Ah! The first real snowfall of the year. It’s pretty, blowing around and coating the trees. It’s also right on the freezing line so the roads have the potential to be pretty bad. They look OK for now – good because I have to go to the grocery store.

Last post of the month! Sorry no updates until today; my grandfather doesn’t have Internet access and I was too tired Friday and Saturday (too many customers). It seems post-Thanksgiving shopping magnifies any pre-existing brain damage because people have really odd requests. For instance, someone wanted me to call a nearby B&N for a particular DVD box set; I confirmed in the computer that the store had one and offered to call and have it held – the customer said “No Thanks” and walked off. I don’t get it – you wanted me to call in the first place and now that I have good reason to call them, you don’t want me to….wha???

I watched the 1975 adaptation of Ballet Shoes – this one was not well done. BBC or no BBC, it was poorly shot and the adaptation was terrible. It cut a number of things including Dr. Smith, Miss Jay, the entire opening of the book (the girls’ stories are told in flashback), Garnie is made out to be some sort of idiot, Pauline’s opening break in Alice in Wonderland is combined with Midsummer and the film of Charles II is cut out entirely (the studio exec offered Pauline a contract on the basis of her performance in Peaseblossom), and Pauline is made out to be manipulative which is completely out of line for the character in the book. The new adaptation with Emma Watson is definitely better and more in line with the intent of the book.

Boss comes back this week. Oh boy.

Current book-in-progress: Udolpho, Reading Matters, Love Letters, oh, anything else I feel like and I have an itch to acquire a book about Eleanor of Acquitane
Current knitted item: Red variegated scarf
Current movie obsession: Almost done with The Lion in Winter (Burton/Hepburn version – couldn’t they have worked a little more on her accent? She’s fantastic otherwise)
Current iTunes loop: old Filmspotting episodes

Reasons I am smarter than most of humanity

Blowouts are boring

What are you supposed to do when your team is trouncing the opposition at the Metrodome?

Have sex in the handicapped stall, of course. During Iowa’s 55-0 rout of Minnesota (hawks like to eat rodents, so the Hawkeyes smoking the Gophers totally makes sense), UM cops busted a couple getting busy in the restroom, complete with crowd cheering the couple on. The two got cited for indecent conduct (usually given to public urination). The kicker? She gave a false name and had to be identified by her husband; he was released to his girlfriend. Unfortunately, both of the them were from Iowa. It’s a long car ride back to the land of Black and Gold.

Speaking of car rides:
My parents are picking me up this evening and we’re going to see my relatives in Illinois for Thanksgiving. Then I get to rush back to Iowa to close on Black Friday. What joy is mine. Happy Turkey everyone!

movie star drool · parents

The Criterion Collection

Mom has been bugging me for my Christmas list. So I spent a while trawling the new Criterion Collection website looking at all the DVDs. Criterion is sort-of my new favorite label; the movies all look great and they come with extra tidbits.

Now I just have to think up what books I would like to put on my list – you would think this easy because I work for a bookstore but I have a tendency to buy whatever I want, regardless as to whether Christmas is coming.

new books (yay)

Love Letters

Remember when the Sex in the City movie came out and everyone wanted the “Love Letter” book? And the “Love Letter” book didn’t exist because the movie’s producers made it up even though the letters were real?

Well, Ursula Doyle went out and collected a number of love letters written by “great men” from Pliny to Curie; she published the collection as Love Letters of Great Men. The collection is decently wide-ranging, including three letters from Alexander Pope to three different women, Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved” letter, and two of Oscar Wilde’s letters to Lord Alfred Douglas (aka Bosie). I’m a sucker – I bought it.

Addendum to yesterday’s post:
Not only is the Mall trying to ruin Christmas some nut who has a duplex condo on the bus route is doing his best, too. If I were his neighbor I would probably move. The entire yard of this dwelling is covered with lit-up/moving Christmas objects and twinkle lights outline every angle. There’s even a Ferris Wheel with toys and elves that goes around and around. Gag.


Gee, already?

While waiting for the bus I was appalled to realize that the mall was playing Christmas music – Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You was blaring over the sound system followed by I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (which I particularly loathe). Thanks guys. Couldn’t you wait to switch the Muzak until the day after Thanksgiving?

Combined with the huge Christmas wreaths hanging from the ceiling the effect is truly gag-inducing.

movie star drool · parents

Movie weekend, Part Deux!!

I continued my movie binge by seeing Quantum of Solace at the matinee, strategic because matinees are two dollars cheaper. Now, I know that people are getting concerned that Bond no longer is Bond; the familiar introduction is gone, he has fewer toys, and the action sequences take on a Jason Bourne-esque choreography. This Bond is grittier, more of an emotional mess, and I really like that; it would be very stale if all James Bond ever did was drink, have sex, and kill people for his country. Recycling gets old after a while.

I did miss Bond’s fun toys but I never thought they were terribly integral; I was always more of a Sean Connery fan myself (Roger Moore was too glib) so I really did enjoy a Bond who has to make do with his wits, his skills, and his gun. If that makes it too “Jason Bourne” then so what; I fully expect an MI6 agent to kill someone with only his bare hands (this Bond takes out several other MI6 agents in an elevator – no weapons). Besides, Daniel Craig is way more alluring than all of the other Bonds so I’m all in. I found the movie very entertaining, very well-worth my six-fifty.

Part of that enjoyment is watching Dame Judi Dench play M, Bond’s boss, and she does a far better job than any of the other Ms (sorry, Bernard Lee). The part of M has enlarged with each of Dame Judi’s outings (the best being in The World is Not Enough were M gets kidnapped by crazy Elektra King) and she never disappoints. There was a great line in the movie where Bond is asked if he’s revenging his mother and Bond replies, “No, but she likes to think so.”

More preview fun:
1. Bedtime Stories – looks sort of cute; Sandler plays a guy who realizes the goofy stories he tells his niece and nephew have a strange tendency to come true; I gave up on Sandler movies a long time ago but I might try this one
2. Valkyrie – the same trailer from last night (I saw a different trailer on TV and that one makes it look more like the Tom Cruise show)
3. The Day the Earth Stood Still – this is (what I’m pretty sure was) the same trailer that played before The Dark Knight; I still don’t want to see a remake with Keanu Reeves
4. The Spirit – an expanded trailer from the one I saw before The Dark Knight; looks pretty good but I’m not familiar with The Spirit as a graphic novel
5. Seven Pounds – I’m not very familiar with this (Will Smith stars) but I think the premise is interesting

I got to see my parents today, too, which also included a viewing of the original 1968 Thomas Crowne Affair starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway; strangely enough neither of my parents have seen this but they watched the Pierce Brosnan remake (yuck). The original has this amazing chess scene which is far better than any sex scene ever put on film; it is that erotic. I like the film, and have seen it many times, but it’s really strange to explain what is going on to your parents.

movie star drool

Movie weekend!

****WARNING: If you are any of my friends who haven’t seen Twilight yet and don’t want anything spoiled, read this post later.****

So I had movie weekend – fueled partly by a sleepless night where I watched four movies and one mini-series. Stupid brain.

Movie #1 Ballet Shoes: remake of the Noel Streatfield novel of the same name; I loved the book as a child and I was really glad to see that the feel of the novel was retained with some cute additions; Emma Watson (yes, that Emma Watson) was excellent in a non-Hermione role and I can’t wait to see her in Desperaux in December
Movie #2 Pride and Prejudice: not a new movie to me, but I was trying to fall asleep; it may not be my favorite rendition of my favorite novel but it has beautiful piano music played by Jean-Yves Thibeaudet
Mini-series Sense and Sensibility: ITV mini-series shown last spring on IPTV for “The Complete Jane Austen” during Masterpiece Classic (thanks Dad for finally getting this recorded off the DVR for me); very well-shot, well-adapted, and well-cast (Janet McTeer as Mrs. Dashwood was especially nice); the mini-series format allowed for all of the characters to be present (including Lucy Steele’s vile sister, ugh); I actually liked it and got involved so this may not have been the best choice for trying to fall asleep and the IMDB page has some interesting facts about the costuming
Movie #3 Persuasion: also an ITV production and one that I do not like for various reasons (exception being Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth, although he’s no Ciaran Hinds); Mary Musgrove nee Elliot acted like someone recovering from a neurological injury (whoa, crazy), Anne breaks the fourth wall a lot to think to the audience, and then she runs up and down the streets of Bath in the letter scene chasing Wentworth; all wrong
Movie #4 Northanger Abbey: not a new movie to me, either, but I did finally fall asleep to this one.

Then tonight I went with Jackie, Rachel, Janice, and Annie to see Twilight. I was prepared for a lame and utterly cheesy teenage movie but it was really cute. There were a few wierd things, though. Edward looked like he ate some bad cougar the first time Bella walked into biology lab, there was a little too much teenager angst from Edward (who’s supposed to be over 100 years old), Carlisle’s makeup artist was seriously phoning it in from Data’s makeup artist on ST:TNG, and the dude playing Jasper either needed more anti-psychotics or less because it was a creeper-worthy performance (and he’s supposed to be the mood-altering vampire). I thought the script adaptation was faithful with two exceptions: too much foreshadowing on the run-up to the emergence of the three “bad” vampires and I really missed a “Bella trapped in the bathroom by Alice before the prom” scene. Oh, and Bella’s prom dress was pretty, but not what I’d imagined. Overall impression: cute teenager movie and no gag-worthy moments (I wanted to rid the theatre of a few stupid teenagers who were attempting to ruin the movie for everyone else – lame).

Okey, dokey, fun with previews:
1. Know1ing – Nicholas Cage/apolcalypse flick about a secret code from a time capsule that correctly predicted all the natural disasters (including death toll); major problem is what happens when the code stops
2. Valkyrie – the long-talked-about Tom Cruise biopic of the plot to assassinate Hitler; looks good (at least no one faked a German accent) and looking at the IMDB page it lists Eddie Izzard as one of the conspirators (???); looks good….but it has Tom Cruise
3. Confessions of a Shopaholic – based on the book of the same name; I have some friends who would love this movie (I probably would not)
4. Push – conspiracy/sci-fi movie about people with superhuman powers like telekenisis, prophecy, and the like (smells a little like X-men as far as powers, but no mutants); Dakota Fanning plays a girl who can predict the future (creepy)
There might have been one more (must be forgetteable like the super-lame commercial we had to watch about Diet Pepsi Max that completely ran the old “Night at the Roxbury” sketch into the ground). Major disappointment: NO HARRY POTTER TRAILER!!!!!! Jerks.

blah · new books (yay) · too much work

Writer’s Block Friday

After yesterday’s excitement today seems very blah. My office isn’t being drooled upon (leaky water tank on roof caused serious wet carpet and ceiling tile issues) and UNESCO isn’t handing out any accolades today.

I am once again inputting (verb?) data for our study. I’m way behind, so I need to work fast, but … it’s … so … mind-numbing. I can hear my brain cells die of boredom. The only reason I have to do it is because you have to be trained to recognize catheter-related blood-stream infections (CR-BSIs – crabbies, for lack of a better term). I’m the only one of the research team, besides the boss, who can do this.

I also need to start working with the burn unit on some observations of practice (in the tub room of all places) and MRSA cultures of various sources. I get to observe in the tub room because I’m the only one who won’t faint or toss cookies. For anyone who doesn’t know, the tub room is where the burn patients get scrubbed down, debrieded, and re-bandaged; there’s lots of screaming and it smells really bad. I would be started on this already but the unit manager hasn’t emailed me back, yet.

I’ve started back into the Newbery Project. After The Story of Mankind and The Voyage of Dr. Doolittle I decided I couldn’t take all the Euro-American-centric viewpoints all together in order. It was a bit much. I’m going to come at it from a different angle. I’ve been wanting to re-read The Westing Game for a long time so I’ll re-start with that one; plus, the movie adaptation for The Tale of Desperaux is coming out so I picked that up, too. I’ll get there, by hook or by crook!