Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

I'll take potpourri for $200, Alex


The Golden Globes seemed to me to be way overvalued for awards given by fewer than 100 foreign, allegedly junket-loving press. So the announcement that the writers' strike would reduce the ceremony to a simple press conference put everything in its proper perspective.


On Monday night, my kitchen drain was sluggish, so I used the plunger and it got worse. I plunged with 2 different plungers and threw several pots of boiling water in the general direction of the drain, and the water level just rose. During this time, I also wanted to wash dishes (I'd made a cheese casserole) so the dish soap and food remains were part of the floating sludge. Yuck. At one point, I bailed about half the liquid into the large plastic kitchen garbage can and emptied that into the bathroom sink (which is still OK), and then had to thoroughly clean the garbage can.

There was no change overnight, so I called Tuesday morning (I was still up from before). They couldn't come until that afternoon and I asked if it could be late afternoon so I could sleep, but the latest available slot was 3 pm so they're coming Wednesday. This sink last clogged in May 2006, found by checking ljsink (which I started typing), oops, ljseek. Last time they fixed it with some quick plunges, but I did that and it didn't help. The web suggested baking soda and vinegar, but I only had baking powder. I also have generic Drano but have refrained from using it, as instructed by the building.


I finished 2 more books:

"Classic Movie Crosswords" (ed. Matt Gaffney). These were fun!

"Trivial Pursuit Crosswords" by lunchboy. These were fun, too! Solving for speed, I couldn't appreciate the longer trivia definitions (actual TP questions; I found one that was outdated due to Hugh Hefner's most recent marriage), and would see the word "state," a long blank beginning with L and just fill in LOUISIANA. When I say I read every clue, I don't always read every *word* of every clue.

I'm also finishing the proofreading on another batch of Uptown puzzles.

All this paper solving hurts my hand.


Friday's "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" had a contestant named Bill Pentland from Colorado. White hair, beard, 50ish. He spoiled on "Peg" _ _ _ _ T _ _ Y and guessed IDENTIFY before I could, and did well but didn't make it to the final. Roseanne's first husband was Bill Pentland and they met in Colorado. I haven't been able to find a recent picture to see if this could possibly be the same person.


"The Hills" is about as far as you can get from crosswords. I watched 4 episodes. The songs are ID'ed in the upper right corner of the screen and they all sound the same. These girls live on a different planet from me. Heidi declared, "I need some space" (from Spencer). Get away, get far, far, away!

The TMZ weekend show was very familiar, even though I'd only watched one episode during the week. Maybe it was familiar because I usually read the site.


Being a nerd, I made a spreadsheet with the Spirit Award-nominated movies, live screening date, guests for screenings, if available on Netflix or streaming, if playing in regular theaters, and if I saw it.

The Netflix option for viewing the nominees is more limited this year - no separate account with a private queue of special screener discs, just my regular Netflix account and whatever's already out on DVD (18 by the end of the voting period). Only 5 movies are available for online screening so far, and my computer is not ideally situated to sit and watch movies. I could use the laptop but that's pretty small. It's best to see these live, not only because of the professional screen and sound, but because then I'm forced to watch without the distractions of home.

I talked myself out of going Monday to "The Monastery" and "The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair" - both docs are/will be on Netflix, I never heard of them, I had no other reason to go out, it was cold ... I was just lazy and unadventurous. Maybe God punished me by stopping up my sink. Since I hadn't watched my Netflix since, uh, last March, I got the queue moving and watched "Amelie": charming and very French.

Tonight I had to go to the bank (since I only had a dollar) first, and got to the theater a few minutes late, but they hadn't started. The first movie was "Shotgun Stories" which reminded me of last year's first selection, "Bubble," with a strong sense of place of a dull Southern town. This was in Arkansas, about (mostly) men with dead-end lives and repressed and sometimes unrepressed violence. The filmmaker Jeff Nichols spoke afterward, and in the lobby later I saw the actors who played brothers Son and Kid. The other brother was Boy, and they also had a bunch of half-brothers.

Back inside, we complained about streaming (which purportedly doesn't work well) and lack of Netflix, talked about my neighbors' upcoming project on PBS (not Independent Lens - they'd seen "Wordplay" but took a while to realize who I was), and settled in to watch "Vanaja." Originally a Columbia MFA project, this was another movie with a strong sense of place. Filmed in rural India with native nonprofessional actors speaking Telegu (subtitled), it seemed strange and foreign at first, but the richly layered story of caste and culture and shame soon captivated. The filmmaker and nominated cinematographer spoke afterwards. Sadly, due to reasons that aren't entirely clear, this has not been shown in India.


By the time the second Q&A got out, it was almost midnight. Despite the hour, I went to the Times hoping the Sunday puzzle would be there so I could get it out and not worry about the deadline tomorrow. I hadn't previously communicated this possibility to Will, and the other testers had not all reported in. Oh well.


I don't like to walk around late at night, but nightly cabs would get expensive. So I got on the 104, figuring I'd stop somewhere closer to home for groceries (the only kind of shopping I can do) and cab it from there. I let the Lincoln Center Food Emporium go by, and then decided I'd try Garden of Eden (closed) or Westside Market (open 24 hours). Since I don't want to wash dishes in a foot of water, I got some prepared items and took a cab from there.

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