30 November 2008

A Long Overdue TV Review

While my father was visiting over the holiday, I introduced him (and I think got him hooked) to my one new show this season, Fringe. Fringe is the brainchild of the guys who wrote Transformers and J.J. Abrams, so I fully expect the show to become a barely watchable shadow of itself about halfway through season 2 like Alias and Lost. I loved the characters on Alias enough to soldier through until the end, whereas I just gave up on Lost. To give a shorthand description of Fringe, it is like Sydney Bristow joined The X-Files. And dyed her hair blonde. There is the requisite angst over a departed boyfriend, the elusive conspiracies, the shadowy organizations, and the crazy, inexplicable, possibly paranormal, things happening. Good times.

Now, I loved The X-Files and Alias dearly and I was enjoying Fringe. Then I made my dad watch the first 7 episodes on hulu.com and an obsession was born. When you watch the episodes all in a row, there is an impressive continuity that you don't necessarily notice when you watch them once a week. Not continuity of major plots or issues, but minor continuity details that are quite awesome and make watching fun. You can play games like "Spot the Observer," a sort of Where's Waldo for every episode. And then there are the trippy clue-like images that appear before every commercial break. 

There is the leaf with the isosceles triangle embossed on it:

The six-fingered hand:

The apple half in which the seeds look like fetuses:

The toad with the symbols for the Greek letter Phi, which in math apparently symbolizes the Golden Ratio:

The daisy that appears to have a dragonfly wing for one petal:

And the seahorse that has a Fibonacci spiralon its skin:

I don't know what any of it means, but it at least piques my curiosity and provides some visual stimulus.

Then there are the characters. I haven't totally warmed up to the female FBI agent Olivia Dunham, but I really enjoy the mad scientist, Walter Bishop, and his relationship with his estranged son Peter. They have the best lines in the show and provide the necessary comic relief. And Peter Bishop is played by Joshua Jackson, who I thought was very cute when he was in the first Mighty Ducks movie 16 years ago. All these years later he is very attractive and will probably be added to the Fantasy Boyfriend League pantheon shortly. Finally there are all sorts of shady and shadowy figures and organizations that appeal to the buried conspiracy theorist in me.

So, that is my current TV obsession, which I am trying to focus on since ABC cancelled Pushing Daisies and whom I subsequently declared dead to me (ABC, not the Pushing Daisies people. I adore the Pushing Daisies people). I am still mourning that loss. But at least I have an obsession to distract me, right?

22 November 2008

My Very First Angry Letter

Technically it is an angry comment. So, I was (yet again) avoiding homework and looking through my blog archives and I found that someone had, in the past year, posted an angry comment (under the name 'Anonymous') about something I had written last fall. I had written about a girl in my Mia Maid class who was a) new b) home-schooled and c) a big fan of LDS romance novels. The post is here if you want to read it. Anonymous posted the following:

Wow, do you judge everyone as quickly as you judged this poor girl? No wonder she backed off and you never had a chance to get to know the "real person" inside. Who cares what she reads--does it have to be from your private reading list for it to be enjoyable? I guess she comes off looking pretty awful if you are the one who gets to set up the criteria of what is good and what is not. I think you have very strong biases and are extremely intolerant of other people's differences. Too bad you can't live in a world where everyone is exactly like you.
Now, this is exciting to me for two reasons. First, it means that someone other than my close friends and family have stumbled upon my blog and, second, it is funny. Angry letters are my favorite part of Eric Snider's website. I wonder which of my 'judgements' about this girl struck a nerve with Anonymous. Was it my opinion about home schooling? Was it my distaste for LDS romance novels? Was it the fact that I didn't share his or her opinion? Because if it is the third one, I find it completely ironic that I am judged to be extremely intolerant by this person for having an opinion other than his or hers. I also love the assumptions that I a) never got to know the girl in question and b) that I made my 'judgements' apparent to the point that said girl wouldn't want to get to know me. I wonder if Anonymous still reads my blog or if it was a one-time deal. Maybe it was Anita Stansfield herself. Because that would be awesome.

15 November 2008

It's All About The Sexy Swagger

We all know I'm a raging Anglophile. That is no secret. That I am also a fan of the James Bond franchise shouldn't be a surprise either. I was very, very skeptical of the casting of Daniel Craig as James Bond but found the reboot that was Casino Royale to be wicked awesome and Mr. Craig to be this generation's Steve McQueen (Seriously, Google image search them both. They could be father & son). So I was breathlessly anticipating Quantum of Solace. I was a little worried after reading some critics' responses to the film. But I shouldn't have been. It is also wicked awesome. Sure, it lacked some of the emotional depth that Casino Royale had, but it wasn't like there wasn't ANY emotional development. Additionally, I thought it spoke volumes about Bond himself, that he was becoming a violent automaton after the events of Casino Royale. Additionally, the Bond girls were beautiful, but that didn't undermine the intelligence they were supposed to have, unlike the unfortunate Denise Richards' attempt in The World Is Not Enough. But what I really meant to say here, is that Mr. Craig has perfected the sexy swagger. The man can be trudging his way across a Bolivian desert after surviving a plane crash and HE STILL MANAGES TO LOOK DEAD SEXY AND TOTALLY COOL DOING IT. That is a gift, my friends. This picture doesn't really do it justice. You'll have to go see the film.

Also, if the universe is at all just, I will some day drive an Aston Martin. Oh, and the new song isn't half bad either.  I raised an eyebrow about pairing Jack White and Alicia Keys but it actually works.

12 November 2008

Have you ever had a moment in which one little event sets off a chain reaction of mental dominoes that makes you realize you might not be as happy as you thought you were? And that maybe you have spent a lot of time trying to convince yourself that you are happy so you don't have to deal with the reality of being unhappy?

08 November 2008

One Of The Many Ways I Avoid Homework

Several years ago there was a show on TV called Wonderfalls, which was random and funny and I liked it, but after a couple of episodes I lost track of it and it was shortly thereafter cancelled. Turns out Fox only aired the first 3 episodes of the 13 made. Due to the miracle of Netflix, I found the DVDs for the entire 13. I love this show. I bought the DVDs with the Amazon.com gift card I got for my birthday. (thanks, Heather!) Toward the end of the season, there is a truly heartbreaking scene that was accompanied by a haunting song I hadn't heard before. So I have spent quite a few hours obsessively hunting the song and the artist down on the internet. And now, thanks to the iTunes gift card I got for my birthday (thanks, E!), the song is now mine. Which I have listened to a billion times now and see no tiring of it in sight. So I thought I would share it with all of you. And subsequently spent another few hours hunting it down on YouTube. My readers are way more important than Econ 446. Hope you enjoy! 

P.S. Wonderfalls was created by the same guy behind Pushing Daisies. If you like Pushing Daisies, I highly recommend checking out Wonderfalls. Or vice versa. And Lee Pace (the adorable Ned the Piemaker) is in both.

P.P.S. I am also completely obsessed with this song, although it has absolutely nothing to do with anything. And since the actually music video for the song gives me a migraine, I thought I would include a little Doctor Who video. So sad David Tennant is leaving!

04 November 2008

Hail To The Chief

I don't know how many of you took the opportunity to listen to President-Elect Obama's acceptance speech tonight. I know several of my regular readers are not fans, but I think his speech, purportedly written by him and not a speech writer, was impressive. He is a charismatic and eloquent speaker and tonight I think he managed to do what he does best, focus on the future and focus on possibility. Regardless of your political leanings or opinions about the man himself, it is awe-inspiring that the United States of America elected an African-American President. If he had been born fifty years earlier he would most likely have been denied the right to vote, but today he is the future President of the United States of America. That is amazing. It renews my faith in the American people. My faith that we can move past the darkest parts of our history, that we can uphold and build on and expand the ideals of equality, justice, and liberty on which our nation is founded, that we can look to the future and build a better future for our nation, our children, and our world. It will take sacrifice and hard work; it might be painful. But it is possible. And so I say, like the crowd in Chicago, "Yes We Can!" 

03 November 2008

Halloween And Assorted Other Uncertainties

In an effort to be outgoing and in honor of my new calling, I went to my ward's Halloween dance/party. I wasn't feeling particularly creative and my Daphne (from Scooby-Doo) costume had seen better days. So I just slapped on some goth nail polish, a bunch of black eyeliner, a black leather cuff I found at Claire's in the 'Claire's for Boys' section, and my beloved Supernatural Metallicar t-shirt and went as my evil twin. Not particularly creative, but I wasn't feeling particularly festive. Part of it was the hellacious week of presentations-being-criticized-by-the-professor-in-the-middle-of-them-in-front-of-the-rest-of-the-class and other school stresses. Part of it is that Halloween was my mom's second favorite holiday and celebrating it is hard still (seriously, almost had a complete and total meltdown on the bus two weeks ago because I overheard a man telling his daughter about the Great Pumpkin). And part of it was the fact that in the days of Yore, Parker, Treat Queen, and I (and any other assorted friends we could drag into the mayhem) would make Halloween fun, whether we did anything grand or not. So, the evening consisted of me trying to be involved and join groups and make friends and dance and enjoy the festivities, all the while thinking "if only Parker & Treat Queen were here." I can't lie, I breathed a sigh of relief when I left the party at 11. It just wasn't the same without my good friends. So many inside jokes, cryptic references, collective memories that were missing. And sometimes I don't know if I have the energy to start all over.