Archive for July, 2009

Film Festival – Day Three!

July 31, 2009

The best show of the week so far . . . “Departures” (Japan, 2008). It ran the gamut of emotions . . . from laughing one minute to crying the next. Superb! “Dead Snow” (Norway, 2009) . . . a bloodfest; although I found myself laughing more than cowering in horror. A midnight horror flick seems to be well on its way to becoming a tradition at this film festival.

Next on the horizon: “In the Loop” (USA, 2009) and “Humpday” (USA, 2009).

Synopses:
“In the Loop” – comedic, political satire. “A minor slip of the tongue by a low-level politician sets off a whirlwind of activity on both sides of the Atlantic, as both UK and US politicians prepare to spin an imminent war in an unnamed country that nobody really knew they were getting into.” (Film Guide) Has one of my favorite actors (James Gandolfini).

“Humpday” – another comedy about a couple of guys (after copious amounts of drinking) agreeing (or better yet, daring) to shoot and star in a dude-on-dude erotic art film and enter it in an adult film festival. They will feature themselves (two straight guys) as the leads.

The fun continues.

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It’s a Great Day?

July 31, 2009

Even though I am NOT a golfer, I really enjoyed the following line from a “Frank and Ernest” comic:

“How can you not like a game where it’s okay to get teed off, tote a six-iron, shoot birdies, and if you’re under par it’s a great day!”

So, whether you are golfing or not, have a great day one and all!

Film Festival – Day Two!

July 30, 2009

Yesterday’s movies (“Revanche,” “Enemies: A Love Story,” and “The Girlfriend Experience”) did not “wow” me too much. Hoping for better luck today. Only two movies on my schedule for today: “Departures” (Japan, 2008), and “Dead Snow” (Norway, 2009).

Synopses:
“Departures” – recently unemployed cellist returns to his hometown (from Tokyo) and starts a new job at a funeral home preparing corpses for cremation.

“Dead Snow” – horror film . . . vacationing students (in the Norwegian Alps), Nazi zombies, dismembered bodies . . . what more could one ask for?

The Lousy Cop!

July 30, 2009

I ran across this one today and just had to share.  The author is unknown, but I really like the sentiment and the message.

Well Mr. Citizen, I guess you have figured me out. I seem to fit neatly into the category you place me in. I’m stereotyped, characterized, standardized, classified, grouped, and always typical. I’m the “lousy” cop.

Unfortunately, the reverse isn’t true. I can never figure you out.

From birth you teach your children that I am a person to be wary of…and then you’re shocked when they identify me with my traditional enemy, the criminal.

You accuse me of coddling juvenile criminals, until I catch your kid doing something.

You may take an hour for lunch and several coffee breaks each day, but point me out as a loafer if you see me having just one cup.

You pride yourself on your polished manners, but think nothing of interrupting my meals with your troubles.

You raise hell about the guy who cuts you off in traffic, but let me catch you doing the same thing and I’m picking on you.

You know all the traffic laws, but never got one ticket you deserved.

You shout “Foul!” if you observe me driving fast enroute to an emergency call, but literally raise hell if I take more than ten seconds responding to your call.

You call it “part of my job” if someone strikes me. But its “police brutality” if I strike back.

You wouldn’t think of telling your dentist how to pull a badly decayed tooth, or your doctor how to take out your appendix, but you are always willing to give me pointers on law enforcement.

You talk to me in a manner and use language that would assure a bloody nose from anyone else, but you expect me to stand there and take it without batting an eye.

You cry, “Something has to be done about all the crime!” but you can’t be bothered with getting involved.

You’ve got no use for me at all, but, of course, it’s OK if I change a tire for your wife, deliver your baby in the back seat of my patrol car on the way to the hospital, save your son’s life with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or work many hours overtime to find your lost daughter.

So, Dear Citizen, you stand there on your soapbox and rant and rave about the way I do my job, calling me every name in the book, but never stop a minute to think that your property, your family, or maybe your life might depend on one thing – me, or one of my buddies.

Yes, me, the lousy cop.

– Author unknown

Film Festival Update!

July 29, 2009

The first movie, “Troubled Water,” was excellent.  Phenomenal acting, alternate perspectives, and very intense (at times).  From a mother’s grief, to the offender’s search for redemption, an exceedingly well cut movie.  The movie was prefaced by a few words from Michael Moore who introduced and thanked the “founders” of the film festival (now entering its fifth year); and, the director, Erik Poppe (from Norway), was even on hand to introduce this film (North American debut) and to host a Q&A afterwards.  Truly wonderful!

On tap for today: “Revanche” (Austria, 2008), “Enemies: A Love Story” (USA, 1989), and “The Girlfriend Experience” (USA, 2009)

Synopses . . .

“Revanche” – darkly romantic thriller involving a small town police officer and an ex-con and his prostitute girlfriend whose lives become entwined after a botched bank robbery.  (This film was nominated for “Best Foreign Picture” at last year’s Academy Awards.)

“Enemies: A Love Story” – in this sexy drama, a Holocaust survivor, struggling with the loss of his wife and children, living in NYC (and married to the woman who sheltered him during the war — but also engaged in an affair with his mistress), is suddenly confronted with the reappearance of his long-assumed deceased wife.  Oops!

“The Girlfriend Experience” – a high-class escort attempting to strike a balance between running her business while maintaining her personal life and the toll it takes on her emotional, self-inflicted commoditization.  There is reportedly no sex and no nudity — not bad for a movie about a call girl.

Stay tuned . . . more to come.

A Different Form of Art!

July 29, 2009

Rebel_Quilter_Piece_Orange_Black_and_WhiteOkay, so this isn’t a painting, but in my opinion, it is a work of art nonetheless.  And, best of all . . . it has ORANGE!  I found this particular piece at an Arts and Crafts show in Sedalia, Missouri, a couple of years ago.  The artist’s company goes by the name “the Rebel Quilter.”  I like it!

Let the Movies Begin!

July 28, 2009

Tonight marks the beginning of the Traverse City Film Festival (the fifth anniversary of Michael Moore’s brainchild — already considered one of the top film gatherings in the country).  This year there are “71 features and 50 short films from over 30 different countries.” (Michael Moore)

I’ve already purchased my tickets (15 movies in 6 days) — first up: “Troubled Water” (Norway, 2008).

Brief synopsis: young man, recently released from prison, organist in a church, small town, quest for redemption, winning the heart of the pastor and her son, forced to confront past when visited by a woman affected by his actions . . . “an intense drama about forgiveness, redemption and the permanency of the decisions we make.” (TCFF Film Guide)

Let the movies begin!

Disturbing Headlines!

July 28, 2009

Here’s a sample from just the last 48 hours (from the USA Today).  Should we fear for the future?  What is the world coming to?

Missing toddler, baby found crying in Ohio trash can

12 shot, hurt at Baltimore cookout in drug feud

Police: Woman killed her infant, ate part of brain

Toddler shot in head at Ind. wedding reception

Man beaten to death in lot outside Phillies’ park

A ball park, a wedding reception, a backyard, a residence, is no place safe?  (Yes, this is a rhetorical question.)  Stay safe and watch your back!

How About Something Really Different?

July 27, 2009

Whoa!  Here’s a very non-traditional approach to the wedding “march down the aisle.”  Looks like a lot fun to me.  Definitely not typical.  Enjoy!

Check it out on YouTube!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

Great .Gov Websites!

July 27, 2009

Okay, these sites are not necessarily the “best” .gov websites, but rather, the 10 sites that “embrace the web’s full potential.” (from Government Computer News).

Recovery.gov (“to show the public how federal economic stimulus money is being disbursed”)

Data.gov (“sets the tone for transparent government spending”)

USASpending.gov (“follow government contractual spending”)

Forge.mil (“brings net-centric speed to software development”)

Transit511.org (“combines public transportation systems in the Bay Area”)

State.gov (“puts social networking to diplomatic use”)

gpo.gov/fdsys (“makes America’s documents current and permanent”)

utah.gov (“takes its site to higher ground”)

science.gov (“breaks down stovepipes of research”)

usps.gov or prioritymail.com (“extends its virtual post office”)

womenshealth.gov or girlshealth.gov (“delivers health info users can trust”)

webcontent.gov (“the web site on building better web sites”)

Here’s the full article.