Archives for the month of: April, 2013

I didn’t really expect the guy to phone.

This isn’t a statement on how I feel about myself or dating or even a comment on if I thought the guy was for real or anything, I just. So many say they are going to do something and don’t.

So.

Yes, I was surprised when he phoned.

And none of that nonsense about the “three-day rule” either, he called me about 3 hours after we exchanged numbers.

And he wanted to arrange the dinner date.

Huh.

Ok then.

I’m not a game player, so I put it on the table. The upcoming week is going to be super busy and I don’t have time, so he can choose – either in the next couple of days or after the upcoming week. He chooses Friday, opting not to wait.

Ok.

We are back and forth about details, I state the things I don’t eat and how Fridays are early nights for me ‘cuz climbing on Saturday am.

He took it well.

We settle on a sushi place around the corner from where he is working, not far from where I work and, strangely for me, also agree on a movie, 42.

Traffic is bad Friday evening and I end up being half and hour late. Lucky for me, my phone is charged and his number is nearby, so I call as soon I realize it is going to take me time. But I get there.

The sushi place is nice, an all you can eat place, which I didn’t realize and I’m still kinda stuffed from lunch, also sushi. Conversation alternates between stalling and flowing, we grope for topics and don’t have much overlap between us, but we are both easygoing types who enjoy laughing, so we don’t do too bad.

By the time we finish, we’ve missed the movie but agree to change-up plans on the fly and head out to try glow-in-the-dark-mini-golf. The wait is half-an-hour-long, which would put us late for my bedtime. We switch-up again and go for tea (me) and coffee (him) and more conversation.

So.

Yeah.

Nice. Funny. Very easy-going. And I think at this stage of “getting to know you”, there are many things that I don’t understand and feel that I probably being too sensitive about.

So we agree to go out again, date and activity to be determined.

So.

And yes, he called. He has called 3 times since saying goodnight on Friday, told his father and daughter about me, so.

That is something right?

I’m just not sure what it is.

“42” is directed by Brian Helgeland, screenplay by Brian Helgeland.

“42”  is the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers making history by signing Jackie Robinson.

I found this movie very uneven, like it couldn’t decide if it was telling Jackie Robinson’s story, a commentary on how baseball helped fight racism or the story of Branch Ricky, the man who signed Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers.  There was a lack of a strong narrative, clear direction and even cinematic concepts. Many scenes didn’t even include Robinson, portrayed here by Chadwick Boseman, but focused instead on Branch Rickey, portrayed in scene-chewing fashion by Harrison Ford.

The baseball scenes were riveting and the highlights of the movie, tense, dramatic and physical. The dialogue in these scenes were the best as well.

There has been some amount of commentary about how this could get Harrison Ford an Oscar nomination, but I found his portrayal to be overbearing and distracting. I’m not sure who would have been better cast, but someone needed to reign Ford in a bit or at least provide better direction.

I’m happy that I saw this film, but I don’t think it is worth the hype. It’s not a great sports movie, biopic of baseball movie. On the upside, it really made me want to get out and see a game.

 

Up late last night waiting for my parents to come home. Waiting, waiting.

Finally the front door opens and they are home!

Flurry of bringing bags in, hearing stories, looking around at the work done on the house. Mum is put to bed and Dad and I stay up a bit, have a drink, have some food. He talks and tells me slices of family politics, which I listen to but don’t contribute to, I just…don’t have time or interest. I love these people, they are my family, but man, some of them are crazy.

Late to bed. This is the smartest day of my vacation, staying up to welcome my parents home.

Late to rise and today is a combination of chores and relaxation. Chore – renew driver’s license, well in advance of when it expires. Relaxation – getting my hair done.

Rest of the day is hanging out with Mum and Dad and doing research about ongoing and upcoming projects – painting, stripping wallpaper and renting an RV for a road trip.

Tomorrow it is back to work!

Slept  in, enjoying my second last day of vacation. Decided to not do my hair and threw on the shirt from yesterday and went out into the world – dropping off doll clothes for my niece, filling-up the car, getting a car wash and grocery shopping.

At the grocery, I was offered a 10$ gift card if I allowed a newspaper to be delivered to the house for 1 month for free. Good deal, too bad about the newspaper – I object very strongly to this newspaper. After finding and paying for the groceries, I passed by the guy again and he asked me if I was single, I am, and would I be interested in having dinner with him, I was. So we exchanged numbers and a bit of information, like our names and promises to talk and arrange soon.

Surprise!

After a truly grueling skills test (seriously, more difficult than last week’s final exam, seriously?) I was, finally, really and truly on vacation.

Plans with a friend started off by meeting on the train to the meeting place – we were on the same car and everything.

Walked over to the theatre to pick up the tickets and then, my friend was feeling “adventurous” so I took her over to one of my fav Indian places downtown. She doesn’t know a lot of Indian food, so I spent some time trying to explain a few dishes and making suggestions. I think she enjoyed.

Then back to the theatre for our seats. But, we had to wait – there is this massive children’s film fest on and one of the staff said the children “exploded” all over the theatre. I’m pretty sure she meant that metaphorically, but in any case, they needed some extra time to clean. So, we went over and grabbed a drink.

And what a drink! It was a riff on the ole’ champagne cocktail, called “An American in Paris” and with bourbon, vanilla bean, cava and brown sugar. Delicious.

Then the film.

It was early, after the film, so we went for a walk. A very, very long walk. In and out of shoe stores and clothing stores – questing to find my friend a dress to wear for a wedding she is attending in June. She found neither shoes nor a dress. I found a dress, though.

This whole shopping thing is a bit strange. You can never find something when you need something, but when you aren’t looking it is possible to find something.  Been having the same, strange shopping conversation with several friends recently, strange, becuz I dislike shopping and for me to tell other how best to shop is incredibly comedic.

I figure if I’m braving stores, then I’m going to look at everything and if there is something that looks good and fits in my budget then it comes home with me. I figure, there is always a reason to wear a pretty dress or wonderful pair of shoes. This takes the pressure off me to find a perfect dress for a specific event – I can just go through my closest and pick something out, knowing that it looks good.

Works for me.

We walked so much, back and forth, missed dinner, didn’t have any more drinks, that it ended up being a late night. Got very caught on all the goings-on in my friend’s life.

A very good day.

 

“From Up on Poppy Hill” is directed by Goro Miyazaki, written by Tetsuro Sayama (story), Hayao Miyazaki (screenplay), Keiko Niwa (screenplay) and based on graphic novel by Tetsuro Sayama and Chizuru Takahashi.

“From Up on Poppy Hill” is a Studio Ghibli, so this review is heavily biased.

We saw the dubbed version of this film.

One of my favourite things about Studio Ghibli films is how the animation is suffused with light, this film does not disappoint. The light gives the film a whimsical, nostalgic feeling that suits the story and works to place the story firmly in Japan during preparations for the 1964 Olympics.

The story and characters unfold in a quiet, understated way and tells a touching story of first love between a young school girl and one of her classmates, as they work together to save their school’s club house. Of course, the path of love never runs exactly as hoped, as they discover each other and themselves, they also unearth family secrets that threaten their budding relationship.

Ok, look.

I’m not a romantic and I don’t really like relationship-y movies. But this movie, I got. This was my kind of romance – awkward, confusing, with flags, stumbling, misunderstandings, helpful and not so-helpful friends and above all, very little drama. The emotions, the drama is so restrained and subdued that you could be fooled into thinking that the characters weren’t feeling anything at all.

The music was fun and surprising, although it should be noted that my companion found some of the sound a bit distracting.

Although I missed the magical-mythical elements usually featured  in Studio Ghibli productions, I found that the flashbacks and sense of time and place gave this story a magic all its own.

I always feel odd about recommending a Studio Ghibli film ‘cuz I love them. I suggested this film to my friend, who instantly said she wasn’t interested in seeing it, so she would see it – separate story, she is trying to expand her horizons.  After the film I asked her what she thought and her response was “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.” So maybe you should just take that as an endorsement?

 

 

I didn’t hate “Cloud Atlas” so much that it caused me to stop writing. Not at all.

What did happen, though, is something that I imagine happens to many people, very few who maybe admit it.

My focus shifted and I got involved with other things.

Work has needed my attention, so to balance, I decided to put some effort into home. Struggling to strip wall paper from far too many rooms, imagine me climbing up on ladders and being very damp and cold on far too many winter evenings. And then, you get to a place where you figure between work and home there are still a couple of empty spaces, so why not add school to that? And if the squeeze is on, then squeeze with all your might and add participation in a fundraising performance of “The Vagina Monologues” to the pile!

All this left me with far too much to do and not enough time to reflect and write about it. Movie time gave way to study time, socializing time gave way to wallpaper time, gym time gave way to class time…which left me with no reflection and writing time. Ack! And look, I keep forgetting the fundraiser…

So here is me, trying to get some of that time back. The days are longer now and I’m going to try to do work and home and school and put movies and friends and books and writing back into it. I’m not sure what is going to happen next, but one has to try, right?

This week-end, after climbing, I managed to do a bit of wandering around and check in at two of my favourite stores. At Fashion Crimes, I walked into the middle of a massive sale. 50% off the lowest tag price. This made for a bit of a crowded situation and there seemed to be plenty of high schoolers with their entourages out in force looking for prom dresses. (Note: We called it “The Formal” ‘cuz “Prom” was American, not Canadian, when did this change?)

I braved it.

‘cuz even though I hate shopping, I still understand the value of a stupidly awesome deal.

I walked out with a dress that is normally 499$ for 56$. A lovely red coat dress. That, I have to tell you, I’ve looked at it for years.

Then I figured I would wander by the Fluevog store. ‘cuz it was just down the street.

I don’t know about salespeople at any other Fluevog store in the world, but I have to think that they are just as awesome as they are at my store.

After clearly explaining myself “I am not buying shoes today.” and getting a few sizes the shoes I wasn’t buying and needing more, the sales guy comes back with the boxes that I was expecting and says:

him: Here are the new sizes. I also brought you a pair of bonus shoes.

me: I like bonus shoes.

him: Everyone likes bonus shoes. They are super comfy and our best seller. I brought you bright pink becuz your scarf is bright pink and they are the same colour as the shoes. And that is an awesome scarf.

me: I love this scarf. My friend Candice made it for me. I’m not buying shoes today, but let me try on these bonus shoes.

him: Here.

me: They are very pink.

him: I know they don’t look anything like they shoes you are looking at, but try them on, they feel like you are wearing flats.

me: No way. And they are pink, but really not what I’m looking for.

him: They look amazing on.

me: (puts on shoes) Oh! Wow! These feel like flat!

him: Just remember they aren’t flats.

me: Wow. Yeah. I mean. These are great.

him: Bonus shoes, right?

me: Oh, I love bonus shoes. I’m buying these.

Huh.

So, lesson learned, really. Don’t go into a Fluevog shore unless you are ready to buy.

Lucky me, I was ready!

Rest of the day was with my friend seeing the movie, getting caught up and going to dinner.

It was amazing to see her.

 

 

 

“Love, Marilyn” is directed by Liz Garbus and features F. Murray Abraham, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Hope Davis, Viola Davis and others.

If you look up this film on IMDB, it says that this film features modern stars talking about the impact Marilyn Monroe continues to have on their lives.

This is incorrect.

The intro to the film explains that what will follow is actors reading recently discovered journals, papers and correspondence written by Marilyn Monroe.

This is incorrect.

What the film actually was a re-telling of Marilyn Monroe’s biography, cut with pictures, film clips, interviews, excerpts from books about Marilyn Monroe, news footage, letters to Marilyn Monroe, interviews both archived and original with people who knew her, and sometimes someone reading and dramatizing letters, journal entries and poetry by Marilyn Monroe, who sometimes also give a personal insight into what they think and feel and how Marilyn Monroe changed/influenced them.

I was expecting to her Marilyn’s words, as read by…this is the reason that I went to see the film, and this is also how the film described itself. I wasn’t expecting, not did I particularly want to see news footage I’ve seen before or film clips that I’ve seen before.

The history and biographical information provided served to put the excerpts from the letters, poems and journal entries into context, but there was way too much reading of people commenting about Marilyn Monroe and not enough of her own words.

For a film that bills itself as presenting new information, Marilyn in her own words, this film provides frightfully few of her own words.

It was also hard to get a gauge on why these specific actors were asked to be in the project, it wasn’t clear exactly why these actors did which readings and what their connection was to the project and material – were they asked? Did they choose their own pieces? Were they given the opportunity to read everything and then the most interesting readings were selected? Why were some pieces “acted” and others were read simply? Why were there readings and historical interviews and new interviews?

Why was Elizabeth Banks in this? Why Hope Davis? Ben Foster? Lindsay Lohan?!

Glenn Close and Viola Davis I get. I mean, don’t you have those moments where you think “I wish Glenn Close and Viola Davis were in this movie!”.

But.

And as someone who loves movies, I would have really liked to have some information given with the use of subtitles “Lindsay Lohan reading poem by Marilyn Monroe, personal papers newly discovered”.

All of this gave the film a very uneven feel and instead of providing clarity, it just added to the pile of stuff about Marilyn Monroe.

And I’m not belittling her impact or suggesting that the world didn’t want or need another film about Marilyn Monroe – what I am saying is that given the new information that we have available, shouldn’t that new material have been given more time and space and attention? Marilyn in her own, written words.

Lucky for me, I saw this film with a very hard-core Marilyn Monroe fan, the last movie we saw together was almost a year ago “My Week With Marilyn” and seeing this film with her was a bit of saving grace for me. She enjoyed hearing the biographical information again and the interviews, new and old, along with seeing Marilyn’s words enacted.

I wasn’t thrilled with the film, but it was a great opportunity to see my friend and hear what she thought of it. If you or someone you have in your life is a hard-core Marilyn Monroe fan, then, yes, this movie is a must see. For the rest of us, not so much.