Flurry of Activities

It has been busy for the past couple of weeks with homework and seeing people.  On Friday, October 25th, I received a great surprise.  Brett Butler, the baseball player, came to our school to talk to the local high-school and college baseball players.  As a child I avidly watched every Dodger baseball game on the television (at least all the games my mom would let watch).  This was back in the 90s, so the games were still good.  I loved watching Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo, Orel Hershier and other Dodger players, but my favorite was Brett Butler. I remember when he was first diagnosed with cancer and his comeback when everyone thought his baseball career would be over.  The night that Princess Diana died, I was standing in line at the local Target with my Brett Butler autobiography, praying that I’d have a chance to meet my hero.  Sadly, that was not the case and I was heartbroken.  Baseball, as a child, meant a lot to me.  So seeing Brett Butler up close and hearing him speak was monumental.

I also saw Marilynne Robinson later that evening.  She was witty and quiet.  The venue was amazing as it was an old theater in Santa Barbara.  She shared more information about Glory and her decision to return home that was not in her most recent book, Home.  These details just showed how much Marilynne Robinson was acquainted with her own characters and the hope of having another Gilead novel.

Last week I saw John Green again in Santa Monica (I saw him earlier at the ALA conference, but he was only signing books).  It was amazing.  John Green drew a crowd of not just highschoolers, but adults of all ages.  Admittedly, some adults were there with their children, but not many.  There were only a few (I could count them on one hand) who haven’t been faithfully tracking the Brotherhood 2.0 or was not a Nerdfighter.  The energy in the room was fueled mostly from John Green himself (which was surprising due to how long he’s been on tour) as he dressed up as Walt Whitman, threw marshmellow peeps into the crowd, and was relaxed  on stage as if he toured all the time.

Besides traveling up and down Los Angeles County, I have been working away at my classes.  In less than six weeks my first semester will be done.  After the middle of November I will have only six units, which will feel like a breeze after doing on average 10 units (hurrah for one and two unit classes!).  And as the stores don their Christmas decorations, I’m reminded that all too soon the homework will be over.


NASA Images Archive

Yesterday, NASA revealed an online library of photographs, films, and video available to the public. For anyone who remembers their childhood, what a dazzling sight. Easily I could spend hours on this site looking at their fabulous photos. True, they selected the items, but what an immense resource to now be made available to the public. And this is only the beginning as for the next five years there will continue to be updates to the site and updates made to the design of the site. The image above is of a dying star.

Oh, and isn’t this ironic that it comes out right before the new X-Files movie? Just a funny thought.

Link: Nasa Images

edit: click on the box above to actually see the image.

Where has the time gone?


Since last weekend the time seems to have flown by. But probably because I’ve watched one too many movies or television shows. Since I was not allowed to watch X-Files when it first came out, I’ve been catching up before the next movie.  I’ve always been fascinated with the supernatural, and especially with the premise of X-Files.  And it didn’t help that when I was younger all my friends were in love with the show.  I’m almost done with season 1 and have loved it.  But like all good things its too easy to overdo it.  I watched the first movie of X-Files last night (even though I wasn’t there yet in the chronology of the show).  B helped me figure out new characters but for the most part I didn’t need help in enjoying this flick.  Fun as any other television show, but I still loved it.  Before I make myself sick on X-Files though, its time to take a break.

Besides frantic X-Files viewing, I’ve also been to see the new Batman movie.  It was also another fantastic thrill ride.  And thrill is the key word.  Heath Ledger stole the show with his acting and would have had many follow his every footstep if he were still alive.  Other than that, it was a fantastic thrill.  Wait, did I already say that?  Yes, the movie is only that, but it is amazing in that.  Probably the top of its genre, and I pity our culture if it becomes the top movie of all time, but I don’t think it will.  Maybe the top of action movies or incredible super-hero movies, but in light of other much more quality films, even Batman still falls slightly behind.

ugh.  Too prove that I have been reading too, I’m in the midst (closer to being done) of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.  It is a book that is difficult to read fast.  I love it, but its not going to be finished quickly.  Also started Dictation: A Quartet by Cynthia Ozick and love it.  I love Ozick’s short stories.

Next week I hope to read more, watch much less, and maybe even relax.  Especially as it is now exactly one month until I start my MLIS degree.

Dark Knight

Friday I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see Dark Knight at all this upcoming weekend because I was one of those ignorant ones who thought I could at least still get a ticket for a Saturday morning show.  Last night I was even more worried as I saw that all tickets were sold out in L.A. for the entire weekend.  Even the 3 A.M. showing in Santa Clarita (the city that goes to sleep at 8 pm) is sold out. And  yet, one semi-local theater (in Pasadena) had tickets available still for the midnight showing.  Hooray!  Ignorance is not always a curse.

Dark Knight’s marketing has been great. Even before Heath Ledger’s death, the movie was catching more and more people’s fascination. And then when Heath Ledger died, all the heartbroken young adults, the ones who grew up with Heath Ledger in “Ten Things I Hate About You” and “Knight Tale”, who before had a slightly more than passing interest in the movie were suddenly captivated. Yes, as much as the movie alone can build up excitement, we are still morbidly interested in any links between Heath Ledger’s last completed role and his untimely death. But that I think everybody already knows.

Summer Film Festival

Pasadena Film Festival

This summer Pasadena’s film festival will be showcasing Audrey Hepburn. A list of the movies are:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
My Fair Lady
Roman Holiday

On Saturday July 26th, the film festival will be having a marathon of the LOTR. 8:30 pm until sunrise and with a hobbit breakfast included apparently. I don’t think I can make it all night watching LOTR, but it should be a fun event for those who are diehard fans.

For more information about other movies showing at different areas in Pasadena or just because you’re curious the link is here: Old Pasadena Film Festival

photo credit: One Colorado

The Green Man

“And the truth is that, in any version, the Hulk is a dull beast. He’s just a big angry guy; he has no soul, no oddities, no vulnerable or tender spots. King Kong and Frankenstein’s monster are Byron and Keats in comparison with the Hulk…” states the New Yorker review of the newest movie release of The Incredible Hulk

I was skeptical that The Incredible Hulk could be made any better, even if Ed Norton was the star, and my doubts have only been confirmed with the reviews I read so far by both The New Yorker and The L.A. TimesMore than likely, B and I will still try to go see it this weekend, but it may be better to save a few dollars and go during matinee with gas prices so high. 

Oh, and The Happening by Shamalayan is to be no better either.  The weekend is a bust movie-wise, but I am sure that Incredible Hulk will still bring in lots of money.

Alfred and Alma Hitchcock's Literary Habits

“My parents had quite a library in London, and it got even larger in the States. They had a complete collection of famous trials, novels by Somerset Maugham, plays by William Shakespeare, complete works of Jonathan Gallsworthy, John Buchan, Charles Dickens, J.M. Barrie, and George Bernard Shaw. The Shaw book collection is very special; the first volume (Immaturity) was inscribed by the author to my mother…But whether it was in England or in America, each time my father received a book or a script to consider as a potential project, he immediately gave it to my mother to read first. If she didn’t like it, it was instantly rejected. If she liked it, she would pass it on to him. Interestingly, most of my father’s films are based on existing material: novels, plays, short stories. Very few were original screenplays.”

~Pat Hitchcock O’Connell on her parents literary habits