Quick Post

Buy Nellie McKay's CD "Get Away From Me" right now, please.

Thank you.


Shaun of the Dead

Monkey is sleeping over a friend's house tonight, so Loki and I decided to do something we don't get to do with kids around - see an R rated movie. Loki was actually pushing for the new John Waters film, but a sexed up Tracy Ullman is not high on my list of things I want to see.

So we saw Shaun of the Dead. I hadn't heard much about it, but when I saw a promo, I thought it looked very funny, and since I like a good pun, I appreciated the title.

We went to a fairly early showing since Loki had plans for the night. The theater was not packed, maybe only 1/3rd full. Plus we live in New England, where people need someone to start off the clapping or the laughing, preferably someone from one of those places where people are comfortable expressing themselves. Even so, the movie got a huge response from the audience, lots of laughs and even applause at several points.

(Side note: My sister and my BIL both cannot understand any British accent other than the upper-crusty, American faking an English accent kind of accent. Loki usually does pretty well, but he said it took him about 15 minutes to get into the language and so he missed all the jokes in the first 15 minutes.)


At the start of the film, we meet Shaun and his girlfriend, Liz. They are at the pub, and they are having one of those State of the Relationship conversations (where Liz is delivering a speech to a Shaun whose mind is elsewhere). In a series of rather clever cuts, we also meet Shaun's flatmate Ed, who no one but Shaun seems to really like, and Liz's flatmates Dianne and David.

The movie plays like a classic buddy comedy until the zombies are introduced (although Shaun doesn't like the "zed word" - Loki leaned over and said "they prefer to be called living impaired" at that point) .

Loki's favorite scene in the movie was when Shaun visualizes his plans to rescue his mother and his girlfriend - everyone ending with a winking Shaun hoisting either a cup of tea or beer, surrounded by his laughing and grateful friends and family as they await the cavalry.

My favorite scene was Shaun's second walk to the convenience shop around the corner, when he is completely oblivious to the presence of zombies. Oh, and we both loved the scene where Shaun was sacrificing some of his records to kill some zombies - even in a matter of life and death, it's important to keep your original pressing of Blue Monday, apparently.

At one point in the movie, Shaun is leading his group (Liz, Dianne, David, his mother, and Ed) to the pub where they can wait out the zombie attack, and he meets up with his friend Yvonne, who is with a Seinfeldian Bizarro World group - same essential people, only more together than anyone hanging out with Shaun. They meet, wish each other luck and head off in separate directions.

At the end, when the cavalry finally arrives - along with Yvonne - Loki said that Yvonne's group had the story that a movie would usually tell - a ragtag group of people, in an almost impossible situation, who manage to figure out how to stop the scourge and bring in the big guns. I'm pretty happy that I got to see Shaun's story instead. I'm sure it was funnier.


Slacker + Slacker = Overachiever

I was a slacker in school. Some subjects (English, History, Biology) came very easily to me, and I found I could get an A without exerting anything resembling effort. I had to work a little bit in other classes (Earth Science, Chemistry), and I was hopeless in Math, so I didn't bother to work at all.

Loki was much more well rounded than me, but he put a similar amount of effort forward, i.e., very little.

Somehow our slacker genes came together and created the overachiever that is Sweetness (I really have to find her a new nickname, I hate that one...). She is not gifted, and no subjects came easily to her, so she learned how to work hard when she was little. Now she's a sophomore, and she's got the highest grade in her AP Chemistry class (she's the only sophomore in that class, btw), she's got the highest grade in her AP World History class, and she's in the top 10 in all her other classes (which are all honors level, because they don't have AP for any other classes when you're in 10th grade).

Monkey has inherited her parents slacking off when it comes to academics, but at least she's got gonzo talents to fall back on - the kid is going to be an amazing musician, she's a great athlete, and she is definitely one of the funniest kids I've ever met.

Of course, both my children are devastatingly beautiful, as well, which must be another recessive gene...Loki and I are both attractive enough, I guess (in my case, if you like the "oh my god, she's so Irish she could be a leprechaun" look), but we put together 2 reasonably-attractive-but-not-winning-any-beauty-contests parents, and we somehow ended up with these 2 amazing looking children. I know, I'm bragging, but heck, I made them, I have every right to be proud.


Who is Jesse Owens?

When I was in high school, my friend Greg and I would sometimes play Trivial Pursuit. Greg was one of the smartest people I knew, but I would routinely kill him at Trivial Pursuit. Sometimes I could answer questions correctly without having any idea of how I knew the answer. What always put Greg behind were the sports questions, because he was an asthmatic band geek, so if a question was about Who did something in sports, his automatic answer was Jesse Owens.

You might notice that I framed my answer in the form of a question, and that is because I just got notice that I have been randomly selected to audition for Jeopardy next month, when their contestant search comes to Boston.

Hey there!

I welcome any new visitors who are here after viewing the name of my blog on American Street (http://www.reachm.com/amstreet/states-writes.htm, since Blogger is bloggered and I can't remember the format for links). I was surprised by two things - one, that I was even listed as a progressive blog, since I started off with mainly political posts but have turned more towards the personal, but hey - Bush sucks, I'm more liberal than Kerry but I can't wait to vote for him, so there is my progressive commentary for the day) and two, that CT was a swing state in 2000. I think Nader did some damage to Gore here, since this is a state that will pretty safely vote for a Democratic president. I'm ashamed to admit that I voted for Nader in 2000 because I knew Gore would win CT. It will not happen again. Later that night I was actually physically ill over my vote, as I watched the fiasco unfurl.

Anyway, I appreciate the work that went into this progressive blog state by state round-up, and I look forward to visiting the blogs of my fellow Connecticutians.


The Blood Pressure Rises

Now that the Republican National Convention is over, and we're really into the campaign, I'm finding it difficult to make it through the day without feeling my rage enter the red zone. The letters to the editor page contains letters from the suckers who buy the Bush act, they're just on their knees in idol worship of this simple man who is so decisive and so free from any sort of human flaw, and I just cannot take it!

I would like to volunteer for the Kerry campaign, but between my jobs, my kids, their activities, my pets, my husband, it's hard to find time to do anything but write letters to the editor myself - which never seem to get published. But I keep writing. (Just not on my blog).

Depending on what happens on November 2, I'll either be funny and happy again or dead from multiple aneurisms.