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. (sing along with the common people)
a. this day in history: a livejournal meme )

b. [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, this one's for YOU:
dear diary, today i was pompous and my sister was crazy. today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. it was the best day ever.

i've never had much luck with text icons, but i'm toying with the idea of making a set of firefly quotes.

cousin m. and i are booked for this friday! so excited!

c. the other evening the local news weather report included a reading of 8.5 on the stickiness scale. a stickiness scale! boy, can we ever use one of those.

d. something i've noticed as a product of livejournal-based fan and fanfiction meta-discussion (and stop me if this predates livejournal or developed independently of it) is a new story form, what i think of as either the compressed story, or the extended summary. maybe the extended bunny. it starts with "where is the story where" or "somebody needs to write the one where", and continues to lay out the plot—often the entire skeleton—using lots of coordinating conjunctions, complete with the major emotional arcs, character set-up and development, lines of dialogue. [livejournal.com profile] helenish creates awesome ones all the time; [livejournal.com profile] allecto spins out fantastic and richly-detailed aus; [livejournal.com profile] viggorlijah casually tosses out delicate set-ups; [livejournal.com profile] dexwebster re-cast desk set—which sounds awesome, by the way.

i won't say everybody does it, or even almost everybody, but lots of people do, and often; i've even done it, with absolutely no intention of ever writing the idea i had. and that's what it feels like: a public forum for viewing stories that will never be written. they're fascinating and often lots of fun to read, but they're also frustrating as hell to read, because i've just had my interest piqued and my appetite whetted for a story i can now reasonably expect to never see. maybe i'm underestimating the number of these that are eventually expanded upon and made into fully-functioning stories (by either their originator or an adoptive author), but for the moment i want to argue that they usually don't get written, that to publish the extended bunny is to fix it in that form forever, because it's a new form: a meta-story, a story about the possible telling of a story. in that sense, it's already complete.

f. for a textbook example of the abovementioned, see [livejournal.com profile] helenish's latest post, in which she whips up this fantastic idea for the vice-versa challenge after admitting to being sucked in by stargate: atlantis.

if you don't read [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine, she just posted the most hilarious and spot-on roundup of stargate: atlantis and its fandom—whose apparent motto, she says, is "you will be assimilated": I now call it the black hole of fandom, and I could do this whole extended metaphor thing involving solar masses and the Schwarzschild radius and the Chandrasekhar limit, but I think we'll all be glad I chose not to. Suffice to say, SGA is where I expect we'll make alien contact for the first time; some writer will notice a new name on her friends list, click, and discover that the fine entities of Alpha Centauri have been sucked in and are now searching for SGA slash. i'm just saying, when not even light can escape? you're doomed. doomed, doomed, doomed. and, oh, the water is so incredibly fine.

g. television roundup!

kitchen confidential )

on tuesday we were trying to tape four shows on two vcrs, and it would have all been fine if i hadn't fucked it up by 1) not switching out a tape at a crucial moment, thereby losing last week's—unseen—NCIS, and 2) doing some strange and stupid thing with the remote that resulted in not taping commander in chief. to sum up: i fail at life and should probably not go near anything having to do with vhs for a little while. commander in chief will repeat on saturday, at least. and unless i screwed up even more than i thought, we also taped the four-hour pbs documentary on bob dylan. things we did manage to watch on tuesday, in spite of me:

gilmore girls )

house 203 )

after watching house and gilmore girls back-to-back it's inevitable that i would imagine house and paris in an etiquette-devouring crossover nightmare, right? right? paris could be the patient in whom house finally meets his match! and they're not only in the same galaxy, they're in the same geographic region of the same country! that, of course, led me to imagine house + paris + rodney, and then i panicked at even the *possibility* of the scenario and had to RUN FOR MY LIFE o.O

h. an informal survey: does anyone else ever suspect that angelina jolie is a robot?
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (jesus and his lawyer are coming back)
livejournal's been pretty quiet, but i'm assuming that everyone's been watching hurricane rita bear down on the gulf coast. as of 7 p.m. it had dropped in intensity from a category 5 to a category 4 storm (winds are at 145 mph, down from 175) and is expected to make landfall late tomorrow.

galveston's 17-foot sea wall is sweet, but i wasn't sure what it was going to do against a 25-foot storm surge with accompanying waves at high tide; turns out the city is designed to drain to the north in the event of flooding. texas is trying to evacuate itself. there's the small problem of over a million people trying to leave at the same time, and they're all sitting together in 100-mile back-ups, running out of gas. they only just today—this afternoon, i think—opened up their south-bound highways to north-bound traffic. can i just say, that's the first thing we do in florida. a mandatory evacuation warning means all highways are outbound and tolls are lifted on the turnpike. they're pushing the evacuation order really strongly this time (the mayor of new orleans basically said if you stay behind, you're as good as dead; actually, she said you'd better write your social security number on your arm in indelible ink), but still—still!—no one is worrying about or making arrangements for people without the means or resources to leave: people with no cars, people who can't afford gas for their cars, people who can't afford airfare, people who went to the airport but can't get anywhere: the baggage handlers didn't show up in texas today; they had to leave.

i want to know what preparations were being made a week ago, when rita first started threading the needle between cuba and key west, because i can not have been the only one paranoid and pessimistic enough to project it doing exactly what it's done. don't they pay disaster-planners to come up with worst-case scenarios? i can't believe they didn't say to themselves, "wow, things are really, really bad here on the louisiana coast. what would be the worst thing that could happen to us right now? ah! another catastrophic hurricane!" but i can see how they might disregard something so calamitous and far-fetched, since it's only the dead middle of hurricane season in one of the biggest and busiest hurricane seasons on record; and it's not as if there's recent precedent for a region being targeted by multiple hurricanes in a single year. there's going to be—i mean, i can only hope there's going to be an enormous hue and cry when this is over, redoubled fury at fema and the bush administration, but i'd like to think that somewhere in the angry hubbub is toby's voice shouting and nobody saw this coming? i know i want my twenty bucks back.

*

. . . and now to completely personalize and trivialize this entry, let me say that i learned how to shimmy-walk tonight! which is just what it sounds like, shimmying and walking at the same time. your body seriously does not want to do this, but you can lull it into a false sense of security and then bludgeon it into submission, at which point, hey! you're shimmy-walking! and your body can't take it back now.

rita put the keys under water but it barely made a dent in broward county; we all got to spend tuesday wandering around a dark house in our pajamas anyway, while forty-mph winds occasionally gusted and it sometimes rained. and then more wine! and cheese, and my mother's cornflake chicken, and cousin m. taught me new psychology vocabulary terms during a jeopardy! interlude, namely ego dystonic and ego syntonic. and we watched house )

gym tomorrow, and studying for the gre; requesting books from the library again, and replying to email. i have a to-do list as long as my arm. it's almost time to rejoin the human race. it's late already, and i'm tired—but [livejournal.com profile] ship_recs just updated, so what can you do?
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (it's all in the stones that you throw)
whoever was on espn yesterday at around four-thirty p.m. talking about sunday's federer-agassi final were idiots who i'm pretty sure never even saw the match. that's the only reason i can come up with for mocking andre agassi for moving like an old man and needing a nap in the middle of the second set, because if they'd actually seen him play they would have seen how quick and fluid his movement was, how he was playing some of the best and cleanest tennis of his life to date. the thing is, agassi was playing some of the best tennis of his life and still, still, federer rose up in the third-set tie-break and annihilated him.

my mother was in the kitchen while i was watching the match, and she mentioned that i was, you know, loud. i get into it! i'm pretty sure i freaked out roommate n. last january during the safin-federer semifinal at the australian open. it's just. federer hits the ball differently than anyone else i've seen, longer strokes somehow, or softer, when his forehand is one of the fastest in the world. the ball looks smaller as it comes off his racket, and you never see him move, he's just there all of a sudden, ending the point with a winner you didn't even know was possible. mary carillo says she's never met a champion like him, says he somehow manipulates time: the man is never rushed. no one has a bad word to say about him.

everyone who says federer's game has no weaknesses obviously didn't see him blow every forehand volley he tried to hit, and weren't listening to johnny mac point them out each and every time (other things sports commentators are good at pointing out? turns out andre agassi is thirty-five, if you missed it the first forty million times they mentioned it). when he tightens up his net game, then he'll have no weaknesses, heh. or close enough. i'm still thrilled just to be alive and watching him right now.

other things i am thrilled to be alive and watching, though not on the same historical level:

house 201: acceptance )

house is a detective with a medical degree. he sees the world in pieces and instinctively, obsessively, puts the pieces together. the easiest, most natural au for him is the '40s film-noir private eye: he already broods, drinks, plays the piano, limps, and has a chip on his shoulder for the entire human race. substitute polio or a riding accident for the infarction and a morphine addiction for the vicodin, give him a fedora and a pack of cigarettes, and you're in business.

[livejournal.com profile] meinnim heard about the similarities some people—including myself—have drawn between house and rodney mckay, and was amused by them, calling for a crossover where mckay calls medicine "voodoo" and, you know, wackiness and EPIC SNARK ensue. [livejournal.com profile] ciderpress once called the members of john's team (excepting ford, pre-siege iii) "bizarrely, voluntarily ostracized" from their social groups, and that's, like, the definition of house's standing in the community. house is the most curious man on the planet (self-described), he has one thing ("dnr"), he's obsessed with finding out and knowing, according to himself and everyone with whom he crosses paths. rodney's drive to know is less explicit and less explored (it's not his show, exclusively), but whoa, trinity spoiler! what's the statute of limitations on these? )

both house and rodney chose their talents and brains and themselves over other people; they don't like people very much, people slow them down. i'm not saying they're twins separated at birth—rodney is largely oblivious to people, where house is acutely, painfully dialled in to *everything* around him; rodney is insecure and impatient, where house is angry and bitter and actively antagonistic; etc., etc.—but they're both constantly working the "out of my way, bitch! genius at work!" thing.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (he said "the world is as soft as lace")
Y'all, I did something so bad to my neck in my sleep last night. So bad that I had to think very carefully about how I was going to get out of bed when I woke up early this afternoon, and after I did make it upright, the first thing I lunged for was the heating pad, and the heating pad and I then communed for a couple of hours. I've gotten back about three times the range of motion I woke up with, which is still less than half of what I'm used to. There was a time in there when it was warm and loosening up that I thought I'd be able to make it to the gym today after all, but both parents made that-probably-isn't-the-best-idea-you've-ever-had noises, plus I can't even pretend to look over my left shoulder and therefore can't drive; also it hurts when I walk. In summation: ow. I took care of my body and my body abandoned me.

It turns out I'm going to be taking bellydancing lessons with cousin M. for the next six or eight Thursdays. I agreed to it because 1) I don't think she was going to do it if I wasn't, but she really wanted to; and 2) my dad called across the house to tell me she was on the phone when I was in the kitchen and had just sliced a nectarine in half: I answered with the knife and the nectarine in hand, and the phone cord is like two feet long so I was stuck holding onto both of them and dripping for the duration of the call—which was long, and consisted of four parts—so I was looking to end it and get back to the sink as quickly as politeness would allow. And then suddenly I was taking bellydancing lessons. Okay.

I started re-reading the Harry Potter books starting with Philosopher's Stone, intending to take epic, epic notes for both research and general knowledge purposes, but first got distracted by properly coding my notes, and then got totally absorbed in Chapter 4 ("Yer a wizard, Harry Potter!"). Considering how cold HBP left me (and, as I told [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker, I don't know if that's just because I approached it with my analyzation glasses on or what, but I thought other people had had the same reaction?) I was greatly heartened to find I was still thrilled and touched by the world we were establishing and that Harry was finally gaining entrance to. I have not yet made it past Chapter 4.

My family and I have finished Season Eight of M*A*S*H and have therefore exhausted our current supply. To compensate, we've cracked open the Sports Night DVDs. It was a fantastic show, and would feel even MORE fantastic if only every episode upon re-viewing didn't feel like a dress rehearsal for The West Wing.

As for tonight's network television, namely the episode "Heavy" of House, does S1 House talk need to go behind a cut? watch me now as I err on the side of caution )

But! Oh! Livejournal, since last we spoke [livejournal.com profile] rageprufrock posted both Part 3 AND Part 4 of Hindsight, and says now we can probably expect two more parts before it wraps up, if anyone has been keeping away out of habitual WIP-avoidance. Who are you people, by the way? Where does all that cast-iron self-control COME FROM?

I love Said the Gramophone so much, both for the music they feature and the methods they come up with for talking about the music. There was, for example, Nikto Ti Nepovie Pravdu by Zivé Kvety, "the hottest garage-pop band in Bratislava. Yes, Slovakia," about which Sean said,

If this song were having a conversation with itself:

SONG: Hey! Are you going to the movie?
Song: Movie? Look what I'm doing!
SONG: You're jumping up and down on the grass!
Song: I'm jumping up and down on the grass!
SONG: Yes! That looks fun!
Song: Join me! Look, I'm baking cookies too!
SONG: My electric guitar is a baseball bat that only hits home-runs!
Song: Thank god we're no longer controlled by the Communists!

How can you not appreciate people who appreciate something so much? I don't find every description they post appealing, and I don't adore every song I download, but I love plenty, and no matter what, I love reading what they have to say.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (it's all in the stones that you throw)
The cat and dog fight like—well, you know. Turns out it's not just a figure of speech.

Together [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and I blew off yoga on Tuesday and instead went shopping at Old Navy, where we each bought several items at wildly discounted prices. I watched House after dinner. reactions to Cursed )

I read Dira Sudis's Last Rites a while ago, but I just went back to it for a re-read now that things make more sense. You couldn't ask for a better follow-up to this episode.

And then I finished Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem. It's just what it says, the history of Fermat's Last Theorem and why (and how) it took 350 years to solve. They yadda-yadda-yaddad over most of the actual math, especially toward the end (which I can't help feeling a little put-out about, no matter that I wouldn't even begin to understand it), but it's a good story. In some ways it's a horrifying story: the lives of so many mathematicians seem tenuous at best and the tragedy of time is everywhere in abundant evidence. They often died young, or lived in turbulent times, or lived at the wrong time. Wiles himself finally expressed, explicitly, the danger of a linear, unidirectional timeline:

Having tried every tool and technique in the published literature, [Wiles] had found that they were all inadequate. "I really believed that I was on the right track, but that did not mean that I would necessarily reach my goal. It could be that the methods needed to solve this particular problem may simply be beyond present-day mathematics. Perhaps the methods I needed to complete the proof would not be invented for a hundred years. So even if I was on the right track, I could be living in the wrong century." (237)

Isn't that terrifying? The odds of achieving self-actualization are infinitesimal in this world. Galois was a "respectable but not outstanding" student until he encountered mathematics at the age of sixteen; he was twice refused admittance to the École Polytechnique because of the "abruptness and lack of explanation in the oral examination"; he was caught up in the tumultuous politics of 1820s and '30s France and died in a duel at the age of twenty. Leonhard Euler's father was determined that his son should pursue a career in the Church—and he did, until their friends the Bernoullis intervened and persuaded the father that his son "had been born to calculate, not to preach."

What's so haunting isn't that Euler almost became a clergyman to fulfill his father's wishes instead of a mathematician who would later be referred to as "analysis incarnate" and of whom "the French academician François Arago said, 'Euler calculated without apparent effort as men breathe, or as eagles sustain themselves in the wind'"—but that for every touch-and-go story like his that ends happily, there must be countless other stories that end with the hapless protagonist going into his father's business without a word of complaint; or dying in infancy; or being too poor for school or books; or being born into a nomadic tribe, or before the advent of Pythagoras and the entire field of mathematics. The tragedy of time is that in the fifteenth century Leonardo da Vinci was able to design a helicopter that would have flown—what could he have done today? That kind of thing can keep me up at night.

More snippets from the book. )

That was all Tuesday; today was Wednesday, but I didn't do much with it. My mother and I ran errands, we made our own version of these shrimp pouches for dinner, and we started the seventh season of M*A*S*H*: BJ's moustache is truly hideous, but his initials stand for anything you want!

And if you're still here, leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me. It can only be one word. No more. Then copy & paste this in your journal so that I may leave a word about you.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Dear livejournal, how are you? I'm all caught up on the posted goings-on in your lives, but it has been ten days since my own last posting. There's this sense that one can say anything on livejournal, unburden oneself and confess oneself, without repercussions or Hail Marys or anyone even frowning at you like you should know better and they're not mad, just disappointed. If you've got your antennae up and your filters right, you even find people who'll applaud you for it, whatever it is. My entries tend more to the quotidian minutiae of the last book I read and what I had for lunch, but I miss my minutiae if I don't write about it. If nothing happened last Thursday—and around here, some days absolutely nothing happens—is it really so essential to document the fact? Why does it feel essential?

Anyway. To start from the present moment and work my way backward—no. To start from ten days ago and work my way forward to the present moment:

Did yoga on Thursday with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and her mom; the instructor is going on a month-long vacation and we'll be having substitutes starting next week. Class was over at 8:30 and we got out of the parking garage a little before 9:00, at which time it was POURING and lightning and thundering and RAINING REALLY HARD. I did not drive home. Instead Mal and I retreated to her place where we ordered in Italian food and watched Zoolander with a break in the middle for the food and Without a Trace. By midnight the movie was over, Mal was falling asleep, and the rain had almost stopped.

*

The weather stayed clear enough on Friday for my mother and me to take my grandmother to the cemetary for my grandfather's yartzheit; it was technically June 14th, but as my mother said, we're more about the spirit of the law than the letter. The day before had been a very busy day for my grandmother, grocery shopping and maybe a trip to the bank, and she was very quiet and tired today. We took her home soon and my mother took me out to lunch. Over huge salads at Chili's I explained yet again that the problem re: choosing a career isn't finding something I like, it's finding something I like to do. I like everything. In naming the top five classes I'd taken at UF, I came up with Social Psychology, History of Urban America, Intro to Linguistics, Biological Anthropology, and, um. Hmm. I really liked calculus. I thought very hard about taking Calc III for fun, but never did. I never took any hard sciences, so I couldn't say whether or not I would have liked them. I feel cheated of my science education, going back to high school at least. My biology teacher was fabulous, but I didn't take anything away from chemistry or physics.

Anyway. I dropped my mother at home to make a cake and drove around collecting my contact lenses from the optometrist and my prescription from Walgreens. I got home in time to start reading [livejournal.com profile] kaneko's Intersections and get halfway through before we left for dinner at cousin M.'s. More people who watch a lot of television and don't have much else to talk about. I realize of course that many of the people on my friendslist watch a lot of television and a lot of their posting content is about just that, but the level of engagement on which they tend to watch is incomparable to my dinner companions'. I guess I wouldn't care what we were talking about as long as it were interesting, that it went beyond what their TiVo queues held.

I watched SG:A vids tonight and here's what I learned:

cut for length, but I'm welcoming any conversation about characterization, canon, and general SG:A chatter )

Still to come: a rambling and incoherent discussion of giftedness in my favorite fictional characters.

I watched the trailer for Serenity again and am very excited about September. I don't know how much crossover there is between the fandoms, but I'm guessing everybody already knows David Krumholtz is in the movie, right? Playing a character called "Mr. Universe"?

*

Saturday was one of those days when nothing happened. I watched tennis; I did nothing; I did nothing; I read fic online; I fetched take-out with my mother for dinner; I started Fermat's Enigma, a history of the solving of his Last Theorem. I'm up to the twentieth century.

*

Tennis coverage started at noon on Sunday. I slouched around the house after that until my parents go out to dinner and I watched the last disk of Dead Like Me; in more when-my-fandoms-collide news, Kaylee of Firefly was the goth girl in Episode 114, "Rest In Peace".

Then I found SG-1 fic by [livejournal.com profile] paian omg. I have started reading SG-1 fic. But, come on! This was inevitable, right? Right? Guys? Half the authors I know and love write in SG-1 and a handful of the reccers I trust the most have been reccing SG-1 for months and years, but I'm taking suggestions.

The dog came in just when the thunder and rain started in the small hours, leaning close for me to scratch his ears and belly and croon at him that the big noise couldn't hurt him before he laid down on my foot to sleep.

*

I went to bed in the small hours of Monday morning (so small they were almost big again) and tried to get up three hours after going to bed for shopping with my mother, as planned, but though I have a very clear recollection of setting my alarm for nine a.m., I have no memory of turning it off again. My mom came in at a quarter to ten to get me up, told me not to rush, take my time, etc. I set tennis to tape and we hit the Pembroke Mall. We came home exhausted five or six hours later and stopped at Publix on the way home for essentials (mostly fruit); we made dinner and I watched the tennis I'd taped and was very, very tired.

*

My last dentist visit was in 2002. On Tuesday both the hygienist and the dentist chewed me out for getting lost for three years, and then grudgingly proceeded to tell me my teeth look great. I think they almost would have loved to find half a dozen cavities, just so they could say "see? See?! This is what happens!" Except nothing happened: three years and no decay. I've never had a cavity. I brush thoroughly, I floss nightly, and he said if I keep doing what I'm doing I'll have my teeth until I'm a hundred and twenty. They both said I should think about having my teeth bleached. I'm thinking about it.

I came home jubilant only to find my mother had been crying but was too upset to talk about it, just that "[we? I?] have to move." She said telling me why would just make her cry more, and she had errands to run. This is a bad thing to do to me! I have an extremely vivid imagination. I am paranoid. My first thought was financial disaster. My second was personal/medical disaster. My third was divorce. Common sense started kicking in soon after, as I remembered that if any of those things were true, *moving* would be the least of all difficulties; and my dad had absolutely no idea what was going on, hadn't even known my mother was upset before she left; he did say she had talked to her school principal before she left, maybe she'd heard bad news? Should he call back and see? And I was like, don't call anybody, Mom will tell us when she's ready, etc. I worked out that it's likely she'll have to move classrooms within the school. This will be a total bitch. It's something like the fifth move in as many years and she was pretty invested in this room already, had unpacked things and set them up, and moving will be a bitch—but it'll get done. There's a lot to be said for the worst-case scenario.

I watched taped tennis! and then went to the 5:00 yoga, with Jason as instuctor this time: he was cool, he led class just like Tim at UF had. He gave us the option of doing a backbend instead of a bridge, which, whoo, should have helped my brain, according to this article. I'd gotten back the results of my bloodwork from last week: I am an extremely healthy human being; I need to eat more fish. My triglycerides are 67, my HDL cholesterol is 78 (total: 130) though my LDL is only 39 and that could be higher. Iron is fine, blood sugar is fine; as I remarked to my father, imagine if I were actually still working out five days a week.

We had an excellent dinner when I got back, a sort of alternative picnic: split-pea burgers a la Alton Brown, homemade baked sweet potato chips, corn salad, salad salad. We watched House, Detox )As I mentioned the other day in [livejournal.com profile] isilya's journal, it's laughable what these doctors do. Are they the only five doctors in the hospital? Okay, plus Cuddy, the token administrator. Are there no nurses? No lab technicians? The ducklings do EVERYTHING. They draw blood, they run scans, they perform autopsies and brain surgery. What is the head of Oncology doing up in Diagnostics all the time? In what universe would he draw blood himself? Whatever. I am entertained.

*

On Wednesday my mother and I made a heroic effort at all-day shopping at Sawgrass and were immensely successful. We worked our way through five stores (with a break for a delicious lunch at the Cheesecake Factory) and found shoes and shirts and skirts before losing the will to live. We brought home sandwiches for dinner but were still too full from lunch to eat them. I'd gotten about seventy pages into The Tipping Point before my parents and I went to see Batman: I was disappointed. My mistake was in listening to so many positive critical and personal reviews and getting my hopes up. Hope is fatal. No spoilers here, but—it dragged. The plot was no worse than any other superhero movie I've seen, but considering how much there should have been going on, it all felt too thin and insubstantial. I've never liked Chrisitan Bale and, though I'd heard very good things about him here, I still don't like Christian Bale. He's unattractive, and he can't juggle his teeth and his lines in his mouth at the same time. I wasn't impressed with either his acting or his presence in the role. I liked Katie Holmes better than I liked him. And this is me flagging down the Cillian Murphy bandwagon and clambering aboard. I'm genetically disposed—or contractually obligated, or something—to find Cillian Murphy very attractive, as he has dark hair and light eyes, PLUS high, sharp cheekbones and a great mouth. And he's so wee! Is he not wee?

I'd taped the tennis that aired this morning, but I was so tired by the time the Wimbledon update was over at midnight and I already knew Roddick had won his match, so I went to sleep instead. Shocking, I know.

*

I met S. for lunch at Sweet Tomatoes on Thursday—a working lunch that included a study session for the dreaded GRE. I love math; I just don't remember much of it. Still uncertain as to how knowing low-frequency vocabulary words out of context and without benefit of a dictionary will make me a better graduate student. Please advise.

The yoga instructor this time focused largely on breathing and energies, chanting to begin and end. Sanskrit still sounds very much like Hebrew; she tried to tell someone after class that Sanskrit was the first language, from which all other languages come, and that babies call their mothers "ma" in all languages because of the inherent vibrations that all objects sent out, which we all intuitively pick up on and know, even babies know, when they don't know the words. Um. Yes. Or, you know. No. But the class was good.

Instead of going home right afterward I sat with Mal in Dunkin' Donuts for an hour or two, drinking coffee and eating donuts and singing along with the music, the same music that was playing last time we were in here, and the tape started repeating within the hour. I dealt the first three games and turned over the Queen of Hearts all three times. The odds of that are 1 in 140,608. I also kicked ass in the game, but that'll all even out next time. It always does.

That night I finished The Tipping Point and found it fascinating. Aside from being fascinating in its own right, with the case studies and the examination of Paul Revere's sociability, it was like a walk down Social Psych memory lane. One of his first endnotes referenced Granovetter's "Threshold Models of Collective Behavior" and I had to smack my forehead for not anticipating that one. The Granovetter threshold! is the number of people who have to do something before you'll do it too. For some people, this number is zero: they are the people who go first. Then everyone in the crowd whose threshold is one follows; say there were ten of them: then everyone whose threshold is between two and ten follows them, etc., and soon everyone rushes the field after the game, or starts looting the store, or buying a cellphone, or whatever. There have to be enough people whose threshold is low enough (and some other restrictions may apply) or you've just got one guy rushing the field and getting picked off by security.

*

As of Friday, my parents have been married for thirty-two years. We all went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant in downtown Hollywood and to dinner at a French restaurant on Las Olas Boulevard. I recycled their anniversary card from last year (I was in England at the time and forgot to send it off) and gave them a tiny DVD player for use in the kitchen (installed in thirty seconds or less; it took longer to make room for it in the cabinet) and Field of Dreams. May they use them in good health.

*

My toes hurt from having separators in for most of the day. I've manicured and pedicured and painted, for fun but also for the wedding tomorrow. I'm going to a wedding tomorrow; it's completely bizarre. We were invited, by phone, about two weeks ago; it's cousins on my father's side whom I have never met. My mother and I are strongly of the opinion that we either 1) were entirely forgotten until now or 2) are third-tier guests; neither is particularly flattering. I was all "have fun! I'll be over here, not at this wedding!" but my dad appealed to me with I would really like for you to be there, so I'm going. I won't know anyone at all, but maybe the food will be good?

I was up early this morning, intentionally, for Breakfast at Wimbledon! My mother made scones and I made tea, and I ate strawberries but drank no champagne—I thought it a bit much for 9 a.m. First Roddick and Johannson had to finish their semifinal match, rained out from yesterday: it's going to be Roddick and Federer in the final tomorrow morning, unsurprisingly. Today it was Venus Williams over Lindsay Davenport in three dramatic sets. She had to come back from match-point down to win—the last time a woman had done that in the finals at Wimbledon was 1935.

*

ETA: Didn't manage to get this posted last night. My mom poked her head in my room at five after nine (and lucky that she did; an alarm is all well and good, but one can snooze indefinitely) and I roused myself for Breakfast at Wimbledon, Day Two: all about Roger Federer in straight sets over Roddick. Straight as an arrow, such a clean match, something like 48 winners and 11 unforced errors, no double faults—just beautiful tennis. It was great to watch, because the man is an absolute rock through two weeks and seven matches, giving absolutely nothing away, until his last serve went unreturned for an ace, and he threw up his hands in victory, then fell on the ground and burst into tears. Really, he was smiling and obviously elated, he hugged Roddick when he came around to his side of the net, and shook the chair umpire's hand, and sat in his chair and sobbed into his towel. His third straight Wimbledon championship and he's never really been tested. It's not a rivalry if only one of you ever wins.

I keep wandering around the house blurting out, "tell me again why I'm going to this wedding?" Damned if I know. I'd bring a book if I could. At least my nails are pretty.

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.

come back and haunt me

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005 02:55 am
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
I'm still working my way through Blue Blood—I can't remember the last time it took me this long to get through a book I was putting constant effort into. It's not difficult reading, it's just slow going. It's fascinating, and beautiful. To give myself a break from it I've requested novels from the library. Not that I don't have entire shelves of books I mean to read.

Last night my dad pestered me about getting up early and going with him and the dog to the park ("sorry, you had me until 'early'"), but when I finally rolled out of bed at twelve-thirty or so today and asked how their outing was, he said they hadn't gone; he had an awful stomachache. And that was pitiable, so I did so, and then went about eating breakfast and curling up with the cat to read. I took my sister off the bus for him at about four or four-thirty, and soon after he wanted me to call my mother and have her come home. I said she was getting her hair cut, but I left her voicemail telling her to come home right after. She didn't get the message, but she did call when she was through, and she did come right home. My dad had lain down on the couch in the family room, and she came into the kitchen after talking with him to let me know she was going to take him over to the hospital—he thought he was having a heart attack. We looked at each other, a little amused, because we really didn't think he was. He could be, I suppose, but the pain was in what he called his "upper stomach", right under his ribcage, and nothing he talked about sounded like any heart-attack symptoms I'd ever heard described. My father is many things—great in an emergency, highly vocal in his advocacy, always ready to take you seriously rather than dismiss complaints of pain—but he's a terrible diagnostician. Anyway, he's been at the hospital all night and all tests have so far come back negative, but they're keeping him for observation. This means I get to put my sister on the bus at eight tomorrow morning. Lucky me! I can also go back to sleep immediately following.

Speaking of diagnosticians, I love House. I'm ready to shrink him down to pocket-size so I can take him out and poke him whenever I want him to entertain me. Can't you just hear him? "Entertain you? Shall I juggle one-handed? Dance a little jig? The last person to demand a performance settled for a striptease and an a cappella cover of Heartbreak Hotel, but at least he had the decency to get me drunk first." He's wonderful with Sela Ward, and I love him haranguing his team, but I like him best when he's figuring out a problem. I love that he's always right (which is helped by the fact that I'm not the one who has to be wrong) and I love to watch him piece things together to get there. But let's talk spoilers for tonight's episode. )

Hugh Laurie has a very long philtrum, which is what helps give him that hangdog look. That and the sad, thin mouth underneath that philtrum, plus his habit of looking up at you with big blue eyes. And then he'll open his mouth and flay you alive. Appearance versus reality! Has Shakespeare taught you NOTHING?

Oh god, do I need an icon? If nothing else a "fannish crackwhore" icon is several fandoms overdue.

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 finished The Liar on Saturday, and I think I promised [livejournal.com profile] go4it I would tell her what I thought of it, oh so many moons ago. I . . . liked it. I think. Or rather, I'm not sure. Maybe? It took a little while for me to sort out what was happening, so the beginning was a little trying for my patience, but I liked the middle, the middle clicked along and was highly entertaining; it felt like the book kept ending, but unnecessarily so, like it couldn't figure out how to stop. The revelation that it was all just a game struck me as a lot sadder than I think it struck Adrian. And yet I like how it ended up finally. It would profit hugely from a second read-through I'm sure. Right now I've started Edward Conlon's Blue Blood, this massive tome about life as a New York City police officer, and it's fantastic. I'm only forty-five pages into it or something, but this one I'm already recommending.

Saturday night my parents and I went out for Indian food and then came home to break in the Second Season West Wing DVDs. This is where I declare my undying love and devotion for "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen", two of the best hours of television ever written and performed. As I just told [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, one of my favorite scenes (aside from Leo telling Jed, "this is the age of Jed Bartlett, my friend. You're going to open your mouth and lift houses off the ground. Whole houses, right off the ground"; and Toby finding Josh sitting on the ground with his hands pressed to his chest; and that scene in the airport that makes me cry, followed by the scene in Josh's hospital room that makes me cry more) is when Margaret tells Leo that she can sign the President's name.

Leo: You can sign the President's name?
Margaret: Yeah.
Leo: On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?
Margaret: Yeah! Or . . . do you think the White House Counsel would say that was a bad idea?
Leo: I think the White House Counsel would say it was a coup d'état!
Margaret: Well. I'd probably end up doing some time for that.
Leo: I would think! And what the hell were you doing practicing the President's signature?
Margaret: It was just for fun!
Leo: We've got separation of powers, checks and balances, and Margaret, vetoing things and sending them back to the Hill.

My mother and I LAUGHED and LAUGHED, waking up my father who had, of course, already fallen asleep in his chair. We made it through "The Midterms" before my parents called it quits and took themselves off to bed, but I stuck around for the last four episodes of Firefly.

This isn't like reluctantly turning the last page of an engrossing and exciting novel and thinking but I want to know what happens next. This is like turning the last page of the first volume of an engrossing and exciting twenty-seven volumes, only to learn that not only do the other twenty-six volumes not exist, but somebody ripped the last fifty pages out of Volume I to boot. The reaction to this one is where's the rest of it, you fuckers?! and you use double punctuation when you say it. When does Serenity hit theaters?

I did three loads of laundry on Sunday, boom boom boom, and left shirts and skirts and a pair of pants hanging all over the laundry room while we went to dinner at cousin M.'s for her birthday. As a birthday present my mother taught her how to make her super-secret family recipe (*cough*) barbecue spareribs—talk about a present everyone can enjoy. We drank champagne on her backyard patio before sitting down, and I met my mother at the sliding-glass door when I told everyone to come in. "Mmm," I said, "nothing like champagne on an empty stomach." And she said, "I know, it's such a nice buzz, isn't it? I can say things like that to you now, right?" My mother is adorable. (Today she mentioned she sometimes tries to put the cat on the dog's back, like to give him a ride, but one of them always runs away, and I cracked up.) We left relatively early but it was a school night and my mother went to bed early; I stayed up reading fic until five-thirty.

And today! Today I have done nothing! I pretended to unpack some boxes and I helped set my mother up with the first day of a light weight-training regimen, and I darted out for a five-minute milk run (literally—we needed a gallon of milk for the ziti with quattro formaggi and I drove up to the Farm Stores on 46th).

There's nothing like your father turning to you and asking—as you sit with your parents after dinner watching last week's House, M.D.—"what's a dominatrix?" Luckily I'd seen the show when it aired originally and knew they'd soon explain it, succinctly if not in full. I love House. Don't you just want to take him home with you? In lieu of that, I'll settle for knowing where all the House/Wilson fic is. My mother, who hadn't seen an episode until tonight, wanted to know if they lived together. I think fandom would say she's not wrong.

Tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu is coming around and collecting me for a day of romping around Palm Beach County, so I'll make tonight an early one. Relatively speaking.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (magpie!)
Slept till twelve-thirty; got out of bed at one-ish; ate a bowl of cereal; showered and dressed; sat down with The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax in the family room with my back to the sun (the book so far? eh.), and thought seriously about going back to bed.

Instead I went over to my mom's school to work a little magic on her computer. I give her a lot more credit with technology than she apparently deserves, but she's willing and teachable, which is a lot more than I can say for my father. We were out by three-thirty and went home to sit on the patio for a while and play with the dog. The dog has not learned the game of "fetch" yet. I didn't quite realize this was a concept a dog actually had to be taught. He's awfully sweet though. Awfully. He just leans against you. And whoomfs when he collapses in a controlled slide on the hardwood floors. Poor dog.

Together Mum and I went grocery shopping and brought home sandwiches for dinner. My dad went off to a movie (Sahara: I'd had absolutely no interest, plus it had Matthew McConaughey so I didn't care twice as much as I hadn't cared before, but upon return my dad said it was a lot of fun) and I stared blankly at last Sunday's crossword puzzles while watching N.C.I.S. (Gibbs and Tony? Um, hello? I asked if they had a father-son thing going, but my mom said not at all, so I thought, "slashy-as-hell it is then!") and House (I think I managed to take three steps before tripping and falling all over the Wilson/House; I like House—I think he and Rodney McKay would either get along smashingly or kill each other within ten minutes of meeting) and then I watched the first disc of Firefly.

I like it fine, I'm going to keep with it. I'm not in love with it, not yet. There are some things that are amazing, like the light and the music; even the Reevers are impressive in how horrifying they are, and we haven't even seen much physical evidence of it—which is sound policy for building suspense. God knows I feel suspended.

I think I love Simon. I know I love Simon and River together (and the closeness of "River" and "Reevers"? I'm just asking) and want to see them more. I want to know what the deal is with River, though I have heard things here and there about killing you with her brain. In "Bushwhacked" what did she mean by "it's a ghost"?

Nothing like wading into a fandom after everyone's had their squee and written their fics and flamed their wars. I've been recognizing people's icons left and right, like reading Shakespeare for the quotations. I didn't like Mal much after the first (double) episode, but he's fleshing out and growing on me. The overwhelming impression of them, of all of them and the show itself, is how hapless they are. They cannot, for the lives of them, catch a break. Hmm, and I can take or leave the shepherd. The shepherd is not doing much for me. Interesting things done with the language. Joss always did that, didn't he?

There was an excellent vid [livejournal.com profile] boniblithe linked to a little while ago that I don't think I kept on my hard drive, but it was beautiful, set to Iron & Wine's "Teeth in the Grass," and I'm only four episodes in, but it makes a lot more sense now.

March 2011

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