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Summer Movie Recap

This season’s blockbusters were little more than big budget popcorn flicks. Even though that is a summer tradition there is generally a little more substance or at least one noteworthy superhero flick to fall back on. This summer was void of anything that could compete with 2008’s  “Ironman”, “Dark Knight” or “Wall-e”.

A select films made an impact this summer but I would argue they lack a sort of timelessness. The highlights for me this summer included District 9, Pixar’s UP! and Inglorious Basterds.

David Bloomer/TriStar Pictures

David Bloomer/TriStar Pictures

District 9 the sci fi thriller with a twist was filmed in the shake cam, documentary style first showcased in megaplexes in 2008’s “Cloverfield”. They style is under control better and had less movie patrons running from the theatre towards to nearest toliet. It still gave me a massive headache though. As NPR reviewer Jeannette Catsoulis, pointed out the story is strong and has strong parallels to apartheid it still remains original. Wikus Van Der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), is a unexpectedly strong in the lead.

UP! I am sure this is not as uncommon as I think. I went to see UP! 3D in a theatre and during on of the sadder moments, where I was sweetly daydreaming about my life and spending the rest of my days with my fiance when a man in the back row started loudly sobbing. While it ruined the moment it actually didn’t ruin the movie.   It was partially excusable but of what a tear jerker this turned out to be. It was kind of disheartening that all of this bitter sweet emotion was packed into a movie meant for kids. I am a big supporter of the fact that kids can handle things and understand them better than most adults give them credit for I am not sure how I could have handled it a few years ago.

Inglorious Basterds revisits Tarantino’s lust for bloody, humor. It parallels to the Kill Bill series in the ways that is totally over the top. Brad Pitt is cast perfectly. I have argued with numerous people that he does much better when he isn’t the leading man. He is cast as the comic relief and excels most when the pressure is off and he can roll with his character acting.  As Tarantino, evolves it is wonderful to see his creativity. He seems to be getting crazier though. Watching him in interviews you can tell how intelligent yet ADD he is. This random interview from 2009 Comic Con presents my case well.

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Remembering IKE

Okay one year ago this month I lost my apartment all my stuff in the aftermath of IKE that hit the Midwest and made it out by wading to safety.

I have been wanting to write a personal update about this since before the anniversary (Sept. 14) but have been slacking.

Here is more information on that incident as I wrote in a note to friends on Sept. 15, 2008:

I think Floyd already sent out a version of the events of Sept 14th. I woke up that morning and was preparing to get to work. I was about out the door when I went back to our room to wake up Floyd. A little after 9:30 we heard this giant boom that came from outside, what I thought at the time was our basement, maybe a pipe bursting. I had noticed earlier that morning that there was more water than normal from the storm.

We both freaked upon hearing the noise and looked out the window to see the flood wall right outside our apartment had burst and water was rushing towards us. We both attempted to open the front door but were unsuccessful due the immense amount of water pressure. Floyd (my valiant prince) ran toward the window, slid it open and punched out the screen. We jumped into waist high water and waded to the retaining wall near our pool, which was not yet flooded.

I hear that my most amazing feat was jumping that wall. Floyd and I were looking around at that point and both sides near us still had the flood doors closed. After we got to safety Floyd managed help a nearby neighbor get her cats to safety.

I want to thank everyone for their generosity and warm thoughts. -Within 6 hour we had prospects of clothes, a new car, furniture (for a future non existant apartment), a place to stay and food.

But we are fine and made it out with only insignificant cuts and bruises.

After all of this I remember a lot of the small details: after the “boom” dust came cascading down from our ceiling, the water rolling in to the living room from our bedroom and seeing our carpet rise up and “wave”.

During the flood

The pool, when we escaped it was above the water level

The pool, when we escaped it was above the water level

A submerged SUV originally parked in the office lot next store to our old place

A submerged SUV parked in the office lot next door

Aftermath/Clean-up

How the f did that happen?

How the f*** did that happen?

Me next to a gapping hole that was my living room

Me next to a gapping hole that was my living room

The only real update I have is that I am alive and well. As part of this venture down memory lane I returned to the old place. Our old building has been condemned and there is not much word on what is to become of it. They closed the flood walls that had originally surrounded it and worked much like a death trap that day because we were surrounded on all sides and had little place to go. Being a snoop I trepassed by the pool just to have a look over but could only glimpse the walkway. It was overgrown with grass and shrubs. There was a still a tree next to the pool uprooted from that day. The buildings I could kind of see in seemed to be striped, most still had walls but one just had the wood skeleton.

The only information I have found about what is going to happen from the city of Brentwood website: “The City has passed a Resolution, which supports the city’s FEMA grant application for flood buyout properties in the city”. According to the Webster-Kirkwood Times, residents were still waiting around for this buyout to occur as of April. I am not sure if that applies to my building or just abandoned/condemned homes. There have been no major changes to Deer Creek. This June in a report by the Webster-Kirkwood Times most of that area experienced flooding again, but it was not as severe.

A new apartment and a new edition, PZ Meowers.

A new apartment and a new addition, PZ Meowers.

I am still with the same rental company. They placed me in another complex in a few weeks after. I have been too busy with school and work to consider moving again. Floyd and I are at square one, with a well furnished apartment, clothes, etc thanks to family, friends and FEMA.

I know all my family and friends know my status but I think it is important in part to not get too comfortable. I still don’t want to forget. I remember being comfortable and happy in my old place. There is a slight sentimental feeling being my first proper experience living on my own physically and financially.

As a journalism/communications student, I was very interested in how the event was covered. The day of the flood was all over the news both local and national (CNN). After that besides the Webster-Kirkwood Times, updates were non-existent. Over the summer Brentwood had its application from FEMA approved to buyout some of those properties. No changes have occurred to really fix the problem either with the sewage or Deer Creek.

I returned to Brentshire two weeks ago. The building has long since been condemned. I am not sure if it is part of the cities proposed buyout or whether that plan involves businesses or residents. The building was closed off for the most part. All of the flood gates surrounding the complex were locked. I snuck around to the pool to catch a glimpse. It was over grown with grass and shrubs. There was still an uprooted tree that blocked most of the view of the walkway. I really couldn’t see inside buildings but they seemed empty and I swear one of them had the walls stripped. I don’t really have an excuse for going. I will never have to live there again. I just felt a connection to the place being my first pot and paid for apartment.

There is an odd revelation. A professor of mine, Don Corrigan who also owns the Kirkwood-Webster Times is writing a book and briefly mentioned I was in there. I am sure it is nothing but it is kind of something strange to hear as an off the cuff comment from someone. I don’t know what the focus of this book is going to be. He already released one book, Show Me…Natural Wonders, in 2007. He also hosts an environmental news blog: Getting Into Nature.