Coming Out of Left Field

Monday, February 27, 2006

TV roundup

Random thoughts on recent watching (practice for an upcoming project):

Numb3rs - I liked "The Running Man" a lot -- good balance of mystery and personal stuff. I even understood the basic concepts of the math, which is fairly rare. "Bones of Contention" (a repeat) didn't work as well for me. It felt like the writers decided on the family angle part, then tried to craft a crime to fit. Unfortunately, the plot got all tangled up in explanations of archaeological theory and Native American tribal rights -- so much so that it forgot to explain exactly why the culprit acted as s/he did. Also, the math seemed somewhat beside the point.

General note: my brother and I talked about this show recently. He said he'd watched it a couple of times, but thought it was too predictable (the bad guy always gets caught, unlike on "Law and Order"). He also said it made geeks look too cool. Being a geek myself, I don't mind.

Boston Legal - "Breast in Show" was quite good. Loved the bit when Garrett storms into his former office (now occupied by Catherine Piper) and tries to take it back:

Garrett reels off all of his academic/legal qualifications. A pause. Then Catherine speaks.

Catherine: I killed a man.

Garrett, absolutely defeated, turns around and leaves the office.

I also liked "Smile", which was quite powerful (I want to send tapes to all the anti-abortion activists). "Live Big" was well-done, but more serious than most episodes. There was a nice bit with Allan and Denny at the end. Even if I hadn't seen next week's preview (which seems to imply Denny gets caught cheating), I'm sure the show won't let Denny's marriage get in the way of that relationship.


Friday, February 24, 2006

Stupid school suspension

I know it doesn't snow as often in California as it does here, but you'd think principal Mike Neece had never seen the stuff before. Either that, or he simply doesn't have enough to do:

Students suspended for snowball fight

The quote from Daniel Zavala, one of the two students suspended, pretty much sums it up:

"The school overdid it. In the handbook it does not say, 'Do not bring snow to school.'"


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Happy hunting!

It was only a matter of time before someone came up with this:

Quail Hunting School

On a slightly more serious note, Lauren Collins (in this week's New Yorker) asks a question of etiquette: "What is the proper way to proceed after blasting six to two hundred pieces of birdshot into the chest, neck, and face of a personal acquaintance? Mylar balloons? African violets? A casserole?" Cheney must've done the right thing, since upon exiting the hospital Whittington pretty much apologized to him instead of the other way around.

Technorati: game, parody,

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lazy holiday

There's something to be said for long weekends, especially when you can spend them with your sweetie. The wife and I took advantage of this one to mark Valentine's Day. To make up for the celebration coming so late, we took a little getaway to Concord -- far enough so that we felt we were on vacation, close enough that it didn't take hours and hours to get there. Overall, we liked the B&B we stayed at, the Hawthorne Inn, particularly the helpfulness of the hosts, the interesting art collection and the cute kitty we got to cuddle with. The weekend also included:

-- good food (nice lamb kebab at the Walden Grill, homemade muffins at the B&B)
-- a *very* quick sojourn to the Old North Bridge, cut short by the cold
-- a longer visit to the Concord Library, where my wife and a co-worker got some children's books and I got an Internet fix
-- lots of reading and relaxing

We were still in vacation mode when we got home yesterday -- at least, until we realized we had a sinkful of dirty dishes and two loads of laundry to deal with. Where's Bunter when you need him? *sigh*


Friday, February 17, 2006

You are now free to move about the afterlife

I was browsing the Museum of Science's website just now as research for a job application, and came across a fun game that's part of their virtual Egyptian exhibit:

You pick your tomb, method of mummification, mummy case, and "eternity extras" like statuettes ("These adorable little tchotchkes will brighten up even the darkest tomb") and a cosmetic and haircare kit ("Eye paint and pigment in three fashion colors: Mad for Malachite, Galena Goddess, and Oh So Ochre"). Meanwhile, you have to stay within your budget of 3300 debens without leaving too many left over, since they're non-transferable and not legal tender in the afterlife.

At the end, the agency appraises your choices, and tells you if your journey to the afterlife will be successful or not. The funnier assessments come when you've made the absolutely wrong choices, i.e. the cheapest ones: "While they are well-intentioned, apprentice embalmers have been known to make clumsy mistakes. (Remember that story a while back? About the headless mummy? Just between us: that wasn't an urban myth.)"

It could be just me, but I think someone had a blast coming up with the game. I certainly had fun playing it!


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Legal quotes of the day

"As a product of Catholic education, it's every schoolboy's dream to cross-examine a nun." - Prosecutor Patrick M. Collins, with a grin, to Sister Helen Prejean (author of "Dead Man Walking"), who was testifying at the trial of former Illinois governor George Ryan.

"You'd better mind your p's and q's, young man, or Sister Godzilla will haunt you for the rest of your life." - Prejean to Collins, as the courtroom cracked up.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Sweet science

I've never been part of a lab, but I'd make an exception for this one:

The MIT Laboratory for Chocolate Science

The group, says its website, "is dedicated to spreading the appreciation of chocolate on campus, and to bringing opportunities for learning about, appreciation of, and indulgence in our favorite substance to the community." Sadly, its membership seems to be restricted to the MIT community, so I'm probably not eligible to take their truffle-making classes or participate in the tastings.

Hmmm. Time to check the MIT job listings ...


Friday, February 10, 2006

Miscellaneous updates

Random thoughts while I'm waiting for my relief to show up:

-- Just heard back today from the one interview, and it's a no go (which I'd figured, since it'd been weeks). In a way it's good that I didn't get it -- the hours would've been a little long, which would've made the family stuff harder to deal with. I've been hunting all along, though because of this temp assignment I haven't done as much as I'd like. Fortunately that ends in March, and I'll have more time to do some of the stuff that's fallen by the wayside.

-- Projects for March: job-hunting, learning how to drive (yikes), cleaning house, watching lots of movies.

-- Speaking of movies, the wife and I have tons to catch up on, especially if we're going to make a decent showing at RSLS's and the Girl's Oscar party.

-- A belated shout-out to the Steelers for winning last week's game. Yes, the officiating was awful, but so were the Seahawks in the second half.

-- I'll probably watch some of the Olympics. West Wing isn't on, so I need something to do on Sundays.

-- Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 18, and not a minute too soon.


Monday, February 06, 2006

That's a wrap

I'm going to go down to school today and do something I should've done before the semester started -- formally leave the film production program.

I didn't decide this just because my instructor didn't show up last week, but I think his cancelling class was the last straw. The other things my wife and I are trying to do are taking a lot of time and energy and money. To be doing school on part of that -- something that takes even more time, energy and money, and adds lots of unnecessary aggravation in the form of antiquated equipment, very restricted use to such equipment, and classmates who think nothing of wasting hours of your time on overcomplicated projects, but begrudge any time spent for your shoots?

No. I don't think so.

I'm a bit sad about what I've decided, but I'm mostly relieved. Now I can concentrate on starting a family, finding a new job, and cleaning house to make room for a little one (or ones). And I'm still going to become an editor some day, by hook or by crook. Hopefully the "learning by doing" path will get me there a bit faster.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Put a lesbian of color through law school!

No, I haven't suddenly decided to become a dual-degree grad student (film school's tough enough). The "lesbian of color" is a woman who e-mailed me to ask if I would consider posting a link to her eBay auction on this blog. She's asking folks to place $10 bids to help her graduate in May with her J.D. She seems legit and is very funny (she promises bidders "I Put a Hard-Knock Lesbian of Color Through Law School" Certificates of Appreciation), so if you're so inclined check out her auction and place a bid.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What sci-fi crew would you fit in with? (quiz)

Another fun quiz, courtesy of fellow blogger JP, aka drmomentum on Easily Addictive. I've never watched Babylon 5, but this sounds good:

You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5). The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesn't matter, because no matter what you have your friends and you'll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Serenity (Firefly)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Moya (Farscape)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
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A public service announcement ...

... for any subscribers to the Boston Globe or the Worcester Telegram & Gazette: though you can call a toll-free number to see if your credit card info was accidentally distributed, it's probably quicker and easier to look it up online.

If you turn up on the list, you should get a fraud alert put in your credit file. The nice thing is that if you call one of the three major credit bureaus, alerts will be filed with all three. I feel a little safer having done that, though I'll definitely keep an eye on my credit card bill.