And so I return

August 9, 2009

Let’s start easy, shall we? Circle around one another, sniffing each other out, you and I.

A summer, in photographs:

Summer is amazing.


Oh, you’re still here?

March 18, 2009

Hi, world.

In a development that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s met me, worked with me or otherwise dealt with me, this project has turned into the latest of a long list of neglected ideas and high aspirations that eventually crashed into the earth.

It’s the blog equivalent of a piece of space debris, shot up in some lofty ’70s-era NASA program as the pinncale of American engineering. It hung out up there for years, got old, eventually got replaced and then … floated. Floated in space and floated in the back of a retired mission controller’s mind as he drove to the golf course in a Houston suburb. “Now where did I put that thing,” he thinks as he screeches into the parking lot, driving like the shuttle pilot he never got to be. And then his Lexus is crushed under the weight of a piece of space debris hurtling back to earth.

Or, you know, something less fatalistic.

Five movies in a week*

November 25, 2008

Nov. 16: Let the Right One In

Nov. 16: La Belle et la Bete

Nov. 22: JCVD and Slumdog Millionaire

Nov. 24: Twilight

i: Let the Right One In.

It had an impossibly high rating of 97 percent when I decided to leave work a few minutes early to catch an afternoon show at E Street. (It’s since gone up to 98 percent.) “Terrifying,” they said, comparing it to some of the scariest things Guillermo Del Toro has come out with the last few years. Others were calling it the anti-“Twilight,” a description I could get behind. Plus, it’s in Swedish.

Nordic mystery, vampirism, youth angst…these are all normally things I can get behind. This time? Not so much. I’d really like to see the movie all those reviewers are flouting, because it seems like it would be awesome.

ii. La Belle et la Bete

French! The ’40s! Experimental film! Jean Cocteau! Ripped off by Disney!

In news that should surprise no one with any awareness of pop culture, there’s a Disney movie about this very same story. It is very popular. There is singing and dancing and Jerry Orbach, and it won Oscars. Strip all that off, though, and this was the source material Disney stole. Think they gave credit for it? Hells no.

If and/or when I ever have kids, they’re getting this version first.

iii. JCVD

Speaking of off-the-wall French filmmaking, No kidding, this is probably one of the most fun movies I’ve seen this year. This one and the one below are coming out as the audience favorites from the festivals this year, and they both deserve it. I secretly want Jean-Claude Van Damme to get nominated for this.

iv. Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle does edgy really well. And he does crowd-pleasing family warmth just about as well. This is the first time I know of that he’s done both at the same time, and it’s good. Not spectacular, not life-alteringly awesome like, say, “Trainspotting” was, but a solid good.

v. Twilight.

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Ugh.

I haven’t read the books. After reading about the last one and its not-even-thinly disguised anti-choice awfulness, I lost any interest in reading them.

I had my vampire phase. Every girl I know had a vampire phase. Mine manifested through Laurell K. Hamilton books, which (like every series of everything ever), got less fun to read as the series went on and as I got older. But I still read the Charlaine Harris books, and I’m digging the “True Blood” adaptation on HBO, so there’s still a part of me that digs that stuff. Maybe it’s better to say I had my lame vampire phase, and once I got through it I settled into an appreciation of the better pop culture vampires, which Jezebel has helpfully collected for me. (Spike! Oh I miss you.) All of this is a long way of saying I’m not dismissing the whole movie because I just don’t get little girls and their love for brooding, pale and mysterious men. It’s entirely possible I would have read the Twilight books if they were around 15 years ago, though I’d like to think I had enough sense as a 13-year-old to have recognized them for the dreck they are.

Yeah, yeah, I’m saying all of this without reading them. Because no good source material could have brought such an awful movie from the normally great Catherine Hardwicke. Can someone explain this to me? What the hell is up with the massive box office for this movie? Great, so suddenly Hollywood realizes women and girls go to the movies, too. But ladies, if you keep turning out for shit like this, we’re not going to get anything better. This is how the boys got “Punisher” and “Daredevil.”

As I sat watching the prom scene at the end and itching to get the hell out of there, I realized that certain things are best left to die at the age of 17, including affection for bad vampire books, chaste boyfriends, and melodramatic swooning. I need to get drunk or something, because the brain cells that thought seeing this was a good idea deserve to die.

Book project

November 16, 2008

I’m on a roll, originally uploaded by erin m.

Another Book Project entry. Photo-wise, I think this might be my favorite so far.


November 12, 2008

The trailer for “2012” (Cusack alert!) concludes with a demand that viewers “Google search: 2012.” Being a fan of tabbed browsing and already watching two videos and reading to long-postponed articles, I did just that and opened up yet another tab to complete Roland Emmerich’s command.

It’s actually a pretty smart marketing technique. You’ve only got 30 seconds to sell your movie about the prophesied end of the world, so go ahead and spend that time showing off some kick-ass special effects and leave it up to teh Internets to fill in the gaps on the apocalyptic implications the movie’s trying to exploit. Right now, the search is turning up the Wikipedia entry, and a site called, both good primers as far as crazy Internet half-truths are concerned. They’re enough to egg on the endtimes-minded fanboys who would Fandango their movie tickets right now if only they didn’t believe the world was going to end before opening night.

What is most awesome about this the current fifth entry for the “2012” Google search, this headline: “US election: Palin contemplates presidential run in 2012.

Halloween! Yay!

October 31, 2008

, originally uploaded by erin m.

Halloween photos live here.

And then there’s this

October 26, 2008

A recorded-off-TV version of this took up a quarter of a homemade Halloween VHS tape in my childhood. It was second or third, and so to watch the rest of the tape I had to go through it. Every year, I sat down to get all Halloween-y, and every year this scared me like nothing since ever has. No movie, book or TV show I can imagine will ever have the same effect that this horrible cartoon had on me between the ages of 7 and 12.

I give you Garfield.

The trauma starts around the 3-minute mark.

Twenty years later, I’m realizing that the trauma also ends around the 4-minute mark. That’s it? Note to 7-year-old self: It’s ok, really. You’ll face worse things in life than 60 seconds of scary pirate animation.

American nerd(s)

October 26, 2008

Monday afternoon, I sat in Teaism finally finishing up the last stretch of Ben Nugent’s “American Nerd.” I don’t dislike it, which is about all I can say until I let some other thoughts sink in. Parts 2 and 3 definitely redeemed the sloppy thinking of Part 1 to the point where I want to mull over and respond to a book in a way I haven’t since bibliographies and citation manuals were part of my everyday life.

As I sat there reading a bit about awkward teen nerds at a creepy-adult-led anime conference, the awkward and loud teens behind me wrapped up their attempt to hate on affirmative action without sounding racist. They decided (loudly) they should come here more often. “Dude, we should start an anime club and meet here!” Girl says to Boy.

Awww. *

While I appreciate their unwitting involvement at acting out the chapter I was reading, I hope they postpone their regular meetings at my favorite restaurant at least until they’re old enough to flirt more subtly.

*Unfortunately, Boy doesn’t stand a chance with this girl based on what I heard. How cool is it that it was the girl dragging the boy into the dark den of anime? He knew precious little but was willing to follow her anywhere. In another era, she’d be in haute couture leading him into the opium den and he’d be dying with a smile on his face.


October 26, 2008

, originally uploaded by erin m.

This is from another set of photos I took in Pennsylvania last week.

A friend of my parents lives in the house where his family used to run a general store. It’s a private museum now, and he was kind enough to let us snap away for a while.


October 26, 2008

Coilhouse this morning reminded me of this amazing, trippy, embarrassing, so-bad-it’s-possibly-scarred-me-for-life Halloween institution.

I loved this movie. I loved this movie in ways that only a maladjusted slightly loony 8-year-old girl could ever express. I watched it every year until I was probably 18, and I’m sure a visit to my parent’s not-ready-to-throw-this-stuff-out closet would reveal that I wore out the VHS on which it was recorded. This movie warped my childhood to the point that when I finally got around to seeing an episode of “The Facts of Life,” I recognized Charlotte Rae as That Woman From ‘The Worst Witch’ instead of the other way around. I am positive my earliest affection for “Rocky Horror” was a direct result of Tim Curry’s role in this movie. (I’ve since grown to love it on its own merits, as all God-fearing 20-somethings must.)

I loved this movie.

Having watched huge chunks of it today (thank you, YouTube. Thank you.), I’m suddenly faced with wrapping my head around the fact that my slightly batty youth wasn’t actually made up by my now-kinda-bored brain. My childhood–represented by my love for watching Tim Curry fly around in awesome ’80s graphics and sing (!!)–was every bit as wacked out as I remember it being.

That makes me so happy. Everything else about life can change and redevelop and fade away, but Tim Curry’s awesomeness is the one constant I will count on until the day I die.

EDIT: Andy says: “Without the clip, I’d claim you hallucinated this movie. ¬†Even with the clip, I’m not entirely convinced.” My brother says: “Holy crap! It’s like Tim Curry doing a Tim Curry impression after eating a whole box of David Bowie!”