The odds are astronomical

Tonight we watched an exceptionally silly episode of Star Trek, in which Kirk and the crew have to outwit a planet full of humanoids who model their entire society off of the Chicago mobs of 1920s Earth (right?).

I especially liked the “Fizbin” scene below, not just because the Kirk/Spock interactions are hilarious and Bones karate chops a guy…

but because it reminded me of when the Monkees trick a guard by playing Creebage” in The Frodis Caper (trippiest Monkees episode ever, btw. Watch at your own discretion). 

Oh man. 60s TV is the greatest. Mark this one down as another “Nikki finds a way to relate two completely different things to each other” post and let’s call it a night. 

It’s about to get rullllll nerdy up in here

So lately I’ve been attempting to practice piano more (actually: re-learn what I used to be able to play in high school), and have recently rekindled my love affair with this piece:

Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in c sharp minor
If you’re a music geek like me, you might be able to tell from that excerpt above why it is so fun to play. First of all, DOUBLE GRAND STAFF because there are simply too many notes to fit into one staff alone. Not to mention, quadruple sforzando (basically, super freaking loud) = an excuse for extra flamboyant playing. This right here is why I would love to have a grand piano someday, just so I could pound on the keys and not have to worry about my keyboard stand suddenly collapsing or falling over (oh, and also to be able to produce sound by real hammers and strings instead of through a dinky amplifier. Sorry keyboard, I love you, I really do).  
So yeah. I have Lauren to thank for introducing me to the infamous prelude in high school, and after I heard it I basically begged my piano teacher to let me learn it. Now it’s one of the few pieces I can still remember how to play.
Fun fact: Rachmaninoff had abnormally large hands and according to wiki, could play the chord C Eb G C G with one hand?!
Here is a recording of the prelude by Horowitz (2:30 is where the real fun begins) and here is an amusing version by Harpo Marx:


Btw, obviously this was recorded and dubbed over, but for the record, Harpo was an awesome musician and I have no doubt that he could actually play this note for note. Oy, I need to stop blogging for the night, otherwise I’ll get sucked into a YouTube vortex of Marx Brothers videos…

We’ll marry our fortunes together

My blog has been quite lacking in the S&G department lately, which I just won’t stand for.So here, have a video of what is probably my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song ever, America:

Not sure why this is my favorite…maybe because it’s one of the few songs I can play on guitar, or maybe because certain lines remind me of drum corps tour and/or roadtripping through the mid/southwest (…and the moon rose over an open field…), or maybe because every time I hear counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike I always hear the cheers of the 500,000-person crowd at Central Park.

Also including a 2003 version because in many ways, I think it’s better than the one above. I love when it’s just the two of them with no backing band. Plus, those harmonies just get even more beautiful with time.

How to spend a Friday night, according to me

First of all, let me point out that it’s shameful I’ve lived in San Francisco for over a year and hadn’t been to the Castro Theater before tonight. What an amazing venue!! So beautiful and wonderfully old-timey; I can’t wait to go back.

Interior of the Castro

The theater was built in 1922 at the height of the silent movie era, so it was fitting that my first visit was to watch a silent movie, complete with live orchestra (btw, this was part of the SF Silent Film Festival, which I’m SO HAPPY exists).

My college roommate Olivia is also a fan of most things old and vintage (and Alex was interested without me even having to convince him), so I was in good company. The movie was “The Patsy,” a lighthearted comedy (with some realtalk moments) that – if anything – made me realize how awesome of a comedienne Marion Davies was. The highlight was her mimicking famous actresses of the day (Mae Murray, Lillian Gish, and Pola Negri), which must’ve been even more hilarious at the time the film premiered:

The last one was golden. We all lol’d, which brings me to the point I wanted to make… 
I think everyone’s first silent movie experience should be in a proper theater, with a good audience. Not to say silent movies aren’t watchable at home (I watch them at home, alone, more than is probably healthy), but it’s just so much better when there’s a huge screen, live music, and a genuine crowd reaction for support. Dare I say it feels almost as if you’ve been transported back in time, to an era when motion pictures were novel and Hollywood was more glamour than grit. 
To conclude, I know this kind of stuff isn’t everyone’s bag, but those who are interested really should seek out silent film showings in local theaters. It’s an awesome experience and especially cool to think that many of these movies are coming up on 100 years old. Crazy. 

No time for blogging, must watch ALL the Star Trek!

Soooo, in case you were wondering how our Star Trek marathon was going (or wondering why I haven’t been blogging lately)…

We just finished Season 1 of The Original Series, roughly 30 hours of pure nerdiness. I can safely say that my obsession has not waned a bit, fueled by the Star Trek fandom of Tumblr and the anticipation of visiting this exhibit at the LA Fair.

Also, I have YouTube to thank for providing ridiculous videos like this:

Star Trek + Ke$ha = party on the USS Enterprise!

Yes, we’re on our way to becoming full-fledged Trekkies. If anyone cares to join us, I’ll leave you with the following supplements…

Favorite Episodes So Far (i.e. The Most Ridiculous Episodes of Season One):
The Naked Time, in which Sulu runs around the ship shirtless, trying to duel people
Shore Leave, in which everyone hallucinates and McCoy is a cheeky bugger
Space Seed, in which Khan appears (a good episode to start with)
This Side of Paradise, in which Spock hangs from a tree giggling and everyone acts high and Kirk gets frustrated
The City on the Edge of Forever, in which McCoy goes insane and Kirk & Spock wear jeans

Favorite Characters So Far
It started out as Spock but I have to say, I think Leonard “Bones” McCoy wins the Best Character Award (if not that, at least the Sassiest Character Award). His interactions with Kirk and Spock are just gold. Also for the record, we’re one episode into Season 2 and I can easily see Chekov becoming one of my faves. Dat accent!

Yes, that’s McCoy drinking a mint julep.

I also started thinking of a Star Trek Drinking Game, which can easily be played while watching any episode from TOS. For example,

One drink whenever…
-Captain Kirk’s shirt is ripped
-Spock raises one eyebrow
-Spock finds something “fascinating
-McCoy says he’s a doctor, not a ____
-Kirk snogs a girl
-Spock sees Kirk snogging a girl
-Communication with the ship is lost
-Close-ups of at least 3 faces in a row
-Phasers don’t work
-Kirk tells someone to explain something
-McCoy and Spock argue

Two drinks whenever…
-Captain Kirk’s entire chest is visible
-Spock raises both eyebrows
-A redshirt dies
-McCoy saves the day

-Warp Speed 8
-Whenever there are 2 Captain Kirks
-Spock cries

I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this as we continue with Season 2. However, I do hope to have some other entries up and not disappear for another month. Wish me luck!