Thursday, November 30, 2006

christmas tree!

I skipped school today and we got a christmas tree! It looks just like a clay-family tree in the old tradition with no ornaments on the bottom half, and a little lopsided. We had hot coco and year-old candy canes. Yum! I miss you guys.

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this is a big snuggle for you guys.
One of my enemies is middle aged women. the know-everything variety.
Oh and Leonardo Da Vinci
sketch books
unstretched canvas
acrylic paint
Professional grade mold latex
O.k., how about any art stuff
Clothes, I maybe
Music! Bob dylan(bringin' it all home) System of a down--mesmerize(or the new one Callie doesn't have) Black Sabbath-not live, Korn, Aerosmith--devil's got a new disguise --I don't really know what music I want, whatever--hard stuff.
Movies-cool ones
huggely buggely bears
Get me what you like, this list is just for convenience sake- you can get me a purple bunny hat--whatever.
Welp welp. Here it is, people. My Christmas list. Hurrah!

I mainly want CD's, so...

The Subways, Young for Eternity.

Bright Eyes, Letting off the Happiness or Fevers and Mirrors.

Kill Hannah, Kennedy. (I think that's what its called...)

The Honoray Title, Everything but the Truth.

The Pink Spiders, Teenage Graffiti.

Or whatever pops into your head when your shopping. As long as I get stuff... I'm happy. :p

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas List

Here you go, mom.

Christmas List:
-Tickets to Virginia for the 26th
-A mirror that hangs on the door
-Transluscent face powder makeup stuff (mine got destroyed :P)
-Kittens! :P

Park Güell

I hope that heaven is designed by Gaudí.
I went to Park Güell today. It is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. It's like Rivendel, of Doriath, or Valanor. It's amazing. I want to go there when I die. The entire park is themed around nature. It's full of columns and balcoies that are made out of stone and earth and pieces of pottery, and are all part of the natural landscape. The trees are as much a part of the archetecture and the pottery mutals. It's like heaven. I felt like I could die happy, there. I took millions of pictures. I'll upload some when I get home. I have never seen anything like it. I got a bunch of postcards, but they really fail to capture the awesomeness that is Park Güell.


secret friends:
daniel waterhouse
arthur dent
hermoine granger
elizabeth bennet (though she annoys me no end)

secret enemies:
sherlock holmes
bridget jones

Christmas lists

I think that every member of this exclusive blog should put their Christmas lists on here....just wild random wishes, not orders. What do you all think? By the way Dad and I are doing our big Rockford Christmas trip on Friday, so time is of the essence. Mom

Secret friends

Secret friends: Lord Peter
Pierre (sp?)
Melrose Plant

Secret enemies:Mr. Darcy
Hercule Poirot
Jack Ryan


Christmas lists

I think that every member of this exclusive blog should put their Christmas lists on here....just wild random wishes, not orders. What do you all think? By the way Dad and I are doing our big Rockford Christmas trip on Friday, so time is of the essence. Mom


Monday, November 27, 2006

Scooters, vacation, fall?

Sup guys?
I don't really have anything of great interest to say, but I figured it was time I posted something on here.
To tell you the truth posting (Blogging?) along with all of you is kind of intimidating. I mean really, who knew pedantic was a word? You people. Exactly.
It rocks face, you guys are awesome.

Today I learned...
1: It takes 3,000 cows to supply the Nation Football League with enough leather for one season's worth of footballs.
and 2: After adding maggots to their menu, a restaurant in Germany had a rush of bookings. The Espitas restaurant had maggot ice cream, fried maggots, maggot salads, etc... Apparently most people were pleasantly surprised by how good it was.

These two things might be complete crap, I have no idea. It comes from a questionable source.

So, that's that. Night :)
I just went Christmas shopping, I love buying presents, mmm fruit cake.
Callie and I hung around and got free candy from people, that was fun. The only problem is Sterling has about five places to shop( or hang out, for that matter), and those are pretty limited, so happy pink stars to Mom and Dad for moving, good plan.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Travel and Spain

United 908 is the largest airplane that I have ever been on. They gave everyone headphones, and there were little TVs on the back of every seat, with many channels in many languages to choose from. Because I was flying into Amsterdam, all of the announcements that they gave were in both Dutch and English. Dutch sounds like gibberish with an Irish accents.
I did not get to see the ocean from the plain, because it was the middle of the night. The sun did not rise until I was over Ireland. But I saw the Irish sea from the sky. It looked like a grey and white marble. It took me a long time to figure out what the waves were, because they did not look like they were moving from the sky, they just looked like white spots all over the sea.
Amsterdam is one of the flattest places that I have ever seen. And there is water everywhere. It is very pretty. The airport was huge, and they sold alcohol at every store in it. You could buy magazines and alcohol, chocolate and aclohol, and fruit drinks and alcohol! It was kind of crazy.
What had started as the snuffles at home developed into a full blown cold on the plane. I had to have tissue with me at all times, because my nose was inclined to run down to my chin. My ears also hurt horribly during the takeoffs and landings on the second flight, though on the one to Amsterdam they just popped like normal.
When I got into Spain I was a little confused about where to go, because every airport is set up differently. But I got my liggage without a hassle, and Dave met me atthe airport as planned. He brought me to see his host family, and then he took me to my hostel. It's pretty nice, though it takes a lot of walking to get there. The train only takes you to the bottom of the mountain, and from there you have to hike about a mile up the mountainside into the park (which is very beautiful. I was informed that there are wild boars in there, and the trees are amazing) to get to the hostel.
While wandering around downtown Spain I saw Las Ramblas, which is a plaze in the middle of Barcelona, where there are lots of merchans selling things from booths and performers on the streats. There was a person who painted pictures with spray paint and sold them. There were also several people dressed up as statues and standing perfectly still, and if you put money in their cups, they would move. One person was dressed up as atlas, and had a huge globe on his back.
Well, that's all for now, I'll send you another update once I've seen more. Oh, did you know that the Spanish word for "cold" is "constipado"?

I love you all,

P.S. Dad, I'm having a little trouble getting money out of an ATM. Do you know what the problem might be?

The Fountain review

The Fountain is a movie that can be characterised wholly by its great ambition. In scope it is epic, spanning 3 different time periods over 1000 years. Its ideas are similarly lofty, as the film attempts no lesser feat with its sprawling, psychadelic fantasy/science fiction narrative than to encapsulate the nature of life and death itself. The sheer, balls-out dedication to its soaring aspirations is both the film's strongest and weakest point. Though boldly beautiful and technically amazing, it toes the fine line between the surreal and strangely evocative and the absurd and risible.

Like director Darren Aronofsky's last movie, Requiem for a Dream, this story is structured around three seperate chapters. Unlike that movie, here they intertwine in a complex series of intercutting scenes and flashbacks. The movie begins with Hugh Jackman as a Spanish conquistador in the 16th century, searching Mayan temples in the new world for the fountain of youth. We are then taken to the year 2500 AD (identified as such in the trailer, though never in the film itself), where Jackman plays a bald-headed, barefoot man flying through space in a bubble containing himself and a great tree that is haunted by the spirit of his wife, played by Rachel Weisz. Here, he spends his time meditating in the lotus position, doing Tai Chi and tattooing himself with thousands of rings around his body to mark the passing years. Finally we are taken to the present day, where we find Jackman and Weisz as husband and wife.

Rachel Weisz's character, Izzy, is dying of brain cancer. She and Hugh Jackman's character, Tom, both deal with this in different ways. Tom is a doctor researching cancer, and throws himself into his work in the faint hope of finding a cure. Izzy is writing a book called "The Fountain" about a conquistador searching for the fountain of youth, and in contemplating her own death develops a fascination with the Mayan myths about Xibalba, the afterlife in the sky to which they travel through a dark path visible in the Milky Way.

The three chapters each contain the same characters, and events in each affect the others, but the movie is vague about any literal connection between their plots -- especially the 16th century chapter. Thematically, however, it is much easier to see how well they interlock. The present day shows Tom starting from the mindset of conquering his wife's cancer, dedicating himself to the task fully. That part of him is represented by the conquistador chapter, but it dies as he realizes his own helplessness and in a pivotal scene admits to fear. The space chapter represents his acceptance of life and death.

The movie is full of some of the most beautiful visuals you will ever see. The space chapter actually succeeds at giving a sense of glimpsing the infinite, and nearly every frame throughout the movie is meticulously composed and wonderfully shot. The music by Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet, though not quite the equal of the majestic and melancholy overture of Requiem for a Dream, is nevertheless excellent, feeling both vast and intimate at the same time.

I love The Fountain for its bravery and dedication to express itself, no matter the cost. People will hate this movie, and some people will adore it. For all it's flaws, it is in my opinion a thing of beauty that should be experienced.

Friday, November 24, 2006

pirates play

mark and matthew picked up a little cold and have coughs and fevers today, so we are having a fun play day. During marky's nap, matthew and I played pirates, and when he woke up mark wanted to play too. He's a good pirate marauder, but you have to make sure he doesn't eat the swords and muskets....

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Greetings on Thanksgiving...

Hello all, Matt here and I just wanted to take a moment of your time on this wonderful Thanksgiving to celebrate all that all of have to be thankful for. Today we started the day by cleaning the house, baking pies, and preparing the bird. We were supposed to have a total of 16 people but it looks like we are down to 10 adults and kids. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. I love to cook for alot of people and I take pride in making every year more special than the last. This year we have a great looking turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, gravy, wait I'm getting dizzy. Oh I love this holiday. Anyways, I hope all is well in Illinois. We are very thankful to have so many people that care about us and we can't wait to see all of you. Matt.
Never let Madie and Bredon drive you home on the highway, it goes kind of like this, Blah Blah, should we get off here? Umm, sure, Blah, don't you love Poe? Blah, Oh yes, string theory? Blah Blah-(Two hours later) Hey, where are we? Wait a minute, did that sign say Iowa? Hmm, I thought we were in Sterling, Oh well. Callie and I slightly discouraged in back seat.
(that's pretty much what happened last night)

Thanksgiving morning

The counters are lined with pies, seven of them that Rosie and I made yesterday afternoon between her double shift at Arthurs. Madeleine made 4 loaves of her famous cranberry bread and a beautiful lemon merengue pie...that one I am definately going to get a piece of. A half finished Monopoly game is in the school room, Sam and I might get back to it this morning...perhaps not. Dad and I are up, everyone else is happily asleep. I'm looking forward most of all to the pace of this day, slow, unhurried, some demands but not too many. We are going to the Davises for dinner and a long day of the Thankful game...and other amusements. I will be recording the results on a later posting. Gwen we may call you for at least one addition (to the Tthankflns*)and Matt, Matthew and Mark, we might even ask for a contribution from you! If you hate the idea please let me know by 3:00 Central time.

I finished Anne Frank. It brings horrifying events (like genoside) out of the realm of statistics and grand tragedy to one person, two families. So much worse, so much harder to take.

*Typcl Mm abbrvtttin


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

chocolate disaster

I think my mood transfers itself to my baking. Also I am a terrible chemist. So would a scientific sibling or an experienced baker (mom or rosie, i mean you) please help explain my latest disaster? I was melting chocolate chips on the stove for dipping chocolate balls of death, and the chocolate was a trifle thick - so I added a dab of shortening, thinking that might make it more liquid. Instantly, it turned into solid chocolate putty, the consistency between plado and already-cooked brownies. It was like I added ice-nine. What happened here? WHHHHYYYYYYYYY!

Robot hornets

As I was brousing the internet, I came across a site on the latest robot technology. Check out this story. It's about an insect sized robot that's being developed in Isreal for combat use. Scary, huh? Our technology is better than the technology in Dune! But we still can't travel from planet to planet... Where are the Bene Gesserit?

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Navigating the blog

Rosie just helped me to get into a position where I can write on this group photo album- diary- editorial page. It seemed to be a very complicated process. Ben and Sam are tucked into their wonderful cosy beds, that is the one thing I miss most about childhood, the tucking in ritual. They have their favorite stuffed animals with their nick-names and their powers (computer games seem to penetrate every aspect of their imaginary life)...and their blankets just so, prayers are said, and they are ready for sleep. The rest of us are finding our posts, Mark asleep already with a book on his face and his reading light still on, when I turn it off he will shudder and then go back to sleep. Rosie is cleaning up after her painting project, Callie is in bed with a book and some music very close to her ear turned way down because someone stole her head-phones. Bredon is beating some new game upstairs, some things never change. Madeleine is sleeping covered with an unimaginable amount of blankets-our house is cold in winter! I am reading "The Diary of Anne Frank" I've never read it before, what an amazing combination of the banal and the horrifying. I'll write more about it when I am may be as much as a week from now as I am only reading in stolen moments which are few and far between.


Family pictures


Hello people, how is my little family doing?
I wonder if this blog will turn out anything like our usual family conversations, I guess it's harder to get really passionate about subjects in print, that might change certain people's approach to debating. heh heh.
Is Matthew going to post? Ben and Sam should too.
We may never have to speak to each other in person again, wouldn't that be handy.

Have any of you ever heard Aristophane's theory on the three sexes?
The two headed, eight limned menwomen, and the original males and the females. The menwoman were cut in half by the gods because they were too powerful, and all descendants of the menwomen are heterosexual and all descendants of first females are lesbian and descendants of the first males are gay.
So that's what happened.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Selling the house

This morning began with a loud cry of “They’re coming now!” followed by half an hour of hyperventilation and frantic cleaning intermittent with panicked shouting. The house just went up on the market, and all the realtors came to look at it this morning. For about an hour our house was full of men and women in suites, gabbing, eating cookies, drinking coffee, stalking from room to room, and taking pictures of everything. Welcome to the world of moving.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Stranger Than Fiction review

okay here's a thing for this thing

Stranger Than Fiction is a movie about a man named Harold Crick and his wristwatch. The wristwatch is by far the more interesting of the two, a fact which has begun to annoy it horribly. Harold Crick is an IRS agent who counts everything in his life, from the number of times he has brushed each tooth in his mouth to the number of seconds he has spent putting on his tie. We are informed of all of this by the crisp, British accent of narrator Emma Thompson. Much to his surprise, so is Harold Crick. He responds to this omnipresent voice describing his actions and inner thoughts as they happen with confusion followed by growing alarm.

Marc Forster brings many of the same visual tricks to this movie as his similarly existential (though much less popular) 2005 movie, Stay. CG effects display graphically Harold Crick's number based world, counting off along with him the number of steps between his house and the bus stop or the precise percentage to which the bathroom soap dispensers are filled. The settings are full of subtle (and unsubtle) geometric details that make every single inch of screen space into something fascinating.

Will Ferrell turns in an unexpectedly good performance as the understated Harold Crick, playing the character for laughs while avoiding his usual overacting. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays his foil, a woman who runs a bakery that Crick has been assigned to audit. Although she is understandably unfriendly towards Harold, she brings a sense of warmth and heart to her character and even makes you believe that she could eventually fall in love with this man. Dustin Hoffman plays a barefoot literary professor who is intrigued by Harold Crick's narrator and takes on the task of analyzing the voice in his head. Emma Thompson is amazing as Kay Eiffel, a reclusive writer who spends her time visualizing her own death for inspiration as she struggles with writer's block.

This movie has many big laughs, but does more than simply exploit it's high-concept premise for jokes. It is a movie that isn't afraid of thinking about the subjects that it brings up, and raises questions about the nature of life and providence, as when Hoffman's character talks to Crick about the difference between "plot" and coincidence. The ending is a cheap trick, but the characters know that, admit it, and choose to go along with it.


I'm off to Spain in 5 days, so, here's a question. What would people like me to bring back for them? Postcards? Clothing? Absynthe? :P
Here's the lowdown on my trip. I'm leaving on the 24th, and arriving on the 25th. I'll be staying at a pretty little hostel on top of a mountain in the middle of Collserola Park in the heart of Barcelona. Here are some pictures of the park that David took for me.
On the 1st of December, I'm heading over to London for a few days, where I will visit my friend Perrie and see the city (I could also get you something from there, if you would like). Then, on the 3rd, I'm coming back to Barcelona, and catching a flight back home on the 4th.
After I get back, I'll post a bunch of pictures from my travels.

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Fall term

Okay, here are pictures from fall term. The one below is me and my residents dressed up one night, and the one on the right is my halloween costume. Enjoy.

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practice post

marky flying in overalls