Tag Archives: movies

The Strongest Coffee in The World

You would think that I’d know how to make coffee. In the past 13 or so years, I’ve made coffee nearly every day, using the same grinder and automatic drip coffeemaker.

Today I managed to make it wrong. I forgot to put the lid on the pot, which meant the boiling hot water steeped in the grounds for maybe 10 minutes, making the coffee quite a bit stronger and a little more bitter than usual.

I’m drinking it anyway.

The trouble isn’t that it’s terrible. The trouble is that it’s great! It’s perfect coffee, at least to my taste.

To repeat it, I either have to replicate the same mistake again every day (which I won’t do, because it’s a little hard to manage and made a mess around the coffeemaker), or switch to using a french press regularly. It might just be worth it.

(Video above from Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, one of my all-time favorites. Thanks to LadyD for reminding me of this scene.)

If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.

My result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz…

You Are a Katherine!


Katherines are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.


How to Get Along with Me

  • Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.
  • Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
  • Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.
  • Don’t try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.
  • Be responsible for yourself. I dislike clingy or needy people.
  • Don’t tell me what to do.



What I Like About Being a Katherine

  • being optimistic and not letting life’s troubles get me down
  • being spontaneous and free-spirited
  • being outspoken and outrageous. It’s part of the fun.
  • being generous and trying to make the world a better place
  • having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures
  • having such varied interests and abilities



What’s Hard About Being a Katherine

  • not having enough time to do all the things I want
  • not completing things I start
  • not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career
  • having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies
  • feeling confined when I’m in a one-to-one relationship



Katherines as Children Often

  • are action oriented and adventuresome
  • drum up excitement
  • prefer being with other children to being alone
  • finesse their way around adults
  • dream of the freedom they’ll have when they grow up

Katherines as Parents

  • are often enthusiastic and generous
  • want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life
  • may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

I had quite hoped to be a Bette Davis, but I am pleased to be a Katherine Hepburn.

About three-quarters of the description is true. Points to anyone who can guess which three-quarters.

Don’t think


It has been a long day for me. Actually, it has been a long week. It has been a long month already, even — I said as much on May 1, and just over a week later I feel the heavy truth of it. And there are still three weeks to go.

Not that things are bad, you understand. I have a lot going on, and I’m having to work my brain overtime.

What I would most like to do, really, is to not think for a while. Not thoughts. Not even any thoughts about having no thoughts.

It’s times like these that I’m glad television exists.

You’ve got to love the actual sweat more than the lights and the glamour


Scott asked us all whom we would like to narrate the story of our lives, and why.

I thought through a couple of different options. There’s Orson Welles, who had just about the best ever narration style possible. There’s Stockard Channing, who would bring a lot of flair to the story and could also sing a bit if needed. (Not that I sing, but maybe my life would be best conveyed in song — hard to say at this juncture.)

But on the whole, I would like my life narrator to be Bette Davis. Distinctive voice; thoughtful delivery; practical viewpoint and appreciation of the absurdity of life.

She’d almost certainly overshadow me on the whole, but she’d also most likely make my life sound more interesting that is actually is, so it balances out.

(I’m not sure what it means that in choosing three potential narrators, I picked two who are dead.)

Is no problem. You are funny thing.

David Foster Wallace keeps coming up in my life recently. Not in person of course, just references to him.

Here’s a video of him reading excerpts from two essays, "Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All" and "A Supposedly Fun This I’ll Never Do Again." It’s a long video (27 minutes), but well worth watching.

Both essays are available in the collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments, which was the first thing I read by DFW and which remains a favorite.

Once you’ve read just a little DFW, you’ll get the humor in the cartoon "David Foster Wallace Stranded on a Desert Island." Except you might not realize why the cartoon DFW has a bandanna; for that, you’ll need to review the author photos on his books.

Also, a movie version of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men is scheduled to come out this year (IMDB page). I have trouble imagining how that collection of short stories will translate to cinema, but the first story in the book is my favorite short story, so I particularly hope it’s good. The synopsis does not strike me as promising:

After her boyfriend mysteriously leaves her with little explanation, grad student Sara Quinn is left looking for answers as to what went wrong. Directing all her energies into her anthropological dissertation, Sara conducts a series of interviews with men in an effort to uncover the secret thoughts that drive their behavior. As she records the astonishing and disquieting experiences of various subjects, Sara discovers much more about men and herself than she bargained for.

So, that’s just three recent references, but in the last few months DFW has come up in conversation with a range of unconnected people, and I’ve recommended Infinite Jest several times. Still waiting for anyone to finish it so we can discuss….

(YouTube video thanks to Syntax of Things; cartoon link thanks to Maud Newton.) 

RIP Jules Dassin

Jules Dassin on the set

Over the weekend I watched Rififi (which you may remember was top of my queue). It’s a terrific noir and a prime example of the great caper movies.

Jules Dassin, director of Rififi and many other fine films, passed away Monday. Here’s his obituary in the New York Times.

I recommend Rififi highly. Many plot elements are dated, but they make the movie come across as a period noir — no loss. The plot is gripping, but more importantly the characters are multi-layered and engaging. Certain shots are unforgettable (slight plot spoilers ahead): the umbrella coming through the ceiling, the Italian seen through the doorway, the gang gathered around the table….

One amusing part is the English subtitles. The characters are criminals, and apparently in the script (written in French) they use appropriate language. when this is translated into English, it’s sometimes jarring. ("Sit your moneymaker down" to a dancer in a cabaret, e.g.) Then again, translating their slang into proper English would be worse, so it’s churlish to complain.

Rent Rififi and enjoy. I’ll report back on its successors and imitators soon.

RIP, Jules Dassin.

(Link via If Charlie Parker were a gunslinger, which has a nice photo of Mr. Dassin.)

Moved to the top of my Netflix queue: “The Cat’s Meow.”

I moved it up from #140 when I read the Eddie Izzard interview in today’s NYT. "His strongest screen role so far has been as Charlie Chaplin in Peter Bogdanovich’s underrated 2001 film, “The Cat’s Meow,” about a 1920s murder on William Randolph Hearst’s yacht. His Chaplin is a driven, complex character, self-absorbed yet madly in love with Hearst’s mistress."