clevermynnie: (Default)
It has been a really Game of Thrones centered couple of days, in spite of the second season having recently ended. I found out that the Mourne Mountains, where I ran on Saturday, are actually the location of a fair amount of scenic filming in the show. The Tollymore Forest along the north side was apparently where the opening scene of the entire show was filmed, that scene being the reason why I put down Game of Thrones and didn't watch it again for several months. Apparently there's also a lot of filming along the Antrim Coast, which I haven't yet been to.

And then, last night Ben and I went to see an Indian-inspired production of The Tempest, as part of the Dublin Shakespeare Festival, and who should we see clowning for the audience before the show but the guy who plays Joffrey Barathian! He was playing a tin whistle and capering in costume, which was really weird after seeing him so much as Joffrey. My instinctive reaction to his character at this point is revulsion, so seeing him in person kind of makes one want to push him over and yell 'Winter is coming!' But I bet he gets a lot of that, playing such a dislikeable character. Anyway, apparently he's a student at TCD and thus was just helping out with the festival.

I have mixed feelings about Game of Thrones. On the one hand, it has pretty interesting plots and a whole host of interesting characters. It took me a bit to get into the plots because the background is so complex, but once I was caught up I really liked all the maneuvering. The violence is really hard for me to stomach, though, and that's what turned me away from the show initially. The only good argument I've heard for it is that it shows realities of war and medieval living, rather than whitewashing how violent that would be. Which is true, but on the other hand it really feels like HBO pushing as hard as it possibly can to be edgy which I find off-putting. And the nudity is just so over-the-top, completely gratuitous 90% of the time because hey, it's HBO and we can toss in some naked ladies if we feel like it. Never men, unless it's strictly needed for the plot, of course.

I wish there were more fantasy series being made. Because honestly Game of Thrones is pretty much the best, in a somewhat anemic field, but it would be great to see more series with its production values presenting fantasy plots. There are lots of great books to go from.

And I know, I should read the books that Game of Thrones is based on! But they are unfinished, and I am really hesitant to pick up a sprawling fantasy epic with hundreds of characters, that I may someday have to reread if a new book comes out, or that may never be finished at all. I will definitely read them someday. But for now I am limiting myself to the show.

stories

Jan. 9th, 2012 05:23 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
This is an entry all about tv!

Semi-recently, I started watching the tv show Damages and enjoying it a lot. It's a legal drama, but with a case lasting an entire season, and in addition to having compelling story twists, the acting is just stellar, and the heart of the show is the development of the relationship between the characters of Rose Byrne and Glenn Close. I think the first two seasons were pretty great, then the third was less tight and a lot slower so I didn't watch past that. But actually, now that I am thinking about the show again it kind of makes me want to watch more seasons. The acting was just so superb.

And on a totally different note, I have really gotten into Parks and Rec. Ben and I watched a couple episodes last summer and didn't care for it, but then I found out how weird and non-representative (and short) the first season was, and gave it another chance. And man, it is such a funny show! The characters are all so weird, but they are mostly good people trying to do good things which is a relief after seeing so much comedy that centers around really awful people. I watched most of season 2 by myself before convincing Ben to watch it, but it's such a funny show that I didn't mind rewatching all those episodes.

I also finally watched Game of Thrones, after being told to over and over by many different people. The plot was pretty interesting, but I couldn't get over how incredibly violent and exploitative the show was. It was like they were trying SO HARD to show how edgy they were, and I just found it really off-putting. I think the earlier episodes were a lot worse with that, but still... ugh. I wish there was more high-budget fantasy tv being made, because it feels like as a sci-fi/fantasy person I am supposed to support Game of Thrones, but I wish there were less gory options.

And we are still watching DS9 and Carnivale, really slowly. Both great shows.
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I got linked to something interesting awhile back: "Why Strong Female Characters Are Bad for Women". What happened more or less is that I saw the title and had to read to see if I would disagree as much as I thought I would.

I recommend reading the whole thing, but the gist of it is that, in attempting to move away from damsel-in-distress/love-interest female characters, scriptwriters headed for badasses-who-still-need-saving-by-men and unrealistically-amazing-love-interests and that sort of thing. The post discusses the need for interesting flaws in female characters (so that they are better characters overall), and how a lot of the strengths given to "strong female characters" are often to make them more desirable as love interests. The example of that sort of characterization that springs to my mind is Jadzia Dax, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I loved Dax as a kid when I first watched the show, but someone later pointed out to me that she was pretty flat as a character, basically because she was too perfect, at everything. She was the universal love interest on that show the same way that Deanna Troi was on TNG, and she had cooler interests than Troi but not a lot more depth.

One of the most instructive experiences for me, regarding strong women in film/tv, was recently watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It took me awhile to get that into Buffy, mainly because I found Buffy herself fairly obnoxious. She loves clothes, loves shoes, loves shopping, is bad at school, is kind of a ditz... none of these things resonate with me. But she's a strong and interesting character, those traits included, and I have talked to a lot of people who found her to be the most identifiable badass female character in tv up until that point. For me personally, the iconic strong female character was Xena, who I loved and found it very easy to identify with. I watched the whole series when it originally aired, and later rewatched it on Netflix. But there are people who found Xena's aggression and bluntness off-putting, and found Buffy to be a much more enjoyable strong female character, and it was eye-opening for me to understand the variety that we should be seeing, the same kind of variety that we do see in strong male characters.

Actually, one of the things I liked about Avatar: the Last Airbender is that it had so many kinds of interesting female characters, and so many kinds of interesting male characters. They covered the full spectrum of characterization, with a lot of depth, and made a great story around it. That's surprisingly rare.
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
Sometimes I get really into a form of fiction and want to go through it as quickly as possible because I am so hooked on finding out what happened next. The most recent books I've felt this way about were the Vorkosigan books, which I'm almost finished with (I admit, I am savoring the last two because I don't want to run out of them). I just finished the first tv show I have felt so hooked on in awhile... Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I think I first heard about it last year when someone wrote about it on Shakesville, and I thought it sounded interesting but then sort of forgot about it. Then a friend of mine recommended it to me, and in the kerfuffle about the casting of the movie based on the show I heard more general plot and character details and was intrigued. I started watching recently after finding that it was on Netflix's instant watch queue, and man, I really enjoyed it. The characters are really good, the world is interesting, the plots are mostly great, and the overall arc of the show was really well-done. It's occasionally cheesy (its target age group was embarrassingly young, but it's sooooo good), but it's also often really funny, clever, and touching. I finished the show this evening and... I wish there were more episodes! It has the virtue of having ended before any kind of degradation in quality, and if anything the show just continued to get better throughout the three seasons. I hear the original creators are making a sequel show set in the same universe, and I hope it's as good.

Now that I no longer have the risk of coming across spoilers for Avatar, I am reading a lot of discussion and deconstruction of it. Which is fun and reinforces for me how much I liked it.

sidetracks

Aug. 30th, 2009 10:01 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
After my oral exam, Ben and I had planned to go to Rehoboth Beach Saturday, to see the ocean, relax a little, and also hit up the Dogfish Head brewpub which is there. But alas, Tropical Storm Danny was off the coast so the forecast there as well as here was for thunderstorms and rain. We decided not to waste the trip, and Saturday did end up being rainy; I was caught in a huge cloudburst on my way back from the store to pick up extra tomatoes for zaalouk. I think as a result I felt a bit cooped up all weekend, at least other than this morning when I went for my 18-mile run. I feel slow because of the heat but at least I'm getting the mileage in. I actually had my highest mileage week ever the week before last, which was cool; last week was supposed to be a cut-back week which is lucky given how little time I had because of my oral.

On a completely unrelated note, one of our cats (Blinn we think) has started peeing in the bathtub. It's a little gross but honestly fairly convenient; it uses up litter less quickly and is easy to clean up. If only he could learn to use the toilet... he has flushed it a few times while playing with the handle, but he also drinks out of it.

Remember how I lost my wedding ring? I finally got a new one. I had been using a replacement for several months, on the slim hope that once the snow melted in the mountains where it fell off that someone could find it, but it was gone. So we finally went and got me a new one. What's kind of funny is that shortly before we did that, Ben lost his. He was trying to take a nap in our bed and apparently his ring felt itchy, so he took it off, but he couldn't remember where he'd put it because he was sort of asleep at the time. He told me, we turned our bedroom upside down and moved everything around looking for it, but didn't find anything. I was pretty sad just because it was important to me to still have one ring from our wedding, but we didn't seem able to find it. Then, that night, we had turned out the lights and were snuggling and talking a little before going to sleep. I rolled over to get more comfortable and felt something metallic against my foot: it was his ring! It got in the bedclothes somehow way down by our feet, and we hadn't turned out the bedclothes (partly because he thought he had put it on a table). It was really nice, after trying to accept that both our wedding rings were gone and while I was actively thinking about how great Ben was, to suddenly find it. It made me feel a bit better about never finding mine.

We watched the movie Rio Bravo this weekend, and I was extremely surprised to hear several of the main characters singing a song together which is a song we used to sing in my Girl Scout troop. You can see the clip of it here. It's called "My Rifle, My Pony and Me"; when I told Ben that we used to sing it in Girl Scouts, he asked, "did you change that line?" I guess most people don't think of Girl Scouts as promoting gun use, but you know, we were all about self-reliance and the wilderness. Also, the song can be sung as a call and response which is easy to teach.

Purple light in the canyon,
that's where I long to be
With my three good companions
Just my rifle, my pony, and me

heat

Aug. 17th, 2009 11:09 am
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
It's been very hot here, and I'm starting to get tired of it.

On Saturday morning we went to the Italian Market to pick up some things for a group picnic and for home, and at 9:30 it was already 85 degrees (and humid). We spent a lot of the day inside, then went out for the picnic at 4. It wasn't too bad because we got a picnic spot in the shade (at Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park). Everyone brought amazing food, we tossed around a frisbee, we went through a case of beer in a cooler very fast. Though at the end the sun was on us and it was feeling hot, again (and humid). On Sunday I had a long run, 18 miles... I have been getting up for those at 7:30, but it's clear now that that isn't early enough. It was about 80 when I started (and humid), and I was overheating and sweating a lot, so I drank too much water; so I felt sick and hot and unhappy and was way slow near the end, when it was 90 (and humid). I was completely out of it all the rest of yesterday, feeling not sore but just exhausted and vaguely ill. I drank tons of water, took a nap, but none of that seemed to help. I do feel better today, but I'm sure a large part of that is being in my lab, which is temperate. I lifted weights this morning and did pathetically badly.

And the forecast for the next several days is in the lower 90s (and humid...).

I did watch two good movies this weekend: Persepolis and Fire. Fire was amazing; Persepolis was good but the graphic novel was better. While watching those I forgot how hot it was. :)

at random

Sep. 4th, 2008 05:12 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
Marathon training continues, but now with more iliotibial band injuries. I went on a 15-mile run Sunday and it started hurting a lot, so I spent Monday off it with my friend the ice pack. Short runs don't aggravate it at all, and it didn't start hurting until 8 miles in (i.e., the point at which I was planning to turn around anyways). Well, Turkey is an enforced two-week vacation from running, though with lots of physical activity, so when I come back I can ramp up the miles slowly. I have to remind myself that I'm training to finish, not training to excel (I can do that next time). Funny how knowledgeable I am becoming concerning sports-related knee injuries.

Something I love that is both science-y and funny: the LHC rap. Seriously, I love this so much.

I had a spurt of cooking over this last week. I made lamb vindaloo, which I had never made before, and I had no idea how easy it was! And I hadn't had cauliflower in forever, but made ginger-garlic cauliflower and remembered that cauliflower taste like boring unless you add delicious flavors. The night before last I made calabacitas, a squash/corn/green chile dish which I love in summer, with fresh corn tortillas. I made some cookies over the weekend, which is bad because I ate most of them, and then last night we made lamb with harissa, couscous, and raita. Harissa is great; it can be used to flavor a lot of things or as a condiment (chicken+apricot+harissa sandwiches = yum), and it is easy to make with a few whole spices and some big things of dried chiles. We learned about it from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone originally.

I found out that there are places in Philadelphia that have free salsa lessons (like the Miami Cafe). I have to get Ben to go. There's really no excuse.

I've been following political stuff too much, I think, and I'm getting sick of it. I'm reading too much on newspapers, blogs, writing long e-mails... I am glad I won't be able to follow anything like that starting tomorrow.

I saw a great movie over the weekend, The Burmese Harp. It tells the story of Japanese soldiers in combat in Burma when the second World War ends, and how they must surrender and end up sending one of their soldiers to convince another squad to surrender. The story is very interesting and moving, and my three favorite things are seeing someone act on their morals, the unalloyed goodness of the protagonists, and the wonderful role that music plays in the film. I actually wouldn't mind having recordings of several of the songs.

We watched Babel last night and it's really not a good movie to watch just before going on a bus trip to a rural desert in the Muslim world. I'm pretty sure we'll be fine, though.
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I freaking love long runs on the weekend. This is the beautiful thing I took away from my attempt to lose weight before the wedding: exercising enough that it's a desire rather than a requirement, and realizing I could train for a marathon. I worried a little Friday morning because when I went out to run, one of my knees was hurting (not the one I've injured in the past, either), but it must've been a transient thing because it was fine running Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday I got to the entrance to Wissahickon Valley Park, which is a very pretty place where you can run along a (sadly, paved) trail by a road and a creek. The whole park is like 9 miles long, so I can continue to add miles to my heart's content. I could instead continue along the Schuylkill River Trail to Manayunk, but the path is way more urban going that way, and I've been realizing that one of my favorite things about the long run is getting out of a city environment. It helps me keep the balance between loving lots of things about a city and wanting to occasionally flee it.

I've been reading fantasy books by Lois McMaster Bujold recently, on a friend's recommendation. They are good, nearly impossible to put down good. Apparently she is more known for her sci-fi, but the Penn library doesn't have much of it, just fantasy. The books of hers I've read (Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt) have a really interesting and active theology. The stories are great, but the best part about them for me is exploring this theology and how it affects the world she's created. The characters are pretty good too, but really the theology. I'm not a religious person so that may come as a weird thing to like, but she pulls it off really well. I'm going to poke around the many interlibrary options available to me and get some more of her books.

Over the weekend Ben and I started watching Samurai Champloo, another anime by the guy who did Cowboy Bebop. I like the theme of basing other forms of media around music, and SC is fun if kind of silly at times. Like the random flying squirrel... thanks, Momo! I wish I had the soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop. It was awesome, better than the show although the show was pretty good.

We also finally got started watching Battlestar Galactica, which many people assured me I would love if I loved Farscape, Firefly, Star Trek, etc. in which I discuss sci-fi )

Ok, there, I've said it, feel free to argue with me. :P
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
The Sex and the City movie is coming out soon, and anywhere I read about it I see a discussion of whether SatC is feminist or anti-feminist--or in general, pro-women or anti-women.

my thoughts )
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
I just started reading Covering by Kenji Yoshino, and I'm sure I'll want to write about it later. But I did recently read Snow Falling on Cedars, after years of hearing what a good book it is. I liked it... but most of the best elements reminded me of other books, like Farewell to Manzanar or To Kill a Mockingbird. I did love the setting though, which was beautifully described and made me lust to eat strawberries.

I recently watched two romantic movies, one that made me feel lovey and happy and one that made me really depressed. The one that made me happy was Before Sunset (I watched Before Sunrise last summer), and I immediately ordered Before Sunrise to make Ben watch them both. :) Such unique movies, and really romantic. We watched Conversations with Other Women last night, which was excellent in a lot of ways. In the end I found it really depressing though, I think because it tapped into a fear I've mentioned before that relationships can end even if people really love each other, for complex and tricky reasons (see: my parents). This has got to be my biggest fear with marrying Ben, not that he is somehow wrong for me, but that I will somehow manage to lose him anyways. It's not a very rational fear, and at this point we have analyzed our compatibility far beyond what's necessary anyways. I think the strongest impetus to take marriage seriously is to watch people very close to you get divorced. Anyhow, the movie was excellent but sort of disturbing because of how it made me think of that. I'd still recommend it, though.

Awhile back I loved the PC games Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II (though II was obviously not really completed). Ben played Mass Effect a couple months ago and loved it and kept telling me how it was like KotOR but bigger, with better graphics, better storylines, and overall a lot more innovation and enjoyable gameplay. I finally started playing Mass Effect recently, and it is a lot of fun: a huge universe to explore but in a single-player game. I am maybe halfway through? There's a huge number of side quests, a lot of good gameplay, though some flaws in the game. I also recently played Portal (I got it for Ben for his birthday), which is a much shorter game and in my opinion, a nearly perfect game. It is clever, interesting, has very innovative gameplay, and is incredibly funny. I can't overrate it; it is so fun I wish it had been longer, but that is part of its perfection. Especially the very last scene, with the cake.

And I bought three CDs recently and overlistened to them a lot. I continued a fine, storied tradition of mine of stealing music recommendations from other people and loving them so much I spread the music to my friends. I got CDs of Ekova, Octopus Project, and Federico Aubele and have been loving them. Spread the love!
clevermynnie: (Default)
Book: The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss. It is a book about... a book called "The History of Love". It's really beautiful, interesting, well-painted, and painfully sad. I read it basically in one sitting today and was moved.

TV: The Wire. We started watching this in the fall, after a stellar review in the New Yorker and hearing a lot of good things about it, and now we're halfway through the second season. Wow, what an amazingly well-done show! The acting, the story, the music, the realism.... I can't recommend this highly enough.

Music: Did you know that Yo Yo Ma did a series of recordings of Central Asian/Turkish/Silk Road music? I found out about this recently, after loving his album Obrigado Brasil for a while, and I just love what he does with the music. The recordings are When Strangers Meet and Beyond the Horizon, both listed under Silk Road Journeys.

And there are some things you can keep yourself busy with if your tastes are anything like mine.
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
I'm sure you can guess, when I came home from teaching on Friday to find Ben at home, I was quite happy. His trip went well, he took fun pictures that he showed me, and he brought back some sake and a small tapestry. The main session of his conference was in a No theater! How cool is that!

We had sort of a lazy weekend since Ben was a bit jetlagged, or at least kind of in the wrong time zone. I made sourdough pancakes on Saturday, we watched The Wire, I went for a run, and then we went to Uzu with Aimee, Ben's sister, who was in town for a psychology conference. We had a great time talking, walked to Naked Chocolate and had toffee caramel Belgian waffles, and then walked down to that mural I really like at Broad and Lombard. It was a lot of fun; she's a cool person to talk to. And today... ugh, so I want things to be clean for guests at Thanksgiving, like really clean, so we spent a huge amount of time cleaning the upstairs of our house really thoroughly. I can't believe how long it took, but we really did everything, so I'm pretty happy about it. I don't think the downstairs should take nearly as long, but then it does include the kitchen. BAH.

We got pizza for dinner, and watched the movie Down By Law which someone clearly recommended to me at some point, maybe Ron. It was great; really funny and strange, and Ben pointed out it was similar to a stage play with minimal reliance on sets or large casts, but a lot of great dialogue and interesting interactions. Plus it has the strange combination of Tom Waits and Roberto Benigni, before he was known much at all.

I'm trying to think of idiosyncratic Christmas presents for people. It's hard.

rome etc.

Nov. 6th, 2007 02:28 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
Through the power of Netflix, Ben and I recently watched all of Rome, an HBO historical drama that aired for two seasons and then stopped due to its immense production costs. I enjoyed it a lot; the show is beautiful and enveloping, and well acted. They do an interesting job with historical accuracy, which sometimes makes it difficult to watch. It's sometimes gruesome, and the class structures and sexism are accurate but make you wince. And every once in a while, you wonder if they are showing more sex than is strictly necessary. It's very interesting though, and I highly recommend it. Most of all, it's fascinating if you're interested in the historical aspects, and it makes me a little sad that my friend who's most into that is also not very tolerant of violence, and thus will probably never watch it.

We also watched A Better Tomorrow, a seminal film in Hong Kong action cinema. It was melodramatic at times but overall really well done, and apparently such a big hit in HK that trenchcoats like the one Chow Yun-Fat's character Mark wore are called 'brother Mark's coat' in colloquial Cantonese (assuming wikipedia can be trusted, that is). We also watched Rififi recently, I think from [livejournal.com profile] mr_ron's suggestion, and that was a very good movie. Of course, recently I'm having a hard time fitting in movies on weeknights, what with raiding in WoW. But this week, Ben is extra busy too, preparing to go to Japan on business.

I read an article recently in the New Yorker about the show The Wire which made me really want to start watching it, so that's on our Netflix queue too. And we keep downloading and watching Heroes every week... and every week I make fun of it, and wonder why we keep watching it. It has such an interesting plot but the execution is often so terrible.

since when

Aug. 20th, 2007 07:48 pm
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
Returning to weekends with Ben is easy, comfortable, delightful. We went to the Italian Market to get stuff for cold vegetable soups on Saturday, then took a picnic of blue cheese, bread, and wine to Fitler Square where we played cribbage and read things, he the New Yorker, me Flow. We had a lot of moving kind of things to do around the house, to move our computer stuff back into the office, and to move things back into the office closet that are taking up the space Ben's clothes are supposed to be in. Sunday was a day around the house, partly because it rained nonstop all day, and partly because there were things around the house to do. We made Cold Avocado Soup, which was very tasty though it needed more lemon or lime juice. Time with Ben is bliss: silly comments, eating lime wedges with cayenne, pinching, constant physical affection. Talking about the future.

We bought plane tickets for the holidays already, to get them cheaper and to make it easy for us to visit all of our parents. This means a tour of four households, which is a little long and silly, but it'll be nice to spend winter break together for the first time. After Ojai, I'll head up to Berkeley for a couple of days, since the extra cost isn't too bad. I asked Joao if that was an okay time to come, and he mentioned that he and Gersende might be moving back to Europe early next year, though they'll definitely not have moved yet in January. But already a lot of BFCers are leaving Berkeley, since most of them were postdocs, and Ron will be traveling, and lots of the people who made the last part of my time in Berkeley so great will be gone. It's sad to watch that happen to a place you've left, and it makes me a little nervous because that's how I came to be less emotionally tied to Los Alamos. Though, of course, the emotional ties that remain between me and New Mexico are permanent. I was happy this weekend, at Trader Joe's, to taste New Mexico Pinon Coffee, really enjoy it, and see the NM flag on the label.

We watched Une Femme Est Une Femme this weekend, at the end of my summer glut of foreign films, and I really liked it. I especially liked the note the movie ends on, though I assure you I don't intend to make a habit of closing out entries with French movie quotes.

E: Angela, tu es infâme!
A: Moi, je ne suis pas infâme. Je suis UNE femme.

at random

Aug. 3rd, 2007 11:04 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
I am doing pretty well with the whole hot summer thing, except on days when I get up early and go running. On these days I cannot convince my body to stop sweating until I get to my over-air-conditioned lab, which is sometimes 1.5-2 hours later. That is a lot of sweating, and it makes me cranky.

I got my jazz piano books, as well as a new book of Debussy. The jazz is fun but weird, since it's so against my training. It also doesn't help that I practically never learned music theory, I just play songs. The improv book is all, 'play the pentatonic scale in every key!', and I'm all, you can play it in different keys? And I'm bad at transposition and improv... I guess I play a lot by muscle memory. Well fine, to console myself I can play something from the Debussy book. Debussy is a composer that really resonates with me, and I find it much easier to know how his music should sound when I'm playing than with other composers. It has Jardins sous la pluie, La Cathédral Engloutie, and a lot of other pieces I've liked but haven't actually played (i.e., they aren't in my other Debussy book).

I urgently recommend the movie Amores Perros, which is like Pulp Fiction with characters you empathize with, sometimes funny but mostly brutal and tragic. It was so good, and really I spent the whole summer without Ben watching sad foreign movies. Strangely, I watched it in French despite its being a Mexican film, because the subtitles didn't work but I could change the audio language (from Spanish to French... no English). I watched Bande à Part and enjoyed it too, but in a very different way.

Franz pense à tout et à rien. Il ne sait pas si c'est le monde qui est en train de devenir rêve ou le rêve monde.
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
Four lessons I learned from The Devil Wears Prada:

1. Anytime a woman rebuffs your advances, you should just follow her around and kiss her over and over until she gives in. 'No' just means 'kiss me again, you handsome devil!'

2. Having a successful career as a woman means you are a huge bitch. There is a direct correlation between how successful you are and how bitchy you are.

3. Any progress in your career which makes someone else unhappy is morally wrong. This is regardless of whether you chose to make them unhappy (like stealing an assignment from them) or it was decided by someone else (like a boss). If you are ever given something that someone else wants, you should quit your job.

4. If your boyfriend is unsupportive, sulky, and continually tells you that you are a bad person, you should quit your job to win him back.

I rented the movie having just watched Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer, which is an excellent movie. I had heard that in this one, Meryl Streep is great and everything else is not very good, which was accurate. And man, the moral framework of the movie rubbed me the wrong way every time it came up.
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
My knee is noticeably better today than yesterday. The swelling went down, and while I still can't walk comfortably on it, it's a good deal more comfortable than yesterday, and my range of motion is also improved. I am very relieved by this.

I've spent my convalescence thus far playing World of Warcraft, reading Count Zero by William Gibson, finding things to cook next week (Tunisian pepper stew!), and watching a few movies. American History X is the best movie I've seen in a long, long time, and I highly recommend it to you guys.

Now that I can't walk, I think about how good I had it just before I hurt my knee, when I was running and swimming pretty regularly. I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to get back to that, honestly... I'll have to ask the physical therapist and see how I feel. It reminds me, though, of something I've been thinking about a lot, the tendency to not enjoy how great the here and now is, but rather idealize old times and look forward to things on the horizon. I've been thinking about it already because the first year of grad school isn't a lot of fun in some ways. When I went back to visit LBL and people asked how I was doing, when I said the work was hard they all did the same sort of knowing laugh. And although I always knew that this part of graduate school would be hard, and that wasn't why I came, it still depressed me some to be working my ass off on courses I had to do. But at the same time, this is it! This is what I really wanted for a long time! How can I not be enjoying every second of it? It's so important to enjoy the things we have, because if we don't, why bother having them? The aspect of my life which is by far the easiest to enjoy, though, is Ben. It's so fun to live with someone who's a good friend and fun to be around (as I already knew!) and it's been fantastic not having distance any more. Plus the whole 'will we ever be together' thing had put so much strain on our relationship... it feels very easy to just enjoy ourselves now. I need to figure out a way to put that nowness into the other parts of my life as well.

classes

Jan. 31st, 2007 12:26 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
My life is sort of leaning towards, uninteresting combination of classes and teaching, which can be tedious. I am squeezing in piano some days, and taking a yoga class and swimming in free time and suchlike, but mostly I am taking courses whose end I eagerly anticipate. Let me describe them to you!

courses )

On a completely unrelated note, for those of you who've seen Cowboy Bebop... do you remember the episode where someone flies the space shuttle Columbia, and has trouble landing because the heat tiles have come off? Hmm.
clevermynnie: (Default)
Ew, so I came into my office today in order to grade the homeworks for 101, and the heater near my desk is emitting a strange smell and dripping water onto the carpet. It smells burny and gross, and initially I thought I had some food going bad in my desk or something. Plus half of the homeworks weren't in my mailbox, so I couldn't do half of what I had planned.

I will not miss grading.

Ben and I had planned to get out this weekend, but on Saturday morning Ben came down sick... but not with the stomach flu! No, he got a regular cold, which mostly incapacitated him. So all we really did was go food/clothes/shoe shopping, and sit around our house and make tea, play cribbage, that sort of thing. I'm sort of afraid that I'll get the cold he has now, and obviously he won't get the stomach flu, because he would have gotten it by now. We've been watching some shows on our netflix, namely Cowboy Bebop and Rome (the HBO series). I like the art style and the music in Cowboy Bebop a lot, although the episodes we saw had a theme of, main characters stumble into elaborate plot, have some hijinks, and eventually let a huge bounty slip from their fingers. Rome is... well, it's very well-done, and although it feels similar to the many other classical civilization movies/tv shows I've seen, it's much more realistic, though that often means it's really gross. For example, we see people crucified much more graphically than I've seen (though I never watched The Passion), we see a soldier casually raping a shepherdess before going home to his wife, we see pornographic theater... we see all sorts of things that are definitely historically accurate, but are also often excised from tv shows.

I also played WoW some this weekend, and I mention this specifically for Erin and Josh... priest is a really fun class to be! My main is a shaman, but I am playing some with a priest that I initially created with Ben, and it's really cool... you can spec so that you hardly ever run out of mana, and you have lots of protection tricks that are far superior to what other classes have. You have a really good ranged weapon (wands) and even though you suck at melee, I don't even really notice. Plus priests are one of the most sought-after classes for endgame stuff and instances, although I'm not sure I'll really get this character up to 60. It just takes so long. But they are really fun to play.

on movies

Nov. 20th, 2006 12:39 pm
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
I went to a movie last night for the first time in months (largely thanks to Netflix). Ben and I saw Casino Royale, the new Bond movie, and arguably the best one. Daniel Craig and Eva Green are really superb, and while it wasn't an excellent movie, it was a fun one. I realized that for me, all the recent Bond movies blend together, and all the old ones blend together. Ben argues that's because pretty much all of them are parodying Dr. No, unintentionally one presumes.

I spent some part of the movie worried about Ben's leg because while we were walking there, I distracted him with something funny and he walked into a fire hydrant. Ouch.

We have been using our netflix to watch Fullmetal Alchemist, which I would say is the best anime series I've watched. It's funny and cute, and serious and angsty, and has really interesting characters and stories. The movie was even rather good, and I had low expectations since anime movies that continue series are generally terrible. I highly recommend it to, well, everyone.

Recently we watched The Thin Man, which was very good if fairly different in tone from the novel. And we saw Ed Wood and Fear and Loathing back-to-back, which convince me that Johnny Depp is a really amazing actor. I think I'd seen Fear and Loathing before, but when I was 15 or so, so I didn't really get it... and I've read the book now, which is worthwhile. We watched the first Robin Hood movie from 1938, which was SO SILLY but very interesting. And On the Waterfront, Donnie Darko, and Howl's Moving Castle, all of which I really enjoyed. Nearly every movie we've rented has been good, how about that?

Btw, if anyone has any recommendations, I will gladly queue them if I trust your taste. ;)

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clevermynnie

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