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Monthly Archives: February 2012

My Top Ten Films of 2011

Every year, a friend of mine sends out his Top Ten Films of the year and requests people send their lists back to him.  With the Oscars deciding what they think the best film of the year is this weekend, I think I’ll throw in my two cents.

The best films and the films you enjoy the most are not always the same.  Never be ashamed of what you like (unless you like reality TV, haha).

Here are my top 10 films of 2011.

10. Bridesmaids – cause girls can be just as raunchy as guys.  Plus, everyone is beginning to love Melissa McCarthy as much as I always have.

 

 

 

9. Hanna – a tight, taut action thriller with an ass-kicking teenage Saoirse Ronan in the lead and Cate Blanchett playing a chilly villain.

 

 

 

8. Drive – slow paced, atmospheric for much of it with bursts of action and violence.  Ryan Gosling can do anything and he always looks good in the process.

 

 

 

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two – a spectacular finish to a well-loved series.  I will miss looking forward to the next one since there won’t be anymore.

 

 

 

6. Rango – an odd but hilarious animated film that is part western homage and part trippy fish out of water tale.  Johnny is quirky even as a CG chameleon.

 

 

 

5. Hugo – this is a wonderful film that was even better because I didn’t really know much about it going in.  Not Scorsese’s normal fare but since he is such a lover of film, I can see why he chose this.

 

 

4. Midnight in Paris – the Woody Allen I love is back and in fine form.  This is a charming fable and a love letter to the roaring 20s.

 

 

 

3. Attack the Block – love, love, loved this film and the kids protecting the block from alien gorilla mutherfuckers.

 

 

2. The Artist – although this is not the first time I’ve seen Jean Dujardin, it did cement the mad crush I was developing on him from the OSS: 117 films he did a few years ago.  Charming, funny and poignant with a spectacular final performance from Uggie the dog.

 

 

1. The Muppets – if you know me, you knew this would be my number one film of the year.  Saw it 3 times in the theater and loved it more each time.  I will never stop loving the Muppets and Jason Segel did right by Jim Henson.

 

 

You are what you love, not what loves you (Adaptation, 2002).  As I look back over these films, I can see that what I’m drawn to most is fun and whimsy.  I love films that leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy or with a feeling of completeness.

What’s your Top Ten look like for 2011?  What are you looking forward to most in 2012?

Reality Check

I thought we settled this shit in the 70’s but the far right wing peeps in the Republican party seem to think they have a better idea.  Let’s attack birth control while forgetting that it is the greatest invention in human history.

There is no growth or advancement in countries where women do not control their reproductive rights.  Find one advanced nation that has outlawed birth control or abortion and I’ll show you a country in fast decline.

All of your arguments are invalid.  I am not subject to your moral or religious beliefs in a country that was specifically designed to have Freedom of Religion (and freedom from religion).

I beg the sane people to step up and do something before this nonsense gets out of hand.  I know that if anything gets passed in the House or Senate, President Obama will veto it.  He’s the one who started this whole argument with his proposal to make sure birth control is available to all women without payment.   The nerve!

In the meantime, this entire debate is all smoke and mirrors and a complete waste of time.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Handing out free birth control to women will do nothing but make this country stronger.  When people can actually plan when they will have children (if ever), they have more control over their lives and how they want to live them.

This is further evidence that the Republican party is deep down hoping to return us to the days of the robber barons where there are a few rich people, a helluva lot of poor people and very little in between.

I don’t know if they are doing this at the behest of their supporters in the pharmaceutical and insurance rackets or just for idealogical reasons.  Regardless, it’s a stupid game that they are destined to lose.  Only the most radical of individuals would see this as some kind of bad thing.  If more women had free and easy access to birth control, I guarantee the abortion numbers would drop drastically.

The morning after pill is a real lifesaver too.  I’ve had the condom break so I was doing the right thing but sometimes a back up is necessary.

It’s my body, it’s my life and as long as I do no harm to others, I should damn well get to decide what I do with it.  And until a fetus (that’s what it is) is viable outside of a woman’s body, it’s not a person.  End of story.

War is murder too but I don’t see many of the people who call themselves pro-life out protesting that too.  Once you’ve been born, you’re not their problem any more.

Spring is Coming (sorry Game of Thrones) and that means it’s time to occupy some shit.

Everything in life should be this fun.

Last year, I discovered the greatest calendar ever – Fold Your Own Zombies!

Every month, there was a new zombie to build out of paper and glue.  I would dutifully put my zombie together at the beginning of the month and post a picture to facebook.

Then at the end of the year, I took a group shot.

My paper zombie hoard

This year, the Fold Your Own people gave me robots!  A good friend of mine tried to purchase the calendar from Amazon before Christmas but through some shipping or stocking error, I never received it.  Boo!

I was about to give up when another friend sent me the link to it on this awesome site, thinkgeek.com, and they had some in stock!  Friday was a good mail day.

It’s over a month late, but I can finally get started on my robot army, and I get to build two of them in February.  Yay!

At the end of the year, I will have a robots vs. zombies face off.  Last year’s zombies will have to hibernate in a safe place so they will be ready to do battle in less than eleven months time.

As long as they keep making Fold Your Own calendars, I will keep getting to do this each year.  Anyone want to make a bet on what next year will bring?  I’m hoping for dinosaurs.

Zombies vs. robots vs. dinosaurs, anyone?

Gotye, part deux

A few months back, I blogged about this amazing new musician (check out Oct. 21, 2011).  Well, he came back to L.A. and I jumped on that shit.  Just writing to say I was right.  He’s blowing up.  His single, Somebody That I Used to Know, is getting airplay and has been remade and remixed.  He was on Jimmy Kimmel last Wednesday, the night before the show, and he sold out the El Rey the next day.

Not really what I’m blogging about though.  Psyche!

I’ve never been cut out for certain kinds of events and entertainment.  Concert-going is one of those.  I love live music, but the way that it’s normally presented is not for the faint of heart.

First off, most smaller venues are standing room only.  To make it through a full concert this way is like some kind of endurance or stress test.  Surrounded on all sides by a sea of people, struggling to catch a glimpse of the person performing between bobbing heads.  Standing still in a very small spot getting bumped into by strangers who have no respect for your personal space.  Stuck smelling everyone nearby, be they pleasant or unpleasant scented.  Love of the music is the only way to get through this situation.

If you’re lucky enough to be somewhere with a seat, that doesn’t matter.  For most pop music events, everyone stands up anyway so you have to as well or you’re just stuck staring at someone’s ass.  Long lines and even larger crowds at stadiums and large concert halls.  And unless you pay out the nose for good seats, you really only see what’s happening on the large screens.  You might as well be at home.

And don’t get me started on the volume levels at concerts.  There are times when the bass is so strong, I actually get short of breath.  It freaks me out.  My ears are left ringing for hours after.  Why must I suffer so for my love of live music?

Because I’m an introvert and a pretty sensitive one at that.  Not sensitive in the emotional sense.  I’m tough as nails when it comes to my feelings but sensitive to my physical environment.  I can easily get overwhelmed and anxious in crowded places and loud, bright situations.  The first time I drove down the Vegas strip at night was stimulus overload, so bright and gaudy.

Being an introvert is not the same thing as being shy.  I was more reserved when I was younger but I have grown more outgoing as I’ve aged.  I do enjoy the company of people and social situations but I can only handle so much before I need some alone time to recharge.

There are a lot of people out there just like me and I want to tell them that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.  Currently, things are not necessarily set up for the introvert but I’m hopeful that things will change.

Let me reiterate for those of you who might have missed that sentence above — THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.  Needing time alone to recharge, enjoying solitary pursuits and not enjoying the things that many of your friends do does not make you defective.  Variety is the spice of life.  You are perfect just as you are and nature made you just that way on purpose.

I imagine Gotye is an introvert too.  He doesn’t say much between sets except “Cheers!” and a little set up for the next number.  But he makes the most beautiful music.  It really does take all kinds, so be happy with and proud of the kind that you are.  The world needs that.  It needs you to be you so it can be the wonderful world that it really is.