July 31, 2008

Screws fall out all the time. The world is an imperfect place.

From EW, which - as I mentioned below - is currently publishing lists of everything. These are (clearly) 2 of the Best 50 High School Movies of all Time:

11. SAY ANYTHING (1989)

Go on: Hoist that boom box above your head and turn up ''In Your Eyes.'' Stand motionless with a fixed expression of unrequited but determined love. And watch Cameron Crowe's ode to young passion, which made John Cusack the thinking teen's heartthrob and should have done the same for Ione Skye. If the postgraduation romance between an earnest kickboxer and a sheltered valedictorian doesn't win you over, repeat steps one and two and listen closer.


We see it as we want to see it — in the simplest terms, the most convenient definition: The Breakfast Club is the best high school movie of all time. It may lack the scope of its peers — the drinking, the driving, the listless loitering in parking lots — as well as any scenes that actually take place during school. But if hell is other people — and high school is hell — then John Hughes is the genre's Sartre, and this is his No Exit.

The concept is simple: one Saturday detention, five unhappy teens, and their scramble to prove they're each something more than a brain (Anthony Michael Hall), an athlete (Emilio Estevez), a basket case (Ally Sheedy), a princess (Molly Ringwald), and a criminal (Judd Nelson). Following the farcical fluff of Sixteen Candles, the issues Hughes explored — sex, drugs, abuse, suicide, the need to belong to something — were surprisingly subversive and handled with bracing, R-rated honesty. '''Kids movie' was a derogatory term,'' recalls Nelson, ''and Hughes was definitely not making that.'' Thus, 21 years later, the film still sparks intense debates about the trials of teen life. (Sheedy's goth freak gets a makeover, then gets the guy: well-earned happy ending or antifeminist propaganda? Discuss!)

Never mind the serious sociological stuff. The Breakfast Club rules because watching the group dismantle/ignore the authority of Principal ''Dick'' Vernon (Paul Gleason) is a vicarious thrill at any age. It rules because Simple Minds' ''Don't You Forget About Me'' is a kick-ass theme. Mostly it rules because, as Hall puts it: ''In the end, you learn maybe we're more alike than we realize, and that's kind of cool.'' Leave it to the neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie to get all cheesy.

July 30, 2008

Live it, love it

Eat local - sometimes it's even more important than organic. What's in season by you?

Where the hell is Matt?

This was sent around by someone at work (who at first I thought was literally asking where someone in her department was and I thought how traumatizing that would be if it were me.). I don't know what it is, but something about it moved me to tears.


July 29, 2008

It's definitely a tradition now.

This weekend will make the 4th annual trip up to the ol' Saltbox in Vermont. Some memories:

* The legendary 17 to 6 phenomenon. This marks how on one day - the day the trip began - the roster of attendees dropped from 17 to a lowly 6.
* Sprite - this is the ingredient one local vitner told us he was thinking of adding to his wine to make it taste better. Go for it buck-o.
* Computer Camp - This is what Trevor thought we might be at, as "people" inspected one another's MySpace pages.
* Table dancing. This one I can't explain.
* Jagermeister. Not a good idea.

We've had some good times. We've done some stupid things - like letting Hannah come, me not inviting Nil last year, or boys shooting off fireworks in the middle of a wooded area. And I'm looking forward to this year, which will be heavy on the Wheaton crowd, so I'm hoping for some good-natured fun, intermingling and participation.

July 25, 2008

Oh, have you read ______ ?

Inspired by Entertainment Weekly’s list of 100 New Classic books (Seriously – check out their website. They have lists for everything right now, and it’s like a warm and fuzzy dream come true. Top 25 Romantic Gestures in Film, awesome. Best Movie Posters, check. It’s all there.), I am embarking on quite the reading journey. Below is the list – I have bolded/crossed out everything I’ve already read (34 – not bad), and I have bought 11 (Half.com is the world’s greatest invention) to get started on. I’m especially excited about: Persepolis, Possession and Friday Night Lights (Oh! Future blog post idea!).

Note: I will not be reading the Stephen King one. Most overrated, self-righteous writer ever.

** UPDATE: I will mark books that I read after this "project" began like this.

The New Classics

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)

3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)

4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)

5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)

6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)

7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)

8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)

9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)

10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)

11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)

12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)

13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)

14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)

15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)

16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)

17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)

18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)

19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)

20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)

21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)

22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz (2007)

23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)

24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)

25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)

26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)

27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)

28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)

29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)

30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)

31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)

32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)

33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)

34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)

35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)

36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)

37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)

38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)

39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)

40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)

41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)

42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)

43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)

44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)

45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)

46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)

47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)

48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)

50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)

51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)

52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)

53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)

54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)

55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)

56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)

57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)

58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)

59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)

60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)

61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)

62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)

63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)

64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)

65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)

66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)

67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)

68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)

69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)

70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)

71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)

72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)

73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)

74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)

75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)

76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)

77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)

78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)

79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)

80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)

81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)

82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)

83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)

84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)

85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)

86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)

87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)

88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)

89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)

90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)

91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)

92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)

93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)

94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)

95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)

96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)

97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)

98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)

99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)

100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

So this is the blogosphere...

Am I the last person in the world to get a blog? Do I really think my life is interesting enough to warrant one? What exactly do I think I will talk about here? The answer to all of the above is 'Who knows??" (IDK, my BFF Jill).

Something to occupy my downtime at work, to reflect on everyday life, and to think aloud. I look forward to it.