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18 January 2009 @ 11:24 pm
Not actually in hiding...  
...though it might seem that way.

Mostly, I've been struggling to stay awake at night during the time I'm usually online or writing (I sure hope that passes). And after a Thursday night binge on chocolate chips, I had a minor freakout and decided that things had gotten so out-of-hand that I needed to eliminate sugar from my life again.

Friday morning, remembering a recommendation from witchofthedogs, I logged into sparkpeople.com. I'd planned to just use their food-diary capabilities, but they also have support groups for various things. Not sure I'll be using the ones for Depression or even Losing Weight After Forty, but I found some on Hypoglycemia (my frickin' nemesis) and on Plantar Fasciitis. I've spent too much time over there lately, but once the shiny newness wears off I'll be less distracted.

We watched The United States Of Leland on DVD, which was interesting and sad and left me with all kinds of mixed feelings. Goodness gone wrong, even in an instant, can have such horrible results (the surface idea of the movie). Funny, I haven't actually watched a Ryan Gosling movie up until now, and so I didn't recognize him here (where he's so young, and kind of looks like Ryan Lochte but less pretty). Honestly, I probably rented this from Netflix because both Don Cheadle and Kevin Spacey were in it, and they were really good as well.

Tonight, we saw Defiance at the theater. Better than I expected (and I thought it would be good), and less head-splittingly agonizing than most Holocaust-tied movies. An amazing story all around, great performances. Who knew Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber could pass as Russian-speaking? They barely pass as brothers, though-- none of the four brothers here look like they're related.

At Christopher's basketball game, we ran into two families from the kids' Jewish preschool. How I miss those days! One family's son was on the opposing team, and the other boy and his mother had come early for the following game. This one was a blowout (42-20), though Christopher's team lost last week's game (mainly on shots that came back out of the basket again and again). Lauren had this week off, so only one game.

Tomorrow the kids have dental checkups, and normally we'd do something afterward. But the "what" is limited in part by when I need to go bicycling (stupid limited daylight) and things we haven't done recently. Way back when, I used to take them to Burger King for the great outdoor playland. But they're too old now, and the playland was demolished. *nostalgic sniffle* Maybe roller-skating, unless they balk. :0


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dr. henry killingerliberateourtime on January 19th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
Who knew Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber could pass as Russian-speaking?

They were okay, then? That's one of my major issues as to why I'm hesitant to see it. 'Cause the only thing worse than having non-American characters have unexplainable American accents is having them speak in bad accents.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 19th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC)
I actually thought they were pretty good, and though a native speaker might quibble it was smooth on my sensitive ears.

The Russian "Ls" came through very distinctly, as did the vowels. They sounded like Russians speaking English (and often, Russian with subtitles) rather than Americans in a Russian setting.

Which is exactly the kind of thing that's keeping me away from Valkyrie (and god knows, Tom Cruise is awful at sounding like anything other than a modern American).

One of the most cringe-worthy movies ever in that respect was Hunt For Red October. There was a wonderful Leonid Brezhnev lookalike who opened his mouth and spoke Texan, and then of course the Scottish accent on the Russian submarine captain. Ow-ow-ow!
dr. henry killingerliberateourtime on January 19th, 2009 08:19 am (UTC)
I saw Valkyrie a few weeks ago. Tom Cruise has an American accent and never even attempts a German one. I guess that's a mixed blessing? Everyone else around him either has a German accent or a British one.

Have you ever seen The Wind and the Lion? It has Sean Connery playing a Moroccan man. With a Scottish accent. LOL.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: heh-hehhalfshellvenus on January 19th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
I can't take Tom Cruise in period settings at all-- he's so incredibly modern that it ruins the movie for me. Leonardo di Caprio, who is otherwise an excellent actor, started out the same way (remembers "Man In The Iron Mask" trailers and cringes again), though apparently he's improved.

It has Sean Connery playing a Moroccan man. With a Scottish accent. LOL.
I somehow think I might have, but maybe not!

That Scottish accent, which I love in context, is irrepressible for him. My favorite random outbreak was in First Knight, when in a moment of fury his character suddenly says, The llllloaw will dayl w' yehw."

All you can do at that point is laugh!
cindytsuki_no_bara on January 19th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
i read a mixed review of defiance, but they took issue with the way the movie messed around with actual facts more than the acting. (i figured the acting would be good because they cast some really good actors, and daniel craig at least sounds very, er, not-british in the commercials.) i think you're the first person i know who saw it, tho, so i'm glad you liked it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 19th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
There's always the danger, in making a movie based on real people and events, that your result becomes more of an inspirational fantasy than a tribute to history.

I hadn't expected it to be based on anything truthful, so for me, that didn't get in the way of enjoying the story.

I wonder how much average audience-goers will debate over why the Jews didn't do more to help themselves in WWII? They were almost perfect victims, but I don't think people will understand that a culture of peacefulness and of leaving war to others (for religious reasons) is what drove their choices not to fight.

I'm probably phrasing that poorly. But what I mean is, Americans are well aware that Quakers do not fight. Ever. It is a sin that they cannot involve themselves in, even to save their own lives. For the Jews of this period, this was also true. The combination of that belief and having an entire society turn against them en masse was catastrophic.

As thrilling as it is to watch these people fight back, I don't want Joe Moviegoer leaving with the thought that the Jewish people, as a whole, just needed to "get over" their "issues" with fighting. Does that make sense?

cindytsuki_no_bara on January 20th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
well, and i think the jews were so unprepared for germany to turn against them that they couldn't get it together to fight back until it was too late. i don't normally think of jews as a peaceful bunch of people - i mean, i think of israel, which has been shelling the hell out of gaza for three weeks, and i think of, like, the six days' war and the fact that every israeli has to serve two years in the army - but yeah, we're really more scholars than soldiers. we get caught in other people's wars, we don't start them ourselves. (well, except when we do.... see: israel, occasionally.) does this come up in the movie, that the jews were by and large religiously motivated to not fight? i'm really going to have to see it now.

we needed to "get over" our "issues", heh. a thousand years of getting smacked around europe kind of takes the fight out of you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on January 20th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
i don't normally think of jews as a peaceful bunch of people - i mean, i think of israel, which has been shelling the hell out of gaza for three weeks, and i think of, like, the six days' war and the fact that every israeli has to serve two years in the army -
I actually think of Israel as the anomaly. With regard to war and fighting, the current inhabitants of Israel resemble pretty much every other Middle-Eastern culture. I don't see peace ever reaching that region, because the Holy War concept is too heavily ingrained in all of the cultures.

But European Jews, at least, avoided fighting and war for centuries. Many hated them for it, not understanding that a larger religious belief was behind that choice.

does this come up in the movie, that the jews were by and large religiously motivated to not fight?
Yes, very much. The taking of a life was brought up again and again as something it is not for men (human beings) to do, and it was always obvious that the Jewish people here feared becoming as monstrous as their enemies. They were worried where the first step would lead, because there was no way of knowing.

we needed to "get over" our "issues"
Well, here I mean the specific issue of not fighting, even in self-defense. Many people are immensely frustrated with that idea, and they DO think it's something other people need to just "get over." Whereas those who believe that fighting is wrong also feel that excuses cannot be made to get around it-- it is eternally wrong, no matter the circumstances.

And those kinds of issues tend to be a little too "deep" for the average person nowadays.