walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (quite a fashionable dispassion)
a. okay, i joked about it, but i really don't know how to post anymore. i thank god every day for the alphabet.

b. i've been reading back through my old livejournal entries )

c. i feel like my brain is running at half-speed. this is probably due to four parts sleep-deprivation, three parts mental stagnation, two parts boredom, and one part despair.

d. for my birthday—not last thursday, but two weeks ago thursday—my dad woke me up at nine-thirty in the morning to take me to breakfast on the beach where it was very bright, oh god so bright on three hours of sleep, and then to a movie theater where the only thing showing was eight below which it turned out he'd really wanted to see; so basically for my birthday i was a better daughter than i am for the majority of the other 364 days of the year. and the movie wasn't terrible ) afterwards, i retreated to the house for an afternoon nap (because if you can't nap on your birthday WHEN CAN YOU) before heading up to ft. lauderdale for sushi with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu. the employees at hollywood video sent us home with dot the i's, but back at her place we watched our other rental, chris rock's most recent HBO special ("a father's only goal in life is to keep his daughter off the pole"). at home again late that night jules IMed me to wish me a happy birthday, and didn't mean to wreck me with helpful career and life guidance, but these things happen. you go to sleep wrecked, you wake up wrecked; may the new year be a good year for me.

e. i watched the oscars with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu because awards shows are wanktastic, but we do adore jon stewart. the next time i have to watch four hours of red carpet, montages, and acceptance speeches because jon stewart says so, i'm doing it with ALCOHOL. hey, who has an academy awards drinking game?

f. it was my grandmother's birthday the monday after mine. we bought her a plant and took her out for chinese food; she might have remembered why.

g. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire sent me a t-shirt because she's awesome and we're dorks and it's the funniest thing in life. i wore it and cracked myself up all day.

h. [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker hopped the train from lakeland and came into town for the weekend, which in her world meant wednesday to friday last week. ostensibly it was a belated birthday celebration, and granted we did go downtown for thai and gelato, and to the beach for lunch and a walk in the water, and to jaxson's for ice cream, and she kept buying me meals, but the REAL purpose of the visit was to pimp me into battlestar galactica and then RUN. *shakes fist*

bsg reaction shot, 100% spoiler-free )

the discs weren't hers so she couldn't leave them with me, but still. STILL. the library will get them to me one of these days; of course, amazon would get them to me SOONER. perhaps blockbuster will make a middle ground.

i. oh, and also while jules was here we settled in for a good long chat about what i'm going to do with my life, featuring all sorts of rationalizations and navel-gazing on my part, and lots of praise and encouragement—highly flattering, though i still don't really believe most of it—on hers. conclusions! )

j. i think—i think—i've finally reached the ceiling on "i can't believe i'm STILL LIVING IN THIS HOUSE." it's not that it's horrible here; it's just that it's here, and i am ready, so very ready, for some new tensions in my life. i'm not asking for none, just different ones that the ones between my PARENTS and me, the same ones i've been ready to get away from for the last, you know, TWENTY-THREE YEARS. you never think you're going to be that person, but here you are.

k. inspired by the above, a short list of things i want, aka goals to work for )

l. we had dinner at my aunt c.'s house last friday and it was refreshingly not horribly boring. i watched paper moon with my dad when we get home, a movie i knew nothing about except for ryan and tatum o'neal, and i found it 100% charming. it's a period piece, and everything was right—the sepia, the accents, the bibles and the cars. two minutes into it, i went looking at the DVD box to find the director's name, because it was such beautiful, distinctive work: establishing a frame and allowing all the action of the scene to take place within it, without moving the camera. i thought it was fantastic.

m. saturday night [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i were supposed to watch dot the i's, the movie we'd rented the weekend before, but she'd left it at work; so we watched high fidelity instead. that crazy john cusack! )

n. two people in two days randomly mentioned t. s. eliot's "four quartets" and i love t. s. eliot, and i went off on a, a thought tangent, in which i compared the process of reading a poem to playing a difficult musical piece, i.e. you generally break it down into component parts, work on the parts, work on the parts in combination, until eventually, with practice and repetition and concentration on the tricky bits, you understand all the parts and then can synthesize the parts into the whole and seamlessly play your way through it. which gives some element of production—or at least reconstruction—to the reading of a poem.

o. NCIS )

p. because house wasn't on this week and i always forget to watch scrubs akjhdfkashj, i watched supernatural: faith )

HOWEVER: this does fulfill my one-episode minimum prerequisite for fic-reading.

q. speaking of unpopular opinions: i suppose i could care less about march madness if i tried, but why expend the effort? on the other hand, there's no rain at indian wells right now, next week they're playing the nasdaq right in my own backyard, and the rest of the country doesn't even know who roger federer IS, so i figure we're even.

r. on wednesday i went with my mom to the aventura mall on a wild-goose chase for dishes. i ended up making a list of things i hate, including (but by no means limited to): 1) the city of aventura, 2) malls, 3) conspicuous consumption, 4) brand-name loyalty, and 5) people in general. this sunday she's dragging me off to sawgrass, oh god.

s. this week's criminal minds was a repeat, but i watched it anyway (because it's awesome) and it inspired me to finally, finally, for the love of god, make icons. I THINK I GOT MY MOJO BACK. i owed [livejournal.com profile] saturn92103 and [livejournal.com profile] leksa icons from, like, a month back, but i finally made good.

and then last week's criminal minds finally finished downloading at 7:30 this morning (coincidentally: also when i went to bed!) and i watched it this afternoon. it's all about hotch, except that it's all about all of them. it's like the west wing in the way that whoever's onscreen and speaking at that second is my absolute favorite. they're such a team, and they so obviously know and like each other, and they're good people, they do the right thing, or try. and in a way they're like, the anti-SGA, because they're so rarely stupid, and when they are stupid for, you know, a second, they realize later that hey! they were stupid! and then they FIX IT and THEY AREN'T STUPID ANYMORE. the concept is so strange and new!

t. yesterday was our weekly dinner at my grandmother's; we brought thai. she doesn't remember names most of the time anymore, but she still knows who i am. last week she'd forgotten that my grandfather had died a year and a half ago (my dad's dad, not her husband), and asked if anyone had heard from him recently. the other day she confided to cousin m. that my mom and dad looked like they might "make a go of it." last week she thought she was at our house, not her apartment, and asked as we were leaving whether anyone was going to take her home.

u. [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu pulled me a virtual pint because in general she's, oh, a thousand times more awesome than i'll ever be. cheers, baby. here's to you.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (if you called my name out loud)
so i was in boston for a little while there and then i wasn't anymore. that is, i finally, finally, FINALLY got my sorry self on a plane1 and went to visit [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, where for a week and a half i co-opted her floor, swelled cambridge's already-swollen student-age population, and watched, by our very exacting calculations, forty billions hours of episodic television2, 3:

  1. SG-1 episodes 101-106: in which we discover that SG-1 is pure emotional pornography, i keep calling the first episode children of a lesser god, jack and teal'c are married—no, really—and we're pretty sure teal'c wins at life; for sure he wins at deadpan. what is an oprah?

  2. SGA episodes 216-220: in which, frankly, everyone is STUPID, jesus christ. um, more on that later.

  3. SGA episode commentaries from season one, including "the storm/the eye", "the siege" part 1 (but hilarious!), "rising", and "hide and seek" (jinto! come! *clap clap*)

  4. miscellaneous episodes of CSI: NY: in which danny is hot. the end.

  5. miscellaneous episodes of due south: in which ray and fraser are hot and also married.

  6. the entire run to date of criminal minds which, i don't watch every show on television? but it could seriously be the best show on television right now. i feel the same way about it that i did about the west wing in its first two seasons4: i am completely in love with every single character and completely fulfilled by the show. i have zero desire to seek out fannish supplements, i just want more source.

  7. as much NCIS as we could get the internets to cough up; this was before we found [livejournal.com profile] ncisepisodes. turns out that along with sweaters and plenty of socks and hortense-the-shiny-blue-ipod, i also remembered to pack my PIMP HAT. my love for this show and every character on it is boundless and true—BOUNDLESS AND TRUE, OKAY?—and [livejournal.com profile] silentfire was amenable to pimping, and pimping was DONE, \o/. and the best part about pimping at close range (see: stargate atlantis) is the reciprocal squee, the way the love just washes back and forth between us and the source until we're flailing messes. but i've been trying to post for the last eight days, so i'll squee about them later.

  8. when we weren't watching fannish television we were watching songvids based on fannish television, some of the funniest, awesomest songvids EVER:


and when we weren't watching anything at all (or waiting impatiently for it all to download) we occasionally ventured out into the cold open air, for food of every ethnicity, for ice cream, for comic books and groceries, for tea and coffee and hot chocolate, for adventures in public transportation5 and the support of local businesses. also i ended up shuttling back and forth to and from the airport four times, because [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker wrenched herself away from lakeland for a spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway to join in the wacky fannish hijinks, walk in the snow, and eat italian food and drink beer.

and when we weren't fannishly engaged OR eating6, [livejournal.com profile] silentfire did manage to pick, you know, classes for the new semester, and i got to go along and shop them with her. they might be discontinuing the moral reasoning core requirement in the future, but her class on the public vs. private seems really interesting7 and the professor entertaining. and i got a kick out of a class called "the human mind" when we walked into the lecture hall and i immediately recognized steven pinker's hair: "hey, that looks like steven pinker," i thought. and then i remembered where i was and realized it probably was steven pinker. it seems like a fun hybrid class, and between the sensory processes, psychology, and linguistics classes i've taken he didn't actually tell me anything i didn't know, but he's an entertaining lecturer and i told [livejournal.com profile] silentfire that if she didn't take the class, i would cry. luckily, she did not need convincing.

that was how i spent my boston vacation! i miss her floor already. *pines* and i've been trying to post ever since i got home last tuesday. i would tell you all about what i've been doing since then, but basically i haven't been doing anything but working hard at wasting my potential—and succeeding! i've been reading as much NCIS fic as i can get my hands on (i've run out of recs and am fearful of the archives; send help); i'm hopelessly behind on the SGA fic that's been posted since i left. i saw munich8 with my father and transamerica9 with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu. i signed up for [livejournal.com profile] naljwrimo2006—i don't know why! if there's anything you'd like to see me ramble on about, i'd be happy to oblige.

you, livejournal, have been up to things in the past few weeks. johari swept like the plague through my flist, and i succumbed too, but i was immediately struck by 1. how limited the selection was, and 2. the fact that all the adjectives are POSITIVE ones. they don't even list the obvious antonyms—e.g. organized vs. disorganized, patient vs. impatient, giving vs. selfish. i suppose people are more likely to play if they have only positive things to choose from (alternatively: given the chance, people are more likely to be self-deprecating and choose negative aspects, rather than very positive ones); and friends and colleagues are probably reluctant to tell anyone they're incompetent or unhappy or callous. and strange. plus there's the simple fact that these *are* friends (for the most part) filling these out, and we're unlikely to be friends with people we would call cruel or vulgar or irresponsible. at least—not where our friends can hear us. it would probably be more successful if contributions were blind. but obviously i wasn't the first or the only one to think of this, and along came nohari to counter; here's mine.10 the selection's still pretty limited, but it's a whole lot more balanced this way.

yesterday was valentine's day; it started with my getting woken up by the doorbell at 9:30 a.m., but i managed to get back to sleep in the end, and later there were roses, filing, thai food, ice cream, and house11. i don't know who it was yesterday who urged us to make it a day of self-indulgence, but in my world, EVERY day is a monument to self-indulgence, so let's try this instead:

1. pick a number between 1 and 4,943 4,953 and i will send you the corresponding song from my itunes library. i made a new playlist and shuffled it all up, it's pure grab-bag. it could be the shins, it could be destroyer, it could be barry manilow! don't be a hater!

and

2. i haven't made icons in a long, long time. comment and tell me what you'd like and i'll make you one. or don't tell me anything and i'll make something based on one or more of your interests.

oh, and my dad and i are going to atlanta on friday. i keep forgetting about this. *makes note to self*



footnotes gone WILD:

  1. i flew jet blue and i heartily recommend them. if you buy in advance and online you can get cheap, cheap fares (i mean, depending on what day you're flying and what time of day and year, etc.), they've got an easy points-based frequent-flyer program, the planes are clean and shiny and brand-new, the seats are leather and as roomy as they promise, the staff are friendly, and the flights are on time—or early. if there are timing or other problems, they're apologetic in both mien and material value (according to my uncle, who's flown with them many times and has only positive things to say). okay, this concludes my bizarre descent into enthusiastic sales pitch.

  2. that said, the only thing we watched on an actual television set was the men's final of the australian open, sunday from four to six-thirty a.m., live from melbourne fourteen time zones away. in conclusion: baghdatis is a good-looking cyprian kid who will be doing great things in the sport and i can't wait to see more of him, BUT FEDERER PWNS YOU ALL, OKAY? OKAY. and i'm so freaking glad i didn't remember the women's final in time to coax [livejournal.com profile] silentfire into staying up with me to watch it the day before, because what a fucking waste of time THAT would have been.

  3. not counting the television i watched on the plane. with thirty-six channels of direct tv available to me (available for free to all jet blue patrons! no, seriously, what is up with the cheerleading?) i settled on TLC's what not to wear, since there's basically nothing to watch between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a weekday. that said, i think i love stacy and clinton omg. plz give me five thousand dollars and help me shop for clothes kthx. oh, and on the way home on tuesday i caught the middle of a BSG marathon on sci-fi. conclusion: i have no idea wtf is going on, except that i kind of DO, through the process of flist osmosis. mostly i watched with the sound off and listened to aqua and carbon leaf on hortense-the-shiny-blue-ipod. if this trip has taught me nothing else, it's that jesus there are an awful lot of obscenely attractive people on television. is there some kind of culling beam that picks them out of the general population and deposits them in hollywood and british columbia? is it that all the obscenely attractive people are on television, or that obscenely attractive people are the only people on television? is this like rectangles and squares all over again?

  4. technically i didn't discover fandom in the real sense (or slash in any sense) until the end of my freshman year (i.e. spring 2002), and i hadn't been watching the third season at all during that time; but i spent that whole summer camped out on the floor of my room reading deep into the archives of smallville and sports night, and i tried west wing fic—slash, het, gen, everything—but it always felt cold or superfluous or both.

  5. seriously, i got tom lehrer's the subway song in my head every single time we got on the T. awesome.

  6. which we often did simultaneously! there were (among many other things) drinking-game formulations over hot chocolate at burdick's, songvid storyboarding over sandwiches at simon's, and hours of meta over tea and cheesecake at algier's where we covered john and rodney characterization, jenn's shed your skin, del.icio.us (and nutritious!) bookmarks, reading styles (abstract vs. aural/visual), jack o'neill vs. john sheppard, and SG-1 vs. atlantis.

  7. once i got past the fact that it's PHILOSOPHY and you're still treating old dead white men as the keepers of the keys to truth and justice and you're judging the entire world based on a narrow western philosophical tradition.

  8. spoilers for munich )

  9. spoilers for transamerica )

  10. the things is, i don't know where i see myself in ten years, or what my favorite movie is, or who my heroes are, but if anyone ever wants me to describe myself in five words, i'm ready to go: lazy, curious, bright, jealous, self-destructive. in social psych we learned that people tend to descibe themselves as belonging to classes of people (the class of professors, nurses, atheists, women, etc.), but those five adjectives are who i am. if anybody asks.

  11. spoilers for house 2x12 )
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (it's all going on without you)
at this particular moment in time it's probably a good thing i'm on dial-up (*bites tongue*) because i was seized by this strange urge to write in song titles, all song titles, with links—of course!—to the corresponding files. and am i wrong, or is that shit a whole lot cooler in theory than in practice?

and that got me thinking about hyperlinks in general, and how brilliantly efficient they are, and how that efficiency can double as significance—you can make a hyperlink say anything you want, you can direct it anywhere, and when the name of a thing and its location are together at one point (i.e. in the link itself) and separated at another (i.e. in actual cyberspace; by definition a link points somewhere else), that's juxtaposition in action, that's expectations and possible surprises and irony waiting to happen. what do you call a thing, and what is it exactly? what's the relationship between the two? what do you want it to be? What Would René Magritte Do?

anyway, this was all brought to you by the fact that i had a good weekend, though i unfortunately did not get myself a brand-new girlfriend:

friday night i took desmond bagley's the tightrope men (my dad: "here! read this!") to dunkin' donuts and drank coffee on their couch until one a.m. while i got caught up in formulaic cold-war espionage that read like a movie. i'd asked [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker to text me, but she was actually working at work that night, whatever. we got it together eventually.

cousin m. and i ate chinese food while gorging on television saturday night. first we finished up the last disc of boomtown: man, i am so sorry to see that show end. though i think they must have been uncertain about whether they'd be coming back for another season (they did, but only for an episode or two, at weird times, and then the network killed them off), because the finale wasn't a cliffhanger in any way—it actually resolved major arcs and gave a bunch of characters closure. i'm still calling these spoilers, okay? okay. )

after we'd finished with boomtown we watched AMC's hustle, which was entertaining, and then the first episode of wonderfalls, which was FANTASTIC. it's dead like me without dead people. inanimate objects sing off-key until she does what they tell her, and she has chemistry with the cute bartender and hates the human race. i can't think of anyone less likely to major in philosophy, but whatever. she's awesome. and she looks like rory gilmore's misanthrophic older sister.

if i'd had my act even a little bit together, i might have been able to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and various other assorted cool people at barnies at two p.m. on sunday, but i hadn't. they brought their sketchbooks and ordered beverages and were, i hear, generally very cool and laid-back, and they're going to push back the time to four p.m. in the future, which will be better for so many of us.

though actually i won't be able to go this sunday either, as i'll be in BOSTON. well, technically i'll be in cambridge, but i'm sure we'll make it out to boston proper at some point(s). that is: AM GOING TO VISIT [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY. like, i bought plane tickets and everything. i'm flying up this friday and flying back not next tuesday but the tuesday after that, giving us a week and a half. my dad was like, "oh, boston? while you're there i want you to visit this obscure relative of yours whom you have never met," and i was all, "oh, good, that sounds like something i would love to do, wtf?" and yes, i still need to call my uncle. i hear it's chilly this time of year, but i have coats and scarves, etc., and know no fear. plus we intend, i'm pretty sure, to gorge ourselves on SGA footage, and lt. col. john sheppard, aka PILLAR OF HOTNESS, will no doubt keep us, um. warm.

so in lieu of the sketching circle i went to the gym, and then met up with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and her friend j. at the improv sunday night, as she had passes and invited us along. the emcee was amusing, but the opener (philadelphia) and the headliner (jim david) were hilarious. you know, sometimes you've been laughing so hard for so long that you think, "i might just throw up now and that wouldn't be funny at all," except that it WOULD be, because these are professionals. the improv has a two-drink minimum, so i opted for margaritas and got awesomely drunk. AWESOMELY. the kind of drunk that means i shouldn't even be thinking about mentally operating heavy machinery, but that just makes me (as mal put it) a little loopier than usual, a buzzing, cheerful, careful-where-you-fling-your-limbs drunk. other members of the audience got obnoxiously drunk and wouldn't shut up, but whatever. the comedians are professionals, and they know how to shut them down.

after the show mal wanted to throw away five dollars in the slot machines, so we did (though i think in the end it shook out to more than that), and then we hit up ben & jerry's for ice cream and sat with it outside and talked for a while, until our ice cream was gone and i was sober enough to drive myself home. mal's friend j. is a great guy—as all her friends are, she only hangs out with stand-up people, which i always feel bodes well for me—who was originally from a very small town in ohio but wears all-black now, and he giggles when he laughs. all told, a fantastic evening.

monday saw me grocery shopping for my mother and then attending step-and-sculpt with bob, a class that still kicks my ass and takes my name, but i'm working on that.

last night i watched [livejournal.com profile] barkley's SG-1 vid never die young and cried my eyes out. i'd downloaded it a couple of weeks ago, and i'd watched it and thought it was good, but i opened it back up last night and REALLY watched it and it just slayed me. her summary of it is "jack, death, life," which, yes, but it's so impossibly sad in theme and beautiful in execution: it's about being left behind—again and again—and how that's infinitely harder than being the one who leaves. i watched it half a dozen times in a row and kept crying. the song is by lori mckenna and it's able to make me cry all on its own, bringing the grand total of Songs That Make Me Cry to three (3). in case it got lost in all the blubber, that was a hearty recommendation for the vid and the song and the respective artists. go check them out.

(note: you can get to [livejournal.com profile] barkley's vid index from her livejournal sidebar; the site is password-protected, but she gives the relevant information in her vid announcements.)

for a less heartbreaking link, check out this news from language log:

WORDPLAY'S BIG SPLASH AT SUNDANCE

A couple of months ago we were pleased to bring you the news that Patrick Creadon's documentary Wordplay had been accepted into competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Creadon's film focuses on New York Times crossword guru Will Shortz and his cultish followers, as well as providing a glimpse into the world of competitive cruciverbalism. Now it's Sundance time, and the buzz from Park City is quite promising.

monday made it six days in a row i'd been to the gym, so i get today off, HA. i'll probably—hopefully—finish my mother's scarf and maybe start on one for myself. wild and crazy times, wild and crazy.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the highest branch on the apple tree)
when last i managed to update about life in general, [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker was on her way into town: and she got here! and she stayed for a few days, during which we stayed up until five a.m. and knocked out all the SGA we hadn't seen together (excepting, still, "grace under pressure" and "the tower") plus various sad and bizarre and adorable items from the CVs of david hewlett and joe flanigan (in re: canadian cinema: o.O . . . O.o) and for the millionth time she tried to get me to articulate what it is i love about lt. col. john sheppard; she did not emerge victorious. more on that much later. *waves hand*

family came into town after that, my two cousins with their families, and we had tea for my dad's birthday last sunday with what felt and sounded like fourteen small children bouncing around the house, but was in reality only six. cake and coffee is delicious, but not sustenance, so i crashed after all the company except cousin m. had left, while we were getting down chanukkah decorations and setting up our menorahs (we have seven or eight, most handmade, and in our house everyone present gets to light one). good times! averted the small crisis with hydration and some protein, and then we got down to the serious business of scarfing down sweet-potato latkes and playing dreidel for pistachio nuts.

special to [livejournal.com profile] isilya: i have not forgotten about recipes for you! curried sweet-potato latkes are at the top of the list.

i had a dentist appointment on monday (or maybe tuesday? something). the receptionist called the day before to remind me, which was a damn good thing, as i'd had no clue. unfortunately i must have misheard her over the phone, because i showed up an hour early to what turned out *not* to be a 9:50 appointment after all. *facepalm* however! this wasn't even close to as bad as the two—two!—times i showed up an hour early to my wretched 8:30 a.m. anthro of religion class. so i ended up sitting with my book (always bring a book to doctor's appointments) in the bagel shop at the other end of the plaza and had a bagel and coffee (good bagels; lousy waitstaff) before, you know, a dental cleaning. so awesome. everything looks good, still cavity-free, blah blah blah have you ever considered bleaching your teethcakes.

randomly: the dog had some kind of skin irritation on his back, which the vet duly shaved and treated him for, and then they put him in one of those lampshade collars for the next two weeks so he couldn't worry at the patch. he's pathetic in it: he keeps knocking into things and trying to fit through small spaces, and i know i shouldn't think it's ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS, but i DO.

in general this past week was characterized by the successive lighting of more and more candles, the playing of several games of dreidel (note: dreidel is an amazingly boring game), and the eating of more and more delicious fried food. chanukkah says, "they tried to kill us, they didn't succeed, let's eat!" and "fried food: it's not just delicious, IT'S THE LAW." with various company (including cousin m., my visiting cousin l. and her two daughters, and [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu) in attendance on different nights, there have been three different kinds of latkes, salmon fritters, southwestern eggrolls, and—for the coup de grace this afternoon—sufganiyot, aka doughnuts with powdered sugar. and now we are putting away the electric wok and never speaking of this again until next year. after thanksgiving, the cookie-making FRENZY my mother got caught up in making gifts for colleagues, my father's birthday, and the holiday that oil built, we're calling uncle. it's going to be all whole grains, big green salads, and steamed things for us for a while. also i'm going to whip out my map and compass and try to find my way back to a regular routine at the gym. *scans horizon*

last night we had cheese and crackers and shrimp cocktail, and three of us (my mother, cousin m., and i) polished off two bottles of champagne. if it's true that whatever you're doing at midnight determines what you're going to be doing for the rest of the year, i was frantically posting last-minute john sheppard recs to [livejournal.com profile] rec50 with a three-glass buzz on; i don't know if that bodes well or ill.

SPEAKING of [livejournal.com profile] rec50, my john sheppard recs are all done, and you can find my table with links to all 46 of them here (or check out the john sheppard tag at the community here). i'm signed on for rodney for round two. things that make me cry are web pages with no self-referential url, authors who go by two or more names, and smart quotes. also fake lj-cuts (see: the part where i like to click on the link to a page, not its cut-tag, meaning i'm clicking on the WRONG THING if your lj-cut is really external) and target="_blank"—because i'm perfectly capable of opening a link in a new tab myself, kthx.

there have been, like, fourteen million stories posted on the internets, and i have fifty pages of holiday-challenge fic recs saved for sorting through later, encompassing yuletide, [livejournal.com profile] sga_santa, [livejournal.com profile] undermistletoe, [livejournal.com profile] shackinup_sesa, jingle bells, batman smells, [livejournal.com profile] ds_seekritsanta, DWNOGA, and [livejournal.com profile] go_exchange. the only yuletide fic i've read so far is istanbul (not constantinople), a singin' in the rain story which i recommend here without reservation. it's don and cosmo on the vaudeville circuit, and it's perfect! so well-tuned to the times and to them.

[livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker was at home for a while, then up in lakeland securing housing to go with her shiny new job, but she's here again now. she came in for the tail end of brunch at cousin m.'s today (featuring bagels and lox, blintzes, and MIMOSAS). right now she's sleeping on my bed and has been since ten p.m., when she said she wasn't falling asleep, she wasn't—maybe she would take a nap. *pets her deluded little head*
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the day is like wide water)
the vacation went on a week longer than i'd planned and could have extended indefinitely, but michael drove me to the airport yesterday morning after bagel sandwiches and coffee; and after missing the exit twice and wondering belatedly if holiday travelers would put a crimp in my stand-by plans, i bought a ticket and hopped the 11:40 flight. hitchlessly! my dad took me out to lunch when he picked me up at about 1:30, and at home i took a three-hour nap and woke up groggy. after chinese food for dinner i stayed up until five a.m. catching up on fic and livejournal. hello, livejournal!

to sum up, over the past two weeks i

1. started and finished a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, which i loved and laughed out loud at, but recommend with reservations, as it is consciously self-conscious about being self-conscious, and some people don't like that sort of thing. he reminds me very strongly of david foster wallace, the introspective young white literary male endlessly and obsessively analyzing the world, himself, his relationship to that world, how others relate to that world and thus to him, etc., etc., ad infinitum; for a writing style and way of life that seems to ceaselessly strive for meaning and the proper, most effective way of engaging the world, it's a great distancing tool. between you and the experience is always the interpretation, a translation of a translation between event and response and emotion.

2. consumed the following visual media:

a. four full-length feature films: the aforementioned i) harold and kumar go to white castle and ii) team america: world police; iii) the 40-year-old virgin with [livejournal.com profile] silentfire—and neither of us can remember *ever* laughing so hard in a movie theater; and iv) finding neverland, a nice movie that made us cry and yet lifted our spirits, aww.

b. a grand total of, like, fourteen billion hours of fannish television, including i) all 27 episodes of stargate: atlantis; ii) every cheesy tv show and made-for-tv movie joe flanigan appeared in that [livejournal.com profile] isilya in her grace and lovingkindness made available for download; and iii) the entire first season of house, since it came out on dvd at such a convenient time.

c. a tivo-ed episode of bill maher, who talked to anderson cooper* and fareed zakaria via satellite; quoted richard nixon in calling america a pitiful, helpless giant (because, seriously, what is the fucking point of an infrastructure if not to do exactly this, the epic, huge-scale things that federal governments should be good at, even if they're good at nothing else); and had bradley whitford, mary frances berry, and michael eric dyson venting some serious spleen at republicans, structural poverty, and racism.

* anderson cooper is my new hero and has been since a couple of months ago, around the time of the edgar killen trial: cooper was interviewing, via satellite, harlan majure, the former mayor of philadelphia, mississippi and a character witness for killen. early in the interview cooper asked majure why he thought the kkk was a benevolent organization, and majure said the klan took care of the entire community, even "visiting" more whites than blacks, to which cooper incredulously replied, "are you kidding?" and i almost fell off the elliptical machine. the interview continued in exactly that vein, cooper angry and disbelieving, quoting statistics and not letting up for a minute; the poor mayor had absolutely no idea what was happening. i have never seen anything like that on any television news show, ever.

d. early-round action at the us open! between CBS and USA there was hours and hours and HOURS of coverage to be had, and often i could trick people into sitting down and watching with me, ha! there have been some very, very high-quality matches at the open so far this year, e.g. federer-santoro on friday, that was AWESOME. not so awesome was andy roddick going out to giles muller in the first round—and even WORSE, we all still have to watch andy roddick driving a lexus during every other commercial break. and they come often in the game of tennis.

okay, the structural integrity of the list has been compromised, or at least its readability has, or perhaps i mean my patience with letters and roman numerals. speaking of structural integrity: [livejournal.com profile] silentfire made me an omelette one morning, and i sang a little song while it cooked, a song i call "breakfast lament (the green pepper blues)", to be sung to the classic pete seeger tune "where have all the flowers gone?": it starts with the structural integrity of the green peppers being lost to thermodynamic chemical reactions and goes from there.

on sunday a bunch of us went out to six flags over georgia and rode rollercoasters for eight hours, and on monday my brother tried to teach me how to throw a frisbee between matches at the us open, and all told i must have eaten in a dozen different restaurants, never the same one twice and all delicious. i laughed a lot, an awful lot. i went to sleep some nights awash in anxiety, because as much as i love my family and think they're totally neato-keen, i'm not completely comfortable with them, in the way that i'm not comfortable with all but three or four people in this world. but [livejournal.com profile] silentfire is one of them.

i was up at eight this morning but managed to stretch it to ten-thirty, and man was i tired at the gym this afternoon. i'm tired now, too. i can probably trace the cause of the tiredness back to something having to do with five a.m.

sometime soon i will post the pages and pages of sg:a meta that i have been generating, but believe me when i say you'll know it when you see it.

[livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i have a lunch date for tomorrow at noon, and tomorrow i have bellydancing class again!, and also tomorrow i will give cousin m. the first season of boomtown on dvd, which i picked up for twenty bucks in the same used-cd store where i found the kaiser chiefs' employment and [livejournal.com profile] silentfire got [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker star trek: the voyage home (but only after we made many, many the search for spock jokes, e.g. spock, spock, where are you? i turn my back for one minute, etc., etc.; also the synopsis on the back mentioned that they eventually found spock's *living essence* in mccoy, and i have no way to interpret that that doesn't involve canonical mpreg. which i suppose is only to be expected from the creative mind that brought you both sex pollen and have-sex-or-DIE). thursday's looking good, is what i'm saying.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (right? right.)
okay, the revolving boarding house is almost closed for business this season: my sister and her two boys left last monday after a lovely visit, and my uncle and his son who came in last friday are leaving early tomorrow morning. in summation, we all had a lovely time and ate too much. oy.

in an unrelated story, i would rather be broke and desperate than ask for money, if anyone was taking a personality survey or something; but luckily my parents just don't work like that. it's just that the time has finally come to get a job. however, i do mean to get in my visiting before that unfortunate eventuality. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire has been rightfully impatient about me hauling my sorry self up to atlanta, and now she's even fallen under the spell of major colonel john sheppard and is amenable to PIMPAGE of both the episode and fanfictional kind. on the other hand, [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker keeps bemoaning the 105-degree heat index of gainesville and then urging me to come visit her, often in the same sentence; i've told her to expect me some time in, like, october. she'll have read the half-blood prince by then! hopefully! it won't be long now. i've suggested we switch places next time, so i'll be the one waiting to read book 7 until a month or so after it's come out, and then she'll spontaneously combust and we'll all be even. don't tell [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, but my fannish energies have kinda been directed in a non-hp direction as of late anyway.

that is to say i'm getting really impatient about not being able to read or understand all the season two atlantis reaction and meta popping up everywhere on my flist, but i also refuse to jump right in without seeing season one in order all the way through (yesterday my uncle t. called me ocd based on the way i eat cereal, can you imagine?), so i'm buckling down: by this friday i intend to be all caught up. is it my fault john sheppard keeps distracting me? i mentioned to [livejournal.com profile] isilya that 100 icon spaces is an embarrassment of riches i hardly know what to do with, but it does present the opportunity to see john be pretty from almost every conceivable angle. icons are coming.

babble for episodes 110-116 )

you can set your watch by fandom. really, there should be calendars and special clocks, equinoxes and full moons, high and low tides. i see that it's time again for fanfic criticism: a healthy/natural/inevitable part of the literary lifecycle? or a chance to get on your high horse and make cruel fun of the devices/kinks/authors/pairings/grammar you don't like and have been waiting impatiently for the chance to mock? you decide! discuss! let the flames begin! i think i might actually want to throw myself into the seething fray for this iteration, but maybe not at four a.m.—and by tomorrow it might be gone again! oh, fandom. i do <3 you so.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (his uncle was a crooked french canadian)
My HBP thoughts finally got written up over here. I don't know if I said much, but I sure did talk a lot.

Other things I have done in the past two weeks:

S. and I studied together three (3) separate times for the GRE. It's utterly demoralizing to be set the task of doing middle-school mathematics problems and not be able to do them, since I haven't done them since, you know, *middle school*. There's nothing like being asked to solve a linear equation like 4 - 5(2y+4) = 4 and hearkening nostalgically back to sixth grade. I keep conflating four steps in my head like I'm used to doing, and then I mess up on the arithmetic—it's been way too long since I worked with numbers on a regular basis. My dad is all confused about the relevance of this test, and I just keep saying, "don't get me started."

On Saturday I got 214 pages into HBP before and after dinner, and then [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu called around 9:30 and said she felt like she should be going to a movie, so she swung by and collected me for the 10:05 showing of Bewitched. It was cute, we laughed a lot, and we snorted a lot. We had fun, but I don't think I'd actually recommend it. We also saw five or six trailers, one of which was for Elizabethtown, where Orlando Bloom is a pretty, pretty boy, though I dislike Kirsten Dunst for being smug and smirky; and one of which was for RENT: a fabulous trailer, beautifully shot and of course their voices are all incredible (Jesse L. Martin on "or the way that she diiiiiied" = goosebumps omg). They're all way too old (I mean, Mimi is supposed to be nineteen—and look like she's sixteen) but that's okay! and I am excited about it.

Then we found a Dunkin' Donuts on US-1 and sat down with our donuts and coffee and cards for a couple of rounds. Technically they closed at 1:00, but the drive-through was open later, so the lady didn't mind us staying a while; we headed out by 1:30 or so. We got caught by the late-night train, the long and slowly-moving one, and started a game of regular-card Uno while we waited. We finished it off in my driveway and then sat in the dark with the car running for a while longer, just talking. Only the animals were awake when I finally came in. We were all supposedly heading to the beach for breakfast tomorrow; I left a note telling my parents to wake me up twenty minutes before they wanted to leave and I would be ready.

. . . However, it turned out that I was the first one up Sunday morning (c. 8:45) even though I'd been the one to go to sleep at five. We did make it out to the beach, though it was more brunch-time than breakfast-time by the time we got there. We stopped at the organic market for lettuce and parsley. At home I continued reading HBP, stopping for dinner consisting of bruschetta and goat cheese on toasted artisan bread plus enough wine to get buzzed on, then roasted chicken over sweet potatoes and some sauteed vegetables. My mother's been on-vacation-without-leaving-home and not cooking, but she broke down tonight. Started Season Eight of M*A*S*H and we cried and cried when Radar left. And then we cried and cried some more when BJ broke down at the end of the next episode, after his incredible all-night drinking binge.

We've been promising ourselves for weeks, but Mal and I set aside this Thursday for movie day! Movies watched:

1) Say Anything. Everyone should have a Lloyd Dobson: being a good boyfriend is totally his calling in life.

2) Saved! Which was HILARIOUS. Whoever said Macauley Culkin was the best part of this movie? You are correct! But everybody else was great too.

3) Ghost World. Um, weird. Steve Buscemi is always creepy. And the ending kinda came out of nowhere, though it was intriguing. I loved her clothes.

4) I <3 Huckabees. Quirky and arty, and I loved it. Also in which Jude Law has what I think must be the least successful American accent ever attempted on stage or screen. Awesomely bad. Though I saw him (unfortunately) in Sky Captain, and he couldn't hold on to a single dialect there either. I'd heard this movie didn't have a plot, which is confusing, because there absolutely was not only a plot, but a theme, a message, a mystery, development, epiphanies, revelations, and a very satisfying ending. Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman were cute as could be.

Also in the past two weeks, I have been to a gym exactly one (1) time, but I just got signed up at the health club starting tomorrow, so I will be attending regularly once again, hurrah.

[livejournal.com profile] ciderpress has recently discovered Stargate: Atlantis and is all a-squee about it, especially Major John Sheppard, and just reading about it makes me clap my hands and squeak. The North American DVD release date is November. In the meantime, [livejournal.com profile] rageprufrock has just started an AU called Hindsight (Part 1: In which somebody expresses their true feelings for Rodney, John isn't able to find Rodney's head injury and never joined the Air Force, and Montana's tourists really get a run for their money) that is AWESOME and will hopefully be a billion chapters long, but I will take whatever I can get.

I'm going to go read a book now.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Well, hurricane season has dashed off to an early—and roaring—start this year. This time I live on the fortunate coast: we just got whapped with some wayward tropical-storm-strength bands as Dennis moved off Cuba and up through the Gulf. On Friday the sun was out, but the wind was kicking up all day; it got dark around 5:30, started raining around 5:45, and poured intermittently thereafter. Our local CBS affiliate pre-empted Numb3rs in favor of special hurricane coverage, omg DIE, sensationalist local news, DIE, DIE. The storm wasn't even coming near us! They couldn't have updated at the commercials? Run a ticker at the bottom of the screen? Useless. They fail at network television.

In lieu of the Brothers Eppes, I started watching M*A*S*H Season Six, finishing on Saturday. Charles = SO OBNOXIOUS OMG. For all his snobbery, he has no class. If he were only a little kinder, quieter, more generous, or less smug, the world—or at least the camp—could be at his feet. Instead everyone's against him, everything backfires on him, everything's a fight he insists on bringing on himself. Does he ease up in later seasons? He must, but I can't remember.

I found the episode "Images," the one with Cooper, The Amazing Crying Nurse, to be unsuccessful in almost all ways. First of all, Margaret was right: neither Margaret nor anyone else should have given a flying fuck whether or not Cooper's little heart bled for all those poor wounded boys—I mean, yes, she should care, as empathy for human suffering is one of the things that gives life meaning and separates us from the insane and sociopathic, but it wasn't relevant—everyone just cared whether Cooper could do her fucking job. Cooper might have been a fine nurse (though we saw no evidence of that), but she couldn't hold her shit together and therefore did not belong in their unit—no judgements made or passed, but she was endangering lives by freezing up. I'm not saying whether or not everyone was right that Cooper should be given more time to come to grips with the realities of working in a MASH unit (weighing an unavoidable adjustment period against the high stakes and the consequences of screwing up), but every time they said Margaret was an ice maiden with a heart of stone for not indulging Cooper's falling apart, I wanted to smack them. They were all, "it's just that she has feelings! Unlike you!" when the whole point was that you can have all the goddamn feelings you want, but you can't let them get in the way. Margaret has wild, swinging, deep emotions she keeps tightly controlled except for when she doesn't, and the writers' decision to have her bond with a stray dog and be devastated by its subsequent death just to show her humanity and allow her to identify with Cooper was both ridiculous and insulting, to the character and the viewing audience alike.

If "subtlety" isn't their middle name, neither is "continuity." They lose on backstory (how many parents everybody has, where they're from, how long they've been in Korea) as well as the day-to-day details: just to nitpick, in the episode where Col. Potter is painting Charles's portrait, Charles is posing with his right side facing Col. Potter, but it's his left 3/4 profile we see in the finished portrait. Whoops!

On Friday my mom and I were still moping through our colds (mine really didn't seem that bad, not nearly as bad as my mother was feeling—but possibly nothing will ever seem very bad in comparison to the deathflu; also I will take any and all excuses to shuffle from room to room reading and watching DVDs). We had zero appetite but sent my father out for pizza for dinner. We kept forgetting to send him out for ice cream.

Saturday I got us ice cream. I watched some of Season Seven M*A*S*H, ran to the store for ice cream, and went out with my family and some family friends for dinner. The weather was truly, truly gross. You live in South Florida, and you think you know what humidity is, but you have no idea. Hurricanes and tropical storms are low-pressure systems, and you feel that: the air feels lighter, less resistant, and also softer. The wind blows warm, which is almost worse than not blowing at all.

Sunday I did laundry and went stir-crazy. [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu came to my rescue and got me out of the house today, sweeping me off to lunch at Einstein's (a late lunch, because while she called me at 10:30 when she was done with her eye appointment, and I'd heard the phone ring and planned to get up and call her back in just a few minutes, in reality I fell back asleep and woke up three hours later; we got to Einstein's by 3:30), a quick swing through Ross (where I got a green t-shirt that has a picture of an orange and text beneath it reading "can't concentrate"), to Pearle Vision to help Cousin M. pick out a pair of frames (in the end we went with the double-squeal signal of approval), to Barnes & Noble for frappuccinos, cookies, and magazines (it's time to get a subscription to CMYK already), and home in time for dinner. Dinner was my mother's vegetable soup from the freezer, thawed and waiting for me in the pot.

My parents watched Yankee Doodle Dandy (newly acquired on DVD!) after dinner, a family favorite, but I plonked myself down at my computer and read Sacrificial Drift, the sequel to The Taste of Apples. It's SG:A, and yowza. Auburn has quite the knack for breaking me into tiny little pieces. There's more than one go-around of breaking-apart-and-putting-back-together-again here: it's like chanting he loves me, he loves me not and hoping against hope that your flower has an odd number of petals. Special for [livejournal.com profile] isilya: the POV shifts are explicitly signaled this time. I thought of you.

Fluxblog described a song today thusly: "If you are an insecure doormat-y sort of guy dealing with an insensitive girlfriend who makes up for her outrageous cruelty by being quite a handful in the bedroom, then this is YOUR summer jam, especially if you're into Danish twee-wave." I love the mp3 blogs! I flipped through Filter today, but I always slink away from it feeling inadequate, like I am not indie enough for them. Part of it is feeling like there's too much music out there to know; part of it is feeling like I just don't have the same ear to listen to all these songs with—though a lot of that is probably just a function of listening to an awful lot of songs. Right now I am a-swim in fantastic music, especially Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, especially their "Details of the War" (which I got a little while back at Said The Gramophone). It is haunting and waily and I can't make out all the lyrics (which is driving me nuts), but they include the line you will pay for your excessive charm—plus it has acoustic guitar thrumming like hoofbeats and some truly well-deployed harmonica. Their CD goes on the must-have list.

In addition to the music blogs, I also depend upon the kindness of strangers, e.g. [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker (with whom I have been playing a truly epic game of phone tag—if phone tag were an Olympic sport, we'd be bringing home the gold every four years) who posted a bunch of yousendit links to cool, funky songs the other day. One of them was a mash-up of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" set to Guns 'n' Roses' "Paradise City," and it is beyond catchy—it feels like the next logical step in the evolutionary chain.

Unless I have the day wrong, S. and I are meeting up at Barnes & Noble tomorrow to once more tackle the GRE practice tests. I can't help thinking that these little get-togethers would be a lot more useful to me if I studied between sessions.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (a room where the light won't find you)
I sit at the computer but never write. What's the last thing I can remember posting?

It rained all day Monday. In the morning my mother mentioned a flood warning was going to be in effect until 8 p.m. at least, and it poured all day. I got up early for the dermatologist, who took less than five minutes to examine me head-to-toe and said both "you don't get much sun, do you?" and "you really shouldn't be living in Florida." WELL, IT WASN'T MY IDEA. I keep breaking out around my chin, something I'd never done before the start of the last school year; he gave me a prescription for that.

My mother and I brought Thai food over to my grandmother's apartment for lunch: it wasn't exactly a bad day for her, but a very quiet one. We left to run errands but stood downstairs for a long time, waiting for the rain to clear enough for our walk across the parking lot. We got batteries at Target and toiletries, and spent a lot of time in the travel-size aisle: dozens of tiny tubes of brand-name toothpaste and body lotion and contact-lens solution, all for a dollar or less. Keep a bag packed and be ready to flee at a moment's notice. We looked for nail polish at Bath and Body Works; we looked at CVS; we looked in Publix. We parked as high as we could and dashed between the car and covered sidewalks, the car and home, stepping quickly and carefully to avoid the deepest of the puddles. My mother made chicken salad for dinner and [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker called to tell me to expect her tomorrow.

I slept in Tuesday and managed to do laundry and tidy up my room a bit before meeting [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu for yoga. Our instructor admonished us for missing class last Thursday—it's nice to know we were missed. Afterward I called my mom to tell her I wouldn't be home for dinner and we headed over to the Galleria for sales at Victoria's Secret (where I never end up getting anything) and Banana Republic. I found a skirt that fit me for too much money and a skirt that didn't fit me for the right price, and in the end came away with only two plain t-shirts, white and black. We ducked into the Gap fifteen minutes before closing and ran smack into one of our friends from high school and her seven-month-old baby boy. She's married and the baby is adorable. She seemed happy, and I wouldn't have said she was happy when I knew her, though we hadn't been close at all: sullen, maybe. She seems happy now, confident and relaxed and happy

Jules came from dinner with her father to spend the night and we talked about the things around here and the things in Gainesville and the mysteries of the Harry Potter universe before we put ourselves to bed. In the morning I got up early again and headed out without breakfast to my doctor's appointment. They seemed glad to see me, the staff that had been there when I'd been there last summer, and I realize I need better stories. I have no boyfriends or girlfriends, no interesting plans, no anecdotes to share when people ask me to tell them what's going on, what's new. They did an EKG to check out my irregular heartbeat and the doctor gave me a clean bill of health and a note saying I could donate blood whenever I pleased, so perhaps now my dad will get off my back.

Mal met us for lunch at Einstein's at 12:30 or so, whenever I got back and we headed out again. Today was another perfectly rainy day, if more gray than wet. The humidity is fierce but the storms keep the heat down nicely. We sat outside at Einstein's rather than inside in the air conditioning and I dropped food on my skirt three or four times until Mal reached over and stuck a napkin on my lap. You can't take me anywhere. We browsed Bath and Body Works further down the strip (I am not swayed by packaging, but I'm certainly attracted by it: so much of their products are so well-wrapped, and I am drawn to the heft of the pots, the fonts of the text, the colors of the bottles, and the texture of the creams) and Payless right next door. I remembered my haircut appointment at two and Mal and Jules sat reading magazines while I got a badly-needed trim. I think it had been four months. It looks quite fetching now, though it won't fall half as nicely tomorrow.

Back at my place Jules sat us down and showed us the South Park movie, which both amused and horrified me. I laughed and my eyes bulged, sometimes simultaneously. (Someone brilliant made a Smallville vid, Lex-centric, to Saddam's "I Can Change," and it is, as you might have guessed, awesome.) We played some ball in the house; Mal left to rescue her mother from over-working outside and Jules stayed while we all ordered Chinese food. We watched, of all things, Super-Nanny (a much better show than I would have thought! the children are just as bad as I'd imagined, as were the parents, but she really does everything right) and then Jules went off to make her mother happy by sleeping at home tonight. We've made tentative plans for Friday, and Mal and I are doing yoga tomorrow and possibly seeing Cabaret on Saturday; I remembered too late that cousin M. is having my family and some other company over for dinner on Friday, but I can see if Jules would like to come along, and then we can do things both before and after. Too many thing and all at once.

Things I've read tonight:
1. the last 140 entries on my friends page
2. Part 26 (the latest and perhaps the best installment to date) of [livejournal.com profile] peter_and_fran
3. the latest SG:A and House recs at [livejournal.com profile] ship_recs (and elsewhere), including an untitled John study, a John/Atlantis ficlet, and Trojan Horse (SG:A); and No Exchange of Payment, Leave This Harbor for the Sea, and Dysgeusia (House)
4. [livejournal.com profile] isilya's giftedness ramble to which I am trying to formulate a coherent response
5. a column [livejournal.com profile] marythefan transcribed about Simon, his character, his sexuality, and what it all has to do with Jayne (Firefly)

Things I've saved to read later:
1. Ride (My Chemical Romance), the latest long story from [livejournal.com profile] synchronik
2. The Generic Slash Defense Form Letter (linked by [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza)
3. a metadiscussion of gender, sexuality, and fandom (linked by [livejournal.com profile] viggorlijah2).

I'd read them all but I'm too tired now to even want to. My mother gave me back The Tipping Point; maybe one of these days I'll read a book again.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (when we're all brilliant and fast)
It wasn't so much the weather that got me soaking wet today as it was Murphy's Law. See, I'd pledged my mother my services today in helping sort out her classroom. She called at about 11:30 this morning, just as I was rousing myself, to check on when I'd be coming over; I said I just needed to eat something and since my dad was absent from the house and had taken the car with him, I would walk: it's less than half a mile to the school. It had been raining all morning, and my mother warned me to watch the weather. I breakfasted and dressed and watched the weather to see the gray skies were holding but the way looked clear enough for the time being. I'd gone maybe half a block up the street, smug under my umbrella and the drizzle before the skies opened up in true South Florida fashion. That is, it poured ferociously for two or three minutes, then tapered off abruptly to a desultory drip. I didn't even try racing back to the house, just braced my umbrella at an angle against the rain and walked through it as I watched the water mark on my jeans rise to about a foot above my ankle. I hate walking in wet flip-flops, but if you take it slow and step carefully, you can avoid sliding right out of them, and in this way I eventually made it to the school. There I sorted colored construction paper and inventoried FCAT practice packets for completeness.

I gave The Search another seventy pages, but I finally called it quits this afternoon. "This book loses!" I told my mother, waving it about on my way to set it on the return pile in the living room. "It loses at life! It FAILS!" In its place I started Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, a book my father has been trying to get me to read for the last four years at least. He's forced it on everyone he knows. They all—so he says—give it rave reviews. It's history—the story of a ship that sank (along with the stories of where it came from, what it carried, the people on it, who survived and how) and the team that eventually recovered it—and it's reading well so far.

Tonight [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and I tried out the 7:30 yoga class and we give it big thumbs up! We walked out wobbly-legged and worked-out, with plans to come back regularly every Tuesday and Thursday. The instructor lady told me I have a natural back for the downward-facing dog. I still need to get those muscles and tendons in my calves and ankles to stretch far enough to get my heels allll the way down to the ground. I can't wait to see where I'm sore tomorrow.

We took lightning-fast showers after class got out at about 8:45 (we'd done some light cardio beforehand as well) and got ourselves Subway sandwiches for dinner. I mentioned the 3-for-2 DVD sale Barnes & Noble is having (both in-store and online), so we trotted over and hung out there until 10:30 or so, and Mal did come away with three. In the car we were bemoaning the lack of coffee venues open late enough to accommodate us when we drove right past the Dunkin' Donuts on Sunrise, open 24 hours! With great coffee and a couch to sit on! Where we sat and drank coffee and ate donuts ate donuts and played cards until midnight. Mal has work tomorrow and I should probably try my hand at some sleep as well. I think my mother wants my help again tomorrow, and I am glad to give it.

Also: I posted 36 icons of random things (robots, butterflies, things that are blue) at [livejournal.com profile] minimal_icons if you want to check that out. Thanks to lj users equal [livejournal.com profile] leksa and [livejournal.com profile] bunnymcfoo for the inspiration. [livejournal.com profile] leksa suggested "icons about the modern way of life" which said "robots!" to me. And there you have it.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu had a promotional guest membership—one month free—to her gym, and today we finally got ourselves together and went to sign me up. The last time I was in a gym was just before Mal came to visit me in Gainesville, almost two full months ago. I got sick the day before she left and stayed sick for a week and a half after that; then there were four major projects due, I went home for Passover, I came back to school for finals, and graduated. That was April. In May I was just horribly, unspeakably lazy.

It's June now though, well into June, and my body was terribly excited today when I put on workout clothes and sneakers and packed a water bottle and CD player and went to a gym! WHOO. We did weights first, cardio second, on side-by-side elliptical machines with game shows playing on the teevee. The original Match Game! Wacky fun, plus enormous blue-tinted glasses on the face of one female celebrity. Ladies and gentlemen, the 1970s. The fun was spoiled a bit when Mal's knee gave out on her, but after we'd retired to the locker room we showered off and then laid down in the steam room to let our brains dribble out of our bodies along with the sweat. Talk about your lassitude.

We were pretty hungry by the time we pulled our jellified selves back together and got dressed, and by the time we'd decided on a restaurant, driven there, and sat down, we were slack-brained and desperate for food. Luckily Mal had steered us to her local Thai place, and our late-afternoon meal was fantastic, right down to the tempura banana drizzled with honey. We capped off the evening with a viewing of Garden State back at her place, complete with deleted scenes, outtakes, and the making-of documentary. I only saw the movie once in the theaters and I haven't seen it since, but I was reminded immediately and repeatedly of what a beautiful film it is, how carefully and successfully every shot was framed and the filming executed. Did The Shins change your life too?

I haven't read a book at all today. I feel itchy, like I've wasted time. My reading list fills me with both glee and despair: All those books to read! All those books to read. I add items to my reading list a lot faster than I can scratch any off. Bookstores daunt me, and libraries, with the certain knowledge that I will never get through them all—not even all the books ever, but all the good ones, the ones I would have loved but will never find or never have the time for.

Icon replacement proceeds a-pace. Okay, it proceeds at a snail's pace, but that's something, right? If nobody has any ideas for what icons I desperately need in rotation to fill the gaping holes in my posting needs, does anyone have suggestions for what kind of icons I can make for [livejournal.com profile] minimal_icons? These would be not so much for myself, or even others (though we would all benefit, comrades!), but a kind of icon-making exercise, like a writing improv. Any suggestions? Give me a color, an era of history, your favorite actor or natural phenomenon or—anything at all. I'm at that stage where I want to make icons but have no idea what to make them of.

I concentrated on my legs in the gym today, so I might not be able to walk tomorrow, but I'll be focusing on my upper body anyway. Then I won't be able to move at all, but even in that unhappy case, I should be sufficiently recovered by Thursday evening at the latest to check out their yoga class with Mal.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
You know what I need? New icons. NEW ICONS. Everybody has such pretty icons, man, and I get crazy jealous. I'm tired of mine. What should I make? Who wants to make one for me? And which ones should survive the great purge that is a-comin'?

This is a new icon—or rather, an icon that I started months ago and then abandoned, but I resurrected it tonight. It's keyworded the boy's got a lot to be mad about.

It rained all day again today, and based on weather reports from regions to the north of us, I think we can expect more of the same tomorrow. I like weather. I get a community feeling from fronts that sweep down from Canada, through most of the states in my time zone and some to either side, until they finally drift down to us, warmer and maybe messier but often just as wet. I feel close to everyone who bitches about snow or thunderstorms when the rain comes to my house a week or three days later, a hand-me-down feeling, a you-too? kind of connection with the whole world. I also grin as we all make our left-hand turns when the arrow turns green, everybody playing their proper role in our little traffic dance. I don't know if this is symptomatic of the way I don't get close to people, or the cause of it, but I have the feeling it's somehow related, either way.

But—it rained today. S. and I met up at Barnes & Noble where it poured and poured outside while inside we ate sandwiches, browsed, and lost our wills to live over a casual study session for the GRE. This is where I lodge my official rage at the GRE and, for that matter, all standardized tests! I realized today that I've gone four years without sitting down to take a standardized test, and those were good years. The last time Educational Testing Services and I danced a tango, I burned through five AP tests in a week at the end of my senior year of high school, fifteen hours or so of sitting in a desk filling in bubbles and feverishly scrawling timed essays. I didn't mind those nearly as much as I minded the SAT or, now, the GRE. With the exception of the writing component, the two look identical. My advice to high school juniors and seniors today who are in the standardized-testing zone already and won't (in accordance with Weber's Law) really notice one more, is to take the GRE now and get it out of the way. Similar scores would be one indication of a lack of testing validity, right?

If it had anything to do with what I've been doing for the past four years, or if it had anything to do with the skills or knowledge I would need for graduate school, or even if it was a basic measure of intelligence (though you could debate long and loud the relative merits and demerits of IQ tests and different kinds of intelligence and whether, in the end, any of them would predict success or failure in a specific learning environment) I would not mind. But it is none of those things: it is a measure of how well you can study for a test—which probably is one indicator of how well you might fare in college/graduate school*, but that's immediately biased against people who can't afford study guides and thousand-dollar Kaplan courses. I mean, the majority of the "verbal" section is composed of "antonyms" and "analogies", which basically tests your raw vocabulary—and not only that, but your familiarity with the least-frequently-used words. Why do I not believe them when they say this section will measure my "effectiveness at solving a problem hinging on [my] command of the English language"?

And to be totally honest, I'm bitter because I haven't done Algebra II** since ninth grade, and I haven't brushed up on systems of equations since I last studied for the SAT in eleventh grade, so I totally got served when I sat down cold to the practice test this afternoon. Other things to be bitter about: the test is completely computerized now, meaning you get your (unofficial) score immediately (which, by the way, I have never enjoyed! I like at least a day between the effort and the evaluation), but you have to answer the questions in the order in which they appear, so 1) you can't skip a question and come back to it later, and 2) you can't go back and check your work. The other big change from paper-and-pencil tests is that computer tests (this one, at least) are adaptive, so they give you harder or easier questions based on your correct or incorrect answers. I'm sure that as more and more tests become computerized and they eventually enter the classroom to replace Scantrons and the like, that new test-taking strategies will emerge to elicit the test-taker's best possible performance, but I don't have those strategies. All I have is IRE.

* But not necessarily, if you'll just compare the study habits of (for example) myself and former-roommate N., along with our respective test scores.
** Is this stuff even Algebra II or is it all just Algebra I? I can't remember anymore. It's been a while, is all I'm saying. I could integrate better than I could tell you exactly how much pears cost apiece if three of my friends bought pears, apples, and oranges in different combinations but either neglected to note the unit prices or else are refusing to tell me.


After we lost the will to live, we wandered the aisles, recommending books to each other, and I bought pocket-sized books of weekend NYT crossword puzzles, to keep in my bag along with whatever book I happen to be carrying—because, as Edward Conlon explained to someone who asked, you never know when nothing's going to happen. I drove home in rain but stopped on the way at Batten's Farm for a fresh strawberry milkshake and picked up peaches while I was there. I'd walked right past them, but their scent drew me back. At home I napped for an hour and a half, until my mom woke me for dinner of Thai take-out.

My parents had taken out The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas the other night to show me who Charles Durning was (a perennial That Guy for me), and started watching it; we finished it tonight, or rather they did, and I excused myself to read or something. The movie was cute, and maybe I should have had more fun with it or appreciated the town's open acknowledgement and wholesome treatment of their whores, but I kept getting hung up on the phrase romanticization of prostitution, which is a clunky and pretentious thing to have scrolling through my brain, but there it was. I watched The Poseidon Adventure with my dad tonight too, and the dialogue was formulaic and cheesetastic, but what kept bothering me was the gender roles and distribution of labor. I understand it's a disaster movie (one of the first of its kind and boy did it set the tone for the genre), so stock characters are to be expected, but the way it broke down, the women had great legs and wore short shorts and high heels while they screamed and panicked and clutched at the men to save them. The men weren't contemptuous about it, just helpful and stoic; when the men froze up it was the other men who got them to continue, not by gentle coaxing, but by bracing, blustery, these-people-need-you! or are-you-man-or-mouse?! pep talks.

I think that slash, at some level, is behind this. That is, my reading slash has affected the way I view this film. Disaster movies from the 1970s (their ruffled shirts and humongous bow ties!) have a different and skewed presentation of gender from what I see in my daily life today, but even in real life today I'm often taken aback by the way men and women interact and are expected to interact with each other. I spend so much of my time reading about relationships (intimate and otherwise) between men, exclusively. It's fanfiction, so the relationships are often idealized on both the personal and the macro (cultural, political) levels, but they meet as equals in a way men and women never get to. There are often other confounding factors at work—preconceived notions, power differentials, "my friends all hate you!", "I'm not really gay!"—but even that last one is eased (a function of fiction, perhaps) by that recognition of equality and you're-like-me (and not just in the, "hey, he has a cock too!" kind of way). The distancing effects of courtship and whatever "games" women are supposed to play (and the accompanying resignation and resentment men feel at jumping through those hoops) are eliminated, ipso facto. I need more data for comparison. I've never been a reader of femslash, so I don't know if the same set-ups are found there; but really the question must be what is it actually like—from here it feels like culture and history are what stand between men and women: patriarchy and pornography, men's clubs and women's magazines, double standards and Sigmund Freud. It concerns me; it worries me; it gets my back up. And yet, even though it feels like same-sex couples must meet in a space removed from those reverberating expectations, surely it's more the case that the expectations are simply different? I know I've been immersing myself in fantasies all along, large fantasy worlds with thousands of different dreams inside them, but just because I've been over-exposed to unattainable ideals doesn't mean that I need to dismiss all of my dissatisfaction. I'm still sorting it out, it's too amorphous to even be coherent yet, but some of it at least I plan to hang on to and fight for.

I finished Never Let Me Go today: I was impatient and eventually unsatisfied with it, and I think fanfiction, along with all the nonfiction I've been reading lately, has something to do with that as well. This isn't the first novel I've found lacking recently, and the problem is in the pacing, or the thinness of the plot, or both. I read an awful lot of fanfic, and because I'm kind of a snob, and because I can, I read an awful lot of really, really high-quality fanfic. Across the board, with few exceptions, really good fanfic is tight, everything to the purpose and nothing in it that doesn't advance the story. I can think of two reasons for this (and I'm sure there are others): 1) the focus on the relationship (and even in a gen story the focus is almost always on the character(s)), and 2) essentially unlimited flexibility with regard to story length. There are a lot of novel-length stories floating around fandom, but there are a whole lot more mid-length, short, and tiny stories (see: the drabble, whatever your feelings about it) that always give the impression they were written until they were done, not to pad pages or fulfill a word count. It means the novel-length stuff needed to be novel-length, and I never read a section of it and wonder why it was there, or wish the author would just get to the fucking point already. I've been spoiled.

There was an internal problem with Never Let Me Go, too—it was first-person, and the storytelling method including mentioning an event in passing, with the assurance that she (the narrator) would explain it to us later, and I hate that, when people do it in real life as well as in a story like this. Either tell me something or don't, but don't hint around it, and especially don't hint around things throughout the entire book. The book itself was about a possible present: it's a slow—very, very slow—reveal, but essentially it's about the ethics of cloning, the status of clones, and our responsibility to them. But the revelation of information went too slow for the amount of information that was revealed, and the last few pages ended in a Goblet of Fire-style expository infodump. I'd have cared more if it had been paced better, is what I came away thinking, instead of barely caring at all.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] meinnim tagged me for the movie meme. )

[livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and I had a lovely day on Tuesday, thank you Palm Beach County. My dad warned us on the way out about THUNDERSTORMS PREDICTED IN THE AREA, we should be very, very careful and perhaps not linger in Palm Beach County, what with the major thunderstorms, but we managed to make it out the door, agreeing to keep our distance on the wet roads and, like, turn the windshield wipers on. We had blazing sun all day. But I'm getting ahead of the narrative.

It's not a very complicated narrative, but we had fun doing it. Mal picked me up a little after eleven, and our first stop was breakfast at Panera where we ate bread mmmm and mocked young businesspeople for their cellphone usage. From there we drove up to the Morikami, a museum and gardens left by one of a group of Japanese settlers who arrived in the area in the early part of the century. We walked the path around the lake, taking pictures of the flowers and the bamboo and the insects and each other, walking in the shade whenever we could and ducking under shelters when we found them. It was very hot. Our pictures attest to the perfect blueness of the sky but fail to convey the heat. We made it most of the way around the lake and to the Yamato-kan that housed the museum, padding around the stuffy rooms in our paper slippers and sweltering in the warm air the fans blew around. We lost the will to live then. There are no pictures of the rest of the walk back, and once we got into the air conditioning we sat ourselves down in the back of their auditorium and watched the sadly-outdated twelve-minute video of what the Morikami has to offer.

Once we'd gotten some energy back we toured the gallery exhibits. There was some folk art, but the best part was the origiami figures of endangered Florida species: butterflies, birds, a panther's face, an alligator, a snake made from a single sheet of paper, nine feet long. Other animals, all gorgeous. They think there are maybe fifty adult Florida panthers left in the wild.

It was time for ice cream then. Mal's boyfriend R. lives about twenty minutes up the road, and on the way to his house we stopped at Publix and picked up some Ben & Jerry's. Once there, we ate it over a viewing of Empire Records, finishing about when he came home from work. Empire Records! Oh, that movie. I think of it every time I say "orange" and I love Lucas even more than I remembered. "Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear!"

For dinner they took me out for sushi, and what faaabulous sushi it was. R. was overjoyed Mal had brought along a non-vegetarian with whom he could explore the menu, and I was happy to experiment. We decided we could put away five rolls between the two of us, and we did, though they came after the salad with the yummy ginger dressing and before the green-tea ice cream, and I practically rolled myself out, stuffed and content. Back at the house we looked at our pictures from the day, comparing and culling, and then we all played a rousing game of Rummy-500. We are wild and crazy, it's so true. R. called it quits a few rounds in and went off to bed; Mal and I played a little more and polished off the Ben & Jerry's from earlier before I said goodnight and it was lovely to meet you and we headed back south.

We'd had grand plans of playing more cards and maybe watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail at my place, but it was 12:30 by the time we pulled up, and Mal had things to do in the morning. I stayed up for a while but was too tired to do much, even to post. I went to bed at three-thirty or so and slept until after one this afternoon.

And how do you follow up a day of camaraderie and activity but by doing nothing around the house all day? That's what I thought. There's a little more space on my floor, but I mostly just shuffled things around. My mom and I made dinner and we watched House afterward over ears of corn. I'd say spoilery things about it, but other people already have, and I'm probably just talking to myself anyway. I loved it though, I thought it was done incredibly well and revealed quite a lot, for both the canon and the characters. I'm looking forward to catching it in summer reruns. When I get tired of waiting around for those, I'll be scouring for episode guides at tvtome.com. Plus I'll be looking for the fic. It's not that I'm always in the market for new fandoms, but they follow me home and how can I turn them away?
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
I remembered the good bits about living in South Florida today. I've been doing a whole lot of nothing all week: sleeping in, staying up late reading fic and books, unpacking a box or hanging up clothes when the space makes itself available. On Wednesday I took myself over to my mother's school and brought my digital camera to take pictures of her kids for a school scrapbook, and to let all my old teachers and my mum's new colleagues kvell over me, exclaiming over how good I looked, wishing me luck, inquiring as to MY PLANS (of which, just to keep you updated, I still have none).

[livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker made the drive down to Miami to have dinner with her father Wednesday night, and crashed afterward at my place, with the plan that Thursday morning she would drive over to our old high school to say hello to her favorite teachers, and then meet S. and me for lunch. Those plans were somewhat stymied when she got into her car to drive off to school and looked up to discover that during the night someone had thrown beer bottles at her car and smashed her windshield. Insert your omgwtf right here. Drunken hooligans in my neighborhood! Bewildering and embarrassing in addition to horrible for her and her poor car. She called her insurance company and my dad directed her to the closest Ford dealership and then woke me up to let me know what was going on. Ford was going to fix it by that afternoon or the next day at the latest. I showered and dressed myself and picked her up to meet S. and hopefully start turning the day around.

We started out with a long lunch at Sweet Tomatoes in the Fountains; from there we popped into Marshall's around the corner where I bought a wallet for my mum for Mother's Day (a hundred-dollar wallet for forty bucks, because it's Mother's Day and she's my mother and it's just what she wanted): I paid with a credit card, and just as my transaction was complete and I was stuffing my receipt into the bag, the thunderstorm that had been menacing outside suddenly exploded with a forked flash of lightning and an especially loud crack of thunder and all the power in the store went out. Ooh, timing. The lights came back on a few seconds later, but we didn't stick around to see what kind of coming-back-online noises the computers were going to make. It was pouring, pouring, pouring outside, but it's South Florida, so we just waited a few minutes for it to let up. Onward we went then to Best Buy on Broward and Flamingo where I picked up a DVD player that is tiny and inexpensive and will fit right above the television in the kitchen. It's for my parents' thirty-second anniversary in three weeks; I also picked up Field of Dreams to help them start converting their VHS collection.

We started flagging then, but still we pushed on to Sawgrass, where S. was looking for a plain gold brooch for her mother (totally unsuccessfully; she's been everywhere and I think has finally given up) and I didn't have money but half-heartedly flipped through some skirts and shirts. I did buy panties at half-price. Eventually we all lost the will to live and split a bag of chocolate-covered gummi bears on the slow shuffle out. Jules picked up her car on the way back, shiny new windshield in place, and we had grand plans to head up to Las Olas for dinner, but couldn't seem to get up again once we'd gotten home and collapsed all over the living room. Instead we had Italian take-out with my parents and watched Sweet Home Alabama on the teevee. Quick and probably unnecessary spoilers for the movie, but cut-tags makes it so easy to be overly cautious )

We made it a relatively early night last night with the idea of getting up early and going to the beach for breakfast today. Jules had said nine a.m., but we didn't make it out the door until a little before eleven and had parked the car by 11:15. I never regret coming to the beach: the problem is getting up at eight or nine, which is when my parents always plan to go for breakfast. Breakfast at lunchtime is more my speed. We sat in one of our usual places on the broadwalk, in the shade and between two fans, both of us facing out toward the ocean. We had constantly-refilled cups of coffee and ate our breakfast and people-watched, and then these models and camera people came by to shoot a commercial right in front of us. It was in Spanish and we have absolutely no idea what it was for, but it involved skinny girls in tiny outfits who could not stop playing with their hair plus a girl pushing a baby in a stroller. In the background, pretty young people in bikinis and board shorts tossed around a volleyball. After we'd sat for a while and had our anthropological thrills, we got cones of Häagen-Dazs next door and ate them as we slogged our way through the wet sand at the water's edge for a few minutes, before slogging and splashing back the other way. It was warm and bright but not hot and a good breeze blew; the water was cool. Life, we kept exclaiming, was amazingly good. We rinsed the sand off our feet at the spigot and got back to the car five minutes before our meter expired.

Doing nothing in the sunshine really takes it out of you. At home Jules flipped through my music collection and we made her a CD before she reluctantly said her goodbyes and headed back to her mother for a couple of days; she'll be driving back to Gainesville on Sunday for the start of the first summer term. I sat around uselessly for a while, read some, and then took a dozing nap before dinner. My parents and I watched Zorro, the Gay Blade and I was entertained. Just parody enough, just over-the-top enough, great jokes. After sitting through Viva Zapata!, it was doubly hilarious.

Bed soon, yeah? There are books in for me at the library which I shall pick up tomorrow.

March 2011

S M T W T F S
  1 2345
678 9101112
131415 16171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags