Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekend picks and pans, featuring The Descent

Okay, so I went to see The Descent this weekend.

First, let me say what a bizarre and marvelous experience it was for me to actually go out to eat with friends, do some shopping (at The Gape, and none of it on sale, but I was tired of months of looking in vain for pairs of cargo pants and khakis that actually fit me) while my patient-but-bored friends shot thongs at each other, and then go to a movie. I can't remember how long it's been since I did that, primarily because I'm really too broke to do things like that, and it was probably terribly irresponsible of me. Still and all, it was, like, actual fun or something.

Anyway, The Descent is fantastic. Really, really good. Complex, challenging, absorbing, and terrifying. Boy Roomie says I need to post a full-length review because what I say about it would convince people to go see it who normally wouldn't watch horror movies. I suspect he may also want me to stop talking to him about it all the time, because I am undeniably obsessing over it. But isn't that the best kind of movie? The kind that keeps you thinking about characters' relationships, moral implications, tiny little moments that start falling together over time? The kind that makes you think you could use it to good effect on a course syllabus? The kind that makes you drive your friends nuts because you won't shut up about it?

I may just follow up on Boy Roomie's advice, but right now I have so much work to do before tomorrow that it makes my head spin. In the meantime, I'll just say that you should go see that movie NOW, because it's marvelous--and I'm saying that despite the film's unfortunate reduction of Southern culture to either "mud, blood, and beer" or "sweet Jesus" (in the words of its wittiest character) and its oblique implication that Appalachia is a haven for primeval savagery. So y'all know the movie had to be very, very good indeed for me to recommend it in spite of that.

I'm running a bit behind because we spent a lot of the weekend on cleaning the carpet, which I should have done ages ago. I honestly might not be ashamed to have people over any more, and I don't feel depressed every time I look at the floor. So, there's another thing I recommend: rent a steam cleaner. It's less expensive than you probably think, and it's worth it.

I do not, however, recommend going to an afternoon class at your dojang if its being taught by an extremely athletic young man who genuinely seems not to understand that other people's bodies may be unable to do all the things his can. I had a terrific migraine after class and am in some really serious and unnecessary pain from trying to obey his unrealistic commands. Master Fuzzy actually had to step in and tell him not to exact penalties of up to 100 extra push-ups on those of us he thought were too slow.

I honestly think it's a wonder nobody was seriously hurt, and I'm a little frightened, in retrospect, by some of what I attempted under the effects of adrenaline and chastisement: I simply am not strong enough yet to be doing some of those things. Needless to say, I'm going to work hard to avoid being in one of that guy's classes again.

Finally, Amy Winfrey of Making Fiends fame has sent emails out to let people on her fan list know that she's done a pilot for a cable series. If all goes well, she'll be unable to sell the cool swag on her website any longer, because the cable channel will own licensing rights. So if you were thinking about getting the Scissorfiend t-shirt or the DVDs or something, you might want to go on over to her online store soon.