wolfpangs: (fairy)
I forgot to mention this in my last post, but there was something else that bothered me about Piranha, besides that one character's fate. Lord knows this is important information--it must be shared with the world--but I went to the trouble of screencapping it at the time, so here 'tis. Lemme tell you, as someone who grew up on a tourist-attracting lake, you don't do this before going in the water, unless you want this to happen. TYVM.

And I've continued to see other movies. [NB: Internet and/or TV service is still kind of hinky here, hence my movie binging and also absence from the internet.] I saw Daydream Nation the other night and while I thought the story was kind of muddled and don't even get me started on the dodgy CGI, I have not related to a character more than I related to Caroline in a looooong time. The trailer:



I also saw The Violent Kind, which I really wanted to like, mostly because the poster is beautiful. [I am nothing if not a serious movie fan. Also, "From the producers of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'Halloween'" means nothing unless we're talking about the originals.] Alas, no. The story seems both draggy and too short--by the time our two groups meet up and the real action kicks in, it feels like they've had to cram in the rest of the movie to fit. And the story--woof. It plays like someone fell asleep during a Sons of Anarchy episode and then woke up later in the middle of Sometimes They Come Back (or if you like, Sometimes They Come Back...Again) and then dreamed they were part of the same movie.

Goodnight!


Tully: Who's Franz Bettmann?
Geismar: Bettman, von Braun...the Kraut brain trust--the guys that built the V-2s.

I had two reaction to this exchange. First, I shrieked out loud. For the past semester (now thankfully over), I've been taking a class in which our sole grade is a mammoth research paper. [So blow that paper, blow the class.] Theoretically, you can choose any topic, but because so much of the paper depends on research, most people choose to cover something Alabama-related (so they can visit relevant archives in person). I chose one of my pet topics, the German rocket engineers who were plucked out of post-war Europe and planted right here in Alabama--the "Kraut brain trust" Clooney's character is referring to. It's good to choose something that you really, really like because you will grow to be really, really sick of it. I went through so many sources--Triumph of the Will, Twilight Zone episodes (and this one, countless newspaper and magazine articles, books in English and German, etc. Wolfram got me German research and helped me translate it. I started writing and got over half the paper done, but then I got stuck.

And then finally, in one grueling day, I spent nine straight hours in the library at school finishing the paper. At times, I started to hallucinate. I am also pretty sure that I wrote at least two pages of it while I was not fully conscious. I snapped back into consciousness, staring at the computer screen, and two pages were staring back at me. Before this, I'd had my oral German final and I spent most of it talking about that wretched paper. My German instructor asked if I had any other finals that day. "Nein, ich schreibe..." and then I couldn't remember the word for paper, so I just made a it-was-this-big gesture with my hands, like one might make to brag about a caught fish.

It's been over a week since I finished that and I'm just now okay with talking about, hearing about, thinking about said Kraut brain trust. So I thought I'd relax a bit and watch The Good German, but I was not prepared for the exchange above. Hence the shrieking.

My second reaction was "Franz Bettmann?!" I'd never heard of Franz Bettman. I was thinking, there is no possible way that there is a German rocket scientist [who would be mentioned in the same breath as von Braun] that I've never heard of. Just ask my millions of tears last Monday. So I googled and Wikipedia said, "Bettmann is only a minor character in the film; he appears to be based on the real Arthur Rudolph." Whew. Thank goodness.

Speaking of good German (Eppy Awards, best segue 2010), I did get my Christmas cards sent out. I apologize for any errant German that sneaked in. I have to always be practicing (I will be continuing to take it next semester), so it seeps into my regular language. Also, thank you to [livejournal.com profile] gfrancie, [livejournal.com profile] commieprincess, and [livejournal.com profile] kaytethinks for the cards you sent me.

Now I am going to get back to my movie. Happy Christmas Eve, everyone.

Oh and that paper? I made an A.
Oh God, August is so beautiful.

More sentences: No, really. So beautiful. I had to restrain myself from yelping when he appeared onscreen and still, a small squeal escaped. When
SPOILER )

Braugherheads may want to wait for this on disc, because I can't remember his actually having a line. It was like, "Hey! There's Andre Braugher!" Ten seconds later: Bye, Andre!

When they were doing the authentication process toward the end, were they transmitting on Angelina's modem from Hackers*? Because I can log into Tumblr quicker than that happened.

All in all, it was completely preposterous, but it was fun (waiting for August to reappear).

Also, they showed a Green Hornet trailer before the movie so I got to see Christoph and August and that's just good movie-making.

*"...this is insanely great--it's got a 28.8 kbps modem!"
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Look, as covered here and elsewhere, I have a lot of problems with the story and the lessons it teaches. But going to see the movies with my mom and my sister has become a fun tradition so while I'm not redecorating my room like Tanis, I am looking forward to the experience of seeing it with my family--the giggling, the candy high, the lady behind us talking to the screen.

But my mom better finish reading Eclipse before Monday (when we're going to see it) or she can't sit with us!


PS: Team Jacob!
This weekend I watched Ich bin die Andere, in which precious angel fallen to earth August Diehl plays an engineer who becomes enthralled by a woman after a chance encounter. And by chance encounter, I mean after their private parts high five.

So much of this movie left me utterly flummoxed. First of all, is the red dress/blonde hair look Carolin sports supposed to be ~sexy? Because it reminded me of this:



And I couldn't understand why Robert, August's character, found her so intriguing. Then there's the age thing. I just processed that as part of the story when the movie began, like, "Welp, he's attracted to an older woman." Then it became clear that they were trying to act like Carolin and Robert were around the same age. Nope. No.

This would have been ridiculous enough, if the audience weren't also expected to accept that Barbara Auer's character is old enough to have been Carolin's nanny. Barbara Auer is 4 years older than Katja Riemann, but she doesn't look markedly older, especially in this movie, where she actually looks younger.

On top of all this, the shocking twists were telegraphed well in advance, except for the ones that I think were supposed to be shocking, if they were comprehensible in the slightest.

August was pretty, though.

TL;DR: As I said on Tumblr, the fuck did I just watch?

..............

Um, I also watched The Runaways, which was basically a love letter to Cherie Currie from Joan Jett. It was gorgeous (Duh Aficionado: Floria Sigismondi knows her way around the visual medium) and I liked it a lot.

..............

From a teenager on tumblr: "Look at billboard charts from the early 90s; look up the songs; listen to them. Most of them have meaningful lyrics or are trying to relay a message. It wasn’t about the hottest beat, getting wasted, or talking shit about other rappers."

I knew their burgeoning interest in Nirvana would come to no good. I feel like Tom Haverford.

  • I was literally feverish last weekend, rushing through my True Blood recap for The Boob so I could get a bit of sleep on Monday before leaving for Atlanta and Conan. The fever meant that everything about the experience--the oppressive heat, Reggie Watts's act, the beach balls, the giant inflated bat, Evander Holyfield, Jack McBrayer--was very surreal. The fact that the Fox Theatre's auditorium is built to look like an Arabian courtyard under a night sky with actual twinkling stars and moving clouds did not help. There was an additional odd element in Conan's singing--well, anything for that matter but especially "Poke Salad Annie," since there were probably a few people in the audience that have actually eaten poke salad. I'd be surprised if Conan has. But we had fun and I think Coco and crew did, too.
  • I finished reading Drood finally. Drood, by Dan Simmons, is a 800-page spooky story and I'm not sure I understand the ending totally. I'm not sure if I don't get it or if I'm willfully not getting it because doing so would involve accepting that the end is a few streets over from "it was all a dream." I'm just going to pretend that it's about purgatory. But I do have one question, which was not answered to my satisfaction: Wilkie, what was in the servants' staircase?!


  • I saw some movies:


  • Mother's Little Helpers--How to make me watch anything:



    The description of the movie sounded like some sort of Loverboy sex comedy from the 80s, but the tone was different from what I was expecting and there were some great performances in this. Gallner was perfect as always, but also good was Sarah Hyland, among others.

    Splice--There is a certain part that has upset some people, I know, but I found an earlier part, when Elsa tries to cure Dren's "species confusion," much more upsetting. I thought the characterization was paper-thin. One of Conan's writers said that you can always tell when a comedian bombed a joke because they bust out a "shit's crazy, though." That's what the idea that Splice provokes discussion about genetic engineering or abortion or family is like to me, in that it provokes discussion only so far as "Genetic engineering...shit's crazy, though." It may refer or allude to these things but when we get there, it doesn't seem to have very much to say. When we have a discussion, the audience shouldn't have to provide all the conversation. TL;DR: I wasn't very impressed by this.

  • Personal life stuff...is personal. I have some stuff going on. Legal stuff. Idk, I can't really talk about it, for legal reasons. But anyway, in the actual personal part, as in my feelings, let me just say that I've seen and read and heard from some of you about your feelings--feelings of despair, feelings of sadness, etc--and in the manner of the famous bit from The History Boys, consider this part as my hand taking yours.
I should really be studying for my anthropology test. Actually, I should have done that last night instead of building an emergency pug portfolio for [livejournal.com profile] zooby. Priorities, man! Before I get back to that, movie talk!

This weekend I finally finished watching The Carter, the documentary about my bb Lil Wayne. It was cramazing. The trailer:






He should be dead within 30 seconds. The werewolf heart is about two-thirds the size of a human's. But in order to shrink, first it has to stop. In other words, he has a heart attack. All of the internal organs are smaller, so while he's having his heart attack, he's having liver and kidney failure, too. If he stops screaming it's not because the pain has dulled; his throat, gullet and vocal chords are tearing and reforming. He literally can't make a sound. By now the pituitary gland should be working overtime, flooding his body with endorphins to ease some of the pain, but that too has shut down. Anyone else would have died of shock long ago. But it won't kill him and that's the thing I find most remarkable. It drags him through the fire and keeps him alive and even conscious to endure every second. Nothing like this could just evolve. This...is the finger print of God. An impossible lethal curse spread by tooth and claw, victim begets victim begets victim. It's so cruel, it's...perfect.



For Valentine's Day, my present was seeing The Wolfman. I was very excited about it, because a) it is relevant to my interests and b) in the past week, I've been kind of struggling with the thought that I may have unleashed a monster on the world. You know--same ol', same ol'. (My ex-boyfriend is embarrassing!) Anyway, there's no possible way I can be objective about the movie, particularly since I spent most of it looking like this: :D

Thoughts: It was bloodier than I expected it to be. I loved the furnishings of Talbot Hall, minus the leaves on the floor and the cobwebs (I kept getting distracted, thinking, y'all need to clean). I also loved Emily Blunt's forest-runnin' dress, which I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda already has screencapped and cross-referenced ("...cornflower crepe de chine with a hook-and-eye closure..."). At the gypsy camp, did every other dude look like Bret McKenzie or was that just me? There were about 500 jump scares. But overall, I didn't find it that scary. I dunno, werewolves just don't frighten me.
This was a week full of surprises! First, I watched the activities at Gobbler's Knob (heeheehee) live online. I watched it full screen on my monitor at work while B sat there next to me reading the paper. It was longer than I thought it would be (TWSS), mainly because there are like, 20 guys in the Inner Circle and everyone has to be introduced. Then they opened the door in the tree stump and brought forth the famous timorous beastie who, of course, saw his shadow. [Gen. Beauregard Lee, the southern version, did not see his shadow. He does, however, hold a doctorate in southern groundology. I'm jealous of a rodent's fake degree.] Some time later, B goes, "When are they going to do the groundhog thing?"

"Um, an hour ago."
"What?!"
"Yeah, it was like an hour ago. I was watching it on the computer."

She thought I'd been watching a movie. I don't know what movies she thinks I watch that involve a bunch of men in top hats handling a groundhog.

After that, I rushed home to catch the Oscar nomination press conference, which went by quickly. I have Basterds in my heart, but I'm amenable to The Hurt Locker taking the top spot. I'm undecided on Best Actor. For Best Supporting Actor, my bb Christoph Waltz, obviously. I have absolutely no opinion on the Actress categories and in fact, am kind of whelmed by the nominations. I think it speaks to the dearth of opportunities for actresses that those are the best choices they could come up with. Everything else, I'm mostly ambivalent about except I'd like The White Ribbon to win in its categories.

And then FOB maybe is/maybe isn't together anymore? Between that and NKOTB's appearance on Fallon, my inner teenager had a very tumultuous week. I am kind of bummed about it, I guess, but I've had the feeling since "What A Catch" that the end was near.

Thursday, I skipped my last class and that turned out to be a good thing because my alternator crapped out while I was careening down the interstate. My display dimmed, I noticed the wipers were slow, the radio shut off, and my speedometer plunked to zero. "Are you still able to drive normal speed?" my mom asked after I frantically called her. "I have no idea how fast I'm going!" It was a good thing that I skipped class because if I hadn't, that might have happened much later, when there would have been less help available. They sent a tow truck for me and now I'm driving the "courtesy vehicle," which is a ginormous Crown Vic. With "COURTESY VEHICLE" printed on each side. And an Auburn sticker on the back window. :(

Friday, I awoke to a call from work, asking me to come in and help fix an issue with one of the door locks. "Are you the maintenance man?" my mom asked. Yes, and tech support and human resources investigator.

In two days, my bb Lil Wayne goes to jail for a YEAR. :( x infinity. I'm not sure how this benefits society, but I'm sure someone on Twitter can misspell it for me.



Also, this week I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which was excellent, and saw the movie version, Men That Hate Women, which was less than excellent. It wasn't a bad movie, but I really didn't like some of the choices they made with the story. I understand that they had to condense some of the plot, but they also made changes I was not pleased with and in some cases, didn't seem to be for any reason--like changing the names in Harriet's date book (and the numbers they corresponded with). Why? And I hate the "I'm going to break into the suspect's house to see if I can find anything" trope. What do they expect, a note on the fridge all, "Remember not to mention you killed that girl"? I also thought the characterization of Lisbeth especially was lacking compared to the book, where you get a better sense of her motivations. And man, poor Henrik. Anyway, it was well made, but I preferred the detail you get with the book

I also read Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home For Girls Raised By Wolves*, but I'll talk more about that later, because now I have to go mine in the sleep caves.

*Now I'm reading Elizabeth Clark's thesis on female werewolves. Eee!
Last week was stupid:

a) Violent Films class turned out to be not so great.

I dropped my violent film class. Perhaps I will take it at a later time, but this semester, having a class from 5:30PM-8PM is just not feasible. Plus, I wasn't that thrilled with the instructor. For one thing, he needs to distinguish between fact and opinion. I saw that same remark on ratemyprofessors, but usually that's just code for "told me I was wrong." In this case, he sets up questions with debateable answers as if they require fact-based answers. Like, "Which film is the pinnacle of betrayal movies?"** I didn't realize we'd had a definitive vote. Also, I didn't really care for his attitude, the way he was dismissive of movies that he clearly hadn't seen, among other things. He said that Hostel was an example of "as violent a film as you could think of," and at first, I was like, you need to see more movies. Then, he seemed to think that Hostel had a limited release (?), and made no social statements. Later, he told us that we'd need to read legitimate critics and not the "Live At Channel Five" kind of stuff or people like Ebert. Um, excuse you. But the biggest crime...we spent the last half of the class watching Gomorrah, which I'd been wanting to see, but hadn't gotten around to yet. It came out last year, but its release, unlike Hostel's, actually was limited. We didn't finish the movie by the time class was almost over, SO HE TOLD US HOW IT ENDED.

My pearls shattered from the force of my clutching them.

[I dropped the film class for Psychology and Law, which seems interesting so far, although I involuntarily make a face every time the teacher refers to his libertarianism. I also have that problem in Early Republic when the teacher refers to Alexander Hamilton. In P&L, we have to use this thingy called an iclicker. It's like a remote and we use it to take pop quizzes and answer impromptu polls, much like the electronic trivia games they have in certain restaurants. It's kind of fun.]
b) Had to stay at work TEN HOURS to fix malware-related issues [I came back to work from the weekend to find it had messed up agaiRAGE STROKE].
c) Car wouldn't start [because I was like, "Heh, I'ma go crank up my car since I'm about to leave"...two hours later, I finally got to leave].
d) I know some other stuff went down, but I've apparently already blocked it out. Oh, I bought a new workout shirt and it gave me a rash.

The weekend was great:

a) Since the week was rough, I planned a soft weekend: nothing but watching movies and maybe reading and working on this cross-stitching project I've been thinking about for a while. The second season of Being Human just started too, so that was nice. I think I may recap it for Boob Tube.
b) I watched World's Greatest Dad, The Hurt Locker, and Up in the Air. I liked all three.
c) It kind of makes me laugh that people are apparently renting World's Greatest Dad and just expecting it to be a heart-warming Robin Williams family film. They are apparently missing the fact that it was written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. And that it's about [minor spoiler] a high school* poetry teacher whose obnoxious teenage son accidentally dies in an autoerotic asphyxiation accident.
d) The Hurt Locker, although outstanding, was perhaps not the best movie to watch in my sensitive state. Why I decided to follow that with Up in the Air, during which I sobbed like a little girl at the firing sequences, is beyond me.
e) I went out for dinner with my mom and I've been daydreaming about the baked crab ever since. So yummy.

Things that make me want to punch myself in my nonexistent balls:

a) Owl City, esp in that one song where he's like "I keep them in a jar." I believe it's called "Firefly Snuff Film."
b) The Tonight Show shenanigans
c) This weekend's episode of SNL
d) About this Avatar win: Now, I wasn't that upset about it winning...at first. I did think that The Hurt Locker deserved it more, but I dunno. I was feeling pretty mellow, I guess. I was probably still half-asleep. I was only slightly annoyed when James Cameron spoke Na'vi because of course, he's going to speak Na'vi. But when he wanted everyone in the room to give themselves a round of applause for having such great jobs, oh golly gee?



Things about the Golden Globes that did not send me into rage comas:

a) Hey, Christoph Waltz: Are you an ass scientist, because your ass--blah blah blah, you get the point.
b) When The White Ribbon won, I "Woo!"ed embarrassingly loudly.

...also, after the Golden Globes, I watched Aziz Ansari's standup special, which I'd DVR-ed and laughed so hard it made me dizzy.

*Said high school's mascot is, of course, the Fighting Pugs...Tanis.
**The answer was Donnie Brasco.
I read Shiver by [livejournal.com profile] m_stiefvater and I really liked it. It's like Twilight if Edward were a werewolf and Bella had friends and purpose and actually acted as a protagonist in her own life and oh yeah, they actually had sex. So...not so much like Twilight after all, I guess. It was a fun Y/A time and Maggie Stiefvater is a lovely person. Her last name is pronounced "Steve Otter," by the way. How I picture Steve Otter, below:



The book starts with Grace's memory of being dragged from her backward swing by a pack of wolves, which had the effect of dislodging a memory I'd misplaced. I was attacked by a wild dog when I was about six. It dragged me away. I had a bite print on my foot for the longest time. I say I misplaced the memory because it wasn't as if it were so traumatizing that I repressed it. Even at the time, I wasn't scared. [At first I was like, "Oh no!" but then I was like, "This is a story." And a good one.] But I hadn't thought about it in years until I read the book.

Now I'm reading Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow and watching Das weiße Band nervously because I know what Michael Haneke is capable of. I'm also planning to watch The Hurt Locker today (and maybe go Christmas shopping later), so apparently I'm also planning to have the most stressful day possible. Maybe I'll go see Antichrist, too. Or wrestle a bear. Play Operation. On a high wire. That's part of a Rube Goldberg device.

But first, a conversation that pretty much sums up my experience with Avatar:

My Mother Talks To Her (Male) Employee, A Play in 1 Act--

[This employee went to see Avatar with another male employee. They are not a couple.]

Employee: Usually [he] and I talk the whole time during movies [Editor's Note: Ugh], but we didn't say a word.
My mom: Did you hold hands?
Employee: No, but it was so pretty that I wanted to.
Okay, I was already unnerved by the most recent issue of Out because the last time I saw that kid, he was literally, a kid--the kid in About a Boy. (I haven't seen Skins, sorry. I'm only now getting caught up on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia...it's gonna be a while before I can get to Skins.)

Shortly after my hip stopped creaking at that, I saw this picture from Nowhere Boy, the John Lennon biopic, and who is that second from left playing McCartney? Oh, just the little boy from Love, Actually. Whoa, okay.

So, since then I've been poking around looking at other photos from the movie, the trailer, and whatnot--as George is my favorite, I wanted to see the kid playing him, for one thing. Then a stray bit of gossip concerning the lead actor and the director caught my eye.



This is too much for me. I need a Bex and a lie down.


Dear Diary,

Yesterday I was walking to class when my earphones shorted out in one side. I was annoyed, mostly because I'd planned to pass the almost two hour gap before film class by watching a movie. Then, as I walked into the building for my first class, a few classmates of mine told me that class was canceled. The announcement had been posted to Blackboard about the same time I was getting on the interstate. It was starting to seem like a 40 degree day.

I checked the Barnes & Noble website (they're our school bookstore) to see if they had headphones. Not only did they carry my preferred brand, but they were at competitive prices. So, taking advantage of my extra time, I went across the street to the store. I was kind of peckish, so I did a quick survey of their snack items. To my surprise, the store stocks Muddy Bears, the odd little candy I've loved for years but have been unable to find outside of the internet. (Sometimes, the internet is just not as good as IRL.)

Later, in history of film class, we watched Citizen Kane because duh. I don't know why I was so down on this movie the first time I saw it. It really is the best. It's funny and beautiful and so sad. One thing I'm sort of curious about is the relationship Kane had with Mr. Leland. Maybe I'm looking at it through my modern eyes, but there seemed to be a hint of something besides friendship going on. I tried to consult the think tank at the IMDB messageboard, but I got distracted, somewhere in between the "omg so boring" and "Citizen Kane vs. Crank 2 High Voltage" threads. Anyway, upon second viewing, I really liked it.

So, despite my misgivings, it turned out to be more like a 60 degree day. And now I'm 3 weeks away from going back to NYC. And this local ad is making the internet rounds. Adjustment: 70 degree day.
*The other day at work, I spent about a good 30 seconds trying to decide if I could get away with saying, "There's [a slang term for male genitals] everywhere" (it was in relation to the conversation we were having, shut up). I finally decided that since I'd already talked about that one guy who tried to trick me into looking at his, the polite thing to do would be to refrain. So I still said it. I just substituted "wang" instead.

*My festival of Euro movies continues. It's starting to have an effect on me. The other day, I turned on the TV and was confused because they were speaking in English. It actually took me a second to shake the feeling! And then last night, I dreamed in German.

Oh, wait--I have seen an American movie. Sort of. I started watching the SCIFI* channel's redo of Children of the Corn but I've made it only halfway. The problem is mainly the portrayal of Burt and Vicky, the outlanders who stumble upon Gatlin's secret. Whereas I felt empathy for Gary Shepherd and Sarah Connor in the original movie version, these two? Ugh. I can't get scared because I spend all my time wishing they'd shut the hell up. It's like the part from the Twilight Rifftrax:

"That guy can't get drained of blood fast enough for me."
"You hope a vampire gets him?"
"That's one way."

I just don't understand why Stephen King feels he has to make these terrible TV movie versions of his stories when there are already perfectly cromulent to superior versions out there. Look, I'm happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but Kubrick's The Shining was the best Shining of all time! Of all time!

I also skimmed CotC 4 to make caps. I'm going to go back and probably make more, but here's two of Mark Salling, better known as Glee's Puck.

*I've been trying to do some shopping. I stumbled upon this necklace.

This is a transformative piece. It takes something that was once destructive & violent, now dead and spent, a symbol of fear, and gives it a new meaning by using it to house a crystal which is alive with positive, healing energy and is a source of light and beauty in the world.

Aw, that's nice.

And this one kills werewolves.



Now back to watching Being Human and working out scenes. And relaxing, because it's fall break.

*I will never spell it the new way.
Among the movies I watched was Les Femmes de l'ombre, which I thought was pretty good. However, I think whoever made the subtitle files was sippin' something.

Read more... )
Wednesday, I woke up feeling unwell and by Thursday morning, I could barely stay upright. I missed a day of class, but luckily, I had the whole weekend after that to recover. I was a bit worried that it'd be something more serious, but it seems to be nothing more than a cold or lycanthropy. This is the first time in a long time that I've been sick and been able actually to do all the things you're supposed to do, like rest and get plenty of fluids and feed it. It's awesome! It kind of sucks because I can't go out and do anything--don't need to spread my sickness--but I want to do all kinds of things because I'm so well-rested.

Instead, I'm having to confine myself to indoor sports, like movies and homework. Registration for spring semester will open next month, so I wanted to go ahead and plan out my schedule, especially since I didn't get to this semester and wound having to pick the bones. My tentative schedule for spring:

Religion and Crime
Early Republic, 1789-1828
American Film and Violent Society
Intro to Forensic Science

I am very excited about all of them. I haven't been able to find out much about Religion and Crime, beyond the books we're reading, but it sounded interesting. I wanted to take Early Republic since I first saw it in the catalog ("This course covers the history of the United States in its first four decades, a period designated the “early republic” by historians.")

And I was like, :D but then I went snooping on my professor (doesn't matter how great the class is if your professor is like, "Derp, what's a history?") and found that "[h]is current research focuses on early American nationalism and conceptions of national identity, with a particular emphasis on the thought of Thomas Jefferson."



AWESOME. Of course, I should start reading now because according to the last available syllabus, there are six required books, along with various other articles and whatnots. [Strap in, we're about to go super-nerd.] Of course, it kind of annoys me having to buy The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. I already own the Federalist Papers I use them as an aphrodisiac, but I guess I get to own them again.



In movie news, I watched Trick 'r Treat last night/today and I really liked it. It's very 80s style and hearkens back to the classic horror anthologies. I read that some people think it's overhyped and that it shouldn't be compared to the classics, but some of those classics are not-so-great in my opinion and you know, sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.
*This is pretty much how I've decorated my room, except with waaaaaay less Robert Pattinson. And don't put your shoes on my bedding!



Speaking of, I keep going back to this article I read in the Daily Fail about the rise of the non-threatening man-boy actor and I have to agree. I've been watching a lot of European movies and as I said to my mother, "Ugh. Why are American actors so gross?" That is not to say that they're all gross. Just a lot of them. And by gross, I mean...I cannot be attracted to a man that looks like he spends more time getting ready than I do. I'm not really attracted to men that look like they came from a blister pack. I like imperfection. One of the things I notice the most in European movies is the teeth. They're crooked and normal color--not a lot of blinding white smiles.

*Oh God, I want to go! You had me at Werner Herzog, but then: Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.

*I finally got everything settled with school. I don't really know what to say about that--I'm kind of stunned that my biggest school problem is how high the stools are in the cafeteria. [Below: Artist's rendering.]



*Anyway, I would talk more about my personal life, but I don't have one! It's all writing and school and research and Hershey's Caramel Apple Kisses. Oh, I did teach Sadie how to high five. And I'm going to the Sidewalk Film Festival this week, so maybe I can find someone to help me with my application movie for Werner Herzog summer camp and in the meantime, here's Eric Idle responding to comments left on the Monty Python yt channel:




"And Gilliam, of course, being American went to no known school at all."
*I cannot even begin to understand the trailer for Boondock Saints: Live Free or Huh? Hard.



Isn't Billy Connolly Scottish? Aren't the Saints Oirish? Clifton Collins, Jr., what are you doing in this movie? What, Peter Fonda? Two second Judd Nelson cameo?

*Scanners head explosion*

By the way, he's not in this one (I don't think), but he was in the first one so it's relevant--we used to call our landscaping crew the Willem Dafoes, because they all looked like Willem Dafoe in Platoon.

*My Tumblr is really amusing me right now, because out of all of my online haunts, it is mayhap the clearest picture of my psyche: history junk, Batman, lusting over German actors, dirty rap music, ultraviolence, perfume, pandas, Clint Eastwood westerns...oh, and your mom.

*Dammit. I thought of something a little ago that I needed to travel back in time (and kill Hitler and) for, but I can't remember what it was.

But hey, speaking of Hitler, remember when he and Lenin used to go over to that Jewish family's house and just be cold-chillin', playing chess? Hitler's art teacher captured the magic:



By the way, the inset photo is of the chessboard they supposedly used--it's not like I'm saying, "This is what a chessboard looks like, dumplings." And I watched The Liberation of Auschwitz ("Shot by the Soviet cameraman attached to the 1st Ukrainian front, this documentation, used by as prosecution evidence at the Nuremburg War Crime Trials...") earlier, so I'm really all out of the ha ha's on this subject.

And of course, I'm stuffing all this distraction into my brain to take a braincation away from thinking about the ongoing anniversary of Katrina and its aftermath.

*So anyway, my school makes us all purchase Dining Dollars, even if we're commuter students. On the one hand, this is so annoying because I'm not a babe far from home, unable to feed myself. On the other hand, if Starbucks brings back the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, which they will if they know what's good for them, having my dining debit card will rule. See, there's a Starbucks in the library at school because stimulation.

*This comment me LOL so hard.

*Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to start focusing on my friends page. And myself. And Daniel Brühl. And August Diehl. And other fine Germanic menfolk.
Why can't I be loved as what I am--
A wolf among wolves...


As I mentioned in my last entry, I have been so freakin' busy. So busy, in fact, that I've been way more stressed out than I have been in a long time. I've been so stressed out that it's manifested itself in physical symptoms--I've been turning into a monster! I might actually be lycanthropizing.

Speaking of, Sadie has begun to growl. This is how it starts.

The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.


We are working on organizing our thoughts on Inglourious Basterds for Boob Tube, but in short: I loved it, I have a raging crush on Daniel Brühl, my raging crush on August Diehl continues unabated. The equivalent of porn to me, below:



It's clear as black and white, like a fat panda.

Don't think the birth of a panda at San Diego Zoo went unnoticed by me. I get alerts from PNN, yo. By the way, since the earthquake, 25 have been born to the Wolong pandas (currently chillin' at Ya'an). Ugh, this guy.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, Andy, a C minus in Women's Studies?
President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah, well, that class wasn't about what I thought it was about.


Mainly I've been busy with starting school, adjusting to a new school, and trying to construct a schedule I can live with. I finally settled it with women's studies, an American lit class, an online anthropology class, and my favorite, a class on the history of film. We'll be watching Un Chien Andalou (of course), so I can't wait to share my favorite story about it. Hit it, Ebert: I am fond of his practical approach to matters. Warned that angry mobs might storm the screen at the Paris premiere of "Un Chien Andalou," he filled his pockets with stones to throw at them.

PS: I am in women's studies because I wrote down the wrong room number and went to women's studies instead of the class I was supposed to be in. I ended up liking it more, though, so I switched.

We have to live without sympathy, don't we? We can't do that forever. One can't stay out of doors all the time. One needs to come in from the cold.

I read The Spy Who Came In From the Cold. What a book! I dreaded anyone asking me what it was about because all I would have been able to offer is an um-studded babble of "It's about this spy, um, who comes in from the cold...." I had no idea how it was all going to go until the last chapters and the ending knocked me flat, much like the last four words of 1984.

The Gonstad girls are all alike!

I've had an overload of family experiences this week. Last Saturday, we had a party for Sadie's first birthday. During, my dad decided that he and my uncle should take a look at my car, because I couldn't open the hood. (I hit a guy, okay?) They got the hood open, forced some things back into place (after gleefully realizing they'd "have" to chain my car to my dad's truck to do so), and checked the various fluids and whatnot, which were all low (because I couldn't open the hood!). Then my uncle declared the previous italicized statement, because one of my cousins apparently recently brushed off her need for an oil change.

We also had a memorial service for my paternal grandfather on Thursday. Most of us, I don't think, realized that it would also be used as an opportunity to remember our paternal grandmother as well (she passed over a decade ago). That was bad enough (no one was able to mention her without choking up), but they played a slideshow, which featured my dad and siblings with afros, my cousin Jana and me as FAT BABIES!!! (tm, key lime pie), and then a horrific trip through the 80s. I am glad I am nearly unrecognizable in those.
Sally Bloodbath did a lovely comic about her childhood memories of Michael Jackson*. I know there's been a glut of stories everywhere regarding him and you're probably sick to death of it all, but I encourage you to read it. I myself am overfull of the media, especially because as Jon Lajoie points out [lots of naughty words!], so much of it is the complete opposite of what they were saying when he was alive. ["'Oh, it's so sad that Michael passed away--we loved him so much.' Really, really--did you love him? Because from where I'm standing, it kind of looked like you hated him and that you called him a freak and that you wanted him to die."]

Since I was so young when I loved him, I guess I sort of thought of it as something that I'd outgrew and not surprisingly, in the aftermath of his death, I've been digging back into that music and I won't lie. It still hurts when I think that I went so long taking it for granted and when I realize again that it's all gone. Because I've long believed that it's never too late to have a happy childhood, who now has their very own keyboard t-shirt a la the "Beat It" video? This girl. I may or may not also own this watch:



I saw Funny People last night. I think the last hour and change dragged--the peanut butter game could've been cut, but thanks for the Boston terrier inclusion--but overall, I really liked it. I was struck by how lovely it was visually, but of course, when you've got Janusz Kamiński, that's to be expected. There was a mix of ages in the audience, unlike when I went to see The Hangover and felt old as balls because I was seemingly the only person who could recognize Mike Tyson on sight. I did overhear a teenage girl in my row sigh, "This is the longest movie ever." I thought of Sátántangó and its 450 minutes of running time. But that's because I see too many movies.

We've been cleaning out things and finding some letters that have been very interesting. There was one that was dictated by my great-aunt, my grandfather's sister, and it sounds like a suicide note. It also sounds like the beginning of her paranoid schizophrenia. My mother remembers when they drove her to the nervous hospital and that was a few years after this letter.

We also found a letter that must have been from one of my grandmother's pen pals. Apparently, they'd had an argument about something, because the letter (postmarked June 1965) is all about how the writer hopes that she and my grandmother can still be friends. Judging by context, the argument is over the civil rights movement. The friend says, "You've had the race problem shoved down your throat!!!"** The friend also writes, "My sister-in-law Barbara Massar went to Jackson, MS in May 1963 for CORE. My brother, Ivan Jr, the photographer, went to Selma, Ala, just recently on a job for Black Star Agency--He and Barbara and Mother were among the 'Marchers to Montgomery.'" Finally, there is also the last letter my great-grandmother wrote to my grandfather before she died. He was at Fort Benning and she died before he got it. On the envelope, written in my grandfather's shaky cursive, it reads, "Take care of this for me."

After my grandfather got the phone call notifying him of her death, he refused to answer the phone. When I was a child, we worked out a secret code of rings, so he would know it was me. I don't know why, but I just remembered the time I got chicken pox and none of the parents on our street would let their children play with me. My mom drove us to this house, my grandparents' house and my grandfather greeted us in the driveway, lipstick pox marks all over his face. That also reminds me of something that happened the other day, but I'm going to save that for a locked entry, along with the other thing that I've still to tell.

It made me laugh when I was reading the NY Times article about the New Antiquarians, because all that stuff just sounds like the stuff I grew up around and still have. Like the Andy Rooney piece about his kitchen drawer. That's my drawer! I didn't even know what the strawberry destemmer was until I saw that bit. I was thinking about giving my room a Mad Men-over and so I poked around a few places online, before realizing that I can find all that stuff--rotary phones, old embossers, etc.--in my closets. I guess it makes sense that I'm so into history. I live in a time warp.

*God knows I too spent hours alone in my bedroom dancing. Also, the key change in "Man in the Mirror" always tears me up, too.
**My grandmother got into arguments over social issues that ended in her refusing to speak to people? That doesn't sound familiar at all.
Things I've read, things I've thought, things I've done, things I've bought:

  • Holocaust Museum Attack Is an Excellent Media Opportunity For Deranged Racists: While you're at it, though, do you mind if I tell you about my interesting ideas on race? Or, barring that, at least let me look respectable in a coat and tie on your air?


  • I saw a blurb this weekend where the Operation Rescue head compared himself to Nat Turner. Let me just pry my forehead from the desk and say that if you are any abolitionist, which...not, but if you were, you're John Brown at Harpers Ferry getting a bunch of people killed. Now you and Glenn Beck, get back to history class.


  • Oh and speaking of Fox News, here's Frank Rich talking about the kerfuffle going on re: my bff Shep and his "I get crazy talk!" comments.


  • An amazing set of photos from the aftermath of the Iranian election.


  • Polidori Chocolates: Mmm, I ♥ marshmallows. PS: [livejournal.com profile] start_0ver, ahem, ahem.


  • Les Blank, with his documentaries about blues musicians and gap-toothed women, may be my dream man. Too bad he's 73.


  • Listening to: Lay Low, The Emperor Machine, Dirty Projectors, Passion Pit, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, JB Lenoir


  • Watching: Les Blank documentaries, lots of giallo, American Gothic


  • Going: To see DRH next week. To lose my mind if my knee doesn't heal right (I injured it in an incident really too unseemly to describe--there was a pop, then an ow. I don't think I tore a major ligament because there was no swelling and the pain subsided within a minute. Nevertheless, I am terrified that something will go horribly wrong).


  • Thinking about: Going to see Porter Batiste Stoltz in Florida next month. Moving to the city of angels and stolen water.

    I love summer. I have a tan and mosquito bitten legs, I watch movies by the pool and read all the time. It's like I'm 12. Er, except for the part where my two biggest concerns are my screenplay and how my tomaters are doing.
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    wolfpangs

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