Friday, June 26, 2009

Over the Rainbow

I have a weakness for chick flicks/Romantic Comedies. I don't care if they're good or bad, really, I just enjoy watching them. The meet cutes, the chemistry, the awkward situations, the big spinning kiss at the end...they always leave me happy and swoony. They're an instant lift.

Which is why last night, when I was so physically exhausted that I literally could not fall asleep, I came to the conclusion that it was vitally necessary for me to watch You've Got Mail.

Now, I hadn't seen YGM in years...probably not since around the time it came out. There were several things I remembered about it (mostly the ending, with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" tinkling in the background and Meg Ryan, in full on RomCom swoon, saying "I wanted it to be you"), and some things I didn't (Dave Chapelle?!). I've seen Sleepless in Seattle countless times (a movie I don't even like all that much, and yet I can't stop myself from watching it whenever I catch it airing on TNT or TBS or USA or really any other three letter cable station), but for some reason this particular Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks chick-like flick always seems to pass me by.

But then the trailer came out for Julie and Julia, a movie I didn't even know existed, but instantly felt the need to see (the blog-turned-book it's based on is sitting next to my bed as we speak, as yet uncracked, but complete with movie tie-in cover). It's another Nora Ephron movie, sure to give me that lift I spoke of earlier.

And a few weeks ago I saw this on youtube:

Suddenly I wanted to see the movie again, wanted to see if it was as I remembered.

And it was, for the most part. Hate turned to love, random happenstance, not-so-strangers passing each other on the street oblivious to the fact that that man, that man right there, was their true love.

But the thing that struck me more than anything else was just how nineties it felt.

I am, without a doubt, a child of the millennium. I was using e-mail on a regular basis at age seven. My first password was "Peter Pan." I started begging for a computer of my own when I was nine. I discovered the wonderful world of online fandom when I was thirteen and I haven't looked back since. I'm writing about this on my blog for goodness sake.

So this movie, this movie where Greg Kinear's character is obsessed with his typewriter and thinks computers are leading to the end of civilization as we know it. This movie where the two main characters have laptops that can hardly be transported to the bed, let alone to a Starbucks or to class. This movie with dial-up internet and America feels dated. It's a window into a world where online dating wasn't profiles on, before youtube and wikipedia and even google, when we couldn't begin to imagine what we could do with the internet. It's only ten-ish years old, but it's already a snapshot of the Past. With a capital "P."

Which just makes me wonder...what does the next ten years look like? What's the next website we won't be able to live without, or the next fancy way to watch video? How long before it's movies about blogging that seem like they're from the dark ages?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Oh My God, that is a BOSS ZEfron poster!" - Ron Weasley

I've been on something of a Harry Potter kick lately. These aren't unusual for me, every two or so years I get the urge to reread and then it quickly becomes the ONLY THING I THINK ABOUT for about a month and a half.

This time I'm reading the series in reverse order (although I skipped Deathly Hallows--it's the one I most want to read at the moment, but my hardback copy is awkward to hold and the spine is cracked, so I've got to wait until the paperback comes out in a couple weeks). I'm about 100 pages into Goblet of Fire and spending all my time wishing that there was something new for me to read.

The thing is, JK Rowling created one of the richest parallel worlds I've ever seen. It's more than just Harry's story or Harry's years at Hogwarts, the books are just one small window into a fully formed universe that's just out of sight. When I read them I crave more. I want to dive into this world and then swim out past the edges of Harry's story to see what else is there.

There is nothing that I want from JK Rowling more than the opportunity to read Hogwarts, A History. And not some 50 page version like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or Quidditch Through the Ages, but a big block of a book.

I want to know about those tertiary characters, the ones that floated on the fringe of Harry's life, but never came front and center. Occasionally one of them would step forward for a little while, give us their first name, maybe, or a piece of their story, but for the most part they existed, complex and complete, but just out of ear-shot.

I want to know about the Potters! About James's parents, because all we ever learned was that they were good to Sirius, that they were pure-blood. I want to know how Harry was related to Sirius, and to Ron, if all the pure-blood families are connected somehow.

I want to see Neville at Hogwarts during his seventh year, and I want to know Luna before book five. I want to see Ginny away from the trio, because she was always one of my favorite characters, and when she stepped out from behind her shell she just shined. I want Hermione at home with her muggle parents and Dean Thomas keeping secrets from his. I want to know what happened to the Dursleys!

Anyway, all this to say that I really, wildly love Harry Potter.

I also happen to love musicals.

Which is why this post on PopWatch this afternoon caught my eye. Harry Potter: the Musical!, you say? Why that sounds brilliant!

Which is how I ended up spending my entire afternoon watching the complete show.

It was worth it, though. Between the excellent musical numbers, the creative stage magic and Voldemort's tap number (yes, you read that right--apparently Voldy longed for his body just so he could tap out a beat once more), plus hilarious interpretations of Draco, Dumbledore and Snape, the musical is well-worth a watch. Ron as the sitcom-y best friend (always with a snack in hand, not to mention his own intro music) was also a treat.

My favorite thing, though, is, without a shadow of a doubt, the inclusion of a Zac Efron poster. I won't spoil it for you, but I encourage you to watch.

Here's the first part, and the rest of the show can be found on their youtube account:

Now, I'm off to learn how to knit, and to debate, once more, the pros and cons of purchasing my own wand.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Our President the Nerd

I love John Hodgman.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I like it.

Loving the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. And this was the perfect way to get the ball rolling.