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Showing posts from March, 2007

Everything to Everyone

Is the name of a Barenaked Ladies album. That aside, I was laughing at Red Queen/The Other Joan's comment below. I think I say something profound everyday (o_o") I just don't say something profound about the same things everyday. Mirror keeps his blog pretty focused on Theater and Theater in Boston with only tiny personal sidelines. Red Queen finds her "Art of the Day." David's is clearly a much more focused blog designed to discuss his work (and his hireability) within the fields which interest him. It's personal, but tied to the professional. I don't have a focus to this blog. I like to review films and books (although my reviews have been less formal than I am capable of). I did NOT want to become maudlin or self-absorbed. I've started real-world journals for that and found that it wasn't productive. What I wanted was to find the more universal meaning based in my personal experience and to practice writing essays which I've always enj…

How my husband made me (and how I made him)

I've been thinking about this one for awhile in the discussions I've been having about where my life went wrong and the college I could have gone to--the paths not taken.

I had the chance to go to a college in southern CA about 35 miles from LA. I went instead to Amherst College, Amherst, MA. If I had had the chance to visit Amherst I wouldn't have come, but I was dazzled at a distance by its history and its status. I had worked hard in high school to get into the best college and Amherst was considered the best. If one believes in alternate universes, then somewhere there is a Novel who went to Scripps (unless she died in the earthquake or the riots or of the smog that rolled in every afternoon). Now the most instantaneous and obvious difference in my life if I had gone to a different college would have been the fact that I would not have met my husband. The romantic answer is that I was fated to go to Amherst TO meet him and that it's wonderful, but I actually think i…

Know thyself

Evidently I snap my underpants when I put them on. That's probably more than you wanted to know about me. In fact, it's more than I wanted to know about myself. It's not something I knew about myself until my husband pointed it out the other evening. You can bet your life that after my bath, I was painfully aware of how I put on my underwear. Isn't it funny how little aware we are of ourselves, particularly of our physical selves? One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to poke holes in a paper bag, put it on my head and look at myself naked. By removing your face (and thereby your self-identity) you can look at yourself objectively, as if it were someone else's body. It's hard to look at oneself objectively, either physically or mentally. When I was very thin I thought I looked normal, even large and ungainly. It was only after I gained weight that I began to appreciate how thin I had been. It was also then that people began to point ou…

Poetry

I had a voice over industrial job today--which was nice. It's the third I've done for this particular project and it's nice that I got it because (as repeatedly mentioned) I DON'T HAVE A DEMO TAPE. The owner of the recording studio said I should have one and that he could prob. get me work if I did it. Of course, he also makes them so...

The project is reading a textbook for adult or young adult illiteracy. It has a very..., well, black slant. First time I read a part in Raisin in the Sun. Second time I read some poems, among them "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, " and the history of Hip Hop (condensed). I kept falling over the names. Back when Cogitate (the board) was still alive I thought about putting that one up and then it (the board) fizzled and I didn't bother. It's funny because Maya Angelou has become such a subject of parody (Family Guy had her hosting a cooking show--"Like the bread, I rise, I rise) that I had forgotten that it is a lo…

Angels and Violence

I was thinking of this for two days and I noticed that Mirror has also commented upon it. The Guardian Angels are back in town in response to a series of violent shootings in the south part of Boston (where I never go). I remember some 12 or 13 years ago on a day trip to Boston, wondering in Chinatown around 8pm and being approached by a young man in a red beret who asked if we needed directions because, "This was a rather unsafe neighborhood, especially at night." We assured him that we knew where we were and that we were on our way home. I felt quite comforted by him, although I really didn't know (and still don't know) much about the Angels as an organization. After we moved to Boston in the mid-90's there was the supposed clean-up and I rode the train from Chinatown regularly late at night after shows without much fear or concern, but like I said a few posts ago, I held onto my bag, I did not become immersed in a book, I looked around and tried to ride and st…

Extra post of the day

Skimming back over posts since I began this quest to post everyday I found a reference to John Hannah being on Fraiser and that made me think of the fact that two (2!) different bosses asked me if I'd seen the movie Sliding Doors with Gwenneth Paltrow and John Hannah from 1998. How weird is that? It's not like it was a blockbuster. To be fair we were discussing how I chose my college each time and didn't go where I was offered the full scholarship, but I think it bizarre that we all knew the film. Hilariously I could remember John Hannah's name but not Gwenneth's (though I knew who she was--Blythe Danner's daughter). They knew who Hannah was by remembering that he was in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Sliding Doors is about the two different paths that Gwenneth's life could have taken--1) if she'd caught a train and 2) if she hadn't. It's an interesting film about the tiny decisions in our lives, and the things that seem like disasters but …

Random thoughts (do I have any others?)

I mean to write long exciting things and I have several going (realize I'm going to have to post two extras to have a full set for March) but TV is interesting again, which leads us to...

Over the weekend, caught the last episode of "Blackadder Goes Forth (or Fourth)" which is the saddest episode of the whole set (well, duh, since it's a comedy!). At the end of each Blackadder series everybody dies a horrible death, but it's surreal and it's funny. At the end of this one, set in a trench in WWI, everybody goes over the top and dies and it's not funny. It's terribly, terribly sad. "In Flanders Field the poppies grow" (John McCrae). "Poppies for young men, death's bitter trade" (Sting). And the series treats it as such--there's no closing credits, no music, just the field as it is now, soft and green. Stephen Fry before The Baftas and his novel and Bright, Young Things. Tony Robinson before archeology. Rowan Atkinson …

The Illusionist

Well, we waited a week. It's not really comparable with The Prestige because the through lines (that is the point of the movie) is so completely different. It's an ok film. Quite pretty and the acting (even Jessica Biel--which was actually pleasant, because I thought it was going to be Jessica Alba) excellent. I love Rufus Sewall, and Norton and Giammatti keep rising with each film I see. It occurred to me that Sewall has now played two depraved sons of rulers who thought themselves better than their governments. He played Charles II in a made for TV. Of course, everyone seems to have played Charles II from Sam Neil to John Malkovich. It was a basic love story and the twist was pretty obvious.
I've been lurking at IMDB quite a bit this week and I agree with the assessment that although the "magic/science" of The Prestige is impossible, it is nevertheless explained and "plausible" within the film. Only some of the tricks are explained here and i…

Computers

I am back on my main desktop! My husband bought another drive and set it up and is planning to make the first drive (the one with OS problems) a slave to this new one and in theory keep the programs on one and the files on the other. In theory this all makes sense but I'm glad I don't have to do it. For the moment, he just got this set up tonight and we don't have our settings in it yet, so everything looks funny and we haven't downloaded the Japanese lang. pack so sites I go to aren't reading yet, but at least it's very fast and the sound is back and hopefully the burner will work better than it was which sort of started this whole thing. The only other thing is that all of my files are on the unconnected drive for the moment which sort of makes me sad and worried, which is silly since I don't need them tonight, or even tomorrow and anything I'd really want to work on I'm carrying around on a USB drive or on the laptop, but still it's just a we…

My fundamental problem

Yesterday I finally called a local school that has a certificate program in Industrial Design. This is my non-fundamental problem. I want to be an Industrial Designer or, at any rate I want to design stuff and have factories make it and be paid for it by working for a company that already has marketing and sales departments (as opposed to designing stuff, taking out a massive loan to have a factory manufacture it, or make it myself, and then ALSO have to go out and drum up orders for said stuff). I want to be Philippe Starck. I want to design useful, pretty things. I have lots of ideas for both useful/pretty things and useless/clever things. What I don't have is a degree in Industrial Design. So I called this school. I've had the catalog telling me about the program since LAST SUMMER. Making the call made me physically sick to my stomach. I did it at work and I thought I was going to have to go into an empty office and lay down. I reached a machine, of course. Today a guy call…

Technical Difficulties

We're having computer problems which may require the complete reinstall of the OS. Blech. I'm writing this on my laptop with stolen wi-fi, which makes it all very, very slow, so I may have to break my streak of continuous posting. Hopefully not, but know that it is due to circumstances beyond my control.

Went to see Pan's Labyrinth tonight and am not going to give it enough space here. Lovely, lovely, tragic movie, although, not as good (to me) as Devil's Backbone. But stunning visuals, great edititing, excellent storytelling. Del Toro is definitely in my pantheon now.

The Prestige

Last year two films came out about competing magicians in the 1800's. How strange is that? We obviously watched the one above tonight. Annoyingly because we both shuffle the Netflix list we are getting The Illusionist tomorrow. I really didn't plan to watch them back to back. That said, this movie blew my socks off. Unfortunately, it's like Children of Men. I don't know how to talk about it without spoilers. It is a slow, beautiful, horrifying movie, wandering through different times fluidly and effortlessly as in Christopher Nolan's earlier Memento. And like Memento, it explores the problems with obsession and manipulation (I like finding through lines in director's work). Like Memento the time twists are essential to the response of the audience. They are not arbitrary or unnecessary. I know that it's possible to watch Memento "in order" but I cannot think that the impact would be the same. I will say this: this film and it's final twist fri…

More adventures in random shuffle

Camelot is one of my favorite musicals. For a long time it probably was my favorite musical. I discovered in in 4th grade and played the album so often I think I wore down the ridges. I would turn it down really low and lie in front of the speakers. I knew all the words. I read The Once and Future King (book on which it's based) in 4th grade because of it. (And yes, I know that T.H. White author of TOAFK stole from the Arthurian legends already existing. I read those later) I also read On the Street Where I Live by the lyricist/librettist, Alan Jay Lerner because of it and worshipped him until the day he died when I was 16. I still think lyrically it's one of the best musicals ever written. The lyrics tell the story and sing spontaneously out of the story--which is what I like in a musical--none of this, we're singing a song because we all know it, crap--no, just I'm saying lines, then I'm singing lines, then I'm saying lines again. If you're going to suspe…

Here's the silly thing

Remember how I had resolved to go to bed at 11 this week? Well last night my movie ended at about 10:45, came in, checked email, posted, all done at 11:02. So one should go to bed, correct? I'm so proud of myself that I decide to check the IMDB listing for Ridicule, then I check the IMDB listing for Flushed Away that I watched this weekend. THEN I read the comments on Flushed Away (for which I have to log in) because it had a lot of inside jokes and I wanted to see some lists. Instead I read the post of some idiot who "can't understand why they would make a film starring rats, slugs and toads," esp. as "women hate rats." There's a huge line of people all posting to tell him what an idiot he is, that a) it's not just women who hate rats, b) that many women DON'T hate or fear rats c) this is a cute film with anthropomorphic creatures, not REAL rats. I had not yet posted on IMDB at all, just lurked even though I been irked by a variety of comments.…

Ridicule

French film, 1996. Young provincial aristocrat (circa 1790's) goes to appeal to the King to help him drain the swamps of his county. In order to get to the King he has to become a wit (and along the way sleep with Fanny Ardant). In the end when he prefers the innocent and intellectual daughter of his benefactor the court turns on him. This is what Dangerous Liaisons and Valmont could have been if there had been anything at all at stake for anyone in them (although the book and the play are better than either film). Very lovely, and said a lot about the crowd mentality, the vapidness of wit as a soul purpose for being and the fear that accompanies any game of popularity. I've written about this before--cruelty masquerading as intelligence. Cleverness masquerading as depth. Sad that it seems so timeless.

(One thing that was delightful was the effort to distinguish the French Esprit from the English "hew-mah" (humor), deemed untranslatable.)

The Departed and some quick catch-ups

I threw out two trash bags of stuff today--projects I will never finish, even fabric I will never use, paper cranes. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was that, "There will always be more fabric." There will always be more origami paper. This time I was smart, I did some projects FIRST and then reorganized and threw out after, instead of cleaning everything first and then running out of time and energy to do a project, resolving to do it tomorrow and not doing it until the sewing room needed cleaning again. Did my laundry, sewed a bodice to a skirt, made a shrug and cleaned my silver jewelry.

Then tonight we watched The Departed. My God, what an awful film. It really was. I know it's gotten all this critical acclaim but I just thought it was a mess. The first half dragged on trying to lay on all kind of important inferences about Boston politics, race and class. It only became interesting at all when it started just stealing every scene from Infernal Affair…

Disposable World

I worked part of the day in my sewing room, mainly doing small repairs and ironing. I've felt the need to do something with my hands lately, build something as opposed to just writing or working, but I couldn't do anything until I caught up with the ironing which was piled on the sewing table and dealt with the repairs piled on the machine.
I finally put together a document room at work yesterday. It felt just like my old days in visual merchandising, moving shelves, unpacking boxes, rearranging as new things emerged. One of the things I really liked about Visual was the sense of having really DONE something at the end of the day, something you could point to and say, "That's what I did today," as opposed to administrative or HR work where one sometimes feels as though all one is doing is shuffling paper and sitting on the phone. I'm not really selling the insurance I'm just making sure the paperwork goes through. There were many things I hated about Visu…

I got to suck on Sir Derek Jacobi's wrist

Just got suckered into watching Underworld: Evolution. You know, you think I'll just watch this opening until something better is on and then you've gone and watched the whole thing. It was pretty eye-candy and it didn't suck (all puns intended). It stayed true to itself which is all you can really ask. I haven't actually seen the first one but this had Sir Derek Jacobi in it, one of my heroes. He was very good and treated it with great seriousness. Looking at his IMDB listing I'm struck by what a lot of fluff he's been in. Lawrence Olivier famously claimed to have taken his role in Clash of the Titans (which both sucks and blows, to quote Bart Simpson) to pay for his Bentley, an indulgence late in life. I'm not sure if Derek's buying Bentley's with this, but he's always delightful--no small parts, just small actors. He steals the show in Nanny McPhee, was apparently in a recent Marple (which seemed to have cast entirely from alums of M…

10 Years On

My husband sent around an article from the BBC about how England had changed in the last 10 years and invited people to add how America had changed.

I found this at the BBC site and as I was reading (and not getting a lot of the references) thought about the US. How
has the US changed over the past 10 years? (Since we're much larger. Regional references are OK.

I'll start:
~I93 (Boston) was a parking lot looming over our heads, now it's a parking lot under our feet.
~We (the US) had a national surplus in 1997, now we're 3
trillion dollars in debt.
~10 years ago there wasn't a Starbucks on every bloody corner.
1. Coffee is served by the pint and it will cost more than a pint of beer.
4. I remember arranging to meet friends at a given location/time many days in advance. If they were late you had to scratch around for 10p to ring from a phone box (and their mum would always tell you they had set off). They would never stand you up, as the cowardly way of cancelling without war…

One must make time

I can either blog and play online or I can watch movies. Tonight I opted for the movie. Watched Chungking Express (thanks Matt!). Fantastic. My estimation of Wong Kar-Wei just keeps going up. Planning to change all my signatures to: It was still an emotionally charged towel. (Just had the thought, wonder how that relates to Hoopy Froodism). More on that another time. Annoying because I had a lot of randomly generated links in my head today.

Also realized that My Space layout HAD changed, but I can't see it while logged in. How phenomenally STUPID is that? So now have a rather fun but silly half layout going (with an annoying query box--no, I don't want you to tell me if you think I'm hot) which I don't have time to change tonight. When I get it done I'll link it here for no good reason. Like an old BASIC program--why do we blog again? See A A)why do we blog again? See A...

Or--like some weird friend loop. Hey, link to my blog and I'll link to your…

I'm tired, I'm sorry

It's all caught up with me. I worked out tonight for the first time in some time. It's freezing in my apartment because some doofus who works for my landlord flipped off our heat at some point during the day and it was only turned back on about 7pm. I'm just tired. I refer you to Matt's brief frightening blog, David's interesting choices on an upcoming Geek event, and Mirror's comments on hypocrisy. Still not sure what to make of Neil Gaiman's upcoming movie (well, movie of his book) Stardust, and Whedonism's random quote generator had one of my favorite quotes from Firefly--He's putting the hair away now. TTFN.

Melancholia

I saw a dead cat on the way home (I think it was a cat). It always makes me sad--that idea that something was alive, warm, breathing, thinking to a certain extent and now it's not. And then I thought of all the people dying around the world right now, today, everyday. Consciousnesses and personalities and thought patterns and behavior patterns disappearing every second, and new ones that didn't exist before coming into being. When I used to tell my therapist that I get hung up in these reflections she said I was projecting, taking some internal sorrow that I could not face and seeing everything in the world as sad, but there IS this continuous sorrow in the world, perhaps matched by the joy of new lives, but perhaps not. Does joy equal or balance grief? Many deaths are unnoticed and unmourned and not all new lives bring happiness. Is it just because I have a melancholic disposition that I come back to this again and again?

One of those "And this was my day" posts

So we are in our new office--good things, bad things. On a server now, which objects to Blogger.com so no more spur of the moment posts in the middle of the day unless I develop a better system for mobile blogging. Of course I can write something down in the middle of the day, "They may control my Internet, but they'll never control my mind!" At least now I can clean all the work related crap off of my own laptop.

I'm right under a fluorescent light which I hate. We were kidding about my adding a curtain across the opening of my cube and I said I needed a canopy. I'm wondering what they'll do if I actually put one up tomorrow. One of my bosses brought lamps into her space and isn't turning on the overhead light at all.

I still have to put the file room in order--really dreading that. Prob. Friday. No profound thoughts here, sorry.

No time, no time

Posting minutes before midnight (and also reading everyone else's posts because the whole point of this should be give and take--nice Bunny suit, Mirror) on a work night. Had a relaxing morning reading the paper and talking to my husband. Had a lazier than planned afternoon then got frantic around four and ran around doing laundry and dusting and spent the evening labeling postcards for work because I'd forgotten about them (d'oh!). But I have posted at least one thing everyday for eight days and I'm pretty proud of some of them. Still feeling energized. Hooray! Talk to you tomorrow, world.

(Oh, and the responses to my rant at VAN have been positive.)

Random follow ups and one peeve

I could probably blog continuously, given half a chance. Yes, I am that self-absorbed. There's always that self-narrative going on in my head. I try to wait until I at least have some semblance of a central thesis--some premise that goes beyond the "and then I did this, and then I did this, and it was cool." To at least find the lesson learned, which might or might not be obvious to the reader, and if there is some point, then it might be applied in a universal way. I wrote this on the Blackberry on the train going downtown. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get it to talk to my computer via it's cable so I had to retype it, but it gives me a chance to edit.

Continuing the discussion of being insular from a few days ago: I was walking back from South Station after seeing a friend onto a train. It was late and the neighborhood can be rough (Financial District--ghost town on weekends and nights, with lurking homeless and drunks). I'm seldom afraid, but I try to be …

The computer wars or how my husband tossed my cookies

Sharing computers is a fine art. We share the desktop at home and I have my own laptop, but no connection unless I steal wi-fi. I can customize my laptop to my heart's content. I generally go along with the desktop issues. For instance he made me a tiny Hyde icon for my folders, but I was warned that if I ever changed the wallpaper or screensaver to anything L'Arc or Hyde related he would remove every last piece of L or H related information from the computer. O_o

My husband is sort of a techie-light. He's self taught, but most of the techies I know are. He knows quite a lot more than I do mainly because he does the research, and like most techies I know he's unhappy with the general out of the box specs. He doesn't use IExplorer he uses Maxthon. He tried to convert me to Open Office rather than windows, but I couldn't do that since nobody else could open files I sent them. So we end up with two of everything on our computer.

Last week we had some compu…

In which the author discovers she cannot lie under oath, but that small miracles do occur

I went to fight a speeding ticket this morning. The incident happened just before Thanksgiving. The notice I received said arrive at 8:30. So despite Yahoo Maps optimisticbelief that the trip takes 18 minutes I set out at 7:50. I arrived at 8:28 and ended up driving around the block twice because there is no parking lot for the Brighton Courthouse because this is Boston (to quote Futurama--as I often do--I'm shocked, well not that shocked). Parked frantically in a spot under a sign with the cryptic message, "No parking 4 hours before or 1 one hour after a football game at (?) school." How would one know? Had stupidly worn flats in order to work better packing boxes at work only to have to tread over unshovelled sidewalks. Ran into the courthouse to a truly Dickensian hell. About 60 people were already seated on benches all around the walls, some in suits, some in jeans, all already looked like souls in purgatory or the Bardo, resigned and waiting. I'd had this weird …