Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Serious Bore is More Like It

Ok. Is anyone else really annoyed by artsy movies that have deep themes and symbolism but no apparent storyline crux or point? I watched A Serious Man with the BF last night and at first my intrest was piqued. The characters seemed interesting, the setting was in a different period (the '60s) and it was visually stimulating. But lo, I should have resorted to my past experiences of the initial piqued interest being followed by confusion, frustration, and ultimately boredom. I should realize this to be a telltale sign of a bad movie. Seriously (no pun intended). Even the English Major in me couldn't catch on to what the hell was going on. Ok, so the main dude has a son who is causing trouble at school, and his wife is leaving him, and his brother is a mooch and is sleeping on the couch, and he's having issues with a certain student at his school. Ok. Cool. What's going to happen? Is the son going ultimately get caught for his shenanigans? Is his wife eventually going to get a freaking divorce already? Is his brother going to turn out to find the meaning of a mathematical mystery? Is the student going to cause enough trouble to get the main character fired? IS ANYTHING GOING TO HAPPEN!?!??!

Apparently, no. Everything just keeps going and going and going and going. I'm assuming they were going for some sort of Naturalism from how detailed everything was. Too bad Naturalism is stupid and was only cool a hundred years ago.

Anyway, I looked up some reviews of this movie because I'm pretty sure I heard about it being awesome in the media. Lo and behold all movie critics are wetting their pants about how "mature and engrossing" it is. How it "conveys a vivid sense of time and place" (Naturalism at its best). How it has a "pervasive sense of unease" (yeah, because I'm wasting my time waiting for something that's not going to happen, happen). Really, the critics who are sucking up to the Coen brothers so they sound smart and fancy what with their oh so accurate eye for art and themes and camera shots are just as annoying, if not more so, than the movie itself.

The BF and I luckily realized how boring and lame this pointless movie was only about 45 minutes in and shut it off so we could take a look at the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Oh I'm sure there was tons of religious symbolism and relationship themes that I just glossed over, but guess what. I'm either not smart enough to understand the deep philosophical struggles of this boring man, or the Cohen brothers are out of ideas for decent story plots.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Numbers Letters and Colors Oh My!

So lately I've been listening to this great show called Radio Lab out of New York City. It's great because they analyze all this crazy scientific stuff that happens in the world whether it be about animals, humans, space, or whatever. It's a good way to pass the time as I ever so patiently wait to start my new position the week after next.

Anyway, I was just listening to this crazy episode about pushing the human body to its limits both physically and mentally. There was this whole story about these women who did the Ironman competition and how they literally have to crawl to the finish line at the end because their bodies are so exhausted and then there's the story about a dude who can remember all this crazy shit. They said that he has this condition called synaesthesia, which is some weird thing that happens when your brain is developing and you get your senses mixed up. So this dude has this incredible memory because he's somehow subconsciously assigned music, smells, colors and whatnot to numbers and letters and words and things. It's crazy! Then I realized that I probably don't, but maybe I do have a slight case of synaesthesia! Hell, I'm going to say I do because...

Ever since I can remember I've assigned a color to each digit 1-10 and a gender, male or female (and one hermaphrodite, no I'm not kidding), for each letter of the alphabet. Have I shared this before on LJ? I know not (my memory isn't that good). But I will share this now! It goes like this:

1 is white, 2 is yellow, 3 is green, 4 is dark red, 5 is light blue, 6 is tough; either a darker yellow or a fushia, 7 is green, 8 is dark blue, 9 is dark purple, 10 is white.

As for the alphabet, most letters are male. But there are a few females who consist of A, K, P, Q, R, V, and Y. X is the hermaphrodite. I think of it as predominately male with a few female characteristics. It's kind of like the number 6.

Sure I could just be making this up on the fly, but I'm not! This has been with me forever! For instance, I remember being cast in a play about the alphabet when I was a wee little 1st grader as the letter C. THE LETTER C?!?! But that's a boy! I remember being disappointed. I tried so hard to change the letter C from boy to girl in my mind, but it never stuck and therefore it was my first and only male role.

When I was 2 1/2 years old I moved into what was the house that I spent my childhood in. I remember happening upon a cat. In my little toddler mind, all dogs were male, all cats were female. It's how it was no matter what my mom or dad told me otherwise. I named the cat Kate because the letter K was so obviously a girl letter to me, Kate seemed to be the pefect fit. Of course the cat was male, and that's why I now talk about my childhood and my "man cat named Kate".

Oh and I've always had this weird relationship drama going on with the numbers as well. Since 4, 6, and 9 are girls they've been real bitches to each other. See 4 is in love with 8, and 8 likes 4 enough, but 6 has always been edging her way in to where she doesn't belong even though she should totally be with 7. 9 has this weird cougar power over 8 (even though she's totally with 10) and seduces him all the time and meanwhile poor 5 is so in love with 4 but hasn't got the guts to tell her about it. 3 is kind of dumb, 2 is smarter than average, and 1 is, I guess as the song goes, the lonliest.

I've told friends about this in the past and have gotten the impression that I'm kind of weird, but this radio show has verified it for me. I'm not weird, I'm brilliant!! Ok, maybe not brilliant since my memory for stuff is so-so. Although I must say I used to have a hell of a talent for remembering when people's birthdays are. Now I just have facebook. Facebook is blue. Just like the numbers 5 and 8... and January. But we won't get into the months.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things That Are and Aren't the Bees Knees

You know this apple cinnamon variety of instant oatmeal is really hitting the spot for me this Tuesday morning. It's all hot and gooey with little bursts of apples surprising me here and there. Just puts a smile on my face if you ask me. A smile on my face and satisfaction in my bellly. Mmm mmm mmm. Instant oatmeal, you really are the bees knees.

You know what is not the bees knees? My car breaking down on the side of the road on Saturday night--err should I say Sunday morning. I knew something was amiss before I even left Maple Grove as my battery light was on. No. It wasn't just on. It was flickering. Obviously it was just a weird short in my car, since the light flickered with every pothole and bump my car ran over. Sure the only other time I've seen my battery light on was that one time my serpentine belt broke with T-Gro in tow on the way back from Bemidji a few years back, but that problem has been fixed. If it's not the serpentine belt, then it's nothing. It is easy to ignore things like this. You're supposed to watch the road when you're driving anyway.

But then the sun set and I noticed that my lit up dash looked not as lit up as it had in the past. I thought perhaps instead of my car failing me, it was just my eyes. I am in need of new contacts anyway. Obviously my eyes are worse off than my 1997 Mercury Sable with 175000 miles on it. Obviously the orbs I rely on for sight day in and day out are more likely to fail me than the hunk of steel I bought three years ago for $1000. Obviously that battery light and seemingly dimmer dash mean nothing is wrong with my car at all.

And as I found out on the way home after a night of karoaking with Kerin, it was obvious that my ABS system was having trouble, my gas was low (even though I had filled up earlier that day), and that my spedometer was having issues that are described as telling me that I was going about 0 miles and hour as I sped down the highway. Obviously all these things were not warning signs that my car was indeed failing right before my failing eyes. I refused to believe that I was about to stall on the side of the highway at 3:30 in the morning. As I suddenly felt myself slowing down, as I suddenly lost my power steering (which breifly brought me back to my '92 Topaz days in college) I pulled, no, cranked over to the side of the road a mere four miles away from home. My drunk passenger, aka boyfriend, awoke from his slumber confused at the situation at hand. I breathed hard and started crying, because as a girl, that is all I know how to do in this sort of a situation.

After some drunk frustation and an attempt of coaxing me down from my panic attack, my boyfriend suggested I try starting my car. I turned the key and it "roared" to life. I made it up the exit ramp and around the corner only to crank my slowing car over to the side of the road. 3 miles from home, but at least no longer on the highway. I'd like to continue this story with intervals of my car dying, and then me successfully restarting it for every mile of the trip we had left. What a clever and cute and happy ending we'd all have if that had actually happened. But here's the thing: Outside of the brilliance of apple cinnamon oatmeal, life is never quaint and clever like that. My car was dead on the side of the road. The culprit, a bad alternator. And here I thought my car ran on gas. Hilarious.

After 45 minutes of frantic phone calls, Ryan had signed up for a new AAA membership and we were being towed home by a very high tech truck complete with a camera that allowed the mildly retarded driver to hook my car up with ease and agility. He took the corners fast on the way home and all I could hope for was that the bottle of wine in my back seat would end up in one piece. It did. That was about the happiest of endings I could have wished for.

So anyway, I'm out of a car. I can't really afford a new alternator at this point in time and there are things called mass transit and bikes that get me around just fine for now. I'm not going to sweat it. Although what I am going to do is listen to the Savage Love podcast on my ipod because it is brilliant and raunchy and passes the time at my currently boring job. It is also the bees knees.