i blame them
the longest mile
my affair with a greek woman
a night on the town
my old intro: an introduction
christening naze.net: i am naze
december 29, 2001
december 25, 2001
I'm still in pajamas. I love the way that holidays slow things down and give us moments of rest and leisure. Yesterday, as we drove home from Longview (the scenic route on the Oregon side) the sky was perfectly clear -- a cool, clean sky blue. As we traveled and the sun set, the light turned gold. Everything was clear, crisp and somehow quiet.
december 24, 2001
From Clarice's "There's Always Tomorrow" to Burl Ives' "Silver & Gold", Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer dominates the Naze household holiday entertainment. The combination of the stop motion animation and the corny fun tunes make this a classic (and Spawn of '64 as well).
It's been a wonderful day. Did some last minute shopping for Cathy. Took the family to Longview for the annual Christmas Eve visit to see my Dad and my step-mom. Cathy cooked a killer prime rib dinner. Setting out the stockings and putting the kids to bed. Very nice. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
december 22, 2001
more on the fellowship film
Twenty-three years ago, Errett and I (along with my brother, Craig) went to see Ralph Bakshi's 'Lord of the Rings'. We saw it right here in my present neighborhood (at the time I was 14, living in Longview, Washington) at the pre-restoration Bagdad Theater. It was kind of a tough neighborhood back then. It's not a very good film. Bakshi didn't seem to have a very deep understanding of the books plus he brought some of his avant garde sensibility to the film that didn't pay off.
Yesterday, Errett and I (along with his wife, Kris) went to see Fellowship. I really enjoyed seeing it the second time. The setup of the story in the beginning and the Party are particularly strong and effective. Most people who pick up the books fail to get past the first few chapters. The books require you to come to them. Tolkien doesn't launch into a cavalcade of action. And that is as it should be. But film can't afford this approach to story-telling. The film in some ways is actually more effective at illustrating the strong emotional bond between Gandalf and the halflings of The Shire.
There are a few places where I might make a few minor adjustments. I wanted the film to breathe a bit more. It's pretty much non-stop from start to finish. I really believe that letting two or three of the scenes play out a minute or two more would have let us catch our breath a bit more. Or perhaps some spacing device such as fade to black (acting a bit like a curtain in a play) or letting the camera linger on the beautiful scenery. I think the emphasis on Galadriel as frightening, mysterious power was overdone. Maybe Jackson felt that with the time he had to work with, he had to make a choice between enchanting/beautiful and scary/mysterious. Somehow I think that the direction he took was a distortion of the true character that didn't serve the film well.
december 20, 2001
the fellowship as film
The Lord of the Rings is dear to me. I was introduced to it by my best friend in junior high, Rob Olson. For certain, there were good things that happened at that time in my life, but overall I remember it as a very dark time. LotR was a revelation. An anchor in a world of shifting tides.
Today I saw the first showing of Peter Jackson's Fellowship of the Ring. I had never, ever seen advance reviews give a film such raves. Frankly, it made me nervous. How could it live up to those accolades?
I'm here to bear witness that they speak good sooth. Cathy and I ended up in the front row by default, but that position at this theater ended up working out quite well. The film is gorgeous. I cried like a little girl when Sam left the Shire, when Gandalf fell into the abyss and when Boromir took brutal arrow after arrow. It's too early to say where this film fits into the grand scheme, but it is safe to say that it is a great film.
A few observations:
This is a dark film. And that's as it should be. But it's one thing to read about someone being stabbed, or shot with arrows or their head cut off. It's harsh when you see it. I'm reading Fellowship to both boys. David (5 years old) is definitely not going to this film. I'm having some reservations about taking Jack (8 1/2), but I suspect we will take him and talk about the violence afterward.
Regarding time sequence. In the books, events are often recounted to the protagonists (and to the reader as well) some time after they occur (e.g. Gandalf's imprisonment). Ironically, in the film, a medium whose chief attribute is the freedom from time sequence constraints, the story is told in straight chronological order. It works.
Jackson had to let go of great wads of plot detail (this is film, not literature) but he trades that off for character nuance and depth. Aragorn expresses doubts about his ability to rule. Gandalf demonstrates a tremendous warmth and affection for the hobbits. It's beautiful. His vulnerability is heartbreaking when Saruman betrays him.
Saruman's character is much bigger than in the book. He is one harsh bastard. His creation of the Urak-hai is particularly disturbing.
I'm headed to my 2nd viewing on Friday and really looking forward to it.
december 18, 2001
I've been urged by a couple of longtime readers to revisit my essay roots. I've just recently achieved a couple of important goals that have been on my list for several months, so I should have something soon, but of course I've said that before...
In the meantime, let me leave you with this:
Boys go to college for knowledge
Girls go to Jupiter to get stupider
It's amazing what you can learn from your third-grader son.
december 11, 2001
Jeff of Jeff At The House (aka jath.com) not only produces one of the best weekly shows on the Internet, but he's a hell of a nice guy. On a recent episode he took us on a tour through his bathroom cabinet, offering items from it to viewers. I asked -- I received. Thanks for the tiger balm, Jeff!
december 9, 2001
This is insane. Here we are, one day after the end of the last regular season game of the college football season, and we still don't know who will play Miami for the National Championship. Oregon *still* has an outside shot. We're #2 in the ESPN Coaches Poll, but the 7 computer rankings really abuse us because we don't blow teams away. Do you think that playing in the toughest conference in the country might have a little something to do with that?
Here's what will happen: Nebraska's computer rankings are going to push them over us and Colorado and they'll play Miami. A lot of momentum for an 8 team playoff system will be generated. We'll play Colorado, arguably the hottest team in the country, in the Fiesta Bowl. The winner of that game will have a strong argument that they are the true champion.
In 2 hours the BCS Bowl schedule will be announced on ABC.
december 5, 2001
harshing on my buzz
Last night, after I put the kids to bed and posted a couple items (below), I settled down to a little Voyager with some hot water, honey and a wee dram o' Scotch. I hear coughing from the boys' room. Nothing too unusual. Jack, bleary-eyed, comes down the steps. I climb the stairs and just before entering the room, this intense stench strikes my nostrils. On the floor next to Jack's bed is a very large puddle of orange vomit. David, still asleep in Jack's bed, has a large orange smear on his pajama pant leg. Oh my god, I swear it was a half gallon. I took fast, deep breaths to prevent myself from gagging.
I cleaned it all up, changed David's pajamas, pulled Jack's sheets and then remade his bed. I cleaned the poor boy up (change of undergarments), comforted him and got him back to sleep. For about an hour. Silly me. I forgot to bring a pot upstairs. Serves me right. So I did that all over again. By this time it is very late. I go to sleep. Elizabeth wakes up at regular intervals until sunrise.
So how was your night?
december 4, 2001
Sylloge is back. The whole web just became a little smarter and a little funnier.
Well, the Art Test is pretty fun, but I'm not sure I agree with the diagnosis...
"If I were a work of art, I would be Piet Mondrian's Composition A.
I am rigidly organised and regimented, although my cold and unapproachable exterior hides a clever way of thinking and a rebellious and innovative nature. A lot of people don't understand me, but I can still affect them on an emotional level."
Last night I rode a packed bus home from downtown. Although the aisle was full of standing passengers, we stopped and let on -- Rutger Hauer! I swear to god this guy looked exactly like him. The chiseled Teutonic facial features, the steady lethal gaze, the close cropped white hair. Even after I *knew* that it wasn't Rutger Hauer I found myself really wanting to ask him about that masterful final sequence in Blade Runner and if he really did, in fact, write his own final line: "Memories lost in time / like tears in rain."
december 2, 2001
an amazing year for Oregon Football
PAC-10 Champions. First ever 10-1 season in school history (that's 106 years). #3 ranking in the ESPN poll -- the highest in school history. A trip to a major New Years BCS game, the Fiesta Bowl, with an outside shot at the national championship at the Rose Bowl if Tennessee loses next Saturday.
Yesterday's game against Oregon State was brutal. Rain was coming down in sheets and the wind swirled around Autzen Stadium in 30 mile an hour gusts. We've got an amazing offense, but the weather combined with a fired up Oregon State defense neutralized us for nearly 3 quarters.
And then we run back a punt return 60 yards for a TD and the tide turned. On our next drive, Maurice Morris carried 2 defenders the final 3 yards into the end zone for another score. Our defense is almost last in the PAC-10 for yards given up, but is almost the top defense for least points allowed. That's what we mean by 'bend but don't break'. A 17-14 victory nailed down in the final minute. Entertainment is our middle name.
It's unfortunate but very human to look at what could have been, even when you have so much. If not for a punt blocked by Stanford we would have guaranteed ourselves a spot in the national championship. But I can assure you, I'm not going to dwell on it. :-)
If you've sent me e-mail within the last 36 hours, it probably didn't get to me. I've put together a workaround so anything you send now should work. Also, just a quick reminder that whatever you send to me should be at naze.net -- the internetcds.com address is gone.
On a related note: some people have actually clicked the e-mail link over there and hit send without removing the words REMOVE SPAMBLOCK. This was my attempt to slow down the waves of spam I'm being pelted with. I'll probably be removing the mail link altogether as others have across the web and replacing it with something like "e-mail: christopher at naze.net".
christopher at naze.net
when you are doing
what you said,
but they will never forget
-Carl W. Buehner