Sunday, August 31, 2003

So, I have caved in and started a blog...woohoo! I was studying for my upcoming prelim exam for most of the day, and around half an hour ago I realized that I had reached a point of diminishing returns. So, I quit the studying, and decided to do one of my infrequent "email a bunch of friends I haven't talked to in a while" things, where I basically write the same note to a bunch of people about what's been going on in my life, changing the questions about them slightly in each one to add that "personal touch." But then I realized, couldn't a blog entry be exactly that, minus the personal touch but adding details that only someone equally motivated to waste time would read? Anyway, here we are (and I'm impressed you made it this far. It's all downhill from here.)

Why is this blog called Raking Leaves? Well, first it's a reference to my favorite Stella skit. If you haven't seen it, go check it out along with some of the others (I recommend Turkey Hunting, Dickfish, and Pizza, in order of increasing weirdness); you might understand half of the random things I say next time we meet. Second, it's an oh-so-subtle reference to my East Coast upbringing and sensibilities. Okay, so I never even really raked leaves when I was a kid. In fact, when I was in high school our lawn was by far the most poorly maintained in the entire neighborhood. We had these ridiculous weeds growing next to the house for a while that were at least 3 feet tall, no joke. Whatever, I suck at coming up with good titles.

Anyway, like I said before, I spent most of the day studying for prelims. I'm not really worried about passing the exam too much (I get another shot even if I don't pass this time), but I still feel like I should cover my bases and try to nail it. I've still got another week, so hopefully I'll be in good shape by exam time. I also read a couple of good articles in the New York Times Magazine. This article on Sofia Coppola and her latest directing efforts was pretty interesting...enough so that I added The Virgin Suicides to my GreenCine queue. I would have never figured that she is so talented given my only exposure to her was her incredibly awful acting turn in Godfather III (the article weakly tries to defend her on that, but I don't see how she couldn't have been attacked by critics). I found this article on anti-Semitism and attitudes toward Israeli policy to also be very thought-provoking. At some point I need to study at least the recent history of the Middle East and actually have an informed opinion on what's happening there.

Well, judging from my previous inability to update a personal journal with any reasonable frequency, I doubt that this blog will have frequent entries. But, who knows.