Friday, February 27, 2009

There's no place like Bonaventure

Reason number 8547234378924329 why I miss St. Bonaventure University. This was the description underneath an article I read on the website today:

At the heart of St. Bonaventure University is the Franciscan affirmation of the dignity and worth of the entire created order. Fundamental to this vision is an awareness that it is within relationships and community that individuals discover and develop their potential.

I miss it to no end.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daily Geek

I found a new website today (courtesy of "Today on the Interwebs") -- it's called "Academic Earth." You can find it at www.AcademicEarth.org.

Why is this worthy of the Daily Geek? (Yes, this is a new posting category on my blog, starting today. It probably won't be daily, but so be it.) Because it's an awesome website where you can watch lectures from the world's top scholars on a bunch of topics.

As a perpetual student who's sorely missing school (yeah I know... I said it was called the Daily Geek didn't I?), this is super cool to me.

There are lectures in 17 different subjects, and the lecture topics range from "The World is Flat 3.0" with Thomas Friedman to "The American Novel since 1945" with Amy Hungerford from Yale, to "Garage Technology Ventures" with Guy Kawasaki.

And the best part: it's free. Gotta love technology!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jack. Is. Back.

Okay, so I've given it a few weeks and I am officially pleased with this season of 24. It's been action-packed and keeps me excited to watch every week. They've definitely come back fighting after their season 6 debacle. Well done, 24... well done.

In honor of the comeback, here's some classic Jack Bauer art that I found on the interwebs:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Quotable

"This is for all you girls about twenty-five
In little apartments just tryin to get by
Living on, on dreams and spaghetti-o's
Wondering where your life is gonna go
This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bookish

Today I bought several new books at B&N:

- The House of Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie)
- Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
- Laughter in the Dark (Vladimir Nabokov)
- The Metamorphoses (Ovid)

The reason I chose them is because they are listed on "Blue's Required Reading" list at the website for Special Topics in Calamity Physics (by Marisha Pessl) - www.calamityphysics.com. Blue van Meer is one of my favorite characters ever, Special Topics in Calamity Physics is one of my favorite books ever, and these are books I absolutely should have read.

Read any of them? Like/dislike?

(Also on the list was Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People," which I read at the store. Great story. Definitely worth a read.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Schfifty!

An oldie but a goodie. "Schfifty-five!" Enjoy:

She's got cred

And by "she," I mean J. Courtney Sullivan. I didn't know who she was until this morning when I sent a card from someecards.com to my sister. (This one.)

But she kind of rocks and I want to be her. Why?

- She writes for all the coolest places, is on the editorial board of the NYT, and is on the advisory board for Girls Write Now. That's pretty cool.

- More than that, she writes for someecards.com. Nuff said. And someecards just had a Valentine's Day contest to see who would win a date with her based on the best user-submitted ecard, which you can view here. (PS, that's how I heard of her.)

- One of the articles in her collection is about chick flicks. Remember my post about chick flicks? Well, hers is about how they set unrealistic expectations. This example is my favorite:

The Sleepless in Seattle Trap: Like Bill Pullman in the movie, your current boyfriend or fiancé may have committed some unforgivable crimes, such as having lots of allergies but no nickname. Then you hear a voice on the radio, or see a face across a crowded room. Suddenly, you know this stranger is the love of your life.

OK, you already have a partner who’s perfectly stable and lovely, but I’m afraid you will have to end that relationship. After all, in the 30 seconds you’ve spent with the new man, you’ve learned everything there is to know about him. And. It. Is. Good. You use Google, gossip, mutual acquaintances, and expensive private investigators to track him down and ask him out to dinner.

See also: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, A Walk in the Clouds.

The Real Ending: Over dinner, you realize he has bad breath, a wife, and absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with you.


Good stuff. Mad street cred.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight"

The jury's still out on whether Joaquin Phoenix has completely gone over the edge, or if this is part of a prank to convince the media he's becoming a hip-hop star, for the purposes of some documentary his brother-in-law is filming. Either way, it's deliciously uncomfortable to watch. Enjoy?:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quotable

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."
- Ernest Hemingway

Spoof-a-licious

You all know how much I love the NY Times Weekender. But if you've ever seen the Weekender commercial (you know the one - "Who doesn't like to start the weekend a day early?!"), you know it's just begging for a spoof. So, 92YTribeca gave it what it was asking for. This spoof is spot-on and hilarious. If you haven't seen the original, watch it here (sorry, I could only find the short version - the long version is the one they're really spoofing).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Did You Know 3.0

Super cool.

Re-readable

"If you want to know the heart of a man, ask not what he reads, but what he re-reads." (Francois Mauriac)

My top 5 re-reads:

5) The Fountainhead
4) Lolita
3) Wonderboys
2) The Hobbit
1) Hamlet

What are yours?

Monday, February 9, 2009

i heart geek humor

Enough!

Top 3 things I think people should stop reporting about:

1) Michael Phelps. Is what he did stupid? Uh, yeah. Dude, now you're a role model and a celebrity, get with it. Not a good example to set for the kiddies. But is he the first athlete in the history of the world to do something stupid? Hell no. At least he wasn't packing heat, right? He's a kid, he smoked pot, he shouldn't have been enough of an idiot to get his picture taken, and it doesn't seem like a great best practice for an Olympic-record-setting swimmer. Done and done. Now let's please all get over it. As if any of us actually care about swimming once the Olympics are over anyway. (I do have to say though that this quote on Agency Spy this morning was hilarious: "Subway says they're cool with Michael Phelps. Despite removing him from their SubwayFreshBuzz Web site, they'll keep giving him weed money.")

2) The mother of the octuplets. Why do we keep debating this? The woman was fertilized and had 8 kids. She already had 6 at home. Does that seem pretty stupid? Yep. But what do you want? They're born, they're healthy for now, she's not going to throw them in a dumpster or something. I've had enough of everyone's judgmental attitudes and especially their opinions about if we should let mothers do this. Pipe down, America. Are you going to start legislating a kid limit? Where is this leading us? One-child policy? Slaughter the first-born if it's a girl? I mean come on, let's be real here. Freedom, remember?! Let's move on. Maybe she'll have her own reality TV show someday, and you know you will all tune in to watch. "Nadya Suleman plus 14." Has a toe-up-crazy kind of ring to it, no?

3) Casey and Callie Anthony. Namely because I've never been able to bear watching such a horrible story in the first place, but also because these media circus stories are inherently grotesque and dangerous. Already the grandfather tried to kill himself. Now they can't find an unbiased jury. I think the Today Show in particular needs to lighten up on the Anthony coverage, because it's toxic all around.

There are others, but those are my top 3. What about you? What do you wish would stop dominating the news?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Quotable

"I do want to say a quick word to anyone out there who wants to bring change and hope to a deeply divided America. Pay your f*cking taxes!" - Jon Stewart (The Daily Show)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sitcom schmitcom

I read an article today about The Big Bang Theory. I only gave this show one chance (the pilot), which now I'm thinking perhaps was not fair. Because the article talks about how The Big Bang Theory is about a bunch of geeks, one of whom may have Asperger's (although they don't call that out in the show). The characters as described in the article are fascinating to me. Characters I'd want to watch a show about. Characters I probably know in real life (since I'm a bit of a geek myself). And yet the format of this show, the modern sitcom -- tepid jokes, boisterous laugh track, studio lighting, shoot me in the face -- is so completely off-putting that I honestly don't think I can bear it.

Don't hate me for saying this. I never liked Friends very much. In my opinion, Friends was The One With Too Much Laugh Track. I did think Seinfeld was generally funny, but it bugged me that Jerry couldn't keep a straight face. The Drew Carey show? Ha. My Name is Earl makes me want to smash my TV. And I don't understand Two-and-a-Half Men, nor ever will. (Seriously guys, that show is NOT funny.)

I have a genuine problem with the modern-day sitcom. It doesn't make sense to me, because I do like older sitcoms (The Cosby Show, Cheers, etc.) But for some reason modern-day sitcoms are crap in comparison. Even the modern sitcoms that I liked (Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier) were great, but not REALLY great.

You can't blame the 30-minute format, so don't even think it. Because some 30-minute shows on TV now are fantastic. But they can't actually be considered "sitcoms" in the modern-day sense. Shows like The Office, 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. (And other modern but canceled shows like Arrested Development, Sports Night, etc.) No laugh track. Smarter, off-beat humor. None of these are really sitcoms. In the classic definition (30-minute situational comedies), they are. But held against modern standards for a sitcom? Absolutely not.

I don't understand what's wrong with modern-day sitcoms. I can't pinpoint exactly why I hate them so much, and more importantly, I don't get why they have to be made the way they are either. It's just not very funny. It's sometimes even annoying. It mystifies me. But I guess maybe it's just me, because unbelievably Two-and-a-Half Men is always second only to football and American Idol in the Nielsen ratings.

But back to the issue, have I not given The Big Bang Theory enough of a chance? Am I unfairly assuming it's just like all its other modern sitcom friends? For its own sake, I hope it's not. I mean, I know it's not like the kind of 30-minute shows I like these days. But I hope it's actually like some of the better modern-day sitcoms, like Will & Grace. Because the premise of the show is great. So maybe I'll give it a second chance... in honor of geeks everywhere. But sitcoms, you are officially on notice. (insert laugh track here)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quotable

"Incomplete," Alanis Morissette

One day I'll find relief
I'll be arrived
And I'll be friend to my friends who know how to be friends
One day I'll be at peace
I'll be enlightened and I'll be married with children and maybe adopt
One day I will be healed
I will gather my wounds forge the end of tragic comedy

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time
of being forever incomplete

One day my mind will retreat
And I'll know God
And I'll be constantly one with her night dusk and day
One day I'll be secure
Like the women I see on their thirtieth anniversaries

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time
of being forever incomplete

Ever unfolding
Ever expanding
Ever adventurous
And torturous
And never done

One day I will speak freely
I'll be less afraid
And measured outside of my poems and lyrics and art
One day I will be faith-filled
I'll be trusting and spacious authentic and grounded and home

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time
of being forever incomplete

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quotable: Super Bowl edition

The best line from this year's Super Bowl commercials:

"What are you going to do? Turn off your TV AND your computer?! Hahahaha!"

It's a good point. Thanks, Hulu (and Jack from 30 Rock).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quotable

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible."
- Vladimir Nabokov