Archive for December, 2009


We are nearing the end of the traditional holiday season and I am sad to see it go.  Not because I haven’t had enough Christmas time, or enough good food and drink, or even enough time with my lovely Christmas tree with all its sparkly lights and the warm feeling it brings me.  Between you and me, I’m not exactly not looking forward to putting it out on the street this weekend.  You can’t really argue with the facts that it is a bit messy and crowded sticking a big pine tree in your living room.  And, of course, I am my mother’s daughter and my mother pretty much always wanted to stick the thing out on the curb late on Christmas morning.  Ok, now back to why I am saddened about the end of the season: I haven’t seen nearly as many movies as I’d like.  Christmas time means Movie Time!  There are always a million that seem to come out this time of year and, living in Wisco as I do, the holiday movie season starts later and ends later than it does in other parts of the civilized world.  What this means in reality is that I feel behind before movies have even arrived in town.  For example, Sarayu saw Up In the Air at least a month ago, it seems, whereas I saw it just this afternoon.  Sigh.  I am so behind, in fact, that I just saw Julie & Julia this week.  Geesh, Kate.  Get it together.

I wonder if Jesus would have been a movie fan.  I think so.  He seemed to like a good story-telling and what better way to connect with your fellow man than to sit in a crowded, dark theater watching someone’s story unfold in a gigantic way just a few feet away from you.  I wonder what he would want to see this season.  Since I really have no idea, I’ll set out my list instead of speculating on his.

Up In the Air … Check!  Done.  And I really, really liked it.  I’m not saying it’s Best Picture quality movie, but I think it’s damn close.  It’s at once a unique, fresh story that has conventional plot lines and ideas.  Sort of the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned.  Afterall, there’s a reason we return to convention (sometimes rudely billed ‘cliches’).  It’s comforting.  And as much as Up In the Air is uncomfortable — all that plane travel!  the lack of real intimacy, the supreme attractiveness of Clooney and Farmiga — there is so much that is achingly familiar.  The wedding scene felt so real I could hardly contain the tears of joy streaming down my face.  Ok, I couldn’t control them.  I very much recommend this movie.



Sherlock Holmes (maybe).

It’s Complicated.

An Education.

Also, I saw two previews today for movies that aren’t coming out for a bit but will, no doubt, be given some Oscar buzz.  Actually, I’m sure they already have generated some but, see above, we don’t always get that news in time, either.  Or, more accurately, we might get the news but it doesn’t always register when it’s for a movie you can’t remember the name of because it won’t be in town for a couple of months.  One was A Single Man with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.  It seems very Mad Men period-esque, but I really have no idea what it’s about.  The preview was lovely, but it was only music and images, ie no dialogue at all.  It gave me the impression, though, that it would be a movie that would make me quite uncomfortable in a Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf way.  The second was Shutter Island.  Martin Scorsese + Leonardo DiCaprio + mental patients + an island + possible ghosts = I’m intrigued.  Frightened, but intrigued.

What are you seeing? 


Find the car

Snow day 2009!

After the Governor declared a state of emergency for all of Wisconsin, I wondered if we’d have to go to work today, but didn’t want to get my hopes up since I’ve never heard of state offices shutting down for such an event.  But, alas, I bring you snow day 2009 in all its wintery, white, blizzardy glory.

Oh, and here’s an unrelated thought (or something).  The award for the, “Who Cares Story of 2009?” otherwise known as the “This Is News?” award goes to Meredith Baxter (Birney).  Last night I was reading about Baxter (Birney) coming out of the closet and there were a couple of things in the story that left me scratching my head.  Now I don’t want to be insensitive and diminsh anyone’s personal journey or demons or insecurities or whatever, but really, this is pretty much a non-story to begin with.  One, she’s Meredith Baxter (who? say so many).  Two, she’s 62 (now, mom, I’m not saying sixty-ish women aren’t relevant, just that no one really cares about anyone sex’s life once they turn, say, 30 — unless maybe they’re someone super famous, which Meredith Baxter — esp since she lost the Birney — is not).  Three, and most importantly, it’s 2009.  The article ended, though, with this: Baxter declaring that she recently attended a play about Oscar Wilde in LA with her partner and she put her arm around her love.  She said she decided, “Who cares what people think?” or something along those lines.  Um, she was in LA.  At a play about Oscar Wilde.  And she put her arm around her date.  What?  I can’t imagine there was anyone in that audience — at a play about Oscar Wilde (did I mention this?) — who would have blinked at such an event much less had something to say about.  Just struck me as a little dramatic.  But who am I to judge.  Well, I’m me.

A crime in Perugia

I don’t know how many of you have been following the Amanda Knox trial, but the story has had me captivated for years.  It was hard to believe the story was really happening: a pretty, college-aged American woman studying abroad in the beautiful Italian town of Perugia accused of, and on trial for, killing her Brittish roommate in a bizzare-o, sex-fueled, vampire-influenced game.  Knox hadn’t even been abroad for a few months when she found herself in jail, where she has remained for years.  I don’t know what I thought was going to happen, but I didn’t expect this result.

I have had a hard time figuring out what the facts are in this case — what’s credible, what’s science, what’s reliable — and I really don’t know what to think.  Sometimes the story is Knox’s DNA was on a bloody knife found in her “boyfriend” Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment.  Sometimes the story is that there is no way that knife could have been used to murder the victim, Meredith Kercher.  Sometimes the story is that there was a sole assailant — Rudy Guede.   Sometimes the story is that Knox and Sollecito told so many inconsistent stories they must be guilty.  It’s really been a confusing mess for me to try to grasp.  I have a friend who is certain that Knox has been railroaded by a crazy, overzealous prosecutor and a wacky Italian justice system.  I have another friend who works for the AP in Rome and says his friend covering the trial can’t even figure out what is going on or what the truth is.  I just don’t know what to believe.  Usually, in my experience, crimes aren’t nearly as complicated as the version the prosecutor presented the jury with in this case.  But usually isn’t always so, I still don’t know.

I guess we’ll see how it plays out on appeal.  I will say that it sounds like Amanda’s Italian is near-perfect due to her extended time in Italy.  I’m sure she would exchange her fluency for freedom, though.

December 2009

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