Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blank slate

Listening to: "Come On Feel The ILLINOISE"

I was chatting with my high school valedictorian/friend last night and after admitting that I took no high level math classes in college, he suggested that I take some (like abstract algebra) and teach them to my future students. Seeing as how I would probably be teaching kids simple arithmetic, I gently disagreed. But he persisted in encouraging me to become an outstanding educator who would explain the whys and not just teach the whats so that they would have a foundation for all math and science. Hella hard! But it would be base of me not to take on this noble effort. Now if someone would only instruct me how to do that exactly..

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Listening to: The Magic Numbers! "Love's A Game." Apparently even your mom and grandma will like this stuff (assuming they're American).

Highlights from the Northwest:
- Being impressed by American Airlines, their inflight radio stations featured some very up and coming or hypey bands, like Bloc Party, Everything But the Girl, the Dukhs, Husky Rescue, the Decemberists, Prefuse 73, Robbers On High Street, Clem Snide, A Girl Called Eddy, Lemon Jelly, and Aqualung. Hats off to them.
- Eating excellent Chinese food plus getting to have some of that Cantonese fare.
- Driving along the 405 in Seattle and then realizing that DCfC made a song about it, which I own. It's a subtle charmer.
- Eating maple syrup cookies.
- Blasting the Pixies and Junior Boys in a humongous house in which we stayed.
- Breathing mountainy fresh clean air every day.
- The awesome skinny mirror in the hallway.
- Hearing little kids speaking Chinese. It's too cute, really, I could hardly take it.
- Hanging out at Vancouver's Stanley Park- raccoon, comedic shuttle driver, hollow tree, Guinness Bridge, field trip children, dense foliage and all.
- Checking out the Zelda ocarinas at a stand at Seattle's Pike Place Market.
- Wearing a snowboarding helmet while riding a pink little girl bike around their neighborhood. Loved the stares. Amazing what you will let yourself get away with when your visage is hidden.

I really felt like watching Willy Wonka (the new one) the whole week, but it doesn't come out til the 15th. Movie stars are no heroes, but I'm starting to develop more and more respect for Mr. Depp as an actor. What a successful weirdo!

Purchased a 10" Toca Percussion djembe today. It should be coming in the mail in the next week. I've already been developing beats on various makeshift practice areas, like my thighs, a huge plastic bubble, bongos, and hard tables. The goal is expression, not perfection. Which is also another excuse I use to validate my laziness.

In the news, bill passed that gives teachers in Texas a raise. Yeah! Maybe I won't have to move to Connecticut after all. I really wish the US would grow a brain and start paying their educators a lot more money. Not so much because I'm in anguish over the measly paycheck, but that America's youth, in their most formative years, are in their hands. Look to the future! I read another article awhile back about how we are having to recruit foreign engineers, scientists and other smart people because there's not enough of them here to fill some jobs that require a high level of intelligence.

Apparently, while the North Pole is melting fast and losing glaciers, the South Pole is simultaneously freezing up, which means the earth will be lopsided.

OK, gonna go upload the most fanciful pictures of the week onto PHOTOGS. Get ready.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Saw Howl's Moving Castle tonight. Wow, I was transported to quite a world with beautiful landscapes, wizards, witches and lots of other improbabilities. Wondrous sight to behold! Everyone says it's not Miyazaki's best work, but it's pretty awesome nonetheless. How does he do it? I don't understand all of what's going on, but am still strangely and intensely moved. Love, kindness and courage get the job done. You should probably go see this one, or else you're going to miss out on a bit of greatness.

Anyway, I'll be heading off to Seattle and then Vancouver tomorrow and this coming week. 70 degree weather and the beautiful outdoors, oh yeah.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Pursuit of Knowledge not an end to itself. You help people, and then the kingdom expands. I don't know what to do. I want to learn! Reading TOAFK sparked my interest in medieval British history and the like. The times are so different, I can't imagine living in a period when people kill each other and plunder cities on a daily basis. Nope, can't. But what am I to do? It'll be good to teach kids. I want to guide and shape them. I am a lazy piece of ass, that's it. Selfish to where I don't even know what's going on anymore. The world is bigger than my life. People know things, profound things, everyone will experience sooner or later. Why am I living such a shallow life? I want to go deeper and stop being satisfied with worldly possessions. I want to feel. There's more to life than making myself the most happy and comfortable I and my loved ones can be. When the "do's" take over, the "don'ts" will be assumed. Funny thing, the book "Don't Waste Your Life" is on my desk right now. Hard stuff. I have to keep using my brain and my heart and my hands. I don't- that's why I am bored and turn to irrelevant things. Will I always feel a pang of guilt every time I do something extravagant or selfish? Some people in the world have great needs. I've been given, no, entrusted with so much, show me where to share it and give it away. I'm glad that the Lord is revealing some of these things to a low-life servant like me, pleasing myself all the time. The mind always knew, but now the heart is starting to change and it get involved. All that's left is the will now. I'm being overwhelmed by knowledge, the good things of the world, and wanting it all. Is simplicity of opposite of it? Why does it matter? Let me be a tool then, because I don't understand everything. I don't want to be jaded. Create in me change!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Whoa, I think I'm gonna make this my birfday present. It's easily the coolest shoe I have ever seen, these Campers. It's this clog looking shoe, woven, with leather strips and colorful braided string. Whatever- I'll put a few pictures up on my photos.

It's a work of art! I found it scouring froogle and a change of mind, I don't think I'll ask for it, seeing as it's $210..


Monday, June 13, 2005

Set & Drift

Back from Houston. Pictures have been uploaded.
I really like Erin's neighborhood and how her family borrows supplies from their neighbors (and vice versa). I also liked getting a "chick" cigar from Micahl, seeing Kevin Barnes, playing Super Mario World, eating lunch at the Hazel's with 13 people at the table, staining my teeth with blueberries, and riding on their yellow moped.
And it doesn't matter where I am - "joy in every station," even in tame ole' Richardson.
Starting my new job this moment. I'll tend to it better since, you know, my new boss is not human, but God. That's what my father says. I got some good bongo practice time in this morning though.

The weekend:
After we arrive in town, we drive around Sharpstown, cursing the mean breed of Houstonian drivers while looking for some dimsum. Then I am dropped off at Erin's, where I am greeted by her sisters, their friends, and no parents. After a bit of hoo-hah, Kristi called and Erin said we were coming over; I dryly ask if Kristi lives in a mansion or something (since I had never been to her house); all I get is a half smile and a cryptic "you'll see." So we're driving over there and I notice that Erin makes a lot of unnecessary turns like she's lost. The she admits that she is and I stare at her like she's got seven heads or at least has gone insane because she and Kristi have known each other for almost a decade. I blame the temporary lack of memory on the certain subject she was talking about in the car ride, call Kristi, and see her waiting near a statue in the cul-de-sac of her house. Let me describe this dwelling: It easily took up a whole block and was surrounded by tall, well-trimmed bushes that prevented anyone from seeing it from the road. Erin tumbles out of her seat laughing, Kristi does the same thing, and we three walk through the entrance towards the front door. The first thing I see is something akin to a servants' cottage that looks nicer than my own home and a shiny red Ferrari which I ask if it's D's (her stepdad), and she validates the statement. As we're walking I'm marveling at the massive green lawn and magnificence of the cottage-type main house (which is a mansion), trying not to seem too impressed with it.. and E & K haven't stopped laughing at E's stupid driving mistake, in fact, they were doubled over in tears. What's the deal? I attribute their weird behavior to their weird personalities and proceed to walk up to the front porch. Finally, one of them bursts out "This isn't her house! We wanted to play a trick on you!" Then I get it and laugh! And then the mysterious person who had been eyeing us from a second floor window barges out the front door, shoots our legs with mafia-type guns, and drags us unfortunate three girls inside. Not really, but it's not that improbable, considering the situation. That was amusing moment #1. It was very funny and made a good story for the "Favorite Things" sharing time at the Hazel lunch table.
After that we go to Kristi's real house, which looks very New Englandish, pack a few picnic items and head off to the Water Wall for, well, a picnic. Micahl, Erin's new friend, meets us there, bringing Jar 1 from the 18 jars of homemade blueberry jam in his fridge. We are having a grand old time talking in the shade and enjoying jam on crackers and raspberry mint tea and then the sprinklers come up on the left side of the lawn (not our side). Then we amuse ourselves watching the little kids (tagging along the wedding and quinceanera groups) playing in the water and laugh mercilessly when the tykes decide to aim the sprinklers at a nearby couple who had been triggering nausea among us parkgoers via their PDA. Suckers! All of a sudden, in mid-chuckle, a sprinkler head pops up at the very edge of our blanket and with a yelp we clear our spot. Sadly, everything gets sprayed, even the jam, and after getting wet and grassy from wrestling, we wrap up the blanket with everything still in it and hoist it back to the car.
Next stop: Micahl's apartment. The man is a tobacco enthusiast, to say in the least! He carved his own pipe, admits to being a cigar snob and leaves packs of cigarettes lying on the floor. For dinner he offers to make us all some blueberry pancakes (read Erin's latest entry for the why on the blueberries) and eggs, which we take up. Oh yes, and he also entertains us with his hammer-dulcimer playing, one of the many instruments he plays. Neat! With the afternoon deliciously dwindling down, we girls go back to K's to get ready for the concert that night.
We leave late, drive around town looking for the elusive Fat Cat's, and arrive just in time to see the tail end of the first opening act (not worth mentioning), meeting up with some more of E & K's friends. It was a small, dingy venue, littered with high schoolers outside the entrance and at the very front next to the stage. Tilly and the Wall are next, toting their childish melodies, whimsical charms and sweaty tap dancer girl, who serves as the band's only percussionist. The main act, Of Montreal, comes out after much deliberation (it was because they had all changed into costumes), and regaled us with many, many synthy tunes suitable for dancing and moving about. I was very tired, dirty and couldn't help but play the role of a mute at Whataburger, where the gang deciding to go for food and ice cream afterwards.
The next day I am dumb and sleep in for church, eat homemade cinnamon rolls and help Claire (K's 9-year old sis) beat a few levels of her SNES game before heading off for Erin's. That's when we eat pasta for lunch with three of their kid neighbors and two of Hilary's (Erin's 3rd sis) school friends in their very crowded, but homey dining room. K and I get to ride the moped around the block and we both decide we want one of our own. It was neat to be a part of their normal Sunday afternoon and after listening to (and dancing to) a bit of the Blind Boys of Alabama, my family (mom, grandma, uncle Rocky) arrives and whisks me back to Dallas.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Learning the World

Taking a bit of break from studying. Really it's the first time this summer I have learned something, so let's hope it sticks. So far, I've learned all the capitals and location of each country in Europe playing these educational online "games." Rock on! I got pretty far but had to stop at the one where you drag and rotate the country to its correct orientation and then put it on a blank map. I should probably go ahead and play the U.S. States game, since I don't really know where the states are either. Ha, extremely pathetic and very American.
Link provided by Erin. Let's go geography!


This is a pretty sweet case.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

We go back to the old

Ok I know I've mentioned these before, but let me dredge up these old links once again. Back in the day (especially freshman year) I was in love with maintaining a website. So I've provided the starting link on the right for nostalgia's sake (mine and some old readers). Be warned, it's a convoluted, tangled mess of index after index, and I figured I'd leave it at that since UT will zap all of it once I'm gone. Visit if you have some time and like to wade through things.

Excited about tonight. Even though I will not be here this Sunday, I am going to worship team practice. I know, I know, you read the downer entry I wrote about last time's. The difference is that I'll be playing the drums this week, how awesome is that? I still want to be a drummer, without putting in all the work. Let us rock!

In But Not Of, Sort Of

For the girls:

I don't normally drool over celebrities and waste any breath discussing them, but today I came across a photo shoot of actor Jason Behr (remember him from WB's show "Roswell", pretty forgettable) which was surprisingly good, if you know what I mean. Good looking man! I put a few up on my Yahoo photo site for you to sample. OK, that's enough breath.

Oh, realized that descriptions were allowed. So be looking for newly updated descriptions in my photo page.

For everyone:

Thought about starting to watch select TV series, getting hooked, you might say. I hear they have been coming out with some excellent ones in the past few years. But I always end my TV viewing sessions feeling quite empty, unproductive and unmotivated. It has to beat that to be worth my time and devotion.
On another note, something that's been gnawing at my conscience is how can we help stop the genocide going on in Africa?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"They'll remember our chords"

Song of the moment: "Higher" + Soft

Sucked at tennis today. Thought an hour was gonna be too short, but I was breathing hard and fogging up my glasses by the time we picked up the balls for the last time, the 100th time. My endurance is extremely laughable, some gene's fault I guess. Nevertheless, picked up the idea of participating in a marathon or a triathlon. Why is it attractive? For once you won't be one of the many people who are late to everything on the big day trying unsuccessfully to find alternate routes to your destination. Or, maybe you can read about mcoker's training and running experiences - what a neat thing! At least you'll be in shape and healthy. I admire healthy, athletic people, I really do. And good athletes in general. It's beautiful to watch them, especially when you know what's going on.

Curse you, ignorant Limewire users! I keep trying to d/l "Fix You" by Coldplay and I came up with a song off "Parachutes," static, "Speed Of Sound" (first single), and then the "O.C. version" with the actors whispering their lines in the background. Trying once more. I don't have high hopes for "X&Y" and I've read a few disappointing reviews that probably sums up the overall opinion of it. I used to like the band a lot around "Parachutes"-era, it's a beautiful album. I recall walking into a CD Warehouse looking for it years ago and the clerk asking me, "...Coldplay? Who's that?" Ah, times have changed since then. They can't be one of the best bands of all time.. especially since Thom Yorke of Radiohead dismissed them as "lifestyle music." Ouch! It's gonna take a lot to bandage that wound. It's true, you have to be more adventurous, more risky, more experimental to impress critical listeners. That Chris Martin is a real British charmer, though. I like him. Too bad for the rest of his band, who seems to work under his shadow. Their music is real easy on the ears, but it's like the more hype they get, the more cynical you must be. I must be. Or you can just be whatever you want.
Was gonna write a review for "Speed of Sound", but figured people would rather read the opinions of more seasoned writers on real publications, and on the whole album, which I have not yet heard. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I now contribute music reviews to "Russell & McCullough," a blog linked to World Magazine. Supposedly I'm supposed to write about stuff with good lyrics, but I don't pay attention to lyrics as much as the actual music in the first place. Still, it's a good launch pad and forces me to think about what I'm filling my brain with. And did I mention that I'm flattered?

Gosh, I need an ipod, quick. It's not good to spend so much time burning cds for the car.. and you can't edit out the bad songs later, you're stuck.

Trash at its finest

to pass the time at work..

Pink Is The New Blog

The New York Post said,
"Hilarious, photo-driven Web site ... covers the trashy trials of Britney & Kevin, Tara Reid, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan et. al with acidic glee."

Haha, much more fun than anything you'd get on the newsstand!

O hm, actually now I do feel a bit sick..

On Live

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists played downtown two nights ago. I hear he puts on a great live show and yet I didn't really think twice about going, knowing that it would probably be pretty raucous. But why? I. don't. know. how. to. move. For someone who hasn't even shed her self-consciousness in the church setting, it's only logical that it hasn't happened in this setting either. Those hipsters really get in the way. When is it just you and the music? When is it just you and anything?
It's weird, you go to shows to see bands you've grown to love and idolize, maybe their music has changed your life somehow, and then you are treated to unpolished sounds and you see sweaty people just like you. Do people simply expect live experiences to remind them and offer a raw look of their favorite songs? What constitutes a very good show?

The Pain Game

1 second <------------------------------------------------------> whole life

When I was a little younger, I seriously thought about pain in one way, in the form of a question. Would you rather experience all the pain you will ever go through in one second and get it all over with or would you rather go about it the normal way, in a lifespan? Or would you choose somewhere along the continuum? Of course, concerning the one second deal, one has to ask then if such concentration of pain would kill a person on the spot, even if it was that brief. After turning it around in my head a little bit, I got around to realizing the blessing of not being able to predict times of suffering, from papercuts to a bloody death, and then decided that the natural way of things, not my way, was best.

Don't Run With A Gun

Does anyone want to let me borrow these albums, 'cuz I haven't heard them and I'd like to!

Modest Mouse + "The Moon And Antarctica"
Rilo Kiley + anything but "More Adventurous"
Bedhead + "Transaction De Novo"
Sunny Day Real Estate + "The Rising Tide" -> revisiting emo!
Pixies + "Doolittle" -> friend says that a lot of new stuff I like is influenced by this band. I know it's true.

The Doors + S/T
Bob Dylan + "Blonde On Blonde"

Any more recommendations? This list is all about the old(er), since I seem to have skipped out on all that influential stuff during my unborn, elementary school, and snobbiest years.


Houston this weekend, finally! Along with getting to see Of Montreal play live, I get to hang with my college besties and enjoy the good part of town. What more could I ask for?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Insight Doesn't Equal Repentance

listening to "jerusalem" + mirah
"tearing in my heart" + sunny day real estate

Returned home from worship team practice and then a bit of tennis at dusk. Am in kind of a sulky mood and cursing myself for it. I was pretty frustrated after the hour long practice we had at church. It was very last minute slapped together but the thing that really irked me and my "reformed" heart were the songs. After doing RUF for two years and growing to love those new old hymns, I've picked up a dislike for most contemporary praise and worship songs (we don't sing those at RUF). So here's a dilemma, my musical ability is much needed on the team this summer, but I don't really enjoy playing or singing many of those songs. I almost feel like a traitor when I don't emotionally climax with the rest of the folks, like on "Here I Am To Worship," for example. My mom remarked that I was being a big selfish baby. Well, OK it's not about doing things my way and with my preferences. But where's GarageBand when you need it?
Curse my selfish pride!

Friday, June 03, 2005

June Pilot

OK, a few photos up. Link on the right.

A Quarter Past Shite

The subject is good website titles. Along with the that one, I also like Music Is My Boyfriend.

What are your favorites?

Do Japanese animators ever gross themselves out?
"Oh yeah, it took me a long time to finish the drawings of this particular scene in the movie, because the fresh human entrails sliding off the wall into a pile of old eyeballs just looked so real and I kept vomiting on my drawing board.."

How is it that the Japanese make the goriest, most disturbing, whacked out movies?

Awkward call

Me: "Futurewei technolgies."
Me: "Hello?"
[crackle, fizz]
Him: "Oh hello, how are you?"
Me: "Uh, fine."
Him: "I'm calling from Nigeria. Huawei in Nigeria. This is a test."
Me: "OK."
Him: "How are you?"
Me: "Uh, ooh, er I'm fine ..thanks."
Him: "OK, heh."

The Machine That Never Sleeps

Blue, Pink, Green or Silver?

Ipod mini, I mean. I don't have an ipod and in a way, it's been freeing not having to muster up enough responsibility to not lose it or not having to think hard about which accessories to buy. But I'm getting one, I think. Last night our family was all in the computer room, my brother and I glued to our laptops and each listening to our own music, of course. As I was burning three new mixes for the car, I lamented aloud that I "needed an mp3 player" to get me off the computer; I've been on a treadmill kick for the past week and once even contemplated setting up a stool and support system next to machine and placing my Powerbook on top to listen to iTunes with headphones. Way too nerdy. So, my dad said, let's go buy one tomorrow. Ack! Ok, slow down.
In terms of value, if you do a little research, it becomes obvious that the ipod photo is the best choice. Here's how the reasoning works (again, sneaky business tactics):
Starting at the website-
"Ok, let's see, ipods are hella expensive, so how about the ipod mini, the cheapest in the line. (We've already x-ed out the ipod shuffle, lame for not having a screen. In about the same price range as the 512MB Shuffle is Sony's sweet looking competition, this. I was really impressed with the innovative display technology. It's PC only though.)
"Ok, the mini, I like what I see, only 3.6 ounces, 4 GB holds 1,000 songs.. hey wait a minute, the regular ipod gives you 20 GB for only $100 more! Let's check out that baby. I've always liked the clean and classic white look anyway."
"Oohf, that free custom laser engraving looks great on metal. Hmm, I'm liking what I see. OK. This model costs $299. But for a mere $50 more, I can own the King, an ipod photo. Yo the screen is in living color! Oh man, won't my friends be jealous! Now I don't have to wait til I get home to show pictures to people, it's all in my pocket! Ok, the iPod photo it is!"
And that, my friends, is clever marketing that works. My rule for buying guitars: don't buy an axe you aren't good enough to play. That's why I don't own a Taylor or even an electric guitar. In the same way, I don't have 7,500 songs or 13,000 photos and even if I did, they can stay on my laptop, which is easy enough to take around. Buying something so top of the line is a huge investment and you can't say you don't care that Apple will probably come out with a lighter, brighter and sleeker one in the next few years. Ah, technology, can't we just rent our gadgets?

As for the ipod mini colors, I think they're too girly and snazzy. A boy in my class had a blue one, and he was pretty girly. Come on, now!

What do you think about the iPod generation? Will we eventually forget what the outside world sounds like, stop talking to strangers altogether because now there's an excuse to keep walking (oh wait that already happens), and hurt our brains from audio overdose? Since when did music take over life?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Worst Name In the World Horng.


That title taken from a cd looks Indian.

I signed for two packages from Fedex and after I summoned one recepient and he opened his, I peeked in and found gift baskets full of champagne and all that good stuff. Against all reason, he insisted that I return it even after I made him read the gift card. There's a flat explanation for this, but all I have to say is that the business world is too complicated and sneaky for me.
Heck, if he doesn't want it, I'll gladly take it home!

Bored with BN

For my lunch break today I decided to go shopping at Collin Creek Mall instead of the usual setting up camp at the nearby Barnes & Noble. What I do is walk in between bookshelves scouting for an open chair and plunge into the first one I see, book in one hand, sandwich in the other. (Last time I went I leafed through 1962's Sex And the Single Girl, a book that "tells women how to fill their lives with romance and delectable men." Tempting, isn't it? I've also flipped through Freakonomics a few times, a NY Times bestseller. It's interesting. One chapter talked about names and scored them based on the mother's education, and how one could get away with a name pronouced "sha-teed" even though it was spelled "shithead." Eh?)
I didn't buy anything at the mall, not even a $4 magenta shirt at GAP. I asked myself, "would you work 24 minutes to acquire this shirt, even though you already have a magenta polo?" and then decided against it. The 24 minutes thing is very accurate, by the way. I am learning that money is hard to earn. A recent purchase of mine at Nordstrom Rack cost Mom three whole hours at work then. Ugh, I'm dumb.

When I walked into the breakroom today, there was a middle-aged pregnant lady in there. We said hi, but not before I saw a look on her face which I interpreted as "Girl, even though you think you are thinner, cuter and more awesome than I am, someone had sex with me, so there!" Gees, woman!

Funny things are happening to me at work. For example, this is inane, but I have a slight name crush on two of my coworkers/superiors. The names? Edward Lin, Russell Lin. (The company is 80% Chinese.) Don't they sound like they could be CEO's? (They're not.) It just seems that they'd be nice fellows because of their names; they both have good, strong American first names and a common Chinese last name, which makes it strong, I guess. And of course I have not met either of them, or I don't remember. I bet you thought a girl like me might go for Hero, Lucky/Kloony or even Cronux, but no. Maybe for daters, but not for marriers. OK! I'll stop being silly now.


Last night, right as I was about to tackle the tail end of my 6/1 to-do list, I noticed that all of a sudden a huge, shimmering blindspot in my right eye that was preventing from reading page 163 of TOAFK and then my head started to hurt, so much that I had to get my brother to halt my iTunes, the soundtrack of my life - and ask my friends, the music never stops. After writhing around on the bed in a fit of discomfort (and feeling sicker by the moment, especially after an image of Rod Stewart popped up in my head, perhaps it was because I read on some blog that the old geezer is having another kid), I had my first lesson in making oneself throw up. It hurts! I don't think I'll ever get used to it, with or without the help of alcohol. Then after heaving up an awful mango-almond mess, I felt better, went to bed, woke up the next morning and trudged to work, armed with two bottles of Gatorade and a pack of saltines. Thanks Mother Lee!

I swore I would lay off getting online so much to help my head- see where I am now?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

"The World's Greatest Fantasy Classic!"

One of the books in which my nose has been stuck recently is The Once and Future King by T.H. White. I've always been fascinated by the tales of King Arthur and Merlin, his wizard tutor. The only description of it I received before cracking it open was unbelievably uninspiring ("It sucks"): seeing the book on my shelf, roommate Erin remarked that she was one of the few students who had actually read the clunker when it was assigned in high school.

However, I think it's an excellent read! He makes the world very real to us readers so that we get a good feel of how it was like to live in that time period. In one short section, the author outlines the basics and science of jousting in a manner that is cozily informal, yet very informative. So that's the strategy! And, you get to experience what it's like to be a boy who gets to see what it's like to be a fish and a bird (not at the same time). Awesome!

p.s. I got a haircut. It's real short. I look like a boy? It'll grow out before any of you hooligans see it though.

Another remake! / If it ain't broke..

.. then don't fix it.

Pride and Prejudice 2005? I think not! But apparently Focus Features thinks so. Watch the trailer and judge for yourself. It's like shooting the moon trying to top the 1980 BBC miniseries because every woman knows that Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy! And no other! I do admit that Keira Knightley is very pretty, but it takes considerable spark and spunk to pull off being the witty, proud Elizabeth Bennett. Give ear to the Mrs. Bennett character, Lizzie's mother, in the preview- she seems like a watered down version of the convincingly obnoxious Mrs. Bennett in the miniseries, and it doesn't work as well. And what's with the almost-kiss between the main characters? Commenting on the older version of the film, an wise adult once said something to the effect that it succeeded in being highly sensual and wonderfully romantic without ever showing any skin or physical touch (i.e. kissing, until the very last shot, and that one was pretty conservative). What a hard thing to do onscreen in the 21st century, and yet, there it was done tastefully. Final say: save your money on this run-of-the-mill remake and you can rent and enjoy the afore mentioned superior 2-disc set on three separate occasions.