The Universe and Me

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Lightsabre Quiz

Your Lightsaber is Blue
Blue is often associated with depth and stability.
It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom,
confidence, and truth.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cloning around

Movie: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Having been a teen when the Star Wars movies were first released, I can’t help but compare how I felt then as opposed to how I feel about the current batch. The old movies were swashbucklers set in space. I cared about the characters and the plots were exciting. Now special effects and battle scenes carry the most importance. The nonstop action of running from Imperial troops has been replaced by politics, talks about councils and senatorial meetings. The relationship of Anakin and Padme was so bland, the only reason I wanted them together was so they could have Luke and Leia. Both Natalie and Hayden sounded listless, like they were reading their lines. If they had personalities, I’d be surprised. Anakin on his own was condescending, obnoxious, whiney, arrogant, snarky and ultimately unlikable. Why anyone would fall for this loser or his dorky hairstyle is beyond my capacity to comprehend. Was Padme from Rivendell? I forgot to check for elf ears. Maybe if she’d stopped wearing those huge headdresses sooner, she’d have been less of a target. I appreciated Ewan’s copying Alec’s speech patterns. And I liked the droid waitress. The only funny line seemed to be one they didn’t realize was or intend to be funny: “They’re clones, they keep to themselves.” Otherwise, 3PO’s quips were too punny and not funny to anyone over eight years old. I never realized until now how the Force’s creed of trusting your feelings is the opposite of psychological logic. Your feelings can betray you. What, the El Kamino people couldn’t afford a carport so Ewan didn’t have to get soaked? Who names their daughter Shmi? There goes Christopher Lee dueling wizards again. Yoda may be small, but he’s mighty. So Anakin began to turn evil because Tuskan Raiders killed his mother? This explains nothing about his hatred of the Jedi. Maybe that’s in the next movie. Why isn’t there a plural for Jedi? Singularly or as a group, they are just Jedi. The song “The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging” was in my mind all through the droid assembly line scene. And thanks for nothing, Jar Jar. Strangely, I felt the most sympathy for the Fetts, who were bad guys. To sum up, it was better than The Phantom Menace, but how couldn’t it be?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Here kitty, kitty

This winter I read an article about how a parasite almost all cats carry is transmitted to mice and makes them lose their instinctive fear of cats so they are easier to catch. This parasite, toxoplasma gondii, is also transmitted from cats to human brains. In fact, millions are already infected. Around half the population of Britain. About 80-90% of people in France and Germany. But the parasite has always been thought to be harmless to humans. The newly discovered problem is that it can alter human personality and behaviour. Reportedly, infected men become more aggressive, antisocial, suspicious, jealous, less attractive, less well-groomed. Infected women become less trustworthy, more fun loving, warm hearted, concerned about their appearance and promiscuous. Plus these women spent more money on clothes. If nothing else, it explains recent trends in society and at least one of my co-workers. According to researcher Dr Dominique Soldati in London, "Once you are infected you cannot get rid of this." A comforting thought for all us cat people.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

My Flesh & Blood

Documentary: My Flesh and Blood. I watched this film a few weeks ago. It chronicles a year in the life of Susan Tom and her mostly adopted children who have various degrees of disabilities. Do watch it but have plenty of Kleenex available. It’s not a wonderful life or year. I thought it was good that Susan didn’t pretend to be the perfect mom and we saw her and the kids trying to deal with many difficult things and not always well. Other reviewers have mentioned how ambivalent she seemed towards Margaret’s dilemma but I read an interview where she stated they had been discussing it for eight hours before what is shown. And I felt the problem/decision was largely Margaret’s. She was torn between wanting her own life and independence and wanting to stay and help this family she loved. Especially heartbreaking was Anthony, a twenty year old who appears twelve and suffers from a horribly painful collagen deficiency so his skin literally disintegrates when touched. And it was sad to see Xenia stood up at the dance. Writing about Joe’s plight and fate will make me have to grab the Kleenex again.

Friday, June 24, 2005

What career suits my personality?

You would be happy in a career that utilised your level-headedness and allowed you to work mainly on your own. You want a career that allows you to be creative, without having to be involved with lots of people. You like to avoid attention at all costs. You tend to keep to yourself, and not interact much with the people around you. You enjoy spending time with a few a close friends. You are very practical, and only act after thinking things through. You don't like being forced to answer quickly. You have to evaluate the situation completely. You like to be deeply involved in one or two special projects. You like to be behind the scenes. You are logical and fair. You trust your gut instincts. You are easily inspired and trust that inspiration. You are innovative. You analyse things by looking at the big picture. You are concerned about how what you do affects others. You worry about your actions and the future. You tend to use a lot of metaphors and are descriptive and colourful in your choice of language. You are creative, and get bored easily if you don't get to express yourself. You like to learn new things. You don't like the same old routine. You like to leave your options open. Some careers for you are:
University Professor
Graphic Designer
Online Content Developer

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Find Your Spot

The website takes you through a series of questions about your interests and geographical likes and then determines where in the States would be best for you to live. I must have caught it in a bad mood. Strange nowhere in New England was mentioned. Here are the towns it picked for me:

  • Anchorage, Alaska – This was their #1 choice? Are they kidding me? I’m sure the landscape is very beautiful but really! Jean said recently Al was reading a book about Alaska and it mentioned the ratio of men to women being “the odds are good but the goods are odd.”
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Isn’t this near Three Mile Island? Mutant city!
  • Albany, New York
  • Ogden, Utah – Osmondville?
  • Olympia, Washington – I’ve never been to Washington state, so I can’t comment on what it might be like.
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan – I’ve definitely been to Grand Rapids but saw nothing there worth sticking around for. No offense to happy Grand Rapiders.
  • Duluth, Minnesota – Leave someplace that’s cold and miserable for another place that’s even colder and more miserable? I think my great-grandparents did that.
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho – Sounds like the middle of nowhere defined.
  • Carlisle, Pennsylvania – Still too close to 3MI.
  • Tacoma or Spokane, Washington
  • Syracuse, New York – Okay, this site is joking with me, isn’t it? Two of my college boyfriends were from there, although I don’t think either one lives there now. Still, orange is not that great.
  • Roanoke, Virginia – One of my college roommates lived there a few years. Didn’t stay. Not sure if that was a reflection on the place.
  • Altoona, Pennsylvania – Isn’t Patty originally from Altoona?
  • Fort Collins, Colorado – Now we’re talking. And close to Bo, too. Make up the guest room kids!
  • Ocala or Gainesville, Florida – Never had any wish to even visit Florida.
  • Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi – Chris lived in Jackson for a few years and I always wondered, and believed I asked, how. But being King of the Extrovert Peoples, he could fit in anywhere. Me, not so much.
  • Provo-Orem, Utah – More Mormons. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  • Seattle, Washington – Where the hills are green as green. I’m guessing the guys aren’t all young Bobby Shermans and I’m no Bridget Hanley. Might be nice, though.
  • Tallahassee, Florida – And become a Tallahassee Lassie? Too funny.
  • Loveland, Colorado – If the name says it all, we may have a winner.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Flipper tracks Posted by Hello

Terrapin Station

Bill and Alice have been up visiting this week. The Carolina sun has bleached her hair rather blonde. She’s still enjoying being on the turtle patrol which she says is a very big thing there. Sea turtles flipper their way to the upper part of the beach by the dunes where they build their nests. Eggs the size of ping pong balls take about sixty days to hatch. The hatchlings stay in the nest for several days, then they need to work their way to the ocean. That’s where “nest parents” enter the picture. It’s their job to help keep the pathway clear. A newborn turtle can become stranded and die in so much as a footprint in the sand. And if the adult turtles, some of whom weigh in at a whopping 300 pounds, flip on their backs, they can’t straighten themselves out. Nest parents look for the unusual tracks in the sand that flippers make, then monitor the turtles' progress.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Death warmed over Posted by Hello

Six Feet Under Season 3

This weekend was a Six Feet Under marathon here at the Emporium as the Season 3 dvd came my way. An HBO show about the lives and loves of our beloved mortician family, the Fishers. Not for the squeamish.

1. Perfect Circles.
Instead of Schrödinger's Cat in a box, it’s alternate Nates in a casket. Is he there? Sometimes, since “everything that can happen does, somewhere.” Ugly wig on Catherine O’Hara. Ugly tattoo on Tattoo Boy. Anger issues and doormat issues. “Being a father has turned you into a blithering idiot.”

2. You Never Know.
Who hasn’t wanted to shoot up a bunch of telemarketers? Miss O’Hara’s ready for her corn muffins. Russell may be allergic to dating but thinks “having somebody in your life who makes you hate yourself less – I could use that.” The Fisher Boys (at least one of whom is a “hopeless passive aggressive guilt sponge”) continue to deal with their relationships while Rico takes care of business. “I need you to walk him through your basil vinaigrette.” Opening the door to Melissa Gilbert “was like staring at evil itself.” “Eventually I just became the one in paisley.”

3. The Eye Inside.
Miss O’Hara’s in her soft white place. We expect someday she too may end up hoarding firearms in Montana. Nice to see the pea green Clairemobile again. “This drawing instantly makes me feel nauseous.”

4. Nobody Sleeps.
Lisa and Ruth creepily bond despite “we don’t dance in this family.” Russell establishes which team he plays for but do we believe him? “Anything else you wanna know? Now is the time.” “They were all just major wide loads.” Here here on nixing the Lillith Fair crap.

5. The Trap.
Russell makes his move. Keith finds a way to release some anger. The Fishers welcome an incognito Jack Osborne sans language as Arthur the Apprentice. “Libraries are depressing.” Thanks for the endorsement. “When did I become 400 years old?” I’ve been wondering that myself. “If you meet somebody who you think means something to you, you’re doomed.”

6. Making Love Work.
In more ways than one. “We got a situation here.” I’ll never again take a nosebleed so nonchalantly. Silent Running with music by Joan Baez. Russell takes up hairdressing. Nate massacres a snake. “Termite art.” “The Munsters up there.” “Advanced Casketing Techniques 101.” Psycho stalker qu’est que c’est! Claire finds the word hanky gross. “Not all progress is bad. There’s Kleenex, hello!”

7. Timing and Space.
The Giggle Loop strikes Brenda’s mom. Billy appears sane. Very scary that. If kids in the United States play digging to China, do Chinese kids play digging to the United States? “The rest of us who don’t have babies, we’re real.” “Did you have a good time stalking me this morning?”

8. Tears Bones and Desire.
Enter The People from the Cult of Cheese and their Book of Daddy. “Not in a stupid paper way.” “Space forces are always following us.” Ruth is out of control and makes her move, twice. Keith goes on the paintball warpath against the chorus’s Leading Ladies.

9. The Opening.
“He’s too veiny.” Vanessa’s anti depressants are more depressant, less anti. “It was like her spirit got stolen.” Lisa and Nate discover pyramid power and decide to try be themselves instead of what they think the other one wants. “It’s depressing how deluded people are about what love is.”

10. Everybody Leaves.
Vanessa perks up. A lot. Russell throws a tantrum and spills his guts. “He could’ve at least made the effort to slam the door.” Billy’s not better after all. Ruth and Arthur have “been on quite a serendipitous journey…thus the dilemma.” But their laundry isn’t mixing anymore.

11. Death Works Overtime.
Lisa’s missing. Claire’s puking positively. Stretch Cunningham walks into the parlour and into Ruth’s life. Rico finds a new dance partner. “Move ‘em in and move ‘em out.”And Rundgren’s great song “I Saw the Light” over the credits.

12. Twilight.
Lisa drinks Dr Pepper on the sly. Did Rico say he “hit something chunky?” Ew. “He’s a freakin’ Dorito. Crunch him, they’ll make more.” A lovely epitaph. California’s just stopping by. Nate finds comfort. I’m not the only one who thinks there’s no rush. I don’t trust George/Stretch.

13. I’m Sorry I’m Lost.
Fly, be free. “Blue ice is a killer.” Looks like death is a block party. “Life just wasn’t the right environment for me.” Infinity wants to be Rico’s friend. Ajacently is not a word. It’s interesting how many women think nothing of killing a fetus but few of them would want to kill an infant. “If I’d known you were gonna die, I’d have hung out with you more.”

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Lost Favoritkaraktärer?

Over on one of the Swedish message boards they asked who are your favourite Lost characters? I found it interesting how many said Kate, seeing as she's not well liked on the US boards. Otherwise, their opinions are about the same. Seems people either love Sawyer or hate him. Personally, Jack is too egotistical for me. Here's some edited comments for those who can read Svensk:
Locke är intressant som karaktär och Hurley verkar riktigt gó.
Sawyer, kan jag inte med. Kanske blir bättre när man får se mer vem han 'egentligen' är. Och hon, vad-hon-nu-heter (snobbig), är bara jobbig. Förhoppningsvis är hon en sådan karaktär som kommer växa mycket under seriens gång.
Sawyer - Rolig, intelligent, mystisk. Hurley - Underbar comic relief!
Gillar den mörke mannen (Namn?) för han verkar också rätt rolig, också gillar jag Locke för han är den där kunnige och mystiske typen, som redan har sagts.
Sayid är ju riktigt cool.
Locke blir ju bara bättre och bättre för varje avsnitt. Och jag börjar tycka mer om Jack också.
Sawyer är favvisen efftersom han är så himla rolig!
Oj, nästan alla är ju favoriter. Det är bara Sawyer, Michael och Jin jag inte gillar! Men absoluta favoriten är Locke. En av de bäst skrivna och spelade karaktärerna på tv någonsin, komplex, intigrerar med nästan alla på ön, verkar veta mer än han säger och är totalt facinerande. Boone är mitt dregelgodis, söt som socker. Charlie är gullig och rolig och sådär harmlöst småmysig. Hurley = comic relief! Claire är söt och intressant och funkar bra i scenerna med Charlie. Jack och Kate är lite för stereotypiska för att hamna högst upp i toppen, men är ändå favoriter. Som sagt, bara slemmige Sawyer, supertråkiga Michael och konstiga Jin jag inte gillar.
Kate tycker jag är lite konstig eftersom man inte vet vad hon gjort. Charlie är bra p.g.a att han äntligen slutat knarka och att han då får se en bättre sida av honom. Jack eftersom han aldrig kommer förstå att Kate faktiskt kanske är kär i honom. Typiskt män.
Sayid - helt enkelt bäst! Sawyer- störtskön! Älskar Locke
Hjälp- Sayid eller Hurley...eller Jack. SUN! Sun får det bli...eller Rose. Gillar Rose... OK...Gillar alla mer eller mindre. Men jag väljer Jack. Eller Sayid...GAAAAAH!!!
Hurley. Jag vet att han mest fungerar som en comic relief och inte tillåts bli mera allvarlig och dramatisk, men jag älskar karaktären Hurley, han är så skön. Så han är min favorit. Charlie. Också lite av en comic relief-kille. Märks ett mönster här? Han är varm, rolig men har även skelett i garderoben i sitt förflutna och är därmed inte bara "den roliga killen". Önskar dock att båda han och Hurley kunde få lite mera intressanta roller på ön.. Hm, nu blev det svårt, dom första två är så självklara men den tredje är lite mera klurig. Kanske Locke. Jag kan irritera mig hemskt på honom men måste erkänna att han är spännande, mystisk, proffsigt skriven och bra spelad. What's the deal with Locke? Ja, förbryllad blir man i alla fall.
Oh lord, haha hur ska man börja egentligen ne men den e seriöst helt fantastiskt bra! ojojoj producenterna har verkligen tänkt i genom vad tittarna vill ha på Tv och det e bland annat Lost! keep up the good work people hahaha den e verkligen spännande. okej nu när det e sagt så hejdå gott folk Underbart vaa hejdå!
John Locke - Mystisk, bestämd och spelad av Terry O'Quinn. Hurley - Lojal, rolig och godhjärtad...Charlie - Intressant, vänlig och komplex...
Känner mest sympati för Jack. Hurley känns väldigt "naturlig" på ngt sätt... Väldigt bra spelad. De andra känns lite för luddiga för att jag tycka varken bu eller bä.
Kate är min absoluta favorit. Men jag gillar också Sayid, Shannon, Charlie och Claire! Åh, jag gillar Sun, Hurley och Michael med! Och Jack, men han är lite tråkig. Sawyer kan jag aldrig bestämma mig om jag gillar eller inte. Jag har haft problem med honom ända sedan Shannons astma anfall och kan inte riktigt komma över hur han kunde vara så svinig då.Men men...
Sawyer är ett svin men han är ändå coolast.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Jacket

Movie: The Jacket as in strait, not as in a sequel to The Tuxedo. Somewhat of a psychological thriller with less thrill, more psychology. Didn’t Adrien Brody go through enough in The Pianist? Here he’s a war vet sentenced to an asylum where a doctor experiments with sensory deprivation/isolation on the criminally insane to find out if they’re really insane or just criminals. With a side order of time travel. And Keira Knightley as an alcoholic, nihilistic American. Part of this filmed in West Lothian? Learning of his imminent death, Adrien scrambles to try to avoid it. I thought the interesting part was that he also tried to help a couple people. Giving a doctor the treatment for a patient she would not have considered and influencing Keira’s mother enough so that she doesn’t emotionally damage her daughter’s life. So the question is, if you knew someone’s fate and could help them avoid it, would you? I think most people would say yes. But if you couldn’t time travel and were left just trying to imagine or extrapolate someone’s fate and thought it might be bad, would you then try to change it? Benevolence probably does not extend to speculation.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Philosophy Quiz

You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
--Jean-Paul Sartre

“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”
--Blaise Pascal



Divine Command




Strong Egoism






Justice (Fairness)






What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Because I miss Lost

The wonderful Sawyer Song in flash video form.
And the lyrics:
Here's a Sawyer, there's a Sawyer, and another little Sawyer, fuzzy Sawyer, funny Sawyer, Sawyer Sawyer, Locke. Sawyer Sawyer, golf club, Sawyer, handcuff, Jin, Danielle, Sawyer, Sawyer Sawyer, Pilot, Sawyer, Sawyer Sawyer Locke. I was once an airplane, I lived in a cave, but I never saw the way, Alex is my slave. I was not yet three years dead, but I haunted Jack, And now listen little child, to the man on crack. Did you ever see a Sawyer, kiss a Sawyer, on a Sawyer, Sawyer's Sawyer, tastes like Sawyer, Sawyer Sawyer, Locke. Half a Sawyer, twice the Sawyer, not a Sawyer, Lawyer, Sawyer, Sawyer in a bar, I saw a Sawyer, Sawyer, Locke. Is that how it's told now, is it very late, is it made of aloe juice?, Sayid, Michael, Kate. Now my song is running thin, I've run out of stock, time for me to retire now, and become John Locke.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Just call me Gandalf

Your Profile: You're intelligent, educated, and just a bit superior to everyone you know. If you're still in school, you probably make A's, if you're not too bored to waste the effort. If you work, your annoying boss relies on you to solve the problems no one else can figure out. You've never met a puzzle you can't solve. When it comes to leisure, you'd rather read, play a strategy game, or surf the 'Net than run around getting sweaty. You're a brainiac, and you're not ashamed to admit it. Above all, you're a mastermind and a great thinker. You see the unknown as territory to be conquered, and the mysterious as something to be systematically unraveled. You don't have time for fools; you only spend your time with people who can comprehend your obfuscatory convolutions. You enjoy amassing knowledge, both useful and trivial.
Your Mission: You were put on this earth to enlighten people. They will listen to you, because they are impressed by your vocabulary, your erudition, and your ability to grasp concepts that invariably elude them. You are the one who has to figure things out, because let's face it - you're the only one smart enough.
A Warning: Try to remember: you're not infallible. If people around you are all nodding and smiling, it may just be because they don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. Check your facts and admit the possibility that even you can make mistakes. Loosen up. Make friends with a Rogue and have him or her try to poke holes in your theories. Who knows; you might actually have fun. On another note - making plans and formulating theories can be quite stimulating, but at some point, you are going to have to actually DO something. Employ a Warrior, if necessary, to put your brilliant schemes into action.

My Inner Hero - Wizard!

I'm a Wizard!

There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.

How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.My Inner Hero - Wizard!

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Movie: Hitch in which dating consultant Will Smith falls for a Latina version of Nancy McKean but can’t seem to follow his own advice. Or fate won’t let him. Romantic comedy chick flick. It and some of its special features did make some interesting points about dating and love. One of the most important being that Will’s work would not be necessary without the multitude of sleazy cads out there who’ve damaged women to the point that they can never trust again, even when a genuinely sincere nice guy miraculously appears. Another being that women are inherently attracted to confident men. And that we tend to be attracted to someone who is attracted to us, an unavoidable narcissistic trait all humans share. For some unknown reason I was reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s interesting book Blink where he posits that a relationship is more doomed to failure if one or both partners feels contempt for the other one. Disrespect a person, make them know you consider them inferior or worthless and goodbye relationship. I need to read more Schopenhauer to fully understand the concept of the beautiful socialite falling for the bumbling Kevin James character. James and Smith worked wonderfully together.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Thus Quoth Romeo

From the Whatever Happened To Files. The Internet Movie Database has only a few listings for actor Leonard Whiting. It appears a few years after filming Romeo & Juliet he disappeared. At least off the movie scene. He has been involved in some theatrical productions and teaching, has married a couple times and produced two daughters. Currently lives in Kentish Town in London by all reports. Has a screenplay he’d like to see filmed. What I was surprised to learn was his involvement on the Alan Parsons Project 1976 album Tales of Mystery & Imagination, the band’s tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. Especially because it concerns one of my favourite songs of theirs, “The Raven.” He sings on the record. He also does narration on another of the album's songs. Whiting has changed a bit since 1968, but who hasn’t (with the possible exception of Olivia Hussey)? Here are the lyrics to “The Raven” written by Parsons and Eric Woolfson.

The Raven

The clock struck midnight
And through my sleeping
I heard a tapping at my door
I looked but nothing lay in the darkness
And so I turned inside once more
To my amazement
There stood a raven
Whose shadow hung above my door
Then through the silence
It spoke that one word
that I shall hear forever more
Thus quoth the raven, nevermore
And still the raven remains in my room
No matter how much I implore
No words can soothe him
No prayer remove him
And I must hear for evermore
Quoth the raven, nevermore
Thus quoth the raven

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Lamb opening piano chords

FIRST CHORD - Em9(maj7)
your RIGHT hand plays an E minor chord (an octave above the middle C) while your LEFT hand plays an E flat minor chord, alternating, hand over hand, like this:
RH - E & B
LH - Eb & Gb
RH - E & G
LH - Eb & Gb
RH - B & E
LH - Eb & Gb
RH - E & G
LH - Eb & Gb (play it 4 times)

your RIGHT hand plays an E chord while your LEFT hand plays a D chord, alternating, hand over hand, like this:
RH - E & B
LH - D & F#
RH - E & G#
LH - D & F#
RH - B & E
LH - D & F#
RH - E & G#
LH - D & F# (play it 4 times as well)
Start out slowly, and work your way up to playing them REALLY fast...

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Elvis is alive & living in England

Kay asked me who I thought was the best Elvis impersonator. Being a Red Dwarf fan, I have to say it’s Clayton Mark, the one who guest starred in the “Meltdown” episode. Born in New York City, Clayton learned to play a bunch of instruments before he met Louis Armstrong and was persuaded by Armstrong to focus on the trumpet at age eight. At fifteen he started performing with a band at Las Vegas hotels. During this time he discovered his talent for impersonating Elvis and many other singers including Johnny Mathis, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Tony Bennett and even a bunch of Disney characters. In 1986 he began his “Memories of Elvis” show. In 1992 Clayton became the first male singer to shatter a glass for Memorex. He subsequently performed in an ad for them. He’s also recorded several albums and has appeared as Elvis in a couple movies and starred in many Elvis tribute shows. If you’d like to hire him, the going rate is around £600 a show. But he’s probably booked.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Taken down by the undertow

A couple weeks ago I watched a movie titled Undertow. It wasn’t very good, but my mind kept singing the phrase from the old Genesis song “In the Rapids” from the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, one of the albums that influenced my young life the most. I’d planned to buy And Then There Were Three which had just been released but The Lamb was available for about the same price. Seeing as it was a double album, I figured it would be twice the music. Plus I’d never heard any of the songs on And Then There Were Three whereas I’d heard and loved the live version of “The Carpet Crawl.” While I grew to love the entire Lamb album, I also remember being sure I’d never buy another Genesis album. More fool me. A few years later I met some guy who absently started singing “Cuckoo Cocoon” and I couldn’t believe anyone else knew of such an obscure and unusual song.

Fast forward to college and trying to ease my roommate into the Gabriel era of Genesis. And a boyfriend trying to work out the opening piano part which is impossible to play unless your last name is Banks. Trying to avoid the word “anyway” because same boyfriend would have to quote the next line from the song. Writing a parody of the title track called The Cat Lies Down on Park Drive with my roommate one night in the snack shop. (I wrote all but three words which inexplicably eluded me.) If I can find it, I’ll post it. Reading Keats’s “Lamia” epic poem which is even more frightening than the song. People on the Internet seem confused as to this concept album’s concept. I’m not sure why. Or why I’m not. Maybe because I’m well-read? For the muddled, there exists an Annotated Lamb. I read through it but only learned a few things:

  • Peter didn’t write the lyrics to “The Light Dies Down.” Tony and Mike did which is obvious if you compare the styles. The song is much more poetical, nicely flowing than the rest of the songs which are more choppy, short clever phrases.
  • When performed live they used three backdrop screens showing a thousand slides of the story.
  • Rael backwards is Lear. Oh, I really should have caught that as King Lear is my favourite Shakespearean play and one I’ve read too many times.
  • Sonny Bono co-wrote the Searchers song “Needles and Pins.”
  • While in prison, Caryl Chessman learned four languages. He did not get to use them, though.
  • Eggs are mentioned on three consecutive Genesis albums. First in “Supper’s Ready” and then “Aisle of Plenty” which goes on to answer the question of what was ready for supper. There’s speculation that the answer of scrambled eggs is a nod to the Beatles song “Yesterday.” The last egg reference is of course in the song “It.”

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Jung Typology Test

Some of my profile from Humanmetrics:
The primary desire of the Protector Guardian is to be of service, not so much furnishing others with the necessities of life, as guarding others against life’s pitfalls and perils, seeing to their safety and security. They go about their task of caretaking modestly, unassumingly, and because of this their efforts are not sometimes fully appreciated. They are not outgoing and talkative except with close friends and relatives. With these they can chat tirelessly. However, their shyness with strangers is often misjudged as stiffness, even coldness, when in truth these Protectors are warm-hearted and sympathetic, giving happily of themselves to those in need. Their quietness ought to be seen as an expression of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose. The least hedonic of all types, Protectors are willing to work long, long hours doing all the thankless jobs. With their extraordinary commitment to security, and with their unusual talent for executing routines, Protectors do well in careers: curators, private secretaries, librarians, middle-managers, and especially general medical practitioners.

ISFJs are often unappreciated, at work, home, and play. Ironically, because they prove over and over that they can be relied on for their loyalty and unstinting, high-quality work, those around them often take them for granted--even take advantage of them. Admittedly, the problem is sometimes aggravated by themselves; for instance, they are notoriously bad at delegating. And although they're hurt by being treated like doormats, they are often unwilling to toot their own horns about their accomplishments because they feel that although they deserve more credit than they're getting, it's somehow wrong to want any sort of reward for doing work (which is supposed to be a virtue in itself).

In the workplace, ISFJs are methodical and accurate workers, often with very good memories and unexpected analytic abilities; they are also good with people in small-group or one-on-one situations because of their patient and genuinely sympathetic approach to dealing with others. ISFJs make pleasant and reliable co-workers and exemplary employees, but tend to be uncomfortable in supervisory roles. They are capable of forming strong loyalties, but these are personal rather than institutional.

While their work ethic is high on the priority list, their families are the centers of their lives. ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment's notice. However, they hate confrontation. One trait easily misunderstood by those who haven't known them long is that they are often unable to hide or articulate distress they may be feeling. An ISFJ may drive a friend into a temper over unexplained moodiness, only afterwards to explain about a death in the family they "didn't want to burden anyone with."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Beyond the Sea

Movie: Beyond the Sea. Kevin Spacey’s tribute to legendary crooner Bobby Darin. I doubt there are many people my age who don’t automatically think of the Steve Martin parody when “Mack the Knife” is played. I only know Darin’s songs from oldies radio. While I knew he died young from an illness, I wasn’t aware it was a lifelong heart condition that he knew would take him before his time. Since the film concerns Darin’s music and obsession with achieving fame, other aspects of his life are a little too sketchy, especially his marriage. Perhaps Spacey didn’t feel it was necessary to discuss Sandra Dee’s childhood abuse since the movie wasn’t about her, but it would put her behaviour and relationship with Darin in perspective. Spacey gets bonus points for doing all his own singing. He has a good voice but it’s nowhere as smooth as Darin’s. The line forms on the right, Kev.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Be Cool

Movie: Be Cool. The sequel to Get Shorty which I never saw. The worlds of gangsters and gangstas are cultures I know nothing about and can’t understand. Hollywood, too. This seemed to parody the sleazy recording industry, making the producers and executives into mob thugs and criminals all eager to kill anyone in their way. And put a promotion against piracy on before it? Very uncool. Long before Steven Tyler appeared, I’d lost interest, but it is my understanding that he was not involved in Liv’s childhood, so I don’t believe Toys in the Attic has anything to do with her or any child. Especially when the album was released several years before her and Mia’s births. The other music, except a Sonny & Cher song, was hideous American pop or crap rap. The trend of girl singers with saccharine voices can go away now. Someone quick clone Joss Stone. Two hours was probably two hours too long. Only line I liked: “When you turn thirty, you better have a personality.”

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mrs Pepperpot

I was working on deletions and stumbled on a children’s book about a character named Mrs Pepperpot. Couldn’t help thinking of the Python ladies. Surprisingly there’s an entire series about her written in the 1960s and 70s by Norwegian author Alf Prøysen (probably not an alien Muppet with his own TV show.) Mrs Pepperpot learns to swim, minds the baby, even goes berry picking. This might not prove very entertaining except for one problem: Mrs Pepperpot has the tendency to shrink to the size of a teaspoon without warning and at most inconvenient times. So she ends up in some jams. And drawers full of macaroni. She probably has nothing but the name in common with the Monty Python characters who were named after the 19th century thick pots that held pepper when it had to be ground by hand.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Movie: Devil’s Island. An Icelandic film from 1996 set in the 1950s about the three grown children of a gold-digging woman who leaves for America with her latest conquest. The children live with their grandparents in an abandoned army barracks. Since the mother sent money, I was as confused as the little kid who asked “Why do we live in a hut?” And I didn’t understand the gal-next-door’s decision to marry the Baddi brother over the Danni brother. Baddi’s time spent visiting his mother in America I guess was supposed to give him status and thereby popularity, but his character isn’t the least bit charming. Particularly when the brightest thing he says is, “I was downtown once in America” and he spends his weekends on The Circuit, drinking himself even more senseless. I learned “prison is better than being on a trawler” and “candles are the devil’s engines and ghosts of the past.” And Icelandic women sure can yell. The plane ride over the stunning countryside was spectacular.