Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday Night Grapeshot

(Grapeshot is the term used to describe a cluster of slugs which would be shoved into a cannon and fired to inflict maximum damage, especially on crowds. Tonight's post is sort of like that - a whole cluster of things shoved into one post.)

Several days last week were spent trying to make pumpkin scones last week. First, I didn't have any corn syrup. Then I got corn syrup, only to realize I didn't have pumpkin pie filling, which you would agree might be integral to something called "pumpkin scones". Of course, last week being the week after Thanksgiving, there wasn't much pumpkin pie filling to be found. Long story cut tragically short, there are only two scones left. I must say, they are very tasty, especially with cranberry sauce (which I also made).

Pumpkin scones and cranberry sauce

Here a scone is sitting, smothered in cranberry sauce, waiting to be devoured (which it was, shortly after this picture was taken). Note the old-fashioned jar the rest of the sauce is in. I found this jar and another very similar to it at Value Village on Saturday.

Oh crap, what else was I going to say?

This morning, I watched the most excellent Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and the 2001 anime version of Metropolis. R&GAD is one that makes you think about nebulous things while entertaining you. My favourite part has always been the question game near the beginning, when the two characters play tennis using questions instead of rackets and balls. It raises a lot of interesting discussion about questions and answers, life and death, identity, and rhetoric.

It also makes you think about the secondary characters in literature, the ones that aren't fleshed out, but put in appearances for the sake of moving the story along - do they spontaneously spring into being, with no memories, no backgrounds, and no identities other than the one assigned to them by the primary characters? Or were they busy doing something else before they were forced onto centre stage, play their part, and then get yanked off again? The presence of the group of players lent some credence to the theory that identity is fluid and your time on stage is limited of you are not a major player. The fact that that the two main characters didn't know which one they were (was Gary Oldman's character Guildenstern? Or was it Tim Roth's character? Who was Rosencrantz?) is evidence of this.

(And maybe I'm completely missing something, but what was the purpose of Oldman's character - the IMDb lists him as Rosencrantz, but I don't think they ever firmly established who was who - making all of those discoveries, like gravity, water displacement, the spoon on the apple-core generator, or the paper airplanes, only to have them destroyed or otherwise fail completely when he tried to show them to Roth's character?)

Metropolis was beautiful. I've seen the original 1927 silent version, and while the stories are fairly close (it's been a while since I saw it last), I liked this version better. The animation was fabulous and better than I expected, and the story made sense. The use of an old Ray Charles song over the destruction of the Ziggurat was a nice touch, too.

I've finally posted the semi-complete list of books over on my other site. All the books I've read between January and June are listed, and shockingly, most of them have reviews (it's the second half of the year which isn't so complete). It's here if you want to see it - the formatting ain't that pretty, and I hope to fix the link titles in future editions of the list, but it's what I got for now. There are 38 books on that list, not including the one I reread a few months after the first time I read it; I'm up to 56 now, not including the 3 I reread (hey - they were that good!).

It snowed a little yesterday. Not much, and it was big, wet snowflakes, but that was enough to make me start thinking about digging out my winter clothes.

This morning, while watching the movies, I made the fantastic discovery that I can put my grocery list on my iPod, so I don't have to go digging through my pockets for the scrap of paper the list is on when I get to the store. It's pretty easy - there's a category in Extras for notes, so just create a text file in Notepad with your list, save it as a text file, plug your iPod into your computer, and put the text file into the Notes folder on it. It's so cool that I will be showing it to everyone at work tomorrow, even though I'm probably the last person on earth to figure that out.

Well, look at that. I've gone and run out of things to say. Aren't you lucky?