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24 March 2007

Drumroll Please

Da-da-ta-TUM. Okay. So I can't actually do a drumroll. Whatever the point...the point my friends is that I'd like to welcome to the blog our intrepid hero, Air Force guy and Bakery author...dramatic pause...Eric Pardue! He's currently travelig through Eastern Europe. At least that's what I think he said when he called me last night at 3am.
Yes, three people. With a capital 'THR'. That MySpace is a ruddy ankle bracelet. Or maybe I mean a beacon or tracking device or something? It's something I never really considered before because Marissa has always done our MySpace-ing in the past. It occurs to me that being signed in is a great way of signalling the state of your life (or lack thereof) to several hundred of your new (and old)best friends. I kid...I kid Eric. 'Cause, well that's my job; or one of the perks of my job anyway. 
What was I saying?
Oh yeah. Mr. Pardue, Skyped me early this morning in order that we could enact his brilliant plan for lettting you guys get to know him by chronicling thoughts and exploits from the road of his latest trip. So please, my friends, enjoy The Travel Journals of Eric Pardue. And let me tell in the wee small hours of the morning, seeing these go up onto the blog was much, much better than counting sheep.

Happy Friday

Happy Friday All!!! Heh. Okay. That was fun.  Now on to the good stuff......................... And there we have a problem. I'm afraid today's is a post of all flash and no substance. Come to think of it, not that much flash either. Sorry guys, I'm pretty out of it, this cold is kicking my behind. 
I've been watching Raines, the new show with Jeff Goldblum. Imagine my delight to have a date with Goldblum every week, there is no such thing as too much of him as far as I'm concerned. Watching the pilot marked the continuation of an encouraging trend for viewing public. 
 What eerie trend is that? That of heavy talents...sheesh, Hollywood-speak. I'll say it; artists on hiatus from moviemaking are playing on a blue box near you. Writers like Aaron Sorkin (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), David Mamet (The Unit), Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (The Black Donnellys); actors like Sally Field, Minnie Driver and yes, Jeff Goldblum.
And now, directors. Imagine my surprise when to find Frank Darabont's name in the credits of the aired pilot of Raines. Yes, Frank Darabont that Frank Darabont, of Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile fame. He also directed a beautiful little film starring Jim Carrey called The Majestic.
Does this mean television is getting better? I don't know about that. There seems to be a Taj Mahal/Streets of Calcutta dynamic going on. There seems to be less middle ground in quality than there was ten or fifteen years ago. There was plenty of mediocre TV, don't get me wrong; and I don't know that there was more or better good TV.  But it does feel as if there were more fair to middlin' shows and much less that was truly objectionable. Um, Simple Life anyone? Throw a dart and hit just about any reality show currently on the air to find another example.
TV is much better for people like me than it has been in a long time. I love turning on the tube to watch Field or Goldblum work. I love  knowing without seeing the credits; like recognizing the style of a composer, that Mamet penned this week's episode of The Unit. Now if we could only get a Zwick/Herskovitz offering back on the air, then I'll know true happiness.         

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23 March 2007

I. Hate. Everybody.

So I have a cold right now and you all know what that means...I. Hate. Everybody. There's this fabulous list that The Sophisticated Writer came up with, number 6 is my personal favorite. In my current state of mind I would indeed like breathe on all the people who've ever really ticked me off. I'm nothing if not generous. Soph and some other bloggers have a tradition called the Thursday Thirteen, which is basically exactly what it sounds like. So . . . this Thursday I'm writing my own list. And I'm calling it:

Thirteen Persons/Entities With Whom I'd Like to Share My Cold
1. The people who killed the electric car. I remember seeing the ads and being excited about the prospect of having an EV one day soon. Did you know that GM has crushed almost all of their electric cars? They revoked the leases of the owners once they and their pals managed to get California's emissions law quashed. Even threatened them with legal action if they refused to turn the cars over. Though protesters (many of whom were formerly EV drivers) offered 1.9 million dollars for the remaining 78 cars, GM took took them off to be crushed anyway. I'd no idea. Great movie: Who Killed the Electric Car?
2. My doctor; because he's been absolutely clueless about my illness. Going to see him means two hours of misery plus three days of recovery for 15 minutes of conversation, during which he never even looks me in the eye.
3. Buena Vista for not releasing the third season of Once and Again to DVD. Still.

4. Whoever it was that decided to change Popular from the truly sensitive and funny comedy-drama of the first few episodes into the bizarro plastic teen dark comedy that I really want to stop watching.

5. Telemarketing companies who call and then put me on hold.

6. Parents in grocery stores who force me to listen to them tell their kids, 'This is the last time I'm going to tell you.' . . . Ten times.

7. Movie critics who love the sight of their own words more than they do movies.

8. Film actors who are ignorant of their film history. Brad Pitt...this means you and well, almost every UPN 'actor' ever to tread a soundstage.

9. My upstairs neighbor who seems to enjoy moving furniture while having a party at 2 am.

10. People who drive slow in the fast lane.

11. People who drive fast in the slow lane.

12. People who always always bring the conversation back to themselves. 'You have cancer?! Wow that's awful. You know my neighbors' dog had cancer and they were simply devastated, I actually watched their three-year old when they took it to the vet to be put to sleep. Amazing, isn't it?'

13. Anyone who says, "To make a long story short . . . " 'Cause by the time they do it's always too late. And really . . .we're talking. . .I've got the time to listen.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens! (leave your link in comments, I¿ll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It¿s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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22 March 2007

The Curse Is Upon Me...

. . .yet again. I truly believe that some people are water-dwellers and others are not. In tonight's whimsical state of mind, I feel salt-water in my veins,crying out for the sea.  Edna St. Vincent Millay proves that I'm not alone in this feeling. But how does it happen? Why do some feel an affinity for the ocean that stays with them all their lives? Who knows how it really happens. Is it about growing up near water?  I didn't really grow up near water. I've spent most of my life living on the very outskirts of the Bay Area.
Perhaps the craving for salt air is the result of an earlier imprint. Birth? I was born in the Phillipines, an entire nation of islands. DNA? Perhaps the memory of being lulled by the rock of a boat or by crashing waves is genetic. My grandmother's were Island people from as far back as we know. Deeper? The Irish and Scots blood flowing like a current from both sides of the family tree? Were our other ancestors from a coastal or island region of Africa?

Who know's? It's all mystery. And one day I'll solve it. Until then, it's enough not to be alone in the feeling. Edna has her finger on my pulse tonight:

SEARCHING my heart for its true sorrow,
  This is the thing I find to be:
That I am weary of words and people,
  Sick of the city, wanting the sea;
Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness         5
  Of the strong wind and shattered spray,
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound
  Of the big surf that breaks all day.
Always before about my dooryard,
  Marking the reach of the winter sea,         10
Rooted in sand and dragging driftwood,
  Straggled the purple wild sweet pea.
Always I climbed the wave at morning,
  Shook the sand from my shoes at night,
That now am caught beneath big buildings,         15
  Stricken with noise, confused with light.
If I could hear the green piles groaning.
  Under the windy, wooden piers,
See once again the bobbing barrels,
  And the black sticks that fence the weirs;         20
If I could see the weedy mussels
  Crusting the wrecked and rotting hulls,
Hear once again the hungry crying
  Overhead, of the wheeling gulls;
Feel once again the shanty straining         25
  Under the turning of the tide,
Fear once again the rising freshet,
  Dread the bell in the fog outside,
I should be happy!¿that was happy
  All day long on the coast of Maine.         30
I have a need to hold and handle
  Shells and anchors and ships again.
I should be happy, that am happy.
  Never at all since I came here.
I am too long away from water;         35
  I have a need of water near.

Ainslee¿s Magazine

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21 March 2007

So I took the Matrix Persona Quiz..

I openly admit to being a quiz junkie. I know IknowIknow most online quizzes are junk themselves. But I can't help it, it's the teacher's pet reflex coming back to haunt me. Or maybe, it's just that I like answers. Whenever life gets annoying or I'm working a puzzle, I find some comfort in going to one of those quiz pages and and answering my brains out. I ran across this one a while ago and took it again today. The first result was Morpheus as you can see.

You are Morpheus-
You are Morpheus, from "The Matrix." You
have strong faith in yourself and those around
you. A true leader, you are relentless in your

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Tonight...well I was a bit dry and needed something to post (you know, the whole 30 in 30 thing)so I hunted down the poll and took it again, thinking to show off my Morpheus-ness to you guys.  But this was the result:
What Matrix Persona Are You?

You are The Oracle, from "The Matrix." Wise, kind, honest- is there anything slightly negative about you? You are genuinely supportive of others. Careful not to let people take advantage of you, though.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla | Join | Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

 Huh. Wonder what that means? 

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18 March 2007

AFI? Schm-AFI...We'll Make Our Own List

As an upstart movie snob I of course take severe issue with the AFI's Top 100 Movies of the last century. They are, in my opinion either insane or deluded. Okay...and so am I...maybe...a little bit.
The point is that movie-watching is an incredibly personal experience, I'm less interested in the what than in the why.  Artists especially are deeply infuenced by film, or perhaps are merely able to do a better job of articulating the whys and wherefores for everyone else. At any rate, I'm starting a list and would love to know what you think.
What, are the five most important films in your film-watchin' career and why? 
I'm starting the list with my top 5, in no particular order.
Bringing Up Baby (1938, Howard Hawks)
Night of the Hunter (1955, Charles Laughton)
The Browning Version (1951, Anthoy Asquith)
Tango (1998, Carlos Saura)
All About Eve (1950, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
These five films have had the greatest (I'm pretty sure about this) impact on my career as a film buff. Seeing each one changed something in the way I watched movies forever after. 
Howard Hawk's Bringing Up Baby was my introduction to the world of the screwball comedy. I'd no idea it was possible to laugh so much during a movie that didn't involve  bodily function humor.
My brother and I saw Laughton's Night of the Hunter one afternoon when we were supposed to be doing our homework. I think it came on like, A&E, when they used to show classic films. I had literally never been so frightened in the middle of the day. That began my love affair with thrillers in black and white.
The Browning Versionis a film I saw more recently. I'd heard of it of course, but had only the vaguest idea of it's existence. I don't remember now why I Netflix'd it, only that it blew me away. On the surface, it is a film in which very little happens but just under the surface, plays a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. I've always been fascinated by the ability of the movies to show us two completely opposite realities at once. Asquith's The Browning Version is a defining example.
 Seriously, I've had musicals on the brain since early childhood but until Tango, I never knew the power a musical film can exert. Saura's Tango tells complicated stories, a private story of memory and regret,a human one of tyranny and oppression. The film is beautifully shot by Il Maestro, Vittorio Storaro and  uses the Argentine Tango as most peope have never seen it, as its narrator.
All About Eve? Bette Davis, 'nough said.
But of course, I'm gonna say more. This is the movie that helped me fall in love with the theatre (spelled 're' please darlings) and the idea of acting.