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So usually, I actually find the sensation of getting tattoos kind of pleasant.  It hurts, but it sort of hurts in a nice way.  Like massage or having someone gently pull your hair (my hairstylist always sort of gathers my hair, close to the scalp, and pulls it, and it feels LOVELY). 

Today I went to get touch-up work done on the tattoo between my shoulder blades (it's a 2" x 2" Auspice Maria, in black).  I got there, stripped down to my cami to show the artist the spots that needed to be darkened.  And then she was all, Oh!  Right after I did this, I switched to a different black that doesn't fade out as much as this one did!  I'm just going to fix this up a bit!

"Fix this up a bit" turned out to mean "redo the entire tattoo."  And it HURT.  I don't know what was different this time, but it was really pretty incredibly awful - 45 minutes of staring at the wood grain in the floor, trying not to move but also trying to remember to breathe, until I was weirdly sort of out-of-body and this felt like something that was happening to someone else. 

I went to Target afterwards and saw myself in the dressing-room mirror and I looked sort of pale and shocked and out of it.  I thought the other Target shoppers were admiring my blue-green skinny jeans (yes, they're kind of weird and overly fashion-y), but in fact, I think they were worried that I was going to pass out or throw up amongst the $19.99 maxi dresses. 

May. 9th, 2012

The problem with three drinks, when you are a 130-lb lady:  enough to give you a hangover, not enough to make you drunk on a epic scale. 

Really after age thirty, you should only get drunk if it's going to be EPIC. 

Tonight is not EPIC, but tomorrow is going to be suboptimal. 
Note to self:  do not re-read Brideshead Revisited when in a particularly elegiac mood, especially not after a second glass of wine. IT WILL END IN TEARS.
YOUR BEST ROAD-TRIP SONGS. 

Hit me with them. 

(yes, I'm spamming lj.  It's that kinda day/night/week)
Kind of awesome article by Kim Newman on why so many vampire stories are terrible.  Newman's "Anno Dracula" is a pretty great book, and I'm psyched to see that he has a new one out.  

I recently watched "Daybreakers", that weird Ethan Hawke vampire movie that came out a few years ago. Given the bloodsucker glut we're currently living through, it was kind of refreshing to see a movie in which (i) there is no sexy bloodsucking and (ii) vampirism is not a desirable state of being.  It was also pretty cool, aesthetically.  Not quite awesome, in the end, but a nice change from everything else that's out there.  Justin Cronin's "The Passage" was another recent non-sexy take on vampirism that I found interesting (although lots of the post-apocalyptic colony storyline was painfully predictable if you've read "The Stand" or anything similar).  

 
So I am currently enjoying a truly delightful one-month break between jobs.  I am not getting paid, so this isn't garden leave (although I wish it was, just because I would enjoy saying that I was on garden leave, as anyone who knows me would promptly because extremely worried for the state of American horticulture).  But it is a completely turned-off break, and I'm really enjoying it. 

I had to cancel my Scotland trip, since I have to start New Job, and I couldn't go anywhere as I still have my weekly teaching gig at the law school.  But just having this time, in Seattle, at a lovely time of year, with nothing to do except please myself...it's miraculous. 

I've been reading a ton - and I have enough of an attention span, due to the lack of a blackberry, that I can actually read stuff that requires concentrated effort.  Currently I'm reading "Finance and the Good Society", by Robert Shiller - it's really excellent, especially if you are, like me, a capitalist by persuasion but concerned about the state of the free market. 

The biggest difference, however, is that for the first time in four years or so, I have quiet space in my mind.  Because I don't have the constantly blinking blackberry (the "red light of death to your weekend", my friend calls it), or the constant awareness of how much I have to do, my mind is actually, when not being used, quiet still. 

It is remarkably pleasant. 

On a completely other note, I watched "A Scandal in Belgravia" last night and was really disappointed.  First off, I felt like the "what Sherlock's thinking" captions were used more than usual (and more than necessary).  Secondly, I wasn't interested by Irene Adler, and I didn't buy that she was so unique and different that she would have penetrated the haze of Sherlock's sherlockitude. 

Anyway.  Next week is their riff on "The Hound of the Baskervilles," which I love AND the episode has Russell Tovey in it.  I think he's fantastic, so I have high hopes. 
ALSO I FORGOT TO TELL YOU GUYS that I am reading 6-10 category romances about millionaires and billionaires in preparation for writing some kind of crazy essay about them.  After 50 Shades of Grey was "published" (using quotation marks to distinguish its appearance in actual bookstores from its appearance as Twilight fic), I became fascinated by the fact that there is a "girl marries incredibly wealthy guy" subgenre in romance.  And now I'm reading a whole bunch of them.  PLEASE STAND BY. 

I am burdened with a glorious purpose

I went to see The Avengers yesterday.  Although you may be reluctant to trust my recommendations given my general fondness for dreck, I found it to be awesome in unexpected ways.  

Perhaps most surprisingly, it actually made me care about the Hulk.  Previously, my opinion had been that the Hulk franchise is the graveyard in which vaguely artsy Hollywood actors bury their dreams of action movie stardom.  But I found Mark Ruffalo to be pitch perfect as a worldweary guy constantly battling the enormous green lesser angel of his nature.  And to be truly scary in one sequence.  CGI doesn't generally make me feel fear so that was exciting. 

Also!  ScarJo was pretty great.  I've always liked her, but I thought the character was a bit of a throwaway in Iron Man II.  I think that Whedon probably gets much of the credit for that, given that he has a previously demonstrated ability to write female action-hero characters, but in the hands of most actresses, she would have been a ridiculous sex bomb.

Yes, it's a bit ungainly (too many characters, too many dimensions of conflict) and some of the characters aren't drawn with a lot of depth as a result.  For example, if I were an Avenger, I'm pretty sure I'd end up shoving Captain America off the helipad out of annoyance at his general moral uprightness.  And the movie doesn't do much with Hawkeye - he's in a ton of scenes, but it's hard to figure out, precisely, what the point of him being in this movie is (other than to allow me to continue to indulge my attachment to JRenner).  And Whedon does do a VERY WHEDONESQUE THING THAT MADE ME VERY UNHAPPY, which, if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. 

But all that aside, I really was pretty delighted with it.  And I haven't even talked about Loki and Thor's hilario-awesome dialogue!  Or how weirdly attractive I find the Hiddleston to be!  Or the fact that I found myself, strangely enough, wishing for MORE Gwyneth Paltrow!

In short, it was $11 well spent.  Of course, I'll need to cleanse my mind of the stain of something Actually Good by watching something bad, to return me to my normal equilibrium.  Perhaps I can Netflix Mongolian Death Worm? 
You know, that Samuel L. Jackson iPhone commercial becomes far more charming when you learn that SLJ has been married to his college sweetheart for thirty years. 

Apr. 28th, 2012

Watching bad movies is not all I do.  But I am, in fact, at home tonight, watching a SyFy Channel Original movie called "STONEHENGE APOCALYPSE."

Yes, I feel it deserves all-caps, okay? 

This stars Misha Collins (who I find deeply charming) as a hotter Art Bell, and That Chick From Stargate: Atlantis, basically playing That Character From Stargate: Atlantis, only without Stargate's painfully convoluted alien galacto-political backstory.  

Digression:  I watched the first episode of Stargate Universe on Netflix, and found it to be thoroughly Meh, despite my desire to enjoy it.  I like things in the "Lost in Space" genre (like Farscape) so I had hopes for SGU, but it bored me.  The truth is that I feel Meh about every entry in the Stargate franchise, with the exception of the original movie, which had an Edgar Rice Burroughs-y charm.  Sometimes I catch episodes from the early years of Stargate: Original Flavor, and they're more enjoyable because they're more monster-of-the-week focused, but generally, I can't sit through a single one even though I find Richard Dean Anderson kind of hilarious.  To me, the desire to give the Stargate franchise some kind of epic scope was precisely what dragged it down and made it dead boring, not to mention creating barriers to entry.  It couldn't attract new viewers over time, because unless you knew the whole story with the Ori and the Ancients and the ascended Asgardian whatever-whatevers, there was nothing, on a weekly basis, to keep you watching. 

Anyway.  Back to STONEHENGE APOCALYPSE, where there's electromagnetic energy emerging from Stonehenge (a hilarious, tiny photoshopped Stonehenge), which is apparently firing off volcanoes all over the world.  I love how often SyFy turns to the "MAGMA'S GONNA KILL US ALL" theory (see:  Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York; Fire from Below; Magma: Volcanic Disaster; Megafault; Swamp Volcano).

Oh MAN, and in perusing the list of SyFy movies to find all the volcano ones, I discovered that I somehow missed a SyFy Channel Original Movie called MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM.  Unfortunately, it is disc-only on Netflix, SIGH. 

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