Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Celine & Jesse Forever.

Tomorrow is the first day of May. This means we are 25 days from the release of Before Midnight. The ongoing tale of Celine and Jesse is one of my favorite fictional stories, probably because unlike romantic comedies and most romance depicted onscreen, these two characters represent something close to real. Their conversations, their chemistry, their body language.

Celine and Jesse first met as young people on a train in Europe, and then they met again nine years later in Paris with much more personal history. And now, after nine more years, we will have another view into their characters' lives. I'm not the only person extremely excited by the prospect, as my friend Amy took it upon herself to create the shirt I'm wearing above on her Society 6 page. Get one for yourself -- no superfan should be without!

I wish I had more movie-themed t-shirts. Not logo or title emblazoned, though. But more like this shirt in which only a small sector of people may immediately understand who it's referring to. If while wearing this shirt somebody smiles in recognition, I will be so happy. It's like going to a Ryan Adams show and being like, "these are my people" (a stranger next to me at his Town Hall show years ago alluded to this before he came on stage, I concurred). Or when, before the show started airing, I saw people on the subway reading A Game of Thrones and I always said something like, "that series is amazing!" in a way that hopefully let them know I was not trying to be a creep. I will start conversations with almost anybody about something I love.

And I LOVE these movies. I mean, last year when Jesse and I went to Paris I plotted out a chronological walking tour of Before Sunset. We started at Shakespeare & Co., went to the zinc bar cafe Le Pur, walked the Promenade, etc. That's how much I love that movie. And I haven't even been to Vienna yet.

Last night Jaime (while rewatching this week's Game of Thrones as I sat in above t-shirt) admitted to me that she'd only seen Before Sunrise, which left me flabbergasted. We're setting up a screening of Before Sunset (which I think is better than the first film) pronto. Do you love Celine and Jesse? Are you excited for Before Midnight? Is there a movie you are somewhat fanatical about because of their characters or another reason? Do share.

In conclusion, now you know what I'll be wearing to the theaters on May 24th.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Do whatever that it takes, he got a winner's mind.

My view on Saturday from Chelsea Brewery.
I tend to look forward to weekends not only for the time away from work but also to refresh me for another week. I aim to relax for the most part, but this weekend proved too busy with fun to reenergize. Not that I minded in the slightest.

On Friday evening a few people gathered at a delicious Thai restaurant in Williamsburg for a send-off to our lovely friend Jess who is moving to San Francisco. I arrived in the area early (I'm always early, to everything), but luckily another friend was nearby to catch up with over a glass of wine at the Brooklyn Winery--one of my favorite places in Brooklyn.

The dinner was joyous and the opposite of how sad goodbyes can be. Jess is moving on to another coast with positive vibes emenating; I am sad that SF is capturing a neighbor, friend, book club member, and writer's colony founder, but I am so happy for her.

Afterwards, another friend was in need of a social partner after having done the 'trading our stuff back' deed post-getting dumped. I met her at a nearby bar and we proceeded to clink our glasses to good riddance. Liars: not worth a damn.

I was most excited for Saturday when two of my favorite people, the pinnacle 'Good People' were in town. This couple, Bob and Erica, are so loved that no less than 15 people gathered for a brunch to enjoy their presence. Many college-era stories were rehashed and newly remembered with laughter. (If you were nearby you may have heard some phrases like: "And then he walked out of my apartment at dawn with my sheet wrapped around him to drive back to D.C.," "[Redacted] was in the hallway in her underwear because nobody was around to see her," or "Her mom walked into our apartment and blasted John Denver at 7am when everybody was still sleeping.")

The day was as long as it was fun: a great margarita-fueled brunch, a walk to Chelsea Piers to embarass our friend Dan who was playing hockey (hooting and hollering commenced), a stop in at Chelsea Brewery to enjoy the sunny day, and then a moment of respite and take-out at Kells' and Jon's apartment.

It was a moment needed since by 10pm we had to gather our second wind. This was also fueled by my latest collection of pump-up songs. Kells, Erica, and I proceeded to dance around the living room with Riggins jumping in unison. Riggins, a fun-loving French bulldog that you can see all over Kelly's blog is the best jump dancer.

We went to a nearby bar to meet more friends and as I am wont to do as of late, I entered in a long conversation about Game of Thrones in terms of the books and television show. I promised myself I wouldn't stay out late, but then, you know, a discussion of Book 3 happened.

On Sunday after leisurely getting up from bed, I met my friend Amy for lunch at Momofuku. We discussed our favorite movies and tv shows and books and then went to her apartment to watch a foreign film called A Royal Affair. We are both avid Hannibal fans and equally creeped out by the actor who plays the titular character, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. You may remember him as the 'leaky-eye villain' from Casino Royale. Anyway, I saw something on the internet about this Oscar-nominated film had a romantic storyline and in my astonishment told Amy we had to watch our old friend 'Mads,' (how great is that name?) in this period drama. And so we did. And it was GREAT; Mads is superb and I must admit he made me weep. Review here on Letterboxd.

Mads be smilin'!
Afterwards I came home and prepared myself some dinner and cleaned around the house. I was washing the dishes when I heard the key slip in the lock. I held my wet hands dripping over the kitchen sink while I leaned over to see who it might be.

It was Jesse. OF COURSE.

He was supposed to arrive Tuesday night but surprised me like he almost always does. It was wonderful to see him walk in the door and kiss him and pull at his ever-growing beard. The usual friends came over for Game of Thrones and Mad Men and then Jesse and I settled into bed as Pee Wee lay between us, purring loudly. We were both out within minutes of hitting the pillow; such a fun weekend it had been.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My girls can't tell me nothin', I'm gone in the brain.

It's Friday! I expect next week to be extremely busy because of work, and Jesse also returns! So I'm going to relish in this weekend. May is fast approaching, and having realized I didn't see a single movie in theaters during April, I looked at the release schedule and then promptly e-mailed the following to one of my fellow movie-loving friends:
Subject: We must prepare for May.
Because I just looked at the release schedule. And I don't know how you're feeling about certain movies but pretty much every weekend there is a movie I want to see opening:
WEEK ONE: IRON MAN 3 [directed by Shane Black who directed RDJ in my favorite RDJ movie of all time, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang]
WEEK TWO: THE GREAT GATSBY [this could be terrible but also it's Baz and great literature, so I have to see it]
WEEK THREE: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS [no lie, the first star trek was my favorite movie of 2009. I saw it four times in the theater. NO LIE. And this one has Cumberbatch, circling towards my favorite name ever to say a lot. Benedict Cumberbatch.]
WEEK FOUR: BEFORE MIDNIGHT [I mean. Duh. I nearly attempted getting into one of the two screenings this past week at the Tribeca Film Festival, but sadly it did not work out.]
WEEK FIVE: THE EAST [Okay, this was the one stretching because May has five weeks and I had to pick one, but I am highly interested in this indie drama....]
Please let us note Julie Delpy's hair. Celine always had a center part, and she always looked tres French, and her hair is wavy and messy like mine so, further inspiration as discussed in my last post. As in, I wish I was Julie Delpy. (And could pull off messy hair; I definitely "try" a lot.)
And! Clementine.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

You're on a different road, I'm in the milky way.

On Tuesday afternoon I was able to leave work early. I'd shot a text to a friend in a fragile state about meeting up, and as so often happens with a friend in need of conversation, she asked that we meet at the nail salon. Over the acetone fumes she divulged her recent hardships, and after the purging and venting of the emotional situation, we were ready for food -- and a drink.

We're classy ladies, though, so it was off to a local eatery where we toasted my French '75 to her Southern Sea. After taking in some good greens (breakups don't always manifest in sugar, but in living well...) we wandered towards a nearby hotel bar with great views of Manhattan. We were joined by a third friend and after the first round, the bartender must have sensed our drama-tinged conversation and offered us a free shot and a free second round. And then we toasted to endings and positive mental attitudes and the future.

Hotel bars are strange. Sometimes I get the impression the clientele is simply out of towners looking for some excitement. Perhaps I just always think of that scene from Out of Sight, the one just prior to the great 'What If?' scene in which Karen Cisco deftly handles some businessmen trying to hit on her. But I digress.

I walked to the subway that night with the wind chilling my face and a big wide smile, because why not?

Last night I spent at home doing some chores and for some reason felt compelled to rewatch Brian De Palma's 1976 horror classic Carrie. I honestly don't know why I did, but I hadn't seen it in over a decade. It was creepier than I remembered, and it holds up so well. Sometimes movies can become such 'icons' or have iconic imagery that that's all that comes to mind. I'd forgotten about the odes to Hitchcock within, the great cinematography, and the still-relevant themes. By movie's end, I may or may not have also been taken by Sissy Spacek's ultra '70s locks. My obsession became somewhat solidified by the fact that I took a shower and then parted by hair down the middle, something I never do.

Below, Carrie White and myself this evening trying to rock the center part. Some strands were obviously fighting it; I have naturally wavy hair. After having short hair for a while, I'm now all about growing my hair as long as possible. Should probably keep up with watching '70s film classics for inspiration.

Carrie and Tommy

This is my attitude face with the lovely Jaime tonight in Brooklyn for an El Sportivo show.

Okay fine, here is my PMA face.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I don't really need to wonder at all.

Time, like always, moving so fast. The past few weeks glided by and I believe I can't even approach to encapsulate it all with any justice. In an effort to guide myself back to this space of writing, I'll just describe a few things I remember and start anew...
Jesse was home and then he was gone again. He's still gone, until May. We had a terribly productive couple of weeks around the house, and soon after he left I fell ill with fever. As he commented, I was doing it wrong by getting sick while he was hundreds of miles away (to include Alaska). It's true, I felt decrepit and wished he could have gotten me soup and hugged me as I shivered. I soothed my cold with four days of television and movies, though. And Pee Wee, always Pee Wee.
I must highly recommend:
Top of the Lake - the whole miniseries is on Netflix Instant now and if your gut doesn't feel punched a few times during, and then completely disemboweled by the finale, then you're watching it wrong. Jane Campion's beautiful directing and New Zealand scenery juxtaposes against some sinister activity in this crime drama.
Hannibal - Bryan Fuller, creator of Pushing Daisies, takes a completely different tone in this tv series about infamous character Hannibal Lecter. It's downright Kubrickian, and the cinematography is lush even when it's dead bodies you are seeing. (I suppose I like seeing beauty in evil things?) Hugh Dancy plays an interesting hero (a bit different than the book's Will Graham), and Mads Mikkelson as Hannibal is creep creep creepy but mesmerizing - as he should be. Most annoying character award goes to Freddie Lowndes, but she's necessary to the story, I suppose.
Game of Thrones - Season 3 is already off to a great start, and it's definitely overshadowing any love for Mad Men currently. I thought Mad Men's 5th season was cinematic, bleak, and its best. Its current season is thoroughly uncinematic and just not as compelling as it treads around the same themes. Over on HBO, everything is awesome. I can't even elaborate more than that, but each week it's getting better and better... this finale's going to be a doozy. Trust you me. Also, my tumblr seems to have inadvertantly turned into a sort of Game of Thrones fan blog, because the internet wins.
Lust, Caution - Ang Lee's movie was the best movie I saw while sick. I watched some real bombs, as my Letterboxd diary can attest, and Lee's direction always rises above the amateurs. The film also reminded me of what a great actor Tony Leung is, as I loved him and the movie In The Mood For Love (also highly recommend on Netflix Instant).
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - I haven't seen the film yet, but I love the book a lot. I didn't want it to end. It's hard to even explain it, but I would recommend it to everyone.
"Still Into You" by Paramore - I've been playing this song on repeat, and I think it's probably this band's best song. I've listened to the new self-titled album a few times, but I always come back to this song because it's so fun and infectious and bright-sounding.
I also must mention that my best friend Kelly started a blog called The Sweet Avenue. It's a little spot of love and inspiration and cocktail recipes, which the world could always use, right? Since Jesse is remarkably good at making deviled eggs, he even wrote a quite hilarious post about it. Enjoy Kelly's blog! I certainly enjoy being her taste tester whenever I can be!
What else?
One night after stretching my body to and fro and up and sideways and making it feel leaden while my mind drifted I sat down and I had a lavender gimlet. Perhaps counterintuitive to all the restorative moves I just spent two hours doing, but a prize of a job well done, too. I had two lovely birds next to me, laughing along, and though my body hurt for days after it was all worth it.
I helped future bride Erica with a few wedding crafting projects on two occasions and normally I'm particularly wretched at having to craft, but turns out I'm able to tie twine around invitations, remove wax from old mason jars, and cut triangles out of fabric. I surprised even myself. The excitedly anticipated wedding will be much fun and look great!
On the subject of things I don't normally do, I was invited on a day trip to a farm an hour upstate this past weekend. My mother grew up in the rural countryside of Panama, so I've been to farms. And I'm not a fan mostly for the smell but also usually because of bugs and general dirtiness. However, I love animals. And at Glynwood Farm we reveled in lambs, piglets, and baby goats. Baby goats, I love thee and your soft little heads and curious eyes and adorable squeals of joy. I nearly stole one that kept butting my leg...I think it was a secret message to whisk him away in my arms. Alas, I had to say goodbye.
Tidbits of other thoughts that traversed my mind in the past few weeks:
I learned a friend will be leaving New York for San Francisco, quite abruptly. I think she's about to start a grand adventure.
My parents visited New Orleans, a city I've never had the chance to visit, and I'm jealous of all the fun they had.
I tried Steve's Mexican Chili Chocolate flavor ice cream and I'm not sure there is any better tasting ice cream than that one right there.
Liars are still The Worst, especially when they are making my friends hurt. Related: Harry Crane remains The Worst, too.
There's been a significant lack of backgammon since Jesse left, and I'm unamused by the fact that my skills are probably waning without the practice. He will likely win all future matches now.
Also in the past four weeks, I went dancing with girlfriends because one of us was unceremoniously dumped, and that's what you do. You dance. (Cue Robyn's 'Dancing on My Own.') And then while bedridden with chills you learn through various text messages that they've gotten back together, and now they're engaged and next day they've been married at city hall. April was most definitely a strange month, and last week probably strangest of all between work and personal maladies and national news. Historically strange, it would seem.