Category Archives: Jane Granville

Calling All Mobilians

In less than two months, I’m becoming a Southerner.  After 18 years in New Jersey and 4 in Washington, D.C., I’m moving to Mobile, AL.  Now, I’ve never really been down South before.  My grandparents used to rent winter homes in secluded developed communities in South Carolina or Florida, and I visited them there, but day trips to Savannah or Charleston don’t really count as truly visiting the South.

I’ve known about the move for several months now.  I’m doing a year-long service program called the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and I haven’t received much new information from them in a while.  Right now, I’m feeling overwhelmingly curious about the city, its people, and its environment.  I’ve heard a lot of things about life in the South, not all of them I really believe (will they really not understand my Standard American accent?  Will my walking pace be a sprint to them?  Do I have to start watching NASCAR to fit in?) So, any of you from Alabama, or any other southern states? The Gulf Coast? What do you think? Do you have any advice?

Criminal Minds

Two summers ago, it was Bones.  This summer, it’s Criminal Minds.  It seems that when school is out and I have the novel experience of work but no homework, I tend to binge on syndicated crime dramas.  Criminal Minds, like Bones, has been around for a while (5 or 6 years) which means there’s a pretty extensive list of old episodes that run in marathons.

What I like about Criminal Minds is that it’s very psychological.  Rather than look at a crime after the fact, it focuses on crimes of a serial nature; the team profiles the criminal and uses that information to predict their next move and get ahead of them.  Of course, given that the crimes on this show are frequently repeat crimes, often committed by people with serious issues, they tend to be the more terrifying ones: child abduction, pedophilia, serial killing, rape/murder.  It is sometimes really disturbing, but it still fascinating and compelling.

As I’m new to the series, I’m still placing myself in the time line of the series. My favorite characters are Morgan and Garcia (I love their banter and flirting), and I have a soft spot for Dr. Reid too.  Do you watch this show?  What do you think?

Midnight in Paris


Buzz has quietly been growing for Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s latest romantic comedy.  Summer blockbusters don’t tend to appeal to me, so when my friend suggested we see a movie the other night, I chose Midnight in Paris.

The movie stars Owen Wilson as Gil, an American aspiring novelist in Paris with his spoiled fiance and her parents.  He loves it; they do not.  He pines for the artistic inspiration, the intellectual discussions, and the company of the “Golden Age” of 1920s Paris, when F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and other writers and artists gathered.  Little does he expect to actually join them.

If you aren’t familiar with the art and literature of this era, you won’t understand half of this movie.  I caught a fair amount of the jokes and allusions, and my friend (an art history major) got even more.  It’s not particularly accessible, but it is charming and romantic and funny and quirky.  It’s a marvelous cast, with some truly scene stealing cameos by Adrian Brody, Allison Pill, and Carla Bruni (yes, Mrs. Sarkozy herself).  The entire movie is gorgeous (it’s Paris, after all) and the costumes exquisite. In a lot of ways, it’s typical Woody Allen- lots of long shots, dialogue that is at times utterly natural and witty, and at times a bit clunky.

It’s far from a blockbuster film, but if all of the sequels and action flicks aren’t doing it for you, check out this one.

The Biology of Beauty

A friend of mine surprised me the other day by announcing that she hadn’t washed her hair since October. Given that she did not look like a total grease ball — quite the opposite, actually — I was curious to learn more.

What resulted was a lengthy discussion on the biology of hair.  Until thirty or forty years ago, daily hair washing was rare; shampooing happened weekly or bimonthly.  It wasn’t until marketers got their hands on milder formulas that it became a daily thing and a vicious cycle began.  You see, shampoo strips hair of all its natural oils.  As a result, oil glands in the scalp overcompensate and produce too much, and your hair looks greasy.  But if you wean yourself off shampoo, eventually your scalp glands readjust themselves to only producing as much oil as you need.

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Glee’s season 2 is coming to an end tonight.  Will they win Nationals? I honestly don’t know.  They lost last year in the Season finale, so it’s not a shoo-in for national dominance. They’ll be singing original songs again, including the one above.  Apparently Charice, the singer who played Sunshine Corazon in two episodes (the girl Rachel sent to a crack house), will be back.

After last week’s episode (during which I cried, by the way — in Starbucks, where I watched it online. Awk.) I’m interested in how Sue will figure into it.  I hope they don’t just backtrack and revert to her sabotaging them.  It’s been funny, but it’s been 2 seasons– let’s see something new.

What did you think about this season? What are your predictions for tonight’s episode?

Did They or Didn’t They?


For those of you who are current with this season of Bones, you know what I’m asking.  After last week’s episode (RIP Vincent Nigel-Murray) things are a bit ambiguous as to the current state of Booth and Bones’s relationship.  Yes, they spent a night in bed together– but was it platonic?   Tonight is the season finale; hopefully the question will be answered.

What do you expect from tonight’s finale? Will Booth and Bones finally become “official?” Will Hodgins’ and Angela’s baby be a boy or girl? Will it be blind? What will we have “never saw coming?”

An Internet-less Life

It’s been almost a week since I lost wireless in my apartment.  The contract was in my roommate’s name, and she has moved out and taken the internet with her.  It’s only until the end of May, when I’ll be moving out, but for the next three weeks I have no TV, no internet, and no roommates.

I’ve noticed a few things.  One, I’ve been sleeping and reading even more than usual.  There’s not a whole lot else to do.  Two, the things that I need to do, but don’t want to, still aren’t necessarily getting done.  The fact is, I have little motivation to take out the recycling, or organize the kitchen.  Even without the distractions of facebook or mindless TV, it still isn’t happening.  Three, with limited time on the internet when I’m visiting friends or at the library (as I am now), I do a lot less of the time-wasting browsing- no, no yahoo headlines, less Twitter.  I feel less informed, but at the same time I recognize that most of the things I learned by reading random articles was fairly useless.

What do you do when you don’t have the internet? Do you notice your habits changing?

Fascinating Fascinators

Let’s be perfectly honest: the best part of the Royal Wedding fashion are the hats.  Sometimes I truly wish hats were fashionable in the US.  If I could pull it off, I would totally wear hats as statement pieces.  My friends always mock me because whenever we went out shopping in London, I would be irresistibly drawn to the headbands and headbands with a half-veil, a la Chelsy Davies’ hat:

(Alas, this is an awful picture of her.  Cute hat, though.)

“What, are you trying to be Lady GaGa?” my friends asked.  No— clearly, I was just trying to be British.

Anyway, some of my favorites from yesterday’s festivities:

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Music’s New Goddess


It’s a name that’s been applied to Adele by more than one person.  Beyonce has said that listening to her music is “like listening to God.”  She’s actually been quietly around for a couple of years, but her new album 21 has broken all sorts of records and keeps knocking industry leaders down the charts — people like Rihanna, Lady GaGa, and Katy Perry have lost top spots to Adele. Continue reading

Earth Day


I recently did a presentation for class on the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, which had been the largest ecological disaster in America at the time.  That dubious distinction was usurped, of course, and is currently held by BP’s blowout in the Gulf of Mexico one year ago April 20.  The Santa Barbara spill was a catalyst for the environmental movement of the 1970s, which led to the first earth day in 1970.

In honor of that day, and to remind us all that the Earth is not a bottomless pit of resources to abuse, but something that must be respected if we want to continue to live as we do, here is a slam poem by George Watsky, “Carry the One.”