Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Death by GPS

 Tahoe is all snowed in and a bunch of freeways are closed. I've been on twitter a lot because it's that dead week at work between Christmas and New Year's and I usually choose not to take vacation. I remember in the early days of Heckasac Smiller would despair because there was no one online and he was the only one working. At my prior job my boss would give me the time off and not make me use vacation, that was pretty cool!

Back to my point about Twitter, I am seeing a lot of snarky traffic posts about trying to drive in the snow, including like from the CHP. It's a bit jarring to see the jokey tone from CalTrans and cops, but I guess it's a Twitter thing. One person tweeted about how Google Maps was showing people alternative routes that would cause them to get stuck in the snow.

This got me thinking about a time many years ago (how many? no idea - ten? more? aha, I checked my email and it was 2009, so 12 it figures I would guess ten because of how the pandemic made the last two years simultaneously long and also meaningless) when GPS almost got me and my friend JM killed.

We were heading to a ghost town in Nevada, no, not the one I've been to a few times that many people go to, but some other one. I have never been to this day so I can't tell you what it was called. We must have been using some first gen GPS I'm guessing, like a Tom Tom. My mom still uses my old Tom Tom when she's in the states, although since that's been two years as well I'm wondering if it will work if she can ever come visit again. She was supposed to visit in about 3 weeks but ya know, Omicron.

We set off, probably without maps and followed the GPS. After hours we ended up on dirt roads, and finally gave up when it was sending us dirt roads that were too narrow to turn around, with big deep ruts on both sides. They were obviously not for cars, maybe for ATVs or I don't know, 1800s cattle drives? I remember at one point getting out of the car to direct her and because I was getting to scared to be in the car which I though might fall off the road (I am notorious for being like a rat fleeing a sinking ship, I will abandon you and get myself to safety)

I don't know how long this went on (sorry, my memory is too bad for my stories to be great) and then we drove back into some town and asked them. Maybe it was the town museum. We told them the name of the ghost town (I swear it maybe had the word green in the name) and I think they gave us another pointer, but we either tried it and it looked sketch or we just were too tired to try.

At this point we decided to give up and drive home, our friends were in a ghost town and everyone had flip phones so there was no way they would get reception. I remembered the Four Eyes were playing in Nevada City, which was on our way home. I think it was at the Mineshaft. I think smiller was there? My friend JM was beat but he dropped me off so as a bonus to my 12 hour day stressed in the car I got to see my friends/great band.

addendum: I blogged about this in May 2009, made an obscure joke about deciding not to camp (not sure why I didn't say we got lost) and the show was actually in Placerville! And there are also pics from Biz's graduation https://heckasac.blogspot.com/2009/05/friday-cruise.html

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Do I like Phantom Thread

 I forever associate this movie with going to see it at DoCo with Scott and arriving to the window to discover I had dropped my wallet in Coin Op. That's the one and only time I've ever been (or will probably ever be) in Coin Op, and we were there for a complicated reason that had to do with thinking Katy Perry was playing at Golden 1 that night and wanting to avoid the crush or something.

Anyway, we didn't go that night so had to go back and see it another time. I did not find the wallet and canceled everything (it only had a little cash in it) but then months later it was dropped through our mailslot with my cards, but cash gone. So I now have 2 valid driver's licenses, which could come in handy some day.

I liked it but I vaguely felt like Woodcock was problematic and a dick (natch, it's in the name). Rewatching last night, I had a strong and unexpected reaction: I could not stand his wife. Whether or not you like his dowdy-ass clothes, this man is an artist, and art is important. Yes, he just outfits rich woman, but his work is meaningful to them, and other women who can't afford the clothes and he is living a life of authentic art-making. Being a good romantic partner is not the end-all be-all of life. Not everyone has to be one. Sometimes people are more preoccupied with other things. Yes, that sucks if you date them, but if you are free to go you are able to walk out. 

It's different if someone is abusive, and for sure Woodcock is throwing up red flags all over the place at first, including wiping off her lipstick on their first date and negging her about her figure. He is a dick and a terrible partner, but they are just wrong for each other and she should go.

I understand that the gender dynamics are problematic because the trope of the great artiste is almost always male, but I also think it's fine for a women to exist with other priorities that don't make her a great romantic partner whether it's being an artist or a doctor or whatever. 

Like Woodcock, I enjoy a peaceful household and also treasure my quiet in the morning so I think I just took her toast scraping and spoon biting too hard lol. There is nothing wrong with wanting peace and harmony in your house, and maybe not being a boisterous party person, or even not being "fun". I don't necessarily identify with all of that (I'm "fun" at times, I hope, ok probably rarely), but there are other ways to be and seriousness and focus are important too.

There's so much that could be said about their relationship and his draw to Alma and his lack of self awareness about what he needs in a partner. Her age and origin is never discussed, but there is an over 25 year age gap between these two actors.  But I'll just wrap up with wow Daniel Day Lewis' embodiment of this character is insane. This person felt real to me in all his quirks and idiosyncracies. Sister Cyril, the old so-and-so was also great, and Alma too. If Oscars were a real measure of quality this should have taken them all around.

PTA's first movie set outside of America, I wonder what the Brit's take was on whether he got those details right. I think this and Boogie Nights are his masterpieces.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Do I like Inherent Vice

 I surprised myself with the strong emotions this movie provoked in me. Mostly because a) I'm dead inside and b) I did not remember much from seeing it when it came out beyond a vague feeling that it was good.

I think it was maybe just too much to process on first watching. It snapped me out of my Joaquin Phoenix negativity. He's really funny in it. I mean, this movie is wackadoodle for sure, but I guess chalk that up to the Pynchon base material. I have never read any Pynchon and I'll never say never but nothing from him resides in my current giant stack of books that is oppressing me from my bedside table.

This movie really affected my sleep, the scenes kept playing in my head, especially the mesmerizing Katherine Waterston one, yes if you've seen it you know the one, but not in a dirty way, more like the woozy lighting on her hair and face.

There are obtrusive and gratuitous celeb cameos (Martin Short the most egregious) that make it seem Tarantino-esque, and an unwelcome Owen Wilson brings a soupcon of Wes Anderson to the mix, but this movie seems to have tapped straight into my subconscious and today I'm feeling all the feels (it's annoying me to write that even as a joke). 

It inspired me to listen to Harvest today which TBH is not good for my mental health. Nothing makes me sadder than that album and looking at and singing along with my dad's 8 track of it is as strong of an early childhood memory as I have.

I'll have to do a final ranking once I rewatch Phantom Thread and then if Licorice Pizza ever opens here.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Do I like The Master

 Short take: ew, no

Longer take: I watched it maybe 3 weeks ago and then I went to LA and work has been busy so I have not been able to write about it. But I must continue because Licorice Pizza whilst be anon soon, as it has already been open for weeks in actual cities.

While I marinate on the Licorice Pizza trailer which I've seen at least 3 times while seeing movies in the theater, Spotify wrapped has revealed to me that both my #1 and #5 songs from 2021 were from Haim, so I guess I am a Haim fan but I'm not even sure I like them. Anyway, Alana Haim stars in Licorice Pizza.

When I first saw The Master (in a theater) The Joker movie did not exist, which I'm sure made Joaquin Phoenix easier to take in The Master. He is a skeletally thin and hunched alcoholic in The Master. He is utterly repellent (meant to be) but my hatred for The Joker made it so I just could not stand the character. And did not buy that he would be relatively attractive to women, although I guess because he's tall, dark and unhinged (and hates women) that might be attractive to some.

The Master had mostly faded from my memory, with the only thing remaining being the Amy Adams weird handjob and the pseudo-Scientology "auditing" scenes. 

What is it saying? What is the point? PSH plays an L Ron Hubbard daddy type, I guess he bonds with Joaquin Phoenix over their shared alcoholism, although PSH keeps his mostly under control. Watching folks pour effort and feelings into Joaquin's empty vessel of a person I just did not buy it, why would they latch onto this person for anything? I'm sure this cult would take any converts, but they elevate him to a prominent position and it's hard to understand what they see in him. 

There's a parallel to Punch Drunk Love and TWBB in the sudden bursts of violence that come out of these protagonists. 

Really did not like this on rewatch.