30 May 2008

"Actors sniff jackets."

Everyone, go watch these videos: Acting With James Franco, by James Franco

I have been kind of off-and-on about James Franco. Freaks & Geeks was amazing, the Spider-Man movies I was not that into... everything else, whatever. But this is pretty great.

24 May 2008

Gettin' hitched - with style!

Going to weddings makes me think about what I would and would not want at my own wedding. I don't want to have a crappy time at my own wedding by having to stick to boring "traditions"!

I have all these great ideas...

Like having the reception meal be all breakfast foods! Who doesn't love breakfast for dinner? Eggs, bacon and sausage, pancakes, fruit, etc. I love this stuff so much that any time I eat it feels like a special occasion.

Also, I think the traditional wedding march is boring. It would be rad if the wedding procession came out to the theme from Rocky, and the bride and groom had to run down the aisle and up some stairs and jump around with their fists in the air.

When Stu told me he was on his way to the wedding rehearsal, I wanted to know what kind of moves he had to memorize. I was picturing some choreography where all the groomsmen and bridesmaids start out seated in the audience, then the lights suddenly go down and the music/lasers/fog machine starts and they all leap up and maybe vogue their way to the altar. The real ceremony did not turn out to be anywhere near that exciting...

Stu joined in on the hypotheticals -

Stu: Maybe I'd demand a live band or something
Me: demand to BE the live band. be like, i'm going to say my vows while cradling my guitar, deal with it.
Stu: I don't need to dance with my wife. I need to PLAY to my wife ALL NIGHT LONG

I love all these ideas, don't steal them from me! Or... DO THESE, and be sure to invite me. I will at some point stand up and start a slow clap for you.

20 May 2008

Fun times with Stu

This past weekend my good friend Stu was in town! The weather was warm and amazing. The weekend felt so full to me that it spilled over into Monday, and I am only just now realizing we have entered the work week. Look at me, all saying "work" like I have a job. Saying "week" like I haven't lost all concept of time.

We went to a wedding on Saturday, which is something we did last spring, too. I'm not a church-goer, so I'm never sure what to expect from the ceremony. Last time, the ceremony was Catholic and there were all these moves I didn't know anything about, like Communion and shaking hands with people around you. There was also this part where everyone made three little crosses to represent God on your mind, lips and heart... when everyone was doing this, I looked around and seriously thought that the guy next to me was just scratching his forehead.

At this wedding and the one last year, I have not known the bride or groom, so I got to schmooze with strangers and eat food and just hang out. This time Stu was a groomsman, which meant we got a good seat at a table right up by the action. It also meant that we got to cut in line for food, so I got to the bacon-wrapped chicken Cordon Bleu that much more quickly - before everyone stripped the bacon off and left the chicken. Rude! (Or is it... brilliant?)

Then on Sunday, Stu and I made our triumphant return to the University District for the Street Fair, which we also went to last May. It was great for people- and dog-watching. I got my first sunburn of the season on my cheeks and arms, because I am from a mild clime and don't understand the sun. How is it that I ALWAYS underestimate the sun? (You may remember such classic Elena vs. The Sun moments as: me falling asleep in the Australian sun for hours, without sunscreen.)

What a great weekend! I miss Stu all the time since he moved away.

15 May 2008

Have a listen

I am crotchety and set in my ways, so I generally think that the best music has already been made, and that everything new is dreck and kids these days with their sadcore this and Wizard Rock that.

But every once in a while, a new artist comes along who touches me just right in the brain and in the heart, and I am hooked. Then I have to say, "Sorry for not believing in you, New Music... I hope we're cool."

This week, I am listening to Mika's album "Life in Cartoon Motion" and LOVING IT. What fun tunes! I wish I'd know about this guy sooner. I found out about him in a really roundabout way, which involved this entry from Reformatted Songs, some Wikipedia-ing, and the vague recollection of a reworded version of "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)" in a commercial for Ugly Betty.

Speaking of that song, it contains a great delivery of a line. It's the part where Mika goes, "Get yourself to the Butterfly Lounge/find yourself a big LAYYYDEEE!" and the whole thing reminds me of like... Freddie Mercury plus Jerry Lewis. Which equals a line, and subsequent rhymes, which I am physically incapable of NOT lip-syncing along to. Even um, when I may or may not be in public, like hypothetically on the bus or something. LAYYYDEEE!

Everyone get this album immediately! It will make you feel super!

12 May 2008

Quest for knowledge

Since I have been out of school... all of two months... I have been thinking a lot about how I can go back to school. It's true - I'm a big nerd and I love learning. I didn't apply to grad schools right away, because I knew that I had to take some time off or else I would self-destruct from being in school for years on end, with no breaks. For the past few years I have been taking classes every quarter, summer included, but now I suddenly find myself with nothing academic to do.

This calls for... UNSTRUCTURED LEARNING! And by that, I mean I am satisfying my needs by Google- and Wikipedia-searching EVERYTHING. It takes the edge off, a little.

Here's a list of recent things I have been reading up on. Some of these I don't even remember searching for, but Google search history doesn't lie. I'll also include some links, so you can join me on this voyage of discovery:

11 May 2008

My omamori

122 - 5/10/2008
Originally uploaded by illenion
Help! My omamori from Itsukushi Jinja has come untied. I don't know how to retie the knot, it's supposed to look like this. Does anyone know how to retie this?! I don't want the good luck to leak out...

07 May 2008

Using words to make a thing

My last two posts got me thinking about brevity, and daily projects, and how they might be combined.

I really like [Something]-A-Day projects, I think they are an interesting way to track the passage of time. Every so often, I take a look at my Photo of the Day from exactly a year prior. See what I was doing then, compare it to what I'm doing now, and think about everything in between.

In my paper journal, I have toyed with the idea of starting a sort of Poem-A-Day project, but with a specific form in mind: Allen Ginsberg's American Sentences. These are evocative lines of 17 syllables, and you can read about them here. For some reason I have never been that interested in haiku, but the restriction to 17 syllables is a challenge I can appreciate.

Slow day, nothing to write? 17 syllables shouldn't be too hard.

Busy day, too much to write but not enough time and energy? Just 17 syllables! Pick up the rest of the story next time.

05 May 2008

The Philippe Chronicles

I was thinking of regaling you all with a story from my trip to Australia last year, but I suddenly got paranoid that the star of the story might someday, somehow find this blog and read about himself and... feel bad. I know I'm all about making fun of jerks and hating stuff, but in this case, I feel like what we shared was too special to just openly mock on the internets. I'm not trying to break any hearts, here.

So, I'll just tell the story in the manner of IMDB Plot Keywords: Australia, Austria, inappropriate touching, museum, opera, Red Bull, space exploration, unusual odor.

As it turns out, I can also tell the story using relevant selections from IMDB Plot Keywords from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: American abroad, Austrian, college, escape, Hitler, ignoring warnings of peril, map, obsession, reaching, religion, train, tunnel.

04 May 2008

Elsewhere on the internets...

The other day I received one of these prints in the mail, it was a prize for being among the first 10 to doodle up something for a contest on Skull-A-Day. It's quite fine-looking, and I'll be putting it up as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Currently at 335, the Skull-A-Day year is almost up, but don't worry. From a recent post:
"Since I'll need to take a vacation from making skulls after I finish my year, I've decided it's going to be YOUR turn to make the skulls. Starting June 4th, I'll be posting a new skull made by a reader every day!"
A chance at audience participation! Exciting.

02 May 2008

Two articles about animals and eyes

I recently read this story about a giant squid which has the "world's largest eye." Does anyone else hear "world's largest" anything, and immediately assume it's really inconceivably huge? I figured this eye must be the size of a VW Bug at the very least. But they are reporting it's about the size of a soccer or beach ball. Boring! Just kidding, it's still cool news, I GUESS.

Then there's this item - Starlings respond to human eye-gaze, and will change their behavior based on whether they are being observed or not. While I don't know much about starlings, this is something I have always thought was true of crows, and it reminds me of a thing I do: If I'm ever walking down the sidewalk and I see a crow minding his own business on the same path, I always feel a little bit strange about the fact that I won't be able to walk by without displacing the crow. Often, looking at the crow will send it flying away, and even a sudden glance will get it hopping nervously. So I try to walk around, and I avoid looking at the crow. I like to try to share the space - we're all in this together, after all.

01 May 2008

A memory

I was just deleting some texts from my phone today, and I came across one that I cannot get rid of because I love it too much:

Battle-Damaged Kirk

Battle-Damaged Captain Kirk... C. leaves no man (or Gorn) behind. Epic!