Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas in California

M & I are in California visiting C&L&M - we rented a cabin in the mountains around Lake Arrowhead and have been having a grand time the last few days. There's a bit of snow on the ground here, a great deck, gorgeous view of the lake. Cabin very cozy and has fireplace and out-of-tune piano to amuse us all. Yesterday morning we opened presents and was really fun to watch Little M unwrap and flip his lid. Otherwise we (I?) have been drinking a lot of wine, making lovely meals (xmas dinner: ham, cornbread stuffing, corn pudding and mashed potatoes followed by strawberry triffle [auth. British dessert] - sure, everything was white, but, it was delicious!) I'll post some pics later. Missed folks back home but numerous phone calls assured all are well. We're back to LA this afternoon and some sunshine and warm weather!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Last night we saw Avatar in X-3D (whatever that is). I was one of about 5 women in the theatre and probably also only one of about 5 who didn't cream my pants watching it. Look, I don't like James Cameron, he's a giant fuckwit and a major d-bag and this movie absolutely stinks of him. Exhibit A:
PLAYBOY: How much did you get into calibrating your movie heroine's hotness?
CAMERON: Right from the beginning I said, "She's got to have tits"...
Sure, Avatar has just about the coolest visual effects you've ever seen, but would it have killed them to put a decent story behind it? It goes like this, some US corporation has gone to a foreign planet to harvest their... get this... unobtainium and, metaphorically, what is clearly being acted out is the destruction of Native American populations by the settlers. The "noble savage" naturally has a closer relationship to the earth and their culture and knowledge is far reaching and more sophisticated than the settlers can even imagine. That's a story that's been told over and over again (by decedents of the settlers, mind you) and Cameron certainly doesn't bring anything new or interesting to the table and I have to wonder what his point is. And, knowing that he's a giant douchebag, I naturally assume his point has something to do with assuaging his massive white privilege. I'm not the first and certainly won't be the last to bring this up. Here's an article that spells it out rather eloquently:
These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color - their cultures, their habitats, and their populations. The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the "alien" cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become "race traitors," and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed. This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare. It's not just a wish to be absolved of the crimes whites have committed against people of color; it's not just a wish to join the side of moral justice in battle. It's a wish to lead people of color from the inside rather than from the (oppressive, white) outside.

Also the lead actor's an Australian guy playing an American and he loses his accent all the time. And the eyes are gross. I've heard some people say it's a kid's movie, but it's definitely not. It's very violent. I wouldn't necessarily recommend not seeing it, but watch it with your brain turned on and ask a lot of questions.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

A bit of snow and some sudden cold (but not actually *that* cold) in Chicago and suddenly we're all in the holiday spirit! We're busy doing our part to revive the economy by shopping and traveling. Last weekend we went to Indiana to visit our families. For the first time ever, I had a cuddle with my nephew that was mutually satisfying. If he could talk, I think he would have said, "Take me away with you, Auntie K!" haha. All I could do was buy him the most expensive toy in the store and hope that someone tells him it's from his aunt and uncle.

Last night we went to M's office party - it was in a huge antique shop called Salvage One and we had a nice time, if not successfully mingling, then walking around the store and plotting the purchase of a Herman Miller vintage chair (if it could talk, I think it would have said...) I don't know if this is a wide-spread phenomenon - I also saw it at a party in Vegas - but... mashed potatoes in a martini glass? I am both captivated and repulsed. Speaking of, there were a couple of photo booths at the party and we took these Twilight-inspired pictures.