Posts filed under ‘today’
I went bowling last night with some co-workers of Doug’s– the dude turned 23. (yes, I felt old). The bowling place was playing The Outfield’s “Your Love” and the birthday boy’s girlfriend’s best friend’s roommate squealed and said “I love this one! It’s from 1985!” and proceeded to sing the entire thing from start to end.
I was obsessed with this song Back In The Day when I was 12. I loved the lead singer’s chipmunky face and earrings and mullet. I loved everything about them. However, they were kind of a one-hit-wonder, and this song was only popular for a couple of weeks, and not very popular at that.
I’ve listened to this song zillions of times (I own the 45!) No really, I do. Here it is:
I have no idea what the lyrics are. I watched the video I posted above and I still can’t make out the lyrics. Anyway, how does this girl, who obviously was born post-1985, know this song? Was it in a movie recently? Knowing songs from before your generation isn’t unheard of, I mean I know “The Locomotion” better than my parents probably, due to it being constantly everywhere. Ditto for “Stairway to Heaven” and anything by the Beatles. I could sing you Simon and Garfunkel’s entire catalog and ditto the Andrews Sisters, and that’s my grandparents’ generation. “Your Love”, however, is kind of obscure. It’s not obscure in that “I know this garage band from the 60s that only people in Topeka remember” way, more in that “one near-hit-wonder” way.
My mind was boggled. I love seeing what 80s music is popular these days. They played The Powerstation’s “Some Like It Hot” in the grocery store the other day, which is hilarious because nobody would have ever played it in a public place frequented by people over the age of 19 back in the day. However, now that I’m an Old Person, all the music is retro and therefore, safe. I LOVE BEING OLD!!!
I decided to do the M.I.T. Mystery Hunt this year! It’s a giant hunt where you get into teams (my team, Central Services, had like 50 people, others had 100 I think) and solve puzzles all weekend. Doug is really into this hunt; he’s done it every year forever. I like puzzles’ I thought “why not”? I had done some other puzzle hunts with him last year, though those were smaller and more local.
Argh, my brain hurts. The hunt last all weekend; Doug got us a hotel room in Kendall Sq (the Kendall Hotel— so nice!!!), but he only slept Saturday during the day for a few hours. He did overnights so there would be people solving puzzles 24 hours a day. I worked on about 10 or 12 different puzzles. There were about 200 (?) altogether. Only one puzzle I worked on got finished (the one I spent about 10 hours on total; in addition to Doug’s 11-12 hours + two other guys each putting in about as long + a few others who came and went).
I worked on this one crossword puzzle one– there were 3 crossword grids, and each had two sets of clues for the across and down. I was working on it with two other people. After about 1/2 hour, I gave up and went home. It was Sunday afternoon, and since I had been in charge of tea (I brought an electric kettle, cups, 50 billion different kinds of tea from the house + some loaner reusable mugs, sugar, honey etc.) and had to schlep it all home on the train, I opted to leave.
THANK GOD I DID!!! I just read the answers to that puzzle. Each puzzle had to be filled in twice, once for each set of answers. Each set of answers was in a different language, including Latin, French, anglicized Russian and Japanese and Spanish.
So, the answer to
12. God of leading sheep backwards
12. NAP (Pan is the god of sheep)
OK, that one is semi sort of kind of figure-out-able. But…
20. A thousand twisted monkeys turn a noxious atmosphere’s As to Is
20. MIISMI (Anagram of M SIMII, 1000 monkeys, or MIASMA with A->I)
ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I’m so glad I left when I did and didn’t try to figure out this puzzle; there’s no way I would have ever figured it out in 1,000,000,000 years! My brain is sobbing just looking at the answers! I actually got irrationally angry looking at the answers. I mean…
Of course the answer to
4. Some people can procrastinate this long
4. MESYATSAMI / месяцами
24. Ark clam (archaic)
24. 蚶 KISA (archaic way to say 赤貝 AKAGAI)
That’s beyond a challenge. My brain is yelling “THAT’S BULLSHIT!!!” rather than “whoa, how clever.” I’m not sure which it is. If next year is like this, I may go back to Arisia (Sci-Fi convention that’s held the same weekend; roommates and everyone else I know goes to it).
Here I am in Thailand, so far it’s been awesome! I’m here with my mother and 17-year-old niece Mikala. Moth insisted Mikala and I do something “fun” today without her. I was all about whitewater rafting, but apparently it’s the dry season, so you can’t really do that. So, instead, we decided to go jungle ziplining. I have always liked the idea of doing stuff like bungee jumping and skydiving, so why not? Ziplining is somewhat educational; you get to see the jungle and stuff. Cool, right?
When I was little, I would always stand at the top of cliffs and buildings and things look over the edge. I liked the sensation of being up high. However, I started getting vertigo in my old age like 7 or 8 years ago. It was weird– I’d stand at the top of the spiral staircase that went to the basement of the Newbury Comics warehouse and my entire body would be dizzy and screaming “YOU’RE ABOUT TO DIE! ABORT MISSION!” while my brain would be intellectually saying “you’re at the top of a staircase. Big deal.” The disconnect between the two things was so weird and such a novel sensation that I used to make excuses to go to the basement all the time just to experience it.
Since then I’ve largely ignored it, so I figured I’d be fine on the ziplining course. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s where you go from platform to platform on trees high up by a pully on a harness that rolls on a cable.
It was fun, but truthfully, I’m glad I never have to do it again. The thought of bungee jumping makes me want to die right now. Skydiving? ::shudder::
So, my story and I’m sticking to it is that I’ve done extreme sports and now I’m done with that scene.
The actual going from tree platform to tree platform was fun! It was just the attempts to make it more extreme, like shaking the lines, making us go “like superman or superwoman” (usually you go sitting down, and you hang onto the harness, one time they clipped the pulley to your back so you’re going hands free) and the worst– the abeille. I didn’t know what that meant. It listed in the brochure that there were 3 abeilles. Ok. Whatever. Yeah, that’s when you go STRAIGHT DOWN. Seriously. The platform is directly below you and they just drop you down. HO LEE SHIT. Down. The length of a 4-storey building. It was weirdly exhilarating I guess, but really. I could have done without that. It was weird, because I knew it was totally safe. It wasn’t the fear of death or injury; just the vertigo! I screamed like a little bitch; I haven’t screamed like that in years!
So, if you ever want to go bungee jumping, don’t call me, OK?
So I took the plunge. I switched to the hippie cell phone company (Credo Mobile, part of Working Assets, which Moth and most of Ithaca has had for decades). I could get a Smart Phone plan for pretty much what I was paying for a Dumb Phone plan on Sprint, plus I get a free phone that is much smarter than my current phone, and has a way better camera to boot. I read the reviews of all the free cameras and it turned out that the fanciest one was the best, even though it’s not that “current”– yuppies will look down their noses at me, but when does that ever NOT happen?
Thus I became a Smart Phone user.
It’s not that easy to become a SmartPhone user out of the blue, because “smart” is describing the phone, not necessarily the user. Since I’m a novice to this whole thing, I don’t even know what it’s supposed to do. My phone apparently does a zillion different things, and it didn’t come with a manual. It came with a barebones “getting started” booklet which included things like “answering your phone” and “making a call.” However, every time some random event in the universe happens, the phone makes one of 25 different noises that sound like Tinkerbell farting, and though I thought I turned them all off, it still twinkle-farts every now and then. Usually, my way to deal with new technology is to go through the manual and do all the different things in there one by one. However, I was able to figure out how to do all the stuff in the “getting started” booklet myself. I found an online manual, but it needed some new version of Adobe reader or something to decipher it, and when I tried to upgrade, it crashed or something, so half the pages don’t show up. Oh well, I’ll figure out something. It somehow added every single person I’ve ever emailed to my phone contact list (i.e., everyone who ever answered a Craig’s List ad when I was selling stuff, every potential date I’ve ever contacted etc.) I figured out how to get rid of all those people at least! To get rid of the Tinkerbell-esque sounds, I uploaded a new ringtone from my computer (there’s a site where you can do this for free) so it would play the word “wombat” in morse code every time the phone rings. However, it’s way too complicated a procedure and I have no idea if the ring tone actually saved or not, and if so where it stored it.
This morning the phone started making a more insistent shimmering sound. For a moment I thought I was having a flashback on a 1980s sitcom, but it turned out it was just Moth calling. She was actually telling me that Mikala wants me to go to Thailand, and I should get on that and also why haven’t I been playing Scrabble? “Are you OK? You sound weird,” she said.
“I wasn’t sure if my phone was actually ringing, or if it was just telling me the stock prices in Equatorial Guinea had just dropped 3/10 of a point,” I said.
I told her about my misadventures with the Smart Phone. Moth said “oh, now you can play Scrabble on your phone! … but I see you don’t want to play anymore. I guess I should just give up on our game(s).” These days Moth’s life revolves around online Scrabble. She actually called me once a few months ago to ask me if I was sick because it had been, like, 3 hours and I hadn’t made a Scrabble move.
I tried to appeal to her maternal desires to populate the world with more grandkids (or at least see me coupled up since in her mind it’s impossible for a female to be happy while single) and said “well I’ve been sorta like seeing this GUY… I haven’t had time to play a lot of Scrabble…” However, Moth knows me too well. She just said “well do you actually LIKE him, or is just another, you know… whatever?” I had to walk this line carefully. If I said, “meh, whatever” then it would be no excuse to not spend every waking moment playing online Scrabble and every sleeping moment dreaming about Scrabble moves, so even having mentioned it would just have been wasting time. If I said “I actually LIKE him,” then it would be assumed that armies of grandchildren would start marching out of my nether regions possibly beginning next week. “Um, he’s cool?” I began… luckily Moth has the attention span of a fruit fly and non-commital responses trigger her desire to rapidly move onto the next subject. Phew!
Back to the SmartPhone, though… I have a month to decide if being a SmartPhone operator is enough of a positive addition to my life to keep the phone or cancel. At this point (being a user for less than 24 hours), I really can’t see how it’s improving the quality of my life. Maybe that will change as I actually learn how to use the damn thing. Maybe in 29 days I will say “HOLY CRAP I AM ADDICTED, HOW DID I EVER LIVE WITHOUT THIS TINY HUNK OF METAL!?!?!?” we’ll see. I do get 4G network thingie, though I’m not entirely sure what that means. It’s fast? So if I need to download pr0n on the go, I can do it really fast? Apparently it uses up a lot of battery life to do that. It does take nice pictures, though!
Dear HTC Evo Shift 4G, maybe we can be friends sometime.
Today I made the World’s Awesomest Applesauce. Applesawsomest? Anyway, it was AWESOME. Seriously. I know I overuse that word because I can never think of words that mean the same thing (“fantastic” seems fake, “terrific” is so sticker-on-a-spelling-test, “fabulous” is just… lame, unless you are talking about curtains, “great” isn’t awesome enough, “rad” and “dope” people make fun of me for using…)
I’ve been sick for the past week. The sick food that I like is soup (don’t care what kind; if it’s from a can or envelope that’s just fine) and applesauce. TW & TJ went apple picking and brought home a big sack of apples, so whenever a various housemate would say “do you need anything at the store?” and I would say “applesauce,” they would laugh thinking I was joking. I was not. For whatever reason when I’m sick, I just want applesauce! I spent a good 2 days sleeping and generally feeling like crap. On the 3rd day, I stuffed myself full of cold meds and drove to Woburn (about 20 miles away in the ‘burbs) to go to jury duty. I got lost getting there. Woburn has this common in the middle of town the “bowling green” that I kept getting stuck in the wrong lane for and driving round and round. Plus, my directions were wrong to begin with.
I get downstairs in the courthouse to the lovely humming fluorescently lit room peppered with well thumbed copies of Popular Mechanics and Good Housekeeping and nobody tells me what to do. Everyone seems to have papers in hand that they had filled out ahead of time. I stand in line, filling out one that’s on the table. The lady in charge informs me that I’m at the wrong courthouse, that I should be at the district court instead of the city court or something, but it doesn’t matter since I live in the wrong county anyway. Wait, what? Whatever entity is responsible for sending you jury summonses thinks I still live in Cambridge, which is in… uh… Middlesex? Essex? Sussex? some county that isn’t Suffolk, which is where I live now. So really, why would a Somethingsex county send a jury summons to someone in another county? Wouldn’t they know something was amiss when they addressed the envelope? When I confirmed my attendance within 10 days after getting the summons? When they sent me the confirmation letter and then later on the reminder? This whole time I’m talking to the lady, I’m in a zombie-like state and I could barely croak out responses to her questions. The cool thing that I brought away from this experience is that “summonsed” is really a real word. You are apparently summonsed to be in a jury, not summoned. I don’t know why this word cracks me up so much. Summonsed. Hehe.
Anyway, I drove home in a massive traffic jam because half the Nawth Shaw was flooded. 95 was a parking lot and I spent 1/2 hour barely ever getting out of first gear… to discover that I was going North instead of South. What does this have to do with applesauce you ask? Because when I got home I was like, “I’M MAKING SOME GODDAMN APPLESAUCE IF IT KILLS ME!” So I did. It sucked. It was awful because I put no effort into it; I made it like I would make mashed potatoes, but then was too sick to even mash it properly. Boiling the apples took all the flavor out, so basically it was like eating slightly lumpy water. Ah me and my First World Problems.
Last night when I was searching to see if I could watch the PBS Prohibition mini-series on the innernets I happened to scroll past an applesauce recipe that looked interesting. I wrote it down and made it today and HOLY CRAP IT IS AWESOME!!! here’s the recipe:
- 4 apples
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
I’m sure every single blog post about Crispin Glover at the Brattle a couple of weeks ago starts like that– I think, after he talked for a while, he said something along the lines of “just so you don’t go writing on the internet ‘that Crispin Glover sure talks a lot…'” before he took more audience questions (that wasn’t an exact quote, just a paraphrase). He *did* talk a lot. However, everything he said was really interesting and entertaining.
Back up. What was this all about?
I spent the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at the Brattle Theater watching Crispin Glover narrate his “Big Slide Show” and then show his 2007 film It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE!
OK, first I went to Tanya & Terrence’s post-wedding beach picnic on the Cape and then drove home and rode my bike to Cambridge to see Crispin Hellion Glover at the Brattle Theater. More about The Wedding Preparations That Spent Weeks Eating My Soul at another time (probably in a long rambling post that will come after [i.e., above] this one).
You may know Crispin Glover from starring in one of my all-time favorite movies, Willard. I liked Willard because it is about rats. Being born in the year of the rat, I relate well to Buddha’s Favorite Animal (so I’m told the rat was). I even had a pin that said “WWWD?” with the silhouette of a rat that I got from Newbury Comics– I was the only one who had any clue what it meant (and I had been working there the least amount of time)! Had Willard not been about rats would I have loved it so much? What if the eponymous protagonist had been able to communicate with wombats? Would I have liked it as much then? OK, bad example; that would have been AWESOME. What about… horses? I hate horses. Would it have rocked so much? Maybe not, but Crispin Glover has a way of making any movie awesome. Even Back To The Future, which I am still sore about having to have seen three times against my will (thanks a lot school, welfare camp and then school again for making us watch this movie). Not that BttF was a *bad* movie, just that as an impatient dorky 12 year old I would rather have, I don’t know, watched Monty Python & the Holy Grail for the 800th time or something.
Anyway, Crispin Glover’s slide show consisted of him narrating pages from his books. He’s written a bunch of books, or rather, created books– he takes books, most of them look like they’re from the Victorian era, and changes words around, omits bits and switches things so they become about something totally different. In short, it is SO COOL! It’s that kind of post-modern thing that sounds lame when you try to describe it, but is really nifty when you actually see it. I bought one book called Concrete Inspection that includes… pictures of medical procedures from the late 1800s? Truthfully, I can’t remember, though I read it more than once. I’ve been looking for the book for 3 days now. I can’t remember where I put it. Anyway, as a collector of surgery textbooks from the Victorian era I can appreciate it:
Ok, there’s my Flickr thing, I can’t link to individual photos anymore apparently. You’ll get to see an exciting photo of ELEPHANTIASIS OF THE SCROTUM, as is still the #1 search term that leads people to this blog. I was going to buy the book Rat Catcher, another one of C.H.G.’s books, near and dear to my heart because of the rodent theme, but I didn’t have enough cash on me and by the time I got back from the ATM, it had sold out. Alas.
Holy crap, I’ve been working on this entry for 3 weeks and I still haven’t finished it. Probably because I can’t think of enough ways to say that CRISPIN GLOVER IS AWESOME!!!
His movie was interesting, too– it was written by a guy with cerebral palsy as a sort of 1970s movie-of-the-night thing. As such, the plot was pretty straightforward, the dialogue was basic, and there was a lot of booty. A lot. Now I understand that CHG wants to break taboos, but breaking sexual taboos is the bread and butter of the amateur artist who wants to be “edgy.” Lord knows I’ve sat through enough student and barely-out-0f-art-school performance art pieces for weird visual sexual things to be totally blasé to me. Yes, I’m a jaded, cynical bitch. I hear the words “break taboos of [incest, rape, sex, etc.] and just yawn. Anyway, I must say that the sex scenes in this movie between a wheelchair-bound middle-aged guy with cerebral palsy and young hot chicks was just weird and disturbing enough for me to find kind of fascinating. The whole thing could have been totally tacky, but the stark yet striking art direction, the direction itself, and the soundtrack made it really cool. I’ve lamented the fact that the Allegretto from Beethoven’s Seventh symphony is way overused for dramatic effect in movies. In <i>Zardoz</i> it was just distracting. In <i>The King’s Speech</i> it seemed tawdry and like a cheap manipulative special effect. It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE! is the only movie in which I think Beethoven worked for and not against the filmmaker’s intentions. There was also a lot of of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, which was sort of weird at first because you’re used to hearing it either relating to Christmas things, or backing up prancing hippos and such. However, I think it totally worked, too. There was one scene with a girl whose apartment was decorated in arabesque arches and middle-eastern looking décor. She was wearing flowing harem pants, and the music to that particular scene was the “Arabesque” from the Nutcracker. At the book signing at the end, after I spent 2 hours in line because of course I was dead last (how predictable, me!), I asked CHG about the connection, figuring he had some deep reason for it since he seems like a totally analytical kind of guy. He said he hadn’t noticed that. I was actually kind of psyched that such a weird coincidence occurred! I also asked about his middle name, Hellion, because, as a name nerd, it always struck me as being really awesome. Yes, it is his real middle name. Rock on!