walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (always starring in the movies in my head)
walkingshadow ([personal profile] walkingshadow) wrote2006-01-20 07:37 pm

i wish that you were here with me to pass the dull weekend

ahaha, so [livejournal.com profile] isilya used livejournal's new nudge feature to say, "hello, please post now kthx." i am tickled pink by this. it's just that i have so little to say. things that have been nominally worth noting in the month of january thus far:

a. my parents and i were in atlanta over the holiday weekend, for my brother m.'s birthday, but also just to visit. it turned out we were in perfect time for a cold front, a good excuse to break out the sweaters and scarves—and while i was there i finished one for my brother and then ransacked l.'s yarn collection to start a new one for my mother, in a slightly desperate attempt to stave off boredom, of all things. i don't usually get bored at these family gatherings, but there i was: wandering upstairs and downstairs, pacing from room to room, uninvolved and uninterested in the conversation.

we ate a lot—surprise, surprise!—and while the new aquarium was booked solid (and their telephone support system leaves a lot to be desired), we did get to the andrew wyeth exhibit at the high museum, which was engrossing and fantastic. as the captions and audioguide kept telling me, his works are highly symbolic and generally deal with memory, imagination, and death. and maybe the guides were a little repetitive, but i had a much better grasp of both his intentions and their execution by the time i finished than i had when i started: i knew better what to look for and what it meant when i found it. and technically his work is just beautiful. one of the last paintings in the exhibit was a portrait of a woman, entitled braids, and it was so simple and beautiful and rich in texture and detail—the ribbing of her turtleneck, the few wispy flyaways from her loose braids, her blonde eyelashes, her nose, her cheekbones and complexion—that i stared at it for long minutes, came back to it a second and third time, and could probably have looked at it all day.

b. i tried to hold out on the last volume of his dark materials, but i had seventy pages left by the time our plane touched down in ft. lauderdale monday night, and i finished it as soon as we got home. i feel . . . i don't know. exultant but bereft—the latter partly because it was sad, yeah, but also because it's over. i can now say that he started in the manner he intended to finish, i.e. the last two books were just as awesome as the first. if not MORE SO. [livejournal.com profile] smallbeer linked me to a great new yorker interview with pullman, and i wanted to write to the man and tell him how successful he had been. there's a lot of talk and a lot of theories about authorial intent and reader interpretation, but there's still nothing more satisfying than successfully unpacking all the meanings and themes the writer tried to get across, and everything i'd gotten out of the golden compass i found he'd meant to put in. of course, i read the interview after i finished the first volume, and while it reinforced what i'd thought, it also informed how i would read the next two books. but his religious philosophies are very clear, especially in the way he opposes himself to c. s. lewis: in his dark materials, it's obvious that life is the greatest thing—not that you should sell out your comrades or honor in exchange for it, there are still things worth dying for—but that living is better than dying, that sex and corporeality and the physical realities and pleasures of the world are to be enjoyed and envied.

i loved so many things, i can't even. i fucking love will. he and lyra are just the fiercest, staunchest people. also i can say he will cut you and be LITERAL ABOUT IT. and this description of balthamos: his face bore an expression that mingled haughty disdain with a tender, ardent sympathy, as if he would love all things if only his nature could let him forget their defects. baruch and balthamos omg, could there BE anything better than gay angels desperately in love? maybe the republic of heaven? which you have to build where you live.

the first time i cried was when lyra had to leave pan behind to cross the river to the land of the dead. and the we're from different worlds! thing was almost too pat, except that it was physically a problem, not metaphorically. it's still utterly tragic, but not in a way that makes me scream at the characters, because it wasn't stupidity and it wasn't miscommunication, it was just—physics. the world. and i have to say, i keep trying to hold onto my normal way of looking while simultaneously slipping into a trancelike open dreaming, but i still haven't gotten a glimpse of my daemon. oh god, and this:

If you thought for one moment that I would release my daughter into the care—the care!—of a body of men with a feverish obsession with sexuality, men with dirty fingernails, reeking of ancient sweat, men whose furtive imaginations would crawl all over her body like cockroaches—if you thought I would expose my child to that, my Lord President, you are more stupid than you take me for.

pullman said, in that article linked above, that he's an atheist, but he's a church of england atheist, because that was the tradition he was raised in. it reminds me of the lady who asked oscar wilde whether it was the protestant or the roman-catholic god in whom he didn't believe.

so, yes, i loved it with all my heart. undying gratitude again to [livejournal.com profile] trinityofone for tipping me into checking it out, and to [livejournal.com profile] bunnymcfoo for supplying the means. [livejournal.com profile] isilya, i would dearly love to hear your commentary.

c. sometimes i get sleepy at around eight in the evening—which is kind of like a midday nap, if you tend to tear youself away from the internet at four in the morning and crawl out of bed at two in the afternoon. i mean, right?

d. okay, yes, basically my sleep habits are for absolute shit. yesterday i got a text message at eleven a.m.; i got up at noon to stop the phone from beeping, went to the bathroom, fed the cat, then fell back into bed and had to drag myself out of it at three. when i got back from the gym last night, after a solid workout, my mom did a double-take and said i looked like i'd just gotten woken up. ha ha!

e. for the record, this makes three days in a row i've been to the gym. do not give me a cookie, for the love of god.

f. when [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker was here a couple of weeks ago, not only did we watch SGA and meditate extensively upon the characters of john sheppard and rodney mckay et al., we plotted out SONGVIDS. i find myself in the market for vid tutorials! oh my god, i know absolutely nothing about it. i expect to be pathetically grateful for [livejournal.com profile] vidder_weekly. and now that we've started plotting songvids, we can't stop. we are completely ruined for music now. nothing is safe.

g. my dreams don't tend to go to apocalyptic fannish places, but they did the other night! think reign-of-terror meets high-school-AU. for "guillotine" read "mass disembowelings in the cafeteria."

h. how do you read? i must use whole-word recognition to some extent, because i have—hmm, not quite orthographic, maybe topological?—problems sometimes: i confuse words that look alike. that is, i have trouble when ronon and rodney are in the same story, or jack and john, etc. i always have to go back and re-read more carefully. this is the same problem i have with r. kelly and rilo kiley (which also sound alike, except that i don't pronounce words when i read them; that's the bonus of reading, that you don't have to figure out how to say passepartout, you just recognize it when you see it and move on), who you'd think would be easy enough to differentiate.

also, in my head ang lee is a woman, i swear. i should look up a picture or something.

i. former-roommate s. came back from her fabulous internship and invited me over for dinner the other night. she made salmon; i read her personal essay for admittance to a master's program; we talked and talked, we watched the daily show with jon stewart. a pleasant evening, all around! i ought to reciprocate soon, or at least make arrangements to get together again. i have very few friends, and even fewer with whom i'm currently living in the same county. wait, whose fault is that? i forget.

j. in the spirit of making honesty my best policy, i think from now on whenever people ask me what i'm doing with myself these days, i'm just going to admit that i spend my time sitting on my ass and wasting my potential.

k. YAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN. i would be even happier about it if i could, you know, watch the matches, but there's no cable in this house; also no best-friend-slash-roommate around to give me carte blanche to sprawl on her bed and watch tennis on her television into the small hours. *dejected*

i was pleased as punch when i heard a couple of months ago that martina hingis was definitely going to rejoin the tour, and i was very glad to see she's handily won her first two matches. she was a bitch, but i loved watching her play; john mcenroe always likened her to a chess player, and that's infinitely more interesting than maria sharapova banging flat, heavy groundstrokes off both sides point after point. see also: andy roddick. the papers kept talking about how geared up andy roddick was for this year, and i was all, who CARES, omg who CARES about andy roddick? okay, i'm sure the boy has fans. also a mother who loves him.

l. i've adopted the exclamation, "oh, bitchcakes" (TM neil gaiman). it trips so lightly off the tongue!

m. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire has intersession starting next week, and i'm trying very hard to get up to boston to visit. current plans have me coming in next friday; new classes start for her on the following wednesday, but it's new semester stuff, and possibly i can attend them WITH her and we can dork out together, \m/. also it might be the perfect time to visit my uncle et al. up there, who have been badgering me to come visit for years now. i should call them. i should do LOTS of things.

n. my parents have gone up to mt. dora (a small, quaint (so i hear) town in central florida) with another couple for the weekend, to do some antiquing, no really. that will always mean celestial navigation to me. i have nothing planned in the meantime, except perhaps cousin m. will want to watch the last disc of boomtown tonight or tomorrow. there's talk of a sketching circle meeting at barnie's on sunday, and even if that falls through, [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu scored tickets for whoever's at the improv this sunday night. right now, i have to get out of the house.

o. end of ze world, as told by funny accents and flash animation.

[identity profile] thepouncer.livejournal.com 2006-01-21 02:30 am (UTC)(link)
A lot of people I know had problems with His Dark Materials, but I loved it. The first book slightly more than the latter two, but as a non-religious person it was so wonderful to have a universe where my ethos was reflected. And the writing made me ache too.

I haven't had a chance to watch any of the Australian Open matches yet, but I hope Hingis stays in long enough so I can.

Article about Ang Lee, with photo (http://english.www.gov.tw/TaiwanHeadlines/index.jsp?categid=10&recordid=90669).

[identity profile] walkingshadow.livejournal.com 2006-01-21 06:37 pm (UTC)(link)
a lot of people i know didn't really have problems with HDM, but they didn't love it. and i know it's all a matter of personal preference and what hits you at the right time, but man. it HIT me.

The first book slightly more than the latter two, but as a non-religious person it was so wonderful to have a universe where my ethos was reflected. And the writing made me ache too.

exactly. it was like every problem the world has ever had with organized religion—especially with the roman catholic church—was highlighted and fixed, and not in a do-away-with-all-religion way, or a god-is-dead way, or even a can't-we-all-just-get-along? way, but he made this intricate working framework for the world to fit into, that was based on love and good works and consciousness and physicality and practicality. and the writing was so beautiful, and he was so unafraid to lay out these intense emotions and relationships—yeah, i spent a lot of time re-reading passages and saying, "oh, oh, ohhhh."

i hope hingis stays around for a good, long time. i figure they have to air at least the finals on network television, right? i mean, right?

and thanks for the link! i swear, every time ang lee is referred to as "him" or "he," i pull up short and have to rearrange my worldview. i don't know how that happened.

[identity profile] thepouncer.livejournal.com 2006-01-22 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I have massive, massive issues with organized religion and YES, that was a major reason why I loved the books so much. Also for Lyra and Will and their daemons. Good characters are the basis of good fiction, in my world.

[identity profile] picksthemusic.livejournal.com 2006-01-21 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
Pssh. And you said you have so little to say.

*smooch*

Glad to see you around!

[identity profile] walkingshadow.livejournal.com 2006-01-21 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Pssh. And you said you have so little to say.

heh, you got me there. except that, excluding fandom stuff like meta and bunches of recs, this is the sum total of everything i've had to say for the past, oh, three weeks. also, as anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of one of my five-minute voicemails can attest, i don't need actual content to ramble on and on and ON and . . . *g*

aww, i do love it here. i'll have to come more often.

[identity profile] picksthemusic.livejournal.com 2006-01-22 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
Okay, clue me in. What the heck is meta? I know what beta is. Sort of. Heh.

[identity profile] walkingshadow.livejournal.com 2006-01-22 06:21 pm (UTC)(link)
happy to oblige! meta is basically analysis, talking about fandom source (i.e. a show or movie or book), fanfiction, or fandom itself. anytime anyone talks about the themes of a show, what the writers were thinking, plot arcs, character development, the trends of fanfic, the state of the fandom, that's all meta.

[identity profile] picksthemusic.livejournal.com 2006-01-22 07:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Ohhh!! See, I had NO CLUE. But that makes total sense. I think I'm in the process of reading up on meta for Lost right now. I found these wonderful (but sometimes boring) reviews that you might find interesting if you watch the show. Here's a link:

http://www.entil2001.com/series/lost/lost.html

And just click on 'episode reviews'. :)

You do like Lost, don't you?

[identity profile] walkingshadow.livejournal.com 2006-01-23 06:56 am (UTC)(link)
actually, lost is one of those shows the entire world went crazy over and i never got into. my entire flist was besotted with it last year, but i was taken up with school at the time and just watched the shenanigans once-removed—[livejournal.com profile] cleolinda's recaps were especially entertaining. if it had premiered this year, when i really had nothing better to do than get involved in a new show, things might have been different, but as it is i saw one episode and never had the desire to see any more.

generally i don't think episode reviews are considered meta because they're just recapping what happened, but it gets fuzzy; if someone reviews an episode and gets into what the episode was trying to do or say (and how successful it was), how it fits into the timeline and the canon, etc., that would be meta. basically, meta is what makes non-fannish people look at fannish people nervously and ask if we don't have anything better to do (answer: fandom IS the better thing we have to do, suckas).
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[identity profile] bunnymcfoo.livejournal.com 2006-01-21 07:27 am (UTC)(link)
You have no idea how utterly delighted I am that you loved those books. I meant to comment at you when you'd just finished The Golden Compass, but well, Holidays and work happened and I forgot. *shame*


B, I have got to say it - you give the BEST commentary. I bask in your reactions. *beams*

[identity profile] walkingshadow.livejournal.com 2006-01-22 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
i do, i love them SO MUCH. i'm glad you thought any of this was coherent, because i want to talk about everything i thought was awesome, but you could probably write a thousand books about daemons ALONE, let alone the religion and the physics and the alternate realities and the knife and the CHARACTERS and the ETC. for an infinitely enumerated list, just read squee^623947923847.

dude, no worries, i know aaaaall about holiday-induced insanity. speaking of which, if i'd remembered to append an item p, it would have said, "also sometime last week i decided to take a break from failing at life and finally, finally, for the love of god, got all my outstanding packages into the mail." so you should have CDs!
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[identity profile] bunnymcfoo.livejournal.com 2006-01-22 06:38 pm (UTC)(link)
EEEEE!!! Okay, I'm gonna have to go check the mailbox today. *beams!!* ♥!