wolfpangs: (dangerous; see also: unlawful)


Next time you feel bad because you don’t fit into some social beauty standard, please remember that dueling scars used to be de rigueur among Junkers and other landed nobility of Prussia, Germany, etc. They were a signifier, a way to let people of your upper class know that you were like them (because you were the type of person who a) could afford to have hobbies and b) had hobbies like fencing), and as a way to show how badass you were (sure, you may have lost the duel, but you can take a blow, which is just as important).

As with most trends, people outside the originating group began to emulate the behavior, and scarred themselves with razors. With a simple cut, it’s easy for everything to heal nicely enough, so some dudes would put horsehair (an irritant) into the wounds, so it would scar up nice and big.

Outside of the social signifier aspects, when the Third Reich was born, it also helped you to look like you came straight from Central Casting, like SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny here.
wolfpangs: (bammer)
One last time and then I'm closing the lid on the worst part of last year.



See you later, 2011. Onward and upward.
Tragedy is like a branding iron. Everyone who lives through it becomes a product of that tragedy. You realize you’re just a slab of meat. You might continue living your life in a fairly normal straight line, but that tragedy knows to whom you belong. You have its smoldering mark on your body.

At first the idea of grief counselors seemed absurd. "I was like, grief counselors? Really? But this is doing something to me." And that's it. It's difficult to put into words, but in the aftermath of the storm, you could feel it on you. Something had been done to you. And though I don't think of myself as seriously affected, there is a part of me that still becomes frantic when the power goes out. The anxiety is a rat racing up my nerves. It's part of the reason why it's taken me so long to write this, the followup to the storm. I don't like to think about it. I don't like to talk about it. I don't like to go back to it. But I will, just this once, and then it can't touch me again for a long time.

Read more... )
wolfpangs: (the hunt)
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Definitely "Love Take Me Down (To the Streets)."
wolfpangs: (fairy)
I forgot to mention this in my last post, but there was something else that bothered me about Piranha, besides that one character's fate. Lord knows this is important information--it must be shared with the world--but I went to the trouble of screencapping it at the time, so here 'tis. Lemme tell you, as someone who grew up on a tourist-attracting lake, you don't do this before going in the water, unless you want this to happen. TYVM.

And I've continued to see other movies. [NB: Internet and/or TV service is still kind of hinky here, hence my movie binging and also absence from the internet.] I saw Daydream Nation the other night and while I thought the story was kind of muddled and don't even get me started on the dodgy CGI, I have not related to a character more than I related to Caroline in a looooong time. The trailer:



I also saw The Violent Kind, which I really wanted to like, mostly because the poster is beautiful. [I am nothing if not a serious movie fan. Also, "From the producers of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'Halloween'" means nothing unless we're talking about the originals.] Alas, no. The story seems both draggy and too short--by the time our two groups meet up and the real action kicks in, it feels like they've had to cram in the rest of the movie to fit. And the story--woof. It plays like someone fell asleep during a Sons of Anarchy episode and then woke up later in the middle of Sometimes They Come Back (or if you like, Sometimes They Come Back...Again) and then dreamed they were part of the same movie.

Goodnight!
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Tully: Who's Franz Bettmann?
Geismar: Bettman, von Braun...the Kraut brain trust--the guys that built the V-2s.

I had two reaction to this exchange. First, I shrieked out loud. For the past semester (now thankfully over), I've been taking a class in which our sole grade is a mammoth research paper. [So blow that paper, blow the class.] Theoretically, you can choose any topic, but because so much of the paper depends on research, most people choose to cover something Alabama-related (so they can visit relevant archives in person). I chose one of my pet topics, the German rocket engineers who were plucked out of post-war Europe and planted right here in Alabama--the "Kraut brain trust" Clooney's character is referring to. It's good to choose something that you really, really like because you will grow to be really, really sick of it. I went through so many sources--Triumph of the Will, Twilight Zone episodes (and this one, countless newspaper and magazine articles, books in English and German, etc. Wolfram got me German research and helped me translate it. I started writing and got over half the paper done, but then I got stuck.

And then finally, in one grueling day, I spent nine straight hours in the library at school finishing the paper. At times, I started to hallucinate. I am also pretty sure that I wrote at least two pages of it while I was not fully conscious. I snapped back into consciousness, staring at the computer screen, and two pages were staring back at me. Before this, I'd had my oral German final and I spent most of it talking about that wretched paper. My German instructor asked if I had any other finals that day. "Nein, ich schreibe..." and then I couldn't remember the word for paper, so I just made a it-was-this-big gesture with my hands, like one might make to brag about a caught fish.

It's been over a week since I finished that and I'm just now okay with talking about, hearing about, thinking about said Kraut brain trust. So I thought I'd relax a bit and watch The Good German, but I was not prepared for the exchange above. Hence the shrieking.

My second reaction was "Franz Bettmann?!" I'd never heard of Franz Bettman. I was thinking, there is no possible way that there is a German rocket scientist [who would be mentioned in the same breath as von Braun] that I've never heard of. Just ask my millions of tears last Monday. So I googled and Wikipedia said, "Bettmann is only a minor character in the film; he appears to be based on the real Arthur Rudolph." Whew. Thank goodness.

Speaking of good German (Eppy Awards, best segue 2010), I did get my Christmas cards sent out. I apologize for any errant German that sneaked in. I have to always be practicing (I will be continuing to take it next semester), so it seeps into my regular language. Also, thank you to [livejournal.com profile] gfrancie, [livejournal.com profile] commieprincess, and [livejournal.com profile] kaytethinks for the cards you sent me.

Now I am going to get back to my movie. Happy Christmas Eve, everyone.

Oh and that paper? I made an A.
An outtake from my trip: Since the last time I was there, they've opened a 24-hour Duane Reade in the lower level of the building. Since I love 24-hour stores with the fervor of any nocturnal creature, this was the fuckin' best. Also, having one so close was useful for things like, if your e-mail from Monthly Info said "See you in two days!" and then turned into "Hey, I got an early flight!" that afternoon. One night before dinner, I stopped there to get something to eat on the way to the restaurant. [If you have not been informed that I eat like a hobbit, consider this your notice.] I got their brownie bites and what a delight they were.

As I tottered off toward Blue Ribbon, I passed a guy who looked exactly like this, baseball cap and all. It could have been him for all I know. In any case, I feel qualified to tell you that he was checking me out. And I was like, "Mmmrprmsmmmf...these brownies are amazing!" So, sorry, Keanu, if that were you. Rain check on sad sandwiches together?

Now I'm reading Mark Reads: The Hunger Games and I had to giggle at "Flesh-eaters??? Oh man, if these are like…zombies or irradiated mutants or something worse, I will DEEPLY LOVE THIS BOOK FOR A LONG TIME." Zombies or irradiated mutants in THG? Not quite (no spoilo), but it does remind me that I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth while I was in New York. It's a lot like The Village if shit had gotten really real and the monsters in the woods were real monsters. I will continue to read the series, although I have to admit that I didn't love it. The ending just kind of putters out and I kept getting Tegan and Sara's "Ocean" stuck in my head because Mary wouldn't stop yammering on about it. Stop crying to the ocean, stop crying over zombies...

Speaking of crying, my own regarding my schoolwork, particularly the research paper on Operation Paperclip, has lessened SOMEWHAT. By a microscopic bit. But really, I've almost converted my thoughts to "I have 2-3 [depending on the class] weeks to complete these papers--better start writing!" from a constant refrain of "OH GOD I ONLY HAVE 2-3 WEEKS LEFT THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN OH GOD OH MAN OH GOD OH MAN" right until the night before.

And now here's the part where I say that I'm going to go nap (because I should, because I'm sickly with allergische Rhinitis* or just the regular kind and I tried napping earlier this evening but I just had feverish dreams where Jake Gyllenhaal was my athletic, competitive brother whom I was trying to warn about an impending zombie attack), but really I'm going to watch The Daily Show [jk, they're on vacation] and meditate on the achingly lovely lankiness of a certain gentleman and listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (you can stop making albums this year, everyone else) and try to locate my Christmas cards.

*Because so much of the material that I'm studying is in German and I'm studying German, my thoughts tend to lapse into it, even when I don't intend it. Also, today I got annoyed because a guy next to me in class kept reading over my shoulder while I was making notes for my research paper so I wrote them all in German. There's probably a word in German for that. [Studieprivatsphäre?]
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Two chicks at once.

I LOVE YOU, CASSANDRA!

Oh God, August is so beautiful.

More sentences: No, really. So beautiful. I had to restrain myself from yelping when he appeared onscreen and still, a small squeal escaped. When
SPOILER )

Braugherheads may want to wait for this on disc, because I can't remember his actually having a line. It was like, "Hey! There's Andre Braugher!" Ten seconds later: Bye, Andre!

When they were doing the authentication process toward the end, were they transmitting on Angelina's modem from Hackers*? Because I can log into Tumblr quicker than that happened.

All in all, it was completely preposterous, but it was fun (waiting for August to reappear).

Also, they showed a Green Hornet trailer before the movie so I got to see Christoph and August and that's just good movie-making.

*"...this is insanely great--it's got a 28.8 kbps modem!"
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Look, as covered here and elsewhere, I have a lot of problems with the story and the lessons it teaches. But going to see the movies with my mom and my sister has become a fun tradition so while I'm not redecorating my room like Tanis, I am looking forward to the experience of seeing it with my family--the giggling, the candy high, the lady behind us talking to the screen.

But my mom better finish reading Eclipse before Monday (when we're going to see it) or she can't sit with us!


PS: Team Jacob!
This weekend I watched Ich bin die Andere, in which precious angel fallen to earth August Diehl plays an engineer who becomes enthralled by a woman after a chance encounter. And by chance encounter, I mean after their private parts high five.

So much of this movie left me utterly flummoxed. First of all, is the red dress/blonde hair look Carolin sports supposed to be ~sexy? Because it reminded me of this:



And I couldn't understand why Robert, August's character, found her so intriguing. Then there's the age thing. I just processed that as part of the story when the movie began, like, "Welp, he's attracted to an older woman." Then it became clear that they were trying to act like Carolin and Robert were around the same age. Nope. No.

This would have been ridiculous enough, if the audience weren't also expected to accept that Barbara Auer's character is old enough to have been Carolin's nanny. Barbara Auer is 4 years older than Katja Riemann, but she doesn't look markedly older, especially in this movie, where she actually looks younger.

On top of all this, the shocking twists were telegraphed well in advance, except for the ones that I think were supposed to be shocking, if they were comprehensible in the slightest.

August was pretty, though.

TL;DR: As I said on Tumblr, the fuck did I just watch?

..............

Um, I also watched The Runaways, which was basically a love letter to Cherie Currie from Joan Jett. It was gorgeous (Duh Aficionado: Floria Sigismondi knows her way around the visual medium) and I liked it a lot.

..............

From a teenager on tumblr: "Look at billboard charts from the early 90s; look up the songs; listen to them. Most of them have meaningful lyrics or are trying to relay a message. It wasn’t about the hottest beat, getting wasted, or talking shit about other rappers."

I knew their burgeoning interest in Nirvana would come to no good. I feel like Tom Haverford.

  • I was literally feverish last weekend, rushing through my True Blood recap for The Boob so I could get a bit of sleep on Monday before leaving for Atlanta and Conan. The fever meant that everything about the experience--the oppressive heat, Reggie Watts's act, the beach balls, the giant inflated bat, Evander Holyfield, Jack McBrayer--was very surreal. The fact that the Fox Theatre's auditorium is built to look like an Arabian courtyard under a night sky with actual twinkling stars and moving clouds did not help. There was an additional odd element in Conan's singing--well, anything for that matter but especially "Poke Salad Annie," since there were probably a few people in the audience that have actually eaten poke salad. I'd be surprised if Conan has. But we had fun and I think Coco and crew did, too.
  • I finished reading Drood finally. Drood, by Dan Simmons, is a 800-page spooky story and I'm not sure I understand the ending totally. I'm not sure if I don't get it or if I'm willfully not getting it because doing so would involve accepting that the end is a few streets over from "it was all a dream." I'm just going to pretend that it's about purgatory. But I do have one question, which was not answered to my satisfaction: Wilkie, what was in the servants' staircase?!


  • I saw some movies:


  • Mother's Little Helpers--How to make me watch anything:



    The description of the movie sounded like some sort of Loverboy sex comedy from the 80s, but the tone was different from what I was expecting and there were some great performances in this. Gallner was perfect as always, but also good was Sarah Hyland, among others.

    Splice--There is a certain part that has upset some people, I know, but I found an earlier part, when Elsa tries to cure Dren's "species confusion," much more upsetting. I thought the characterization was paper-thin. One of Conan's writers said that you can always tell when a comedian bombed a joke because they bust out a "shit's crazy, though." That's what the idea that Splice provokes discussion about genetic engineering or abortion or family is like to me, in that it provokes discussion only so far as "Genetic engineering...shit's crazy, though." It may refer or allude to these things but when we get there, it doesn't seem to have very much to say. When we have a discussion, the audience shouldn't have to provide all the conversation. TL;DR: I wasn't very impressed by this.

  • Personal life stuff...is personal. I have some stuff going on. Legal stuff. Idk, I can't really talk about it, for legal reasons. But anyway, in the actual personal part, as in my feelings, let me just say that I've seen and read and heard from some of you about your feelings--feelings of despair, feelings of sadness, etc--and in the manner of the famous bit from The History Boys, consider this part as my hand taking yours.
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I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it.
I was googling "weeping angels" the other day, as one does, when I stumbled upon this list of scariest TV characters. Now it's all subjective, of course, but I thought it was a pretty good list. But then again, maybe that's because it names the only thing on TV that's ever really scared me--the Peacock family.

[X-Files spoilers follow, although I don't know why I'm spoilering this since it's been a looooong time since it was on TV and this episode's been repeated umpteen times since then. (Salomé, say "since" again.) Although my mom did ask me last week if I "still watch the X-Files."]

The pride. The love... )

That's one of the things I've noticed that always scares me--the notion that there is no place to hide, there is no escape. Nightmare on Elm Street runs on that energy. I slept with the light on while reading American Psycho not because of the variety of grotesque incidents recounted--although that didn't help--but because of this part: ..that if she had gone to Nell's or Indochine or Mars or Au Bar instead of M.K., if she had simply not taken the cab with me to the Upper West Side, that this all would have happened anyway. I would have found her.

Yeah, I don't feel so good now. (Also, I have "Against All Odds" stuck in my head now.) I need a palate cleanser. Oh, I know! I posted this on Tanis's facebook a coupla weeks ago and it's been making me laugh ever since.



It may also be the reason why I tell my Boston every day that he's the most beautiful creature I've met.

My thoughts on last night's Glee, briefly (no real spoilers):


*I'm glad they acknowledged how terrible "Run, Joey, Run" is.
*I loved the Casino reference not in spite of, but because it was so obscure and nerdy. Because I am also obscure and nerdy. First Community, now Glee--Scorcese, I think you might be going somewhere!
*If Brittany is not the best, then that's because Puck is.
*If Brittany is not the best, that's unpossible.
*There's never an excuse for stirrup pants!
Regarding Duh Aficionado Magazine: Tim James, Nominee For Governor Of Alabama, Is An Asshole--

A) I'm sayin'!
B) I love that he has a plantation accent like my own. It makes "[T]his is Alabama--we speak English" so much more compelling, especially since increasingly fewer people speak English exactly like us.
C) Alabama is not an English word.
D) The driver's license exam is offered in so many languages to meet standards for federal funding. If Alabama did not comply with the standards, it would lose money, not save it.
E) "Does it to you?"
F) Why is there a businessman in him?

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I liked this question better when I read it as "long-term panther."

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