Archive for October 2012
Well. It’s that time of year for costumes, isn’t it?
Yes. Yes it is.
I think that this time…I shall find the pictures myself! So bring it on! Time to find the most irritated-looking bearded dragons on the planet!
Redundancy is, I think, always a popular theme.
Let’s not ruin this with words.
And, obviously, hairy wizards are the best.
And one more costume category that I have never seen before but of which I highly approve:
In 2006, as I was crossing the street, walking back to work from my break, a strong wind nearly knocked me off my feet. Since then, winds have been my enemy. I have gained, in the interim, about twenty pounds, and then lost about twelve or fifteen of those pounds. Even so, with Hurricane Sandy, I not only wanted to have an Adventure with this new event, but I had something to prove. Thus it was, I decided to go out to my local state park and get a picture of the river in the hurricane. Because, I told my mother, the people had to know.
Shielded with three jackets and my trusty spotted rainboots, with an umbrella and a camera as my weapons, I went to face my enemy.
Although my neighborhood is right next to the state park, I did a strange thing and drove there. I didn’t want to walk an entire mile and a half to the river in the rain, after all. I figured that the gate to the park would be closed. In fact, I thought it would be irresponsible to do otherwise. With that in mind, I parked next to the baseball field outside the park, and then spent a few minutes wandering around the baseball field.
The rain was intense, sure, but it was nothing compared to the wind. I had to hold the umbrella facing the wind exactly, so it wouldn’t pop out of its frame. I was certain that at any moment the fabric would break and I would be defenseless in my battle against Sandy.
“It would be irresponsible of them to have the gate open.”
This tributary normally has a foot-deep bank.
The golf course is under deep water. As I understand it, water starts accumulating on top of the ground when the ground itself is so filled with water, like a sponge, that it can’t take in anymore. At this point Sandy had only been around for a few hours. These pictures were taken at 3:30.
The mile-long walk from the entrance to the river had me gripping the umbrella like a shield, staving off the water. The wind whipped my outer jacket around. Twice the wind struck me so hard I stumbled. But this was why I was doing this. I had to show the hurricane that I could stand it.
If the golf course at the entrance was a sponge, the earth by the river itself was simple a sink full of dirty dishes. I sank into the ground. The ground isn’t completely flat, and only the very tops of the mounds was there no standing water. What was worse, the closer you got to the water, the worse the wind became. Suddenly the wind wasn’t blowing frequently from the side — it was constant and coming at me from the front. Sandy did not want me there.
It was all I could do to hold my umbrella in front of me. The wind bowed the umbrella until the frame was straight. The wind whipped my hair around, always in my face, soaking it. My pants were soaked. I could only inch forward. My hands were so cold from the wind that I lost feeling in my fingers, my fingers like numb stones sliding desperately against the glass of my phone camera. I would take a picture, but I wouldn’t even check the camera before pocketing the phone again. I had no time. I could hardly stand still, for fear of being knocked into the ground. I imagined that I felt much like how a biplane pilot felt in the early days of aviation. Cold and wet and the wind whipping in my ears so loud I could barely think. It took me twenty minutes to cross that field.
At some point in a journey, there comes a time when you have to consider yourself and your motives. Why are you here? It doesn’t matter what your motive was that lead you to start this journey. Why are you here now? Why have you decided to stay? Why should you continue?
It is one of those moments where you look into the abyss, and the abyss looks back. When you look up at your bedroom ceiling at night, what do you see, flickering in the vague retinal echoes of your sight? When there is no one but you and your enemy, whispering at your ear and pounding at your shield, what can you say? What can you do?
I don’t know why I continued forward. I thought that perhaps it was because I had told myself I would do this and I didn’t want to break that promise. Or maybe I hate wind just that much. Maybe it’s some other reason, buried deep within my soul, that made me take another step forward to the river. And then another one. I could no longer feel my knees, and my pants were so soaked they were heavier than my feet, but I kept walking anyway.
This was the picture I got.
As I turned around, away from the river the wind turned stronger, whipping my long jacket between my legs, pushing me forward. Go on, Sandy seemed to be saying. Get out of here. Leave.
So the Hurricane is hitting the East Coast, and I can tell just by looking out the window.
The animals are reacting in their own way.
Slinky, for example, is mildly freaked out, as indicated by the fact that he’s raised his head an inch.
Sonny is suspicious of the whole thing.
Darcey’s routine hasn’t changed in the slightest. I woke her up from her nap when I came upstairs, but she’ll probably fall right back to sleep. In a few hours, she’ll wander downstairs, in time to be napping on the couch when Mom comes home. Darcey’s philosophy is: does it allow me to nap? If it doesn’t, I don’t care.
I have reacted in my normal way as well, by baking.
I recently discovered the existence of Cookies in a Cup and you guys, I will never go back. I made the sugar cookie a few days ago; it was good, if a bit bland, but that’s what you expect from a sugar cookie. The peanut butter cookie (the second picture) didn’t cook all the way, so darn, I had to eat a not-quite-cooked peanut butter cookie. It was the worst, obviously. I didn’t take the pictures of the animals while the peanut butter spoon was sticking out of my mouth, because clearly I wouldn’t do such a thing.
Anyway, it’s also close to Halloween, and so this week I Haunted Leesburg.
Amanda and I traded back and forth on playing the Widow. Apparently Amanda was the only one who decided to stay in character for the group photos.
Except Joe, by accident.
Here is me as the Widow:
Occasionally in my life I try out a new flash game. At first they were nothing but puzzle games or classic arcade-style games, like Bejeweled or Bubble Spinner 2 (but not the original. Never the original). Then I discovered Tower Defense Games. Desktop Tower Defense is obviously the best, obviously. Then I guess I started hating myself, because then I tried out other games. New games. Crazy games. Games like Killbot, This is Only Level 3, and Pursuit of Hat. Games like Red Remover, Jelly Cannon, and Isoball. You know, difficult games.
My latest form of avoiding suicide is Tiny Mice Love Cheese, which is kind of like Isoball, in that you only get a few direction items to direct the object (mice) towards the goal (the bigger cheese). And it’s pathetic. I normally start faltering around level 12 or 15, but I can’t get past level 6. Level 6.
It’s better than trying to listen to my philosophy teacher explaining what it is, exactly, that a philosopher does (it’s study philosophy better than the other philosophers do).
Yes I know we watched this in animation class last semester. I don’t care. I wanted to see Cab Calloway do some kickballs.
This is Max Fleischer’s Snow White, with Betty Boop as the man character. I like Max Fleischer’s stuff. It really feels like animation, you know? You get the sense that every frame of that was drawn. I was just amazed at the stepmother’s mirror. Who comes up with that? One second she’s sticking her head through it, then suddenly it has its own sentient, corporal face of its own. Then it’s a shovel, and then she can fit her whole body through it to transform her appearance. It’s just pure brilliance. You don’t see that in mainstream animation these days. Betty Boop was mainstream! It was mainstream before mainstream was cool. Then the Hayes Code, blah blah blah…
I wasn’t really a fan of the song, though.
I want to see my stepmama, stepmama, stepmama
I want to see my stepmama–
–Her stepmama the queen!
Really? There’s no other way to establish that the evil queen is Betty Boop’s stepmother, other than straight-up telling the audience?
Also, how was Betty Boop a sex symbol? She lacks both a nose and a neck. I have been told, by informed sources, that women with necks are generally preferred.
Mmmmm, I like it when a woman’s mouth comes right out of her collarbone.
So my swing club has a favorite dance hall, and they’re having an anniversary party. At first I thought I shouldn’t go — I have three papers due in the next week.
Then I remembered that one of my papers is on the folklore of neo-swing dance, so I told myself that it was “research” and decided to go. But!
Stepmother: Well, I see no reason why you can’t go… if you get all your work done.
Cinderella: Oh, I will. I promise.
Stepmother: And, if you can find something suitable to wear.
Cinderella: I’m sure I can. Oh, thank you, Stepmother.
Drizella: Mother, do you realize what you just said?
Stepmother: Of course. I said, “If.”
Obviously a crucial part of the scheme was buying a ticket to go to the party. But what if, for some insane reason, the website wouldn’t accept my card, despite the fact that there was plenty of money on the card?
But we all have our own little fairy godmothers, and so I managed to find a way to get to the ball. Despite the fact that I bare an odd resemblance to Drizella.
I’m writing a paper on the folklore and culture of swing dancing, and what could exemplify that more than this classic cartoon of Tom and Jerry, called “Zoot Suit”? The suit that Tom makes to impress his ladyfriend is called zoot suit. “Zoot” is probably a redundancy of “suit”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which answers…nothing, I guess. Because they required a ridiculous amount of material, the suits were banned during wartime.
The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies’ song “Zoot Suit Riot” is about the, well, the Zoot Suit Riot. Basically during World War II, some Navy and Marines got into a fight with some Mexican-Americans (and Filipino-Americans). The uniformed guys thought they were unpatriotic, and the civilians thought they were racist. There were, even then, a lot of Latino men in the military, and these civilians resented that. But it was a fight, so.
Who’s that whisperin’ in the trees? It’s two sailors and they’re on leave
Pipes and chains and swingin’ hands, who’s your daddy? Yes I am
Two sailors are home on leave, looking to get laid.
Fat cat came to play, now he can’t run fast enough
You’d best stay away, when the pushers come to shove
Uh…someone wants to push…something…tip it over the edge? We’ll skip to the next verse.
You got me in a sway and I want to swing you done
Now you sailors know where your women come for love
Them’s fightin’ words!
Zoot suit riot, throw back a bottle of beer
Zoot suit riot, pull a comb through your coal black hair