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Posts Tagged ‘Movies’

Hit & Run

09 Sep

I feel like I’m the car with Dax Shepard right now. And we’re doing high speed donuts. I’m screaming my head off because it’s exhilarating, and I can’t stop smiling, but I’m also scared to death. Okay, so maybe my feelings about his new movie Hit & Run aren’t quite that high stakes, but at the end of it, I felt like I was stepping out of that car – dizzy, confused, convinced that I had fun but equally convinced that I shouldn’t have.

How this movie got made is beyond me. Wait. I take that back. I know exactly how this movie got made. A group of friends got together and said, “Hey, wanna make a movie together? It could be really fun…” And when you take into account the collective star power of this particular group of friends, you have the money and the influence, and you get to make your movie. Should this movie have been made? Hold on a second, I’m still dizzy. I’m going to have to give this some further thought.

Hmmm… What was the question again? Oh. Right. Should this movie have been made? I’m going with no. I mean, yes. Well, can I settle for a middle of the road maybe? As a basic premise goes, this movie was actually pretty clever. Guy in Witness Protection Program is willing to give up the program to return to LA because that’s where the love of his life, whom he met in a small town after entering the program, needs to go for her dream job. The biggest problem with this movie? Plot holes you could drive a truck through. Or just a really fast car, but there would be enough space for you to do lots of donuts on your way through.

Okay, still feeling a little scattered. This movie is, well, in a word, bad. Really bad. And poorly acted. And yet, and yet… This movie is really cute at times, downright touching. And funny. Laugh out loud funny. And brilliantly acted. Sigh. I think it fair to say that the movie was not consistent. I don’t really know what I was supposed to get out of it. That Beau Bridges is the guy you want as your father? That Bradley Cooper looks really, really stupid sporting the fakest dreadlocks you’ve ever seen? That the Cadillac station wagon is as fast as a Corvette? Hmmm. Maybe the best way to go about this is to tell you the things I really liked. And perhaps at least mention the things I didn’t.

I really liked the chemistry between real-life couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. It’s time to confess: I have a serious girl crush on Kristen Bell. Of course I really relate her to the character that made her famous, Veronica Mars. That was one of the best characters ever written for tv. Smart, sassy, with razor sharp snark. The kind of character that even the most talented actress couldn’t play unless she had a little bit of that living inside of her. And let’s face it, I don’t happen to bat for the other team, but you can’t deny that Kristen Bell is luminous. She just glows with that special brand of All-American beauty. And the way she looks at Dax Shepard, well, it’s just so damn sweet and lovely. As for Dax, well, I’m used to him playing kind of a dog. The smarter than he acts, always being underestimated and living up (or rather down to) others’ expectations of him. And here’s that same character again. But you know what? It suits him. He’s clearly a bright guy. Even when he’s not playing the brightest of characters. He’s like an adorable, scruffy dog (the canine type, not the player type), and you just want to take him home and feed him, maybe toss the ball in the backyard for him, scratch him behind his ears. Together, Dax and Kristen are so stinkin’ adorable. And the absolute best part of this movie – something that didn’t quite fit, but was really beautiful – the affirmation that Dax’s character repeats to Kristen’s character. Truly touching. I’m not going to try to repeat it here, but it was sweet, lovely, and even if it was out of place in this movie, it is exactly the sort of thing that most people need to hear more often in their lives. Myself included.

Moving on to Mr. Bradley Cooper, another of my French-speaking boyfriend candidates. His character confused the heck out of me. I mean, I actually liked his character. The scene with the thug bodybuilder outside the grocery store was unexpectedly awesome. But his character’s appearance was ridiculous. And frankly, distracting. I didn’t get the point of it. He’s sporting the worst fake dreadlocks ever and these horrible yellow sunglasses. I just didn’t get it. It didn’t make him funnier to me. And I assume he was supposed to be a caricature of some stereotype, but I didn’t recognize it. Maybe if I was from Southern California I would have understood. But despite the distracting appearance, I mostly enjoyed his character when he was onscreen.

As for Tom Arnold, well, I have nothing nice to say here. He was oddly out of place. He was over-acting to the point of just being shrieky. He just shouted and gesticulated. His portrayal of what could have been a rather interesting character was about as subtle as a sledgehammer. And his ineptness went beyond endearingly laughable into downright stupidity. I didn’t get it, I didn’t get him, and believing in his character was just too much of a leap for me to take. He was too much slapstick in a movie that could have really had some heart and depth (despite the shallow plot).

I felt a little like I was playing 6 degrees of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard with all the former co-stars who showed up in the movie, some of them in great cameo roles. I don’t even know how some of them are connected, but it was fun to see Joy Bryant, who plays Dax’s fiancee on the TV show Parenthood. And it took me a minute to realize who that boy in the suit was, but lo and behold, it is the grown-up and still very handsome, Dick Casablancas from Veronica Mars! Okay, not the actor’s real name, actually that’s Ryan Hansen, but it was rattling around in my brain, who is that boy? Who is that boy? Why do I recognize his face, his voice, but can’t place how I know him? Then it came to me – it’s Dick! He was a very entertaining, surfer boy on Veronica Mars. It was fun to see him all grown up and in a suit. Also phenomenal in her role as Kristen Bell’s boss is Kristin Chenoweth. So. Funny. Though honestly, I think she could read the phone book and make it funny. Is it the pitch of her voice? Her inflection? The dichotomy of her sugar-sweet appearance and her raunchy character? I don’t know, and I don’t care, I love me some Kristin Chenoweth. And making a cameo as a US Marshall, Jason Bateman. With his pitch perfect comedic timing, it’s a shame he didn’t play a larger role.

Do I think these friends had fun making this movie? Um, yeah. Loads of it. Did I have fun watching it? Um, from time to time. There were some cringe-worthy moments of bad acting and terrible plot execution. But there were also moments of great tenderness between Shepard and Bell, moments of laughter, a few twists and turns, and some fun driving scenes. Overall the movie seemed slipshod, too uneven, too inconsistent. And yet, and yet… I liked it for what it was – a group of really famous friends having a ridiculous amount of fun in front of and behind the camera. Do I recommend you go out and see it? No. But am I sorry that I saw it? No.

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The Dark Knight Rises

22 Jul

Went to see the new Batman movie today. It was good. In some places, great even. But overall it was an experience about which I had mixed emotions.

I did not hesitate to go. I commented in my previous post about the vague fear of copycat attacks, but I felt pretty safe going to the 10:40am showing on a Sunday morning. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this film, as I really liked the first two of the Dark Knight trilogy. And let’s face it, I was pretty darn excited about the possibility of Christian Bale doing more push-ups without his shirt on. But I admit that the thoughts of the horrific and senseless attack in the Colorado theatre lingered in my mind. The thoughts made especially poignant when we got to the part of the film where I imagined the shooter set his vile plan in motion. I read somewhere that it was approximately 25 minutes into the showing and during an onscreen shoot-out. I wasn’t scared, but it was with me. The tragedy, the victims, the horror. In my mind. And I’m always pretty Boy Scout-ish in the way I live my life – “Be Prepared” and all that – but I don’t typically scout the exits quite so thoroughly, as I did today. Anyway, luckily for me, it was an uneventful showing, just another Sunday morning trip to the movies. And as for the movie itself, I think I’m just going to list my thoughts….

–> By the time the movie started I was feeling kind of angry. Because I was forced to sit through a trailer for the new movie, “Jack Reacher.” As many of you know, as much as I love movies, I love books more. And one of my most favorite series of books are those by Lee Child who feature a character named Jack Reacher. I adore Jack Reacher. He is 6 foot 6. He is a hulk of a man. A man who lives by his own moral compass. A traveler, a wanderer, someone who can be quite happy in the company of others (usually beautiful, feisty, kick butt women), but also wants nothing that ties him down, so eschews any kind of lasting relationship. He is an excellently drawn character. I was excited about the fact that they were finally going to make a movie featuring the character Jack Reacher. That is, until I found out who was producing it. Who had used his Hollywood juice to make the movie, but under the condition that he be the lead character. Yeah, Tom Cruise. Now, as much as I think he is a nut case, whack job, jack wagon in his public (and likely private) life, he does actually have some acting chops. He has played some roles in which he is dead on perfect. I believed him as the character, I enjoyed his performance. But guess what? He is not 6 foot 6. He’s not even 5 foot 6!!! He might possibly be the least likely person on the planet to accurately portray the character of Jack Reacher – the rugged, behemoth of a man, an ex-Army investigator who for all intents and purposes has gone rogue. Nothing slick or polished about Jack Reacher. Certainly doesn’t have shiny white veneers and feathered hair. Anyway, I could go on forever about how angry I am that Tom Cruise’s arrogance has spoiled the Jack Reacher series for me, but I won’t. Suffice it to say, the trailer made me angry. The character, the movie had such potential. But when they showed him in the center of a ring of bad guys, telling them to bring it on, it was laughable because he was a good head shorter than the shortest one. Oy. Stupid Tom Cruise.

Okay, on to the Dark Knight…

–> It had some slow parts. Which I suppose is not entirely unexpected, especially since the thing (with trailers) is three hours long! And, as always, you have to completely suspend your disbelief. Clearly some of the characters, especially the police, are acting in a way that no intelligent or self-aware human being would truly act. Remember people, it’s based on a comic book. Just let go and let the movie take you along for the ride.

–> Bane is creep-tastic! He’s a good villian. Just enough quirks to make him vaguely likeable. I dig an intelligent, capable villian. Though I have to say, there was something about the fight scenes between Batman and Bane that seemed just “off” somehow. I’m not sure I can even explain it. I get that Batman gets knocked around a little bit. No one truly expects him to physically best Bane. But something was weird about their fight scenes to me. The way they were throwing their punches? I don’t know. They just weren’t totally authentic. But not enough to put me off the film entirely. And Bane’s mask is just so super creepy, and yet, so right for him. I liked him – especially when he was wearing the leather and shearling coat. Very cool.

–> Catwoman = kick butt chick I want to be friends with. Loved Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Maybe because I know that in real life she’s smart and funny and sardonic. And that’s exactly the way this version of Catwoman is meant to be. Sexy, sure, but not so cheesy like the previous incarnations. Hathaway’s a master of expressions, twisting her mouth just so. I liked this character. Strong, but conflicted. Classy, but plays dirty. I think she was good fun. And you never could tell what she was going to do next.

–> Alfred made me cry. Twice. I love the character of Alfred, and I love the way Michael Caine plays him with such humanity. He is a good foil to Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne.

–> Christian Bale does more push-ups. With his shirt off. Sigh.

–> I like Christian Bale as Batman. And it’s not just that I find the chiseled geometry of his face appealing. Though I do. And it’s not just that he has the perfect mouth for Batman’s half mask. Which he does. I like that Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne is wounded. He has emotional depth. He is angry and vengeful and broken. And yet, I also believe him as the billionaire playboy. He has an easy smile. And the man can wear a suit. Bat and pinstriped varieties.

–> Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of my favorite actors that I don’t get to see as much as I’d like. He is excellent in this film. I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say he survives this film and I hope they chose to utilize him in future Batman films. (Please, please, please make another one!!) Oh, and by the way, even he is at least 4 inches taller than Tom Cruise. I’m just saying…

–> Commissioner Gordon and Lucius Fox are solid as always. Wish there was a little more Batman gadgetry in the film. I like seeing Lucius at play. But the motorbike is most excellent. Even more so than the new vehicle in my opinion. I wanted more motorbike scenes. Especially when it slides/turns corners.

–> Look for the excellent cameo late in the movie. A familiar face playing a judge. Brilliant.

–> Holy plot twist, Batman!! I have to admit, I didn’t see it coming. I’m sure there are plenty of people in the audience who are true Batman fans who already knew the story. Or perhaps just people smarter than I who figured it out. Maybe because I was somewhat distracted? Did I mention Christian Bale and the shirtless push-ups? But I did not see it coming. And it delighted me in a way that only a true surprise can. Even an unpleasant surprise can be exciting if you’re not expecting it.

So, overall, I liked the movie. It ended on a particularly high note for me. Which more than made up for the slow parts in the beginning. It was a little uneven in its pacing, but I got emotionally invested, which is always a good sign for me. So I have to recommend it to those who have seen the other two of the Dark Knight trilogy. Because you really need to know who Harvey Dent is and the way the story was left hanging leading up to this…

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Movie Magic

03 Jul

Come on. You knew I was going to go see it. I go to the movies almost every week. Oh, and I’m a hot-blooded, heterosexual woman. (Plus, don’t forget, the number one adjective used for Scorpios is “passionate.”) So, like I said, you knew I would see it. And by “it,” I mean the movie. The one all the women I know are talking about. That’s right, Magic Mike. Or as I will now refer to it, Channing Tatum’s Opus.

First and foremost, I think the audience collectively has a case for false advertising. It was not the light-hearted romp we were promised by the trailers. Yes, there were men. And yes, they were frequently mostly undressed. But the movie itself was actually rather dark. Qualifying as a gritty drama in some places. A drug-related sub-plot can really bring you down off the high of watching the half-dressed dancing men. But overall I liked the movie. It was not what I expected, yet was good in a lot of ways. The two most important? Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey.

Let’s start with seniority. Matthew McConaughey has once again picked a role that is, well, a perfect fit. And let me tell you, he is perfectly fit. His character is definitely the one that puts the light-hearted into this film. Every time he’s on screen you’re laughing. He’s the comic relief, but not in a bad way. He’s meant to be the comic relief. Just like Matthew McConaughey is in real life. And I especially appreciated the nod to his bongo playing escapades. Funny stuff.

As for Mike himself, Channing Tatum makes some magic. He’s a tad big and beefcakey for my personal taste (not that I didn’t enjoy seeing him unclothed.) But let me tell you the only thing you really need to know about Channing Tatum. That boy can dance. Holy cow can he dance. And I don’t mean just his stripper moves. Though those are good, too. But just in general, as a dancer, he’s really gifted. I think my favorite parts of the movie were the dance scenes, and I mean before they took their tear-away pants off.

So, my basic review. Um, you should go see it. That is, if you’re female. Because, really, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see these beautiful men half-dressed and dancing about. Plus, there really is a plot. A rather believable, mostly for its true-to-life flirty awkwardness, love story. A gritty underbelly to the stripping scene. Some actual emotion. And, well, Matthew McConaughey. Don’t judge me, but I freakin’ love that guy. Would I want to date him? Absolutely not. But he’d be fun to have at a backyard barbeque. And watching him on screen is highly entertaining. I laughed aloud several times. The theatre was packed when I went on Monday night. Not an empty seat in the house. And only one of those seats was occupied by a man. So, maybe you should go see it if you’re a man. Can’t beat those odds…

 

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Wanderlust

26 Feb

Maybe it was sacrilege. To go see a movie like Wanderlust on Oscar night. To be fair, I was home in time to watch the actual awards show. All I missed was the preceding 17 hours of red carpet coverage. And I’m sure there were some really pretty dresses. But I wonder, since there are several nominated films that I still haven’t seen, if I shouldn’t have taken my pre-Oscars moment to take in one of those. Then again, it seems that the majority of the nominated films that I haven’t seen have already left the theatres. At the Regal Cinema I frequent, the only nominated films left on the marquee were The Descendants (saw it – loved it!) and My Week With Marilyn (saw it – loved it even more!) So, picking from my non-nominated options, I was excited to see Wanderlust.

I wrote a post some months ago voicing my concerns that maybe my tastes were not as, well, feminine, nor erudite, as my gender and intelligence should indicate. That was the weekend where I saw three movies. Two of which I adored, laughing aloud throughout. Those movies being Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses. But the saving grace, at least as it applies to my taste level, was that I also saw and enjoyed Midnight in Paris that weekend. Well, I guess that’s why I felt the need to mention The Descendants and My Week With Marilyn in the paragraph above. Because I thought Wanderlust was freakin’ hysterical. Yes, the movie was uneven, with it sometimes feeling like it was just one comedy sketch after another. I hear you critics, who say it was only so-so. But here’s the thing. You take an all-star comedy cast, including the incomparable Alan Alda, and it’s not hard to make people laugh. Then you throw in disturbing, but hilarious full-frontal nudity and you’ve got a winner!

Overall I thought it was a really funny movie. Some scenes funnier than others, to be sure, but there were some really great characters and the actors were so committed to them. And now I get why Jennifer Anniston is with that Theroux fella. He’s really funny. I bet they laugh together a lot.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a grown-up, classic R-rated comedy, this is the one. Then again, if you’re opposed to senior citizen nudity, this might not be the one. But no matter what, if you do go to see it, stay for the outtakes that roll with the credits. So hilarious they alone would be worth the price of admission. Nothing better than watching funny people who have made you laugh for the past hour and a half cracking themselves up.

 

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November 3rd

05 Nov

Thursday was my birthday.  Now I’m 38. More than one person asked me if it was a “big one.” I can only presume by that they meant like a milestone birthday. An even number. And I found myself wondering which one they might think it was. 35? 40? Older? Younger? And which ones are considered “big ones” when we get to this point in our lives? I managed to live another year, so I consider that pretty big in and of itself.

Anyway, I’m a birthday girl. I love my birthday. I’ve never been sad about getting older. I love to be the center of attention. I love it when people make a fuss over me. I love it when strangers say happy birthday. But when you become an adult, all the fussing kind of drops off. When you’re a kid, your parents and, if you’re lucky enough to have a school year birthday, your teachers make a big deal about your special day. In college you go out to the bar with all your friends and drink yourself silly in a raucous way. If you are working, especially in a cube farm, a co-worker might decorate your desk area, take you out to lunch, have cake in the break room. But the birthday of a stay-at-home mom isn’t really rife with opportunities to celebrate properly. The kids might wish you happy birthday, even present you with homemade cards, all of which is wonderful. But you still have to drag yourself out of bed and makes lunches, locate school shoes, get everyone to the bus stop on time. And if you have a little one who isn’t yet in school full time, you might have an elfin companion for your day. Making it seem like just any other day. A good one, to be sure, but those are fairly common. And that’s kind of what a birthday is for. At least the celebration of one. To make you feel more than common. To feel special. Extraordinary.

So, to that end, knowing that the anniversary of my birth fell on a common Thursday this year, I decided to go on a quest. A shallow one, to be sure. But remember how much fun I had trying to spend $50 at lunch with a friend one day just to use a coupon? Anyway, I decided to see how much stuff I could get for free on my birthday. And I don’t mean presents. Or friends and family buying me food or drinks. I mean things provided by establishments or organizations as special offers to folks on their birthday (with or without the requirement of showing legal id.) As I made this decision rather close to the actual day, I did not do proper research – I’m sure I could have gotten more – but it sure was fun. Here’s how it went down:

As it was a Thursday, the first thing after getting the big kids off to school was to head out to the YMCA. I’m not going to lie, pretending to beat the stuffing out of people makes me happy, so Body Combat seemed like a perfect way to begin celebrating. And after Body Combat, comes Boot Camp class. Here’s the first thing that could vaguely be classified as something free. Typically Boot Camp class has around 10 people in it. But, for whatever reason, this time of year the numbers at the gym start to dwindle. So this past Thursday only 3 of us showed up for class. Meaning that T-N-Tina could really get hardcore. As she said, instead of class, I’m just going to train the 3 of you. So, technically, you could say that I got a personal training session for free. A birthday wish come true. A free ass-kicking. I’m still sore.

But, I was really on a quest for things that other people couldn’t get free on November 3rd. Real birthday swag. So, my mom agreed to meet me & Avery for lunch at the Japanese steak house that has, continually for like the past two years, had a sign on their marquee that says, “Free birthday specials. Must show ID.” All excited about my free lunch, especially since I LOVE Teppan cooking, we arrived right on time. To see that the restaurant was only open for dinner. Boo. So, off to the pizza place next door. Still a good lunch. And still free. (Thanks, Mom!) But not a fulfillment of my quest.

Off to the gas station. Fill the tank and then convince the ladies behind the counter to honor my expired coupon for a free car wash with fill-up. Technically not birthday related, but when they hesitated about whether or not to honor the coupon I said, “Please throw me a bone, it’s my birthday.” And they said sure. Might just have been my nice manners they were responding to, but we’ll tally it in the birthday column.

Dinner with the kids? On my birthday? Who thinks I’m cooking? Exactly. Off to Firehouse Subs where I claim my free birthday sub. Kids are happy. I’m happy. The manager looks like he’s about to break into song. He doesn’t, but this definitely counts.

Later my friend Buffy comes over to watch my kids so I can go out to the movies with Katie. She even brings me popcorn and candy. Oooh, illicit movie time snacks! Heck yeah I snuck them in. Free babysitting. Free snacks. Awesome.

Off to the movies to see – wait for it – Footloose!!! Seeing as though I was only 10 when the original came out (Feb 1984), this seemed like a proper homage to my long-since-passed youth. I was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to see it. I mean, come on. Kevin Bacon is Ren McCormack. But in the end, the fact is that I love dancing, and I just had to see what they did to it/with it. And the truth is, I think they did great. Truly. It was so much fun. Just the right amount of homage. Just the right amount of updating. Clever jokes that they never could have made in 1984. And you all know which team I bat for, but holy moly is Julianne Hough hot! A fantastic dancer, but also a fine actress. It was really fun. Oh, and did I mention – FREE! Thank you Entertainment Book and Regal Cinemas for the free admission on your birthday coupon. Happy to show you my id.

And it wouldn’t feel like a proper adult birthday celebration without at least one celebratory adult beverage. So Katie & I stopped in at Taps, the local neighborhood bar, for a pint and some conversation. As we sipped, the manager, who vaguely knows me by association with my Tuesday night trivia team, stops by the table and asks how it’s going. “It’s my birthday!” I shout. To which he says, “Let me buy you a beer.” Oh, gee. Thanks! Thought you’d never ask.

So, as a wrap-up, here are the results of my quest for free (official & unofficial): personal training session, lunch, car wash, sub sandwich, movie ticket, beer. Not too shabby. And of course the gifts from my girl friends, who clearly know me well and love me – a Coca-Cola Tervis cup,  an ice cube tray in the shape of Han Solo frozen in Carbonite, and a night of babysitting! Thank you, friends. The quest for free was shallow good fun, but your gifts are what made me really feel special on my birthday.

And now, it’s back to my common life.

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Apparently, I’m in danger.

10 Jul

Of turning into a teenage boy that is. But I fear that has always been the case. I’ve always been a tomboy. Most comfortable in jeans and t-shirts and baseball caps. I’ve never worn make-up, except for fancy events. I’m not great in heels. I love sports. Would even rather play them than spectate. In high school I watched the football games with an appreciation for spectacular plays and tackles, not just the cute butts in tight pants. (Though I did appreciate those too, so I guess I’m still a little girly!) I guess I always figured that maybe as I got older, as I grew-up, I would somehow become more ladylike. I’m not sure where I thought I would learn this. Maybe emulating my very elegant, former ballerina/beauty queen mother?

And I guess in a lot of ways I have become more girly. I do like wearing dresses now – especially ones that swirl around my legs when I twirl. I have once again let my hair grow very long, and I don’t always wear it up in a ponytail. But I still prefer to drink my beer straight out of the bottle, despite the fact my brother says that is unladylike. I still love sports. And as I was sitting at the bar last night with friends, wearing jeans, a t-shirt (hey, at least it was pink!), and a Yankees baseball cap, I was thinking about how I seem to be regressing. When I saw my friend Erin two weeks ago, it was for the first time in a year. When I opened the door to my hotel room she kind of gasped and said, “It’s college Krista!” And that’s what I was thinking about last night. I am sort of turning back into college Krista. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I mean, sure, I was a total doofus in college. Insecure and uncertain about so many things. And yeah, that’s still the case. But maybe that’s the skin I’m most comfortable in. The long hair under the baseball cap. The jeans and Converse. The sensibilities of a teenage boy.

This weekend the kids were away with their father visiting their grandmother’s farm. I stayed home and got lots of things accomplished at home. One of which was reconfiguring the girls twin beds back into bunk beds and assembling a new piece of storage furniture. But I also had leisure time to relax. Being me, I went to the movies three times. (I’ll talk more about them in a second.) I also went over to my brother’s house to play Wii with my nephews – age 8 & 5. And I also went to the gun range. Okay, so maybe some of you don’t know this about me, but I own a gun. A handgun. A 9mm to be exact. Someone just asked me why. Why do I own a gun? Protection. Hobby. Because I can. There is little on earth that can make you feel more powerful than firing a gun. It is no joke. Perhaps I shouldn’t say hobby, because that may diminish the seriousness of gun ownership. Perhaps I should say sport. I enjoy taking it to the gun range to practice, to maintain a familiarity and proficiency with its handling. I am a responsible gun owner. I keep it secured and away from my children. But I also intend to teach them about guns. My dad hunts fowl, so I grew up with rifles and shotguns in my parents’ house. We were taught respect for guns at a very early age. To me education and respect are an important part of gun ownership. The kids who have tragic gun accidents are typically those whose parents never once talked to them about the gun. So they perceive it as a fantastic toy instead of a potentially deadly and powerful tool. <Takes a second to step off soap box> Anyway, I went to the gun range this weekend for a little target practice. And as I previously mentioned, I was at the bar last night, having a few beers with friends.

So back to my original point. This was my weekend. Tools, furniture assembly, video games, movies, gun, beer. Yeah, a teenage boy. Or maybe, a college age boy. (Remember those beer & bullet skeet shooting parties during Rush?) And the movies I saw this weekend? This was really a good clue that I maybe I’m not the typical girl. Okay, let’s start with the one that makes the most sense for an intelligent, well-educated woman of 37: Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”. It was beautiful. A real love letter to the city of Paris. I enjoyed it immensely. And Owen Wilson was the perfect Woody Allen “hero” (anti-hero?) Shlubby and unsure, loveably neurotic. I think I get points for appreciating and understanding that movie as I did. Which is good. Because I’m guessing I would get all kinds of estrogen points deducted for loving the other two movies I saw this weekend. But so help me, I just can’t help myself.

Yep, I saw “Bad Teacher” and I loved it. It helps that going in my expectation was just raunchy good fun. And it delivered. I, and everyone else in the theatre, was laughing aloud for most of the movie. And at the most inappropriate things! I’m not typically a huge fan of Cameron Diaz, but she was perfectly cast for this role. (And now you see why I avoided seeing “My Sister’s Keeper” after she was cast as the mom.) The movie was raunchy and hysterical. Lots of gratuitous sex references. Wildly non-PC. But so very funny. And Jason Segel was pitch perfect. He is not a classically attractive man. But I found myself crushing on him by the end of the movie. A sarcastic man with a biting wit who can make me laugh with just a facial expression? Yes, please.

And then, to top off my testosterone fueled weekend, I went and saw the movie, “Horrible Bosses.” Another win. Not as raunchy as “Bad Teacher”, but also chock-full of inappropriate, non-politically correct humor. And I’m pretty sure every other word was a curse word. Come on, Jamie Foxx played a character named “Motherf****r Jones.” That’s just good fun. I love it when big name, huge reputation actors take small roles in films where it is clear that they just wanted to be a part of it. Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell. All of them were great. And I loved Charlie Day, a relative unknown – at least to me, because I’ve never seen the show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” But for my money, Jason Bateman is a terribly under-appreciated actor. His comedic timing is impeccable. He can hold a pause longer and more effectively than almost anyone working today. Such a gift for deadpan humor. I find him truly hilarious.

I guess I shouldn’t be too concerned. I mean, maybe it’s okay that I’m not a typical girl. I’m not even a normal girl. But that’s good, right? Yes. It is good. I guess I expected to already be in my most comfortable skin at this age. But I’m not. And maybe that’s because we’re always growing and changing and what’s most comfortable to us at certain times doesn’t fit at others. (And no, that was not another reference to my vacation weight gain.) I’m once again finding comfort in being true to that tomboy self. I think she’s the thing at the very heart of me. But I still love my pretty, swirly dresses. And this weekend I also got a pedicure with a pretty purply-pink color called “Don’t wine…Yukon do it!” So I guess the takeaway here is that yeah, I do have some college-aged boy like sensibilities. But that’s okay. That’s who I am. Normal can also be boring. No matter what else I become, no matter what else you think of me. I don’t ever want to be considered boring.

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Time flies

24 Jun

Sitting here on the couch, waiting for the dryer to buzz for that final load of laundry. Then I’m going to have to go down in that uber-creepy basement. So, I’m not in a rush to hear that sound. Come to think of it, I’m not in a rush period. How is it even possible that a week has passed since I arrived in Maine? It’s not possible. And yet, here I am, packing our stuff up for a morning departure.

It’s crazy how time flies. This week has gone by so quickly. But in general, it’s a truth of life, isn’t it? Time flies. And it doesn’t seem to me that it matters whether or not you’re having fun. In this case, I have been. Lots of it. But in general time seems to slip away so very quickly, no matter the circumstances. I guess this really struck home this afternoon as we were driving through Portland and saw a personalized Maine license tag that read: SEP11-01. And it seemed surreal to think that horrible, tragic day was almost 10 years ago. The women who were pregnant on that day have children who are now 9 years old. It seems impossible. Yet when I look back on that day, think about all the things that have happened in my life since then, it seems like an eternity ago.

Okay, maybe I’m being a bummer. And I don’t mean to be. But I really was thinking about the nature of time and memory. Maybe it’s because my brother’s wife had a baby today and I wasn’t there to gush and weep and hug them all. Looking at the picture my brother texted of his new son’s perfect, chubby Buddha face I thought about the fact that baby will be over a week old before I meet him. And I know that doesn’t seem like a long time, but I wish I could have been there today. And there is another birthday being celebrated today. My dear friend’s daughter turned one today. I can’t believe that my best friend from college has a child I’ve never met and she is already a year old. Now, I am remedying this. The southbound route of CMRT was specifically routed to run through Greenville, SC, with the intention of visiting the Hinson family as a whole and specifically meeting Baby Bug. But still, she’s a toddler now and I never even saw her as a baby. That doesn’t seem right. But it’s just the way life is.

As I was washing the dishes a few minutes ago I had this cool feeling like, yeah, okay we have to leave tomorrow morning, but we’ll be back. And I guess we might, but I don’t really know that for sure. But I feel a kinship with this house, a familiarity, and it’s only the second year we’ve rented it. But it feels right. It feels like it’s a part of me. A part of my memories. It’s a part of my children’s childhood. And I’d like to come back again and again and again. But who knows what next year will bring?

Wow. Okay, who invited Debbie Downer to this blog? Way too heavy for a girl who spent her day going to see Cars 2 on opening day. As an aside, Pixar didn’t exactly knock this one out of the park. I mean, I liked it, it had moments of brilliance – like incorporating Captain Sig Hansen & the Northwestern as the character of Crabby. That was totally unexpected and absolutely awesome. And my kids liked it well enough, but in my opinion it wasn’t anywhere near as good as the first one. We also dropped in at the Portland Children’s Museum. Rainy day = crowded! But it’s a decent little museum and the kids loved. Of course from here on out pretty much every children’s museum is going to pale in comparison to the Boston Children’s Museum. Though I’m holding out hope for the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. I hear it’s amazing.

Okay, that’s the dryer. Time to go fold and pack some clothes. I’ve avoided the basement and this task long enough. Time is going to slip by and carry me along on its current no matter how hard I dig my heels in and try to stay in one place. Besides, I’m sure that by tomorrow I will be over my sadness of leaving Maine and be excited about the start of the second leg of CMRT. And like the song playing on the jukebox at the diner where we ate dinner tonight, it’s time for us to get on the road again…

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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim