Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Eating some oranges, I watched a bit of VH1's 100 greatest rock bands and saw them rank Soundgarden better than Pink Floyd. Maybe it has something to do with the really nasty weather last night, thunder and lightning like doesn't happen around here.

A few days ago, I finished reading Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest. Such a sweet book.

"It's not me," I said, wondering why I was saying it but somehow enjoying it, "It's you. Every time I mention killing, you jump on me. You're a woman. You think if nothing's said about it, maybe none of the God only knows how many people in town who might want to will kill you. That's silly. Nothing we say or don't say is going to make Whisper, for instance--"

I love that long twisty sentence in the middle surrounded by the plain and simple ones. Just a component of the funny poetry in Hammett's language that slows you down enough to show you the chasm before shoving you down in it.

I've had the complete novels of Dashiell Hammett in a single volume for a couple years now, but am only now getting a chance to read one of them. Shows you something of my reading pile.

I remembered reading in William Gibson's blog some time ago about how some people were calling Raymond Chandler a huge influence on Gibson. "I’ve never read much Chandler either," said Gibson "another frequently supposed influence. The real deal, in that particular rainslick modality, for me, is Dashiell Hammett. Invented the vehicle, as far as I know, though Chandler brought a classier chassis to it."

And it was interesting to me how very much more like Gibson Hammett seemed than Chandler. I've only read two Chandler novels, The Big Sleep and Farewell My Lovely, but I found Chandler's style, while lovely, could occasionally overwhelm the story. I was very happy to start reading a Chandler novel but, on both occasions, when I'd finished, I didn't feel like reading another Chandler for a long time. There was something less innocent about Red Harvest, something that gnawed a bit more on ideas of human nature.

While I'm on the subject of noir, I should mention that I watched the 1947 Postman Always Rings Twice last night. Loved Lana Turner and John Garfield. Hated the obvious alterations made to please the censors. Sometimes Frank and Cora were two people caught in a plausible, hellish situation of decisions, other times they were reduced to being simplistic hooligans.

You know, I'm beginning to realise how much I always enjoy not having a car. Just knowing that I can't drive anywhere makes me feel more productive.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Well, Robyn has listed what she considers to be the ten best and ten worst movies of 2004, and she ended her post by suggesting others do the same. So I went through my blog archives and discovered that I've only actually seen 22 movies from 2004. It's hard to find a reason to go to the cinema when I've so many great movies on tape that I haven't seen yet . . .

Anyway, here's a ranking of what I've seen;

Best of 2004

1 Kill Bill vol. 2
2 A Very Long Engagement
3 The Blind Swordsman, Zatoichi
4 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5 Hellboy
6 Fahrenheit 9/11
7 Before Sunset
8 Finding Neverland
9 Coffee and Cigarettes
10 Maria Full of Grace

Honourable mentions; Spider-Man 2, Sky Captain and the World of To-morrow, The Machinist.

Worst of 2004

1 The Stepford Wives
2 The Triplets of Bellville
3 Alfie
4 Van Helsing
5 The Terminal
6 The Passion of Christ

Yeah, only six worst movies. I felt ambivalent about the remaining four. Those are; Hero, I Heart Huckabees, Secret Window, Meet the Fockers.

I know some people may feel violent, terrifying fury towards me for including The Triplets of Bellville in the worst movies. Or those people may coolly feel I'm an idiot. To either reaction I respond; I'm sorry, the main character was expressionless, speechless, and, really, hardly a character at all. A bowling pin with arms and legs would've been more interesting.

To those convulsing in disease fostering spasms at the sight of Hero in my Ambivalence Pile, I say that movie was very pretty, and I'm glad it was so enamoured with itself. That the movie was happier with itself than I was made by it is no reason not to encourage it, smile at it, and nod in vague approval. But it really deserves no more than that.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

So, happy Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah, Sandwich, Patrick Swayze, Great Cola Spirit, etc. I'm celebrating Christmas because there's more to it than any of the others. I go in for complexity and moral ambiguity.

I'm very sleepy and I have been ever since I got up early on Christmas Eve morning. I'm not sure how I'm gonna make the Christmas rounds to-day without using my car but I suppose I'll figure it out something out.

I've gotten some gifts. The biggest I got so far were the entire third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the final season of the Jeremy Brett series.

I was made to remember how innocent Star Trek is, occasionally to an annoying degree. But the third season is definitely when TNG started getting good. And The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is kind of sad because, not only was the season cut short due to Jeremy Brett's death, but many of the episodes that were filmed showed the accommodations the people were forced to make for Brett's failing health, even all but writing Holmes out of one episode. It's really too bad.

I wish I wasn't so sleepy. I need to work on my slacking off skills so I don't feel so guilty about being sleepy on Christmas morning . . .

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Things're gettin' ominous around here.

I walked to a nearby shopping centre to finish off my Christmas shopping Tuesday. I walked because the night before I’d gotten pulled over on the way to Tim's. I was inexplicably angry all day yesterday, so maybe I was a little shorter than I meant to be as I talked to the copper. I got the impression he thought I was a dangerous delinquent, or at least someone who was trying to pull something over on him.

Oh, yeah--why did he pull me over? My frelling break lights are out again. I told him I'd just gotten 'em fixed, saying something like, "Yeah, the guy at the place told me they're out 'cause the bulbs are out but the genius didn't think to wonder why the bulbs on a fairly new car'd gone out."

The Man didn't like my tone, I don't think. That's my theory as to why he wanted to see my license and registration so badly, made a big point in telling me he wasn't gonna give me a ticket this time, only a warning. Gee, I guess I ought've thanked him for not being a complete, bottom-feeding asshole.

Anyway, to-day I wasn't so much angry as having a bit of difficulty concentrating. It was a dim day, I guess. But ominous.

I got lunch at Quizno's where, I discovered, the price of a small Veggie sandwich and a bottle of lemon Snapple is exactly $6.66.

"I feel lucky!" I said to the cashier, whose weak smile suggested that she was either unfamiliar with the sign of the beast or loathed my flippant reaction to irrefutable evidence of my sin coated soul.

After that, I went to Target and bought the very last Christmas present I needed to buy. As I was waiting in line with it, a man behind me, who looked like a large, more weathered version of Peter Straub, suddenly said to me, "No rest for the wicked, eh?"

It took me a moment to realise he was talking to me and I could tell from the subtle reactions of everyone nearby in the crowded store that his statement had puzzled everyone. The man's wife gave him a quick, angry look.

It was a mysterious, slightly inexplicable incident. And like most slightly inexplicable incidents, the mind took it and feverishly attempted to decode it for hours. From concluding it was a feeble result of his observing my black clothes and hat and needing somehow to comment on them, to thinking perhaps he was a vessel meant to convey to me some Jacob Marley-ish revelation.

All I know is that Christmas, and this Christmas season in particular, is starting to take on this vast, overbearing, bruise-fleshy shape of chilling, and unknowable significance. It's like a big ghost of a genetic experiment, its mottle skin sagging grey through the sharp metal restraints until it resembles nothing so much as an overcast sky . . . And let's not forget all the red painted on everything.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A couple nights ago, I dreamt there was some kind of disease on my scalp that made daisies grow out of it. I didn't realise it until I'd gotten back from being out for awhile. I guessed no one had noticed because I was wearing my hat, and I tried to think of any instances when I'd removed my hat during the day. I couldn't think of any, and as I leaned closer to the mirror, inspecting the flowers that were mostly on the left side of my head, I noticed the one nearest my forehead had Glenn Close's face in the centre. She was grinning and wouldn't say anything.

I dropped by Tim's house last night. He gave me a rather nice Christmas present--two pairs of jade chopsticks direct from China. He gets that kind of thing because he put together this web site for a friend of his who seems to have some crazy connexions in China. Tim tells me his friend often receives ancient little statues and things fresh from the tombs.

The chopsticks are nice, and very cold. I'm wondering if I ought to actually eat with them. I'd feel sort of like an emperor, except I'd probably only use them for cheap ramen.

I saw The Male Animal a few days ago, a 1942 film starring Henry Fonda and Olivia De Havilland. There was more subtext in the movie than I think was intended.

The story is that Fonda's character is an English teacher who gets in a bit of trouble for wanting to read a statement to his class by Bartolomeo Vanzetti--of Sacco and Vanzetti--as an example of good writing by someone who isn't a writer. When the trustees of the university catch wind of what Fonda intends to do, they attempt many forms of intimidation, including threats of dismissal.

This is a domestic comedy.

A head representative of the trustees, played wonderfully by Eugene Pallette, is a friend of Fonda’s family, as is a football hero played by Jack Carson. The information above is revealed at a dinner party as is the fact that Fonda's wife, De Havilland, is still very attracted to her old boyfriend, the football hero. Maybe more now than her husband, who's frightening and confusing her with his obstinate desire to read the Vanzetti statement, despite Eugene Pallette's baritone derision for Reds.

What follows is a fascinating scene of Pallette, Carson, and De Havilland joining a night time mob of college football fans as they march to a rally being held next to an enormous bonfire. In the light of the flames, Pallette goes onto the stage and, in his peculiar, booming voice, gives an angry speech about how decent people are American kinds of people. Fonda, who glumly followed along to watch his wife being handled by Carson, is fiercely berated by random people in the mob for not cheering at the appropriate moments.

Oh, yes, this is a domestic comedy. And not a bad one at that.

You see, the real story--for which the above striking scene is but window dressing--is De Havilland seeing Carson, the dumb football hero, as being the real male animal. Her husband, who seems weak for adhering to mysterious principles that run counter to the mainstream, is suddenly terrible to be saddled with.

Most of the movie concentrates on physical and verbal comedy about matrimony and the difference between men and women. But the end of the movie is very rewarding, as Fonda--who is, let us not forget, Henry fucking Fonda, after all--goes in front of his assembled English class and a load of "guests" drawn by the publicity, and not only reads the Vanzetti statement, but makes a statement of his own about free speech.

I dunno but, personally, in this day of attempts an enforcing Christianity in schools and repression of literature, I found Fonda's scene rather stirring. It occurred to me that such a movie would never come out of mainstream Hollywood to-day, and I found it a little distressing to realise that, in some ways, America is now more conservative than it was in 1942.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I can hardly believe I pulled it off, but the new Boschen and Nesuko chapter is up.

I'm pretty sure it's done. I'm so damn tired right now, I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me if there're any real huge, sloppy mistakes . . .

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Got the Return of the King Extended Edition yesterday. It's very good, although the extended scenes don't have as dramatic an effect on the overall piece, as was the case with The Two Towers. The extended Two Towers is, to me, a profoundly different and better movie than the theatrical release. The bulk of the added scenes alter the pacing and mood significantly as they have to do with quieter, less "Middle-Earth on the march!" moments. It's a richer, fuller movie.

Return of the King, however, even though there's actually more extended stuff, feels pretty much the same. Still, I'm very glad I waited for this edition to come out instead of buying the theatrical release. I do love the extra footage, and the appendices alone would be worth a good price.

Some of my favourite bits . . .

The scene of Frodo and Sam marching with the orcs. This was something I very much felt the absence of in the theatre--it felt like a scene was cut. Suddenly Frodo and Sam were dressed differently and across a vast portion of Mordor. Having the scene in is a particularly sweet bit of spackle. The inspection scene was nicely tense.

I also liked that there was a lot more of Eowyn's story. Although I'm not sure if I didn't feel Eomer barking at her something like, "Battle is the province of men!" wasn't a little too broad.

Merry's vowing of service to Theoden was good, so now there's not merely an awkward "Look, Merry's coming, too!" shot of him riding with everyone as they leave Edoras.

I've already watched most of the appendices, and they're just as fascinating as in the previous volumes. A wide range of things that get you surprisingly involved in a very human perspective of the films' makings. There's the eerie moment where Christopher Lee explains to Peter Jackson what it actually sounds like when someone gets stabbed in the back, and Jackson remembering that Lee served in a somewhat shadowy way in World War II. There's Miranda Otto starting to cry as she's remembering how hard it was to part with everyone. There's the bit about many New Zealand army personnel being employed as extras during the battle scenes and fighting just a little too real. There's the neat documentary on how the horses were trained and used--rumours that Viggo Mortensen slept with his, and the wonderful little interview with Jane, the stunt rider, who wanted desperately to buy Shadowfax, with whom she'd become quite close, but couldn't afford him. And then turning on her answering machine to hear Viggo telling her he'd purchased the animal for her.

And there was Billy Boyd and Viggo Mortensen's deep, long, passionate kiss.

Anyway . . . I recommend you all go out and buy a copy for yourselves . . .

I also picked up Tom Waits' new album, Real Gone, a few days ago. It's very nice, at times kind of making me think of David Lynch.

Monday, December 13, 2004

It occurred to me to-day that Sorsha from Willow was a very sexist character. She starts off evil, and then converts because . . . Madmartigan says there are no stars or moon without her. Or something like that. At the beginning of the movie she has evil, leering facial expressions, then, when she crosses over, she has wise, nurturing facial expressions. It's just sad.

Yesterday I was drawing page 66 of Boschen and Nesuko when a cat fell asleep on top of my paper. Funny how cats like to be asleep at exactly the coordinates of your focused attention. So to-day I was a little behind, so sayeth the cat.

The entire course of events was altered to-day when I discovered there were no coffee filters. I'd originally planned on getting to work right away after a breakfast of cereal, oranges, and a hard boiled egg but, not being able to make coffee meant I had to go to the Starbucks in La Mesa, by the trolley station, get a triple latte from the old (better and spontaneously combustible) machine and a scone. And, while out, one might as well visit Tim at his workplace, buy minutes for one's phone, and discover that Radioshack is selling a "Super Brave Action Hero!" named Brum.

Visiting Tim at work meant I felt like visiting Tim after work, and I got little done to-day. I plan on getting lots done to-morrow and Tuesday, hopefully not in the same way I planned on getting lots done to-day.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

So far to-day I've been to the new Starbucks at Hazard Centre, written there the script for the next Boschen and Nesuko chapter, and while doing so enjoying a fresh, very, very good cup of coffee. It was one of those moments where my head kind of hurt, the brain inside was somewhere between figuring what to write and eavesdropping on the two office workers next to me talking about Frank Sinatra . . . And then with just the smallest sip of the very hot coffee, there suddenly was in the world only the coffee. It's a hard thing to analyse--did it really taste that good, so good that I suddenly felt like a different person entirely? It seems impossible, yet that's exactly what happened.

It was a sort of split in my personality. An emotional reaction to something that I didn't necessarily agree with. Which is not to say I disagreed, simply that it was not what I was doing at the moment. And yet it was. How could this be? How could I be different than my own feelings? Does that make the part of me that's different from my feelings just wrong? Or does that make my feelings wrong? It's eerie, slightly disturbing, and yet, at the same time, I'm kind of proud it.

I watched Caddyshack last night. A movie that really doesn't deserve to have much said about it. There were maybe five or six things I found funny in it, and all of them involved Bill Murray. I was brought to the conclusion that the movies that Murray's making now aren't "come back" movies. He's just starting to make really good movies. Aside from perhaps Ghostbusters, nothing he did in the supposed height of his career really rivals Rushmore or Lost in Translation. Which is kinda neat.

I was such a slug yesterday. It was a bad kind of day. A day when nearly every moment I'm thinking about something I ought/want to be doing, and consistently not doing it. To-day will be different, oh, yes. I woke up angry, but I think the coffee's fixed that. I'm gonna pretend it's only now a question of what I want to do first . . .

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Just figured the secret of my pop-top coffee cup . . . I had only to press harder . . .

Good afternoon.

I woke up thinking about "The Yellow Face" because, on the table by the bed, there sits my DVD copy of the Jeremy Brett Sign of Four. With the hunched, savage faced black man on its cover, I thought it might lead some to think that Conan Doyle was mildly racist. I hoped there was an episode for "The Yellow Face", because it proves rather decidedly to the contrary, but, unfortunately, there's not . . . I wish Jeremy Brett hadn't died.

You know, though, as much as I love the Brett series, they're still not as good as reading the original Sherlock Holmes stories. In fact, I often reflect on the fact that I have yet to see a single film or video version of a Holmes story that is the equal of the source material. And yet I don't think such a thing is impossible. Maybe one day . . .

Last night I watched Pat and Mike, and was very surprised to see Katharine Hepburn kicking young Charles Bronson's ass. I imagine Hepburn watching Bronson's movies later in life, and remarking to a companion, "My, the lad sure looks tough, doesn't he? Really, I was disappointed he went down so quickly--you do know I kicked his ass, don't you?"

What else to say . . . Caitlin has uploaded the latest Nar'eth manga chapter I did to

And I'm too excited that Moi is writing a Dana Scully/Clarice Starling slash fic.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

All the doorknobs in this house're cold. And it's so fucking dry around here . . . I'm pretty sure this winter's much colder than last year's. And, yes, all yous in the cold north are looking at this entry and shaking your heads. Well, I ain't complaining about the cold. I like the cold. Believe me, it's a nice break. What bugs me is the dryness. I could definitely do without it. And so could the cats.

A few nights ago I watched Les Carabiniers, the first Jean-Luc Godard movie I'd ever seen. As far as I can tell, it's an overrated movie. According to Rober Ebert's review, the humour is appreciable only if you're caught up with the sort of exclusive comedic language of Godard's films. Ebert says, ". . . walking in at the beginning of a new Godard movie is like walking in at the middle of someone else's: You ask yourself what happened before you got there." A number of perspectives on the movie point out that Godard was forcing the audience to look at movies in a new way. And I can appreciate that. But I'm not sure the movie has much more than groundbreaking moviemaking techniques. Which, of course, aren't groundbreaking any more (the movie was made in 1963), so what's left?

The story is that, in a fictional country, ruled by a king, two farmers are duped by a couple of carabiniers into fighting the king's war for promises of looting, pillaging, and . . . lifting girl's skirts. And, no, that's not a euphemism for rape, apparently. These uncouth, amoral soldiers apparently get adequate jollies from peeping at a lady's panties. And all of these ladies don't seem particularly to care. I don't think that was intentional. I think we were meant to be shocked by the actions of these soldiers and take pity on the young women. Now, I've not witnessed such a situation myself, so maybe women do tend to take it as they would a slow line at Disneyland. But somehow I doubt it.

But, you know, maybe it was meant to be funny. Or something other than realistic, because most of the movie was unrealistic. On the other hand, TCM's Robert Osbourne, before the movie, explained that Godard was committed to making more realistic films than what people were used to from Hollywood. And, in terms of the almost totally absent musical score, realistic locations, and often static or erratically moved camera, I suppose it was that, for the time.

Osbourne also explained that Godard expressed an intention to enrage audiences with his technique. I wonder if, then, the annoyance I felt was meant to be felt--my annoyance at the fact that scenes supposedly of our characters trudging through battle-torn landscape just look like a couple of guys romping about in a field. My annoyance that not a single scene is believable, except for the extremely graphic stock footage of people terribly wounded or killed in war.

And that added up to another annoyance--that such brutal reality was juxtaposed with podgy, grinning actors playing army-men, most of the time for no apparent reason.

On the couple of occasions where reason was apparent, I did see how some of the humour could be pretty good, if the rest of the movie hadn't put me in a bad mood. The farmer-soldier trying to get at the bathing woman on the movie screen was pretty good. The execution of the rebel woman reciting poetry would have been good if her clothing looked like she'd been living desperately and the soldiers killing her had looked like they'd been fighting in a war for some time.

One thing I did like was that, throughout the film, letters were shown on title cards and read by the narrator. These letters were actual letters from soldiers all throughout different wars in different countries, from the time of Napoleon up to 1963.

But otherwise . . . it mostly just seems shoddy. I dunno, maybe I'm missing something.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Blogger was broken last night, so I couldn't post that the new Boschen and Nesuko chapter is up. Stuff happens in it. Just so you know, this is a series where things shall indeed happen, from time to time.

Friday, December 03, 2004

I dreamt last night I knew a woman who wanted breast reduction surgery. I really didn't blame her because her breasts were ridiculously large and misshapen. So I went to the place with her and stood by as the doctor outlined the process. Surprisingly, it seemed the surgery would involve an incision all the way to her hip and her lips would have to be removed and replaced with green synthetics.

The woman agreed to this, figuring, I guess, there'd be plenty of anaesthetic. So she went through with the surgery only to find, afterwards, that she had to apply the fake lips herself and that they would take several hours to adhere properly. This woman had a personality trait that made her prefer to pawn as many difficult jobs off on her male friends as she could, so she talked me into switching bodies with her.

For some reason, I decided to apply the lips while driving. The things looked remarkably like sticks of spearmint gum and I was forced to wonder just how natural they could look when applied.

I was turning off Mission Gorge while applying the upper lip and it kept slipping. I worried that I might be wearing out the adhesive, so I decided to park in front of Cosco and do the thing properly. Looking in the mirror, I was surprised to see that the lower lip was actually looking very lip-like, with only a faint line of scab to show anything strange had taken place.

Unfortunately, I was woken before I could see how things were going to go with the upper lip. My grandmother was outside my door fiddling with the heater, which apparently had stopped working. Meanwhile, I was marvelling that this was the first night all year that I hadn't had to sleep with the fan on. I was also contemplating turning it on.

I didn't manage to fall asleep again until my aunt and grandmother left. And then I dreamt that, while walking through a very creepy, mist shrouded forest, I told my sister that the scariest thing I'd ever seen on video was a Ranma 1/2 OVA about terrible things happening to Ranma and Akane in a haunted house.


In other news, yesterday I discovered a new addiction. A few days ago I'd gotten a grande earl grey tea from Starbucks. I'd observed to Tim that it tasted like soap and I didn't understand how Captain Picard could drink the stuff. But yesterday, I found myself not only desperate for earl grey, but encouraged by subtle signs from the gods to drink some. I went to Starbucks, bought some, sipped, noted the soapiness, burned my thumb on some that spilled, and compulsively kept drinking until it was gone.

There's that . . .

Speaking of Starbucks, earlier in the day I'd been at my aunt's Starbucks in a large, insanely comfortable green chair drinking a regular coffee, when I glanced to my right and noticed a small note behind the fake plant on the table. It read, "To love a person is to see the face of God."

I thought about various snarky replies I could make to that, but in the end kind of liked the idea of notes being hidden in random places. It'd be better if they had more intriguing messages, though.

I have a lot to do to-day.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Kiernan made a great entry yesterday that I rather liked, it being in a similer vein to the delusions of real life entry I made a while ago. Further good argument that more people need to keep their heads out of their asses.
I love Robert Blake's voice. It's one of those tin cool voices like Lou Reed's or Charles Bronson's.

I watched Bobby Blake in In Cold Blood some days ago and I pretty much enjoyed it. I thought Blake was really good in it.

The movie, made in 1969 is based on the actual slaughtering of an innocent, God-fearing family in 1959. Director Richard Brooks was so keen on being as true as possible to the events that he filmed the murder scene in the actual house where they took place. Photos of the family throughout the house were actual photos of the family, not the actors playing them. Just a nice touch--added a special pinch of atmosphere when watching.

I think the idea at the end of the movie was to present an anti-death penalty argument. I don't really think the movie succeeds at that, but what it does do is paint a couple of believable and fascinating characters.

And I was really happy to've seen The Treasure of Sierra Madre earlier because Blake's character refers to it several times, comparing himself and his doomed companion to the desperate treasure hunters in that movie. Actually, it made me look back at Treasure of Sierra Madre a little more fondly. And, it turns out, little Bobby Blake had a small role in it, playing the little boy who sold Bogart the lottery ticket. Eeriness abounds!

And speaking of . . . I saw The Machinist a couple nights ago with Trisa. We both liked it, even while agreeing that it was inspired almost entirely by a number of current trends in filmmaking. Although I quite appreciated the Bernard Herrmann-esque score--a robust, symphonic thing that's getting to be rather rare in this heyday of ambient and/or electronic soundtracks for thrillers.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hey, remember the part in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when London gets bombed? Yeah, me neither--and I finished re-reading the book a couple days ago. But apparently the makers of the new movie do remember. I have a very bad feeling about this.

So, any guesses on how they're gonna justify this one? I have a few little theories myself.

Fantasy Director commentary #1: "First we had to show how ineffectual the children were in the face of German invasion--as, after all, Narnia is merely a daydream to allow the children to feel empowered."

Fantasy Director commentary #2: "When I read the novel, I realised right away that the real witch was in fact Hitler."

Fantasy Director commentary #3: "I really couldn't figure a better way to incorporate this many explosions. There're only so many times you can show the stone table blowing up in slow motion."

The director is Andrew Anderson of Shrek, so . . . Maybe there's . . . some explanation . . . Oh, who am I kidding, there's no explanation for this.

Maybe it's a hoax?

Uggg . . .

Opening up Windows Media Player I saw the usual smattering of annoying advertisements. But then, much to my astonishment, I saw that there was a video of a live Aimee Mann performance. Nice way to start the day--although it was also nifty procrastination fodder. Oh well . . .
Hey, remember the part in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when London gets bombed? Yeah, me neither--and I finished re-reading the book a couple days ago. But apparently the makers of the new movie do remember. I have a very bad feeling about this.

So, any guesses on how they're gonna justify this one? I have a few little theories myself.

Fantasy Director commentary #1: "First we had to show how ineffectual the children were in the face of German invasion--as, after all, Narnia is merely a daydream to allow the children to feel empowered."

Fantasy Director commentary #2: "When I read the novel, I realised right away that the real witch was in fact Hitler."

Fantasy Director commentary #3: "I really couldn't figure a better way to incorporate this many explosions. There're only so many times you can show the stone table blowing up in slow motion."

The director is Andrew Anderson of Shrek, so . . . Maybe there's . . . some explanation . . . Oh, who am I kidding, there's no explanation for this.

Maybe it's a hoax?

Uggg . . .

Opening up Windows Media Player I saw the usual smattering of annoying advertisements. But then, much to my astonishment, I saw that there was a video of a live Aimee Mann performance. Nice way to start the day--although it was also nifty procrastination fodder. Oh well . . .
Hey, remember the part in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when London gets bombed? Yeah, me neither--and I finished re-reading the book a couple days ago. But apparently the makers of the new movie do remember. I have a very bad feeling about this.

So, any guesses on how they're gonna justify this one? I have a few little theories myself.

Fantasy Director commentary #1: "First we had to show how ineffectual the children were in the face of German invasion--as, after all, Narnia is merely a daydream to allow the children to feel empowered."

Fantasy Director commentary #2: "When I read the novel, I realised right away that the real witch was in fact Hitler."

Fantasy Director commentary #3: "I really couldn't figure a better way to incorporate this many explosions. There're only so many times you can show the stone table blowing up in slow motion."

The director is Andrew Anderson of Shrek, so . . . Maybe there's . . . some explanation . . . Oh, who am I kidding, there's no explanation for this.

Maybe it's a hoax?

Uggg . . .

Opening up Windows Media Player I saw the usual smattering of annoying advertisements. But then, much to my astonishment, I saw that there was a video of a live Aimee Mann performance. Nice way to start the day--although it was also nifty procrastination fodder. Oh well . . .
Hey, remember the part in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when London gets bombed? Yeah, me neither--and I finished re-reading the book a couple days ago. But apparently the makers of the new movie do remember. I have a very bad feeling about this.

So, any guesses on how they're gonna justify this one? I have a few little theories myself.

Fantasy Director commentary #1: "First we had to show how ineffectual the children were in the face of German invasion--as, after all, Narnia is merely a daydream to allow the children to feel empowered."

Fantasy Director commentary #2: "When I read the novel, I realised right away that the real witch was in fact Hitler."

Fantasy Director commentary #3: "I really couldn't figure a better way to incorporate this many explosions. There're only so many times you can show the stone table blowing up in slow motion."

The director is Andrew Anderson of Shrek, so . . . Maybe there's . . . some explanation . . . Oh, who am I kidding, there's no explanation for this.

Maybe it's a hoax?

Uggg . . .

Opening up Windows Media Player I saw the usual smattering of annoying advertisements. But then, much to my astonishment, I saw that there was a video of a live Aimee Mann performance. Nice way to start the day--although it was also nifty procrastination fodder. Oh well . . .
Hey, remember the part in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when London gets bombed? Yeah, me neither--and I finished re-reading the book a couple days ago. But apparently the makers of the new movie do remember. I have a very bad feeling about this.

So, any guesses on how they're gonna justify this one? I have a few little theories myself.

Fantasy Director commentary #1: "First we had to show how ineffectual the children were in the face of German invasion--as, after all, Narnia is merely a daydream to allow the children to feel empowered."

Fantasy Director commentary #2: "When I read the novel, I realised right away that the real witch was in fact Hitler."

Fantasy Director commentary #3: "I really couldn't figure a better way to incorporate this many explosions. There're only so many times you can show the stone table blowing up in slow motion."

The director is Andrew Anderson of Shrek, so . . . Maybe there's . . . some explanation . . . Oh, who am I kidding, there's no explanation for this.

Maybe it's a hoax?

Uggg . . .

Opening up Windows Media Player I saw the usual smattering of annoying advertisements. But then, much to my astonishment, I saw that there was a video of a live Aimee Mann performance. Nice way to start the day--although it was also nifty procrastination fodder. Oh well . . .

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Could these be the ugliest toys ever made? They remind me of the scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit when Eddie goes into the Toontown apartment and sees a woman who doesn't look as much like Jessica as he had at first thought. What is with this trend involving lips that look like asses?

Got up at 7am to-day. A little later--perhaps slowly I shall return to my old familiar schedule. More likely I'll be violently dumped into it.

Caught an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends to-day. A truly great show, and I need to actually make a point in catching it, rather than just stumbling on it now and then. I think I've figured the secret to its charmingly smooth animation is a cunning mix of cgi and traditional animation, but I don't actually know. I do know that to-day's episode, about a girl creature named Berry becoming obsessed with Bloo (a boy creature) and putting tension in Bloo's relationship with his best friend, was great and hilarious. And I was a little bemused--the story obviously about an issue one would figure has to do with children was actually one I've seen often enough in people supposedly too old for it. Hurrah for the inner child, eh?

I feel like doing a bunch of stuff to-day . . . I've already done a bunch of stuff but I feel like doing a bunch more stuff.

I saw Steven Spielberg's first feature film a few days ago--a movie called The Sugarland Express. It starred Goldie Hawn as a mother who's not the brightest ticket in the raffle. Based on a true story, the film involves Hawn busting her husband out of prison so that he can help her forcefully reclaim their kid from a foster home. In the process they hijack a police car and take hostage the patrolman inside, forcing scores of police cars to peacefully follow them all the way to Sugarland.

I wasn't terribly interested in the story most of the time, but it was interesting to see how amazingly proficient Spielberg was. Astoundingly slick for a new filmmaker. He seemed already to posses his keen instinct for just the right angles and pans to tell his story. It's no wonder great films resulted when he actually had good stories to tell.

Who names their kid Goldie? I suppose she probably wasn't born with it but someone had to come up with it at some point. Someone said, "Gee, she so pertty and precious, I'm jus' gonna call her Goldie!" Actually, when I think of the name "Goldie" I think of Abel's Gargoyle from Sandman.

Off to stuff . . .

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Now, how long ago was it that I said it would be ridiculous to sleep before 6am? And here, to-day, I woke up at 5:30am. I went to bed at frelling 10:30pm. There's just no pinning my sleeping schedule.

First thing on waking I watched Charlie Chaplin's Sunnyside. I think it's one of my favourite Chaplin short films so far. Charlie's really graceful at getting milk for his tea by putting the cup directly under the cow.

So to-day's Thanksgiving. Yesterday I was thinking about the last stanza from William S. Burroughs "Thanksgiving Prayer". I think I always think of that piece on Thanksgiving, but I think a lot of people lately are feeling "the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams."

I'm supposed to go and see Finding Neverland to-day with family. I actually already saw it with Trisa on Sunday, and fairly enjoyed it. I'm not sure I wasn't biased because the main point of the movie was an issue I hold kind of dear--that is, the relevance of fantasy in our horribly real world. The commonest arguments are "yes, fantasy's escapism but, really, we all need to escape now and then in order to function" and "Through examples illustrated by metaphor we can actually gain a useful perspective on our lives."

Those are both fine ideas, and I think both are good, to a certain degree. There's another point I like to make in face of the current popularity of non-fiction. And that is that, in a work of fiction, the greatest strength is that it has nothing to do with us except what we bring to it. There seems to be an urge in the populace to find books that tell people directly who they are and what they ought to be doing. The good fiction writer has no such intentions. Fiction is an example, the point of which is to be interesting. My feeling is that the escapism involved in fantasy is not an escape from real life but an escape from our delusions of real life. What appeals to most people, I think, about the self-help books is that they present basically logic arguments that can be adapted to fit whatever delusion is raging out of control in a person's psyche. The favourites of such delusions--particularly of the sort of people who might feel they need a self-help book--is self hatred.

It all has to do with the utmost importance of the utterly unimportant. As Oscar Wilde put it, "It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information."

I really shouldn't have tried addressing this issue when I'm still groggy . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Saturday night I went to bed at around 2am, feeling absolutely wiped out after having worked on Boschen and Nesuko almost non-stop from 9am Friday until 1am (I stopped once for lunch, once for coffee, and once to watch half a movie with my aunt). I was doing the last four pages which, because I'd been sick or something and sleeping bad most of the week, I'd been steadily putting off. And look at those last four pages. Hardly anything happens in them. But I guess mountains are made one mole hill at a time . . .

I woke up at around 8am on Saturday, feeling peculiarly happy. For some reason, I got to thinking about Saturday morning cartoons, and trying to remember watching them as a kid. I actually don't remember specific shows very well, but I remember loving the state of being in Saturday morning and having a cartoony vista to dwell in for hours. It was more an environment than a series of shows to watch. Particularly because I remember not liking several of them. But I'd keep it on while building with my Construx--I think that's what they were called. It was a bunch of toy building components, sorta like Leggos, I guess. I remember once trying to build a lemonade stand out of them and ending up with a large, wobbly, useless thing . . .

I can't remember the exact day I decided to stop watching Saturday morning cartoons. I don't remember it as being so much an issue of me being too old for them as it was an issue of me having other things I'd rather be doing--better just to have music going or something while I'm drawing.

So yesterday I found myself in the mood to see what passes for the Saturday morning cartoons experience these days. Most of the shows, like Pokemon and the miserably written Teen Titans, were shows I normally see on Cartoon Network. ABC featured shows that I regularly see on the Disney Channel and Cartoon Disney.

But this was the first opportunity I had to see the new Batman series (called The Batman). Unfortunately, while not being as poorly written as Teen Titans, it was still pretty bad. The episode featured a villain calling himself "The Cluemaster", a large, supposedly brilliant man taking revenge on people who were involved with a trivia game show he lost a long winning streak on when he was a kid.

It's a kids show, yes, so I'm not upset so much that they kept Cluemaster's identity "secret" long after it was perfectly obvious who he was, or that one of his trivia show's supposedly enormously difficult questions was "What is pi?" Some kids are slow. No, what bothered me was that after someone is kidnapped from a sparsely populated centre of an arena while hundreds of people are watching, no police follow the running midget kidnappers into a room where only the Batman dares to show up and fight them. There’s a line between keeping in mind a child’s relatively low intelligence and taking advantage of it, and it was crossed. It also bothered me that Alfred is apparently a big fan of game shows and that, by the end of the episode, Bruce Wayne realises the importance of playing checkers and not being so gloomy all the time. Why fuck with the characters, people?

The show features decent animation and art design that says "Well, sure, the early 90s Batman was good, but it would have been better if it had been more homogenous". Which is to say that The Batman isn't significantly different from Jackie Chan Adventures or Totally Spies.

Well now. It's just after 9am. I woke up at 2am. So now I'll . . . go get a sandwich!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Han Solo said it excellently, and no one has ever said it better, more communicatively of the feeling of the actual state, rather than merely an abstract idea for conversational convenience . . . "I feel terrible."

They never even asked me any questions. Who're they? The invisible goblin bastards who've been pummelling my sleep schedule and, I'm beginning to realise, my stomach, all week. Gagh.

But the new chapter of Boschen and Nesuko is up. And that's about all the energy I have right now, so . . . g'night . . .

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Okay, that's it. It's nearly 10am and I seem to be in no danger of falling asleep. I've run through system checks. Is it because it's too hot? Turned on the fan and the answer is no. Not enough water? Drank two bottles and, no, that's not it. Haven't read "Taste" by Roald Dahl? Now I have and, no, it doesn't help.

Wow, I think I might actually post this. Different from the other two posts I deleted, the first being too dispiriting and the second consisting of how I think I'd type if I had enormous fingers (example: "THid eos ids and otwn ebciample"). But I typed those hours ago, when I was just feeling shitty. Now I feel beaten by insomnia so I have the underdog's enthusiasm. Visions of Charlie Chaplin's face floating around me like the spirals in the opening credit sequence for Vertigo.

I have about 40 hours of Charlie Chaplin on tape from when he was star of the month on TCM. I've gotten through two tapes and it's been very enjoyable so far. I watched Modern Times last night and got to see the Tramp have a nervous breakdown in a peculiar factory, go on a rampage twisting with his pair of wrench-like tools anything that resembled a pair of nuts, resulting in him chasing a large chested woman with conspicuously placed coat buttons down the street.

Life would be solved if I could move like Charlie Chaplin. I'd impress all the ladies.

Well. So what now? I'm almost two pages behind on Boschen and Nesuko and, to think, just a couple of days ago I hilariously thought I'd get a couple of other projects done this week as well. Hilariously! But since I'm not sleeping, maybe there's still a chance of that.

Lots of places are open at 10am, huh? The rest of the world functions during the daytime, huh? Methinks I'll go have a look at this brave new world . . .

Sunday, November 14, 2004

It's 6am and I wouldn't think about going to bed for at least another hour. I woke up at around 6pm on Saturday to find that a number of people on my LJ friends list had posted confessional or merely introspective entries (you really shouldn't blame yourself, by the way, Arina. I hope things go well with your friend.), which makes it my solemn duty to write about things that have little or nothing to do directly with me, in order to bring some balance to the universe.

But what!? I, write about something that has nothing to do with me? Well, of course I know that's impossible since everything I write has to do with me in that I'm writing it. And more so in this case for it shall be things which I, personally, choose to write about, thereby reflecting the course of my mind, and thereby rendering a sonar image of my personality.

Er, that's not a good way to begin.

I turn my attention now to one Arthur Wontner, the man who was vaguely Sherlock Holmes.

I saw him a couple nights ago in Silver Blaze, a movie made in 1937 in England, and released in America a few years later as Murder at the Baskervilles to capitalise on the recent success of the Basil Rathbone Hound of the Baskervilles. Even under the original title the movie featured Sir Henry Baskerville as host to vacationing Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Baskerville was one of several contrivances added to the original story "Silver Blaze", one of Conan Doyle's short Holmes adventures that appeared in The Strand. The more ludicrous being the presence of Professor Moriarty, who in this movie identifies himself as Robert Moriarty, in spite of the fact that his name had always been James before. The reasons given as to why the great mastermind of crime would concern himself with the theft of a race horse and the murder of one of its servant caretakers are silly, superficial, and paint Moriarty's character somewhat dull-witted.

But one thing that I noticed immediately about the movie was what an uncanny resemblance Wontner bore to the original illustrations by Sydney Paget (viewable here). The costumes for the film also seemed faithful to Paget's drawings. Unfortunately, physical resemblance was about all Wontner had going for him. He hardly seemed to care about the role, and played Holmes as someone who's already read the script, seen the outcome, and is merely enacting the scenes as a formality. A fairly common and sad mistake made with the Holmes character (made in lesser degree also by Rathbone, although at least he seemed like he cared about what he was doing) is to portray him as an omniscient, almost god-like character, who rarely seems perturbed by crime, let alone impassioned. Actors like Jeremy Brett knew that a man who keeps in his mind vast records of historical crime down to the smallest possible detail and has trained himself to not merely see but observe thoroughly is a man obsessed.

So I couldn't recommend the Wontner movie, although, being the Holmes fan I am, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to see the other Holmes films he starred in. On a side note, the man playing "Robert" Moriarty looked exactly like Trisa's father.

I have other things to say. I finished reading Murder of Angels, but I'll wait 'til it's finished gestating in my skull before hatching my thoughts on it. It was a really good book, though, I'll say that.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Last night I watched Tillie's Punctured Romance, the cinema's first full length comedy. It was made in 1914, directed by Mack Sennett, and starred Charlie Chaplin, Marie Dressler, and Mabel Normand. It wasn't very great.

It was the first Chaplin movie I'd seen that wasn't directed by Chaplin himself, and I think I've learned that Chaplin knew best how to film Chaplin. Where in other films he gives fluid, coherent narratives of brilliant physical routines, here he's reduced to only an occasional getting-hit-by-a-swinging-door. But those brief nemi-bits do come off pretty well for Chaplin's already uncannily keen ability to express cool awkwardness with his body. And I don't care that he liked girls twenty years younger than him.

Marie Dressler, on the other hand, came off thoroughly unappealing. I read that she did not attain any real success in film until talkies, and looking at this movie, that makes a lot of sense to me. Perhaps some people might dig her brand of physical comedy--and those people are probably also Chris Farley fans. In this film, Dressler seemed to rely on the same small repertoire of gestures to proclaim, "Look! I'm fat! Isn't it funny?" I guess I don't really look down on people for finding fat funny, but it's just completely lost on me. I find it tedious. Perhaps not for any good reason. Also, Dressler had an annoying habit of sticking her tongue out at odd moments, rendering her a somewhat horrific vision of a drowned corpse.

I've seen one other movie with Marie Dressler, 1930's Anna Christie, and it was a pretty small role. Her acting ability did impress me, though, so I look forward to seeing the films that made her hugely popular shortly before her death in 1934.

Mabel Normand, on the other hand, was adorable and a perfect silent film star. And boy, does she make for an interesting biography. She became a huge star before she started a rapid downfall in the 20s due to partying, scandal, and a cocaine addiction which often prompted her to write rambling, incoherent notes to people. She may have killed William Desmond Taylor in 1922. She was committed to an asylum before having a chance to appear in a talkie, and died in 1930 of tuberculosis at the age of 37.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

What's wrong with a little love, my people? What's wrong with the warm, house insulation-like arms clasping you to amorphous bosom before suction cup-shaped, spongy wetness is slathered over your brow? Don't answer that.

What I meant to say is--doesn't it go without saying that we all want to do things that make us happy? And doesn't it also therefore go without saying that a person--such as myself--would be happy to see others happy as well, so long as that happiness does not infringe upon the happiness of others?

Why wouldn't that go without saying? Why would you or anyone else think there are nefarious or cruel motives attached to my actions, especially my most passive and neutral? I don't like to give advice, but here's a tip--if you can't figure out my angle, why don't you simply assume I don't have one?

There. I'm really not talking to anyone in particular and I don't think this applies to most of you but I had to get that off my chest.

What a wasted day was Wednesday. It's the sort of do-nothing day where I'm constantly thinking about all the different projects I want to work on but never actually get to work on that day. I blame it, really, on being forced to wake up at 2:30pm and a peculiarly troubled sleep before that. There was a jack-hammer or machine gun or something loud and fart-like going on outside at one point and at the same time the phone rang--really loud. The sounds together were like the language of some kind of disgusting and malevolent robot. I was so deeply asleep that I didn't truly wake but rather digested the noise in my dream stomach. So then I had cement-block head all day.

Gotta be outta here at 11am, like most Thursdays. So I guess I'd better get some sleep, huh?

Let's see . . . I think, after I wake up, I'll go settle down at a Starbucks and finish reading Murder of Angels. And then I'll write. And yes, I will do both. And Morrowind can be damned to hell. Hell, I say! Heeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllll!!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I keep getting these really bad headaches at around 5am. Don't know why.

My Vertigo soundtrack has gone missing. It's getting to me. I wanna know where it is right now.

I guess I'll talk about a movie. I've watched a lot of movies lately that I haven't mentioned here. But I'll only talk about one of them. Which one? Let's see . . . I watched Some Like it Hot, Four Daughters, I Heart Huckabees, and Morocco. Hmm. Can't decide. I know! I'll try the connexion thing . . .

It was the second time I'd seen Some Like it Hot and I appreciated it far more this time. I was able to catch a lot more of the 20s references (like when Joe says something's as unlikely as Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks breaking up). And I recognised George Raft. Jeez, George Raft. I've seen two movies he starred in, both directed by Raoul Walsh, and both were films I wished someone else were cast in his place--specifically, the supporting actors of both movies (Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson). I'd read that the reason so many filmmakers found him so appealing in the 30s and early 40s was that he actually was a gangster in real life. But damnit, he couldn't act. They say nothing beats authenticity, well, George Raft had it licked pretty good. That notion, I mean.

Anyway, for some reason I really liked seeing him in Some Like it Hot. Maybe it was because he'd become a better actor by 1958, maybe it was because he worked better in the small dose of a supporting role, or maybe it was simply Billy Wilder's direction. Thank the gods Raft turned down the part of Walter Neff in Double Indemnity.

But, of course, there's a lot more to Some Like it Hot than George Raft. But what could I tell ya? Marilyn Monroe's hot and I like it? You know that. You're on that page, too, odds are. One thing that's interesting--Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon made better women than the Wayens brothers, even with only 1950s makeup to work with. A testament to how much White Chicks sucks.

And Jack Lemmon was funnier than those guys, too. What energy!

Tony Curtis' Cary Grant impression is still hilarious . . . Cary Grant was in Notorious with Claude Rains . . . and Claude Rains was in Four Daughters.

Claude Rains and John Garfield were the only good actors in that predictable, wishy-washy piece of crap that was somehow nominated for best picture. The setup; four lovely daughters, played by the Lane sisters, are living with their grumpy father (Rains) when men start showing up, slowly marrying them off. The story focuses mainly on the youngest, played by Lola Lane, and her choice between marrying the smarmy, sleazy--but we're meant to think he's a swell guy--Deets, or marrying hard luck, piano playing, chain smoking Mickey. Mickey was played perfectly by John Garfield and was the only good part of the movie. Rains was a good actor but he hadn't any chance to shine at all in this movie.

Oh, and the end was also pretty funny--Lola marries one of the guys, and he dies so she can marry the other one too. Ain't that convenient?

Four Daughters was directed by Michael Curtiz, who also directed Mildred Pierce, starring Joan Crawford. Crawford appeared in an episode of Night Gallery directed by a young Steven Spielberg, who later directed Jude Law in A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Jude Law played a shallow American corporate executive in I Heart Huckabees.

There was a lot to enjoy about I Heart Huckabees. A lot of talented actors playing truly interesting and funny characters. Unfortunately, the movie wanted to be more than a screwball comedy and fancied it could teach us all a lesson in existentialism, a concept the screenwriters apparently had only a rudimentary grasp of. They were obviously having much more fun bouncing the characters around, and they ought to have dedicated the movie to that.

Okay--had to look for this next one--Dustin Hoffman, who played one of the so-called existential detectives in I Heart Huckabees, also, in 1976, starred with Laurence Olivier in The Marathon Man. In 1931, Olivier starred in Friends and Lovers with Adolphe Menjou. A year earlier--1930--Menjou had starred in Morocco.

One of the beautiful films directed by Joseph von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich, Morocco is incredibly cool. And when I say cool, I mean beauty that ain't chilly but, brother, you ain't earned its warmth yet. You ain't earned the warmth of cool cat Marlene Dietrich who, in top hat and tails, kisses a woman on the lips in a non-comedic way early in this movie. And Madonna and Britney Spears thought they were doing something shocking! It ain't no childish little bit of fun for Dietrich, it's more of a "Hello, prudish world of 1930. I like to fuck girls. And I personally don't care if that bothers you."

Oh, gods, is it a beautifully photographed movie. Dietrich is a beautifully photographed woman here, and she'd never again look as good as she did through von Sternberg's eyes.

Okay . . . now my head is absolutely killing me. Maybe I ought to drink more water . . .

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The new, slightly muddy chapter of Boschen and Nesuko is up. Somehow I did that, in spite of a wide variety of things over the week making me feel like crap and eating up my time.

I went to bed at midnight on Thursday. I couldn't believe it either. I guess it was because I'd only managed a total of four hours of sleep previously in the day, and not all at once.

But I got revenge on all the gods, sleeping from midnight 'til noon. Solid 12. Twelve is twelve is twelve. Twelve.

I somehow did all of the last three pages yesterday. Oy. I'm beat, too. Headache. But at the same time, there're a couple of other projects bouncing around my head wanting to be done.

But here's a meme from Mella;

"1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal...along with these instructions."

(nearest book has no fifth sentence on page 23. It's a collection of HP Lovecraft stories and page 23 is a long paragraph with four wonderfully, illegally long sentences. Lovecraft never woulda gotten into Acorn Review)(so I grabs another book . . .)

"Besides, she's she, and I'm I, and--oh dear, how puzzling it all is!" -from The Annotated Alice

But since it's the Annotated, maybe I oughta get my sentence from the annotation? Let's see . . .

"Four times 6 is 13 in a system with a base of 21."

And we've all learned something, now haven't we?

As I'm in a memeable mood, here's one from Moi;

Sometimes late at night...I play with the ghosts only the cats can see.
If only I could go back...and save The Magnificent Ambersons.
Someone told me once that...I have no sense of reality.
I have no willpower when...I'm unconscious.
I can't stand...the popular obsession with self-help books and faux-Christianity.
When I think of love...I feel tired.
I always question...people who're way too sure of themselves.
The last time I cried...was when I saw Raging Bull.
My reccuring dream...involves three shopping malls that I've only seen in my dreams yet I know them distinctly.
Routinely, movies.
Cell phones...aren't as good as telepathy.

You are about to expire. You can say two words to the world before you go. What two words would you choose to carry on in the life you left behind? "Guess what."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

. . . hello Thursday . . .

"I'll give you television, I'll give you eyes of blue, I'll give you a man who wants to rule the world." -Bowie

The voices of art echoing back are the only comfort in the blind, little metal room. Well, that and the voices of the other despairing.

But where is my optimism? Yeah, yeah. There. Two synonyms for "yes" next to each other. That's all my optimism.

Something else. Gods know I've been holding out, I do have other things to talk about.

On Saturday I went with my family to see a production of Les Miserables at the civic theatre downtown. A pretty place, which a big, red walled reception area with an enormous, dangerous looking chandelier. The show itself wasn't so bad. I like the story of a bunch of people miserable in a bunch of different ways. I didn't like the fact that the thing was entirely singing and I didn't like that the singers had such bland, conventional voices. I really didn't like that the fine audience in their expensive clothes couldn't refrain from making noise throughout the performance, nor could a few of them refrain from coming in several minutes late. Where's the respect, huh?

The show was early in the day, noon, so I had to be up relatively early. I couldn't sleep, though, because I was lying awake being pissed off at the South Park episode I'd seen the night before. A little allegory about how the election was between a douche and a turd sandwich so it really didn't matter who you voted for. I suppose good Stone and Parker were merely trying to remind us all that it's important to be apathetic now and then. But I still enjoyed the Wall-Mart episode last night. These guys just need to learn to stop preaching "edgy".

Ugh, I'm tired right now. I only managed two hours of sleep.

Three friends with birthdays yesterday. So here's a belated happy birthday to Trisa, Moi, and Franklin.

I had a better, more Halloweenish Halloween than I was expecting to have. I ended up watching the 1958 The House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price. It was okay. More fun for the cheese value and Vincent Price's performance. But quite suitably Halloweenish. The best part of Halloween, though, is that so many of the ladies on my lj friends list posted lovely pictures of themselves in costumes and/or festivities. Who needs to participate in life when he's got all this to look at?

I'd better go and get my slightly overdue oil change, now . . .

"and did they get you to trade
your heros for ghosts?
hot ashes for trees?
hot air for a cool breeze?
cold comfort for change?
and did you exchange
a walk on part in the war
for a lead role in a cage?"
-Pink Floyd

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Okay . . . What the fuck happened? And I don't just mean the election. I mean; what happened to such a large segment of humanity to make them into complete, sloshy brain, mutherfucking morons!?

What? What is the excuse here? He's gnomish? His achingly obvious lies and his wasting of human lives--is that somehow cute?!

What organ are people thinking with these days? Even genitals make better decisions.

Hey--reality TV folks; get out your copies of the Mad Max movies because that's gonna be the fucking scenario pretty soon.

This can only be seen as the defeat of intellect in the arena of human traits. Pure and simple. Bush was definitively proven to be a complete, dangerous fuck-up, and people voted for him anyway. Lots of people. Wheelbarrows full of people. People who wouldn't otherwise have normally voted made it a point to put this man--who always looks like he's sitting on a toilet--back on the throne.

Ever seen the Nine Inch Nails music video "Pinion"? That's what the toilet's hooked to. Fraggle-fuck, I'm getting graphic now.

Just what is the explanation for the Republican groundswell? What happened to all the "slackers" that Michael Moore registered? Wasn't anyone afraid of P. Diddy's ridiculous "Vote or Die" campaign? Didn't anyone see the Eliza Dushku bubble gum commercial?

Ah, hell, maybe that was the problem. My sister goes to a film school, Chapman University, and she says nearly everyone there is Republican.

Isaac Asimov wrote an essay called "The Army of the Night" about the threat of creationism being given time in schools equal to the amount given to evolutionary theory. This is a different subject, but it seems like I can see an army of the night that is very like the same that gave Asimov a feeling sufficiently ominous to go with that title. Or maybe it'd be more appropriate to reference Elvis Costello's "Night Rally".

In any case, you get the idea. Orcs . . .

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

My hands are slightly cold.

I'm gonna try to vote to-day. I know; do or do not, there is no try. But I'm gonna try anyway.
Twenty five years old and it's my first time voting. Hopefully there're a lot of people like me.
I talked to a few people in class last night about the election and none of them are voting for Bush, nor do they know anyone who is. Vaguely heartening.

They did reject a short story of mine last night, though. It's all anonymous so I got to listen to them talk about it without restraint. One fellow, named Zebb, who submits a lot of poetry that other people in the class usually insist is good, seemed particularly passionate about what a poor writer I am. Another student was a little more charitable, calling it bad, but not very bad.

There were only eleven people voting last night, but it still sucks that only I and one other student voted in favour of my story. The other student was a middle aged woman named Teresa whose first language is Spanish. She didn't speak up to explain why she liked the story but she doesn't usually speak in class.

Zebb sort of liked the concept and a couple of people said it had unfulfilled potential. That didn't really bother me. I'd expected it. I myself felt that concepts introduced in the story were not explored to their fullest potential. Although I don't feel that's a bad thing. I was unhappy with the almost abrupt ending but I thought the story might still be enjoyable.

I have to admit that what really bothered me was how strongly my writing style was hated. In retrospect, I can take comfort in the fact that most of them have spoken approvingly of pieces I've felt were terribly written. But it's never a nice feeling when you've put something out there that's utterly passive, primarily in the hopes of giving something to the reader, only to find it utterly hated.

I wrote the story two years ago so I thought I was seeing it with a reasonably fresh eye. Even so, I guess there are parts of the narrative that I feel are flawed. But my less secure part of my personality wonders if, since I was so taken aback by the extreme reaction, there is a mediocrity in my writing which I'm completely blind to. Which, of course, is an utterly useless way of thinking. After all, I already look at it as hard as I can.

I was talking to Trisa the other day and I was telling her that I don't think I really like writing short stories. I can appreciate what's strong about the medium but I don't think it's something I can do. Maybe I'm just lazy.

Mainly, the thing is, I never feel like I have a short story to write. So I usually just end up bullshitting for a few pages. I can feel like I have a novel or a serial to write. But I no more feel "short story" than I do "DA's closing argument".

Even so, I feel a little defeated. I really need to not look at it that way. I need to go to sleep.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Aoh, fuck. It's only just now hitting me real hard that I'm missing Halloween this year.

I just can't do holidays. Not even my favourite ones. I prefer things to be on my schedule and holidays always have to be on their schedule.

Halloween's a social holiday (wait, I guess all of them are) and the fact that I mostly don't care to know the corporeal people I see, I, in Halloweens past, have had the task of making Halloween a one man thing. Sort of.

The best one so far was several years ago when I dressed as a witch and frightened people in the Super Market.

See, I'm all spirit and no revelry. I am damned committed to reminding people that Halloween's here for us to know we oughta be scared once and a while. I'm not here to join in your merrymaking. I'm here to play with you.

Well. There'll be none of that this year. I'm too fucking tired and I can't spend money on that.

My one act of Halloween--here's an old drawing of mine called "Awkletes";

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Are you an alien scientist in need of a human being to use as a battery? I might just be your man.

Forced out of the house at 11am by the maids, and into the pouring rain, I might add, I went to Denny's. I there had eggs, potatoes, and several cups of black coffee. Afterwards, I went to the mall where I had a large cup of tea. Upon returning here, I immediately fell asleep again and slept for several hours, quite peacefully. Yeah, caffeine'll do that to ya.

Oh, and I dreamt of Wendy's. I dreamt of baked potatoes and a scandal that can be summed up with one word; pyjamas.

Anyway, it's beginning to feel like for all intents and purposes I'm "skipping" Thursday. I don't want to do this. I had grand big lofty hugemass plans. Surely I can do one of them.

The Iranian women in this photo are so cuuuuuute!

I'm not gonna play Morrowind any time soon, damn it.


Vote Kerry.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I had a dream last night wherein I befriended a squirrel who'd been hiding in the house. No one wants a squirrel in the house, of course, so I was his political protector and so long as I was around, he couldn't be kicked out.

He was basically very happy that he didn't have to hide any more, that he could roam with relative freedom about the house. Towards the end of the dream, though, he started to get in trouble when the ceiling fan frightened him and he'd run all over the house, knocking a few things over. The cats had been surprisingly pleasant with him, but they had not, unfortunately, managed convey to him the harmlessness of the ceiling fan when one does not venture too close.

If you follow my link in the previous entry to where you can watch The Super Mario Super Show, you might also notice that there're a number of other shows you can watch. Looking over them earlier to-day, I spotted Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. Now, I am always up for anything done in the name of Sherlock Holmes and I'd been wanting to check this series out ever since I noticed it on Yahoo!'s TV listing. Unfortunately, it was on at a very awkward time of night/day so I never had opportunity to see it . . . until now!

For the most part, it's not very good. Holmes comes off as somewhat blinded by arrogance and ill temper. In fact, he doesn't seem especially smart at all. Lestrade seems more level-headed--in the series, Lestrade's now an attractive young woman in form-fitting cybernetic armour. I didn't really mind that idea, since it was the 22nd century. If only everything else'd been updated!

The show bases its stories loosely on Arthur Conan Doyle's originals, for which I would give it props if not for the fact that it doesn't bother to update these stories to account for futuristic crime-solving techniques. The show writers do bother, though, to dumb down the material and rearrange the plot so that there's no mystery at all.

The sad thing is that the animation, while far from good, looks like it probably cost some money. Why can't production companies spend their money properly? Don't they want to make a profit?

A few days ago I heard that the writer director of Alien vs. Predator has been hired to write the new Alien movie, presumably because of the success of AvP. Yes. Someone at 20th Century Fox looked at AvP's success and said to himself, "Well it must be the writer/director that made this the marginal success it is! It couldn't possibly be attributed to the fan build-up of more than a decade, or the rock-em-sock-em spectacular nature of the advertisements, no no!"

Monday, October 25, 2004

You know you have insomnia when, at 8am, you find yourself excitedly downloading an episode of the Super Mario Super Show.

It's amazing how bad cartoons were just ten or fifteen years ago. Looking through TV Tome, I was amazed how many of the "goofs" for episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had to do with the wrong voices coming from characters or the characters being coloured wrong. And Ninja Turtles was popular.

I watched The Treasure of Sierra Madre earlier in the evening. Not as good as I'd hoped, but still very good. Certainly not my favourite John Houston movie, but it was neat seeing his cameo so I don't have to always picture him as the ghoulish old man from Chinatown.

Ugh. I haven't seen the sun in a couple days. I oughta go out and do something before class . . .

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Last night I watched William Wyler's The Big Country. It was about Gregory Peck in the old west, having travelled there from the east to marry the daughter of a wealthy major. But he finds himself the only gentleman in the middle of a small, vicious war between two communities. I gotta admit, I like stories like that. A guy with very good principles sticking to them in the middle of a snake's nest, and who better for that than Gregory Peck?

It was a three hour movie I watched until 6am, and I slept in especially late to-day. In fact, it's now just after 6pm and I still haven't had breakfast. Or coffee. Things to do . . .

I also caught some of Read or Die, an anime movie being shown on Adult Swim. At first I thought it was a television series and I began considering it on that basis--I thought, "Hmm. Good character design. Relatively interesting concepts, good animation, but generally bland direction. Still, for a television series, not bad." But then I realised it was going for movie length. At which point I realised it'd probably been a far superior manga that was hastily purchased by some lame movie production company. Or maybe it's just another of what seems to be an endless supply of anime series with good character design and bad almost-everything-else (see Big O, Witchhunter Robin).

But I was, of course, watching the dubbed version of Read or Die. The Japanese version may make a far better impression as the English voice cast of Read or Die seemed to be the usual cadre seen on Adult Swim anime series with their heavily affected, peculiarly self conscious deliveries.

Now I shall get coffee and read . . . or die. One of those.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

"That was the year I first met [John Kerry], at a riot on that elegant little street in front of the White House. He was yelling into a bullhorn and I was trying to throw a dead, bleeding rat over a black-spike fence and onto the president's lawn." -Hunter S. Thompson
The new Boschen and Nesuko chapter is up. Not a whole lot happens in it, but I made a special effort to make Nesuko sexy. So go see!

I just watched a very wonderful movie called Johnny Eager. Robert Taylor and Lana Turner . . . two actors whose abilities I've not yet been impressed by, impressed me very much in this movie. Perfectly cast bad actors, which I do believe can happen. In this case Taylor's shallow straightness was perfect. And Lana Turner just . . . happened to be rather good in this. Of course, the only other movie I'd seen her in was Cass Timberlane, so maybe she was just turned on by the material. Gods, I like thinking about Lana Turner turned on. Er, I've been awake too long.

But lest ye miss it--Johnny Eager is awesome. A crime, film noir movie from 1942 directed by Mervyn LeRoy, it had a kinna story I really respond to with great dialogue and a drunk, perfect Van Heflin . . .

Aw, I'm too tired to talk about it. But it was cool crimes perpetrated by characters in dark clothes and one sweet, innocent dame with the most perfect physical features imaginable. Gods, I love seeing a good movie.

I need to go back to blogging at a time of day when I'm more articulate.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Missed me? Well, I missed me, whatever you did of me.

Hmm. So yesterday was another Thursday, another Thursday now blessedly dead. The maids came early, at 11 am. I, of course, hadn't managed to sleep until 6am . . . So, about four hours of sleep there. For some people, that would be good enough. Oh, not for me. Because when what I wanna get done by the end of the day is drawings, it means I'll be sitting prone for long periods, trying to bring full concentration to bear. Look, I know my drawings aren't perfect, and I know I'm not a perfectionist. And I know I'm not getting paid for this and that I'm devoting my time in a manner many would advise against. But I'm obsessed and that's that.

So at eleven, because I'd dreamed of it during the brief repose, I went to University Town Centre. Finding no breakfast there and peculiarly annoying crowds, I drove across many miles of San Diego, down the great Genesee avenue, turning through a good sized Korean community, through the impressively sprawling College Whose Name I Can't Remember, plummeting at the speed limit (35mph) down a hill towards the raging sea . . . and then turning left, driving up a ways, and parking in a crowded little shopping centre, I finally decided to breakfast at a new Greek place.

Wish I hadn't. The Spanakopeda tasted like tire. As did the salad. And the rice.

Wandering strangely had more than eaten up the three hours I'd needed gobbled and I came back here to sleep. Victoria the cat hopped into bed with me and I proceeded to have a dream wherein she was a superhero. At the conclusion of this episode of astounding feline heroism, Victoria woke me up, apparently confident her story had at last been passed on, and jumped out of the bed.

Then I pretty much worked on Boschen and Nesuko the rest of the day. I finished page 39 and got a good start on page 40. So the new chapter oughta be up on time.

Oh, and Wednesday night I watched Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound. Not as good as Notorious, which he made pretty close to the same time (also with Ingrid Bergmen), but very good anyway. A baby-faced Gregory Peck, a dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali, and neat 40s quasi-authentic psychology came together in a real nifty package. And that Hitchcock guy? I'm beginning to notice that he has something of a talent for suspense!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I'm currently on track. I'm not behind on anything. But I've been behind twice in the past week, mostly from feeling like-a the crap (as Chico Marx might say).

And yet, in spite of that, I've been watching lots and lots of movies. Farscape: Peackeeper Wars was great . . .


This mini-series might've been called Farscape: Bigger and Shorter. In a lot less time, a lot more happened. But it was always fun--bracing. A great ride. What Star Wars has lost.

And isn't that amazing? With lower budget and with less time, Peacekeeper Wars managed a better impact than the prequel films.

I had some favourite moments, although I'm not sure the writers meant for them to be my favourite moments. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed everything well enough. But I loved the moment Scorpius pushed Sikozu to the ground, revealing her as spy, and their subsequent brief, mysterious exchange. And I loved everything Rygel said. Especially when Chiana asked him if he thought she gave a frell about him and he said, "Yes."

And the climax was great, the big red death storm. I knew all along that the Eidolons weren't gonna fix everything, because that would have sucked. And Farscape doesn't, as a rule, suck. Really, I wanted all the Eidolons to die, but I guess they were a good distraction, a avenue for the heroes to dally with before they finally admitted to themselves there wasn't gonna be a clean way to do this. Anyway, I liked seeing Jool in her sexy cavegirl outfit pounce on Crichton. For some reason, it really turned me on that she resembled Red Fraggle from Fraggle Rock.

The ending-ending was all right. It feels wrong somehow that Farscape should have such a happy ending, but saying that makes me wonder if I oughtn't to be a happier sort of person.

Two things about the end reminded me of ends of other shows, and I'm wondering of it was done on puprose. First, Harvey's farewell in the remarkable reconstruction of a scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey reminded me of the last Comedy Central episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, which had Dr. Forrester in the bed, reaching, instead of towards the monolith, towards a giant video cassete labelled "The Worst Movie Ever" or something.

The second thing was the camera pulling away from Crichton, Aeryn, and their baby to pull back, out of Moya, turning into an exterior shot, being the very last of the show. The same thing was done in the very last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, after Picard sits down to poker with his crewmates.

Probably just coincidences. It's reading Moi's journal that makes me think this way (not necessarily a bad thing).

And now I'll sleep.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

It rained for almost twenty seconds last night--it was exciting! Anyway, my car is bizarrely clean this morning. Er, this afternoon, I mean.

I've got a lot to do! But I'm not behind like I was yesterday so I'll have time to watch Farscape on the Sci-Fi Channel at 9pm. Why don't you watch it too?

Nice to see William Gibson is blogging again. And it's nice to see he's angry.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I dreamt there were two Linuses and one of them was going to kill Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown didn't actually show up in my dream but the Linuses were uncommunicative, dangerous black-cloaked (black blanketed?) characters who could run faster than cars and for some reason they enjoyed running north. They were kind of scary, especially as I was sure one wanted to kill me, too.

Last night was kind of interesting. I went to see a movie called Maria Full of Grace. Not the sort of movie that would usually capture my interest by its advertisements, but I periodically like to stave off stagnation of my appreciation for diverse art.

It's very easy for a drug movie to become boring and/or preachy but I was pleased to find this wasn't the case for Maria. On the whole, I found the movie oddly relaxing in the way I may've found a good movie from the thirties or forties. The reason I draw that comparison is that Hollywood movies from the mid 20th century had a tendency to want to be decently pretty and stress-relieving no matter how dark the story, in essence, was.

Maria Full of Grace is about a seventeen year-old Columbian girl who, finding herself without work, pregnant, and without the baby's father, decides to become a mule, carrying cocaine in her stomach for delivery in New York.

It's not that the movie sugar-coats anything (although Maria is improbably pretty and everyone has perfect hair and skin) so much as it avoids overdramatic gloom and doom. Maria shows herself capable of keeping a cool head in a tight situation, which I found engaging. And, as Ebert and Roeper pointed out, all the characters behave realistically and the people involved in accepting Maria's drug delivery are shown as being realistically stupid and macho instead of villainous. And there was a basically happy ending, which is just fine.

So I came back and decided to interact with the internet community a little more and made a lot of replies and posts on different Live Journals. One topic of conversation I was keen to engage upon was one taken up on both Poppy Z. Brite's journal and Caitlin R. Kiernan's, this idea of whether or not the artist's suffering is a requisite for good art. I finally found a forum where people were talking about it, and posting was possible, at prime_liquor. But this morning I found my post to it was inexplicably deleted, in spite of the fact that I didn't say anything mean or rude. Methinks I have a secret enemy.

But basically my take was that it's not necessary for an artist to suffer. The idea seems to me based on the idea that suffering is regarded as a kind of field research but, as I've already argued, experience with a subject is not necessary for creating good art about that subject. Experience is a tool, not a component, of good art. There're lots of tools and methods for putting those components together.

Yes, you have to know emotions and the only way to know human emotions is to have them. But there’s no reason to go overboard. To look for suffering is silly as, unless you’re a cartoon character, you’re bound to’ve suffered at some point in your life.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Finally punched through a muthafuckin' barrier last night.

I'd been roaming the desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape for months, occasionally getting my ass handed to me by mutant geckos, aliens, or bandits. And why? Well, in New Reno I'd decided to do jobs for the Mordino family. Things were goin' well until I was ordered to take out old man Salvatore, owner of Salvatore's bar. What Senor Mordino didn't tell me was that Salvatore's men were armed to the fucking colon. Many times I died in that bar, listening to Ron Perlman wish me peace in the afterlife. I was weak, see. I needed to be fucking badass, badass enough to slaughter a whole room full of well armed men.

So I roamed the wastes, looking for my break, and finally the clouds started to part.

I stumbled on a little foray between some bootleggers and some bandits. I helped the bootleggers, then helped myself to the bloody corpses of bandits, obtaining for myself some hunting rifles, some grease guns, and plenty of ammo. Took these to New California Republic, got myself well outfitted. Well enough to come back to New Reno, walk into New Reno arms, and kill not just the bastard who owns the place but his dogs too. That got me real well outfitted. Grenades, combat shotguns, the works. But sometimes it's the simple shit that makes life good. My favourite thing? The sledgehammer. Just a big, sweet fucking hammer.

Salvatore's boys were real impressive in their shiny metal armour, firing their laser pistols. They're less impressive after an SMG has made 'em into Chef Boyardee.

I did that to the first guard. After I realised their silly little lasers weren't doing shit to my armour, I started a little system; first, sledgehammer meets groin. Man falls over. Then sledgehammer meets skull. Man is dead.

Yeah, they started to run. But I'm faster.

And what ever happened to old man Salvatore? He was already a cripple but he was eight times the cripple before I turned him into stain. Then all that was left was his sad little oxygen tank.

Needless to say, Senor Mordino and I're good pals now.

(I love Fallout 2)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Hola, mes tomodachi. And what a wonderful morning this is, here at 4pm. The only way to sleep, I tell ya folks.

I think the house guests are leaving to-day for which I'm glad. I don't hate the guy for having autism, but I miss having time alone in the evenings. I think this has illuminated for me the true, primary reason for my sleeping schedule; as Miss Garbo put it, I want to be alone.

So last night, with the guy, who's name is Justin, who wanted to sit close to me, I watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Justin was quiet for the whole movie which makes me wonder how much he understood. Hell, I don't know that autism inhibits comprehension that way. Honestly, I didn't know anything about autism until a few days ago.

When I first met Justin he didn't talk very much so I was compelled to fill the uncomfortable silence with my babbling. Somehow the subject of obsession came up at which point I delivered my standard line, "Obsession's a good thing. I think it's very healthy," said with utter sincerity.

Justin got a vaguely incredulous look on his face and said something about how he had a kind of obsession. "Good!" I said, "That's very good. Very healthy."

Yesterday, I was making myself some lunch when I overheard my grandmother talking on the phone about my aunt, Rumi, "Justin's obsessed with her! He can't go to bed without a hug from her--well it's part of his autism." And I smiled to myself wondering what malignity I may spread in this world. But then again I wondered where this philosophy could go when applied to an actual mental impairment.

So what did I think of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? I think Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier are great actors. I particularly enjoyed Poitier's edgily unpredictable gesticulations. His conversation with his dad, which Roger Ebert is rightfully uncomfortable with, was barely audible for me, fixated as I was on simply watching Poitier move. This is only the second movie I've seen him in and I'm hoping one day I'll actually see him with good material.

For 'twas the three actors that made Guess Who's Coming to Dinner any good. The supporting cast were almost thoroughly awful, especially the gratingly perky Katharine Houghton, Hepburn's real life niece. How Poitier's character could possibly have fallen in love with her is truly mysterious. Then there's the stereotypical catholic clergyman and the stereotypical black woman maid.

Stanley Kramer again shows himself to me merely to be a basically competent, uninteresting director. The best thing you could say about him is that most of the time he's not doing something stupid.

Before the movie, I watched MGM's 1939 cartoon "Peace on Earth", a movie that cheerfully points out that after mankind destroys itself, there shall indeed be plenty of peace on earth. Really lovely, I thought. And great animation, from the cheerful grandfather squirrel to the dying human soldier sinking into the mud.

Monday, October 11, 2004

I drew it a few minutes ago. Don't know why. He's my mood, I guess. Not so pretty is he? I wonder if anyone can see the necktie growing out of the asshole on his shoulder?

I wonder why the clock next to computer keeps giving me random, inaccurate times?

Installed some old computer games this evening, including Quake, which I can't remember how to get working with Windows XP. I also installed Fallout 2 but what I ended up playing was TIE Fighter. Dear, sweet TIE Fighter. I played the first training mission and was able to hold my own against several waves of hostile Z-95 Headhunters before they got me with the three or four shots necessary to take out the plain, unshielded TIE Fighter.

Sheesh, I remember the days when my piloting skills were such that I could survive a mission in a TIE Fighter that had me up against TIE Advanceds and Imperial Star Destroyers. Gods, I love that game.