"The Definition of Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results" - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Years Resolutions Check In

My apologies that I haven't posted yet this week, but it's a really rough week for me personally. 30 Rock is ending on Thursday night, and there was a serious tragedy on Downton Abbey on Monday. Alexa and I wept over the phone to each other on Sunday night, and even Mom had sad eyes, so you know I am no kidding when I say it was miserable. I'm still very upset and very fragile, and this is why I haven't written a post in a few days.

But I will try to muddle through the pain and do a New Year's Resolutions check in. Given that January is over in a few days, it seems like I should assess how well I've actually done on these resolutions. Here's a refresher of what I said I would be doing:

New Year's Resolutions:

1. Read a new book at least every month

2. Write at least one blog post a week of any length / Write in journal twice a week

3. Dress Well Everyday

4. Focus on self-improvement through all facets of life

5. Watch Downton Abbey Every Sunday at 9 PM forever 

 Let's go item by item: 

1. Technically it hasn't been an entire month yet, and so I still have time to finish this one. I started to read Musicophilia and got about 30 pages into it, but then I lost interest and gave up. The problem with Musicophilia is not that it's not very interesting, but that I don't understand neuroscience, hence it is not very interesting to me. I seriously recommend it to all neuroscience and music enthusiasts. Although this category isn't a total loss, because I have been reading The Hobbit, which I have admittedly read before, but only once, and that was in the 6th grade, so I barely remember it, and it practically counts as a new book that way. I just finished "Riddles in the Dark," and while I'm gaining some understanding the complexities of this novel, I'm rapidly losing appreciation for the first installment of the film trilogy, which is kind of a bummer. I understand why Peter Jackson is rebooting it into three films (he has run out of movies to make that have giant apes in them, and is worried about having enough savings for retirement), but I'm not exactly cool with the vast changes to the tone of the novel. I sometimes wish you didn't have to choose between a good movie and a good adaptation, but this is the Sophie's Choice we all live with. 

2. So far so good on this account. I've been blogging semi-regularly, to the delight of the 10 people who read this that aren't part of my immediate family, or my Grandparents in Florida (shout out! I love you). I could probably journal more, but since that doesn't matter to all 16 of you guys, it's really none of your business anyway.   

3. In fact, I have been dressing well recently. Today I'm wearing an orange J Crew cardigan with pants that are actually tailored well, and boots with heels (what the What??) so the hems don't drag on the floor. I haven't yet progressed to wearing make-up to work, but as my Father and I agreed yesterday on our way back from the mall, vanity is too time consuming for us. And we prefer marshmallows in our hot chocolate rather than clouds in coffee. Although I never say no to a good creamer.  

4. This is pretty hard to quantify, since there are so many facets of life with which I could improve. For example, I have in fact been to the gym twice a week since the beginning of the New Year, and have even been eating healthier, and restricting my donut intake strictly to the weekends. However, I haven't made the slightest attempt to improve my non-existent cartography skills. Doubt I'll be sailing to Asia anytime soon.  

5. This is the only category I've succeeded in 100%. What does that say about my life and choices? Probably that I need to look at them.  

Final Tally: Resolutions -1.5 / Jaclyn - 3.5. Take that Naysayers!   In conclusion, I urge everyone to watch the 30 Rock Finale on Thursday at 8 PM EST, and to write Julian Fellowes some hate mail.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From A to Z - Argo and Zero Dark Thirty

In response to my previous post about Donuts, I'm going to go a little artsy-fartsy with this post.

As part of an on-going series where I review the Oscar Best Picture nominees, I went and saw Argo and Zero Dark Thirty this past week. It's incredibly striking that in a year's worth of film, two of the nine nominees were films primarily set in Arab countries that deal with American military history and the CIA. Yet they couldn't be more different.

Argo tells the story of a secret extraction mission of six American diplomats from hiding in Iran. The backdrop of the Iran hostage crisis provides the historical setting for the thriller, but in many ways, this is just a film about what American's love best: Patriotism and Hollywood. For all of the reasons that people claim they like to go to the theatre, Argo is tapping into some of the most iconic and popular themes in Hollywood films, Hollywood itself.

This isn't anything new; people have been making films about making films for as long as film has been a medium. And Christopher Nolan would have us all believing that films are about making films. But Argo is attempting to do something different in its "retelling" of the classic Hollywood outsider story. Whether this is the story of how the director creates the world of the film (Inception, 2010), the biography of one of film's earliest visionaries (Hugo, 2011), the foreigner in Hollywood overcoming language barriers (The Artist, 2011) or the story of the CIA agent who turns "actor" to do his job (Argo 2012), the American obsession with Hollywood has never been more prominent than it has in the last couple of years (with the possible of exception of the 1950's).

Why is that? Hollywood has been an American identity since the early 20's, which makes it hardly anything new. Let's not forget that it isn't the average American making films about Hollywood, it's Hollywood itself, rich hippies who give their income to liberal politicians and complain when their tax rates go up. Are they really just that narcissistic?

My guess is no. Many a film professor of mine (J. Gardner at Ohio State for one) has often argued that Hollywood makes films about Hollywood in times of transition. Sunset Boulevard and Singing in the Rain were both made in many ways as a response to the break-up of the studio system and the "loss" of Classical Hollywood. The Artist could be seen as a reaction to the ever-advancing "digital age" of Hollywood, replete with CGI, 3D movies, and a world where apparently films made on a computer can win Academy Awards for Art Direction *cough* Avatar *cough.*

There is some serious Production Design going on here...

For me it is impossible to watch Argo and not be conscious of the fact that this film is about a Hollywood outsider, and it was produced, directed, and starred Ben Affleck, arguably one of Hollywood's biggest insiders. Don't get me wrong, I loved Ben Affleck in this film, and in my opinion, it's one of the best films of the year without doubt. But it's just impossible to watch without the understand that it is just as steeped in Hollywood history, politics and pretense as any other mainstream film this year (read: Lincoln).

Although, Argo doesn't seem to be making that much of an effort to hide the involvement of Hollywood in this film. If anything, Hollywood is the 2nd CIA Agent in Iran, the sixth man on the basketball court, and the extra shot gun that Michael McKean had all along in Clue. What's not to love?  John Goodman is good natured and funny as the make-up artist who could be entrusted with ridiculously classified CIA material. Alan Arkin is delightful as the no-nonsense and vaguely Jewish director who makes a nonsense film because well, everyone wants to help America and the CIA right?

I mean who can dislike a film that is steeped in Star Wars iconography?

I say R2, those story board droids look awfully familiar...

Truthfully, I didn't dislike this film at all. Actually, I really loved it. It's the best film I have seen in the Oscar race yet, and I highly recommend it. The script is well written, the cinematography is compelling, the acting is great, and the pacing is superb in a style that has been perfected by Hollywood over the years. And *SPOILER ALERT* even I shed a few tears of joy when the 747 carrying the diplomats made it far enough into the air that you knew that they were safe. Without any sarcasm at all, I would call it a masterful film. The ending 30 minutes is reminiscent to me of the ending 30 minutes of Apollo 13, which I consider to be one of the Top 10 best endings in film.

But even a masterful film is fallible. In a post-9/11 world, Argo is the kind of film that can make everyone feel good, except for anyone who is Iranian, or remembers the 1970's. I won't pretend that I know a lot about Iranian politics, and I didn't live through the Iran hostage crisis, but from what I know about it, people were angry on both sides that the United States government decided to harbor the Shah in exchange for the safety of American citizens in Iran. It's the kind of political move that could never happen nowadays, and it gets addressed for less than half a minute within the opening 10 minutes of the film and is never taken further in depth. It is unimportant to this film, which is an oversight.
Our government harbored a murderer, and wouldn't negotiate with terrorists, and 52 American citizens spent 444 days in captivity, in an almost certain hell. Argo tries not to gloss over this showing us images of the scared hostages at the beginning, and the torture they received within the Embassy. But in the end, we get a happy ending with the safety of the six people we care about, with only an intertitle to let us know that eventually the hostages made it home, after another 357 days in captivity, skipping over the fact that when these diplomats made it home to America, the Iran Hostage Crisis was still an entire year from being over, and tensions were getting higher.

Not to mention, there was a lot of Hollywood Movie Magic that was involved in making Argo the suspenseful thriller it is. Much of the tension involving the identity of the diplomats was fabricated, as well as the scene in the bazaar, and the entire conflict at the airport, including the high speed car chase.


It's not that this film isn't necessarily not the Best Picture of the year. I really loved it, and it's the best film I've seen so far. Just that I think it is important to think about all of the different issues at pay within the film.

If Argo is an overly glamorized and happily resolved version of a historical triumph, in contrast, Zero Dark Thirty is very un-glamorous, un-Hollywood, and generally unresolved version of the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden over the past decade.

Spanning the decade that followed 9/11 up to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty  follows the journey of Maya (Jessica Chastain) as she hunts down Osama Bin Laden. Maya is tough. She has follow-through, and doesn't let anyone stand in her way, let alone CIA procedures, and don't get me wrong, the acting is great. But the characterization really isn't as great. Maya is tough, but that's about it. Sometimes we see her flinch, and we know that she cares, but she has no back story. She has no attachments she seems to really care about. *SPOILER ALERT* When her friend dies she is sad. But there is no depth to that relationship. Maya and Jessica are the only two women in the CIA brigades that we see, but very little is made out of this relationship. Maybe they are friends because they have a shared experience as women. Maybe in 2013 we don't need to outline that for the audience because it's not important they are women, it's just important they are people.

So very little is made out of Maya being a woman. NO ONE mentions it. I understand that this movie was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, but am I supposed to believe that not one of the Arab Al Quaeda prisoners would care that she was a woman? Or that government over the past decade has been completely equal to women? Maybe this isn't a movie about that, but I would argue that the very nature of centering the entire story around a female character makes it that kind of story. And while it's not like I want to see her struggle, I just want to see her do something. Maya is so surface level with her emotions, it makes it hard to genuinely feel a connection with her.

Then again, Zero Dark Thirty is so surface level as a film that it makes it hard to connect with as well. This is the story of the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden. Not the story of a CIA agent who is a woman in a man's world. Not the story of the role of the United States in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Not the story of anything except the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. This film is practically a documentary, in the way it is shot and how very little outside emotions/backstory is given to the characters or the scenario. In fact, the character who I feel most for in the film is Hakim, who is an Arab working for the CIA, and has one lone moment of emotion, when he sees the dead body of an Arab woman who was hiding Bin Laden.

I suspect it is only in these last 15 minutes of the film that I feel anything that one of the characters is feeling at the same time they are, and it's not because I'm not empathic, it's because these characters aren't given emotions by Bigelow. Hakim feels what I feel, sad that this woman had to die because her husband decided to harbor a murder. I'm not trying to argue that they shouldn't have killed her. But it can't be easy to watch your own people die at the expense of someone else.

The problem with Zero Dark Thirty is that it's hard to connect to when there is nothing to connect with. I wanted to feel for Maya, but ultimately I just ended up watching her. Even at the end, when they raid Osama Bin Laden's compound, it's not shot particularly like a thriller, it just happens. It's very well executed by the Navy Seal team, but I don't really feel impending danger. Maybe that's because there wasn't any. But it just wasn't exciting.

Given the choice between the stylized and exciting version of history that is Argo and the dry, gritty footage lacking human emotion that is Zero Dark Thirty, it is Argo that makes a much better film. It is interesting in the way that ZDT isn't, and it is emotional and compelling in a way that may destroy historical records, but rings true to an audience.

Here's to our Best Director. Oh wait....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Morning Stakeout

Happy Saturday Readers!

I've been receiving some complaints that my blog is too focused on movie opinions that only Andy cares about. That's probably true. So in order to cater to a wider audience, this morning's post will be "more accessible." Of course, I will be writing about Donuts. (Get what I did with the use of 'wider' there?) 

This post is coming to you from Russell's Point, OH (AKA The R.P.) where I've spent this lovely morning eating donuts from the Donut Shop and watching Hot Fuzz. 

To begin: I wholeheartedly recommend the Donut Shop to everyone. You may have previously only known it as the Donut Shop that was once closed due to a marijuana problem, but now it is re-opened and (probably) drug free. It's located on historic Indian Lake, where you can find it by the giant Donut they have on the sign outside. In the summer, you can dock your boat right next to it, and then take your delicious fried dough out on the water and enjoy it with a nice cold beverage. 

However this morning, I'm enjoying my donuts with a delicious brewed fresh hot coffee. As per my new rule, if I don't eat any donuts on the weekdays, I can have as many donuts as I want on the weekends. BUT if I do eat a donut on a weekday, I'm not allowed to have ANY donuts on the weekends. This is to stop me from eating Tim Bits at work all the time. 

Luckily, I exercised enough restraint this week to earn myself 2.5 delicious doughy circles. This morning I had a half of a strawberry cake doughnut, which was fresh and sweet,  a classic sour cream "cruller" which is always a personal favorite, and the cream cheese donut. This is an invention of the Donut Shop which I have yet to see anywhere else. It is your typical yeast doughnut: chewy, sweet, doughy, and the like. EXCEPT that then it is filled with cream cheese pastry cream like a cheese danish. Essentially it is the ultimate Jewish donut. And when we found each other over a year ago, my heart and my taste buds sang a duet sweeter than Barbra Streisand and Michael Crawford sing "Music of the Night." 

Also a good choice at the Donut Shop, Alex's favorite Apple Fritter. Crunchy and sweet on the outside,   dense and fleshy on the inside, with the perfect balance of apple and yeast flavors. I wholeheartedly endorse the raspberry jelly donuts as well, which they make iced or with powdered sugar. We had them during Hanukkah as Sufganiyot, and they were a great success. 

And to accompany the donuts, we've watched Hot Fuzz, and have now moved on to Twin Peaks, where there Sheriff and Kyle Maclachlan are eating donuts too. Because nothing goes better with cops than donuts. 

If you've never seen Hot Fuzz, I totally recommend it. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are funnier than in Shaun of the Dead, and just as many hilarious British people are in it, including Professor Slughorn, Filch the Caretaker, Bilbo Baggins, and Davy Jones. It's a plethora of recognizable faces that American's will only know as characters, but that's not the point. 

It also contains this fabulous gem of a line:

"It's alright Andy! It's just Polonaise!" 

I won't make any recommendations about Twin Peaks because I'm only on episode two, and it's David Lynch, so I know it's gonna get weirder. But so far, it's great. Please no spoilers in the comments. 

And on that note, Toodles. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Has Johnny Manziel Peaked?

Disclaimer: This is not really a blog about sports. I apologize to people who thought it would be.

The other day at dinner, I had an interesting conversation with my Dad. He was discussing this years Heisman winner, a Quarterback from Texas A&M named Johnny Manziel who is apprently the first Freshman to ever win the trophy. Now personally, I know very little about the Heisman voting process, and frankly, I don't care unless someone from Ohio State wins. Although, if there is one thing that I care about, it is preserving Archie Griffin's legacy as the only Two-Time winner, because I've met him and in real life, he is super rad.

Anyway, Dad was talking about him winning, and I was obviously displeased that he is a Freshman winner, because this gives him at least two if not three more chances to win the Heisman again, and this is not good for the Buckeye legacy. Luckily for me, Dad thinks that Archie's record should be fine, because he doubts that Manziel will ever win it again because of something about other players and fame and football, and yada yada yada.

Without really giving it much thought I said, "That's good, I don't want him to win it again." To which my Dad replied, "Good for you, but how do you think it feels to be a Freshman in college and know that your life has peaked?"

And it got me to thinking, do our lives peak? And if so, are we aware of it when it happens? When I make a batch of zucchini spice cupcakes for Thanksgiving with a Cream Cheese frosting and everyone adores them, does the thought cross my mind that these cupcakes will probably be the best spice cupcakes I ever make? It gets worse: Do you ever realize when you are in college that these might be the happiest, best-looking, free-est days of your life? And if you don't realize it when it happens, will you only look back on your life with longing for the past? Doesn't that just make us all Winston Smith living in 1984?

But the alternative is worse isn't it? what if instead of looking back at your life and realizing your best days are behind you, you are Johnny Manziel? What if for some reason you know that this may be as good at football as you are ever going to get, and you are unlikely to ever win another Heisman, or play as a professional Quarterback? Do you relish the few brief moments you have that you know will be your best, or do you despair as you look into the future?

There's a scene in Pirate Radio where Phillip Seymour Hoffman tells Young Karl that the best days of Rock and Roll are behind them, and that Rock and Roll is dead. He thinks that the heyday is over, and the best it ever was going to get is going to be is The Kinks. The film is set in 1966.

Maybe Hoffman was depressed. Maybe he genuinely thought that once the government shut down Pirate Radio, Rock and Roll would really die. But when he said that to Young Karl, he had never heard  The Beatles, or the The Rolling Stones, or Led Zeppelin, or any of the great Rock and Roll masters that  made music in the 47 years and counting since then.

It seems to me that thinking you have peaked is the reason that one peaks. The minute you decide that you've reached your full potential, is when you unconsciously decide to leave part of it untapped forever.

My personal hero, Ina Garten, started out her career at Stanford University studying economics. She married, earned a job working at the White House, climbed the ladder at the Office of Management and Budget and worked for the likes of Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford writing nuclear policy. Some people would look at that point of their lives, decide they had peaked, continue to work hard, and eventually retire. Ina decided instead to buy a specialty food store in the Hamptons, and try running her own business for a change. She quit Washington, moved to New York, and made a new name for herself in cooking. Some people would quit then, after the success of their second career venture was a hit. But "some people" don't become the Barefoot Contessa.

Ina turned her time to writing cookbooks, became a bestselling author, and was offered a show on Food Network. She has graced many of my afternoons with cooking tips, helped me plan many a party, and has a few daytime Emmy's just to show for her effort. She has her own line of pantry products, so that we can make her recipes just like she would, without having to mess them up three times before we get it right.

Because that's what we are all doing. We are all just trying different recipes until one turns out right. And if you are anything like Ina Garten, you aren't just satisfied with "peaking" at one great batch of Zucchini Spice cupcakes. You want to make them better. Or try a new ingredient. Or find a way to do something else that pushes you and the world further.

Archie Griffin does amazing work with the Ohio State University Alumni Association, even though he won his two Heisman trophies years ago. Steven Spielberg is nominated for a Best Picture practically every year, even though he won his first Oscar in 1993 and has been making mainstream films since the 70's. And I guess for Johnny Manziel's sake, I hope he doesn't think he's peaked either. I mean there's always coaching football right?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yes, I Saw Les Mis, and No I Didn't Love It.

I know what you all are thinking. 'HOW could you not just LOOOOOOVE Les Mis?' And 'Somebody exorcise this heartless demon from the human race.' But before you do that, just hear me out:

No, I didn't love it. And I didn't really think it was that great of a film, but that doesn't mean it was total smut.

It was really only partial smut. And I'm not sorry.

For starters, answer me this: How was anyone supposed to go see Les Mis and not be automatically a little disappointed that it didn't live up to the hype it got? The Godfather couldn't live up to the hype that followed the premiere of Les Mis. I can barely believe Tom Hooper could put up a decent film given the micro-scrutiny this film was given beginning with just the casting and carrying through the premiere.

To begin, I'm not entirely sure why this is a Tom Hooper project at all. There is absolutely no train of thought that makes sense in my mind where the follow up to The Kings Speech is a movie-musical adaptation of a beloved work about the French Revolution. Unless Tom Hooper is trying to make his name in overly-sentimentalized historical pieces. But at least The Kings Speech was good.

(On a separate note, if I do have one major Kudos for him, it would be the decision not to cast T. Swift. I just know that while she would be "singing" On My Own, all I would really see is "Marius, You Belong With Me!" And then I'd be waiting for her to take her glasses off and Marius realizes that he's really loved her all along, and that Cosette is trilly and mean, and then this wouldn't be Les Mis, it would be the fan-fic of Les Mis written by every 15 year old Gay male theatre fan living in Iowa.)

If my boyfriend has one Kudos for Tom Hooper, it's that he appreciated the un-proportionate amount of cleavage to dresses in the film.

I will start with what I did actually enjoy about this film. 1. Anne Hathaway. Her acting is superb, I genuinely feel sorry for her (which is a pretty huge feet by any standards, let alone that she's sort of America's Sweetheart), and despite that I'm sure Tom Hooper told her to cry during most of her singing, she belts out some notes like a champ. She really could have only been better if Tom Hooper had just let her sing like she really can sing, or if he hadn't directed this movie at all.

That critique goes for Hugh Jackman as well. His singing is less than stellar in Les Mis, and Why? He has a fantastic voice. Don't believe me? Here's his opening in the 1994 version of Oklahoma.

Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma

He can really sing. And yet, he chose to go with some weird sprecht-singing hybrid that totally defeats the purpose of his casting. It's not that he's bad in it, I just don't understand his choices. Because they were bad.
And yes I know he just won a Golden Globe for this, but my money is still on DDL for the Oscar. Even if I am the only person who thought it was weird that Ireland's favorite son is playing America's favorite President, he has the statuette wrapped up like Mary Todd in all of her costumes. See Also: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher last year.

And while I'm on the subject, this was the least French version of the French Revolution I have ever seen, and I can't understand why I'm the only person who is conceivably bothered by this. For starters, much of this is filmed at the University of Greenwich, which was designed by Christopher Wren, AKA England's favorite architect, and it was distracting and weird when at the very end of the film at this barracade of all dead people, the background is iconic English architecture.

Maybe I only noticed the specific location because I've been there, but I'm not really sure how you couldn't be a little confused. Let me explain it to you.

University Of Greenwich:




Now that we have that sorted out, there's a second huge problem with the film. Or more appropriately, a tiny child sized one. Gavroche speaks in a Cockney-English accent. Newsflash, He is French. Like everyone in this film. And I know some people are going to say that no one else speaks with a French accent, so everyone can speak in whatever accent they want because why should cinema have any sense of authenticity?

You are wrong. Given that people are speaking the English language, I find their American accent mildly passable, since they are singing most of the time anyway, and it becomes indiscernible. But Gavroche's accent is out of place (and Helena Bonham Carter's too), and I'm sure was included because it makes him cute and adorable, crushing the audience's soul even further when he gets repeatedly shot and dies because he's being an idiot and walking in front of a platoon of soldiers.

This production of Les Mis was more like Oliver! than a production of Les Mis.

It got to the point where I was just waiting for him to help Eponine and her slum parents pick the pockets of the wealthy rich-folk, and then head back into their sewer home after singing a rousing chorus of "Consider Yourself." Gee, I hope the Artful Gavroche helps Marius get adopted by a wealthy Mr. Brownlow, I mean Jean Valjean.

This points to a further trend that I'm seeing in movies today, that American film audiences hear a British accent and they understand it as foreign/european. For those of you who know anything about the 2012 film version of Anna Karenina that just came out, EVERYONE in that movie speaks in British RP ("received pronunciation" AKA like Julie Andrews sounds) and no one seems bothered at all that the entire film is set in Russia and everyone in it is Russian.

I don't expect anything to come from this revelation. We all already know that American film audiences are remarkably stupid. But maybe if we all recognized the difference between the accents of France/Russia/England/America, we could make interesting, more culturally realistic film.

This is the problem with people like Tom Hooper and Joe Wright. It's all fine and dandy for them to over-sentimentalize their own culture and history. They want to have their Kings Speech and eat it with a side of Pride and Prejudice. And nobody blinks an eye when the scores of those films are composed of pieces of classical German music, because they feel like they are entitled to whatever cultural European capital they want to use in representing the English because, well, the English are the only "real" culture in Europe right? Apprantely for American audiences, this is true.

But when they feel like this right as Englishmen gives them the right to impose their cultural capital on others, I take offense, because first of all, who gives them the right to make films version of the works of Tolstoy and Victor Hugo? How do you think Joe Wright would feel is Guillermo Del Toro decided his next film was an adaptation of Jane Austen? Or for that matter, how does any English-person feel when American's adapt Shakespeare?

(On a side note, if Michael Haneke is reading this, Call Me! I have ideas!)

Disclaimer: I do no personally know Tom Hooper or Joe Wright, so anything I say they are thinking/feeling is a representation of what I'm sure they actually are.

Don't go see Les Mis. It's about 45 minutes too long and the best character/singer dies after the first 20 minutes anyway. I recommend just watching this clip 10 times in a row instead.

Les Mis < Oscars Opening 2009

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, New Blogs

Happy 2013 Readers.

A lot has changed since I stopped writing posts here. Here's the cliff notes version:

I graduated college, but you already know that. After a grueling 15 days of being virtually unemployed, I was offered a job with a fantastic non-profit here in town, and was delighted to accept it. I'd say more, but anything I write here would be a representation of my work, and given that I am wildly unpredictable and usually considered a "loose cannon," it would probably be for the best if I just represented myself. Oh wait I'm thinking of Rush Limbaugh.

OK fine, I'm working for the CIA. Just don't tell anyone.

I had a month to enjoy a summer vacation before I started work. Most of that time was spent eating doughnuts and lounging on a pontoon boat in Russell's Point, Ohio with my boyfriend. And lovely time it was too. Then I started work in August, and I've been living at home and enjoying working ever since.

Given that it is a New Year and

New Year's Resolutions:

1. Read a new book at least every month
2. Write at least one blog post a week of any length / Write in journal twice a week
3. Dress Well Everyday
4. Focus on self-improvement through all facets of life
5. Watch Downton Abbey Every Sunday at 9 PM forever.

The first book on the list is Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. It's very good but it has a lot of medical terminology in it, which makes it a painfully slow read. I've been reading it for 3 days and I'm on page 32. If I can get used to this pace, my February book may very well end up being Lolita.

In other news, I watched seasons 1 and 2 of Portlandia this weekend, which is the funniest show making fun of hipsters I can think of right now. And the episode about the Brunch Place was seriously like living through this one time I went to Tasi for brunch in the short north.  Maclachlan is offically my third favorite mayer, after of course Mayor Michael Coleman, and the bartender/mayor of Russel's Point at the Landing.

That's all for now folks. Stay tuned for a year of what I'm sure will be neurotic and hopefully not as repetitive as I usually am as I usually am as I usually am.