Friday, August 19, 2005

Morning Becomes Eclectic

I've been listening to KCRW in the mornings, and after 9am there's a show called Morning Becomes Eclectic which features an amazing range of music that you don't hear on the top 40 bandwagon radio stations. However recently the host, Nick Harcourt, has been playing some of the singles from The Killer's latest album, Hot Fuss. Since the mainstream stations have also been playing them (you may have heard Mr. Brightside or Somebody Told Me) I figured it has to be a really decent album. So I picked it up, and it's really really good rock. I'm sorta mini-headbanging at my computer... I <3 My Ipod.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

40 Year Old Update


Royale got a teaching fellowship from the New York Board of Education, which apparently comes with a free Masters degree, so huzzah! And also Damn You Weber-Flink! You'll have more academic prestige than me!

Life and work have been pretty much steady, work is getting interesting as the design phase creepingly approaches the development phase (wherein I become the hero of the story).


I've recently read the first three novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, on the recommendation of a newsgroup friend.


It's an amazingly complex and mature epic fantasy modeled after the War of the Roses, the name given to the British civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York for the British throne in the 15th century. The two main houses in the novels are the Lannisters and the Starks.

Martin writes fantasy like nobody I've ever read before, primarily by avoiding any and all deus ex machinae (there is some magic around, but it is not much more effective than a score of knights, and very few people can use it). His characters are vivid, deep, and well defined, and Martin never betrays their motivations. Main characters die regularly, to be replaced by new characters, and each chapter is written from a different point of view. While Martin jumps around in time occasionally, the series is mostly in chronological order; however different accounts of the same events are often presented from different points of view.

The fourth book is due out in hardcover next month, when I shall devour it, but in the meantime here's what I have on my bedside nightstand:



I went to the arclight last night to see a preview of 40 Year Old Virgin with the tiny israeli. I'm not particularly critical when it comes to film, but I think it was an entertaining 2 hours. There was very little degeneration into absurdity, and the main character's anger and frustration at his own fear of women and physical intimacy made him more human than a 2D high school sex romp virgin. On the whole, I enjoyed it, although Lee ate more than her fair share of the toblerone.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Book Meme and Gramma RoRo

Royale drove across the country with her friend Liz last week and ended up at my place. I paid some of my air mattress karma forward and had a fun evening with the girls - I took the two of them and my roommate-pro-tem Monica out for dinner and drinks on the Marina, followed by a trip to Ralph's to pick up some Apple Pie and Vanilla ice cream (Hey, it's no stone-n-shop but still).

Then we went back to the apartment and listened to tunes and chatted for a few hours until the girls got tired and went to sleep. Somewhere during the conversation I informed Royale that I would be instructing her grandchildren to call her "Gramma RoRo" which infuriated her and amused me. There was also playback of a hand-held tape recorded journey through a thunderstorm... which Royale hysterically recorded in a shrieking british faux Julia Childs accent to much comedic effect.

The next morning they took off for San Diego and left me to a lazy afternoon of reading. I have a big "now reading" update coming up because I'm about to polish off A Song of Ice And Fire and then I'm starting Shogun.

Now for the book meme:

You're Ender's Game!

by Orson Scott Card

To you, most everything is a game. It's summertime, and the living's
easy. Even when there's a war on, it's just a game to you. But even though you've
historically been able to meet every challenge, there are some doubts about what lies
ahead. Are you sure you're up to the next test? Don't forget to pay attention to your

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ha. Ha.

Drunk kids who pull fire alarms at 3:30 in the morning and wake the entire building and half the neighborhood and waste the fire squadron's time are AWESOEM!!!11!

Monday, August 01, 2005

As Requested

The Luck Of The Jordish

For lack of anything interesting having happened over my weekend, I shall now regail you, fine readers, with a tale from my first week in the land of the golden sun.

First off, you should understand that I have never been issued a speeding ticket. I have been in two minor accidents, both of which were arguably not my fault, and I have been pulled over once four years ago; I got a warning, which by now has been expunged from my record.

The second thing you should understand is that if you have never driven on a five lane highway at seventy-five miles per hour in the black of night, the 405 at midnight is a TERRIFYING experience. Suddenly you're trying to keep track of 5 lanes of traffic in rearview mirrors which are completely unsuited to the task, and which are shining about 30 pairs of headlights directly onto your retinae. Seventy five is just the average speed - you have to weave in and out of the nutjobs doing ninety and the grannies doing 55.

So there I am, driving somewhat erratically because, hey, I think I'm about to die, when the sirens and the flashing lights kick off behind me. "Oh shit," I think, "the perfect end to the perfect driving experience."

I don't even know the ettiquette for pulling over in California, because there's basically no shoulder - so I continue to the nearest exit and take it, obviously aggravating the cop as he shines his beam right into my left sideview and gets on the loudspeaker to say "Make a right and pull over when it's safe," in a tone that suggests he is calling for backup and preparing to bludgeon me.

I'm sitting at the end of the exit ramp, and there's a red light. I wait for it to turn green, so that I can make the aforementioned right turn and pull over. The light turns green. I begin to drive forward, when out of nowhere arrives my Redneck Hero! A beaten up old ford pickup roars through the red light at high speed with the windows down and the country tunes blasting. I slam on the brakes. And the cop forgets about me and takes off after him.

I slunk away and got back on the highway, thanking the gods for my rescuer's poor breeding and general disregard for traffic safety. When I got home I noticed that one of my taillights was hanging from a wire, so I pushed it back in, shrugged, and ate some dinner.

Moral of the story: my insurance rates are better than yours.