Stuff


I meet a lot of different people on a daily basis, and I have a lot of opportunity to reflect on choices, and consequences, and I think a lot about how our beginnings inform our middles and ends.  I was extremely fortunate to have parents who thought my well being was important.  I was extremely fortunate to have grandparents who thought the same.  I had the good fortune to be surrounded by adults, who all did their best by me, and it’s made it possible for me to do even better for my child.

I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t even want  to qualify any of those statements.  I just want to say them.  All my grown people did the very best they could for me, with what they had.  They all loved me.  They all cared for me.  They all tried their best to make sure I would have a life that was easier than theirs.  And they accomplished that.

***

I miss Walter Cronkite.

#Ferguson, #ISIS, #Gaza…those would all be better served by a journalist who took his job more seriously than clicks, and who delivered a news that allowed you to form your own opinion, rather than issuing you one.

Although, I might miss Walter Cronkite because I used to think he and Captain Kangaroo were the same person, and I loved Captain Kangaroo.  He was friends with Mr. Greenjeans, who was the coolest.

***

B and I started watching Wilfred, the Elijah Wood tv dramedy, and it’s pretty great.  If you like existential humor, and off-kilter psycho-comedies, you’ll enjoy it.

***

Now I’m going to bed.

 

How About a Car Review?


The B family drove off to Florida in early August, and since our cars are closing in on 70 in dog years we decided to rent one for the trip.  B arrived at the rental facility, where he was asked if he minded a few stains in the backseat.  Since that’s where Thor was going to sit, he went to check it out.  He said “a few stains” translated to “it looked like a murder had been committed in the backseat.”  So, he said no to the Camry we had expected, and accepted the upgrade to a black-on-black-leather Volkswagen CC.

We were extremely fortunate to have great weather all the way and some nice air conditioning, so being in the belly of a barbeque-mobile wasn’t ever a worry, but by the end of the trip, neither of us ever wanted to go near a VW again.

It’s a beautiful car.

Here’s what we liked:

  • It’s a good looking car.
  • The a/c and heaters have dual regulators, so Driver and Passenger can have what suits them best.  And it really blows well!
  • It comes equipped with a backup camera, and we got spoiled to that pretty quickly.
  • I loved that you could just tap the cruise control to increase your speed.
  • And…that’s it.

What we hated:

  • Normally, either B, or I can get in and out of a car easily, and the other person has issues.  I’m 5’2″, and he’s nearly a foot taller.  Because the CC is so low to the ground, you’d think I would have an easy time getting in, and out, and B would be miserable.  Not so.  Both of us were miserable.  It was so bad that I let out this howl of frustration on one of the last stops on our trip home, calling the car a f-ckbucket.  I did.  Fortunately, Thor misheard me, and he’s been calling it a fartbucket.  It was not a fartbucket.  It was a f-ckbucket.  It was misery crawling in and out of it.  And crawling is what you had to do.  You had to kind of roll up, roll in, and then unfurl yourself again.  I felt like a pill bug.
  • The seats are a big part of why it was so hard to get in, and out.  They are built to cradle you, and if you’re a size 6, I’ll bet it feels very cozy and wonderful.  I wear a 16.  I felt very squeezed and pinched, and was never comfortable.  Don’t get me started on the headrests.
  • The gas and brake pedals are in weird places.
  • The electronic key mechanism was, in B’s words, “A piece of sh-t.”
  • The power points were poorly located.
  • B didn’t like the cruise control (I did.)
  • There was no leg room.  In the front seat, it felt like you were sliding your legs into a chute.  In the backseat, you were bending your knees down into a shallow box.  We felt bad for Thor, but he managed to find a way to sit sideways and make himself a nest.
  • It rode really badly.  You felt every bump.
  • The steering wheel was tiny, and it drove loose–you barely touched it, and you were off in the emergency lane.

It was just a terrible car.  Terrible.  Terrible.  Terrible.  Don’t buy one.

Movie Reviews: Guardians of the Galaxy and Blue is the Warmest Color


Guardians of the Galaxy

Yes.  Yes, yes, yes.  So much win.

Marvel has done it again, putting out a fun, family-friendly, action movie that everyone can enjoy.  And 80s pop culture fans will be blessed again and again by the Reference Fairy.

We went to our second viewing today, this time watching it in 3-D at the IMAX theater.  I think I actually enjoyed it more the second time around because I could just watch and be delighted by the things I knew were coming.  On the first watch, I laughed out loud so much, I missed a lot.  And there’s that scene, just before the credits, that I could watch over and over again.  (SPOILER LINK–I will be buying this as soon as it is available.  One for Thor, and one for my desk.)

Fast, funny, with a big heart, and a great story about friendship, and why you should never tease a raccoon.

Absolutely, 100% 5 stars out of 5.

 

Blue Is the Warmest Color

This is a list of awards won for Blue Is the Warmest Color (from Wikipedia)

 

This is my reaction to all those awards after having watched the film.

Adèle Exarchopoulos expresses my disbelief for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot summary avec SPOILERS:  Adèle (played by Adèle Exarchopoulos), is in her last year of high school.  She lives at home with Mom and Dad, and has a lot of really terrible, pushy friends.  Her terrible, pushy friends insist that she go out with a cute boy, with whom she has graphically depicted sex.  I am a prudish American, and True Blood only goes so far, so I am unused to seeing full erections on the big screen.  I might have screamed a little when it appeared.

Adèle likes the boy, thinks the sex is okay (I’m assuming, since it is insinuated she’s kept having it, and since she later tells Emma that the sex was really good), but is unhappy.  When one of her terrible friends gives her a big, wet kiss (it’s a French film, so it can’t be a French kiss, it’s just tongue-y), she is excited and goes for it.  Her terrible friend is all, “Whoa!  I did not even know you were a lesbian!  I was so just kidding!”  And Adèle is flattened.

Her gay bestie takes her to a gay bar, where she feels even more out of place.  She takes off without even telling her friend, which is why she only has terrible friends–she, herself is terrible.  She goes to a lesbian bar.  I couldn’t suss if she meant to go to a lesbian bar, or if she really wandered in unwittingly, but it is quickly clear that these lesbians are all construction workers with the hooting, whistling, and cat calling of her.

At the lesbian bar, she is finally able to meet and talk to the Mysterious Blue Haired Lesbian she had seen on the street days earlier, and fantasized about on a date with herself.  A date with herself which left her so odorous that the next day her most terrible friend calls her out on smelling like an unwashed street walker.  I cannot tell you how grossed out I was by this.  If you are so stank that an evening alone leaves you smelling like you had several guests THE NEXT DAY, I cannot even make jokes about it.  You need to see a physician stat.

Mysterious Blue Haired Lesbian turns out to be Emma (played by Lea Seydoux), a young woman about to graduate from college.  She is an artist, and absolutely lights up when talking about her studies and work.

Adorable Emma.

Of course Adele (I can’t be bothered with that accent mark any longer) falls madly in love.  Emma is charmed by Adele’s mouth-breathing innocence (more about that later), and the two embark on a love affair.

The beginning of this love affair is marked by the infamous five minutes of full on intercourse between Adele and Emma. I had read about the film, and read about how horrified the actresses were by the way the director treated them on this (and other) scene(s), so I thought I knew what I was getting into.  I did not realize that I would have such a face full of Adele’s bits, that I could have told you right where to put a piercing needle.  It was uncomfortable.

Anyway.  Adele’s terrible friends call her a lesbian, and she angrily refutes them because she is also terrible.  She spends the next several months of her affair with Emma, into her cohabitation with Emma, pretending that she is straight (and having many, many fully naked moments captured on screen.)

Because she is terrible, Adele has an affair with another (male) teacher at the school where she has started working (unseen).  Emma is heartbroken and kicks her out.

The rest of the movie is Adele moping around and being terrible, then trying to seduce Emma after about 3 years have passed, by licking and sucking on Emma’s fist.  I wish I were kidding.

Emma has moved on.  Adele has not.

Emma has become successful in her art career.  Adele has become a first grade teacher, who tells 5 year olds that they are terrible little people.  Because she is terrible.

Emma appears to live happily ever after.  Adele appears to go off to mouth-breath some more.

Fin.

Okay–so here’s the short list of what I liked:

1.  Lea Seydoux was fantastic.  She was believable, and lovely, and really lit the screen with her time there.

2.  If you have to look at naked people, they should be attractive, and all of these people are.  They have beautiful butts.  I have a severe case of butt envy now.

3.  None of the actresses were pneumatic.  Everyone appeared to have all her original parts, and that’s nice to see represented in film.

4.  Emma’s parents.

5.  Nope, that’s it.

 

Here’s why I hated everything else about this film:

1.  First, Adèle Exarchopoulos is gorgeous.  For the first five minutes, I was captivated by her.  Then, she started eating.

Adele, eating with her parents. She ends up with sauce all over her chin.

Adele, eating on a date with a boy.

Adele, eating on a date with Emma.

Adele, eating on another date with Emma, and Emma’s parents.

And eating, and crying.

When she started eating and crying, I thought maybe they were trying to establish her as a binge eater?  A bulimic?  I didn’t know.  There was just so much food, and so much tongue, and so much mastication, and so much…I can’t.  Doesn’t she know you can choke if you eat while lying down?

I thought that maybe they were trying to establish her as a sensualist, who really gets into the pleasure of food, intimating how she would get into the pleasure of other things–but then they just showed me exactly how much she got into the pleasure of other things, so why bother?

2.  Adele’s hair.  Just look above.  It never looks better than that.  That’s how she wore her hair to teach school.  That slattern was teaching your children.  I don’t care about her sexual preferences, but at least run a comb through your hair before you go show yourself to children as an example of a professional person.

3.  The mouth breathing and Adèle Exarchopoulos’ inability to offer up an expression other than “Uhhhh”

Adele, toward the end, looking sad.

Adele’s post-coital bliss.

Adele getting ready to lean in and kiss Emma for the first time, after eating. Emma, girlfriend, no!

Adele, having an epiphany about her life, while floating in the ocean.

Adele, upon seeing Emma for the first time.

I would post you a picture proving that this is also Adele’s O-Face, but I can’t find any that aren’t NSFW.  This is the same face she makes while shagging the boy.  The same face she makes throughout her shaggery of Emma.  The same face she makes when fighting with Emma.  The same face she makes while trying to seduce Emma.  The only difference is that sometimes she parts her lips a little more, and sometimes she manages to get the corners of her mouth up a little higher.

3.  Hygiene inaccuracy.  Look at her hair.  Her lack of makeup.  Trust me that her costuming displays the same lack of interest in outward appearance.  But she is completely waxed.  Slick as a baby’s butt.  THAT does not happen.  I know you can’t do a closeup of her panic button if she’s in a merkin, but let’s be real:  No 18-year-old, who gives as little attention to her appearance (or basic cleanliness) as this one does, finds time to go to the salon for a full Brazilian, armpit, and leg waxing.  Not only does she not give a toss, she wouldn’t think of it.  It should be 1973 in her pants.  or 1873.

4.  The dialog.

I took French in college.  I had a textbook called Allons-Y!

Le textbook.

In this book, there were several practice conversations.  Things like, what is your name?  My name is Adele.  What do you do?  I am a student.  What do you study?  I study French.  And you, what is your name?  My name is Emma.  And you, what do you do?  I am a student.  I study art.

I started laughing at three points in this film because I fully believe that screenwriter/director Abdellatif Kechiche just tore some pages out of my old textbook and threw them at the actors before yelling, “Action!”

I mean, I was giggling myself silly.  It was exactly as if he realized he needed some sort of dialog between sex scenes and eating scenes to keep it from being a food fetish, porno film, so he grabbed his old French textbook and said, “Here.  Read this.”

My conversation partner, James, and I did a more believable version of the conversation above.  Our accents weren’t as good, no, but at least he could make a facial expression other than

Adele, having an after-shag smoke.

 

5.  I watched all the seasons of the L Word (who did the girl-on-girl SO MUCH BETTER–their sex was actually sexy most of the time) without batting a lash.  I watch True Blood, and Game of Thrones, and all those other cable series showcasing every and all manner of booty.  It doesn’t bother me because I don’t really care about flesh on the screen.  That said, I don’t watch porn because I don’t really care about flesh on the screen.  I’m neither scandalized, nor titillated by it.  I generally just feel a little bad for imposing upon these imaginary people, who certainly wouldn’t be performing for anyone’s viewing pleasure if they were aware of being watched.  All the sex in this film felt entirely gratuitous, and was (for me) very unsexy.  That probably had a lot to do with Adele’s constant expression of dull boredom.  I just felt like she was always in bed because it’s what she thought she should be doing.  She only seemed happy when she was eating burritos and spaghetti.  Sad.

6.  Everything else.

Let’s let Adele sum up my feelings about the movie with one more picture:

Yeah. Me too, Adele.

2 out of 5 stars–it made me laugh (unintentionally) and I got to look at pretty people.

How to Train Your X-Men


Two movies, same review:  Loved it.

I rarely go into movies unspoiled.  I like to know what happens, first of all, and I like to be able to decide if a plotline is worth my time.  Also, if I care about a character, I get anxiety–I can’t enjoy the movie for worrying.  However, for both the new X Men movie, and How to Train Your Dragon 2, I went in knowing little-to-nothing.  So, I’m not going to tell you anything other than GO SEE THEM BOTH NOW.  AT THE SAME TIME.  TWICE.  Really.

Okay, I’ll tell you to take Kleenex to Dragon.  Thor said, “You got really upset.  I saw you cover your mouth.”  LOL.  Yes.  I did.  No shame.

I will also tell you that now I understand all the fuss over Michael Fassbender.  I still prefer Loki to Young Magneto, but it’s close.  Very close.

While you are looking up showtimes, why not tab over to Amazon and pick up a copy of Playing All the Angles?  It’s only $2.99 on Kindle.  Also $2.99 on the Nook, if that’s your preference.  Or, pick up a paperback at your favorite bookstore.