Sunday, February 29, 2004

Oscars to-night . . . I have no picks. I know nothing!

Yesterday I . . . come on, think. Yesterday did happen . . . I must have done things . . . By the gods . . . Um . . . Almost got cut off by a guy in an ugly truck. Bought some nice, nice coffee. Beat team-mode in Soul Calibur 2 with just Xianhua (on maximum dificulty, of course).

Eef. Er, oh. Watched Dressed to Kill, a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movie. Seems like this one wanted to harken back to the classic stories a bit. But it still came off as too innocent and Holmes made puzzling decisions. (why wouldn't Scotland Yard be the best place to hide the sought after music box? Why the Baker Street flat, with just bumbling Nigel Bruce--er, Watson--to protect it?)

Anyway, to-day I put up a new page of the almost never updated Doll Merchant. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

More on Ghost Story . . .

The book is not at all misogynist. In spite of the fact that it's, I feel, largely about man's difficulty with women, the character of Stella Hawthorne, who brazenly goes out with men other than her husband, somehow, curiously, comes off as someone you not only like, but respect. Even as you, as a reader, dislike what she's doing. And that's a hell of an acheivement, especially as it strengthens the sense of Ricky Hawthorne's helplessness. And yet there's something kick ass about Ricky. Just brilliant, brilliant.

Had a headache to-day until I bought coffee.

But you know, I have to pee . . .

You know what I'd really like right now? A girl. Yup. Pretty typical, but true.

Not even necessarily for sex. Sometimes you just want female company, no matter how good Peter Straub is at scaring you about it.

But it looks like I'll have to settle for Morrowind girls to-day . . .

You know what I want even more? Barbara Stanwyck.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Oh, hi, yeah, blog.

Catching up on a lot of things to-day.

Visited Marty and finally returned one of the books he let me borrow more than a year ago.

The book? Ghost Story by Peter Straub.

A book about being a man and having frightening interactions with women. In a small town where nearly everyone cheats on their spouse--and usually to sleep with Ricky (protagonist) Hawthorne's wife, Stella Hawthorne--there're a number of deadly supernatural incidents that seem to go back to something that occured at party involving a beautiful young actress that old Wanderley was in love with. Wanderley died at the party and the actress disappeared.

Or maybe it goes back to something more horrible . . .

Wanderley's nephew Donald falls in love with a mysterious and captivating young woman, only to have her bail on him, get engaged to his brother, and then perhaps cause his brother to kill himself. Then she disappears.

This is a brilliant book that plays on so many of the discomfort strings in the human mind. From the innocent mishandling of love in youth, to the confused vista of betrayal in adulthood, to the guilt and despair of old age. All of it literally comes back to haunt and to kill.

But what's going on in the whole of this novel is far subtler and more disturbing than I could ever hope to give justice to in any analysis. Read it!

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Ugh. Feeling warmly washed out this morning.

Spent a lot of time last night writing a counter-agrument to an article by Orson Scott Card ( Card's article is here and my counter-argument is here. )

It was a bit easy, really, I know. But I figured someone had to do it anyway.

I hate Thursdays.

I few things I need to do very quickly . . .

It is strangely warm in this room.

I'm having a hard time typing properly . . . fingers keep slump over keys . . . unedited sentence; Iltyi Ouioing sinriomthing kikke this, klooks bad,.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Hung out with Trisa in Hillcrest yesterday where the faux-Mardi Gras crowd consisted of one guy in a pokka-dotted dress and a clown wig with Christmas ornaments around his neck. I mean the big glass ball kind. If that poor bastard tripped, just imagine how badly he'd cut his neck up . . . All that just for San Diego's Mardi Gras.

Talked to Olivia the cat last night. It seems that, so long as she doesn't see my face (which I hid behind a chair), she lets me pet her. It's kind of a father confessor relationship we have.

I have so very many things I want to do to-day, so I'll start by keeping this entry short, and then going for coffee.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Cold, headache night in class and I just wanted to go to sleep. Why does everyone have to talk so much?

Dreamt something about ogres that I don't remember clearly . . .

Oh, and I watched The Lady Eve, which was smashing. I want sex with Barbara Stanwyck. The scene where Henry Fonda was holding her foot drove me mad, I tell you.

I've decided to wear my contact lenses to-day. Ow.

And I have a tooth-ache. Inflamed gums or something. Life a pain? No, I say, no!

Must stop drinking soda. Must gather thoughts. Wait. No. Must drink more soda . . .

Monday, February 23, 2004

Decided to play a Castlevania mod for Morrowind last night. In spite of its many problems and the fact that it conflicted with the Firemoth mod (why does everyone have to build their islands in that precise or general area? What's so attractive about Vvardenfell's west coast?) I actually found it pretty enjoyable. Even my level 74 character, the by now legendary (well, at least to me) Paelwynna, had considerable difficulty with it, even wearing, as she was, her best armour and jewellery I'd personally enchanted. Plus, she was carrying Narsil (some cool frood had made some of the Lord of the Rings weapons for Morrowind).

The difficulty was in the endless rows of skeletons and "mermen" (which were in fact pumped up clannfears). Very like a Castlevania game, actually. Only in Castlevania, most enemies do not take more than four hits with even the weakest whip. And I think the labrynthine dungeon would have been more enjoyable for me if my videocard let my map work.

I guess the coolest part was the eerie, surprisingly well-made, stone stairway leading into the sky to meet up with Dracula's floating castle. Although it was here that, I think, Firemoth was screwing with things because somehow the ground had gotten seperated from the castle structure, resulting in many bewildered zombies and skeletons being relocated miles away, to the bottom of the ocean.

You know, considering how very much I need to get done, I really oughtn't to have been spending so much time with Morrowind last night . . . ah, well.

Last night I also watched Woody Allen's Sleeper. It was a very, very fun movie. And I was surprised to be reminded of Farscape at times. Especially when Diane Keaton's character was pronounced irreversably contaminated by her extended company with the alien (Allen).


My horoscope to-day says that I'll have a lot of extra energy. My numeroscope says I'll probably feel a bit sluggish all day. I'm hoping to break even.

Sunday, February 22, 2004


Conan shouldn't have to apologise for those infants having a stick up their asses.

In other news . . . I watched To Kill A Mockingbird to-day. I hadn't seen it since high school and I'd never seen it in widescreen before. Gregory Peck really kicks ass in that movie.

I realised something . . . Brock Peters, the guy who plays Tom Robinson, later played Admiral Cartwright in Star Trek IV and VI. And he also played Benjamin Sisko's father on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Just seemed strange to me. Why wasn't Gregory Peck ever on Star Trek? (He did appear in the US production of Moby Dick with Patrick Stewart, but it's still not the same.)

Why can't Patrick Stewart get more and better roles? That reminds me, I want my copy of Excalabur back from Tim . . .

I was up until 5am working on a play for my playwriting class. Figuring it would never get made anyway, I've so far not skimped on nudity, makeup, or violence.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Dreamt last night that I got hold of a bake sale flyer that the mob had put out--the only problem was that at the last moment, the mob had decided not to have a bake sale and to recall the flyers. It turned out there was only one flyer remaining out there--mine. But they didn't know I had it. My friend, who in my dream was Jack Black, convinced me that I could make so much money if I held onto the flyer. So I put it in a mannilla envelope and hid it under my pillow.

Then one day a couple of toughs in suits showed up. Somehow they knew I had the flyer and they proceeded to beat the crap out of me--but I wouldn't tell them where it was. Finally they said they'd give me money so I took them into my room and pointed to my pillow. They had asked if I had made any copies of the flyer and I had said "no." But unfortunately, they found inside the envelope, with the flyer, a copy I'd forgotten I'd made in pencil on lined paper.

Before the guys left, one of them gave me a crumpled, balled up piece of paper. When they'd gone, I opened the paper to find a used tissue inside.

I had another dream, too--I was walking across a bridge over a little river near my grandmothers house when I came across a busy Olive Garden, nestled amongst the trees. I went inside and began trying to take some of their tomato sauce without paying for it. I almost got away with it because there was a restaurant reality television series filming in there at the time.

When I awoke, my first words to Lucky the cat were, "Tomato sauce."

Friday, February 20, 2004

Maybe Bush is losing because he fell asleep during the Superbowl?. Could very well be.
Class last night involved a workshop. Having taken part in discussions on Caitlin R. Kiernan's message board where it was widely agreed that workshops were almost useless to writers as they generally consisted of coddling sessions, I had decided that I would be absolutely honest. And I was. And I think I really hurt someone's feelings and . . . I'm glad. Sure, I felt a little bad. I thought about those times when people have said bad things about my work and I'd gone and driven around thinking, "Gosh, am I really cut out to be a writer?" I thought maybe this guy was having one of those nights. But I feel better when I think about how truly awful and dull and spiritless his little one-act play was. I feel good knowing that I either permanently discouraged him (in which case, he'd never be able to handle the stresses of trying to be a published writer) or encouraged him to do better. In any case, it's a step towards a world with slightly less crap in it.

Writers shouldn't need honey with their vinegar.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Went to see The Triplets of Bellville to-day. It had a lot of clever little things about it--I particularly enjoyed how nearly every American was drawn terribly fat and the Hollywood sign was changed to Hollyfood. But there were a number of things I disliked about the underlying concept--I was quickly bored by all the old women animation. I'm generally bored, in fact, by silent old woman charicitures. Guess it's a silly hang up I have. To me, the grandson, with his enormous pointed nose and skeleton body with peculiarly muscular legs, was far more interesting. Unfortunately, the writer(s) decided it would be cute if he had less cognitive ability than his dog and that the movie be mostly about his grandmother rescuing him. I suppose I'm not bothered by the idea of other people enjoying that sort of thing, but to me, well . . . it was boring.

The whole movie didn't live up to the very cool first few minutes--and neither did any of the rest of the movie explain most of what happened in the first few minutes, most notably the fascinatingly terrifying sight of Fred Astaire being eaten by his shoes. I also liked the topless dancing woman with the banana skirt.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Whoa . . . the sky just turned orange rather abruptly . . .
Almost got actually sick yesterday! And I don't mean the colds I get from time to time . . . But an actual, honest-to-goodness flu! My eyeballs felt like they were suspended on rubberbands stretched between my ears and my stomach demanded that I sit still for long periods of time.

So I wasn't very productive yesterday. I watched The Heiress last night, which was the first William Wyler movie I'd ever seen. It starred Olivia de Havilland, Ralph Richardson, and Montgomery Clift and was captivating. De Havilland was particularly brilliant and convincingly conveyed a bright, innocent, shy young girl happily in love at the beginning of the movie and just as convincingly portrayed that character's metamorphosis into a crueller, wiser woman. And I enjoyed Richardson's performance a lot--he would have been quite at home commanding an Imperial Star Destroyer.

I'm eager to get out of the house to-day . . .

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

*Toshiro Mifune voice* HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAH! */Toshiro Mifune voice*

I have overcome it! Ah ha! I will not be sick, do you hear? Hah! All I needed was a glass of orange juice and some Tori Amos and I tell you . . . I AM REVIVED! Did not throw up, did not lose my balance . . . Three hours and I am at MAXIMUM STRENGTH! Eat that, demon! Fwa!
Eyes . . . rolling in head . . . erratically . . . stomach . . . stingy bad feel . . . oh . . .

Monday, February 16, 2004

Watched Touch of Evil last night . . . Directed by Orsen Welles it stars Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orsen Welles, and Marlene Dietrich. It was good. Apparently it's a restored version--the version originally released to theatres was a version butchered by the studio. This recent restoration was put together to reflect desires expressed by Welles in a memo to the studio, but for forty years, the movie was known only in a form that Welles didn't want. Poor guy.

The movie is pretty good--it's damned full of tension at just about every moment. The viewer's continually disoriented by shifting, jagged angles and close-ups--yet it still all comes together to tell the story coherently. Everything moves fast under the heat of constant danger and the desires of sinister men. Janet Leigh is beautiful and vulnerable, stabbed by shadows and noise brutally before a single human hand is laid on her.

Charlton Heston plays a Mexican police chief--amusing, given the actor's current views regarding minorities. He's certainly not the best actor in the world but he does an adequete job here; all he really needs to be is the straight hero.

Welles' character, the alcoholic American police chief, was a little more interesting. Having put on a great deal of weight by this point in his carreer, Orsen was a big dreadnaught of ominousness under a fedora.

The story itself was pretty simple. But above all, this was a movie that was good for how the camera moved and how things were edited. It does something to the brain.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Hung out with Ha yesterday while she bought presents for her Valentine(s). I didn't even remember that it was Valentine's Day until she'd reminded me. So, having almost passed under my radar, it didn't suck so bad.

Ha has now been to Parkway Plaza exactly twice. I was amazed. She introduced me to grape leaves, and was amazed that I had always ordered the same meal from the Greek Gyros--spanakopeta.

One very good thing that happened was this.

My grandmother's already grumbling about it but I hope people will look at this and say, "You know. It don't hurt for gay people to marry each other. What the hell was I worried about?" A little Valentine's Day gift for the whole human race--less bigotry is good for everyone.

I watched, I guess, an appropriate movie for V-Day last night; Gate of Hell. A Japanese, colour film from 1953 directed by Teinosuko Kinugasa, it was about a samurai named Moritoh (Kazuo Hasegawa) who falls in love with a woman named Kesa (the beautiful Machikyo Kyo). After protecting her when she serves as decoy for the Empress, Moritoh is promised a boon by the Emperor. Moritoh asks for Lady Kesa's hand in marriage. The only trouble is that, unbeknownst to Moritoh, Lady Kesa's already married to another samurai, Wataru (Isao Yamagata). But instead of backing down when he discovers this fact, Moritoh becomes violently obsessed.

It was the kind of bitter, terrific love story that one might expect when samurai get involved. It was very good. My feelings about love were properly reflected by this work.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Don't think I've ever been so far behind on my laundry. I literally have nothing to wear. Wonder what I'll do . . .

Was in a hurry yesterday because I had to babysit my sister's dog--a half chihuaha, half yorkie named Bella. She's very fiesty and enjoys biting people and things. Reminds me that I'm more of a cat person.

Slept in spurts last night as I set my alarm to wake me at intervals to either stop a tape, start a tape, or switch a tape. When I came to for reals finally, I was a little upset that I'd missed Wuthering Heights at 6:30am. But then I was organising my tapes to-day and discovered that I had already taped Wuthering Heights, at around tape 30 or so. And then I discovered that I'd already taped The Philadelphia Story, which I was recording at the precise moment I discovered this, prompting me to immediately press "stop." I also appear to have two copies of The Lady Eve, two tape 31s, and no tape 65. Yes, it was certainly high time I'd organised the things.

Yesterday I watched Only Angels Have Wings starring Cary Grant, Jean Arther, and Rita Hayworth. It was directed by Howard Hawks, demonstrating that Howard Hughes was a fool to fire him.

Only Angels Have Wings is about pilots in some South American country. Lee (Jean Arther) stops in while coming ashore from her cruise ship. Leather jacket wearing, hot young pilots quickly try and woo her, but the fellow who was supposed to take her to steak dinner ends up having to go up in his plane in bad weather--he gets killed. Lee's astonished when the boss, played by Cary Grant in a ludicrously large panama hat, and the rest of the boys go on having their rowdy night in the bar.

The movie goes on to be about these men who fly, risking death, and the inability of their loved ones to cope with the pilots' precarious lifestyle. And good for that. Arther's character is spunky with her out-of-towner, high pitched voice but not overplayed. Grant is a sympathetically hard-hearted bastard. I only wish Rita Hayworth had had a bigger role. But then again, I suppose it wouldn't have fit, exactly.

Now to find some clothes . . .

Friday, February 13, 2004

Yesterday involved ninjas, Star Trek, a new DNA model, ritual suicide, and the undead.

I can't say much else though, 'cause I'm in a hurry! Perhaps . . . more later!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

One of those days when a dip in the bacta tank sounds really good. Got a store throat and feel like there are thistles stored behind my nose. This just had to happen on a Thursday, didn't it?

Last night I watched The Outlaw, directed by Howard Hughes. It was a bad movie. Apparently it's more famous for how it was marketed--advertisements focused mainly on Jane Russell's cleavage. It was only released briefly, then pulled when family associations and the like screamed for its blood. In light of the whole Janet Jackson thing, one's forced to note how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And like Janet Jackson, Howard Hughes appears to have had almost no artistic talent. Originally, Howard Hawks (The Big Sleep) was supposed to direct The Outlaw but was fired because Hughes felt he had better ideas. These ideas seem generally to have consisted of bizarre, oddly-timed close-ups with a massive overuse of cresendoing orchestra for the soundtrack (not to mention an overuse of goofy "wa-wa-waaaa"s). At one point, Jane Russell's character decides to stay home. She says so, then walks out of frame, and we're subjected to several moments of the camera meaninglessly watching the empty wall while the music gets grand.

The story is simple enough. One day, Doc Holiday shows up in town (it's a western, by the way). He's friends with the sheriff, so they're hanging out when they discover that Billy the Kid had stolen Doc's horse--the actor in the role of Billy the kid is a monotonously charmless fellow who was obviously always polite to his elders in real life.

The Battle For the Horse is a running gag throughout the film, one of the many things which provoked me to scream, "Why don't you shoot him!"

Billy sleeps in the stable to protect his horse from Holiday. Billy's attacked here by a young woman named Rio (Jane Russell). She's awful mad about him having killed his brother. But then he rapes her so she can't help but love him. She loves him so much that, later, when he's been injured by a shotgun at point blank range, she patiently nurses him back to health, even pressing her naked body to him to keep him warm (for truly, the warmth of a woman is the cure for having your body scattered into pulpy meat--okay, so the shotgun only gave him a minor leg wound).

From the uncannily lustreless performances by Billy the Kid and Rio, to Rio's ridiculous figure, this movie feels like a porno. There are a number of scenes that fade to black, practically telling you, "And then they had sex." But of course, you never see any of the good stuff.

The moral hijinks--like Rio's rape--would have bothered me except I didn't believe for a single moment in anything that happened in this movie. It was filled with long, dull scenes that we can figure out the ending to long before they reach said end . . .

Why did I watch it? Well, it's Howard Hughes!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I'm gonna get things done to-day. I don't care what happens or how late I have to stay up--Wait, damn, I have to get up early to-morrow. Oh well, so much for that. I'll just ooze through to-day.

I need more Altoids. Cinnamon. Tried the peppermints but all they did was freshen my breath.

And I'm hungry! Food, I need. Do any of you realise just how difficult it is for me to get out of this chair? I'll frequently starve until 5pm.

My hands are cold . . . Getting near the end of Peter Straub's Ghost Story . . . Wonderful book, but actually really taking a toll on me psychologically, I think.

I dreamt last night I met a denim wearing, black haired, mad girl named Peter, sleeping on a tatami mat. I was delighted that her name was Peter--I told her how brilliant I thought it was that she should have that name. She glared at me, but smiled faintly.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The packet of works submitted that were discussed in the Acorn Review class last night was completely comprised of crap. There was not a single, halfway decent item in the dispiriting lot. They were all poems. They were all bad poems.

Particularly the last one--something about learning how to fly and kayaking and rainbows in waterfalls. I gave my most emphatic speech about how the author should die a thousand deaths. But what hurt the most is that this absolute piece of dren was voted in! The majority of the class liked it!

Rarely have I felt so let down by humanity. Rarely have I seen a clearer indicator of shear blandness of the mass-human consciousness. I truly want something absolutely bizarre to happen to all of these people. Something to remind them what true excitement can be, that life is more than eXtreme sports and Skittles commercials (two things that the poem was inferior to but probably influenced by). I want these people to wake up and smell the squid men. I want these people to wake up with a hangover, discovering they'd slept with Minnie Mouse.

I want their worlds to be so rocked that when they try to tell their former friends about their uncanny experiences, they find themselves shunned by souls who are unable to accept anything stranger than reality TV. And then Ebenezer Scrooge shall have learned a thing or two.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Feel like I've got a hairball in my throat . . . Been hanging out with the cats too much.

Went to the Olive Garden with my parents and sister yesterday and ate far too much. Actually felt that stretching pain in the stomach.

To-day's school and I've gotten to thinking about how very much I've assigned myself to do and about how little I've gotten done.

Grr! Must . . . activate . . . energy . . . productivity . . . C'mon you lazy bastard, where's the gusto?! . . . Must . . . do . . . things . . . !

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Last night's dream involved a sinister sequence of events involving grotesque, gargantuan sealife, beautiful people, and souls that are at times doomed.

Myself and around fifteen other people were working for a mysterious, shadowy agency at the biggest aquarium in the world. At least, we thought we were working for them. There seems to have been some confusion about that.

Anyway, the trouble began when one morning I was strolling outside one of the larger tanks--about the size of a large town--and saw that it had been emptied of water. Terribly enormous, dark skinned tentacles with ruffled suction cups and the dark, gleaming smooth bulks of dead whales were piled in overbearingly ominous hills for as far as the eye could see.

Well, it turned out the strange time machine that had been activated in one of my previous dreams was still active, and my team and I were forced to replay the mission that ensued upon finding the dead sea creatures, over and over again. I was the only one who remembered anything from previous cycles.

There was a young Arab man who I remembered as having been killed in a previous cycle. He was a decent fellow, so I decided to wake him up and warn him.

The team had a set of carved, airtight, wooden dorms in the middle of one of the tanks and the only light inside these dorms was given by the spider-webby water reflections coming in from the window, making the place dark, soft, and blueish.

I didn't find the Arab man in his bed. Instead, there was another team member, a beautiful woman who was always topless.

Later, during the course of our mission where we were trying to get past the mazes and traps at an enormous, marble castle, she and I decided to stop at a Subway sandwich and get dinner.

We were having a pleasant, sort of exuberant conversation, when suddenly she realised that her sandwich had been made wrong. A dim, confused waiter approached, asking if he could help, and she began yelling violently at him. The waiter and much of the rest of the staff were soon brought to tears by her ferocity. Myself, I sat quietly thinking about a question I'd asked her that she'd never answered.

When she ran outside in a beserker rage, I decided I'd go back to the castle and see how the rest of the team was doing.

On the way, I spotted another beautiful female member of the team walking under a stone bridge.

I jumped down from the bridge to land next to her and asked if she'd mind if I walked with her. She said that no, she didn't mind.

When we reached the castle, we saw that the Arab man I was worried about had managed to miss the pit that would have claimed his life. I was sort of glad, but it was an empty kind of gladness, because I knew this whole thing would repeat itself again, and he would probably die, if not the next time, at least some other time in another cycle.

We never completed the mission.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Finished the first draft of my novel yesterday. Oy . . . Lots of typing to do still. Lots of editing--I can already think of things I definitely want to fix and who knows what I'll find once I go over it carefully.

But writing The End is probably a significant step.

I'd seen a number of people speaking well of a movie called Drunken Master, including Roger Ebert and Franklin Harris. So last night I at last watched it. It was very good. Jackie Chan's an entertaining, delightful rascal. And just fun to watch. One thing that annoyed me was that the DVD continually switched between Cantonese and English dubbed, all by itself, in the middle of scenes.

To-day . . . I have to go to the laundrymat. I don't want to go. I hate that place. Fuck.

Friday, February 06, 2004

My eyes hurt.

I got up early again to-day. I hope this won't become a habit. Then again, it is kind of fun being up early. It's also fun to stay up late. I just need to stop sleeping.

But sleep is fun too, oh no . . .

I figured out that I've taped around one hundred forty movies in the past month or two. I just made tape sixty yesterday. As the old man say, there be all kinds of wealth in this wide world, yessir.

Yesterday I ate only an Egg McMuffin (without ham) and a burrito. Yet I was not hungry unil I woke up this morning.

I'm feeling weird about to-day.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Oof . . . I feel steamrollered . . .

My cousin, Josh, put my spare tire on my car for me last night, so I got up bright and early (8am!) to go and get my new tire. In twenty minutes, it was done, and I was on my way to getting an oil change--the first oil change I've ever had to get because of time instead of mileage. The incapacitation of my car for tire and insurance added it up that way.

Then I was driving. Not really sure where I was going but I ended up at Plaza Camino Real mall. In their interesting, cosy, coffee place I wrote what is essentially the climax of my novel. It left me with a twist in my gut--in a good way, I suppose. I felt devastated as I walked away from the mall. I suppose I ought to write the denoument but quick.

To-night's the playwriting class. I read the reading assignment in the obscenely expensive book but I'm not sure I've done all the work I'm supposed to. Typical academic me, I guess. Cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Oh, hello, I've got that bitter wakeful feeling in my stomach. Was it the tamales with the two different kinds of stale fast-food hot sauce (found Del Taco's Del Scorcho and Taco Bell's Fire in one of my bags)? Was it all the altoids I complusively plunked into my mouth? Was it all the writing I was doing yesterday, the fact that I'm a hair from finishing my novel's first draft? Is it woman trouble? Is it Dr. Pepper? I'll tell you one thing, it's certainly not the taste of originality . . .

Maybe I'm spooked. I fell asleep to the cat snoring only to wake a few hours later to find the cat gone--somehow my door had been opened without waking me. And this bothered me. I obsessively thought over all the possible ways the cat could have gotten out of the room. Maybe I was sleep walking? Wouldn't be the first time.

When I was a kid, I once woke up with all my clothes inside-out. I asked my mother about it and she said I'd been wandering the house naked and that she'd had to dress me.

As I keep going with this novel thing and with other things, I'm finding myself feeling an increasing lack of hope about life.

Maybe it was a ghost cat to begin with? Lucky just came into the room now. He doesn't look like he's afraid he won't get let out if he needs to be.

I'm feeling a big dislike for some things right now. Or disinterest. I have so many movies to watch . . . I think I'd rather sit and watch them than do anything else ever again. I guess I'm excited about where my novel is, but it's making me cry, and I'll probably be the only one it does that to.

Actually my eyes are rather stingingly dry at the moment. Lucky looks startled by the motionless door . . . He and his mother, Victoria, have this way of just looking casually startled. Although he can certainly look restful. I was thinking last night of what a business-like expression is on his face when he sleeps.

To-day I'm gonna make a real effort to get my car up and running. Maybe I'll just drive on the flat to the discount tire place? I once drove from Ocean Beach to Santee on a flat (because I'm that kind of scary-stupid). I should be okay.

Hello, Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Was very fortunate to be driven home by a celebrity named Ha last night. Very fortunate--it was raining cats, dogs, and robot locusts. Then Ha and I shared toquitos before she had to leave. Hope she got home okay, come to think of it . . .

To-day . . . I actually slept in later than the cat, which almost never happens. He got up, paced up to my face, said good morning, and then jumped off the bed.

Watched Yojimbo last night. For action sequences, I must say I greatly prefer swords over guns. Sorta makes me sorry that guns ever came into existence.

And now the only fatigue remaining on my brain is the kind that wants only coffee to alleviate it. And coffee I shall have.

I'm a little miffed that I missed taping Julius Ceasar at one o'clock . . .

Right! No connexions, no reason in this world but the need for espresso! Ikimasu yo . . .

Monday, February 02, 2004

AH . . .

Forgot to mention that I finally got the Twin Peaks pilot on DVD on Saturday. Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. And neither could the guy at GameStop who asked me, astonishment in his voice, where I'd gotten it. I'd gotten it at Barnes and Noble, where it was slightly expensive. But well worth it.

I could do with some walking now. Which is good because it's precisely what I have to do.

The computer's noisy again . . .

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Dream last night was about a cunning system of mirrors arranged around people's bathrooms to allow their private activities to be viewed in secret. I discovered one in my bathroom and felt strangely sure that no one had used it and any who might have noticed it had thought nothing of it.

The past several weeks, I've mainly been doing all my movie-watching in the evening. So it's only fitting that the first movie that I should watch at an unusually early time should be a movie called The Remains of the Day.

I'd seen this movie before a very long time ago. I didn't really remember it very well so it was an essentially new experience. I'd read the book by Kazuo Ishiguro upon which the movie's based . . . not very long ago. I have to say that in several ways, the book was better. The book's told in first person and the movie, rather than have Mr. Stevens narrate, chose to try and incorporate all the information within the action or dialogue. Occasionally there was a voice-over of someone's letter to another person, acting as a kind of narrative. Mostly, the attempts at reforming the narrative felt pretty artificial. And I know some, like perhaps Caitlin R. Kiernan, who would say that first person narrative is distractingly artificial enough. Me, I think I'd rather have the single big artifice--which worked well in The Age of Innocence--than a bunch of little ones. I'd find it less jarring.

Of course, the excellent performances by Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson made the movie well worth watching. The music was good, too.

And what else have I done to-day? I walked a bit and bought a sandwich.