Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Bbbbbaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk!!! Be very scared. ;-)

So, I've been remarkably absent, haven't I? I have any number of reasons. 1) Super busy at work where I was working more than 8 hours a day. 2) Super busy at home knitting scarves for visiting California-based family members who were coming in for Grandma's 90 Birthday Party in the midst of the coldest weather of the winter. 3) I was sicker than a dog with bronchitis for 2 weeks (and I actually haven't fully eliminated from my lungs quite yet – 4 weeks later). 4) Two weeks ago I joined Facebook.

And I've, somehow, managed to create a list a mile long of knitting I need to do. And the funny thing is that none of the knitting that "I need to do" is for me. Sometimes I'm just too darn Catholic. I have a boatload of yarn that I've bought for ME, but I never get that far. I'm working on three scarves right now: 1) Knit Picks Felici Sock Yarn in a very pretty feather & fan scarf for my cousin, 2) red mohair lace patterned scarf for one my Mexican family members (the others have been done for months, but the mohair lace is taking a LOT longer), and 3) scrap yarn scarf for the nephew's girlfriend who likes crazy things (this is almost too crazy, but nephew insists the GF will love it). Oh yeah, and a baby blanket for my friend Julius' new baby who was born in December. Dang it!

Both of those scarves have grown since I took those pictures.

At one point, I know I typed up the list of movies and books from November and December, but I have no clue where it went. I'm not sure how much of a synopsis I'll be giving, but I do at least want to maintain my lists.

January Books

Rough Justice by Jack Higgins (326 pages)

Fidelity by Thomas Perry (357 pages)

Heat Lightning by John Sandford (388 pages)

My favorite authors came out with books in December, which made for a large Borders bill, but they're so worth it. I loved all three books so I can't pick one for Book of the Month.

December Books

The Invisible Intruder by Carolyn Keene #46 (175 pages)

The Mysterious Mannequin by Carolyn Keene #47 (178 pages)

The Crooked Banister By Carolyn Keene #48 (179 pages)

The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople by Jonathan Phillips (320 pages)

The Secret of Mirror Bay by Carolyn Keene #49 (178 pages)

The Double Jinx Mystery by Carolyn Keene #50 (180 pages)

Mystery of the Glowing Eye by Carolyn Keene #51 (181 pages)

Silks by Dick and Felix Francis (338 pages)

I love Dick Francis, so when it came time to choose which of my favorite authors' new books would be read first, there was no contest. The Fourth Crusade book was a birthday present and it was extremely interesting. I know damn near nothing about the Crusades, so I feel enlightened. The cool thing about the Nancy Drew books this month is that The Mysterious Mannequin ends in Constantinople so there was a theme.

Book of the Month: I have to go with Silks, just because it was the only non-Nancy Drew book (save for the Fourth Crusade book - and while it was good, nothing beats Dick Francis).

November Books

The Moonstone Castle Mystery by Carolyn Keene #40 (178 pages)

The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes by Carolyn Keene #41 (177 pages)

The Phantom of Pine Hill by Carolyn Keene #42 (176 pages)

The Mystery of the 99 Steps by Carolyn Keene #43 (176 pages)

The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene #44 (177 pages)

The Spider Sapphire Mystery by Carolyn Keene #45 (176 pages)

I also read 176 pages of The Fourth Crusade book in November – academic treatises take me a tad longer to read than Nancy Drew books.

Book of the Month: Oy vey...I'm going with The Clue in the Crossword Cipher because it taught me a few Spanish words way back when. Can't really pick The Fourth Crusade since I didn't finish it in November.

January Movies

1/4 – Stranger Than Paradise – 1984 – (N) – Jim Jarmusch's second film (watched his first in December) and like most of his stuff, it's truly independent (unlike those pretend Coen Brothers) and different. I'm terrible at summaries, so go read and the link – although let it be known that the person who wrote the first summary didn't seem to watch the movie. The second summary is much more true to the movie.

1/4 – Forgetting Sarah Marshall – 2008 – N – I forget why I moved this to the top of my list and got it in the middle of my Jim Jarmusch film retrospective, but something made me do it. Oh yeah!!! Russell Brand I had seen him a few times on The Graham Norton Show and found him extremely entertaining (and a tad attractive).

1/24 – Anatomy of a Murder – 1959 – (Redford Theatre) – From the Redford Theatre's Calendar of Events, "Filmed in upper Michigan 50 years ago, this exciting small-town courtroom drama with James Stewart as the easy-going but cagey defense lawyer gives the audience first-rate fare with sterling performances by George C. Scott, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell and Eve Arden. I had seen this movie a few years back but when there was the opportunity to see it on the big screen, I took it. At the end, I queried, "Why did we want the wife-beater to beat the murder charge?" I think it's solely because Jimmy Stewart is his lawyer. The judge in the case is not an actor, but the attorney who took down McCarthy – Joseph Welch. If you go to IMDB, you'll see that someone started a discussion thread talking about how bad the actor playing the judge was. I have to say that I disagreed wholeheartedly with that person.. I thought the judge was great. Watch it and let me know what you think.

1/31 – Wit – 2001 – (N) – This is an Emma Thompson made for TV movie, but not of the bad Lifetime variety. For some reason I think it was made for HBO, but I can't find that information anywhere. This is not what I would call a light movie, as it deals with cancer, and in fact, by the end I had tears streaming down my face. I read at that medical schools show this movie as an example to doctors-to-be of how not to treat patients.

After that, I needed something to cheer me up, so I broke into my MacGyver DVDs and I made it through the rest of Season 1. I love Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyver.

Movie of the Month: Anatomy of a Murder - I mean, really...I couldn't really pick Forgetting Sarah Marshall over Jimmy Stewart.

December Movies

12/1-6 – Firefly & Serenity – I was in the mood for some Nathan Fillion and a little futuristic sci-fi-western. You all know it. If you don't, I'm sorry for you, because it is so worth the time investment.

12/7 – Saboteur - 1942 –(K) - I love Hitchcock as you all know and this is one of my faves – with the Statue of Liberty ending and Vaughan Glaser telling our young hero as he goes off to save the country "and practice that triangle." That part just makes me laugh.

12/7 – Ocean's 11 (K) – What can I say? I was in the mood for something familiar.

12/6 & 9 – 27 Dresses – 2008 – (N) – I watched this over the course of two days because the bloody disk was messed up and I had to return it halfway through. I don't watch a lot of chick flicks (I'm not completely averse to the, but there are just other movies to watch that normally interest me more), but occasionally, you need a little frivolity in life. I have to say that I liked this movie. I thought it was cute. I laughed my ass off at the scene where she tries on every single one of her 27 dresses. I laughed out loud at the first wedding (and all subsequent weddings) when the bride said, "I picked that [bridesmaid] dress, because you'll be able to wear it again." Every single bride (or damn near) has said that to their bridesmaids as they're foisting some ugly-ass taffeta number on them and it's never ever been true once.

12/21 – National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation – 1989 – (Friend's) – This is an annual Christmas event with my friends from the University (colleagues from when I worked there, not fellow students from when I studied there). Even though I think it's a tad silly, it's growing on me and I laughed out loud at parts this year that I didn't laugh at previously.

12/28 – Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa – 2008 – (IMAX) – I walked across the street to watch this with my friend Marianne and her two kids. It was cute, but the first one was better. And it made me sad seeing Bernie Mac's name up on the screen.

12/28 – The Librarian: Quest for the Spear – 2004 – (TNT) – As some of you might know, I watch Ellen every day (she makes me laugh) and one day Noah Wylie was on plugging the third of the Librarian movies. They sounded fun (besides the clip they showed of the 3rd one had him sword-fighting and I love sword-fighting). TNT played the first two that Sunday that they showed the new one, so I DVRd all of them in that one day. While not exactly Oscar worthy films, they are enjoyable. Besides, they have Jane Curtin and Bob Newhart. I enjoyed all three of them.

12/28 – The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mine – 2006 – (TNT) – See above.

12/29 – The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice – 2008 – (TNT) – I think TNT played them against this past weekend, so if you happen to be home one day when TNT is showing them again, you might consider them worthy of a peek.

12/29 – Permanent Vacation – 1980 – (N) – Jim Jarmusch's very first film which was from his film student days. I liked this better than Stranger than Paradise (January Movies). PV follows a young man around New York City where he meets interesting characters.

12/29 – The Diving Bell and The Butterfly – 2007 – (N) – Based on the book by Jean-Dominique Bauby who has a stroke while driving one day and ends up paralysed from the neck down, but unable to speak and able to move only one eyelid by which means he dictated his book – assistant would recite the letters of the alphabet in order of frequency and when she got to the letter he wanted, he would blink and she would writ the letter down and repeat the process. While a depressing topic, it wasn't a completely depressing movie as it showed what you can accomplish if you try.

12/29 - Bonneville - 2006 – (N) – The link contains spoilers, so don't click if you don't want to know. I saw the trailer for this on the 27 Dresses DVD and thought it looked like fun. Middle-aged women on a road trip in an old Bonneville – and thankfully, it didn't end with them driving off a cliff. I have to say that I really really really really liked this movie.

12/31 – Atonement - 2007 – (GG) – A work friend lent me this movie because she just loved it. I didn't. It was unbelievably depressing, and no, writing a better ending than real life because you fucked up does not make up for the fact that you ruined people's lives. I wanted to slap the little sister. The high point of the movie for me was the green dress Keira Knightley wore at one point. Dear heavens, it was a GORGEOUS dress - that picture does not do it justice, I have to say.

12/31 – MacGyver: Season 1 – (K) – After suffering through Atonement, I had to cheer myself up, so I put in Richard Dean Anderson. I still wanted to slap the shit out of the little sister from Atonement, but it helped me to put it aside long enough to go to sleep.

Movie of the Month: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Although I really did love 27 Dresses and Bonneville, almost as much. I'd recommend all three of these, but for different moods.

November Movies

11/14 – Patti Smith: Dream of Life - 2008 – (DFT) – A cinematographer followed Patti Smith around for a good number of years and then edited it all down into this movie. She was followed on a visit her parents and essentially, just being a regular person. I'm not really a fan of Patti Smith, but I have to say that I liked this movie.

11/23 – Un Chien Andalou – 1929 – (DFT) – While I had seen Un Chien Andalou years ago (college), BST hadn't seen it and the DFT was playing it along with two other films of similar vintage - Entre'acte - 1924 – and L'Age d'or - 1930, which I hadn't seen. L'Age d'or is in my 1001 Films You Must See Before You Die book, so I took the opportunity to check it off. They were all surrealist films (Buñuel and Dalí) and therefore, no real plot. I remember fighting to keep my eyes open during Un Chien Andalou (none of which was familiar except for the slitting eye scene). L'Age d'or was completely insane as it followed this couple who apparently were in hormonal overload and couldn't keep their hands off each other, especially in public places. And I believe at one point there was a huge cow in a canopied bed.

11/23 – Henry Rollins: Uncut from New Orleans – 2008 – (IFC)
11/26 – Henry Rollins: Uncut from South Africa (IFC) – I love Rollins, but after watching this I loved him even more because he declared Iggy the King of Rock and Roll.
11/26 - Henry Rollins: Uncut from Northern Ireland

11/26 - Mr. Smith Goes To Washington - 1939 – (TCM) – I had never ever seen this movie, and instead of going dancing on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I stayed home and watched Jimmy Stewart instead. I loved this movie and wish the Democrats would make the Republicans filibuster like this now!

11/28 - Seventh Seal - 1958 – (TCM) – Like Un Chien Andalou, I had seen this film many years ago, but didn't really remember anything about it except for Max von Sydow playing chess with the Devil. I know some people LOVE Bergman and others LOATHE Bergman (Ingmar, of course), the latter calling the former pretentious. I'm in neither category as I haven't seen many of his films, but I have to say that I quite like Seventh Seal. I wouldn't say it always makes sense, but who cares, especially since it made way more sense than the surrealist films I watched earlier in the month.

11/28 – Juno – 2007 – (N) – Yes, I was the last person in the world to see Juno. I loved it. It was so cute and dealt with teenage pregnancy w/o making light of it or making it seem as if the world is coming to the end either.

11/28 – Death Becomes Her - 1992 – (N) – I never watched this movie when it came out because I've had Meryl Streep issues ever since Kramer vs. Kramer, but when Goldie Hawn was on The Graham Norton Show (yes, it's a trend), they talked to her fans some of whom were OBSESSED with this movie. For some reason, they made it sound appealing and I added it to my queue and moved it to the top. Was it utterly brilliant and profound? Nope, but it was funny and worth watching. And I might have gotten over my Meryl Streep issues. I'm glad I watched it.

11/28 – Goth Cruise - I found this on On Demand and had to watch it. I want to go on a goth cruise!!!! The possibility of being on a cruise and dancing to good music instead of complete dreck is such a draw! Some of the people seemed a tad over the top, but generally, most of them were just normal people who like to wear black and listen to Goth music.

11/29 – The Queen - 2006 – (EGC) – My dear friend EGC lent me this DVD and I finally got around to watching it. I wasn't sure I was ready to live through Princess Diana's death all over again. I'm of the age that I watched the wedding on TV and thought she was utterly beautiful, to say nothing of her charity work over the years. While showing the Queen in a slightly more human light (at some points) than we usually see her, it didn't make me think of her as a good person. In fact, I had always liked the Queen Mum and if the way this movie portrayed her was even slightly accurate, I'm sorry I wasted that affection over the years.

Movie of the Month: It was a toss-up between Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Juno - do I go with the classic or the clever, new movie?

November Events

I had one event in November…The Crüxshadows in Detroit ( Hamtramck , really) on 11/8. I dragged Marianne with me (everybody else bailed on me that day). I still loved I:Scintilla (first opening band) and even bought their CD after the show and got the entire band to autograph and then got my picture taken with them. I'd link to the picture, but that would require me to have downloaded the pics to my computer which hasn't happened yet. I want the dress the lead singer wore that night. Ayria was interesting solely because I was watching the water that the stupid bitch next to me spilled by putting her drink on the stage and then knocking it over and doing NOTHING about it. I was scared Jen (lead singer) was going to slip and fall and kill herself. It turns out that Rogue and most of the Crüxshadows (and a good number of the other two bands) all had the flu.

I was right up close – right up against the stage – much to the stupid bitch's dismay next to me who spent the first two bands and the hour or so before they even went on stage trying to get me to move because a friend of hers showed up after me and wanted to squeeze in on the other side. After the second band, I finally called her out and told her that she might as well stop elbowing me because I was going fucking nowhere. She tried to protest that everybody was pushing and I said, "No, they're not. It's just you. You want me to move because your friend showed up late and you think that I'm going to move if you're annoying enough, but I won't, so you might as well stop." Amazingly enough, she and her stupid boyfriend finally did stop trying to get me to move. Honestly, I might be old, but that just means that I've been to more concerts than you, honey, and I can hold my own.

The stage at Small's was significantly smaller than the stage at the DNA in San Francisco and I worried that they weren't going to have room , but they made it work. Of course, the stupid bitch next to me kept putting beer bottles on the stage (right where all the lead singers were going to be standing) and I kept picking them up and passing them out of danger's way. I swear I wanted to slap the shit out of her and her stupid boyfriend. Inconsiderate, poorly raised assholes.

After the concert, I got to meet Rogue and got my picture taken with him (I look fat in it, so you won't be seeing it). The poor thing was absolutely sicker than a dog and you could tell – but not during the concert. I think it was a better concert than the San Francisco one. I was ready to drive to Cincinnati or Pittsburgh the next weekend to see them, but couldn't find anybody to go and the weather was complete shite and I wasn't going to drive I-75 in the snow. I'm nuts, but I'm not insane.

And there, you've caught up with the last three months of my life.

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At Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, Blogger LL said...

Holy carp... you came back with a vengeance... You could'a made this into 5 posts though... ;)

And facebook? Really? *sigh*

At Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, Blogger Evil Twin's Wife said...

Sounds like you've been busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest! Whew! I love the scarves. :-)

At Thursday, 19 February, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

LL - But people don't expect me to post every day, so they wouldn't come back and read everything. Then I'd feel unloved. ;-) Yup, Facebook. As long as I continue not to be found by high school people, it's all good.

ETW - Thanks. One of these days I might get my pics uploaded and I can bore you with more scarves.

At Thursday, 19 February, 2009, Blogger Heather said...

Yay! You're back!!

I saw three sets of Firefly being sold used yesterday and I was sad. Why would people NOT want to watch Jayne & Mal over and over and over again??

And I loved Kiera Knightley's dress!!

At Thursday, 19 February, 2009, Blogger Glenn said...

Funny stuff. Since when are people polite or smart at concerts? good to se ya back.

At Thursday, 19 February, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Heather - Exactly. I've owned it for less than 3 years (I think) and I've watched them at least 3-4 times. And if I didn't have a whole bunch of other stuff to watch, I'd have watched them even more often.

Glenn - Good point, except that the group of girls on my left were lovely. We chatted, we rolled our eyes at the rude woman, etc. And the pisser was that they weren't even FANS of The Cruxshadows. Someone had dragged them there.

At Friday, 20 February, 2009, Blogger Fantasy Writer Guy said...

I've been away for a century too. I basically moved residences all by myself over a period of weeks(okay, with a little help now and then). I don't think you're too Catholic. I think your dose is pretty healthy. I see you've migrated off the auto maker theme. Now to recover from the Nancy Drew addiction! Loved Juno too. The Juno character was both written and acted marvelously. Don't you know how to photoshop yourself skinny? sEND ME THE PHOTO ANd I'll fix it up for you! In return you can knit me a clone. A fully functioning clone.

rednee or not...

At Friday, 20 February, 2009, Blogger Scott said...

I can't reply to the whole post, so I'll give some spot reactions.

I loved Juno and thought it was refreshingly funny, handling a tough subject with such lightness but still serious. I loved everyone; the characters were wonderfully quirky.

Mr. Smith goes to Washington was brilliant, but I doubt a politician today, not even the great one himself, could come close to the the cathartic and heartrending sincerity of Mr. Smith. We can wish, can't we? Check out other Capra movies if you loved this film. If you haven't before, then beware, you could become a junkie.

I just saw Sarah Marshall last night. I loved it. One amazing characteristic of the movie was that Sarah wasn't some blonde bimbo bitch. She's the typical bad girl at the beginning, but it turns out that she really got the short end of the bargain, and is more sympathetic than the protag. She really tried to make it work. Whodathunk?

Christmas Vacation--I found a new respect for this when my oldest son watched this with me and cracked up laughing as Chevy Chase aped his buffoonery in the attic, and again when he punched the Santa in the nose. Through the eyes of my kids, this was great fun.

Atonement - I loved this film. From a story telling perspective, this is something in the mold of what I would love to write. A brilliant ending. I had no love for the girl either--not after what she did.

Ok, one last one: Death Becomes Her. There are a handful of movie moments that will stick with me till the end of my days, and this movie, though not great in its entirety, contains one of those moments. It's the doctor scene when Streep is able to bend her fingers back over her wrist. The doctor is so sceeved out that he jumps back in revulsion. I laughed for quite some time. It just rattled my funny bone that a doctor who wears the mask of composure so effectively got grossed out.

At Friday, 20 February, 2009, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

You find all types at concerts. Most people, though, just want to have a good time. Every once in a while you meet a drunken asshole. I may have been one once at a show. But I don't remember...

They showed us Mr. Smith Goes To Washington in my ninth-grade civics class to give us an example of how government works. Seriously. Another testament to the laziness of the faculty of Belleville Township High School West.

For about the second time in my life, I agree with LL. You left us for... Facebook???

At Friday, 20 February, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

This is just a drive-by, because my not-so-patient husband is ready to go out. But I am glad you are back!

At Friday, 20 February, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

FWG - Did Steve-O move with you? Only a few more Nancy Drews left and then I'm done. But if I had The Hardy Boys, I'd read those.

Scott - Really? You liked Atonement? It was so freaking depressing! I have seen other Capra, but I'd have to do some research to tell you what they are.

Dr. - I doubt you have ever been the obnoxious drunk spilling crap on the stage and not attempting to deal with the mess you made. You're not the selfish asshole type. And I haven't abandoned anybody for Facebook. I didn't do anything for all of January. I joined FB two weeks ago.

Fermi - Thanks.

At Monday, 23 February, 2009, Blogger NYPinTA said...

Henry Rollins love! Awesome. Funniest thing he has ever said was on one of his tapes and he says, "I don't yell..." without thinking and the audience just cracks up.

At Monday, 23 February, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

OK, I'm back and I read the whole post this time. :-)

The scarves are cool. The Nancy Drew titles brought back memories. And who could not love Firefly/Serenity?

I keep resisting Facebook. It is inevitable that I will join, but I am trying to wait until after my board exam because I think I will be tempted to spend too much time there and I really should be studying.

Oh yeah, Henry Rollins rocks! And so does Graham Norton. Love his show.

At Tuesday, 24 February, 2009, Blogger Jorge said...

Ok, lots of stuff and it's late and I'm tired, so I'll keep it short.

Wit has been mentioned in my Nursing classes repeatedly.

Firefly and Serenity totally rock. Has anyone else noticed that Joss Whedon seems to have a stable of actors that he goes to again and again? Half of that cast was in Buffy or Angel at some point. And I was recently surprised to see that he was one of the writers for Toy Story.

Christmas Vacation is as much a classic as Mr. Smith.

And I liked all three Librarian movies, though the bits with Excalibur were silly in my opinion. I want to know more about Bob Newharts character.

At Wednesday, 25 February, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

NYPinta - I adore Henry Rollins, you'll always find Rollins love here.

Fermi - Scarves have been completed and because the three other scarves I've had started weren't enough, I started a pair of baby pants.

Jorge - The nurse was shown in a very good was the two doctors who needed a good slap upside the head in Wit. Never watched Buffy or Angel. Yes, the bits with Excalibur were silly but you have to remember the movies were actually for children...not us. ;-)

At Thursday, 26 February, 2009, Blogger LL said...

Ewwwww... all this old guy lust is starting to make me sick... ;)

At Thursday, 26 February, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

LL - If you're lucky tomorrow could be Catblogging at two blogs...

At Wednesday, 04 March, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Wow! Sorry I've been away for so long. I knew you wanted to go to the Detroit show and glad it turned out even better than the SF one. Glad you got to meet I:Scintilla, but especially Rogue since I know you love that band so much.

I love Firefly and Serenity. I think I gave the latter 9 or 10 dead zombies on my old blog (blogger). I loved it. Forgot what I wrote though.

I thought Atonement was overrated, and Keira Knightley needs to EAT. She's so pretty. But EAT dammit. EAT. I rarely say anything to thinner women because you don't know if they're impoverished or have Crohn's Disease (which sucks worse than almost anything I can think of), but in Keira's case, I think we can agree that poverty isn't an issue and we'd know if she had Crohn's Disease.

As for that Goth Cruise, I'd love to go. If you get an itch to go, let me know. I'll try to get Badman to save up some money. Mrs. Z will be there fo shizzle.


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