hildy89: (paul newman)
Paul Newman, 83 years old

And the CNN obit.

*wistful sigh* He had a good life, but it's still not fair.

Updatish

Sep. 26th, 2008 08:19 pm
hildy89: (library card)
The new job is a job. My mother used to words "unchallenging". Not a good sign when my smart mouth wants to quote Missy in "Bring it On" -- "What about doing something that actually requires neurons?" I don't think that would be terribly popular. A lot of library tech work is just that, very basic day-to-day stuff, especially when you're moving/expanding/shifting a collection, existing or otherwise. If I had any good advice for people who want to work in libraries: infinite patience (in infinite possibilities), strong back, and good shoes. I'm grateful for the job, but lord is it going to be a long stretch until Columbus Day.

Security is a little tight, so sadly I haven't really enjoyed the nearby Ronald Reagan Building. I was however treated to a free concert at Woodrow Wilson Plaza. That was a weird twist on "name that tune" or as my mother and I used to call the game "But can you skate to that?" The performer was Chuck Brown, the so-called Godfather of Go-Go music, lots of loud heavy beats and rhythms combined with guitar and clarinet and maybe another instrument. They maxed out their decibels. They were performing a fairly bumping piece that had quite a few people swaying their hips. The melody was strangely familiar. I couldn't place it though. For a minute, I thought it was a classical music piece like "Bolero" or something like "Kismet". Then I closed my eyes and I could see Philippe Candeloro landing a jump at the end of a phrase. Yes, it was the "Love Theme" from the "Godfather". That I recognized it through skating and not from seeing the movie says something about me. Not sure what.

The laptop is still hosed. I tried replacing the a/c adapter and the connection is just too loose to hold. It's really frustrating. So I get to talk to tech support. This can only end in tears.
hildy89: (virginia abstains)
Okay, can we do that night over again?

Newsflash everyone: Yes, DC's summers are hot and sticky and miserable. Why is this a surprise? The air conditioners must know this, because none of them are working this year. The Metro cars were the only ones with real air conditioning. My building doesn't seem to have functioning a/c in this corner either.

The apartment building's a/c broke down. They're rush ordering a part and maybe it'll show up today (*prays and crosses fingers*) or tomorrow. That estimate is far better than the initial week we started out with! I couldn't have survived a week in those conditions. So needless to say, I'm making alternative entertainment plans tonight. The current plan is to flee to Court House for the 7 pm showing of "Iron Man" and put my faith in Tony Stark. (I can't believe I just wrote that. The DC fangirl in me is horrified.)
hildy89: (hilary booth)
No, it's not an autobiography, although it's nice to hear someone with my name who isn't a victim or worse. Watching someone with your own name die on television/movies is rather disturbing, especially when everyone is repeating your name over and over. "What about X?" "What about me, I'm right here!" Just saying.

Comcast's On Demand had Annette Bening's "Being Julia" as one of their free movies. Since I couldn't find anything else on, I disappeared into 1930s London for awhile. Besides Bening, it had Michael Gambon playing her acting teacher and Jeremy Irons playing her well-meaning husband. The story itself was in some ways predictable -- middle aged woman thinks she's losing it until she meets a younger chap who pays attention to her and hijinks ensue. What was interesting was how Julia played everyone at the end. I knew something was up, but I didn't know what until she actually started those final scenes. Then you just had to sit back and watch the fur fly.

I remember comparing her to Hilary and it's still mostly a valid interpretation. She even confirms it when she says "great actors shouldn't be on film", which sounds a lot like Hilary. She loved the theater, she loved acting, she loved having an audience and knowing there was an audience. Acting on film wasn't quite the same. Of course you had to picture Hilary having an affair with CJ while he's having an affair with Celia. (And Jeff having more business-sense than acting ability. Maybe it was Scott?) Would Hilary have embarrassed her rival so openly? Oh, probably.

It makes me want to watch WENN again.
hildy89: (noir)
It was a rainy dreary Monday. Down those streets walked a down on her luck library technician...

I've been in something of a noir mood lately as reflected by my reading and watching materials. I've been mixing in my television shows with my film noir/classic movies on Netflix. And some are just movies I've been curious about. So far it's succeeding. One night I was in the CBS newsroom in "Good Night and Good Luck" and last night I visited with "Laura". I want the soundtrack for both. I hadn't seen either of them, especially the latter, so I was curious if they lived up to the hype. I almost didn't recognize Vincent Price's role in "Laura". I think I'd forgotten how tall he was. Therein lies the problem with only knowing actors from later roles. You forget they were young once and they didn't always play the heavy.

In between rain showers, I wandered over to the local library. They're rearranging again, adding new shelves in the genre section. I also discovered where they'd moved the new graphic novel section. It's still a little too arty-independent for my tastes. I'm just a mainstream superhero geek. I'm a little worried about the state of the science fiction/fantasy section. Clearly Arlington reads more detective fiction. So what did I do? I checked out Vera Caspary's Laura and two Cornell Woolrich anthologies, thus proving my hypothesis.

My noir icon comes from a still I bought at MediaWest from "North by Northwest".

Wordplay

Oct. 30th, 2007 03:27 pm
hildy89: (journalist)
Every Sunday morning my father would trot out to get the newspapers, the Post and NY Times. The news was important, yes, and I adored going through the big Arts & Leisure section so I could see what was playing, but what was important to Dad was the puzzle. He even bought the NY Times online puzzle subscription so he could do them every day. I don't know how fast he does them though. I doubt there's as fast as the crowd on "Wordplay".

"Wordplay" is a documentary, showcasing the joys and traumas of working the crossword puzzle, specifically the New York Times one. We met Will Shortz, the editor, and even puzzle designers, and the whole design process of whether something was a Tuesday puzzle or a Friday one. We also went to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and met several of the competitors and went through the 2005 finals. They interviewed crossword puzzle solvers of every stripe, including a bunch of celebrities from Ken Burns and Mike Mussina to Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton.

Hearing the letters though, I found myself reminded of poor Leo McGarry in the pilot for "West Wing": "Seventeen across is wrong... You're spelling his name wrong.... What's my name? My name doesn't matter. I'm just an ordinary citizen, who relies on the Times crossword for stimulation. And I'm telling you that I've met the man twice and I've recommended a pre-emptive Exocet missile strike against his air force, so I think I know how..."

Now I feel all guilty for doing my regular sudoku, rather than the noble crossword puzzle...

Aside to myself: next time you hear a song in the BN, just ask which cd is playing, rather than assuming the display is correct. I heard a snatch of something today. I swore it was a woman singing, but there was a marvelous turn of phrase about a typewriter. The front cd on display was the Diana Krall greatest hits, but most of the songs are fairly familiar old standards. And yet, there was a jazzy piano solo afterwards so, maybe it was it. Knowing my luck, it'll be one of those misheard lyrics...

ETA: Well, that figures. Marvelous turn of phrase= Joni Mitchell. The song was "Edith & the Kingpin" about "the victims of typewriters". The album appears to be Herbie Hancock's Joni tribute album "River: Joni Letters" with vocals by none other than Tina Turner. *sighs* I sometimes think I should have been a reference librarian.
hildy89: (our first date)
So I've had a longer week than intended. My parents came into town for their usual round of doctor appointments and catching up with family. Then Friday I came down with a dreadful cold/allergy attack that sapped all my energy over the weekend.

What did I do with my "free time"? I watched two movies. One was Dirigible, a 1931 movie directed by Frank Capra and starring Fay Wray, both prior to their rise to fame. I was more interested in the pretty airship scenes than the Hollywood love triangle. So much for being a romantic at heart. I also finally watched "Casino Royale" with Daniel Craig. I quite liked this incarnation. Sauve, but lethal. It was hard getting attached to the romance, though, knowing the original story.

It's October, so I've signed up for another round of Nano. Friends of mine can sigh dramatically "Of course you did". The Nano journal is over at [livejournal.com profile] nanonano. Most years it's just me talking about the writing process and updates with the occasional friendslocked excerpt. Last year I did [livejournal.com profile] mini_nanowrimo, so who knows.

I also signed up for [livejournal.com profile] bigfinishlove's Doctor Who Audio Ficathon, so I spent some of this weekend lining up my ducks on what canon I'd require. (I actually like the "Recommended canon" section of the signups. While it may seem narrow, it does let you know what your requester was thinking when they signed up. Not sure if that'd work or hurt for other ficathons.)
hildy89: (green hornet)
Indy's back

(Harrison Ford set picture)
hildy89: (journalist)
Oscars are done with and I was mostly pleased with the results. Helen Mirren looked dazzling and thank god Jennifer Hudson took off the ugly shrug inside the auditorium. I didn't like Nicole Kidman's neck bow thingy, no matter what the commentators said. The E! people had their own telestrator like football play by play. If you're going to play a fashionista, Meryl Streep, you'd think you'd look just a little more glam. The men mostly played it safe. I adored the tribute to the struggle of writing and the little choir of Mr. Foleys (What, Wenn fans? You weren't thinking that?), but there were a few too many montages and tributes and etcs. The show really dragged in places.
hildy89: (ellery queen)
Reorganizing my bookshelves has one good side effect. I actually feel like reading again. I've been having a bigger block on that for awhile now. I probably need to get my eyes checked out again just to see if the prescriptions need recalibrating. After the orthotics are paid off though. Part of it was just environmental, finding the comfortable spot and now being able to see my collections properly. I can go to a shelf and have a relatively good chance of finding what I'm looking for. I also may loosen my reading habits. I tend to have two gears - speed reading and slow drawl. I tend to do the the former with old friends and the latter with newish books I care about. I guess I'm afraid I won't remember them in high gear. I still need to find that middle ground, even if it means loosening the reins a little with the new books.

The reading problems has probably caused some of the writing block as well. It's one of the oldest pieces of writing advice they give you. Read, read, read, and read some more, especially in your field. Guess what I really haven't been reading lately? Buying, yes, but not sitting down and reading. I'm debating whether to try that 50 books in a year challenge. The weekly challenge isn't going to happen.

Being at the [livejournal.com profile] theczech's place for board games reacquainted my love for old Hitchcock movies. I wound up watching most of "Rear Window" last week on one dull night off the On Demand service. Unfortunately something happened and I couldn't get back to it, even when it was supposedly saved. In an ironic twist of fate, I actually bought the dvds for that and "Vertigo" on some binge awhile back. I discovered them when I was organizing the dvds. All I need is "To Catch a Thief" to finish my favorites. Instead of watching it again, though, I went and found the original Cornell Woolrich story "It had to be murder" at the library:

I didn't know their names. I'd never heard their voices. I didn't even know them by sight, strictly speaking, for their faces were too small to fill in with identifiable features at that distance. Yet I could have constructed a timetable of their comings and goings, their daily habits and their activities. They were the rear window dwellers around me.

Rear Window story spoilerish )

I also read Monica Ferris' contribution to the "Murder Most Crafty" anthology. More geared towards the project, knitting with beads, than the actual mystery, but that is sometimes the flaw with the crafty mysteries in general.
hildy89: (skating)
Sorry, having a Kerrigan moment here. ABC Family has offered the ultimate insult by offering a direct-to-tv/dvd movie sequel to "Cutting Edge" about the daughter of the original team. The movie had its flaws, but it had a guilty pleasure quality. Here is the offending description of the plot:

Cutting Edge 2 AKA The Really Bad Idea )

Neither of the original stars are anywhere in evidence. More disturbing, there is no Kate listed in the list of characters. I hope that's simply a mistake and they're not going to saddle the poor child with the same issues her mother had. Otherwise, they really are using the same plot. Never mind if they went real time with the timeline, she'd be barely 14!

Cutting Edge caps

Must consider trading up for the DVD version of the original at some point.
hildy89: (Default)
In April 2004, a lost print of Rudolf Valentino & Gloria Swanson's only film together "Beyond the Rocks" was found in the Netherlands. Apparently the restored version with new soundtrack has been making the rounds of the various film festivals, including Cannes and the Nederland Filmmuseum's own Biennale. Milestone Films will be handling the distribution, including a theatrical and DVD release in North America. A fascinating article on the discovery and restoration process.

Bogie night

May. 1st, 2005 08:06 pm
hildy89: (big sleep)
I caught up with the old movies I had grabbed off Turner Classic Movies. I watched "Desk Set" last night, then did a doubleheader of Bogie movies with "Maltese Falcon" and "Dark Passage". They also showed "Big Sleep", but I already have the dvd. I'm curious which version they showed. "Falcon" is still a great movie, even if Mary Astor still sets my teeth on edge as Brigid. "Dark Passage" was the only one I hadn't seen before. It was a very odd Bogie/Bacall movie. Bogie played an escaped convict. He wasn't even shown on camera for the first hour, so there were a lot of odd camera angles to avoid his face, similar to how it was used in "Lady in the Lake". Bacall was more subdued in this one. So used to her as Endora in "Bewitched", I almost didn't recognize the younger Agnes Moorehead, stealing every scene she could.
hildy89: (hilary)
The snow is trying. It's coming down but it's not doing anything. So much for the big winter whallop they promised us.

If you can withstand sitting through their ads, Salon.com has a fascinating article on Dashiell Hammett's "Red Harvest" and its continued influence on film and tv, even though it's the only one of his books never to be truly adapted. The connections stretch from Kurosawa's "Yojimbo" to HBO's "Deadwood".

I did my usual "popcorn night" in front of the television for Oscars, mostly commented on the gowns. Judging from the pre-show stuff, I disagreed with most of the fashionistas. The really dark eye makeup was hideous on most people. One of the "guest commentators" on Style hated Cate Blanchett's dress and said she looked like a canary. I thought she looked lovely, so there.
hildy89: (hilary)
I was reading through the Oscar nominations. Besides the usual suspects there are always the smaller films I hadn't heard about.

Have any WENN fans come across the movie "Being Julia" with Annette Bening? The description of the diva actress of the London stage going through a midlife crisis in the late 1930s... ring any bells? Unfortunately I'd have to go to the hinterlands of DC theaters to even see it, so I may have to wait for the dvd. Or hope it gets a wider release with the nomination. (It's based off W. Somerset Maugham's novel "Theatre".)

Ugh

Jan. 3rd, 2005 09:27 pm
hildy89: (eleanor powell)
I guess it was a matter of time I came down with something. My throat and head feel awful. Sunday afternoon was a real joy, especially when I was sick over lunch. I saw a doctor today, so hopefully I will improve. But it certainly kills any real productivity this week, writing or exercise wise. I'll just go crawl into bed and die, thank you very much.

I watched "Simone" tonight. Very odd film. Pacino was completely unsympathetic as the director. I was mostly interested in the technology side. I remember when I was taking that class at George Washington University. I had to come up with a website for a potential company. I focused on the burgeoning online film industry, along with the sideline of "virtual celebrities". I had been fascinated by the idea after reading Connie Willis' "Remake" where CGI had replaced real actors. This was before "Simone" and the Ananova bot, although not before Max Headroom. Virtual Celebrity Productions had created a virtual version of Marlene Dietrich. This movie seemed like a natural offshoot of the old Memorex question "Is it real?" Or does it really need to be?

Edit: Corrected my braindeadness. Pacino not DeNiro...
hildy89: (last exile)
Every once in awhile, I'm flabbergasted. I use Suncoast/Media Play/Sam Goody's Replay system to earn certificates back, mostly to acquire the anime collection. I hadn't received a few certificates in awhile and discovered why a few weeks back when they called me to wonder why they were sent back. Apparently they had left off my apartment number in the address. So they reprinted the ones I was due. All six of them. I thought it was a misprint until I talked to the person on the phone. I thought I might be missing one or two, but not this missing. This could be evil. Usually I walk by the TV dvd sets coveting but not acquiring. I just wish WENN was one of the options. *sighs*

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the remake of "Thomas Crown Affair" with Brosnan and Russo. I watched it on VHS last night while I was finishing my word count for Nano. Up to 32K, but I'm none too happy with the trend of the book. The other characters are obviously getting jealous of my main characters. AW is infecting my Nano naming, as is watching AMC. Therefore, I am handed another set of characters to deal with. I haven't even finished dealing with the first group! I don't know whodunnit!
hildy89: (Default)
I finally got around to watching the Japanese version of "Shall We Dance?" I dvred out of curiosity. I'm glad I did. It reminded me a little of "Dance with Me" where the dance classes and social dancing were so different in style from the competitive ballroom. I haven't seen the American version yet, but I can already see where they'd be major differences, just translating Japanese to American cultures. For instance, I wanted more closure with the wife and family than there was, but I could almost see why it wasn't necessary. The movie is a very bittersweet story, definitely not a romance in the traditional sense. The lovely actress who played Mai is apparently a professional ballet dancer, which makes sense. She moved beautifully. I'm going to have the King and I stuck in my brain for awhile though. Either that or want to find "Championship Ballroom" on PBS. (Hmph, it appears PBS kicked the ballroom dancers out to the curb...) Somehow I think I will be writing a dancing scene in my Nano tonight...
hildy89: (wintersweet)
Hm, so reports have the "Read or Die" OVA popping up on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim", along with the first InuYasha movie. My only worry is I've heard they've stuffed into an hour timeslot. RoD is 90 minutes. Even editing the credits down, some bits will have to go. *sighs* I wonder if the TV show is far behind...

In semi-related news, article on The Librarian tv movie from TNT with Noah Wyle.
hildy89: (braves)
I saw "King Arthur" on Friday with [livejournal.com profile] whytcrow, [livejournal.com profile] boffo9 and [livejournal.com profile] ariadnesthread. I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I expected.

"Foyle's War" series II has started on PBS with "Fifty Ships". Between that and the new Justice League episodes, I should have my summer viewing material.

And when I wasn't looking, my Braves climbed their way into a tie for the NL East lead with the Phillies. Obviously the "June swoon" does not include Atlanta.

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