Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don Quixote

After seeing this particular xkcd (which I can strongly relate to) I realized that, while I know the story of Don Quixote through parodies and pop culture, I've never actually read it. So I picked up from the library and gave it a try.

At first, I was very amused at the silliness of the language, and the fact that the antics were just as ridiculous as portrayed in any parody. But the depth of the story never really changed. There was a shallowness and redundancy to the plot that made it feel less like reading a book and more like watching TV - in particular, like watching a painfully mediocre sitcom.

Occasionally there would be long pages of what was obviously social commentary and satire on some topic from the time it was written, and before long I would skip entire chapters. It's kind of like when you watch a really dated movie that has pop culture references, you think "oh, that's commentary on this thing that happened," and shrug and move on.

Don Quixote is very straight forward, and pretty flat. There's really no change in any of the characters, and the plot devices and antics never really change, either.

When I found that the incident with the windmills happens in the very beginning of the book, and is pretty unimportant to the story as a whole, I was puzzled. But after reading on, I figured it was because very few people probably read much further than that :)

So, Don Quixote, I gave you a solid attempt! It just wasn't working out. Sorry!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Batman Dream

I had a fascinatingly epic dream! For LJ people who hate reading about dreams, a cut. For everyone else, tough luck!

In the dream, I became friends with the Joker. This would be the newest, Heath Ledger-portrayed Joker (which, I'm surprised to say, has trumped Mark Hamill as my all-time favorite Joker! Who would have thought!). When I found out he was the Joker, I was like "Aw, does this mean we can't be friends anymore?" and he was like "Well.....I mean...I guess we're still cool." So we became the bestest of friends.

Now, apparently this was before the Joker went *totally* crazy. He was still pretty crazy, I mean, but there was some semblance of humanity left in him at this point. Batman, of course, did not trust the Joker one bit.

The dream quickly turned very psychologically heavy, and I found myself in the precarious situation that A) If the Joker thought that I didn't trust him, he would surely be driven over the brink of sanity, but that B) he's the freakin Joker, so of course I was kind of scared to be in his company, especially when he had crazy Joker moments! It suddenly became very emotionally themed and circled around the nature of our friendship, and the responsibility I felt for keeping the friendship from tumbling over the precipice of no-return while at the same time keeping myself safe. The sort of thing that would probably never show up in a Batman movie (though in a Batman comic, I wouldn't be surprised).

Batman did not approve.

At one point in the dream, I found myself in some sort of trouble - kidnapped by some third party bad-guy. The Joker came to rescue me, since we were BFF. Batman, on the other hand, assumed my kidnapping to be the work of the "not trustworthy afterall, I should have known!" Joker, and also came to my rescue, complicating matters. It turned out that the whole thing was a setup by the third party bad-guys, in order to devastate the Joker's tie to friendship and push him over the edge of madness!

I don't know how the situation ended, having woken up, and I spent the entire day thinking about it and wondering what happened and worrying about my close, personal friend, the Joker. I always hope that dreams like this will resume upon the next night's sleep, and that the conclusion will be revealed at last! I know better by now, but I still hope.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

San Francisco wrap-up

Ugh, I have been sick like a dog all week with post-convention funk. I think I'm finally killing it, though.

So, GDC was fun times for sure, but several of us stayed an extra day over the weekend to hang out around San Francisco. Andy, Edmundo and I stayed with M.E. We got up the next morning and headed for Chinatown to meet Carlos, Carren, and Carren's sister. The goal was dim sum, but no no, not just ANY dim sum.

You see, when the crew went on their ETC West Coast trip two years ago, they went to a specific dim sum place while in San Francisco. They were all determined to find the same place again, but had no idea what the name of the restaurant was, and nothing but fragmented memories about where exactly it was located.

Between looking up dim sum places and seeing if they looked familiar on Google Street View, looking at photos from their West Coast Trip to see if any pictures contained street signs in the background, and trying to combine their memories ("I remember it was at the crest of a hill!" "I think we were parallel to the Transamerica Tower!" and no less than a dozen "THIS LOOKS FAMILIAR!"), we walked up and down nearly every block in all of Chinatown and STILL didn't find the place.

I suggested that perhaps it were a magical place, and you could only find it if you'd never been there before. All the same, I wasn't about to go wandering around by myself to test the theory.

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of good dim sum in Chinatown in San Francisco, so we still had a DELICIOUS lunch!

The other big highlight of the day was going to see the Exploratorium. I had heard many sing the praises of this science museum, and was anxious to check it out for myself. The songs of praise are true! It is, by far, the best science museum I have ever been to. All of the exhibits are 95% interaction and only 5% text (The Louisville Science Center's newest installations could learn from this place for sure) and the interactions were significant and engaging (not just "press this button").

Of course we didn't see it all, and I really wanted to check out the Touchdome, but it was sold out for the day. This is fine, for it will give me an excuse to go back to San Francisco at some point so I can finishing exploring the museum. HEY COLIN!! Can I come visit you sometime so we can go to the Exploratorium? :D

Anyway, it was lovely time spent in San Francisco. (it was actually sunny for the whole week! Not a cloud in the sky! MADNESS!!)