Saturday, April 28, 2012


(A really awful music selection to go with this post. You're welcome!)

It's a lot of whining so I'm just burying it after the jump.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunny and Inside

For those of you who don't live in San Francisco, and haven't read everything I've ever written: our weather hovers around 60. With that comes a ton of fog. It's not the worst place to live, obviously, but I tend to thrive in absurd heat. I lived in South Louisiana for a few years and absolutely adore high heat with high humidity. Never have any doubt that I'm really weird.

Because of our coastal location next to a valley, we only get about 8 days a year that aren't 60 and foggy. A few weeks ago we got a thunderstorm and everyone was like, "WTF? What IS this? I don't even..." (TK killed it writing about the thunderstorm.) Our weather is consistent: 60, foggy.

This weekend we've got sun. And warmth. Lots of sun and warmth.

None of which I am out actually enjoying.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tonight Tonight

I watched hockey in a crowded bar, made friends with twin girls from upstate New York who are on vacation in SF from Manhattan, where they now live, one of whom works at a giant financial firm. She gets her company's on the glass seats to Ranger's games. Pictures of which she showed me. She also showed me a picture of her with Ryan Callahan and asked me if I knew who he was. Bitch, please. They were adorable.

I went to an amazing pitcher's duel of a baseball game, where Matt Cain pitched 8 shutout innings and Cliff Lee pitched 10...and lost. It was such a fast game it felt like a football game. Back and forth, up and down, trying to keep track of the action. We went through 8 inning in an hour and fifteen minutes. In baseball time that's...nothing. I wasn't even finished with my first beer before there was the 7th inning cut off. A couple of hits were the difference in this game. It was uber fun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hockey Playoffs

I've mined this topic before but it just never stops being an issue in my life, so here we are again: sports fanaticism.

Tonight the hockey playoffs start. I fully and completely expect someone to die on the ice in the Pens/Flyers game. That's only slight hyperbole. It will be AWESOME. And neither of those are my teams. (Though I do sort of find Scott Hartnell's curls adorable along with Claude Giroux's Northern Canadian accent. I hate the Pens. Sidney Crosby is the most annoying superstar in sports. He flops. And he's just a little too pretty? And he whines. Which the head coach of the Rangers, John Tortorella, got fined $20k for pointing out. (Though the NHL says the fine was for swearing.))
Hartnell's curls

Anyway, my team, the Caps, start their cup bid tomorrow against the Bruins. The Bruins have Zdeno Chara who is 6'9". Without skates. I maintain that when Hollywood inevitably remakes The Princess Bride, Chara should be in the Andre the Giant role. And they have the Tea Party goalie Tim Thomas. They're scary on a lot of different levels. Oh: and though I love the Caps, they aren't that good. At least they weren't in the regular season. As every hockey player will say throughout the playoffs, "This is a whole new season." (If you would like to make a playoff drinking game, that's a good one to start with.) So ya never know, they could decide to not suck at hockey in the playoffs. I'm not overly optimistic but I'm not generally known for my optimism. Especially when it comes to teams I follow.

A former law school classmate said something to the effect of "Oh, hockey playoffs!" I said, "Yes, I'm excited. But terrified." Friend responded, "Why terrified? It's just sports."

Monday, April 9, 2012

On Film

I've been sick this week. Miserably sick. Last night I told my body if it just wanted to die, I'd be okay with that. I'm not dramatic or anything. I have also considered a frontal lobotomy, self administered of course, if it would mean my head would stop hurting constantly*.

Being sick when you're older is just miserable. When you're a kid you somehow ignore it. It means not going to school and getting pampered by your parents who don't want you to die on their watch. When you're an adult, it just sucks. Everyone wants you to get the fuck over it. Hell, YOU want to get over it because you would like your body to work again and to not feel like a useless blob. You make promises to never again take your health for granted. You hope that maybe because you haven't really eaten in the past several days, at least you've lost some weight. I'm starting to come out of it and promise to stop whining about it but there it is.

The point is: laying around uselessly gives me plenty of time to watch crap TV. And when I run out of crap TV to watch, I turn to movies. Which led me to thinking about movies, which led me to this post. Ta-da! (Excuse all grammar and syntax errors, I'm sick.)

*Turns out my IDIOT stepfather decided to spray paint the saddle bags on his motorcycle when he had to stay up all night the night before he goes back to work. In an unventilated garage. Which happens to be directly underneath my bedroom. This MAY have contributed to the incredible headache. I know my mom picked him and all and he's a generally harmless kind of dolt but COME ON!

I've tried writing about movies before but it usually ends up being some big rambling mess that is essentially "Go watch everything ever, especially if it is on TCM, stars Cary Grant and/or Jimmy Stewart, was directed by Capra/Wilder/Hitchcock. Oh! And don't forget the big sweeping studio musicals and westerns, especially if the latter were directed by Huston." See! Even that I can't make a short edict.

The point is: I love film. I watched Citizen Kane when I was ten, which though I can appreciate it as cinematic masterpiece, at ten figuring out what Rosebud is ridiculously disappointing. That was the start of my film watching relationship though. My dad's favorite movie is Harold & Maude, which I also watched at ten and which probably explains a) my really warped sense of humor and b) my relationship issues. At 11 I rented and sat and watched all of Gone with the Wind. ON MY OWN. No one forced me to watch a 3 hour and 20 minute sweeping epic. I did it. Which will explain some of what follows...

My love of film solidified itself in high school. While everyone else was at keggers, or doing whatever else it is high school kids are "supposed" to do, I was at home watching movies. Usually AMC, back when they stood up to being American Movie Classics, and TBS's (or TNT? They're pretty interchangeable) Dinner and a Movie where the whacky hosts made a meal themed with a movie. (I always wanted them to do the burger from Real Genius, which is a criminally underrated comedy.) I would make a plate of homemade nachos and watch movies while my parents were off doing whatever and my brother was...I don't really care as long as he wasn't bugging me. I was just the complete opposite of cool.

My film watching sense was developed during my high school years and in particular during my senior year, when my equally uncool best friend and I would get out of class on Friday afternoon and high tail it to the nearest theater to watch whatever was playing. We saw tons of stuff, both good and bad.

We also got to take a class at my ridiculous prep school called "Fiction into Film". It basically existed for seniors to take a semester long class where they got to watch movies. But it was at heart a film theory class and introduced me to a lot of techniques that I still pay attention to today. It also introduced me to Rear Window, a film I love to this day and which an amazing time lapse of came out this week.

Our teacher in that class would put a quote on the projector every day from a film and we had to guess what movie it was from. About 75% of the time I was the first person in the class to guess the film. This baseball player in our class, who I had a crush on, and was of course invisible to, would ask with such consternation, "How do you even KNOW that?!" I just grinned sheepishly. I should have said, "Because while you're out being cool I'm watching movies alone, jerk!" But I didn't. It wasn't that I'd seen The Lost Weekend yet, it's just that I had enough tangential information to know what it was and that a quote was from it. Always full of the useless information.

This whole film thing, and in particular it's relationship to my high school self, got brought up this week with the re-release of Titanic 3D. I read two reviews written, excellently, on the topic. While they brought up really salient points about the movie, all I could think, having seen that movie during our high movie watching period was, "God I HATED that movie." I hated it when it came out. I still hate it. When Michelle and I sat in a theater after school and were both at 17 supposed to be swept away by this amazing epic that teen girls were freaking out at, we both could only muster eye rolls. When I heard back then that NBC, I believe, immediately paid some inordinate amount of money to air it for consecutive years like they had done with It's a Wonderful Life I thought, "That is the dumbest! Why would you pay money for that?" Don't even get me started on that Celine Dion song.

Even though I was exactly James Cameron's demographic, I very clearly wasn't. Not to sound pretentious or above it, just as an example of constantly not fitting in, being anything like what I'm supposed to be. (Also: I very rarely watch films anymore. I watch movies. I watch awful, ridiculous romcoms and love every second of them. I haven't seen most of the Oscar winners for several years. My attention span is shot as I gobble up everything in 140 character spurts. I lack patience. And imagination. Sometimes (often) I miss younger me.)

Though it was earlier in my high school career (actually I might have still been in junior high?), I felt the same way about Forrest Gump. Geezus do I hate that movie. It's so trite and absurd and... I never understood, still don't understand, why people love it. I remember seeing it with my dad, as I sat in a theater on a Friday night filled with high school kids, an awkward barely teen myself, and we walked out, looked at each other and were like, "Wha?" All we've ever mustered to say positively about that film is that it has a great soundtrack.

But I'm not always completely contrarian about movies. There are some I quite like. For example:

What I remember vividly about my senior year of high school is Good Will Hunting coming out. Michelle and I saw it twice in the theater. And as much less of a crier then than I am now (which is impressive, really. Thanks, repressed Irish Catholic-ness!), I choked back tears in the theater. There was something I responded to about it. I also remember seeing it as the pinnacle of writing but not really understanding that until much later. I loved the dialogue but didn't have the sort of awareness then to think, "Oh! Screen writing!" There was something about it, despite being about a world that I knew nothing about, that I related to. As I thought about it as I grew older, I realized it was the writing. I still aspire to write like that. I am nowhere near. Likely never will be. But I loved that movie then and still love it now. And yes, I've heard that Matt & Ben (we're on a first name basis) had ghost writers because there is no way they could have done that on their own. I don't really care. I find the story pretty perfect. It doesn't leave me wanting more or an explanation the way most films do.

That same year two dueling war films came out: The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan. SPR was the big budget Steven Spielberg backed mega movie with the realistic storming of the beaches of Normandy scene. TTRL was the Malick directed one with anti-war overtones.

Wanna guess which one I liked better? There was something stunningly visual about TTRL that I just loved. It's light on dialogue and long on cinematography and I was captivated. I remember coming home and describing the movie as having excellent prose. My mother was like, "WTF does that even mean?" She saw it and hated it. This sums up a lot about our relationship. To this day she derides my liking of a film by saying, "Does it have excellent prose?" Family, y'all.

I've since conceded that if I re-watched SPR I'd likely find value in it. I didn't immediately disdain it the way I did Titanic or Forrest Gump, but it just wasn't my jam either. Flashy where TTRL was subtle. Even the anti-war indictment of TTRL is the most absurd. Is any movie really pro-war? "Yeah, let's do that thing! Where tons of people die! Sounds awesome!" Not exactly a sound argument.

Anyway, with it being late 90s nostalgia re-release time lately, I began pondering all this stuff and in my hazy sickness decided to share it. You're welcome, the internet!

Now since my brain can no longer handle anything besides the simplest plot devices, I'm gonna go watch a romcom and wish, as is so rarely the case, that I had a boyfriend to take care of my sick self...