Archive for May, 2009

Endings Done Well

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


Nothing profound is ending for me anytime soon, but it sort of feels like it due to some well done final episodes. A year in the making, the final, first episode of the Tim & Diana Show was released yesterday. Having matured greatly over the year the show was humorously insightful and a lot of fun for a roughly bimonthly break from reality to the world of meta reality. There’s a paper half written in my head for which the Tim & Diana show is but one support; hopefully, I’ll figure it out and write it down soon. I might have to wait until after digesting the directors commentary available on the DVD, which I hope my status as number one fan will get me a copy of.

Scrubs - My Finale 1

The other show that ended well was Scrubs. When I first moved to Boston, I lived for two weeks in a hotel in Burlington, MA. Only one of those weeks I was working. The first week I was dealing with moving my stuff and watching Scrubs. I watched seasons 1 – 3 in that week (I think). It was just amazingly hilarious. I forget which, but one of those early seasons is in the running for best season of television I’ve ever seen. Since then Scrubs has soured, so much so that I begged them to put the show out of its misery at the end of season seven (Note: no actual literal begging or letter writing occurred). That said season eight has been quite a surprise and the ending, while not funny, was so well done it can’t go unmentioned.

I just absolutely loved the wonder years type filmstrip ending to Scrubs, which I didn’t get around to watching until yesterday. I really liked the twist that it wasn’t saying from the future, what did happen, but only saying what might happen. The scenes totally hit me, if only I could look forward to that kind of thing (maybe I can). Also, the music in season 8 of Scrubs has been amazing and it continued to be in that scene.

Scrubs - My Finale 2.

I guess what I’m saying about scrubs is that now I’ve enjoyed it for two reasons: for the comedy that it was and the drama it became. Before this episode I somewhat resented how it was often more touching the funny in than latter seasons.

Econ Quiz

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

This was on Greg Mankiw’s Blog a while back, but I just got around to taking it. It’s a little flash based econ AP testlet, consisting of 18 questions. With no preprtion of any kind I managed to get 13 of 18 correct. And, darn it if I wan’t so close on two more.

Inkheart & Bridge to Terabithia

Monday, May 4th, 2009

InkheartThe other thing I did this weekend, besides the Derby party, was watch some high quality children’s movies. On Friday, due to a canceled date, I stayed in to hang out with my roommate Sriram and watch Inkheart, which is about a man who, when he reads aloud, causes people and things to jump into and out of books. He loses his wife in this way and gains a gang of bandits for his trouble. The graphics are pretty good on the many fantastical things that get read out of the books. The story also winds its way around a bit, and keeps some suspense for a movie with a foregone conclusion.

The foregone conclusion is what I forgot about with Bridge to Terabithia.AnnaSophia Robb in Birdge to Terabithia I ended up spending Sunday night relaxing with the house to myself and rain threatening outside. Inkheart at put me in the mood for another imaginative tale, and imaginative it was! They did a great job with the subtle use of special graphics to reinforce that Terabithia exists only in the minds of the two main children. The little girl, by the way, AnnaSophia Robb, is a dead ringer, at least in the movie makeup, for a 14 year old Keira Knightley. I had forgotten how the movie came to be on my watch list in the first place, but was reminded in the credits that its because the always wonderful Zooey Deschanel is in it.Keira Knightley in Love Actually She plays a music teacher with an interesting take on teaching, and an arbitrarily invitation to take one student to a museum in the city. This suddenly leads the movie down an unexpected road. In retrospect, I remember Richard Roper warning parents about this in his review, but I had forgotten. This only helped my appreciation for the film, however.

Bridge to Terabithia sits somewhere on the same scale as Pan’s Labyrinth. That is a scale between realism and fantasy. Pan’s Labyrinth spends far too much time in the real world, but it’s fantasy world is quite vivid. Bridge to Terabithia spends less time in the real world; well, maybe not film time, but the real world is less harsh and so that counts for it. However the fantasy world is not quite as beautiful, and again, like Pan’s it is but a taste. Somewhere on this scale exists a perfect escapist fantasy. The Chronicles of Narnia movies had a shot at this, but they screwed the pooch with the bland interpretation of the fantasy world.

Swine Flu and Derby Day

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Let me tell you, right now is a awful time to have allergies. The pollen has really been building up around here and getting to me. We really need a nice rain to wash it all out of the air, and off of my car. But that’s normal, the bad part is that every time someone sneezes everyone thinks swine flu. One of my coworkers has taken to saying it instead gesundheit, thanks Erik :-P. It was doubly bad at the Kentucky Derby party I co-hosted at Mary’s place this weekend. Mary’s two cats also really get me to sneezing as well.

So right, Derby party! Mary (mostly and her roommates, some) hosted the party and I managed the wagering at my first Derby party since leaving home. We didn’t have a whole lot of people there before race time, so I had to make the executive decision to reduce the number of possible bets to something where I could reasonably cover all the bets that people didn’t want to make. This kind of sucked cause it reduced the number of winners to 3, and one of them was me, because I just bought up all the leftovers. But actually, I didn’t have to buy the winner in the parimutuel betting, someone else did that. My win was in the random pool. I raffled off the two remaining official 135 mint julep glasses to make there be two more “winners.” All in all the party was a success. Oh, the mint juleps were also a success. I couldn’t find a recipe I trusted so I went with simple syrup using equal amounts by volume, about 1 cup per glass, 2 shots of bourbon, and ice to taste.

I did have one closing thought on the swine flu. This is pure speculation, and based on the possibly sensationalistic reporting that was running around early in the news cycle. Although, it is not based on any bad news gleaned from twitter, it could well be just as bad as that. I’m curious if the difference in the mortality rate of the flu between Mexico and the US is possibly, in some part, due to a higher occurrence on unreported Aids (or other immune system deficiency disease) cases in Mexico.