Happy New Year!

Happy new new!

Here’s where you get to look one year back and see everything I lied about planning to do. Because I’m either lazy or idealistic, I’ll say the exact same things for this year’s resolutions.

Looking back to May this time: though I did eventually get the cute & sexy camera and the cute & sexy [40GB] iPod, don’t hold your breaths on a trifecta. There will probably be one in the near future, and it may even be cute & sexy, but I’d give good odds that practicality is going to win out on this race.



Clearly, Seattle hasn’t seen a flake of snow, given the looks on peoples’ faces as I drove by in my snow-covered jalopy. Totally worth it to see The Triplets of Belleville, though.

Also: Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure on DVD January 13!

“O wilt thou go with me, thou loveliest boy?
My daughter shall tend thee with care and with joy;
She shall bear three so lightlyt thro’ wet and thro’ wild,
And press thee, and kiss thee, and sing to my child.”
“O father, my father, and saw you not plain
The Erl-King’s pale daughter glide past thro’ the rain?”
“Oh yes, my loved treasure, I knew it full soon;
It was the grey willow that danced to the moon.”
—from Goethe, trans. Scott, “Der Erlk├Ânig”

Oh, and in case y’all missed it: iPod iPod iPod!


Pristine Cacophony

Woke up rather too early due to creaking complaints from the front yard: a night’s worth of freezing rain had turned to heavy glass on daddy plum’s branches and threatened to tear the whole tangled mass apart. It wasn’t much of a fight: almost immediately, a large section of tree performed a perfect pratfall onto the snow-covered grass. A few short minutes later, another crash brought the opposite side down.

B.’s long-standing wish for the entire plum family’s eviction may finally have been granted (mother and child are as yet doing fine, though that may not be enough to save them!). Tomorrow’s job, then, will be to locate a reputable tree service. Tonight, there’s much beauty to be had. What was violently destructive moments ago has frozen again into icy stillness, and even the fallen branches glisten like crystalline webs in the street lights. It’s plenty to fire up the imagination — or at the very least, a camera:

Back to sleep! And lovely or no, I’ll be just as happy to see it all melted by the time I wake up. Doubly so if it somehow ends up having been just a dream!


Prime Time in America

Burning the midnight oil once again. Add John Adams’ Nixon in China to the list of great things to blast at work at 2 a.m., especially Nixon’s marvelous aria “News has a kind of mystery.” But seriously, has there ever been a president one could less easily imagine breaking out into song than dear old Tricky Dick?

Click on yesterday’s top image to take a closer look. The monochromatic glare of the streetlamps against the background makes for an eerie atmosphere.

In the news:


Let’s go shopping!

Amazon.com’s hawking these Barbie and Ken as Arwen and Aragorn sets, and Ken-with-beard is really freaking me out. He looks like a drag king at a renaissance fair, and considering his anatomical configuration, well… Let’s just say he appears to be trying to make up for it with an awfully big sword.

Please, someone stop me before I buy this.


The Magnificent (sp)Ambersons

Did I seriously just get referer-spammed by the Sharpton campaign?

I don’t know how I got on this Christian singles spam list either, but on how many levels am I so the wrong audience for this?


Binge and purge

Somewhere around 6 p.m. in Manhattan, Minado sits alone at the top of my Japanese buffet pantheon. At a pricy $26 for a weekend dinner, you have your pick of crab cakes, oysters with ponzu, jellyfish or any number of hot dishes and/or sushi. All-you-can-eat uni! Now that’s decadence. East Buffet, your reign was sweet but short.

A year ago, wandering these snow-caked streets in horrible cold would have seemed nostalgic, but after the icy drama in Seattle this month it wasn’t quite so charming. Still, wandering around Union Square on a Saturday is always fun. Browsed through classical records at Academy (seems somehow wrong that so far this is the only used classical shop of note pointed out to me in Gotham — any suggestions?), and picked up a little something from five separate centuries: madrigals by Giaches de Wert, cantatas by A. Scarlatti and Handel, and a newly-released disc from Hélène Grimaud featuring music by Beethoven, John Corigliano and Arvo Pärt. Would love to have spent more than the half hour there that I did, though I fear it would have made a horrible dent in my pocketbook.

Truth be told, it’s been years and years since I bought classical music in any kind of quantity. I think it has something to do with the lack of people to chat with on obscure topics like the operas of Jommelli or the revitalized study of the French Baroque, or who made the best recordings of such-and-such a symphony or whatever. Which is somewhat depressing. But so is being broke! So it’s good that I SCARED YOU ALL OFF, RIGHT? NOBODY’S INTERESTED IN THIS STUFF. RIGHT?

Running away now.


Muffins and near-misses

A New York kind of Sunday, starting with $10.25 for a morning ticket to Return of the King, which I still adore but sadly slept through most of. Then a short bus ride and a trek through the snow to Mara’s Homemade, a wonderful little brunch eatery with coffee barrels for tables and de la Vega on the walls (plus check out the Indian menu!). Plus, unexpectedly dining at the next table was Wendy Ip, whose entire discography was right next to me on the lovely iPod! Was too star-struck by this sudden celebrity encounter to do anything about it, though I did call my little brother to share the news. He was probably more excited than me, and seemed really dismayed that I didn’t talk to her.

Certainly a treat to see matter eater lad and E., who may someday forgive me for snoozing through Frodo and Sam’s adventures. Sorry, guys!

Speaking of which, Howard Shore will be through Seattle in July, performing his Lord of the Rings Trilogy: A Symphony in Six Movements. Think it’s time to become a patron of the arts again?


Lion’s Share

Chicago, IL | December 2003


The one that got away

Most recent auto-generated spam subject line:

cacao aeronautic dinosaur complete

How disappointed was I when it turned out to be yet another discount Viagra rag? Cause, yeah, I was sold for a second there — you know?


Everyone’s having an epiphany

Ever since the ice storm a few weeks ago, I’ve been noticing that every time I notice that a car is puttering unreasonably slowly (e.g. 5-10 mph below the limit in the left lane) on the freeway, it’s an SUV. It’s as if the collective ownership of these vehicles in the Seattle area faced their own mortality and realized that four-wheel drive can’t compensate for driving like an idiot when there’s a sheet of solid ice on the roadway. If so, good for them.

My own poor little car has sprung a leak in the trunk, and with the near-constant rain of late I found a lot of soggy casualties in there, including but not limited to:

  • my well-loved and now-lamented sky guide, which I’ve had since I was fifteen.
  • The Rough Guide to Peru. Hiking the Inca Trail was supposed to be the next big thing after Egypt. What with 9/11 and other not-so-good events in 2001, never happened.
  • An Heraldic Alphabet. Bought on a whim, stowed away for a future puzzle hunt.
  • A sweatshirt from college show choir and some old blankets. May be salvageable but currently smell of mildew — ack!

I love my little Altima, but here’s one more sign that our love affair may be reaching an end. *snif*


Jolie Molie

Since when did Angelina Jolie’s presence automatically ensure a movie’s badness in my mind?

Was reminded today that shortly before I fell asleep at Kips Bay, I saw the trailer of an upcoming movie with the unlikely title Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Now I adore the painfully-beautiful Jude Law, and art deco retro sci-fi is exactly the kind of thing that gets me out of bed in the morning (oo, The Rocketeer!), but then Ms. Croft showed her face and I suddently lost all interest in the film.

Now the thing about Sky Captain is that it’s apparently been shot with no real sets — every scene in the trailer seemed to composite one of our three leads against computer-animated backgrounds. But Angelina, whose gradual plasticization over the years is rivalled only by that of J. Lo, appeared on screen and managed to appear more artificial than the scenery. It was all vaguely nauseating. Thank goodness we were there to see Return of the King and not Torque, or I might never have recovered.

I’m sorry, Lish. Can you ever forgive me?



By the way, does anyone still read this?

Should have guessed that renewed posting would only lead to eventual blog geekery. For awhile I’ve been worried about what would happen if I had to move my little blog to another server or Movable Type install. By default, the documents for each entry are named according to their indexes into the MT database, a volatile number that’s not likely to survive either situation. Last time I looked at solutions people had whipped up, there didn’t seem to be anything that would make things future-proof but still deal with old permalinks already out in blogspace. So I held off.

Of course, the longer you live with the problem the worse it gets.

Today, I ran across this article at khakipants which had they key — a nice trick for generating a static .htaccess file with a mod_rewrite rule for each archive entry to date. This means a painless map that itself doesn’t depend on the current MT install, and one which I can take with me to another apache server in the future (and if I go to some other environment, at least I have a reference for URL mapping).

So yay! I’m now future-proof. All the entries now live in folders and filenames organized by date and time, and I’ve also removed the .html extension as well.

Some excellent web references on URLs, blogs and future-proofing:

As for what else: Love Love Love! Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist isn’t just any old fling, it’s the one you bring home to mum. And it’ll probably make you breakfast in the morning too!

OK, I admit it. I’ll probably see Sky Captain in the end. Jude Law!


When it’s dark outside

The fourth night this week I’ve been at work past midnight, but they say it’ll all be over soon. I hope so, because I feel like I’ve been negligent in so many other facets of my life lately.

Did find the time to enjoy a dinner out with friends, at the Mojito Cafe downtown (wonderful food, frightening website), which was marvelous. Dessert was especially fine, an indescribably tasty tres leches that almost made up for the fact that it was back to work afterwards.

Teak, who will be visiting for the next week, was kind enough to gift me with one of those nifty Sideshow Weta film frame collectibles that were handed out on Trilogy Tuesday. How cool is that?

As for what the frames are: well, no you-know-who, but there’s a Moria orc, a shot of Treebeard, and something smudgy that I can’t quite make out. Two out of three ain’t bad…

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