Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Monthly Sidebar Update!

Let's jump right into it:

The new Object of My Affection is Jewel Staite, who is, and I'm not pulling any punches here, cute as a button. A button I say!!! Here is a bonus picture to reinforce my case:

And deny too that you are... THE SHROPSHIRE SLASHER!!!

Cute as a button. DENY IT IF YOU DARE!

She's been acting for a while, for someone of her young age: a decade ago, she had recurring roles on Space Cases and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. But she's probably best known as the much beloved Kaylee from Firefly and Serenity. She's currently featured on the Sci-Fi Channel's Stargate: Atlantis, though, sadly, even her presence is not enough to get me to watch a weak spin-off of a show I didn't care about in the original iteration.

My Kurt Vonnegut Reading Project continues to cruise along. Since the last Update, I've finished Bagombo Snuff Box, as well as A Man without a Country and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. A Man without a Country was his final book, and a brief one, and I'll have more to say about it soon. As for Rosewater: I'd read this book before, about 20 years ago, and as with most of Vonnegut's books I read around that time, I remembered almost nothing about it. I find I didn't like it as much as I expected to, or thought I once had. It feels a bit meandering, and I didn't like Eliot Rosewater as much as I anticipated liking him, when I re-encountered him a few months ago in Slaughterhouse-Five (he appears there in an insane asylum, along with that book's hero, Billy Pilgrim). The book is a bit sadder and meaner than I was expecting (and that's saying a lot, for a Vonnegut book). But it's still Vonnegut, which means it's still very sharp and funny, especially in its characterization of Eliot's father, the rabidly conservative Senator Rosewater, and well worthwhile. I just finished it today, so I'm not entirely sure which Vonnegut is next, though I'm leaning toward his final novel, which I have never read, Timequake.

Under Watching, we've got more Babylon 5. I'm up to the fifth and final season, and, while it's not quite as bad as I was bracing myself for, it's still a dramatic drop in quality from the stellar fourth season. And no Claudia Christian! What a crime.

For Listening, there is Barenaked Ladies Are Me. I got this a few months ago, and frankly, I'm still trying to like it. I've been a huge fan of BNL since buying Gordon about 15 years ago, but this album, and their previous one, Everything To Everyone, just leave me cold. The hooks aren't as strong, the humor is greatly diminished -- both albums feel very soporific and bland, and the songs all run together for me. But I keep trying to like this one. I'm waiting for that moment where it clicks, and I really get into it, the way I have with other albums (not theirs, necessarily; I went through the same thing with Ben Folds' first solo album, or Fountains of Wayne's Welcome Interstate Managers). Hasn't happened yet.

Hating: Cal. Still not over it!

Lyric of the Moment is from "Whole Wide World," by Wreckless Eric. I recently bought the DVD of Stranger Than Fiction, which is so tremendously sweet and sad and funny and inventive. This song is from the scene where Will Ferrell plays guitar for Maggie Gyllenhaal; he sings to her with his eyes tightly shut, and you can see her falling in love with him right then and there. It's terribly romantic, and this song works perfectly in that moment.

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