Archive for February, 2007

And The Oscar Goes To…

February 27, 2007

Well, I finally watched last night’s Oscar-winning best picture, The Departed.

As such. I feel the need to articulate some thoughts about the film for a moment.

First off, excellent casting. Absolutely stellar performances from each and every person in the movie. And that is definitely becoming a rarity in films as of late. Standouts from Mark Wahlberg and Leonardo, of course.

Second, it was alarmingly clever. Smart, scary, funny, gross, graphic, disturbing, intense. All are applicative.
But I also found it overwhelmingly difficult to listen to. The graphic violence bothered me little compared to the extremely offensive and crude dialogue. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so uptight that I can’t handle a few ‘fuck yourself’s and references to subserviant sexual acts, but what really gets me is when it’s virtually two and a-half hours of it. I get it. It’s a mob movie. These characters are pretty much the lowest of the low. And at times the over abundance of abrasive language is actually quite humorous (aka Mark Wahlberg’s character). But for me, less is often much more. (The same could be said about the movie’s violence, but I’m not so much concerned with that right now.) I just wish it had relied on it’s own intelligence and wit rather than on crude language alone.

Ultimately, I suppose I can respect it for what it is….
I guess I just don’t really like it when we bestow major awards on movies of this sort of genre. I guess I’m just an idealist when it comes to calling one movie “the best.” Ideally, I prefer to reserve that honor for movies with more sentimentality, stories that are more epic and moving…. Films that really leave you thinking and stay with you long after you’ve experienced them. But I guess you can’t have a movie like that every year. That’s what makes it so special when they actually do come around.

Not that The Departed wasn’t moving, because it actually was surprisingly so… I genuinely cared about certain characters and was invested in their outcomes more than I thought I would be. And the ending was one of those clinchers where you just sort of wince and say “Oh, damn!” It gets you in a way you wouldn’t expect.

So. In conclusion, I liked it. And I did come away with something of a moral message and deeper meaning.
I just pose this question: Is it possible to make the same movie but less graphic in all aspects? And would it be better or worse for it?
I leave it to your own discretion…

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Back To The Future

February 26, 2007

So I made a somewhat impulsive trip to Providence last evening… Since I did not have to work today (Sunday) at the Picture People as I thought I might, I decided not to stay at home being bored and lonely but to make the drive to spend the night and day with Adam. I had originally planned on staying Sunday night as well, but ultimately  decided it would be  wiser to  try and beat whatever snowfall decides to happen tomorrow… So now I am home feeling good and happy, but also very tired….

Considering it was only a bit over 24 hours that we were together, it was an exceptionally full visit. It’s very strange that we can spend an entire week together and I still feel like it’s not enough, yet I can see him for a day and feel completely satisfied with the brevity. Anyway, my real point is that our short time together this weekend has done a great deal to motivate me again. Supportive and patient as always… I am so indebted to his encouraging words.  I have again been brought out of my stupidity to see the value and worth of simply trying. It matters not whether I “succeed,” but whether I am brave enough to ignore the fears and do it anyway.

It is my future, and I am in control of the paths I choose to take. I must be rational about this as I am with all other aspects of my life. I must think of the positive outcome, and ignore all else because anything to the contrary will prove inconsequential anyway. Think best possible outcome. Weigh it against the worst. So long as I have tried, it can never be the latter. And that is truly comforting.

In addition to being rational, I must also be smart. I need to visualize my future and foresee how I may go about getting there. If I do not take the necessary actions now, that future will not come to pass. And that above all scares me more than anything. I refuse to let that happen. So to myself I pose this challenge:
Take the intelligent course of action. Do what you know you should. Stop making excuses. Stop allowing yourself to be anything less than the person you wish you were.
And for god’s sake stop being a winy baby.

This is the last time I’m going to give myself this speech. This is the last time I’m going to cry about it. This is it. This is my chance. This is my challenge. This is my future.  So I had better get to it.

After all, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

The Ability to Maintain Focus Eludes Me Yet Again

February 24, 2007

Allright. So my life is pretty much great right now apart from the fact that I have reverted to the attention span of a five year old child with ADD. I can’t focus long enough to finish a

My mind ping pongs around from one transient insignificant time-wasting activity to another.
But how have I wasted my day thus far, you ask?

Oh, by investing time into creating a new desktop aesthetic. Not only have I now broken the rules by removing that God awful Santa illustration intended to motivate me to make better art, but I have now sucessfully wasted my day doing so.

I had better make up for it tonight. Or I will hate myself even more. Here’s to me being a lame-ass slacker.
Way to go, Courtney.

(but honestly, look how cute this is!)

My New Desktop

The Artist Moves to Livejournal

February 21, 2007

If you are reading this, you may like to know that I have taken up newly acquired blogging lodgings at Livejournal.com. I will now make new postings both here and there, and this blog will remain open as an archive of my past. So if you want to keep up to date with my current goings on, then please update your bookmarks so that they are also linked to the new A Portrait of the Artist as a Young [Wo]man.

Thank you, and enjoy your day!

First Things First

February 21, 2007
Hokay, hokay.
So here I am, freshly birthed into the new gleaming and glittering world of livejournaldom… You may ask why or how or whyfore but the answers are the same. I was tired of living in an empty Blogger house, so I packed up my words, and sentences, and paragraphs, and left the blog behind. But! I will still be posting at the old digs until further notice.

In the event that your are interested in reading any or all of my past entries from my blog, you may do so here, or using the link provided on the far right entitled “A Portrait [of My Past].”

That’s it then.

I’m ok to go…I’m ok to go…..I’m ok to go…

LIFT-OFF!

On Holiday

February 20, 2007

A blissful past week it has surely been. Filled with much love and friends and family and fun and food and everything else enjoyable. Let’s see….

Tuesday night saw me picking up Adam in Providence to bring him back o his place to visit with the lovely lady of the house and have dinner, followed by the drive back to CT before the lovely-love day snow storm hit. Wednesday found the two of us celebrating by virtually remaining in our pajamas all day, or at least up until the delicious spagetti dinner prepared for us all by me mum. Chocolate flavored confections were exchanged at some point, as is the custom of such a day. Mmmm. My very own big heart-shaped box all to myself. Perfect! And (because I am a bad girlfriend who even though she said that the holiday would be marked with candy only) I preceded to also give Adam the little book of photobooth pictures that I had been working on this past week. It was a very cute and quiet day spent inside while it snowed and sleeted outside. We also were able to watch LOST together finally, but alas we were rather dissapointed in this week’s episode. On Thursday I worked in the middle of the day but returned in time for a dinner date to Shady Glenn. Scrumptious as always. While I was gone, Adam worked on creating and expanding upon his Random Idea Generator for my uses. The idea is to input a list of words into the program using different categories, and then the generator will draw from the list to create completely random sentences which can then be used as inspiration for whimsical illustrations. A fine invention which I have been having a great deal of fun with this evening. I can’t wait to sketch out some of these crazy things…

On Friday Adam and I hung out during the day and then we got the family together (Mom, Dad, Amber, Brittany, Kaitlyn, and Erica) for a bit of real-life bowling. My parents have become obbsessed with the Wii bowling, so I thought it would be fun to see how we would do at an actual alley. It has been years since I’ve actually participated, but I did all right all things considered. My first fault however was to begin with the 12 pound ball when clearly I needed no more than the 10 pounder. My arms just couldn’t take it and actually I am still a bit sore from it. Quite pathetic, I know. But it was great fun hanging out with all my lovelies and getting some quality family time in. I was especially pleased that Erica joined us, she is my adopted sister afterall, and I haven’t really seen much of her these past couple of months. Yay for bestest friends bowling together! She did really well and has quite a beautiful and graceful bowling throw. After that we all hung out at my house for a while, and then I had to be to bed for work the next morning.

On Saturday I worked from 9-noon so that I could get back and drive Adam to Scituate to hang out with his mom for the day. We got her up and running with her new cable DVR which was cute because the both of us had to teach her how to use it. After that we all went out to dinner at Uno’s, made a stop at Target, and then picked up a dvd from the video store. I mentioned wanting to see The Science of Sleep, and so we ended up getting that. I was a bit nervous at first because I wasn’t sure how mom-friendly the content was, but it turned out to be an amazing movie so it didn’t matter. I highly reccommend it to all that enjoy clever, funny, devestatingly intelligent, whimsical movies that play with the boundaries of dream and reality. Aside from the ending (or lack thereof), it’s one of the best movies I have seen recently. So goooood. Must watch it again…

Adam and I hung out some more at his house Saturday night and Sunday day, as his mom went off to visit family. I forced Adam to watch Milo and Otis, which I hadn’t seen since I was about 8….turns out it was for good reason. As cute as those damned kittens were, it just wasn’t the same watching it now as an adult who actually enjoys movies with somewhat conceivable plotlines. Oh well. After the movie our awesome and now mutual friend Casey came over to visit, and then we all drove to Warwick for some tasty dinner at Panera where we met other friends Amanda and Tori. A quick stop at the arcade followed by a long accidental trip to Providence because we got lost on the way home, and then some more hanging out at Casey’s house before Adam and I took off to Providence for the night. Originally I thought to just stay another night at his house in Scituate, but the thought of me sleeping alone in his bed while he slept on the couch just didn’t seem like my favorite idea. I will never get over how much I love the feeling of sleeping next to another warm body. It was enough to make me choose going to Providence even if it meant having to get up at 8am to move my car out of the RISD lot so as not to get a ticket. But it was worth it. Soooo worth it.

And so I left him and our blissful week of togetherness around noon today. I had my last Face To Face portrait class this afternoon, and will start planning my next focus class this week. It’s going to be a painting class where we experiment with different media and techiniques. It starts March 5th… and should be pretty cute. I’m teaching again tomorrow afternoon and then at Picture People from 6-10. I’ve yet to work any night shifts so we shall see how that goes. I’m honestly ready to find other employment because I’ve already gotten enough out of this mall job. I can answer phones, make calls, and deal with teh public now…so I’m about ready to move on. Funny thing is I still haven’t really even taken any pictures yet. Maybe that will change tomorrow…

I can’t wait to start illustrating. I’m so excited about the world of possibilites that awaits!
Unil next time, cowboys.

Hokay, So….Here we go

February 7, 2007

Geesh. Again, I have neglected my blogging duties for quite some time. I’d better make up for it with this post…

Major updates on my life:
Things are as always, quite perfect. Classes at the art school are going well, and I think I’m finally getting good at my job there. I’ve also now got a second, very minimal part-time job at the Picture People in the mall. I’m still technically training but I seem to have everything down except the actual taking of people’s pictures because I still need to practice on people before they will let me really shoot the sittings. But that’s fine. I’ll get there soon enough.

I also purchased my bride’s maid dress for Rachael’s wedding, and I honestly couldn’t be happier with it. It’s a lovely wine color and a very simple but flattering style. I’m so excited for all of that which is to come….yay!

I went to NYC with Amber last Sunday, got to vist Erica at her cute little apartment, and then saw a show featuring Judy Blazer singing the songs of the late Judy Garland. It was a good show, I got to meet Judy, which was cute, and then we headed back. Lot’s of traveling for one day, but it was a nice trip overall.

What else…oh, yes.

I’ve had the opportunity to spend lots of time with Adam over the past couple weeks, which has been marvelous. Last week especially so, even though we encounted a bit of automobile trouble Tuesday night. Funny story.

So Tuesday after work at the art school, I head over to Providence to pick Adam up. I finally get to his place, park very temporarily in his apartment’s one parking spot, run in to use the bathroom, and then we get in the car to drive home. Adam is kind enough to drive since I just did. So anyway we are pulling out of the parking space which is at a sharp angle to the street, and which also happens to have a very short mini concrete wall to the right of it, on the side of the street. As we reverse the car to drive out, we hear a loud scraping sound and then look out the windshield to see the entire plastic part of the front bumper lying on the ground in front of us. Adam turns to me with wide horrified eyes and I recipricate before getting out of the car to check the damage. Before I know it Adam has also gotten out of the car. He’s put the car in park but left the engine running. So now the car is hanging halfway in to the street, engine running, and Adam realizes that the auto locks have activated, locking us both out of the car.
So there we are, standing freezing in the cold, Adam’s panicked, and I’m just trying not to laugh or make Adam feel bad about the craziness that has just transpired within the past 35 seconds.

With my cell phone and purse now both locked in the car, Adam runs back into the apartment to find his AAA card and see if we can fix the situation before we turn into popsickles. Luckily, we got a hold of them and they sent someone over wiithin like 20 minutes, but that was still time enough for several cars to slowly pass our debilitated vehicle stuck halfway in the middle of a very small street. So anyway, the nice man let us back into the car, and helped Adam to pull the entire plastic bumper off so that we could fit itin the back seat and trunk of my car so we could drive home. So there we were, driving home with a bumper-less car which was now making very strange sounds because of the wind and air hitting the insides, with a bumber in the back seat which was blocking all rearview abilities to see. Honestly, it was the funniest thing ever. I love our little adventures.

When we got home my parents just sort of laughed, my dad said it wasn’t a big deal, and Adam and I certainly felt relieved to be home safely. But unfortunately, we were also left without much use of the vehicle for the rest of the week until my dad fixed it. So we spent lots of time inside hanging out, playing Mario Kart, Wii Bowling, and the Harry Potter trading card game because we are just that cool. I brought Adam back after work on Saturday, stayed the night at his place at which time I read the first book of the Dinotopia series which was amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never seen the books before now. It was honestly one of teh most inspiring things I’ve ever encountered. Loved it.

We had brunch at the Met on Sunday, and then I drove back to Manchester. I spent the rest of the day burning cd’s and organizing my musi, and then came up with a little secret idea for Valentine’s day, so I worked on that Sunday night, Monday before work, and Tuesday night.
And tonight I may be able to finish it if I get the supplies I need. I’ve actually even spent some time in my studio which is great. I did a little painting of some trees last night, and am working on several projects this afternoon. But I must not forget that I can only work until 10 because LOST is finally back on tonight!!!! Eeeeeeeee!

Oh, and yesterday I got an email through Coroflot, which is an artist and designer’s site where you put up a portfolio and prospective clients can look for artists. Well anyway, the email was from a woman named Noelle at 212 Media in NYC, and she is looking for an illustrator to do some work for a children’s brand. I guess the illustrations are for classic stories like Cinderella and Red Riding Hood, and would appear in various forms including a website taht will have said stories read by celebrities and what not. It seems like a really cool opportunity so now I have to get back to her and let her know how long it would take to do 4-6 pieces and my price. Which means I have to go read the GAG book stat. I know nothing! Eek!

Anyway, I’m off to create!