Hey nerds!

I'm over here now if you'd like to read blog posts from me again.

srah - Tuesday, 7 January 2014 - 10:46 AM   |  comments (0)

Cup cup cup cup of of of of...

Drinking the teaIn Srah World, there are several kinds of tea:

  1. No Tea - I boil the water but then forget to make the tea
  2. Extremely Extremely Strong Cup of Tea - I boil the water and put the tea bag in, but forget to take the teabag out for about fifteen minutes
  3. Cold Cup of Tea - I make a perfectly normal cup of tea, then forget that I made it until it's cold.

There is also the elusive Successful Cup of Tea, but it has not been documented in the wild for a while, and is suspected to be extinct.

srah - Tuesday, 31 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

I'm Spartacus! I'm the king of the world! I am Mrs Nesbitt!

Now that I have finished the AFI Top 100 there are many other projects I could take on, but I've decided to tackle the 10th anniversary version of the list, which came out in 2007. The revised list removed 23 of the films and replaced them with 23 different ones.

After deciding on a project, the next step is to determine how much progress I've already made. I'm not quite sure whether I've seen Cabaret,12 Angry Men or Swing Time all the way through, so I will err on the side of caution and rewatch them. I know, however, that I have not seen Blade Runner all the way through, because I have fallen asleep both times I tried to watch it. In that case, I will err on the side of not watching Blade Runner again and count that one as seen, because it played in a room that I was occupying at the time. It looks like by that definition, I have already seen 13 of the new movies added to the list.

So starting out, my progress on this list is already:

90/100

The Up-to-Date Tally of Which AFI Top 100 (2007 version) Movies I Have Seen (in bold or linked) and Not Seen (normal):

Movies that are new to the 2007 version of the list, but which I have already seen, are in italics.

  1. Citizen Kane
  2. The Godfather
  3. Casablanca
  4. Raging Bull
  5. Singin' in the Rain
  6. Gone with the Wind
  7. Lawrence of Arabia
  8. Schindler's List¹
  9. Vertigo
  10. The Wizard of Oz
  11. City Lights
  12. The Searchers
  13. Star Wars
  14. Psycho
  15. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  16. Sunset Boulevard
  17. The Graduate
  18. The General
  19. On the Waterfront
  20. It's a Wonderful Life
  21. Chinatown
  22. Some Like It Hot
  23. The Grapes of Wrath
  24. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  25. To Kill a Mockingbird
  26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  27. High Noon
  28. All About Eve
  29. Double Indemnity
  30. Apocalypse Now
  31. The Maltese Falcon
  32. The Godfather Part II
  33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  35. Annie Hall
  36. The Bridge on the River Kwai
  37. The Best Years of Our Lives
  38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  39. Dr. Strangelove
  40. The Sound of Music
  41. King Kong
  42. Bonnie and Clyde
  43. Midnight Cowboy
  44. The Philadelphia Story
  45. Shane
  46. It Happened One Night
  47. A Streetcar Named Desire
  48. Rear Window
  49. Intolerance
  50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  51. West Side Story
  52. Taxi Driver
  53. The Deer Hunter
  54. M*A*S*H
  55. North by Northwest
  56. Jaws
  57. Rocky
  58. The Gold Rush
  59. Nashville
  60. Duck Soup
  61. Sullivan's Travels
  62. American Graffiti
  63. Cabaret
  64. Network
  65. The African Queen
  66. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  67. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  68. Unforgiven
  69. Tootsie
  70. A Clockwork Orange
  71. Saving Private Ryan
  72. The Shawshank Redemption
  73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  74. The Silence of the Lambs
  75. In the Heat of the Night
  76. Forrest Gump
  77. All the President's Men
  78. Modern Times
  79. The Wild Bunch
  80. The Apartment
  81. Spartacus
  82. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  83. Titanic
  84. Easy Rider
  85. A Night at the Opera
  86. Platoon
  87. 12 Angry Men
  88. Bringing Up Baby
  89. The Sixth Sense
  90. Swing Time
  91. Sophie's Choice
  92. Goodfellas
  93. The French Connection
  94. Pulp Fiction
  95. The Last Picture Show
  96. Do the Right Thing
  97. Blade Runner
  98. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  99. Toy Story
  100. Ben-Hur
¹ I'm pretty sure I saw this, but it could have been Police Academy 4.

srah - Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 11:35 AM

You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me about my little girl hands?

In talking to a friend about my AFI project, I discovered that not only had I had not done an AFI progress update since 2009, but in the last three years I hadn't even seen all seven of the movies I had left to see. So I decided it was time to do another post AND finally finish the list.

100/100

  • Raging Bull (#24)
    Yet another AFI Top 100 movie that I can acknowledge is very WELL-MADE, with lots of symbolism and well-crafted shots, but one I can't really get into myself. I like to have a character who I can identify with, or who I can admire, or who I at least find interesting. I can watch a boxing movie (or pretty much any sports movie for that matter) if there's an interesting story going on outside of the sports clips, but basically, when this guy wasn't beating people up inside the ring, he was beating people up outside the ring. He's pretty pathetic and it made me sad, rather than pulling me into his story.
  • Unforgiven (#98)
    "Cocoon in the Wild West"

    An enjoyable story, and Clint Eastwood was enjoyably bad-ass.
  • Easy Rider (#88)
    I felt like there was a central message that this movie wanted to convey, but it got lost in the distracting editing or somewhere. I got the general counterculture vs mainstream culture theme, but it felt like it just sort of fell off and ended without completing the message. So you're "free", but what do you actually DO? Is the freedom you're searching for the freedom to do nothing?

    I liked Jack Nicholson. I wish the movie had been about him.
  • Taxi Driver (#47)
    I can see why a crazy person would identify with this film. It worries me to think how many Bickles might be out there.

    The shootout was particularly horrifying and graphic.

    All in all, it was really well-made, I'm glad to have watched it, I'm glad to check it off my AFI Top 100 list, but I don't need to see it ever again.
  • The Wild Bunch (#80)
    After holding on to this Netflix disc for over a month, I finally bit the bullet and watched this. As best as I can tell, this is on the AFI Top 100 list mostly because of cinematographic techniques that were groundbreaking at the time. It is pretty interesting, visually, but I had trouble getting invested in the characters or the plot, so it just seemed like an endless series of similar gun battles and didn't do much for me. If I want to watch a movie about old dudes in the Wild West, I'd prefer Unforgiven.
  • M*A*S*H (#56)
    I have had "Suicide is Painless" in my head for three days now.

    This is one of those movies that's more a series of vignettes than an actual story. We get to know the characters a little as the movie goes on, but they don't really go on a journey or learn anything. They have a few laughs, sew some people up, punch people in the face, then they get back in the same jeep they arrived in.

    Since M*A*S*H is pretty much my only exposure to the Korean War, I have no idea whether it was represented accurately, but the Swampmen seemed like they'd been influenced by 1960s counterculture a decade early. It's confusing making a movie about a 1950s war when you're in a 1970s war.

    It also bothered me that all of the Swampmen's attacks on Hot Lips were sexual. Couldn't they find a more creative way to get their revenge, instead of exposing her to the camp? I feel like I'm supposed to be on their side, but I didn't want to be.
  • Bonnie and Clyde (#27)
    Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are extremely good-looking people and this movie was entertaining and well-paced and artsy enough to be interesting but not so artsy it sacrificed plot. My AFI Top 100 watching project is over, in a hail of gunfire!

The Final List of AFI Top 100 (1998 version) Movies I Have Seen:

  1. Citizen Kane
  2. Casablanca
  3. The Godfather
  4. Gone with the Wind
  5. Lawrence of Arabia
  6. The Wizard of Oz
  7. The Graduate
  8. On the Waterfront
  9. Schindler's List
  10. Singin' in the Rain
  11. It's a Wonderful Life
  12. Sunset Boulevard
  13. The Bridge on the River Kwai
  14. Some Like It Hot
  15. Star Wars
  16. All About Eve
  17. The African Queen
  18. Psycho
  19. Chinatown
  20. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  21. The Grapes of Wrath
  22. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  23. The Maltese Falcon
  24. Raging Bull
  25. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  26. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  27. Bonnie and Clyde
  28. Apocalypse Now
  29. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  30. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  31. Annie Hall
  32. The Godfather Part II
  33. High Noon
  34. To Kill a Mockingbird
  35. It Happened One Night
  36. Midnight Cowboy
  37. The Best Years of Our Lives
  38. Double Indemnity
  39. Doctor Zhivago
  40. North by Northwest
  41. West Side Story
  42. Rear Window
  43. King Kong
  44. The Birth of a Nation
  45. A Streetcar Named Desire
  46. A Clockwork Orange
  47. Taxi Driver
  48. Jaws
  49. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  50. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  51. The Philadelphia Story
  52. From Here to Eternity
  53. Amadeus
  54. All Quiet on the Western Front
  55. The Sound of Music
  56. M*A*S*H
  57. The Third Man
  58. Fantasia
  59. Rebel Without a Cause
  60. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  61. Vertigo
  62. Tootsie
  63. Stagecoach
  64. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  65. The Silence of the Lambs
  66. Network
  67. The Manchurian Candidate
  68. An American in Paris
  69. Shane
  70. The French Connection
  71. Forrest Gump
  72. Ben-Hur
  73. Wuthering Heights
  74. The Gold Rush
  75. Dances with Wolves
  76. City Lights
  77. American Graffiti
  78. Rocky
  79. The Deer Hunter
  80. The Wild Bunch
  81. Modern Times
  82. Giant
  83. Platoon
  84. Fargo
  85. Duck Soup
  86. Mutiny on the Bounty
  87. Frankenstein
  88. Easy Rider
  89. Patton
  90. The Jazz Singer
  91. My Fair Lady
  92. A Place in the Sun
  93. The Apartment
  94. Goodfellas
  95. Pulp Fiction
  96. The Searchers
  97. Bringing Up Baby
  98. Unforgiven
  99. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  100. Yankee Doodle Dandy

srah - Wednesday, 23 May 2012 - 11:24 AM   |  comments (0)

Boom!

Fortunately, I was right and I did like Deathly Hallows Part 2 a lot better the second time, once I had digested the things they cut and changed...

srah - Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 4:16 PM

Dream

I dreamt last night that my mom made me go to church with her, but instead of a church service there was a special event going on, co-sponsored by the local Rotary club and by Lord Voldemort. In this event, everyone in the Rotary club had to get up and talk about something they had done or something they were good at. The second guy on the bill was talking about an opera he had written about accountancy. It was super boring and Robin and I were going to cut out, but my mom wouldn't let me leave and Voldemort was controlling the wireless Internet in the room specifically to avoid letting me entertain myself with my phone.

srah - Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 7:37 AM

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2

There are heathens out there, possibly even in my own family, who have not seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 yet, so I shall attempt to shield them by hiding the rest of this entry behind the jump. Venture there with me, all ye who dare!

srah - Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 6:07 PM

Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

I've decided to start using Tumblr. That doesn't mean I'm abandoning this blog altogether, since I mostly just use Tumblr for study abroad stuff or reblogging stuff that other people did. But if you're on there, let me know so I can reblog YOUR stuff!

srah - Wednesday, 4 May 2011 - 12:33 PM

Dream

I dreamt last night that my dad and I were in WWII Germany and the Führer, Margaret Thatcher, was holding some kind of big rally. Part of this rally was some sort of demonstration of Nazi power where they were going to publicly feed ham to Jews. Through some kind of mistaken identity, my dad and I were among the group selected. Of the other "victims", many nobly refused the ham even though they were starving, but my dad and I just went ahead and ate it. "He likes ham. He might want some more," I said to the Nazis. "I'm not a fan, but I guess I'll eat it anyway, just because it's here. We're not Jewish, you know. I guess you thought we were." Margaret Thatcher herself came down to escort us away from the group, either because she believed we weren't Jewish and wanted to cover for their mistake, or because she was congratulating us for turning our backs on our faith. I figured I had a pretty good opportunity so grabbed her head and pulled it off, at which point I discovered she was made out of plastic.

srah - Wednesday, 23 March 2011 - 8:42 AM

It whips my hair back and forth (or just forth?)

My hair, when it is
Left to its own devices
Is mostly just straight.

But it curls slightly
Under on the right side and
Out on the left side.

So as a result,
It seems the wind is always
Blowing to the left.

srah - Wednesday, 15 December 2010 - 6:46 PM

A Tale of a Bunch of Cities

The following is a stupid story, but we have a lot of Pepperidge Farms cookies around the office this week, so it keeps haunting me every time I see them. I'm hoping that by blogging it, I will exorcise my demons.

Once upon a time, my family received a Pepperidge Farms variety pack of cookies.

"Rock on," thought I, because I sometimes think in terms like that, even if they are not things I would say out loud. "Now I can taste them all and figure out which ones I like, without the expense of buying a full package of each one." (I'm sure that you understand this, as it is kind of the idea behind all variety packs.)

So I tasted all the cookies in this variety pack and decided that there was one cookie that was my Very Favorite One and that I should remember this cookie's name so that I could buy more of them at the cookie store.

"This will be easy to remember," I thought, "Because it makes me think of a city in Europe. So I just need to remember that the Pepperidge Farms cookie variety that is my Very Favorite One is the one that's like a city." I have managed to keep this little hint in my head, despite the fact that it doesn't help at all because all freaking Pepperidge Farms cookies are named after cities.

So I've got the culprit narrowed down to: Milano, Bordeaux, Brussels, Geneva and Verona. I think the only solution to this is for Pepperidge Farms to expand their Tim Tam line so that the Tim Tam Crush Mint Crisp can be my favorite. Or I could just give up on determining a Very Favorite Pepperidge Farms Cookie No, I can't do this because I'm an inveterate list-maker. SOLVE MY PROBLEMS SO THAT I DON'T HAVE TO ADDRESS MY OWN COMPULSIONS, PEPPERIDGE FARMS.

srah - Wednesday, 15 December 2010 - 6:36 PM

Dream

I dreamt that I traveled for hours to go to an Alexander McCall Smith book signing at a county fair in Indiana. I was apparently the only person who had asked for his autograph, so he wanted to chat. I just wanted to get the autograph and leave, but he kept trying to make conversation: "So, you came all the way from Ohio! How far is that? And how long have you lived there? Do you like it?". I had also neglected to bring a book or anything, so I just got his autograph on some random scrap of paper I found.

srah - Wednesday, 15 December 2010 - 12:01 PM

Wicked trainers, Dobby!

Last night I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 again. For while I had seen it drive-in style and regular style, I still had not seen it on the IMAX. You wouldn't think it would make a difference, but it did. Everything was bigger and louder and I picked up on all kinds of things in a third viewing that I missed or forgot after the first two.

Before I left the house, I said to Jason, "Please help me remember to go to the bathroom when I get to the theatre, before the movie starts. Even if I don't think I have to go." This was accomplished, so I actually saw the whole movie for the first time.

I did not have a pen in my purse, which proved to be a problem when I started thinking of things I wanted to remember to blog about. So by the end of the movie, I was repeating a little mantra in my head to help me remember all the things I wanted to mention. When I actually said, "bathgeelensankmizda" to Jason after the movie was over, he asked if I was speaking Parseltongue, but in fact, it meant:

  • Burrows
    I hate that Mad-Eye kept calling "The Burrow" "The Burrows". That is all.
  • Accent
    What the heck is Scrimgeour's accent supposed to be? I'm not sure if Bill Nighy was going for some kind of regional accent I don't recognize or if he thought he sounded "lionlike" but sometimes he just sounded like he'd had a stroke.
  • Ties
    It's weird to see Fred and George wearing ties, like real grownups. It's not just in the wedding scene, where everyone is dressed up, but also in the Seven Potters scene where people just show up in whatever they regularly wear. The Weasley twins are important businessmen! But they are still our Fred and George.
  • Haircuts
    I suspect the real reason Ron left Harry and Hermione was that he was jealous that Harry got a haircut when clearly he needed it more. Why wouldn't Molly make Ron get a haircut before the wedding? It looked like a bowl cut to start with, and only got longer. Not Goblet of Fire bad, but still... take a lesson from Fred and Georgie's shorter haircuts, Won-Won, and please return to Chamber-of-Secrets era hair length. (My theory: The Grint has a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead that he has to cover up with bangs all the time.)
  • Glasses
    I like it when the Seven Potters are arriving at the Burrow and you see Fred and Ron wearing Harry's glasses. Wear glasses, The Grint! You are adorable!¹
  • Lawyer
    In 1776, there's a scene where John Adams and John Dickinson are arguing, and it doesn't come to blows until Dickinson angrily calls Adams a lawyer, which... is his actual job. It's always made me laugh that that's the one that pushes Adams over the edge. A similar thing happens in HP7a where Harry and Ron are arguing, and it's not until Ron points out that Harry doesn't have any family to worry about that their fight becomes physical.
  • Edgar suit
    Nagini was wearing Bathilda Bagshot like a suit. An Edgar suit. The first clue was when she asked for a glass of sugar water.
  • Nursery
    This was the first time I've seen Harry and Hermione exploring Godric's Hollow (the last couple of times I've come back from the bathroom just as Bathilda appears) and the first time I've seen the Potter house. It's hard to tell how far it is from Bathilda Bagshot's house but I seem to remember in the books that they were nearby. When Harry and Nagini crash into the nursery of the house attached to Bathilda's, at first I thought it might be the Potters' house and his former nursery, but looking at the state of the Potters' house, it seems like it probably isn't.
  • Socks
    Harry strips down more than it is necessary for me to see, jumps into freezing cold water and then is rescued by a fully-clothed Ron. Then he puts on his glasses, dry jeans and dry shirt and they get to destroying the Horcrux. The whole time, Ron is wearing freezing cold, wet clothes AND Harry doesn't even bother to put socks on until after the Horcrux has been destroyed! Socks would have been one of the FIRST things I would have put on, especially standing around on the ice/in the snow.
  • Antlers
    It's super duper cute when Harry explains that his Patronus is a stag rather than a doe and Ron makes little antlers around his head.
  • Name
    I picked up on Xenophilius Lovegood saying "Voldemort" to call the Death Eaters on the first viewing. I didn't notice who it was that said the name in the café until this viewing. And I still haven't picked up on anyone saying "Ron" to activate the Deluminator. I was listening hard for it, too! As far as I can tell, it must be that rather than coming up in conversation, Hermione just said his name to herself in a non-filmed scene. Maybe it will be a deleted scene on the DVD.
  • Kiss
    I realized on the third viewing that I have never actually made myself watch the Harry/Hermione kiss. The first time I think I just said "GROSS!" and averted my eyes, and I think I may have hidden behind my hands the second time. So I made myself watch most of it this time, and it was really weird. I'm pretty sure the kissing made Ron come-to and kill the locket because he was like, "Clearly no one has ever kissed Tom Riddle, because his idea of a romantic kiss involves Hermione pecking at Harry's face like she's eating it. This is not real."
  • Mural
    I wish we'd gotten to see Luna's mural of her friends. Again, it's not essential to the plot, but it would be nice. I hope they filmed EVERYTHING in the book, including things they knew wouldn't make it into the finished product, and we'll have an hour of deleted scenes.
  • Scabior
    The head Snatcher is kind of weirdly attractive sometimes. I really like the costuming in this movie. Scabior looks kind of like a rock star, in his skinny pants and long leather jacket. Speaking of people who are supposed to look cool, where's Bill Weasley's dragon-tooth earring?
  • Draco
    I think the movie has made Draco a little more positive than he was in the book, like the death of Charity Burbage and the threat of more death actually scares him. I think this makes him a little more complicated and interesting.
  • Avonlea
    At the end, when they arrive at Shell Cottage, there's all this tall grass and music and red hair that makes me think of Anne of Green Gables. Speaking of random red-haired people to compare Ron to...
¹ Allow me to remind you, kind audience, that (30/2) + 7 = 22.

srah - Friday, 3 December 2010 - 7:26 PM

Dream


Um, who wouldn't be starstruck at this?
I dreamt last night that I met Darren Criss at some kind of work function. I wanted to be cool but I was excited and got all flustered and starstruck. I wanted to tell him that I'd seen all the StarKid productions but instead it came out, "I watch you on the Internet all the time!". All of my coworkers groaned, either because it sounded so creepy and I had embarrassed the whole office or because they had all been talking amongst themselves about how I would not know how to properly greet a celebrity and had this fear confirmed.

Fortunately, Darren took pity on me and invited me to come to a rehearsal of the next StarKid Harry Potter production. Unfortunately I don't remember anything about this production, although while I was in the dream, I thought it was brilliant. There was this notebook lying around where each of the StarKid members had written an essay. One of the members said something about how their greatest inspiration was this one time on a messageboard where someone named "srah" had responded to their post and quoted a Gilbert and Sullivan song¹. I thought it was Darren at first, so I went and embarrassed myself again by trying to convince him that I was his muse. He pointed out that his essay was the one before it, and it was someone else who had written it. I thought that the name he gave me was the guy who played Yaxley so I went and hunted him down and during the time I was looking for him, the production turned from a StarKid Harry Potter thing to Yeoman of the Guard, the worst of the Gilbert and Sullivan plays. Anyway, it turned out it wasn't him either. It was some limping, hunchbacked, missing-fingered guy that I didn't remember having seen before but who - after I woke up - I realized may have been a limping, hunchbacked, missing-fingered version of the guy who played Arthur Weasley and Peter Pettigrew. Then we made out.²

¹ Specifically, "Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!" from Iolanthe, which I woke up with in my head this morning. I have no idea how this would be in any way inspirational, except that he finally felt he had the freedom to be a Big Dork on the Internet, like me.

² I think the lesson of this dream is that I am not very good around celebrities and I should probably not be around them. And apparently if I embarass myself too much around celebrities, I will then make out with hunchbacks?

srah - Friday, 3 December 2010 - 5:44 PM

Come on darlin', don't be skurred

I'm going to see Mayer Hawthorne and the County in Detroit on December 23rd. Who's coming with me?

Here's a video (that I did not take) from the last time I saw them, complete with "rain" action:

And some more songs to acquaint yourself with:


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

They are even better live than recorded¹, and I'm sure that's all due to the current drummer (who grew up down the street from me, and who I went to school with from 2nd through 12th grade). Time to buy your tickets and come with me to cheer for Quentin!

¹ Especially Green Eyed Love, which is a song I never really cared for on the album, but was probably my favorite performance of the night when I saw them in Grand Rapids.

srah - Wednesday, 1 December 2010 - 5:05 PM

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