Monthly Archives: May 2012

More bad movies

May I present…

Hmm, does this poster look familiar to anyone? Oh yeah!

Moby Dick (1851) is a novel written by Herman Melville. For many, including the professor who taught my American literature class, it is the quintessential novel. I did not like it, but it is written in such a way that it can be used as a metaphor for almost any topic. It was the Swiss army knife of books, invaluable when writing an English paper.

With “Moby Dick”, you can tie in:

1) man vs. nature

2) brotherhood

3) the ever-popular Christ figure

4) the quixotic quest

5) racism

In fact, the only literary theme that was difficult to discuss within the context of “Moby Dick” was feminism and motherhood, as there are no females in the book. However, the sex of the white whale is never mentioned, so some adventurous readers say that the whale is female and Captain Ahab has mother issues.

English lit class. Only art class was more subjective.

This is how I picture the movie pitch went down;

WRITER WHO STUDIED MELVILLE IN COLLEGE: I would like to make an adaptation of Moby Dick!

STUDIO EXEC: Great, monster movie, it’s like “Jaws!” But how about we set it in modern day?

WWSMIC: Oookay…

STUDIO EXEC: And we make Captain Ahab a woman! How about the sidekick from “Xena: Warrior Princess”? Cult show in the 90’s!

WWSMIC: … [pauses for his soul to die]

Voila! The end product being something with which I’m sure no one involved was happy.

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The Getty Center, L.A.

Every time I go to a museum I love, I am reminded of one of my favorite books as a child, “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg. It is about two children who run away from home and live in the Met.

It’s such a lovely fantasy, and could have only been written in a time before motion sensors and video cameras.

I went to the Getty Center in Los Angeles for the first time recently, and like those kids, immediately wanted to move in. It sits on top of the hills and there’s a special tram to take you there. This is great in two ways 1) There are no cars winding arduously up the road to ruin the views and 2) It builds anticipation; you’ve gotten away from real life and are in for a treat.

It’s funny how some architecture gives you a greater sense of space than you would experience when you’re actually indoors. I call it a “cathedral” effect, when being inside feels more expansive than being outside. The Getty Center, already palatial in terms of space, manages to feel even bigger because of its design. The walls soar above you, but because there’s nothing but clear sky above them, it’s like you’re flying, even though your feet are firmly planted on quite a bit of ground.

So, in addition to wanting to move in, I was also struck by an almost irresistible desire to start running around the courtyard, arms outstretched, with a floaty scarf trailing behind.*

The terraces everywhere give the museum an elaborate resort vibe, but instead of massages and magazines, there are paintings by Monet and pastels by de la Tour.

Oh, pastels by de la Tour! But that’s another story..

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*But I didn’t. However, I am writing this blog post from a hidden stairwell.

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Coffee Tomo

So a ridiculously talented and charming friend introduced me to a lovely little coffee shop on Sawtelle Ave in what Google maps calls, West L.A.

The coffee is wonderful, and they make a house latte called “Latte Tomo” or “Tomo Latte”, I don’t remember which. It has a bit of condensed milk in it, which gives it an extra bit of sweet, creaminess, necessary if you’re a coffee wimp like me.

And, and, and, it serves these preztel-ly things, filled with cheese! I’ve always wished cafés offered more cheese based snacks as opposed to the ubiquitous and boring muffins. There’s also a caramel bread that’s just perfect. It’s little cubes of toasted brioche, linked together, tetris-like, drizzled with a light caramel glaze. The cubes mean the crispy surface area has been maximized for optimal deliciousness.

The café is called “Coffee Tomo“, and I love it. What’s nice is that it appears to love me back!

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Are you a C class driver?

I was listening to the radio (yes, people still do that) and there was an ad for a luxury car. The above question was asked, and then it said. “C class drivers are different from other drivers.”

I guess it says something about me that my first instinct was to respond “you mean more douchehbag?”

To be fair, I’m not even sure what a “C class” is (Mercedes? BMW? Acura?) But apparently it’s trying to appeal to people who think that if they buy this car, it makes them special and therefore entitled to drive differently on the road than everyone else.

So yeah, back to my original summation..douchebag.

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Oh my god, I’m living in the FUTURE and it is AWESOME

When I was a teen, not only did I dress like a turn of the century spinster, I was also a die hard, 2 stacks of books a day, reading until 3 am bookworm.

I know! I was soooo popular! Everyone wanted to be me!*

If you love reading, you look at a stack of books the way a chocoholic looks at a box of fancy chocolates, with delirious anticipation. Consequently, when you’re dying to read something and the bookstores are closed, you might devolve from deprived chocoholic to deprived crack addict.

So when eReaders first came on the scene a few years ago, I was thrilled. This is what I’ve always wanted! I was now the chocoholic with a 24 hour candy store at my disposal, diabetes be damned!**

I was not, however, a chocoholic with unlimited funds.

Enter, Overdrive.com.

Overdrive.com allows you to check out books from your local library without having to worry about opening hours or that suspicious looking guy in the corner that you know is just using the library’s Internet to surf for porn.

Some caveats, you’ll need an actual library card. And like a real library, not all the books you want will be in stock and there’s likely a wait list for the most popular titles.

But still, this means that at midnight, you can check out a book from the library. Also, let’s face it, there’s a lot of books that you really only want to read once, or don’t want to admit you read at all, much less spend money on.

I realize for kids today, downloading a book is simply what it means to buy a book; something wholly unremarkable. The hipster kids of tomorrow will carry around worn copies of a bound books as a sign of vintage cred. And they’ll troll around antique stores, looking at stacks of ancient romance novels, fingering the musty, yellow pages, and think “Just imagine! People used to read like this!”

Which, to be honest, is still what I think when I see old romance novels now.

*this is a lie
**I’ll just drop the crack addict metaphor here…in the interests of good taste. Don’t do drugs kids!

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