Quondam Dreams

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Magic 8-Ball Oscar Picks: This Year's Model

As always, I have presented each nominee to the Magic 8-Ball; most positive answer in each category is noted below. For entertainment purposes only, but should you let the Magic 8-Ball guide your pool picks and you win, remember who hooked you up, baby...

DIRECTOR: Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby
ACTOR: Jamie Foxx in Ray
ACTRESS: Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Clive Owen in Closer
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sophie Okonedo in Hotel Rwanda
ART DIRECTION: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
FILM EDITING: Million Dollar Baby
MAKEUP: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
SCORE: Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
SONG: "Look To Your Path (Vois Sur Ton Chemin)" from The Chorus
SOUND MIXING: The Polar Express
DOCUMENTARY SHORT: The Children of Leningradsky
LIVE-ACTION SHORT: Little Terrorist

Friday, February 25, 2005

Referential Treatment

Some things that have come to mind over the past few days. Those of you with way too much time on your hands may try to piece together my activities and projects. Caution: May cause drowsiness. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery. (Although drinking alcohol is fine and dandy!)

No, I don't remember Guildford
Sarah Jane Smith
You just haven't earned it yet, baby
Oedipa Maas and Maxwell's Demon
That column I wrote about online dating sites
Night Ride to Trinidad
ASCII Tetris
Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars
Heed the Greenman
Kalipetrovska Ruka
Five women wearing the same dress

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day Is Over

It must have been my junior year of college -- that's when I was listening to Billy Bragg's Worker's Playtime almost a bit too often. I was in the living room of my campus apartment on a gray day, studying, or reading, or trying to look like I was reading, or feeling guilty about not studying. Anyway, I was sprawled out in the living room, and I had a tape of the album playing on the little stereo we had out there. One of my housemates -- I think it was Susan -- came out just as "Valentine's Day Is Over" came on, and made a comment to the effect that Valentine's Day wasn't over; it hadn't even come and gone yet. Rather than try to explain to her that the song isn't actually about the actual Valentine's Day, I probably sang a chorus of Ophelia's "Tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day" song from Hamlet.

(If it was winter of my junior year, I was probably reading Hannah Arendt. Coincidence, I'm sure.)

That year, I think I went to a movie with a couple of friends. The year before that, about 15 of us went to the opening night of Wayne's World, which was somehow perfect. The year before that, my Twin Peaks friends and I put together what started off as an anti-Valentine's Day thing, but became a mope-a-thon complete with brownies and a video of When Harry Met Sally.... The evening finished off with one of the men among us outside a window, holding up a boom box playing "In Your Eyes" so that we could pretend he was John Cusack, at least until the night proctor asked him to knock it off.

Senior year, a bunch of us went out to dinner, and someone's boyfriend gave the others flowers and me some candy, since my preferences were well-known. I think that was the last time I got anything for Valentine's Day.

In more recent years, I've either ignored the day or gone out with friends. This was another go-out-with-friends year. I met a bunch of my actor friends at Voda in Santa Monica, where I consumed what I think was one too many violet martinis. (I don't get drunk, really; it's more that my stomach starts to hurt.) We made our way to Barney's on the Promenade to order some food to soak up the booze, and stumbled into karaoke night.

At the bar, we'd been talking about how Chairman had seen the Killers in Vegas a couple of years back, when they were still just a bunch of kids in makeup blowing the roof off a little bar. Someone asked if he'd heard a particular song, so Chairman and I sang a verse. "What?" I said. "There's always karaoke in my life, even when there's not music."

So of course I signed up.

After I finished my food, I ripped through "Torn," which I'll always thing of as an Ednaswap song, because I'm just that cool and indie and stuff. It was a silent dedication to the guy who'd held up the stereo in college. Had I known he was going to hurt me that fall, I might have made a move on him that night. I was never really into him as more than a close friend, but if you're going to get your heart broken, you might as well have something to point to as the beginning of the end. Saying that he was a friend, and then he wasn't, doesn't really capture why I was so upset for so long. Now it's just something that happened. (And something that he probably doesn't even remember.)

So, anyway. That's me. Still single. I'm not upset about it or anything. I have so many wonderful people in my life that I'm not wanting for emotional connections, plus there's something nice about not having to let someone know when I'll be home.

Just a little wistful, I guess.

Hey, look -- Valentine's Day is over. I hope those of you who are in love had a lovely one with your beloved. For me, it's just another holiday that I don't really celebrate, but always end up doing something on anyway -- because deep down, even though I'm generally content, there are just some days where I don't want to be alone.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Blanket Disclaimer

There has been a recent rash of stories about people getting fired for what they post in their blogs. It's usually due to things like violations of NDAs, but just in case, please note the following:

The views and opinions expressed here are mine alone, and do not reflect the views of any other organization or individual. In fact, they don't necessarily reflect mine. They may reflect the views of Bam-Bam (and doesn't he look fetching in Precious' nurse costume in the masthead?), but if they do, he's not telling. Any criticisms of anyone or anything herein should be considered temporary lapses in my love of absolutely everybody and everything. No, really.

Additionally, in the event that I win any future publicized awards, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone I have ever known, with special shout-outs to anyone who has ever taught, treated, supported or been related to me. My apologies to anyone who I have ever wronged, or will ever wrong, in any way. My forgiveness to anyone who has ever wronged me, or will ever wrong me (unless you are someone who I don't think I'll ever quite forgive, though if I cross your mind often enough that you periodically check in on my blog, you're probably not one of them). Peace and justice and education are good; oppression and starvation and violence are bad. "Inchoate" is a really cool word. Thank you, and have exactly the type of day you'd like to have. Smooches.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Hannah and Me

Someone sent SF Chron columnist Jon Carroll a quote from Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, and he wrote a column about it. You should go read it.

Here is the quote; I hope that those of you who can't be bothered to click on that link will at least give this a look:

"In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. ... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness."

I've been thinking about Hannah Arendt quite a lot lately, and how different things were when I first discovered her work. It was twelve years ago that I took a seminar on her, and when we were able to write papers about keeping a careful watch for the signs of encroaching totalitarianism or general thoughtlessness. Now, I'm not saying we're descending into fascism any time soon; I'm just saying, every time I look around, I see more things that correlate to points in Origins and Eichmann in Jerusalem, and it's really starting to scare me.

I'm not going to try to summarize Arendt's writings here. Not only would it be close to impossible, but it would be utterly missing the point. If you're interested, there's a nice series of essays at the Library of Congress's Hannah Arendt Papers collection. Or go pick up some of her books. They're not easy reads, but I promise you they're worth it.

In "if you don't have a sense of humor about things, you're screwed -- plus, who wants to listen to nonstop doom and gloom?" news, The Bush Twins Party Hour has finished its first season. Success! Yay! While we search for a larger venue for the second season (whenever that turns out to be), we're working on getting some clips up on the site. (And if you happen to have a theater that can accommodate at least 50 people close to the stage, and doesn't mind that there's alcohol involved, lemme tell you about this little political comedy show we've got...)