muchabstracted: (Default)
gacked from [ profile] ayelle

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

I didn't get Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm? *smacks quiz* Hmpf.
muchabstracted: (gorey)
My favorite of the names for the wireless networks on and around where I am now living:



muchabstracted: (Default)
Apparently, powder bleach is more effective than liquid Clorox. My bathtub is no longer spotty just in time for me to no longer use it. Yay!

Last weekend, I saw Stardust with [ profile] lynnoxford, so I'll join the chorus of people recommending it. It was cute, it was well done, and it had a sufficient number of moments that made me think, "Neil Gaiman wrote this movie/book/graphic novel."

Glancing at movie reviews afterwards, I saw a few that compared it to The Princess Bride. Which was interesting, because it led me to realize that I am physically and mentally incapable of comparing any movie to The Princess Bride. It's not that I'm a rabid fan of The Princess Bride -- I'm not. I like it a lot, but I've never gone crazy over it the way I have, say, over The Faerie Queen or Jim Henson's Labyrinth. (Despite the good example my friends set for me.) I think the problem is that The Princess Bride isn't a movie so much as it is a collection of memories of my high school friends. It's, uh, sort of like high school, the good parts version. :)

Before the movie started, we saw the trailer for The Movie That Must Not Be Named. My opinion is behind this cut-tag, out of deference to rymenhild's request. )
muchabstracted: (trickster)
The drummer for Bob Marley's band heard my weekly drum circle from his hotel room, and dropped by to compliment us and chat about West African master drummers.

Apparently, The Wailers are playing at the Paradise tonight.

I wonder how he would address foreign royalty...
muchabstracted: (Default)
Last night, I went to see Transformers with my brother, [ profile] chanaleh and -- somehow -- my mother. She didn't hate it as much as she thought she would.

My favorite part was the moment near the end, after the advanced technology has all been busted, when they are all in a tiny room trying to figure out how to communicate with the outside world to get help. The blond female analyst points to a short wave radio (I think), and asks if the hacker can do something helpful involving hacking, computers, radios, and Morse code. My brother, sitting next to me, makes a valiant and futile attempt to keep from clawing his eyes out in scientific frustration.*

*Despite this, he greatly enjoyed the movie. Possibly he was not expecting accurate representations of science.

Yes, that was a minor spoiler. I think if you care about spoilers for The Transformers Movie, you should really have seen it already.

...Okay, fine, let me know if I should put it under a cut-tag.

Anyway, my three word summary -- stolen from a fanfic summary somewhere, I'm sure -- is "hilariously improbable crap". I was curled up in my chair cackling for the first half of the film. Don't misunderstand, I mean all this lovingly. The screenwriters did a good job. I do think they could have cut some of the plot, but I will forgive them.

By the way, the neuroscience Hangman word from last week was PARAGIGANTOCELLULARIS. If you don't understand why that's a super cool word, just say it loudly, emphasizing the "giganto" bit, and flail around with your arms. Then you'll see.


Jul. 23rd, 2007 08:31 pm
muchabstracted: (trickster)
In reading a book on neuroscience, I have come to the following conclusion:

Neuroscientists have the best hangman words. Anyone want to play?


| . . . . . . . .O
| . . . . . . . .|
| . . . . . . . .|

P A R A _ I _ A N T O C E L L U L A R I S

Uh, also, anyone with suggestions about how to draw the hangman graphic properly?

ETA: If this keeps up, no hangman graphic will be necessary. This still fits my definition of "good hangman word".

ETA2: O was guessed by [ profile] armonie over IM, because apparently my secret plot to get her to log in failed. :(
muchabstracted: (gorey)
Cut for that meme that's going around. I would be happy to answer it, for anyone who wants: I just assume you are probably tired of seeing it by now. )

Unrelatedly, I'm really enjoying the two pages I've read of Once Upon a Time... Storytelling to Teach Character and Prevent Bullying by Elisa Davy Pearmain. Excellent book, full of things like stories and ways to use them with groups. Possibly I will have more to say after having read more.
muchabstracted: (Default)
Gacked (a word which always makes me think of coughing. I want to say "gack gack" whenever I type it, but as you cannot hear the noise I am making, I feel the fun gets lost somewhere) from [ profile] rymenhild, horrid purveyeur of memes.

I've chosen three keywords from the IMDB listings of several of my favorite TV shows and movies. Guess what I'm watching. Some made particularly difficult out of necessity.

1. Slacker. Hologram. Slapstick. Red Dwarf, guessed by [ profile] ayelle
2. Small town. Inn. Female Chef. Gilmore Girls, guessed by [ profile] abilouise
3. Ambition. Sexuality. Acting. Stage Beauty, guessed by [ profile] lynnoxford
4. Wish Fulfillment. Betrayal. Door Knocker.m Labyrinth, guessed by [ profile] lynnoxford
5. Detective. Corpse. Child Murder. Homicide, guessed by [ profile] kraada.
6. Backstage. Tennis. Boat. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, guessed by [ profile] kraada.
7. Spoof. Bear. Theater. Muppet Show, guessed by [ profile] kraada.
8. Myth. Hedgehog. Beggar. Jim Henson's The Storyteller, guessed by [ profile] ayelle
9. Educational. Math. Variety. Square One, guessed by [ profile] rymenhild
10. Nudity. Manipulation. Incest. Rome, guessed by [ profile] lynnoxford
muchabstracted: (trickster)
This weekend is Sharing the Fire, the LANES Storytelling Conference; I will only make it to the first half of Saturday (today) due to holiday conflicts. But it was a lovely day. In some ways, the best yet, in terms of excellence of workshops.

The keynote was excellent; Jay O'Callahan was the speaker this morning. I resist summarizing, because summarizing an hour long story-filled keynote tends to feel vaguely blasphemous. Of course, lack of summaries leave you with no information, and make me wonder why I'm updating at all. As long as I'm telling you things you have little to no context for, Jim May, the keynote at my very first Sharing the Fire, is still my favorite keynote of all. He was also the first person I ever heard talk seriously about storytelling*, so this may not be objective.

*Storytellers who speak seriously about stories are very different from literature professors who speak seriously about stories. Both can be wonderful, but storytellers pay more attention to performance, pacing, and use of metaphor.

I went to all the workshops on using stories in mental health work. For some reason, I enjoyed these workshops more fully than I tend to enjoy the performance-based or story-creation based workshops. (Many of the story creation workshops seem to be focused on personal stories, and I don't really like writing pure personal stories. I like fiction.) But the workshops were both excellent. The presentations were clear, and I came away with (a) an understanding of the material and (b) a sense of how to begin to apply the material. Among other things, I now know much more about Celtic mythology, on any number of layers, than I did this morning. I can also pronounce Samhain properly now. Oops.

Of course, half the fun of Sharing the Fire is the loot. I like loot. I am now the proud owner of a Jay O'Callahan CD (Gouda!, a 2CD wild mystery adventure!); Elisa Davy Pearmain's extensive and detailed workbook, entitled Once Upon A Time: Storytelling to Touch Character and Prevent Bullying; a used copy of Historical Walks in Cambridge; and one bid on a signed copy of Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris, which I fully expect to win. *crosses fingers*

And now I need to go to bed, because I'm up at 7:30 am -- again -- tomorrow.
muchabstracted: (trickster)
Jake Armerding concert last Sunday. I need more live music in my life. This concert actually made me unwind a little, which is a feat at the moment. Good music and excellent musicianship from all concerned, and very enjoyable to spend a few hours in their company. I have discovered that I definitely prefer fiddle to acoustic guitar, which should surprise no one. This is a wimpy review. I am tired. I will be more entertaining next month.

So! DC area folk! He appears to be performing at Jammin' Java in the first week of April. Consider this a general recommendation to anyone who likes folk/bluegrass/acoustic type music. There are assorted links to music samples and concert schedules off of his web site.
muchabstracted: (Default)
[ profile] lynnoxford and I saw Pan's Labyrinth yesterday, with much excitement. The short, non-spoilery review is that it was beautiful, grotesque, artistically solid, and not what we were expecting. Lest I mislead anyone, I will add that, though I would recommend it (mostly for the sake of the first three adjectives just listed), I do not do so unambiguously.

Given [ profile] ayelle's review, however, I might change my mind about that if I'm able to talk with her about it. I did pick up on some of the references, but I know a missed a number, and more allusion always makes me happy. There are certainly enough layers and allusions that I would see the movie again, to try to pick up more.

Cut for serious spoilers, for the sake of talking with the two or three people who have seen the movie *cough*ayelle*cough* )
muchabstracted: (gorey)
Meme, gacked from [ profile] abilouse. I wasn't going to post it, but parts of it were way too funny.'

Cut for 12 Days of Christmas memeishness )
muchabstracted: (books)
I can't do the 1001 nights of meme seen on [ profile] ayelle's and [ profile] lynnoxford's LJ. But I can do this. Xeroxed from [ profile] sovay

Listed below are the fifty most significant science fiction / fantasy novels, 1953—2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club: bold the ones you have read, italicize the ones you started but never finished, underline the ones you own but never started, strike out the ones you hated, and put an asterisk beside the ones you love.

Enter here for books )

I didn't read nearly as many of those as I'd hoped. Not enough of the fun and vaguely trashy stuff from when I was reading voraciously as an adolescent.
muchabstracted: (gorey)
Point the First
radio blares: "Schwartenagger's win is a mandate for the bipartisanship he has been practicing..."

*blinks* Has he been? Has he been doing something right, and my reflexive scorn for him has been unfair and prejudiced against Hollywood action stars?

Point the Second
Okay, what is up with all the ballot questions going negative? I'll grant you, I don't care whether or not supermarkets are allowed to sell liquor. But why on earth do you vote "No" for creating a union for home-based child care?

In the interests of full disclosure: I was vaguely worried that such a union would make home based day care more expensive. However, I also realized that "home-based day care union as massive inconvenience" was less likely than "home-based day care unions as a useful force in the world".

The decision not to allow minor parties to nominate major party candidates is marginally more understandable. It encourages special interest groups, which can be a mixed bag, I suppose; but mainly, I think this one failed because the idea was too complicated.

Point the Third
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Race: Yay!!!!
House Race: Yay!
Montana Senate Race: Yay!
Virginia Senate Race: Ha. I'm not holding my breath. I know my state.

No offense intended to the Republicans on my flist. I feel no particular certainty that the Democrats will do all I hope; but it is difficult to avoid expressing excitement at the first major victory since Clinton's Presidency.

Point the Fourth
Every single time a state has elected a black governor, I was living in the state and paying attention to the election. Clearly, I have Civil Rights Mojo.

I'm not actually 100% clear on what "mojo" means.
muchabstracted: (Default)
Does anyone Boston-area or DC-area have old, non-Jewish themed magazines they're not using? I will take them off your hands and REUSE them for a happier tomorrow. Though if you're DC area, I won't be able to take them off your hands until fall.

ETA: The following paragraph references the fact that I took an art therapy class this past week.

Also? I hate writing papers. Especially when I'm supposed to be packing at the same time (packing being an activity I hate more than writing papers) and especially when what I want to be doing is going through my notes and articles on art therapy and organizing what I learned this past week.
muchabstracted: (Default)
Charles de Lint finally wrote the book where Geordie and Jilly get together! Back in May, but I didn't know until today. Anyway, I haven't had such a hard time not buying a hardcover since HP6. (Though this time, I did suceed in not buying the hardcover. Go me.)

So instead, I read it in the bookstore. Major humongoid spoilers, although I think Genarti is the only person who reads both Charles de Lint and my LJ. )

The only thing that would be more deeply satisfying is if my own characters would get closer to the dating. Alas.


Aug. 15th, 2006 07:16 am
muchabstracted: (Default)
Tagged by [ profile] rymenhild

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.

Olympos, by Dan Simmons. Ha! I don't need to dig for the intellectual book in my closet. (Georgette Heyer was second closest.) Look:

"Don't make me download Latin," said Mahnmut. He nodded toward the huge horses being reined to a stop not five yards in front of them all, throwing up a cloud of dust that rolled over the Achaean captains.

Furious, Penthesilea leads a battleline of Amazona," translated Hockenberry. "With crescent shields, and she glows in the middle of thousands, fastening golden belts around the exposed breast, female warrior, and the maiden does run with men."

And I shall tag... oh, [ profile] lynnoxford, [ profile] countessofgroan, [ profile] fleurdelis28, [ profile] dushai, and [ profile] ayelle, if any of you feel like doing it. I would quite like to tag Bran, but I don't think I'm allowed.
muchabstracted: (trickster)
I like drumming.
muchabstracted: (gorey)
There's a theme that you run into, reading books or articles about therapy. You inevitably come upon moments in which the therapist describes having had the following realization and conversation:

Therapist: Oh. Huh. I've been really irritating and unhelpful, haven't I?
Client: I like you anyway. You try.
Therapist: *facepalm*
(only, you know, motionless, 'cause you're not supposed to visibly *facepalm* around clients)

In articles and books, this sort of realization invariably leads into a description of what the therapist should have been doing all along. This suggests either that therapists can learn from experience or, alternatively, that we don't.

You: Erica, what on earth brought this on? As though I couldn't guess?
Me: *unmysterious and unrevealing*
muchabstracted: (Default)
I went to see Monsieur Chopin at the ART, with [ profile] fleurdelis28 and [ profile] lynnoxford. Monsieur Chopin is a one-man show about, of course, Frederic Chopin's life. The playwright/actor, Hershey Felder is clearly as much musician and music scholar as he is actor and playwright. According to the playbill, the play appears to be directed by the same guy who directed My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Given my general lack of interest in Chopin, I wasn't sure what to expect. But it was brilliant. The use of Chopin's music within the play was like nothing I've ever seen. It wasn't just incidental music: it was the center of the play. It was used as speech, in such a way that I felt I had some understanding of the language.

The downside of the play is that Felder is not quite as good an actor as he is at everything else. He makes a charming low-key Chopin. [ profile] fleurdelis28 points out that the music history lecture, which Felder could not quite resist tacking on at the end of the play, contains some wonderful acting. (The music history lecture is also highy enjoyable in its own right. Seriously, I want to take classes with this guy.) His Emo Chopin invariably comes off as being a little stagey. It's a minor flaw, considering how much Felder does well. Also, I think that the things Felder does well are rare enough that the trade-off is worthwhile.

If you actively dislike classical music, don't go see it. Otherwise, I would recommend it. I'm certainly planning on seeing the prequel/"first movement" (Beethoven, premiering at some point this season) or sequel/"third movement" (George Gershwin Alone, which as been out for some time) if possible. I think I've lost my chance at Gershwin, at this point, but I imagine Beethoven is a possibility.

It runs until July 30th at the ART. Just, you know, in case you're wondering.

In other words, the promotional tickets did their job.
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