Cheaper by the Dozen

So, Bronze Dog and King of Ferrets both tagged me with a meme, the rules of which are as follows:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Since I got tagged twice, I might as well double it up, right? Here are twelve random things about me.

  1. I haven’t looked it in a month or so, but I was working again on memorizing some favorite poems and passages. Off the top of my head, I can do Puck’s speech from the end of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the full text of Sonnet 130. I know most of Sonnet 116 and some of this bit from King Lear. I used to know all of Robert Herrick’s “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time,” but I’ve more or less lost the middle two stanzas at this point. I’ve always wanted to memorize Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” so that’s high on the list, and I’ve also printed out Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love” and Raleigh’s brilliant reply “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” since I randomly quoted a line from the former recently. While in the past, I kind of focused on renaissance poetry (as ought to be obvious at this point), I also started working on Poe’s “The Raven” and Carroll’s “Jabberwocky,” the former largely because it was around Halloween when I started, the latter because it’s fun and easy (I’ve got two stanzas down just today–three if you count that the first one is repeated at the end). If I had the time and a better memory, I’d add Ginsberg’s “Howl” and Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” to the list, but I think Poe and Marvell are already pushing it as far as length.

    Yes, I recognize how useless and geeky this is, but I decided to do it after I had an epiphany about the scads of useless knowledge already rattling around my head (Jaster Mereel!) and figured I could at least put some culture in there. Besides, I tend to neglect my literature geek side, and it deserves a bit of love now and then.

    Incidentally, I can recite large swaths of “Green Eggs and Ham” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” which really put everything else on the list to shame.

  2. I think “The Exorcist” is vastly overrated, and I didn’t find it to be even the least bit scary. It’s been awhile since I watched the flick, so this is from a few-years-old memory, but it seems to me that it took the same approach to horror that Carlos Mencia takes to comedy. Loudly saying curse words and doing moderately shocking things for no apparent reason neither equals humor nor horror. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m seriously bothered by villains who have no discernable motivation–with the possible exception of Michael Myers in the original “Halloween,” who was more “force of nature” than “villain”–and I don’t understand why the Lord of Lies and King of the Underworld would waste his time dicking with a teenage girl and a couple of priests. Really, Satan? That’s the best you got? It’s certainly no wonder God won that war, but I really can’t fathom why fundies and such would legitimately fear you. The film makes Satan look like a petty middle-aged loser who never grew out of the pranks he pulled with his frat brothers. In fact, “The Exorcist” makes the Devil look an awful lot like Biff Tannen.
  3. For close to two weeks now, I’ve lost sensation in my big toe on my left foot. When I was moving out of my apartment, I spent a lot of time in boots, out in the cold, and I was on my feet almost constantly for eleven hours on the day I finally checked out. About halfway through that marathon of packing, I noticed that it felt like I’d worn a hole into the sole of my left boot, and my big toe was in some kind of indentation; when I took the shoes off, it felt like my toe was asleep. The sensation hasn’t gone away since, leaving about half of that toe numb. I saw my doctor, who prescribed arch supports, steroids, soaking in warm water, and a follow-up visit. So far, not much change.

    On a possibly related note, the skin on several of my fingertips has been really rough lately, and I suspect that it’s due to some frostbite, damage from the moving process, and exposure to rock salt, though I can’t be totally sure. For a couple of days after moving, though, it felt like everything I touched was made of sandpaper.

  4. I picked up the first “Fable” game, and I started playing it. I haven’t gotten very far (and I haven’t really touched it in several weeks), but so far I’m not entirely sure what the hype’s about. I expected the black-and-white moral system, thanks to chats with the Action Skeptics crew at GenCon, but I didn’t realize the story would be quite so terribly clichéd. I mean, spunky kid whose small farm town is razed by villains, killing his whole family, who then gets adopted by a wizard of some sort? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s even mentioned in the Evil Overlord List.

    On the other hand, I’m about as far into “Psychonauts” time-wise as I am with “Fable,” and it’s living up to my expectations so far. If someone had told me before that it had a graphic style somewhere between “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Aaah! Real Monsters,” I would have picked it up months ago.

  5. Speaking of XBox games, I’ve gotten burned thrice now with superhero games on the console. I posted my lengthy thoughts on Spider-Man: Web of Shadows here. I don’t regret buying Incredible Hulk, but it generally feels like a pale imitation of Hulk: Ultimate Destruction on the previous generation consoles, albeit with a more destructible landscape. I played Iron Man for an hour or so before giving up due to the terrible flight controls (I got spoiled by the near-perfect flight mechanics in Superman Returns) and imprecise directions (how am I supposed to stop the jets without killing the pilots when all I have are missiles and lasers?). Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a great game, and DC Universe/Mortal Kombat was pleasantly surprising (because I had no expectations for it), but other than that, I don’t think I’ve played a really good superhero game on the system. Am I just stuck waiting for M:UA2, or are there games that I’ve overlooked?
  6. I’ve watched a few episodes of the “new” Unsolved Mysteries, and I’m not sure what bugs me more: the fact that they’ve dubbed Dennis Farina over the reused Robert Stack segments, the fact that the show is so insanely credulous, or the fact that I watched it completely uncritically for most of my childhood. It’d be one thing if it just went after missing persons and unsolved murders, but they throw in every bit of crazy ghost, alien, and psychic woo-woo that they possibly can. Pitting the two together lends the fantasies the credibility of the realities–inasmuch as the criminal cases are realities and not conspiracy theories.

    At least I can have a chuckle that a show which used to air exclusively on Lifetime: Television for Women now airs exclusively on Spike TV: Television for Men.

  7. Mercifully, my allergies haven’t been acting up much this break. Usually on breaks, the time I spend at home and at my girlfriend’s house leaves me in cat-induced misery, but I’ve only had one real reaction all this break, despite routinely forgetting to take my Claritin. Lucky me, I guess.
  8. Jesus' mom has got it goin' on!I recently saw another of the Jesus figures at the Wal-Mart where I bought mine. Alongside him: Mary, his inexplicably hot mom. She wasn’t particularly impressive, and I didn’t have any real ideas for fun scenes with the two of them, but I may pick her up next time I’m there, just because I’m curious if she talks, and what she would say if she did? “Blessed art I among women”?

    If they’d had Moses, on the other hand, I wouldn’t have hesitated. Incidentally, I bought a large Thor figure for god-battles, but had to return him when he broke immediately after being opened.

  9. I’ve been getting dragged to church on a slightly regular basis since I moved back home. As a kid, I spent the time mostly playing Tic-Tac-Toe or Hangman on the back of bulletins; when I got a little older, I started working on various stories or writings on the bulletins. What I generally didn’t do was pay attention to the sermons, which really didn’t hold much meaning for me. Lately, though, I’ve listened in, and it’s been enlightening. The sermon this past Sunday was one of the most inept public speeches I’ve heard since High School. It was long, it was rambling, it was boring, it was weepy, it was filled with “ums” and “likes” and the other placeholder sounds that demonstrate that you’ve not written out careful enough notes or practiced your speech enough, and it was occasionally hilarious. I’m paraphrasing, but I’m absolutely serious: ‘you know how sometimes you’re out shopping, and you find a really great sale, and you just can’t wait to call your friend so you can tell someone? Like, oh, I got such a great deal, and I thought you should know about it. You’re just so excited that you need to tell someone? Well, that’s how you should be about Jesus, so excited that you just can’t wait to tell someone!’ My eyes just about rolled out of my head at that point. “Hey Barb, didja see that Jesus is on clearance at the Cracker Barrel? You better hurry down, ’cause there’s only one left in your size, and you wouldn’t want a Jesus that’s too small.” Jonathan Edwards she wasn’t.
  10. I’m itching to liveblog A Haunting again.
  11. Shouldn't it be 'Mntn Dw'?I’m really confused by the new Mountain Dew packaging. What the hell is up with that? Are they suddenly too extreme for vowels? Does Mountain Dew make you too fast-paced to use full words? I can’t wait to try the new Sr Mist and Pps and Dr. Pepper…okay, maybe the last one is a bad example.
  12. Unlike Bronze Dog, I never managed to get into Magic: The Gathering. I’ve got gajillions of Overpower cards if anyone wants to play, though.


5 Responses to Cheaper by the Dozen

  1. Took you long enough. =PYeah, Fable isn’t exactly the universe’s best game plot-wise. Also, it has a horrible magic system in my opinion. Fable 2 greatly improved it, for the most part, except the plot still sucked.

  2. Akusai says:

    Jaster MereelBoba Fett’s original, non-canonical real name FTW. For the bonus, what was his title before he became a bounty hunter? And no looking at Wikipedia! I didn’t.I think “The Exorcist” is vastly overrated, and I didn’t find it to be even the least bit scary.Only part that creeped me out was when she did the upside-down crabwalk down the stairs. I figure that when you don’t believe in the mythology that goes with the movie, it ceases to be the least bit frightening.I expected the black-and-white moral system, thanks to chats with the Action Skeptics crew at GenCon, but I didn’t realize the story would be quite so terribly clichéd.Sorry I forgot to mention it. I mean, it starts at the HERO ACADEMY, for fuck’s sake.Did you notice how completely irresponsible and unethical the Hero Academy is? They teach scads of people powerful martial and magical techniques and then turn them out on an unsuspecting world with no moral guidance whatsoever. They, in fact, make a point to talk about how now that you’re an official hero, you get to choose whether to be good or evil. That sure is an interesting definition of the word “hero.”And speaking of Gen Con…We have some ideas for the panel, so you should e-mail me. Or would it be better if I e-mail you the ideas first?Also, I’ve decided that should I run another absurd game of Mage: The Ascension, while everyone else will get new characters, you will always and forever play Zariel the Blacksun. the fact that I watched it completely uncritically for most of my childhood.That’s where I’m at, though I haven’t caught any of the new show yet.Unlike Bronze Dog, I never managed to get into Magic: The Gathering.I played it once in middle school. The most I ever played a card game was the original Star Wars CCG, which made no sense whatsoever. A friend conned me into buying a deck of Marvel Versus a few years back, and I quit after half a game. TCGs just aren’t my cup of tea.KOF:Fable 2 greatly improved it, for the most part, except the plot still sucked.My biggest problem with the Fable games is Peter Molyneux’s complete lack of awareness. He calls his games “open-ended,” but they’re not. They’re extremely linear games with some sidequests and a bunch of bells and whistles that make them seem open-ended to someone who’s never played Fallout or other, far better RPGs. It’s like Molyneux lives in aOn the plus side, they’re fun little action-RPGs. But groundbreaking they’re not.

  3. Tommy says:

    I figure that when you don’t believe in the mythology that goes with the movie, it ceases to be the least bit frightening.Akusai, that is what happened to me when I became an atheist. Movies like The Exorcist or The Omen became absurd to me.One thing I realized after watching The Exorcist about 100 times was that it was not about the girl, it was about the priest, Father Karras. He was undergoing a crisis of faith, and the possession of the girl was merely a vehicle for the devil to attack Karras.

  4. Akusai says:

    This has an interesting corollary, Tommy: I’m still able to be frightened by a really good, really creepy ghost movie, like The Ring. I think this says that I’m much closer to believing in ghosts than in God.

  5. Ty says:

    When I watched the Exorcist as a very religious teenager, I found it absolutely terrifying.When my atheist wife watched it a few months ago, she just shrugged.You really do have to buy into the premise for it to work, I guess.

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