Saturday, April 26, 2008

Not the Owl Polka, but close

Here we are with another video. I have no idea why he felt the need to dress up as an owl, but close your eyes if you have to. Or just call him X!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another video flashback

Don't let the hair scare you too much! This is really a beautiful song, especially the last verse.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What I'm watching these days

I haven't blogged about TV in the longest time, because it just hasn't seemed so necessary now that there hasn't been much new on. But I guess I should probably catch you up on some of the new things I've found to interest me.

The second season of Torchwood has been great fun for me, although Time Warner was a little bit of a party pooper when they suddenly moved BBC America to digital cable a few weeks ago. Fortunately, Steve, my bestest friend in the whole wide world, has been taping it for me. (Have I told you lately how much I love you, Stevie?) The jury's still out on whether I'll take their bait and resubscribe to digital cable next year when season 3 comes on. (If there is a season 3. I don't think the show has been renewed yet.)

I knew right from the moment I first heard about it last spring that I would love New Amsterdam, and I do. I know that Fox didn't expect to keep it on when they cut the episode order, but that became a moot point after the writer's strike, and it's gotten decent ratings, so I hope it comes back sometime next year. I just love Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's accent! It sounds only vaguely foreign but mostly American, and that's kind of the point, isn't it?

I tried both Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle, but the latter is the only one I stayed with. I think it's because CM felt too slick and soapy, while LJ was more authentically emotional. It also had characters that were easier to relate to for me. Plus, I just really like Brooke Shields and Kim Raver! At any rate, I guess other people shared my views because CM has been cancelled while LJ has been renewed for next season already.

I've tried to watch Eli Stone, but I couldn't stick with it and quit after the second episode. Partly that was for logistical reasons. Lipstick Jungle was on at the same time, and so I had to watch Eli Stone online. It's hard for me to get around to watching something online unless I really, really love it, and the fact that I never got back to the third episode tells you something. Still, I hear that the show has gotten much better, and I don't hate it or anything. It just didn't make my cut.

I liked The Sarah Connor Chronicles more than I expected to, and during the time it was on I watched all three of the Terminator movies, which I'd never seen before, just so it would make more sense to me. It never quite felt as perfect as I wanted it to, but there were enough intriguing elements to keep me hooked, and you have to give them credit because they didn't get to finish the season the way they wanted to. Here's hoping that it's back next year and finally gets a real chance to show us what it's got.

Speaking of Sarahs, I'm just starting to watch The Sarah Jane Adventures. I like it so far, although it does seem a little more simplified than Doctor Who. But I love seeing Sarah Jane again, and it's hard to believe she could possibly be 60!

Doctor Who, of course, just started its fourth season here last night, and while it's too early to say much of anything, I love it eternally, so I'm sure I will love this season just as much!

On DVD, I've been getting all Jim Henson with Season 1 of the Muppet Show and the first volume of Sesame Street Old School. And on syndicated TV, it's been all about Angel and Buffy, neither of which I'd seen before.

So I guess that's a pretty good capsule summary of my last 6 months. New episodes of my favorite shows will be starting next week, and hopefully I'll find the time and inclination to tell you what I think!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I feel the earth move under my feet

I've been having trouble sleeping lately, so it was no surprise when I woke up a little bit after 5:30 this morning. What was surprising was that my bed was shaking! At first I thought something must be going on next door, but then I realized our cement-block walls make that kind of transference unlikely unless there were some elephants running around. Then I thought maybe I was having hallucinations like Eli Stone. This new medication I'm taking has given me a range of side effects like chills and weakness, so who's to say that hallucinated earthquakes aren't one of them?

If you've watched the news this morning, you probably have already found out what I just did: I wasn't hallucinating! There was an earthquake in Illinois and it was felt by other people in our area. So now I can say I've survived my first earthquake. Yay!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Look around

So this is the one morning I could sleep in, and I woke up around 5:00! There I go, being a contrarian again. But I've had a very productive morning so far, and it's not even 7:30.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Further medical update

It's complicated. But at least I can tell you that my colonoscopy was perfect!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Medical update

So I guess I should give you an update on the appointments I said I was having this week. Monday was the one I was really afraid of, and it wasn't exactly a walk in the park, but it's over and the doctor was very nice. I have to go back there again for a follow-up next Monday and learn the results of the tests I had last week. I hope she finds something mildly wrong, because I don't want anything to be seriously wrong, but I also don't want to find out I'm a hypochondriac!

Today is the one that other people think is the bigger deal, because it's more invasive, but I'm not so worried about, because it's not virgin territory for me. I'm having a colonoscopy this afternoon, which means I've been sitting around not eating since yesterday at noon. Just like last year, I'm amazed at how much more time there is in my day when I don't eat. It's not that the act of eating itself takes so long, but more not having to cook, wash dishes, etc. I'm also amazed, as I was last year, at how non-hungry I am. Of course that might be because I've been drinking a steady stream of Gatorade and apple juice, which are probably the equivalent of being on an IV glucose solution in the hospital! (When I was on such an IV in the hospital 3 years ago, I was also amazed at my lack of hunger.)

So what I used my extra time for (besides running to the bathroom) was to catch up on TV and reading. I watched two episodes of Grey's Anatomy and two Simpsons and one Magnum, P.I. Also I took in the first episode of MI-5, which I'm going to try to start now. Although I've never seen the comparison anywhere, it seems to me like it must be the show that Torchwood was modelled after. It's really the same concept, just without the sci-fi elements.

On the reading front, I starting reading Gateway by Frederik Pohl. I'm about a fourth of the way through it already, and I like it. I understand it's just the beginning of a long series of novels he wrote in the same universe, so we'll see if I want to keep up with it or not.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The doestalker

So I promised you my stalker story, and I guess this is as good a time as any to give it. As I said, it's not nearly as dramatic as you'd see on a Lifetime movie, but it has the advantage of being real. During my sophomore year at UND, I began to get a lot of phone calls with nobody on the end of the line. At first this didn't shock me too much. At that time we were still on party lines with the people next door, and everyone knew I didn't answer the phone unless they weren't home. So if somebody called for one of them and I answered, it figured that they would just hang up, right?

But after a while I began to notice that there was somebody on the other end of the line listening to me say "Hello" multiple times but not saying anything back to me. I knew this because I could often hear a television or radio in the background. And although my nerves are pretty strong, after a while it started to really creep me out. I mean, it's normal for someone to chicken out about talking to you after they dial your number the first time, right? But eventually, if their intentions are pure, they need to make them known. Also, it seemed like these calls came either right when I got home or right before I was about to leave, as if the person was just checking up on me to make sure I was there.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and in the absence of any actual evidence (save that these were always on-campus calls), I came up with somebody that I suspected based on circumstantial evidence. There was a boy that I particularly liked, and who had shown signs of liking me at first but had moved on to greener pastures. He had a dorky best friend who was always tagging along at his heels and acting generally suspicious. I could tell that this friend kind of liked me, and after a while I decided it must be him, especially because I had often seen him right before these calls came.

All my friends knew about this, but I never told anyone in a position of authority. This was partly because I felt there was nothing to be done (since no actual threats had been made), and partly because I was sure I knew who it was and found him to be, while creepy, mostly harmless.

This went on for the whole spring semester. One of the scariest moments of my life occurred when I was walking home alone from the writer's conference one night after dark and met this boy that I suspected coming in the opposite direction on a deserted street. When he didn't grab me and drag me off by the hair, I felt some horrible fate had been averted!

Towards the end of the semester, it was announced that this dorky boy had been appointed to a position of some authority in student government, and coincidentally or not, on that day my mysterious phone calls ceased and never started up again. (Of course, I had also announced to all my friends that I knew the calls were going to stop for that very reason, so if anyone had heard of that, they might have realized it was a good time to stop.)

The epilogue to the story is that two years later, during my senior year, I walked into my Chaucer class and there was Dorky Boy. I had never had a class with him before, and I was sure that upon seeing me, he would start things up again. But that never happened, and he paid no attention to me at all during the class. Of course, I was always looking at him suspiciously, so if anything, he probably thought I was stalking him! And over the course of the semester I began to realize that it probably wasn't him after all, and he had probably been a victim of circumstantial evidence.

I've had plenty of time over the last ten years to think about this, and I've come up with a couple of ideas of who my stalker actually might have been.

  1. One of my male friends, when given my latest stalker update, always said very defensively, "Well, it's not me!" And I always thought he was completely nuts to even say that, because I would never have suspected him in a million years. But now I can't help wondering if it was a case of "Methinks he doth protest too much."
  2. Another suspect with the benefit of hindsight is one of my professors, who would go on to openly harass me in my junior year. (The subject, I think, for yet another post at some future date.) So in retrospect he seems like the perfect suspect. But at the time he had never been anything but a gentleman to me, so I had no reason on earth to suspect him.
  3. Just recently while I was thinking of this, I realized it was an act of 90's heterocentrism to assume that my stalker absolutely had to be a male. There was a very strange girl who hung around the periphery of our group, and she was a known stalker of a semi-famous UND hockey player. On more than one occasion she made to me what others interpreted as a romantic gesture, but I always innocently said, "But of course she didn't mean it like that. She's a girl!" Could she have been my stalker after all?

I don't really know what morals can be drawn from this whole business, except that it proves the doctrine of "this too shall pass," and also that it reminds me not to jump to conclusions as quickly as I like to.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My life as a novel

What I haven't told many people is that I'm facing two significant medical appointments this week. Since I'm a pretty optimistic person, I don't usually talk about such things ahead of time, but instead wait until I find out everything is fine so that I can tell everybody, "Everything was fine. There was no need to worry you." But yesterday, while sitting in the Baker Center ballroom in the closing session of the Baker Peace Conference (which totally made me wish I'd become a historian), I realized that this time the back of my mind thinks something will go wrong. Why? Because I feel especially happy and fulfilled.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've liked to pretend that my life was a book, and this has often influenced my actions. For instance, I've been known to think things like, "Well, I could just give in and write to him now, but it would be so much more romantic if I wait five years, and then we can be reunited much more joyfully." (The basic plot of the movie Serendipity, by the way.) And I often try to read events around me to predict what will happen the same way I would if I was reading a book, as if God was nothing more than a hack writer pounding on a manual Underwood up above the clouds. So in this case, I clearly see the foreshadowing. I have recently received many accolades at work (including wrapping up a project I've been working on since Day One), and I have had many promising developments in my personal life. If this was happening in a movie, you know that the next thing to happen is for me to find out that I have cancer or get hit by a bus or be stabbed walking home from work.

What else can I say? I really hope I'm wrong, but the writerly part of me thinks the narrative will be so much more exciting if I'm right!