Saturday, December 10, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

Well, I’m not going to grade papers until I get together with the prof, and that’s not til Monday, so… I’ve only got PhD applications and my own final project and a whole bunch of procrastinatables, so…

It’s movie time!

First and foremost, last night I traveled long and far to get to a cinema that is actually showing…

Pride & Prejudice

Ok, I’m comfortable enough in my masculinity to admit that I really like this kind of movie. This can also be a problem, because, as previously mentioned, I’m in love with the actress who played Elizabeth in the BBC version. With my bias (prejudice?) noted, I should say that’s not to say that Ms. Knightley isn’t extraordinarily easy on the eyes. She is. She’s that and more. I’m just not sure that she was the right choice to play Elizabeth. She’s got a wonderful laugh, and looks the part well enough, but she doesn’t seem to carry off much of the self-confidence or intelligence that I think the character demands. This might be a problem with the script as well – much of the wit naturally had to be cut for time reasons.

Mr. Darcy is also a wee bit problematic, but his troubles again stem from the cutting, I believe. Perhaps it played better to the women in the audience, but seeing him looking like he walked off of a Harlequin romance novel cover really took away a lot of the reserve and well, ‘pride’ that I like about the character.

There were also some odd technical choices. I don’t know why I’m becoming hyper-sensitive to the lighting in movies, but there were parts of this movie that were simply badly lit. I’m sure it was an artistic choice to make Elizabeth look bluer than the Boo-Berry ghost when she travels at night. There were other scenes that were obviously shot in a studio and for some reason it looked like the actors were lit with bare 120 watt bulbs.

Also, in one of the final scenes, Elizabeth walks out in a field. In the beginning of the scene, the set is draped in the nice, chilly-looking morning fog. As she walks, the fog naturally dissipates. Except for the fog coming from the fog machine. The fog machine that must have been sitting there right next to where she was walking, because that was the only place that had fog shooting out of it. By no stretch of the imagination am I a film expert, but that’s just inexcusable. Any mediocre haunted house kids would know better than that.

I did say I liked the movie, right? I did. I liked it a lot. I loved Mr. Bennett. I wouldn’t have thought so, but Donald Sutherland was a great choice. I’m sad that we didn’t get to see more of his relationship with Elizabeth, but for the time allowed him, he was excellent.

I thought the loving attention paid to the costumes came through very well. The dances were very well done, using some particularly nice camera work, hiding and revealing characters in the crowded rooms.

The other sisters came off well, particularly Mary (although I don’t remember this scene in the movie or the book), who in only a few short scenes, showed a great character. Charlotte also provided a nice character study in very limited time. And how can anyone not love a movie with Judi Dench?

While I’m thinking of it, though, it’s a pity they had to cut out so much about the Wickham affair, but again, I can’t fault them for cutting so much.

In fact, that’s probably the biggest issue I have. Because they had to cut so much, it’s not the story that I wanted. I was prepared to feel that. Maybe that’s why I’m forgiving. There’s no way this movie can compete with the BBC version. If you want it to, you’ll be disappointed. All the much more so if you want to compare it to the book.

So, for what it is, I think it’s a great flick.

Pride and Prejudice: 8/10

A Polite Request

A Polite Request
Originally uploaded by Overread.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Rockettes Ain't Got Nothin' On These Guys

I've been trying to find a way to casually slip this photo into the blog, cause it's the best photo ever. I can't think of a way to bring it up in stride, so, like the drunk guy at the cocktail party, I'm just going to blurt it out embarrassingly and deal with the humiliation later.

I give you:

You Couldn't Hit the Broad Side of a Quiz

Avast* there, ye takers of quizzes!

I don’t know the parody that Camera Obscura is talking about, but if it has anything to do with counting road-kill, I’m all for it. Hey, it’s not for nothing that I grew up in the sticks…

Problem children from yesterday:

#4 – Effigy, the Ministry

#7 – Amadeus, Falco – Actually, I do remember a parody about a danish…

Extra jumbo sized points for the trans-lingual luckybuzz and her grasp of Nena’s 99 Red Balloons. I thought the Captain Kirk thing might throw you guys off. I certainly didn’t remember it… Hmmm… maybe I should do more foreign language ones :)

To the new quiz! Excelsior!


You've lied your last lie
And I've cried my last cry
I'm out the door, babe
There's other fish in the sea


Summer turns me upside down
Summer summer summer
It’s like a merry-go-round

#2 – Um… Ew…

I guess I must be dumb
’cause u had a pocket full of horses
Trojan and some of them used


I bought you drinks, I brought you flowers
I read you books and talked for hours


Wearin' next to nothing
Cause it's hot as an oven


So you say I got a dirty mind,
I'm a mean go getter


I remember the way that we touched
I wish I didn’t like it so much


My story's infinite
Like the Longines Symphonette it doesn't rest


I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live


We slip through the streets
While everyone sleeps
Getting bigger and sleeker
And wider and brighter


As Rose collects the money in the canister
Who comes sliding down the banister?


*Microsoft Word doesn’t know this word. I guess it’s true that Bill Gates hates pirates…

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Guess Who CameTo Dinner?

Also, I’m stuffed. Tonight, the prof I’m TAing for invited me and the other TAs he has (a good handful of people) over to his house to dine. Yummy yummy food. I particularly liked the ribs – and I’m very picky about meat that’s still on the bone. These were oh-so-tender. He said the trick is in boiling the meat and then quickly removing the water. He does this several times, later adding spices into the mix. I didn’t get the full recipe – it sounds much more complicated than my skills allow. But, yum. Seriously, yum.

There was much good discussion too, as there often is around this prof. His wife teaches a distantly related field as well, so the conversation was all over the place. I guess I should feel a bit sad that it’s tough for any of us to talk about anything except work and our studies, but hey, I actually like talking about that stuff. Oh, and LoudGradGuy is going on the most absolutely envy-inducing research trip. I would be more jealous, but it’s also sure to be intestinal distress-inducing, so I’ll be content to daydream and let him go and do his thing. TimidGradGal was very impressive too. It’s a pity I won’t ever deal with these people again, because I kind of like their pseudonyms.

Two folks were talking about the various must-be-jumped-through hoops of the grad world. The scariest was the exam bit. Am I really sure I want to be in this world? I love the teaching and I love the research, but do I really want to deal with all the griefers and bureaucracy and pettiness? No, I don’t, but I guess I will…

The Third Student

Well, I’ll be…

I’m not even sure what to do with this one. This student hasn’t been in class for the last, say… 80% of the class. Our class has a very stringent attendance policy: miss more than x classes and you fail (where X=much less than other teachers give), so he’s already gone on that count. He didn’t take either of the two quizzes. He failed spectacularly on the midterm, and he didn’t turn in either of the papers. Here’s the kicker:

He took the final.

I took a quick glance at some of the fill-in-the-blank answers – Woohoo! Comedy Gold.

Ok, I lied. I do know what to do with this student, but the amazing thing is the gall that it took to show up for the final. I mean, does he think he may actually pass? I can completely understand taking a class so you can fill up the credits enough to get student loans, or convince the parentals to keep sending money, but why actually spend the effort to get out of bed at 8 in the morning to take the final?

I’m baffled. Amused, but baffled.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Parlez-Vous Quiz?

Welcome back!

The final happened, and I am now the proud owner of ~60 bluebooks. Oh, no that’s wrong, most folks used two bluebooks, so that’d be about 100+ actual bluebooks for ~60 exams. Poop.

Didn’t I just finish grading?

Many moons ago, there was a quiz, and I think #9 was the only trouble – Pointer Sisters’ The Neutron Dance. Much more dangerous than the Safety Dance.

Right then! Upward and onward! (ok, maybe it’s not particularly industrial strength, but hey! It’s got a fur-in language!)


What in the world can make a brown-eyed girl turn blue?


Hey where did we go,
Days when the rains came


Oh daddy dear you know you're still number one


Well I look to my left and then I look to my right
And then I realize they've been striking at me
Since the middle of last night, hey!


Jeder war ein grosser Krieger
Hielten sich fuer Captain Kirk
Das gab ein grosses Feuerwerk
Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft


Talk to me, don’t lie to me
Save your breath
Don’t look at me, don’t smile at me
Just close your eyes


With a bottle of wine in one hand and a woman in the other
'Cause he was a ladies man
He never stopped to worry what the next day would bring


Hugging like a monkey see
Monkey do


Falling in love is all bitter sweet
This love is strong why do I feel weak


When I, you, and everyone we knew
Could believe, do, and share in what was true

The Glass Needs to be Full of Grain Alcohol.

I'm done.


8am final

~15 bike commute home.

Very cold.

Will be very awake when I get home.

Will not have warm blankies.

(reason #9234785 I need a gal - blankie warmer)

hardly worth going home, but here I go.

No whining allowed about the quiz, now. I'll get you an industrial strength one tomorrow after the post-final crash :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Class is Half Empty

E-papers done, now I've got a clump of hardcopies to grade. I'm slowly trudging through. Fun thing with hardcopies is that I have to remember how to mark up a paper with a pencil. Oh, and I do a lot more plagiarism checking. Some students think just because it takes a bit more time to check off a hard copy that I won't do it. Assume at your own peril, oh students of mine!

Remember how I've been cutting down on the caffeine. Um... Not today.

I also have a bag of candy. Jelly Bellys, Gummies (coke bottles and peach penguins), Runts, and Ghiridelli mint chocolate bits.

So, yeah. I'm wired.

hehe - and you just clicked over here to see if there was a quiz! hehe - addicts :)

If I finish before it gets toooo late, I'll post one. I've been listening all night, and I've got a good list :)

By the way, I really like the title of these posts. Man, I'm clever...

Emo!? I Was Sooo Pre-Emo... Drama Freak, Well...

I swear, the only reason I did this was because I had just gone on a bathroom break. Mr. Scrooge, in his benevolent wisdom, took the manacles off my ankle, and I won't test his patience by slacking in my grading again. It would be nice to put another coal in the stove, but I know better than to ask...

Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!

The Class is Half Full

Little over half done grading!

See, I promised that I'd have all the papers done on final day. Tomorrow's final day. Because of all the PhD app grief, I didn't really get a chance to look at any of them in detail until today. Bad bad Overread. I figured I'd be spending the night here in the office tonight (we've got a nice couch-ish thing in the conference room if I needed to nap for an hour or two). It's not so bad, because tomorrow all I have to do is proctor the exam at 8am (who scheduled that?), and then at noon I could collect the papers and go home to sleep.

Funny thing is that I think if I can keep this pace, I might be able to finish in enough time to go home and shower, brush teeth (I really should keep a toothbrush in the office), and get a few hours of sleep before the test.

It's a dream, and it prolly won't happen, but everybody's got to have a dream, right?

There Goes The Neighborhood

I seriously should be grading papers, but (how many blog posts start out like that) I just discovered that our very own Mendi-la has a blog!

I've only read a couple entries so far, but I can already tell it's quality. Most importantly, there are updates about Angel Baby and Darling Daughter, but of course there are also shenanigans. Here's a clip from a movie review post:

Z man [Mendi-la's hubby] claimed War of the Worlds was like sex without the orgasm. All this energy went into it and then no climax.
comedy gold, I tells ya.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Trod the Mill

5.28km - 31'02"

Yeah, I haven't run in a week - What's it to you?

I actually only ran about half my plan then my tummy started rumbling unhappily, so I stopped. Treadmill: good or evil, I still haven't decided

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Four Score and Twenty Quizes Ago

I agree. I think the bunny’s dead. Does that mean I’m pregnant? Because if so, I’ve got some explaining to do...

Anyway, now that the first two nasty apps are out, and there’s no way I’m going to dive into the papers I need to grade…

It’s Quiztime!

I have to say, I’m very happy when the quizzes are hard, but almost everything gets answered, so I’m very happy with the last quiz – hehe

Mendi-la very nearly has #3. It is Looking for Love (In All The Wrong Places), but the artist is Johnny Lee. Who is Johnny Lee? I have no idea. No idea at all…

The other troublesome was #9. Kenny Rogers… wait for it… The Coward of the County… Ah, yes, you knew that one, didn’t you? It’s okay, you don’t have to tell anyone. Just nod your head a little bit – no one will see. Good. Now aren’t you glad you go that out of the way?

I’m also very glad that Mon got I’m Coming Out and New Kid got Voulez-Vous. I was afraid I was going to need to assign some remedial disco study sessions :)

Newness! (bonus points if you can guess what station I’ve been listening to!)

#1 – A couple of folks did this one…

You, you've got a pretty car.
I think I wanna drive it.

#2 –

Got to concentrate
don't be distractive
Turn me on tonight

#3 –

We are strangers by day, lovers by night
Knowing it’s so wrong, but feeling so right

#4 – toughie… I had another great misheard lyric on this one too…

Hey, If we can solve any problem
Then why do we lose so many tears
Oh, and so you go again
When the leading man appears

#5 –

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one

#6 –

Radio playing softly some singer’s sad sad song
He’s singing about standing in the shadows of love

#7 –

Strangers making the most of the dark

#8 –

Tell you straight - no intervention.
To your face - no deception.
You're the biggest fake.
That much is true.

#9 – tough cut, but you all know the song :)

Industry don't pay a price that's fair
All the common people breathing filthy air
Roof caved in on all the simple dreams
And to get ahead your heart starts pumping schemes

10 –

What started out as friendship, has grown stronger
I only wish I had the strength to let it show

Raisin Detour*

So, this is what frantically trying to get all these applications together at the last second does to me:

I sent emails to a couple of the people I'd like to work with at XXXX. I appologized for my applicaiton being a couple days late and wrote a quick overview of my research and how it fit with theirs, and politely asked if they would still take the application under consideration.

Not too awful, right?

Except I mispelled one of their names.


Anyway, the first two apps are out. Ugly, but out. That's ok, I don't think I could really live in XXXX town (watch - that's where I'll end up), and I don't have a great chance at XXXXXXXX. How's that for justification!

*Raison d'etre - That's why blogs are here, right? To record our humiliations for the world to see for all eternity, right?

Rock, Sure, But Roll?

I'm still neck-deep in applications, so I don't know if there'll be a quiz tonight, maybe, maybe not. I just wanted to pop up for a sec and mention that Rock and Roll might not be the best foundation for a city. I mean, if you build a city on Rock and Roll, I'm imagining your insurance premiums are going to be really high.

What with all the rocking and rolling and all...

Sad Bunny

Originally uploaded by Overread.
Sorry for the lack of a lyrics quiz. instead I give you a sad bunny who lives (?) on the wall. I commute past him every day.

Poor bunny.