Saturday, April 25, 2009

Youtube Nation

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chapel Hill

I am going to the Louis Round Wilson Library for a research trip next week. Recommendations for Chapel Hill are welcome.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009


When I was a kid, we had the above enormous backyard. (This picture of the back half of our backyard is courtesy of Trulia, a badass real estate site with pictures and occasionally prices of houses all over the country. Want to know how much your friend spent on his or her house? You might be able to find out).

My brother came to adopt the alley as his territory, but I took over the row of bushes on the left that I had decided formed a playhouse. The bushes seemed to form two bedrooms, a hallway, a front door, a back door, and a living room with a "couch" created by a fallen tree. I would get one bedroom, and my best friend would get the other. For some reason, I decided the living room was sinister and was scared to go into it.

Anyway, because of my own haunted backyard, I love stories about haunted backyards. Like The Secret Garden. And The Shining. And Beloved. And this kid's book called The Shades where shadows come alive in the garden. And I love that this guy has created his own haunted yard, including this Spirited Away sculpture. Despite all those, I still think the backyard is a neglected space in haunted stories, which doesn't make any sense. The backyard's ripe for unsettling things.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Seeing this about Fringe and reading Little Brother on dailylit has inspired me to try Cryptonomicon, a book lent to me way too long ago.

Also, I have accidentally developed a crush on Fat Pacey.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Politics and History

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Top 10 Movie Characters

Film Experience and friends listed their Top 10 movie characters. I am chiming in with my 10 favorites, in order, and trying not to overlap with anyone.
1. Uncle Charlie from Shadow of a Doubt. It is only because Joseph Cotten as Uncle Charlie is my favorite character ever that he edged Teresa Wright as young Charlie out of my top 10 movie characters. I don't know how Joseph Cotten manages to woo me and creep me out at the same time. My favorite Hitchcock flick, and my favorite character.
2. Linda from Days of Heaven. Linda's role in the plot of Days of Heaven is barely there, but her narration makes an already heart-breaking film even more heart-breaking. I hope Linda got to be a mud doctor and study the earth.
3. Homer from The Best Years of Our Lives. Speaking of heart-breaking. Harold Russell won an Oscar for his portrayal of a veteran who lost his arms in WWII. Homer is both so young and such an old soul at the same time.
4. James Cole from 12 Monkeys. 12 Monkeys, 12 monkeys.
5. Chihiro/Sen from Spirited Away. I guess this is the second girl on my list, which only includes four females total. This probably says more about me than I care to admit.
6. Raimunda from Volver. All that kissing. What's not to love?
7. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. Hipsters name their kids after this man for a reason.
8. Obiwan Kenobi from Star Wars. The prequels were bad, but they exist, and Obiwan is the only character who looks good after we've seen the Clone Wars and Darth Vader's rise to power. I know I shouldn't judge Yoda, episodes 4-6, by what Lucas made him do in episodes 1-3, but I do. Plus Ewan McGregor is hot. And I love Alec Guiness.
9. Mookie from Do the Right Thing. Spike Lee captured most of the complexities of the modern racial climate in one movie. Putting Mookie center stage made it all easier to take. RIP Radio Raheem.
10. Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs. Clarice Starling is one tough lady in a movie that straddles a fine line between B movie and art. I try not to buy cheap shoes now.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Week in Review

There's the bad. Unemployment continues to go up. Another tragic shooting spree. But there's also the good. Iowa has legalized same sex marriage, which is good for all the obvious reasons. But it is also good because it was unanimous and even more so because "there is no requirement that people seeking marriage licenses prove they live in Iowa, so the doors will be open to same-sex couples from other states." NYT.

I saw three great movies recently. 1) In Bruges. I had heard this was great, but still had low expectations. I really enjoyed it though. Brendan Gleeson is so winning. And between this and the New World, I might have to like Colin Farrell. 2) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). I heard this really interesting Fresh Air about the Invasion of the Body Snatchers medical condition, called Capgras Delusion. Basically, your emotional nodes of the brain are damaged, such that you visually recognize a person as your friend or family member, but your brain can no longer activates the emotional reaction you normally associate with them. Hence your impression that someone is impersonating them. There's also a compelling historiographical argument now that Cold War anxiety is notable for its fixation on the threat from within, which Invasion also fits perfectly. 3)And finally, the Good Fairy, my favorite of the three. I know this movie is cheesy, but I loved it. I think Preston Sturges + William Wyler has to be the best combination ever.

I love these sheep and the people/dogs that shepherd them. Also, right now The Shaft is playing on Sci Fi, featuring Naomi Watts before she was famous and a killer dolphin elevator AND Love's Enduring Promise is playing on the Hallmark Channel, featuring Katherine Heigl and January Jones before they were famous and some bonnets. This is flattering for no one.

Slumber Party 09.

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