and a belated one to
- As I mentioned in the edit to yesterday's entry, iRobby has thrown in the towel due to disc drive damage and I was forced to purchase an new iPod. Given that I'm replacing one 160 gig 6th Generation iPod Classic for another 160 gig 6th Generation iPod classic, the interface is identical and so the "Ooh, new gadget" thrill is considerably muted. Actually, I'm kind of annoyed that I had to spend the money on a new player, but the problems with iRobby were severe.
I will, however, mention that I've noticed some slight differences between iRobby and this year's player. The most obvious change is that the player itself is slimmer, matching dimensions the 80 gig iPod of iRobby's year (2007) and lighter, which despite being an advantage is nevertheless taking some getting used to because I keep thinking that it's not in my pocket. The click wheel is not quite as responsive, although this has not proven to be a terrible difficulty, it just requires a slightly firmer hand.
So far, the most major operational change I've noticed from iRobby is that since I bought the as-yet-unnamed iPod yesterday, I have not had one instance where the player paused the music in progress, either between tracks (iRobby's gapless playback had always been hit-or-miss) or during the track, which could be extremely frustrating. It would appear that Apple has addressed the major design flaw of the 160 gig iPod, which was that it would have to pause music in order to scan the hard disc (note that they did not offer a 160 gig iPod Classic last year, only a 120). Given my affinity for gapless musical presentations, I have to say that I am quite pleased about this. I'm not sure if I'm $250 pleased, it takes some of the curse off of it a bit.
- Raz and I went to see Where the Wild Things Are last week. He liked it but wasn't thrilled, but I absolutely loved it. It is in many ways the anti-Disney family film, with Spike Jonze stylistically announcing on the outset that this material will be treated in a decidedly "indie" idiom and emphasize the characters' experiences and emotions rather than a story. I found it remarkably effective; the opening of the movie is very visceral and really did put me into the mindset of a nine-year-old boy, which was essential to accepting the fantastical elements of the film, which operate on kid logic.
Before the film begins, there is the obligatory unending scroll of the involved production companies, but here they are defaced by the scribblings of an unruly child. Max (Max Records), who is not necessarily always a pleasant child, prone to fits of anger, and some of the choices he makes are ones that will make an adult squirm and/or cringe but is perfectly consistent with the way an actual child might react to the situations and characters he encounters. Max isn't the sweet, scrubbed kid that one tends to see in this type of film, he comes across more like a real boy who is just as capable of going too far as he is to do the right thing.
The titular Wild Things are, of course, personifications (monsterifications?) of different elements of his psyche, though between intelligent casting and breathtaking animation, they also can be read as characters in their own right. The all-star voice cast, featuring amazing use of James Gandolfini in particular was recorded together, allowing for a Robert Altman-esque mix of voices for the wild things, which gives those scenes a sense of verisimilitude that shades their characters beautifully. This is matched by the excellent work in creating the creatures themselves, which despite their cartoonish proportions, look like they're biological organisms. The music by Karen O and Carter Burwell acts as a mirror for Max's emotional state and is remarkably effective in that respect.
Ultimately, I think the furor over the film is not so much that it is scaring kids, but that parents are finding it disturbing not so much for its narrative content (there really isn't much of one) but because it hits emotional truths a little too close to home to be comfortable viewing. I can't say how children will respond to this film — I expect that it would appeal to the same kids who enjoy the book — but as someone who grew up with Maurice Sendak's story as well as having had a single parent, I found it remarkably refreshing and real for the genre.
- We know how much the British love their traditions. I mean, how many millions of public monies are still being wasted on something as stupid as having a royal family in this day and age? And we know how rousing they find any victory over their longtime rivals, the French. It seems, however, that they have been cooking their books even more than Raphael Holinshed would have you believe. It's apparently a tough pill for the Limeys not only because it makes King Harry's victory just a little less impressive if the two forces were more evenly matched, but also because the conflict inspired William Shakespeare to pen one of the most rousing calls to arms in the history of the English language. Before Mel Gibson, Bill Pullman or Viggo Mortensen spoke their inspiring pre-battle speeches, there was St. Crispin's Day.
WESTMORELAND: O that we now had hereNow, doesn't that make you want to go out and kill people?
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!
KING: What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day!
- Stolen from komaheian is a meme here:
Your result for If you were water... quiz...
Forever flowing forward
You are a river! You're in the middle, especially in terms of direction. That's good news for you, it means you're neither chaotic and eccentric or boring and unchanging. You have pretty good idea of who you are and where you'd like to go with your life, although you might end of running into obstacles or taking detours along the way. You can be emotional, but have enough balance to keep it in. Occasionally, if overwhelmed you might let everything flood out, but remember that you have the ability to find you're way again once the trouble passes. Everyone has to go over rapids once in a while. Although in many ways you're average in personality, this doesn't mean you aren't unique. Only you can decide who you really are: are you the Nile, bringing life and support to those around you? Or the Thames, polluted in mind but popuar and surrounded by people?
You scored 47% Energy, 66% Complexity, 58% Direction and 54% Size.
Here's what the variables mean:
High Energy: Energetic, passionate, hyper.
Low Energy: Calm, cold, collected.
High Complexity: complicated personality, interesting, original maybe a bit eccentric.
Low Complexity: Simple, straightforward, traditional, maybe a bit boring
High Direction: ordered, organized, everything planned ou
Low Direction: chaotic, unplanned, let fate or whims decide.
High Size: Big ideas, big physical size, maybe a bit arrogant.
Low Size: Smaller ideas or plans, humble, smaller in physical size.