rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
Okay, I kinda did a lot of complaining in my last post, so today I decided to make today a Thankful Thursday. I'm calling this one the "cold weather edition," even though it isn't exactly cold here. It's a typical Louisiana winter, cold one day and warm the next.

Things Rebecca is thankful for during the wintertime:

  • Tovah loves sleeping in bed with us, and on cold nights, it's really nice having a warm cat curled up next to you. (Although she's very obviously about preferring Sara's bed over mine.)
  • The water in this apartment gets hot and stays hot! In fact, I almost burned myself right after we moved in. The hot water never lasted this long in Smallpartment, which had the oldest plumbing known to man, so I try not to take this one for granted.
In other, more embarrassing news... I can't believe I'm posting this, but here goes. I've set a goal for myself to write a fanfiction for fandoms in every letter of the alphabet. I made this goal recently, after realizing that I'd written for fandoms starting with A, B, C, and D. It's going to take some time, but I'm sure that I can do it, since I've already written fandoms in more letters than not. Writing fewer NCIS stories has helped. Make no mistake, I still love NCIS, but writing for new and different fandoms feels kinda liberating. My other goal, to write more stories about Jewish characters in different fandoms (made here), is still going, too.

For my own future reference:
Fandoms I've written stories in: A, B, C, D, G, H, J, L, M, N, P, R, S, X, and Z.
Letters I have yet to write: E, F, I, K, O, Q, T, U, V, W, and Y.

I've never written a fanfic for Star Trek, but recently I browsed around in that category, and the first fic I happened to see was Data/Tasha Yar. When I told Adam and Sara this, they said: Adam: "Well, they were a canon couple. I mean, sorta." Sara: "Well, it could've been worse. It could've been Warf/Troi!" Adam: "I kinda like Warf and Troi together."

P.S. Quvenzhane Wallis, the young actress from Beasts of the Southern Wild, got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress today!!! She's nine years old and the youngest actress to ever get this nomination and she's from Louisiana! What a time to be alive!
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
Yesterday was Grandma's deathiversary. At services this evening, the lay leader read her name from the bema as part of the yahrzeit list. That was hard. In recent years, the start of a new year always depresses me, and this didn't help. I have to remind myself that there are still good times to be had. NCIS will be back with new episodes next week, and that's just what I need to distract me from all this funk. (Also at services this evening, I sat in the back and crocheted plarn through the whole thing.)

Below the cut is another list for 2012, of young actress movies that I saw that year. (Last year's list is here.) Once again, I kinda dropped the ball on watching one a month.


Young Actress Movies of 2012 )

And finally, my 2012 in a nutshell: Grandma died. Sable died. We moved. I learned how to crochet with plastic bags. I discovered and became scarily obsessed with the musical Les Miserables. We got Tovah. I spent a week at a wonderful Jewish summer camp. I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters, which I'm proud of myself for, even if the experience hasn't been exactly what I'd expected. I served as a lay leader at my temple. Just think, at this time last year, I had never crocheted with or even heard of “plarn,” and the only song I knew from Les Miserables was “I Dreamed a Dream!” CRAZY!

Also, I probably ate more peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches and bananas in 2012 than I did over the rest of my life combined. And I have no idea why I felt that was noteworthy.

Right now I'm trying to think up something to do with Briana soon. I'm almost starting to feel like I'm banging my head against a wall. Literally all she ever wants to do is go to the mall. I don't know how much more I can take of that place! *grinds teeth*
rebecca_in_blue: (dozing off)
I had a pretty busy weekend here. For services on Friday, we had a very special guest rabbi-to-be, who's an amazing singer, and her fiancee, who's an amazing piano player. They did the most beautiful duet of "L'cha Dodi" that almost brought tears to my eyes. Best of all, it was followed by a delicious oneg! Oh, and apparently Rebecca has gained a reputation at temple as the girl who can eat half of the dessert table by herself. It is true, but I thought no one had noticed. Oh, who am I kidding? They probably all noticed back when I ate enough cream puffs for ten people.

On Sunday morning, there was another session of religious school. We had a guest teacher come and teach the kids about Purim. Purim is such a fun holiday, and our guest teacher is great lady, but the lesson... didn't go very well. Oh, well. After that, I had work, and after work, Sara and I went over to JC & Company's to watch the Oscars. I wanted to bring over Little Caesar's, but not everyone has my high tolerance for greasy foods, so Aunt Connie made tacos and a delicious yellow cake with chocolate icing (my favorite!) instead. Sara brought Coke in glass bottles, which we all enjoyed drinking out of.

I kinda dropped the ball on watching Oscar movies this year -- in fact, I think the only one I saw was The Help -- but I still enjoyed the show. The Good: Rico Rodriguez's pre-show sketch, Billy Crystal returning to host, Melissa McCarthy pulling vodka out of her bra, all those thick French accents from the cast and crew of The Artist, and Meryl Streep's win! The Bad: Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz's ridiculous poses (didn't you just want to punch them?) and Angelina Jolie's random leg while presenting. The Child Actress:
The Descendants's 11-year-old Amara Miller. At least one child actress (age 17 or younger) has attended the Oscars every year since 2006! The previous ones were, in order, Lorraine Nicholson, Ivana Baquero, Abigail Breslin, Miley Cyrus (3), Saoirse Ronan, Rubina Ali, and Hailee Steinfeld. What a time to be alive! I wonder how long this will last?


Amara at the Oscars.

On the art calendar, I'm currently looking at Initial G with the Birth of the Virgin, a 14th-century (!) parchment painting by Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci. Can you believe it's almost March already?
rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

Lately I've been putting together a gallery of young actresses in costumes at Halloween events. (There are two major Halloween events in Hollywood, the Dream Halloween Benefit and the Ronald McDonald Halloween Carnival, that a lot of big stars attend.) Tonight I compiled some statistics that I'm posting here for my own reference later, and on the off-chance that anyone who reads this blog might be interested.

My gallery currently consists of 130 photos spanning 13 years (1999-2012) of 98 young actresses in 59 costumes. The cut-off age for this gallery is 20.

The actresses have 88 first names among them: Abigail, Adia, Alexa, Alexandria, Ali, Allisyn, Alyvia, Amanda, Amandla, Amber, Ariana, Ariel, Ashley, Audrey, Ava, Bailee, Bailey, Bella, Brittany, Bryce, Camilla, Camryn, Carly, Christine, Dakota, Danielle, Daphne, Darcy, Daveigh, Debby, Drew, Elle, Elise, Emily, Erin, Fivel, Gracie, Haley, Haylie, Jacqueline, Jadin, Jenna, Jennifer, Joey, Jolie, Kailey, Katherine, Kathryn, Kay, Keana, Kerris, Kiernan, Lauren, Lexi, Lia, Lucy, Mackenzie, Madeline, Madison, Mae, Malyssa, Mary, Meredith, Michelle, Miley, Miranda, Natalie, Nicola, Olivia, Paris, Peyton, Rachael, Rachel, Raini, Raven, Rebecca, Roxy, Ryan, Saige, Sammi, Savannah, Shelbie, Sierra, Taylor, Teala, Temara, Willow, and Zendaya.

The costumes they wear are, in order of popularity:

9 bumblebees: Mackenzie Aladjem, Alexandria DeBerry, Lucy Hale, Roxy King, Camilla Ross, Rebecca Ross, Kiernan Shipka, Fivel Stewart, Lauren Storm
8 pirates: Ashley Gerasimovich, Sammi Hanratty, Taylor Hay, Bryce Hitchcock, Savannah Lathem, Natalie Alyn Lind, Raini Rodriguez, Carly Rose Sonenclar
7 cats: Miranda Cosgrove, Sammi Hanratty, Olivia Lauletta, Ali Lohan, Temara Melek, Kiernan Shipka, Lauren Storm
7 fairies: Daphne Blunt, Savannah Burhoe, Camryn Molnar, Kathryn Newton, Emily Grace Reaves, Brittany Snow, Bella Thorne
7 vampires: Brittany Curran, Alexa Gerasimovich, Katherine McNamara, Amandla Stenerg, Bella Thorne, Michelle Trachtenberg, Keana Texeira
6 witches: Darcy Rose Byrnes, Adia Dinh, Lia Marie Johnson, Laura Dair Owens, Madison Pettis, Carly Rose Sonenclar
4 ballerinas: Haylie Duff, Paris D. Smith, Bella Thorne, and Jolie Vanier.
4 bobby-soxers: Madison Davenport, Beverly Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Raini Rodriguez
4 Mad Hatters: Bryce Hitchock, Natalie Alyn Lind, Malyssa Martinez, Mary Mouser
4 princesses: Bailee Madison, Kay Panabaker, Rachel Sibner, Willow Smith
3 Alice in Wonderlands: Dakota Fanning, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Kathryn Newton
3 cheerleaders: Meredith Deane, Teala Dunn, Jennifer Jolliff
3 genies: Amber Barbell, Rachel Fox, Ariel Winter
3 hippies: Daveigh Chase, Madeline Carroll, Joey King
3 Native Americans: Miley Cyrus, Savannah Jayde, Jacqueline Rae Pyles
3 Minnie Mouses: Ryan Newman, Raini Rodriguez, Kailey Swanson
3 Red Riding Hoods: Katherine McNamara, Savannah Paige Rae, Bella Thorne
2 butterflies: Sierra McCormick, Audrey Whitby
2 dolls: Zendaya Coleman, Peyton Roi List
2 flappers: Shelbie Bruce, Kay Panabaker
2 rabbits: Elise Lathem, Haley Pullos
2 Snow Whites: Amanda Burhoe, Dakota Fanning
2 Spider-Mans: Rachael Kathryn Bell, Lexi DiStafano
2 twins from The Shining: Allisyn Ashley Arm, Audrey Whitby
2 Wonder Women: Emily Evan Rae, Haylie Duff.
And one of each of the following: Bat Girl, Belle, biker, Little Bo-Peep, bride, Catwoman, Cheshire Cat, Cleopatra, crayon, Cruella de Vil, dalmatian, Ginger Spice, goth, Hit-Girl, Hogwarts student, homemaker, leopard, magician, Marilyn Monroe, Mario, marshmallow, Mary Poppins, peacock, pilgrim, Poison Ivy, prom queen, Queen of Hearts, rapper, Robin, scarecrow, Scarlett O'Hara, Strawberry Shortcake, Supergirl, White Queen.


The youngest actresses in the gallery are two 4-year-olds: Elle Fanning as Little Bo-Peep, and Alyvia Alyn Lind as Alice in Wonderland.
The oldest actresses are three 20-year-olds: Haylie Duff as a ballerina and Wonder Woman, Kay Panabaker as a princess, and Lauren Storm as a bumblebee and a cat.

A few of my favorites
. How cute are they?

Madison Davenport, 11, as a bobby-soxer and Mackenzie Aladjem, 9, as a bumblebee.


Kiernan Shipka, 11, as a cat and Daveigh Chase, 13, as a hippie.

 
Sammi Hanratty, 12, as a pirate and Savannah Paige Rae, 9, as Red Riding Hood.

rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)
For absolutely no reason, I've decided to learn what each state has on its state quarter (which is proving to be fairly easy) and to sing "99 Luft Balloons" in German (which is quite difficult). Don't ask me why I decide to do these things!

I'm finally getting around to posting the list I made of the most-played songs on my iPod for 2011. The one I made for 2010 is back here. It's interesting that the only one song that appears on both years' list is "Sugar, We're Going Down," by Fall-Out Boy. I didn't realize I liked it that much. It's also interesting (or kinda scary?) that in 2010, my most-played song only had a playcount of 69. This year... well, I've definitely gone past that.


Most-played songs on Rebecca's iPod (2011): Recently-released )

And...

Most-played songs on Rebecca's iPod (2011): Oldies & classics )

I think the iPod lists have more vivid memories attached to them than any others. And here's one more list for 2011 - child actress movies I saw that year. I sorta dropped the ball on that one, but about halfway through the year, I made the goal to watch one child actress movie a month.

Movie list under here! )

On Sara's art calendar, I'm currently looking at The Titan's Goblet, an 1833 oil painting by Thomas Cole. It's a very cool and dramatic surrealist landscape.
rebecca_in_blue: (trembling hand)
I was off from work today, and I did absolutely nothing with it! It was so frustrating. I just hate the wintertime. What is there to possibly like about a season when it gets dark at 5:30 and your lips are chapped all the time? On top of that, the temperatures dropped earlier this week, so now it's cold too. Maybe not cold compared to most of the country, but definitely too cold for Rebecca. I tried to go for a bike ride today, but it was so cold that I had to turn around and come back after just a few wheezy blocks. (Last week, it was so warm that I was literally swatting at mosquitos while listening to "Sleigh Ride." I prefer that to being cold.) I really miss riding my bike when I can't do it, and I'm starting to feel stir-crazy stuck in this apartment!

Some random thoughts of my week so far:

~ I never realized how many people know my grandma until she got sick. Lately random people have been coming up to me at work and asking, "Rebecca, how's your grandma?" Sometimes, I have absolutely no idea who they are or how they know me! Weird.

~ There is one good thing about this time of year: the peppermint hot chocolate at Starbuck's! It is so delicious. Sassy Jewish Grandfather #1 bought up a cup last week, and I drank almost the whole thing in one go. I also discovered that I can custom-make peppermint hot chocolate at the much closer, cheaper coffee shop, although it isn't quite as good as Starbuck's.

~ Oh, and I still have not even started on my Xmas shopping this year! *shoots self*

~ And for no real reason:



Elle Fanning singing in The Nutcracker. Doesn't she have a surprisingly good singing voice here? It makes me wonder if she was autotuned.

I think I'll go eat some chicken soup now. Maybe that will improve my mood.
rebecca_in_blue: (pursed lips)

I've been looking back through my old entries, getting ready to post my first sentences for 2010, and I realized that the last entry I made in 2009 was this one listing some of my favorite before-bed poems. (Why? Apparently, "posted for no reason.")

To end 2010 on a similar (and positive!) note, I've decided to embed a few YouTube videos that make me feel better when I'm depressed about something. Not to sound ominous, but I have a feeling I may need these in 2011. Some of them are cheesy, so don't judge me!

"Lift Up Your Hearts," by Winston Churchill:


From the same people who brought you "The Bed Intruder Song," this is an autotune of a speech Winston Churchill gave to the allied forces in 1941. It was a very dark time (the Nazis had conquered France and were bombing Britain) but Churchill delivered a very stirring message of hope.

"Old Man River," by the New Directions Choir:

The New Directions Choir is an a cappella group comprised of formerly homeless veterans. The above clip is their audition for the show America's Got Talent. Their singing isn't perfect (but of course the judges didn't say that, because who would say that to a group of fomerly homeless veterans?) but I find their story very inspiring. I'm also grateful they didn't perform "Amazing Grace," because I think that song's very overdone by groups like this.

"Stand in the Rain," by Supachick (set to Drew Barrymore in Firestarter):

I made this video on my YouTube Channel earlier this year. The song is my fight song, and I love the way the whole thing fits together. I definitely think it's one of my better videos.

P.S. My crazy sister just left the apartment at 11:30 at night on New Year's Eve to get something to eat.

rebecca_in_blue: (dropped jaw)

Our keyboard had gotten so grime-encrusted over the years -- there were sunflower seed shells under the keys -- that when I bought a new mouse today (our old one had been sticking), I was tempted to buy a new keyboard, too. But they don't come cheap, so I bought a keyboard-cleaning pad instead. And I'm glad I did, because cleaning off the keyboard was surprisingly fun! You press the pad onto the keys, and when you pull it away, all the dust and gunk comes off with it. (The pad is supposed to be reusable, but our keyboard was so dusty and gunky that we might've used it all up.) It made the tops of the keys so clean that Sara and I wanted to clean the sides too, so we popped off all the keys, wiped them down, and popped them back on. Sara was geekily excited when she realized you could pop off the keys. I'm not the only nerd in this apartment, just the nerdier one. Maybe we'll clean the microwave next. Never mind.

There's nothing I love more than random encounters with adorable animals. Adam has been telling me about this little black kitten that's been hanging around the house, but I didn't see her (I think it's a her) until I was out bike riding today. She ran right up to me like she'd been expecting me, and let me her and purred and purred. She's solid black and very tiny, so I named her Petite Noirette. She's also totally domesticated -- not all feral like Mary Andromeda's kittens -- which makes me wonder where she came from. I told Adam he should bring her in the house, because she's so tiny and outside she'll probably get killed by something (also saw a family of raccoons while I was out bike riding) or, more likely and possibly worse, run over by Mom. I was tempted to bring her home with me, but our big fierce dog eats little kittens for breakfast!

Young actress video clips to get excited about!
1) A special clip of Jodelle Ferland in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Don't get me wrong, I am not a Twilight fan, but Jodelle is a great young actress who's long been overlooked, and this is a high-profile and possibly star-making role for her.
2) The trailer for Somewhere. Okay, so this film looks very meh (or maybe that's just the fault of the ultra-boring trailer: about two lines of dialogue, no hint of a plot, and trying to scream, "Look, this film's so indie!" in our faces) but who doesn't love Elle Fanning?
3) The trailer for Ramona and Beezus. The Ramona books have been around for so long, and I'm so excited they're finally getting made into a movie! It's true that Selena Gomez looks nothing like how Beezus was described in the books, but I think Joey King makes a very good Ramona. She even looks vaguely like the old cover illustrations of Ramona that I remember from childhood. I told Sara I was looking forward to this, and she made fun of me.

rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
A Mardi Gras parade rolled right by where I work on Friday, but there wasn't a big crowd out for it, which gives you an idea of how cold the weather has been here. (When people in Louisiana don't show up for a Mardi Gras parade, that's cold.) And when I walked Sable after I got off work, steam rose up from his pee! I spent that evening at Grandma's, where she was having an open house for various relatives and serving shrimp gumbo, chicken and rice, potato salad, green beans, and brownies and Boston creme pie for dessert. We all ate and talked and watched the Opening Ceremony and Parade of Nations for the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Am I the only one who thought the Olympics opening ceremony was a tad unimpressive? I could look past the inclusion of the fantastically cheesy song "Ordinary Miracle" (which was written for Dakota Fanning's Charlotte's Web and is now being used in CVS commercials) because it was somewhat inspirational and fitting. But "Hallelujah"? It's a great song, but it's angsty and depressing and already way too overused. I know it was written by Leonard Cohen, but there has to be some other Canadian-written song -- any other Canadian-written song -- that would have been more appropriate.

Yesterday I went over to Mom's house, ate pizza, and watched Zombieland with Adam. That role was such an unusual choice for Abigail: She spends most of her time shooting zombies! And does almost no crying at all! I didn't find the movie as funny as people have said, but I enjoyed it, and of course Abigail was very good in it.

rebecca_in_blue: (dishevelled hair)

The only good thing about cold weather (and I do mean the only good thing) is that Sable doesn't usually want to go on long walks when it's cold. But now that it's a little warmer, he wants longer walks, and since I usually take him out right before I go to work, I either get to work late or have to yank on him a lot. Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up a little early and take him out longer.

The Critics Choice Awards happen tomorrow!! I plan to make some kettle korn and watch the entire ceremony, even though the only category I'm really interested in is Best Young Actor/Actress. Two young actresses are nominated (Saoirse Ronan and Bailee Madison), and Bailee is going to attend for sure and Saoirse probably will too. I finally saw her in The Lovely Bones, which I stole borrowed from work last weekend and watched with Sara. It was very disappointing (all the more so because I had been looking forward to it for so long!) but I don't blame Saoirse. In Roger Ebert's hilariously scathing review, he calls her "a very good young actress who cannot be faulted here."

rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

I've been meaning to buy a computer desk from work for months, but I kept putting it off. I'm a pro at putting things off for no real reason. But last night I worked a close and finally bought one. The sweet thing is, it originally cost $50 but I got it for $18! It was on sale for $45, and I had a 10% employee discount, a $10 coupon, and a $14 gift card.

Today I was off, so I did my laundry and put the desk together. I did almost all of it by myself, I just had to call my uncle to help me with the last step. Our computer had been sitting on a flimsy card table that we bought from Wal-Mart back in... geez, I guess it must have been back in 2005, when we got the computer. It was not made to hold a computer and didn't do it well. This desk is so much nicer. I'm sitting at it right now and I fucking love it, and it's amazing the effect it has on the whole room.

I was looking up info on child actresses earlier today and discovered this photo:



It's Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton in 1994. They both worked as child models before they became famous and apparently did a photoshoot together. It's kinda weird to see them so young and innocent.

rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

I finally made it to Goodwill today and bought myself two pairs of jeans. I had gotten down to only one good pair of jean pants, and I pretty much don't go out in anything but. The only problem is that they're terribly stiff, so I've been doing squats and stuff in them to break them in.

While at Goodwill, I also found two movies with child actresses: Miracle on 34th Street (1947), with Natalie Wood, and Miracle on 34th Street (1994), with Mara Wilson. The original is probably my all-time favorite Christmas movie. The remake I haven't seen in a long time, but from what I remember, it wasn't nearly as good. (But isn't that always the case with remakes?) It seemed to be more of dubbed-down kiddie movie, while the original was more of an adult drama. I plan to watch each on the actresses' upcoming birthdays: Natalie Wood would be 71 on July 20, and Mara Wilson will be 22 on July 24.

In similar news, OMG I've got to see this movie! Maybe it'll come to
MovieBox.

Elle Fanning in Phoebe in Wonderland )


I seem to have lost my sunglasses. I hate to buy a new pair (because I'm sure that as soon as I buy a new one, I'll find the pair I lost) but I'll just have to break down and do it, because bike-riding without sunglasses is brutal. I'm trying to wear white shirts only now when I go bike-riding. I had to ride to work early yesterday morning, and Tuesday is trash day in our part of town. Do you know what a bike ride on trash day smells like? Seriously? The Paris metro.
rebecca_in_blue: (subtle sigh)

I had a dream last night that Sara and I were living in a stuffy attic where the walls were black with mold. Loud, obnoxious people were living in the house below the attic, and the only good thing about it was that the kitchen had a make-your-own-sundae bar. I was very relieved when I woke up and saw our nice clean white walls. And I had a craving for a sundae.

Last week I finally got my keyboard down from the shelf where it's been sitting gathering dust all year. I still suck at playing it, but I enjoy it, to the point that I don't know why I didn't dust that thing off sooner. I hope that I can get back into the habit of playing regularly. I have a book of sheet music for a really random variety of songs, and right now I can plink out quite a few, as long as I have the music in front of me. The only one I can play without the music is "Oh! Susannah."

I'm OFF for the 4th of July next Saturday! I don't have any plans yet, but I hope to tag along with CJ & Company, if they're doing anything. I'm thinking about making a dessert. I found a recipe for for a parfait of red Jell-O, whipped cream, and blueberries, which sounds too simple for even me to screw up. It'll either be that, or brownies with icing and red-white-and-blue sprinkles, or trying to recreate that sundae bar from my dream, or nothing at all if I get lazy. We'll see.

This lovely young lady is Peggy Ann Garner, a leading child actress of the 1940's. In 1945, at age 14, she received an Honorary Oscar for her most memorable role, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Sadly, her adult acting career was something of a flop, and she died of cancer in 1984, at age 53. So far all I've seen her in is Jane Eyre (link to a video I posted in my series of child actresses as young Jane Eyre), and I liked her so much that I'm currently on a quest to find another one of her movies. It will probably end unsuccessfully, but I'm still looking. There's something about her face that keeps drawing me back. She reminds me of a latter-day Saoirse Ronan. I just hope that Saoirse's story has a happier ending than Peggy's did.

Grandma has told me that I can make my own air-conditioner out of a box fan and a bowl of ice. Old-school.

rebecca_in_blue: (patient)

I took a nap yesterday after the meeting, and damn, for some reason, taking naps in the middle of the day gives me the freakiest-ass dreams.

The closest cemetery to our apartment is very small and very old. The graves there date back to the 1860's, and I doubt if there are any more recent than the 1920's. But unlike other old cemeteries in the city, this one hasn't been well-preserved. It's never mowed, so the grass is wild and very high in places. Lots of the graves are cracked or broken. It's on a corner in a residential neighborhood, but no one ever visits it, and driving past it, you probably wouldn't notice it's a cemtery at all, because the chain-link fence surrounding it is so overgrown that it's almost impossible to see through.

The only part of the fence that isn't overgrown is the gate. But Friday evening, I was riding past on my bike and saw that the gate too had become hidden under the ivy and weeds. It made me think of that TV show Life After People (which I've never seen but have heard good things about from Sally), about how the earth, if left to its own devices, will take back everything and eventually erase all signs of human life. It's like that was happening to this cemetery. It made me so mad, for some reason. I mean, there are about a hundred people buried in that cemetery, so some must still have descendants in the area. Why doesn't anybody ever come to visit it? Why doesn't anybody care? I went inside and started ripping up the weeds and tearing down the ivy until the gateway was clear again. I got a splinter in my hand that stung like a bitch. Then I came home and watched Ponette. I was in the mood for it.

When Sara wants me to shut up, she asks me a question about a child actress, because she knows I'll get quiet and think. Once she asked me who I thought was the best child actress of the 1990's. If you define best by how many people heard of you and how much money you made, the decade probably goes to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. But if you define best in terms of pure, raw talent, the decade goes to Victoire. Those who would give it to anybody else (say, Anna Paquin, who was a good actress of the decade) are those who haven't seen Ponette. I think what makes that film so powerful it's that it's so real. It's not scripted, the way virtually all other movies are. I think we've gotten so used to that that we don't even notice it anymore. But when have you ever heard anybody talk in real life the way people do in movies? And it's so personal. That's the other important thing about it. The way Ponette perceives the world is, on a deeper level, the way we all perceive the world, or used to. I don't think Victoire and Doillon can ever be praised highly enough for it.

 
rebecca_in_blue: (dropped jaw)

The new girl at work, the one I complained about in my last entry, is gone for good. I practically jumped for joy when my manager told me she was leaving. Words can't say how creepy she was or how uncomfortable she made me. She followed me around, told me all her personal business and asked me about mine (I never answered), and told other employees that we were best friends. The hell? I barely even knew her for a month. I am so glad she's gone.

I had an awesome day yesterday. There was a neighborhood-wide garage sale, and Sable and I walked around the blocks and looked at some of them. Then I rode my bike over to Grandma's house, brought her back the salsa I stole when she was in Alabama last week, and visited with a lot of relatives. Then Aunt Carla treated me and Athena to a movie (Star Trek) and pizza. I don't usually like popcorn movies, and I've never watched the original Star Trek (only TNG), but I enjoyed it. Spock was awesome! His rhythmic speech patterns and lack of emotions reminded me of Data.

Later that evening Athena came over to our apartment and we all watched Return to Oz, which she hadn't seen since she was a little kid. That's one movie I will never get tired of watching. Every time I see it, I'm amazed at how good it is and how good Fairuza Balk is in it. Especially the scenes in Kansas, before Dorothy goes back to Oz -- everything is so well-shot, and the scenes in the hospital are so suspenseful, and the way Fairuza moves her hands -- it's like poetry.


Today I had planned to go to the library and look up some obituaries for Find-a-Grave, but it's raining awfully hard right now and our street has turned into a dangerous river. I feel like Piglet when he was stranded in his treehouse during the flood. "Help, P-P-P-P-Piglet, me!"

rebecca_in_blue: (happy smile)

I've kept lists of all the new books I've read for every year since 2003, and in 2008, I kept a list of all the new movies I saw as well. I had two movie-watching goals: to see as many classic old films as I could, and as many movies with notable young actress performances as I could. I did very well on the first goal (mostly thanks to the mediatheque in Villers-Cotterets) but not so well on the second.

The first list: Prepare to be impressed!



All Movies of 2008 )

And for my own reference, I also wrote short reviews for some of the movies I saw with child actresses. Note: I will probably send this list to the owners of a child actress website I work with, and it might not be of interest to most people who reads this blog.

Akeelah and the Bee )

Atonement )


Divorce His, Divorce Hers )

Firestarter )

Lawn Dogs )

Leon )

A Little Princess )

Little Women )

The Nativity Story )

Nim's Island )

The original list (what I wanted to see and why I wanted to see it) is here.
rebecca_in_blue: (happy)

Sara said to me before she left for work today, "You should post an entry in your LiveJournal all about how I'm the greatest sister ever." The reason? My birthday presents from Sara (finally) arrived in the mail today! Here's what she got me:

1) Shirley Temple's autobiograpy, Child Star.
2) Shirley's 1935 movie Curly Top.
3) Shirley's 1936 movie Dimples.

I didn't even ask for those last two, because I prefer to collect a specific edition of Shirley's films (namely, the colorized clamshell VHS edition released in the '90s), and I didn't expect anybody to get me the right kind. But she did!

This is what my collection looks like now!


rebecca_in_blue: (bemused shrug)

On Thursday afternoon I had a really horrible class. So horrible that when the bell finally rang and the students filed out the door, I said, "Get out, get out! I never want to see your faces again!" (Of course they couldn't understand me. I wouldn't have said it if they could have). On Thursday night, Heather cooked a traditional Korean dinner for all of us, which was very nice.

Sometime in the a.m. of yesterday morning, I woke up with a terrible cramp in my right leg (the kind of cramp that goes by a ridiculous name that I refuse to use because it has nothing to do with horses or men named Charlie). My leg is still sore.

Yesterday afternoon I took the train to Crépy-en-Valois to visit the cemetary, which was really nice. It was built into the side of a hill, so it had multiple levels; I started at the bottom of the hill, where the most recent graves were, and worked my way up to the oldest graves at the top, so it was like I was walking back in time. I managed to take a few pictures for findagrave.com before the weather got so bad that I had to leave. At one point the wind blew my umbrella handle against my face so hard that my lip started bleeding. I really am so sick of the weather here. I'm from Louisiana, so I don't mind rain, but I do mind cold rain. And I can't wait for good weather to go to a cemetary (or anywhere else), because if I waited for good weather, I would probably never set foot outside the school.

Anyway, I stayed up until about two a.m. this morning watching Paper Moon. It wasn't on my list of notable films with child actress performances to see in 2008, but it should have been. I absolutely loved it. Sometimes a talented child actress is the only thing worth watching in a terrible movie (Anna Paquin in The Piano is a good example), but this was not the case here. The movie and the whole cast were excellent, and Tatum O'Neal really deserved the Oscar she received for her performance, even though she won for Best Supporting Actress when she was the lead actress in the movie.

I had to type this post in a hurry, because I'm about to go downstairs and watch The Sound of Music with the other assistants. A link to my YouTube channel is below for those of you who requested it:
http://www.youtube.com/user/lastsafeplace

rebecca_in_blue: (Alicia & Sandy)
A post of odds and ends...

Last night I had a dream about The Merchant of Venice (it involved Shylock and Jessica, their relationship has always fascinated me). I did some reading up on it today and found out there's a theater in Paris that's performing it this Friday. I don't know if I'll be able to get tickets, but since I don't have any classes Friday afternoon, I'm going to try to go see it. I absolutely love The Merchant of Venice; I think it is Shakespeare's best work and also (unfortunately) one of his most under-appreciated.

I have recently learned how to cook a steak haché, and I'm hella proud of myself for it.

I never did post what I thought of Atonement, so I'll do so now (no spoilers) ... As much as I love child actresses, sometimes they just don't live up to the hype. Abigail Breslin is a good example. Yes, she was excellent in Little Miss Sunshine, but was she Oscar-level excellent? No. (Sorry, Abigail.) But this was not the case with 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan, whose role got her nominated for Best Supporting Actress (the same category Abigail was nominated in, as well as child actresses Anna Paquin, Tatum O'Neal, and Mary Badham). Keira Knightley and James McAvoy might be all over the posters, but I think Saoirse's character was the deepest and the most important. She exuded innocence, as well as a confidence and self-assurance that reminded me of Rachel Hurd-Wood in Peter Pan. She also come off as the most refreshing and unassuming actor in a film that sometimes got too full of itself. The five-minute steadycam shot of Dunkirk Beach seemed to exist more to get the audience to say, "Wow, what a great shot!" than for any other reason. And one more thing that got on my nerves was that the characters often spoke really, really fast. The first prize goes to Keira Knightley for her line Yourealizethat'sprobablythemostvaluablethingweown! A close second is the exchange between Saoirse and Juno Temple: Isupposeyou'regoingtobeArabella - Wellnotnecessarily - InthatcasedoyoumindifIplayher?

Here's the real reason not to vote for McCain. You think Laura Bush is bad? Well, she is, but Sarah and I have recently decided that John McCain's wife Cindy McCain (he's 71, she's 53) happens to look just like the devil. I will now pimp some icons.


All made by me.

One day at lunch I was sitting next to one of the teachers (he taught science, I think) and he asked me where he was from. I ended up telling him a little bit about the French history of Louisiana, and his reaction was great when I told him that my grandmother's first language is Cajun French. "You mean, she's never studied French? And she's never been to France? But she speaks French?"

The other day I poured Sarah a drink in the cafeteria, and when she said "Thank you," I replied with the Chinese word for "You're welcome." She taught me this word a few months ago, and I guess she thought I had forgotten it, because she was so surprised that she exclaimed "Wow!" and almost dropped her fork. The look on her face was absolutely priceless.

And for no reason...
I like pickled onion, I like piccalilli
Picked cabbage is all right
With a bit of cold meat on a Sunday night
I can go tomato, but what I do prefer
Is a little bit of cucum, I come, you come
A little bit of cucumber

I will never get tired of that song.
rebecca_in_blue: (Default)
Well, Rebecca is spending Mardi Gras in France this year, and she celebrated it by doing... nothing. I did a lesson on it with my students about it, but for some reason, the students I had today (who are usually very good) were rather apathetic and uninterested – probably because this is the last week before the February vacation. I'm hoping to travel somewhere during that time, but I don't know if I actually will. I realized just now this is the first time I've ever had to go to school/work on Mardi Gras. But I did enjoy the day. I spent the evening watching The Fellowship of the Ring with Heather and Marlene, and we had a nice discussion about how the movies are a metaphor for the Industrial Revolution. Almost every teacher at my Catholic high school claimed that it was a metaphor for Catholicism, which I don't see at all.

The lycée is looking so festive right now. This Thursday is Chinese New Year, which is super important in Chinese culture – so important that Sarah spent all last weekend cutting the Chinese character for happiness out of construction paper and taping one on almost every single door in the the entire
lycée! Then, yesterday, for no apparent reason, Mariana taught her students how to make Mexican piñatas out of paper mâché and hung the results up in the commons area. They don't clash with the Chinese New Year decorations as horribly as Mariana was afraid they would. She said she would teach me how to make a piñata sometime.

And I finally got tired of looking at icons of myself, so I set my icon of Sable and me as my default and uploaded five new ones. I decided to go with the theme of child actresses with dogs. Here they are...

  
All made by me.

The actresses are, from left to right, Hatty Jones (as Madeline, with Genevieve), Shirley Temple, Dakota Fanning, Natalie Portman, and Alicia Morton (as Little Orphan Annie, with Sandy).

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