Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Candy Cane Children

While making the rounds to see who has a new album out and who does not, I bumbled into my first time hearing this song (only on the first visit from this IP address, methinks, to the White Stripes site):

Movies: An abbreviated list

Disclaimers first: We watched some movies in the theater, and we rented some from a local shop. Ergo, this isn't an all-encompassing observation, just 10 keepers and 10 throw-'em-backs of the 91 Netflix flicks seen in 2008, in reverse order of date seen (i.e. most recent at top of list) with a short note. Yeah, yeah, your favorite movie's on the wrong list. Whatever.

Play it again, Sam!
  1. Lust, Caution (tense!)
  2. PU-239 (touching)
  3. The Tunnel (tense *and* touching)
  4. King of California (engrossing)
  5. Shortbus (uncommon people have common problems)
  6. Enchanted (way cuter than I would have thought)
  7. Reign Over Me (way deeper than I would have thought)
  8. My Life as a Dog (fuggedaboutit - awesome movie)
  9. The Brave One (predictable, but really good)
  10. Cashback (unpredictable, and really, really good)

Can I get those hours of my life back?
  1. Cassandra's Dream (as boring as Broken Flowers)
  2. Making Of (nope, the fake documentary parts do not work after all)
  3. Amores Perros (gratuitous dog fighting)
  4. Year of the Dog (too preachy, and not even close to comedy)
  5. Lions for Lambs (if they'd stuck with the guys in Afghanistan and skipped the rest of the movie, it would have been good. They didn't. Oh yeah, and too preachy.)
  6. Vantage Point (boring. boring. boring. from several different perspectives!)
  7. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (too fucking long, just like the title)
  8. The Omega Man (I can see how this would have been good when it came out, but it did not age well)
  9. Gone Baby Gone (just couldn't give a crap)
  10. Lucky You (it would have been lucky to skip this one. I tried, really, but it is still just typical poker crap)

Monday, December 29, 2008

So, that was 2008?

The year seems to have slipped by pretty quickly, though I didn't perceive the days to be shorter and I don't think the time was wasted!

I guess that means it is time yet again to conjure on resolutions. I like to make at least a couple each year, and I find I tend to follow through. But I'm not sure what to put on the list.

Learn more Arabic? Bake a cake? Learn to play guitar? Beats me. I'm having the same problem at work, because I have to concoct five or so goals to accomplish as part of our bonus program. Hey, I like a bonus, but I'd rather earn one by kicking ass rather than ticking off a list of stuff that may not be relevant by year's end. Ugh.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Do they bark, too?

Headline from BBC News: Mumbai attack hotels greet guests

Trust me, I get it: Writing headlines can be a challenge. Or should I say: Headlines spell word challenge

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New scarves

At last, I've gotten a listing up for one of the rather large number of new scarves I have made. You can see it in my Etsy mini in the sidebar of my blog. I really need a model, but I'm short of cooperative or geographically available redheads.

I think I need to fix that, but it might be a while. I know of an ideal candidate, but it isn't straightforward to hit someone up without seeming like a stalker. Alas. Anyway, the new listing is pretty low key in comparison to some of the others, so stay tuned!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coming soon to an interchange near here.

A roundabout! A traffic circle! A rotary! Whatever you want to call it, we're getting a few, and the first opens Friday.

One of the reporters on my staff called it "The Whirlpool of Death." Given this area's tendency to have a lot of crappy drivers, he might be right. Plus, it looks like snow out there. Fun!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A/V, especially V

Here's another Blitzen Trapper tune, but although I like the song, I think the slide show is probably cooler.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

New to me

I'm sure lots of people have known about Blitzen Trapper, like, forever. But I hadn't heard of them until this song was on "Chuck" last night.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Freedom and anonymity

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday said "no" to a UK system of storing DNA samples and fingerprints of people without criminal records. I wouldn't have thought such an absurd system would even have been in place, but there it was.

Needless to say, the ruling - which can't be appealed - was met with whining by British law enforcement types, but that's not a big shock. Inevitably, today's story included quotes about how many times the information's been used to scoop up badguys, but isn't that beside the point?

I know some people on the political fringes here complain about our lack of fundamental rights, or what they perceive as widespread violations of those enumerated by the Constitution, but this - to me - puts those complaints in perspective.

Under ordinary circumstances, at this point I would say, "Europe sucks!" but I like to visit, so I guess I'll just say some UK laws suck, so I wouldn't want to live there.

Doesn't have the same ring to it, though.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The kiddos on Page A1

I guess this is a handy part of my job, getting to decide where Katy and Yuki go in the paper...

and they're both above the fold! I guess I am, too, though. Note the upswept tail on the youngster in the bottom picture.

Cover me

I really like covers, and I really like Tori Amos, so you will not be surprised to find out I like the combo a lot, too. I've probably already mentioned that...
Let it Be

I'm on Fire

Whole Lotta Love

Can't Get You Outta My Head

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

No tag? I'm it anyway

Lulu has this meme going, so I am aboard.

1. Five names you go by:
Alasdair, Alax, Al (see a trend here?), Stew, Scraps

2. Three things you are wearing right now:
Dr. Martens
A diamond earring (the butterfly lady rules!)
A thin layer of dried-up chlorinated water

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:
No more staph nose!
Another cup of coffee

4. Three people who will probably fill this out:
Wellll: The butterfly lady, better than your average idiot, um, I'm with Lulu. TBA.

5. Two things you did last night:
Made lasagna (super awesome, as always, with lots of basil)
Slept the whole night through with no dogs having to go out (three times in five months!).

6. Two things you ate today:
Tunisian stew (beef, honey, almonds, fennel, caraway, cumin, coriander) and rice
Mint chocolate M&Ms

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:
My mom
The owner of Fritzi the dog

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
Weave a scarf
Swim a couple miles

9. Two longest car rides:
Walla Walla, Wash., to Newmarket, N.H. (off to grad school for the lady!) - 1999
Newmarket to Salem, Ore. (all done!) - 2004

10. Two of your favorite beverages:
Espresso - in the mini mug with a Demerara sugar cube and lemon zest
Single-malt Islay Scotch whisky