Monday, July 21, 2008

Avenant or Bete or Ardent?

I had a hard time falling asleep lat night (the fact that it was 4 in the morning is beside the point) I kept wondering if I had put in the correct dates for my vacation request. Were they going to expect me in today instead of next Monday?
I went into the city today to pick up some loose leaf tea as well as see if it would be possible to purchase the series from a real time vendor. I tried ordering on line but for some reason they refused to believe that m method of payment was really what I said it was. Makes you think doesn't it? Just because our card calls itself AmerigoQuick*** or DominantCard or Freedom doesn't mean it is. It's really just a clever disguise. It's a Credit Card Carnival Masquerade!

Stupid on-line ordering monopolies

So I went to the mega-shop where I found out that yes I could order it from them but only three volumes as the others are discontinued (?!) and it would take 3 - 6 weeks and I would have to leave a deposit which would be refunded to be used as a credit for a purchase with that particular store.

okaaaay. I said, "I need to think about it."  

I browsed instead. Found a copy of Stardust and A Hard Days Night on sale then wandered looking for Amelie. Didn't find it. But I found the Criterion section. Oooo a section to buy criteria who'd have thought! Wonder what a criteria looks like when it's not being scientific? 

Turns out it's a label for a selection of films that are supposed to be the criteria of filmmaking. Yeah but whose? I don't think it's the criteria of all film makers everywhere cause some of them... it ranged from Pandora's Box to Brazil to the 400 Blows to Samurai Trilogy to SlackersTime bandits....

BUT they did have La Belle et la Bete and the aforementioned Pandora's Box.

Guess what I watched tonight as I continued to knit the forever flare? :)
Since I was doing the public commute I also started the Sky Sock from Cat Bordhi's book. Finished one cuff and I'm on the second of three repeats for the leg. I like the fact that she has baby sox as first experiments before starting with an adult sock. Not only do I get an idea of what I'm letting myself in for but, since one of my team members is expecting and two staff recently got married. I can start a prezzie stash ;)


Sunday, July 20, 2008


I couldn't stand it anymore so I bought Blood Roses by Francesca Lia Block this afternoon. Finished it too. Not that it's a long book. 

Aaaah. I feel better.
Watched Vampyr and Tampopo tonight. Vampyr is a 1930's german film. I think suffocating a demon with fresh flour is pretty original. Tampopo was just as fun as I remembered it being.
I've restarted the knit skirt I was making a month ago. Since it is worked from the waist down the rounds take longer and longer the closer I come to finishing. I have one pattern repeat (20 rounds) to go before I can start the flare: at the soonest. If I want the skirt to be longer than knee length I'll need to do more repeats before the flare. 

I've also started working with Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. Made my first Sky sock.


Friday, July 18, 2008

A sam spade secret agent visits a town operated by a computer. All the women are numbered and some citizens are encouraged to suicide if they cannot adapt  and if incapable of either are executed. Something like nazi germany meets Bladerunner and hal is president.

the Sea Hawk
Errol Flynn. Need I say more? Okay Alan Hale is there too and Claude Rains. But really Flynn should be enough. To quote Elizabeth about "Flash": 'I've got such a crush on him'. Well who else could have been the original Man In Black??
Melmoth has put me off my reading. Only 200 more pages to go. I think I can I think I can. The fact that Balzac has written a conclusion to this book is the only thing keeping me at it. I've been dabbling in non fiction: Yoga Morality by Georg Fuerstein (about the yamas essentially), and The Disciplined Mind by Howard Gardner (he of the Multiple Intelligences theory).
Other films watched include: 
the Triplets of Belleville
Robin Hood (Douglas Fairbanks)
Roxanne (Steve Martin)

Thanks to the DVDs I've actually been knitting again. I've completed one felted bag, finished a
noro fan and feather scarf and just need to make the handles and lining for two intarsia bags.
So I really enjoyed watching the Black Adders and I'm considering owning the set. With that thought in mind I perused the offerings. I'm tempted to present what I found as a lesson in consumerism for some of my class, viz:

You have the opportunity to own a complete set of films which you know you will enjoy. The set is 100 dollars. Do you get it? Perhaps you want to now what is meant by a complete set? Thus a complete set is 5 DVDs. So that is roughly 20 dollars per. Well you know you will like it ad watch it so do you get it? Perhaps you are curious how much each costs if purchased individually? Okay they are 15 dollars individually.

See my confusion? Why if I want the whole set does it cost more for one package then if I buy each of them indivdually?


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Turnip that Looks Just lIke a.....

I've been renting lots f movies lately. I recently discovered that my local library has a fairly decent collection and so I've taken advantage. They have all the Black Adders as well as silents. Yesterday I watched the Douglas Fairbanks version of the Three Musketeers and this evening John Barrymore in The Charming Rogue (about Francois Villon).

side note: HRH Elizabeth makes a comment about Edmund and parties and how he always wears very "tight tights". So does Msr. Barrymore.

I have a complaint about the silents on DVD and if anyone can recommend good versions I'd be grateful. My complaint is the soundtracks. Scott Joplin durng a romantic scene or Swan Lake during a fighting scene is not necessarily appropo. I know that originally compositions were made to be played during the actual performance of these films. Have the scores been lost? Can the companies just not be bothered? It's irritating and I'm somewhat tempted to score the films myself just (ie create my own compilations) to have a better experience.
Still reading Melmoth the Wanderer. It is really a trying experience. I find myself skimming whole paragraphs in order to move the action along. Melmoth has finally turned up and is attempting to corrupt an innocent island girl by explaining all the religions of the world to her. This consists of (from what I can make out and I'm presuming that Maturin knew more about his own Protestantism then anything else and this is his excuse) Seeva worship (though the idol sounds like Kali), Hari (which is what Krishna is called but apparently this hari requires the sacrifice of babies), Brahma (is a goddess??),  Juggernaut (no idea) Turkish (which he identifies as Muslim), and generic christianity.  

*sigh* I would prefer it if a person is going to incorporate spirituality of other faiths they at least match the proper deity name with that particular deity's worship. Or make it all up: names and rituals. It's just too confusing and I find myself more interested in making proper names and notes in the margins than actually reading the story.

I ran into a similar issue last week reading the preface to a collection of Sindbad the Sailor stories. The translator was talking about castes in India and identified  Bhramins as the warrior caste and Kshatryia as the intellectuals. I'm not denying brains or fighting spirit to either ncessarily but I thought it was the reverse.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?

Have I ever mentioned my problem with a certain parcel delivery company? I find this challenge slightly ironic considering that during my study of Organizational Behavior this particular company was held up as a good example of efficiency towards customers and employees.

Needless to stay I spent my entire day at home awaiting delivery of a package from said company only to find - when I went online, at 4:30pm,  to track it- that the package had been delivered at 2:30.

That's odd, I thought. It has been delivered but I do not have it.

So I called the company of purchase to see what they knew and got confirmation that if the parcel service had somehow messed up I could get a replacement: then they gave me the customer service number of the boys in brown.

I called. I stated my name, number and address very clearly.

Turns out that even though I was very specific about my address they decided to deliver it to my neighbors.

But I do have it now. So Mr. McGoohan and I spent some time in the Village this evening. ***CV

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

John, Emma, Peter, and Edie

Well I figured out how to move my pictures from the camera to my computer. The tricky part is moving it from the computer to the blog. I somehow don't think it should take five minutes to upload. It never has before.

Recently read:
Casino Royale, Ian Fleming, (181pp)
The one that started it all. It shows too. But now I now when Bond met Felix, about S department, and Mathis. I never quite understood the misogynist bit that has been credited to Bond. Until the last line of this story. Oh, Now I get it.

Currently reading:
Melmoth the Wanderer by Maturin. Some pretty eye-rolling over the top gothic moments so far: um Sra. Moncado, I really don't think your child, no matter how much he loathes becoming a monk, will walk over your prostrated body in order not to become one.  No really this is one of the scenes in the first volume of a four volume story. I am no where near the climax. The author is still introducing the players. And even though he was clergy he does not seem to like the church. He keeps insulting it and its practices: especially the Jesuits.

Recently watched:

Peter Gunn (series)
the Avengers (series)
Black Adder III (series)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

As You Wish

Kenilworth, Sir Walter Scott (392 pp)
I still have no idea who the main character of this story is. Perhaps it is the castle Kenilworth after all. The hero is Tressilion but he so seldom appears one wonders. Then there is the Earl of Leicester and with his attempt to become Elizabeth's King, while married to someone else (ahem, this is Queen Elizabeth he's trying to fool?) so perhaps he is the villain... but no, that is definitely Varney. Anyway it is a very well written story as well as language and historical allusions go. Much better than Ivanhoe in my opinion - of course that wouldn't be hard, Ivanhoe is such a schmuck. Wonderful epigraphs before every chapter and I think Scott had much fun in writing this tale.
The Reavers, George Macdonald Fraser (268 pp)
I have never read a Flashman story. I'm tempted to now. Very fun and very modern in its Elizabethan  splendour. Loved the seesaws of doom. And really: haggis torture. Who'd have ever thought of it?
The Ladies of Grace Adieu, Susanna Clarke (235 pp)
I think this has been around enough that most people are aware of what it contains. Short stories along the lines of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, but short.
Around the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne (191 pp)
Except for calling San Francisco the capital of California an enjoyable read. Phileus Fogg is amazingly unflappable and uninterested in what is happening around him. Well either that or its a very clever disguise. He could give Mr. Spock lessons in imperturbability. Favorite part had to be the desert schooner.
Recently viewed:
The Princess Bride
The Musketeers (Richard Lester)
Pirates of the Caribbean I
Peter Gunn
the Avengers (series)
Robin Hood (series)+

+ well sort of. I really tried to watch it but it was so bad I never went beyond the first episode.