Saturday, January 24, 2009

Frost/Nixon Movie Review - Saturday 1/24/2009

I usually post book and movie reviews over at my other blog Curioscopy. But I loved this film and I hope more people see it. It is fascinating and engaging. I was, like most people probably, concerned that it would be a bit dry.

I essentially knew how things were going to end up, but that didn’t stop me from being completely wrapped up in the film. Wonderful performances by the leads and excellent supporting cast.

Can you believe it? I was literally on the edge of my seat. Kudos to the cast and to Ron Howard and and playwright/screenwriter Peter Morgan who made the material so interesting. It manages to be moving while not letting anybody off the hook.

Micheal Sheen, Sam Rockwell, Matthew McFadyen and Oliver Platt .

It’s great timing for this film, which naturally had me thinking about the clou that Nixon’s crookedness cast over U.S. politics, changing the way a couple of generations feel about the government. Maybe we are finally coming to the end of that era?

I went by myself and enjoyed that experience, but honestly I would pay to see this again in the theater.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More about the Cows - Friday 1/23/2009

Maybe that cow attack the other day has something to do with the stupid Cow Tax proposal.

Don't tax cow methane guys, figure out how to use it!

[The photo is of brie cows in Normandy, May 2007.]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Post Inaugural Thoughts - Wednesday 1/21/2009

It was kind of cool this morning at Starbucks with so many people scanning their fresh copies of the Los Angeles Times or New York Times. Clearly, we were all trying to extend the excitement that we felt yesterday while watching the inauguration and the subsequent balls.

Reading the LAT's story about Eugene Allen, an 89-year-old former White House butler who was invited to attend the inauguration brought tears to my eyes. So do the other stories of the many people whose parents and grandparents were denied rights in this country because of the color of their skin, and not so many years ago.

Something crystallized for me while listening to Lester Holt comment during The Today Show's coverage yesterday. He said--and I'm paraphrasing--that he didn't think he would live to see an African-American president elected, but that now that it has happened he can't really imagine why it seemed such an unreachable goal. On Inauguration Day 2009, it just made sense.

Suddenly I realized why I've been so emotional when watching black television reporters over the past few weeks talk about living to see the day they and their parents didn't think they'd see, and how finally they feel included in the process. It just breaks my heart to think that all these people who have contributed so much to our common culture and to my understanding of it have felt like they're on the outside looking in.

I am optimistic about Obama's presidency. I am ready for a modern day FDR. But no matter what happens during his term, he has already done us this great service: he has allowed us to demonstrate to ourselves and the world that the evils of racism are not foremost in our political and social mindset.

There was reason for us to think that the country wasn't ready for this moment, but thank goodness we were and thank goodness this man and his family stepped us to give us the opportunity. Everything's not perfect, and there's a lot of work ahead, but to have a leader whose goals include restoring us to our ideals is really exciting.

As Kitty said, "It's so wonderful to look forward to the newspaper to find out what President Obama is going to do. He has hit the ground running."

President Obama!

You know, though, we may have been ready for this a long time ago. I for one would have voted for Barbara Jordan.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cow knocks over woman on bike, steps on her legs

I know that January 20th was a slow news day [cough cough] but this story for some reason ranked pretty highly on Yahoo's news roster.

It's just...odd.

BOULDER, Colo. – A woman escaped serious injury and refused medical treatment after a cow knocked her down and walked on her legs. Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks ranger Pete Taylor said the woman was riding her bicycle along the South Boulder Creek Trail on Monday when she encountered the cow and stopped to let the animal cross.

Instead, the cow knocked the woman over and stepped on her legs.

Taylor said the woman wasn't seriously hurt. Her name was not released.

The cow had left the area by the time rangers arrived, but other people warned fellow bikers and hikers on the trail about the animal.

Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance vice president Jason Vogel called the incident "odd, rare and random."

Welcome Barack!

Pull up a chair! Have a cupcake!

It's so much fun watching Barack Obama. We graduated from high school in the same year. So when I see photos of his past, I know where I was then, too.

When he's doing things, I feel more like I understand how he must feel. Like how amazing to walk into the room for the inauguration dinner and own that room? Wild!

It was wonderful to watch the ceremony this morning. Terrific music and poetry ushered him into office. Yeah, I cried.

The speech was exciting and empowering to all of us.

[Oh, and whoo hoo! I finally can spell inauguration without the aid of a spell checker!]

p.s. The inauguration dinner sounds yummy : Seafood Stew, duck breast with cherry chutney, pheasant with wild rice stuffing, molasses whipped sweet potatoes, winter vegetables, and apple caramel cake with ice cream!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Light of Day - Monday 1/19/2009

There was a gorgeous sunrise over Burbank/Toluca Lake this morning.

And for some reason, this shadow of the chandelier that hangs in the foyer of the building I work in caught my eye.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hardware - Sunday 1/18/2009

I like hardware stores. I just liked the way these hammers looked hanging here together, but in other aisles of hardware stores, I always come across things that surprise or interest me.

Hmmm. To someone, all these things are so familiar. Maybe one of them will help me.

I found some screen repair tape, which I bought. Also some inexpensive wheel covers that look like they might be vastly easier to put on and take off our trailer tires (to protect them from the e-vile life-shortening sun) and a $2.99 knife sharpener.

Hydra bought a wheel for measuring distances that he wants to use to measure our hikes around the peaks surrounding our neighborhood. For $10.00! Which is cheaper than the three or four pedometers I have purchased over the past decade, none of which I have been able to get to work.

He wants to measure our hikes. Hee. See why we are a good match?

There is also a lot about a hardware store that is very familiar and comforting to me. The smell of oiled tools reminds me of my dad's service station, and especially of going to parts stores with him to pick up things he needed. It always felt important to walk in with him because they'd have his order, and the men would joke around while I poked at the gloves and shrink-wrapped washers hanging on little rods.

I always loved these red shop rags, too. One often hung from my dad's back pants pocket, smeared with dark oil.

These things break open a whole host of memories about The Station.

One of my favorite things was walking in--after asking permission, of course--and grabbing an individually wrapped beef jerky or Slim Jim from the display on the counter. Confirming my Very Special Girl status.

The room with the cash register counter, pin ball machine, vending machines and a card table around which men sat playing pinochle and talking would go quiet. I thought perhaps in awe of the powerful beef-pilfering child-insider. Now I think they were just taking care not to let fly with any of the comfortable profanities they were used to punctuating their stories with.

There's a lot to say now about the politics of language, and how I learned to toss around curse words like a pro when working in the theater, and how really liberating that felt as a woman coming of age in the early 80s in the Midwest. But man, it's the end of the weekend and the cold is hanging on in little aggravating ways, and I'm supposed to be in bed by this time of night.