slyvermont: (Default)
So, Vermont's US senator, Patrick Leahy, is this big Batman fan, and after being an extra in the last movie, he got a speaking role this time around. He also managed to arrange a special screening of the film in Montpelier as a fundraiser for our local library (Leahy grew up around here). We got 3 tickets. So the 3 of us are getting to see "Dark Knight" a week before (most of) the rest of the world, plus get an introduction from Leahy and Warner Bros Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer.

Pretty nifty, huh.

In other news:

I picked the most delicious, sweet strawberries today. We’re going to be eating strawberries constantly for the next week, to get through the 10 pounds I picked. I also bought fresh peas. I love this time of year. End of June, beginning of July – peas and strawberries. Yummy.

If you haven't seen the Where's Matt Now dancing video, go check it out: http://youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY&feature=user. Here’s the NYTimes story that explains the video.
slyvermont: (typewriter girl)
I don’t know how people who travel a lot keep sane. I’ve been away three weekends in a row, four out of five, and I feel like the threads of my life are unraveling.

I was supposed to be home this weekend, but ended up being away for a lot of it. Rich was involved in a project in Burlington, which led to a free hotel room on Saturday night. So Saturday afternoon I drove to Burlington, we saw a movie and had dinner. Sunday, after Rich went off to his meeting, I met my friend Abby for shopping and lunch. By the time I got home and took a walk, the day had disappeared.

The movie we saw was “Across the Universe,” which didn’t get great reviews (according to Rotten Tomatoes) but I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I guess I’m a sucker for the Beatles and love stories. I can’t wait to see it again, and then buy the DVD so I can watch it again and again and again. I highly recommend it, even if a lot of reviewers don't.





No travel expected this month. Maybe I can finish the book and move onto the month’s worth of New York Times’ piled up in my dining room.

Finally, for the MHS graduates: The girls soccer team won the state championship!
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
I’m behind on everything. I feel like I’m operating on slow motion. I haven’t wished happy birthday to several people (jedihealer and hlynn are two of them -- happy belated birthday!), and here I am posting about stuff that happened a week ago.

Last weekend ended up being unplanned family together time. The three of us went to a movie and two very Vermonty activities – Circus Smirkus and Bread & Puppet.



slyvermont: (Default)
Books: After reading "The Sleeping Beauty Proposal" (and then writing this review of it in the Times Argus), I decided to read all of Sarah Strohmeyer’s books. She’s a local author who writes chick lit. I’ve never read chick lit before, but decided to make an exception since she’s local, (and a really good interview). I had read the first two Bubbles books before writing the review, and last week tackled the remaining four. They are mysteries, the sleuth is a hair dresser/journalist/floozy named Bubbles Yablonsky. Then I read her "The Cinderella Pact." All good fun – good books if you want to do anything but challenge your mind.

On Sunday, after dropping Rich off at the airport in the pouring rain, I went to Barnes & Noble, found "Sacrifice," curled up in a chair and read the entire book at the bookstore (OK, skimmed or skipped all the Fett/Mandalorian stuff and some of the politics). Came home and finally read the endless emails on the “big event” on the CJ list. It’s nice to finally be au courant.

I’ll avoid spoilers, and just say I thought the book was well-done and tastefully written, and I was much less upset than I thought I would be.

Oh -- I've successfully re-read all the Harry Potter books.

Speaking of HP:  I MUST stop reading Harry Potter stuff. I’ve been trying very hard to avoid everything, but then something will catch my eye – in the newspaper or on the wires – and I’ll read it. And then feel like hitting myself, like Dobby. Like I just read in the NY Times what Rowling said about the book’s last word. I didn’t need to know that. I do not want to be spoiled for this book. I want to get it at 12:01 and then hibernate (with friends) in my house and read, read, read.

Today I went shopping with my friend Abby, again in the pouring rain. Bought stuff I didn’t need -- mainly shoes. Had fun.

Last week I had a dexoscan, which is an X-ray of the spine and hip bones. Unfortunately – although not surprisingly – the doctor’s office called to tell me I have had some bone density loss. I’m seeing the doctor tomorrow, and so will learn more.

This is scary. For the last five years, I’ve been trying hard to eat calcium, started lift weights, stopped swimming and instead walk/run. Other than eating more calcium, I’m not sure what else I can do. I don’t know how bad it is; I assume I will learn all about the various drugs I could start taking. I started reading about osteoporosis online, and stopped when I saw the statistic that 50% of women over 50 have a bone break because of osteoporosis. It was just too darn depressing. (On the positive side, all my other annual tests showed nothing wrong.)

Movies: We’ve joined the rest of the civilized world and now have Netflix. In the last few weeks I’ve seen Citizen Kane, About a Boy, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and others I can’t think of. Even after watching Citizen Kane with two different commentary tracks, I’m still not sure I get why it’s the best movie ever.

Fourth of July: I had to work, so no parade or fireworks.

Articles: Caroline had this front-page feature on Saturday, and this one on "Geek Week" a couple weeks ago.

Life really is dull. The big excitement a couple Saturdays ago was helping Caroline pick courses. The new online Brown course selection process is like Amazon, where you browse the courses and put the ones you like in your shopping cart. Instead of prices, it creates a cool graphic that shows you when each class meets. Caroline had said she had signed up for too many, which I thought meant 10. Nope, she really meant too many – she must have had 50 in there. We first suggested she eliminate any classes meeting before 10 a.m. and anything meeting after 3 p.m. on Friday. That eliminated a few. Then she got rid of ones needing prerequisites and the upper level graduate courses. She zeroed in on two courses (one was a prereq for about five other classes she wants to take and the other the prereq for Environmental Studies), and will figure out the rest of her schedule when she learns which freshmen seminar she gets. It was fun browsing all the classes I'll never take. The bill came today ... gulp.
slyvermont: (boas)
I spent the last week or so watching TV shows that we had taped (or more accurately, DVR'd) – Heroes and Friday Night Lights. Sometimes, I really hate adding more shows to my watch list. because it does mean more time in front of the tube. Now at least I understand what everyone sees in Heroes. FNL is also very good -- in some ways. for me its like science fiction, since Texas and Vermont could be considered on two separate planets. Certainly the high school on FNL, where football is all that matters, is a different model than the ones we've got here.

Rich and I saw the movie “The History Boys” last weekend. It was very enjoyable –  I even enjoyed the glimpses of English scenery. Important line to note: “History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. History is women following behind with the bucket.”

We also saw the high school production of The Philadelphia Story, in which the Jimmy Stewart character was played by a girl (I assume because of a shortage of boys trying out for the play). I had problems with this; otherwise, thought it was great -- and then we came home and watched the movie.

Back to TV, this week Bravo starts its interior design reality show. The project rungay guys are blogging this (which you can find here).

Finally ... I love reviews of bad movies. Critics must so enjoy writing these. Here is the first two paragraphs of what A.O. Scott had to say about Smokin' Aces. (Spew warning)

“F.B.I.! F.B.I.!” Blam blam blam blam. “[Expletive]. [Expletive].” Blam blam blam. Spurt of blood. Plot twist. “F.B.I.! F.B.I.!” “[Expletive].” Blam blam blam blam blam. “[Expletive].” “F.B.I.!” “Hotel Security!” Blam. Exploding skull. Guy sits on a chain saw. Montage. [Expletive]. Plot twist. Roll credits.

Yes, I condensed a bit, and I’m sorry if I spoiled anything, but the above is a fair summary of Joe Carnahan’s “Smokin’ Aces,” a Viagra suppository for compulsive action fetishists and a movie that may not only be dumb in itself, but also the cause of dumbness in others. Watching it is like being smacked in the face for a hundred minutes with a raw sirloin steak. By the end, there’s blood everywhere, a bad smell lingering in the air, and vegetarianism — or starvation or blindness — starts to look like an attractive option.”
slyvermont: (Tonks)
Caroline got into her first college! University of Wisconsin. She was quite thrilled, skipping down the stairs, a huge grin on her face.

I’ve seen two movies in the last week, The Queen and Casino Royale (the latest Bond movie). The Queen is about the dramatic week in England when Princess Diana died, and all of England except the royal family went into paroxysms of grief. Tony Blair was new in office as PM, so a lot of the movie explored the relationship between him and Queen Elizabeth (played marvelously by Helen Mirren). The day Diana died we were in Cape Cod staying with friends. Coincidentally, their au pair, Angela, was from Great Britain. Jane and I discussed how to wake her up and break the news to her, figuring that she would be devastated. When Jane finally did it, Angela couldn’t care less and went back to sleep. She was the one Brit (besides the royal family) who was indifferent. I remember that week checking the British papers online, being astonished by the outpouring of grief and the indifference of the royals.

The characterization of Prince Charles was interesting – he came off as a mix between a weak-willed ninny and a concerned father and ex-husband. It was at moments flattering and at other moments not. His father, Prince I can’t remember his name, came off as a total asshole. All he wanted to do was take the princes out “stalking” (hunting). Fresh air and all. He seemed to hate Diana more than anyone. Good movie: I recommend it.

Casino Royale was fun. Violent and bloody – there was a horrible torture scene, and I don’t understand how it got a PG-13 and not an R rating. The emphasis was not on megalomaniac bad guys wanting to take over the world with super weapons – it was a more personal, smaller story. It takes place just after Bond becomes OO7, so before all the other movies (it’s like being in a warped time machine). So we learn a little about Bond before he became a suave womanizer. Not that he wasn’t a suave womanizer in this movie – although he had sex with only one woman. The plot was convoluted (of course); the first blond Bond was OK, and they certainly figured out lots of ways to show his chest and abs. Which were fine to look at.

Funny moment in the office yesterday. A lady calls up to tell us that someone shot and killed her pet duck in her backyard. After much discussion about this in the office (is it duck season? Did it look like a turkey? Who cares?) one reporter comments – “a duck is killed. The turkeys are thinking, cry me a river.”
slyvermont: (Ron/Myspace)
Pirates! Arrrgh!

I knew it wasn’t going to be as good as the first one (I read enough reviews). And, it wasn’t.

What did I think? Some very brief thoughts:



Superman )
slyvermont: (POTC)
Since just about everyone on my flist seems to be saving feral cats these days, I thought this story, which will be running in our paper tomorrow, would be of interest. Personally, I'm wondering if this is a national thing -- multiplying wild cats!!! Can't you see the National Enquirer covering it?

I feel like I need a cute cat icon. Since I'm at work, I can't go and search for one. Oh well, I'll settle for Johnny Depp. I'll be seeing him soon (got my tickets already for tomorrow). And speaking of stories, I enjoyed this lede from the NY Times review: "At first glance, it seems like a pretty good deal. You put down your money — still less than $10 in most cities — and in return you get two and a half hours of spirited swashbuckling, with an all-star three-way battle of the cheekbones (Orlando Bloom vs. Keira Knightley vs. Johnny Depp) and some extra-slimy computer-generated imagery thrown in at no additional cost." A.O. Scott, the Times reviewer, outdid himself on this one. (Another favorite line: "These sailors are like the cast of  'SpongeBob SquarePants' — or the menu at a seafood restaurant —come to life: Night of the Living Bouillabaisse.")

OK, can't resist, here's another good one: "And there are other memorable bits and pieces, visual highlights of a movie with no particular interest in coherence, economy or feeling. Knightley is, once again, a vision of imperial British pluckiness, with an intriguing dash of romantic recklessness that surfaces toward the end. Bloom, as is his custom, leaps about, trying to overcome his incurable blandness, and is upstaged by special effects, musical cues, octopus tentacles and pieces of wood."

The review is actually one of the more favorable ones out there. I'm prepared to not fall in love like I did the first time around, but I will trust Scott that "It’s about fun. You’re there to have fun. Fun for the family. Fun for the kids. Fun for everyone. So shut up and have fun."

slyvermont: (Rant)
The painters have started to work on our house. They came at 8 a.m. Friday. Then 8 a.m. Saturday.

And then -- yes -- at 8 a.m. Sunday. That's this morning. They don't seem to take any days off.

They were sanding (which is very loud). Now priming (which stinks). And they play their boombox really loud, and – which is the worst, really, of everything – they sing along.

Off to the health club. Then off to see Superman. Just so I don’t have to be here.

Potpourri

Jul. 1st, 2006 05:12 pm
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
Fresh strawberry and peas. Yum. I went strawberry picking (again) yesterday, and picked up peas at the farmer’s market. My favorites. I love this time of year, just for strawberries and peas.

Here was an interesting message on my answering machine: ‘Hi. This is Bonnie Helman at the Carenet Pregnancy Center. My phone number is 484-5413.’ I’m not pregnant. I’m pretty sure Caroline isn’t, and I’m positive Rich isn’t. It’s either a fund-raising call or a wrong number. A really wrong number, since I did a search for 802-484-5413, and got a private residence, and a search for Pregnancy Carenet in Vermont shows different phone numbers.

Last night I saw "The Devil Wears Prada." It was a fun movie, but the situations were certainly frustrating. I don’t think anyone should put up with the kind of crap that the boss (played by a spellbinding and fabulous Meryl Streep) was dishing out and I didn’t like the way the main character (Andy, new college graduate and aspiring journalist) decided that she had to look like every other fashion-conscious person at the company (including going from a size 6 to a size 4 – since when is a size 6 considered fat?).

And I just don’t get the allure of high-heeled shoes. If I had to have a job that demanded I wear 6-inch spike heels – just forget it. Nothing is worth spike heels.

Oscars

Mar. 6th, 2006 12:19 am
slyvermont: (Default)
Can someone please explain this Crash phenomenon to me?

I never even heard of the movie until it got nominated. If it ever played here, I don't remember it. I just checked out the New York Times review, which partly explains why I never paid attention to it; it got a pretty crummy review ("A frustrating movie: full of heart and devoid of life."). Did it win because it's about Los Angeles and all the votes come from Hollywood residents? Oh well, it's not the first time that the best movie didn't win.

The other mystery of the night was Charlize Theron's dress. What on earth was she thinking? What was that thing on her shoulder?

Jon Stewart was great (loved the montage of cowboy movies). I enjoyed George Clooney's speech and Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin's act. Dolly Parton has really gotten skinny (except in her chest, of course).

And was this the shortest Oscar night in recent memory?

Capote

Feb. 8th, 2006 03:06 pm
slyvermont: (Default)
Last Saturday I saw “Capote,” the movie, which is all about Truman Capote’s research for his book, “In Cold Blood.”

I read this book at Columbia, which was enough years ago not to remember it in detail. But the eerie tone lingers in my memory.

The movie was fascinating on many levels. The actor captured Capote and his eccentricities. The other main character is Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which is probably tied with “The Great Gatsby” for my favorite novel.  I always thought she was something of a recluse, which is not how she is portrayed in this movie. She and Capote grew up in the same town, and Capote is the model for the character Dill in her book.

As a journalist, I am troubled by and intrigued with the portrayal of how he conducted his interviews with the murderer, Perry Smith.

Discussion includes spoilers )
slyvermont: (Default)
I'm at work -- volunteering to work again this year so someone else can spend Christmas Eve with their family. And, just like last year, my editor is late, so I'm here with not much to do. So I'll ramble for awhile, adding on as the day goes on. (Even though she just walked in.)

Rambling )
slyvermont: (Default)
Tonight, AFI announces its 100 top movie quotes. If you go to its web site, you can look at the 400 quotes in the running.

Here’s my guess for the top 10. I suspect that something from The Godfather and Casablanca has to be in the top five; deciding which line is the best is tough. Same with which line from Star Wars to select. I'm fully prepared to be 100 percent incorrect; I bet someone like [livejournal.com profile] hollywdliz would do a better job.


Here they are )
slyvermont: (Monet)
But first: I went to see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants last night. I cried for half the movie. What a tearjerker, and I loved every minute.
ETA: And there was a trailer for Harry Potter!!
OK, onto what the seniors at MHS are up to.

Last year’s prank was one for the books. The kids stole all the cafeteria chairs and hid them so well that the staff could not find them anywhere. Since there are a lot of chairs and they are big and bulky, this was quite an accomplishment. The cops were called in. Eventually the chairs turned in a shed on campus, so in a sense the administration looked pretty stupid to have missed them.

This year’s prank – again, students snuck into the building and what they did took hours. They painted all the ceiling tiles in the school’s lobby. The problem with this “prank” is that the end result is quite beautiful – a stunning ceiling mural. This poses an interesting ethical dilemma. The kids technically defaced school property and could have gotten hurt while doing it, a liability issue. Yet, the end result is a keeper. Should the kids be punished? The mural deleted? (You can see a photo of the mural here.)

Then, when it became clear that this prank wasn’t mischievous enough, the seniors decided on another decorating scheme. They tore out photos from porno magazines and pasted them on a skylight spelling out “2006” (trying to blame the juniors for this one). Caroline witnessed the janitors trying to get them down – they kept bringing in new, taller ladders. How the kids accomplished this task is quite a mystery.

I guess I’ll answer my own questions here, too. I tend to veer on the more lenient side on these things. I think kids are going to do senior pranks every year, I think their creativity and diligence is admirable, and I think trying to stop them is a futile endeavor. I don’t believe in the “kids will be kids” mantra all the time – bullying shouldn’t be ignored, for example. I support leaving the mural up as is – and perhaps “punishing” the kids by making them paint all the other ceiling tiles on the first floor.
slyvermont: (Default)
What a grey, dreary day. Cold and damp.

The good news – I bought tickets to the midnight show of ROTS here in Montpelier. They went on sale yesterday, and I wasn’t even the first ones on line to buy them.

Today, I worked on my Star Wars story for the magazine, and had my picture taken. I purged my office of a few items – Obi-Wan dressed in grass skirt, Anakin in black leather pants. The world doesn’t need to know everything. Among my 12-inch Star Wars vinyl collection I kept my Spike doll. I’m kinda curious if anyone will notice.

I'm off to see a film called Millions -- indie, foreign film, I think.

Here's hoping the sun comes out soon here.
slyvermont: (Default)
There are many benefits to living in a small town. It’s nice having a local theater owned by a local family. But they are so old-fashioned!

Is it possible that my local theater is the only one in the country planning on showing ROTS yet not selling advance tickets? That never sells advance tickets?

When we all went to see Prisoner of Azkaban, we couldn’t buy tickets for the 9:30 pm show until they had sold all the tickets for the 6:30 show. This meant waiting on the line for the 6:30 show, even though we weren’t planning on going to that one.

Since I don’t know when tickets go on sale for the 12:01 am show (which they haven't confirmed they are having), I have to drive or walk by the theater every day now. What a waste! And it’s not like I can call them or check out a website to get the information, because they just don’t do that.

On the other hand (switching fandoms) the locally owned bookstore gets it. I just reserved my copy of the new Harry Potter. The bookstore has already announced that it will be open to distribute the book at 12:01 am on July 16.

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