Saturday, February 04, 2006 ______________________________________________________________________________

The "an ADD post is better than no post" Post 

Usually when I sit down to write a post I have something to write about in mind. Lately I have had things to write about, but nothing that would justify me sitting down and dedicating an entire entry to. I'll level with you. I don't like short posts. I don't like one paragraph posts. Not that I don't like reading them when they're on other people's blogs, it's just that I like the posts I make to be substantial. I feel that I have to keep to some sort of theme on my blog, even if the only things my entries have in common with each other is the length of the scroll bar cursor in my post entry window. With that preamble, this is the everything that's been on my mind for the last 30+ days in no particular order.

I watched Wedding Crashers last night. It was really funny in ways that I didn't expect a blockbuster romantic comedy to be. Initially it looked as though it was going to turn formulaic and while it was, sort of, I wasn't able to predict how the story was going to turn. I'd say it's the most entertaining big-name comedy I've ever seen come out of Hollywood. Of course, this is with the exception of Johnny English which is an entirely different brand of humour altogether. Now that I've written this though, I'm sure I'm going to think of a dozen more comedies with big names that I really enjoyed, perhaps even more than Wedding Crashers. For now though, I'm going to stick with my assessment of the movie.

Speaking of movies, Crash is a phenomenal piece. Plenty of mainstream actors in what is certainly not a typical mainstream offering. Most startling role was a small part played by Sandra Bullock, best known for her popcorn and cotton candy roles. In this movie she plays an angry, prejudiced suburban wife of a public official. Really interesting to watch. The intertwining stories are riveting and profound. Incredibly hard to watch at times, but equally impossible to look away from, this is a film I'd strongly recommend, but certainly not for light entertainment. If my recommendation is not enough, just look toward the academy. This film has been nominated for a bevy of awards, including Best Original Screenplay.

Surprisingly falling into the category of "light entertainment" for me is The Constant Gardener. Despite the fact that the subject matter broached in this film is heavy and full of consequence, especially in today's increasingly aware-of-the-pressing-issues-in-Africa society (with Bono leading the charge, no less!), this film is really just a twisty thriller with an ending that sits well if not exactly perfectly with the viewer. Plus, Rachel Weisz (right) is just incredibly hot. Ralph Fiennes is really weird in this role. Had I not seen his incredible turn as Lord Voldemort in the latest Harry Potter movie, I would think that he has all the acting ability of Fort. Ebert & Roeper commented that Fiennes did a superbly subtle acting job in this film. Uhh. Just a little to subtle. This guy displayed as many different expressions as does my doorknob.

The new season of Survivor has begun with the tantalizing moniker "Exile Island". I like how they're still trying new things into their 12th season. Makes for a slightly different game each time, with the same strategic foundations. Lots of people out there say that Survivor has jumped the shark, but I beg to disagree. Rather, I would point out that Survivor has on and off seasons. When talking about a show like Survivor, people have to realise that the only constant is Jeff Probst, the best TV show host ever and ever will be, and that everyone else is revolving. Just as you would expect from the randomness inherent in life, the universe and everything, there will be some seasons where the survivors and the situations make for good TV and there will be some seasons where they don't. I keep watching (even though I've sworn off the show several times when people I loathe to see become millionaires win) for the drama. Real or not, someone wins a million big ones at the end, which is way more dramatic than something churned out by a team of writers with weekly deadlines.

The strangest thing happened to me the other day. I was sitting in my 8am class (Neuroanatomy, which I have a 100% average for at this point, but that I'm not getting complacent about because the prof has promised that things will get dramatically harder on the final, which is worth 60%) and I felt that my bra was too tight. Way too tight. There was constriction in my chest and pain in my shoulders and upper back. Considering I was wearing the most comfortable bra that has ever existed, this struck me as a little strange. Still, it's not like I could reach up behind myself and adjust my bra in the live presence of all my classmates. Not to mention, it was close enough to the bell that I didn't want to excuse myself. Walking out, the pain/ache got worse, confirming that it couldn't possibly have anything to do with my bra (besides, it was off by this time). Taking this as a sign that I should skip the rest of the school day to take it easy at home, I headed for the bus loop where the discomfort progressed to the point that I was actually nauseous. Honest to God. I got home, slept for a long time, took it slow the rest of the day and I was fine. When I relate this story to people, they ask if I went to see a doctor about it. Well, had I seen a doctor, what the hell would I say? "Hey doc, my bra's too tight even when it's off"? Besides, we're approaching mid-term season and I don't want to look as though I'm inventing excuses to get out of it.

I have, however, dropped a course. I need that course to graduate, so I'm trying right now to replace it with another, comparable course. The only question now is whether Arts Advising will allow me to add a course to their course listings and register for it. It's a long story about how I came to this point (starting with a course in Acquisition of Syntax which, frankly, I don't believe in) but there's a very good chance (Carden puts it at 90% and he's the last person to overestimate anything) that I will be able to pull this off and graduate on time. The course that I will be proposing (and will be writing the proposal for shortly after I complete this entry) is a directed readings course designed to further my understanding of prosody and boundary effects. I've already been doing readings on the topic so it's not like I've been slacking too hard.

I should be doing more work than I am currently though. I've officially lost motivation for anything academic. I have my honours thesis (I have finally collected usable data) which I should be more excited about working on. I've dropped a course (see above) and whether apathy was a factor I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure it was. I'm sitting here writing a long rambling entry as a way to avoid starting to study for an upcoming midterm. Other ways I have avoided fufilling academic obligations include Craftster and eBay.

Speaking of Craftster, I have engaged in my very first swap. I am proud to say that although I am not the organizer of this swap, the idea of the theme (I can't knit/crochet/sew but I can crochet/sew/knit!) was mine. It was so strongly supported that it became a "Hot Topic" within its first week (or so. Maybe first fortnight. Who's counting anyway?). What I do know is that sign up spots filled up in a matter of days. I've already completed the main item that was requested by my partner (a pair of black and red striped crocheted socks) and am now working on the bonus item (a panta (left, photo from this thread on Craftster) made using Tunisian crochet, which I learnt by watching stunningly clear and well shot *free* instructional videos on Nexstitch in less than an hour). Those items have been a welcome diversion from actual duties although I have decided to shelve my panta at least until reading week (Feb 13-17). I'm not worried about completion because I crochet quickly and send-outs are not until the end of the month. For those of you who are wondering what the hell I'm blathering on about, a swap is an event where people are paired up with each other and exchange items. I'm receiving a Zaftig which is an item I would've made a long time ago, had I the knitting skills.

The nice/atrocious (depending on your perspective and amount of disposable income)thing about eBay is that you can find things you didn't know you wanted. Like antique bone/ivory crochet hooks (if it's a tunisian crochet hook, all the better). Also thanks to my first forays on eBay, I've had an obsession with vintage pyrex bowls for a while now. I've bid on two auctions but I hope I only win one. If I win both, it won't be the end of the world, but I will have spent $50 on mixing bowls, which is just this side of excessive by my accounting. Still, I will be the owner of 6 vintage pyrex bowls which are items that I've coveted for a long time. As of now, I have no space to store any of them but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I keep talking about Spinnakers, that pub that perches in Victoria's inner harbour which serves the best beer in the world (and the best fries). Just after Christmas, Jim managed to find Spinnakers' beer in the liquor store half a block from our place. There weren't many bottles on the shelf but we focused on the positive: that our liquor store was now stocking Spinnakers' beer! As the weeks passed and the number of bottles of beer on the wall quickly dwindled (no doubt greatly aided by our frequent purchases) without being replenished I started to be slightly concerned, mainly because the promised compensation for being my subject as part of data collection for my honours thesis is Spinnakers' beer. When the shelf was bare, I asked a liquor store employee for help. He informed me that Spinnakers usually calls them when they have excess stock, they do not place orders with Spinnakers. He also said that Spinnakers rarely sends them stock as their sales are usually so robust that they don't typically have any beer to spare. It was almost an ah fuck moment (especially since my subject had already sat in for the data collection and I had spent days lauding the beer in his presence) until the employee told me to look online.

Behold my new favourite online store: Spinnakers Spirit Merchants. I haven't even begun to look through their stock but what I did notice was that I could purchase my favourite beers directly from Spinnakers and have them sent to my doorstep. Heaven. In 2-3 business days, I will be with my Nut Brown Ale (label right).

posted by Joie! at 2:50 p.m.


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