Mischievous Muse

My Photo
Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Which Science Fiction Writer Are You?

via Scribblingwoman

I am:
Alfred Bester
A pyrotechnic talent who put only a small portion of his energy into writing.

Which science fiction writer are you?

Labels: , ,

Rhapsody for an Insomniac

Those of you who've been around for a while know I go through the occasional bout of insomnia. I did a brief survey of the past blog year, and wouldn't you know it, I was having insomnia exactly one year ago today, too. I guess it's my own form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or something.

Any-who, what I did last night instead of sleeping, was listen to music at YouTube. The cool thing about YouTube is also that not all of these are the original videos — some are live performances, some are set to entirely new videos. Here's a brief list of some of the songs I chose:

  • Five for Fighting - Superman (It's Not Easy) (movie clips)
  • Norah Jones - Don't Miss You (live)
  • Green Day - When September Ends (animated)
  • Counting Crows - Accidentally in Love (animated)
  • 3 Doors Down - Here Without You (orig.)
  • Tori Amos - Leather (live)
  • Chris Isaak - I Wonder (live)
  • Cyndi Lauper - True Colors (animated)
  • Matchbox 20 - Back to Good (live)
  • Suzanne Vega - Gypsy
  • U2 - With or Without You (orig.)
  • Enya - May it Be (LOTR clips)
  • John Williams: Binary Sunset (Luke's Theme) (Star Wars)
  • Danny Elfman - Spider-Man 2 (animated)
  • Kiri te Kanawa - O Mio Babbino Caro (live)
  • Josh Groban - Gira con me (animated)
  • Maria Callas - Un bel di (music only)
  • Andrea Bocelli - Nessun Dorma (live)

    Labels: ,

  • Where In the World Are You?

    I saw this on Ruthless Ninja Assassin, so of course I wanted one too! So, lemme know where you are, won't you?

    Folks, I changed the date on this (original was 1-31-07 4:10 AM)
    I want to keep it on top for a while, to avoid needless scrolling.


    The Height of Neuroticism

    When a website asks you to type in a code of letters & numbers, to make sure you're not a spamming robot, and they phrase the question like this:

    "Are You Human?" (Digg.com)

    am I the only person that for a second actually feels an irrational momentary twinge of worry? LOL. Now THAT, folks, that right there is a bundle of neuroses. No wonder I find Baltar so intriguing on Galactica.


    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    Dangerous Blackmage - Moi?

    In the comments to my last FFXI post, Szélső Fa wondered if my char Alaydhien was dangerous, to which Mophia commented that only if my Firaga spell gets away from me (that being a powerful offensive spell in the 'Fire' family).

    Me? Dangerous? *polishes her halo while batting her eyelashes* :P

    (click for bigger pic)

    Labels: , , ,

    Harry Potter's Dan Radcliffe in EQUUS

    Katja sent this in. She's right, it's disturbing to see half-clad pictures of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in the West End revival of Peter Shaffer's powerful (did I already say disturbing) play, EQUUS. See for yourself.

    Press Pics of Harry Potter All Growed Up

    Why can't kids stay kids!

    Labels: , ,

    The Dream of an Intern

    Warning: Whining. Read at your own Peril.

    I'm going to be really really good this year, so maybe Santa will bring me an intern next year. I still have over 3000 pages of Luminarium to update/upgrade, and I'm beginning to feel a bit hopeless. The sheer monotony of adding, deleting, and changing code is starting to damage my calm.

    *Ignores the suppressed giggles of those who know her well and who, consequently, just chortled at the previous statement.*

    Don't get me wrong. I love the site. I love improving it. But there are so many "big-ticket" items that could use improvement on the site, not the least of which is adding new materials. I still haven't gotten the blogs working right, and the discussion forums, though working, are somewhat anesthetic, nor have they been linked in. And let's not even start on Wiki and Bliki. I figure if I had an industrious little intern elf to take care of some of the basic maintenance, I would have time to make material improvements.

    I know, even talking about this is a bit boring. But for those who are gluttons for punishment, here's an average day:

    Wake up.

    (30 min) Stare blearily at screen with beloved cup of coffee over email.

    (30 min) Respond to urgent emails, label rest to do later.

    (1h) Keep going down file list, cleaning, adding, deleting code from files.

    (15 mins) Have a slight mental tremor. Read favorite blogs.

    (30 mins) Begin a new encyclopedia entry or e-text.

    (15 mins) Decide to post a bit of silliness on blog.

    (1.5h) Add/change/delete files. Rinse, repeat.

    (15 mins) Decide life worthless without Pop-Tart (frosted).

    (1.5h) Finish encyclopedia entry, link it from relevant existing pages.

    (15 mins) Wonder if the Pop-Tart is feeling lonely. Have another.

    (1.5 hrs) Respond to emails, send out permissions requests, grant requests in turn, pacify the irate, thank the kind, add/change/delete links and materials sent in by colleagues.

    (30 mins) Trawl around the web, doing anything but working.

    (3 hrs) Uninterrupted "I'm going to update everything once and for all" time.

    (30 mins) Unavoidable realization there are still weeks of updates to follow.
    Medium-scale meltdown and self-pity fest.

    (2 hrs) Final push, I can do it, dammit.

    Rest of night, delirium. Begin again next morning.


    Sorry, I know self-pity and whining is unattractive, and frustrating too, when there's little anyone can do to help me with this full-scale overhaul.

    And it's not all brain-numbing or miserable. If it weren't for this particular 3700 pages updated (or else!) it would be quite fun, and you always keep learning, which is great. And there are good news, too. The Luminarium Margaret Atwood Page just won another award, and an educational publisher wants to publish an essay I wrote in their text books and teachers' guides. Which reminds me, I have to fax the permissions form.

    Thanks for letting me whine!

    Labels: ,

    Johnny Cash sings 'Walk The Line' Live 1959

    Just another reason to love YouTube:

    And later:


    Quote from "The Book of Lost Things"

    I just started reading "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly, and he opens it with a quote that struck a chord with me:

     Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales
    told to me in my childhood than in the
    truth that is taught by life.
                —Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)


    Labels: ,

    Fie Diddle-Dee, a Chocobo For Me!

    To return to a subject currently near and dear to me, that is, Chocobo raising, Szélső Fa asked some good questions, which I tried answering, although my knowledge as of yet is a bit lacking.

    There's a lot of conjecture on the boards as to what the best strategies are for raising a Chocobo, but no-one really knows much for certain. I'm going to do my best, and hope for a happy Chocobo.

    She hatched yesterday, as I said in the previous post, so today she was six days old (they hatch at 5 days). She's adorable. Today I fed her 1 Vomp Carrot, 1 Zeghoun Carrot, and some Azouph Greens. She ate both carrots "contentedly" but the greens, those she gulped down. So I bought more to give her tomorrow. What my baby wants, she gets. I also spent 50,000 gold pieces (gil) on 12 balls of worm paste (ground up worms for the chicks), and will try that tomorrow to see if she likes that.

    I also took her out for a few walks to strengthen her, and she made a friend with another baby choco, named Air. After that I cuddled her, and then she was tired, and I put her to sleep until tomorrow. I befriended another Elvaan, whose chocobo is a full-grown black female named BlackDiamond. She was bred for speed and endurance, and will be a racing choco. Here's her picture:

    I won't know what color RainFlower will be until day 19—they're all yellow as chickies. Which ever color she turns out, she'll be perfect.

    And here's a pic of me - I've since gotten my artifact armor, but I like this picture because it was taken in the Queen's Garden at the Chateau in my home town of San d'Oria, and it's one of my favorite places in the game, so peaceful and romantic, and the gardener really knows his job:


    Labels: ,

    Monday, January 29, 2007

    The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test

    via Sir John Mandeville at  Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

    The Harlequin
    You scored 44% Cardinal, 28% Monk, 38% Lady, and 43% Knight!

    You are a mystery, a jack-of-all-trades. You have the king's ear, but also listen to murmurings of the common folk. You believe in the value of force and also literature. Truly you are the puzzlement of the age."

    The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test at OkCupid


    Secrets of A-List Bloggers

    Well, it seems "Yours, Truly" is far from an A-list blogger. I was looking around the web at things that make an A-List Blogger, and I didn't even understand half of the elements :P Tee-hee.

    Apparently, A-List Bloggers write, on average, 30 entries a day! Okay now that's just mad crazy. You, my fluffy bunnies who visit, would all keel over and pass out, if I started jabbering on like that. I feel self-conscious on days when I do 3 entries; even when a few of them are, say, cartoons or YouTube clips.

    Another thing A-List Bloggers do is that they enable people to subscribe to their blogs' RSS and Atom feeds. Yeah, you heard me. What that means is that someone can subscribe to your blog and have new blog entries delivered to, for example, their "MyYahoo" page, or their Google Reader page. Wowee! Never knew that. Well, after a few HOURS of puttering around, via trial and error, I figured out how to do that. You can now subscribe to this A-List wannabe blog on the top of the side bar, or at the very berry bottom of the selfsame A-List wannabe blog.

    Now, I'm sure there's a million other things that go into this whole "A-Listing", including great content (HA! yeah OK, will work on that) but my brain started making spluttering noises, dark smoke started curling in wisps out of my (very pretty) ears, and before alien brain matter started oozing out as well, I decided to give it a rest for today, and just chill.

    I sorta started writing my novel again, but so far I think it maybe crap, so I'm not gonna share yet.

    Adoring of you,

    Labels: ,

    When Good Beavers Go Bad

    Nicked from Wulfweard



    Snow Snoopy


    Another Finland Winter Photo

    via OnlyJokingLasse:

    This is a picture from my dad's office. 10 minutes from the center of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. These are taken with his camera phone. Okay, I need a new phone!

    Labels: ,

    Chocobo Raising and other FFXI Tales

    Serious Geekiness to follow — avert your eyes if nerdiness gives you a rash.

    So, in Final Fantasy, there's a new feature (well, for me, since I haven't played in so long) where you can raise your own personal chocobo. After five days of watching over my little chocobo egg, tonight the egg hatched, and I'm now the proud parent of a sweet little girl chocobo named "RainFlower" — they don't allow you screenshots of your baby choco's, but I found this image tucked away on a bulletin board.

    Now I have to read all about her care, so she'll grow to be a brave, strong chocobo.

    Later, Corrie and I stood outside the mog house chatting and doing silly things, and I'm hoping he'll send me some screenshots, since mine don't come out nowadays (>.<)

    Labels: , ,

    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    Snow in Finland

    My folks sent this picture of the snow they have:

    Imagine growing up in all that purple and gold and silver.... Can you not almost see the little gnome footsteps leading deeper into the enchanted forest, the fox and her cubs safely in their burrow, the frost fairy touching each stalk of hay with her shimmering wand, the trees whispering secrets in their winter sleep?

    Labels: ,

    Sonnetsday 31


    IHY is my verse so barren of new pride,
         So far from variation or quick change?
      Why with the time do I not glance aside
    To new-found methods and to compounds strange?
    Why write I still all one, ever the same,
    And keep invention in a noted weed,
    That every word doth almost tell my name,
    Showing their birth and where they did proceed?
    O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
    And you and love are still my argument;
    So all my best is dressing old words new,
    Spending again what is already spent:
          For as the sun is daily new and old,
          So is my love still telling what is told.


    Labels: , , ,

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    Literary History - TXT MSGS Revive Epistolary Genre

    Here's the text of the article Katja sent a link to, translated into English by yours truly:

     A novel will be published next week, based only on text messages. According to the publisher, this novel will make literary history worldwide.

    The Last Messages ("Viimeiset Viestit") is, according to publisher Tammi, the first work based solely on text messages. The story is built around a thousand text messages, ordered by time of sending.

    The book can be viewed as a new take on an extremely old literary tradition [i.e., the epistolary novel] in which the story is told through the exchange of letters between people.

    The Last Messages is an adventure story. Its protagonist is a famous CEO of a computer company, who, after resigning from his post goes on a trip around Europe and India. Slowly, the purpose of the trip unfolds, surprising the reader, and bringing him face to face with an old confucian maxim: If you know what is right, yet you do not do it, you are a coward.

    Worldwide, there are about 3 billion cell phones in use, and over 400 million new cell phones are being sold annually. In Finland, the number of cell phones surpassed the number of inhabitants in March, 2006.

    The first SMS text message in the world was sent in Finland in December 1993. Annually, Finns send 2.8 billion text messages, which averages to about 500 msgs/person a year.

    Text messaging is possible in numerous countries, but it can be surprising, that for example in the United States, the technology for text messaging was not adopted until 2003.

    Author Hannu Luntiala was born in Helsinki in 1952. He is a multiple award winner for his poetry and short stories, which have been published in anthologies and literary magazines. His first (stand-alone) published work, the short story collection Hommes, came out in 2006. The Last Messages is his second published work. Luntiala works as CEO of the Finnish Census Bureau.

    Labels: ,

    Finnish News

    According to ScribblingWoman, there's

    "nu b%k ot dats ritN Ntirely as txt msgs. un4tunatly -- or 4tun8ly, depending on yr POV -- itz n Finnish."

    The News Article

    Of course, this article doesn't mention the title of the book in Finnish... Katja, how do I get this?

    Labels: ,


    via Only Joking Lasse

    "I wish I was a Woodpecker. Could make a living by banging my head against a tree..."


    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Good News

    Doctor saying, 'Now, about your Heart-Rate'
    Okay, Cute Doc said my x-ray was fine — no more pneumonia! He doesn't know why I still have symptoms, but stuck me on another 10-day course of antibiotics, and gave me a steroid inhaler.

    Chances are I'll recover, LOL!

    And if not, then I'll just have to go in for more healin'  :P


    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    Treasures in the British Library

    A colleague of mine just sent me a link to the most amazing website:

    Turning the Pages

    You can virtually browse several magnificent books in the British Library's boundless collections. Included are, for example, the Anglo-Saxon Lindisfarne Gospels, the Medieval Luttrell Psalter, the first Mercator Atlas of Europe, sketches from Leonardo, the original Alice in Wonderland, manuscripts in Jane Austen's hand, William Blake's notebooks, and Mozart's musical diary! And it doesn't stop there! You can zoom in to see more detail, and many of the texts have audio commentary. Run, do not walk.


    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    High Points of Being Sick

    1. Had a chest x-ray today. Complete with a peek-a-boo hospital gown.

    2. On a high note, will see cute Doc tomorrow. Even higher note, will get to flirt with said cute Doc tomorrow, while we discuss my chest :P

    *Sigh* Am I as sad as that makes me sound, LOL!


    Finally some Mark Rylance News!

    Mark Rylance, Roger Allam, and Frances de la Tour will be opening next month in a farce called Boeing Boeing at the Comedy.

    Eeeeeee, how do I get to London??? It may not be Mark at the Globe, but still, the Divine Mark Rylance. *sigh*

    For the (incredibly dull) article, where this news originated, click here.

    Labels: , ,


     Eating snowflakes
            as they float down
    And shaking
            cold drops
                    onto the living room rug
    Is all it takes
            to remind
                    one's human
    Of what it is
            to feel


    Labels: ,

    Quick Update

    I didn't get to see Heroes yet, so nobody tell me what happened this week, k? I'm about 200 pages into the "Luminupdates" but I had underestimated the number of pages - seems like there's closer to 3700 now, so that means about 3500 to go. Big Ass Bummer.

    On the other hand, it's gently snowing now, and I just bought a donut with my coffee, so that goes on the plus-side of the ledger.

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    "Heroes" Returns Tonight

    I can't wait - this show is great!


    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Sonnetsday 30

    Can you believe we've reached 30! Today, instead of Shakespeare, I'll share one I wrote when doing The Winter's Tale:

    Hermione to Leontes; Separated from her Love
    in Body, but not in Heart. A Sonnet.

    Like as the wanton wind my thoughts caress you
    And brush the golden locks from your dear face;
    My airy arms wrap 'round you to arrest you
    In this, my heart's imaginary place.
    Busied with other matters, you may feel
    A sudden, gentle warmth upon the air —
    'Tis my embrace invisible, yet real,
    As if my heart in truth were with you there.
    And if you then think tenderly of me,
    Your heart, in turn, transported will be too;
    I, far away, will know you long for me
    As I, beloved, ever yearn for you.
         And then, though miles us cruelly do part,
         We'll one remain, thus sharing of one heart.


    Labels: , , ,

    Chick Knows her Bible

    via Quod She.

    You know the Bible 85%!

    Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

    Ultimate Bible Quiz
    Create MySpace Quizzes

    Not bad, esp. since that's like the one book I never crack open :P


    Galactica Returns Tonight

    Where's Starbuck? Is she alive? Will Adama nuke the planet?
    Will 'Chief' unlock the Eye of Jupiter before the cylons arrive?

    16 hrs folks, 16 hrs.


    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Daily Whinge

    Man. I have some code things I have to remove from Luminarium...
    and it's something I have to do by hand.... so that's like 3200 pages, one by one by one. Not something I could do a "multi-file find & replace" for... I'm too much in shock to even cry :P So if you don't hear from me for a while, I've gone to code.

    LALALAAAAAA - all in the day's work for a netgeek.


    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Betcha Don't Watch This Only Once

    I nicked this, down to the subject line, from Wulfweard




    My garden waits
            for the first snow.
    Yesterday I smelled it
                         on the wind
            Tomorrow the dance
                   of a thousand soft flakes.

    (AJ, 12-03)


    When that I was and a little tiny girl...with a hey-ho, &c.

    Okay, Szélső Fa had this meme on her site, so of course I have to play too - I'm like immune deficient when it comes to memes and quizzes.

    You're supposed to bold the statements that are true.... I may lie tho... but you never know.

    100 Things I may or may not have done.

    01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
    02. Swam with wild dolphins
    03. Climbed a mountain
    04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
    05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
    06. Held a tarantula
    07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
    08. Said “I love you” and meant it!
    09. Hugged a tree
    10. Bungee jumped - HELL NO!
    11. Visited Paris
    12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
    13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
    14. Seen the Northern Lights
    15. Gone to a huge sports game
    16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
    17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
    18. Touched an iceberg
    19. Slept under the stars
    20. Changed a baby's diaper
    21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
    22. Watched a meteor shower
    23. Gotten drunk on champagne
    24. Given more than you can afford to charity
    25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
    26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
    27. Had a food fight
    28. Bet on a winning horse
    29. Asked out a stranger
    30. Had a snowball fight - umm... Finland, hello!
    31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
    32. Held a lamb
    33. Seen a total eclipse
    34. Ridden on a roller coaster
    35. Hit a home run
    36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
    37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
    38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
    39. Visited all 7 states and territories in Australia
    40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
    41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
    42. Watched wild whales - do dolphins count?
    43. Stolen a sign. - stole a movie poster in Rome
    44. Backpacked in Europe - I don't do the rucksack
    45. Taken a road-trip
    46. Gone rock climbing
    47. Midnight walk on the beach
    48. Gone sky diving
    49. Taken a train through Europe
    50. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
    51. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table, and had a meal with them
    52. Milked a cow
    53. Alphabetized your CDs
    54. Sung karaoke
    55. Lounged around in bed all day

    56. Gone scuba diving
    57. Kissed in the rain
    58. Gone to a drive-in theatre
    59. Started a business
    60. Taken a martial arts class
    61. Been in a movie
    62. Crashed a party
    63. Gone without food for 5 days - see #10
    64. Gotten a tattoo
    65. Got flowers for no reason
    66. Performed on stage
    67. Been to Las Vegas
    68. Recorded music

    69. Eaten shark
    70. Buried one/both of your parents
    71. Been on a cruise ship
    72. Spoken more than one language fluently
    73. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
    74. Walked the Sydney Harbour Bridge
    75. Had plastic surgery
    76. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
    77. Wrote articles for a large publication
    78. Lost over 50 kilos
    79. Piloted an airplane
    80. Petted a stingray
    81. Broken someone's heart
    82. Broken a bone
    83. Eaten sushi
    84. Had your picture in the newspaper
    85. Parasailed - again, #10
    86. Skipped all your school reunions
    87. Shaved your head
    88. Caused a car accident
    89. Pretended to be "sick"
    90. Surfed in the ocean
    91. Saved someone's life
    92. Fainted
    93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth
    94. Hitchhiked
    95. Adopted a child
    96. Been caught daydreaming
    97. Been to Ayers Rock
    98. Called off a wedding engagement
    99. Donated your blood
    and number 100 offended me, so I bloody well deleted it.

    Does it strike anyone else that like a zillion of these are geared towards Australia?

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    Bee, Princess of the Dwarfs

    In September, I posted my mermaid poem along with the commissioned watercolor from Fantasy Artist Selina Fenech. I chose her because of a picture she had at her gallery in Elfwood, that had a fairy tale feel. She had named it Bee Princess of the Dwarfs after a fairy tale book she had loved as a child. Now, Selina has made an online version—text, pictures, magic, and all—of her 1912 book. For those of you who never tire of fairy tales, discover

    Labels: ,

    Become a Brave Knight and Joust!

    The Victoria & Albert Museum in London has a cool section to their Tudor site where you get to pick your horse and armour, and joust various opponents. I won 2/3. It's fun :P


    Labels: ,

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Homer Simpson as King Henry VIII

    I don't remember when I laughed this much last!


    Labels: ,

    Quiz: What American Accent Do You Have

    via Geoffrey Chaucer

    Wow. These guys pegged me... I am in Philadelphia after all.

    What American accent do you have?
    Your Result: Philadelphia

    Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

    The Midland
    The Inland North
    The South
    The Northeast
    The West
    North Central
    What American accent do you have?
    Quiz Created on GoToQuiz



    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Historical Shakespeare Audio and Video

    ShakespeareEncyclopedia Britannica has made available historical audio (and video) for free online. I had to listen to them all, of course. I wonder what the auditioners would think if I did a monologue in a 1930's vibrato, à la Sir John Gielgud, tee hee!

    Shakespeare Multimedia - EB

    Labels: ,

    Quiz: What Country Are You?

    A really fun test my dad suggested and I think it pegged me right.

    I was Sweden (!) Luckily (for the test's creators), I read what the possibilities were, and since Sweden was the only Scandinavian country listed, I guess I'll live with it - we do share a border after all.

    Your country is highly liberal, and, to tell you the truth, your citizens are happy to pay higher taxes in exchange for government-sponsored comfort. You're not a very aggressive country, however--until the scent of Lutefisk starts to waft over from your neighbor to the west.

    The "What country are you?" Test


    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    National De-Lurking Month

    Well, the National De-Lurking Week was Jan. 8-12 this year... but I missed it, so I'm going to celebrate a National De-Lurking Month. Lurking is perfectly acceptable (we all do it), but once in a while it's nice to find out who is visiting.

    So. Whether you're a first time visitor or a long-time lurker, wontcha scribble a line to say hi?

    National De-Lurking Week

    Feel free to take the banner and use it.

    The Wisdom of W. C. Fields

    "I once spent a year in Philadelphia. I think it was a Sunday."
    (W.C. Fields)


    Sonnetsday 28


    IF the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
         Injurious distance should not stop my way;
      For then despite of space I would be brought,
    From limits far remote where thou dost stay.
    No matter then although my foot did stand
    Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;
    For nimble thought can jump both sea and land
    As soon as think the place where he would be.
    But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,
    To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
    But that so much of earth and water wrought
    I must attend time's leisure with my moan,
          Receiving nought by elements so slow
          But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.


    Labels: , , ,

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    A beautiful line I had to share

    I'm currently working on making an e-text for Luminarium Editions of Campion's Two bookes of Ayres (c.1613). In his preface to the reader, he says of his songs:

    I have chiefly aimed to couple my words and notes lovingly together.

    Beautiful thought, isn't it? I love the Renaissance!

    Labels: , ,

    Love is not complicated

    Love is not complicated.
            Four paws
                    And a big nose
    Crowding the bed
            On a cold night
    All it takes.
                    (AJ, 12-2003)

    Labels: ,

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Nerd? Geek? or Dork?

    I'm a Modern, Cool Nerd
    95 % Nerd, 60% Geek, 26% Dork
    For The Record:

    A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
    A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
    A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

    You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

    Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

    Are you a Nerd, Geek, or Dork?


    Soul of the Garden - A Little Piece of Heaven

    A few days ago I was cruising around the internet, when I happened upon a virtual haven called Soul of the Garden. The web home of Austin, Texas, gardener Tom Spencer, the site includes quotes and poetry interspersed with amazing garden and nature photographs by Spencer. This is a place where the eye and the soul can rest in the beauty of the world.

    My favorite page so far is "Images from 2006":

    If you want a respite from the gray of the everyday, you can find it at Soul of the Garden.

    Photo ©2006 Tom Spencer. Used with permission.

    Labels: , ,

    The (Un)Glamorous Life of an Actor-for-Hire

    I hate doing industrial films, but I also hate not eating, soooo.... Yesterday morning I got up at 4 am, left at 5:15, and returned after 7pm. I had only had one hour of sleep the night before, so you can imagine I was in bed by 9pm.

    Industrial films mean things like training videos or informational videos which are shown within a company or an industry - for example, a medical firm might make a video about how to market a new product, or how to interact with clients, or how a good boss manages his people, vs. how a bad one would. In short, they are films not seen by the general public, and are for informational or educational purpose, instead of an entertainment purpose.

    While I'm making generalizations, I might as well say that most of them are poorly written, and few of them, at least here locally, are well made. But... generally they pay actors better than legit film work.

    There were eleven of us yesterday. In the first scene we were restaurant patrons. The restaurant did not have heat, and we could see each other's breath in the frozen air. For more than an hour, we sat in summer clothes in this freezing restaurant, trying not to shake while cameras were rolling. In the second scene we were outside walking up and down a street as background, while they filmed; in the third, we were in a freezing cafe, and so on. In between the scenes we waited from a half hour to an hour and a half. And so went the whole day.

    In industrial films, even more than in legits, actors are cattle. Often you work in sub par conditions, and directors see you as furniture. The one saving grace apart from the paycheck is that you often meet very nice people. The group of actors yesterday was a fun bunch, and we had a lot of time to chat and compare experiences, talk about movies, plays, etc. There were also a couple of nice crew members, who made the day bearable. One guy, whose name I never got to ask, lent me his jacket during a break between two shots in the restaurant, because he'd seen me shiver. It's people like that who give one hope for the industry.

    I shouldn't have gone yesterday, because on Wednesday night my doctor diagnosed me with pneumonia, and now I feel like I gained a cold to boot. But I couldn't let my agent down — he wouldn't have had enough lead time to get a replacement for me. And I could use the paycheck.

    Thanks for letting me whine a bit, I needed it :)

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    Cate Blanchett Returns as Queen Elizabeth I

    The Golden AgeSomeone pinch me! Cate Blanchett will be back as Queen Elizabeth I in The Golden Age (Oct 2007). Directed again by Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, 1998) with Geoffrey Rush returning as Sir Francis Walsingham. The film focuses on Elizabeth's relationship with Sir Walter Ralegh, with Clive Owen (!) in the role. Samantha Morton will be playing Mary, Queen of Scots.

    Oh, October, how far you seem!! Eeeeeeeeee!

    Official Website at Working Title Films

    Labels: ,

    Magic Wand Received

    Many thanks to Szélsö Fa for giving me perspective :)

    Nick Worthey's Film "Magic Wand"


    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    Code, Code, Everywhere Code

    Wisps of dark smoke are curling out of my ears. We polled visitors to Luminarium as to what features visitors would like next, and discussion forums and blogs were most requested. Now, web sites, though time-consuming, I can make, and there's little in HTML that I don't know. But Cascading Style Sheets and these other new-fangled inventions? Let me just say that CSS is making my head spin. I'm sure that 6 months from now I'll laugh at the thought there ever was a time when these gave me grief, but right now.... I just want a magic wand!


    Friday, January 05, 2007

    New Year's Snoopy


    More Margaret Atwood

    Whee! The new Luminarium Margaret Atwood Page has won 2 Awards already, and is a nominee for two more! Yay! Go Margaret Atwood! I'm so passionate about her books and the project was in the planning stages for ten years, so I'm extremely excited.

    Labels: , , ,

    The Banned Books Meme

    Bold the ones you've read. Italicize the ones you've read part of.

    Here goes:

    #1 The Bible
    #2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    #3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
    #4 The Koran
    #5 Arabian Nights
    #6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
    #7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
    #8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
    #9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    #10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
    #11 Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
    #12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    #13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
    #14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    #15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
    #16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
    #17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
    #18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
    #19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
    #20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
    #21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    #22 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
    #23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
    #24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
    #25 Ulysses by James Joyce
    #26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
    #27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
    #28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
    #29 Candide by Voltaire
    #30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    #31 Analects by Confucius
    #32 Dubliners by James Joyce
    #33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    #34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    #35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
    #36 Capital by Karl Marx
    #37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
    #38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    #39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
    #40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    #41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
    #42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    #43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    #44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
    #45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
    #46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    #47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
    #48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    #49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
    #50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    #51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
    #52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
    #53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
    #54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
    #55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    #56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
    #57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
    #58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
    #59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
    #60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    #61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
    #62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    #63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    #64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    #65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
    #66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
    #67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
    #68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
    #69 The Talmud
    #70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
    #71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    #72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
    #73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
    #74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
    #75 A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    #76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    #77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
    #78 Popol Vuh
    #79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
    #80 Satyricon by Petronius
    #81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
    #82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    #83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
    #84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
    #85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    #86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
    #87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
    #88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    #89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
    #90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
    #91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
    #92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
    #93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
    #94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
    #95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
    #96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    #97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
    #98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    #99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
    #100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

    Hmm, I guess I'm pretty banned, but I've a long way to go. And then there's books there that I could not finish (e.g. Whitman. Nor do I think I'll ever read the Bible or the Qu'ran in their entirety). Did you know the Harry Potter books are the most challenged books of this century so far? Go Harry!

    Labels: ,

    Hu's on First and What's on Second?

    My sister just sent me this, tee hee!


    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Eighteenth Century Feminism: Mary Astell (1666?-1731)

     Truth is strong, and sometime or other will prevail.
    Some Reflections upon Marriage

    Women need not take up with mean things, since
    (if they are not wanting to themselves) they are
    capable of the best.
    A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Part I

    If GOD had not intended that Women shou'd use their Reason,
    He wou'd not have given them any, for He does nothing in vain.
    The Christian Religion

    I've just finished a Mary Astell site for Luminarium. Hundreds of years before her time, and a century before Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Astell wrote impassioned treatises on women's position in the world, a woman's right to education, male-female relations. She did all this, not because she herself would have called herself a feminist, although she is nowadays considered a proto-feminist, but because she was a brilliant mind in an era when it was socially unacceptable for women to have minds and voices to speak them—she saw an iniquity and she had to speak against it.

    Many people have a skewed view of feminists as women who hate men, or treat matters unjustly to another extreme in their arguments. This is a misconception about most feminists, and should especially not be applied to Astell. Her view was that women and men were equal in capabilities, and should be treated as such. She was a forerunner for equality. Perhaps that is what we should change the moniker to — equalists. In Astell's own words:

    He who will be just, must be forc'd to acknowledge,
    that neither Sex are always in the right.
    Some Reflections upon Marriage

    Her works ranged from educational to political and theological writings, all written in a marvellously fluid style. Having received an extensive education to complement her inborn intelligence, her works are rhetorical masterpieces. Her education in logic shines through everywhere, and her passion for her subject matters cannot help but sweep the reader along.

    I must say I quite fell in love with Astell. It is a crime how little she is studied and how rarely included in "Survey class" curricula. With excellent new editions of Astell's works now in print by Patricia Springborg and with more forthcoming, I do not doubt but that in the future Mary Astell will be raised to the literary status she so amply deserves.

    Labels: ,

    Weighty Resolutions for the New Year

    My dad's older sister by 12 yrs, and my godmother, is in an article for a weight loss club. In the past eight months she lost 40lbs (18kg) — no mean trick at any age, let alone at 68!

    For those readers who can read Finnish, here is the article: (top link on left sidebar) http://www.kiloklubi.fi/

    Wow, I hope I look half as good as she does in the "after" picture when I'm 68. What an inspiration! Maybe I should do something about the Christmas belly? (>_>)

    Labels: ,

    Monday, January 01, 2007

    Happy New Year!

    I hope the New Year, 2007, brings everyone dreams-come-true.

    The Year's First Poem

    The New Year still in swaddling-cloths doth lay;
    In darkness soft his infant fingers curl
    About night's blanket, waiting for the day,
    While last year's stars around him twinkling play.

    What does he bring with him, this babe yet new,
    That innocently turns in tender sleep?
    And will his reign be crowned with wonders true,
    So filled with promise, can he yet them keep?

    Each New Year comes and innocently wakes,
    With eyes that see the world so burning bright;
    And when his course is run, his sad leave takes,
    And doffs his mantle at next New Year's night.

    Upon this New Year other New Years wait,
    Succession 'graved in stars behind Time's gate.

    (AJ, 1-1-2007)