Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Films of the Decade

This exercise was really hard. The problem was that I felt compelled to limit the animation or the Triplets of Belleville (which I would have cheated and added Amelie to the mix), Spirited Away and any Pixar film could have replaced Wall-E. Also tried to limit the French and Asian film onslaught (The World, Cache, In Praise of Love, Trouble Everyday, Yi Yi, and Syndromes and a Century were all tough cuts). Top 13 in alphabetical order:

A History of Violence
Adaptation/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (it's a cheat. sue me)
American Splendor
The Gleaners and I
Gosford Park
Los Angeles Plays Itself
Mulholland Drive
Nobody Knows
Pan's Labyrinth
Talk to Her
There Will Be Blood

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Broken Embraces

While not his best film, the lukewarm reception in some circles (though since I really only read Ebert and AO Scott, who knows? they loved his film) miss the point. I would hazard that this is often true: his particular form of melodrama is many times lost on audiences that want something resembling reality with a happy ending. Yes, its suppose to be ridiculous--messy with life, color and amour fou ("mad love", a concept made famous by the surrealist). In that way, it's a beautiful, intoxicating brew.

Also, has anyone noticed the same vocabulary (though completely different feel) of Fassbinder and Almodovar's films? My Spanish and German aren't good, but the fact that I know certain words in both languages seem very striking. Their mutual craziness, love of melodrama and gay men/color/sickness/etc seems a thesis topic in the making. But sadly, not mine.

Sidenote: bought the boy something today. Should I give it to him when I get back or for a future (though soon-to-be upcoming, ie. anniversary, Valentines Day, birthday trifecta) event?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Delightful(ly Dorky)


It was like the twelve days of Christmas from lB. I got a mini sock in the mail tucked inside a festive homemade envelope. Look how cute the sock is:

It came with a homemade card too. Definitely not the average holiday card! I wasn't the only fan of the sock. My mini sheep walrus has been eyeing it, while Kenya Lion has claimed it as his birthday present:

Additional gifts from lB included homemade vanilla extract and a mini folder with recipe cards. lB printed out several dessert recipes on some of the cards and decorated the backs with kitchen-themed icons. She even signed with a personalized icon.
There's plenty more blank cards for me to add my own recipes. =)

Last but not least, lB made a notebook from recycled academic papers. The cover has a cute bunny-meets-girl paper cut behind a frost layer.

Here's a nicer close-up of the paper cut:

I was lacking in the craft department right I took lB to see Avatar in 3D earlier tonight and we'll see another movie tomorrow night. Maybe Broken Embraces, An Education, or Sherlock Holmes.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Survived the Holidays

So busy. But all the presents were wrapped, I avoided the relatives (well, the ones once removed) whose name I didn't remember and prevented my father's house from falling into general disgrace for one more year.

Now I'm trying to finish some socks for some men in my life and assessing my wardrobe as I transition from student to working slub (unless I panic and reapply to school... still very much a possibility). The big question is, beside boring cardigans (black and grey ones really should be my next project) and vests, are knit skirts ever a good idea? I'm thinking black and grey pinstripe with red piping. Or are they a foolish leviathan project (like knit wool leggings... I want so bad and yet I know it's such a bad idea.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


It's all about the holiday spirit around here. And by that I mean my mom put on Johnnie To's latest film, Vengeance, while watching me wrap presents. Loud mix between Unforgiven, Memento, and any of the Asian revenge movies of recent years. Disposable fun for the whole family.

Oh my god!!

Johnny Cash reading the New Testament! This may be the perfect Christmas gift for those conservative types I never know what to buy for.


I know, I'm in beautiful SD (sunny and 60). But inside the thermostat reads 57. Would you let your house get that cold in Chicago in the winter? I didn't think so.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Early Christmas

Celebrated with my sweetie before leaving Chicago, here's another nice early surprise. Lobster: $2 a tail. Over abundant catch in New England this year means dirt cheap lobster for Christmas dinner. Since I'm in SD, diametrically the furthest one could be from Boston while still in the Continental US, it should be as cheap or cheaper where you're at. You're welcome.

PS. My mom has developed a strange fascination with Michael Jackson, listening to the music rather loudly every night. What the hell?

Peace on Earth

Need to knit like mad for grandma.

Until then, one of the few Christmas songs that I would defend tooth and nail.

Have a good one.