Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Tate Modern has SLIDES

There’s really nothing more to this entry. In the Tate Modern, there are SLIDES and you can SLIDE down them from one floor to the next. You don’t have to take the stairs! YOU CAN SLIDE!

Also, there was this painter whose stuff I really really liked, and I meant to remember his name so I could get a print of one of his paintings for my house someday, and now I’ve lost it. It was something very silly and the first name was Cy. It was like, Cy Wombly. Cy Swommelly. Something silly. Anyone have any idea who this might be?

Bringing Simone back my ass

For those of you who watch Heroes but haven’t seen the most recent episodes, or might someday want to watch Heroes, don’t read this.

Why is Simone coming back? That preview better have been a dream sequence, because otherwise this is just completely unacceptable. My most favorite character died, and if anyone is going to come back, it has to be Eden. For a couple of reasons. One, she is really cute. Two, she and Mohinder had a Thing, and furthermore if she were still around she could tell him not to hang out with the obviously creepy Sylar because he is OBVIOUSLY VERY CREEPY. Three, she has by far the best power of any of the heroes.

You know what her power is? She can tell people what to think!


Only when she does it they actually think it.

See, this would be a really good power for me to have, because I’m terribly ethical and I would only use it for good. Like nuclear disarmament. I would toddle over to Iran and be all, You really want to disarm; and then I would toddle back to the US and go see Bush and be all, You really want to disarm too; and I would keep this up and after a while, we wouldn’t have any more nuclear weapons whatsoever. None, zero! No nuclear weapons! Wouldn’t the world be better then?

So if somebody has super-awesome resurrection powers, they should go find the obviously superior Eden and resurrect HER.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Coriander IS cilantro!

Ah, my meals are going to be so much tastier now.


So Elizabeth Peters’ website says that she is working on a new book with Vicky Bliss in it!

*happy dance*

Because I no longer care about Ramses and Nefret because Nefret has become SO DAMN BORING. She used to be all edgy and cool, and she would go off and do daring things and laugh in the face of danger and whatnot, and now she’s like, omg my children oh dearie me I must mind my darling little tots. Leave your darling little tots in England, WOMAN, and go do daring things in Egypt! And that goes for Ramses too. I am tired of you freaking out and dashing into the twins’ bedroom every time a dog barks or whatever. Furthermore it is my considered opinion that the series was over at the end of Children of the Storm when the twins started talking. There was circularity, and I appreciated that.

So I’m definitely ready for more darling John Tregarth with whom I am deeply in love. (I’m in love with Ramses too but he’s got children now and it wouldn’t be right.) No release date yet…but I am very excited anyway!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


1. I just watched the very last episode of Sex and the City. I have now seen every episode of Sex and the City. All four women very satisfactorily settled except for Carrie, of whose relationship with that big pooface I shall never approve (and I didn’t like the Russian either; in fact the only guy I liked that she dated was Aidan, and he wasn’t even that great because he talked all the time).

2. I went to Tesco’s today and used my recyclable bags, and when the check-out guy asked for my Club Card and I said I hadn’t got one, he said, So you’re just an environmental warrior? No, I am not. I just like sturdy bags with thick handles for carrying heavy groceries.

3. My flatmate Sarah and I went to London, and the Theatre Museum, which we really wanted to see, was closed. We dragged ourselves all the way to Covent Garden — which, please appreciate, was a long way away on the Tube and it is Fashion Week in London so the Tube was very very crowded, and additionally it took us nearly three hours to get to London, one of which was spent on the most rattly bus ever (so rattly it made me carsick, and I am never carsick) — and searched it out by following the signs, and it was closed for renovation or some crap like that. POOH.

4. There were also these two guys on the Tube, one of whom was a youngish guy with dreadlocks, and the other a middle-aged guy with white hair, who started singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” on the Tube ride. They chose to do the clapping verse, which I think was a mistake on a train where you will fall over and squash a child if you’re not using one of your hands to hold on.

5. I realized the other day that I have to write 18,000 more words before I can return to my university in America, land of one essay per class and lots of grades to save you from failing. 18,000. I have six 3000-word essays to write, two by March and four by April. That’s not even counting the amount of words I shall have to write on my essay exams for all of my classes. The English education system does not love to save the rainforests.

6. The Oscars are on tonight and I’m missing them. Plus I’ve been so busy writing my essays that I haven’t had time to review any Oscar-nominated flims. (If anyone’s holding their breath for The Last King of Scotland, you can just stop it. I’m not watching that. Forest Whitaker frightened me in the previews.)

7. I just looked up Forest Whitaker on Wikipedia to see whether he spelled his name with one R or two (I had it right), and I found out the following information. He has four children whose names are (I’m so not kidding) Sonnet, True, Ocean, and Autumn. Ten points for anybody who can guess which of those are boys and which are girls without looking it up. He has a black belt in karate and is a vegetarian and supports PETA.

8. I cannot stand PETA. They are obnoxious extremists.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Yeah, my hopes aren’t up AT ALL

So fabulous Raksha just messaged me to say could she come visit me in England in May and I was all HELL YEAH and then she was like, Well, only maybe, and I told her I wasn’t going to get my hopes up because then they’d be crushed and destroyed if she couldn’t come.

This goes along with the reason I haven’t posted in my blog very much lately. It is because my soul is gradually being squelched out of existence by the sheer amount of words I have to write. I had to do 1500 words of research proposal and 3000 words of Early Modern Culture essay for this week, and in two weeks I have 6000 more words of essays to write (two essays), and I also have to do research for them, and the library here (I’m sorry, Albert Sloman! I know you are doing your best to be a stellar library!) is not very good AT ALL, so it is extremely hard to find any secondary sources whatsoever.

Anyway, so there is no joy in my life until after these essays are handed in, and they are so time-consuming and life-consuming that I never have time to write in my blog, and even if I did nothing exciting happens to me because I’m so busy writing essays. So I got back from my sociology class today and Raksha had left me a message saying she might come visit me in England in May if that was okay and now I’m like bouncing up and down in my chair and making a list of foods I can buy that she can eat and exciting places to take her and if anyone else were around right now I’d be going RAKSHA IS COMING TO VISIT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! until their eardrums exploded.

(So it’s probably best no one’s around.)


*does happy dance*

Monday, February 19, 2007

What? No! But your pretty hands, dude! WE WATCHED YOUR HANDS AT THE OSCARS!

Dominic Monaghan likes to dress like a girl! (P.S. I’m sorry for linking you to such a trashy website.)

It is totally unacceptable for me to find out at this late date. I was going to marry Dominic Monaghan. He can do surprisingly accurate imitations of people, and he has nice hands, and he has nice hands! And although I am all in favor of guys wearing whatever they want and doing their thing and whatnot, I can’t marry someone who has nicer skirts than I have! Or better manicured and more evenly painted fingernails! I — I just — I don’t — this news has reduced me to a stammering mess.

Nezabeth is probably the only person who will appreciate the tragedy of this news. Three years in a row we watched the Oscars when Lord of the Rings was nominated (Nezabeth, I shall miss watching the Oscars with you this year!), and we got very excited every time someone talked about Lord of the Rings, because at once everyone would start clapping, as they do for films at the Oscars, and then the camera would go to the stars of Lord of the Rings and THERE would be Dominic Monaghan’s lovely hands! And Nezabeth and I, we are both all about the hands, so it was very exciting to have all these pretty hands for three years in a row to look at, and I was definitely going to marry Dominic Monaghan. So I just don’t really know what to do with myself now.

Dominic Monaghan also apparently is an active and adament environmentalist (hooray for you, dude) and “owns a small forest in India”. I guess you can do with that information what you will.

Tremendous a blow as this has been to my matrimonial expectations, I still expect I will be okay, because there is still Hugh Jackman and although he cannot do impressions as well as Dominic Monaghan, he can sing songs to me and he has very nice hands as well.

Quality television that I missed out on

Apparently there used to be this television show called The Animals of Farthing Wood, about a whole bunch of animals that, um, all lived together in a place called — yeah, there’s really no need to finish this sentence. Anyway, so these animals, they are in danger because the wicked evil men (you never see their faces. They are just wicked) are cutting down trees and filling in ponds and generally making the hitherto beautiful Farthing Wood totally unliveable; and the animals must find a way to survive or else, you know, they won’t survive.

I discovered this because my flatmate Sarah used to watch this show religiously when she was a child, and she was reunited with it last night, to her immense excitement. We watched the first part of episode one, and Sarah kept emitting little squeals of joyous recognition and filling me in on what all the characters were called and what they were like. (The naming system is pretty basic, really: the fox is called Fox, the badger (voiced by Ron Moody!) is called Badger, the weasel is called Weasel, and, you know, so on. They mix it up a little in the second season when Fox mates (with Vixen) and they have pups, which cannot (a la George Foreman) all have the same name as their parents.) And when I asked her how come the animals of Farthing Wood didn’t eat each other, she said, with enthusiastic interpretive gesturing, “They all make a pact not to eat each other and if anybody breaks it they get thrown out of the Quest to get to White Deer Park!”

Turns out this was a pretty brutal television show and a whole bunch of characters die in it — the little happy animals! and they just die! — and Wikipedia says that unlike most children’s television shows this one relied on strong plot rather than comedic elements. British children’s TV, it doesn’t mess around. You get attached to those hedgehogs, and BAM they are GONE.

(Hedgehogs are really cute. I want a little pet hedgehog of my own one day. I would call it Fuzzypeg and it would be my favorite creature in all the world.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My mouth tastes nasty

Or, things that you think are good for you but actually are not.

1) Naps. Today I got up really early in order to get a lot of work done, but instead I went to lie down and I fell asleep and I had this horrific dream that I was in Heroes and Sylar had become this awful mutant creepy looking thing with all white skin and bloaty splotchy tumor things all over his body and in addition he could still do all the horrible things he can do for real in the show. (P.S. Why doesn’t anyone in the show notice how obviously creepy and weird Sylar is? Mohinder’s just like, Woohoo, a heroes-finding buddy! Let’s go, dude! ROAD TRIP!) And it was really scary and my superpower was incredibly lame and useless and had something to do with paper, so I really wouldn’t stand a chance against him if he wanted to kill me, and then as well there was a little baby somewhere around about whom we were all worried, and I was running and running and I kept thinking, Oh my GOD this episode has to be OVER soon but it never was. And then I woke up and my mouth tasted nasty because I had taken a nap and then I fell back asleep and had a similar dream, this time involving Voldemort and the Harry Potter people, and when I woke up after that, I was very very chagrined and my mouth tasted nasty because I had taken a nap. Which brings me back to the original point: Naps are bad.

2) Exercise. Exercise, and I cannot say this enough times, kills. It just does. I watched this show about this woman who had to start selling marijuana for a living because her husband just one day died in the middle of jogging. Also exercise is very bad for your knees and stuff, unless you’re doing something sensible like running in the pool which is actually okay. But everything else screws up your joints and gets you all sweaty, which is unpleasant, so the best thing to do is just not exercise. Endorphins are overrated anyway. (And possibly imaginary — I never ever feel more cheerful after I’ve exercised.)

3) Vegetables unless they are totally by themselves. And if you eat something else with them, the effect of the vegetables just gets neutralized. Like if you eat oil with them. Then you might as well not have had that salad at all. Said my biology teacher. But he might have been teasing us. But he’s made it impossible for me to enjoy Italian dressing the way I used to, and now when I eat salads I just eat them without dressing (and it’s much less tasty that way.)

However, apples are really good for you. I know this because I have started eating apples, and they taste yummy to me; so they must be healthy as well. Because they are fruits. But don’t eat the seeds because Wikipedia says they are mildly poisonous.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Tube map of America!

Here is a simplified map of the interstate system.

When I look at this map, my heart leaps, because it appears to be the solution to all of my interstate traveling problems (except the one where I don’t like to merge or switch lanes; that is still an issue). Regular maps bewilder me. There are so many different roads, and everything turns into something else and I can’t tell where one highway goes in a straight line because the map markings, they just don’t make any sense. Whereas this one makes everything so simple. How do I get to New York City? I go straight down I-10 and take a left on I-95, and BAM I am there!

Only at first I couldn’t believe it was that easy. I’ve seen atlases! I know what the road system looks like! And it isn’t this nice grid either! It’s all confusing and weird!

And then I realized that this interstate map is exactly like the Tube map of London: it doesn’t necessarily bear a huge resemblance to the street maps, but it is incredibly useful because you just follow the signs and you will pop up in the exact place where you want to be (or close enough to walk there). Which is why I love the Tube. If I get lost in London, I can just wander around until there appears a Tube station, and as soon as I walk down the stairs into the station, I’m no longer lost! I can get to anywhere then! Now America is like that for me too. All I need to do is find a major city, and I’m good to go.

I’m totally printing a copy of this map and going on a big cross-country road trip when I get home. Anyone want to come? I know where everything is now! We can just go wherever! THE WORLD IS SO SIMPLE NOW!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The worst of both worlds

So I’m missing Mardi Gras, which obviously means I’m missing all the delicious strawberry cream cheese king cake, and I’m certainly missing any parades that might be happening (which wouldn’t be such a tragedy if I weren’t also missing the St. Patrick’s Day parade).

But you know what else I’m missing? FREE PANCAKES DAY.

Let me give you that again.


Because Mardi Gras, it’s also Pancake Day. But it’s Pancake Day in the UK! So why are the International Houses of Pancakes in the US providing free pancakes? I’m missing free pancakes because there is no IHOP near here! At the IHOP on Mardi Gras, they’re giving away three free pancakes. WITH SYRUP.

They ask you sweetly for a donation and whatnot, and that’s all to a very good cause, and then they’re giving away FREE PANCAKES FOR FREE! Look at that picture of pancakes. I made a yearning noise when I espied it. Delicious lovely pancakes.

And I’m mi-hi-hi-hissing it! (That was me whining.) No pancakes and no king cake.

Anyway, you people please go ahead and hit that up for me. Eat your pancakes with joyous joy. Or, if you want really tasty pancakes, go to my house and plead with my sister or my father to make you some pancakes.

(I found out about this on It also had a headline that said, “IAEA cuts half of the technical assistance it was providing to Iran’s nuclear program. In other news, the IAEA is providing technical assistance to Iran’s nuclear program.” Seriously. Scary.)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

This is just too sad

I am so incapable of dealing with suspense. It’s tragic. Remember that thing I said about The Prestige, that at one point it was so suspenseful that I had to be physically restrained from looking up what happened on the internet? That may have sounded like it was an unusual circumstance, and it was, in that usually I don’t allowed myself to be restrained but just continue with the looking up of the ending. I do it in books too. I read enough of the beginning to have a sense of who the characters are, and then I skip to the end to see what’s going to happen to them. I hate it when the end contains characters I’ve never heard of before; it puts me out of temper with the latecomer characters and I never give them a chance to be loved.

When I watched The Sixth Sense for the first time, I rang up my sister to demand that she tell me what the twist was, because I couldn’t stand not knowing. When I watched Superman Returns — and we know he has to be okay at the end because he’s Superman! — I was chewing on my nails for the last thirty minutes of the flim, and Steve kept taking my hands away from me so that I couldn’t do it anymore. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve paused a TV show or a movie to beat a fellow viewer with pillows until they tell me what’s going to happen, I’d have LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of nickels. The first time I watched Moulin Rouge, even though I knew that Ewan McGregor HAD to survive because he is the one narrating the story and typing it on his typewriter, I was still squealing with anxiety because I feared that he would be shot by the bald gun guy.

So yeah. I like knowing the ends. With some books I try to hold out — very rarely, for instance, do I read the ends of mystery novels or the Harry Potter books, although I sometimes glance at the very last page to see who’s still alive. In the case of the sixth Harry Potter book, I wanted to see whether Ginny made it out okay, and I happened to glance down at a sentence that let me know who wasn’t okay; and that was an accident but it was really better in the end because I didn’t worry about anything for the whole rest of the book.

Well, I was prompted to mention this publicly because just now I was watching an episode of Sex and the City, and I went online to find out — this is true, I swear to God — whether the sex was ever going to get better with Carrie and Ron Livingstone. I used Wikipedia to aid me in my search to discover information about the sex lives of two totally fictional characters. That is too, too tragic.

(In my defense, however, they get along famously! and the only problem is they don’t have good sex! so it’d be a shame if that problem persisted when everything else is in their favor! and I can’t watch every episode in series 6 tonight, so I might as well find out now as not know for several more days!)

And yes, the sex was going to get better. It did at the end of the very episode I paused during to find this out. So I guess I could have saved the time. However, since I looked on Wikipedia I also discovered that Ron Livingstone is going to break up with her via Post-It note, so now I know not to get invested in their relationship. See? See how good it is to know the endings of things? All right.


Did you know that Robinson Crusoe has two halves? One, two? And that only one of them is the half where he lives on the desert island for a really long time?

Okay, officially in my brain I knew that there was more to Robinson Crusoe than the desert island bit, but you see I didn’t apply it to my LIFE because I believed that I would never need to. When my brain thought about that book it was more just one of those thoughts that slides painlessly into your brain and then painlessly out of it and never receives much notice. Occasionally I would focus on it enough to have fond memories of Swiss Family Robinson, but basically I never pondered it extensively and I never thought about having to read it.

And now I am reading it. For several hours today I have been reading it, taking breaks to watch episodes of Sex and the City in order to take the edge off. It is so amazingly boring that I can’t believe my eyes haven’t fallen out of my head. I read and I read and I read, and then suddenly the book came to an abrupt stop and then there was a blank page and then there was PART TWO. A whole other part that I now have to read!

I don’t know why this causes such deep despair in my soul. I knew that I was only halfway through the book because I could see the remainder of the pages stretching endlessly out before me; but there is something about it being Part Two, like the author is officially telling me I have only worked my miserable wretched way through half of this endless novel, that makes the idea of continuing this book completely unbearable.

But there was snow today! Real right proper snow that made the ground all white (I’ll post a picture later of the view from my window) and fell all down from the sky in flurries for a little while and packed together in lovely snowballs. I woke up this morning around nine-thirty and was mystified by the lack of snow; so I pulled the curtain expecting to see another dreary dreary rainy day — and instead there was snow everywhere! My brain ASPLODED with joy.

Unfortunately I had no one to play with. My flatmates are all very underwhelmed with the idea of snow because they have seen it many times before, and Steve had to work, so I had to play in the snow all by my wee forlorn self. I built a lil snowman and then decapitated him by throwing volleys of snowballs at him until his head just fell off. That was fun. I wanted to throw a snowball at a goose, but there were no gooses around and eventually I decided that wouldn’t be very nice anyway.

(The one time it snowed in Baton Rouge — it might even have been on Christmas Day because I remember my family all coming outside to go somewhere all together in the car — I threw a snowball at this nasty horrible cat that I hated. It was a totally vile cat and it used to come over to my house from its home across the street and beat up on my cat and eat up all of her food, and it was really not expecting to be hit with a snowball. It jumped and then fled in horror and there were still bits of snow on its fur, and I really enjoyed the whole thing.)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


For those of you who thought it was funny to PERSECUTE me by telling me persistently that Lupin had to die because Wormtail had a silver hand and silver kills werewolfs, YOU ARE WRONG. Lupin is not going to be killed by Wormtail with his silver hand, and I have this straight from the horse’s mouth. Ms. Joanne Rowling has taken the time to personally refute this OBVIOUS MYTH on her website. She says, “Nice idea, clearly predicated on the legend that only a silver bullet can kill a werewolf — but incorrect.” HA. HA. HA.

You know what that means? It means that there is no reason whatsoever to suppose that Lupin is going to die. He’s doing his werewolf thing (poor darling; I want to give him a big hug and take him out for hot chocolate. Tonks too, because even though I’m wildly jealous of her I think it’s totally totally suitable and I’m very happy for them both, bless their fictional hearts), and he’s going to be just fine. There is now no more reason to suppose that Lupin is going to die than to suppose anyone else is going to die; indeed rather less because I am still convinced that JK Rowling has a heart and is going to leave Lupin alive to be a support figure for Harry after all this is over. He is going to be fine, and so is Tonks. I have decided. I will not have Lupin upset any further.

However, I’m sure that Wormtail’s silver hand thing is going to be relevant, and I think it’s going to be relevant in the same way that his Debt to Harry is going to be relevant. (Come dawn of 22 July, I’m going to edit this post and you’ll never be able to prove that I said this, if I turn out to be wrong.) But it will not take down Lupin, and the tenor of her response suggests that it will not take down Wretched Fenrir Greyback either. Oh well.

So yeah. YAY!

(I’m in love with Lupin. So very in love.)




Added almost a year later: Oh my God, I killed Lupin. It was me. I posted this in February, which was before JK Rowling finished the book, and she probably decided to kill Lupin and Tonks at the very moment that I wrote this. I murdered them both. I am complete rubbish and also a murderess.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Prestige

The Prestige is this film about rival magicians, right, and they have this big rivalry because Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) totally ruined Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman)’s whole life back in the day when they’re colleagues working together on the same show and then Angier shot off Borden’s fingers during an act because apparently they are wholly (and repeatedly) incapable of recognizing each other when one of them is wearing false facial hair. There’s a lot of mysteriousness and people being injured in various ways and disloyalty and eventually everything gets explained and somebody gets the girl. (That was ambiguous, see, because the movie is ambiguous. I’m employing parallelism in this review. Awright.)

We’ll start with the good things about this movie so that I can have all the more fun being snotty about the bad things. Okay, let’s see. Well, the costumes are very nice, and everybody’s a good actor (especially lovely Michael Caine) even though they never alarm the viewer with an excessive amount of character development, and the sets are lovely and it’s fun to see magic done. And, um, Hugh Jackman does a good American accent. And Scarlet Johanssen is shexy.

Now, I had very high hopes for this film. I read that director Christopher Nolan (who directed the fabulous Memento as well as Batman Begins which I never saw because I hate Christian Bale) had asked reviewers not to give anything away because the film was going to be all like a magic trick, and I was like, Woohoo, this movie’s going to be awesome! There’s the awesome cast, and it’s just going to be so very awesome with the complex and fascinating awesomeness hoorayyyyyy! I saw The Illusionist and I was like, Well, that was good and all, but The Prestige is going to be SO MUCH BETTER. And although Hugh Jackman does a better American accent than Edward Norton does a whatever the hell he was doing accent, The Prestige was way not better.

Maybe I’m being unfair. But the thing is, there’s a huge set-up with all these mysteries and David Bowie, and you’re waiting for everything to be cleverly explained in a fabulous way, and the ending, when all is finally revealed, really feels like a cheat. The reason for this is, I think, that the film is set up as a magnificent and exciting trick, and it really isn’t. The ending’s just kind of blah. It’s not understated enough to be cool, and it’s not spelled out enough to be clear, so it ends up just feeling half-assed.

That said, I’ll go back to the positive things and admit that most of this movie is really very good indeed. I was thoroughly enjoying it until the last, I don’t know, ten minutes or so, and at one point I was so wracked with anxiety from all the suspense that I had to be physically restrained from looking up what was going to happen. So let me give credit where credit is due. I know it’s difficult to have as many balls in the air as this movie has and still catch every single one; but if it wasn’t going to do it properly it shouldn’t have done it at all. I was watching for all the little peculiar and unresolved details, and I knew they were all relevant and it was going to be so cool when they explained everything, and then THUD, they had an implausible (and thus much less chilling than one might like) science machine – I’m not giving anything away here, I swear – and a stupid cheating unsatisfactory explanation for Christian Bale’s much-vaunted trick. And no one lived happily ever after. The end.

(See how the first sentence of that paragraph is misleading because it pretends like I’m going to be nice in the rest of the paragraph? I hope Christopher Nolan reads that so he’ll know how I feel now! *stomps off in a huff*)

How to be a happier person

There’s this excellent bit of the otherwise TOTALLY MISERABLE AND WRETCHED Neil Gaiman short “24 Hours” (it’s the one I told Robyn and Anna not to read because everybody in the diner gets brutally slaughtered and it’s not that necessary to the story arc and you might as well just give it a miss and take my word for it that the whole amulet thing works out and Dream is fine and can carry on having bread thrown at his head (in case you were wondering, I do own that single issue. The bread-throwing one. The really really good one. I have that. It’s mine and I have it. My lovely sister Anna gave it to me.)) where the waitress’s stories “all have happy endings. That’s because she knows where to stop. She’s realized the problem with stories — if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death.”

Basically that is my approach to flims and books. My sister Robyn and I have decided there is no point in watching the miserable ends of flims when we can stop them sooner and enjoy them so much more. The classic example is Moulin Rouge, which appears to be designed for people like us. Robyn and I like to watch it right up to when the curtain falls, and then we turn it off. It’s so simple!

Okay, think about it. The real ending is that adorable Ewan McGregor sobs helplessly over beautiful and charming Nicole Kidman’s tuberculosis-ridden corpse and then is probably wretched for the rest of his life. But if we turn it off right when the curtain falls, that doesn’t have to happen! See? It could just be that the doctor was just wrong, and Satine isn’t dying at all! or that she was CURED by the INCREDIBLE JOY she felt at being with Ewan McGregor forever! (That’d cure me of tuberculosis.) And that whole thing at the beginning with Ewan McGregor being all the woman I love is dead, that was just to fool us! Teehee, good one, Baz Luhrman, you totally had us going for a while there! Yep. It’s better that way.

Similarly I don’t necessarily need to watch all of Felicity. If I just watch it up to the end of the second season, imagine how happy I would be! Whereas if I watch the third and fourth seasons, there’s all that stuff with Felicity cheating on Ben and Ben cheating on Felicity and having a KID (don’t they know about condoms? the big stupidheads!), and why would I want that to happen? (I wouldn’t.)

See, there’s an episode of Friends where it turns out that Phoebe’s mother turned off all the sad movies before the sad endings happened, and Phoebe grew up thinking that Old Yeller was a happy movie, and it was like a joke! Why is it a joke? That’s a very sensible idea! That’s what I do! Who needs the stupid dog to die? I stopped reading the end of Where the Red Fern Grows when I was quite young. Why not stop reading Romeo and Juliet right when they come up with The Plan, and assume that it worked?

And some things you really shouldn’t read/watch at all because there is no point at which you can stop and have it be okay. Stop reading Lord of the Flies before you begin. Return City of God to the flim shop/rental place. (Seriously — I saw three minutes of it and in that time two people got shot dead and a girl got raped while her boyfriend was forced to watch. Just skip it.)

Obey me and your life will be better. And don’t get attached to anyone in the Harry Potter books. After July of this year I will let you know whom it’s okay to love. It’s okay to love Lupin. It is okay to love Lupin. HE IS IN LOVE WITH TONKS AND HE IS NOT GOING TO DIE. (she said hysterically)

(Incidentally, I think that Moulin Rouge would have been better if they had made Satine’s death more understated. Have the curtain fall and then have her do the cough thing and Ewan McGregor would turn to look at her anxiously, and then cut back to his older self with the typewriter - they could do second-long shots and done a contrast with the insane joyous clapping of the audience, and then bits of the typewriter Christian bits - that would have been a better way to do it. I think. I mean, I’d still stop the movie with the curtain-fall, but at least it wouldn’t be quite so melodramatic.)

The System

Here is my new system. Every day of the week will be assigned to a particular task. On that day of the week I will do no other task, so that when I finish the assigned task I will be done for the day and I can read cheerful books and watch cheerful flims and TV shows without feeling any guilt whatsoever. If I do not do the assigned task on the day allotted to it, the task will not get done at all and I will have to pay the miserable consequences.

Sunday will be my American Literature reading day. I will read my American literature book or poems and prepare a presentation if one has been assigned to me for that week. (This is going to be a miserable day because from here on out there are no good authors for us to read, except Sylvia Plath. And she is only one author, and it is only one week, and the other weeks have things like Beloved and Native Son and Light in August, God help me.)

Monday will be my day for working on papers. Today, for instance, I have begun doing research for my Early Modern Culture paper. You can see already that the system is foolproof and absolutely prevents procrastination. While I type this, a PDF file is downloading that will be extremely useful for this paper. (Okay, the PDF file finished while I was typing the title of the post. But if it were much slower it would still be downloading.)

Tuesday will be my day for working on my dissertation proposal. This means reading lots of books about sodomy and the Victorians. Tuesday will be a lovely day, except for the American literature class that takes place on that day, since as I have noted nothing good will come of American Lit class from now until ever again.

Wednesday will be devoted to Early Modern Culture and Symbolic Imagination. As neither of these tasks can be expected to take a full day or even a half day (I can knock them out in a few hours), I will also permit myself to work on papers or my dissertation proposal on this day. Additionally, if I have an extremely long book to read for my sociology and literature and history class, I may begin to read it on Wednesday. (See below.)

Thursday will be the day to read my book for my sociology and literature and history class. This week I am being tortured with Robinson Crusoe. The only copy the library possesses is 383 pages long, which leads the reader to imagine that it will not be that bad, 383 pages, it’s longish but not unbearable and everything is going to be fine. But see, that’s just a trick to lure you into a false sense of security, and then you open the book and BAM they hit you with the smallest and most depressing typeface ever. A very regular-width pen covers three lines when you lay it down on the book. Three lines! Apart from how long this makes the book that I have to read for Friday, this also means that I will probably be blind by Friday.

Friday, as anyone who has spoken to me on a Friday this term knows, is the day on which I have SIX HOURS of classes. One, two, three, four, five, SIX. That is most of my courseload right there. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were six different classes, or even four different classes; but it is three classes, which means that each class is two hours long. Two hours is much too long for a born and bred Catholic girl to spend in any one place at a time. I can just about manage an hour and a half, but when the classes start to be two whole hours long, my brain goes AWOL. Sometimes (as this past Friday) it invents exciting and useful Systems for Life, but sometimes it just totally craps out and starts making my hands write “my eyes are falling shut” and transliterate poems in the Arabic alphabet in the middle of note-taking sentences. One of the pages from last term has three hymns so transliterated rather than useful notes about Coleridge. Anyway, since I have six miserable hours of wretched classes on Friday (from 10 to 12 and then from 2 to 6), I’ve given myself Friday off. Friday is the day on which I will read books that I feel like reading. I just read Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, and although the ending was a bit of a let-down, I enjoyed it very much.

Saturday is the day to do my Top Secret Research. If I told you more about this, I’d have to kill you, so we’ll just leave it at that.

(I’m not crazy, I’m methodical.)

Now, back to the Witch of Edmonton, which mainly inoffensive play I will grow to loathe and despise in the weeks to come. Let me say while I am still sane on the subject that I never liked it that much to start with.

THIS IS A GENIUS SYSTEM. You may admire my brilliance at your leisure.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

My new and possibly only temporary blog name

I have decided to rename my blog, and this is what I have decided upon, at least for the time being. If anyone can think of anything better, do let me know and I will take it under advisement. But I like this one a lot.

Lately I’ve been really cross with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst for being the same person. Why are they so much the same person? I was trying to write a review of Stranger than Fiction, and I couldn’t get anywhere because I kept being distracted by the fact that Maggie Gyllenhaal is exactly like Kirsten Dunst. They both have that whole free-spirited-grl character thing, and they are both little skinny girls with faces shaped the same, and their voices are different but the intonations aren’t, and they have the same way of moving, and, and, and everything. (By that I mean their boobs. Same boobs too. Seriously, it’s uncanny. Bras, girls.).

I’m really irritated by this. They have no right to be the same person. They’re so much the same person that Kirsten Dunst went out with Maggie Gyllenhaal’s brother for a while, probably so that she could be closer to Maggie all the time so that they could study each other and become closer and closer to being the exact same person. Who is imitating whom, that’s what I want to know, or are they both collaborators in this bizarre attempt to eliminate all differences between them?


And now, here are cats. Look at these pictures and tell me which of these makes you laugh the most. Because one of those pictures made me laugh so hard my whole torso was aching, and I still couldn’t stop laughing, and every time I thought about it, I laughed harder and harder. I suspect it wasn’t as funny as it seemed, so tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Running the gamut of emotions

So I was just checking out what was going on in the world of letters, and the first thing I espied was that the seventh Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, please don’t kill Lupin, Ms. Rowling) has been given an official release date of 21 July 2007. Which means I’ll be home to get it! It was way less cool getting the sixth book in England, although that may have been because I was in Croyden at the time, and Croyden is rubbish, than it was getting the fifth one in America. I am totally going to hit up one of those all-night bookstore Harry Potter extravaganzas. God wants me to.

(When the fifth book came out, I kept running into people I knew at Bongs & Noodles, and they were all trying to play it off like they didn’t care about the Harry Potter book and were just killing time until their movie started playing at the cinema next door. Whatever. Embrace it, guys.)

Well, so I got super excited and made a joyous squeak of elation and bounced up and down in my chair for a while, and I was all set for today to be an Official Good Day, and then there was this other thing in the news, which is that Molly Ivins, brilliant liberal Texan columnist, died yesterday.

Molly Ivins was my most favorite columnist ever, and I was sort of hoping she’d live forever (or at least long enough to see a damn Democrat elected back to the Presidency). She was 62, which was way too young. Cancer sucks. I’m even in a Facebook group that says so; and my mother has a pin that says so. Our rubbish newspaper at home is just going to be that much less good now, having been deprived of both Ms. Ivins’s column and the stroppy letters to the editor from angry conservatives. She was a very cool lady.