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My web site is www.silverhillcreative.com

Blog: silverhillcreative.blogspot.com
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I'll leave old entries up, I suppose ... though in many ways I am a different person now than when I wrote them.
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A bit late, but...

I did this meme after 2004, after 2005, after 2006, after 2007, 2008 and 2009. Asking the same questions each year is a good way to show how my life has changed — or hasn't.

2010 memeCollapse )
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For those movies I first saw in 2009 (not necessarily related to release date):

Guilty Pleasures of the Year:
Valentino: The Last Emperor and The September Issue ... for being that brand of documentary that isn't really educational, more like reality TV in film form. But so entertaining and wonderful to look at.

Funniest Movie of the Year:
I was surprised by this. Easy Virtue. Very funny, but I guess it means I was lacking in good comedies in 2009.

Most Unintentionally Funny Movie of the Year:
I expected 2012 to win this, but the actual winner is ... Knowing. Hilarious!

Most Impressive Acting:
Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married. Not necessarily the best acting I saw all year. But she won me over, where before I thought she was an overrated celebrity who couldn't really act. She did a good job.

The What's-Next? Award (those I can't wait to see more from):
Michael Sheen (because I love him in everything, Frost/Nixon included).

Zoe Saldana (because I've loved her since Center Stage, and Star Trek made me an even bigger fan).

Pixar (because they are unparalleled artists and everything they do is brilliant)

Most Brilliant Comedian:
Bob Peterson (of Pixar). As a writer and a voice actor. He's unfailingly funny.

(If this were for TV, Jane Lynch would win without question.)

Biggest Disappointments (movies I was expecting to like more than I did):
I know I'm very much in the minority: Where the Wild Things Are A seminal book from my childhood, and I found the movie boring and annoying. Great visuals. Too much whiny arguing.

Best Surprise (movies I was expecting to like less than I did and which ended up blowing me away):
Man on Wire. Amazing.
Star Trek. When I can't contain my glee and halfway through turn to Adam to exclaim how awesome the movie is, yeah, it's good.

Most Forgettable Movie
The Hours I watched the whole thing, but I don't really remember anything more about it than I knew after seeing the trailer.

Genre Award
Since I saw only one heist movie this year (Duplicity), this is going award the best documentary. I saw five this year! ... Man on Wire by a long shot! The others were still good, though.

Most Overrated Award
Where the Wild Things Are

Sexiest On-Screen Moment
I know there were some decidedly sexy moments in several of the movies I saw (including Benjamin Button, The Duchess, etc.) ... but since I can't remember them, they aren't eligible.

Winner by default: the kiss between Spock and Uhura in Star Trek.


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Goals for 2009 and how I did[n't]Collapse )

My goals for 2010:

  • Figure out what I'm going to do with my life. (In other words, get out of the limbo with regard to pursuing my dream. I need to either go for it or officially move on.)
  • Spin fire again.
  • Play the role of Catherine in Proof (also, in part, because a self-produced show would be my only chance of actually doing a show in 2010 if I'm still in my current job)
  • Do more creative things. Write, paint, etc.
  • Get out of debt.


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    Here are the books I read and movies I saw in 2009. This list does not include books I reread or movies I re-watched (only first-time readings/viewings). It also does not include books/movies I did not finish, books I'm in the process of reading now, children's books, etc. (As you can see, I sometimes forgot to keep track of everything, so there might be some missing.)

    * = my favorites from the year in each category.

    The Tipping Point
    A Breath of Snow and Ashes
    American Gods*
    Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
    Plum Spooky*
    Julie and Julia
    The Time Traveler's Wife
    How I Became a Best-Selling Novelist
    (some missing?)
    The Mallorean*
    Inside Job
    An Echo in the Bone

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    The Duchess
    The Reader
    Out of Africa*
    Bottle Shock
    Man on Wire*
    His Girl Friday
    The Hours
    An Inconvenient Truth
    Rachel Getting Married
    Sunshine Cleaning
    Into the Wild
    Julie and Julia
    (some missing?)
    Star Trek*
    Every Little Step
    Easy Virtue
    Public Enemies
    (some missing?)
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    (some missing?)
    Taking Woodstock
    Valentino: The Last Emperor
    (some missing?)
    The September Issue
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Pirate Radio
    (some missing?)
    Sherlock Holmes
    Up in the Air
    (500) Days of Summer

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    I did this meme after 2004, after 2005, after 2006, after 2007 and after 2008. Asking the same questions each year is a good way to show how my life has changed — or hasn't.

    2009 memeCollapse )

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    I was thinking about all the different careers I've wanted to try, what I want to "be when I grow up." There have been a lot of them! And these are just the things I wanted to do professionally (not just as a hobby).

    Here they are (as many as I can remember), in roughly chronological order:

    What I wanted to be!Collapse )


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    Adam and I watched Death at a Funeral again last night. Aside from being a very funny movie, it also has a female character who's willing to stand up for herself.

    Her dad hates her boyfriend. If this were a typical Hollywood female, she would:
    a) sneak around behind her father's back, or
    b) concoct an elaborate plot designed to change her father's mind and make him appreciate the boyfriend, or
    c) break it off with the boyfriend because she just can't disappoint her father like that.

    Instead, she tells her father that she loves her boyfriend and is not going to apologize for it. She unwaveringly says dad had better get used to it because she's with her boyfriend to stay. The one time she tells a lie, she does it for the right reasons. And she tells it simply and confidently — instead of the wibbling, overly complicated lies told by typical Hollywood females.

    It's most noticeable in romantic comedies, though these qualities appear in other genres as well. Why are women in Hollywood movies such pushovers? She'll be a doctor, lawyer, CEO. She's a strong, intelligent woman. Oh, but she's also nice, which means she'll never say no.

    SISTER-or-BFF: I need you to babysit for me on Saturday night.
    FEMALE STAR: (freakishly unwilling to say she has a date) I can't. I have a ... dentist appointment.
    SISTER-or-BFF: On Saturday?
    FEMALE STAR: Yeah...
    SISTER-or-BFF: At 8 p.m.?
    FEMALE STAR: Um, yes?
    SISTER-or-BFF: Well, I'm sure they can reschedule you. I really need you to do this.
    FEMALE STAR: ... Okay.
    SISTER-or-BFF: Thanks! I knew I could dump on you at the last minute. Byeee!
    FEMALE STAR: (on phone to Male Star) Remember how we had an elegant, intimate, adult dinner planned for Saturday night? How would you feel about spaghettios with a precocious, adorable 4-year-old and a wiser-than-her-years 8-year-old? I can promise lots of wacky high jinks and food-related mishaps that will ironically bring us closer together.

    SISTER-or-BFF: Would you possibly be available to babysit my kids on Saturday night?
    REAL WOMAN: You know I'd love to, but I actually have a date on Saturday night!
    SISTER-or-BFF: Ooh, congratulations! I guess now I'll have to face the real-world dilemma of either hiring a babysitter or taking care of my kids myself.

    That's not to say that real women can never be pushovers or that real women are cold-hearted and always say no. But c'mon, is a woman who's willing to stand up for herself that hard to write?

    The somewhat-recent 27 Dresses was filled with the main character hiding her true feelings and gamely doing whatever anybody asked her to do. Ironically, though, it was a less egregious example because they did treat it as a bit of a character flaw.

    What I can't understand is what they did in a post-Sorkin episode of The West Wing. Donna doesn't have a place to stay, so she arranges to stay at CJ's. Immediately after they make this arrangement, Josh tells Donna she should stay with him and Danny says he wants CJ to spend the night at his place. These are both previously established strong, modern, independent women! But instead of taking the easy, logical step of telling the truth to the other woman, they choose to suffer in silence.

    I read a story about Susan Egan, the original Belle on Broadway, back when Beauty and the Beast was opening on Broadway. For the scene where Belle runs away and is attacked by wolves, she told the writers she didn't think Belle would go back on her word so casually, she must have been really terrified to be compelled to run away. So the writers changed it for her!

    That's the kind of thing we should see more of!


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    I've reached the official goal of $500 — but my real goal is to reach $1,000!!!!

    You can donate securely online at: www.aac.org/goto/Kristin-Silverman (Or contact me if you need info on how to donate via cash or check.)

    All donations will be matched by my employer, making your contribution double.

    To those of you who've already donated, thank you!
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    People who know me know that I don't like exercise. And, unlike some members of my family, I have not run multiple marathons for leukemia. I haven't done a bike ride, a run, a walk, a jump rope or even a hopscotch for charity.

    ... But I'm doing one now!

    On June 7, I'll be doing the AIDS Walk in Boston with two others from my store. We will be walking as part of Team M.A.C. This is a great cause, and I'm very excited about participating. It's a 10K walk with a suggested fundraising goal of $500.

    My official goal is currently $500, though I'd love to raise even more.

    Okay, wait. I'll be perfectly honest. I really, really want to raise even more. I'm not generally a competitive person. But I do have a rare competitive streak that comes out from time to time, and it's pretty fiery when it shows up. One M.A.C. participant from another New England store always passes $1,000, and has already raised over $700! Yeah, I'd like to beat that. Or at least out-fundraise as many others as I can. It's my selfish plan for a selfless cause.

    No amount is too small! If you don't know me well, maybe you might still want to donate $5.

    Also, my company (M.A.C.) will match all donations dollar-for-dollar, so your contribution is effectively double!

    Please sponsor me by giving whatever you can.

    You can donate online here.

    Thank you!
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    The Red Carpet interviewers just had to talk to Evan Rachel Wood and remind me that she's going to be on Broadway. I liked her just fine in Across the Universe — but she is not a strong enough singer for Broadway.

    Anne Hathaway, however.... She can really sing! I'm not a huge fan of Anne Hathaway as an actress, and I think she's overrated. Also (let me be clear), I am very critical of singing talent. Anne's singing impressed me. And it impressed Shirley MacLaine, too (whom I adore). Go, Anne!

    The worst part of the Oscars was the speeches about the acting nominees. Too long, boring and pointless flattery that wasn't very insightful. To invent my own example, it sounded like, "[Nominee], you are the very definition of an actor. You came onto the screen and embodied [Character]. You showed us [Character]'s joy, grief, humor and passion, and you reached depths of emotion and a wide range as an actor in this role. You made us care about [Character]." Zzzz... Where are my clips?! I want to be able to appreciate performances I haven't seen.

    The speeches from the winners, though, were really darn good on the whole. They seemed genuine. They thanked people without being a boring recitation of names. Sean Penn especially did a good job. The magic trick and Oscar-balancing from the Man on Wire guy was cool. The speeches can be really boring, but these were really good. :)

    I have a crush on Kate Winslet. I think she's beautiful and a great actress. (I also loved her dress.) I'm happy that she finally won an Oscar after so many nominations. But Meryl Streep deserved the award. I saw both performances; Kate was very good, but Meryl Streep blew me away. (Obviously I can't speak for the other nominees, but even with just those two, Kate didn't really deserve it.)

    I kind of wish Richard Jenkins had won. (I knew he wasn't going to, though.) The Visitor was simply amazing.

    I thought Slumdog Millionaire was a good movie — but not that good. Certain awards it absolutely deserved (such as cinematography). I don't think I would have given it best picture, though. In general, I thought it was overrated.

    Hugh Jackman's opening number I initially found weird. But I was totally won over by his talent and the silliness of the number. I especially loved the segment for The Reader.


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    For those movies I first saw in 2008 (not necessarily related to release date):

    Guilty Pleasures of the Year:
    Indiana Jones (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) It was so bad! But it was totally hilarious and enjoyable. Also Mama Mia

    Funniest Movies of the Year:
    Death at a Funeral. Runners-up: Tropic Thunder and Mama Mia

    Most Unintentionally Funny Movies of the Year:
    Indiana Jones and Mama Mia.

    Most Impressive Acting:
    Meryl Streep in Doubt. Wow.

    The What's-Next? Award (those I can't wait to see more from):
    Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett and Don Cheadle. I love them in just about everything.

    Most Brilliant Comedian:
    Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder.

    Biggest Disappointments (movies I was expecting to like more than I did):
    August Rush. (I knew it was going to be corny, but I knew people who really liked it. I was surprised by just how bad it was.)

    Also, The Other Boleyn Girl. (I thought the eye candy of pretty dresses and pretty actors would make up for any deficiencies in the script. I was wrong.)

    Best Surprise (movie I was expecting to like less than I did and which ended up blowing me away):
    The Visitor and Doubt. I was expecting to like them, but they surpassed my already-high expectations.

    Most Forgettable Movie
    Deception. I picked up the DVD in Blockbuster and was reading the back when Adam told me we'd already seen it. Oh, yeah.

    Genre Award
    Although they don't top my list of favorite individual movies, heist/con movies are my favorite movies as a genre. The best one I saw this year was Ladron Que Roba a Ladron.

    Most Overrated Award
    Heath Ledger/The Dark Knight.

    I know some people will hate me for saying this. Was Heath Ledger's performance good? Absolutely. Was The Dark Knight a great movie? Absolutely. But I don't think either actor or movie are deserving of the complete worship they have received.

    Most Gratuitously Lingering Shot
    Hugh Jackman dumps water over himself toward the beginning of Australia. Yes, he's a very good-looking man. But the lingering slowness of the shot only made me laugh.

    Sexiest On-Screen Moment
    Sorry, Hugh. This one goes squarely to James McAvoy leaning on a table in Atonement. I don't know why it was so sexy, but I wasn't alone in thinking so. Jana and I saw it together, and we about melted in our seats from seeing it.


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    Goals for 2008 and how I didCollapse )

    I have to laugh at myself when it comes to aspirations. First of all, I have too many. I'm interested in so many things that I want to do them all. Second of all, I don't need much inspiration to develop grand dreams. I taught myself to crochet, which has now settled into a comfortable niche in my life. It's confined to blankets and scarves, and I do it primarily at movies to keep my fidgety hands busy. But when I was first learning, I had this great idea that I could progress from scarves/blankets to sweaters, hats, etc. ... and sell my hand-crocheted items in local boutiques. It didn't take long for crocheting to take on a more realistic scope in my life.

    So, first "goal" for the year: fewer goals! Here, though, are my goals for 2009:

  • Visit my nieces (and my sisters' new babies)
  • Play the role of Catherine in Proof
  • Save money and decrease my debt
  • Spin fire again
  • Write. (Blogs, stories, a novel, a play, it doesn't matter.)
  • Sing solo on stage (a musical, cabaret, etc. it doesn't matter which.)
  • Learn and grow
  • Become a better makeup artist
  • Start marketing (at least) Adam's photography (and possibly my graphic design/art/etc.)


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    Here are the books I read and movies I saw in 2008. This list does not include books I reread or movies I re-watched (only first-time readings/viewings). It also does not include books/movies I did not finish, books I'm in the process of reading now, children's books, etc.

    * = my favorites from the year in each category.

    The Best of You: Winning Auditions Your Way
    I Am America (And So Can You!)
    The Art of Acting [Stella Adler] *
    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell *
    The Complete Professional Audition: A Commonsense Guide to Auditioning for Musicals and Plays
    Sammy's House
    August: Osage County (play)
    Fearless Fourteen
    Love in the Time of Cholera
    Assassination Vacation
    The Partly Cloudy Patriot

    National Treasure: Book of Secrets
    Music and Lyrics
    Juno *
    The Orphanage
    The Great Debaters
    27 Dresses
    A Good Year
    Ladron Que Roba a Ladron *
    Eastern Promises
    (something I forgot)
    Little Children
    The Bucket List
    Notes on a Scandal
    Vantage Point
    The Other Boleyn Girl
    The Bank Job
    Death at a Funeral *
    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
    August Rush
    Dan in Real Life
    Mama Mia
    (some missing?)
    The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
    The Triplets of Belleville
    Indiana Jones (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
    Iron Man
    WALL-E *
    Hotel Rwanda
    The Dark Knight
    Flawless (the diamond-heist movie)
    The Band's Visit
    Be Kind Rewind
    Mostly Martha
    Tropic Thunder *
    Burn After Reading *
    The Visitor *
    The Happening
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Hulk
    Doubt *

    Best movie? Probably The Visitor, with WALL-E close behind. Worst movie? Probably August Rush, though there were some other bad ones in the list. (I'll let you guess as to which ones were also on the "worst" list.)

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    I did this meme after 2004, after 2005, after 2006 and after 2007. Asking the same questions each year is a good way to show how my life has changed — or hasn't.

    2008 memeCollapse )

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    I'm making mix CDs for my nieces for Christmas. Some songs I already had around; other songs I've downloaded from iTunes. In my trolling around for children's songs that don't make me sick, I came across "The Bunny Hop."

    And I think it's sad in a way that kids will never again try to do the bunny hop and have the record player skip. It was a no-win situation. Either you did teeny hops (or no hops) or you made the record skip. It makes me feel kind of nostalgic.

    But maybe I'm just weird.
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    In 2004, I read about a rising star in Illinois who was running for the Senate, and he was going to speak at the Democratic convention. (The convention wasn't broadcast on all the networks that night, just channels like PBS and CNN.) At the time, I was working evenings at the copy desk. So I thought I'd watch a couple minutes and then go back to my desk.

    I couldn't turn away.

    Adam, Lynn and I sent each other jubilant text messages. For the first time in my life, I knew how our parents had felt about Kennedy.

    Here is my LJ post from after seeing that speech in 2004.

    If you'd asked me in 2004 if I though Obama would be elected in '08, my answer would have been "no way." Adam and I said '12 or '16 would be a dream come true. I thought people who started saying "Obama '08" in 2005 were being way too premature. I thought he would get killed on the experience issue, so I was disappointed that he decided to run. I liked him way too much to want to see him ruin his chances with a premature run. Nevertheless, I did vote for him in the primary.

    Obama has always been my ideal presidential candidate: someone I get excited about and inspired by. It's a great feeling to vote for someone rather than voting against the other guy.

    When he won, I didn't jump around and cheer. I didn't even really smile. It meant too much to me. I was just kind of numb and in disbelief. (And after 2000, I'm wary of celebrating too soon.) So I was just quiet, and found myself with tears streaming down my cheeks.

    Other notes:

    1) We had a great party with a ton of people. Everybody arrived before I did, since I was still at work (and Adam was at work the whole time). I love that we have a house where friends can just make themselves at home.

    2) I didn't get my free Ben & Jerry's. I was at work, and the line was too long during our break.

    3) It was our 8-year wedding anniversary, and what a great "gift." So much better than the disaster of 2000 (which happened right after our actual wedding).

    4) I kind of keep forgetting that Obama is black — because it really doesn't matter to me. I don't really sort people into groups like that. And sometimes I think the news stories should be a bit more "Obama, kick-ass politician, elected president" and a little less "Obama, black man, elected president." Obama didn't make his race an issue during the campaign. And so, I think of his victory as being the victory of his ideas over fear, not him over racism. But a major barrier has been broken, and that is cause for great celebration. Next up: a woman president (but not Sarah Palin!).

    5) I got the actual news of the winner from Jon Stewart on the Daily Show special. How weird was that? But kind of cool at the same time.

    6) In theory, I could be a good political aide or campaign manager. I have the passion and the brains for it. But I'm too sensitive and emotional. I have too much emotional investment in the result. So to have Obama win was something that I desperately wanted, but I was afraid to get my hopes up.

    7) Does anybody else think that Obama's 10-year-old daughter looks like she's about 14? I also love that in addition to electing Obama, we get a kick-ass first family. (And a First Lady who was involved in her community before her husband won instead of picking a cause out of political obligation.)

    8) I think I was going to say more, but I can't remember, and I have to get ready to go to work.


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    I'm exhausted. I have also been spacing out in front of the computer because I'm apparently too tired to motivate myself to get ready for bed.

    Recap of Day Five (with pictures!) tomorrow.
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    This is exactly what's wrong with campaigning in the United States. And it's exactly what's wrong with the media.

    When I see a story by a major national news organization titled "Palin Says Obama Friendly with Terrorists" it alarms me. Not that the McCain/Palin camp would say such a thing (no surprise there). But that the media would report it as news.

    Yeah, sure, "Palin said," and Reuters isn't making the accusation themselves. But merely reporting and repeating such remarks gives tacit validity to them (especially for those people who only read the headline and not the full story).

    Just as a ludicrous lawsuit deserves to be laughed out of the courtroom and dismissed by the judge without being heard, so too, do ludicrous accusations deserve to be laughed out of the media and not reported.

    But this is why negative campaigning works. The media love negative campaigning. It's what inspired my first "election guide" in 2004: The Swift Boat accusations got a lot of coverage. The fact that the accusations were false got a lot less coverage.

    I'm disgusted.

    I'm feeling: cynical cynical

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    The icon was created especially for this post. Read on to see how it comes into play. I'm posting this publicly for now, but I might friends-lock it at some point. Enjoy!

    This is a follow-up to the 2004 Silverhill's Guide to Winning an Election You Really, Really Didn't Deserve to Win — now updated to reflect the latest strategies and harnessing the power of the Internets! (With handy hyperlink thingys that we encourage you to click on!)

    So you* have run for president before, and it wasn't that successful? Don't worry! There's nothing at all wrong with you as a candidate, and there's nothing wrong with your politics. You just weren't the anointed one. Now you are. Your only problem in 2000 was trying to overcome the Republican machine. (Here's a hint: It can't be overcome.) But this year you're backed by the Republican machine. Welcome! Now that you aren't swimming against the tide, it should be smooth sailing from here (and all sorts of other mixed metaphors!).

    We assume that you're familiar with the 2004 guide. All of those principles are still in play. Make sure you know them. But just to make sure, we'll repeat the most important guidelines.

    Silverhill's Guide to Passively Winning an Election
    Playing Your Cards Right: Your Guide to Campaigning Against Your Opponent Without Having to Do Much
    Get Voted into Office by Stupid People!

    Guide to Campaigning. Cut for LOLcats, Superman, silliness and rampant cynicism.Collapse )

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