Thursday, December 29, 2011

A message for Andre.

I got a voicemail this afternoon:
Hey Molly, this is Brian over here at #(9er&%DK) & F@($NS? * I'm trying to get a hold of Andre Johnson. If you could please have him give me a call at (503) ###-####.

Here's what I'm thinking happened. My friend Andre Johnson must have not been able to pay his cellphone bill this month, so he gave old Brian Mumbles my phone number, because I did pay mine, and apparently mine is a number he can remember and hand out to strangers. The slight, and I mean slight, problem with this scenario is that my friend Andre Johnson and I have never met. And I don't think he knows my phone number. And it's not super easy to remember.** Did I say slight problem? I meant problems plural that completely negate the initial statement.

So what to do? How to help Brian Mumbles get in touch with Andre? I can come up with a few scenarios of this happening.
1. Courier Chicken - chickens are notoriously better at crossing roads and less riddled with disease than pigeons.
2. I can call Brian and tell him that I've never met anyone named Andre***, better luck with any other 10 digit number. And to kiss a flying rock, because he kind of sounded pissy.
3. I can post on this interweb a message to Andre Johnson letting him know that some pissy mumbler named Brian is trying to get in touch with him. Shoot me an email and I'll give you his actual phone number.

Also, Andre, while I have your attention, your name totally reminds me of the very last scene of Waiting for Guffman. Specifically the part where Christopher Guest talks about that Wallace Shawn movie. CLASSIC. Andre, you should really watch that movie. I think you'd like it! Waiting for Guffman, not My Dinner with Andre, although hey I don't know what you're into. But, if you're going to get messages on my phone, the least you can do is take a movie recommendation.

* I didn't understand what he said, either. (Did I catch a niner in there?)
**It's not super hard either, but it's not like my buddy Nephi's old number 4949GET, which he announced one time, and his was the only phone number I remembered when I left my cell phone at my house in Provo when I flew home for Christmas break. Obviously, years later, I still remember it. But don't try to get him on that number any more. It is some guy who got super pissed one time when I called looking for Nephi.
***The closest I've come is watching the movie Andre. OR, maybe my dad, whose name is misspelled on my birth certificate. According to that my father is someone called Andres.****
****Not Andres Johnson, lest I wouldn't necessarily need to find a chicken or to post this.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Putting a call out.

Tonight at our pub quiz outing, I learned that there is a Sex and the City themed trivia night on Wednesday, Jan 18th here in Ptown. I informed my usual tv show trivia buddy Becky that we would be attending based on our mutual love of the show. She said she couldn't because she'd be out of the country for work. That is an acceptable excuse, but I am bummed. I am totally willing to go alone, but I feel like there has to be someone else out there in my life who has an appreciation of this show. It would be way more fun to go with a friend. While I totally scored 100% Stanford Blatch (twice!) years ago on an SATC character quiz, I'm not necessarily prepared to be his brand of lone wolf for a trivia night. (Although I will be wearing head to toe lime green*, and making quippy bitchy comments. I love Stanny - but 100% TWICE?) "Who's that weird girl sitting all by herself getting all of the answers right?**" or worse "No you may not join our group." So, please let me know if you if you like this show, have ever watched this show, or would be willing to be my friend and sit by me for 90 minutes or so downtown whilst I go in to "Competition Molly" mode.

*I will not be wearing head to toe lime green.
**I can't promise a trophy, but I will say that I've gotten trophies at two out of the three*** tv show themed trivia nights I've attended. Also, I really know this show. Don't you want a trophy??

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Have You Heard: The Mynabirds

I had my iTunes shuffling like mad as I cleaned my room tonight. (Who can say "TOO MANY PROJECTS"?) I was reminded of my deep and abiding love for songs like Garth Brooks "Calling Baton Rouge" (judge away) and basically the entire contents of Menlove Ave. by John Lennon. But when it shuffled on over to Buffalo What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, I was like, what is this? I've had the Mynabirds on my laptop since May of 2010, and I'm not at all sure if I've ever listened to this album before. (I once heard that your library should be full of 2/3 books you've read and 1/3 books you plan on reading. Perhaps my iTunes library should be thusly filled also?) Numbers Don't Lie by The Mynabirds on Grooveshark
A year and a half later, I like it. And I'm now super obsessed with Laura Burhenn's voice. Singing one of my favorites by the Zombies:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

It just isn't Christmas without David Sedaris!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My question is this:

How is it that out of all of my friends who troll the internet with a tenacity and stamina I'll never come close to reaching, and then email me whenever there's something new featuring Ryan Gosling, that I had to find this by a complete fluke of click click clicking away on the internet looking for something else? Drunk History* and Ryan Gosling are two of my very favorite things.

F MINUS, friends!**

In other news, I'm suddenly in to the Christmas season a lot more than I was earlier.
Wayne Coyne helped too. 

* Remember when I told you to watch the Drunk History series on October 18, 2008?
**Actually, F Minus me for never knowing about ANYTHING that is happening on this interweb without one of you lovely people telling me about it first.***
***Why yes I did put that in a footnote that no one reads.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have you heard--Christmas edition

So, I am a bit of a grinch this year. I'm ok with it. Even when I wish I weren't being such a curmudgeon about people cutting down perfectly good, oxygen producing trees to put in their houses for three weeks, then chucking it out to the landfill.

It's not that I hate Christmas, or really even Christmas music. I'm just not that festive of a girl and I'm just kind of over this holiday. Well, I am over Christmas decorations which can go tacky so, so quickly. (How is having a big blow up Santa or projector on your garage door saying "Happy Birthday Jesus!" ever a good idea?) I am over seeing Christmas paraphernalia in stores starting in August. And I'm over going to the mall to try to find generic mass-produced items for people I see a couple times a year. I am having a great time trying to figure out what to make people for homemade Christmas. I will read Luke 2 and be grateful for the birth and life of the Savior of all mankind.  

I'm really over several radio stations playing only Christmas music starting before Thanksgiving. Seriously, Charlie? You were my go to workday radio station with your fun 80s dancey songs with no repeats all day long, but then all Christmas music? Especially since there are like twelve Christmas songs that everyone and their jingle cats* sing. And then when people do write new songs, they are terrible. I can't take it.

But let's talk music that's not terrible and doesn't make me want to punch every zealous Christmas fan in the esophagus. 

One of my favorite choral pieces ever, also happens to be a Christmas song. 15 of my contemporaries in high school and I sang this song at Riverside Church at a competition. It sounded awesome. (How could it not with the acoustics in that place?) And we won.

There Is No Rose by West Jordan Madrigals on Grooveshark

This next isn't exactly a Christmas song, but it's a winter-flavored song about Christ.
There Will Be Rest by Vocalis Chamber Choir on Grooveshark

And now for the secular fun.
I am still unsure how I made it through so many years of life not knowing that The Christmas Waltz was a song. Until Jenna on 30 Rock sang it, I had never heard it. And then I found that my old friend Nancy Wilson sang an awesome version of it, it was kind of a win-win for me.
The Christmas Waltz by Nancy Wilson on Grooveshark

And Otis Redding. Who can go a day without Otis? Not this girl!
Merry Christmas Baby by Otis Redding on Grooveshark

*Why yes my family did have this CD circa 1994. And if you clicked on that link, I would like to apologize to you. You didn't deserve that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Making a list and checking it twice

I can't imagine what the impetus of the list was, but Holy Unrelated Words, Batman! Nevertheless, I spotted this today in a conference room at a middle school, and couldn't help but document it.

Directors: Wes Anderson

Another post to defend my directorial choices to Judgey McJudgerson James.

I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone that I am a lover of quirky things, fastidious dedication to detail, and downplayed humor, and with Wes Anderson you get all three wrapped in a beautiful 2-hour long experience. When truly, truly pressed for an actual favorite film, I will say The Royal Tenenbaums (but that is only when I can't give a much longer list, or at least a list that can include Clue and Rear Window--but that is just because it seems the most academic of the three, and we all know how pretentious I am.) But it really is super high on my list. It's a movie I can watch in any mood. It's a movie I've written at least two different term papers on. (The one for 102, I turned in on pink paper as an allusion to the pink walls of the Tenenbaum house. How nerdy am I?)  I love Bottle Rocket. I love Rushmore. I love The Life Aquatic. And after a couple of viewings, I love The Darjeeling Limited. And what's not to love about The Fantastic Mr. Fox? (Owen Wilson explaining the rules of 'Whack Bat' alone!)

Like Woody Allen, Wes Anderson uses the same font*- futura - for all of his credits. He also has a lived in/beaten up luxury feeling to all of his films. But to be somewhat brief, let's just focus on The Royal Tenebaums, ok?

To anyone paying any sort of attention to set design, Wes Anderson is a master. The house on Archer Ave. in The Royal Tenenbaums is not only beautiful and intricate, but it has a visual story and gives us background that supports the action. The decorations on the wall are as old as the emotional baggage that accompanies each member of the family, and like the unaddressed feelings, the decor remains unchanged in a state of arrested development.

Can we talk about costume design?  How awesome it is to have GP running around in Lacoste polo dresses and barrettes, just like she did as a child, but now adding a fur coat and a Birkin (and that wooden finger)? Or how Chaz and his sons live everyday in matching red track suits, presumably to be spotted quickly in the event of another tragedy. Or Eli's urban cowboy look ("And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight") I die. Again, it is a visual cue that supports the story and enlightens us about the characters.

The soundtrack is so amazing also, but not just because homegirl over here loves Me & Julio, The Clash, and Velvet Underground. Every time Eli is doing something drug related The Clash plays in the background. Or the music during [SPOILER ALERT] Richie's suicide attempt is Elliott Smith, and afterward Nick Drake, both of whom were severely depressed and suspected of suicide, though Elliott Smith's didn't happen for another two years after the film came out. Or when Margot's leaving Raleigh for home and her ice cream outing with Royal are both served by Vince Guaraldi's 'Christmas Time is Here' - a song that is in direct counterpoint with itself, such happy lyrics to such a mournful little tune that it provides the perfect background for the extremely strained relations between father and adopted daughter.

You can have a beautifully decorated movie without any real substance [cough James Cameron cough], but Wes Anderson doesn't do that. This is a story about the greatest aspects of our human condition - seeking and then finding acceptance, learning how to be satisfied with yourself and daily victories great or small, and most importantly seeking and then finding redemption. Royal starts out on his journey looking for a place to go because he is broke. He ends up learning how to forget his selfish desires and focus on the well being of his children and estranged wife. As a result, the rest of the characters are able to progress past their self-imposed barriers and paralyzing expectations of genius.  Hopefully we as viewers and thus participants in the story get a little closer to that too. And with that we leave this fictionalized and stylized New York.

*That paper for 102 on pink paper was in futura. I am pretty sure that was the only time I strayed from twelve point courier.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Ribs numbers 7 and 8,

Lungs and I have been talking and we would really, really appreciate if you quit your protest and go back to your non-dislocated selves. I'm not going to lie, you're kind of making things uncomfortable for us, I mean it has been a week. And we'd like to not become addicted to these muscle relaxers we're on - not that they don't have their upside. Life is just so much better when you two are where you are supposed to be, and I'm completely sober.
You guys really are unsung heroes. Without you, my thoracic cavity would be in great disarray. Please don't think I'm not grateful for what you do, just because I don't necessarily think of you. You've made your presence known. I promise to give up the fight club if you two would just stay where the chiropractor puts you. Deal?

The drug-induced Molly.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Have you heard: Omar Velasco

I was reading my friend Melinda's latest blog entry and over on her side bar, she had a link of what she's listening to these days. One of which was a link to Omar Velasco's video, You, The Rain.

Color me obsessed. (Although it may have a little something to do with his hair/vest combo.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Directors: Preston Sturges

Ever since last week's post about directors, a lot of my friends have been talking to me about Preston Sturges, either telling me what their favorite movies are of his, or asking me who in the world he is. In an effort to fill up the latter's  queues with totally delightful movies, let me introduce you.

In high school when I discovered AMC (back before Ted Turner owned all of the rights to every movie ever and AMC played movies older than the Godfather,) and devoured all of the old movies I could, I somehow totally missed Preston Sturges. At BYU, one of my professors showed us Palm Beach Story and I was absolutely done for. We talked about how he was the first writer-director since sound entered the movies, how he shaped how screenplays were purchased, and how he invented narratage. This is all fine and well, but what makes Preston Sturges so amazingly delightful is how hilarious, truly hilarious, he is. The dialogue he wrote is fast and witty, but he threw in pratfalls and sight gags left and right, so it is accessible to the fans of Noel Coward and The Three Stooges alike. 

Between Orem Public Library and the HBLL with my film major card, I've seen the vast majority of his films, either written by or written and directed by, and without reservation, I can recommend to you:
1. Palm Beach Story - Joel McCrea plays an inventor with the idea of installing wire mesh over a city, much like a gigantic tennis racket, to serve as an airport. And Mary Astor has a boyfriend she's trying to shake, whose language is unknown by everyone, so she just keeps making words up for yes and no. "Nitz Toto, Nitz!" I die, every time. 
2. The Lady Eve - Barbara Stanwick is perfection. There's deceit and lots and lots of Henry Fonda falling down.
3. Sullivan's Travels - This one seems to be the highest praised of all Preston Sturges' work, but it was one of the weaker screenplays according to Sturges himself. 

For those looking to go a little deeper, watch Unfaithfully Yours, (Nobody handles Handel like you handle Handel, and your Delius - delirious.) or Remember the Night which has a slightly happier ending for Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck than say, Double Indemnity.

Still not convinced? You certainly are hard to please.

Many, many moons ago, my mother got me "Preston Sturges on Preston Sturges" an autobiography put together by himself as a sort of journal, and then his wife published it forty years after his death. It was such a delightful read. Some excerpts:
"Incidentally, when I look back over what I was exposed to as a child, I realize how extraordinarily lucky I was never to have become a (God forbid) male interpretive dancer with a wreath of gold laurel leaves around my head." p. 33
"Mr. Crowley's reference to me as "the brat" doesn't bother me because, compared to the way I refer to him, it is a compliment." p.77
"By this time she and I had fallen into the habit of one another--proximity, I suppose--and had become, without the benefit of vows or promises, a duo. She was wonderfully witty, fiercely devoted, jealous and possessed of a temper that made my temper, described by a wife divorcing me some years later as "ungovernable," seem like that of a meadow lark. Two weeks before the picture was finished, Willy [Wyler] eloped with Maggie Sullavan. He asked my opinion of the proposed match beforehand, but he must not have heard what I had I said." p. 280

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Three ridiculous apps I am borderline addicted to.

1. On Thanksgiving, my friend Casandra told me about a hilarious app called iPity. It is a bunch of soundbites from Mr. T. Hilarious. My two favorites:
2. Then a couple days later, when I got to hang out with Shara back from Texas for a few days, I told her to download Flipadelphia so that I could go head to head against someone. We were having so much fun, that I persuaded Ryan to also download it. Thanks to the powers of bluetooth and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I am now worse at flipcup than Shara and Ryan both in real life and virtually. But words cannot describe the hilarity that ensues when all of a sudden Danny DeVito shows up on the screen and says, "get lost, street rat!" interrupting your streak of flips. So good.

3. Lastly, Shara introduced me to TriviaTunes. Shara, Becky and I played and it is SO enjoyable I can hardly stand it. I have tried playing by myself, but it's just WAY more fun when it's a competition against other people. So the next time you see me, let's play! Please? I have 70s, 80s, 90s, and TV Theme songs - if you want to win, you'd better challenge me to the 90s or else have super fast tapping reflexes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have You Heard: Alberto Vazquez

A recent discovery unearthing of mine is this crazy old cat called Alberto Vazquez. I have to say, I am a huge fan of his early sixties covers of popular American songs, like this Ray Charles classic redone and Spanish language-ified.  Also, who needs a sax solo when you can use a kitschy organ? Not this girl!*

Desencadena Mi Corazón by Alberto Vazquez on Grooveshark

*I will actually always prefer the Sax to the organ, and Ray to Alberto, but Alberto is kind of delightful.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I have no response to that.

Today my Bishop told me that I was the son he wished he had.

He has sons plural, I'm a girl, and it totes made me this, even though that is not at all what he meant.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Directors: Woody Allen

Almost immediately after I posted my little survey thing, I got an email from a friend who is apparently a ginormous film snob, not to name any names (JAMES, ahem). I had no idea he was so particular. We talk about movies all of the time, (seriously, every conversation we have is about movies and nothing else) but he watches anything and everything, so when I got an email criticizing the directors I named (Rian Johnson, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola and Woody Allen) (He had nothing bad to say about Preston Sturges, for how can you ever have anything bad to say about Preston Sturges?*) I was pretty surprised.

He was actually mostly gobsmacked (my word, not his) that I didn't put down my "real favorites" Jacques Demy, Jean-Luc Godard, and Alfred Hitchcock. To which I say, why stop there? I respect a lot of directors. I kind of just arbitrarily chose five to name. AND maybe I wanted to seem less like the pretentious girl I am - so I chose fairly accessible directors. Not to be too defensive here, but I wrote that these are five directors whose movies I could watch all day long. It's not an exclusive list. (Truth be told, I wrote down the first five that came in to my head. Hitch would have been a way better choice than say, Rian Johnson with only two films so far.)

He mostly had issue with Woody Allen whom he deems totally overrated. I must argue that he is superbly prolific and diverse, and while I don't like everything he does, he's still cranking out a movie a year, after 40 years. To me that is amazing. He's an odd duck, for sure, but why not hear stories from all sorts of people?  Aside from particular movies, I love that Woody Allen has a particular signature. He always uses the same font for his credits (white windsor on a black screen) played over either a jazz standard or a classical piece. His neurotic little thumbprint is all over each movie, be it Bananas or Matchpoint. And, he's very funny. I am a fan.

So I made a chart in my journal to prepare for my argument discussion with this film snob** of titles that I loved, others not so much, and the ones I haven't seen. 

When you are in the mood for a comedy, watch Scoop or Sleeper. When you are in the market for a neurotic 'who dunnit' go for Manhattan Murder Mystery. If you just want to witness cinematic perfection go ahead and pop in Annie Hall, Radio Days, or Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

What do you think, do you love him or hate him? What's your favorite?

*Just don't watch The Great Moment -- snoozefest!
**Maybe I should say, "other film snob."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Relief Society Spotlight Survey

Like nine months ago, we asked a girl in our Relief Society to head up a newsletter. She's a clever girl, with a strong voice in her writing, and she does a good job of it. Everyone else in the presidency has been spotlighted. I was thinking (in nothing but earnest), "oh goody, I have been overlooked!" Not so, darn it. I got the survey in my inbox on Tuesday night. I filled it out and sent it back to her, because if I want people to do their callings, I should probably not be the hindrance in that pursuit.

I was not terribly forthcoming with my answers, but two I thought were kind of worth sharing.

01) Where are you from? (Did you grow up here, or in a different state?) I am from here.
   01a) If you're not originally from here, what brought you to our neck of the woods? School? Work? Family?
   01b) If school, what's your major? If work, what's the job? 

02) Siblings? I have one older brother and one half brother who is almost 3. (That's not a typo.)

03) Top five favorite books. (If any.) White Teeth - Zadie Smith, Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer, ANYTHING by Jane Austen, Middlemarch - George Eliot, and Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

 04) Top five favorite movies. (If any.) I studied film at BYU, so to narrow my list down to five is unthinkably difficult. So instead, I will give you five directors whose work I could watch all day long. Rian Johnson, Preston Sturges, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, and Woody Allen (Although with Woody Allen, I hate some and love some, but what I love, I LOVE.)

05) What are your hobbies? (Ex: Hiking? Biking? Music? Sleeping?) I love to refinish furniture, build things and renovate rooms - DIY kinds of stuff - anything where I can wear my pink tool belt. I love to bake. I love to make and listen to music. I love to laugh, laughing is my favorite.

06) Chocolate or Vanilla? Other? I will not choose between chocolate and vanilla, but I will tell you, that I love good chocolate and good vanilla.

07) You run onto a time machine, its power is failing so you can take only one trip anywhere through time and space, there and back. Where/When do you go? Why? I would go to 1:15am on October 26, 1985 -- Twin Pines Mall, where another, potentially more reliable time machine would be waiting.

08) What is your favorite time of year? Every time a new season comes a long, I think THIS IS MY FAVORITE! I suppose I'm a 'love the one your with' kind of girl when it comes to seasons.

09) What are some of your favorite foods? (Mexican? Italian? Indian?) Yes. Throw Thai in there and we've got a list going.

10) If I were to write your biography, the opening sentence would be "She lived, she loved, she _______". made lists.

11) If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one other person with you AND one item aside from the clothes on your back, what and whom would they be? I am convinced that people enjoy the movies they watch on planes significantly more than they would like them if they had seen them not as a captive audience 30,000 feet in the air, particularly if they are the kind of movie that they wouldn't necessarily watch to begin with. It is with this logic that I submit my answer for this question. While I would love to tell you I am the kind of person who would immediately pick someone like Desmond Tutu to chill with and learn from on an island for who knows how long, I would actually have to pick a smart, funny and cute guy who is way out of my league, hoping that he would be persuaded to love, nay tolerate me because he has no other options. (Maybe the elevation has more to do with it than anything else, may I put in a request for an island with a high elevation, please?) The "what" is a bit more difficult. I was at first thinking an ipod, then a guitar, then soap, but I settled upon good shoes, because once in my life I would like to be wearing the right pair of shoes for something.

12) What gets you through a rough day? A song? Chocolate? Someone making you laugh? Impromptu dance parties, by myself or with others, either way.