Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I have to give a lecture in 12 hours on the baroque period, and all i can think of is how much I feel like barfing due to the overpresence of Halloween candy in my system. This year it was mini-Heath bars and peanut butter cups. Jane has already asked about favorite Halloween candy.. So I put it to you--in the comments, tell me the one kind of Halloween candy you were always disappointed to see in your tricker-treat pumpkin. What was the worst thing you ever got? It could be a one-time thing or a yearly "ew" that the old couple on the block always handed out--name it!

Mine were twofold. The consistant one was Smarties; I hate those things, they're like a crappy, chalk-like imitation of Sweetarts (which I love.) I also occasionally found one of these in my bag, and they filled me with horror.... I find artificial maple-flavored stuff pretty disgusting, and that combined with the unappetizing name ensured that I never actually ate one of these. I mean, come on--BUN? What the hell kind of name is that for candy?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Say, That's a Nice Double Helix You Got There....

Here's my full Personal DNA Report, if you'd like to know what that thing actually means... This was a pretty interesting test, though I admit I have a few issues with it (such as how they define "masculine" and "feminine" traits.) I liked the different mechanics for expressing how strongly you felt about a question; the x-y grids etc. were a nice tactile way of conveying data.

Speaking of conveying data, I had to give a lecture last week that covered 1000 years of art history (late antique, medieval, byzantine, islamic, jewish, christian, and secular) in 75 minutes. It was horrible. Would have been much easier if that weren't actually my area of expertise; as it was, I had to try to figure out what NOT to say in order to rein it in under 75 minutes. And while I'm not entirely sure, I think I may have spent a lot more time than usual gesturing wildly at the slide screen and going "Um! Yeah! Sooooo..... Where was I?" Tomorrow it's the Renaissance in 75. Frankly that's a lot more managable, you toss around a few of the big names, talk about the revival of Classicism and boom, you're done. Nothing like the challenge of explaining the stylistic difference between Romanesque and Gothic churches in 20 words or less. Meh. I'll be glad when we get to modern art, I'll have a lot less to say....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Always Knew I Was Special...

LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

When this first turned up on LJ a week or two ago, it was so popular the server crashed before I got a chance to try it. Now it's up again.... though it did tell Carl that NO ONE in the US has his name, so I'm pretty skeptical of the accuracy.

And in other news, Smallville has already lost me. They fell back on trick arrows and a stupid computer animated compound bow that folds up into a pocket pouch.... It's like Silver Age Green Arrow married Batman, and they had a kid. Plus, Lois is blonde, Lana's a creep, and Clark is displaying some seriously wooden acting skills this week. I have confidence he can do better--but if we were supposed to get that he hates Oliver Queen just for being rich, it might have worked better to have him act that out instead of just having Oliver say, "You hate me because I'm rich, don't you?" Er... what? Maybe his eyes were smouldering, and I missed it. Likewise, when he realizes Lois is all into Ollie, he just looks kind of "Meh." and Ollie also looks "Meh." And then Lois says something about them marking their territory (ie, her) and my response was "Huh? Did I miss the part where they expressed some emotion?" So anyway... drat! Curse you, Smallville, raising my hopes like that! Though the ending was pretty good, and they did sort of recapture some of the longbow hunter feel in the ends-justify-means speech. I dunno if I'll keep watching or not--but they did bring GA into 3D, and I'll always be grateful for that!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Longbow Hunters #1

Longbow Hunters #1
Originally uploaded by blackbear88.
Unexpected Joy

OK, so this is a totally nerdy post. You don't like it, you can go read Doonsbury or something and come back later. But I've been having a hard couple weeks, in a life-stress sense, and today I got a little glimmer of sunshine, completely out of the blue. Or the green.

My pal Brian called me up to let me know that I should watch "Smallville" tonight. I never watch "Smallville"--in fact, I never watch any network TV, or really anything that could be described as a series these days. I can't handle the commitment. If I had TiVo, I might feel differently--but right now, I'm happy with my TV interaction being pure brain-candy that I flip on whenever I'm in the mood to vegitate. But Brian shook me out of my TV torpor with the information that "Smallville" tonight would feature the one comic book character I love more than any other--yes, more even than Nightcrawler. (Only just.) I've never been a Superman fan, although I enjoyed the first few seasons of "Lois and Clark" with my mom when I was living at home; so I never really even considered watching Smallville--gee, Superman again? Only now he's an angsty teenager? Gee, that sounds great. The one thing that could really spark my interest would be the introduction of a new character--specifically Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. He debuted tonight.

So now that I'm watching, may I say first that I really like the dude playing Clark? He's cute, he's sincere without being irritating. I do like him. And I like the Chloe chick--though it took me most of the episode to figure out that I shouldn't be trying to match her up with any character I know from the DC mythos.... But WOW this show has some plausibility issues. I have a big hangup with shows that test my suspension of disbelief; other people say "oh, come on, lighten up, it's fantasy!" but I really feel like writers of shows like this should challenge themselves to write plots which actually make sense, and work around obstacles rather than just letting the main characters do stuff like....say..... walk unnoticed into an intensive care ward and take pictures of the patient's X-rays? WTF? I had several moments like this. Isn't Smallville somewhere in Kansas? Do the producers not know that Kansas does not sport forests full of ferns and cyclopean redwoods? It's like the mountains of Chicago... Etc., etc. ANYWAY, the point of my post was that Oliver Queen has finally hit the screen in something other than the occasional animated guest shot on Superfriends. As a hard core fan, I have to give it pretty good marks. The guy they picked to play him is H-O-T, there's no arguing that. And completely ripped, they've already had his shirt off for an entire scene (Lois is supposed to be falling for him, which is a little goofy but oh well.) He's a little smarmier than Ollie should be, I think, but they're doing the millionaire playboy angle which had more or less been dropped by the time I fell in love with the character. I have to say that his final scene in this ep--in which he has not yet been revealed as the Emerald Archer--was nothing short of fantastic. Apparently, next week we get to see him in full Green Arrow mode, and it looks like they're taking a bit of the Longbow Hunters look with him in that ep, as seen here in the glorious pencilwork of Mike Grell. I'm relieved to note that they're going the straight-up longbow version of him rather than Silver Age trick arrows and goofy costume. It was cool. It was very cool. And now, dammit, I have to remember how my VCR works so I can make sure I don't miss next week's installment.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Whiter than Sour Cream...

Got this from my pal, the Coyote. I'd post more, but I'm grading over 100 exams this weekend. If I don't survive, tell my wife I love her....