Saturday, December 31, 2005
Philbrick does a good job of illustrating both the rigors of the whaler's life and the horror of the survivors' long trip home. If you liked Regina v. Dudley & Stephens, you will like this book.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Fortunately, technology can now solve this dilemma. Via E. McPan, I found this neat toy that analyzes your face and tells you what celebrity you most resemble. I used this picture because it fit their requirements of being forward-facing and high resolution. To my partial dismay, my top matches were Neve Campbell (65%), Kirsten Dunst (64%), and Audrey Tautou (64%). Neve's not known for being a fashion plate, and while Audrey is lovely, Kirsten is a walking fashion don't much of the time and thus kills my budding inspiration to dress better.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Is religion about consolation? Is it about consolation because it's really about expansion and consolation works? Is it about consolation because it's really about expansion and the greatest potential for expansion is among the poorest people who really need consolation? I don't see how any of that has anything to do with whether limbo in fact exists.
A previous post on a related topic is here.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Hammered is not as gritty as most vaguely post-apocalyptic SF, but that's because we don't see the chaos that the U.S. and other more equatorial nations have become; instead, Canada takes center stage and becomes just as manipulative and competitive as its neighbor to the south ever was. The actual story is a character-driven mystery involving tainted drugs, dead cops, and an old half-cyborg soldier who the government wants to bring out of retirement for upgrades. I'm curious to see where Bear goes from here. Good thing both subsequent volumes are waiting for me.
After some uncertainty, I placed the order. A large box arrived. The package slip asserted that a size 0P Hayden tweed jacket was within. This was false, but I did like the rather dissimilar black jacket they sent instead. I reordered the Hayden tweed jacket on 15 December. A confirmation number was provided and my order claimed to be "pending."
I checked on the status and was informed by their customer service that the order had been cancelled (they claim to have called, which is odd, considering communications on orders are usually by email) and now the jacket is completely unavailable as petite sizes are not carried in stores and there are no more in the warehouse. They then put out an APB on a size 0 Hayden tweed jacket in the retail stores and called yesterday to say they couldn't find one.
All this is really irking me, since I would have purchased a size 0 in one of their retail stores weeks ago when I was traveling, had I but known that they were so flaky. Grr.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
Line pan in foil and lightly grease it. Put dry ingredients in food processor, briefly mix, then add butter and process briefly until it has a coarsely mealy consistency. Press into bottom of pan to depth of 1/4 inch. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Warning: make the crust first!
7 large egg yolks and 2 large eggs
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup lemon zest
Pinch salt (which I forgot)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp cream
Whisk eggs and yolks briefly, then whisk in sugar to just blend. Add lemon juice and zest and whisk for 5 seconds. Cook mixture in medium saucepan until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 170 degrees (5-6 minutes). Pour mixture through strainer (which removes all the zest) and stir in the cream. Pour filling into the warm crust and bake 10 to 15 minutes at 350, until filling is opaque and only jiggles in the middle. Cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Cut into squares, cleaning the knife after each cut. Dust tops with additional powdered sugar.
I would have a picture, but I took all the pretty ones to the judge for his Christmas dinner.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
February: On Beauty
April: Anansi Boys
You have until the last day of each month to read the book in question and write a brief piece on your thoughts and views. If you have a blog, send me a link to your post and I will post all links in one omnibus posting on the last day of the month. Please enable comments if you have them so other readers can discuss your reaction to the book. If you do not have a blog but wish to write a post, email the text to me by the deadline and I will put it up as a guest post on PTN.
I hope that we can all have a little fun reading and discussing these books.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Pass Rate: 84%
Pass Rate: 0%
It would appear that one of the fourteen first-time-takers to fail was Kathleen Sullivan. Others were my classmates. Among the schools with better pass rates for first-timers were Yale, Stanford, Columbia, BYU, Duke, the Franklin Pierce Law Center (a Tier 3), and UCLA.
UPDATE: A former classmate points out that the above stats do not include takers of the attorneys' exam like Sullivan. I stand corrected.
The show is funny, but I'm withholding any further judgment until I've recovered from the shock of that being someone's actual scalp.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Perjurer #2: Renee "The Squint" Zellweger. Lied in her annulment filing and admitted to having done so. Result: no punishment, annulment granted.
Something stinks here.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
My local grocery store sells milk from a dairy in a rural part of the state. It comes in glass bottles with charmingly bad punctuation and is the most addictive natural substance to ever pass my lips. Seriously, this milk is like crack. I have become a milk pusher. I recommend it to everyone, even strangers at the checkout counter. In college, I virtuously trained myself to drink 2% instead of whole, but the whole milk version of the crack milk is so. good. that I end up buying it about half the time (although the 2% crack milk is better than regular whole milk from the plastic jug).
I had noticed that they also carried a "creamline" version of the crack milk, but only today did I get around to looking up what that means. It's not homogenized. This rocks my entire world. Between this and the tiny cups of whole milk yogurt I love to eat for breakfast, though, I may need to start hitting the gym.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
If you're interested in being part of this little endeavor, please vote for January's book by leaving a comment to this post. Write-ins are encouraged; votes will be tallied on Friday morning. A list of candidates:
Zadie Smith, On Beauty
Ian McEwan, Saturday
Mary Gaitskill, Veronica
E.L. Doctorow, The March
Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
Orhan Pamuk, Snow
Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
Sebastian Barry, A Long, Long Way
Jose Saramago, Blindness
Sunday, December 18, 2005
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp cold butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy cream
Whisk the first four ingredients together and then add the butter. Crumble butter into the dry ingredients until it achieves a coarsely mealy consistency with a few larger lumps. You may now add the zest and berries. You can sub in lemon zest and blueberries if you like.
Then stir in the cream and knead the resulting dough until the floury bits have all disappeared into a large, slightly sticky ball. Press the dough into a round cake pan, turn it out, and cut the circle into eighths. Bake on a ungreased cookie sheet at 425 for 12-15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Eat.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
This may be nerd heresy, but I found this a better three hours of entertainment than the LOTR movies, which had some pacing problems and taunted informed viewers with their cherry-picked content from the books. Go and see King Kong. It's one of the few big-budget effects extravaganzas that's worth the money.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Krakauer's coverage of Mormon history was more informative, although lacking in detail, and he gave short shrift to doctrine, which I would have found useful in interpreting the behavior of the personages and groups he discussed. As an informative work, this is inadequate; as an attempt to shock, it fails. I was underwhelmed.
UPDATE: Timothy Sandefur, who was more impressed with the book than I was, has the latest news and some useful links re: the Colorado City fundamentalists. I can't help but think that stopping these people is a little more worthy than cracking down on obscenity.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
A customer complained that certain online businesses had shipping charges that far exceeded what he knew to be the cost of shipping an item of that size and weight via common carrier. The customer indicated that he sometimes chose not to make certain purchases on the basis of the shipping charges alone. The proprietor of the business in question then stepped in to confirm that her shop, like most online vendors of its type, based shipping charges on the cost of the items purchased. This leads to absurd results like $10-25 shipping fees for items no larger than a paperback book.
My question: why would a vendor in an industry selling mostly fungible merchandise choose this absurd method of charging for shipping? Granted, shipping charges often do not appear until an order is one click away from being transmitted, but isn't the way clear for someone to take an Amazon-style Super Saver/flat rate approach and leech customers?
Monday, December 12, 2005
- An ethical "dilemma."
- Matt Yglesias likes "My Humps." It reminds me of cancer, oatmeal, and better songs about golddiggers.
- Race riots in Australia. An Aussie perspective is here. (That MeFi thread also contains an exhaustive analysis of Australian racial slurs.)
Unrelatedly: now that Article III Groupie is no more, how am I supposed to find out the names of the rest of the new Supreme Court clerks?
Saturday, December 10, 2005
In my 1L year, none of the jobs I applied for sent actual paper evidence of rejection so I didn't get to share the embarassment with my neighbors. I think the rejection e-mail is gaining acceptance among employers. This seems fair to me if the firm accepts resumes via e-mail. I hate shelling out money for nice paper for nothing.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
I remember talking about boys with my mother when I was in high school and her asking why I didn't just date more than one person at the same time if I wanted. In context, that would have resulted in my being dubbed a complete whore, and I was flabbergasted that she would even suggest such a thing. Things change, I suppose.
The stable romance between Philip, an interdisciplinary studies guru, and Alice, a physicist, derails after an experiment in creating new universes goes awry and produces the entity the faculty dubs "Lack." Lack, an invisible void hovering above a table in the physics department, accepts offerings of certain objects but not others. His inscrutable preferences intrigue Alice, and she is drawn into an obsession. Will Philip coax Alice into rejoining the world or will Lack suck Alice into a mysterious new plane, leaving Philip alone?
This book is very cleverly written, and Philip, while a caricature of an academic, is sincere and believable as a man bereft. Recommended.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
UPDATE: The packaging claims it is good for three weeks if unrefrigerated. Woot! Pie for dinner.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
The Wise Woman walks the line between historical fiction and romance novel territory better than Outlander did, if only because every attempt by the protagonist, Alys, to achieve traditional romance novel goals brings her closer to destruction. It's a little cheesy, and a little unsettling, and more realistic about women's roles in Tudor society than you (and Alys) expect.
Miller's novel has a slow start (I started to read it years ago and abandoned it for that reason) but eventually winds through the rebirth and inevitable descent of human civilization after a 1950s nuclear apocalypse. It's mostly set in a monastery, which partially explains the lack of female characters, but by the end this absence began to grate.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Friday, December 02, 2005
Did I buy, or browse, a copy of the November 17 GQ, in order to get a look at Jennifer Aniston's bristols?** No, I didn't. While I have no doubt that Ms. Aniston is a paragon of charm, wit, and intelligence, she is also 36 years old. Even with the strenuous body-hardening exercise routines now compulsory for movie stars, at age 36 the forces of nature have won out over the view-worthiness of the unsupported female bust.After some women took issue with this statement, he posted this to the Corner:
It is, in fact, a sad truth about human life that beyond our salad days, very few of us are interesting to look at in the buff. Added to that sadness is the very unfair truth that a woman's salad days are shorter than a man's -- really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20. The Nautilus and the treadmill can add a half decade or so, but by 36 the bloom is definitely off the rose.
Conservatives, as I recall, are the ones who believe that "human nature has no history." It follows that we are at ease with the fact that the human female is visually attractive to the human male at, or shortly after, puberty, and for only a few brief years thereafter.Other bloggers are already on the scene and have made the obvious point that it's insulting to women of drinking age, including Derbyshire's wife, to imply that they are not worth looking at and that only the attraction of their sparkling personalities allows their lovers to touch them without shuddering.
***Civilized*** male conservatives, among whose number I very much hope to be counted, regard the visual attractiveness of women as a welcome lagniappe in the grand scheme of things, other attributes being far more important practically all the time, and those other attributes being the grounds for our respect.
Despite the fact that I was probably more physically attractive ten years ago than today (I was in better shape then, and had better skin, strangely enough), Derbyshire's statement still skeeved me out. Here's a randomly chosen sample of women he apparently thinks would not be interesting to look at in the buff (all pictures SFW, if SFW includes bikinis):
- Angelina Jolie (30)
- Halle Berry (39)
- Monica Bellucci (41)
- Charlize Theron (30)
- Eva Longoria (30)
- Jennifer Connelly (35)
- Mena Suvari (26)
And, for comparison, famous actresses in Derb's sexual attractiveness range:
- Emma Watson (15) (yes, Hermione)
- Hillary Duff (18)
- Mary Kate Olsen (19)
Male readers are invited to comment on whether they would rather look at someone from column A or column B. Of course, naked photos of Ms. Watson are illegal.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Of course, the one time I actually asked for advice from strangers, they gave me a completely new and previously unconsidered take on the situation which ended up being correct, so maybe this not as effective as it might be.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
(12 periods a year) x (around 30 years of premenopausal adulthood) = about 360 chances to get pregnant. If birth control, when used properly, is about 99% effective, then that's 3-4 accidental pregnancies likely, statistically.That presumes perfect usage of a method like the pill; less effective methods such as condoms are likely to increase the chances of having multiple contraceptive failures over a lifetime. Should this make us wary of presuming that the one half of women getting abortions who've had one before are irresponsible?
UPDATE: in the comments, more statistically literate folks point out that the effectiveness rates are calculated based on a year of use and thus 99% effective birth control would yield an expected 0.3 accidental pregnancies over 30 years. Kyra at Pandagon was wrong!
American Gods is not Gaiman's best; I prefer Good Omens or Neverwhere. Similarly, I enjoyed Time Enough For Love more than Stranger in a Strange Land, although the latter clearly had more cultural influence. Adams never topped the HHGTTG, and what I read of his Dirk Gently series was a seriously underwhelming experience. I'd never even heard of Trouble With Lichen; aren't The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids much more well known?
Unsurprisingly, there are no female authors on the list; given the group, I might have expected Le Guin.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Huey Lewis, your order is ready.
Some people are already itching to try it out for themselves. But not everyone is excited by the prospect of a drug that might "usher in the age of McNookie: quick, easy couplings low on emotional nutrition." But aren't we essentially already there? PT-141 just makes divorcing sex from the mind and heart available to everyone, not just some women and more men. (Through judicious use of PT-141, could one condition herself to separate lust and love? Should one, if only to prevent the misunderstandings that flow from the common confusion of the two?)
Rather than fretting about whether or not this is going bring us closer to Erica Jong territory, I'm concerned about how easily administrable such a drug might be. Manipulation in romance is already rampant: will the crowd that now crows that all's fair in love and war soon be proffering roses soaked in PT-141 to their desired conquests? If there is some way to give someone a dose on the sly, what of the inevitable aftermath when someone finds out that their desire to have sex (and thus their consent) stemmed not from her own mind but from the sidelong puff of a seducer's syringe? Tampering with the authenticity of desire seems like a potentially dangerous game. Hopefully slipping someone a psychological mickey will remain impossible for the near future.
(UPDATE: Geoffrey passes along this link, which describes inhalable hormone sprays that cause people to become more trusting. Oxytocin and Pt-141 would be the perfect one-two punch for an aspiring Don Juan.)
All this puts me in mind of this long-ago discussion of consent to sexual activity in the presence of some form of fraud, and of course to the recurring debates about sexual conduct and intoxication.
I refer, of course, to Salon, which recently started Broadsheet, a blog devoted to women's issues. Some of the feminist blogs I read link to Broadsheet posts. Upon clicking through, though, you are faced with the standard choice to subscribe or watch an advertisement before reading.
I used to be a regular Salon reader (1997-2001), but in the last few years the letters to the editors have been of higher quality than the articles themselves and increasing amounts of content have been placed behind barriers. While I occasionally will sit through the ad to read a particularly popular or controversial article, I'm not about to do the same for a blog post's worth of content. And while NY Times columns stand alone, blog posts carry a presumption of a certain interconnectivity. What's the point of blogging if very few people can link to you? Linking is what makes a blog bloggy!
I hate Salon. Cary Tennis is even more clueless than Prudence at Slate. The lifestyle articles are all bohemian-wannabe yuppie whining. And they've even flushed the letters to the editor down the toilet by making them unedited. Ugh.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
The plot establishes interlocking desires for revenge and parallel love stories, but the ending gets a bit overwrought (I still haven't figured out why a tongue was cut off). I won't give away so much that your enjoyment of the movie is decreased. Oh Dae-Su, a drunken businessman, is bailed out by a friend and starts to make his way home for his young daughter's birthday party. On the way, he's snatched, only to awaken in what looks like a seedy motel room but later is revealed to be a private prison, where faceless guards shove plates of fried dumplings under his door every day and refuse to answer his angry and pathetic begging for answers. After fifteen years of this mysterious existence, he awakens on a rooftop. His captor has released him, but why? Dae-Su goes to a sushi restaurant he recognized from a television program and meets a lovely young chef, Mi-do, who decides to help him find the truth. But can Dae-Su discover why he was imprisoned before his captor wreaks yet more vengeance upon him? Who can he trust? What are the fruits of revenge? Recommended.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
1 can chickpeas
1/3 cup tahini
1 large clove garlic, pressed
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 splash
1/2 cup water
Optional: 1-3 shakes of cayenne pepper
Blend all but water and splash of oil in food processor. Add water and extra oil to obtain desired consistency. Devour with pita pieces.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Relatedly, Hugo Schwyzer has a post on man's capacity to control his gaze.
Monday, November 21, 2005
The second thing: list my Barbri books on Ebay. The refundable book deposit is a princely $125, and you have to pay to ship them back to Barbri. I sold my books in two days for $475 (including shipping charges). If you have old bar exam study materials, now is the time to sell.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
I would like to hear about your favorite literary and SF heroines -- in particular those you most wanted to emulate.In vaguely temporal order: Dorothy & Ozma, Aeriel, Eowyn, Scarlett O'Hara, Dagny Taggart, Nell, Jane Eyre. Emulation probably only came (comes?) into play with the fifth and sixth.
Ms. Fowler asks:
Tell us about a decision you made that you frequently reconsider, and what you think might be different if you had made the other choice.But asg qualifies:
If you do Scheherazade's, I beg for the stipulation that it not involve law school.But all I've done for the past three years is go to law school! If that's out, what regrettable decision can I blog? I probably should have gone to the Black Sea beaches by myself. Nothing would be different but my memories, but good memories are worth having.
MT wants to know why on Earth I am a Libertarian. dgm wants to know if I could imagine myself as anything but a libertarian.
Answer: I am a small-l libertarian because I believe in limited government and personal freedom. There aren't so many of those in either party these days. However, the Libertarian Party is full of crazies. What else would I be but a wanderer?
I like hot dogs, first kisses in general (except when they cause bleeding), and don't know when I'll next be in Northern California (no direct flights from Clerksville, alas). Anything else?
Friday, November 18, 2005
My reading of this book started out quick and then slowed down. The writing is repetitive and some of the plotlines don't seem to go anywhere; Brienne wanders for chapters to no real effect, and Sam spends a lot of time listening to a crying woman in a boat. Boo. Reader favorites like Tyrion and Dany are absent entirely, and Martin introduces new characters and points of view that seem extraneous and poorly drawn: a couple of dull and two-dimensional Ironmen, a few briefly sketched maesters, and some interchangeable septons. Some returning characters get more development, which I welcomed for Jaime and Brienne but could have done without for Samwell and Cersei, who replaces Catelyn Stark as the resident annoying and idiotic mother figure. There are a few good Arya chapters, and I no longer pray for Sansa's death, but the ratio of good female characters to good male characters remains low.
I hate to say it, but this book bored me. It even had a bit of that Robert Jordan pointlessness to it. And while I admire Martin's willingness to kill off or brutally maim his characters in ways that are actually consistent with the effects of total war (contrast the usual action-movie approach in which a limp or a German-looking duelling scar is the worst a creator will inflict), one event in particular added injury to insult in a gratuitous manner. As indicated in previous books, the amount of magic in Martin's world is on the rise, but the magic horn unearthed by one new character had a nasty tang of Deus ex machina. I'm not looking forward to its use.
Martin leaves us with cliffhangers with respect to at least three major characters, but we probably won't find out their fates until 2008 or so, since A Dance With Dragons, coming out next year, deals with absent characters during the same time period as the action in AFFC. I bought this in hardback because I couldn't wait for the library. That was a mistake, although its being less great than its predecessors doesn't mean it isn't worth reading.
All of your Song of Ice and Fire needs can be met here and here.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I hate sports, but I forsake manicures and pedicures, have no household scents whatsoever, and love action and horror flicks. I should have known that one of my law school relationships was doomed as soon as I found out that both of us had taken in a movie one weekend. His was A Walk in the Clouds, and he cried. Mine was 28 Days Later, by myself, and the girliest reaction it provoked was speculation as to whether being Christopher Eccleston's post-apocalypse sex toy would really be so bad.
The answer, of course, is no. But how did Mike know that I am a frustrated gender studies professor at heart? Ah, this might be the answer. If I had gone the BIGLAW route, I might have both the disposable income and the burnout-induced desire to escape the working world required to go back to school, but as I have chosen to pursue less remunerative employment my obsession with gender will be inflicted on blog readers instead of undergraduates.
If I did think that I could have a snowball's chance in Hades of getting a tenure-track position, these would be my options for programs. None of them look like the kind of place where a libertarian heathen feminist could thrive. If my centrist grad student buddy sometimes butts heads with the more PC characters in his much less politically charged department, and I had trouble finding a philosophical home in a law school with a huge and active Federalist Society, imagine how miserable and isolating the years of study in a gender studies program would be.
I guess I could go back to Claremont and take women's studies and theology, ethics, and culture, but studying religion's really not my cup of tea. The right-wing feminist alternatives (which are more think-tanky than conventionally academic) would welcome my economic and political positions, but they generally also promote socially and culturally conservative ideals that I can't subscribe to. See, e.g., the IWF.
I couldn't find any rankings of women's or gender studies departments. There's some obvious crack to be made about hierarchy and patriarchy, but maybe my Google-fu just failed.
1. Go into your archives.The fourth and final sentence from my 23rd post:
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.
Ah, the pedestal and the gilded cage!I tag cd, Dylan, dgm, Toby, and Ted.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
they have grown up watching their psychiatrists mix and match drugs in a manner that sometimes seems arbitrary, and they feel an obligation to supervise.This is especially true given the kind of medical care I think most young people are familiar with these days. We often don't have longstanding relationships with one physician, and a consultation frequently takes fifteen minutes or less, with the doctor or nurse practitioner shuffling through the paperwork we filled out in the waiting room and then gruffly asking a few questions. At the end of this, all too often we can walk out with the wrong thing: a prescription for some drug, apparently chosen on the basis of what the doctor has sample packs of; or nothing at all, despite having a clear need, because fifteen minutes is not long enough to fully make clear the symptoms of whatever ailment has brought you there in the first place. I knew people in law school who were constantly having to fend off offers of prescriptions from student health, while other actually ill students were begging for their pain to be taken seriously but were brushed off as malingerers or wannabe junkies.
Given the apparently arbitrary way that prescription drugs are doled out, and the minimal level of patient knowledge of the average prescribing physician, is it any wonder that educated people take their health into their own hands?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
This might be the only thing scary enough to make me question that position. Then again, I would never wish this scenario on men, either.
P.S. Have I mentioned that Grosse Pointe Blank is John Cusack's best movie ever?
I did just buy this game on top of my San Diego spending spree, so I probably should just suck it up and not buy a Nano if I can get the old Ipod fixed.
Monday, November 14, 2005
There are certain odd elements to the aftermath: there's some kind of discussion going on about Lat's sexual orientation, allegedly because straight men can't possibly know anything about fashion; one person asserts that "now that we know that she is a man, A3G simply MUST stop calling her/himself a "federal judicial starf#@$er!" (apparently men can't be "starf#@$ers" -- there's a link between this and Maureen Dowd's theories on mating between high status individuals that I won't get into here); and the blog abruptly went offline late this afternoon, prompting speculation that the DOJ might have come down on the glory-seeking Lat.
If UTR resurfaces, I'll continue to sporadically check it for updates on my classmates' Supreme Court clerkships and news about my judge, but knowing that that the person behind the A3G schtick is a self-congratulatory man parodying gossipy women rather than one of those cheeky, head tossing ladies Dowd was going on about won't change the fact that I find the authorial voice irritating and the color scheme excessively bright.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Apparently this book is better when appreciated in light of Roth's previous uses of similar themes and characters, but I like my books to stand on their own, and artful writing can only partially compensate for failure of imagination, so returns on future Roth reading seem small.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Pork fajitas
Favorite Month: Depends on where I am. October is nice in most places, although in Boston it was sometimes already too cold. I probably have the most fond memories from Augusts since that is generally when I travel.
Favorite Song: The Faces - Ooh La La
Favorite Movie: Rushmore
Favorite Sport: Basketball, I guess.
Favorite Season: Autumn
Favorite Day of the week: Saturday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chunky Monkey
Favorite Time of Day: Evening
Current Mood: Relative contentment with simmering anxiety in background
Current Taste: Like tomatillos
Current Clothes: Jeans, violet hoodie, white tank top
Current Desktop: Hadrian's Wall
Current Toenail Color: Metallic light coral
Current Time: 6:02 PM
Current Surroundings: My apartment
Current Thoughts: Should I watch more Buffy, read a library book, or reread A Storm of Swords?
First Best Friend: Erika Dicker
First Kiss: Some random guy a friend set me up with in the ninth grade
First Screen Name: FTS (for fossilized tree sap)
First Pet: Missy, a border collie mix.
First Piercing: Earlobes, involuntarily
First Crush: Alex, a boy in my first grade class. He was brunet and ate cupcake wrappers. I liked him despite the latter.
First CD: Might have been Pearl Jam's Vitalogy. Not sure.
Last Cigarette: same as my first, sometime in high school.
Last Drink: cocktails during our first Court Week, I think.
Last Car Ride: To the grocery store today.
Last Kiss: Too long ago.
Last Movie Seen: I saw Brazil on DVD and Wallace & Gromit in the theater.
Last Phone Call: The Clerksville newspaper does not take no for an answer!
Last CD Played: I don't play CDs. My Ipod was playing Frank Sinatra when I was last in the car.
6 HAVE YOU EVERS
Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends: Yes, multiple times.
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Yes.
Have You Ever Been Arrested: No.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: No.
Have You Ever Been on TV: Yes, my family was in a commercial for a dog poop removal service about 20 years ago.
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: No.
Thing You're Wearing: My class ring.
Thing You've Done Today: Made tomatillo salsa and hummus.
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: My cat crunching kibble.
Thing You Can't Live Without: Caffeine and the written word.
Thing You Do When You're Bored: Think about things I should be doing to keep myself occupied but which I cannot muster the energy to start.
4 PLACES YOU'VE BEEN TODAY
1. My apartment
2. My car
3. The friendly neighborhood BBQ joint
4. The grocery store
3 PEOPLE YOU CAN TELL ANYTHING TO
1. My Hill staffer buddy
2. One of my blog friends
3. My cats
1. Black or White: Black
2. Hot or Cold: Like, tropical hot versus arctic cold? Depends, do I have to do anything? Is adequate protective clothing available? In what do I live? Hot, maybe.
1 THING YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
Be a happy lawyer.
I think, no matter where you stray,
That I shall go with you a way.
Though you may wander sweeter lands,
You will not soon forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head,
Nor all the tremulous things I said.
You still will see me, small and white
And smiling, in the secret night,
And feel my arms about you when
The day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be,
You'll hold me in your memory
And keep my image, there without me,
By telling later loves about me.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
More here and here.
Addendum: am I the only legally trained person for whom reading "debates" about legal issues between engineers and humanities professors is like the screech of fingernails on a chalkboard?
Monday, November 07, 2005
Braveheart: Sappy love story, nasty torture, and pasty white behinds. Yelling "freeeedom" is not a deeply moving political statement. I prefer Rob Roy.
Life is Beautiful: Roberto Benigni's performance is a travesty, although the scene where he rides in on the painted horse is very well composed.
Forrest Gump: glorification of stupidity and Boomer nostalgia elevated to toxic levels. Ugh.
Notorious: I've tried to watch it twice, and both times it's bored me to sleep.
Grease: I hate almost all musicals, and 1970s musicals associated with John Travolta especially.
The Producers: this is not funny. I saw a theatrical production of it and that wasn't funny either. Well, maybe the sequence with the showgirls wearing giant sausage headdresses, but I don't think that's in the movie.
Magnolia: would have been great with half the characters. And if we had drawn and quartered Julianne Moore's character for being such an insufferable psycho hose beast.
Almost Famous: Cameron Crowe should not be allowed near a film set for the rest of his natural life. After the reviews for Elizabethtown, this may become a reality. Kate Hudson may be thought pretty by some, but she cannot act and looks like a space alien mated with a kewpie doll. The sole redeeming features in this movie are Frances McDormand, who is always good, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is a living god (when are the Clerksville theaters going to get Capote, blast it all?).
2001: I think you have to be on drugs to appreciate it in its entirety. I don't have ADD, but this movie makes me think I do.
Saving Private Ryan: I have enough residual Objectivist tendencies to find this movie's sense of life appalling. It forces the viewer to identify chiefly with a coward. It has the hobbit-like Matt Damon. The framing device is ham-handed in the extreme. And then there's Tom Hanks. I hate Tom Hanks. I did like Philadelphia, but that may only be because he died.
You are welcome to excoriate me or to add your own Two Minutes Movie Hate in the comments.
UPDATE: Thanks to Timothy Sandefur for the link. I never saw The English Patient, but I had an Elaine-like reaction to the book.
The comments section is yielding plenty of examples of terrible movies most people lionize: The Green Mile (awkwardly obvious Christian allegory), Sideways (although it does have a better depiction of explosive female violence than either volume of Kill Bill), and Shakespeare in Love (sorry, cd, but Joseph Fiennes has a gerbil's face and I can't stand Fishstick Paltrow as a romantic lead). SiL has some great supporting players, though, and I admit grudgingly that Springtime for Hitler can be a funny song.
Unrelatedly: JMPP notes that Amazon is selling everything Star Trek for $2,499.99.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Snape and Lily are remarkably hydrophilic felines; Lily practically tries to get in the shower with you (she likes to lick the water off the tiles) and Snape has been getting regular baths since I brought him home, since he has puffy fur and a penchant for getting messier than a conventional tongue bath can handle. All the same, they seem to feel like baths require some token effort at escape, lest they lose some kitty pride. Fortunately, they seem to draw the line at using claws and don't hold a grudge for long: thus the slightly damp but purring tom currently impeding my memo writing.
On another note entirely: The Time Traveler's Wife bites. I should have known when I saw the "Today Show Book Club" logo that I'd be underwhelmed. On to Philip Roth.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Unrelatedly, all you haters of Texas-style BBQ should read this.
I hadn't imagined that barbecue this good existed. Have you been to southern France, trying obscure Michelin two-fork restaurants? The simplest dishes, such as roast chicken, or cassoulet, blow you away and you swear never to eat again in the outrageously priced starred restaurants? This was a comparable experience. ...
All other barbecue will now taste worse.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Inside Job has only a slight element of the fantastic. Set in modern Los Angeles, it centers around Rob, a professional skeptic and his former-starlet assistant, who typically spend their days debunking charlatans in the name of science and truth. They are faced with what appears to be the ghost of H.L. Mencken and the choice between acknowledging a real spirit manifestation or furthering the broader goal of discrediting irrational nonsense. Willis's solution to the dilemma was neat but to my mind ultimately unsatisfying. For a scientific type, Rob was remarkably incurious about the implications of a real spirit, beyond its effect on his mission as a skeptic.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
My quibble (aside from the one-time use of "least common denominator" by an 18th C. highlander, which may or may not be anachronistic but was at least awkward) was the sudden, unbelievable decision by Claire to abandon attempts at return to her own time and stay with her new husband. I'm sure furry Scots are quite appealing to some, but after waiting for her own husband's return from war for years, her choice seemed abrupt and even out of character.