Monthly Archives: July 2012

Guilty pleasure

I admit it. I have a free account at the Norwalk Reflector so I can read the neverending cavalcade of completely asinine, idiotic, crack-brained comments on the articles. Hahahaaaaa

I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!  :mrgreen:

All right, be serious here. Cake Decorating Class #2 coming up tonight — I’m ready for it! I’ve been practicing all week (two cakes baked and hours of pastry bag practice), so I’m hoping I won’t look like a total dork in front of my classmates tonight. En garde…here we go!

Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Just enough dysfunction to be interesting; just enough precociousness to be endearing; just enough fairy story to be completely enjoyable. Such was the recipe for Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s (Rushmore, The Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) new film.

It’s 1964, and Suzy and Sam, two serious, intelligent, square-peg 12-year-olds, have gone missing on a New England island called New Penzance, having run away from their unhappy lives in order to get married. Suzy, the daughter of two estranged, dysphoric lawyers escapes into the jungle-like recesses of the island with foster child Sam, who gathers a bunch of camping supplies and deserts his fellow Khaki Scouts to make a life in the wild with his new lady.

Understandably, this causes the scoutmaster (Edward Norton) and the girl’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) a great deal of panic, and the search is on. Led by the bumbling and gentle-spirited police chief Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis, in a refreshing departure from his standard tough-guy roles), they all set out to find the kids.

As is Anderson’s signature style, the characters are all slightly…how do you say…off. Quirky. Not quite in control of their situations, but likable enough for you to want them to be. The child actors are perfect: deadpan and serious and totally effective — yet entertaining, in a Macaulay Culkin/Home Alone kind of way. And as my awesome fiend and Finkite Tom Hanks pointed out, no words are wasted. (We agreed the same about Aaron Sorkin, by the way.) Every line means something; there are no fillers.

This wasn’t a silly story with a happy ending. This was a silly story with a happy ending where you walk out of the theater just a bit ennobled, and maybe a little nostalgic for your own private reasons. It was OK that Suzy’s parents were still struggling in their marriage, or that we really don’t know what happened with Captain Stark’s previous unrequited love relationship. In other words, nothing about the ending — while it was satisfying and basically hopeful — smacked of contrived, predictable Hollywood drivel. While the characters were not well-rounded (not by a longshot), they were well-portrayed. That alone earns it another half a cheese.

Of course, the best part of the afternoon was picking TH’s awesome cinematic brain about filmmaking and what he looks for in a movie. Not only is seeing films with him fun, it’s educational. I always learn something new after talking with him.

So. First off, if you’re a Wes Anderson fan, this will be an instant favorite. If you’re not, or if you have little patience for not-quite-balanced people trying to deal with life in outrageous situations, you may want to take a pass. I’m somewhere in the middle, and I loved it. And Bill Murray was great.

On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Moonrise Kingdom:

Images: Focus Features

Running start


J’ever just hit the floor running from a dead sleep? I haven’t done it in years, until this morning. I’m comatose, and suddenly, a white, puffy puppy (we’re entertaining — and being entertained by — Drago, while BFF Kay and Bob are in Chicago for the weekend) jumps up and says, “OK, I’m ready — take me outside NOW!” *wagging tail thrumming body crazy miniature canine playful growl*

So I’m like whooooa, git up, and hit the carpet. Barefoot, even. And those who know me know I *never* walk about the house with no moccasins on. The Thriller must have noticed the bizarre state of things, too, because he said to me from the kitchen while I had dogs outside, “Good morning — I brought your phone downstairs.” HA. I’m rarely without that thing, either.

I’ve never been a person who “needs time” in the morning. I can get out of bed, go down and make coffee, and have a conversation if I need to. I like my quiet time, no doubt, but I don’t go all Linda Blair if someone needs to talk to me before 7 a.m. (Truthfully, I think the whole “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” is a lame crutch; an excuse to be mean and get away with it.)

Speaking of time in the morning — gotta go make the best of it. Still much to do, and on today’s menu: choir music for school. Goin’ shoppin’, goin’ shoppin’…always fun with someone else’s money.  :mrgreen: Then there’s the Sunday Big Three tonight: True Blood, The Newsroom, and the premiere of the final season ( :-( ) of Breaking Bad. Wahoo!

Aaaand the inevitable

Yep, I’m on about stuff this morning.

I hate it when things pile up on my desk and in my brain, and I feel like I can’t do anything about it. Too many things to do beforehand, making it so there’s not enough time to tackle it now. Frustrations are mounting. Before I suck it up and get on with it, I will barf it out onto the page, to wit:

  1. I have got to get started on choreography and song selection for Dinner Theatre, but I just can’t carve out the time this week. Is that insane or what? I’m on summer break, fuh cripesake.
  2. I practiced for an hour yesterday, and still can’t get the icing roses right. My wrist has now fallen off.
  3. I have webmaster stuff for three different sites to take care of, and I haven’t even begun. Time’s a-wastin’.
  4. Can’t believe I’m worrying about all this garbage when the Js will be here for a visit within the next 45 minutes.
  5. Rousseau is moving ever more slowly. We could see the difference even after the 12 short days we were gone. It’s weighing on my mind and heart like a big ol’ boulder.
  6. Many changes are coming at school for me this fall, and I’ve done nothing to prepare for them. Calgon…
  7. I hate my hair. Time to make the call.
  8. My house needs a deep cleaning. It’s bugging me to death.

So, you say, “Why sit there and complain? Get up and do something about it!”

Why thank you, fiend. I will do just that. So STOP YELLING AT ME

:P (You know I luv you.) And it’s Finkday, for all you private sector cats. Rejoice and be glad! Have a party! Eat chocolate! Read a book! Wear a lampshade! I’m with you in spirit.


Somewhat free association

I sat down to write to you this morning, and said to myself, “Welp…back in the old routine. Yeah, man.” That phrase is actually taken from the lyrics of the song “Back in the Old Routine,” recorded in the early 1950s by Bing Crosby — one of the great singers of my parents’ generation. I loved his “olden days” voice. He was also quite the scat singer, did you know that? I loved the sound of his younger years (isn’t that true of all of us?) as opposed to the lazy-lipped buh buh boom stuff he did as he aged. That’s part of the reason I “retired” from performing; I didn’t want to be all Frank Sinatra can’t find the door.


I wanted to quote some lyrics of the song to you, but couldn’t remember them all. “Back in the Old Routine” has special significance for anyone who was in my high school choir back in the 70s. This song was used as a finale, and all the guys in the choir would form two lines in front and do a soft-shoe to this tune, while the girls sang the countermelody from the risers. Fun at the time…kind of silly now. But you know, they still do it. I don’t even know what year the tradition started, but it was long in place by the time I got to high school in 1974.

Here’s an audio of Bing and Donald O’Connor (of Singin’ in the Rain fame) singing the song in 1953:

[youtube x7-c5a7eG70]

Kind of a cute, easy shuffle, and boy howdy they still do it every year at my alma mater’s spring concert, kick-line ending and all. Ah, le souvenir…

Ok, what was I going to talk about this morning? I’ve no clue, sadly. Oh…my cake decorating class was fun last night. I think I’m going to like it. Not sure I’ll be any good at it, but I’m keeping a journal of it here. Feel free to check it out. After the class, I’m going to leave it sit for posterity. When I was first researching taking this course, I found precious little “personal experience” information about it. So, I thought I’d keep track of my adventure and leave it up so folks could read, comment or ask questions.

And now it’s time to stop procrastinating and get to work. Weekend is, as my students are wont to say, cray cray.

What all are you up to for the weekend?