Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bits and sundries

I found a major improvement on my bike ride in to class, which is nice. I found a dedicated bike lane parallel to Sepulveda which allows me to avoid the I405 onramps, which makes my life much happier. This is not, however, blog-worthy news. As I rode my bike in this morning, though, I was annoyed to find that the path had been blocked with yellow tape, forcing me to follow my old, less-safe route. I quickly realized, though, that the yellow tape was in fact police tape, and not much further up the road two police officers were talking over a dead body in the middle of the bike lane. I was less annoyed after that.

I saw a double billing of Ingmar Bergman movies at a nifty little art theater last week. This was my first time seeing any of his movies, and his reputation is definitely well-deserved. It's strange how juvenile a lot of the subject matter was, though: the first movie, Autumn Sonata, is about a mother and daughter hashing out the problems in their relationship, and features the daughter complaining at her mother because she was forced to go to gymnastics lessons and her mom made her cut her hair (among other such relatively banal complaints). The second movie, Cries and Whispers, features the emotastic line "It's true, I have considered suicide." It sounds like a bunch of angsty teenagers yelling at each other. But the movies are still really good! I mean, saying Ingmar Bergman is a good director is kind of like saying Shakespeare was a pretty decent writer, I guess, but still. It was impressive to see how good direction could make a banal subject (in Autumn Sonata anyway) really gripping (and depressing!).

And finally, for those of you who actually care about progress in my life and not just random anecdotes, things are going really well for me. My classes are interesting and engaging (even if I did intentionally give myself a light workload for the first term). I've talked to my advisor, who has given me office-space (hooray!) and ideas for research (hooray!). Overall, I definitely feel like I've made the right choice in coming back to school. Even if I learned this morning that I was the oldest person in my Spanish class. Including the teacher.


  1. As someone who's read a lot of Shakespeare, and who quite likes him, I think I can say with some confidence that he wrote fair amount of stuff that's complete shite. Sure, Hamlet's all quality and stuff, but Timon of Athens essentially tries to squeeze drama out of bankruptcy. It's not thrilling.

    Ingmar Bergman, though, I'd still like to check out.

    On the other side of your situation, it took me quite a while to get comfortable teaching people who are older than me. It was just plain surreal sitting down with people twenty years older than me and assuming the role of "teacher." Your Spanish teacher might think it just as weird that someone older than them is sitting in class.

  2. emotastic.
    totally a word

    and yeah, totally going to teach that to someone next week for fun... possibly the Japanese staff who complain a lot.


    --and finding a good bike route is indeed important news. I hope to go in search of one on my weekend in fact.

  3. Alright, fair enough. To maintain a bit of cred as a literate aesthete type, I should have picked a less obvious example than Shakespeare. Dostoevsky, perhaps? I'll be more careful next time.

    Glad to expand your vocabulary, Kori. It's only one of the many exciting services I provide. Whee!

  4. Strangely, it makes me feel better that there was a dead body in your bike lane. Last night, I was awoken by gun shots. Good times. Stay safe. I shall think of you as I bike to school. Remember, don't flip SUV's off. I did this week. I blame sleep deprivation. However, upon reflection, I decided that the 200 pounds that make up me and my bike are no match for 4,000 pounds of steel.

  5. I don't think flipping off SUVs would make any difference. They're already trying to kill me.

    The dead body was in the middle of the Westwood Tennis Center. It's a pretty nice part of town, so I'm guessing it was probably a homeless person or the like. Don't know for sure. Glad I could make you feel better, though. :-)

  6. Weird. Not sure why it used /that/ account to post my comment...

  7. Welcome to graduate school. Oh sure, it's starts off all exciting and fresh. Oh, fun classes! Oh, an office with other grad students who have similar interests as me! Oh, research in an area that I find stimulating and challenging! Just wait. Just wait. It's not all wine and roses.