Friday, March 31, 2006

The Girl in the Cafe

I find that I always really enjoy the original films that HBO does. "Iron Jawed Angels", "Angels in America", "Normal", "Empire Falls". This is just one more in the collection - "The Girl in the Cafe".

In this film, two unlikely lovers - Lawrence and Gina somehow come together in a crowded cafe. As they uncertainly stumble towards their attraction and even love for one another, their interactions are complicated by Lawrence's work at the G8 summit which happens to be taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland. As Iceland shows up on this blog all the time, many of you will realize that part of the reason that I like this movie is because a part of it takes place in Iceland. This is true. The more I think about it, the more that I realize that Iceland is one of the most peaceful, quiet places that I have ever been in my life. There's something about it that makes me feel like I could sink into it, and never feel restless while I was there. I love the little scenes we do get on the streets of Reykjavik, walking by the harbor, and driving green mossy and black volcanic empty roads.

The music is also very good - there's some Icelandic artists on the soundtrack - and it's all very sad and romantic. And of course, the story itself - I really enjoy the interaction between Lawrence and Gina - even though he's old and she's young and he's serious and conservative and she can be quite outlandish, I think it just works here. Very enjoyable film.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

For my writer friends

I recently read a book called "The Odd Woman" by this author, Gail Godwin, and I enjoyed it so naturally I went looking to see what else she had written. I was delighted to discover that this book, The Making of a Writer: Journals 1961-1963 was available. When Gail Godwin was 24, she went abroad and lived for a couple of years in Copenhagen, London and a few other places and devoted herself to writing. For me, as both a journalist and hopeful author, this book really speaks to me - it contains a lot of the questionning and uncertaintity that comes with writing - but also a lot of the drive and passion necessary to get the job done. Besides the writing - it's quite amusing to read about her romantic exploits - I can hardly believe how much her journal entries sound like my own sometimes.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In honor of the feast of St. Patrick - the patron saint of Ireland, I thought I'd supply you all with a bunch of useless yet interesting facts about Ireland. Enjoy, and slainte!

Medieval laws in Ireland allowed a man to divorce his wife if she damaged his honor through infidelity, thieving or “making a mess of everything.”

I’ll just take the hangover, thanks: One traditional Irish cure for a hangover was to be buried up to the neck in moist river sand.

IRELAND FACTS: WHERE TO DRINK IN PRIVATE..."The Snug" is a small private room in older, traditional Irish pubs, often favored by ladies.

The term "Emerald Isle" first appeared in a poem called "Erin," written in 1795 by William Drennan.

IRELAND FACT: DEADLY CASTLES...Irish castles and town houses often have a lobby inside the front door called a “murder hole,” with an opening in the ceiling that defenders could use to shoot at or pour hot liquids onto unwanted guests.

Couples in Ireland could marry legally on St. Brigid's Day (February 1st) in Teltown, County Meath, as recently as the 1920’s by simply walking towards each other. If the marriage failed, they could "divorce'" by walking away from each other at the same spot, on St. Brigid’s day the following year. The custom was a holdover from old Irish Brehon laws, which allowed temporary marriage contracts.

During World War II, Hitler seriously considered invading Ireland, to use it as a platform for an assault on Britain. At the same time, the British repeatedly pressured Irish Taoiseach Eamon De Valera to give them use of the ports of Cobh, Berehaven and Lough Swilly for ships involved in their anti-submarine campaign in the Atlantic. De Valera refused, citing Ireland's neutrality in the war.

The last witch in Ireland was supposedly Dame Alice Kytler, born in Kilkenny in 1280. All four of her husbands died, and she was accused of poisioning them. Today you can dine at Kytler's Inn in Kilkenny, which operates in her old home.

"Black Irish" people, who have black hair and swarthy skin, are thought to descend from sailors of the Spanish Armada, who came ashore when two of their ships were wrecked off Spanish Point (County Clare) in 1588.

IRELAND FACT: A FORCE IN AMERICA...Between 40 and 44 million Americans claim some Irish ancestry, making them the second largest ethnic group in the US. People of German descent are the largest group.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You Have to Read a Little Slower Jenn...

I was checking my email today and as the AOL home page came up I quickly clicked on my mailbox. While I waited for the page to load, I caught a glimpse of a headline that was talking about Andrea Yates - that woman who murdered all her kids. And I thought that the page said, "Andrea Yates to marry again" and I was like "Who the fuck would marry her?" and I clicked back and realized that it said, "Andrea Yates' ex to marry again".

And all is right with the universe again.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Brian wanted a little more information about why American was teeming with polygamists, so I thought I'd educate us all a little further. From HBO's Big Love website:

According to a joint report issued by the Utah and Arizona Attorney General's Offices, July 2005, "[a]pproximately 20,000 to 40,000 or more people currently practice polygamy in the United States." The Mormon Church officially banned the practice of polygamy in 1890.

Webster's definition: Polygamy \Po*lyg"a*my\, n. [Gr. ?; cf. F. polygamie.] 1. The having of a plurality of wives or husbands at the same time; usually, the marriage of a man to more than one woman, or the practice of having several wives, at the same time

This is fascinating: on - benefits to polygamy:

Benefits For Women

Automatic childcare in a sexist society gives women more effective choice to have a career without devaluing the role of homemaker.
Being able to marry men who are already married means that women can marry men who have already proved themselves, therefore minimising their risk.

Being able to marry the men who attract most women means they don't have to settle just for what's left after other women have the best pickings.

Having the possibility that a husband can remarry without divorce extends practical security to a woman. She needn't worry about losing her husband and income as she loses her looks, because if her husband is attracted by a younger woman, he doesn't even have to think about leaving his wife.

Polygamy removes the pressure on a husband to commit adultery, and removes damaging deceit from a marriage.

Polygamy provides a method where a woman can have a female friend for life as well as a husband.

Polygamy therefore provides more people and a better chance of meeting diverse needs.

Polygamy provides a potential for at least three adult incomes, reducing state dependance and the fear of unemployment.

Controls Placed On Men

If a man wants to have another sexual partner in a polygamous system then he has to meet his responsibilities - pay for any children produced from all his relationships without priority being given to those from a 'legal' relationship.
Polygamy removes or reduces the seduction of innocent young women - If a man promises to marry
her, he cannot use his existing marriage as an excuse for not fulfilling a promise.

Polygamy reduces the number of women who are available. Currently, with more women than men, this 'cheapens' women. With less women available their 'value' goes up. In other words, polygamy makes men have to try harder and do better with women if they are to win them in competition with other men.

And my favorite, the personal ads of families looking for extra wives:


So Brian, does this mean when you move back to the states we'll be doing Reno instead of AC because it's closer to Utah?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Big Love

I caught the series premiere for this show last night on HBO, right after the Sopranos. And while some of my friends thought it was a little slow moving and boring, I have to say that for the most part I was intrigued. One man, three wives. How is this all going to shake out?

I haven't given much thought to polygamy until now - but it's out there - all over the place. Not so much in my neck of the woods - but middle America? Teeming with polygamy. And it makes me wonder - why more than one wife? And as a woman - who in their right mind would agree to share their husband with other women?

I am looking forward to watching this show unfold and get some of the reasons from the wives - Barb, Nicki and Margene as to why they are okay with sharing their husband, Bill. I think it's safe to say that it will never be something I'll consider - but it sure will be entertaining as hell.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Quote for the Day

I walked to and from Union Square today at lunch - it's one of those weird March days where its super warm (70+) and everybody is oustide walking or sitting or whatever - afraid it will go away again like that. So I was thinking about life - and this quote from "Good Will Hunting" kept popping into my head.

I think about this quote when work or study or too many things are getting in the way of your friendships, relationships, desires, etc. My favorite part of the quote is when he says "I bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel". Matt I know you like that part too. Here's the quote:

"So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. "

So there it is guys. Get out there and enjoy the warm weather today. Kiss somebody. Don't work too hard or study too much or wait on something you want to do. Carpe diem!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Oh, I forgot one

I also saw Walk the Line which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. The music was great, Joaquin and Reese were great, and it was just an all around good movie.

I suppose I haven't really helped by saying I liked all these movies - but that's the truth. They were all good.

I am a Movie Maniac

It occurs to me that I've seen at ton of movies lately and haven't really commented on any of them. So, here's a brief summary of all the movies I've seen in the past couple of months and what I thought of them:

Capote - author Truman Capote undertakes the writing the book that will make his career, "In Cold Blood". The movie was great of course. Philip Seymour Hoffman was great - he always is. He's got so much range as an actor, it's crazy. (To see him on the other end of things, rent "Along Came Polly".) But the movie was very dramatic, very plain and subtle and by being so, did exactly what it was supposed to.

Eight Below - this is the Disney movies about the sled dogs that get left behind in Antarctica for the winter. You know, it was cute, touching, sad, and interesting, and even though I wasn't really expecting to, I enjoyed the heck out of it. Watching Paul Walker be pretty for two hours never hurts either.

Good Night and Good Luck - George Clooney's baby about Edward Murrow's quest for justice during the McCarthy years in the U.S. Black and white, serious, interesting. Good overall - I love it how all the movies I'm seeing lately are teaching me stuff about parts of history that I'm a little fuzzy on.

Brokeback Mountain - great movie. Pretty scenery, gay cowboys, a twenty year love story. Well played by the actors, and I didn't think it dragged or anything. This is one of those movies that is going to be subtle and slow - because that's what it's supposed to do. I liked it a lot.

Match Point - the Woody Allen one about the the not so rich guy who marries rich but still lusts after Scarlett Johanssen. I liked this a lot too, even if it seemed ordinary or kind of predictable. I'm not sure I can even explain why the story kept me engrossed but it just did.

Syriana - the one about oil interests in the Middle East. Also good - but a little hard to follow - if you see it at 11:00 on a Saturday like we all did. It's insanely interesting and thought provoking, but don't go unless you're ready for a pretty heavy movie and heavy content.

Memoirs of a Geisha - based on the best-selling novel which I read awhile ago. This actually won quite a few Oscars and it should have. Costumes, sets, all that stuff was amazing. The story was good - from what I remember they stayed with the book, and I enjoyed seeing the story on the big screen.

I am truly a movie maniac. It's bad when the only things you haven't seen in the theater are Dave Chappelle's Block Party and Ultraviolet.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Snowboarding Crew

I totally ripped this picture off from Eric's blog - because mine aren't developed yet, so thanks Eric! This is the snowboarding crew, hanging out waiting for a table at the Wobbly Barn, a favorite of many Killington travelers. In the pic you'll find me, Matt, Roy, Eric, Pat and Michelle. Not sure if that's the exact order, but you're all intelligent people, I'm sure you can figure out who's who.