Monday, January 30, 2006

Your Story

We meet in the wood between twilight and dreams, shrouded in fog, the past echoing all around us. The ground smoking, smelling of coffee and clay. I hold you close and feel you shiver, try to smother you with my warmth but you melt away like the mist. I spot a trail in the undergrowth and follow it, pushing my way through the branches and fog. Trees press all around me. Challenging me. Testing me. I will not be denied. The path ends in a wall of wood. I hear your voice calling in the distance and push into the featureless forest, fighting for the formless noises echoing all around me. The trees thin out into a clearing with a book resting on a marble altar in the middle. I walk up to the book; it's blank. Your voice all around me, pleading, whispering, ordering: “Write.” “What am I supposed to write about?” I ask. The woods don't reply. I sit cross-legged on the altar, hunched over the book, pen poised above the surface, and I think, maybe – just maybe – if I write the story well and true enough, you'll come back to me, and we'll be back in that wood where dreams can come true, the wood where you and I live happily ever after. I think of that, and I begin to write.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Silly shit for me!

You Are The Moon

You represent the unconscious side of life, what happens in dreams.
You are capable of great genius - but also of great madness.
Emotions tend to be primal for you, both your fears and your fantasies.
Your intuition is always right, listening to it is the difficult part.

Your fortune:

You are about to embark on a very important journey - and a very difficult one.
Some of your deepest dreams will be realized, as well as some of your deepest nightmares.
Follow your creativity and visions; stay away from your weaknesses.
You are taking a voyage to the center of yourself, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

Your Love Life Secrets Are

Looking back on your life, you will have a few true loves.

You're a little scarred from your past relationships, but who isn't?

It's important to you that your lover is very attractive. You like to have someone to show off.

In fights, you love to debate and defend yourself. You logic prevails - or at least you'd like to think so.

Break-ups can be painful for you, but you never show it. You hold your head high.

Last of These for a While

I promise.

What ravages of spirit
Conjured this temptuous rage
Created you a monster
Broken by the rules of love
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do ...
And I have the sense to recognize that
I don’t know how to let you go
Every moment marked
With apparitions of your soul
I’m ever swiftly moving
Trying to escape this desire
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
The yearning to be near you
I do what I have to do
But I have the sense to recognize
That I don’t know how
To let you go
I don’t know how
To let you go
A glowing ember
Burning hot
Burning slow
Deep within I’m shaken by the violence
Of existing for only you
I know I can’t be with you
I do what I have to do
I know I can’t be with you
I do what I have to do
And I have sense to recognize but
I don’t know how to let you go
I don’t know how to let you go
I don’t know how to let you go

- Do What You Have to Do, Sarah McLachlan

"The violence of existing for only you"...what an incredible lyric.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Now the Universe Tells Me

Today's (Sunday's) horoscope:

This could be a good day to practice compassion from a distance. Sometimes it's easy for you to get wrapped up in situations where you get all emotional. You often get dragged down into some toxic feelings. Try not to let your energy get drained today. There could be some powerful feelings being expressed around you, and you could be tempted to choose sides. But you will only be battered if you join in the battle!

Something for a Smile Posted by Picasa

Can't think of any better advice.

Coming Down

Morning smiles
Like the face of a newborn child
Innocent unknowing
Winter’s end
Promises of a long lost friend
Speaks to me of comfort

But I fear
I have nothing to give
I have so much to lose
Here in this lonely place
Tangled up in our embrace
There’s nothing I’d like
Better than to fall
But I fear I have nothing to give

Wind in time
Rapes the flower trembling on the vine
Nothing yields to shelter it
From above
They say temptation will destroy our love
The never ending hunger

But I fear
I have nothing to give
I have so much to lose
Here in this lonely place
Tangled up in our embrace
There’s nothing I’d like
Better than to fall
But I fear
I have nothing to give
I have so much to lose
I have nothing to give
We have so much to lose...

- Fear, Sarah McLachlan

Anger and frustration give way to introspection and regret. Jesus, that sounds like a crappy fortune cookie. My lucky numbers are 4, 689 and 39574936593762927658593736.5.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Turn the page, the bomb is ticking. All ticks but no tocks, where are the tocks, those pretty little tocks? Clubbed to death like seals, gutted and skinned on the ice and left as a warning for the others. If you hold the wine up to the light and stare at it, you can see universes within. Or your reflection in the glass. They're the same thing, really. Red, deep red all around, caressing and soothing you. Is the glass empty or is it full of nothing? Nothing, nothing and nothing again, rapacious nothing. To-whit to-whoo jug jug jug. You follow the sounds to their source and find a mirror that absorbs the light around it, takes and takes; a black stain. The stain is you, or is it the other way around, and isn't this luverly? You sit at the table and have some tea, amber heat in a cup that threatens to melt you. In the mirror you have no reflection; the cup is lifting itself, the liquid pouring into mid-air and hovering there, sloshing in time with your movements. And you stay there because it's comfortable. Boom.

Little Mac Lives!

Link Posted by Picasa

Man, I would pay good money to see some other poor heavyweight jumping in the air to try to punch that guy in the face.

Oh, and if you don't know who Little Mac is...I hate you.

Feeling Fine

Oddly aggressive today. Maybe it was the accounting homework I did earlier, beats me. Blasting industrial/rap-py beats (NIN/Prodigy/Grey Album/Rage Against the Machine) and this emerged:

Don't turn your back on me, I am not your slave. I am not your savior, I can not be what you want me to be. How dare you. I. Am. Not. Push through, emerge. Attack, defend. GET AWAY, this is not yours. Hold on and I will cut you, will break you, will bleed you as you have done to me. No more. No more. Empty. Clean. Safe. Loose screws rattling around in my head, looking for grooves to fit into. The mirror reflects the light coming from the teacup, shining down into the depths of the well of time. Movement beneath the water, your face floating by. Thrown rocks break the image, break you into ever-spreading rings, growing larger and larger until you blot out the sky and my thoughts. I am huddled in a corner, am weeping, am laughing, my fists crammed up against my eyes to shut out the feelings I thought I had, feelings I created and can not escape. It will not end. I can not end. The end is the beginning, and the beginning is the end, forever and ever, amen, et spiritus sanctus and all the other things I never believed, everything before I met you. And now the lock is broken, the tides are unleashed and I am swept away, watching myself go under again and again, and I hate, I hate, I hate you for putting me here, hate myself for letting myself be put here. This will not be the end, I will not let it be, Mother Mary can rot and stay away. Break this, break the cycle, make it anew. I am what I am, what I will be, what I have been. The Holy Trinity of me. I am all these, and yet I am nothing. Or am I everything? Are they the same? Yes. Yes. It is done.


One of the bad things about living with a bajillion people is that it's so damn hard to snag a shower in the morning. Hence:

Who Should Paint You: Andy Warhol

You've got an interested edge that would be reflected in any portrait
You don't need any fancy paint techniques to stand out from the crowd!


So today is apparently Mozart's 250th birthday. Cool. I have none to listen to, which I could remedy but I've spent enough money recently as it is. Tomorrow is also the anniversary of The Challenger, and if you don't know what that is I demand you either Google it or leave right the fuck now because you make me feel old, like the day I found out that it's taught as part of history classes. I mean, something that happened in my lifetime is considered history. Fuck.

Interesting post over here. Clearly, you know the second you meet someone if you're attracted to them or not, because physical attraction is a very quick judgement to make. Further romantic inclinations, again, are the kind of thing I think you know. You know if you're interested in someone. You might not be listening, you might not want to be (listening or interested), but if you're really honest with yourself you'll know. Sometimes things might be so scattered and frazzled that it might be hard to find those sincere thoughts; I find (and excuse the extreme hippyness that's about to emerge) mediation really helps me through those times. I don't really get revelations or epiphanies while I meditate, but it does still the mind and make things a bit clearer in general. Be patient and be honest with yourself; remember that life is a journey, that the journey itself is the goal.

What you choose to do about your feelings is your decision, of course. But typically, ignoring them tends to lead to sadness and hurt for everyone, I think.

I added Aaron McGruder on myspace, and got these two recent bulletins; they kind of amused/interested me so I thought I'd reprint them here (hope he doesn't mind):


New York, NY (Tuesday, January 24, 2006) ---Reverend Al Sharpton is calling upon Cartoon Network and Aaron McGruder to apologize for desecrating the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On Monday, January 16th, Cartoon Network marked Martin Luther King Day by premiering a "Boondocks" episode by Aaron McGruder entitled, "The Return of the King," which featured the civil rights pioneer emerging from a coma and having to deal with post 9/11 America. Reverend Al Sharpton, who is one of the country's foremost leaders for civil rights, is calling upon Cartoon Network to apologize and to discontinue airing this episode. According to Sharpton: "Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to pulling episodes that desecrate Black historic figures. We are totally offended by the continuous use of the "N" word in McGruder's show. While I can appreciate Mr. McGruder and his achievements, this particular episode is over the line. If we don't receive an apology, we will picket the corporate headquarters."

And McGruder's reply:


Los Angeles, CA (Thursday, January 26, 2006) Aaron McGruder, creator and executive producer of the wildly popular animated series The Boondocks has decided that he will join Rev. Al Sharptons protests against the show for its use of the N word, and what Rev. Sharpton described as its desecration of Black historic figures.

"I hope Rev. Sharpton will accept my sincere and heartfelt apology for any jokes targeting Rev. Sharpton in this show, even though I dont recall there being any," said McGruder. "I intend to join Rev. Sharpton at any anti-Boondocks protest action that he may be planning. I will bring a picket sign with concise but strongly worded anti-me language. I've gone way too far and I feel I need to be stopped. What the heck, I could use a vacation!"

McGruder acknowledged that the fight may be difficult seeing as how the series was just renewed for a second season, but he plans to struggle alongside Rev. Sharpton against himself all the way until the summer release of The Boondocks Season One on DVD.


Late Night

Since I read The Wasteland, I've had this phrase T.S. Eliot used drumming through my head on and off. Anne Sexton also used it as the basis for one of her poems; come to think of it, Eliot might have borrowed it from somewhere else too, but Wasteland is the earliest source of it that I've seen. Last night (this morning) around 3-ish I had it racing through ad infinitum and decided to actually do something about it, not that it's anywhere near what Sexton did with it. It's nice to see that my correlation between late night writing and lucidity (lack thereof) remains intact.

Walking down a darkened corridor, (hurry) doors on every side of me. (hurry hurry hurry) The light at the end of the hall beckons. Pulls me towards its coldness. (please) Wind rushing. Vanilla in the air. It's time. (it's time) "Time for what?" I say. My words echo up and down the hall. No reply. (hurry up please). The wind changes direction, pushing me. Pulling me towards the end. (it'stimeit'stimeit'stime) Doors open and shut as the wind carries me along, gaining speed as we go. More voices issue from the quivering doors, a chorus for my comedy. "Hurry up please, it's time," they say. "It's not time," I say, "It's too late. I've already fallen." The light winks out. Silence and stillness. Hurry up please, it's time.

On an unrelated sidenote, I also really like the name T.S.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Just Finished

1. The Complete Poems, Anne Sexton
2. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
3. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
4. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
5. Sideways, Rex Pickett
6. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
7. The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
8. Le Morte D'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory

Brilliant and beautiful. Oddly compelling, because it doesn't (or didn't) feel all that great as I was reading, and yet the pages just kept flying by. I think it's because Quoyle's transformation is so gradual and subtle that you don't really notice it; it was about 250 pages in when I realized he was a totally different person, someone that you really liked and wanted to be happy. Beautiful ending, too:

For if Jack Buggit could escape from the pickle jar, if a bird with a broken neck could fly away, what else might be possible? Water may be older than light, diamonds crack in hot goat's blood, mountaintops give off cold fire, forests appear in mid-ocean, it may happen that a crab is caught with the shadow of a hand on its back, that the wind be imprisoned in a bit of knotted string. And it may be that love sometimes occurs without pain or misery.

Unfortunately that's probably the last bit of new pleasure reading I'll be able to do for a while, since I'm going to buckle down, quit being a spoiled little bitch and actually do my school work this semester; probably a good thing since it'll also give me the opportunity to finish Morte and the Sonnets. Definitely want to pick up more of Proulx's work, though there's the new Stephen King book, Cell, if I wanted something fluffier, or Anasasi Boys. I also decided (after my contemporary foreign lit class earlier today) that this is the year I'm going to make it all the way through Ulysses, and read some Virgina Woolf. And if I manage that, possibly Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (more Joyce).

Christ...I'm a nerd. But at least I'm a well-read one. Hurrah for intellectual snobbery!

More News From Ships

A pretty little passage from Shipping News, which I'm about 30 pages from finishing:

...Quoyle was in an elaborate routine. In the mornings he dropped Sunshine at Beety's, brought Bunny to school, gave Wavey a ride. At four he reversed. Man Doubles as Chauffeur. Tea in Wavey's crazy kitchen if he was done for the day. If he had to work late, sometimes they stayed with her. She cut Quoyle's hair. He stacked her wood on Saturday morning. Sensible to eat dinner at the same table now and then. Closer and closer. Like two ducks swimming at first on opposite sides of the water but who end in the middle, together. It was taking a long time.

Enjoying it quite a bit, though in a somewhat odd way. Want to finish before I dump any ideas about it. For anyone who watches/watched Project Runway, how about Zulema getting the boot this past week? Talk about karma kickin' you in the ass, since her whole statement of, "If I win this week I'm going to switch models again," tells me that she deliberately chose Nick's model in an effort to throw him and possibly the others so she could have a psychological advantage, since if she just wanted the best model she could have chosen them when she won and have been done with it. Sucks for the model (formerly Nick's) though, who got screwed for the purposes of that competition through no fault of her own.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Layout

Huzzah. Did this thing a while back and it said green, but this time when I did it it said this:

Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

Unfortunately there weren't any good purple templates, and it's been years since I did even basic html, so I'm stuck with this for now. Here's some more fluff, while I'm at it:

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate

You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.
What's Your Blogging Personality?

Also, on the subject of purple...I could use a cool purple shirt, as I don't have any in my wardrobe at the present. Hm, also an orange, now that I think about it. Maybe I'll hit American Apparel and get craft-y with some of these images.

Wouldn't It Be Nice

It's cold outside and my breath mists in the air in front of me as I walk down the street, past Christmas trees left out on the curbs like orphaned children, waiting to be taken to loving homes. I stop on the corner and squint into the oncoming traffic, silver boxes streaming past. The lifeblood of the city flowing through its arteries to the beat of the changing traffic lights. The minutes of my life, racing past and fading into the distance. I walk on and the storefronts I pass are all in flux, shifting and morphing every time I look away. Ahead is the park, where you're waiting for me. “Wouldn't it be nice?” you ask, as you take my hand. I smile. We walk through the dappled light towards a darkened tunnel. “Hold your breath and make a wish,” you say, and I do as we walk through, our footsteps echoing and mingling with those of all the others who passed this way. “Did it come true?” you ask me on the other side. “I'll let you know,” I say, and I kiss you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh, Wow

Just started a little news crawl, when I hit all my sites to see what's going on (CNN, NY Times, BBC, CBC, Drudge) and what's the first story on CNN that catches my eye? This. I think they just proved my point.

I hate being right all the time.

Actually, that's not true; I love being right all the time. I hate when I'm right and the world fucking sucks.

Aqua Teen/Boondocks Themes

So latest music downloads are:

Pet Sounds, Beach Boys
The Boondocks Theme
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Theme

The last two are like 30 seconds each, and rap-py...very cool, though I guess they might just seem blah if you didn't watch the shows. Took a bit of searching to find the ATHF theme, which is by Schoolly D; finally tracked it down over here. The Boondocks theme is done by this dude named Asheru, who also does other songs for the show. He's got a Myspace thing goin, which is where I snagged the theme song from. Niggas is another interesting song of his; I guess he actually wrote that and McGruder used parts of it to help write the big speech at the end of the MLK episode. I have to say, Boondocks is my new favorite show - the only fictional show I watch on a regular basis (if you count having watched in this week and last week as watching it on a regular basis, which for me it pretty much is) This past week's episode was again, brilliant; about soul food and its place in African-American culture, and how it causes so many health problems because it comes from slave cooking, and slaves were only given the leftover, worthless parts of meat to eat, and maybe today people should question the validity and wisdom of following traditions blindly.

But what really put the capper on the episode was the ending; see, a businessman wants to start a soul food restaurant with one of the characters, and he does. He mentions at the time that he owns all the businesses in the area, except for a local park which the state is unwilling to sell at a decent price. The restaurant becomes the "it" place because the food is so good. It's actually so good that people become addicted to it, start ignoring their jobs and families to stay and eat, and the neighborhood becomes run down because you have all these soul food addicts hanging out around the area begging for change, passed out on benches after eating the Luther (that's the name of the sandwich, named for Luther Vandross). Subsequently property values in the area drop, and at the end the restaurant is closed, ostensibly because of a lawsuit brought by someone who gained excessive weight eating there, and then recovered by having a stomach bypass and two liposuction procedures (which is an interesting and amusing point as well, the continual drive in American/human culture to address the symptoms and not the underlying problem - but that's another post). However, the last shot of the episode shows the businessman in front of the park, which is now being developed by his company; he was using soul food and African-American culture to drive down property values so that he could get the park and build whatever he wanted to build there. Just a fascinating observation about industry and how cultures and movements are co-opted by existing interests.

On a side note, Huey Freeman will hopefully soon be my myspace friend. That makes 8, holy crap! If only he was real. And one of them isn't actually anyone I know (Asheru; I do count the Whitest Kids as a friend because I know like 3 of the 5). I only 6 friends in the whole world, how sad am I?

Yes, that is sarcastic.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Shipping News

Bout 100 pages into it. Very enjoyable. It's interesting to go from Sideways, where the author/narrator is incredibly verbose to Shipping News, in which (and I don't know for sure if this is true of Proulx's work in general, though I get the impression that it is) the prose is bleak, stark and powerful; it flexes off the page at you. To quote a director I had once (though this was in reference to Theresa Rebeck), she writes like a man. That isn't meant in a derogatory or complimentary fashion; more as a descriptive term, as men and women do tend to have different styles.

Perhaps it is somewhat sexist to choose gender as a method of categorizing writers, so maybe I should qualify what I mean by "writes like a man": to me, Proulx's style feels very similar to Hemingway's. Compact and forceful as opposed to flowing and byzantine like Lovecraft (not that I've read any of his work; there's something I should add to my list of shit I have to read before I die). And yes, Lovecraft was a man (right?) so maybe the whole man/woman thing is stupid and I should just say she writes like Hemingway and me likey. Done, and done.

Don't I Know It

Today's horoscope:

Today you might be in the mood for play and fantasy. You could be thinking about romance, losing yourself in some enticing daydreams. Right now, there could be someone whose image you can't forget. This could be a person from your past, or it could be a new acquaintance. Something about them is very attractive. You'll have to figure out what to do about these feelings, because there is tremendous magnetism there.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


So the Canadian election is tomorrow and I hadn't really thought about it all month until this weekend. Consequently I missed the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot, which was January 17th. I'm not all that upset because I probably would have voted Green Party and - let's get real - there's no way the Green Party candidate in my riding will win. I have a long and proud tradition of throwing my vote away to a candidate who gets pummeled, so I'm ok with that.

Of course, if I look at the stats tomorrow and they turn out to have lost by a vote I'll be pretty embarassed.

Odd Mood

Feeling vaguely unsettled after that last post. So, here's some frivolity:

You Are a Rainbow

Breathtaking and rare
You are totally enchanting and intriguing
But you usually don't stick around long!

You are best known for: your beauty

Your dominant state: seducing

You Are a Prophet Soul

You are a gentle soul, with good intentions toward everyone.
Selfless and kind, you have great faith in people.
Sometimes this faith can lead to disappoinment in the long run.
No matter what, you deal with everything in a calm and balanced way.

You are a good interpreter, very sensitive, intuitive, caring, and gentle.
Concerned about the world, you are good at predicting people's feelings.
A seeker of wisdom, you are a life long learner looking for purpose and meaning.
You are a great thinker and communicator, but not necessarily a doer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul

Last Gasp of Freedom

1. The Complete Poems, Anne Sexton
2. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
3. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
4. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
5. Sideways, Rex Pickett
6. The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
7. Le Morte D'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory
8. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx

Reading freedom, that is, before classes start and I'm snowed under reading crap I don't care about.

One of this things I find fascinating about reading books that have been adapted into in movies is seeing the changes screenwriters have to make in the transition. Sometimes (when I'm intimately familiar with the books, as with LotR) the changes irritate me to no end; usually if there isn't a story-based reason for the change. Sideways has a number of changes, none of which are really positive or negative; it is a different story, however. The core remains the same, but how the characters get there is a bit different.

It's interesting; Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti are so good that you forget their characters are not really all that likeable. Reading the book, it's much easier to disassociate them from human faces and impulses and judge them. They drink too much, they're cheaters, they're liars - but aren't we all?

There are a number of themes and questions the book and movie bring up that are difficult to answer. There's a connection made, but it's based on deception. And even when people are in relationships, when people get married, it never seems to last, or if it does, it's only through the sacrifice of one of the two people. Is that all there is? I mean, really. Miles (Paul Giamatti's character) is so angry, so depressed and it's painful and I look down on it - but only because I've been there and can go back with ease.

This entry is incredibly unfocused and I apologize. Don't you ever wish life came with a manual? Or that it at least wasn't so fucked up all the time. Is there really anyone who has it all figured out? Or does everyone feel this way? Ignorance is bliss and knowledge is power, but it's too bad there isn't a cliche for people who don't know what the fuck they're doing.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I Am Being Taunted

Sigh. Posted by Picasa

So I still have 2 books (4 counting my holdovers) to read, and now I get this. I just had to force myself to close the Barnes and Noble window and not buy any more books for the moment. How I hate thee, web incentives.


1. The Complete Poems, Anne Sexton
2. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
3. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
4. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
5. The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
6. Le Morte D'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory
7. Sideways, Rex Pickett

Really enjoyed Kafka, thinking I'm going to try to pick up some more of Murakami's stuff. In general I find there's a subtle difference between Asian and western fiction; a difference in the tone of the narrators, similar to the difference between Asian and western aesthetics, which I suppose aren't all that subtle. I'm also thinking I should maybe buckle down and finish Morte D'Arthur and the Sonnets so they don't stay on this list until 2007, especially since school is starting next week and my leisure reading will slow down.

Other than that, nothing new. Have a shoot at the network on the 31st and that's it on that front for now. Have a couple images and scattered thoughts I could try to massage into something interesting, we'll see how that goes. It hasn't really been flowing well, which is why I haven't posted any of it, but as with all art, you're not always going to feel inspired; as Rodin said, "Travailler, rien que travailler."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sweet Jesus, No

So first of all, there's this story where Christopher Lee notes the lack of an appreciation for the craft of acting among Hollywood's young stars:
"The problem today, and I think it's a very dangerous one for the people concerned, is that there are quite large numbers of very young men and women - boys and girls to me - from 18 to 30, and they are playing very large parts in huge films and they simply, through no fault of their own, don't have the background and the experience and the knowledge to pull if off.

"And it's dangerous for them because if they are in one failure after another, sooner or later people are going to say, 'well, he may have a pretty face but he's not bringing the public in'.

"So many of these good-looking - sometimes even pretty - boys and girls are getting these good roles and it's not fair on them. At some point it's going to catch up."

I suppose some people might say who the hell is Christopher Lee to make comments about other people's acting abilities, but it tends to be extremely difficult to sustain as long as a career as he has without something to back it up. Oh, and he happens to be right on. I mean, think about the icons of Hollywood, from the Golden Age through till about the 80s (Pacino, Nicholson and Hoffman...sort of the anti-leading men); then stop and think about the biggest stars in Hollywood today. Who are the next icons going to be? And where will the stories come from? Think about that, and then read this story:

Asked about rumors that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck may be remaking "Butch Cassidy," Redford said he finds that "depressing."

"There is no shortage of good, original ideas, and there's just no point to remakes. Why do they have to mess with things that were perfect the first time around?" he said with a groan.
Having seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I can say that it is, indeed, a pretty close to perfect movie; not to say it's the greatest movie ever made, but it is a very good movie and I don't think anything could have been done to make it better. The script is excellent and the chemistry between Newman and Redford stands up next to anything. I do, however, have to disagree with Redford in that there is a shortage of good, original ideas in Hollywood. Perhaps it is more precise to say that there is a shortage of people willing to take large risks on good, original ideas, but the end result is the same: studios spend huge amounts of money to make films that are all either remakes or retellings of old stories. Really, there is no such thing as an original story; only new perspectives.

Either way, the thought of Affleck and Damon remaking Butch Cassidy is just fucking wrong. I mean, the biggest question is why. Why? Are you so desperate to do a project together that you have to redo a movie that is less than 50 years old? Can you not dream up some other buddy movie for the two of you to do? Hell, call it Sundance Cassidy and the Butch Kid, who fucking cares, but at least write a new word, maybe even two! Come on, stretch those Oscar-winning talents, boys!

I find it amusing when Hollywood types blame bootleggers and pirates for declining movie attendance. And yeah, it probably has a mild effect. But you know what has an even bigger effect? Paying $12 to sit in a chair for 2 hours and 30 minutes of shit that's 90% digital effects that don't look real (and I don't care what special effect people say; yes, it's impressive what they can do, but you can usually tell when shit is digital), that has a crap-ass, hackneyed story and is probably based off an idea that some goon had 40 years ago.

And that is the industry that I can't get a break in. Sigh.

Oh, and Sundance Cassidy and the Butch Kid sounds pretty damn awesome to me. Like Brokeback Mountain 2. Boom! Sells itself, doesn't it?

Phraseology Posted by Picasa

For a couple of reasons, I enjoy the sentence written above. There's a poetic quality and a vulnerable truth to it that just makes me stop and think. Typically you run across things like this in literature, but when placed in a public venue, as graffiti is, it seems to take on a different meaning; as McLuhan said, the medium is the message.

I've always felt that there is an odd dichotomy for people who keep track of their thoughts and days online. On the one hand, it is (or can be) thoughts that are private, the sort of things you would typically write in a diary and not let anyone read. On the other, you are posting it in the most public of venues, not just so others can read, but perhaps (if we are all honest with ourselves) in the hope that people will read and commiserate, will comment, will validate your opinions, thoughts and efforts. And of course, we can all mouth platitutes about how that is not and should not be the desired outcome, but it's like acting; if you really didn't care about what the audience thought, you could just go perform in parking lots or in your living room for a collection of stuffed animals and be perfectly happy, which I suppose some people do and are.

I am not one of those people.

Rawk Out

Jimi Hendrix + Janis Joplin = RAWK

That is all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Hit this line in Kafka (though it's apparently a quote from this book by Henri Bergson, a French philosopher) and have been tossing it around for the past few minutes:

"The pure present is an ungrapable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory."

Future Projects

Pictures for a (hopefully) soon-to-be-attempted, craft-y project.

Blustery Day/Night Posted by Picasa

It's fucking nasty outside, and I wish I had something a little more silly to post to make me chuckle, but I suppose contemplative will do instead.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Death With Dignity

Oregon's physicial-assisted suicide law was upheld by the Supreme Court today; story here. Voting probably went as expected, with Roberts, Scalia and Thomas dissenting. I wonder how long it'll be until the individual justice's decisions are put up on the net, I'd love to read through them.

As for how I feel...personally I'm in favor of physician-assisted suicide laws, for the same reason that I'm pro-choice; while it may not be what I would choose for myself (or my partner, in the case of abortions), who am I to dictate to others what is right and what is wrong? I think it's better to make information available, to educate people as to their options, and then let them decide what is best for them.

That said, I do think a lot of information about abortions either isn't made available to people or they don't care to find out, and by that I mean the emotional aspect of it. Obviously as a man and as one who hasn't had to have an abortion with a partner (if I can even say that without getting harassed by women, since it is, after all, them who have the abortion) I'm acting on things I have read and been told about abortions, but since that's the best I can do it'll have to be good enough here. Anyways, I think people are insufficiently prepared for the emotional repercussions of abortions, which I don't think ever go really away; like addiction, they can be fought off but all it takes is hearing one baby crying somewhere in the distance and you're right back where you started.

Real guilt never lessens over time, I don't think; if anything it only gets sharper.

Much Better

1. The Complete Poems, Anne Sexton
2. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
3. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
4. The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
5. Le Morte D'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory
6. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

It was pretty good, don't think there were any major deviations between the movie and the book other than changing the setting (America from London). There's an element of passivity to the character that I find mildly irritating, possibly because it's a trait I share. I like to think I would never end up like that character, but I suppose I shouldn't judge. And in the end, there is character growth and development, which is hopeful.

I'm enjoying Kafka; I think I was weirding Stef out a bit with my reading habits last night. See, when I read something a bit more metaphysical or abstract, I like to take periodic breaks to let the words soak in, think about the imagery and what might be meant, etc etc etc. So as a result, I would read a chapter, put my bookmark in, toss the book down (sometimes literally) and lie there thinking thoughtful thoughts for a bit, which I think she took as irritation/frustration with the book. Quite the opposite: when I'm irritated or frustrated with a book I either put it down and don't pick it up again or it takes me forEVer to read, like, a page - typically I'm a pretty quick reader. There's actually only one book this has happened with: Ulysses. It just sits there right by my bed, mocking me with my inability to finish it. Every now and then my memory lapses and I pick it up for another attempt, only to abandon it yet again when it gets too dense and just plain old boring, and I usually have to compensate by reading some fluffy fantasy book. I think I've tried like 6 or 7 times now to read it. Maybe this is the year I'll actually make it through, who knows.

Don't really have anything to do today; school starts up again in a week so I guess I'll just soak up all the vacation time I can now. Maybe I'll go fire up Love Actually in a bit.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Watched an episode of The Boondocks yesterday whose premise was what Martin Luther King, Jr would say today if he hadn't died, if he'd been in a coma and awoke today to see the state of America. It was a brilliant episode, and not just because of the answer that McGruder presents: that Martin Luther King would be ashamed to see what has happened in the decades since his shooting, how there was so much hope and so much righteous anger and it turned into BET and 50 Cent. In a lot of ways that goes for America as a whole, I suppose, with the Greatest Generation settling for a Big Mac and Dallas.

Why does that always seem to happen to movements? Engines and catalysts for real change invariably seem to end up co-opted, turned into money making schemes or rhetorical extremism. I watched an episode of Bullshit the other day talking about gun control, Second Amendment rights and whatnot, and what struck me (and which I blurted out while watching it) was that they have all these people talking about oh, guns are good, guns are bad, blah blah blah...and they're all white people. Just once when people are doing a gun control story, I'd like them to get away from Constitutional professors and lawyers, Charlton Heston with his stupid goddamn flintlock musket and overweight 50 year old women who say carrying a gun makes them feel safe. I'd like to get away from all those morons and go talk to people living in slums, living in ghettos, living in Jersey (ha ha, couldn't resist that one) and say hey, how do YOU feel about the fact that guns are so easily available? How do you feel about that? Do you or would you feel safer owning a gun of your own? How do you think the problem should be fixed? Is there even a problem? No-one ever listens, no-one ever cares. And what would Martin Luther King say about that? Or Malcolm X? Or Ghandi? Or any of the great leaders of the ages? Would they have any answers for us?

I think part of the problem is that people look for leaders to give them answers. No-one can have all the answers. I think the best a leader can do is to show you a path; choosing to walk down it and truly being committed to following it wherever it leads you is up to each individual.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Covering and Cheating

Fascinating article over here, about cultural homogenity/assimilation and "covering". A couple interesting bits:
The new civil rights begins with the observation that everyone covers. When I lecture on covering, I often encounter what I think of as the "angry straight white man" reaction. A member of the audience, almost invariably a white man, almost invariably angry, denies that covering is a civil rights issue. Why shouldn't racial minorities or women or gays have to cover? These groups should receive legal protection against discrimination for things they cannot help. But why should they receive protection for behaviors within their control - wearing cornrows, acting "feminine" or flaunting their sexuality? After all, the questioner says, I have to cover all the time. I have to mute my depression, or my obesity, or my alcoholism, or my shyness, or my working-class background or my nameless anomie. I, too, am one of the mass of men leading lives of quiet desperation. Why should legally protected groups have a right to self-expression I do not? Why should my struggle for an authentic self matter less?

I surprise these individuals when I agree. Contemporary civil rights has erred in focusing solely on traditional civil rights groups - racial minorities, women, gays, religious minorities and people with disabilities. This assumes those in the so-called mainstream - those straight white men - do not also cover. They are understood only as obstacles, as people who prevent others from expressing themselves, rather than as individuals who are themselves struggling for self-definition. No wonder they often respond to civil rights advocates with hostility. They experience us as asking for an entitlement they themselves have been refused - an expression of their full humanity.

Civil rights must rise into a new, more inclusive register. That ascent makes use of the recognition that the mainstream is a myth. With respect to any particular identity, the word "mainstream" makes sense, as in the statement that straights are more mainstream than gays. Used generically, however, the word loses meaning. Because human beings hold many identities, the mainstream is a shifting coalition, and none of us are entirely within it. It is not normal to be completely normal.

If the Supreme Court protects individuals against covering demands in the future, I believe it will do so by invoking the universal rights of people. I predict that if the court ever recognizes the right to speak a native language, it will protect that right as a liberty to which we are all entitled, rather than as a remedial concession granted to a particular national-origin group. If the court recognizes rights to grooming, like the right to wear cornrows, I believe it will do so under something akin to the German Constitution's right to personality rather than as a right attached to racial minorities. And I hope that if the court protects the right of gays to marry, it will do so by framing it as the right we all have to marry the person we love, rather than defending "gay marriage" as if it were a separate institution.

A liberty-based approach to civil rights, of course, brings its own complications, beginning with the question of where my liberty ends and yours begins. But the ability of liberty analysis to illuminate our common humanity should not be underestimated. This virtue persuaded both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to argue for the transition from civil rights to human rights at the ends of their lives. It is time for American law to follow suit.
The article is pretty well written and intelligent; it's "adapted" (whatever that means) from his book, which I might pick up when it comes out...which brings me to the cheating part of this post. I stopped by Barnes and Noble today, and as I frequently do when I pop in there, I bought far too many books and started in on one of them. I'm sorry, but there's only so much, "Sir So-and-so smote Sir So-and-so who was revenged by Sir So-and-so who smote Sir So-and-so such a buffet on the head that he voided his horse who then dressed his sword and foined and such" that I can take before I start getting kinda bored, especially since I have like 450 more pages of that to go. So, the current booklist looks like this:

1. The Complete Poems, Anne Sexton
2. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
3. The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
4. Le Morte D'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory
5. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby

It's really good so far; I saw the movie relatively recently. Actually, my purchases have quite the adapted-as-a-movie theme, with that, Sideways and The Shipping News all fitting there. The lone exception, and probably the one I'll read next, is Kafka on the Shore. So, while I may not be able to eat much over the next few weeks, at least my mind will be well fed. Or something like that.


Phew. Now to shut this away and come back to it in a few weeks/months for editing. It didn't quite turn out to be what I thought it would be, but oh well. Current word count is 2,856. Previous parts can be found by clicking.


“I don't know. God, you must think I'm retarded or something.”

I grinned. “Well, sometimes, yeah.” She punched me in the arm, then stopped and cocked her head at me like she was seeing me for the first time. When she spoke, her mouth barely moved.

“You know Eddie, you've always been so sweet to me.”

I shrugged. She was moving closer; in my mind I could picture us standing there, on the shore, and all I could think was, Holy crap, this is just like how it happens in the movies. Isn't it odd how real things happen and we immediately equate them with fictional occurrances? When things like car crashes or shootings happen right in front of people, invariably when they describe the events, somewhere the words, “It was just like the movies,” pop out. I mean, that's real, that's life and death, right in front of you, and your first impulse is to compare it to a bunch of people pretending on a screen.

In any event, while that phrase was drumming through my head, Audrey had come within perfume range. As if my brain wasn't already having problems stringing two coherent thoughts together.

And then she leaned in and hugged me.

I could have screamed, I could have cried, I could have thrown something. I was in the absolute worst position anybody with romantic feelings towards someone could be in. My arms came up and hugged her back, hoping that somehow I could transmit my true feelings through my hands and into her brain, hoping that I could change the ending that we were racing towards.

Audrey pulled away, and I saw she'd been crying. She sniffled and wiped the tears away, and we walked back up to the school buildings in silence.

I didn't have much contact with her for the rest of the year. We went to different colleges, stayed in loose touch for a few months and then lost even that as our paths diverged.

That's not quite where the story ends, though. A few years ago I was walking into a store, and as I was walking in I saw her coming out. Things had changed; I had changed, away from the geeky, gawky kid I'd been in high school. Perhaps it was meant to be, perhaps this would be the turning point in the story we would tell to our kids and their kids about how she and I met, fell in love and got married.

I ducked my head on the off chance that she might recognize me and she passed me by, Brandon following a few steps behind. Our paths separated once more as I watched her disappear in the distance, wondering if what had just happened had really happened, or if I had imagined it. And I might have been able to convince myself of that, if it hadn't been for the faintest wisp of perfume left on the air.


Horoscope Fun

I have somewhat of an odd relationship with astrology. I do enjoy it, it's a fun little pasttime and it can be neat to get to know people and try to guess their signs. I'm somewhat wary of taking it too seriously though, as I'd hate to become one of those mealy mouthed morons who insists on not going to a movie because of an odd conjuction between Saturn and Pluto that spells bad luck for outings.

I do enjoy reading my horoscope though. I don't think I'd ever not do something because my horoscope said so, but I have and would do things if something was suggested. Nothing crazy, but sometimes (as is the intent with the odd phrasings used), things in the horoscopes do speak to me, and I'm open to acting upon that. Sometimes all you need is a good kick in the ass, right?

I think the best way to sum up astrology was in the intro of a book I read, and I forget which one it was offhand. But the person said, if the journey of life is all about finding out who you are, and if reading some fluffy astrology profile opens your eyes up to 1% of yourself that you might not have noticed otherwise, then astrology is worthwhile. I don't think it's about making excuses, or saying the planets are to blame for your shortcomings. I think the point of knowing where your faults lie is that you can try to correct them. Sure, you might not be able to - no-one's perfect. But you can try, can't you? And if you fail, you can apologize.

Anyways, the point of this rambly post (I'm a little hungry too, so I think my mind is a bit unfocused) is that I wanted to paste up my horoscope for the day, because I've been kicking it around in my head for a bit:

If you had been hankering for more passion, the past few weeks no doubt assuaged your appetites! But you must admit that much of what happened escaped your understanding and control. What you need now is a little transition period to assimilate your new feelings. And that's what you'll be getting as of today. Continue to assert yourself forcefully, but maintain your spontaneity!


Saturday, January 14, 2006

Quack! Posted by Picasa

It's a sucky day outside, so here's a bit of levity. Duckies make me laugh.

Hippie Crap

Your Life Path Number is 9

Your purpose in life is to make the world better

You are very socially conscious and a total idealist.
You think there are many things wrong with the world, and you want to fix them.
You have a big idea of how to world could be, and you'll sacrifice almost anything to work towards this dream.

In love, you can easily see the beauty in someone else. And you never cling too tightly.

You are capable of great love, but it's hard for you to focus your love on one person or relationship.
You have a lot of outward focus, and you tend to blame the world for your failures.
You are often disappointed by the realities of life - it's hard for you to accept the shortcomings of the world.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Now I Want a Goddamn Donut

You Are a Boston Creme Donut

You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.
You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.
You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.


So I know I just posted like 5 minutes ago, but I was just coming back up in the elevator when two guys got on at the 2nd floor, heading down. Of course, the elevator was going up, which they noticed, and one guy goes, "It'd be quicker to walk down," and then he chuckles.

Of course, Chuckles and pal stayed put and rode up to the 6th floor with me. As I type this they're headed back down.

Who the fuck takes the elevator down one floor? Are you kidding me? That's re-goddamn-diculous.

Laura Bush is Delusional

And I'm not even talking about her choice of husband. Check it out:
Laura Bush predicted on Friday that the United States soon will have a female president - a Republican, and maybe even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "I think it will happen for sure," Mrs. Bush said about a woman in the Oval Office.

She made the comment in a CNN interview broadcast on Friday, the day before she leaves for Liberia to attend the inauguration of the first female president in Africa.

"I think it will happen probably in the next few terms of the presidency in the United States," Mrs. Bush said.

Man, there are so many things wrong with that statement. Let's see. A female presidential candidate? Who's it going to be, Jeanine Pirro? And then, assuming said woman gets through the preliminaries for either party, a female president? I'd be even more surprised if that happened in my lifetime. And THEN, to top it all off, she suggests Condoleezza? A minority female Republican president? Has Laura been partying it up with her daughters lately? Is she trying to deflect attention from her husband by saying the most ludicrous shit she can think of? Because if she really thinks that stuff is

I'd like to be clear and state that I have no problem with a woman being president. Whoever's best for the job should get it. I do, however, think a lot of America would have a problem with it, no matter how they would rationalize voting for the other candidate. It might be amusing if it ended up being Condoleezza-Hilary in 2008, but that's not going to happen. And I hate to say this because he says some really kooky shit sometimes, but Michael Moore is totally right in saying the only woman alive today who has any chance of being president is Oprah.

I mean, seriously. Wouldn't YOU vote for her? I know I would. Well, if I could. Sigh.

Oh, hey

It's Friday the 13th! Spooky!

Laundry Day Musings

I try not to watch a whole lot of tv; it's actually a practice (or lack thereof) that goes back to my last year of high school. The private school I went to required seniors to live at the school, and as part of your daily routine there was supervised study from 7 to 9 pm. So that's pretty much when I stopped watching tv, and I can't say I really miss it. The other problem I have with watching tv shows is that I invariably forget when they're on, or if I do know, I get busy doing something and miss the time.

That said, there's a couple shows that have caught my interest over the past year or two, mostly on cable networks - Entourage on HBO and Weeds on Showtime are both great, plus they put them on the On Demand channels so I can just catch up whenever I get around to it.

There is one show that I've lately become very interested in, though - Project Runway. A couple of the roomies and I have become pretty avid fans, and (as always must happen when a group of friends watch these silly "reality" competitions) everyone's picked their own designer to root for. Mine's Chloe; I do like Nick's work and I think Daniel V. is really talented as well, but I gotta go with the azn. Also, I feel like everyone likes Nick and I've always enjoyed being different. That's me stickin' it to the man, I suppose.

Santino is...interesting, to say the least. His stuff is very haute couture, and he's decent at that. What I can't understand is why he's so confrontational. In an industry in which the number of working professionals is so small and tight-knit (much like acting), it just doesn't make sense professionally to be a confrontational diva, because word gets around. It also doesn't make sense to go bashing established figures (Michael Kors), as they probably have connections with the other monoliths in the industry, the same people you (a prospective actor or designer) would probably like to get a job from at some point.

I've been thinking about Stef a lot lately, but not in a bad way. She just has this way of sneaking into my thoughts. I'm ok with that. The practice I've taken up is kind of like the approach taken in mediation; when a thought arises, I acknowledge it, kick it around for a bit and then let it go. I'm trying really hard not to pressure her, to let things develop at their own pace and, above all, avoid the dreaded, "What are we and where are we going?" conversation because I can't see anything good coming out of that at this point.

Le Morte D'Arthur is really fun. I've never read it in its entirety before, only having read various portions; the start of Arthur's reign, the book on Gawaine, Ewaine and Marhalt, Lancelot's quest, the Grail quest and the end. Well, now that I think about it, that's the whole thing except for the portion I'm going through right now - the books about Tristan. Anyways, I'm enjoying it because this is the part I've never really read before.

I think I've wasted enough time now. Better get myself downstairs and wash my shit.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Love Actually

So I just finished watching it again, and I have to say...I'm somewhat shamefully in love with it. It's just a really cute, nice movie.

It's a little complex, the whole love thing. Well, I guess that's the understatement of my life. But anyway, it's nice to have reminders that, as they say in the movie, love actually is all around, and not just romantic love, but love in all shapes and sizes. There are so many brilliant and beautiful little moments (and understandably so - just LOOK at that goddamn cast) for every single character, and life is - or maybe I should say can be - that way.

Love is beautiful, but it isn't the be-all-and-end-all of life. Or perhaps I should say romantic love isn't. I mean, the idea that your life is somehow incomplete if you don't have a relationship. The way I look at it right now, every day I am trying to be the best person I can possibly be. If I were in a relationship, I would still be trying to be that person - I'd just be that person who also happened to be in a relationship. Having someone in my life makes relatively little difference to who I, as a person am; it's just an external factor which might increase the number of experiences I go through. There are people in my life who I'm extremely lucky to have, who I can say that I love and know that they love me. I haven't always felt that way. And yes, of course, some nights it would be fantastic to have someone to snuggle up to, but the reality is right now there isn't and what am I going to do about that? Does that make me somehow less? Or a bad person? Of course not.

I would rather wait for something that I knew was right than waste my time with superficial, phony bullshit. Unfortunately, I seem to be living on the ISLAND of bullshit (maybe Manhattan is Cherokee or whatever Native American language for bullshit), but I guess I made that choice, and I'm not complaining.

Planned Parenthood keychain

Planned Parenthood keychain Posted by Picasa

Brief little story here, off of Drudge. I especially like the "key chains that offend ' just about everyone in the country'" line. Personally, I think it's kind of a neat image, but then, the dude did cover himself by saying just about everyone. The only problem (well, it's not really a problem because I wasn't planning on getting one anyways, but still) is that I can't for the life of me figure out how to see the other keychains, because I keep getting a 403 Forbidden message from the Planned Parenthood of Connecticut store. Boo!

Story, Continued

So I think I'm seeing the end of the story coming up; looks like it'll be a short story, currently 2,500 some odd words before any serious editing. This last bit has also seemed disturbingly bad to me, but oh well. It's really been a struggle to get the words out; they haven't been anywhere near as easy as they were in the first two portions. Maybe when I'm done it and I come back to it in a month or two to edit it'll look different, or I'll see how to tighten it up somehow. Here's hoping, I suppose. If you haven't read them, or want a quick refresher, the first parts are here and here.


So who did that leave to help me take those first few steps? My friends, of course. This would lead to a bit of a problem, but more on that later. My best friend at the time was Jack, and we'd spend hours on the phone every night trading thoughts about our respective loves.

The problem that both of us kept running into was that we were in a different social circle from the girls. They had their friends and we had ours; aside from various classes or extra-curricular activities (the innocent kind), we had relatively little contact with them. Jack and I were stuck in the social purgatory of high school: not down in the depths of nerd hell, but certainly not dancing with the popular angels in the clouds. Just another pair of forgettable kids making their way through the school system.

It's funny how those early experiences color you for the rest of your life. I wonder: if a single person had said to us, “Just ask them out,” would things have turned out differently? Would we have been able to take that step, to expose ourselves to public humiliation and derision? Or would we have failed anyway, dragged down by the litany of reasons any insecure teenager can come up with to avoid attempting something difficult? And even had we asked, what would have been the answers? If I saw Audrey tomorrow, would I have the courage to say all the things I wanted to say back then?

As it turned out, a day did come when I had the chance. Time had passed since our first conversations over sines and congruent angles. Audrey had been dating a guy on and off for the past few months, one of those couples that become so synonymous with each other in the school that you just assume they're together, and can't even think of one without the other. I wonder how many of those couples actually stay together, and how many become just another faded memory. In any event, this was one of the months when they were broken up. I was walking down the long path from the chapel to the dining hall when I noticed her sitting on some benches off to the side. I waved, and she called me over. I hadn't actually run into her in a few days, so she gave me a hug as a greeting.

“What's up, Aud?”

“Oh, nothing much. Just doing some thinking.”

“About what?”

“Oh, just stuff. I was actually about to go for a bit of a walk; wanna walk with me?”


We walked down to the lake. The school campus – and yes, it was a campus; as I said before, it was that kind of school – was on a big lake with a rocky shore. Being the suave teenager I was, I picked a couple up and started skipping them, to impress her with my athletic prowess.

“I never could do that,” she said.

“It's easy,” I said.

I skipped a couple more in silence as she watched.

“Do you ever wonder about your life, Eddie?”

“Wonder what?”

“Like...why things turn out the way they do, and not some other way.”

“Um, I dunno. What do you mean by that?”

“Oh, I don't know. I just feel sometimes like...I dunno. Like it's all slipping away somehow.”

“You mean with Brandon?”

She laughed.

“No, not him. God, no. Fuck him, this has nothing to do with him.”

“So what, then?”

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Match Point

Haven't posted anything in a while. My story's been kinda bogged down; probably at least partially because I was never really sure where it was going. Wrote a bit yesterday and it was like pulling teeth. I'll probably fire that up in a bit and take a look at it, try to get some more down and then I might post it if I reach my word goal for the day.

In any event, went to go see Match Point yesterday. Let me preface the rest of this by saying I do think Woody Allen is/was a genius. Annie Hall, Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters are all among the best movies I've seen, in terms of dialogue, acting and directing. Bullets Over Broadway was great too, but in a completely different way from those three.

That said, I don't know what all the fuss being made of Match Point is all about. It's not a bad movie, but neither is it a good one. First of all, it's about a half hour too long. Most of that half hour is in the start, which is EXCRUCIATING. I don't know when it became ok for movies to be 2 hours 20 minutes +, but I really fucking hate it.

I think the biggest problem with the movie is that it's set in London. First because of the casting decisions that had to be made based off of that, and second because the rhythms of the dialogue were all off. Neurotic-Manhattan-Jew doesn't really work with cultured english accents (I know, who would have guessed). Honestly? Jonathan Rhys-Meyers sucked. GODDAMN AWFUL. Every time he talked the energy just went waaaaaay down.

The other problem is that it wasn't really what I was expecting. Match Point has a lot more in common with Hannah and Her Sisters than the other three Allen movies I mentioned, in that it's a morality play for the one character. And that's fine, it just took me 45 minutes or so to get through the painful beginning and then another 15 minutes or so when it settled into that (a morality play) until I could say, ok, that's what it is, and then start to enjoy it as that and not as a lighter Woody Allen comedy (which is what I was expecting/hoping for). But Rhys-Meyers is no Michael Caine (the cheating married man in Hannah), so he can't really carry the action effectively.

Another odd disappointment was that it didn't really feel like a Woody Allen movie, and I think that comes back to the casting again. What I mean by that is that Allen is known for his endless shots with a wide frame, showing the entirety of the action and using fewer closeup shots than other directors. Watch Annie Hall and notice how many shots the camera never moves, or how dolly moves are used to create a single, continuous scene within an apartment and you'll see what I mean. Michael Caine mentioned that in shooting Hannah, Woody Allen would film everything - rehearsals, takes and garbage bits where he would let actors do what they felt like doing. But Match Point is cut differently, with the majority of the dialogue coming in one shots, when only one character is shown on screen, and I really think it was because of the limitations of the actors he was dealing with. I found it interesting to note that when Scarlett Johansson was onscreen and in conversations, the majority of the camera's focus was on her, even though Rhys-Meyers is the protagonist. I don't really know what to think about Scarlett, but those thoughts probably belong in another post.

The ending is interesting, the main theme discussed in the movie is interesting, if a bit clumsy and blatant at times, and Scarlett looks spectacular throughout. A lot of the supporting actors are familiar faces and are do decent jobs in their roles. So, as I said...not bad, but not really good either. Not the first time I've watched a critically acclaimed movie and left saying, "What the hell is that all about?"

Sunday, January 08, 2006

2006 Booklist


1. The Complete Poems, Anne Sexton
2. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
3. The Sonnets, William Shakespeare
4. Le Morte D'Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory

I'm cheating a little bit, as I actually started Morte D'Arthur in 2005 and put it down when some more interesting things came along, but as there were several books I read in the last few days of 2005 that I could have saved and read really quickly for this if I'd known I was going to be starting it, I figure it's a wash.

On the Road was interesting...quite the unexpected ending, which seemed more than a little sad to me. It's just the inevitability of age, I guess, which shouldn't be sad but is, seeing people brimming with life slowly lose touch with that as responsibilities weigh them down. Does any of that spirit remain in America today? I wonder.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Holy God, I'm Bored

Killing time before heading out for the night...

Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!

UMDS New Times!

Awesome! Posted by Picasa

I will admit, I haven't watched it on tv yet, just watched the episodes on dvd. Maybe now that it's not on at 2 a-freakin-m I might.

That picture also makes me chuckle. Way to go, whoever did it!

Racial Harmony Rules!

Check it out! God, that makes me laugh for all the wrong reasons. While I'm in this vein of humor I might as well get it all out with some Overheard in New York:

Little girl #1: He took out everything after we bought the house. The refrigerator, the stove, the toilet...
Little girl #2: Was he Korean? I mean, I'm Korean but that sounds so Korean.
Little girl #1: Nah, he was Italian.
Little girl #2: Koreans, Italians, difference.


White guy: Dude, I'm going to be the only non-Asian at this party.
Asian guy: No, man, there are going to be tons of Koreans there.

--6 train

Overheard by: Elisabeth


Still Not Sure What This Is

Some more of what I started below. If I ever figure out where this is going, a lot of this will likely need to be cut, but for now I'm content to leave it be. Oddly enough, I had a total reason for choosing the name Edward and I forgot it. And as I was typing that last sentence, I totally remembered. It's a reference to the main character from a book, my favorite book ever.


You'd think that the prospect of girls attending would be cause for celebration at an all boy's school, but quite the opposite happened. When the question came up, the graduating seniors were its loudest critics. Girls would destroy the traditions of the school, they argued. Everything would change, everything that made the school good and special would be tossed aside.

They were right.

But it wasn't the girls that did it; it was what the girls represented. Change. A deviation from tradition. The school was evolving away from the english boarding school model into something else, some goal that we students weren't privy to.

The seniors fought the board with every weapon at their disposal. They made speeches against it, they wrote articles against it, they circulated petitions. None of it mattered; the student paper was actually shut down, not to return for 4 years. For the younger students, it was difficult to understand what all the fuss was about. But the next September, we would find out.

When you're young, everything seems of earth-shattering importance. You'll absolutely die if you don't get that cool toy or pair of jeans. No-one will talk to you if you haven't seen that new movie or heard that new album. And the first girl that catches your eye or is nice to you is the girl you'll love until the day you die. I wonder how much of me is still that timid little boy, hoping for a look, a word, a smile from that special someone.

Her name was Audrey, and she was perfect. I know now that she wasn't, that she had just as many issues as all of us do at that age, but then she could do no wrong. And, like all the women we idolize at that time, she had no idea who I was. Our paths never really crossed until 9th grade, when, thanks to a teacher with an alphabetical seating order and my fortunate ancestry, she sat behind me in math class.

By this time, my classroom persona had relaxed somewhat. I had learned one of the three major lessons I took from high school: I could coast. I didn't really need to work all that hard for my grades: I didn't have to study, I didn't have to do homework and I didn't have to work on my papers ahead of time because I could go to class, write my tests and type up essays the night before and still get 80s and 90s. I avoided class participation like the plague, leading to a corresponding increase in social standing as well as a litany of, “Edward does excellent work but needs to speak up more in class,” comments on my report cards. Teachers. Don't they remember what it was like to be in high school?

Audrey and I progressed quickly through the, “Do you have a pencil I can borrow?” stage and soon were passing notes all through class. She was as charming as she was beautiful. But how could I make the next move?

My mom was no help here. Her advice to me about girls had always consisted of the same few words: “There's plenty of time to worry about girls after you get your MBA.”

Thanks, mom.

My dad was similarly tight-lipped. In fact, he never said a single word to me about girls; for all I knew he had no idea they existed. Granted, I didn't ask, but I would have assumed from my moping that it was obvious what was wrong with me. Maybe he figured that my mom would have the talk with the kids about the birds, bees, snips, snails and puppy dog tails. If so, he sure misjudged that one.

There was another reason why I never got any guidance from my father on the subject: it was around this time that he moved out. I've never been exactly sure when he left. He had a habit of leaving on business trips for several days at a time, and I was lost in a heady fog of Audrey most days anyways. One day my dad was gone; on a trip, I figured. He never came back. I saw him a couple times a year after that: at Christmas, and my and my brother's birthdays. We'd have dinner, he'd give us $50 or $100 each and that would be it. My mom never spoke of it, nor did he; I saw no reason to be the family freak, so I didn't talk about it either. It would be 8 years before I would have the courage to break that silence and fill in any of the details of this time.