Quality Goods

Saturday, February 23, 2008
I've been keeping myself busy these days. Work has been miraculously busy...yay! I haven't even been able to do the "extra" work to fill up the empty hours that I was given. That almost never happens! Thank goodness. Now if only that would continue... When not working, I've been doing some reading, trying to finish The Shock Doctrine before March (start of the new challenge) but holy cow. It's depressing and very heavy reading. I've been switching on and off with The Scarlet Letter. Otherwise, I'd be one down in the dumps Cap'n.

LOST - ooooh, this week's episode was interesting. SPOILERS! I'm guessing that's not Kate's baby, it's Claire's and she ran off with it when she left the compound, then managed to get off the island before Locke's group catches her. So...now we know four of the Oceanic 6: Sayid (who's gone to the dark side but probably because Ben has something he wants), Hurley, Jack and Kate. I don't think people count Aaron as one of them so.... who does that leave? Who else could there be? If Desmond gets off the island too he wouldn't be one of them. Sun and Jin? Sawyer? Locke? It's all so confusing. But it's keeping me hooked.

Between reading, Lost, and keeping up to date on the latest developments in both the Alberta provincial election and the American presidential race, not to mention the suddenly busy job...you'd think I have no free time, right? I've managed to get in a couple of Scrabulous games on Facebook. And, I've watched a number of documentaries (but no full reviews, sorry). First up, a pair of mountain climbing docs, Touching the Void and The Beckoning Silence (thanks to Red and *A). The first, Touching the Void, is the story of two climbers who tried to tackle a huge mountain in the Peruvian Andes. One, Joe Simpson, fell breaking his leg. However, he and his partner were well on their to getting to the bottom (after scaling the summit before the accident) when Joe went over an ice ledge and his partner, Simon, cut him lose in order to save himself (no, it was not a selfish act, I just don't feel like writing out the whole thing...). Joe ends up falling into a huge cravasse where just about anyone else would have given up and waited to die. Instead he manages to crawl out and eventually make his way back. Amazing. The second doc, The Beckoning Silence, is Joe Simpson recreating (to a point) a failed climb by four Austrian climbers who tried to scale the north face of Eiger in the Alps back in the 1930s. The story of that failed expedition combined with Simpson's narration is truly captivating. When you throw into the mix the fact that the end of the 1930's expedition eerily mirrored when Joe and Simon were in Peru moves the creepy factor off the charts. Both are hHighly recommended although I recommend watching Touching the Void first and then The Beckoning Silence (I watched them in the opposite order).

I've also started watching Simon Schama's Power of Art. God how I love this man. He's genius with a British accent. So far, I've only caught the first episode on Caravaggio who I remember from my art history class in University as being a master of chiaroscuro and naturalism. Certainly one of my favourite painters. However, this was NOT a History of Art course. Schama (*sigh*) has chosen 8 of the most influential artists in history (mostly painters although he does include the sculptor, Bernini) and sets out to tell their individual stories. The 8-part series is more of a biography of each artist than an indepth look at their techniques or how their work influenced art and culture (I'm a bit disappointed on that point). We're given a look at the other side of the canvas (or sculpture) to learn about the men who created these great works and what influenced them. It's not presented as formally as Schama's History of Britain which I also loved but rather gives a bit more of a look at Schama himself, his personality, and his sense of humour. Again, highly recommended.

6 comments:

Wandering Coyote said...

WHAT??? You think that's Claire's baby? Where did you get that from???? I just assumed it was Kate's and, after SME told me the name because I couldn't make it out in the episode, she'd used that name because she learned to love babies/kids/whatever via Aaron... If it is a Downs baby - as it looked to me - it couldn't be Claire's Aaron because we would have known by now that he's a Downs baby...right?

Yes, Shock Doct. is very heavy and depressing - but so worth it. I had to laugh when you said that you're lightening things up with The Scarlett Letter...I thought that was a depressing book!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I loved Schama "Power of Art." I learned more about art watching that show than I ever did from other books or programs. I also loved his history of Britain which I saw most of on the History Channel.


I warned you about the Shock Doctrine. It gets lots worse before it gets better. But like WC said, it's worth it. You must finish it.

Gardenia said...

Facebook is giving me fits. It says my password isn't what I have written down. Okay, I go in and change my password. Third time. Still won't let me in.

Karen said...

Yep, I'm going with Claire's baby and Desmond's "vision" will turn out to be only partially correct. I can see how you might think it was a Down's baby but I think that might just have been the camera angle. Did they ever say how long they'd been back in the "real" world? If that was Kate's biological baby, it would have to have been a while for her to go through her pregnancy and have the baby grow to that size. He looked about 2 years old to me but I'm terrible with ages. Yep, I'm definately going with Claire's baby.

* (asterisk) said...

I might still have the van Gogh Power of Art ep, if you want a copy. Vincent is played by Gollum.

Wandering Coyote said...

OMG - you'll have to remind me again of which Desmond vision we're talking about here. I can't keep any of this straight!

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