Saturday, March 31, 2007

8 is not enough

I'm slowing down a bit. I saw my 8th movie for the year last night.

Becoming Jane

2 second synopsis - the story of Jane Austen's life.

The thing that really stays with me after seeing this is the beauty of the cinematography, the clarity of the diction, the shininess of Anne Hathaway's hair, and my delight in seeing Maggie Smith as a grande dame again. She does it so very well. This was darker than the other British author pic I've seen this year - Miss Potter.

Very early in the film there was a shot of Mrs Austen leading her predominantly female family group to the Hall, and they were reflected in the water, looking like a mother duck leading her ducklings. The water moving over the reflected dresses was just stunning. I really think that whoever shot this film loved working with water - there were so many textured shots with water that were just stunning. It probably helps that water is my element of choice too.

I was a bit stunned by how shiny Anne Hathaway's hair was all the way through. It just looked freshly washed. I can't imagine that anyone living in those times could wash their hair as often as she appeared to. Oddly enough, no one else had hair that shiny. Maybe it is just genetic - it was just odd.

Having seen so many of the Jane Austen adaptations for film and tv (Colin Firth anyone?) I found myself comparing a lot of the "types" in the film to the adaptions. Julie Walters as Mrs Austen was not as overbearing as Mrs Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, although I can see where the character came from. She has some of the strongest lines in the film, and does it very well. One of the funniest scenes is very early in the film, and belongs to her and James Cromwell as Mr Austen. He was not as insipid as many of the male characters in Austen's books.

I found myself very sad though, for all of the women who had no control or choice over their lives, and were neatly pigeonholed into socially acceptable behaviours. It contrasted so strongly with the strong female characters of Mrs Austen, and Lady Gresham. Yet these women were still in the roles that society gave them.

And a new addition to the list - James McAvoy - he was in the Last King of Scotland, but he looks fabulous in Austen time :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


nobody wows him like I do.

bouncing off walls, blushing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Weekend snapshots

Running through the rain in the crowded city to get to the Concert Hall. The smell of the rain, splashing through the puddles, and the heavy humidity.

The smells of second hand books as I rifled through most of the shelves in the second hand book shop. Many of them have a new and loving home now.

The smile on the boy's grandmothers face when she realised that we had dropped in for a surprise visit.

The shade of scarlet my boy turned when his grandmother asked him where he'd learned to kiss, and what I'd been teaching him.

Big gappy grins from the 8 month old guest of honour at the christening on Sunday.

The indignity of falling down in front of the supermarket in the darkness amongst on uneven bricks.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Headless chook

Where do all the hours in my day go? At the moment I feel like I am just chasing my tail around, never actually getting anything done. I don't normally feel like this until October or November, so I must be suffering premature holiday season.

I've been making an effort lately to get on top of all of the things that I let slide while work was the be all and end all of my life. I've actually been doing all those things that I kept putting on the list of things I really needed to do, but work was more important. Suddenly I've started putting a focus on my health and me.

I went to the dentist three weeks ago for a check up. I'm ashamed to admit that it was my first dental check up in over 5 years. I've only been to the dentist when there has been something wrong that needed urgent attention. That will teach me. From one check up, where they redid work from a previous root canal, and cleaned my teeth, I've had to make a stack more appointments. Three in fact.

The first one was last Friday, and I bolted to work afterwards, only to find myself in a session about company values. Pretty funny with as much anaesthetic as I'd had - whenever things got tense I would flare my nostrils and whoever saw me would crack up laughing - when only one nostril moves it is quite disconcerting. Centre of attention? Clown? Me? Surely you jest.

Yesterday I went again. My mouth wasn't very keen on going numb, so I ended up having to have 3 anaesthetic injections. Yeah, fun. As long as I can't see the needle going in, I'm fine. The anaesthetic worked a treat on the rest of me though - I fell asleep while my dentist was drilling. The last time dental anaesthetic had that effect on me I was having my legs waxed after a root canal. It's a good thing that I have only ever seen one dentist in my life, but still, it was more than a little embarrassing to be woken up by the dentist. Eeek. And to top it all off, my trout pout was better than Melanie Griffiths' and I could still do the nostril flare. Really looking forward to next Tuesday - I should just have a fat bottom lip.

To top it all off, I went and saw my GP this week too - referral for xrays and other tests because my right hip is sore and referring pain again, and my toenails on that leg have gone silly. The tests will all be over by Friday next week. Last time I felt like this I spent more than a year on crutches. Think healthy thoughts.

So glad I have private health insurance - I'm spending a fortune - but I'm worth it!

Don't have time to think about it though - much - I went to a launch party for the new Macy Gray CD tonight - enjoyed it and love a freebie, tomorrow night the boy gets the rest of his Christmas present with the Weird Al Yankovic concert, and Saturday we are heading rural to see his grandmother (and raid my fave secondhand bookshop). Sunday there is a christening and then a lunch. Phew!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Power and Responsibility

The boy told me last night that I'm the only person in the world who can make him feel the best he can possibly be, and the only person in the world who can make him feel less than a piece of dirt. That is a lot of power to hold, and the responsibility scares the hell out of me.

I would never intentionally hurt him for the world, and I hate the thought that I've ever made him feel like that. Words are very scary things.

At the same time, I'm exultant that I can make him feel the best he can possibly be.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Unanswered questions

What animal does salami come from?
Why does blogger still not recognise me?
Why is it blue for boys and pink for girls?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh my!

My sister and I managed to get some pretty serious retail therapy in on Saturday. We found ourselves in a row of outlets near home - there is truth to the rumour that by the time we were done the car held new dinner plates and martini glasses, a new overnight bag, a new chopping board and new lingerie. And that was just me.

And then we entered the shoe shop, to be known forever more as Skanks are Us.

This one was one of the classier shoes in the shop. What disturbed me most? It wasn't that it came in 3 different colours. It wasn't that they had them in multiple sizes. It was that they had them on the discount table, but the $20 table instead of the $10 table. Might want to rethink that pricing.
Oh, and neither of us bought anything there!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Things that make me go :)

That last post depressed the bejesus out of me, so what it will do to you, especially if you are coming back from your holiday, I dread to think.

So, some of the things that make me smile today.

  • My boy is back, bouncing off walls, but back, and says he's missed me heaps. :) How do I know - I've spoken to him 4 times today, and been on messenger with him 3 times, plus texting. Wish he hadn't fallen asleep when I left work.
  • Talking to my 17 year old cousin interstate using messenger.
  • Swapping MySpace messages with my 15 year old cousin interstate.
  • My current obsession playlist (yes, that's what I called it) on my iPod. Obsessed with music - me? Always. So, now I'm going to share them with you, in no particular order.
  1. Gone Daddy Gone - Gnarls Barkly
  2. Flathead - The Fratellis (I blame you apple)
  3. Ramalama (Bang Bang) - Roisin Murphy
  4. LDN - Lily Allen (I'm still trying to work out which West Indian calypso she has sampled)
  5. Hey Now Now - The Cloud Room
  6. The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani (and yet, it reminds me so much of Forever your Girl, and a Kylie song)
  7. Suddenly I see - KT Tunstall
  8. And I am telling you I'm not Going - Jennifer Hudson
  9. God only knows - The Beach Boys
  10. Funky Tonight - John Butler Trio (he plays the mouth harp - how cool is that?!)
  11. Bang the Drum - Todd Rundgren
  12. The Way - Fastball
  13. I don't feel like dancing - Scissor Sisters
  14. Love in the first degree- Bananarama (I have to get me some stripey outfits, kind of like Where's Wally in black and white)
  15. Candyman - Christina Aguilera (the one song on her 2 disc album that screamed "hi, I'm a single")
  16. I just don't know what to do with myself - Paul McDermott and Marcia Hines
  17. Zoot Suit Riot - Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Did I mention that my boy was back? I did? Are you sure? Anyway, he is back, and there are prezzies for me too :)

Seven - lucky for some ...

On Saturday I went to the movies with my mum and sister to see my seventh movie of the year. My sister chose the movie, and off we all went to see The Last King of Scotland.

Gruelling. Draining. All three of us spent a whole lot of the film with our eyes closed, or our hands over our eyes, struggling to deal with the sheer violence and brutality of Uganda under Idi Amin. Being in the second row probably didn't help either.

For those of you who haven't seen it, or haven't heard much about the film, it covers the time in Uganda of Idi Amin's rise to power, and total takeover of the country and is seen through the eyes of an idealistic young Scottish doctor. The acting is superb, and Forest Whitaker deserved the Oscar he won (Best Actor). I'm not familiar with the work of James McAvoy who played the doctor, but looking him up on IMDB he is in the movie Becoming Jane which I'm seeing in a couple of weeks. Surprising cast members - Gillian Anderson - I haven't seen her since she and Mulder jumped the shark. I'm ashamed to say it took me a while to register, even though her name was in the opening credits.

I don't want to repeat seeing the film - once was definitely enough for me, but at the same time, I'm glad that I did. I was talking about it with my friend yesterday, and she said it was like Hotel Rwanda for her. It is one thing to hear about it on the news, or read about it in history, but to see it in front of you, with the resulting blood, screaming and agony can really bring it home.

We went out for dinner afterwards, although I have to admit that food was the last thing on my mind - I was dry retching on the way from the car to the restaurant. This film really got to me. My sister was all fired up, and wanted to know why people do things like that to each other, and why other people stand by and let it happen. She and my stepfather were discussing it at length - him from his very strong Christian point of view, and her from the feelings that she had after visiting the killing fields of Cambodia, Dachau, and Auschwitz. Unfortunately, I found myself zoning out, and reflecting on the incongruity of listening to their conversation with the background music of November Rain by Guns'n'Roses. Music will always distract me.

I haven't been able to put the film out of my head. I've had nightmares about it for the last few nights, and just keep seeing the scenes repeat over and over again when I go to sleep. I keep mulling over the story and the film, and thinking about the heroism shown by one of the other doctors.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I'm confused - heck, I'm really confused. I've been seeing a lot of ads lately for Palmolive Pure Cashmere Shower Cream. The blurb has me stumped, and I'm reproducing it in the hope that I'm not going nuts.

"Experience the irresistible feeling of cashmere softness when you shower. Palmolive Pure Cashmere Intense Hydration contains extracts of 100% natural cashmere and moisturising milk. "

Am I strange? Have I missed Cashmere coming from anywhere other than goats? Does Palmolive really want me to shower and clean myself with extracts of 100% natural goat? I've smelt goats and I'm not sure I really want to smell like that on a daily basis, especially fresh out of the shower.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Choc top anyone?

It's been a big year for movies this year. So far I've been to the movies 6 times. I suspect that is more times than I went last year. I really enjoy the experience of going to the movies, and even more now, that most cinemas have the liftable armrests so I can snuggle. Is that just me?

I thought I'd actually make the effort to write what I thought about some of them, so that I don't forget. I wonder too, if I'll think of them differently if I see them again on DVD.

Music and Lyrics
I'm a sucker for a romantic comedy, and Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore are two of my faves. Hugh Grant is a disturbingly good 80's hair band pop star and just revels in some of the dancing and performing he does. He has that glint in his eye that says he isn't taking it seriously, but he is having a damn good time doing it. Lots to giggle at, and I had fun, even if the boy was so tired he kept yawning, even while he laughed.

Man, Jennifer Hudson can sing. Every time she opened her mouth she blew me away. I got a bit annoyed by the breaking into song mid conversation though - that was getting really annoying. I know that moving a musical from the stage to the screen can be just a little awkward (anyone else see the movie Hair? bad, just wrongtown) but they did a pretty good job. I just wished that the conversation/singing was a little more seamless. Eddie Murphy did a stellar job - I really enjoy watching actors move out of their comfort zone and doing something different. I suspect this is the only Eddie Murphy movie I'll be seeing this year - might skip Norbit. The last Eddie Murphy movie that had him playing multiple characters that I enjoyed was Coming to America.

The Pursuit of Happyness
OK, happyness is spelt wrong and really annoyed me. I understand why, but I don't have to like it. It still gave us one of the best exchanges of the movie. Run, Will Smith, run. Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (to give him his full & credited name) was just adorable, and totally lit up the screen. The father/son relationship was really strong, and I think the movie did really benefit from the real life relationship of the Smiths. Damn Will Smith is one of those very likable actors, but he managed in this film to stop me remembering that he is Will Smith. Last time he did that for me was Ali. So nice not to see a film where the lead actor isn't just being the lead actor.

Miss Potter
I need to say upfront that I really don't like Renee Zellweger. There is something about her that just really annoys me, I don't know what it is, it could be a completely irrational thing, but I just don't like her. Gwyneth Paltrow has the same effect. Shame really, because they both star in some of my favourite movies. I was really looking forward to seeing this - I loved Beatrix Potter books when I was a kid, and thought she had done amazing things buying up huge chunks of England and bequeathing them to the National Trust to protect them from development. I was disappointed that the movie didn't mention the way that she learnt the anatomy - I was always fascinated that she would boil the corpses of animals so that she could study the skeletons. I really wanted to see Renee Zellweger doing that. Yes, I'm twisted. I'm always happy to see some Ewan McGregor on the big screen too. Confession time, I cried at one point.

The Queen
Helen Mirren deserved every award she got for this film. I suspect that it will find its way into media studies courses within the next 5 years too. I really hope that the editors get all the awards they deserve for this too - they did a masterful job. I was intrigued that anyone would have the temerity to create a film around the Queen's reaction to the death of Princess Diana. After watching it, I really wanted to know if anyone in the royal family had their press secretary co-operate with the film makers - at deep throat level of course. I cried in this one too - not as much as I did watching the funeral first time around though.

Charlotte's Web
Better for DVD. Fern didn't need a boyfriend. I really thought we were going to have the whole cinema to ourselves until a family came in during the ads. Weird. It was good, but it didn't blow me away.

Casino Royale
This one gets a special mention - it was nearly this year when I saw it. Daniel Craig = very yummy Bond. I would have liked tighter editing towards the end of the film - it dragged a bit and didn't add a huge amount to the story. About 25 minutes could have been compressed into 5 with no impact. The stunts were spectacular, and everything you expect from a Bond film.

Movies I'm looking forward to seeing this year
Bridge to Terabithia, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (mmm, Alan Rickman, and yes, I will cry), The Simpsons Movie, Shrek the Third, Man of the Year, Meet the Robinsons, Razzle Dazzle, Scoop, The Good German, Bobby

Movies I've missed and need to see on DVD
Little Miss Sunshine, Happy Feet, The Devil wears Prada, Marie Antoinette.

What movies have you seen and recommend? What don't you recommend? What are you hanging out to see?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

All by myself

Not really, but I feel a bit like it at the moment.

On Sunday my boy is heading overseas without me. I know it is only for 10 days, and I know he really needs the break, and he is really looking forward to going, but at the same time, I'm sad that he is going without me, and just slightly jealous that he is going off to have experiences I won't be sharing. I trust him, and know that things will be good, but I'm still going to miss him.

I've made plans for Sunday afternoon - a girly day watching Singing in the Rain with 2 of my fave friends who make me laugh til I cry every time I see them. Displacement activity - probably, but I know I'll have fun with them.

I'm sad, because I do wish I was going, but at the same time, I don't have the time off work, and it isn't a trip I really want to do. I know I'm being really contrary, but right now that is me. I want him to have a good time, but not such a good time that he doesn't have time to miss me. Someone say egocentric and self obsessed? Sometimes, yes.

He will be home in 2 weeks. That means he is nearly back already. Really need to get over myself.