Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dia Cien Diecicinco: Spanish Level 2

I cleverly disguised the fact that I haven't updated in 2 weeks by writing the days in Spanish. No one will ever know.

I have finished Level 2 of Latin American Spanish using the Rosetta Stone software! I assume that this works like a slower version of the hole in the back of the head stuff in The Matrix and I will be entirely fluent by the time I finish level 3. Wishful thinking?

One of the main differences between the Spanish spoken in Spain and the Spanish spoken in Latin America is that in Latin America they don't use the "vosotros" form, so we didn't learn it in high school and the Rosetta Stone doesn't teach it. But, in Chile they DO use a form of the vosotros in informal conversation. Fun!

I have 9 days before I leave. There are 4 units in Level 3 (the final level!). Can I do it? Probably not.

BTW cross another movie off the AFI List: The Gold Rush. Chaplin is great.

And just cause its been a while. Here's Bill Pullman.... IN SPANISH:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 100: Triple Digits.

Day 100. Really. Really? Damn. I have nothing to say.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 99: King Arthur

This one stretches back quite a while. I was a big King Arthur fan as a kid. I guess mostly I liked the Disney movie and magical swords. Sometime back in 5th grade or so I started reading T.H. White's "The Once and Future King" which was the basis for the Disney movie "The Sword in the Stone". I never finished it. In fairness, its actually 4 books complied into a single volume. I read at least 2.

There are other versions of the Arthurian legend, many of which I have picked up and read part of. I finished one. John Steinbeck's "The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Nights". Apparently Steinbeck died before he finished his version. My 10th grade British Lit teacher failed to tell us this before we came to the abrupt end. I am pretty sure Mrs. Richards hadn't read the book before and had no idea. To make a long story short (too late!) I have never read to the end of the Arthurian legend. In my head Camelot never fell (or something like that).

This is particularly sad considering some of my other unfinished business. My unfinished screenplay (the one I started back in high school) was to be based around the Arthurian legend. So without further ado, I will finish the nearest version of the King Arthur Legend: Mary Stewart's "Merlin Trilogy".

Like "The Once and Future King", this is actually several books compiled into a single volume. I have finished 2 out of 3. I made it as far as 625 pages out of 914, a few pages in to the 3rd book. Time me. (or on second thought, the last book too embarrassingly long; don't time me.)

Official Stats

Pages Read: 625
To Go: 293 (I am sliding back a few pages to start at the start of the final "book")

Wish me luck.

Day 98: Mission Accomplished (Part 1 of Many)

Yes Dear Readers, I have been avoiding you. And why shouldn't I? Its pretty embarrassing that it took me over 2 weeks to read 214 pages. This is among the many reasons I was not an English major. But you know what I quite enjoyed the book.

I just finished "Pride and Prejudice and Zombie" (for those of you who can't remember which book I was halfway done with 2 weeks ago). Its just as much fun as it sounds. What the title fails to tell you is that there are also ninjas. It is just as laugh out loud funny as it sounds. What is perhaps most amazing is how well martial arts battles against hordes of the undead fit perfectly into Jane Austen's Britain.

New book to be announced tomorrow (or really today if you look at the ungodly hour of this post). I think its only going to get more difficult from here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 96: I've Been Busy

Okay? So get off my back.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 92: Steady as she goes

Got a job interview. Won't jinx it by posting the details in cyberspace.

12 left to go in the AFI list.

Still 147 pages left in 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"

Sorry folks. That's all I got.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 91: The AFI 100

Back in 1997, the American Film Institute put out their list of the top 100 American Films. At the time I had seen 14. I started watching quite a few that summer. Mind you, this was before the days of DVDs and laptop computers, so I once ended up with a 20 pound tv/vcr combo on my knees in bed at 4 am watching A Clockwork Orange. That was traumatizing.

This constitutes a major piece of unfinished business. It was this list that first set me on the path to film school (and consequentially to unemployment and this blog? Trippy). Of course it also led me to discover David Lynch, Kurosawa, French New Wave, Cinema Verte and all sorts of pompous stuff. But enough of those distractions! It's time to finish what I began back in '97.

I have 13 left to go.

First up on the Netflix Queue is perhaps the most glaring omission: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

P.S. Wuthering Heights (1939) is not available on Netflix. If anyone happens to own this movie, let me know.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 89: (In)dependence Day. (Posted 48 hours late!)

Its the 4th of July. I'm blogging on the weekend and a holiday. (Not really I wrote this days ago and am just posting this now to look cool -- it didn't work did it?)

Alas, another Independence Day has gone by and my own independence seems just out of reach. I am still on a limited from of what I and my sister like to call Welterfare.

Welterfare is TOO big to fail.

I don't want anyone to worry. As far as I know there is no danger of this. But if the time comes for a government bailout, I want this to be the CW* already.

*CW in the political blogs means "conventional wisdom". On the TV blogs it is the 5th place network behind even NBC, that destroyed and then canceled Veronica Mars. You'll have to use contextual clues to figure out which meaning I am using.

I don't collect much in Welterfare these days -- though I guess my unemployment benefits do still come from them indirectly (see day 17). But getting off Welterfare is my bit of unfinished business to focus on for the day.

I'd also like the give the US of A a shout out this 4th of July for taking care of a bit of unfinished business and electing a black man to the highest office.

In all sappy seriousness, the collision of this revamped blog and Independence Day brings to mind the preamble to the Constitution. "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union..." It seems that this 233 year old experiment in democracy is one big unfinished work. (the constitution itself was a redo). So my preachy call to all of you is get and/or stay engaged and we can keep striving for a more perfect union.

Oh. And here's some Bill Pullman: