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Friday, November 07, 2003

Friday randomness

Half the people in my office are gone today and the other half is headachey and worn. It's one of those bad allergy days. I got off pretty easy this week, but this morning, the familiar head-pounding, eye-watering bloat hit me. You learn after a little while in Austin that you can live for weeks at a time with a low-grade headache and eyelids that scream to be rubbed raw.

That kind of mass spore funk has been balanced out by a few small personal highs this morning: I'm treating one of the cats for a urinary tract infection (you guys were toally right about the peeing) and so far, Oscar has been cool with the milky antibiotics I've had to squirt into his mouth.

Today, the long-awaited Angels in America mini-series airing next month on HBO landed on our collective desk at work, on DVD no less. I started watching a little bit of it on my laptop at work and it looks every bit as good as we've all hoped it might be. The early bit with Harper and Prior in the dream/hallucination, followed by the first time we hear the Angel gave me massive goosebumps. I'm hoping to find enough time this weekend to squeeze it in (it's six hours!), but if not, I have to hand it off to our arts writer. It's all right. December's only a few weeks away.

I'm also getting to read new blogs by my friends, which is a whole other experience than reading blogs and journals by people you've never met or those you barely know. You come at them with a little more history and context, you can hear the cadences in their voice when you read what they write, you sometimes see what they write through the prism of your experiences with them.

I'm thinking about the cold weather, wearing the jacket I bought in Toronto ages ago, wondering if I'll be able to travel next month, waiting for someone to come back into town tonight, thinking about writing (which is not the same as actually writing, but it's close and not as bad as simple procrastination), thinking about next year which is going to be massive with change: things are being planned now and I know I used the term "holding pattern" a lot, but that's really what these next months are, waiting for the word about new opportunities, about what's The Next Step in my life (I know, really, but I can't say what it is just yet)... I always have trouble writing in these periods because I feel like half a butterfly, ass still in the cocoon. I know it's a myth that writers are ever fully formed, but right now things seem especially in flux. And not in a bad way. All that's coming is good; all of it is positive change. I'm prepared for bad times, of course; we never know what the next day will bring, but I don't think I've been this hopeful about the future in a long time, this ready to live it and to grow in a new direction.

These are the thoughts. It's Friday.




Jolly

My review of Elf is up. Did you guys see Will Ferrell on Conan last night? And Triumph? Man. Those guys are too freakin' funny.




Thursday, November 06, 2003

Movies this week...

Hey, I'm Best of the Blog! But then, you should already know that. You can find the much funnier version of the Frost Bank thing here, complete with goofy illustration.

But onward:

The Matrix Revolutions: Oh, jeez. I don't know, people. I was supposed to see this Monday, but had to cancel out on the screening, but our critic gave it a lowly one star, the New York Times said it would make you look back on the "Gaseous" Reloaded fondly, and the L.A. Times said it was, "dorky." Hee. Dorky. Take that V.I. Warshowski brothers. I still stand by my Reloaded review. But now, instead of being shocked and disappointed, I'm just ready to lump this series in with the Episode I-III Star Wars bin. I'll probably still go see it this weekend because I'm a completist, but I'm not going to be reluctant to flat-out hate it. Man, talking about Matrix just wears my shit out.

Elf: I saw it twice, I liked it, go see it. It's cute and funny and very family friendly. My full review running in the paper should be up tomorrow. I'll link to it then.

Km. 0: If you're a filmmaker, please don't name your film Al3 or Km. 0 or X2the7Th. It makes it impossible to find your shit on Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB.com and it's pretentious as all get out. Seriously, everybody will all get out of the theater to avoid your movie. Maybe it's not the filmmakers' fault since their film is Spanish. Maybe they just didn't know and thought "Km. 0" was how Americans talk. Anyway, it stands for Kilometer Zero, which sounds like it has nothing to do with that the film's about; one of those everything's-connected movies with 14 characters, all sleeping with each other. It's set in Madrid. Everybody sleeps with each other there. In fact "Km. 0" is shorthand for, "I'm from Madrid and we're somehow connected. Let's have The Sex."

Love Actually: Despite a title that sounds like it came out of Hugh Grant's trachea, this film's getting fairly decent reviews. Our critic says it's like all the goopy, schmaltzy moments from Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill all thrown together into at least 12 different stories. Maybe this is England's version of Km. 0, called, Pardon Us, But We're Sleeping Together. Yes. All of us. Guv'nah.

Party Monster: Gah. Ugh. This sounds awful. I'm glad Seth Green had some success with The Italian Job because he deserves a cool film career. Everybody else? Hang your heads in shame.

Pieces of April: All bow before the mighty, awesome, flinty, indie power of Patricia Clarkson! She's everywhere! She was even fantastic in Six Feet Under, when Kathy Bates tied her to a bed (again?) and she was screaming for her drugs. She's awesome. Katie Holmes? Not so much so, but this movie's getting good reviews and it's written/directed by Peter Hedges, who wrote What's Eating Gilbert Grape and who adapted the very fine film version of About a Boy. That's two thumbs up for Hedges, so let's give this movie a chance, huh?

Where's the Party Yaar?: Even though I have very close Indian-American friends (hi, Angela!) and have met some cool people recently of such descent, I've been really remiss the last two years on seeing cool Indian-themed films. I sat through Lagaan, the four-hour musical about cricket (which, I shit you not, was outstanding. Loved Lagaan). But I never got around to Monsoon Wedding, I've got Bend it Like Beckham sitting at home unwatched and in general, I miss out on all the cool Bollywood stuff. I suck. This one sounds kinda cool and is set in Houston, which has a large Indian population. There was some buzz on this when I was out there this weekend with people asking about it. It sounds very low budget, but cute. And yes, that was my silly Yaar, Where's My Car? joke in the XL listings.

DVDs: Finally wore out Finding Nemo (which sold 8 million copies on its first day. There are shortages, so good luck finding it in stores this weekend.). Going to try to get through Catch Me if You Can, the afforementioned Beckham and Frida this weekend. I'm stalled on the Alias DVD set and I'll probably not worry about seeing Hulk again anytime soon. Don't get mad and jump around and stomp and growl, Ang Lee. I'm truly sorry.




Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Nothing makes sense

I don't understand me. Everything contradicts and the pieces don't fit.

When I stay up late and get up early, I feel a burst of energy, a caffeine-fueled clarity that I never get when I've gotten the healthy eight hours. I'm capable and I handle my stuff. I'm the maestro of my maelstrom.

When things are most stressful at work is when I'm at my best, juggling, calming, assuaging deadline fears, squeezing good words out of writers at the last second. It shouldn't be like that.

And the writing: With more free time comes less writing of my own. When I was slammed, had multiple freelance gigs and work writing obligations, I found more moments to get stuff of my own written. Now, with free nights and fewer obligations? Nothing. No words. They won't come out.

I contradict me. I don't make sense. I don't work right; the manual's in Japanese and I'm speaking French. Something is faulty and I don't know what it is; the factory may recall me, and I only recognize it in this clear, allergy-free blue streak of consciousness, the day I'm not cotton-headed, pressure-eyed, sedated. I'm fully awake and what I'm seeing scares me.

Will I feel this way tomorrow?




Hope and leather

Did you really think Revolutions was going to be any better? Did you really? I know, there there, it's okay. Here, put your head on my shoulder and wipe away those tears.

You know what's coming next month? Return of the King, that's what. And we know that's going to be good. So just wave bye bye to Neo and hope that we never see his flat-butted kung-fu-fighting, no-emoting ass, ever ever ever again.




Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Michael McKean is crush-worthy

Damn, I almost forgot. New Smallville recap is up.

Now where would you be without me to remind you of these things?

Lost, that's where! Lost in the cold, dark wilderness of a lonely night, haunted by the watery whispers of strange children as they try to sell you crudely re-wrapped candy bars for $6 each. And they're fat kids, too, who have taken nibbles off the corners of each Krispee bar thinking no adult would notice because adults don't pay meticulous attention to the shape, structure and corner integrity of candy bars the way a fat kid does.

Or, if not lost, you might just be bored at work.




"...If Iíve travizzled to Van Gogh I had better take advantage."

Since I don't have time to write about it today, here's another perspective on the Houston exhibit.




Mantra

Repeat three times every few hours and write down your reaction:

This is life, happening right now
This is life, happening right now
This is life, happening right now


Most common reactions: Absolute terror that this is how one is spending it. Or joy in knowing that the moment isn't being wasted.




Monday, November 03, 2003

In Houston

I'm probably going to write about it on yon XL Blog, but this weekend I went to Houston and had a fantastic time. Lots of good food, good company, ethnic issues -- it was a mostly stress-free fun time.

I can't even process the gigantic scale of IKEA yet (it's as if Home Depot and Pottery Barn had a cheap and pretty Swedish baby), but I will say that if you're within a five-state radius of Texas, you absolutely must go to this exhibit. It was completely inspiring and I daresay life-changing. Where else could you see so much great stuff in one place? (All right, except for maybe New York or Paris.) You have until January.




 

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