Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I was driving in the car with my 15 year old son. Or to be more accurate, I was being held hostage in the passenger seat wishing I'd asked my doctor for some beta-blockers.
My son was three weeks away from taking his driver's test.
I was three weeks away from marching up the steps to the Governor's mansion to demand he issue an executive order to
pray for rain raise the driving age to 18 21.
We're on a busy highway with cars speeding past. Heading north on Mopac just before Enfield exit, for my fellow Austin road travelers. Right there were the lanes narrow and the congestion gets hairy.
So my 15 year old unlicensed driver was behind the wheel, cars whizzing past, violating every single rule I'm trying to impress on my son as important.
He asks me why it's ok for all the other cars on the road to drive so close to the cars in front of them.
My reply: Experienced drivers often break a lot of safety rules, like tailgating too close and changing lanes without using their blinker. Experienced drivers can get away with it. But you're a new driver and as a new dri---
My son's thoughtful rebuttal: I'm not a new driver, MOM!
My reply: (Screeching in the most undignified manner.) Not a new driver? What? You're 15 years old. You don't even have your license yet!
Son: (Very calm and mature-like. I'm not sure where he has learned this.) But I'm not a new driver.
Me: And what is your definition of a new driver, then?
Son: Someone who has just learned to drive.
(1) Is anyone shocked that car insurance rates for new drivers are so high?
(2) Is it too late to find religion?
(2) Can someone please tell me we will survive this?
Thank you, Worst Mother, for supplying the perfect illustration.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I watched this tonight with my daughter who had already seen it. I kept having to pause the movie to ask her what was going on. Not to mention rewinding again and again in order to hear what the heck was being said. Asian man with French accent, what? French actress imitating an American accent, who?
What I did like about Inception, though, was noticing the layers under the layers that the filmmakers so sneakily snuck into the movie. It's one of the perks of living to be half a century old.
Or did they?
I love it when this happens. Recognizing actors playing opposite each other, knowing they had prior roles that relate somehow. Seems I never forget a face. Who knows, maybe I am one of those super-recognizers I wrote about earlier (oddly enough, I wrote that post almost two years ago to the day).
So here goes. Inception. The layers within the movie about layers of sleep.
- Heathcliff (Tom Hardy) plays alongside a man (DiCaprio's Cobb) who also keeps chasing the woman he loves on the other side.
Bugged me the whole movie. Where have I seen this guy? Why do those lips look so familiar? I had to google his name in order to make the connection.
- The Edith Piaf song, Non Je Ne Regrette Rien. It was bugging me, too. I wanted to figure out why they chose that particular song as the wake-me-up.
And now I'm thinking it was because the song played alongside the woman who plays a woman who certainly does have regrets (Cotillard's Mal) because she can't wake up, afterall.
- Cillian Murphy plays Robert Fisher, which may or may not be a play on Bobby Fisher. How this relates to Inception I have no idea. But again, I recognized Murphy from somewhere but couldn't put my finger on it. Turns out Murphy is a man who once played a man whose alter personality is that of a woman (Peacock). In Inception, Murphy played opposite a man (Hardy) who morphs into a woman (the blonde at the bar).
I confess I didn't pick up on this layer until I looked up Murphy to learn his prior roles. I'm still not sure what movie I recognized him from originally. Cold Mountain maybe. Or the preview for Red Eye? Don't know. That one will remain deep in my subconscious.
As for the man playing a woman theme, I only came up with that one because, you know, I was writing this post.
- And, finally, but no layer of connection that I can come up with, I got to see Lukas Haas so many years after Witness, all growed up.
I spotted him right away. He's an Austinite, originally, or was at some point before he played the Mennonite boy. My husband learned this factoid while working on the house that Haas used to live in. Turns out, thanks to imdb, Haas and DiCaprio are friends.
So while the actual movie, in my mind, was, in a word, meh, the underlying meanings were a real kick to watch.
Either that or it's late and I dreamed it all up.
What about you, reader? Did you see deeper layers of movies within the movie? Maybe some that I missed?
Sunday, April 10, 2011
And they make history again. The Fightin' Lady Ags beat the Fightin' Irish Lasses 76-70. An exciting game, I was on the edge of my sofa the entire time.
The game was played in Indianapolis so it may as well have been a home game for the Indiana based Irish. Even the refs seemed to be favoring Notre Dame, especially early in the second half - five fouls called on the Aggies in the first three minutes, putting three of our women in foul trouble. A couple of the fouls looked suspect but thanks to ESPN's low budget coverage we fans were not given the benefit of instant replay. Despite the questionable calls, the Aggies kept their positive outlook and ultimately won the game.
The crowning event for me, when it came to proving a bias, was this: After the Aggies won the championship game and the stars and streamers were released from the rafters, I started to notice the colors.
I'll let you see for yourself.
Green, gold and blue. Notre Dame colors. On some level it just made the unexpected victory that much sweeter.
Congratulations Aggies, first time Women's NCAA Champions!
Sunday, April 03, 2011
Way to go, Aggies! They beat number one seed Stanford to win a spot in the national championship game. It's the first time Aggies have made it to the NCAA women's basketball finals.
We've been following the Lady Ags all season and have seen some exciting basketball. Sam and I took our girls and two of their friends (all played on their middle school team) to see the Aggies beat the hell outta t.u. Longhorns in their Austin arena. I loved that the girls got to see stadium seats filled up to watch women's sports.
To quote one commenter on an Aggie sports blog, "This isn't women's basketball, this is BASKETBALL!"
And here are a couple fascinating factoids:
Aggies got the chance to play Stanford after beating number one seed, Baylor, who beat the Aggies three times during conference play. And now? Notre Dame just beat number one se
ed UConn after losing to them three times. Fourth time is a charm.
Second factoid: Stanford held the record for the fewest turnovers, Aggies for forcing the most turnovers. Aggies ended up forcing Stanford to turnover 22 times. Poetic justice, the game ended on a Stanford turnover.
And hats off to a superb coach, Gary Blair, for keeping it positive. That's him hugging 6'8" Baylor player, Brittney Griner (only women's college player to ever dunk the ball during a game). For the past five years Blair has drawn a plus sign on the back of his hand to "keep it positive." You can see it on his hand in the photo at right. He understands these are college kids and it's just a game.
So it's on to the National Championship on Tuesday night!
Gig 'Em Fightin' Texas Aggies. Beat the Fightin' Irish!
You can see more pictures, here.