Monday, December 28, 2009

overheard

Me: When I was a kid I rode my bike to my friends houses and--
B: Those were the old days, mom.
[Followed by hysterical laughter from Gregg who is older than me, thank you very much.]

B's new friend across the street: Do you like Star Wars?
B: [long pause] I wouldn't be Bradley without Star Wars.

B's new friend across the street: We're best friends right?
B: Um... I just met you.

United State of Pop 2009

If you read Perez, you've already seen this but I had to put it up. I don't think I'd listen to any of these songs on their own, but this DJ Earworm mashup of the biggest pop hits of 2009 is awesome! The video is great too. If you don't dance I'm going to assume it's because your legs are broken. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Someone was on the good list...

My son made out like a bandit this Christmas! I can't even believe all the stuff he got. Some of his favorites were a little notebook laptop (for writing his stories and screenplays), a punching bag, a set of five Girl finger boards and all of these Blu-rays:
He was probably most blown away by the $50 check sent by the grandparents ("I've never even SEEN that much money!" - B) and already has his spending plan mapped out.

Also, thanks to Wendy, he has a new best friend... Dameon the Clydesdale:
I should point out that of all these presents that equaled up to the "greatest Christmas ever" only the finger boards were from me, the rest of my gifts didn't quite measure up. Mom FAIL. Either that or I did a great job telling everyone else what he wanted. Either way a happy B = a happy me.

Wendy spoiled both of us rotten and I got some things that I really needed like a Whole Foods gift card (free groceries!) and a griddle (pancakes!) from my mom and $$ from my Kentucky parents with which I will buy a rice cooker... because I'm an old woman... as you can tell from my glasses. My grandma bought me a coat that makes me look like a marshmallow but is unbelievably warm and cozy. A winter term in New York should be doable now.

I spent some Christmas with the Greek's non-Greek side, which is always so nice. They are loving and feed me well. I got a couple snowballs to the head, but it was a happy day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm dreaming...

It appears I spoke too soon. For the first time in all of my 24 years, I am experiencing a white Christmas (Eve). I've wanted one my whole life and it's just as magical as I imagined.
...And it's in Texas, not New York! What is going on?!

Home for the Holidays

Sometimes it feels more like trapped at home for the holidays, but I'm trying to make the most of the fact that I have no form of transportation at my disposal. Also, thanking my lucky stars that I live so close to Taso so at least I have some company. B and I hung out at my mom's super festive house over the weekend and decorated cookies. (I was the undisputed best cookie decorator.) We also watched Star Trek, my mom's favorite movie of the century, but had to take the surround sound off because it was just a liiiiittle too much for the B.
Monday, bff Gregg picked me up on the way home from work and took me out for Indian noms. It was just like it's been for the last seven years of our relationship. We quoted movies and sketch comedy and laughed at how clever we are, talked about what fatties we are, ate like the fatties we are, talked about how awesome we are and how we dance better than everyone else. He called me stupid so I squirted a lemon in his eye. Good times. We went back to his apartment, with this killer view of Dallas, and laughed some more/watched Red Cliff, the most expensive Chinese film ever made. Funny, it was only showing at one theatre in New York and we watched it on On-Demand. I'm not allowed to comment on it as a certain Greek hasn't seen it so all I will say is...$$$$.
Tuesday B and I wrapped presents, ate our cookies, drank exceptionally delicious hot chocolate out of mugs that look like toilets and watched terrible ABC Family Christmas movies. (Neil Patrick Harris, Naomi Watts and Debbie Reynolds in The Christmas Wish, anyone?) I successfully wrapped all of my (lame because I'm poor) presents! Splinter helped.
That night I went to the skatepark and took some video of Taso and other dudes, which I'll edit and get up here one of these days. It really felt like home. Wednesday, life long friend Wendy and I saw The Princess and the Frog. The music was great and I loved the story, but the projection/quality of the print was so unacceptably terrible that I kind of went projectionist diva on everyone and threw and big fit. I'm sorry, but when a print in so beat up that you can barely see the animation, the picture is out of focus, you can see splices (on a Disney print?? are run-of-the-mill projectionists even allowed to splice??), the house lights aren't all the way down and the sound cuts out three times... It's not okay. I don't care if you're not a big theatre, people pay money to see movies. Grr. So I got a couple free movie tickets that I'll probably give to Wendy because I don't ever plan on going back to that theatre. I am really excited to get this movie on Blu-ray and bribe B to watch it with me. Oh, also! I'm sure this movie is going to be terrible, but doesn't Date Night have a fantastic poster?
Yesterday I got new glasses and my chronically dry eyes are rejoicing! I hate narrow frames with a passion so I was so excited when I found/fell in love with these vintage frames. Make all the grandma jokes you want (Taso) I love them! My family did something awesome and took me to my favorite restaurant in the whole wide world last night. We've been going to Kobe since I was little and what I love more than anything is that it hasn't changed. (Although they did take the little pond out of the lounge which kind of bummed me out.) We got the room where you take off your shoes and sit on the floor Japanese-style and my inner 5-year-old Brittan came out, ordered herself a Shirley Temple, tied the cherry stem with her tongue and did her best to annoy everyone at the table.
Okay, so it has been pretty eventful around here and I'm just being whiney because I hate having to ask for rides and not being able to see everyone (I'm so sorry Patrick and Kerie... Justin, we're in a fight). I really am enjoying the family and doing my best to get into the spirit. I hear we may even have a white Christmas! It hasn't happened in all my 24 years, but it's a nice thought. Especially since I left NYC right before the snow began to fall (and fall and fall and fall).

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday with the people they love.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Congrats, Taso!

My best friend graduated from the University of North Texas on Saturday and I couldn't be happier for him. Taso is one of the most brilliant people I've ever known and has already done so much. There are big, exciting things in his future and I can't wait to see them unfold.
I wish I had a picture of us like I do with my other best friend on his graduation day but we didn't get a good one, so here he is with his awesome parents, sister and aunt.

This time tomorrow, where will we be?
I love you.

Les plages d'Agnès (2008)

I finally saw the latest by my favorite director and life hero, Agnès Varda. It was a touching self portrait of a "little old lady, pleasantly plump" walking backwards through her incredible life. Her films, being an equal part of the French New Wave as a woman in the 50s, activism, women's lib, travel, raising a daughter by herself, cultivating the house off Rue Daguerre that became the center of independent art and many films in Paris, her beautiful and inspiring marriage, the birth of her son, all the beaches that define her beautiful life. I may never live her life, the kind I dreamed of living, but I hope to be more like her. I hope to be able to communicate the way I see things better, like Agnès, to be unashamed of what I have to say and to live life with meaning. The film, like all of her films, drew me in slowly. I don't know why I always doubt her at first, probably the same reason I doubt myself, but she always proves to me that I should have more confidence. Maybe that's why I love her so much. I alternated between laughing out loud and crying like a baby through most of it, and left feeling warm and happy.
Thanks, Agnès.

Picture-less update.

Over the last couple days...

I turned in an absolutely pathetic copyright paper. For all the contributing in class that I did, it seems I learned nothing beyond buzz words like "public domain," "fair use" and "infringement."

Taso graduated. (Pics if he ever sends them to me.)

Brittany Murphy died. Kevin Smith had the most touching tribute via twitter:
"G'night, Ms. Murphy. Hope you're rollin' with the homies someplace nice."

I hung out at my mom's house and her husband not only spoke to me but was...nice...to me. I feel a little weird. 2012?

I have been really bored because I don't have a car anymore.

I had an email war with one of my professors. I fought the good fight but, sadly, had no choice but to wave the white flag of defeat.

B had the super intense experience of watching Star Trek.

I have missed New York so. much.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A brave woman avenges evil and ends war by torching the Nazis in a nitrate fire at her cinema. Oh, and there's Brad Pitt.

I was never a huge Tarantino fan but...

I finally saw Inglourious Basterds last night and am half convinced Tarantino has been spying on me, cultivating the perfect Brittan movie so he could finally win me over.

Well played, sir. Well played.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hi from Texas!

Super quick update...
Well, I can't say it's the most fun I've ever had flying, what with B bringing his skateboard as carry on (imagine worst possible scenario) and Splinter trying to eat her way out of her carrier (see above), but here were are...back in North Texas.

It's interesting how much more you appreciate the place you're from and the people you love once you've been gone a little while. Finals and finances have had me not very jolly this season, but it suddenly feels like Christmas time and I am full of happy.

I got my hair done last night (for the first time in almost a year, yikes!) at Matthew Tully and feel about 10billionx more attractive.
I'm sure there will be pictures taken of me at some point so you can see, but right now I have it pulled up because I am in full-on work mode! I have 1.25 papers to finish this week so that I can be DONE with this semester, watch Taso graduate from UNT and spend time with all my favorite people.

Friday, December 11, 2009

TEAM JAKOB!


Also, Ellenore.

Who's with me?!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Finals = Crazy

Narwhals are real. And awesome.
Ashley and I are dropping out of school and sailing off to New Zealand.

EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.
The end.

Zack Morris Style Time Out


Everyone needs to check out The Girl Effect right now.

One of my favorite bloggers, Kathleen, posted about this the other day and I think it's one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Best Christmas Movies of All Ever

Wendy took my Cinemawesomeness idea to talk about her favorite Christmas movies, so I am in turn taking her idea to share with you my favorite holiday flicks! Now let me start by saying that in my mind pretty much every qualification (within reason) for good filmmaking goes out the window when it comes to Christmas movies. There are three criteria that holiday movies must meet to make my list:

1.) render nostalgia
2.) make me feel happy
3.) snow

With that in mind... Yay Christmas!

Un conte de Noël (2008)
I'll take any opportunity I can get to talk about this lovely film. It's beautiful, quirky, fancy--French! Every film about dysfunctional families spending Christmas together wishes it could be A Christmas Tale. A rare (the sole?) intelligent film on my list.

A Christmas Story (1983)
This one really fulfills #1 for me, maybe because I've had a lifelong fascination with living during the 1940s, but more likely because there is no better picture of what it means to be at kid at Christmas. To me, this film defines childhood.

The Santa Clause (1994)
I cannot tell a lie. I watch this every year with my grandma. Tim Allen hurts my brain, but it transports me back to that happy place that was the 1990s.

Elf (2003)
I mean... duh. Will Ferrell's best non-Anchorman role since SNL, Zooey Deschanel when she was still adorable and not obnoxious, Ed Asner and Bob Newhart (!! - I had a very Nick at Night childhood) and arguably the most holiday cheer you will find anywhere. Also, insanely quotable. "Smiling's my favorite!"

White Christmas (1954)
Two words: Vera. Ellen.

Home Alone 1 & 2 (1990 & 1992)
Yes, they are an entity. Don't question my methods! The holiday music, the cheese pizza, the tarantula, Marv!! Most importantly, the Christmas tree. B (who wants desperately to be Kevin...what little boy doesn't?) and I have worn out our DVDs... guess we NEED the blu-rays!

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Sally sews herself back together and my little heart ooshes out of my chest. I love seeing happy things through Tim Burton's eyes. For as much as he twists and darkens them, he never loses that childlike love and fascination for them. "What's This?" is on my imaginary greatest Christmas songs of all ever mixtape. Oooh, new project.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
This movie is my oldest holiday memory, back when I felt so sad for Max and was terrified of the Grinch. So... yesterday. I was littler than Cindy Lou when I started watching this and it's only gotten better. Yet another blu-ray I need!

Scrooged (1988)
Bill Murray + the 80s + A Christmas Carol? Yes, please. Put a little love in your heart!

Love Actually
I can't think of another movie that can make me happy like this one, and I will defend its excellence to the death. The best cast in the history of great casts, hilarious, sad, smart. It's universally enjoyable, and bff Justin and I like to have a good cry/laugh over it around the holidays.

There are so many great films with holiday scenes and themes, but this my go-to list. For the record, I don't love It's A Wonderful Life because it makes me super emo and Miracle on 34th Street is a Thanksgiving movie in my mind. If someone would like to introduce me to Hanukkah-ish or other wintery holiday movies, I would love that.

Who else is indulging in holiday movies and what are you watching?

Friday, December 4, 2009

He walks 10 paces ahead of me with a friend, skateboards everywhere we go instead of holding my hand, won't say goodbye when I drop him off at school and doesn't want to talk. There is beauty in watching your child grow up, but there is sadness in losing him as well.

Today all I can think about is all that I've done wrong. I could have given him what he needed but I've been selfish. Now I just want to fix things and I don't know how. I would give anything to lay next to my three-year-old, with his hand on my cheek and his heart open to me, just one more time. I had a dream once that I was old and he, a grown man, held me like I held him when he was little. We were connected just the same as we always had been.

But right now we are not. He's a blur ahead of me on a busy street and I'm in a panic to catch up.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

disappointing.

The New York Senate rejected a bill to legalize gay marriage.
In the words of Andy Samberg, "I know you say there's no gays in Iran, but YOU'RE IN NEW YORK BABY!

...sigh. If we can't laugh, what can we do?
(AP photo from BBC News)

M. Hulot's Holiday

Last week (I'm so behind/out of order lately) B and I went to see Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot, a 1953 film by Jacques Tati, at Film Forum. Admittedly, the only film I'd seen by Tati other than the classic Play Time (1967), was Mon Oncle (1958) and it had been a really long time. I've been meaning to watch Trafic forever, but somehow it just hasn't happened yet. Anyway, Taso won us two free tickets through Janus Films (aka the keeper of all great films) and they were waiting for us at the box office of the cozy, wonderful Film Forum. (I can't say enough about the staff, the snack bar--you have no idea how important this is until you have kids--and the presentation of the film.)

B laughed hysterically and I felt completely transported out of the theatre. When the house lights came up it took me a couple minutes to come back from the sunny beach (where I wore sundresses 24/7 and spoke French) to the reality of chilly New York. What more can you ask for in a film? Tati's use of sound was excellent, from the recurring cues of the score to every little perfectly timed noise. B and I both felt like we didn't really even need subtitles to stay engaged in what was happening on screen. It was interesting to see how spliced up the film was. It's no wonder with all the edits and different versions that Tati's done of the film, but it was still crazy to see that even the best restoration of it was noticeably missing enough frames for it to potentially become distracting. Still, we both loved it...which is saying a lot.
It was a perfect Sunday at the cinema. Thanks, Taso and Janus!

Happy Birthday, Dad!