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Showing posts from June, 2006

The Way the World Works

There's this game I play called "Diner Dash." I'm not sure what genre it would fall under, although I've heard it called an RPG and a point and click, but that makes it sound more complicated than it is. In it you are a waitress (RPG) and you are working towards a goal by waiting on tables. You have to seat customers, take their order, bring them their food, bring them their bill, and bus the table by clicking on things in order (point and click). You have limited time to do this, shown by little hearts beneath them--take too long the hearts go down, seat them next to loud customers, hearts go down. No more hearts and they leave and you lose money. I had played nearly to the end making the standard goal, but never the expert. Now the trick to making the most money is not, as you might think, keeping the heart gage full--thus the happiest customers. No, the trick is to do things in groups. Take all the orders at once, bring all the food at once, give all of the bi…

I didn't realize I talked about them quite so much

This was a birthday present from N, the friend who wanted to see the DaVinci code. She told me she saw it and knew I had to have it. I was opening it in her car and peeling back the brown wrapper. I saw the Folies Bergere part and thought, "Oh, how nice, she knows I like poster art." And then she said, "Did you READ it?" Hoorah! When my husband saw it he just slapped his forehead and shook his head.

Happiness of the Katakuris

Just watched very possibly the most absurd film I have ever seen, and I have seen some strange films. Japanese musical/horror/comedy/family/live-action/clay-animation (claymation is a copywrited term for Will Vinton--geek rant) film. This is from director Takashi Miike who normally does serious horror--well serious splatter. Now I really am taking the Japanese thing too far--I recognized the cop as the actor in a commercial for L'Arc~en~Ciel's Tomarunner game. I can spot actors in 4 languages! Sweetly heart warming, utterly cheesy. Very fun

This has been quite a Japanese week. Watched "47 Ronin" on Saturday. Caught parts of "Kagemusha" and "Rashomon." Watched the last part of the "Hama Mike (Real Name)" trilogy Wednesday and now this. The last part, "The Trap," was actually very hard, very dark and disturbing. I enjoyed the first one the most. There's a dual casting in TT that was so subtle my husband didn't even catch i…

Bubble Tea

I'm posting in the middle of the day! Wahoo!

Totally random post because I'm on lunch break and I feel like it.

Just had bubble tea for the first time. You'd think being interested in Japan I'd have had this before, esp. since I like Tapioca, but it's rather expensive and I was afraid I wouldn't like it. Well, I don't LOVE it, but I don't hate it either. The flavor was Earl Grey and the tapioca was flavored with Raspberries. It gave the tea a milky flavor and it was disconcerting to have the tapioca come up the straw periodically (could have been solved with a smaller straw, I realize), but the flavors worked well together and the tapioca was well done instead of being hard (which I kind of expected. What's funny is it DID NOT go with the crispy eel sushi I was eating for lunch. Fish and raspberries--not so much. Should have had plain flavor, or drunk it after the sushi.

I do love Newbury Street in Boston though. I only work in town one day a week now …

Driving in Boston

Inching along in a log jam of traffic yesterday on the Mass Pike I watched an Audi a few cars in front of me weave in and out of traffic determined to find the lane that was "moving" and yet for the whole half an hour that we sat there he ended up still only a few cars ahead of me. Sure there were times his lane pulled ahead, but then mine would catch up and he would switch back. The only thing he accomplished was to make the line that much slower. There was a great article that a friend sent me years ago on the physics of traffic and it has been determined that weaving in and out of tight traffic will really gain you nothing and in fact cause the very blockages that you believe you are defying. (Sidenote--an unfortunately side effect of so much of interest on the internet is that it is impossible to store all of the articles that interest you over the years in the vague belief that you will someday want to reference them to others) The article also pointed out that if all d…

A Talent for Life

In 15 minutes it will no longer be my birthday (well, I'm not sure it really is my birthday, but I've beaten that dead horse with my friends, so I'll let it lie). Warning this may be a little rambly and it may pass into the next day before it goes up, or not.

I've always felt too old. I was sad at 18 that I could no longer be a child prodigy. At 24 I actually wrote a poem called, "On Turning 24 and Feeling it is Too Old." I looked for it to put it here, but I am glad to say I don't seem to have it on this computer. (Read an amusing line, I think in a link from Mirror up to Life that said that everyone writes adolescent poetry and that bad poets publish it, and good poets destroy it). In it I did berate myself for intellectually knowing that 24 was not too old, or even old, but emotionally not being able to see it, and the last line was the realization that I would probably feel this way for a very long time. And I was right. Every year I try to think, it&#…

One last thought on "Foucault's Pendulum"

I finished it in much longer than an afternoon, and I realized the point that literature is about the universality of experience. Most books are about what they are about. You need both in the world, but if I could only save some I'd save the ones with meaning.

There is an amazing passage in the end of FP that essentially explains the fascination of something like "The DaVinci Code" while transcending it. I've copied out a lot of it because I think it's important (and I like to copy out chunks of books that I like). The ellipses indicate that I've removed bits that are more plot specific.

"People are starved for plans. If you offer them one, they fall on it like a pack of wolves. You invent, and they'll believe. It's wrong to add to the inventions that already exist" ...

We offered a map to people who were trying to overcome a deep, private frustration. What frustration?...Threre can be no failure if there really is a Plan. Defeated you may be,…


Red Queen asked that I make a permanent link to A Hat A Day so I have complied.

Also want to point out the new link to my friend Duncan's website. He is a painter but I hadn't seen any of his work. I love it! I really, really like art like this. He is having a show in Arlington, MA starting a week from Sunday for anyone around.

Da Vinci Code II

Well, like I said, I hate to judge on others word if I can help it. Grabbed from the library on Saturday, read on Sunday. That should tell you something right there, but I routinely read books in a day, Harry Potters, Ruth Rendells, John LeCarre's, and I started skimming by the end.

This is how it begins:
"Renowned curator Jacques Sauniere staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery."

This is how Foucault's Pendulum begins:

"That was when I saw the Pendulum. The sphere, hanging from a long wire set into the ceiling of the choir, swayed back and forth with isochronal majesty."

One has a voice, the other doesn't. The best I can say is that it was better than the movie, and not the worst writing I've ever read by a longshot; oh, and that it made more sense than the movie. I still can't understand why this should have so grabbed the public's imagination.

I'm told that Angels and Demons is better but still pedantic.


I love his writing. I always have. I found the writing before I knew anything about the strange, tortured man and I'm glad, because the writing has become subsumed to the image. The writing is exquisite and never cliched and full of all the pain that is living. Poor, lonely, needy Tru.

The movie is good, Hoffman's performance is breathtaking. I understand--I don't necessarily forgive--when he sells out the killers, sells out himself, would sell out his best friend to get that laugh at a party, to make life ironic and light when he knew that it wasn't. Grabbing that moment of adulation in a crowd rather than anything lasting--tomorrow may never come, after all. And you know he knows it's a lie too. He sold out Perry Smith, and yes, Perry was a dangerous and disturbed man who had murdered a family almost because they were there, but Truman played him to get that story, and lied and played with another human being's feelings and life to write the book. And what a b…

What a long time between posts

I've posted elsewhere and I've written so many posts in my head that it seems sad that I cannot get them down here at my beloved Novel Eye.

First, movies:

Now that the TV season is over it's time to devote ourselves to our Netflix list. It's such a strange list for a week.
V for Vendetta (I posted)
Everything is Illuminated (ditto)
Capote...(post to follow)
The Hill (1965, Sidney Lumet directs Sean Connery and several fine British actors in an anti-military film shown on Memorial Day, well, it's the BRITISH army, not us, right...)
Oldboy (harrowing Asian film about revenge--very disturbing, very well shot)
Breakfast on Pluto (Neil Jordan directs Cillian Murphy as a transvestite against the background of Catholicism, the 70's and "the Troubles), good, and Murphy is amazing. The tragic no-win humanness of it as in Jordan's "The Crying Game"
Matchpoint (Woody Allen's view that even when you get "A Place in the Sun," it's not so sweet--n…