July 29, 2007
Today's banner brought to you courtesy of xkcd. What?
It's not actually an acronym. It's just a word with no phonetic pronunciation. It stands for the comic and everything the comic stands for!
I missed the title attribute associated with that image:
You spin me right round, baby, right round, in a manner depriving me of an inertial reference frame. Baby.
July 28, 2007
Blood Money, one of two albums capturing the music written by Waits for plays directed by Robert Wilson. It's based on an unfinished German play entitled Woyzeck, by Georg Büchner. Definitely feels Brechtian to me, along with that "ramshackle apocalyptic carnival" ... "flaunting a keen otherworldly nostalgia and a preoccupation with freaks" (see the review). The other album is titled Alice, and I'll probably be getting it in the next few weeks.
Sound of zZz. Jamie W. Zawinski pointed to a performance art video set to the song House of Sin, and featuring the two members (Daan Schinkel, Björn Ottenheim) of the band, zZz, as well as a troupe of acrobats and a trampoline. It was visually captivating, in a silly, self-deprecating way, and the song reminded me of Joy Division, so I had to check them out. I ended up picking up the album.
July 23, 2007
Nice new interface for Google News...
July 20, 2007
And an Anime Series
We're already up to the third episode of Zombie Loan, which we both agree is cute. I may actually use one of the main gimmicks (characters marked for death, or already zombies, have a black ring of flesh around their necks, invisible to ordinary humans) as a 'costume' when I take Renee to Kumoricon.
For You In Full Bloom
I started watching a new live-action comedy/drama last night with Renee. It's called Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, or "For You In Full Bloom". I'm not done with Garo, but I'm nearing the end, and I can't seem to resist some live action silliness.
This one is about a boy's school, and the girl who attends it disguised as a boy. Pretty funny first episode, and I've got number two waiting in the wings.
July 19, 2007
Well, finally managed to finish this series. Each episode was stranger than the last, and it ramped up to an increasingly weird climax. But there was a happy ending!
July 11, 2007
I can't remember with certainty when we last experienced a notable earthquake here in Tualatin, but I do remember that I was half-asleep in bed. This time, I was noodling on the computer. It was a 2.9, maybe ten miles away and 16 miles down. There was no missing it, but not enough force to knock things over.
So long as that's the strongest I experience, cool!
The shakiest quake I ever experienced was in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I was in our apartment, and could see the floor lamp's shade swinging left and right as I felt the entire building sway. That one had me worried for awhile...
Ooh! Overnight it got upgraded. The automatic machinery gave it a 2.9, but it's now ranked a 3.3! Cool!
July 09, 2007
I got to see a heavy-duty rooter in action today. Late last week we began to experience repeated overflow/backwash from the downstairs shower, following clothes washing, dishwashing, toilet flushing, pretty much any big water disposal event. By Friday, we really couldn't use any water appliance without nasty flooding.
Jean called Canby Plumbing, and they recommended the Drain Doctor. Their guy came today, so I came home from work early to meet with him. The big electric motor cranking out cable tipped with a rotating shredder head was pretty cool. Took about an hour, and now we are working our way through a backlog of dishes and laundry.
First Internet outages, then water. I guess cable is next! Bring it!
July 08, 2007
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
After watching the first two Pirates movies in close succession, Renee and I agreed to see the final one this weekend. This is a good thing, as it looks like the movie is shuffling off the screens, having only two matinee showings today at our local theater.
We went, we saw, we enjoyed. A benefit of having seen the rerun of Curse of the Black Pearl on television, then renting Dead Man's Chest the following weekend, is that all the characters, subplots and MacGuffins that link the three movies were fresh in our minds. I won't enumerate all the little things which held this triptych together. But they definitely enhanced my enjoyment tremendously.
In fact, bother the critics who have trashed each sequel successively. I disagree heartily with their opinion. This trilogy is, for me, the best popular entertainment trilogy I've seen since the original Star Wars trilogy (that's IV, V and VI in case you're too young to remember). There have been other very nice ones, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There have been others that started out very promising, such as the Matrix, which then fall flat. The Pirates win this one.
Labor Day Weekend is the weekend of Kumoricon. Renee and I did a last minute field trip there last year, and she decided that she wanted to do the full convention experience this year. While we won't be renting a room, we will be attending during regular convention hours each day.
Renee has begun to assemble a costume, in order to participate--at least--in the hallway cosplay. She's planning a costume based on Kagura, from the anime Gintama. So we drove up to Uwajimaya, in search of clothing resembling that worn by her character. No luck, so we'll be venturing to a fabric store next weekend. In the meantime, we successfully purchased a couple of jars of nori strips, as stand-ins for Kagura's favorite snack, sukonbu. Nori is seaweed, and sukonbu is kelp, so, close enough!
July 07, 2007
I tried this recipe for a vegan Spanish Scramble this evening. I don't really think there's any point calling it that, as there is no mistaking it for eggs, and no need to either. It was very tasty, and had a nice, interesting texture.
I don't think I processed the nuts to the coarseness specified in the video. My mix was pretty fine. Still, with tomatoes, scallions and spinach bought from the farmer's market this morning, it filled and nourished me just great.
Don't be afraid to try vegan dishes. If you eat a salad now and then, you're eating a 'vegan' recipe.
P.S. - no, I'm not vegan, and not turning vegan. I eat fish practically every day, and have been known to eat beef if it's on a buffet at work. I just like my fresh veggies!
July 05, 2007
The Third Man
I mentioned this yesterday. I decided to watch the first half tonight and finish it tomorrow, but I couldn't stop myself from watching it straight through. This is such a wonderful movie of the period. For the picture of living on the edge I'd rate it as at least the equal of Casablanca. I'm really happy I tracked it down again.
July 04, 2007
Been through a recent batch of movies, and have some pending, so I thought I'd just mention a few:
Ratatouille - I went to see this last weekend, and my was it marvelous. I like cooking, and I like animation, and Pixar generally does a good job of the latter. They've also been pretty good at bringing a specific environment to life, and this was no exception. Their representation of a working kitchen felt pretty right to me. This is written and directed by Brad Bird, who created Iron Giant and The Incredibles. Recommended.
Knocked Up - I saw this one today with Jean. She picked it out. When I initially heard of it, I thought it was going to be a drama, and a tedious and depressing one at that. Then I heard it was going to be a comedy. "Good luck with that," I thought. After all, it's about two strangers getting hit with an unplanned pregnancy. But Jean mentioned it, and then I heard it was by the guy who did The Forty Year Old Virgin (Judd Apatow). That was funny in a totally irreverant way, so I was more willing to give this a chance. As it turns out, it was pretty funny, with some laugh-out-loud moments. The characters were all note-perfect as well. There was a cameo by Harold Ramis, and I couldn't help wishing he did more acting. He has great screen presence. So both Jean and I liked this one.
Recently, those television moguls have been showing multiple screenings of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Gee, I wonder why? Anyway, Renee caught a chunk of it out of the corner of her eye while working on the computer and insisted on watching the ending. So I recorded one of the multiple repeats, and we watched the whole thing together. Last weekend, we rented the second movie, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm thinking that this coming weekend, we'll go to the theater and see the third. Suits me, as I enjoyed the first two quite a lot.
Finally, in the queue for me alone, is a repeat viewing of The Third Man, which I saw years ago and really enjoyed. I've just recently gotten a strong hankering to see it again, and it was available at the library, so I'm going to be watching it in a day or two...