Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Oh, my tongue, my tongue.

A few days ago, I noticed Tim eating a burrito from Tacos Mi Pueblo, a Mexican restaurant near here. My family used to eat there all the time when I was a kid, and I was sort of pleased to find, when I went in two days ago, that it had changed not at all. So much in Santee has transformed, you see.

To-day, I ordered a bean and cheese burrito and tried the very hot sauce. "Would you like something to drink with that, Sir?" asked the fellow. "No," says I. Why douse the flames of heaven?

Soon, the world was eclipsed by scorching hot refried beans mixed with blood red sauce. Sauce you peered closely at to see ingenuity; all the slices of jalapeño, chips of pepper, that you could think of to make soft human tissue shrivel to threat level; ghastly.

It was the taste of a particularly jubilant Dizzy Gillespie. It changed my day.

The Mexican polka on the radio sounded violently spirited in a way I'd never noticed before, and I dwelt in that beautiful pulverizing until I'd dipped my last appetiser tortilla chip in the sauce. I wandered out into the street, savouring the giggling devils circling my tongue with their pitchforks.

Here's another fun thing to try;

Go to a Subway and order a Veggie Delight. Ask for lots of jalapeños, get the meal so you can have some jalapeño chips as well. First bite of the sandwich, half the jalapeños fall out. Open yer chips, dip and enjoy. That's warp zone jalapeño level, folks, and I mean 1+(97x1)=!.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Nothing like this ever happens at my school.

Technically, I have nothing to do to-day. But I'm starting to think I might do some research for the next Boschen and Nesuko chapter. What, you say? Research for a galaxy I completely made up? It's been kind of surprising how often I end up needing to look up something or other. Last time I called Trisa to ask how one would cut off someone's arms without killing the person.

But maybe I'll do something else because it's not very comfortable around here at the moment. The toilet in my bathroom's been removed, so I've kind of been living out of the Barnes and Noble. Sort of reminds me of when my mother kicked me out and the mall felt like the closest thing to home for me. If only every place was open twenty four hours.

You know, now that I think about it, there are all sorts of things I can do out there . . . See a movie, read a book, or simply wander . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Accidental Coup.

Cripes, if someone'd told be yesterday that civilian protesters would take down an armed government practically by accident, I'd have said they were crazy. Kind of makes me wonder if the old president didn't simply decide to get while the getting’s good.

Bush should take note--this is what happens when you don't control the news networks and the churches.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The new Boschen and Nesuko chapter is up to-day, a day early, again. I've gotta quit doing that. Anyway, I think a lot happens in this one by anyone's standards.
In the bathroom at Barnes and Noble to-day, I noticed someone had written "SATANIC BIBLE" on the side of the baby changing station.

Oh, what hideous truths are so casually revealed! The terrific drama now shows plain in my minds eye--honest, Goodman father making as proper, cleansing his helpless babe, only thinking to bestow bonny health and virtue--but nay! For, as he tasks, the serpent injects with spirit shadows, his unwholesome invisible dictates!

We clearly must needs drown everyone.

Anyway, I had many adventures in La Mesa to-day. Here're a few things I don't like about people;

Why do boys have to spit so much? I was waiting at the trolley station, leaning against the fence, reading Plato. To my left, two fellows were sitting, wearing hoods in the popular Jawa fashion. To my right, another person who, upon coughing, revealed herself to be a girl. Immediately, the boys' conversation ceased, they glanced repeatedly at her and then, at intervals, fired doses of saliva and snot at the concrete. Why? And why does it make me want to kill them?

Another thing--waiting at a stoplight with a number of pedestrians, a woman in front of me decided she could predict the "walk" sign. She boldly stepped out into the street when the left turn light came on in front of us. Of course, she was caught in front of a stream of cars turning left, while someone trying to turn right honked from behind her. She proceeded to lamely wave her hands, as if she'd suddenly been inspired to act as a crossing guard. What do we really lose by waiting for the light to actually change, people? It's not a significant amount of time, I'll tell you that. People seem to feel they'll lose self-respect or something if they can't out-badass the little glowing blue man.

And that's not to mention how many cars have to run the light just after--just after just after--a tinse after just, just after--hell, long after the light’s changed. In the words of Hellboy, "Red means stop!"

It's all probably tied to the spitting instinct, I suppose.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

A couple days ago, I got back from my sister my copy of Caitlin R. Kiernan's In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers. What a pretty book--a little green hardcover with illustrations by Dame Darcy. I like just having it sit here next to me.

I watched the 1951 version of Show Boat last night. It's the first version I've seen and I gather it's not as good as the 1936 version. Still, I kind of enjoyed it. It starred Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, and Ava Gardner. I'm actually starting to like how Keel always seemed like he was doing a Superman impression, with an affected sounding deep voice and eerily good-natured veneer. He's simply impossible to take seriously, which somehow kind of makes me take him seriously.

Kathryn Grayson was a pretty lady with a decent voice and acting ability. And that was good enough. She looks a bit like a huskier version of Claudette Colbert, and I enjoy admiring her rather perfectly shaped nose.

Ava Gardner had a supporting role and didn't appear in 70% of the movie, but she was in practically all the best scenes. The movie shines when it digresses into meditation on the relations between black and white people in 1894. Not to mention 1951--The Breen Censorship office tried to get a scene removed where it's discovered that Ava's character had a black parent and a white parent. This fascinating little scene, where the lady is fired because of her heritage, segues into the song "Old Man River", performed beautifully by a large black workman on the boat, who seems to have almost no interaction with the main characters for the rest of the movie. The scene is easily the most emotionally effective in the movie and you wonder if Oscar Hammerstein wanted badly to take the film in a direction utterly impossible at the time.

I oughta get moving as I need to be out of here pretty soon. I'll probably go eat at Einstein Bagels, although I hope that doesn't turn out like yesterday, where the Veg-Out on Sesame Bagel mysteriously came with bacon and turkey on, a fact I didn't discover until I'd taken a bite. I've been a vegetarian since I was thirteen or fourteen years old, so maybe that's why a single bite of bacon gave me such a monstrous stomach ache that I had to find a bench and just sit down for about an hour.

Or maybe I'll eat somewhere else.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Yesterday I bought a copy of Jedi Knight II: Outcast. Easily the best Star Wars game I've played in a decade.

I'd been playing it at Tim's for some time, so I knew already how lucky I was to find it for just ten dollars. I also knew where to get all the good mods.

The game is basically a Doom style shooter. But its big asset is lightsabre fighting, which is done through third person. You reprise your role as Jedi mercenary (sure it makes sense!) Kyle Katarn, involved once again in a complicated story of . . . running around killing bad guys.

The lightsabre leaves scorch marks in the walls. It burns anyone and anything that touches it, even when you're not swinging it. Add Force powers like pull, push, and grip and the game because one of the most satisfying exercises in slaughter that you could imagine. And then add the extra violence code and you will become a better person.

An illustration:

One of my favourite things to do these days is to grab a Storm Trooper's throat from a distance, raise him high into the air above me, and then simply let him drop on my idle lightsabre blade, whereupon his body falls into pieces that rain down around me.

You can push people of high catwalks; you can cut off their hands, and then execute them while they're kneeling before you, begging for mercy. You can throw your spinning lightsabre and guide it with the Force through the necks of a whole row of foes.

It's really hard to get tired of.

Kyle Katarn gets boring, though, so I downloaded some mods to play as other characters. The Darth Maul mod was decent, but I think I've settled on using Indiana Jones. It's too wonderfully strange. You can change your lightsabre colour with a code, so I've given Indy an orange sabre. Seems to go best with his outfit.

It's a great model too, actually resembling Harrison Ford. The hat's slightly wrong, though--the model maker gave him a stetson instead of a fedora. I don't really blame him, though. There are about twenty different kinds of hats at Disneyland that all claim to be official Indiana Jones hats, and not a one of them, from what I've seen, is an exact replica.

Has anyone else around here carried a bad Indiana Jones fixation since childhood? I didn't think so . . .

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I bid farewell to Trisa this morning. She's moved to San Fransisco. She and I have been good friends for about four years, I think. I don't keep a lot of real live friends, so I was pretty sorry to see her go.

We had breakfast this morning at Einstein Bagels. I recommended the Hummas and Feta on Ciabatta, which she found to be quite messy, which I suppose it is. She's moving into a segment of an old Victorian house, temporarily, until the place closes down later this year. Then she'll get herself another place in Ol'Frisco. She's a success, and a great dresser. I loosely based the design of Nesuko's latest outfit on the one Trisa was wearing last week.

So now I guess I'll be going back to seeing all the strange movies by myself. And the Rasputina concerts, if I can ever manage to get into the gear of the concert scene. Trisa's good for music. My tableau's gonna be very different without her around.


So what else for the blog to-night . . .

This house is being painted. My room isn't. My room, being shut up against paint fumes, is becoming a terrarium, smelling of a boy who spends days curled over the desk drawing things. It doesn't smell good.

The painters seem like white trash, and they listen to a radio station populated by derivative rock and lacklustre talk radio. But they sure get drowned out easily by my Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie CDs. And I think it annoys them--you know, I heard somewhere that the trumpet is the most audible musical instrument. I believe it.

I slept poorly last night. I had a series of nightmares--in one, I dreamt Robyn dropped by carrying a zombie movie DVD. She was telling me how good it is, and I, trying to engage in the conversation, said, "Oh, so is it like Night of the Living Dead?"

Her eyes glazed over and she dryly replied, "Yes. It's like Night of the Living Dead." I felt embarrassed and awkward, which is interesting, as I don't think I would have felt that way awake.

Anyway, I was sleepy to-day. I worked on a Nar'eth page, but didn't finish it. Mostly, to-day, after the concentrated efforts of Thursday and Friday, I just felt like vegetating.

And on that note, I shall now make like a carrot and sleep.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The new Boschen and Nesuko chapter is up a day early, because I'm probably going to be busy to-night. I put way too much work into this one.

Monday, March 07, 2005

It's weird being so sleepy at just after 10pm.

One thing I enjoy doing is going into computer stores and putting weird things on their display computers. I went to Tim's RadioShack a while back and quickly made a web page which simply said, in large red letters;

RadioShack(tm) will eat your baby.

Tim complains about the silly job lately, and he seemed to get a good kick out of my gag, until I brought it back up the other day and he overheard a lady customer, upon seeing it, saying, "Oh, my!"

In terror, Tim restarted the computer and locked it from any other miscreant's tampering.

In other news, I've set up for myself several somewhat difficult challenges with the new Boschen and Nesuko chapter. Hopefully they work out. I'm about halfway through it and already it has a slightly different flavour than I thought it would when scripting it.

And this evening I made myself a mozzarella quesadilla. With very hot sauce. Now that's a pizza pie.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

At long last, I finally picked up Notorious on DVD last night. I am very happy. I've watched it already and it's gorgeous. I love Criterion DVDs.

I also recently picked up a collection of Cocteau Twins songs that Spooky recommended to me. I'd been looking for a while but any Cocteau Twins album seems to be almost impossible to find around here. I finally spotted this one filed with John Cocker at Borders.

I'm enjoying Stars and Topsoil, but I wished I'd gotten Treasure. However, Trisa picked up a copy and said she'd copy it for me, so it all works out . . . This is the blog of happy endings, you know. Welcome.

Or maybe not all endings are happy. For example, the new Tori Amos album has ended up being a significant disappointment. It pains me to say that because I've been an enormous Tori Amos fan for a long time. But this LP has strayed into vain, banal territory.

Well. I got nothing against pretty, I suppose. Even pretty for pretty's sake--I was able to enjoy Gigi and American in Paris, after all (both of which, incidentally, I got on DVD in a pack for just twenty bucks). But this is Tori Amos! There used to be more to her than that. And--actually, the problems with the album go beyond vanity. It also seems to bespeak a lack of self-awareness on her part.

This point is epitomised in my least favourite track on the album, a song called "Hootchie Woman." Whether or not that title is cheesy, you may decide for yourself. But regardless, Tori sings from the perspective of a financially successful woman who catches her husband cheating on her with what she refers to as a "Hootchie Woman." She goes on to revel in the fact that she is the breadwinner, and the powerful person, in the end. Basically; "Victory!"

Now, compare this with one of her earlier works, a song off Under the Pink called "The Waitress." This was a song about rivalry between waitresses having to do with male attentions. The song was far more effective in conveying the viciousness of the emotions involved, and it also had a thoughtful quality to it. A feeling of regret that these conflicts seem to result from a persistent tragic flaw in the characters of so many people.

And this went with the general premise of Under the Pink--the idea being to cut through the sort of sweet pretence she perceived in women, and show the effects of this emotional atrophy.

So with that in mind, her new album, The Beekeeper, could justifiably be called On the Pink. "Hootchie Woman" is the celebration of one woman's victory over another. It's as though she has effectively become one of the characters in "The Waitress."

All in all, I'd say Tori's basically ended up in the same place, artistically, as she was in the days of Why Kant Tori Read. But . . . Hell, she did have a good run in between. Most artists don't get that much. And we'll always have the recordings.

I hate feeling this way about Tori.