Monday, December 28, 2009

Is that a Rhinovirus in your Stocking?

That wheezing sound you're hearing? Is me coming up for air after a week I'd spent weeks rushing around preparing for. Also, I am getting over a cold. I wonder what number cold it was in my life. My best guess is that it was my 58th cold (assuming I got more than one head cold in some years). I'm kind of weird that way--I like knowing these strange little bits of trivia, and I like imagining that after I die, St. Peter (or Buddha...or one of their minions) and I are strolling the grounds of some fabulous garden, and St. Peter (or the minion) is telling me exactly how many hours of my life I wasted watching Three's Company reruns or how many feet my hair grew in my lifetime. And I'll be like, "Well THAT was a useless pursuit!" or "I should have taken up knitting. It would have been interesting to know how many cumulative feet of yarn I've turned into booties and blankets."

It's almost 2010, so I feel like doing a run-down of my favorite flicks of 2009.

Animated: Up. If you can get through the first twenty minutes without copious, open weeping, more power to you. Also, you are probably a sociopath.

Science Fiction: District 9. Alright, alright...the aliens look a little weird, and the metaphor couldn't be more obvious (cockroaches much?). BUT: this was one of my favorite films of the year, and if Avatar is any indication, they may release more sci fi movies with a social conscience in the future. Which I like.

Comedy: The Hangover. Pure, gut-busting hilarity. Zack Galifianakis has come a long way since Out Cold.

Dramedy: Up in the Air. This one's in theaters now. 89% fresh according to Rotten Tomatoes. I concur. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Horror: Paranormal Activity / Food, Inc. I wouldn't call Paranormal Activity one of the scariest movies ever made, but it's definitely among the creepiest and most effectively filmed. Also, I was afraid to go to bed after watching it. And I began to really regret playing with Ouija boards at all those slumber parties in my youth.

Food, Inc is scary for another reason altogether. (Ammonia burger, anyone?) It's a movie everyone should see, but only a few hearty souls will. When it comes to what we eat, ignorance may not exactly be bliss, but it's cheap (for now), convenient, comfortable ... and ultimately, very costly on a number of levels.

Quentin Tarantino movie: Inglorious Basterds. Quentin Tarantino has his own category because ... well, how do you define a Tarantino film? I love every campy, violent, gory, hilarious second of his movies, which means I probably should have been on a roller derby team or a drummer in a heavy metal band in my early twenties.

Documentary: Anvil: The Story of Anvil. I've blogged about this before, and I can't recommend this film enough. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, inspiring, funny ... if you have a soft spot in your heart for The Little Engine that Could, if you always root for the underdog, if you take the last wilted, wrinkly pickle on the platter for no other reason than you secretly feel sorry for it, you need to watch this movie.
If I'd seen (500) Days of Summer, there may have been a romantic comedy on the list (I generally can't stomach them). It's in my Netflix queue because I've heard many good things about it. Tonight I'm going to see The Road, which would probably fall under the category of "Best post-apocalyptic movie that makes me want to slit my wrists (But I still loved it)."
I'll give honorable mention to Let the Right One In, which I really can't include here because it was a 2008 release.

I hope it's socks!

I hope it's socks!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Few Things

I've been wondering about a few things. First, have you seen the commercials on TV for a new senior singles dating service? NOT ONE of the actors portraying a "senior" is a senior citizen. One woman appears to be twenty-six, with gray paint sprayed onto her blond ponytail. This makes me feel really great about aging.

Second, what's with the SHELLAC in a certain brand of high-fiber bars? Are people demanding that their day begin with a shiny breakfast? I don't typically varnish my waffles, but perhaps this is a delicious new trend I'm missing out on. Every time I'm shopping for breakfast bars I pick up a box to see if the shellac has been omitted from the ingredient list, but nope. It's still there, next to the high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated palm oil. Just thinking of it makes me feel strong, healthy, and disease-free.

On a serious note, what the HELL is up with Uganda? Perhaps I'll have to go to Rwanda for my gorilla safari. Wait...maybe not. What century is it, again?

I hope your holiday preparations are going smoothly...merry Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snow Daze

We have finally gotten the kind of snow that struts around like it owns the place, holding up traffic and demanding a giant bowl of green M&Ms after the show.

The snowbanks are pretty, but I have been housebound now for TWO DAYS. And you know what this means! Personal hygiene? See you Thursday! My teeth are kind of furry at this point. In college we used to say, "My teeth are wearing little yellow sweaters!"

God, when did I get so gross? And why do I find this acceptable? Maybe A&E needs to do a show about women who get really lax about shaving their legs in winter. (I can't remember where I was, because I had another birthday last week and I'm now OLD AS FUCK, but I was recently talking with three women and we all stated that winter means long leg hair. So long it gets SOFT. And waves around like sea anemone tentacles in bathwater.)

So yes. The A&E Network. Have you seen their show about hoarding? It makes me want to bust a cap in my spare bedroom's ass. Pull it together. Rent a POD and start seriously tossing shit.

Ripped-up pillows I thought might one day be useful as...oh, giant ugly kneepads perhaps? GONE.

Ugly lamp, strange giant cat sculpture, shopping bag full of old CDs (Tupac's on top...Whaa??): all GONE.

I want to take it a step further and defenestrate everything in the spare room closet, but J might throw a minor fit over that, because it's all his crap.

Bottom line? We have too much stuff for our small house, and after watching the show Hoarders, I am much more inclined to rent a dumpster and pour half of our household belongings through the upstairs window. Even if said belongings are on the first floor...I will carry them upstairs and THEN through them out the second floor windows, because that's much more dramatic.

Anyway, back to my laziness. Maybe A&E needs to do a show featuring people with REALLY bad personal hygiene to scare me straight. Like, put that wad of belly button lint under a microscope and show us what's in it! Show a lady who finds a booklet of stamps and some movie ticket stubs from 1997 under her breasts! Show a man who smells so bad milk goes sour around him! And they bring in cleanliness intervention specialists and everyone is so happy and squeaky-clean at the end of each episode that they cry. I don't know what they might call it. YOU STINK! seems a little severe.

Okay, I'm exaggerating some of this (I'm really not that dirty. Maybe.), but the bottom line is this: I'm still not as dirty as Viggo Mortensen in The Road. Which is the Feel Good Holiday Movie of the season, and I'm really annoyed that it's not playing anywhere near me.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Welcome, Dick Gobbler

Yesterday J's best friend left us a present on our front door:

It's always nice to begin these things with a touch of class, don't you agree?

General updates: if you'd like to do a good deed for the day, vote for the Antigo City Farm "Urban Tree Program" HERE. The proposed project with the most votes wins. (You have to register, but you can vote three times. I always vote three times, so this was right up my alley.)

Next, if you want to watch something quirky and have a soft-spot in your heart for underdogs, check out Anvil! The Story of Anvil. We watched it last night, and I adored this movie. Go rent it. It kind of reminded me of American Movie, which contains some of my favorite lines ever. I've never been one for the pre-packaged Hollywood "Feel Good" movies, and both of these films are so much more honest and raw and hilarious (often unintentionally so)...AND they make you feel good. Go little human spirit, go! You too can triumph in the face of adversity! Or at least make a really good movie about your efforts!

I will return on Friday with one of my delinquent GCC posts. In the meantime, there are good deeds to do and movies to watch!