Sunday, December 28, 2014

Coming Clean on Christmas- I've Never Seen a lot of Classics

I have been reading all my blogger friends great holiday recaps filled with gorgeous pictures of their delightfully styled hot beverages and perfect vintage ornamented trees, and realized I can not even compete. [Tangent: To be honest I took about 4 pictures and they were all of my nephew.] I decided instead to use the standard Christmas recap post to come clean about a few things. I have been living a lie. And if Love Actually has taught me anything (aside from the fact that lighting in adult filmmaking is so important that stand-ins are needed) is that at Christmas, you tell the truth.



You see, with the exception of James Bond movies and really anything featuring Vin Diesel, I pride myself on being pretty pop culture savvy, but the truth is I have not seen 99% of classic Christmas films. [Tangent: It seems a bit unbalanced that I hadn't seen It's A Wonderful Life until 2 years ago, but if asked, I could reenact verbatim the fashion show scene in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.  It's also worth mentioning that I was terrified of Claymation Christmas specials till I was almost 30, so that very well played a hand in it. ] With the exception of Elf, Home Alone and A Christmas Story, I hadn't seen many till the last couple years when I finally checked off National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (I am prepared for that backlash) and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. [Tangent: Maybe I am just trying to add adult subtext, but I still can't completely compute whether BergerMeister MeisterBurger was a Nazi or if his weird walk was just a stop motion thing.]

To be fair, most of these movies are such a part of life that I know all about them without ever sitting through them. For example, I knew everything I needed to know about It's a Wonderful Life from the episode of Beverly Hills 90210 where the gang was visited by an angel named Clarence. [Tangent: I just googled it, and learned that the episode in question was called "It's a Totally Happening Life." Lord,  I miss the 90s so damn much sometimes.] When people talk about these movies in casual conversation, I generally just use context clues to pretend I know what I am talking about. I don't.

Here are some that I checked off the list this year and what I thought as someone who was watching beloved classics for the very first time.

White Christmas
 Ok, maybe not the most Christmassy screen grabs, but definitely the best, right? It's odd that I have never seen this considering I am like a moth to a jazz handsy flame when it comes to musicals! I can't get enough! I do love Bing Crosby and over the top premises, but this movie was a bit long for me. I went and took a long shower somewhere in the middle of it, and I felt like I could easily pick up when I got back. However, that Sisters song has been earwormed into my mind since I saw it, so much so that I secretly wish I had a conjoined twin so we could have a vaudeville act where we perform it. [Tangent: Not sure why the conjoined element is necessary, but I think that is the twist the act is lacking. Maybe I need to ween myself off AHS: Freak Show.]

A Charlie Brown Christmas
I know. Don't even give me shit about this one. I am a human disappointment. I knew the premise: Charlie Brown  gets a crappy tree and learns the true meaning of Christmas, right? Maybe it's been a while since I have watched a Peanuts work, but I had forgotten how tragic they are. It's clear that Charlie Brown is clinically depressed and that Lucy is just a total bitch. However, I did enjoy it, mostly because we spent the duration deciding which Charles Schultz characters we most identified with. We decided Jamie was Schroder or  this kid...and I was some Pig Pen/Lucy hybrid. The truth stings.

A Muppet Christmas Carol
This is another one that somehow slipped under my childhood radar. For some reason I remember having the stuffed Fozzie bear in traditional Dickensian garb from this film, but apparently never cared enough to see the movie itself.  I can only assume my Christmas Jim Henson quota was already being met by Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas and my Christmas Carol quota was being met with the Disney version where Scrooge McDuck is cleverly cast as Ebenezer Scrooge. I love imagining Michael Cain hanging out onset running lines with Gonzo and Animal. I know it probably didn't happen, but let me have that image.

Bad Santa

Even though I watched this days ago, I still am not sure how I feel about it. So many of my friends are obsessed with this movie and quote it all the time, and I was just meh about it. I did love the little boy though. Maybe it was the fact that they made my beloved Lauren Graham into a harlot. I just can't handle that. Loralei/Sarah Braverman ain't no ho!


Well, that's it...that's my holiday secret that I am trying to rectify.  
What did you watch over the holidays? 
What movies are you ashamed that you have never seen?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Netflix Documentary Hits and Misses Vol 5 (December 2014 Edition)

December has been busy and I have spent way too much time actually being out among people, online shopping and fighting hellacious holiday traffic, so I haven't knocked out that many documentaries this month. [Tangent: To be quite honest, lately my insomniac habit of watching Netflix docs at 1 AM has been replaced with watching episodes of Parks and Recreation that I have seen a million times, but love ever time. For example, I have watched that damned Unity Concert ep about 10x, and I laugh and cry upon each viewing. Lil Sebastian hologram...it gets me every damn time!] However, the ones I have taken in were mostly doozies! You are in for a rollercoaster of crazy, awesome and sad.


Tent City, USA- A
OK, my rating of this movie is likely completely partial, so I cannot promise that people living outside of the Nashville area will find it as riveting.  This movie, recommended by my sister, is about a group of Nashvillians who are homeless due to a variety of circumstances and who made a makeshift tent village near the Cumberland River in 2010. This doc follows them for about a year after the 2010 May flood and how their lives changed due to relocation. I loved the comraderie of the folks in Tent City, and how they established their own little government, complete with rules and practices. The greatest part is the couple featured in the film sell Contributor papers in Jamie's neighborhood, so now I feel inclined to fangirl like a tween at a 1 Direction show next time I see them! [Tangent: I mean I watched their trials and tribulations for an hour and a half, so we are practically best friends by my understanding.]

The Brandon Teena Story- B
If you have seen Boys Don't Cry or at least know what it is about, then you know the titular name. Brandon Teena was born a woman (Teena Brandon) yet lived her life as a male. I was somewhat taken aback by how many ladies Brandon attracted, who were pretty understanding of her sexual identity, especially in a small town 20 years ago. Unfortunately, when he attempted to start anew with this lifestyle in the most redneck of towns, he met terrible hate as a result and ultimately lost his life. [Tangent: It was a big news story and a major Oscar winning movie, so I don't think it's really a spoiler.] I seriously cannot imagine hating someone that much, and this movie didn't make me understand that anymore, but I still found it enlightening as I know very little about the struggles of transgendered people. The format was reenactments, interviews and archival audio intercut with REALLY distracting music video montages of farm land and small town livin' ...that went on...FOREVER.

Tabloid- A+
Oh sweet god! This might be my pick of the month.The doc lays out the story of a model/beauty queen who was arrested with the rape/kidnapping of a Mormon missionary in the 1970s. I wish I could say the plot was that simple, but 90 minutes in, it got so bizarre and took so many twists and turns to crazy town that I was completely entranced the entire time. [Tangent: So much so that I watched it halfway once and then had to save it to show Jamie...because I had to have someone to discuss it with.] The interviews with the subject of the film, Joyce McKinney, are hilarious. She has an over the top, slightly unbalanced Suzanne Sugarbaker  quality that I cannot get enough of. If she had her own docu-series, I would move my schedule to watch it. She was deliciously kookoo.

Design is One - B-
About 10 years ago, when picking career paths, I went halfway down the path to being a graphic designer before making the executive decision to minor in it, because I felt that life mixed with my personality traits would lead me to a hearty daily crying/screaming session. I love having remedial levels of the skill in my back pocket, mostly so I can appreciate movies like this. I've sat riveted through Helvetica and Art and Copy, [Tangent: If your nerdy inclinations are like mine, you can watch the docs my clicking on those links. You're welcome, design losers!] so I expected a similar feel from this movie, which profiles Italian designers an Lella and Massimo Vanelli. They make EVERYTHING- jewelry, furniture, churches, brand identities. Their style is very simple, but highly identifiable. They only use a handful of fonts and have definite color preferences, but they are so prolific. It's kind of crazy actually. I found this movie interesting, but I can't promise everyone will. This is definitely one I watched alone, because I knew it needed a certain demo.

La Bare- B/B-
This movie is about male strippers and directed/produced by that buff werewolf dude from True Blood who is dating Sophia Vergara and who everyone gets all twitterpated about. That's basically all you need to know. Dongs ahoy.   It is ridiculous, as can be expected from that premise. [Tangent: I know I wrote about it before here, but I think I was the only person in the theater when I saw Magic Mike who wasn't hooting and hollering, but was instead laughing hysterically the whole time at parts that weren't funny. At one point my friend got mad at me because I wasn't getting all hot and bothered when Channing Tatum was dancing to Pony, but guys, he was wearing sweat pants and a flat-billed cap...not my personal vision of sexy.] I did find it entertaining and learned a lot about a world I know absolutely nothing about. The different personalities were fun...the 18-year-old who goes my "Channing" (how clever!) and the man well into his 50's who goes by "Master Blaster" (eww...) and one that has chosen the monicker "Brett Michaels" (weird.). After a while you are kind of desensitized to weird gyrating bodies with any variation of tribal cross tattoo. I think I would have loved it had I watched it with someone, but I watched it alone.

Advanced Style- A
You all are likely real sick of hearing me drone on about spry and sassy seniors, but I seriously can't get enough of this genre. Advanced Style is a blog that profiles women 60-90 who take fashion and style seriously. This doc profiles some of these unorthodox fashion icons.  For some, this may not be their cup of celestial seasonings, but I dug it immensely. I loved the kookier women who were pushing 90 and making eyelash extensions out of their own hair. I wanted them all to adopt me as their grandchild and hand down to me all their fantastic vintage pieces...except the woman who made bracelets out of toilet paper rolls...she can keep those. 

Cropsy- B+/A-
A couple years ago, I started this movie and never finished it for whatever reason, and then on a FB thread someone recommended it to me and I decided to start it over again.  Basically through archival news footage and interviews, the filmmakers investigate the death/disappearance of several missing persons in Staten Island and how they may be tied to a local urban legend called Cropsy. [Tangent: As if I didn't already have a weird obsession with True Crime stories, I have been listening to the Serial podcast, so that seems to be all I do lately is play armchair detective.] The whole movie was really sad, because most of the victims were young mentally challenged individuals and there was a lot of footage of the failed and terribly unscrupulous mental institutions; the film painted Staten Island to have this dark hidden Carcosa. It was very very interesting...totally recommend.

From One Second to the Next-C-
I feel very bad giving a Werner Hertzog documentary about texting while driving a bad grade, but this one just didn't wow me. I felt like it had value and would feel completely at home as a visual aid in Driver's Ed or Traffic School. It was only about an hour, but I felt, despite all the emotional stories, that it feel kind of flat with me. I realize that makes me a terrible person, but due to hand controls, I logistically cannot text while I drive so it's not like this changed my actions in any way. I definitely think it has value and contained a lot of persuasive and heartfelt stories, but it still watched like a PSA. Also, I am hyper aware how heartless this makes me sound. I'm sorry.

Hawking- A
I had been itching to see the Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything, since I saw the trailer months ago, I thought this documentary would keep me placated until I could get to the theater.  It worked. [Tangent: I truly cannot be the only one pregaming for Oscar season already?] The whole film is narrated by Hawking himself via his voice synthesizer. [Tangent: In fact, I felt like a dumb ass because I am so used to hearing the synthesizer that it never even occurred to me that he was British. I know. I know. That is shameful. He works at Cambridge after all.] Anyway, the movie did a great job of normalizing a man that due to disability and superhuman abilities is over made to seem not at all normal.  It answered all the questions I had about his care, progression of disease, daily activities etc. Also, anytime there is an unexpected Benedict Cumberbatch cameo, I am a happy panda. [Note: I have seen the Theory of Everything since viewing Hawking, and I think its a great companion piece. I would recommend both wholeheartedly.]

Alive Inside- B+
A couple days ago, my internet friend Mr. Tiny asked me if I had heard of/seen/knew the skinny on Alive Inside, and his spidey senses must have been tingling because I was half way through it already. Great minds! [Again...It really was bound to happen...a movie about adorable elderly people...I swear I am predictable.  Netflix really plays into my hand time after time.] This movie is about how the power of music can unlock memory and emotion from elderly people with varying levels of dimentia in nursing homes. It was amazing and moving and I am currently trying to find my old iPods to donate to this program. I find it hard to put into words but the best comparison I can come up with isthe movie Awakenings? [Tangent: Or maybe in a non-alien way...the movie Cocoon?] This was basically a true life version of that...in that the the transformation on these folks with Alzheimers was drastic and heartwarming. It did veer off a little into the politics behind nursing homes and the need for reform, and while I found that interesting...every time they went down that road, I saw myself wanting to get back to the patients and the families.

Wrestling for Jesus: The Tale of T-Money - C-/D
I mean...guys...that title. I never stood a chance against this one; I had to see it! I knew, reasonably and logistically he wouldn't be physically wrestling with the bearded deity [Tangent:...although how bad ass would that be?], and that in fact, it was a metaphor- but I was still interested. The whole movie takes place in South Carolina and focuses on evangelical backyard and amateur wrestling [Tangent: Yep! That's a thing.]. I wanted to like it...I really did. I imagined it would be like if two of my favorite things Jesus Camp and 80's WWF had a baby...but it wasn't. It definitely had some great moments and it allowed me to see that Jncos are still a thriving look for small town Christian goth teens, but it was still kind of 'meh'. Jamie and I both just played on our phones most of the time once the initial novelty wore off.

I Am Santa Claus- A+
After we watched the aforementioned Tale of T-Money, we decided to cleanse our palettes with this one.  Because this documentary partially profiled Mick Foley, aka the WWE wrestler Mankind, wrestling was the theme for the night. I was a little leary of this one because I was under the impression that the doc was completely about Mick's dream to be a Santa Claus, but there was so much more. There was a gay Santa (a "polar bear"), a swinger Santa and a Santa that liked to hit the egg nog extra hard (if you catch my drift.) I generally love anything with Morgan Spurlock's name attached, but this film was especially enjoyable and happy. I venture to say it will replace It's a Wonderful Life as a Christmas staple....at least in my heart. Extra points for a fantastic soundtrack!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

13 of the Most Delightfully Tacky Inflatables You Will See This Holiday Season

There's a place for everything and everything has its place. Isn't that a thing people say? Well, as that holly jolly time of year has come this way, I'm finding there's one Christmas trend that I haven't found a place for, at least in my life: those giant inflatables.  [Tangent: I can take them in small doses...maybe a smiley nutcracker or snowman tastefully placed, but the quickest way to take you to trashytown is to overload your yard with them.]

Now mind you, I may not love everything about the holiday, [Tangent: I promise I'm not a complete Scrooge (Ebenezer or McDuck), I just have started to loathe a lot of things like 90% of Christmas carols, crowds and conventional mall shopping after I worked in a mall for several years after college. Those things can give a gal PTSD.] but I do love twinkly lights and Christmas decor and have loved cruising to look at outdoor displays since I was a little lady.

I imagine as an 8 year old, I marveled at a 4 foot tall Snoopy Snowglobe inflatable and cursed my parents because they just had dumb wreaths and spotlights and those little plastic candles in the window, which inevitably proved to be more trouble than they were worth. I thought my parents were crazy for denying me a 6 foot tall glowing penguin, now I commend their conviction to keep the class is Christmas.

Because I can't bring myself to fill my yard with wacky waving inflatable tube men, I will just fill this blog post with them instead. I bring you, my favorite tacky inflatables of 2014!  [Tangent: Some of these I found online...some in stores, but all are pure gold!]

1. Nascar Santa
Ok. The fact remains that I know very little about race cars, but I do now that Santa is not wearing a helmet and is not properly strapped in, so that car is headed for catastrophe. I however commend Lowe's and their synergistic attempt at shoehorning their branding into Christmas decor.


2. Snowman Making Popcorn...but not super thrilled about it
You know how snowmen are forever popping copious amounts of popcorn, well...neither do I. From what I have gleaned from a little documentary called Frozen, it is dangerous for a snowman to be that close to a warm fixture. Maybe that is why the snowman looks not too thrilled about his task.

 3. Pregnant Mary and Joseph en route to Baby Jesus Birthday 
 In scrolling through inflatables, I found several air filled nativities, but this was the only one sans baby Jesus [Tangent: I mean he is in utero, and apparently (according to some) all around...but you know what I mean.]. Preggo Mary is my favorite because she is not at all holding on to that donkey and looks like she is slightly unsteady.

4. T-Rex in a Turtleneck
This is the little big guy that inspired this whole post.  I saw him at Home Depot when we were getting our tree and loved it because nothing says the holidays like a mildly psychotic dinosaur in a turtleneck and jaunty hat. After posting the photo on instagram, someone pointed out to me that it was a very bold creative decision by the makers of the inflatable to make the tiny tree in front of him the same color as him...because well, it makes him look SUPER EXCITED about the holiday season.  #KeepTheTRexInChristmas

 5. Santa and Sweater-Clad Reindeer See-Sawing
I don't know why I found this one so funny, but I literally laughed aloud. I think this is one of those that has movement and see saws back and forth, but that seems logistically unsound. Don't you think Santa weighs significantly less than a full grown reindeer? Also I love that this Reindeer is wearing mittens.
 6. Nude Santa in a Bathtub
What is more disturbing that a fully nude Santa in a bathtub? Maybe the fact that he is being peeped by a very voyeuristic reindeer. Also his boots and hat are the only clothing items next to the tub, so that means when he gets out he is gonna be plodding around the North Pole balls out with a cap and boots on. Where's that inflatable?

 7. Santa on Fire being Extinguished by Reindeer
So many times on these things, the expressions on the characters are blank, but these are amazing. I like to imagine that this reindeer is the same one as the one that watched him bathe earlier, and that he is kind of like Santa's Smithers.

 8. Santa Embarrassed Exiting Outhouse
Who is putting this in their yard? Ok, its pretty clear by the disgusted face on that elf that Santa was indeed dropping some coal...and that in itself is disturbing.  


9. Assorted Star Wars Characters Looking super Christmassy
I actually thought these were pretty cute and apropo if you were into Star Wars. I love a pun, and "droid to the world" is a pretty good one. My friend Beth was giving me an hour long and very delightful play by play on the Star Wars holiday special the other day (with Bea Arthur) and, unfortunately, none of the below shenanigans were part of it. 

 10. Not Menacing Darth Vader
Even with my limited Star Wars knowledge, I know that Darth Vader is supposed to be menacing, and at 3.5 feet tall...he really isn't. Also, with these proportions, he looks like Warwick David is inside the suit. I am not scared. Imagining him with a Santa hat over his helmet and an oversized candy cane is only making him look like more of a softie.
 11. Ninja Turtle Christmas
  I can only hope that the person that buys this also buys the Vader and the Yoda and makes them the Maji in their inflatable nativity. 


12. Spiderman Squatting
When we saw this one, Jamie couldn't stop laughing. All he kept saying was, "Spidey is shitting down your chimney." So, yeah...now that's all I see. 

 13. Hanukkah Bear
And not to leave out our Jewish friends, there are certainly options for them. Unfortunately, most of them...like the bear below just cram in every possible Hanukkah symbol imagineable. Yalmulke. Check. Menorah. Check. Tallis. Check. [Tangent: Thanks to my friend Ryan, who told me what the scarf thing was called. Everyone needs a Jewish phone-a-friend.]


Which one is your favorite?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Update: I'm a Teench more Organized

Thanks guys for all your input on my blog about being an OCD individuals worst nightmare. I had several people say that I upset them and my "organization system" made them anything from dizzy to nauseated....and others said that I was a kindred spirit and made them feel less shameful in their general "not giving a shit." All this feedback made me happy, because I love a visceral reaction of an kind. If you can't make someone want to cry or vomit, you are doing something wrong. [Tangent: Do I have that right, probably not.]



I do, however, have an update- I have cleaned out my Gmail inbox and after wading through a whole lotta mess, [Tangent: I mean who has two thumbs and her Myspace account confirmation from 2005 (even though the Myspace page itself is long gone)? THIS GIRL! Also, it's probably a little late to redeem Borders rewards points, right?] I have widdled it down to a number that doesn't warrant an ellipses on my home screen. I'M IN THE TRIPLE DIGITS! Although this is probably not blog post worthy for most people, it is for me...deal with it.



Tiny victories, folks. That's what life's all about. Celebrate them all.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kimmie goes to Nashville (the show not the town...I live there)

hasty photoshopping strikes again...
 It would be a gross understatement to say that I take my TV watching pretty seriously,  [Tangent: I stayed home from preschool to watch Maria get married on Sesame Street. My mom clearly enabled my insane behavior from a young age.] so it's no surprise that I was really stoked last week to go visit the set of ABC's Nashville with my friend Nettie. She is the show's dialect coach and I was happy to celebrate the fictitious "take your friend to work day!"  [Tangent: I would gleefully allow her to accompany me to work to reciprocate, but she may not find supervising nonprofit social media posts in an office all day is as thrilling as I do.] 

look at this nerd wearing a headset like she's hot shit!
 I watch the show with the same fervency that I approach most things and it's due mostly to the fact that Nashville is taped in my favorite (home)town.  When she asked what day I would like to come by, I clearly picked a Deacon day, the holy grail. [Tangent: Probably because I knew if I met Connie Britton, I would make an ass of myself because I would try to touch her hair. It's so damned pretty. Life's not fair.] Not only do I think Deacon is the heart of the heart of the show, but I loved Charles Esten on The Office and Whose Line... so I figured that's what I should shoot for. [Tangent: I told Nettie they would likely think this was some sort of Make-A-Wish scenario, and to just go with it.]


Being that I am a hellacious nerd, I wanted to take pictures of me in the faux Bluebird set and maybe another in Juliette's white- on-white dream of a bathroom, but I showed an enormous amount of restraint in that area. [Tangent: So you will just have to use your imagination to see me sitting on a gorgeous toilet giving a thumbs up! That would be the inevitable photo-op, right?] Every last detail of every set was so impressive. The magnet and cards affixed to the fridge in "Gunnar's house" were from Five Points Pizza and there was an East Nashvillian laying on the kitchen table. DETAILS, ya'll!

But seriously it was cool...really really cool. We watched them film a few really good scenes and met a bunch of the cast and crew including Clare Bowen who plays Scarlett [Tangent: Swathed in layers and sweet as sugar. Seriously....the nicest little hippy pixie on the planet. Such a peach. I would have asked for a picture, but didn't want to be 'that girl.' ] and even the show's big dog creator Callie Khouri. [Tangent:I mean she has an Oscar for writing Thelma & Louise. Big Timin!  The whole time we spoke, I was like "why does she looks so familiar?!?!" It was driving me nuts, so after some googling, I realized I had just watched her a couple days before on a 90's retrospective mini series on the National Geographic channel. I hastily texted Nettie saying, "I'm an idiot. I'm an idiot. I'm an idiot." How did I not know I was meeting someone with a little gold man on her shelf?] We then partook in craft service goodness, and since it was Wednesday afternoon...I got to watch that night's episode with the cast and crew. Such a fun day, I made it known that if they were in need of a brassy dame in a wheelchair with zero musical talent and a somewhat pitchy grating speaking voice, then I was clearly their gal! It's curious that my phone isn't ringing nonstop!

Oh, and watch my friend Nettie's star-making turn as Raina's seamstress on Wednesday's winter finale episode! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why I Drive People with OCD Crazy

Last week, I was hanging out with my group of friends from high school at my friend Courtney's house. To get into her home, there is a 3 inch threshold, so as is usually the case- we had to fashion ramp out of household materials. Luckily my friends are all kin to McGuyver, and soon we had a makeshift incline concocted in no time out of two giant 3 ring notebooks Courtney had saved from Nursing school. It is common knowledge that she is quite OCD, but I was not prepared for the magnitiude of her obsessive compulsion until I cracked those loose leaf bastards open and saw the most meticulous binder I had ever seen. [Tangent: After knowing these girls for 15 years, strengths and weaknesses are well established and roles are filled...basically you are free to call a spade a spade openly, so please know this is not news to her. She is the one I can depend will point something out to me when it is askew, or literally rip my glasses off my face when there is a spot on them...which let's face it is 99.9% percent of the time (because I'm a garbage person.) She is a nurse, so it is probably best that she is so exact and thorough. She doesn't just eyeball and duct tape things like yours truly.] Everything was pristinely highlighted and never did blue and black ink mingle needlessly; it was highly impressive. There were dividers and everything was evenly three-hole-punched. This could not be a farther cry from my college study materials, which consisted of handouts shoved in a folder and one wirebound notebook that I used for all classes. [Tangent: Yeah, and somehow I was on the Dean's list. I guess there is some method to my sloth.]

Looking around her home and seeing her dazzling Christmas decor completely in place before even Thanksgiving, I knew that if she were able to shrink down like Dennis Quaid in Innerspace to take a walk around my decidely un-OCD mind, she would be horrified. I'm not hopelessly disgusting, just really messy, and for some reason I don't lose things all that often. I just know my skill set, and organization is not high on that list.

Over the past week, I have taken personal inventory of ways that I know I make people crazy...so this blog post is an apology to all the  meticulous people that I interact with on a daily basis.

I'm sorry I don't always untangle my earbuds before using them [Tangent: and by "don't always," you know I mean "almost never."]


I'm sorry that my filing system is simply piles of stuff. 
is it irony that that slip of paper says "organization"


I'm sorry that no matter how much junk mail I delete, my home screen looks like this:


...and while we are at it...sorry my desktop looks like this: 

I'm sorry my purse is like the Barney Bag or Mary Poppins satchel.


Yeah, I know...I know... US Weekly will now never want to write a feature about my purse's contents, but I bet Hoda Kotb doesn't have a Ziploc'd slice of cookie cake and a stray D cell battery in her bag.

After reading this,  I imagine latent OCD is flaring up in many of you, and for that, I am sorry. I'm highly aware of my shortcomings, and know these little quirks/oversights must infuriate you. Thanks for loving me anyway...even though I am fairly terrible. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Netflix Documentary Hits and Misses Vol 4 (November 2014 Edition)

It's Thanksgiving green bean casserole time [Tangent: I mean really...isn't that what the season is really about? Mushroom soup shrouded, French cut goodness?] , and I guess by now you are either looking for something to do with your family or looking for some way to avoid them...so I guess that means you need something to fill your time...a means to  avoid black Friday or even just permeate your eye holes as you fill your mouth hole with pie.

It's November Netflix recap time! I have tried to really offer a varied smorgasbord of documentaries this month, so I think there will be something to tickle your pickle, but please let me know if there is some non-fiction gold that I am overlooking.



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Time Zero:The Last Year of Polaroid Film- A
I didn't expect a movie about the closing of the Polaroid production factories to pack such heart. DAMN! I pulled it up around midnight one night in a fit of insomnia...and long story short, by 2 AM I was fighting back strange tears and putting "watches" on multiple Polaroid SX-70 land cameras [Tangent: I am mildly obsessed with that pretty camera even though the film it would require costs as much as a tank of gas, I'm sure. I strongly recommend against drunken or sleep-derpived online purchases.] Multiple photographers who specialize in the medium were spotlighted, including a special segment with a very sentimental John Waters. If John Waters can't get you to watch a movie...then get off my blog!

The Final Member- A
This is probably one of my picks of the month, judging solely on the fact that I have recommended it to several groups of people. Ok, once you get past the basis: It is about an actual penis museum in Iceland looking for the its crown jewel(s?), their first human specimen. Two men are in the running and they are both completely batshit and perfect. One wishes to donate while he is still alive, with some strange caveats. I feel like hesitant to reveal too much, because the element of surprise is important, but rest assured- you will forever think of the word "Elmo" differently.


TallHotBlond- B-/C+
 This movie is a true crime style account of a very creepy  love affair between a middle aged man and an 18 year old girl, who met in an online gambling room. It was chocked full of interviews and photos and of course, awkward scrolling text of their cyber sexing.  I have a slight confession that maybe disqualifies me to give this an unbiased review and may make you think less of me: I knew what was going to happen because I saw the Lifetime made for TV movie by the same name that is based on this case. [Tangent:...starring the dad from Raising Hope (with a creepy moustache) and directed randomly by Courteney Cox.] Anyway, things get dicey and as is the case when old dudes with porn staches decide to mess with young ladies, shit hits the fan and flies in unexpected directions. 

Bettie Page Reveals All- A
Why has it taken me so long to watch this? Since I started this monthly feature, it has been suggested over and over and I am pleased to say, you all didn’t steer me wrong. I now love Bettie Page. I mean I knew the idea of her, but had no idea she was so sassy and smart…and a NASHVILLIAN!??! I’m sold. What’s not to love? If I wasn’t a lazy human, this movie would have inspired me to become one of those rockabilly chicks because Bettie Page is gosh danged adorable, but unfortunately I am terribly flat chested, shudder at the idea of heels and feel that baby bangs are too much of a  commitment for a gal like me.

A Brony Tale: A Film About Men who Love My Little Pony- B
The title of this film does a pretty thorough synopsis on it's own, but really, in my opinion, this topic cannot be delved into and researched nearly enough, because no amount of analysis will explain why this is a thing that exists. [Tangent: This is at least one of two documentaries on Netflix on the topic...and yes, I have watched both. For the record the other one is called Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony and they are about equal as far as enjoyability!] The bronies they profile are varied and very unexpected [Tangent: read...they are not sterotypical: not all anime kids or young gay gents. There are bikers and frat boy types in the mix.] One of the main voice over artists from the show,  is the central storyteller in this doc as she is attending her first Brony-Con, and is kind of horrified at the prospect. The production value is pretty impressive given the subject, mabe because it is done by Morgan Spurlock, [Tangent: who has really mixed up his portfolio recently with things like the One Direction concert doc, which I have seen...and it is good. I'm not ashamed.] the only real criticim is that I could have done with a little less of the VO girl's band. It was distracting.
 
Dear Zachary- A+
Good sweet lord. I haven’t seen this movie in a couple years, and thank heavens the Netflix overlords have kept it on  streaming so that the maximum amount of people can be floored by it. This time, I decided to take my mother along on the emotionally unstable roller coaster of feeling feelings. I don’t want to tell you too much about it, but if you like heartfelt true crime stories and filling many a Kleenex with your snotty tears, then this is the film for you.  Maybe not the most uplifting holiday film, but I have yet to meet anyone that has seen it and that didn't recommend it.

Burt's Buzz- A
This one was a random late night decision, [Tangent: Do you see a reoccurring theme that the choice to watch documentaries usually hinges upon my shitty sleeping habits?] and one that I am very happy that I made. It had made me mildly obsessed with the Burt behind Burt's Bees....yeah, that bearded dude on the label a real person, and he is a delightful kook at that. Becoming a global brand was never really this hermit's intention and the politics behind the company's thriving is a little cut throat. There are so many good moments in this movie, but my favorites are anytime he is basically forced into doing public appearances. Cinema gold.

Out Late- A-
Truly, based on some of my previous viewing choices [Tangent: From this post, you may remember Ping Pong and Gotta Dance...] I am surprised that there is not a genre on my Netflix queue called: "adorable elderly people doing surprising things". [Tangent: Instead my Netflix thinks I am a gay male, and this movie is probably just helping along the algorythm. ] Out Late, which is about people who came out of the closet at 60+ and not just people staying out past curfew,  profiles a very feisty 80 year old lesbian [Dear god! I love her so much!], a transgendered individual and a gay couple. I really enjoyed this one, and to be honest, I could watch a whole series based on their stories. It needed to be longer. Please HBO, answer my prayers. 

Teenage- D
Boo. I wanted this to be better...I mean look how fun the cover looks! Well, I guess you can't always judge things by their covers, because this meandering movie made me doze off so many times that I stopped watching altogether.  The concept was interesting, I'll give it that. The film illustrated through archival footage how the whole idea of teenage and adolescence evolved through history, because"Teenage" is apparently a 20th century term. The movie just didn't grab me, and given the subject matter- it really should have.  

Stuck- B+
Since I was wee and watched specials on Romanian orphanages, I have wanted to adopt a baby from overseas, so this whole movie was disheartening and upsetting. The doc addresses all the red tape and terrible bureaucracy that surrounds international adopting. From friends who have undergone the process, I have heard first hand how exhausting, expensive and futile it can be and this movie only confirmed this. The profiles were really touching and sad, many of these families waited for years to meet their children. It upset me to see them, with the nurseries all set up but not being able to bring them home, all the while watching that child share a crib with several other children in a third world orphanage.

I Escaped a Cult- D
Yawn. Let me preface this by saying my boyfriend and I love cults…like not in a weird “I wanna be in one” kinda way…but more in a “I am fascinated by them kind of way.” [Tangent: Jamie spends a lot of his time listening to Last Podcast on The Left or hanging on their message boards, which revolves around crazy stuff like cults and weird phenomenae….and as a 16 year old, I was given the choice to write a research paper about anything and I chose Cults. Most girls in my class chose rabbits or Mariah Carey or something.] I think this makes us more discriminating when it comes to things like this…and this was like a Dateline expose, only with much crappier production value and terrible pacing. Jamie fell asleep multiple times, and it was only 44 minutes long. 

Reel Injun- B
Something you have probably gleaned from my viewing choices is that I go a little buckwild for anything that dissects race/gender/class/disability, and their depictions in the media...so it was inevitable that I would watch this movie about Native Americans on film. [Tangent: Just in time for Thanksgiving!] Parts of this I really loved and found terribly interesting, and other parts went nowhere fast. The filmmakers did a stellar job of archiving footage both old and recent. I loved learning more about that infamous Marlon Brando Oscar acceptance , how the Native American community really saw Dances with Wolves and a segment about Iron Eyes Cody, easily Hollywood's go to Indian performer...who was indeed Italian.

The World Before Her- B/B-
There are a ton of movies in my Netflix queue right now that all revolve around the same idea- basically what it means to be female in other cultures. They are seemingly interesting enough, but I have a heard time pulling the "watch" trigger for some reason. This was my baby step into that sub-sub-genre of socio-cultural documentaries. This particular one was about modern Indian pageants...one that is more western and much like American pageantry and one that focuses on traditional Indian values. Being that I am white as Bunny bread, I always find these things very eye-opening.
 
Being Elmo- A
This is a really good family pick, because it is a fun story about seeing a young man, Kevin Clash, seeing his  puppet dreams come true [Tangent:...that is if you try to totally ignore the molestation allegations that befell him a couple years ago. That news puts a whole uncomfortable spin on the picture of a man with his hand up a red monster. I watched it both both prior and after the diddling story hit the presses, and I will say that it was considerably more entertaining beforehand.] Who doesn't love Elmo? It also gave a lot of insight into how the whole Henson universe works, so if you are too distracted by that scandal, just focus on that.
 
Bound by Flesh - A
As someone with a disability, I have always been interested in freak shows and sideshow performers. [Tangent: I know within the community, that is a very scandalous stance to take, but at the time if the options were to be a circus performer or be institutionalized, I would be learning to juggle in no time. Also, it's a part of history- freak shows happened. There is no point in ignoring that they existed or dwelling on how unscrupulous they were now. Look forward not back, folks.] This interest has only been exacerbated lately by my love of AHS: Freak Shows, so naturally when I saw a new movie about conjoined twins hit my queue, I was into it. This one is about the Daisy and Violet Hilton, who rose to fame in the sideshow circuit in the early 1900s, going on to appear on various variety shows and in Tod Browning's cult classic Freaks. Their story is really interesting and terribly sad at points, they went from being unwanted by their mother to being in high demand to poverty again. The ass kicker is that they were only connected at the hip by a small band of flash; in today's medical world they would have been easily separated at birth. [Tangent: Also, even though I have never given birth, even the thought of naturally delivering two sizable babies side by side makes my vagina hurt.]

Ok, now that I have left you on a really unsavory note, what should I watch in December? Also, I am interested in those 30 for 30 docs. I don't like sports, but I think I will like those. Thoughts?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Opening Night at Book of Mormon

As I get older (I turned 32 last week!), I find birthdays less and less exciting. No one is more disappointed in this inevitable turn of events than I am, because I love an excuse for ridiculous celebration. Each year, I kinda wish I had the energy to throw a party, but they stress me out more than they should. I am way to worried about everyone else having fun  than I am about having fun...and that's no way to celebrate your life's anniversary. Honestly, if I didn't have a metric shit ton of Facebook notifications that day, it might have flown completely under my radar. This year instead of being my birthday, I decided November 18th was just going to be Book of Mormon Day!


To say this is long awaited is a gross misrepresentation; I have been waiting for this show to make a stop in Nashville back when it was still in development to debut on Broadway! If you don't know anything about it, it's a very hysterical musical written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the South Park creators) and the music is co-written by one of the writers behind the songs in Frozen... Except these songs are a lot about AIDS, religion and female circumcision in Uganda and less about a Norweigian sister with a unattainable fishtail braid.  [Tangent: Let me take this opportunity to say I know and am fond of many Mormons, and they are kind of the nicest people on the planet...so if you're reading this and worship at the church of the latter day saints, I'm not judging your viewpoints...I feel like this musical could have just as well been a ridiculous satire of Catholicism (my upbringing) and I would have still laughed my ass off. Then again, I laugh hardest when things are terribly inappropriate, so I am just a terrible person...but in a equal opportunities way.] I was very excited that Jamie got us tickets on opening night (which as deemed by the heavens fell on my birthday) and that several of our friends were also going that evening. Even more exciting was that all the gentlemen in our party decided to dress like missionaries to get in the spirit!

Yes, my boyfriend owned a short sleeved white button down shirt...and it was from a photoshoot where he was in a cult that appeared on a band poster. Don't ask.

Jamie is very cooperative with me forcing him into awkward photo ops.
This little boy was kinda star struck by these posers and wanted a picture. Cutest thing ever!

It was all in good fun, but Travis [Tangent: Some of you may know him from Say it Ain't So as Rae's hubby.] was so convincing in his getup that someone from The Tennessean pulled him aside to interview him about the missionaries who attended the opening night to market. [Tangent: You can read it's reprint in the USA Today here. National news, baby!] Oh yes, I left that part out- the Mormon church in Nashville are pretty marketing savvy and used the controversial play kind of to their benefit. There were sisters and elders staked out handing out flyers and books at every entrance, and they even took out a three page ad in the playbill. Kinda genius, really. This one made me chuckle.

Elder Wayne Brady, no?
  The play was awesome and immediately when it was over, I wanted to go see it again. Book of Mormon Pandora is now alive and kicking on my phone a good majority of my day now.  My favorite part was that given we were seated in the disabled seating area, we were probably a good 30 years younger than most of our neighbors, which meant I overheard a lot of this:

 
I worried a lot of these folks, given that they were significantly older than the South Park demo, would be scandalized by the salty language and guest appearances by a dancing Hitler (during a dream sequence, of course), but they laughed harder at the F bombs than I did. I love theater!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Internet is Weird: Go Phish*

* I realized since coming up with the title that it was somehow misleading and that you might just think this is a Trey Anastacio related post. Sorry. It's not. Go get your stoner jam band music elsewhere. To make it up to you, here is a picture of a jovial man in a Spam costume. [Tangent: The google image search gods were really smiling down on me.]



The other day, I was sifting through the SPAM in my email box looking for something crucial. [Tangent: I feel the need to be honest, it wasn't a work document or airline ticket, it was indeed my pizza delivery confirmation from Papa John's. It had been 45 minutes, and my hungry belly was riddled with nervousness that my order had not been processed. It was my free pizza I earned, becaue I have worked hard to consume 25 Papa John's points worth of pizza. See, I I told you: critical stuff.] I never delve into the Spam folder because it's nothing but an endless cavalcade of penis creams and male order wives and I'd rather not get pulled down that rabbit hole. However, something that looked rather personal caught my attention.
 
Dearest one,
My name is Mrs.Mariam Hana Dauda I am 63 years old, I am a dying woman who have decided to donate what I have to you/ motherless babies/less privileged/widows.I was diagnosed for cancer  for about 2 years ago. I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late  husband to you for good work of God. I have asked God to forgive me and believe he has because he  is a merciful God. I will be going in for an operation on Monday.I decided to WILL/donate the sum of  7.7 million dollars to you for the good work of God, and also to help the motherless and less privilege and also for the assistance of the widows. At the moment I cannot take any telephone  calls right now due to the fact that my relatives (That have squandered the funds I gave them for  this purpose before) are around me and my health status also.
I have adjusted my WILL and my lawyer is aware. I wish you all the best and may the good God  bless you abundantly, and please use the Funds judiciously and always extend the good work to others. As soon you get back to me, I shall give you info on what I need from you then you will contact the bank and tell them I have willed those properties to you by quoting my personal  bank  account infos and I have also notified the bank  that I am willing that properties  to you for a good, effective and prudent work. I know I don't know you but I have been directed to do this by God.
Thanks and Almighty God bless.reply to me via my confidential email mariamdauda33@yahoo.com
Regards,
Mrs.Mariam  Dauda

So I guess I am left with the following follow up questions/reactions to this phishing scam:

  1. I guess I am under privileged because I am not a motherless child nor a widow. 
  2. Should I call the police? Because on the long shot that this woman is real, she is clearly in an abusive reverse Flowers in The Attic situation at the hands of her children! 
  3.  What exactly do I do that is god's work and how did she come up with the payout of 7.7 million? That's a lot of work that I have done that I am not aware of.
  4.  What do you want me to buy you with my new riches? Here is an artist's rendering of my new lifestyle:
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