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ispeakshellfish

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[02 Aug 2006|02:30pm]
well, greetings again from italy. sorry updates have been rare, but i was so busy making films that i didn't have much time. i don't now, actually,, because this internet train is really expensive.
but as many of you should know by now, rachel left me on sunday to be all by my lonesome, so i am now in cinque terre until sunday morning. it is gorgeous here, and the hostel i'm staying in is pretty nice, though a little far from the cinque terre villages. i've met some really nice people here so i've been hanging out with them for the past two days.
my films came out really well, and i am excited.
i crave ethiopian food, but i'm not tired of italian fare. it is so good, i don't know how my clothes still fit.
coming home monday, assuming i make my flight in paris, which is doubtful, since i fly from florence to paris, and then an hour later i'm supposedly supposed to leave from paris. we'll see how that goes.
ciao
2 pontiac firebirds| i rule!

[08 Jul 2006|09:57pm]
did you know that three blocks from my hostel is an AMAZING indian place? neither did i, until tonight!
and next door to this lovley internet spot is an african restaurant, which we have yet to try. we have gazed at the menu and it seems to be filled with yams, meat, and fish, but one day soon we will try it.
and there are two, yes, TWO chinese restaurants very close to our hostel.
not to mention all the quality italian restaurants. duh.
tomorrow: world cup! italia! italia! italia!
also tomorrow: ellis shoots her first project. ellis is scared... very scared. i hope hope hope it works out well.
yay for movies!
wasn't that incredibly detailed? there's just too much. if you care, i'll tell you stories. your choice!
but there are some pretty handmade leather shoes in my not too distant future!
i rule!

[05 Jul 2006|06:47pm]
buona sera!
jumping right in to the good stuff: the world cup!
for those of you not in the know, last night was the semifinal world cup game of italia versus germany. it was a very tense game because not only is germany really good, but they're the host of the world cup and therefore have the homecourt (or perhaps i should say homefield) advantage. needless to say, everyone in italy, and basically europe, was wound up for this game. so rachel and i and other classmates went to michaelangelo square, where they ( i don't know who 'they' are, but just work with me here) were showing the game on a big screen. excitement!
we got there about an hour before the game started, and there were already lots of people there. we shoved our way into a spot, shoved our way through an apparently free buffet at some bar to get some food, and then shoved our way through the growing crowd to find a better spot. we ended up finding it, even though it was in the middle of the street.
by the time the game started at 9, there were thousands of people there, everyone standing in the street, across the street, on top of anything to see this game. everyone was packed in really close, so on top of the rather sweltering temperature, factor in all that body heat and you got yourself a party. the close proximity also made it really pleasant when everyone (everyone) started smoking. i could hardly breathe, and we know how well ellis does in situations like that.
but i pulled through, standing on my tiptoes and craning my neck for a good look at the screen.
the crowd was really exciting though, and even though i don't generally watch sports, i really got into the game. man, these fans are nuts, singing, chanting, booing. what i really like though is that when italy tried to score but missed, everyone would clap. i think that's very nice.
so no one scored in the first half, and no one scored in the second half, so they went into overtime. two minutes away from the end, italy scored a goal. everyone went crazy, screaming, jumping, cheering, throwing things. madhouse. then, maybe one minute later, they scored again, essentially guaranteeing them the victory. so now italy is going to the finals on sunday. fun!
after the game the entire city was alive with cheering, and people blew their car horns in celebration well into the night. it was a little scary, though, because people get stupid when they get excited, which is why rachel and i have decided that on sunday we will not return to the likely even more ginormous crowd to watch the game, because win or lose, it will be even worse, because riots of celebration and riots of anger are likely and equally dangerous, in my opinion. and since it's about a 30 minute walk back to the hostel, that would be highly undesirable. but we WILL be watching.
anyway, that was the major excitement here. when we finish up here, rachel and i will go and get dinner somewhere and then return to our hmble abode to start working out our first movies, which we will shoot this weekend. it's a little intimidating, because these are film cameras, and basically there is more opportunity to utterly destroy your project that there is to do it right. great. and each reel of film costs €50, which is about $75. and each reel holds about 3 minutes. yeah. i'm going to be a little edgy this weekend.
arrivederci!
1 pontiac firebird| i rule!

[25 Jun 2006|07:53pm]
ciao, bellos and bellas-- ellis is in florence! the weather is hot (about the same temp as shanghai but half as humid, which is still really humid), the food is incredible, the males are gorgeous and the stuff is expensive. rachel is also updating her livejournal as i speak to you through this wacky keyboard, so she'll probably tell you something interesting. florence is gorgeous and touristy. i feel really bad that i don't speak italian, because i like knowing what's going on and at least being able to converse with people. i can usually understand what someone says to me, i just can't speak it back. damn.
the cheese here is really good.
rachel and i found a place that serves indian food, so when i need to i can curb that craving, but i still have yet to find a place that serves hummus. though i've decided that one day my meal will be gelato served on a waffle, because they have those here. tasty!
the supermarket here is also really good, much better (in my humble foodie opinion) than the one in shanghai. so there.
but it's really hard to get chinese out of my tongue, and i don't really want to, but no one will understand me if i speak chinese. though rachel and i did discover pisa's chinatown. hmmm.
well internet time is running out and dinner's in 40 minutes, so i be thee all buona notte!
i rule!

[23 Jun 2006|04:15pm]
this being my final day in china i feel i should have some sort of wrap-up. but first, the headlines:
today i got my nails done. again. but this time their cooler, because for only 8 kuai more, i can get flowers painted on. so now they are blue and flowery. pretty!
the other night we hyad our final banquet dinner, in which oily, greasy, tasty food was in abundance. there were these really good deep-fried banana cream filled twinkie type things. i wanted to eat the whole plate, but i decided to maintain only a moderate risk of obesity and heart disease and only eat one.
that night i went out with my friends and four students from uva. true to form, i convinced myself that the bar/ club would be enjoyable because it was a salsa club. and it was alright. tolerable. but not knowing how to salsa apparently handicaps the fun factor, so we rounded up the whole gang and went to zapatas, which, unfortunately for me, was not tolerable. imagine if you will, a restaurant without the tables or the food. then add in at least 100 people over the fire marshall's limit, drunk, sweaty foreigners with hardly any clothes on gyrating to the non-existent beats of bad 80s/ 90s music, and you have yourself something close to zapatas. i walked in and then walked out and took a cab ride home alone. boy was that fun. but at least that night my expectations were not too high.
yesterday we got a huge thunderstorm. it was cool.
yesterday i also went with three friends to the 'fake market,' which is a market of fake name brand goods. we spent about two hours walking around in the scorching, sauna heat. my friends bought a lot of stuff. i bought a red fake coach wallet, pretty much just because i felt that i should have something to show for those two torturous yet strangely entertaining hours. afterwards we got lunch at (get this!) a turkish restaurant! i had hummus for the first time in almost a month. it was spec-tac-ular. oh, was i happy. and the pita bread that they served was not pita bread but actually a piping hot, thick, extraordinary bread somewhat similar to pizza dough. it was wonderful.
so now, the wrap-up.
i am looking forward to going home. i miss my family because there's so much here that i know they would love, and i wish that i could show them and share experiences with them, because there's really nothing like being in china. that being said, there's nothing like being in china. it's incredible. i have a close group of friends; navigating the dangerous streets of shanghai will do that for you. i have lived for a month in a foreign, non-english speaking country, something that isn't exactly common. i have relied on myself and my knowledge to get around. i have been pushed and shoved out of the way, nearly run over by every form of transportation, been accosted in a grocery store, been stared at, gawked at, and probably laughed at numerous times. it was hard, but it was worth it. i have discovered foods that don't exist in the US and words that have no literal translation.
more things i have learned:
1. when pollution blocks the sun, the heat is more bearable.
2. many chinese people think i am french. this is not necessarily a flattering thing, considering that the french don't have the best of reputations. neither do the japanese.
3. many chinese people think i am beautiful, citing my hair, height, and nose as reasons.
4. it doesn't matter that it equals 2 us dollars, you just paid too much for it. but if you want the price to go down, walk away and pretend you don't want it.
5. cabs are cheap, convenient, and very, very scary. but the drivers wear white gloves.
6. spitting or blowing your nose on to the street isn't rude.
7. don't wait, just go and shove your way through. but just because it has brakes doesn't mean it will stop.
8. when someone comes up to you and says "watch bag? watch bag?" they don't mean they want to watch your bag, but rather they want to sell you a watch or a bag.
9. if you touch it, you must want to buy it.
10. if you come in, you must want to spend your money there.
11. if you are american, you have money, and you want to spend it.
12. there is no such thing as personal space.
13. people here don't say hi to each other. you're just another person in the way. unless you want to buy something.
14. rice comes out last, dishes come out 10 to 20 minutes apart, and everyone eats off the same plates.
15. it doesn't matter that it equals 1 us dollar, you just paid too much for it.

and thus ends my stint in china. tomorrow i will arrive at the shanghai airport at 8 am, and 26 hours later, i'll be in phoenix. and then, i will be eating, sleeping, or going to see a prairie home companion.
until then, this is ellis saying 'zai jian' to china.
2 pontiac firebirds| i rule!

mao is my comerade [19 Jun 2006|09:11pm]
i'm back-- in the wangba that is. i can't believe that i'm leaving saturday. have i really been here for 3 weeks already? and how am i not obese? i have eaten SO much food... i think i'm turning into a salt lick.
today we went to zhouzhuang, an ancient villiage connected by waterways instead of streets and surrounded by rice patties, watermelon, and vegetable patches. it was pretty, but we went to the ultra-touristy part, so while the shopping was good (really good), it wasn't really zhouzhuang, which i find upsetting because i don't like being a tourist. however, i should mention that the shopping was really good. i bouch a necklace, a purse, a skirt, two paper cut-outs, and a painting for 260 rmb, which would be about 33 usd. life is good.
in the world of shopping, i have bought a lot. and when i say a lot, i mean it. i have actually lost count of the number of dvds that i have purchased (experts say roughly 40). i have purchased 6 necklaces, a ring, 6 bracelets, three skirts, 2 qipao, a shirt/dress, numerous books, candy, two purses, 6 or 7 cds, the aforementioned painting and papercutouts, and more that i'm forgetting. yeah. but i would like to say two things. first: not all of it is for me. second: NONE of it is crap. no stupid touristy stuff. and i am very proud of that.
yesterday my friends and i went out shopping (gasp) [sidenote-- also bought a lot of tea] because that's pretty much all we do. actually first we went to the jade buddah temple, which was cool. then we went shopping in the french concession and stumbled upon a spa. it was certainly fate, because we all got hour-long traditional chinese massages for 80 rmb. that is exactly 10 usd. it was spec-tac-ular. then we went to dinner at the amazing vegetarian restaurant. mmm, watermelon 'meat'...
on saturday night, we went to bar rouge, a very exclusive and expensive club. for some reason i always manage to fool myself into thinking that this time i go to a club it will be fun, but you know, i'm always wrong. cover charge alone was 150 rmb, and then drinks started at 80. the only reason i GOT a drink is because my friends basically wouldn't let me not get one, and when i proceeded to not drink it, there was lots of pressure to finish it all (and let me tell you, i don't remember the name of what i ordered but there was a lot of alcohol in that thing- i would have been wasted!). of course i didn't finish it and passed it off to my friends. but come midnight, the club was packed. the music was so loud it was like there was no sound at all. there were so many people that i couldn't move. i couldn't hear, breathe, or move. so i left. alone. which our teachers told us not to do. but everyone was there and having fun, and i literally could not stay there. why did i think that it would be any different? i guess there's just no learning curve here, because i really want to have fun with my friends. so i left and took a cab back at 12.30 am with a driver that may have gouged me. i don't know. but my friends stayed at the club until about2.30 then went out karaoke-ing and got back at-- wait for it-- 7 am. yeah. needless to say that when i woke up there was no one to do stuff with. so i went to the park and then had lunch in a restaurant alone until people finally got their acts together at 2. i was a little frustrated. but then we proceeded to have an awesome afternoon.
on friday we got our nails done. it wasn't anything like in america, where the soak and trim and file and such, they just put on the polish. but for 7 rmb (.83 usd) i think i can deal. so now my nails are yellow and pretty!
let's see, what else.. oh! we went to see an acrobatics show on friday, and before that i went out with some friends and the profs to malaysian food. there were so many good curries. i wish my family had been there, but i ate enough for all of us so hopefully that helps a little.
speaking of the profs, they're awesome! they know where to go, how to order food and read the menus, how to bargain, but most of all, they are such sweet, fun people, and i love (and in fact prefer) hanging out with them as well as my friends.
i hope to update once more before coming home and give some final thoughts on china. sorry for spelling errors and such, but the computer is in overwrite mode and since it is in chinese, i don't really know how to fix it. hmm.
for now, this is ellis saying 'zaijian.'
2 pontiac firebirds| i rule!

[15 Jun 2006|09:31pm]
look at me go, another update. lucky you all!
so interesting story. last night my friends and i went to the bund to walk around before going to a club. the bund is right across the river from the oriental pearl building, the cool building with spheres that is reminiscent of the space needle. anyway, so all my friends were taking pictures, along with every other person on the bund. so there was a family next to us, and they kept looking over at us. nothing out of the ordinary, because basically everyone stares at large groups of american girls anyway. but then they came up to me and asked me if i would take a picture with them. they said "you're so beautiful, will you take a picture with me?" first i took one with the daughter, then with the mother. and the family members were not the only ones taking these pictures. other people were getting in on the action. it was so strange! and then the mother says to me: "you are very beautiful. i like you." this must be what it's like to be famous, having people look at you and talk about you and ask you to take a picture with them.
after that we walked on the bund for awhile, many more people proceeded to stare, and then we went in search of a club. long story short, we ended up at guandii, which was alright. we all know ellis is not a clubbing person, but i decided that the best way to have fun was to do something out of the ordinary. so i ordered a very tasty whisky sours (of which i drank maybe half) and, gasp, actually danced.
the dancing was really interesting though. pretty much all the guys there were awful dancers, so at least i wasn't alone. but what's cool is that while we were dancing, we formed what i call the wellesley circle, in which all the wellesley girls create a circle and don't let anyone else in. no sketchy guys grinding, just friends dancing in a circle. when some of the guys tried to dance with us, we would freeze them out. it was great! no gross sketchy guys. always a plus.
so tomorrow we're going to an acrobatics show, which should be good fun, and hopefully i shall wear one of my very shiny new qipao.
foods of the day:
peanut butter
peanut butter and jelly sandwich
chips and salsa
something non-oily
tomatoes
it was strange, today i didn't feel like eating lunch, so instead of going to the canting to eat a meal, i walked to a fruit bendor and bought some grapes and peaches, which i ate along with an apple. that was my lunch. man, i can't wait to be able to eat at home! i also cannot wait to read the newspaper. i miss the comics. and dear abby.
hmm, what else? there's some really important asia economics business summity thing going on; it's all over cctv. i was half listening to it during lumch today as i was doing a crossword puzzle. it would probably be more interesting if i understood anything about business, economics, international relations, or politics. but last night they had all the highways blocked off and policemen all over (and i mean ALL OVER) the city for security or something of the sort.
i have also decided that i should become a soccer fan. i watched about ten minutes of the germany/ poland game, which germany won, and i've decided that soccer is very cool. and it is full of good-looking players, much more so than any other sport i've watched. and i want to go to one of those games. they look really intense.
you know how there are jesus is my homeboy shirts? i've decided that i want to make a 'mao is my comerade' shirt. it would be pretty awesome. 'mao is my comerade' doesn't have the best ring to it, but i couldn't think of anything better. suggestions, anyone?
hope everyone is having a lovely summer. shout out to isaac for emerging from the hell hole that is chaparral with his sanity intact.
i come home a week from saturday. i can't tell if i'm happy or sad. both, i suppose.
oh, and did you know that in chinese, the word for the verb 'to waste' is the same as the word for the verb 'to rape a woman'? i think it's interesting that this implies that if a woman is raped, she has been wasted. think about it.
2 pontiac firebirds| i rule!

i can understand chinese! [14 Jun 2006|08:14pm]
and that's an exciting feeling. as i was walking here i heard two people debating (in chinese) whether i was american or english. i wanted to say something but i didn't. everyone here automatically assumes i can't speak the language, and when they find out i can they are suprised. example: today my afternoon teacher invited us over to her house to see her recent wedding photos and wedding dvd. in the cab there i was talking with her (in chinese), and the driver was really surprised. i could see his eyes in the rear view mirror because he kept looking at me. i've been told by a few native chinese that my chinese is good, and it's strange because i'm not sure how to respond. in china, when someone complements you, it's rude to say 'thank you.' instead they say 'nali' which means "where?" so that you demure instead of acknowledging that on which they are complementing you. but waiguoren (foreigners) always say 'thank you,' so should i be a waiguoren or a chinese person? is this a when in rome situation?
my teacher's wedding photos were incredible. she and her husband are really cute, but boy is a wedding complicated here! her wedding lasted literally ALL day. so tiring. and her wedding portraits! here you get them done before you get married, and you wear many borrowed clothes from the company, and my teacher said she spent 12 hours getting the photos done. i can barely stand 12 seconds to get one picture taken! all i could think was, boy, her husband is a sport!
then she and her husband took us out to dinner at a small neighborhood restaurant, and it was SO good, i just kept eating and eating.
but i've really been craving non-chinese food. like bread. they don't have bread here. i've also been thinking about cinnamon rolls, the grilled vegetable saandwich from soma, butternut squash, non-oily anything, and, of course, ethiopian plates of wonder. mmmm.
last night three of my friends and i went out to a jazz bar. it made me realize how stupid the 21 drinking age is, because in america, i can't do that. i didn't drink, because i don't really like that sort of thing, but the jazz was really good. we were definitely the youngest ones in the club, though, and i've never felt so simultaneously old and young.
this afternoon our professors let us skip class to go sing karaoke. it was pretty fun, but it was a private room so i just sang along without a mic. i was surprised though, because everyone's been saying that they want to go karaoke-ing, but no one really got into it. whatever. i got to sing jay chou. that's all that matters.
monday we took a day trip to suzhou, which is famous for its gardens. it was pretty, but we didn't really spend much time there, and we spent the afternoon shopping at a commercial shopping area geared for tourists who want to shop for kitschy chinese souvenirs or american-like products. i was not happy when my friends went looking at shoes, so i went off on my own.
on friday i went to the shanghai museum, and there was a gemstone exhibit. i thought of rachel the whole time. sadly, no pictures were allowed.
friday we're going to see an acrobatics show. fun!
time to go. soon i'm going out to te bund with my friends and some uva students, then perhaps a jazz club again and then a club. night night!
i rule!

[07 Jun 2006|07:54pm]
first the exciting news: i got accepted to the telluride film festival student symposium! they take 50 students, who attend tons of screenings and discussions with filmmakers. 5 days of cinematic bliss. and i thought my summer couldn't get any better. anyway.

i don't know how to describe shanghai. i don't know how to formulate my feelings about it here in a livejournal update. but i'll try.
being a waiguo ren (a slightly deragatory name for foreigner) is really hard, especially since there's no way for me to pass as chinese. everywhere i go, people stare at me. i am so noticeable. and because of my face, people try to cheat me, try to sell me things, take advantage of me, doubt my knowledge of the language, and patronize me. i feel like no one can see me as something other than a rich, ignorant american. almost everyone i have met has been very nice, but even when they compliment me on my chinese, two seconds later they turn around and laugh at my lack of understanding. news flash: i know enough chinese to know when you're making fun of me. and other americans have become just as obvious to me. every time i see someone who's not chinese, i immediately single them out, not unlike when i see a male on the wellesley campus. i guess now i know how they feel, but at least they can speak the language. kind of.
living in china is harder than i thought it would be. granted, i am living in a hotel on a college campus with other english speakers, but i still feel isolated. part of our homework assignments are to interview chinese students in chinese, which is hard for me just because i'm awful at starting and maintaining conversations with strangers anyway. doing it in chinese just makes it infinitely more intimidating and stressful. you try asking someone to explain in chinese what the chinese word for "geology" is. and when i don't understand what the heck they're saying, all i can do is nod, or look at my partner awkwardly.
and then there's bargaining, something that really bothers me. not only is it really irritating to basically have to name your own price, but it's insulting when people cheat me out of my money. just tell me the price already. needless to say, i don't know how to bargain, but it seems to me that there are secret rules as to when and where one bargains, and on for what you are bargaining. it's so confusing.
and then there's the language itself. talk about confusing! there are so many different words for one thing, and sentence orders, and characters and tones to remember. trying to squeeze one semester of chinese into 18 days of class makes it a little challenging to actually remember anything. and once i do an immersion exercise, i don't know how to think anymore. though one cool side effect of this is that we all start conversing in chinglish, like "which canting (dining hall) do you want to eat at?" or "my pencil zai nali?" (where is my pencil?) remember those interviews? to interview is caifang, so we walk around saying, 'should we caifang him? we could caifang her. i don't want to caifang.' it sounds like a dirty word.
all this is not to say i am not having a good time. i love it here. the difficulty will pay off, i know that. but it is so frustrating be simultaneosly stared at and overlooked. it's like trying to claw you way to the top of a ladder with missing rungs. sometimes the step up is easy and someone helps you along, but when four or five rungs are missing, you just dangle helplessly for awhile until you get the muscle to pull yourself up.
i'm happy, i'm frustrated, i'm tired, and i miss salad and hummus.
i rule!

[04 Jun 2006|10:37am]
nihao from shanghai!
i've been here a week now, and it's very exciting! the bit of jet lag i had has just about worn off, so now i come to you from an internet cafe a few blocks from the college.
shanhai is very big. that sounds like a fairly simple statement, but the only other adjective to describe it is 'crazy,' which is only slightly more eloquent. seriously, there are people everywhere pushing you out of the way, darting in front of cars, or running you down on their bikes just to get to where they want to go. and the cars here all almost run into people. it's nuts. and at night the city is alive with neon-- think if times square and the las vegas strip reproduced and put their kid on steroids. that's shanhai.
everything here is really cheap, though. 20 minute taxi rides are 24 yuan, with 8 yuan to the dollar. everyday i spend about 2.5 yuan on lunch, and even when i go out it's only like 25 yuan at a decent restaurant.
i did lots and lots of shopping and walking yesterday. my teacher took us out walking around a few shopping areas. it's amazing how almost every store is american or american-esque. yesterday we had lunch at this vegetarian chinese restaurant called the vegeatery, and it was SO SO good. my favorites were the pumpkin soup and the watermelon "chicken." there were lots of meats made out of bean curd but they actually tasted like meat. oooh, i want to go back! i also bought 8 dvds yesterday for no more than 20 american dollars. i bought perhpaps love, the promise (chen kaige's new movie that i missed in the theater), riding alone for thousands of miles(recent zhang yimou movie), farewell my concubine, 2046, the white haired woman, and some other ones i didn't know but that came highly recommended. and for 2-3 bucks a piece, i could resist. i also bought an antique tibetan ring from this really cool shop that made me think of rachel(i would have bought you something, rachel, but it's a little expensive...), and i also had two qipao dresses made for me, which i shall pick up soon. so in short, i spent lots of money. however, i didn't waste any. so there you go. out professor took some of us to see her childhood home (i really like the area-- very china. not upscale poshy, but nice, as well as quiet and seemingly friendly).then we went to eat hot pot. this was my first time eating hot pot, and it is so good. it's a hot broth soup in the middle of the table and you put in veggies or meat or whatever you want in it and then you all share. so good! more shopping followed...
a few nights ago my friends and i went to a xinjiang restaurant. xinjiang is an area in central china (i think) with a muslim population, and their food is incredible. they had this tasty bread stuff ,and the lamb we ordered was the probably the best meat i've had in my life.
i also have tons of class. 5 hours a day, but i'm out of my room from 8 to 4, thne 2 hours of homework and tutoring twice a week. plus, we have a quiz every morning on the chapter we learned the day before, at a pace of one chapter a day. it's a little intense. but this wsaturday we have class (ick) because next monday we're going to the suzhou province. we have saturday class the next week too because the following monday we're going to zhouzhuan, a village, which i am really excited about.
anyway, i'm not used to all the salt and oil in chinese food, so i am ALWAYS thirsty. but, against the advice of my grandfather, i have been eating non-peelable fruits, and i have had no problems. plus, there are fruit vendors on campus everyday, and the fruit is really good. i've bought mango, cherries, leechees, and some fruit that has no american name, but is very tasty.
um so i guess i'll wrap that up. for those of you reading this, it's tomorrow here. isn't that cool? i think so. alright, off i be. zaijian!
6 pontiac firebirds| i rule!

year-end review [14 May 2006|10:48pm]
[ mood | good ]

well hello. so, it's my second to last night here at wellesley as a sophomore. i figure i'll update tonight because i probably won't feel like doing it tomorrow night.
so, first item of business. guess how many new movies i have seen since i returned to wellesley in late january? go after the cut to see the full (alphabetical!) list and total number. it's pretty impressive. it's more than last spring semester and summer combined. i'm a machine. the ones with a * come highly recommended.
iCollapse )
ok, so that's that. i've actually watched more movies, but i just listed the ones i hadn't seen already. so when you keep in mind that it's been about 15 weeks, that's an average of 4.2666... movies a week. i have a lot of free time.
it's nice that i'm finally leaving liking my school. not in love with wellesley, still have a lot of beefs with her, but i like it, and for the most part, i'm glad i'm here. this semester has definitely been the best so far. considering this time last year i left feeling absolutely miserable (really, i've never felt that awful before in my entire life) this past year has been an incredible improvement.
so tomorrow i have my last final and then the storage company is picking up my boxes around 5. and then it shall be me, my luggage, and my computer. no sheets, no pillows, no clock, no pretty decorations, nothing. ick. but the packing is almost done, thank god, because wednesday was basically one long, crippling anxiety attack over packing.
and i leave for china two weeks from today! yes! ah, i'm so excited! my professor got us a grant from the school so we (my prof and i) are going to make a documentary about our shanghai program. it's going to be so great. i'm going to learn chinese and buy a ton of cool stuff. lots and lots of movies. mmm, i'm drooling.
well that's it. i'll see some of you while i'm home, and to those of you who i don't, have a great summer. look out world, here i come.

1 pontiac firebird| i rule!

[07 May 2006|11:30pm]
i saw mission: impossible lll this weekend. yes, i financially encouraged tom cruise's whoring of himself and his personal life and i saw the movie. does it help that i was rooting for (the glorious) phillip seymour hoffman the entire time? i don't think i would have seen the movie if he weren't in it. he is so wonderful. every time he came onscreen it was just... love. that man can act. but i still feel a little shameful about the whole tom cruise aspect of it...
otherwise, the movie was just on the good side of mediocre, and i say that because it's goal is to be entertaining, and i admit, i was entertained. of course, there were my usual scoffs and inappropriate laughter, but i suppose that's to be expected. the highpoint, besides mr. psh, was the few lines of chinese dialogue, which i understood thankyouverymuch. i think it's cool that the movie took place in italy and shanghai, which, you know, in case you hadn't heard, is where i'll be this summer.
i was going to write a paper tonight, but instead i ended up watching 'mostly martha,' a german food movie. it was good. last night i also watched 'prizzi's honor.' not as good. but it's from 1985. what do you expect? though i do like anjelica huston. she's always reminded me of my mom.
so yeah. just over a week. i must say though that the dining hall is not making it very easy to enjoy what's left of my time here, because it seems that as the weather gets better, the creativity and quality has taken a significant nosedive. this isn't just me complaining-- i have people who can verify my assertions. because it's totally true. it's a good think i never get tired of hummus.
so, other than that... isn't my life exciting? not as exciting as steph's mom's! she's one lucky lady. i wish jeff probst would come into MY classroom. he's welcome at wellesley any time.
1 pontiac firebird| i rule!

[25 Apr 2006|10:28pm]
WHY do i have nothing to do and why am i SO bored? this is not sarcasm people, it's real life, and i have nothing to do. lalalalalala.
ever since i finished my screenplay, i've been itching for a creative outlet, because that would keep me sane, but i don't know what to write about and i don't have any painting accoutrements, and there's no point in buying them three weeks before i come home. so basically, i'm going insane. i've watched two movies and read two magazines today and checked my email lord knows how many times. i have no outlet, this is dangerous, i need a project that is not school related...

oh. my. god. i think i'm going to suffocate...!

oh i guess i forgot to tell you all why last friday rocked my socks. yeah, so these two guys who work as creative executives in hollywood and actually work on real movies came to give a lecture and i went out to lunch with them and my two CAMS professors and we talked and they took my screenplay, to make a long story short in a run on sentence. i was expecting them to be late thirties balding guys who wore glasses and 20 year old faded tshirts but they were two young (27), good looking guys. one of them (who incidentally studied chinese and likes depressing movies) looks like keanu reeves.
anyway, so it was cool.

and basically now i'm going out of my **mind** and eating altoids.
i also am applying for a copyright for my script.
ergo i shall soon be copyrighted
and certifiably insane
if this semester
does not
END
i rule!

i stole it from steph [19 Apr 2006|09:25pm]
it's like they looked into my soul... especially about the supreme genius part.


Your Birthdate: April 1

You are a natural born leader, even if those leadership talents haven't been developed yet.
You have the power and self confidence to succeed in life, and your power grows daily.
Besides power, you also have a great deal of creativity that enables you to innovate instead of fail.
You are a visionary, seeing the big picture instead of all of the trivial little details.

Your strength: Your supreme genius

Your weakness: Your inappropriate sensitivity

Your power color: Gold

Your power symbol: Star

Your power month: January


registered for classes today, and i'm actually, wait for it, *excited* for next semester. i'm taking cinema of the 1960s, advanced chinese, women filmmakers, indian cinema, and i'm first on the waitlist for the art of screenwriting. it's five classes, but could i possibly have a better schedule? only if martin scorsese were my professor. everyone should be so jealous of ellis right now. I'M jealous of ellis right now.
1 pontiac firebird| i rule!

[18 Apr 2006|05:30pm]
last night i had a dream that martin scorsese was helping me look over my screenplay. and that jack nicholson came to my house looking for my dad. and tonight for my film class we're watching Mean Streets, directed by Scorsese, the man of my dreams (literally).
also on the way to class this morning i was thrown into an admissions video: i walked down the steps of the science center with two complete strangers.
these are most definitely signs that i am meant to be in movies.
and, on that note, friday at lunch is going to be the most exciting day *ever*.
1 pontiac firebird| i rule!

[14 Apr 2006|04:01pm]
[ mood | bitchy ]

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117941360?categoryid=13&cs=1&nid=2563

you know, if HE can be a director, then goddammit so can i. it appears that talent is NOT required to make a $10 million movie. this is so unfair. what am i doing getting an education while any old "musician" can just make a movie because he's famous?
i'm in an especially pissy mood right now because i just found out that the wellesley chinese department is essentially on the brink of evaporation, because of our 4 professors, one is retiring, one has (insanely!) been denied tenure (she's incredible--there was even a petition to appeal to the tenure she was denied LAST year-- oh, and she's a wellelsey alum. good show, wellesley), and another is leaving. and the two lecturers (one of whom is my current awesome prof) don't teach upper level chinese so, um, whoops! hey, sorry all you chinese majors-- you can't learn the world's most spoken language. i'm also annoyed at wellesley for treating the cinema and media studies department like a joke. or a favor, placating to the maybe 15 students like me.
on the plus side, monday is marathon monday, the one day last spring when i actually enjoyed myself. here's hoping for a repeat performance and a sweaty kiss from a runner.

1 pontiac firebird| i rule!

[09 Apr 2006|11:00pm]
i have discovered the key to happiness, and the answer is:
buy toe socks.
i rule!

[15 Mar 2006|09:31pm]
i think it's the apocalypse. the weather has been so-- i don't know. this morning it was cool (but nice) and VERY windy. the wind continued throughout the day, but around 4 o'clock, it started to snow. and then it stopped and got all sunny. and then around five it started to snow again. and then it just got really cold. and two days ago, it was 60 degrees. it was 67 last weekend.
so, coming home soon! sunday is some lalibela action with la famiglia. that's italian. and speaking of italian, i found where i want to spend my five or six days i have in italy before the film school starts. it's this place on the coast called cinque terra. i looked on google images, and this place is so beautiful that it was actually painful. i wanted to start crying. so i don't care-- i'm going there.
i'm glad today is over. two papers and a test.
and now for something slightly more entertaining than my dull life, i give you some of the useful vocabulary i have learned in chinese:
smoke marijuana
cocaine
male chauvanism
the equivalent of 'spinster'
i'm sure that these four phrases will come up frequently in conversation. especially if i am talking to a bitter, drug addicted unmarried woman. it's always good to be prepared.
i rule!

[08 Mar 2006|10:50pm]
[ mood | ingmar-tastic! ]

i just finished watching "nashville," a robert altman movie that is so incredibly good. i really like it. of the four altman films i've seen, i like this one the best. if you have a spare 2 hours and 40 minutes lying around, you should use it to watch "nashville." and it has good country music! i know that "good country music" kind of seems like an oxymoron, but it's not, robert altman had all the actors write and perform their own songs. so anyway. highly recommended. and lindsay, i thought of you this entire movie because, well, you live in nashville. so there we go.
today i took the year's first walk around the lake! it was actually so warm out that i couldn't see my breath and i didn't have to wear my down jacket-- an almost first this semester! its supposed to be almost 60 this weekend, but the lovely temperature is somewhat obscured by the perhaps torrential rain that we're supposed to get. so no flip flops. but i'm living for next friday, when i can return home and wear tank tops and skirts and flip flops. i've actually been having day dreams about wearing pretty spring clothing, that's how desperate i am.
i watched "persona" in my film class on monday. i think that probably rachel is the only one that would and does appreciate that. perhaps not anyone else's cup of tea. however i thought it was ingmar-tastic. beautifully filmed, lit, acted, everything. yay, ingmar!
i'm in the process of solidifying my shanghai plans. may 29- june 24. i'm so excited! they sent out an email asking us to get parental permission to go since they've had 2 cases of bird flu (in a population of over a billion people) and wanted to see if people were still interested. i didn't actually ask my parents, i just told them i was going. so i may die of bird flu this summer (if i don't die of a blood clot first from all the flying i'll be doing-- around the world in 2 months: phoenix-shanghai-florence-phoenix!).
well i suppose that's it. i'm going to try to see 'tsotsi' and 'the libertine' this weekend, as well as write three papers. ingmar-tastic!

1 pontiac firebird| i rule!

[05 Mar 2006|11:50pm]
[ mood | i want an oscar ]

well that was a really unexciting oscars. is it just me, or do they seem to get duller every year? there was a definite lack of fashion fun (though yay for reese witherspoon and michelle williams). charlize theron looked like she was growing another head. meryl streep looked amazing, as did jennifer garner and probably some other people who i am forgetting at the moment. keira knightley was... icky. ooh, and salma hayek and jada pinkett smith looked really good (but what else is new?). felicity huffman and jennifer aniston looked nice but not special. rachel weisz- meh. surprisingly jennifer lopez was dressed and actually looked good. oh, and i am totally a fan of steve carrell's eyelashes. and ben stiller's green unitard.
aren't ang lee and his wife just the cutest people you've ever seen, along with reese witherspoon/ ryan phillippe and michelle wiliams/ heath ledger? it was nice that ang lee won, though i was pulling for a bennet miller upset. i was really annoyed that crash won. now granted, i wasn't really crazy about any of the nominees, but i'm just not a huge crash fan. shifting to acting, i was happy for phillip seymour hoffman, i so love him, and george clooney had a nice acceptance speech. reese witherspoon, boy was that (not) a surprise, and neither was rachel weisz, but i was really pulling for a michelle williams or amy adams upset. jon stewart was pretty funny-- i really liked the beginning and the fake best actress commercials. and it's too bad woody allen didn't win for match point. but i think maybe the academy is just a little tired of him. i was glad the memoirs of a geisha guy won for cinematography. i read about him in my cinematography magazine and that movie seems like it would have been an ordeal to light and shoot.
so what would ellis have nominated for best picture?
match point, the three burials of melquiades estrada, walk the line, munich, and capote. and i think that match point would have to be the winner, or three burials.
oh academy, you're getting predictable. all the front runners have been winning in the past few years. let's get a deserving upset. don't wory-- soon the oscars will be brimming with excitement when rachel and i win our oscars.
oh, and all the songs that were nominated this year? awful. did anyone see that atrocious interpretive dance that went with the crash song? i was embarrassed for the people on the stage. and i have to say that 'it's hard out here for a pimp' was really bad, though i do like the fact that rappers can now win academy awards. it's nice to see the academy embracing some form of diversity. and dolly parton? she will haunt my nightmares. i don't think that any human being is supposed to have a chest that's twice as large as the waist. ugh! what an awful-looking woman, if you can call someone with such a high body tissue to synthetic materials ratio a woman. try mannequin.
we had a nice oscar party in our res hall tonight, and it was definitely nice to watch with an enthusiastic audience. much clapping and laughing abound. yay for fun parties and sarcastic commentary (which mostly came from me).
well i guess that's all on that for now.
last night i ate ethiopian food all by myself. that's right, ellis had her very own shiny plate of wonder, because i couldn't find anyone to come out with me. but while i was there, sitting alone at my table, eating my plate of wonder, the waitress came over with a glass of strawberry juice and said that a guy over at another table had ordered it for me. he was sitting with his friends so i went over and thanked him and ended up talking with them for the next hour and a half. they were all really nice, and he was in town because he got accepted to harvard business school and might go there next year. it was fun. and i've always wanted someone to order a drink for me like that-- just like in the movies!
ok, i suppose that i should get ready for bed. is this semester over yet? because i'm tired of doing school work.

2 pontiac firebirds| i rule!

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