Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Movies

Ok, ok, I haven't seen any of the new releases, save Shrek The Fourth or whatever it's called (which I loved, natch, because of the cat). But I have seen a bunch o' movies in the last couple of weeks. We've had early mornings and busy days so I keep falling asleep. Thus, many of these were seen over a couple of days. But I get 'er done.

Zombieland was recommended by a good friend who said she guffawed through the whole thing. Friend, you are a bit twisted. But so am I. It IS's just GROSS. Vile, disgusting...but the kid in it is going to be a major star. And congrats to Woody Harrelson for making a wonderful life from a walk-on guest starring role in a tv series.

Los Secretos de Sus Ojos won the Best Foreign Language Oscar. It was good, if not transparent...i.e. I felt as though I could read the filmmaker's thoughts. There were beautiful moments and huge human truths...all thanks to great acting. My husband kept comparing it to Almodóvar...but I think a better comparison would be with some other noirish director, like Taylor Hackford.

Invictus is what I'm going to call a family movie. For my two, old enough to deal and curious enough about the world to be interested, (not to mention their sports-fanaticism) this was a great choice. Also? MATT DAMON. I loved it...I think Clint Eastwood has great tricks for subtle exposition. The story is much bigger than the rugby matches shown, and I think the film did a respectable job of highlighting apartheid's horrors while showing the - gradual - improvements in South Africa. For a harsher view of apartheid, see: District 9.

Breathless was part of my annual desire to become more well-versed in film (see: the great Fellini experiment of ought-eight). It's outstanding! I like the strange pacing, the whole look of it, and the freshness. Yes, it still seems fresh lo these many years later. I know just about nothing about Truffaut or Godard, but I can see that this was vanguard filmmaking in its day. We'll be exploring more. By the way, we were able to see this on the Wii! You can stream movies, if you didn't know, through a Wii with a Netflix account. Since my children don't play the Wii all that much it works for us...the picture quality is not stellar but I hear they are working on it.

An Education was not my cuppa. Well, yes it was - it evoked the time period in which it was set quite fully (see: Mad Men; Friday Night Lights). And I'm not immune to the pleasures of Peter Sarsgaard. However, the characters were basically despicable and the plot was predictable. Am I the only one who felt this way? (oh, I guess not.) Maybe it's all Nick Hornby's fault. And what's with the dumb blonde? That was ridiculous.

Shattered Glass was a movie I knew nothing about - but again with the Peter Sarsgaard! This was a well-told tale and a fascinating one to boot. Mindless summer fun with just enough injustice to make you distrust the media. I was especially loving the interactions between the journalist Stephen Glass and his work colleagues. Office politics at the most smarmy and needy!! Recommended for your viewing enjoyment.

Next up: we're going to let the children see Avatar, we're going to go sob through Toy Story 3, and my pre-teen has requested to see The Notebook. (God help us all.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Things That Made Me Laugh This Week

They will make you laugh, too:

Comic Sans essay on McSweeney's (NSFW in terms of profanity, but SFW in terms of hilarity.)

Colbert's Word: PR-mageddon. The only way to laugh at the oil spill.

The Onion (which is just overall generally very much something that makes me laugh) on the NCAA conference realignment.

This (loved mainly for Marion Cotillard) (moderately NSFW):

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


How to beat this heat? Well, there's no beating it. I remember sitting on a porch for over an hour in my childhood, rocking or bouncing in a wrought iron chair, and realizing it was safer to sit there than to play. I remember lifeguarding all day under an umbrella and seeing the bank thermometer read 104 at 4 p.m., then jumping straight into the pool at 5. I remember passing out after softball games in Savannah, revived with Gatorade (I love it to this day), bananas, and a mint-alcohol rub down.

This heat, really, after all that, is just not that bad.

But we've been hot for sure. Here are some of the things my family has done in a muggy June week:

1. Frozen our tubes of yogurt for a quick snack right out of the freezer.

2. Filled empty Gatorade bottles with water and frozen them to take in coolers when we go out and about.

3.Went to the new North Carolina Museum of Art and enjoyed the cool, then jumped in the fountains (where, by the way, one kid got a hell of a cut on his knee - friends don't let friends wear Crocs!)

4. Rented an Alfred Hitchcock movie. We went with North by Northwest as recommended by this site.

5. Pool time at our friends' delightful, landscaped backyard getaway and at our pool club. I took watermelon and cantaloupe balls in a cooler, and cucumber sandwiches with hummus spread. The children were noshing maniacs when they weren't flipping, diving, and throwing the ball.

6. Went to the mall to check out the Lego store, eat an international meal at the food court, and play with iPads.

7. Drove to the beach for a quicky trip, rode in the waves, ate shrimp, and fished in the surf.

8. Did a yoga tape in our arctic den. We used throw blankets for yoga mats.

9. Made banana blueberry ice cream - kinda sorta low fat - very tasty! Low fat sweetened condensed milk, 1 quart half and half, smushed banana, and I added blueberries at the very end of the freezing process.

10. Currently? We are lying around, reading, singing, and playing online Scrabble.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


I've never watched an episode of OPRAH! all the way through. (The only episodes I attempted to watch involved celebrity guests whom I admire.)

I've been very guilty of scanning Internet articles and blogs instead of carefully reading.

But lately, whilst making dinner.....


,,,,,,I've been watching Bravo.

Ok, ok, you got me. I'm their DEMOGRAPHIC, right? So why shouldn't I watch? Oh, because it is killing my brain cells. Because I would learn more reading great literature. Because it highlights the worst parts of our culture and society.

True enough!

And yet:

Tabitha! It's so so good. She comes into a hair salon, immediately identifies the good people and the bad people, and then is a complete badass stylist whilst turning a failing business around. I've probably seen three complete shows, and in each one of them, her marketing advice is sound and (supposedly) the business and the bad people mend their ways. Perhaps this show is not so mindless after all.

Then there's the Millionaire Matchmaker.

This one is harder to watch when the children are home, as Patti, the host, encourages her millionaires to "think with (your) penis" and often tells the potential dates to dress more provocatively using words a bit offensive to this pseudo-feminist. A caveat: I quit watching this show once the millionaires select their prey and go on their dates. I'm only in it for Patti.

Which brings us to Padma. Of course I love Top Chef - and this one my whole family can enjoy. New season starts next Wednesday! Padma has given up her cheeseburgers and now has a new baby.

So, you may wonder, what do I think of The Real Housewives? I will admit to watching only the Housewives of New York. Why? I don't know. Probably because, you know, New York! But sheesh these women are annoying and all they do is fight. I tried to watch New Jersey but again: New Jersey. I like the Countess best of the Manhattanites.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hello June!

June has brought with it a hell of a lot of rain...and thus, many events canceled or postponed, and we haven't gotten to the pool much (oh BOO HOO...Wahhhh!). June has brought a new family member to love - a tiny, sweet precious infant. I shall not rest until I get my hands on said infant...we visit in a few weeks. June means that I made it through Memorial Day weekend in a house full of family with no where to go. June is my daughter's birthday month, the end of school, and camp week when my husband and I get three nights alone.

Much to celebrate!

(Don't worry, I'm still crabby. For instance, our lack of planning means we still don't have a family vacation on the books and now we are in a holding pattern due to soccer. Sports parent purgatory!)

But in the spirit of celebration, I'd like to make June a month of blogging happy times. I'm going to find something pleasant to share with you many times in June (notice I am not committing to every day. No, that would require planning!). June is still a work month for me (July is MUCH slower) so why not do a bit of blogging whilst planning an organ mini-recital?

For today's share moment, I bring you Bill Cunningham's On the Street video feature from the Times online. I am not a particularly spiffy dresser, but I do like to try, and I certainly love white clothes, especially shirts. Bill focuses on white and white's relatives in his video. I can't embed, but do click here and enjoy his feature entitled "Bleached".

Also, some pretty white clothes & accessories I've seen about recently:

Holly Aiken iPad Sleeve

Bobble Pearl and flower necklace at Charlotte Russe (via

Lands' End Hibiscus Batik slimming one-piece (the real title of this suit was really long and hard to remember).

International Concepts at Macy's ruffled, sleeveless, smocked-waist top.

Clarks Salon Joy flip flop (these might hurt your feet, though I do love Clarks' soles - cushy!)