Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I called this picture "Flower Eater";

I drew it. It's appearing in the new issue of Acorn Review, Grossmont College's litarary magazine. I suppose it's nice having it in the magazine and stuff. It'd been nicer if the other five submissions I'd told had been accepted had also appeared in the magazine. And it would have been really nice if another, really shity drawing of a faerie, appearing elsewhere in the magazine, which I did not draw, were not attributed, in the magazine, to me.

Julie Cardenas, the lady who runs the magazine, seems to feel really bad about it. And she's a really nice lady but . . . I'm still mad. Really mad.

It's not as though it would have been difficult to contact me to verify if a drawing, which they had obviously been confused about, was mine. It's obvious that they guessed. Which is sloppy and unprofessional. Of course, it is only a community college literary magazine . . .

It's stupid to get upset, I guess. No one reads the damned thing anyway . . .

To-day shall be about evenly divided between drawing and writing. I'll do the writing first, since I can do that at Starbucks . . .

Monday, August 30, 2004

Not feeling great. I think it was the breadsticks with Frappacino I had earlier. Perhaps it was the new Wal-Mart next door. In any case, gahk.

Last night I watched the absolutely wonderful Shanghai Express. A few minutes in, I realised I wasn't in the mood for a movie but I still loved it. I finally understand Marlene Dietrich's charm--before this I'd only seen her in Manpower (made in the early 1940s) and Witness for the Prosecution (made in the mid-1950s). Both were good movies. Dietrich was subtle and cool in the former and scarily, hideously thin in the latter. But in Shanghai Express, made in 1932, she was absolutely ravishing. The film, and Dietrich in particular, is beautifully shot.

It also was nice to see a Chinese movie star, Anna May Wong, in the 1930s. And playing a really cool, really deadly character, too. Reading up on her, I discovered she was in a mid-1930s production of A Study in Scarlett. It is a Sherlock Holmes movie, and A Study in Scarlett is the title of the first Sherlock Holmes novel but, of course, similarities end there. It's too bad a faithful adaptation seems destined never to be filmed, what with over-zealous political correctness. So what if it demonises Mormons? The Church of Latter Day Saints actually is kind of scary.

No offense to any Mormons reading. We're all of us kind of scary, after all.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Got my copy of Aladdin Sane back from my sister yesterday. It sure is nice to hear it again, nice and loud. I went out to get coffee earlier and I was originally planning on only going to a Starbucks a few blocks away. But "Watch that Man" convinced me otherwise and I had to drive much further in order to listen to several other songs.

To-day, I draw. I'm gonna try sticking to a regime of at least one page a day. I drew a page last night and I was surprisingly happy with it. Usually I can't draw as well at night, for some reason.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Not much time to-day so I'll just share some screenshots of some of my Morrowind characters;

The first one is Raequeoa, a breton vampire mabrigash weilding Gimli's axe. The second is Rey Inna, a wood elf thief wielding a civic knife.

This is my most powerful character, Grushenka, named after a character in The Brothers Karamazov. She's weilding Narsil and is dressed without thought for aesthetics--with the exception of the pauldrons, she dressed in the best armour in the game. And the pauldrons are second best. Everything she's wearing is available in un-modded Morrowind. This is her with and without the Masque of Clavicus Vile.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I was awoken from a dream about a woman petting a porcupine while talking on the phone by my ringing cell phone. My sister was on the other end of the line but who knows what animals were near?

I got to thinking last night about how I never watch my DVDs. I then proceeded to have a very, very nice viewing of Blue Velvet.

David Lynch movies are best taken all in one gulp. I find if I watch half of one, then wait for even a brief period, the second half loses some of its lustre. I believe this is in some degree true of all movie, but particularly true of Lynch's. The man's tapped into the secret logic at the back of our brains and everything we see and hear must naturally follow something previous to it. It has to unscroll like a dream.

And last night was able to watch Blue Velvet straight through with no interruptions and almost no intrusive sounds from my environment. You see, because I have this belief that David Lynch movies ought to be viewed in something like a vacuum sealed environment, there's some kind of Murphy's Law thing goin' where I'm almost never actually allowed to. There was one point last night where I could hear my grandmother upstairs using the bathroom, and it kind of broke up the very delicate flow of Sandy describing her dream about the robins. And later, Lucky the cat started freaking out when he noticed that my attention was absolutely focused on the screen (and away from him). But for the most part, it was pretty pure.

When I was younger, there was a lot more I didn't understand about Blue Velvet. I loved it, but I enjoyed it for some slightly different reasons. The primary difference being my understanding of Frank and Frank's relationship with Jeffrey.

Frank was impressively frightening to me in high school as a very ingenious sort of monster. Everything he did was unpredictable and had something to do with hurting people in ways and at times I wasn't expecting.

By now, of course, Frank can't help being less predictable to someone who's seen the movie several times. I respect the fact that he's frightening, even though he doesn't frighten me as much now, but I'm also now able to see him as pathetic and, in this way, I'm able to see his connexion to Jeffrey.

The scene where Frank says to Jeffrey, "You're like me!" was one I've always loved and always felt had a deeper resonance, but for a long time I never understood the specific dynamics.

But now I can see it--Jeffrey's huddled there all vulnerable and larva-like in front of Frank. And Frank sees a chomping caterpillar like himself. The same soft, greedy little baby Frank behaves like when he's raping Dorothy.

Perhaps it's a fault in the movie that I never really feel like Jeffrey could be a bad guy. But then again, I love Jeffrey's innocent voyeur detective thing so I don't think I could call it a fault.

Anyway, however you slice it, it's a great movie.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

So my site's gotten a number of hits. Many of which are probably due to Caitlin very kindly mentioning it in her blog. I hope people've enjoyed it. I'm gonna try to keep it updating once a month, hopefully even more frequently than that. Thanks for looking at it. Tell your friends, enemies, and appliances.

I want to go back to bed. I probably will, too. Last night was the first night of Fiction Writing Class, which is a class that I think shall be useful because I think the teacher's . . . er, what's the most diplomatic way of saying this . . . got some decidedly unwise opinions and prejudices regarding the nature of fiction. I find I work well, or at least interestingly, with an adversary. So there's a use for a fiction writing class; battle!

To-day's been good so far, particularly for a Thursday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Yes! Finally! The fucking thing is up. My web site, I mean. Drop in, please.

I was originally gonna charge money for some of the content, but I started to feel like a bastard. It's just not enough to charge money for, I think. I'll probably try to sell stuff on it eventually, though, because I'm sort of poor.

But, please, enjoy. Now!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

A couple days ago, I finished reading the advance uncorrected proof of The Dry Salvages.

Written by Caitlin R. Kiernan, a lady whose work is invariably good to read, this thing is an absorbing shade, a terrifically fascinating story that successfully demonstrates the awesome potential for fear inherent in the literally strange. Performing the deliciously ingenious trick of taking us beyond what we hate or fear or know, and reminding us that the darkness always waiting under the trap door is absolutely alien. She reminds us how little we know of the truly alien--of what the word "alien" really means, after all--and brings us to the logical conclusion inside ourselves, which is fright.

The story is of a team of scientists who're sent to a distant moon called Piros, where they are to rendezvous with another ship, one which has already met with some interesting misfortunes. The story is told in first person narrative, a form which Caitlin has expressed some displeasure with as she feels it's inherently artificial. No one could possibly remember everything everyone said, or all of the small minutiae that are typically revealed in fictional first person stories. I don't agree that this weakens the form, but Kiernan's dislike of it has fostered some fascinating techniques that very cleverly become part of the story, almost subverting the readers' conscious mind.

So the story is not only that of the scientists' strange and terrible encounter, but also of a whole human world where some of the more quietly terrible faults of the species have risen to the fore.

What's wonderful about this book is the elusive definability of what is frightening, even at the same time that the threat makes a fierce impression. It's even fiercer, in fact, because of this. There are no psychological safety barriers the mind can construct against something more mysterious than wind, or currents, or light.

Anyway. An excellent book.


Gods, writing in this thing always feels more serious at night . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Yesterday, I was sure it was gonna happen. But, of course, it didn't.

You can't blame me for thinking it. It seemed full proof, and with contingencies.

Sunday, Tim's sister informed that banks will take birth certificates and California IDs as secondary IDs. And on Monday morning, I finally got my registration for Grossmont college.

So that's three possible IDs. The odds of this thing not happening, I thought, were too fucking slim.

Turns out, the only appropriate part of that expectation was the "fucking."

I paid for my classes okay (230 dollars for two classes, sheesh!), and then wandered over to the ASGC office, where one gets one's school ID . . . to find that it was closed until August 16.

"Okay," thinks me, "'tis time for plan B. And, if that doesn't work, there's plan C."

I decided to try the birth certificate first, as that would be the easiest to acquire--the California ID required a trip and probably a long wait at the DMV.

So to Washington Mutual I went with my certificate that said I been born . . . I stepped up and shook hands with a pretty young woman named Erica and said to her, "Now, I've tried this twice already so before we talk about anything else, I have to ask you . . . is a birth certificate an acceptable form of ID?"

She gave me a wincing smile that was a very clear "no." Talking further with her revealed that a California ID would also be useless.

Ah . . . ah . . . ah . . . well . . . I guess I'll just . . . wait for . . . August 16th . . . and see what goes wrong then.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Still no fucking checking account!

I got up early on Tuesday, all ready to go ahead with the whole she-bang. But no, I did not have the fall registration thingy for my school, I could not get a student ID, I did not have two IDs, I could not get an account, could not get my web site going, and I will not make a tired Monopoly joke here.

Arrgh! This . . . is . . . really . . . getting . . . under . . . my . . . fucking . . . skin!!! I wanted this site up a week ago. Everything's done. Graphics. Content. Voodoo. Crap. But this lousy speed bump is too big!

Two forms of ID. It kills me. I've got a government issued driver's license. Ought to be enough. I mean, if they think I'm forging that, then how the hell would they trust a student ID for fuck's sake?!