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Angelfood Thompson - The Literary Exhibitionist
Angelfood Thompson

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How did I not know this? And I've literally had twenty-one years to know it: not only does Emma Thompson have two Oscars, but one of them is actually for writing -- that was her second one, and she won Best Adapted Screenplay, for Sense and Sensibility. She was also nominated for Best Actress for that same film but did not win; her Best Actress win was three years earlier, for Howards End.

Another interesting bit of Oscar trivia about her: she's had only two other acting nominations, and they were both for the same year! In 1994 she was nominated for Best Actress for The Remains of the Day and also for Best Supporting Actress for In the Name of the Father. So, she had a bit of an Oscars frenzy for four years, between 1993 and 1996, with a single-year break in 1995 but for two of the four movies in 1994.

Three of these four movies -- all but In the Name of the Father -- are British period pieces, albeit with settings ranging from early 19th century (Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility) to mid-20th century.

So, I suppose, in the nineties Emma Thompson was most famous for these movies. I can't recall if I ever watched any of them at the time, actually. I certainly didn't realize she wrote the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility (although I almost certainly did watch her acceptance speech at the Oscars in 1996). I probably didn't start recognizing her as an actress by face until after she was in Love Actually in 2003. Shobhit probably would most recognize her as Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter films, starting with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004. She has since been in memorable roles in Stranger Than Fiction (2006), An Education (2009) and Saving Mr. Banks (2013), among others.

Anyway. I'm only mentioning all this because I was listening to the Doug Loves Movies podcast this morning and Doug Benson casually mentioned Emma Thompson's Oscar for writing Sense and Sensibility and I was just like . . . what?

I've always liked her, even though she's one of a triad of multigenerational actresses with names that sound similar enough for me to get them confused constantly: Emma Thompson; Emma Watson; Emily Watson. Can you imagine a movie with all three of these women -- all of whom I have long really liked -- in it? As it happens, both Emma Thompson and Emma Watson are in the current adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

I kind of want to watch all those Emma Thompson period films now though. I'm going to go on an Emma Thompson period bender. That sounds really gross.

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Not much to tell about last night -- the first weeknight this week that was just a quiet evening at home. I watched A.I. Artificial Intelligence with Shobhit. I figured out earlier in the day yesterday that I had not watched it since July 2010, according to the DVD rental history on my Netflix account -- and it appears I did not bother to write about it in my journal at the time.

This has long been a movie I come back to every few years, because even though it is patently flawed it has provocative concepts I can never shake. Shobhit was pretty engaged by it last night, and when it ended he said, "That was a sad movie." Indeed, I think it's much sadder than many people realized, particularly when it first came out in 2001. It's certainly dark -- arguably darker than any film Steven Spielberg has ever made that was not based on true-life atrocities. It has an incongruously warm, Spierlberg-ian sheen on it, but when you look below the surface, the story is overall truly creepy. Also, Haley Joel Osment was fantastically cast as a child robot who never blinks.

That said, I was thinking about it again this morning, and I feel like that movie has finally aged out of being as satisfying to watch as it once was to me. It used to be that it had more strengths than it had flaws, but this latest viewing barely left me more dissatisfied than satisfied. And it's never going to matter how far behind us 9/11 is, visions of a distant future that include the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center will never stop being jarring. Looking at that now is a sobering reminder of how easily we all take certain things for granted -- things like the assumption that an iconic city's skyline will only ever be added to, but the famous towers will always be there. Well: not necessarily.

The other podcast I had listened to, Blank Check, on which they discussed A.I. had hosts erroneously stating the movie was released right after 9/11 -- turns out, the release date was in June. So, when I saw this movie for the first time, certainly in theatres, the Twin Towers were still standing. I would not have noticed the change until seeing the movie on DVD a few years later.

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I've eaten too much crap today. Mindy, the Fresh Department Director, decided to move on after only being here for a year, and today was her last day -- so she brought in doughnuts, and I had two of them. Bad Matthew! But fuck, they were delicious. Totally worth the calories, I've decided. Still, when Scott mentioned the doughnuts and I said, "I've already had two!" he said, "Two? I feel guilty just having one!" And then both he and Noah teased me all morning, occasionally asking if I wanted another doughnut, or reminding me the boxes were still over there in the conference room near my desk.

And then, we had our bimonthly Town Hall meeting today, at which lunch was provided. This was probably the worst spread they've ever offered for vegetarians: parmesan chicken fingers; Aztec Quinoa; bacon blue cheese potato salad; red seedless grapes; gluten free cookies and strawberries and whipped cream on angel food cake.

I never did see the gluten free cookies but who cares, who wants that? I was most annoyed that the potato salad, which I usually love, had to have fucking bacon in it. Usually they offer a substantive protein that's vegetarian and serves as the equivalent of, say, parmesan chicken fingers. Today I basically had sides-only, although admittedly they were very well prepared and tasty. My plate just had the quinoa, the sesame snap pea salad, and some red grapes -- which were fucking huge, by the way. They were practically otherworldly in their size.

Lori, the office manager, sent out the menu via email yesterday. I really wanted to complain about it but I didn't. I somehow gleaned over the strawberry shortcake menu item, and was pretty excited by that when I noticed it on the counter. I really shouldn't have had any of it after those two doughnuts this morning, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

Anyway, that eating was after the office meeting was done. I sat across from Mimi and she asked what I thought of the meeting. "It was all right," I said. "Pretty standard." I told her I didn't think any news would ever again thrill me the way that the office move did, and that's all done now. So now we just get to hear about the year-end financial report and what pilot programs stores are working on and the 2017 promotional plan, that kind of riveting stuff. I'm glad it ended with the food, slightly less than ideal as it was.

I did have a favorite moment over lunch, though. It was when Mimi said, "I'm just a cilantro snob." I tried to imagine how many other companies would unsurprisingly have any employees say things like that.

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positive energy please