Monday, February 18, 2008

La Raza Unida

My college roommate was in town this weekend. (Well, one of them. Not A Common Man.) We’ve kept in contact, of course, but it never ceases to amaze me that even though years can pass since you’ve last seen each other, there will always be some people with whom you can pick up almost exactly where you left off. Four years seems like four days, and you can laugh and cry together about everything that happened in the time warp.

At any rate, it was great to spend time with her, her partner, and another mutual college friend (of waiting-till-our-toes-freeze-to-see-Obama fame). It struck me again, not for the first time recently, that I have a hell of a lot of really cool friends doing a lot of really cool things around the country and world, and I’m both lucky and grateful to know them all.

And speaking of doing cool things around the world, I also watched Bandidas this weekend. I’m a fan of Salma Hayek, and I’m a fan of women who kick ass. And even in a cheeseball movie like Bandidas, I’m a sucker for hot women who kick some serious ass, even if their politics are bit muddled.

The film had Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz robbing banks across Mexico in a slapstick attempt to keep a big corporate American bank from driving peasants off their land. It’s one of those films where the inner historian takes a second seat to the inner pop culture scholar, in the interest of good fun. There was even an unintentionally hilarious scene where Salma Hayek inexplicably screams “Viva Mexico! Viva la revolución!” as if becoming Robin Hood somehow inspired Pancho Villa. Not quite up to the wonderful and brilliant cheesage level of the National Treasure movies, but still really fun. The kind of cheese where you take for granted that drop-dead gorgeous farm girls walk around the desert in off-the-shoulder peasant blouses while the sun beats down on them!

The movie put me in the mood for loveable villainy, so I finally finished Artemis Fowl. A coworker gave it to me as a goodbye present, but I only just now got around to reading it.

It’s a great children’s story, about a 12-year-old millionaire evil genius trying to outwit fairies, a brilliant take on the legend of trying to steal a leprechaun’s gold. Eoin Colfer created an awesomely fantastic world where goblins, trolls, fairies, and dwarves live underground and need to keep out of sight of technologically backwards humans. He came up with a great back story, involving how humans ruined the earth and drove the People (the fairies) into its core. The title character kidnaps a fairy and demands gold as ransom, and the fairy army special forces besiege a medieval estate in Ireland. Great stuff!

And a great way to avoid the Econ readings…

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