Monday, March 02, 2009

As if I'd ever really consider gnomes "optional"

I've realized that ever since I started a blog, I almost never write in a private journal anymore. It's just as well, I suppose, because when I page back through the journals I've kept over the years, I find that nearly the only thing I ever wrote about was this boy or that boy and the sorts of emotional roller coasters each one put me through. It's valid in some way to get that out, I suppose. Perhaps it does help to make sense of things a bit, or if not that, at least to purge thoughts from such a place of immediacy in my head. And while it makes me feel like a vapid high schooler, I do think I'm probably not alone. I remember Liz Gilbert writing in Eat Pray Love about Cambodian refugees, who talked to the therapists they met with not about torture or starvation, but about relationships and lost loves. "This is what we are like," Gilbert said. "Collectively, as a species, this is our emotional landscape.... There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? and Who's in charge? Everything else is somehow manageable."

Right now the only things I feel compelled to write about are things best kept to a personal journal, rather than one that anyone on the Internets can see. It's not even about privacy so much as about committing thoughts to finality. Typing something in a public forum makes it so; it's harder to change my mind the next day. The problem is, I don't even want to waste the pages of a private journal on the mess that's in my head, because the things I need to write about are things I already filled a full journal with eight years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I suppose.

I hate when people vague-blog, so I'll stop that soon. My point, it seems, is I got nothin'. Or, nothing I'm ready to type about here just now.

Meanwhile, then, let's talk about books and movies, shall we? (Answer: we shall. What, you thought you had a say in this? Ha ha.)

Perhaps my favorite thing about a beach vacation is the luxury of spending essentially an entire day doing nothing except lounging in a chair reading a book. Yes, yes, I know I could do this at home as well; it's certainly not as if I do anything more productive than that every Saturday of my life. The point is, I don't do that. Instead, my reading is typically relegated to a half hour or less before bed, which is why it takes me a month or more to finish nearly any book I start. (Yes, even crazy Mormon teenaged vampire books. Which I am finally DONE with, by the way!) Not so with vacation reads, though! When I was in Mexico last week, I had the luxury of plowing through Who By Fire in its entirety in a day and a half, which is exactly how Lara (who originally told me about this book) would have wanted me to read it. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a highlighter or my Post-it flags to the beach chair, so while there were several passages I had to stop and read twice, pondering why I've never crafted a sentence quite so spot-on or beautiful, I can't actually share any of those passages with you right now. In fact, I don't think I'll even try to summarize just what it's about or why I enjoyed it, as Lara already covered that in her initial review and her follow-up interview with the author. That's right. Lara totally takes the train into The City and has wine with authors like it's no big whoop whatsoever. Then again, I have had wine with Lara. It is a good time, if you ask me. Who wouldn't want in on that? Anyway, thumbs up on Who By Fire is what I'm saying. Even though I'm saying it three months after this book made the rounds in the blog neighborhood.

While I'm recycling other people's reviews in place of my own, how about I let Metalia tell you what she thought of Revolutionary Road? It's fair, you see, because she covered pretty much every single comment my friends and I made over wine after our budget theater viewing of it last night, as well as a few comments we didn't. (Vinnie Delpino was in it? Really?? How did I miss that??)

Revolutionary Road was one of three movies I saw this weekend, actually, and while I didn't hate it, I can't decide if it was my least or second-least favorite of the three. It's a toss-up between that one and Lovely and Amazing, which Netflix assured me I would enjoy but which had me rolling my eyes and yelling at the TV for nearly the full hour and a half. Rotten Tomatoes' 85% "Fresh" rating will have you believe it is a "finely observed comedy," but I found very little to laugh at throughout. They also say it is a "smart and perceptive female character study," but I'd rather not study those particular characters. If I wanted to watch insecure, self-sabotaging women drive every person in their lives away from them, I would watch... Hmm... Actually, I don't know what I would watch. No one I know in real life actually lives their life as a constant stereotype of everything that is wrong with the way women interact with men (and with each other). Exactly where do these stereotypes come from, again?

And that brings us to Wristcutters: A Love Story, which was a strange bright spot by comparison, given that it's actually about an alternate universe inhabited solely by people who've killed themselves. (Cheery stuff, no? Maybe I'm not in a funk about some silly boy. Maybe it's my weekend's movie viewing I have to blame!) Anyway, it starred Patrick Fugit, who you probably remember from Almost Famous, and who was almost likable enough to make me forget I sort of hate Shannyn Sossamon. (All right; maybe I don't actually hate her. Maybe I just hate the impossible-to-remember way she spells her name and the fact that she named her son Audio Science. Yes, really.)

Except wait! I nearly forgot! I actually watched four movies this weekend. Saturday was the latest in the series of "Foreign Movie Night" gatherings my girlfriends and I have begun as a way to pretend we are getting some culture in lieu of forming a book club. (The real point of a book club is just to chat and drink wine, right? We decided we can do that just as easily at a foreign film night without any requisite prep work first.) Anyway, this month we decided to pull out a familiar favorite and re-watch Amelie. I'm sure you've likely all see it, but I nearly forgot how charming that film is. It is even more charming when you preface it with brie and prosciutto on baguettes and cheese-filled, berry-topped crepes. And more charming still when you bring your very own garden gnome as a centerpiece to set the scene for the evening. In fact, I recommend you re-watch Amelie at your earliest convenience, crepes and gnome optional.


steve said...

I just saw Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk which, I think, is excellent. Well worth the 20 minutes.

(Also, she's incredibly attractive.)

3carnations said...

I watched merely one movie this weekend. Pi: Faith in Chaos. I'm not sure I recommend it. The movie was okay, except for frequent screeching sequences.

nancypearlwannabe said...

When you don't want to throw it up online and don't want to write it in a personal journal, that's when you email it to your friends so they can commiserate and also bash said stupid boy.

lizgwiz said...

Foreign Movie Night sounds way fun! Maybe I should add one of those to my readers club/cat lady lunch/drunken potluck/nensa meeting monthly rotation. Gotta make your own fun, right? Heh.

Boys are stupid. And they don't get any smarter when they are "older men."

NGS said...

Huh. I guess the fact that I read at least two books a week is because I rarely even make it through one movie a week, let alone four?!

Jess said...

Amelie! I own it but haven't seen it in years. Must rectify!

Lara said...

I'm with NPW! Email it to your friends!

Also, I love you, Stefanie. I wish we could have wine again. Like tonight. Or, hell, right now.

Courtney said...

Oh, Amelie is one of my favorites.

I've been inexplicably sucked in by the Ridiculous Teenage Vampire Books (even though I know they're silly, I CANNOT PUT THEM DOWN) and so I think I'm cutting myself off from them for a while. Perhaps I'll try this Who By Fire you liked so much.

Boys are somehow both dumb and confusing. But when you're ready to share, we'll be ready to commiserate.

Mickey said...

I find vague blogging annoying, as well.

And thank you for planting the idea of those "Mormon teenaged vampire books" in Courtney's head (you were one of several.) Now she's got all of them lined up on the shelf.

On the plus side, it gives me something to laugh at her about on a nightly basis.

Stefanie said...

Steve--I'll have to check that out when I have 20 minutes to spare. (Or rather, 20 minutes to spare that I don't inadvertently waste on something else instead.)

3Cs--I have not heard of that movie. Screeching sequences? Hmm.

NPW--See your email.

Liz--Indeed; you can always use another theme night in your life, right? Go for it!

NGS--Two books a week? And you're a student, too? I am impressed.

Jess--Must indeed. Don't forget the crepes! :-)

Lara--See comment back to NPW. :-) Also, I love you too, my dearl

Courtney--Very silly. VERY poorly written. And yet? WHY SO ADDICTIVE?? I do not understand. I do know that by the time I got to book 4, however, I was ready to be DONE. If Stephenie Meyer never writes another one, it is A-OK by me.

Mickey--I know. I'm sorry. I'll try not to make a habit of it.

Heather said...

That quote by Elizabeth Gilbert is probably my favorite in the entire book. It's simply crafted and speaks a truck-load of truth.

Sauntering Soul said...

Further proof that I'm always behind in my life: I've never seen Amelie.