February 7th, 2003


One word to describe me today:


I hope this is not a sign I'm about to crash and that I can at least get a few days out of this high I seem to be on. My brain is going like 1000 miles an hour, I'm getting so much done, having a good time.

Tomorrow I'm working at home knocking off all the UI standards for the web software dev. group I work at and I'm hoping that, like today, the power of mania can bring me through what would otherwise be a rather dull exercise. I think odds are it will.

Forcing myself to go to bed now -- I already stayed up past my "go to bed early" goal my watching "Doctors Diaries." Probably I'll have to read to calm myself down. I just feel so AWAKE when I'm like this!
  • Current Music
    "Papa Don't Preach" -- in my head with few other songs
sideview, obamame_sideview

Friday Five

I don't know where catscradle gets her questions or if she just makes them up, but seeing her do that two weeks in a row and liking the one she did today, I feel compelled to follow along.

1. What did you have for breakfast this morning? If you didn't have breakfast, why not?

Generic Publix or Kroger brand instant oatmeal, cinnamon/raisin/date flavor with extra raisins added. Later on I had an iced soy mocha for a super jolt.

2. What's your favorite cereal?

I can't eat the same sort of cereal for more than a couple weeks without getting sick of it so I rotate between Wheat Chex (the hard dark brown ones), Grape Nuts, and Mueslix. Nowadays I eat it with Silk or rice milk instead of real milk or Lactaid.

3. How often do you eat out? Do you want that to change?

This varies but I'd guestimate somewhere around 5 times a week. Sometimes I'll eat out for lunch 3-4 days in a row, like if I have no food in the fridge to make food for dinner. I eat out for dinner usually a couple times a week. I love eating out, I can find healthy food, there are good restaurants to be had, and I have the cash so, no, I don't want to change.

4. What do you plan on having for dinner tonight? Got a recipe for that?

Not sure but very likely sometimes from one of my Moosewood cookbooks. I will think about that around 4:30. I want to go see The Pianist at 7 so it will probably be a quick recipe.

5. What's your favorite restaurant? Why?

Here in Atlanta, it's hands down Baroanda, an Italian restaurant at the corner of 3rd and Peachtree. I LOVE it and it is PERFECT. Caleb and I both agree it is the top restaurant in Atlanta. Nobody can touch their perfect pasta or pizza or fine-looking waiters (actually VOTED "Best-Looking Wait Staff" in the Creative Loafing awards!), wonderful ambience, service, great cappuchinos and coffee, wonderful soups, good drinks, and hell Baroanda is even CHEAP! I have told the manager that even their plain spaghetti is better than almost any restaurant fanciest pasta. They cook it all so perfectly. I don't care if a restaurant is $50/person, it ain't going to get better than Baroanda, which is like $10/person. Man!

1. Are you a tea drinker?

I drink tea sometimes. Not daily though.

2. Which do you prefer: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Black Tea, or Green Tea?

Green Tea.

3. What is your favorite herbal tea?

PMS Tea.

4. Do you take ice in your cold tea?

Huh? If it's cold, wouldn't it have ice in it?

5. Have you ever had Sweet Tea?

Well, duh, I live in Georgia. Until last summer, I thought it was SICK (like ALL iced tea!) but finally I have developed a strong liking for it. You know what is REALLY good is iced tea with about 1/2 cup of dissolved honey (mixed with some water) -- unbelievably good when it's 110 F and smoggy.
  • Current Mood
    hyper hyper
sideview, obamame_sideview

Either it's hormones, I'm a ditz or... both

Went over to Caleb's today to bring his aloe plant inside. Could not get damned balcony doors closed (locked) again, not even after 25 minutes of trying. I CRIED. I had to secure the doors by other means, then email some people I know in his building. Tonight I am going back to get hands on tutoring in door locking. I am really bad with figuring out locks anyway, but this one really throws me. You have to do some weird thing where you put the doors closed a certain way, pull the handle up, then do the lock while chanting and making some magic signs... Sigh. Like I said, made me cry.
sideview, obamame_sideview

Positively hormonal

Well, there's no more guessing, I know hormones are at work in a bad way for me today. I suspected this yesterday when I was all manic, that it was a sign, then this morning I was crying over a DOOR, then I just caught some of World According to Garp on A&E and it made me cry and now I almost started tearing up for "Knight Rider" -- yup! Add to that the wonderful crampy feeling. Should I really be seeing The Pianist tonight? Sounds like it will definitely make me miserable. Or maybe I'll less sorry for myself. Ugh.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated
sideview, obamame_sideview

The Pianist

Have you ever seen a movie in a theater and witnessed the audience NOT get up when it was "over"? Not move a muscle? Not talk? Not clap? Just sit and watch the credits roll, listen to the music play? Watch a pianist's hands on the keyboard? And then, when the last word come up on the screen and the pianist finishes his tune and the orchestra plays its last chord, the audience in the movie stands up and gives an ovation... and so does the audience in the movie theater?

That's what I experienced tonight.

I think I first heard about The Pianist a month ago, a review in the NY Times. Then Roger Ebert reviewed it. I read another review somewhere else along the line, then a profile of the actor Adrien Brody. It only really took a few words of any of those reviews to make we want to see the film. It was like a calling almost, a feeling that I had to see it. I don't mean that "Oh, it's a 'dramatic,' 'serious,' 'acclaimed' movie by Roman Polanski" calling either -- I mean, I had this feeling this was a movie I just couldn't miss.

Compared to most people I know, even people who (supposedly) "don't go to the movies much," I really don't go to see many movies in the theaters. I think my average must be about four movies a year. I don't even wait to see them on video, I just am sort of indifferent. I love movies, don't get me wrong, it's just that it never seems important enough to me except for sometimes, like in this instance, when I get a calling and I know. A voice says "Wendy, this movie is meant for you."

To say the movie is brilliant is not doing it justice. It sounds paltry to me, flippant, like I'm being chatty and saying "Oh, it's so brilliant, it's divine" when in fact I'm trying to say, would like to say, that the movie is just so perfectly conceived and executed you hardly believe it could have been done by humans. That crew of people, most of them Polish, who worked on this movie under Roman Polanski, harneshed together forces to make a movie that, to me, is almost supernatural in its eloquence.

I'm not going to summarize the plot here, as I think anybody reading this knows they can go to IMDB and get that. What I would like to summarize are some of the reaons this movie is so great. Or maybe just the main reason. I don't know, it's even hard to know what to pick. The acting? Superb -- not only Brodie, who is hauntingly, achingly expressive in his near silence, but the entire cast.. The direction? Flawless -- Polanski put his heart and soul in this. The cinematography? Beautiful. Mood? Costumes? Music? The feeling of it? Supreme.

But I think actually, now that I say all that, the main thing that makes the movie what it is has to be the way it unfolds. It's not "plotted." You don't ever feel manipulated. There's no "set-up" to make you feel sympathy or feel happy. There are no Oscar-winning speeches or big "statements" or heavy-handed symbolism. What you see is a story unfold of what happens to one man over six years. He starts out with a job, family, home, security, and ends with nothing. In between he is starved, hidden, worked, escaped, abused, beaten, starved again and again, hidden again and again, escaped again, beaten again until finally he is nearly mad, nearly dead. He is not made out to be a hero, nor is he some big symbol of all the Jews who died. He's not anything more than just a man who managed not to get killed. It is chance, it is luck. It's not because God wants a Polish pianist to survive. Sure, the German officer does help him out but even in that, there's no heroism. It happens. That is all.

I have seen many, many movies, documentaries and dramatic filsm about the Holocaust, the Jewish ghettos, life in wartorn Europe, people being hidden, beaten, rounded up, tortured. I've read a lot of it too. My freshman year of high school we spent four months studying genocide, not only of the Jews, but of the Armenians, of other ethnic groups. In college I took a psychology class that I think was called "Good and Evil / Cruelty and Kindness" taught by a professor who, like Roman Polanski, was a Jew (Hungarian) hidden from the Nazis. His course focused on what makes certain people kind, helping, rescuers, what makes altruism happen, versus what makes humans turn their back, form mobs, commit cruelty. And in a decade of German classes, believe me, I certainly read a lot about this topic. But still, never seen anything like this. The closest thing I can think of was a movie I saw aired on PBS once that was nothing but unnarrated footage shot by the Allies showing the liberation and investigation of the Konzentrationslagern. That gutted me because like this movie, there wasn't any guile to it at all. It just showed.

Of course, Polanski didn't just show up in Poland and let the cameras roll, nor did the screenplay or acting or sets of war-time Warsaw just happen. It was done deliberately. And because of that, it is masterpiece and I'm saying right now, the Palm D'Or at Cannes is not enough.

I may write more on this later -- heck, I'm sure I will - but for now just let me say Bravo.
  • Current Music
    Chopin -- how could I NOT be listening to Chopin?????