NOT a Professional

Sometimes I’m glad I’m not a “professional” blogger, with sponsors to make happy and PR flacks to please and news releases about celebrities and products to flog. Sure, I’d like to write and read blogs for a living, but there are times when I think being a full-time blogger who relies on her blog for her livelihood would suck. The release of a movie like “Sex And the City 2” is one of those times.

See, if I was relying on this blog for my livelihood, I might have to publish stories that tie in with SATC2’s marketing campaign, like “How to Get Carrie’s Hair” or “Charlotte’s Perfect Makeup” or “Samantha’s Still-Active Va-Jay-Jay.” (OK, maybe not the last one.) That would kill me, because the Sex and the City franchise sucks in general, and this latest movie very specifically.

I haven’t even seen it. I don’t have to. I can smell that shit from miles away. I find the whole concept of it shallow and offensive. But just in case you don’t believe me, there are lots of honest reviews you can check out. Like this one. Or this, this, and this. Or, most hilariously, THIS, which is the best of all. (That last one, by Lindy West at The Stranger, is getting a lot of press and link love, so it may take a really long time to load.)

I used to watch SATC on HBO. The first few seasons were fun. By the last two or so, it was getting old, or maybe I was just growing up, because I didn’t find it compelling anymore. I think by the time the series finally gasped its last, everyone was pretty much ready to be done with it. Then they came out with the first movie, which I didn’t see until it was on cable. I was not impressed. It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t the kind of thing I’d get dressed and leave the house for either. I think we can all agree that a sequel was COMPLETELY unnecessary. Seriously. Come on.

The big problem with movies like SATC2, and similar fluff like “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” is their tone-deafness. The country is in a recession, for Christ’s sake. Some people have been unemployed for two years now, and everyone is making sacrifices. Somehow, watching two hours of shallow, logo-flogging, conspicuous consumption just doesn’t make me feel any better, and it seems to not be helpful to most other hard-working folks either. There was a lot of talk about how in the Great Depression, Hollywood produced lots of lavish musicals and entertainment designed to help people “forget their problems” and “escape into a dream world.” But I don’t think it works anymore. We’ve moved on as a society, and most of us can’t relate, and don’t WANT to relate, to the shallow old hags of Sex and the City.

Overdue Update

I just said to my co-worker the other day, “I blog, yeah. I blog all the time!” So of course I ended up not blogging for over a week. Doh! Why?

– Work has been kicking my ass. I’m on a tight schedule trying to finish running about 500 test cases and my project manager keeps asking me if I think I’ll be done early. EARLY!

– I haven’t been feeling so good with the weird weather patterns here. My sinuses are just killing me. Also, nosebleed every morning = total drag.

– The few things I have felt passionate enough about to actually maybe turn into a blog post are just too controversial. I have kind of learned the hard way that it’s best for me NOT to blog about politics and stuff like that. I just shouldn’t go there. Ever. (Of course, I probably will again, at some point. Just not now.)

Anyway, Friday I actually stayed home sick. OMG I felt like hell! While I was at home, completely out of it, I watched a few things on TV.

Role Models (2008): surprisingly funny. I like Paul Rudd in snarky mode. Also has Jane Lynch, so what’s not to like? It was juvenile and preposterous, sure, but still pretty good. The whole plot about the kid who’s into the LARP game was especially funny to me, because last year I watched that documentary Darkon, so I know that these people really exist and really are that hilariously intense!

Paranoid Park (2007): haunting. Gus Van Sant really knows how to fuck with your head, you know? Reminded me a little bit of Brick because of the setting, but it’s much more realistic and, ultimately, depressing.

Zombiemania (2008): a documentary about the zombie sub-genre of horror films, featuring interviews with George Romero, Tom Savini, Max Brooks, Boyd Banks, and others. Not bad, really. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t address the European zombie films (Fulci, etc.) at all. Maybe they couldn’t get clearances. But in any case, it was somewhat entertaining (especially the Max Brooks stuff) and it’s always nice to hear everyone involved in zombie films give so much credit to Romero (especially since he hasn’t made nearly the money he should have off the genre he basically invented).

I think I watched more stuff, but I was really out of it and I don’t remember now.

Before I sign off and head up to do even more laundry on a lovely Sunday afternoon, let me just say a few things about Project Runway. There’s a lot of talk about this season being somehow “boring” or less exciting than the previous seasons. I don’t necessarily buy that. I think people WANT to believe that just because the show is on Lifetime now, and not Bravo. Whatever. I do think it’s a problem that the judging has been so inconsistent, and has led to some really ridiculous things happening, like Epperson and Ra’mon getting sent home while useless hacks like Logan, Christopher, and Nicolas hang in there for so long (bye bye, Nicolas!). The show worked better for everyone when it was Heidi-Michael-Nina plus a guest judge every week.

As far as a favorite, right now I don’t have one. But I’ll tell you this: if Irina gets to go to the final four or whatever, I will be PISSED. Because she is SUCH A CLASSLESS TOAD. Have you ever heard anyone shit talk so much about so many people, with (apparently) no consequences? She never, ever has anything nice to say about anyone else, and it just shows a lack of tact, class, and maturity. It’s one thing to be confident in your own work, nothing wrong with that. But it’s really lame to do nothing but criticize everyone else’s. I wonder, can she really be that clueless? Or are they only showing us her interview clips that criticize – maybe the producers have set her up to be the wicket witch of the season? Whatever – if that’s the case, she’s certainly given them plenty of material to work with!

And, to finish, let me just say: whatever. Because I noticed I’ve used that word a lot today and I think a few more would help. WHATEVER.

Short Reviews, Way Too Late

What’s with that title? What I mean is, these are reviews of  movies, that I see on cable; because I am a parent who doesn’t know any babysitters and therefore almost never goes to the movie theater anymore. I look back fondly on the days when I was single, and went every week, alone – sometimes twice a week! Or even after I got married, and we went a few times a month. No more. At least not until the kiddo gets older, I guess. So that means most of the movies I see nowadays are long after their theatrical release, and therefore “way too late.” Although I suppose you could use my opinion (if it matters) to help build your Netflix queue. 😉

(By the way, these might be considered slightly spoiler-y. Nothing major.)

Lars and the Real Girl (2007): Not what I expected. Remember when that company first started selling “Real Dolls,” realistic sex dolls that weigh something like 100 pounds and cost thousands of dollars? (I vividly remember when one was delivered to Howard Stern’s studio, they showed it on the E! show.) The titular character orders a similar doll, and treats it like it’s a real person. Sounds pervy, no? But actually, Lars seems to be operating under the delusion that “Bianca” is real. To support him, his family goes along with it, along with his doctor, his co-workers, and eventually the whole community. Actually a very touching film – there’s nothing overtly sexual about Lars’s relationship with the doll, and the lengths his friends and family go to in order to protect his feelings are surprisingly sweet. Strong performances by Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, and Paul Schneider. “Thumbs up.”

Iron Man (2008): Yep, I just saw this On Demand. How pathetic am I, that I didn’t even manage to get to the theater to see one of last summer’s biggest blockbusters? Oh well. I’d heard it was good, and I really like Robert Downey Jr., so I had high expectations for this and I wasn’t disappointed. A very good movie for the genre. Yes, there are ridiculous leaps of faith and logic and you have to be willing to suspend disbelief. But if you couldn’t handle that, you wouldn’t be watching a superhero movie, right? Anyway, Downey is great, and Gwyneth Paltrow was pretty good too, though she really wasn’t in it as much as I thought she’d be. Jeff Bridges is a caricature of evil as the villain, and overacts accordingly. I thought the weak link in many ways was Terrence Howard as Tony Stark’s friend, Rhodey, who just happens to be a military mucky-muck with the ability to call off national defense at will, but whatever. Overall a pretty good way to entertain yourself for two hours, and that suit is just too freaking cool. “Thumbs up.”

Howards End (1992): This is a cheat, because I’ve seen this movie at least a dozen times. I LOVE IT. It was recently running on some of our cable channels again and I saw it a few more times. Terrific movie, outstanding cast, beautifully shot, etc. I’ve recently been reading the book and find that the film is a very nice adaptation – perfectly tightened up but faithful to the source material. If you have never seen this YOU MUST. “Thumbs WAY up.”

WALL-E (2008): I resisted watching this for a while but finally gave in. For some reason I thought the biting but subtle commentary on consumerism would make me depressed, but the film is ultimately uplifting and the imagery is gorgeous. Best part: we can watch this on the big TV and my daughter doesn’t complain, because she loves it too (especially EVE). One day she started talking about “Wally,” all kinds of Wally this and Wally that, and I was thinking “Who the heck is Wally? There’s not a kid at school named Wally.” Then it finally dawned on me that she was talking about WALL-E. Der. “Thumbs up.”

I tried hard to think of something I’ve watched recently that I didn’t like, and I couldn’t come up with anything. The thing is, I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies. The last time I really spent a lot of time watching movies and DVDs was earlier this year, when I hurt my back and I couldn’t sit up or walk, so I was laying down a lot with plenty of time on my hands. Otherwise, I watch a movie here and there when I can’t sleep or I’m tired of staring at my computer. I’m also finding that anymore, if I don’t like something, I just turn it off. Problem solved!

Quick Updates

– Went for my facial today, but ended up not having a facial or peel. Instead, I had a long consultation (free!) and got recommendations for both skincare and some dietary supplements. The short version: peeling and flaking is most likely due to the retin-a, so I’m going to discontinue it for a while. Simplifying my routine in general, trying a new night cream, and going to start taking some probiotics and enzymes. Then I’ll probably go back in a few months and have a salicylic acid peel.

– I think I’m coming down with something, which is a real drag, but maybe I’m just tired. Fell asleep on the couch tonight while Bean was watching “Dora” and didn’t wake up until the end of “Backyardigans.” Not a bad coping strategy for pre-school TV, actually!

– This weekend I’m definitely going to blog about the artwork I finally put up in the master bedroom, as well as the wall decals I used in Bean’s room.

– New True Blood on Sunday night! Yay! The only things I’m actively watching on TV right now are True Blood and Hung on HBO, and Nurse Jackie on Showtime. True Blood is purely trashy fun; I’ve blogged about my love for Nurse Jackie before; but Hung is a new revelation. Like NJ, it’s only a half hour, but there’s a lot of entertainment packed into those 30 minutes (insert your own big penis joke here). Thomas Jane is great. Check it out!

– And finally, new Harry Potter movie! Wanna see it! But don’t know when I can! Bummer.