Point Me

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh noes, Hollywood.

So it turns out that Dick Van Dyke's son has made a straight-to-dvd sequel to the beloved film "Titanic" (1997). He wrote it, directed it, and starred in it. He has no one to blame but himself.



The concept is pretty weak. Who would ever book a voyage on a ship called the Titanic 2, much less a ship called the Titanic 2 that was tempting fate by attempting to recreate the original voyage. I guess that's why in the panicking crowd scenes, it only ever looks like there are 10 peoples.

Personally, I wish that they had used the premise from this trailer mash up instead. Way, way cooler.



It's like "Encino Man" (1992) meets "The Fugitive" (1993) meets some other movie...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

He's my friend, They're not my friends.

Roosevelt has a new furry friend. Paul brought him home from work yesterday.

video

They're totally going to go on joyrides in the Millennium Falcon together.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Berry

Hey, Remember those raspberry bushes I was excited about? Turns out they were blackberry bushes. Almost as good.

This morning I got up and picked some. I really look forward to thinning out the bramble back there, and making the bushes a little more accessible. I got major league scratched up creeping around back there in the thorns. It was worth it though, for the bounty.

I used them to make muffins! I had a real conundrum, because I wanted to bake, but was out of eggs. Also car-less! Luckily I found a good egg free recipe here. The recipe was a little plain though, I jazzed it up a bit by adding cinnamon, and using 1/2 brown sugar. I'm looking forward to breakfast tomorrow!


While I baked I listened to Led Zeppelin. It makes preheating the oven to 400 degrees seem so much more epic.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Danception

Paul and I went and saw "Inception" earlier this week. I really enjoyed it! It was a really interesting, original concept with great visuals and lots of action. I liked that they left a lot of things deliberately vague, I find that often the less exposition about the world a sci-fi story has, the better. I kind of enjoy speculating about the things that are left ambiguous. The cast was solid too. I was especially impressed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, AKA the little kid from "3rd Rock from the Sun"


He was very believable as Arthur, the upright, serious (and possibly ex-military?) extractor. It's too bad his character wasn't developed more. PS: When did this guy get so handsome?

In googling him, I found this music video with him and Zooey Deschanel dancing.



It's kind of like this....



...But somehow more endearing. At least it doesn't make me think "Quit showing off, Pete Campbell! Ugh! Who choreographs a dance for a dinner party?"

Mad Men starts its 4th season on Sunday, and I didn't manage to catch up. Oops!

Royal Buds

Everywhere I look when I drive around now, I see tons of Queen Anne's Lace blooming. It has officially come into season.

This plant is was brought to the northeastern North America from Europe, where it goes by a name closer to it's Latin Roots: Daucua Carota - Wild Carrot.

Yeah! Apparently the taproot of the plant is edible while young, but quickly becomes inedible and "woody". It's really interesting to think that all our modern carrots have been selectively cultivated from something people usually consider a weed.


Carrot Flowers for Comparison


Queen Anne's Lace seeds have also been prescribed as holistic birth control since the Age of Pericles. It blocks the synthesis of every girl's favorite hormone, progesterone.

Yay!

But before you go off nomming on wild carrot seeds, make sure you're not accidentally nomming Poison Hemlock, cuz they look really similar. OK?


Poison Hemlock for Comparison



But then all this talk about Queen Anne's Lace got me wondering. Who is this Queen Anne lady anyway?

Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of England in 1590 in what some would consider a very sexy coronation ceremony:

"During the seven-hour ceremony, her gown was opened by the Countess of Mar for presiding minister Robert Bruce to pour "a bonny quantity of oil" on "parts of her breast and arm," so anointing her as queen. (Kirk ministers had objected vehemently to this element of the ceremony as a Pagan and Jewish ritual, but James (VI and I, her husband) insisted that it dated from the Old Testament.)"

She is remembered as a somewhat inconsequential historical figure, known best for being a patron of the arts and for throwing kick ass masques. Her harshest critic is the 20th century biographer who wrote "Alas! The king had married a stupid wife." Ouch!

She beget Charles I, who was executed during the English Civil War, and died of dropsy at the age of 44.

There are a few rumors about why this plant is named after her, including that she held a contest to see if anybody could duplicate the floral pattern. Some plants sport a small red flower in the center of all the white, which supposedly represents where she pricked her finger while making lace.

Neat.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

Saturday Night, there was a crazy lightning storm near our house. It was hovering over the hills of the Mount Holyoke Range. It was bizarrely silent, no thunder at all. I suppose because the lightning was just bouncing around in the clouds, and never striking the ground.

video

There is a military base over there, maybe this is a new secret weapon! Other Possibility: Smoke Monster.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last 5 Books I Read


"Hope is the Thing with Feathers" by Christopher Cokinos.
Being as curious about birds and avian life as I am, this book was a really interesting and fun read. The title also references Emily Dickinson, so throw on a few extra cool points for that. The author, a former Audubon council president, takes us through the stories behind the extinction of several vanished North American species. It reveals a lot, not just about the behaviors and history of these long-gone birds, but also about the historical attitudes of humans toward our wildlife. I sent this book on to Tim in Vegas, hoping he'd appreciate the odd humor and great factoids this book carries about birds.

"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen
I decided that I wanted to read this book before Robert Pattinson finishes making a movie of it, and it becomes a total fan-girl wasteland. It was actually quite good. You could really tell that the author put a lot of time and energy into researching the traveling train circuses of yore. She also did a good job alternating between the hero in the past and present, keeping his voice consistent. I did find it a little predictable though. A good, quick read with lots of fun scenes, plus the awesomeness of a sassy elephant.

"A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
I really really enjoyed this book. The characters are rich and the backdrop of New Orleans is really vibrant. Ignacius Reilly is a really horrible person, but you can't help but be fascinated by his incredibly narrow and self-righteous world view. I laughed out loud more than once reading it, particularly in the scenes with octogenarian secretary Miss Trixie. My favorite read in this batch o' 5.


"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens
This classic had some really really amazing parts, but also some really really boring parts that I found myself slogging through. Overall though, I'd say it as one of the best Victorian novels that I've read. The scenes depicting the French revolution were especially graphic and engrossing, and Madame Defarge is a memorable, crazy bitch. Also, Lucie was a prime example of this. So hot.



"Jurassic Park" by Michael Crichton
Not to be confused with a novelization of the movie! My book even has a "Soon to be a major motion picture" emblem on the cover. If you like the movie (and who doesn't?), I say reading the book is totally worthwhile, because there's more of everything! Way more scenes with dinos attacking, way more John Hammond being a self-centered jerk, and more exposition around why and how the dinos start to mate. Also, it's revealed that the dinos have already escaped from the park and are wreaking havoc on the mainland within the first 10 pages of the book. Other important differences include; Dr. Grant loves kids, Ellie is way younger and hotter and engaged to somebody else, The little girl doesn't know shit about being a hacker and is actually younger than the boy, and the mathematician is not actually Jeff Goldblum. I read this in like 3 days, it's a good beach read thriller.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Music for Racing

As I mentioned, Paul and I are back into playing Mario Kart again. Lately, I've enjoyed muting the game, and playing my own sweet tunes during the racing action. It's a great way to get in the zone, and some times you even get some of that good ol' fashioned synchronicity I mentioned the other day.

Caroline's Top 5 Songs to Kart to:
1. Beta Band: Troubles
Perfect Track Pairing: Rainbow Road



2. Cake- The Distance
Perfect Track Pairing: Koopa Cape



3. Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood
Perfect Track Pairing: GCN DK Mountain



4. The Police: Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
Perfect Track Pairing: Moonview Highway



5. Daft Punk: Harder, Better, Faster
Perfect Track Pairing: GBA Bowsers Castle 3



Also:


Monday, July 12, 2010

Synchronicity

Freshmen year of College, Paul took "Music in Film", an awesome class about the importance of a good soundtrack with a teacher whose name sounded like a cowboy (Roger Rideout. Seriously!).

For this class, Paul had some of the sweetest homework of all time, re-score a movie with the soundtrack of your choice. I really enjoyed helping him with these projects, watching movies and picking songs. My favorite was when we took the climax of a terrible monster b-movie and matched it up with "Hungry Like the Wolf."

Last night, Paul and I partook of the most infamous pairing of song and screen - "Dark Side of the Rainbow."


The effect of combining The Wizard of Oz (1939) with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (1973) is almost like a pop-culture inside joke now, so it's kind of easy to dismiss as cheesy stoner gimmick. I have to say though, that watching it is fairly amazing and totally cool. There are so many moments where the music hits in such a perfect way, that it's hard to imagine that the synching wasn't done on purpose. My favorite of all I think is in the second video here, when the witch appears and the music says "Black...." , and "which is which?"

Here are two parts that I feel like are especially noteworthy, but I do encourage you to, at some point, watch the whole thing from the start. As a warning, these videos are missing part 12, in which the gang meets the wizard and journeys to the witches castle.






It's a really fun, different way to watch a childhood classic, though sometimes I had a hard time not superimposing the original song over the music in my head. It's also a great way to enjoy Pink Floyd, which I've been on kind of a kick with lately. Paul and I listened to The Wall (1982) during our long ride home from the Cape on Saturday.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I love this!

Check out this beautiful cartoon! It uses a 1969 interview between John Lennon and a 14 year old fan as its soundtrack. Its a great portrait of Lennon, and a vantage point into the climate of the late 60's. I particularly like the end credits, when you get to hear him talk about his luggage. You can also sort of loosely the see the influence of the artwork from "Yellow Submarine" (1968), particularly at 0:47 and 1:35. Very cool.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I love you!

I know I'm quite a long way off from having a dinosaur as a pet. But I feel like this little fellow takes me a big step forward.




The Jurassic Park Soundtrack is just the icing on the cake. Especially at 2:24!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Almighty Dollar

I would consider myself a person who is more attuned than average to the dangers of materialism, on ecological, psychological and economical levels. That being said, I am always loathe to call my self a consumer. This week I think proved to me better than most that I am just as bad about acquiring stuff as any other American. I blame the heat wave, it made being inside an air conditioned store seem like a better option than sweltering in our house.

The first thing I bought was even to help us keep cool. Paul and I ran through the sprinkler the other day and it was awesome. I run it for a little while in the afternoon too, to keep the vegetables alive.


I was also fighting a really nasty cold earlier in the week. I decided that taking vitamins would probably help my immune system kick it. I opted for the gummie type, because I'm secretly 5. The name of this brand is a big oxymoron. "One-a-Day"....but you take two of them!

We finally decided to resolve the not having Mario Kart issue once and for all, and broke down and bought a new copy of the game. I missed playing so much!

A Hula Hoop. Paul and I are going to the Gathering of the Vibes music festival at the end of the month, and people often bring hula hoops to these types of events. I had always been bad at hula hooping, and wanted to see if I could get better at it. I'm still pretty terrible, but I like to think I'm improving...The check out guy asked me if I went to Hampshire College when I bought this.
These hot shoes. I could not resist them, for they were only $7.

Mmmm....Trader Joes Vegetable Gyoza are AWESOME!

Annnd in spite of them losing the summer beer taste test, A Harpoon UFO is still nice on a hot hot day.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Patriotism, etc.

Happy 4th of July! Enjoy this clip from the patriotic overload that is "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942).



I actually get a little embarrassed when I watch this video. When I was 11, I saw James Cagney play a mentally warped gangster in "White Heat" (1949) and I thought he was the coolest. Watching him play a song and dance man is just a little painful, especially since he doesn't really sing, per se, and his dancing is kind of weird!

Apparently, the only reason that Cagney made this movie was because he was under suspicion of being a communist, and didn't want to get blacklisted. He felt compelled to prove his love of America and save his career by starring in the most saccharine jingoistic movie ever made.

USA! USA!

The part where they do the giant history montage is pretty ridic though, in a good way. I particularly enjoyed the Teddy Roosevelt part, and the African Americans bowing down to the Lincoln memorial is kind of thought provoking. Funny how you don't see those black actors, who can clearly sing better than Cagney, chilling with everybody else at 5:53.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

But what are the brain slugs who control you going to do for the working man?

Yeah! Futurama is back on with shiny new episode goodness! Paul and I watched the premiere last week, and I'm happy to report that the episodes are totally on par with the show that went off the air in 2003. I am most pleased by the resurgence of this cartoon magic, even if it means that we no longer own every episode of the show.

To celebrate the return of the Planet Express crew, check out this Brain Slug Headband. It's the laziest/ best halloween costume I've ever seen. Also, not just a ploy to increase the unreasonably huge subsidies to the brain slug planet. Don't be silly!