Busiest. Brain. Ever

Amy, the only other accountant at the 'socket, left last Friday, and has not been replaced yet, despite having given five weeks notice. Where does that leave me? At work, amidst two desks full of papers, most of which I have no idea how to process. Three weeks from now, I'll either be bragging about having closed an entire quarter by myself, or face down in a drained pool somewhere.

I left work last night long enough for a lovely dinner (and several Labatt Blue Lights) with Jill, Laura, and Gary. We ate brie on the front porch, grilled steak on the back porch, and talked movies and baseball in between. Then I slept and came back to work.

It's pouring. And sunny. And I'm expecting frogs.



As has become a Fathers Day weekend tradition, Jill and I spent the weekend in Rockport, eating seafood, enjoying the coast, and staying at a lovely B&B. As will probably not become tradition, we attended a service at the UU church where we'll be wed next April, talked a hotel into blocking rooms for us, and ran into Biffy (who lives in Florida) and her family (who live in Pennsylvania) in Gloucester. Before this run-in, the most unlikely coincidence of the weekend was Kathy Najimi being the first person whose last name starts with N to come to both of our minds in a 20 Questions-type game we played on the drive up. Eerie.


Not about movies

I'm afraid to blame this weekend's bout of food poisoning on either of my two favorite food preparers, Jill or the good people at Anna's Taqueria, so I'll blame the pepperoncinis I ate in between. Lousy delicious pepperoncinis. In less than five months at Bluesocket, I've now taken sick days for a bad back, a sprained ankle, and food poisoning.

After only 37 years with Sara, Brad is married. It was great to see the college gang again, and just as lovely walking several grandmas down the 300-foot "aisle" at a 90+ degree outdoor wedding, where the air was as muggy as the scenery was breathtaking. Congratulations, Brad and Sara.


My Two Cents

Now that I've linked to the 2005 QHS Movie 200 (keep the comments coming below), I'd like to show you my contribution to the list, the 100 best movies I've seen.

1 Singin' in the Rain
2 Lawrence of Arabia
3 The General
4 Annie Hall
5 Casablanca
6 The Apartment
7 Dr. Strangelove
8 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
9 It Happened One Night
10 Rushmore
11 The Graduate
12 Talk to Her
13 Breakfast at Tiffany's
14 The Wizard of Oz
15 Ghostbusters
16 North by Northwest
17 A Night at the Opera
18 A Clockwork Orange
19 Life is Beautiful
20 The Manchurian Candidate
21 The Third Man
22 The Godfather, Part II
23 Touch of Evil
24 Pulp Fiction
25 Fantasia
26 American Beauty
27 Paths of Glory
28 Notorious
29 Wait Until Dark
30 Gone with the Wind
31 The Deer Hunter
32 On the Waterfront
33 The Silence of the Lambs
34 Chinatown
35 The Best Years of our Lives
36 Taxi Driver
37 2001: A Space Odyssey
38 Magnolia
39 Sideways
40 Citizen Kane
41 Office Space
42 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
43 High Noon
44 Reservoir Dogs
45 A Place in the Sun
46 The Seven Year Itch
47 Vertigo
48 Apocalypse Now
49 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
50 The Royal Tenenbaums
51 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
52 The Producers
53 Forrest Gump
54 Rosemary's Baby
55 From Here to Eternity
56 Harold & Maude
57 His Girl Friday
58 Fargo
59 The Shawshank Redemption
60 This is Spinal Tap
61 Network
62 Lost in Translation
63 Midnight Cowboy
64 Rear Window
65 All the President's Men
66 Sex and Lucia
67 Schindler's List
68 The Searchers
69 Psycho
70 Sling Blade
71 Easy Rider
72 The Maltese Falcon
73 Caddyshack
74 Airplane!
75 Punch Drunk Love
76 Amelie
77 Memento
78 The Usual Suspects
79 Do the Right Thing
80 Duck Soup
81 Waiting for Guffman
82 Roger & Me
83 Adam's Rib
84 The Last Picture Show
85 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
86 Almost Famous
87 Pleasantville
88 Jaws
89 High Fidelity
90 The Station Agent
91 Boogie Nights
92 Raiders of the Lost Ark
93 The Incredibles
94 The Big Lebowski
95 The Blair Witch Project
96 Happiness
97 The Princess Bride
98 Rain Man
99 M*A*S*H
100 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

...and for good measure, my 10 favorite actors:

1 Bill Murray
2 Peter Sellers
3 John C. Reilly
4 Montgomery Clift
5 Harpo Marx
6 Dustin Hoffman
7 Phillip S. Hoffman
8 Orson Welles
9 Humphrey Bogart
10 Will Ferrell

my 10 favorite actresses:

1 Audrey Hepburn
2 Ingrid Bergman
3 Frances McDormand
4 Shirley Maclaine
5 Julianne Moore
6 Ruth Gordon
7 Paz Vega
8 Vivian Leigh
9 Judy Garland
10 Katharine Hepburn

my 10 favorite directors:

1 Billy Wilder
2 Stanley Kubrick
3 Wes Anderson
4 Woody Allen
5 Paul Thomas Anderson
6 Alfred Hitchcock
7 Quentin Tarantino
8 Christopher Guest
9 Michel Gondry
10 Roman Polanski

the 10 funniest movies I've seen:

1 Office Space
2 Annie Hall
3 Rushmore
4 Ghostbusters
5 The Royal Tenenbaums
6 Caddyshack
7 Airplane!
8 Old School
9 A Night at the Opera
10 The Producers

my 10 favorite love stories:

1 Breakfast at Tiffany's
2 Punch Drunk Love
3 Casablanca
4 Talk to Her
5 The Apartment
6 Annie Hall
7 It Happened One Night
8 Harold and Maude
9 Singin' in the Rain
10 Life is Beautiful

...and my 10 favorite movie characters:

1 Peter Venkman (Murray, Ghostbusters)
2 Rob Gordon (Cusack, High Fidelity)
3 Cosmo Brown (O'Connor, Singin' in the Rain)
4 Holly Golightly (Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's)
5 Colonel Dax (Douglas, Paths of Glory)
6 Max Bloom (Wilder, The Producers)
7 Raymond Babbit (Hoffman, Rain Man)
8 TE Lawrence (O'Toole, Lawrence of Arabia)
9 Jim Kurring (Reilly, Magnolia)
10 Amelie Poulain (Tautou, Amelie)


It's here

The 2005 QHS Movie 200 is ready at my Geocities site. Comments are welcome on this blog. Enjoy.


List to follow

The deadline has passed for the 2005 QHS Movie 200. I've given a few people extensions in hopes of shifting the balance of power at the top of the list, but I don't expect much change. Shayna astutely notes on her new (and hilariously informative) blog that the addition of a third woman (they now comprise over 27% of the voters) will have a profound impact on the final product. Move over Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson. It's Rob Reiner and Victor Fleming's list now.

Meanwhile, many thanks to Derrick Turnbow and the Brewers for retiring Derek Jeter with a runner on third and two outs in the ninth of back-to-back one-run games, extending the Y*****s futility streak to nine losses in ten games (and heel-clickable a 28-30 record). Movie lists, NYC birthdays, long walks through Framingham, 80 degree weather, and Y***** losses have made for a lovely start to June. Let's hope at least a few of those things keep up.


Royals sweep! Royals sweep!

And in other ponderings, I think I saw Dwyane Wade's name spelled at least 500 times before I realized yesterday that the Y came before the A. Can we insitute some kind of spelling test for mothers-to-be?


Midnight Milky Way

I could use this post to tell you about all the movies I've watched since my last entry. I could go into detail about Melisa's going away party at the Asgard on Friday night or the best seats I've ever sat in at Fenway on Monday night, a "prize" for my recent efforts at work. I could tell you about Noah's birthday party, Nameburst and tennis talk with Pat and Rob, or hobbling around Brooklyn on a foot so purple it looked like I'd been stomping grapes. But this Saturday night was much too memorable for me to bore you with any of that.

It all started at Enid's in Williamsburg, where Mark whipped out a few sheets of notebook paper and his trademark crooked-tipped pen and started grilling us for our top five movies. After Mark's friend Nick joined Pat, Rob, Jill, Mark, and me in sharing our likely top fives, I knew this moment couldn't come and go without a game, so I whipped up some rules in the spirit of the VH1 classic "The List," and we protected our favorites and eliminated what we didn't like or hadn't seen until the list was down to five. We put these five in order and moved on to the next bar, where no one had anything on his or her mind but ranking movies six through ten. The predictable and the pretentious alike were case aside in favor of the staples- films a majority had seen and a plurality had enjoyed. We even ranked the list in the spirit of the Paltrowitzes' ersatz sixth place finish at states in '97. The result begged to be published in this space:

1. Dr. Strangelove
2. Notorious
3. Touch of Evil
4. High Noon
5. The General
6. Sinigin' in the Rain
7. Taxi Driver
8. Bonnie and Clyde
9. All About Eve
10. Apocalypse Now

My suggestion to move on to numbers eleven through fifteen was countered almost instantly by the group's overwhelming desire to rank our top five candy bars. We dropped the dead weight and five of us ransacked Brooklyn's convenience stores (long after every establishment in Boston had locked its doors) in search of the perfect chocolate-coated candidates. Unable to find a 5th Avenue, Butterfinger, Nutrageous, or Whatchamacalit (all prohibitive favorites), we settled on ten bars and made our way to the first tavern with an available table.

The first thing a twenty-something learns when attempting to rank candy bars is not how awful chocolate and nougat mix with Bass and Bud, but how misguided we were when we lusted for these sticks of sugar as kids. Rolos take some time to get going. Toblerone is wildly overrated. Zero is worth its name in gold. Oh Henry is a cheap knock-off, a Butterfinger without the crunch. Babe Ruth's rotten corpse would proobably taste better than the Baby Ruth five of us shared but only I could swallow, one which probably reached the convenience store we bought it from when Ruth was still a pitcher. Only a select few bars met our lofty standards. My choice, Snickers, finished third behind Twix and the champion, a unique dark chocolate and caramel blend that proved worthy of Dr. Strangelove status:

the Midnight Milky Way.