Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Almost Christmas!

Monday marked the end of my hardest semester of graduate school to date. On the bright side, next semester is going to be even more difficult.

But for the next two weeks, at least, I'll have more blogging time. And photos!

For example:

The best shot of the last lunar eclipse of 2010 (and also the first lunar eclipse to happen on the solstice in hundreds of years):

Also, banana bread:

Friday, October 29, 2010

This is beyond cool

I got this email today:

I hope you don't mind me contacting you, but I noticed on your profile that The Odyssey was one of your favourite books.

One of our Contributors, Victoria Hooper has created a wonderful multimedia profile of the book here:

If you enjoy this profile, please let your friends know about

Well I don't, and it is, and I did, so I am.

I've only had time to take a brief peek at the bookmarks for The Odyssey, but the resources included look quite amazing. This site is definitely getting saved for future review, particularly since I suspect it will make a wonderful teaching tool in the future.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is what it's actually like inside my brain

I can't finish movies on the first try lately. Case in point:

I started watching Different for Girls tonight - because it looks interesting and has Rupert Graves, who does a wonderful job as DI Lestrade in the new Sherlock.

First, I had to pause the movie 3 minutes in (when the cab driver starts talking) and make a mad dash for IMDB. Turns out the cab drivers in Sherlock and Different for Girls are played by the same actor.

Then, at 14:40, Graves' character puts on a record of a rather catchy tune... which I realize is Whole Wide World! Which I know! Except, I own and love the Proclaimers' version, which is apparently a cover of the Wreckless Eric version. So, I hop over to YouTube, give it a listen, and realize I didn't even notice the song when it was in Stranger Than Fiction (so I watch the relevant movie clip).

Eventually, I look the song up on Wikipedia. Where I am informed that Elvis Costello did a live cover of Whole Wide World and how could I not try to find it?

Finally, I decide to blog about my finds, because clearly everyone wants to hear three versions of the same song.

And so it's now taken me an hour to watch 15 minutes of this film, and I decide I'm going to give it another go tomorrow night.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The CA-Team

I don't remember why I sat still long enough to let M doodle the A-Team (as cats, of course) on me... but I can't say I'm displeased with the results.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I don't even

I finished the last three episodes of League of Gentlemen this evening. I have two thoughts about it:

1. What the whatting whats.

2. I have never laughed so hard while also saying "stop stop oh god ew ew stop no stop why".

(ok, three thoughts: 3. I'm glad I saw Sherlock first, because if I'd seen Mark Gatiss in drag before seeing him all seriously-attired and umbrella'd I would have lost it while watching A Study in Pink).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Last Trip Post, 2 of 4

More photos than words, this time.

Day two of the busing part of the trip included an early-morning stop in a tiny little town:
and across a weak bridge
into Wales to visit Tintern Abbey.

Which was gorgeous enough that I'm not surprised there's even a poem.

I'm still half-convinced that Welsh is a trick played on tourists
but I've found a few sites and plan to learn to at least read it before I go back.

The last stop of the day was Bath:

where we had a nice lunch (shepherd's pie) and a nice walk and saw the Roman Baths.

We also saw a frankly hilarious street performer with a great routine worked out (chains, whips, broken glass, and breadsticks? Marvelous). I think he may be my soul-mate, which perhaps explains a lot about my life.

Next time: post 3 of 4, in which we see Very Old Rocks and get lost in a bookshop.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Interesting Post

Over at Big Fat Deal: Women Can Only Eat in Movies if They Look Like They Don't.

Which, despite the number of movies I watch, is not something I'd noticed about the average Hollywood movie.

Granted, I rarely see people truly eat in movies and television as a general rule, which I imagine is because it's hard to take someone seriously while they're scarfing down pasta. But on the other hand, the blogger raises a good point:

When did you last see a fat woman eating in a movie when it wasn’t a fat joke? Even in Shallow Hal (which I watched recently… so close and yet, so fucking far) when they show the fat character eating, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow not Gwyneth-In-A-Fat-Suit-Paltrow. How are we ever supposed to get over the idea of body shame when the very idea of us nourishing our bodies is clearly revolting to the rest of the world?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last Trip Post, 1 of 4

Ok, so.

Day 3 of the trip took us from London to Stratford-upon-Avon. Like so:

We had lunch in Oxford, after visiting Christ Church, which inspired much of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.

The tour guide, who was just phenomenal, walked us across town and gave us a mini-tour of part of the campus. This included him pointing out (we didn't have time to enter) the Bodleian Library. I had a moment of silent cheering in my head, because a) I love old libraries and b) I can now put a "face" to the place when it's mentioned in a series I quite enjoy.

Despite getting lost (as usual) near Christ Church and almost leaving my hat in Pret A Manger (of course I went back; it's not like I was just going to be passing through Oxford again anytime soon), we made it to the bus on time and continued on to. . .

. . . Bladon, where we saw Sir Winston Churchill's grave.
We also made friends with a black cat; it seemed like the Done Thing when hanging out in a graveyard.
From there, it was a short jump to Anne Hathaway's cottage - which still looks lovely.
And from there to Stratford-upon-Avon where we got an interesting tour of Shakespeare's birthplace.

I have no photos because of laptop doom (working on that), but I can tell you that the house is staffed by knowledgeable people with tons of interesting facts. We heard about the color choices in the parents' bedroom where the babies slept - red and green, if I remember correctly, to help keep the kids healthy and safe.

I also loved the room that preserved some of the original glass window panes. It apparently used to the the Cool Thing to leave one's mark when visiting tourist spots. For example, the parents' room has been repainted, because it was once covered in scrawls and scribbles. People wealthy enough to own a diamond would etch their name into the glass instead, and several of the more memorable names were pointed out.

According to my notes, we were so tired when we got back to the hotel that (after dinner and a walk) Alek fell asleep in his clothes. I wish I'd taken a photo, but the last entry in my book is "Hotel has me down as 'Ms. M [fulllastname]'. Have decided to change my name to 'Mycroft'." That's presumably when I fell asleep as well.

Next Time! Last Trip Post 2 of 4, wherein I muse on the Great Welsh Conspiracy and meet my soul-mate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

England Trip

Most (okay, all) of my good trip photos were on the laptop-what-crashed. So, I have the hard drive out to someone who's going to see about getting them off. Tomorrow I will publish a map and the highlights, at least.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

League of Gentlemen

I finished the (BBC) Office Christmas Special last night and found myself at loose ends as far as British comedies.

Fortunately, Netflix has all of League of Gentlemen available for live streaming. The first season got me through cleaning and organizing my entire room without noticing I was actually doing work, which was fantastic. Basically, it's very funny. And weird. And wildly inappropriate for children.

The internet wants you to watch it.

Friday, September 17, 2010


The answer to my previous post is "bundling bag", for which I owe many thanks to the friend (let's call her Captain McAwesomeface) who just texted me.

Apparently it was controversial and not mentioned a whole lot, which explains why my previous search terms were useless.

I Love Having Artsy Friends

One of the most adorable sketches of me ever created (click for a better view):

My sleepy-mumble text comes from an early-morning conversation with this group of friends. We were discussing the possibly-apocryphal stories of families sewing their daughters into bed while entertaining male guests. (Because virginity is all-important and the responsibility of the female because men can't control themselves. Clearly.) Someone mentioned that a man who knew how to sew would have been incredibly popular; we then made the logical connection to tailors being the best possible boyfriends.

Of course, when I went online I couldn't find a single link referencing this practice/myth, so if anyone wants to point me towards a site or book, that would be brilliant.

Side note: the drool wasn't there in the original picture. E added it because I've slept over at her place and apparently that makes it more "accurate". Hmph

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Open Mic Night

Tonight's post is an open discussion topic - feel free to add your thoughts at any time.

Prompt: Can you explain The Mentalist in a way that doesn't make it out to be simply a knockoff of Lie to Me + Derren Brown?

I ask mostly because I've seen about three episodes so far and I just don't get it. Most shows that are similar to other shows try to have something remarkably different to set them apart; hence all the detective shows where the detective has a different glaring quirk. With The Mentalist, I honestly cannot tell what the something special is supposed to be.

Got to go: I have more work to do and two more episodes of Lie to Me to catch up on.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Am Lost Without It

Short post again tonight.

Mainly because the moment I made an actual budget and realized I had spare cash, my previously-faithful PC gave up the ghost for the second and possibly final time.

Really, considering I'd dropped it on a tile floor four times, it was about time. When I tried that with my mac, the hard drive exploded immediately.

So, the laptop is dead - RIP Killer Tomato (and most of my files) - long live the laptop!

My new one's a Gateway as well, because they're clearly incredibly tough. And his name is Boswell.

I've done all the important laptop-breaking-in things this evening:
  • Erased the unwanted junk that came standard
  • Set a new desktop background to replace the delicious "charity car wash" one I used to have. This one's tasteful instead, *sigh*
  • Set bookmark tabs for Netflix, Google Reader, my bank, Wish Upon a Hero, Twitter, Facebook, and Blogger
  • Watched an episode of Lie to Me. I'm trying to catch up before Hulu takes anything down. I'm a bit iffy on some of the plots this season, but will probably never get tired of watching Tim Roth strut around and piss people off.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

No, I Didn't Post Yesterday

It seemed like an inappropriate time to post ridiculous photos.

Here, have a photo of my Saturday night/Sunday morning:

Friday, September 10, 2010


I'm spending the night at a friend's house, celebrating her 25th. As she's in theatre and taking an improv class, we decided to play charades.

Even better than the ones we get right (whoo, 1776!) or wrong (CASABLANCA, really?) are the guesses that happen before getting it:

The Gentleman Cat = The Aristocats
Rain Makes Grass Grow / Wings Back Wings = Fern Gully
Car Heaven = Van Helsing
Five Men Go To Washington = Mr. Smith, etc etc.
Something Here and Gone = Gone With the Wind
Cow Dick = Cowboy Bebop
Ratatouille = Hamlet (don't even ask)
Are You A Mouse? = Labyrinth
Die Punch Ow = Die Hard
Queen of Australia = The African Queen
Penguin Penguin Penguin = Duck Soup
Oh, You Are A Mouse This Time = Flowers for Algernon

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Is it a paradox to use this post to announce that I'm not posting tonight so I can prepare a few more trip photo posts?


So in the interest of avoiding a time-space meltdown on blogger, I will ALSO share that my Turkish bath towel came in today. From Turkey.

It's soft and huge and very very thin, and I quite like it. You can get one on Etsy if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Black Tie Beach

I go back and forth on how much I enjoy Improv Everywhere's newest escapades; some of them fall flat for me. However, the Black Tie Beach was just a cool idea:

For our latest mission we had several hundred agents spend a day at Coney Island / Brighton Beach wearing black tie attire. We covered a mile-long stretch of beach with a diverse group of people of all ages (from babies to sixty-somethings) laying out, playing games, and swimming in the ocean, all in formal wear.

The photos are just neat, really, so you hop on over for those at least...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's Been Pouring All Day

I love the rain, but driving home from class is *not* supposed to be a near-death experience.

Thankfully I'm all home and warm now, and only have to go as far as the Italian restaurant up the street tomorrow afternoon.

I also restarted The Science of Sherlock Holmes this evening. It's a fascinating book, but so long since I opened it that I don't remember the first five chapters.

Now: laundry and then bed. When even the cat is asleep before me I'm definitely overdue for some z's.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Trip Photos Mark Two

Currently playing: Electric Six's "Down at McDonnelzzz" (on repeat, of course)

You know the drill. I will now present you with images and the occasional series of words.

Day two of the trip involved a tour to Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews:
The Mews - surprisingly not where the royal cats are kept.

This trip was followed by a walk over to the London Eye. I'd heard the ride wasn't worth it - this is a total lie. The view is nearly literally breathtaking.

We also saw our hotel:
And a giant Dalek:
Finally, a story that might help explain my family to the uninitiated. Alek and I both spotted a great shot at the same time; this of course turned into a competition over who could get the "best" shot of the exact same thing. As Alek doesn't have a blog and I do, I'm publicly declaring that I Win at Pictures:

More to come! We did, in fact, eventually leave London.