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Friday, September 26, 2003
Best of whatevah
My man Tray-ho, who I can say with some certainty is not the "Friendliest" anything, is indeed a radio god, though. Scroll down to the bit about "Friendliest Deejays."
Austin Bloggers.org also got an award. Maybe next year we can get Austin Stories nominated for something.
My full review of Lost in Translation is up.
I came to work this morning all bleary, sucking on a large Whataburger coffee (not enough sugar; they never give you enough sugar) and I checked my voice mail. There was the nicest, most wonderful call from a reader (he sounded like a senior citizen, or as a poster at Hill's Cafe calls them, "a superior citizen") saying how much he liked the review. He read part of the first few words out loud and said he had clipped it for his scrapbook and wanted to let me know that someone was reading and liked what I wrote.
You have to understand that people never call to tell us they like stuff in the paper. They call to complain about what comic strips we're running, or that the Travel Channel listings were messed up or that they think Carolyn Hax is a trollop. I get more feedback from writing here or on TWOP than I do at work. Which is weird when you look at circulation numbers versus hits. It should be the complete opposite. I don't know what kind of "articles I like" scrapbook this guy is compiling, but I'm proud to be in it, even if the rest of it is Family Circus cartoons and gardening columns.
Which is all to say it was sweet and unexpected and completely made my morning.
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Movies this week
Duplex: This movie just kind of snuck in out of nowhere, huh? Maybe that's because Danny DeVito's last movie was Death to Smoochy, which was a goddamned disaster. (At the time, I called it "a rancid piece of Shiz-Tsu poo.") Ben Stiller is funny. Drew Barrymore is not. Danny DeVito made a great comedy I like ("Throw Momma from the Train") and one of the worst ones I've ever seen. The film sounds like one big New York inside joke. But not a very funny one. This one sounds like a complete toss-up, by which I mean, toss up your hands in frustration and see something else.
Lost in Translation: I was a little lukewarm when I saw this almost a month ago on Labor Day, but the more I've thought about it, the more I've grown to like it. It's a movie that's just stuck with me, and of course Bill Murray is just complete genius in this film. My full review will be up tomorrow, so I'll link to it when it appears online. I watched The Virgin Suicides this week and I had one of those great Internet discoveries that people who keep track of books more than I probably figured out years ago. The guy who wrote Virgin Suicides, upon which the movie is based, is Jeffery Eugenides. (He's all over the "making of..." documentary on the DVD.) It took an Internet search to connect in my head that this familiar name was the same one adorning the cover of Middlesex, the sprawling book that got tons of acclaim this year. Now I want to read both. (Middlesex just came out in paperback, by the way.) I read a few interviews with Eugenides and he sounds like an incredibly dedicated, smart writer. It was inspiring to read what he had to say and it was one of those fluke things that I even figured out what everybody else probably already knew. Anyway, Virgin Suicides is fantastic. Any movie that can make Josh Hartnett look like he can act is okay in my book.
Luther: The long awaited Luther Vandross biopic starring Joseph Fiennes in the title role. I hear the scene toward the end where his album hits the top of his charts as he's coming out of a coma is brilliant.
The Rundown: Okay, this should suck, right? It's not just me. This movie should be crap. The Rock is in it. Peter Berg, who shat upon us Very Bad Things directs it. Rosario Dawson, who is great but always gets cast as the one woman in a sea of men in shitty action movies, is in it. It's a sorta buddy action film. Suck, right? But it's getting pretty good reviews. Everybody's like, "Who knew?! It doesn't suck!" Plus Christopher Walken's in it. Plus Seann William Scott is in it, and despite his appearance in crapalicious films, he is very funny. And in the trailer, The Rock says he looks like a weasel. That's funny. Because he does. And The Rock was actually not terrible as an actor in The Scorpion King even if the movie was just an excuse to oil up a bunch of extras and hire a fire pyrotechnics guy. So there you have it. Hollywood confounds.
Under the Tuscan Sun: I have Unfaithful on DVD, and never actually watched it, which I still feel a little guilt over because I think Diane Lane, though she's entirely not my type, is hellahot. Maybe it's that near-Kim Carnes voice of hers or that she's like if Sharon Stone had talent. And I loves me some Italy. So will I go see it? Hell no. I'm a guy. We don't pay to see shit like this unless our girlies force us to.
The Weather Underground: This looks really good. I can't think of a good reason not to see it except that it's exactly the kind of movie I always end up not seeing. I'm logical like that.
DVDs: Haven't had time to watch much lately and have been remiss on getting through Mr. Show and Alias. I did get an advanced copy of The Lion King, so I'll try to see that, at least the part about how they turned it into a visually orgasmic Broadway show. Oh and that song they added? If it's the one from the Broadway show, it's kinda gay. Kids probably won't get it. But it's Rowan Atkinson, and that can't be all bad.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Panic (or, "Self-created drama")
Last night, I noticed that the work blog entry mentioned below wasn't online. I panicked. I thought maybe someone at work saw the last few entries I'd written and thought I was serious about the plagiarizing thing and pulled the entry. So I went through a flurry of phone calls, e-mails and deleting entries here (it's the first time in the history of the site that I've completely deleted entire entries for reasons other than aesthetics). I found myself reading recent blog entries with a more critical eye, wondering if something I write not for work could still be called libelous and get me in trouble.
I kept deleting stuff.
I worked myself into a little tizzy. I had planned to spend most of the night working on the new novel (the one that's actually going somewhere) and I found my mood made it impossible to do more than a few paragraphs of the scene I was writing. I went to bed earlier than usual, but couldn't sleep.
This morning? I found out it was an accident that the piece got deleted and it was posted back up as soon as they figured out what happened.
That's me. Mr. Paranoid. But Mr. Paranoid still has a paycheck coming next week.
XL Blog entry on the Emmys is back up after some glitchin' yeserday.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
Last night, a sporadic problem with my laptop suddenly turned fatal -- it began rebooting itself on an endless loop after a video-card related crash that was the exact same problem I was having before I took it into the shop and spent $366.97 to get it "fixed." The tech guy was cool about it, but I have no idea what he'll discover is the real culprit of my laptop woes and whether he's going to charge me all over again. The system board that was replaced now has a 6-month warranty, but since that doesn't seem to have been the problem, I doubt it'll do me much good to have it replaced once more. Again, in the back of my mind, the queasy thought that at a certain point of throwing money at the problem, it would be cheaper and easier to just get a new notebook.
Couldn't sleep last night. Just couldn't. I was up till 2 with the computer problems and then tossed and turned. Woke up extra early to take the laptop to the shop. Fuzzy headed. I watched The Virgin Suicides last night (which is a whole story in itself) and I have weird dreamy '70s imagery floating around in my brain.
And it was another lovely visit to the dentist. This time he got ambitious and tackled fillings on both sides of my mouth. I was super sensitive on one of them, so he had to plug me with the needle in the mouth three times in the same area (plus once on the other side). Drill drill drill, whirr whirr, cold water OW, more painful needle hurting. And now, with all that stuff pumped into my mouth, it feels like a gross, malformed balloon. I can't talk right, I can't close my mouth without looking all sideway-frowny like George W. Bush. I'm fucking miserable here. What else is in store for me today?
Oh, right. I haven't had time to finish my Lost in Translation review and it's already past due. Forgot about that part. Nice.
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