Crash Course: The Best Show on the Internet

No, really.  And I am extraordinarily picky.  I don’t listen to podcasts and I rarely watch web series — despite the fact that I have worked on both, they just don’t hold my attention.  This, on the other hand, is absolute brilliance, and everyone I know who knows about it has watched the entire series of videos.

John Green, a self-deprecating James Potter look-alike, is a talented writer and charming host (who is happily married and therefore not available to return my crush) and the graphic team at Thought Bubble makes a lot of the more difficult concepts both fun and easier to understand.  Why isn’t learning always this fun?

My favorite episode is the Columbian Exchange, because that’s one of my favorite historical events and it’s video number 23, which is my favorite number.

There is also a series on science that I haven’t watched in its whole, it seems a lot less ADHD and charming, but still awesome.  I mean, introducing biology as about sex and not dying… well, hell, I’m sold.

 

Strange Dreams: Zombies, The Civil War, Count Olaf, and Obama’s Nobel Prize

From last night:

1. Zombies were attacking and every time anyone felt under the weather they had to be chained up outside on the roof until it was clear that they were not turning into Zombies.  I blame F for showing me Plants vs Zombies.

2. I was writing a paper for a history class in High School where my old student teacher who is now married to my step-cousin, Mary Leslie, was the teacher.  I was writing a really long involved thing on how the conflicting policies of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and their actions in divorcing the British Government and forming their own led to the Civil War.  If this is in any way true, I have no idea, but it sounds interesting.

3. I shot Count Olaf and planted his fingerprints on the gun to save the Baudelaire children.  They came to live with me in California.  This is strange because I haven’t even read all those Series of Unfortunate Events books.

4. This turned out not to be a dream, but I thought it was when I woke up.  The zombie dream woke me up and I felt really terrible — nauseous — so I looked at my email on my phone.  I had an email from HuffPo about Obama winning the peace prize.  That didn’t make any sense, because I’ve never gotten email from HuffPo and also what?  When I woke up I decided it was a dream that sort of made sense that it would happen some day if he ever managed to end the war on gays, drugs, health, Afghanistan, and/or Iraq.  But then it wasn’t a dream, and I was confused, because he hasn’t done any of that.

Actually, I feel a bit sorry for Obama.  He already had enough pressure on him, this is just adding to it.  It’s politically sort of not that great for him because he’s got nothing he can really point to and be like “Yes, look at what I did!”  I think we treat him like a man who can do a lot more than the system allows him to.  In reality, decisions are made by a bunch of assholes in Congress who play to their bases instead of the good of the country.

We’re currently occupying and waging wars in two separate Muslim countries and making clear we reserve the “right” to attack a third.  Someone who made meaningful changes to those realities would truly be a man of peace.  It’s unreasonable to expect that Obama would magically transform all of this in nine months, and he certainly hasn’t.  Instead, he presides over it and is continuing much of it.  One can reasonably debate how much blame he merits for all of that, but there are simply no meaningful “peace” accomplishment in his record — at least not yet — and there’s plenty of the opposite.  That’s what makes this Prize so painfully and self-evidently ludicrous.  – Glenn Greenwald

Tales from the way out there wierdness that is my life

My Great Great Aunt just friended me on facebook. I’ve never met this woman, never heard of her, never knew she existed. She saw my picture on someone else’s friends list and asked who I was because I looked so much like my grandmother, her niece, Cleo.

I never met Cleo, who died when my mom younger than I am now. Mom never had many pictures — Cleo’s death left her an orphan, so I don’t really know what Cleo looked like other than she had red hair in a bob. Mom’s grandparents, who I only know as Pa and MeMa, died when I was young.

MeMa would be this woman’s sister. Pa died 3 days after I was born, having been asked to stay alive long enough for my mom to get in the car and drive her newborn the 8 hours to meet him. He met me and died the next day. MeMa I knew when I was very little, but I don’t have any memories of her. She was the only grandparent I ever had, and she was my great grandmother.

So today I was surprised to find out that, no, no grandparents, but yes, a great great aunt. And I was also surprised to find out I look like Cleo. I find it cool that I look so much like her that, though I was an apparent stranger, this 84 year old woman asked about me. And I find it cool because she’s like ancient history that I know nothing about yet am connected to.

In which I meet famous (ish) people

My work involves watching a lot of footage. I mean, a lot, a lot, of footage. There are several kinds of reality shows, but the kind I work on, the docu-soap, involves just following people around for months and months and months. And someone (me) has to watch all of the footage that they shoot. So, if there are 7 or 8 main characters whose lives aren’t always intersecting, and you film every day, every week from May through September… well, that’s a lot of footage.

So, I get to meet someone in a show I’ve been logging since May. Which is completely exciting and a little weird. I mean, I know way, way too much about this guy. Not like, I watched a show with him in it, but like I’ve watched hundreds of hours of his life. So, he’s going to be at a major deficit in knowing about me. It’s kind of like I’m an unwilling stalker meeting my willing victim.

Also, Max Adams totally commented on my post, which is like being famous. And I’m friends with Dave White. So I have a little contact with famous (ish) people.

I once exchanged e-mails with Anne Rice. I’ve met and hugged Ben Stein. This was before he made Expelled, I’m not sure I’d be so thrilled if I met him again. But at the time, I was a huge Win Bin Stein’s Money fan. I almost stepped on Kristin Chenoweth when I worked at Warner Bros. She’s really short. Mary Louise Parker almost barreled into me on the same lot.

I got to meet Jon Stewart and Mr. I’m a PC himself, John Hodgman. The sweetest most adorable man alive.  I really wish to meet Mr. Stevie Colbert because he’s from Charleston, but that might not happen.

JH: Are you another one of Josh L’s family?
AFM: No, I’m a friend of Josh’s family.
JH: I call him Mr. L.

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I'm a mac, he's a PC

I'm a mac, he's a PC

My mother met Princess PuffySleeves Christian Siriano.

Christian Siriano and Mom

The Bio

I’m not really sure how people make a blog a destination site.  I guess it’s got to be insightful about the process or something.  Like, writing about work.

I guess I’ll just go for the light introduction.  I got an MFA from FSU in Film Production in 2008.  Before that, I started working on films in Atlanta as an undergrad at Emory University.  The first film I worked on I volunteered for a professor and soon-to-be thesis adviser known as Evan Lieberman.  He’s now in some Yankee state making movies and professing.

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