29 December 2008

john is missing out on the terrible riddles.

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27 December 2008

"do you want me to come with you?" no.

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24 December 2008

buying folding chairs. feeling like Charlie Brown preparing for a half-assed feast.

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19 December 2008

Shockingly enough, on my way home. BU actually let us go early. Good luck to everyone!

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18 December 2008

Antisocially sneaking away before I can be dragged to JP for the holiday party. :D

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16 December 2008

Wow. Total "bite my shiny metal ass" moment.

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11 December 2008

MBTA can die in a mother fucking fire.

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06 December 2008

Going to see Milk with John, Rodney, and Sarah.

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05 December 2008

oh, yeah. America's the greatest. pardon me while I wipe my arse with the MBTA.

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04 December 2008

Also wishing I'd uploaded my new downloads this morning.

Turn the page ...

After 3 days of not being on public transportation, this is pretty miserable. Hate everyone.

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30 November 2008

the new RDU terminal is surprisingly nice. reminding me of Madrid.

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29 November 2008

ECU shit everywhere. GAH!

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26 November 2008

Parents: "We're out in the woods." Me: "Umm, ... Okay."

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25 November 2008

Fwd: Lindsay: Aren't you glad you came out???

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abandoned Lindsay to her getting chatted up by 50 year old man at bar.

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making Lindsay's epi-poster ... due to soda bribe.

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20 November 2008

People on the train who smell like dead, rotting feet ... Shower!? Quoi??

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19 November 2008

DiaF Award, 19. November 2008

Boston Herald wins the Die in a Fire Award today.

They're seriously using their front page to blast Denis Leary? Is news that slow, folks? You're really going to use your front page to settle a personal score? Has the Herald become a reactionary rag (but then, maybe it's always been)?

Their initial claim was that Leary called autistic children "stupid and lazy" ... No. What he said was that irresponsible parents are trying to hide their stupid and lazy children (that they never bothered to parent properly) behind convenient labels that might get them a better teacher-student ratio (to undo the damage of the parents' gross negligence). Was Leary's statement brash? Hell, yes. He's Denis "I'm An Asshole" Leary. It would be a herald to the End of Days if the man started being sensitive.

Then, Leary reacted to their claim at his Agganis Arena show.

And the Herald needed to get back at him. On the front page. Because they're apparently staffed by old men who never got over the high school mind-set.

But Leary's not insulting people who genuinely have autism, which anyone at the Herald would know if they'd shut up and listen for a minute. Also, had any of them ever listened to any of his stand-up, they might better understand the spirit in which he says things.

As he'd be the first to say, he's an asshole; but picking on actually autistic children? He's not that much of an asshole.

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18 November 2008

I like how the title of the Metro article spells Denis Leary's name incorrectly, but that they got it right in the text.

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14 November 2008

"what do you expect from a country whose constitution includes the phrase 'more perfect'?"

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12 November 2008

Pirates of Somalia ... Could be a series. With a lot of complaints.

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10 November 2008

more "is this person drunk or retarded?" moments, brought to you by Star Market.

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with 3 people to a seat, there should be no hands on the seat; does this really need to be said? should it not be obvious?

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06 November 2008

Fabulous txting 3some ... Sound more interesting than it really is.

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Re: single-parent adoption policies in AR

A letter to Arkansas' orphans, stolen from my good friend, slywinkle:

Dear Orphans,

GaysNobody would like to adopt you. Gays with disposable incomeNobody would like to provide a better future for you.

Love,
AR

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05 November 2008

"Russell Brand in talks to star in Pirates of the Caribbean installment." NOOOOO!!

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re: Prop 8

Somehow, if we could stop the gays from getting married, everything else would turn out just fine! Everything would change - there'd be solar energy! The Sunni's and the Shiite's would lay down their arms: "He stopped the Queers! I love you too."

----------

We've got an educational system that's in the shitter, we've got a war going on, there's one thing after another, and what did our President think was important? Queers. That's what's important! That somehow, if we could stop the gays from getting married, everything else would turn out just fine! Everything would change - there'd be solar energy! The Sunnis and the Shiites would lay down their arms: "He stopped the Queers! I love you too."

I believe that the reason that it's difficult for the gay community to be integrated into this society at large, the way they should be, is because there are no champions for them in Congress or in the White House. And that is the way that every group of people has basically been integrated into society. That's the way it works.

Instead, you have people like Rick Santorum, a senator from Pennsylvania, who says things that he should think and ... shut his fucking mouth. You can go ahead and think it, that's fine, but you don't say aloud that homosexuality is a threat to the American family. Because that's prejudice. That's complete and utter prejudice and ignorance, on a level that is staggering at this point in time. It's very similar to the prejudice that the Jews faced when it was thought that during the first night of Passover that we would go into the Christian community and kidnap the firstborn of Christian families and kill it! And that, for those of you who don't realise, is bullshit! We would've kidnapped the child and made him work for us, and that's a big difference.

Homosexuality is a threat to the American family, are you kidding me? How? No one ever explains it. How? It's like there's a Jehovah's Witnesses of Gaydom! "Hi, we're here and we're Queer, we're here and we're Queer!" -- "I brought swatches, I brought swatches!"

But maybe I'm wrong! Maybe there are a group of Gay Banditos! Who get into a van every day and wander from village to dell. And as night begins to fall, they go back into a suburban neighborhood, to that cul de sac, where only one house stands. And in the window, a young American family is just sitting down for their first meal. And these Queers...these Queers...don their black cloaks and hoods and matching pumps - very tasteful - and they charcoal up their faces and they sneak up to that house and open the door and start: FUCKING EACH OTHER IN THE ASS!!

And another American family is destroyed!

Lewis Black, Red White & Screwed Performance
(If you think Lewis Black is a genius, re-post this.)


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Happy... But still wish I'd avoided the late (or normal) commute. Ugh.

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04 November 2008

Re: crowds ... Strange mixture of annoyance and pride. Happy voting!

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03 November 2008

"That's okay. But you go right ahead" used to pass for cute politeness. Now said to be bitchy.

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31 October 2008

In the Salem Common. Holy crap. Michael Jackson.

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people aren't nearly as bold as they should be. say "trick or treat" and you get candy. say nothing, get nothing.

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dear cvs, walgreen's has tostitos. they win. you lose.

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30 October 2008

Amazingly, on a Beverly train, and in a seat ... BY MYSELF. Shocking.

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Testing. Testing. 1 2 3.

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30 July 2008

visions of the future

Reading Good Omens--particularly this bit where Aziraphale speaks through the televangelist, informing everyone listening what the apocalypse is really like:

'"Well, nice try," he said in a completely different voice, "only it won't be like that at all. Not really.
"I mean, you're right about the fire and war, all that. But that Rapture stuff--well, if you could see them all in Heaven--serried ranks of them as far as the mind can follow and beyond, league after league of us, flaming swords, all that, well, what I'm trying to say is who has time to go round picking people out and popping them up in the air to sneer at the people dying of radiation sickness on the parched and burning earth below? If that's your idea of a morally acceptable time, I might add..."'

The notion of the Rapture strikes me as the ultimate schadenfreude delusion. Really.

And then happening upon this in my rounds of catching up on the webcomics ...

Married To The Sea
marriedtothesea.com

I'm pretty sure I prefer Mr. Gaiman's and Mr. Pratchett's version of things, but I have a soft spot for Natalie and Drew. And life sucks enough that Republicans would bring about an apocalypse.


It made me think of that magic line from Doctor Who, but I'll mess with it to make it work--

'Don't you think he looks tired?'

And if you can't guess who 'he' is, you're not trying hard enough.

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29 July 2008

BUMP

Answering the mandate to "tell all my friends," I now switch over to pimp-mode. Ahem.

Look at this free comic I received:



Do you like random comics? Would you like to receive your very own random comic to tack on your fridge, tape to your monitor, or post on your office door to alienate and bewilder pesky colleagues?

Make your Tuesdays ever more random and fun with
Tuesdays With Turbo! Turbo draws a comic, you respond first with (and this is KEY): "I WANT THAT," and she mails it to you. It's that easy.

Check in every Tuesday for your chance at a new bit of free randomness!




So now you've been told. Go there.

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26 July 2008

yes, I'm still on this subject

My other pet theory (that I'm sure somebody else has considered, but hey ...), which is limited to the Nolanverse:

The Joker is an unforeseen byproduct of the release of Dr. Crane's fear toxin in the Narrows.



Probably not, I know, but it has the possibilities for a fun origin ficlet [that I'll never ever write]. When so much is left untold, I could speculate forever.

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arguing online is like competing in the special Olympics

Please to remember.

Blah.

There is a heads on both sides, right?

This is Nolanverse. I was reading a fanfic on the Batman Begins portion of fanfiction.net, which basically covers Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The author decided to introduce Dent's lucky coin (pre-explosion), and had it land on TAILS. Right. About that ...

I thought Harvey's coin was heads on both sides, which is why he can make his own luck, because he always calls heads for the thing he wants. Well, I mean, until after the explosion scorches one side--but then it's a scorched heads.

Author's response: "Hmm, I don't think so...after all, he didn't shoot EVERYONE in the movie as he would've liked, because sometimes the coin ended on tails. I guess it's possible though, right? :-P"

... I doubt it was worth responding to after the ":-P" thing. But I did anyway. I went back to check other comments/reviews; but nobody else had mentioned the coin discrepancy, which made me start to wonder if I'd imagined the sequence. So I checked that. And responded with a cite as evidence, because the degree in English leads me to do that when I'm trying to make points.

"'Harvey, this is your life. You don't leave something like this to chance ...'
Dent tossed the coin to her. Rachel caught it and looked: Heads.
'I'm not leaving anything to chance,' Dent said.
Rachel turned the coin over. The reverse side was heads, too." (202)

I might get an equally dismissive response for my efforts, and I know I'd deserve it, but there it is. Did the double-headed coin detail really slip past this many people?

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25 July 2008

long wait

When I went back to re-read the email that Amazon.com sent me, I noticed the "shipping estimate" for my graphic novels ... September 4, 2008 - September 12, 2008?!

I get that they're low on their stock, but the new stock is coming in (according to the site) during the first week of August. Why the month-long delay? Did the order surge really take them by surprise?

It's not that I don't have other things to read. In fact, I can easily while away more than a month on the amassed unread books around the house. But sometimes you want what you want RIGHT NOW.

Eating wasabi peas is not one of those wants that you should satisfy whenever it springs. Especially not in the morning on an empty stomach.

Ugh.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



I'm already all out of fanfiction this morning. There have been decent ones. There have been pretty awful ones where my suspension of disbelief has threatened to shatter and shred the authors with shrapnel (that's not quite alliteration, but it pleases me).

In regards to recently read Batman fanfic:

Complaints about just one: Clubbing a suspect on the head when he's already apprehended is what is known as police brutality, and the victim of said brutality would probably walk on account. ... It's not up to detectives to determine why or if people are crazy. Change your character's motives, or change her profession. Or stop. Just full-stop. ... And nobody survives being a cop or a detective when they throw a temper tantrum every time a suspects says something unkind. Really.

Also, a general observation--there were apparently a lot of Mary-Sues at Bruce Wayne's benefit for Harvey Dent. Dozens, maybe. I don't know how Chris Nolan managed to dodge all of them, really.

In reading the fanfiction, I definitely get a better grasp of what others perceive about these characters. But, more than that, my own perceptions become a bit clearer to me--what works and what doesn't. What works in the illustrated universe of Batman is not necessarily what works in the animated series, Burtonverse, [then that odd gray period of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin that we like to ignore, though I thought Jim and Tommy did well with what they had], or Nolanverse.

For example, reading fanfiction based on the animated series and using Mark Hamill's Joker--if you try to read it and envision Jack or Heath, it might work. And it might not. Similarly, if you read the recent Nolanverse fanfiction, having Mark or Jack in mind can work some of the time. But if it's fangirl mooning of the PWP variety? Well, you get squicked. Or I do, anyway.

That said, I still can't take Bruce/Joker slash seriously at all. Even with the "you complete me" (which, even the first time around, made me think inappropriately, "I wish I knew how to quit you.") and the "I don't wanna kill you--what would I do without you?" lines. I get it. They're a yin yang, immovable object and unstoppable force, blah blah blah. But I can't see Bruce touching Joker unless it's to clock him silly. Joker/Scarecrow, I've read; and I think it sits better with me because they're both cold-crazy.

But, actually, nothing that paints the Nolanverse Joker as being sexually driven really works for me. The drama/romance/non-con/PWP just doesn't fly, and the writing always goes quickly out of character. Anarchy, the biggest shock, turning stuff on its head--that works, that's believable. And, reading people cite the Joker/Rachel interaction as proof of sexual motives? No. First, he goes after the old man in the scene because the old man sets himself apart by speaking out. He turns his attention to Rachel only because she too chooses to set herself apart by speaking out. The sexual innuendo is merely the sure-fire way to cause the most shock and horror; and he may recognise her as Harvey Dent's girlfriend, so it's also the quickest way to drag the DA out of hiding--which is why they're there, after all.

Tragic and abused? Some writers have taken the story that the Joker tells the mob boss (right before gutting him), as gospel truth about the character, using it to create a more understandable and wounded version of the character (that an OFC will obviously comfort, kiss, and make all better). Except--clearly he's telling stories, as we get an entirely different account of scar-origin during the benefit party. I'm with Michelle in thinking that he probably did this to himself, and just enjoys telling the most effectively horrifying story per whatever audience he has at the time.

OK, enough criticism for now ...


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



I recognise people on my commute. And they recognise me. It's a complacently good-natured community.

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22 July 2008

because it's eerier

"The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning" > "The End Is The Beginning Is The End"

I particularly like the effect of the lightly tinkling piano keys at the intro.

Also downloaded the Chumbawamba soundtrack to Revengers Tradedy (using that much-neglected iTunes balance from Christmas). It includes sound bites from the film. Love it.

My iTunes list is built on a foundation of soundtracks.

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21 July 2008

no surprise

So there's a massive explosion of TDK fanfiction out there, but it's where it is that's sort of surprising.

Very little over at adultfanfiction.net so far--well, plenty of Scarecrow, but nothing much to do with The Joker yet. Fanfiction.net, on the other hand, has been fueled to constant activity in the Batman Begins archive (which handles everything in the Nolanverse of Batman). LJ communities seem loath to include OCs (original characters--or, Mary-Sues, if you prefer), but fanfiction.net is Mary-Sue-Central. From what I've been reading in the LJ communities, it's mainly Bruce/Joker, Harvey/Joker slash time--and some of them include fanart.

You know, I can really get into the many possibilities of Harry Potter-slash and Angel/Spike and Doctor/Jack and Jack/Ianto ... But I don't know how I feel about Batman-slash yet. I can almost happily read the Mary-Sues instead, but then I'm not as vehemently against Mary-Sues as some of my fellow readers.



And I'm quite entertained, but, like most fanfiction, find myself needing to be incredibly forbearing. Because some of it--the majority of it, if I'm being totally honest--is terrible.



I loved the nurse scene. I was so happy when I found somebody had done some animated icons thereof.



Still better--if I can find an icon of the faux-guilty "Hiiiiiiii ..." moment.

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20 July 2008

makes you stranger

Encore. No, really, I need to see The Dark Knight again.

And maybe I'll be doing that today at CinemaSalem. I know it probably won't compare to yesterday's IMAX experience, but still ... NEED. Or, rather, very much want.

The first show is at 1145. I wonder if they're sold out for the day already. It's worth a shot, and it only takes me five minutes to walk over there and find out.




Picked up books 9 and 10 of Fables at Harrison's yesterday evening. My original idea was to look for a copy of Watchmen to flip through and decide whether or not to read. And then I came to a spinning rack of the Fables books first, which kind of doomed anything else's chances.



Things that are far too convenient at present: the gelati and coffee at Jaho, the incredible wealth of comics and other fandom paraphernalia (yes, they have Whoverse) at Harrison, CinemaSalem (which may only have three screens, but knows how to pick 'em), and the Derby book store. These are practically all of my favourite vices contained within a half-mile radius of home.



In relation to a previous entry, the cold-brew turned out quite well. I may mess with the ratios in future attempts, but this was not disappointing.

Turn the page ...

16 July 2008

from the New York Times: Iced Coffee? No Sweat

Because I know I'm not the only one who ridiculously pours hot coffee over ice in order to have my coveted iced coffee.

For the original article:
ICED COFFEE? NO SWEAT

By CINDY PRICE
Published: June 27, 2007

BEFORE I go telling everybody that the secret to great iced coffee is already in the kitchen, my friend Keller wants me to confess: I didn't know from iced coffee until he showed me the light.

It's important to cop to this now, because not a summer goes by that he does not painstakingly remind me, a rabid iced-coffee drinker, that he's the one who introduced me to the wonders of cold-brewed iced coffee. The funny thing is, when the subject came up we were holed up in a summer rental with three friends off the coast of Puerto Rico, on a tiny island not exactly swimming in upmarket coffee houses.

Our first morning there I brewed a blend from the local grocery in the coffeepot, laced it with a little half-and-half and sugar, then let it cool. Classy, I thought, carrying the pitcher to the table. ''I'll just take it hot,'' he mumbled, while I blinked in disbelief.

Clearly, this boy didn't know any better. A drink has a time and place. Surely he didn't subscribe to drinking hot coffee in summer?

''No, I only drink iced coffee if it's cold-brewed,'' he said.

For five days we watched him sullenly sip his hot coffee on a broiling Caribbean island in the dead of summer. We chided him for his pretensions, ridiculed him, tried valiantly to break him, but he patiently waited us out. Once we tried it we would understand, he explained. Like friends disputing a baseball stat in a bar with no access to Google, we had no way to settle the argument.

Two weeks later, back in Brooklyn, I saw a sign: ''Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee Served Here.'' Fine, then. I threw down two bucks and took a sip. Though it pains me to admit, the difference was considerable. Without the bitterness produced by hot water, the cold-brewed coffee had hints of chocolate, even caramel. I dropped my sugar packet -- no need for it. The best brews hardly need cream. It really is the kind of thing a gentleman might spend five days in hot-coffee solitary confinement for.

Most days I'm too lazy to hunt down the elusive cold-brewed cup. But recently I discovered an interesting little fact. Cold-brewed coffee is actually dirt simple to make at home. Online, you'll find a wealth of forums arguing for this bean or that, bottled water over tap, the 24-hour versus the 12-hour soak. You can even buy the Toddy cold-brew coffee system for about $30.

But you can also bang it out with a Mason jar and a sieve. You just add water to coffee, stir, cover it and leave it out on the counter overnight. A quick two-step filtering the next day (strain the grounds through a sieve, and use a coffee filter to pick up silt), a dilution of the brew one-to-one with water, and you're done. Except for the time it sits on the kitchen counter, the whole process takes about five minutes.

I was curious to see how it would taste without all the trappings. The answer is, Fantastic. My friend Carter, something of a cold-brewing savant, turned me onto another homegrown trick: freeze some of the concentrate into cubes. Matched with regular ice cubes, they melt into the same ratio as the final blend.

Very fancy. Can't wait to tell Keller.

Recipe: Cold-Brewed ICED COFFEE Time: 5 minutes, plus 12 hours' resting

Time: 5 minutes, plus 12 hours' resting

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best) Milk (optional).

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

Yield: Two drinks.

NOTE: To make hot coffee, dilute concentrate one-to-one with water and heat in the microwave.


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15 July 2008

useless productivity

"And why aren't you well-rested?"

Because I wanted to see the end of the Star Trek: TNG two-parter on Sci-Fi (in spite of the fact that I've seen the Spock-defects-to-Romulus episodes before). And because I was on the internets until midnight. And then messing around with my iPod for another half-hour for no good reason.

So I'm a walking wreck today.

On the other hand, I finally had a Lush day on Sunday, which was awesome. I put the sound-dock just inside the bathroom door, turned the volume up, and lounged and sang along to Coldplay for a good hour. Also kept thinking of Ford Prefect, shouting, "You're a load of useless bloody loonies!" Not a particularly kind bubble-bath reference, but it made me giggle.

Speaking of Coldplay, "Violet Hill" is getting an awful lot of play-time on my iPod lately. Considering breaking down and outright buying the entire Viva la Vida album, since I do like what I've heard of the rest of it ...



Movie things--The Quiet American and The Air I Breathe arrived on Friday, and I took my time watching them. I might be on a Brendan Fraser kick right now. They were both good, but I liked The Air I Breathe more than I had expected (more than Netflix expected I would, certainly--if you're unfamiliar with this feature, based on your reviews of films, Netflix guesses how much you will or will not enjoy films you haven't seen). Air is similar to Crash in that it examines how several lives intertwine, looked at separately and where they cross--except that here they really do cross, whereas I felt a few of the "crashes" in Crash were more like gazes across a crowded room. Which is more realistic? Well, neither is particularly realistic to me, but they are movies; is realism the point?

I'm expecting Gotham Knight in today's mail--veering away from the Brendan Fraser bout of films, and prepping for The Dark Knight, which I'm seeing with and co. on Saturday. I keep seeing trailers every time I turn on the television, and wishing it were out already. Soon. Very soon.



Books--Revenger's Tragedy. Still. Nearly done. Promise.

Next on the list? I should probably turn back to Anna Karenina. You can tell how excited I am about that, I suppose. Oh, well. I'll at least feel accomplished when it's over. Maybe.

Turn the page ...

14 July 2008

top 5's

Sob-fests and children's books ...

Today, from thewhyfive ...

Top 5 Sad Movies:

1. The Joy Luck Club - It's all about relationships, the generation gap, hopes and dreams fulfilled and dashed. The ending with the sisters' uniting always makes me cry.
2. Moulin Rouge - Not a "sad" movie, per se, but the ending is MISERABLE. Again with the crying.
3. Finding Neverland - The mother is dying from the moment the audience sees her. You know she's going to die, but the ending is still a bawl-fest when she "sees" Barrie's imaginary world come to life.
4. Pan's Labyrinth - Again, not exactly a sad movie, but Javier Navarrete's score pulls at the heart-strings.
5. The Last Samurai - Beautiful and sad, it's about the destruction of a terribly graceful way of life.

Honourable mention: The Fox and the Hound. This made me cry as a child. It probably still would.

Dishonourable mention: Atonement - Because it's sad, and did make me cry, but definitely went above and beyond the call of duty to wrench out the viewer's heart and stomp on it for good measure. Definitely a bitter "oh, fuck you, movie-makers" kind of cry.

Top 5 Favorite Children's Books:

1. Where the Sidewalk Ends and other Shel Silverstein books -- gently grim poetry for youngsters.
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak -- You have to love monsters you can play with.
3. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola -- because who doesn't want a Magic Pasta Pot?
4. The Woodland Folk in Dragonland by Tony Wolf -- I would spend hours looking at the illustrations in this book--beautiful and riddled with short episodes about the woodland folk's interactions with dragons (good and bad but mostly bad).
5. Anything by Dr. Seuss -- fun pictures and [usually] good messages (Hop On Pop was probably not a good message).

Honourable mention: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, as I was not a child when it was published.

Turn the page ...

10 July 2008

can't wait



Time's praises

I just wish it were coming out this week.


On a semi-related note, I watched The Man Who Laughs (1928) last night. It wasn't an arbitrary push to the head of the queue--

Conrad Veidt's performance as Gwynplaine--the man who was mutilated as a child, a permanent grin carved on his face as punishment for his father's rebellion against James II--served as inspiration for the original character design of Batman's Joker. It's all about physical appearance, mind you. Gwynplaine's psychology is nothing like The Joker's; in spite of the fact that Gwynplaine really has more reasons to be insane and vengeful (his disfigurement, his father's murder, the loss of his inheritance, and the fact that everyone considers him a sideshow), he's a very good person. Whereas, by Tim Burton's telling, Jack was a rather dull monster before his accident; the results of the surgeon's efforts just emphasise what we already know about him, and turn him into a more obvious monster.

In terms of genre, beyond the initial scenes of the Iron Lady and Conrad Veidt's grotesque expression, I'm not sure why this is classified as horror. Macabre, yes. Horror, no.

Turn the page ...

09 July 2008

lulling minds

Netflix sent me The Man Who Laughs, Persepolis, and disc two of Season One of Hustle (which was cracked along its radius, alas).

Within fifteen minutes of getting home, the Peapod truck arrived with my groceries, and then I spent the next hour and a half talking on the phone with the parents while making dinner.

The sweet potato rice idea came from a book of bento recipes (though I didn't use the prescribed sake and replaced the salt with a little soy). Asparagus came in the delivery, and the beef cubes were left around from the Market Basket shopping spree. I now have an abundance of sweet potato rice. It's good; but there's a lot of it.

On the food note, I think I might visit Super 88 during tomorrow's lunch break and see what I can find in dried mushrooms (or even their fresh mushrooms, since they might have a decent selection) and other dried food stuffs that would be easy to carry home.

Anyway, I didn't actually sit down to dinner-and-a-movie until eight o'clock. Movie choice? Persepolis. I really, really, really like this movie. It's funny and sad and amazing.

I think my favourite part might be when a young Marjane Satrapi is wandering through the purveyors of contraband goods (Western music, cosmetics, alcohol), and the dealers are muttering their wares as she passes by: "Bee Gees" - "ABBA" - "Pink Floyd" - "nail polish" - "Jichael Mackson" (yes, just like that).

After it was over, I was browsing through the special features and realised there was an English audio function. I'd been watching it in its original French audio with English subtitles. Oh, well. Nothing against Iggy (because I love Iggy), but the French Uncle Anoosh was probably better. Originals usually are.

Seeing the movie makes me want to read the graphic novels more than ever.

Turn the page ...

07 July 2008

G.I. Joe, resurrected

OK, due to a brief glance at an icon, I had to check up on this (because it could have been like the journal layout for the supposed Outlander movie that doesn't actually exist--though, whereas G.I. Joe has been done to death and is more inappropriate than ever, I could do with an actual Outlander movie).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Joe_%28film%29

So ... is Christopher Eccleston going to be bald (and shiny)? No? That's sad.

Also on the list--

Heroes: Brendan Fraser (is Gung Ho?), Dennis Quaid, Ray Park, Marlon Wayans, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost's Mr. Eko)

Heels: Christopher Eccleston (is supposed to look like this), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (remember the love-sick kid from 10 Things I Hate About You? no? well, he's Cobra Commander)

Jonathan Pryce is the President, which is great, him being Welsh and everything--and an interesting contrast to whomever may be holding the office at the time.



But, I have to say, while I enjoyed the 80's cartoon--because I was 4 or 5 and it didn't mean anything to me on more than an entertainment level, like Teddy Ruxpin or The Gummi Bears, one of many in a long line-up of cartoon distractions--and still think of it with fond nostalgic feelings, it seems incredibly inappropriate for the age.

"Real American Hero" ... uh, yeah, about that. Nobody likes us anymore. The America-to-the-rescue theme just doesn't fly. At all. And that makes me especially curious about the plot for this movie and how they will or won't reconcile that reality. Maybe they'll all go somewhere and do something that nobody actually wants them to do.

Or they could play up the classic kitsch and ignore reality. But what with Destro having a receding hairline and no shininess, I'm guessing they're avoiding the kitsch.

On the other hand, it's G.I.-freaking-Joe; there MUST be kitsch--like the Palindrome Twins. OK, that's not what they're called, but still. Kitsch. Character disappointment is inevitable with things like this--like the absence of Gambit in X-Men. Still disappointed.

Turn the page ...

06 July 2008

quiet time

Friday included cleaning, bank-visiting, mail-box-hunting, Essex-outdoor-stalls-perusing, and Batman-and-fireworks-watching (because, I was right, you can see the fireworks from the deck).

Saturday morning, I waited for my furniture to arrive.

The Jordan's delivery guys were a lot better at their job than my movers (and with a far more difficult piece of furniture).

The sofa felt a bit tall, so I unscrewed the 5" legs from the corners and stood back for another look. It's better this way, really. With the legs, my feet can't touch the floor, and I don't think that's good for circulation.

The counter stools in the kitchen ... I think it's the upholstery, but it smells odd. In a "eating here makes me feel queasy" kind of way. I'm hoping it just needs to air out; otherwise, I ought to get some fabric deodorant.

After lunch, I went to the Peabody Essex Museum, the ticket and special exhibits of which are free for Salem residents. Fine by me.

I had an absurd epiphany while I was there. It's been many a time that I've been walking down the street between Derby and Essex and wondered, What the hell were they thinking when they decided to imitate Chinese architecture for just that one building? And what is that? Somebody's house? A business? What? So yesterday I was excited to visit because the PEM has the Yin Yu Tang exhibit--a Chinese house. I thought this might be similar to the Japanese house exhibit at the Children's Museum by South Station, a life-size model of the real thing, but still just a model.

No. They moved a Chinese house from China to Salem, bit by bit over the past seven years, and reconstructed it in its original form and with original decorations from between 300 and 50 years ago. And now I know what I should have known before. Hooray for disconnect.

Also very cool there right now--the Maori ta moko exhibit, a gallery of photos and quotes from tribe members who have received these tattoos since the government ban was lifted in the 1960s. And it was pretty awesome to read the anecdotes and see the variety of designs ... Except for the stupid people walking around and commenting (or mining for earwax and examining your findings in public--ARGH). I was furiously texting Rodney while I was in there, because it kept me from snapping at somebody. "What kind of jobs can they get?! Teeheehee!!" (And this, after passing directly by the photograph of the young businessman with facial ta moko.)

DiaF.

I also went to the gift shop (of course), and found an addition for my rice bowl collection:



Which inspired me to go home and make sticky rice for dinner (with broccoli, mushroom, and onion mixed in, to be healthy and stuff). And because I'm trying to use up the milk I have before it goes bad (because there were two gallons from the previous week), I also made clam chowder--which was poured over the rice in a very rice-casserole kind of deal. Surprisingly good, though veering from the original inspiration.

And then there was Doctor Who's finale. I enjoyed it, even though I didn't really enjoy the ending. I'm trying to think of it in a positive light though, like--"it's the journey that matters, not the destination," or something to that effect.

Blah. Time for a shower.

Turn the page ...

01 July 2008

BloodCopy

http://bloodcopy.com/

I enjoy this site immensely--especially the YouTube videos.

And Lamar is more than welcome to move in next door to me. He has a great voice.




I would also love to know what they're spending to create this kind of platform. That's not a criticism, as I think it's pretty cool that they're busy creating this alternate realty that the show and books reside in (the "vampires exist and everyone knows" versus "vampires exist but it's a big Scoobie-gang secret").

But really, this is extra material that will probably never see HBO--and why would it?--and will be lucky if it ends up being extras on a DVD release. So what does all this stuff cost?

Turn the page ...

True Blood - The Pilot

Due to BitTorrent's initial slowness, I tried to watch the pilot episode of True Blood on tudou.com yesterday evening.

For clarification, Tudou is one of the many Asian video-sharing sites out there. It one-ups YouTube by going mostly unnoticed by the lawyers responsible for pulling various materials from YouTube and GoogleVideo. The downside is that many of the videos you will find on Tudou or MegaVideo or Veoh will be titled with Chinese characters.

So the second part of the True Blood pilot was there and labeled 'B', but there was no part 'A' to be found. Thus, I watched the last half hour of the 90-minute pilot.

By the time I woke up this morning, BitTorrent was finished with the transfer. So I watched the first fifteen minutes with breakfast before I had to brush my teeth and leave to catch my train.

So I've seen forty-five minutes of the pilot--forty-five broken minutes with a major gap in between.

And, happily, I'm excited to see the rest of it when I get home.


Much like the books, I get the feeling I'm going to feel split between the guys and whom I want Sookie to end up with. The actors playing Bill and Sam are mostly spot-on. Sam's hair is meant to be a bit more ... well, more, but the rest of him seems right. The actor's name is Sam too--and I seem to recall him as one of Dexter's trophy serial killers. The actress playing Sookie's friend Tara was Whitney on Passions. Tara is much less polite, but, strangely, I get the idea that the character is a better person.

The theme music (well, it might be the theme music; occasionally what you hear in the pilot is cut or changed by the time the show actually airs) is fitting for the setting and the plot. If there could be a Dark-Country genre (ala Dark Wave and/or Death Metal), that's how I'd describe the sound and lyrics. Better similarity--Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand."

So far as pacing goes, it looks like they might be going two to three chapters per episode, but my memory of Dead Until Dark might be a fuzzy (it's been at least five years since I read it). Whatever the case, I think they could get a good cable-season out of each book, the events of which are fairly episodic anyway. Granted, the Writers Strike could land the show on the chopping block before it's had its day, since it was meant to be out in early Spring this year, and it was pushed back to September. Still, it suits the Fall season. They might be better off.

Likely to follow this up once I've actually finished watching the full episode.

Turn the page ...

30 June 2008

pilot leakage

I've been waiting for news about True Blood, because I really enjoy the book series upon which it is based.


And then today I read this on WordPress.

So I checked mininova for providers, and sure enough ... the search results.

I know what I'm doing when I get home.



I've quickly become a fan of the 57 bus. It's about ten minutes faster than the B line, which doesn't seem like very much, but can make the difference of a half hour of waiting at North Station.


Now watching the season finale of The Tudors. It's grim and kind of, well, anticlimactic. In spite of the fact that it's Jonathan Rhys-Meyers--I really hate Henry. But then, that's as it should be.



For the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, visit: masquedbunny.livejournal.com.

Turn the page ...

26 June 2008

telling me a story

My parents picked me up at the train station yesterday afternoon (the first sunny and non-torrentially-raining day in the week is the day they're there to give me a ride--of course). They're back from the Berkshires for a bit, as A Prairie Home Companion isn't until Saturday. Due to the thunderstorms that have been rolling through, they've been doing outlet shopping and scouting for furniture, and picked up a safe beige curtain for the door to the deck. The room is no longer on display--huzzah!

We went out to dinner at the Lyceum Bar and Grill, which was excellent and in walking distance of the apartment. Did an after-dinner walk around the Common, and then went back home again.

It was an afternoon for people telling me stories, by the way. My dad, who, on the way home, confessed to removing the door to the deck and hanging up a shower curtain to keep the rain out ... NO. And then the host at the restaurant. Big ol' story-tellers.

On a television note, The Riches can be embarrassing to watch with one's parents. I don't recommend it.



Commuting is coming easily. I always manage to get a seat, and I'm starting to recognise the usual suspects who share my schedule.

There is something weird though. Standing in North Station, one might suddenly see a herd of people rush out to a platform that hasn't been announced. I can't figure out how they know it's their train. Because the rest of us stand and watch the line-up for the track announcement, and by the time we get out there, there are already a hundred people on board. And there's no apparent rhyme or reason to the thing, as the track is almost never the same one as the day before.

Is there a secret society with a decoder watch that announces the track number ten minutes before it appears on the board?

Chalk it up on the list of things to find out, I suppose.



Hooray! My internet is being installed tomorrow! Time to get a wireless router.


For the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, visit: masquedbunny.livejournal.com.

Turn the page ...

23 June 2008

and kicking

My downstairs neighbors (at least, I think it was my downstairs neighbors, since I don't imagine anybody else could've come in the front door, and wandered upstairs) left me a welcoming present from their favourite neighborhood bakery--croissants and danishes and bread. I think they must have dropped it off some time on Sunday, but I didn't notice until I walked out the door this morning. I feel kind of bad about that for a few reasons. One, I don't know how well the goodies will be now when they're not fresh. Two, I still haven't seen my neighbors. And now three, I really ought to thank them, and wish I had done yesterday ...

Anyway, I put the box of baked goods in the fridge before I left, so I hope I didn't spoil them by letting them sit out there on the landing overnight. I'm putting my faith in the preservative properties of sugar.

Damn it. I'm already a bad neighbor, and I haven't even talked to anybody yet.

I was trying to get everything out of the cardboard boxes, and didn't leave the house at all. On one hand, good for productivity. On the other hand, it would've been nice to wander my new stomping grounds. Oh, well. There will certainly be time for that.


Saturday night discovery--the cable is still hooked up. On a whim, I plugged in the television just to see, and now I'm wishing I already owned a modem. Still... That will be installed on Friday.

Turned on AMC for a background--The Last Samurai and Alexander being heralded as "Future Classics," with which I take some umbrage--while unpacking and then having dinner.

I had intended to sleep in yesterday, and I had left my iPod in the Sound Dock overnight for a sense of familiarity. And then, at around 0830, I awoke to a strange blend of Lunasa coming from the speakers, and swinging big band music--coming from outside. Think more casual New Orleans big band, rather than rigid marching band, and you'll have a good idea of the sound. And it would've been irritating, except that it was actually quite good. So I opened more of the windows and the deck door to let the music breeze in and through the house.


Timed the walk from my door to the station. It's a little under ten minutes at a very leisurely pace. I left about fifteen minutes sooner than necessary for my 0627 train. I think I'm going to pick up a 12-trip pass for the remainder of the month this afternoon, just to save time.


It's raining now. I hope my leaving the windows open a few inches wasn't a mistake. Guess I'll find out when I get home ...

Turn the page ...

19 June 2008

you'll get what you deserve

Turn the page ...

12 June 2008

meme [in bed]

Tagged by Mel ...

List 10 fictional characters you wouldn't kick out of bed (in no particular order) and tag five people to do the same.

1. Jack Harkness -- John Barrowman might be gay, but his character is omni, and reported to be fabulous in bed.
2. The Tenth Doctor -- can come along with Jack (but we'll need a bigger bed).
3. James "Sawyer" Ford -- and yes ...
4. Strife -- bound to be kinky
5. Geoffrey Chaucer (ala A Knight's Tale, though technically a real--and very dead--person)
6. Mr. Darcy (the 1995 BBC version, please), though probably too proper to randomly show up in one's bed uninvited (or unmarried) *sigh*
7. George Emerson (of the 1985 film adaptation)
8. Don Juan DeMarco
9. Cupid (or practically any other Karl Urban character) -- I imagine the wings take up a lot of room, but hell if I care
10. Spike -- to finish with another borrow from Mel's list


No tagging from me. If you want to do the meme, do ...

Turn the page ...

11 June 2008

name play

I rented Revengers Tragedy. This is the kind of thing they should make teenagers read if they want them to be at all interested in 17th Century literature. Granted, the kids will probably still go out and rent the movie if it's available to them; but at least they might find the story interesting.

The story begins as our protagonist Vindici returns home to finally take his revenge on the powerful Duke who poisoned Vindici's bride (and all the other guests) on their wedding day, because she would not give in to his lecherous advances. His first stop home is the catacombs, where he talks to his dead girl's skull, puppets around a bit, and shrieks at passing little old ladies. Beautifully begun ...

Here we have vengeance; lust, chastity, and loss of honour; keeping promises, whatever the cost; the game of ambition and succession; and incest.

The allegorical names put me in mind of Volpone, because almost all of the names are chosen specifically for their characters' primary nature.

Our hero Vindici (sometimes spelled Vendici) hellbent on vengeance.

The Duke's eldest son Lussurioso, primarly driven by his lustful nature. And for whom?

Castiza, Vindici's sister. Chastity is not her middle name--it's her first. And, surprise, she despises Lussurioso.

Vindici and Castiza's mother Gratiana wants to ingratiate herself and her daughter with Lussurioso for his future Dukedom.

The other sons of the Duke:
Spurio - He's a big liar.
Ambitioso should not require an explanation.
Supervacuo - Not just vacant--SUPERvacant.
and Junior - It's also fitting, because he follows after his father's habits.


I do recommend the film, so long as you don't mind 17th Century dialogue in a post-apocalyptic Liverpool setting. Christopher Eccleston, Eddie Izzard, and Derek Jacobi star.

Turn the page ...

06 June 2008

dishing Dracula

Dracula and The White River Kid were waiting for me when I got home yesterday. After calling to check on my dad's progress with returning from D.C., I grabbed my Chinese leftovers and popped in Dracula.

I can appreciate what Masterpiece Theatre was trying to do, mostly. They're trying to mix in some real medical concerns to explain why Harker would ever go to Transylvania. Vampires and syphilis. Ummm ... wow. Okay, so Lord Holmwood is engaged to Lucy Westerna, but he finds out his father is dying of syphilis, and that his mother committed suicide when she found out that she had caught it from the father and that Lord Holmwood was infected at birth. So, good fiance that he is, he tells Lucy and calls off their engagement, right?

Right?

Um, no. Let's contact this London blood cult and see if they can cure Lord Holmwood's terrible affliction. Ah, yes, we can do that--the the help of this guy in the Carpathian Mountains--and some money and property would be nice as well.

Well the cult can't contract a very large firm to deal with these matters. No, much too easy to track. So they contact a two-man operation, and this mini-firm sends the younger partner, Jonathan Harker (engaged to Lucy's friend Mina, by the way), to Transylvania to talk to their employer. And just after he leaves, the blood cult murders the other fifty percent of the firm.

This is where this version actually begins to resemble the Gary Oldman version. Harker arrives in the dark and magnificently damp and muddy Castle Dracula. Count Dracula appears to be a sick old man with very dirty fingernails. The fingernails never improve, actually; they're pretty gross for the full extent of the movie. He asks after England and its fade of religious belief, becomes enamored of Harker's folding picture-frame of Mina with a lock of her hair attached to the interior, and--after Harker discovers Dracula in his coffin covered in every kind of insect the crew could get their hands on--drains the trepid young lawyer.

Meanwhile, Holmwood and Lucy marry, but Holmwood won't consummate the relationship until he's cured, so they've gone north to live in a lonely castle on the edge of the ocean. Mina, ever more concerned about Harker from whom she's heard nothing since his arrival in Transylvania, goes to stay with them.

The blood cult, keeping tabs on Dracula's scheduled passage, hears that the ship by-passes London and continues up the coast toward Holmwood's estate. Not to seek out Holmwood, but because Dracula is on Mina's scent thanks to the lock of hair that Harker kept with him. The ship beaches itself below Holmwood's estate, but the crew has disappeared, and there's no sign of Dracula besides an inexplicable crate full of dirt.

Mina is wandering through the graveyard when she thinks she sees her Jonathan, and runs to him only to find--Count Dracula, who is looking much better after some steady and proper vamp nutrition. The sexually frustrated Lucy also appears, and, after her invitation (vampires and invitations), the Count accompanies them back to the estate for wine and sexy brooding.

Eventually Holmwood shows up in a temper, because Dracula isn't much interested in helping him with his condition, and is much more interested in, in his words, "enjoying" the ladies of the house. Holmwood becomes violent. Dracula is more violent--and informs Holmwood that he's going to take everything he loves.

As per the original, the sickness of blood loss visits Lucy while she sleeps. Difference--Masterpiece Theatre actually gets some brownie points, by the way--Lucy and Dracula both become less frustrated in the process. It's a lot more believably sensual than Oldman's bouffanted version, and a lot more sensual than I expect from Masterpiece Theatre. Good for them!

Lucy dies, of course, and the story and characters return to London. Mina is lonely. Her best friend is dead, and her fiance is presumed dead. Who else should show up to be a shoulder of comfort but our good Count Dracula?

I think my primary complaint is that the film spends a lot of time leading up to all of this with a reasonable explanation, but very little time is actually devoted to Holmwood, Seward, and Van Helsing hunting down Dracula. It all happens too quickly. Good lead-in, but it could've stood another half-hour of running time with more advantage taken of Marc Warren's youthful version of Dracula. But then I felt the same way about Gary Oldman's performance.

I did enjoy it. I think I'll keep the DVD until tomorrow. I think I'm also adding the first three series of Hustle to my Netflix queue. Hustle weirdness: Robert Vaughn. He does commercials for various law firms around the country, and definitely one here in Massachusetts. He was also Napoleon Solo and General Stockwell, but that was kind of a long time ago ...

Turn the page ...

04 June 2008

The Landlord

OK--this might be old, but it still makes me laugh. It's early. I need a laugh.




Turn the page ...

02 June 2008

Happy June!

We seem to have skipped Spring, as per the usual for Boston weather. Cold, cold, rain, cold--muggy and unbearable! Really, there ought to at least be two or three weeks where I can leave the windows open in the morning and come home to a pleasantly cool room. No such luck.

New-home stuff moves along. I need more boxes.

No, Turbo, I'm not still holding my breath ... but I'm not jumping for joy yet either. Because I'm afraid of jinxing myself.


Finished reading Part II of Anna Karenina. Anna and Alexei's marriage is going down the drain, so that Anna can pursue her relationship with the other Alexei--Vronsky. Kitty isn't depressed about Vronsky anymore, but latching on to a kind of Born-Again-ness inspired by her trip to Germany. Aaaannnnd ... Levin is being a surly farmer.

I know it's epic and fabulous, and I really was drawn in by Tolstoy's description of Vronsky's doomed race horse. But ... well, I'm bored. The only reason I even bothered to tear through Part II was because I knew I'd be reading Funke and Pratchett when I was done. And now I'm reading Inkspell.

Speaking of Pratchett ... I have [ashamedly] been reading Teatime fan-fic. I blame Marc Warren and that neurotic part of me that falls for creepy men who probably smell nice.


Netflix delivered Tron and Turtles Can Fly. Tron was broken, so I've notified Netflix, and am mailing that back today. I still haven't sat down to watch Turtles Can Fly. It's not a movie you can watch while doing something else, because it's a Middle Eastern film with subtitles; and, yes, I could half-heartedly read every other subtitle while doing something else, but that kind of inattention will probably only lead to confusion and much rewinding.

Watched most of Season One of The Sopranos over the weekend on surfthechannel.com. Except that the second part of the season finale wouldn't load, so I'm left hanging. Maybe I can get it to work for me today. Tony's mannerism remind me much of my grandfather (who actually looked more like Paulie, but ...), except that Tony is actually more socially evolved than my grandfather ever was. Fear and distrust of psychiatry is spot-on, except that Tony moves beyond that and has a psychiatrist. My grandfather never got beyond that distrust--which was unfortunate for his kids, because more than a few of them have serious unresolved issues. Also, Junior looks a lot like my Great Uncle Pat.

It's fun to compare pronunciation of Mid-Atlantic Italian with actual Italian. Everything is a little mutated.

Turn the page ...

29 May 2008

distractions

I lied. I finished Twilight yesterday morning before leaving for work, and I'm not reading Anna Karenina. I picked up The Good Fairies of New York again. It's still fairly flat, but I'll finish with it tonight or tomorrow.

It's not even the story that I find flat. The plot is good, the character ideas are good. But the execution is wrong. It sometimes reads like a daily comic, minus graphics. Very choppy and not enough imagery by far. The characters' manners of speaking are also awkward and not very naturalistic. I feel like I know what Millar is trying to do with it--minimalism akin to the telling of classic fairy tales--but I just don't think it works, not when your characters are not recognisable archetypes.

Following Twilight with this is making me feel like a very fussy reader. I think I'll try to get through Part Two of Anna when I'm done with Good Fairies. But Anna is a lot like a soap opera, without the satisfaction of steamy sex or over the top violent and melodramatic moments. I think the suspicion of this very thing is why I've been avoiding Tolstoy all these years.

I also added Dickens' The Pickwick Papers to my Summer Reading List. I might regret that decision eventually too.

My book-per-week plan should be back on track by the end of June if I keep tossing a couple of shorter novels between Parts of Anna Karenina. I think Funke's Inkspell and Pratchett's Sourcery are two good candidates for my next Anna-break.


Netflix sent me Stage Beauty, largely to do with English theatre in the late seventeenth century and focusing particularly on Edward Kynaston, one of the last male leading ladies before Charles II outlawed men in women's parts. I enjoyed it very much. Billy Crudup has a remarkably angular face, and, yes, is a very pretty man--though, in my opinion, much better-looking as a man than, as the movie seems to suggest at times, a woman. The half-hour long behind-the-scenes bonus feature was interesting. Tom Hollander's good-natured griping about Billy Crudup--excellent.

I was also supposed to get Stealing Beauty, but that didn't arrive. And they emailed me last night to say that Tron is being sent from New Brunswick, so there's no knowing how long that will take to get here.


The Lost finale is this evening, but I don't know whether to be excited or wary. I don't see how this season can end well.

Turn the page ...

27 May 2008

safe to say

Or maybe 'third time's a charm' is more apt?

I suppose it's not safe to say anything until the actual closing ... but I've done the home inspection, and a list of needed fixes was proposed--upon which there was general agreement, so ...

Things are moving forward nicely. Knock on wood.

Closing is set for 20. June.


Can I breathe yet, or should I hold my breath for another four weeks? Ugh.


I packed away my winter clothes this weekend. It did two things. First, it de-cluttered my room in a big way. Second, it made me feel like I was packing, which I really don't want to put off until 16. June or something. So that sort of feeling of productivity was a bonus. Let's keep doing a bit of that every weekend.

Probably need to get in touch with a mover. Granted, it won't be a huge move (for distance or belongings), but I can't ask my friends to move me again and I can't lug this stuff up a flight of stairs (or two) on my own. Done with that. I should ask Tom for a recommended mover.


Watched Hogfather on Sunday while cleaning/packing. That was unexpectedly brilliant--well, unexpected to me, just because I lack faith in made-for-TV movies. But I suppose I should have more faith when it's Terry Pratchett. I really like what Marc Warren did with the assassin Mr. Teatime (te-ah-TIM-eh ... :-P). His voice was very much like Johnny Depp's rendition of Willy Wonka, only intentionally creepy (though I have my suspicions that that's what Depp was going for anyway). On the whole, it reminded me a lot of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, what with a skeleton man taking on the role of Father Christmas and everything. It does make me wonder which story existed first--Pratchett's novel or Burton's film?

Put down Anna Karenina and picked up The Good Fairies of New York, which was reading a little flat in my current mood, so I put it down and picked up Twilight. It's kind of a 500-page Mary Sue (our heroine's name is Bella Swan--really, now), and many of the characters are annoying, and many of the situations are contrived, and I keep waiting for the Hurt/Comfort plot device to enter into it (it's really the best way to endear your readership to a potentially dangerous or unlikeable character--make him/her do something selfless or comforting for your wounded protagonist). I'm so cynical. Still, it's proving to be a quick read, and I'll probably finish it this evening. Maybe it's the whole 'Young Adult' fiction thing, but they don't do anything. Too much angst and no action--and not much hope of any either. I will see the movie when it comes out in December, even if it's bound to be painfully over the top. Robert Pattinson already won me over in Goblet of Fire.

Went to see Indiana Jones on Saturday morning, which was wonderful, because nobody else comes to the cinema at 10 o'clock in the morning. It was over the top, but I loved it. And I loved the brief nods to the other Indy adventures. Yesterday I went to an early showing of Prince Caspian, which I enjoyed more than the previous film--but why are the bad humans Spaniards? I don't understand that. I enjoyed Eddie Izzard's voice work as Reepicheep, and Mr. Caspian (Ben Barnes) made for excellent eye-candy even if his acting was a little flat. Peter Dinklage's acerbic remarks gave a decent balance to the more saccharine moments.

... I'll read Part Two of Anna Karenina when I'm done with Twilight. Honest.

Also, the completely opaque blinds were just installed in my office a few minutes ago. I *heart* my cave.

Turn the page ...

08 May 2008

a winning commute

My morning commute ground to a halt at Alston Street. The T driver announced: "There's been an accident at Babcock. We could be here for a while."


OK. Well, I was reading, so it didn't frazzle me too much. Then, after I'd finished my chapter, I looked around and we still weren't moving. So I got off and started walking. I had just reached Harvard Ave. when I saw the train that had been stopped in front of us begin to move. So I crossed the street again just in time to--right, get on my exact same train again.

It only made it as far as Packard's Corner though. "There will be shuttles," says the driver over the intercom. Great. Except that my office is at the next corner. So no, but thank you.

Firetrucks galore, police in squad cars, police on motorcycles, T personnel mulling to and fro, helicopters circling overhead.

Why? Manhole explosion, apparently. And a white SUV rammed into the corner building at Packard's Corner. But this isn't Babcock ... the hell's going on?

I continue walking down to Babcock to the sight of even more flashing blue lights and the sound of wailing sirens. Commonwealth Avenue is not having a good morning. A giant black pick-up truck was smashed into the T barrier and straddling the West-bound tracks with one of its sides bashed in. On the other side of the lanes and half-propped on the sidewalk, a small white sports car with its back end crushed and the myriad contents of its trunk scattered across all the lanes.



When I got upstairs, Sandy and Rich were standing in the waiting area beside the elevator watching the carnage from above. A few minutes later my boss also arrived. And now she and Rich have decided to walk down the block and see the other accident at Packard's. I took a picture from the office. Yay.


Turn the page ...

02 May 2008

skewed standards

I started watching Dexter this week on surfthechannel.com.

It's weird what becomes, well, fictionally acceptable after a point.

The pilot--especially the opening sequence--was downright disturbing; but it's the perfect introduction to Dexter Morgan. The voice-over tells us what he's about, explains what he's doing and why he's doing it, which is: stalking serial killers to satisfy his own need to kill people.

Because Dexter has a code ingrained in him by a terribly understanding step-father Harry--a police officer who discovered his adopted son's urges at a very young age. Oh, and we know that Harry rescued Dexter from a gruesome crime scene at the age of four, a crime that clearly has had its effects on Dexter's psyche. In order to quell these urges, Harry teaches Dexter to hunt and kill animals, to pretend emotions, and eventually how to spot other serial killers and how to cover his tracks when Dexter kills them.

It's important to note that Harry is the only person who knows what Dexter is. His foster mother and sister have no idea.

Flash forward to the present. Dexter and his step-sister work for the Miami Dade Police Department, Dexter specialising in forensic blood spatter. Wee.

He's really an excellent antihero. The first episode's opening is repellent and typical--Dexter hunts down, drugs, butchers, and disposes of a serial killer of young boys--but the remainder of the pilot is a steady inward reeling in which I just become very attached to Dexter.

Dexter does not consider himself capable of "love," as such, but he does have intense loyalty to the good people around him. He has a girlfriend, Rita, and her two children by an abusive ex-husband. In another voice-over, he admits that part of the draw to Rita is her alike damaged nature and their shared dream of normalcy. And he is, in his own words, "very fond of" his step-sister Deb. I think it's these few human connections, and the bewildering moments of emotional disconnect, that make Dexter the most endearing sociopath ever.

Oh, and he's always eating. All the time. Gorey crime scene--and--a sandwich!


I've also been turning over in my head the similarity between Dexter and Lestat circa Memnoch the Devil. Both hunt down and murder other murderers to satisfy something inside them--not really as an act of justice, though an outside observer could make that judgment call, but because they need to kill somebody, and it may as well be somebody wicked. And they both have personal connections that make them more human, give them a chance to show a better side.

It's another reason for being okay with Dexter--prior experience in being attached to characters that are, well, not exactly all wrong, but definitely not right.

Turn the page ...

28 April 2008

old now equals abused. apparently.

Whitey, the family cat, going on eighteen this summer, went loose yesterday when one of the parents left the garage door open.


Today, the neighbor discovered him in her back yard when he hissed at her stupidly curious dog, and said neighbor was scared of cat and called the pound to have him taken away. Neighbor apparently had the good sense to inform Mum about all this when she got home.

Ok. Fair enough. The cat is a fright. His fur is matted in bizarre places. He has cataracts in both of his eyes. He can't move with much grace beyond that of a folding chair. But the cat is old. I mean OLD. John McCain-style OLD.

But he eats his food, and he drinks his water, and he still hobbles around and tolerates spending time with my parents.

So when my parents went to retrieve him from the pound, they were being accused of abusing Whitey, because, as previously noted, the poor thing looks like death warmed over. You probably will, too, when you are as relatively old in human terms as this cat is in his own way.

They brought him to the vet for mandatory blood work to find out how much has been done to him and how much is wrong with him ... Dehydration. Right, because he'd been away from his water for over a day and wouldn't eat or drink anything in the pound. Oh. AND. The pound didn't like the appearance of the matted fur--and sliced the cat's back while shaving it off.

ARGH.

The parents finally brought him home little more than an hour ago. He reportedly inhaled his food and settled down in his cat-nest for the evening.

I HATE their neighbors. The neighbors can die in a fire. I have been told it's bad for my soul to wish that people would die in fires. This is probably true.

Turn the page ...

16 April 2008

the why's

This is more to do with my livejournal blog (the journal I more faithfully update), Book of the Black Rabbit.

1. my username is________ because ________.

Masquedbunny -- My sororiname is Bunny, and I have a thing for (and collect) Venetian masks and masquerade dress.

2. my name is ________ because _______.

Maria -- My mother wanted to name me after the Holy Mother in such a way that was compatible with my German last name and her own Italian heritage.

3. my journal is titled ______ because __________.

"Book of the Black Rabbit" -- I respect Watership Down's version of Death, a shade-bunny, and have a tendency to address morbid subject matter.

4. my friends page is called ______ because ___________.

"meine merkw├╝rdige Lieblinge" -- I studied German, and liked the idea of calling my friends "my freaky darlings" in another language. Let's face it, some of you are odd ducks, too; and I love you.

5. my default userpic is _______ because _________.

"Masqued" -- It's just another play on the masquerade theme and masks.



"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." - Oscar Wilde.

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07 April 2008

1983 Top 100

A music meme, courtesy of Mel.

Go here ( http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1983.htm ) and change the number in the URL to reflect the year you were born to get the top 100 songs of that year. Strike through the songs you hate(d). Bold the songs you love(d). Italics the songs you like(d). Leave blank those you don’t care about or don't recognize.

1. Every Breath You Take, Police
2. Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
3. Flashdance... What A Feelin, Irene Cara

4. Down Under, Men At Work
5. Beat It, Michael Jackson
6. Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Bonnie Tyler

7. Maneater, Daryl Hall and John Oates
8. Baby Come To Me, Patti Austin and James Ingram
9. Maniac, Michael Sembello
10. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), Eurythmics
11. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me, Culture Club
12. You And I, Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle
13. Come On Eileen, Dexy's Midnight Runners
14. Shame On The Moon, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
15. She Works Hard For The Money, Donna Summer
16. Never Gonna Let You Go, Sergio Mendes
17. Hungry Like The Wolf, Duran Duran
18. Let's Dance, David Bowie

19. Twilight Zone, Golden Earring
20. I Know There's Something Going On, Frida
21. Jeopardy, Greg Kihn Band
22. Electric Avenue, Eddy Grant
23. She Blinded Me With Science, Thomas Dolby -- odd, but sometimes I like this and sometimes I hate it
24. Africa, Toto
25. Little Red Corvette, Prince
26. Back On The Chain Gang, Pretenders
27. Up Where We Belong, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
28. Mr. Roboto, Styx -- another like/loathe
29. You Are, Lionel Richie
30. Der Kommissar, After The Fire -- I can't remember what this sounds like.
31. Puttin' On The Ritz, Taco
32. Sexual Healing, Marvin Gaye -- a WTF song
33. (Keep Feeling) Fascination, Human League
34. Time (Clock Of The Heart), Culture Club
35. The Safety Dance, Men Without Hats
36. Mickey, Toni Basil -- awful and typically 80s, but kind of retro-charming
37. You Can't Hurry Love, Phil Collins
38. Separate Ways, Journey
39. One On One, Daryl Hall and John Oates
40. We've Got Tonight, Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton
41. 1999, Prince
42. Stray Cat Strut, Stray Cats
43. Allentown, Billy Joel
44. Stand Back, Stevie Nicks
45. Tell Her About It, Billy Joel
46. Always Something There To Remind Me, Naked Eyes
47. Truly, Lionel Richie
48. Dirty Laundry, Don Henley
49. The Girl Is Mine, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
50. Too Shy, Kajagoogoo
51. Goody Two Shoes, Adam Ant
52. Rock The Casbah, Clash
53. Our House, Madness
54. Overkill, Men At Work
55. Is There Something I Should Know, Duran Duran
56. Gloria, Laura Branigan
57. Affair Of The Heart, Rick Springfield
58. She's A Beauty, Tubes
59. Solitaire, Laura Branigan
60. Don't Let It End, Styx
61. How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, Laura Branigan
62. China Girl, David Bowie
63. Come Dancing, Kinks
64. Promises, Promises, Naked Eyes
65. The Other Guy, Little River Band
66. Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, Air Supply
67. Family Man, Daryl Hall and John Oates
68. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', Michael Jackson
69. I Won't Hold You Back, Toto
70. All Right, Christopher Cross
71. Straight From The Heart, Bryan Adams -- I have a soft spot for Bryan Adams
72. Heart To Heart, Kenny Loggins
73. My Love, Lionel Richie
74. I'm Still Standing, Elton John
75. Hot Girls In Love, Loverboy
76. It's A Mistake, Men At Work
77. I'll Tumble 4 Ya, Culture Club
78. All This Love, Debarge
79. Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy, Sammy Hagar
80. Heartbreaker, Dionne Warwick
81. Faithfully, Journey
82. Steppin' Out, Joe Jackson
83. Take Me To Heart, Quarterflash
84. (She's) Sexy + 17, Stray Cats
85. Try Again, Champaign
86. Dead Giveaway, Shalamar
87. Lawyers In Love, Jackson Browne
88. What About Me, Moving Pictures
89. Human Nature, Michael Jackson
90. Photograph, Def Leppard
91. Pass The Dutchie, Musical Youth
92. True, Spandau Ballet
93. Far From Over, Frank Stallone
94. I've Got A Rock 'N' Roll Heart, Eric Clapton
95. It Might Be You, Stephen Bishop
96. Tonight I Celebrate My Love, Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack
97. You Got Lucky, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers -- Soft spot for Tom Petty too.
98. Don't Cry, Asia
99. Breaking Us In Two, Joe Jackson
100. Fall In Love With Me, Earth, Wind and Fire

You know, I don't even recognise 75% of them ...

Turn the page ...

31 March 2008

of unchaperoned teenagers

On Saturday night my parents were asking me what I wanted to do, but I didn't know and instead of lounging around their hotel room, my dad suggested that we go to the movies.

OK. The closest cinema to their place was the Common, and we left at a time that could've seen us sitting in practically any movie showing there. There are a handful of features out right now that I wouldn't mind seeing. My parents both really enjoyed Horton Hears a Who, but I didn't want to make them see a repeat, so it came down to 21, Mrs. Pettigrew, In Bruges, and The Other Boleyn Girl.

We went to see In Bruges. It has some wickedly funny moments of caustic humour and some pretty grim moments of violence.

And then, three minutes from the end of the movie, a group of teenagers staggered in from the hallway, talking and laughing and standing in front of the screen. Colin Farrell was saying something, but it couldn't really be heard between the kids loudly looking for seats, people in the audience telling them to shut it, and the kids reacting in cackles of laughter and threats about punching or kicking people for telling them to shut it. Somebody in the back chimed out, "You're perpetuating a stereotype." Yes, they are; but they're not going to know what you're talking about; and you're only perpetuating a cycle. Yelling at them only makes them worse.

The movie ended, the police came in, and those who requested it received a ticket of re-admittance to any show they want. My parents and I took those, and then my mum and dad handed the tickets off to me and told me to go back and see some movies on my own time. Nice of them.

Turn the page ...

30 March 2008

morning thought

The pianist at The Natick Collection is unexpectedly cool (or geeky, depending on your point of view). We were sitting and listening outside one of the department stores in the oddly comfortable sofas that they have peppered throughout the mall, and at one point he was definitely playing a somewhat embellished version of "There's a Fine, Fine Line" from the Avenue Q soundtrack. And if you had never heard the lyrics, it fit in with his repertoire just fine.

Turn the page ...

26 March 2008

bunny politics

Who would you vote for?








Turn the page ...

24 March 2008

For Saturday, I had written an entry that was a rather cryptic return from my ten-day hiatus. My mind is in a [somewhat] better place now, so maybe I can get through a rational explanation of the weekend's events.

Easter. Yeah. Great.

... Or maybe not. I just explained the situation to Lindsay--or ranted about it--Michelle and Ian have also sort of heard about it.

My mother's family is certifiable, I'm convinced.

My grandmother had an aneurysm on Thursday.

My mother has six siblings, and none of them knows the value of leaving a message on an answering machine apparently. My parents said they had a dozen calls on Thursday night, all of them resulting in dead air on the answering machine--after which they unplugged the phone because they thought it was over-zealous marketers or kids pulling pranks--because, surely, if the matter were that important, the caller might leave even a sparse message. No.

Since the robbery, my parents have had one dinosaur of a computer in their home. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. And for this reason, it's not very useful for checking email. My father finally received his new desk-top in the mail on Thursday, but he hadn't set it up yet, because he gets home late most nights and is too tired to mess with it.

On Friday night, my mother had managed to make "the dinosaur" log on to the internet. In her inbox, there's an email from my uncle J asking her to get in touch with one of them. Uncle F is angry at my parents for not responding sooner--he doesn't quite believe they were robbed and have one old computer that doesn't quite work all the time. Aunt J is convinced that she could have done something to prevent Nana's aneurysm. Uncle C is now living by himself, but occasionally being looked in on by my uncle S. Aunt K is ... well, she's a bossy bitch.

The family is imploding, basically, and nobody is communicating very well; and my mother can't get a straight story about Nana's condition from any of them. So she messages me on AIM on Friday night (when I'm out at the Publick House with Lindsay, Ahmer, Bob, Kathy, and a silent young man whose name I couldn't catch in the din). When I get home at midnight, this is the message:

"Nana had an aneurysm. She's at Beth Israel, and maybe you can visit for us. Call me."

Midnight seemed an inappropriate time to respond to this message, so I went to bed.

I called in the morning, trying to find out where exactly Nana is at Beth Israel (it's a sprawling hospital), but Mum didn't know that. She knew when visiting hours began, but that was about it. It didn't help that my phone was uncharged, because she wanted me to go there, find out Nana's condition, and call them back immediately. So I let the phone charge for a while, got ready, and walked down to the D line.

My first guess at the buildings was wrong. I went into the East Campus building, because that's the official address for the whole hospital, and was informed that Nana was actually in the West Campus building. And when I got there, the front desk person told me that she was in room 675--but there really isn't a room 675, at least not labeled as such. I wouldn't have known where to go at all if aunt J hadn't spotted me first.

A (aunt J's husband) had taken C to get food, so we were the only ones there to begin with. We stood outside the ICU for a while, because they were in the process of doing something with Nana, and I tried to get J to say something of her condition so that I'd know what to expect. But J doesn't really know what's what.

J: "Well, an aneurysm is like a stroke that happens in the brain."
Me: "Really? I thought that strokes also happened in the brain."
J: "No, strokes happen in the heart... blahblahblah... "
Uhhhh ... I didn't have the patience to argue with her on that front. And I really wanted to hear something from an actual doctor.

Talking to J [inappropriately] reminds me of this commercial:





I really wasn't prepared to see Nana this way. There's a tube that goes through her groin, all the way up into her skull and out to drain the excess fluid from the aneurysm. An orderly--or maybe she was a nurse--came in and re-adjusted the oxygen tube to her nose. She was in an out of consciousness during the time that Jean and I were in the room. For thirty seconds at the most her eyes would be open, and then she'd go back into fitful rest. She talks, but sometimes there's no sound, and when there is sound, it's a gruff lower version of her voice.

She didn't know me at first. J said she recognises people, but she didn't seem to know me. I told her who I was. She smiled and asked me, "What do you have on the docket today?" I had to get her to repeat it before I understood what she'd asked. And then I felt guilty for making her repeat anything. And guilty for feeling and allowing myself to look upset, because I didn't want to upset her. She lapsed back into what J referred to as "her restful state," and I stood there for a while and watched her breathe. J told me to keep talking to her, but I had no idea what to say, and I was fully engrossed in trying to hear anything that she might say in her sleep. "I'm tired" and "it's not working." And I think hypoglycemia was kicking in, because my vision was getting spotty.

I heard a man's voice asking for room 675, and when I turned around uncle J and his girlfriend G were talking to one of the staff--a woman informing them that only two people could see Nana at one time. I vacated, and aunt J was close behind me. F was in the hallway outside the ICU doors, and he asked J if we'd been to see Nana and who was there now? The two of them made faces about uncle J's girlfriend being there, and then aunt J led the way back to the waiting room. F and N had brought their sons, though F didn't seem very happy about it. They asked me about the robbery, where I'm living, and then seemed to be done with me. So I plugged my cell phone into an outlet and called my mother.

I told her who was there, and what I knew, which wasn't--and still isn't--much. C and A came back into the room, but didn't notice me for a while. Then C did, and I motioned that I was still on the phone with my mother--and, regardless, I didn't want to talk to him anyway. And when I was done talking to her, I slipped away to the bathroom. From the bathroom, I made a beeline for the elevators, and out to the Longwood food-court to assuage my hunger and avoid my relatives.


--------------------


Something completely different: some things that make me laugh ...

"The Return of Mr. Gosh" - I was inspired to look this up by an LJ friend's recent post.




"Magic Muffin" - whenever I see muffins, I think of the comic, and the following animated version ...


Turn the page ...

11 March 2008

in which I am become a human pin cushion

I've been mostly dead since yesterday. I woke up feeling awful all over--and I'm still not sure if it was food poisoning or something more serious. I still felt terrible this morning, but decided to shower before making any kind of call about it. Weighing it over in my mind, and the fact that I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon anyway, I was leaning toward staying home. When the water turned cold and I started getting the shakes, that pushed the lean to a full decision.

Back to bed.


My appointment was for 1600, but I decided to leave here at 1400, because I wasn't sure I'd find the office right away, as I'd never been there before. As a normal and reasonable person might've guessed, I arrived way too early.

And when I finally got in, the doctor pretty much signed me up for everything after I told her that it had been over three years since I'd had a physical. Read on for things that fall into the TMI category ...

Pap smear--UGH, and no more need be said; the first in three doses of the HPV vaccine in the right shoulder; the Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis vaccines in the left shoulder; and three vials of blood for lab work from the inside of my left elbow.

After it was all over, I walked home, because fresh air seemed to be the order of the day. The sun was out, the temperature was comfortable.

And now I'm watching General Hospital and will probably spend the evening watching Grey's Anatomy and No Country for Old Men.

Turn the page ...

29 February 2008

unstuck in time

Michelle drove me to St. E's last night, and now my stitches are out.

Between going there and coming back, the whole process took about an hour, and by the time we got home, Lost was halfway through. So, rather than starting in the middle and rewinding later, I took a shower and waited for the whole episode to finish recording.

I really enjoyed "The Constant"--yes, sappy tearful ending and all (in fact, I did cry when Desmond finally got Penny on the phone). I took the whole as tribute to Kurt Vonnegut--Slaughterhouse Five particularly--except that the result (at present, anyway) seems much happier for Desmond Hume than for Billy Pilgrim. And I want Desmond's part of the story to have a good ending, though it doesn't appear that he's one of "the Oceanic 6"; I'm so sick of losing the characters that I actually like.

And then my VCR clipped off the ending (because ABC's schedule always seems to run a little off whenever they run two episodes of Lost back-to-back). So today I went in search of the last sixty seconds of the episode to find out what Daniel was reading in his journal.

"If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant."

The character Daniel Faraday is sort of adorable in a grown-up-stoner kind of way. The episode trailers always make whatever he says seem mysterious and vaguely threatening; but when I hear the lines again in the episodes' contexts, he just sounds dazed and confused all the time.


Also watched Torchwood's "A Day in the Death" before going to the hospital. I want to care about Owen, but ... meh? Next week's episode looks exciting.


On another topic, a realty agent sent me an email last weekend (I think my parents have been submitting my name and email), to which I responded at my leisure--with the full story of "taking my time, seeing what's out there, p.s. have a snowboard injury and indisposed for a bit." She's now sent me a list of properties and wants to know when I'd be free to see some of them.

This all feels far too grown up for me.

But I wonder if my aunt still wants me to visit this weekend; because, if not ... a few open-houses could be fun.

Turn the page ...

28 February 2008

presents

Hayley sent me the second season of Lost on DVD, and it has, as she suggested, kept me out of trouble so far. I love the commentaries.

Caroline gifted me with a giant wrist brace. It's kind of perfect for my purposes. It immobilises my thumb, but the rest of my fingers are free and clear. Writing with a pen or pencil is still mostly impossible, but typing is significantly easier.

Page-turning is still a pain.

Turn the page ...

26 February 2008

this is how I convalesce

I probably should've stayed home again, but one never likes to use sick days when one is actually sick. Where's the fun in that?

Typing is still an issue, but at the moment I'm managing to stabilise my thumb while maintaining the use of most of my four fingers. And of course it's my right hand, because I have to inconvenience myself as much as possible.

How did I do this?

Snowboarding. Naturally.

I was doing so well for the first three hours that I was emboldened to press my luck on a green trail (which isn't a black diamond, but I still wasn't really ready for it--clearly). I had a few initial falls--and in one of them sprained my thumb, which I didn't notice until something worse happened.

Then, continuing down the hill, a woman and her son began to veer in front of me. I tried to avoid them, and I did it so well that I fucked myself up instead. The front edge caught on the snow and down I went, face-plant against the hill.

Immediate headache. I could taste blood before I saw it, and then I thought it was coming from my nose. But the woman had turned around and was saying, "No, no, it's your head!" Great. She handed me lots of tissues and asked me a few pointed questions to make sure that I still had all my wits, then flagged down one of the ski patrol--who asked me all the same questions all over again. The woman had me describe my friends, since Lindsay and her friend Matt weren't far off, and she went to find them while her large Irish friend and the ski patrol man stayed with me to wait for more ski patrol people to arrive.

Lindsay and Matt trudged back up the hill to find out what had happened, and more patrol people came around.

And then one of the patrol-- "Do you think you can go down on your own?" I don't think anyone thought that was a good idea except for him. (Lindsay, later: "Was he on crack?") Instead, they packed me into a sled, wrapped up in yellow canvas like a mummy and shuttled me down the hill to the infirmary.

Those things look fun until you actually need them, by the way. Then, they're deeply embarrassing.

The EMS workers re-bandaged me (they'd done a make-shift job of it on the hill), and advised that I go to the ER. So Lindsay and Matt went to get stuff from the lockers while I sat around with a plastic bag of snow pressed to my head. Then we walked to Lindsay's car, but somewhere between the EMT station and the parking space, Lindsay's car key went missing. Awesome, right?

Lindsay was carrying all my stuff and didn't look very keen to go back looking, so I volunteered and went off. I retraced our steps back to the infirmary, but didn't find them, so I walked into the Lost & Found. L&F woman: "What happened to you?!" Me: "I fell, and I'm supposed to go to the ER, but my friend can't find her keys." But no keys had been turned in yet for the day, so I wandered back outside ... with the L&F woman following me, though I didn't know it yet. And Lindsay had come back from the parking lot and was standing in the path between the EMT station building and the Lost & Found looking for me and the keys.

I was dazed and upset and embarrassed, so pulled down my sunglasses and dragged my hood over my head. And Lindsay was turning to go back into the infirmary when the L&F woman appeared behind us and was asking if she should take me to the ER instead. And we must have been making a scene, because one of the Cliff Bar employees (who were skiing all over the hill offering free samples to whoever would take one) came over and asked what we were looking for--if it was a black key on a short leather strap, because he had found one and only just turned it in at Lost & Found.

Awesome. Hysteria averted.

North Conway's Memorial Hospital is five minutes down the road from Cranmore, so it didn't take long to get there--good, considering how long the line in the waiting room was. We got there at 1300 and we wouldn't leave until around 1830.

The wait was long, but the staff was nice. A nurse gave me a fresh pack of ice for my head, and Lindsay and I sat in the waiting room playing the name game (pick a letter of the alphabet and either gender and recite as many names as you can think of that begin with that letter)--dull but distracting. And I needed distracting since the headache wouldn't let up for a minute.

When they finally let me through it was about 1645, and it was to a reclining chair next to the utility closet in a room already occupied by two other patients. We didn't know how long I'd be sitting there, so Lindsay went to Walmart to pick up Scategories, but not before I sent her to the car to retrieve Dragonfly In Amber for me.

I was reading and one of the nurses came to check on me. I told her about my headache and she asked if I would take anything for it. I was afraid of the blood-thinning aspect, but she assured me that what they had would be all right. Then, she went off.

My back was to the door, when, out of the corner of my left eye I saw crutches edge up beside me. This was my doctor. She introduced herself and had me peel back the edge of the bandage on my head to see what she was dealing with. Yes to stitches and yes to a CAT scan. She asked if anything else was bothering me, and I told her about my hand, which hadn't been bothering me until I attempted to sign my signature on the admittance papers in the waiting room. Another yes to an x-ray for my hand.

Then she hobbled off and the nurse returned--with a Vicodin and some water. Vicodin? Seriously? Who watches too much House? Oh, right, I do.

I picked up my book again, but I didn't get to read much before another woman came around to take me to do the x-ray and the head scan. The x-ray was honestly the most grueling part. I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and I was shivering, so it was hard to keep my hand perfectly still when it wasn't firmly braced against the table.

The head scan ... getting all the jewelry off and out of my head took a few minutes, a sprained hand not making it much easier. And when it was over, the woman escorted me back to my room--where one of the beds had been vacated, and Lindsay had returned--as promised, with Scategories. The timer didn't come with batteries, so we played on the room clock and waited for the scans to come back from Radiology.

And on that note, can anyone think of an article of clothing that begins with the letter I? All I could come up with is "instep"--the inner part of a shoe, but I don't even think it counts.

After twenty or thirty minutes the doctor came hobbling back into the room with a clean bill of health. Stitches time. A male orderly wheeled in the cart with all the stitching supplies, and Lindsay and I were still musing over an article of clothing that might begin with an I. Neither the doctor nor the orderly could think of anything either.

It was about this time when I started feeling particularly embarrassed about the whole situation all over again--and said as much to the doctor. She told me her story was more idiotic than mine. So I finally asked her about her crutches as she was prepping me for stitches. She had been trying to reach something on a high shelf while standing on a swivel stool. The stool went one way and she the other, and her ankle folded under her.

The doctor was rubbing a local anesthetic in the laceration when Lindsay asked if she could call Nancy on my phone. I couldn't remember where I'd put the phone, only that it was on the bed somewhere and waved in that vague direction. Lindsay found it and began to mess with it as the doctor began to stitch me. Except that Lindsay couldn't find Nancy's number, nor the call history. She has the same phone I do, only hers is a first generation, and mine is relatively new.

So I took the phone back and, in the glare of the surgical lights, and with the doctor stitching my forehead, I looked through the old incoming calls, found, and dialed Nancy's number and handed the phone back off... I'm a good multi-tasker.

There were only five stitches, so it didn't take too long, and the local anesthetic was quite effective. By the time Lindsay was through talking to Nancy, the doctor had finished and was putting a bandage over the stitches. After a while the male orderly came back in and wrapped up my hand in gauze and an ace bandage. He also came with my release papers and a prescription for pain-killers--more Vicodin, yay! And then I was good to go.

Turn the page ...