Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MIA = Sad but getting better.

Sorry I've been out of action for a while; I had some family tragedy and then the holidays compounded the stress, and while I've watched some movies in the interim, I haven't been able to muster the same joi de vivre that renders me unable to keep from typing up a veritable storm of commentary on movies that I truly enjoy. Things are looking up, and I hope to move into the new year with more to share and less to be utterly depressed about. Bear with me, reader, and I promise to inundate you with my wordy testimonials to the pop culture of my childhood that will have you mildly amused at best.

Here's to new beginnings, and THANK GOD X-mas is over,


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Epiphanic Street Dancing = Pure Unadulterated Bliss

Holy cow, guys. I normally don't post so often, but in light of the fact that my last was mostly just a big whine-fest about my current workload, I figured I owed you something good. Also, I'm bursting with things to say about this movie I watched last night. Now, I have seen this movie probably 30 or more times, and listened to its soundtrack, and practiced the dance moves therein, but I just watched it again for the first time since I had this blog on which to wax eloquent, so I had to throw down.
Dude. Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984). That biz is hands down a frikkin' laugh riot from start to finish. Movies simply aren't this entertaining by a long shot anymore. I mean, the festival of optical excitement alone, what with costuming and break dancing and break dancing with special effects, is some top notch stuff. Then you have your actors, and the plot, and bitter social commentary, and this movie becomes the stuff of legend. I tell you they could re-release Breakin 2: E.B. in its original format, completely unedited, and it would be an instant smash hit. I am not kidding. Especially since, in spite of all possible taste, kids today are actually resurrecting the fashions (some of them, not all, thank goodness) that are featured in the film. Well, you might wonder why I am doing the sequel and not Breakin' itself. I'll just say that it took the second movie for them to distill the essence of perfection from the material that Breakin' 2: E.B. represents. Anyway, if you haven't seen it, it goes like this: Ozone and Turbo (played by Adolfo "Shabba Doo" Quinones and Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers, which are two of the best names EVER) are street dancers who live together and work at a community center in a sort of East L.A-ish neighborhood. They dance in a team with Kelly, or "Special K," who is a rich white girl who has been classically trained but loves to break dance, and joined them in Breakin', which tells the story of how they met. Breakin' 2: E.B. opens with the two boys enjoying their volunteer work, but worried that the community center won't be able to raise funds to keep open, and Kelly finding it tough to get inspired by hoofing it in the chorus line as a professional dancer. She heads down to the slums to meet up with her homies and they introduce her to their neighborhood pals, at which point they all DANCE on over to the community center: Miracles. She gets to see all the super stuff they are doing there to keep kids off the streets and teach them how to do giant synchronized dance numbers involving popping and locking. Miracles is a wonderful place; painted with vibrant graffiti from floor to ceiling, inside and out, with hundreds of creative youths practicing dance moves, acting, miming, gymnastics, boxing, and looking cool. Kelly decides while she's in between jobs, she'd like to help out, and becomes aware of their troubles with money. Meantime, a big developer decides that he wants the building for a supermarket, and begins legal proceedings to take the place over, since Miracles owes back taxes and isn't up to code. The kids decide to have a benefit, with break dancing, naturally, to raise the money they need to keep Miracles open. Kelly asks her dad if he can give them any advice, but he doesn't approve of her hanging out with the riff-raff and accuses her of trying to get money. Meanwhile, the Miracles crew has a DANCE RUMBLE under a bridge with their rivals, ElectroRock, who are clearly bad guys because their outfits consist entirely of red and black, with studs. They get served by Ozone and Kelly and Turbo, who are on the side of the righteous, so they are obviously better dancers. Later, Ozone realizes that ElectroRock needs to be on their side, because they are all from the same neighborhood and need to band together against White Developer Man. He goes over to the dance club where they hang out and pleads his case. I mention this because the club has a stage and on that stage is ICE T, performing in football shoulder pads covered in metal studs, studded belts, armguards, and fingerless gloves, plus sunglasses and a hat. It is...fantastic. There are animal tails on Ozone's hat, and pants. There are too many things about the way things look in this movie for me to give them all the comment they deserve, but MY GOD it is a sight to see. Right down to the final number, which features all the Miracles kids, and ElectroRock, and our protagonists, dancing in FLUORESCENT OUTFITS right up until the credits roll.
The thing I have to tell you is, after all this time, I finally realized that the funny little sequences where Turbo dances on the ceiling and Ozone floats through the air are not just for entertaining special effect. And the name Miracles doesn't just refer to the wonderful work they do at the community center. It refers directly to the MIRACLES that can be wrought when a group of young people learn to break dance, in unison and solo, for the forces of good. I don't know why I didn't make this connection before, but I now know. And I am better for it.
And because there are truly no words to describe how fantastic this movie is, I am going to attach my first ever clip of streaming video, so as to testify. FEAST YO EYES!

And if you are interested in learning more about the history of the dance forms featured in the movie, this website has a pretty good background for you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Non-Swine Illness, Self Publishing, and Mexico!

Well. I was sick for a while there. Fever, snotty nose, sore ass throat, fever, sweating, bad stummy, etc. Doc said not the flu, but nasty as heck nonetheless. The only good thing about it was that my boyfriend got it too, so we were in the same boat (sorry, B) and I got to catch up on a lot of unwatched reality tv episodes (thank you, Gina, for telling me about realitytvfan.org!) and I got to play my new Lost game on the XBox. But I swear I wasn't having fun. I was sweaty and feverish, dammit! And very sleepy. But cats therapy and a good amount of cuddly napping, plus a dash of antibiotics, cured me. I'm getting a rep at work for being sickly, which sucks, because I never was in my life until I worked for both the public library and began attending a huge university. I mean, the germs are stacked against me, yo. ANYHOO. I went back to school and found out that even though some groups in my class get to present their project on December 9, and some on December 2, MY group is going to present on November 18th, because of Thanksgiving. So while it counts for my final exam grade, I only have like 2.5 weeks to come up with a 50 minute presentation on what Buddhism and Catholicism think of Abortion, from a religious ethical perspective, read Ethics for the New Millenium by the Dalai Lama, and write an analyzation of Martin Luther King's Letter From A Birmingham Jail. While concurrently composing a 32 page paperback book for my other class, comprised of Photoshop manipulated photographic images of my own design. Oh, did I mention that I'm getting together inventory for a craft show on the 14th of November? Yeah. By getting together, I mean creating from whole cloth, as it were. The craft show, or the Lee-Davis High School Band Boosters Holiday Craft Show, to be more accurate, was my bright idea for making money for my Thanksgiving trip to Tulum, Mexico, commencing on the 21st of November, and concluding on the 1st. At least there's a week-long taco and cocktail siesta at the end of the next couple of weeks, because I reckon I'll be friggin' pooped. POOPED. I swear, I tried to intimate to the doctor that some Xanax or the like would be helpful, but he didn't take the hint. They think you're a junkie or something if you are like "I just feel really stressed out" or "I get so anxious sometimes." Oh well. I suppose if I ate whole grains and slept and exercised regularly, I would handle deadlines and extra work with aplomb. Instead I'll handle it with snappish behavior and beer, like a good American. If Mr. Prez has to come up with a way for everyone to have health care, I can do a little homework, I guess. So, readership. Whoever gets me to 900 peeps (and everyone else, too) wish me luck in the coming weeks. I'm hoping for at least two B's and a couple hundred bucks for my Tulum Getaway. (And if Montezuma could possibly take out his revenge on someone else, I'd be truly grateful. I already left most of my intestines in Peru, 2007, so I've paid my dues to the gods of Latin America.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Heck Yeah Obama! plus Roller Skatin' Fun

Ahh. My favorite President EVER has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which is simply fantastic because my third favorite pres, Jimmy Carter, has one too. My second fave is not likely to get one, but I still think he's cool. And his wife, too. And for those who think he shouldn't have gotten one, I'd like to point out that if a bunch of Norwegians want to endorse our president for their own reasons, then we are already in a better boat than the one we were sinking in last year. ANYWAY, I just had to represent for a sec, because I would seriously walk through fire for Barack Obama. Or skate through it, maybe. Skate? What?

I gotta tell you, I like roller skating. Can I do it well? No. Do I ever go to the rink? No. But I still like it. I did it a lot when I was a kid, because it was the thing to do in the early eighties, and I remember it fondly. Also, the music they play at the roller skating rink (on "old school night" probably) is the music I like best. (Note my new funky slideshow feature at bottom of page.) I had a roller skating birthday party when I was about 9 that I missed most of because right at the beginning I knocked myself out and woke up on a bench with a bag of ice on the back of my dome about an hour later, after all the other kids had eaten cake. Unfortunately, my skills on skates do not match my fervent desire to be a jam skater of highest degree, so I just avoid the rink in general so as not to experience the frustration that is involved with not being able to execute the moves that come naturally to my dancin' feet when wheels are attached to them. So, I devote this post to the fabulous musical skate-fest that is Xanadu. Okay, kids, if you don't know the plot, here goes. Olivia Newton John (ONJ for short) is a Muse (yes, like Greek Mythology) named Kira, who wears those awesome barrettes with ribbons hanging down (I'm bringing 'em back!) and legwarmers and flowy ruffled stuff. She gets sent down to earth to inspire Sonny, a guy who is a great painter and rollerskater but just doesn't know what to do with himself. When she gets there she hooks him up with Gene Kelly, an aging and wealthy bachelor who had his heyday during the big band era. The two fellows decide to buy this great old art deco building and turn it into the most happening roller rink you ever did see, with all kinds of neon and shiny stuff and harem pants and gold lamé. There are many cool, or at least fascinating, music numbers, along with the obligatory 1980-or-thereabouts animated sequence, including roses blooming with drops of sparkling dew and our main characters turning into fishes. HAHA. At this point, if you've seen it, you know of what I speak, and if you haven't, you are like WTF big time. Ah, the fun of describing movies on me blog never gets old. Anyway ONJ falls for Sonny and all she wants to do is stay on earth and build a roller-rink-romance with him, but her parents, Zeus and Hera, are not trying to let her, so she makes a melodic appeal to them in a Tron-like landscape of glowing neon orange and red lines that is supposed to represent the realm of Mount Olympus, I guess, and she gets to come back at the end as a skate chick at the rink, who doesn't know who she was but is certainly down to get busy with Sonny. So all's well. We won't talk about the fact that roller skating rinks were probably not the best long term investment, because it was all about young love, man, and it doesn't matter when you've got a rink designed by a friggin' Greek muse, dude.
Anyway, watch and be blown away by the slice of life in 1980 that you get to witness in this movie, plus the fabulous clothes, hair, and rollerskating prowess of white Southern Californians.
ENJOY, and if you are a braver person than I, go out and learn to skate well enough to put them all to shame.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Party in the Hizzy

Look, I know I usually post about movies from the seventies, and possibly eighties, with a smattering of earlier fare from the Old School Disney selections, but I just watched this movie with my boyfriend a couple of weekends ago and had to represent, so here goes.
Picture it: It's one of those nights where you want to watch a movie, but you've already been to the Blockbuster that week and you just can't be bothered to go again, and you'd rather sit at home and not go out anyway (Insert your "why doesn't she have Netflix?" question here. Answer: I tried it, and they were unable to ship to my apt successfully, so I quit. So there.) So, you peruse your HUGE selection of movies. You have seen all the DVDs what seems like recently. You decide to switch the cord to the VCR, thereby increasing your choices a hundredfold, because your selection of VHS is EVEN HUGER. You then realize that it is a little less huge because your boyfriend is now in residence, and he doesn't like "chick flicks" or animated children's films, more's the pity. So your choices are now limited to selections on VHS that have some sort of universal appeal to both men and women and are hopefully amusing enough for a Saturday Night with Beers On the Couch. This brings you, after a lengthy process of elimination, to a tape made by some guy that used to be a cook at the resaurant where your old roommate worked that he lent to her when she gave him a ride home. This tape has not one, not two, but three features on it. And they are named House Party (I, II, and III, respectively.)

House Party was made in 1990, that glorious year that distilled all the late eighties had to offer and gave you a taste of that most fabulous decade, the 90's, complete with mustard and purple rayon shirts for boys and stretch pants and sports bras and huge bangs for girls. And Kid n' Play, an immensely popular (at the time) "rap" duo ("rap" by the standards of a different time, man) that are featured as the main characters in the film, accompanied by Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campell, who are not a couple in the film, which can be confusing for those who watched a lot of the Martin show in later years. And also some hugely buff "thugs" that play their nemeses while wearing distinctly homo-erotic slashed sweatshirts and constantly suggesting that everyone but they are gay pussies (pardon me.) The plot is basic; Play is going to have a party 'cause he has the house to himself. It's a school night and it'll be hard for Kid to get to it because he got in some trouble at school and might run afoul of his dad. Also, some fine chicks (Sidney and Sharane, played by Gina and somebody you never heard of) have been invited and both Kid, Play, and their friend Bilal (Martin) want to sex them up. Hijinks ensue, yada yada yada, insert hilarity here, and the party gets going. Kid and Play rap, while Martin deejays at the party, and some smokin' hot dance moves are laid down. A little confusion about who has a crush on who plays out, with the girlfriends fighting over rights to Kid, who if you refer to the picture is an extremely weird lookin' dude but they seem to want a piece. What's funny is that these "kids" (Martin is like 25 I swear) go to all this trouble to party, and they just wanna dance! And have a good-natured rap-off! No drugs or boozing for these fine young gentlemen and ladies. Sex, sure, but that comes up later, when Gina (I mean Sidney) realizes she really likes Kid and he figures "Sure, why not" and they hook up. Also, there's a cameo by George Clinton in the movie, but it almost doesn't bear mentioning because he doesn't even perform and they sorely misuse his talents (which are some of the best, if not the best, talents ever.) Anyway it's a good-natured romp that is a fabulous snapshot of a time that I, personally, remember well. And it's funny, so take a look and go back to 1990 in all its glory.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I, Photoshopper.

I have been taking a class this semester, name of Electronic Strategies/Computer Imaging. It is a Painting & Printmaking course, but we are mostly learning how to use different awesome and prohibitively expensive for the private citizen programs, like Dreamweaver for web design (look out world; I know HTML code!!! I can marquee whatever I want! AHAHAHAAA) and the incredibly cool and endlessly kick-ass program, Photoshop Creative Suite Four (CS4) which retails for like $700 and I am no way getting for Christmas from anybody, more's the pity. But, I can use it at school, so I thought I'd post you all a couple of examples of my superb creations that cost me $7.74 to print, with ink at .028 cents per square inch. To post on blogger, though, is FREE! Both were created with the use of good ol' Microsoft Paint (mostly the stretch/skew and inverse color tools) and screen caps of fabulously talented peoples' quilts, which I then altered drastically with Glorious Photoshop, which did I mention is freakin' cool as hell? Yes, I believe I did. What isn't cool is that no matter how I try, I can not get the final and truly badass versions of these files to upload to Blogger. Why? Not for lack of trying. So feast your eyes on the just-short-of-finishing-touches versions, and imagine how they might be a little cooler. Or I can tell you. This one down here has shadows and fades on some of it, and the one up top has a whole other level. But the gist is present, I guess. I'll try to get the real ones up soon....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Newbie + Littlekins = A whole lotta hissin' goin' on

Well, I have some exciting news to report! Exciting for the likes of me, anyway; namely, a person who is thrown into flights of ecstasy over the presence of baby cats. I got a new one! My boyfriend called me at work on Saturday and casually asked if I would like a kitten (!!!). I casually replied "Oh, maybe, what do they look like?" while thinking "OMG! OMG!" and practically jumping up and down. It turns out his aunt had a couple left from a litter of fine countryside Virginia farm-cat stock. He said there were two, a grey-and-white, and a "gold" one. When he said "gold," I very un-spazzily asked if by that he might mean orange. Orange and white striped, maybe? And he said "Yeah, I guess you could say that." I then said "Is he fluffy? Is he healthy? How old is he? Is he tall? How long is his tail? What color are his eyes? Does he have large paws?" To which he replied "He looks cute to me. If you want him, I'll bring him over tonight." Needless to say, I could very much not concentrate on work for the rest of the afternoon, especially since if my boyfriend is willing to use the adjective "cute" on anything, then that's a really cute kitten all right.
Now, let me explain why I don't have a kitten already if I like them so much. You see, I have Smalls; ol' Jasper over there in the pic on the left, and he's quite a handful already. He co-habitated with another cat for the last six years, and thoroughly hated her ass the whole time, engaging in at least one bloody scrap-fest a day, coupled with all kinds of chasing, harrying, and cornering under the bed style activities. He is not called the Princely Prince for nothing, man. He is the man around the apartment, more's the pity if you forget it. So I was not going to bring some poor sucker into that world without a damn good reason. I did notice that when the other cat moved out for good, he seemed to be a little lonely with no one to lacerate on a regular basis. I also noticed that when my boyfriend spent time with him while I was at work, he seemed way less needy when I got home. So, I considered another cat, but wondered if Kins was perhaps one of those kind of cats that needs to be the only cat in the household. I have had a long-standing policy, though. That policy is this: If a kitten falls into my lap; be it found under a car/bushes/bench, thrust upon me by well-meaning co-workers, sleeping on my doormat, etc., I have no choice but to keep it. This scenario fit the bill, mostly. Also, I went to Chincoteague on a real vacation with my family when I was about 8 or 9 (meaning not visiting the relatives over the holidays, but just my family, with DAD who almost never got leave to spend time with us from the Navy) and it was a fabulous week of fishing all day for crab with my big brother and when not doing that, playing with the one thousand orange stripey kittens that lived on the docks across the street from our rental. I never had an orange cat, but I liked them from then on. So when this little "golden" fella fell in my lap, it was no contest. And Jasper's taking it well, all things considered. He was even playing with him this morning, even though when he saw me looking he pretended he was ignoring the kitten. A little swatting when the baby gets near the food dish, and the odd hiss here and there, but a much better reaction than I expected. It's just a tiny six-week-old baby, after all. So, Clyde, the Orange Kitten Of My Dreams, has now joined the household. May it be a long and prosperous relationship. And may the two cats start sleeping together in a squishy pile sooner rather than later, because that is some cute shit, man.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My trip was fun, and I'm on a mission from God.

Well, as for the trip, it was good; except for the 2(!) speeding tickets that were garnered in upstate NY and the veritable monsoon that ran us out of the Phish show a tad early due to waterloggedness. Duck = delicious; caves = cold, and diverting but not the most impressive display ever; Gourmet dinner = outstanding; Phish show = hotel check in was a pain in my ass and everyone else's, but the show was pretty good despite the weather; Animal Park = awesome, even though we switched it to a different animal park that was more directly available on our route.
Then, after a few days at home, I headed up to NOVA to go to my friend's wedding party on Saturday, which was great because we've known each other forever and all our buddies from far and wide came to attend, and much reminiscence regarding who met who when and in what dorm, coupled with much beer and wine, took place.
Now, I'm in school again (alas...) and balancing that with work and the recent advent of my extremely cute boyfriend as a resident of my apartment has me exceptionally busy. But not so busy I can't tell you a little about a movie.*
As a result of a conversation with said boyfriend last week, I realized that I hadn't posted regarding my Favorite Movie of All Time. So, in an attempt to rectify my negligence, I will now say a little about the magnum opus of dear departed John Belushi and still-living Dan Aykroyd's careers, The Blues Brothers. This 1980 film, written by Aykroyd and John Landis, is the most universally defining movie of my life. I watched it one hundred thousand times with my brother growing up. Every line from this movie is permanently engraved on my cerebral cortex, and if an eight year old girl could have turned herself into either Jake or Elwood Blues, she would have done it in a snap. I idolized those guys like nobody's business. My brother named his two puppies after their characters 17 years ago. I can't even begin to explain how every nuance of this movie is exquisite to my personal sensibilities. For a white kid like me, there were no cooler people on the planet, real or fictional.

To summarize the plot, Jake gets out of the Joint (Joliet Prison, hence his nickname "Joliet Jake") and brother Elwood picks him up. They go visit the Catholic school they attended as children and find out that it needs money to stay in business. They decide to reunite their old band and have a benefit concert. The rest of the movie involves the two of them rounding up the old members and attempting to stage a huge show, all while falling afoul of the law in numerous ways that involve many car chases and crashes, one of which takes place inside a shopping mall. There are musical numbers by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, and the brothers themselves, who had albums in their own right.

I love the blues, and I love sarcasm, and I have a fondness for outlaws, and my brother loves cars, and we both enjoyed the over-the-top car chases immensely. I will admit that my deep and abiding affection for this movie is probably entwined with my equal affection for my brother and our childhood together, but I will also attest to the fact that I have seen it plenty of times without him and it is still my top favorite movie ever. If I could be this movie, I would. I would be a black suit and sunglasses and a fedora, and I would be blues music as played and sung by the greatest purveyors of the sound, and I would be a Plymouth Bluesmobile, a performance of Rawhide in a honkey-tonk with chicken wire in front of the stage, Aretha singing "Think" in a soul-food dive, Elwood cooking toast in an apartment the size of my bathroom, and I'd be in that jail at the end when Jake and Elwood perform Jailhouse Rock for the inmates. And if I could live the scene in which this exchange takes place:

Jake: First you traded the Cadillac in for a microphone. Then you lied to me about the band. And now you're gonna put me right back in the joint!
Elwood: They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God.

I would. I surely would.
And there you have it. Words cannot express properly, but if you get any of my meaning, get this: All movies I ever see are unable to hold much of a candle to this one. Watch and enjoy.

* I am trying to work up a Top 10 for the sidebar, just so's you know where I'm coming from. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Plans for the Weekend!

Tomorrow, I am heading to New York City to eat a chinese duck (as you can see on your left) with my extry family, the Brownings of Venice. This will be but the first leg of my fabulous plans, which after duck will include a tour of some caves in Upstate NY (with only one Browning), as pictured on your right. Then I'm going to have a fabulous gourmet dinner at the restaurant attached to the caves, as pictured by my belly, and including roast beast in gorgonzola cream sauce or some such delicious nonsense.

After the dinner, there will be a luxurious Best Western, and then the next day I'll be seeing my favorite band, Phish, for the 111th time, at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, which is rumored to be a lovely venue, as pictured over here on your left again, followed by a night of revelry at the Saratoga Springs Hilton wherein I will pay an enormous fee to enjoy a hotel 1.7 miles from the venue, which is key to the whole revelry aspect.

THEN, on the way home, I'll be shooting through the lovely town of Harrisburg, Pa, where I will enjoy the fantastic sights at Lake Tobias Wild Animal Park, where, godwilling, I will get to do what these people are doing, namely, stroke an elk. And all manner of other critters in their fabulous petting zoo, as well as view non-pettables, like a tiger, and maybe a napping one at that. Then I must return to RVA and face the true End of Summer, as defined by the fact that I have to go to SCHOOL again and this time for like four months. Poo. But, I will take the memories of Duck, Loved ones, Caves, Good Food, Phish, the Hilton, and Wild Pettable Animals home to bolster me in my time of drudgery.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

RIP John Hughes. I'll never forget you.

John Hughes died from a heart attack today, out on a walk in Manhattan. He was visiting friends, and then he was gone, at 59. I can't really put into words how much his movies meant to me. It will suffice to say that he was the single most influential director in my life. I'm going to let his credits speak for themselves, courtesy IMDB.

Drillbit Taylor (2008) (story) (as Edmond Dantes)
Beethoven's 5th (2003) (V) (characters) (as Edmond Dantes) ... aka Beethoven's 5th: Big Paw (USA)
Maid in Manhattan (2002) (story) (as Edmond Dantès) ... aka Made in New York (USA: poster title)
Home Alone 4 (2002) (TV) (characters) ... aka Home Alone: Taking Back the House (USA: DVD title)
Beethoven's 4th (2001) (V) (characters) (as Edmond Dantès)
Just Visiting (2001) (screenplay) ... aka Les visiteurs en Amérique (France)
Beethoven's 3rd (2000) (V) (characters) (as Edmond Dantès)
American Adventure (2000) (TV) (characters) ... aka National Lampoon's American Adventure (USA: complete title)
Reach the Rock (1998) (written by)
Home Alone 3 (1997) (written by)
Flubber (1997) (screenplay) ... aka Disney's Flubber: The Absent Minded Professor (promotional title)
101 Dalmatians (1996) (screenplay)
Miracle on 34th Street (1994) (screenplay)
Baby's Day Out (1994) (written by)
Beethoven's 2nd (1993) (characters) (as Edmond Dantès)
Dennis the Menace (1993) (written by) ... aka Dennis (UK)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) (characters) (written by) ... aka Home Alone II (USA: short title)
Beethoven (1992) (written by) (as Edmond Dantès) ... aka Beethoven: Story of a Dog (Australia: cable TV title)
Curly Sue (1991) (written by)
Dutch (1991) (written by) ... aka Driving Me Crazy
Career Opportunities (1991) (written by) ... aka One Wild Night
Home Alone (1990) (written by)
Christmas Vacation (1989) (written by) ... aka National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (UK: complete title) (USA: complete title) ... aka National Lampoon's Winter Holiday (UK)
Uncle Buck (1989) (written by)
The Great Outdoors (1988) (written by)
She's Having a Baby (1988) (written by)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) (written by)
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) (written by)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) (written by)
Pretty in Pink (1986) (written by)
Weird Science (1985) (written by)
European Vacation (1985) (screenplay) (story) ... aka National Lampoon's European Vacation (UK: video box title)
The Breakfast Club (1985) (written by)
Sixteen Candles (1984) (written by)
Nate and Hayes (1983) (written by) ... aka Savage Islands (UK)
Vacation (1983) (screenplay) (short story "Vacation '58") ... aka National Lampoon's Vacation (UK) (USA: complete title) ... aka American Vacation (Europe: English title: video title)
Mr. Mom (1983) (written by) ... aka Mr. Mum ... aka Perfect Daddy (Philippines: English title)
Class Reunion (1982) (written by) ... aka National Lampoon's Class Reunion
"Delta House" (5 episodes, 1979) - The Matriculation of Kent Dorfman (1979) TV episode (written by) - Campus Fair (1979) TV episode (written by) - The Deformity (1979) TV episode (written by) - The Lady in Weighting (1979) TV episode (written by) - The Shortest Yard (1979) TV episode (written by)
New Port South (2001) (executive producer)
Reach the Rock (1998) (producer)
Home Alone 3 (1997) (producer)
Flubber (1997) (producer) ... aka Disney's Flubber: The Absent Minded Professor (promotional title)
101 Dalmatians (1996) (producer)
Miracle on 34th Street (1994) (producer)
Baby's Day Out (1994) (producer)
Dennis the Menace (1993) (producer) ... aka Dennis (UK)
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) (producer) ... aka Home Alone II (USA: short title)
Curly Sue (1991) (producer)
Dutch (1991) (producer) ... aka Driving Me Crazy
Only the Lonely (1991) (producer)
Career Opportunities (1991) (producer) ... aka One Wild Night
Home Alone (1990) (producer)
Christmas Vacation (1989) (producer) ... aka National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (UK: complete title) (USA: complete title) ... aka National Lampoon's Winter Holiday (UK)
Uncle Buck (1989) (producer)
The Great Outdoors (1988) (executive producer)
She's Having a Baby (1988) (producer)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) (producer)
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) (producer)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) (producer)
Pretty in Pink (1986) (executive producer)
The Breakfast Club (1985) (producer)
Curly Sue (1991)
Uncle Buck (1989)
She's Having a Baby (1988)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Weird Science (1985)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) (uncredited) .... Guy Running Between Cabs
The Breakfast Club (1985) (uncredited) .... Brian's Father
Class Reunion (1982) (uncredited) .... 'Girl' in dress with paper bag over head ... aka National Lampoon's Class Reunion

John Hughes, 2/18/1950-8/6/2009
Thanks for Chet, and Bender, and Ferris, and Cameron, and Farmer Ted, and Duckie, and Uncle Buck, and Cousin Eddie, and Amanda Jones, and the Griswolds, and The Great Outdoors, which is one of the only movies my Dad and I ever bonded over. Thanks for everything.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Done with summer school and sick as a...kitty?

I hab a rudny node. And me heed is swoled up with mucous. But you don't want to hear about all that. I used up all my sick leave a couple of weeks ago, so I'm forced to be sick at work, which is always weird. Cold meds will make you feel like you're on another planet. Somebody asked me where the photocopier was and I said "Okay." It's the kind of illness that isn't debilitating; just makes you tired and want to take a nippy nap. Especially when I know that my cat is at home laying in bed with his little fuzzy belly up and his paws making biscuits in his sleep while he emits loud rumbly purrs of comfort coupled with little trills of true bliss at being a cat taking a nap. Bastard. But, I did attend my last class of summer school this morning. Actually, it was just a meeting with my professor, so he could look over the body of my work from the course and tell me what he thought of my progress and what grade he thought I deserved. It was a good meeting and he seemed to think I did well for a beginner at screenprinting, but he had the obligatory art professor conversation with me that I've come to dread. Here it is: "You've obviously got skill, and the ability to execute the assignments. Now what you need to think about is what is in your deepest soul that you want to bring forth and express through your work." OMG BARF. That crap kills me. Forgive me if I sound like I can't take instruction, because I can, and my prof even said he liked that he didn't have to push me to do things and take chances. The thing is, I have lived 33 years on this planet, and been all around this world, and I have literally worked hard to turn into a person that could be proud of theirself, and I resent it when someone suggests that I am not imbuing everything I do in LIFE with myself. My deepest self. It's like they want you to freak out and say that you were abused and start drawing crazy biz or espouse a weird ideology and channel ancient cultures or some off-the-wall crap and I am just being ME and I don't feel like I need to force some shit that is coming from my fabulously talented fingers naturally. So that's the rub of art school. Someone always has an opinion, and that's fine. But one must keep in mind that art is the most subjective of concepts and no one can know what you're thinking. It's like when someone writes a bio on a "real" artist, one that's dead, and tells you that they just know that that fish head is a metaphor for the economy, and probably the color used in the sky represents the loss of innocence. Dude, case in point; Magritte was just trying to freak you out. If I had said to my professor this morning "I was just trying to freak you out" he would have scoffed and asked me what I was really feeling in my deepest soul. Poo, I say. I will do whatever shallow crap I want and it will be beautiful. And, maybe, it won't be shallow. And maybe, after I'm dead, some little girl will go to the National Gallery and look hard at my work and think "I will do that someday!", like I did, and she won't be trying to decide if the dog is supposed to mean my teacher used to hit me with a ruler.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I think you should know...

Look. I know this blog is mostly about movies I like, tigers, cats, and names thereof, and nominally my personal life. There has also been a wee hedgehog. But I was just looking at AnimalTracks on MSN (good animewel pics if you like that kind of thing) and I saw this little bugger. His mom was killed in Mexico, and he and his three little brothers were brought to a Nature Guy to be bottle fed until they can go out and do Dillo-ey stuff in the wild. He wants you to know about him. And I happen to be privy to a little info concerning his more interesting factoids, so I thought to share them with my reader(s). There is only one type of armadillo that lives in the Estados Unidos. He's a Nine Banded Armadillo, referring to the number of plates on his shell. He can roll up in a ball to protect himself, but more often, he will escape into a thorn patch, or burrow down into the soft sand. He is known to jump when startled, and can jump like 4 feet in the air, sometimes 6! No kidding. He jumps when he sees a car, which doesn't help, but rather increases impact. He also needs to swim sometimes, but since his armor would make him sink, he knows how to inflate his intestines with air. No fooling. He (or she, as the case may be) always gives birth to four genetically identical quadruplets with every pregnancy. Amazing, indeed. He also, unfortunately, is one of the only animals that scientists can use to study the disease leprosy, because he can catch it, more's the pity. He likes to dig, and eat invertebrates; like ants and grubs and whatnot. He was also found in larger sizes back in the day, when children used to use him for a beast of burden. For reals. Now go out and spread the word. An armadillo isn't just the subject of unseemly roadkill jokes, he's a fascinating creature. And proof that no matter how oogly an adult version looks, the baby one is almost always cute.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I know you missed me, and probably Ralph Macchio, too.

Well, where have I been? BUSY, that's what. I had visiting relatives, two trips to the beach, an afternoon of musical theater featuring German schoolchildren doing nasty things, fireworks, a little more family tragedy (no, I prefer not to comment), screenprinting despite a lack of skill, and a lot of math homework. And this weekend, I'm going on a much anticipated ACTUAL vacation to Ohio to see P-Funk, feat. George Clinton, one of the best acts in showbusiness. See, all the other stuff I've been up to has been squeezed out of weekends and holidays. This is a bona fide, see-you-next-Tuesday four day weekend with all kinds of debauchery in store. And I needs it, let me tell you. Times is hard, man. Times is hard. WHICH brings me to the subject, namely the fantastic cinematic jaunt known as Crossroads. NOT WITH BRITNEY. 'Nuf said. It features Eugene (Ralph), or "Lightning Boy" as he comes to be called, a classical guitar student at Julliard, who longs to be a bluesman, and Blind Dog Willie Brown, an old man in a rest home who Eugene figures can help him learn a lost song from back in the day. Willie (Joe Seneca) demands he be "sprung" from the old folks' joint, and Eugene complies. They hightail it to Mississippi, and Eugene thinks it's so he can learn the blues life, but what he doesn't know is that Willie made a deal with the devil at the crossroads way back when, and now he wants to break the contract. Yes, the devil. Or Legba. Or Ol' Scratch. On the way they pick up a saucy runaway played by Jamie Gertz, and tangle with all kinds of rough folk, until Eugene, or "Lightnin' Boy", is forced to participate in a guitar duel against the devil's proxy, (played by the virtuoso Steve Vai, of badass eighties fame) in a fight for Willie's soul. This final scene has a chicken dancing lady, which I can't even describe properly. And there's a another scene before the end wherein Lightnin' and Willie are obliged to play in a juke joint for money. One of my favorite lines is in that scene; something to the effect of "That's Willie Brown! I used to watch him when I was tiny!" and there's quite a bit of fabulous repartee between young and old in the film. I read somewhere on the net that some fool thought the movie pretty much crap until the duel at the end. To him or her, I'd like to quote Scratch's assistant in the movie, as said to Willie Brown: Ain't got no chance Blind Dog. You SOLD your soul. You goin' down, all the way down. Hell hounds on your trail boy, hell hounds on your trail.
Oh my goodness, it doesn't get much better than a line like that. Once again, 'nuf said.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reunited and lonely

Well, if you looked at my previous posts, then you are aware that my mom has been having some dangerous health problems. I was more scared than I've ever been there for a while, but now the shock is starting to wear off, and continuing good reports are making me feel better about everything. What is a nice side effect of Mom's misfortune is the outpouring of support from friends near and far, and a closer family bond as a result. Also, my ex boyfriend called. He heard about Mom through the grapevine, so he decided to hit me up to express concern and let me know he's changed his ways. We didn't really formally break up; I just stopped talking to him around Labor Day last year. Why? I don't want to go into it, but it will suffice to say that one of us was a gainfully employed, law abiding citizen who had a driver's license and didn't live with their mother, and the other one...not so much. So, I figured there was no way to compete with 'ol Peter Pan and his boyish ways. But, he who was once a bit adulthood-impaired has gotten the proverbial haircut and real job. And I happen to still find him exceptionally cute. And sweet. So, we had a nice reunion and it seems that there's plenty of caring there to build on still, and I am happy about it. Thing is, I've been so busy filling up my single lady time that I am literally booked for the next month. I have Father's Day in MD this weekend, Outer Banks beach house with my friends next weekend, and Fourth of July with my sister the weekend after that, and then a trip to Ohio for a FUNK MUSIC FESTIVAL after that. During the week, I work full time and go to summer school, thus taking up 12 hrs of my day. And he lives an hour away. And hasn't gotten that license yet, so I miss him already. Life is funny. Hope he still likes me in August....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Screenprinting, math, and a little bit of happiness regained.

So, my wish has come true. As of Saturday, the 6th, my mom is home. She is doing really well, considering the damage to her heart tissue from the attack. She is on a lot of meds, and will be tired for a long time, and may have to have a defibrillator put into her chest in case she experiences the dangerous symptom of ventricular fibrillation, but she's ALIVE and that's what I hoped and prayed for so fervently last week. Now I just have to make sure Dad knows that he can't just feed her frozen dinners since she's supposed to rest and not do the cooking. He was going to give her one that had fifty one percent of the RDA for sodium when I was leaving on Sunday night. She's supposed to have only 2 grams total a day! Oh, well. It's a learning process for everyone...
On to summer school. Unfortunately, in order to get the required amount of credits I needed to get my student loan for the term, I had to enroll in two classes. No big deal, but it turns out that one of the only ones I could find that meets outside my work hours is a MATH class. I am an art student, and I haven't taken math since I was in tenth grade, back when Color Me Badd wanted to Sex You Up. I attended the first class last night, and I was pleased to find that I could understand what he was talking about to some degree. It is statistical math, with the supposition that you would be more likely to encounter the techniques in the real world (riiiiight). I now know, from one class, seven different ways to tally election votes, including the fact that poor Al Gore (I voted for you, man!) was indeed the Condorcet winner in 2000. And as for my studio art class, I am going to be learning how to screenprint, which is a long held desire of mine. It should be way more gratifying than ceramics, since I actually want to know how to do it. Hopefully I can get a project done in time to give it to Mom for her birthday at the end of this month. Even if I can't, I know this birthday, and the 43rd anniversary my parents are celebrating this Thursday, and every holiday for the forseeable future, will mean so much more because Mom might not have been there for them. Now, to keep all the promises I made to the Man Upstairs if he'd just help her get better.....
Happy Cat art by Paul Koh, courtesy Google Images.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's all fun & games until...

Well, I've been MIA for a few days. Unfortunately, it's because my beloved mom had a heart attack last weekend. She's doing okay; still in hospital for now, but expected to improve and come home soon. I had an extremely frightening weekend, though. My mom and I are very close, and she's always been the stronger of my two parents, healthwise, so this came as a horrific shock. Luckily my dad, who's got his faults, is still the dashing savior he's been my whole life, and got her to the ER in time by running every red light on the way. And my sister and brother and their spouses have been great; all of us are really pulling together to try and help our parents and each other through all this. When I got to where they live (two hours from me) and visited Mom in the hospital, I was afraid she'd look frail or sick. She didn't. She just looked slightly chagrined and vaguely shocked. She's embarrased to be the center of attention, crazy lady. The thing I didn't realize was that even though I knew I'd be sorry to leave her when visiting hours were over, I was even more sorry that her cats couldn't be there with her to keep her company. It may seem silly, but those animals are her constant friends, and even when my dad is out of town on business, she's got a warm creature on her lap that adores her with every fiber of its tiny body. And the other one, who's really my dad's devotee, still knows who's giving out kibble in the morning, and pays her proper respect. So, even though I get good reports from the doctor and nurses and Dad all day long, and I'll be seeing her myself tomorrow, I won't be totally comfortable until she's home getting the therapy only a fuzzy pal can impart. It might seem trivial, but if you've got a cat for a friend, then you know what I mean. I love you, Mom. Come home soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Aliens would be better if they were CATS - OSD

Oh Disney. You used to know what real entertainment was all about. And it included cats. Where's the feline entertainment factor these days? You don't see Miley Cyrus solving a mystery with a dashing tabby tomcat in todays films. Probably would improve her image, too. ANYWAY, I digress. The topic of today's post is The Cat From Outer Space (1978). It goes without saying that I love this movie. It is just excellent. To break it down for you, a flying saucer crashes on planet earth and is confiscated by the government. Its pilot, a cat named Jake, wears a special collar that makes him able to telepathically communicate with humans. Jake enlists a scientist named Frank and his lady friend, Liz (Sandy Duncan, she of the Glass Eye that everyone who grew up when I did talked about on the playground, i.e. "Guess what? That Wheat Thins lady has a GLASS EYE! She can take it out and roll it around and put it back in!") to help him repair his ship and return to his planet. Hijinks ensue, especially when they figure out that what's needed to fix Jake's ship is GOLD! What is hilarious is, since it's 1978, the cat just wears this collar and speaks in the characters' heads. The collar lights up when he's talking, so you know what's going on, and he looks vaguely in the direction of the person he's talking to, but not always. I'm sure if it was modern times they would make some sort of cheesy CGI mouth for him, but I like it better the old way. He's a real cat! (Actually two cats acted in the film, a brother and sister named Rumpler and Amber. Rumpler is a good name!) And real cats don't always like to be held, as you can see from the switching tail and general irritated demeanor he has whenever Frank picks him up. Also, Jake claims without that collar that he'd be an ordinary cat, but if that's true, how did his "people" invent the collar in the first place? Perplexing indeed. Nevertheless, a diverting tale with a cat as its main character is never to be missed. Including the scene where there's a little alien cat assisted pool table betting. And Roddy McDowall. And a mouse named Drexel. So watch it and absorb all that felis domesticus has to offer the silver screen.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Photo fun + porcupettes = hilarious

Working at the library gives you the opportunity to find out about all kinds of awesome things. I am a huge proponent of the Juvenile Nonfiction section. In a book meant for kids, probably no longer than 30 pages (with glossy photos) you can get the salient facts about any number of subjects, such as the GNP, flag, song, population, main exports, and currency of any country in the world, and the habits of all sorts of animals, and anything else you can dream of (that would be appropriate for juveniles, so no true crime or sex tips...of course). This has given me the edge on a million trivia games over the years, let me tell you. So, a few months back, I was looking at a kid's book from a series called "Nature's Children" that I particularly enjoy. This one was about porcupines, and the best thing I found out from giving it a glance (because I was of course diligently attending my duties) was that a baby porcupine is called a porcupette. This is incredibly cute, and I was immediately inspired to write a poem regarding the cuteness. Unfortunately, it got lost in a deleted email. It was genius, of course. Anyway, what this all boils down to is that the final lesson in my Web 2.0 training concerned fun things to do with photos. I chose to alter this photo of a baby hedgehog that my pal Sommer sent to me (as close a facsimile of a baby porcupine she could find) after I let her read my poem. Naturally, he's a bibliophile. I have uploaded dozens of photos, and even altered them with my pc's paint program, but the links in the lesson module gave me access to a whole world of fun things you can do to photos. Which don't necessarily have to be goofy, if you were trying to come up with a neat piece of visual appeal for a library program, it could be more understated for adults, but I find goofy always works. Yet another thing to thank my job for; goofy photo mash-up lessons! How cool!
P.S. The hedgehog had the sombrero on before I altered the pic. Go figure.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IKEA here I come!

My beloved bestest-friend-ever roommate who is like a sister to me is moving out in the next few weeks to move in with her fiance. That's okay, and the natural order of things, and I'll miss watching a movie with her and her fluffy cat who has bad litterbox habits and playing seek-and-find games on the pc and all the million other things we did together, but one way I get to deal with it is by buying NEW FURNITURE to replace the things that are leaving with her. I am thrilled by this. I will be going to IKEA, that bastion of cheap and sturdy Swedish minimalist stuff, this weekend. Not only going there, but going there with mom, which means she might just foot the bill for a rug called SJARGSKA or something. Or a bookshelf called JIBTRUN with the two little dots I don't know how to make with the keyboard. Anyway, I am clearly ignoring my emotional distress at loss of roommate by the use of retail therapy, but who doesn't do that stuff? And really, once I'm done making my apt a fabulous new space (that will include just the right environment to turn my treadmill from a laundry holder to a fantastic new weight loss machine) there will be no reason to lament the fact that my BFF is living with somebody else who doesn't probably understand that Kits isn't really mean, you just shouldn't approach her from the rear. Or any direction. Or touch her, unless you are my roommate, or me. So good luck with that, fiance.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

OSD comin' atcha, or A Cat in A Bonnet is EXCELLENT

Today I feel the need to get down to the business of this blog; that of honoring our little squishy pals (in my case, the Earl of Stripylegs, who was happy as heck to see me last night.) And what better way than to mix in another recurring blog theme; honoring Old School Disney? That brings me to my point, which is a little gem called The Three Lives of Thomasina (1964). This baby, much like Darby O'Gill, has it all. Romance, excitement, witches, aincent Egypt, vicious Gypsies, veterinarians, Scotland, and a CAT. Basically, Thomasina is a cat who has a tragic accident and is put to sleep by Dad, the widowed vet. The townsfolk think that Dad is heavy- handed when it comes to euthanasia, and he has trouble exposing them to modern medicine practices as a result. Daughter Mary's relationship with Dad is strained (after an elaborate cat funeral) until a mysterious (and attractive) witch moves into a cottage in the woods and Thomasina, the cat, returns in a new life as her pet. This witch is talented at healing animals, and romance betwixt vet and witch ensues. Thomasina even saves the Mary's life at one point. Thomasina's afterlife sequence with forty siameses and a huge golden cat idol is both impressive and downright weird. According to IMDB, it was originally released in three one hour segments on a Disney TV program and later turned into a feature, but no matter. It certainly reads as a feature film when you watch it. It also manages to capture the love of people for their cats while not being cheesy/lame about it, in addition to bringing up the issues of mercy killing, and paganism vs. modern science, strangely enough. Thomasina is pretty funny too, as evidenced by the quote "They started out by calling me Thomas, but when they, um, got to know me better, they changed it to Thomasina." And the movie was indeed filmed in Scotland, so it has pretty authentic location footage. It is a tearjerker in parts, and can be totally traumatic for little kids, or so I hear, but I didn't see it until I was in my twenties, so I can't say that I was too upset by it. I was, actually, overjoyed to have another OSD classic to add to my collection and have it be about Cats, too! And BONUS: it is as equally eerie and whimsical as my beloved Darby O'Gill. It does end on a happy note, so no worries there. It is just a good example of what I always appreciate; namely, a movie with an ORIGINAL premise in a world where the same crap is regurgitated over and over. Of course, this was 45 years ago, so people hadn't gotten around to being quite so unoriginal yet...anyway, watch it and enjoy. I've got this one in my top ten OSD favorites, so you should take my word for it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

So. Sleepy.

I got up at four thirty this morning to catch my flight at six in Detroit, arriving at 7:30 in D.C., then work at 12:30 in Richmond. My plane, of course, after I boarded, was determined to have a vague disease known as "equipment failure". We deplaned, waited a while, and found out they were commandeering a flight for us departing at 10:09 am. This made me feel guilty for the poor saps who were probably supposed to be on that plane, but facing a possible wait until 2 pm for the next scheduled flight to REAGAN national and being bussed to Dulles was even more upsetting. So, I was a couple hours late for work, but at least I got there. So now I just have to feel bad that my poor brother in law (who is a saint in many ways already) had to get up so early and drive me to the airport when I didn't even go anywhere for four hours after I got there. And I had to try and nap in an international airport. Which is not fun, let me tell you. I got sniffed by a TSA dog while snoozing on a bench with uncomfortably placed armrests that are put there specifically to keep you from lying down, even though they know perfectly well sometimes people have to wait at the airport and need to sleep. One thing that would have made the wait and attempted nap a million times better was a cat (although drug sniffing dog might have caused trouble there...) like the one in this pic. Alas, I suspect that nowadays you can't bring mammals through the security check, in case they have a bomb on them or some such. Anyway, I'll be home touching my own personal mammal in T minus 5 hours 12 minutes and counting.....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

R.I.P. Captain Chaos

Alas, the world has lost a funny guy. I'd like to say it's sad, but since he lived to be 75 and starred in a whole boatload of films, plays, and tv shows, I don't know how sad it really is (of course, I don't mean his wife, three children, and many friends when I say this.) What I do know is that he played a hilarious character in Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II, and it was compelling to see the exchange of friendship and true humor that both Dom and Burt Reynolds shared onscreen. That kind of friendship is what life is all about, and from what I read, that's how everyone who met him felt. (Also, without making this a C-Ball Run post, you can't deny the power of Jackie Chan in a Subaru, or Jamie Farr the Sheik, or Sammy Davis Jr, for that matter.) So, props to you Dom DeLuise, and I hope there's plenty of delicious food up there in heaven, much like the recipes in the cookbooks you wrote in your second career as a chef. I will enjoy watching Cannonball Run soon, in your honor.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Studying African American Art History

I have been busy these last few days studying for my art history final, which is tomorrow at 7 pm. This consists of memorizing the artist, medium, year of completion, and title of 45 works of art, and also studying up on the general history of African American Art for the 5 essay questions I'll have to answer. I'm not too worried, because I got an A on the mid-term, but I am still busy memorizing the facts. Not to mention, I have a Ceramics final project critique on Wednesday morning. Which means, since it's tiles, that I have to glue them to the board I bought, and then grout them and have them dry in the next 36 hours. While working and studying for the ARTH exam at the same time. And I wanted to go back to school why? Oh yeah, to improve my life. I personally would like to improve my time in bed, but that won't be happening soon because after my finals are over, I'm flying to Michigan for the weekend, because even though my Mom lives a couple hours from me, we have all decided to go to MI to see my sister and her family for the Mother's Day holiday. And I'm coming back on Monday morning, then driving from Dulles to Richmond to go to work at 12:30 that afternoon. So no snooze quality for me in the near future. But, on the upside, I've learned about an artist I really like (maybe even more than one, but this one in particular) that I really wish my high school art teacher would have told me about because I was making work that was very like his and thought it was weird and not really "worthy" because it was not in keeping with the Eurocentric ideals of art I was raised with. Then I get to be an adult and find out about Jeff Donaldson in an art history course, and all my artistic tendencies from 10th grade are now justified. I've given you the best example to explain why I now don't feel like all those hours I spent coloring in tiny squares that didn't look anything like French Impressionism were wasted. This painting is not only kick-ass, it's got a great title too. Feast your eyes on Jampactjellitite, by Jeff Donaldson, mixed media, 1988. And wish me luck on this exam, too.