March. The month in which I drink the Kool-Aid

Growing up, I loved records. I had many, many 45s (the smaller ones with the big hole in the middle) and dreamed of someday having my own jukebox. Technology changed and records went away (and that phrase nicely avoids my years of complaining about that fact.) Given my love of both music and random playing of songs, one would think that I would have jumped on the ipod wagon early. But I didn’t. I didn’t like how expensive they were and how everyone had one. But mostly I didn’t like how individual they were.

One important thing to me is that music be communal. Back in the day, if you wanted to hear music you had to create it using your voice or a musical instrument. Then there was the radio, which played music, but for a lot of people to listened to. After the invention of the phonograph, people have always had ways of dragging their favorite music with them. But until the digitalization of music, it took effort to bring your music along. Record players weren’t that portable, cassette tapes took up a lot of space and CDs scratched easily. Now that music can be bits and bytes, people can have thousands of songs in a tiny device.

And that is my point. All those people listening to ipods on the train in the morning are picking and choosing what they want to hear. It’s individualized, sure, and they get to hear what songs they want without commercials. But I can’t help lament the loss of the local radio station as a place to hear music. I realize I’m mourning something that doesn’t really exist anymore, thanks to Clear Channel and the deregulation of the airwaves. Regardless, I think our communities suffer when they lack media outlets that tie the entire community together. And that friends, is why I have resisted the ipod.

The other reason I never bought an ipod is that I never had a lot of use for it. When I am walking hither and yon, I don’t like to have music in my ears. I like to think, or I sing to myself. Most of the time I already can hear music in my head, I don’t need a device. I also never listen to music while I exercise. I need to be alert, and music blocks the sounds that keep me tuned in to what is going on around me. Plus, it is hard to get in a meditative state when I’m fiddling with a device. And all of you kids are going to go deaf, with that music playing too loudly in your ears all the time.

But then they came out with the ipod touch. My co-worker showed me how it worked and I was mesmerized. “We are living in the future!” I gasped. Because my tax refund was large this year, I drank the Kool-Aid and ordered my own. And it is magical.

Here, I’m trying to get a picture of the engraving I chose. It didn’t turn out, but I like the picture anyway.

Three sentence movie reviews–Slumdog Millionaire.

Things, that when seen in movies I don’t recover from and thus, dislike the move: torture, intentional maiming of children, anything covered in human excrement. When they are all three in one movie I spend the movie breathing deeply, not watching the screen and wishing we had chosen to watch the bad acting of Twilight. I also thought the ending was stupid–though I liked the dancing at the very end.


Bechdel score: Two women? Nope.

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Three sentence movie reviews–North Country

This movie is a very well made movie, but hard to watch, and I’m sure that not nearly the number of men saw it that should have. Full of super fabulous actors bringing their A-game, it is a good reminder, yet again, of how recently women’s right to work has had to be affirmed by the courts. And this, ladies and gentleman, is why all of us had to sit through multitudes of sexual harassment trainings in the 90s.

Becdel rating: Has two women characters: Yes. Who talk to each other: Yes. About something besides a man: Yes. Although the men are the problem in this movie. So sort of no.

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Three sentence movie reviews–Sweet Home Alabama.

I didn’t see this when it first came out because I find Josh Lucas’ features to be very ferret-like and that distracts me (though I’m sure he is a very nice person and has many redeeming qualities.) It was an okay movie, with some nice unique romantic comedy touches. I would rate this movie a good “flu movie” meaning one to put on when you are home sick in bed.

Bechdel reveiw: two women: yes. Who talk to each other: yes. About something besides a man: nope.

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Three sentence movie reviews–Mrs. Henderson Presents.

A fine film, one to watch with your grandmother, even if it is a bit risque. The actors act well, the story is fine and you get to see a full frontal of Bob Hoskins. I’ll leave you to decide if that is an attraction or deterrent.

Bechdel score: Two women: Yes. Talk to each other: Yes. About something other than a man? Sort of…

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Requiem: Spatula

O! Dollar Store Spatula! How perfect you were! This was a replacement spatula for a similar one I picked up in college, lo those many years ago. That one met a similar fate, and I loudly mourned its passing. This one showed up in my Christmas stocking a few weeks later, my mother having heard a lot of the trials of spatula-less life. Which are many. Trying to flip fried eggs, spatula-less? Very difficult.

I was amazed that the new one was exactly like the one that came before it. “Where ever did you manage to find it?” I asked, temporarily forgetting the standardized modern manufacturing and distribution process.

“I got it at the dollar store.” my mother replied, shaking me back into the present. Of course there is more than one basic plastic spatula.

This one met its end when I was banging it against the sink trying to remove collard greens. It just split in two. Adieu, good friend and trusty helper.

Three sentence movie reviews–City of Angels

I only made it through about 1/3 of this movie so here is my truncated review:

While watching this incredibly slow movie from 1998 all I could think was, “Man, remember how big the obsession with angels was in the 1990s? What ever happened to that?”

Bechdel review: Two women. Nope.

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Your Bank Americard welcome here.

This is an iconic store downtown, straight out of 1953. I’m sure every tourist and plenty of locals have a picture of it. This time when I was walking by, the BankAmericard sign caught my eye. I can see someone accidentally time traveling here from 1968 and feeling relieved to see the sign. “My BankAmerica card is welcome here? What a relief!” I’m not sure a card of the same vintage as the sign would be accepted, but, you never know. I mean, did they have the magnetic strip then? I think not. And would our time-traveler benefit from the purchase of Western Wear? I’ll leave it to you to decide.