Monday, March 24, 2014

Moving on up. Or out. Or over.

Oh hey. Guess what? I am moving the blog. Just not feeling this one no more, no how. Just doesn't look like me at all any longer. I am PETRIFIED no one will follow me over there, so prove me wrong, ok? Go over there right now and make a comment to show me you still like me, ok? And let's pretend we are not having this super needy talk right now, ok? Ok? Just stop looking at me like that and go update your readers or what have you.

Ok so I WILL SEE YOU OVER THERE. Don't break my heart now.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Here's what is rattling around the old noggin today.

I am being knocked out by sleep every night this week. Hoo baby. It is delicious. I am hoping it will continue. Perhaps, for the first time since my teens, I am entering a phase of extended good sleepy times? Let us hope.

I am choosing to think that my bad haircut is really my stylist thinking I am such a hipster that she gave me a Normcore cut. Please support me in this theory, won't you?

There was enough sunshine this week that I got to dust off the old sunglasses. Alert the media!

I did enough chair dancing in my office this week that my chair is in danger of breaking, y'all.

There's a part of my commute where I hop from the surface streets onto the freeway and the city skyline (and mountains, and water!) just opens up in front of me. This morning it felt really good to smile at my city. Hi, city. You kind of love me, don't you? I can tell by the way you look at me.

I was at a work thing this week and there was a point where an auditorium full of 4th graders screamed and clapped for their favorite books like it was effing Beatlemania. Can you tell me what is more adorable than that because I don't think you can.

Calling peanut butter "nut butt" is something that I am not sure I can vote for. I am undecided.

I am not afraid of spiders, heights, or public speaking. I am, however, afraid that I will leave a public bathroom with my skirt tucked into the back of my tights and/or underwear. Is there a name for that phobia?

Have a gorgeous day, my friends. Remember to appreciate your lovely selves. I sure do.

Happy by Pharrell Williams

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Zero Point Zero Dark Thirty

In high school, I was a good student. The caveat is that my public school education was a little, well, let's just say iffy. There were a few teachers that were effing gems (hi Steph), but when I look back at a lot of them I actually sort of wonder how it is that I became a functional learner at all. I mean, my 9th grade Algebra teacher was a guy who looked like Barney Rubble and had such a rage problem that one time he kicked the underside of a student desk WHILE THE KID STILL SAT IN IT and we all sat there and yawned because we saw that shit every day. 11th grade history consisted of our teacher making us read aloud from the text book all hour while he read the newspaper at his desk. My AP English class taught me nothing other than how to write a 5-paragraph essay in order to pass the AP test, so when I actually got to college and it was not 4 years of 5 paragraph-essay writing I was sort of fucked. So, when I say I was a good student, just realize the context and understand that this is not a brag. 

By the time I hit 11th grade, I had gone through the rigors of natural science in 9th grade (my teacher there kicked me out of class because he told us that having a bowel movement 2-3 times a day was normal because science, and I argued that he was getting pooping mixed up with brushing his teeth), and biology in 10th grade (my teacher there brought in his skull x-rays to show us that he had a 6-inch nail lodged in his brain from a nail gun accident, which I guess is sciencey?), and it was time for chemistry. My chemistry teacher was actually not too bad, relatively speaking, and he kind of wanted us to pay attention and learn stuff. Which, what? He wasn't that great with classroom management though, which I fondly remember because one day the shy little kid that sat in front of me and my friend Heidi who had Orville Redenbacher hair revealed that he knew the entire dance from the Thriller video and we coaxed him into busting it out in the middle of class which sort of caused a classroom mob and my geeky chemistry teacher looked terrified. That is probably my favorite science-class memory ever.

So I dug into chemistry, and listened to my teacher, and did the lab work, and learned some formulas. Pretty good, right? Wrong. The problem was that this teacher was wanting us to understand why we were doing these things, concept-wise, and not just memorize a bunch of stuff. This is not a thing that my teachers often asked me to do, especially in science. So the first test of the semester came around, and I took it, and I got it back, and dudes. It was not good. I do not remember the exact grade but it might as well have been--as my pal Nick would have said back in the day- a Q-minus. Like, I had bombed it, baaaaaaad. I was not a student that bombed anything, so this was shocking to me. I had played with the test tubes successfully! I had filled out my lab sheets! I had done all of the tasks! I had just not done any actual learning. DANG.

I went through that class, bomb after bomb after bomb. Not only did I continue to bomb, but it got progressively worse. Turns out if you don't understand the basic stuff, you won't understand the stuff that goes on top of that either. I remember being supremely stressed out about chemistry in a way that I had never been stressed out about school before. Why couldn't I understand this? Why wasn't it getting better even though I was trying (and truth be told, I wasn't really trying in school most of the time)? And really, what it all boiled down to was a fear about something that I had labelled myself (and been labelled by others) my whole childhood: SMART. HOLY SHIT WAS I NOT SMART? Because look. Look at this test score! It has gone from a Q-minus to a Y-minus! These numbers are what determine our smartness, yes? And more than the numbers, the fact that I DO NOT GET THE CHEMISTRY SCIENCE TALK must mean that I have been falsely classified and my true identity as Dum Dum McStupidface is only now just being discovered! SHITTTTT.

This is the part where I am supposed to figure out how to ask the teacher for extra help and he turns into Howard Hesseman from Head of the Class and my brain is activated by science! Or maybe I realize that I need to look behind the homework tasks into the concepts behind them and I have a science epiphany where I realize that I have to work harder, work smarter, and that I can get myself out of this parade of Q-minuses. Or I find my own personal Brian Krakow who will sweetly tutor me with patience by day and ride his bike past my house at night, and have secret adult times with himself as he thinks about me but his love is unrequited because I only have eyes for future man-bun Jordan Catalano.

None of these things happened. What did happen though, was even better. I took an exam, I felt confused the entire time I was taking it, I got it back, and my score was a 0.0.

Do you hear me? Not an F. Not even a low F. A ZERO POINT ZERO. I got no points. None of the points. Not even a partial point.

And you know how I felt about that, after all the cowering I was doing about my identity as a smarty britches? I am not lying to you when I say that, surprisingly, but almost immediately, I felt awesome. Like, great, awesome. Almost euphoric. I will never forget it. It was a big moment in my young life. The reason I felt so elated was that the thing that I had feared for months had happened. I had FAILED. Not just done badly, but done so badly that I literally could not have done any worse. I did not pick up a crumb of a point off the floor. NOTHING, NADA, ZIP. But after I got that exam back, I went to my next class and still felt like me. And then I went to play practice with pals after school and felt like me. And then I went home and my mom and dad kissed me just the same, even though they weren't excited about that score. Unfortunately I can't say that I didn't feel dumb, because I did. I was a kid, I didn't know better about things like that. But fortunately, I had the things in life up until that point that added up to me basically feeling good about myself and my ability to handle things. I liked myself, and thought myself mostly capable, and able to learn things, and that I was a good person overall and that that was more important than knowing my chemistry lesson that day. There would be other days to learn that chemistry lesson and I would do that. I had faith in myself.

I feel like the zero point zero experience is one that every little (and big) overachiever should have. To crash and burn on something just so we can have the subsequent experience of realizing: huh. Look at that. I'm ok. I'm still me. And now other things will happen from here. The world did not come to an end.

I have been thinking about this today because as I am sure you are tired of hearing, I have had a rough year. The thing I feared most happened. This was followed by a lot of me flailing around (and failing around) not really knowing how to live in that reality, for months. Then a few months ago, some work stuff happened that made me confront some fears about where my career should be. Then last month, another scary medical emergency happened to a loved one, which also crashed right up against the fear and worry I carry around about losing people I love. Then, last week, another thing happened where some fears I had had about being a bad friend and a bad person were flashed in front of me quite unexpectedly that had me truly mortified. And now that all that has happened, I feel strangely like I felt when I got that Zero Point Zero. I don't know if it even makes sense for me to say that for me, all of these things put together add up to me basically getting a Zero Point Zero at life 2013-to-present. But I feel good, y'all. Like, post-chemistry-test euphoria good. Because I'm still here, I'm still me, I'm still trying hard, and for every last thing that has happened that has earned me a Zero-Point-Zero, I have so many more things that are straight up Honor Roll. What is it about feeling defeated that sometimes turns into feeling triumphant? I'm going to say the cheesy thing. It happens when, at the core of all of these fears, the thing you have to hold onto is loving yourself. So when all the fears come to pass, you still have that.

So crash and burn is fine by me. I'm going to strut out of there right after tho.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Barber Always Cuts Twice

Remember how I made you suffer through my tale of woe the last time I got a haircut and it was a bad one? Remember how I promised that I would not talk about my hair for a long time? Did you believe me? GUESS WHAT. That shit happened to me AGAIN. Even worse this time! MOTHERFLIPPER. Haircutters of America! Why you hate me like this?

I should have known something was up. Ms. Choppy told me, as she was washing my hair, that she liked the movie "Her" because she felt like it had interesting things to say about people and their relationship to technology. Then she paused and said: "Well, at least it speaks to people MY AGE." So, she and her scissors clearly saw me as older than dirt. This was a clear sign that I was getting an old lady haircut and I guess I am lucky to have escaped before she gave me a full Szbornak.

So, once again I am feeling frumpy, and also annoyed that I am so annoyed. THE UNIVERSE IS TRYING TO TEACH ME TO BE HUMBLE. Joke's on you, universe. I am far more vain than a few old lady haircuts will cure.

In other crankypants news, I would like to implore the restaurants of the city to please learn how to make a decent cup of tea. All that preciousness about coffee and you can't teatime halfway proper? It's disgraceful, really.

Crikey, people. I think my haircut is taking over my brain.

Grandma out.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Consumables #84

It's still technically Oscar week, so let's talk about some movies I have seen lately, shall we, my lovelies?

Enough Said
God DANG it that Julia Louis-Dreyfuss is charming. And James Gandolfini is too, all schlumpy and romantic. This is one of those movies where I didn't really care about the story, or the setting, or the themes, but I just found the people interesting to watch, especially that Elaine Benis. Plus! Bonus Tavi Gevinson as lonely teen. Other bonus! Eve Spawn-of-Bono Hewson as Gandolfini's kid. This type of movie seems like the future of mainstream romcoms. At least I want that to be true.

Captain Phillips
Whenever I see a movie that is set on the ocean all I can think is what a fer-reaking pain in the ass filming must have been. All those boat shots, having to reset for takes? UGH. When I am a famous filmmaker I shall not be making ocean movies. Unless maybe if I do a remake of Waterworld. There are some things that are just worth it. This was fine as movies go, and I liked that even though Phillips is obviously the hero, he is clearly terrified the entire time, and so are the pirates too, even through their swagger. None of this "get off my plane" Harrison Ford ridiculousness.

All is Lost
Ok, first of all, Robert Redford is what? 200 years old? This was such a physically demanding role and he was kicking the shit out of it. I mean, go to TOWN, Bobert! I was impressed. I really liked this movie a lot a lot a lot. It had that sort of rhythm that Gravity has where shit goes wrong and he has to fix it and then another thing goes wrong and he has to fix that and so on, and apparently I like movies where things break and need to be fixed. I believe Nordic Boy has rubbed off on me or something. I found this one to be much lonelier than Gravity, and more despairing, and it didn't have the dumb script problems that Gravity had. Redford isn't narrating himself the whole time (sorry, Sandy, I still love you) which was so much better. And I liked that plot background was left out completely. Good one, Hubbell.

Blue Jasmine
If it wasn't for Galadriel (I know her name is Cate Blanchett but she's always Galadriel to me) I would not have had any time for this movie. If I want to see rich people being awful, I shall watch Real Housewives. Also? Woody Allen needs to stop trying to write working class people. But Cate! You so compelling.

August: Osage County
Ok, on the one hand, I am happy that we are at a place in history where women characters can be anti-heroes. I am also happy that this movie is chock full of lady folk. HOWEVER. The number of hysterical, shouty ladies in this movie is TOO MANY. It was sort of ridiculous to me. So, August: Yellage County: an eye roller.

12 Years a Slave
This has nothing to do with the movie itself but I have to tell you it irks me when people say that they won't watch this because it's too hard. Having to spend a few minutes of your life honoring the lives of people who have suffered by listening to their stories is something I am pretty sure you can do from the comfort of your couch. If you don't want to because of some other reason, ok. But that reason? I am judging you, just a little bit. I thought this was just an amazing, amazing movie.

Nordic Boy seemed 100% sure that when he is old he is going to be just like Bruce Dern in this movie, which, to tell you the truth, I can kind of see that. Those Midwest scenic shots- well, you know how much of a sucker I am for that stuff. I really love it when there are movies about elderly people that don't infantilize them, and there are lots here. Also Will Forte! Who knew he had such a melancholy, expressive side? Loved it.

The Bling Ring
I know Sofia Coppola tends to make mood movies- high on ambience, music, and a feeling and short on plot, but this one takes the cake. Kind of nothing happens. The premise of the movie is that a bunch of LA teens who are obsessed with celebrity culture start robbing celebrity homes. And...there's no more. Nothing else happens. I am ok with this sort of movie making but I can see how that would drive some people crazy. I would actually argue that the repetitious nature of the movie reflects the moral malaise of the characters. I JUST SAID MORAL MALAISE LIKE AN ASSHOLE, MY FRIENDS. Maybe I just liked it because my beloved Hermione is in it. One more thing: I could NOT believe how many celebrities had no security at their homes and were straight up leaving their doors unlocked. That is the kind of thing where, if this wasn't based on actual events, I would be like NOT CREDIBLE. But apparently, stars don't know how to lock their doors. So weird.

Catch yous laters, friends. Have a loverly weekend! Let's dance.

John Newman, Love Me Again

Friday, February 28, 2014

Tired-ish, maybe? A little?

As a kid, there were things that my parents (like all parents) instilled in me without ever saying them out loud, things me and my sibs soaked in just from seeing the way they were in their lives. One of them is that my parents never, and I mean never, talked about being tired. I do not know if this is a cultural thing, or if it is an immigrant thing, or if it is a generational thing, or if it is just a them thing, but the words "I'm tired" never passed their lips. I remember when I was little my dad was working three jobs and I would see him at night when he got home from one and got ready to go to another and my mom had been with the four rugrats all the live long day. You know they were wrung OUT. But they never said it. They didn't even act it. At least not that I ever saw. Now, as a grown ass woman myself, I realize that I have inherited this No T-Word Policy. I do not like to talk about how tired I am, and if I do mention it, I always feel a little icky about it. My siblings are the exact same way. Which feels odd sometimes because I don't know if you have noticed but people really like to talk a lot about how tired they are. Tired, exhausted, in need of recharging- these are big topics of conversation. And the more people talk about how tired they are, the more I want to distance myself from saying that I am tired too. Intellectually, I don't think either way is good or bad. You could argue that I am a bottled up tired bomb and I need to express myself before I mess myself. Probably true. I just always have this feeling though, like, even at my most tired, I am really, in the grand scheme of things, actually not that tired. I am not in a brand new country trying to support a family. I have a cushy couch to sit on. I have a house with extra rooms in it so no one has to be crammed together. Nordic Boy is no help on this score because he grew up poor (he used to sleep on a stair landing- no bed at all- as a child like Harry Frigging Potter) and has no "I'm tired" statements to make either. I remember when my dad died, my saying the words "I'm so tired" to Delium felt like the biggest cathartic statement in the world to me. That's because I am very comfortable with "I'm sad." I'm also good with "this sucks." But "I'm tired"? WHOA WHOA WHOA PEOPLE. So I don't know. Having perspective and an awareness of your privilege is good. But expressing yourself is good too. I guess the answer lies, as it so often does, somewhere in the middle. So maybe I should try to let this go a little bit.

Let's practice.

I had a horrible trip this month, which has capped off a horrible year before that. I'm tired.

(Erg, no I'm not).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Two week blergness

Is this thing still on?

I have been away from the bloggie because I have been away from home for the last couple of weeks doing something super not fun. I don't want to get into the details of not funness but suffice it to say that it involved travel, and a sick loved one, and hospitals, and the whole thing from beginning to end was awful. Sorry to be mysterious, but talking about it will just give me the voms at this point.

Instead, I shall talk around it by giving you some various thoughts I had over the past two weeks, without context. Wheee!

1. I have somehow avoided travel to cold climates in winter for many years now, and had forgotten what zero degrees feels like. MOTHERCRACKER zero degrees is not even RIGHT. It burns your lungs, and makes it feel like you have icicles in your nostrils, and it shrinks up your ballsack even if you do not have a ballsack. I remember that when I first moved to Seattle, I told people it was because I couldn't stand one more winter, and I had forgotten that I was actually telling the truth. Cold. YEE-ICK.

2. I was standing in the ICU while some serious shit was going down and I noticed that the ICU muzak was playing "My Heart Will Go On." Am I wrong or should that song not be played in the ICU, ever? Like, ever, ever? Majorly inappropes, dudes.

3. I didn't have time to read, look at tv, listen to music ("My Heart Will Go On" notwithstanding), or get any news for 10 days. I now feel like I am coming out of a bubble. Olympics what now?

4. Hospitals are food deserts, at least this one was. That cafeteria had all kinds of soda and candy but fruit? Not so much. One day there they actually stocked some yogurt cups and I almost cried.

I have been thinking about help. What do you do when someone you know needs help? Like, not just easy help. The kind of help that is inconvenient, where you may actually have to make some effort, go out of your way, make a sacrifice? Do you hesitate? Do you say "I wish I could do more, but..." I was talking to someone yesterday about how I was surprised at how few of the people around this current situation had made a big effort, and the person said back to me "well, I can understand people not feeling comfortable with that." Not feeling comfortable helping? Not feeling comfortable getting involved? Are we really that way? Afraid to get involved, even with the people we love? This makes me profoundly sad.

Today my loved one was in a compromising situation, and I am already back in Seattle and not there to help. I reached out to my pal Alli, who is a well-known helper in my life, to see if she had any ideas on what to do. She told her mother-in-law about it, and her mother-in-law is now on her way to my loved ones house to help. This woman doesn't even really know me, and has never met my loved one in her life. But she is showing up, inconveniencing herself, getting involved. Don't you just love that woman? Don't you just want to BE that woman? Next time you think you can help someone, think of Alli's mom-in-law and please just do it, even if it's messy, inconvenient, or intimidating. Isn't that the world we want to live in?

Thursday, February 06, 2014

We're Going

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up, grabbed my phone, and looked at my blog reader. One of the things settled in there, like a glowing taunt on the screen, was a little article about the fact that Baryshnikov was going to be doing a run of a recent show that he produced and starred in in California. I had read reviews of this show, and was fascinated with it in a way that I can only describe as an ache. Chekhov short story? Yes, please. Dance? Come on, who you talking to. Innovative staging? Yeah, buddy. Elements of film, music, and visual art, all woven together? Gimme. Themes of love and loneliness? YOU SPEAKETH MY LANGUAGE. Add freaking Baryshnikov to the whole thing? It is really too much. Too much!

I handed the phone to Nordic Boy and made some sort of whiney remark, and then we got out of bed, got ready for work, and went. It was a cold (ok, I know, east coast and midwest, I KNOW it's not that cold), soggy, sloggy week. I just felt drenched and clammy, physically and otherwise.

A few hours after I saw that article, Nordic Boy rang me up while I sat desoggifying in my office. "That show? In California? We're GOING," he said. Plane tickets, show tickets, done.Whu-hutt!! 

That very weekend, we jumped on that plane, we busted out into some glorious, delicious California sunshine (no coats!), we wandered around Berkeley, had a lovely dinner, and then went to the show. Front row, even!

I have had the privilege of seeing Baryshnikov perform in person many times in my life, as a child, as a teen, as an adult. I've even had the (absolutely nutso) privilege of having him see me dance one time during a rehearsal of a show he was affiliated with, once upon a time in a life that doesn't seem like mine. So aside from the brilliance of the show (and it truly honestly for realsies was brilliant), I have a lot of personal nostalgic stuff all deep in my guts for that guy. Add onto that that my dad loved Chekhov stories. Add onto that that my sweet fella looked at me so tender as the lights went down at the start of the show. There were several moments that made me cry, a lot, during that show, because my feels were so feelsy. Too much.

After the show, we strolled the streets and then had drinks at the hotel bar and talked and talked about what we'd just seen. If there is something that's better than seeing good art and then gabbing about it with Nordic Boy, I don't know what it is.

The entire trip just makes me think about the things we talk ourselves out of doing. Granted, not everyone can afford to do shit like that, and we can't afford to do it much either, but this time, instead of saying no, Nordic Boy helped me to say yes. And it was a weekend that I'll remember forever. Art and love, my two favorite things. Perfection.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Nordic Boy's 3 Part Birthday

This year, my dude asked for three things for his birthday. One: a day off work for both of us where we spent the whole day doing interesting stuff, but he didn't know what and wanted me to plan it. Two: a very low-key activity of some sort with his most favorite Seattle people. Three: a fancy dinner and a night out seeing something arty. I am happy to say that I came through for him on all three things. After months of him taking care of me, I really, really wanted to plan a bunch of stuff that was exactly as he wanted. And I did. Yay, me! (Oops, see how I turned that shit around and made it about me again? DANGIT).

We took the day off on Wednesday and I took him to a history museum which was a total score. They had old timey tools there, and old timey printing presses, and old timey factory machines. My guy likes old timey stuff in a Ron Swanson sort of way. We then walked around in the surprising sunshine and ended up on the Ferris wheel. It was good times. Thing One: DONE.

I tried to make us reservations to go bowling but the reservation lady jacked it up and so we didn't know whether we were showing up for bowling on Friday night or if we were showing up to shoot pool. I sent out an email to Nordic Boy's pals saying that all I knew was that we were going to be rolling some sort of balls around for sport, but I was not sure of ball size or rolling format. We showed up and it turned out to be pool, which was fine. If you play pool with me, Nordic Boy, or our friends, we are not pretending to be not good in order to pool shark your ass. We are really just that stinky at it. At any rate, drinks were drunk, balls were rolled, fun was had. Thing Two: DONE.

Saturday night I made us reservations at our current restaurant obsession, got dressed up all swanky, and went to stuff our faces. After that we went to the opera. Rigoletto (or "Rigatoni" as we like to call it because we are SO FUNNY) was the show. I have many things to say about that opera. First of all, it will never cease to amaze me the sheer volume that comes out of those humans. Like, it is blasting right out of their faces in a way that does not seem right at all. Second, this thing had all of the elements of an episode of Scandal- kidnapping, beating, murder, affairs, betrayal, all of it. Opera does not tone down the drama, y'all. Third, of all, I know it is a cliche but it really is true that sometimes characters in an opera take an awfully, awfully long time to die. This girly in Rigoletto got stabbed, and she sang, then she got rolled up in a bag and dragged around (NO JOKE THIS OPERA WAS THUGGISH), then she got unwrapped, and then she sat up and sang a bunch more and THEN she croaked. It was bananuts. At any rate, Thing Three: DONE.

Birthday times, over and out.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Consumables #83

My 100 Movies in 2014 resolution is going along at a rapid clip. I have watched 12 movies so far, and I am not even trying to watch at a faster rate than normal, and that seems like a lot of movies for it to be mid-January. I guess? I mean, I still eat and sleep and work and spend non-movie-watching time with Nordic Boy and family and friends and errand and do chores and exercise and do all sorts of other things in my day. Not to mention intaking copious amounts of other media like books and tv and podcasts and musics. Why do I feel the need to apologize for my movie watching rates right now and assure you that I have not fallen into a hole where my sweatpants have grown into my couch and my veins are filled with nothing but the oil and salt from too much popcorn? I don't know why, but I do. I WATCHED A DOZEN MOVIES IN TWO WEEKS WITHOUT TRYING BUT I AM STILL A GOOD MEMBER OF SOCIETY SHAME SPIRAL AHHHHHH.

Anyhoozle. Let's talk about 'em.

The Water Front
You know how Netflix has those microgenres in their recommendations? ("Classic tearjerkers with a strong female lead" or what have you). I wonder if they have one called "The People of Michigan Get Screwed But They Are Scrappy and Will Fight Back." If they do not, then they should. Think about it: you've got your Roger and Me, your Searching for Sugarman, your Detropolis. Listen, I am not knocking it, for I'm a prime audience for those movies, for sure. I am just saying there are a lot of them, which is unfortunate only insofar as there are so many ways that people are getting screwed and having to fight back about it. This one is about how water is being privatized in the Detroit area and how citizens in that area are fighting for their right to affordable water.

Big Boys Gone Bananas!*
Let me see if I can explain this. This Swedish documentarian makes a film about Dole, as in the banana company, that is critical of their business practices. Dole brings a lawsuit against him, and so he makes a film about his battle with them over the lawsuit. This is that film. Meaning, it's the film about the original film. The thing that fascinated me the most about this was the parts that showed the political process in Sweden. Which, hello, yes, me, boring.

The Island President
Another documentary (yes, I like a documentary) about Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives, who is known for his fight against climate change due to the fact that the Maldives is being alarmingly affected by rising sea levels.

Keep your expectations low on this one and you'll be fine. There are several under-explained plot lines, like one where Jodie Foster plans a coup whereby she can take over a computer program and yadda yadda she unseats the president (huh?), and I think she is trying to have some sort of South African accent (I think? or maybe I am projecting because the director is South African) but that goes horribly wrong. So just, expectations: low.

Somehow we managed to find this still playing on the big screen in 3D, and I am so glad we did. It was definitely the most captivating use of 3D that I have ever seen, although if you are prone to the throw-upsies then you might not enjoy it quite so much. I guess I had never realized it before but the thought of being untethered in open space is effing TERRIFYING. And yes, basically the whole movie is: something goes wrong, figure out how to fix it, something else goes wrong, figure out how to fix it, something else goes wrong, figure out how to fix it. But I was totally engaged with that loop the entire time. I loved that the Sandra Bullock character was not sexualized in any way (Hollywood will usually find a way to put a lady in a sexy jumpsuit if she is to go to space). Even when she has to take off her space suit and she is essentially in her underthings, they are normal underthings and the camera does not shoot her lasciviously ever, which I'm just saying hardly ever happens. There were things about the script that I could have done without, but overall, I thought it was really good. And could George Clooney look any more Buzz Lightyear? I do not think so.

Yeah, you know the drill on these superhero movies. But this one was pretty good. Can I just ask you what the deal is with Wolverine's muttonchops and crazy hairdo? Is that like, his style choice, or is there something about his mutation that makes him have those things? In this movie there is a period of time where he has grown out all his hair, and then when he comes back to society, he unwillingly gets cleaned up by his rescuers, including a haircut and a shave. Next scene, he arrives with that damn cheek-beard and the headwings. So, did he tell them to style it like that? Or did they just have to for some reason? These are the things I think about.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
I remember as a child being FER-REAKED OUT by the child catcher, but for the life of me I cannot see why now. I also have a super strong memory of the Old Bamboo song and the Doll on a Music Box song. Oh Dick Van Dyke, I heart you. And also, BENNY HILL IS IN THIS MOVIE. That just don't seem right, people.

Dancing Dreams
Documentary about choreographer Pina Bausch and how she selected a bunch of teens in Germany who had never danced before and taught them her famous piece called Contact Zone. There were many things about this that blew my effing mind. First of all, the fact that these non-dancy, non-performy teens, who had all of the self-consciousness that teens have, actually did this piece which has many parts in it where you have to make yourself extremely vulnerable and awkward on purpose, was crazy. Second of all, that the community and the parents in that community allowed those teens to participate in a piece that asks such deep questions about gender and sexuality was astounding. Europe really is less freaked out about sex than we are. It was pretty awesome.

Before Midnight
The third in the Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight set of movies, and it was my least favorite. This one had a little too much "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" talk. Plus, I get that it's supposed to be showing different sides to a multi-faceted long term relationship, but these two really do not seem to like each other much at all. Even when they were being nice to each other there were constant verbal jabs and little cruelties and not a lick of kindness. I get that relationships can be hard but I just wanted them to break up already.

The Square
Documentary about the "Arab Spring," especially focusing on the events in Tahrir Square in Egypt, this had amazing footage, told a complicated story really well, and was simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking. There was crying on my part.

Cutie and the Boxer
Documentary about renowned "boxing painter" Ushio Shinohara and his 40-year marriage to his wife Noriko. The movie showcases their struggle with poverty, their struggles in their marriage, and their artistic journey together. Noriko, who has assisted Ushio to the detriment of her own artistic career, is stepping out on her own with her artwork starring her alter ego "Cutie." Totally fascinating.

20 Feet from Stardom
Documentary that celebrates the largely unknown female back up singers that fueled Top 40 hits from the 60s through current times. These ladies got pipes, y'all. Loved it.

Woo wee. You stuck with this whole post? You deserve a dance. (Does this song seem dirty to you? "It's useful in the underbrush to have a hefty spear?" Anyone? Just me? Ok).

Me Ol' Bamboo, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Boy's Birthday

Oh my pretties! So many things.

My unlucky attempt at ice skating has left me no worse for wear, except yesterday all of a sudden my ankle felt janky all over again. On the plus side, when my ankle feels janky I get to call it my jankle. So there is always a plus side.

We spent a lot of our weekend at home this past weekend, so naturally this was the time for a rainstorm that caused the power to be out for a lot of the time. And lookit, I know my wimpy Seattle ass has no room to complain about being cold (when my mom is all "it really warmed up today! It was EIGHT DEGREES!"), but I hope it's not too annoying to say that I was feeling so much love for my furnace when that power came back on. I mean, I was marveling at the invention of all furnaces. Furnace people, I salute you!

Also, I forgot to tell you that I up and did a super un-me thing and made some New Year's Resolutions after all, yo! I honestly think this is a first for my whole life, maybe? I am fixing to read 100 books this year, watch 100 movies, and go on 100 dates with people I love. Oh and also I am going to try to take a photo every day. That's right, I have gone from no-resolution-lady to Ms. Resolution Up the Yin Yang! Go big or go home, is what I always (never) say. Actually my resolutions are less about making changes to my life (I already read lots and watch lots and love lots and photo lots) and more about counting this shit up and getting to make lists of them all. AND HOO NANNY I LOVE A LIST.

Lastly it was Nordic Boy's birthday this week and so we both played hooky for the day. We went to the Museum of History and Industry and learned us some stuff about local history like a couple of old farts (I guess you could say historic farts), and then we walked a bunch (the sun actually came out! In January! In Seattle!), and then I went to work for a few hours (oops, I only played semi-hooky), and then we went over to the Seattle ferris wheel and took a ride in that (this city is pretty pretty pretty), and then met up with Biogirl for dinner. It was such a lovely day for that dude o' mine.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Sliding On Ice, They're Watching You

Looky looky, it's 2014! Our century is fourteen, which means it is just getting acne, surliness will start to settle in, and it will spend a lot of time in the bathroom "just washing up." Ah yes.

My year has been going along pretty ok so far. I attempted ice skating for the first time in my life and it lasted a good 7 minutes or so. At that point it was time for my butt to kiss the ice, which it did. Unfortunately the romance shocked my ankle and made it so my ice skating career, at least for the day, was over. Let me ask you this, young readers. WHY do only little children get those ice skating walker devices? And also WHY do only little children get double-bladed ice skates? I saw many a whippersnapper fall on the ice and they all just popped right back up because children are made from bouncy materials. It's us older brittle-boned types that need extra help, is what I say. Anyway. As I wiped out (and hey you guys, ice is super freaking hard and causes butt bruise, in case you were wondering), all I could think was the exact same thing I thought as a child in Michigan every time I was forced to be in snowy environs and that is "I AM FROM FIJI WHAT THE HELL WHY" which is a perfectly reasonable thing to think when one is genetically predisposed to white sandy beaches and 80 degree weather. And THEN when I mention this ice skating fiasco to anyone all I hear back is about how this person broke a bone ice skating and that person got a concussion once when ice skating and another person ripped a tendon while ice skating. Like, 5 or 6 different people are telling me these things. WHY ARE WE ICE SKATING, PEOPLE. I do not understand the universe.

Anyway. Ice skating. Worst.

In other news I took my pal L to lunch for her birthday which basically turned into a symposium about Sister Wives, and if you watch that show too you know what I am talking about, Willis. I also hung out with my friend Jenny, and lastly spent a lot of time planning for the upcoming year with Nordic Boy (with spreadsheets!), because we are gigantic, festering nerds.

For those of you in the parts of the country that are buried in snow, I hope you are doing ok and that you have heat and supplies and that you aren't getting cabin fever. Stay safe, people (no ice skating). It has been making me positively warm in the heart-cockles to look at the Facebooks and see all the posts on there of people offering to make grocery runs for each other and shovel sidewalks for each other and make sure their neighbors are ok. I know some good peoples.

When Delium was a kid he thought that Hall and Oates were saying "SLIDING ON ICE" instead of "Private Eyes," and that's how I sing it to myself even now. Want to join me?

Private Eyes, Hall and Oates:

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Holidays Out, New Year In

Got gussied up, had a fancy meal, hung out with friends, exchanged gifts with Biogirl, stayed up late, spent New Year's Day in our pajimmy-jams, had a long phone chat with my mom (2 degrees in Michigan! NOT NICE), making enchiladas for dinner, and feeling the love.

Happy New Year, everyone. I am thankful for all my blog friends, and wish you a loverly 2014.

Joy to You Baby, by Josh Ritter