1. Did I ever tell you how I got into massage? It is a very heartwarming story. A friend of mine was thinking about going to school for it and I read her brochure and thought, Well, there's an idea. The end. I've never really felt a calling toward any particular field. I mostly want to dance and hang out. I love American history and the idea of teaching it, but the realities of the American educational system are hard to ignore. I'm not saying that I have eschewed the idea entirely, but just that every time I tell people I'm majoring in history, emphasis American, and they say, "Oh, you're going to teach?"--I'm full. No more for me, thanks--I'm full. However, I think I've found the career that combines many of the things I enjoy, such as putting things right that once went wrong (they're not hiring at the Quantum Leap project, unforch) and raging patriotism (I took the inner nationality quiz on Facebook and I'm secretly an American*). And that is, the Bureau.

Me: I'm going to apply to the Bureau.
My mom: What bureau?
Me: The politburo--I'm going into Russian politics in my time machine.

Or not. I think I'm going to apply to be a G-Lady. I say "think" because I still have to finish school and who knows what number of ideas I'll have by then ("This is too hard. Let's quit and be firemen instead"). As I said, the job--I'll be applying to become a Special Agent--appeals to me on a number of levels, like its insistence on "rigorous obedience to the Constitution" and the chance to use my most unique skill set--the fact that because I'm small and giggly, many people underestimate me. They don't realize how juicy my mind grapes are, such as. Osama bin Laden, I'ma get my mind juice on you! (I am considering entering as a language specialist, specifically Arabic. So if anyone asks, don't tell them about that time at Bible camp.)

2. I've watched some movies lately. I watched S. Darko and...hmm. Maybe if there were no predecessor, I would have liked it better, but as there was a Donnie Darko, it's hard to judge S. Darko on its own merits. The fact that DD creator Richard Kelly had nothing to do with the movie is problematic to say the least. Further, as it's impossible to take in the movie without thinking about the first movie's mythology, the more you think about S. Darko, the less sense it makes. And the ending was just nonsense. Upside: I really liked Daveigh Chase's wardrobe! Sidenote: Is it true that her name is pronounced more like "duvet" ("Duh-Vay" as her wiki entry says) and not like Davey? I don't know how to feel about that.

I also watched the Norwegian horror about Nazi zombies, Død snø. [Below: I don't like this vacation anymore.]

Død snø, which focuses on a group of students on holiday at a ski cabin who inadvertently wake up some nasty spirits, was much better. It's funny, scary, and gross (there's a scene involving something utilized as a rope that I'll bet people will be talking about). It was interesting to me how it was obviously influenced by American movies--as seen in the trailer, one character even quotes, in English, Indiana Jones's "Fortune and glory, kid"--but the way the characters react to certain situations is different, I think, from how they'd react in an American movie. One example: When the random old dude shows up to lecture them on how they're spoiled brats who didn't bother to notice that the territory they're in was a Nazi supply stop, one of the characters can't help but get sarcastic about the possibility of waking up the Nazis who were trapped in an avalanche during their occupation. Random old dude grabs the kid and the rest of his friends suddenly become very interested in their shoes. In an American movie, somebody would have called the old dude an asshole, at least.

That's not to say that the characters are pushovers. It's noteworthy that this is a movie about Norwegians facing off with Nazis--La Résistance gets most of the ink, but Norway had a healthy resistance movement as well. In fact, when they first got their "On the occasion of your being occupied" note from the Third Reich, Norway's response was basically, "Fuck your face." [History pedant: *monocle adjustment* Actually, it was "We will not submit voluntarily; the struggle is already under way."] The progeny of the Norwegian resistance puts up a worthy fight as well. The character Vegard is a notable standout at this--watching him go full survivorman is awesome.

As an aside, imdb lists the following as a goof: One of the zombies...is wearing a white (snow) camouflage jacket. The jacket shows plastic parts (or is completely made out of plastic) which can only be found at modern day jackets. Maybe the zombie took it away from a earlier victim but as all the others wear "original" war gear this is supposed to be a WWII Jacket - and is way too modern. I know that logic is pretty rock-solid, but I don't agree that the jacket is a goof. The jacket doesn't just look a little bit modern--it is totally modern. I was wondering why homes was wearing a hazmat suit when he first walked into frame. He obviously stole that from a victim or the movie's wardrobe department thinks we're morons.

2b. I also watched Fox's Glee and loved it.

3. As I mentioned a few days ago, I went to see Man Man and it was awesome. I'm having trouble finding the right way to describe it (mind grapes are dry), but watching them felt inspirational. When Honus Honus climbed up on something (I couldn't see exactly) and pulled on a lady's beaded top midsong, it was a beautiful thing. I felt like I could go anywhere and do anything. I wanted to go home and paint and write and do. I wanted to go create. I've never felt anything like that when seeing a band before. I've got to see them again.

4. And one last time, thanks again to everyone for their condolences regarding my grandmother. I really am doing okay, but thanks to everyone who just had to make sure.

5. Finally, before I go watch Martyrs so I can feel ways about things with Jess, here is a collection of random things I've been looking at:

MTV's new show Fashion Strip--am I the first to make a "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" joke?

Awkward Family Photos: Oh, man.

It's Lovely! I'll Take It!: Like Cakewrecks, but with real estate listings.

2 Birds, 1 Blog: Few people have the ability to make me laugh like Meg. I tried to read this entry to my mom and sister and couldn't get through it without laughing until I cried.

*“You are highly competitive and highly independent, although you also have an easygoing and spontaneous nature. In order to hide and mitigate just how badly you want to win, you have developed a thick veneer of friendliness — in order to lull your opponents into a false sense of security, yes, but also in order to actually tame your own natural blood lust, and most of the time it even works. Because you are so mobile and ever-changing, your friendships are always in flux, and the people who are your oldest friends may or may not accompany you all the way through life. Probably not.”
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So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it.

Honorable bad mother mentions: Mrs. Iselin, Jules Winnfield, Shaft.
In order not to have a looooong entry, here are some nonpersonal life things before I write about my personal life. So...

Things that have made me laugh/things I've found interesting this week:

  • I haven't really gotten into Rifftrax (in which former MST3K cast members and others record MST3Kesque audio tracks to be played while watching movies) as much as one would think, considering my deep and abiding love for MST3K. I don't own most of the movies they've done tracks for, so renting a movie and buying a track and syncing them is just beyond my lazy usually, especially when I can just watch Giant Spider Invasion and be happy. [At this point, I went looking for an example clip and became distracted watching various clips for...some minutes.] However, the upcoming Twilight track? Ohhh, so excited. And I've been taking a look at the rest of the samples, which I've missed and they're just as great. Prisoner of Azkaban:

    Hagrid: That, Ron, is the hippogriff. First thing you want to know about hippogriffs is that they're very proud creatures. Very easily offended.
    Bill: Very quick to compare you to Hitler online.

    See also: "Why is Ron dressed like Mr. Smith at the end of his filibuster?"

  • Canadian political cartoons: "GOD here I am just trying to cook my chickens and AMERICA IS IN THE WINDOW

    NO, GET OUT OF MY WINDOW AMERICA THESE CHICKENS ARE MINE. Stay away from my inter-colonial railway carrots too."

    Ahaha. A) America, you whore. B) My personal favorite is the one listing the negatives of the US, including "radical adventurers" and "Bowie knives." Those are our selling points! Also, like Kate Beaton, one of my favorite things about old political cartoons is the need to label everything.

  • We finished talking about WWII this week.

    What, is that not how it happened? (See here for the rest of Angus McLeod's simple guide to WWII and for the rest of his amazing art.)

  • I don't know what about my Twitter screams, "Add me, conservative fellows!" but it seems to. Maybe it's my glee over these (very historically accurate) tea party things. Just look at the signs! (And then look at my favorite sign.) See also: John Oliver's brilliant piece on the parties. And if you're a conservative (or not), feel free to add me as well.

  • And finally, Pre-durst is my new favorite Tumblr. It's a musical flashback to the days before we did it all for the nookie. As one does.
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.)

  • I would like to thank the United States Postal Service for their help in fancifying the package I sent to [livejournal.com profile] zooby yesterday and in particular, the wicked glee with which they helped.

  • No thanks, though, to eBay who removed an auction after I'd both won and paid for it. Their response to my complaint was basically, "Best of luck!" Normally I wouldn't be so bothered by it except for always, but it was for Storyville, the love of my perfume life. I'm not sure why the auction was removed--I can't look at it anymore--but I'm going to guess it was because the seller did not explicitly state she was not affiliated with BPAL. Luckily, the seller ([livejournal.com profile] persephone1976) is not a scammer (and I received my package today), but I like how eBay's response was essentially, "Try finishing the transaction outside eBay," which their rules actually warn against.

  • "Is he on, like, Gossip Girl or something?" —President Obama reacting to the boisterous applause mysteriously awarded to one questioner at a town hall in Los Angeles today (via nymag.com)

    Glee. Pure joy. And in case you couldn't guess, I'm also overjoyed by the new vegetable garden at the White House.

  • Going Galt is still hilarious.

Where the Wild Things Are trailer:

Now I'm going to go HALT (catch up on my Tivo queue, read NY Mag and Jezebel, eat a salad).

  • I was browsing the iTunes store last night (looking for female-sung alternapop; ended up having a nostalgia breakdown and stocking up on my old riot grrrl favorites) and I checked out the celebrity playlists. They've got the cast of Watchmen. Malin Akerman was first and one of her choices is "Dreamworld" by Rilo Kiley. Says Akerman, "Rilo is such a great artist. All of her songs are my favorite..."

    I, uh...yeah. Besides the obvious, I'm pretty sure that's Blake singing lead.

    [As far as I can tell, Zach Snyder is the only one who chooses a version of "Hallelujah." The version, by Allison Crowe, is okay.]

  • Can I just add the site to my cart?

  • Okay, I know Carol Burnett was the big draw for tonight's SVU episode but whooooa, Matthew Lillard looks crazy! You know who he looks like? Remember that episode of Full House where DJ goes on the date with the mustachioed dude who looks crazy old and thus, totally inappropriate for DJ? Yeah, he looks like that guy. That's your boyfriend, by the way.

    Roger! That was his name. That guy went on to play Hannah's dad on Veronica Mars.

  • I saw Last House on the Left Saturday. 12 people walked out, which I gleefully twittered. As for my thoughts, I agree with this paragraph from the Pajiba review: It’s frustrating because one can see throughout the film moments of where it could have been so much better. There are two families here, one of love and one of violence, but families with loyalty nonetheless. There is the potential for a beautiful intertwining of two stories: a boy rejecting the monstrosity of his father, a father becoming a monster on behalf of his daughter. It seems at quiet moments to realize its potential as a meditation on violence, but jettisons that too often for the cheesy violence of bad horror. It does not seem to realize that its most horrific moments are not filled with blood, but with Garret Dillahunt’s smile.

  • Speaking of movies, I just read that James Franco is playing Allen Ginsberg and this movie will also feature Mary-Louise Parker and Paul Rudd. I believe it will be called America, this movie is awesome.

  • I used to listen this reading of "America" by the man himself (and Tom Waits, the most patient man in rock) all the time. [Video may be NSFW.] Hearing him read it illuminated the poem. This part always breaks my heart:

    Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
    I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
    I read it every week.
    Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
    I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
    It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
    producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
    It occurs to me that I am America.
    I am talking to myself again.

  • But back to Paul Rudd for a sec, did you know that he and Jon Hamm were college friends? Oh, yeah. It's true. "He's adorable. There's no two ways about it," says Hamm.

  • I've been making amazing strides with my screenplay. I didn't so much neglect it as I did have a momentary crisis of confidence. Now though, I've regained motivation and momentum and that's helped me regain my confidence in it and my ability to write it. Part of what has helped has been Twitter of all things. When I've got daily meditations on art via David Lynch and that man named Ludacris (woo!), among others, that helps keep me focused. In addition, I've been doing creative writing exercises with a friend of mine who is also working on his own artistic endeavor, and I've found that doing so keeps my brain in the right frame of mind to create. I think I've come up with a title. I was able to give the pitch clearly and concisely, as opposed to the novella-length uh-studded mess it has been. Finally, being on spring break and having time to rest and to reflect has also helped.

  • And now that I've made the post-Vicodin Herculean effort to write that, I must go nap and catch up on my Tivo (I set a recording for "Sex and the Civil War"? Really?) and exchange coded Tweets and birthday party cheesecake jellybean boom before I descend into total incoherence. You know...stuuuuuff.
First of all, RIP Konrad Dannenberg. Don't know who he is? Well, he's one of the men who put a human being on the moon! See When The Germans, And Rockets, Came to Town, a favorite article of mine, for more details in general and NASA's own Legendary Rocket Pioneer Visits Kennedy. Or you know, any of the articles shooting across various news wires today.

"In an interview with The Associated Press on the 30th anniversary of the first moon landing, Dannenberg said of all the rocket launches, the test launch of the V-2 on Oct. 3, 1942, stood out the most. It soared 53 miles high, just past the 50-mile point where space begins. It was the first rocket to break that barrier."

Can you imagine what that felt like?

How did I learn about Dannenberg's death? From Twitter, of course. My favorite tweet this week (from Quest while at a gentleman's club): "lol @ 6 people outtin me on twitter like this is some gossip girl ep: SPOTTED AT STRIP CLUB W/ 4 HONEY DIPS, DR AFRO LOVE LOL"

I am down to Scumdog Nixon as my last Best Picture nominee to watch, having finished The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the other night. I thought I kind of liked it, but when I wrote a capsule review on Facebook, this came out: Lovely and well-acted, but based on an absurd premise that provokes more questions than it answers. Worst of all, the inclusion of Katrina is not only hamhanded, but cheap and offensive--it's the real curiosity considering Pitt's work with Make It Right Nola.

Um, thumbs down?

Urgh, I hate this story about the chimp in Connecticut, particularly all the "Ooh, what could have caused it? Could have it been Xanax or the Dow or the position of the moon?"

Or was it the fact that THE CHIMP IS A WILD ANIMAL? Have you heard about Frodo, the on-and-off alpha male at Gombe?

Frodo seized the position of alpha male in 1997, taking advantage of his brother Freud when the latter came down with mange. By then, however, his instinct for dominance had already produced a series of violent run-ins with prominent Homo sapiens. In 1988, for example, "Far Side" cartoonist Gary Larson was the target of Frodo's belligerence. Larson walked away from the tussle with only bruises and scratches, but his caricatures of primates as malevolent geniuses gained a sudden authenticity. A year later Frodo jumped on Goodall and thrashed her head so thoroughly that he nearly broke her neck. In the wake of that incident Goodall has consistently refused to enter Frodo's territory without a pair of bodyguards along for protection.

Oh and what happened after those incidents? "...Frodo snatched and killed the child of a Tanzanian park worker." To quote Cracked (on the subject of the dingo, but still), "It took 7,000 years of breeding and training to make your pet dog. This is not your pet dog." And hey, look--that post is where I learned about Frodo in the first place.

In other news, I fulfilled a cheese dream last weekend. I finally got some Rogue River Blue and it is everything that I hoped it could be. I was a little nervous when I was perusing the cheese counter and the guy asked me if I needed help--I didn't want to have that awkward conversation where you have to be like, "Actually...I already have a cheese advisor." [As per our previous talk, I also got Gjetost. As I was raised by Norwegians (on my dad's side), I am charmed by it. As a person who likes cheese, I am unsettled by it. I'm going to have to do some more experimenting with it, maybe try it in some recipes. "The Norwegian game sauce suits excellent game meals as for example reindeer." No, not that one.]

Speaking of food, I have to bounce 'cause it's dinnertime, but first--a conversation I had with my grandmother.

Me: Oh, MIA had her baby.
My grandmother: Oh, I knew that already.

PS: I don't care what anyone says--I am psyched about Inglourious Basterds.
I am trying to watch all the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars. I'm watching The Reader now. I know Kate is getting all the attention for this movie and rightfully so, but so far, it's a scene with Dieter, a classmate of Michael's, that I've found the most moving. Cut for mild spoilers.

Read more... )

There's so much in this scene, from the frustration when justice slips from our grasp to the anger felt at the realization that authorities are fallible. And of course, the easy judgment from someone who's never had to ask those questions before.

And now my thoughts on this are all derailed, because in lulzbigot news, I googled to doublecheck a line from The Twilight Zone episode "Deaths-head Revisited," from which this entry get its title and found a hilarious discussion about depictions of race on TV over at [I'm not giving any credit to white supremacist websites]. "What really bothers me is the way two of the formerly white Teletubbies have gradually transformed into an obvious black and the other an Asian." WAT.
Americanos, better know your new administration, photographed by Annie Liebovitz. (EDIT: And here's the Times version.)

EDIT 2: I almost forgot, I heard something today about how Artur Davis (in the Times gallery and also the only Alabama representative to vote yes on the Lilly act) will announce his interest in running for governor Friday. Sweeeet, lemme get my checkbook.

Let Us Now Set Aside Childish Things: George Packer hears the President America deserves. He says that we always get the one we deserve, too. That's a disquieting thought no matter where your politics stand, but it puts me in mind of Randy Newman's "A Few Words In Defense Of Our Country":

Now we don’t want your love
And respect at this point is pretty much out of the question
But in times like these
We sure could use a friend

Or maybe I've just had too many bombs.

I have to talk about politics right now, because otherwise I'd have to talk about the bowline I've made of my romantic life. And I don't wanna. Oh, I could talk about movies. I started watching Blindness but something told me to stop. I just got the feeling that I didn't want to see how it played out. Ebert called it "unendurable" and I spoilered myself, so I know I made the right decision. Instead, I watched Miracle At St. Anna, which could have used a lot of editing but overall, was heartbreaking and lovely. Whatever, I am tender.

Now I'm going to read too little into Twitter updates. Oh, did you see the Simpsonized Wire?
Why so defensive, man? I don't really understand either side of this--I don't get why he's so freaked out about critics, who by the way, do serve a valuable role in art and I don't understand the vitriol aimed at freaking Paul Blart. Well, okay. I do, to an extent. Pop culture bullies. What it is that I actually don't understand is people who seem surprised that Paul Blart is a hit and has been since it dropped. Lemme mosey on over to Ebert's review and steal something...I'll just have to put you on hold for a second:

"Chocolate bears and gingerbread cats, All dressed up in whipped-cream hats. Danced in the garden under the moon, Beat sweet rhythms with a wooden spoon, Whirling, turning, jumpin to the beat, Melting down to their ice cream feet."

Okay, I'm back. Here it is: "Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a slapstick comedy with a hero who is a nice guy. I thought that wasn't allowed anymore...And he's in a PG-rated film with no nudity except for a bra strap, and no jokes at all about bodily functions." I can't imagine why families would find that appealing.

Okay, back to the first point. Critics are important and this "those that can't, review" nonsense is about as compelling an argument as "No, you are!" Critics can help you make choices and they can serve to educate the reader and illuminate a truly masterful work of art in a way that one never considered. Critical thinking is something they used to teach in schools. Judging by the discussion answers I've read in one of my classes, though, it got left behind.

For more words on this subject than I care to write at the moment, I highly recommend my man Ebert's post Death to film critics! Hail to the CelebCult!:

"The celebrity culture is infantilizing us. We are being trained not to think. It is not about the disappearance of film critics. We are the canaries. It is about the death of an intelligent and curious, readership, interested in significant things and able to think critically. It is about the failure of our educational system. It is not about dumbing-down. It is about snuffing out."

No one is saying that you must live and die by what the critics say, of course. In fact, before Dennis Miller drank the Flavoraid and shrugged off everything he used to say, he said this:

And I agree with it now, as I agreed with it then. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for liking something simple. But don't let them make you feel bad for liking something smart, either.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch White Dog and vote on the hottest Congressional freshman. Good day.
Great movie or greatest movie?

I am staying home well from school today. I have a lot of movies to watch! Uh, I also have to get some sleep. Back to movies, I saw The Wrestler and it was wonderful--the last scene made me gasp. I am still rolling Lakeview Terrace around in my head.

I still love this fucking President.

Read more... )

Skip to 6:18 and let the love wash over you.

Speaking of, I finally got a chance to listen to Fall Out Boy's Folie a Deux all the way through and yay, I really like it. I was mainly putting it off because I was afraid I wouldn't love it like I loved Infinity on High, but I'm really getting into it, especially "Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes" and "[Coffee's for Closers]." I guess I'm a sucker for Chicago boys telling me, "Change will come." And then they're telling me:

The man who would be king goes to the
desert to sing war his dad rehearsed
came back with flags on coffins and said
we won, oh, we won

And I remember again he's gone. He's gone.

Sadie, on the other hand, loves "Viva La Vida." I started singing it to her one day* and she was rapt. I sang it to her the other day when she was having a bottle and every time I would sing, she would stop drinking and stare at me. I tested other songs but they didn't have that reaction. I don't know what she likes about it--maybe she's a Crusades nerd. Maybe it's the "whoa oh oh ohhhhh"s. Here is our second favorite version, courtesy of the kids at PS 22 in NYC:

These kids are killing me!

Now I gotta go--my patch of sidewalk ain't gonna stand on itself!

*Me: Shattered windows and the sound of drums...
My mom: *eyebrow raise*
Me: I don't know a lot of kid-appropriate songs.
Yesterday I ran some errands and my first was a stop at Fred's to pick up a new can opener, since I ruined the old one in a tragic Spam musubi incident. A man was walking in as I was walking out and so he held the door for me. I thanked him and then he said, among other things, "Any time." I know that's just conversation fluff, but it made me smile to think about this guy following me around everywhere just opening doors for me. Umbrella/drink holders are so first half of the aughts.

Later at the grocery store, I was behind a woman and her young son. The boy asked for some candy, but his mom told him that he already had some of whatever it was at home and plus, it would spoil his dinner. As I was putting my stuff on the belt, I noticed a flavor of Ice Cubes gum I hadn't seen (strawberry smoothie), so I got a box of that. Then, that kid tried to sell me out! "Her got candy," he indignantly told his mother. Hmmph!

It took me a while to get out of the house because I was so exhausted from house-cleaning and rearranging Saturday. We brought my grandmother home so we had to move her into her new room and get everything else straightened up, since we now have a million people coming in and out of the house all day. (Approximately 99.9% ask me, "Hurr durr, did I wake you up?" Nah, I always stumble to the door with one eye open, hair looking like I'm the lost member of Kajagoogoo.]

It's great that she's home now, though. She's back to having her own room again. She had a roommate at the nursing home and she was okay, but I know from dorm rooms and stuff that it's nice to have your own space, control the remote, talk about what you want, etc. My mother and her brother were visiting once and she told him about the time that we heard a godawful racket coming from the woods and then the next day, my mom made me go look around to see what I could find. I found a dead bobcat, but it'd obviously had been dead longer than a night. At that point, the roommate chimed in with a "Ugh, can you shut up? My stomach is upset." My mom was like, "Oh, I'm sorry, [roommate's name]--I should've remembered that." *beat* My uncle: "SO, HOW LONG YOU THINK IT'D BEEN DEAD? WERE THERE MAGGOTS ON IT?"

I've been lazying in between studying for finals, mostly by watching Supernatural from the beginning. I also watched the trailer for this Norwegian movie about Nazi zombies that's playing at Sundance. I think the zombies look great and exponentially creepier than regular zombies--speaking of Supernatural, I was like Dean in the "Yellow Fever" episode when I watched the trailer. That was scary!

LOL, what is going on here? Lost rules, [livejournal.com profile] zooby! You just don't know because you don't watch it. Oh, you've seen every season? Oh...well, you're still wrong. Ron Paul '08!

Today is the vote in [livejournal.com profile] sf_drama for Macro of the Year and I'm having trouble picking. I think I may go with Metallicat, though. Speaking of all things chan, I found this embarrassing moment gripping and emotionally moving.

Other things I've been finding funny reading are Something Awful's Comedy Goldmine and the works of Simon Rich. A commenter at nymag.com said that he looks like Ramona Quimby, which is both hilarious and disturbing. Like that squid with elbows film that was released last month. As documented, I love cephalopods, but watching that video, I had this reaction: "Squid with elbows? Oh, cool--I love squids! So let's just pan down and see how faOH GOD IN HEAVEN WHAT IS THAT." The horror. The horror.
Watching the Daily Show's fine McCain bio film, which used clips of Marlon Brando brilliantly to chart the changes in McCain's life, I realized something anew...and that was: Gotdam, Brando was so damn good. I think many people don't really realize that because they've never seen it. They've seen his later stuff or the lurid tabloid pieces or a million bad impressions. Lord knows I have. But seriously, he was the living end. On the Waterfront, in which he plays a failed boxer, features one of his most famous lines, definitely one of those in the "million bad impressions" category. This scene was clipped for the McCain piece and although they show only like, two seconds, I tear up every time. Brando was so, so good and so beautiful.

Holy shit, my emotions. I'm going to rewatch this today, I think.

EDIT: Oops, I must have been sleepier than I thought. Sorry about the double post!
I watched Dexter season two yesterday and I like that show a lot but I had to laugh at one thing--man, that is quite a display you've got there. Especially since it looks like your carrier is Boost Mobile.

Saturday, I finished watching The Mist and Ebert was right, it is a competent if fairly by-the-book Horrible Things Pouncing on People Movie. But that ending! [Please note that that link is to a spoiler of the ending.] The movie was taking forever and I was wondering how much longer I had left so I looked up the summary on The Movie Spoiler, which has only the ending. However, after I got a load of that, I turned it off. How depressing. Like I told [livejournal.com profile] kaytethinks in chat that night, nothing was beautiful and everything hurt.

Of course, the ironic thing is, after I turned it off I put on An American Crime, which is nothing if not depressing. It was well-made, it was hard to watch, and I never want to see it again.

Moving on from that cheery topic, I've been looking over the Fashion Rocks supplement that came with the new Glamour and it's really good. Lots of beautiful photos and interesting features that are making my urge to create twitch.

I love the photoshoot with Dhani Harrison and Sasha LastnameI'llneverspellcorrectlyfrommemory. Oh, Pivovarova. And here it is, by the way. A return to bohemian luxe? Like I ever left!

Why weigh on a sunny day?: Weight talk )

Also in the issue that I've enjoyed so far (not done yet) is the essay by Joan Jett on the evolution of her style. I particularly enjoyed this jawdropping tidbit: ...in 1979, I formed the Blackhearts and we relocated to New York...But 23 labels turned us down when I sent them four songs: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," "Crimson and Clover," "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)," and "Bad Reputation." !!!

And another thing: I'm sure that some people probably felt really old when that now iconic Vogue grunge spread came out. (It was December 1992. I believe Lucie de la Falaise was on the cover...which is kind of funny because she's married to Marlon Richards, whom I'll bet is the child of Anita Pallenberg Dhani's referring to in "Here Comes the Son." Anywho, some day I will gather my grandchildren at my feet and tell them the grand tale of eyebrowless models and bald models with dragon tattoos on their heads and how Marc Jacobs was visionary insane.) Well, I think I know what that feels like, having gotten a gander at the "emo" fashion spread. Oh, you kids today with your dungarees and your hula hoops and your (now flatlined) black parades.

All subcultures speak in code; grunge is no exception. Megan Jasper, a 25-year-old sales representative at Caroline Records in Seattle, provided this lexicon of grunge speak, coming soon to a high school or mall near you:

WACK SLACKS: Old ripped jeans

FUZZ: Heavy wool sweaters

PLATS: Platform shoes

KICKERS: Heavy boots


BOUND-AND-HAGGED: Staying home on Friday or Saturday night

SCORE: Great



DISH: Desirable guy


LAMESTAIN: Uncool person

TOM-TOM CLUB: Uncool outsiders

ROCK ON: A happy goodbye

Oh and while I'm on the subject of nostalgic freakouts, will someone please see fit to release House of Style on DVD or at least, upload some more to yt?

Juliana Hatfield--Nirvana
Nirvana--You Know You're Right
Rockabye Baby! (Lullaby Renditions)--Here Comes the Sun
My Chemical Romance--Teenagers

Now, rock on, y'all. I've got some new family photos scanned that I just need to crop and those should be up in a little bit.
Medicom is about to release two sets of Dark Knight-themed Be@rbrick & Kubrick figures--one Batman set and one Joker set. Is it awesome? Yes, it is.

Why so serious? )

Bonus link: What does lipstick say about the Joker(s)?

Yesterday I saw The Dark Knight and it was magnificent. Seeing it in IMAX was exactly the right decision: during every action sequence, I watched with eyes wide open like a child. (As opposed to several times during the non-action sequences when I cried like a child.) It is a masterwork, a gloriously moving epic that earns its place as a new highwater mark in comic book movies.

I was actually a little late for the movie, which technically was okay since I'd already seen the first scene online. However, I'd really wanted to see that sequence on the real big screen, if only for that first look at the Joker's face, a shit-disturbing few seconds that's scarier than any horror movie I've seen in a long time.

But don't take my word for it. You could take the word of the 94% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes if you wanted but really, see it for yourself if you want and if you don't, just pass it on. I was already anticipating the people who'd have the lack of balls to give it a bad review and by that, I don't mean people who actually disliked it or found it flawed. Rather, I mean people who just want to be contrary. All-purpose trolls, if you will. Entertainment Weekly called them pop culture bullies and I'd say that's accurate. I recognize tendencies in myself (and the internet tends both to reward and to foster those tendencies) but I've got a friend who is a textbook Insulter and let me tell you, internets--it is so tedious. Anyway, like what you want. Unless it's certain jambands.

What made the experience sublime is that I saw it at the Space and Rocket Center. After the requisite purchase of astronaut food, I was walking down the hallway to exit when I was struck by a painting on the wall.

(Enjoy my surreptitiously-taken-with-my-phone photo.)

It was done by Fred Freeman (it took me a few minutes to puzzle out that signature), who did a number of illustrations regarding space research for magazines like Collier's and who also illustrated a children's book Wernher von Braun wrote called First Men to the Moon. Unfortunately, it seems to be a task to find Freeman's art online. Even eBay had only one print. I must do some more searching. I don't know what it is about his work that I like--it just speaks to me for some reason.

Also, it was Reunion Weekend so Space Camp alumni were there, as well as the Saturn/Apollo team members who made the impossible dream of space a reality. Cheers to impossible dreams.

And speaking of things that move me, here is a video clip.. Lemme say beforehand that you may get distracted so we'll just mention it now--yes, Harrod's apparently had an Exotic Animals department. Thought about it? Okay, good.

What? I'm not crying, you're crying!
wolfpangs: (storyville)
Yesterday my mom told me a story. It was great because a) I'd never heard it before and b) it was about me, which instantly made it a lot more interesting to me. Apparently, when I was about three or four, my mother was sweeping the kitchen one day and I had a toy broom with which I was "helping" to sweep--much like I do today! My dad came home from...work, I guess, and obliviously tracked dirt into the kitchen. For some reason, I bellowed, "WE DON'T DO NASTY IN HERE!" My dad had already made it into the other room and yelled back, "What did she say?" My mother was laughing too hard to answer, especially since she had no idea where I got that phrase or wording. I have no idea. But I encourage you to adopt it as a life motto, as I have. [It serves jointly with my usual motto: "Well, my glove compartment is locked, so are the trunk in the back and I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that." See if I buy from those Girl Scouts again.]

Other things I endorse for life improvement include, for one, Boston terriers. Like this little guy. That is actually probably a French bulldog, but I don't know for sure. However, the Boston Terrier Club of America says: A white Boston Terrier is not a legitimate color for the breed (neither is red or blue...)...WHITE BOSTON TERRIERS ARE NOT RARE ! They are unfortunate mistakes of nature.

This is, of course, a vicious lie. Boston terriers are always awesome. THIS IS FACTUAL INFORMATION.

I just think that's a little over the top and hysterical, akin to the clockwork page that said, "If you are not a watch repairperson you have no rights or sane reason for purchasing a movement." What if I just like clockwork? "Before rocket science was a science watches were considered man’s finest most delicate machines to date." Oh, come on. I hardly think that watches are as ser--"Lower your shields and surrender your watches. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." Well okay, then. [By the way, it tickles me that Wiki has a list of Fictional Assimilating Races.]

Speaking of rocket science, I will be viewing The Dark Knight next week at the Space and Rocket Center's IMAX theater. If I do not get launched into space, it should be awesome. At 10AM. I wonder if they have some sort of space waffles I can eat while I'm watching. The Man told me to be careful because of the possibility of IMAX theaters showing non-IMAX movies (I thought his caution was a warning about accidental space launches), but thankfully, slashfilm says: "You have to see The Dark Knight on IMAX. This is not a marketing gimmick. Six sequences and most of the establishing shots were filmed using 70mm IMAX cameras. The experience is amazingly vivid, and unlike any superhero movie you have ever seen before. It’s the difference between watching standard and High Definition. If you have the option, you must see this movie in IMAX." Alright already, I got a ticket! Apparently people are getting the message because the site also reports that "advance ticket sales are through the roof, already surpassing $2 million on IMAX sales alone, more than a week prior to opening. Over 100 IMAX shows are already sold out." Awesome.

I am very excited and based on my viewing of the first five minutes, willing to believe any of the hype concerning Mr. Ledger. The clip is crap--a video made of the theater screen--but even so and even with a mask on for most of the duration, Heath is incredible. From the way he's standing when we first see him in the clip to the last glimpse of him, it's glorious.

I have not finished scanning the next batch of family photos yet--school drama and freak but brief illness got in the way. The school drama refers to...oh, I can't get into this without being overcome with petty rage. Long story short, couldn't take test arrrgh. Protip, school: Some people may find posting information like the fact that your testing center closes to testing an hour before its posted closing time somewhat relevant. Aaaaargh. Anyway, I will try to get some done later today in between napping hopefully and getting some housework done before I go see Chris Rock.

Back to good stuff: Next year, I'll be going on an Amazon river cruise. I hate using the word "cruise," since that makes people think of like, Carnival and this is no cruiseship. We're talking a clipper here. No, not like the Cutty Sark. Basically, around 30 passengers not including crew. I don't remember how I even got the idea. I was reading something on Frommer's site and caught a reference to the trips and after reading about it, I was hooked. And that's before I found out about the peanut butter and jelly water and the pink dolphins!

See, one of the big tourist attractions in that part of the world is the "Meeting of the Waters," where the River Solimoes meets the Rio Negro to join in holy matrimony form the Amazon. The smaller rivers are noticeably different in color and so when they meet, they flow beside each other in two different colors for a bit before mixing. I dunno--to me it looks like peanut butter and jelly:

Mmm, sandwich. Then, I heard about the botos, the Amazon's pink dolphins or as they're also known, encantado, for "enchanted one." As a girly girl who may or may not have owned at least one Lisa Frank product, I was immediately interested. Then it got even better. The dolphins come with their own legend. Sy Montgomery, who has written two books about the encantados, one for children and one for adults, wrote, "They say the boto can turn into a person, that it shows up at fiestas to seduce men and women. They say you must be careful, or it will take you away forever to the Encante, the enchanted city beneath the water." She might as well have written, "DING DING DING! STUFF SALOME WILL LIKE! DING DING DING!" First, there is the Amazon river trip. Then you throw in an environmental novelty. And if that weren't enough, there are also magical dolphins? Who are pink?! I may need a lie-down. The "facts" about the encantados just kept getting better and better. Field Guide to Monsters of the World*, in noting a detail that fills me with glee, says, "Their transformation is never fully complete, however: an encantado will always have a bald spot on the top of its head where its dolphin blowhole remains. For this reason, the encantado always keeps his head covered, usually with a broad-brimmed straw hat." Absolute joy.

I think I'm going to around the end of next May. That should give me enough time to get together the necessary papers (Brazilian visa and such) and get the recommended vaccinations. Yellow fever--catch it.

"Each person who encounters an Encantado comes away from the encounter speaking a different truth, informed by dreams and ghosts and the hot, whispered breath of rain on the river. For here in the Amazon, where unfathomable tragedies collide with unquenchable desires, the most preposterous of impossibilities come true."

And if my fulfilled impossibilities don't include being knocked up by a dolphin, I will be okay with that.

*Which should really start updating again, because it's like a grown-up World Book.
I stayed up until an ungodly hour Monday night studying for my AmerHistory exam and okay, finishing the study guide that I totally slacked on, obviously...only to be reminded when I got to school that it was an open journal test. Oh, did I tell y'all about our journals? No, I did not.

He required that we get notebooks dedicated solely to our history notes. Usually I just get one three ring binder and keep my stuff for all my classes in there but nooooo. Now I have a journal. I will not call it a vade mecum. He cannot make me. He also requires that we take notes his way. Like this:


(Date and term being in the left and right margins, respectively.) He graded the journals while we took our first exam. I forgot mine (because I'd been busy trying to recopy the notes in my style into his style) so I escaped his judgment, but when he gave the tests back, he gave a lecture again about taking notes in his style. He broke his laptop, so we no longer have PowerPoint and lots of times, I find myself just listening to him lecture rather than taking notes. So to sum up, for the purposes of the test, my notes were pretty crap. The test is a pretty standard format--50 multiple choice questions then mini-essay questions. He gives us around 15 terms and we have to answer 10 of them. He said that since this test was open journal, he'd be grading more critically than usual. So I was throwing everything in there, whether it was relevant to the chapters we were studying or not. For example, in my answer for Crispus Attucks, I mentioned that he became a symbol for abolitionists. Was he? Sure, why not?

In the early 1800s, as the Abolitionist movement gained momentum in Boston, Attucks was lauded as an example of a black American who played a heroic role in the history of the United States. Hey, alright!

Before that, we were discussing reinforcements in Psychology. Dr. E brought up the topic of serial killers and the attention they get--how probably everyone knew the name Son of Sam but not many, if any, knew the name of the Navy Seal who will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor next week for throwing himself on a grenade to save the rest of the men in their hideout. (His name is Michael Monsoor.) Then he was off on a discussion of serial killers and I inadvertently showed my vast and somewhat scary knowledge of them. Off on a tangent about Charles Manson, he asked if anyone knew what Manson's ultimate goal was. Ooh ooh, I do! (He was trying to spark the race war that he saw as inevitable.) I'm amazing!

You know who else is amazing? Pearl Cornioley. She passed away this past February, but during WWII, she was a resistance fighter and an all-around badass. The files on her have just been declassified, so her badassery is becoming more well known. They didn't think much of her at first, although they acknowledged that she was "probably the best shot--male or female--we have yet had." According to the International Herald Tribune:

"After parachuting into France, Cornioley passed on secret messages to her first handler in France that she had carried in the hem of her skirt. Following the capture of her leader, she assumed control of the cell in the north Indre department of the Loire River valley, about 240 miles southeast of the Normandy beaches. She interrupted the Paris-Bordeaux railway line more than 800 times and attacked convoys in June 1944, the month of the D-Day invasion. All told, she led 3,000 French Resistance fighters in a host of guerrilla warfare missions. She proved so crucial that the Nazis issued a 1 million franc award for her capture, hoping to quash her pivotal role in the Resistance."

But she could not be quashed. Years later, the British government tried to honor her...with an award for civilians, being ineligible for a military award because she was a lady. She refused the civilian award, because "there was nothing civil about what I did" and that "the work which I undertook was of a purely military nature in enemy occupied country. I personally was responsible for the training and organisation of nearly 3,000 men for sabotage and guerrilla warfare." She was awarded her Parachute Wings from the RAF in 2006.

Of course, I can't think about the resistance without thinking of this scene. "Fun" fact: Many of the actors and actresses playing refugees in this scene were refugees. The tears were real. Vive la France. Speaking of France, I love this commercial for a French movie network, which uses the French title of March of the Penguins (in France, March of the Emperors) to fun effect. Speaking of movies, I finally saw Sweeney Todd Sunday night. It's my favorite musical so I was nervous but I loved it. I've been walking around singing the songs, which I should probably stop before I bust out in public with "They aaaaall deserve to die!" from "Epiphany." [That's the scene from the movie, so you know, slightly spoilery I guess.]

And I've got some other stuff to ramble on about, but this entry is long enough, so I'll do that later. Later!
wolfpangs: (privacy)
An hour ago, I went to the nearest gas station to get some pain medication--yes, my headache was so bad that I left my office--and all they had was Motrin. Ugh. I was like, "They still make that?" Not to mention ibuprofen doesn't do much for me. I guess it could have been worse--it could have been just naproxen (Aleve). In terms of their effectiveness on me, ranked from maximum to least, headache treatments look like this:

*Acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (I love you, Excedrin)
*quiet time/nap/etc
*wishing really hard

After all this presidential campaigning, though, I need some Excedrin for Racial Tension Headaches.

I can't conceive of a movie poster or image or thing produced by humans that could be less appealing than this. It looks a neo-noirish version of Peter Griffin. Ugh. That gives me the ickles.

Tomorrow I go back to school. Oh yeah, I've been on spring break this past week. And what a rocking good time it was, amirite? But back to school--my American history class scares me. I've gotten used to the way he lectures so I'm not trying to slit my wrists with the edge of my desk anymore but I may start trying again if he keeps asking questions. Most of the time he does straight lecture but occasionally he'll ask us questions about current events or history and I am the only one who ever answers. Last class, he asked a long series of questions--what Presidents were generals, what Presidents had military service, were they good Presidents, etc--and I answered all but one. (Another student volunteered Washington as a President who'd been a general while I was mentally searching my Presidential blind spot, the period between Lincoln and the start of the 20th century.) It's really kind of depressing, especially the fact that these people are legal to vote. It's not that I think there should be some sort of test pre-voting (and unlike my classmates, I know the negative associations of voter tests) but it always surprises me how some people move through the world completely oblivious to everything.

In other news, I sent a package to [livejournal.com profile] monooka yesterday and I'm so excited. Not like, "Woo, go me--I sent a present!" but it's so specific--a specific reminder of a very...very night, that is--that I can't wait for her to get it. I'm excited to tell you all what it is but in a few days, so we don't ruin the surprise.

Now if you'll permit, I'm going to say, "Scuse me" to this elephant in the room and try to focus on positive thoughts today. Happy Easter!



October 2012



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