Bits and pieces, post-Easter edition

Finally saw "Where the Wild Things Are". I was reluctant to see it when it came out because, like for so many others, the book has a special place in my heart and I have a consistent track record of opposition to every movie that tries to adapt a favorite book. The reviews– from friends and strangers– were a complete mix of opposing opinions, so those were of no help; but finally, one night earlier this week, the stars aligned and plans were made to set (yes, set) down and watch the movie, at last, at last.

And! I adored it. The costumes and scenery were wonderful (wild and imaginative, but not flawlessly detailed or put together because what child's mind is?), the characters were developed just so, the music was perfect and the story… the story ripped at my heart. If the movie had been a hardcover novel, the original book would have been the summarized text on the inside jacket flaps. Every line of dialogue, every outburst, every interaction was so achingly well-done. How fitting that Dave Eggers co-wrote the screenplay. (This review says everything that I felt.) And how nice, that there's finally a book-to-movie adaptation that hasn't made me want to hurl objects at the screen in furious indignation.

*****

It was "Free Admission Day" to the SF Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday, so Noah and I stopped by for an hour before they closed.

I like classical art well enough. I studied bits of the movements in college for literature and understood the gist of what each period was trying to do or say, and that enhances my appreciation for most paintings. I don't really feel like I "get" modern art, however, and the trip to the MOMA only reinforced this suspicion. Like, it's interesting to look at, but I don't understand the purpose or the statement or the emotion, or if there's even supposed to be anything. Maybe it's nihilistic art that reflects the meaningless existence of everything and everyone in the world? Existential art that is only for the sake of being? 

I don't get it, and I rarely feel the urge to do so. I guess this is how a lot of people feel about canonical literature, or even just books in general, so that's a fair trade. I'll take the libraries, you take the exhibits of stools perched on each other and the erased sketches and the pool tables with the balls arranged just so.

*****

Speaking of not getting/appreciating "art":

$3.50 for a hard-boiled egg that looks like it was dyed using a PAAS kit, and it's not really art because there's no way of keeping it indefinitely without it eventually decomposing (or maybe that's the "art"– nothing beautiful can stay so forever, so enjoy it while you can to the fullest extent?), so really it's just a $3.50 snack. Hmm.

*****

And today, the new iPhone OS details were revealed. I'm still not tempted, although I have occasional moments of weakness when I hear (or see) everyone talking about (or demonstrating) the latest and greatest iPhone-only apps. Honestly, I'm beyond the phase where I snottily don't want to get one just because everyone else has one… I just still don't really want one for daily, primary use. I like my Android phone. 

I like widgets, dammit.

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Wherein you wish I’d just settled with what I had for lunch

1. On the one hand, getting my period is great because it means I'm not pregnant. On the other hand, it ALSO means that I've just been getting fatter.

2. Though speaking of which: somehow, I spent the last four weeks doing nothing resembling significant physical activity– no running, no dancing (I KNOW I WAS IN NEW YORK, LET IT GO), no hiking, *nothing*– and instead simply eating everything in sight (except mushrooms; mushrooms and I are parting ways for an indefinite amount of time), and managed to *not* gain weight. I think. I don't own a scale. But I still fit in all my clothes! So that's pretty damn amazing.

3. Ever since we were in L.A. for the Playboy thing, I've been keeping my nails super short. Like, almost-down-to-the-quick short. And just as I was surprised to discover two years ago that I really like having my hair short, I'm now discovering that I rather like short nails. I'd always been averse to them because I think I have stubby fingers, and longer nails extended the line into something vaguely more attractive– like heels for stumpy legs (which is also why I wore exclusively heels for so much of my life). But I like them NOW, is my point, except for the added maintenance that comes with trying to stunt something that's perpetually growing. I'm thinking of taking up the violin, is what I'm really trying to say.

4. I finished watching "City of Ember" on the flight back from JFK (side note: flying standby can be such a bitch sometimes, but it's totally worth it for the zero-cost-difference seat in first-class), and aw man, is it cute. I hadn't read the book in over a year, so I was almost able to watch it without getting all nitpicky about the details (I *did* do a quick re-read of the book after I got home, and I *do* like the book better and it really is best that I didn't read it before watching the movie, but all in all, the movie's cute). And you know what? Saiorse Ronan is just so fucking adorable. I saw her for the first time when the trailer for "The Lovely Bones" was released and liked her instantly; now, after watching her in "City of Ember", my hope is further reinforced that "The Lovely Bones" movie might *actually* do the book justice.

5. And then I watched "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" today. Surprisingly cute! Or maybe I was just in a good mood. Things just feel right these days… not perfect, and not everything, but enough things and enough right that I'm holding up pretty damned well.

6. Honestly? I'd rather Odwalla had left their bars the way they were and raised the price instead.

7. Sometimes, that delicious-smelling colorful square wrapped in cellophane isn't candy. It's soap. DO NOT LICK.

Sometimes four-and-a-half, if I have enough milk.

I just downloaded Google Maps 3.2.0 for Blackberry solely because it has the new Layers feature integrated and– actually, no. I downloaded it primarily because 3.2 isn't out for the iPhone yet so for the time being I can finally brag that my phone can do something that an iPhone can't, other than 1) make calls and 2) alert me of new messages and missed calls and low battery levels via a status LED; and secondly because the guy in the demo video had a cute voice. 

But anyway, I downloaded it and without really thinking about it, signed in to enable the Latitude layer, and then I started adding people, and *then* I remembered why I never use Latitude! For the same reason that I don't really like to use Foursquare! Because it's not that I'm averse to sharing with others what bar or restaurant or cafe or whatever I'm currently patronizing. I just really don't need to broadcast to anyone the fact that I am perfectly fine with shutting myself indoors and not leaving the house for three days straight.

The problem with still being awake at 6 in the morning

is that I really want to nap for a few hours, but right about now is when all the e-mails from the East Coast start coming in, and because I'm awake and conscious of their arrivals into my inbox, I feel guilty for not attending to them ASAP. Also, I'm already in the midst of an e-mail volley with someone in South Africa, so it would be kind of rude to up and vanish all of a sudden.

In other work-semi-related un-news, it is honestly kind of awesome that I can honestly kind of claim playing games on Facebook to be work-related research, but at the end of the day, I honestly kind of resent the lost time. It would feel more justified if my specific job was to review games and game trends and game mechanics, but then again, I would tire of that job in no time. (That's a lie. It would take time. But only like a week or two.)

RANDOM TIP: scraping your tongue won't make your mouth feel more clean, but it does make your mouth feel less dirty. (oho! let the double entendres and so forth ensue)

APPROPRIATE OPPORTUNITY FOR EXPLANATION: TheNoah wants me to post more. I figure, a) he doesn't ask much from me, and b) he didn't ask for quality, just quantity. Hence, this.

TIMELY APOLOGY: Sorry.

A MORE SINCERE VERSION: I deeply regret the fact that you've been subjected to this useless post wholeheartedly lacking in substance for the primary purpose of attempting to appease the rare request of my significant other, though it behooves one to remember that all activity such as continued return visits to this shambles of a thought-log website is purely voluntary upon one's own part and is not even understood by this author, so, yeah.

LET'S TRY THAT AGAIN WITH LESS SARCASM: n/a

IN CONCLUSION: "my extemporaneous thought-log" = methlog? YES.

A lot of little nothings that are not in any way about April 1st

Last Saturday, Noah and I were driving behind this car and we were all turning left onto St. Rose and I watched in horror as it accidentally turned to the left of the concrete median (so, into the wrong direction of traffic). St. Rose is a state route that's something like ten miles wide, and it was at night, and there was no traffic going in either direction at the time, so it's kind of understandable that someone could make that mistake, but all the same, I was panicking for him [1]. St. Rose is also a state route that has a speed limit of 55, which means everyone goes at least 70, and I kept thinking this was a horrible fiery death in the making, and Noah had to listen to me anxiously call out to that car: no, no, you're going the wrong way, come back! Because wouldn't that be the standard instinct? To get your car onto the right side of the road ASAP? Especially on roads where there's only a center lane and not a median? Except there *was* a median and you can easily blow a tire trying to jump one of those babies, but the thing is– this guy, with the lights of cars in the distance gradually approaching him, instead did something that I thought was fairly brilliant at the time: he flipped a U. And I know it's not rocket science and a lot of you are probably thinking, yeah, duh, I would have done the same thing, but would you? Really? Before even considering jumping the median? In the face of oncoming traffic pummeling toward you at 70 MPH, 113 km/hr if you're in Canada or Europe or the rest of the world that unitedly uses the metric system? I don't believe you, but whatever, maybe now you really will.

*****

A long time ago, Noah asked me which music gets me pumped. I didn't have an answer for him at the time (I'm bad at questions like that when put on the spot, but give me six months to a year and one day I'll randomly get back to you with an answer), but tonight, I could safely say that  Death Cab, Ima Robot, Ludacris and Missy Elliot are all pretty solid answers for me. And maybe Aquabats, NOFX, Offspring and Black Eyed Peas. I like the energy of techno but strangely mostly listen to it to relax and zone out.

*****

I got hazed tonight at lindy. It was one of those "The Ring" deals, something so terrible that it had to be passed on, and since I hadn't shown up to the venue in months, my turn was due. Probably there was also a little schadenfreude thrown into that, too. Man.

Oh, also:

NO GIVING UNSOLICITED DANCE ADVICE ON A SOCIAL DANCE FLOOR. Why is it the ones who do not obey this widely-accepted and practiced rule are also typically the ones who have no business trying to teach anyone how to dance?

*****

What *doesn't* butter improve? Other than cholesterol and your ability to meet your weight-loss goal? Seriously.

[1] Not sure why I thought it was a guy driving. Typically when a driver is being a dick, I assign male status, and when a driver is being wishy-washy or absent-minded, I assign female status. Way to propogate stereotypes, I know.

What’s Lent if you’re not actually Catholic, though?

I can't count the number of times in my life that I've gotten haircuts that I hated. Once in a while I'd try to do something about it by going back and having it re-cut, but I usually still ended up with a haircut I hated, only now with less of it to loathe. But every single time I had a haircut I hated, it only took about two weeks for it to grow out and turn into something I liked very much.

Sometimes, the most favorable thing you can do is just wait it out and trust that time will smooth things over. Sometimes, the best action is inaction.

Sometimes.

Tokens from a pre-Mac existence

"The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection and not a fountain, to show them that we love them, not when we feel like it, but when they do." ~Nan Fairbrother

*****
[early 2006]

7. What is your favorite thing about photography? Or, in other words, what is it about photography that interests or draws you to it?  It's a way of capturing the otherwise fleeting essence of beauty in this world; the human memory is a wonderful canvas, but it's also flimsy and unreliable in terms of long-term accuracy.

11. Lastly, in your own words, please give me your personal definition of the term “Creative.” Define what it means to you personally. Define how you express yourself creatively. Tell me why expressing yourself in a creative manner is something you enjoy –what makes it enjoyable for you? What does it bring to your life/How does it enhance your life? 

Creativity is… finding little ways of making this world, which is everyone's, uniquely yours. My outlets for creativity (or attempts at being creative) include: my daily website entries, e-mails, cooking, baking, drawing, photographing, dancing– I'd really like to think that there's some creativity behind the way I look at the world. Little details mean so much to me and despite the sadness and disappointment and harsh realities that pervade, there's still so much beauty, everywhere, and it seems a shame to miss that. Everything has a story behind it, everything has some sort of purity, some essence of clarity, and "expressing myself in a creative manner," or at least trying to live in a creative manner, keeps me aware of, connected to, immersed in that beauty, that purity, that essence.

*****

I can't remember how many years I've loved this comic. At least seven.

And then, on New Year's Eve last year, in a 7-Eleven in San Jose, I finally found it: a $40 candy bar.

Sucker was crazy heavy. Woodstock must have been feeling pretty ambitious.

*****

And I found a saved transcript of the first conversation Noah and I ever had, three years ago, after he'd read my linked entry on del.icio.us pants and taken it upon himself to IM me hello. A random and unexpected find– I had no idea I'd saved this– and completely, wonderfully wonderful.

Notes saved on my phone [two]

Gym shoes == traction. Dance shoes != traction. Dance shoes + elliptical + high incline == really crap idea, last resort or not.

Rice milk: no. Sweetened rice milk: no. Sweetened flavored rice milk: no. Horchata: yes.

My class is being taught by Cooper Nielson!!

Traffic sign: "Thanks for your patience / during rehab of I-80"

Who invents the design for "new and improved!" pens? And what's the career path for someone like that?

Must find "A Goofy Movie"

spring rolls = asian burritos

I hate shopping, so now I'm un-American?


Wallace Broecker: "Climate is an angry beast and we are poking at it with sticks."

If my feet could talk right now, they would be making sailors blush.

Scooby Dooby Doooooooo!

*****
see also: [one]

Kids these days.

When you introduce yourself as "Fred" and your real name is something like "Jennifer" or "Valerie", you really can’t be taken by surprise when the person you’ve just introduced yourself to asks you about the nickname. When I tell people I’m from Vegas, I’m fully prepared to explain my moonlighting escapades as a stripper whose daily joy is playing Megabucks in the eternal hopes that I’ll strike it rich.

Also, if you’re embarrassed by the way about which you acquired a nickname like "Fred", why would you keep calling yourself that? When you *know* people are always going to ask?

I miss Venice.