Note To Self -- Drive to Canada. Find pharmacy or candy store. Buy some Canadian Cadbury MiniEggs. Devour.


"Just promise to never make Anchorman II..." -- Works for me! The highlight of the Oscars [aside from the 10th anniversary festivities at my house, woo!] was this musical tribute to the "forgotten" comedian by these three lunkheads...awesome. Despite tepid hosting from Ellen, deeply pointless clip montages ["Hollywood Loves America" by Michael Mann {WTF?!} left us all in stunned/bored silence], and a lack of outrageous outfits, the show managed to surprise and occasionally delight. Clint Eastwood translating for Ennio Morricone was neat, and I liked the reading from the actual script during the screenwriting clips. Surprisingly, the song performances were tight and impressive, even Celine, though the songs themselves were uninteresting. But like most of the nominated films, the broadcast could use a ruthless working-over by Thelma Schoonmaker to move things along...cute as that corgi was, what was up with that ludicrous costume pantomime? In the end, though, all that matters is Marty getting his due...when I saw those three well-fed baby boomers headed for the microphone I knew it was coming. Sweet!
"Get with the latest trend and adorn yourself with these lightweight arm warmers." -- No thanks, mine came attached to my shirt. For free!
Whenever young people are allowed to indulge in something old people are not allowed to, it makes us bitter. What did we have? The mall and the parking lot of the 7-Eleven? It sucked to grow up when we did! And we’re mad about it now.” -- Excellent New York magazine piece on today's uninhibited young people and "the end of privacy" thanks to the online lifestyle. I personally think that not too much has changed -- the things kids post about themselves and others online, we used to pass back and forth in notes, whisper in the hallways, and gossip about for hours on the phone. Plus slambooks! Except for the fact that all that dirty laundry is now trapped in online amber and fully Googleable by future mates/employers, ne plus ca change...


"But why a monkey?" -- Yup, that's what I'd like to know. The Namesake requests you investigate this Trunkmonkey phenomenon...if that's what you'd call it, which you might not if you, unlike he, are not part of Subaru Nation.

It had to happen sometime, kids -- Just try getting that ditty out of your head by Election Day '08! Order one today for the politically aware toddler in your life...or their easily amused parents.


Happy President's Day -- while many of you fritter the time away at home, I'll do so at the office, thanks. With a blogmeme quiz, of course (via Margalit):

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:39
2. Diamonds or Pearls? Not a big fan of either, this is my engagement ring.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Pan's Labyrinth, see my review below.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Lately, it's Extras..."Featuring a roly-poly toad!"
5. What did you eat for breakfast? A bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats, just procured at Costco.
6. What foods do you dislike? Roasted red peppers, blegh.
7. Your favourite potato chip? I like a good sour cream and onion chip.
8. What is your favourite CD at the moment? Disc 1 of the Marie Antoinette soundtrack.
9. What kind of car do you drive? Green Honda Accord, recently scraped at the drive-thru pharmacy and then dented by an ice boulder!
10. Favourite sandwich? Katz's pastrami, sweet Lord almighty that is good.
11. What characteristics do you despise? Cluelessness, inflexibility, lack of empathy...wait, is that all one thing?
12. What are your favourite clothes? Can't beat a fleece vest...and also these!
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Back to the Antipodes, pronto.
14. What colour is your bathroom? Prison grey tile with wood-glue-beige paint.
15. Favourite brand of clothing? I feel like this question hasn't been relevant for me in 15 years!
16. Favourite time of day? Making dinner after work, listening to the radio, then taking a break on the sofa...
17. Where would you want to retire to? Retirement? Didn't they eliminate that, like polio?
18. Favourite sport to watch? To watch, baseball. To play, anything but football.
19. Coke or Pepsi? Diet Coke, please.
20. Are you a morning person or night owl? More of a night owl, but I fall asleep earlier and earlier.
21. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Oscars Party in 6 days, woo!
22. What did you want to be when you were little? U.N. Secretary General.
23. What is your best childhood memory? Camping with my family.
24. Nicknames? Soon to become an official Auntie Em!
25. Piercings? Earrings.
26. Eye Colour? Rich, chocolaty brown.
27. Favourite day of the week? Sunday.
28. Favourite restaurant? I love Something Savory near my house.
29. Favourite ice cream? Ben & Jerry's Cool Britannia, now retired, sniff.
30. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Obviously Target.
31. Bedtime? 11ish.
32. What are you listening to right now? Sonourous, repetitive office sounds.
33. How many tattoos do you have? Zero.
34. Next film you'll see? Hopefully this, can't wait for this!
35. Tag anyone? Go for it, fellow non-off-today peeps.


Dinkin' Flicka -- Behold, the derivative fruits of transformative copyright infringement! In other words, a CafePress store with nearly 1,000 designs based on the hilarity of The Office. I'd like a "Best Dundies Ever!" mug...


"Ya put yer seeds in there!" -- With apologies to SNL and the Fortress of Solitude, check out the Norwegian government's proposed Doomsday Vault, designed to protect the world's seed samples from nuclear strikes, global warming, and whatever else humans can throw at themselves. Mmmm, seeds.
It was a Del Toro! Toro! Toro! Weekend around TAI -- here's the TicketStub:

* The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth -- Nat and I watched the former on DVD before seeing the latter at the Somerville Theater, and all I have to say is, Huzzah! It seems magical realism is alive and well, at least in the Mexican cinema, where one of its greatest examples emerged. The two films neatly bookend each other as their stories are remarkably similar, both filled with rich archetypes and riveting visuals. Both take place in the remote Spanish countryside during the Civil War and Franco's regime, and follow a sensitive child protagonist through an encounter with mystery and danger. Like all good fairy tales (or cuentos de hadas, to our heroine Ofelia), these stories illuminate the hard truths of reality by the tricksy light of secret cellars and moonlit woods. These children are in real peril -- from the war (in TDB there is literally a bombshell waiting to go off in the courtyard of the boys' school), from their own foibles, and most painfully from the neglect, helplessness, or sheer sadism of the adults watching over them. Director Guillermo del Toro weaves an unsettling spell by alternating moments of disbelief between the real and the imaginary: was that a ghost? A fairy? A wooden leg? Did that man really just murder in cold blood? I enjoyed the seesawing between wonder and horror in both, although Nat found the violence in PL too graphic, and it could certainly have been inferred that men are tortured and shot, rather than shown in brutal closeup. To me, it gave the film a muscular insistence that wish as we might, bad things to happen to good people, even kids, in this world...but maybe that's an academic cop-out. Either way, the stories unfold with great tension, because you don't know what weirdness is coming next. TDB follows Carlos, a war orphan, as he tries to unravel the mystery lurking in his school basement, the site of a callous killing and some oversized slugs, ugh. PL's Ofelia is a spunky waif shipped out to the country with her ailing, pregnant mother, waiting for the birth of her evil stepfather's heir. Carlos befriends a vengeful ghost, Ofelia falls in with a cunning faun -- and both try to complete a series of impossible tasks. They succeed, but at great cost, and while there's some satisfying comeuppance for the villains there is a great, bloody denouement to each tale. Just like adolescence. Major extra points for spot-on production design, like English Patient-level evocation of wartime deprivations, and gently placed special effects. (A+)
Love stinks...like a Bog Monster in your toilet! -- Witty suggestions from Amazon.com for terrible Valentine's Day gifts. Tee hee. For some non-awful choices, Mighty Goods has got the goods, as usual.
"We must continue to fight in order to 'support the troops'. . . Has anybody asked the troops?" -- Read William Odom's long op-ed from yesterdays Washington Post for more plain talk on Bush's downward-spiraling Iraq policy, and suggestions to improve it. This is from Ronald Reagan's NSA and Army Intel director, Bushie, what more do you need? Hmmmm...


You unlocked the hipster haircut! -- Play SaveBoston, a sort of post-9/11 whack-a-suspicious-package game that's the best thing to come out of LiteBriteGate around here. I personally come down on the "better safe than sorry" side, and would like to see the ravenous media hordes who whipped up the frenzy while the cops were consistently repeating, "There is no reason for concern" being taken to task instead of said cops, but that's just me.
HOOHAA! -- There's a theater in Florida with the name of a nonexistent play on its marquee: The Hoohaa Monologues. Yes, a woman complained about the word VAGINA appearing in public, and complained to the theater, which substituted... H O O H A A. Which is so much more appropriate, whew! You know what they say, all the nuts roll down to...oh never mind.


What a difference ten years and the right alumni make -- My alma mater is opening its new Granoff Music Center this week, built on a former parking lot to house the vibrant and heretofore woefully underfunded music department and many performance groups. (*cue crochety voice*) Back in my day, we had to use ratty upright pianos in the basement -- and now they bought 12 new Steinways! I can't wait to get a look at it, and soak up the favorite Jumbo pastime.
You were the pickles, you were the jar
You were the prizefight we watched in a bar

the sloppy kiss in the basement at Nell's
the occasional truth that the fortune cookie tells. . .

-- from "Goodbye, New York (song from the wrong side of the Hudson)" by Deborah Garrison, featured on The Writer's Almanac today. Just right.
"It's like you live in an IKEA!" -- Normal Room is like Apartment Therapy for nonhipsters: you can upload, browse, and comment on photos of everyday living spaces from around the world. Sort of like the wonderful Material World books, but searchable...click click, ahh, cat furniture.
"Astronauts wear diapers during launch and re-entry. Dressed in a wig and a trench coat. . ." -- That is not what you want to read in a story about an astronaut. Captain Lisa Nowak is having a really bad week.