Monday, April 30, 2007

The Invisible


Shit shit shit.

Why do movies almost always suck?

Here's hoping Watching the Detectives is at least decent. Although, from the clips I've seen so far it looks really funny. Plus, I mean, I'm obviously a little bit biased... I'm thinking about watching In the Land of Merry Misfits on Wednesday evening at the Tribeca Film Festival. It sounds funny, anyway.

Blah. It's so difficult to find good movies. =/ I hope The Dead Girl is good, too. I'm going to drive to Charleston and watch it at the West Virginia International Film Festival (yes, really) on May 12th.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Condemned

Why do I waste my time on shit movies? More importantly, why do I waste my time on shit movies that are obviously shit? I mean, there are some films that look like they have a chance at being good, but then there are the ones that when you watch the trailer you think to yourself, "Oh my god, that is going to be absolutely horrible."

Case in point: The Condemned. I saw the trailer at some point in the recent past, and thought, "Wow, that's going to be pointless and a waste of time." And yet I still watched it tonight.

Basically it's about a group of ten people who are on death row, and some Guy takes it upon himself to send them all to a deserted island and pit them against one another. He tells them that the last one alive will be a free man and get a ton of cash. So it's about people killing each other in order to be free. Ironic. Plus, there's a lot of attempted sentimentality that falls flat in a hurry.

It is absolutely pointless. But I already knew it would be. So I just confirmed my own suspicions. Hypothesis proven correct. Good times.

Masa Yamaguchi, however, is awesome.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I guess you're just what I needed.

So I was just minding my own business checking my e-mail, and for those of you who have a Gmail account, you know that you can choose what sorts of news feeds and things are displayed at the top of your e-mail inbox. Well, one of my choices is "Entertainment," and when I see something interesting I always open it in a new window and go on checking my e-mail and then I get around to it and have a good time reading whatever it is that's sparked my interest in the first place.

There was one today that said something about a "We Will Rock You" musical, and I thought to myself, I though, "Holy crap! A Queen musical?!" so I clicked on it and then started to read the article and found out that yes, indeed, there is a QUEEN MUSICAL!! Now, apparently this has been around since 2002 (in England), but I've only just heard of it and I have a really deep, desperate, yearning to just fly to Toronto and watch it and then fly home. My heart aches to see it! That article even says that some reviews were "practically favorable." Sounds like GOLD to me!

I've been getting really into music lately anyway. Like, good music. I'm not sure if Queen qualifies as good music, but it's musical anyway, so there you are. I've been listening to a lot of stuff by The Cars, and Supertramp, and The Pixies and Van Morrison and Bob Dylan and Yoko Ono and I just wish I had been born sooner. I don't know that I really belong in this time period. Boo! Well, there are some really great bands from this time, too, I won't lie. I'm currently madly in love with Broken Social Scene, and I adore Snow Patrol and The Fray and Belle and Sebastian and The Weepies. But anyway, I added my "latest tracks" audio scrobbler to the sidebar last night. I'm figuring out how to use this place! Slowly, but surely, my friends.

Does anyone even read this blog? If you do, comment here and tell me some of your most recent favorite artists or songs or albums or something. I'm really curious to see what everyone likes these days. I mean, I still listen to gimmicky corporate crap, and I love it all, but I'm just glad I'm starting to get more into the good artists. I wish my old computer hadn't died. I had hecka Beatles albums on there.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Alex Garland

I wish I'd gotten to meet Alex Garland when I was in London. I received my Sunshine script book from today (yay-- 100%!), and I've just sort of been leafing through it in order to get a feel for what it's going to be like when I can actually sit down and read it. The script book for The Wind That Shakes the Barley was a bit more difficult for me to get through, mostly because I'm awful at history. There are very few things that hold my interest regarding History or non-fiction, and the whole beginning of that one was just people talking about the history of Ireland and Britain, and although the story is interesting and important, it was just hard to read through everyone talking about the same thing for however many pages.

However, even though I haven't read much of anything in this script book for Sunshine, I did read Alex Garland's introduction. He's like so many "famous" people in that I want to sort of sit him down and just pick his brain for a while. I think it's so interesting the way he talks about the film and the "crew member" at the end... It's the same thing I've thought about over and over. Straight from the horse's mouth, eh?

Here's the introduction... it's copyright to him. I didn't write it.

Sunshine was created out of a love of science, and of science fiction. In the same way that 28 Days Later attempted to look back towards older post-apocalyptic stories, such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Triffids, Sunshine looked back to films such as 2001, Alien, Dark Star and the original Solaris. This was slow-paced, outer-space science fiction. Hallucinatory sci fi about star travel and feeling claustrophobic while gazing into the void. A sub-genre, linked by a common theme: that what man finds in deep space is his unconscious.

Aside from being a love letter to its antecedents, I wrote Sunshine as a film about atheism. A crew is en route to a God-like entity: the Sun. The Sun is larger and more powerful than we can imagine. The Sun gave us life, and can take it away. It is nurturing, in that it provides the means of our survival, but also terrifying and hostile, in that it will blind us if we look directly upon it, and its surface is as lethal to man as an environment can get.

As the crew travel nearer to the Sun, the majesty of the burning star fries their minds. The crew are hypnotised by it, or baffled by it, or driven mad by it. Ultimately, even the most rational crew member is overwhelmed by his sense of wonder and, as he falls into the star, he believes he is touching the face of God.

But he isn't. The Sun is God-like, but not God. Not a conscious being. Not a divine architect. And the crew member is only doing what man has always done: making an awestruck category error when confronted with our small place within the vast and neutral scheme of things.

The director, Danny Boyle, who is not atheistic in the way that I am, felt differently. He believed that the crew actually were meeting God. I didn't see this as a major problem, because the difference in our approach wasn't in conflict with the way in which the story would be told. The two interpretations that could be made from the narrative were the same two interpretations that could be made from the world around us. In that respect, perhaps the difference was even appropriate.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Betel nuts

I ordered betel nuts for someone from online the other day, and I'm really curious to see what they do to a person. I've never done any sort of drug in my life. I've never smoked a cigarette, either, nor do I plan to do so. I've been drunk before, but I don't do it often, and most times I turn down a drink when it's offered to me. I didn't have anything to drink in Canada or England when I was there and legal, and even though it's not a big deal to have a drink with dinner or when I go out, I just generally don't.

However, I want to try the betel nuts. It's common practice to chew betel nuts, or roll them in leaves, or combine them with tobacco (etc.) in a lot of Asian countries. The ones I ordered for my friend are dried, so I don't think they can actually be chewed... but I could be wrong. Anyway, I want to try them. There are some serious long-term effects that come along with chewing them, but they aren't readily available around here or anything, and I don't plan on using them for a long time. I'm just curious.

Here are some of the effects listed:
  • mild euphoria and a sense of well-being
  • feelings of general arousal and increased alertness
  • palpitations and increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • sweating
  • facial flushing and a warm sensation in the body
  • tremors, dizziness, diarrhoea, upset stomach, vomiting, acute psychosis

ACUTE PSYCHOSIS? Really?! I think it's exciting to think about it. Once won't hurt. Not like it's crack, am I right? And, hey, it's common practice in Asia, so it can't be that bad. xP

Friday, April 13, 2007


I hate the stigma that's attached to people who "cut." I think it's a very common misconception that the people who resort to self-harm are seeking attention. I think more often than not, the people who hurt themselves work very hard to hide it.

I remember thinking in high school (ninth grade-era) when I knew someone who cut that it seemed so idiotic. That there was absolutely no reason for anyone to hurt themselves at all. It just seemed like any intelligent person would be able to find a different way to deal with things. I realize now how terribly wrong I was. Well, I mean, I realized it before, but still. "Now" as in "relatively recently," as in... within about the past nine or ten months.

I don't think it's something a weak person does, or something a stupid person does. Yes, there are those people-- the ones who really do things like that for attention-- but I think that the vast majority of the people who hurt themselves are doing it as an outlet. It doesn't matter what kind of outlet, but it hurts to think that someone might not have any other way to get what is going on in their head out.

I've never written about it anywhere except in private to myself, and I told Lindsey about it, but I've "cut" before. I hate calling it that... it has such negative connotations. And, really, I guess it is a "negative" action, because it certainly isn't positive, but... whatever. Anyway. I've done it before, and I stopped before Christmas this past year in 2006. Every time I looked at my wrist, though, I could see the faint red area where it was scarred, just not very deeply.

Anyway, I haven't done it in a long time until... today. And it really scares me that I lost control. I think I'm being brave by writing about it here. I'm hoping that by telling people it'll help. I won't tell anyone in person (unless they read this, in which case, I probably deserve it)-- at least not unless it gets bad again. The scariest part is that I keep finding ways to justify it.

I don't like this part of myself. I knew it was going to happen, too, as stupid as that sounds. I wrote about it someplace else. I think growing up and being a human being is scary in itself. I don't think it's helping that I don't fit in where I live in this tiny, rural town in Bible-Belt-Virginia. I'm trying to get away, and my dad especially doesn't understand...

I told him on AIM tonight something that I think fits really well. It's just too hard. I hope I change my mind about that.


Holy new photo, Batman. Click it to make it bigger. I've never done my hair like that before. =o Instead of straightening it while blow-drying, I scrunched. Good times, good times.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I think I might just write the same thing here as I do in my GJ, except here I'll make it less personal. Hmm. Whatever, I'm just procrastinating.

Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans; stimulants are drugs that temporarily increase alertness and wakefulness. Therefore, caffeine temporarily increases alertness and wakefulness. Therefore, caffeine must be ingested in regular intervals in order to transition the aforementioned alertness and wakefulness from temporary to permanent, or at the very least, semi-permanent.

Roasted coffee beans are the world's primary source of caffeine; coffee is Amanda's primary source of caffeine. Therefore, roasted coffee beans are Amanda's primary source of caffeine and must be ingested in regular intervals in order to equate consciousness on Amanda's part, particularly when Amanda has slept for fewer than five hours and must be functional for an American Literature lecture followed by a full day of housework and errands, and then immediately followed by eight hours of work at a movie theater.

I love coffee. I love coffee in my shiny steel Toronto mug. I especially love coffee on days that end in "Y."

Oui. C'est fini.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I don't fit in.

When I was a child everybody smiled. Nobody knows me at all.
Very late at night and in the morning light, nobody knows me at all.

Now I've got lots of friends. Yes-- but then again, nobody knows me at all.

Nobody knows me. Nobody knows me. Nobody knows me at all.


Everybody says "You can't. You can't. You can't. Don't try."
Still... everybody says that if they had the chance they'd fly like we do.


The Weepies are my heart right now. The lyrics above are just two examples of how incredible they are. They are absolutely wonderful... I keep listening to "Nobody Knows Me At All" on repeat. Even when I take it off repeat I listen to them anyway. Mandy Moore introduced me to them. I love her for it.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Growing up

     Al, the handsomest man, looks bewildered and groggy over his first cup of coffee. His mustache is sprung and wild to match his sleep-jagged eyebrows as he peers around the table at us, asking, "What's this I hear about high jinks on the Mouse Rack with the wheelchair? Eh, dreamlets?"
     We all grin dutifully and Elly does her "Oh, Papa!" routine to disarm him while Mama blearily hands around filled breakfast plates, and drags her kimono sleeves through the butter every time she reaches across the table.
     I cut Arty's meat slowly while my chest fills with a yearning that would like to spill out through my eyes and nose. It is, I suppose, the common grief of children at having to protect their parents from reality. It is bitter for the young to see what awful innocence adults grow into, that terrible vulnerability that must be sheltered from the rodent mire of childhood.
     Can we blame the child for resenting the fantasy of largeness? Big, soft arms and deep voices in the dark saying, "Tell Papa, tell Mama, and we'll make it right." The child, screaming for refuge, senses how feeble a shelter the twig hut of grown-up awareness is. They claim strength, these parents, and complete sanctuary. The weeping earth itself knows how desperate is the child's need for exactly that sanctuary. How deep and sticky is the darkness of childhood, how rigid the blades of infant evil, which is unadulterated, unrestrained by the convenient cushions of age and its civilizing anesthesia.
     Grownups can deal with scraped knees, dropped ice-cream cones, and lost dollies, but if they suspected the real reasons we cry they would fling us out of their arms in horrified revulsion. Yet we are small and as terrified as we are terrifying in our ferocious appetites.
     We need that warm adult stupidity. Even knowing the illusion, we cry and hide in their laps, speaking only of defiled lollipops or lost bears, and getting a lollipop or a toy bear's worth of comfort. We make do with it rather than face alone the cavernous reaches of our skulls for which there is no remedy, no safety, no comfort at all. We survive until, by sheer stamina, we escape into the dim innocence of our own adulthood and its forgetfulness.

From Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

I like her.

I have incredibly strong feelings about this. FOUND Magazine is amazing.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The Reaping

Disclaimer: It's 2:48am. I'm tired. So the following may or may not be coherent.

I just got back from the theater. I hadn't planned on staying late and watching anything after we closed tonight (most everyone who stayed is watching Grindhouse, whose only even vaguely alluring point is Rose McGowan [I love her!], and possibly Bruce Willis, depending on the role he's playing), but Lee called, and he wanted to watch The Reaping and suggested staying tonight to watch it. I figured I'd go ahead and do that in order to not have to make a special trip to see it.

So, I'm going through this phase. There's a lot about religion that confuses me, and a lot about it that is just generally not appealing, but then there's a lot that's definitely drawing me in. It's interesting, to say the least, and I'd like to learn a lot more about it than I actually know now. That being said, I'm not sure I want to know any more about Christianity at all. Christianity just generally doesn't make sense to me, so I tend to be blasphemous a bit more than occasionally. As soon as I saw the trailer for this film (which came out wayyyy back-- I remember us having to take it off of An American Haunting when that first came out), I wanted to see it. As much as I dislike Christianity, I still like to watch films that take a sort of analytical approach to it. I like to see films that are brave. Nothing like The Nativity Story, and I didn't even think about watching The Passion of the Christ (funny that it's abbreviated POTC like Pirates of the Caribbean...), but more like things such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose (which scared the crap out of me), The Omen and, of course, The Reaping (not to mention that Stephen Rea from Breakfast on Pluto and On the Edge was in it...). I like the films that have a dark religious side.

So, I was pretty intrigued when I read a synopsis of this film and saw that Hilary Swank's character (Katherine) was actually a former missionary who had lost her faith due to an accident (ahem) with her family. I just wanted to see the type of journey the character would make. It's obvious (at least to me) in watching the trailers that this woman, very devout in her lack of faith, was going to switch sides about three quarters of the way through the film, but I wanted to see how she got there. I don't like scary movies, but religious ones scare me the worst, probably because I've just been raised so Christian that anything blasphemous in regards to mortality freaks me out because I get a wicked case of "what if"s.

Anyway, Katherine has turned from a missionary to a specialist who investigates religious "miracles" and disproves them to be anything but scientific. She's so firm in her scientific beliefs that she goes to this town called Haven (nice and ironic, guys... good try) to try and tell the townspeople why their river had turned to "blood." Plague after plague start to happen, and she speaks on the phone to Michael (Stephen Rea), a priest who was in Africa with her on one of her missionary trips. She learns about a cult and about the way they go about creating the "perfect child" to carry out Satan's duties and how an angel will be sent to stop them.

I had it figured out about halfway through the film. So the rest of the time I was crouched behind my Harry Potter pillow and just wishing for it to end so I could get home and go to sleep. But then I started to think about the psychological effects this type of film would have on someone.

For example, if I were Hilary Swank (hah!) and I had worked on this film, what sort of impact would it have had on my faith? It's like Sunshine (oh, shut up!). Going to the sun would have a massive impact on my faith. If I started out where I am right now and going toward the sun, I would probably switch sides halfway there-- or at least when I thought I wasn't coming back. And then I started to think about the origin of religion, and came to my conclusion.

Religion was created by man. It does not exist. It is there to bring us comfort.

So I'm going to stick to my agnostic label, I think. Even if there's no God (I don't believe that there is), or gods, or whatever people believe in in regards to their religion, I believe in the higher power that is Imagination. Imagination, I think, will always be capitalized from now on. It took someone awfully Imaginative and creative to come up with a religion.

Does this make sense? Or is it just another Ramble?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Project 365

So, since I made that post about being a better person and whatnot, I've started to try and learn things. I bought a book a while back that was on the clearance shelf at Border's and it's supposed to teach me to draw. I haven't been signing onto AIM very much because I'd rather just not be on the computer. That in itself is a feat. I want to work on the computer as my job, though, I've decided. It would just be ideal, and I'm a really fast learner, especially when it comes to computers. Not to mention taking three years of computer classes in high school. Easy As. I finished the work in there like two weeks ahead of time every six weeks so I just read books and played online for the rest of the time.


I've also joined this community called the Project 365 Challenge. You're supposed to take a photo a day and then write something about it and keep it as a memory of that day. And then do it all year long and then have a record of it. I'm taking it very seriously right now. I hope it doesn't fizzle out. My Project 365 journal is Bright Red Boots at GJ. Here's the photo I took yesterday. It's my favorite of the three I've done so far.

03 April 2007

The head projectionist of the theater resigned on Saturday. We got two movies in ("Firehouse Dog" and "Are We Done Yet?") and I had to make them up. It was the first time I've made up a film in about four months because usually I do other things on days we get prints in. This is me rewinding the Spiderman 3 trailer.

Monday, April 2, 2007


I am so in-fucking-love with this movie.

I can't STOP. GAH.

In other news, I get way too wrapped up in other people's drama.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Starting Fresh

It's 12:26am, and that means that it's 01 April. I've been thinking a lot lately, and reading a lot lately has helped push my brain along to think more. I've watched Sunshine (and I feel a little ridiculous for being so obsessed with it, but I'm kind of intrigued by how I don't just dabble in things-- I get completely wrapped up in them) twice now, and I feel compelled to do more than just take it at face value.

I feel like I'm growing up.

It's scary for something like this to happen so suddenly. I felt grown up when I went to stay in New York City by myself when I was 18. I felt grown up when I took a week's vacation to Canada by myself when I was 19. I felt pretty grown up in February when I went to London alone and was 20-- and being 20 is pretty grown up as well. But now things are very different. It's odd. The first time I was in London, I felt the same. Since I've been back from the second trip-- maybe it was even while I was around those few days-- I've just had a sort of epiphany. It's not the type of epiphany I can even put into words, because I'm definitely not eloquent enough to explain it, but it's something that's changing, for sure.

I think it dawned on me the most when I was reading something that Gia sent to me. It was a couple of days after the second time I'd seen Sunshine. I cried during the film, but because I'm an emotional mess when it comes to these characters anyway, and in a way, the ending of the film moved me enough to at least make that spot in the middle of my chest ache for a second, but as I was reading what she wrote and thinking about what it meant and how it related to the film, and then about how it related to me I just started crying. I was crying over a film I had seen two days earlier. That has never happened to me. It was a moment of clarity.

And now there's all sorts of high school drama at the theater where I work. One of the members of management (not me, clearly) says he does not like the drama and the way the employees interact with one another, but at the same time, if he's angry at one of the teenagers who works there, if they try to get his attention, he turns away and won't speak to them. How is that helping the situation? He's acting exactly like them-- only it's worse because he's supposed to be setting an example.

I just don't have tolerance for it anymore. It's arrogant of me to even think things like this, but I feel like I've been too many places and seen too much of the world (which is silly, since I've seen hardly anything at all) to be bothered by something so petty as a grown man's interaction with the teenagers he employs and how he has absolutely no skills necessary in working with them. I want to get out of it all and grow to be a better person instead of just accepting my life and the people in it who drag me down into their narrow-minded and ignorant ways and means. It's sickening for me to realize that I've been doing it my whole life. I always knew I wanted out of Wytheville, but I never knew exactly how much until recently. This place has absolutely nothing that I want or need in order to become a functional member of society.

So, since this is technically the first day of the month, it seems like a wonderful time to make myself into more of the person I want to be. I want to write down my goals, and I want to actually work toward them. I'm going to start taking a picture every day to represent my life and keep as a record of how I grow. I want to mature as a human being. I want to learn more about everything. I'm going to stop wasting my time as much. I'm going to become healthier. I'm going to be a better version of myself.

And I will do it. I'll be a better person by Monday, and even better than that on Tuesday. I won't be recognizable this time next year. I can't wait to meet myself.

Ironic that it's all on April Fool's Day, though.

EDIT at 1:57am: It's funny that the first thing I'm actually doing during the beginning of my new phase is planning a one-night stay in New York City to go to the Tribeca Film Festival to see Watching the Detectives. It's only about $350 for airfare and hotel, so that's less than $500 for everything... Isn't that silly? I'm planning on paying $500 to see a movie. I think it's worth it. That's the silliest part.

EDIT again at 3:06am: Gia, if you happen to read this for some reason, I just finished Flowers for Algernon. Gah. Gahhhh. It was incredible. I'll have to buy it so I can read it again instead of just borrowing it from the library. It was beautiful...