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.

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?]
wolfpangs: (made a swiveling chair--now I nap)
Five hundred nervous fits later, I finally got my first paper for Early Republic back:

Ooh, suspense... )

And in other American history news, I finished Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter today and while I'm not sure how I feel about the very end, it was a fun read.
The 3 dumbest things I read concerning American school childrens this week:

1) Rather than allow a lesbian student to attend with her girlfriend, the local school board in Fulton, MS, votes to cancel Itawamba Agricultural High School's senior prom for everyone.
2) A middle school student who was handed Adderall and handed it back was suspended because having it in her hand constitutes possession.
3) "The board approves the amendment, taking Thomas Jefferson OUT of the world history standards." I...just...how...this...aaarage stroke.

Going for the EGOT in civic duty:

1) I did my part on Tuesday, voting in the special election on whether or not to legalize the sale of alcohol in this city only. By a margin of 28 votes, the measure is denied. The city stays dry.
2) Via buccal swab, I donated samples to the marrow registry. As I was doing so, I laughed about my family's commitment to medical science--I was, after all, giving this sample in the same building where I have anthropology (and Psychology and Law). I was complaining about the tables in that building when my sister said, "You know that's where PawPaw is, right?" I did not know that. See, my paternal grandfather died last fall and that's when we found out that he'd donated his body to UAB. And now he's in Campbell Hall, where I am twice a week.

[By the way, speaking of my family and our association with medical science--people can have all sorts of opinions. Isn't that great? A world full of people with opinions. It's nice. And you can express those opinions whenever you want. But see, here's the thing. If you are a Gonstead chiropractor who's anti-vaccination, please don't use my family's name in association with expressing this viewpoint. The Gonst(e)ad family is strongly pro-vax and we want no part of your monkeyshines.]

Also, Tuesday, I developed a raging toothache. After realizing that I'd downed 6 OTC pain relievers in the first coupla hours I'd been at work, I called my mother and begged her to break the glass on my emergency Vicodin stash, which she did. I was supposed to have a filling last week, but the appointment was canceled the day of. So, I went to the dentist Thursday afternoon, following a long day of school. This visit, like the last visit, I saw the other guy who works there, the newer guy, not the practice owner whom I'm used to.

He asked me if anything aggravated the tooth pain and I said only cold drinks and foods. He asked if anything relieved the pain and I said painkillers. I wasn't sure what else I could say. The same night my mom brought the Vicodin, she also brought some eugenol. That worked somewhat, but really it only masked the pain around the tooth and oh yeah, it tasted like fellating a zombie. I'm not sure if this was some sort of tell that triggered the addiction interrogation procedure, but that's what it felt like I got, which, look. I've been going to this practice for a few years now. I've gotten a sum total of two prescriptions for Vicodin issued before Thursday, each for ten pills each. Each prescription was issued at least a year ago. If I were feenin' for Vicodin, one would think I'd be working a little harder to get it.

Dr.: Do you have any allergies?
Me: Not really.
Dr.: "Not really"?
Me: Nothing that would affect anything here.

I am allergic to liquid All detergent and I have a strong sensitivity to dextromethorphan. As long as we're not doing laundry and/or robotripping, it's cool.

Dr.: Do you take any medication?
Me: No.
Dr.: When's the last time you visited a doctor?

I am going to assume he meant more of a general doctor, not specialists, and doesn't want to hear about my visit last week to talk about my upcoming "lid eval" for my Forest Whitaker eye. Anyway, the last time I saw someone for something other than a specific body part was that time I ripped my artery open and they stapled me back together.

Dr.: So no medication?
Me: I take a multivitamin. And biotin. Sometimes I take extra vitamin C and iron.
Dr.: No birth control?

Is "birth control" code for any of those things I just said? Then, no.

Dr.: Are you pregnant or is there a chance you could be pregnant?
Me: Oh, child. Bless your heart.

It was so irritating. They knew there was an outstanding problem--I'd had the filling scheduled, after all, and he'd noticed himself that there were issues with the teeth that were hurting. I'm sorry that they couldn't pinpoint for themselves what exactly was causing the problem, but gah. At one point, he asked if a root canal would be something I'd want to look into and I was like, "Just give me a root canal. Just do it. I don't care." And I don't. Root canals don't scare me. I am more haunted by the fact that I can't eat the delicious frozen mango in my freezer right now.

Finally, I got my Vicodin and I have my mango so I've got that going for me, which is nice. Also, I'm not sure if you know this, but Christoph Waltz won an Oscar.* Below: The photo metaphor of my deepest wish.

PS: I see what you did there, Colbert.

*This has been my favorite thing to say to everyone this week.
Last week was stupid:

a) Violent Films class turned out to be not so great.

I dropped my violent film class. Perhaps I will take it at a later time, but this semester, having a class from 5:30PM-8PM is just not feasible. Plus, I wasn't that thrilled with the instructor. For one thing, he needs to distinguish between fact and opinion. I saw that same remark on ratemyprofessors, but usually that's just code for "told me I was wrong." In this case, he sets up questions with debateable answers as if they require fact-based answers. Like, "Which film is the pinnacle of betrayal movies?"** I didn't realize we'd had a definitive vote. Also, I didn't really care for his attitude, the way he was dismissive of movies that he clearly hadn't seen, among other things. He said that Hostel was an example of "as violent a film as you could think of," and at first, I was like, you need to see more movies. Then, he seemed to think that Hostel had a limited release (?), and made no social statements. Later, he told us that we'd need to read legitimate critics and not the "Live At Channel Five" kind of stuff or people like Ebert. Um, excuse you. But the biggest crime...we spent the last half of the class watching Gomorrah, which I'd been wanting to see, but hadn't gotten around to yet. It came out last year, but its release, unlike Hostel's, actually was limited. We didn't finish the movie by the time class was almost over, SO HE TOLD US HOW IT ENDED.

My pearls shattered from the force of my clutching them.

[I dropped the film class for Psychology and Law, which seems interesting so far, although I involuntarily make a face every time the teacher refers to his libertarianism. I also have that problem in Early Republic when the teacher refers to Alexander Hamilton. In P&L, we have to use this thingy called an iclicker. It's like a remote and we use it to take pop quizzes and answer impromptu polls, much like the electronic trivia games they have in certain restaurants. It's kind of fun.]
b) Had to stay at work TEN HOURS to fix malware-related issues [I came back to work from the weekend to find it had messed up agaiRAGE STROKE].
c) Car wouldn't start [because I was like, "Heh, I'ma go crank up my car since I'm about to leave"...two hours later, I finally got to leave].
d) I know some other stuff went down, but I've apparently already blocked it out. Oh, I bought a new workout shirt and it gave me a rash.

The weekend was great:

a) Since the week was rough, I planned a soft weekend: nothing but watching movies and maybe reading and working on this cross-stitching project I've been thinking about for a while. The second season of Being Human just started too, so that was nice. I think I may recap it for Boob Tube.
b) I watched World's Greatest Dad, The Hurt Locker, and Up in the Air. I liked all three.
c) It kind of makes me laugh that people are apparently renting World's Greatest Dad and just expecting it to be a heart-warming Robin Williams family film. They are apparently missing the fact that it was written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. And that it's about [minor spoiler] a high school* poetry teacher whose obnoxious teenage son accidentally dies in an autoerotic asphyxiation accident.
d) The Hurt Locker, although outstanding, was perhaps not the best movie to watch in my sensitive state. Why I decided to follow that with Up in the Air, during which I sobbed like a little girl at the firing sequences, is beyond me.
e) I went out for dinner with my mom and I've been daydreaming about the baked crab ever since. So yummy.

Things that make me want to punch myself in my nonexistent balls:

a) Owl City, esp in that one song where he's like "I keep them in a jar." I believe it's called "Firefly Snuff Film."
b) The Tonight Show shenanigans
c) This weekend's episode of SNL
d) About this Avatar win: Now, I wasn't that upset about it winning...at first. I did think that The Hurt Locker deserved it more, but I dunno. I was feeling pretty mellow, I guess. I was probably still half-asleep. I was only slightly annoyed when James Cameron spoke Na'vi because of course, he's going to speak Na'vi. But when he wanted everyone in the room to give themselves a round of applause for having such great jobs, oh golly gee?

Things about the Golden Globes that did not send me into rage comas:

a) Hey, Christoph Waltz: Are you an ass scientist, because your ass--blah blah blah, you get the point.
b) When The White Ribbon won, I "Woo!"ed embarrassingly loudly.

...also, after the Golden Globes, I watched Aziz Ansari's standup special, which I'd DVR-ed and laughed so hard it made me dizzy.

*Said high school's mascot is, of course, the Fighting Pugs...Tanis.
**The answer was Donnie Brasco.
Although I was initially slightly miffed (I was totally sour) about my school being the only one in the region--nay, the state*--which was not canceled on Snow Day/BCS Championship Game Day, I must admit that it was kind of nice not having that much traffic on the way to school. Also, I really like driving in the snow. Walking in it, not so much. In fact, it was when I was getting teabagged by snow flakes on my way to anthropology class that I wondered if I could, in fact, melt the snow by the heat of my pure rage.

Speaking of, you know how to make a class of students already irritated that they're in class while no one else is even madder? Have the first website you bring up on the overhead be "10 Reasons Why Texas Will Beat Alabama." (PS: Some chicken, some neck.)

About a week before school started, I'd been eager to return, actually getting bored with winter break. What was I thinking? There was Christmas and I got some pretty cool things, including the floral print Doc Martens I wanted from my mom and Hunter boots from my dad (I live in t-shirts and boots, yes). The Docs have helped a lot with the ongoing snow. In fact, they probably would have helped the dude I saw break his leg as I was arriving at the bookstore on Friday. He stepped off the curb and that was it.

Tomorrow I will go back to school and here is a pointless complaint: I hate the tables in my anthro class. They're not regular tables with regular chairs--the chairs are connected to the table, two at a time, and they swivel and dip and rotate on their axes like a non-mechanized Scrambler. Theoretically, I think, a person with normal length legs would sit there normally, all la dee dah, look at me--I have human size legs. Smaller people, like myself, instead have to cling to the table like a wood tick, because every time I let go, I feel not unlike I'm going to be flung against the wall. I just want to go back to my building (the home of the history dept), where the tables are normal. And all my other classes are in the same room (save forensic science, which is online).

Upside, the guy who sits in front of me kind of looks like Ezra Koenig**. He wore a trenchcoat to class on Thursday. And a sweater over a buttondown. He has a Vineyard Vines sticker on his laptop. He is so preppy that I almost can't take it.

Tonight, I went to Hobby Lobby, to pick up some supplies for a terrible cross-stitch project I'm working on. It shares a wall with a gym and I guess Monday's an aerobics night, because the whole time I was in that corner of the store, I'd hear periodic yelps of encouragement. Shopping was very exciting. WOOOOOOOO, EMBROIDERING WITH A HOOP!

[Sidenote: Perfume people, they're selling these boxes that are ostensibly for tea storage, but would be perfect for 5ml bottles--lids with glass insets, built in dividers.]

*Possibly not true
**I call him space student. PS: "I Think Ur A Contra" rulez!

Dear Diary,

Yesterday I was walking to class when my earphones shorted out in one side. I was annoyed, mostly because I'd planned to pass the almost two hour gap before film class by watching a movie. Then, as I walked into the building for my first class, a few classmates of mine told me that class was canceled. The announcement had been posted to Blackboard about the same time I was getting on the interstate. It was starting to seem like a 40 degree day.

I checked the Barnes & Noble website (they're our school bookstore) to see if they had headphones. Not only did they carry my preferred brand, but they were at competitive prices. So, taking advantage of my extra time, I went across the street to the store. I was kind of peckish, so I did a quick survey of their snack items. To my surprise, the store stocks Muddy Bears, the odd little candy I've loved for years but have been unable to find outside of the internet. (Sometimes, the internet is just not as good as IRL.)

Later, in history of film class, we watched Citizen Kane because duh. I don't know why I was so down on this movie the first time I saw it. It really is the best. It's funny and beautiful and so sad. One thing I'm sort of curious about is the relationship Kane had with Mr. Leland. Maybe I'm looking at it through my modern eyes, but there seemed to be a hint of something besides friendship going on. I tried to consult the think tank at the IMDB messageboard, but I got distracted, somewhere in between the "omg so boring" and "Citizen Kane vs. Crank 2 High Voltage" threads. Anyway, upon second viewing, I really liked it.

So, despite my misgivings, it turned out to be more like a 60 degree day. And now I'm 3 weeks away from going back to NYC. And this local ad is making the internet rounds. Adjustment: 70 degree day.
Wednesday, I woke up feeling unwell and by Thursday morning, I could barely stay upright. I missed a day of class, but luckily, I had the whole weekend after that to recover. I was a bit worried that it'd be something more serious, but it seems to be nothing more than a cold or lycanthropy. This is the first time in a long time that I've been sick and been able actually to do all the things you're supposed to do, like rest and get plenty of fluids and feed it. It's awesome! It kind of sucks because I can't go out and do anything--don't need to spread my sickness--but I want to do all kinds of things because I'm so well-rested.

Instead, I'm having to confine myself to indoor sports, like movies and homework. Registration for spring semester will open next month, so I wanted to go ahead and plan out my schedule, especially since I didn't get to this semester and wound having to pick the bones. My tentative schedule for spring:

Religion and Crime
Early Republic, 1789-1828
American Film and Violent Society
Intro to Forensic Science

I am very excited about all of them. I haven't been able to find out much about Religion and Crime, beyond the books we're reading, but it sounded interesting. I wanted to take Early Republic since I first saw it in the catalog ("This course covers the history of the United States in its first four decades, a period designated the “early republic” by historians.")

And I was like, :D but then I went snooping on my professor (doesn't matter how great the class is if your professor is like, "Derp, what's a history?") and found that "[h]is current research focuses on early American nationalism and conceptions of national identity, with a particular emphasis on the thought of Thomas Jefferson."

AWESOME. Of course, I should start reading now because according to the last available syllabus, there are six required books, along with various other articles and whatnots. [Strap in, we're about to go super-nerd.] Of course, it kind of annoys me having to buy The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. I already own the Federalist Papers I use them as an aphrodisiac, but I guess I get to own them again.

In movie news, I watched Trick 'r Treat last night/today and I really liked it. It's very 80s style and hearkens back to the classic horror anthologies. I read that some people think it's overhyped and that it shouldn't be compared to the classics, but some of those classics are not-so-great in my opinion and you know, sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.
*This is pretty much how I've decorated my room, except with waaaaaay less Robert Pattinson. And don't put your shoes on my bedding!

Speaking of, I keep going back to this article I read in the Daily Fail about the rise of the non-threatening man-boy actor and I have to agree. I've been watching a lot of European movies and as I said to my mother, "Ugh. Why are American actors so gross?" That is not to say that they're all gross. Just a lot of them. And by gross, I mean...I cannot be attracted to a man that looks like he spends more time getting ready than I do. I'm not really attracted to men that look like they came from a blister pack. I like imperfection. One of the things I notice the most in European movies is the teeth. They're crooked and normal color--not a lot of blinding white smiles.

*Oh God, I want to go! You had me at Werner Herzog, but then: Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.

*I finally got everything settled with school. I don't really know what to say about that--I'm kind of stunned that my biggest school problem is how high the stools are in the cafeteria. [Below: Artist's rendering.]

*Anyway, I would talk more about my personal life, but I don't have one! It's all writing and school and research and Hershey's Caramel Apple Kisses. Oh, I did teach Sadie how to high five. And I'm going to the Sidewalk Film Festival this week, so maybe I can find someone to help me with my application movie for Werner Herzog summer camp and in the meantime, here's Eric Idle responding to comments left on the Monty Python yt channel:

"And Gilliam, of course, being American went to no known school at all."
*I cannot even begin to understand the trailer for Boondock Saints: Live Free or Huh? Hard.

Isn't Billy Connolly Scottish? Aren't the Saints Oirish? Clifton Collins, Jr., what are you doing in this movie? What, Peter Fonda? Two second Judd Nelson cameo?

*Scanners head explosion*

By the way, he's not in this one (I don't think), but he was in the first one so it's relevant--we used to call our landscaping crew the Willem Dafoes, because they all looked like Willem Dafoe in Platoon.

*My Tumblr is really amusing me right now, because out of all of my online haunts, it is mayhap the clearest picture of my psyche: history junk, Batman, lusting over German actors, dirty rap music, ultraviolence, perfume, pandas, Clint Eastwood westerns...oh, and your mom.

*Dammit. I thought of something a little ago that I needed to travel back in time (and kill Hitler and) for, but I can't remember what it was.

But hey, speaking of Hitler, remember when he and Lenin used to go over to that Jewish family's house and just be cold-chillin', playing chess? Hitler's art teacher captured the magic:

By the way, the inset photo is of the chessboard they supposedly used--it's not like I'm saying, "This is what a chessboard looks like, dumplings." And I watched The Liberation of Auschwitz ("Shot by the Soviet cameraman attached to the 1st Ukrainian front, this documentation, used by as prosecution evidence at the Nuremburg War Crime Trials...") earlier, so I'm really all out of the ha ha's on this subject.

And of course, I'm stuffing all this distraction into my brain to take a braincation away from thinking about the ongoing anniversary of Katrina and its aftermath.

*So anyway, my school makes us all purchase Dining Dollars, even if we're commuter students. On the one hand, this is so annoying because I'm not a babe far from home, unable to feed myself. On the other hand, if Starbucks brings back the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, which they will if they know what's good for them, having my dining debit card will rule. See, there's a Starbucks in the library at school because stimulation.

*This comment me LOL so hard.

*Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to start focusing on my friends page. And myself. And Daniel Brühl. And August Diehl. And other fine Germanic menfolk.
Why can't I be loved as what I am--
A wolf among wolves...

As I mentioned in my last entry, I have been so freakin' busy. So busy, in fact, that I've been way more stressed out than I have been in a long time. I've been so stressed out that it's manifested itself in physical symptoms--I've been turning into a monster! I might actually be lycanthropizing.

Speaking of, Sadie has begun to growl. This is how it starts.

The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

We are working on organizing our thoughts on Inglourious Basterds for Boob Tube, but in short: I loved it, I have a raging crush on Daniel Brühl, my raging crush on August Diehl continues unabated. The equivalent of porn to me, below:

It's clear as black and white, like a fat panda.

Don't think the birth of a panda at San Diego Zoo went unnoticed by me. I get alerts from PNN, yo. By the way, since the earthquake, 25 have been born to the Wolong pandas (currently chillin' at Ya'an). Ugh, this guy.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, Andy, a C minus in Women's Studies?
President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah, well, that class wasn't about what I thought it was about.

Mainly I've been busy with starting school, adjusting to a new school, and trying to construct a schedule I can live with. I finally settled it with women's studies, an American lit class, an online anthropology class, and my favorite, a class on the history of film. We'll be watching Un Chien Andalou (of course), so I can't wait to share my favorite story about it. Hit it, Ebert: I am fond of his practical approach to matters. Warned that angry mobs might storm the screen at the Paris premiere of "Un Chien Andalou," he filled his pockets with stones to throw at them.

PS: I am in women's studies because I wrote down the wrong room number and went to women's studies instead of the class I was supposed to be in. I ended up liking it more, though, so I switched.

We have to live without sympathy, don't we? We can't do that forever. One can't stay out of doors all the time. One needs to come in from the cold.

I read The Spy Who Came In From the Cold. What a book! I dreaded anyone asking me what it was about because all I would have been able to offer is an um-studded babble of "It's about this spy, um, who comes in from the cold...." I had no idea how it was all going to go until the last chapters and the ending knocked me flat, much like the last four words of 1984.

The Gonstad girls are all alike!

I've had an overload of family experiences this week. Last Saturday, we had a party for Sadie's first birthday. During, my dad decided that he and my uncle should take a look at my car, because I couldn't open the hood. (I hit a guy, okay?) They got the hood open, forced some things back into place (after gleefully realizing they'd "have" to chain my car to my dad's truck to do so), and checked the various fluids and whatnot, which were all low (because I couldn't open the hood!). Then my uncle declared the previous italicized statement, because one of my cousins apparently recently brushed off her need for an oil change.

We also had a memorial service for my paternal grandfather on Thursday. Most of us, I don't think, realized that it would also be used as an opportunity to remember our paternal grandmother as well (she passed over a decade ago). That was bad enough (no one was able to mention her without choking up), but they played a slideshow, which featured my dad and siblings with afros, my cousin Jana and me as FAT BABIES!!! (tm, key lime pie), and then a horrific trip through the 80s. I am glad I am nearly unrecognizable in those.
+ Stop objectifying me, NPR!

+ I will be going to UAB this fall. Or really, starting next month.

+ I am going to see live Rifftrax next month.

+ I found out something this week that is probably more appropriate for a locked entry, so I'll deal with that shortlyish.

Be back later--I have to hike the Appalachian trail now.
Squirt must have read the same hot/not article I read recently that listed feather headbands as out, since he helpfully mouth-destroyed mine. Now feathers keep mysteriously appearing everywhere.

What hasn't reappeared anywhere is my folder of materials that I've been using for my mixed media paintings. Oh, yes. I'm painting now. And I've had this folder of various clippings, as well as quotes from a number of sources, that I've been saving for years for some vague artistic purpose. Now I've finally figured out something to do with them--never underestimate what I'll come up with to get out of screenwriting--and I've managed to Amelia Bedelia the folder to God knows where. This folder will end up being some place I can't even imagine now, much like how I found my paintbrushes drying in my Easter basket. (You can see a sneak peek of one of my paintings here.)

I've decided to take the summer off from school. I have a lot of books to read! Also, I like my mental health. And I need a break!

Other things:

The New York Times spent 36 hours in Birmingham. I love that first picture because that is my beloved old man bar (my power animal is a grumpy old man). In fact, that may be me in the photo--I dunno, I'm drinking when I'm there. By the way, the article recommends some charcuterie thing at Hot and Hot Fish Club which sounds gaaaross--however, if you happen to visit there and it's in the summer months, you will be remiss if you do not order the tomato salad. *Homer Simpson drool*

Speaking of the Times, Randall Munroe, creator of the wonderful xkcd, appears in an article featuring a photo whose caption I will be borrowing for my bio.

I am totally going to make these. Also, Starbucks please bring back the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate already. Or don't.

Kindertrauma: "...the movies, books, and toys that scared you when you were a kid."

Speaking of scaring children, [livejournal.com profile] zooby and I found hilariously disturbing some advice we read on the internet telling parents not to forget to tell children the "real story of Easter." This someecard sums up why. The real story of Easter is an "astounding horror." On that note, here's Slate's very interesting piece Why Was Jesus Crucified?: "A central statement in traditional Christian creeds is that Jesus was crucified 'under Pontius Pilate.' But the majority of Christians have only the vaguest sense what the phrase represents, and most non-Christians probably can't imagine why it's such an integral part of Christian faith...Linking Jesus' death with Pilate represents the insistence that Jesus was a real person, not merely a figure of myth or legend. More than this, the phrase also communicates concisely some pretty important specifics of that historical event. For one thing, the statement asserts that Jesus didn't simply die; he was killed. This was a young man's death in pain and public humiliation, not a peaceful end to a long life." Now who wants chocolate bunnies?!

I...don't know. There's really not a way to follow that on a high note. So I'm going to go drink sweet tea and do some writing and maybe paint. And definitely update my Facebook status. Happy birthday.

Oh, PS: If you haven't seen the (NSFW) video from which I got my icon, here 'tis:

The other day, one of my instructors asked us where the first (WWII-era) concentration camp was. [Man, do I know how to open a post on a high note or what?] No one answered, so he gave us a hint by saying it was near Munich. Like it was Pavlovian, I immediately said, "Dachau." I didn't even know that I knew that. Then I realized how I knew that:

Mr. Schmidt, recently arrived in a small Bavarian village which lies eight miles northwest of Munich...

And unfortunately, I realized that right as I was taking a sip of Dr. Wham--yes, it's a real thing--and almost asphyxiated because of course I would get my random history trivia from the glass teat.

We've been talking about WWII a lot the last week and we probably will be talking about it a lot this week, so I look forward to the opportunity to frighten people with my knowledge of terrible stuff (see also: talking about serial killers in psych classes). It's all the same curiosity, though--I just keep hoping that at some point, it'll all click and I'll understand how people become monsters. And yeah, I had to laugh when I realized where I'd first learned to draw a link between Nazis and other monsters (see the part from about :18 to :58).

For those of you who can't see youtube:

Scary German Guy: *shows kids his reflection to show that he couldn't be a monster*
His name is Horace!: Man, you sure know a lot about monsters.
Scary German Guy: Now that you mention it, I suppose I do. *closes door as camera focuses on his forearm*

And they say popculture rots your brains. On that note, The Different Kinds of People That There Are. I particularly enjoyed People Who Don't Watch TV: "Are we really still having this conversation? Television is a part of the cultural landscape at this point—a lot of it is good. A lot of it is bad, some of which is also good. You know, LIKE ALL THINGS MADE BY HUMANS?" I'm sayin'.

And for those of you who have no idea what that movie is, see here for the glory you've been missing. Now get out there and rock until you drop! Dance until your heart stops! Rock until you drop! Dance until your feet fall off!

(Seriously--you haven't seen it? Really? Man. "Look, what your brother is so delicately attempting to inquire is the degree to which you may have or have not, at some point in time... been dorked." That. You missed that.)
Now you know.

Now I wish I could stay home and watch Just One of The Guys, but I have to go take a polysci exam. Booooo.
wolfpangs: (the hunt)
Oh, that's cool:
  • The new Google phone: I was looking around at new smartphones and my iphone dreams died when I got a look at AT&T's coverage map. Nothing at Verizon really did it for me, so I headed over to my current carrier, Tmo and saw the link for the G1. I'll let you guess at what moment I was sold. I will do some more wait and see with reviews until I actually give them money, though.

  • What's the only thing that would make sweet tea better? Oh, child.

  • Drunk history (that's vol. 1). Funny and still more coherent than my assbad world history class.

  • Excavation at the WTC site reveals Ice Age bedrock. They're a page right out of history...

  • I made cup pies finally (they were becoming my culinary Satchel Paige musical) and they were everything I dreamed they could be.

Ugh, that is not cool:

  • My assbad world history class.

  • The Emmys. (See also: watching the Emmys, having to write about the Emmys, the Emmys cutting off Kirk Ellis in mid-acceptance speech, the hosts for the Emmys, and my personal nadir, the fact that--light of my life, fire of my loins--Stephen Dillane was ROBBED!!!1!.)

  • “I have a commitment not to kiss any other woman,” Kirk Cameron told Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford Monday on TODAY in New York. "Even in acting, you're still doing it." To get around the conflict, the filmmakers employed a bit of movie magic, Cameron explained. They dressed his wife, actress Chelsea Noble, like the movie’s female lead and shot the scene in silhouette.

  • I still have staples in my leg. :(

B. Explain, please.

C. I'd pretty much resolved that I was trying for UVa and commenced to fantasizing about the cabin in the woods I'll totally be living in with my cat and my nerdiness. All of a sudden, NYU has started hitting me up like a repentant ex who just realized he effed up by letting me go. We'll see how things go after I take my SAT and ACT again (the last time I took them, I scratched my answers onto a stone wall).

D. Thanks to everyone for their kind words regarding my not dying. I do appreciate it. As for my leg, it's still pretty gross but it stings only a little bit. It really hasn't hurt all that much except for the moment I got cut.

E. I just took the Canada skilled workers self-assessment test. I made a 78. Obviously, they've seen my cartographic work.

F. Now back to the screenplay mines.
When I went to school today, I was very confused by all the extra people on campus. I didn't even think about my school housing evacuees, but it is and it took the apparently unusual step of remaining open while sheltering. We have around 900 at Wallace College, where I live, and they canceled their classes for the beginning of the week. At my school, there are about 300-400 people staying in our gym. It's very odd. The bookstore (on the other side of the building as the gym) is locked and you have to show a student ID to get in. A classmate even got patted down. They have police tape around the perimeter of the building...

...and "interacting" with the evacuees is discouraged.

Uh, that kinda freaks me out. In between my math class and history, I went to my car to get some change for a drink. Because I was running late, I'd had to park way over in the farthest row, which is the row in front of the gym. My path from my car to history took me through a swarm of children who were running around and playing with members of the girls' softball team. Blue Bell was there, delivering ice cream to the evacuees.

NB: I took this from the pathway next to my history building. I didn't want to be that guy photographing children and I didn't want to rush up on them like they were on a midway, hence my vantage point.

This is from my sk so I hope it works. Oh and also, they replaced my favorite parking row with dirt. Good, I've often said that parking is too convenient on campus.

Now onto history, my nerdy end-of-day treat.



October 2012



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