In America


In America premiere posterIt is with reservations that I give In America a four-star rating. As many things as there were to love about the film, there were almost as many annoyances. So maybe it's best to start with things I loved?
1. The acting was great, both from the kids and the adults. I especially liked Emma Bolger as younger daughter Ariel, and was stunned by Samantha Morton as mom Sarah. Morton is best remembered, by me anyway, as the only redeemable part of Minority Report. Also, she's got remarkable hair.
2. The story itself was nice--it was a tear-jerker, to be sure (I cried more than once), but it wasn't so damn unrelentless in it's depression-induction that I left wanting to kill myself.
3. The cinematography was very very good.

Now, things I didn't like:
1. No attention to realism in details--for example, if the radio station when they are driving into New York says they play the "best of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s," then why do they go to the movies to watch E.T.? More irritatingly, how are they easily driving a gigantic station wagon through Time Square? And perhaps worst of all, how in the hell am I supposed to believe that Mateo has late-stage AIDS? Look at his arms for Christ's sake! I'm supposed to believe he dies a few months after that?
2. At the very beginning of the film, the family "sneaks" into America from Ireland, with no green cards, etc. It's never really explained WHY they do this. I mean, you can draw conclusions, based on the rest of the film, but that's a pretty drastic thing to do for no explicit reason.
3. Was the white rapper in the cab really necessary?

But there was one thing that put the film over the line from me and turned an OK movie into a really good movie. There's a scene pretty early on where the family is at a carnival and Johnny, the dad, risks all of their savings/rent money/whatever to try to win his little girl a stuffed E.T. The tension, the crowd, the sinking feeling in your stomach--the whole scene was just freaking amazing. I felt like I was there.

So, all in all, it's definitely worth watching, even if your suspension of disbelief will have to be set very very high for minor details that easily could have been corrected. And I think it's great that Samantha Morton got an Oscar nod for if--the kind of performance she has here doesn't get recognized often enough, and she has a smile that makes you glad to be alive.

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No, I didn't make that up--rather, it was on a license plate holder in front of me on my commute to work this morning.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm in a sucky mood today. My sinuses are killing me, I still feel like potted ass, I didn't sleep well, I don't want to be here, and I'm just cranky. That being said, this particular license plate holder made me want to drag the women driving the Lexus it was connected to out of her car and beat her.

What the fuck is up with the scary religious threats? I don't see treating God like the bogeyman doing anyone any good with spreading the word. If anything, it only further alienates those of us who are not necessarily for or against the idea of God. I'm still thinking about it--I imagine I'll be still thinking about it ad infinitum, but that's another issue--but seeing stuff like that makes me not want to believe. I am not going to achieve faith by means of fucking threats.

Maybe I am completely overreacting. But I don't think so. The same car had a big Jesus fish eating a little Jesus fish on it. WTF?

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Never, ever listen to me


We just took Chancey for his nightly walk, and I had the brilliant idea to let him off-leash for a few minutes in the schoolyard. His recall is so good at home, I figured he'd run around a bit and then come right back when we called him.

I was wrong. We chased him all over. He was practically in the highway. But he eventually allowed himself to be caught (once he was tired, I think), so all is well.

Except Mark is having a fit and says he is never allowed off-leash again.

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Essential oil in the air


I just spent an hour or so whipping up several batches of bath salts. I made grapefruit (my personal fave), orange ginger, blood orange rosemary, and rosemary lavendar tangerine. They smell great seperately, but the mixture of all of the smells, in conjunction with the amount of salt I got in tiny papercuts on my hands, is less than pleasant at the moment.

If any of my loyal readership would like a care package of homemade bath salts, lemmeno which flavor strikes your fancy.

I spent a good hour and a half this afternoon cleaning out and reorganizing my dresser and closet. My closet is now color-coded (I can't believe it took me so long to do that) and all of my drawers are reorganized and neat. I'm on a real organizational binge lately. I want to get some more clear plastic containers and organized our pantry cupboard (pasta in one container, nuts in one, dried fruit in one, etc.), but Mark begs me not too. He'd never be able to find anything that way.

This is the trouble with someone like me cohabitating with someone like Mark.

That and the piles of fucking papers everyfuckingwhere.

I have to go to work tomorrow morning. I didn't think I was going to have to go in until 11 or so, so it's a bitter pill to swallow that I have to be there at 9. Oh well. I could use the hours, and there is stuff to do. I'm not so sure the working from home thing is going to work out as well as I'd hoped, actually, because I haven't been able to get it together yet. Hopefully next week.

Ug. My hands smell mostly like rosemary essential oil, with this sort of background citrus smell. It would be nice if it weren't so damn strong. Also my left index finger is stained yellow from the coloring. Looks like I have jaundice of one finger.

I am fairly successful so far in my quest to stop biting my nails! They aren't past the ends of my fingers or anything yet, but they are to the point where they pretty much look like I just cut them short, rather than gnaw them off. I'm impressed.

Yeah, I know, it doesn't take much.

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If you had $200


If you mysteriously had $200 that you didn't expect, and you felt compelled to use it to buy yourself a present, what would you buy?

This is not a hypothetical question. My dad sent me a check for $200 today, after taking back the digital camera he bought me for my birthday/Christmas, because Mark got one as well and we don't need two. I never expected to see the money, and here it is!

So the practical part of me knows I should just put it in my account for books and expenses and the money I always end up spending, even though I shouldn't. The other part, though, is screaming that this money is a PRESENT and should be spent as such.

What do you think?

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Hey baby, what's your type?


We took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test in my management class this week. Unsurprisingly, I am still an INTJ. Apparently this particularly configuration is relatively uncommon. My I, N, and J are all relatively strong, my T is only a 5 or something.

I basically think this is bullshit, but, to be fair, the INTJ description fits me, for the most part.

Then again, so does the description of what being a Virgo...

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Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down


When I was a kid, I hated Sunday. Sunday inevitably meant being stuck at my house with parents, fuck-all to do, only books I had already read around, and extreme boredom. Seems like it was ALWAYS raining, my parents were ALWAYS home, and the day ALWAYS ended up in some sort of boredom-induced battle.

Now I love Sunday. Love. It. Waking up this morning was like waking up into a good dream. I've got my man (heh), my dog, it's unexpectedly sunny outside, and we've got all day to play. We're going to go to the park (or the pee-eh-are-kay, as we are forced to call it in front of His Highness) and make the most of this weather, even if it will be muddy. He scratched the living shit out of me trying to wake me up this morning, but I don't care, I'm still having a lovely Sunday morning. As I post this, I'm in my frog pajamas, I haven't eaten yet and am secretly hoping for challah french toast, and I am waiting for Mark to get out of the shower so we can take our beast for a nice walk. Does it get better than that?

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Classes start back up


Classes start back up tomorrow. I'm not even a little bit excited, but I'm sure I will be once my schedule gets straightened out. Tomorrow I take the validation exam to see if I can take AQA I--I'm not expecting to be able to, and I'm really excited about my "back up class," so once that's all done I'll be a lot happier, I think. I know it is irresponsible to put AQA off until next year and all that, but I don't see how I am going to learn calculus tonight, so that's just how it's going to be.

Tony and Susan are here! Pizza and movie time!!

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Weirdness at my house last night:

It's about 12:30, and I'm fast asleep. Mark has just gone to sleep as well. All of a sudden, Mark sits up in bed and yells, "Holy fucking shit, get up!" I jump up to see there is a lot of what looks like fire outside our front windows. Aggg!

As it turns out, what I thought was fire was just flashing lights from our street being completely full of fire trucks. The house two doors down from us burned practically to the ground! By the time Mark went outside to check it out, the fire fighters had most of it out, but we fell back asleep an hour later to the sounds of them chainsawing through walls to get at embers. Then, when we walked Chancey this morning, we went by and the house is obviously completely demolished. The outside walls are still up, but the windows and doors are all gone, and the inside is just black. The lawn is covered with burnt debrise, etc.

Isn't that awful?

On the upside, it didn't spread, and the man who lives there got out just fine.

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Mark is the other room, singing to the dog. "Who's the good little Pantsers-dog, Pantsers-dog, Pantsers-dog? Who's the good little Pantsers-dog, all the livelong day?"

Is it any wonder I love this man?

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Kitty update


Chancey and I came upon our friends Laura and Mokie on our walk this morning, so we inquired about the mystery kitty. Sad new and good news:
Sad news first: Laura couldn't keep her--apparently she and Mokie didn't get along as well after awhile.
Good news second: Laura found a home for her with a friend in Dallas.

So she's OK and taken care of, but I won't see her again.

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New Years


I love the New Year. It Like I can start over. I know that is sort of lame and cliche, but I really feel that way.

Things that are good:
Starting a new year with freshly weeded sock and underwear drawers and a gift certificate to buy much-needed new bras.
Taking the dog out to go to the bathroom and 5am and being warm in my sweatshirt.
Curling up on the couch with Mark to watch a movie. Doesn't matter how bad the movie is.
Finding the archaic bit of information I am looking for.
Knowing that there is no real reason I have to get out of bed.

Things that are bad:
Working on New Year's Day.
Disappointing and boring bowl games.
How hard it is for me not to bite my nails.
Running out of toilet paper at 9:30pm on New Year's Eve, knowing nothing is going to be open until Friday.

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April 2012

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