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. (Default)
it looks like a delayed reaction, but i finally watched cousin m.'s tape of last week's atlantis.

208: conversion )
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. (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. (yeah you worry too much kid)
i know i'm late to the season one sg:a party, and i know "home" has been done to death, but it's new to me, so.

109: home )

i've been promised ninja!john in the storm/the eye, up next.

and, okay, [livejournal.com profile] rageprufrock is writing another atlantis story, this one involving john as a stripper and it is SO AWESOME that i have no words other than AWESOME, that's the extent of my vocabulary. i could read about john being john and doing john things forever and ever and ever. bell curve, or, ladies night at the boom boom room, a work in progress.

[livejournal.com profile] ciderpress is talking about joe flanigan's accent here if anyone wants to 1) weigh in, or 2) upload samples of your own american accent for comparison and contrast. which would be fun for everyone! i'll do it if you will?

eta: he grew up on a small ranch in *nevada*, this makes SO MUCH SENSE omg.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (inside the finest little space)
birthday dinner for my mum went off very well last sunday, though the cake didn't so much. that, however, was through no fault of my own, but the fault of the oven (it did the exact same thing the last time my mother tried it a few months ago), and we've determined that my mother hasn't been doing nearly enough baking recently to establish the proper temperature levels of the new oven, and we'll just have to keep at it until we get it right. it's all in the name of science. and then last night we all went out for a birthday dinner on her actual birthday, which would have been more fun if the kids had been less cranky, but was still fun, and ended in ice cream. i've yet to get my mother a birthday present of my own, but have engineered the giving of both a probe thermometer (for meat and poultry) and season one of northern exposure, both big hits. hopefully we'll get to watch an episode or two before c. and the boys go home on saturday.

s. and i studied yet again on tuesday, and i'd forgotten we were supposed to meet—again—today, so i didn't set an alarm and was, of course, late. it was also a day where i couldn't do math in stupid ways, and that's irritating. but! today was the first night of bellydancing class for me and cousin m. and that was a good time. there are fourteen women in the class, from early late teens or early twenties to mid-fifties (plus one young girl who came with her mom), and it's amazing how awkward and utterly uncoordinated some people are, but we're having fun. i don't think i'll be able to lift my arms tomorrow.
[eta: my shoulders are okay so far, but i'm sore in strange places, e.g. my hips and obliques. this is going to be better than pilates.]

[livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker was in town for a spell earlier in the week and is expected to reappear for the weekend, but has still not read harry potter and the half-blood prince, making all proto-fic babble on my part completely impossible ([livejournal.com profile] silentfire is my voice of encouragement and sanity, thank god). instead she keeps asking spoilery questions which i keep refusing to answer. we did have a good time though, rehashing conspiracy theories (conclusion: dumbledore is an evil, evil man) and making our heads hurt trying to track the references and allusions. i mean, dumbledore has a scar above his knee, just like odysseus did (and it identified him as the rightful ruler when he finally got back to troy 20 years later), but what does that MEAN?

but what's really important is that 1) [livejournal.com profile] rageprufrock finished hindsight and it was just as amazing as you might have hoped, and 2) i have been watching actual episodes of stargate:atlantis and am so in love it's passed being not even funny anymore and is funny again. as expected, i have approximately 3987234 screencaps from the eight episodes i have watched so far, and will probably post a whole bunch of icons for the taking once i make them. in the meantime,

i babble! for so long! so much babble! )

"home" is the next episode up. like hawkeye pierce, i am so excited i could plotz.

walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (navigate and i will steer)
Gentle people of the internets, in my hot little hands I hold DISKS containing compressed avi files of STARGATE: ATLANTIS courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] ciderpress who is clearly the best of us and a giant among both men and women. Thank you so, so much for the gift of John! and Rodney! and the pens, which are marvy! Can I call them marvy? I think I will, at least until the 1960s show up demanding their slang back.

The files work perfectly, and, needless to say, I've already devoured the first two episodes; my mom came by some time in the middle of "Rising" and wanted to know what I was watching that had me grinning like a Cheshire cat. If only I could explain. I'm recognizing the scenes from everybody's icons (and I have never been so thoroughly spoiled for a television show in my life, but it's all okay!) and plan on making 2978342 icons from caps of my own. More detailed reactions to follow, but mostly it is all "JOHN! I totally <3 you!" around here. Best mail ever in the history of mail.

[livejournal.com profile] ciderpress also made this icon just for me. Because you can't have one without the other. <333.

P.S. My sister C. is in town with her two sons for the week; it's my mother's 60th birthday on Wednesday, but tomorrow cousin M. is making the birthday dinner and I am making the cake omg. If I time it right I can squeeze in a workout tomorrow before baking, but obviously the cake is the thing.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (when we're all brilliant and fast)
Parents and I saw Charlie and Chocolate Factory on . . . huh. Um, Sunday? Maybe? reactions, mostly negative )

*

I've started working out again regularly (three times in the last four days) and if there are ten kinds of awesome, I feel them ALL. My body remembers the health club, and I started feeling perky and healthy and self-righteous as soon as I'd started the elliptical machine going, before I'd even worked up a sweat. The bloodmobile was parked outside last night, so I got to donate for the first time in a while. Juice and cookies and an extra-large t-shirt, your basic haul.

*

My mother did end up having to move classrooms, I don't know if I said, so my dad and I have been helping out, packing and transporting boxes and then setting things up as directed. It's utter crap, but hopefully she won't be moving again (current count is seven times in fourteen years) until retirement. We have all crossed our fingers and toes. Teachers go back to work next Monday and the new school year starts the week after that. My parents never made it to a vacation this summer, but my mom is talking very seriously about two weeks in Tuscany next June. I don't think I've been invited.

*

I've raved already about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and "Details of the War" right? Would anyone like to help me decipher the lyrics? I've listened very carefully fourteen million times, but I can't make it all out. Here is a yousendit link: Details of the War. It has harmonica! And I'm convinced it's the theme song of Major John Sheppard and the Story of His Life. You be the judge? this is what I've figured out for myself already: )

Speaking of John Sheppard, [livejournal.com profile] rageprufrock posted Chapter 2 of Hindsight (John thinks, why do the crazy ones always imprint on me?) and I love John an absurd amount. ABSURD.

*

I shared a metaphor for life with my parents the other day. My father's very—well, not helpful, but certainly earnest about helping me find a direction in life and meaningful, gainful employment, but all his job models are business models, office models, and I keep trying to explain why the idea of traditional office jobs sap my will to live. So the other night, in the kitchen while my mom was preparing dinner and declining to help me articulate my feelings, I told them about the epiphany I'd had one day in a History of the American West lecture:

We debunked a lot of mythology in that class, deeply ingrained false histories of rugged individualism and the spirit of the pioneers and go West, young man, because the West was defined largely by corporations: corporate-owned ranches, farms, railroads, mines, etc. Even within an industry itself—a mine, for example—the support staff is huge: people to oversee the workers, people to hire and fire workers, bureaucrats to pray over paper, accountants to tabulate the money, security to watch the goods, management to ensure the transfer of product and payment. And each of those industries spurs the growth and proliferation of service industries: restaurants, hotels, brothels and theaters, banks and law enforcement (and the history of development in the American West is largely the history of urban development, crowded city streets with nothingness stretching between them), spiraling out into a bigger and bigger community, with the result that very few people anymore are down in the mines getting their hands dirty and their backs broken. And I want to work in the mines.

I'm fascinated by distillation. I don't really buy into the celebrity cult of personality, so I had a conversation once with [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker about the phenomenon of, for example, Justin Timberlake. This was at the height of Justified, and I remember expressing bemusement that all the mega-stardom, the magazine covers, world-tour, bells-and-whistles arena concerts, etc., etc., all boiled down essentially to thirteen tracks of music. I care about the music, I know, I know—if I were old I'd be showing my age. But that's what I'm concerned with, the nugget at the core, the source. Whatever is being done, I want to be doing. In the doctor's office I worked in last summer, there was one doctor and fourteen staff, fifteen people making the office run. I am the doctor, not the staff. And it isn't that I want a staff: I'm as happy not giving orders as I am not taking them. But I don't do support very well. I am not your number two; I am not your right hand. As for what this means in terms of meaningful, gainful employment? I don't know. I don't need to get my hands dirty, necessarily, but I do need something to sink my hands into, deep, deep.

*

And while we're on the subject of future plans, S. and I got together yet again for GRE self-flagellation (again: I rock at geometry but not arithmetic; my Algebra II teacher warned us sometime before our first test of the year that most of the mistakes we would make would be careless errors, and that is the life I am living). But the best part of the day was when I ventured into the test-prep section to fetch us a book with practice tests we could practice on, and on the shelf behind me I found VOCABULARY NOVELS. Sparknotes makes them, and they are seriously the best things ever: 1,000 common SAT words stuffed into a YA novel! The novels are so bad (sample titles: Busted, Vampire Dreams, Sun-Kissed), and often include meta- vocabulary study (the characters are studying for the SAT too!), and they are the best argument against testing low-frequency vocabulary words, because they stand out like sore thumbs in the narrative, clashing badly with the otherwise super-casual tone and word choice. In terms of test-prep though, the idea is a great one, getting your vocab review in an easily-accessible context; the fact that they're unintentionally (unintentionally? let's assume so) HILARIOUS is just icing on the cake. S. and I broke up our study session with dramatic readings and laughed ourselves sick.

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)
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. (Default)
It's ridiculous: I've got this obscenely long entry outlining the goings-on and navel-gazing of the past week and a half, but it's skeletal and flagging; I'll be poking at it for a while yet and probably end up back-dating it when I finally post it three weeks from now.

Anyway, it's all over—my undergraduate college career, that is—complete with pointless and amazingly boring graduation ceremony on Saturday and family there to take me out to dinner, wish me well, and help me pack up a dorm room one last time. I'm back in Hollywood. I have no plans—none, absolutely none—and that makes me a hero in the eyes of some employed people I know.

There are boxes covering most of the floor space in my room, waiting for my dad to remove his things from the dresser and closet and that stack of files by the door so I can unpack. I discovered SG:A fic last night after finally following one of the billions of glowing recommendations coming across my friends page, and I already have an OTP. I'm halfway through Thomas Lynch's The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, because I intend to read my little heart out in the coming months, starting now, starting yesterday or the day before. There are books coming to me from the public library, books whose titles or authors I've scrawled on scraps of paper and carried around with me for the last four years, books that have been sitting on my shelves waiting patiently for me to stand before them with empty days stretching before me, and I have nothing to do, no plans for now but to read them.

March 2011

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