Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So many things.

Sometimes Netflix and I have miscommunications. Mostly, they think I will love movies that I end up hating, like Le Cercle Rouge. This time, it was my fault, I asked for movies without looking at the dates. Instead of the charming Colin Firth/Rupert Everett Importance of Being Earnest, I asked for the 1952 version with 44 year old Vanessa Redgrave's father playing the 29 year old Jack. LAME. And, instead of the Ethan Hawke version of Hamlet I've never seen, I received a 1960 version made for German tv.

This was hardcore awful.

After I watched half an hour I could handle no more. Then, Jooj sent me an email with this little beauty also from German TV past, but the absolute antithesis to the dreary Hamlet. German TV -- so multi-faceted.

All I have to say, is THOSE CRAZY GERMANS!

Then today, while I was at work, I saw a little segment on Telemundo about different traditions for celebrating the New Year. Not being a Spanish speaker myself, I only caught every third word or so, but I am very sure that I lost nothing in translation. First, if you are hoping to travel in the new year, you're supposed to take your luggage for a walk around the block. Ok, this seems a little out there, but not super illogical. But my favorite anecdote: if you're hoping to find love in the coming year, you need to get a coconut, paint it pink and white and then kick it around your house for twenty days. On the twenty first day, you take your painted coconut to your front doorstep and throw it on the ground to break it up.

I'm just wondering where to find a coconut at this time of year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Keeping up Appearances

Just call me Hyacinth.

For Christmas, I was not sure what to do for my father. But the idea crossed my mind that sometimes "family" means feigning acceptance for other people's stupidity. So, to make it look like I'm not judging anyone (i.e. my father) for disregarding common sense (i.e. being a total moron) I made this.

It was totally fun, despite the purpose of making it. I made a stencil out of contact paper and then just painted cream linen with black fabric paint. I added batting and stapled it into the frame, then polished it off with dust cloth, like it was an upholstered piece of furniture, and little picture hanger thingies.

Go ahead and try it. It's almost too much fun. I'm going to make a variation for my cousin's adorable son, Asher. And one for you too, if you'd like.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Comcast, WTeff?

Since Saturday morning, my dear city has seen 18 inches of snow. I am absolutely loving it. We never see this sort of weather, so we are not at all equipped with snow plows, so the majority of people set off on foot, public transit or just stay in their homes. Lots of stores are closed, and most offices are closed. One can only go sledding, cross country skiing, or walking in the snow so many times, so I've spent the majority of the past three days inside of my house. I have wrapped all of my the gifts I've gotten and made for people, done a lot of cooking and baking, painted a bookshelf, reorganized my closet, and read the majority of Middlemarch, (gee whiz, I am a huge fan of George Eliot!). I have also watched all three of our netflix movies, and a few on tv. Last night, I was looking through the guide and saw "Mixed Nuts" on Soap Net, not wanting to be bothered with commercials when I own the DVD, I thought, I would pop in the movie and enjoy the Christmas flavored delight. Before I managed to get the DVD in though, I noticed that Comcast had rated "Mixed Nuts" with 1 out of 4 stars.

WHAT?!?!?! HOW CAN THIS BE? 38,000 of my friends on netflix have averaged a score of 3.1 stars out of 5--not to mention my love of it--so this whole 1 star rating is just horribly wrong.

I am partial to this movie because Steve Martin is in it, and though he is 37 years my senior, I think he is dreamy. But, Madeline Kahn, Adam Sandler, Anthony LaPaglia, Juliette Lewis, Rita Wilson, Liev Schreiber, Jon Stewart, Parker Posey, Rob Reiner, Garry Shandling, Joely Fisher, and even Haley Joel Osment are also in it. If I were to cast a comedy, I feel like these are exactly the people I would want in it. This movie is an absolute delight, and as far as Christmas flavored movies go, it is up there. I don't want to give anything away, but Liev Schreiber is so amazing in this movie, and shares a very funny dance scene with Steve Martin. And Adam Sandler on the ukulele is pretty priceless as well.

So friends, don't trust Comcast, watch this movie, and giggle at the silly.

John Galliano is pretty darn cool.

So, I don't want to admit to buying "Influence" by MK & Ashley Olsen as soon as it came out, but I did. I am, shamefully enough, a pretty big fan of Ashley and her great fashion choices. They compiled an amazing roster of subjects, and I enjoyed reading all of the interviews. Some of the interviews left something to be desired, but given the fact that the majority of their education came from the tutors on the Full House set, I feel like these girls have done really well for themselves.

I am a HUGE fan of John Galliano. For those of you who don't know or care, he designs for his own label and the couture and ready-to-wear labels of Christian Dior, so essentially hardcore genius!

I really enjoyed reading the interview that MK & Ashley did with him, there was a lot about taking inspiration from every aspect of life, which I really appreciate. This is my favorite part:

MKO: What do you find to be the most beautiful part of a woman's body?
JG: That all depends on the woman: her smile, her eyes, her neck, her curves, her joie de vivre.
AO: Who are other women you admire? You've vocalized your appreciation for the female form in the past--do you have a muse?
JG: A muse is ever evolving, ever changing, ever elusive. The perfect woman is out there, and she is many things, many moods, many women. But the one I am chasing is ever evolving, so I must travel the world to catch a glimpse of her. I am on the lifelong quest to inspire her, dress her, seduce her. A muse is a strange, elusive, and exotic thing that cannot be caught. She is a free spirit that I hope to keep up with, hope to delight.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Desert Island

Being inclined to indecision, I am not someone who enjoys games like Desert Island. I don't like to pigeonhole myself. That being said, I was talking with one of my friends about his desert island choices, because I surely refused to name any, and he got so frustrated that here I am, three days later, arbitrarily assigning things to my desert island survival packing list.

The topics were these:

1. Tolstoy's Anna Karenina
2. The complete works of Jane Austen
3. The In Search of Lost Time series by Marcel Proust (mostly because I'm halfway through now and would like to have it as one of my accomplishments to have read all of Proust, even if I happen to be stranded on an island.)
4. The complete works of Oscar Wilde
5. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

1. Rear Window (1954)
2. The Muppet Movie (1979)
3. Something with Colin Firth (Not the A&E/BBC Pride & Prejudice, because the girls just aren't cute enough "Poor Jane, in deed!" - maybe Love Actually or Bridget Jones Diary; I'm not sure, but also probably not The Importance of Being Earnest, because I will of course, on this hypothetical island, have that to read.)
4. Das Leben der Anderen/The Lives of Others (2006)
5. The Sting (1973) (I opted for this over The Way We Were because Paul Newman is in it, and I already have a chick flick with the Colin Firth pick, so sorry K-K-K-Katie.)

1. Mendelssohn's Leider Ohne Worte/Songs Without Words (preferably performed by Ilse von Alpenheim, but I could be persuaded elsewhere)
2. Dylan - either Blood on the Tracks(1975) or Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
3. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
4. The Beatle's white album (1968) (I felt the anthology would have been a cop out, though I would choose to take it all.)
5. Muddy Waters' Anthology
6. Beethoven's Fidelio (Otto Klemperer conducting)
7. Sam Cooke's Portrait of a Legend
8-11 All of Rilo Kiley's albums.

Let's face it my iPod is far more convenient than taking LPs or CDs and a device to play them with... Remember Out of Africa and the records out on safari (is it too late to add Out of Africa to the list?), the iPod would be a lot less sexy, but a lot more practical especially if we could work out some sort of solar power situation. While I prefer some of my little songs over others, I cannot say I dislike many of the 13,844 songs in my iPod, for that is why they are in my library to begin with. And if I take my iPod of this exotic journey, I can have episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Arrested Development with me, in addition to several movies I could put on there in preparation for this desert-ment. (I don't watch Lost, but perhaps I could get all of those episodes on to my iPod to have a sort of theme-night.)

Have iPod, will travel.

What are your desert island picks? This really is a lame game, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

There are no words,

except to say, it is "three times faster than walking!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just Deposit!

I still use a piggy bank I was given at age 7, that is a little pink, Nike pig with a swoosh that says, "just deposit." I think it is funny. And it has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm about to tell you.

A bunch of weeks ago, my friend Carla and I were out to brunch and we were talking about how much money smokers spend. Carla said, "Add it up, and at the end of the year, you've got a Chanel bag." This got me thinking, as Chanel always does. For my past three paychecks, in addition to saving a percentage of my pay check, I am now putting the equivalent of two packs a day into a new account to save for a specific purpose. What that specific purpose is, I'm not going to share, but it may have something to do with Hermes, a Kharmann ghia, or the continent they both come from.

I think smoking is gross and idiotic. I hated going to my grandparents' house as a child because I would come home and feel like Pigpen looked, surrounded by a dark cloud of smelly tobacconess that wreaked havoc on my little asthmatic lungs. (Although, I do think smoking looks great on film. And now I hate going to my grandparents' house for different reasons.) Nothing could convince me to take up smoking, but, these pretty ones well, they sure are cute. I found that picture here.