Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's Leap Day!

     Happy Leap Day! What a wonderful holiday Leap Day is. It's rare and there are no presents involved! It's probably not really a holiday at all. It's a day for science, really. It's the opposite of those made up Hallmark holidays that exist only to make money and make single people feel shitty. Leap day wasn't made up at all, it was calculated by scientists.
     The sad part about leap day is that by mid-March, we'll probably forget it even existed. For the two months leading up to it we think "Ohhh, this is a leap year! What possibilities!" And then February 29th comes and goes and we carry on, not caring about that extra day we had this year. A co-worker will ask "is next year a leap year? Or was it this year? How often are they?" Oh poor leap day, how we take advantage of you.
     It's an extra day and perhaps we should embrace it! "Real Life is for March!" We get an extra day. In addition to allowing ladies to propose to their men, it can be a day for metaphorical leaps and trying new things. OR, for sleeping in and drinking wine because it's a free day so nobody will notice. Man, wouldn't it be great if everyone got their own private leap day? Just an extra 24 hours tucked away somewhere where nobody could find you. It'd be like going on vacation in a wormhole. Oooooh, wormholes. 
     I also wish the Leap Day William movie that 30 Rock made was real. Jim Carrey? Andie MacDowell? The basic plot of Groundhogs Day and Liar Liar wrapped into one? Yes, please! And while we're talking about Leap Day William, who wore it best?

Jim Carey in (the fake) Leap Day William
Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) as Leap Day William


Here's wishing you a day of leaps and science! Happy Leap Day to us all!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two Speed Blender

     My blender is great. It has two speeds: high and low. I guess technically it has three speeds if you count off. It doesn't have frappe or stir or liquify. Just high and low and it gets shit done. My blender looks kinda like this:

Except that's a picture of the "retro style' blender, and mine is actually just that old. It was made in the 20s and passed down from generation to generation. Or it was made in the 40s and my great-grandmother just gave it to me because everyone else already had a blender. Either way, it's an old blender and it still works great.
     I attempted to use one of those magic bullet blenders a while back to make a smoothie. It was a bit of a pain and there were a lot of safety precautions all over. After a minute or two of pulsing, per the directions, my smoothie was still chunky. I was impatient and I drank it anyway. Also, there wasn't that much of it. That might be part of the point of the magic bullet--portion control--but it's a damn smoothie and mind your own damn business small kitchen appliance.
     I made a smoothie this morning in my relic Oster 2-speed blender and it was wonderful. I poured in however much stuff I wanted and turned the knob on. I turned it to slow at first, and then to high. And then--THEN--I went right back to off. Because that's how the dial is fashioned; it goes from off to low to high to off. CONVENIENCE! Also, the speeds are listed as "hi" and "lo" because the font is large and the dial is not that large. Anyway, my smoothie came out smooth and perfectly blended. There were no chunks and each gulp was the same consistency, which is really what I look for in a smoothie.
     This blender is practically between 80 and 100 years old and it blends great. It's the only blender I'll ever need. Forever. This is the thing I'll pass down to my grandchildren. They might have to power it with crystals, but hopefully they'll have a crystal to AC power converter because this is a fantastic blender. Mmmm, future smoothies.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh, The Weekend

     The weekend is a nice time to put all our worries aside. Put a pin in them, as the saying goes. Cut loose, let your hair down, Frankie Say Relax! I'm not trying to brag here, but I had a pretty awesome weekend full of improv, making an ass of myself, and the Oscars! Yay! Shiny!
     Improv Jams are awesome, and the Lady Jam is even more awesome, for two main reasons--1. it's for ladies, and 2. DANCE PARTY! It's fun that it's for ladies because the idea of ladies supporting ladies is really important. It's not about excluding guys (in fact, there were several gentlemen there, a Front Row Dudes chant, and the host brought a guy up for one jam). It's about including and supporting your fellow women players. And of course, the dance party. It's just effing fun.
     The other really fun part of jams is the party after the jam. All the cool kids head out to the same bar and enjoy a few drinks and some more good times. And that is where I am afforded the opportunity to make an ass of myself. I do it like this: experienced improviser whom I've watched for years introduces herself to me, I gush, she tries to get away, I feel foolish. Still though, I'd do it again!
     I also had my Improv 101 Grad show this past weekend. That was also very fun. People actually come to watch! Like woah! We're not awesome, but we try, and expectations are low. We said words, we made characters, we performed scenes, and people laughed. Success!
     After the show my friend Riley and I went on a search for a bar showing the Oscars. It was not that difficult. We sat and watched for a bit and tried to read lips since the bar didn't have the closed caption on. It was good times. Then I rushed home at a commercial break, missing Best Song and a few supporting roles, getting home just in time for the last three awards. My roommate said exactly what Meryl Streep said half of America said when her name was announced. I, however, feel this way about Meryl Streep:

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice from Kristian Møller Jørgensen on Vimeo.

I like the Oscars because they're shiny.

Friday, February 24, 2012

For Inspiration Purposes

This video is over an hour long, just so you're prepared. But it's also great. Amy Poehler doles out some great advice. And she and Jane Lynch just have a great time talking to each other. My favorite bit of advice is about the decisions we make and how most of em are 51/49 anyway and then we kinda go "eh, i don't know. Fuck it, let's go."

amy-poehler-in-conversation-with-jane-lynch-live-talks-los-angeles-2197090086 - Live Talks Los Angeles Videos -

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Color of My Sleep

    Someone in my dreams last night told me "you're good at math, and that's good, but maybe you should learn some emotions." And I thought that was a little harsh, dream Tina Fey. We had just gotten ingredients to make pancakes and then I stopped a runaway van. The comment seemed to be from nowhere.
     But maybe my dreams have a point. It's nice to be good at math. But learning emotions is important too. Also, I'm not that good at math, so I need emotions to fall back on.
     We do emotion drills in improv where you enter a scene with a defined emotion and you stick with it. Recently a fellow player did this drill; he acted like he was on drugs. "Were you playing that you were on Ecstasy?" "Yeah." "You know that's not an emotion, right? It's not like 'Happy, sad, on ecstasy.'" We all had a good laugh. Good take-away--being on drugs is not an emotion.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Betty White: If You Ask Me. A Review

     This is basically a picture book. The page count comes in at 258, but the margins are wide and the lines spaced far apart, like a burn-out's term paper. The book doesn't offer anything new. If you're not already a Betty White fan, there would be no reason to read this book--it's not an autobiography or historical fiction or even a call to decency. However, if you are a Betty White fan, you already know everything she talks about. So really, it's just a picture book.
     I should be more lenient considering she's a 90-year-old woman trying to write a book that isn't just full or sounds a drool stains. It's a valiant effort and it is her 5th book, and it only covers the past 15 years. Really, it offers what it promises. It's just a collection of short anecdotes. 
     She loves the business she's in, she doesn't like walking the Red Carpet, she talks about Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds more than necessary, and she loves animals, even sexual-harassing gorillas. Also, she was in a movie with Jennifer Love Hewitt and played off-type. I suppose that may have been new information because nobody saw that movie. Also, she promotes the hell out of Hot In Cleveland. That, in a nut-shell, is Betty White: If You Ask Me (And of course you won't).
     I'm being extra harsh because it's really late (or really early) and that's what I do when I'm not in my 7-minute window of kindness. Really, it's sweet that she likes to write books and that she's allowed to do it. I know there's a decent amount of Betty White backlash out there. People are tired of her--they say enough is enough. But I'm glad she still gets work and that she's still good at it. She wrote a little book to say she just likes it when people are nice to each other and to animals. (So maybe it is kind of a call to decency.) It takes about 2 hours to read, so it's not really a waste of time. And again, there are pictures.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Two Holidays In A Row

     Paczki day right after Presidents' Day?! Woah, it's a piling on of minor holidays that don't mean much!
     I looked up my post about Paczki day from last year and I rambled on about the tradition of paczki and how they were think dense donuts. Mmmm.  I talked to my mother just the other day and she joked about shipping me one. I don't think it's a good idea, so I hope she didn't do it. I don't want to accept receipt for a smashed up box full of sugar and custard.
     For everyone else--Happy Mardi Gras, Happy Fat Tuesday, and Happy Lent, I guess.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tip Your Hat

     Happy Presidents' Day!
     It's one of those holidays that's not really a holiday, huh? The Post Office is closed, but UPS will still deliver.  The entire day is a mystery of what will and will not be open. It's also a day where you can save 20% on things. Oh, what a day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Do ya ever?

     Do ya ever? Do ya ever just? You do, don't you? The biggest dilemma of my day has been  red or white. And I mean the true meaning of dilemma. A dilemma is a choice between equally undesirable alternatives. Red or white? RED or WHITE? Eh, the end result is the same, so what does it really matter? So maybe it's not a true dilemma.
     I drank a little bit of wine tonight and watched the Thursday night line up. And then I rewatched Cougar Town. And it all made me cry. WTF? Really? Me? Crying? Well yes. It turns out, I'm a crier.  It's not my favorite thing about myself, but it's true. And since I'm still a little intoxicated while I write this, you (dear reader) get to be witness to my admittance of it. I'm a crier. It's sort of why by brother nicknamed me crier. He also nicknamed me rolls. He is not creative. He sees something and he goes after it.
     Do you remember Mary's post about The National? Well, it was about a different song, but I've been listening to About Today and it made me think similar things about the universe. All right universe--I'll pay attention. What do you have for me? I really hope it's good. Also, this song is really good.

     I specifically embedded that version because it comes from Warrior. Mary really liked that movie. I haven't seen it, but I take her word for it. I've been listening to it because it was on the Cougar Town playlist I made. Think about that for a second. This song is on both the Warrior and the Cougar Town soundtrack. Mary loves Warrior. I love Cougar Town.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jammy Jam

     Through a series of music searches, I found the song "Tickle Me Pink" by Johnny Flynn. I like it a whole bunch and have been jamming to it for a few days.

     Another kind of jam I like is an improv jam. In case you're not familiar, an improv jam is a special kind of format of improv where it seems like there's almost no format at all. The general guise is a (long form) montage where anyone can improv with anyone for a set. A set is typically 10 minutes long. When you arrive, you put your name in a bucket. The night starts by pulling 8 names from the bucket. Those 8 people go to the stage and get a suggestion. Then they improv a series of scenes. Boom. That's it. So simple, but so fun. People of all improv levels do it, so it usually all turns out fantastically. Everyone and every idea are supported. And sure, sometimes things fail, but in a good way. Because failing is how you learn. By the end of the night, every name has been drawn from the bucket.
     Another great thing about improv jams is they are often free. So if you're curious about it, just show up and sit in the back and yell out suggestions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Breakfast Wine

    I'm looking forward to breakfast because I'm looking forward to breakfast wine. Breakfast wine is just wine you have for breakfast. It's probably more of a sign that there's a problem, but I'm choosing to ignore that giant blinking neon sign. Mmmm.  Breakfast wine.
     I made sure to chill a bottle of white for breakfast. It seems to me that white makes a better breakfast wine. It goes better with breakfast items like eggs and waffles and cheerios. Also, someone once told me white wine was was thinking wine. It makes sense to kick off the day with a glass or three of thinking wine.
     Another justification for breakfast wine is that it is a damn good deal. A bottle of Trader Joe's Chardonnay is only $3. Dollar per liter, that is just a damn fine deal. I pay more for coffee and orange juice combined. Breakfast wine is also the economical choice!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


     Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!
     Also, the V could stand for so many things. Victory, for instance. We just don't celebrate a good V-E or V-J day anymore, do we? Or vagina! Happy Vagina Day! That could be a thing. I think a few years ago when The Vagina Monologues  were all the rage, it actually was a thing. It has since faded from our vernacular or our lexicon or our social conscious. I bet V-V day would be spectacular. Think it over.
     I've never given a shit about Valentine's Day. At all, ever. I used to get a small box of candy in a heart-shaped box from my dad when I was a kid. I guess that was nice. But I don't buy into any of it; I believe it's made up. I'm not trying to be cynical about it, but I don't celebrate anything else made up by Geoffrey Chaucer, so why this? It is a fun day to make fun of though. Below, a few clips from my favorite V-Day skewing show, 30 Rock.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Will Grayson, Will Grayson. A Review.

I really wanted to like Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I've heard such wonderful things about it and its authors. This may just be another case of not being its target audience; I'm no longer a YA after all. I didn't hate it and I can see the potential for others to like it. It does have a lovely fun gay message, surely we can embrace that. Also, it was well written. It was decently written, at least. I didn't love the style shift between chapters, but I got used to it. I actually feel bad for not liking it, because I'm sure there are worse books that are more worth my dislike. But I can only give it 2 Stars--an OK book.

Below is my review from Cannonball Read #4
The praise on the cover lied to me. I waited a few days after reading it to review it to allow my feelings to settle. I have to keep reminding myself that  am not this book’s target audience and that perhaps the parts I had trouble with are the parts that were the message to its intended audience.  
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a YA novel written by John Green and David Levithan. They each wrote half the book, alternating the chapters. Each had their own Will Grayson. With that, they each had their own style. On one hand the separate styles further distinguish the Wills from each other—their personalities come through in the way they’re telling their stories. On the other hand, it feels gimmicky; it’s an obvious way to show perspective shift hidden in a clever style-choice. 
There are two Will Graysons. Will Grayson doesn’t seem to be that uncommon of a name, however, I imagine when you meet someone with your exact name, you’re taken aback regardless. The book’s back cover would have us believe that the Will Graysons meeting each other has forever and drastically changed the course of each boy’s life. I find this hard to believe. 
First of all, we know they’re going to meet because 1. it’s almost the title, and 2. it’s the hook printed on the book to draw you in. However, this inciting incident doesn’t actually happen until Chapter 7, on page 110. If this were a David Foster Wallace magnum opus of 1200 pages, page 110 might be early for an inciting incident. This is not the case. 110-pages is almost halfway through the book. Therefore, I believe their meeting wasn’t really the inciting incident to the story at all; it’s a coincidence, an anecdote, a path to a catchy title. Of course, it didn’t do nothing, but it didn’t create cold fusion either. 
The praise on the front cover reads “Funny, rude and original.” I didn’t laugh and I wasn’t very put-off. As far as originality goes, it may be, but not always in the best possible ways. It seems original that Will Grayson #1 is obsessed with Neutral Milk Hotel. They’re a very original band. They released one 11-song album in 1998 that Will Grayson spends hours listening to and parsing apart, even though he doesn’t like all of it, but still, it’s his favorite band. That just seems sad. 
Perhaps it’s the antagonist of the story who is original—Tiny Cooper. He’s really less of an antagonist and more of just an anti-protagonist. In an attempt to not stereotype him, the authors failed to ground him in anything. I failed to connect with him; he remained an amorphous blob to me the entire time.  He is the biggest link between the two Will Graysons.  He’s the best friend and the boyfriend and his presence and subsequent absence in each of their lives is the engine of the story. 
The book isn’t bad, I just found a few parts hard to believe. I’m attempting to suspend my disbelief since I am not a YA, but I still have a hard time believing teenage boys talk to each other that much. Also, I don’t believe the musical described in the pages could have been produced in 9 days for $1000. I was originally critical of the musical itself—it was schmaltzy and over-the-top, and not realistic. At the same time, if I wasn’t such a cynic, I would have thought it was lovely, and its message was actually quite nice. It was about love and appreciating the people who are around you, so I guess I can’t shit all over a YA novel trying to teach that hard-learned lesson. 
Will Grayson, Will Grayson is an easy read and might be really enjoyable for an actual 17-year-old. Rumor has it, however, John Green’s newest—The Fault In Our Stars—is his real triumph. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bird by Bird. Not Quite a Review.

     I read Bird by Bird years ago. I think it was 2005; my life was changing in weird ways and a friend gave it to me, insisting it was good advice for writing and for life. And that's what I remember best about it. I remember the anecdote that inspired the title, and I remember the story about what inspired the book itself. Seven years later though, I doubt I could really tell you what it was about, except to say "well, it's a guide to writing and life."
     I'm not much of a re-reader. I recognize that I've read the sentences before, and then I skim over them, in search for something new. I've kept Bird by Bird next to my bed for reference for a while though. I often intend on re-reading, but it of course never happens. However, sometimes I feel like just flipping through it can retransmit the good advice it contained through me, through osmosis.
     I remember that I really liked Bird by Bird. I've recommended it to many friends. I also use it as an answer to interview questions. Some people like to hear that you can multi-task, but I believe the research that posits multi-tasking produces substandard work, and therefore I tackle my work bird by bird--one task at a time. Also, multi-tasking can mean different things to different people, and the right kind of person appreciates the bird by bird approach to multiple tasks.
     I remember that Bird by Bird was sad and funny. In 2005, I was also sad and funny, so it was right up my alley. The friend who gave it to me was neither sad nor funny, and it was up his alley too, so I think it's safe to say it can speak to anyone. It had good advice for being a writer. It also had good advice for running power plants and making movies, things I continue to waft between.
     It's a National Bestseller and it's not very long, so I recommend it. It gets five stars (out of five) in my mind. It's also a book I know a lot of my friends have. I've accused them of stealing my copy. Apparently all of us aspiring writers, moviemakers, and power plant runners read the same book--that must be how it became a bestseller. Also, multi-tasking is not always a virtue. Sometimes it produces shitty work. Just think about it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

1960s and British

     I have an odd knowledge base about 1960s British pop music. I barely remember what the actual assignment was now, but in 9th grade I did a presentation on the British Invasion. Of course, The Beatles were a part of it, but I delved a little deeper. Everyone knew about The Beatles, so to me, that was less interesting. I was interested in learning more about the rest of it, and the music my parents listened to.
     My parents would have been in high school in 1965, so I was trying to make a connection between my music obsession and what I was hoping was theirs. My dad kept all their old records from that time. He apparently didn't care much for The Beatles--he as used their album covers as a drop-cloth of sorts when painting. I'm guessing my mother bought the albums, and he passive-aggressively drew goatees on them and painted them blue. It's the type of thing they would do.
     I asked my mom, a lot, about going to concerts and whether she understood she was living at a time that would be considered a revolution as far as music was concerned. No, she didn't. She never went to concerts. She had a story about wanting to go see Elvis perform somewhere in Detroit but my dad wouldn't take her because he said Elvis would always be around and it was no different than listening to the record. Sometimes I wonder how I came from these genes. But I digress.
     The odd piece of knowledge that stuck with me throughout this research from this 9th grade project was my mother's favorite band was Herman's Hermits. The fact that she preferred Herman and his hermits to the much more popular Beatles was endearing. She also enjoyed Gary Lewis & The Playboys, but they were not British so it didn't factor into my presentation. However, I often get them mixed up now, and I'm embarrassed by that. All of this brings me to the point that if someone asks me to name a song from the 1960s that's British, I always refer to Herman's Hermits. So, earlier today, a variation of this conversation happened:
Mary: I have a song stuck in my head, but I don't know what it is. I just know it's 1960's and British.
Me: Maybe it's "This Diamond Ring," by Herman's Hermits.
Me: No, wait, that's Gary Lewis & The Playboys
Me: But if it's Herman's Hermits, maybe it's "Mrs. Brown, you've got a lovely daughter."
Mary: JESUS CHRIST, Nancy, it is! 
 The actual conversation was riddled with (my) typos, but that was basically it. Mary was thinking of a 1960s British song, and my mother's love of Herman's Hermits led me to correctly identify the song.
     Also, "This Diamond Ring" and "Mrs. Brown..." are a little similar.

Also, just to tie this up neatly, this was my parents' wedding song:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


     When I say 1993, it doesn't seem like that long ago. I remember it pretty clearly. 1993 was the year my brother graduated high school and The X-Files premiered. I remember talking about The X-Files with guys in my math class. I've mentioned in a few posts that I've been rewatching the show. I remembered the show fondly. I did not remember 1993.
     1993 was basically just the late 80s. We were practically cave people driving around in clunky Oldsmobiles and using dial-up modems. Remember the sound the dial up modem made? It dialed in, you heard a dial tone and then it went all KKRRHAHKFKKCHUNK PINGOOPINGOO AKRKALAKKKHHAHHH RKRKAHHARAHRAH ­SHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH.
     It was an especially ominous scene in The X-Files--the camera pushed in on Scully's computer, a desktop with the biggest monitor you've ever seen--and the dial up modem kicked in. It's been so long since I've actually heard it, I was a little taken aback. Then I chuckled a bit. Oh 1993, you're in the past.
     1993 is probably in history books by now. Maybe just recent-history books, if those are a thing. It's almost 20 years ago, and I suppose stated that way, it does sound like a long time ago. Something about the aughts made my brain fail to recognize the appropriate passage of time. It feels like the 90s just happened, like we drifted from the late 80s and slammed into 2012.
    I really only mean in this specific instance, while watching old episodes of The X-Files--and sometimes Friends. I watch a lot of Friends reruns also, so that many be contributing to this whole 1993 just happened phenomenon. But a lot of things look pretty much the same, except for our cars, computers, and phones. Oh, and 1993 hair was also pretty atrocious.

 Exhibit #1:
Feathering was really in, even for federal agents.
Exhibit #2:
This actually isn't that terrible, but it's not that good, is it?
Exhibit #3:
She sure looks Desperate. She may not want to Trans-it across America with that hair.
(It's Felicity Huffman, btw.)

To be fair, it wasn't the 80s fault Felicity Huffman's hair looked like that. It was a very stressful time for her and the episode called for it. The disaster that is Scully's hair for the first three seasons however, purely a product of the times. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Watch Cougar Town

     I love the show Cougar Town. I'm not sure how vocal I've been about it before, but it occurs to me I should be more vocal. It's a great show and everyone should watch it. It got the shaft from the fall schedule, and then a little bit of a shiv for a mid-season replacement. It's back on February 14th. I'm pumped.
     Creator (of the show) Bill Lawrence posted a highlight reel for the upcoming season. He gave us all fair warning that there were spoilers in it, but he wanted to share it to get some buzz going. I didn't watch it right away because I didn't want to be spoiled. I already knew I would be tuning in every week and I would be happy to get Cougar Town as it was intended--in episodic form. But the video was retweeted enough that I broke down. Oh how fun season 3 looks to be!
     There is a whole lot of talk about how it's the worst title for a show ever. And also how the first six episodes are one thing and then it makes a switch. I never really thought much about the title until friends scrunched up their noses at me when I told them to watch. Eff them, they were missing out. The shame of that is that I knew they would really like it. The Cougar Town gang was a lot like my gang. Maybe just in the way that characters are universal, but also in the way that we like to sit around all day and drink. We have a holiday dedicated to it.
     I recognize the switch the show made after the first few episodes, but I didn't mind the initial ones all that much. I found them amusing. Maybe I was distracted by something shiny, but I didn't notice what was lacking. At the same time, it's hard to imagine the show having kept on that same path. Clearly, Bill Lawrence knew what he was doing.
     Now Mr. Lawrence is doing his best to get his show out there. He wants people to be aware of it, and to watch it (a lot), and to tell all their friends to watch it. Every Nielson box in America should be tuned into Cougar Town. Mr. Lawrence is going to great lengths. He's putting on viewing parties all around the country. There are two scheduled for NYC and I happen to have my name in the ticket lottery. I don't know how the tickets are being given out--I'm sure very fairly--but either way, I'll be watching Cougar Town when it premieres on the 14th, and then every Tuesday after that (or whatever day it's on for the rest of the season).
     I figured, as a fan, I would do my part to tell a few people about the show and how much I loved it. Every once in a while people take my advice, and they're always (ALWAYS!) glad they did. Watch it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

happythankyoumoreplease. A Review.

     happythankyoumoreplease was written and directed by Josh Radnor.  Josh Radnor is best knows as Ted from How I Met Your Mother. I bring this up because I suppose if you're the one person who enjoys Ted on HIMYM, you might enjoy Radnor's character in happythankyoumoreplease; he's basically Ted who says fuck and has a beard. (Yes, there was an episode of HIMYM where Ted had a beard. Not the point.) Radnor offers nothing new, in fact, I would say he offers much less.
     Studio descriptions of the movie call it "generational." It's about 20-somethings on the verge. I suppose every generation needs their 20-somethings on the verge movie. This ain't it. It's possible I'm just too outside the generation this movie is speaking to; perhaps I'm too much of an adult to relate to this rag-tag group of friends just trying to figure things out. I may not be the film's target audience. Except I'm only barely outside that generation so no, that can't be it.
     The main character, Sam (Radnor), is a writer. He's a writer because that's what Radnor knows and romanticizes. There seems no other great reason for this character to be a writer. He could have done anything else. Based on the fact that he is not homeless, he must be a successful writer, even though he spends a lot of time pondering his prospects as a novelist. Dear Sam, you're 29--nobody feels sorry for you.
     Very early in the film Sam becomes linked to, or saddled with, a child who got left on the subway. At one point the kid runs and Sam chases him and says "hey, can we stop running? I'm 29." Wakka wakka. Because 29 is old! People start dying at 29! It's all over at 29! Shut up, Josh Radnor.
    The film felt like Josh Radnor read Screenwriting for Dummies, watched a few episodes of his show, and then just went to work. Had this script been handed in by any other 29-year-old indy writer, it most likely would have been rejected. Even when the stakes got big, they were still small. Really bad things should have happened, but I suppose because Radnor is a white guy, nothing too terrible does.
     There are very few original lines of dialogue. How many times in real life do people actually ask each other "What are you afraid of?" It must be tons, because it keeps coming up. The cliched dialogue and situations were abundant. I was bored. I did not care what happened to any of the people on the screen. Within the first 5 minutes of the film I "got it." I could see where Radnor was trying to be funny, and trying to be cute, trying to be edgy, and trying to be original. Of course, when you can see where he's trying to do those things, it usually means he's failed at them. He sat down to write some quirky instead of something true that turned out to be quirky.
     Kate Mara is in it, and she's nice, but mostly I just wanted her to get out. Her character made bad decisions. Josh Radnor flatters himself believing women like Kate Mara would fall for indecisive ass-messes like him. Kate Mara's character was named Mississippi. Also dumb. Not quirky, just dumb.
     Also, I reject the premise that Tony Hale is an ugly man. That's just unfair and not true. Sure, he can make himself look goofy at times. And maybe he started kinda balding a little bit early. But of the cast you've assembled, he is not the ugly guy. I was very put off by the story line that involved Tony Hale's character as the ugly guy who eventually wins over Malin Akerman's bald heart with his words. Her description of suddenly seeing him as an attractive man were more insulting that enlightened. He is an attractive man, you're just a shallow bitch. This may be another area where I'm too old to understand the new definition of attractive, though.
     The tag line for happythankyoumoreplease is "Go Get Yourself Loved." That's dumb. I was going to put a picture of it at the top of the post, but I didn't want it mistaken for an endorsement. I do not endorse this film. happythankyoumoreplease was Josh Radnor's masturbatory pet project. It was boring and predictable.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Talking About Movies

     I enjoy talking about movies. I'll mostly talk about comedies, though I know a decent number of non-comedies also. And a few classics. And inevitably someone brings up Kramer v. Kramer  and I lose my credibility by bringing up this:

Which I find quite funny.

Between 1 and 2 O'Clock

    Just as 12:10am is the tipping point, between 1 and 2 o'clock in the glory hour.  Between 1 and 2, I make all kinds of amazing plans.  I decide I don't need that much sleep and I should rewatch all the X-Files. I start making lists and coming up with new projects.  I rededicate myself to something nearly every morning between 1 and 2 o'clock.
     It's the time for passion projects. And the time for believing that the passion for them is enough to actually get them done. It's actually a very magical time. It's when I can run marathons, write novels, make movies, raise families, and win awards. I dream of getting so much done between 1 and 2.  And then 2am comes along and that's pretty late, so I usually go to sleep.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day

     Happy Groundhog Day.  It's February 2nd.  Today, some schlub pulls a rodent out of a tree stump in Punxsutawney, PA and spits in its face or something and then announces if there was a shadow. Somehow seeing the shadow or not indicates when the seasons will come. It's one of those ridiculous legends that we hold on to because it lets midwesterners get drunk in the middle of the day morning.
     It was an amusing holiday when I was a kid. While in high school, my brother and his buddies took a trip to Punxsatawney; they were local heroes. (We had little to live for in our Midwestern town.) Maybe it was a bigger deal because global warming wasn't a thing yet, so we really wanted those bitter winters to end. If a damn groundhog would give us the glimmer of hope we needed, we'd take it.
     The luster of the holiday has worn of, but the comedic stylings of Bill Murray never do. I'm pretty sure this is the only movie ever made about Groundhog Day, because it's the only one there needs to be. If there were others, they were burned.  In hell.   


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Leap Year

     This year is a leap year! It's pretty common knowledge as to why leap years exist--science and calendars didn't quite line up.  A year is actually 365.25 days long (actually, 265.242190). That fraction of a day has to go somewhere.  After four years, a quarter of a day at the end of each year is basically an entire day. So February gets an extra day every four years to even everything out.  Clearly, it's more scientific than that, but that's the gist.
     Leap Year is also a 2010 movie starring Amy Adams where she goes to Ireland on Leap Day to win magical powers. I forgot the movie existed until I Googled leap year and it popped up. Why was it released in 2010, which was not a leap year? Why was it released at all? Also, further IMDb searches reveal that there was another movie titled Leap Year also released in 2010. It's unclear if this movie took place during a leap year, or on a leap day, or if it's about frogs or Amy Adam's magical powers.
     I'm being sarcastic about the magical powers, but leap years seem magical to a certain degree. Leap years are the years of Summer Olympics and presidential elections. They're full of hope, promise, ambition, and sweat. Sweet presidential sweat.
    After February 29th passes and we're done thinking about the poor people born on that day--are they lucky to be unique or cursed to be freaks?--the thoughts of the extra time starts to fade. Subway will probably do some soul searching.  Did they realize there would be extra day during Februany? Any footlong sub for $5 for an extra day! They might've lost their shirts.
     The leap day in February makes the month seem more hopeful and less dreary.  February by itself is not great.  It's right in the middle of winter; the year isn't new anymore and spring looks so far away. What is there to look forward to? In a leap year, there's the leap day--an entire extra day; a gift of time! Hope is restored.