Jan. 23rd, 2013

eurydicebound: (Sherlock)
1) We had a plumbing leak in the basement whenever the ground floor shower was run. Fearing the worst, as neither of us are the least bit handy in this way, we knew we had to call a plumber. I decided to join Angie's List and found a discount coupon, and from there found a seemingly well regarded plumber in the area. They came out, looked at it, figured out a fitting on the showerhead had broken and it was leaking down the inside of the wall, rather than the pipe in the wall having the leak. They'll be out today to fix it as they didn't have the part they needed. Cost? About $150 total. AMAZING.

Yes, I admit, in a perfect world we'd just fix it ourselves for $20 or something. But honestly, this house is already a Frankenstein nightmare legacy of homeowners who "did it" themselves. There's scarcely a right angle in the place and don't get me started about the sewer line or the electrical. If anything in this house were reliable or made sense or was laid out in an orderly fashion, I'd feel better about winging it, but as it is, I'm happy to use the more expensive but more reliable services of a professional.

2) Back on the Weight Watchers horse. I'm keeping all my totals in an Evernote notebook this time so I won't be spamming my friends list with them. A week and a half, and at last weigh-in there were 2 lbs lost. Not great, but not bad either. My back feels much better from where it got strained/sprained/bruised/whatever with all the bronchitis coughing, and I'm not in pain whenever my core muscles get used now. I'll be getting back to the gym again this week (I've started shifting my schedule to get up at ungodly in the morning to accomplish this) and that should keep it going again.

3) It's really freaking cold here. Like I-need-to-find-a-better-scarf-to-walk-around=on-campus cold. Damn.

4) We got a new printer for the business. Our old one, which wasn't that old, was supremely cranky and flat-out refused to print about half the time. This one is a laser printer and wireless, and it's all like magic. Not color, but we hardly ever need to print in color anyway, and certainly not for business stuff.

5) Oscar movies! Thus far we've seen Frankenweenie, Snow White and the Huntsman, Wreck-It Ralph, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Brave (naturally), Moonrise Kingdom, Life of Pi, Les Mis, and we have Beasts of the Southern Wild, Pirates!, and ParaNorman on DVD here still to watch. Setting the animated films aside for now, here are my thoughts:

Lincoln: I was surprised at how much I liked this movie. I'm always wary of Spielberg when he gets onto a hero worship/nostalgia kick, as with War Horse last year, but it was really well handled. It's really more the story of the 13th amendment than a Lincoln biopic, and I honestly prefer it that way--it gets past Spielberg's particular directorial weakness. Tommy Lee Jones was just amazing; he's my pick so far for supporting actor. Awesome score, too. Daniel Day-Lewis was incredible as always, but I'm still watching movies, and I'm not ready to say he was necessarily better than Hugh Jackman, and I haven't seen the others yet.

Zero Dark Thirty: I wasn't excited about going to see this one, but in the end it was very good and very compelling. I've seen a lot of talk about whether or not it's trying to justify the use of torture. I didn't read it that way at all. I think it very effectively showed the costs of torture on both the victim and the torturer, as well as the difficulties and benefits of working with and without it from a spy's perspective--which is not exactly balanced in itself. I am newly struck by just how good Jessica Chastain is. She should be getting a lot more attention as an actress than she is.

Life of Pi: I'm not going to say it's my favorite movie thus far, but my god, is it ever pretty. The acting nominations that aren't there for this film are a crime and a shame. The screenplay was really really good, and the score was exactly on point. I recommended it to my parents for their viewing, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again.

Moonrise Kingdom: Up for original screenplay, I think. I can't quite say I hated it, but I didn't like it. The only scenes I really enjoyed were the ones with Bruce Willis, which says something about his ability as an actor, even in a Wes Anderson film. It's just odd. Definitely not my pick.

Les Miserables: I know this seems to be a love it or hate it sort of a movie, as in if the thing you love about Les Mis is the singing, you will hate it, and if you love the story and the characters (or if you're new to it), you love it. I loved it. I love that they sang during the filming and recorded it, I love that they let you get up close to the actors, I love that the songs are acted rather than performed, I love that the singing sounds like real people--because if there was ever a play about the non-elites of the world, this is it. I can believe in this Les Mis in a way that the stage production can't aspire to. Also, Anne Hathaway as Fantine--simply amazing.

Snow White and the Huntsman -- it's definitely pretty, but that's about the best thing going for it. Not prepared to say it's the fairest of them all, though, especially seeing what they did in Lincoln and Les Mis.


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