This one's nice - it's Mucha style:
Slightly less attractive, it's masculine me:
And let's leave it on the not so repulsive Botticelli:
Upload your own photo and go nuts.
New "realisticats" internet phenomenon takes world by storm - top bloggers claim proper grammar next hot trend.
Blogging is an incredibly powerful way to connect with other people -- whether you are the blogger or the reader. When a blogger has built a following of people who read his or her words regularly, a bond can form that goes beyond the content of the blog posts, providing an instant support group. Others who have never heard of the problem get to learn about it vicariously and perhaps realize that someone they know might be affected, and those who suffer from it themselves can see that they are not alone. One blog post could change someone's life.I got another takeaway out of this, though, after reading Jeff’s original post and some of the comments that followed. There were supportive comments and a few negative “you're an attention whore” comments, but what got to me were the “it’s no big deal” kind of comments. Comments dismissing the experience of living with a mental illness, because none of us are “normal” anyway. Comments like "Of course you have a disconnect from reality, you’re a writer! Situation normal."
Chris has an Internet show filled with kitties and puppies and cuteness and snark. Yes, all coexisting peacefully. He's on a mission to make viewer Craig and his lookalike kitty an Internet sensation. This is Craig:
My brother found this kitty haiku which is eerily similar to my kitty's evolution. He was always affectionate, but fairly wild when he first adopted me 15 years ago. He'd come screaming around the corner with all 24 claws and however many teeth exposed to attack. Once that was over and your arms were shredded, he'd be ready for cuddles. Now, he's just a giant ball of mush.
This is cool. Discover new music depending on your mood and preferences.
Siskel and Ebert
The Balcony Archive is now online. Watch them bicker like an old married couple. Ah, the good old days of the two thumbs.
(Cusco:) We passed houses made of earth with bits of grass on them, and plaster houses, all very old and in disrepair. Dirty children darted in and out of the bus to sell pop, or popcorn, or ice cream bars to the captive passengers. The ubiquitous vendors and beggars leave the distinct impression of a people trying to eke out just one more sol (the unit of money) to make ends meet. ...
(Lake Titicaca:) We just visited the floating islands of the Uros, manmade from reeds. It's hard to believe people actually live there and that it's not just a tourist destination. The houses are tiny and also made of totora reed. They live very self-sufficiently away from everyone, but have to come to the mainland for some supplies, and are losing their teenagers to the mainland. Like so many other lives here, it seems like such a precarious existence.
1. Massive Attack - Teardrop *
2. Gomez - See The World
3. Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentleman - Got To Be More Careful
4. Ben Harper - Waiting On An Angel
5. Michael Penn - Walter Reed
6. Elvis Costello - Beautiful **
7. Joe Cocker - Feelin' Alright
8. Sarah McLachlan - Dear God
9. Josh Rouse - God, Please Let Me Go Back
10. Lucinda Williams - Are You Alright?
11. Josh Ritter - Good Man
12. Band From TV - You Can't Always Get What You Want **
*North American release only
The FOX site lets you listen to samples now, and download a free track: Josh Rouse's "God, Please Let Me Go Back." September 18 is the release date.
I probably would have bought it anyway, even though I have most of these songs, since, c'mon, it's House, but the inclusion of the Elvis Costello track, the elusive cover of the Christina Aguilera song from "Autopsy," makes it a sure thing. So does the curiosity factor of listening to "You Can't Always Get What You Want" from Band From TV -- that's Hugh Laurie, Greg Grunberg of Heroes, James Denton of Desperate Housewives, and other actor/musicians. The soundtrack would be seriously lacking if it omitted that song, which humorously and then poignantly bookended season one.
The announcement linked above says the Sarah McLachlan version of "Dear God" was only previously released in Canada, and while I love her version -- I love her -- I don't actually remember it from House. Anyone?
I much prefer "Get Miles" from Gomez, used in "Distractions," to the included track, heard in "Half-Wit," but that's a quibble. There are so many sad omissions here that it would be ungrateful to whine about them. There've been, what, 70 episodes, with at least one memorable song in most? That's not going to boil down into one CD, even if you imagine the show could get the rights to put them all on their soundtrack.
Within those limits, they've done a good job of picking some emotion-laden tracks that evoke memorable scenes or character moments. There's the theme song, of course, with its heartbeat-like rhythms, though only the North American version gets it, presumably for the same rights issues that mean, I believe, only the North American airings of the show use it as the theme.
"Got to Be More Careful" by Jon Cleary (not, as the FOX site calls him, Jon Clearly), is what I think of as the anthem of the Vogler arc (great song, not such a great arc, but an important one). Ben Harper's "Waiting on an Angel" was used in "Lines in the Sand," when House made a connection with the autistic boy. Who could forget "Feelin' Alright" by Joe Cocker playing in the priceless final moments of "Detox," when House was on a long-awaited high after admitting he's an addict but insisting that isn't a problem. Lucinda Williams' gorgeous "Are You Alright?" ends "Fetal Position," when House sits at home alone in his own version of the fetal position. And Josh Ritter's "Good Man" rounds out the season in "Human Error", with House alone in a very different way, having pushed out or fired all his staff.
The omissions that make me sad would take up another lengthy post, and since I have at least most of the missing tracks already, I'm not sure why it makes me sad to have them missing from the official release. But Grant Lee Buffalo's "Happiness" reminds me of House himself every time I hear it, as does Ryan Adam's "Desire" to a lesser extent. And including Dave Matthew's "Some Devil" would have seemed fitting since the man himself eventually appeared on the show.
But I said I wouldn't dwell on the inevitable little heartbreaks, so instead I'll end on something that possibly makes me too nerdy for words for being ecstatic about -- Vancouver's own Nettwerk Records is releasing the soundtrack. That's the music company that sells DRM-free MP3s from their store; the company that's so against the record industry suing their customers that they offered to pay the legal fees of a Texas man being sued by the RIAA; the company that is attempting to revolutionize the way the music industry does business by putting more control in the hands of the artists, and by focusing on selling music in all its forms instead of just pushing CDs.
So great show meets great music meets great label. I'm so there, September 18.
"I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity."
- Tom Stoppard
Coincidence? Or did they know it was my birthday? Spooky. Though when people tell me I don't look my age, I reply "it's the immaturity," so I don't think I'm even getting the benefits of aging.
But it turns out I'm not only becoming a crotchety grandmother, I seem to be channelling my own grandmother, who was not at all crotchety.
I remember her marvelling that she was born at the most exciting time in history. She'd ask me to think of all the advances in her lifetime. Cars and planes and phones and television became commonplace. Women were declared persons. World War II and the Cold War came and went. A nurse, she saw medical advances including the introduction of the polio vaccine and the birth control pill, and the eradication of smallpox. She also lived to see personal computers and e-mail and the Internet ... not that she used them much.
In my own lifetime, it's the evolution of those web technologies that have changed the scope of my world dramatically. Dissection of the large-scale changes is best left to those with big brains and more time to dash off a blog post. But the small-scale change is itself remarkable, as I've had cause to remember lately.
I'm moving this weekend, and the apartment search was a far less painful experience than usual. When I stopped to think about why, it was obvious: the emergence of Craigslist.
I move a lot. I love the change; I hate the moving, from the search to the unpacking. Now, the Internet has made the search part a breeze, even if it can't yet help with lifting heavy things (though I also found my movers with an Internet search and comparison of reputation and BBB record).
I last moved two years ago, when Craigslist was already a popular place to post classified ads, and yet I found my current apartment through a newspaper ad after striking out there. Now, Craigslist has exploded, and is undoubtedly The Place. There's no reason to go anywhere else.
Advertisers don't pay, so they don't skimp on the words or use obscure acronyms. No more phone call after phone call to find an apartment that'll allow a cat, to people too cheap to put n/p in their ad. No more judging a place based on a 20 word description. Only the idiot advertisers don't take advantage of being able to give a full description and photos. And the vacancies are virtually all there, all in one place.
It's easy to think the Internet has expanded my world by giving me access to information from places and people that would have been out of my reach before. But another way to look at it is that it's made my world smaller ... in a good way.
I've recently booked flights online to meet up with people who have become great friends in real life, after initially meeting them through discussion groups and blogs and developing friendships through email.
Almost 15 years ago -- oh god, I am old -- I lived in a French area of New Brunswick for a year. This was before I or anyone I knew had email. I kept in touch with friends back home by phone and mail, and then after I returned, with friends I met there the same way. Contact was sporadic, and old friends became penpals more than a daily part of my life -- and that only if they were good about writing, like I was, or picking up a phone, like I wasn't and am not.
About five years ago, I lived in Mexico for a couple of years. Everyone I know had email, and that was my lifeline. I kept in touch regularly with a wider circle of people -- no need to decide if a correspondent was stamp- or toll-worthy, or if they'd think I was. And some of those casual friends became close friends with the ease of correspondence allowing us to further discover our compatibility.
Now, blogs and other social media sites help me keep connected with friends from across the continent, friends I've met because of the Internet, or managed to keep in touch with because of the Internet.
I can't be one to complain about the loss of the intimacy of phone calls and letters, because they haven't been lost. I haven't written a real snail mail letter for years, I'll admit, but I have written many a lengthy email I put just as much effort into. I've never been good at the phone, but I still spend a lot of time on it. Skype even makes that cheap and easy, if not always 100 percent reliable. All of these new tools have added, not subtracted, to my options and my feeling of connectedness to friends and family.
Maybe I can't come up with a list of advances like my grandmother's, but just the one -- the advances in Internet technologies -- is enough to make me marvel at living in one of the most exciting times in history.
But speaking of what's the world coming to ... I swear it crossed my mind for only a nanosecond, but the fleeting thought to post a picture of my butt did actually register up there. Not for anyone's titillation mind you - seriously, no one wants to see that - but out of astonishment that this weekend's power rafting, while not as crazy scary as the kayaking I did last year, has left more of a mark. Several large purple marks, in fact. Why yes, the raft was inflatable rubber, which generally speaking shouldn't leave a bruise, but those wooden joints sure seem to be everywhere when you're bouncing up and down and hanging on for your life in the middle of the rapids.
Sleeping on the ground isn't my favourite activity. Sleeping on the ground next to active train tracks is now on my list of least favourite activities. But the employees at the rafting resort (they use the term resort loosely) were amazing. We were a group of 13 people, the United Nations gang of friends from Mexico, Peru, Croatia, France, and boring old Canada (though we all live in Vancouver). Not only did the Spanish-speaking waitress make sure she helped out with our table at dinner and breakfast, and direct the tips to our actual waitress, who we never saw, but the other employees were equally friendly in English too. Plus, you know, we all survived the scary trip, so they're my favourite people now. The place we went kayaking last year was fine, but this place stood out for the nicer facilities and especially for the great service.
On the other hand, in my summer of mini vacations, I flew Air Canada the weekend before, and I have a new slogan for them. You know how Delta's is "We love to fly and it shows?" Air Canada's has got to be "We hate our jobs and it shows." I bet their employee recognition program celebrates the surliest flight attendants and ticketing people.
I'm booking flights for my upcoming Toronto-Wisconsin trip, and I'm trying to avoid Air Canada at all costs. Well, not at all costs. I've had many bad experiences with Air Canada over the years, and I always try to avoid them, but ... I got a great deal on my last trip. I have my principles, but I'll give them up to the lowest bidder.
I managed to avoid Air Canada for the Wisconsin part - and I did have a choice there - but if WestJet can't seduce me for the Toronto part, I'll reluctantly go with price over customer service. But I reserve the right to whine about Air Canada later ... and to want to show them a picture of my ass, for real.