Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quirky Is Not Bad (For Movies)

Ok, I know this comes as no big surprise, but I loved both 500 Days Of Summer and Away We Go. I realize that now the indie film aesthetic has gone mainstream, and there's nothing particularly new or experimental about either of these films. And I'll even admit that the quirk in both films border on cliche.

But here's the thing: Both films gave me what I want from a movie. Good stories, likable characters, funny situations, and some sweet, sad, beautiful moments. I don't really care if it's become cliche. I feel like I got my $8 worth.

500 Days has been criticized for being too much style over substance, and I'll grant that. There's a narrator, a musical number, black and white scenes that try too hard to look like a classic French film. But overall, I didn't really mind. It's also been labeled Nora Ephron for hipsters. So what? Nora Ephron makes romantic comedies that are actually good. While there are cliche elements to the story, [spoiler alert!] Tom and Summer don't stay together. There aren't many romantic comedies that feature a break-up between the leads...

As for Away We Go, I loved it. By far, it was my favorite movie of the summer (although Up comes close). First of all, it features a couple that has been together for a long time and still love each other and have a real friendship. Movies don't show us happy, established couples, and here come Burt and Verona. Plus, the supporting cast all put in great performances, and I particularly loved Maggie Gyllenhal as the crazy, hypocritical hippie. The film manages to move subtly towards poignancy, and while some critics may feel like they were being manipulated, I didn't mind at all.

Sometimes, you want your emotions manipulated a little bit. That's what movies offer us. They don't always have to be realistic or believable. I'm ok with that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thanks, Federal Government, for Forcing My Giant Corporate Employer to Pay Me More

Minimum wage is going up this week, from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. This is great news for me, seeing as I can hardly pay rent at $7/hour right now.

I don't claim to know much about economics, but it seems that all those people who say that this will cause inflation and further problems have never had to live on minimum wage... But I guess us bleeding hearts never take macroeconomics into consideration. We're just too blinded by our ideals.

Yeah, tell that to the single mother who's your grocery cashier.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Clarification on "If You're Interested..."

I figured I better post the text of the Craig's List Missed Connection ad in question, seeing as it might get taken down (as happens to CL ads).

Hot Austin Librian at Chicago Conf. - m4m - 38 (Memphis)

Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-07-13, 8:50PM CDT

Uou were the very hot, masculine librian at the recent conference in Chicago. We chatted and exhcanged names and a few other key pieces of information. I would love to chat more. In fact, I may start READING MORE..just to go to the Library.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bananarchy and Chaos In the Blogospshere!

I occasionally write food feature stories for The Onion/Austin Decider website. I've had a lot of fun with it, met some inspiring Austinites, stirred up some controversy, and now I've helped get a local food cart get some national buzz. My recent story on Bananarchy has been re-blogged. Several times.


Entertainment Weekly

Comedy Central

And I know. The chocolate banana in the photo looks like a penis. Enough already.