Jul. 8th, 2012 11:45 am
oxymoron67: (Default)
To escape the heat yesterday, I went to the movies and saw Magic Mike and Spiderman.

spoilers )
oxymoron67: (roll eye)
I didn't sleep last night. Actually, that isn't quite true. I slept for under two hours.

So, low energy day... no trips to museums, but I did eventually go see a movie.

Rock of Ages: spoilery )


Jun. 22nd, 2012 10:25 am
oxymoron67: (Default)
After my visit to the Folk Art Museum yesterday, I decided to go to the movies.

Two movies, in fact. Also, spoilers for Snow White and the Huntsman )
oxymoron67: (Default)
It was GREAT! I loved it!

I was kind of worried going in: no one (to my knowledge) has ever tried building a movie franchise quite this way before and so many things could go wrong.

Also, I was less than thrilled with Joss Whedon's previous two forays into the superhero genre. I thought Dr. Horrible fell apart in the last five or ten minutes, as if Whedon just ran out of story or stopped caring or something. His run on Astonishing X-Men was... okay. The stories dragged out a little too long for my taste. Most of them felt like four-issue long stories stretched out for six issues.

So, I was concerned.

But The Avengers ROCKED. The characterizations were spot on; the movie moved at a good pace. It all worked. I will be seeing it again, though some weeknight this week probably.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I had to attend the hybrid/online seminar and was afraid I would be late, so I wrote the following message on the whiteboard:

I have a meeting and may be a few minutes late. I will be here, though, so stick around.

Me being me, I also wrote something on the other whiteboard:

While you're waiting for me, you can start panicking because, next Thursday, I'm going to videotape you! Go to Blackboard and click on assignments for the exciting details!

I actually get back to my office (which is attached to my labs) ten minutes before class starts. So, I go into class, and several of my students are excited about the viedotaping.

We briefly discussed what we're going to do. They're going to summarize a news story as if they're reporting it.

Several wanted to see the midterm, but I told them that they'd have to wait until Tuesday.

Then I introduced the movie: part one of Do You Speak American?, a three part PBS miniseries about the varieties of English spoken in the U.S. After watching the movie, they have to record a reaction to it. I give them questions, but, honestly, as long as they talk about the movie, they'll get good grades.

This is the easiest A in my class. Yet, about a third of them (over the years) just don't do it.

Their loss.

Before the movie, one of my students asked about the mass media/public communication specialty in our major because she wants to go into broadcasting. This student... doesn't really have a voice for that. There's no... precision or crispness to her voice. Everything just kind of slurs together.

So, I don't see that happening. On the other hand, Communications is a flexible major. She could do worse.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Il faut que je practique mon francais.

Je suppose.

Je suis rendu visite a la Musee Americaine de la Histoire Naturelle et, depuis, a la Musee Metropolitaine des Beaux-Arts.


Okay, let's switch back to English.

I saw the IMAX movie Tornado Alley. It was excellent. The movie got into the scientists who chase tornadoes, the research they do and how they do it as well as an artist who built a "tornado tank" so he could film while inside a tornado. Lots of interesting science, lots of amazing shots of storms and tornadoes. One scene with hail was especially scary.

Since I lived in Illinois for six years while I was in grad school, I remember seeing those skies: the turbulent, purple-ish storms.

The one downside? The narrator. He sounded bored with whole thing. We'd be watching a tornado develop, and he'd say something like, "The scientists are rushing to place their sensors in optimal locations" in a a similar tone of voice to that of Eye-Ore from Winnie the Pooh.

From there, I went to the extremely crowded and informative The Brain: The Inside Story. This was a fascinating, showy, interactive exhibit about the brain, how neurons work, and which part of the brain is used for what.

Incredible! I highly recommend both.

Since it is a Friday, and it's open late, The Metropolitan Museum of Art was my next stop.

The guards recognized me and asked where I was going today. I told them that I didn't know, but I was thinking either the American Wing or Medieval Art. They pointed out that The American Wing has bith a Frank Lloyd Wright room AND a room dedicated to Tiffany's.

My geeky gay heart exploded, so that's where I went.

I stopped in a sculpture court along the way. This court was actually right outside The American Wing and focused on 19th and 20th Century American interpretations of classical themes.

Then I went to the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright room, which was from... Minnesota, I think. Down the hall was the fabulous Tiffany's room.

On my way out, I stopped at the display case of items from the Medici porcelain works and I hit the gift shop.

Then I came home. A nasty thunderstorm hit while I was on the bus, slowing us down, but I didn't care, really. I was going home and not in a hurry at all.


Jul. 28th, 2011 03:43 pm
oxymoron67: (snoopy)
I took the day off from work, and the following happened.

1) I went to the National Museum of the American Indian, where I saw an exhibit of a Tlingit artist's works in glass and part of the Infinity of Nations display.

The glass scultpures were quite something. Most of them depicted traditional Tlingit motifs. A few looked like wood more than glass. I think my favorite ones were the vases that, when light was shone on them, cast a shadow in the pattern of wolves and ravens.

The Inifnity of Nations display is the permanent exhibit there. It's well worth going through. I got about halfway through when a small herd of kids at day camp and their overwhelmed counselors came in. I left.

It's okay, I've been through Infinity of Nations before. I highly recommend this museum. It's easy to get to (take the 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green, take the escalator out of the subway station, turn right AND IT'S THERE.

Seriously, I found it on my first try, and I can get lost crossing the street.

2) From there, I had sushi for lunch. Mmmmm.

3) Next up, I went to Lincoln Center to check out the Irish and the Arts exhibit at the branch of the New York Public Library there. It was great. As I entered, I saw an eighteen minute clip show running. This clip show included pieces from Irish plays and a few dance numbers, including a brief Riverdance number.

Which was odd, as Riverdance was also featured later on.

One was was coated in plyabills and posters featuring plays and movies written by Irish people (or their descendants). Another wall was covered in sheet music (some from the 19th century).

Various costumes and musical instruments were also there. A great exhibition!

4) I decided to go see Deathly Hollows 2, which was really good.

5) Dinner at Les Sans Cullottes. I was told that when you go to this restaurant, they give you some suasages, a bowl of pate and a bowl of Bearnaise sauce and a basket of produce.

My friends were not entirely honest. It was a ridiculous amount of sausages. Enough pate for three or four people, and an enormous basket of produce, including some delicious canteloupe, carrots, Roma tomoatoes and cauliflower.

If you order an entree, the rack o'sausage and big basket of produce are free.

I had the shrimp cauteed in a white wine sauce along with zucchini, onions and red and yellow bell peppers. I thought about getting the steak, but it's the summer, and I wanted something lighter.

Dinner includes dessert. So I had the chocolate mousse, which was excellent.

So overall, a great day.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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My favorite foreign film is Les enfants du Paradis. It's kind of surprising when you just look at the basic facts:

1) It's three hours long
2) In French
3) in Black and White
4) And the main character is a love struck mime.

Yet it is an amazing movie.

I just can't imagine a American version. It wouldn't work.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I went to The Museum of the Moving Image today.

I am direction challenged, so by all rights, since the museum is:

1) someplace I've never been to
2) in a neighborhood I'm not terribly familiar with (Astoria)
3) and it was a gross, humid, rainy day

I should still be wandering around Astoria totally lost.

If you don't believe me, here is an example of what happened in Atlanta:

At any rate, after the plenary, the conference organizers scheduled a coffee break. (These people did scheduling right: one or two sessions, then a break for food and relaxation.) I was scheduled to give my first presentation, "Expanding the Speech Center's Role" after the coffee break.

Given my remarkable lack of direction sense, I decided to skip the coffee and just head out to the building where the presentations were taking place. It was only three blocks away, but I figured I could use the extra time.

I'm glad I did this. I managed to get lost. Twice. The first time, I was walking thinking that these were awfully long blocks when I came upon the Georgia State's bus station and the Georgia capitol building. I checked my map. Neither of these appeared on my map.

So, I turned around and went back. Making a different turn, I walked past three parking garages. Fortunately, I didn't walk quite as far this time, because I remembered that, according to the map, the parking garages were in the exact opposite direction of the building.

As a result, a five minute walk became a forty-five minute walk. I got there just on time.

Anyway, I didn't get lost at all. I think it helped that the bus dropped me off exactly two blocks away, and I could see it.

It's a cool place. Be forewarned, the ground floor is WHITE. WHITEWHITEWHITE. WHITE.


In two weeks, a muppets exhibit opens there. So, I'll be going back. The regular installations were fun: many, like the sound effects and animations were hands-on (you got to make your own animated short!) and they had all this equipment from the 1910s to now.

The main point of the permanent exhibit was to show what goes on behind the scenes: they started with the heavy equipment, from cameras to sound recorders to TVs. Then there was a wall of photographs of major performers. Finally, there were displays on costuming, special effects and make-up. They also had old-fashioned video games: pong, space invaders, defender (I used to be good at that game. Boy I sucked.)

It was fun. A great way to spend an afternoon,
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
The first movie was a repurposed pilot for a new tv episode, if I recall correctly. It certainly FELT that way. Wrath of Khan was tense, action packed and well-paced.

X-Men II
The first movie was good, but I preferred the second. It had one good solid well-told story and, in many respects was a love letter to long time fans of the comic.

Highlander II: The Quickening
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Just seeing if you're paying attention.
oxymoron67: (Gay Army)
Conversation with colleague, re: X-Men First Class

Him: It just should have been closer to the comic books. Beast was there, and that was it.
Me: You have to look at the comics and the movies as separate universes. Besides, Banshee was a longtime X-man, as was Havok.
Him: I suppose.
Me: I'm more upset that the minority heroes turned triator and were killed off, repectively.
Him: That was a problem, too. But I still don't think they repescted the canon enough.
Me: You know, sometimes, the canon needs to be ignored.
Him: What do you mean?
Me: Well, to use an exampke from The Avengers, The Celestial Madonna storyline.
Him: Never heard of it.
Me: Let me summarize it for you: Vietnamese Martial Artist super-heroine marries a pacifist, telepathic space tree who reanimated the corpse of her recently killed in battle boyfriend. And that's canon. We don't need to see this in the movies.
Him: I guess.


Conversation with friend, re: life and The Sound of Music

Him: ... so once again, I feel like Im fifteen going on sixteen...
Me: And there you are, during a thunderstorm, dancing in a gazebo with your hot blond boyfriend.
Him: ... who cares if he's a Nazi? He looks hot in a unifrom.
Me:... he wasn't a Nazi at that point, so he wouldn't be in a uniform.
Him. ....
Me: You CANNOT be judging me over The Sound of Music. You've suggested attending sing-a-longs.
Him: I'm not judging you about The Sound of Music. I'm judging you for knowing THE COSTUME CHANGES in The Sound of Music.
Me: I... um... point conceded.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I saw Source Code and African Cats.
Spoilers, I suppose )
oxymoron67: (Default)
I went to the movies last night, to catch... no, not Lord of the Dance in 3d, but the animated The Illusionist.
Spoliers ahoy )
oxymoron67: (Default)
This... no.

The story follows Paul Iverson, a linguistics professor, who returns home one day to find his wife dead in their backyard. Police rule her death an accident, but Paul is not quite sure. The only witness to her death is their dog Lorelei. In Paul’s grief-stricken search for answers, he endeavors to teach Lorelei to talk in the hopes that he can uncover what happened the day his wife died.

The linguist is crazy, yes? If he is truly a linguist, he already KNOWS that dogs lack the anatomical structures necessary for speech. Unless we suddenly end up in Magic Realism land, nothing is going to happen.

Now, I get that some people in shock and grief and mourning do crazy things... but I can't suspend my disbelief for this AT ALL.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Not "can't stand", but perhaps "A little disappointed."

When I was little I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Aristocats.

The songs! Eva Gabor (or Zsa Zsa, I mean, it's not like it matters which one) as the mama cat! The dogs! O'Malley the Alley Cat! A fun romp!


Then, I watched it with my nephews on a trip to Atlanta. It was... okay.

I mean, it was still fun, and my then young nephews enjoyed it, but, as an adult, I realize that it's not really a classic.

In fact, I should see if I can download the soundtrack...

If we want to talk about things that were cool as kids but not adults... let's talk the board game Monopoly. As a kid? I loved it. It was all about trying to get monopolies and drive your competitors (usually my siblings) into bankruptcy.

As adults... we all just tried to block one another from getting the monopolies and we discovered that the game kind of sucked.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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At one point, it would have been Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe, because who doesn't want to hang out with magical, telepathic horse spirits?

But then I realized that I wasn't nearly emo enough to be part of that universe.

(I still read the books.)

Katharine Kurtz's Deryni universe is another possibility... but then Kurtz kills off characters with the wanton abandon of Jack the Ripper at a prostitute convention, so I probably wouldn't last long.

Also, it's always the same story. I'd probably get tired of doing the same things over and over again. "Wait... you mean someone is menacing the throne? And that the Camberian Council is hiding things? NO! That's never happened before!"

Yet, I still read these books, too.

LeGuin's Earthsea? Seems like a depressing place to me. I could be wrong... I read those (fantastic) books over 20 years ago, but I remember it being a bleak place.

Middle Earth?
Well, I'd have to reread the books... and I don't see that happening. (Wait, let's totally stop the action for a song in Elvish!) Also, if I could get there, so could all those Mary Sues from fanfic and... *shudder*.

So, I don;t know. There are lots of other choices... but I;ve noticed that even if I like the books, I don't always like the universe. The Star Trek universe is a good possibility, though.


oxymoron67: (Default)

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