Friday, February 29, 2008

100 Books Meme

Lazy, lazy blogging. But here it is.

Bold the ones you’ve read,
italicize the ones you want to read,
cross out the ones you won’t touch with a 10 foot pole,
put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf,
and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

1. +The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind(Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J.K. Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (J.K. Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. +The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. +Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. +Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (George Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. *I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. *The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. *Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. *She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
53. Ender's Game(Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Scott Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J.K. Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Helen Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. *The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. *A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
83. *Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. +Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In the Skin of a Lion (Michael Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. +The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Wow. Only one I want to read? Perhaps my readers could suggest their favorites for me to check out.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Make It Berrer

Everything is funnier when interpreted by 3-year-olds.

A While Ago, Pretty Far Away

Star Wars Episode 4 plot summary by a 3-year-old.

This could be a whole series. "_____________, as explained by a 3-year-old."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SSC 20

Short Shameful Confession:

I've totally done that. Not the retrograde Wheelbarrow. The profile stalking thing.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Subprime Explained

Awesomely funny.

Subprime mortgage crisis explained

Mixed Emotions About Speed Racer

Have you seen the trailer?

Am I the only one who thinks the visual effects look bad?! I want it to be good. A lot. But I can't quite bring myself to believe it can be.

To clear the palate, here's Cake's The Distance to the classic cartoon:

Return of the Dancer

I've backed off of blogging about swing dancing, since I haven't found anything interesting or personal to say about it. Until now.

I've recently found myself feeling like my dancing is at a plateau. I'm not really adding new moves. Well, I'm not being fair to myself. I'm focusing on and improving my musicality, which isn't alway easy to see. But I realized that I'm spending a lot of time dancing down instead of dancing with my peers and dancing up.

So on Friday night, in the midst of the OC Swing crew around, I decided to dance up. Looking around, I saw Francis, Nikki, and Adrienne, all of whom I find really intimidating to dance with. Nikki left and when I saw Francis free, she was wiped out from her previous dance, so I didn't bother asking. Which left Adrienne, whom I'd seen Fred dance with twice that night. So I asked her. Oh boy. It was ... tough to describe. We had a really light dance connection, and she did tons of improvisation. I repeatedly thought I should be giving her extra time at the end of a swing-out when I didn't need to. I didn't give her enough time when she was improvising on a walk-through. I was intimidated. I apologized once in the middle of the dance. I felt like I was wasting her time. And then the song was over.

She introduced herself in that way people do as a way to ask for your name, so I introduced myself. I didn't bother to mention that she'd taught the first OC Swing class I took almost a year ago. No reason she'd remember. Oddly, I don't see a single person from that beginner class at Atomic or Strutters. Well, that's not true. Jason was in that class and is on the OC Swing team, but he wasn't really a beginner and moved to the intermediate class starting the second week. Oh, and I see Phil about once every six weeks or so.

Saturday, the 16th:
The Atomic team is doing some performances for when Stompy Jones plays next Sunday evening. Worked on Big John's Special during the Swing 1 team, then the Baby Bop routine during Swing 2 and most of Swing 3. Ended with Rip It Up, which I sat out, since I missed the beginning three weeks ago. Damn.

Stayed around to take the Swing 3 team to eat ramen, but they stood around and talked for 20 minutes, so I got frustrated and left Mark to do that.

Evening in Pasadena with the Falcon, Johgi, and Johgi's boyfriend. Dinner at Saladang Song (damn, Thai Nakorn ruined me for Thai), and dancing at PBDA. Johgi's BF went from no swing dance exposure to on his way to a solid east coast basic over the evening. Nice! Johgi said this is the first thing they've tried together (other than horseback riding) that he's liked. Hope they stick with it. I'll be back to make sure. :-)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

Seymour Glass pointed out the cool trailer for Michel Gondry's new movie, Be Kind Rewind. You remember Gondry's visually stunning, time-twisting film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, don't you?

The whole premise of the movie is that a pair of guys shoot their own versions of movies to replace accidentally erased videotapes at a rental store. At least, that's what I get from the trailer. What would be awesome is if Gondry did that with the trailer. Oh wait...

Official Trailer:

Gondrified version:


What's that? You want more Gondry? You Got it!!




Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Choosing the Supremes

Slate discusses the various options/styles the Presidential candidates have in selecting Supreme Court justices.

Obama vs. Clinton

McCain's lack of options

Perhaps one of the strongest arguments I've read against another Republican president, no matter how reasonable sounding, impressive, and bi-partisan he might be.

And a strong argument for Obama.

Monday, February 11, 2008

SSC 18

Short Shameful Confession:

When P told me she learned a new Balboa move, I giggled (in a manly way), because "Bal movement" sounded like "bowel movement."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

SSC 17

Short Shameful Confession:

Sometimes I use Quaker Simplicity as an excuse to be a cheap bastard.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

SSC 16

Short Shameful Confession:

While scrubbing my shower, I seriously debated whether or not to clean my "curtain" or spend $2 on a new one.

Friday, February 1, 2008

SSC 15

Short Shameful Confession:

Shopping for a shower curtain at Target. Curtain: $10. Curtain liner: $2. I just bought the liner.

More Legion of Rock Stars

A recent Metafilter post reminded me of the existence of Legion of Rock Stars.

From their site:

Legion of Rock Stars (LRS) pioneered Pure Pleasure, in which the band listens to original recordings of classic rock and pop songs on 30db noise-blocking headsets, and then plays along.

Freed from the shackles of practicing, LRS focuses instead on bringing the excitement of a large stadium rock show to the intimate arenas in which it performs.
Get that? They don't practice. They can't hear each other. They can't hear their own voices or their instruments. All they can hear is the audio from the song/video that they're playing along with.

The results are hilariously awful!!!

I hate to lead with the best one, but...

(You might or might not remember this as #3 on my unfinished series of College Soundtrack posts. Check it out for the original audio to the music video)

Too Legit To Quit:


The Good The Bad And The Ugly:

Total Eclipse of the Heart:

Horse With No Name:

Hunger Strike:
(You might or might not remember this as #6 in my unfinished College Soundtrack series. Yes, it has the original audio track to the music video in the post)

Take The Money And Run:


(You'll be tempted to skip, but don't)