This and That
Ms. Spots and Orion were, I think, a little affronted that once I arrived I spent so much time in conversation with John and my parents, but once John left, they took a different view of things and Ms. Spots gave my hand a hearty welcome licking. As the senior rabbit, she grew a bit dubious whenever I gave Orion too much attention, but he has been placating her with lots of adoring grooming.
On the Czech front, Hubert, who is now staying with his friend Josef, sends this photo of the perusal of elderly copies of Cosmopolitan (c. 2001) purloined from my apartment. I bow to Kristen and Dr. Zaius' superior information regarding the frequency of use for the term "bootylicious" but I still think this is not a term that is going to be known to many people who have not read at least one issue of Cosmo. I have probably read every copy that was to be found in the apartment, and I still don't really recall it, as my attention went more to the stories about women who woke up to discover their new beaux were toothless or underage (or maybe even both, heaven forfend). But I am glad to see that Hubert continues to extend his knowledge of the stranger side of pop culture, as well as composing lots of new music.
Also somewhat on the Czech front, last night John and I attended a Czech film at the Pacific Film Archive. This particular one, a 1947 tale of a strike in 1880s Kladno (based on something by Marie Majerova), was not one of Czechoslovakia's most impressive cinematic offerings. We agreed that the cinematography was the best part, although John still had many criticisms of how it was done, such as the lack of a consistent viewpoint, the combination of Expressionist and other types of lighting, and so on. I was very disappointed that the score, by E.F. Burian, seemed to detract rather than add to the film. Burian was one of the major interwar avant-garde composers and directors, and I expected better from him than bombastic mid-century cliches that didn't even go well with the film. John thought that there were some impressive bits of orchestration but that otherwise the music detracted. In general, he thought that the other Czechoslovak strike film he had seen was much better. Since it starred Voskovec and Werich, I'm sure it was a far superior effort.
My other main adventure since arriving in California has been to get an American cell phone and service. I had resisted this for a long time, but it was so convenient to have a cell phone in Prague, and John has now gotten a cell phone to which he claims to have become devoted, and thus I have succumbed. After a morning of diligent research, I settled on a blue Motorola RIZR Z3 and a prepaid T-Mobile SIM card. While I like the general design of my old Siemens, which I'm keeping for future European use, I must confess that the Motorola is much more exciting and appears to be easier to use as well. It's a slider phone, which will eliminate all those annoying times when the phone somehow dials the internet on its own and uses up half my credit. The interface seems easier to learn and it even takes pictures. I did not think I would ever want a camera phone, given that the quality of photo is not that great, but after watching Shawn whip out his phone and capture a particularly ludicrous example of tourist costuming, and also having seen Jesse unobtrusively photograph lots of signs on trams and trains, I decided that a camera phone does have a place in my life. Quality is important, but so is getting the shot.
I believe it is now time to go and pet the Spotted Pair.