Please somebody explain to me what happened to My Name is Earl? It used to be so sweet, so perfect, that it transcended all TV. Then it took a break, came back, and now . . . ? None of the actors seem to be enjoying themselves. All of zee magic is gone.
Okay, so not only am I still recovering from being horribly sick, but I'm also recovering from a bone bruise on my heel (if you're female and over 28, never go for a run on the street/sidewalk without shoes), meaning I'm pretty much bed- and desk-bound for the mo. Tres frustrating, and to top it all off, the neighborhood kids have been having relay races outside, up and down my street, like all freaking day. I'm not angry with them - I want to go run with them!!! It's rare when they all come together like this. Oh and somewhere out with them is a really cute little puppy bouncing around, making me even more miserable.
So I thought I'd work on my Opening Statement (omg I typed Oral Argument first, banish the thought!!), seeing as how I have to recite it from memory on Wednesday. So I plop down in my chair, plug in the ol iTunes, and set it to play Random from only the A's (no idea why).
Total freaking magic!!! Like, seriously!!! You know how that happens sometimes, when random things somehow are just perfect? To be fair, I interfered a touch, keeping it on certain artists for a bit longer than others, but omg it was pure beauty, the transitions, the everything. So I'm posting it here. Wish I had one of those Flash playlist thingies but oh well. It's short, but gorgeous (like a certain kitteh I know):
Afro Celt Sound System – The Road to Exile, Mama Ararira (both from Hotel Rwanda soundtrack) America – Ventura Highway, Horse with No Name, Sandman, Lonely People, I Need You Anne-Sophie Mutter – Track 6, the background of which sounds deliciously like Camille Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila: Op. 47 Bacchanale, one of the first true soundtrack-esque pieces (a whole story in a song: beginning, rising action, climax, resolution, etc), and an unfailing delight to listen to, time after time after time. Annie Lennox – Don’t Let It Bring You Down Anthrax – Black Lodge Apoptygma Berzerk – Headhunter Remix (orig Front 242), Sweet Remix (orig Switchblade Symphony) Arctic Monkeys – From the Ritz to the Rubble Assemblage 23 – Disappoint (Funker Vogt Remix)
Because I'm determined to read almost entirely for pleasure this semester, I've gone through quite a few books already.
You know how I recommended the prequel book Dark Angels by Karleen Koen? I still count it as one of my favorite latest reads (I still have dreams set in its landscapes). But its "sequel", confusingly written a few years before Dark Angels, entitled Through a Glass Darkly? Meh. And that's pretty close to an Ugh, if I'm honest. Ms Koen apparently learns how to write better with each book. So don't bother! Seriously.
I highly recommend the coffee-table book Faces of Africa. Absolutely stunning imagery - some I can't get out of my head, ever. From the Amazon comments: "The book is a stunning display of the many facets of African tribal life and customs" - and it's not your ordinary Nat Geo treatment, either.
If you're even remotely interested in the world beyond our five senses, and a bit tired of all the old Discovery channel re-runs, I suggest reading Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. Every sentence in this book contains something interesting, and it will truly change your perception of the plant world - not necessarily because there is anything philosophically "new" in the book, but because it gets you looking at human-plant-insect relationships and interplay in a whole new light. I think I dog-eared just about every page (a horrible habit, but what can I do). His writing style is very lush, as well; ocassionally it bordered on cloying, but for the most part it was perfect.
And if you want to completely submerse yourself in Thai culture - the social graces, the landscape, way of doing business, eating, drinking, or even simply asking questions - then you should definitely read John Burdette's 2 mysteries Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo. They're both very tight murder mysteries set in Krung Thep (the Thai name for Bangkok), narrated almost entirely in the present tense by a Thai cop who doesn't readily give away his secrets. The process of getting to know him is as exotically - and frighteningly - delicious as coming to understand the culture, something that I never thought I'd be given the opportunity to do (outside of traveling there).
If you haven't noticed, I really love immersive texts (Dark Angels completely set me in its era; Faces of Africa set me in, well, tribal Africa; etc etc). After reading them, I always come away with my perceptions infinitely changed; I love seeing things with new eyes. The more I do it in my head, the easier it is for me to do in my life. And that has helped me immeasurably, I think, in being happy. May it do the same for you!
I just got an email from my public library - they are now offering audiobook and digital book downloads from their site - all for freaking free!!!!!!! And the collections are of every audio and digital book in their system, which is massive!! How awesome is that!!!
I love my library. If I had money, I would give them some. Like, a lot.
Google sucks. I'm sorry, but it does. I like to have some aesthetic to my informational/internet experiences, and Google is about as bland, irritating, and insulting as craigslist. Ugh, every time I go to craigslist I feel like I'm in a traffic jam. Is it really that cost-prohibitive for google and craigslist to even remotely add some graphic design? Everytime I look at google I feel like I'm staring at Windows 3.1.
Go use Dogpile. Not only is it visually appealing, it searches google and a bunch of other engines anyway.
Yesterday was my first day back riding my bike to school. I thought it was going to majorly suck, but it was wonderful. There's something immensely satisfying about carrying everything you will need in a day (food, drinks, toiletries, clothes, books, pens, etc) on your back or in a pack and getting where you need to go, without spending a dime. Without having to deal with rush-hour traffic. A lot of joy comes from that last point; a lot also comes from pulling off that magnitude of organization. It takes a lot of planning, but, again, the rewards are great. to me, anyways.
Last night as I was riding home, the weather turned really spooky; clouds hung very low, and the military planes doing their nightly runs looked like giant trucks, with two large headlights, silently gliding through the fog. It was very startling. The planes all bank to the right, one after another, at the same predetermined spot, and the turn causes one of those headlights to disappear. At this point, with their now-single spotlight angled down towards the ground, they look straight from War of the Worlds, which I'm not ashamed to admit really creeped me out (till the ending of course).
What made it even more creepy was the groundlight reflected intermittently in the low clouds. No one in my subdivision has really tall trees, so as I rode in I could see almost all of the night sky. The horizon all around the subdivision was a deep, inky blue, which lightened to a gray-blue just above, like a dark-rimmed bowl. And this was at 9pm. Then, to the west, a long streak of white cloud, brightly illuminated from below, cut through the bowl like a wispy porcelain crack. It was very strange.
One of the best presents I received this year was the Garfield Cat Tales DVD set. This has provided me with hours of nostalgic joy and fun. Back then, Garfield rocked! I love the sarcasm, and the little Vaudeville-esque bits he and Odie performed.
My favorite one is still Garfield in Paradise, with the intro song of "Hello Hawaii". When Garfield, Odie, and John are "stranded" in a primitive village, the villagers all bow down to his '68 chevy and chant, "Chroooome, chrooooome, chrooooome," and then someone raises his head and says in a deep voice, "Bopbop-uhdeebop," and then back to "Chrooooome . . ." Priceless.
There are probably tons more but I got tired of looking.
Incidentally, over xmas we discovered that not one but two members of the fam are full-blown, still-in-denial alcoholics. Yay. I think from now on, I'm going to leave alcohol for special occasions. Kinda sucks, but whatevs. Hey it's my first resolution, yay!!
What a wonderful holiday treat!! The 50 Greatest Cartoons, all online for our viewing pleasure!! Including The Barber of Seville, Rabbit Seasoning, The Skeleton Dance, and Duck Dodgers! Yay!!!!! I know what I'm spending the next five hours doing!! Thank you City Rag!
Our library has a neat online feature that allows you to search for any book within its sprawling system, no matter the branch location, and then request that it be put on Hold for you. What this means is that any book, no matter where, can be waiting for me at my close-by library branch; all I have to do is wait for an email notice saying the book is ready for me, then go pick it up. It's wonderful.
I'm currently readeing All Aunt Hagar's Children by Edward P. Jones and highly recommend it. His style is so rich and rewarding. But what made this book doubly interesting was that at about page 20, a slip of paper fell from between the pages. It was someone's Christmas shopping list. And I think it confirmed what I've thought all along: everybody gets (and needs?) a set of PJs for xmas, a Bath and Body Works gift certificate, and a Blockbuster one, too. It's such a common thread.
I also recommend Dark Angels by Kathleen Koen - especially for people who love lavish, sensuous, exhilerating prose. Now, I'm no Fabio-lover, but many passages of this book did give me the chills, and Koen's dialogue is masterfully seductive. The characters - especially the King - all seemed so real, and the philosophy behind the then-existing class systems and such now makes perfect sense to me, in that I understand why people liked to think it existed.
And last but not least, if you must go to the dentist and the thought of sweating your way through someone shoving their hands in your mouth kinda makes you ill, may I recommend sedation dentistry (I'm not providing a link because most are direct links to specific dentists of whom I have no knowledge or experience). You take a little pill, go to sleep, and wake up with, say, all your wisdoms having been pulled, or a deep cleaning plus fillings administered, etc. It is wonderful - no tongue cramp from holding it back, no worries at all. Give it a try - only, don't do anything that day that you need to remember doing; the drug administered gives many people giant black holes in their memory (myself included). I don't remember being driven home, or laying down on the couch, or of somehow finding and forcing my kitty Poopie to snuggle with me. And apparently I was completely awake. Not a single memory. And my memory is like a freaking digital camera it is so precise and aware. So take that into consideration. Otherwise it is a total blessing; you can have three or four visits' worth of work done in one sitting.
After drinking enough Havanan mojitos to pickle a girl twice my size, I have finished my end-of-finals celebrations and am ready to spend the weekend blissed out in bed, watching Remains of the Day and Blue Planet.
I love this time, this gorgeous, free, seemingly-infinite stretch of quiet and repose - time not well-deserved (for really, it should go to people in more difficult situations than I), but it will be well-spent, well enjoyed, and appreciated more than I can ever say.
Conan the Barbarian is on right now!!! How I love this movie. It is the perfect mythical story. I know everyone thinks it's cheese, but it has so many subtleties, exercises so much restraint - and the cinematography is just gorgeous, the soundtrack considered by many to be the best in creation, ah . . .
Moment: Microwave Marge battles Daffy, Lenny and George, the set of her cable TV cooking show transformed into an apocalyptic battleground. The Gremlins fling a frying pan at Marge's face, and when she pops back into frame, two gigantic sunny-side up eggs are covering her eyes. She screams and falls over. Deleted scene, Gremlins 2: The New Batch DVD. My friend Paul Rust turns to me and says "that is the funniest joke in all of movie history. You could show that to anyone, from any culture, in any time period, across the universe - even any alien lifeforms - and they would think that's funny."
I am unable to disagree.
I've read this like a bazillion times and each time I laugh. My personal favorite moment in the movie is where Phoebe Cates gets suddenly and frighteningly trapped in the futuristic voice-activated elevator, and commands, "Elevator! Sound alarm!"
I'd forgotten how much I hate finals. I mean, like - well I tried to think of a really gory analogy/metaphor but frankly the only thing running through my head is the State Action doctrine and Dormant Commerce Clause. See - I even capitalized them! sheesh.
Anyway, I needed a wee break and discovered "Steve - Don't Eat It!" It really helped lighten my mood. And my stomach. Be sure to read about the Cuitlacoche (a strong contender for my Evidence Final experience), Natto (just like good ol Bus Assoc), and yes, Prison Wine (mmm alcohol and dirty socks)!! Steve is hilarious. I found him through Natalie Dee's website. She's one of the funniest people alive. I wish Con Law was funny.
I've started a new HIIT program that is quite viciously kicking my beeheinie. I never even knew I had some of these muscles!!! Currently I'm doing 12 sessions of full-out running for 20 seconds, then walking for 40 seconds, back and forth. Running has never really been my thing, but I'm trying to change that. Maybe next time I'll run like Phoebe just for the fun of it.
Is there anyone else out there who thought this movie was a total let down? I mean, it's horrible. I love Harry Potter more than anything, and will be faithful to the end (eep! so soon upon us), but . . . I've had the movie on for like 20 minutes and haven't paid attention to a single second of it.
Except, I did pay attention to the Beauxbaton girls running up the aisles. I don't know, is spontaneously shooting butterflies from your blouse a typical Veela trait? Because if it is, it sucks.
EDIT: Burn!! I've been informed that not all the Beauxbaton girls are part-Veela, just Fleur. Frankly, that makes the butterfly-shooting suck even more. Someone had to approve that. Geez.
I have had ZERO problems with it in my 5-6 years of ownership. It has done nothing but blow me away, producing images so crisp and clean that it continues to surprise and amaze me.
As I said in my Megapixels Schmegapixels post (see below), its 5.4 mp are more than enough, and its lens is too die for. Plus it feels so good to hold, with either one hand or two (and it looks really good when you pull it out; everyone is like, "Oooh, are you a professional photographer?!?!"). The movie capability is nice, as well; in fact, all my "video-ed" assignments for school have been completed using its MPEG feature. I'll soon be posting some videos made with it to this site, as well.
The only drawback? It's an older model, and so the shutterspeed lags a bit. But that's it!! I mean, this baby cost me $1500 back in 2001, and now it's at $300!!! Buy these beautiful creatures before someone realizes that they're giving them away!!
Yesterday was the coldest I have ever been in my life. Hands down. But it's amazing because I didn't die!!!! When we go out into freezing weather and freak out, stamping around and rushing to get inside, moaning and groaning in discomfort or pain etc, it's because our body, our oldest brain, is trying to save us from impending death. Of course our newer brain realizes there's no impending death, but if those two actually communicated on this issue you'd probably not be so quick to get inside.
Anyway, if you're lacking the Inuit-esque extra bloodvessels in your face/hands/feet, or if you just live in the South, when you venture out into the cold it can be a somewhat traumatic experience. What I realized yesterday is that, even though it's traumatic, I can still stay outside in it, I don't keel over, I don't just die automatically, I don't go into shock, and, well, I live to tell the tale! Which is rather freeing.
My morning bike ride to school: Temperature: 42, 29 with wind chill (super strong wind yesterday) Time: 30 minutes Clothing: a long-sleeved t-shirt, a short sleeved t-shirt over that, a pair of jersey pants, boots, one half-glove (couldn't find the other), helmet. That's it.
I couldn't even my move my fingers when I got to the school. It was very interesting, I suppose that's what it feels like to be paralyzed: there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to move, and yet the body doesn't respond. And then, when it finally does, it's with zero force. Which really sucks when you're having to lock up your bike.