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May 2009
 

Amanda
Date: 2009-05-29 11:25
Subject: I'm Moving
Security: Public
Or have moved. Check out my lonely post here:

http://bundlesofvitals.blogspot.com/
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Amanda
Date: 2009-05-18 15:47
Subject: More Monday Movies
Security: Public
Star Trek - Shockingly good.  Really well done and fun...great cast, suprisingly funny, right tone, awesome visuals, and I actually cared about the characters. Sure they took some liberties with the story but it didn't really bother me. I do hope they get more into the philosophical stuff next time. Winona Rider wtf!? Also, I loved that Uhura was all about Spock and not Kirk.

Adventureland - Very sweet "coming of age" story set in the 80's. A kid graduates from college, works at an amusement park for lack of a better job, hangs out with some people, loves a girl, etc. More of a drama than I thought it would be but I liked it. Martin Starr (Bill from Freaks and Geeks) and Bill Hader helped a lot. I think the music really elevated this movie...like when they eat the pot cookies and ride around in the bumper cars to The Cure, or watch the fireworks to Crowded House? Plus Animotion - "You're My Obsession"...INXS - "Don't Change"...Velvet Underground, etc...I was downloading like a madwoman when we got home.

I Love You, Man - Waaay better than I thought it would be...mainly due to it's heart...plus I haven't laughed this hard in a theater in a long time. It was cool to see Paul Rudd play an awkward, dorky guy. One of those movies that gets better as you think about it. I want to see it again.  Gets extra points for the massive RUSH references, perforance, etc.  This made me so happy.

Quantum of Solace - Crappy plot, fun action, overall entertaining. 

Happy-Go-Lucky - Awesome...if you can handle a couple hours of unstoppable optimism. But a cool idea and something that seems rare in a lot of movies - happiness! And whether it comes from inside or out.

Rachel Getting Married - Hey, we're neurotic Connecticut WASPs, but our daughter is marrying a black guy, so the wedding party will be full of interesting, ethnic people including jazz musicians, Rastafarians, and some British dude who plays a violin through the entire fucking movie. Sit through our rehearsal dinner in real time, then watch us be complete assholes to each other for two hours.
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Amanda
Date: 2009-03-23 13:24
Subject: Monday Mini Movie Reviews
Security: Public
Let the Right One In - Classiest gore ever!  Plus I have a weakness for most things Swedish, so I was happy that this lived up to the hype.  Both kids, especially Eli, were about perfect in these roles.  The scene where she comes in the house uninvited and the pool scene were visually perfect.  I think I'm so used to seeing horror movies made with close ups and "scary moments", so this style (long shots!) was really refreshing.  I also liked how they showed the infected woman (Victoria?) dealing with her transformation.  Most movies just have people immediately pumped on killing, and this seemed more realistic.  I also liked that they didn't try to make Eli a "good" vampire...she/he was responsible for way more violence than the bullies, but it worked within the story.  Great ending.

The Room - Holy god please see this movie right now.  I had read about it in this article, but thought it would be one of those bad/good movie that's mostly boring but has a few funny lines.  This movie made me laugh more than most intentional comedies. I 'm not even going to try to quote the multitude of quotable quotes in this movie, just watch it, because it's all in the delivery.  And the four awesome and really unpleasant sex scenes.

Snow Angels - Ugh.  I've followed David Gordon Green since he made All the Real Girls, one of the most believeable love stories I've seen.  Plus he makes weird comedy like Eastbound and Down.  But save yourself the pain of seeing this movie.  Basically, bad people do bad things to each other, a child dies, and then someone commits and murder/suicide.  The End!  It was well-made, and I don't mind bleak films, but what else was there here?  There was a sweet relationship between two teenagers, and Amy Sedaris was good...

Synecdoche, New York - To give you a little background, this is the newish Charlie Kaufman movie.  It begins with Caden Cotard (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a playwright whose marriage falls apart.  His wife takes off to Germany and takes their daughter with her.  He then receives a MacArthur genius grant, and decides to stage a play in a massive warehouse about...life.  His own life, and everything in it.  He spends years building sets within sets and scenes of his life play out just minutes after they actually occur.  Actors playing actors playing real life people inhabit the warehouse.  No audience is present, but it doesn't matter...he's trying to make the purest, truest form of art he can.  Cool idea, but it gets more and more tedious as the movie goes on.

I think after the first hour or so I stopped trying to make sense of things and just accepted the situations that were put forth and the emotions that went with them.  It's weird...I admire this movie but I don't love it...it's waaay meta and self-indulgent and was kind of a chore due to how bleak it was.  It's basically about time and death.  But the work that went into it was amazing...so much detail...and anything dealing with aging and the passage of time worked.  Hazel, one of Caden's love interests in the movie, purchases a house that is literally on fire, expresses her concern with dying in the fire, and continues to live in it until the inevitable happens. You make your choices, time passes, and you have to live with them. We are all headed down the same path, and we're all the same.  It could have benefited from subtler symbolism and a plot, but that's what made it unique...I'm torn on this one.  It's been fun to think about and overall I appreciated the themes, but I never really felt connected to the characters.  I should probably watch it again, but I don't really want to.  But I do hope Kaufmann makes another movie.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotard_delusion  (Caden's last name)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capgras_delusion (Caden replaces his absent wife's cleaning lady, and sleeps in the closet of his wife's apartment, which she's subletting from "Capgras")

http://twitchfilm.net/site/view/synecdoche-new-yorkinterview-with-charlie-kaufman/ (An interesting interview that clears up a few things)

http://www.beingcharliekaufman.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1038&Itemid=103 (Stop caring so much!)

http://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/synecdoche-new-york.php
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Amanda
Date: 2009-03-23 00:14
Subject: Little D
Security: Public

Little D Hatching Out of the Egg from Class 1-208 on Vimeo.
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Amanda
Date: 2009-03-11 11:10
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/03/09/us.religion.less.christian/index.html

"America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found."


I wonder why...

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/03/11/brazil.rape.abortion/index.html?eref=rss_health

A doctor excommunicated by the Catholic Church for performing an abortion on a 9-year-old rape victim received a standing ovation during a national convention on women's health, according to a local media report.  Archbishop Don Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Recife excommunicated the doctor, the child's mother and the medical team involved in the procedure.

However, the stepfather was not excommunicated, with Sobrinho telling Globo TV that, "A graver act than (rape) is abortion, to eliminate an innocent life."
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Amanda
Date: 2009-03-10 15:49
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Dumb little things are annoying me today. Like my boss just asked me to "shoot _______ an email" and ask her to see him when she gets a minute. Her office is two doors down from him. So I just walked down to her office, told her to see him, and she walked back down the hall with me into his office. Now I don't mind working, but come on, just send her the one sentence email. Or walk down the damn hall. Weird.

Anyway, the weekend was nice and relaxing...ate some food, saw a movie, had some family time. Had a class on Saturday morning. It's a really good class, but there is one dude in it...almost every class seems to have one. At first I thought he was just a good participator. He answered almost every question, sometimes to excess. But as the class goes on, it becomes apparent that he's pretty much a smug douche. He's a bit older and always takes an opportunity to remind us how long he's been teaching or how he knows how to do amazing IT things, like forward an email or unjam an printer. Seriously. On Saturday we were reviewing resumes and he asks,

"Would you include every organization you're a member of?"

Come on Gary, use some judgement. If it's NAMBLA, no.

Of course the professor asks, "What kind of organziation?"

Gary says........."Do you know what MENSA is?"

COME ON. DID THIS NEED TO BE MENTIONED.

The professor did not know, and asked if anyone else did, so I raised my hand and semi-sarcastically explained that it was a club for geniuses. She said it was impressive, but might come off a bit narcissistic. Yeah.

Also, if you're a member of MENSA, do you really need help with this decision? Shouldn't you be teaching this class? Fucking Gary.


Anyway, Russ and I went to Mexico some weeks ago. We tried to balance laying on the beach with some adventure...we snorkeled, hiked, swam, drank, saw some ruins, had lunch with a Mayan family, saw a parade, and descended into a completely brutal cenote. It was beautiful. Photos are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bundlesofvitals/sets/72157614277246398/
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Amanda
Date: 2009-03-03 13:47
Subject: Babe
Security: Public
This afternoon is dragging, and the fact that I feel like crap both mentally and physically is not motivating me to work.  So I thought I'd share one of my favorite scenes from Hot Rod, which I caught again on Showtime the other night.  There are about 6 things that make me laugh here, but mostly the use of the phrase "dong bags" and the ending...

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Amanda
Date: 2009-02-11 15:46
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Ok, couple things.  The weekend was fun.  Saturday we went to the annual Croatian hunter's dinner with Monica, Franjo, and Jenny, which is always an experience.  Tons of various venison dishes, some rabbit, salad, noodles, rice, polenta, cornbread, slivovitz, and plenty of drunk oldies.  The food was great...I mostly ate venison tenderloin cooked in wine sauce over noodles.  God. I think I could eat various European meat/noodle combinations for the rest of my life.  Being a smaller ethnic group in Milwaukee, they are so much more tight knit.  They have events all year long.  Being a mutt, and especially of Polish/German (and Czech and Irish) hertitage, which is like 80% of Milwaukee, it's not so much a part of my life.  I envy their community, but they're so welcoming, so at least I get to experience it.  Afterward we went to Liquor Sweets to see Foetopsy/Dyscrasia/Dead For Days.  Dyscrasia hadn't played for years and did not disappoint...I'm usually not the biggest fan of slammy death metal, but they do it so well, and Neil's vocals are ridiculous enough to carry it.  A video here.

Secondly, I succeeded in crotcheting a piece of....something.  It's just a swatch, but it's a start. I can see this becoming very, very addictive. Blankets and potholders for everyone.

Thirdly, what the fuck is this?!  I came across it a while back and was...mezmerized...but I just got an inviitation to Chris Cornell's show at The Riverside and I guess he's performing these songs?  Will he dance?  I actually like some of Timbaland's production, but this seems like leftovers of his other projects and just sounds bizarre with the vocals.  I'll be interested to see how is received. shnip.

I absolutely love these...I would seriously save up and pay hundreds for one of these prints.

This is really cool.

And today in "no shit" studies....

Finally, I've been semi-following American Idol this year due to a Milwaukee contestant.  One night Russ and I were watching one of the horrible audition episodes and I recognized a kid I grew up with - Danny Gokey.  Within minutes my mom and brother had both called me freaking out.  Our families went to church together until I was about 16, when I pretty much stopped going, but he's still very involved in a church on Howell Ave., which is cool.  I hope he does well - his voice is truly awesome.  Here's him doing a great version of "Kiss from a Rose"...great song...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSzHDWFOW70
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Amanda
Date: 2009-02-06 15:46
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
I think my transformation into an old lady is almost complete...I spent my entire lunch hour picking out yarn and crochet hooks at the JoAnne Fabrics.  That place is amazing. It was full of retired looking women sitting at tables with patterns spread out, just sewing, talking, and enjoying their little Friday afternoon.  There were so many beautiful options...I got some neat purple/blue/green yarn and hope to make a simple granny square tonight.  My goal is to be knitting socks by spring and making little quilts for my neice by next fall.  Whoo!  I'll have to really party my ass off on Saturday to make up for all this crafty shit.  Foetopsy and Dyscrasia are playing at Liquor Sweets so that might do it.

Other than craft obsessions, It's been an exciting couple of weeks.  The spring semester started for me, and the group is good...some teachers, a guy I used to work with at WSUW, and an amateur natural bodybuilder who I interrogated about his diet/workout/tanning/oiling routine, which he was very happy to share.  I found out that the undies are called "posing trunks".  He even left in the middle of class to eat some steak and brown rice.  That kind of discipline fascinates me, and he was more than happy to talk about it...triglycerides, omega 3's....I did a lot of nodding.  Oh yeah, the class content is pretty interesting too.  We've adapting curriculum for students with severe disabilities.  I haven't really worked with that population before, so this will help me narrow down my emphasis.  I'm going to enjoy this last weekend before the homework grind really starts.  I hope you all enjoy yours...
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Amanda
Date: 2009-02-05 08:19
Subject: 25 Randoms - stolen from facebook...
Security: Public
1. When I was a baby, I pulled the cord of an electric can opener, and it fell on my face, need stitches and giving me a pretty good scar. It's still there, but I go months and months without even thinking about it.

2. I pretty much worship everything Rush and Katatonia have put out, even the questionable stuff.

3. I get super annoyed when people talk loudly on their cell phones, or talk loudly in public in general.

4. I've seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Big Lebowski, and Wayne's World more than any another movies. They're my defaults.

5. Peninsula State Park is one of my favorite places in Wisconsin. So beautiful.

6. I think people should be required to pass a battery of tests before being allowed to have children.

7. I vividly remember crying when Fievel sang "Somwhere Out There" in An American Tail.

8. I'm always planning dream trips...Peru, Laos, Norway...even if they won't happen for a long, long time.

9. When I was little, I used to spend a lot of time at the playground/fieldhouse that was right across the stret from our house. One day, they had a "pajama pancake breakfast" so I put on my nightgown and marched right over there. It was the wrong day. I came home crying. My brother still rips on me about it. :)

10. I used to stay up late watching 90's SNL episodes with my dad. He still does a pretty good Dieter.

11. My mom went into labor with me while watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

12. I have never been in a fight.

13. When I was 16, Anthrax invited me on their tour bus, fed me Taco Bell, a gave me a ride home from the show. They were very sweet.

14. I like getting new stuff, but I really hate shopping for it.

15. Growing up, Ramona Quimby was my hero.

16. I'm taking a crochet class in a few weeks.

17. I eat oatmeal or granola just about every morning.

18. I really love dogs. So much. Cats, not so much.

19. I went to a Christian Camp for a week each summer for most of my childhood. I loved it. I had my first kiss there.

20. Every year in our elementary school talent show, a group of friends and I performed meticulously choreographed dances to various Janet Jackson songs (Rhythm Nation, Black Cat, etc.). We had dry ice and glued some Christmas garland on our shirts. I still work out to Janet Jackson.

21. I love playing basketball. I was obsessed with the Suns/Bulls series in 1993.

22. I listen to a lot of metal, prog, melodic alternative stuff and rap, but I wish I had more dance, funk, and soul music.

23. My brother took me to shows all through my teenage years, which was awesome, especially since he's 6 years older than me. Also, he had Jason Newsted hair.

24. I love office supplies. Putting pen to paper feels great.

25. Russ and I leave for the Riviera Maya in 12 days!
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