Friday, July 30, 2010

Grumpy Haiku Friday

Woke up on the wrong
side of the bed this morning
Feel full of anger.


I don't understand
how nobody else knows how
anything works here.


Lost reagents, dumb
questions, irritated to no
end. Ready for home.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Up in the Air

Sometimes you watch a movie and it really reminds you of how lucky you are to live the life you live. Such was the feeling I got after watching Up in the Air this past weekend. This movie spoke to me on so many levels I'm not sure I can even describe it. The movie was just so right, I can't emphasize it enough. From the opening shots of the ground from the air to the scenes of going through security, sitting in a lounge, waiting for the plane, renting the car, etc. It was all so much a description of my experiences travelling, it was eerie. Truthfully, this movie was very sad. As always, George Clooney is an amazing actor, portraying, essentially, some sort of version of himself, I assume. The eternal bachelor, with no place to call home, loving the fact that he travels everywhere and nothing (and no one) to tie himself down. Of course, his view of the world is challenged by a younger co-worker and a woman he meets "on the road". He gets to see his life, and subsequently the things that he does to other people, from a different perspective, and eventually gets what's coming to him (karma's a bitch, right?). I loved this movie for a number of different reasons. I started out working in "Corporate America" and left my job to come back to school. I have never regretted that decision, and this movie somehow reinforced that. I loved that Clooney's character was being honored for his "loyalty" to one airline, while his job required him to be hired by managers who were not loyal enough to their employees to fire them themselves. I thought his motivational speeches were so great - this is the bullshit they feed you in the corporate world - forsake everything, sacrifice your life, give up your family and friends, and work your fingers to the bone. All for what? To be fired by some asshole hired by your company to fire you. I loved the character played by Anna Kendrick. She was such an honest character, a grad of Cornell, coming in with new ideas, trying to be as professional and as astute as her older co-workers, but yet failing. And failing (and flailing) so honestly. As young women in the corporate world, we are expected to have it all and keep it all together, and not show any cracks or weaknesses which people might perceive as our inability to do our job. Kendrick's character makes some mistakes that we've all made, is beautifully acted, and is such a wonderful combination of the motivated, dedicated young worked, and yet the dreamy romantic. I have to say I loved this movie because it reminded me that I don't work in corporate America, I have made some of the mistakes that Clooney and the other characters have made, but I've survived them, and I'm on a path for a pretty rad life that I love mostly every minute. This movie made me appreciate that, which, I must admit, is a pretty powerful thing.
PS: for another viewpoint on this movie, head over to Randi's blog, where, apparently, our similar taste in movies is diverging right now :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Haiku Friday

First the hot hot heat
then the humidity makes
bike riding not fun.


Sweating and red face
looking good, let me tell you
I get lots of stares.


Storming the Bastille
tomorrow, then its pack pack
head home to catch up.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Princess and the Frog

I was pretty sure I was going to love this movie, and guess what? I did. I loved the music, I loved the characters, I loved the accents, I loved the animation, the artistic interpretations of New Orleans, the Bayou, etc. I loved it all. I loved that Disney finally made a strong female character (a strong black woman nonetheless) who works hard for her dreams, instead of waiting around, changing her whole life, just to nab "Prince Charming". I didn't really love the Prince in this movie, but I think that's OK. I do however, think this movie might be a bit frightening for the wee ones. The voodoo was a little intense and scary, but I loved it. The animation was beautiful and amazing, and it really reminded me of the old Disney movies I loved as a kid. This "princess"? I'm OK with little girls looking up to her!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

I have to admit, I've given up on Book Club. It was great for a while, but just not cohesive enough for me. I may, however, continue to check out the books they are reading, since most of them have been really good. The title of this book is super lame (it's the name of one of the chapters in the book) so that kinda put me off it for a while. But once I picked it up, I loved it. Sudhir is a sociology graduate student at the Univ. of Chicago, living in the "nice" part of the city. He decides that he wants to study gangs and gang life (and essentially urban poverty), but not from the sterile, isolated environment of academics. He decides to somewhat infiltrate a gang to see how they work from the inside. He literally walks into the projects, asks who's in charge, and is lucky enough to meet up with s sympathetic gang leader who takes him under his wings. His narrative is written in this naive voice, as in "I had no idea these people carry guns", but he ends up being somewhat non-judgmental, which works well. To a certain extent, there were a lot of things that surprised me about gang life. For example, the gang is run like a corporation. The guys selling stuff on the streets are the lowly worker bees, while the actual gang leaders live in luxury, usually somewhere in the suburbs (ironic, isn't it?). So all those arrests for possession of drugs with intent to distribute essentially do nothing to stop drug dealing, since some kid will come along and do that job again. Another interesting thing is that there are areas were the police are not in charge. I guess I kinda knew this, but once I saw it written down, I thought about it more. When I'm in trouble, or I need help, I call the police and they will come help me. But apparently, there are some place where they won't respond, or they have too few patrols to actually do anything. I remember being somewhat shocked when Kanye West said "George Bush hates black people" on the Katrina Help program. But now, I kinda believe it. And, really, it's pretty sad. This book gave me a new perspective on gangs, poverty, urban life, and black people (is that OK?). Read it, it's phenomenal.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I love this show. I am addicted. I fully admit this. It's been so hot and humid this week, I've been having trouble sleeping. So, I get up, head to the computer, and turn on Weeds. (thank god for netflix instant viewing). This show is so well made, I just can't stop thinking about it. The first season starts off with Nancy Botwin and her two sons, Silas and Shane, trying to recover after her husband dies suddenly. The kids are totally screwed up, and Nancy (clearly) doesn't have any sort of job or skill set, so she sets out to sell pot to all the suburban people who live in the neighborhood. The portrayal of suburbia, specifically Agrestic, their fictional, San Fernando Valley-esque housing development is phenomenal. Elizabeth Perkins is such a bitch you love to hate her. The lost brother in law, Andy is amazing. The kids are so good, and Mary Louise Parker....well, wow. I just don't know what to say about her. This show makes me think a lot. The acting is so good, I think it's spoiled me for network television. The characters are so well portrayed you both know what they're thinking/feeling and you don't know what they're thinking/feeling. They're both normal, and so far from normal you can't identify. I cannot say enough good things about this show. I am pretty sure I will be purchasing the episodes on the interwebs as they come out. And I never do that...