Brainstrummings from a Bug-Eyed Bookworm

Tiff is a PhD student in English literature at UC-Berkeley. She takes no prisoners, bars no holds, holds no bars.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tag! I'm It!

In response to Amy Lee's "Book Meme" tag, here is a list of significant books in my life.

meme: a unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. (Courtesy of

1. One Book That Changed Your Life: The Bible
2. One Book You Have Read More Than Once: Jane Eyre
3. One Book You Would Want On A Desert Island: The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories
4. One Book That Made You Laugh: The Silly Side of Sherlock Holmes
5. One Book That Made You Cry: The Book of Psalms; Christina Rossetti's Poetry (not "Goblin Market")
6. One Book You Wish Had Been Written: The Compleat Field-Guide to Cannibals of the World

Friday, August 18, 2006

Jury Duty Successfully Evaded.

'nuf said.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Time Has Come

After successfully getting out of jury duty twice, I've been summoned (for real) to appear at the Wiley M. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland at 9:30am tomorrow.

Off I go.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Selected Holiday Pictures from the Baltic:

The Church of the Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg.
A red sun sets. (Legolas: Blood has been spilt this night.)

Tallinn, Estonia

A beach near Warnemunde, Germany

Warning: Hissing Cockroach Pics Ahead!

Today, I got three Madascar Hissing Cockroaches as pets--all of them male because 1. I don't want them to breed, 2. they're sexually dimorphic, and the males have cute little ridges on their back.

Baby Love was hiding underneath some tree bark, so I didn't want to disturb him (he's the smallest one.) But Sugar Pie and Honey Bunch were up and about.

Sugar Pie and Honey Bunch having a roach-to-roach talk on a bark bench:

Still Crazy After All These Years

My neighbour screened Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) this evening at his place for a few of his friends. And even though I only got to see the tail end of it (from the highly unimpressive lightsaber duel between Darth and Obi-Wan), I found it amazing that I still found myself utterly enchanted, even after all these years and multiple viewings.

Let me give some background. I am a Star Wars geek. Or rather, I was a Star Wars geek. By “geek” I mean someone who named her dog Princess Leia, brought her life-sized Darth Vader helmet with her to college in Boston all the way from Singapore, dedicated hours, if not more, to memorising various bits of Star Wars knowledge, and composed various SW-based comedy sketches and musical spoofs. As the old jazz standard puts it, “I got it bad, and that ain’t good.” Or rather, I had it bad...but I wouldn't say it was "ain't good."

Times changed. Years passed. Nowadays, it takes me a lot more time to remember things like the name of the general who briefs everyone on the weakness of the Death Star (General Dodonna). I’ve completely forgotten other bits of trivia which came so easily to me once. I no longer check regularly for my “daily dose of Star Wars.” It had been a good two years since I last watched A New Hope. I had backslid. I became convinced that my Star Wars fandom days were over…that over time, and perhaps also over dose, I was only a nominal Star Wars geek.

But, tonight, it was nice to see how I still enjoyed the film so much, to remember how all the cheesy and incongruous moments, instead of spoiling it, made the movie all that more fun to watch. It was nice to have bits and pieces of trivia floating back into my consciousness: how an earlier scene with Luke and Biggs on Tattoine was cut out; how Wedge makes it through all three battles in the trilogy; how in the radio drama series version of A New Hope, the Rebel Commander put Luke through a battle-simulation before the actual Battle of Yavin to see how he fares—he only dies twice.

In short: I still like Star Wars after all these years. Call it obstinacy, but I kind of like the feeling.