Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It rots your brain!

So Chris posted about what he watches on TV and that made me think about what I said I watch on TV and what I am actually watching on TV.

So, I said that on Mondays I watch “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Medium”. What I have actually been watching…well, those shows, if I feel like it. But more often than not, I’ve been missing them and not really caring. I still like “Medium” quite a lot but it’s on just about the time I want to start getting stuff done for the morning and getting ready for bed, so I don’t think about watching it until it’s too late.

I said that on Tuesdays I would be watching “My Name is Earl,” half of “House” and “Boston Legal.” Well, Earl is now on Thursday, I have no idea when “House” is on, but if I happen across it, I will watch it and I totally gave up on “Boston Legal.” “Veronica Mars” is now on Tuesday and I try to catch it when I can but I am way behind on those and I have kind of lost hope of ever catching up.

On Wednesday James still tapes “Lost” which I don’t care for and he lets me watch “Criminal Minds” on the “big TV”. I am have some issues with “Criminal Minds” (it’s kind of pedantic and overwrought), but I do like the actors and I kind of enjoy the psychology aspect of it.

On Thursday James watches “My Name is Earl” and I usually come in about half-way through. We do watch “The Office” together and I really do think that this show has hit its stride. I didn’t care much for the first few episodes but once it got out of the shadow of the its brilliant British parent, it really has become it’s own show and it consistently makes me laugh and cringe.

We both really liked “Threshold” on Friday but that is gone. I will now confess something that will open me to mockery but I don’t care. I like sit-coms and for a few years I have been watching “Reba,” I used to be able to defend it as an extremely well written show that people ignored because it starred a country singer. Well, I still watch it and I still enjoy it but I think it’s time for it to go. It hasn’t exactly jumped the shark but it’s just not as good as it once was. Oh and I love, love, love “Creature Comforts” on BBC America. Best show I’ve seen in a loonong time.

Lately on Saturday, if we are in, we find ourselves watching PBS. We both like a lot of the “Mystery!” series, especially “Foyle’s War” and “Inspector Lynley” and we recently watched “The Virgin Queen” rather than a dvd. I can pass that stuff off as educational and I don’t feel bad about watching it.

Sunday is still reserved for “King of the Hill” and “The Simpsons” for me. James likes “Desperate Housewives”, which I kind of watch with him but generally do other things at the same time. Lately I have been watching “Grey’s Anatomy,” which I enjoy but don’t obsess over.

I see that BBC America is going to start running the second season of “Black Books” in February along with some interesting looking mini-series, so I am quite sure I will check those out. And I watched an episode of the Anthony Bourdian “No Reservations” show last night so I am wondering if those will start up again soon.

So really, it looks like I watch less than half of the stuff I thought I would be watching. I catch “Scrubs” on occassion and sometimes I watch reruns of “Black Adder” or “Monty Python” but since the end of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” I find that there really is nothing that I feel like I really HAVE to watch. Besides, I am trying to do more reading and more sleeping.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Concerted Listing

When I have something I need to do or remember to bring to work or whatever, I write myself a little note on a post-it, fold it in half to cover the sticky part and put it in my pocket in the hopes that I will pull the note out at the end of the day and do whatever it is that I need to do. Sometimes if I have an idea for a little picture I want to draw I will make a note of that as well. This generally results in some pretty cryptic scraps of paper floating around my desk. Usually it’s only “soymilk, fish, cat fud,” or something like “chris wants dr. who” or “bring that book to work”(yeah, I’m that specific and yeah, I spell it FUD for a reason). But on occasion I come across an old note that is too strange not to keep. My two favorites are “happy bunnies dream of meat, sad pengiuins dream of cupcakes, monkeys dream of martinis, koalas dream of guns” and “you dreamed of a robot bunny.”

My notes are more interesting than my life.

And speaking of lists and notes, a few years ago I attempted to list all the concerts that I have been to. Well, all the rock/pop type concerts. I can’t even remember anything that may have been classical or jazz and I am quite sure I missed a lot in the rock category as well. But here is what I kind of remember. I started out putting them in order but then I got all confused. I do however remember Hall and Oates being my first real concert ever. I am afraid this says more about me than anything else could…

(bands in parenthesis are opening acts, numbers are the number of times i think i may have seen the main act)

1. Hall and Oates (The Pole Cats)
2. Adam Ant (The Romantics)
3. Bryan Adams 2x (Melissa Etheridge)
4. The Rolling Stones
5. Depeche Mode 2x
6. David Bowie
7. Elton John
8. Sting 3x (Branford Marsalis)
9. That Dog
10. Colin Hay 3 or 4x
11. Sleater Kinney
12. Elliot Smith
13. Jonathan Richman
14. Ratt (Bon Jovi)
15. Neil Young
16. Crosby Stills & Nash
17. Baru Review
18. Cyndi Lauper 2 or 3x (The Hooters)
19. Stray Cats (The Hooters)
20. The Hooters 2 or 3 x
21. Dred Zeppelin
22. Supertramp
23. Tenacious D
24. The Jayhawks (Victoria Williams) 2x
25. Matthew Sweet
26. Special Beat 2x
27. Love Spit Love
28. Eurythmics (Howard Jones)
29. Jimmy Buffett
30. Peter Gabriel
31. U2 (Primus, Disposable Heroes of HipHopcrisy)
32. Bangles (Hoodoo Gurus)
33. R.E.M.
34. Luna
35. Jellyfish
36. Violent Femmes
37. Earth Wind and Fire
38. John Mellencamp
39. The Proclaimers
40. Wang Chung
41. Glass Tiger
42. Culture Club (Berlin)
43. Randy Newman
44. Barenaked Ladies
45. Soul Coughing (3x’s)
46. Letters to Cleo. Green Apple quickstep, Katherine Wheel
47. The New Pornographers (Destroyer, and someone else who I can’t remember)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Five movies...

Because I am bored and kind of lazy and I feel like making lists today...

Five movies that I should be ashamed that I have never seen:
1. The Godfather
2. Gone With the Wind (but I did read the book)
3. Any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey
5. Scarface

Five movies that I should be ashamed that I have seen:
1. Booty Call (it’s better than you think)
2. Sorority Boys (I have to admit, I laughed out loud)
3. 75% of Catwoman (I just couldn’t sit through the whole thing)
4. The Sweetest Thing (There is this one scene that makes it all worth it)
5. Batman and Robin

Five movies that I can watch over and over and over:
1. Empire Records
2. Shaun of the Dead
3. Mallrats
4. Animal House
5. Hellboy

Five Movies that you probably don’t want to watch with me because I know all the words:
1. Shaun of the Dead
2. Mallrats
3. Empire Records
4. Animal House
5. Pretty in Pink

Five movies that I have seen that you may not have seen:
1. Bright Young Things
2. Orson Welles version of Othello
3. The Winter Guest
4. Persuasion
5. Waydowntown

Five movies I never need to see again:
1. The Man with One Red Shoe
2. Blue Velvet
3. Return of the Living Dead
4. Hulk
5. Natural Born Killers

Five Foreign Movies that I really liked
1. le Pacte des Loups
2. Run Lola, Run
3. Like Water for Chocolate
4. The Van (well, it’s Irish made!)
5. Nightwatch

No making fun of me!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Random Ten

Winter Wonderland- Tony Bennett
Train In Vain- The Clash
White Christmas-Norway
Come On Home-Cyndi Lauper
The Amens-The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Santa Claus-Harry Connick, Jr.
Life in a Northern Town-Dream Academy
The Modern World-The Jam
Only The Lonely-The Motels
Antmusic-Adam & The Ants


Yeah, this is what I get when I do a party shuffle on iTunes. Scary, hunh? I have a vast quantity of Christmas music on there and although I could rearrange things so that the holiday music doesn’t show up when I shuffle, I never have. Why? How many times do I really have to say BECAUSE I AM LAAAAAZY?

But I will stand by all the non-Christmas music. Aw heck, I even stand by the Christmas music. That’s some good stuff what with Tony and Harry and Brian…I actually don’t remember what the Norway song sounds like. But Cyndi Lauper is always a good listen, can’t go wrong with Adam and the Ants, The Jam can make any day better and the Motels, well, if you haven’t listened to them in a while, I say go for it. Martha still has an amazing voice. And The Clash, oh how I do love me some Clash. As for that Dream Academy song…well, it won’t hurt you. When I first got the iTunes, someone loaded it up with 80’s music for me. Since then I have just been piling stuff on without really organizing it very well so “random play” is truly random.

Always remember...

Have you seen these? Some of them make me laugh. And because I wanted to hang with the cool kids and be a part of something just once...

ALWAYS REMEMBER
alwaysremember

Yeah, I know it's not exactly funny or timely but hey, it's free!

NOTE: Oh hey, the either doesn't refer to me...see that's the problem with not being timely. Don't you remember this?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's only rock and roll but it still makes me panic.

I was watching Lovemonkey last night, which I will say is an ok show but not a great show but I really like saying “So, I was watching Lovemonkey," because it sounds funny. I think it has a certain amount of charm but man, the TV world seems to be lacking a lot of…well, you know, there aren’t any shows about a super cool grocery clerk, are there? Or maybe a computer programmer, a shoe salesman (although that one did actually exist at one time, remember Married with Children?). You know what I mean, its all special service police, lawyers and cool A&R men at ultra- hip but struggling record companies. Not so much with the crossing guards, the car wash guys and the deli workers. And who would watch a show about these people, you say? I don’t know, depends on if it’s good I guess but I watched a British show about cafeteria workers in a factory, so I’m thinking I’m game for the one about the photocopier repair man.

ANYWAY (jeez, I do ramble a bit), on the Lovemonkey show one character asked another to list their top 5 all-time songs. This is not a new question, we certainly have seen it before in High Fidelity and I’m guessing we probably just ask each other, unprompted by TV and movies, these sorts of questions all the time. But I have never actually bothered to answer that one. So I started trying to do that today in the car on my way to work and I still can’t get all five.

What I have so far:
“Bellbottom Blues”-Derek and the Dominos
“The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”-Traffic
“Come Anytime”-Hoodoo Gurus

And then I just blank. I think there’s a Bowie song in there somewhere but I am not entirely sure which one. Off the top of my head I would probably say “Aladdin Sane” but then again “Rebel Rebel” is a great song…And what about Cyndi Lauper singing “I Drove All Night”? That’s a damn fine song that I could listen to over and over again. And do the Hoodoo Gurus really deserve a place on my top 5 all-time favorite songs when I haven’t even considered the Rolling Stones or the Beatles? And how exactly do Adam and the Ants fit into all this? Am I confessing too much by wondering about that? Peter Gabriel? I do so love “Here Comes the Flood”…and then there are all those great overlooked songs that I want to give some credit to. What about “It’s a Mistake” by Men at Work. Oh you can laugh but it’s a good song with a good message. Where’s the R.E.M.? Where’s the Clash? Oh god, did I forget the Supremes? And is this meant to only be rock and pop type stuff of does Vivaldi count because I do love the Spring movement of “The Four Seasons”…and Chet Baker…wait…what about Chet Baker? So now I am all panicked over my top five all-time songs.

Man, I over think this kind of stuff waaaay too much. Anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It's a sickness.

So, I have probably mentioned that I keep a book in my purse and read it when I have a moment, eating lunch, waiting in line, waiting for an appointment, stuff like that. I also keep a novel going all the time that I leave at home, usually. That is unless I get really into it and then I end up trucking that around with me too. Sometimes I have a graphic novel (which is really just a fancy term for “long comic book) that I take places with me too. Then there is the copy of Ulysses that I bought to supplement my online reading of that really tough, complex and frustrating experiment. Next to my bed is a huge pile of books that I somehow always accidentally pull from and start yet another book on those occasions when I have gone to bed but I’m not tired enough and I decide that I want something to read and damn, there’s another book to read. Then there are, of course, the many volumes of poetry that I keep around and browse through when I only have a moment to read something. And let us not forget the…um…”reading room” selections. You know what I’m talking about. Usually magazines or comics but sometimes zines. Oh and then there are the cookbooks that litter the house. I do read those but I almost never use them for cooking. Besides all that there are the articles and blogs that I read on-line. You’d think I’d be more well read. Sigh. So many books. So little time. Can you tell that I’m not in the mood to work today? I’d rather be catching up on my reading.

SO…
In the purse: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford
In the living room: Ulysses by James Joyce
On the nightstand: The Complete Poems Of John Donne
Under the bed: Who Murdered Chaucer? by Terry Jones (and some other people)
In the “reading room”: 400 Words Magazine
The cookbook of the moment: Kitchen of Light: The New Scandinavian Cooking by Andres Viestad and Mette Randem
Graphic Novel: Epiletic by David B.
And everywhere else: The Scar by China Mieville

Monday, January 23, 2006

Not everyone appreciates poetry...

Some Russians aren't thrilled with poetry at the moment.

ALSO: You gotta look at these. And you gotta click on them and look at them full size. I think I may need to redecorate.

ALSO ALSO: I addded a few new links. You might find something interesting that you like. Click around.

Geek Points

Being a geeky sort of girl in a nerdy sort of industry I often question the depths of my dorkiness. For many years I have felt that I pale in comparison to the joyfully “out of the closet” sort of nerds that I work with and I worry that I cannot hold my own against the truly dorky. Thus I have become the type that semi-consciously grades all of my geeky activities to compare and contrast the level of my illness.

For example, I work in the comic book industry, that’s about ten geek points right there, however, I letter comics, that’s probably a minus seven. I do read comics (+5) but I don’t read any superhero comics (-4). I do have comic boxes in my bedroom (+4 for the boxes and +2 for the blatant lack of sexiness in bedroom d├ęcor) but they are only “short” boxes (-3). And while I don’t actually read superhero comics, I am familiar with many superheroes (+2) but I can’t always tell you their alter-egos (-5). (But I do know who Hal Jordan is (+1)).

The endless grading of my skills reaches into so many areas of my life. I do own a computer (+5) but it’s a Mac (-3). I do have my own blog (+10) on which I occasionally review the comics I read (+12) but I have only been blogging for about 6 months (-13). I read science magazines for fun (+5) but generally it’s something like Scientific American (-3). I do read a lot (+4) but I have never read a Star Trek novel, John Carter of Mars or anything by Larry Niven (-7, -4, -8). I have, however, read all of Douglas Adams Books and any Terry Pratchett novel that is in paperback (+7, +10). And I do believe that I deserve some extra points for willingly reading anything by Shakespeare (+2), John Donne (+2) and Geoffrey Chaucer (+2), it’s another kind of nerdiness but it’s nerdy all the same.

I think I lose a lot of points for not watching and version of “Stargate” or “Farscape” (-15) but I believe that I should get due credit for having a favorite Captain on Star Trek (+3 for having a favorite, + 5 for it not being Janeway). I have only seen the first four movies in the Star Wars series (+10 for having seen them, -7 for referring to them as the “first four” instead of “episodes 4, 5, 6, and 1”, +2 for knowing the importance, -2 for not caring). And I once even got a geek point for making a “bacta-tank” joke (+1) and knowing what I was talking about (+1). But I am pretty sure I lose at least a few points for thinking that ewoks are cute (-4).

I have often asserted that I am a nerd but a “nerd of a different color”. By that I only mean that my true nerdiness shines when someone starts talking about…oh, say…Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Or perhaps New Wave music of the 80’s (which I know suggests that New Wave lasted past the 80’s and that is up for debate). I probably get some geek points for liking Dr. Who (let’s say +10), for having had a favorite Doctor who was not Tom Baker (the fourth doctor) (+5), for watching almost any show that my favorite Doctor appeared on after his regeneration (+5) and for watching the most current incarnations of the show with great joy (+3) and getting hold of them in a geeky fashion (+5) BUT I guess I have to lose a few points for liking Dr. Who at all (-5), for not remembering ANYTHING about an episode after viewing it (-7), for not being upset at the departure of Christopher Eccleston (the ninth doctor) even though I thought he was an excellent Doctor (-4), for rethinking my favorite doctor when Peter Davison (the fifth doctor) voiced his displeasure with Christopher Eccleston for leaving (-3) and for disliking Daleks because they are too damn loud (-15). (But I have to admit that Jules knows and remembers far more than I do when it comes to any doctor)

It gets worse, people…I have read most of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels (+10) but I have not seen any of the recent films based on them (-20) nor do I really want to (-5) as I didn’t really love any of the books except The Hobbit (-100). But, I did see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (+5) and I do have theories on why it didn’t work very well (+5).

Just how nerdy am I? I’m not doing the math on this one. I think the lack of love for Tolkien kind of screws up the balance. Maybe I am being too hard on myself and I should just settle for “nerdy enough to write this all down.”

Friday, January 20, 2006

Fries are very important.

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your
French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
 Chrissy -age 6

That quote is from one of those emails you get from someone mushy that has KIDS VIEWS ON LOVE and junk like that. But that one quote in particular struck me as really wrong. So I started talking to Beth about it. It then sparked this very pathetic conversation...

karen: i suppose this means i have never been in love...
beth: me either
karen: well...i would SHARE my fries with you...but i still probably wouldn't give you ALL of them...unless you didn't have anything else to eat.
but i'll always give you half of the pickle if you ask.
beth: really, i mean, if thats love - i don't want it
beth: i will also give you half the pickle
karen: see. now that's love.
11:45 AM
beth: yeah, i mean giving all your fries alway when the other person has some makes her sound like a doormat
11:50 AM
karen: you know, if they had said almost anything but fries...i'd be ok. but not my fries.
beth: i'm with you
beth: reminds me of the scean from valley girl, where she leaves nicolas cage because her friends bitch at her, then the "cool" guy comes over & starts eating her fries - like they're back together, so he can eat her fries
karen: is it pathetic that we are obsessing over this?
beth: no
beth: fries are very important

This conversation is actually from a while ago but a friend happened to mention that very same french fry quote to me just yesterday and it made me wonder if I had saved the conversation, which, clearly, I had. And please, don't read anything into the fact that I will always give her half the pickle. It is a literal pickle. I don't intend to give her any other kind.

That's it...

...there is now no reason NOT to go to Prague!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Don't Steal this Book!
(But don't pay for it either)

After reading Swallows and Amazons, the next book I happened to pick up was Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton. Do you remember S.E. Hinton? She wrote all those odd angsty teen novels in the 80’s that all seemed to be set in some kind of twilight 1950s meets the 1980s time period but that my just be my 1980s mind. Remember how the 80’s had that weird heavy 50s influence? I think that’s why I feel like her books have an ambiguious time even if they really don’t. Anyway, my personal favorite was always Tex but I think most people think of The Outsiders when they think of S.E. Hinton. I guess I was always a little fascinated with her books because they were about tough boys who did tough boy things. That was actually kind of unusual at the time, for me anyway. I was an avid reader but before her books I don’t remember coming across contemporary teen type novels that centered around boys nearly as much as they did around girls. I was also fascinated by the idea that a young woman wrote these books because they seemed so macho. Certainly I knew that writing was about imagination but somehow these books always seemed so very boy.

I don’t know how much I loved her books, I remember reading them and enjoying them just fine at the time. I probably read them more than once because that was just what I did. But when I saw this adult novel on the shelf I was really curious. I should have known better. I bought the R. L. Stein adult novel just to see what he could do. Turns out he couldn’t do much, and I’m thinking that S.E. Hinton had the same problem. I guess all I really wanted to do here was to say…don’t feel sentimental when you see Hawkes Harbor on the shelf at the book store. It’s not worth it.

I do have a friend who is a published and well respected YA author and I think I need to ask her about the urge to write an “adult” novel. Are there any that are good? Terry Pratchett has done the opposite and written adult novels and then suplemented them with YA novels that are brilliant. Clive Barker did ok with that too, I think. I’ve never read the Judy Blume adult novels…and I can’t think of anyone else off the top of my head, although I am sure there are tons.

What was my point here? Oh, Hawkes Harbor, not so good. I think I will finally sit down and read The Scar next. I know that even if I don’t love it, I will respect it. Sort of. Somday I’m gonna beat China Mieville up because he just pisses me off. It’s jealousy I know but still…he’s good looking, talented and far too smart. And he’s younger than me. Jerk.

And I continue to read The American Way of Death Revisited (I carry it in my purse and read a few pages when I get a chance). I am starting to believe that this is one of the most important books I have ever read and I urge everyone who may ever die to read it. Aside from being informative, it’s extremely well written and entertaining. Also, I just started reading a book/zine that I picked up at Microcosm Publishing called 400 Words and I am enjoying it immensely.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON!

This is how bad I am. I forgot my best friend's birthday. How can I even call myself a friend, you ask? I can't. I feel like a complete heel and I am very, very sorry. My only excuse is that I have had the flu and it's been bad and I lost track of time. I am so very sorry, Beth. This is my public apology. I am sorry. You are not Molly Ringwald and I shouldn't have forgotten. When I looked at the date today I thought, "OH...MY...GOD! WHAT HAVE I DONE????" and if it means anything, before I got sick, I had plans, I knew exactly what I was going to do and it's not as if I forgot the date.

I don't know what else to say. SORRY.

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This makes me laugh.
This makes me happy.
This makes me sad.
This makes me kick myself for not thinking of it.
And this makes me feel slightly less crazy (thank you, Jodi-odi-odi!).

Catching Up

So, it was the flu and it’s been about as textbook as it could be. Look it up people, 7 to 10 days of yuk followed by a disgusting cough and weariness for…a while anyway. I can’t remember the last time I had a full-blown flu virus so I can’t say if it was particularly bad, it was what it was (and sort of continues to be). But if I remember my freshman biology correctly (and I probably don’t so don’t get to excited) the flu virus mutates from year to year but every 7 to 10 years, it becomes a completely new strain basically. And thus, every 7 to 10 years you are pretty much more vulnerable than usual. Since I think it’s been at least 10 years, I figure I was due and it was inevitable. Whatever. I tried not to whine and complain too much and I feel…well, not better, just differently bad, slightly less bad than earlier in the week. I am still not convinced that a flu shot would have made the difference.

But, I did finish The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss and I was a little disappointed but I can’t totally blame him for that. I think it is a pretty accurate Victorian/Edwardian style novella and I am not particularly fond of Victorian/Edwardian novellas so…eh. I do give Mr. Gatiss, who, by the way, is a member of the disturbingly funny League of Gentlemen and a writer on the new versions of Dr. Who, a lot of credit for the style of the book, and I loved his character names. How could anyone resist a Lucifer Box novel with appearances by Jocelyn Poop and Miss Bella Pok (you might have to think about that one for a minute)? It was entertaining for what it was. I’ll leave it at that.

I also read a children’s book called Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. It is a very charming story, published in the 1930’s and exactly the kind of book I would have liked as a ten year old. I picked my copy up while I was visiting the UK a few years ago at the suggestion of a tour guide. We had spent the day on a lake (I can’t remember which one) in the Lake District and guide mentioned that this was the area that Ransome used as a setting for his famous children’s books. Having never heard of Arthur Ransome I was kind of wondering (in that self-centered way) how famous he really could have been and I have since learned that he was certainly a man of note and one that should be remembered. The story is dated in a lot of ways but it’s also that gentle kind of kids story that I really did enjoy as a child and even now. I love Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett and all the outrageous and crazy books of today but there is always something nice about the books where the most dangerous thing the heroes might face is a really big storm.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ugh.

Muscle aches...low grade fever...headache...this stinks. How did i go straight from a cold to this? I tried, I really did. I tried to get enough sleep...sometimes. I took my vitamins...sometimes. I...ok, I have no one blame but I don't feel good so I'm just going to blame...the cat. She's got a guilty look on her puss. Heh.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jodi Asks

Jodi said these questions weren't necessarily for the internets but I decided to answer them anyway as I gots nothing better to say today:

1) Did you get my drunken SMS on NYE? I wanted to drunk dial you, but thought you might be asleep already.

I did get your drunken SMS on NYE. But not actually on NYE since I forgot to turn my phone on for several days. In fact, I didn't turn it on until you mentioned in the comments on someone else's blog that you had texted me. oops. Heh. Yeah, I was a little drunk too but too tired to do anything about it.

2) Seriously, did you make the cool orange scarf you gave to me? It's so pretty and delicate. I'm a little scared I'll hurt it, but will wear it anyway. So pretty and great color!!!

I did make and orange scarf, I don't know if it was the "cool" one or not. I saw this awesome fluffy orange yarn at the store and immediately decided to make something for you. Since the only thing I can actually knit is scarves, you got that instead of say...your own knit car or a sweater for a light post.

3) What's your favorite gift(s) from the holidays?
Well, I did get A PONY! She is pretty and orange and her name is Seascape and I can comb her mane and tail and I love her. I also got some interesting dinnerware and a cross that belonged to my great-grandmother. There were so many cool presents! A Monet Christmas ornament. Gift certificates to book stores, an ORANGE watch, an electric tortilla maker and even a bracelet with my favorite line from a Ginsberg poem ("...run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality...").

4) I'm dying to know the color of your organizer!!! (Tell me?)
It's "she-bop-a-woo-bop". Or possibly "code pink" I can't tell. It's pretty bright but I don't know if it's day-glo or not.

5) Do you want to get together between the 15th and 18th?
I don't know, will there be cocktails involved because if not...then yes, i will. But if there are cocktails...I will. I'm easy that way.

Clearly I am too lazy to send an eimail but now I guess I have to send her an e-mail to tell her I answered her questions on the blog...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Organized and Unrepressed

So, you know how most daily organizers have little lists and things like metric converters or a list of all the traditional anniversary gifts or maybe even zip codes? Mine has notes on "Heroin/Downer Overdose Prevention", "Dealing With Government Oppression" and "How to tell if you are Ovulating!" This may not be handy for everyone but I have to say, I am impressed. I don't know if it will help me be any more organized than usual, but I certainly will know what to do in case of an overdose or some random oppression. It's always good to be prepared.

A few days late and not terribly interesting.

While I was away for my Christmas break, Jodi was musing on traditions and asking what other people do. I was thinking about my family and our traditions and realizing that…well…we're not really all that traditional.

James and I don’t actually have any real traditions of our own. Unless you can count arguing over who will put of the tree and then not doing it. We usually try to watch a Christmas themed movie together but that’s pretty much it. Since we spend our holiday away from our L.A. home, we both tend to rely on our families to provide any sort of traditional trappings.

I guess my family traditions start on Christmas Eve. My mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, nephew and myself all go to the candlelight service at my mother’s church (my other brother and his family spend the evening with his wife’s family). The service is always nice. It’s a pretty mellow church so there is some modern-ish music, a bell choir, lots of kids running around making noise and what have you but the best part is the FIRE. Who knew that fire could make church that much more entertaining?

Since the candle is usually only lit for the last song in a candlelight service (generally “Silent Night), you are pretty much left holding on to an unlit candle for an hour. My brother realized years ago that if you held it tightly, you could warm the wax in your hands and bend the candle into a whole new shape. This has become a sort of contest to see who can get the best shape without breaking the candle. Last year, my sister-in-law distorted his candle so much it refused to light!

Sadly, this year none of us could get the candles to bend. Most of them broke in the process and one party-pooper (yes, I am talking about YOU!) decided not to participate. BOO!

My own Christmas Eve tradition is a quiet one. I guess my dad and mom know about it, I am quite sure my sister-in-law does too. I like to sing my own versions of the Christmas songs. They are half formed and really, since I am not a loud singer (I’m not a very good singer either) no one hears them but it entertains me. A personal favorite is “Mark the Hairy Angel Sings” but the best part is where the chorus goes “Or-orrr-or-orrrr-or-orrr-OREO, in excelsior DAYGLOW!”

Other than that, I guess we only have a tradition that came about in the past few years. And I am not really sure why or how it happened. My mom started buying Christmas crackers to put on the plates at Christmas dinner. Christmas crackers are a British Holiday trimming, so I don’t know what inspired them but you know how they work, right? You pull on the little strings inside of them and they pop loudly. Inside there is a little prize and a joke (or a “motto” I think they are called) and a paper crown. It’s the crown that gets the most attention. Whenever I show friends pictures of my Christmas at home they are most amused by the photos of my entire family, sitting around the table eating Christmas dinner, sporting paper crowns. Well, everyone except the babies. For some reason, every baby has refused to wear the crown. Each of my nephews has allowed the crown to be put on his head for a moment but then has ripped it off and sat looking at the rest of the crowned family bemusedly.

Mostly, our Christmases really do seem to just be about being together. Our Christmas day lasts ALL day, you can open your stocking alone in your bedroom if you wake up early but then we all have breakfast together (by all, I mean anyone who has stayed in my mom’s house) and it’s usually “Eggs Goldenrod”. Then showers, then the opening of presents, then the other brother shows up and there is more opening of presents, then dinner, then sitting around playing with presents. It’s all good and surprisingly mellow.

I guess we don’t have much in the way of traditions but we do have our fun.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Resolution Schmesolution

My dad says that the best resolutions are the ones that you know you can keep. Like “take more naps” or “drink more gin.” I don’t disagree with him at all. In that spirit I resolve to eat more chocolate (the dark kind is good for you!), read more books and have more fun…oh, and drink more gin. I am pretty sure I can stick to these but I thought I would write it down and make it official.

Anyway, Christmas was fun. I had a really great time with the family and I got to see some friends but due to the uggy cold I feel like I missed a few days. I didn't want to pass on my yuck but I'm afraid I probably did. I washed my hands and everything but I still feel sorry for that guy who sat in front of me for the flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia. Dude, if you are out there...I am really sorry. Really.

Coming home to California was interesting as we seem to have brought the winter storms back with us. Torrential rains and chilly temperatures for three days and yesterday...yesterday was annoying. I can live without electricity but I really don't want to have to. Yesterday we lived without for 10 hours, which is nothing for the people who go through hurricanes and what have you but it was only my tiny neighborhood that had a blackout. We could see the lights on across the street and the next block over, which was really frustrating. And I did feel pretty Laura Ingalls Wilder trying to read by the last little bits of light coming through the window and then by candlelight. Kind of pathetic.

blah blah blah, Don't I EVER shut up?

Movies: I saw The Family Stone, which was eh. I didn’t hate it but it was pretty predictable. But there was some stuff I could relate to in there so I wouldn’t call it a total wash. Also, Craig T. Nelson needs to make more movies.

Chronicles of Narnia: I don’t know how I felt about this really. It was kind of nice to see it but…it was a little dull. I am a big fan of the book and there were certainly good actors involved and it looked good but it just felt a little slow to me.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zioussiu: To be honest, I can only say that I think I liked it as I watched it on New Year’s Eve and I was largely fueled by martinis. But, not being a huge fan of Rushmore or The Royal Tennenbaums but being quite a big fan of Bottlerocket, I wasn’t sure how I would feel. I think I liked it less than Bottlerocket but more than any of the others.

Layer Cake: A friend was kind enough to loan this to me months ago and I have only just gotten around to watching it and I am glad that I did. It’s pretty twisty-turny but I thought it was worth the effort. Besides, it’s got Colm Meaney. What more do I really need? And I think that Daniel Craig will make a fine James Bond but I don’t know if I can get past his disturbingly blue eyes. He scares me a little more than I want Bond to but he’s a fine choice.

Rewatched: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I think I liked it a little bit better this time around. I never disliked it but I also didn’t love it. I still think that it uses a little too much shorthand for the average viewer and by that I mean someone who isn’t like me and has read the book a dozen or so times and can quote vast sections of…what? Why are you looking at me like that?

Also got to see the Christmas episode of Dr. Who. (The Christmas Invasion) and let me just say I LOVE HIM! I really liked Christopher Eccleston as the doctor but I felt totally fine about him bowing out. He did such an amazing job and Billie Piper was so good as Rose that I guess I just thought that he might as well go out on top and I wasn’t hurt by his decision to leave me at all (no, really, I’m fine with it). Well, when they announced that David Tennant would be the new doctor I looked him up right away and realized that I had seen him in and liked him in several things, so I felt ok about that too. But man, he’s just perfect in the role. Eccleston was intense and made me feel that he was about to explode any minute but he also gave the doctor a kind of powerful and reassuring air. Tennant seems a little goofier but in a very good way. I highly recommend the series and now my only concern is that I have betrayed my original favorite doctor (Peter Davison) for a new doctor (Christopher Eccleston) who I am now considering replacing with David Tennant. Yeah, I know. Geek.

Speaking of geek…I did not read even half the stuff I set out to read over my vacation but I did read some other stuff that I never planned on reading…got that? So, didn’t read Watchmen but I did read Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom, which includes one of my all time favorite comic stories “Pancakes” (I have a panel of that blown up and posted over my desk…”I DON’T LIKE PAMCAKES!”). Also, Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel, which had beautiful art and a kind of stilted story. But it was certainly worth my two dollars (I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS).

Oh hey, crap. Look at the time. I’m sure I have more to say but really, must I yammer on so?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

FOUR

I will only say that there were four olives consumed last night. I'll let you decide how many martinis held those four olives.

Back from New Jersey but laying low and trying to stay warm and dry. Mostly recovered from cold but still recovering from much merriment and holiday joy. It was a lovely time and I was sad to leave my family and friends. Still, it's a new year and that's always a good way to start...a...new...year...I guess.

I should be cleaning but instead I am fantisizing about tofu soup, watching the new Doctor Who (thank you, Eric, he's lovely), reading Hellboy collections and taking a nap. It's the rain that's making me sleepy and lazy, I swear. Not the olives.

I suppose I will post about my trip later. Saw some movies, and read some comics (and while I am not geek enough to actually sit down and read Watchmen as planned, I am geek enough to go to a Christmas eve, midnight madness comic book sale).