Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bein' Green

What Color is Your Brain?


At work or in school: I work best by myself. I like to focus on my ideas until my desire for understanding is satisfied. I am easily bored if the subject holds no interest to me. Sometimes, it is hard for me to set priorities because so many things are of interest.
With friends: I may seem reserved. Although my thoughts and feelings run deep, I am uneasy with frequent displays of emotion. I enjoy people who are interesting and of high integrity.
With family: I am probably seen as a loner because I like a lot of private time to think. Sometimes, I find family activities boring and have difficulty following family rules that don't make sense to me. I show love by spending time with my family and sharing ideas and interests.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ever Wondered About Charlie Brown's Skeleton?

Or Shmoo's? Or Marvin the Martian's?

Check it out:

Skeletal Systems

Bizarre in an awesome sort of way. Or awesome in a bizarre sort of way, if you prefer.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bipolar Express

We watched the movie Polar Express last night, and I confess I spent most of it going, “Wha?” I did not enjoy it, and I’m a big fan of kids’ movies -- when they’re well-done. Granted, I did not read the book, mostly because the illustrations didn’t appeal to me; I’m guessing that reading it would have at least cleared up some of my confusion, because confusion there was.

To begin with, this strange conductor shows up in the middle of night and carts kids away, supposedly going to the North Pole. Okay. It’s a kids’ movie, I’ll stifle my adult urge to scream, “Don’t go with the pedophile, kid!” and go along with it.

After picking up the main character, the "hero" (who is not heroic or even particularly interesting), they pick up some little poor kid who has to sit in the back train car by himself. What is up with that?! He has to sit alone, in a train car that is precariously attached to the rest of the train, where it looks cold and dark, and doesn't even get offered refreshments? I suppose that was a gimmick to show the heroic qualities of the two hero characters, but it just seemed excessively cruel to me. And did I mention gimmicky?

Then there was the ongoing (and ongoing and ongoing) frustration with the ticket, the incredibly dangerous train ride, and the surprisingly inept crew. I mean, wouldn't you think Santa would have the best? The conductor seemed bipolar, the engineer was clumsy and slow, and the guy helping the engineer (not sure what his function was) was like a character out of Dogpatch.

The staff who brought the hot chocolate seemed magical, pouring scalding hot chocolate into cups from yards away while they twirled and sang à la Disney. But then the train ride itself was one ridiculous and dangerous mishap after another. Where was the magic then? I guess the kitchen staff got it all.

Then there was this mysterious hobo character who was there, but then not there, saving other characters now and then. I found him strange and off-putting. He was clearly a gimmick (again), put there just to save characters when they needed it, but why? It seems like any other kind of character could have worked just as well, if not better. This character was mysterious to the point of eeriness. Maybe it was intended as a Homeless-Person-As-Hero Don't-Judge-A-Book-By-Its-Cover sort of lesson? I suspect this is one instance in which the book could help me out.

When they finally got to the North Pole, our protagonists of course managed to get lost because they were DOING THE RIGHT THING (in a very clumsy way), but then of course ended up, despite themselves, where they were supposed to be anyway. Again, Santa's whole operation seemed to be inefficient and bumbling, though one near tragic mishap was -- again, of course -- stopped at the last minute and the conductor said something about the whole operation being a "well-oiled machine." A well-oiled near death trap, you mean.

Then Santa finally came out after much Jonestown-like singing and chanting by thousands of elves all dressed alike, making them disturbingly uniform from a distance, like an army of Christmas Orcs. The elves they showed up close were out-and-out creepy-looking. One might even go so far as to say evil-looking. One of the elves spoke to the poor boy, saying "Trust me" in this sinister serial-killer way, sort of winking like he's a good-natured pirate who really can't be trusted but is charming so you give in anyway. But the elf was supposedly actually trustworthy. So, Mr. Zemeckis, why make him seem sinister and shifty?

Santa was dull and not really on-screen for long and made a big point of saying how he was a symbol of Christmas. Not heavy-handed at all, no. And of course he chose Our Hero for the First Gift of Christmas, though the "hero" hadn’t earned it in any way I could see. Oh, wait, he believed. With all of the proof right in front of him, he took the brave step of believing. Yes, I get it now.

I realize this movie is intended for children and most may have loved it, but I thought it was contrived, ran much too long, suffered from logic gaps that bright children will spot easily, was mostly boring though interspersed with somewhat violent parts that I think would scare young children, and overall, was just downright unsettling.

Monday, December 11, 2006

If There's One Thing I Can Do...

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Underpants Gnomes Strike Again!

Apparently it’s all the rage these days in Hollywood for young starlets, pop tarts, and heiress wastes of space to go about all panty-less. Maybe it’s the warm weather in California: naughty bits need a little fresh air now and then. No?

It’s not a new idea; we all know Marilyn Monroe didn't wear underwear. Yet La Marilyn didn’t stagger around drunk in micro-minis, struggling to get in and out of limos and yachts and whatnot, either oblivious to flashing everyone or pretending to be oblivious while secretly hoping everyone noticed. I’m sure that many people back in the day didn’t consider Marilyn to be the epitome of class, but look, Ma -- by comparison she seems like such a lady, doesn’t she?

I don’t really see what the appeal is for these young women. Do they think it makes them seem more daring? Devil-may-care? Saucy? Sexy? I think it just seems desperate. Desperate to be considered sexy, desperate to be in the limelight, desperate to have their pictures splashed all over the world, even for this. Do they not care about class, dignity, respect? Okay, okay, that's going too far, I guess, expecting too much.

But does Britney really have to do this to feel sexy? Maybe after having two babies and being married to the bowl of Jello -- tough Jello, though, yo, like green, maybe -- she does. But she was famous for being sexy before all that, more even than for being a singer. She could easily have gotten that back and it looked like she was on her way until she hooked up with the heiress oxygen-suck and broke her own previous record for the downhill run. Not that she’s ever been anything other than trash. We all know money can’t buy love; it doesn’t seem to be able to put a dent in poor taste or a complete lack of class, either.

Though I’m the first to admit that it is indeed bold to go panty-less, staggering around drunkenly flashing your lady parts at whoever might be looking your way is a little too close to the world’s oldest profession for me. And we all know how much respect they get.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another Reason to Love December

Not that I didn't enjoy NaBloPoMo or think it was a good idea. It was just the pressure.

The same sort of pressure keeps me from subscribing to magazines: the fact that I have to read this, at least some of it, every month, or God forbid, every week, or I've completely WASTED MY MONEY. Ugh. I can't take it. (Except for Consumer Reports. That one I love.)

I don't like feeling obligated. I can't tell you how much I resent flossing; if I didn't have to do it, I wouldn't mind. But oh, since I have to...

I realize it's a weird way of thinking but I've learned to accept it. Just please don't subscribe me to any magazines.

Insanity Explained

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
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