Solving The Mystery

Recently I've been frequently asked, by passing men (and teenage boys) on the street to authenticate my rack. I've yet to come up with a short response that I am satisfied with so I have been resorting to scowls. Fortunately, I have a pretty effective scowl. What I find strange about this phenomenon is that this never happened before my breast reduction. Perhaps they just assumed that E cups were obviously fake, but my current D cup could go either way…

It's annoying now, but I'm sure I'll miss the cat-calling when my tits tuck into my skirt.


Weekend Recap

Brugos and I rested and then went to dinner at Tutta Bella for a friend's birthday. It was really good even though the atmosphere was vaguely Spaghetti Factory-ish and our 15-year old waiter was kind of silly. (He made a point to tell us how VERY EXPENSIVE the artichokes on our Antipasti were and he had a really hard time opening a bottle of wine. Come here, sonny. Give that bottle to grandma.)

After dinner we were the yuppiest looking people at El Chupacabra. Their juke box has the Misfits on it. Fuck yes.


My dad was supposed to arrive at 11:30am. He was only going to be in town for 24 hours anyway, on his way to California for a business trip. He got as far as Phillie before his flight was CANCELED. The next available flight out was 8:30pm. He would arrive in Seattle at 2:30am. He would not be able to attend the paintball excursion at Fort Lewis for the aforementioned friend's birthday. This made me very sad, but in retrospect, he mightn't have liked paintball. It's brutal. I have one hell of a fuckoff bruise on my arm. It looks pretty awesome. Brugos' neck bled from one hit. I'm not very good at paintball, but I did aid our otherwise underdog team to one victory. I was on the front lines. It was the only time I actually hit anyone. The rest of the time, I got hit. A lot. It also hurt. But running around in the woods in olive green with a paintball gun is FUN. And great exercise. I certainly couldn't do it every day. And it confirmed my suspicions that I would last about 5 minutes in a real war. But I recommend doing it at least once. Even if you think you're a pussy. Because I'M a huge pussy.

We paintballed for 6 hours. Brugos and I went home to shower and rest, with the intention of going out again later. After my shower and some food, I started to feel nauseous. I then threw up. I felt a little better, but not much. I lay on the couch, on Brugos and couldn't move. I assume now that I was dehydrated. But I still couldn't make it out. Just as well because the evening's birthday activity was Big Boy Poker. Brugos left and I stayed in and watched Starship Troopers, having flashbacks from earlier in the day.


My dad, finally arrived in Seattle and somewhat rested, came over and we went to Serephina for brunch. I had the most amazing fritatta ever. It contained truffles, so you know it had to be good. People don't fuck around with truffles.

After breakfast, we went to the EMP/Sci-Fi Museum. It's pretty cool to see things like the Power Loader from Aliens and props from Dune, but both “museums” aren't so much histories of music and sci-fi respectively, but histories of Paul Allen's interests. And it really shows. But hey, it's only $15 now to get into both. So you might as well check it out once.

We went to Guaymas for a drink and snack before my dad had to catch a plane to Cali. I hadn't seen my dad in 4 years. We're not estranged. Just busy. But I didn't realize how much I'd missed him. I'd missed him a lot. He's a really good man and a great father. He made some mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable. But parenthood has got to be the most difficult job a person can have. And my dad figured it out pretty well. I can only hope, that should I become a parent, I could do the same.

With my dad off to the airport, Brugos and I had the evening to ourselves. So we went to see Sunshine (see review below) and spent the rest of the night talking about it. It was that good.

Bask in the Glorious Majesty of Sunshine

Don't you hate it when a movie reviewer says they don't want to tell you much about a film for fear of ruining the experience? Me too. But in this case, it's true. And I'll tell you why. You don't want to know anything about a movie in which 8 people fly a bomb into the sun hoping to reignite the dying star and save all of mankind because the characters in the movie don't know anything about it. Sure, the crew is made up of astronauts, a physicist, a psychiatrist, and other brilliant minds who are the last hope of humanity. They are educated and have planned as much as possible, running drills and knowing their theory backward and forward. But since no one has ever done anything like this, successfully or otherwise, there is no way to know what it will really be like. And that unknown, like all unknowns, is utterly terrifying.

In this case it is particularly terrifying because the fate of Earth hangs in the balance. And while Sunshine is, indeed, Science Fiction, the trailers that played before the film, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio telling us about the dire state of the planet due to global warming, are very real. I don't mean to get all super cereal on you guys, but it's true. The film is even more effective because of the storytelling method. Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) and writer Alex Garland (The Beach) just drop you into the action, without the typical Sci-Fi cheesy voice over or showing you first hand a C.G. depiction of the disaster that living under a dying sun caused on Earth, thus eliminating any opportunity for the viewer to be overwhelmingly reminded that this is Science Fiction. Instead, we see a tired but hopeful crew in the midst of their mission, knowing they are the last hope and trying their damnedest not to crack under the pressure of it all. Unfortunately, despite all their training, they are still humans susceptible to human errors in judgment (especially under pressure). And this is one hell of last job.

Many of these errors stem from the theme that while too much sunshine is bad for you, both physically and psychologically, mankind simply cannot survive with out it.

Story aside, the visuals are absolutely stunning, the future technology not at all silly, despite them being on a space ship, the acting subtle and nuanced and Cillian Murphy's eyes as unearthly as ever.

Go see Sunshine right now. The future depends on it.

A Regret

I regret having gone 28 years without knowing about this:

and also this:

Who knew Bob Fosse was responsible for creating some of the creepiest zombies ever?

My Chat with Zahn

I got to do a phone interview with Steve Zahn about his role in the new Werner Herzog movie, Rescue Dawn for my company's website! It's kind of strange because it's just still pictures, but it was still fun. It's not on our website yet, but we put a preview on YouTube:

Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart? I Dooooo!

As you may or may not be aware, to promote the upcoming Simpson's movie, 7-11 has turned 10 of their stores nation-wide into bonafide Kwik-E-Marts complete with Kwik-E-Mart products like Buzz Cola, Krusty-Os and Homer's favorite sprinkled donuts. Why they didn't create a Duff Beer is beyond me, but the rest of the products are pretty cool. One of these stores is in Seattle, mere blocks from my work! My co-workers and I took a trip there last week to film and take pictures and, of course, buy some Krusty-Os (which are actually just Fruit Loops. But still!!).

Here are my pictures and here is a video we took of my co-worker buying his serial. We added titles to promote our website, of course:

Weekend Recap

I haven't done one of these in a while. I had a really great long weekend though. After spending a lovely, sunny 4th at 2 different BBQs, Brugos and I packed up the 'Stang and headed to the coast for a couple of days of beach camping.

Our trip got off to a slightly rocky start when the direction flew out of the car. Therein lies the problem with convertibles. But we'd read them and could (mostly) remember them and we figured signs would help us the rest of the way. After we made a wrong turn, I felt REALLY bad about losing the directions. But we turned around and were soon on the right track again.

When we finally arrived at La Push's Second Beach (the internet claimed it was the best of the 3 options), we parked the car and strapped on our hiking packs. We had to hike about half a mile down to the beach. Because we had all of our food and water for the next two days on our bodies, it was kind of a rough hike. But it was mostly downhill. When we got down to the beach and scaled the driftwood, we saw our new temporary home. It was truly breathtaking. It was also, miraculously, still warm and sunny which mislead us into thinking it would stay that way. We pitched our tent (we're getting really good at doing it quickly) and lay some rocks inside it to keep it from blowing away. (It was THAT windy). We then set about building a lean-to with driftwood to hopefully block some of the wind. Unfortunately, driftwood is much heavier than it looks and our lean-to ended up not making much of a difference. It was, however, a blast to build. And quite cool looking, if I do say so myself.

We ate dinner (everything we brought was dehydrated so we'd only need to boil water for cooking) and then sat around the little fire we built for a while, playing Uno. The view was amazing. Those rocks jutting out of the water look almost other-worldly. The whole scene was really quite romantic.

The next day, we awoke to a rather windy and cold morning. Given how sunny it was the day before, I thought surely the clouds would burn off. They never did. But Brugos and I are pretty much used to camping in inclimate weather anyway. We bundled up and set about exploring the beach. First, we went out to the big rock that was no accessible due to low-tide. We saw hordes of starfish and muscles doubtless unnerved by their exposure. Then we walked from end to end of the beach, enjoying the scenery and laughing at the post-apocalyptic looking communities other campers had set up. Someone had written Jacob in the sand and we hypothesized that Jacob was the hard but just leader of their community. We were in his territory now and we must abide by his laws or suffer his wrath.

The other end of the beach was much more isolated and we climbed the rocks and sat down in solitude for a bit before heading back to our tent to cook dinner. We whiled away the time playing cards. We couldn't really remember any 2 person card games so we kind of made up rules to Gin Rummy and Go-Fish. Yes, we couldn't even remember Go Fish very well. It was that kind of camping.

Saturday we woke up to mist covering the water. It was warmer than the previous day, but still a bit chilly, so we kept our sweaters on, ate breakfast and packed up. We weren't looking forward to the uphill hike back to the car. Luckily, we didn't have to lug the water anymore. Sadly, that was the only thing we'd brought that we used up and was also heavy. Our dried soups, though now gone, were pretty insignificant in weight. Luckily, there were benches along the way for the more grueling portions of the hike. That was nice of them. Half a mile seems like an eternity when you have a heavy pack.

Our next destination, for which I'd also lost the directions, was the Olympic Hot Springs. There is a commercial hot springs near by called Sol Duc, but we wanted to go back to nature, baby. So at Sol Duc, we asked directions to the natural springs. Their directions weren't very clear and the springs weren't listed on the map they gave us. So we drove on. We were briefly stuck in traffic as they cleared a head-on collision off of highway 101. After we got through, we stopped at Granny's Diner to fulfill my love of roadside diners. Our waitress was a somewhat maniacal young lady who was amazed at how much water we were drinking and who wandered around the restaurant commenting loudly on everything. Turns out she's from whatever town we were in outside of Port Angeles. I guess being a small town girl makes you kind of crazy. Also, for some reason, it took 45 minutes for them to prepare a veggie burger and a bowl of chili. We were on Granny's time. No matter. She knew where the springs were. And while we waited, we got to meet some goats, chickens and a cat with the biggest thumbs I've ever seen. They all lived out back.

Bellies full, we drove to the springs. It was an 8 mile drive up the mountain and then another 3 mile hike from the trail head. Maybe it was because of our after-lunch smoke, but the hike up to the springs was an eternity. We thought we'd never find the things. We also noticed something weird about the people who were passing us on the way back to the car. The closer we got to the springs, the more “swimmy” people looked. By the time we got there, we were passed by people with towels, and one completely naked hippie girl. Oh yeah, the springs are closing optional. Ew. Brugos also pointed out that whenever we seem to find a hike grueling, we are always passed by smiley old couples who seem to be doing fine. That helps us cowboy us a little.

We smelled the springs before we found them. We staked out a nice private one, stripped to our swim suits and climbed into the hot, smelly water. I know it doesn't sound very romantic, especially since our springs kind of looked like the outlet for a sewer, but it really was. The hot water felt really good.

We got out and made the trek back to the car which, of course, felt much shorter going back. Then we headed home, satisfied with our nice Northwestern Couple excursion!

See pics of our adventures here!

Less Than Meets the Eye

X-Posted to the the Reel.

It was always going to be tough for me to see Transformers. For 6-Year-Old Baxter, Optimus Prime was a role model, an icon and even a little bit of a crush. I both loved and was destroyed by Transformers: The Movie, the original animated feature in which my precious Optimus bravely sacrificed his life for the good of Earth and the Autobots. I was actually inconsolable about the death of Prime for weeks after my mom took me to see the film. It was one of the most unforgettable, and possibly one of the most significant moments of my childhood. There was little chance that anyone could have made a live-action Transformers film 20-some years later that would stand up to the memory of MY Transformers, and specifically my Prime.

But why, oh why did it have to be MICHAEL BAY?! You guys have all seen Pearl Harbor, right? Armageddon? The ISLAND?! Crap crap CRAP. And not in a good, Paul Verhoeven kind of way either. Unbelievably bad writing, terrible, forgettable action sequences. People are fooled into thinking his movies are exciting because (I suppose) he blows things up constantly. But they aren't good action films. Are any of those explosions as memorable as, say, the car chase scene in Bullit? (San Fransisco sure has a lot of hills!) or the foot chase scene in Point Break? (Swayze throws a DOG at Keanu to slow him down!) The answer is no. They're not. All I remember from Armageddon is the cheap tear-jerker moment when Bruce Willis is about to die so that Liv Tyler can marry Ben Afleck. All I remember from The Island are pretty people running around in white outfits and yelling a lot. All I remember from Pearl Harbor is…well, I try not to remember ANYTHING about that one.

Transformers isn't much different than the rest of the Bay catalog. He wastes plenty of time on extraneous scenes that supposedly provide Bay's idea of character development. His characters don't develop any further than if they were caricatures drawn at the carnival, engaged in their favorite activity. There's the brave solider (Josh Duhamel) who is about to risk his life to save the U.S. of A. and has a wife back home and a baby daughter he's NEVER MET! There's the hot Australian hacker chick with heavy eyeliner who discovers the Decepticon's plot to infiltrate the government's top secret files. She involves her fat funny hacker friend who loves Dance Dance Revolution because he's the ONLY ONE who can help prevent the Decepticons from getting the information! Or IS he? He never actually does anything other than eat donuts, dance with his brother and get sassed at by his mamma. But he sure is hilarious. Because he's fat.

There's also a hottie love interest who is “more than meets the eye” (new drinking game! smash a beer bottle over your head every time someone in the movie says that line!) because even though she's hot and hangs out with dumb jocks, she also has a convict for a daddy and knows how to steal cars. Great! Now she has one and a half dimensions!

Semper Memento.

And what about our main human character? I do love that Shia LaBeouf. If there were a stock market for actors, I would have bought shares in LeBeouf a long time ago. He's going to be huge. But the things Bay had him say and do in Transformers aren't doing his dramatic stock any favors.

All in all there are at LEAST 5 characters and as many scenes that could be cut completely from the 2-and-a-half hour long movie. Everything else could be tightened. How many times do we need to see robots smash into buildings? And, what would be left after a major editing overhaul would STILL suck. Even without the pilfering of my childhood, this movie is still trite, aimless, cliche, self-important, cheesy, and often, kinda boring.

And WITH the childhood pilfering? Well, I'm still not sure if it's better or worse that they used the original voice of Optimus Prime. I was happy to hear it again, but not happy to hear it come out of that pointy, unlovable re-imaging of Prime. It would have sucked to hear a new actor try to be the hero that I loved, but it was equally difficult to hear them lift dialog directly from Transformers: The Movie as Prime was about to square off with Megatron. It recalled the better film, the better version of the characters, and the heartbreakingly heroic death scene in the original. Basically, it reminded me, as if I needed more reminders, that I was watching crap.

I think I have a few happy childhood nuggets left. Does anyone want to call Baz Luhrman and have him direct a musical version of Clash of the Titans starring Dane Cook?

"You Kill Me" Kills Me

X-Posted to the the Reel.

Movies about Hit Men with a Heart of Gold are played out. Seriously. There is nothing new you can do with them. They will never be as funny as “Grosse Pointe Blank” or as touching (inappropriate relationship with little girl aside) as “The Professional”. Yet I like Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni so I thought I'd give “You Kill Me” a…ahem…shot.

The first thing I noticed at the screening for “You Kill Me”, was that this was the same audience who attended the SIFF “Death at a Funeral” premiere. In other words, everyone was old. Apparently, the new Retiree Generation likes their comedies like they like their coffee at Denny's. Black and stale. This is comforting, in a way, because it's nice to know that when I'm old I won't necessarily choose to be at home watching Matlock reruns when I could be at the cinema. Unfortunately, it also means that I will be out uproariously enjoying movies that are mostly lame.

“You Kill Me” is the story of Frank Falenczyk, a Gold-Hearted Hit Man with a bit of a drinking problem. When his drinking causes him to botch a very important job, his employers, who are also his family, ship him off to San Francisco to dry out. There he meets a bespectacled (and grossly underused) Bill Pullman who is there to make sure he stays on the wagon. Frank begrudgingly attends his first AA meeting, and encounters Luke Wilson, as the harmless gay punchline who later becomes his sponsor. Pullman also scores Frank a job at a funeral home where he works under the Sassy Black Lady stereotype making dead people look nice. Frank doesn't have a problem working with bodies because he's a hit man, you see. Isn't that just darling?

And then it's time for Frank to meet the younger woman who will eventually warm his cockles and give him a new lease on life etc. The dry-spoken Tea Leoni walks into HIS funeral home to bury her unlikeable stepfather and it's love-at-first sight for these two odd-ball lonely souls. It's all too easy, really. Sure, there are obstacles, but they are precisely the ones you would expect. Leoni must be fine with Frank killing people for a living but she must have an unrelated relationship hangup to get over. Frank must have a relapse and miss a dinner date with Leoni. Frank's family back home must have problems with the man Frank neglected to kill and Frank must overcome his resistance to recovery and his relationship issues in order to save the day. The only thing that's missing is a sweet montage wherein Frank teaches his girlfriend how to kill people. Oh wait, they have that too. I think my monkey wrote a similar script in his sleep last week. Kingsley and Leoni are fine. Wilson and Pullman are fine. The Sassy Black Lady is fine. But no one and nothing is spectacular.

Of course, the audience LOOOVED the movie. They laughed and clapped and waved their canes in the air. Me, I need something a little less formulaic.

One day, I will be the cane-waving person in the audience, happy to know what to expect. Who knows what my formula will be. Since the current Moons Over My Hammy set likes black comedies with heart, perhaps my Rootie Tootie Fresh and Frutie ass will need to see hardcore snuff with heart. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will drive the whipper snappers in the audience crazy. Right now, however, I'm going to go home and watch Grosse Pointe Blank.