Monday, February 26, 2007

the oscars

so last night i watched part of the oscars. ryan and i got rid of our cable, so i went to a neighbors house. but even though it was pretty fun to watch (Will Ferrell singing, Ellen hosting, Alan Arkin winning for Best Supporting Actor, An Inconvenient Truth winning for documentary) it's pretty long and not that fun to listen to people give crazy-boring speeches. plus, no offense, but i really don't care about the guy who won for sound editing and can't come up with anything to say other than "um, and, um, and so-and-so" for 45 seconds or whatever. plus, the people i was with are actually responsible and had to get up this morning for work. of course, i also have to get up for work but i'm not that responsible. i'll stay up late watching sub-par entertainment if it means being in your pajamas with friends, and eating ice cream.

so alas, i did not see the end of the show since i left with everyone else early. so i missed best director and best film. but i checked this morning as to who won, and it was The Departed in both categories, and i haven't seen the film. in fact, i was rooting for Little Miss Sunshine since i just saw it and loved it. Alan Arkin is in it, who i love and is in 2 other favorite movies of mine: The In-Laws, and Wait Until Dark. And there's Abigail Breslin, the young girl, from such fame as Signs, and also Toni Collette, who is pretty great in everything. the whole cast is well chosen: Steve Carrell, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano. the songs are good too, by a band call DeVotchKa, whose name means "little girl" in Russian (as informed by r).

you should go here and click on the "behind the scenes" to see a much shorter version of the awards with highlights and speeches. good times.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I heart documentaries

the most recent documentary that i have seen was one i just finished watching about 20 minutes ago. it's called "Unknown White Male" and was released in 2006, i think. what's interesting about it is simply the premise at first. a man wakes up at age 35 on the subway to Coney Island, with no memory of who he is, just a British accent and a backpack. the documentary includes video taken from a few days afterward, and then picks up when, 8-9 months later, and old friend of his asks to make the film. and now there is the film. well, at the end of the film he still hasn't gained his memory back, and after looking it up on the internet it looks like it's still the case. but here's where it gets more interesting, i think. i was looking the film up on wikipedia and found that there is some question as to the film's, and the subject's, authenticity.

i would recommend seeing the film yourself before reading this article about it, since it might make you view the film with a certain bias. but if you do check out the film first, read the article and see what you think after. i'm all abuzz thinking about it.

another documentary i've seen lately, and subsequently feel quite strongly about is An Inconvenient Truth. if you haven't heard of it (highly unlikely, regardless of how you might feel about the issue) it addresses the problem of global warming and what is to be done about it. i personally adored the film. this is mostly because i knew it was important to see, but then we rented it, and i really didn't want to see it, but then it won me over. before, i felt like it was too much information to be responsible for, and couldn't bring myself to feel up to it for over a week. R was much braver and insisted one night that we finally see it.

i was reassured about halfway through when i realized that i didn't feel bombarded with scare tactics by Al Gore and the filmmakers. it was much more even-handed than i had feared. i realize that Al Gore himself is obviously outspoken about the fact that something must be done. but he's realistic, in my opinion, about what that may be for each person. at the end of the film several suggestions are given, many of which i think are VERY doable. for example: buying energy-efficient household appliances, when available. R and I will be purchasing a washer and dryer in the next 5 years, i'm sure. so we'll probably be on the lookout for an energy-efficient one. plus, there are even simpler things to do, like replacing normal light bulbs with compact flourescent light bulbs (cfl). i don't personally own a corporation that is contributing X number of tons of CO2 per annum, so i am content with switching out my light bulbs for now and feeling pretty darn helpful. between that and encouraging everyone i can to see the movie/visit the website, anyways.

so don't be afraid. the film ends with hope, and faith that we can fix the problem we've created. get informed and accept my documentary recommendation :) please visit where a lot more information is, too. go on. click on the link. it's painless!

other documentaries that i've enjoyed (in varying degrees), and cannot be held responsible for their differences in accuracy (which in each film's case is usually disputed):

  • The Smartest Guys in the Room (about Enron)
  • Super-Size Me (lots of controversy, but fun to watch)
  • 7 Up, 7 plus 7, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up, 49 Up; also called The Up Series (series of films starting with a group of 7-year-olds (in England from different backgrounds) and checking on their lives at intervals of 7 years)
  • Baraka (visually beautiful! art film about various cultures from all over the world)
  • Lost Boys of Sudan (i couldn't get into it much, it was okay)
  • Hands on a Hard Body (it sounds like a porno, but it's really about a small town car dealership that has a contest to win a new truck by keeping your hand on the truck the longest--my favorite moment is when one guy admits to eating nothing the whole time, "except maybe a Snicker")
  • Spellbound (about the national spelling bee in DC)
  • Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (sooo interesting, but not the most well made)
two that i would like to see:
  • Fast Food Nation--not really a documentary, but...(I read the book and enjoyed it immensely; it's by Eric Schlosser)
  • Wordplay (about Will Shortz, maker of the New York Times corssword puzzles)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

iPod-Elliptical-Workout Trifecta

Just in case anyone wondered what my playlist was while I work out here at my apartment complex's elliptical machine, (and thought, hmm I wish I had some songs that were the right tempo for working out on the elliptical) then today's your lucky day. I was visiting a friend's blog and she had posted her list of songs for just such an occasion. It's nice to know that other folks also prefer working out to a beat that coincides with the workout. It's much more synergistic, and dance-nerdy. Enjoy! (the album names are in parentheses):

"This is Such a Pity" by Weezer (Make Believe)
"Soul Meets Body" by Death Cab for Cutie (Plans)
"The First Single" by The Format (The Format)
"Canned Heat" by Jamiroquai (Synkronized)
"Where Do I Go From Here" by Jamiroquai (Synkronized)
"Now or Never" by Zebrahead (Playmate of the Year)
"Sexx Laws" by Beck (Midnight Vultures)
"Stockholm Syndrome" by Muse (Absolution)
"Love Foolosophy" by Jamiroquai (A Funk Odyssey)
"Life During Wartime" by The Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense)
"Why Bother" by Weezer (Pinkerton)
"Mixed Bizness" by Beck (Midnight Vultures)
"Pressure Zone" by Beck (Midnight Vultures)
"You Might Think" by The Cars (Greatest Hits)
"Shake it Up" by The Cars (Greatest Hits)
"Got to Get You Into My Life" by Earth, Wind, and Fire
"Electric Mistress" by Jamiroquai (Dynamite)
"Don't Let Go" by Weezer (The Green Album)
also probably some Crystal Method, if I could find my CD...

(faster-paced songs for the occasional interval of crazy-fast ellipticalling:)
"Feel Good, Inc." by Gorillaz (Demon Days)
"Staring at the Sun" by The Offspring (Americana)
"I Am" by Zebrahead (Playmate of the Year)--a few profanities, beware
"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers (Hot Fuss)
"Cars & Calories" by Saves the Day (Stay What You Are)
"Girl" by Beck (Guero)
"Hey Jealousy" by Gin Blossoms (New Miserable Experience)
"Stickshifts and Safteybelts" by Cake (Fashion Nugget)
"Don't Let's Talk About Lisa" by Lonestar (Lonely Grill)
"Everything is Alright" by Motion City Soundtrack (Commit this to Memory)--few profanities
"When 'You're' Around" by Motion City Soundtrack (Commit this to Memory)--more profanities
"Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" by The Offspring (Americana)
"Idioteque" by Radiohead (Kid A)

*Disclaimer: I do the elliptical at an arbitrary pace of 6.0-6.5 as set by the machine's manufacturers. Also, I usually have the resistance up to the equally arbitrary number of "10". I'm not sure what these numbers mean to anyone else, but I DO know that the pace of these songs works for me, and said numbers. Hopefully they will for you too, even if you might have to tweak them. And hopefully you won't find yourself reading the list above and thinking that I am a huge weenie and don't challenge myself.

So there you go. My playlist. It tells a lot about a person. But keep in mind that there are several artists that I listen to regularly in normal, non-working-out life that aren't adequately listed here because of their lack correct speed and intensity. I need always loud, sometimes angry music to work out to. There are probably many other good choices. I would appreciate any suggestions by those who want to contribute their musical preferences. You will be improving my workout enjoyment and ability to be distracted for 45-50 minutes. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


i love this funny shirt that my friend Melissa found. Which is ironic...that i love it. Hmmm.
i love my little Chubber. Especially when he falls down and needs his mommy and lays his head on my shoulder. :( This happened twice today.
i love my R. He's all studious and cute, and plays volleyball and can jump really high. And we like the same shows and watch them at night while eating dinner. And we love to talk to each other and vent. It's great. Sigh!
i love that G and B is paying for our moving expenses so we don't have to. And we don't have to drive our car out, since that's also covered. Booyah!

i hate looking for a mover. I just want to pick one and have it be over!
i hate looking for housing sight unseen. I, again, just want to pick one and have it be over.
i hate the lotion i'm trying to get rid of. it's waaaay too strong. it's much better for just hands, but as i've mentioned in a previous post, i'm trying to rid myself of the excess bottles.
i hate the cable company. they're supposed to be here yesterday, but they aren't even here today. whatever.

i love/hate Arc of Justice. it's still quite good, and very interesting, but the topic is sometimes hard to face. the degree of racism, even still lingering about today, is staggering. i would still recommend it though. important stuff.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I just checked the weather on my Google account, and it says that it's 0 degrees Fahrenheit. this is without wind chill factors of any kind. and it's windy, let me tell you. so it probably feels like negative 50 or something out there right now. plus, the way the snow looks outside after being blown around is akin to how desert sand looks, all bleak and horrible. only here we're frozen, not dehydrated and sun stroked. and our windows suck. you can feel a frigid "breeze" while standing within feet of any window. they sound terrible too, like you're in the attic of a rickety country house during a tornado. it's kind of exciting actually. although annoyingly cold.

and poor little M just wants to go play in the snow, but his tiny face keeps getting chapped and bright red after only 10 minutes. so that makes him cry, but then so does bringing him back inside which he doesn't want to do. it's a hard knock life for that chubber.

solution: take your tiny man to the mall, before any of the stores open even, and then let him run down the shiny floors to his heart's content. we're not cold, we're not cooped up at home, we take excellent naps from being properly exercised and fed a warm lunch. this is indeed how the day has gone so far. the Boy is still napping peacefully in several layers of clothing, most of which are fleece. and i am trying to get up the courage to go and change into church clothes instead of staying wrapped up in this blanket on my bed, blogging.