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There Was A Cat Who Really Was Gone

The songs this week were, un-friggin'-believable. (Christopher Walken Impersonation)

1) Out the Airlock - Paul Dempsey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azIuzu-7PIY

2) Rasputin - Boney M. (I totally dance better than this caped gentlemen around the house, ahem ok I lie) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFQkfHnVU7o&feature=fvst

3) What you waiting for? - Gwen Stefani http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdcObAQ5OOM&ob=av2e Can't we all kind of relate to the first part of the extended version?

4) King's Crossing - Elliot Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D7vRObaTyo The song that first made me love Elliott Smith

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The most er...helpful songs I listened to this week were:
1) Do Ya - Electronic Light Orchestra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEwFssgvsC0
2) Good Day - The Dresden Dolls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BigHGSqg68E&ob=av2n
3) Underground - David Bowie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwVqOs3Aess&ob=av2e I dunno why (unlike other folks), but I've always liked "Underground" more than "Magic Dance."
4) Mein Herr - Liza Minnelli (Cabaret) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX-24Zm0bjk I got my Cabaret ST in the mail yesterday. I can't/won't stop listening to it.

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Even The Orchestra Is Beautiful

I have been thinking about the movie “Cabaret” for days now. It felt different watching it this time. I still love it and yet, it’s got me all kinds of bothered this time around.

I found the characters more frustrating than usual. Especially Sally, she can be a terribly selfish twat sometimes. She’s not quite as exasperating of a character as say, Scarlett O’Hara, but only because I find her childlike and endearing in her own eccentric way. By the end of the movie though, I’ve had enough of her. I found myself yelling at the screen: “Shut the hell up about being an actress already! People are dying! Shit is going down! Germany is hurting!”

Whilst she sings and dances her troubles away, the two characters with the most development, the most likeable qualities (only in so much as I am a member of team love) THESE characters probably die. Not that the movie tells us (gee, thanks). The two main characters never really grow (grow up?), or learn anything.

But that’s ok, we get to see Sally angst about how terrible life would be if she had a baby. It’s not just the baby angst, it’s “a man you supposedly love, is willing to marry you and make a life with you, oh you poor dear!” I’m well aware that’s more than a little unfair, and really I don’t think people should get married solely due to pregnancy. It’s just that Brian seems well, like a good sort you know? I feel bad for him.

Ok that said, I do actually like this movie. I am mesmerized by the story. I fixate on the Kit Kat Club, and like many others before me, I am enthralled by the Master of Ceremonies.

I used to think the Emcee was harmless enough. A bit creepy and a bit pervy sure, but his veil of innocence onstage was interesting to watch. This viewing though, I got to wondering about him more than usual. Mostly, I’ve been wondering if he’s real. Does he exist in the context of the story? Or is he and the club just there for the symbolism?

People may tell you “Cabaret” is a musical, but I disagree (Oh, I won’t deny that the music is terribly catchy). I mean yes there are musical numbers, but they are on a stage, the rest of the movie is played straight. If this was so they could add realism to the story, it doesn’t quite succeed. I blame this on the Emcee.

If he doesn’t exist, then what options does that leave? Maybe he is a specter of the club, haunting the performers and holding a strange mastery over them. They can check out anytime they like, but they can NEVER leave! The very moment Sally sings “Maybe This Time” musing on the possibility of being happily in love, there the Emcee is, creepily smoking his cigar. It’s as if he’s saying “This frankly will not fly. Something must be done.” That’s why I think he does the lip licking bit when Sally reassures Brian of her fidelity. To me, it’s as if he’s saying I am (or rather the club is) your lover. Reminding her she can’t be faithful to both Brian and the club both. Sassy lady that she is, Sally sticks her tongue out at him, to let him know “He ain’t the boss of her; she’ll do what she wants.” Of course what she wants, really, is material goods, cash, and to be idolized which seems to be what the Emcee values too (they are so much better suited than Sally and Brian, and maybe that’s the point). The final imagery at end of the movie where he gropes her from behind reinforces the idea to me he is an extension of the club’s iron clad grip on Sally. It’s as if he’s saying: “There will be no baby. No wedding. No true love for you. You belong to me forever.”

I read a review a long time ago where the writer’s interpretation was that The Master of Ceremonies was either playing the roll of the God or the Devil (the author was unsure which). Was the Emcee mocking the Nazis in numbers like “If you could see her through my eyes” or was he inciting more anti-Semitism? Was he an all controlling deity who’s manipulations ultimately led the characters to make the right choices, or was he tempting them with material things and bringing about their ruination? I personally think the Emcee is too much of a creepy uncle type to coincide with my interpretation of God, but I don’t feel like he is a really evil character either. If anything, I would say he’s more like the Shakespearean character Puck. He’s prone to trickery and ornery behavior, but he is neither good nor evil.

ARGH, I just don’t know. If the Master of Ceremonies is symbolism, then he distracts me from the serious nature of the story with his whimsy and the added ethereal element. If he is not symbolism and is meant to be taken as a real (ish) character, then he’s a bit of a douche bag and I don’t want to enjoy his character or his musical numbers as much as I do.

My biggest problem with “Cabaret” is that it seems to want to tell you: In life, shit happens so you might as well sing and dance…I think it does anyway… but much of the movie, and especially the ending is ambiguous.

Despite the title song “Cabaret” at the end, I didn’t feel good when the movie was over. What was the fate of Fritz and Natalia? Why didn’t our “protagonists” not grow or seem to learn anything? I was left with no answers, only a mild depression. And is that feeling really worth having in return for a handful of bitching songs?

I don’t know, but I did buy the movie soundtrack this week. I should get it in the mail any day now.

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Finland, Findland, Finland...

Songs that got me through last week:

1) Finland/Fish Slapping Song - The Spamalot Soundtrack
2) Hey Mickey - Toni Basil
3) Ballroom Blitz - Sweet (I actually got caught jamming to this at work, emabarrassing!)
4) Map of Tasmania - Amanda Palmer
5) All my friends are trashbags - Pip Branson Corporation

We shall see what this week holds in store for me...

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I am finding myself more productive and happily busy than I have been for many months. Happily busy is just how I describe the kind of busy I like (i.e. not work or school busy). With my newfound freedom from the horror that is summer classes, I have been taking part in much happier pursuits.

1) The Guest Room – I “technically” began re-decorating the guest room last July, but with moving, and winter, and school, and all that other stuff that bogs down such projects, I just didn’t get it done…and I still haven’t.

BUT, I’ve made excellent progress. The room is completely painted and awaiting decoration. There will be pictures, oh yes you wait and see…

2) Last weekend, the most excellent and wonderful people that I know came over. They brought me furniture, hauled out old icky furniture, fixed my phone line, installed an antenna, fixed my back steps, AND put my front porch together (complete with sheet metal roof). I paid them in food and strawberry margaritas with colorful umbrellas, but I have plans. THANK YOU PRESENT plans. While all that was going on, I cleaned up weeds and trash and furthered the preparations for LANDSCAPING. Forgive the occasional epic capitalization, but upcoming landscaping joy is welling up in me so strongly that I can’t contain it. For now however, until that happy landscaping day comes, there shall be weekend coffee on a front porch to console me.

3) Cooking. Y’all would be amazed at my progress (or not). I don’t think anyone would understand unless they knew what I was like before (so much ramen noodles *shudder*). I will likely never be a great cook, but I am bordering on passable. No really observe this homemade chicken noodle (no trace of ramen) soup!

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There may be cupcakes this weekend. It’s like the universe doesn’t make any sense anymore.

Also, and finally:

4) I don’t know why I must always be so ridiculously behind (normally, I’m like five years behind on EVERYTHING) when it comes to stuff like this but, I recently (FINALLY) saw this video and it made my heart squee *flail*

You still stammered on the 'W'

On this Easter Holiday, I've been a mash-up of productivity and laziness. On one hand I've been diligently painting my guest room. On the other hand, well there's my tendency to fall prey to Youtube and the dvd player. At least that's where I would like to place the blame for my as yet, still unpainted guest room walls. I'm sure those are the only ways in which I've indulged in procrastination...though I notice there is a half empty wine glass on the counter top, my book mark is a few pages closer to the end, and there is a page of pseudo-poetry about men's hair in a notebook lying nearby.

Ah, but back to Youtube and the dvd player.

I've been listening to this Australian band "Something For Kate" quite often lately. Though I have about ten years worth of hits on my computer, I'm finding I enjoy their live performances even more:



Why thank you Youtube.

I rented "The King's Speech" and have been very happy about the decision for days now. I was not sure what type of movie I was getting myself into (I'd literally heard nothing about it, 'til it started winning awards, which usually makes me a bit leery). Trying to be positive, I figured that at least Geoffrey Rush was in it, and whatever else you can say about a movie with Geoffrey Rush in it, you can almost never say there'sa lot of bad acting going on, so that gave me hope.

Oh but I am so glad that I watched this movie. Colin Firth hath dazzled me with his awesomeness. I don't know if I've ever seen such an excellent example of someone portraying internal fear. I have no idea if that even makes sense. It was just so (ADJECTIVE FAILURE). No really, I loved it very much. I was hooked from the moment Colin Firth opened his mouth (irregardless of what came out). Also, it is kind of hilarious at times, to be so darn uncomfortable at others. I literally got up to make coffee at one point, because I was so uncomfortable FOR King George. Then I realized that was a silly thing to do, and rewound the dvd back to the point where I was sharing too much discomfort with a character in a film *eyeroll*

Honestly, I don't know why I do things like that. Is it a testament to good writing that I am so engaged that I feel physically uncomfortable? OR (and this is more likely) is it a personality quirk?

In any event, "The King's Speech" is the first movie I've seen this year that made me really glad to have watched a movie.
I really did make something on the stove, it involved turning on the burner and everything.

Ok, so I got this idea for making chocolate covered pomegranates here: http://blog.modcloth.com/2011-02-28-pomegranate-bark-or-gushers-for-grown-ups#more-31689

I thought: "this seems so easy, even 'I' could do this. I won't say that 1st batch came out perfectly (or even the second batch for that matter, I am so pathetic in the kitchen >_<)

I thought it might be nice to share how to make this yummy treat with folks who are as befuddled by the culinary arts as I am, but I haven't met anyone like that. I'll share anyway :P

Click Here For Chocolatey Juicy GoodnessCollapse )
I shared the music video for “Friday” with my mom and she didn’t disinvite me from Thanksgiving so I guess she forgives me. She doesn’t seem to think the song is all that bad. To be fair it doesn’t cause me physical pain anymore. Maybe she would change her mind if I continuously sang my favorite part: “Which seat can I TAAAAAKKKKEEE?!” as loud as humanely possible. It didn't work the four days I spent with her, but hey, she may snap yet. We were both too tired to do much together, which is a shame. We are always too tired. I got a bit of homework done here, but I wasn't able to show her how to play “Just Dance 2” Hilarity was sure to have ensued…

My ________ Movies Of 2010

Ok, so my friend had to do a writing assignment on his favorite movies of 2010. Silly fool asked me to help, I only saw 12 movies in 2010 people, I am not the person to ask. However, since I am seeing top 10 list EVERYWHERE, these are the movies I did see in order of how much I enjoyed them, ya know if anyone is curious...

1) Iron Man 2 - A sequel that stands up to the original?! *gasp* I left the theater feeling quite satisfied with this movie. It was clever and well acted and fun. I'll ignore the plot holes and more outrageous moments beacause dangit Justin Hammer cracked me up.

2) The Expendables - More fun you say? Why yes, this movie rocked my socks. I loved it! The only thing that weirded me out was the Micky Rourke scene. Where did that come from? Shouldn't Stallone have told him that you're not allowed to act like that in 80's action movies? Wait...you mean this isn't an 80's action movie? coulda fooled me...

3) Kick-Ass - A bit more Gory than I usually enjoy, but veeerrrry clever and great pacing. I like that sense of humor.

4) Nightmare on Elm Street - I really don't care what angry diehard Freddy fans say. This movie was good. If you don't get to hung up on comparing it to the original and grade it on its own merits, this was a really well done movie IMO. Of course I'm not the biggest slasher film fan (or Nightmare on elm street fan for that matter) so I can understand why a lot of people didn't like it, but hey it was creepy and the acting was good and I hope never to meet Jackie Earle Haley in a dark alley...

5) Predators - I suspect that I would have had an much better time seeing this movie in theaters if I hadn't gone opening night :( however crushing, horrible, clausterphobic theater aside I loved this movie. I had problems with it, but it was soooo much better than the Alien Vs. Predator movies (or Predator 2 for that matter). I miss you original predator.

6) Twilight Eclipse: I didn't love it, I didn't not like it. This movie was pretty in the middle for me.

7) Jonah Hex - I feel bad for this movie. I don't think it was as bad as people say. I liked it anyway. Unfortunately, I never did read a lot of the comics so I have no idea how true to the source material this particular comic book movie was. I'm guessing not much, otherwise people woulda liked it better.

8) Toy Story 3 - Surprised this isn't higher on the list? So am I. Mostly my feeling towards this movie is...dissappointment. I guess I just didn't get as emotional about it as many people I know did. Too, I may have had extremely high expectations. Toy Story 2 was soooooooo excellent in my opinion. To me it set a high bar for movie sequels. So when I watched TS3 I just think I expected too much of it.

9) Crazy on the Outside - Ok I don't even know if anyone saw this, but Tim Allen did preeety good I thought, both directing and acting in this movie. It had my attention and made me laugh and that is why it did better on my list than...

10) Alice in Wonderland - Like TS3 the only word for it is disapointment. Again, my expectations were freakishly high, and again I was tragically let down. Was the movie pretty? Yes. That wasn't enough for me though. It just felt so wrong. I dunno, it just made me sad.

11) Robin Hood - Ohmygosh Robin Hood was soooo long. lotsa forgettable characters and lotsa forgettable "Almost" history. Feminist marion and sissy sherriff of nottingham were the low points for me. I do give it props for some excellent casting choices and good acting though. Still, I know it's bad when I'd rather watch the Disney version... Robin Hood and Little John Walkin through the forrest...

And LASTLY!

12) The Wolfman - *sigh* it could've been a contender. Mostly, my largest problem was it was forgettable. A movie staring Hugo Weaving, Anthony Hopkins, and Bernicio Del Toro should not have gone wrong. I thought it was boring though and would rather have watched Lon Chaney wolf it up instead.

Who Knew Stephen Fry Had Such Influence?

Everything is connected.

In 2006 the following happened: I watched "V for Vendetta" b/c a friend said it was awesome and since I'd read Alan Moore's "Watchmen" and loved it, I trusted that friend. > I fell strangely in love (in a platonic way) with Stephen Fry > I began watching "A Bit Of Fry And Laurie" > this led to watching "Blackadder" and becoming enamored with Hugh Laurie and moar Stephen Fry (I subsequently read Hugh laurie's spy novel and several of Stephen's fiction novels) > this led to voraciously watching "House" and a re-watching of "Mr. Bean" > when there was no more ABOFL to be had, I watched the show "QI" on youtube, delightfully hosted by Mr. Fry > Comedian Eddie Izzard was in the pilot, on a whim I checked out his dvd "Unspeakable" from the Library (the rest is history) > my need to watch everything E.I. was in, led to the movie "Revenger's Tragedy" w/ Christopher Eccelston. > That movie encouraged me to give the new "Doctor Who" a try (and soon led to a watching of much David Tennant and then John Barrowman, I even read Barrowman's autobiography!)> the delight I found in Christopher Eccelston made me want to see his (all too short) part in "Heroes"

I can't think of anything that "Heroes" made me watch but it's entirely possible this goes on forever...My goodness, one little movie in 2006 influenced what I would watch and obsess over for the next four years (I wonder if this is all traceable to Kevin Bacon...). Can anyone else identify one movie/show that's attached to years of entertainment?