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  1. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson
  2. The Buddha in the Attic, Julia Otsuko
  3. Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  4. My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayor


  1. Argo
  2. Behind the Candleabra
rms10: (pantheon)
Books: )


  1. Moneyball
  2. The Dark Knight Rises
  3. The King's Speech
  4. Looper
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  1. The Golden Gate, Vikram Seth
  2. The White Queen, Philippa Gregory
  3. Half a Crown, Jo Walton
  4. The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  5. The Last of the Tribe: the Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon, Monte Reel
  6. Bossypants, Tina Fey
  7. At Home, Bill Bryson
  8. The Secret Lives of Dresses, Erin McKean
  9. Packing for Mars, Mary Roach
  10. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
  11. Spoiled, Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan


  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling

Abandoned Books:

  1. Rapture Ready: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, Daniel Radosh


  1. Inception
  2. Richard III
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. Amadeus
  5. The Adjustment Bureau
  6. The Other Boleyn Girl
  7. Hot Tub Time Machine
  8. The Right Stuff
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  10. Exit Through the Gift Shop
  11. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  12. Bridesmaids
  13. Helvetica
  14. The Muppets
  15. Bill Cunningham New York
  16. Midnight in Paris
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At some point, I had decided that 36 weeks was a good time to start buying diapers and wipes, packing the hospital bag, etc.

That's in three weeks. Oh my god! And it's a mere five weeks from now until I hit 38 weeks, which begins the "any day now"* stage of pregnancy! Good thing we finally started setting up the nursery and washing baby clothes and such. And suddenly it seems like we have doctor's appointments and meetings with the doula and childbirth and breastfeeding classes all the time.

In other news . . . let's see. I loved Julie & Julia. (It was only the second movie I saw this year that passed the Bechdel test! Sigh.) I love Jane Lynch, but I wasn't sure about the casting of her as Julia's sister. I finally started reading The Other Queen, by Philippa Gregory, but I'm not enjoying it as much as I have some of her others.

And I'm tired. Guess I have to sleep while I can!

* I know that first babies are generally late, but I was born at week 37, which is a stat that people seem to take seriously when considering the odds of when [untitled] will show up. Also, although I'm glad that my doctor is sticking with the October 4 due date, another ultrasound pointed to September 29 as the likely due date. On top of all that, I while I have wacky cycles, a due date of October 4 requires a cycle of unprecedented length -- 40+ days. So I'm taking the under on October 4.


Aug. 4th, 2009 10:10 pm
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I am definitely too tired for transitional sentences, so here's what's been going on lately:

  1. I'm tired. Oh my god, am I tired. And it's not the fatigue of the first trimester, which felt a bit like the fatigue you have with the flu. I feel physically exhausted, like after an intense workout. I guess that walking to work with a bowling ball strapped to my chest could be considered an intense workout, so okay.

  2. That aside, the pregnancy is still going smoothly. People tend to only talk about their pregnancy woes and horror stories -- especially online -- and I guess I'm included in that. Anyway. I'm tired but doing very well.

  3. Of course, I think I'm all tough, but then I was reading this diary from the Oregon Trail, la la la, it sounds pretty arduous, la la la. And I get to the end, and she gave birth five days after they arrived in Oregon. OH MY GOD. I am so not tough.

  4. We've been so busy with traveling and cleaning out the garage and working that I haven't taken any pictures in a MONTH. It is driving me crazy, since I really want to do an alphabet project. Preferably before [untitled] arrives. But at this point I'm so tired that part of me is like, screw it, it can wait until he's old enough to read.

  5. Okay, on a non-pregnancy note, we saw Public Enemies last week. I'd really been looking forward to it, so maybe that's why I was so disappointed in it. I'm glad that it introduced me to the music of Otis Taylor, but other than that, eh.

Right. That's about it here. Oh god, I totally am a boring pregnant woman. Um. I finally upgraded to Leopard? I'm enjoying Howard's End? I'm . . . going to bed soon.
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I enjoyed this column on memos to Hollywood in the NY Times today, if only for this bit:
To: John Lasseter

From: Manohla Dargis

I’m psyched that you and the guys at Pixar Animation Studios are finally making a movie with a girl as the lead character and with a woman as director, no less — another first for you! Congrats! Of course we have to wait until 2011 to see “The Bear and the Bow,” but on behalf of 51 percent of the population, I salute you.

I've been bitching for years that The Incredibles was the only Pixar movie that passed the Bechdel test, and that most Pixar movies don't even have main female characters.

Despite our free movie passes -- and our desire to see as many movies as possible before October -- I've only seen three movies in the theater in 2009 so far. Usually we're good at seeking out the lesser-known and indie movies, but this year seems like a dry spell so far. And the only summer movies I'm looking forward to are Julie and Julia and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

So what would you add to the memos? And what movies are out there that I've missed this year?
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The eeee! and I had a lovely and low-key Valentine's Day. We met friends for ice cream, made coq au vin and polenta for dinner (with pound cake and strawberries for dessert), and watched several first-season episodes of 30 Rock. Whee!

I have lots of work to do today, but yesterday was so wonderfully refreshing.

On Friday night we saw Coraline in 3D, which has the dubious distinction of being the only movie I've seen so far this year that passes the Bechdel test. Sigh. Anyway, it was quite good. I particularly loved the way the music added to the atmosphere of it. It's a great movie to watch on a rainy day (the way that Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a great movie to watch on a snowy day).

Despite going to a late-ish showing -- 7:30 p.m. -- there were a ton of kids in the theater. And once the movie started, they were all dead silent. I was really impressed by that.

Hope you're all having great weekends!
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The other day I mentioned that I was picking fights in the comments of a local libertarian blog. Yesterday, I got a mass email from the editor of the blog that was a digest of the week's posts. I guess that's what I get for posting with my real email address? I sent a sarcastic email in reply, congratulating the editor for being the first blog to do that, and asked to be removed from the mailing list.

Later in the day, I found myself writing yet another sarcastic comment in response to a blog post. I have since un-subscribed to the blog, because goddamn, I have better things to do with my life. Unfortunately, the only other locally-focused blog is rarely updated.

On a more upbeat note, for those of you who've seen Coraline in 3D, how is it in 3D? I only made it through ten minutes of the 3D episode of Chuck, but that was with red-and-blue glasses, not polarized glasses. Right now it's only playing here in 3D, so I'd have to wait a few weeks to see it in 2D.
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I was reading this article about the general low ratings for Oscar telecasts, and it certainly didn't manage to rev me up for the Oscars (even though I've seen quite a few nominated films this year). In fact, this absolutely turned me off:
[T]he nomination of two songs from “Slumdog Millionaire” could give the evening a Bollywood flavor if the songs were performed onstage, as has often been done. The other nominated song, by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, is from “Wall-E.”

As of last week the plan was to build part of each song into a single production number.

NOOO!!!! I want two big Bollywood production numbers! What the hell, Oscar people? Are they putting all three nominated songs into one big medley? (A pox on the unclear writing there, while I'm at it!)

I think Hugh Jackman is actually a really good choice as host, but for the rest of it -- bah.
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Last year I saw many more movies than I usually do, and I thought I'd see how they fare on the Bechdel Test. Of the 26 movies I saw, 8 definitely passed it, 13 absolutely failed it, and I'm unsure about the remaining five, which is not a good sign.

My TV-watching is a little better: The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are both male-heavy in terms of correspondents and guests, but Chuck is the only other show I watch on a regular basis that fails it. (Oh, wait, Flight of the Concords. Okay, so I'm looking at about a 60% pass rate here.*) The Office only squeaks by, but a pass is a pass.

This may sound petty, but it's not a lot to ask of a movie or TV show. If we flip it around -- two male characters talking to each other, and not about a woman -- then only four of those movies fail it, plus two more I'm unsure about. 38% passing vs. 83% passing (ignoring the unsures). Of the TV shows I watch, 100% passing the inverse test. That's pretty sad. I really thought it would be higher than that.

* Other shows I watch that pass: Big Love, The Office, 30 Rock, Top Chef, Mad Men, Project Runway, and Lost (no spoilers! I haven't seen the season premiere yet).
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I have high hopes that this will be longer than the 2007 list, if only because maybe I'll finish the half-dozen books that I started in the fall of 2007 and didn't finish.

And I'm watching movies this year!
Books: )

Movies: )
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We had an excellent, excellent day today! Somehow, we'd never been to the L.A. County Museum of Art (or, NAMBLA LACMA). We got there ten minutes before it opened, and so wandered over to see one of the La Brea Tar Pits tar pits! It was all bubbly and everything! The eight-year-old inside me was very excited about that.

Our main intention at the museum was the contemporary wing, but it turns out there was also an exhibit of portraits from Vanity Fair. That was an incredible collection -- my two favorites were of Greta Garbo, by Edward Steichen, and of Adele and Fred Astaire, by James Abbe. I'm really just fascinated by what's happening in that latter one.

Outside of the photography, I really loved Getty Tomb, by Frank Stella. And wandering through Richard Serra installations always makes me happy. (The eeee! was more excited about the Jeff Koons stuff, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would.)

We also saw Slumdog Millionaire, which was very good, but more violent and depressing than I expected. Then we finished it off with dinner with the eeee!'s parents and sister. Hooray for a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!
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I am quite delighted that my two beloved football teams -- Michigan and the Steelers -- both had come-from-behind victories this weekend!

We caught the end of the Steeler game at a bar, and near the end of regulation I was moaning about overtime, because I hate the NFL overtime system. A guy we'd been chatting with asked me what I thought about the college system, and I said that I liked it, but thought they should start at the 35-yard-line, instead of the 25. I could tell he was testing me, to see if I knew anything, and he seemed pretty surprised to find himself agreeing with me. (A few minutes later, him and a few others were really surprised to find out that I knew how many timeouts each time got at the beginning of OT. I was like, "Yeah, I've watched JUST A LITTLE BIT of football in my time.")

We missed the first half because we went to Rosh Hashanah services tonight. I'd never been, and I thought it was nice. Any sort of starting anew sounds good, right about now.

And finally, we watched Airplane! and Zero Hour! the other night, and I marveled at how the clothes in Airplane! look less ridiculous than the clothes in an old episode of 90210. I'm not sure if that says something about the cyclical nature of fashion, the difference between trendy clothes and basic clothes, or about my personal preferences. But there you have it.

And and, I'm over my cold! Lemon-ginger tea will cure anything, I think.
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I suppose a side benefit to all the traveling I've done recently is that I've gotten a bit of reading done on the planes. Although that doesn't explain how I've found time to watch television.

  1. I just finished Gentlemen of the Road, by Michael Chabon, and it was okay. The eeee! had told me it was a quick read, but I don't think it ever held my attention for more than 40 minutes at a time. I wasn't a huge fan of Wonder Boys, either -- I guess Chabon doesn't do it for me.

  2. Who does do it for me is Zadie Smith. I really enjoyed White Teeth, and the way the families in it kept colliding with each other.

  3. And speaking of Zadie Smith, On Beauty is still the best thing I've read this year, by a mile. I can't say anything coherent about it, really, so I will have to be content with describing it as breathtaking. I know, I'm like five years behind the times.

  4. I read a large chunk of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs, but have no desire to pick it up again. I enjoyed it, but I am apparently not up for non-fiction this year.

  5. Unless it is a cooking memoir, because I've been inhaling those. And reading My Life in France, by Julia Child, also has the side effect of making me want to go to France again!

  6. I just picked up Foundation, by Asimov, and so far I am hooked on that. Whee!

  7. The eeee! and I got sucked into watching When Harry Met Sally last night. Other than Meg Ryan's hair, I think that movie has held up well. I hadn't watched it in years, and I'd forgotten how great some of the dialogue is.

    Also, it was on Oxygen, and because we have satellite we get the East Coast feeds for all the cable channels. So at 11:30 p.m. we see all the ads that are aired at 2:30 a.m., which meant that at one point we saw an ad for a personal "fingertip massager" followed by an ad for Wonder Pets: Save the Bengal Tiger. Awesome.

  8. My current justification for watching The Hills is that I will watch anything with good production values. Hello, Mad Men! Okay, that one needs no justification. And none of that explains why I still watch the insanely low-budget America's Next Top Model.

  9. And thank god for The Daily Show, because without them I would not have survived the conventions.

Ooof, reading back over that list, it sounds like a lot. But I swear, it's spread out over the last six weeks or so.


Aug. 24th, 2008 11:30 am
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Things here are going well again!

  1. We watched the latest Futurama movie last night -- The Beast with a Billion Backs -- and it was pretty funny. Definitely better than the first one, mostly because they'd managed to write a 90-minute plot, rather than two 45-minute plots shoe-horned together. Also, it had the line, "Less invasions, more equations!" Awesome.

  2. I am feeling pretty upbeat about Biden as VP! At the very least, the VP debates should be entertaining. But the eeee! had signed up for the text message alert (and boy, was that an epic fail -- glad I wasn't on the east coast), and on Thursday night, while we were sleeping, he got a text message about a gamma ray burst. The noise of his phone receiving a text message made it into my dream, and so when I woke up Friday morning, I was convinced that the VP announcement had been made, and that it was Chris Dodd. I was even trying to have a conversation about it with the eeee! -- "That should be an interesting statement on civil liberties!" -- and he had no earthly idea what I was talking about.

    Mostly, I want to know why my subconscious picked Chris Dodd. How random!

  3. My dad is a Scranton native, and apparently spent all day yesterday watching the Biden coverage. Awesome. Hometown boy makes good!

  4. A bunch of my cousins left birthday greetings for me on Facebook, and when I was listing them off to my mom, she thought it was really nice and sweet that they had all remembered my birthday. I had to explain to her that any time you go to Facebook, it tells you whose birthday it was. But that did not deter her.

  5. My parents are not particularly fazed by me turning 29 ("Next year I'll be 30!") because my dad turns 60 in three weeks. Eeep!

So! I'm painting my toenails and LJing and blogging and we're going out to lunch and there's a cookout tonight and Newcastle was $12.99 for a 12-pack and work is going well. Not bad for a birthday.
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I've been really busy lately, and there is nothing more satisfying than going to my politics folder in Google Reader and hitting "Mark all as read." Whee! I have time to read three different blogs analyzing the latest episode of Project Runway, but doing anything more than skimming the NY Times homepage is too much for me lately.

Also in the mix when I take breaks from work:

  1. I started reading White Teeth, by Zadie Smith, because I love love love Zadie Smith's writing. She just has this really sharp writing style and unexpected turns of phrase.

  2. But I wanted something lighter, and breezed through Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, by P.G. Wodehouse. I was glad that I found a Wodehouse book at home that I hadn't read yet, although I'm sure at some point I could re-read them without noticing.

  3. The length of a "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" podcast is exactly equal to the time it takes me in one day, round trip, to get to and from work. So it's usually how I entertain myself on Mondays going to and from work. I'm sure people on the bus wondering why I'm giggling so much.

  4. The Defiance, Ohio channel on Pandora is giving me lots of Flogging Molly! Whee!

  5. I have recorded a ton of movies on the DVR lately (The Philadelphia Story, Hairspray, The Graduate), but like every time I'm stressed out and the eeee!'s out of town, I've been having a mini Gilmore Girls marathon. I know everyone raves about the first two seasons -- deservedly so -- but the second half of season four is awesome. Besides all the Luke and Lorelai stuff, you have Lorelai opening the inn, Lorelai dealing with her parents, Richard and Emily's marital problems, Luke and his family, and Lane and her mother. Rory's plotline kind of sucks, but everything else is woven together really well.

  6. I'm not going to see The Dark Knight until Wednesday night. Oh my god, I'm not sure I can wait that long. Since I teach (85-minute lectures) on MTW, my Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights are really busy. Maybe this will be good motivation to finish off the lectures early . . .

  7. Robomaro is really cute, once you figure out how to aim the shovel. I got to level 18 or so, at which point it rapidly becomes impossible.

And so there you have my coping mechanisms. I haven't had a nervous breakdown in weeks.
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Friends of ours here are about to have a baby (although, even though it's a sooner due date, probably after friends of ours in Ann Arbor), and the eeee! and I were thinking of taking over some food for them after the baby's born. The mother is a vegetarian, so our killer cheese enchiladas are the obvious choice. However, we're not quite sure what cooking instructions to give them.

Normally, we assemble* enchiladas from a tortilla that's been quickly fried and then dipped in chili gravy; sauteed onions, and shredded cheese. Then the dish goes in the oven at 400F (er, 204 C) for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.

Can we assemble the dish, and then refrigerate it? Or freeze it for some amount of time? And how long would they then cook it for? Should we cook it and then refrigerate it?

Four physics and astronomy degrees between the two of us, and we can't make a freaking casserole.

Meanwhile, we spent some time tonight pondering when and why Mike Myers went from being funny (the first Wayne's World and Austin Powers movies are very funny) to being horribly unfunny, and we ended up reciting some of the beat poetry from So I Married an Axe Murderer. Perhaps it's good for the rest of society that the only two people who can do that, fifteen years after the fact, are married to each other? Sparing the rest of you?

* Dude, we totally have this down. Eli fries the tortilla (15 seconds), and dips it in the chili gravy. I add onions with the right hand, cheese with the left hand, roll it up and slide it into place with the right hand, and sip my beer with the left hand. No club hand for me!
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I've been watching the movie Rent in bits and pieces, and finally finished it. I found it sort of disappointing, and I'm not sure if it's because of the adaptation -- I saw it on stage in 1998 or '99, and it was awesome -- or because I'm older and more cynical. I was in high school when the musical came out, and at the time it felt really refreshing. Now I just roll my eyes at parts of it -- ooh, they're so bold and bohemian because they eat Indian food! Please.

More spoilery comments...  )

I did come away from the movie with a total crush on Idina Menzel, so there's always that.

And in other movie news, Cyd Charisse just died. I think I may need to watch Singin' in the Rain again to commemorate her, and at the very least, she is fabulous in this:

March 2013



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