Saturday, November 28, 2009

Memories of 15 years ago

I added Hulu to my blog's editable links as a nod to the great service it provides people like me (who's roommates will not split cable costs). Over the course of the better part of this year, it has given me access to the latest in must see TV(Jon Stewart & Colbert Report) and the rest of TV. Since the two greatest pundits are on Thanksgiving break, I had to dig into the archives for something else to occupy the time in between my sleeping breaks and found for myself, the full seasons of REMINGTON STEELE.

It took me back to a time when I was in my early teens and did things like free hand draw the skulls of all the primate ancestors for social science projects. I didn't have cable TV.
Apparently my Social Science teacher was impressed enough with my free hand drawing skills to ask us to make a larger version of the tree on which the skulls were arranged for the 25th year of school exhibition.
My school friend Varalakshmi asked me over and we had the very best time at her house having finished the project within the first hour or so (my free hand sketching skills peaked early apparently), we spent the rest of the day watching cable tv - M.A.S.H (love the oh so droll Hawkeye) and the Around the world in 80 days miniseries starring the same handsome man (said she) who was'Remington Steele'.
Pray tell, said I,what a Remington Steele is (I peaked early on Shakespeare based stage acting also). We also discovered a common passion for the Rat Pack, especially Ol Blue eyes Sinatra; now that I think about it, its extremely fascinating for a 13 year olds from madras of the early 90s to have that particular taste. But that is for another discussion.
I think I can still recall Vara's excited rendition of the premise behind the masterful plot of Remington Steele; the woman PI who for getting business in a man's world invented a Boss called (guess) and in walks this suave guy who answers to that very name. He is never able to solve the cases, Laura does all the work but he BSes (we didn't swear back then so I'm paraphrasing) his way out of the episode finales.

I hate smarmy, uppity creatures. Still do.
I sincerely mistrust anyone who's hair is perfectly brushed at all times.
Also feel violent dislike for anyone who smiles with lips pulled back at just one side.
Remington Steele was all these things and then some.

Nevertheless, it was great fun catching a blast from the past; especially since it ties with my memories of Vara. We've not met since end of school and I heard from unverified sources that she is married and with kid(s) in the states.

Hope you are having fun, Varalakshmi.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Fountain

The movie is intense, creepy and a total trip.

Stories interweave into each other, the central narrative of a Doctor researching tumor removing medicines for his dying writer wife blends mystically into imaginings of her last book which has the same title as the movie, about spanish conquistador's(who's name is the same as the research doctor) in the mayan jungles looking for the tree of life for his Queen (who has the same name as the wife). In between these two parallels are the indescribable scenes of an ageless man tending the drying tree of life encapsulated in a bubble that is hurling in the heavens towards shibalba. The effect was deeply spiritual and personal at the same time.

Rachel Weisz does a neat essay as the obsession of the protagonist and the whole surprise package (other than the fact that I liked it) is Hugh Jackman's portrayal as the grieving husband, his emotions raw and painful.

The haunting imagery hits so close home that it brought goosebumps- first snow, writing witha black fountain pen, stargazing, an unfinished novel and a ring that connects (which goes missing).
The last 20 minutes of the movie were possibly result of a cocktail of drugs taken together and the visions recorded but they just blew my mind. The A-ha moment of the movie is quite literally - memento mori. Birth from Death. Love Forever.

"All these years, all these memories, there was you. You pulled me through time."

Death is something I've never been able to accept or face bravely so this movie was quite an intense journey for me. The beautiful and ethereal background score just heightened the experience. This was a brilliant movie.

We will live forever,

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The place of the silent 'T'

I love The Colbert Report and I think Stephen Colbert rocks.
D and I went to the taping last month and it was everything we expected it to be - funny, smart and entertaining. But I should definitely state my disappointment with Stephen himself.

Don't get me wrong, he was a comedy king that evening like he is always. He rocked a monologue that was an utter tongue twister with literally no practice because that was a last minute rewrite. He has to be a genius to have pulled it off so flawlessly.

Subsequently, he certainly deserves the rock star treatment but it felt sad that people who make sense to you , who you spend so much time following on TV and twitter and who you really like are just so very distant and not as friendly as you'd expect. [Also we were made to stand for nearly 3 hours before the shooting started and I'm still having the swelling on my ankles from the strain]
This is why I hate meeting celebrities.
Living in the big apple, I have run into more than my due of famous and beautiful people and I'm still yet to meet one who is actually nice in person.

I'll be going to the Jon Stewart show taping next month.
I adore the man, so I will just go there, scream my support and come back after enjoying the show. I won't expect him to take time to talk to the audience or connect with every day people.

(Also won't pray hard that the guest should be Daniel Craig and then be disappointed again)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Browsing away

Now that I am back to living on my own with nary a soul to care for my well being or being at all, in this entire side of the world...I am also back to living online. Amidst waiting for my family to log in and enquire what's up with me every 12 hours (and my responding with "nothing" each and every time) I browse around picking up a million things (all useless, I am sure) I find interesting.  
My space geek and a sci-fi nut side (which is practically the whole of me) totally loved and identified with this article... so read it -  
Nothing like a true creepy space story to chill you on a fall halloween weekend! 
I'm a bit of a fan boy but not really a nerd because I am not very knowledgable in gadgets - their use, manufacture, need, alternatives or troubleshooting. This is shameful because I work in the related field and am popularly viewed (very mistakenly) among the masses as a pundit of sorts, probably because I used to wear glasses until recently and have a lot of forehead lines. But even a false gadget nerd like me was interested by this very illuminating article because of how sheerly relevant it was -
Having forked out a gazillion dollars on electronics for my family, I estimate atleast an equivalent sum has been invested back home in just purchasing adapters for using the stuff bought here. Awesome. 
Not all of my current soaking of information has been pleasant. There are always these weeds that are increasingly populating the garden that is the world wide web. Some real life low-lives and definition of douche bags who are "the story" in all news and/or other sites. Idiots who can't keep it in their pants and get famous for that, morons who leave their families and pretend they are 17, 2 young people who are a couple or just "good friends",who split and unsplit alternating every day and may or may not be pregnant. 
I would love it if they went away somewhere and never came back. I refuse to mention their names and increase the hits when some airheaded preteen googles them instead of spending her time learning, playing sports or spending time with her family. So There.  
It would do to get some global perspective if the energies devoted to the above could be redirected. Standards need to be raised all around. People are not stupid. They don't have to be treated like they are. Then it becomes a self fullfilling prophecy.
Its quite appalling that a person with any diction and hold of grammar is considered condescending and superlicious. This I see increasingly in op-ed columns and article comments; for example use of "Herewith" was condemned by almost a whole angry e-mob. Get out the pitchforks, why dont you?  
Another deeply upsetting occurrance is the frequency and the quality of the updates of your loved ones on social networking sites. Someone who keeps uploading pictures of herself by the tanker-ful (accompanied by a bunch of creepy friends who put in comments on all of those 2 trillion photos with just nano seconds between the upload and the posting) thus displaying the nympho side of herself, people who find Farmville/Mafia/<> addictive (OMG! I really tried to get on level with that but simply can't get myself to do this.), a blood relative who takes all quizzes that make you cringe and proudly publishes the results to those (and that person's accompanying set of obsessed fans who immediately comment on the update). 
I am very seriously considering retiring from both the sites I currently am active in for the fear of turning into one of the above from just prolonged use. These people are ones I know/raised from babyhood/adore in real life and their social networking personas are insulting to them in complete contrast to how intelligent and talented they actually are. 
God knows I havent been the best judge or made the correct calls always. Its a lifelong process.  
Far from perfect but learning little everyday,