December 29th, 2005


Snerf argle honk blargh

A thought that welled up in my feverish brain sometime last night while I couldn't sleep due to repeated doses of Tylenol Sinus: What, exactly, is a podcast? And what makes it a podcast rather than just, you know, something with people talking that you downloaded online? Urban Dictionary to the rescue. Sort of. ("Trend whore for 'streaming audio,'" "An online audio blog, made by people who typically sound like slightly camp nerds who most likely have no lives," "Another example of Apple trying to brand everything with their name. It's a fucking MP3. Nothing more." So I shouldn't do one, is what you're saying?)

(I'm kidding. If I'm not doing one--right now, at least--it's because I'm drowning in phlegm. Although I did notice that the Zen Nano apparently has recorder capabilities.)

Anyway, I spent all night reading because I couldn't sleep at all. Like, at all. Like, "I finally dozed off at six this morning and slept like a dead thing until noon." At which point I woke up with a fever. Yay. Finished Queen Isabella, which posits not only that Isabella and Mortimer didn't have Edward II killed up the ass with a red-hot poker (I am being totally serious, y'all. This is how most people assume he died), but that they didn't have him killed at all, because he didn't die. Alison Weir makes a pretty good case for the theory that Edward escaped from captivity, and the porter he killed on his way out was buried in his name to cover up that he was on the loose (therefore making sure no one started a new revolution around him), and that Edward himself was so broken by the whole revolt/abdication experience that he went into hiding as a hermit, and may have met with his son Edward III one last time before dying quietly in obscurity. The one thing I would call Weir on is a late, offhand declaration that "Edward [II] wasn't interested in women anyway," after she spent the beginning of the book establishing that he was very likely bisexual, since he did, after all, manage to have not just an heir, or even an heir and a spare, but four children by Isabella.

Anyhoo. I likes me some royal biographies. The next one I started in on was David Starkey's Six Wives, because apparently I am incapable of getting my fill of Tudors. I think my fascination with the Tudors is more about medieval/renaissance court culture than anything; it's just that there's a lot more documentation still extant on the Tudor period as opposed to, say, the court of Aquitaine, as you see when Weir's Eleanor bio devolves into a history of her sons' reigns for lack of information about Eleanor herself. But after Six Wives I'm probably moving on to the Sin City collection, or try to take a stab at the piles of Pratchett and Gregory Maguire I got for Christmas as well.

More fragmented thoughts:

An electric kettle! That's what I want! (Thank you to the umpteen thousand people who responded, particularly those in Britain who let me know that to be without one is like being naked in the wilderness, to which I can only say that I am used to drinking "the house wine of the South"--unsweetened, ironically.)

Another "Year in Pictures" feature, this time from the NY Times.

sigma7: "Slate on how "Lazy Sunday" might save rap. Double true!" (Heh: "If you haven't seen Saturday Night Live</em>'s Chronicles of Narnia rap, then you don't have any friends.")

A little about-the-author footnote to that article: "Josh Levin explained why bloggers are like rappers and wrote a guide to managing your entourage." (I'm going to have to take deep exception to his claim, no matter how tongue-in-cheek, in that first article that "women can't win an audience in either profession without raunching it up like Lil' Kim or Wonkette." If you don't know good female bloggers who don't have to wallow in "lewdness and vulgarity," to take an assist from the American Heritage, maybe you don't have friends either you're not really looking for anything but raunch in the first place.

Calling-card shorts now mostly a long shot. Summary: Blah blah my Star Wars fan film didn't make me a famous director wah. Interesting, though, for one sentence tucked inside: "Peter Cornwell, an Australian sound man, spent years crafting 'Ward 13,' a 14-minute short about a man waking up in an insane asylum, trying to break free, facing all sorts of bad guys. With the idea of crafting a calling card, Cornwell began constructing the figurines and sets in his bedroom, and when the project expanded, he started moving pieces and construction into his friends' homes. His hard work paid off when, in November, he was hired to direct 'The Dionaea House,' a horror thriller that Harry Potter producer David Heyman is producing for Warner Bros. Pictures." The door is open, y'all.

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