03 February 2011

Yojimbo: A Samurai Classic

Can we talk about how I love old samurai movies?

Ok, let's not. I wouldn't have much to say, other than the fact that I've recently watched one and enjoyed it thoroughly. Yojimbo is about a masterless samurai who comes to a town overrun by two competing gangs and, through wits and trickery, pits the two against each other to clear out the town. (It is also the movie off of which Clint Eastwood based his :A Fistful of Dollars:, which sounds impressive despite the fact that it's another movie I've not seen.)

Better than the story, though, is how the samurai, Sanjuro, walks with his arms in his kimono. It's nothing unusual or new - back in the day, samurai would tuck their arms in to the body of their kimono. People say this was so they could stay warm, but come on - I'm sure it's so they could look hilariously bad-ass. (Or armless. Same difference, really.)

Sanjuro takes your average hide-and-go-seek arms and kicks it up a notch. How could you possibly make putting arms in one's kimono more classy, you say? Why, how about a little...


(Man, I love samurai movies.)

19 January 2011

Emails and Etiquette

I recently read a comic by TheOatmeal that perfectly summarized my treatment of email:
Why Some Emails Go Unanswered
(Apparently, I'm not alone in this behavior.)

I wonder if people did the same thing during the era when physically-written letters were the only way to communicate at a distance. It calls to my mind several scenes from Pride and Prejudice (which probably tells you just a little something about my mind). For example, the letter from Darcy to Lizzy would naturally require a response post-haste - such comments could not be ignored! And yet, letters from Mr. Collins might find themselves in the "oh, that post must have been lost - who can trust letter carriers these days?" category. (I'm sure he could quote many a line from Lady Catherine on letter carriers in response.)

In the end, I'll keep ignoring that one email I always have in my inbox, sad and alone, waiting for a response, until I finally grow a spine (or, even worse, become a responsible adult. *shudders*)

10 January 2011

New Year's Resolution

I'm not usually one for resolutions at the start of the new year. I'm much more a fan of the Japanese tradition: clean the house completely, clear your head, and get ready for everything to be a new start. In America, the tradition of looking back and regretting or attempting to rectify what one's already done is a little too focused on what has happened and is not as focused on what should be.

Despite this propensity, I had a good enough idea for this year that I had to follow through with it.

It probably won't surprise any of my readers to hear that I am a craft-aholic. I have tried most everything, from clay sculptures to chainmaille, beading to embroidery, cross-stitch to crochet. In fact, I have had to devote a blog to cataloging projects I've found and would like to attempt (http://metahausfrau.blogspot.com). I'm just not happy without a craft project upon which to fall back should I have a few spare moments. I say "a craft project," but I should say "a blue million projects." I'm pretty bad about starting a project and, if I don't finish it in the first push of excitement over it, letting it fall to the wayside. It isn't that they are bad projects, or ones not worth finishing; it's just that I have too many ideas upon which I want to act, and a new project always holds more excitement than one that is started and taking a little longer than expected, requires a little more attention than previously thought, etc.

My resolution is simple: to finish projects I've started. I've started a small notebook, with each page dedicated to a different project I've started but not yet completed. Once I finish a project, I check it off and move on to the next project. I'm also not allowing myself to add a new project until I'm down to one or two remainders in my book, which is perhaps the best incentive of all. In a perfect world, I would continue to operate with only three or four projects at a given time. This would allow me the freedom to switch off of a project with which I was getting frustrated (for example, a long-term crochet or knit project), while still forcing me to finish as many projects as I start. We'll see how long that idea lasts...

Still, I'm proud to say that I have finished two projects in full since I started this system around a week ago. Granted, I have another ten or so left in my book, but I'm chipping away at them, slowly but surely. It's nice to have them finished, and, even better, I get an uplifting sense of accomplishment with every large check mark in the book.

So, dear readers, what are your resolutions this year?

It's a little horrifying to see how many projects I am "actively working on."