Top 100 Movies

Was wandering around on the internet and discovered The Daily Meme, where I tripped over a one-time meme for indicating the top 100 movies from the IMDb database and highlighting the ones you’ve seen. How could I possibly resist? No, really… after seeing something like this, is there anyone out there who thinks I could not post my own list? I’ve added the year of release because some of them have been remade. The ones I’ve seen are bolded… 75 out of 100. Not bad. More movies to add to my Netflix queue.

(More movies bolded on 1/22/08. I’ve seen 77 out of 100.)

The Godfather (1972)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Buoni, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Casablanca (1942)
Schindler’s List (1993)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Shichinin no samurai (1954)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Star Wars (1977)
Rear Window (1954)
12 Angry Men (1957)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Cidade de Deus (2002)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Goodfellas (1990)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
C’era una volta il West (1968)
Psycho (1960)
Citizen Kane (1941)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
North by Northwest (1950)
Memento (2000)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Fight Club (1999)
Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)
The Matrix (1999)
American Beauty (1999)
Vertigo (1958)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Se7en (1995)
Léon (1994)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Paths of Glory (1957)
American History X (1998)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Chinatown (1974)
The Third Man (1949)
Laberinto del fauno, El (2006)
M (1931)
Untergang, Der (2004)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
The Pianist (2002)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Alien (1979)
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Boot, Das (1981)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Shining (1980)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Metropolis (1927)
The Departed (2006)
Raging Bull (1980)
Rashômon (1950)
Aliens (1986)
Sin City (2005)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Rebecca (1940)
The Great Escape (1963)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
All About Eve (1950)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Leben der Anderen, Das (2006)
Amadeus (1984)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
Vita è bella, La (1997)
Jaws (1975)
The Sting (1973)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988)
Batman Begins (2005)
Braveheart (1995)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
The Apartment (1960)
City Lights (1931)
Blade Runner (1982)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)

TV and Cable and Electronics, Oh My

Recently, we acquired a new (and much larger) television. (Thank you, Ruth! You rock!) Of course, we had to use the stand that came with the television because (1) it looks better and (2) the television didn’t fit on the current entertainment center. Because we had to use the television’s integrated stand, we had to get rid of the entertainment center because both items could not occupy the same space. (Physics is weird that way sometimes.) But we’ve got entirely too many components to fit in/on the new stand. Can you see where this is going? Yes. A new rack for the components. Fortunately, I found a very spiffy-looking one at Target.

Putting it together was surprisingly non-stressful. The instruction were written in clear and understandable English (always helpful for those of us whose native tongue is English and are a wee bit compulsive about following instructions). I had the stand put together in no time. (A misnomer, of course, as everything takes time. Unless you’re talking about quantum physics, but let’s not get to the oh my god, my head hurts stage.)

Then came the task of putting the components on the rack. Being the geek that I am, I had labeled every cable, cord and plug as I removed items from the old entertainment center. So things went back together rather effortlessly. That’s not to say things actually worked, however. No. The cable box was acting wonky, giving only three or four stations to choose from. Of these three or four stations, only one was worthy of my attention (the local public television station). No Sci Fi channel??! Oh, this so does not work for me!

After half an hour on the phone with a nice lady at Time Warner Cable, we determined that the cable box had finally bitten the dust. Sadness abounds. But hooking the cable co-axial right into the new television set got me up to channel 78 or so, which is fine on a temporary basis… Sci Fi is channel 53. Delightfully, everything else worked fine and I celebrated by watching an episode of The X-Files on DVD.

Turned in the old cable box yesterday. They gave me a new one that is essentially the same, just slightly smaller. The remote was the best part… not only is it new and shiny (shiny = good), but I can read all the words and numbers and letters! (For the past year, I’ve been guessing where the Guide button was. I don’t watch cable enough to remember it was the blue one on the left. Sometimes I would press the blue one on the right, which, as it turns out, is the Info button.) I celebrated again by watching another two episodes of The X-Files. (I’m on Disk 1 of Season 5. All hail to Netflix.)

Maybe I’ll attach the LD and CD players tonight. After all, I have another two DVDs of The X-Files to celebrate with.

Slippin’ on by on LSD

Jim and I were talking the other day about driving around our respective towns, and being forced to endure the madness of the drivers around us.

I used to think I paid attention to the rules of the road because I learned to drive in Chicago, where drivers are civilized. But now I wonder. Maybe it isn’t because I learned to drive in Chicago that makes me ever so cognizant of the right and wrong behaviors of automobile operators, but the fact that I learned to drive from Tom Cunningham.

I think anyone who knew dad would agree that driving was in his blood. He would just as easily and readily drive across the country as he would drive across the city. Driving is what he did for a living. Driving is something he would do just for the fun of it. I’m pretty sure the most devastating blow to him as his health deteriorated was when he wasn’t allowed to drive any more.

The first time I drove on actual streets (as opposed to driving around the parking lot at school in drivers ed class), it was a lovely late spring Sunday morning. After church and a forgettable breakfast, I got behind the wheel, dad got in the passenger seat, and off we went. I figured we’d drive around the neighborhood for a while. I could get used to turning and going along with the flow. Boy, was I in for a shock!

We headed east on Wilson Avenue, and watched as the neighborhood took a turn for the worse after crossing Clark Street. Uptown, in those days, was not the rehabbed yuppie haven it became many years after I left. It was not a place to be after dark. Still, on that bright, sunny spring morning, the winos and hookers were crashed wherever they crashed and all was right with the world.

“Ah,” I thought, “we’ll just head over to Sheridan and maybe head up towards Evanston.” Wrong. We passed Sheridan, and there isn’t a whole lot going on east of Sheridan. Some parking lots… and Lake Michigan. I mentally prepared myself for more parking lot maneuvers.

“Turn here,” dad said unexpectedly.

“What?! That’s Lake Shore Drive!”

A man of many words, he replied, “Yep.”

Freak out! Panic! Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

Yes, I freaked out all the way from Wilson down to just about Belmont. Then I started to relax. Why? Because dad wasn’t saying a thing. In his world, and especially in the world of driving, there was definitely a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Since he was relaxed and being in the groove, so to speak, I realized I was finally doing something right! I started to enjoy myself. By the time we got to the S-Curve (this was many years before it was straightened out), I knew that I, too, had been bitten by the driving bug.

But I also learned by osmosis over many years of being in the car with dad that you behave in a certain way when driving. You signal your intentions, whether it be turning or changing lanes. (That might have had something to do with Chicago police, too. At “quota time,” it wasn’t unusual for people to get tickets simply for not signally a lane change on one of the many expressways.) Know who has the right-of-way in every situation, and if you don’t have the right-of-way, gods damn it, you’d better not move. The only thing dad couldn’t drill into my head was the whole adherence to the speed limit thing. Oh, it’s not like he never exceeded the speed limit. But he wasn’t like mom.

My favorite story of mom’s lead foot is from one of our family vacations. We were driving across the Painted Desert. If you’ve ever been there, you know there isn’t a lot going on. (If you’ve never been there, you really should at least check it out. Incredible beauty.) So mom was driving along… la la la… and dad happens to look at the speedometer. Then, still all relaxed and calm, says, “Pat, do you know how fast you’re going?”

“Oh, only about 80.”

“No… try about 110.”

Yep, that’s my mom, and I have her lead foot. (Not that I’ve ever managed to get any of my cars to go that fast, but that’s because I have sucky cars. I did get my Caravan up to almost 100 on a trip up from Denver to have lunch with Warren in Cheyenne, though.)

But back to the whole point of this rambling. I get so annoyed when people cut me off in traffic… let’s not even get to the minutia of not signaling, they don’t even look to see if someone is in the lane they want to be in. Hey! Here I am! I get annoyed when people make a left turn in front of me… hello? I have the right-of-way, you know, and I don’t think I ought to have to slam on my brakes (Danger, danger, Will Robinson) because you’re an inconsiderate lout. I think what annoys me in general is that there are a lot of people who jump in their cars and then think they’ve suddenly become the only people on the planet.

I learned a lot from my dad. The single most important thing I learned, and what keeps my blood pressure from going through the roof, is this:

Follow the rules [of the road], and watch out for the other guy. Assume he’s an asshole. Because he probably is.

Ok, so my dad was a cynic. I never really wondered where I got that from.


Peeps… those little marshmallow bunnies and chicks, so popular at this time of year. Every year, they seem to come out with an ever more frightening color. This year’s new colors are blood red (who thinks of these things???) and almost-neon green. It’s possible that the blood red is only available at Target and is really supposed to be “Target Red.” Ok. I still won’t eat them.

I mention Peeps today because my friend Mark died this morning, and that means I just want to drown my sorrow in sugar. For me, it doesn’t even need to be the fermented sugar of alcohol. No, any kind of sugar will do.

My brain is saying, “Mark’s not in pain any more, and you know he didn’t want to be living like this” while my heart keeps weeping and saying, “Yeah, but my friend just fucking died.” I could attribute the different conversations to the “voices” in my head, but I’m just not up to caring about making sure people think I’m a bit weird.

In an attempt at retail therapy, I wandered Colonie Center for a while. On last night’s group call, I created the possibility of having the external me reflect the internal me. So I wanted to scope out current “fashion” and see if any of it could possibly fit my personal “style.” In a word… no. But some of the colors that are popular now are completely excellent. I love color, so seeing a display of lots of bright colors made me happy. The actual clothing itself, though? Let’s just say there wasn’t a whole lot that I, personally, would wear any day but Halloween. Of the things I might wear, I believe most of it was meant to be worn by a size 6 or less person. (We’re getting down to very little now seeing as I’m a size 14.) The few outfits I found that didn’t look ridiculous and didn’t expose every adipose cell and wrinkle (we’re not even going to discuss my unnaturally pale flesh) turned out to look really awful on me. Oh, except for the $109 pair of pants at Macy’s (and the matching $199 jacket).

That sent my mind reeling. One hundred and nine dollars for a pair of PANTS??!? It’s not like they were lined with gold or anything. They weren’t silk or linen or anything else that I might find slightly more reasonable for that price. Nope… just plain old cotton/poly/spandex blend. I’m still having a hard time getting my mind around it. I’m as likely to vote Republican or go hunting as I am to spend that much money on a pair of PANTS. And just to make it perfectly clear, I’m not likely to vote Republican or go hunting in this lifetime. Who’s to say what the next one will bring, though.

So, I’m still sad, I’m still crying and retail therapy failed. There’s nothing to be done now but eat some little yellow bunnies, perhaps washing them down with a bit of Amaretto.

Oh yes… and I want to put it out there that I want to get old. Really old. Really old and really eccentric. Mark didn’t want to get old, and God / Goddess / Great Spirit / The Universe granted that wish.

This whole circle of life thing really sucks sometimes.