Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tears of Joy, Tears of Sadness

I finally saw March of the Penguins and if there is anything in this world that deserves to be labeled a miracle, it is the fact that there are still Emperor Penguins in it.

I think it’s also not unreasonable to label it insane, awesome, incredible, unbelievable, inconceivable, amazing... {add your own adjective here}

Words don’t come easily after watching this story of determination and hardship.

This production deserves all the awards that it has won, and even more kudos on top of those. And I do hope the production crew got to vacation somewhere warm!

This film has wonderful long passages that allows the penguins to tell their own story without a ton of editing or commentary. Don’t get me wrong: the narration by Morgan Freeman is outstanding, but it doesn’t interfere with enjoying the movie.

March of the Penguins also doesn’t shy away from the truth or over sentimentalize. Some of it is difficult to watch, because it’s not sugarcoated – life is harsh for these small creatures at the bottom of the world. There is death and heartache. And you’re in for a surprise if you think penguins don’t have emotions – just watch the scene with the first egg.

Do yourself a favor and watch this tribute to the power of life. Despite the agony and helplessness of some of this story, overall it’s very life-affirming. I’m still shaking my head over the improbability of it all....

I’ve been writing and re-writing this post, but I really can’t say it any better than Jérôme Maison did in the ‘Of Penguins and Men’ special feature (which is really like getting a second Penguins movie on the same disc!)

The paradox of Antarctica: splendor and sadness exist side by side.


Life seems all the more precious to us now that the Emperor Penguins have shown us how fragile, delicate, and miraculous it is.


If you follow the ‘March of the Penguins Press Materials’ link from the National Geographic website, you’ll find some fascinating background material (disguised as ‘Production Notes’) and awesome photographs (‘Hi Res Art). The ‘Official Movie Web Site’ has lots of info, too, and includes more photos, a screensaver, and wallpapers.

Oh, yeah, did I mention how darn cute penguins are?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

She's Here!

For those of you wondering about the dry weather in Hilo the past few days, let me explain:

I finally got my new car!

btw, that also explains the silly little grin on my face :-}

Don’t get me wrong – the car I’ve been driving is a good car and I’ll be sorry to see her go – I'm very comfortable with her. She was the first car that I wanted and I bought. She’s a bit sporty and we’ve driven quite a few miles together.

But I just couldn’t pass on this new car: an immaculate, non-leaky, 2002 silver Saturn with only 17,000 miles, tinted windows, 10-CD changer – all for only $3,000.

Yes, I just stole a car and it was perfectly legal.

Even the security guard at Young Brothers (shipping company) said, "Wow, nice car!" as I was driving out the gate yesterday.

It still feels like I’m driving someone else’s car. I don’t know if this is just because it’s a different car or if it’s because it used to belong to a friend and I’m still perceiving it as her car. Whichever it is, I think the feeling will soon pass.

One other small problem, however, needs some immediate attention: the new car doesn’t have a name.

When Mom and I got the Honda Civic in 1988, we named her "Baby Car". When I got my original Saturn in October 2003, I knew old habits would die hard, so the new car would have to have a name beginning with "Baby". Since she was a blue-green, or teal, color, and P and I were deep in the trenches of writing the first Stargate script, it was almost inevitable that she ended up as "Baby Teal’c" or "Baby T" for short.

I think it will be okay if the new car’s name doesn’t start out with "Baby", but Mom and I have been brainstorming for weeks now and haven’t really come up with anything that seems right.

Waddya say, all you insanely creative people out there? Anybody got an idea for a name for my new silver Saturn?

Friday, March 10, 2006

My Daddy

I want to say a big, public "Mahalo nui loa" to my dad for being there when I needed him. It was 3 a.m. Hawaii time, I was scared, confused, uncertain, frazzled -- you get the picture. He was calm, cool, and collected and knew exactly how to fix my problem. I love you, Poppy!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I didn't even realize until late today that I missed posting yesterday. I guess I was too busy studying for my midterm. Which didn't go as well as I hoped. It's a bad sign when there is a list of seven characters to identify and your mind is completely blank on one of the names. Of course, I immediately looked it up and now will probably never be able to forget it.

Anyway, I updated my 52 in 52 list for 2005. I really will try to keep better track this year...

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Best Laid Plans...

...often go completely haywire.

Instead of updating my 52 in 52 list (the plan), I ended up running around after popped surge protectors, turning off computers, and writing emails to explain all the 'out of order' signs (the haywire). {pun intended}

On Saturday, I experienced a melted battery pack in an emergency light fixture at IfA.

I was beginning to worry that I might be turning into some kind of walking electrical disruption field, but have instead decided to blame it on all the rain we've been having lately....

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Friday Night

The plan:
Pizza whilst watching Pride and Prejudice, possibly followed by some light reading or, if they were willing, some playtime with the babies.

The reality:
Nearly burnt pizza and a right hand scribbling furiously from the moment I got home. I had to eat with my left hand and try not to spill sauce on the notebook.

The culprit:
An idea tossed at me by P. At first, I could only think of what arcane form of punishment I would inflict on her, but since it's flowing very well, I may postpone the torture sessions...

Friday, March 03, 2006


I've been working on consolidating the Astronomy and Physics guides and updating the design to conform to the new, snazzier style of the Counseling Psychology and Education guides.

So, I started reviewing the encyclopedias and dictionaries we have. Have we purchased any new ones since the guides were last updated? (Yes) Are there any newer editions for some of our older volumes? (Yes) Are there any older volumes that don't have newer editions that should be removed from the guide? (Yes)

And that's when I realized I require a radical shift in my thinking and the criteria I'm using because 1997 was 9 years ago.

The 90s just don't seem like they happened that long ago. Intellectually I know that 1990 was 16 years ago, but emotionally the thought that I could have a teenager just does not compute.

Along these same lines, I'm having a lot of difficulty accepting that I will turn 37 this year. I haven't had issues with my age before, but suddenly it doesn't seem like I can really be as old as the calendar says I am...

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I just realized that it's time to go home and I haven't posted anything yet today.

Today was kind of crappy, especially after the highs of yesterday. Not totally crappy, 'cause some good things happened, but I still wish I could have stayed home with my cats.

Which is where I'm headed right now. Will try for a more interesting post tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


As you may remember, I was disappointed by my in-class writing last week. I was resigned to sucking it up and moving on. I’ll do better the next go-round!

So to say that today’s class was shocking would be a massive understatement. Not only was my writing good enough to have “nailed it” (that’s a direct quote from the instructor) and earn FULL points, but I was also asked to share it with the class by reading it aloud :-o !

Now, I made sure to point out that I do have a bit of an advantage over my classmates in that I already have a Bachelor’s in English (albeit from 1991) but I stressed that more importantly, to be able to write well, one must not only write a lot and write on a regular basis, but one must also read a lot. One student pointed out that I had used some words he wasn’t familiar with and I shared that I still keep a vocabulary notebook and subscribe to a Word of the Day.

And then I did a well-received Connections presentation, showing parallels between Eumenides by Aeschylus, Path of the Fury by David Weber, and The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman.

Needless to say, I’m flying pretty high right now. And not nearly as worried about next week’s midterm now.

Now if only I could write something decent for the second script....