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Showing posts from July, 2007

Cliches

I would love to say that I don't use cliches, but I'm sure that a quick perusal of old posts would reveal me a liar. The everyday cliches don't bother me--partially because there is a slight sense of irony about it. The ones that put my teeth on edge are business ones and now I am in the corporate world. My company has two that seem to be required--"in the weeds" and "drill down" as in, "I don't think we need to get in the weeds of that program. You'll only need it once in a while," and "I look up the client and then I can drill down to get account details." I've even heard the bizarre combination of "get down in the weeds and drill in." ??? Drill into the weeds?
[Side note: On the summer mini-series "The Starter Wife" which I caught sporadically, mainly for the divine Judy Davis, Debra Messing's character is speaking with her lover and she worries about the speed of their relationship by s…

Is this the correct usage of the word ironic?

I'm never sure.

Anyway--the big boss at my organization has decided that guerrilla (read free or cheap) tactics in marketing are the way to go. We, me, his assistant and he, are reading a book on blogs, podcasts, news releases, viral marketing and online media to grow the business. This is strange for me and while the cynic in me wants to resist, it's hard not to get caught up in JN's enthusiasm. I can find most things fascinating, so trolling through websites, even on marketing and PR is interesting.

Unfortunately, it can also eat up a lot of time (as we all know, you go to a site, and then follow a link, and another link and... down the rabbit hole). He's paying me, but he's also paying me to do a lot of other things.

Soooo, this blog may become tied in with those blogs at some future point.

Charisma and evil

I was thinking this as I read Harry Potter (and I'm not giving anything away here), as a follow up to seeing Last King of Scotland a while a ago:

Why do people follow madmen? It's seems to be an unanswerable questions, or rather there are a multitude of reasons but it doesn't explain why some people do not follow and some do.

Now Voldemort is fictional, and Idi Amin was all too terrifyingly and tragically real, but in the fictional account of him, it seems that anyone with half a brain could see that this person was out of their mind, paranoid, delusional, sociopathic, etc. AND therefore know that their own lives were precarious with such a person.

My husband and I have discussed this at length, and come up with a small list:
a) We make excuses for people's behavior until it's too much
b) The possibility of power is tempting enough to ignore the possible dangers
c) The basic human inability to ever really believe that it will happen to us. Yes, this person slaughtered hi…

Harry Potter (no Spoilers)

So I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows about an hour ago.
I read about half of it last night and half tonight. It "borrows" much from LOTR and Narnia--

which does not in any way diminish it.

That's about all I'm going to say for now as I accidently got a suspicion from someone else's blog despite all efforts to not read anything about it. It was something I suspected already, but I wish it had not been confirmed until I read it. I teared up a lot while reading the book despite trying very hard not to spoil it for my husband--which I think is to be expected.

I do not feel devastated as I did at the end of Narnia and I do thank Rowling for her gentleness.

EDIT: I think it a very, very good book. I wasn't sure if I made that clear.

More at some later date when cats are out of bags, as it were. I could do an all white post, but temptation might overwhelm someone.

End of the month, so a few easy (cheap) posts

First, very cool responses to my posts all over the place:

Mirror Up to Nature
http://mirroruptolife.blogspot.com/2007/07/fame-duration-and-quality.html

The Writing Life x3
http://writinglife3.blogspot.com/2007/07/fame-and-legacy-and-art-courtesy-of.html

(and possibly Matt, but I'm not sure)

and the earlier post on what makes music appealling to one person and not another:

Musing
http://musingsofamiddle-agedwoman.blogspot.com/2007/07/its-way-past-my-bedtime-but.html


It made me very happy--this is why I started doing this--for the interesting conversation.

Two of these people live quite close to me and in theory we could go sit somewhere (not Starbuck's) and have these discussions, but two of these people live nowhere near me.

I would like a few more readers and more that I read regularly, but I feel that some sort of personal introduction is needed than just, "Hey, I like your blog."

On the other hand, I would not want to be so popular that I was getting the pointless arguers. …

And then it's everywhere...

So, I told my husband about my blog mentioning Jaques-Louis David and he had been looking for an image in old comics and found this:By Frank Cho, creator of Liberty Meadows. He even mentions the artist's name and I didn't notice it before.



So I pull the McEwan back out again...

For Musing. I'm kidding! I was actually thinking of a quote I should have put down from Black Dogs:

"It is photography itself that creates the illusion of innocence. Its ironies of frozen narrative lend to its subjects an apparent unawareness hat they will change or die. It is the future they are innocent of. Fifty years on we look at them with the godly knowledge of how they turned out after all--who they married, the date of their death--with no thought for who will one day be holding photographs of us."

I think of that sometimes, when I write the wrong year, for instance, 2004--think of who I was just a few years ago. What I did not know then that I know now, let alone twenty years ago.

Absolutely read Saturday--all of the minute of life, love, violence, disappointment, success, etc. wrapped up in 24 hours of one man's life. Working backwards I would also suggest Enduring Love although it's disturbing in many ways. I would likewise recommend the movie wit…

Can't I just run a museum of stuff?

This is one of the things I need to get rid of. I moved it from the lateral filing cabinet in order to put the laptop there. It's an Olympia. It is not exotic or rare or even particularly beautiful. It has no special meaning to me as it came from my husband's side of the family. It works, although the ribbon is sad and tired. I didn't learn to type on a manual as it was felt my arthritis would be made worse by it, but I have to say, there is something satisfying about the "chunk, chunk, chunk" sound of the rods striking the page. There are programs out there for the computer apparently, which reproduce this sound, but they can never reproduce the sensation of the keys receding from one's fingers, the judder through the machine to your hands at the moment of impact.
There is the iconography as well, of the great writers lugging their typewriters into foreign countries and battlefields. One feels that one will be able to write great things on it as the…

Found poetry

In trying to toss things I found some old magnetic poetry. It's surprisingly interesting (to me). Words in parenthesis are filled in now as is any punctuation.

I recall a language
like winter death
I think we were sacred
I was weak in my worship of you.
Friend,
together we (were an) essential symphony


After her liquid
she haunt(s) like eternity
(A) fresh petal did him
Ask his
girl/woman/goddess
men/boy(s)/mother(s)
(the) sea/ (the) sky
Do/did let rob (our) power?
No, or to-want
Put (it) out (there to) think
(and) say go
Ask, tell (and) manipulate
Though, beneath
less mean


Smell storm rain like...

but it, to me, (a) moment(ary) ache

Please, may (I) scream
and yet after
ask some(one) who...
Then why?
(Now) languid and lazy
(but) still mad
(seeing) sordid blue

(A) gorgeous breeze,
(a) moment
poinsoned
(by a) goddes
(and the) ghost of desire
(like) coffee

And that (the magnets, not the poetry) is something I can't quite bring myself to throw away, although I just keep moving it from one place to another.

Ian McEwan

Part of my tension, I think, is the fact that I have not been reading much. As I mentioned--I'm deep in the doldrums (to steal a metaphor) of Moby Dick and a stubbornness on my part keeps me from simply putting it down and picking up something else. Normally I'll read two novels a week.

Back in the late spring I did put down MD long enough to read On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan because it was very short. At the time it had not come out in America, but it has by now, and everyone and their brother has reviewed it.

I was trying to remember if I found McEwan on my own, or if i found him in college. I know that I read Black Dogs in a class which was called "European Literature after the war," but the Professor admitted was really just a list of April Bernard's favorite authors. We read Calvino, Kundera, Highsmith and Muriel Spark. And Ian McEwan. I've always liked McEwan, but I believe he's becoming a better author as he goes along and I was trying to figure out…

Expanding that thought slightly

I could go on all day about iconography.

Clearly, seeing George Clooney in a movie like Ocean's 11 (12 or 13) brings with it the whole knowledge of George Clooney as style maker and playboy.

What then do we make of Werner Herzog's casting of Christian Bale as Dieter Dengler in Rescue Dawn?

As a young boy in Germany, Dieter Dengler was almost killed by American fighter pilots. From that moment he resolved to be an American fighter pilot.

In the Vietnam war he was shot down on his first mission, taken captive in a Laotian POW camp from which he then escaped and amazingly made it back to safety.

As a young boy, Christian Bale starred as the fictional version of the real author J.G. Ballard who was taken to a POW camp by the Japanese where he developed a fascination/love for the Kamikaze pilots who took off from the airfield next to the camp.

Coincidence? I think not.

Now Bale is an amazing actor. I thought it when I saw him in Empire of the Sun and I've thought it ever since.�…

Fame, Legacy and Iconography--from music to art

(NOTE: I started this sometime ago and didn't finish it until now)
So, as I mentioned in the dream post, I went to see the Edward Hopper exhibit with my now former boss DS. As we were walking in, I asked, "Do you like Hopper." And she said, "I don't know his work." I think I gaped at her--how do you grow up in America, esp. being her age (65) and not know the works of Edward Hopper? I said, "I think you'll recognize the paintings once you see them.
When we approached Nighthawks, arguably Hopper's most famous work, I said, "You have to have seen this--or at least a parody." "Nope," she said.


Now, Nighthawks has been reproduced so many times that I'm a little sick of it. There's the one with James Dean and Marilyn:

And doing a quick search, CSI, the Simpsons and Inuyasha and Edward Elric. Also, I'm told, one with characters from Cowboy BeBop, and many others I didn't copy.


In addition, many others of Hopper's wo…

Checking in

I've been in my new job for four weeks. I've had the bar in my ear for three weeks. How is it all going you may ask. The ear is still sore--still not sleeping on my left side, but seems to be healing cleanly with no strange scarring and growths. In case you are wondering, I do not actually have a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet, and I am working very hard to keep myself from contamination. We have always ordered our copies from Britain from the days when the edition were different (HP & the Sorcerer's Stone/HP & the Philosopher's Stone) and now do it to keep the editions covers the same. Our copy will arrive some time this week.

The job...is very, very stressful. Or perhaps it just seems so because I've been in such relaxed jobs for so long. The learning curve has been steep (and will continue to be so). I'm using programs of which I only had passing knowledge every day--like Dreamweaver and Adobe Design. What's funny in Dreamweav…

Ask and ye shall receive

SO, there is a place to upload mp3's and other large files to share. Yes, it does have a pesky, don't upload copyrighted material notice, but that's doing as well as You Tube's did. Arigatogozaimasu, Musing!

This could be a bad thing, because I could just do a post on the catchphrases that my husband and I use, but clipped int their original format, so you could hear just HOW they should be said, not to mention every piece of music I own XP.

SOOO, THIS is my favorite Psychedelic Furs song, Get a Room:
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It meant a lot to me at a difficult time in my life. What's interesting is that it described what I think someone else felt about me, not as one would ordinarily think, what I felt about them.


This is probably my second favorite Psychedelic Furs song, Torch (I have both from Should God Forget: The Psychedelic Furs, A Retrospective):
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While I'm at it, this is what I felt at the time (this one's b…

Bwa-ha-ha!

THANKS, MIRROR! This is particularly funny to me because my husband has those glasses, and when he got them, I said, "I think you look like James Joyce."






You're Ulysses!

by James Joyce

Most people are convinced that you don't make any sense, but compared
to what else you could say, what you're saying now makes tons of sense. What people do
understand about you is your vulgarity, which has convinced people that you are at once
brilliant and repugnant. Meanwhile you are content to wander around aimlessly, taking in
the sights and sounds of the city. What you see is vast, almost limitless, and brings you
additional fame. When no one is looking, you dream of being a Greek folk hero.


Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

On arbitrary designations

Matt pointed out that 8 little notes is a... I'm not sure what to call it. Misnomer? Misapprehension? That we have broken the wavelength of sound into these arbitrary divisions, and that some (like the pentatonic scale) break it in other ways that sound strange and alien to us.

Likewise I was thinking of the women who used to come into the fabric stores where I worked and be angry that we did not have the exact color of thread, or zipper to match their store-bought item. I remember saying to one woman that there is such an enormous range of colors, how could we possibly carry everything. And she said, "Well, how did the manufacturer?" I said, "I would imagine that they were dyed together." Of course, what I wanted to say was, "Lady, if you're sewing so that your thread shows that badly, then you don't know how to sew." I've been known to sew seams with whatever color is in the machine and only change when I needed to topstitch and then it w…

My husband's version of a blog

My husband sent me this this morning. The stuff in purple is his signature--also from Doctor Who.

So I'm waiting on the platform @ Sullivan Sq and glance over to see that a man is reading a collection of 8th Doctor comics.
I leaned over towards him and said that I thought that I was one of the only Dr Who fans around and he says semi-mysteriously "no there are quite a few of us around".
I told him that we had just finished watching the new 3d season & he asked how we liked it...then asked "finished watching? They've only started running it on SciFi". where I told him about torrenting...the corruption begins.
We asked each other if we had watched the old show, he said that he liked Eccleston's Doctor... and then the train came.

The fans are out there.

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey...stuff."

Sounds

I was thinking about the question in the meme that Red Queen sent around regarding favorite sounds. I don't know that I have favorite sounds in the same way that I have favorite smells, favorite colors, even favorite things to touch. There are sounds I enjoy, like the sound of a cello well played. I like the sound and timbre of my husband's voice. I like Hyde's singing voice when he sings more in a baritone range than in a tenor's, but I do enjoy a good Irish tenor, so it's not just the pitch.
I have theory, which may or may not be supported in musical theory, that certain combinations of notes--both cords and progressions--are more soothing to the average human ear. That's why Andrew Lloyd Weber does so well ripping off Puccini, and why Puccini is a more popular classical composer than Wagner. Of course, critics like to say that Puccini is opera lite, but I ignore them.

This is my all time favorite song:







Gymnopédies suite by Erik Satie is a close second and inter…

Another cheap post

Addendum: I had forgotten that Tennant's Doctor actually references Harry Potter and J.K.Rowling in the episode The Shakespeare Code (which Sci-Fi ran last night). Amusing episode--explains what really happend to Love's Labours Won (for Shakespeare fans out there.)


This is David Tennant as the Doctor:



Last night I dreamt that the Doctor was in Harry Potter. Then I woke up and remembered that he is. Potter fans may know him better as Barty Crouch, Jr. Happy opening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.Neil Gaiman was disappointed in the Season Finale of Doctor Who as well.

Cheap post

Red Queen sent this round via email. I took out the ones I've posted already.

I Tag Matt but only if he's interested.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
L-- was what I was called in the orphanage--don't know if it's after anyone
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Last night--moving movie; about a month ago for other reasons
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING
When I think about it, although I don't love my signature
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Brown sugar or maple ham
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Yes, d'uh.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes, and I don't actually know anyone but my mother who had them out. Nor do I know anyone who has had their appendix removed.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Maybe
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
For dry snacking--Rice Chex or Kix, as cereal--Blueberry Morning, also oatmeal and Cream of Wheat
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
If they have laces, sometimes. Depends on the shoes
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
No
13. WHAT …

Catchall

There is also the possibility re: Harry Potter and TDH: to not read it. To leave the ending forever in the state of Schrodinger's cat. Unknown (to us) and therefore neither good nor bad/satisfying nor frustrating. We (husband and I) actually discussed this re: Doctor Who. More along the lines of how long we would put off knowing (opening the box--thus entering the experiment--just to keep the metaphor going XP) since this would be our last new Doctor Who until Christmas. Interestingly, there is a race, in one of the Doctor Who novels that powers everything on the power of uncertainty. Like the fact that a book balanced on the edge of a table has potential energy. Can you channel that kinetic energy elsewhere than in the book falling? Of course, both of these things are enormously in the world and will therefore be enormously known to many people. Avoiding knowing ourselves would prove (I suspect) impossible.

I went to a wedding last night (for friend who's shower I attended a f…

Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream

I sailed away to China in a little row boat to find ya, and you said you had to get your laundry clean... --Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder (who apparently went on to produce No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom--strange)

In my dream I went to Wales (I think it was Wales--I've never been to Wales. It was definitely Great Britain and I could see the ocean) with the strangest group of people, my old boss DS, Keifer Sutherland (couldn't quite figure out if he was Keifer, Jack Bauer, or just someone who looked and sounded like Keifer), 3 other people who seemed familiar, but I can't place now AND my dog, Guinness. We were also only there for the afternoon and had to catch a flight back to America at midnight. I dream in great detail. There was this moment when we were on a street and Keifer pointed out this granite plateau perhaps 10 stories high in the center of town (which is why I think Wales) and all these little war houses had been built around it's base and beyond it you cou…

That kind of a day

...
There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

There will be time to murder and create,

And time for all the works and days of hands

That lift and drop a question on your plate;

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a toast and tea.

(excerpt from) The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock--T.S. Eliot



Trivia--C.S. Lewis thought Eliot marked the decline of poetry.
For JT (short). Eliot was born in St. Louis, and after attending a preparatory for Wash U., went to Milton Academy for a year, and from there to Harvard. (JT went to Wash U. and did not study poetry).

God Bless the Chinese

And gunpowder. Just watched the Boston fireworks live and in person. Haven't done that in, probably 20 years. Fantastic. The effects were amazing

IMDB has the lawyer quote from John Adams from 1776 as it's quote of the day! Happy American Independence Day!

I'm afraid of the Deathly Hallows

Not really what they (or it, as in All Hallows Eve) may be, but for the end.

When this new Harry Potter book comes out, and 24 hours later, when I've read it (pretty much), that's it. No more adventures with Harry, and Ron, and Hermione. Already no more with Dumbledore (unless he comes back all in white with...oh, wait sorry, that's Gandalf). In the Simpsons Homer was reading Lisa an adventure of a Harry Potter type and Homer reads ahead and finds out that the Professor character dies. He asks Lisa what would happen if something happened to the Professor and she says, "That would be the death of my childhood."

I remember when I finished Narnia. I was about 8. I just sat and stared into space. I was devastated. Not only was everyone (but Susan) dead and Narnia itself destroyed in Armageddon, it was the end. Never again would I read new adventures in Lewis's own hand. I then went back to the beginning and read them again. I remember a similar loss at the end of W…

On customization, "appropriateness" and considering what others think

So I got this bar though my ear... Musing wrote to say she thought it cool and her daughter is planning on getting a ring on her face at some point. JT said that it reminded him to make sure that his earring hole was still open because he hadn't done it for some months. I hadn't noticed he had one until he pointed it out.

Recently Dress A Day (who is also some sort of Lexicographer) posted how she was appalled and upset by what people wear on airplanes. She dresses for comfort, but never below business casual. I wrote that I too had been dismayed by the dress on airplanes not only for the sensibilities of fellow travellers, but for safety as I had always heard that you should wear comfortable (and now easy on/easy off) but safe shoes that stay on your feet, clothing which does not restrict your movement but is not too flowing, etc. for safety reasons--as in escaping the plane. A staggering number of people wrote to add their two cents varying from support to outright hostility …

Nalini then and now--as promised

Nalini now

Nalini on the last day of our freshman year, loading her VW Rabbit. She actually doesn't seem to have changed that much. For that matter, I don't think I have physically (and this is supported by others).



More on anime, Japan and language

At the end of Paprika my husband whispered, "Well, that's Tokyo destroyed again." It is certainly a common occurrence in anime (and in Japanese film if one considers Godzilla and others). Do we consider these part of the "special" status that Japan holds as the only country to be attacked with a nuclear bomb? A few years ago there was an exhibit on whether that peculiar distinction has led to what is popular culture in Japan, from Godzilla to Gundam (giant robots) to Hello Kitty. There are actually Hello Kitty vibrators and feminine products for sale (don't ask me how I know)--not just cute and cuddly. The giant crater of Paprika, the blinding flash of Otomo'sAkira, many others I can't recall at the moment--is this an attempt to deal with the aftermath? Too, is SatoshiKon's obsession with what is repressed an effort to acknowledge what is publicly avoided by the Japanese--namely their own part in the atrocities of WWII?
http://www.npr.org/templat…