Thursday, January 29, 2009

For the Movies

(It's a sexy rock song by Buckcherry. Check out those varied musical interests!)

I've seen a lot lately, so I'll just kinda start with the most recent and hope I remember to include everything.

Fanboys. So here's my dirty little secret. I've never seen Star Wars. Like the good ones. I saw Episode 1 while living in Paris because my male charge was obsessed with the series. But as for the classics, I never got around to them. They're in my queue, so I'll see them eventually. But I reveal this because Fanboys is a movie all about Star Wars. Said fanboys are obsessed with Luke, Leia, Darth, the Wookies and the rest of the them and make a trek to Lucas ranch to see Episode One before it's released. The movie has been in Hollywood turmoil since it was made like three years ago. From what I hear the version that will be released next month is closer to the original idea and not the second reincarnation. So here's the thing. Having never seen SW, I was pleasantly entertained by this movie. It was an enjoyable, heartfelt movie with a great 90s soundtrack. I laughed out loud several times. I would recommend it if you're looking for something fun, and it would be a good date night movie.

I'm using some of my spare time to clean movies off my DVR that I've randomly recorded thinking that I might wanna watch them someday.

Longford. It's based on the true story of a Lord in England who befriends prisoners, including a female child killer. His friendship with her is obviously not looked kindly upon by the public. So yeah, it's super cheery. The performances are really good and the storyline fits in well with my interest in all of those true crime shows. But the movie is deep. So I guess if you're in the mood for something deep...

Woman on Top. I'm not sure why I recorded this movie. It stars Penelope Cruz and was on IFC. It wasn't horrible, but wasn't great. The male lead is that guy from "Good Morning Miami." I feel like I see him and his family all over town, so I was like "really? you're in this movie??" Random.

The Wrestler. Wow. There are obvious reasons this movie is nominated for academy awards. Mickey Rourke became Randy. Marisa's fabulous, and I'll be one happy girl if my body looks anywhere near that good in 11 or 12 years. Director Darren Aronofosky shot the movie documentary-style which super works. Unfortunately I had no idea of the brutality of wrestling. So the first half hour was really tough to watch. I have a method of staring at the exit signs in theaters when I don't enjoy what's happening on the screen. Luckily I was sitting in the comfort of my own living room so it was a smaller screen to avoid. I also immediately messaged Melody and asked her not to let my nephew watch wrestling anymore. I mean I used to be afraid he'd put some kid in a headlock, not take a staple gun to his face! So if the first third of the movie is physically brutal, the rest of it is emotionally brutal. I was so stressed out and tense it was ridiculous. I was like "This is why people only see funny movies!!" But I feel like the sign of a good movie is when you can get emotionally involved and attached to the characters. The Wrestler succeeds.

Gran Torino. I loved this movie. I know. I wasn't expecting it. When it ended I actually sighed outloud, "Oh Clint!" Then I was asked "Are you crying?" To which I proudly replied, "No! I've got something in my eye!" Truth be told, I laughed AND cried during this movie. I liked the old man growl. I liked his racist remarks because it reminded me of how my grandpa was (altho I like to think my grandpa wasn't quite as racist, you never know).

So I've seen all the nominated movies now. It was such a great year for performances.

I'm currently reading Julie & Julia, which is soon to be a movie starring Miss "I've got doubt!" herself, Meryl Streep. I'm enjoying the book, and it kinda makes me wish I cooked. Or at least had a copy of Julia Child's infamous cookbook. I think the latter is a much more acceptable goal. Although in my most recent effort to use all the food I already have before going and buying more, I discovered that I have a lot of baking ingredients, which I have now founds recipes for. I mean, if anyone can live off oatmeal craisin cookies and lemon bars, it's me, right?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

All Will Be Well

Today's song title comes to us from The Gabe Dixon Band.
I love this song...and it's kinda my mantra right now...The next line in the chorus is "You can ask me how but only time will tell."

So I've come up with a backup plan. Something to look forward to should a job not present itself by April 1st. I'm with Reelz until the first week of March. I'm giving myself the month of March because that will be three months that I've been looking for a job.

Should I not have a job by April, I'll be hitting the open road. I've decided that it would be a better use of (WAY less of) my savings than to spend around $1550 a month to sit in this apartment. Don't get me wrong I LOVE this apartment. And this town. But times in the biz are bad right now, and I really think that taking some time off and away is the answer for me. (It usually is.)

I should mention now that I will not at any point stop looking for jobs nor do I consider this a permanent exit outta LA. I love my friends, the ocean, and the weather too much.

My tentative plan is to crate my stuff up and store that crate/pod here (that way when I come back or if I get a job somewhere else, either way, I can have my stuff.). I will then hit the road heading North...mostly along the coast, stopping in San Francisco to see friends, Napa Valley to drink wine, do the Avenue of the Giants and drive through trees. Yosemite? Lake Tahoe? I dunno...Then I'll make my way to Portland (!!!) and Seattle and over to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and the Black Hills and Badlands and Mount Rushmore and the Corn get the picture...doing whatever I want all day long. Journaling, (blogging?) and taking pictures along the way.

I'll eventually end up in St. Louis. Most likely on a twin hideaway bed in my grandma's sun porch. She doesn't know it yet, but she'll be cool with it. From there, I will collect (and save) my unemployment checks, travel to New York, Chicago, Knoxville (oddly enough that's where HGTV is!), and Nashville, and keep the job hunt alive. While at the same time spending quality time with family. (instead of expensively sitting on my couch in my pajamas watching Netflix...which I will have done for the month of March.)

Should September arrive with no job. I will first and foremost be super upset I lost. Because my backup plan is much more fun when I think about it ending on an island in the Great Barrier Reef. Truthfully I haven't thought any further than September because I figure I will either have a job (somewhere!) or be in Queensland.

And I'm gonna keep that dream alive for a little bit longer...

So wow...I finally got it down on paper. It looks crazy, but it's something I've been wanting to do, and this may just be the opportunity to do it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Wall

While driving home from the PGA brekkies this morning (which I very much enjoyed, thanks T!), I spotted a new mural on a building along La Brea.

On the side facing the street are depictions of Rosa Parks, Dr Martin Luther King and President (!) Barack Obama.

On the southside of the building is the following inscription: "Rosa sat so King could walk. (I'm paraphrasing because I'm not sure if he was referred to as Doctor, Martin or King.) King walked so Barack could run. Barack ran so we could fly."


If it's not raining tomorrow, maybe I'll go by and snap a picture.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Add It Up

Let me preface this all by saying: I know I am lucky. I know there are millions of people in the world worse off than I am.

Since a employer-sponsored meeting with the unemployment folks, I have been crunching some numbers. And, well, if I thought I was freaking out before, now I have the numbers in front of me and WHOA! somebody needs a central line of xanax.

(Note: Xanax does not sponsor these blogs. I get no reward for mentioning the drug by name. However, should a xanax rep be reading this and think that would be appropriate...Awesome.)

Ok so the way it works (in California at least) is that when you're laid off and need unemployment assistance, they look at the amount of money you earned the previous year. (In this case Sept 07 - Oct 08.) So they take that year and divide it into quarters. Then they take your most profitable quarter and base your amount off that amount. That being said, the highest award given is $450 a week (before taxes) for anything over $11k a quarter.

As I said, I have been blessed to be in an industry whose salaries correlate with a comfortable cost of living out here in Los Angeles. And again, I repeat, I KNOW there are people worse off. But I make considerably more than $450 ($415 after taxes) a week. Obviously I understand that unemployment is not there to keep me at my current comfort level, but that amount barely covers my rent. Seriously.

The last time I made those wages, I was just out of college, splitting a $680/month rent + utilities. I didn't have a car payment. Then I moved to San Diego and barely made much more but somehow managed to pay $650 a month in rent. (PB&J baby!) Well now I pay $1450 a month. Plus utilities. Plus a modest car payment.

You can see my panic.

It's a double edged sword because altho I fantasize about sitting at home in a housecoat anxiously awaiting the mail-lady with the next Netflix delivery, I also know that that won't work. Well, not after the first month at least.

My parents have graciously offered to let me move home, and the more I look at the job market, the more I'm trying to accept that idea as a (TEMPORARY) option. People are suggesting I downsize apartments, get a roommater, or move out of my fun vibey hipster neighborhood, but moving costs money too. Deposits and moving companies...yuck! Don't get me started on the roommate thing. I'm pretty sure the next situation like that I'll be involved in is cohabitation. Like with a boy.

I AM lucky in that I live month to month. (See how that wanderlust and fear of commitment comes in handy??)

So we'll see. I'm really hoping something falls in line before March. That's when the freak outs will really hit as my last day on the job is March 8th. I've got some savings, and I know that I'm going to be fine, and that everything will work out how it's supposed to. I just would prefer a heads up.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up bright and early to attend the PGA Breakfast. (That's Producer's Guild of America)...not sure who I'll meet, but I'm definitely taking business cards. And I'm seriously considering heels. (Gasp!) Let's face it, I just hope the scrambled eggs are yummy.

Footnote to Mom: I am really not popping xanax like they're tic tacs. I'm exaggerating. I just like to purge these thoughts from my mind, so I write.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Life Would Suck Without You

What if I went all Grey's Anatomy and only titled my blogs after songs? That would be fun.

I'm sitting here waiting for everybody and their brother to call me back and say that my resume is unbelievable and they need me in their office...STAT. Until that happens I'm watching My First Place and House Hunters dreaming about the day I'll get to buy a house. And when I feel like it's time I take a time out, I pick up the book I'm currently reading...The Soloist (the book the movie is based on)...and fall back in love with a story all about strings.

My place also currently smells like freshly baked cookies. They're cooling on top of the stove as I type.

So I know I haven't released by 2-ot-9 to do list, but basically this is it:

1. find a job.
2. improve posture.

(alternates, based on the success of #1)

3. TRAVEL. (still need the Grand Canyon, and well, if I get that Australia job...woo hoo!)
4. finish laser treatments.

Yesterday was an amazing day. I loved watching history happen in the company of coworking friends. I'm pretty much obsessed with Malia and Sasha and the love that is so incredibly visual between Barack and Michelle. At Last. Wow. Not even Beyonce could ruin that lovely moment for me.

And did you hear about the scavenger hunt the girls got to do at the White House last night that culminated in finding the Jonas Brothers behind a door??!! How I wish I could have been the person to get to plan that hunt. And/or see their faces at the big reveal!!

While the rest of the country has been in a deep freeze, we have been having the best January ever. It's supposed to rain tonight or tomorrow or something, but just in case you were wondering why I struggle with the idea of ever leaving soCal...

The weirdness at works means I don't work full days. Which means I get to do things like go to the beach after work. The sight, smell and sound of the ocean is like nature's xanax. Seriously.

I found a purple sand dollar.

There was a fire. And hot dogs. And smores. And stars. And waves crashing. And planes leaving town.

Then my cousin James came to town and we took advantage of the weather every chance we got. Like walking through a bit of Griffith Park to get to the Observatory.

This is our reflection in a mirrored wall at the Getty.

The gardens at the Getty:

I mean seriously. You could see the ocean! And mountains! And downtown!

In "sometimes I'm driving to Chinatown and hear a weird noise and find a nail in my tire" news...James got to see a slightly grittier side of the city, rarely exposed to tourists.

The Vitess guys were awesome tho, plugged my tire for $15 and sent me off with a warning about the hyper police in the area. California is in some dire straits, and they've decided more tickets is a way to get some revenue in. We've already been warned about IOUs for tax rebates, and understandably, the unemployment fund is dwindling as well. Hopefully it's not empty before I get my share.

In these times, it's refreshing to find an entire dinette on the street while walking to the grocery store. Because sometimes you have an empty dining room, and although it didn't bother you by being empty, the fact that it's now nicely arranged makes you feel slightly more complete.

Best $10 grocery trip ever.

Tomorrow is Oscar Nomination Day. And the one year anniversary of Heath Ledger's death. A year ago tomorrow I was (verbally!) consoling P Diddy in a lounge at Sundance. I had just interviewed John Stamos and Phylicia Rashad in a surreal moment only a fellow child of the 80s would understand. And then the alert came across the room via Blackberry and everything changed.

Tomorrow I'll be up - and at work - super early (5h30a anyone??). And I'll write a story about the best actor and best supporting nominees. And like Jan 22, 2008, I'm pretty sure I'll be talking about Heath a lot.

Fingers crossed for Kate Winslet. And Sally Hawkins (I obviously don't need her to win, but I think she belongs up there with Kate, Anne, and Meryl). And for "The Reader" to have a Best Picture nod. And for Milk to get some love. That's really all I'm asking for this year.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Real Talk with Katy Perry

So apparently I'm going to talk about Katy Perry all the time. To be honest, sure, I thought UR So Gay was humorous. And I can understand the catchiness that is I Kissed a Girl. I'm most onboard with Hot N Cold when I randomly sat next to her hair dresser on my way to StL for Christmas I was excited to learn she would be playing my fave indie music spot here in LA. The Hotel Cafe.

Last night I learned at her show that she started out at the Hotel Cafe. Last night I also fell in love with everything that is Katy Perry in a small venue. Despite having the flu she played the sold out show like a champ. She looked good. She sounded good. She interacted with the crowd and "got real" with us.

The music was great. She did a few songs just her and the guitar. Other songs there was an accordion involved (and we all know how much I love those!). She did play Hot N Cold, but a much cooler, acoustic version. Everything else seemed real indie roots and I just loved it. (She's got a bigger venue show coming up here in LA that will probably be more rowdy.) I just found the Cafe to be the perfect place to really hear what she had to say. And then I fell in love with this song and thanked her for writing a song that seemed just for me.

The only problem is that I much prefer her acoustic stuff to what is on her album. Which sucks because you can't find recorded versions of it. Which makes me fear that her Brick by Brick will be like Sara Bareilles' Satellite. A song that I rarely - if ever - get to hear.

I'm sitting here at work. Because although we've been laid off, we still have to come to work for the next 60 days. The combination of there not being much to do and there not being a lot of incentive to do it makes this the most awkward environment ever. So this is what it feels like to be a lame duck. I bet Bush just wished it was next week already. I know I do...ZING!

Ok so the Golden Globes...let's start with the ceremony.

1. Kate Winslet squared. So happy for her. So. SO. happy.
2. Sally Hawkins. She's my Glen and Marketa of this year. The person who recognizes and talks to me on all the carpets. Such a sweetheart and well deserving of this award. I enjoyed Happy-Go-Lucky. I also liked her interaction with Emma Thompson.
3. I basically liked Emma Thompson all carpet and ceremony. She was awesomely hilarious.
4. Mickey. Oh Mickey. You thanked your dogs AND you're friends with The Boss. Does it get any better?

Slumdog and Mad Men. Kudos.

Red Carpet Moments:
1. I spent much of the day obsessed with Lara Spencer's (The Insider) posture. She's very tall and lanky, but has the most incredible posture of anyone I've ever seen. The way she carries herself is mesmerizing. I then learned that if I worked out my upper back muscles, I could have posture like that. I'm seriously considering it.
2. I saw Elizabeth Perkins taking pictures of Ricky Gervais with her camera phone. I told her he would probably take a picture WITH her if she asked.
3. I saw Tom Brokaw. And Tom Cruise. And the Mad Men cast. And a whole lot of other people.
4. Drew and Jessica as Grey Gardens. Hilarious and hideous all at the same time.
5. We saw a lot of people as we were one of the last outlets before the door. We weren't getting any interviews, so we both just decided to be fans.
5a. I yelled to Kate Winslet that I loved The Reader. I then wanted to continue to yell that it wasn't that I didn't like Rev Road, I just loved The Reader MORE, but that's a lot of stuff to yell out when they're whisking her past you.
5b. I yelled to Neil Patrick Harris that I LOVED him on SNL. I mean, COME ON PEOPLE!! The digital short that NBC Universal just pulled off youtube may be one of the best things I've seen on tv in a while!!

5c. Tom Hanks came running through at the last minute. I couldn't pass up the chance (and really had no filter at that point) so I just yelled out "Run Forrest Run!" He laughed and other people started chanting it too. (Yes that was a risky and non professional move, but OH SO FITTING. And he thought it was funny.)


I had a panic last night after receiving one email saying one of the friends of friends I've contacted is limited by a hiring freeze and then having a meeting with another company that does not currently have any jobs available. AWESOME.

I know I'm good at what I do. I know I have a lot of people pulling for me and passing along my resume. But it's those quiet moments laying in bed at night when the reality hits and I'm like WTH (like that one better, mom?) am I going to do? Like really. I think I may need more xanax.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A word on awards...

Favorite moments from the Critic's Choice awards:
(in no particular order)

1. Seeing Brangelina on the carpet. Never gets old. I also for some reason got excited about seeing Richard Gere. But that's just because I never have before. Other notable red carpet item was how fabulous Evan Rachel Wood looked.
2. The end of Anne Hathaway's speech when she talked about her daddy. I teared up because I could say the same exact thing about mine. (Sorta paraphrasing but almost exactly: "And finally, I'd like to thank my dad for showing me that there are good men in the world, and that I am worthy of the love of good people.")
2.a. The reaction in the press room to Angelina's stink eye during Anne's speech.
3. Running into Josh Brolin in the hall backstage.
4. Talking to Anne, Sean Penn, and Danny Boyle in the press room.
5. Being told by a publicist that I always ask the best questions.
6. Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) spotting me and waving as she was leaving the press room. I also love how much this moment cracked Gerrad up.

Speaking of G-rad...we (not on purpose) coordinated our outfits and looked like this:

We've got the Globes Sunday. I'm excited.

So today was it for Dailies. Weird. I've never been laid off before. I've never worked on a show that got cancelled. Not a good atmosphere. The top shelf vodka helped. They decided to end the show with the first story of the first show that aired back in September of 2006. It just so happened that story was mine. It was called Actors Firsts, and was about the early beginnings of some of today's top actors and actresses.

I'm really afraid the magnitude of all this hasn't hit me yet. The financial fears are more than kicking in, and I'm making plans to subdue that impact. But the thought of going from spending so much time with a group of people to not seeing them as much...that's what I don't like to think about. We spend so much of our time working that those are the people that occupy our days and our lives...and the days of our lives.

I've obviously left friends and coworkers before. But this feels like the disbanding of a family of sorts. And I'm also usually not good with change unless I'm the one dictating it. I continue to be excited about my next adventure. But I'm gonna miss a lot of faces. Like my beloved officemate Ben. Who I talk about frequently on here and who I respect and enjoy sitting across from more than I could have ever imagined. I talk a lot. I can be flighty. I'm the office social butterfly, and decorate my workspace with lots of toys and pictures of Zach Braff and other boys I like. I have weird personal phone conversations. And yet Ben fought the good fight with the powers that be begging for us to remain officemates. We've been roomies for two years. That's longer than some marriages last. I have a feeling that in my next job I'm going to have a question and I'm gonna look up and expect him to be there and have the answer. Because he always does.

We've definitely had a good run. I know he's cheering me on and wishing me nothing but the best, just as much as I am him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Well, that happened...

Sometimes you come into work and find out you don't have a job after March 8th because your company that's all about movies has decided that the real Hollywood is in Alba ker key. (I refuse to learn how to spell it correctly.)

Read about it here.

This afternoon our company president bought us ice cream. Because we're four, and our big brother ripped the head off our baby doll. (I'm serious. They really did get us ice cream.) We ate it while I made jokes to said company president about the lunacy of it all.

I'm not as freaked out as someone who lives in an apartment that costs $1450 + utilities should be. I had been unsettled about the company for a while, and it's nice to finally know what is going on. I had also been getting the itch that it was time to move on, and I feel like today's envelope is proof that someone else agrees with me.

So what now? Well that's a big question. I have a lot of plates spinning in my head at the moment. (And I wonder why my insomnia has returned?!) Is it time to leave LA? Where would I go? Portland? Nashville? Somewhere else? What would I do once I got there? Am I ready to say goodbye to this industry? What else would I do if not this? True to my form, the answer to all of those questions is, at the moment, "I don't know."

I've got 60 days. A lot can happen in 60 days. I've put out a lot of feelers. Unfortunately it's just not a really good time for any industry, and mine is not exempt. I understand that. I understand that this is a sign of the times. And that it is what it is. I also, however, understand that unemployment will not pay my rent.

So I'm gonna tighten my belt. Save as much of my earnings as possible. This morning's $55 street cleaning ticket will not help. (PS Thanks a lot LA!) But seriously. I'm gonna be ok. I am looking forward to what life holds in store and the next adventure.

I feel really bad for my cleaning lady, who at this moment is likely scrubbing my toilet for the last time. I mean, if I'm gonna rationalize paying for my satellite and internet, I've got to give up something...Actually part of me thinks the satellite should be the first thing to go. But then I remember that whole digital conversion thing and that rabbit ears won't work. Quel domage!! It's definitely tempting. After all I could just keep the $12 Netflix membership instead, and pester my friends to let me come over on How I Met Your Mother and Mad Men nights.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Starting a Revolution from My Bed

Don't get freaked out. I told you it's one of the two warm places in my apartment. We're lucky I'm not blogging from the shower. Yet...

OMG The Reader. I hate to hype movies (so quit reading now if you hate reading hype before seeing a movie...I don't give any spoilers tho) because I've found that it's better to go into a movie with little or no expectations and then be BLOWN AWAY like I was with this one. Despite whatever happens awards season, The Reader is the best picture of the year. Filmmaking genius. Amazingly crafted. Subtle. Provocative. Profound. A lot of big words, basically. Some of them are Kait's. subj...a song from when I used to club in Paris just came on my Itunes. It sounds like an old friend saying Hello.

Back to The Reader...I won't lie, at the beginning I was all WTF (sorry, mom, but if you see it, you will agree.) I hadn't read this one so I had no clue what it was about. But unlike Revolutionary Road, I didn't feel lost (as I think one might seeing RR without reading it). And once I got past the initial shock, I fell in love. Right along with the characters of the movie. The rest of the cinematic experience was nothing short of me feeling in my seat what they were putting into motion on screen. I felt compassion. Disgust. Confusion. Love. Tears trickled down my cheeks. My chin quivered. I wept silently.

If I could smelt an Oscar in my apartment and hand it to Kate Winslet tomorrow, I would do it. And still feel like I was tardy. I also would like to give mad props to David Kross and Ralph Fiennes. I've had a thing against Ralph ever since he was such a good asshole in The Duchess...but I forgave him today. These two men play the same character at different ages, and they did such a great job learning each other's mannerisms...the transition seemed seamless.

Here's the trailer, and again, apologies for the build up.

Oh and I forgot to mention that I also recently watched Doubt. I came away wishing Philip Seymour Hoffman preached in real life because he was marvelous at it. Viola Davis is amazing. Her 12 minutes on screen are perhaps the most captivating. And I know every one is saying that, but it's true.

Here's pictures from my Christmas in St. Louis. Enjoy!

Christmas 08 Album

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret...

I have no excuses.

I'm not sure why I haven't been blogging lately. But I miss the recollections as much as you miss the updates. In preparation for my annual to do list I looked at last year's to see what I had accomplished. In doing that I noticed that I had also given a play by play of my time spent at home. And here I sit having not even posted a blog on my whirlwind Ireland trip yet.

I guess I've kind of been in a funk. I'm feeling better these days and I'm not sure whether to attribute it to the trip home, the time off work, the return of the sunshine or a combination of the three.

An update on what I discussed last time. I've decided not to winterize my windows. After pricing what many considered the solution, I found it to be a waste of money for the month or so I have left of cool temps. I have to remind myself of that decision basically every second that I'm not in bed or in the shower because those are the only warm places in my apartment. I'm managing tho. My friends who visit? Not so much.

Oddly enough after mentioning Katy Perry and Zooey Deschannel (vicariously through her new movie Yes Man, which I enjoyed), I ended up sitting next to their hair dresser on my flight to StL. Oddly enough the guy who sat on my other side also ended up in the same spot on our flight home. I thought maybe that meant something until there was a girl waiting for him at baggage claim.

My trip home was good. It was longer than usual but I was able to see everyone and do everything I went to do. I spent a day Driving Miss Daisy (that's what we call taking my gma on her errands). I spent another day with my oldest nephew and Godson, Ned. Doing just whatever he wanted (Roman Holiday style). We ended up seeing Bedtime Stories, which neither one of us hated. I would like to personally thank whoever cast Russell Brand in that movie.

I was in town for two Sundays which means I got to go back to my old church one week and go to my gma and parents' church the next. I was able to dine with old friends on more than one occasion and randomly run into others while shopping.

I played hot wheels and Old Maid and Go Fish. (I don't know who enjoyed those card games more, me, my 4 yo nephew or my dad.) I watched my niece perform gymnastics while braiding another niece's hair while pointing "NeeNee" out to yet another niece. I made cookies with my mom!

I ate fried turkey and beef brisket and TOASTED RAVIOLI.

My dad's family had scheduled their Christmas for New Years, but that didn't stop my cousins from finding time to get together while I was in town. Which of course led to us trying in earnest to remember the order of things in our traditional family singalong: "We are SISTERS we are one!"

It was a good time and a much-needed break. I'll be back in a couple of months for my gma's bday (I promised her last year I would come back for her bday every year), but it won't be for nearly as long.

Best out of the mouths of babes moment:

Melody: Hunter, who do you think is older? Me or Aunt Mary Anne? (Note: I am by 16 months and one day.)
Hunter: Mommy.
MAB: Why? (secretly hoping she looks older or something ;) )
Hunter: Because she has kids and you don't. (zing!)

My favorite blog reaction from my mom:

"I don't like it when you say WTF."

Pictures uploading now.


On a completely different note. Have you ever totally loved a song only to find out that you probably don't really love what it's saying because you would never dream of speaking so vulgarly?

When I worked at E! I always used to sing the line "From the window, to the wall!" And all the girls sitting around me would laugh and I'd be like, what? All innocent like and finally they were like..."Do you know the next line of that song?" And I of course said no, so they enlightened me, and well, I still like the song, but I really only sing it loud and proud when I've been drinking. I moreso have it in my head as a humorous memory.

Anyway, so now the song in question is Kings of Leon "Sex on Fire." This song comes on and I wanna rock last night I can't sleep and I'm wasting time on the interweb and I look up the lyrics. Holy Mother of God. (Out of respect to my own mom I won't link to lyrics or youtube.) Then I watched the video which is also kind of weird. But I just can't get enough of a good feeling listening to it. It makes me wish I knew someone who had rock band so I could bang some drum sticks like whoa.


Movie time!

To recap:
Yes Man - yes
Bedtime Stories - sure. definitely better for kids than Marley and Me (which I loved, just not for kids.)

In preparations for covering (!) both the Critics Choice and Golden Globes this week, I've used my long weekend to see the rest of the award nominees. And buy this dress.

That one is for the GGs. I'll wear the one I wore to the Benjamin Button premiere to the Critics Choice Awards.

So back to the movies.

So far this weekend I've seen Revolutionary Road, Wendy and Lucy and Last Chance Harvey. I'm getting ready to go see The Reader and wouldn't be surprised to see myself at The Wrestler tonight. I'm feeling like skipping Gran Torino, but might watch a screener of it this week.

Ok, so Rev Road. I read the book first. I really found it helpful in not only prepping me for what would happen, but also explaining everything behind what we were seeing on the big screen. Performances are what stood out. I don't think it's Best Picture worthy. I'm not against it being nominated in that category, but I really think Slumdog Millionaire or Benjamin Button would - and should - win over it. Most enjoyable for me was the performance of Michael Shannon as John Givings. The entire audience I was sitting in loved every moment he was on screen. NDG and I agree that we're not sure why he hasn't seen a supporting nomination yet this awards season.

Wendy and Lucy. Obviously a Michelle Williams vehicle. And she's realistic and you're fine watching her do absolutely nothing for more than an hour, but then all the sudden I didn't get it. And when I say "it" I mean her motivation at the end of the movie. I won't say more than that. As someone who only occasionally wishes she had a dog, I understand I'm not exactly a pet person, but I don't understand why a pet person would make the decision she does. None of this makes any sense to you, the reader of my blog, but I just can't yet wrap my head around this one.

Last Chance Harvey. Probably my favorite movie of the weekend so far. SO relatable. I was in love with the dialogue. I loved Dustin Hoffman, and after one particular speech I wanted to hug him so bad I could barely stand it (that's the daddy's girl in me tho). I loved the way the two talked to each other and *got* each other. Emma Thompson said things that made me think the writer of the movie was somehow in my head, using my feelings for fodder. I don't consider myself middle aged yet. But I think all anyone is looking for is that companionship...that person that clicks. But I also agree that after not having it for so long, you're so comfortable in the disappointment that the possibility scares the sh*t out of you.

It makes me sad that this isn't playing wide yet. I think my parents would really enjoy it.

There are some really great performances out there this year. Dustin in that one speech garners a nomination. But Sean is amazing as Harvey Milk, and Frank Langella embodies that Nixon role. It's a tough call. Sean seems like the front runner, tho, and I'm ok with that.

Alright I gotta scoot to The Reader. As soon as the photos are uploaded and I come up with a to do list, I'll post them. I'll try to be better about blogging in general so that I don't have to complete these marathon sessions so often.