Tuesday, December 23, 2008

So May It Be Said Of Us, And All Of Us

Just finished Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy. Loads of fun, though I liked Brideshead more. But the version I have features an intro by Frank Kermode, with perhaps one of the best statements ever:

"Meanwhile he [Waugh] grew more and more pugnacious and unreasonable in his dislikes and in his desire for vengeance on his enemies."

I think I want that on my tombstone.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's been a busy few days. And by busy, I mean I've been doing a lot of things that aren't in any way work, but have kept me hopping nonetheless. To catalogue:

-Last Friday, we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition. That's right, we're serious drinkers up here. And we didn't do any kind of namby pamby drinking, either. This was a night of straight up, hard-living cocktail drinking. And not just mixed drinks, but actual cocktails, with bitters, and grated orange peel, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, etc. TGD and The Mixologist were our bartenders, and they did right by us, with a varied menu and very stiff drinks. My personal favorites were the Aviation, the Martinez, and the Ward 8. Highlight of the night was the Mixologist's request that we bring actual ice to the party, since he didn't like to use store-bought ice in his shakers. Note that: the ice wasn't even going into the actual drinks. Just the shakers. And it still had to be proper ice. Damn, that man's an artist.

-Saturday we had a going away party for Boots and Hambone, as they prepare for their six month South American tour. From Friday night's classy drinking, we transferred to the much-more plebian atmosphere of the Come Back In, with its boots of beer, and free popcorn and peanuts (large baskets, still in the shell). Bars with an endless supply of free food are inherently great, and I firmly attribute my lack of a hangover to that fact. B&H put up a fine show for their departure, and I expect to hear good things of their travels. Either that, or Hambone will be kidnapped and forced into white male slavery. Which, if that's the case, dibs on his Playstation.

-Finished Season 2 of The Wire. Good, but no Season 1. I just never cared as much about the overall arc as I did with the boys of the Pit. Though it did have a lot of very fine moments. But I hear good things about Season 3.

-Spent the bulk of the non-drinking weekend watching the short-lived Cupid, which aired for a season in 1998. Made by the guy who would later make Veronica Mars, and which is currently being rebooted (slated for airing starting in March on ABC). It's a very fun little show starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall, about a man who thinks he's Cupid and has to match up 100 couples before he can return to Olympus. It's sweet, romantic, and clever, and the banter between the two leads is phenomenal. It only ran for about 16 episodes, and you can get them all on youtube. If you're looking for a time-waster, I'd really recommend it. And I'll plug the new version, cause hey, Rob Thomas always needs a hand.

-They're cancelling Pushing Daisies. This saddens me, particularly after last week's wonderful episode. Damn the man.

-Heroes, however, continues, even as it continues to suck. And yet I still watch it. Largely because it follows directly...

-Chuck, which is all kinds of awesome this season.

-Oh, and I guess I've been doing some work, too. Gave a guest lecture today, which didn't seem to go too poorly. So I've got that going for me.

-Lastly, if you're not a Madisonian, you may not be aware that it snowed a fuckload today. God bless the winter.

-That's about it for now. As a signoff today, here are a few clips to put you in the holiday mood. From one of my favorites as a kid, the Claymation Christmas Special. You can find the full thing here, here, and here, but here are two of my favorite clips. Again, just to whet your whistle and encourage you to waste a full 22 minutes watching the whole thing.

Carol of the Bells

We Three Kings

And, though I couldn't find it on youtube by itself, I'd really suggest you watch for the rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on High" featuring ice dancing walruses and penguins. Shit cracks me up every time.