Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Movie Poll of the Week

You should have one favorite movie that makes you laugh, one that shakes you up, and one that makes you cry. Here are mine:

Laugh - If the criteria is how close I came to peeing my pants or passing out from lack of oxygen, I'd have to say a tie between Return of the Pink Panther (the very best of the series by a million miles) and There's Something About Mary (the first time I saw it). Laughed so hard in Pink Panther people were getting aggravated because I kept laughing into the next scene. In Mary, just thought I was never gonna catch my breath. My favorite scene is the one where Matt Dillon tries to revive the dog with the lamp cord. And I confess, I am a huge fan of the Austin Powers movies. Own all three of them. Guilty as charged. In fact, there is a huge list of movies that I love that make me laugh a lot. When Harry Met Sally, Stripes, Wedding Crashers, Anchorman, 40-Year Old Virgin, O Brother Where Art Thou, Princess Bride, just to name a few. I really do enjoy sophisticated humor too, but it's the sophomoric, goofy, silly humor that makes me spit up. Also, Arrested Development - funniest.TVshow.ever. Canceled. Sad.

Shakes Me Up - Most recently, definitely Crash. But in a good way. Every person in America should see this movie (see my previous post for my thoughts on this film). And any movie about the Holocaust - most recently The Pianist. Brilliant but hard to watch.

Cry - My all time favorite movie ever, To Kill a Mockingbird. After the trial when the black minister says "Stand up, Miss Jean Louise, your father's passin'." Gets me choked up every time. Also when Scout meets Boo Radley face to face finally. Second place is The Way We Were. I know, don't even say it. But at the time that movie came out, there were things in my life that it touched regarding the nature of love. At the end, when Katie sees Hubbell and pushes the hair out of his eyes, and says "Your girl is lovely, Hubbell." Sniff. That scene says so much about the bittersweet aftermath of a love that just wasn't meant to be, no matter how much you wanted it to be.

I want to add another category. What's your favorite movie about love and romance that makes you just feel really good? Not tragedy, not mush, but real and true. I have two, and Jay and I never get tired of watching them because they speak so profoundly about the nature of real love. Something's Gotta Give (no particular scene, just the whole darn movie), and Love Actually (especially the restaurant scene between Colin Firth and the Portuguese girl - won't say more in case you haven't seen it) (Also the opening and closing scenes at the airport - LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM). If you have not seen these movies, I highly recommend them whether you are currently in love or not. They will give you hope. And make you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And who doesn't need to feel hopeful and warm and fuzzy now and then?

Hmm, guess my THREE movies was really more of a listing. Feel free to do the same.

Please give me your comments, friends!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Post Office 101

Recently I had to make a trip to my neighborhood U.S. Post Office to mail something. I had to stand in line because I needed to (a) purchase a large envelope and (b) send the item Certified Mail. Well, it was sort of late in the day, after 5pm I think, and there was quite a long line. There were three people behind the counter, but one of them had a "Window Closed" sign up (though there is not technically a window, but I digress).

Post Office Employee 1 was a young African American woman. When I got far enough up in line to observe the various people, I noticed that the man in line with her was chatting her up with several stories that he apparently found very amusing. He was probably in his 50s or 60s, and had quite a few things to mail, apparently of different sorts because it appeared she was doing a separate transaction for each one, all the while politely smiling and chatting with him. As the line grew longer. But she WAS polite and friendly.

Post Office Employee 2 was the aforementioned "Window Closed" lady. She was actually still at her post doing some sort of tasks, I think related to closing out her station. She seemed to be counting checks, money, etc., totaling out her register, etc. The thing I noticed about her was that she was conducting all these tasks as though underwater. I have never seen anyone move so slowly and deliberately who did not have some sort of handicap or was really old. This woman was probably not a whole lot older than me. Now I suspect that, being Government employees, they must shut down their station when they are scheduled off, regardless of how many patrons are still in line. But it is a little disconcerting to see someone who brings to mind the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare (her being the Tortoise) milling around glancing up at the line and yet making no acknowledgment that there were probably 20 people waiting to do their postal transactions.

Post Office Employee 3 was a woman in her 50s I'm guessing, though since I am now in my 50s, I find it is much harder to guess someone's age. I don't look my age, or so I've been told (and I have to confess I agree - good genes), and yet I know of a number of people who are actually younger than me but look quite a bit older. Anyway, this woman has bleached blondish-gray hair, too long for her age, and looooong red fingernails. I observed her and noted that she took the time with pretty much every single person to fully explain their myriad postal mailing options in great detail. She was very nice, very polite, and seemed to be willing to take all the time necessary to educate people on the intricacies of the United States Postal Service and help them make the most cost and time effective choice for the particular postal needs. But I found myself wondering, don't most ordinary people, unless they have never ever held a job or have lived a very sheltered life, already KNOW the basics of say, the difference between Certified Mail and Priority Mail and Book Rate, etc.? I mean, if you have ever worked in an office, you have had some kind of experience with mailing something. But most of these people seemed as though they had never set foot in a post office before in their lives. It was surreal.

The next odd thing I noticed was that there were two women standing sort of behind the "windows" area, kind of halfway behind a partition around which the employees go to put mail in some sort of bins or whatever. One of these women was holding a clipboard, and she kept stepping around the corner, looking out at the growing line of patrons, several of whom were holding large boxes and getting a bit agitated. She would look at the crowd, look at her clipboard, smile at us, smile and say something to the other woman, and step back around the corner. This happened quite a few times while I was standing in line, and several people commented to each other about this woman, and about Employee 2 and why she didn't open her window back up since it was obvious they needed more help. I found myself wondering what the woman had on her clipboard - was she doing some sort of postal traffic after 5pm survey, some kind of assessment of customer service, some rating of how quickly the employees processed the customers . . . trying to see how long the line would have to get before someone started to get ugly? Who the heck knows.

I must say that the employees were polite and nice, and we all know that sometimes postal employees can be a bit surly, though I've never understood why. The job pays good and doesn't look all that hard. But I was thinking that day that most of those people who were tired and ready to go home and have dinner or play with their kids or crash in front of their TV or whatever would have gladly traded the pleasant chatting and Post Office 101 classes for a little speedy processing and fast service.

I'm just sayin . . .

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Well this is just funny . . .

Took a poll, and apparently I'm Spiderman. Meh. My least favorite superhero. What's up with that? I wanted to be Batman. Oh well, maybe I should take another look at Spidey . . .

Your results:

You are Spider-Man

You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky, and have great power and responsibility.

Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Iron Man

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Okay, yes, I am intelligent, witty, and probably more than a bit geeky. Not sure about the power part, or the responsibility. Now if only I could throw the web from my palm and swing all over the place - THAT would be cool!