Sunday, April 29, 2007

Smurf Wars

Funny movie. I was actually simultaneously catching up on my emails and registering for Facebook while I watched Death to Smoochy, but it made me laugh out loud. Edward Norton is great, blatantly indoctrinating children with hippie messages as Smoochy the Rhino. And Robin Williams' regular over-the-top routines work well here because he's supposed to be psychotic. Jon Stewart's hair was annoying, but it was cool to see him in a movie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spoiled on the west coast

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh! Am starting to panic about housing for September.

Headache, angel, girl

Hilarious "note" from the Reverend Mother, regarding the problem of Maria.

It's a slow week.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Rochester in Drag

Loved, loved, loved The Eyre Affair. It's the first in a quirky, weird, witty, nerdy mystery series, and I can't wait to read the next four books.

It's brilliant. It's set in a fantastic world where literary characters and real people interact, and some people travel through time. The main idea of the story is that Jane Eyre has been kidnapped, so the book can't be enjoyed. And literary detectives have to find her and put her back into the book. Very postmodern. Very meta.

Another hilarious subplot involves Baconians and Marlovians fighting over who really could have written Shakespeare's plays. And getting trapped in a Wordsworth poem would be awesome. Not so much the Dickens books Fforde mentions (though the characters would be interesting to just sit back and watch -- Dickens is so good at character descriptions.) It's all really creative, and the coolest part is that the reader is supposed to take for granted that citizens care passionately and even obsessively about literature.

And the protagonist is a female detective named Thursday Next. She rocks.

In a weird way, it reminds me of "traveling stories" my sisters and I used to write in middle and high school (where you switch papers after 5 minutes and do your best to ruin the other siblings' stories). I used to want to be a detective, mainly because I loved mysteries (some friends called me Inspector Palmer for a while), so all my stories were about female detectives with dumb male sidekicks, and somehow time, reality, and belief stood still so that Indiana Jones and Anne of Green Gables could help solve crimes and save the world.

Sigh. Back to econ homework.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thin Blue Line

Funny movie. Predictable at times, but a good spoof of cop films.

Friday, April 20, 2007

End of the week, looking busy

This one's a couple years old, but it cracks me up every time I see it in the office kitchen.
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Puh-lay ball!

Safeco Field is the bestest ballpark ever. It somehow manages to combine that old-school brick feel with modern touches. Nothing else rivals the view on a clear day, the sound of a train in the background, and a beer, garlic fries and hot dog in your hand. Even when it starts to rain in the third inning and the Star Wars theme leaps to mind and gets stuck in your head as the retractable roof slowly starts to creep over the entire park like a huge starship. Even when the Mariners lose 11-2 to the Twins. It's still somehow all good.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ohana! No one gets left behind

I'd never seen To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. And it provided a great excuse not to do econ problem sets on a Sunday morning.

Patrick Swayze in drag. Fabulous.

Loved the movie. For some odd reason, I thought it would be a road trip movie. And it kind of was, except that the three New York drag queens get stuck in a really small town in the middle of somewhere (Arkansas? Oklahoma? It's left to the audience's imagination or stereotypes. It's really flat and dry, though, to mirror the town's mentality perhaps, and we know they're not in PA or WV...) Of course, they bring light and life to the drab town. The three men in dresses teach the womenfolk of the town how to come out of their shells, look great, wear makeup, get men, and stand up for themselves. They also teach the men how to look nice and be polite to ladies. In theory, it's a tad bit objectionable. But in reality, it's great. The drag queens themselves are going through personal transformations and searching for acceptance, so you accept it. Also, the fact that they can escape the discrimination they fear any time by not being in drag is unthinkable -- they are who they are, why should they change because family or strangers won't understand? It's a really fun take on the stranger-comes-to-town-and-changes it/Pollyanna genre.

Also, it does not elude notice that Wong Foo (whoever he is) occupies the absent Asian in the car -- Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo round out the ethnic ensemble. I liked the interaction of Swayze as WASPy woman, Snipes as sassy black woman, and Leguizamo as streetwise Latina. It worked really well.

Actually, Leguizamo's mannerisms reminded me of Jaslene in this season's America's Next Top Model. But that's another story.

And Michael Vartan was in it! That was a huge surprise but a huge, huge plus. Even though he plays a lecherous backwoods prick.

Syrah, sirrah!

The tasting this time around was wine. Syrah/shiraz, to be exact.

After the last one, the fry party/whisky tasting/ketchup tasting, I didn't eat for four days. Mainly because of all the fried goodness.

Last night's tasting was excellent too. And the syrah I brought scored the highest! That was cool.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Word of Wisdom Learned the Hard Way #550

(Why do life's humiliating lessons usually involve either singing in public or the gym, or both?)

If a good song comes on at the gym (one that you're used to singing along with at karaoke) and you're in a locker room which you think is empty, don't sing out loud. Because there might be someone who comes out of the shower just when you're belting out the chorus...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Again, I hate to blog about work, but ...

The domestic partnership bill just passed in the state House, 63-35. After a floor debate that lasted over an hour. (Which is short compared to others, but long considering that the bill they passed right before took two minutes.) And of course, it had to be brought to the floor at 4:55pm, right when I was ready to go home. And opponents offered amendment after amendment that had to be voted on (and down, luckily). Their strategy, I think, was to starve and wear out the majority party until past dinner (which, sadly, they've done before). But to the majority caucus leaders' credit, I think they must have ordered the pro side comments to a minimum. Very effective. But still, it meant I couldn't leave my desk until the whole thing ended.

And I cried, of course, upon final passage. Whether from happiness, hunger, thirst, irritation, or mind-numbedness, I'll never know. I'm just really confused about where the airplane bottle of rum I had in my office desk went... or maybe I drank it after, um, the REAL ID bill passed. Or Lobby Day. Or other drink-worthy work-related event. At any rate, I will be celebrating with my economics homework in some bar later tonight...

Effective 90 days after the end of the session, which is April 22 (so ... July? I'm bad with the math).

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Party like it's House Bill 99

So I try not to blog about work too much -- except where something that I'm interested in anyway happens to be work-related and affects my mood.

Washington State is now the fourth state (Maine was the first, yay, Maine) to oppose REAL ID. Just as I finished my two-hour project of creating both the email alert and the web page encouraging people to take legislative action on it, the state House passed the bill.

And a bill clarifying the state's 8-year-old medical marijuana law passed yesterday.

I've been working the REAL ID bill for almost 2 years, and medical marijuana bill for 4, so it's great to finally see them become law! The last two public-priority bills are domestic partnerships and sex ed, and both are still alive and are likely to pass. I've spent 3 years working on the DP issue, if you count the failed marriage case, and 4 years trying to pass comprehensive sex ed.

So my last legislative session will be the most victorious one in my 4 years with the organization.

* Note for nerds: HB 99 in the title is inaccurate, I know. But a 4-digit bill wouldn't scan!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Please come to . . .

OOPS! It was recently brought to my attention that I neglected to make clear the fact that I will indeed be moving to Boston.

So yes, it's finalized. I will be starting at Northeastern this fall but want to escape the east coast summer as long as possible, so the move won't be until mid- to late- August. Although I'll fly over to scope out apartments in May or June...

Most people got an email a couple weeks ago "officially" announcing it. (It was subject-headed "One if by land." Hahaha. Get it? Except that I'm not travelling by land after all...) Anyways, the peeps who did not get an email are the ones I see practically every day. Or um, don't see every day but it feels like it because I check their blogs every day... Sorry Xtina!!

Meltown expected, the wheat growing thin

Anything to avoid doing econ homework. Even science!

This morning I was reading about the Three Mile Island accident of 1979.

And you know you're living in dire times when you're shocked to discover that the phrase "trained nuclear engineer" actually applied to the President back then . . . .

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mucho movies lately

The econ course started yesterday, and I'm procrastinating reading the first chapter in The Economic Way of Thinking. It occurs to me that I've seen a lot of movies lately. And blogging about them lets me take my mind off of promarket biases and comparative advantage.

So movies!

Will Ferrell's work is usually hit or miss with me. Either I think something's hilarious, or I think it's incredibly stupid. But Blades of Glory was funny. It's a great spoof of the sport-movie genre and the figure skating world. And if you've ever watched figure skating religiously (like most teenage girls do at some point), the cameos and skating jokes are funny too. Good times.

Y Tu Mamá También was good. It was a little weird. Basically the plot is that two friends who've just graduated from high school make up a story about a beach to impress a pretty woman, and end up on a road trip with her. I kept looking for the metaphor of driving towards a beach that doesn't exist, but it never was. The underwater film shots throughout also didn't really foreshadow anything; I think Jaws is too ingrained in my underwater subconcious. The bulk of the movie was the two friends coming of age sexually -- their experiences with their girlfriends, their desire for their female passenger, their jealousy of each other when they both sleep with her. The film tried to tie in themes about poverty and globalization and privilege, but in my opinion it didn't really make sense except to reinforce how fleeting and illusory the "innocence" of youth is. The movie wasn't outstanding, but it was good.

And finally, I watched Margaret Cho's Notorious C.H.O. I thought I'd never actually seen an entire show of hers, just clips. On the one hand, I was pleasantly surprised that this particular show was taped at the Paramount in Seattle. On the other hand, I laughed exactly once in an hour and a half. Cho's schtick seemed to be talking about sex, gay men, being bisexual, being not-so-skinny, being Asian American, and making fun of her mother. All of which is fine for subject matter, but not necessarily funny in the way that she presents it in this film. The most compelling point in the show was when she was talking about body image, and she said something on the lines of every time you look in the mirror and critique your looks, it's not you doing it, it's the millions of advertising dollars poured into campaigns aimed to make you unhappy with yourself and get you to buy beauty products. It was a great statement, but not what I was looking for from a comic performance. Obviously, I agree with most of Cho's political and cultural sentiments. I just didn't find her very funny in this film.

Then I watched I'm the One that I Want, and realized I've seen it, but I have no idea where. Most likely at a conference in college. Must've been one of those angry workshops at a student activist conference. Because a lot of the film is Cho being a little bitter about the politics behind All-American Girl, dealing with stereos of Asian-Americans as well as irritation from Korean American community members. Maybe because this is her first one-woman show film, but she covers a lot more ground in this one -- she has a basic narrative for her jokes, which is the story of her career's rise and fall. (This film is also more political, which is unapologetically always a plus for me). But her performance in this first film seemed fresher; when I thought I'd heard most of the jokes in Notorious C.H.O., I think it was because I'd already seen I'm the One that I Want and heard the general sentiment. Anyways, I liked this one a lot better. I laughed more often throughout this one, which means I don't need to purge the rest of her movies from my Netflix queue. I'm not bumping them up, but I won't delete them either.

Damn it, now back to supply-side perspectives and aggregate fluctuations....