Archive for December, 2008



December 27, 2008

Because action movies are so easy to watch any time, they’re usually what I choose. This week it was Wanted and Hellboy 2.

Wanted was awful. I was really excited about this movie when I first saw its trailer. And then when it came out, people gave it terrible reviews. The plot was lacking; a loom that weaves names of bad guys out of fate? Really? The special effects were a bit overdone. Curving bullets, having them collide in mid-air, and the slow motion is all cool, but not time after time.

Hellboy 2 was surprisingly good. I don’t know anything about Hellboy comics and I don’t really like Selma Blair. However, the movie had tons of action, likable characters, and a plot that worked. The idea of Hellboy and company being more like the enemies than humans could have added a lot more to the story. I still think it was a good stand-alone movie, and even could set up for a third.



December 26, 2008

The holiday season is the one time of year my whole family comes together now that three of us are at college or working. So even though we never do anything special, it’s nice just to sit at home with the rest of the family. We had a nice big dinner of chicken, roast beef, and shrimp. For sides we had perogies, twice-baked potatoes, and that green bean casserole that is typical Midwest. Dessert was apple pie, pecan pie, and cheesecake with cherries. As far as presents, I got a lot of good stuff: jewelry, tights, a robe, a GPS system, and a new baking set.

This morning I went to the mall very early (the brother had wisdom teeth surgery at 8:30am and I had to give him a ride). I made some exchanges at the Gap. I have been pleasantly surprised by Gap’s clothes this season. A lot is stuff I would never wear, but there’s a bunch that looks better than it has in the last few years. Because it was so early, the mall was surprisingly calm even though there were tons of sales. I will have to remember to do shopping early in the morning next time.


film bits.

December 14, 2008

My movie watching is slowly increasing again. Last week I watched Wall-E, Gone Baby Gone, and Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton. This weekend, it was Helvetica and Brick.

Wall-E was cute. Unfortunately, other than “cute”, I don’t have much more to say about it. The plot was entertaining, and the characters amusing. The only thing that really stood out was  that it seemed to have significantly more shots of landscape and background than most animated movies.

I also have very little to say about Gone Baby Gone. Many times, I was confused, and the plot seemed disjointed. But in the end, it all came together well enough. I usually like mystery movies, but having a weirdly sectioned plot made it harder to follow and get into.

Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton was extremely disappointing to me. It was somewhat entertaining to look at the fashion designer as an artist, but it was lacking any real pull. Since the movie seemed to impress the fact that so few cameras have looked into Marc Jacobs work, I expected something more.

Helvetica I’ve seen a couple times already, and still like it. It’s amazing to me how these designers and typographers feel so strongly about type when everyone else hardly notices it, and how this one font, which seems so plain, isn’t really plain at all.

Brick was entertaining and is one of the most likable movies I’ve seen in a while. I had started watching it about a year ago, and never finished. It was an interesting attempt to combine classic film noir (like The Maltese Falcon) with the modern setting of high school. This made for crazy dialogue that made it extremely difficult to really know what any one character was saying, but it also was the best part of the movie.


small world.

December 10, 2008

The other day I was talking to someone at the first Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Conference, and I mentioned I’m from Milwaukee. Turns out, he had lived in the same suburb, and even on the same street, as I did. Personally, I always get excited to meet someone from my hometown because it happens so rarely, although, living in Madison has really increased my chances.  Even more surprising, this man had two children about my age, who had gone to elementary school with me. I don’t have the best memory for people, especially people who I haven’t seen in 11 years, so I was very pleased that I recognized their names. Apparently, the older son has a successful rock band, Locksley, based out of New York. Just a crazy coincidence that the one person I talk to actually has a distant connection to me.


hubbard avenue diner.

December 8, 2008

The new brunch place this week was Hubbard Avenue Diner in Middleton, WI. Reviews for it online were good and a friend recommended it to me as well. It had a nice diner atmosphere (with booths and a counter), and even though it was packed, it didn’t feel crowded. Also, the ability to have a cup of coffee while waiting for a table was a huge positive.

I had the morning scrambler, which had spinach, feta, tomatoes and onions, and came with hash browns and a biscuit. Everything was delicious. The hash browns were not as good as the potatoes at Marigold, but the scrambler had lots of everything in it.

Lastly, the pies, which Hubbard is famous for, were pretty amazing. Since I was dining with two friends, I got to try three different pies – caramel apple walnut, duo of silk, and after dinner mint. All three were huge and delicious. Definitely worth getting to go since I would never be able to eat one after eating a meal.


new moon.

December 7, 2008

The second book, New Moon, in the Twilight series was, as expected, not as good as the first. The major problem I had with the first book – Bella being an annoying main character – continued to an even greater extent. I think a book aimed only at teenage girls should have a heroine who would be a bit more empowering. I can handle the fact that she’s always the damsel in distress because vampires and werewolves have fewer dangers than humans. But, Bella is continually thinking she’s not pretty enough for Edward (who isn’t even humanly beautiful) or that Edward will leave her, even after it’s clear he’s madly in love with her. Insecurity is not nearly as attractive in real life. I also expected to see a stronger side of Bella because Edward wasn’t as involved in the plot. Instead, she falls into a depressive coma for six months(!), until she finds a new boyfriend. Way to teach girls that having a boyfriend is the only way to be happy.

Bella’s bout of depression brings out the ridiculousness of the obsessive, unconditional love that drives the whole plot. True, there would be no story without that theme. However, when every conversation is “I’m going to die without you”, it gets a little sickening and a little bit desperate. Also, Bella is apparently against getting married to Edward because she’s only 18. Given that she can’t live or function without him and is willing to spend eternity as a vampire with him, why wouldn’t she want to marry him? That’s just ridiculous.