Month: November 2011
Let’s do this, shall we?
The Star Trek sequel is going to be in 3D on May 17th 2013. Yep, 1.5 years away. I personally couldn’t care less for 3D. All my friends who were blown away by Avatar, bought the movie, watched it at home in 2D and discovered the actual movie has a pretty lame plot and story line. Is it necessary? I don’t think so. Will I be seeing both 3D Hobbit and 3D Star Trek sequel? You bet your ass.
There are always great Time Lord gifts floating around on the interwebs. But if you’re really stuck with what to get your Doctor Who fanatic for this holiday season you can find a short list on Blastr. Personally, my favorite Doctor Who gift, other than a personal, driveable Dalec, is the Adipose plush doll. You might remember these adorable, wonky toothed beings as human fat. 1. I would have totally taken that pill; not everyone died. And 2. ADORABLE!
I will go see Tin Tin, but I’d be far more interested if it had less to do with Unicorns and more to do with Taun Tauns.
If you’re like me, then you love Wes Anderson. Here’s every commercial he’s made. My favorite is still the original. “Those are my birds…”
This Flight of the Concords rumor has been going around for years, just like the Arrested Development movie rumor. But now the Arrested Development film is Actually happening! So maybe there’s some true hope for Flights of the Concords. If you need a Concord fix until this is substantiated I highly recommend Gentleman Broncos. It is fantastic.
MTV Geek has posted a list of ten things about the Muppets you probably didn’t know. I’m actually pretty impressed by this.
Speaking of muppets, somebody ranked the top 25 Muppets. I’m a little appalled by this. It’s kind of like ranking your children. Besides, Sir Didymus should be number one and he’s not even on there.
What would a day be without Lego news? Not a day I’d want to experience. Walyou has a posting of my two favorite things combined into one: Lego Celebrities.
A teen told her Governor that he sucked over Twitter and he, as well as her school, is demanding an apology. Get over yourself. Yes, students need to be more politically aware, and perhaps the way she voiced her concerns were not the best, but I let Governor Perry know he’s an ass quite regularly through Twitter due to his corrupt policies and political history. It’s the way it works now. If the big bad governor can’t handle a single punk kid telling him her views, whether or not they had any basis, then he has no place being in politics.
And, finally, the world’s gummiest idiot just got stupider. Miley Cyrus had a Bob Marley birthday cake at her recent celebration and referred to herself as a stoner. Hey, Pumpkin, cry out for attention a little louder, huh? You have a Bob Marley cake ’cause you smoke pot? Not what he was about. Way to mock his Rastafarian faith. It was always my experience in high school that the moron who talked about it the most, did it the least. Also, really? Bob Marley?! I assume that you listen to his music because you, an extremely sheltered and privileged white girl, can relate to his songs. Sure. FYI: No one thinks you’re bad, no one thinks you can’t be tamed, and most importantly, no body cares. I hate that I had to bring you up here. Gross.
Style tip: Never be ashamed to wear a hat. It will take attention away from your crappy hair and horrible outfit, and force people to look at your chubby, chubby face. Doing so will make them uncomfortable, they’ll leave relatively quickly, and then you get to have less time making small talk with somebody you hate. All thanks to a hat.
And this happened:
I don’t do hectic holidays. I only spend time with people I like, which is a very, very limited list, and I don’t put on pants unless I absolutely have to. So when it comes to Thanksgiving, I have two goals: eat a ton of junk and have a freakin’ good time. I want to be as relaxed as Sammie. Nothing gets to him. He sleeps, eats, and ruins all my nicest crap. He is one cool customer.
For the last 10-12 years I’ve been doing Thanksgiving on my own. I don’t do turkey. It’s dry. It makes you sleepy. And if you cook the stuffing on the inside of the bird, one could contest that the bready delight is, in fact, a health hazard. I make prime rib. It’s awesome and delicious. And you get to make Yorkshire Pudding instead of stuffing, which is a million times better. Don’t know what Yorkshire Pudding is? You take the drippings, the liquified fatty fat fat-fat, from a prime rib and you heat it to 500 bagillion degrees. Then you pour a mixture of flours, eggs, and milk in the searing hot heart stopping grease and it sizzles up to make a thinish, soft bread. It’s awesome. And is absolutely awful for you. I normally eat the left overs for breakfast the next morning. Totally cold. Ahhh, yeah.
I invite any of my friends and all of my family to join. Normally, my parents have to host on Thanksgiving for other parts of my family so they’re always out. It also doesn’t help that I live 1800 miles from them (not an exaggeration). This year we had our friends Tim, Angie, Nick & Tania, over along with N&T’s two kids, Nicco (5 months old and slept the entire time, except for the 5 minutes that Chip made her cry) and Dexter (a super awesome, laid back, and independent 2 year old). How many toddlers do you know that can both recite the alphabet and ask for prosciutto? He’s awesome.
And the food was a breeze. On top of the prime rib, Chip made ice cream to go with Tania’s amazing salted caramel almond brittle tart, which I would have taken a picture of, but we inhaled it at the speed of light, and I made my family’s greens recipe for a side.
First the good stuff. We made 2 batches of ice cream: Madagascar Vanilla bean and Coffee Vanilla bean. Two batches are roughly equal to two quarts and take EIGHT egg yolks per batch, for a total of SIXTEEN egg yolks. 1 cup each of brown and white sugar gets whipped with 8 egg yolks. You just cream them together until you think your arm is going to fall off. In a sauce pan over medium heat mix 3 cups of half & half, 1 cup of heavy cream, and the inside of a vanilla bean to 170 – 175 degrees, stirring constantly. It’s best to do this with two people. My attention span is nil and this is quite the process.
Then you temper the egg and sugar mixture into the warm milk. Slowly – SLOWLY – add a little milk to the eggs and stir. Little more milk, little more stirring. Once the eggs are warmed enough so that they won’t cook if added to the milk mixture, completely combine the two. Again, over medium heat and stirring constantly, bring the egg-sugar-milk mixture to 170 – 175 degrees. Then remove it from heat and strain through a sieve into tupperware. This makes for velvety smooth ice cream. Once the strained mixture has cooled, place it in the fridge to be thrown into an ice cream machine on another day. For our coffee flavor, we mixed a couple of tablespoons of decaf instant espresso into about 3 tablespoons of hot water, which we then added to the milk mixture. Yes, we could have just added the instant espresso to the hot milk mixture, but we wanted a little bit more control over it and wanted to make sure the crystals dissolved completely. So, that’s pretty much it. Toss the custard mixture into an ice cream maker (we have a Cuisinart), let it go for 20 minutes, and then throw it into the freezer. On Thanksgiving we had fresh home made ice cream and french toast for breakfast. Perfect.
Not for nothing, but the above picture is Chip. I am an Italian American lady, so I am certainly not without hair – the darkest, thickest fur you’ll ever see on a being that is neither man nor Sasquatch – but that hairy hand there is Chip’s.
Sure, we roasted potatoes and had the Yorkshire Pudding, but the side that took actual work was Greens. My whole life I’ve only ever called this dish “Greens”. “You want some greens?” “What’s for dinner? Pasta and greens?” “I have the world’s worst gas – it must be from the greens!” Greens are easy, delicious, and make great leftovers. You take one or two clean bunches of swiss chard and a bunch of escarole and roughly chop them. I couldn’t find escarole any where so I finally settled for a bunch of endive leaves, which the checkout lady ironically rang up as escarole.
Toss the chopped leaves into a big stock pot that has been filled with 3 inches of water, one potato that’s been cubed, and 2 tablespoons of salt. Add a can of Cannellini beans to the top and cover.
Boil away for 10 minutes, then add a bag of spinach; I used a bag of baby leaf spinach you can find with the rest of the salad mixes in your grocery store.Continue boiling for another 5 minutes. Then chuck every thing into a strainer and sprinkle with salt. Put the stock pot back over medium to medium high heat and add 1/2 cup olive oil, 3-4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped, and red pepper flakes to your heat tolerance. Saute for 3-5 minutes. You’re infusing the oil, but you don’t want to brown the garlic.
After a few minutes add the greens, beans, and potatoes back to the stock pot and stir. Continue cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes and then remove from heat. The greens should be fairly moist. Feel free to add olive oil as needed if you feel they’re too dry. Add 1/4-1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese and stir. Finally, add 1/4-1/2 cup of bread crumbs, stir, and call it a day. You’re done. Those greens are good right now; they’ll be even better tomorrow. You want serious awesomeness? Take some chiabatta, a chicken cutlet and provolone. Make a sandwich and before you put the top piece of bread on, add a scoop of greens. Crazy good.
Friday, November 25th
I got up, got out, and got all my Christmas shopping done. I even got my father is birthday gift. He was born on Christmas day and his name is Chris. Reeeeeal original there, Grandma. When I say that I got up, got out, and shopped what I mean is this: I went to the gym at 9am, went home, and went to Amazon.com. Speaking of which, their site was SO NOT PREPARED for their own Black Friday deals. It was crashing for hours. I was shocked. So, in that sense, my shopping spree was a little annoying. Not so annoying that I had to put on pants, look at people, or mace anyone, but slightly annoying. On Thanksgiving day, I had had ice cream for breakfast, prosciutto and melon for lunch, and was so tired of cooking that by the time the roast came out of the oven, I couldn’t even stomach it. I pretty much just munched away on steamed broccolini in fresh lemon juice. Even still, I managed to eat enough that on Friday I didn’t really want to eat anything. I had a lot of coffee, put Christmas lights up on my house for the first time ever, went to play with dogs at the new Austin Animal Shelter, and enjoyed a quiet house. To commemorate a calm evening in a clean house after a successful holiday, Chip and I decided to let loose, get loaded, and watch a ton of BBC& TNG over homemade pizza.
The man child rarely strays from his old standby of pepperoni. I, however, like to change it up. I like experimenting with sweet sauteed onions, sharp cheeses, and smokey chicken or bacon. Sometimes I bake a crust with just olive oil, parm, and garlic. Then I top it with salad lightly tossed in honey and lemon juice and add slices of pear and crumbled blue cheese. I like little to no sauce on my pizza, good cheeses, and different levels of flavors.
Man. It sounds like I eat super pretentious pizza, huh? Well, what are ya gonna do?
If you’re interested in making pizza at home here’s the best tip you will ever get: Buy dough from your favorite pizza place. Seriously. I haven’t walked into a place yet that wouldn’t sell me their dough without question for $3 or $5. In Austin I’ve purchased it from Mellow Mushroom, Central Market, and Home Slice, but really, if you want awesome pizza in the capital of Texas just eat in at Home Slice or Red House. Home Slice is by far my favorite, awesome pies and great staff, but Red House not only has great slices, but also the best fried calamari I’ve had since the last time I ate in NYC. Lots of tentacles, my favorite.
Anyway, I thawed some dough, I stretched it out, and I started prepping it. I do not use a roller. You can
cheater, if you really want to quitter , but it’s really not that hard to delicately stretch it using your fists and I find the dough just bakes better so stop being a baby and use your hands. I prep my dough by rubbing olive oil over its surface, add garlic, parm, and a sprinkle of kosher salt and cook on the lowest rack of a 450-500 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, just until parts of the bottom become golden brown. Then I add the toppings. For the pizza last night I sprinkled mozz and provolone cheese of Chip’s side with a smattering of pepperoni. On my side I did mozz, smoked Gouda, provolone, blue cheese, sauteed red onion, and bacon, with most of the fat removed.
On Thanksgiving our dryer broke when all of our kitchen towels were in the washer. And, ironically, it’s been raining for the first time in months. I’m explaining this because between the vodka&coke’s and the lack of napkins during cooking, I improvised my own wipe cloth, much to the amusement to Chip.
Listen: They are large and in the way of everything, so when I’ve been drinking and don’t have kitchen towels, my set o’ twins become nature’s napkins. I don’t know why I didn’t use the paper towels you can see over my shoulder. Ask Three Olives Vodka. All that matters is that dinner the night after Thanksgiving was great. An excellent evening all around.
We even broke the tree out of it’s exile for the last two years in the garage (we didn’t decorate last year), much to the enjoyment of the brat cats. I really don’t remember the tree being so pathetic…Oh, well.
I got Pop Bytes comin’ out the wazoo today!
* Don’t want to make a regular turkey for Thanksgiving this year? Try making Meat Cupcakes!…On second thought, don’t.
* A doll sold by Toys R Us giggles and coos and calls you a Crazy Bitch.
* New Arrested Development is super confirmed. They’ll be comin’ at ya through Netflix Streaming in 2013. It’s going to be quite the year for movies and TV! Personally, I think to commemorate this, Ben and Jerry’s should come out with a flavor called “The Money’s in the Banana Stand”. It would be banana ice cream, with little chocolate dollars/coins, and peanuts! When it comes to food, especially fatty foods, I can kinda be a genius some times.
* The Walking Dead does not share accurate information about the Morning After Pill. Please tell me the American Public isn’t so dim that it would take medical advice from zombies. Talk to your doctor.
* Good news: The first Hobbit trailer is upon us. The bad news: You may have to go see the Sherlock Holmes sequel in order to see it. Speaking of Holmes, when are more Sherlock (the BBC series) going to come out?! Here’s a bit of cool trivia that excites me: The Hobbit trailer will be seen with the Sherlock Holmes movies, yeah? Well, Bilbo Baggins and the voice of Smaug in the film Hobbit are Watson and Sherlock, respectively, in the BBC series Sherlock!!! Awesome, right? I know. It’s badass.
* Need nerdy ornaments for your tree? My personal collection far out strips this little list from Blastr, but theirs is still a collection worth noting.
* Aren’t Engagement photos lame? Yeah, they are. But not these. Nope. These are Star Wars inspired engagement photos. The exact thing needed to prove to your family that you’re mature enough to get married. Awesome.
* NPR has put together the ultimate Thanksgiving playlist, for those who are itchy to pull the trigger the Holiday music gun, but know their family will kill them. I might be talking about me.
*Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know by now that Neil Gaiman was on the Simpsons this past Sunday. I love Neil Gaiman. I’ve been reading his work since I was 14 years old, back when my parents had to limit the number of comic books I could buy each week. Remember: I did have a part time job at that age. And I realized something recently about Mr. Gaiman: he is wicked hot. He is definitely my older man crush. So, when I say I love him….
* Someone decided they wanted to know what it would sound like to play every Beatles song ever at the same time. Hidden message from the Devil? Maybe. Hipster nonsense? A bit more like it.
* I don’t know if there really is a hidden alien in every single South Park episode, but it’s a study I’m willing to take on.
* Finally, don’t get divorced. Just sell your spouse on Craigslist like this
batshit crazy genius woman did.
Let me tell you how my grandfather died.
Old man Johnny died before he should have, yellowed and translucent skinned, in a bed of Stromboli, butter, and excess that had taken on the form of leukemia and other ills. It’s frustrating to see someone leave who wouldn’t have to go if they ate better and took better care of themselves. No, it’s not fair to have to go through life constantly restricting your eating and craving foods you shouldn’t have, but it’s not nice to die that way either. Did this make my grandfather a bad guy? Not in the least. It just made him gone too soon.
I never really knew my grandfather, and that’s not from a lack of spending time with him. My brother and I spent plenty of our childhood days in his care, though his guardian duties ceased when he got into a car:
“I don’t care what you have to grab hold of, but don’t you let Grampa get you in the car.”
“Why, Dad? Is he a bad driver or something?”
“You know how bad the Nazi’s were to people? Well, that’s how bad Grampa is behind the wheel.”
If it’s two things we knew as kids it’s that Nazi’s were bad and my grandfather was a death trap on the road. I look forward to the day I get to warn my own kids about my father’s driving. If he’s still around.
It wasn’t a lack of trying on my grandfather’s part that I didn’t really know him. I just didn’t get him. I was my grandmother’s girl, the only granddaughter, and Gramps was a real man’s man. Tattoos of anchors and other unrecognizable servicemen symbols lay distorted and blue on his forearms, a stint in World War II under his belt, and a temper that his grandkids rarely saw. When I asked him how he met my grandmother he told me he accidently blew up her house while flying over England and had to rebuild it. Close enough, I’m sure. I couldn’t even begin to get into the subconscious metaphors posed in that short little twisting of the truths, but they’re there. Trust me. He loved is grandsons, and there’s no doubt in my mind he loved me to. I don’t think there was ever a time I looked at him and he wasn’t smiling back at me. I loved getting sick as a kid because I got to spend the day at grandma’s & grandpa’s. That meant huge slices of country bread lightly toasted with so much butter on one side that it soaked straight through the paper towel it was delivered on, as well as giving my cheeks a glossy shine. And the Price Is Right was always on TV, turned up to a million decibels. I don’t think my grand folks were hard of hearing, but if they became so I blame people who insist upon looking to the audience for answers. My grandfather would just watch me watch the show and get a kick out it. I wouldn’t even know what the Price is Right was if not for him, because he loved the show, too, but he liked his grandkids happy even more.
So there. I’m mad he was sick, I’m mad I wasn’t there, and I’m mad he didn’t stay a little longer. Though, I can’t promise I would have had any more patience for him if he had. Death does that to you. Nothing acts as a better “I told you so” then death.
I see a lot of my grandfather in me. I see more of him in my own dad each day. This scares me more then anything else. I need my own father to not go through what his dad went through. I need my dad to play with my kids, to not be allowed to drive them around town, and to watch them watch the Price Is Right, without getting sick, without dying before he’s supposed to. I don’t know how to get that through to him.
So, my grandfather died. Just like that. We all saw it coming a long ways off and knew the signs and it happened in what seemed like 7 seconds. That was it. I should really get around to visiting them, but I’m busy with work and school, maybe he should diet, why does he keep buying silly things, the family is arguing again, and Grandpa’s dead. Just like that. There always needs to be a little dark in light, that’s what makes the light parts the best. In fact, the best part of grandpa’s death was disposal of his ashes.
Grandpa was cremated. A hulking man of war time, indulgence, and chest hair incinerated to the softest gray powder. If you’re on the fence on what to do with your body after death this may help you make up your mind. I for one am all for corpse compost, but that’s a different story.
We probably would have gotten around to scattering Grandpa sooner if it wasn’t for his demise bringing to evidence Grandma’s newly developed Alzheimer’s. It was a nauseating one-two punch, but when you knew these people it kind of made sense.
So, Gramps got cremated and came back to us in a biodegradable urn, as specified. The urn was bright anything-but-manly-man teal, not as specified. It was big, one size fits most, I guess, and looked like the largest Easter egg you could ever imagine. Only there was death inside of it instead of candy and sunshine. And, aside from being a remote yet possible consideration for new age art, no one wanted it in their house. Aunt Lisa didn’t want it, too many emotions, my parents didn’t want it, too sad, and Grandma, too many memories (both there and missing), didn’t want it. The only thing to do was to scatter Grampa’s ashes or bury the urn itself.
It was months before I got a call from my father resolving this. He said that he’d come up with a plan and the family had agreed to it and he’d like me to be there. Absolutely, not a problem, way to go, Dad, for taking charge. People say something about “it’s the thought that counts”, “the best laid plans of mice and men”, etc. None of those people had a grandpa to scatter.
So the our little clan piled into various vehicles, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my cousins, my brother, my boyfriend and I, and we drove North. We headed to this park about an hour or so from our home. Once we arrived at our destination my grandmother chose to stay in the car. This particular area happens to be a beautiful place and we had all been many times growing up to enjoy the beautiful grounds, waterfalls, hiking trails, sunlight glinting through the bows of the trees. You can all but hear mother nature humming contentedly to herself, and it’s all very, very public.
It was a Sunday and people were enjoying this day same as we, with their loved ones, and smiles, and nature. Well, not exactly same as we, what with the human remains in my dad’s backpack and all, but pretty close. The waterfall, as always, was beautiful and thunderous, but completely surrounded by people and we wanted privacy, due to the emotions we were all about to share. We also didn’t know if what we were about to do was exactly considered legal.
By the time we found a nice shady spot away from people, the river spewed forth by the falls had become a stream, but nervousness has a way of making people stupid, and we felt it was good enough. My father’s trepidation made him tiptoe to the center of the brook, set down the backpack, and remove my grandfather’s ultramarine cocoon. We all watched, quietly, thoughtfully, sadly as he gently placed the urn into the water and waited. And waited. There, in the shallows, the urn, my grandfather, was stuck in a misjudged mere two inches of water and mud. Any reverence we were feeling as a group began to fade into nausea and panic. And not a sadness induced nausea either, a full blown uh-oh nausea with a side of fear. Our drawn mouths gained the company of our furrowed brows. In short, we went from saying “Goodbye” to all, but sceaming “Oh, shit.” Luckily, my father is the captain of our hoard and knew precisely what to do.
As if reading our newly turned Neanderthal minds, Dad picked up a stick and proceeded to poke Grandpa. I don’t know if you know, we certainly didn’t, that biodegradable urns actual crumble in water. Especially when poked with a stick.
The urn broke into many large, bright pieces, obviously not natural to the surrounding wood. A portion of Grandpa got caught in a breeze and swirled over the stream. By that point we were far more appalled then reverent and it seemed we all thought the same thing: Hold your breath, lest you choke on some hunk of Grandpa! The rest of his dust drifted in chunks down through what little current there was or sunk lazily to be mixed with the rest of the mud.
And we all just stood there. There was once a man who died, was burned, remains packed up in a hideous oblong vessel and was totally fumbled by his family. It became intimately clear to us, no longer tearful, but embarrassed, that we all had botched this man’s entire afterlife. And if he could have watched us all on this day I think my Grandpa would have roared with laughter.
I don’t think my grandfather had ever had so much fun. I’m not one for the after life and God and metaphysics, but I think, on that day, when the ashes of my grandfather floated down stream, in broad daylight, in a public place, much to the horror of his loved ones, that it was better then any episode of the Price Is Right.
I learned many things from this experience, but one lesson sticks out in particular. I know that most people have the feeling on more then one occasion that they don’t want to be seen with their family, that they simply don’t want to be associated to their kin.
Those people got nothing on me.
The holidays are upon us and, man, Capitalism really wants to drive that home.
* For the 1% geeks in your life, or those rich enough to shop for them, Blastr has released a list of psychotically expensive Holiday gifts. Yes, I am jealous. Thanks for asking.
* Target isn’t showing any signs of backing down from their 11pm Thanksgiving Day shift start time for employees. Evil? Yes. But their commercials star one of my favorite comedians: Maria Bamford.
* There will be a RIDICULOUS amount of TV marathons on the Boob Tube this coming week. Here’s an entire list!
* What the WHAT?! Liam Neeson narrates the War of the World on Broadway in London…and does so as a hologram!
* Doctor Who (Matt Smith before I’m bombarded with comments) is gettin’ naked for charity. A nude do-gooder? Sign me up!…to stare. ‘Cause staring is free, right? I have no money.
* Finally: someone has caught Leonardo DiCaprio dressed as the Great Gatsby! Classsssssy! And he’s slimmed down. Like a young Alec Baldwin, Leo tends to get a little doughy in his down time.
*Want to see 1000 hours of work smooshed down into 3 minutes? Gosh, I do! Timeplapsed Thundercat Painting is truly the very best way to start off your Friday.
* MTV Geek has released their Top of 2011 Animated TV Shows List and I actually agree with most of it. If you’re not watching Archer you have to start doing so. Much of it is on Netflix Watch It Instantly. H. Jon Benjamin is just fantastic and the mom from Arrested Development plays both a mom and head of a Secret Agency. The character she voices on Archer is pretty much the same character as she played in AD, which is a beautiful thing. I’m starting to think that may be just how she is in real life. And I love her.
*Almost exactly 30 years after her mysterious death, the L.A. Sheriff’s Office has decided to reopen the Natalie Wood investigation. This is based on new information the office has recently received regarding her disappearance on Thanksgiving of ’81.
*Anonymous is still determined to Occupy Wallstreet and they’ve got pretty creative ways to achieve this!
* Meet the King of the Geeks: A super nerd cracked the Jeopardy code. That lucky genius bastard.
* 17 Minutes of the newest Indiana Jones filumentary?! After this I’m going to have to go lie down from Excitement Overload.
* And, finally, those skinny bitches over at Victoria Secret are biting into my Geek Chicness, only they’re doing it with far perkier breasts. Hate them.
PS: I know Twilight whatever the hell came out today. And I don’t care. I don’t care about prancing, sequinsy vampires and their wolf frenemy that falls in love with a monstrous new born infant.
I don’t. Freaking. Care.
In a Super Secret Screening on Monday October 24th, the Alamo Drafthouse of Austin invited fans to a free showing of Young Adult, featuring in-person guests Director Jason Reitman and star Patton Oswalt. The film opens in limited release on December 9th and wider on December 16th.
Young Adult begins in Minneapolis, a city of industrialism without the prestige of Chicago or New York. Charlize Theron plays the washed-up ex-school socialite Mavis Gary, a ghost writer claiming famous author status, who returns to her hometown of Mercury, Minnesota in an attempt to woo back her old high school flame. Darkness, rather than hilarity, ensues. Patton Oswalt plays Matt, an unexpected conscience and friend, who is just as guilty of being unable to let go as the delusional and pretentious Mavis. In usual Theron and Patton fashion, both play their characters as if they were built for them specifically, running a fine line between bleak truth and dark humor.
Young Adult doesn’t lack depth in its main character; Mavis’s failures and subsequent denial of them are more than evident through her boozing, inability to look at herself in a mirror before happy hour, and inherent conceit. The rest of the film, however, seems to barely scratch the surface by comparison. This story hits so close to home for so many that the script just isn’t enough to make Young Adult the home-run Juno was. The film does make attempts to get the viewer emotionally involved, adding a glimmer of back story outside Mavis’s ego. In a scene with an old flame’s wife, Theron portrays Mavis as not only naked and raw in feeling, but also unwavering in her blind egomaniacal sense of self when confronted with maturity. Another scene chances an impossible change of heart in Mavis while she shares a brief, but perfect connection with Sandra, played by the fantastic Collette Wolfe, but in the end it’s not enough. There are many questions the viewer will find unanswered, but that may simply be to drive home the fact that the universe revolves around Mavis; you’re in her world even though you don’t deserve to be. Almost twenty years after graduation, and with a career many would find envious, Mavis reveals herself to be just as sad as the hometown she mocks and resents.
While this film is enjoyable, Young Adult lacks a wow factor. The leap into something darker than Juno and Up in the Air is a adventure for Reitman that he pulls off well and Oswalt and Theron are fantastic with the story they’re given. The film, however, ultimately seems stuck deciding whether to be a drama or a dark, dry comedy of the ordinary. Theron is undeniable enthralling to watch, like a trainwreck that just keeps getting worse.
Stephen King once said “I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you,” and I agree. While everyone knew or – worse – currently knows a Mavis, seeing her on the big screen in all the glory of pitiful masochism and reminiscence is not enough for a truly fulfilling story. Young Adult begins well, truly tries in the third act, and its star and directors play their parts well. The story just simply falls short.
*MTV Geek has created a short catalog for the Star Wars geek on your holiday shopping list. I personally feel it’s missing a number of items, including the Death Star “Too Big to Fail” Keychain. Everyone needs that in their stocking! It’s been around for a while, but not enough people own the Interactive R2. I know, because I nor any of my friends have one of these darling, battery operated family additions, and my pals are so nerdy that one had a dream last night that we were all stuck in the world of Empire Strikes Back.
There’s Darth Vader in an Ugly Christmas Sweater and even a motorized AT-AT Walker for the purchaser who’s purse string know no bounds. I’m holder out on getting an AT-AT Walker until there’s one large enough for me to ride. This only just scratches the surface of Star Wars gifts, because, let’s face it, Star Wars is just as big as ever. Perhaps even more popular than it’s ever been. I’m sure you’ll see many more posts on star wars gifts as I find things that move me. Hey, have I ever shown you my Star Wars tattoo?
This is right after I got it, close to two years ago now. It is actually borderless, the dark outer edges were from the stencil put on my leg.
* In Uber Creepy News, someone over at MTV has compiled a list of “Famous Last Tweets”. It is exactly as it sounds: The last thing celebrities tweeted before their deaths. Ugh.
*Do you know Marcel? Marcel the Shell with Shoes on? I love him. I first saw him when Jenny Slate created him after getting kicked off of Saturday Night Live for saying “fuck” during a skit. She was horrified, everyone laughed, she finished the skit, and was shortly thereafter fired. I’m talking about Jenny, of course. Marcel wasn’t fired; that would be ridiculous. This is Marcel:
This makes my day every time I watch it. Anyway, he’s come out with a new video: Marcel 2. Enjoy.
* The next Star Trek will arrive in 2013. What are you more excited about: The second part of the Hobbit or Star Trek?
*I really don’t know who hires the writers at Blastr, but they need to be fired. The posts are riddled with grammatical errors and the pieces are simply not thought out well enough. In fact, I think most aren’t even written by real fans. This post is 11 Actors who should play Doctor Who in a Movie, written by someone who apparently has never gotten into Doctor Who – not just “watched”, I mean really gotten into. What are you, kidding?! This is awful. Jude Law?! He can suck it seven ways ’til Sunday. Natalie Portman?! Has the author even ever seen anything she’s been in?! And, just as a point of fact: An American Doctor would never be truly accepted. Not ever. Oh, this burns me up.
* This is the closest I’ll come to seeing the Twilight movies: staring at muppet parody posters.
*In more Star Wars news, iO9 has picked up on Lucas Films purchasing 3 rather curious domain names. Everything is speculation and no one is talking so we’ll just have to wait to see about this. If Skywalker Ranch wants to keep something private, they’re well versed in doing so. Blue Harvest.
* I don’t know how they’d do a Lego Movie per say, but I LOVE the video games, so I guess anything is possible. Seems like Hollywood is SERIOUSLY out of ideas, though (and has been for years).
* I’m all for the $99 Kindle Touch with Special Offers over the Nook $99 ereader. Yes, it’s annoying and complete bullshit that there are ads, but they only pop up at the bottom of the screen when you’re not reading and I just really prefer it’s look and interface. Above all, though, is Amazon’s far more extensive book selection. And they keep your junk on the Cloud. Boom.
* And finally I was forced by someone to watch The Menagerie episode of Star Trek TOS four times recently. When I wanted to find that person a Christmas gift (because in light of the repeated viewings I still love them), I had to look no further than Hallmark. Some weirdo there thought the horrible disfigured Capt. Pike would make an EXCELLENT ornament – his ‘lil red light even blinks!