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Pajama Day

After returning from a week at Deposition School in Colorado (sidenote: young litigators, DO THIS PROGRAM. It’s incredible, and while trial skills are great, you’ll be in a lot more depositions than trials, so it’s a lot more practical), and having a week that was nonstop nonstop nonstop, I declared yesterday “Pajama Day.” I’m not good at sitting still and doing nothing. There’s always a to do list forming in my brain, and I’m one of those strange people who feels relaxed by crossing things off that list. In contrast, being idle and letting things sit on that list stresses me out. 

Here’s the list of things I managed to do yesterday on my day of relaxing:

  • Cook breakfast for the family (huevos rancheros & toast).
  • Finish a book that is due back to the library today.
  • Put away 2 clean, folded baskets full of laundry that I’ve been ignoring for the last week.
  • Wash, dry, fold and PUT AWAY 3 more baskets of laundry (you KNOW the putting away is the hard part).
  • Watch Muppets Christmas Carol twice.
  • Sleep on the couch while Baby Beez watched Sword in the Stone.

Return to Oz

  • Watch Return to Oz with the family and live tweet my horror at what a screwed up movie it was and how on earth did I not remember that?
  • Cook dinner for the family (steak & corn).
  • Boil beets and roast carrots and potatoes, all of which had been sitting in the fridge waiting to be used since lord knows when.
  • Read 3 magazines, thereby diminishing the pile of magazines that has been growing and stressing me out because I ridiculously feel like I’m falling behind on something if I let the magazines pile up.
  • Ruminate on New Years Resolutions.

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  • Eat delicious ice cream.

Alida

  • “Play” with the bird. And by play I mean let her run around the bathroom and bedroom while I did other chores, and make sure she didn’t destroy or poop on anything.
  • Yell at husband to get the fireplace lit.
  • Troubleshoot fireplace when it wouldn’t turn on.
  • Yell at husband some more.
  • Text handyman about fireplace.
  • Praise husband when he figured it out and fireplace was roaring with a lovely fire.

Fire

  • Mutter curses when we realized we have to troubleshoot the fireplace even more, because it shut itself off after 20 minutes.
  • Reviewed contents of fridge and cabinets and wrote grocery list.
  • Picked up a new book and got through the first chapter.

And ridiculously, I feel incredibly relaxed after yesterday.  Today is fairly similar– we aren’t running around to events. This morning I’m doing a couple chores, and then I’m taking Baby Beez to the park so she can ride her bike. Tonight we are having some friends over for dinner, which means that this morning I got to partake in one of my absolute favorite activites: Picking out what we will order from the Kavsar menu (THE BEST!)

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NaBloPoMo Day 4: My Picks for the @3RFFest #3RFF

NaBloPoMo Day 4: My Picks for the @3RFFest #3RFF

YESSS THE THREE RIVERS FILM FESTIVAL I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I can’t even. I wish I could make it to the opening weekend celebrations this weekend, but I will be away visiting our French speaking neighbors to the North. I gravitate toward dark comedies and dramas, and this year the 3RFF reliably delivers. This year, there are many of my kind of movies to be had!

If I were in town, I would love to see Tumbledown.  Instead, someone please go see it for me, and let me know how it is!

Tumbledown

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Filled with tears, laughter, love, and music, Tumbledown is the story of a young widow who must find the courage to let go of her past and strength to move on to her future. This sweet and gently comic tale set in small-town Maine follows Hannah, who struggles to come to peace with the unexpected death of her husband, an acclaimed folk singer, by fixating on the seemingly impossible task of writing his biography. When Andrew, a cocky New York writer, comes to town to write his own book on her beloved, Hannah quickly tries to run him out, but soon discovers that his presence is a welcome challenge and surprising change from the smothering concern of her town, friends, and family. Grounded by a love for rural life and folk music, this indie film stars Jason Sudeikis, Rebecca Hall, Dianna Agron, and former Pittsburgher Joe Manganiello, a Mt. Lebanon native and CMU graduate who starred in the Spider-Man franchise.

Sean Mewshaw | USA | 2016 | 105 min.

These are the flicks I am most interested in, unfortunately I won’t be able to see them all…but lots of things to keep on my radar over the next several months…

Entertainment

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Unlike the typical indie comedy, Entertainment is sure to find a cult audience to call its own. An aging comedian tours the California desert, lost in a cycle of third-rate venues, novelty tourist attractions, and vain attempts to reach his estranged daughter. Slogging through the barren landscape and inadvertently alienating every acquaintance by day, he seeks solace in the animation of his onstage persona by night. Fueled by the promise of a lucrative Hollywood engagement and the possibility of rekindling a relationship with his daughter, he trudges through a series of increasingly surreal and volatile encounters. The profound sadness at the heart of the comedian confronts viewers with a bit of soul-searching, asking: who really is the butt of the joke? With appearances by John C. Reilly and Michael Cera.

Rick Alverson | USA | 2015 | 110 min

Everything Will Be Fine

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After taking 3D to dazzling new heights in Pina, legendary director Wim Wenders continues to push the technology in bold new directions. This searing drama charts the emotional odyssey of a struggling novelist, Tomas, whose life is turned upside down one wintry night when he causes a fatal car accident. The incident sets him on a soul-searching, decades-long journey towards redemption, a quest that profoundly touches the lives of both his girlfriend and the accident victim’s mother. In his triumphant return to narrative filmmaking, Wenders makes innovative, often breathtaking use of 3D to draw viewers ever deeper into the film’s gripping emotional vortex. Starring James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Rachel McAdams.

Wim Wenders | USA | 2015 | 119 min.

Body

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Body is a dark comedy with an absurdist sense of humor. A cynical prosecuter and his daughter, who suffers from an eating disorder, are trying – each of them their own way – to recover after the death of a close person. Their views on life and death are forced to change when Anna, the daughter’s therapist, unexpectedly claims that the deceased contacted her from beyond her grave and that she has a message for them. Szumowska uses themes of separation, alienation, and emotional distance as metaphors for the contemporary state of Poland while confronting body issues in a compelling way. Bodywas awarded  Silver Bear for Best Director at 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
Grand Prix at 2015 Gdynia Film Festival for the Best Film.

Małgorzata Szumowska | Poland | 2015 | 90 min.

Co-presented by the Polish Cultural Council

Mustang

Mustang_

Mustang is a rousing, coming-of-age story that follows five teenage sisters fighting back against tradition in a remote Black Sea village on the coast of Turkey. With school out, the sisters find themselves flirting with boys at the beach, but their innocent games are considered debauchery by their grandmother, causing an uproar with unintended consequences. The family home slowly turns into a prison where housework and cooking replace school, and marriages begin to be arranged. This gripping drama of sisterhood portrays a ubiquitous teenage desire for freedom as the sisters rebel against the forced suppression of their young, flourishing sensuality. In Turkish with subtitles.

Deniz Gamze Ergüven | France | 2015 | 94 min.

Are you going to the 3RFF? What do you plan to see?


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October Things

Wait, didn’t January just end? Where did my summer go? And I don’t care what you say, those were NOT snowflakes on my windshield today.

My mom got Baby Beez a subscription to the Children’s Theater this year and the first performance–Alexander Who’s Not Not Not Not Not Going to Move– was today. The difference between Baby Beez at 3 and and now at 5 is amazing. When she was littler, we would go to things and there was a 50/50 chance she’d completely lose it and scream her face off and make it a miserable time for everyone. Now that she’s bigger, she’s really starting to like things. As long as she isn’t starving or completely exhausted, she enjoys all kinds of different things. We’ve turned a corner to where we really are having fun together, and it’s lovely.

I ran the Wineglass Half Marathon at the beginning of the month and haven’t had much time to run since.  Today, though, I got in a 5 mile run when Baby Beez was in Sunday school. I have just started listening to Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please audiobook.  That hour zipped by while listening to this brilliant book.

Yes-Please

And I think it is the best thing that has happened to me in a while. It is of course hilarious, but also so poignant.  I was barely choking back sobs while listening to her chapter on apologies. Sobbing and running do not go well together. This book is amazing.

Speaking of running, when I was running the Great Race in September, I saw this woman walking by wearing the most amazing silver Oxford shoes.  I considered running over and complimenting her on her shoes, but stopped myself, because that would just be weird.  I have never worn menswear style shoes, because I feel like they look strange on my large feet, and I don’t really know how to style them. But seeing her shoes, now I desperately want some gorgeous shiny silver oxfords or loafers. How I will wear them, I have no idea. But I want them.

Want.

Want.


Want.

Want.


When the news broke about the sequel to Wet Hot American Summer, followed by the collective euphoria of anyone who has ever gone to summer camp, I realized that I am probably the only person on earth who has not yet seen this movie. So I’m spending this evening watching it. Hilar.

Wet Hot American Summer

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Little Blessings with @RowHouseCinema

Yesterday was, by far, the worst day I’ve had with Baby Beez. She was a monster. She was screaming, thrashing, hitting, basically any terrible 4 year old behavior, she shared with the world. Mr. Beez has been stuck at work pretty much ’round the clock, and he knew her behavior was bad enough that he had to come home a little earlier than planned yesterday. She absolutely drove me to a breaking point.

I was extra-upset about her terrible behavior, because yesterday was one of those lovely summer Pittsburgh days where there are tons of fun activities to choose from. I was hoping to go on the Manchester House and Garden Tour. Baby Beez asked to go to play in the water steps, and I was inclined to say yes.  We had to get through a few chores, and then the afternoon would be ours to play.

Except she was a monster.

I don’t know what it was about yesterday, but her behavior was completely, demonically unhinged. The chores ended up taking all day, with plenty of screaming fits and time outs. We couldn’t do anything fun. Doing fun things would reward her bad behavior, and she was in no condition to be out amongst civilized people anyway. It was a disappointing end to what could have been a wonderful weekend.

This morning was a new week. Baby Beez promised me that she would do better. I dropped her off at camp this morning and said “So long!” And I was still a little sad that we missed out on fun over the weekend.

I checked out the Row House Cinema listings for the week, and of course, one of my childhood favorite movies– Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Is playing this week. Baby Beez is really into old cartoons. She is watching Tom & Jerry as I type this. She also loves Bugs Bunny and all the Looney Tunes, and she watches Scooby Doo every morning. I had an inkling that she would love Roger Rabbit as much as I did.

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I had a client meeting at 2 and the movie started at 5. I was out of the office by 4:10, which meant I had to pick Baby Beez up from camp in Squirrel Hill and then get to the theater in Lawrenceville. 50 minutes to get from downtown to Squirrel Hill to Lawrenceville. I knew I could make it, but just barely.

And then as soon as I pulled out of the parking garage, I got stuck in traffic for a motorcade for fifteen minutes because the Attorney General was in town today. My confidence in making this happen was wavering. I FINALLY got to Squirrel Hill, whisked Baby Beez into the car, put the pedal to the floor, hauled it across town. And the nav system said I’d make it to the theater at 5:00.

Then I got stuck on Penn Avenue behind a bus.

5:00 arrival time changed to 5:03.

Then turned to 5:05.

Then 5:07.

I called RowHouse to see how long the previews (IF there were even any previews) would last. I asked if there was any hope that we could even make it. They said we might miss a couple minutes, but it should be OK.

We got there. We parked. We dashed into the theater around 5:09.

They held the movie for us.

They held the movie for us!

It’s such a little thing, but it was so wonderful. I had pinned a lot of hopes on having one nice little outing with my kid after a rotten weekend. I was afraid that things were not going to work out, and we would miss the movie, and it would be one more ruined plan to tack on to a weekend of ruined plans. But instead they held the movie for us. We even got to grab a bag of popcorn and drinks (when you’re there, get the popcorn. It’s excellent). That little kindness turned it all around for us.

Baby Beez sat on my lap for most of the movie. It was a little scary for her at the end, but she loved it. She loved it just as much as I loved it when I was a kid. And her behavior was good. Even good enough for us to come home and make dinner together tonight.

Pizza


Thanks Row House for holding that movie for us. We were happy to see that film, but even more importantly, that little kindness turned around a whole rotten weekend into an amazing, memorable Monday.

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Thoughts on a Friday (There’s a trend here, let’s see if you can spot it…)

1.  I worked from home two days this week. My usual M.O. for working at home is that I set up 2 laptops at the dining room table. I work on one and stream movies on the other. It may sound ridiculous, but I can be incredibly efficient when I’ve got a movie on and no one interrupting me. I caught up on some of last year’s Oscar nominees, and have to say, that Birdman and The Judge were both exceptional.

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Ed Norton steals the show in Birdman. Then again, I'd probably watch Ed Norton read a phone book to a brick wall.

Ed Norton steals the show in Birdman. Then again, I’d probably watch Ed Norton read a phone book to a brick wall.


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I often do not watch movies about the law, because I spend all day living the law, and I don’t want it creeping into the minimal recreational time I have. Also, law movies also sexy-up the law beyond recognition and it is just silly. Law isn’t all that exciting, unless you are a super-nerd. (Admittedly, I am sometimes a super-nerd and get SUPER EXCITED when I think up some killer line of reasoning to argue in a brief.)  The Judge isn’t all about the courtroom. It’s about family and drama and some of those very stressful and overwhelming ways all those things connect. Also, Robert Downey, Jr. Pretty much anything with Robert Downey, Jr. in it is worth a watch.

2. Speaking of delicious gentlemen, Ewan McGregor is in Pittsburgh filming a movie right now.

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Come what may, Ewan McGregor, I will love you until my dyyyyyying day.

3. Also, Southpaw. Omg.

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I think I had other things to say in this blog post, but I can’t even remember them anymore.