walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (sga: culture shock)
walkingshadow ([personal profile] walkingshadow) wrote2006-10-31 11:12 am

i'll be crooked in eighteen days

a. youtube link: finite simple group (of order two).

b. this month i managed to 1) have an anxiety attack over taking the fucking GRE1, 2) WRESTLE THE FUCKING GRE TO THE MOTHERFUCKING GROUND AND MAKE IT WISH IT HAD NEVER BEEN BORN IN A LOVELESS, FAUX-ACADEMIC ETS FACTORY2, 3) fall off my step at the gym and sprain my wrist3, and 4) drive into a tree.4 omgwtf OCTOBER.

c. as of last week, i'm officially done with studio 60. prospects were slightly brighter after "the long lead story," bright enough for me to draft a good news/bad news review that contained actual good news, but "the wrap party" was so exceedingly bad and boring that the show is now dead to me. the flist as a whole continues to be widely divided, and i find it fascinating: after the last episode aired, reactions ranged from "well, that was unspeakably offensive. guess i don't need to watch that anymore" to "this, this is good tv." interestingly, i'm seeing a lot of "please don't harsh our vibe" appeals from the fans, and i'd get irritated about that5, but i hear the show is dead to a growing majority of the general viewing audience and soon to be dead to the network, so whatever.

for anyone who's wondered either what the big deal about sorkin is in the first place, or why studio 60 is such a trainwreck, this is a great read.

d. let's talk about good television now!

  • heroes. just as awesome as people have been saying. [livejournal.com profile] mimesere talks very excitedly about how very like a comic book it is, which i can just barely appreciate, because i'm just not very familiar with comic book tropes; but i know it's beautifully done. i love the way their shots are framed, i love the meta comic book that isaac drew and that hiro is toting around the country on his cheerful little roadtrip to save the world, and i love seeing their heroes and villians emerge. the other day someone called the voiceovers "pretentious," but i think they're just . . . part and parcel. one of the things i like best about the whole show is their subtitles. it's not text that's just slapped up there, and it's not even your standard bottom-of-the-screen centered lines; they're placed, and they're placed beautifully. i was a little perplexed by mr. bennet's glasses at first, because they're so ugly—they really change his face, which i suspect is quite attractive under them—but i realized why he wore them when mohinder referred to him as the man in the horn-rimmed glasses.

    my favorites are nathan petrelli (who looks so much like superman, it's uncanny), claire, mohinder, and hiro. hiro took a little time to grow on me, but i'm on board now, baby. i find parkman's story booooring so far (telepathy is way too common in visual and print media to support such a boiler plate handling of it; or maybe i've just read this story in four billion pieces of fanfic, where it was done a lot better, with less candlelit dinner and more graphic porn); peter has very shiny hair—gosh, i wish i had hair that shiny—but lacks gravitas; simone has gravitas to spare but needs a third dimension; ditto for isaac. niki's "power" is hands-down the creepiest, but between her doppelgänger's tattoo, the petrellis' ties to linderman, and claire's father, there's a verrry interesting bigger picture emerging. mohinder goes on and on about evolution, but he also keeps referring to a patient zero, and i'm pretty sure that's a lot closer to the truth.

    so i think it's fantastic, but i'm zero percent fannish about it; i don't even have any great desire to speculate on conspiracy theories, i just like watching.

  • farscape. i've now watched the first two seasons (and the first episode of season three, since DVDs mean never having to wait for a cliffhanger resolution, thank christ) and MY LOVE CANNOT BE TEXTUALLY RENDERED. oh, i've tried—i have two thousand words on the first season alone that i will one day unleash on the unsuspecting internet populace—but basically i love it with a love that is more than love and it has very possibly ruined me for all future television.

  • entourage. i'm in it entirely for jeremy piven, but isn't that's a good enough reason for anyone?

  • battlestar galactica. i'm almost finished with BSG 2.0, and i have mixed feelings about it. when my epic email correspondence with [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker hasn't been in re: angsty oh-my-god,-what-are-we-going-to-do-with-our-LIVES introspection, it's mostly consisted of extensive meta about our favorite episodic television series, and i found a lot to complain about in early season two, though i feel a whole lot better after "home" than i did after, say, "fragged." i keep hearing season three is going to blow my mind.

  • etc. to be completely caught up with television, i'll have to start watching friday night lights, then get through the rest of the BSG DVDs, plus entourage, deadwood, weeds, the traders discs [livejournal.com profile] ciderpress sent me ages ago, the green wing i downloaded from [livejournal.com profile] iamsab a while back; and i also bought the first seasons of veronica mars, nip/tuck, and MI-5 when amazon had its DVD sale the other week, because i have a DISEASE that i like to call CONSUMPTION. *cough*

e. when i haven't been watching television, i've been shopping endlessly for a professional winter wardrobe oh god. not only is spending all this money making me twitchy, shopping in general is making me twitchy. questions i lie awake at night wondering about include: what to buy? what look to go for? where to go? how much to spend? how many black sweaters can i really justify owning? what about black skirts? i've been buying piecemeal from ann taylor loft and banana republic, and kansas pointed me to loehmann's—their stuff looks great, but until i get a bead on sizing, i'd like to get to a physical store and actually try things on first, rather than trial-and-error through the mail (see: the great zappos.com failure of the summer of 2006).

i have never in my life owned BOOTS, but this could be my year.

f. further on the subject of spending large sums of money, i've been pining after the apple macbooks and macbook pros, obsessively comparing and contrasting and building my dream models. in conclusion: i desperately want the macbook pro, for its faster processor, larger cache, bigger hard drive (though m. suggested buying one at 7200 rpm separately anyway), superior graphics card, and general all-around SHININESS6, but it's, you know, significantly more expensive, so it'll depend on how much my parents are willing to contribute as a belated graduation gift to make up the difference. but just wait till i get my paws on final cut express and subject you all to the vid ideas i've been hoarding for years!

g. i finished guns, germs, and steel a while ago, \o/; it only took three months of lunches. right now i'm working steadily through the world is flat, which is FASCINATING. i recommend them both very, very highly; more to come at some to-be-determined time in the future.

h. in between those books i made an aborted attempt to get through gödel, escher, bach, which is supposed to be about the manifestation of consciousness through what the author has dubbed "strange loops"—recursive paradoxes leading a system to become aware of itself—and it sounded awesome, but it was in fact NOT AWESOME, because of how fucking pretentious and self-indulgent the author was, i.e. so pretentious, i kept rolling my eyes so hard i was giving myself headaches; after his third dialogue cum monument to his own brilliance, i had to take it out back and shoot it. now i really want a t-shirt that says, "the first rule of the theory of linguistic types is you do not talk about the theory of linguistic types."7 fucking bertrand russell.

i. geoffrey pullum needs to calm down and possibly shut the hell up about linguification.

j. holy socially interactive events, batman: tabernacle EXTRAVAGANZA last weekend.8 on friday we saw the decemeberists—who were awesome, and all i asked was that they play sons and daughters, which they DID; and saturday we saw louis black, who was hilarious, and then followed him up with mind-meltingly good food at rathbun's asdkfjasl;dfj.

k. still putting pieces of paper in alphabetical order for a living. still no plan.

1. i swear i can't remember ever getting so worked up about something, but i couldn't tell whether i was five seconds away from throwing up or hyperventilating; i was very glad i ended up taking the morning off (i sat the test at one p.m.), because i would have been USELESS at the office. more useless even than usual!

2. oh god, i hate ETS thiiiiiiiiiiiiis much. they make me incoherent. i hate that on the one hand, a high score on the GRE is not indicative of any kind of higher intellectual ability; and on the other hand, if you do badly on the GRE, you are an idiot. however! i take comfort in the fact that our abusive relationship might finally have come to a close, and i shouldn't ever have to sit down for a three-hour multiple-choice standardized test EVER AGAIN, unless i come down with insanity one day and decide law school/business school/med school is a great idea after all.

3. *facepalm* also, ow.

4. i drove into the tree at idle speed around the corner from my house in the middle of the day, so i was FINE. the car is also fine, except for the bumper, the left headlight, and the accelerator that STICKS, which was the reason the car wouldn't stop at the stop sign and i had to swerve out of the way of a car coming down the street and ended up driving into the tree in the first place. the guy i almost hit was fine too; he came back to make sure i was okay and talked to me until m. and a. and l. and k. (k. home from college for a short weekend!) ran over from the house to assess the situation. he delivers pizzas and designs websites. the tree was, um. not fine.

5. no, seriously, i'm not usually one of those people who thinks i'm being oppressed when the call goes out for fannish mores like spoiler cuts or whatever, but somehow i'm really pissed off at the idea of people pleading for the sorkin critics to just keep it under their hats, because they're full of love and their hearts just can't take it. i hope they're just talking about negative comments to their positive posts; is that what's going on? because that at least i can understand. you want to declare your journal a sorkin hate-free zone, go ahead. you can get into a whole meta thing about your journal as proprietary space, and your right to control what happens within it (as others have done). but basically, while it's rude to crash the weekly fan club meeting and streak through their discussion group and tear their posters off the wall, there's nothing stopping me from setting up my own clubhouse across the street, where i hang my own posters and then throw darts at them.

6. also because my perceived and actual needs for speed and storage capacity are only going to be increasing, at the same time as improvements to the hardware are going to be coming quickly on the heels of each other; today's professional-grade, top-of-the-line laptop is going to be the basic model in three or six or eighteen months, so why would i purposely start out behind the curve when i'm looking to keep my investment from becoming obsolete for as long as possible?

Now in set theory, which deals with abstractions that we don't use all the time, a stratification like the theory of types seems acceptable, even if a little strange—but when it comes to language, an all-pervading part of life, such stratification appears absurd. We don't think of ourselves as jumping up and down a hierarchy of languages when we speak about various things. A rather matter-of-fact sentence such as, "In this book, I criticize the theory of types" would be doubly forbidden in the system we are discussing. Firstly, it mentions "this book" which should only be mentionable in a "metabook", and secondly, it mentiones me—a person whom I should not be able to speak of at all! This example points out how silly the theory of types seems, when you import it into a familiar context. The remedy it adopts for paradoxes—total banishment of self-reference in any form—is a real case of overkill, branding many perfectly good constructions as meaningless. The adjective "meaningless" by the way, would have to apply to all discussions of the theory of linguistic types (such as that of this very paragraph) for they clearly could not occur on any of the levels—neither object language, nor metalanguage, nor metametalanguage, etc. So the very act of discussing the theory would be the most blatant possible violation of it! (22)

8. when kansas and i were standing outside the tabernacle after the show friday night, waiting for m. et al., i asked her, "do you ever worry that one night everyone will be here ready for a show, and someone'll come out and say, 'surprise! prayer meeting!'?" kansas: well, i never did before.

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