Living above Sunset

If you decide it’s too hot to sit outside this weekend, watch Clueless and then Emma. I will admit I’m shallow I love Clueless. Like Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it beautifully captures high school life in Beverly Hills. Years after seeing it, I was on a plane watching Jane Austen’s Emma, and I thought, “Boy, this is just like Clueless.” Of course, it’s the other way around. Heckerling based the characters and plot on Austen’s novel. Following the storyline of Emma, Cher works behind the scenes as a matchmaker, and caretaker of her father. She does a makeover on a new student, and like Emma, advises her to stay away from the man she should be with because he is beneath her social position. If you watch closely, you’ll notice how each plot point is updated and translated into 1990s Beverly Hills. Oh, and if you get Emma, get the 2009 BBC miniseries. There’s something cloying about the 1996 version.

I Know That Dude

Last night I was a guest on Ryan McGovern’s great video chat program Design Chat. He talked about BurningSettlersCabin and how great it was that it brought design to a broader audience. So today I’m going to disappoint him and drop down to my real level.

For those of you too young, or too totally un-groovy to not know Fast Times at Ridgemont High, you must get it immediately. Now some of you may be tilting your head and thinking, “This confirms it. Sean Adams is truly vapid.” But, don’t knock it until you try it. Fast Times is genius. Amy Heckerling directed it, Cameron Crowe wrote it, and the cast includes Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, and Ray Walston.

I realized recently that I’ve become Mr. Hand. Mr. Hand was the hard-core history and nemesis to stoner Jeff Spicoli. When I was in high school, I was the jerk who sat in the back of the room, talked too much, and made fun of people. Now when I teach, I’m the one that is saying, “Stop going home, getting stoned, and huffing. Go to the library.” After re-watching Fast Times, I’ve decided to force people who bring food to class to share it with everyone. It also drives me nuts when I’m lecturing or doing a crit and students are “taking notes” on their computer. I’m now going to sneak up and grab the computer and read their open email or texts to the class. I know they’re all stoned, and I’m sure their email will include directions on how to make an apple bong, or what glue to sniff.