Thursday, June 28, 2007

What's In My Garden?

Does anyone know what this blue flower is called?
It's flower is really pretty - shaped kind of like a trumpet.
How about this pink fern-y thing?

Sometimes, when I stop hyperventilating, I think that our garden will look really pretty one day, maybe even next year, but right now, I'm overwhelmed.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Isn't that beautiful?

Found 14th Arrondissement on Youtube - check it out, and let me know if you love it as much as me!

And here's the Natalie Portman one, directed by Tom Tykwer (Faubourg Saint-Denis).

Oooh - and here's the Gus Van Sant.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Paris, Je T'Aime

Had a really fun weekend - M. and I finally got our bedroom painted - it looks great - pics coming soon. It took like 10 times longer than we thought it would, but it was fun. We also saw Paris, je t'aime, which was so great. It's made of about 20 vignettes, one per arrondissements in Paris, and each one is made by a different director. It's multi-cultural, multi-national, beautiful and fun - I wish there were more movies like this! You'll have your own favorites if you check it out, but mine were Gus Van Sant's "Le Marais" (Oddly. Normally I can't stand his work), the Coen Brother's "Tuileries" (natch), Isabel Coixet's "Bastille" about a man about to leave his wife but changes his mind after some surprising news, and Alexander Payne's "14th arrondissement" about a tourist who narrates the short in horribly accented French.

Although ostensibly the film is about love in Paris, some of the shorts are more serious, and I daresay more universal than Paris. For example, Walter Salles' "Far From the 16th" is about a young immigrant mother who lives on those "ghetto" outskirts of Paris that one hears about but never sees in the movies. Gurinder Chadha's "Quais de Seine" features a young Muslim woman in hijab, and Oliver Schmitz's "Place des Fêtes is a heartbreaking short about an immigrant and his all-too-brief encounter with a beautiful woman.

Some of the shorts are goofy, like the one with Elijah Wood and a vampire, or another sort of like a Hong Kong opera, some push the envelope of creative cinematography like "Faubourg Saint-Denis" (starring Natalie Portman), Alfonso Cuarón's "Parc Monceau" (which is one continuous shot)... even the one with the mimes is simply charming.

Friday, June 22, 2007


My bff has apprised me that I have misattributed the quote at right to Nelson Mandela - its actual author is Marianne Williamson from her book Return to Love. Apparently my friend had a print-out on our 'fridge through one year of college. 'Doh!

It's odd - I heard that quote during an Ellen DeGeneres stand-up bit, and she said it was by Mandela. Then I looked it up online, and there was this big question of whether or not it was spoke during his inaugural speech, but no mention of poor M. Williamson. Isn't that typical, a woman not getting credit?

Be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous.

I care the most appropriate level

Awesome! Found a Hello Kitty test that divines how much you care for others. They've brilliantly boiled it down to whether you would make soup or curry in a pot with a sad bear on it, or give a friend juice in a yellow or red cup. Let it be known that I would never give a friend an inappropriately colored cup to drink her juice. My result to the test "to see how much you care about people and stuff around [me]": 70%
Your care is at the most appropriate level. When you are with other people, you usually can read others' mind and hold their hands and give them your support when timing is the most appropriate. Other than this, your care is quiet [sic] natural and can easily achieve the best result. Because your care is natural, it won't appear exaggerated or too obvious. To people around you, you are a very trustworthy person.

It's true, I can read minds.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

For the Love of God!

A few days ago saw 1985's Ladyhawke with friends. It's a yearly ritual for them to watch the movie and stuff themselves silly on candy. I'm still coming down from the sugar rush. It was a fun movie. Last night watched Grandma's Boy. M.'s choice. Really abysmal.

Megan Stielstra, a local Chicago writer and blogger has a story on Fresh Yarn. Very funny.

In other news, I was very excited to read this article about the collection of George Michael. I didn't realize he was a collector. Turns out his partner is an art dealer. Anyway, they have a Damien Hirst or two, and the Guardian implies that they are thinking about buying Hirst's $100m For the Love of God, a human skull covered in diamonds. The Art Newspaper, a more respectable source, quotes the bf as saying it's “out of our price range”. So, the question remains: who will buy it? Frankly, I think it's reprehensible, like most of Hirst's work. But, the guy's a great artist, you can't deny that. What better symbol of our times?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What's in My Garden?

I thought you might be amused by these ridiculously large plants growing in our garden. I believe they are Compass Plant (or Rosinweed) on the left and possibly Cup Plant on the right (although according to most sources, Cup Plant has a smooth stem, and mine is big and hairy).

Here's a picture that gives you a better idea of the scale:

I find them mostly terrifying, sort of like my rhubarb, because I fear it will rise up in the night and kill us all. Also, I found out its roots grow 10 feet long. I mean, that's just not natural, right? I was thinking about tearing them out, unless the roots have already placed their stranglehold on our foundation, or if there were some other compelling reason. What do y'all think?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What's In My Garden

Look, we're practically farmers!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Agoraphobia: Weekend Edition

Yesterday I saw Ocean's 13 with a friend, even though I earlier declared I wouldn't. If I didn't bring it up now, that would probably have been forgotten, as what seemed to garner the most attention from that post was a brief mention of the "new" birth control pill which allows women to skip periods altogether (BTW, here's an interesting article re: the invention of the Pill via Objectify This) rather than a very amusing (or so *I* thought) imagined cast of Ocean's 28. Anyway, it was my friend's birthday, and we both had a long list of movie themes we weren't interested in (no films about falling in love, no films about having children, no films starring Kevin Costner) so we ended up at Ocean's 13.

Well, they certainly having a winning franchise going, and I wouldn't be surprised if we do see Ocean's 28 one day, with Clooney and Pitt wearing impeccably tailored suits and faux-finishing (ha!) each other's sentences. I was merely pleased that Julia Robert's wasn't in it and all was forgotten when I saw the aforementioned suits. Christ almighty, do those two look good in a suit!

This weekend I'm going to be hobbling around cursing my (still!) aching back and perhaps seeing another movie with mon amor - peut-être La Vie En Rose ou Paris Je T'aime. Baring that, I suppose we'll watch episodes of Clark and Michael online (I know those of you needing a Michael Cera/Arrested Development fix will be into it.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Good things

Looking at the Bright Side is difficult, if you're me - but that was my intention today. Didn't find it on the way downtown, where I had to move because a "ranter" sat down next to me. On the way home, another one sat down behind me while I was peacefully reading, so I stood up and moved to the back of the car. Unfortunately there was a poster for this movie, uh... Captured, or some crap. And the poster is a picture of a woman with dirt all over her face, streaks of tears, and, of course, behind bars. So, I was sitting there, contemplating whether to just tear it down or write "misogyny!" on it. Ultimately I decided I would write "Recognize Misogyny!" as soon as the bible-reading women in front of it moved. As I'm finalizing all this in my mind, I see that there's some commotion at the other end of the train, and they're all looking down at my end. And one lady's inching over to the Panic button (all L's have a panic button, and if you press it, everyone gets really mad, because the train stops.) So, I'm looking around, but I don't see anything, and I say to the guy next to me, "What's going on?" It occurred to me that they had somehow read my mind and knew that I intended to graffiti. Then the train stops. "Why'd she have to hit the panic button?" someone says. Then the guy next to me says, "Look, there's a fight in the next train." So I look into the train behind me, and I see this kid just completely pounding some other kid, right in the face. Then, he starts punching some other kid, in the stomach. Not two weeks ago did I see a whole gaggle of young girls, I'm telling you, just punch the hell out of each other on the platform. I feared slightly for my life, but more for humanity. To see someone getting punched, 3 feet away from you, as I have now, TWICE, in a matter of weeks, is an unpleasant feeling. It is a feeling that can best be expressed as follows: We're all doomed.

Lo, after finally returning to my home, and my bed, which, more and more, is seeming like a place I should never, ever leave, a certain loving husband urged me to face the outside world, and we went out to dinner, where we had to switch tables THREE TIMES because outrageously inconsiderate people and their ill-behaved offspring were so disruptive. People, *sigh* You made a choice to have children. Now make a choice to teach them to sit in their seats (not drape over my booth), not pound on the table, not sing and shout, not run around, not generally act like rabid little gophers.

Just when I was thinking about calling it all off, returning to my bed never to leave, that elusive Bright Side presented itself. We were in the pet store, picking up some non-tainted Science Diet for our precious little angel, when I saw a young girl and her mom looking at the cats available for adoption. She took a good look and said, "I think fatter is gooder."

Yes, me too. I'll leave you with a picture of Miss Kaya.

Monday, June 04, 2007

oh, my achin' sacroiliac

So, I've been suffering some back pain for the past couple of weeks and I'm afraid that I must therefore prove to those of you who believe in God, that there is, in fact, no God, which I shall prove as follows:
Hopeless Theorem 2007
There is no God
1. I am a good person
   a. I recycle
   b. I volunteer
   c. I love the creatures of the forest
2. I have been kicked in the balls repeatedly by the universe in the past year
   a. mostly too personal and agonizing to into in my blog
   b. aforementioned back pain

If 2 occurs when 1 is correct, then the theorem is proved.

Ah, I like math with just words, not numbers.

Speaking of my metaphorical balls, last night I had a silly but interesting conversation with a certain husband about the agency placed on the male genitalia and the lack of agency given to the female genitalia. All this sprung from an earlier conversation that, if given bagels and cream cheese as an incentive for coming in to work early (long story) M. should put them down his pants. Anyway, I remarked, wouldn't it be something if agency were placed on the female genitalia, such that putting bagels in a woman's pants would be as insulting as putting them in a man's pants. Theoretically. I've just been thinking about language a lot recently, and gender, and gendered language. I've been reading some great articles on a blog I recently discovered called Objectify This - check it out if you're similarly interested. I also address this issue also over on my book blog.

All this reminds me of a nifty little book called That Takes Ovaries, which champions brave acts by women, and seeks to give agency to the ovary, rather than the ball.