A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Critical Summer

Edited: I finally gave this post a title. So much for blogging while very tired.

Lee's mom gave us a one-month free trial of Netflix. It's probably not the best idea for two pre-tenure professors who aren't teaching this summer so they can focus on research. But it's a great idea for two still-relatively-new parents who never, ever, make it to the movies. (A note to Jeff and Jenny and any other new parents out there: I just found out that a local theater has "baby films," with baby-friendly amenities like stroller areas and lowered movie volume. I bet Columbia has s.t. like that.)

Seen so far:
The Queen
Notes on a Scandal
Little Children
Arrested Development, Season one, disk one (#2 on the way)

Up next:
Stranger than Fiction

I actually though The Queen was pretty good. It was clear the filmmakers liked some of the characters (Elizabeth, Blair) and disliked others (Philip, Charles, Cherie Blair/Booth, Blair's top adviser whose name escapes me), and the little thread--more of an interlude, really--featuring the queen and the stag was a bit heavy-handed. But--aside from the queen/stag interlude--the movie never tried to be much other than a simple "here's what happened," with good acting, makeup, wardrobe, and sets. Not a masterpiece, but simple and well-done (if also with an agenda--but what such film doesn't?).

Notes on a Scandal was tolerable but annoying. Again, great acting, especially the boy at the heart of the scandal, who gets little notice. It's just hard to like a movie that has no likeable characters (unless that's the whole point, and in this case it wasn't).

Little Children was also pretty good. I read recently--maybe on a blog somewhere in the rhet/comp/communications sphere?--that the film was just another suburban-angst film, with the implication being that you can skip it. It's definitely got some standard-fare suburban and midlife angst, but it's also got some nicely unpredictable comic touches that make it worth at least a look: the grade-school documentary-style narrator is a hoot, as are some other great moments (like the slo-mo football game--really funny) that are strung throughout what would otherwise be too much misery and wallowing.

That's all for now (with apologies to Collin for lifting his sign-off, but I really gotta go.)

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Saturday, May 26, 2007


I'm not exactly sure how old the "short version" genre is, but I like it.

Yes, I'm 37.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Endless Summer

This is the first year I've managed not to delude myself into thinking summer will be filled with vast expanses of unstructured, free time in which I can:
  • Research
  • Landscape/garden
  • Visit friends
  • Do a fix-it project a week on the house
  • Research
  • Plan classes
  • Start a regular exercise regimen
  • Research

But not being deluded doesn't doesn't help. (Try to slog your way through that syntax.) My heart still drops into my stomach when I think of all I have to get done. Among other things:

  • Everything on the above list, and more

Next year I think I'll let myself be deluded, if I can get back through that looking glass.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mizzou-Rah Revisited

In lieu of a new post, I'll just link to an old one. The only differences this time: my mom's knee is better, and we'll be coming back to Ohio (via Chicago) with patio furniture.

Just to up the ante, here are a few more enticing Missouri-based I-44 links for you would-be travelers.

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