Sunday, September 30, 2007

TV shows - roundup

"Law and Order: SVU" - This is my favorite of the "Law and Order" franchise. Now that "Criminal Intent" has been moved to cable, I won't be able to watch it, being cably-challenged and all, except that I think I did hear that second-run episodes would be shown on NBC sometime, so maybe I'll catch it then. I'm looking forward with some trepidation to the beginning of "Law and Order" given Sam Waterston's character's job promotion and the departure of Fred Dalton Thompson as he pursues the (real) presidency. I thought the episode was ok, with a script obviously designed to showcase a tour-de-force performance by the guest star (in this case, Cynthia Nixon). The whole thing with the sargeant seemed really odd. OK, so he's gone for like 15 minutes and then he's back on the job. Ummm, ok, so who did he have pictures of?

"Heroes" - I thought it was a good start to the much-anticipated second season. I hope they don't fall into the same pitfall that "Lost" fell into in their sophomore year, though the "Heroes" writers have figured out that small payoffs are necessary instead of just generating more and more questions and never giving any answers. I liked the introduction of the two new characters, especially that there wasn't a whole onslaught of new characters, except that with the combo of them and Ando and Hiro, it means I actually have to keep my eyes glued to the TV to read the subtitles. "Lost" was a huge part of this as well, with Jin and Sun, but who knew that hugely successful primetime shows could sustain forcing its viewers to read subtitles when so many people seem resistant to reading subtitles when going to the movies? I laughed when Hiro's hero turned out to be a white dude - and yes, I happen to know what "gaijin" means. With so many characters, I'm ok with them not having talked about all of them in the first episode. From the previews, we're going to see more familiar faces in the second episode. Looking forward to seeing what the deal is with Peter, but poor Mr. Sulu. Sayonara.

"Dirty Sexy Money" - I had heard that this was almost a throwback to the days of "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and being huge fans of those shows, I decided to give this one a try. To me, the writers just tried entirely too hard - and it showed and almost reeked of desperation. It was so over-the-top, even for a soap opera, but with none of the camp of "Dallas" or "Dynasty" and really none of the sincerity of a real daytime soap opera. I was almost out before the first half-hour was up, but then came the spectacular scene with Donald Sutherland that had me glued to the screen. Donald is not only the best part of the show, but he's really wonderful, and he was really the only reason I even watched the entire episode. However, the appeal of watching Donald week after week isn't enough to get me through the rest of the show. This is the show that has one character who is a raving asshole priest who has an illegitimate child on the side that his wife and kids don't know about and that his mistress has just dropped on his doorstep and another character (brother to the priest character) who is a married would-be Senatorial candidate who is having a torrid affair with a transsexual. Trying entirely too hard.

"Journeyman" - I only gave this show a chance because it was on after "Heroes" and the husband was going to try it out. I was able to last 20 minutes into the show before I was out. It had the initial appeal of "Quantum Leap" to me, but I really disliked not knowing why this stuff was happening to him, and after a while, I didn't care about him or what he was doing. I heard the rest of the show from the other room because the husband was still watching it, but it still didn't keep my attention enough to keep watching it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cal beats the Ducks!

Cal is now 5-0 in football, having just beat the Ducks today. This was one of those games that was making me nervous all week. In my four years at Cal, we were never a real team. If we won, great. If not, oh, well, we weren't really expected to. Even the year we went something like 1-40, we managed to beat Stanford that year, thus preventing them from going to a bowl game, and the season was therefore a success. So this week, it was amazingly unnerving to listen to ESPN and other sports shows and have them talk about how the most important college game this weekend is between Cal and the Ducks. What!?!?!?!?!!? We don't get included in those sorts of discussions! And what's with all the attention? I didn't think Cal was going to be able to do it. This was going to be the first real test of the season, and even though Cal was ranked higher, Oregon was expected to win. Well, the Ducks almost pulled it off, but thanks to a great job by one of the Cal players who shoved the Duck with the ball out of bounds at about the 1 yard line on their fourth down, thus saving a touchdown, Cal won. Oh, and Stanford got pounded today, which is just icing on the cake.

On the other side of the spectrum, poor, poor Notre Dame.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Not so much sand and fog as it is kipple and entropy

In some works of fiction and probably also in real life, some people like to give their houses names. I've decided that the most appropriate for me currently is the name House of Kipple and Entropy. (Don't know what kipple is? Read Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep".)

Entropy and kipple are something that I fight in pretty much all aspects of my life, but they seem to be winning the battle in the house. Kipple just seems to appear and multiply and invite their other kipple friends over for a party and then just never leave. And then more kipple is delivered every day, most usually in the form of junkmail that I could just throw away as it comes into the house, but for some reason, I instead decide that I'm too tired/don't feel like dealing with it, so I just leave it there and it hangs out and makes friends with the other kipple already living in the house, and then they make little kipple babies who run off and find other friends.

And then to top it off, I'm probably responsible for bringing more kipple in the house. (Does it still count as kipple if I actively go out and seek it for the purpose of bringing it back? Is there another word that better describes it?) I don't shop as much as some do, but I do my fair share.

As I was telling a co-worker today, I inherited the pack rat gene from my mother, but unfortunately, the gene has mutated in me, so whereas my mother pack rats inexpensive and useless things that aren't that hard to get rid of, I pack rat much more expensive things that have the double effect of being things that I can't/don't want to get rid of *and* costing me way more money.

I think part of the problem is that I have a hard time tossing things that are still useful. It's wasteful. *Someone* might find it useful and/or might want something like this, and maybe they just can't find it or can't afford it, and it would be so much better for them to have it than for it to take up more space at a trash dump. But since I have no way of finding them, I apparently decide that they will somehow, someday, magically find me, so I'm storing the stuff for them in the meantime.

I also have things that others have given me that I really have no use for. They might be nice things, but they don't fit into my life. If I'm given something, I feel obligated to keep it, no matter what. Maybe I'll start trying to impose a deadline. I keep things for X amount of time, after which, I toss them or find someone who wants them. Or store them for those people until they get around to finding me and the item they would like... :|

Of course, I know I'm guilty of giving other people things they might not want/have no use for as well, thereby adding to the kipple population of their residence. I'll see if I can learn to curb that particular impulse during the holidays this year. And no, it doesn't apply to the kipple I've already bought for them that I'm saving as Christmas/birthday presents...

Hi, my name is Cindy, and I'm a kippleholic.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Back to You", "Kitchen Nightmares" and "The Big Bang Theory"

"Back to You" - Another good episode. It was kind of weird to have the "previously" segment at the beginning for a comedy. They usually don't do that. Unless you count "Soap". I loved all the different bits with the goldfish getting killed. I think my favorite was the coffee in the cup. But the fish that Kelsey took out of the bowl when Patricia thought she killed it looked incredibly plastic/rubbery. And where was the disclaimer about "no goldfish were harmed in the filming of this episode"? ;) I loved the field reporter guy with all the tasering. He was amazing at the shaking, and it was so funny to watch him trying to eat at the end. I also give major credit to the three actors actually in the tasering scene with him for being able to not even look like they were trying to suppress laughter as he was shaking and trying to talk. Nothing much with Montana this time, but I loved the pumpkin festival bit.

"Kitchen Nightmares" - This episode was ok, but I could not watch the scenes with all the creepy crawlies in the supply basement. I just had to look away. Amazing that even in the end, Martin just didn't get it at all.

I remember hearing that a lawsuit had been filed even before the show was aired, but I didn't know who had filed the lawsuit. Apparently, it was Martin, who is suing for something like $1 million, alleging, among other things, that Gordon had the rotten food planted and that he (Martin) was forced to quit.

After seeing last night's show, I don't think he's going to have a leg to stand on. Apparently, he had also asked that the episode not be allowed to air, but that was shot down by the judge/court.

There are two commentary bits that I found that had some more information: here's the first one and here's the second one.

"The Big Bang Theory" - This week was the series premiere of the show, and I'm so happy to say that I've now got 2 new comedies on my schedule! Yippee!!!! I loved the show. Kaley was so good in "8 Simple Rules", so I'm glad she's getting another shot here. She's great with her expressions on reactions. I hope this show makes it. I was laughing so hard at all the geeks. They brought back a lot of college memories. (Going to a computer science club meeting, being the only female there, most of the people didn't know who I was, many of the people didn't know *what* I was.) Mr. Smooth Geek guy was a riot, and when he started singing at the end, the laughter on Kaley's part looked so genuine. Some of the dialogue for the geeks must be a handful to learn and say. The husband loved the elemental chart shower curtain, though he claims not to want one. And apparently, the geek guys use the same brand of shampoo that I do, though not the same flavor. And no, it wasn't Darth Vader. Looking forward to seeing more of this show.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

So there are "direct" flights and "non-stop" flights?

One of the things I learned last weekend is that there is such a thing as "direct" flights. When I was told that I would be flying to Baltimore where I would then catch a different flight to Hartford, I thought I would be flying just to Baltimore. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw "Nashville" listed on the board when I actually got to the airport. Apparently, a "non-stop" would have meant that we would be flying to Baltimore with "do not pass 'go'", "do not collect $100" on the way. A "direct" meant that we would eventually make it to Baltimore, but in the meantime, we were going to stop at Nashville, where I wouldn't get off the plane, but other people would and still others would get on. Oooookaaaaaay.

I tried to put this in terms that would actually make sense to me. Back in the day, we would drive to Las Vegas, and since we were just going to Vegas, we would drive directly there. Now, we'd always stop off at Stateline (no, I refuse to call it Primm) either to have lunch or use the restroom or get gas or something like that. So it wasn't a non-stop since we did in fact stop, but we just stopped for necessities. So that would mean that Nashville was a food/potty/refueling stop? Except that when we stopped at Stateline, no one got out of the car and stayed there and no additional people got in the car when we continued our journey to Vegas.

So now, when I get on a plane, and it's not billed as a non-stop, that means I'll have no idea how many other cities I will be seeing from the "comfort" of my airplane seat. The biggest problem with that is that by the end of the day, I was tired of hearing the safety spiel, since I'd heard it 3 times in the course of several hours, and coming back two days later meant I'd heard it 6 times in less than 3 days.

Stewardess, I think I need a cocktail.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

No, actually, you weren't first in line.

The husband and a friend and I were in line for something this morning. Along with a few other people, we were to the side of a particular entrance, and there was at least one party behind us. A group of 3 girls came up and decided to "wait in line" as well, though they decided to just wait in the middle as opposed to the side where we were. When the gathering became an actual line, the gathered groups merged, with us in front of the group of 3 girls, but with them in front of the party who had been waiting behind us. They seemed to take exception to that. A few minutes later, one girl very loudly commented to another girl, "Weren't we the first in line?", to which I, probably to her surprise, turned around and said, "No." and then turned back. No further comments from them.

Just because you don't notice or recognize that a line has already formed and you decide to just stake your own claim doesn't in fact make you the start of the line.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yep, that's on the side alright.

Whenever I have salad, I tend to ask for the dressing on the side. I find that most establishments put way too much dressing on salad, and as you get nearer to the bottom of the dish, you're basically having salad soup, which I hate.

A number of years ago, a co-worker and I went to the food court of a nearby mall for lunch. We each went to separate stalls and agreed to meet at a table in the middle. I ended up getting my food first and so was already seated when I saw her approach the table with her food. I also noticed that she was laughing quite a bit. After she sat down, it took her a minute or two to calm down enough to tell me what had happened.

She had gotten something that came with salad, and she had asked for the dressing on the side. So the person helping her very carefully put the dressing container up against the side of the plate and poured the dressing so that it dripped down the side of the plate to the bottom. She was so astounded that she didn't protest and just took her plate to leave.

It's definitely a story I've never forgotten.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nope, no bias to see here.

I was in Hartford, Connecticut over the weekend, and in my hotel room was a magazine for tourists that detailed a number of restaurants, sites to see and other things to help tourists. It was a monthly magazine, and this was the August issue. Inexplicably, they also had a column called "Ask the Ethics Guy". Umm, OK, that seems odd for a publication like this. The only connection I could find was that it was written by Samuel L. Schrager, a professor at the local business school.

The first question was from someone who was in a public location and two women started chatting in Korean, which the person (who presumably didn't look remotely Korean) actually understood, and the person moved so as not to be able to hear the personal conversation. The person asked under what situations someone would be obligated to divulge that he/she could understand the foreign language being spoken.

The gist of Mr. Schrager's answer seemed to make sense to me - you're in a public location, and anyone who has a conversation in a public location, no matter what language they might be speaking, has to know that they might be overheard by someone else.

However, in the course of his answer, he rephrased the question as "is eavesdropping unethical" and initially responded with "The Bush administration would answer with a resounding 'NO'" and later goes on to say that if you use special listening devices like wiretaps without a warrant or permission, then that's completely unethical.

Ummm, excuse me? Did I miss a question? Was the original question edited so much between what was presented to him and what made it to print that his answer now references issues that are never presented nor even hinted at in the original question? What in the hell does being in a public place and having people talking nearby have anything to do with wiretapping and the Bush administration? Oh, I see, this must be one of those non-existent liberal biases rearing its ugly head that no ones seems to cop to. Because of course two people talking within earshot of you is *exactly* the same as the government using a clandestine listening device.

I am not a fan of Rosie O'Donnell. However, if there was a discussion of starving children going on, and someone were to say, "Well, you know Rosie O'Donnell was never a starving child because she's so fat, but I'll bet she starves those kids she adopted because she eats all their food," I would be equally as appalled even though I don't care for her. It doesn't matter whether or not I like the person - I am still capable of seeing when a reference is entirely inappropriate.

Nice to know that this Mr. Schrager is teaching business ethics to students.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Back to You" and "Kitchen Nightmares" - series premieres

Tonight was the premiere of two new series, "Back to You" and "Kitchen Nightmares".

"Back to You"

After reading a bit about "Back to You" and knowing that Kelsey Grammer was in the show, I had decided to give the show a try. I'm seriously hurting for comedies in my TV schedule - the funniest show I watch is "Desperate Housewives", which I really like and has its comedic moments, but it's not exactly a belly-laugh inducing sitcom. I've had a couple over the last year or two (including "Out of Practice" with Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing who were both excellent), but they haven't survived.

The half-hour sitcom about life at a local news show in Pittsburgh goes very quickly, helped along by very quick dialogue and a lot of throwaway lines that you're likely to miss if you blink or laugh too long at the previous joke. Kelsey as Chuck Darling is not quite as curmudgeonly as he was in "Cheers" and "Frasier", but he's still got great comic timing and sense. Patricia Heaton isn't someone I've really watched before, but she was very good in this, and there's a definite chemistry between the two of them. The actor who played the brother in "Out of Practice" plays a field reporter and wanna-be anchor, and he's great with the one-liners. There's a segment where he makes a comment about how he has to do a remote from in front of the empty dark courthouse in the pouring rain because that somehow lends credibility to the story, and anyone who's familiar with news shows can relate to the absurdity of that way of thinking. Fred Williard plays the sports anchor, and he's a joy to watch as usual. My favorite character, though, is Montana Diaz Herrera, the weather girl who plays up her Hispanic heritage up and over the top. She pronounces everything in a normal tone, except when she gets to her last name, which is overdone with a Hispanic accent. Later in the show, she brings up Chuck's stint in "Los An-heles". The husband and I were laughing hysterically. I'm not sure how well that plays in other parts of the country, but those in the Los Angeles area will be quite familiar with local broadcasters who use the same tactic in real life.

The series has a good production staff pedigree as well, with head writers who also wrote for "Frasier" and "Golden Girls" and the first episode directed by well-known and successful James Burrows.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of this show.

"Kitchen Nightmares"

I started watching "Hell's Kitchen" because the husband was watching it. I've seen the past couple seasons, and I usually start watching about half-way into the season. I'm not particularly keen on Gordon Ramsay's abrasive tactics, but you can see that he does really appreciate good cooking talent and expects of others the same that he expects of himself. So I decided to give this new show a try as well.

This show is like a combination of "Extreme Makeover" and "Supernanny". Ramsay goes into a different restaurant each week that is on the verge of failure and tries to help them fix it up. The first episode has him in a family-run Italian restaurant where the brother co-owner, Peter, is the major problem. It was really frustrating to watch Peter's antics, and it was really fun when Gordon gave him the needed dressing-downs, much to the amusement, appreciation and admiration of the sister co-owner and everyone else on the staff who has had to put up with Peter's shenanigans. Oftentimes, these kinds of shows are done from the restauranteur/businessman's perspectives, but knowing that Ramsay is an accomplished chef gives you a different look. When he is examining the refrigeration units and sees the rotting vegetables and other food and sees the deplorable state of the kitchen, with so many non-working or non-existent tools, you can see how appalled Ramsay is at those conditions.

It's an enjoyable hour of television, and it's being added to my schedule as well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Big Brother 8 - Finale

First of all, what in the heck was up with Amber during the live vote part? Ummm, did someone offer to do her hair and she refused? It was a mess! And babydolls are out, and even if they were still in, they're really intended for people with a figure that she doesn't possess. Was this her "cover of a magazine" look? Just awful!

It was pretty funny watching the jury debate between Dick and Daniele. And Amber's question to Daniele was pretty interesting, and I thought Daniele had a good response. I'd been told by someone that Daniele's boyfriend apparently packed up all her stuff and took them to her grandmother's and said he didn't want to talk to the show anymore. Guess that's not working out. Daniele wouldn't have known that yet, and she and Nick were pretty cozy at the reunion.

I had said that if they were able to put aside their personal feelings and just go on game, they're probably vote for Dick. Of course, it didn't hurt that Eric was campaigning for him too. The surprise for me was that Amber voted for Dick. Maybe she really did have enough of a problem with Daniele/Nick that she voted for Dick even though Dick was so vicious to her?

Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that Dick would be the overall winner.

But what I really want to know is who Eric would have voted for if he'd been able to vote between Dick and Daniele.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Segway and me - a love story.

Segways are being used by some of the security personnel at the Baltimore airport (BWI)! I *love* Segways. When we were at Walt Disney World this past January, the husband wanted to take the Segway tour of Epcot. I was hesitant because I didn't know if I would be able to manage the thing, but I agreed to try. It did take a few minutes for me to get acclimated as to how it works, but once I "got it" (you know, like with those 3-D pictures that you have to figure out how to make your eyes see a picture in the blob?), it clicked really well, and I *loved* zipping around Epcot in it. I was even good enough that I was able to stop and wait a couple times when people would step into the path I was taking, and I loved the little obstacle course they had for us. The tour ended so fast, and for the rest of the day and really the rest of the trip when we were in Epcot, I was so envious of the CMs who got to ride them all day as part of their job. There are a few places in Southern California that offer Segway tours as well, so we may try them out sometime.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Insomnia (the affliction, not the movie)

Ever since I was a little kid, I've had a problem with insomnia. My mother could never understand why I had such problems sleeping - I'm a kid, I'm supposed to sleep! Ummm, yeah, well, it would be great if it actually worked that way. Sometimes, there are reasons for my insomnia, whether I'm worried about something or excited about something, so my brain refuses to turn off. At least that makes sense. But sometimes, I just can't sleep, and whether or not I'm tired has nothing to do with it. I used to just lay in bed for hours tossing and turning, which was even more frustrating. Eventually, I learned that if I wasn't going to sleep, there was no point in further torturing myself by staying in bed, so I'd get up and do something, anything. That becomes particularly fun on nights before days I have to go to work or do something else.

Tonight, it's a bit of just general insomnia, but I know there are other specific reasons as well. But, I am tired, so off to try to sleep.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Stuff, solids and guts.

In many soups (except for the cream-every-manner-of-vegetable kind), there is the broth, and there is the stuff in the soup that's not the broth. In Chinese, there's a word for the non-broth stuff, but there doesn't seem to be a word for that in English.

I asked friends. "Depends on what kind of soup it is." "No, it doesn't matter what kind of soup it is. What's the generic word for the stuff in the soup that's not broth, no matter what the actual kind of soup it is?" Blank stare.

I've even asked at a couple different restaurants. At one, I was told the kitchen called them "solids". That doesn't sound very appetizing. At another restaurant, I was told the kitchen called them "guts". Eww, even less appetizing, and this coming from someone who actually enjoys eating various animal gut parts. Oftentimes, the server/waitbeing would just give me a blank stare and have no idea.

So either there's no word for this in English (what about other languages?) or I just haven't asked the right person/people yet.

My quest continues.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Big Brother 8 - 9/13/2007 episode

First of all, I think it hysterically ironic that an idea from George Orwell's paranoid novel of doom and gloom, "1984", is being used as the title of a very successful reality show, and the whole concept of having your thoughts censored is turned upside down by having cameras everywhere so that your every thought and action is seen by all, and there's nowhere to hide. It's the classical turned popular. Love it.

It's the fault of a friend at work that I started watching this show. It's only on in the summer and runs three nights a week - Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. With that kind of load, I would *only* be watching it during summer because that's a lot of time to commit to, but in summer, when everything else is on reruns, it's not a big deal. In summer of 2005, it turned out that I had pneumonia (no fun, btw), so I was house-ridden for about 2 weeks. Since my brain was mostly busy trying to get my lungs to breathe through the liquid, there wasn't room for much more thinking. Books were difficult to concentrate on, as was any television that required too much thought. Really stupid TV was too dumb for even my overworked brain to withstand. So having heard about Big Brother from the friend, and having run across it while flipping channels, I stopped to watch. It was fairly late in the season already, but it was still interesting enough to keep my attention, but nothing too hard to figure as far as plot was concerned. Perfect.

I've been watching the show since, and I think most of the reason I enjoy it (as well as other reality shows like Survivor) is because of my everpresent interest in psychology and sociology. I like to watch people behave around other people in particular circumstances - it's basically treating people as lab rats. As long as I don't have to be subjected to them myself, they can be amazingly interesting to watch.

So tonight, they were down to final 3 - Dick, Daniele and Zach. I don't care for Zach, and I still like Dick and Daniele, though I know a lot of people hate them, so I was *thrilled* when Dick was the final Head of Household. No question from there that he'd be taking Daniele with him and kicking Zach off to go to the jury house.

It's going to be incredibly funny to watch the jury house when Zach shows up and as they decide whether to give the $500,000 prize to Dick or Daniele. Pretty much all of the people in the jury house can't stand either of them, so to watch them have to decide which one to award the grand prize to should be great TV. Odds are probably good that Daniele will win it since Dick attacked so many of the people on the jury. But you never know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Is this testing whether I'm a replicant or a lesbian?"

The Director's Cut of "Blade Runner" will have a limited theatrical release on October 5, and several multi-disc box set versions will be released in December. "But the Director's Cut was already released in 1992," you say. Yeah, that's what I said too. Even though the 1992 version was billed as a Director's Cut, Ridley Scott apparently wasn't completely happy with it, so another "Director's Cut" is being released, this time presumably with Scott's seal of approval.

"Blade Runner" is a film that I happen to love but which a lot of people apparently don't get. It seems too well-liked among too many circles to be really labeled a cult film, but it's not quite popular enough to be mainstream. I love the bleak look and just all the atmosphere everywhere. I don't know that Sean Young, Daryl Hannah or Joanna Cassidy have had finer moments in any other performances. Edward James Olmos has a very understated role, but he's perfect. This is the role that I most remember Harrison Ford for - not Han Solo and not Indiana Jones. But of course, the person who stole the show was Rutger Hauer. As maligned as the film has been over the years, "Blade Runner" is the proverbial lightning-in-a-bottle.

Many people much preferred the 1992 version of the film since it omitted the voiceover by Harrison Ford at the beginning of the film and also eliminated the so-called "happy ending" at the conclusion of the film. I can see the merits of both versions. I didn't mind the voice-over. Many people said that Harrison Ford hated having to do it so much that he did it in a monotone voice - but even if that's true, it fits in perfectly with Deckard's state-of-mind and character. As for the "happy ending" - it reminds me of the ending of the 1946 film "Gilda", starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. It's a "happy ending", but it's merely an illusion. Same goes with "Blade Runner".

Even more enigmatic than the film is the original book that the film is based on, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Philip K. Dick. Those who loved the film tried to then read the book, and most were disappointed and baffled. "Blade Runner" is not really the film version of the novel. Rather, it takes characters and ideas from the novel and makes a film of them, but the novel is much different in many ways, not the least of which is that it's much more cerebral. I'm not sure you could actually make a film of the novel. But I do enjoy the novel. It's thought-provoking and requires a lot of work, even moreso than the film.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new version of the film. But no matter what comes out of it, in my book, Deckard will never be a replicant.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Watching the sports report isn't supposed to make me cry.

I'm not big on college sports in general, but being the good Cal Bear that I am, I do root for Cal in NCAA football. So far, we're 2-0. And for good measure, Stanford is 0-1, but that's only because they had a bye the second week. ;)

We had occasion to be in San Diego the first weekend that the NCAA kicked off, so when we got back to our hotel room, we turned the TV on to get the scores. (Poor, poor Michigan.)

And then they talked about Virginia Tech. Their first game was a home game, the first public event since the horrible killing spree this past April that resulted in the death of 32 people. They talked about the moment of silence and other tributes before the game to the murdered victims. And I thought of the one person whose story touched me the most.

I may not remember his name, but I'll never forget Liviu Librescu. He was a 76-year-old professor at Virginia Tech at the time of the killings, and when the killer came to his classroom, he blocked the door so that his students could escape out the windows. As Holocaust Remembrance Day was being observed in Israel, this survivor of the Holocaust did not survive the madman who took so many lives that day, but instead, Librescu sacrificed his own life to save the lives of his students. His life isn't more precious or sacred than that of any of the others who died that day, and my heart breaks for the families and friends of all 32 victims and all those who survived who will spend the rest of their lives with their memories of that horrible day.

He wasn't just a victim. He was regarded by many as a hero. That label gets tossed around a lot, but it's one of those rare times when it fits. I know that he's in a special place with God. I hope that it somehow eases the pain his family must feel at having lost him.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I love the LEGO store!

Let's make the first entry a happy one, shall we?

I had occasion to be at the LEGO store at the Glendale Galleria today, and boy, did I have two great finds. I found
this ice brick tray. You can make your own Lego blocks! We have grape juice in the house at the moment, so I'm going to make some grape juice blocks. But even better, I found this cake/jello mold. I can't decide if jello or banana bread would be better as the first try.

Hmmm, I'm noticing that LEGO is always capitalized on the site. Wonder why that is?