Monday, March 24, 2008

armchair critic

I watch a lot more movies than I used to, thanks in part to the film series in town, but also because I upped my Netflix account to keep me stocked with something at nearly all times. This has led to me finally getting around to some of the critical favorites from the past couple of years. My reactions have been mixed, to say the least. Last night, I watched Junebug. I thought it was supposed to be funny, and it's only 106 minutes long, so that was a selling point. Holy cats! That was probably the longest 106 minutes I've ever endured.

I didn't hate Junebug, but I didn't like it, either. Amy Adams was charming, and I understand why she got attention from this movie, but she was really the only thing enjoyable for me. All of the acting was great, actually. It's just that the characters got no development and there was no discernible story there. The George character was a total cipher, though the actor did a good job with what he had. A film can be plot-driven, or it can be character-driven, but it should be one or the other, in my opinion. This one was neither. Bah.

Friday, March 21, 2008

good times

I went to Casper today for a work thing, which meant that I sat alone in the car for around six hours today. The university car I was issued had a tape deck instead of a CD player, so I spent my entire commute listening to public radio. I used to flip back and forth between KUOW and KEXP during my long commutes back in WA, but it only takes me ten minutes each way now. So it was kind of a nice change of pace to hear entire programs again. Also, I feel like I learned something about the sub-prime mortgage crisis and hedge funds this afternoon.

The drive back to Laramie was really pretty, but very windy. All that sitting made me restless, so it was nice to walk downtown, even though it was pretty dang cold and windy on the trip down. Rick and I checked out the new Thai place, which we've been waiting for for months. So has the rest of Laramie, judging from the crowd. The food was good and it felt really good to have Thai as an option again. Except for the summer roll appetizer, we ordered dishes neither of us had tried before, which was fun. We had the masaman shrimp with avocado and cashews and the chicken pad woon sen. Both were excellent, but I'm definitely having the masaman curry again. No photos this time, because I was too wrapped up in eating to remember.

Then, we went ice skating! Remember how I didn't fall down at all when I went roller skating a few weeks back? Well, tonight was a completely different story. It was my first time ever ice skating, and I was terrible. It was nice, though. Rick managed to stay on his feet the whole time, even when I crashed into him. I kind of hugged the wall for a while, and then got a little braver. I started to feel like I was getting it, but after I fell down a handful of times, I got too stiff to really do more. I lasted about 40 minutes, minus a few minutes here and there when I took a breather. The end result is two bruised knees, a pretty banged-up right hip and thigh, a sore bottom, and a slightly worse-for-wear right hand, wrist, and elbow. But it's cool. I'd definitely go again--after all, my technique can only improve, right?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

photoblogging Friday

As Rick reported, Friday was a heck of a lot better than Thursday. We decided to go ahead and go see Obama. The milder weather and larger venue made me hopeful that it would be a more pleasant time in line, and I was correct. When we got there, the line was longer than the previous day, but it was really moving. The crowd seemed more cheerful, too. Cass sort of summarized the whole thing, but if you know anything about me, you know I have to have my own say.

Here's my team on Friday:
snarky Rick and earnest Kaijsa
He likes to make that face.
There were lots of people in the Arena Auditorium. After living here a while, it's kind of exciting to see that many people all in one place. Of course, if I went to sporting events, this wouldn't be so unusual.
Obama worked the stage. He did a nice job, but I was disappointed he didn't tailor his message to Wyoming. All my friends have already hear me gripe about this.
After the big Obama show, we met up with a few other people and had some beers and snacks before the Ok Go show. It was pretty decent. They had some cool videos playing in the background, too.
Ok Go
Then I was very tired and went to bed in preparation for caucusing on Saturday morning. Watch me get all political!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Photoblogging Clinton

You might have heard that the race for the Democratic nomination is pretty tight. You also might have heard that both candidates are actually visiting blood-red Wyoming, in the desperate hope that our 18 delegates will make a difference. If course, this is all very last-minute, so when I heard yesterday about Bill Clinton visiting Laramie today (Hillary will be in Cheyenne tomorrow) and Barack Obama coming Friday, I decided to try to make it work, even though it meant double-booking myself with a play and a concert on the respective nights.

It all started out great. My plan was unstoppable. Doors were to open for Clinton at 4:00pm, an hour before the show. I was a little concerned about trying to do two events back-to-back, but it seemed okay because the gym and the theatre are so close together. I parked my car over there at lunch and made the walk back over around 3:30. By 3:45, I was in line, and it looked like only a couple hundred people were in front of me. Cass and Rick joined me not too long afterward.
ready to rock!
Look how excited we are! You can't tell from the pictures, but it was crazy cold and windy outside. It's so freaking sunny in Wyoming. I'm incognito in my ski hat. People who know me will realize this is an unusual look for Kaijsa.
excited, but cold
Yay! Doors are opening any minute! Actually, not really. We stood outside until after 5:00, freezing our asses (and faces) off while the line inched forward very slowly. Then, miraculously, the line really started moving and we made our way into the building.
unhappy campers
See these faces? These are the faces of people who waited for over an hour in the cold, only to have the doors shut on them when they were only 20 people back from the front of the line. The gym is supposed to hold 1200 people, and it's hard to believe that many were in front of us.
Overflow area
We were directed into the field house, where it was alleged that an overflow area with a "data feed" was set up. Does this look set up to you? The data feed was really just audio over the PA.
thumbs down
None of us were impressed, so we bailed. Rick and I went to Fat Burrito for dinner before the play, and subsequently wasted another hour waiting around for the tickets to go on sale before learning there were no actual tickets and no real organization (the theme for the evening). So we ran out and grabbed a quick hot beverage before the show, which turned out to be the highlight of the evening. The beverage, I mean, not the show. The show was uneven, but mercifully short. So there's that.

Turns out that Ok Go requested a later start time tomorrow night because of the Obama rally, so who knows how the evening will turn out. All I know is that I'm not going to stand outside in the cold again when I could be inside getting some actual work done in my office. I'm still planning to caucus on Saturday morning, but I'm a little burned on the campaign rallies.

Check out Rick's version of the evening here.