Beauty and the Egghead

Hear ye, hear ye

CHILDREN!!  Have you been wandering, lost and miserable and alone, since I stopped updating this livejournal a few months ago?  Have you?  HAVE YOU?  Chances are you have just moved on with your life, I suppose, but in any case I've started a new, grad-school-centric blog, which you can find here:

It is sure to runneth over with unbridled enthusiasm, and you should read it if you miss the daily dose of idiocy I used to inject in your life.  I realize that, since this is America and all, you have an awful lot of idiocy-supplying sources to choose from, but I hope that I still have a small place in your heart.

(no subject)

True confession: I'm thinking of leaving LiveJournal altogether.  This is a decision that really isn't all that important, and if I claim to be making it now I'm just sure that I'll immediately think of something I have to make a detailed entry about--like the Elvis impersonation contest I recently went to, or general thoughts on spring, or some other great, horrible horror movie I just watched, or some boy I like, or something.  The weird thing about this thing I'm writing in now is that I've always treated it as a dumping ground for enthusiasms, more or less, and not really as a place to describe my personal life, but I can still see six years of personal trajectory on it: from a shy, neurotic fifteen-year-old bent on overthinking everything to a glib, optimistic, slightly less neurotic seventeen-year-old to an eighteen-year-old first riding high on and then more or less maimed by first love to a twenty-year-old trying to figure out what to do next to...whatever I am now.  Someone who loves Elvis impersonation contests and good and bad movies and where she is now, and her friends (and who, unlike the neurotic high schooler, knows that her friends love her back).  I'll be honest: I don't have much of a point to make here.  Things have changed and things haven't changed, and they will continue to change and to not change, and maybe I'll come back here, and maybe I won't.  But either way: thanks for listening.
  • Current Music
    I love you more than I did when you were mine
O Angeline

the rites of spring

It's been about two months since I made a post that was at all informative, and that's partly because I've been so happy lately that I'm beginning to suspect I have a brain tumor: nothing serious or deadly, but a small, unobtrusive one, maybe the size of a pencil eraser or a cherry pit, pressing against the part of the brain which, if pressed, decides that just about everything is perfect.  Or it could just be the effect of springtime on the average Oregonian mind: you get used to rain and rain and rain, and then suddenly sun happens, and it seems like a miracle.  I'm not being at all dramatic, I think: every year I forget it's actually possible.  I think most other people do, too.

So, what else is happening?  Luckily, not that much has changed: I still love lists.

1. I've been writing a lot lately, for no special reason.  I think it at least partly has to do with the fact that I bought a notebook for my classes this term and then carefully labeled each section; of course once I set aside space for something practical I had to start writing stories in it.  I'm thinking about writing "ARTHURIAN LIT" or something on all the notebooks I buy, just so I can get that feeling of playing hookey whenever I write a story.  I wonder if Philip Roth ever did that?

2. Philip Roth, also, is redeemed in my eyes; we were on the outs for a while, especially after The Humbling (Jesus Christ), but I've started reading American Pastoral and he's now my future husband again.  I think we're at about the same level of maturity--you know how boys take longer than girls.

3. I'm visiting Michigan in June to see Amelia's (aka my sweet baboo's) graduation, and to partly like the Michiganders do.  I'm missing a test so I can fly out early, but once someone's thrown up in your hair, it's hard to stay away from them for very long.

4. I have altogether too much work to do in the next few days (I'm reading The Romance of the Rose, which is not especially boring but somehow seems much, much longer than its 464 pages would suggest--it's bigger on the inside, like a Medieval House of Leaves), but I sort of love being this busy, too.

5. I'm taking a year of Spanish over the summer so I can graduate on time, every day from 8 to 10:30 am and I think it'll be kind of great (you see what I mean about the tumor?). 

6. I'm planning on getting an apartment sometime in late June or early July, after I visit Amelia.  It's about time.

7. I went out with a guy a few times recently, and while it quickly went into "he's just not that into you" territory, it was still pretty great.  The teenage feelings, when they come back, are as teenagery as ever (you know, in a good way), and even if you get stung later on, that doesn't have any effect on what happened before: for a few days, life is like a girl group song.  Springtime and those first pangs of romance, no matter where they go, are so tied together, and their beauty is in their temporality: spring, no matter how it may seem to promise to place you on the verge of a new world, just turns, eventually, to summer; pangs turn either into a long-term relationship in which you have to argue about who forgot to buy baking soda, or into heartbreak, or into nothing.  The point is that  they existed--and that they come back every year.

  • Current Music
    cold cold ground

(no subject)

Treacherous spring weather!  Bright, clouds, bright, clouds, still, wind, and rain in the morning.  Still, April is my favorite month, and not just because I was born in it.  I'll be 22 on the 22nd.  I think it's going to be a good year.
Elisabeth Raincoat

(no subject)

In honor of the 3-D remake of Clash of the Titans: 7 things I love about the original Clash of the Titans (and which are doubtless absent from the remake).


The plot.  Or lack thereof.  Clash of the Titans is kind of built along the EC Comics model of plotting, i.e., take a bunch of cool shit and throw it in the same general area.  So Perseus (Harry Hamlin) is raised in seclusion, transported back to civilization by meddling gods, and has to save the princess Andromeda, capture Pegasus, kill Medusa, annoy the Fates, kill the Kraken (who looks suspiciously like the Creature from the Black Lagoon festooned with tentacles), and face off against Maggie Smith.  There's also a giant claymation bird, a friendly robot bird, and some lame Greek god headquarters that quite frankly look like a leftover set from the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The movie also plays fast and extremely loose with a bunch of disparate Greek myths, which pissed me off immensely in the third grade but doesn't bother me in the slightest now...actually, I bet the 2010 version will at least do that last part.


Holy shit!  It's Laurence Olivier!


Clash of the Titans is also not just fun, Eighties kitsch with a weirdly heavy-hitting cast: it also has numerous sequences that are surprisingly scary and well done, especially if you're eight (or eight at heart).


Calibos, aka the big, back hair-covered villain who hypnotizes and kidnaps Harry Hamlin's girlfriend every night, until Harry Hamlin saves her, and saves all the world.  Calibos was apparently cursed with ugliness for some reason I can't remember, and he looks kind of like a cross between Ron Perlman and Ron O'Neal, but he's really, in my opinion, no uglier than the average owner of a Lebanese restaurant.  The earrings aren't helping, though.  (Nor is his big reptile tail, which is shown only from the back since it had to be done in claymation, which leads us to...)


Ray freakin' Harryhousen.  If you don't love some good, green-screeny, finger mark-covered claymation, you have no soul, and Harryhausen was (and maybe always will be) Mister Claymation Magic.  I'll probably never be able to logically describe why I love claymation and will always prefer it to CGI, but I do and will, and if you feel the same way you know what I mean, and if you don't you probably never will.  From Gumby to The Evil Dead, claymation has improved our culture in more ways than I can count (and I say that with only the vaguest amount of sarcasm).


How do I love thee, 1981 Harry Hamlin?  Let me count the ways: thy gay porno lips, thy toooo sweet pecs, thy Travolta-esque chin, thy sexy, James Mason-by-way-of-Glendale voice, thy stop-n-stare hair.  Best of all, though, is the fact that, the year after Clash of the Titans, Harry Hamlin costarred in Making Love, one of the first American movies that was both backed by a major studio and provided a sympathetic and nuanced portrayal of gay men.  It's not a very good movie, but still: there is a beautiful, sparkly, rainbowy flavor known as Progress, and Harry Hamlin and his fine self made it all the sweeter back in 1982 America.  Sam Worthington, what did you ever do for the gays?


WHY YES, I DID SAY "ROBOT BIRD" UP THERE.  More specifically, Bubo, the R2D2-esque mechanic owl who helps Harry Hamlin out of many a jam.  Bubo is approximately 12346 times cuter than you might rationally imagine a mechanical owl could be, and is the third most likable character in the movie after Harry Hamlin and Harry Hamlin's pecs.  I love him.  (Bubo is apparently also included in the 2010 remake, and Sam Worthington seems to be extremely anti-Bubo.  I think we should kill him.)

So children, don't be led astray by Hollywood razzle dazzle.  Those 3D glasses are pretty damn unflattering anyway.  Instead, locate the robot owl-loving place in your heart, bust out your VCR, pop some popcorn, and enjoy some truly delicious Eighties cheese.  It only gets better with age.
Elisabeth Raincoat

Don't you forget about me

Now, here's a fact of life most guys are not aware of, but should be: girls do not get over The Breakfast Club--not really, not ever.  More to the point, they do not get over Judd Nelson, and they do not get over wanting to be the Claire to someone's Bender.  I was talking about this in the car with my friend Claire today, because the night before we had gotten really excited about (and before I tell you this let me remind you, by way of contrast, that not-Molly-Ringwald-Claire and I have become the kind of annoyingly overthinky college students who read Lacan and drag our dates to boring, nine-hour-long movies about existentialism) ...Bender and Claire breaking up after high school and then getting back together again at Shermer High's 20th reunion.  And it being passionate and beautiful and a night of eternally burning love in the Sheraton Suites room 402.  This is what Claire and I talked about last night and this morning, for a least a half an hour.  It never really gets out of your system.

We have at least reached the point in our lives when we concede that, perhaps, our favorite screen couple wouldn't have survived the year after graduation.  Our scenario is as follows: clearly, Claire would go off to Lake Forest or whatever, and have some kind of fliration with a guy in her Psych 101 class, who would wear Izod polo shirts with the collar popped and talk faux-eloquently about Nietszche and take her for a ride on his speed boat, and meanwhile Claire would be calling Bender every night, getting annoyed by his monosyllabic noncommittalness, his lack of interest in her thoughts and ideas, his inability to express his emotions, and so on.  He would be back in Shermer, working in his cousin's vacuum repair shop and then driving around the neighborhood at night, listening to Motorhead and smoking pot with his friends.  So Claire would come home for Thanksgiving break, and would, in an attempt to save her passionate high school fling, buy a new transmission for the classic car he was rebuilding; they would get in a huge fight about how he didn't want to accept her charity and he didn't care about her life, and he would hook up with some heavy metal rocker chick named Shayla, who had hair like Lita Ford and who had been his steady squeeze pre-Claire.  Bender would wake up full of remorse, and would try to be honest and emotionally gutsy, but the relationship would be over and Claire would eventually marry a TV news anchor she met while doing an internship to fulfill her communications major.

I could do this whole scenario because, sadly, I can kind of envision the whole thing, but the point is: even now that we have gotten over guys who are all tortured and misanthropic (or at least pretend to be), not-Molly-Ringwald-Claire and I still envision, ultimately, the Trueness of Bender and Claire's Love transcending would just take a while.

When I was fifteen, I felt about The Breakfast Club the way seminary students feel about Catholicism.  But even after going years without seeing it--and hopefully growing as a person, since the tenth grade--I'll never get it totally out of my system.  There is no such thing as true apostasy.

And to guys who have their eyes on girls who once loved The Breakfast Club, I can only say: get ahold of some fingerless gloves, a plaid shirt, and a sad, sad story about your troubled youth.  When modern science finds a better panty peeler, I'm sure they'll let you know.