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Želary

I just recently saw this Czech film for the first time, and I already am anxious to watch it again.  The basic story is about a woman in the Czech resistance during WWII who has to flee to the countryside and marry a man that she barely knows in order to hide from the Gestapo.  Beyond that, it features gorgeous scenery, a lovely score, and an unconventional love story.  I’ll try not to give too much away but I will warn you that it has a bittersweet ending (it is a war movie after all), but I would definitely recommend watching it to anyone who is sophisticated enough not to whine about subtitles.

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Here is the trailer on Youtube (with a ridiculously cheesy narrator, sorry):

You Don’t Know Jack

Okay, this is a little story and it’s mostly pointless.  Basically, I have a fraction of a memory from middle school (so, around 1998-99) of watching some friends playing a computer game called “You Don’t Know Jack.”  And that’s the whole story.

 So I remembered this recently and looked it up.  Sure enough, Amazon confirmed that it exists, and there are multiple versions of the game.  Anyway, I found a copy that was very cheap (I think it was maybe $2 before shipping) and it arrived today.  I still haven’t tried it on my computer, so this isn’t a review or anything, but I am excited about it.

 Another great game from my childhood: Opening Night, where you can stage a play, add sounds and effects, etc.  The graphics are endearingly outdated, and the voices are robotic, but this makes the productions even more fun, at least according to my siblings and I.

 As for modern computer games (and I honestly rarely rarely ever play anything), I am a sucker for Sims 2, and I often find myself walking out with a new expansion pack when I visit the gaming aisle at Target, even though it will probably be played only once or twice in a month.  It is addicting, though.  Who needs real life when you can have a simulated one?

And now I’m starting to sound like Dwight Schrute, which is not generally a good sign.

Unicornucopia

Revealing this information is inevitable, so I’m just going to share it now.

I am obsessed with unicorns.  Sometimes I can convince myself that it’s just a pretend obsession (well, it kind of is), but I feel very strongly about it.

This is a relatively recent phenomena.  I have not loved unicorns for years and years.  I didn’t have a airbrushed poster of a unicorn galloping through a waterfall or along a coast hanging on my bedroom wall when I was eleven.  In fact, when I was eleven I probably would have vomited at the idea.

How did I become so entranced by these tacky fantasy equines?  The world may never know.

Here are some of my favorite unicorn or unicorn related pictures.  Yes, I have done a Google image search for “unicorn,” in fact on several occasions.  I’m not as ashamed as I should be.

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(I own this set…and the Cold War Unicorns)
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unicorn-tuna.jpg
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This is a real T-Shirt and you can buy it and wear it!  Don’t think I’m not tempted.

There and Back Again

I’m taking a Tolkien class right now, and we’ve just finished reading The Hobbit.  Somewhat surprisingly, I had never read it before, and I’ve really enjoyed it.  Most of the story was familiar to me, thanks to the summary given briefly at the beginning of “The Fellowship of the Ring” film, and also thanks to a unforgettable tour I took at Hobbiton, USA a few years ago.  However, there were still some surprises for me, and it was a fun read overall.

My copy is a hardback edition that celebrates the seventieth anniversary of the first publication – I chose it because of the beautiful illustration on the cover (I know, I did judge a book by its cover, but who doesn’t, really?).  Apparently it is a reproduction of the design that Tolkien made for the first edition.

The Hobbit

If you’ve never read it (or I suppose even if you have), it’s a good choice for a quiet afternoon.  It took me a few days to finish because I intersperced the readings with my other schoolwork, but I think most people could finish it in one or two sittings.

Surprise!

And here you thought I abandoned this blog!

Well, you were kind of right.  But I am back!  Although it took me about 15 minutes to remember the password…

Things I Love: Bollywood

I’ll be the first to admit that I have very limited experience with anything Bollywood.  I’ve never watched a film, any kind of Indian entertainment channel, and when given the choice between seeing “Bombay Dreams” or “We Will Rock You” while in London, I opted for Queen.

So where did the obsession come from?

It must be something magic contained within the flashy colors, the unapologetic musicality, the triumph of joy and the high-pitched female vocals…or something.  I really have no explanation for why I find myself searching for “Bollywood” on Youtube on a regular basis.

Oh yeah, this is why:

And my favorite (I wish I was Aishwarya Rai!):

Speaking of Aishwarya Rai (the actress/singer in that last clip), I was recently shopping for lipstick and came across a color that she inspired for Loreal, “Aishwarya’s Beige”:

I’m the first to admit that I’m an impulse shopper, so I definitely own this shade now.

Things I Love: Eurovision

Oops, I’ve already broken my “write a post daily” resolution.  That’s typical.

As an apology, I will treat you to these semi-finalists in Eurovision 2007.  I’m not sure if any of these won, I honestly don’t know much about the contest at all.  Except that something about tacky groove techno resonates in my soul.

Belarus – Dmitry Koldun “Work Your Magic”

Georgia – Sopho “Visionary Dream”

Poland – The Jet Set “Time to Party”

Andorra – Anonymous “Let’s Save the World”

Things I Love: A Cappella

A cappella, particularly collegiate a cappella, is a very new interest of mine.  I don’t get many genius ideas, but one that I’ve been considering for some time is how ridiculously amazing it would be to hear an a cappella version of Sufjan Stevens “Chicago.”

 It turns out that I’m not the only one with this idea, and after searching acaTunes for this phenomena I discovered a version by the University of Virginia’s The Academical Village People.  Whilst browsing acaTunes I discovered other a cappella groups of note, notably the all male Beelzebubs from Tufts.  Wow.  They’ve actually convinced me that “Magical Mystery Tour” is a good song.

Just for fun, here are some videos of these two groups.  Enjoy!

Tufts Beelzebubs singing a medley of “SexyBack” and “Buttons”

 The Academical Village People’s parody of “In Da Club”

PS: A good source for buying collegiate a cappella CDs (or at least listening to 30 second sound clips) is a-cappella.com.