Tuesday, April 15, 2008

E strano, vero?

Leaving to go to Italian class tonight, I ran into yet another funeral crowd milling around the Catholic church next door, with the strangely glossy hearse inching its way through. I swear there's at least one of these things every week here! Not to mention morning mass several times during the week.

Now, I've never lived next door to a church before and certainly never next to a Catholic church. Actually, I now live next to two churches, one Catholic and one (much less attended) Church of Ireland. There are definite perks, the sound of bells ringing in the mornings and some very cool cemeteries primarily. But some major drawbacks as well, namely cars parked up and down every surrounding street, blocking your vision at a very iffy intersection when trying to come out of your driveway.

Is it just that there are a lot of people dying here, do you think? Or, that there aren't enough churches to go around?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Plays Well With Others

Honestly, I'm shocked. I thought I was going to turn out to be much more of a wimp. Obviously this gym thing is working out well :-)


Sunday Bliss

I'm sprawled on the living room floor looking out the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors leading into my own little garden and courtyard, watching my cat groom herself in the sunshine. All the while, she's surreptitiously eyeing the brick walls to gauge just how high they are and whether making a leap for it would entail any major exertion of energy on her part.

While avoiding answering my backlog of emails, I'm surfing, blogging after a long absence, and enjoying one of my favorite Southern delicacies. It sounds weird but I swear it's the best combination ever. A smash at dinner parties! Cream cheese smothered in red jalapeno pepper jelly. YUM!! If you've never tried it don't knock it!

Battlestar Galactica

No, it's not the campy 80's version. There's nothing shiny, pretty or one-dimensional about it. What it is is a gritty, character-driven space opera that, like all the best written stories no matter the setting, is incredibly subversive, forcing you to think and re-think, to question your basic beliefs and assumptions. Who do you cheer for when both the Cylons and the Humans are in the wrong? When does the communal good rightly override individual rights? Can you ever justify stealing a democratically valid election?

Like life, the cool thing about this show is trying to shed light on all the gray that dominates, and I'm not just talking about the color scheme for the show. The moral dilemmas on this show just keep unfolding. You're never bored.

Sometimes, though, easy answers can be appealing. For me, this show highlights a huge dilemma. What kind of future do I really believe in for the human race? The optimistic, societal self-actualization semi-utopia of the Star Trek vision or the dark, humans will never change uber-reality of Battlestar Galactica. As a dyed in the wool Trekkie, I also find my instincts at war with themselves for my vote of best television science-fiction ever. B.G has already won my vote for best TV show out there right now, even if I resent the fact that it's still, unfairly, seen as a cult favorite rather than a contender for the who shebang. (Of course, people still laugh when I say that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was also one of the best shows ever on TV).

And the best thing is... it's coming to Ireland now! How fracking cool is that?! I've been subsisting on last season's versions of most U.S. shows, if not years old syndications of the "classics" that get sold out this way. But, B.G. is smart enough (!!) to allow U.K. satellite distribution of current episodes only 2 weeks after they were first shown in the States. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. This is the 4th and last season and everything we ever believed is getting blown sky high! There's no way I could have handled waiting 6 months or more to find out what happened. This way I'm only a couple of weeks behind and don't have to yell at friends for "inadvertently" letting spoilers loose. Or entertain murderously jealous impulses 'cause they lucked out and I didn't. I'll be a much nicer friend this way :-)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Come to me my pretty!

Impulse control. That's what it's all about. I've been obsessed with the iPhone since I first saw Steve Jobs' presentation at last year's MacWorld conference. It blew me away, seriously, and it hurt to have to put off buying one because of the move overseas. I've been telling everyone for months now how I couldn't wait for it to actually get released in Ireland. Maybe it was the open letter I posted on one of the Mac/iPhone sites begging S.J. to please, please bring it to the Emerald Isle, but it actually got released here March 14th. Almost a month gone by and yet... I haven't bought it.

I have my reasons. Logical, rational reasons. Reasons echoed by other iPhone maniacs and tech heads. It's overpriced. No Visual Voicemail at all! Price gouging by O2 for the price plans. Plus, best of all, an updated, 3G version is due out soon. Like in May or June. But, it's still a day-to-day struggle not to give in and buy the darn thing already!