Friday, October 31, 2008

My favorite vampire movie

"Vampire's Kiss" starring Nicholas Cage. A friend of mine once said this movie is to Nicholas Cage what "River's Edge" is to Crispin Glover--a chance to really let all their weirdnesses loose.

He kills someone using plastic vampire teeth. Jennifer Beals is in it. He eats a cockroach. He only thinks he's a vampire, when he is not really. It's the best.

Also, you know how Leonardo diCaprio is suffering from Tom Hanks Disease (serious widening of the face with age)? Nicholas Cage is suffering from Chevy Chase Disease (suddenly looking like a silent movie actor).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today in Starbucks in Target

There was this woman who was standing in front of me talking to her friend, and she said, "And Kate has lung cancer," and then she opened her eyes really wide and nodded like she-totally-deserves-it, and her companion tightened her lips, and I was all whoa, is this indicative of the stoic and hardy and judgmental nature of natives? but then she went on to talk about Sami, and I figured out she was re-capping the plot of a soap opera. Then she started talking about one or the other of the presidential candidates and objecting to the fact that he didn't say "under god" in some speech or something, and I was like, no wait, this is indicative of the nature of the natives. And then I felt ashamed for judging the natives.

Then I debated with myself about whether it was worth four dollars to figure out what a salted caramel hot chocolate would taste like. I decided not.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Great Books that look and sound terrible

The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist (translated by Alexandra Dick) is one of my favorite books, even though it has the ugliest cover art I've ever seen and even though some people claim it is an historical novel. I cannot stand historical novels or books which stand for anything. You do not need to know anything about history, dwarves or symbolism to enjoy this book.

* The cover art is so ugly that it cannot be represented here. This is a Velazquez painting of a dwarf.

* The Dwarf is narrated by an homicidal dwarf named Piccoline.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I know I already murmured about this

But I'm still thinking about the similiarities between John Carpenter's Vampires and Harry Potter.

Both Harry's and James Woods' parents died at the hands of a creature that they must now destroy or else the world will fall to evil. In both stories, both sides are searching for a soul embedded in an object. Both Harry and James were present for the ritualistic soul-return thing in rather cinematically similar settings. Both of them are fighting the evil in a trio, which is two boys and one girl. In both of them, the sidekick boy gets the girl. The sidekick boy in both is a member of a huge family of boys (think Ron Weasley, think Daniel Baldwin). Also, the evil, evil villain's name begins with a V in both.

J.K. Rowling, you love John Carpenter. You, like, totally want to marry him.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yip yip yip!

I'm so excited to come back to Chi-town that I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to communicate in sentences or even words as the day progresses. I'll probably just yip.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Best lesson plan ever

This one actor girlfriend of mine (you might know her) had to walk down the hallway at 1% speed for an hour to...I was going to say concentrate on how her body moves, but I'm not sure if the same thing could be accomplished at 5% or even 10% speed. However, there are a lot of things I don't understand about acting.

Anyway, the point is that this is brilliant. Just think of the practical applications! If there's a better way to make your students focus on word choice and sentence structure, I don't know what it is.

Plus, it frees up all kinds of time for you, as an instructor. Your students concentrate wholly on a tiny thing for a really long time; you do what you want. Also, I totally already planned this lesson for you, so you don't have to work this weekend.

If my high school history teacher had known about this technique, then I feel certain that we all would have been pretending to be crusading children at 1% speed for a whole year instead of watching movies about the lives of the saints.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't worry: It was stuffed.

On Sunday I visited a log jail. On the second floor, there was a two-headed calf.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Illness plus lack-of-good-cable=boredness

I have a very low threshold for the flu bug. This is what I've learned about old sitcoms while ill:

Cheers totally holds up. It is still funny. So is Frasier. I think I might have a celebrity crush on Kelsey Grammer. Or is it Grammar? Not funny anymore, or perhaps ever: Coach, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Two and a Half Men, The Honeymooners, Seventh Heaven.

Also not funny ever: Political ads. Living in a battleground state blows. All of the candidates' voices are like cheesegraters on my face.

I have a favorite HSN lady. She has enormous eyebrows and jokes inappropriately with the "real-looking" models. I don't know what her name is, though. I had a dream about her last night. I was swimming the 100 meter IM against her and the helmet-haired local news anchor with the permanently surprised expression. I totally won. I could even do the butterfly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Upsetting things

1. I finally got my tax returns for the last two years, and it turns out I'll be getting back way less than I thought. I have concluded that my tax dude is wrong. I am getting a second opinion.

2. Ollie effing loves sleeping on my beautiful white loveseat, which is now my beautiful gray loveseat. I must vacuum it every day.

3. It is going to get cold tomorrow.

4. I'm pretty sure Tyra had a nosejob. Not me, the real one.

5. All of my new local news anchors are unattractive in serious and frightening ways.

6. I have not been paid for any freelance work in the last three months. Not for lack of doing it.

7. I just ran out of books to read.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

early voting has started in Chicago

We need some balance

Because Anthony Bourdain is such an alpha-male character, what with his well-placed meaty femur, here is my super-female celebrity crush: Joan Holloway from Mad Men.

Friday, October 10, 2008

we also need more anthony bourdain

I have a new celebrity crush, and it's another chef: Anthony Bourdain. I realized this after recently becoming obsessed with "No Reservations," his Travel Channel show where he just travels around to other countries, eats lots of food, smokes cigarettes, drinks, and assaults people with his sarcasm while having hangovers. He has all the qualities I have admired in previous celebrity crushes all rolled into one, plus he supplies elements that other of my celeb crushes have never brought to the table.

1. Foreign last name/heritage. (See former crushes: DiCaprio, DiSpirito, etc.) I'm pretty sure I heard that Anthony grew up in the French countryside. That is so adorable.

2. Rebellious nature, evident in black leather jacket, boozing, and chain-smoking. (See: James Dean, Luke Perry)

3. World traveler to the point of basically being an expatriot--(See: Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller, other artist ex-pats) Anthony far trumps Jon (known to those with less intimate relations as Dr. Manhattan) in this regard--abandoning one's entire planet out of a sense of alienation is just not that attractive; it's pretty wussy, but traveling the globe in order to eat food and get wasted is totally hot. Being in the US as little as possible is always totally hot.

4. Hedonist--perhaps my most important crush quality. (Why Jon failed after 4 hours as a crush) I want to roast meat over an open fire in bed with Mr. Bourdain. Then eat it in bed with our hands. There will be gigantic winejugs alongside the bed, and some Playboy bunny types, only French and more natural-looking, bringing us pile after pile after pile of meat.
5. Gigantic ego--a must for anyone I am ever attracted to, including myself.

5. Hot body--(See: Daniel Craig, Holly Madison, etc.) This one reflects my often-extreme vanity: I had great concern about what Anthony would look like naked, since he drinks and smokes so much. I was counting on him having "old man body" underneath the leather jacket, so that while his sarcastic charm could probably woo me for a couple of years into our marriage, after that I would develop a wandering eye. I was pleasantly surprised to find this here naked picture, in which he has a totally hot body for being an addict.

I'm pretty sure Anthony Bourdain is the total package. I'm pretty sure he's my Renaissance Celebrity Crush. Despite my fantasy, however, I am rather disturbed by the presence of that enormous meat in the picture. I am scared of it.

we need more videos

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I wish I were crafty

I think I am too impatient to be crafty. Like today, for instance, I got the regular dishwashing soap out of the cupboard instead of the dishwasher dishwashing soap, and I seriously considered just using that, rather than putting it away and getting the right soap out. To save time. Really.

Today I went to the Fine Arts Library, and I saw lots of familiar artists' books and lots of other ones I'd never seen before, and I remembered that old feeling of wanting to make artists' books, too, but I just can't do it. Because I do not want to go out and get a ruler. Or other tools. I can't do things that require a lot of instruments. Or steps.

One of the familiar books I saw, High Tension by Philip Zimmerman, is all about symptoms and supposed remedies for extreme stress. The weird thing is that the last time I saw it (in grad school), I thought it was funny. But I had almost all of the symptoms last year, which, today, made me feel stupid.

Also, I am bad at being consistent, so knitting is out of the question.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

robot girl

Well, the debates were boring, but at least we don't live in Japan! A company in Japan is about to begin mass-producing a creepy robot girl, to assist "disabled" people. That's right folks. The world's most sophisticated robot is a 5-year-old Japanese girl who speaks in baby voice. I would've seen this coming if I hadn't been so stoned during Spirited Away.

Friday, October 3, 2008

new book

I have not had time to buy any new books in weeks. I keep re-reading Robert Lopez's Part of the World, but mostly, I just absorb every single newspaper, magazine, blog and video site that might have Sarah Palin saying something ridiculous. Someone suggest a book please! Anything banned from the Wasilla library will do!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Your star sign is dry-hoppy

Like you, I have spent many sleepless nights wondering how to unlock my potential. I instantly fell asleep after reading this, so at peace was I. My new excuse: It isn’t me; it is my beer that hasn’t been ambitious enough.

Find out how the stars say you should drink.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Proves My Existence, Yes?

I am feeling nonexistent lately. It's because I haven't blogged in so long. If you don't exist on the internets, you don't exist at all. Also if I don't exist within the Literati, I don't exist at all.

Right now I exist in various ugly classrooms with carpet like steel wool and no windows. It would be good for me to go ahead and move in; then I could save my rent money for a Jamaican holiday, or for when I have to permanently evacuate the country because John McCain accidently gets elected.

I sort of like feeling nonexistent. All I do is read and think about things. I have that "college-feeling" that I haven't had in so long, where your mind sort of expands. It is just because I am unhealthily living vicariously through my students. This does, however, make me feel smarter.

On the other hand, sometimes Garrison and Gato yell for me when really I'm in the same room with them. I've suddenly become invisible without realizing it, and when I say, duh, you idiots I'm right here, they don't hear me. That is kind of depressing.