Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend TAT (This and That)

Saturday 4:30pm:

It's Saturday.  A weekend.  And as I sit here typing this afternoon over lunch at my favorite local pub I'm contemplating the next couple of days I realize that there is no urgency to do anything.  I have to admit, it's a little unnerving.  These kinds of days don't come along for me very often.

That doesn't mean I don't have anything to do.  I've made arrangements for a wrestling sparring session a little later afternoon.  I'd like to go to the movies, and I've already been to the gym.  I made some travel arrangements that needed to be made.  I plan to watch some football tomorrow.  Syracuse is playing later this evening in case I find myself near a TV.  But honestly, that's it.

The South Carolina Republican Primary is happening here today.  Finally.  Thank God.  Maybe there will be an opportunity to watch a half hour of TV without some one of these buffoons slapping each other down in the never-ending stream of ads.  It still amazes me that this is the way our country does politics in the 21st century.  Anyway....

There was an article in the NY Times on Thursday that I found amusing, and true.  It's about South Carolina and the spotlight we're in right now thanks to the Primary (read it here).

Given the conservative nature of the state I have to admit initial skepticism and surprise upon learning that South Carolina is offering an Equality license place (story here) to support LGBT Rights.  Someone wrote and asked if I plan to put one on my car.  The short answer is no - I have a general aversion to paying extra for license plates in general.  If there was any license plate I would have paid for over the years it was a Buffalo Bills license plate in NY, but I just put whatever I'm compelled to do on the car and that's that.  Anyway, kudos to the state for making this available.

Change of topic....I mentioned that I've been enjoying Charleston Restaurant Week.  It ends tomorrow.  This area is truly blessed as having an abundance of culinary options as options.  I noticed that OpenTable compiled a list of the 100 favorite restaurants of 2011 and six of them are here in Charleston.  That's amazing.  But it's true.  We've got food food here so if anyone reading this finds their way here let's meet out for dinner.  :)

And good schools.  The College of Charleston is a beautiful place with a very good reputation.  I've thought for a long time that I'd enjoy going back to school again but the problem is that I don't know what I'd go there to do.  Early in life going to college was the means to an end.  Despite the fact that I didn't end up in a career that was consistent with my degree that was the goal at the time.  And I met my ex- there.  But now I'm almost at the age where some are getting ready to retire and I'm very happy with my career right now.  Not sure what I'd do there, but it's something that's in the back of my mind that I expect to at least investigate before next year.

I went out to dinner with a friend last night, and we had a good chat about Friendship.  We've been friends for a long time and I suppose when you've been around each other as much as we have the resilience of the friendship has been forged thru the travails that life experience.  The tide of any relationship comes in and goes out, and in some cases the relationship itself drifts away.  I'm thankful to have a handful of relationships that remain constant.

Sunday 6am:

Well - I didn't post this so I may as well add a bit...

Since I wrote this yesterday Newt won the SC Primary, Syracuse lost, and my wrestling session was cancelled.  I went to see "Haywire" last night (see trailer here).  It was absolutely bad-ass.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It has quite the star-studded cast.  Michael Douglas.  Antonio Bandaras.  Ewan McGregor.  Bill Paxton.  But there's no question that the focus of the movie is on newcomer Gina Carano and, in this viewers humble opinion, she's a natural.  I expect that this will the the first of many of these kinds of movies for her, and I'll be honest that I'm already looking forward to her next effort.

Gina Carano is like a female Jason Bourne (and I LOVE that trilogy).  Her performance in this movie embodies all the things I'd like to achieve in my own sense of self as a woman - strong, confident, physical, capable but feminine and vulnerable at the same time.  There's a scene where they tell her to be "eye candy" with another agent at a party and she complains that she doesn't wear a dress, but when she does - wow (see this!).

One of the things that struck me is that she's really the only woman in the entire movie.  Anywhere.  She's surrounded by guys in every single scene but there's no doubt who's in charge here.  And I enjoy the way the focus on her face.  When she's running.   Even when she's fighting.  She's tremendously expressive, and you can feel her character so much more thru her face.  The entire first 5 minutes of the movie is already online (see it here) - just watch her face and you'll see what I mean.

The fight scenes are pretty brutal, but not "avert-your-eyes" bad.  When she kicked a guy through a glass door I found myself audibly saying "Whoa!".  But let's be honest, this film isn't intended to be anything more than it appears to be - an intense action flick.  And I enjoyed it more than Mission Impossible so in my view, it succeeds.

This is Gina's first movie.  She's a women's MMA fighter turned actress and her unique pedigree is oh-so-evident from the very beginning.  The first time I saw her was in an off-the-wall interview posted online where a very uncomfortable interviewer asked her if she'd ever fight a transsexual (about 2 minutes into this).

Anyway.  I enjoyed the movie.  I'm already looking forward to buying the Blu-Ray...

It probably says something about my tastes that I enjoy this kind of movie far more than something deeper, artsier, or more affecting.  But for me to pretend otherwise would be disingenuous.  The funny thing is, the movie opens this weekend and there were less than a dozen people in the theater on a Saturday night.  Fine by me.  All the more space to stretch out in.

I don't go to the movies all that much so when I go there needs to be a compelling reason that motivates me to go rather than wait for the film to come out on DVD.  I won't go see horror films of any kind.  Never, no-way.  I don't pay to go to the movies to have nightmares.  Romantic comedies are ok so long as there's more comedy than romance.  I'm not feeling the romance thing right now and don't need to be reminded of it in the movies.  Sci-fi is iffy - has to have adventure.  Comedies work for me but I don't like stuff too simple or too high-brow.  Kids movies usually work well for me too - looking forward to Finding Nemo in 3D.

Sometimes movies resonate with me.  Like "Up in the Air" or "Azatar" or "The Matrix" and I can watch them over and over.  If they hit too close to home I often close my eyes...I just do.  Movies can make me cry at the most surprising times and I actually learn quite a bit about myself that way.  But the overriding factor that compels me to spend good $$$ to go to a theater to watch a movie is the entertainment value.  Haywire was 10 out of 10 for me in that regard.

Decisions we make or don't make can provide insight into what's important in our lives.  For example, it's probably also telling that I'd also rather spend money on electronics than jewelry.  I saw a $2,000 watch at Costco yesterday and couldn't help but equate that to the price of a half-decent digital SLR camera, a large HDTV, a good bike, or an iMac.  I won't scrimp when it comes to getting my hair done so I'll pay $150+ for a cut and color with someone I trust before I'll splurge in other places.  I'm a loyal consumer in some things - for example MAC make-up and Costco.  Anyway....I'm fairly consistent in some aspects of my life if nothing else.

Other topics:

In Massachusetts the Governor had a ceremonial signing of the recently passed Transgender Rights Bill there. There's an effort to pass similar legislation in Maryland, and as always it's facing opposition because of the "Bathroom Issue".  The Montgomery County Police Chief refuted allegations that anything inappropriate has happened involving trans people in bathrooms since passing protections in that county last year(see it here), and it's refreshing to see facts being used to combat these unfounded fear-based allegations.  There's an excellent  piece by Autumn Sandeen on the "Bathroom thing" (read it here) as it is often used as ammunition to deny rights.

As for me - I'm headed off to make a nice breakfast, do some laundry, get to the gym for a run, catch up on some "stuff", and then settle in to watch some football.  It's a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

1 comment:

Mae West said...

I went back to school and completed my Masters Degree at 49 years old, so I can attest to the fact that it's never too late to go back to college.

I hope that you will be able to feel the "romance thing" again, Donna. I just can't imagine going through life without romance, even if it's only in my head (which is most of the time).

P.S. I would much rather take a trip somewhere exotic and beautiful then blow 2K+ on jewelry!