Monthly Archives: July 2008

Mama Mia!

Rita and I went to see Mama Mia! last night. It was a really fun movie. In a sea of movies that feel the same, this one feels fresher than most of what is in theaters now. It almost had a bollywood feel.

As an aside, so many movies feel like repeats of already made flicks. Perhaps I’m merely at an age where Seneca rings true: “There is nothing new under the sun.” One of the trailers before the movie was about a man who dies, and his ghost has unfinished business on earth. Hmmmm, original storyline? Ugh. So Mama Mia! felt a bit less hackneyed. At the se time, I felt myself comparing it to Moulin Rouge and bollywood films.

Meryl Streep was great! I really love her! I was thinking how cool it was for Amanda Seyfreid to play her daughter in the flick. Christine Baranski was and Julie Walters were also great. There was a group of women sitting next to me, all singing along with the film. They were in some serious seventh heaven. And the “Dancing Queen” scene is pretty great.

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Helvetica

It’s Sunday evening, and I have been cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. We got new dishes, Santiago Square green dishes by Dansk.

Our new dishes

Those of you who are close to me know that I have been obsessing about dishes for quite a while. I’ve been wanting nice stoneware dishes, so I’ve done a fair amount of research. When I was in Buffalo, my mother and I went to Niagara-on-the Lake for her birthday. While there, we stumbled upon a Dansk store that was going out of business, selling dinnerware for 40% off. Woo-hoo for Sujal and me!

Another really cool part of that trip was that my mother and I saw two foxes. Here is a great shot I got:

I wish we had foxes in our yard. Foxes are the best.

Anyway, so I had to clean out space in our cupboards. Afterward, exhuasted and coaxed by my husband, I am now watching a documentary on fonts — Helvetica specifically. When he came and asked me if I wanted to watch a documentary on fonts, I rolled my eyes but was silently a bit interested. If he’d told me it was about helvetica — well, I’d have probaby said no. I’m not a fan of font without serifs. I know that probably sounds funny to most of you, but what can I say? I’m a serif girl. The documentary, Heletiva, was somewhat interesting, though I was writing this post through most of it. It goes through the genesis and life of the font. One aspect I found specifically interesting was one woman saw a correlation with helvetica and “right” politics. She associates the Vietnam war with helvetica. Check it out if you are: a. into documentaries b. into helvetica c. into design d. into font.

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Camping on the Cape

Last week, Lara and I went camping on Cape Cod. It had been years (almost 10?) since I’d been out there, and I forgot how great it is! We went on this monster long bike ride, a beautiful ride along the dunes in Wellfleet. It reminded me of the amazing bike ride I took on Inis Mor in Ireland — so beautiful! I really wanted to do this hike — the Great Island Trail. Amy and I did it when we were last on the cape together. I remember all the little crabs, dunes, waves — it was a long, but lovely hike!

Lara and I camped at The Atlantic Oaks campground, which I might recommend with some reservations. We were tent camping, and we were far too close to the road. But on the plus side we were right on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which was a big plus. It’s also very close to the Salt Pond Bay NP Visitor’s Center. After the long bike ride, we were both pretty spent, so the next day we just hung out in P-Town. It was grey and rainy, too. At some point, I’d love to take hubby there.

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The Sad State of Movies

I have seen a bunch of movies since the beginning of the summer, but honestly, I have not been inspired to write much about them because they have been pretty lame. When Sujal and I went to see Get Smart, I thought it was okay, but nothing to write home about. I began thinking about movies I have really liked. I like a good comedy, and I tried to think of comedies that I thought were really funny, comedies like Little Miss Sunshine, The Royal Tennenbaums, or The Forty Year Old Virgin, Sujal pointed out that there is a degree of seriousness in them. I don’t know. I used to think comedies were really funny. And now, they often seem kind of dumb. I’m not sure if movies are just getting worse, or if a “good movie” is defined by the kinds of movies one liked in one’s youth. It’s just hard to come by funny movies that make me really laugh out loud, and just ask my mom, I laugh very easily. She used to be quite amused by me watching a movie.

So what have I seen lately? The Incredible Hulk. This was one of the worst movies I have seen in a long time. Granted, I would neverhave gone to see this on my own. Sujal wanted me to go. I can’t say I have ever been that impressed with computer-generated special effects. I don’t care about flashy screen moments. I prefer subtlety. But what was so badabout this film was the writing! The dialogue was so inane that it insulted its audience, no matter how idiotic the audience might be. At one point, this scientist is speaking in what I shall call “science-speak.” He was trying to sound all technical, and he said something along the lines of, “If it is off by one integer, he might die!” The scientist literally used the word “integer.” It was a ridiculous use of the word in that context. Couldn’t they think of anything more intelligent sounding? Or did they think the audience would have been too stupid to understand? Ugh!

We did see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which I did like. I am a big fan of the Indiana Jones flicks. We went to see it with one of Sujal’s co-workers. He said he thought National Treasure was better, whih I took as blasphemy. That movie was terrible! He asked me what I thought the difference was, seeing how they were both adventure flicks. 1. I don’t like Nicholas Cage as an action hero. He plays a great fuck-up, but not an action hero. 2. NT takes itself seriously. IJ pokes fun at itself for the genre it is.

We also saw Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation at Real Art Ways, which was very funny. It is a shot by shot remake of the original, shot by kids (11-17?). Here’s a review.

I saw Kung Fu Panda, which frankly had far too many “fat” jokes. It was okay, but nothing to shake a stick at.

Earlier in the week, Sujal and I saw Wall*E. Sujal was annoyed that I didn’t like it. He thought I went to the movie predisposed not to like it. But here’s the truth: I tend to really like Pixar movies, so i was thinking I’d really like it — even though I’d heard the premise and it sounded uninteresting. I told Sujal after the movie that I obviously have no problem with animals being anthropomorphized. In fact, I like anthropomorphizing animals. I do it to our cats all the time. But an anthropomorphized robot? I have a hard time sympathizing with that. I’m not 100% sure why I do, I just do. Besides, this one robot (I thought robots were genderless) — a boy robot — falls in love with a girl robot. There’s no talking for close to the first half of the movie, so when the robots start speaking (and the boy robot has trouble speaking and says next to no words), they speak English. Why? (I know it is an American film…) How the hell do robots fall in love? Then the story becomes an allegory about being good to planet Earth, again via depicting fat Americans. Always with the fat Americans. If the movie is going to go so far as to be scientifically accurate that humans would lose their bone mass in space, how do they even survive for 700 years? I often can suspend disbelief, but this movie felt contrived and preachy. Even though I agree with the message, I don’t want to be preached to. Ultimately, I could not sympathize with any of the characters. When I cannot sympathize with at least one character, I have a tough time hooking into any story.

So when Sujal wanted to see another movie this weekend (Wanted or Hancock), I just didn’t want to go see anything. I haven’t even seen Sex in the City because of the abysmal reviews it is getting, and I loved that show.

Maybe soon something good will come out.

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Domestically Challenged, Yet Improving

The Armoire

I have to say I am pretty damn proud of myself. I am generally quite domestically challenged, but this week, I made myself a jewelry “armoire.” I tend to be a bit frugal, while husband dear tends to be a spender. I hem and haw over making a big purchase. “Pre-shopping” is a full-time hobby of mine. Just ask my friends who got to the mall with me. They come home with bags, and I come home empty-handed after trying on a ton of clothing. Then I may go back and get one item. Well, I have been wanting a jewelry armoire for close to a year. (This one is nice, too.) But I go to JC Penney and check them out. Sometimes they are on sale. Sometimes I have a coupon. Yet somehow, it always seems like an insanely frivolous purchase. Granted, if we stopped eating out for a week, we’d recoup our loss.

Anyway, my birthday recently passed (35 — yipes! I’m officially middle aged, which is obvious when I now have to check the 35-50 box). I asked for the armoire. Sujal did not want to buy it, mainly because he did not think it would match our future bedroom set. Sometimes I wondered about the quality of the armoires. They can seem to be shoddily made. So I did not get one.

My friend, Rita, is doing a little eBay selling project. She has a closet full of wares to sell, so I was peeking through. She had this Ikea unfinished pine cabinet. When I saw it, I figured I could buy it off of her, stain it, put in some hooks, and then I’d have a fancy armoire! Basically, I just wanted one for my necklaces, so I could actually see what I have instead of keeping them in a tangled mess in little boxes. So I did just that. I went out and got some stain — oil-based — oops! I stained that puppy. Don’t worry. It has character. There are my finger marks on the top. Then I put in twenty-six little brass hooks.

We were going to hang the cabinet on the wall, though we are afraid of hanging things on the plaster, because we don’t really know how to. We’ve looked into it, but we’re always afraid the walls will crumble. And frankly, it looks damn good! (If I don’t mind saying so myself!)

The Garden

Then, Lara came over to take some flowering weeds off of our hands. The flower beds are the bane of my existence. The weeds are winning! So we dug and dug, pulling out Black-Eyed Susans, Lily of the Valley, and other flowering weeds that I don’t recall their names. Lara also had this great idea to “kill” weeds. If you weed an area where you want nothing to grow (at least for a bit), then lay newspaper down and mulch over it. The newspaper is biodegradable, so it won’t hurt anything, But the weeds can’t grow through it. I did this decent sized section, and next year, we can plant grass there!!

The next big home improvement task: taking down a border in our living room and painting lots of walls.

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