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Whip It (movie)

Or, Drew Barrymore's directorial debut is a film about the Roller Derby. In case you never heard of this, here's the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cA2ngjW0YQ

Since it's a movie about the Roller Derby you expect tons of camp excess, but the movie is actually played straight... in both senses, XD. Outright lesbianism is confined to one girl-girl hot tub scene, blink and you'll miss it (I did). There are however lots of girl-girl bonding moments and lots of tough women. Who are cool, because they're tough. If you watch this movie you'll learn lots of important moral lessons -- about friends, family, boyfriends, and being true to yourself -- and also, the rules of the Austin Roller Derby.

In other words, Drew Barrymore doesn't just act earnest; she is earnest. XD

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In conclusion, this is a rec: please support Whip It while it's still in theaters, and send a message to Hollywood that mainstream movies by, for, and about girls can succeed financially.

More on Stella D'Oro v. Hedge Fund

Brief history: Stella D'Oro, the Bronx-based biscuit company, was bought out by Brynwood Partners, the Connecticut-based private equity fund, which demanded that all workers take an immediate $5 an hour pay cut, later "reduced" to a $1 an hour pay cut each year for the next five years. The (unionized) workers refused and went on strike for 11 months, at which point the court found that Brynwood had engaged in unfair labor practices and ordered it to pay back wages and reinstate the workers. Yay! But Brynwood responded by announcing that they were closing the factory in the Bronx.

All this is going to be in an upcoming HBO documentary (still filming). Anyway, the latest news is that someone asked Hugo Chavez at a rally if CITGO, the Venezualen oil company, could buy Stella D'Oro and turn it into a worker's cooperative. And Chavez did show some interest (as he always does when a good story comes along). Nice plot twist for the documentarians eh? Too bad the company was already sold to Lance, Inc., who plan to relocate and cost-cut: essentially they are just buying the name, not the product.

Incidentally, when I told R this story the thing that most offended her was not the ev0lness of Hendrik J. Hartong III, Brynwood's managing partner in this case, but his incompetence. He couldn't just buy a factory that makes (a little) money and runs itself, he had to go in with ideas about typical wages and benefits, and try for a 30% return for the investors, and then pitch a fit and just dismantle the whole thing when the Union wouldn't accept his unilaterally imposed terms and conditions... and America loses a brand and 130 workers lose their jobs, just like that. I can't imagine Brynwood Partners are too pleased with him, either.

Decembrists and a request

The Decembrists at Terminal 5 in Chelsea, NY 9/19/09Collapse )

Secondly, my phone was stolen a week ago - this just hasn't been my month - but I bought a new phone on ebay and it came last Friday so could those of you whose numbers I used to have please text me your names? Again? I promise to actually back up my contacts this time - would hate to turn into the New Yorker parody.

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District 9

More international-release movies should be set in South Africa cos the accent is really cool.

More, but you should see the movie first - no really, I mean it, you should see the movieCollapse )

I have written fanfiction. *poses* It's RPF and off for rewrites now. It's so nice to have a rewriter/cohwriter, you don't have to obsess so much over exact phrasing and the motivation to draft is much higher. I never drafted before either, it was always first take up on the internet and then minor revisions ex post facto. I can see why real authors do it this way.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

...is at least 70% romantic comedy. David Yates (the director) has excellent comic timing!

Overall impressions:

1. Hermione is still the hottest thing on screen. Ginny really can't compete, poor thing.
2. Rupert Grint is actually a really good actor! I hadn't realized because the scriptwriter never gives Ron enough to do.
3. Dan Radcliff is still the weakest link, but he was fun to watch in the good-luck-potions-make-Harry-feel-invincible scenes (and he obviously had fun performing them, too).
4. Jim Broadbent was PERFECT as Professor Slughorn, whoever made that casting call deserves a medal.

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In conclusion Rotten Tomatoes was right to score this movie so highly.

Eurotrip II '09

Back from Europe and moved into the apartment! Suppose I'll just repost from twitter again, to save time:

The best thing about this trip was planning the trains and planes and bussesCollapse )

I realize that some of these tweets are kind of... mysterious... but there are some things I'd rather not write down where my parents might read about them, XD. But some other highlights were:

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Hmmm, I suppose that's everything. My brother has pictures up to Belfast on his facebook - same last name, and first name is Alex, for those of you who know me over there.

update

Long time no post, huh? I've been doing some paralegal-ish things for my father, eating out in NYC more nights than not and catching the midnight train home or not coming home at all. Or in other words, spending too much money, a trend that is going to continue until July - have plans to meet my brother in Europe! The flight leaves, um, tomorrow. Here's the itinerary:

June 13 (AM): London
June 17 (AM): Rome
June 21 (AM): Belfast (via London Standstead airport. Currently considering changing the connecting flight to London to the 20th for band-obsession-related reasons, but that's another story)
June 22 (PM): Dublin
June 25 (AM): Newcastle

And my flight back to NJ leaves on Sunday, June 28th. This is short notice, but anyone lives in or around the aforementioned cities and wants to meet up, just drop a line.

As for the REAL reason I haven't been around much... I'm seeing someone. ^_____^ One of Aki's friends. It's sort of funny, of the three people at dinner I'd never met before, J and R became friends, A tried to pick me up, and I picked R up. Either Aki has very good taste in friends, or we all really needed to expand our social circles. :p

(Okay so that's a lie, I didn't actually pick R up. What ACTUALLY happened was, I took a hint for the first time in my life. Body language reading skills, level up!)

[There was some analysis-of-appeal type stuff on R here, but on reflection, probably better to keep the details to myself or at least not share them with the whole wide web. But yeah: R's a girl. *g*]

festival notes

I'd never been to a music festival before, wasn't sure what to expect, but Bamboozle was totally worth the price! Saw:

These bandsCollapse )

Korean BBQ in NYC tonight, followed by karaoke late into the night. absenceofmind is ♥

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Back from France

As of yesterday! Harumi, I didn't forget about you. Just didn't have computer access most of the time. Look for an email by noon tomorrow, Japan time.

Suppose I'll repost from twitter, just to have a halfway readable record. I borrowed my brother's BlackBerry for most of these.

In order, removed some @ repliesCollapse )

Looks like this weekend is going to be a grrrrrrreat time - music festival at the Meadowlands and absenceofmind flying in from the west coast! Plus dinner on Sunday with, like, nine people. All hail summertea queen of planning.

Dreamwidth

I have one. Thank you, Tari~

No invites to hand out, but drop a line if you're interested. The site opens to the public April 30th, but those without invite codes will have to pay. (Same as early days on LJ, though I wasn't around for that.) The moderators are also randomly giving out invite codes to people who sign up with OpenID, I'm told, so that is another thing to try.

Dreamwidth is a non-profit social networking site based on LJ code and fronted by synecdochic (denise on DW). She and a few other people have been working on the code since Strikethrough 07, trying to give LJers a viable place to move to in case our corporate overlords (once SixApart, now SUP) become too unbearable.

The appeal of DW is that you can leave without really leaving, since DW allows crossposting and - in theory - the use of authenticated feeds. (Meaning the ability to read your LJ friendslist remotely. Though I'll believe that when I see it.) I'm a little bit torn, actually, since I know from experience that I am BAD at juggling multiple site identities. Will have to choose one or the other and don't have it in me to leave behind certain people and places here. Currently adopting a "wait and see" approach. I do think that LJ will shut down eventually, but that day may not come tomorrow, or even in the next few years.

Here's some other Why Dreamwidth stuff. As much as I don't really want to leave LJ, I am psyched to try DW out, partly because I hate seeing ads on my LJ (and don't want to pay SUP to make them go away), partly because I've never been in on the ground floor of a "new" networking scene before and am looking forward to having input into the design/coding/policy-making process, partly because it's new and exciting, and partly because I'm suffering from (a real or imagined sense of) overshare on this journal and on some level wouldn't mind starting over.

Though as we learn from this metafilter thread, YOU REMAIN YOU NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE. XD; So I am trying not to make "new start!" my primary motivation.

Definitely not going to make any moves in one direction or the other for a while, at any rate. For one thing, I will be in on vacation in France! My flight leaves tomorrow. :)