Monday, December 10, 2007
Photo Essay: A trip to Vietnamese class
Admittedly, the cell phone photography thing has gotten a little out of hand. I bought my current cell phone nearly four years ago. I had wanted to get a camera phone: I had all sorts of plans to take photos everywhere and immediately post them to a blog. It was going to be awesome.
I never quite got that going -- until just recently. My cell phone's camera has only 1.3 MP, but I kind of like the images it picks up. Night shots are especially ominous.
This is not even slightly related, but I highly recommend the new album from Burial, "Untrue". I heard it for the first time today driving around as I took these shots, and it totally sucked me in. I won't pretend to know what "dubstep" is -- Burial's music apparently falls under that rubric -- but whatever it is, it's awesome. The sound is something like Plastikman or Pole, post dot-com boom, combined with D'Angelo, if D'Angelo were trapped in one of those two-dimensional prisons (sometimes referred to as the flying record album) they put the bad guys from the planet Krypton into in Superman II, and Plastikman had just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and someone slipped Pole heroin instead of mushrooms or X.
The Intrepid grinds forward toward one hundred thousand miles. Everything is running perfectly, it seems. I'm very emotionally attached to this car at this point -- I think I would feel a bit lost without it. I'm in no rush to replace the Intrepid, and I'm surprised that it's holding up so well. Perhaps if I keep up the regular service it'll last for a while longer. We're thinking about holding out for VW's to go diesel in California.
I've been good about getting to Vietnamese class for the last couple months. I think I'm improving, and I have learned a bit, but I'm still frustrated by my lack of vocabulary. I can now say the most basic things in present and past tense, and have a (relatively) detailed ability to discuss the weather and times of day -- this makes me an exceptionally tedious conversationalist in Vietnamese. I get the feeling that Mrs. Octopus's parents sometimes wish that I would hurry up and learn how to speak Vietnamese already. I'm probably just imagining that, but I feel that way, too.
Perhaps to compensate for the Sisyphean difficulties of trying to learn Vietnamese, I picked up, on a whim, a book and CD Teach-Yourself-Italian set from the library last week. Because I've studied Spanish (although I could definitely stand to brush up), Italian seems like a cakewalk compared to Vietnamese. One potential downfall: whenever I say anything in Italian, I sound like Mario or Luigi from the Nintendo games or a very bad impersonation of the Italy scenes from "Godfather". I do really like saying things in Italian, though. Mostly, saying anything in Italian makes me really hungry. And now I really want to go to Italy (I've never been).
We just finished the first season of "The Wire". Apparently it gets even better in the later seasons, but right now, I can't think of anything I've ever seen on television that tops it. "The Wire" makes "Lost" look like a story a bunch of fourth graders at recess hopped up on juiceboxes might have come up with. I think I'd be fine if ABC just sort of forgot to bring "Lost" back in February. I could spend the time I would have wasted watching "Lost" catching up on "The Wire". Omar Little may be the greatest character ever to appear on television.
Also highly recommended: the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Game, in groups of six or more. Once people get going, it's totally hilarious. We had a Game Night on Sunday -- everyone was a bit hesitant about trying the Cartoon game, but once we started, people were pretty hooked.
I almost bought a Mets satin jacket online today, but decided against it. I was especially tempted because it had a patch of Mr. Met running on the left sleeve. I wouldn't really have too many opportunities to wear it out here.
We may go to Vietnam next year.
There's like 23 days left until the Iowa primary. I will begin my political coverage in earnest this week, including my endorsement. I know the campaigns are waiting with bated breath.
I kind of miss jury duty.