Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Godfather and the Pacino/De Niro switcheroo

I have flipped by The Godfather Part II a couple of times in the last month or so, and it has helped me realized why I am always confusing Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. It's because somewhere along the way, possibly starting during this movie, they started to switch bodies. To wit:

Pacino (now): Frizzy-haired, craggy, gaunt, looks exhausted.
De Niro (now): Kind of pudgy face, looks amused.

But! In the Godfather II days, it was all bass-ackwards:

Pacino (then): Smooth-haired, smooth-faced, looks like he used to have inner peace but now it's under siege.
De Niro (then): Good cheekbones, attractive, looks like a moral man forced by circumstance into a life of crime.

If you were going to pick which young guy would grow up into which old guy, you would totally switch them around. See, I'm not just ignorant about classic actors (or Italian-Americans)--it's just that my understanding of them is deeper than everybody else's.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Tomorrow will mark Day #6 that I have not gone in to work because of the Snow that Ate DC. Yes, it's true, DC is wussy about weather, but in its defense, it's only half just straight up warm-climate-dwellers' hysteria; the other half is a lack of plows, which I guess is a reasonable financial decision in a place that rarely gets much snow.

Anyway, I am very happy to report that I am close to achieving the thing I yearned for but did not accomplish during my month off between jobs in December: boredom. When I was little my brother and I got bored all the time and would follow my mom around, asking her what we should dooooooo. I hadn't felt that for about 25 years, so at first I wasn't sure it had returned. But in retrospect, it is clear that the first twinges set in today when Mr. TA and I walked to Target to buy toilet paper even though there are zillions of closer places to get it, just so we'd have a longer walk and more stuff to look at once we got there. It intensified this afternoon when we did our taxes--the first time ever they have gotten done before April. And just now we played a board game (they're not called that for nothing!) Yay, boredom!

The question is, what happens after you get bored? Do you watch dumb TV to prolong the experience, or try to end it quickly by taking on a bigger project (cleaning closets, reading a novel)? Mom, what should I doooooooo?

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Here is what I don't get about the Superbowl ad with the football player and his mother talking about how she decided not to abort her pregnancy even though doctors told her she might die if she didn't: it seems off-message for "pro-lifers." Is their target audience really women whose lives are at risk? And is their goal really to convince those women that it would be immoral, and should be illegal, for them to have an abortion to save their own lives?

If not, then the message of the ad is: she was faced with a CHOICE and she made the CHOICE which others questioned but which was the right CHOICE for her. If that is the message they are cool with, then perhaps I have been misunderstanding things.