In England (and many of their former colonies), December 26 is called Boxing Day and they don't have to work (unlike the Puritans here in America). Whatever... (just kidding - I chose not to take this week off. It's tres quiet around work this week and I can usually get a lot done.)
So, I took a four day computer hiatus. That's right! Four days with my PC turned off. I did check IMDB once and movie times on my phone, but didn't check email or anything. I need to work on a better work/life balance dealythingy. I've been checking email regularly when I'm home - early am, late night, weekends, etc. and then I get sucked in and start thinking and worrying and nothing good ever comes out of that. I end up getting stressed and then I act like someone I don't like. I thought I'd jump start it by actually taking time and having a mini-vacation. I think it helped and I'm going to work on being less computer focused when I'm not working.
So what did I do with my time? Xbox. Teehee. Actually, I didn't Xbox until I opened up my gift from my brother on Xmas eve. He sent me Guitar Hero and it's a super-cool game. My fellow member of the tribe (you know, the chosen people), Shoshanna came over after our initial plans fell through and we played Guitar Hero for many hours. It is seriously entertaining.
I went to several movies as well (after all, tis the season). I really loved Juno. My friend Ken thought it was a bit too hip for itself and I see where he's coming from (the 16 year old had to tell the 30-something year old that the greatest year in rock was 1977 - he said it was 1993!?!), but I thought that the performances were great (I love Allison Janney and I thought the girl who played Juno really nailed the role) and that the kids were pretty much like real kids. There were a bunch of teenagers in the theatre when I saw it and my mom said there were tons of them when she went, so apparently it's resonating with them.
The next flick I saw was Atonement. I really hadn't planned on seeing this movie until it got so many Golden Globe nominations. I had read the book and didn't really remember it very well, but I have read several of Ian McEwan's books and they are always very serious and very adult. They're not adult in a sex sort of way, but in a thinking sort of way. They lead you to question preconceptions and look at grey areas, which can be very uncomfortable. After all, most everyone prefers things to be black or white/right or wrong and he's someone that makes it very clear that there is a lot of ambiguity in life.
Anyways, I ended up really loving the picture. I'm not really a fan of Keira Knightly. She was fine in the role. She's too skinny. However, the story was really interesting, it looked nice (great cinematography and sets) and the performances were good, especially of the young girl. I definitely recommend it.
And the last flick I saw was Across the Universe. I knew that the reviews hadn't been very good, but the previews looked really cool visually, I love the Beatles music and am a big fan of musicals. Look - this picture is a mess, but I really liked it. I understand that this may be confusing to you, but it had great music, hippies, drugs and protesting the government. That's pretty much all the things that make me happy (or used to).
What they tried to do is make a story that is narrated by Beatles songs. They went a little over the top. For example, Prudence climbs in through the bathroom window... It was too much and way too literal. And then the record company that the kids set up in the movie was named Strawberry (not Apple. Get it?). And then the kid's band plays on top of a roof in NYC. Sigh.
It starred Evan Rachel Wood, who plays a typical 60's straight blond haired girl who is wooed to the hippy scene (see: Hair, which had way better choreography). She did a decent job, but I was totally distracted by the fact that she's sleeping with Marilyn Manson. My brain works that way.
I really enjoyed the time off and am looking forward to more movies over the next week. I'm planning on seeing The Savages, Sweeney Todd and Charlie Wilson as they have all opened here.