Things To Do While Hibernating – What to Watch

couch-potatoLast time I posted, I talked about my great desire to spend the winter hibernating. I know many of you share this desire, and while annoying petty inconveniences like family, friends, and jobs make total winter hibernation impossible, we have to do what we can to support our team. I guess that would be Team Couch Potato.

So on those occasional snow days or holidays when you DO get to wrap up in your snuggie and avoid the world, what should you do with yourself? Besides the wrapping up in the snuggie thing.

An extensive and scientific survey, which involved me e-mailing a bunch of friends and saying, Hey, what do you like to do on snow days?, shows the Top Three Snow Day/Hibernation activities are:

1.  Watch a good movie.

2.  Eat some comfort food and drink hot chocolate.

3.  Read a good book.

So let’s take these in turn. Today, in Part One, we’ll cover a few movies that you might want to watch and one you should really avoid.

In 23 days, Ben Affleck’s Argo is coming out on DVD, just in time for those miserable late February days when you can barely move off the sofa at all. This is the best movie I’ve seen in a good while. Action, adventure, Best Use of Storyboards in a Film, tension and tragedy combined with feel-good, uplifting ending. The only way to improve on it would’ve been if they’d managed to work in a song or two for Victor Garber.

I’ve been crushing on Ben Affleck for well over a decade. Yeah, he was good in Good Will Hunting and he co-wrote it and all, but it was his turn as Richard Burbage Ben Affleck as Richard Burbagein Shakespeare in Love that won my heart. We broke up for awhile over that whole JLo thing, but then he married the girl of my dreams, the other  Jennifer and she appears to have had an excellent influence on him. Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now the very stupendous Argo prove that Matt Damon isn’t the only smart one in their epic bromance.

In fact, you could really have a Ben Affleck festival! Start with Good Will Hunting, follow up with Shakespeare in Love, skip some of that dispiriting middle period (we must not mention the “G” word)and then top it off with Argo. If you can’t wait until Argo arrives on DVD in late February, check out Gone Baby Gone, which is grim but excellent. Or go for the somewhat lighter The Company Men, a great little movie about the recent Financial Armageddon.

If Ben Affleck isn’t your thing, you could choose something else but do not make the mistake I made this week and watch The Deep Blue Seastarring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. I really like both of them, but they seemed to have almost no chemistry in this film and the whole premise made me crazy. It was one of those WWII British tortured love affair relics. She’s married to a lord and repressed and miserable even though he treats her really well and seems to worship her. She takes up with his golf buddy Tom, a cad and a bounder and an ex-RAF pilot. She knows he’s just toying with her, but ¡SHE MUST HAVE HIM! So of course, they live together for awhile and cause a scandal and then he gets tired of her and she tries to kill herself so many times it makes Anna Karenina seem positively well-adusted and then they have a good-bye talk and he leaves to go work as a test pilot in Rio. The End.

AUGH!!!!! It was such a MALE view of women. Her feelings for Tom the pilot were of course “true love.” And she was just so incomplete without him that she would have to kill herself. YAWN.
Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston (Photo credit: gdcgraphics) never once looks this happy in “The Deep Blue Sea”

Honestly, it made me think of Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight. It was like a well-mannered, vampire-free version of both, because it was a doormat of a woman obsessively throwing herself at a guy who had clearly been using her for sex and was clearly bored with her now. I’m so so so sick of this being constantly portrayed in the media as HOW WOMEN IN LOVE SHOULD BE. The notion that this is what constitutes “true love” is what leads women like Rihanna to consider going back to abusive assholes like Chris Brown and it’s one of the contributing factors in how an unstable girl like Ophelia, mentioned previously in this blog, develops suicidal obsessions over a boy. I’m so tired of women being spoon-fed this drivel that true love involves nothing more than hot lust and a borderline psychotic obsession with the object of one’s desire, no matter how badly he treats you or how indifferent he is to your feelings.

PLUS it was just plain dull. While some critics described the pace as “stately” or “elegant,” I would say it was  more like tedious. And for me, there was just never any sense of real passion and chemistry to account for the mess this woman made of her life. There was one sex scene, and that wasn’t even very hot. Geez, at least when Diane Lane makes a wreck of her life for the sake of a cad and a bounder in the overwrought modern classic, Unfaithful, it makes some kind of sense. Her passion is clearly overwhelming, whereas Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea kind of look likes her passion could easily be resolved with a couple of aspirin and a nice cuppa tea. Painfully British and annoyingly precious, but kind of fun to hate-watch.
So actually, now that I think about it, this could make a pretty fun Winter Hibernation movie. And as a caveat, I do have to point out that the critics just ate this one up with a spoon. Slate and The New York Times just loved it. And I truly do love Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. They’re both massively talent, and they both do fine work in this film. I just hated both their characters, and I hate the message this “love story” (and so many like it) perpetuates.


If you want to watch Rachel Weisz, check her out in Page Eight or The Constant Gardner. For non-Loki Tom Hiddleston action, check out War Horse, Wallander, or his turn as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Which, by the way, was a delight and you should add that one to your winter hibernation movie list too. After the Ben Affleck festival, of course.


Next post: What to EAT while hibernating. Hint – the more starch, the better!!!




The Midtown Tunnel in New York City
The Midtown Tunnel in New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every year around this time, Dr. Cooper enters “The Tunnel.” The Man and I have called it this since Dr. Cooper was at least six years old. The good doctor enters the tunnel soon after Halloween and doesn’t really come out again until sometime after President’s Day. When he’s in the Tunnel, everything becomes a struggle. He can’t study as well, he can’t focus as well. In general, he’s just not as functional. He’s not suicidal or anything; he’s just got jello for brains and the personality of Marvin the Paranoid Android. Normally, it can be worked around, even in school. The rest of the world seems to slow down after Christmas too, so coursework during the post-holiday season tends to be kind of low-key.

Until this year. Someone in the Head Office got the anal-retentive notion that it was illogical for the mid-term exams to occur prior to the Christmas break because that is NOT the EXACT MIDDLE of the school year. This indivudal (or individuals) decided the appropriate way to deal with this would be to move the mid-term exams to shortly AFTER Christmas break.

Yeah. I know. I’d like to have been there for that staff meeting. “But the kids will have just come back from a two-week break. Even with one week to review, don’t you think they’ll be a little out of the swing of things???” Clearly, if someone did ask that question, the answer was something along the lines of: “Shut up.” Because this week is exam week, and Dr. Cooper is floating around in the middle of that Tunnel. It should be interesting.

We’re fairly sure that along with all Dr. Cooper’s other baggage, he has Seasonal Affective Disorder. We wanted to take him to see a psychiatrist who’s a leading expert in the condition, but the guy’s not in our insurance plan. So instead, we bought his book and are planning to implement some of the recommendations it makes – like using a lightbox and a special diet and some sort of negative ion generator, which sounds like a weapon from Star Trek.

But the thing I found the most interesting in reading this book, is that it has taken me nearly a month to get through it. Now, normally I read faster than Harriet Klausner. For realz. But there comes a time when I just slow down to a snail’s pace. Plus I spend every day walking around in a fog and getting a whole lot of nothing done and moaning about how fat I am and how much I hate my life. Suddenly, I realized that I’ve probably got it too. After all, these things don’t happen in a vacuum and we know the good Doctor inherited much of his other more interesting “quirks” from us. We know his most Asperger-y traits come from Dad’s side of the family, and that my side has gifted him with tremendous reserves of Attention Deficit (me) and massive anxiety (my late, great mother, the Queen of Worry). Now it looks like he gets seasonal depression from my side too. Another thing he can resent me for!

The upshot is that, if I’m honest, I probably won’t be remembering to blog every week in the new year. Or even to cook dinner and clean the house. But it’s okay. That’s why God invented pizza. And as my late, sweet, old co-worker Agnes used to say: The dust will wait.

I’m going to try and knock out a batch of blogs and schedule them to pop up weekly. That feels sort of like cheating, but mostly, it requires more organizational ability than my brain possesses at this time of year. So don’t hold your breath waiting for it, okay? Right now, I’m thinking it will be a successful month if I just get the Christmas tree down before Valentine’s Day.

If you’re also barely able to function this time of year, you could move to the Tropics. But if you’re broke like me, you could read Winter Blues by Dr. Norman Rosenthal. And see a therapist if you need to. I have in the past, and Dr. Cooper does from time to time as well.

But for today, I think I’ll just lay on the sofa in my Snuggie and not do anything. Sometimes, that works too.

The Captain Tightpants Year in Review


Why, you are asking yourself, is this blog post entitled “The Captain Tightpants Year in Revew?”

Well, I checked out my blog stats (which I rarely do) and discovered something interesting. Apparently, my readers want more Captain Tightpants. And a little Jake Weber now and then wouldn’t hurt either. In fact, I should probably think about building an entire blog around my great love of Captain Tightpants, as you will see, if you read on. One of the neat stats WordPress offers its bloggers is a list of search terms people use in order to get to your site. Without further ado, here are mine.



2.  ResQMe

3.  CAPTAIN TIGHT PANTS (I know, right? I’m thinking maybe I just need to do the entire blog about Nathan Fillion from now on.)

4.  Lynn Reynolds (Well, that was unexpected. Probably they’re looking for this Lynn Reynolds, though.)

5.  Jake Weber (So maybe devote the blog to Nathan and Jake from now on???)

6.  Fear of Drowning in a Car (See? I knew I wasn’t the only one worrying about this.)

7.  Zombie Dog (See picture at right) 128860615052329781

8.  CAPTAIN TIGHTPANTS HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Now this is getting ridiculous. Either I need to mention Nathan Fillion a lot less, or he needs to start paying me his  publicist’s fee, for crying out loud.)

9.  Fear of Ferris Wheels (Yeah, I knew I wasn’t the only one worrying about that too.)

10. NATHAN FILLION GIRLFRIEND (Oh, for Heaven’s sake.)

Look, there’s clearly no need for me to say anything else. Now that I know where my readers are coming from, I know exactly how to target my blog. Happy New Year, Friends: