Monday, August 25, 2008

Mollys gotta case of the tuesdays

So here's what happened: the old lady died or something. I don't know the details, but the original offer of hanging out and putting on old people makeup is off the table, so for the last week I've been doing the "data and image processing" job.

Going from having my days filled with NOTHING to suddenly having 9 hours of my life stolen from me has been something of a shock. It reminds me of how I felt as a little kid when I first learned about the holocaust. (I can't believe that millions of people go through this every day.) To review: it's a sporting goods company that consolidates products from hundreds of retailers and sells them on the internet. My job is to upload new inventory from databases, resize photos in photoshop, look up the specs for snowboards and shit in catalogues, copy, paste, copy paste, copy, paste.

When I first started attacking the data entry, I had this erroneous idea that there was some merit in rushing through the work, or even just working quickly and efficiently. I see now that this was based on the belief that there's an end to the work. The truth is that there is no end. It's like road construction. While one project is being completed, another strip of pavement cracks and erodes in the salty winters and the hot, constant sun. And what if I did get to the end of the data entering, what then? I would be out of a job. Good lord, it reminded me so very much of Albert Camus The Stranger:

I could see that the trouble with the Guillotine was that you had no chance at all, absolutely none. The fact was that it had been decided once and for all that the patient was to die. It was an open and shut case, a fixed arrangement, a tacit agreement that there was no question of going back on. If by some extraordinary chance the blade failed, they would just start over. So the thing that bothered me most was that the condemned man had to hope the machine would work the first time. And I say that's wrong.

It's not all bad. For one, since I consider the job entirely unimportant, there's no stress. The office is filled with nice computer nerds that totally and completely mind their own business. I can dress like a slob. In the room across the hall there's a kid with a spiderman lamp that he brought from home and a black kid that has apparently decided to forego his birthright of coolness in favor of linux. From what I've observed so far, they work hard until the afternoon, and then they talk about World of Warcraft.

Ooh ooh. There's a "little person." On the first day I didn't hear him talk, and he's not a dwarf or anything, he's totally proportionate, so I thought maybe he was a 12 year old boy genius, but would a 12 year old boy genius really be wasting his big brains in the design department of a shitty online sporting goods store? On that first day I was like "boy Genius, you outta be at NASA." But no, dude's just a little grown up, and god bless him, he's not going to go off to Hollywood to star in some indie film maker's low budget dream sequence. He's gonna grind it out like the rest of us. The first words I heard him say were thus: "That's right. I'm wearing a tie today bitches." It looked and sounded like a 9 year old sucked a helium balloon, wandered into an office wearing a shirt and tie, and said those words.

I haven't talked to him or anyone else in the office except for my boss and the two people that I share a room with. So far I just blog about them.

And look, I know I spent the whole summer complaining about not having a job, but Jesus, I didn't mean I wanted a job job. I want to be like a small child who wanders into a movie theater where Scorsese is incognito screening his latest picture for middle America, and I want him to suddenly turn to me and become entranced with the sense of my exploding talent, and I want him to ask me to get him a coffee, which we all know in the movie industry, leads to bigger things.

12 Movie Meme: Christ, Homos, other.

I wrote this post nearly a week ago but there were all these things that happened that prevented it's prompt delivery. Today, film, tomorrow, I'll tell you about work.

I should be telling you all about what came of my job debacle, and I will in good time, but right now I can't sleep, I've been tagged in my first blog meme adventure, and talk of film relaxes me. Erik opted for a list of 12 movies he himself would want to watch. I have tried to keep with that, but I've also chosen the kind of movies that I doubt many of you have seen, that when I meet people I say "you havent seen _______ ? Oh my GOD you need to see it." (And then I practically drive them to the video store. Have you ever tried being my friend? I know, it sucks.)

1. The Rapture 1991
This is a forgotten, overlooked film, and it marks the beginning of a theme throughout my favorite's - those dealing with religion, and specifically, Christ. Why? I have no idea. I wasn't raised religious, so maybe that means I can look at the question of faith academically, and without a lot of emotional baggage. This film follows the conversion of a woman from sinner to born again christian. The way it depicts events is both unconventional and I guess controversial (?) in the sense that everyone who watches it will have a completely different take on what they've seen. God bless you Les Brill of the Wayne State Film department for introducing me to this movie. David Duchovney gives an early, pretty bad, mulleted performance.

2. Joe Versus the Volcano 1990
An existential comedy that you may have either missed or failed to fully appreciate. The film exaggerates, first with an overly gloomy landscape of Joe's bleak office life, and then the exalted state he finds himself in later. He floats on luggage in the middle of the ocean, looks up at an impossibly huge moon on the brink of death and says "thank you for my life." It fucking makes you feel good, okay? God. I've been known to believe in magic.

3. Jesus' Son 1999
This film isn't actually about Christ, per se, (Velvet Underground anyone?) but a drug addict who wanders through life, acting like an asshole, making mistakes, and having beautiful hallucinations. Jack Black shows up, and he's hilarious as ever. I appreciate this film because it's the drug movie I always wanted to make during my more psychedellic youth. It plays with the idea of altered consciousness, the mistakes we make in that state, and the boring but necessary conclusion of sobriety. He winds up working in a home for people with mental and physical handicaps. "They made God look like a senseless maniac."

4. The Last Temptation of Christ 1988
Now this most certainly is entirely about Christ. It's famous and infamous for exploring the human side of JC, because without this, as Scorsese says, "where is the sacrifice?" More than that, I love the choices Scorsese made in a mostly american cast, speaking plain, common vernacular about the philosophical questions that the people of that time faced. Christ fumbles through his mission as its revealed to him by God, not all at once, but by a series of degrees. The relationship between Christ and Judas, I think, parallels the classic "buddy movie" genre, believe it or not, and the homoreotic undertones are worth the price of admission. I love love love love love Martin Scorsese, and I consider this his best movie.

5. Welcome to the Dollhouse 1995
This is a sentimental pick because I was obsessed with this movie in high school, and constantly analyzing it at that time corresponded perfectly with my emergence as an adolescent turned teenager turned conscious individual. The film is hilarious, heartbreaking, and honest in its portrayal of what it's like to be that kid in middle school that no one wants to sit with at lunch. I won't admit that I've been there, but lets just say, I've been there. There are not enough good, honest movies about young people, depicted by actors of the same age, and the same emotional level as real middle schoolers. Todd Solondz is a nutbar, but he's also brave and funny.

6. Rope 1948
I had to include a Hitchcock film because he's fucking Hitchcock. This movie is famous for having a story depicted in real time, with the illusion of a single take. The cuts are obvious for today's audience, but never mind that, because the gimmick has little to do with why I like the movie. I like it because the murdering college friends are gay, gay, gay, and the undercurrents of their relationship and the manipulation of the strong lover over the weaker one just slays me. One of them says "I don't like chicken" so explicitly he might as well just be saying "I like balls in my face."

7. Jesus Camp 2006
I wanted to include a documentary. Erroll Morris is obviously the best documentarian that ever was, but Erik already included one of his movies on his meme, and I'm in the business of variety. This also fulfills the "horror film" genre. The little Christian Army represented reminds me of Children of the Corn.

8. Mulhulland Drive 2001
Oh David Lynch, how could you. This movie is sexy, mysterious, and ridiculous. I think it takes all the great elements of some of his earlier work (most reminiscent of Blue Velvet, Lost Highway) and presents them with the most sophistication and creepiness. It's sexy and terrifying. He doesn't feel compelled to wrap everything up in a way that will be universally understood, and that takes courage. Also, the women are beautiful and they do beautiful things to each other. I'm sensing a theme here: Gays and Jesus.

9. The Killing 1956
I became ashamed there weren't more older films on my list, so I threw this one on because I just watched it again on TV, and I was reminded at how great all of its elements are. It's a classic heist picture, but the brilliance is in the characters created, and how they play on each other to almost get away with a brilliant crime. We want them to get away with it. It's Stanley Kubrick's first movie. I'm going for slightly obscure here, so I'll note, if you haven't seen 2001: A space Odyssey, by all means see that first.

10. All the Real Girls 2003
I was talking earlier about David Gordon Green, with his recent mainstream hit Pineapple Express. All the Real Girls is a simple, straightforward story about young people in a relationship. (Will it work out? No silly, nothing ever works out.) It takes place in rural Indiana I think(?) but it's a testament to the art direction that all of his locations in all of his films are stunning. His characters are real. They fumble through their words/lives.

11. In the Company of Men 1997
This is a weird choice. I don't particularly like watching Neil LaBute films. His characters are unlikable, they do horrible things, and they leave you with an overall eggh! impression, but I can't not recommend this film because I can honestly say it changed my life and my perceptions. It made me realize that it's possible people aren't what they seem, that I could love someone and then find out that everything they did and told me was a lie. This is his first movie. As a runner up, The Shape of Things is more polished, and I loved it a lot, but the initial Neil LaBute blow came to me with this one.

12. Disney's Robin Hood 1973 / Jesus Christ Superstar 1973
Because after this 12 days of horror, you deserve a juice box. The former is a hippy disney musical featuring bipedal animals overthrowing a tyrannical government. Roger Miller's Rooster music is Bob Dylan good. Jesus Christ Superstar is not a musical, it's a ROCK OPERA. Don't let your atheistic, intellectual "I hate Andrew Lloyd Weber" sensibilities prevent you from seeing this movie (all day ever day.) It must be fate that they both came out in 1973.

Thanks for reading my list! I tag your mom.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Send these, the geriatric, tempest-tossed, to me.

So this afternoon I went from having zero job offers/prospects/wills to live to two bleak but acceptable job offers. This is certainly going to affect the somber mood of unemployment I was trying to conjure here. For example, I was composing this great piece about holding up the world with an As-Seen-on-TV exacto knife in jobless desperation, with kind of a neo-realist The Bicycle Thief flavor. Now this will be all misplaced and out of order by the time it's completed. Geez. (I swear, I will never be happy.)

JOB 1 is basically data entry for summit sports online. It's in Bloomfield Hills, 40 hours a week in a dirty, boxy room with computer cubicles facing cracked, unfinished walls. BUT, there's a foozball table! (To quote the practically sleep walking man who interviewed me: "we like to have fun here.") This job pays 9 dollars an hour and just may bore me to death.

JOB 2 = babysitting an old woman. She was described to me as thus: She wants someone funny and nice who will go for walks with her and help her put on makeup. how fun is that! She's not even incontinent! I love old people, because they're all slow and ugly and nobody else likes them. Give me your tired, your poor, your cataract addled, arthritic masses. I love to listen to them ramble on about how they stood in line at the grocery store to buy one pear in 1937, and how their children don't appreciate them, and the kids these days with the pot and the nose piercing's, I LOVE THAT. Don't ask me why. Job 2 pays 9.00 an hour but it's only 20 hours a week, monday through friday 1 to 5.

One of these choices is more responsible than the other. The irresponsible job leaves plenty of free time to look for a more responsible job that won't bore me to tears. I already accepted the first job because job 2 came secondly.

So what's a girl to do? Discuss.

Oh, and the fact that I'm a college graduate toiling over two 9 dollar an hour, non skill based jobs is NOT up for discussion. I know that. But we musn't dwell. There's no market for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

2008 movie wrap up so far: God bless you Heath Ledger

The film industry kind of sucks dead dog's dick in the sense that for most of the year, it releases either really shitty movies, or summer blockbusters, a lot of which are really shitty. I try to make the best of it. I love movies, and I love the old fashioned past time of getting in a car and going to the movies, even when most of them suck. Another thing I love is reading about films on the internet. I have my favorite reviewers, I trust their opinion, and I'm not a child. I can tell by the preview if a movie is going to suck, so usually I don't waste a lot of ticket money on bad movies. I hereby compile all the movies I've seen in 2008 into categories, ranging from "good movies" "movies that aren't the worst but aren't great" and "movies I hate." They are all "movies" because so far this year, I haven't been able to afford the extra time and expense of commuting to the indie film houses in town.


The Dark Knight
I know, what a shocker. Everybody loved The Dark Knight. The best is when someone on the internet dares say a negative thing about the film, and the dogs attack. "You need to watch Sesame street on PBS. Maybe you will be able to follow the plot," says one angry commenter to a negative review on Rotten Tomatoes. "I'm glad this tool didn't like this movie. If he did then there must have been something wrong with the movie, since this guy seems to like the sucky movies and hate the good ones."

The Happening
Everybody hated this, but I loved it, because I'm awesome. First of all, it was a wonderful movie going experience. I walked in behind a group of teenagers who were giggling amongst themselves "this movie is going to be sooooo bad." So I already knew I was in for some audience heckling. About M Night Shyamalan's first R rating: It still had that "gee shucks we're good people in an unfortunate situation" feel to it, but with more blood and violence. There are some genuinely terrifying scenes, particularly the ones at the end with Betty Buckley. If you were in this plot (admittedly, the plot is ridiculous) you would be fucking scared. Imagine driving down a street and suddenly seeing dozens of bodies hanging from trees because the people have compulsively committed suicide, and you're next. The movie scared the teenagers, and then they laughed at the screen because they were embarrassed they were scared. CUTE. Also, Zooey Deschanel. A boy commented to his date on the way out "Oh, Zooey Deschanel's eyes. I got lost in them several times."

Pineapple Express
Did you know that David Gordon Green directed this? Do you know who he is?? He's one of my favorite indie film makers. (SEE: George Washington, All the Real Girls, Undertow. Snow Angels came out this year but I've yet to see it because it only played at the art houses. Rent these films!) I liked the way it subtly depicted both stoner humor and their gentle sensibility. (i.e. comparing the smell of pot to "God's Vagina." "Put your sorrys in a sack.") One character pummels another one screaming "Don't you know that what we do in this life echoes in eternity!?" Reincarnation is discussed. The art direction of the film is actually really good, although it would be easy not to notice that with all the action and violence and whatnot. It had a rich color palette, like in the scene of the two boys romping in the woods, playing leap frog. It's actually very precious. This is something I'm coming to increasingly appreciate in comedies. (Be Kind Rewind had this same appeal.) Everybody who isn't a guy in denial knows that buddy movies are totally homosexual, and I like the way this one dealt with a few buddy pairings. (There are a couple on the bad guys side in addition to the leads.) In the end it got waaay too violent, but I guess that's the point. If the movie had ended after one hour without getting into the action stuff it would have been even better, but keep in mind, I'm a girl.

Iron Man, Wall E: Two more movies I liked, for obvious reasons, that everybody liked.


Get Smart
Be Kind Rewind
Charlie Bartlett
Cassandra's Dream
Forgetting Sarah Marshall


Smart People
I saw this movie for one reason: Ellen Page (Juno) is in it and she is a ripe peach plucked from God's navel, but apparently, that doesn't mean she knows how to pick a script. She was the best and only good thing about it. This movie was completely recycled from movies like The Squid and the Whale, Wonderboys, and any number of other recent, much better movies about asshole professors with families who no longer know how to relate to reality. Nick, I know you like Dennis Quaid, so I would suggest you never see this film so you don't have to watch him embarrass himself in this horrible material. He plays probably one of the most unlikable characters I've ever seen. Gee, do you think he'll learn some life lessons and his embittered, widowed heart will soften by the end of the film? Will he inexplicably get the girl who never should have been dating him in the first place? The script was probably written based on some "low budget quirky slice of real life but not" template downloaded from the internet. (Note: If you want to see a much better movie sort of like this, rent Winter Passing with Will Ferrell and the wonderful beautifully eyeballed Zooey Deschanel.)

Sex and the City
Look, I saw it okay, I'm not made of wood. And if I hadn't snuck into the movie in a double feature situation with The Happening, I would have demanded my money back. I saw it because I do genuinely like some of the series. It can be very funny and sort of satirical about how superficial and ridiculous these rich, slutty new york women are. The movie had absolutely none of that. It took every ounce of wit, satire, and edge from the series and left nearly 3 FUCKING HOURS of fluffy, melodramatic girl shit in its wake. First of all, the amount of money these three hookers and their mother spend on clothes, apartments, and jewelry is fucking criminal to the point of being offensive. "That's a three hundred dollar pillow" one of the girls comments at one point. I think I missed a crucial plot point after that because I was supposed to move on, but I spent the next 15 minutes being like, "what? A 300 dollar pillow?" Later Carrie buys her black assistant a 600 dollar handbag because she does such a super job. "Oh thank you massa'! Me look real pretty now!" The major plot surrounds Carrie completely losing her mind over this Mr Big character, who from what I see has never really exhibited any character traits worth losing one's mind over other than being totally rich. In fact, the movie completely infantilizes men. The show always did that as well, but here, they're seriously borderline retarded. They always look like they're on the verge of tears, cowering in the shadows of these strong, executive women! Finally, I didn't laugh once. Like, not fucking once. The biggest comedic scene involves Charlotte getting diarrhea in mexico. Ho ho! What are we, 12? If you liked this movie we're not friends anymore. I'm serious. I can't have people like that in my life.

To review:
Percentage of movies this year that I fucking hated starring Sarah Jessica Parker: 100%
(She played a doctor in Smart People. Yeah right bitch, like we would ever believe you're a fucking doctor.)
Number of times I reminisced about getting lost in Zooey Deschanel's eyes while writing this: Several.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The dishes are done, man!

So I've been sitting around for days, patiently waiting for an adventure to take me on a magical carpet ride through time and space, and nothing. Not even an ordinary earth bound adventure has come around. I had another job interview, it was depressing, it sucked. I ate in a fancy restaurant, it was delicious, I got full. I pulled the death card in tarot (signifying change and new beginnings) twice in one week and no such change took place. Today I pulled the heirophant card i.e. the pope, which stands for timidity, stagnation, and boooooring. I will embrace this card and discuss no new topics. How about events that happened not even in this millennium.

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead is a really good movie. Christina Applegate wears awesome nineties "executive" clothes, she looks totally hot smoking cigarettes, and the babysitter dies in the first act in a Slayer induced heart attack (lest you believe the title is just a metaphor. It's not.) The idea that a plucky 17 year old smoker can save a uniform manufacturing company with a fashion show in a backyard is just, well, fucking inspiring. . . .

I'm fucking joking okay, it's not a good movie, but it has its moments, and those moments put a vice grip on my heart, and my subconscious wanted to keep the movie there forever, so blockbuster's copy got lost, and for an entire summer they kept calling and calling, leaving embarrassing messages on our machine. "You must really like this movie..." etc. This in turn inspired a whole crop of hilarious side jokes, beginning with "Don't Tell Mom we're not paying these late fees" and then escalating to, "Don't Tell Mom her account has gone into collection."

Jesus God please, I need a job.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

my boring day, re-posted, take two.

The problem with having a blog and not being a journalist, political mind of our time, or movie star is that nothing ever happens to me, so I don't have any adventures to report. Oh my god it's not a problem it's an opportunity.

I am a person who desperately wants things to happen to them. Things like a job. I went on an interview at yet another chiropractic office in Rochester Hills. What is it with me and only getting interviews at chiropractic offices? I'd say offhand I've been to about 8 different offices in the metropolitan area, my third in Rochester. The people of that town need to get their spines mother fucking aligned already and get on with life.

The guy that interviewed me was both a chiropractor and a motivational speaker(?) He asked me what business I had applying as a receptionist with a degree. He said he likes to help his receptionists reach their dreams. To reach their dreams of being his receptionist. The two girls he already had in his office belonged in a toothpaste commercial. Gorgeous smiling 21 year olds in scrubs. The office was one big room, darkly lit, the only light coming through the venetian blinds with operating tables like in frankensteins lab. There were two chairs set up in the middle of the room facing each other. I mean, it looked like a John Carpenter film. He should have turned on a smoke machine. He said he likes to do interviews "unconventionally," as in he comes into the room talking all weird to see how I handle it. I'm guessing not well, because I acted how I felt: confused. Then he went on and on in a way that didn't seem much like an interview to me at all. Generally an interview involves two people talking. I used all the NLP techniques in my arsenal. I mirrored my posture to his, tilted my head in the opposite direction from him, looked him in the eye and said "yeah" "mmhmm" in the same tone. He said the first interview is designed for him to get to know me. He will call back four or five girls for a second interview. "How I choose these girls, I have no idea. And I have no idea who I will choose." RIGHT. You have NO idea. You bring them in for 5 minutes, talk at them, and then choose based on some mystical, intangible impression of their secretarial credentials. On the way out he commented that I was tall. If he likes tall women I just may make it to the next round. I'll be holding my breathe until then.

I went to the fourth district and voted with my mother to save the zoo, even though fuck the zoo. I had a job interview with them, and as you can see by my not so quiet desperation, they didn't hire me either. I was a very uninformed voter. I voted a straight democratic ticket. When there were choices to be made, I voted for the girls. I voted for a democratic girl sheriff named Jane. If Jamal Jackson were on the ballot, I'd have voted for him instead. A Black sheriff!?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hi I love you and I want to talk.

Hi, it's me Molly. I have been without a blog for a long, sad, time. It's hard to say why this is. I wasn't feeling well and I didn't really want to talk about it.

And it's not that I'm feeling better, PER SE. It's just that it's better to have a blog no matter your mamby pamby feelings. I had a blog here before where I talked about books I read and movies I watched, but I deleted all of the posts because that was a long time ago and this is a whole new thing.

We'll be in touch.