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2002-10-22 - 12:27 p.m.

Music & Movies & Shopping

I feel like this entry should start with "These are a few of my favorite things..." Music, movies, and shopping, that is. Never mind.

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Friday night we went out for our typical Friday night movie. Usually it's dinner and a movie, but we finished off the leftover lasagne instead of going out to eat. We saw Formula 51 (a title so forgettable I actually had to look it up just now--and interestingly enough the IMDB entry calls it "The 51st State" which I believe is supposed to be some weird play on chemistry and 51 states in the union, neither of which really makes sense...ah, evidently this was the non-USA release title and the movie was released everywhere else back in 2001), the new (or evidently "new") Samuel L. Jackson movie.

It's about a guy (SLJ) who invents a wonder-drug that's supposed to be 51 times better than cocaine, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), etc. and then tries to sell it for $20 million (USD). In the process, he attempts to kill off his former boss, Lizard (played by Meat Loaf), hooks up with Felix (Robert Carlyle), and avoids being killed by Dakota/Dawn, a female assassin/hit woman who inexplicably goes back and forth between pretending to be an American (Dakota) and her actual accent as a Liverpuddlian (Dawn).

The movie had a number of funny moments (the reviews on IMDB all say that Americans won't follow the British humor, but The Scientist and I didn't have any problems), large plot holes and scientific inaccuracies, and great SLJ facial expressions. It was violent, funny, and somehow more of a forgettable throwaway film than others in its genre (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch; Pulp Fiction). Really, the best thing about it was SLJ in cornrows and a kilt. Kilt jokes abounded. Also jokes about Sam's package. The payoff at the end of the movie being Samuel L. Jackson (or a body double) walking away from the camera...naked.

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We were more adventurous on Saturday night, going to see the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and eating out at a New Restaurant. This is shocking, given we go to the same three or four restaurants all the time. We had Nepalese food which was really good at the time, but was a bit too, shall we say, repetitive later on.

The brass quintet was fantastic. It's made up of UW faculty, so various members would give an introduction to each piece. They also explained that the brass quintet is a fairly recent "invention" (that is, it's only in the last 50 years or so that the grouping of these five instruments--two trumpets, a trombone, a French horn, and a tuba--has become a recognized ensemble with music composed specifically for this group of instruments). The description of the program is as follows:

"The quintet observes its 30th anniversary this season, and this is the first of four concerts on campus. The program features Colchester Fantasy, by Eric Ewazen; Music for Brass Quintet, by Gunther Schuller; Music from Shining Brow, by Daron Hagen; and Suite for Brass Quintet, by Verne Reynolds. The Hagen work is the composerís own arrangement from his opera about Frank Lloyd Wright that received its premiere by the Madison Opera in 1993."

The Schuller piece was very abstract and interesting. During the introduction, we were told it would be "challenging" to listen to, and indeed it was. There were several sections in which the musicians could play the notes anytime they wanted--they had certain notes that they were supposed to play, but they could choose the tempo, etc. After the concert was over, The Scientist and I amused ourselves by pretending to be abstract trumpets on the walk to the car. Boop! Beep beep beep! Boop bee boooop!

We had a great time and it made us want to check out other campus productions. Hamlet is being performed by the university theater in December and I'd like to see that. We're also going to go to more of the faculty music concerts. It's such a shame to live in a vibrant campus area and not take advantage of all the things it offers.

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And now for the shopping. After I paid our bills last week I went shopping. I replenished some needed cleansing and beauty supplies at Paula's Choice (I highly recommend her new blush color, Healthy Blush), bought a nightshirt pattern on eBay ($3.50 for an uncut $13.95 retail pattern), the material with which to make the nightshirt (a sushi print) from Reprodepot Fabrics, pillow forms and fabric to make pillows for our couch from JoAnn Fabrics (yes, I'm about to start a sewing kick), some craft supplies to finish my Hawaii scrapbooking project, part of my brother JK's Christmas present, and a new flash memory card for our digital camera (going from 8MB currently to 128MB in the new card--wheee!). I also bought a t-shirt and a pair of earrings for myself and a pair of pants for The Scientist at Urban Outfitters on Saturday night between dinner and the concert.

It was a lot of spending at once, but I bought things that will allow me to save money in the long run (well, mostly) by doing projects at home. In fact, I'm dying to start the pillows for our couch because I think they'll be easy and will be so pretty when they're done. I plan to use various fabrics from the Waverly Tuscany decorator's fabric collection for our eventual new living room (curtains, valences, etc.). This is my test project to see how I like the finished look. By wrapping the pillow forms with the fabric, I can already tell I love it (and The Scientist likes it too). I'll post pictures when they're done.

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