Rory, Octo

Playtime is Now!

The thought escapes me...and shows up here

Weekend of Assorted Adventures
Rory, Octo
Saturday, Susan drove me down to Rick & Brenda's farm in the even-further-south Minnesota, and we talked all afternoon and into the night, looked at, fed peanuts to, and petted the goats.  Nesting geese hissed at us from afar, and barn kitties were adorable and sprawly.  We didn't end up watching any Bollywood; just some music videos (we'd watched a Graham Norton show with Brooke Shields as a guest star, so I had to show a music video that had what I affectionately call the Christopher Atkins backup dancers)

Sunday we had French Toast, scrambled eggs, OJ and lovely fruit.  Thanks, you guys, for spoiling us once again! 

Drove back up to the Cities on Sunday in time to William Shatner's 1966 classic Esperanto film _Incubus_ to Mikey, and also _The Aristocrats_, which is a film I cannot recommend to very many of the people I know.  Then some episodes of _Bleach_, and back into the work cycle.

Not to lose my exciting trend, I set the microwave on fire tonight.  Le Sigh.

Happy rest-of-the-week, everyone!

So Sorry I never studied Statistics.
Rory, Octo
Well, maybe not.  But reading a sociological study (_The Authoritarian Personality_), which is at least nominally what I was studying for in college, it does point up how I stayed *far* away from the stuff.

I feel terrible about destroying this book, but it's very nearly disintegrating in my hands.  It was a cheap edition even in 1966, and it's been stored in less-than-optimal conditions for about 30 years.  But it looked pretty good until I started carrying it around and reading it.

About an inch of the edge of the front over snapped off, then the whole front cover, then the spine portion of the cover has detached part of itself, the endpage is getting all fingerprinted & the edges are flaking away.


I'm about a quarter of the way through it, still working my way through the nuts-&-bolts of the construction & application of the surveys & interviews, which is not the most interesting part to me, so I skim a lot of the discussion of the stats results, but there's still a lot to take in.

As expected, there are some ideas that look now, rather outdated.  The study was conducted from around 1942-1946, with the publication of the book in 1950.  And the survey questions (to try to determine the nature of prejudice/ethnocentrism) are VERY obvious.  Even at the time, they were trying to phrase the questions in such a way as not to immediately telegraph what they were looking for. But with questions like "Filipinos are all right in their place, but they carry it too far when they dress lavishly, buy good cars, and go around with white girls", "Zootsuiters demonstrate that inferior groups, when they are given too much freedom and money, just misuse their privilege and create disturbances", or "If Negroes live poorly, it's because they are just naturally lazy, ignorant and without self-control", it makes my eyebrows jump right off my head!

On the other hand, there are things that have changed not at all, and seeing these points elucidated in formal language.

"What [Mack, an ethnocentric/prejudiced individual] seems to be trying to tell us is that in so far as the ingroup [the group he identifies with] might appear to be weak at any time, this is due only to persecution by an outgroup that is momentarily--and unfairly-- stronger.  It is important to note further that his feelings of being persecuted do not lead to sympathy for other persecuted people nor to any inclination to eliminate persecution generally, but only to the thought that justice would consist in his group becoming the powerful one." (p. 48)

Sound familiar?  Be ready to ignore my posts for awhile...I'm loving this!

"A Trip to the Li-brar-y has made a new girl of me..."
Rory, Octo
Yes, I'm still stuck on _She Loves Me_ from 1962.  These things happen.  To me, anyway.

Got back to MN on Thursday, after a trip to CA.  Another sad trip, not without its small joys.  The foretaste of spring in Sacramento, with trees blooming and "grenth" everywhere (Bryan usually applies that term to broccoli, but I think it's apropos!), Mr. Moto & Jane Austen movies watched, and puzzle & tv-time with my mom.  No chance to see my new niece, but that will come in time!

Today's schedule involves cleaning house for Monday Night Gaming, finishing some packages & then a 4-mile round trip walk to the PO, and probably old movies while I work!

And if I have no job for tomorrow, some long-awaited sewing time!

I just started reading _The Authoritarian Personality: vol. 1_ from 1950; I've always been curious about it.  You wouldn't *believe* the box of books I'm accumulating in Sacramento for ultimate removal to my abode.  Or maybe you would!  I would not wish to noticeably deplete my father's accumulated library at the house I grew up in (or at least *one* of the houses!), but I can kidnap a lot of books before that happens!  And they're mostly duplicates so far!

I watched (mostly in fast-forward) _The Story of O_(French, 1975) on Netflix; I wondered how it would be handled.  And now I know.  Too dull to actually watch at regular speed.  But there's a young Udo Kier (some may recognize him from _Bloodrayne_, or _Shadow of the Vampire_ or _Blade_), and I laughed *so* hard during the lightbulb-dance-photo-shoot sequence (clothed). Ah, 1975.

Alas! I could not find a clip of it on YouTube.

Happy New Year, Everyone!
Rory, Octo
I'm chillin' in Santa Clara with my homie...enjoying a chance at a full-size keyboard (I've been using Bryan's NetBook, which is a darn sight better than the iTouch, for me!)

Possible visit to the Star Trek exhibit tomorrow, and Hearst Castle on Sunday!  Should be fun!  Just watched _Up_ again, also!

Also looking forward to Twelfth Night, although, as usual, I'm *so* not ready yet!  And since I get home 3 days before it, I'm really hoping not to have a temp job for a few days!

It's been a good visit, not enough time, of course, Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham.  Looking forward to being home with Bryan & kitties.  Working on projects, trying to fit everything back into the luggage (ha!), and contemplating my future.  Whoa, heavy!

Hope everyone's holidays have been fun so far!

Is 2009 over with yet?
Rory, Octo
Considering I felt much the same way last year, it's not as if I really think the New Year will bring True Change. 

But my brain feels better when some kind of arbitrary "marker" goes by, so I'll continue to wait impatiently for this stupid year to be over.

And, no, things aren't really that bad for me right now.  And I've even been in a pretty good mood for most of the day, but just now a lot of things hit at once, and all of the various sad, angry, grumpy, discontented, frightened feelings all jostled around to the top.

I'm missing all those who are gone, and all that I will never know about them.

My love to you all.

Indoors with Gilad
Willow Pillow
The attempt to clean my apartment (other than just general cleaning and the clearing of space for guests) always involves a certain amount of strategy, as I have 5-6 rooms, and enough stuff to fill twice that.

This week I've been tackling "Bryan's Room" (it *does* house Bryan's clothes, and many of his action figures/toys, but the majority of the bulk in there is my toys and fabric/craft projects).  It is now Thursday, and it would take an expert to see any change, other than the fact that the living room is now full of boxes, too.  I've been going through the closet, and making up a(nother) box for Goodwill, putting aside some items for eBay, and wanting, more than anything, to spend the day sewing instead!

In the meantime, I'm recording from tv a bunch of different exercise shows; the WiiFit is lovely and helpful, but variety is good, especially now that the weather is getting ickier.  I prefer dance workouts (because I find normal exercise REALLY boring), but when I'm trolling cable for programs, I can't help but try out other things!

I'm also trying to shake the effect of a couple of nights of truly horrifying dreams.  I don't *feel* much stress when I'm awake, but I've been subject to random fits of inability to move, and my body is doing very strange things, so I know the stress/anxiety are there.  Sigh. 

I'm listening to unidentified Arab music that I found in a dumpster.  It's great; I'll have to see if our music identifying program can recognize it!  (Katie; it's the same source as "TJ Sad Mix").

The Winter Winds Whoosh Along Whooshily...
Smart Rory
Wow, that seemed like a very short fall season this year! 

I've been finding it hard to stay motivated these past couple of weeks; or, rather, I'm finding it very easy to be distracted into unnecessary side projects while I've been home. 

But today will be different!!! Really!!!  The last of the boxes I mailed myself from California has arrived and (mostly) been incorporated into the apartment, I've got 2 "new" musicals to listen to (Martin Guerre & Bounce), I've called in again to the temp agency, and I'm actually feeling kinda jazzed to do dishes and clean...and if I run out of that, I have about a million media projects to work on!

We'll see how long my resolve lasts!  Kurosaki Ichigo, be my muse!!!

Hope everyone has fun at Crown!

random references in _Wives & Daughters_
Rory, Octo
I walked to and from the local Post office (about 4 miles round trip), reading Gaskell's novel [yes, I read while walking *all* the time, and I never run into ANYTHING], and came across some interesting things:

(Penguin classic edition 1986: p 70)
“From time to time he met the leaders of the scientific world; odd-looking, simple-hearted men, very much in earnest about their own particular subjects, and not having much to say on any other.”  (19th century geeks!)

(p. 75)When the younger son of Mrs. Hamley shows her affection, she "used laughingly to allude to the fable of the lap-dog and the donkey; so thereafter he left off all personal demonstration..."

It occurred to me that I haven't read Aesop's fables in a very long time, so I found this retelling (along with what looks like 3 different morals?)


The Donkey and the Lapdog

A MAN had a donkey and a pretty Maltese lapdog. The donkey was left in a stable where there was plenty of oats and hay to eat. But the lapdog was fondled by the master and allowed to play with him. And when the man dined out, he would bring back titbits and throw them to the dog when it came running and rushing and wagging his tail.
       The donkey on the other hand, had much work to do in grinding the corn-mill and in carrying wood from the forest or burdens from the farm. He often groaned over his own hard fate and contrasted it with the luxury and idleness of the lapdog, till one day he broke his cords and halter and galloped into his master's house. Frisking around his master, he kept kicking up his heels without measure. He also tried to jump about his master as he had seen the lapdog do, but broke the table and smashed the dishes on it. Then he tried to lick his master, and jumped on his back.
       The servants heard these things and noticed their master was endangered. They quickly helped him and drove out the donkey to his stable with kicks and clubs tied him up in the manger again.
       As the donkey returned to his stall beaten nearly to death, he moaned:
       "I have brought it all on myself - It should have been enough for me to toil with my companions and not wish to emulate the little lapdog!"
      ♦ Keeping very still will not always be a cause for serious regret.
      ♦ Not to venture beyond our situation when it is good, may at times be the best alternative.
      ♦ Frisking about could ultimately lead to ruin and its remorse.

That last moral is going to get me, I'm afraid.

Now I'm going to put my feet up for awhile; I am *so* out of shape!

Summer Readings
Rory, Octo
So, besides reading Ender-related books, It's been a busy summer for reading!

I started (or, really, continued) a list of all the books I've ever read, and that's prompting me to re-read things I haven't read in years, like Pamela C. Dean's _Secret Country_ series;
_This Star Shall Abide_ (one of Sylvia Louise Engdalhl, whose works I collected in trade paperbacks as a teenager)

For new books this summer, I've read:

_House of Many Ways_ (Diana Wynne Jones; a "sequel" to _Howl's Moving Castle_, along with _Castle in the Air_, both of which are excellent)
_Wives & Daughters_ (Elizabeth Gaskell, whom I learned about from the gorgeous BBC adaptations of some of her work)
_Bleach_, volume 26 (Tite Kubo; such a great anime)
_Merchant's War_ (Charles Stross, 4th in the "Merchant Princes" series. I'm really enjoying his other books, too!)
_The Constant Gardener_ (John Le Carre; excellent; I mean to read some of his Cold War-era spy novels, too)
_Death Comes As the End_ (Agatha Christie wrote a murder mystery set in ancient Egypt; lots of fun!)
_The Youngest Science; Notes of a Medicine Watcher_ (Lewis Thomas, who also wrote _Lives of a Cell_; a history of medicine as seen in his own family & life; great stories!
_The Case of the Peder@st's Wife_ (Clare Elfman)  Not a great novel, but interesting slant on the Oscar Wilde family.

Plus I've been shopping at garage sales, used book stores, & the Friends of the Library store...should be fun!

And now, away from the books, and back to the managing of my cascading piles of stuff!

Tags: ,

Great Bad Movie Review!
Rory, Octo
I was reading one of last month's film gossip magazines from last month (_Filmfare_), and was reading the movie reviews, when I came across a review of _Suno Na...Ek Nanhi Aawaz_, a sort of a _Look Who's Talking_ knockoff, only worse. 

My favorite quotes:

"To watch Tara Sharma pat her stomach...and having a conversation with what can only be called the world's most annoying foetus, is not exactly a cinematic treat."

"The foetus' voice grates on your nerves...the film does more for family planning than any government induced plan."

"The men in Tara's life want to marry her, but are put off by her 'already pregnant' state.  We were put off by her sandpaper infused voice that goes on and on, and we wished the ghastly doll she wanders around with (yes, she talks to the doll too!) comes alive like Chucky from the horror movies and kills them all."

and it ends with calling it a "Cure for anyone wanting to have babies"!!!

Yes, I've been offline for awhile; it's been a rather busy/complicated couple of weeks.  WW was lots of fun, although somewhat fly-infested, and if I can manage to catch up on sleep soon, I'll be much happier!

I watched _The Devil & Miss Jones_ from 1941, which was adorable.  Tycoon goes undercover at a department store where the employees are trying to organize, and learns a few things from the people he's spying on!  The disclaimer at the beginning went, "Dear Richest Men in the World:  We made up this character in the story out of our own heads.  It's nobody, really.  The whole thing is make-believe.  We'd feel awful if anyone was offended.  Thank you, The Author, Director & Producer.  P.S. Nobody sue!  P.S.  P.S  Please!"

It also shows Coney Island, which in the film is so crowded that when they're on the beach, constantly bumping up against the other bathers/holidaymakers!  Yuck!  I really, really hope it's an exaggeration!


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