mellicious: pink manicure (winter berries)
2009-12-22 02:02 am

Happy (belated) Solstice!

I have said before that I usually get asked to bring the rolls (store-bought) to Christmas dinner, or fruit for a fruit salad. My aunt has told me before that this is because we live out of town, but my mom lived out of town too, and that didn't get her out of being asked to bring her famous gumbo to everything. (Which meant if you rode with her, you got to smell it for two or three hours, and half the time some of it would end up on the floorboard of the car. Ew.) So clearly, the real reason is not that I live out of town, but that I am famously not much of a cook. Somebody on some blog I was reading said lately that everybody bakes something at Christmas. Um, no. Maybe every five years I will get on a roll and bake cookies or something - and there was that time my mother guilted me into making fudge. (Actually I think she guilted me into making fudge twice. But it's no-bake fudge, anyway - the recipe is in that entry, if you're interested - so that's still not baking, technically.)

All that said, I am sort of baking something - or rather taking something that will be baked - to the family Christmas. But it's lasagna, of all things, rather than anything sweet. It's not actually for the big Christmas dinner; it will be eaten either Thursday night or Friday night. And I'm taking it assembled but unbaked, and we will bake it later. I've done that before, a number of years ago, and it worked out well. It's not actually that I can't cook, but that I don't usually bother. Rob and I don't really eat the same food (he lives on spaghetti and fish, generally) and we each cook our own, but for me that usually ends up being something frozen. I just don't care much about cooking, but when I bother to cook, I do pretty well at it. (As long as I set timers. I can burn anything.)

Possibly the funniest LJ thread I've ever read. I can't say I ever thought a whole lot about the lyrics to "Do You Hear What I Hear?" but I will now.

I thought everybody knew about the GOP military-funding filibuster, but TPM is treating it as news and TPM knows everything (politically speaking), so I guess not. Politically speaking, here's the question I want answered: what made Lieberman change his mind on the healthcare bill? It's very clear what made Ben Nelson change his mind, but I haven't heard a word about Lieberman. If I find out the answer to this, I'll report back.

I did find out the answer to why Al Franken has been presiding so much - he's the low man on the totem pole, so he gets the duty at fun times like the all-night sessions. (I knew he was the low man, of course, I just hadn't made the connection.)

Wow. I'm suddenly much happier that I've never been much of a Prairie Home Companion fan.
mellicious: pink manicure (winter berries)
2009-12-17 10:54 pm

Variations on a theme

First of all, a link: The Twelve Days of Christmas, Twin Peaks style (via Cinematical.) Oddly disturbing.

Earlier I twittered about James Horner being a hack, and [ profile] columbina  said he hadn't ever heard anything bad about Horner before, but actually if you Google "James Horner is a hack" you find a number of opinions agreeing with me, interestingly. (This came up because Horner did the Avatar soundtrack, if you're wondering.) I stumbled onto this several years ago because somebody told me that Horner had basically stolen the Field of Dreams soundtrack - which I loved - from Aaron Copland's old score for "Our Town" - and when I finally heard Copland's Our Town piece, I was stunned. It's not the entire score or anything, but bits and pieces are definitely lifted wholesale. I know it's problematic since film scoring is the fine art of sounding familiar without actually quite stealing, and Copland in particular is a favorite target - but there's a line and this was over it, that's all that I can say. (Horner is actually much more famous for stealing from himself than stealing from other people, though.)

I love film scores, actually. It's all about themes and variations, which is something I've always liked, anyway. Some scores I've always liked a lot are - to name the first couple that pop into my head - The Shawshank Redemption, which is by Thomas Newman, and Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings soundtrack. (I know neither of those is a particularly edgy choice, but oh well.) The LOTR soundtrack was particularly interesting because I never thought Howard Shore's work before that was particularly outstanding. Well - I mean, he wrote the Silence of the Lambs soundtrack, which was a really good soundtrack in its way, but it wasn't something that made you sit up and notice it. It just struck the mood it was supposed to strike without really calling attention to itself. You could make a case for that being the definition of a perfect soundtrack, actually, or at least, I think some people would. But I didn't think at the time that it was a particularly groundbreaking soundtrack, or anything like that. (We saw Silence of the Lambs several times when it first came out, and I remember becoming aware of the soundtrack after several viewings. But it took that long to notice it, for me.) So what I'm saying is that Shore's previous work just did not prepare me for this huge, sweeping, grandiose thing (but mostly in a good way) that was the LOTR soundtrack. It has some gorgeous, gorgeous themes, and it sustains them across all three movies without getting old*, which has to have been a hard thing to do. In particular, there's a Gondor theme that's first heard in the first movie (in the scene in Lorien where Boromir is talking about Minas Tirith), shows up a bit in the second movie in some Faramir bits, I think, but doesn't really get developed fully until the third movie when the action moves to Gondor. That took some forethought - although I'm guessing he had seen dailies of a good bit of the movie by the time the first one was released, so maybe it wasn't as difficult as you'd think. And I'm going from memory here because I haven't watched the movies lately. Hmm, I need to do that.

Back to Horner - if you have iTunes, you can pull up a bit from the Avatar theme song, which is by Leona Lewis. (I'm sure there are ways of getting hold of it without having iTunes as well. Amazon, maybe? or the movie website...) Just in the 30-second clip that's up as a sample, I seriously thought she was going to break into "My Heart Will Go On" - it's the bit in the latter song that has the lyrics "Near, far" if you know what I mean. And that makes me disgusted that I even know the lyrics to that song. But that's a whole 'nother subject.)

Also, I have nothing much to say about the Shawshank Redemption soundtrack offhand, but did you know that Thomas Newman is from a famous film-scoring family? (Of all the weird family occupations...) Randy Newman is his cousin, and Lionel Newman (who wrote the How to Marry a Millionaire soundtrack, among many other famous ones) was his uncle. Just some film-soundtrack trivia.

*Except maybe for the hobbit theme. I thought that one got a bit old - but I would be inclined to blame that on Peter Jackson rather than on Shore, anyway. The super-cutesie way he treated the hobbits in general grated on me.

mellicious: pink manicure (Xmas - Urban)
2009-12-16 12:23 am

Extinction vs. obsolescence, and other randomness

Things that are obsoleteextinct, per New York magazine:
1. answering machines
2. lickable stamps
3. foldable maps
4. cathode ray tube TVs
5. incandescent light bulbs
6. paid porn
7. smoking in bars
8. fax machines
9. Hydrox cookies
10. cassette tapes
11. French francs
12. floppy disks
13. phone books
14. Polaroid photos
15. bank deposit slips
16. subway tokens
17. Rolodexes
Full title: "A Catalogue of Everyday Stuff That Has Become Extinct"

I really don't think most of this stuff is extinct. Obsolete, yes, and on the way to becoming extinct, yes, for most of that stuff, but actually gone, no. I can't speak to French francs or subway tokens, since I don't live any place with francs or subways, and Hydrox cookies are just not something that is on my radar. I have some opinions on several of these things, but actually I think KarenD already said most of them for me, so I will refrain.

Here's the random part )

mellicious: pink manicure (Halloween lights)
2009-10-29 09:19 pm

Halloween stuff

Everybody has seen the meat hand that notmartha made, right? The onion fingernails are what really make it.

I made one more Halloween necklace to use up some of my leftovers:

I think it came out really well. (It's more simple than I originally intended. I keep finding that less is more here.) I also really like that chain, I'm going to have to do something else with it. I'm working on some more stuff to go in the store, but it's been slow. I feel like my standards have to be pretty high.

I love Halloween, and if we have trick-or-treaters I'll be thrilled (we didn't have one last year, though) but I think Halloween being on Saturday sounds like a prescription for disaster as far as the grown-up parties are concerned. I have gotten leery of any day where the drunks are liable to be out in force. So I'll probably be home playing WoW, for the most part. We may go out to eat, but if we do we'll probably go even earlier than we usually do.

Anyway, my back is still recovering. It's been a bad week, although it's much better than it was. (Apparently I have not eaten a whole lot, either; when I went to Weight Watchers today, I had lost about 6-1/2 pounds.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Halloween - corpse bride)
2009-10-23 02:04 am

Etsy love

Oh y'all: it occurred to me to search Etsy for Dr. Horrible costumes (I found a few things that aren't costumes, too):
 available in adult sizes, too:

and my very favorite:
(because racy sayings in cross-stitch rarely fail to amuse me)

And my Corpse Bride icon reminds me that there are lots of other costumes over there; that's because I have a secret yen to be a goth bride:

plus there's the punk-rock tutu ("As seen on Good Day Sacramento!!"):

and more normal stuff too:

(and I guess I should say while I'm on this Etsy tear that my store is live, too, although there's only one item there at the moment. I'd wait a few days if you want something other than pink glass.)
mellicious: pink manicure (fireworks)
2009-01-05 06:26 pm

Moar random

Sunday night random:
I hardly got any sleep Friday night, so I made up for it by sleeping 12 hours last night. I don't know, is that even good for you? Now I won't be able to go to sleep until the middle of the night again tonight.

I'm watching Independence Day. I don't know why. I have to say, even after 12 years, though, it's still pretty entertaining. I only know it's 12 years old because I looked it up, by the way. 1996. (I guess that makes it 12-1/2, actually. I'm still doing  math in my head based on it being 2008.)

Packrat - it's a Facebook game, I don't know any way to link to it directly - is driving me crazy. I guess it's a mark of a good game that it drives you crazy and you keep going back, right? (Here's a page with some examples of the cards you collect for it.)

Monday random:
Sleep still kind of all over the place. I woke up at 5:30 and stayed up til Rob left for work at 7, then I conked back out for several hours. I guess I need to just start getting up early and if I can make myself do that then going to bed will probably sort itself out.

I said I was going to start applying for jobs starting today, and I actually did: I applied for a part-time library job at U of Houston. (Not at UH-Downtown, [ profile] profrobert , they must've filled that one - at least, I didn't see it when I looked.) I am still unsure about what I really want to be doing, but library jobs sound more attractive than secretarial ones at the moment. And ideally, I would like to be working something like 30-32 hours a week, but I know that may not be an easy thing to find.

The Idiot's Guide to the Texas Speaker's Race (from Texas Monthly) - I had no idea that the R/D split in the Texas House was so close. It's 76-74. I mean, think about that. Even with that incredible job of gerrymandering that DeLay and his buddies did after 2000, that's the best the Republicans could do.

Good lord, Waterford Wedgwood is bankrupt. Is nothing sacred? (That's right up there with the Boston Globe discontinuing their classifieds, which Col linked to earlier today.)

I was going to post the results for the "What metal are you?" quiz - mostly because it's been days and days since I posted a meme - but I lost it. I know you're crushed. (My answer: copper.)

Oh, and prodded by Col, I watched Wall-E last night. I have to say that it was better than I remembered; however, I stand by what I said in this entry about the part on the ship being relatively weaker. (Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it's more conventional.) The parts with Wall-E and Eve alone - or just Wall-E and the cockroach - are the parts that are really extraordinary.

(I picked that icon in order to be random. Besides, I like it and I never remember to use it.)
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
2008-12-12 02:11 am
Entry tags:

Depressing things

No, I am not depressed. But I've seen some things today that might make me that way.

This picture is just sad. The juxtaposition of holiday decorations and firemen is just something you don't want to see. Also crime-scene tape, I suppose.

And I don't have a link, but apparently Bettie Page is dead. She was 85.

I am going to bed now.

mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - action figures)
2007-11-27 07:45 pm
Entry tags:

Cyber Tuesday

So Cyber Monday was all over the place today:
(I'm pretty sure one or both of these requires registration)
A Gimmick Becomes a Real Trend
(I don't know that I'm really convinced it's a "real trend" - I do think they've succeeded in getting people talking about it.)
Holiday shopping continues on Cyber Monday
Yahoo’s Cyber Monday Meltdown

Wow, I'd be pissed if I had a Yahoo Store. Can you sue your shopping cart company if they lose you money?

Also? I said I hadn't heard the term before this year, but actually I bookmarked on last year. Obviously it didn't make much of an impression, though.

Remember "Baby Grace"? The toddler Jane Doe I was talking about a couple of weeks ago? Well, they finally found out who she is. It's a hugely depressing story and frankly, I wouldn't read it if I were you - I sort of wish I hadn't, except that it's a local story and I was bound to hear it all eventually, no matter what. The piece of it I wanted to touch on here, though, concerns how her mother and stepfather (who have apparently confessed to killing her) met: playing World of Warcraft. I'm expecting another round of hysteria about video game violence next, although I seriously doubt that that really had anything to do with it. (The news reports I saw originally just said they met "online.")

I went back to Matthew Yglesias' site to look for the article that was the reason I went there in the first place - and I still haven't found that one, but I found a factoid that's rather, well, alarming. And enlightening. Nearly 3/4 of all farm subsidies go to the meat and dairy industries? Wow.

He also points out elsewhere that there is such a thing as a Gucci baby carrier, at $850, seen recently on Gwen Stefani. And I mean, we're not talking about a stroller here - I gather from the parenting circles I intersect with that there a good many strollers that run into the hundreds of dollars. We're talking just a, well, backpack - or possibly frontpack, I am unclear on that point. (And I am not providing a link; I'm sure if you want to see the thing, it should be easy enough to find!) I don't really know why this annoys me so much; it's just... I don't know... such conspicuous consumption. I seem to recall getting worked up about a Prada diaper bag once, too. Apparently there's something about the intersection of babies and ridiculously-expensive designer gear that bothers me.

Um, ok.
mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
2007-03-29 08:17 am
Entry tags:

AutoAssault Anonymous

I slept until my alarm went off at 7 this morning, which has become unusual lately. Of course, since I'm technically supposed to be at work at 7:30 these days, I really ought to be setting it a bit earlier than that anyway! In any case, the extra sleep was nice, and I imagine next week when[personal profile] columbinastarts the new job, we will quit playing AutoAssault quite as late and that will help me get to bed a little earlier.

We are (probably needless to say) having a lot of fun with AutoAssault. It's really different from GuildWars - it's a bit more violent, in that well, you run over people from time to time, and there is blood, but it's still not violent on the scale of something like Grand Theft Auto (which I don't approve of, at all, actually - at least, certainly not for kids). GuildWars has no blood even when you kill things - it's a pretty PG-rated game, on the whole. Anyway, my 14-day trial on AA is running out, and in any case, had a level-20 cap on it which I have now run into with one of my characters, so I went ahead and paid this morning. AutoAssault has 3 races in its little postapocalyptic world - humans, mutants, and "biomeks" - which are sort of like cyborgs, human-machine hybrid-y things. The three races don't interact at all until way up in the game (and then they fight, not cooperate), so humans can only play with humans, and so forth. I made one of each race, but it's the mutants - green skin, glowy eyes & all - that Col & I have been playing a lot, and which got to level 20 the other night. Col had played in the beta, and had reactivated his human char from the beta recently and she is really high up there level-wise, so we are not playing our humans together, like we are with the mutants and (occasionally) the biomeks. I have played enough when Col is not around, though, that my human (who's a "commando" - like a warrior) would have run into the level cap with the trial fairly soon, too.

Oh, I had my evaluation yesterday, and it was good, and I got a small raise. We talked about me taking on more responsibility, too, which hopefully will eventually lead to a bigger raise.

Still no word on the court date, dammit. (I'm tempted to call and yell at the lawyer about it, but I don't think it'd do any good. The Harris County Probate Court moves in its own time.)

Not-completely-random linkage:
MSNBC: Guild Wars: an experiment that worked
Reuters: Many Americans see no point to the internet
mellicious: pink manicure (Christmas - snowflakes)
2006-12-21 11:17 pm
Entry tags:

Merry Christmas, Luke!

Via [community profile] craftgrrl: the Star Wars Action figure wreath. I'm not even that big of a Star Wars fan, but I really want one of these.