Things I Love: July 2011

Dear July,

You brought me cabin fever, tendinitis, and smallpox in a blanket more headaches than I care to remember, but you've also been so good to me, I'm almost speechless. Almost, because I still feel like I need to shout to the world, JULY BROUGHT ME SO MANY THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR, I GOT A LITTLE WORDY JUST THINKING ABOUT IT:
  • writing into the dead of night
  • being shat on by a bird and buying my first Lotto ticket to celebrate my luck
  • Buddy, the extremely friendly dog with three legs
  • Billy Elliot at the Orpheum, for Lex Ishimoto (who played Billy the night I went), "WILLIAM ELLIOT... IS QUEER," dance in general, fabulous 1980s costumes, "The Letter," and watching people who are really good at what they do, because it engenders such JOY! Billy Elliot doesn't even make it onto my list of favorite musicals, but if you're near any of the tour stops and have some spending money, GO WATCH IT. THE KIDS ARE PHENOMENAL.
LOOK AT THIS DARLING BOY! (To Lex Ishimoto or whoever reads his online press: I'm sorry; that was probably emasculating.) I didn't even care that he totally didn't look blood-related to the actors who played his mom and dad. HE WAS FANTASTIC.

These images are totally stolen. Click through for sources.
  • playing at a playground
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov for Lo and Humbert Humbert, you bastard, and Nabokov's ECSTATIC prose (to steal the accurate words of a reviewer). I have to say the reread was a lot more enjoyable than the first time I read it, because this time I didn't get so swoon-y over the prose that I kept rereading the same passages over and over trying to absorb it into my flesh and suck the talent out of its bones. (No, this time I just read it and kept my composure as a single tear slid down my face acknowledging the fact that I am not Vladimir Nabokov.)
  • Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe
When I was younger, I actually found this book mildly scary. Also there was a point in my life where I could not say no to any talking animal books.
  • FOOD, namely... eggplant, okra, West Lake soup, pig stomach in white pepper soup (wow that sounds awful, but it's delicious), tripe, taro bao, quinoa pilaf, Alter Eco dark chocolate with quinoa!!!, Dagoba xocolatl (my first spicy chocolate!), my aunt's black sesame soup, split pea soup, bananas, raw carrots, and sweet potato fries
  • Starbucks by the Orpheum for paninis and the ridiculous concentration of attractive male baristas
  • Babies the documentary, because watching babies is always entertaining, and I get all teary-eyed observing language acquisition (confession: my favorite was definitely Bayar from Mongolia because LOOK AT HIS FAAAAACE)
  • Bella Spenser Jessie Alice Connie Shelby
  • Le Soleil for the spring rolls (?) and the phở (MISMATCHED ORTHOGRAPHY FOR THE WIN) because it had exceptionally good broth
  • Kick-Ass, even though it was too violent for my liking and I found it strangely boring, because it was mostly redeemed by Aaron Johnson's BEAUTIFUL eyes and lips
I mean, okay, for a large part of Kick-Ass, the only parts of his face visible were his eyes and lips, but take off that mask and

YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME OKAY I'M NOT THAT ATTRACTED TO YOU BUT COME ON ARE YOUR FACIAL FEATURES EVEN LEGAL IN THIS COUNTRY YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL PLEASE SIR MAY I SWIM INTO YOUR SOULFUL EYES AND REARRANGE THE ARCHITECTURAL LINES OF MY SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOOD SO AS TO BETTER ACCENTUATE THE FLAWLESS SLOPE OF YOUR NOSE AND LAY MY INFANT TO SLEEP UPON YOUR ANGELIC LIPS MAY I
  • the pilot for The Killing because while I found the pacing excruciatingly slow, it's really nice to see a female lead whose gender has no impact on the role (she's not "someone's mother" or "someone's girlfriend" or "the female investigator" - she's a parent, a partner, and an investigator. AND SHE DOESN'T NEED TO LOOK LIKE A SEXED-UP NINETIES SUPERMODEL TO DO IT.)
  • electric-bright flowers
  • Misfits, because despite sometimes toeing the line of cheese, it is HILARIOUS, and I like the dialogue, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett’s ridiculous perfect face, and Antonia Thomas’s incredible face, and Robert Sheehan’s stupid perfect face and hair and eyes and foul beautiful mouth, and for Lauren Socha as Kelly


Ladies and gentlemen... Robert Sheehan as Nathan Young.



I watch Misfits for the articles.

(No, but really, Misfits is a really entertaining, completely irreverent show about beautiful young people and their shenanigans and broken lives et cetera oh and they also have strange supernatural powers, and it is very quotable, and I want to lick Robert Sheehan. (Where? In the car.) (This has been Sam: making references for her own amusement since 1990.) But seriously, watch the pilot and if it hooks you in the first ten minutes like it did me, I think you'll really enjoy the show.)

  • Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula lip balm (it's not greasy like I usually prefer, but I am so close to declaring this my Holy Grail of lip balms)
  • Super 8 with my mama, for being very entertaining, and for Elle Fanning who emotes on cue like a boss, Joel Courtney who played the absolutely adorable lead (and whom the kid who played Albus Severus (OH GOD NAME) reminded me of), and Ryan Lee who played the explosives kid with the braces because AUGH SO ADORABLE
Plus, the amateur ("amateur"?) film they show during the credits is hilarious and so endearing.
  • rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because it is heavy with my childhood, and even though I have my reservations about the book as a whole, it contains my favorite moment in the entire series ("I open at the close" and the scene that follows in the Forbidden Forest)
  • my mother for making French macaroons for fun
  • the Persian poet Hafiz for "When no one is looking and I want to kiss God, I just lift my own hand to my mouth" because it sums up my worldview pretty well [via yes and yes]
  • sparkling dew on succulents
  • Billy Elliot the movie, again, for Billy, young!Jamie Bell, Billy and Michael, and MICHAEL SO MUCH
I feel pretty uncool for liking this movie as much as I do, but I can't not like stories about people doing things they love and are really, really good at.
  • making friendship bracelets like a boss (although it led to my tendinitis...)
  • beet chips from Whole Foods
  • the sound salt makes as it’s dissolving down the drain
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Adam and Rebecca and Huitzi whom I met outside, Adam for being flamboyant and theater-kid-hilarious, and Rebecca for being theater-kid-friendly and open and sharing and equipped with Red Vines, my mother for encouraging me to dress up, drawing my scar on, Hermione and Ron’s totally appropriate kiss, and the way Yates has made the best standalone Harry Potter movies
Another succinct movie summary by the genius Noelle. (And can I add that instead of crying and feeling like it was the end of an era, when DH2 ended, I went home and was consumed by an itching need for fanfiction. Any fanfiction. Especially Draco Malfoy fanfiction. And Marauders fanfiction. And it was this stupid goddamn moment that spurred it because I WANT TO SEE YOUR WEAKNESSES, DRACO MALFOY, SHOW THEM TO ME how many of you just unsubscribed because I sound unhinged and Harry Potter-crazed and unfamiliar with punctuation eh eh are you judging me I see your judgey eyes)

  • really good Thai food from Osha (by the Glen Park BART station)
  • Japanese food from Ninki on Taraval, and that they were playing "I Just Had Sex" while we were eating
  • double fishtail braids
  • A Single Man because it was so beautifully shot, like every still you could possibly take of the movie could be blown up into a billboard for a fashion house, like GEEZ, TOM FORD, PUT SOMETHING UGLY IN THIS MOVIE IT'S NOT FAIR. Colin Firth was just... so very good. That one really, really long shot of just his face... is the best example I can come up with. (That was terribly-worded praise, but I mean it. I'll probably end up working my way through his filmography when I get bored of television again.) And I (haha) appreciated (hahahaha oh dear) the parts that lacked dialogue a lot (this must be my Malick fan showing) because I feel like the lack of speech lets you fill in your own/what you perceive to be the character's emotions and thoughts. Also, OH LORD, YOUNG MEN.
Okay, so here's the thing: I was trying to pick A Single Man screencaps to post, and then I realized I'd selected like 60 of them because everything was so pretty, so I tried to cut it down to the ones I really really liked (I'm down to 20), but I just ended up with a collection of gigantic images of muscular male bodies and Nicholas Hoult's face.

Not that this is a bad thing.

Also this movie is almost unbearably sexy but not in a Hot Young Men way, because the emotional undercurrent ruins that sort of sexy. It's sexy because it's like. Tension. And promise. And waiting for a climax. Like the above screencap should be sexy on principle because it's a physically stunning male body, but I find it more sexy that it's this visceral reminder of what George has lost and how logistically there should be sexual tension and sexual resolution, but there's a giant cockblock (an emotional one in this case) keeping things from... resolving. (I wish there were a different verb to use there, but all the ones I came up with sounded really sexual.)

Also this movie unearthed a Nicholas Hoult appreciation I did not know I had. (And I feel very strange saying this because the only other thing I've seen him in is About A Boy, and he was like 12 at the time. Oh wait, and X-Men: First Class, too, but I'm just not going to count that because I forgot what happened in that movie aside from Michael Fassbender's teeth and James McAvoy's eyebrows.)

BUT I MEAN COME ON. THE WORLD IS CHANGED BECAUSE YOU ARE MADE OF IVORY AND GOLD HHNNNNNNGGGGGHHHH

THE CURVES OF YOUR LIPS REWRITE HISTORY ET CETERA

MY BODY IS LIKE A HARP AND YOUR WORDS AND GESTURES ARE LIKE FINGERS RUNNING UPON THE WIRES

UGH THIS IS THE BEST KIND OF AGONY WHAT ARE CLEAN THOUGHTS

UNBEARABLE TENSION AND I'M NOT JUST SAYING THAT BECAUSE I PREFER MY MEN BUILT LESS LIKE MARLON TEIXEIRA AND MORE LIKE NICHOLAS HOULT OH GOD THAT LOOK ON HIS FACE IS SEXIER THAN DAT ASS I HOPE THAT'S NOT INSULTING

oh yeah wait there are other people and other things happening in this movie. have some more tension

dat dress

I swear I tried one on that was almost identical in this little vintage shop in West Covina, but the bustline was somewhere around my shoulders (but I think I have a low bust).

Also, Kenny's shirt + sweater combo is so strange and fluffy I just want to ... well, wreck him. Devastate him in an I-wanted-to-destroy-something-beautiful way. Minus the knocked-out teeth. DEBAUCH is probably more accurate.

I actively dislike feet and I still think this is gorgeous.

Favorite little bit of this movie, hands-down.
  • The Social Network again, because UNF AARON SORKIN YOUR DIALOGUE IS SO SEXY and the cadence of the characters' speech is so complicated and beautiful (especially the hallway scene! I love overlapping dialogue! People talking over each other! People talking at each other!)
  • reading my writing out loud
  • Dubliners by James Joyce, especially for "Araby" (AUGH THE NARRATOR IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE) and “The Dead,” for Michael Furey and Gretta Conroy and "Gabriel smiled at the three syllables she had given his surname and glanced at her."
  • when I find writing that moves me
  • rereading the beginning of Atonement, solely for Robbie/Cecilia (the emotional buildup to their library sex is. the. greatest. Shame? What is shame?)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger, which was surprisingly entertaining because I tend to avoid comic book movies, for Steve Rogers, Captain America, Peggy Carter, WWII-era costumes, and the unexpected humor and emotional follow-through


IMPORTANT PRAISE: Chris Evans' acting made me so invested in Steve Rogers that I was sad when the action started.

IMPORTANT CRITICISM: He keeps his clothes on for basically the whole movie.

  • my mother, who sustained a giant paper cut while buying me a Justin Bieber folder from Target (I mentioned it to her in passing as a half-joke and she bought it... but I'll probably end up using it. Although maybe not in class.)
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009), because it is visually DELICIOUS, the music is delightfully mischievous (and perfect for the movie), for Rachel McAdams in suspenders (PHWOAR!), and for Robert Downey Jr.'s Holmes and Jude Law's Watson because apparently I have a weakness for almost-romantic buddy-cop partnerships
This screencap is a totally inaccurate representation of the movie, but who's complaining?
  • rereading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (I've officially lost count of how many times I've read each book in the series), because it might be my favorite (I'm debating whether or not I like Sorcerer's Stone or Goblet of Fire better), because I love seeing Harry have an almost-normal life, I really, really liked Lupin when he was teaching, and I love the Marauders so hard
  • BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. I am so proud of my restraint and so excited that this is a mixed bag, so let's start off this smallish beautiful people roundup with
Emma Unrealistically Gorgeous Watson

Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan at a Never Let Me Go premiere looking dapper and ADORABLE-GORGEOUS

I love her dress. And her hair. And her face. But speaking of Andrew Garfield,

EMMA STONE AND ANDREW GARFIELD for The Amazing Spider-Man! I have great hopes for this movie even though it's a comic book movie because I really like watching Andrew Garfield act, and I like Emma Stone's voice and face. And I like Spider-Man more than most other superheroes.

I have always suspected (or at least, since I was eleven or twelve when I first watched The Fellowship of the Ring, I have suspected) that Liv Tyler has the best no-makeup face ever, and this picture totally proves it. Who wouldn't want to wake up to this every morning?

HOLY GRAIL OF JAMES MCAVOY PICTURES, BATMAN, I WISH I COULD REACH INTO MY COMPUTER SCREEN AND TOUCH HIS GORGEOUSLY IMPERFECT FACE.

EVERYBODY IS GORGEOUS THIS MONTH AREN'T THEY JUST WHAT A BROAD VOCABULARY YOU HAVE SAM


It was good for me, July. I hope it was good for you too.

Wantonly yours,
Samantha
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December 24, 2011 at 11:08 AM

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