Thursday, January 15, 2009


I've been in a funk all week. I wouldn't consider it feeling sorry for myself, because I try not to do that, but I kinda feel like if I look up I'll catch a glimpse of a tiny storm cloud hovering over my head.

Wow, that really sounds like self pity, doesn't it.

In attempting to clear away the cloud, I've been trying to pinpoint the source of my foul mood. I think part of it can be attributed to not enjoying this time of year. The holidays are over, it's very cold, and currently there is nothing on my calendar to look forward to. Also I miss my dog. Lots. The house seems so empty without him and I continue to expect to see him drowsily shuffling into the kitchen post-nap as he was wont to do.

I'm trying to shift my attentions to Lucy, but she is (so to speak) not playing ball. I took her in the car to get coffee with me the other day, an activity Mel loved, and she cried the whole way. I try to give her goodnight hugs and she growls at me. Sweet as she is and as much as I love her, she's not Mel.

I need to clear my head, and I need to do it quickly. Yesterday I was grouchy with both my mother and Ryan and that was unfair to them. Sorry, guys.

Thanks for putting up with my moody post - it does make me feel marginally better to write about it. I was going to post a taste test of my Christmas stocking gift, "Bacon Mints", but Lucy enjoyed them before I could.

Lucy craves the delicious taste of bacony aluminum

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Austin Zoo

For Christmas Ryan got me a little video camera. I love it.

When Doug and Kristen were still in town we took them to the Austin Zoo. I took the opportunity to bring the camera for a test run. Here is a small sampling of our day.

For those of you who live in Austin and have not yet visited the zoo, I highly recommend it. It's not expensive, nor is it an all day adventure, but they have an impressive collection of big cats you can view at incredibly close range.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Awards season

I used to love watching the Oscars, Golden Globes, what have you. It was exciting to me to see what movies and performances I had loved over the past year get recognized. When we lived in an apartment and then a very small house, poor Ryan would have to suffer through (albeit rarely silently) as I would insist on staying up until the bitter end of the show, just to find out what won best picture - a piece of trivia I would be sure to forget within six months.

There were always a few movies to pop up in November or December that could be labeled 'awards bait'. Miramax may have been the first to embrace this tactic, and it has become increasingly popular among movie studios. You release your movie at the end of the year, at times on December 31 in one or two theaters in Los Angeles, meeting the bare minimum requirement for eligibility. This way it won't have been out long enough to merit backlash and will be fresh on voters' minds. I understand this strategy - bravo, movie studios, you're very smart.

But now they've taken the fun out of the Oscars.

I'm not saying that the films getting nominations aren't good movies. What I am saying is that I miss seeing movies I myself have discovered throughout the year getting recognized. Instead, we roll into December and critics suddenly announce: "These are the movies you're going to LOVE this year because they are Academy worthy!"

Perhaps an example will help. These were the nominees for best picture from 1995:

Apollo 13
Il Postino
Sense and Sensibility

Every one of these movies was released prior to September, save Sense and Sensibility. I remember my glee upon finding out that Babe, which is one of my all time favorites, had garnered recognition.

This year, while Oscar nominees have yet to be announced, these are the Golden Globe nominees for Best Drama:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Revolutionary Road
Slumdog Millionaire

Aside from Slumdog Millionaire, which I think went to wide release early December, the earliest release for the rest of these was December 25. How can I get behind movies I've not yet seen?

It's like not having seen a single NFL game all year and then giving a damn about the outcome of the Super Bowl. You can still throw your party, eat your pigs in a blanket, and criticize the increasingly stupid million dollar commercials, but do you really care who wins?

What is the solution? To start with, Academy voters, don't cave to the pandering. I would love to see The Dark Knight or WALL-E get a best picture nomination because they were genuinely great movies and my two favorites of the year. I would like to see movies like Milk and Slumdog Millionaire (the only two movies I have managed to see in the past month) moved to earlier in the year so that when they are nominated for awards I can say "Yes! Yes, those were good movies!".

And in case anyone is listening, I would also like a category for best credits sequence