I’m having a lot of trouble finding a theme that I like, but I the picture I’m using in this header is pretty, so I’m going to stick with it for a while.

2009 was definitely The Year of the Blog for me. I am often a bit behind everyone else when it comes to things like “the internet” and “web 2.0”. In fact, I’m one of the very few people I know that hates Facebook enough to stop using it. That’s right, I have an account, but I just don’t use it. (Sorry fellow Temple Wildcats, I can’t be contacted that way anymore.)

Back to the best blogs finds of 2009. Now that I’ve discovered blogs, I find that I really can’t live without them (for now). There is nothing that makes me happier than starting my morning with a cup of tea, NYTimes.com, and my list of Good Morning blogs (some of them are to the right under “Guilty as Charged”).

There is one, however, that is really my favorite. It’s the one that brought me so all of the other blogs I read, and its the blog that I really go out of my way to check almost every day. Congratulations, Gretchen Rubin, your Happiness Project blog is my best of 2009. Yay!*

*Grammar note for all of you grammarians out there: The difference between “yea” and “yay” is quite important. “Yay” is an interjection to be used as an exclamation of pleasure, approval, or victory. “Yea” is most often used as an affirmation or an affirmative vote. They used to be the same word until we got a little too excited about “yea” around 1960 and exaggerated its meaning. Now we have a new word: “Yay!”

Marie Antoinette

On a separate note, I stayed home sick today (really, I’m not faking) and watched Marie Antoinette, i.e. the Sofia Coppola version.

I’ve been meaning to see this film for a long time. I’ve even had the DVD from Netflix since June 2. (I love to take advantage of that “no late fees” policy.)

Coppola directed Lost in Translation, one of my favorite films, so I assumed that this might be in the same vein. I wasn’t completely wrong.

Kirsten Dunst stars as the at-first neglected new dauphine of France. To my surprise, she’s quite good in this film. Her characteristic flightiness definitely finds a home here as a victimized young woman who, as Henry XVI states in the film, was “too young to rule.”

Jason Schwartzman plays Louis XVI, and I wasn’t horribly impressed. Actually, I’m never horribly impressed with him. He always looks like he’s trying a little to hard to be his character. Where other actors “become” their characters, he is always “acting.” At several moments of the film I wondered whether he was about to start laughing, and it wasn’t until he and Marie Antoinette have had their first child that he finally looks comfortable at all (though he still looks bewildered in every scene without her). Even when someone rides up to him during a dog hunt proclaiming that a mob is at the castle gates, he neither seems surprised nor convicted; in fact, he seems nothing at all.

The real stand out in this film is the absolutely gorgeous Rose Byrne as the Duchesse de Polignac. She is by far the most interesting character in this movie, but I was disappointed that Sofia Coppola would write this character, cast Rose Byrne and then not do anything with her. The woman is gorgeous, and intelligent, and saucy, and a little shallow, and yet there’s nothing. Seriously, Sofia. If you can take Scarlett Johansson–a woman who can only play one part: beautiful and angsty–and put her into a part that actually magnifies those talents into a character, why can’t you take Rose Byrne, who’s already in character, and give her a part?

Final review of Marie Antoinette? Let’s just say it made me look her up on Wikipedia.