Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yes, he is.

Yes, he is lazy enough to repost a note he already posted on Facebook. It's the 16 things meme. It's about the only thing longer than three sentences I've written in the past month, aside from work e-mail, which I'll probably have to post out of desperation next month. Betcha can't wait fer that.

  1. While I've lived in Minnesota for more than 25 years, I still don't feel like a Midwesterner. I still feel like an Oregonian. Weird.
  2. I don't understand how anyone can live without music; by the same token, I'm not sure why some people are so limited in their tastes. I'm not saying that I like everything, but I've found a lot to like in most every genre of music.
  3. This, too, strikes me as weird; I think I had 12 albums when I went to college. I now share over 1,000 cd's, have 19,571 items in iTunes, and need a bigger iPod. Y'know, if I really want to listen to all 53.9 days worth of music. Which, I have to admit, is really tempting.
  4. See, now I'm wondering if 2 and 3 are really just one thing or two things. I'm bad with boundaries. I find taxonomy fascinating, and loved working as a library volunteer when I was a wee lad, but please, please don't ask me to make one. Ultimately, everything to me seems so connected, even if distantly. It's hard to create clean categories, and cross referencing, well, all sorts of things, defeats the purpose.
  5. How interesting the way that leads into spiritual matters. I do believe we're all connected. But the web is complex, and we run into problems when we mistake symbolism for reality.
  6. I guess I'm an atheist. It's taken me a while to arrive at that conclusion. It's also been a very thought provoking understanding.
  7. I don't believe that atheism is counter to spirituality. What I mean by it is that I don't think there's a God up in Heaven keeping a little playbook of who does what to whom.
  8. I also don't believe in an afterlife. I think we get one life - the one that we've got.
  9. I think it's a beautiful gift. I think it's crushingly sad how we often waste it. Wars of belief. Playing silly games with "money". Living in support of "societies" instead of individuals. Pretending that fame is somehow important and deserving of wealth. Pretending that fame is proof of value. Pretending that things are more important than lives.
  10. I think the universe is vast and beautiful. I find it fascinating how we live in this reality that just gets bigger and bigger the farther out you look, and yet, when you look in, in at the cell, the molecule, the atom, the proton, the just gets bigger and bigger that way as well.
  11. It seems to me that everything, everything that matters, is made of the same stuff. We are all made of stars. Yet, somehow, there are rules and laws that make these vanishingly minute particles join with other particles, and other particles to form bigger and bigger, more and more complex systems, and ultimately we end up with the vastness and complexity and wonder of everything we are and everything we know - we are both different and yet similar to the most distant star we can conceive; we are both different and yet similar to every thing.
  12. That makes me wonder about those laws and rules - how do they get made? Is that the wonder and mystery?
  13. Or is it the continual combining of things into larger complex systems - cells to multicells, through generations to mammals, through generations to people, through generations to communities, then civilizations...dust to planets, planets to solar systems, systems to galaxies, galaxies to...well, what are we a part of? Do we serve a purpose in all of it? Are we doing it well? What will it all become? Does the thinking we do about all of this help? Are we a spleen, or a brain? At any rate, can there really be any justification for the way we try to destroy each other? For the way we treat our environment? For the ways we challenge our future generations with tasks they may not be able to rise to only to serve our own self interests?
  14. Not to me. But I also haven't got the slightest idea what to do about it.
  15. I'm secretly (well, or not) nervous about whether you're laughing at this right now.
  16. But if there's something that gives me hope, it's music. We reach across vast divides of culture and perception with our music. We participate in a wonderfully complex, beautiful, strange system when we make music. And we show our deepest selves - our emotions, fears, wisdom, poetry, rules, logic, taxonomies... Harmonies. We get closer to something important. Don't you wish you knew what it was? I know I do.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

In Which Our Hero Becomes A Fashion Victim

So, I was at a large state managers' conference today. I wore olive khaki slacks, a maroon-on-white striped shirt, an Izod sweater (oatmeal) over that, and a green plaid wool blazer over that. No tie. Smart, if a little faux-professorial.

As I was entering a break-out session, I noticed another guy wearing the same Izod sweater over a turtleneck, only his was grey. We shared a 'lil moment over the coincidence.

Not two minutes later, another guy walks into the session wearing a blue one.

...and just as the session was starting, a guy in a white one walked in.

What are the odds? There were maybe 45 people in the session, and at least a little over half of those were female.

At any rate, I guess I was dressed appropriately...

^The extremely popular (among bureaucrats) Izod box knit sweater^

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kal Ho Naa Ho

Kal Ho Naa Ho poster

Watched Kal Ho Naa Ho this weekend; we were looking forward to a Bollywood film that didn't end with an explosion or a bloodbath (yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Dil Se...), and this definitely fit the bill. And quite nice to see Preiti Zinta and Shahrukh Khan again, without the terrorism, bombings, and rapes of Dil Se.... Kal Ho Naa Ho (Tomorrow May Never Come) starts out as what seems like it will shape up to be a comedy/romance - possibly a bit too broad on the comedy front at that - the opening bits fly with puns, slapstick, and sight gags. It introduces our heroine who is a bit of a mouse with few romantic prospects; it seems clear that once Shahrukh Khan starts singing and dancing, her heart will awaken and romance awaits. However, one should never underestimate the twists that can occur in the 3 hours and 8 minutes of a Bollywood film, soon a twist presents itself, and once again you think you know right where the movie is going. Til it zigs again. Ultimately quite satisfying while circumventing the expectations and tropes inherent in the romantic comedy department. As in most Bollywood films, there is happy and sad, tragedy and comedy, romance and despair, but the balance in this one is tipped toward the light and the happy, and I found it quite delightful. Unlike most Bollywood films, this one is set in New York, and features more English than most. Performances are good - Khan's facial acting is unparalleled, and Preiti holds her own nicely in a role that seems a bit overwritten. However, the real standout is Saif Ali Khan, who brings a certain naturalism to all of this stylish fluff, and grounds the emotions of the film beautifully. Highly recommended.