Friday, May 20, 2011

Totally Takei!

George Takei, you've not only catapulted into the top-spot in my nerdy, nerdy heart for your fantastic depiction of Mr. Sulu, but you've also managed to take it to the next level by inspiring love, tolerance and acceptance through humor, instead of revenge and violence. You're totally Takei.

I'm ordering my "It's Okay to be Takei," swag as we speak!
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Can I Divorce Seth MacFarlane?

So, Family Guy isn't funny anymore.

There. I said it.

I watched Family Guy recently and I didn't laugh: not even once. In their third and final installment of the Star Wars trilogy, "It's a Trap!," the cast is thoroughly tired of their own antics and say with a sigh, "Let's just get through this." Actually, you know what? Let's just stop right here.

Once upon a time, my television world would rise and set around this show and I used it as the benchmark for everything that was deemed laughable and pleasurable in the world of television. Maybe this is why I now rely solely on Netflix and don't even have the option of watching network television or cable in my home.

I even wrote my undergraduate thesis about how it related to Religion. For hours I painstakingly analyzed every line of the (then) three seasons of this show, looking for allusions to Religion (or more specifically...Christianity). I laughed out loud (or perhaps I lol'd) all along the way. Now I feel as though this show is a hollow shell of a Popular Culture phenomenon.

I blame Seth MacFarlane saturation. If I have to hear him sing one more fucking time, I might lose control. Not only does he insist on forcing his buffoonery into his own productions (I guess he doesn't sing the opening to The Cleveland Show, but no one fucking watches that, anyway), but he also managed to weasel his way into singing the opening credits for Futurama's "Into The Wild Green Yonder," a movie that I actually enjoyed. Imagine if a serious crooner had sung the opening credits for this film as an actual tribute to old Las Vegas, rather than this blowhard sickening us with another feeble attempt to prove to the world that he should've been an actor, writer AND a musician (that didn't work for Kevin Bacon, now did it?)

I also blame this show's inability to keep things intelligent. In the beginning, this show was able to finesse a lot of really smart and clever jokes right alongside the bawdy bathroom humor that pandered to the vast majority of American idiots. This show earned its spot as the first television show that was actually more popular after its cancellation. It earned the right to be brought back for more seasons. But now...I'm all set. Thanks.

The writing has declined into a hastily slapped-together montage of fat moron jokes and cut-aways to other people's popular culture creations. Really? They're making jokes about Peter actually being legally retarded and married to a "hot" Protestant millionaire blue-blood. In fact, they're making constant jokes about it. Then, they want to write about The Griffin's sex life and think that I'm even remotely entertained by the notion of a retarded man having sex. Really? Meh.

When I set out to write a bit about this show's decline, I found dozens of articles, message board posts and general sass about how this show has gone from an amazing example of postmodern satire, to the weekly lovechild of Beavis and Butthead and Animal House.

It's my own fault, as Dustin pointed out to me in an earlier email. I watch way too much BBC. Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I'm Currently Reading

I resisted an e-reader for some time, insisting that there is nothing that will replace the feel and the smell of a book. While I still agree with that statement, I've found that I'm reading more after purchasing a Kindle than I ever have. Not only do I have the option of reading the classics for free, in most cases, but I also have the option of trying out samples without any commitment to buy. I am notorious for racking up lots of library fines for late books that I never get a chance to read, and the Kindle has given me the opportunity to just delete a book if I'm not interested in the snippet that I read. The downside, though, is how the Kindle store suggests lots of titles based upon previous views. I'm still getting recommendations for lots of gay romance novels because I ACCIDENTALLY clicked on the wrong link.

I downloaded several books over the last week and I'm having such fun reading them all together.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I love the way that Wilde reacts to the world. A favorite quote (so far), "The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play."

The Adventure of The Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie. This is my first M. Poirot mystery. So far, I'm really enjoying his character and Christie's writing style. I'm looking forward to more!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I've read this several times before, but I can't help but love the commentary about gender and wealth.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I took a quiz about what Jane Austen heroine I would be, and I was named as Catherine Morland. It remains to be seen if I do relate to her in any way.

Another ridiculous aspect of the Kindle is the ability to post that you've completed a book to your facebook profile. While part of me wonders why anyone would want to know that I've read, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," there are plenty of questions about why people would want to read my blog. I should probably just shut up and be appreciative of that.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phipp's and Trips

As a Pittsburgher by birth and by sentence, I cannot believe that I'd never been to Phipp's Conservatory before today. On a drearily rainy day like this, it was such a delight to be indoors but outdoors...amongst plants from all over the world. I saw banana trees, cacti, giant palms, shy butterflies and a group of French-Canadian tourists with really delightful wardrobes. I also saw a lime plant!! Dana was bold enough to take a bit of a leaf and rub it between her fingers. You could smell the delightful scent of summertime and Cinco De Mayo all-in-one.

There was also a lovely exhibit entitled, "Fashionably Fresh: Designer's Take on the Summer Flower Show," which showcased a lovely group of leafy people, their leafy dining table, and their leafy animal companions. I loved how incredibly chic these people looked and how I wished I could dine with them: they had some really beautiful artichokes!

I couldn't believe how large this place was with all of the rooms that opened into rooms that opened into rooms. It was as if I were in my own secret garden...well, that I shared with dozens of other people that were taking photos, too. My favorite part of my trip was the Asian couple that I always seemed to run into throughout my wanderings. He was carrying a really fancy DSLR and his companion was just adorable. She was one of those really charming Asian women that looks like a million dollars without trying..and he was very-well aware of it. While she was looking at the flowers, the butterflies and the foliage, he was very intent to take a million photos of her various sweet and slightly sultry poses. Of course, the voyeur in me could not help but smile at his being so smitten with her and her being embarrassed that I saw them and smiled. Later on, they stopped and turned around and asked me if I would take a photo of the two of them. I was quite flattered, actually, considering how many serious photographers were wandering around with serious photo equipment. He said something about my being, "a real photographer," which I found both amusing and astounding. Me? After I took their two photos (which were equally adorable. They have that look of a couple that's newly in love with each other's company), he looked at them and said, "Wow. These are really good," which was either his attempt at sarcasm or genuine gratitude. Either way, I was insanely flattered and felt quite the artist for the rest of my stay. Of course, I had this crazy fantasy about that couple using those photos as engagement photos later in their life and having this fantastic story about where and when this particular photo was taken. But now I'm just being nuts.

I was also really excited about the many many different kinds of containers that were being used in these gardens. I never realized the amount of container gardening that would be taking place in a conservatory like this, but it stands to reason considering the amount of different kinds of soil and climates these plants must have in order to thrive in the way that they have in this space. Dana said, also, that the exhibits change a lot, so containers seem a lot more reasonable than planting and replanting. I can't wait to go back and see what they've done next! The orchid room was so lovely this time, perhaps there will be more fruit and vegetables later this summer.

I feel as though I may have gone mad for plants.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Pride and Googly Eyes

Recently, I've been trying my hand at ATCs or Artist Trading Cards. Here's a brief description (found here.)

As their name indicates, ATC are collectibles, a brilliant idea born of the older sports-themed trading cards. The one rule that makes an ATC derives from this: the dimensions of the ATC must be 2.5"x3.5", or 64x89mm.

To this rule are appended a couple of conventions. First, an ATC mustn't be sold, only exchanged, as the whole essence of these tiny works of art is about artists meeting (by correspondence or online if need be) and exchanging their works, thus meeting many artists and getting exposed to many personal styles.

I've made a few Christmas-themed cards that have met with good reviews from their recipients on Swap-Bot. I've also joined a swap entitled Googly Eyed ATC with the basic idea of creating an ATC incorporating at least one googly eye. I made my card today and I actually really want to keep it.

I have a really hard time parting with things that I really enjoy, even if they are a product that is specifically designed to be traded. On the reverse, I have to wonder what good it would do with not being traded? Why not share something that I really enjoy...with someone else? With these photos, though, I can always look at my glorious creation with fond memories.

This is a new feeling, too, to really have pride for something that I've created. It's been quite a period of emotional revelation.Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Frakes Cat

I was talking to Dustin on the phone today (yay!), and I mentioned that someone had named their cats after two different Star Trek: The Next Generation characters. I said that if I had a new male cat to name, I'd name him Jonathan Frakes. You know why? Because if you put cat ears and whiskers on Jonathan Frakes...he looks just like every cat in the world.

My excellent Microsoft Paint skills aside (it just adds to the overall grace of this portrait), you can't deny. He looks...just like a cat.Best Blogger Tips
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