Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Juror number 299

Thank you nun reading John Grisham
and Borba energy mice for helping get through jury duty today.
I was going to use today to finish Emma for book club tonight, but I only got 12 pages in when they called my number. Now I'm all pins and needles to see if I'll be chosen.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Ist die Post offen, Otto?" "Nein, sie ist am Sonntag geschlossen."*

I went to the Post Office forty five minutes after the last scheduled pick up time, but fifteen minutes before the store part closed to mail my Netflix tonight. I asked the man at the counter if it was too late to get it out this evening, and he said, "that depends, which movie is it?" with a sinister smile. I answered, "Breaking Bad season 1." And he said, "It'll go out. But let me know when you get to season 3." I said I would. I wonder if postal employees ever do sneak a little peek inside those red envelopes. I wouldn't be surprised.

*When I was in high school German that was one of our dialogues that we would have to say to practice that crazy German intonation. It translates to, "Is the Post Office open, Otto?" "No, it's closed on Sunday." Some of those dialogues were serious fun:

"Fritz, warum bist du so traurig?" Fritz, why are you so sad? 
"Richard ist krank." Richard is sick.  


"Was tust du?" What are you doing? 
"Ich übe Geige." I'm practicing the violin.  
"Bist du müde?" Are you tired? 
"Ja." Yes.

and my all time favorite

"Ute, wo ist der Hut?" Ute, where is the hat?
"In der Stube." In the lounge.

I'm blowing your mind right now, am I right? I know, the German students from AHS were prepared for all sorts of conversation topics auf Deutsch.

Have You Heard: Christina Perri

I am someone who's musical moods are constantly in flux. For the past few years I haven't really been feeling the singer/songwriter melancholic* tunes that I previously enjoyed so much, and that is still the case, but I do really like the new Christina Perri song that is everywhere these days, "Arms."

The first time I heard it on the radio, I thought, "wow that song sounds familiar" -- especially the melody on the line "I hope that you catch me 'cause I'm already falling." I have since decided that it sounds like a Dolly Parton song. Not in a George Harrison "My Sweet Lord"/The Chiffons "He's So Fine" kind of way, but in a more "Anatomy of a Murder" is the best Hitchcockian movie Hitch never made. So, even though I can't figure out which of Dolly's songs this sounds like it sounds like something she would write. Not only that, the ornamentation on the vocals is very reminiscent of Dolly. So it makes sense that I like this song, because I like Dolly so.

Would you be a dear and make the neurological connection that I can't, and then please let me know?

*Maybe I shouldn't call this song melancholic, after all there are an orchestra and bells** utilized. But it certainly screams singer/songwriter.

**Dolly Parton over-produces some of her songs too. I submit as evidence:

Friday, August 26, 2011


Remember when I told you about my pretentious old co-worker who was too cool for TV, but had found the time to watch a ton of youtube videos? Well, I thought of her today when I became obsessed with the video of 36 Paranoid Android covers stitched together.

How clever is that?

I am hoping that it will replace the songified Nascar prayer as the song that is perpetually stuck in my head.

I'm hopeful, but not optimistic. Those kids sure write catchy little ditties. Boggity, boggity, boggity, AMEN!

But, on the plus side, no matter how many times I watch either of these videos, my total video count is WAY below that crazy's.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Contrary to popular belief...

Recently, I was transferring all of my books in to crates for a brief limbo period, and rediscovered this little gem.

Back at BYU, my favorite and my best Jen and I would frequently do homework together, even though I don't think we ever took a class together. (We have always had a co-dependent thing going on- even now that she and I are on opposite sides of the country.) While I was studying for Camille Fronk's New Testament class, she was doing reading for a student development class and this quote was in the text:

I'm not sure why Mr. Ellis decided that that statement should be in a book called "Becoming a Master Student." but I'm glad he did. So funny.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oh man oh man

This little beauty cracks me up! These sisters remind me of Michael Cera dressing up as a girl to sneak out of Sheeni's house in the grossly underrated Youth in Revolt.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Have you seen this movie? I've watched it a couple of times, and was reminded of it tonight by someone who holds the world record in Super Mario Bros. 2. (I'm serious.) I like this movie. I like most documentaries, because they can be perfect encapsulations of humanity. At first glance, it seems it is just a movie about a bunch of nerds who lack the skills to allocate time appropriately. It definitely is. But, it's also the story of perpetual underdog and Donkey Kong fanatic Steve Wiebe, who sacrifices a lot to become vindicated in his passion obsession by defeating the egotistical, evil mastermind d-bag Billy Mitchell all while keeping Billy's henchmen at bay.

Steve Wiebe reminds me of Odysseus, a totally flawed hero on a journey, a journey that takes far too much time and is wrought with missteps and an almost complete disregard of his family. Ok, so I am over simplifying both stories, but when Steve's daughter is questioning him about why the Guinness Book of World Records is so important and she says, "some people sort of ruin their lives to be in it," that's pretty telling. I'm sure Steve is a much better parent than dead-beat dad Odysseus. (Can you tell how much I hated the Odyssey?) We like Steve. He's a good guy, and we root for him.

Billy Mitchell is potentially the most exasperatingly obnoxious person to be filmed, ever, I can think of some others but they are all fictional so Billy wins. (That actually doesn't seem like winning.) We know he is evil not because he is arrogant, not because he is always wearing a tacky patriotic tie - which are both true - but we know he is the bad guy because he has a weak chin, terrible hair and a wife who is way more attractive than he is. Then the editors make sure we know he is antagonist by intercutting Billy saying things, and then the filmmakers asking his wife questions to which her answers completely contradict Billy's claims, and by playing Leonard Cohen songs with phrases like, "everybody knows the dice are loaded...everybody knows the good guys lost/everybody knows the fight was fixed." While Billy is probably the smarmiest of individuals, I am always curious about what kind of footage was edited out. Maybe Billy is misunderstood. Maybe he's a great humanitarian and not the cowardly cheat he's painted as. I doubt it, but it's always a possibility.

My favorite aspect of this film is the character arch of the supporting player, Walter Day who runs the website with all of the scores, blah blah blah. At first I thought of Walter as the personification of power - even in its slightest form - corrupting. He also has been corrupted by his allegiance and proximity to evil in Billy Mitchell. It's like he's the mayor of Nerdsville and he has been accepting bribes in the form of used greenbacks in plain envelopes under the door of the men's room since the early 80s. His alliances have become detrimental to his judgment and psyche. After he gets to know Steve Wiebe, our non-caped-crusader, and watches him play Donkey Kong for a few hours, he realizes (probably from doing some transcendental meditation) maybe his initial prejudices were errant and then tries to correct his maltreatment of a nice guy. And really, isn't this what we should all be striving for? Correcting our wrongs, having weaknesses become strengths.

The King Of Kong is absolutely an inspiration. We see people achieving their goals after years of depression induced obsessive practice. We see the corrupt become just. We see the smarmy continue on in exactly the same manner. Well, I heard somewhere that two out of three isn't bad.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Recommended for you:

Oh, Amazon, you know me so well.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Does it make me a horrible person if...

A few weeks ago, a few of us were skipping Sunday School and hanging out in the library - our favorite place to be as it allows us to make the copies we need, and not be in the hall - when the idea of a graduate course of study in evil came up. I don't remember who said it initially, but I thought it would be amazingly fun/funny to get a doctorate in evil. I thought I could really shine.

I bring this up because I need to tell you about my last two days hanging out with my 8 year old and 4 year old friends. Yesterday, they were trying to kill me. Literally. They thought it was hilarious to try to smother me with pillows and blankets. (To be fair, I started it. I was chasing them around pretending to be a zombie. So they were trying to rid the world of a member of the un-dead community. Really, they should be commended.) I tolerated their behavior, but only because I could out-power them if need be. Today, not wanting a repeat of yesterday, as soon as they started trying to chase me around, I started a game of hide and seek. Except I don't think they knew that that is what we were playing. I was hiding in really good hiding places, if I do say so myself, and they were running around trying to find me. So, after a while, they found me and I backed myself into a closet. They decided to barricade the door to keep me trapped - which I easily broke through because the chairs had nice felt pads on the feet, and the floor was wooden. Then I ran into the office across the hall, and pretended to be trapped inside there. They were building up their barricade once again, but these kiddos did not realize that I was in a room with in-swinging doors that I could open. So, I did. Here's where my diabolical nature comes in. I told them that since the doors swung in, they needed to find some sort of rope or string and tie the doorknobs to the banister across the way, to prevent me from just opening the door. They ran all over the house looking for such a thing, and I just sat, waiting in the office. When they returned, they had that stretchy plastic string stuff that they tried to make us make braided key chains out of every year at girls' camp. They started shutting me in the room, and I offered some helpful pointers, put this there, use this sort of knot, blah blah blah, then I said, "oh, let me help you, and I stepped outside of the office and before he knew it, the 8 year old was inside of the office and I had him trapped inside. I of course didn't make him stay in there for very long - a few seconds really - but it sure was funny. He was so surprised when we were on the wrong sides of the French doors.

I think the biggest disservice I did today was to all of the future suckers who start out just trying to have fun, pretending as a zombie, and then end up locked in a room, while the stretchy plastic string of many a key fob past stands between them and freedom.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Precocious Children and Pastafarians

1. I have no room to talk about precocious children - having been so mightily precocious myself - but I need to tell you this. I am doing a favor for a family I know and spending some time with an 8 year old and a 4 year old. The other day, on our way to the zoo, the 4 year old said, "I'm not trying to judge you, but I think you should have a tv in your car. I mean, it's fine that you don't, but my mommy has a tv in her car and I think you should have one too." I said, "Well [four year old], I don't actually want a tv in my car. And, there usually aren't people in the back seat who would watch a tv if I had one." She countered, "But I'm back here and I'd watch it." The drive to the zoo takes about 12 minutes. Later that day, her mom told me that they had lost the remote to the DVD player about three weeks after they got the car, and have been forced to watch Curious George on repeat for over a year. Something tells me that the monkey cannot be that curious anymore.
Then today, after a while of drawing and coloring together, this little girl announced that she was bored of coloring and was going to go play with her My Little Ponies in another room. I asked if she wanted to play with me, and she said, "No thank you, you wouldn't like the rules I made up." Oh...ok. I'll just be here if you need me, kid.

2. Remember when I took that internet quiz that told me I was actually 100% Mormon, much to my surprise? Well, I finally got around to listening to the Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me from a few weeks ago, and they talked about an Austrian who was able to get his driver's license photo taken with a colander on his head because he subscribed to "pastafarianism." I immediately thought, "I like pasta, I could be that religion!" After doing some research, it seems like I should probably stick it out with Mormonism. But how amazing* would it be to have a pasta strainer on your head in your license photo? I'm pretty sure I'd show that bad boy to every person I met. 

*And by amazing, I mean hilarious.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Have You Heard: Broken Bells

It was one of those serendipitous happenings. One of my oft passed over songs off a great album from about a year ago came on shuffle while I was driving in the summer sun with the windows down, and it hit me that this needed to be added to my list of perfect driving songs.  The song, "The Ghost Inside" by Broken Bells. (Grooveshark is lying. James Mercer is singing, but it is not The Shins.)  The rest of my perfect driving songs are also included for your listening pleasure.