Monday, October 27, 2008

A wise man once said . . .

"I do not create myself, I choose myself."
Soren Kierkegaard

How profoundly true when we understand moral agency.

Thanks to "President" Lee T. Perry for bringing this to my attention at the wonderful fireside he spoke at last night. I am still impressed that he was able to tie Kierkegaard to Napoleon Dynamite to Eternal Life.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm so disillusioned

I have long had a pet theory that Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench, and Dame Maggie Smith were never young. Don't get me wrong, I understand that unless they are in some way biologically on the level of Confucius this is physically impossible; yet, no matter how old the movie is that I have hitherto seen, they are always already old. Perhaps some sort of transformation overtakes them/you when you're knighted and damed? But in the past week in doing my Shakespeare and Film homework I have found this not to be so. Last Friday there was the RSC Macbeth and this Friday Sir Laurence Olivier's Othello. I am so disillusioned.

Here's a thought on the Othellos I've watched thus far. Both the Welles and Olivier versions have these famous men acting in blackface. I guess its my youth, but this seems a little odd to me. Surely that would not fly so well today. If, say, Mel Gibson decided he wanted to do one of his crazy and intensive films of Othello where he produces, directs, and acts people would object, wouldn't they? Even Kenneth Branagh defered to playing Iago instead of "the Moor." But I do find many of Olivier's mannerisms quite interesting. This is a very different portrayal than his Hamlet. I liked Welles Othello better than his Macbeth, but I expect it may be because I had to fight so hard to stay awake during Macbeth (more indicative of the kind of week I'd had than the quality of his production). Derek Jacobi is in the Olivier Othello (I think I'm going to begin keeping a tally of which actors have cropped up in my various versions of Shakespeare movies this semester: Olivier 2, Welles 2, Jacobi 2, Branagh--and most of his cast--2, Dench 2) and does a good job, but has a horrible wig. I don't know who plays that Iago, but I thought he was most excellent.

Finally, it is still really weird for me to see Ian McKellen kissing Judi Dench (a lot), and Maggie Smith kissing Laurence Olivier. So, so wrong.

"Out, out damn'd spot"

And thus were my hands last Thursday. I had to walk around all day Friday and answer questions about them--Activities Committee, tie dye shirts, mixing the dyes (in case you were wondering). Luckily something started happening during the night Friday and before I knew it I was dye free. It certainly added a level of interest to reading and watching Macbeth.

Don't worry about the swearing, it's just Shakespeare.

PS did anyone else ever notice the Macbeth reference in Beauty and the Beast's "Mob Song"?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thrice -cursed

Fie you Netflix! I had the perfect plan which meant 1) I wouldn't have to worry about looking all over town to find my Shakespeare films, 2) I would save money as the bother of looking for these movies has meant I've already purchased two Shakespeare movies I had not planned to, and 3) I could work more efficiently. Well I signed up for Netflix on Sunday and even though I only had one more version of Macbeth to watch, I ordered two so if I didn't like one of them I could switch to the other. Yesterday Netflix informed me that one of them wasn't available locally and so I would have to wait until Thursday or Friday to get it. "It's a good thing I ordered two," I thought because it meant I could still watch the second one on Wednesday. I had my whole schedule planned out so that I could go home between classes and work today and watch it during lunch and other errands. Well what did I find when I opened the sleeve? The extremely bloody, violent R-rated Roman Polanski Macbeth instead of the one with Greta Scacchi that I wanted to watch! This throws me completely off schedule Netflix! That's two strikes in three days, not a very good record.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This made my day

God does not much mind bad grammar, but He does not take any particular pleasure in it.

I knew it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Since When

I really should stop being surprised, but since I haven't I'll share. Kind of me, I know. The past three weeks my boss has thought to soften the blow of making us come in for 8:00 training meetings by promising us breakfast. Typically I would expect bagels and yogurt, maybe even muffins. But apparently not so. The first week we had homemade apple and cherry pie. That's odd I thought. The second week we store-bought apple and cherry pie. I was beginning to since a pattern. This past week we had peach and cherry pie. Who eats pie for breakfast? It's one thing if its left over pie, but who gets up and bakes pie for breakfast? Maybe I can begin using subliminal messages to get her to get quiche.

Here's another thing, since when did everyone forget elevator etiquette? I happen to be riding a lot of elevators this semester since it's generally more friendly on my left leg/ankle (plus its faster), and so I have noticed some rather appalling behavior. I was always taught that you should stand to the side of the elevator when waiting for it to come to your floor so that those who are getting off will have plenty of room. It also goes to follow that you should let those who are getting off actually get off before you push your way on. This is apparently not true anymore; people seem to contend with one another to see who can stand right in front of the doors and how quickly they can force themselves into the elevator when it arrives. Is there some sort of contest on campus nobody has told me about? I have noticed elevator rudeness most especially in the JFSB (is it a problem with humanities students?) where I have also noticed that there are a LOT of people on crutches or in wheelchairs who are using the elevators. If you're one of the pushy people, I halfway hope one of the automatic wheelchairs catches your toes one of these days.

Hmmm, when did I get so curmudgeonly?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Conference Buddies

Last Monday I had a brilliant idea: Meg and I should go visit the Thomasons for the Sunday sessions of General Conference. Luckily, the Thomasons were willing to oblige and so we had a great time. They provided us with fun Conference activities--if only I'd had my crayons so I could color in the ties! We had delicious cinnamon rolls and a great dinner. But best of all I got to spend a little time with family. Thanks for being my friend K (even if we weren't funny)!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Too much Shakespeare

Maybe I've been watching too many Shakespeare movies, but as I was taking in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet in the lab this morning I couldn't help but think that Leonard Whiting and Zac Efron look a lot alike. Am I going crazy?

I'm sure Mr. Efron hopes his career lasts longer.

Also this movie was rated PG so I didn't feel bad about watching it while I was in the lab. That is until the Nightingale/Lark scene and then I fervently began to hope nobody was about to approach me to ask a question.