Sunday, January 31, 2010

District 9 Moon

This week I only watched two movies. We intended to see a movie today but couldn't quite get motivated - such a hard life...

1. District 9: This sci-fi movie about aliens who are marooned on Earth was disgusting at times and certainly not in my top 30 movies. However, it did make me think about injustice and how horribly we treat the things that we are not familiar with. Also, I was strangely touched by the father-son relationship and the wife-husband relationship. Although I like the movie, I was surprised to find that reviews were quite good.
  • Entertainment Weekly gushed about the film (see bold, italicized section here): "Were they not tentacled, claw-handed creatures from another planet with bodies like steel-plated shellfish, the ghetto-dwelling underclass in the madly original, cheekily 
 political, altogether exciting District 9 would look much like any refugee population: They miss home, they're discriminated against, and they're driven by overcrowding, squalor, and hunger to acts of violence that make the local populace hate them even more and wish them good riddance."
  • The New York Times summarizes the movie fairly succinctly: "Once a terrible accident befalls [the main human character], we are at his side and under his skin, and 'District 9' subtly shifts from speculative science fiction to zombie bio-horror and then, less subtly, turns into an escape-action-chase movie full of explosions, gunplay and vehicular mayhem"

2. Moon: Yet another sci-fi film about one guy stationed on the moon because we (earthlings) are harvesting fuel (or something extremely useful) from the moon. The movie was written and directed by Duncan Jones who is the son of David Bowie. I feel that this is relevant. It seems to make a lot of sense in some way that this movie with this look and feel would be the output of the progeny of David Bowie. This is not to say it's a glam or superficial movie even if the computer in it is extremely reminiscent of Hal in "2001: a Space Odyssey."
  • It was refreshing that this was a compelling movie that didn't go over the top. As the New Orleans Times-Picayune review puts it, "there's not one fiery explosion, not one transforming robot, not one spider from Mars. This is old-school sci-fi, a psychological thriller built on suspense, meaning and strong performances." The flip side is a review by the San Francisco Chronicle, which says, "The film has intelligence...But 'Moon' is boring. Agonizingly, deadeningly, coma-inducingly, they-could-bury-you-alive-accidentally boring."
I side more with the Times-Picayune.

Interestingly, both of these movies are connected by the sinister big corporations and corporatism that is ever-present.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Edward Gorey fascinates me, well his art mostly. His art is sinister, whimsical and, at times, absurd - awesome. There is so much to say about Gorey his work can be abstract and confusing or slightly pornographic or adorable and satisfied...depending on which book you find. As a person, he was an odd, alone, fur-wearing man that I am unsure of.

Here are some examples of his work:

This is Gorey with cats:

So odd.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sure, I could be doing more useful

But instead I find stuff on the interwebs that amuses me and brings cheer to the blah life. Today I have found the Epic Win site. It isn't amazing but there are a few chuckles to be had. These are two of my favorites:

"Ice Cube"
Building error
Yep, that's what I have.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bent Object

I looove this Bent Object stuff! Most of it takes me off guard and actually laugh out loud. Sure, some of it is silly and cutesy but it can be saucy. I'm not afraid to admit it - I like silly and I like cute. But I also enjoy wit above all. I hope you visit the web site and enjoy it and I hope you enjoy my saucy selections..

This one is called "deflowered"...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Julia's Hurt Locker Hangover

I'm not sure what draws me to movies. I know that I'm drawn to movies more than TV because of my addictive personality. I mean I watched four TV shows (the entire series) between 2000 and 2009. Each one of the showsI devoured quickly. My life tends to go by the wayside as I spend hours each evening in front of the tube watching one episode after another. Movies are different - there is a defined beginning and ending and it generally doesn't go longer than three hours. This is not to say that I look down on those who watch TV. On the contrary, it usually means they have something resembling self control.

So, this week I've watched three movies:

1. The Hurt Locker: My expectations were high going into this one because I had heard good but vague things. It certainly was intense and covered a facet of modern war that isn't usually touched upon - teams that are called in to handle IED (improvised explosive devices). David Denby of the New Yorker says, "The specialized nature of the subject is part of what makes it so powerful, and perhaps American audiences worn out by the mixed emotions of frustration and repugnance inspired by the war can enjoy this film without ambivalence or guilt. 'The Hurt Locker' narrows the war to the existential confrontation of man and deadly threat." I agree with that, I was enthralled by the gear, the protocol and the technique of defusing these bombs.

2. The Hangover: I'm not trying to be uppity here but, I don't generally find that many "comedies" that funny. I went into this one expecting the typical one chuckle film but braced my self with a few glasses of wine. Life is all about expectations. I expected crap but got something not quite crap. There were definitely cliches in the movie (like the expected Las Vegas midnight marriage) but I did like the random chaos - e.g. crazed Asian guy jumping naked out of a trunk and the way the hotel room looked (not the tiger but the chicken, which was a nice touch).

3. Julie & Julia: No expectations going into this one actually. I found it to be a fun movie with interesting commentary on the perceived role of women in the fifties, personified by Julia Child looking for something to do with herself (should it be hat making or learning bridge?). Similarly, the modern theme of blogging and the struggle for success and how to define success in our modern world (for women or men). Both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams were compelling, Streep slightly more so.

Bon apetit!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


More art/artists I like! Hundertwasser is another one that I don't know how I found but as soon as I laid eyes on his work, I loved it. He was both an architect and an artist. Although I enjoy his paintings, I have been increasingly drawn to his other-worldly architecture.

This is one of Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s final creations, Waldspirale (Wooded Spiral). It was finished in 2000, a year after Hundertwasser died. And yes, this is a real residential apartment house with real people living in it.

Some other architecture examples of Hundertwasser

Interestingly, I have just discovered that his work has been compared to Gaudi's, which I profess a love of in our blog.

One web site indicates that, "The common themes in his work utilized bright colors, organic forms, a reconciliation of humans with nature, and a strong individualism, rejecting straight lines." This is appealing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Movies so far

An owl in flight:

Below are the movies I've seen so far in 2010. My reviews are brief because 1) I'm not a film critic 2) there are plenty of reviews available online and 3) I've provided links to reviews.

Broken Embraces: The latest Pedro Almodovar film and, I think, one of his best. I enjoyed the sensuality and intensity.

Up in the Air: Another movie I enjoyed. My mother didn't think it was funny at all but she doesn't and hasn't really ever worked outside the house and hasn't flown in an airplane in over 30 year. Much was lost on her. Of course, it wasn't all funny but the wee bit of tragedy really added some depth.

Three Monkeys: A foreign (Turkish) film that came with much recommendation - always a bad thing. Movies are inevitably not so good when someone really plays up the expectations. It certainly had intrigue and some excellent shots but maybe I'm too American or maybe I've seen too many fluffy American movies. It felt a bit too vague, a bit too sullen but sullenly inexplicable.

Sin Nombre: This is a tale of gang culture in Central America juxtaposed (and ultimately smushed together) with everyday folks trying to make it across the border into the US. The stories are compelling and the images stick with you.

Funny People: This Judd Apatow film is unlike 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked up, which is why I think I found some humor in it. It felt a bit more multi-faceted than some of his other efforts. I also appreciated the addition of Jason Schwartzman. I'm not saying it's great but I'm trying to get a bit more comedy into my film diet and this wasn't so bad.

Extract: I'm not a 100% on what I think of this one. It was pretty stupid but did have a few funny bits. That's all I have to say.

And today we saw The Book of Eli. This one is not good. Now maybe if they'd thrown in some zombies it would have redeemed the movie but no such luck. I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic material and I purposely didn't watch the trailer so that I wouldn't get too much info before the movie (some trailers just give it all away). Not a good strategy in this case.

Ok, that's the movie story for mid January 2010.

A cat kicking a dog's ass:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm drawn to whimsical art. I don't recall how I came across Annora Spence but I've had a small replica of one of her prints in my office for about five years. I mean it's clear that I'm drawn to animals and bicycles but the way she draws those items and how all the elements come together is...amusing.

She's an English artist that has apparently been influenced by traveling around Europe and in Asia.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Hey, guess what's going on here that's interesting? That's right - nothing. Today was just a normal day, which isn't necessarily bad. It went like this:
  • Wake up at 6:30 am
  • Breakfast (homemade smoothie, dry toast, black tea, water) and internet (thank you bloggers)
  • Shower and get ready stuff
  • Walk to work and listen to Slate Spoiler Special podcast on "Up in the Air" No matter how smooth Clooney is or how candy-coated they say it is, I think it was a perfect movie for our times. It hit on many elements of our modern lives, modern technology, modern relationships and the good and bad consequences of it all. It was smooth but not completely devoid of depth or tragedy.
  • Arrive at work and work...attend meeting and get peeved. Talk to co-worker and feel better. Continue to work.
  • Leave work and go to gym. Swear never to visit Karyn's desk for mini 3 musketeers again (Don't miss the *awesome* recipes at the web site).
  • Meet Sandy in the lobby. Catch the 20 bus.
  • Get off at Marczyk's. Purchase spicy hummus, an avocado, smokey chipotle chips, baguette and red wine.
  • Arrive home. Reheat chili. Eat chili with a Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout (provided by Tony E).
  • Purchase animal photo from etsy - Sharon Montrose.
  • Look at the interwebs until eyes bleed...
  • brush, floss, do 5 minutes of crossword puzzle and then sleep.
There you have it. Genevieve's Monday.

Oh, here is a Sharon Montrose example (but not the one I got):

Sunday, January 3, 2010

interesting creatures

This was making its way around the internet about a month or so ago and I bookmarked it to share with others. However, as time went by, I completely forgot about it but now that I've found it in my old email - here it is. An octopus was recently discovered using a coconut shell in some interesting ways. From National Geographic, "An octopus would dig up the two halves of a coconut shell, then use them as protective shielding when stopping in exposed areas or when resting in sediment."

There is another video and additional information on the National Geographic web site. Fascinating stuff. In another, not quite as interesting instance, an octopus became attached to a Mr. Potato Head.

Oh, on our recent trip to the southwest we discovered the "kissing bug" - luckily we didn't discover it first hand. These bugs are part of the assassin beetle family. Similar to mosquitoes they bite the skin (usually around the lips while the human is sleeping) while simultaneously injecting an anesthetic and an anti-coagulant. The bugs then poop and the poop usually enters the wound. This transmits a parasite to the victim.

The world is an amazing and scary place my friends.