Sunday, September 10, 2006

Seattle, Baby

Originally uploaded by Rebecca June.
Annevan and I have set our sights on Seattle, where it is already Autumn, all crisp sunshine and gorgeous sweet hay and pine-filled air.

We are visiting a boy named Max.

This picture? Not of Max.

This picture is of Nicholas Beach, who we met at a cafe while we were eating crab- and mushroom-filled omlettes and generally acting goofy.

Together Anne and I become more than the sum of our parts, some kind of endlessly gregarious dynamic duo who make friends wherever we go.

Nicholas was rockin' his second day on the job yesterday, and we salute him and his sassy customer service style.

Anne: Just some constructive criticism?
Nicholas: (skeptical) um, yeah?
Anne: Bring a pen with the check.
Nicholas: . . .
Anne: I'm just sayin'.

Nicholas mistook us for local drama scene divas.

Not so much. See his perfect teeth? He's totally an actor.

Anne says, "Seattle totally wants us to move here, so they can hang out with us all the time."

I totally agree.

Gotta go, there's a baby that needs to be played with.



Tuesday, September 05, 2006

HP Movie Review: The Curve

When I was in college, I spent one summer interning for the local public radio station in my hometown in Southern Indiana. I reported directly to the news director. She was not only the news director; she was also the reporting staff, the editor, and the host of Morning Edition. What I’m getting at, here, is that it was a skeletal staff. So, pretty much as soon as I established myself as capable of forming sentences and otherwise trustworthy with a microphone and tape recorder, I was out doing stories and soon was filling in as a part-time radio host.

It was a pretty cool thing for a twenty-nothing semi-slacker.

Anyhow, there were several sort of generally malaised dudes that worked there, the type of guys who have vague ambitions of being “in radio” but no real motivation to actually do that much. The type of guys who like to talk a lot about how undervalued they are as a way to justify spending most of their days on the dial-up Internet (hey – it was the nineties) researching conspiracy theories.

I loved those guys. They would give me cigarettes and we would sit on the back steps of the big old dilapidated mansion that served as the public radio and TV station HQ and they would tell me all about the in-depth serial killer biographies they were reading. At the time, Andrew Cunanan had just terrorized gay clubs across the country in his manic pursuit of Gianni Versace, probably pissed at all those loud patterns.

(No? Nothing? Too soon? Eh, I digress.)

So, I was just thinking of this period in my life as I nursed my hangover this weekend to the sweet sound of bullshit b movies on tv. As I stumbled through the channels seeking something that would not over stimulate my neurons (fucking electrical activity, ouch), I came upon The Curve (curiously mislabeled on IMDB -- as if they can't even bother with it), an early production of MTV’s stint in movie-making.

This is an exceptionally bad film, starring Felicity during the height of her career, before she gave herself a much-needed haircut and got rid of some of those cascades of butt-ugly dirty blonde curls.

Basically, the movie is about a couple of guys who conspire to kill their roommate and make it look like a suicide so they can get an automatic 4.0 for the semester.

And the way I weave all this rambling together is by saying that when this movie came out, it seriously ticked off one of these cigarette-toting radio dudes. Apparently, he had written a script based upon this very premise! And now? Someone else? RIPPING HIM OFF.

Me: Did you actually try to sell your script to someone?
Cigarette-Toting Radio Dude: Well, I talked about it.
Me: So, like, you didn’t send it out?
CTRD: Well, I might have, when it was done?
Me: You didn’t finish it?
CTRD: Well, I didn’t really write it.
Me: Huh.

We smoked together on the steps in the waning sunlight and I imagined him, holed up in his dreary basement apartment in Southern Indiana, smoking pot, watching TV, and dreaming up film premises.

And, having finally seen this film, I just want to say, maybe it’s better that he didn’t get credit for the genesis of this idea. Because it was total crap.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Good Night, Sweet Prince.

I have to say, it isn't shocking that Steve Irwin is dead at the tender age of 44.

When you were the guy who popularized the term "Crikey,", someone's bound to stab you in the chest with a stingray.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Defending Flatland

The US Army today announced that they have discovered yet another way to declare the worth of the human lives they send off as cannon fodder -- taking a page from flim studio marketers, it's FLAT DADDY!

I'm not sure who thought of this idea, but, wow.

This choice bit of journalism is especially compelling:

‘‘Any time I get invited somewhere, I take it with me,’’ she said. And the gynecologist? ‘‘He just thought it was really neat,’’ she said.

I'm imagining the dialogue:
Sweet War Wife: Aw, well, yeah, we miss daddy, but we take flat daddy with us everywhere!
Smarmy Reporter: Oh? . . . (insert lecherous pause here) . . . even to the. . . GYNOCOLOGIST??
Sweet War Wife: (without missing a beat) He just thought it was really neat!
Smarmy Reporter: (Sketching his version of the scene in his reporter's notebook) That's SO NICE! So. . . does Flat Daddy. . . vibrate?
Sweet War Wife: What?
Smarmy Reporter: Nevermind.

The thing is, from there, the article takes an even more sinister turn:

Despite his anger at his father, Kevin was able to relate to the life-sized likeness, Sherri Fish said. ‘‘He’d sit at the end of his bed and tell him what went on at school that day,’’ she said.

Even after Richard Fish returned home last October, Kevin continued talking to Flat Daddy while his father was at work, she said.

Later, when the dog was found vivisected in the woods, Kevin insisted he had nothing to do with it. "It was Flat Daddy! I begged him not to do it, but he said it had to be done!"

Is it wrong to get weepy about a hyperlink?

Seriously, y'all. I don't yet have my own Wikipedia entry, but the Career Women piece is linked to from that scourge Michael Noer's entry.

Someday. . . .

I've got space dementia!!

You live life only once, you know, so it's important to take every opportunity to enjoy the little things.

Just like that whimsical moment in Amelie when the eponymous Amelie looks all adorable and dimpled and sweet because she's enjoying simple tactile pleasures like sinking her sweet little adorable fingers into a big barrel of dried beans or quirkily delighting in a fly on a movie screen:

Well, you may be saying to yourself, that would be the entire treacly expanse of the film, and you would be totally right. But, still.

One of my great simple pleasures in life, aside from the warm toasty smell of fresh coffee in the morning and the smooth embrace of expensive sheets at night, is the butterscotch stallion.

I just look at Owen Wilson and it makes me laugh. He is reason alone to have Tivo. Delightfully, Tivo knows all kinds of weird, not-Owen-Wilson-vehicle films in which Owen Wilson plays a small part.

Those are staples of the many b-movie channels that crowd the cable lineup.

One of those many great films is Armegeddon. Perhaps you've seen it.

Many people have. Because it was a big blockbuster vehicle for everyone's favorite bald savior of the universe and father of a teenaged girl named Rumer (insert pithy teens-and-rumors-comment here), Bruce Willis.

It's a very important film.

It explores themes of manhood, class, and asteriods.

Ben (father of Violet) Affleck plays the young cowboy oil driller, A.J. He's constanly running off at the mouth and taking crazy risks, and pissing off Harry, played by Bruce Willis, who really flexes his cocky-eyebrow-raising-muscles throughout the film.

There are lots of amazing moments, one of which is when Steve Buscemi starts to get a little nuts while he's on the asteroid, and the NASA pilot says, "HE'S GOT SPACE DEMENTIA!" And they have to wrestle him to the ground.

I first saw this movie with my mother, in a crowded theater in Southern Indiana.

We almost got beaten up, because we giggled uncontrollably the entire time.

We totally blamed it on space dementia.

It's still one of my favorite self-diagnoses.

Feeling cranky? Blame it on the Space Dementia.

Pissing people off? Space Dementia. Not my fault.

Writing long boring rambling blog posts? Sorry. Space Dementia.