28 November, 2009

life and Central Casting - Or, Some Major Tuna Sandwiching

I'm considering chucking the twitter account. I'm too deeply into facebook to dump it too, but I think I would if I could. I'm tired of it. And Twitter is too much for me; my life isn't interesting enough to merit an account. This sounds strange, coming from a person who is blogging, but to me it makes sense. Yes, blogs are more personal than facebook, but they are more out of the way. Private. There are about a zillion blogs out there, so it's perfectly possible that no one will ever find my little one. In fact, I'd be perfectly happy if it just floats quietly in cyberspace, my own little secret corner.

I've wasted the last two days, and it's made me moody. I wonder about my life. Will ever get married? Or have a job I like? Will I get into theatre? Or film? Do I have any talent at all? Is my desire to perform or create fueled by real passion for it all, or am I just attracted by the theatrical life? Am I ugly? Is it remotely possible that I could get an A in astronomy next semester?  (10 Feb - not a chance.  Dropped that class faster than you can say "IT'S ALL MATH!?")

In more recent news - I have to get my wisdom teeth out on the thirtieth of December; which means, according to the sheet of helpful facts about the wisdom tooth extraction process, that I will be ringing in the new year precisely 48 hours from the time of surgery. At 48 hours, the swelling of the patient's face will reach it's "peak". Happy New Year, indeed. Or as I will be saying it: "ha...ha....haaafeee...(mmfch, aow)...oo...eaaaaaaww." At least I get to keep my top set. I will be the wisest member of the family.

I take back all the mean things I have said or thought about Jane Eyre. I'm in chapter five (like I said, queen of procrastinating), and she's being very brave and, a few pages ago, stood up to her nasty aunt. Go Jane.

Ho-hum.  I feel like dumping everything, somehow moving to L.A. (or smell-A as my Geography prof calls it.) and getting a job as a movie extra. I'm not kidding. My friend Bonnie is a professional extra, and she works on films and TV shows all the time. She was Jim's brother's wife (so sister-in-law) on The Office this season, at Jim and Pam's wedding. She sat right behind Spock in the new Star Trek movie. She played a cult member on Monk and was told she looked the most convincing one. There are pictures of her in costume for Mad Men, Cold Case and who knows what else. I am quite jealous.

21 November, 2009

Library, how I love thee

It really amazes me that, in this day and age, libraries still exist. And also, I almost can't believe that the "Book Mobile" exists as well.  I can request a book from a library in San Marcos, and some tireless worker will load it into the Book Mobile, drive it down, and, within a week or two of my request, I can toddle of to my library and pick it up. How cool is that?
I adore my local library and go there probably every week. Not only is it clean, new, and run by helpful, pleasant, intelligent people, it has the best used bookstore attached to it. At this shop, if you do a little hunting, you can find Agatha Christie paperbacks, brand-new Pelican Shakespeares, classics, kids books and thrillers - all in great shape - for one dollar. Probably close to half of my modest personal library (400 books or so) at one time belonged to the Friends of the Rancho San Diego Library. The shop ladies are so sweet as well, they comment on your purchases (the other day I bought Tess of the D'Ubervilles - singularly depressing - and the checkout lady said, "Oh, Thomas Hardy! When I was younger I read all of his books. I think I might have started with Tess. I'm certainly gad I didn't start with Jude the Obscure. Woomph"), offer you paper bags to carry your books in, and chat amiably about the weather. When I am old, I hope I am half as nice as they are.

This is my library.  Isn't it lovely?  I know that place better than the back of my hand. 

17 November, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream. 7.

Isn't this fabulous? I am dying to see The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers just to see it.  The sped-up, skittering thing they did with the fairy godmother looks fantastic. (FACTOID: Keira Knightley - the fairy - did all her acting and movements very slowly. When the film was sped-up, any little movements she made at normal speed looked totally inhuman.  If that makes any sense.  It's incredible, really.)
That's how I always imagine Titania looking. A bit less winter-y, but very similar. In my head, the fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream look just like this - not a bit human.
Assuming I had a zillion dollars to toss about or some naive young producer to give it to me - because that's about how much money I'd need if I wanted to do it well - I'd love to put on a really, really good stage production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Like, the most ethereal, fantastic Midsummer Night's Dream you can imagine. (I'd also like to see how many times I can write A Midsummer Night's Dream in one blog post. That's 5 so far.)
I recently saw the film of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Stanley Tucci (Puck) and, of course, Rupert Everett (Oberon) were good. And Michele Pfeiffer has the perfect look for Titania. But - surprise, surprise - the fairy costumes bothered me.

Hey! The Starbucks Christmas cup is in!  It's very cheery. (at right is my sloppy tribute.) I heard a man snort and mutter disgustedly in Target the other day while passing the "holiday" section. I don't like the commercialism that's been tacked on to it, but I do love Christmas.

And a Midsummer Night's Dream. 6

Now that I know how to imbed video, the best way to explain the whole fairy stop-motion thing is not to.  A lot of this is blah blah, but at a minute 50, you see the fairy and at 2:40 or so they talk about the skittery film style.  The close-up is really neat.

FYI - I think they show a bit where the brothers spit out their own hearts.  If you're squeamish like me, this is your official warning.  I am such a wimp.  But at peace with it.

13 November, 2009

Triumph! (spoken in a declamatory style, with large hand gestures)

This has nothing to do with anything really, but tonight I - faultlessly, I must say - ran a light board for a theatre show at my school. I'm terribly proud of this. It's kind of a nerve-wracking job; or at least it is for me. (Edit Jan 8: really, everything is nerve-wracking for me.  I'm going to die from all the years of unnecessary stress when I'm 30.)  Wrecking the lighting It isn't like missing a sound cue; if a door opens too soon or a phone doesn't ring, the show can go on. But if I mess up, plunge the stage into darkness, the show really cannot go on. I've been very nervous during the rehearsals, and during the first show. I mean, my finger tips leave damp spots when I move my hand away from the board, I'm so nervous. But tonight was - at least for me - and A performance. Not quite an A plus, but certainly a passing grade. Yes!

Well, the Queen of Procrastinating must depart - she is late for a meeting with the Literary Analysis paper Rough Outline due tomorrow at ten, which, until this moment has not received even a passing thought. (with a wave of her dainty, gloved hand) Thank you for being here today.

07 November, 2009

Wrock it!

I have a lot of regrets.

Loosing my vast CD collection on an airplane, never becoming a sports person, cutting my hair - the list goes on and on. But the biggest regret I have, at the moment, is this list-topping bit of woe:

That I missed out on Harry Potter and The Hype of Hogwarts when it raged in its full glory. (I made up that title, by the way.)

I didn't really care about it all when the books were new. Now, I sincerely wish I had.

On a recommendation from a couple of friends, I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was hooked, and, weirdly, I can't explain why. I thought the book would be silly and - I don't know - thin. Childish. But I found myself rooting for characters, and soon realized that I would have to read all of the other books as well. My family went away for about four weeks in June, and I spent that month reading and watching all the Harry Potter stories. I wanted to have read all the books, and seen all the movies by the time the Half-Blood Prince film came out. I went to the library at least three times a week, and spent many a night huddled under the cover, reading until the wee hours of the morning. I could not put the books down.

It's hard to describe the pull those books have. There are a thousand reasons why they are so intoxicatingly interesting. The story is enthralling. I want to go to Hogwarts. I want to wear ties and sweaters, have an accent, fly on a Firebolt, visit the Burrow - all of it. It's every kid's dream world. If I could mix it (minus, you know, bad things) and Narnia into one world...oh my poor heart would burst.

But I so, so regret not having read the books when there were still books to come out. I feel like an outsider. I want to be a part of the Potter world in it's true glory days - not read about it. Waiting for the movies is not the same. At all.

I'm coming cross all bitter in this post - and I intended to be happy!

The happy thing is (and this shows how truly dull my life is) I splurged on some itunes the other night, and bought five fabulous wizard rock - or wrock - songs. When you have no source of income, five songs is a big deal. Wrock is a whole new genre entirely devoted to Harry Potter. The songs, bands, everything is Harry.  I mean, it's awesome. Unabashed geekiness.

The Remis Lupins are a favorite - I quite enjoy "Alone on Valentines' Day" and "For all the Hufflepuffs". "The Last Word of the Book Wasn't Ska" by The Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office is also rather catchy.

06 November, 2009

Blah and Babysitting

To be honest, I spent this entire morning doing nothing. Or nearly nothing.  it was lovely.

I watched Possession - one of the very few movies, in my personal opinion, that might be better than the book it is adapted from. The Da Vinci Code and, especially, Angels and Demons are also certainly among this group. Movies that are better than the book are few and far between, but they do exist.  (10 Feb - on a side note, I just read Dan Brown's new thriller, The Lost Symbol. They get wackier every time.  The man is a master at writing gut-clenching cliffhangers, even if he's not so great at, like, coming up with remotely believable plots.  And the whole "the Bible just wants us all to coexist, man! So chillax!" thing?  That doesn't work.  The Bible cannot coexist and be true.  I'm about to veer off into Rant-land, so it's time to move away from the desk.)

I started a load of laundry. Doing laundry is one of my least favorite jobs. My second to the least favorite is cleaning floors - I'm profoundly OCD about hair - and my least favorite of all is babysitting for a certain local family who shall remain nameless, but who pay about three dollars an hour (not kidding), have the nastiest house on earth, a dog who must have some unable-to-hold-it-disease because it cannot keep it's pee off the kitchen floor, and a child who - seriously - will do nothing. I ask if she wants to play a game, go outside, color, do a craft, watch a movie, read, play with barbies, with legos, with dolls, with cars, with matches, with just one of the millions of nasty plastic toys in their living room - in the living room, for heaven's sake - and she says:
I ask what she wants to do.
She doesn't know.
She just sits there and looks at you. And occasionally barks like a dog. For seven hours.
I am about the most mercenary person on earth, and even I refuse to work for them. It taxes your sanity - not worth the money.

04 November, 2009

Think Geek, baby. I may or may not be a genius, but I am a master procrastinator

Really, do I even need to write anything with a title like that?

If you've never spent a lovely hour online wandering around on the Think Geek website, I would recommend a hasty removal from this waste of space to the aforementioned site. (not that I really have to tell anyone to do this. No one has read this blog, except myself, and I already spent a good 20 minutes on Think Geek the other day.) They have the most fantastic posters, made to look like office inspirational posters - you know what I mean, the kind that say things like "teamwork" and "leadership" under a picture of a lighthouse or the grand canyon or something impressive. The "procrastination" one is pretty sweet. Check them out.

Some other cool things they have:
• Deluxe jedi robes
• Good Morning, Sir Alarm (it ought to be "alarum") clock, which wakes you with recordings of that gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves, saying things like," It is time to face the day. Shall I cancel you appointments and book a hotel for a month in Seychelles? Very good, Sir." I do not believe there could be a better way to be awakened of a chilly morning. Unfortunately, it's 70 bucks.
• A light-up wi-fi detecting shirt. I can’t do this one full justice. It’s amazing.
• A laptop sleeve made to look like a “my documents” folder
• The Think Geek 8 bit tie
• And a Dread Pirate Roberts action figure

I’ve never seen such a collection of interesting items in one place. Every new page brings forth another merchandise marvel. I would buy a lot of it, if I had any moolah. But it’s fun looking around on the site even without sweet moolah, because the product descriptions are hilarious. I’ll probably get sued for doing this, but here is just an example of their fabulous “product information” on a particularly great t-shirt. And this isn’t even their best.

Here at ThinkGeek we're pretty lazy when it comes to technology. We expect our gadgets to do all the busywork while we focus on the high level important tasks like reading blogs. That's why we hate to have to crack open our laptops just to see if there is any wi-fi internet access about... and keychain wi-fi detectors, we would have to actually remove them from our pockets to look at them. But now thanks to the ingenious ThinkGeek robot monkeys you can display the current wi-fi signal strength to yourself and everyone around you with this stylish Wi-Fi Detector Shirt. The glowing bars on the front of the shirt dynamically change as the surrounding wi-fi signal strength fluctuates. Finally you can get the attention you deserve as others bow to you as their reverential wi-fi god, while geeky chicks swoon at your presence. You can thank us later.
All this to say, I like to waste time. I’m very good at it. Why I need to be writing a blog at all – and one (mainly) about being idle – is a good question. I waste enough time as it is. But you know what? I like wasting time. So there.

P.S. Confession: the reason I am wasting time here is because I don’t want to work on my mythology test. On Thursday, we get our mythology papers - short stories about "mother earth" - back, and I’m terrified.  I’ve never written a short story IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. So, understandably, I’m a bit apprehensive. The reason I’m not doing my test (which, mercifully is a take-home) is because some part of my brain is telling me that if I put it off it will feel like the due date (Thursday) is further away. And if Thursday feels further away, my impending paper-results doom will feel further away. That’s logic.

I might be a genius

As the title of this modest post declares, I recently discovered that I might be a genius.

What circumstances could have given rise to this belief? Well, let me tell you -

Yesterday, I correctly guessed the solution to an Agatha Christie.
Some people (I wanted to say some ignorant people, but restrained myself) would think (again, impulse to add the word "foolishly") that guessing the solution to an Agatha Christie mystery is an easy thing. This is completely untrue.

If I'm going to be scientific about things, I'll give you compelling evidence for the validity of this last statement.

My grandpa - a very smart guy, soon to be 90 - wanted to be a linguist when he was younger. When he went into the army, he planned on being trained as an engineer, but tested so high on the medical portion of a test, that the army asked (told) him to be a doctor instead, and he worked as a surgeon until retirement. If you're not impressed by all that... I don't know what to say.  He can answer every Jeopardy question - and I mean every question.  That's how smart. (Plus, the man is Mr. Bennet. No joke. And my grandma pretty much is Mrs. Bennet.)

On a visit to their house one day, I took an Agatha Christie with me. When grandpa saw it he said, "So you read Agatha Christie?"
"Oh, yeah."
He chuckled, " 'the little gray cells', eh?"
Later that day, my mom asked him - smart, smart grandpa, remember - if he could guess the solution to Agatha Christie novels.
"Yeah," he said "you can guess. But you guess wrong!"

If this is not proof of my possible brilliance, I don't know what is.

Um, er...that or it could be, like, the easiest Agatha Christie on earth. The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side.
No! No! Repress that thought! You were brilliant for a moment there, kid!

EDIT: 3 March
No worries, Kels - you are certainly brilliant.  You guessed who done her in in Murder in Mesopotamia, how the murders were committed in Pale Horse and guessed everything in Elephants Can Remember - all in the past month.  You are a genius.  I bow to you.
"who done her in" was a joke, by the way.  I'm a genius so, obviously, I would never actually talk like that.

02 November, 2009

Happy Unawareness Day!

I almost didn't realize - today is November 1 - Happy Unawareness Day!  What a brilliant holiday.

Tom Hodgkinson, thank you for teaching me that idleness is not a crime, enjoying life should be encouraged and playing the ukulele is indeed a noble art.