Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I Like Your Hair

I was at Old Navy after work today, perusing the t-shirts, when a woman walked up to me and told me she liked my hair. I looked at her and saw a beautiful women also with a shaved head. We ended up being in line next to each other and talked about our awesome hair cuts. She asked if mine was for fashion or something else. I told her it was for friends with cancer. She said she cut hers by choice - she decided one day it would have to be hair or makeup and she chose makeup. And went simple with her hair; she cuts it every ten days and change the part and other designs in it.

It was awesome.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Oscars: Best Pic Nominees

Of the nine films up for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards I have seen seven of them. I wrote reviews for six of those films (I finished the Draft I started for Arrival  months ago today!)

Here are the film in the order I saw them, with a link to my review: 
Hell or High Water - no review for this film, which I saw in October (well before Oscar talk) after reading a good review and having it recommended to me by two people. I didn't care for this film, and that it has gained Oscar attention sort of surprises me. 
Arrival - a good, thoughtful sci-fi film
La La Land - an unabashedly romantic film that I saw twice
Manchester by the Sea - a beautiful, sad film that I saw right at the height of its Oscar talk. It was the front-runner before La La Land was released and took over
Moonlight - a moving film; while I'm glad the film has been recognized, I wish the three actors playing Chiron over the years had been recognized. All are powerful and distinct, and yet clearly the same character. 
Hidden Figures - this year's crowd-pleaser nominee, worthy of the nomination
Lion - heartbreaking story about family and home

I had no desire to see Hacksaw Ridge when the trailers came out (I found it interesting that its first trailer made no mention of Mel Gibson, just referenced the director of Passion of the Christ). A Best Pic nom still didn't sway me. I was on the fence about Fences, and a nomination normally would have pushed me over the fence. But it was never playing in Denton so I just never got around to it. 

My personal favorite is La La Land, but I had a deep reaction to Manchester by the Sea and it was my favorite before I saw La La Land. Manchester is one of those high-pedigree Oscar-type films that in another year might have been the front-runner. The way front-runner status changes throughout an award season is strange and ineffable. I'd essentially be cool if any of the films won - I just like celebrating film for a night! 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Double-Header: Final Oscar Viewings

I finished up my viewing of this year's Oscar-nominated films (in the theaters, at least) with a double-header at the "dollar" theater. Granted, neither of them are up for any major award. But since I have seen 7 of the 9 Best Pic Nominees (and have no desire to see the remaining two) I justified the double-header with them being nominated for Oscars this.

The first was Moana, the Disney-release with Lin-Manual Miranda music and songs. Lots of people liked this film. I thought for sure I would, but I just didn't. I can't even put my finger on why I didn't like it. I kept comparing it to Tangled, which I loved. Whereas I liked Rapunzel and her journey and her spunkiness and tenacity, I found Moana to be annoying. I do think Moana is better than the dreadful Frozen (which I would say I deeply dislike), but both signal a concerted effort by Disney to portray their females at not "just" princesses looking for a prince. That is another discussion entirely, but I will say that I enjoyed that the journey was Moana's and involved a platonic friendship (although I will say that I think Zootopia did this better). A couple times I was amused to the point of actually laughing out loud - when the crab states he ate his grandma; and Maui as shark on top. That visual gag was hilarious. Stray thought: Why was Moana's dad the only one with an accent?

Moana is nominated for Best Animated Film and Best Original Song, "How Far I'll Go", written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (of Hamilton and general awesomeness). I personally liked "You're Welcome" a lot more, and the tune Miranda himself sings as non-diegetic music.

The second film was Passengers, nominated for Best Original Score and Best Production Design. The film is sci-fi lite, the story of two passengers on a spaceship headed for life on another planet. The journey to Homestead II takes 120 years, so the passengers and crew "sleep" in hibernation and are supposed to be woken four months prior to arrival. Technical malfunctions cause a passenger, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) to be woken 90 years too early. He wakes another passenger, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), whom he has become taken with after essentially stalking her. Honestly, if I was completely alone for a year, minus the robot bartender, I'd probably wake someone else up, too.

About halfway through the movie, two people on my row got up and left. I certainly understand why. The film is slightly slow and not terribly interesting. It picks up a bit of steam when a crew member also is woken early, but his time is cut prematurely short. Then it's just your average race-against-time movie. After being only half-engaged in the film, I surprisingly was really into the last ten minutes or so.

I remember reading a headline about the film back when it was released, calling it essentially Titanic but in space. That's a fairly accurate view of the film (however Titantic has much more going on with much more interesting leads). It was really made clear in a couple scenes: Aurora tells Jim that if he dies, she dies ("You jump, I jump"); and when Aurora yells out "Come back!", I thought of Rose yelling comeback to the rescuers after letting Jack go.

Stray thought: Arthur, the robot bartender, reminded me of the bartender in The Shining. Then I couldn't figure out if that thought was put in my head from reading my cousin's review of the film months ago, or was my own. Either way, it's true.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

80 Degrees in February

I know this isn't exactly normal (but maybe it's the new normal....), but today and yesterday have had temps in the 80s. And it's February. Some people don't like this, as they want a winter. I am not one of those people. I don't necessarily mind winter, but I also don't miss it.

So while friend and family in Idaho and Utah were dealing with snow, I was walking around in short sleeves and no coat or jacket. I took a walk outside on my lunch break. I took a walk in my neighborhood after work. It was glorious.

But tomorrow and Saturday will see a "cold" front, dropping down to the 60s and even to the mid-30s overnight. That's awfully tough for us Texans.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Love Denton (obviously)

I just really love Denton. The last two nights I got together with different groups of friends for different reasons. It was great. I loved talking with them. I loved being with them. I loved walking around the Square afterward with the trees lit up.

I've been here just two years and I can't imagine being anywhere else. I can't believe the amazing people I get to call my friends.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Soft Food

I had some dental work done in my mouth on Thursday. I needed a small gum graft to help with a tooth that was sensitive to cold. That required taking some gum from the roof of my mouth and grafting it onto my tooth. I have gum-like dressing covering the two sites.

As such, I can't chew on the left side of my mouth. I also can't brush on that side. I also have to eat soft foods. Even still, four days later. I have introduced myself to cottage cheese. I eat yogurt and cream of wheat. Lots of past and bread. I mean, it's all tasty but also really boring. I just want a pizza or some tacos! Which I was only craving because I couldn't have them. I tried having toast last night and my mouth wasn't quite ready.

I'm hoping by the end of the week I'll be back to semi-solid foods.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Work on a Sunday

I went into work today to finish up some important work that is due at the end of the week. During the actual work week I can get easily distracted, causing important deadline-driven work difficult to get done. So not only am I less distracted on a Sunday, but I also have more motivation to get it done and leave.

However, being in City Hall when it's all dark and empty is kind of creepy. The hallways lights are always on, but the lights in my area are all turned off. I had (silly) thoughts running through my head of some rando hiding in the building, waiting to get me in the bathroom.

Of course nothing happened, and no one was there except a couple other coworkers.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Three Week Hair

When your hair is short you notice its growth. I shaved my head three weeks ago, and normally, when my hair is "normal", I get it cut every six weeks. I never really notice the length increase until a couple days before my scheduled hair cut; that's when I start to notice that it has lots its "shape". But when my hair is super short the growth is very noticeable. I fear I have started the "awkward" stage - it is no longer super short and cute (when it was the most cold), but it grown to the point where I can't yet style it but it also looks unkempt.

I wear hats a lot when I go anywhere that isn't work related. I used to wear a lot of scarves, but that's when it was cold outside.

I look forward to when it's just a bit longer than it is now so it doesn't look like a buzz cut anymore.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I have two large oak trees in my front yard. Their leaves fell of months ago. I bought a rake and some bags the first part of January, but every weekend since then it's either been cold, or windy, or rainy, or I have been busy. But yesterday was none of those things (it was actually incredibly warm) so I finally got out to rake up the leaves.

I started mid-afternoon and had to take a break to eat some lunch and take a nap. 

I ended up filling up all ten of the bags, and still had leaves left over. It was a lot of work, but I feel satisfied with my work and the way my front lawn looks. I don't even remember the last time I raked leaves. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom's birthday. This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom. It's a good reminder that before she was my mom, and even now, she was an individual. Someone entirely separate from being my mom and siblings' mom. Not just a grandma. She was once young and had dreams and plans and goals and ideas that didn't involve me. And that is cool.

My mom probably wouldn't like this, but I think of her as the first feminist I knew (before I even knew what a feminist was). My mom moved to the big city (Salt Lake City) from her small hometown of Moreland, Idaho. She was independent and supported herself. Of course she knew how, she grew up on a potato farm with her six sisters. Those Perkes girls did everything - run the tractor, work the harvest, play softball, have fun in the barn, and everything else.

She's always worked hard and supported herself and her family. She does what she wants, always has. She's strong, but sometimes doesn't know it.

So today we celebrate the birth of Pamela Don.

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