Archive for March, 2009

Santana and the train

March 31st, 2009

S: The city rail system runs from near my house, way, way north of town, to my Mom’s house, way, way south of town. Today I road the train to see her.
First thing to say is, if I made a flow chart for public transportation the first decision block  would have to be “need to pee.”  Then if yes, pee, if no,  pee. Yeah, it’s a good idea to pee before beginning the process. Also, it’s a good idea to have a walkman or MP3 player with you so that you can turn on, tune in, and drop out, ala Mr. Leary. My favorite playlist is full of songs that I have loved over the years I have been listening to music that my parents didn’t buy for me. These songs lie all over the map of music, from Squeeze to Joni Mitchell, Roxy Music to the Dead Kennedys.
Just as I was leaving downtown and hitting the Tyler street station, Santana’s Oye Como Va started playing. Wow, what a great theme song for that part of Oak Cliff. Then as I hit my old neighborhood, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s version of  Hendrix’s Little Wing played. On the way back I discovered that Blue Rodeo’s 5 days in May and Bring on the Night by the Police fit the train ride perfectly.
The sun was shining, the air was clear and dry – the people on the train didn’t smell too bad.
Being on the train is like meditation. I lose track of time. I watch the scenes go by, detached as they pass – with no sense of loss, just watching stuff float past the windows. Graffiti, plastic bags blown into the trees, rust, buildings with every window broken, lots of glass and chrome, Grecian sculpture, pit bulls in back yards, flowers galore, yuppies, rappers, families going to the zoo. I find it very calming to ride the train for an hour and let my mind slow way down while life passes by the train windows.
It occurred to me. This was that perfect day. The day you don’t expect and cannot plan for. The day when you realize that you still have something to live for, even if it’s just that moment when the iPod syncs with the train trip to create some kind of city-born Nirvana.
Ahhhhhh – springtime is here.

A: Funny, we’ve never talked trains. They strike a distinct feeling in me too, and I’ve spent most of my time on them listening to music as well. I love how the music fills my ears and serves as a backdrop to the  scenes I witness around me. Trains remind me of when I lived in Boston and was regularly on a subway, trolley, or commuter rail…always sitting there, gently rocking with the motion of the moving train and looking out the window. My favorite time of day to be on them was dusk, when the sun had nearly sank past the horizon and left black silhouettes of trees and houses against an indigo sky.  I always remember seeing my reflection in the window and feeling so aware of the conflict that always lingered beneath the surface. You can’t look outside a train window at dusk without seeing your own reflection in your peripheral vision; it’s not like looking in a mirror, it’s like you’re witnessing yourself without directly seeing yourself, all while the rest of the world spins by outside. Yet you remain still and observant, seeing others who are sharing this same moment of stillness in the train. It has a surreal quality, much like a Proustian recall, that I’ve never been able to shake, regardless of where I am when I’m on the train and regardless of whether I’m with other people. Oh, and yes S, be sure to pee before you get on the train. Those train toilets are just plain scary.


March 28th, 2009

A: I heard a lot about this movie as it was in theaters, but I never did get out to see it. I pre-ordered it on Amazon because I knew I’d probably enjoy owning it. It showed up in my mailbox on its DVD release date, so I’ve finally checked it out. It wasn’t what I expected. It felt slow at first, but once Bella learned that Edward is a vampire, it kept me intrested. I liked it more and more as it progressed, and I ended up really digging a movie about a human-vampire relationship. Kinda felt like watching the most recent King Arthur movie, it retained some sensationalism but it had a very realistic undertone. Strangely enough, the thing I liked most about the movie was Bella’s relationship with her father. It was understated next to the Bella/Edward romance, but I thought it was cool how Bella was so much like her father. The scene where she told him off to protect him–that one was actually hard to watch! The dynamics of the scene were really moving, the fact that she had to tell him something opposite of the truth when the truth was so cool for both of them. I liked the progression of the film, and I liked it that Bella didn’t become a vampire. I figured that’d be the ending, and I liked that the movie wasn’t that predictable. There’ll obviously be a sequel. I didn’t read the books, and the movie didn’t really make me want to. But I will follow the movie…along with millions of teenagers who obviously are taken with this film like people that age were back when The Lost Boys came out. I guess each generation needs it’s own cult vampire movie, lol.

S: I finally watched the movie. I read the book a few years ago when it came out. I think I enjoyed the movie more, though Edward and his family are a bit more interesting in the book, however, Bella Swan is much more interesting and multi-dimensional in the movie version I’m thinking. The story is pretty much a teenage angst-romance, though with a twist since Edward is a vampire. However, more than that, she has a scent that makes her attractive to him and all of his vampire family as a major snack option. Because of this, he must show huge restraint when he is with her. In fact, though he loves her, his entire focus is on not turning her, or losing control when he is with her – therefore their love is chaste with only a few kisses. So the eternal vampire equation still stands sex=biting/death.

I agree with you, A, that every generation must have it’s vampire myth. Also, the vampire seems to be a mirror of what humans are currently suppressing. In the Victorian era – when Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel came to us, Victorian women were supposed to be non-sexual. It’s not that they didn’t have sex, they were expected to be very quiet about it. It’s like it was sex without the sexuality as they weren’t allowed to think or talk about it, and especially not enjoy it very much. Enter the vampire, who steals into the bedroom at night, bites his victim, all the while she writhes and moans like she is in a porno flick.

In Twilight, the vampire is still the one calling the shots, except here in the 21st century, girls and women are highly sexualized (check out the movie Thirteen sometime) and have grown accustomed to getting much more than a first kiss on a date. Here comes Edward the vampire, bringing abstinence to Bella and making it all look very desirable. In fact, maybe in this day and age, when we all expect to get whatever we want NOW, a story that is all about unmet desire has the same charm and attraction for younger women, that highly-sexed vampires did for the Victorian ladies in their day and age. All I know is, when I ain’t gettin any, I’d much rather watch the restrained lady in the cotton nighty GET HER SOME, than ride with Edward and Bella on the abstinence train.
I give it:

Buy Twilight from

Amazon Prime Shipping

March 27th, 2009

From A: A general word of advice for anyone who happens across this page: If you shop on and haven’t subscribed to Amazon Prime shippping, you are missing out! I’ve subscribed to it for several years, and since then, I have enjoyed free 2-day shipping, which comes in mega-handy around the holidays or birthdays when I order gifts to be delivered to family and friends. Because of Amazon Prime, I shop on Amazon probably 75% more . It’s so cool to have the items arrive so quickly and not have to spend time standing in line or hunting for a DVD amongst shelves that with no logical form of alphebetization or categorization. It’s especially nice when ordering large items that typically require more expensive shipping costs. It really does end up paying for itself and saving me lots of cash even beyond that. I also like it that if I want to upgrade to 1-day shipping, I can pay just a few dollars to do so. That’s really cheap compared to many other online shopping services. available domains I know I sound like a cheesy TV ad, but I really do want to share this feedback because I’ve been surprised at how beneficial this service has been, not just in monetary savings but also in convenience. Okay S, go ahead and tease me for wasting valuable movie reviewing time by gushing over Amazon’s shipping options. 😉

Go here to check out Amazon Prime shipping for yourself. Subscribe and thank yourself around Christmas time. 😉

From S: uh where is my xmas present? I don’t remember getting anything from you in an Amazon box. huh? I’ve been an Amazon Prime member since about 2005 and I think it really helps me give presents to myself.  <cough> I mean to my friends, uh huh.

From A: Hmm, so I guess having your BFF travel all the way from TN to hand-deliver your xmas present just isn’t the same as receiving that Amazon box in the mail? OK, next time I’ll put in an Amazon box, LOL. 😛

Mr. Brooks

March 27th, 2009

A: Mr. Brooks is being aired a lot on Showtime, and everytime I come across it, I end up watching the whole thing…resulting in three viewings over the past couple of weeks. I’ve always been fascniated with this movie because of how clever and original the plot is. The role of Marshall (William Hurt) is genius, and the scenes are perfectly choreographed when he and Mr. Brooks (Kevin Costner)–or “Earl” as Marshall calls him–make the same movements and laugh simultaneously. The ongoing dialogue between Marshall and Mr. Brooks makes it clear why it’s so hard for Mr. Brooks to resist the urge to kill. Marshall is what drives that urge, yet he is such an intelligent part of Earl’s subconscious, which is hit home beautifully in the scene when they are researching Detective Atwood (Demi Moore). As calm and intelligent is Earl is, it is usually Marshall who contributes the clever ideas. Even in the scene when Earl is doing the crossword puzzle, it’s Marshall who answers all of the questions. This is a really cool way to show how integral Marshall is to Earl’s whole psyche…which also explains why killing is so integral to Earl’s whole psyche. Beyond this, Demi Moore’s performance is wonderful, as is Dane Cook’s as Mr. Smith. I’m glad I’ve given this one a few more spins, and as much deeper as I could probably delve into the psyche of all the characters, I love it that the overall theme of the movie seems to be one of karma. Every one of the characters get what they deserve, both good and bad. Very cool overall.

Click here to buy Mr. Brooks on (I actually bought it when I navigated there to get the link. :))


March 19th, 2009

Hey A, I’ve got an idea, next Halloween, let’s get in the same town and dress up like shaun and ed. You can get a white shirt with “red on it” and I’ll wear a T-shirt that says “got wood?”  It would totally work – you with the cricket bat me with the – well I guess I could fart, LOL.


March 18th, 2009

S: Okay, so here is a list of my favorite personalities in film and TV. I plan on editing this as I go along.  Add your list too, A!

  • Robert Duvall
  • Christian Bale
  • Vincent D’Onofrio
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Nathon Fillion
  • Naomi Watts
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • Paul Gross
  • The entire cast of “The Big Bang Theory”
  • Ridley Scott
  • Ennio Morricone
  • Kate Winslett
  • Peter Davison

The Big Bang Theory

March 17th, 2009

S: Okay, next time I’m having trouble concentrating, I’ll sing a sea shanty. We need to dish on this show! This week Penny gets help from the guys starting her “Penny Blossoms” hair accessories business. ask a patient . We also get to see what Sheldon is like on coffee. LOL. Love the Flash costume.

A: Plenty to dish about on this show! As great as it was to see Sheldon hyped up on coffee and running around in a Flash costume, nothing will beat the Halloween episode when all four of the geeks came running out dressed as Flash, thinking each of them had an original idea and then slinking away all sullen when they saw that the other three guys had the same idea. This resulting in Sheldon changing his costume to the Doppler Effect was the icing on the cake. But yes, 4 supra-intelligent dudes employing all their scientific knowledge to help Penny maximize her production and sales of Penny blossoms was a hilarious premise. My favorite scene: Sheldon delegates out all the responsibilities to get the business launched but delegates nothing to Penny. They tell her she can do whatever she’d like, and after they all walk out the door, she just shrugs and says, “I’m gonna go take a nap.” 🙂

S: I Love it in the Halloween special when they all run out looking alike in their Flash costumes, and Sheldon says, “I knew we should have had a costume planning meeting.” LOL. Also when Leonard goes as Frodo and confronts Penny’s A-hole of an ex and afterward Leonard says, “That’s the way we run in the shire.” Love this show.

In Bruges

March 17th, 2009

S: So A, do you think Bruges is a shithole? And what did you think about a film that has Colin Farrell and a midget? I thought the midget was sexy… go figure. This is one of my favorite black comedies. Ralph Fiennes was amazing playing against type. I mean, watching him in this and then in The Reader – he’s got some range. Oh and did I mention the midget? I thought the script was funny and sad and the dialog made me laugh out loud. The sets and scenery made me want to visit Bruges – I love being a tourist in a shithole.  At some deeper level, the film was moving and bittersweet.  I thought it was interesting that CF’s character and RF’s character had much the same moral compass about the price one should pay when one breaks an unforgivable rule. However, BG’s moral code was about loyalty and sacrifice for someone you love. BG’s code was based more on his relationships, rather than a rigid set of rules that must be followed no matter what. This one hits on so many levels, it’s one of my favorites from 2008.

IMDB Page for In Bruges

A: Hey there S, I think that being in Bruges is like being in a fairytale. Nah, jk, Bruges is a shithole. When I become a hitman and am interviewing with my new boss, I’m going to make sure I know what his favorite place is so that when I inevitably botch my first hit, I can at least end up somewhere I enjoy, like Sicily or Tampere. The premise of this show is incredibly original, and I’ve never seen another plot like it. It has officially trumped Heathers as my favorite black comedy; it’s saturated with darkness yet remains hilarious all the way through…all while you continue to watch in disbelief at the strangeness of each new scene. At no point does it ever abandon that perfect balance. Ralph Fiennes and Colin Farrell both make a departure from already diverse performances in other films, and this alone contributes to the originality. And eww, no, the midget is not sexy. But that Brendan Gleeson. Yeah baby. I never thought I’d enjoy a performance of his more than I did in Lake Placid, but this film put him over the top. His combined clarity, conviction, sensitivity, and loyalty as a hitman and a humanitarian make him the most memorable character of the film. I recommend this movie to any one who loves black comedies, and I loan my copy out regularly to ensure other people’s lives are sure to be enriched by it.

S: Wha? I can’t believe you don fink the midget is sexy? God I love the cockney Ralph Fiennes. I bet he loved playing this role, it probably got the nasty taste of “The English Patient” out of his mouth. I usually don’t like Colin Farrell – God, remember fucking “Alexander” Jesus! But he is wonderful in this movie. He romances the chick – who played Fleur Delacour in “The Goblet of Fire” and it’s believable. Wait, there’s a Brendan Gleeson connection right there.
I’m gonna watch it tonight on Video on Demand and accompany it with a Belgian “GAY” beer.  Best moments: Every time CF says Bruges is a shithole and blatantly orders a “gay” beer from a Belgian bartender, every time RF says it’s like being in a fairytale, every time BG rolls his eyes, when BG tells the midget that he has a beautiful woman with him and the midget says, she’s a prostitute, and BG says he didn’t know there were prostitutes in Bruges and the midget says they aren’t hard to find if you know where to look – “brothels are good.” I give this movie three:

S’s books

March 17th, 2009

I read Mysteries, Classics/Literature, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Historical Fiction. I don’t really like Romance novels, yeah you heard me – no panting sobbing crap on my nightstand.

Books I’ve read:

The Last Four Things by Andrew Taylor
Was a good read and suspenseful. If you are squeamish about children being abducted, this is not a book  you would want to read. It was not really a classic murder mystery, in that you knew who did it, you just didn’t know what was going to happen next. I stayed up way too late to find out how it ended. It’s the first in the “Roth” trilogy.

By a Lady by Amanda Elyot
Hmmm a modern 20th century New York actress finds herself in Jane Austen’s England, or is it the other way around? Anyway, lighthearted fare, kind of heavy on the eroticism – which didn’t seem to fit, nor was the story very convincing. Why do modern writers feel the need to redo Jane Austen as soft-porn. <boggle> Can’t they just recreate the quaint , hidden, eroticism of a book like Pride and Prejudice, then  rub one out in bed with the lights off later, fantasizing about Colin Firth wallpapering their bathroom? I mean, it works for me, ha ha jk.  It’s jarring to be rocking along with a re imagined Elizabeth or Darcy, then have to read about juicy love-making – always involving something hard and huge, LOL! I slogged through it, but wouldn’t recommend it.

Yay! Popcorn for dinner!

March 16th, 2009

And a front-row seat. 🙂 Cya there!! relevant domains

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