Vegas, Work, Sideways and February

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I have developed some sort of severe motivation problem. I can no longer express myself in writing unless I make a list. Here it goes:

1. Vegas – Vegas was a blast. It rained the whole time I was there – flash flooding, etc. – but I partied like a rock star at Rain with my family and Robbie Roommate (and Patrick the casino host), I shopped like a rock star at the Fashion Show Mall and Caesar’s, and I sort of gambled like a rock star, but only in the sense that I won more money than I lost. My cousins are awesome (and loud) and I miss them already. I can’t wait to go back.

2. Work – Work is boring the shit out of me. It is very hard for me to believe that there isn’t something more important, more meaningful and way more fun out there for me to do. Organizing and proofreading crap for engineers that can’t seem to stay on top of things is getting old. Computers aren’t as exciting when you sit in front of one all day, and sitting down all day doesn’t really appeal to me either. Don’t even say it. I’ve already begun sending my resumes back into the black hole.

3. Sideways – What an excellent film! It was honest and real; the cinematography was extraordinary; it was relaxing to watch; and I even learned something. Parts of the film bordered on documentary and some of the sequences may have even payed homage to the movie Easy Rider (1969), but I’m not sure. I’d say definitely go see it, but make sure you have your favorite bottle of wine waiting for you at home because you’ll definitely want to drink some when it’s all over.

4. February – I’m glad it’s over.

When Bad Movies Happen To Nice Dates

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Well, my date tonight with the Navy boy I met at the air show last weekend went fairly well — except that the dumb movie we went to see ended up being about aliens doing experiments and random people being sucked into the sky (accompanied by scary loud noises) — so stupid.  Movies like that make me feel extremely relieved that I gave up my dreams of being a film major after studying Westerns for an entire semester.  I don’t understand what would possess someone to write, direct, act in or produce a movie that ridiculous.  I mean, if you were reading a script and saw this —

“Where are the children?  Where are they?  I know they’re alive.  Just tell me.  Tell me where they are.  No one will know it was you.  No one will blame you.  No one will know.”

“They’re listening right now.”

(BANG – Man tied to chair is suddenly sucked up through roof of building at lightning speed into ominous gray sky.)

— would you think, “Wow!  This would make an amazing scene!  This movie is going to be a big hit at the cinema!  When do we start filming?”  Ugh.  This just totally baffles me.

At least we got a military discount on our tickets.

Mona Lisa Smile

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What a great movie!  It was a nice break from the cheesy romantic films, the Christmas movies, the action flicks, and the Disney fantasies.  Julia Stiles, Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, and all of the cast give and excellent performance portraying life at Wellesley College in the 1950s.

The movie explores the women’s roles and choices during the period.  The girls seem to want to graduate college only to marry and become housewives.  Julia Roberts’ character, Katherine Watson, a bohemian from California, tries to teach them otherwise – that they can achieve anything because they are the smartest and sharpest women in the country.  She teaches the girls to look at the world through new eyes and realize that marriage and a family aren’t necessarily the ideals for everyone. 

While Dunst’s character struggles to keep up the appearances of her “perfect” marriage, Stiles’ character debates whether to go to law school at Yale or settle down with her boyfriend.  The title, Mona Lisa Smile, ties the underlying themes together – is she smiling because she’s happy, or is it just for show?  Things are not always as they appear.

Here’s an article comparing the issues of women’s roles and choices in the ’50s versus today.

Mona Lisa Song
by Livingston and Evans, recorded January 7, 1958

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you
You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only ‘cause you’re lonely they have blamed you
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there, and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art


“You can bake your cake and eat it, too.” ~Katherine Watson, Mona Lisa Smile