Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Watched the new restoration of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis on DVD last night, which was wonderfully clear; a revelation, truly, and despite controversy about playback speed, a very affecting experience. Did find myself longing at times for a little Pat Benatar or Freddy Mercury — surely I cannot be the only fan of Giorgio Moroder’s 1984 pop-score “reinvention” of the film? — to the point where earlier tonight I dug out my ancient VHS copy of the long out-of-print Vestron video release. Cheesy at times, yes (this is the man who unleashed Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” on the world, after all), but is it really any less so than Gottfried Huppertz’s cloying original score*, included on the current Kino disc? One could argue that the driving electronic beats of Moroder are actually more appropriate to the mechanical heartbeat of Metropolis. On the other hand, Adam Ant. Hee, point taken.

The real tragedy here is that I completely missed the Alloy Orchestra’s run of Metropolis when they came through Seattle a few years ago.

Speaking of reinvented scores, for a real treat (both cinematically and musically), check out the Criterion Collection’s DVD release of The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 silent masterpiece**, with Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light included as an alternate audio track. The movie by itself is a transcendental experience (possibly my favorite film ever), and the music (featuring Anonymous 4) is nothing to sniff at either. I became familiar with each separately, not realizing at first that Einhorn had designed Voices to accompany the film. Together, well, wow.

* the advantage both scores have in this case is that they are both infinitely better than the nadir of Metropolis-related music, which surely has to go to the atrocious 1989 musical, first staged in London (and which nevertheless has an inexplicable following).
**Passion is a film whose history is as spotted and star-crossed as Metropolis itself. A victim of mishap and censors, its story has a happy ending: a print of Dreyer’s original cut was miraculously recovered from a mental hospital in 1981, nearly fifty years after its original form was thought irretrievably lost. Faint hope for Metropolis?

Shocked to discover while grabbing links for this entry that Anonymous 4 is disbanding…!

[ 11:57 PM | | Comments (2) TB ]

At long last, there is now a real About Page, with an Accessibility Statement thrown in as a bonus. More About ne(one)piphany than About yukino, it is true; if I could be Geegaw for a day I would knit myself a lovely FAQ, but alas, this will have to suffice for now.

[ 11:33 PM | | Comments (3) TB ]

Monday, February 24, 2003

Shucking oysters is about ten times easier given a real, honest-to-goodness shucking knife and with the confidence instilled by protective, steel-meshed gloves. Then again, most things tend to go more easily without the specter of potential impalation and amputation hovering over one’s conscience.

Enjoyed a tasty wine to accompany, Wagner’s Delaware varietal, a gift from Sooch on a recent visit. Very sweet, almost shockingly so, “like Welch’s [white grape juice] with alcohol.” Among the other excesses of what was eventually christened Oyster Night II: wilted spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, bruschetta, grilled lamb chops, roasted rosemary potatoes, dolmades, and orange Jell-O cake.

Completely excessive, and definitely delicious.

Happy Birthday, Jet!

[ 11:08 PM | | Comments (3) TB ]

Random sequence from a recent dream:

“They’re advertising a new vacation concept: Spend a week in prison.”
“I could never do that, I don’t like guns.”

tardigrades, water bears, moss piglets…

[ 11:01 PM | | Comments (1) TB ]

Friday, February 21, 2003

I admit it, I watched the FOX special on Michael Jackson last night, proving once and for all that I am firmly a member of the lowest common denominator. The man is like a train wreck, and though I successfully avoided most of the recent spate of specials and tell-alls, something was bound to show up on my TiVo eventually.

At one point, going into a commercial break, the voiceover said something that I never expected to hear in my lifetime:

Next: Michael Jackson puts it all in perspective.

Good lord. Not something I want to process moments after listening to him explain that his chimps help him clean the house.

[ 02:38 AM | | Comments (4) TB ]

Thursday, February 20, 2003

The plague has left Seattle, and health is smiling on the world again. Okay, that’s not entirely true, as it seems that lately almost everyone I know has fallen victim to some sort of virus or beastie infection. In the immediate vicinity, though, things are fine again.

It happened shortly after noon today, and I completely missed it. The odometer on the Altima (O lovely car! To others’ eyes you may be boring, but you were and forever will be my first and fondest) clicked past the 100,000 mile mark. Trivial, to be sure, but we do seem to assign special importance to certain milestones, no matter how small. Besides, if we put so much hooplah into going from 31 December 1999 to 1 January 2000, why not set a little something aside for this?

I first noticed the impending rollover about 1,000 miles back, a few weeks ago. First came irrational panic (“Old! Car is old! Is it already time to start thinking about buying a new car? Can I even afford that?”), followed, after I calmed down again, by silly thoughts (“Should I take a picture when it happens? Plan carefully so that I’m somewhere special at the time? Is now the time to decide on a song with which to mark the occasion?”), and finally by panic again (“Will the car even still be running at 100,000 miles? Will we be at war? Forget the car, will any of us even still be here?”). My mind toys with me that way.

In the end it was none of those things. Just an invisible moment during a quiet commute, somewhere between sliding an Arvo Pärt CD into the stereo and pulling into the parking lot at work. Like so many things that happen in this world, the skies opening wide to reveal the heavenly host was lost amid the routine of daily life. Considering the quiet, steady service this vehicle has given me over the years*, it’s probably as fitting a fête as any.

* my family has a long, unfortunate history of problem cars. There’s much to be said for the pleasures of an uneventful life.

What I didn’t miss was B.’s birthday yesterday, surely a milestone of greater import. Yay! Happy birthday, love.

[ 05:28 PM | | Comments (4) TB ]

In the meantime, site geekery follows, screened for the weak of heart.

[ 04:29 PM | | Comments (5) TB ]

Monday, February 17, 2003

As far as Valentine’s Day weekends go, it’s been kind of a sweet disaster: B. arrived on Saturday night (good!) but brought along a well-cultivated strain of streptococcus A which has pretty much run unfettered through the house in the days since. Alternating between misery and comfort, we’ve watched videos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding and The Bourne Identity), consumed a variety of citrus fruits and mostly-liquid foodstuffs, and spent most of the days unconscious… A few fun plans were necessarily cancelled (ah, for Brazilian food!), but we’re making the most of things.

Departure is slated for Wednesday, but weather conditions in New York City may dictate otherwise. Crossing my fingers!

Thanks, by the way, to Jill, for watching with me (in spirit!) the climactic episode of Joe Millionaire today so that I wouldn’t feel alone in my lowbrow-ness. Since I can’t bring myself to talk about the experience, let me just say that this show no longer represents the nadir of American reality television; how could it, when there are promos airing for Married By America? Eek.

[ 11:58 PM | | Comments (8) TB ]

Thursday, February 13, 2003

If you happen to be in the Boston area (and lucky you!), you could do a lot worse on Valentine’s Day weekend than to catch the Francis Kim Band at the All Asia Cafe on Saturday night, or next week at the Kendall Cafe.


I’m so sure that I just got a spam mail from eBay/ with the subject line “Smokin’ Dell Deals!

Finally, Movable Type 2.6 has been released!

[ 07:59 PM | | Comments (4) TB ]

Monday, February 10, 2003

Ildebrando Pizzetti, Due composizione corali (1961):

I. “Il giardino di Afrodite”
II. “Piena sorgeva la luna”

[ 01:26 PM | | Comments (3) TB ]

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Very enjoyable Sunday evening spent relaxing, snacking on Terra Red Bliss potato chips (v. yummy, with olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar), Pizzetti madrigali wafting from the speakers, and games of Literati with lovely friends. Before that, an elegant choral benefit auction that ended with an unexpected new toy in my grubby little hands, in the form of Adobe Photoshop 7. Please excuse me if I absent myself for a few days to lose myself in aesthetic indulgence!

The Pizzetti pieces, for those curious, are the Due composizioni corali (“Il giardino di Afrodite” and “Piena sorgeva la luna,” both settings of Sapphic fragments):

E di fiori di loto come a festa fiorisce il prato;
Esalano gli anèti sapore di miele.
The meadow celebrates with blooms of lotus flower;
And stalks of dill exhale the essence of honey.

The music is simply ravishing; hard to find but worth the effort! This particular recording was by The Esoterics.

Also getting a lot of play of late, besides the aforementioned Flamma Flamma: B.’s gift of Tori Amos’s Scarlet’s Walk, Pink Martini’s “Song of the Black Lizard” (yum, thanks Capodistria!), La Portuaria’s “Selva” (via Yogi or Mina, I’m not sure who!), and a whole lot of the Beatles (spurred on by the upcoming release of a sans Spector Let It Be — link via The Laboratorium).

Hey rosebaby! I blame you for this drip I.V. filled with Talking Rain Ginger Ale. Especially when I had just managed to get used to Nutrasweet (sigh).

Last year’s winner of the 5k, a little flash toy “based on a symbol-generating matrix created by [famed typographer] Adrian Frutiger.” Frutiger, of course, created the Univers type family, as well as the eponymous face that adorns airport signage around the world. That’s all irrelevant, by the way; just go play with the pretty toy!

[ 11:45 PM | | Comments (5) TB ]

Saturday, February 08, 2003

It’s still Saturday, so I think I’m still allowed to talk about geeky things!

[ 10:50 PM | | Comments (5) TB ]

Yay! It took forever and I wasn’t able to do it without making changes to the MT code itself, but this site now validates as valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional! Not only that, it also views nicely under Lynx and Netscape 4.x too (and let me tell you, I had to debate long and hard before installing that abomination on my computer to test). The best part about it is that I don’t have to do any browser sniffing (except in the case of Mozilla 1.0.0, which seems to have horrid table rendering bugs if you provide a DOCTYPE header).

Hee, I know I’m geeking out here. Just feeling giddy with accomplishment!

I think now it’s probably time to revisit Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Accessibility, especially since it was Eglantine’s recent revamping of according to that guide that guilted me into the latest round of improvements. I think I addressed most of the guidelines during the last run-through, but it can’t hurt to do a thorough accounting on a regular basis. Accessibility is a worthy goal, and I encourage everyone who blogs to check the site out!

Incidentally, does this mean it’s time for a redesign? Do I want to sleep this weekend? And I promise, no more geeky entries for awhile! (^_^)

[ 07:21 PM | | Comments (6) TB ]

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Somewhere along the way, when the stomach is cramping and the chill that’s anchored itself in your marrow refuses to be warded off with any amount of clothing, you realize:

Nothing is worth being at work at 4 in the morning, and certainly not the prospect of doing it a fourth night in a row.

Therefore, sleep time, lovely readers! I leave you with some randomness:

zeitgeist poetry:

sexy sumo women!
japan, sticky, acquired
a man’s prostate gland.
rip to all:
livejournal balloons sex.
[ 11:00 PM | | Comments (3) TB ]

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