Thursday, June 30, 2005

the heat is on

so hot today and everyday this week. ah well. at least the air conditioning is working properly now. we had a service call yesterday (to the tune of $100) and while the good news was that it wasn't more expensive, the bad news was that one of the faucets on the exterior house is broken. apparently you aren't supposed to leave hoses attached to the faucets over the winter. no one told me that. so now i have to call a plumber if we ever want to water the back lawn. the joys of home-ownership.

didn't watch much on tv today, or movies. trying to get through "finding neverland" but i'm finding it unbelievably slow. i love peter pan in almost every form, but for some reason, this film isn't grabbing me.

dh and i watched "hitch" with will smith the other night. it was okay. will has been much better in other things. i think it was a weak, predictable script. kevin james did some great work with physical comedy, but that was about the only thing i enjoyed.

i started reading dan brown's angels and demons, which is apparently the prequel to the da vinci code. i enjoyed the latter, but i haven't really understood what all the subsequent fuss is about. everytime i turn on the telly, there's something else on discovery or the history channel or some other pbs wanna be about "the truth behind the da vinci code." have these people never heard of fiction??? or imagination??? give me a break.

i also started arthur c. clarke's time's eye, which has been slow going to start. i'll give it a few more pages and then abandon it. gone are the days when i feel compelled to complete every book i start. i finally realized that my time is more valuable than that.

dd has been into "mary poppins" of late, and can sing numerous verses of "a spoonful of sugar" and "chim chimenee." it's quite amusing.

just found out that i am going to miss "margaret garner," the opera that the cincinnati opera co-commissioned with two other companies to celebrate the opening of the national underground railroad freedom center. i am so bummed. now i can't hear denyce graves and angela m. brown in person. and toni morrison is even going to be in town to give free lectures. damn this bedrest. i guess i'll have to rely on my esteemed media colleagues to give me the blow by blow. one of my friends is in the chorus as well... but there will be other operas. if anyone local is reading, GO. it's a once in a lifetime experience. toni morrison wrote the libretto and richard danielpour wrote the music. there's an excerpt of the music here.

i am excited that the new "real world" season has started. it's my guilty pleasure. perhaps because it's so far removed from my current existence. and morgan spurlock's "30 days" series looks interesting as well.

until next time....

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

bed rest and blahs

kind of mundane, but that's the tenor of life right now.

so i've watched "13 going on 30" which was cute and funny and very light and airy. i've never really noticed jennifer garner before, as i'm not an "alias" fan like my brother is, but i can see why she gets work. she did a good job. and i liked the fact that Mark Ruffalo was a good romantic lead without looking like a Brad Pitt clone. Not that there's anything wrong with Brad Pitt, but it's nice to see someone more "normal looking" getting air time on the big screen.

i also watched "chasing liberty" with mandy moore. dumb. another cute guy, Matthew Goode, but that was about the best thing in it. the nice thing about dvr is that you can record something that looks interesting but ditch it quickly thereafter if it sucks. Mark Harmon was about as one dimensional as you could get in this film.

"Stealing Beauty" was another pick of the week, but as my Italian isn't nearly as good as my French, it was a little tough to follow exactly what was happening and why all the characters were laughing when someone said something witty in Italian. Yes, yes, I know, from Lucy's point of view, she wouldn't understand either, and Bertolucci was probably just trying to replicate his protagonist's experience for his audience. The movie was beautiful to look at but quite predictable. I was sorry to see Jeremy Irons go. He does good work. Another underrated actor in the realm. Liv Tyler was believable, and for her "breakout" role, as this is often termed, I think she did quite well.

On to books. Finished Misfortune by Wesley Stace. A bit bizarre and a bit trying at times, kind of like reading old English ballads and wishing you could skip the middle bits and just get to the end. but the concept was quite interesting. i bet it would have worked quite as a serial back in the time when that was popular (Dickens, etc).

Also reading Everything Bad is Good for You, which I'm finding to be wonderful. Thought-provoking. Affirming. Especially Johnson's theory that if video games had come first, we would all be shouting down books and the printed word as being "limiting" and just as damaging as video games. You kind of have to read it. But I highly recommend. And it's a quick read.

As for the knitting, well, I have been working on a sweater for dd for months now and i finally finished the back yesterday. weee-hah! i started one of the front yesterday and got to practice some intarsia, which was good. nice to see a bit of yellow peeking out from all the blue. i put down the felting bag for the moment because i think the center panel is all wrong and i don't have the heart to remeasure and rip and redo. sigh. and i still have to sew in a zipper into baby-to-be's bris outfit. if i could only get my hands to stop shaking long enough to do so! that darned procardia...

must go back to the couch before i get caught out of bed!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Denmark and beyond

So I was watching a film this morning--the result of forced "lady of leisure" status due to pregnancy complications--called "The Prince & Me" starring one of my absolute favorite actresses, Julia Stiles. It's a lightweight romance with a few bits of comedy thrown in for good measure. And while I loved Julia and Luke Mably , the hottie who plays HRH, the Crown Prince of Denmark, as a romantic-cum-realist, I have to take issue with the end of the film.

The premise is old as they come. Edvard, the aforementioned Prince, is emulating several other princes that we might be familiar with (e.g. Prince Harry)--living it up with fast cars, lots of women and no foreseeable goals for the future, other than avoiding Cabinet meetings at all costs. After seeing an ad for a "girls gone wild" video on tv, he decides to head to Wisconsin and check out life as a Midwesterner. His parents, of course, object, but send a servant, Soren, to accompany him.

Eddie, as he prefers to be called upon his arrival in the States, deals with American college life poorly at first, as can be expected. But then he meets the lovely Julia--um Paige--and she sprays his royal ass with soda water from the bar where she works. Wouldn't you like to do that to every drunk moron who's ever said something less than brilliant to you in a bar? To cut a long story short, they of course end up dating and falling in love. Paige is a pre-med student who allows Eddie to distract her from her studies, but only after finals, of course.

Eddie has to return to Denmark at semesters to begin fulfilling his royal duties, as his father is ailing. Paige, on a whim, decides to follow him there, and the film gives us the requisite "knight in metaphoric shining armor" scene where Eddie spots Paige and swoops her up on his horse, carrying her off to the castle, to the Queen's dismay. Pouty queen--for shame!

After living the life of a princess for a while, Paige decides she wants to return to her former, farm-girl life and pursue her medical school studies.

SPOILER ALERT! (just thought I'd warn you, like in all those fun Harry Potter fan sites)
Paige returns home and finishes her degree. After his coronation, Eddie returns to Wisconsin in time to see Paige graduate and to tell her that "if she wants to go to medical school and be a doctor, he will wait for her." He'll wait for her, apparently, as long as it takes for her to fulfill her own needs, until she is ready to be his queen.

So here's my issue. Why can't she have both? Why can't she move to Denmark, go to medical school there, and be the first practicing royal physician in the country's history?

While I love the flightly romanticism of the film and the escapism it allows me from the daily grind, I am a bit perturbed by the whole "having to give it up eventually" message that the story perpetrates for females. Yes, for sure, in any relationship you have to compromise. To think otherwise would be foolish and delusional. But I believe that the minute you start giving up the very fabric of your being--your dreams, your goals and the things that make life worth living--well, then you're sublimating yourself, and that's bad for any relationship.

I know, I know, I'm looking for depth in romantic comedy. I'm looking for a way to solve a problem I'm supposed to believe doesn't exist.

Maybe I need to construct a sequel in which Paige actually does those things, and she and Eddie figure out a way to make that happen.

If it means getting to work with Julia and the Mably guy, well, it can't be that bad, right?

Inaugural post

I have joined the blogging revolution. Info superhighway speeders, beware. Not quite sure what this will develop into, but thought it might be good to start self-publishing some stuff and seeing if anyone hits it (accidentally or otherwise). Just to see what happens. Seeing as we're in an age of self-publication.

Saw New Stage Collective's production of "Kimberly Akimbo" tonight. David Lindsay-Abaire. Absurdity. Funny stuff. I liked it better than "Fuddy Meers," which was, by the way, brilliant. I hope that audiences flock to the CAC to see "Kimberly" and that NSC can continue its journey beyond Season 3. I looked for a blog created by local media in which to post my thoughts about the play, but alas, there are none that fit or are active enough to get the hits necessary to make even a small difference. So, I thought, why not start one of my own.

A teacher of mine in college, whom I didn't like very much, was stuck teaching technology to teachers and teacher-wannabes. It wasn't a very happy job and I think I picked up on his dislike of the course he had to teach. But one thing he said, nearly ten years ago, has stuck with me. In the context of a discussion about web design, he said "if you're going to have a website, you have to have something to say." For that reason, I never really pursued the idea of creating my own site. I was never sure I had something unique to say. After all, haven't all plots in the realm of the literary already been discovered?

Still, the web thing bugged me. I tried learning some HTML, which was a joke for me. My brain just doesn't work that way. I know enough to make this word appear as such, or to underscore my point as necessary, but that's about as far as I got. How nice to have the lovely people (programmers) in the blog world. They've created the interface for me and I don't have to worry about all that pesky HTML.

Another comment someone made to me once has also stuck with me. In undergrad. Dealing with a "creative crisis" and wanting to construct, to create, to live in that wonderful moment that being 20 and carefree and in the faux liberal academic society created... but I struggled with the words. My friend said, "well, you don't have anything important to say yet. You're too young."

Bastard, I exclaimed in my mind. I do have important things to say. I could write volumes on what it means to lose a parent, what happens when you start to realize that work in one course inter-relates to another, the joy of discovery of philosophy and literature that was written eons ago but still has relevance, and what it means to get your heart broken. Like the good little undergrad I was, however, I took my friend's words to heart. I wrote but I didn't write. Not really.

Notice I don't recall all the people who told me I could write. Who told me I did have a unique voice worth reading. Of course not. We never remember the positive feedback--only the stinging remarks leave their traces.

So, in essence, this blog is in defiance of my tech teacher and my writer friend. Sometimes I'll have something to say. Sometimes it might be earth-shattering (but more often than not, it will probably be me complaining about something boring like knitting patterns, or relating kids' antics or bemoaning the lack of interesting stuff on summer tv). But bottom line, I'm going to say it.