random thought

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Horoscopes are useful, but not for the reason you think!

Today at work my office mate was sassy to our boss, and later my boss came in and was talking about how much my office mate reminded her of her sister, how her sister would cry all the time and get really defensive, BECAUSE THEY WERE BOTH LEOS.

Then, of course, she talked about me, and how her cousins were also Scorpios, and it was a Scorpio trait to play yourself down and self-sabotage and generally not think very highly of yourself.

I don't think she meant it mean, and lbr that is a very true thing about me, but as I was thinking about it I kind of realized how horoscopes are actually valuable in day to day human interaction.

Horoscopes are a way for us to criticize or evaluate each other honestly without having to actually pass judgment on each other.

Oh, you're a combative, self-righteous, but strong person. That's because you're a Libra. Oh, you're deceitful and vindictive. Gemini.

It's a meaningless diversion. A thing everyone knows isn't actually real or true. It's an excuse to be honest with each other about personality traits and flaws without having to actually admit, I think this way about YOU, not some generic, arbitrary class of people. If I think YOU'RE overemotional and short-fused, it's an insult, but if I casually mention that Leos are overemotional and short-fused, and you're a Leo, well I'm saying the same fucking thing, aren't I.

idk, maybe this is obvious, but I think that's why the whole astrological sign thing actually exists. Or maybe not why it exists, but what its practical purpose actually is. Because I'm a Scorpio, but depending on who I'm talking to (and what Scorpio we're talking about), there certainly are a wide range of often conflicting traits Scorpios apparently possess.

12 Years A Slave

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This movie, you guys. Christ.

Every once in a while a movie comes along that doesn't so much play in front of you but hit you like a freight train, liquify you on impact, and keep running over your mangled corpse until you're a smear of blood and spit on the ground. I can't remember the last movie that hit me like this. They're the kinds of movies my mom used to say you've got to go to bed after viewing. For her it was The Deer Hunter. Schindler's List did it to me.

This movie.

The weird thing about it is I realized, as I was watching it, that I kind of knew everything that happened already. All the reviews I've read were less reviews than travelogues that described each of the five or so "scenes" or anecdotes or whatever that comprise the movie. I mean, what can you critically say about a movie like this? "This happened, then that happened" is, oddly, a provocative form of criticism. Which is praise, of course, that the movie deserves more than the critics. When professional writers are left all but speechless, filling the white space of their columns with little more than summary, you as a director have either given them nothing or everything.

I was crying within three minutes of the opening title. I cried at the end. I can't remember the last movie that made me cry once, let alone twice. I think I cried in Brave because of the mother/daughter relationship. I'm getting more sensitive to that the older I get. Maybe it's ~~~empathy but I think I'm just too much of a coward to deal with my problems so I channel my feelings into media instead. Whatever this isn't about me.

The movie is about despair. That's a sort of reductive view, I know, because it is a condemnation...that word doesn't seem powerful enough. Evisceration? It's a wide-eyed recounting of perhaps the darkest and most shameful moment in American history, a curse, a lamentation, a mournful dirge. It's Malcolm McDowell strapped to a chair with his eyelids pried open. It's a horrible, necessary movie that I honestly though Django Unchained already was, but that movie was both misfocused and gleefully cathartic. There's catharsis here too, but the heaviest and most burdensome type.

Anyway, disclaimer aside, this movie is about despair. And what I realized is that when movies are about such heavy, horrible things, they're also simultaneously about the opposite. Movies about hate are really about love. Movies about revenge are really about forgiveness. The substantive ones, at least. And the best movies about hope are the ones steeped in despair.

So this movie is about despair, a word that gets used like literally every other sentence, but it's also about hope. And how long dormant it can lie, and how even now it seems absent, but how it's never really gone.

I don't know, this movie was really good. It was gut-wrenching and awful and beautiful and terrifying. I really liked it. The whole audience in my theater stayed sitting once the credits started going. I was one of the first to leave and I stayed till like the first wave of credits, like all the above-the-line people who didn't scroll but flashed by, was over.

Anyway, it's such a hard movie to watch that I know I'll need to watch it again to get everything. David Simon wrote something about that. But even so, I caught little things that were really interesting. Just like the way they set the stage. When Northup's in the Epps plantation, there's a fucking pig pen right in the front yard. And it keeps interfering with the action! Like Epps was chasing him around with a knife, and he tried to cut through the pig pen to cut him off, but he tripped and fell. And later, Northup is feeding the pigs before he gets dragged into some straight-up Stanford prison experiment bullshit. And I was thinking about this pig pen, and then I asked a dumb question with some really interesting answers:

Why did they put the pig pen right there?

Well shit, why DIDN'T they? What doesn't the pig pen represent? It could be, very simply, a visual representation of what slavery is in American history. A big pile of shit and piss in the middle of our manicured front lawn. It could mock the privileged, unearned lives antebellum plantation owners experienced, wallowing in the filth of their own contemptuous actions while lazing about like fat, spoiled livestock. It actively soiled the people who wandered through it, marking them with its effects. I don't know, it was a big ugly symbol stuck right in the middle of the movie, and there was a lot of stuff like that. Brad Pitt, Canadian carpenter with his Jesus hair. The violin. Everything in this movie meant more than what it was.

Katie called me in the middle of writing this entry so I'mma shut it down, but Wesley Morris is one of my favorite critics and wrote a really good review of this movie. He wrote a good one of Django Unchained too. I probably need to start reading what he writes about movies that AREN'T exclusively about the black experience. All of my critics are like, at least a little subaltern though. I feel like straight white men have said everything interesting they're going to say. Mark Harris, Emily Nussbaum. My only straight white critic is Alan Sepinwall, but only because he wrote a book about TV. I know Mark Harris has a book that I need to read. Does Emily Nussbaum?

This entry is a mess. I've completely forgotten how to structure arguments.


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I got an e-mail from my boss that if I didn't do the compliance training I'd be fired.

I did the compliance training.

When I was in the middle of it, I realized I'd done it before. It was about ethics/sexual harassment.

I'm pretty sure they just make you do it once every three years or whatever to be sure you're still capable of common sense.

I am so bad with money.

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I don't know why it's taken me this long to realize it.

I'm working seven days a week, and I should be swimming in it, but for some reason I feel like I'm going broke. When I was broke, I'd spend money on superfluous shit because I felt like I could spare it. I never know how much money I have.

I mean, I always manage to pay for everything. Sometimes that's because I have to borrow money from my dad. I'm not in crazy debt or anything, but for some reason I cannot wrap my head around the accounting that drives my life on a month to month basis.

I think about it too hard maybe. I put all of my dumb every day shit on a credit card, so the amount I pay on the 21st of each month is technically what I bought in the previous calendar month. So I'm always a month behind of what I'm buying. On the other hand, I'm not going to get paid for the work I do today for another two weeks. So I'm technically ahead of myself by two weeks too.

Then there's the time I set up my payments. When I was running out of money, I'd keep having to push back the day I set up the payments to be sure I had enough. Now I'm back to setting them up on the 3rd, as soon as my credit card statement comes out. That means I'm a month behind, two weeks ahead, and three weeks ahead because of how early I set up the payment.

Then there's the money Uncle Sam is taking from me that I'll get back eventually. But am I even allowed to count that?

I want to take a two-year associates accounting degree just so I can understand all of this shit. I can't understand the income vs. costs of a single day of my life. Because like, when I buy the bus pass (shit I have to do that), it's $75 but it works for the whole month. So am I just in the red that day and in the black for most other days? Or should I divide that $75 by 30 and distribute it over the whole month?

I don't know. I don't get it.

I bought a pair of TOMS, and even though my current TOMS are 11s I got 10s because they stretched out a lot. They don't fit. I have to return them, but I have to like ship them back. I bought the 11s already because I want to try them on side by side. This feels irresponsible somehow, even though I'll get a full refund when I return the pair I don't want.

Why am I afraid I'm going to flake out about it? I don't usually flake out on that kind of shit. Well, there was that compliance training I was supposed to do for Kaplan and never did. That feels more like an act of rebellion though. I dare them to stop offering me classes.

The next door neighbors have a flood light that shines right in my window. I've been sleeping backwards in bed for two weeks because they haven't turned it off for some reason. I've been dreading walking over there and asking them to turn it off. I headed out to class this morning, and the woman was watering the lawn. I went up to her and asked her to turn it off. Oh no, it's more efficient to leave it on, it doesn't bother anyone else.

For about four hours today, I felt completely out of control of my own life. I got home from work and the light was still on. I was 100% sure they blew me off. I called them cunts under my breath and it felt like the most empowering thing I've done in weeks.

Then they turned the light off.

I panic about things that don't really merit it.

My birthday's in eight days. I think this is the first one I've actually dreaded. My dad e-mailed me today asking if I moved. He did that so he can send me a card. You'd figure if I moved, I'd tell him. I guess he doesn't figure that. That made me sad. I don't know the last time I talked to Katie.

I feel like I'm on the margins of a whirlpool right now.

There was also a boy for a second. There's not a boy anymore.

idk! I feel like I know more clearly than ever that things need to change but I don't know how to make them. I feel so stuck and helpless. Maybe I just like whining. I know paralysis of analysis is a personal flaw. I'd rather miss a deadline than make the wrong choice.

Man, I haven't written in a while. This feels pretty good. Fuck structure, fuck form! JUST GET IT OUT!

I saw Thor 2. And...oh, Ender's Game. I actually really liked Ender's Game. For some reason I thought it wasn't going to be anything like the book, but it was EXACTLY like the book. I mean, they had to summarize some shit that worked better with a slow burn but it's a movie; it's not going to be perfect. I didn't like Thor 2. I didn't stay for the end credits. Like there was a middle-credit scene, and I stayed for that, but not the end credits. It was a scene of Natalie Portman and Chest Hemsworth kissing. I think I don't care.

I'm kind of sad but I think things are going to be okay. It's just going to take some time. I should write more. This is therapeutic. I don't need to write so people read. I think I just need to write for myself. Sorry livejournal for wasting your server space!

Comic Con 2013

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All right everyone, I know it's been forever since I updated and I honestly feel bad about that. I've been toying with/pecking noncommittally at an entry about my new job, but the longer I let it go, the more stuff happens, and the more that stuff informs the stuff that has already happened, so every time there's an "event" it feels like I need to scrap the whole thing and start over AND IT'S JUST GETTING A LITTLE UNWIELDY IS ALL. I do still intend to finish that entry that surely no one will read because it just keeps getting longer and longer but something cool happened that I don't want to let lapse into the void of memory so I'm leapfrogging that work entry for this one.

Which also requires a little bit of work context, oh well.

Anyway, my job took us all to Comic Con. More explanation than that isn't REALLY necessary, except in the "how the fuck do you work somewhere that thinks taking your sorry nerd asses to COMIC CON is a good way to spend company resources?" which, of course, would have been answered by that entry I refuse to finish. But, in the interest of disclosure, let me give you just a LITTLE summary:

I work at MovieClips, which you guys are probably familiar with if you've watched more than one trailer for a movie on YouTube in the past few months. I'm not going to go into everything they do, because to be perfectly honest I'm still not totally sure, but please rest assured that my job has nothing to do with that channel and is in fact far less interesting. I'll get into it someday, I promise.

Anyway, apparently our company has deals with different celebrities and content providers, and we just manage their YouTube channels for them. So rather than hiring someone at their own firm to tag the videos, moderate the comments, etc., they just farm it out to us. And there were enough of those clients at Comic Con, making new content, to justify us coming down there and helping. Plus, the MovieClips channel itself is like purely promotional content so they just wanted us down there to like, do their job for them to an extent? I don't think that's true.

Basically I have no idea why they sent us down there. They fucking hired these coach buses, rented out AN ENTIRE BAR for the ENTIRE DAY, gave us free lunch and a drink, and motherfucking PAID US for the day.

I spent $10 yesterday AND MADE $80.

So yeah, I guess I don't get it but I also don't mind exploiting a corporation's flagrant if muddled generosity.

This is my arbitrary cut point. I only teased with so much because I WROTE SO MUCHCollapse )

1000th entry????

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Hey everyone, Red Letter Media did a review of the new Star Trek movie and they said everything I did better and more!

Watch it!

Happy 1000 time wastes to me!

Star Trek: Into Darkness vs. Iron Man 3

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Wow you guys, there is a WORK UPDATE coming. So much going on, literally no time to examine it/write about it, collective sighs of "thank God she shut up for a while."

That will happen later, though. Today, with what little fragmented energy I have left, I want to talk about SUMMER MOVIES.

So many spoilers, so much nerd rage, buyer beware, enter if you dare, etc.Collapse )

Thinking About Something

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I'm coming to realize that my most successful LiveJournalTM entries are not the ones in which I bitch about my life (right now there is nothing going on so there is nothing to bitch about), but the ones in which I cultivate a mere seedling of thought into an interesting or complete failure of a casual thesis. I have a new one. It's not very interesting, but I may discover something sort of cool along the way.

It's about the Princess Bride, but it starts with How to Train Your Dragon.Collapse )

Basically, tl;dr, movie music is the most important part of movies and I don't know why composers are considered below the line!

I can't

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Oedipus on the mountain

Cate Blanchett at the end of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Every cheap horror movie ever made apparently

Why doesn't the New Yorker post my sappy live journal entries that can't decide on a tense and make awkward comparisons, like newborn puppies to kidney beans?



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Newbery Medal 2013!!Collapse )

GirlsCollapse )

Quickie Movie ReviewsCollapse )

I like these random entries of random shit, and I don't really care if you do or not but I should write them more!