Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm a bit of a sewing machine myself

"Why Laura," I seem to hear you say. "Is that a serger in your home?"

"Why yes," I would reply, had I actually heard you say such a thing. Alas, this beast of a machine is merely on loan. I may have mentioned, I've been commissioned to create a couple of jackets for a coworker of my mother's. Another one of my mother's friends happens to own a serger but doesn't know how to use it, so she loaned it to me to use on the jackets for the trade-off that I'll figure it out and teach her and her daughter. Pretty good trade, if you ask me, though I kind of wish she'd decide "Oh, I don't need this thing" and give it to me... well, a girl can dream.

The jackets I'm making are based on the patterns Vogue 1081 and 1040, with some minor alterations (of course, because I just can't manage to make anything like patterns tell me to!). She's a bit of a hard-to-fit woman, so I'm glad to have the chance to make her something she really likes that will fit her right. After all, I know about difficulty in finding off-the-rack clothing that fits right and is flattering, being tall and curvy.

Like my pattern weights? I pulled all the small cans from the pantry -- black olives, sliced mushrooms, tomato paste. Dad asked if I was making a giant pizza. I wish. And excuse the mess behind the dining table -- we're all pulling stuff for a potential yard sale.

The toughest part about this project has been making myself actually work on it. It's partly my trepidation about making everyday wear, especially for someone I don't know well -- everything I sew is costume, and almost all of it for the stage, so the finishing is different. But it's also because... well, other than work, I don't really sew. Sometimes --very rarely -- I feel like I love sewing, but even when I do, I don't want to do it outside of work. The only person I've known who enjoyed what they did enough to do it outside of work as well is Mary Ann, the woman who taught me costuming in college. She was *always* sewing at least one or two projects at home as well as working at least 40 hours a week in the costume shop. But when I get home at the end of the day, generally the last thing I want to do is pick up another needle. Even now, being on hiatus, I can get excited about ideas for me to design and make for myself, but when I look over at the sewing machine, it just makes me want to procrastinate ever longer. Blah.

I'm hoping that taking some time away from the costume work will help me get over that feeling. Being able to sew without deadlines or divas or outside stress would be helpful in changing my feelings, I hope... especially as I need to get these ideas in my head out and into 3D!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Evolution of a garment

The Theatre company I worked for the last two summers kicks off the season with a themed Gala, which is the one really fancy event of the summer. Last year the theme was "1940's Red Carpet", as the cornerstone show of the season was "City of Angels", but as I was new, I didn't realize what a big deal the Gala was. My outfit left something to be desired. I was determined not to let this happen again.

This summer, the theme was "Witches and Wizards". The fact that I don't have a workroom, cutting table, or serger, means that the finishing on the garment isn't quite what I'd like. But it was done, so there ya go.

I decided, rather than go with the broom-wielding, orange-and-black stripe wearing witch, or the Gryffindor sweater vest-wearing type, I'd go for more of a medieval kind of feel, bodice and skirt kind of thing. The color choices... well, I made them for one reason, and that reason is named Professor Snape. I heart him. As you can see from the photo at right, it's sort of the Slytherin colors. I decided to do a bodice from the brocade, and a green skirt with a sheer black overlay.

The pattern I chose was Simplicity 9966. Of course, I purchased this even though I chose to make lots of alterations to it. Like I do. I guess it's all the same, since nothing fits me right anyway (I'm pretty curvy).

I started out by cutting all the pieces from muslin and putting it together the way I wanted (as opposed to how the pattern wanted me to). Then I severely altered it, doing all the pinning myself, through some contortion and clever usage of multiple mirrors. I have to say the fit left a little bit to be desired in the end, but that's what I get for trying to pin the back of a garment on myself (already altered in pic).

After I was satisfied with the mock-up, I retraced all of the pieces on the only large paper we had: a leftover roll of Christmas wrapping paper. That's when I discovered the brilliance of this! The wrapping paper has a grid printed on the back, which is to theoretically help you cut and wrap your presents more neatly, but this was perfect for placement of the pattern pieces and to keep me true to the grain lines.

I don't have any further photos of the process because, well... I put most of it together the night before I drove up there for the summer (as in, was up till about 4 AM sewing on the living room floor) and finished it the afternoon of the Gala, so I had zero time for photo ops. And I don't have any decent photos of myself wearing it yet, but I should be getting some in a few days, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here are a few photos of it on my new dressmaker's dummy! It fits me better than the dummy. Oh, and please excuse the wrinkles... I don't have a proper steamer.


Top, close-up

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Fresh Start

Hello all! I think I may have told some of you, but as of this October, I'm going to be back in school -- I'm working on a Baking and Pastry diploma from the Art Institute of Ohio. A big change of pace, yes, but I'm excited to get my hands dirty and try this new challenge. I'll still be blogging about my hobbies and costuming over here, but starting in October you can also catch my kitchen adventures over at It should be interesting!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland"

I'm a Tim Burton fan. I can't help it. Even I am sometimes a little overwhelmed by the dark imagery in some of his films, but the beauty and poetry that accompany it make those few moments of discomfort totally worth it. So, naturally, I've been following the development of his upcoming project, "Alice in Wonderland".

It doesn't hurt that he's working with some of my favorite people in the entertainment industry, either. You've got Alan Rickman (the Caterpillar), who just happens to be my all-time favorite actor. Johnny Depp (the Mad Hatter) is a staple of Tim Burton films, and also one of my favorite actors. But most importantly -- you have Colleen Atwood, Burton's go-to Costume Designer and my personal hero.

One need only skim Atwood's IMDB listing to realize the amazing body of work she's completed. I mean, come on! "Series of Unfortunate Events", "Sweeney Todd", "Memoirs of a Geisha", AND "Edward Scissorhands"?! If that isn't enough to win you over, I don't know what is.

Anyway, my point of this is that some pictures have been posted by the incredibly lucky people who got to attend the "Alice in Wonderland" exhibit at Costume Con, and I'm incredibly jealous. I have to be content with being able to see the pictures of the costumes and sketches rather than getting to see them myself, but honestly, after how crazy I went over the "Harry Potter" exhibit in Chicago last month, I might just die over one of Colleen's work. I guess I can summarize it by saying "She's brilliant. Just brilliant." Anyway, follow this link and see for yourself:

The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes: "Alice in Wonderland"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let me hand it to you...

Found this amazing video, which I believe is from a Japanese talent show. The costumes are stunning, but what really makes this incredible is the precision of the dancers. The only part I didn't like is that their last pose looks like a millipede to me, but then that's just personal phobia brought out in a Rorschach test-like way.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Save the Cheerleader

I've been a bad blogger. Call it anticipation of life getting in the way in a couple of weeks when I head off for summer stock in central Illinois for the second summer in a row. By way of apology, please accept this tutorial on how to make a Claire "The Cheerleader" Bennet costume very quickly and for ubercheap.

This is Claire. She's a Hero.

Supplies you will need are:
- Oversized red turtleneck
- White sweater vest
- 1" wide elastic, to the length of your waist measurement plus one inch
- Scissors

You will probably also want:
- Pins
- Chalk or marking pencil
- Sewing machine
- Red and white threads
- Scraps of white muslin or other sturdy cotton fabric
- Sharpies in assorted colors (red, gold, and black)

First things first. Determine how long you want the skirt to be. Measure from your waist to where you want the skirt to hit (i.e. just above the kneecap, if you're modest like me). Add 1 1/2" to this measurement. Use this length to measure from the bottom hem of shirt and mark the length in chalk all the way around the body.

Cut the sleeves off of the turtleneck at the seams, as indicated by the vertical dotted green lines.

Cut the shirt horizontally along your chalk line (as indicated by the horizontal green dotted line). Discard the neck\yoke area (or save it, if you need a dickey to wear at work). The body has now become your skirt.


I recommend doing a preliminary try-on of the skirt at this point to double-check length and tweak width. As the body of the turtleneck is very straight, you may want to take darts in or resize it along the seamlines. If it doesn't gape too much, the elastic waistband will help smooth it out, but more than an inch or two of extra fabric may give you that Sweatpants Granny look. I'm pretty curvy, so I only had to nip mine in about 3/4" on either side.

Turn under 1/2" around the raw top edge of the skirt, then turn under another 1" and topstitch almost all the way around, leaving a 1" gap at a side seam. Thread your elastic through this gap and stitch together with a seam allowance of 1/2". Try the skirt on one last time to make sure the waist fits fine, the elastic is comfortable, and the skirt will stay on before closing the seam gap.


This one's pretty simple, if you know how to set a sleeve. Just put the sleeves you cut off of the turtleneck into the armholes of the sweater vest. You can hand-sew or use a blind hemmer if you want the stitching to be invisible; I personally just top-stitched mine with white thread.


Okay, this is where it gets a little more on the creative side. I made my patch by tracing a circle on a doubled piece of white muslin and serging around the edges, flatlining the circles together. I then freehanded the design onto the circle with a pencil, using a ruler to ensure even spacing. My design was even more simplified than the Trojans helmet pictured above, as I had about 15 minutes to do it in. After penciling the design, I colored it in with black, red and gold Sharpies (thank heaven for Hobby Lobby and their frequent sales).

A simpler way to make a patch might be to draw one up on your computer and print it on iron-on paper or printable fabric. Not all of us are lucky enough to have fierce computer drawing skills or convenient technology.

I recommend putting on the sweater vest to pin the patch on. This will help you take into full account the amount of give the sweater fabric has and will make it lay better when it's on.

Voila! Your Cheerleader costume is complete! You may want to add other finishing touches such as trimming the skirt with gold and white bias tapes (I just used some white twill tape for side stripes on mine, to add a little visual interest). The costume isn't exactly a screen-accurate replica, but then neither am I, and it's a pretty quick solution when you get a last-minute invite to a Superhero party.

And to close... this isn't just a gratuitous boob shot, I just wanted to show how the patch turned out.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Assault at North Carolina yarn mill

I was just alerted to this by a crochet group I'm a part of. I'm absolutely horrified.

At North Carolina's Tuscaroro Yarns in late 2007, a factory manager sexually assaulted a woman in his office. After she reported it, an HR manager responded by suspending and disciplining her. Two months later, she left the factory in an ambulance after another, more brutal assault by the same plant manager.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on March 30.

Here's the article from the Southern Poverty Law Center so you know this is not a hoax.

Here's the notice on the EEOC web site, also so you know this is not a hoax.

And here's the Tuscarora Yarn web site, in case you want to give them a piece of your mind.
Or their e-mail is

I recommend writing the company letters. I wrote them a note to say I refused to patronize their company until I hear of a severe change in their policy and that both the man who attacked her and the person who chose to discipline her were fired. Please pass this on to everyone you know, and spread the word about this injustice.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My top five user-powered websites

Having your own website and keeping it updated can be hard. Case in point: it's been a couple of weeks since I've updated my blog (aside, of course, from keeping track of what movies I've watched in my post Movies I should see). The following blogs are a few of my favorite that have gotten around that troublesome area by being powered on the submissions of readers.

PostSecret - The most famous site for this. For those of you not familiar, this is Frank Warren's blog, and each weekly entry is comprised of art postcards sent to him from around the world, each bearing an anonymous secret from the sender.

Dear Old Love - The web owner describes the site as "short notes to people we've loved (or at least liked). Requited or unrequited." Basically, a one- or two-line note to an ex, with some sort of a confession or definition of the relationship.

FMyLife - Perhaps a little overindulgent sometimes, but kudos for people admitting embarrassing moments. Each describes an unfortunate incident that happened to the writer, such as incredibly clumsy or awkward moments. The format of the notes can get on my nerves (each one starting with "Today," and ending with "FML"), but the laughs are worth it.

Texts From Last Night - The largest portion of texts logged on this site are people either incredibly drunk or suffering from the next-day effects of such. Some just make you shake your head, but some of them are a great log of those one-liners you generally just throw out there and then forget.

I Can Has Cheezburger - I know, quite a bit different than the other sites, but still. It's mostly pictures of cats in funny or awkward positions, with an appropriate caption. I get caught up on this site sometimes and could look for hours (and I don't even like cats).

So, that's my top five. What are YOUR favorites?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tharon Musser

I just found out via this blip article on IMDB that famed lighting designer Tharon Musser has passed away. I didn't know her... but then I kind of feel like I did a little bit.

I went to the same college as Musser. Everyone who's gone to Berea College knows that it is far more than a college -- it's an experience, a way of life, a defining factor. Once on choir tour with the college, I by chance was housed with an elderly couple who not only were in college at the same time as she was -- they knew her. They told me bits of trivia, like that she had an illegal car that she kept offcampus (cars are very strictly policed at Berea, and in her day would be absolutely forbidden). But most of what I heard of her was from my best friend Sarah, also a lighting designer and graduate of Berea, who closely followed Musser's career and tried to follow her example.

Musser made a splash on Broadway with designs such as the iconic "A Chorus Line", and really introduced computerized lighting as we know it today. There's a pretty good short article about her here, and her Wikipedia entry here.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Okay, is this another one that I'm the last to hear about? I started reading Harry Potter after the 4th book came out, didn't even know Twilight existed until less than a year ago, and I didn't hear about "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" until this week. And now I hear about Vampirates. To quote the back of the book:

Well, if pirates are bad,
And vampires are worse,
Then I pray that as long as I be
That though I sing of Vampirates
I never one shall see.

Has anyone read this book? Or books, I should say, as I did a quick search and discovered there are at least 5 or 6 of these things out there. And if you have... are they as bad as they sound? Because while I love pirates, and am impartial about vampires, I think this may be the most intriguing young adult novel since 1980's teen hit The Mall.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Come and get it, Potter!"

Originally uploaded by lauraejordan
Another recent knitting project. I knit both the sweater vest and the scarf. It's all in Lion Brand Wool-Ease (a wool\acrylic blend), lovingly knit by those two hands visible in the photo.

The sweater is actually the first garment I've knit, and I'm pretty pleased with it. I think if I was going to make another for myself, I would make the v-neck a little deeper, and add a couple more inches of ribbing at the hips, as well as narrow the shoulders at the sleeve holes.

Both of these items are available for purchase at my Etsy shop, and I'd be happy to answer any questions about the patterns or how to make the items. I'm all about sharing the love!

Cake or Death?

Originally uploaded by lauraejordan
My latest knitting project: Cake or Death gauntlets. It's a heavy modification of a wristlet pattern I found a while back, with a little embroidery action. I know the Eddie Izzard reference is subtle (especially since it's not the most masterful picture of a slice of cake ever created), but I prefer small references rather than a big ol' shirt that says "Hey, I love Eddie Izzard, and he said 'Cake or Death' that one time."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hollywood AD

MULDER: How come when people come back from the dead they always want to hurt the living?

SCULLY: Well, that's because people can't really come back from the dead, Mulder. I mean, ghosts and zombies are just projections of our own repressed cannibalistic and sexual fears and desires. They are who we fear that we are at heart-- just mindless automatons who can only kill and eat.

MULDER: Party pooper. Well, I got a new theory. I say that when zombies try to eat people, that's just the first stage. You see, they've just come back from being dead so they're going to do all the things they miss from when they were alive. So, first, they're going to eat, then they're going to drink, then they're going to dance and make love.

SCULLY: Oh, I see. So it's just that we never get to stay with them long enough to see the gentler side of the undead.

MULDER: Exactly.

Excerpt from "The X-Files" episode Hollywood AD (7x18), courtesy of Inside the X

A lot of people will tell a lie when asked what their greatest fears are. After all, why share your greatest fear? You never know who's going to use it against you. Well, I'm pretty honest about my greatest fear. It's zombies. I hate zombies.

I know it's irrational. Zombies probably don't exist... right? It's like Freddy Krueger and other imaginary terrors -- we're still afraid, though there's nothing there. But I'm not afraid of anything else -- not vampires, werewolves, Bigfoot, or any other manufactured creature. What is it about these freaking zombies?

I guess Scully's theory is one possibility. Do I fear that that's all I'm good for? Or is it an amalgamation of my own dislikes? I was not a child who ever bit other people, and I found it abhorrent when another child was a biter. I can be okay with blood in films, but not gore. And, of course, I'm a vegetarian. which began with a childhood "grossout" factor when it came to tendons and veins and all that stuff you relate between the animal and humans... which is the typical fare of zombies, of course.

I guess the best I can do is to hope that if zombies really *did* exist, it'd be more like Mulder says: they're just revived versions of ourselves, reveling in what they had lost. Regardless, I think I'll sleep with a blunt object next to my bed tonight.

Closet Trekkie?

Okay, I'll admit, I don't know a whole lot about Star Trek. My dad must've been a fan, because we had the first 3 films bootleg-taped off TV when I was a kid -- you know, the old-fashioned way, where you had to sit by the VCR with a fresh tape and wait until your movie came on. I'm not sure at what age my older brother discovered the tapes, but I've seen those 3 movies more than I would care to count. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier remains the only one I haven't seen more than once, and is the second movie I remember seeing in a theatre (after The Land Before Time). He loved all the series as well, but I didn't see more than a few episodes of each of those. I guess you could say I became an unwitting fan, much like in later years when my brother discovered James Bond in much the same way. Ah, the days when we were still young enough to want to play with toys, but old enough where the only way I could get my brother to play My Little Ponies with me was if I let the Starship Enterprise visit Ponyland.

Anyway, back to the point. Maybe it's just old muscle memory, or Star Trek is kind of like comfort food, but I'm pretty excited about the new movie. Never mind that Zachary Quinto is in it; the hair and ears do little to obscure his hotness. But I'm interested to see the latest chapter in this saga, and am more intrigued now that I know a group of diehard fans have given the film a thumbs-up. And we all know from the last 3 Star Wars films -- fans don't have to enjoy something even if it *is* in the official "canon"... unless they're dumb.

A surprise screening of the new Star Trek film was held last night in Austin, TX. You can read the thrilling first-hand account at Ain't It Cool News. I'm sure my big brother, who lives in that area now, is pretty pissed off to not have happened to be there. I have to say that my little fangirl heart is a little achy at having missed it myself, but no matter; a few weeks, I'll have my own, Nimoy-free, official-release viewing here in Knoxville. So poo on you all who got to see it. You aren't so special. I can see Leonard Nimoy whenever I want, on YouTube.

Superhero domino mask

That Costume Girl shares her creative idea on a quick, , cheap, disposable domino mask for all your superhero needs.

Mask Wrap

Web Love!

Rainn Wilson's Twitter pointed me towards this website he helped create, Soul Pancake. This link will take you to to info page on the site. To quote:

"We want to make discussions about Spirituality, Creativity, and Philosophy cool again. Were they ever cool? I have no idea. But it seems like a good idea. We want to engage the user to “Chew on Life’s Big Questions”™. (I was kidding about the ™ symbol; you can use that phrase however you want. Even to sell frozen taquitos.)."

I recommend you check it out. We can always use more introspection.

Costume Win

Great costume idea: Jackie Earle Haley. Achieved by combining Rorshach and Freddy Krueger costumes. Fun for the whole family!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

I missed this exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but there's still an in-depth look at costuming for superheroes on their website. It's a long read, but a good one.

The Science of Superheroes

Using Superheroes to Teach Physics: College Courses in Sci-Fi

( -- One of the more perplexing questions facing science these days is this one: How do we get more young people interested in science? Leading the way are a number of college courses -- that can be taken for credit -- that focus on the science in science fiction. After all, why can't superheroes, Star Trek and Harry Potter teach us about the answer to life, the universe and everything? (Or, at least debate the merits of the answer "42".)

This short article discusses classes at a few universities across the country which deal with reality in relation to a work of popular fiction (namely "The Science of Superheroes", a course taught at the University of California at Irvine). Understandably, not everyone sees it as a valid course -- after all, what part of "real-life science in the world of people who can magically fly" screams "This is the university for your troublesome teen!"?

I, of course, take the proponent's side, based on my own experience. I am not at all a science-minded person. I find some experiments interesting, but when it comes to memorizing facts and formulas, I'm useless. But when I was in high school, I was a huge (and I mean *huge*) fan of "The X-Files". Useless in most everyday situations, yes; but it helped me understand science in a way textbooks alone never could. For example, when I may otherwise never have learned what a chimera was, I was able to recall an episode of the same name, in which a woman was two creatures in one, and put that in the sidebar of my notes. I'm sure I still have some of those notes packed away, scrawling in the margins to "Remember (insert episode name here)!" Association is, after all, purported to be one of the best methods of retention; why should this case be any different?

In a similar vein, the one piece of information I retained in my entire Anatomy and Physiology course in college is that the sarcoplasmic reticulum surrounds the vasicle, because the textbook noted that it was "much like the sleeve of a loosely crocheted sweater". The second I read it, I knew I'd remember it forever.

The point isn't connecting science to something "cool" or "popular", it's relating it to something you already know. Some people, like me, just aren't science-minded. Isn't it nice to think there's some way we could understand it anyway?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Bowie doll

Bowie 7
Originally uploaded by lauraejordan
Because life is better with a little Bowie. Made this doll for a Glam Rock craft swap I participated in this winter. The doll is white muslin, the pattern was all improvised. The jumpsuit is knit based on the design of my favorite of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust outfits. The face is done with watercolor and ink. The hair is red novelty yarn attached with a couching stitch.

Clicking the picture will take you to my Flickr account, where there are more pictures of lil Bowie.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Movies I should see

So, starting next Wednesday, I have two months off work. I'll be at home with my family, and my parents have unlimited Blockbuster rentals, so I figure a good way to fill my time (and multitask when I'm knitting or such) is to try to see a lot of movies I feel like I should see. A lot of them are from the last couple of years, the films that people keep talking about and I have to say "I'm sorry, I haven't seen that movie, so I don't get that reference". Doubt I'll even make a dent on this list, but I've organized them all both chronologically by release year as well as alphabetically for quick reference. Feel free to suggest any film at all you think I should see, from any year; I love getting movie suggestions, and the worst that could happen is I say "I've already seen that one, actually."

1. "Sophie's Choice (1982)

2. "An Awfully Big Adventure" (1995)  ETA: It wasn't what I thought it would be, but it's okay.  Reinforced my desire to not be around too many actors.  And my desire to be around Alan Rickman.

3. "Romeo + Juliet" (1996)

4. "Simon Birch" (1998)

5. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1999)

6. "Mystery Men" (1999)

7. "The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

8. "The Virgin Suicides" (1999)

9. Dancer in the Dark (2000)

10. "X-Men" (2000) - I actually saw this one when it first came out, but don't remember anything about it, and I need to see the sequels as well, all in preparation for the awesome-looking new Wolverine movie.

11. "A Beautiful Mind" (2001)

12. "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001)

13. "Donnie Darko" (2001)  ETA: This was one of the most disturbing movies I've ever gone out of my way to see.  Both because of the creepiness, and because it bothered me that I didn't "get" it until I realized... the movie just doesn't make sense.

14. "Ghost World" (2001)

15. "The Majestic" (2001)

16. "The Bourne Identity" (2002)

17. "Daredevil" (2003)

18. "Girl With a Pearl Earring" (2003)

19. "Hulk" (2003) - Another one of those I saw when it first came out (and didn't care for), but want to rewatch so I can watch the sequel as well.

20. "Anchorman" (2004)

21. "The Aviator (2004)

22. "Crash" (2004)

23. "Stage Beauty" (2004) - One of my favorite plays, but sadly the movie script is heavily altered. Tried to watch the movie once before, but fell asleep... I might give it one more shot.  ETA:  I was justified in falling asleep.

24. "Vanity Fair" (2004)

25. "Batman Begins" (2005) - Famously, I saw this when it first came out and *hated* it. But I'll give it a second chance in order to finally see the second one and see if Heath Ledger is really as spectacular in it as everyone says.  (ETA: Watched it again.  Still disliked it.  Disliked the second one, too.)

26. "Elizabethtown" (2005)

27. Fantastic Four (2005) - And the sequel, I suppose, if I can make it through the first one.

28. "Junebug" (2005)

29. "Little Children" (2006) - Because I want to see everything with Kate Winslet in it, and after "The Watchmen" I have a newfound fascination with Patrick Wilson.  ETA: Decent movie.  Sad.  Lots of nakey butt.

30. "Once" (2006)  ETA: The movie isn't as good as the soundtrack is, but it's sweet and definitely worth seeing.

31. "Scoop" (2006)

32. "Snow Cake" (2006)

33. "The Wicker Man" (2006) - I know I should probably watch the original, but this one will probably be easier to find.

34. "Across the Universe (2007)

35. "I'm Not There" (2007)

36. "Juno" (2007)

37. "The Nanny Diaries" (2007) ETA: Love Laura Linney, and she plays a great villain, turns out.  The movie's marginal.

38. "Nobel Son" (2007)

39. "Superbad" (2007)

40. "Bottle Shock" (2008)

41. "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" (2008)

42. "The Duchess" (2008)

43. "Fanboys" (2008)

44. "Made of Honor (2008)

45. "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" (2008)

46. "Pineapple Express" (2008)

47. "The Reader" (2008)

48. "Revolutionary Road" (2008)

49. "Role Models" (2008)

50. "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008)

51. "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (2008)

52. "Yes Man" (2008)

53. "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" (2008)

ETA: I haven't seen "Marley and Me", and as much as I like dogs (and Jennifer Aniston), I don't think I want to. I'm certain that like every other movie about a dog, he dies in the end, and I don't care how fun the journey is, this is one of the situations where it *isn't* worth it.

Also, I deleted "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" -- I saw the trailer for it and it looks AWFUL.