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30 Before 30: Watch “The African Queen”

30 Dec

In my 30th year of life, I’m attempting to do 30 new things. Full List Here. All Bucket List Adventures Here.

This is the first Christmas I have ever spent in New York City. I don’t have family here, so I instead spent the day with a couple of friends. In the afternoon we went to the IFC center to see “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It felt like a very New York City Christmas-y thing to do, and I had only seen the movie once before, so watching it again felt new to me.

Overall, it was great. But I had one major hang-up that bothered me. The whole montage of what the world was like without George Bailey in it. Sad, horrible things. His brother is dead. His uncle is in an insane asylum. Some of his friends are homeless. But the climax of this scene is what happened to his wife, Mary, if he had never been born. She NEVER MARRIED. Tragically, she ended up a librarian instead. This is the worst fate. Worse than the dead, the insane, the destitute. God forbid a woman not marry.

I tried to enjoy the rest of the movie, but I sat stewing over Mary’s fate. Maybe she was happier not being married! She could have married Sam if she wanted to! Maybe she LOVES her library job! She’s only in her early 30’s, that does not an old maid make! These thoughts sat with me for the rest of the weekend. I understand the movie was made in a different time for women, but it wasn’t that long ago.

So Sunday night, I watched “The African Queen.” The story of a missionary (Katherine Hepburn) in Africa in the early 1900’s. The German army burns down the village where she is living whilst her preacher brother dies. She has no choice but to join up with a riverboat captain (Humphrey Bogart) to head down the river to another life. Obviously they fall in love, and what a romantic little boat ride they have. Leeches, mosquitoes, rainstorms. Somehow it is romantic though. And Hepburn’s character discovers the strength and the bravado inside herself. She comes up with a plan to navigate the boat through white water rapids, build homemade torpedoes, and ram them into a German ship in an effort to exact some revenge. She’s a fucking badass.

I loved the romance that evolves. I loved the odd couple that Hepburn and Bogart make. I loved that old-movie, quick-talking dialogue. But I kept thinking about poor old maid Mary from the “It’s a Wonderful Life” alternate universe. That Mary would have been in her mid-30s. The Hepburn character was in her mid-40s. It gave me comfort to know that old maid Mary wasn’t done for. She could still end up in Africa. She could still find love in Humphrey Bogart. And let’s face it. As much as we all love Jimmy Stewart, Bogart would be so much more fun to date and obviously be better in bed. I love Katherine Hepburn. I love how stubborn and strong and confident she played her characters. I love that during a dark time for women, she existed and she fought to play these kind of women. She was a fucking badass.

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The Godfather by Mario Puzo

1 Jul

Godfather-Novel-CoverThe only unpleasant thing about reading this book was having strangers come up to me (typically older than 50) and asking me if I’d ever seen the movie.

“Oh yeah, of course I’ve seen it.”
“You know, it’s one of the best movies of all times.”
“I know. I’ve seen it many times.”
“You seem young so I thought maybe you hadn’t seen it.”
“I promise I’ve seen it.”

I hate when people think that just because I’m in my 20’s I must live in a world of facebook, LMFAO, and Jersey Shore. I have layers!

Teading this book in a weird way felt like reading fan fiction. I love the movie. It’s the perfect film, flawless. How could a paperback live up to that? It goes deeper. More time for character development, for intense descriptions of the dynamics within the family, more history about Vito Corleone. Even though I know the plot by heart, I was completely enthralled from beginning to end. The scene where Michael meets with Solozzo and the police captain, I was so nervous, so on the edge of my seat.

Plus it can be said that this is a good summer read. Not too heavy, interesting, quick.

“I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them.”

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

25 Mar

moneyball_book_cover_01_custom-ea36630e47960157244ed4290140853c60db41a8-s6-c10 As a general rule, I try to not read books when I’ve already seen the movie version.  I’m more a fan of books than I am of movies, but once I’ve seen a movie, I have a hard time enjoying the book, as I’m comparing it to the movie, seeing specific scenes in my head. It taints the whole experience.

“Moneyball” by Michael Lewis was something I read to alleviate the constant itch I’ve had the last month for baseball season to start. 7 days. 7 DAYS!! Can you believe it? I’m actually nervous for the season to start, because I have been so overwhelmingly busy the last couple of weeks, I’m stressed about how I’m going to squeeze my requisite baseball watching time into an already tight schedule. What’s a girl to do?!

Anyways, this book , amazing. Michael Lewis is my personal nonfiction hero. The first book of his I read was “The Big Short” which was about the financial collapse. I personally have no interest in finance or the economy. But Lewis is tricky, interweaving what might seem dull information into personal human interest.

With “Moneyball,” the success of the movie was a lot about dramatizing the human interest aspect of his writing. The book, though, goes so much deeper into sabermetrics, the history of it and how it can be applied to evaluating players. For me, I’ve heard so much about sabermetrics and have a basic understanding of it, this book functioned as a good introduction into how it can be applied to the game.

Really, though, I’m just hungry for baseball. My first softball game of the season is Thursday, next Monday is opening day. I’m exhausted from a hectic couple of weeks. All I want to do is curl up with a ball game. Until then, I’ll just be listening to this song on repeat. It gives me chills every time. Does your baseball team have a rap song? On the off chance you said yes, there’s no way it as good as mine.

Anybody want a peanut?

23 May

I rented “I Love You, Man” from the library and loved it. It was a stupid comedy, but it made me laugh really hard, so I was happy. I don’t know why this scene KILLS me. I couldn’t stop laughing. I still can’t when I see it.

It won’t let me embed, but here’s the link.