Friday, December 29, 2017

WTF did I/we just watch?

Honestly, I'm a bit flabbergasted by this year's Awards Season Screeners. Most of what I've watched, whether alone or with Stephen, has garnered ^THAT^ reaction (the title of this post, um, duh... keep up, kids!)

Here's a short review of stuff I've seen recently (either alone or with Stephen):
the website from whence we stream... no, you may NOT have the url!
the big sick: IMDb says "Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings." We saw this film at the DGA (maybe?) a couple(-ish?) months ago. We both liked it; we'll probably go ahead and watch it again when we receive our physical screener, or possibly from the website ^. It's good. It's worth your time. Holly Hunter is pretty damn phenomenal. I don't believe the film will be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It does tell a pretty good race-relations/healthcare story. It's not about standup comedy, though. See it, if you get a chance.

Call Me By Your Name: IMDb says "In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape." I watched this alone. WTF did I watch? Why is it set in Italy? Why in 1983? Why must Elio be a minor, or Jewish, or half-Italian? I didn't understand; maybe you will, if what IMDb tells you (or any trailers, maybe) interest(s) you enough to give it a viewing. I almost stopped watching multiple times, because I was, frankly, bored.

Darkest Hour: IMDb says "During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds." I saw this in a theater and then really wanted to see it again with captions, because Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill mumbles probably as much as Winston really did in real life. It's good. It's a Winston Churchill biopic! Do you like Winston Churchill? Do you have an interest in World War II? See it. I recommend subtitles/captions, if possible (like I had access to on the ^website^)

Disaster: IMDb says "When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true." I've already reviewed this fucking thing for you! #WhatTheAbsoluteFUCKDidIJustWatch?

Downsizing: IMDb says "A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor." I've already reviewed this fun thing for you! #SeeItAlready

The Florida Project: IMDb says "Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World." Oh. Is THAT what it was "about"? No, seriously. You can tell me. #WhatTheFuckDidIJustWatch? Some boring-ass shit, with a fine performance by Willem Defoe. But, um, yeah. NO.

Lady Bird: IMDb says "In the early 2000s, an artistically-inclined seventeen year-old comes of age in Sacramento, California." I haven't seen this one yet, but based on this IMDb pitch, I am not looking forward to it. Don't worry; I WILL watch it. I'm really hoping I don't hate it as much as I hated some of these on this list.

Roman J. Israel, Esq.: IMDb says "Roman J. Israel, Esq., a driven, idealistic defense attorney, finds himself in a tumultuous series of events that lead to a crisis and the necessity for extreme action." I watched this one alone, the other day. It was really wordy. REALLY wordy. Denzel is great, playing a savant, I guess. He has an immense legal vocabulary; and an immense propensity to speak it. It's sometimes hard to keep up with him, frankly. And since I don't have an immense legal vocabulary, it was a bit ... much? to watch. If you like legal dramas, or Denzel Washington, or social activism, then go ahead and bother to see it. #NotMyCuppa

The Shape of Water: IMDb says "In a 1960s research facility, Elisa, a mute janitor, forms a relationship with a mysterious aquatic creature." We watched this one just the other night, and we both wondered #WhatTheFuckDidWeJustWatch? It's been explained to me by a mutual friend that it's actually a social commentary. The primary "heroic" characters are a WOC, a "disabled" woman, a gay man, a myth, and a Communist. The hero "of the day" (the straight, white, powerful man in charge) is actually a sick, twisted FUCK. All of these things may be true, but they didn't make us enjoy the (nonexistent) "story". If you have interest in these role "reversals", then maybe you'll enjoy the film, so, go ahead and see it.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: IMDb says "A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit." THIS IS OUR PICK FOR BEST PICTURE! Seriously, kids. We just watched it, before I started this particular blog post. You've seen the trailers, and you're pretty interested in seeing it. You should DEFINITELY see it. We only knew, from the trailers, that we're meant to sympathize/empathize with Frances McDormand's character. We have no idea what her angst is, but we know there's some kind of big trauma. We didn't know that we would also really like Woody Harrelson. Or just about any of the other characters. We didn't know that Sam Rockwell's character would go through so much. There were numerous twists throughout, and we were fairly #EdgeOfOurSeats watching it. We laughed A LOT. We cringed quite a bit. We were shocked at least a couple of times. I refuse to tell you anything else. Just Go See This Film.

There you have it. ^THAT^ is WTF I/we just watched. Any questions or rebuttals?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mommy's Birthday

I went adventuring with my boss/friend again yesterday, and I *had* to buy these
new bowls
, because reasons. Since #NewGearIsDirtyGear, Stephen loaded them into the dishwasher today and ran it. Once everything was clean and dry, my task was to find space in our cabinets for them.
I managed.
They're going to be great. We're both looking forward to eating cereal, soup, and salad from them.

But all day, I've been reminded that it's Mommy's Birthday, and I have things to do to distract me from my grief, and also things to do BECAUSE it happens to be the 28th. Ya see, I cracked my laptop screen... I tried to get the Geek Squad to fix it for me, because #WarrantyMaybe? but they would've had my system for at least a week before they'd even know if HP would cover any part of it, and then another 2-3 weeks to fix it.

*A Month Is A Long Time Without A Computer, Yo*

So I've been using the monitor from my old desktop, and it's worked not too badly. But today is Mommy's Birthday. It's also the last day of any warranty coverage on my HP laptop. So I have to go to Fry's to see if I can purchase and install a new LCD Display (screen?), or else take it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy and be without for a month, in the hopes that HP will, in fact, cover some of the repair/replace.

It's already almost 5 o'clock. I gotta get outta here!

UPDATE: Fry's can't sell me the part I need. Dude estimated it'd cost anywhere from 100 - 800 bux online! #WhatTheWhat? So I'll continue using HDMI cables.
Too meta? Or just too big? Blogging via tv?

Happy Mommy's Birthday, everyone who remembers Mommy and commemorates it.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The things I'll do for you... sheesh

I sincerely hope that you're supremely #Grateful to me. I just saved you two hours of your life (or 4, if you were planning on seeing The Room before you see The Disaster Artist). I just streamed the latter. It was gawd-awful. I've heard The Room is worse. I'm not going to watch it to find out. The Disaster Artist is essentially a biopic about Tommy Wiseau, the producer/director/writer/"star" of The Room. James Franco portrays him pretty closely to the real deal. He was very annoying for me to watch and listen to, and multiple times in my screening, I was ready to turn it all off and opt for Three Billboards or The Shape of Water instead.

But I know Stephen wants to watch both of those, and that he does NOT want to watch The Disaster. So I watched it alone. For him. For YOU. You're welcome.

Save your money or spend it on a movie you WANT to see. Spend it on something that won't drain two hours of your valuable life away. Really. I'm not kidding.

*I did watch the credits, to wonder why so many big names wanted to participate in this shlock. There were a lot of big names attached. Tommy Wiseau was also given a part, but I didn't see him. I let the credits roll and came over to this page, only returning when I heard his actual voice. He's in an Easter Egg scene at the very end of the movie. He's really horrible, but I guess Franco is a fan, and offered him the part. He's playing a character, while Franco plays him.

The end credits and that closing scene are NOT WORTH sitting through the entire movie for! Don't do it! I'm not kidding!

Or did you already see it, and love it, somehow? I don't care. If you want to write a five-star review, go ahead and do it on your own blog. This is my blog, and I give this film five poop emojis.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I made some new friends today!

Because I was On Set, yay!

I had an issue with my service two weeks ago. They neglected to inform me of a booking, and so I missed a day on set because I just didn't know. Y'all KNOW my feelings about my "job". Any Day On Set Is A Good Day. I love working in film and television! So I was a bit miffed about missing that day of work, and also a teensy bit anxious that my standing at Central Casting may have slipped. After that missed day, I needed to get booked again. Kinda like that day I drove 8 hours (round trip) in North Carolina to work in one scene of a show (Sleepy Hollow), a scene that was edited in such a way that none of us were seen, up in that choir loft. Didn't matter; I was grateful for the work. Even at minimum wage, paid essentially for my drive so I could work the 3 or 4 hours for FREE.

So, two days ago, there was another phone-in casting call that I was appropriate for, so I set my two phones to redialing. After ~200-250 calls, I made it through! The casting director was happy to book me, but since it was two days later, I was technically only "on hold", until I got the info from another casting director yesterday.

I got the info! I was to be parked downtown at 7:30 this morning! Woo Hoo! I love those early calls! I love location calls! No traffic, and breakfast, to boot! Score! #Blessed

It was cooooooooooooooooold this morning! We were all dressed for spring! One young lady, for whom it was her First Day Ever, was dressed in the cutest sandals you could want, but her poor tootsies were turning blue whilst we ate! Thankfully, the lovely wardrobe gal opted for new chick's short booties. She was also wearing a cute sundress, but this is LA, and there are numerous opportunities to wear conflicting weather clothing simultaneously.

We ate our breakfasts. We got checked in. We got approved by wardrobe. We sat in holding. They described our short (yay!) day for us, and when some folks went to work the first bit, the rest of us stayed behind to talk biz. In addition to #FirstDayEvahGirl, there was also a #ThirdDayEvahGuy. I and another vet were doing our best to give FDEG and TDEG our best advice on survival as a background artiste. We had plenty of time.

When they called us to set, we still had plenty of time to continue our tutelage. It was a very informative day. I recalled my early days, back when I insulted the color green with all my greenliness. I recalled tips I'd picked up along the way. TDEG kept complimenting me, telling me I should write a book; this was a Master Class, and he was #Grateful for the instruction. #SorryNotSorry, but I don't want to write a book. I write a BLOG. You're here, reading it now. Yes, TDEG, even YOU are reading it! #winkyface

Ennyhoo, it felt good to be back in the instructor seat, considering how much I long to just be working. I gave the other vet a ride home, and we discussed a lot about a lot. I have three new friends that I met on set today! I sure hope we meet on set again, real soon. I'm interested to find out what new things they'll have picked up by the time we meet again, since it will surely be next year before that even happens!

Since so many of the friends I have anymore are online only, it felt good to make new friends in real life. When's the last time you made a real connection, either irl or online? How easy has it been to maintain that connection?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


is something that we all do, from time to time, at critical points in our lives. Breaking points, maybe? Growth spurts?

When I escaped North Carolina the FIRST time, I moved ALL of my possessions out of the house I co-owned with my first husband. I'd already sold my motorcycle, so I left behind the house, the boats, and "his" stuff. I only downsized my life at that point by cutting my possessions in half, essentially. But with Mommy's and Cheryl's help, I packed that half into a U-Haul and toted it to Florida, and then re-packed and toted it across the country to California when the time came. That growth spurt spanned several months. It wasn't really a downsize, though.

Mommy and I ended up sharing a studio apartment for the next 6 months, with a household's worth of stuff filling it. Moving out of the studio into a two-bedroom shared with a roommate was just a transfer of the stuff. Moving out of the two-bedroom into my one-bedroom duplex was still just a transfer of stuff. Combining households with Stephen into a two-bedroom wasn't exactly a downsize, either. We managed to find a space that would accommodate all the stuff we had, and ADD living room furniture!

Then his dad got The Cancers, and what with all of my industry being so wonky and his gig as a waiter being completely unfulfilling, we moved across the country. Since we thought we were moving for good, the only stuff that didn't make it across was whatever just wouldn't fit into that overpacked PackRat moving container and my Honda Civic. A smallish downsize - things like a bicycle or an end table; little awkward shapes.

Once in North Carolina again, we of course accumulated replacement stuff. But we realized fairly quickly that we'd misread the industry signs and miscommunicated with family, etc. We had to get home. So we downsized for reals this time. Multiple trips to the flea market, local ads, Amazon and Ebay got rid of stuff we didn't need and filled our moving fund. We did it!

Once we got back into a one-bedroom apartment, we quickly acquired new replacement stuff. So we're not hurting for stuff. We could use a downsize, if only to declutter. But we're not at any critical breaking point or growth spurt, so we'll probably just keep accumulating.

So would you like a review of the movie downsizing? We got our list of screeners to stream, and that was one we've both been looking forward to. We figured out how to stream on the television last night (connect the computer via HDMI, duh), and watched it first!

We loved this movie. However, the trailers you've seen don't really set up your expectations properly. I'm not going to spoil it, though. The story is funny and poignant and hits quite a few political buttons (not party, just issues). The actors are great. Hong Chau is a delight. The effects are seamless, and the film is full of little "easter eggs" that remind you of where you are ("big" world or "small"). I'm talking dollar bill artwork. Don't worry, that's just my own little tease; not a spoiler.

I stated at the beginning of our viewing that I'd like to downsize (in the scale of the film) if that technology ever becomes a thing. Stephen countered with caution; let's see what happens. Yeah, I'd still like to do it, if it ever becomes a thing. The movie can be our "life instruction manual"! So should you see it? Are you just stupid, or did you take lessons? DUH. See This Film.

Monday, December 18, 2017


Since I read a bunch of other blogs, I have an account with WordPress. I never created a blog there, because, back in the day when I was an admin at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, I had to maintain the business blog on a weekly/semi-weekly basis, and since it's a WordPress account, I had to learn my way around. I hated it. Like, that was one of my dreaded tasks. I managed to do it, but it never was any fun. So here we are, in blogspot, which is part of the Google realm.

But after my multiple vlog-attempt failures and my uploading of just audio failure the other day, I thought, "what if WordPress will 'host' my media, and I could just link it here?"... so I created a free WordPress site to host my media.

... except WordPress won't host audio or video for free. It's eight bucks a month for me to have a page to hold all of that crap. I'm not at the point where I'm ready to pay a monthly fee just to make my crap accessible to the world. Once I've figured out how to get a VO agent and/or a home studio and/or self-promote (#RunAwayRunAway), then I'm sure I'll be forking over a reasonable monthly fee to do just that.

For now, it'll just have to be the written word on the page.

Unless you have another suggestion for me?

Friday, December 15, 2017

A new test ... of my patience, among other things

{It didn't fucking work.  DAMMIT!}

Yesterday, I went to the Don LaFontaine VoiceOver Lab at the SAG-AFTRA building. This is one of the many benefits I gain from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, a separate non-profit entity from my union. I don't have to pay anything for the benefits I receive from the Foundation, and once I'm in a place to be philanthropic, I shall most definitely make charitable donations to them. In the meantime, I volunteer my time for the screenings, which I am currently able to afford (my time).

So yesterday at the DLF VO Lab, I was participating in a Commercial Workout. I've done these a few times over the past year or so, and they're usually a fun way to practice technique. QUALIFIERS to participate are spelled out very clearly in the event details: bring in 2 pieces of commercial copy, have worked in the solo booth > 0 times, have taken the pre-requisite "intro" bundle, cancel by midnight the night before. Usually, there's only one poor sap who didn't read the rules correctly, if at all, so that one poor sap gets a good public berating. My first Commercial Workout, I was that poor sap. I didn't read the requirements, so I had no copy. To offset my public berating, though, there was another participant who had plenty of copy to share. Thank you, kind voice actor whose name I've long since forgotten.

But yesterday, there were only 6 of us signed up, versus the usual 8-12 voice actors we get in there. We'll get in the booth, read thru the copy once, get feedback from the group, read it again, get feedback, and read it a third time. One person at a time, through the whole group. Take a break and then start up again on the second piece of copy. With 8-12 people in the group, it takes roughly 2 hours to get in a good workout. But yesterday, there were only 6 people on the list. So we shoulda flown through our copy, and maybe even had a chance at a third piece, right?

Remember I mentioned QUALIFIERS, though? Of the six of us, I was the Only Qualified Participant. Two dudes didn't even show up, nor had they canceled or called or emailed or begged forgiveness for running super late or whatever. STRIKE! Two chicks hadn't done any time in the solo booth at all, nor had they taken the prerequisite intro class. STRIKE! But at least they brought copy. The last dude didn't even read the confirmation email or any of the details, so he'd done zero time in a booth, hadn't taken the intro, and brought no copy. STRIKE THREE! YER OUTTA THERE! ... or, well, if it'd been up to me, I guess. Sadly, no, all three strikes were allowed to walk the bases.

We spent the bulk of the two hours discussing home studio setup and getting an agent and using the software and practicing at home or in the solo booth, rather than "working out". We did the "workout", but being the only qualified member of the participant pool meant I was also the only one who knew #WhatTheAbsoluteFuck I was doing, both at the mic and in giving feedback. Had I not also booked an hour in the main booth with an engineer that day, I would have left feeling like I'd completely wasted my time. I was not a happy camper, kids. Nor was the dude who runs the show. We commiserated. If you don't follow written directions, how is one to expect you to take direction when you book a gig? Unh Unh Unh... nopity nope nope nope.

BUT, I also booked time in the main booth! I spent the first half-hour or so reading the first chapter of Stephen's WIP* book. Then the engineer gave me some feedback, and I read the second chapter, trying to follow the direction she'd given. As we were listening to the recordings, she was speed-editing room tone in over my breaths, as well as removing my flubs, so the two chapters "sound" like they flow, for the most part. I was in awe of her skilz, and asked how long it took her to get so fast. She was, like, eh... it's just muscle-memory. So, cool. She asked if I'm also a writer, and I indicated #NoHellNoButIDoBlog. She wanted to "hear" my blog, so I read the last entry for her. She enjoyed it, I think? and said "You NEED to have that. Recorded. I don't know what you'll ever use it for, but let's DO that. Let's record it. Now."

So she threw the site up on the big screen in the main booth, set up the mic that faces the screen, and we recorded it! It's my blog, in my voice! Saved to a flash drive so I can hear it again and again, and If Blogspot Will Allow It, for you to hear it, too! So that is the test of my patience... before I typed a single word in this space today, I told blogspot to upload a ... video. Because there's no option to upload only audio. So I'm trying to upload it, and it's saying that it's doing it, but I have no idea whether anything at all will load. If it does, it'll be the first thing on this page. If you want to listen and read along, then you'll have to open the whole site (as opposed to just this post), click "play", and then scroll down to the post before this one.

It's a test. A survey, of sorts. Would you rather A) READ me, in YOUR voice, B) LISTEN to MY voice, or C) READ me whilst LISTENING? If you're here, reading me already, then I know the answer is not D) None of the Above. Thank you for that. ... so now, do I wait the unknowable interminable epoch for the "video" to load? or just hit "publish", and try a second time, to see if somehow an "update" will be quicker than the first upload? Seriously. It's taking forever. Wah. I've decided to do the latter, having already waited a millenia for the former. Here's the post; hopefully, there will be an update, soonish, with the link!
* work in progress

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

FREEEEEE Movie Screenings!


I have no idea if YOU need to repeat this mantra ad infinitum, but I most certainly do. When I "live in the now" and center myself in a feeling of abundance, then I most assuredly attract abundance. When I worry about what things cost, or use the phrase "I can't afford that", I end up missing out on a ton of fun shit, because I can't afford to do ... whatever.

I've been attending movie screenings. You know this; I've said so; I've begun reviewing things for you. I attended a screening tonight, in a swanky theater in Beverly Hills. I'd never been to this particular theater before, and frankly, I didn't really give myself enough time to find it and park. But whatever. Waze got me there just fine, only I didn't read the fine print in the email confirmation. The part that talked about the free parking. I didn't read that part, so I didn't program Waze to find the free parking; I programmed it to find the theater, which it did.

HUGE-ass line down the street, as I approached. I followed the signs for parking, or so I thought, but no, not really, as that entrance was actually just a drive-through that took me back around the block. I asked some folks in line where I was supposed to park, and they indicated some tennis center ... down the street ... and ... #MumbleMumbleCough um, what? ... so I did what any normal LA driver would do, and I found the correct driveway to the parking lot for that theater, parked, and got in line with another chick who was running as late as I was. (We were merely on time, which in LA is late)

We discussed our hope that our parking would be validated, or that parking wouldn't cost more than a movie ticket. snicker snicker, surely it will be FREE? Someone ahead of us in line announced the news regarding the Alabama Senate race, and there was much rejoicing. (The PEDOPHILE LOST). We got to the front of the line, and I asked the woman checking us in whether parking was validated. She said no, but she had an upbeat attitude about it, so I assumed she knew I was asking about the theater parking and not the tennis club parking, and I was reassured that it was free. Then I made my way into the theater and found a decent seat.

The Producers Guild was hosting tonight, not SAG. The woman who introduced the film with the "silence your phones" speech was awfully proud of the fact that the producers of this particular film had given themselves PGA credits for it, and that was why the PGA was hosting tonight (Producers Guild of America, not the Professional Golf A_____). The movie started late, but it started, so ... okay.

Hostiles is set in 1892. Christian Bale is an Army Captain who has killed him a bunch of nasty Injuns on behalf of the United States Gubmint, just for being on our land before we got there. Wes Studi is an Indian Chief who's spent many years in an Army prison for all the Whites he and his people have killed, just for wanting to evict him and his people from Their Land. The Captain is nearing retirement, and the Chief is dying of The Cancer, so the Gubmint has decided that the Chief should get to go home to Montana with his family (who've been locked up with him all these years), and the Captain gets to escort them all! Yay!

This trip takes a long time on horseback, especially when the prisoners-to-be-freed have to ride still shackled. It takes even longer when the group has to rescue Rosamund Pike from her burnt-out homestead AND bury her family AND fight off bad Comanches AND deliver some random Army deserter to his justice AND keep a handful of fur traders from stealin' and rapin' the womens AND bury the Chief once he reaches Montana AND fight the Whites that own the ranch on which we just buried the Chief. In my humble opinion, the script could have used some trimming. Not that we didn't want to see 'Murica in all its unspoilt beauty. But did we really need to tell all of these additional tales? Um, no.

Things I Hated About Hostiles:
  • the length of the film
  • the pace of the film
  • the captioning
  • the number of stories it tried to tell
  • the fact that everyone finds redemption (YOU get a redemption! YOU get a redemption! and YOU! and YOU!)
  • the audience clapping and cheering at the closing scene
  • the end credits font
Things I Didn't Hate About Hostiles:
  • the acting, despite the script
  • the scenery
  • the fact that almost everybody dies

Should you see it? Do I even have to Boldly Tell You? Wait for it to come to your big-screen tv.

... but now you're wondering, right? Was the screening, in fact, FREEEEE?


Are YOU a Money Magnet? Do you say Thank You when you notice?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Last week, today

I've been seeing a lot of movies and television shows lately. I'm a paid-up member of my actors' union, SAG-AFTRA, as well as being a member and volunteer for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Every year I pay my dues in a timely manner, I begin receiving screener DVD's in the mail around January. These are films that the SAG Awards Nominating Committee believes deserve acting awards. The SAG Awards happen about a month or so (?) before the Oscars.

Prior to the arrival of screeners, I get invitations to see stuff on a big screen. If I'm not gainfully employed, I either volunteer to work those screenings, or RSVP to attend. Sometimes, I get to take a guest. Sometimes, Stephen gets to see big movies for free with me.

Last year, I screened Lion (my pick for Best Picture, had I been able to vote), Hacksaw Ridge, This Is Us (a television show you should definitely be watching), The Crown (another amazing TV show), and a plethora of other stuff that I can't remember well enough to name right now. I did review Every Single Thing I screened last year, so dip into my archives to find those (I think "review" is a decent search term, and then just look for stuff in the winter of last year). Stephen attended La La Land with me (he loved it, I did NOT), and Arrival (both of us were blown away).

This year, I've already seen a lot to tell you about. I've been amiss from reviewing anything for you, and I may have to do a little research to review exactly everything that I've seen, but for now, I'll just say this: I haven't yet seen my pick for Best Picture. I will tell you a little about four of the flicks I've seen recently, and you can go from there.

On Friday, I saw Phantom Thread. I was volunteering to work this event, since it was screening in the worst screening room in town. That way, I got to see it, choose my own seat, and not wait in a line to check in (yes, there is a method to my madness). It stars Daniel Day Lewis, and the bulk of the questions from the audience for the LEAD actor in the film, Vicky Krieps (she got top billing, not DDL), pertained to "what did you learn from the Master, THE GOD OF ACTING, DDL?"
    * lemme tell ya; if you're ever in a q&a audience with the top-billed actor in a show, it's just RUDE to ask this type of question. It's essentially gaslighting, kids. You're saying she didn't deserve the role until after she got to work with the person who isn't here for your questions. She did a fine job, on her own, by the way.*
I did not care for this film. I'm afraid it's going to get lots of critical attention, though, because of DDL, who is, in my opinion, the only actor who could take on the role of Reynolds Woodcock so convincingly. However, Reynolds Woodcock, as written, performed, and directed in this piece, is a complete and utter shitbag. I couldn't figure out what the audience was laughing about. This film is not funny. It takes a hard subject matter and makes it even harder. Woodcock is completely unsympathetic. He's a talented egomaniac. A narcissist. Abusive and evasive, and in a rather strange relationship with his sister, who is only vaguely likeable. Alma, the role inhabited by Krieps, is a naive girl who grows into a bit of strength, but we don't really root for her. We pity her. We want her to escape.
I wanted to escape. I wanted the film to be over, so I could get away from my discomfort. When it finally was, I felt pity for Ms. Krieps, but I did not stay to see if the DDL questions got addressed. My ranking: only see this film if you are completely infatuated with DDL and want to see him play an irredeemable narcissist. OH, also, the score was entirely too strong throughout. Why?

On Thursday, I was volunteering for the screening of Pirates of Somalia. If you saw Captain Phillips, then you're already familiar with Pirates, sort of. The entirety of CP takes place as a "moment" in PoS. Also, one of the lead pirates in CP is portrayed by an actor who plays the lead translator in PoS. Confused yet? Sorry. Follow the links ^.
Ennyhoo, this film is based on the book that tells the true story of the actual events in the life of Jay Bahadur, played with great bravado by Evan Peters, who you may remember from American Horror Story, or possibly as the X-Men recruit Quicksilver. It's a slice of life, and very funny, and also a little edge-of-your-seat. I don't know that it'll win any awards (it's possible), but it's Worth Your Time to See.

My only problem with that screening on Thursday is that I was booked to work on my "recall" show, but I didn't know it. I'd gotten a "checking your availability" text message from Central on Wednesday, applied in the affirmative, and received the "we got your 'yes' but you're Not Yet Booked" response. Then I never got an email, text, or phone call from my service. Then, while I was working the door at 1:30, I noticed I'd missed a call from Central at 1:17, asking where I was, and was I going to make it? My call time was 12:30. WHAT? I could have been WORKING today? On Set? For Money and Fame and Glory? #ShitFuckShitDamnFuckityFuckFuckFuck!!! I called Central back to let them know where I was, and that I was more than willing to head to set if they needed me. I called my service to ask what the fuck had happened, and to let them know where I was, and that I was more than willing to head to set if they needed me. I sent an email to the specific casting director to let him know that I hadn't gotten the details, but also where I was, and that I was more than willing to head to set if they needed me. Then I went back to volunteering, until I heard anything further. Got a reply from the casting director, saying he was trying to work it out with my service, but that they didn't need me. Got a phone call, vibrating, during the film, from an unknown-to-me number, which I ignored. Got another immediate phone call from that same number, so I left the screening room to take the call. It was my service, on a mobile phone, away from the office, trying to place all the blame on me ("it's on your calendar! I sent the notices! It doesn't post to the calendar until we hit 'send'! It's on your calendar!" etc.). Meanwhile, I'm trying to explain that Just Because You Sent It Doesn't Mean I Received It, and When You Didn't Get A Confirmation From Me, #WhyTheFuckDidn'tYouCallToConfirmLikeYouALWAYSFuckingDo? /end rant

Ennyhoo, what I got to see of Pirates of Somalia (the bulk of the film, minus about ten minutes), was totally worth it. And the Q&A was with the lead Somali translator, Barkhad Abdi, and the director. Even though the film was not shot in Somalia, for #reasons, it was cast with a very large number of Somalian refugees, who were all credited for their roles, even background roles, with "refugee since (year)" included to the right of their names. #CallMeImpressed

Thursday night, I went to a screening of Last Flag Flying. Bryan Cranston did the Q&A that followed, and he was very "there". He knew that the audience was mostly composed of actors, so he talked a lot of actor-to-actor. I enjoyed him more than the movie he was promoting. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with the film. It was just a "chick flick" disguised as a macho-man film. What I mean by that is that there were almost zero women even in the film, but it spent the bulk of the 2 hours talking about feelings. Cranston and Fishburne are Vietnam Vet Marines, retired into their old-guy lives; Carell is their Navy Corpsman, whose Marine son has died in Baghdad. Carell collects his old vet buddies in the hopes that they'll help him collect his son's remains. So the film is a road-trip flick. Buddy-buddy, but for old guys. There's no action here. There's no gunplay. There might be one good pyro scene, maybe? but I don't really remember, because I was bored. They all have different baggage to lug around and cart out and talk about. Cranston's still a wild man, to a degree, a #RebelINSearchOfACause. Carell's the mourning dad. Fishburne is REFORMED; he's a preacher who just wants to get back to his flock, but of course, he gets to continue doing his job on Carell's behalf. It's just all Very Boring. Again, I'm afraid it's going to get some critical attention, but I wouldn't waste my time, if I were you.

On MONDAY (of last week, yes, I know!), I saw I, Tonya. Kids, if you want to #LaughYourAssOff, you need to see this film. I have no idea whether it will gain any critical attention. I seriously doubt it will be up for Best Picture. But, OMG, the performances! The characters (real people from a real moment in our recent history)! The direction and the script! OMG!

Stephen and I had seen a trailer for this at something we'd gone to a theater and paid to see (I honestly have seen too many movies lately to remember what I've paid for). We laughed during the trailer. If you click the link above, you can watch a trailer, and maybe laugh during it, too. All I know is that the events of the day were news. Weird news, sure. But it's just not a fun period of time, or at least there's no fun in the specific event of bashing the knee(s?) of a competitive figure skater, Nancy Kerrigan. So, how is this movie so awesome? Well, I learned at the Q&A with the top four cast, writer, and director, there is actual "documentary" footage of the four major players in the events, and the script was based pretty closely on that footage. NONE of the major players tells the same story! So, of course, the film follows EVERY point of view, to allow the audience to make their own decisions about any particular character's "truth". And did I mention? This shit is FUNNY. Seriously, if you are even remotely familiar with the events, or even remotely a fan of Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, or #OMGTheBest Allison Janney, then THIS FILM IS A MUST-SEE.

I think that's enough for now, right? I've got plenty more that I really need to review for ya. I also desperately need to find myself some work, trim nails on the furbabies, jump back into crocheting, buy Christmas gifts for the nieces and nephews, jump back into letter-writing and/or sending out some Christmas cards in general, and, ya know, shop/cook/launder etc. to keep running my half of the household, at least.

How was your week?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I went away again, didn't I?

Sorry about that.

I was busy with work, and volunteering, and going to movie screenings, and I managed to blog pretty regularly then.

Then I "celebrated" my First Annual Skippage of Gluttony Day Parade (?)...

Then I only worked at the pet supply store, and had more Adventuretime and screenings and volunteerism but no WORK ON SET, and somehow I was ... away?

I think my brain weasels (someone else's TM) have been lying to me. My winter funk has been a descending cloud, visible to me, but not yet engulfing me. I'm booked for work tomorrow, which is why I somehow have the energy to blog again tonight.

... but I have to keep hoping that I'll book more than just tomorrow, this week. I listened to the info line, and what I heard was not "if you worked on Monday, 11/27, then wear your Day Two outfit again tomorrow" (which is honestly what they said). Rather, my brain heard "everyone else worked last week, and YOU DIDN'T, and also, they all wore more than one outfit, so it was probably a long and lucrative day that YOU DIDN'T work".

My brain weasels suck, y'all. Why can't I just be happy that I'm recalled at all? Since any day on set is a good day, and I totally know what I'm doing tomorrow, because it is a recall, essentially, I should just be doing my fucking
instead of mentally kicking myself over last Monday (which was, and always will be, completely out of my control).

I don't really know what I wanted to say when I started this post. I guess I wanted to talk about Depression again. Sorry.

Last year, for the first time since Mommy died, I put up and decorated the Christmas tree. This year, I've done nothing. Stephen's done a good bit of decorating, and he's not finished yet, and I'm okay with it, in all of its stages. I've been sporadically wearing my Santa hat and jingle ball and holiday earrings, but my "holiday spirit" is 100% outward. I got nothin'.

Been attempting to convert the cats to a raw diet. So far, Cocoa has only really cared for the one flavor in the one brand that our pet supply store doesn't keep in stock. Meaning, it's a special order. Meaning, we won't get it at a discount. Meaning, our next step is to see if she likes that flavor in a different brand, so we can get it straight from the freezers at work. We'll see.

Been wanting to pick up my crochet projects again but Just. Haven't. Done. It. Yet. Why not? No idea. Possibly the lack of work has equaled lack of self-worth, which has equaled lack of motivation.

Been wanting to send holiday cards (or Any Mail At All) out to my people that I only know online. Last year, I sent/received something like 20 cards? And then started mailing normal mail to/from another group of 10-15? I think it's very possible that the last (or one of the last) pieces of mail I received here was a simple postcard from Cheo, who died of a brain hemorrhage last week. He was too young, and it was totally unexpected, and it's not like I'm thinking I'm next or anything, but I've definitely been bummed out since learning of his passing. Yesterday was his birthday, so our group did "random" acts of kindness, and involved donuts where appropriate, tweeting our acts so his widow would see them. Hashtags #FuckPants and #Donuts4Cheo abounded. There's a 2018 calendar of our group's craziness for sale in one member's Zazzle store, with the proceeds going to benefit Cheo's widow. It's mostly pretty tame, but there are pages that are NSFW, in case you're the sorta person to use a wall calendar.

So, yeah. Now you're caught up, and I'm depressed, I guess, but not because you're caught up now, because while brain weasels would follow that line of logic, that wasn't what I was trying to say, exactly. Dammit, Karen! (Not YOU, Karen. No, that other "fictitious" Karen that everyone on the interwebs is always yelling at).

Um, ennyhoo. I'm depressed. You're caught up. Two separate points. Maybe after I work tomorrow, I'll come back to finally start reviewing some of the great stuff I've seen lately! (Been wanting to review the great stuff I've been screening lately, but just... haven't. Again, dunno why not.)

It is now Tuesday. I get to go to work today! I started this post early (enough) on Monday to have posted it yesterday, but I was busy (drinking wine and figuring out what I wanted to say and link, and finding the dancing baby gif), so now it's Tuesday. Are ya happy now?

I am. Yes, I'm still depressed. I can be both happy and depressed, at the same time, even. If you didn't know that, then please, consider yourself #Blessed. For all my complaining, I do at least still know that I am #Blessed. I'm goin' to bed now. If you're reading this immediately upon my posting and you live in the Western Hemisphere, you should do the same.

What shall we talk about tomorrow?