21 November 2009

An Open Letter, Quack Quack

Dear Jeremiah et al: Thank you, first of all, for ensuring that all of Oregon gets to have the incredibly cool experience of watching you guys duke it out with Quizz and Canfield next weekend for a trip to the Rose Bowl. Everyone is super excited. Really. Super psyched.

In light of this totally historic season, you might think that I'm being kind of ungrateful, but I feel like I need to ask,

for the next game can you not win in double overtime? A double overtime that you only ended up in because you scored a TD with like, I don't know, under 20 seconds left in regulation?

I'm not asking for me. I mean, it was definitely a game that was too close to comfort for me. But I'm really asking for Bruce. He's not as young as he used to be. And if YOU saw him sitting in his leather recliner, in front of that giant new television, white knuckling it for the 15 minutes or so that it took to decide the game, you'd understand why it might be more healthy for him if you could just play, from now on, with a commanding lead. Really. The Dorseys would all totally appreciate it.

And really guys, I'm not trying to take anything from you. It's awesome. Go Ducks.


16 November 2009

Down a Hole

Several people have asked me to comment on this.

These are people who know that I am a minor expert on All Things Alice (no, really. it is something that I legitimately know a lot about. That is what happens when you write your undergraduate and Masters theses on the same thing. And then become a bit of a collector.) AND also a pretty big Tim Burton fan. (Although I wouldn't necessarily call myself an expert.) I think that these well-meaning people are thinking that I am excited about this film.

I am not.

Don't get me wrong. I will have to see it as soon as it comes out (March 5, 2010). But I have low, low, low expectations. It's going to be amazing looking. Burton doesn't make anything that isn't. This is why I love his films. But, generally, and boy does it pain me to say this, I would just as soon watch his films with the sound off. Because Tim Burton has NO talent for storytelling (Edward Scissorhands notwithstanding). Seriously. He ruins just about every film he makes by not being able to pace or satisfyingly conclude narratives. I don't necessarily hold this against him. He's much more interested in creating something visual than he is in storytelling.*

But I actually care about All Things Alice. And I do not need to see Burton reconceive Alice as he did Sleepy Hollow (which, again, was beautiful, but certainly made Washington Irving turn in his dark, dank, gothic-y grave).

My fears have NOT been allayed by this trailer, because if I am reading it correctly, it looks like Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter might be narrating the film. This does not bode well. First of all, the Mad Hatter is the most annoying and over-remembered character Lewis Carroll created. (The Doormouse really steals the unbirthday tea party scene, after all.) Also, I, for one, am somewhat tired of the Burton/Depp lovefest. Johnny Depp is not the best actor to play every character that Burton has ever wanted to feature. He wasn't the right choice for Willie Wonka. NOR Sweeney Todd. And certainly not Icabod Crane. (He was, certainly, the right choice for Edward Scissorhands, and was an inspired casting choice as Ed Wood.) I anticipate hating this character.

That said, the visuals will make it watchable, as will performances by Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee, Stephen Fry (! YAY ! As the Cheshire Cat!) and Crispin Freakin' Glover.

*This is actually something that a lot of my favorite directors have in common--an overriding interest in one aspect of filmmaking that leads him (usually him) to under-develop most other aspects. SO, for instance, Kevin Smith is so much more interested in dialogue than almost anything else that his movies tend to look like crap. Strangely, this does not make me like him any less.

13 November 2009

Product Review. Sort of.

If'n you know me at all, you likely know that I am a serious sucker for novelty. If you slap "NEW!" on a package, particularly on a package containing candy or cleaning product, or maybe hair products I am likely to buy it. If you then stick that package right next to the check out at Target (silent T) Boutique, then I definitely will buy it. I recognize that this is exactly what companies want me to do. And I don't care. Buying a product that I've never seen before is a cheap thrill.

SO--when I was at the abovementioned retail outlet, and I saw the word "NEW!" emblazoned across a package of chewing gum, I gladly shelled out $1.19 to try it. After all, it could turn out to be a delicious taste sensation like the Grapefruit Tic Tacs I picked up in September.

This new gum is called Eclipse Breeze, which is a really weird name, when you figure out what it is. It comes in two flavors--Exotic Mint and Exotic Berry. Knowing that artificial berry products are a real crapshoot, I went for the mint. This was truly an impulse buy and I didn't do my research (that is to say, I didn't read the label). So imagine my surprise when I got outside to my car and realized that the gum is "NEW!" because it contains cardamom. At that point I knew that I had dodged a bullet. Because here are words that DO NOT belong together: "gum"/"berry"/"cardamom."

In fact, I wasn't sure how I felt about mint and cardamom either. But the damage to my coin purse had already been done, so I went ahead and chewed a piece.

I don't know how I feel about this product. It's good for the breath (cardamom is a natural breath refresher). In general, I am a big fan of cardamom--it is great in cookies, and in chai, and the Pied Cow* used to have a delicious cardamom honey steamer that was totally worth sitting around with stinky hippies. But cardamom and mint is a somewhat awkward combo and certainly it is not something I would describe as "breezy." (Mikey J. suggested that they call it something like "Eclipse Earth," which does work a little better, but may not sell gum.)

It's a weird product. I don't think I'd buy it again, but I also wouldn't turn it down if someone offered it to me. I don't quite know why I'm even telling you all about it, except that I am sort of hoping to hear how other people have reacted to this product. Have you tried it? What do you think?

*I haven't been to the Cow in years and years. It reminds me too much of the Portland version of Spiderhouse, and that doesn't really recommend it. It also hasn't been the same since they started serving alcohol. I have good memories there though. Once a friend of mine almost burnt it down with the candle from our table. And the first time someone proposed to me, it was there.