February 7th, 2007

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Sux sux sux sux sux

For the past two days, I've been practicing LJ abstinence / holding my breath but now I can give it up because what I was waiting for happened: Just got word from SCAD and I did NOT get the job.


The good news? Now I can post up some pent-up thoughts about Great Garbo movies, including my realization this morning that John Gilbert is HOT. Later. Right now I have to pay last month's bills, somehow.
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John Gilbert and Greta Garbo

Although there are likely only a very few folks on my Friends list who have even seen a Greta Garbo movie, let alone a John Gilbert movie, I feel compelled to write a little bit about these two, after watching Flesh in the Devil, their famous first movie together.

I'd seen the film before, at a screening at the Rialto across the street, complete with live orchestra, and been very impressed, and the movie worked for me again this time, with a special twist. This time the movie didn't appeal to me just because of Garbo -- whose mere presence even in the background is normally entirely distracting -- but because of Gilbert.

Many movie idols from the silent era or early 30s, when seen nowadays, seem very dated, with an appeal that just isn't well, very appealing, today. You'll look at the guy and say "Hmmm, what were women thinking?" or "I guess he's alright if you like stodgy!" But Gilbert? He's not only got charisma, he's hot, in that magical, magnetic way that pulls you in after just a few moments. (See larger version of portrait.) This is amply demonstrated in Flesh in the Devil by the fact that in the scenes with Gilbert and Garbo, you actually pay attention to both of them, instead of, as typical, just Garbo. In actual fact, that's exactly what MGM was going for when they put the two stars together in this movie, as Gilbert was a top star with appeal both to men and women, and Garbo was shaping up to be the same way. Together, they're a sort of fire (Gilbert) and ice (Garbo) combo!

Meanwhile, to move on to Garbo, now that I've been watching the movies in the Garbo box set my mother bought me, and with that have now seen 8 or 9 of her movies, I have to say, she really got stuck in a box as far as casting and plots go.

Just about every single one of her movies has the plot of: 1) nice, young guy, usually with a wholesome wife or fiance, meets Garbo, 2) guy is instantly attracted to Garbo, whether she is seducing him or not, 3) guy defies dire warnings and morality to pursue Garbo, committing adultery, killing people along the way, 4) guy or Garbo tries to end affair, 5) guy and/or Garbo and/or others die at the end and nobody is happy.

Another big thing about Garbo is that she wasn't ever (and couldn't really ever be), that "Girl Next Door" or an average person, but always had to be that rich countess staying in the luxury suite at the five-star hotel, or an exotic spy, or a hyper-beautiful, high-class prostitute (Camille). You think of the typical MGM movies from the 30s, with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable, and you'll realize that Garbo couldn't have been in any of them, because she belonged to a whole different genre of film. And that's one of the reasons, besides her own self-determination, that Garbo retired; once WWII arrived, the European audience, to whom she had special appeal, dried up, and afterward there wasn't really a place for her type of character. The world her characters lived in didn't exist anymore. It's not that she wasn't still beautiful or couldn't act, but that there wasn't really a place for her anymore.

Finally, recommended Garbo movies: Flesh and the Devil, Ninotchka, Camille, Queen Christina.

P.S. One more thought on Flesh and the Devil: It's sooooo "slashable." I mean, Gilbert and his buddy would marry each other, if they could. I think they did more on that "Isle of Friendship" than pledge eternal friendship.
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Job Hunt and Career Notes

Well, now that I'm having to reevaluate my career future again, some updates and general thoughts...

  • Have just applied for a job at Emory U. that looks right up my alley. It only took a couple of minutes to apply because I'm already registered in their online job system. Just had to upload a slightly more current resume and voila, I was done. Emory would be a great employer, even though I would have to spend time taking MARTA over there.

  • Have found two or three other jobs, via ComputerJobs.com and AJC.com, that I will probably apply for. Not as excited about these as the Emory job, but hey.

  • Meanwhile there is also the prospect, dangled in front of me the past couple of months, of a possible job at Southface Institute. I have a neighbor who's come to me wanting to know if I could fill in for a woman who's going on maternity leave in March or April, which sounded great, as it was web and marketing work. Then recently the woman told me she would probably be promoting the lady going on leave, leaving that position open. I've emailed her already about the SCAD news, since she's been waiting to hear how that goes.

  • My boss Pam at the market has also dangled before me the option, if I commit to say 6 mo. or something, going up to 30 hr./week, with a comp for health insurance. I view that as more of a desperation move, however.

  • As far as Metro Girl work goes, I'm owed money by a bunch of companies but it's really not that much money -- nothing that would quickly plug the financial hole I'm in. I'm also doing a whole bunch of work this month, but I won't get paid 'til at least next month for it, so bah on that, too. As far as BIG jobs go, if Caleb's company gets the job we presented on today, I'll get a huge fee, but I wouldn't get it for a few months probably (unless I can get a downpayment next month). There's also that big contract I had with the transportation company, which hasn't been going anywhere. They told me in December to hold it because they were calling in a marketing company, but since then there's been nothing. As soon as I get done the few jobs I'm on now, I'll go to them and ask what's going on. They already paid me a 25% deposit, so it would be dumb for them not to move forward!

On a related note, last night the boys were over and Caleb was going off on a thing about how I should never have quit my cushy job at Georgia Tech. I don't really agree with that. True, I've had to deal with a lot of financial insecurity, problems with health insurance, exacerbated depression, etc., BUT I've had experiences I could never have with a job -- especially when it comes to traveling. Also, no matter what's in my future, I won't ever be sad about having been chained to a job all my life. So I don't really regret quitting my job, except for the money part really.

Fake fur not always fake

I personally don't buy anything with real fur on it. But not there's news that some stuff sold as "faux" fur is actually... fur.. and it's dog fur!

Humane Society: 'Faux fur' often dog hair

I wear leather shoes, have two leather belts, a leather wallet and a few other incidental leather items, but overall I find the use of animal products -- at least ones that involve killing the animal -- rather repulsive. Yes, a mink coat feels nice, but it's made up of dozens of tiny animals who died so some human could wear a swank coat. Ew. Ditto for leather couches and jackets and stuff. My alpaca sweater is something I can enjoy without feeling like I'm wearing a dead animal.

But anyway: Dog fur? I will now look at labels closely if it says faux fur, at least if the fur seems too good to be true. The collar on my coat or the cuffs on my gloves are clearly fake, but some fake fur feels awfully close to real.

P.S. But nothing is as silky as Luckie! This morning as she lounged on top of the birdcage (her morning ritual), the sunlight caught her fur as it's sooooo shiny, like a wet seal. She must give it 5000 strokes of her tongue a day.