Weekend Scenes

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Watching The Two Towers with Ruby. She doesn’t enjoy the battle at Helm’s Deep as much as I, apparently.

“Oh come on, we can take ’em.”

“It’s a long way.”

“Toss me.”

“What?”

“I cannot jump the distance, you’ll have to toss me…don’t tell the elf.”

Tree planting with mom and dad in the cold and drizzle.

Tree planting with mom and dad in the cold and drizzle.

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Front step pansies, an autumn look.

Front step pansies, an Autumn portrait.

My best friend when cold times come and my skin is reminiscent of sandpaper.  Now travel-sized for your convenience.

My best friend when cold times come and the skin on my face is reminiscent of sandpaper or tar paper or a porcupine with a five-o-clock shadow. Now travel-sized for your convenience.

My oh my, if a gentleman ever proposed to me with this ring, why, I'd just have to accept!

My oh my, if a gentleman ever proposed to me with this ring, why, I’d just have to accept.

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How to Avoid 114 Minutes of Ghost Rider

I am not a YouTube lurker.  I don’t often browse Tumblr, Cracked, Instagram, Twitter  or Pinterest.  When I’m not reading blogs online, what I’m doing is watching movie trailers.  Either at trailers.apple.com or at IMDB.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this fixation before.  I’m passionate about movies–or films as a true aficionado would call them–but I often suspect that I’m even more passionate about movie trailers.  Previews.

They’re entire stories shrunk down into two-minute reels.  They often feature a fantastic song or two.  They show you the best of the movie they’re selling.  The most exciting, most beautiful, most romantic parts of the thing.  And in that way they spare you the mystery that comes with watching movies; you never have to wonder if it will actually be good or not.  You never have to regret wasting your money or your time.  You will never again have to suffer through ONE-HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN MINUTES OF GHOST RIDER (which remains to this day the worst movie I’ve ever seen in theatres.  I would have walked out had it not been a date).  You can simply watch the trailer, absorb the high points, and continue on with your day, free of anguish.

Here are a few of my current favorite trailers, for your enjoyment.  I may see the full movies later, I may not.  And that’s okay.

1. Romeo & Juliet

2. Prince Avalanche

3. Austenland

4. The Lifeguard

5. Her

6. Saving Mr. Banks

7. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

In Spec: A Highly Sophisticated, Appellationary Rant

I’ve always thought it a terrible crime that one might say “in retrospect” when looking back upon something that’s already happened, but cannot say “in spec” when referring to something happening at present.  Of course, one can say “at present,” but that’s an entirely different phrase.  No relation to this mysterious “retrospect.”  And anyway, “at present” is boring.  It’s as if your mother, perhaps wearing the pea coat and netted hat of her early days, is tapping you on the shoulder and telling you that at present, you are not behaving properly.  Spec implies something much more romantic.  Spec implies spectacles.  Implies, by extension, rose-colored glasses.  Implies, then, Edith Piaf, implies Paris, implies yellow lights on the river, dark-capped apartment buildings with balconies pushing out.  And since dear Edith is not with us at present (she was once), and since we are currently not in Paris (we have been before), but rather on the living room rug with a sweaty dog leaning against our right knee, “in spec” seems to imply retrospect.  So while “at present,” (and this is me blatantly ignoring all free access to the OED which my UMM alum status hath granted me) only implies the current, “in spec,” while referring to living room rug, sweaty dog, right knee, actually encompasses much, much more.  Therefore, “in spec,” from now on, must for all romantic souls replace the colorless “at present.”***

I will be contacting Andrew Clements immediately.

***Please note that I (most irresponsibly) watched Midnight in Paris before writing this post.

 

Great Exspocktations

It has been a glorious day.  I haven’t had much opportunity to leave the house since graduation (alas, the plight of the newly alumnied and unemployed), but today the gentleman caller and I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness.

For the record, I think the first one was better (all ye Trekkies: I promise I am aware that there were other Star Trek movies before the 2009 version (to which I refer when I say “first”)).  Into Darkness was a little misguided in the plot department.  Scenes that didn’t seem very important (e.g. moving from one ship to another) were made into long, drawn-out affairs that didn’t do much to further the story despite their dramatics.  They became tiring after a while, and it felt like J.J. Abrams was using them to either add run time or to supplement an underdeveloped plot.  Further, the villain’s motives were highly unclear, at least to me.  I got the revenge part, but then there was something about being a peacekeeper, and then something about wanting to destroy all those of lesser intelligence. The gentleman caller and I agreed that had some dots been connected, the character development of the villain could have been a lot more compelling (and less confusing).  That being said, if you liked the “first” Star Trek, you’ll probably like Into Darkness.  All of the beloved characters are back, the action scenes are fast-paced, and the moments of humor (mostly at Spock’s or Scotty’s expense) are still there.

Also, if you go see it in 3D like I did, try not to visibly flinch every time something appears to jump off the screen.  People will stare, even in a dark theatre.

After the movie, we drove to Half Price Books.  I hadn’t been there in over a year, and it was a blissful reunion.  The funny thing about HPB is that when I go in with a list, I never find what I’m looking for, but if I go in with an open mind, I find some real treasures.  This trip, I went in without expectations (despite the one that I would probably buy something.  But that’s unavoidable in a bookstore), and came out with Suze Orman’s The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke and David McCullough’s 1776.

The Orman is key for my post-grad plan for self-improvement and independence, and the McCullough is one I’ve wanted for a while: I read his John Adams while studying abroad, and enjoyed his style of historical storytelling very much.  He doesn’t presume to know everything, that David, but he does presume to paint as complete a picture for readers as he possibly can.  There’s a prose about his writing, rare, in my experience, for heavy historical tomes.  It makes his books accessible to the masses.  And for that–if I may get up on my “I hate highly specified academic jargon because it leaves people out” horse–I will laud him forever.

More graduation saga to come soon, I promise.  It’s been hard to sit down and commit with this out my back door:

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