Shining Eyes and One-Buttock Playing

I can think of worse things to do than to watch the entire series of TED talks. What an amazing group of smart, funny, inspirational people.

Here’s Benjamin Zander on classical music.  Brilliant.


I have a nasty cold and sore throat which is making me very cranky.

However, this was good enough to make me laugh despite the crankiness, so I thought I would share:

You already know about this, right?

Okay – so if you don’t, here’s the deal: Joss Whedon (pause for that angelic choir going "waaaaa!" in the background*) apparently decided he couldn’t stand to not be creative during the writer’s strike.  So he did what any normal person in that situation would do.  He wrote a three-episode, 45-minute miniseries specifically for the web.  It’s an anti-super-hero story comedy about a nebbishy guy who wants to be a super-villain.  And it’s a musical.

You know – run-of-the-mill** stuff.

It’s free on the web until July 20, and it’s available for download, own-it-forever purchase on iTunes.  The first two episodes are available on the website, the last will be available on Saturday.  It’s funny and sweet and seriously silly. Go.  Watch.  Tell ’em I sent you.

*Okay, so it’s probably "aaah!" but it always sounds like "waa" to me…

**Have I ever written a post with this many hyphens?


More of "Simon’s Cat"!

In a continuation of the odd blogging synchronicities that we’ve been having ’round here lately…

Making Light posts a link to the YouTube Video of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain doing one of my all time favorite power-pop songs, Life on Mars*:

I rather love this – especially since the first singer bears a passing resemblance to John Simm.  It’s also clever in that glee-club/harmony/deadpan way when they start to go intentionally off the rails.

*My favorite version of which is probably Seu Jorge’s, even though it has none of the bombast that makes the original so compelling to me and was a key component of yesterday’s plea for help. What can I say – I’m fickle.  Of course, Bowie’s original isn’t really jangly, so doesn’t neatly fit into the category I posited anyway.

Oh – and hey lookie – another video.  Seu Jorge himself:

See?  Love.

She’s BACK!

my mom, I mean. And boy, do I love to read her voice again (even though we talk on the phone several times a week – you can only revisit those conversations in your mind – you can’t go back and re-read them and find new and wonderful things, because memories tend to fade.  Writing lasts).

My mother and I are both terrified of snakes.  It’s an atavistic, irrational, overpowering thing.  I remember one time in a drama scene study class, a classmate brought her friend’s pet boa (a wee thing, really) in to play the part of Cleopatra’s asp in her scene.  As she was being critiqued, another classmate played with the critter, letting it crawl around him.  He was sitting several seats away from me, and I tried to stay where I was by sheer force of will and logic.

It’s feet away from you.

It is harmless.

You have nothing to fear.

And suddenly, my mental monologue was interrupted, and I found myself at the other side of the room – as far away from the snake as I could get and not leave the class.  The strength of my will and the force of logic were suddenly swamped by my deep and subconscious need to get away from That Thing.  Okay , said the subconscious, That Thing is dangerous, and if you – Ms. Rational – aren’t going to take care of us, I will. And boing – I was teleported to the other side of the room.

And yet, as much as I fear the things, I don’t hate them.  My being afraid of them isn’t about hate – so I love Mom’s conjuring up a herpetological cocktail party.  I can imagine the snakes, their tails coiled delicately around the stems of wine glasses, giving serious advice to the poor soul who had his leisurely crawl through the grass interrupted rudely by some marauding giant.  And I can imagine that snake’s inner monologue:

It’s feet away from you.

It is harmless.

You have nothing to fear.

And suddenly – he is rearing up and doing his best to imitate one of his dangerous cousins, without even realizing it.  His subconscious takes over, you see.  They do that.

Made me laugh so hard I cried.

Take two utterly insane things, mash them up, and you have Wookies dancing.

Oh. My. God.

I have a real fascination with Rube Goldberg machines.  I don’t have the right sort of brain to come up with them, but I love them.  When I was out visiting Marie and her family, and her kids were playing with their Mousetrap game (as opposed to playing Mousetrap, which is a very different thing), I totally understood what they were on about.

That being said, this is mind-boggling:

I am in awe.

How fabulous is this?

A cat playing a theremin.  God, but there are some days I just love the Internet.

My favorite bit may be the end, though watching the moments when the instrumentalist plans his next move are pretty fabulous also.

“You’re the only one who can get my truck the right kind of shiny!”

My flickr friends are having a ball with flickr’s new video hosting service.

My friend Kim, for instance, put together this little gem.  The only downside to the flickr video thing at this point is I can’t seem to make its embedding feature play nice with WordPress – when I tried to embed, it broke my page’s template.  While I’m sure this is a PEBCAK error (that’s “Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard,” Mom), it’s a bit frustrating, since I can get flickr’s photo hosting to work just fine.  Time to consult my WordPress Guru, I guess!

Oooh – trying again, now that my new installation seems to be so much better…