A friend recently was showing me a video card they're lusting after, and looking at the stock photo of the thing, I can't help but laugh. The thing is embarassing and ridiculous looking, almost like having a giant McDonalds logo on city hall. It reminds me of how stupid a lot of car decorations are -- perhaps people are trying to look fancy with racing stripes or flames, but they do little beyond show poor taste. Back to computers and the friend, as he's a hardware nut, he was somewhat offended at my suggestion that 3d is mainly to make screensavers go fast :)
Sometimes it's a drag that I give up a good part of my saturdays to scan subjects. Sigh.
I keep hearing about additional things BushJr is doing, laws he's pushing, etc, like the national language laws, and I wonder if it would be possible for the next president, hopefully not another Republican, to sponsor a "Unfuck the Country Act" that would rollback each and every law that BushJr has pushed and passed during his time as President. America can't uninvade the world, but perhaps it can reverse its worrying trends towards corporate-theocratic jingoism.
I've decided to skip taking a class this summer. Instead, I'm going to try to teach myself Russian on my own (at a slow pace), and am going to spend more time playing Accordion. Fortunately, I have a good textbook for Russian and I know a number of Russian speakers I can use to get the conversation (and occasional guidance) I'll need. If I can find someone to teach me Hebrew, I'll probably try to learn that too. Part of this is that, as the other side of my love of learning, I fear that I have become mentally stagnant and that it's too difficult for me to learn new things. For this kind of fear, I'd like to face it head-on. There are some things that I suspect I'll never be able to learn to full fluency because they require me to turn off a certain level of self-awareness (I've always had trouble taking things to automatic), like playing nonvoice musical instruments, language isn't so problematic with awareness. If I can reach the level I have in German/Spanish in more languages, that'd be very useful.
Next year, Pirates of Penzance is playing in NYC. I would love to see it. I am also thinking about going to one of the two July showings of Wagner's entire Ring Cycle. It would add up to about $100 sum for the whole show (cheapest seats), which isn't so bad, but opera is more of a thing to go with someone to rather than one to go alone to. (Aside: I just realised that that sentence would not be fun to parse by someone for whom English is a second language).. Preferably this person would be a romantic interest. *shrug* I may go alone to Wagner anyhow (Pirates is a must).
In a book I've been reading, "And God Created the French", which is a humourous look at French society by one of their journalists, one of the thing that strikes me as very praiseworthy is the literary focus of their society. It notes that in America, the only book politicians are likely to bring to a speech is the christian bible, while in France, politicians are more likely to bring Voltaire (or some other great literature. Also, many of their politicians are active (and known for being so) in other intellectual pursuits, writing poetry, literature, and similar. The emphasis of that chapter of the book is that the French seek to put into their government the people they intellectually look up to, while the Americans seek to elect people they feel are more "one of the people". Looking at the French political elite over the years seems to suggest there's something to this. I wonder how this compares to other European nations/cultures.