c o l u m b i n a

"by her keen and active wit, she [ is ] able to hold her own in every situation and emerge with ease and dignity from the most involved intrigues." ~ Duchartre

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

house 2.6-2.8

I know I missed my TV posts for the last couple weeks (nightmarish, don't ask) but to resume...

Two weeks ago: "Spin"
One of the best eps of the season so far. I thought Cameron was a little bit better than she’s been in the past couple episodes, but the self-righteous indignation at the cyclist still annoys. And wouldn’t she totally get fired for that kind of behavior? Seriously, I don’t think you have to be in the medical profession to realize that her ethics are really out of wack. All the Wilson screentime! Brilliant. He completely called Cameron on her behavior; it was a nice throwback to Season One’s dead baby episode when he mentors her and tries to get her to consider a new specialty since she apparently cannot handle the emotional stress of her job properly. And his scenes with House were great-- “Is there a light that goes on when I have food?” Hee.

Though the best part of the night, BEST, was when House walked into the patient’s room and proclaimed himself to be God. And then the jerk gets up, starts walking around, and crashes to the floor-- “This is why I invented nurses. Clean up on Aisle 3!” Re: the Stacy storyline. Ugh. There is zero chemistry between the two of them— I’m not buying it. Though I have been distracted by Sela Ward’s perpetually surprised expression (what is UP with her eyebrows? That CANNOT be natural.) so maybe I'm just missing the subtext.

Last week: "Hunting"
"Spin" = good? "Hunting" kicked ASS. The Patient of the Week kicked some serious ass-- being both funny, heart-breaking and pissy in all the right quantities. (Was I the only one who almost mistook him for Dr. Simon? Maybe I'm just suffering from Firefly withdrawal...) Anyway, major SQUEE! moment when House's address was revealed to be 221B... seriously, I was screeching. The whole Steve McQueen subplot finally showed some justification for Sela Ward's continued presence on the show. And Cameron and Chase got it on while Cameron was doped up on meth she stole from her patient. Yes, that's right. Cameron. Still the same show, oddly enough. There's been talk about whether Chase took advantage of her, or whether she took advantage of him, or if they both were just stupid. I'm leaning towards Option 3. Though Shirtless!Chase... yum.

This week: "The Mistake"
I’m really torn about House last night. I suppose I’m a bit confused about the timeline— I mean, they were very specific about when Kayla’s various medical issues happened but I’m not sure when that fits in with the rest of the season’s storyline. (As in, did Chase know that his dad was dead during the events of last week’s episode, and if so, was that a factor in why he was so sympathetic to Cameron for her wigging out? Did it play a part in why he was willing to kiss little swimmer Andie and grant her seeming-to-be last request?)

Right. Anyway, aside from my mind trying to wrap around the timeline issues, I thought it was good. Liked that Cameron wasn’t the focus of things (for once) and that she wasn’t on her Self-Righteous High Horse when she did appear. Wilson totally rocked— from the paperclip football to the horrible fake accent to the “I guess I’m (Foreman’s) best friend now” -- when oh when will he get a episode? (At first I thought that Cuddy was going to assign HIM to be House’s interim boss— very bad idea, because House’d walk all over him.) Cuddy was immensely likeable even though she only got three minutes of screentime (“we’re not exactly swimming in livers over here!”) while Stacy has returned to being grating. Hopefully there won’t be many Stacey episodes left. I don’t think she would be half as bad if they didn’t have them re-hashing EVERYTHING every time her and House get in a room together. “I love him/I hate him...” Yeah, we get it already, lady. Deal or get out.

I liked the Patient of the Week (Allison Smith! From the good old days of The West Wing! Yay! And how odd that I have a hair-cut scheduled this week— when a couple years ago I asked for haircut similar to the one she had on Spy Game. Freaky. Maybe it’s a sign I should cut my hair short?) and I loved the continuity with her kids saying that the little Ayerson was snooty about their dresses, and how she was going to “key [their] daddies’ new convertible” and then the transplant doctor is Dr. Ayerson whose car gets keyed anyway by his wife! Hah! And it was really nice to have a PotW whose problem wasn’t a series of unbelievable and risky misdiagnoses from the House gang but just one little screwup that snowballed.

House had the BEST lines this week, too. “Chase loves me. And he’s Turkish.” HEE. “Let me tell you a story about a patient.... Let’s call her... Fusan.” “He has pretty hair.” “Hear that crackling noise? Let me know if it changes.”

I thought that Jesse Spencer did a really good job acting in the ep, and I have long been on the road towards liking Chase, but I’m not sure if we really saw any more of his character, and there are still a lot of loose ends in his background to tie up. (When did he get the step mom? Are we ever going to hear about the seminary? What happened to his alcoholic mom?) He has definite desire to please people and not rock the boat so I can totally see him lying to a patient if he thought that it was the best option for getting the patient to relax/take the most appropriate form of treatment/whatever. I don’t think he’s been worse than the other Ducklings insofar as being mean to patients behind their backs. Cameron enters self-righteous soap box mode and cheerfully violates doctor-patient priviledge to rat out on the cyclist. Foreman stood back and didn’t help the prisoner WHO WAS CRASHING because he didn’t think a death-row prisoner deserved to live. And ditto for the homeless guy of Season One. The worst thing Chase has done to a patient was probably the ragging on that overweight girl in Season One, but that’s all I can think of. (I still quite haven't figured out his motives for ratting House out to Vogler other than a desire to get on Cuddy's/Vogler's good side.) So I don’t really understand Foreman being pissy either, except that when Vogler was around, Foreman was the one who suggested Chase should be fired because “[Chase] doesn’t appreciate the job, he just wants it.” Maybe it’s just Foreman’s old resentment because he thinks that Chase was born with a silver spoon in his mouth as opposed to his own upbringing. Or maybe Foreman was just being “House-ian” and arrogantly supposed himself to be a better doctor than Chase and would have nailed the doorknob question (and since he didn’t know about Chase’s extenuating circumstances, he just thought Chase couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to his patient properly).

Anyway, Foreman as boss will be interesting, to say the least. Two weeks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

a very funny, topical rant

... because snarking staves off the homicidal impulse. [via]

Some folks think the kind of pharmacists who refuse to fill emergency contraception prescriptions are judgmental and stodgy, but that's just not true at all. They're actually spontaneous and fun, always encouraging you to embrace the unknown! Hey, take a chance on that broken condom!, they'll say, or aw, what's another baby? or just because he's a date rapist doesn't mean he can't be a good daddy! This whimsical approach to life means they won't mind at all if your 3-year old wants to repeatedly kick the glass case where the razor blades are kept, stick Nicorette patches on Mrs. DeSimone's leg while she waits to pick up her heart medication, or see what's inside Mr. Thermometer.

a bit of profundity

... from an unlikely source. [via]
Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?

pride, prejudice and adaptation(s) of all kinds

I’ve been working on this post for over a week— how sad is that? And I really don’t think even now I can decide if I actually liked the new Pride and Prejudice movie. That said, here’s a rambling view of the mess, to be read with this DISCLAIMER: I am nowhere near an authority on Austen. No hitting allowed.

It’s a tricky thing to approach, seeing as though this is the latest in a string of adaptations of one of the most beloved books ever written with a fan base that is both rabid and girly. (Right. And no biting, either.) The aforementioned adaptations ranging from the very good to the passable to the ridiculous. As someone who loves the novel, and as someone who has seen the majority of the attempts to bring it to film, it’s a difficult thing to assess. One of the reasons why the book has had such a long shelf-life is because there is so much in it: the fast-moving plot, the social commentary, the drawing room comedy, the family drama— there is enough material to fill five movies, one for each Bennett daughter, let alone one.

The new movie’s plot is the same, of course, though the sub-plots are abbreviated and minor characters go missing. It’s beautifully shot, the costumes are rather gorgeous (didn’t even mind the hair styles and actually rather love the pearls in Lizzy’s hair for Bingley’s ball) and the piano score played by the ultra-magnificent Jean-Yves Thibaudet was lush and gorgeous and very worthy of purchase. Speaking of music, Mr. Beveridge's Maggot, the go-to song for Austen romantic dances is notably missing from the Netherfield Ball, though they perform the same exact dance to different music. Maybe it was just me, but there wasn't the same lyrical quality to the dance without it. Or maybe those scenes were just shot better in the other movies. Whatever. I point it out because someone has to.

What most point out is that there is a great emphasis on class, or rather the utter lack of class, of the Bennett household: Pigs running round; Mud everywhere; The assembly rooms of Meryton being turned into a farm dance. While Darcy apparently has galleries of antiquities to rival the British Museum at Pemberley. It’s a stretch, and you can totally see the Hollywood rational behind these decisions: “look at the barriers between these two beautiful young people— she lives on a cow pattie and he on a Carrara marble quarry! They’ll never like each other! There’ll be tears, and fighting, and DRAMA! Let’s get some anvils with this slogan on it and pronto!” Ah, Focus Features Anvil Makers, I know you well.

The script is not as snarky as Huxley’s or as accurate as Davies,’ but there are glimmers of something palatable amidst all the giggling and overly complicated phrases (I suspect it’s the Emma Thompson script-doctoring making its appearance. If I was a betting girl, I’d wager that the great line about Darcy owning the “miserable half of Derbyshire” was all her doing.) Mostly, the new script isn’t much to write home about. And then there’s that controversial ending, which to me wasn’t that god-awful until poor Matthew McFayden had to repeat “Mrs. Darcy” like ten times before actually kissing Keira Knightley on the lips. Then I was suppressing the gag reflex, because after seeing a half-way decent movie I always like to add Bruce Springsteen to the soundtrack and “You had me at good-day” and just drown myself in goo. Because isn’t that romantic and Oscar-worthy. Gah.

Let’s do the rest of this on a character by character basis:

Probably my biggest characterization beef. Bingley of the books, and of the BBC production, is clearly singled out as a goodnatured fellow, thoroughly honest, agreeable and firmly optimistic. Not as an idiotic, wholly naïve, dunderheaded fool who can’t speak in complete sentences and smiles nervously underneath his overly poofy hairdo. (Seriously. The hair? Messed UP, emphasis on the vertical. Taking cues from this wackjob, are we? Simon, Simon, you’re prettier than him, promise. Lose the mousse... Oh excuse me, product.) Truth be told, he’s rather the Gary Stu of the book, but it’s acceptable in the same way of doomed Cedric Diggory: their perfectness is part of their respective plots. He is the matrimonial catch of the century and all mothers be damned if their daughters don’t try to nab him. Naveen Andrews, now there was a Bingley. Bringing the pretty along with the intelligent, warm-hearted personality. I think I need a moment alone.... Ahem. Right.

A Bond girl in an Austen adaptation, welcome to the 21st century people. Jane has always been for me the hardest character to place in the Bennett family. She’s the sensible one, the pretty one, the honest, agreeable, optimistic one a la Bingley. In a way, she is exactly like Bingley— too perfect for her own good. But never, ever, in any adaptation, in any passage of the book, do I recall her being shy. Um, she can keep her own counsel, yes, and is mild in public but at home, among her family, there is never any undo reserve; and she consistently categorized as being confidants with Lizzy. She deludes herself, yes. She tries to get Lizzy to believe her own delusions, yes. (Sure, honey, you never really liked Bingley and you are so over him. Right, but could you say that without the mad teary eyes?) But outright lying or downright uncommunicative? No, my dears at Focus Features. That is the wrong Austen elder sister.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett
Two consummate actors against two consummate actors, and man oh man, is this a hard one to call. Now, as I worship at the twinkly-eyed shrine that is Benjamin Whitrow, I was skeptical about the Sutherland. (Not that I don’t also love Sutherland the Elder. I mean, who else has magic fingers?) However, the two really don’t compare. Both had really sweet interactions with their respective Lizzies, and to a lesser extent with their Mrs’. But where Whitrow had this man of letters quality about him, Sutherland was this gardener/farmer hybrid (Question, Focus Peoples: why was he constantly carrying potted plants from one room into another? Was he doing some sort of botany experiment? Did Sutherland just become very attached to the plant? Was it the same plant or several of the same, in which case, why have five identical potted plants to move between the rooms of your house, unless you were planning to pull off a farce of sardine proportions?) Blethyn was shrill enough to be annoying as hell, and slighly goofy enough to teeter close to actually being funny, but she came nowhere near Alison Steadman’s tour-de-force of nerves, entitlement, and inanity. To sum up: The Mr. Bennets, tie. The Mrs. Bennets, Steadman by three wet hankies.

Lydia and Wickham
I think I’m going to have to go the Bride and Prejudice route with this pair. You really get a sense of Lydia being a modern-day tween: selfish, boy-crazy, pop-song mad, generally cruel to rival females and whiny to her family. The trick that B&P managed that the other adaptations didn’t was that we actually care about Lydia— for once I was sad that she got involved with Wickham, as opposed to huzzahing and thinking she got what she deserved. And Wickham— actively nice and evil at the same time. (Not to mention pretty. What? Do you think chick flicks are all about the talking? Silly rabbit.) Both characters unfortunately got relegated to the background in the new movie, which is a shame, because Wickham is such an interesting character. The BBC’s Adrian Lukis (aside from his unfortunate un-pretty appearance) did a nice job in showing that he and Lizzy have a genuinely complicated relationship: there is a friendship, and a bit of lust, and after the revelation, disappointment/disgust, and after the marriage, a sort of grudging acceptance, a good bit of which gets played out on screen. But we couldn’t for once have a grown-up villain, could we? Anyway, with nil screen time, it was a bit unbelievable that he would suddenly spill his deep dark Darcy secret to Lizzy who he knew all of what? Two minutes? But no matter.

The Other Bennett Sisters
... whom I always feel bad for, because in the movies they’re either magically disappear, or exist but are a) ignored or b) made out to be these bat-shit crazy girls who need to be locked up, but because they’re Bennetts, tee hee hee, said craziness is taken as just part of their country charm as opposed to needing massive amounts of prescription drugs. (See Crazy-Enough-For-Two Combo Sis and her Snapping Snake Dance of Scary Significance, Mary and the Howling Dog Chorus, and Kitty and the Ill-Mannered Parrot.) Kitty is shadows of Lydia, except whereas Lydia benefits from being her mother’s favorite, Kitty ends up with the typical middle child desire for attention. Mary of the Books and Spinnets is shown stereotypically to be a dowdy prude who apparently learns nothing from all those philosophical treaties she’s always reading and quoting. But in the book, neither are that ridiculous. Kitty is to Lydia as Jane is to Lizzy; she may be older, but she can be swayed by her confidant’s more vehement opinions. Mary, while bookish and accomplished, is not an idiot starved for attention— she has some of the most insightful remarks in the whole of the novel— and in fact, is the first person to give Darcy his real due (whereas it takes Lizzy how many pages to realize the guy is decent?)

And this is where I go on a rant, because dammit, I’m sick and tired of the Mary maligning. (You can skip this if you like, but I really need to get this off my chest.) She’s really terribly interesting. It goes hand in hand with the general assumption that Lizzy is such a phenom because she’s bookish and unconventional. No, dears, she’s not, on both counts. She’s a social creature, who has many interests. She’s witty, and she’s not stupid, but she’s not this voracious reader who prefers a book to a ball. (That would be Mary.) And she is openly husband hunting as blatantly as her other sisters (save Mary). Lizzy stipulates that she would only marry for love, but Mary is the real radical in not even considering love as an inducement to matrimony. So, why the Mary hate, people? Show my career girl some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The new movie actually did this by adding that little snippet of a scene between Mary and her father— to show how seriously she takes her accomplishments. Rock on, Talulah Riley. Rock on.

And now, a diversion: Working on this post (and quite frankly it’s so long now that it qualifies as a short novel, I would think) I had a bit of a brain wave: there should be a spin-off book with Mary as an amateur detective. (What? Yes, I have too much time on my hands. But hear me out, this is good stuff.) Can’t you see it: she’s unconventional by nature, she has that philosophic, pedantic, scientific nature so prevalent in Holmesian detectives, and she searches for accomplishment outside of the home of which she can be proud, i.e. a career. Dude. It could happen (there are worse continuations of P&P out there— trust me on this one).

And back to our regularly scheduled nit-picking...

Mr. Collins
I love Tom Hollander. I love him when he’s a jam-eater in the process of growing a spine, a sarcastic Cambridge man, and an upper class twit. Yeah, he’s short, but so am I. J’adore. David Bamber played Mr. Collins with a greasy sort of obsequience that works well on its own terms, but the 40s version’s (the very huggable Melville Cooper) had that essential quality of being an oblivious yet well-meaning oaf. Hollander can’t really pull off the oaf part, but he nails the well-meaning obliviousness, and my heart broke a little bit when he toted his little flower all round Bingley’s house looking for Lizzy like a forlorn puppy. Because Collins is never shown as a villain in films, but rather as comic relief. (I've got to go back and re-read the book to recall how Austen specifically characterizes him-- it can't possibly be as simplistic as the myriad screenplays would have us believe.) The Collins of Film can be hilarious (thank you, Mr. Bamber and your unfortunate hair and hand gestures) but really, in the end, he’s an okay guy. He’s not the prince on the white horse (Darcy), but Charlotte is absolutely right when she says that she could have done much worse. And this is the kicker to which silly tweens should pay attention: his proposal is just as good as Darcy’s— even better if one takes into account that Darcy adds a lot of insults to the front of his. He’s honest and up front with her, he wants to do right by her family, and he can provide for her. For most women (and certainly for Charlotte), that is enough. What pissed me off was the weird characterization of the family Bennett towards him: they laughed at him for being ridiculous... when he wasn’t being ridiculous. Was he wearing silly hats off camera or something?

Lady Catherine DeBourgh
My mom’s going to freak when I say this but the Dame Judy missed with this one for me. (Hell, I guess she really can’t be perfect in everything.) She can play the heavy well, and she serves her purpose but Barbara Leigh-Hunt rocked the DeBourgh in ‘95 and there’ll never be another thing like her. Severe yet sarcastically funny, entitled but utterly inappropriate, and perfect line delivery on the classic “And if I had ever learned, I would be a true proficient!”

Caroline Bingley
Let us choose to forget that this updated version loses both Mr and Mrs Hurst and their comic potential. Let us focus on Caroline, that social climber, that Queen of the Jellyfish, that Not-So-Subtle-Darcy-Flirt, and how absolutely miscast and misused the character was. Where was Anna Chancellor's fabulous hauteur? Where was Frieda Inescort's catty sarcasm? A block of wood could have played Caroline with more wit and facial expression. I remember Kelly Reilly from Tom Jones and distinctly recall that her face had flexibility then. What the hell happened, Kelly? Did the French do something to you? Did Catherine Deneuve threaten to drain you for her ritualistic blood baths that keeps her looking gorgeous even though she's got to be practically 80 by now? A great disappointment, Kelly.

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.
Keira’s no Meryl Streep, this is true, but for once they actually someone age appropriate and that works well. The girlishness is refreshing, as opposed to watching Jennifer Ehle try really hard to appear “free-spirited” while skipping down a hill with a ram-rod straight posture. The over giggling, well, that’s a problem with all the Bennett girls characterization and not just Lizzy. Matthew McFayden is pretty and brooding enough for me, and after following Wet-Shirt Firth and Sir Olivier, I think he holds up well.

HOWEVER, and these are my two biggest issues with the movie: #1, the proposal scene, which oddly enough takes place in the rain, outdoors, in some sort of ruined shrine courtesy of the Bronte sisters. He tells her her family sucks but he adores her. She gets her panties in a twist because of the rain and because he told Bingley to forget about Jane. He realizes his underwear is riding up as well and that perhaps this wasn’t the best time to spring this proposal, but now that he’s into it, he’s not sorry about stopping the marriage, and hey, pretty lady, at least be civil to me. She’s pissed and hates him and won’t marry him. He’s heartbroken and pissed and fine, then I don’t want ya, bitch. And THEN they have this moment, where they look at one another, and their eyelids half close and it’s like they’re gonna kiss but decide not to because dammit, we hate each other right? Hate. HATE! At least, wait, hmm... Maybe in 40 minutes. They show this scene in every friggin’ commercial with this god-awful pop music EVERY DAY since it’s premiered and I keep hissing at my television as if that would make the ridiculousness go away.

#2, the pick-up dance scene at the ball. Now, I’m not generally part of the Continuity Police, and yes, I realize that editing is difficult. But terminally STUPID people could realize that the shot of Darcy and Lizzy dancing was NOT in the Bingley ballroom. Were they transported by their repressed love into the Curiously Empty Ballroom of Lovey-Doveyness? Did everyone else in the very crowded ballroom suddenly go, “hell, let’s move away from these two, they’re having a MOMENT over here that needs a little privacy. We’ll just regroup with y’all at the end, k?” while at the meantime, painting said-empty room in a completely different color and then reverting it back, because hey, the Cream Dreaminess just didn’t work for them?

I think if I continue any longer my head will explode. So that was that, then. Good night.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

the penultimate peril

... the fabulous Book the Twelfth has been devoured in that hiatus that we're no longer talking about. However, this interesting interview with Daniel Handler is not to be missed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

lost 2-6 "abandoned": the theory mill begins again

After three weeks (dude, the withdrawal!), Lost has returned and Shannon bit the big one to go to that deserted island in the sky. In other news, Sawyer passed out (finally! big frickin surprise there), Charlie's become controlling over Aaron while Claire and Locke bond (WTF?), Rose doesn't like the hatch, one of the Tailaways goes missing, and DropDeadGorgeousSayid just lost the woman he loves so much he built a special tent for her.

I knew that Shannon was gonna die. I'm just happy we hot-blooded fangirls got to see Shirtless!Sexy!Sayid beforehand... Oh Naveen Andrews, you pretty, pretty man. Le sigh. It sucks that you're on a J.J. Abrams show. They'll probably kill you off, like they do all the pretty men. Though, what the hell happened to your undying love for Nadia? Nevermind. The real questions now are a) is Shannon really dead? and b) what the hell killed her?

Stop your coughing, internet. It does seem cut and dried, doesn't it? Shannon runs away, a shot rings out, Shannon shows up dying with blood all over her stomach and Ana Lucia's holding Sawyer's gun guiltily. But oh, silly Internet, this is Lost. First off, there are those who believe that Shannon wounds were made by a knife or machete, in other words, that she was stabbed, not shot. Perhaps then Ana Lucia is her savior? (You're gonna have a tough time convincing my Sayid of that. Yes, MINE, dammit. I saw him first, I have the well-worn VHS of The English Patient to prove it.) I got the feeling that she wasn't quite dead, and that perhaps the writers were setting up another nice bit of parallelism by making Dr. Jack to choose between whose life he was going to save, the redneck or the woman? As he doesn’t seem to be in the habit of letting Rutherfords live, I’d say her outlook looks bleak.

Was her death destiny and part of the storyarc or simply because Maggie Grace wants to do movies now? Who knows. There are some who tapped Shannon to die because her and Boone were not actually supposed to be on that flight— hence they weren’t destined to come to the island like the others— hence their deaths are like the island “rejecting” them. Which I can sorta buy. Though again, the purgatory idea, that the island is “redeeming” the survivors from their past lives and then killing them off once they’re fulfilled, is nice too. HOWEVER I fail to see how psychopathic pirate-zombies work into that scenario. If I recall my Kafka, hell was other people, not the genetically mutated half dead scruffy wackjobs. In the end, I never liked her or Boone or their storyline, so I’m not exactly heartbroken to say sayonara to the two of them and their flashbacks.

What I’d like to see is how this effects the dynamics of the Tailaways meeting the Lostaways, the Tailaways having killed one of their, the Lostaways, own. Kinda hoping Sayid goes military on AnaLucia’s ass, but that could just be my pent-up rage against her character and Michelle Rodriguez’s crapping acting (WTF is up with her teeth? Does she have like an endless supply of Crest Whitestripes in her pants or something?) But then again, the Tailaways also lost someone: the extremely forgettable Cindy, and here's where the theory mill strikes again.

Theory #1: Cindy's the Tailaways Ethan Rom, and has returned back to the Others to report.

Theory #2: Libby is the Tailaway's Ethan Rom, which is why she ended up carrying Cindy's bag up the hill and not commenting on anyone missing until the other Tailaways noticed. Also, she's a clinical psychologist, on an island with experimental facilities set up by, among other professionals, clinical psychologists.

On a side note: Walt and his crazy crazy talk. Perhaps it was the influence of Shirtless!Sayid, but I swore that Walt said “Swallow” when he entered Shannon’s tent. (Dirty!) Though the radio this morning reported that Walt really said: “They (meaning the Others) are coming, they are close” (which also could be interpreted dirty too... But whatever.) ;P

ETA: A friend of a friend believes that Shannon really isn't dead because he believes that Boone will come back to life somehow... the walking dead or something. There's been theories that the Others are in fact ZOMBIES (way to rip off your own shows, J.J.)... but maybe there are no Others. Maybe there are only other people from the flight who died-but-didn't-die and subsequently went nuts?

I think I just blew my own mind. I gotta stop thinking about this for a little while.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

a novel idea

A premise for a book I'd definitely read, from Household Opera. I'd write it myself if I wasn't so undisciplined, and inclined to think it'd end up somewhere in the realm of Sam's Pilgrim Detective television series.

ETA: Now this you know is going to be made into a movie. [via]
"The book, set to cause controversy among experts, is full of such detailed analysis and reads, as historian Antonia Fraser has said, 'like a literary detective story.'"

house 2-5: "daddy's boy"

Overall very good last night. I loved the patient, liked the fact that he wasn’t miraculously cured FOR ONCE, and thought the main cast (aside from Cameron) were amazing. Chase finally shows competency and seems to be on the road to good— really enjoyed his snarking Foreman about finding “the thing that was MISSING” from the chart. Foreman maintains his consistency of being the only one of the ducklings who is a true doctor, intelligent enough to make appropriate diagnoses yet not quite being as heartless as House, despite the similarities.

And WILSON. I adored every minute of Wilson. From the bad leftie handwriting on the white board (loved that subtle dig at doctor’s handwriting and one of the only things Cameron did right was make that quirky face trying to read his chicken-scratch), to the scenes in the parking lot (“Two wheeled vehicles that can go 150 miles per hour do not go well with crippled, middle-aged drug addicts.” “I was lying when I said you looked good unshaved. It was an experiment...”) he totally rocked this episode. Want to see/hear more about his failing marriage though.

The House parents. I so called it last week that he would have father issues. (Mom was convinced it was a mother issue, given Foreman's classic line "Only a mother could cause that much damage" but NO. Hah.) Loved his interaction with his mother— awww. More of her, please. I thought the parents were developed enough for the purposes of the ep. And I think that they told us enough: Dad House wants to FIX his son, and House very clearly doesn’t want to be fixed (not by Dad, not by Cameron, not by Stacey, etc.). Mom just accepts this, and that’s why Dad is disliked and Mom can buy him a Reuben anytime. My read of the situation, anyway.

But my biggest problem was Cameron. Stalker, crazy, unprofessional Cameron. She invites herself, the Ducklings, and Cuddy to Wilson’s dinner? I Don’t Think So. That was totally inappropriate. By the end, when she finally wised up and disinvited herself she became bearable.

Nice how they worked in the motorcycle- Hugh Laurie must be pleased. (I wonder if that was his bike or if they bought one special for the episode?) He did such a fantastic job acting in the episode, especially in the scenes with his mom. And he had really good lines last night— like about the leather jacket “It keeps me warm. IT makes me cool. How does it know?” ;)

staple it together

so, I spent Sunday in New Hope having brunch with an old family friend, My Non-Uncle Uncle Bill, who despite the fact that he's got to be approaching 70, remains one of the coolest guys I know. (And he looks like he's 50. It's kinda scary. He says it's because his grandma was Cherokee. Or he's bathing in the blood of babies. One or the other.) Anyway, Sunday was beautiful, weather-wise, and I was feeling quite content with the world. I just got the new Jack Johnson cd and had it on in the car, feelin' very groovy. Mom rode with me, and though she's usually pretty vocal about dissing my musical taste, was curiously silent until we got to this one song, "Staple it Together." At which point she turned to me with her WTF face and asked me what that meant. I didn't know.

Until now. Thank you, internet.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

not yet dead

to quote Spamalot, which I saw in NYC during the long blog hiatus, "i am not yet dead." Busy, hell yes. Since April, the internet scoffs? Pretty much. An expurgated list of the things you missed, internet:

1. My birthday. (What? It's important.) May managed to cram every weekend with events in which people wanted to feed me, because apparently once you've left college, gift certificates as presents are against Miss Manners? Which coincided with...

2. ...the aforementioned viewing of the original cast of Spamalot (because my parents are cool like that) and...

3. ... my first trip to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant on Times Square (because for all their coolness, my parents still can't help themselves). Nor could they help the guffawing and hysterical snorting laughter when the Very Sweet Yet Flaming Gay Waiter made me STAND ON MY CHAIR while he sang Happy Birthday, which was promptly followed by me half falling off the chair because age does nothing to diminish my clumsiness, which led to more laughter and my face color hovering near puce. I had to mention this, mostly because a friend just had a birthday at the Macaroni Grill, another restaurant that feels the need to embarass the birthday person as the waiter(s) carry on with the obligatory singing. When did this become a standard? WHY did this become a standard? I blame you, Olive Garden.

4. Spending half my time in Princeton and half my time traveling all the hell over Pennsylvania, for relatives and the job. Thankfully, now that I'm finally full time at the office (took me long enough), the traveling has much diminished and I no longer have to work on the weekends.

5. Working with roughly a dozen customers on their weddings/anniversary dinners/bar and bat mitzvah/rehearsal dinner invitations. Things I learned from the direct client experience? Bridezillas exist outside of reality television and really are E-vil. Bar Mitzvahs are more complicated and intense jobs than weddings, AND THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING. No one has any clue what fonts are, not even other designers, or women who've looked at so many invitations that they'll go blind. Center-justified invitation layouts will never die, no matter how much they should, because dammit, people love that look.

And I discovered that I have a talent for making neat looking placecards and table numbers. This revelation, coming close on the heels of way too many people asking me to make placecards and table numbers, was quickly followed by another: I HATE making placecards and table numbers.

6. Blew a tire and had it replaced. Insignificant, internet says, yawning. I waited how many months for this?! Well, first off, bite me, and secondly, you have no idea of the extreme paranoia I have concerning my tires. The roads to work are very ill paved, so it's a very jostling ride, even going at moderate speeds and avoiding the larger pot holes. As a result, I spend practically every minute I'm in the car worrying that any minute I will careen into the nearest ditch because one or all of my tires will finally succumb to the duress and explode dramatically.

It highlights my inexperience with having a car, which is something I've been dealing with. I still don't like driving, but now I don't get panic attacks every time I get behind the wheel. Marked improvement, let us say. I still haven't figured out how to fix the clock properly since Daylight Savings, and I still haven't located the manual to figure out how to fix said clock. (Not that I've been searching very assiduously. My solution to all car quirks is to call my dad, who breathes long-suffering sighs into the phone and mutters about how he can't imagine that his daughter who's always been so brainy when it comes to books can't figure out where the temperature gauge is on her dashboard.)

7. Planning a trip to Hawaii with a friend for January 2006. Harder than it sounds, since neither of us have done this sort of thing before. We have so far managed the flights and the hotel, so the big stuff has finally gotten out of the way. Now it's just the little things like tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Center and setting up girly appointments at the hotel spa. We're limiting ourselves to Oahu, mostly because of budget constraints, though neither of us has been to the islands and as we're going for only a week, it seems like there's plenty of things to keep us more than occupied there. Still open to suggestions, internet.

8. Attending the company meeting. A very long day of weirdness in Northern Jersey the likes of which I had never experienced before and don't especially want to experience again. Cheesy music, boring speeches, cutesy games... but oh, what a cool goody bag at the end. So much free stuff, it was like Christmas in August, all of which got distributed amongst friends and family.

9. My first business trip, which ended up being two days in Dalton, Massachusetts at the Crane & Co. factories learning about paper, and invitation design, and printing methods. Shut up, it rocked. (Yeah, I'm a design geek. Live with it.) Though I will admit the best part of the trip was an elaborate picnic they threw for us at Tanglewood, an outdoor music pavillion that reminded me a lot of Cleveland's Blossom Music Center where I saw John Williams and James Taylor. (Not at the same time, duh.) Anyway, feasting on all sorts of delicious gourmet things and thoroughly plied with wine, we were treated to a concert of Beethoven and Schubert. (Symphony #6 is now my favorite Beethoven symphony. And Movement #1 can bite me, it's #2 where the pretty happens.)

10. Learning the ins and outs of photo shoots and sometimes modeling for them. (Don't get too excited, internet. Mostly just my hands. Though I do get a thrill seeing the results-- there's excessive pointing and smug whispers of "that's my wrist!") My hands are going to be on a huge banner for the holiday season (clasping a mug) which is going in all of the stores. My hands shall be famous in the tri-state area! (At least they used the shot. I was melting that day in the indian summer heat, dressed up in a sweater with a wool hat and wool gloves with the art director fussing with my sleeves and the photographer blowing polyester fake snow in my face-- all for that one shot. Oh, the trials and tribulations of ART.)

11. Finally seeing my work in print. There are no words. It's just an amazing, amazing thing. After all the talking, and the beating the design to death, and the prepping of the files, and the quotes from the printer, and then poof! There it is, suddenly real and out there, public, in people's mailboxes. Trust me, it's cool.

12. Weeks of picking out just the right candy to distribute for my first Halloween at the apartment and then HAVING NO KIDS. None. Though I suppose this might be due in part to the apartment's freakish trick or treat hours, which were NOON to eight o'clock. What kid trick or treats at lunchtime?

13. Keeping up with the new television season, because suddenly there are people who NEED TO KNOW WHAT I THINK after episodes air. Yes, I'm talking about Lost. I'm corresponding with a woman whom I've never met who works with my mother about that show. It's weird, but it works. And since the Thursday Lost emails have been flying, my mother's started Wednesday House emails. Again, with the weird.

14. Helping to open three new stores and working on the fourth right now. Hence the crazy with the busy. The company's almost doubled since I started.... so that's good, right?

Anyway, lots more things happened as well, some more interesting and some less so, but that's all you're going to get, internet. I promise not to be a stranger anymore.