Wednesday, January 5, 2011

>! >! >!

>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!>! >! >! >! >! >! >! >!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Diary of a Young Girl

Just want to spend a minute to pat myself on the back for reading Diary of a Young Girl. I was impressed by Anne Frank's writing; it was remarkably clear for someone so young. I read the "complete" version after starting the traditional version that was edited by her father in the '50s. The traditional version, I think, hits harder because its focus is on the horror of the war and also because there is no writer alive that doesn't benefit from good editing. I also want to add that I picked it up after revisiting Neutral Milk Hotel.

The brutal tragedy of her time in the secret annex and eventual murder, I can't begin to process. What a waste...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Holy Cow, an Award!

Thanks Amie for the award!
I've been so bogged down in work that I haven't been able to blog. I guess I have something like a real job now.

I can't say that I've never won anything. There was that science fair exhibit with Geoff Herbst (he did all the work, I came up with the idea of using Alka Selter tablets to represent teeth in soda pop). The signed comic strip I won from the UN-Reno paper. And there must have been something else... but I can't think of what it must have been.

I seem to have to do some things to claim my prize. Here are the rules.

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the award & place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Share 7 interesting things about yourself.
5. Nominate 7 additional Beautiful Bloggers.


Now is the time that I share seven interesting things about myself.

1. I've never seen Avatar. You can have that crap.

2. I am almost 38 and I'm only just now learning how to work and compete in the rat race. I was hampered by the expectation that I would make it big in Hollywood and the refusal to believe that any work in an office could be interesting. And also by the fact that I studiously avoided and declined leadership or responsibility of any kind. Not to mention that I never trained for any "job" nor did I even have the expectation that I might want to work after I graduated from college. All of this is compounded by a pair of extremely poor roll models in my parents, both of whom expressed nothing but disdain for their work. As a consequence I've spent much of my life working retail, scraping by, enjoying the occasional time of plenty, and not caring much how I'd get paid. But now I have a kid with another on the way, and wife and I have obscene student loans - I've got to figure out way to get by.

3. See the story above about Geoff Herbst.

4. I will watch DVD bonus features for just about any movie I get. Right now I'm going through the bonus features on Leatherheads, the George Clooney directed George Clooney vehicle. It's a good film that's destroyed by an extra half an hour.

5. This is the time of the year when I wonder what the "hotel" I'm doing in Wisconsin. I've started to worry that I'll never leave here. I dream of both returning to California - preferably the central coast - and moving to Europe. Most people have things to do on their "bucket lists" that are traveling. I don't enjoy travel as much as I want to move and live other places. The snow and cold are oppressive here. The apartment is getting smaller. We don't have a yard that we can garden. I will give Wisconsin the gardening. It's so easy here. Regardless, I want to live other places before I get old.

6. I nearly flunked out of high school. I had to go to summer school and just got by with a D average. It was all part of my plan! Seriously. I could have done much better if I did homework.

7. I am incredibly lucky. And pretty smart. I'm broadly educated (despite what both my diplomas say) and I have this feeling that something really great is coming. Like I've been preparing my whole life for a particular role that I don't know what it is, but will be a perfect fit for me.

I can only throw this award at bloggers I know. So that's Amie, EW, Ali, and... really that's it. Wait, I do know one more - Infurriated Squirrel!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Big Bang, baby

I've posted about reading lately. But I do watch TV, and my favorite show is probably Big Bang Theory (in the category of everything-that's-not-Mad-Men, which I love). I originally got into it because the characters live in Pasadena not far from my old home in South Pasadena (which for you geniuses out there is just south of Pasadena). It was really fun to hear them reference Old Town and see the Pasadena town hall out Sheldon's window. But soon I came to love the brilliant joke writing, and last night I watched the apex of the show - the episode from last season titled "The Maternal Capacitance." Christine Baranski as Leonard's mother, Dr. Beverly Hofstadter, was astounding. The central character of the show, Sheldon, met Leonard's mother and both of these characters are tacitly undiagnosed with Asperger's/autism. Now this wasn't brain science, but it was solid joke writing. The joke that sold me on the show last year went like this:

Sheldon: What are the odds that two unique people such as ourselves would meet?

Leonard's mother: Is that a rhetorical question or would you like to do the math?

Sheldon: I'd like to do the math.


Then of course there's this classic sequence:

There IS a Zoo in Las Vegas

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about!

Here's an example of Legos for girls then:

and now:

It's a credit to them that Lego has learned to nail their demographic, but it's a loss to children - boys and girls - that what was a great non-gendered toy has become hopelessly gendered. Presumably boys won't play with girl Lego blocks and vice-versa. And let's not even get into the "crappyness creep" of the modern Lego play set as compared to the more utilitarian sets of blocks of my youth.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some great recommendations

So I think what I'm going to take up after Pat Barker's Regeneration is Diary of a Young Girl. It's a crime that I missed this until now and with Miep Gies death I feel it's a must. I'll buy that and the Royall Tyler Tale of Genji.