Archive for December, 2009

Aw, he remembered!

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Thanks, xkcd guy!

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In which I am AMBIVALENT about e-readers

December 27, 2009 112 comments

I’d rather like an e-reader device, but I doubt I can be trusted alone with a "download instantly" feature. I’m pretty sure impulse buying is where an e-reader would cost me the most money, even when taking into account the huge damn price of the thing itself. Hence my ambivalence, because the NYPL branches offer free books for the borrowing, AND you can sit in them! Even Starbucks forces you to buy coffee to rent space. 

As an aside, I submit mortifying library story #372: I was in the Mid-Manhattan branch searching fruitlessly in the Literature section for a Stephen King book (feel free to laugh for several reasons – but Dewey and his decimal system did direct me to be where I was – I still claim miss-shelving shenanigans), when an erudite looking fellow offered to help me find whatever it was I was looking for because he knew the floor like the back of his hand. Too ashamed to admit I was looking for supernatural dreck, I declined his offer and slunk away to the medical reference section upstairs. Still, I find it in my heart to return every once in a while. 

I’m not going to get romantic (sentimental?) over how much I love real books with real pages that have a real scent and a real feel and varied angles and textures that catch the light in a particularly lovely way. The written word, moveable type, mass printing, books – historical game changers all. So is a lot of dead technology, like the first iteration of the plowshare and the Apple II. 

One the other hand, SHINY. And I could use the shelf space.

I haven’t researched the various devices out there. As with the Blu-ray v. HD DVD throwdown, I plan to sit on the fence until a technology like streaming and downloadable video makes the entire issue moot. But right now, I have to say…I like name product name "nook" better than "Kindle."

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In which I wonder why I didn’t really like Avatar that much

December 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Ok, I didn’t really expect much from Avatar, because I am officially old and curmudgeonly. In fact, I feel rather like Panthro (the least sensitive of the Thundercats) who, when confronted with something of awesome, life-altering beauty, said "it’s pretty" or something like that.

Avatar is pretty. The effects are no doubt a great achievement, but at my advanced age I tend to suffer special effects fatigue at about the 20 minute mark. Avatar comes across as an amalgam of three familiar, superficially rendered storylines, a handful of character stereotypes, and maybe one too many chase scenes. It’s not the sort of movie that’s going to stay with me. You know what movie does stay with me, year after year? Aliens. But I like my futuristic visions of hell as overtly dystopian as I can get them. This is probably due to a childhood kept carefully ignorant of Disney and its ilk by well meaning parents. I find chestburster aliens much less disturbing than the friendly flying jellyfish type. You always know where you stand with a chestburster.

In Avatar‘s defense, it is a fun romp. You know, with a Message. And Sigourney Weaver kicks ass as usual. (With SCIENCE!) I shouldn’t say she transcends it all, but (and this could all be just my skewed perception) she has a certain wry gravity, not to mention a fair amount of cred left over from Aliens/Ghostbusters/SNL/Death and the Maiden/The TV Set, etc. that makes her the most fun thing to watch on the screen.

Ok, I guess I sort of worked that through. Off to purchase a copy of Aliens.

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December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Vaguely want to see Avatar. Can I handle the 3D???

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While I wait out my library hold on JSF’s latest

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Reading The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth. Whether you agree or not, it’s lovely and quite thought provoking.

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The story behind this particular dress…

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

I was IMing one of the guys I work for when I discovered that my office holiday party at the Plaza was in two days, and I had completely forgotten to buy a dress for the occasion. (Classic repression.) In the course of instant messaging, I related my unenviable plight to my boss, who, I might add, is a very sweet gay man. My intense angst and despair must not have translated into the text I was typing, because his reply – "Someone needs a shopping excursion!" – was practically singing with what he must have felt was shared excitement. He asked if there was a particular store I liked, because if I told him, there might be a holiday gift card in store for me.

Those of you who know me at all know that dress shopping for my short, stumpy body causes me a great deal of frustration, as well as overwhelming feelings of failure and hatred of self and others. So when I told my boss "I’ve had better luck at Macy’s," there was an implied "which is to say, optimistically, a less than 100% failure rate."

A little while later, a gift certificate for a generous amount appeared in my inbox.

I told you he was sweet!

But reader, imagine my anguish as I realized I had two days to purchase a dress fashionable enough that it wouldn’t disappoint the sweet, thoughtful, incredibly generous gay man who had, essentially, BOUGHT ME THE DRESS.

I imagine that the ensuing hours looked something like one of those movie montages, only with much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair.

This was the result
, which, to my eternal relief, was reviewed favorably by its patron.

I hope to recover from the ordeal in time for next year’s party.

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