Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Mini Movie Reviews

Drag Me To Hell
Holy god this was great. So much fun...from the car fight in the beginning to the completely awesome ending. Staples, weird puke, great sound, the fucking goat! I'll be watching this again soon. The rainy grave scene was especially cool. 10/10

Bad Santa
Annual viewing, still awesome.
"I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose"
"I loved a woman who wasn't clean"
"It's a wooden pickle"

Inglorious Basterds
I've been thinking about this one for the last few days (which is a good sign for any movie, right?), and for a movie about Jews killing Nazis, it was empty. Individual scenes were great, but they're wasted by having stuff like the Samuel L. Jackson voiceover, distracting music, and general Tarantino-ness. With all that talk about "The Jew Bear" I was expecting some huge badass, so when Eli Roth came out after all that buildup I was let down. Mike Myers?? There weren't developed human characters...just Jews or Nazis. And however justified, the Basterds were just as sadistic as the Nazis. It seems like Tarantino was using WWII to kinda write himself a blank check. Still, there was some great acting (Landa) and it was super watchable and fun at times. You could see a great movie in there somewhere. I Tarantino trying to make a great movie, or just a fun jerkoff reference-laden "watching Nazis die is awesome" kinda movie? Sometimes I think it's the former...and he would be wrong...but if not, ok. On the whole it was really well done. 7/10

The Village
Yeah, The Happening was completely horrible in many, many entertaining ways, but his premises are always intriguing. I'd rather watch his movies than most stuff coming out of Hollywood. The Village is not a bad movie. When this first came out, I think most people were so focused on the various twists that they didn't pay attention to the relationships between the characters and the themes, which work. The scenes between Bryce Dallas Howard and Joaquin Phoenix are beautiful. When he grabs her hand during the wedding party...oh man. Sure, there are many ridiculous, convenient things about this movie. Why does everything in the village need to be historically accurate for 1897? A complete no-fly zone? The retarded dude finds a suit in the floorboards and conveniently knows how to use it? Why didn't one of the elders go get the medicine? Because there would be no movie. But really...those things didn't bother me as much as they should have. It's well acted, the love story is great, it's beautifully shot, and the themes are interesting. It's about human, fear, and hope. That makes up for some of the eye rolly Shyamalan devices. "Magic rocks"?? Come on... 5.5/10

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Mew In Chicago - 12/7/09

I rarely write anything inspired by pure hate because, really....why? Plus it takes a lot to get me upset. But last night I was raging pissed like I haven't been in a while. Like "balling up your hands and wanting to punch so badly" mad. I had a perfect Scandinavian evening lined up - heading down to Ikea for some home crap shopping and Swedeballs, and then off to The Metro to see Mew. Awesome. I've loved Mew for a while but never thought I'd see them beacause they're from Demark, so why would they come to the midwest? So when I heard they were playing their own show in Chicago I was very, very excited. After a struggle through traffic (another reason why I have no desire to live in a super big city), we got to the venue right on time and got a drink. The openers weren't completely shitty, which was a nice surprise, and the bass player looked just like a grown up DJ Conner. Awwww.

So Mew starts. They open with the first few songs off And The Glass Handed Kites (my favorite), and sound AWESOME. Unfortunately I have this giant woman in front of me bouncing around with a dumb hat, but ok, it's not her fault she's giant, so I decide to move closer to the stage. There's plenty of room and Mew is now like 10 feet away from me. Since I'm way on the right side of the stage, it's much less crowded. There was space for at least 5 large people around me. So I signal for Holly to come stand up by me, because we're both around the same height at 5'3" and she's behind a super tall guy. And like I said, there's plenty of room. Fucking PLENTY. As I signal for Holly to come up by me, the giant asshole she's behind gives me the "cut off at the neck" "no" signal. I was honestly shocked. Seriously, you're not going to let this tiny woman go in front of you where many people could comfortably fit?? I yelled, "Are you fucking kidding me??!" Maybe I'm used to death metal shows, but shit was not tight at all. You're at a general admission show asshole, this is not the fucking DMV. People might move around, and maybe even touch you. What a giant pussy. Anyway...I have never understood the desire to punch more than I did in that moment. I'm a very, very easygoing person, but this fucking prick and his faux hawk and asshole face had my heart racing. I seriously felt like one of those moms whose fight or flight instinct kicks in and she moves cars to save her childrens' lives and shit. So I yelled at him a little more...I remembered I yelled "that's mean" and pointed out the fact that he had a foot on both of us, and he just looked at me with his smug hipster face (yeah the word is overused but it couldn't have possibly been any more accurate). God I wanted to kill. But he was too much of a bitch to even say anything back to me so it fizzled out and I went and stood by Holly.

So after a few songs of heightened adrenaline levels, I decide that this fuck is not going to ruin Mew for me, so I try to put it out of my mind. About a song later he leaves, we move up, and I instinctively say to the girl who was with him, "Your boyfriend is a fucking asshole". She looked at me with possibly the dumbest face I've ever seen and didn't say anything. I don't even know if she comprehended what I was saying. I'm sure her dumb hair and outfit made her look dumber, but seriously...either defend him or apologize for his actions, but that face...ugh. I think at that point I wasn't really mad anymore, I just wanted her to understand why her boyfriend was an asshole, and maybe learn something about how to treat other humans, but it wasn't getting through. But I guess for the most part if people are assholes, it's because they don't know any better.

Really...Mew was great. Just beautiful. The setlist went something like Circuitry Of The Wolf, Chinaberry Tree, Special, Zookeeper's Boy, New Terrain, Introducing Palace Players, 156, Repeater Beater, Hawaii, Am I Wry? No, Silas The Magic Car, Sometimes Life Isn't Easy, Snow Brigade, Apocalypso, Beach, Louise Louisa. Click here to see some live footage - it was like that with 6oo other people instead of a giant venue in Copenhagen. I got verklempt.

The asshole quotient at this show was higher than I've ever seen, but like I said, maybe I'm just used to metal shows in Milwaukee, where people are actually nice and into having fun. Everything on these people just seemed so put on...from the overly styled hair, ill fitting pants, stupid fuzzy boots, non-prescription glasses, train conductor hats while not train conducting, constant gazes around to see who's looking at them, etc. I just don't see it as much in Milwaukee. I have never been so happy to see the "Wisconsin Welcomes You" sign as I was at about 11:30 last night. I would rather hang out with a million West Allis white trash weirdos with feathered hair and missing teeth than than see another show with Chicago's "indie" crowd. At least they will give you a genuine version of themselves and probably a good time. So take a moment today and be thankful that you can enjoy things without the worry about how you look, who's watching, or how big of a heartless pussy you are. I'm going to listen to some Mortal Decay and maybe even some fucking Amy Grant and it's going to be awesome...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Morning Randoms

The coolest thing I've seen online in a long, long while, and a good morning meditation:
Go get your Cosmos dvds.

Kinda related - my new hero.
"Most people go through life recoiling from its best parts. They miss the enrichment that just a basic knowledge of the physical world can bring to the most ordinary experiences. It’s like there’s a pulsating, hidden world, governed by ancient laws and principles, underlying everything around us — from the movements of electrical charges to the motions of the planets — and most people are completely unaware of it. To me, that’s a shame."

There's something so inspiring about people like Carl Sagan, Carolyn Porco, or even someone like Steve Irwin...they're looking at the world with total wonder and want you to understand what's so wonderful about it. And that feeling comes across so strongly. It seems the more you know about something, the more awe-inspiring it becomes. How awesome is that?


A cool gallery on flickr:
More here:

An awesome set of comedy links:

Andy Richter completely dominated Celebrity Jeopardy. Lesson learned...listen to comedians, not news anchors...

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall.

Monday, October 05, 2009

For a second I considered attending my 10 year high school reunion next summer. I thought it might be fun to connect with a few cool people and see what the weirdos are up to. But after reading some "What have you been up to since graduation?" posts on our class's Facebook group, I might reconsider. Some excerpts:

Then there was a time that my husband and i thought that we werent going to work and we seperated for about a month but then found out that we were pregnant with baby #3 and that was totally unexpected and really wasnt part of my plan that is for my hubby and i got back together and well lets say that my husband is a brand new man.he has changed soo much sence we got back together and we are stronger more now then ever.

I plan on going back to school for a short time this fall for make up artistery.

My name was at one time Jeffrey Johnson Jr, but that has since changed. My name now is Jereth Weasly James.

I still live at home with my parents upstairs from them. I am still an active bowler.

Oh man...keep in mind this is a public group. I don't think I can hear many more stories like this. Over half of them bummed me out. The rest were just "I went to college, then immediately got married and had 6 kids" stories. Abort class reunion mission...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Even though I'm semi-hungover and very tired today, I'm excited for a couple of reasons.

1) Night of the Living Dead is playing in 3D tonight on the lakefront. Awesome. It's like the drive in except you're all sitting outside overlooking Lake Michigan. And they have beer.

2) The house has been fun. We've been painting, organizing, and buying way too much shit, but it's starting to come together. After 5 years of living in shitty apartments and getting my car broken into on the street, I'm appreciating everything about our home.

3) Fucking FALL. There's a crisp breeze in the air and it's such a distinct feeling. I had a pumpkin spice coffee this morning...shit, just seeing pumpkins outside grocery stores is the best thing ever. There's a little patch of yellow leaves on the birch tree in our backyard. Halloween planning is underway. Listening to lots of moody Swedish music. Sweatshirts. Now until the day after Thanksgiving = best time of the year.

4) Speaking of fall music, I saw Agalloch last week and it was amazing (I hate to use that word, but honestly, I haven't been that moved at a show in a long while). I almost missed it due to napping, but I woke up in time to get to the Miramar with about 15 minutes to spare before Agalloch played. Some aspects were eye-rolly (an "incense ritual" before the show and tons and tons of smoke), but who cares, it souded great and they were all clearly feeling it. So glad this came through Milwaukee, especially since they never tour.

Here are a couple photos, and a video of Falling Snow is here:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My conversation at the BP on Locust and Martin Luther King Drive, 8:00pm last night:

(I walk up to counter next to three jovial young black men)
Them: Oh shiiit girl! You fine.
Me: Thanks.
Them: Shit.
Me: I'm just getting this Crunk drink. (which I was - I very much enjoy this drink)
Them: (in Lil Jon voice) YEEAAAAH!
Me: (laughter) (seriously this was the greatest thing ever)
One of Them: So can I get your number or what?
Me: Well...I have a man. I don't think he'd appreciate it.
One of The: Your man answer your phone?
Me: No...but still.
Them: Girl, you got any black in you? (my skin is clearly the color of light reflecting on copy paper)
Me: (on the way out) Only in the booty.
Them: Ohhhhhh!!!!

It made my night.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Mini Movie Reviews

Whiteboys - Scarily accurate, funny, and more thoughtful than I thought it would be. 7/10

We Don't Live Here Anymore - I always watch these "relationship dramas" and it just ends up being a bunch of entitled, annoying people arguing with each other. Almost worth it to watch Mark Ruffalo bone Naomi Watts. 4/10

Julie and Julia - Mom date...surprisingly enjoyable. Meryl Streep is insane. 6.5/10 (Theater ratios - 85% ladies over 60, 14% ladies under 60, 1% dude with wife)

District 9 - Absolutely loved it. I was suprised at how sad it was at moments (the lab scenes broke my heart). I kind of wish it was focused less on action and more on story at times (especially at the end), but it worked. The human reactions were completely feesable (shit, most of this has happened), which was scary considering the themes. For 99% of the movie I completely forgot things were CG. 9/10

Funny People - The first hour and a half was good. Lots of funny moments and the dramatic scenes were well done. The characters were semi-unlikable Hollywood types but I liked the whole "innerworkings of comedy" aspect. Good ball jokes. But the last hour could have been cut in half eaaaaasily. Good lord Judd Apaptow needs to edit himself more. It wasn't bad, but man, I can't believe they spent an entire hour at Leslie Mann's house fucking around. 6/10

Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Randys in the Mix

Ohhhhhhhh...Aziz Ansari (from Human Giant) plays Raaaaaaaandy in the new Judd Apatow movie, and I can't believe I waited until now to watch these. Don't make the same mistake I did.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The weekend was nice...after walking through 50+ houses, we found an awesome one and have an accepted offer on it. If the inspection is ok, we'll close at the end of August. Yeeeee.

One thing I learned while looking at other peoples' houses...they love pictures of themselves. Especially newlyweds. More than one couple had entire walls of photos dedicated to their wedding. Like 15 framed photos on one wall. I understand celebrating your love, but jeez...put that crap in an album and take it out when you want to look at it...don't subject every guest to a huge tribute to yourselves. Weirdos!

Also, sit the fuck down Jamie Foxx. Not only is your general attempt at music embarassing, so is your attempt to pay "tribute" to Michael Jackson by dancing horribly and promoting yourself...ugh.

Milwaukeeans, check out this excellent series of FREE movies on the lakefront this summer. Brats...Lake...Night of the Living Dead...ahhhhh...

And JUDAS PRIEST at Summerfest on Thursday!!

SOLSTORM - Auroras in Norway from Terje Nesthus on Vimeo.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Life aint so bad at all

Under the circumstances, I love that I got to work this morning and everyone was talking about the music of Michael Jackson. I expected a certain amount of shittyness, because it seems like the default setting for some people when talking about others, but there was none of it. Just a bunch of people who grew up in different decades talking about their experiences with his music, and it was such a testament to the timelessness of it all. Everyone had their stories, and I remembered when the Thriller video was huge, and my brother taking advantage of the fact that I was scared shitless of it. He would call me into the living room, telling me it was over, only to put it back on and have me run out of the room. I can picture it like it was yesterday. But of course, I watched it when no one was looking, and still remember how I felt when the zombies started breaking into the house. Not to mention the song.

I think once he became more reclusive, people kind of forgot all the ways he affected their lives, maybe because it was such a given, and it’s neat to see those moments being relived. The sheer amount of quality material he produced is ridiculous. These days, if I’m ever feeling tired or bummed, there is absolutely nothing better than putting on Off The Wall. That album will never be topped as far as dance-y pop is concerned. So damn good.

I came home last night, laid in bed, and listened to Human Nature, one of my favorites. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking it was one of the most beautiful and open songs I’d ever heard. Russ asked if I was having my own little memorial and I’m not sure if it was the beauty of the song or the loss of such an icon, but I got verklempt…

As usual, fourfour sums it up nicely...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bob and David in Chicago - 6/19/09

Comedy dorks were out in full force in Chicago over the weekend for the inaugural Just for Laughs fest. These dorks included us and a large group of other people packed under the Lakeshore Theater’s marquee on Friday night anxiously awaiting the Bob and David reunion. It was mostly young people (and their companions). The show started with Bob and David bumping into one another with boxes in their arms, each heading to their one man shows. David didn’t quite remember Bob. They called up local “judges” from the audience for a one man show-off. Bob’s was a heartfelt performance art piece including lipstick and yelling and Vietnam, while David danced in a Blues Brothers outfit singing “Sweet Home Chicago”. Of course David won. From there, the night consisted of mostly sketches and a few short sets from young comedians. The “friends” and comedians, including Nick Thune and John Mulaney, didn’t include any Mr. Show alum, but they were all solid.

The show was a lot looser than I would have thought, just because Mr. Show was so well-rehearsed, thanks to the meticulous Bob, who seemed pretty annoyed when lighting and sound cues were missed, but it wasn’t enough to affect the quality of the material. The highlight for me was an appearance by Senator Tankerbell in a sketch about torture at “Abu Grawby”, including a slideshow of Tankerbell in various positions with a dominatrix, and a play on Deal or No Deal called “Cash or Check”, in which Bob uses “help angels” to decide in which form he wants his prize money. Bob read a great letter from his recently deceased cousin which evolved into a sad remembrance of eating light ice cream all those years, and lamenting all the kinds of ice cream he should have been eating. Every time he said “ice cream” it became funnier. The weakest point was probably a sketch about a polite family confronting a killer in court, because I’ve seen the premise before (in The State’s “Tenement” - going off without swearing), and it just kind of fell flat. To close, they sang a song about laughter being the “final solution”…Bob became the voice of Satan and said this was all a setup and he was going to forever speak to us through the voices of dogs. Awesome. Bob commented that it was “a night of scenes without endings” and you could tell they were still working things out, but overall their chemistry and style was there, and it was absolutely great to see it again. I was gay all night and super thankful that I got to see them live.

Oh, and they played this great short:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday afternoon videos

I had a romantic dream about Norm MacDonald last night. Whoa.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another 90's Mix

I don't recommend this unless you have an interest in 90's hip hop/new jack swing/etc. or are a female in your mid-to-late 20's. These are the kind of songs I waited by the radio to tape (before I started listening to metal). I still love these genres, and since I only knew the radio hits when I first got into them, there's so much out there to find. I meant for all the tracks to involve ladies somehow, but I just realized that Positive K altered his voice in the studio for the "female" voice. But like that Nu Shooz song, which is technically from the 80's, I like it too much to take it off...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mom Jams

I've been bringing my iPod to work lately, and few mom-aged people have been asking me about my music. At work I mostly listen to 80's new wave stuff and 90's hip hop/R&B, and I really didn't want to explain the rest of the stuff on my iPod (Dead Congregation?), so I decided to make one all-encompassing mom workout/party mix and hand it over. Here's the tracklist:

Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
DeeLite - Groove is in the Heart
Janet Jackson - Escapade
Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Starting Something
Timbaland - The Way I Are
Robin S - Show Me Love
Stacey Q - Two of Hearts
Captain Hollywood Project - More and More
Cece Peniston - Finally
Justin Timberlake - Signs
Mariah Carey - Someday
Howard Jones - Things Can Only Get Better
De La Soul - Me Myself & I
Zapp & Roger - Cutie Pie
Zhane - Groove Thing
Mary J Blige - Real Love

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More Mr. Show

My prayers have been answered. Thanks to a kind soul over at, I got a call yesterday afternoon from the Lakeshore Theater informing me that they were adding a June 19th Bob & David show, and I could buy two tickets before they went on sale. THANK YOU. I got off the phone and literally yelped in my house. Tickets are still available – buy them up if you’re within a million miles of Chicago:

Also, I had a conversation with Maynard James Keenan last night. Ok, maybe it wasn’t really a conversation, but an exchange. He has a vineyard now and was doing a wine signing, so Monica and I got off work early, drank a bit, waited in line with some very nice people, bought a couple bottles and here it went:

Me: Thanks for being here, I’ve been a fan for 15 years (true, Opiate was my jam in 7th grade)

Maynard: 50?! You don’t look 50.

Me: No! 15…since I was like 12.

Him: Well thank you, enjoy the wine.

Me: Thanks, we’ll be having some tonight. (gay smile)

I was going to tell him I liked his work on Mr. Show (heh), but I was all nervous because some doucher in line told me that his “friend” who works at Whole Foods said that the staff wasn’t allowed to make eye contact with him. Come on. He was very cordial, and his co-wine guy was nice, too, although I felt a little bad for him since everyone was clearly there because of Tool. The main thing I noticed is that Maynard is surprisingly handsome once you get the tits and everything off him. Very nice.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Louis CK in Milwaukee - 4/18/09

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to see Louis CK perform at The Pabst. I was beyond excited. Like, probably annoying to those who cared less excited. Plus he was filming a special so I was especially gay. He had an 8:00 show and a 10:30 show, and when we arrived around 10:15, he was still on stage from the first show. Damn! But I could hear the crowd laughing from outside and I was all "He's in there! They're recording it right now!" and Monica was like "Yeah...we know. That's why we're here." So we grabbed a drink and waited about an hour for the first show to end and the crowd to clear out. When we got inside there were at least 5 massive cameras set up...including one on a huge crane that swooped around our heads. It was neat. The opener was good, but kept it short, probably due to the fact that it was past 11:00.

Then I got a little nervous for Louis (like I was nervous for Conan last night). What if he fucks up? What if some dipshit from my city yells some dumb shit out? And then, or course, he absolutely killed. There are many, many reasons why I love Louis CK's comedy, but the biggest reason is that even when he's talking about blowjobs or punching children, he always seems to be speaking from his very kind heart. I mean fuck…he takes pictures of his daughters and baby ducklings and posts them on his website.

His material on Saturday was no basically focused on his divorce/kids/body and peoples' stupidity. My face hurt afterward. So good. I don’t even want to ruin it with my half assed explanations. If you're a fan, his new material is better than Chewed Up but not quite as good as Shameless, but that's probably because I've watched Shameless so many damn times. I sent him a thank you email a few days later. How gay.

I'm really glad he's getting more exposure due to his awesome spot on Conan (which he extended and dirtied up for the show). Check out a little piece about it here:

In other comedy news, “Bob and David and friends” are coming to the Just For Laughs festival in Chicago in a few weeks. It’s sold out and my heart is breaking. I read about a possible additional show, but no news yet. If all else fails I can get tickets to Bob and Best of Sketchfest, or catch Louis CK again while he’s there. So yeah, it’s worth checking out…

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh hello. I'm here now. Livejournal was getting a bit...crappy. This place is cooler, right? :/ Until I find a way to import it, my old stuff is here.

Time has been consumed with work, finishing out the semester, looking for a house, and booze. It's nice. I love pre-summer weekend planning.

Watched In Bruges last was surprisingly somber considering the trailer, and I really liked it. Colin Farrell was actually good (he usually annoys me unless he's doing something like this) and the humor worked in what was a really dark and absurd movie. And it made me want to go to Bruges.

Most of all, the music (by Carter Burwell) was great. Really added an emotional weight to the movie. Have a listen...reminds me of older Paradise Lost...

Monday, May 18, 2009

More Monday Movies

Star Trek - Shockingly good. Really well done and fun...great cast, suprisingly funny, right tone, awesome visuals, and I actually cared about the characters. Sure they took some liberties with the story but it didn't really bother me. I do hope they get more into the philosophical stuff next time. Winona Rider wtf!? Also, I loved that Uhura was all about Spock and not Kirk.

Adventureland - Very sweet "coming of age" story set in the 80's. A kid graduates from college, works at an amusement park for lack of a better job, hangs out with some people, loves a girl, etc. More of a drama than I thought it would be but I liked it. Martin Starr (Bill from Freaks and Geeks) and Bill Hader helped a lot. I think the music really elevated this when they eat the pot cookies and ride around in the bumper cars to The Cure, or watch the fireworks to Crowded House? Plus Animotion - "You're My Obsession"...INXS - "Don't Change"...Velvet Underground, etc...I was downloading like a madwoman when we got home.

I Love You, Man - Waaay better than I thought it would be...mainly due to it's I haven't laughed this hard in a theater in a long time. It was cool to see Paul Rudd play an awkward, dorky guy. One of those movies that gets better as you think about it. I want to see it again. Gets extra points for the massive RUSH references, perforance, etc. This made me so happy.

Quantum of Solace - Crappy plot, fun action, overall entertaining.

Happy-Go-Lucky - Awesome...if you can handle a couple hours of unstoppable optimism. But a cool idea and something that seems rare in a lot of movies - happiness! And whether it comes from inside or out.

Rachel Getting Married - Hey, we're neurotic Connecticut WASPs, but our daughter is marrying a black guy, so the wedding party will be full of interesting, ethnic people including jazz musicians, Rastafarians, and some British dude who plays a violin through the entire fucking movie. Sit through our rehearsal dinner in real time, then watch us be complete assholes to each other for two hours.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Mini Movie Reviews

Let the Right One In - Classiest gore ever! Plus I have a weakness for most things Swedish, so I was happy that this lived up to the hype. Both kids, especially Eli, were about perfect in these roles. The scene where she comes in the house uninvited and the pool scene were visually perfect. I think I'm so used to seeing horror movies made with close ups and "scary moments", so this style (long shots!) was really refreshing. I also liked how they showed the infected woman (Victoria?) dealing with her transformation. Most movies just have people immediately pumped on killing, and this seemed more realistic. I also liked that they didn't try to make Eli a "good" vampire...she/he was responsible for way more violence than the bullies, but it worked within the story. Great ending.

The Room - Holy god please see this movie right now. I had read about it in this article, but thought it would be one of those bad/good movie that's mostly boring but has a few funny lines. This movie made me laugh more than most intentional comedies. I 'm not even going to try to quote the multitude of quotable quotes in this movie, just watch it, because it's all in the delivery. And the four awesome and really unpleasant sex scenes.

Snow Angels - Ugh. I've followed David Gordon Green since he made All the Real Girls, one of the most believeable love stories I've seen. Plus he makes weird comedy like Eastbound and Down. But save yourself the pain of seeing this movie. Basically, bad people do bad things to each other, a child dies, and then someone commits and murder/suicide. The End! It was well-made, and I don't mind bleak films, but what else was there here? There was a sweet relationship between two teenagers, and Amy Sedaris was good...

Synecdoche, New York - To give you a little background, this is the newish Charlie Kaufman movie. It begins with Caden Cotard (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a playwright whose marriage falls apart. His wife takes off to Germany and takes their daughter with her. He then receives a MacArthur genius grant, and decides to stage a play in a massive warehouse His own life, and everything in it. He spends years building sets within sets and scenes of his life play out just minutes after they actually occur. Actors playing actors playing real life people inhabit the warehouse. No audience is present, but it doesn't matter...he's trying to make the purest, truest form of art he can. Cool idea, but it gets more and more tedious as the movie goes on. I think after the first hour or so I stopped trying to make sense of things and just accepted the situations that were put forth and the emotions that went with them. It's weird...I admire this movie but I don't love's waaay meta and self-indulgent and was kind of a chore due to how bleak it was. It's basically about time and death. But the work that went into it was much detail...and anything dealing with aging and the passage of time worked. Hazel, one of Caden's love interests in the movie, purchases a house that is literally on fire, expresses her concern with dying in the fire, and continues to live in it until the inevitable happens. You make your choices, time passes, and you have to live with them. We are all headed down the same path, and we're all the same. It could have benefited from subtler symbolism and a plot, but that's what made it unique...I'm torn on this one. It's been fun to think about and overall I appreciated the themes, but I never really felt connected to the characters. I should probably watch it again, but I don't really want to. But I do hope Kaufmann makes another movie.'s last name) (Caden replaces his absent wife's cleaning lady, and sleeps in the closet of his wife's apartment, which she's subletting from "Capgras") (An interesting interview that clears up a few things) (Stop caring so much!)

Look at his head.

Little D Hatching Out of the Egg from Class 1-208 on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found."

I wonder why...

A doctor excommunicated by the Catholic Church for performing an abortion on a 9-year-old rape victim received a standing ovation during a national convention on women's health, according to a local media report. Archbishop Don Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Recife excommunicated the doctor, the child's mother and the medical team involved in the procedure. However, the stepfather was not excommunicated, with Sobrinho telling Globo TV that, "A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an innocent life."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dumb little things are annoying me today. Like my boss just asked me to "shoot _______ an email" and ask her to see him when she gets a minute. Her office is two doors down from him. So I just walked down to her office, told her to see him, and she walked back down the hall with me into his office. Now I don't mind working, but come on, just send her the one sentence email. Or walk down the damn hall. Weird.

Anyway, the weekend was nice and relaxing...ate some food, saw a movie, had some family time. Had a class on Saturday morning. It's a really good class, but there is one dude in it...almost every class seems to have one. At first I thought he was just a good participator. He answered almost every question, sometimes to excess. But as the class goes on, it becomes apparent that he's pretty much a smug douche. He's a bit older and always takes an opportunity to remind us how long he's been teaching or how he knows how to do amazing IT things, like forward an email or unjam an printer. Seriously. On Saturday we were reviewing resumes and he asks,

"Would you include every organization you're a member of?"

Come on Gary, use some judgement. If it's NAMBLA, no.

Of course the professor asks, "What kind of organziation?"

Gary says........."Do you know what MENSA is?"


The professor did not know, and asked if anyone else did, so I raised my hand and semi-sarcastically explained that it was a club for geniuses. She said it was impressive, but might come off a bit narcissistic. Yeah.

Also, if you're a member of MENSA, do you really need help with this decision? Shouldn't you be teaching this class? Fucking Gary.

Anyway, Russ and I went to Mexico some weeks ago. We tried to balance laying on the beach with some adventure...we snorkeled, hiked, swam, drank, saw some ruins, had lunch with a Mayan family, saw a parade, and descended into a completely brutal cenote. It was beautiful. Photos are here:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


This afternoon is dragging, and the fact that I feel like crap both mentally and physically is not motivating me to work. So I thought I'd share one of my favorite scenes from Hot Rod, which I caught again on Showtime the other night. There are about 6 things that make me laugh here, but mostly the use of the phrase "dong bags" and the ending...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ok, couple things. The weekend was fun. Saturday we went to the annual Croatian hunter's dinner with Monica, Franjo, and Jenny, which is always an experience. Tons of various venison dishes, some rabbit, salad, noodles, rice, polenta, cornbread, slivovitz, and plenty of drunk oldies. The food was great...I mostly ate venison tenderloin cooked in wine sauce over noodles. God. I think I could eat various European meat/noodle combinations for the rest of my life. Being a smaller ethnic group in Milwaukee, they are so much more tight knit. They have events all year long. Being a mutt, and especially of Polish/German (and Czech and Irish) hertitage, which is like 80% of Milwaukee, it's not so much a part of my life. I envy their community, but they're so welcoming, so at least I get to experience it. Afterward we went to Liquor Sweets to see Foetopsy/Dyscrasia/Dead For Days. Dyscrasia hadn't played for years and did not disappoint...I'm usually not the biggest fan of slammy death metal, but they do it so well, and Neil's vocals are ridiculous enough to carry it. A video here.

Secondly, I succeeded in crotcheting a piece of....something. It's just a swatch, but it's a start. I can see this becoming very, very addictive. Blankets and potholders for everyone.

Thirdly, what the fuck is this?! I came across it a while back and was...mezmerized...but I just got an inviitation to Chris Cornell's show at The Riverside and I guess he's performing these songs? Will he dance? I actually like some of Timbaland's production, but this seems like leftovers of his other projects and just sounds bizarre with the vocals. I'll be interested to see how is received. shneep.

I absolutely love these...I would seriously save up and pay hundreds for one of these prints.

This is really cool.

And today in "no shit" studies....

Finally, I've been semi-following American Idol this year due to a Milwaukee contestant. One night Russ and I were watching one of the horrible audition episodes and I recognized a kid I grew up with - Danny Gokey. Within minutes my mom and brother had both called me freaking out. Our families went to church together until I was about 16, when I pretty much stopped going, but he's still very involved in a church on Howell Ave., which is cool. I hope he does well - his voice is truly awesome. Here's him doing a great version of "Kiss from a Rose"...great song...

Friday, February 06, 2009

I think my transformation into an old lady is almost complete...I spent my entire lunch hour picking out yarn and crochet hooks at the JoAnne Fabrics. That place is amazing. It was full of retired looking women sitting at tables with patterns spread out, just sewing, talking, and enjoying their little Friday afternoon. There were so many beautiful options...I got some neat purple/blue/green yarn and hope to make a simple granny square tonight. My goal is to be knitting socks by spring and making little quilts for my neice by next fall. Whoo! I'll have to really party my ass off on Saturday to make up for all this crafty shit. Foetopsy and Dyscrasia are playing at Liquor Sweets so that might do it. Other than craft obsessions, It's been an exciting couple of weeks. The spring semester started for me, and the group is good...some teachers, a guy I used to work with at WSUW, and an amateur natural bodybuilder who I interrogated about his diet/workout/tanning/oiling routine, which he was very happy to share. I found out that the undies are called "posing trunks". He even left in the middle of class to eat some steak and brown rice. That kind of discipline fascinates me, and he was more than happy to talk about it...triglycerides, omega 3's....I did a lot of nodding. Oh yeah, the class content is pretty interesting too. We've adapting curriculum for students with severe disabilities. I haven't really worked with that population before, so this will help me narrow down my emphasis. I'm going to enjoy this last weekend before the homework grind really starts. I hope you all enjoy yours...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

25 Randoms - from Facebook

1. When I was a baby, I pulled the cord of an electric can opener, and it fell on my face, need stitches and giving me a pretty good scar. It's still there, but I go months and months without even thinking about it.

2. I pretty much worship everything Rush and Katatonia have put out, even the questionable stuff.

3. I get super annoyed when people talk loudly on their cell phones, or talk loudly in public in general.

4. I've seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Big Lebowski, and Wayne's World more than any another movies. They're my defaults.

5. Peninsula State Park is one of my favorite places in Wisconsin. So beautiful.

6. I think people should be required to pass a battery of tests before being allowed to have children.

7. I vividly remember crying when Fievel sang "Somwhere Out There" in An American Tail.

8. I'm always planning dream trips...Peru, Laos, Norway...even if they won't happen for a long, long time.

9. When I was little, I used to spend a lot of time at the playground/fieldhouse that was right across the stret from our house. One day, they had a "pajama pancake breakfast" so I put on my nightgown and marched right over there. It was the wrong day. I came home crying. My brother still rips on me about it. :)

10. I used to stay up late watching 90's SNL episodes with my dad. He still does a pretty good Dieter.

11. My mom went into labor with me while watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

12. I have never been in a fight.

13. When I was 16, Anthrax invited me on their tour bus, fed me Taco Bell, a gave me a ride home from the show. They were very sweet.

14. I like getting new stuff, but I really hate shopping for it.

15. Growing up, Ramona Quimby was my hero.

16. I'm taking a crochet class in a few weeks.

17. I eat oatmeal or granola just about every morning.

18. I really love dogs. So much. Cats, not so much.

19. I went to a Christian Camp for a week each summer for most of my childhood. I loved it. I had my first kiss there.

20. Every year in our elementary school talent show, a group of friends and I performed meticulously choreographed dances to various Janet Jackson songs (Rhythm Nation, Black Cat, etc.). We had dry ice and glued some Christmas garland on our shirts. I still work out to Janet Jackson.

21. I love playing basketball. I was obsessed with the Suns/Bulls series in 1993.

22. I listen to a lot of metal, prog, melodic alternative stuff and rap, but I wish I had more dance, funk, and soul music.

23. My brother took me to shows all through my teenage years, which was awesome, especially since he's 6 years older than me. Also, he had Jason Newsted hair.

24. I love office supplies. Putting pen to paper feels great.

25. Russ and I leave for the Riviera Maya in 12 days!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ok, let me just preface this by saying that I'm not a baby person. My coworkers go on and on about their kids and in my head I'm usually thinking "please stop talking so I can eat this sandwich in peace". But I must say I had an amazing baby experience last night. My brother's girlfriend went into labor yesterday morning, and my mom called me around 10:30am to let me know that things were coming right along. I was so distracted and unproductive at work that I took a half day of vacation and left to wait at the hospital with my mom and stepdad. We grabbed some lunch with my brother and then spent about 6 hours killing time...talking, reading, eating, and walking around Children's Hospital. That hospital is amazing - every staff member had a smile and a hello. Carolyn's family came later and we were a massive bundle of nerves when we got word that she had begun pushing. At 6:15pm my brother and Carolyn's mom came into the waiting area looking very happy, and my brother said "I have a daughter"....Ava Amanda. We all screamed and hugged and celebrated (like we wouldn't have if it was a boy). We all relaxed while they cleaned up baby and mom, and Russ and I bought the biggest pink "It's A Girl" teddy bear and balloon that I could find. A bit later we all migrated to the "baby and mom" floor and waited for the the family to come back. Finally, they wheeled her in and we descended upon her like a pack of picture-taking vultures. It was overwhelming. I told Eric that I would have loved his baby if it was ugly as hell, but she was beautiful. I just couldn't believe it. This is a big thing - I have like 10 cousins between the ages of 17 and 35, and this is our first great-grandchild of the family. Plus I love the aunt/niece relationship and can't wait to pass that on. Afterward we went out for a celebratory big burger and big drink. And now I still can't get completely back to work because I can't stop thinking about this little one: