Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Tag: movies (page 1 of 3)

Back in the saddle: 5 (or 4.75 because I can’t add) miles and other things

Life has been a little tough for me lately. If you are the praying time, please pray for me.

All this life kicking my ass distracted me from my running routine so today was my attempt to get back on track running wise. According to my training calendar, I was to run 5 miles today. I am currently housesitting Grandma manor and puppysitting Breezy the bitchingest Bichon.

Breezy the bitchin' bichon

Breezy the bitchin’ bichon

That is one cute dog. JoJo, while not friendly with the dog, has reached a point of tactfully ignoring her. I guess I should praise his manners. No blood shall be shed in the eternal dog vs. cat war over here.

The weather yesterday was perfect for running. The route I chose was up and down a straight road. I know from running here before that from my grandma’s house to the church down the road and back is two miles and from my grandma’s house to Sonny’s house is a mile. I inadvertently stopped my Runkeeper app during my run so I have t logged on twice for my one run. I didn’t realize until I got back and was relaxing that the amount of distance of the driveway made a big difference in the calculation of those one and two miles. Also, there were these beagles that were loose that were “helping” me “run.” My intervals were faster due to my new running form and cadence but that also got me tired quicker. I will build.

I have also been reading. I finally got around to reading Gone Girl. I was already partially spoiled by the time I picked it up but it just made me enjoy the ride a little more. The physical descriptions of the main character Nick Dunne show that Ben Affleck was born to play this role.

“I have a face you want to punch: I’m a working-class Irish kid trapped in the body of a total trust-fund douchebag. I smile a lot to make up for my face, but this only sometimes works.”

. . .

“He looks like the rich-boy villain in an ’80s teen movie – the one who bullies the sensitive misfit, the one who will end up with a pie in the puss, the whipped cream wilting his upturned collar as everyone in the cafeteria cheers.”

Seriously. Look at those quotes. I even said out loud in the house by myself, “holy shit that is a perfect descriptionn of Ben Affleck” The story itself is a wild ride with some crazy people that you would never want as friends.

Martin Luther King Day: Why NOT you?

This is my favorite picture of Martin Luther King Jr. I like that it shows him having fun. I think it is helpful to remind myself that my heroes were also mere men and women, just like you and me. They may have been a little smarter or a little braver but ultimately, they are just like you and me. I use it as a reminder that a hero is the person who is willing to stand up for something and take action against what he or she finds intolerable. The hero is a person who is willing forgo some immediate gratification for the greater long range goals. I am reminded that if I want to change something, then I have to get off my butt and do something. Something about the humanity of watching a guy having fun and playing pool begs the question, “why not me?” or “why not you?” when it comes to public service and activism for a cause. Why not you?

WHY NOT YOU?

“It is true that behavior cannot be legislated, and legislation cannot make you love me, but legislation can restrain you from lynching me, and I think that is kind of important.”–MLK, at Oberlin College, 1964.

As you know, I am living in Arkansas. Arkansas is a very interesting and disappointing place in terms of race relations. Some of the most accepting nonjudgmental inclusive people you will ever meet in your entire life live in Arkansas. Some of the most hostile bigots you will ever meet also live in Arkansas. My twitter friend Greg has already wrote an amazing post on the disappointing facebook posts of our fellow Arkansans. There is also another completely embarrassing thread of comments regarding Robert E. Lee’s birthday on the Facebook page of another television network. It just reminded me why I am a card carrying NAACP member.

The first time I went to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis I was shown a thirty minute documentary called “The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306” It documents Martin Luther King Jr.’s last days in Memphis from the view of Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles, one of the ministers responsible for organizing the sanitation workers’ strike and was standing right beside Dr. King when he was shot. I highly recommend you take 30 minutes to watch it.

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 from Marc Altshuler – Human Music on Vimeo.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I am not going to lie. Ever since I saw the trailer for this particular movie, I have been waiting to see this movie.

Yes this trailer.

I devoured the first two books about a month before the final book came out and read the final one pretty much around the time it went on sale. I haven’t read them since. Yes, I have sweet the entire Swedish trilogy released about two years ago. As a result, I didn’t go into this movie completely blind or without some expectations.

I was afraid that Hollywood was going to fetishize the violence towards women in this movie and turn it into torture porn. Considering that Fincher is also responsible for the movie Se7en, this concern isn’t hysterical. The original title of the book in Sweden (it is a Swedish book that was translated to English) is, when translated to English, “Men who Hate Women” and it is very clear that the violence towards female characters in the book is not something to be glorified. This is a hard line to do when the basis of your movie is entertainment. It’s not as stark as it was in the Swedish movies and there are fancy tricks with camera angles but Fincher managed to not over do it.

Okay, this is Rooney Mara’s movie. She managed to get the slightness of Lisbeth Salander as well as the “weirdness.” Lisbeth Salander may or may not have Asperger’s. She managed to capture the “offness” while still conveying emotion at the appropriate times. She managed to be weird when needed and fierce when also needed. The viewer needs to believe that she can be crazy violent when pushed too far and Mara managed it.

The opening credits are a slick music video utilizing animation and Trent Reznor and Karen O’s cover of the Immigrant Song. It’s an over the top visual extravaganza that only a Hollywood film can pull off.

The movie manages to follow the book fairly closely although there is a big change in plot point at the very, very end. Both the Swedish version as well as this version manage to gloss over the fact that women keep throwing themselves at Blomkvist, streamlining the plot point with Blomkvist only being involved with Salander and the editor of the magazine.

I liked it. Go see it.

R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor

George: You’re a monster – You are.
Martha: I’m loud and I’m vulgar, and I wear the pants in the house because somebody’s got to, but I am not a monster. I’m not.
George: You’re a spoiled, self-indulgent, willful, dirty-minded, liquor-ridden…
Martha: SNAP! It went SNAP! I’m not gonna try to get through to you any more. There was a second back there, yeah, there was a second, just a second when I could have gotten through to you, when maybe we could have cut through all this, this CRAP. But it’s past, and I’m not gonna try.

from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
I learned this morning that Elizabeth Taylor died. While at the age of 79, she was old enough to go and with her myriad of health problems, she was definitely sick enough to go. It still took my breath away.

She was stunning and had hypnotic violet eyes. She was incredibly brave. She was brave enough to get married eight times, able to pick herself up after each heartbreak to try again. She had a myriad of health problems and yet kept going out to keep acting and raising money for AIDS research. She managed to amass an amazing amount of wealth and yet spent her time tirelessly raising money for AIDS research instead of fading into the life of a socialite.

She looked like an angel but could drink and curse like a devil. She was thin. She gained weight and she lost it again. She did so many things. She will be missed.


(small thanks to Bellesouth for finding this video first)

No Strings Attached

Yes I admit I paid money to watch this movie in a theater. I could watch Natalie Portman read a phone book but seriously, it was all about movie screen sized naked Ashton Kutcher. Yeah I could have waited for video but MOVIE SCREEN SIZED NAKED ASHTON KUTCHER. Yes. Yesh indeed.

err. okay. Back to the movie.

Natalie Portman plays Emma who is a doctor going through her residency. Ashton Kutcher plays Adam, the son of a famous comedian who is a writer. They meet at summer camp when they are in their teens. Then they meet again at a college party in Michigan. Then they meet again at a farmer’s market and discover they live in the same town.

They have sex. They decide to have sex in a fuck buddy arrangement. Can they stay fuck buddies or will they fall in love? Duh, we all know the answer to this question and the movie doesn’t try to play a “will they or won’t they” scenario. The movie just tells the story of how these two characters became a couple.

This movie reverses the cliche with Emma having the commitment issues.

The assortment of friends and relatives are quite entertaining and charming. The women are portrayed as smart and sex isn’t seen as something completely dirty. For a movie about fuck buddies, there’s hardly any raunch at all. Okay there’s little to no raunch. This movie isn’t in the vein of American Pie. It’s more in the vein of when Harry Met Sally. The entire time I was wondering where I had seen Emma’s sister. You’ve seen her in Juno.

It’s entertaining. IT’s not epic and probably won’t be a classic. It does give you the chance to see Wesley from THe Princess Bride. He plays a doctor at the hospital.

Oh and the commitment issues presented in the movie opened up the Pandora’s box of my own commitment issues. I’m a closed off woman, folks. My heart has been embedded in ice for years. This movie made me cry about it for a second. DAMN YOU NAKED ASHTON!

ahem.. but that’s not so much the movie as me being a crazy person. 3 stars.

Black Swan

No one does crazy better than Darren Aronofsky. I saw the director’s cut of Requiem for a Dream and was in a funk for a week. I also threw up due to the sheer turmoil of it all. It’s pretty gore free. But it is an extremely well made film telling a very ugly tale.

So when I saw the trailer for Black Swan, I knew I had to see it. Of course, it wasn’t coming to my little town. (The lesbian scene would upset the Bible Belters).

Finally on the first day of 2011, I saw it.

The plot is fairly simple: Nina Sayers, an overprotected, innocent, fragile woman obsessed with ballet, is selected to be the Swan Queen in her ballet company’s production of Swan Lake. The Swan Queen is a role where the dancer plays two parts, the White Swan and her evil twin the Black Swan. The dirty old man director thinks she is innocent and controlled enough to be the White Swan but doesn’t have the sexuality and looseness to be the Black Swan. He attempts to remedy this situation by sexually harassing Nina.

Of course, Nina has issues and an uber controlling mother. She may or may not have a grip on reality. She is also the narrator of this tale. This is where the fun begins for Aronofsky and the viewer.

So while watching, the viewer has to wonder, “what is real? is she making this up? What was that?”

This movie uses a lot of mirrors and there the use of color with characters wearing black representing “bad” and characters wearing white representing “good.” The whole thing reminded me of the Jungian concept of the “Shadow self” from my psychology classes in college. In fact, after getting back and googling the thing, I was reminded that the shadow is considered the “seat of creativity.” Also, someone else has already addressed the shadow as presented in Black Swan.

So how much is intended to be merely a visual metaphor for the internal struggle between facets of Nina’s personality and how much is in Nina’s mind in the way of her having hallucinations and how much is reality? That’s the sixty four thousand dollar question folks.

I was fascinated by this film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It isn’t nearly as dark and depressing as Requiem for a Dream. The part of Nina is a “role of a lifetime” for an actress and Natalie Portman pulls it off masterfully. She is phenomenal and the Oscar talk is not hype. I will be stunned and disappointed if she is not nominated. I was pleasantly surprised to see Winona Ryder acting again even if her part consisted solely of having a nervous breakdown. The dirty old man director was good but I’m not sure he was “old” enough. Without the old, you might just think he’s just stupid enough to think harassing the girl would bring the desired result. Mila Kunis can act. She can definitely act better than Ashton Kulcher so there you go.

I am glad I saw this movie and give it a thumbs up.

Holidailies 2010 Badge

True Grit:

I saw True Grit

True Grit was written by Arkansan Charles Portis and takes place in Arkansas in the late 1800s. Mattie Ross is a farm girl from Dardenelle whose father is killed in Fort Smith by a man named Tom Chaney. Well Dardanelle and Fort Smith are real places. Fort Smith was the city at the border of Indian territory. As an Arkansan myself, I pay particular attention to how the media and the arts portrays Arkansas. Usually people get the accent wrong for one thing.

Having read the book before seeing the movie, I can attest that this version does follow the book more closely than the famous John Wayne version. The Coen brothers keep the narrator from the book, the much older Mattie Ross retelling her childhood tale of vengeance against the man who shot her father, and keep much of the snappy dialogue in the original Portis tale. Of course, these two elements are close to the Coen aesthetic of snappy dialogue and an “original” voice being the center of its tales. It is also superbly cast and even though there are some big names in this movie, the actors manage to blend into their characters and their celebrity vanishes.

This was definitely one of the best movies I saw in 2010.

Holidailies 2010 Badge

The 2010 highlights and lowlights

Yeah this is my round up of the best and worst of the year 2010. This is not an objective list. This is entirely my opinion and consists of the things I personally experienced which means there are movies that I have not seen and books that I have not read that probably would affect this list if I had seen or read them. Also, this means that some of these things were created in other years.

Favorite song of 2010

Fuck You by CEE LO GREEN

Come on. You know me. YOU KNOW ME. Left to my own devices, I’m a potty mouth and a half. It’s only respect for my elders and the desire to be professional that keeps me from cursing like a sailor all the damn time. So of course, this catchy doo woppy old school sounding song with the F-bomb in the title was DESTINED to be my favorite song. Add on top of that it’s dedicated to an ex who did the singer wrong and I’m on that song like white on rice.


Favorite book

I found the Swedish “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy all kinds of riveting. I read the first two in the span of three days. For favorite of the year, I am going to have to go with True Grit by Charles Portis. It’s written by an Arkansan and takes place in Arkansas. Besides that, it is written in a voice that is both smart and sassy. Mattie Ross is a 14 year old girl who goes to Fort Smith to avenge the murder of her father. She solicits the aide of the mean, drunk Rooster Cogburn. Hilarity ensues. There’s a certain witty repartee combined with religion that is so quintessentially Arkansas I had to chuckle in recognition.

People who don’t like Arkansas can go to the devil! — Mattie Ross

Indeed.

Favorite cultural trend

Using the internet for good. Earlier this year, there was a rash of suicides by gay teens who were bullied. This, of course, was very bad. Then some people got together and created the “It Gets Better” project. People from all walks of life made videos telling people to hold on and that no matter how shitty things seem right now, it does get better. Many of these videos had the person telling of a time where they felt down and depressed. Some relayed stories of the time they were so down they tried to kill themselves. It was touching.

My favorite though is the snarky calling out of Clint McCance, the Arkansan who wrote that he hoped gay kids kill themselves on his facebook page, by George Takei: “You are a douchebag”

A close second was the seven year old Katie, the girl who with the Star Wars water bottle, and the solidarity of girl geeks everywhere to tell her not to let those pesky boys bully her into putting down her bottle and that Star Wars does indeed rule.

Worst personal moment

This would be my friend Angela going into a coma and dying out of the blue last May. I didn’t even know she was that sick. She had MS but was more or less fine. Then BAM. The aftermath involving the crazy child custody brouhaha and whatnot was completely horrible and still hasn’t ended. Being a lawyer, I got put in the very uncomfortable position of explaining to folks that “no I can’t do anything about it. I’m a witness. The rules of professional responsibility means i can’t do lawyering on this case. I’m a witness.” Lord have mercy.

Of course, watching a trainwreck from a distance and knowing there is nothing you can do is always a lesson.

I still miss my friend. Sometimes I will see something on television or read about some local brouhaha in the newspaper and want to call her to discuss it.

Best Moment

Conan playing that guitar

The Conan O’Brien tour. Oh yes. This came about two weeks after my friend died so it was even more awesome.

Favorite movie

I didn’t see as many movies as I would have liked this year. Partially because most of the movies I want to see never make it to the local theater. I saw some pretty gosh darn good films. I’m going to pick The Social Network.

The Aaron Sorkin/David Fincher chatfest about the creation of Facebook managed to make computer programming and lawsuits interesting. Go figure. True Grit is a close second and I have not seen Black Swan yet.

Best Comeback

BETTY WHITE!

Holidailies 2010 Badge

101 update and woah my life is busssy

You know the minute I publically promise to post on this blog every day and I get a life: a busy life away from the computer. I will confess that I do keep up with twitter and facebook via my BlackBerry but past that, I haven’t been online that much outside of work. I have managed to get more disciplined about surfing on the job so that’s a plus.

1001 days from today is Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My first problem. I can’t think of 101 things to do. So I guess #1 is to figure out 101 things.

  1. To complete a marathon
  2. To complete two half marathons (I’ve signed up for the Little Rock Marathon so barring injury, I am halfway there)
  3. To complete the 100 push up challenge (I haven’t even done the initial fitness test on these. I need to get started)
  4. To complete the 200 sit up challenge
  5. To complete the 200 squat challenge
  6. Try drinking green monsters for a week.
  7. Drink 64 ounces of water a day.
  8. Run 3 times a week (2/143 (there are 143 weeks in 1001 days) Subgoal is for 3 months. If I can do it straight for then I will cross it off the list.
  9. Yoga twice a week X/143 with subgoal of 2 times a week for three months. Hopefully it will be a habit by then.
  10. Get a bike
  11. Try a triathalon
  12. Get my passport renewed (as of today, I have an application)
  13. Go back to Africa
  14. Go to Washington DC
  15. Go to a Little Rock Tweet up
  16. Go to the Little Rock Film Festival
  17. Go to Memphis in May
  18. Go to Voodoo Music festival in New Orleans
  19. Build a Habitat for Humanity house
  20. See the William Faulkner things in Oxford, Mississippi
  21. See the Hemingway things in Piggott, Arkansas
  22. Lose 100 pounds (what? one pound every 10 days)
  23. Read 100 books
  24. Read all Faulkner novels
  25. Get a Smart phone (blackberry or iphone) I got a BlackBerry Storm around Christmas time.
  26. Get Linked In profile up date
  27. Grow linked in Network (working on it)
  28. Go to National Association for Criminal Defense lawyers annual meeting.
  29. Try a jury trial
  30. Win a jury trial
  31. Get certified for conflicts list in Arkansas State court (got papers)
  32. Get certified for CJA list in federal court
  33. Get practice management software/system set up
  34. Get time management system set up (probably something like Randy Pausch’s system)
  35. Clean office (big clean)
  36. After big clean, pick once a week to clean office X/143
  37. See all Harry Potter movies as they come out saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on 7/17/2009)
  38. Get professional site up and running (already bought domain)
  39. Blog on my legal site once a week (starting from completion of set up)
  40. Move to a better living situation.
  41. Get over fear of dentist and get all my dental work done
  42. Get a pair of black Manolo pumps. (I never said they couldn’t be shallow things)
  43. Get a Vespa.
  44. Keep brows groomed with once a month waxing appointments1/34
  45. get a professional massage
  46. get facial
  47. Try sushi (no i’ve never tried it)
  48. See Nine Inch Nails or the Dandy Warhols in Concert. (I figure one or the other will tour in the next three-ish years) Okay guys Nine INch Nails has already done their last concert EVER and I missed it. EPIC FAIL!
  49. Learn ballroom or salsa dancing.
  50. Figure out the perfect margarita recipe.
  51. Finish learning Hungarian Rhapsody #2. (yeah I dream big. I might be closer to this than you think)
  52. Learn Un Sospiro by Liszt
  53. give blood
  54. put $5000 in savings. (hopefully more)
  55. Try acupuncture
  56. Send a letter or other type of non business/ non holiday related snail mail once a month 0/34
  57. Participate in the 365 day photo challenge
  58. Identify 101 things that make me happy
  59. Put my attorney profile on Law Link
  60. Try the 21 day challenge
  61. Clear out 101 items for yardsale, recycling, or trash. (I’m a clutter bug, this is actually a low number)
  62. Advertise my business on MonticelloLive
  63. mail a secret to Post Secret
  64. See my grandmother in person at least once every two months. (seriously it’s been so long since I’ve seen my grandma and she only lives 50 miles away)
  65. Go to my 10 year law school reunion
  66. Go to my 15 year college reunion
  67. Go to my 20 year high school reunion (yes they all fall within the 1001 days)
  68. Organize and attend Arkansas Governor’s School class of 1990 reunion. (apparently no one else is going to organize it so it might as well be me)
  69. Try a pomegranite margarita
  70. Make the roast chicken from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French cooking
  71. Plan a 5K for charity. (I have this for work and am in the process of doing it)
  72. Try a mojito.
  73. Try the homemade Moon pie from Capital Bar and Grill.
  74. Cook a souffle
  75. Try one new recipe a month. (Yes I’m really up on the cooking)
  76. Run in 6 5ks
  77. Have molefest with Tom
  78. Get a budget set up either via Quicken or mint or something else.
  79. See Fellini’s 8 1/2
  80. Eat more ice cream (Thanks LRtweetup)
  81. Finish the rest of the list (July 15, 2009)
  82. Keep monthly blog updates on my progress (bwahahahahahhahahah yeah that has sooo happened)
  83. Finish list

RIP Patrick Swayze

He died yesterday. aww man. *sniff*

I grew up on Patrick Swayze movies. I remember playing Dirty Dancing songs and trying to mimic the movements in my room when I was in the ninth grade. I saw Ghost with my boyfriend at the time my senior year of high school.

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