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Courtney

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This seems to be the week to show movies that I have not seen in a long time. First, the other day I saw Cold Comfort Farm with Kate Beckinsale (right after Much Ado About Nothing), Ian McKellen, and Rufus Sewell. Kate Beckinsale plays Flora Poste, who just lost her parents, and her income is reduced to an amount that she must either go live with relatives or get married. She decides to pick the most unorganized relatives and go "fix" their problems. The remainder of this dark comedy is Flora imposing her awesome sense of 1920's style upon the unfortunate inhabitants of Cold Comfort Farm. She convinces Ian McKellen's character to travel the country in a Ford van preaching fire and brimstone to the sinful people of England. Ian McKellen does a great job at one of those country accents no one can understand. At one point she asks him what he does before speaking to his congregation, and he replies "I dunnut know but somethin' will be burnin'". I hate to disappoint but don't get your hopes up about finding out what the grandma crones on about "I saw something nasty in the woodshed" we just have to trust that she was just never the same since. I have always found it a cute and quirky comedy, and I was glad that I enjoyed it almost just as much as an adult. Who couldn't love the part where Flora states matter-of-factly "All farms have highly sexed young men named Seth or Ruben."

This morning I saw Four Weddings and a Funeral again. I loved this movie when it first came out, and I thought the humor was quotable. I still think its pretty funny, but I noticed today what a mess that group of friends were and that the story moves very subtly as they each begin to grow up. I always get teary eyed at the funeral when John Hannah gives his farewell speech to his dead lover Simon Callow. His recitation of the W.H. Auden poem is so touching and I find it funny that I think on it often when contemplating the nature of loss. It must be hard though for those friends when their social networking revolves entirely around weddings. Good thing we have other methods now with the Interwebs. I wonder if these characters were retold now would they twitter? Be an advertisement for Match.com? or meet at weddings? hhmmmmm.

I must point out that both were comedies and light hearted with the former more so than the latter instead of dire doomsday dramas I have been going on about.
Current Mood:
amused amused
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This video might explain my crazy addiction and multiple cute attacks over the lions.

http://atvs.vg.no/player/?id=17574

They really cheered me up today. This afternoon was tough as I spent it taking care of my grandmother. Its hard to watch people you love be in so much pain and not able to do the things they want like get up and walk around.

Current Mood:
drained drained
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For the past two days I have been signing on to see the mama lion and her cubs, but to no avail. All the camera shows is an empty cage. Where did all my lions go? I have so enjoyed checking in on them during the day that I am seriously disappointed by their absence. I hope they are alright. So in desperation I turn to LOLCats.

I love baby big cats even if they would grow up and eat me because they felt like it.




This one reminds me of Hemingway as he thought he was.



For a certain person that enjoys LOLCats only if somewhat correct grammar is used, but who are we kidding, cats talk like this anyway. We are the ones that feel the need to personify.





Okay, enough torture for now.
Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
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This was how I felt by the end of the day when I took my grandmother to the hospital. She has some bruised ribs and a solid knock on the head from falling prior to my arrival.

Current Mood:
awake awake
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Did you hear that? I am sure you just did and are wondering who in the world just let loose such a high pitch scream you are thinking you might need to call the police just in case. Well that was me, and allow me to explain why I screamed like my life was about to end.

You see, I have a pretty severe phobia of sharks, and even pictures of them are absolutely horrific to look at. This might not seem like a big deal, but here a few minutes ago is good example of how many sharks are EVERYWHERE.

So I am flipping through the channels about to settle into a nice take out dinner (no cooking skillz = take out). The newer HBO movies are showing tonight and I was very interested to see Happy Feet just happened to be on. I was going through the guide channel deciding I would check out the whole movie from On Demand as this was somewhere in the middle when the following occurred:

Adorable penguin is watching the Northern Lights. "AWWWW he is so cute" I think to myself "I really should watch this movie". My gaze drifts down to the guide channel "So what's on?" My attention is drawn back to the screen by the penguin speaking "Guys? Guys where are you?" He is floating all alone on a patch of ice. Something is wrong I can feel something is very wrong here. "Guys?" The penguin looks into the glassy blue water. A BIG FUCKING SHARK BURSTS FROM THE WATER WITH HUGE WHITE TEETH. I scream soooo loud my husband comes flying into the room ready to kill whoever is attacking the apartment as I fumble with the remote control trying to close my eyes, but not before I get a couple more glances of A BIG FUCKING SHARK. I manage to get the channel changed but my heart is racing and I am nearly shaking.

So I guess I won't be watching Happy Feet after all not even to find out if the penguin lives. His fault anyway as sharks live in water.
Current Mood:
irritated irritated
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In order to restore the balance of the universe I watched a happy movie and write on it. I have been meaning to watch Kenneth Branagh's film version of Love's Labour's Lost before it left On Demand, and since I was already on a Shakespeare bend I gave it a try.

First: If you find yourself ever in a Shakespeare play it is essential to NEVER EVER EVER rely on the post system or couriers. If you have some pressing news say it in person or suffer the consequences.

This one was framed as a musical from the 1940's setting, and at first I was skeptical as to how that would work. You have to bear with the first song, but then it fits very nicely. Any popular 1940's song one can think of popped up, but they moved the story along so only a few were annoying. I, of course, was forced to give full approval when the falling in love song was "Heaven" as that is my favorite for so many reasons. Excellent taste Kenneth. Adrian Lester playing Dumaine did wonderful job dancing and singing. His style reminded me of Gene Kelly and I do not ever say that lightly. I think he saved many of the dance scenes as there were not very experienced dancers, singers, or profound choreography. That was okay though they made it work. I was surprised to see Matthew Lillard as Longaville. He proved that he could do Shakespeare and be understood. Alas, his recent appearance in the movie In the Name of the King is not a good use of his comedic talents. All in all, I was entertained by a happy movie, but then I am a hopeless sucker for musicals.
Current Mood:
artistic artistic
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I have not felt like blogging these past few days so I didn't. However, I do not want to fall off the wagon entirely so here I am. On Thursday, I went with my brother to see Georgia Shakespeare's As You Like It. It was well done, and my favorite speech "All the world is a stage..." was one of the best I have seen. Very well done. I have been an avid Shakespeare enthusiast since the age of 13. This particular speech I referenced as my total favorite can be found inside the front cover of just about every high school note book I ever used along with practice doodles in the margins and favorite as well as made up quotes at random. You might be able to demise that I paid a great deal of attention in class. Ummm we won't go there. Anyway, my brother enjoyed the play so much that we decided to be theater goers more regularly. I highly recommend the movie version of As You Like It if unable to get to a live performance the cast does a nice job.

Yesterday I watched yet another sad movie called Reign Over Me. This was an awesome movie though even as it was heart breaking in parts. This was a wonderful cast with Adam Sandler (best serious performance I have ever seen him do), Don Cheadle, Liv Tyler, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Donald Sutherland. Adam Sandler's character lost his wife and three daughters in one of the plane crashes on 9/11, and Don Cheadle's character runs into him randomly years later and recognizes his old college roommate. The two become friends again, and the friendship begins to heal a seriously screwed up man (Adam Sandler) as well as help the Don Cheadle character rediscover why he is unhappy with his life and what he should do to change what he doesn't like. Yes, this is a freaking sad movie, but I keep thinking about why I was drawn to watch it. First, I would like to reference a Dr. Who episode entitled "blink" where the main character states that "sad is happy for deep people". So here is a situation where a man has lost everything important to his happiness in a very terrible way and reduced to a point in the human condition where sanity is actually damaging to his day to day survival because he remembers his extreme loss. The only thing left to this man are his hobbies such as playing instruments and his deep love of music. There is another man who has everything that is the polar opposite who possess everything one could need to be happy like a beautiful loving family, a successful career, a nice home, and yet is completely unhappy with a lost sense of himself. They reunite in friendship with NOTHING in common, one sane and the other insane, and slowly they begin to heal. Now this is where I find the interest to watch and examine such sad stories is that after such great loss we are able to not only heal but even love again. That friendship and the simple act of giving your time and love to someone can bring them back from the brink of insanity and unhappiness is extremely comforting to me. I know, I know I have crossed the boundary to the realm of cheesy, but it is not the less true.

You will be glad to know that I have several happy movies on my agenda such as Mama Mia. I am not afraid to admit I love ABBA and I have been known to jump right up and dance and sing their songs at the top of my lungs no matter where the location so you have been forewarned. I take especial delight in doing this from time to time at random with students, and its even better when I can get another teacher to join in.
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
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Organization is a mighty superpower to be feared and adequately awed.

Current Mood:
geeky geeky
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I do not know where or when this strange attraction to crazy sad movies occurred, but I have a real nack for finding the most depressing movies EVER.

For example:

I am switching through the channels tonight exploring unknown movie channels I do not normally ever watch, and I end up on IFC. I have never heard of this channel before but they are showing Gosford Park which has been on my need to see list since it came out and yet somehow slipped through the cracks. Gosford Park was great by the way. Full of all those details I love in movies like the clothes and other time period pieces as well as some of my favorite actors. I especially enjoyed recalling previous movies that the cast had been in together such as the Lady of the house and the inspector were in several Kenneth Branagh movies, and then there was Emma Thompson's sister as one of the Kitchen maids along with the guy who played Mr. Knightley in Emma with Gweneth Paltrow. I could go on and on as every cast member was an experienced actor or actress that I had seen in other movies.

I digress. Anyway, I happened back to this channel to see what treasure the magic tube might yield to find Mother Night. I recognized right away that this was a book I had never read but has been assigned reading in High School. The author, Kurt Vonnegut, also wrote Slaughter House Five, but Mother Night is based on a true story of a German radio broadcaster/playwright who became an American spy and broadcast secret codes over Nazis Germany. This was at once an awesome story and THE MOST DEPRESSING EVER. I was intrigued by the character's guilt and feeling like he contributed to the Holocaust when all he did was pretend to go along so he could continue passing very important information to people behind enemy lines. At some point pretending to go along was just as bad as actually doing, and through it he, of course, lost everything he loved. He hung himself the day before his trial after he gave himself up to Israel via some local concentration camp victims even knowing that a former American agent was going to commit treason to exonerate him as his trial was in the early 70's. I knew I should flip the channel because what possible good can come, but every time I went to do so another amazing actor would turn up. Nick Nolte, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and even Kirsten Dunst. So if you feel like your life is really bad then I highly recommend this movie as the odds of the viewer having such a dark and depressing tale are pretty slim to none.

I think I need to find another hobby as all the really good movies seem to be depressing as hell except for the rare gems such as Stardust or The Princess Bride.
Current Mood:
geeky geeky
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This is the blog about all the nothings I do, and I find it important to note that I never blog about all the somethings I do. Funny how that works out. Today's nothings include some productive behavior with an artistic flavor. I woke up late and made coffee. Coffee is a must. I emailed my new partner in hopes that we can do lunch and talk shop before the new school year. Hopefully she is not at some exotic retreat with no internet access for the remainder of the summer or backpacking through Europe although good for her if she is. I paid a bill, and watched the lions. http://atvs.vg.no/player/?id=16995 Today appears to be clean the cubs' butt day along with scolding for those not following directions and wandering off when explicitly told to stay in the corner.

Then I sketched for a solid two and half hours or so. I took a great picture of Scott right before the start of the TourdeCure a couple months ago, and have been working on translating it to sketch. http://www.flickr.com/photos/streamweaver/2502985757/ The face, glasses, ear, and helmet shape are finished provided I do not tamper. (Note to self: Please do not tamper with the face it is just right even if you don't think so. You will only screw it up.) I still have the helmet details, hair, neck, and backdrop are for next time. Not half bad at this point. (I mean it don't mess with the face) I always work on something and then come back and try to "fix" it. A really bad habit to fall into, and a big time waster because you could spend hours trying to get the picture back to the way it was before you messed with it. This will be completely my work from start to finish as I took the photo too. I love the smell of the pencils and the concentration on shades, shapes, and lines. I noticed today that I mumble to myself as I work. I also became aware that I really should work on reflections at some point. This is the part where it is hard to stop because I get excited to see the finished product.

I actually do have an appointment with our finance guy today, and I am so excited about consistently telling him "No more insurance if you please, but thank you for offering". I should count how many times I have to say that.
Current Mood:
artistic artistic
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