Thursday, March 26, 2009

I mean, is it just me?

Girls, just me? LOST fans, come on!

File under: "Possibly added to the top 5?" and "Guys I like better when they blow-dry and straighten"

Re: Last night's LOST -- now what?!?!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

At the Movies with Emily and Jeff: I Love you, Man

I know, I usually save these in-depth, thought-provoking and heavily referenced reviews for the dramas we go to see, but, well... this might be my favorite movie of the year so far.

Heavy, right?! It's a comedy! It's not really getting a ton of buzz.

But I love, love, loved "I Love You, Man." Probably because I related to it. Jeff is sort of like Paul Rudd in this movie, without the underlying femininity (No, he's never made me and my girlfriends root beer floats with chocolate straws.) Sure, Jeff has guy friends, and he picked his best man as soon as we got engaged. But he's just like Rudd in the movie:  he doesn't, to my knowledge, sit around and tell these friends his deepest secrets (does he have any) or talk about much super personal stuff, like I do with my friends. It's just not the kind of guy he is.

He also admitted to me after the movie that he's been caught in situations like Rudd in the movie, saying stupid things and then wondering why. But it's totes mcgotes with me, I love him.

This was the best comedy I've seen since "The 40-year-old Virgin" and that's one of my favorite movies ever. Yes, better than "Knocked Up." And Rudd just MADE this movie. He's so good. I've loved Paul Rudd since his performance in "Clueless" -- which is one of the most underrated movies of all time, but that's a point for another day. Most of the jokes in this movie don't rely on bad language, sex or gross-out stuff (though there are a few, of course). I really appreciate comedies that can rise to that level. I also love Segel, (who was also in the underrated Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Rashida Jones, who has that every-girl charm. 

I highly, highly recommend this movie. I don't think there was a joke I didn't laugh at. I kept laughing as I read reviews after I saw the movie, remembering the parts. We will definitely be purchasing this one on video when it comes out :)

Final rating: Four Werschaibles.

BONUS TIME!!! We'll call this "On the Couch with Emily and Jeff." Jeff and I rented six movies over the last two weeks (Yes, mom, we are saving for the wedding, some of these movies were free) Here's some quick thoughts on them, from best to worst.

Changeling: This was the best movie we rented. It had that dark, moody feel of an Eastwood-directed movie, and the story was certainly captivating. Jeff never took his eyes off the screen for a minute, other than to look at me and say "This movie is stressing me out!" We determined that reaction was better than no reaction. Final ranking: Three-and-a-half Werschaibles.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona: I don't know what it is about me that I think I won't like Woody Allen movies, then I see them, and I enjoy them (Match Point and Melinda and Melinda being recent examples). This was no different. They are sort of like short stories come to life on screen, the acting is usually solid, and have a tendency to stay with you a while after you're done. I can see why Cruz won the Oscar, and I don't think ScarJo is quite as bad an actress as some make her out to be. She's aloof and she fits in these aloof roles. She just never comes off as a particularly realistic person. Final ranking: Three Werschaibles.

Rachel Getting Married: As you can tell, we were sort of doing an Oscar redux here. I'm still on the fence about this movie. The story line with Anne Hathaway and her struggle with addiction and dealing with the past was all good, good stuff. But then it was framed by one of the most absurd weddings I've ever seen, and it was hard to reconcile that. I've heard people say, "I'd love to attend a wedding like that" and well, so would I. But do they exist? To me, this wedding was as unrealistic as the one in Bride Wars. Who has this many talented, laid-back friends. How does that work? Who has open mic night in their house during a rehearsal dinner? Whatever. Final ranking: Two-and-a-half Werschaibles.

Ugh... how do I rank these final three?

Pineapple Express: Someone told me this was funny. It was not. We are no longer friends. Final Ranking: Two Werschaibles (extra points for cute James Franco, but minus points for making him scuzzy and stupid.)

Righteous Kill: I wish I could capture the face I made when Jeff brought this home from the video store. Doesn't he read reviews? This movie was supposed to be terrible, and guess what, it was! I saw someone describe it as if "Someone walked in with the script, fell and the pages scattered everywhere and they decided there was no time to re-order them so they just started shooting." Good description. Also, saw the twist a mile away. Seriously. Final ranking: Two Werschaibles.

Step Brothers: People roll their eyes (I am one of them) with every new Tyler Perry or Wayans brothers movie, because they just recycle the same old plots and still manage to sell out theaters. Well it's been the same thing with Will Ferrell's past few movies. Will Ferrell in "Something Ridiculous where he acts stupid!" I'm looking through his past few movies on IMDB right now... and boy, Anchorman (his last good movie) was a long time ago (2004). I hope he gets back on track, because he's obviously hilarious. I kept thinking during the movie why anyone would find two grown men acting like children to be funny. Who knows, I didn't laugh once. Final Ranking: One Werschaible.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

On the heels of that intriguing and heartfelt post on women's issues and feminism, I have a question to ask you:  What pink shoes should I wear to my wedding?

Keep a few things in mind. I don't wear heels, pretty much ever. I sort of hate everything they stand for (no pun intended) -- as in, why can't I just wear comfortable shoes? Well I could, but I would prefer not to be a head shorter then Jeff on our wedding day. But keep in mind whilst choosing: which shoe would be the most comfortable for a long time? Two of them are short or no heel, but they obviously aren't as stylish. Price isn't really an issue as these are all in about the same range.

Style vs. comfort: Round 1467.


By the way, this is the purse I chose (might as well cram all this girly-ness into one post). It wasn't one of my original five options, but I went into the Coach store the other day I tried a few on, and I just thought this one was so cute!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs.

For wedding favors, Jeff and I decided to give away CDs. My cousin Lisa did this at her wedding, and I thought it was such a cute, fun, youthful idea. I've found some creative packaging and think the CDs could double as escort cards; I'm all about the two-in-one.

I've mostly left the imaging and production up to Jeff as one of his few responsibilities for our big day, but of course I had to have my say. At first, we were going to do a "Bride's CD" and "Groom's CD" but in the end ... well, let's be real, it was too much work.

But now we must come to a consensus. We've got about 44 songs we need whittle at least in half. Here are 16 which are definites for me, with some notes. Please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!

We decided to go a mix of old-school, new-school, classics and some under-the-radar tunes. I didn't want to be pretentious, or load it with a bunch of obscure songs to prove how cool/emo I am. Because I'm not. Most of these songs just remind me of Jeff when I hear them, that's why I want them. (Click on song titles for best videos of the songs I could find.)

1. Queen -- You're My Best Friend: Queen is one of my favorite bands of all time, in the top-10 if not the top-5. Queen didn't actually write this song, but the writer did pen it for his wife. Jeff is absolutely my best friend. 
Favorite lyric: "You've stood by me girl/I'm happy, happy at home/You're my best friend."

2. Barry Louis Polisar -- All I Want is You: You probably know this song from Juno. It's a fun little diddy that makes me smile when I hear it. It's a little bit country without being obnoxious. 
Favorite Lyric: "If you were a wink, I'd be a nod/If you were a seed, well I'd be a pod./If you were the floor, I'd wanna be the rug/And if you were a kiss, I know I'd be a hug."

3. The Arctic Monkeys -- Baby I'm Yours: The Arctic Monkeys are one of our favorite bands. Jeff first put this cover on a CD for me a few years ago and it was sort of a no-brainer for this list.
Favorite lyric: "Baby, I'm yours/And I'll be yours until the sun no longer shines/Yours until the poets run out of rhyme/In other words, until the end of time."

4. Frank Sinatra -- The Way you Look Tonight: Jeff is from New York. So that means: Jeff likes the Yankees. Jeff likes pizza. And of course, Jeff likes Sinatra. It's a classic, and might stop the old folk from throwing this CD away.
Favorite lyric: "Lovely ... Don't you ever change/Keep that breathless charm/Won't you please arrange it?/Cause I love you ... Just the way you look tonight."

5. Al Green -- Let's Stay Together: Jeff and I have been known to feel the funk. And just like couples all around the country embarrass their kids by doing weird slow dance movements to this song, Jeff and I hope to do the same in 20 years.
Favorite lyric: "I'm so in love with you/Whatever you want to do/Is alright with me/'Cause you make me feel, so brand new/And I want to spend my life with you."

6. Alicia Keys -- No One: Jumping ahead a few decades, here's a cookie cutter song that, I can't help it, I love. I sing it in the car as loud as possible and hit at least 35% of the notes. Probably our most current selection.
Favorite Lyric: "I just want you close/Where you can stay forever/You can be sure/That it will only get better."

7. Colin Hay -- I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You: Jeff went on a business trip earlier this year. When he came home, the first thing he did was tell me that he had been listening to a song the whole time he was there, and it made him think of me. He put it on and we had a welcome home slow dance in the living room. ::Insert gagging noises here::
Favorite lyric:  "I don't want you thinking I'm unhappy/What is closer to the truth/That if I lived till I was 102/I just don't think I'll ever get over you."

8. The Beatles -- Here, There, Everywhere: Jeff and I are huge Beatles fans, and this won't be the only Beatles song on this CD. This one's off Revolver.
Favorite Lyric: "But to love her is to need her everywhere/Knowing that love is to share/Each one believing that love never dies/Watching her eyes and hoping I'm always there."

9. Joshua Radin -- Only You: This is our first dance song, so of course it had to be on here. It's a cover of a Yaz song from the 80s, which was also featured on the British version of The Office in the moment that Tim and Dawn finally get together. There's a version of this cover on the City of Angels soundtrack, but this is the acoustic cover that was released as an iTunes single of the week. On top of all that, it was the first song Jeff ever said made him think of me :) I can't wait to dance to it!
Favorite lyric: "All I needed was the love you gave/All I needed for another day/And all I ever knew/Only you."

10. Bob Dylan -- I Want You: Jeff insisted on a Dylan song, even though I'm not much of a fan. He gave me a few choices, and this is the one I went with.
Favorite lyric: "I wasnt born to lose you/I want you, I want you/I want you so bad/Honey, I want you."

11. U2 -- Can't Help Falling in Love: When I first saw this on the preliminary list Jeff gave me, I was skeptical. I don't really love U2, and the original of this song is so good, why mess with it? Well, I gave it a chance and listened to it, and it's really beautiful, even if it's been overly Bono-fied.
Favorite lyric: "Take my hand/Take my whole life too/'Cause I can't help/Falling in love with you."

12. Me My Head (Formerly The Moths) -- Wildbirds: I'm not really sure how or where Jeff picked up on this band, but this is probably our most obscure tune. This band is really fantastic and I fully expect them to blow up. This may stick out a bit on the list, but I don't care!
Favorite lyric: "They labeled us doomed and romantic/But they never had a love to match it."

13. Old 97s -- Question: Jeff told me he's "over" this song, but I'm not! It's so romantic and reminds me of the night we got engaged when I hear it. (Side note: finding video of this song was hard and it sounds like the lead singer can't really sing this song. Yikes.)
Favorite lyric: "Someday, somebody's gonna ask you/A question that you should say yes to/Once in your life."

14. The Beatles -- Something: Another classic. Do I really need to say anything?
Favorite lyric: "You're asking me will my love grow/I don't know, I don't know/Stick around, and it may show."

15. Billy Bragg -- The Price I Pay (This will take you to the Rhapsody page, but you can listen to the full song there): Jeff went through a Billy Bragg phase a few months ago, and I'm embarrassed to say, I sometimes meet Jeff's frequent phases with scorn. But I chilled out, started actually listening to Bragg, who ain't bad. This song is not really a love song as much as a "I like a girl who treats me bad" but I think you'd have to listen hard to hear that.
Favorite lyric: "Girl I love you so much, that sometime's it's such /I'd walk a mile with a stone in my shoe/And that's the price I pay for loving you the way that I do."

16. Kenny Rogers -- Through The Years: My grandparents were married over 50 years. On their 50th anniversary, when I was maybe six or seven, we had a party for them. A family friend videotaped the event and at the end of the tape, he put a photo montage of my grandparents, their children and grandchildren. And he set it to this song. I hadn't thought about the song in a long time until at my friend Meg's wedding it was played during the anniversary dance (Where married couples dance, and are 'removed' from the floor in ascending order of years they've been married, leaving the longest married on the floor at the end). I started to cry! This song makes me tear up every time I hear it. I love, love it.
Favorite lyric: "I swear you've taught me everything I know/Can't imagine needing someone so/But through the years it seems to me/I need you more and more."

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

There's nothing we women can't be

I play into a lot of female stereotypes. I've played the little sister role. I've handed over my fair share of pickle jars. I sit under a warm blanket while Jeff shovels the snow. I don't kill insects or assemble new electronic equipment. I've been a lifelong girlfriend.

Then again, I don't wear make-up. I don't like to clean. I don't really like to dress up, I'm more comfortable in PJs. (I watch sports.) I do like to cook -- sort of -- but I don't like the idea of cooking every night while someone waits on the couch for it. 

The other day Jeff called me an "emerging feminist." I'm not sure what that means, or why that sounds like a dirty word, even to me. I'm sure he wouldn't list it at the top of my best qualities, although I think he doesn't realize exactly how much of that "feminist" attitude is what he actually likes about me. 

I've said it before, I've experienced next to no sexism in my career, so that's not what I'm driving at here. But as I get older, I just feel this overwhelming anger at the one step forward, two steps back of females of my generation.

I'm so glad that Obama was elected, but I don't know if I'll ever see a female president in my lifetime. I feel like Hilary was our best foot forward and she was fairly easily beaten, though she was the candidate with more experience. Her consolation prize, Secretary of State, is nothing to sneeze at, but I can't help but scoff at the cursory roles women are sometimes given. There's a real derth of female role models, and I wonder if it's because they don't exist, or it's that they're more heavily criticized than their male counterparts. Perhaps I'm rambling.

But why can't I say something like that without getting eyerolls? Am I really wrong? Am I overreacting? 

I get mostly annoyed at how women are portrayed in the media, as in they are almost always second fiddle. Watchmen brought up the issue again last week because why could Dr. Manhatten be blue, and Roscharch be scuzzy and Night Owl be pudgy, but Silk Spectre HAD to be hot. That one definitely got an eye roll from Jeff. "Emily, who READS comic books?" I know, I know, boys. But is it wrong to crave a female super hero for our daughters to look up to?

I want to be a feminist, if that means that I want to remind people that things still aren't where they need to be.  I want so badly for future generations of women to not worry about how they compare to women on TV, not to cut other women down to make themselves feel better or shy away from subjects and avoid projects that it only seems that men excel at -- all traps I've fallen into over the years.

It's so important to me that I'm almost afraid to have a daughter, because I'm afraid I'll become obsessed with gender-neutrality, that I'll be disappointed if she plays with Barbies or wants to wear pink -- and well, that isn't the point right? The point is to make your own choices, and hope that you are given the same choices as everyone else. 

Anyways, this wasn't the world's greatest post. But I saw this little video below and felt a little more hopeful, even if it's just muppets

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You'd know this if you read my blog.

Last weekend, Jeff and I were freelancing some exciting high school contests for the Globe. We took two girls basketball games in Boston because 1.) We needed the money, 2.) We could hang out with our favorite marrieds, Meg and Troy and 3.) It gave me a chance to go into the Globe to see the folks that I spent my formative journalism years surrounded by.

They of course were just as friendly and funny as they were when I worked with them for three-and-a-half years, and for my money, I can't imagine a more talented group of people running a newspaper sports section in the country. Which is why it makes me so sad that among the air of catching up, was this heavy feeling. It felt desperate. 

The newspaper industry is failing these talented people. Some of my coworkers would probably say these people failed the newspaper industry. I couldn't help but be struck by one of the exchanges I had while there.

I was describing my job, saying how it can all be done from home because it's entirely internet based, etc. etc.

I was asked, "So, when you left, that was like the start of this internet thing right?"

I left in 2006. 

Maybe that's not that ironic of a statement to people who have no stake in the future of journalism. But it's pretty representative of an industry so adverse to change and so unwilling to adapt unless it's "their idea." The newspaper industry is like your grumpy grandfather who thinks "this band U2 will never catch on." It's not that they don't get what's cool now, they don't even get what was cool 20 years ago. It's an industry that shuts out youth unless they can get it for 15 cents on the dollar. Why is it if a salesperson stops selling they get fired, but the same voices can hang around a newspaper for DECADES?

Being a journalism student now is like lining up on the edge of a cliff. Unless you can hop in your Delorean, you're probably not going to be able to find a job, no matter how talented you are. I have friends and former colleagues who are as talented as hell and can't get a real writing job anywhere. How could an industry survive that? 

The answer is, it probably won't. That depresses me as much as anything going on in the world right now. Journalism is VITAL. Journalism is information, it's entertainment, it's knowledge. One of my absolutely favorite things to do is go out to get lunch with a newspaper in hand. My coworkers in California used to tease me for it, but it was a head-clearing time for me. And I honestly don't think I'll have that opportunity in another 10 years. Maybe less.

Can newspapers survive entirely online? If it embraces its young talent, I think, yeah. That doesn't mean dumbing it down on Twitter, or reporting from the couch,  or an overload of opinion (which most people think blogs are). I don't think someone should report on the same beat for more than five years. There's no way you can keep the creativity, the passion, flowing.
If it embraces a return to storytelling and shakes up its visual presentation, it has a chance. If it comes up with a new way to force ad revenue and broaden readership, well, that would be the million dollar answer right? 

It's just flatlining right now. And I could feel those Globies wishing for just a few more good years. I don't know if they'll get that much. They're cutting back more positions as we speak. More good people laid off, another slash at the limb of a tottering industry. With so many great minds, how is this happening (other than the obvious "Greed" answer)?

Who knows. For now I'll just grab my newspaper and a bowl of soup and wonder why the person next to me would pass that up over staring into space.

Monday, March 9, 2009

At the Movies with Emily and Jeff: Watchmen

So much happened this weekend that I want to touch on, but now that I know I have literally at least seven people who read my blog, I HAD to begin with the movie review. Keep in mind this will include heavy spoilers, so move on at your own risk.

Let me first say that I was pumped to go see Watchmen. We went to 11 movies in January, then not a single one in February. Watchmen was going to be our triumphant return to the theaters! The Millbury Cinema Delux was so excited for our comeback, they made us wait in a line.

We got in, got our seats, and I was legitimately fired up. Keep in mind I knew nothing about the graphic novel, picked up limited information from trailers and reviews (I skimmed Ebert's), so I was going in relatively unimformed

Well.... let's put it this way. Towards the end of the movie, one character says something like, "Nothing ever ends" (definitely not the real quote) and Jeff turns to me and says "Just like this movie."

Let's break it down, pros and cons. 

PROS -- Ummmm.... Gee... Nice classic rock soundtrack? Decent special effects? Pretty girls? A few good cheesy laughs?

CONS -- 
  • It was at least an hour too long. There were scenes with characters who were irrelevant, or never came back. They were trying to cram too much into this, clearly. It was like they wanted to say to the book fans, "See, we're trying to get everything in there." Too bad that alienates regular viewers. They would have been better off concentrating on a smaller section of the book then prepping for sequels, which they'll probably do anyway. For example, I didn't need to know the so-brief-it-had-no-emotional-impact "secret" I saw coming a mile away that the Comedian was Silk Spectre's father. I, on the other hand, would have liked to know more about how the group came together. How does one become a Watchman? Aside from being the child of one, or turned into one, how did these other folks come about? Are the Watchmen only in NYC? Are there other super hero groups? How did they learn how to crimefight since none of them, aside from Dr. Manhattan, had actual powers? How could they think it wasn't important to explain that to people? Nightowl (which I don't think they actually SAID what his name was the whole movie, I had to wait for the credits) seemed like a dork -- how the hell did he become a super hero, and why "Night Owl?". They jumped right to everyone's retirement... how did they come together??! I know it seems like I'm petitioning to make a movie I thought was too long, longer... but yeah, without the background info, you can't really invest yourself into the character. I found myself NOT CARING at all... which brings us to...
  • The plot was awful. I didn't care at all. Yeah the Watchmen have to save the world, convince each other they have to save the world, but who really cares about the world? None of these characters had any attachment to any non-Watchmen right? There was no "real world" characters in this movie that you could say "Oh, I hope that old lady/young child/nice dude doesn't die!" It seemed like the Watchmen had no real incentive to fight to save the world other than SOME of them felt like they were supposed to. Throw in the fact that everything was predictable, that I knew the bad guy was the bad guy from the first time they showed him, and by the end I was like "Go ahead, blow up the world there's no redeeming characters there anyway."
  • The guy who played Rorschach was probably the best, but he sort of ripped off Christian Bale's Batman voice no?
  • Female superheroes are sluts?  Don't even get me started....
And I actually liked this movie more than Jeff did. Jeff HATED it. I thought it was merely mediocre. A decent movie that could have been great. 

Final rating: Two Werschaibles

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Put me in Coach

I'm not really a "name-brand" girl when it comes to fashion. I'm more likely to buy a MacBook or iPhone than a pair of Monolos. (Does this even need to be said?) My only name brand item that I have is my beautiful Tiffany e-ring.

I have a pretty laughable fashion sense. For instance, right now I'm wearing two socks that don't match, Red Sox pajama pants, an orange shirt, a green hoodie and a black fleece jacket. Or what I call my "work uniform." 

So when my best bud Meg called me last night and said "For your wedding shower gift I want to get you a Coach bag" you might have thought I wouldn't be interested. But I was. Stoked in fact.

(By the way, I did all the requisite "Are you sure?" "You really don't have to do that!" I promise!)

I have had the sorriest collection of purses my whole life. I don't think I've ever spent more than $20 on one. They're never in fashion, always too casual to bring somewhere nice, not functional, too big, too small. The one I've been using lately is a gray houndstooth-esque hand-me-down from Katie. I'm sure it was sharp at one point, but it's probably past it's expiration date as far as wear and tear. In fact, when the catering manager said to me the other day "I love your purse!" I wanted to say "You know you already got my money right?"

So of course the idea of a fancy purse excites me! But because of the aforementioned lack of fashion sense, I need some help choosing. I've picked out a few that fall under the $$ limit Meg gave me, but help me decide!

So I want something big enough for my stuff, but not so big I'm feeling weighed down. Also something fancy enough to bring when I'm dressed up, but not so fancy I can't wear it for a normal day.