Wednesday, August 26, 2009

End of an Era

Well, it's the end of a period, at least. I'm moving out of my apartment.

It seems silly, really -- to be so sentimental. Yet, I've lived in this apartment for over three years. A lot of happy memories and fun and frustrations and growing pains have taken place within these rooms. And the parties. Oh, the parties! I've had some great times here. And great roommates.

Perhaps it's understandable, then, that when I got home from work today, I piddled around these 1,200 square feet not quite knowing where to start. I meandered from room to room, trying to focus on packing things into boxes instead of the fact that I really didn't want to leave this place.

Finally, I decided drastic times called for drastic measures. I packed the KitchenAid. I carefully put it back into the box from which it came, complete with Styrofoam. (Yes, I try to keep all original packaging, if I can. I am not my mother's daughter, in that regard.) And with that, my heart, um . . . moved on. I decided I could do this. I didn't want to, but I could. Still, the only way to make it okay was to take all the cookie cutters with the KitchenAid to my new place. At least KitchenAid and cookie cutters would be okay together, and if they could be okay, I could, too.

And somehow -- somehow -- that reasoning worked. (Yes, I need to stop being so attached to things. For the record, though, I am much more attached to people.)

I'll miss you, apartment. :(

Thing I'm thankful for: a great three-year run in this place. I was safe, I was happy, and I was home.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Definition of Cute

Did you ever see anything cuter in your life?

I took this picture on Sunday evening, when I went to my brother's house for dinner. The flash was so bright, so Jordyn tried not to blink . . . What a little trooper! And a ham! She loves, loves, loves to see herself in pictures and video!

Anyway, I'm going to Utah this week for my cousin Lara's wedding. I don't know when I'll have time to blog again, so I thought this would be a good image to keep up on my blog until I have time to mix it up again. :)

Thing I'm thankful for: silicone? (Had a good chemistry conversation tonight . . . It had been too long!)

Fresh Flowers

I read somewhere once that someone wanted to be rich enough to be able to buy a new bar of soap every time the brand letters had disappeared from the soap's face. I thought that was a good idea, but I couldn't steal it . . . So I've wondered for the last couple of years what my luxury would be. Early this year, I figured it out.

Kroger was having a sale on fresh flowers, so I bought a bouquet. As soon as I brought the flowers home and put them on the table, I knew that's what my luxury would be. I didn't know how much I love flowers until this year. They can make me even happier when I'm cheerful, and they can be a nice pick-me-up when I'm lonely or blue. They also make my apartment feel more like a home.

Unfortunately, flowers are quite costly, but I like to get them for myself every once in a while . . .

Thing I'm thankful for: birthday dinners for friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Movie Review: (500) Days of Summer

I think (500) Days of Summer is a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing.

*Spoiler alert! DO NOT continue reading, if you don't want to know the plot!

In the beginning, the narrator tells us it's not a love story. And it's not. It's not a lasting love story between the two main characters because—I'll just go ahead and tell you because I hate it that much—they don't end up together.

So if the story isn't about love, what is it about? Well, I'll tell you: It's a story about "love." It's a story about fatalism and "THE One" and ridiculous, made-up notions of the universe and how "love" happens.

Let me explain.

I believe in a general master plan that God helps us uncover. When I say "general," I mean very general. There may be some specifics; I'm not ruling that out . . . But I don't believe in one exact, literal path for my life or the lives of most humans. (Remind me to post about Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken.) I believe in agency; I don't believe in destiny. I don't believe in "What if's."

In the penultimate scene, Summer, the love interest, explains to heartbroken Tom that she met the man she's engaged to in a diner, while she was reading. "What if," she asks, "I had gone to the movies? What if I had eaten somewhere else?" She continues asking a series of impossible-to-answer questions. But here's the thing: Before her fatalistic spiel, she also tells him that the reason she decided to marry this other guy is because she was sure about him the way she was never sure about Tom. So now we're getting down to it. That's the line that makes all the difference. Why must people reduce love or the lack of it to fate? The real reason Summer didn't stick with Tom is because she didn't really love him. Better yet, she didn't choose him. For whatever reason, she didn't feel sure about him. (I would question that as well . . . She must've had her reasons for being unsure. Maybe he angered too quickly? Perhaps he listened to The Smiths too much? Maybe she wanted him to do something more with his architecture degree?)

At any rate, she chose not to love him. Plain and simple. It wasn't written in the stars, and it wasn't "meant to be." In the closing scene, I hoped this was the direction the movie was going in. It was so close. So close! But like almost all love stories before it, it ended supporting the romantic stance I so much despise. :(

Now, was the music good? Yes. Was the filming fresh and light-hearted? Yes. Was one of my favorite new-ish actresses in it? Yes.

And there you have it, folks. That's why I hate it so much. From what I watched for the first hour and 15 minutes, I had high hopes that it would end realistically. That Tom would not get the girl, but get the job. That he would stand tall in the knowledge that Summer's "What if's" and fatalistic notions were senseless ideas to live by.

But he didn't.

Were my expectations for this movie too high? Is that why my review is so harsh? Maybe . . . Although, I had high expectations for Julie & Julia recently, and all of those expectations were met. In fact, they were exceeded.

Thing I'm thankful for: my exceptional reasoning skillz. :) No, really -- I'm thankful for two very good friends, Nikki and Rob. They are wonderful people; I wish you knew them.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Movie Review: Julie & Julia

1 girl on boy hiatus
1 girl with steady boyfriend/fiance?
1 girl tired of romantic comedies, movies based on comic books, and action/adventure
1 pint Blue Bell Pistachio Almond
3 tickets to Julie & Julia

Combine and enjoy!

Hahaha! What an ingenious post, eh? I bet there is no movie reviewer in the world as clever as I just was. ;)

But seriously, folks, this movie was wonderful. An absolute delight. Actually, I think I'm going to make a bold statement and say that this is the best movie of the year, including the next five months . . . Every actor was great, Chris Messina is a cute new Hollywood face, and the dialogue was clever and sweet but not overly sentimental. It was also nice to see a movie where love and sex happen between married people and that those married people stay married!

The movie cuts back and forth between Julie's life and Julia's, but it's so seamless and makes for an interesting blurring of time, which is something I typically like in a story. It's essentially a biography of two cooks, and I suppose it could just end there. For me, though, it emphasized something I've been thinking a lot about lately, which is that people need -- well, I need -- direction and purpose in life. And that direction and purpose can be something simple, but you have to get going! Don't be bored with your life! Do something! And do it now!

All that from a movie? Yes, all that from a movie. Well, a movie and some previous study and reflection.

I'm not sure if it's a chick flick or not, but I don't think so . . . Guys, tell me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, watch it!

Thing I'm thankful for: girlfriends who buy me pistachio ice cream (and a spoon!) and hide it in their purses to bring in the theater.

A List of Good Movies

John Hughes died of a heart attack this week. A friend tweeted, "I wonder if we'll have TV marathons all month in honor of [him]." I suppose he was alluding to the media response to Michael Jackson's death a couple of months ago. I don't know if Michael Jackson's name was mentioned less than a million times a day. He was everywhere.

Perhaps unfortunately, not everyone gets that kind of coverage. Well, I really liked John Hughes' movies, so I'm dedicating this post to him and listing my favorite Hughes movies below:

  • Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
    "Paint it whatever color you want; it's still you using me." Haha! In the moment that line was spoken, teenage drama television was born.
  • Pretty in Pink (1986)
    "Say it! Just say it, Blane! I wanna hear you say it! You're afraid to go out with me! You're afraid to be seen with me!" Truer words were possibly never spoken. I still think this is Molly Ringwald's best onscreen moment. Also, Hughes said a lot in this movie about socioeconomic class distinctions and their effects. He was so forward-thinking for his time.
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
    My dad will never admit it, but this is one of his top favorite Christmas movies, next to It's a Wonderful Life, maybe. There are so many things I love about this movie, so I'll just say that I've always wanted a house with that many Christmas lights . . .
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
    Even at six-years-old, I knew Ferris was cool. How could he be so cool? Some people are just born that way. Interestingly, I always associate this movie with my brother Brooks. He's pretty cool, too.
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
    Oh, the drama! But I love it! My favorite scene? When Ally Sheedy dances her way to a ball on the floor. Or when she dumps out the contents of her purse: "I can go anywhere . . . Africa. Afghanistan."
  • Sixteen Candles (1984)
    Hm. All I can think of for this one at the moment is that Jake Ryan's character was so fashion-forward in this movie. Cargo pants in 1984? Way to go, most-popular-guy-in-school!
  • Home Alone (1990)
    Lots of quotable quotes in this one: "KEVIN!" Or "Kevin, you are such a disease." Or "Hello? Hello? Oh, she'll have to call you back." Or my absolute favorite, which I still quote on a very regular basis, "I'm eating junk and watching rubbish! You better come out and pound me!"
  • Mr. Mom (1983)
    I don't quite remember this one as much as I probably should, considering that I watched it over and over again as a child. I'll have to watch it soon. What I do remember is that washer-and-dryer scene, where bubbles start pouring out. That always looked like fun.
  • She's Having a Baby (1988)
    I like this one, if only for the music and the 80s lighting.
  • Uncle Buck (1989)
    The older sister in this movie always reminded me of my sister Summer -- so dark and teenagery. Also, The Boy Who Could Fly was in it. I didn't like that.

Thing I'm thankful for: Getting off early from work today! Yay! The week is finally lookin' up!