Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where have you been?!

I know, conveniently absent all this time. Trying to get my shit back together I guess.

So, not much to report. I think it's safe to say that I killed some plants, but other than that, not a whole heck of a lot.

My sister has decided that we are going to have a little getaway, just us sisters. The baby and the hubby get to stay home. Fine by me. She needs the time away from being mom and wife. We're probably gonna be spending a couple of days in the Dells - again. Yeah, I know, but it's close and she doesn't want to be too far away (just in case of what? Maybe the baby will learn how to rob banks or commit arson or defy her daddy - who knows - it could happen.) Plus, it's close enough to Madison to see good friend Joe Kramer (We actually call him Joe Kramer - not Joe, not Joseph, it's Joe Kramer - we don't know why this is funny. It just is.) I have yet to meet the boyfriend and they've been dating like a million years already. (This makes me a horrible friend, by the way.)

Mom's preparing for a trip out East - Williamsburg. I'm constantly hearing the details of the vacation. I want to say I'm enjoying it, but it's a little annoying when you hear the same thing at least fifteen times. Glad she's getting a chance to get out of town. She gets a little stir-crazy when she has to stay in the same state long. It's amazing she hasn't moved four or five times in the last eleven years (since buying the house).

I'm trying to come up with a good movie for Cinema Therapy. Stay tuned for that one.

I think I've decided on a new bedroom set. Hopefully this will change the storage situation. Plus I'm digging the white. It's a new set from IKEA (big surprise!) called Aspelund. The three-door wardrobe comes with a mirror, which is handy because I don't have one in there right now. Anyhow, I like it. But I'll probably change my mind before I get it. I hate being so indecisive.

Let me think. Any more details that are eluding me? Nope. That's about it.

Hopefully I won't take so long to return next time. And maybe I'll actually have something worthwhile to say. It's been a slow month.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cinema Therapy, volume 3

OMG! I almost forgot about Cinema Therapy this week. Well, this is one of my all-time favorite feel-good movies. If you've never seen it, clearly you are living under a rock in a third world country.


Okay, so when The Goonies came out when I was little, I found myself having a little-girl crush on Sean Astin. He was sooo cute.

In Rudy, you can't help falling in love with him. I always have that "you can do it!" rush watching him as the wannabe Notre Dame football player. You'll be rooting for him too. You know you will.

And ladies, this is a great movie to curl up and watch with the man. He might actually not be bored even though it doesn't have major explosions. I know, I shouldn't generalize men. I used to know this guy who actually preferred chick-flicks to action films - and yes, he was straight. Ugh, that's another post.


I don't know what made me do it. But as sudden urges do, I found myself in the presence of items I hadn't bothered even thinking about for many, many years: Gothic romantic novels.

When I was living in Anoka all those years ago, we would frequent this used book store in Osseo. My mother was addicted (and I'm not talking about frequency, I'm talking about obsession) to romance novels. She calls me a literature snob because I have never really been a fan (I think I've called them "crap" a time or two - I apologize to anyone who has a particular love of this genre). Anyhow, back then, she got me reading these books of a romantic persuasion, and I have to admit: I did like them. Of course, I was between the ages of eleven and thirteen. I probably wasn't qualified to make a judgment about the quality of said books.

On a whim, I started thinking about these books. I think it started with a film conversation. For whatever reason, I came to the conclusion that Hollywood hasn't produced any good Gothic cinema for years, and the majority of which (and probably the best of which) was foreign in origin. I'm not really all that versed on the subject, but here I was expressing an opinion I had no right to express.

Anyway, it got me thinking about those books. So, down the basement I went and dug out these books. I only had a few of them left (I imagine that several trips ago, most went with to Half-Price Books and never returned). And honestly, I didn't really remember a single story. I don't think this a statement about how good a story any of them were. I suppose one story faded into another until I didn't remember what was what, especially when they were probably read in succession.

So now, here I am, re-reading Thunder Heights. And I gotta say, it's not the best written story I've ever encountered. (To be fair, these authors were rather prolific more out of necessity than desire. It's hard to be profound on a deadline.)

Thankfully, it wasn't until I got to page 130 that I encountered any statement like the following:

She raised her own head without hesitation and went quite simply into his arms. He was not gentle now. His mouth was hard upon her lips so that they felt bruised beneath its touch. Her body ached under the pressure of his arms, but she did not want the pain lessened. When he raised his head she would have put her arms about his neck and risen on her toes to rest her cheek again his own, admitting everything - all the wild feeling that surged through her, all the wanting so long held in check because there was no one to want. Her movements were those of one spellbound, as though she had no will of her own, and could bow only to his.

I got one word for you people: Ick!

She didn't want the pain lessened? She was spellbound? By a man?

If the kiss was so hard he actually bruised my lips, I'd be nipping that one in the bud. "You bruised my f---ing lips, you dick!" (I'm sounding a little angry today. I'll try to scale it back.)

Even on my most needy of days, I was never spellbound. This can't be based on any sort of reality. Maybe I'm being harsh. I suppose the origin of the novel dictated that there should be some deviation from reality; escapism. But come on! I wonder if she can feel the "wild feeling" surging through me (hint: it rhymes with Gromit).

Ah well, love scenes aside, I'm digging the descriptions of the settings. There is nothing more fascinating than a weird, big, old house filled with secrets from the past.

The turrets were no longer bright as Althea King had described them. Storms had weathered the house to a dingy gray, left too long unpainted, and the trees crowding about gave it the look of a place left uninhabited. It appeared enchanted, spellbound, there on its remote heights. Not a house, but the picture of a house, torn from the pages of fantasy.

I have this thing about big, old houses. They capture my imagination in ways that few things will. I sometimes wish I were stealthy enough to break into a few of them, just to peek around. My all-time favorite house on film is the house in The Changeling, the George C. Scott movie, not the Angelina Jolie pic. That giant old house was just created on a film set, but if it weren't, I can guarantee you I would've visited it by now.

Anyhow, I'll probably blast through these books, mainly just so I can say I did. It feels more like a guilty pleasure than an actually beneficial activity, but most reading is anyway.

By the way, and on a completely different note, I have watched the end number on the pilot episode of Glee at least twenty times. This is bordering on ridiculous, but admittedly, this is going to be a fun show if this episode is any indication. I wasn't a show choir person myself - I left that to my sister - I was already a band geek. Still, it has that quality that only a well-formed cast can put together. And who doesn't love Journey?!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The love is gone.

This might be the end between me and Hollywood Video. The love affair has lasted several years, but last night was the last straw and it's time for an official break-up.

You see, dear friends, about seven years ago, after becoming disillusioned with Blockbuster, I decided to concentrate my video-renting efforts with a smaller chain of stores, Hollywood Video. At the time, it was ideal. They had more of the types of titles that I liked and they offered to give me back a dollar every time I returned one of their new releases before midnight the next day. Plus, they offered five night rentals (which were a novelty at the time). So, to say the least, I fell in love, and as all love affairs start, one assumes that it will last forever.

A few years ago, I discovered Netflix, and I admit I cheated on my beloved. There were no due dates, I could have out as many movies in a month as I wanted, and all for less than twenty dollars. It was a distraction from my love, but I still relied heavily on HV for my sudden viewing urges, so the relationship continued.

But last night, after seeing what might be available on the fly, I discovered that HV's prices had risen again (to $4.49 a rental). They have a new program called PowerPlay - a competitive response to Blockbuster - but even that couldn't entice me to stay. I cannot watch HV die a slow and painful death, caused by HV's own unhealthy actions. It's sad, to say the least, and my devotion should continue despite these ill-made decisions. But, dear readers, my heart is broken, and indeed, the love is gone.

I shall miss the familiar faces of the employees there, the sounds echoing off the high ceilings and tiled floors, the smell of their library. But my heart, once lost, is lost forever.

Goodbye my lovely, and may you find happiness with your other patrons who still devote themselves wholeheartedly to you.

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