Monday, May 31, 2004

Last night I wathed The Philadelphia Story, a George Cukor movie starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart. I love movies where each character's lines bring to mind a furiously scrabbling animal of some kind, so that, put together, dialogue is something like an unpredicatable, violent frenzy.

The story centres around Hepburn's character, Tracy. It's essentially an introspective journey of hers to see whether or not she's a remote goddess of some kind. But every character is rather vivid. And it was very important that both male leads win your heart, so Grant and Stewart are absolutely essential. Stewart won an academy award for his performance and it was well deserved. Hepburn was nominated, but she also deserved an award. I really dug the scene where Hepburn was angrily explaining to Stewart, who's a writer, that he doesn't know people as well as a writer really ought to--and then stops as she catches herself accusing him of the same thing Grant had accused her of earlier. It was an utterly believable moment that could have easily seemed contrived. But no, this was the real frenzy of creatures.

The sight of Hepburn's bare legs as Jimmy carried her from the pool was also nice.

And, of course, I love Cary Grant. His scenes are like surgical strikes--it only takes a couple lines from him for you to fall in love with him again, no matter how charming Stewart was with all his stammering and energy.

After this movie, I found myself consumed with energy, perhaps having something to do with all the soy milk I was drinking. So I did my laundry, and began reorganising my closet, including all 157 tapes of movies I've made that were all lying about messily.

And I came across a great, great relic of the old world.

On a Christmas, before the Star Wars special editions were even whispered about, and I was still living with my parents, I was given several hundred dollars. With my family at the mall a couple weeks later, I spotted a hundred dollar item that destiny insisted I buy; the Star Wars trilogy, in widescreen.

My mother told me I was crazy. Why pay a hundred dollars for three movies you could get for much cheaper elsewhere and without black bars on the top and bottom? This was long before most people knew any better about widescreen. In this matter, I was the crackpot prophet who was best left to his twisted ways in some shadowy corner somewhere. But who's laughing now, huh? Hehe he.

So in my closet last night, I came across this massive boxed set, the Star Wars trilogy in it's original form, before Greedo shot first. I suppose George Lucas might call me a sick bastard for wanting to see Han blast Greedo in cool blood. Well, I am a sick bastard. And I miss when Lucas was a sick bastard too.

But, this is truly an artefact. You can't buy the original trilogy any more, and most of the people who still have it on tape from buying it more than a decade ago, very likely have it in pan-and-scan. I may be one of, oh, maybe fifteen people in California who has this thing. Which is kind of sad, if you think about it.

Lucas sells the Special Edition now as simply "The Star Wars trilogy," as if another version had never existed. The DVD release later this year, Lucas has decreed, shall be even more revised, with Hayden Christianson edited into Return of the Jedi (no, I'm not making that up).

Watching Star Wars: A New Hope last night, I found myself wondering what it is exactly that makes the older version better, besides Greedo's more believable gunplay. The answer, I think, is Lucas's current faith in CGI.

The main problem with the new Star Wars movies is that there is a very annoying cartoonish quality about them. I asked myself if this sensibility was at all evident in the old Star Wars movies and I realised that it was--the aliens in the cantina, the Jawas, some of the droids--all of these things have a broadly comic quality about them. But it worked, I think, because we believed in the reality of the latex and plastic. It was something we could imagine touching. So, then you have these two forces working against each other--real, maleable material and a sensibility to craft it into something bizarre, but familiar enough to be humorous. It almost feels like a dare.

But in the new movies, and the new versions of the old, Lucas goes to far. In the new version of A New Hope there's an extended version of Luke and Co.'s entrance into Mos Eisley that very thoroughly undermines Obi-wan's description of it being a wretched hive of scum and villainy. It's hard to believe in it when robots are running around, imitating the Three Stooges because the camera's on them.

Anyway, I've gone on too long to-day . . .

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Last night I watched Break of Hearts, another Katharine Hepburn movie. I was struck by how much the movie reminded me of one of Joan Crawford's "shopgirl makes good" movies. It was also the most conventional role I've yet seen Katharine Hepburn in. She was just a sweet, pretty young lady. But she did a good job with it.

Charles Boyer was also in the movie. He really looks like a bulkier Jude Law.

I ought to get to work on something. I've been lazy the past couple of days . . .

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Trisa and I hung out last night. Did Tower Records and stuff. Got the new Morrissey album, which is great from it's first lines, "America your head is too big/Because you're very stupid."

And Trisa bought the new Dresden Dolls CD, which I'd have gotten too if I hadn't been essentially broke. We listened to it in the car and it's just perfect energy and sentiment.

I watched The Little Minister last night, in which Katharine Hepburn wore gypsy clothes and a Scottish accent. She worked 'em both pretty well.

Friday, May 28, 2004

The latest chapter of the Nar'eth manga is online here--this would be the dirty pictures I was working on yesterday. Check it out, but be warned--it's sort of smut.

Found myself reading some of Cary Grant's autobiography yesterday. It's interesting what he reveals about himself through his lack of proficiency as a writer. I thought it was sort of cute the way he repeated the word "protesting" when talking about being bathed in his grandmother's living room as a child.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Awakened at 8:15 by a phone call I missed and was driven insane by being unable to return, I've already to-day done my final for class to-night, internet-talked to people, modified some artwork and, now, as I'm starting to think I might be able to get back to sleep, I realise it's too late, and that I have to go.

Such is the way of Thursday . . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I won't lie to you. I've spent the past twelve hours either drawing dirty pictures or watching West Side Story. A little of both, actually. Jeez, Richard Beymer looked young . . .

It's fweekin' ridiculous how much I need coffee right now. All I've been drinking these past twelve hours is ginger ale and soy chocolate milk. Time to change all that.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Ugh. I feel like I've swallowed a were-mosquito hawk baby.

I don't feel like I talked enough about Katharine Hepburn yesterday. I loved her clothes in Christopher Strong. I loved her big, loungey coats with tight pants on her stick figure legs. I loved her aviator's cap and coat. I loved her moth costume. I wish it were still possible for someone to hire her to be in a really cool action sequence where she beats the crap out of someone. And it's real bloody.

I loved her cut-the-pretence voice. She seemed like someone who'd eat fire and then kindly spit into the Devil's eye.

I could go on . . . but I sense I shouldn't.

Last night I dreamt I went with my family to see a strange combo concert--first we were supposed to arrange ourselves in a mall food court and watch Fleetwood Mac sans Stevie Nix--with Nicole Kidman filling in. Then, after two songs, everyone had to file over to a black amphitheatre to watch Elvis Costello perform one song. Then Costello left the stage and Marilyn Manson appeared and didn't do anything. Then it was back to the food court for more Fleetwood Kidman . . .

I stayed up far later than I intended to last night. I stayed up until 7 am, and I meant to get up at 10:30am, which, thankfully, I decided not to do. I worked on something until 3am and then decided I had to watch a movie.

I decided to watch The Searchers. This is another movie I'd been looking forward to for some time, mostly because I'd heard it'd been a big influence on Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

The Searchers is the first John Ford movie I've seen. And that guy was quite good. You can definitely see the influence he had on Spielberg. His sense for cuts and juxtaposition of close-ups was keen--striking but never artificial-feeling. I particularly liked the use of black silhouettes against the hot, desolate valley.

The movie starred John Wayne as Ethan, a former Confederate soldier who is doggedly, psychotically dedicated to pursuing a Comanche tribe that killed his family and kidnapped his neice, Debbie, played by Natalie Wood.

After watching this movie, I was reminded of how much I love moral ambiguity. It really wasn't so much like watching hero-John Wayne pursuing villainous Indians. It was more like two vicious creatures going at each other's throat. The movie was made in the mid-50s, and it's pretty well known how people felt about the relationship between Cowboys and Indians. But the interesting thing is that the film doesn't seem particularly racist about the Native Americans. This is important because it highlights the fact that Wayne's character has a kind of bloodthirsty intolerance for the Comanche.

This is not to say that the Comanche chief, Scar, wasn't a bad dude. If he had done to my niece what he did to one of Ethan's niece Lucy, I doubt I'd be any more concerned with showing him mercy. But Ethan's clearly a little off the deep end.

In playing with essentially this same concept, Taxi Driver does a little better. Or it does a little worse, depending on how you look at it. But maybe The Searchers is a little more insidious, because John Wayne inspires a kind of faith and respect. It's definitely a movie that makes you afraid of what lurks in the human heart and all that.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Last night I watched Christopher Strong, Katharine Hepburn's second movie. I like that woman. I dig the tough, independant thing. I realised last night that she kinna looks like David Bowie. Same build, both have small noses, high cheekbones, thin lips, large eyes, and sharp eyebrows.

Now, I've got a lot to do before class, so I better get moving . . .

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Last night I watched You'll Never Get Rich, a movie I'd been looking forward to watching for a while now as it stars Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, two of my favourite stars. Astaire said later that Hayworth was his favourite dancing partner. And I don't blame him. Not only was Hayworth beautiful and charismatic, her dancing was also pitch perfect, better even than Ginger Rogers'.

The movie was also very smart and funny, even though more of it took place in an army camp than I would have liked. Although it does give Fred opportunity to dance alone in the guard house--at one point, I realised he was dancing slightly off beat and I started thinking, "Ah, so the great Astaire wasn't perfect after all," when Rita Hayworth walks up and says, "You're a beat off." Astaire had danced a beat off because the script had called for it! Neat!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Last night I watched another Mary Pickford movie, this one called Coquette. It was made in 1929 and it was the first Mary Pickford movie with sound. And, from the quality of sound in this thing, it's not hard to imagine why a number of people believed sound in movies was only a passing fad. Often times the actors would be completely inaudible if they so much as walked across the room. The scene at the dance was almost incoherent.

But this is not to say that Pickford didn't have a good voice. She did fine. In fact, she won an Academy Award for her performance--the second year the Academy Awards were held.

The story was another high melodrama thing about a girl who, as her brother puts it, "Flits around from one guy to another like a . . . like a . . . well, like a butterfly."

But she does fall in love with a violent youth her father doesn't like and her father gets angry when he discovers they had sex and . . . well . . . you get the picture. It was good, though.

I was pretty productive yesterday. Let's see if I can keep it goin' . . .

Friday, May 21, 2004

Last night I watched The Love Light. It was the first Mary Pickford movie I'd ever seen and I . . . liked her. She was a cute little lady. I can see why she would have been refered to as a "darling." Her sweet little face was just fun to watch and, even though the movie was a sorrowful melodrama, I kinna took delight in her impishness.

The movie was about a young Italian woman named Angela (Pickford) whose brothers go off to World War I and get killed. The movie was made in 1921, long before Hollywood was ordered by the government to be a propaganda machine for World War II. So at this point, film makers were still allowed to show war as an awful thing, which they often did.

So The Love Light was essentially a series of stories about poor little Angela, nearly all of which end terribly. First her brothers die, then the man she'd secretly married turns out to have an awful secret, then someone steals her baby . . . One of my favourite shots in the movie is when Angela is holding a duckling to show her baby in the crib. When she finds the baby gone, she, in her panic, accidentally drops the duckling in the crib and leaves it there. It's horrible, but it was an adorable shot.

But the movie does have a happy ending and, damnit, that girl deserved one.

So to-day . . . So far, I've gone to Grossmont Centre to check out the new Wal-Mart that was built there. It feels kind of like the Target, only trashier.

And now, I have a lot of things to get done . . . I hope this headache goes away.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Spent most of yesterday drawing and not going outside. I finally went out fot soda and coffee at 10:30pm or so. It felt good.

Not much else to report . . . To-night's playwriting class. I wonder if I'm supposed to have anything done . . . ?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I watched Rio Bravo last night. It was the first John Wayne movie I'd ever seen. I watched him closely to see why he is so widely loved. From what I could tell, his cardinal quality was an ability to seem taxed and on the ball at the same time. He ambles around like he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders--and, in this movie, he certainly does--but doesn't seriously contemplate giving up for even a moment and has constantly got his mind bent towards doing what's right and needs to be done, without regard necessarily for his own well-being.

Dean Martin was also in the movie and was very effective playing the alcoholic deputy trying to be a lawman again. The look on his face when someone threw a dollar in the spitoon was perfect. You could see the conflict in his face as he wants to get the dollar so he could buy a drink but doesn't want to humiliate himself.

Another singer, Ricky Nelson, was also in the movie. Ricky couldn't act at all and had the typical bearing of the sweet young guy of the mid-century. His character was kind of cool, though.

And Angie Dickenson played Wayne's love interest and she was great. Steely but vulnerably quirky at the same time. There's a sweet moment when she rather willfully interprets Wayne's "I'm gonna arrest you," as "I love you." But she seemed very intellegent and seemed wonderfully to relish having the intellectual upper-hand on Wayne several times.

The movie was directed by Howard Hawks, who seems to be a very un-obtrusive director. He didn't seem to have the kinetic chops of William Wyler or some of his other contemporaries. He seemed to enjoy a lot of static shots and very simple tracking shots. All of his movies that I've seen feel almost like filmed plays, featuring characters standing around rooms or entering and exiting them, with close-ups and long shots, not usually from any strange angles. But, you know, Hawks really seemed to be a master of this format. He seemed to know exactly when to do what. I think a good way to see his talent his to watch a number of his movies, and then to watch The Outlaw, the movie Howard Hughes fired Hawks from in order to direct himself. Hughes' bumbling instincts for these set-ups really make you appreciate Hawks.


Yesterday, I went to my parents' house to find my sister's dog, Bella, was already gone. They're moving to Orange County and so they decided it'd make things easier to give the energetic chihuahua/yorkie mix away now. But I knew they'd been itching to be rid of the little girl for all the three months or so they've had her. She was too much for them, and I knew she would be. But it kills me that this poor little dog, that I really liked, is going to have to adjust to a new home and everything at a young age when it'll be especially hard for her. Where ever she is now, she's probably crying . . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

So far, to-day's been a civilised venture into Caitlin's newly created field known as xenovaginoplasty. I feel wonderfully scientific this day.

Some of my research has given me to know that female genitals are very friendly.

Last night, I watched Grand Hotel. I was definitely happier to see Joan Crawford than I was to see Greta Garbo, but I do love Greta Garbo, especially the shot where she was taking off her ballet shoes. Lovely, lovely.

Crawford was absolutely gorgeous, especially in her little, very low cut black frock.

The movie itself turned out better than I'd anticipated. Normally, I don't find big ensemble pictures very entertaining, and since this, the brainchild of Irving Thalburg, was the first ever big ensemble picture, I wasn't expecting much. But in the end, it really did all come together wonderfully.

Oh, but to-day belongs to the vagina . . .

Monday, May 17, 2004

I seem to've forgotten my morning routine. I just woke up and I have no idea what to do next. So I guessed I'd do a blog entry . . .

Dreamt a strange girl and I were massacring people at the mall with rapiers. For some reason, no one seemed to care much. I think we were only attacking the evil ninjas. At one point, a boy stole my sword and the girl and I tried to buy a new one at the weapons shop only to discover rapiers were seven hundred dollars.

But then I spotted the kid and chased him into the Cinnabon. And I got my sword back.


A couple nights ago, I watched Queen Christina starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. Gilbert was a silent film actor who didn't make it far in talkies, although from Queen Christina, I wasn't as sure about why as I was earlier. Yes, his voice was a little high-pitched and helium-like. But he still seemed like a charismatic fellow. Greta Garbo, who did make the transition successfully, didn't really sound like her voice was much better.

As for the movie itself, it was a charming, wildly unrealistic tale of a Swedish queen and her affair with a Spanish ambassador. It was kind of cool watching Greta Garbo strut around in men's Rennaissance-era attire with a rapier at her hip.

Hmm . . . Could that be where the dream came from? I think it was a combination of it and watching The Venture Brothers pilot again last night. I hope that show gets picked up.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Meme snurched from Caitlin's blog:

1. Who did you last get angry with? Truck driving ten mph below the speed limit in front of me.
2. What is your weapon of choice? Psychological manipulation.
3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex? In the right context.
4. How about of the same sex? Certainly.
5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you? A truck driving behind me, trying to go thirty mph above the speed limit (which he did when he passed me).
6. What is your pet peeve? People who never think about what they're doing.
7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily? I forget them.

1. What is one thing you're supposed to do daily that you haven't done in a long time? Work.
2. What is the latest you've ever woken up? 5pm.
3. Name a person you've been meaning to contact, but haven't. A girl I know named Mary, whose e-mail address I've lost.
4. What is the last lame excuse you made? "I got lost."
5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through (one of the long ones...)? No.
6. When was the last time you got a good workout in? Coachella's "parking."
7. How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today? I didn't use any of my alarm clocks to-day.

1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice? Just a latte.
2. Meat eaters: white meat or dark meat? Neither.
3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you've had in one sitting/outing/event? One shot of vodka.
4. Have you ever used a professional diet company? No.
5. Do you have an issue with your weight? No.
6. Do you prefer sweets, salty foods, or spicy foods? Spicy.
7. Have you ever looked at a small house pet or child and thought, "LUNCH!"? With a child, yes. With a pet, no.

1. How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies/family)? Er, this is impossible to answer since with the Internet there's probably not a man, woman, or child on earth who's not seen at least a hundred naked people.
2. How many people have seen YOU naked? I dunno.
3. Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a member of your gender of choice during a normal conversation? Yup.
4. Have you "done it"? If you mean a jewel heist, then no.
5. What is your favorite body part on a person of your gender of choice? Genitals.
6. Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute? Not that I know of.
7. Have you ever had to get tested for an STD or pregnancy? No.

1. How many credit cards do you own? None.
2. What's your guilty pleasure store? The Village Hat Shop.
3. If you had $1 million, what would you do with it? I'd spend comfortably for as long as I could, seeing how long I could go without thinking about money.
4. Would you rather be rich, or famous? Rich.
5. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks? Depends on how many hours I'd have to put into it.
6. Have you ever stolen anything? Yes.
7. How many MP3s are on your hard drive? I guess around a thousand (I sure as hell ain't counting them).

1. What one thing have you done that you're most proud of? Finished my novel.
2. What one thing have you done that your parents are most proud of? My parents aren't proud of me.
3. What thing would you like to accomplish in your life? Ridding myself of nuisances.
4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place? No. I'm generally indifferent when it comes to competitions.
5. Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than all the other competitors? Yes.
6. Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score? I don't remember. Really, I can't quite discount the possibility.
7. What did you do today that you're proud of? I haven't spent any money yet.

1. What item (or person) of your friend's would you most want to have for your own? I'd like my imaginary friend's incorporeality.
2. Who would you want to go on "Trading Spaces"? George W. Bush and Saruman the White.
3. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be? Me! Only a with the ability to shape-change at will!
4. Have you ever been cheated on? In a way.
5. Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own? Not really.
6. What inborn trait do you see in others that you wish you had for yourself? Wings and tails.
7. Do you wish you'd come up with this survey? No.
8. Finally, what is your favorite deadly sin? Wrath.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

I had a real bad headache last night--caffeine deprivation. I had to quit watching Excalibur in the middle, get up, and go to my room. I was looking online to see if there were any movies I wanted to set the recorder for before I went to bed, when I was suddenly powerfully overcome with a desire to lie down. So I did.

Fully intending to get right back up, I left the lights on, put my head on the pillow, and stared up at the ceiling. I took my glasses off, which helped the headache a little (my glasses are an old prescription). And I started thinking, "Hey, I could sleep right now if I wanted. This is my bed. That's what beds are for, mostly."

I'm near-sighted. This means that I can see very clearly things that are really close to my eyes, far closer than normal eyes are supposed to be able to focus on. When I turned my head on my pillow slightly to the left, I saw very clearly a very enormous spider, waving his legs at me, filling my entire vista like a widescreen movie. Actually, bigger.

So I sprang from my bed (I love saying that). Fortunately, I keep a glass bunny nearby. I got it two Easters ago from my aunt for putting candy in. I opened it, and quickly clamped it around the spider, carrying him outside and tossing him into the grass.

Why do I always feel curiously bereft after letting spiders go? Maybe I should just let them hang out . . .

Friday, May 14, 2004

Watched The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, a film which made me think, "Eh . . . I suppose I would like to have sex with Shirley Temple," for which I'm eternally grateful.

Of course, the real talent in the movie was Cary Grant. The man could do no wrong.

The past couple of days, I've been writing every day a bit of a short story that's kind of an experiment for me. Actually, all short stories are experiments for me as I still feel like I have no idea how I write them, so I tend to use completely different methods and philosophies each time. This one I'm writing like I'm writing a very miniature novel, which is a format I'm very comfortable with. I may use it again in the future . . .

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Help, Thursday's got me! Let me go, Thursday, you fiend! Gagh . . . !

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Saw Van Helsing last night with Tim and a couple of his coworkers.

The movies was okay. It was fun. It was very easy to see how it could've been better, though. I think I'm being spoiled by watching too many good movies lately.

The main problem I had with Van Helsing was that the action was essentially meaningless. There were too many awfully extraordinary, coincidental, near death experiences for such moments to have any credibility. It gets to the point where you're terribly aware that this was something written, that literally the only thing that holds any sway over the characters' survivals is the whim of the writer. As such, it begins to feel pointless listening to any silly, derivative exposition or watching any of the sadly sanitary looking monsters.

Hugh Jackman, David Windham, and Kate Beckinsale are cute and the action, although fake looking and often tedious, has occasional moments of grace. Although most of the environments look fake, they're often pretty, in a derivative sorta way. The soundtrack's good.

Bottom line (which this is, huh): A halfway decent good time, but certainly not worth seeing twice.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Dreamt I was sent by invisible gods to a small but dense town surrounded by a wooden fence. I was given a skinny, two-storey wooden house. But I was afraid to go in there because the electricity didn't work, the walls and floor were covered with faeces and other bits of garbage, and in its little halls lit by shafts of sunlight through the slats of wood, there dwelt a naked daemon girl with claws.

So I hung around town, mainly outside the Del Taco across the street from the house. But I was afraid to enter the Del Taco because I felt like I used to hang out there a long time ago, before my daemon-girl house had been built.

I guess it wasn't really a nightmare. I was just afraid.

Last night I watched The Grass is Greener starring Cary Grant, Deberah Kerr, Jean Simmons, and Robert Mitchem. It was good, although not near as clever as it thought it was. And I really can't buy that a woman would even think of choosing Robert Mitchem over Cary Grant.

After decades of playing Americans, here Grant was given opportunity to play an Englishman. But he wasn't able to shake his odd not-quite-English-not-quite-American accent anyway. Still love him, though.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Well. Blogger's got a new format. And I have a bad feeling about it . . . I really liked the way it was before.

To-day, I've so far been doing some running around kind of randomly. I read through the packet of submitted works for Acorn Review and have found that I hate all but one of them. Why are there so many boring people in this world? Where's the magic, I ask you? The magic?

Last night I watched John Huston's Moulin Rouge, which is a thousand times better than Baaz Luhrman's movie of the same title. It told a more complicated tale, had more interesting characters, and, yes, it looked better. It looked a lot better.

And now . . .

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Ooof. Yesterday felt like bad luck. Thought I hit a kid with my car . . . I was making a right turn on a red light, edging forward like us Californians are required to do, when my car kind of jolted from some weight at the front--I looked up to see a kid with bushy brown hair leaning over the front of my hood. Then, quick as a wink, the boy got back on his skateboard and sped across the rest of the crosswalk. So he wasn't hurt. I suppose the fact that he was going quite fast on his skateboard explained why I hadn't seen him. Which is not to say that I was responsibly looking both ways the whole time. I just suck at multi-tasking--looking for cars to my left while looking for people to my right is just the kind of thing I'd screw up. I felt bad, in spite of the fact that I hate kids.

Of course, I may've misread the whole situation. It was sort of odd how the kid completely didn't react . . . I did notice that the crosswalk hand was red, so maybe he felt like he had been doing something wrong. Although I'm pretty sure the law would be on his side.

Save a baby go to jail . . .

Last night I watched Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, which was a very cute movie. I enjoyed the scenes with the Japanese couple more than anything else. Actually, I suppose the other scenes were just somewhat entertaining. The characters of Jun and Mitzuko were so well rendered, and seemed so much like real people, and they were so charming, that it was hard not to love them more than everyone else.

There was a scene later in the movie where Johnny, Will, and Charlie (played by Steve Buscemi) had a violent moment in a liquour store that I thought was perfectly written. I guess the Italian woman was also pretty charming.

I'm not sure I felt the movie rose above its gimmick, though. I think it would've been more interesting if the Japanese couple had encountered and somehow interacted with all of these other interesting characters, and then, by the end of the movie, grown a little bit or had some kind of transition. I know, I know, that's like traditional film and probably what Jarmusch was trying to avoid. But I can't help thinking it would've made for a more satisfying experience.

These characters were great but I wanted to go on a journey with them, not just glimpse them in the windows of a passing train.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

I forgot to post yesterday. I sat down here and completely meant to, then I got distracted and my mind reset. I was gonna mention a bumper sticker I saw yesterday that read, "BE A HERO SAVE A WHALE/SAVE A BABY GO TO JAIL." I still have no idea what it means. My guess is that either the writer completely obscured the meaning through a vicious attempt to create a rhyme or it was intentionally meaningless, the goal being to make people like me scratch their heads. Anyway, if any of you have any idea, e-mail me and let me know. I'm serious. It's bugging me.

Hung out with Trisa last night. We had a strange conversation. We also found an enormous Chevron whose halls looked as though they could accomodate monster trucks or gods.

I had a lot of breadsticks yesterday. I didn't write very much but I did write, which is better than not at all.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

To-day I've eaten pizza, drank coffee, and written.

I'm also feeling like there's something else I'm supposed to be doing but can't think what it is.

To-night's playwriting class. The schedule says we're supposed to be going to another literary arts festival thing. I sorta hope it's wrong--the one my class on Monday went to wasn't so great. Well, it had its moments, but I would've prefered going to class regular-like.

Monday's was supposed to be a "World-literature" thing; apparently readings of literature from foreign countries. This didn't stop one young man from reading Langston Hughes (which wasn't so bad) or one teacher from reading an excerpt from some hack-half native American author's book. How does a person who would read such swill at a literary arts festival get to be an English teacher? She couldn't even read it properly--constantly misreading words and giving no personality to the characters' voices. She sounded strangely angry at us, as though she wished to reproach us for enjoying the readings of Bertohlt Brecht and Rumi while not being as enamoured as she was with the crappy half-native American author.

What was even worse was that she followed this by reading a couple of irrelevant short poems, one of which was apparently written by her. Her flimsy excuse? Mother's Day was coming up and the poem was about her "beautiful" sons.

Some people were made for the bamboo cane.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Went downtown to-day. Had a sandwich. It's strange how brain-dead many of the people seem down there. You'd think that doing whatever job it is that allows them to afford living in that area--or even to commute to that area--would require some smarts. No such. Took a billion years for them to make my sandwich, mostly because they were wandering around helplessly behind the counter, speaking to me only to continually ask me to repeat what sandwich I'd ordered. But for some reason, I knew it would be an exceptionally good sandwich. And it was.

I also wrote for quite a while at a Starbucks. I've started another Leyui and Gaemyietta story. This one feels like it distinctly owes a lot to Sherlock Holmes, which doesn't bother me at all, considering how much Sherlock Holmes owes to Edgar Allan Poe.

And now I feel like drawing . . .

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Last night I watched Lady Snowblood, a 1973 Japanese film starring Meiko Kaji. It was one of Quentin Tarantino's primary inspirations for Kill Bill and, watching Lady Snowblood, this fact is unmistakable.

It's the story of a beautiful, deadly woman named Yuki (Meiko Kaji) seeking revenge against three blackguards that had killed her father and raped her mother before Yuki was born. Like Kill Bill, the movie's divided into chapters as Yuki takes out one person on her list after another. Yuki's white kimono is remeniscent of O-Ren Iishi's and Lady Snowblood's theme song, "The Flower of Carnage," is featured on the Kill Bill soundtrack.

So it was like, cool and stuff.

Lots and lots of explosions of blood, lottsa shots of Yuki's cold, beautiful eyes, and wonderful colours. It's a yummy movie.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Hi, bloggo. Hi, hi.

Coachella sucked. It was hell on grass. In a polo field. Where there were horses. The horses were pretty, yes. But the sun was bleedin' ferocious and there was hardly any shade . . . there were great big distances to cross on foot . . .

I don't even really wanna type about all that happened. But we decided to leave after Saturday night so we dinna get to see The Cure on Sunday. I promised Trisa I'd get us tickets for when The Cure comes to San Diego or L.A. . . .

The Pixies were pretty good, though. Didn't catch much of Radiohead because I was running about, trying to find a phone, hoping nothing terrible had befallen Trisa (yes, there is a story I'm not telling and I'll just keep it, thank you).

All of the other bands really sucked. Well, Sparta was okay. But mostly it was crap like Junior Senior.

Maybe the best part of the whole thing was the frozen lemonade. Gods, that was good . . .

But even now I feel deadened in a pervasive way or something. Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea . . .

. . . . . . .