Horoscope from a couple of days ago: That load you're carrying around with you? Think how light you'll feel if you put it down.
You're due for what can only be called extreme spunkiness. How you choose to use this fire is up to you. Cranky or passionate? Start off on the right foot today. Hug everyone you meet.
Believe it, and it can happen. Need it, and it can be yours. Your attitude can work wonders right now -- especially if it's positive. If you can convince yourself that you're about to experience -- and deserve to experience -- great things, you will actually have the power to make them happen. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Right now, there's absolutely nothing standing in your way.
>> Good information on where to donate for South Asian earthquake/tsunami relief is here.
>> Whaaaaat? "Troy in Fifteen Minutes" was the #8 most-linked blog post of the year? (#1 was anniesj's Secret Service saga, and she's the one I got the link from.)
>> You haven't heard from me for a few days because I'm down with a cold--a persistent sore throat, several cold sweats, and a general tendency to lapse into a coma. I'm working on the book through it, but it's not easy. What follows are things that should have been cleared out in previous journal entries that never happened:
>> Saw The Life Aquatic the other night; between the Coke I had and my cold medicine, I came home with such a buzz that I spent the whole night staring at the ceiling. But anyway--the movie takes its sweet damn time, but I really enjoyed it. If the mere idea of Willem Dafoe in shorts and a German accent makes you laugh, this is the movie for you. And seriously? It never stopped being funny through the whole movie. I don't know why. I don't even know that it was supposed to be funny. It just was. Oh, and Her Cateness had this cute high-pitched British accent--it sounded very Julie Andrews to me, but that doesn't quite sound right. I know that they must have been trying to parody some kind of intrepid, hyphenated lady journalist (her character's name was Jane Winslett-Richardson), but I can't for the life of me think who.
>> We did not go see Phantom of the Opera because my mom has come down with something entirely different (put it this way: she's drinking a lot of cranapple juice). This vexes me greatly. I mean, I don't blame her at all and I feel terrible that she's sick, but... fnarr.
>> Does anyone here tape or download One Tree Hill? It films in Wilmington, and while I was at The Lovely Emily's, she showed us some clips where she sort of has a recurring silent background role as a waitress. Unfortunately she can't do it anymore, due to, you know, actually having a job and being unable to twiddle her thumbs on a set for 14 hours at a shot, but I thought it would be really cool if we could get her some screen caps. The best view of her is in the fifth episode (second season), where everyone's sitting at a table throwing down pieces of paper with their names (look, I don't know), and you can see the coffee bar in the background, and a waitress in a light purple sweater. That's The Lovely Emily.
>> I was reading up on some Ebert reviews and found a couple of funny things. Well played, Roger:
Q. In response to Matt Sandler's query asking you about who is the world's most beautiful woman, you foolishly answered Aishwarya Rai instead of "my wife." I hope you bought a huge bouquet and a box of chocolates for Mrs. Ebert after you realized your mistake.
A. Matt Sandler asked about women, not goddesses.
And here's possibly the only review of Phantom you will ever read that says, in essence, "The musical sucks, but the film is genius." Not that he can't be right, but--well, later in the review he says, and this is a direct quote, "[Schumacher's] Batman Forever was the best of the Batman movies." Oh, Roger.
>> From the Publisher's Lunch newsletter:
WHO SAYS GOOD BOOKS CAN'T REFORM BAD CHILDREN? In Wichita, Kan., a boy stuffed a book under his shirt at Watermark Books and headed out the door. But when he passed a life-size cardboard cutout of Lemony Snicket's evil Count Olaf, the figurine -- containing a motion-sensor chip that plays messages with sinister laughs -- bellowed, "Where did you get that book?" The kid stopped in his tracks and returned the loot.
>> Christmas was all right. There were tons of little hissyfits and misunderstandings at my house, cinnamon rolls that caught fire, etc., and I was coming down sick so I didn't just smile and shrug most things off the way I would have otherwise. It wasn't a bad Christmas; it was just sort of... well, you wished you could have done things differently. I did get tons of books that I wish I could just sit down and eat, because I already have a wonderful backlog from Vladimir and Simon to get through, and my new class (and, uh, the incomplete for the other one. Cough) is coming up. I'm going to be busy, is what I'm saying.
>> Whoa, I just got an alert that Susan Sontag has died:
She wrote a best-selling historical novel, "The Volcano Lover," and in 2000 won the National Book Award for the historical novel "In America." But her greatest literary impact was as an essayist.
The 1964 piece "Notes on Camp," which established her as a major new writer, popularized the "so bad it's good" attitude toward popular culture, applicable to everything from "Swan Lake" to feather boas. In "Against Interpretation," this most analytical of writers worried that critical analysis interfered with art's "incantatory, magical" power.
She also wrote such influential works as "Illness as Metaphor," in which she examined how disease had been alternately romanticized and demonized, and "On Photography," in which she argued pictures sometimes distance viewers from the subject matter. "On Photography" received a National Book Critics Circle award in 1978. "Regarding the Pain of Others," a partial refutation of "On Photography," was an NBCC finalist in 2004.
>> Ow, throaaat. I'm going to go make some hot chocolate--I got a tin of "dark chocolate shavings infused with peppermint oil" that's pretty good, if a little heavy on the mint. And then, with any luck, get the Matrix locked down.