Monday, February 25, 2008

gore weekend


No Country for Old Men. Just in time to say I saw it before Bardem got the Oscars. Yay for Javi!!

By the way. It seems people who have seen this movie are neatly divided between those who loved it and those who hated it because it was slow or violent or both. Me, I did like it a lot, as it's very character driven and manages to keep a certain sense of hope on humanity in spite of the grim grim story. I really love some touches of the film, e.g. the jacket/shirt story. It's also very neatly organized, which is quite a feat considering how many threads the plot has. Makes me want to read Cormac McCarthy --I'll add it to the to-read list.

Ps. Cruellest part of the film -- Javier Bardem's haircut. Geeze.


Spent half of the day with my friend-of-the-seven-cats, the other half with mum of-the-eternal-home-renovations (my mum's home is right now under siege by masons, painters, plumbers, floor-varnishers and the like). Result: massive dust/cat allergy attack.

Spent the night realizing I have forgotten to dance sevillanas and remembering my ski trip -- by way of various thigh pains. Oh joy.


Sweeny Todd. Never again will I eat meat pie, period. Realized, mid-movie, I've spent the bloodiest weekend since that Kill Bill Marathon. Like Kill Bill, much of the fun was visual --great costumes, great sets. I got a bit tired by so much music at the beginning of the film, mostly because I wasn't expecting it (the Spanish trailer cleverly avoids the subject, as musicals don't sell well here). Then I got used to it.

Cruellest part of the film: ♪Joaaanaaaaaaaa I feel youuuuuuuuuu.... ♪ encores over dinner ;) .
Overall conclusion: vengeance is bad, sleeping with seven cats is worse.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wii Fit: mark my words, the holodeck is coming

Well, it was just a matter of time -- there was the tennis wii, the golf wii and the bowling wii, so the full-gym wii just had to happen. It could be good news - maybe young kids and not-so-young kids will finally get some exercise. But it could also become the fastest way to get a bazillion lazy people injured in new fascinating ways. We'll see. For the time being, I'll stick to (not) going to a traditional gym, just in case.

But the really good news for me is that this brings us a step closer to my cherished dream of having a home holodeck. Now, that would make me buy a wii. The Robin Hood wii, the Picard Detective wii, the 18th century clipper wii... aaah the possibilities... (*) :)


(*) I want a fencing wee, mostly. Does that exist already? Hm.

Monday, February 11, 2008

you know St. Valentine's Day has gone WAY too far when...

... it invades the Merriam Webster dictionary. This isborderline surreal. What have we done to deserve this?

Check for yourselves, for a limited period (I HOPE!!!)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The anorexic look moves on to men

Geez. The kind of guys I like are on the verge of extinction? There can't possibly be anything less sexy than a guy on a salad diet! And I like them tall!! Damn you, Slimane!

The Vanishing Point, from NY Times.

Yes, I KNOW that real-life guys will never come to this point. But heck, the only guys I meet daily are media/fictional/imaginary ones. I envision a cluster of sad Adrien Brody clones populating my future... and I'f much rather have Javier Bardem eating steak...

Friday, February 8, 2008

And this is the sort of thing I should be studying at teacher training... oh wait

...I don't get no teacher training...

It's quite a story. A Hasidic Jew with a military training in a Black-Hispanic school in the Bronx that had managed to get rid of six principlas in two years. The system? A school uniform, hallway patrols, meeting with teachers individually, a student congress, dividing the school into eight different "academies", and giving them "a taste of worlds beyond their own" by doing things like taking them to etiquette lessons.

For me the most important part of the article is the idea that schools (and classrooms I guess) should have a right to admission. Nope, the *right* to an education does not equal the *right* to remain in a building whatever you do or say. This is the major problem, I think, with failing schools -- we've turned them into jails, not places you are priviledged to be in for free (ironic how the administrators jumped more at him expelling students than, it seems, at the police asking for a backup). This is related with wearing a uniform -- besides the gang-color mentality, going to school is not going to a disco or to a park. A few years ago, I would have thought that these measures are too harsh, but I've come to realize that sitting back is the real backwards measure -- low or no expectations are the most demotivating thing you can do to a kid. Dumbing down, obviously, leads to dumbness; and the more you push the line of what you consider unacceptable, the further the "mean" students will go.

And, as for meeting with teachers... it would be nice, for a change, to arrive into a school and get the principal to talk to you for more than five seconds, or, well, introduce himself. The school I work for this year, for example, apparently seems to be a quiet, well-run school, but, as usual, the new teachers are at the bottom of the food chain, and, sadly, sometimes it has to do with not having been told at the beginning of the year how the school is run. We're expected to come, see, and conquer. Well, it doesn't work like that.

In any case, an article worth reading.

He focused relentlessly on hallway patrols, labeling one rowdy passageway the “fall of Saigon.” In an effort to eliminate gang colors, he instituted a student uniform policy.
He even tried to send home the students who flouted it, a violation of city policy that drew television news cameras. In his first year, he suspended so many students that a deputy chancellor whispered in his ear, “You’d better cool it.”

In Bronx School, Culture Shock, Then Revival

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Quote of the Day

In Spanish: "Vuelve a escribir las frases poniendo las palabras entre paréntesis en el lugar correcto" (Rewrite the sentences putting the words between brackets in the correct place)

1. I reading a magazine (am)

______(I reading a magazine)________________

And so the 5 sentences of the exercises. Should I laugh, should I cry or should I write my resignation?

Ps. On the up side, most of the kids in this class have had above average results in this class. Considering this is a remedial class, I'm so proud of them I could do somersaults. But some are hopeless (see above).