Friday, November 30, 2007

This is a test - just ignore it

This is a test

This is only a test. As you can see, I've added collapsible posts (Peekaboo view, the link is in my sidebar). I had to upgrade to the new template style to do so. Putting my blog back in order was a bit of a pain, but well worth the trouble. I also made my sidebar wider.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Forbidden Kingdom

This movie looks awesome! Jackie Chan and Jet Li! Is it April yet?


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Warning: Stream-of-conciousness rant. Read at own risk.

I'm bored. There are lots of things that I could do, but none of them appeal to me at the moment. I cleaned my apartment earlier today, so that's something done, anyway.

So I'm going to sit here and type. I have no more clue as to what's coming than you do.

I need a haircut. I usually get one on a regular, semi-annual basis, but I missed the last one. Maybe the last two. It's pretty bad. Now that I think of it, I haven't trimmed the beard in a while, either. That might explain the looks I get in public these days.

A few weeks after I moved here I was visited by a pair of Mormon door-to-door missionaries. Why did I get the ones who obey Matthew 10:14? There's so much I want to talk about, so many questions to ask. "Who is more important: Jesus or Paul?", "How do you explain John 5:31 vs. John 8:14?", "How do you know which parts are literal and which are metaphorical?" That sort of thing. Really, I want to know. I'd ask Mom, but I like being allowed to visit occasionally.

I need to change cleaning supplies. My whole apartment (such as it is) smells like bleach.

A while ago, I finished the Charles de Lint books that I bought, plus I finally read Widdershins. I'll try to focus long enough to say something about them.

Little (Grrl) Lost - I didn't think it was as good as some of de Lint's other stuff, but it was good. I think it was more strongly aimed at a young teenage audience. It is only peripherally related to The Little Country. It takes place in Newford. The term used is 'Little' not 'Small'. There is one reference to Billy Dunthorn, but otherwise no narrative connection.

Promises to Keep - Very good. It's about the difference between what Jilly thinks she wants, and what she really wants. It's set during her time as a student at Butler U, and it also tells how she meets most of her circle of friends. And it has Olaf 'Goon' Goonaskaera in it (briefly). He's only a minor character in a few of de Lint's short stories, but he's a favorite of mine. He's actually king of the goblins, but in a sort of reverse Lucifer, he decided to serve above rather than rule below. This isn't mentioned in Promises to Keep, though.

Widdershins - Also very good. Like much of de Lint's stuff, it's about dealing with: the past, death, vengeance and other people. Plus crow girls.

I also recently read The Golden Compass, mainly because a lot of Xians seem to be all in a twist about the movie (which I also intend to see in the theater). Anyway, the book was pretty good, if a touch predictable. Good characters. When Pullman describes Lee Scoresby he had to have been picturing Sam Elliot. I have read that the movie chops off the last two chapters of the book, supposedly to use as the opening of a sequel. This could be an attempt to appease the fundies. By removing the last two chapters, most of the anti-religious theme is eliminated. From what I've seen on various blogs, it isn't working.

Back to Jesus vs. Paul. I think I've come up with an explanation for Xians tending to follow Paul's writings. Here's how I envision it:

Jesus:[just after the Ascension] "Dad! I'm home!"

Yahweh: "Welcome back, son. Did you do what I told you?"

Jesus: "I sure did. I taught them about tolerance for others, loving their enemies and forgiveness."

Yahweh: "What! You stupid hippie, that's not what I wanted. Now I have to fix your mess. I'll have that guy spread my real message."

Jesus: "But that guy tortures and kills people."

Yahweh: "I know. He's perfect."
That's the only way it makes sense that I can see.

Well, I'm getting hungry. Time to make dinner.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Kia and Shelley redux

I saw that Phil has some pictures of Kia and Shelley on his Flickr page, so I decided to post them here. I think that last one is my favorite.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Meme tag! I'm it.

Qalmlea has tagged me with a meme. PZ Myers started this on Pharyngula a while ago.

Here are the rules:

There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...". Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

You can leave them exactly as is.
You can delete any one question.
You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change "The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is..." to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is...", or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is...", or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is...".
You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".

You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions. Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

My Ancestors:
My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite
My great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock
My great-great-great-great-grandparent is The Anterior Commissure
My great-great-great-grandparent is Laelaps
My great-great-grandparent is Quintessence of Dust
My great-grandparent is An Evangelical Dialogue On Evolution
My grandparent is Exploring Our Matrix
My parent is Sporadic Maunderings

The Questions (and Answers):
1. The best scary movie in children's movies is:

Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder. Hey, it scared the hell out of me when I was seven. To date I still think it's the creepiest movie I've ever seen. The new version with Johnny Depp is mild by comparison (The modern special effects actually make it less creepy).

2. The best song that moves me inexplicably in 80s pop is:

80s pop is the soundtrack to my teenage years. A lot of people are going to lose any respect they may have had for me when I admit this, but I have always found Hatful of Stars by Cyndi Lauper to be incredibly sad.

3. The best adventure story in Historical Fiction is:

The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour. Really, there's nothing more to say here.

4. The best book appealing to both children and adults in Fantasy is:

This one was hard. I was racking my brain, and I had just about decided to cop out and ditto Quamlea's answer (an excellent choice, but too advanced for younger children, I think) when I remembered a book Mom read to Marie and I when I was 4 or 5, and that I read again myself several times. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I also remember, even as a little kid, being disappointed that the Disney cartoon was basically just the chapter "The Battle for Toad Hall".

5. The most fantastic melody of all time is found in:

Superman, the main title. That melody is really versatile. Just by changing the tempo it can be sad, tense or exciting. John Williams is awesome.

So now I tag Phil, Tom and Jackal. Maybe this will get them to update their blogs.

Cool trivia: The stories and screenplays for Superman and Superman II were written by Mario Puzo, the author of (and screenplay writer for) The Godfather


UPDATE: I just want to say that I think the best melody [full stop] is In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg, but I couldn't fit it to the question.