Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Pop quiz

How did they describe hail (or) stones before golf was invented?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What in the fuck is up with all this nostalgia?

Note that I still am in need of a haircut. I told Melissa and Middlebrow yesterday that I am going for the tragically unhip look. Or at least I said something like that. I think I mentioned a crypto-retro mullet, and then explained that being a child of the 70's totally fucked up my haircut sensibilities. Despite my parents being far from aculturated into the 70s, hairstyles for their boys seem to be the exception or perhaps the concession, and by the mid-70s we were all sporting the shag. Despite pictures of me being closely-cropped (and blonde, believe it or not) as a toddler, the 70's shag is about the only hair cut that I remember as a kid. The men's hairstyles of the heart of the 70's, of course, baffled our local barber, Manny, who still had his poster from the 50's with men sporting crew cuts with the caption "Get your haircut every two weeks!"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Reader Survey, 2.1a(c)

Direct from his interlude in Phoenix, Middlebrow wrote about watching Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with Son and family. This spurred a discussion of Tim Burton movies, with SleepyE contending that Burton hasn't had a decent movie since Pee Wee's Big Adventure, which, of course, is a pretty damning statement since it was his first major movie, and therefore condemns movies like Edward Scissorhands, Beatlejuice, and Ed Wood.

All this got me thinking about how much I hated Willy Wonka because Gene Wilder scared the bejesus out of me. As a child I was unprepared for his total lack of care for the kids who messed up and his outright mean-spiritedness. The scene where he literally screams at poor Charlie is etched in my memory. This, of course, contrasted wildly with Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocoloate Factory which is one of the books that got me really hooked on reading as a kid.

Now this is not a survey about Tim Burton or the scariness that is Gene Wilder at all, but a survey on which books got you hooked as a kid.

I'll start: Where the Red Fern Grows (ahhhh poor dawgs!), Old Yeller (ahhhh poor dawg!), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Box Car Children, any Hardy Boys, and, most importantly, I think, James and the Giant Peach.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

"Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation"

My childhood fantasy of being an Egyptologist has been revived by this site. I was particularly interested in Howard Carter's journals and, of course, the photographs. What is notable about Carter's journals are his conflicts with visitors who seemed to continually interupt his work, as well as the drastic measures he had to take to extricate Tutankhamun from his various caskets. Also suprising to me was the sheer number of shrines and coffins that surrounded the mummy. Also notable were the items found within those coffins, such as flower garlands or palls. Each of these stages of burial--coffin after coffin, shrine after shrine--seem to indicate an elaborate ritual: in other words, you don't just dress something up with all that gold and then put flower garlands on each coffin and a death pall unless there is some ritual to go along with it. I can imagine the placement of the mummy (complete with the famous mask) in the first coffin was the most elaborate of all, and, as I recall, we have the most knowledge of mumification process and the rituals proceeding from it (due in part to our old friend Herodotus, mentioned previously). I am not so certain, however, that there. is as much knowledge of what actually took place when the pharoah was being nested in the complexity of coffins, sacophagus, and shrines.

Tut was only a minor boy king. Imagine what a tomb like Ramses II must have been like.

Friday, May 20, 2005

"The demolition of the churches"

I have a weird combination of reading materials right now: Hesiod's Theogony and other works; Eusebius's Ecclesiatical History (and other works); Ha Jin's Waiting (no other works there); Herodotous's The Histories (also with other works); and a translations of an interesting book about French Cathar culture of the 13th century entitled Montaillou: The promised Land of Error. It is a norm for me to have several books going at once; I kind of see it like a big buffet. If you get tired of ham, there is always roast beef. Just can't take one mmore bite of potato salad? Dig into the apple pie!

I find, however, that this particular combination of reading food on my plate has far too much the taste of religion, and the Ha Jin novel is, basically, bitter greens and flat-out depressing, so I need a dish that will lighten/brighten/frighten up a my reading palate a bit. Suggestions?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Silky, but not greasy"

Should I be worried that 3M makes the hand lotion I recenlty purchased? Why would a company diversify into hand lotion? Why did I buy it?

It does smell like this flower that grew in front of my mom's house.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

MagCorp/U.S. Magnesium/sprol.com

The SL Trib covers the new/revived lawsuit against the former Mag Corp (the biggest polluter in the united states.) sprol.com shows us what that company of different names and bankrupties have wrought on the desert from the vantage of a satellite.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Irish Cleaning

Wow! It seems like March rather than May 12. We've had an exceeding amount of rain. I rather like it, but my lungs do not. Extra coughing all around.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Missing things

So what's up with everyone?

More! More!

The Jeffman might be posting some more pictures to his erstwhile photoblog tonight, so watch out (Kendra and Chak.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Ganth gobi ki sabzi or ynav eht nioj

So it is Friend Jeff's big birthday this weekend. He has decided to hold it at Snowbird in a cabin/condo thingamajobby. There is still quite a lot of snow up there and they have received a lot more in the last couple of weeks.

Jeff has requested that I cook Indian food, so I will oblige him. (I have requests in from various folks to do the same, by the way, but I'm still not quite sure I want to take on the role of chef du hindi at this point. I will, however, cook birthday meals for friends and family, so line up one an all. I've been told I'm rather good at this stuff, but it is mostly patience, understanding why they use the spices they do, and knowing how to follow directions.

Here's the menu:

Curried Garbanzo Beans with Onion and Garlic (rasedar channe)
Royal Eggplant with Garlic and Spices (Shahi baingan bhartha)
Rice with two colors (Do ranga chaval)
Chicken legs baked in buttery curry sauce (an invention of my own.)
Mango Chutney (aam ki chutni)
Cucumber raita (saada raita)

Now you might be surprised to know that I learned how to do all this Indian cooking to keep a girlfriend breaking our collective wallets by going to Indian restaurants which she (and then I) had a predelection for.

Last time I really cranked out a good meal like this was for Candace. (I have a lot of fond memories of Candace, and it makes me sad that we broke it off, despite the various problems we had.) Her friends were impressed. Now I'm just bragging.

"Be not as extreme in submission/As in offence."

There is a guy on the radio who at the end of his show habitually mispronounces or mangles the names of celebrities. I laughed out loud today on the train when he said "Brill Pim" for "Brad Pitt." No one noticed my laughing since there was a girl getting jiggy with her iPod, complete with backup vocals, hand motions, and neck movement. All eyes were on her. I certainly hope they don't think I was laughing at her.

Monday, May 02, 2005

News at 11

So the egregious spending spree mentioned previously was really just buying a a pair of books at the oddly-placed and temporarily-signed Frost Books, and getting the afore-mentioned "panniers" for my bike at REI. Oh yes and a pair of new Tivas. I nearly forgot the Tivas. I have not placed the saddlebags on my bike yet, mostly because the rest of the weekend was spent from one activity to the next: walking, golfing, baseballing, and, lest I forget, the bowling. The bowling was completely on the off-chance and caused by something I can't write about now.

The books are a novel my Ha Jin I hadn't seen before Waiting and one that I have heard of from somewhere by Mark Haddon called The Curious Incident of the dog in the Night-time. It features an autistic narrator and I'm not necessarily sure that I buy into it completely, but Haddon is consistent in his approach to the narrative line and to the character, so it doesn't come across as completely unconvincing. After reading it, I felt a little disconnected with the world myself. It does give one pause to consider the nature of consciousness and how emotions really do effect us both mentally and physically.

So the one book is read, the rent is paid, and the school year is nearly over. I have OSX Tiger on my PowerBook, and will spend the weekend up at Snowbird in fandancy condo. All's right with the world.

See the 2 news crew caught off guard!

Wow a busy weekend of ironies: crass consumerism countered by eggregious physical activity. All that AND bowling. Woot!

More at 11:00.