about), but it is definitely at the top of my "must see" list.

Inarritu, Alejandro Gonzalez.

YOB: 1963
POB: Mexico City, Mexico (ok so obviously this list should have been named differently!)

Notable Works: Amores Perros (2001) - 3 interweaving stories with dogs being the common thread. 21 Grams (2003) - a freak accident brings together 3 very different people. Babel (2006) - 3 separate stories all relating to language barriers.

Academy Awards: Amores Perros was nominated for best foreign film but lost to the unbeatable Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Tammy's Awards: Amores Perros was #8 on my 2001 movie list. In retrospect, it should have been higher.

Comments: Did you notice a theme among his movies? Similar, but also very different. I think Amores Perros would have to be the best of the three, it just reaches another level. Of course Babel has received far more attention that it ever will, because it has Brad Pitt!

A Deeper Insight into WHO I AM

Matt recently posted a comment on From Hell's Eddie Campbell's blog (that was a confusing phrase) mentioning that he had refrained from posting one of Eddie's pages that had a vagina on it. This is in his livingroom, where small children and annoy-able parents could see. A perfectly logical and considerate choice. And also, there were many pages contending for a coveted spot on the wall, so something had to be cut! But, if it were me, this definitely would have been one of the first ones up! Any parents that complained would have been promptly laughed at and dismissed from my residence (kidding on the last part, but they might want to leave after being laughed at).

This Post Brought to You by the University of Phoenix Online!

In response to Matt's comment on the "Soundbites" post:

Well, in my defense, I usually do post links rather than full articles. But in this case, the source material definitely warranted its own post (rather than one featuring a jumble of links) in terms of length, interestingness, and scope of appeal. I did actually think twice about it, but more in terms of giving them credit rather than the ad revenue shtuff. I figured a byline was good enough for the following reasons:

a) I voted in 75% of these polls - implying that I am certainly an avid (daily) reader and active participant on their site, and have given them lots of free publicity (regardless of actual size of my often non-existent readership) and "clicks" on this site alone.
b) Sure they compiled these quotes and created the polls, but the real people responsible for any chuckles you may have had were Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewat, David Letterman, etc.
c) By far the majority of Entertainment Weekly's revenues come from their magazine; the website is more of a supplement. That's why you'll find lots of articles free of charge and with really very little ads blocking your view.
d) As James mentioned in his post, there are lots of ways to get around advertising these days. Personally I think the amount of it out there is morally reprehensible and a good reflection of our society.

But in case you are still a little wound-up over this business of paying (in some way, shape, or form) for anything you received benefit from, here's what you missed:



Much Music is Stupid

Not that this is a new epiphany, but it came to my attention in particular today as watching their rendition of the "Top 100 Videos EVER". This isn't a VH1 or even MTV list, so I wasn't expecting to see the usual list-toppers like Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Madonna's Like a Prayer, A-Ha's Take On Me, etc. This is a fair allowance, seeing as the majority of Much Music's viewers (aged 13-18) wouldn't have ever seen these videos before.

BUT, I didn't even recognize half of the videos! And it's only been a couple years since I gave up on following current music closely. Approximately 70% of the videos were from the last 2 years. COME ON, this is pathetic. I would have hoped for a better range of videos from maybe 1990 onwards? Or even just the last 10 years! You know, a little Freedom, Virtual Insanity, 1979, Ironic, Sabotage, Waterfalls, Loser, Smells Like Teen Spirit, etc. To give you a taste of just how bad this list was, the top 5:

5. Work it, Missy Elliott
4. Dirrty, Christina Aguilera
3. Cry Me a River, Justin Timberlake (this one is actually pretty great, regardless of your opinion of the song or artist ... IMO)
2. Baby One More Time, Britney Spears (also deserving of a spot, for a much music list anyways)
1. Stan, Eminem (stupid)

I'm thinking I should start a new label for my posts called "Grievances". That foot post got me thinking about it.

Noisy Neighbours

At least 2 boys live next door to me in my apartment building. One works across the street at the Radisson (?) hotel as a bellhop. I know because one time in the elevator he was talking about how he had lent his tie to a hotel patron. Earlier this year (Sept onwards) they'd been fairly noisy, often playing loud music and yelling. The walls are pretty thin here and even though the elevators are between us it seems my bedroom is right next to their living room. I could sometimes even make out the actual words they were saying, if that's any indication.

So around October I ran into the bellhop in the elevator again, and when he saw we were getting off on the same floor, he asked which unit I lived in. He was quite dismayed when I told him, as apparently his group had thought they were neighbourless. He promised they would keep it down in the future, and to just pop over if they were being too loud. And, surprisingly, this has been very true - generally quite quiet over there for the last few months.

Then a few days ago there was some sort of raucous fight between multiple boys around 8am. Lots of swearing, yelling, door slamming, etc. Then one screamed that he had to go to work and it ended. Well, they seem to be having a lot of trouble over there lately, as last night around 3am they got into it again, this time with a girl doing most of the screaming. Luckily I'm a fairly sound sleeper, not easily annoyed, and don't have to get up at any certain time these days.

The Year in Sound Bites

from EW.com, which runs weekly polls asking readers to vote on the funniest line of the week. Some are great, some are stupid, most will at least make you chuckle.


''Uh, Jason...when you're filling out a female patient's exam report, her breasts can be 'Healthy' or 'Unhealthy.' Never 'Bangin' Double Ds.'''

''I'm not smart enough to debate you point to point, but I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap.''

''I want everybody to relax. You only have to be nice to black people for two more hours.''

''This week, a 100-year-old Tennessee man got married for the third time, this time to a 68-year-old woman. When asked why he was marrying a woman 32 years his junior, the man said, 'Yes, I would love a sandwich.'''

''In an interview about his upcoming album, Kevin Federline said, 'My music will speak for itself.' He may be right, because the album is called This Really Sucks.''


''Oh, he's totally fine having his personal freedom slowly stripped away, as long as he's completely unaware that it's happening. Just like a true American.''

''You even made Locke take a swing at you. Hell, that's like getting Gandhi to beat his kids.''

''Hold on a second.... Jon, I'm being told Whittington's condition has now been upgraded from 'stable' to 'stable, but still shot in the face by the Vice President.'''

''Hoping to appeal to teenagers who say they are too busy to peel oranges, Sunkist is introducing a new pre-cut, pre-peeled snack version. Not to be outdone, Baskin Robbins has created a new coneless ice cream that your mother pre-chews and spits down your throat.''


''And none of those issues were ever a problem again.''

''There's civil war, totally, and it's a great sign. Look how fast Iraq is growing up. It took America almost a century to turn on itself. These guys? Three years. At this rate, in a couple of months, they'll let black people vote.''

''I swear to God, Cristina, I like you, I really do. But I grew up in a trailer park, and I am not above kicking your pampered little Beverly Hills ass. And I do mean physically kicking your ass.''

''The National Enquirer has reported that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married eight months ago by a chaplain in the Church of Scientology. The groom wore a casual linen suit, while the bride wore an expression of slowly awakening terror.''


''Should I go and get a ruler?''

''The New York Post is reporting that on a recent airplane flight, Sharon Stone sat in a different section than her nine-month-old baby. When asked why they were seated separately, the baby said three words: 'Basic Instinct 2.'''

''American Idol judge Paula Abdul filed a police report accusing a man of assaulting her at a weekend party. Out of habit, she then added, 'But I loved his spirit — he put everything into it.'''


''I never smile if I can help it. Showing one's teeth is a submission signal in primates. When someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life.''

''It was announced this week that Rosie O'Donnell will replace Meredith Vieira on The View in September. The show will now be called The Obstructed View.''

''I swear to God, she's ruining vaginas for me.''

''We've gone through more hardships than the Jews and Charlie Brown put together.''

''The latest Hollywood rumor is that Britney Spears has been writing poetry about her marriage. The rumor got started when Britney was overheard asking someone, 'What rhymes with deadbeat?'''


''Ice Cube has joined Ludacris and 50 Cent in criticizing Oprah for not having rappers on her show. I mean, if there's three things my mother-in-law won't shut up about, it's pimps, ho's, and shooting a bitch in the face with a deuce-deuce.''

''The FBI says it wants Zarqawi's DNA so they can pair it with samples found in other terrorist safe houses in order to establish the extent of his influence, and, if need be, clone him so he can be killed again closer to the midterm elections.''

''You were in Baghdad for six hours! And you weren't even in the real Baghdad — you were in the Green Zone. That's like going to the Olive Garden and saying you've been to Italy.''

''Angelina Jolie says she is going to adopt another baby, but she hasn't decided if the baby will be black, Asian, or white. Jolie said, 'I'm gonna spend the weekend looking at swatches.'''


''Britney Spears announced she's thinking of moving from Beverly Hills to Louisiana. Meanwhile, Kevin Federline announced he's thinking of moving from the couch in the living room to the couch in the den.''

''I told the producers I'd give my left nut to host this thing.''

''President Bush has been very clear that through his leadership, he has made the world safer.... my question to you is simply this: How much safer can the world afford to have him make us?''

''Lance Bass — formerly of 'N Sync — announced on the cover of People magazine he is, in fact, gay. Lance, are you sure this isn't like the time you wanted to be an astronaut?''


''You'd love jail. You could work out, wear ugly clothes, kiss boys...''

''In a recent interview, Jessica Simpson is quoted as saying, 'I have amazing boobs.' Unfortunately, Jessica was responding to a question, 'What do you think about the conflict in the Middle East?'''

''K-Fed is starting his own record label, Federation Records, and his upcoming album will be its first release. It will be interesting to see how he manages to get dropped from his own label.''

''I don't go hunting for celebrity babies. I have 116 other things to do, thank you, Billy. You need another job. I mean, you have potential as a human being. This may not be right for you. Seriously, can you focus on other things?''


''Donald Trump has fired his trusty left-hand girl, Carolyn Kepcher....When George Ross was asked to comment on the situation, he said, 'I like peas when they're crushed up.'''

''Last night, Katie Couric debuted as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, and at the end of the broadcast she asked viewers to recommend a signature sign-off. So far the front-runner is 'Stay tuned for some kind of CSI.'''

''In the West Bank, a group calling itself the Lions of Monotheism firebombed four churches, telling the Associated Press, 'The attacks...were carried out to protest the Pope's remarks linking Islam and violence.' The irony — and this is often the case, we find — was completely lost on them.''


''On this week's Dancing with the Stars, one of the contestants snagged her dress on something and accidentally exposed her rear end. Fortunately, no one noticed, because everyone on that show looks like an ass.''

''Earlier today, Bob Woodward's new book came out, and it claims the Bush administration has bungled the war in Iraq. When reached for comment, President Bush said, 'Just one more reason to hate books.'''

''Earlier this week, a man named his newborn son ESPN because one of the man's favorite things to watch is ESPN. The baby is happy, healthy, and already home with his brother Porn.''

''Young man, I don't know where that's been, but I can say with absolute certainty it won't be going anywhere near my mouth.''

''You'd like it. Puppies get killed.''


''McDreamy is doing the McNasty with McHottie? That McBastard!''

''I always knew the branch would shut down some day; I just figured it would be because Michael sold the building for some magic beans.''

''Lawyers in Germany are trying to have Donald Rumsfeld arrested and tried for war crimes. You know things are bad when Germany is accusing you of war crimes.''

''So how have you been, Preston? Last time I saw you, you stole my patient's heart. Then you got shot. Karma rocks.''


''No, I don't have a gambling problem. I'm winning, and winning is not a problem. That's like saying Michael Jordan has a basketball problem, or Def Leppard has an awesomeness problem.''

''Trust me, Bart — it's better to walk in on both your parents than on just one of them.''

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My foot

really, really itches. It's quite a bother.

note to self (please ignore)

for the next set of reviews in 5 words of less:
- aul
- hf
- ap
- ia2
- mmm

Apparently I'm the oldest person alive

Clocking in at a ripe 250 years of age, I was born in the year of the rat.

In other news, I may have to do some salsa dancing tonight if I can't persuade the others to go to a normal kind of establishment.

Oh my god she's blogging about comics

I just wanted to mention how much I really love this page that I found referenced on Neil Gaiman's blog.

Quite the insightful bit of work for 9 little frames.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Review: Lost in La Mancha


Lost in La Mancha feels like (probably because it was originally intended to be) a super long DVD 'making of' featurette. Sidenote: I think I've referred to these features in some shape or form in all my last three reviews: how odd.

Unfortunately, it doesn't have much more substance than that, and thus certainly doesn't enter the league of real documentaries. If you aren't familiar with the concept, I will once again be oh so gracious and provide some background. Essentially, eccentric director Terry Gilliam has dreamed of making a film version of Don Quixote for the last decade. Having no luck in Hollywood, he turned to Europe for the money. Johnny Depp, Vanessa Paradis (Johnny's real life partner), and renowned French actor Jean Rochefort signed on.

Moreover, not all that much really does go wrong! There's an initial lack of budget ($32 million, about half of what would normally be required for a picture of this scope). There are some pre-production problems with scheduling, and later a storm screws up a scene and damages some equipment. The coup de grace is Rochefort's illness that causes him to exit production for at least a month. Yes, some bad luck, but it doesn't seem quite so extraordinary that a whole movie was warranted.

More likely, they were just trying to salvage some of the $32 million squandered. It appears the box office total was less than $1 million, so hopefully the DVD sales pulled in a bit more than that. It seems that Gilliam has a bit of a track record for screwing things up.

Actually, I think this would have been a much better little documentary if it had starred a more appealing director than the insufferable bugger that I had no idea Gilliam was. He is constantly swearing, yelling at his cast and crew, and blaming others for his own failures. His one shining moment is standing beside his first assistant director, who inevitably gets blamed for everything (apparently this is just how it works in Hollywood). But besides Brazil (which I never particularly liked), 12 Monkeys and The Fisher King seem to be the only things he's done right. His resume is full of half-completed, abandonded films and flops. His latest, Tideland, appears to be continuing in this tradition, already receiving unanimous 'boos'. Hey, at least he finished it!

So, I wouldn't recommend Lost in La Mancha unless you happen to be a big Gilliam / Don Quixote fan, or an aspiring little film-maker yourself - where this may serve as a useful "how not to make a movie" manual.