Monday, July 20, 2009


I've made plenty of mistakes when choosing appropriate movies to see with Mama G; that's probably because there were never any rules on what I could or couldn't see growing up, so perhaps my filter is a little less sensitive than it should be.

When I mentioned that I was going for a Sunday-night movie (I'm still used to going alone), Mama G blurted out that she'd like to join.

"Don't you need to finish folding the wash?" I asked, as I shuddered, noticing the overwhelming mound of clothes piled next to her.

She shot me a stare that smelled of a Death Wish, so I followed up with: "Well, we're seeing 'Bruno,' f-y-i."

And, on that, I turned on my heel and put my fingers in my ears so I didn't have to listen to anything after: "You're doing it on purpose, Mija! You just don't want me to go with you."

Well, she joined; I should've listened to her concerns.

When we got to the lovely, sprawling Cinemark (I don't miss the towering Manhattan theaters -- it always seemed sort of unnatural, seeing a movie on the 12th floor), we sauntered up to the box office and were met by a pimpled young man who said:

"I am supposed to warn you that 'Bruno' is extremely offensive, vile, and crude. There are homophobic, pedophilic, offensive, dirty, disgusting, unGodly, unsightly, immoral, amoral, and quite liberal overtones in this film." (More or less.)

I was pretty shocked, wondering whether this kind of cautionary overbearance was being tolerated everywhere. (As it turns out, I don't think it is, as it seems some theater in Navan, Ireland was written up for such antics.)

We went inside and ... well, gratuitous private parts aside (many, many minutes of them -- or so it seemed), it was more the almost incomprehensible lack of a point to any of it that was the real letdown.

I wasn't a huge fan of "Borat"; I wasn't offended or seduced by its targeted tricks on us ignorant Americans and our prejudiced ways ... I simply wasn't very impressed. I was much more of a fan of Bill Maher's "Religiosity," given its (ostensible) attempt to take aim at all religions as an unnecessary and harmful form of soma. Sure, it was Maher, and you could see right through his Jerry-Springer-esque ending where he denounces any and all forms of religion, advocating full eradication, but at least ... there was a point.

With "Bruno," sure we're shown a(nother) dose of worldwide homophobia -- via a martial arts instructor who says gays will attack from behind; a character who, upon adopting a child, dresses him in a "Gayby" shirt; a gay-to-straight converter who, as in Religiosity, is exceedingly effeminate; and attempts at sleeping with backwater boys out in the Sticks on a hunting trip.

Yes, these people are treating our flamboyant fashionista like a worthless social outcast, but ... he's a horrible human being. We're not being shown hilarious scenes of a gay man being treated unfairly by jerks the world over; we're shown an @sshole, who's not terribly funny and who makes me hate the term "mockumentary" even more than I used to.

Though, I did enjoy the Ron Paul scene, the Swingers scene (kind of), annnnnd ... perhaps that's it.

A couple nights later, a New Friend (well, old friend from High School) and I saw the new Harry Potter movie; I maybe fell asleep for a few minutes in the theater, but overall it was quite good. Hermione is such a stud-lette now, and seeing as how I haven't read the books (save for the first), I was rather enthralled. The following night, New/Old Friend and I watched "Defiance" ... with Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber -- perhaps I fell asleep a bit in that one, too, but it was getting late and I've been WORKING on a 75-page grant for the past two weeks. (more on that tomorrow)

Overall, Defiance was ... a little slow at times, not very inspiringly shot (by a Harvard dude, no less), but had a great true-story premise about Russian Jews who took to the wildnerness for several years to survive during WWII.

Tomorrow begins a five-day weekend, following a two-week stint as a grant-proposal writer with no sleep - yet the most satisfying sense of doing something worthwhile since I've graduated.

Also, to a former Senior Tutor (ahem) who used to needle me daily with Crimson criticisms, I'm glad you're reading; I will respond to your thoughts tomorrow ... with my usual defenses in tact ;-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Slice(s) of Grice, Episode 3: My Sister's Keeper

The above is quite boring, and perhaps more should be said on "My Sister's Keeper," but -- not really.

Well, must be up in three hours. For two times in one month, Papa Grice has unexpectedly come through bearing gifts: the first time was with his load of AP Physics, Chemistry and Biology books (teaching camp begins innnn 11 days, sigh); the second time was today with...a JOB.

Say what?

Starting tomorrow, I will be working on a contract basis for the University of Houston, writing grant proposals for a professor who is one of Papa G's clients. I spent all afternoon in the League City library (when I should've been watching movies on my back all day ... or working on my stories, I guess) researching what goes into these grant proposals. I'm a littttttle nervous. These things are super particular, require a lot of analysis and there's a lot riding on them.

May my writing juices not fail me in the coming week(s), dear gods. And, I'll be earning non-severance, non-dole dollars for the first time in ... FIVE months.

How depressing!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Slice of Grice(s), Episode 2: Jack


(Brother G is making me add a disclaimer. That's as far as I'll go: Disclaimer.)

17 Again, Slice of Grice(s) Explanation, Orphan

Before wasting time making the Slice of Grice(s) episode yesterday, I should've thought to include the inspiration for filming the rambling mess: The Rat Child had ambled over to me at the computer as I brusquely preempted her by saying, "I have to get another page written!!" She'd been making routine visits to my "workstation," showing me how fat Jack the Hamster has gotten, or how relentlessly her lizard hangs to her shirt -- no matter how hard she shakes it around -- or how much money she just won on Webkinz (??????).

"Oh, well, I was just going to see if we could go see a movie," she began quietly, "At the Dollar Cinema? Grandma [my mom] said you're broke, but it'd only be three dollars. [inflation!]."

"She did, did she? She said I was broke!? Well, I am broke, but ... well, what would you like to see?" My eyes were flicking between my short story that was going no where and her eager face.

Her eyes lit up ... "Well, I really, want to see that movie, 'Orphan'? Have you heard of it???"

Ha, have I heard of it? Child, you know not to whom you speak.

"Not out yet. But, really, you want to see that?"

"Oh, yes," she replied, genuinely. "They showed a preview for it when I watched 'Untraceable' a while back."

"Who'd you see 'Untraceable' [awful movie] with?"

"I just watched it by myself on On Demand. It wudn't real good."

Oh, my God, you do share my blood.

"I'll check what's playing at the Dollar Cinema."

The only thing we hadn't seen was "17 Again," which is what she's describing in the video below. I ... I ... well, Zac Efron is quite a cute kid (though I learned that amongst 10 year olds, he's not really hot stuff anymore -- High School Musical is no longer en vogue), but the movie by no means can join the ranks of "Big," "Vice Versa," or "Like Father Like Son." In "Big," we had the Zoltar machine grant Mr. Hanks his wish to grow up; in "Vice Versa" some mysterious skull with transformative powers gave Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage their due perspectives; in "LF LS" Sean Astin introduces old Kirk Cameron to some "brain transferrence serum" ... in "17 Again," it's just an unexplained spirit soul guider. Pfft, someone doesn't have an imagination.

Today, I think I'm going to make her watch "Elephant Man" with Anthony Hopkins -- I don't know, so much to choose from. Mama G said to make sure she goes outside, "otherwise she'll just sit and watch movies all day."

Here's to enabling.