Sunday, January 08, 2012

Culture Club

Watched a lot of movies and have read quite a few books over the break.  I'm a little sad about going back to work tomorrow, especially since I seem to have contracted a mild form of stomach flu.  The plus side is, all this pooping is going to help me lose some of the holiday weight I gained.  J/K!  I kid, I kid (not about gaining the weight, but about being glad about having a case of the scoots to lose it).  I am NOT endorsing this type of behaviour, impressionable readers.

I will be glad to get my body back on track though.  My sis and I hit up the outlet malls near her place so I could bump up my spring/summer work wardrobe.  Alls I gotta say is: J Crew outlet.  YES!  Mad fist pumps!  I loves me some J Crew - got me a simple black pencil skirt, a few Jackie O cardigans, two button down shirts, a patterned pencil skirt from their resort line (pictured below) which looks a little matronly but which I think I can sass up with some cork heeled open toed shoes and the right bag/tops (also, the photo below is grabbed from the interwebs...I would NEVER try on a skirt with socks - that's a recipe for dressing room failure.  Seriously.  Just take your damn socks off and see how the outfit looks with ankles!  It's worth whatever phantom case of athlete's foot you're worried you might contract at J Crew.)  I also got this pleated, tulip shaped skirt in a neutral, dark khaki griege (that's the new design blog shorthand for grey and beige, yo!) 

I also went a bit buck at Banana - got a few blouses and $20 pants.  I spent quite a bit, but now I'm  pretty much done building my spring/summer work wardrobe and can kick back on that score.  I'm a very focused shopper - I know how I want to look, I make a list of the pieces I need, and then I go out and bang it out.  If I can't get it online and I have to go to stores, this is a lifesaver for me - it's so efficient.  I don't super love aimlessly shopping any more - it's just not my style.  That's what the interwebs is for, sons.

I can't believe what a Banana/J Crew slut I am.  This is the way it is for the working woman though.  I also can't believe how I can pull together a work wardrobe, but like, Zooey Deschanel can still get away with acting like a twee girl-child and people find it adorable.  

Shortly before New Year, the video above made the rounds.  Dr. Rei and I have already debriefed about this, but we both find this video HELLA ANNOYING!!!  I'm just like, YOU'RE 31!!!  How come I had to to progress my style and you're wearing a tiara?!!???  GET OUT!  What the heck?  Are you going to be wearing mary janes and tights and too-short dresses and tiaras when you're 37?  NOT APPROPRIATE!!!  There's nothing wrong with being a GROWN-UP.  Being all girlish and coy and precocious and cutesy is SO not my bag anymore.  I mean, all my friends are adorable in their own way.  But it seems like such a put-on.  I find it annoying the same way I find the Olivia years on the Cosby Show and Elmo annoying.  Don't try to be cute.  Just be who you are.  And maybe that's who Zooey is.  I don't know her life.  Alls I knows is: it seems like a put-on.

By comparison, I feel like Tavi Gevinson is someone who is moving through adolescence into womanhood in the public eye in such a real, accessible, relatable way that I want to vomit.  She's put together this online magazine called Rookie and it's the best.  Seriously, check it out.  This is the kind of magazine that 14 year old me in high school could have really used to help navigate being a weird duck and that 32 year old me now enjoys reading as a window into how 14 year old me could have been.  Originally, I thought I was going to be all over Zooey's venture (with Sophia Rossi and Molly McAleer) Hello Giggles, but it's just not for me.  I still find Molly McAleer's blog pretty funny, but at the same time, I realized that these women are way too into Beyoncé for me.  I don't love Bey.  I just don't.  And I also don't love 2 Broke Girls (after making the criminal mistaking of making a decision after the first episode and tweeting about it).  It's kind of racist and the writing is poor.  They also all love Drake and Lil' Wayne and I'm sorry, I can't go down that nasal alley with them.  Sorry.

Auto correct always fixes "relatable" but I'm convinced that it's a word and I can't be bothered to figure out how to spell it. are some reviews of movies I have seen (in the order that we watched them):

I watched Country Strong on my own waiting for the Dotytron to come back from his last winter concert before the break.  I had been hankering to see it for a while.  As some of you know, I am a frequent collaborator in the common fixation-hate for Gwyneth Paltrow that is shared by many women in North America.  It's like, she's just TOO MUCH.  With her patrician features and always going on about being macrobiotic and then flipping the switch and pretending to love eating fried chicken and being a regular gal who also wears Stella McCartney and Balenciaga and can sing and dance and act and "cook" has Senor Spielbergo for a godfather.  SHUT IT!  Anyway, I wanted to watch this movie, which is ridiculous, because it shows her as a not-so-recovering alcoholic who does self-destructive shiz like try to have sex with disgusting, bloaty guys, and scream, "GIMME THAT BOTTLE!!" while lunging for said bottle across an unmade bed in a designer bra.  It was laughable and super-melodramatic, but not without its entertainment value.  

So...y'all know that I'm a rabid hypochondriac, right?  THIS IS THE WORST POSSIBLE MOVIE FOR ME.  It was super-freaky and super-real and you get to watch GWYNETH PALTROW DIE OF A SEIZURE.  Which is kind of the best (see above).  Like, she's not wearing any makeup and she looks RUGGED and then she foams at the mouth.  Amaze.  For people who harbour apocalyptic-preparedness delusions (ie. me and most people I consider deep kindred spirits), then this movie is the exact combination of reality-fear to whip us into a state of taser/cross-bow/semi automatic arsenal gathering.  It has the following hallmarks:

1) illustrating the thin line separating civilization from anarchy
2) illustrating how ill-prepared the government is to handle a crisis
3) how quickly disease can spread

Brutal.  It also didn't help that my sis was like, "the Centre for Disease Control is one of the most consistently under-funded agencies."  AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  We don't even need a zombie apocalypse...we're like one Spanish flu away from total chaos.  Which is all to say: this movie is pretty good.

I had super-high hopes for this movie that were quickly dashed.  This won the grand jury prize at Sundance last year.  Promising, right?  It's about these two young uns who meet in America but she overstays her visa and then gets shipped back to the UK and they can't be together and it's hard because they're in lurve.  The actress, Felicity something or other, also won the acting prize.  The film is beautiful in that hazy, Instagram-y way that shows young lovers in the best light and to which my generation is extremely susceptible.  The acting is very natural, with a lot of the dialogue improvised by the actors.  We just couldn't get into it. I was like, YEAH DUMMY, YOU OVERSTAYED YOUR VISA SO OF COURSE YOU GOT THE BOOT.  WHY DIDN'T YOU FOLLOW THE RULES?!?  And then it goes on for too long and ends like, 3 scenes after it should have ended and is kind of silly.  The Dotytron's theory is that you either have to be the age of the characters in the movie to appreciate it, or like, 60 years old and nostalgic for the thrill of young love.  Anyone in between is gonna think these guys are just janky losers with first world problems.

We followed that up with Pearl Jam 20, which is a Cameron Crowe directed documentary about Pearl Jam.  Cameron Crowe has deep roots in that scene and the footage was extraordinary.  It's a really engaging, entertaining documentary, that has appeal for anyone who likes Pearl Jam, even superficially, or who grew up in the 90s.  It just makes you realize how s**ty music is nowadays and how superficial and how no one sings and how artificial it all is at this point in time (I recognize that things go in waves).  I think we're about due.  Anyway, grunge was the best.  Being in high school at a time when that was the alternative to aspire to was really special and we were lucky that the uniform was oversized t-shirts, ripped jeans, flannel on flannel, and in the Dotytron's case, 3 hole Doc Marten's (aka business shoes...LOL!)  The story of how the Dotytron always wanted Docs and then his parents got him 3 holes is legendary around here.  

Midnight in Paris is one of the more commercially successful Woody Allen films in recent history.  I found it meh.  I think you either have to like Woody Allen or you don't and I don't think I do.  I get that at the time when he first started, his style was pretty revolutionary - but now, I'm always left at the end of his films being, "is that it?"  The same with this one.  It was kind of fun to meet that Lost Generation of artists, writers, and intellectuals in Paris (Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, Dali, Gertrude Stein et al), but the story around it was so flimsy and the present-day relationship between Owen Wilson's character and Rachel McAdam's character was so unbelievable.  I also discovered I have a new pet peeve: when people time travel in movies and the movie spends too much time with the time travelling character being all like, "whaaa?"  "where am I?" "Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda...hmmm...this must be some kind of elaborate joke."  I'm like: WE GET IT.  YOU TIME TRAVELED.  MOVE ALONG.  It's such a waste of the audience's time.

The Adjustment Bureau is based on a Philip K. Dick story - which I've come to realize make better stories than they do films.  They are at once too slight for a film treatment and too sophisticated for a film treatment.  There's no room for the importance of Dick's investigation into the nature of control and free will to really sink in - the story gets turned into this action-adventure lots-of-people-running thing that just doesn't do the material justice.

I'll do a literature round-up tomorrow.


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