A Good Yarn

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Back to Regular Programming

So, it was a great holiday. I had great fun visiting with family and friends from Christmas through New Year's. All of the gifts I made and purchased were well-received and I received some really lovely gifts in return. Given that there was so much going on, I cut out some of my holiday routines - no baking, no cards. I'm thinking about doing New Year cards, but if I do that, I've gotta move soon, the year won't be that new for long.

I spent New Year's Eve at one of my favorite places, in the movie theater. I saw this fantastic film:

For me, something magical happens when Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaborate and this film is no exception. I loved the film description in Tony Scott's New York Times review, so I'll quote it here:

A barber, wronged by a powerful judge, returns to London and sets up shop, cutting throats as well as hair. The bodies of his victims are turned into savory meat pies by Mrs. Lovett, his energetic partner in business and crime.

Simple and to the point, but lovely language. Anyway, Johnny plays the barber and he's simply amazing. He captures both the sadness, loneliness and isolation of the character as well as the rage and mental illness. It's a heartbreaking performance. I fell in love with him even more, watching this film. It's not just the hormones talking - he really is one of the best actors of our generation, with an amazing range and ability to tackle such wide-ranging material. Helena Bonham Carter plays Mrs. Lovett and she and Johnny look great together on screen. They both are just ghostly pale with dark, dark hair and clothing and circles under their eyes. The look of the film is wonderful, with one scene of Mrs. Lovett's secret wishes for a better life that is in stark sunny contrast, making it even more touching and hilarious. Loved them both so much. Alan Rickman plays the evil judge and with this role and Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films, he truly embodies the essence of ill will. I need to see him in another romantic hero role to remind myself that he isn't really evil, just an amazing actor. As you can probably guess from the title and the description, this film is quite violent and really bloody. There's quite a lot of blood on the screen. It's bright, bright red, and really stands out against the grays and blacks of the rest of the screen. It gives it an unreal look, but you still feel every bit of the shock and horror of the deaths shown. Sweeney Todd also has a litle shoot from beneath his barber chair to the basement where Mrs. Lovett grinds up the bodies to make the meat for her pies, and that whole process is quite realistic, so if you have tender sensibilities, keep that in mind. The audience I saw the film with was largely senior citizens (apparently, going to an early movie on New Year's Eve is quite popular with the older set - I'm trying not to let it reflect on me that that's what I was doing too) and some of them made it quite clear this film wasn't what they were expecting and they didn't like it one bit. Every death elicited comments and sounds and at the end, I heard quite a few disgusted comments as people left the theater. In fact, the couple right behind me were quite vocal and so I feel like I'd really like to see it again without having to listen to the continuous commentary. Ah, the theater going experience, right?

As I've mentioned on this blog before, every year for New Year's I make one very specific, hopefully achievable resolution, in the hope of making one small change in my life to improve it or myself. Last year's was to stick to my budget. I had mixed results. I did fairly well in keeping track of my spending and being more aware of where my money was going, though some months I just gave up. I'm continuing on with that, though, so I do feel like I made a real change. And now that I have a "real job" and know exactly how much money I'm going to make and it isn't going to wildly fluctuate from month to month, it's more important than ever to stick to the budget, because I won't be able to count on just making more money later to compensate for spending sprees.

My resolution for this year is to start every week with a relatively clean home. I started the year with a sort of clean house, though there is still plenty of stuff I can get rid of and organize better. But I want to make sure that every Monday morning when I leave for work, the dishes are all clean, the clothes are all clean and put away, the floors are washed or vacuumed, the tables aren't cluttered, etc. We'll see how this one goes.

In knitting news, I'm rewarding myself for slogging through all that gray ribbing and getting most of the Christmas knitting done. I decided to join the rest of the knitting world and knit myself a pair of Monkey socks:

As you've read on a million other blogs, this pattern is great. It's interesting to knit, but not difficult at all. And it goes pretty quickly. I'm treating myself by using one of my skeins of Wollmeise - this color is called "Maria's Deepest Purple" and I love it because it's my favorite colors - red and purple. It's just gorgeous! And the perfect antidote to the overload of gray in my knitting and in the melting snow outside.

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