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9 entries from January 2010

Proving wrong the old adage about stuff not growing on trees*

Via a BBC News article:

A novel—and natural—way of creating new bones for humans could be just a few years away.

Scientists in Italy have developed a way of turning rattan wood into bone that is almost identical to the human tissue.

* Yes, I know rattans are not, strictly speaking, trees, but are more like vines. But the metaphor/lame joke doesn’t work if the facts are paid strict attention.

The problem of Zooey Deschanel

I’m watching (500) Days of Summer and liking it, a lot.

I put it in my Netflix queue because it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I first saw in “3rd Rock from the Sun” (and good Lord, that show ended NINE YEARS AGO?), and a bit later in 10 Things I Hate About You, which I loved. Still do—it was one of the first DVDs I owned, in fact.

“(500) Days of Summer” movie poster (click for larger) Recently I heard about this little indie film, (500) Days of Summer, about a guy who falls in love with a girl who doesn’t. And oh by the way it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I like. Into the Netflix queue it goes.

Only then do I realize: It also stars Zooey Deschanel, whom I dislike.

Now if you ask my family about times in the past when I’ve expressed disdain for actors or actresses, it’s very likely they’ll tell you about the time I declared my utter undying HATRED for Steve Martin. How I went on for a good while about how he’d never been in any good movies, never would be. A useless pile of flesh who somehow managed to be cast in movies and by his very presence contaminated them.

The problem with this declaration of utter undying HATRED was, however, that I actually like Steve Martin. I like several movies he’s been in, among them Parenthood and Roxanne and All of Me, and I’ve enjoyed his comedy bits and his TV appearances and his banjo-playing and many of his essays and other writings, even. It's the damnedest thing, then, that at some point in my life I spent a minimum of 20 minutes describing in vivid detail my absolute contempt for Steve Martin, until Katharine reminded me about Parenthood and All of Me and what about Roxanne and oh, yeah, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and L.A. Story? And I said, hey, the first two times I saw L.A. Story, I did hate it, well at least didn’t like it much, but now it’s grown on me a bit, and really it turns out I don’t hate Steve Martin at all. I just don’t like a couple movies he was in.

Ever since then, when I’ve said I didn’t like an actor, I’ve been reminded of my Steve Martin declaration and its utter insanity.

“Tin Man” poster (click for larger)My dislike of Zooey Deschanel is based mainly on one astoundingly lame turn, her appearance in a SciFi (I can’t bring myself to type that channel’s lame new spelling of its name and since the show I’m going to talk about was before the branding change anyway, puh hah) miniseries called “Tin Man”, a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz for the video-game and text-message era. Zooey Deschanel played DG, the updated Dorothy, with perfect vapidity and a strange detachment that made it seem like she was rotoscoped into the scenes after the fact.

And she was in Eulogy, where multiple generations of a family get together for the patriarch’s funeral and all the secrets come out of the woodwork, and it was like she was channeling her DG self several years in the future.

But now she’s playing Summer in this movie (500) Days of Summer and I find myself thinking, goddammit. She’s good in this. I’m liking her in spite of myself, and it annoys me, because I’m not just liking the character, I’m specifically liking her portrayal of the character.


Who can recommend me a Zooey Deschanel flick that will re-validate my hostility?

Blargh, Peet’s Coffee on Queen Anne Ave closing today

Via the Queen Anne View neighborhood blog, disappointing news about the top of the hill:

As we welcome in 2010, Queen Anne may be saying goodbye to a third of the neighborhood’s caffeine corner. Reader Ann Chen walked in to Peet’s Coffee & Tea at the top of the hill yesterday to find a closing sign and the news that today, January 1, 2010, may be their last.
Confirmed by a Peet’s employee at the store.

The year in IM status messages, 2009 edition

A quieter year compared to previous lists (see 2006, 2007, 2008). There would probably be far more than previous years if I included mobile chat status messages, but there’s no reliable way to record those for posterity, so I just ignore ’em.

The “available” messages first, in creation order:

  • 2009???
  • around
  • householdery
  • on-call duty kinda bloze
  • on call, may be away
  • minimally attentive
  • oops, I fell off
  • A general indicator of my state of mind as I left work this afternoon
  • oh the coughing
  • taxes done, earliest ever
  • actually watching the Oscars, someone please shake me into reality
  • President Obama’s address on C-SPAN
  • President Obama’s address on
  • killing time before the damned conference call
  • just please kill me now
  • talking to a dozen Apus
  • is a cluster of Apus a “convenience”?
  • is a cluster of Apus a “convenience”? a “squishee”?
  • hello India!
  • India fell off
  • since I can’t log in to work... domesticity reigns
  • meh
  • can’t get away from the workin’, dammit
  • waiting for my potato
  • dinner time, of sorts
  • well past zonk time
  • organizing my media library
  • Sunday night.
  • goddamned phone!
  • went sailing today, much fun
  • happy movie night: Rachel Getting Married
  • Bottle Shock, about California vintners’ triumph over France
  • thinks we have Sync Success, knock on wood
  • waiting for my chicken to thaw
  • finally, dinner
  • slummin’
  • windy, bah
  • damnable winds!
  • doesn’t play one on TV
  • rain, again
  • damn, almost June already
  • {S out with it
  • media files go boom, argh
  • media files back, woo!
  • ahhh, temp down 10° in 19 minutes
  • Yakima, baby
  • WWDC keynotin’
  • probably should go to bed
  • tonight went by FAST
  • battery dying, poof soon
  • DVD: Smart People
  • ho hum.
  • BØRD
  • DVD rippin’
  • newly intolerant of shitfaced assholes
  • who says “barf” anymore?
  • working from home
  • pondering a grilled cheez.
  • that was a good grilled cheez.
  • 85.7° in the living room
  • 85.6°, woo!
  • {S 32dohs}
  • ::swelter::
  • travel prep
  • Hawai‘i, baby!
  • chillin’
  • Studyin’ (not me) and sippin’ (me) and cookin’ (also me)
  • Football!
  • DVD: The Wire: Season 1: Disc 1
  • hi.
  • back from the beach, goddammit
  • why so serious?
  • goddammit
  • yay HSI
  • ahhh rain
  • got subpoenaed today

And now the “away” messages—looks like I wasn’t away very often:

  • snüz
  • out for a bit
  • inattentive
  • out.
  • errand(s)
  • cookin’
  • on the phone
  • out, try phone
  • stabbing in apt next door, yargh
  • cops are here
  • encoding DVDs
  • since I can’t log in to work... domesticity reigns
  • shower time
  • damned conference call
  • bath time!
  • time, methinks, for a cool shower
  • travel prep
  • dinner time
  • taxi service
  • media-library sorting, etc.
  • getting the laundry

The year in cities, 2009 edition

Spent at least one night (or most of a day, for the day trips) in each of these cities in 2009.

Listed in roughly chronological order; links go to related posts or categories.

  • Seattle, WA*
  • Orlando, FL
  • Sequim, WA* (day trips, first to hike Dungeness Spit and later for Easter)
  • Yakima, WA
  • Kapa‘a, HI
  • Telma, WA (actually a cabin on Lake Wenatchee)
  • Cannon Beach, OR
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • San Francisco, CA
Lists get a bit shorter each year. If anyone remembers a city I’m overlooking, sing out in the comments.

Previous lists: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.