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Everything posted by docoflove1974

  1. docoflove1974


    Certain musicians have a hold on you...they get you early in life, and then stay with you forever. Not in a bad way...just that something about their work resonates with you forever. And everyone has more than one. For me, the list includes: Duke Ellington Jimi Hendrix Prince Yoko Kanno Who's that last one, you ask? One of the most prolific Japanese anime and soundtrack composers and musicians ever. The funny part is that I'm not an anime fan, per se. Quite literally 99.9% of it I couldn't give rat's patoot about (as my dad's family is fond of saying). Then again, that's true for most entertainment--I'm just not interested in most any of the story plots, acting, etc. The last time I consistently watched a scripted and acted television show? Um...it's been a while, although the latest BBC offering of Sherlock does have me completely hooked. Even this year's season of Archer I haven't kept up with, mostly because Mr OfLove is too tired to be awake and paying attention at 10pm--since it's a favorite of us both, it feels a bit like cheating if I watch it without him. When I was in high school, Macross Plus came out--obviously first in Japan, but it quickly came over here to the US. The story hooked me completely: set in the future and potentially in an alternate universe, it combined Romeo and Juliet (but majorly higher on the maturity level) with beautiful animation of mecchas in flight, and all with the underlying themes of justice and social acceptance permeating throughout. Yep, teenager DoL was completely hooked...and the music. Wow...how do I describe it? It was created by Yoko Kanno, who then was just starting her career of creating music for entertainment, but more specifically for anime and certain video game titles. But the soundtrack for Macross Plus was jazzy, complex, with a definite techno application to jazz, and this is especially true since one of the 'characters' in the movie/series is Sharon Apple--a computer-generated singer, with the voice and stylistics of her 'producer', Myung Fang Lone. The entire soundtrack is not of one language, but technically four: Japanese, English, French, and Zendradi (the made-up language of main alien race in the story). I love it...and have never been able to shake it. Fast forward many, many years, to when I met the now Mr OfLove. Being that he's half Japanese, it's practically genetic for him to latch onto anime, but in his case he became a complete anime nerd. If it's a choice between watching anime and anything else on the entertainment field...nope, anime every time. When he first learned about my general disdain for anime, but my love of Macross Plus, he took it upon himself to figure out what possible shows I would like. He's very selective and careful in his choices, and some of the ones he's shown me I have fallen for (Soul Eater being chief among them). And then he tried Cowboy Bebop. Story...excellent. Combo of drama, comedy, action, and suspense. Set in the near future but in an alternate universe, the core characters are all bounty hunters with intriguing pasts. Some episodes are silly, others are freaky--even one that damn near gave me nightmares due to some horrific images. But overall, holy carp, really, really good. But even beyond the story line, what I love about Cowboy Bebop is the soundtrack. The opening theme is what I'm linking here...but the entire soundtrack is a combo of swing, funk, jazz, with very complex rhythms. My musical mind went into overdrive...I know this style! Sure enough, in the credits: Music by Yoko Kanno, she of Macross Plus. It was a signature sound that I just couldn't get...oh, and the band that performs the opening, The Seatbelts...that's Yoko Kanno's band, or one of them; she has a tendency to do a composition project, then form a band to play the music, even record it for sale...but rarely goes on tour with them. She prefers to stay in Japan, since she readily admits that, while she understands and speaks some English and French, she doesn't do it well. What a pity...I'd love to hear them live! _________________________________________________________ Side note: You know you're in a major drought when a minor weather system has the potential to dump a whopping .25 inches of rain, at max, in your area...and it's a major news story. Yikes...could someone send us some storms, real storms, please? Not just one or two...but a couple, then a break for a week, then a couple more...then another week-long break...continuously for 2 months? Then we *might* be ok for water 'round these parts.
  2. docoflove1974


    Jeremy Clarkson...you dolt. You bleeping moron. When the news spread, like wildfire, about the 'fracas' (why does that have to be in quotes, by the way? Everyone is doing that now.), I was amazed at the multitude of people who instantly came to Jezza's defense, regardless of any potential accusations or even rumors. After all, who cares if he supposedly assaulted another person...we want him back on tv! Wait...what? The people around me couldn't care less about the accusations. Realistically, it was only myself, Mr. OfLove*, and 2 other friends who were sounding the call to caution. Everyone else--people who are educated, reasonable people who aren't normally prone to violence--was outraged. "Don't take away our show!" "Jeremy is innocent!" "It didn't happen!" "Jezza was provoked!" "He's the heart and soul of the program...you can't do this to us!" Wait...huh??? Within days we heard a bunch of the supposed facts, which all turned out to be true. Jezza threw a temper tantrum, launching a verbal spew that rivaled that of a two-year old, although with considerably more cussing. There were fisticuffs. Once I heard just this part, I couldn't support Jeremy Clarkson, sign a petition to have him reinstated, or even publicly come to his aid. There were more details to come, and somehow I knew it wasn't pretty. It's been interesting to watch Richard Hammond and, especially, James May on their Twitter feeds. James' #StillUnemployed (or sometimes truncated to #SU) has risen in me some doubts. As to whether they continue on the show, or they pull out in support of their colleague, I think no one knows right now. Their contracts are up this year, too; BBC may want to take things in a whole other direction. If they appear alongside a new co-host, it will remind people of the shoes to fill. Say what you will about his behavior off the track, but in front of the camera and in road testing cars, Jeremy Clarkson made it interesting and compelling. Even non-gearheads watched the show. It was fun to watch him get a rise out of his colleagues, say something irreverant and even mildly suggestive...all in the name of entertainment. I'm fine with how he pushed the envelope overall for Top Gear. It will take another large personality to fill his shoes. Maybe Chris Evans...but maybe not even him. But, dude, seriously. Be thankful that BBC was your employer. If it were NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox, you would have been fired on the spot. Or you would have had to reinact it on tv, complete with another round in the ring with the victim. Or a similar-looking actor. Maybe with a whole bunch of sponsors. *Thanks, GoC, for the spouse-naming convention. I love this!
  3. docoflove1974


    Well, I could take his Beastie* out. *Mitsubishi Outlander GT, fully loaded. Gives Evo's a run for the money *evil grin*
  4. docoflove1974

    Do I Wanna Know?

    *tap tap tap* *peers into a dark and dusty room* *sniff sniff* ACHOOOO!!! Damn, well, I guess I should come in here more often. I kinda let the place down a bit. A neglected blog is an unhappy blog. Hrmmmm...well, first thing's first...if I clean up this little area over here, that'll get things started. ____________________________________________________________________________ So, it's been 2 years and 5 months, give or take a few days, since my last entry. Just a few things happened along the way. 1. The dude I was dating back then? Yeah, we got married. That was 1 year, 4 months, 22 days ago. 2. A week after the wedding, he had a stroke. Thankfully, he came out ok--his medic training and my first aid/CPR training kicked in immediately. But his therapy took a while. (The good news? He has very little 'remnants' of the event; some disarthrya/aphasia, but not much at all. Nothing that impedes him from work or daily life.) 3. I might have taken on a few projects. Ok, more than a few. I've been working non-stop. I take minor breaks here and there, but not many. And I'll keep on going for a while, too...I'm teaching again this summer, 2 classes. Hey, the money is good. 4. The Giants might have won another World Series...3 in 5 years. Seriously, without words. 5. Jezza...you dolt...thanks to him, my Mondays are all messed up. Guess Hamster and Captain Slow will have to figure things out....or they all quit in support, come over to the US and do the show properly here. (Read as 'Get rid of the yahoos that supposedly still do the American version of the show here, and make it to what they want it to be here. On second thought, only Hammond would be happy with that....) ____________________________________________________________________________ There, that corner is done...so, what's next to tackle? PS...the song is more because I still love it...it's still a bit of a stalker song...but the drum beat kicks it hard. Great song to drive out on the freeway, blaring loud, trying to wake me up as I merge with the other morning drivers.
  5. docoflove1974

    Do I Wanna Know?

    No...I got a better offer: Primus denticulus!
  6. docoflove1974


    You're both right, that there will be big changes, regardless of who the presenters are. But, please, let's hope for the love of all that's ratings, that they don't make it like the US version. Holy cripes, it's the worst piece of poop ever. Completely uninteresting. They started off with the wrong presenters--one comedian who isn't that funny and who really is an average driver at best, one car journalist who has no personality, and one rally driver who has no charisma. From there, they started off with a show all about taking the japes that the UK boys would do, but yet foul them up...kinda like American television routinely does with any British show. That didn't work, so after a couple of seasons they revamped the program, and now it's all about hot rodding and people who customize cars...because we don't already have 10 programs like that, all of which have very likeable hosts. Most all of which get better ratings than TGUS, too. I mean, I watched TGUK because it was funny and irreverant, yes. But I also watched because of the reviews...to dream that one day, I might have the chance to drive one of those fancy cars, to think about the things I could do to my car (ok, that Mr. ofLove could do to my car) to make it more zippy, etc. Will I ever drive a Ferrari La Ferrari? Prolly not. What about a DB10, whenever it comes out? Alas, prolly not. But oh to dream....
  7. docoflove1974

    Do I Wanna Know?

    I can see it now...Caldrail, GoG, and one more...tearing up the highways and byways of the UK...even in the occasional chariot. That's right, folks...it's Prima Supellex*. *NB: I don't really think that's the best translation of 'gear', but I'm still working on the title.
  8. docoflove1974

    Do I Wanna Know?

    Thanks, dudes! I feel like I've neglected quite a few things over the last couple of years, mostly due to many changes in work-life. But hopefully there will be some calm soon. It will always be a bit hectic--I don't seem to run well in any other mode--but at least I'm starting to find more time to do the things I love.
  9. docoflove1974

    Monster Mash

    Hallowe'en. Love me that awesome holiday. First, EVERY person turns into a kid. Even if you're not quite a costume-wearing person, it's the fun of dressing a bit different, of getting into the mood of candy, celebration, and letting loose for a bit. I mean, really, if you can't get into the holiday, I feel sorry for you. And I feel particularly lucky to have spent most of my life in 2 cities where people are truly into the f
  10. docoflove1974

    UNRV's brainchild is born

    Congrats, Maty! Can't wait to sink my teeth into it!
  11. On the BBC News webpage today, on their Magazine section is this interesting tidbit of an article by Mary Beard: "Does Caligula deserve his bad reputation?". The article is in anticipation of her show which airs tonight on BBC 2. For our colleagues who are able to watch it tonight, I'd be curious to hear what she really has to say in the show tonight, if she expounds upon this topic a bit more, or if it's all general fluff like we get here in the US on the History Channel. (I'm really hoping it's not the latter; I do respect her written work.) The article essentially states that Caligula in all probability was not a nice dude--after all, his assassination after only 4 years on the throne would tend to lead one to think that he wasn't exactly benevolent. But her argument is that the historians of his reign did not discuss the atrocities that are attributed to him, nor anything close to it. Essentially, Caligula was demonized by Suetonius and others beyond what he probably did. I've held the belief for some time that both answers are probably true. He probably did some outrageous things, and was probably psychopathic in his actions. These actions were probably the basis for the gross details that come out of the historians that wrote some 50-100 years after his death. But my gut reaction is that it probably isn't all true...could someone really be that demonic and sociopathic, and still be allowed to rule for 4 years? Either way, hopefully the program will play over here in the US, or I can watch it at a later time. But for those in the UK or who have access to BBC 2 tonight, it might be worth a watch.
  12. Either that, or they think that most poeple wouldn't be interested...a false idea, to be sure, but who knows. Maybe it will take a monumental new finding--a long-lost manuscript, or the discovery of a building--that changes some element of what we know about the Romans.
  13. docoflove1974

    speak 'merican... "it's the new Latin"... but what spe

    As far as I'm aware, it's not nearly the number that people think it is. Americans have a fair amount of difficulty reading Elizabethan English, to varying degrees of course. It really depends on which American dialect you're talking about, but most of the ones that would still carry those vestiges are dying out. I'll have to do some more digging when I get home from this business trip, but I believe that the number of phrases and words are diminishing.
  14. docoflove1974

    speak 'merican... "it's the new Latin"... but what spe

    Well, that's a bit exaggerated. There are pockets of the Appalachians, the Carolinas, and Georgia that are quite remote, and there might be a few Shakespearean-era phrases that they still use today, but these speech communities are shrinking as Internet access and 'city folk' look for other places to live. The other area is New England, particularly Martha's Vineyard and the Boston Brahmin, but this speech community has almost completely died out or has homogenized to a more standard Boston/Massachusets dialect.
  15. Yes, that change in color drastically helps things, especially in the 'View New Content' page.
  16. docoflove1974

    Site down

    I'm also using Win8, but I use FireFox. I'm not seeing problems so far with the WYSIWYG, but I'm still testing things out. That being said, it is still frustrating to hover over a link in the 'View New Content' page, and the color of the link changes to black, not white or another light color. That needs to change; it's too hard to see links. Viggen, any reason given for the massive delay? EDIT: I just tried the editing function, and that seems to work ok, too.
  17. docoflove1974

    Ladies of Beautiful Hair

    That was so cool...and the funny part is that, as a child and a teenager, I used to try to do something like that on my own. Little did I know that I was trying to be like a Roman! Oh the days of long, flowing hair... *sigh*
  18. By the way, I'm loving that link, because you can set it to 'new posts since I last logged in'. Great for when I go a couple of days between log-ins. I'm guessing there might still be some tweaking yet to do (i.e. the color of the links on that 'new content' page mentioned above...it's too dark and hard to read), but I do like this set-up.
  19. docoflove1974


    It's a topic that has been in one version or another for many, many decades. Honestly, I don't think it holds much water. While the English language is an odd duck, true enough, its historical changes are definitely within the Germanic vein; proof for many similar changes can be seen in Dutch, which is English's closest relative of all the Germanic languages. Additionally, you can attribute other major changes to the Norman Conquest and its introduction of Normal French to the island--pretty standard superstratum influence patterns are shown. The argument that 'there is no record of the language change' isn't exactly true; it just depends on what you're looking for. The written language of the time by the few who could write was Latin--and continued to be so for many hundreds of years, even after English was a common language by most all levels of society. And even that isn't 100% accurate; frequently we have texts transcribed in Latin by monks, with 'vulgar' translations of notes in the side margins. It was the monks' way of trying to figure out what they were writing; they were translating Latin into the language of the people. We have examples of these from most of the monasteries across Europe, including Britannia. Most of what we have from the early period of Old English (700-900 CE) comes from various sources, and many of them wouldn't remark about 'Oh, lookie here! We have a new language!' They simply would use the language. Place names are not a good way to verify or even trace a language's origin, as they are always going to hold some remnant of languages that are no longer spoken. If a certain town/village/etc. has always been called a name, that will usually be carried on for generations in one form or another, just because of trade. If you don't know the name of the place you've been trading with for generations, that's not good for business...it's why toponyms aren't the greatest of resources. And the Saxons didn't bring Old English with them...they brought their language, Saxon. It was a Germanic language that was very similar to that of the Angles. When the two groups came and conquered the island, eventually their languages meshed. There is documentation at the monasteries of how the various regions of Britannia had quite different languages--they weren't so much different languages, as different stages of evolution of the Anglo-Saxon, Jute, and Norse languages that were in the process of becoming what we know as Old English. Beowulf, for example, is a late Old English text that shows much more regularization that earlier documents and glosses. Lastly, when tracking the origins and evolutions of a language, simply looking at toponyms and words isn't enough. You have to look at the grammatical structures, as those are much less likely to change at random. Despite the very thorough dominance of Norman French for many hundreds of years, what the English language got mostly out of that was lexical items--little if any grammar (syntax and morphology) came from there. In fact, we got more from the Vikings/Norse than we did the Normans/French! Why? Because Norman French has a very different syntactical and morphological structure than does Old English and the other Germanic languages of the time...to make such drastic changes would have required that all peoples, regardless of status, use Norman French and be completely bilingual. But we don't see that in the records; rather, Norman French was mostly kept to the higher levels of society, which explains why the more learned words of English have a Romance tendency. (Others came in during the Renaissance...but that's another story). If one were to compare the Norse language of the time to the other West Germanic languages spoken in Britannia at the time, we see much more similarity in the grammar, and the changes affected peoples of all levels of society. We see that those changes continued on; the object pronouns that we use in Modern English have their roots in both Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse. Regardless, English is very clearly a Germanic language whose origins came in with the Germanic invasions after the fall of the Roman Empire.
  20. docoflove1974

    Latin Questions

    Generally speaking, Rosetta Stone doesn't work for most people, and it's a very pricy option. It truly only works as an ancillary tool to supplement coursework. As a tool on its own, there haven't been results showing that it works for the general populace.
  21. docoflove1974

    Happy Birthday docoflove1974

    Thanks, guys! It's still early here in sunny (and cold!) California, but already I'm feeling the love! Hopefully 2013 will see me more active on here...couldn't be less so, really! And hope everyone on here has a happy, healthy, and fortuitous New Year! Saluti a tutti!
  22. docoflove1974

    Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas, Buon Natale...Io Saturnalia! Hope everyone has a most wonderful season!
  23. docoflove1974

    Monster Mash

    Sweet...GoC, I'm curious to see what you come up with! And, oh yeah, it's a bit orange and black still around here
  24. docoflove1974

    Pronouncing Latin

    The funny part is that I have been sitting on this question...mostly because in the US there have been really 2 schools of teaching Latin: the philologist/linguist school (which teaches the pronunciation of Classical Latin as faithfully as we know) and the Church Latin school (which bases its pronunciation on the Medieval Church Latin system). And the textbooks that are most often used (Wheelock's and Oxford) are of the philologist/linguistic variety...and this is what I know. In the UK? I have no idea what system has been used over the years.
  25. docoflove1974

    Running On Empty

    *blargh* That's a common phrase among many, who in a bleary-eyed moment are trying to sum up their feelings as they shuffle toward their keyboards in the morning. It's a general feeling of fatigue, or grogginess even. This is my first, second, and perhaps even third thought this morning. I'm half-way through my Month of Hell, and for the most part I'm holding up well. I'm only slightly behind my grading, which is an awesome feat considering how many students I have this semester. Three of my projects are running smoothly, and people are pulling up their end of the bargain. The majority of the big weekends is over, and projects are getting their final run-throughs. The one huge project, however, is a mixed bag. To put it one way, I've been working until midnight twice this week. Both nights, I had a 12-hour teaching and meeting day, so it's not like I got to take a nap some time in the afternoon. And when I come home from said 12-hour days, I'm only mildly coherent in general. But both days I had to resort of a caffeinated beverage at around 4pm (Dr. Pepper, if you please), just to make sure I stayed awake. How odd is this, you ask? I don't drink caffeine...I had to give it up about 5 years ago, due to my constant drinking of black tea all day long. (The weird part was that I wasn't drinking the tea for the caffeine...I was drinking it because I love it, and it kept me from grazing all day long while working on the dissertation. Oh what I would give for a cup or two of assam tea right now...*sigh*) So, as I get moving this morning, and prepare for an 8:45am meeting, I'm a little rough. I could use a nap, and indeed one will be mandatory this afternoon, after my other big meeting today. I'm turning into the Little Engine That Could, constantly telling myself, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." Hopefully soon the mantra will be: "I knew I could! Whew! Now, time to relax!" (PS--I hate the Eagles...but this is truly the first song title that came to mind. Stupid classic rock station....why do I always wake up to the worst songs???)