A Good Yarn

Monday, July 18, 2005


The heat has broken and it's now a beautiful, perfect day! Surviving living on the sun does make you appreciate the normal summer days much more, though. Yesterday was a different story. It was 97 degrees and really humid. My window air conditioner only does so much, so I finally gave up and decided to go see a movie. Apparently everyone had the same good idea, because there was a line around the block outside the theater. Luckily, I was trying to decide between 2 documentaries and the second one started 20 minutes later, so I got there in plenty of time. This is what I saw:

When I was in high school, I absolutely adored penguins and collected penguin "stuff". Plus, I figured watching the long cold winter in Antarctica was a sure fire way to cool down. I was right about that.

I really liked this movie. The penguins are adorable - I can't decide which is cuter, seeing them waddle around or seeing them belly flop down and scoot around on their bellies. The movie tells the story of how the penguins leave their homes in the water in the fall and march to the breeding grounds where they'll be safe to mate and lay an egg. Then the film shows that process and what happens after the egg is laid, after the chicks are hatched, and when spring returns. Those chicks are so adorable!! This is not a Disney movie, however, and while nature is amazing, it is also harsh.

I bring this up because while I enjoyed the movie, I didn't enjoy the movie-going experience. Behind me was a family with a 5 year old and a 7 year old and the children talked through the whole movie - mostly whining about the penguins who died during this long and arduous process. It's funny how I'm much more tolerant of Red's chatter in a movie than some strange kids behind me. It didn't help that the film broke 2/3 of the way through, so we had to sit for about 10-15 minutes while they repaired the film. And since it was such a popular movie, I was smushed in next to a stranger and way up in the front. I'm happy to see so much interest in a documentary, but I do love it when there's only about 5 - 6 other people in the theater with me.

After I had dinner with my brother, I went home to watch "Into the West" and my favorite HBO shows. I have liked "Into the West", but I do find it confusing keeping track of all of the characters. Everything takes place over decades, so different actors play the same character as he or she ages. I think it would be better to just enjoy each episode as an individual episode for the historical events shown and the points being made, rather than keep trying to follow the inidividual characters over time. On HBO I watch "Six Feet Under" and "Entourage". I've always had a love/hate relationship with SFU. It's really interesting and the acting is really good, but the characters are so frustrating. I don't want to stop watching it, but I won't be too sad when it's over after this season. I got the first season of "Entourage" on Netflix and started watching the second season this year. I love this show. The first episode I wasn't so sure about - it seemed a little too macho, a little too inside Hollywood. But as I watched more, I realized that this really is just about a bunch of guys, hanging out, trying to live life. It's really funny and I enjoy it a lot. The writing is really good and the acting is great. I've always been a huge Jeremy Piven fan and he's fantastic in this show - I'm excited he was nominated for an Emmy! I've watched a little of "The Comeback" and just don't enjoy that show. I find Lisa Kudrow really mannered and annoying and I don't think it's very funny.

This seems like as good a time as any to review the other summer shows I've been watching. I'm once again watching Big Brother. Every year I say I'm not going to watch this show and every year I do anyway, because there's not that much else on in the summer. In my opinion, this show isn't as well done as Amazing Race and Survivor. They really play on the sexuality of the contestants - this year every single person is young and beautiful. I'm also watching Rock Star: INXS. So far I like it. The music is definitely better than on American Idol. They didn't do all the silly stuff with the tryouts and every contestant is actually quite talented, unlike AI this year. It does crack me up how much they oversell INXS though. They were a nice little band with a great couple of songs, but they're not rock superstars.

I watched a little of Hell's Kitchen and didn't enjoy it. It seemed like the chef was just yelling and throwing a tantrum to be a hardass. It seemed pretty pointless and not enjoyable. I watched a number of episodes of "The Inside", but I'm going to stop watching that. I like those type of crime dramas, but I don't like the writing on this one. The head of the unit (played well I'll admit by Peter Coyote) is just an abusive jerk who is brilliant but uses his people without regard for their well-being or the law. It's gotten more extreme and unrealistic as the show has gone on. I also don't enjoy the performances by the two women on the show. The main character is an odd mix of innocence and wisdom and sexuality and just doesn't seem very realistic. The other woman's acting is off the wall and she seems like she's in a 40s comedy or something and seems out of place.

I'll sheepishly admit I sort of watched "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and enjoyed it. I was always cooking or going through email or something while it was on, so I didn't pay close attention, but I did enjoy seeing some old bands and seeing how they interpreted current hits. I also liked that they just had one winner for each show and there wasn't some big competition for the winner of the whole show.

On cable, Monk has been good so far this season again. I'm getting used to the new woman, though I still miss Sherona. I like "The Closer". Kyra Sedgwick is very interesting and I like the interaction with her boss and her subordinates. I've only seen one episode of "30 Days", but I really liked it. Since I'm such a huge documentary lover, this is sort of right up my ally. It's like reality television without the competition angle and less cheesy. I hope they replay the older episodes again. I loved this season of The Shield - Glenn Close was awesome and I liked the softer side of Vic Mackey. I'm waiting breathlessly for Nip/Tuck to start again. Bullshit! is the only thing I watch on Showtime and that's brilliant as usual. I'm a HUGE Penn & Teller fan. As this series goes on, they take on more and more controversial issues - I don't always agree with them about what is bullshit and what isn't, but I'm always interested and always entertained.

I think that's about it for the summer viewing season for me. Of course, I try to get a lot of knitting done while I'm watching all that tv, but sometimes I do the laundry or pay my bills or go through the mail. Yesterday it was just too hot to knit, so I did some more beading. I made a necklace for a friend's birthday present:

The picture isn't so great, but it does look nice. It's a variety of different stones. I also made another batch of stitch markers.

They look like just normal markers, but those green beads actually glow in the dark. You know, for when you're knitting in bed with the lights off or in a movie theater. I tried to take a picture of them in the dark to show you, but I couldn't get it to work.