26 February, 2010

Things to make your day, dear friends.

Dedicated at least in part to Austin, who is extraordinary.

This is one of my favorite movie moments ever.




Also, this. I wish real life were more like this.




However, if I were to sing a song while walking somewhere, it would almost certainly be this one, with Mr. Arnstein's name possibly changed.



And mostly because I love Christopher Walken oh-so-much, this is another thing I love.



And finally, if my future husband isn't cool with our making something EXACTLY like this (except with a different song), starring all our friends and relatives, the wedding is off.



It's quite possible I will never get married, for this and other reasons. But when I start to feel depressed about that, I just think of Judy Garland, my hero.

No, seriously, she and I are practically the same person. Personality, mannerisms, body issues, we share it all.

(Barbra Streisand is also in this but I don't really feel a special connection to her)



A lot of people would consider identifying with Hollywood's original drug headliner a bad thing, but I just own it.



David, this is film uno of the tap dancing movies that will change your life. Also, you don't comment on my blog like you used to. I miss it.

Have a great weekend everybody! I am going to Portland and am going to eat here.

23 February, 2010

HALLOWEEN BOX

A big part of my life since I moved back in with my ailing, infirm father is attempting to subdue/organize/donate to charity all of the MOUNDS of crap that have accumulated in the house for the past few decades we have lived here, without him noticing. It is an epic amount of crap, and I say crap in its truest non-scatological sense: this is stuff that ought to be discarded or given to someone else, that serves no purpose whatsoever for anyone who lives here. Right now I am living in the "Kids' Room", which David and I shared until I got boobs and he started asking embarrassing questions (remember, we are seven years apart), then it was my room only, then David's room only when I moved to the attic, then it was shared by Carlos and David, then it belonged only to Carlos. Now it is mine, and due to its many past occupants, it is filled to the brim with Kid Stuff. In the course of my subtle attempts to organize and clean this room I am currently residing in, I have been able to get rid of lots of things without my dad noticing. HIS NOT NOTICING is vital to the plan because if he sees me carting any bags or boxes out the door to take to DI, he will inevitably go through said containers and insist that the McDonald's toys/games with vital pieces missing/clothes that fit no one are somehow ESSENTIAL TO OUR LIVES AND CANNOT BE THROWN OUT.

I love my dad, for the record. But this drives me INSANE.

I have (please do not tell my father this) been able to stealthily eliminate over ten boxes of useless junk to DI while my dad was at work, asleep or otherwise away. It makes me feel like a superhero, and I've got big plans for the rest of the house, so watch out.

One reward of going through boxes that haven't seen the light of day in years is that you can find cool stuff. Some of it is cool enough to keep or donate to a really specific cause (like my boxes of Japanese children's books that I saved when I thought I would one day want to teach my children Japanese) but most of it I am comfortable smiling at nostalgically and then unceremoniously KICKING IT TO THE CURB. Literally.

Then again, sometimes I find stuff that is SO TOTALLY WICKED that I want to share it with the world.

Like the Halloween Box, AKA the Box of Awesome.

I assume every family had a Halloween box--a box of costume pieces left over from weird school projects and the costumes of former years. Because I am the eldest and the only girl, most of the costumes in the Halloween Box are kinda boy-centric. Some of this stuff, I seriously have no idea where it came from.

Below is a short video I just made in tribute to the Halloween Box. Stay tuned for the entire minute and twelve seconds because the last costume is FOR SURE the most terrifying.





Now I am going to take that box to the DI, where it can bring joy/terror to more children, Brave Little Toaster style.

Oh, and the music is "Satan's Bed" by Pearl Jam.

19 February, 2010

On Flirting.


I'm temping in an office today. It's boring. No, scratch that, because saying it's boring only reflects badly on me--implying that I'm the kind of person who gets bored. There just ... isn't much to do. How's that? I look forward to the mail coming once a day so I can spend twenty minutes sorting it. I love it when the phone rings even if the caller has the wrong number. Or is a telemarketer. Yesterday I took a survey about office supplies over the phone. I think I have made my point.


Fact: working as a front desk secretary is essentially being a professional flirt. Think about it. I am the smiling face who greets the Fed Ex Guy and other delivery workers/couriers. I soothingly and chirpily connect callers to the department they seek. I charmingly welcome potential job applicants (all male so far). And I make small talk with my temporary co-workers, one of whom walks by the front desk much more than he needs to, it seems. I smile, I laugh, I wink, I tease. I can maybe kind of understand how office romances come to be. Not that I would ever consider participating in an extramarital affair, mind you. But I can see how, after weeks and weeks of sitting at a desk with nothing to do but flirt with people, "things" can happen.


In the white handbook that lays out the rules and regulations for Mormon missionaries, one of the bullet points emphasizes (paraphrased) "do not participate in flirtations with the opposite sex." In my second city when I was a Mormon missionary, when my companion and I were dutifully reading from the book as part of our morning studies, she paused at that bullet point and looked at me pointedly.


C: "Do not participate in flirtations with the opposite sex." ... or the same sex, right, Sister Koler?

Me: (jolted out of my exhausted reverie) Huh? Sorry, what?

C: You know what I mean.

Me: ... I'm afraid I don't.

C: You're a flirt! Not just with boys, with everyone! You flirt with kids, old ladies, our investigators' parents...

Me: Oh. (pause) I guess that's just how I am.


She was right, of course. Even as a straitlaced Mormon clergywoman, I was/am an irrepressible flirt. It's just how I interact with people. I wink, touch elbows, jokingly kiss anyone on the cheek. There was, once again in Hungary, one instance where I sat next to a teenage girl on the bus. I struck up a conversation and started asking her where she went to school, etc. Not too far into the conversation she gave me a creeped-out look and said with peculiar emphasis, "I have a boyfriend." Then I stopped talking to her because there is just no recovering from that kind of awkwardness. I can't remember if I got up and changed seats, but I should have.
Anyway, flirting indiscriminately is a good thing because 1. it makes any interaction more interesting and 2. it usually puts strangers (and myself) at ease. However, there are several negative consequences to this habit of mine: 1. it can sometimes confuse people into believing that I am a lesbian/into old people/unfaithful to my current boyfriend/a bad missionary and 2. it means that people who I am legitimately interested in often cannot be sure that I mean it when I flirt with them (or, likely as not, avoid flirting with them due to being scared like a little bunny). For whatever reason, when flirting really counts, I am unable to perform. Flirting, for me, does everything but serve its intended purpose.
I started thinking about the irony of this situation this morning at the bus stop. In Utah, I didn't get hit on by strangers very often, I assume because there is a surplus of attractive, accomplished women, many of them 10s, and I am a 6/7, on a good day. Maybe lower since I gained some weight over Christmas.
Anyway, the really great thing about Seattle is that I would say most women are in the 6-8 range. This is similar to the phenomenon that Pamela and I witnessed in Las Vegas, when I turned to her excitedly after getting checked out in a line for a roller coaster and said "Hey! We're hot in Vegas!" Accordingly, I get slightly more public male attention than I did in Utah. This is good for my self esteem but not otherwise helpful.
On Wednesday, for example, a good-looking but older (early 40s?) black guy stopped me in the hallway when I was walking through a building, told me I looked nice, and asked where I worked. I have a highly developed creepometer, so I knew for (reasonably) sure that he wasn't a freak or a rapist, just a friendly guy who liked how I looked. But even though I could sense that, all I did was smile demurely, say something non-committal, and walk away. One could theorize that I was trying to leave him wanting more, but the truth is, I'm not that clever. I was just unnerved.
Exhibit the second. This morning at the bus stop, like I was saying earlier, I was crossing the street at 6:50 in the morning, wearing a dress that came to my knees and no nylons. I stood next to a fellow commuter, a cute guy about my age in a knit black stocking cap. He looked over at me as I shivered and zipped up my coat as far as it would go, and said, "That's ambitious of you, wearing a dress today." He then made a big show of looking up and down my pale, goosey legs, and then said, "I like your style." Once again, I smiled politely, said something non-committal, and then pulled out my iPod and plugged into the nothingness.
That poor guy kept looking over at me while we were standing at the crowded bus stop, and the thing is, he seemed like a really nice guy. I don't know why I didn't encourage him. Obviously I am not self-centered enough to think my semi-rejection did him any lasting harm, but still, it would not have killed me to flirt back. I just never feel like flirting BACK, only flirting forward, when I am sure that nothing will come of it. How ridiculous.

17 February, 2010

A Change of Plans.

At first I was all, "I'm going to write a deep and meaningful blog entry about my relationship with the religion of my ancestors and expound about the continual role Catholicism and its rituals play in my life and how I firmly believe they bring me closer to God and I am so grateful for my multicultural heritage and I see no contradiction between the religion I was raised in and the other one I eventually joined."

And then I was like, POLAROIDS!!!!!

Tuesday = Shrove Tuesday = pancakes.
Wednesday = Ash Wednesday = Hardcore ash cross on face.

I love Lent.

14 February, 2010

HAPPY LOVE FOR CHINESE PRESIDENT'S DAY!!!

Today's theme is: being a woman.

Because I am a woman, and also because I am pathetic, I lurrrvvveeee Mommy Blogs. Love 'em. Especially the ones run by classy, sarcastic, down-to-earth, this-is-who-I-wanna-be-someday mommies. Here is a video I found on Girl's Gone Child that is quite interesting. Sorry about the ad at the beginning.


You know, sometimes I feel kinda sorry for men. Women are tots confusing. The most helpful thing I learned from the video above is that 1. women are told that cool people don't care about silly things like Valentine's Day but 2. you totally have to do something anyway, because NOT doing something might mean something but also 3. you should do romantic stuff all the times just because. So the answer to "when should I do something romantic for my S.O.?" is, in fact: yesterday.

Sorry dudes.

Please click here if you want to see a bunch of vintage black and white photos of people kissing and remember just why women are worth keeping around. You will recall that black and white photos of people kissing are one of my main reasons for life. Holiday or no.

My dad gave me a small box of chocolates for Valentine's Day which I (don't tell him!) almost certainly won't eat, unless I melt it on top of something. I don't like plain milk chocolate. Only dark. But bless his heart for trying.

What was I saying about women being difficult?

However, my dad brings home a point that I think we should focus on: Valentine's Day ought to be about all the types of love, not just kissy-kissy love. Another Mommy Blogger that I read writes love letters to her kids every Valentine's Day. I think that idea is adorable and I totally plan to steal it. If I thought Sego would appreciate a love letter I might write one to him, but he would probably just eat it. I took him for a Valentine's Day walk instead.

Fact: Valentine's Day Walks are EXACTLY like any-other-day-of-the-year walks, except there are more people walking around.

Anyway, this year is the year of the Tiger. Tigers are reportedly brave, competitive and unpredictable, which pretty well sums up my expectations for this year. I'm excited.

I was born in the year of the Rat. Bummer. I remember when I was little we learned about the Chinese Zodiac in class and my paper said to me, "Marry a dragon or a monkey." And I was like, hey! Then I eventually figured out what that meant. But it was pretty funny.

Also, if you want to read some funny/marginally disrespectful/stops short of unpatriotic stories about former presidents in honor of tomorrow, check this out. Me, I have a job interview, so you could say I am centering my Presidents Day around the pieces of linen that bear their noble visages. Or something.

If you are still reading this, I love you.

12 February, 2010

You. Are. Compute.


The Manchester Mark 1 was one of the earliest electronic computers, operational in April 1949, when my mom was 3 years old. The researchers who built the machine pioneered the use of index registers, which were apparently crucial to the eventual development of the vastly comprehensive computer memory you and I all enjoy today. This is the information I determined to be the most important when I beefed up on computer history in thirty seconds before I started writing this.

(The part about my mom being three years old when it became operational wasn't part of my research. I used my powers of deduction.)

Not because Valentine's Day is imminent, but rather because love, and nerdiness, and ESPECIALLY nerdy love (or lovely nerdiness) ought to be celebrated every weekend of the year, I wish to inform you that in 1952 a brilliant man named Christopher Strackey developed a computer program called "Loveletters" that operates on the internet to this very day, in its original form.

I didn't pay too much attention when Dr. Mark Davies tried to teach his 293 class about computational linguistics, but I am pretty sure the computer program taps a corpus of love letters (whether they are real ones or manufactured ones I can't say) and generates random permutations of the pieces it finds, splicing them together every time you refresh the page. Hours of fun! Here are a few of my favorites:

LOVE DEAR
YOU ARE MY AVID CHARM: MY BURNING WISH. MY ARDOUR ARDENTLY ADORES YOUR LITTLE ARDOUR. MY IMPATIENT ARDOUR DESIRES YOUR DESIRE. YOU ARE MY DEAR LIKING.
YOURS ANXIOUSLY
M. U. C.

SWEETHEART DEAR
MY FONDNESS COVETOUSLY CLINGS TO YOUR LOVABLE WISH. YOU ARE MY CRAVING TENDERNESS. MY FANCY LIKES YOUR LOVE. YOU ARE MY FOND FANCY: MY KEEN HEART.
YOURS FONDLY
M. U. C.

LOVE DUCK
MY LOVING ADORATION ARDENTLY TREASURES YOUR HUNGER. YOU ARE MY PRECIOUS HUNGER. MY YEARNING ATTRACTS YOUR WISH. YOU ARE MY WISTFUL DESIRE. MY FONDNESS ADORES YOUR DEVOTION.
YOURS ANXIOUSLY
M. U. C.

HONEY JEWEL
YOU ARE MY CURIOUS WISH. MY AFFECTION LUSTS FOR YOUR PASSION. YOU ARE MY ADORABLE DEVOTION: MY WINNING PASSION. MY LOVESICK AFFECTION AVIDLY ADORES YOUR FANCY.
YOURS ARDENTLY
M. U. C.

DEAR MOPPET
MY BURNING FONDNESS BREATHLESSLY LOVES YOUR TENDER ARDOUR. MY ENCHANTMENT BEAUTIFULLY CLINGS TO YOUR CRAVING RAPTURE. MY ADORATION BEAUTIFULLY PINES FOR YOUR YEARNING. YOU ARE MY AMOROUS APPETITE: MY PRECIOUS FERVOUR.
YOURS IMPATIENTLY
M. U. C.

Now if only I had paid enough attention in CHUM 250 (or rather, shown up to class) perhaps I would be able to create a computer program that would pull from those five little beauties above and create my ULTIMATE LOVE LETTER.

That would be a dangerous, dangerous tool, fatal in the wrong hands.

Never mind.

10 February, 2010

Colleges, a Comparison

My original Alma Mater

+Hundreds .... well, dozens, of people that I deeply love.
+The Naked Indian Statue.

I liked to check him out, Sego liked to bark at him.

-70s modern architecture that is revolting.
-A culture of spiritual McCarthyism.

The University of Washington

+Classy brick buildings that make my heart move up two inches in my chest.
-Nobody I know, at all. Could that potentially be a +, though?
+A fresh start.
+An AMAZING program. I am in love with it, even the fruity little certification adviser who wears his pants high above his waist.
+While I was on campus, I saw a booth handing out free condoms and selling tickets to a production of The Vagina Monologues.
+Also, someone approached me and asked me to sign a petition about the environment (pro).
+I walked around campus for over an hour and I did not see ANYONE wearing stilettos.

I think I am in love.

08 February, 2010

For you.

The "you" is someone who needs to hear this, not a "you" who broke my heart. Nobody who has ever broken my heart reads this blog, I don't think. If you are: Hey. You broke my heart and I resent that, because my heart is kinda defective to begin with. Go screw yourself. Bye.

Ways To Cowboy Up and Heal Oneself of a Broken Heart

(in semi-chronological order)

1. Cry. A lot. Even if it makes the other people in the bathroom or movie theater or ethnic grocery store (true story!) uncomfortable. Cry as much as you like. Try to believe that one day you will be able to experience a trigger memory that will not make you cry again. Even if it seems unlikely.

2. Spend time alone. Go on walks, read scriptures, all that introspective stuff you see broken-hearted characters do in movies. DO NOT read old emails or journal entries initially. Build up to that gradually, starting with easy stuff like looking up his name in the phone book.

3. Spend time with people who love you. People who will either listen to you without being too pushy, or who will find other interesting things to discuss. Go shopping with someone who walks at a slow pace. Discuss movies with people who have the same taste as you. If you absolutely have to go to some sort of wedding, do not go alone. Take someone who will crack jokes the entire time and maybe help you steal some centerpieces.

4. Write stuff down. You might want to destroy it afterwards. Makes lists of his physical and personality-related flaws. Write him hateful letters. G-chat with your ever-patient friends and ask them if they had any inkling your relationship was a ticking time bomb of misery and despair. If they did feel that way and just didn't tell you, write them angry, confrontational letters, and destroy those too. Write about things you may have learned or may not have learned. Write until you feel like writing about something unrelated. That's a good sign.

5. Take everything that reminds you of him and put it in a box. Then write a date for at least a few months (I like six) in the future for the box to be re-opened. Hide the box. Open it later, and then decide what you want to get rid of, and what you want to keep around. Do not get rid of your phone, car, bedsheets (except maybe the pillowcase), infant child, or can opener (another true story). No seriously, don't.

6. Do a Google Image Search for "brown recluse spider bite." Say this out loud to yourself while staring at the aforementioned images: "It could be worse." Say it thirty times or until you believe it, whichever comes first.

7. Read the Song of Solomon in the Bible. If anyone tries to convince you it's not worth reading, tell them to shut up. Picture in your mind someone existing who sincerely believes your breasts are like two young roes that are twins. Then picture that handsome person beating up your previous paramour. Repeat as many times as necessary.

8. Research weird stuff. Whatever makes you feel human again. Cheap flights to London. Turkish food. I like to look at online memorials of people who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Don't attempt to explain why you are interested in the weird things you are interested in. I never do.

9. This last one is Choose Your Own Adventure! First, pick how you are feeling right now. Are you filled with rage? This is usually me. Or are you moping about your lost love despite all the bad stuff he did?

Rage is A. Moping is B.

A.

You are right to be angry. Even if you contributed in some way to the end of the relationship, and you almost certainly did, it is perfectly normal to feel angry when someone hurts you. However, an unnamed (because I can't remember) Holocaust survivor once wrote something along the lines of:

"I choose to forgive Hitler for what he has done to me and my family, because I do not wish to bring Hitler with me to America."

If you spend too much time being angry and plotting revenge, and going over every interaction you ever had and poisoning it with your newfound poor opinion of your ex-lover ("That time he was texting while we watched X-Men? I'll bet he was texting HER!!! Also, who texts during the greatest movie of the year 2000? What a douche.") one or more of several things will happen.

1. You will become so boring and scary that no one who loves you will want to spend time with you anymore.
2. You will become a vengeance-crazed vigilante and potentially end up in prison.
3. You will go on a date with someone great and ruin your chances with him/her by unloading about your past failed relationships. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City refers to it as being "emotionally slutty," and it's not cute.

So, let go of your anger. Pray. Snuggle with a puppy. Give it some time. However, because I brought Hitler into the argument, this entire paragraph has become, in a small but important way, completely unreliable, so you must now proceed to item B, anyway. Ha!

B.

First of all, you are a better person than I am, or at least a more forgiving one. I'm going to stick with better. A lot of blog articles, magazine quizzes, etc. focus on the idea of STOPPING your love for someone as part of the healing process, as if continuing to love someone who has hurt you is somehow neurotic. It's not. In fact, I would say that the ultimate goal in life is to love everyone despite--perhaps even because of--how they have mistreated you.

I know this sounds like talk-show infused Buddhism, and maybe a little stupid, but hear me out.

First of all, without suffering there can be no compassion, so when push comes to shove, we can be grateful for all those who have caused us suffering, because it provides us with the incomparable gift of sympathy for others and compassion for ourselves.

Secondly, if you can love someone for all the good experiences you had together without allowing other events to render them inconsequential, that is very, very good. Also, I would love to hear your secret.

Lastly, recognize that perhaps you will always love the person who hurt you, and that's OK, and you care still able to move on with your life without purging yourself of that emotion. You probably shouldn't hang out with him on a regular basis, but concern for his welfare and a genuine hope for his well-being in the future is exactly what Jesus would want for both of you.

10. Consider moving to another city, or at least another neighborhood. Even if starting over isn't in fact the best idea for you, realizing that it is POSSIBLE is good for your soul.

So that's a foolproof , extremely original untested (at least on a clinical scale) and potentially totally useless list for you. Feel free to switch up the pronouns as you see fit.

Good luck.

My History in Junk Food, part 1

1988

This was the year my aunt Cheryl visited my family from Sweden, with her husband Gunnar, an all-around terrific guy, and one I wish I had around more often. I remember him being much more funny than my other uncles, and more interesting to young children because he had a beard and liked to draw. He had the unique gift of being able to tease young children by being actually funny instead of cruel or condescending. He taught me how to draw realistic(-ish) looking clouds.

One night while the entire family was sitting around playing a board game or arguing politics, I noticed that Gunnar was eating a small carton of ice cream. He told me that it was coffee ice cream and that it was very expensive. Since he was a kind, childless, easy-going sort of uncle, he offered me a bite and it was the most delicious thing that I had ever eaten in my entire life. I remember feeling rather hyper for the rest of the evening, but that could have just been because I was four.

22 years and one baptism into the Mormon Church later, I still think coffee ice cream is the most delicious food item on the planet. This has led to approximately fifteen hours of difficult soul-searching, and I think three blog entries. Look it up.

1989

My favorite house that I ever lived in is only half a mile from where I live right now. I still drive past it every once in a while and admire it, the apple tree in the front yard, and the two-foot square window my father spent an entire weekend installing in the crawlspace so I could have a indoor playhouse. Most of my positive childhood memories are from that house even though we only lived there two or three years. It had a creek in the backyard.

It was also an ideal house for a five year-old because it was only two blocks away from a dingy, locally-owned money laundering operation wholesome corner grocery store that sold CANDY. LOTS AND LOTS OF CANDY. My equally health-conscious mother and I would often go for rejuvenating "walks" that ended up at that store. Because my favorite candy at the time was, of course, Gummy Worms, I called that little place "the worm store."

The summer of '89, one of my cousins was in town, who was a mature eight to my five. It being a simpler time, she and I got permission to walk to the Worm Store alone. We did not have any money with us, however. This is how I learned to shoplift.

We stole Gummy Worms, naturally, and for an extra dose of irony, candy cigarettes.

1991

My mother was pregnant. We lived in a different house, one with no real usable backyard, just a hill with dead grass, and no crawlspace. It was, by all accounts, an inferior house to the previous one. However, it had three bedrooms, and it it possible that our former house had not. I honestly can't remember.

The important thing is that my mom was pregnant. She is so tall and stately that she actually looked pretty good pregnant, in my opinion. She was so forgetful, though, that at seven years old I took charge of the housekeys sometimes and almost every week she drove away from the drive-through bank with that futuristic tube thing still in the car. Then we would have to drive through again to return it, so going to the bank always took twice as long.

Also, she craved borscht. I don't know if it really was a pregnancy-related food craving, or it it's just a coincidence that my memories of eating borscht with my mom also involve her being pregnant. Anyway, there used to be a little Russian diner on fifteenth right by our house (where the Ichi Bento is now) and I loved going there, not for the Russian food, but for the 1. onion rings and 2. ice cream sandwiches.

On no other occasion had I seen or eaten an ice cream sandwich, except at that little Russian diner. Until I was embarrassingly old, I actually thought they were a Russian food, an exotic import for the East. Whenever I craved an ice cream sandwich, I always asked my mom if we could go to the Russian diner, or later on, lamented its passing. Considering the weight problems I had as an adolescent, I think it's probably a good thing that I didn't know one can purchase ice cream sandwiches wherever cold confections are sold, until much later in life.

02 February, 2010

Collin and I should write a screenplay.

I'm thinking Diablo Cody-infused rom-com, minus the sex.

Him: If he doesn't talk to you, then you're going after the wrong guy, again. And I'm going to tease you, because I have yet to hear about a cool guy that you've pursued.
Me: Hey, hey ...
Him: Mostly I'm thinking about that horribly narcissistic **** guy you were so spellbound by.
Me: Oh gosh. That's my big fear honestly. It's too bad that I go for mysterious slash creative, because that is so often linked to douchebag. I should make a t-shirt that says "NO MORE DOUCHEBAGS" just to remind me.
Him: Yeah, but that makes it sound like you work for a company that supplies douchebags and that you have evidently run out of them.
Me: Shoot, maybe I did.

The Lovely Bones

Alice Sebold's novel The Lovely Bones, the first time I read it, was one of those books that I forced upon the nearest person (my father, in this case) after I finished it so that I could have someone with whom to discuss it. I wasn't sure if my father, notorious for his humorless religiosity, would necessarily jive with the open-ended vision of the Afterlife that Sebold laid out in her best-seller, but I figured it was worth a shot. After all, the Heaven she wrote about wasn't by definition Godless, or overtly wrong in any sense. It was just different for every person. In an abstract way, almost anyone can get behind that concept. At least I'd like to think so.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of the novel. I know some people who couldn't get past the first few chapters, in which the main characters recounts her own rape and murder--it's sad and troubling and suspenseful and everything you would expect to find in a film, not a novel. Which is why I wasn't surprised that the book was made into a film, although I was very surprised to see Peter Jackson direct it. I haven't seen Heavenly Creatures (Should I?) and I had no idea Jackson was interested in humans, frankly.

Tonight I saw the movie with my father. The murder scene was blessedly subtle and short--no gore, no rape, no sound effects of fruit being thrown onto cement floors. I think that might have ruined the movie for me. There were some corpse scenes that I could have lived without, but overall nothing too nightmarish. I would let my children over the age of thirteen see it.

There were some things that were cut from the original story that I missed. Franny, Susie's counselor in Heaven, was unsuccessfully melded with the best friend character, whose story tied up way too neatly and who had some of the worst, striving-for-ethereal-but-stopping-at-silly lines. Sam and Lindsey's relationship, which was a fundamental part of the novel's plot, was reduced to two afterthought scenes. The grandmother became comic relief instead of a real character. However, Susie's descriptions of Heaven and the establishment of her relationship with her family were excellent. The Heaven managed to look idealized, like a calendar, without becoming so image-heavy that you got overwhelmed (Like in What Dreams May Come). The movie is only two hours, which is short for a Jackson film, and he manages to lose track of some of the characters are various points in the film. But overall, it was a pretty good movie. It was heartwrenching and sad and interesting and Stanley Tucci is HOLY CRAP SO SCARY BEST VILLAIN EVER. He has managed to make me develop a new fear of quiet bachelors with aviators and a comb-over. Possibly for the rest of my life. He was amazingly creepy.

They managed to add a few plot points to make the story a little more accessible without completely destroying the story. I could have done without the flashlight scene, but I can forgive it. Also, to those of you who have read the book: they change the icicle part. But it still works.

One more thing. The two best actors in the film were Susie (played by
Saoirse "I have a friggin' AMAZING name" Ronan) and Lindsey (played by Rose McIver). They are both beautiful, poised, intelligent-looking girls and every scene that either of them is in is excellent. The most exciting scene by far was when Lindsey breaks into Mr. Harvey's house, and the most romantic (in the film--unfortunately a lot of my favorite romantic scenes from the book were cut) was one of the final scenes with Susie and Ray. I also loved how Rose McIver was so healthy-looking. She looks like a mid-nineties Kate Winslet. I hope she stays that way, but of course she won't if she wants to keep working. Damn you, Hollywood.

Darth Vader Quotes

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Andy Warhol Art of the Day