I love the interwebs

I read Consumerist.com regularly and enjoy their war on bad consumer practices. I also enjoy their defence of our rights as producers and consumers. Imagine how happy I was, then, to find that they’d used one of my flickr Creative Commons images on their blog. In case your imagination’s stale: I was very pleased.

Foundation

By Isaac Asimov

I read this book years ago, but was pleased to re-“read” it in audiobook form as the first of my “I got an iPod so I’m gonna listen me boatloads of audiobooks” project.

Not a lot to say, but it occurs to me that Foundation did what the Star Wars sextet was trying to do: imagine the fall of a galactic empire and envision the hope of a new one. Only instead of using a single narrative to tell the story, as Lucas did, Asimov used an episodic method, giving a picture of the event through short anecdotes. Max Brooks uses this method to great effect in World War Z. I’ll probably have to re-“read” the other Foundation books, just to follow through on the story again.

Die You Zombie Bastards!

I Netflixed it on the strength of its title, and wasn’t surprised to find that its entire strength was its title.  This film stretched even my innate love of bad movies, and only the earnest over-acting kept me watching.  Don’t rent this movie.  In case you didn’t see the description in the sidebar, here’s the blurb–a surprisingly accurate depiction of the film’s story.

Red Toole (Tim Gerstmar), a serial killer with a heart of gold and a cape made of human flesh, is on a mission to save his wife, Violet (Pippi Zornoza), and the world’s population from wicked Baron Nefarious (Geoff Mosher). While Nefarious hatches an evil plot to turn everyone into zombies, Toole is hot on his trail, killing anything that gets in his way. Monsters and naked zombie girls add to the ambience of this undead superhero free-for-all.

Sigh.  On the plus side, the villain’s name is Baron Nefarious.  On the downside, WAY too many penis jokes.

City of Glass

I haven’t read any of the criticism of this book yet, and I’ve only read it once, but Paul Auster’s City of Glass is amazing. I’m strongly looking forward to re-reading it, but I think I need to read Don Quixote first. Thesis: in the book, the doppleganger of Auster suggests that Cervantes was recording the actual adventures of the real Don Quixote, who was pretending to be mad in order to see what people would do. He enacted his adventures in order to cause a book about chivalric romances to be created. The clear implications and parallel’s in City of Glass imply that Auster’s novel does for the detective genre what Cervantes did for the romance.

The prominence of the red notebook used by Quinn and found by the narrator (who appears late in the text and isn’t Paul Auster) reminds me of Jem Cohen’s Lost Book Found. Delightful.

Pop quiz, hot shot. What would YOU DO?

Two conundrums (conundra?):

1. My website hosting service comes with an obscene amount of storage and bandwidth.
look at all that space
So I’ve been thinking that I’d like to put some of that toward a good cause. What cause(s) would you support? How?

2. My webcam is producing an image every 5 minutes. I feel like it would be cool to do something with them, but I don’t know what. Especially since they’re pretty similar to one another.

On fatherhood, exercise, and telephones

Avery tossing

Amusing incident 1:
Avery likes anything technological.  She loves remote controls and telephones–particularly our cordless phone.  She loves the bleep-bloop sounds it makes when she presses the buttons.  Alas, our phone has caller id and a memory, so sometimes the right combinations of bleeps and bloops calls someone.  Yesterday, I heard the phone making noises like it was calling someone so I dashed over and grabbed the phone, only to find the Sprint PCS voice saying “Your page has been sent.”  I couldn’t figure out how to get the phone to tell me who’d been paged.

Amusing incident 2:
We took Avery swimming today.  She and I spent an enjoyable twenty minutes or so wooshing around the pool, humpty-dumptying off the side, splashing, and going underwater.  When I got home, I was dog tired, and a bit mystified about it. Then I realized that I’d gone to the pool and done a twenty minute work-out with a twenty-five pound weight.  No wonder.

P.S. My mom called this evening to return my call. She wanted to know why I’d texted her the message “Please call.”

Three songs…

…I like with more passion than I can understand.

1. “Into my arms” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, from the Zero Effect sound track. Haunting and melodious in a way that gets me every time. Plus, what a great opening stanza:

I don’t believe in an interventionist God
But I know darling that you do
And if I did, I would kneel down and ask him
Not to intervene when it came to you

2. “Screaming at a Wailing Wall” by Flogging Molly from Within a Mile of Home.
Every time I listen to it, I feel like I should go learn more details of the Irish/British conflict so I can understand it. Or are they Scottish? Meh.

3. “Bumblebee Tuna Song” by Mephiskapheles from God Bless Satan.
Try saying the word bumblebee really fast a bunch of times. Now put it in to a ska/punk beat. Add appreciative lyrics about sandwiches. Repeat for five minutes.

Blogumentary

I think I will experiment with blogumentary as a form of research writing for my Composition 2 students to try out next year.  I googled the term and find it in use, but I’m interested in using my own definition.  I’ll consider what a documentary should be and must be, and how a blog (often time-based) will document the research process as well as documenting its object.

So given the general taboo against changing the old bits of one’s blog, can a blogumentarist return to previous posts and alter them, or must s/he write “updates” like news blogs do?  If one assumes one’s reader to be reading after the fact, rather than as the blog is being produced, must one’s posts be different?

Brick

Brendan speaks with his informantJenny and I watched Brick on Tuesday night.  Its rapid patter and style reminded me of Miller’s Crossing and, as was intended, noir’s heyday.  Most amusing was its rendering of the secret lives of teenagers, the hilarious disconnect between the fast-talking drug dealers and shady characters in the seedy, 70’s-paneled basement of a California bungalow and the parent-friendly personae they exhibit in Mom’s kitchen.  In that regard, the characters echo Veronica Mars and, I’m sorry to say, Dawson’s Creek.  Perhaps the depiction of adult adolescents in television helps our culture deal with the phenomenon of adult adolescents in our lives.  We talk to 10-year-olds about sex because they may be having it, we charge 14-year-olds with crimes “as adults” because of their viciousness (or their skin color, alas).  Those heavy thoughts aside, the fresh dialogue and relatively meager amounts of profanity were a nice change from the vapid chatter at work in most movies about teens.

We also recently watched Danny Deckchair, starring two different people named Rhys.