Time to add streaming video back to my Netflix subscription...
Monday, May 20, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Tuesday, 5:06 P.M.: Caller reports large coach-style bus parked on Vaughn Avenue just north of the corridor bridge (railroad trestle). Bus is stopped short of bridge to avoid impact, but is unable to turn around, requires assistance backing vehicle out.
Wednesday, 12:55 P.M.: Caller reports a jeep by the high school so covered in mud that no one can see out of it; occupants are driving with doors open so they can see.
Thursday, 11:06 P.M.: Burger King employee reports that there are cars whipping donuts in their parking lot.
Sunday, 10:09 A.M.: Received a call asking for a welfare check on caller's mother who lives in Friendship, WI. She was talking to her mother and the line went dead. Update: dispatch called Adams County and received a call back stating they contacted the mother and everything was fine. The mother hung up on her daughter due to her daughter wanting money and the mother didn't want to give her money or talk to her daughter any more.
My friend Emily, knowing of my deep and abiding love for Vigilante Day out in Helena, sent me this on Friday after the annual spectacle had concluded and it cracked me the hell up. Her words and pictures expertly capture the essence of its majesty, and she has graciously allowed me to share them here.
Another year of whores, drunks and militias
This year was missing aliens, snarky political commentary and was highly short of prostitutes, but there were still some good ones.
The requisite drinking high schoolers...
The requisite drinking high schoolers...
It's really good to have friends with barnyard animals.
And of course, the brothel scene. You can't see the girl dressed like a whore in the background, but she was there and you know it.
This was one of the best hangings I've seen in my years as a Helena resident. Well crafted, actual costumes and they really strung the guy up. Then I had to explain to Aine why he was hanging by a noose, and what was meant by "vigilante justice" anyway.
I still don't really comprehend why the kids in this town get a whole day off of school to parade around town while every crazy weirdo in the tricounty area cheers them on, but hey, when in Rome...
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
One day when I was in elementary school, my mom happened to drive by during recess, and she decided to slow down and look for me. (Does it make it less stalker-y if I mention that I had a really distinctive snowsuit at the time?) After skimming and scanning over different crowds of kids and starting to worry, she finally spotted me way off on the far corner of the lot, playing alone in a clump of bushes, piling up snow and stacking up sticks into a fort. "At first I felt bad, like I should pull over and tell you to go find your friends, but then I saw that you were smiling and looked completely content so I figured you were happy, and I should leave well-enough alone."
I've always been an introvert -- which may come as a surprise to certain groups of people who've known me at particular phases of my life, when I got really good at masking it and pushing myself past my comfort zone. I mean, take high school -- I made obnoxious jokes from the back row of the band room, I was in plays and helped lead the backstage crew, I was in public speaking and took on all sorts of leadership roles. And then during my VISTA years, I was in front of people all the time, facilitating meetings and conferences, putting together events, giving presentations...I could play the part of a social butterfly pretty well, for a little while. But the people that know me best know that after I've been "on" for a while, what I need most is to go home and shut off. I need to get back into my bubble.
Needless to say, this book resonated with me. Some of it is kind of general and maybe a little common-sense (or it seemed that way to me, as an introvert, anyway), but it was well-researched and offered a nice overview of some of the cultural biases and connotations of introversion/extroversion in America and the rest of the world. I also enjoyed the parts about raising introverted kids, and finding a balance between encouraging them to break out of their shells so they can cope with the world, and encouraging them to climb back into their shells for some R&R when they need it.
I'm glad my mom decided to keep driving. (Then again, she & my dad are introverts, too, so they probably had some idea what they were getting into with me.)
"Sometimes I go into my own little world…but that's okay, they know me there." - Joel Hodgson
Is Mister Rogers' Neighborhood the greatest television show ever made? (AV Club)
I loved this bit: "Somehow, through the long process of growing up, the process that beats cynicism and ironic detachment into so many of us, Rogers was capable of holding onto childlike wonder and curiosity. Returning to the series as an adult, means being confronted with who you once were and all you have lost in the process of becoming who you are."
Yogurt For Men: A Review (NPR)
Thanks to Emily for passing this my way.
Plus: magazines! So many magazines. Too many magazines, never enough time.
And: I'm still plugging away at my 13-books-in-2013 challenge. I'm behind, but not crazy-far-behind.
I don't realize how much I miss this show until it comes back after a long hiatus. Favorite part of this season so far: Trudy remembering she has a backbone. (Trying to keep that spoiler-free.)
Next Stop Wonderland
A romantic comedy that manages to balance quirkiness with heavier stuff, without tipping too far into either extreme. I really liked how it blended elements of the fantastical – mobsters putting out a hit on a local-celebrity fish at an aquarium, the Hands of Fate blatantly pushing players into place – with more realistic threads about depression, stasis, and feeling like you haven’t lived up to your potential. (The movie’s poster really makes it look bland and generic in a late-1990s rom-com sort of way, and it’s not, so ignore that.)
Queen of Versailles
What could have very easily turned into a looky-loo “look at these awful rich people” documentary surprised me by how much it made me sympathize with its subjects. (Which is to say, I expected to loathe them, and instead wound up feeling more ambivalent.) Once the money went away, so did some of the bullshit – until the money came back, at least.
(I saw this a few months ago, and I was really irritated by the way Bravo & Andy Cohen were promoting their “premiere” of it for the last few weeks. They made it look like an episode from a “Real Housewives” franchise, and it’s so not that – I wonder how many Bravo viewers turned in last night and got totally confused. It’s like NBC/Universal got the TV rights to it and didn’t know where else to air it so they just tried to shove it there.)
From the same guy who made In Bruges – I loved that, and I loved this.
Beauty is Embarrassing
If you ever need a boost of creative energy, watch this for inspiration. One of the most vibrant & alive documentaries I’ve seen in a long time.
I was skeptical of the teams concept before the season started, but I like how the show executed it – yeah, the flashes of infighting got annoying, but it made for some interesting dynamics as the season moved along. Spoiler alert: I can see why Michelle won – her collection was the most cohesive and most commercial – but I still liked Patricia’s better, probably because I liked Patricia better in general. Michelle got on my nerves and was like a walking, talking Portlandia sketch.
RuPaul's Drag Race
I’m rooting for Jinkx Monsoon, but I like Alaska a lot, too. Roxxxy Andrews, not so much.
Nathan For You
I’m so glad this got renewed, because it was hilarious. My favorite bit this season:
And I’m glad this is coming back, too.
Girls (Season One)
It’s weird. Lena Dunham annoys me in the abstract – I’m annoyed when critics debate her and her work, I’m annoyed when people freak out about her use of nudity, I’m annoyed when people freak out about how much money she got for her book deal. But when I actually see her on something, or read an interview with her, I really like her. It’s like there’s two Lena Dunhams – the one the media’s built up, and then the actual person who’s actually making stuff. The same goes for Girls; I went into watching the first season feeling kind of meh about the whole thing because I’d read so many critiques of it online, but came out really liking it once I saw it for myself. Haven’t seen Season Two yet – I hear it goes off the rails a little, but then again, considering my experience with Season One, maybe I should just take all that with a grain of salt.
FDR: American Badass
This is an actual movie. I actually watched it.
Today it was 80 degrees and sunny. It was both awesome, and horrible. Awesome, because it's the first truly warm day we've had all year. Horrible, because my body's still used to the cold & snow, and I'm still in my winter clothes.
We've had so much snow this April that it's grown passe to complain about it. Everyone's sick of it; everyone's had their fill. There's nothing left to say. It's gotten to the point where we don't even need to verbalize our disgust -- people just point toward the windows of whatever building they're in and grunt, or roll their eyes, or shake their head in dismay. We're pale people to begin with; this April, we're positively translucent, it's been so long since we've seen the sun for more than a few hours (or in weather that doesn't require long sleeves, at least).
I mean, seriously: it's the snowiest April ever in Duluth, and we can't be far behind over here.
The latest humdinger was on the 19th. The weathermen predicted we'd get walloped, but like a lot of people, I kept downplaying it in my mind. "It's too late in the month for that much. They're jumping the gun," I thought. "It won't be that bad."
Cut to 2:00 A.M. that Friday morning, when our power went out due to ridiculous winds blowing the ridiculous trees along our ridiculous road over, all weighed down with ridiculous amounts of snow.
I don't know how much we got at our house, grand-total-wise. It was over a foot, but since we kept shoveling all day, it all kind of blended together by the end.
I will say this much for the snow, though: it's pretty.
And it doesn't seem to be stopping the hawks & eagles, either.
Besides, it has to stop eventually, right?
Got another one finished!
This is the first log cabin blanket I've ever made, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Working one narrow strip of stripes at a time suits my crocheting attention span nicely. I think I'll be making more like this, if only to burn through some of my absurdly large yarn stash...
(I'm doing better at the "hooks" side of this project than the "books" side, but I figure it'll all even-out in the end.)