July 25th, 2004



As I write this, Jennifer is getting ready to leave for Athens. Her Ph. D. defence is tomorrow morning, and it'll all be over by about 11:30 am. It's all very, very cool.

She'll have left before I finish writing this.

Yesterday, my fourth reader on "The Pearl Diver" opined that it's very good, and that I have no cause to be as doubtful about it as I am. And yet, I'm still doubtful about it. Maybe I should take this as a Good Thing. If I ever grow complacent about my writing there will be no hope of my ever becoming a better writer, and I'm the first one to admit that I still have a lot of room for improvement. Today, Spooky and I will read through it again, and then I'll make a few corrections/changes, and then I'll e-mail it to the editor for whom it was written. Time to make it go forth and earn my keep, doubts or no doubts.

Yesterday, Spooky and I went to a matinee showing of the original, uncut Godzilla (and sat in the absolute worst theatre seats in metro Atlanta, at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema on Monroe). Truly, this is an entirely different film than the American cut, the version I've seen repeatedly since I was a little kid. It's actually a pretty good film. In some ways, it surpasses The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (there's even a scene with a clock tower that echoes the famous lighthouse scene in The Beast...), with which it shares a lot of common ground. But, this version, instead of being a film about a rather inexplicable sea monster that stomps Tokyo, is a strident polemic on the responsibility of science and the dangers of nuclear weapons and other hi-tech implements of war. Indeed, in the end, Gojira is only a catalyst for the film's true concerns. The film has an entirely different pace and tone, and its focus is far more human, than the Hollywood cut. I was surprised at what an effective and somber film the original is, with some truly chilling moments (usually moments in which the guy in the rubber monster suit is not onscreen). I was especially pleased with how long Honda let the story play out before we actually see the monster, and those opening scenes are some of the films most effective. If you're a fan of the Toho films, or a fan of monster movies in general, this is a must see.

I was also struck for the first time by the obvious parallels (which I should have seen long ago) between the "Toho Mythos" and the Cthulhu Mythos. Great prehistoric giant rises from the sea to wreak havoc upon humanity. Other powerful ancient creatures, some from "beyond the stars," soon do likewise. They can be fought and repelled, but usually only for a little while. This is more evident having seen the uncut version of Godzilla, in which it is firmly established that the villagers on a remote island have known about this creature since antiquity. In the past, they sacrificed young girls to it to keep it at bay. One can even go so far as to compare the later cartoonish Toho films, where we have "good" monsters and "evil" monsters, to August Derleth's bastardization of Lovecraft's originally amoral cosmic horrors.

After the movie, a terrific thunderstorm blew up, and while it rained we had dinner at La Fonda on Ponce. Last night, I watched The Road Warrior, which I think was the second DVD I ever bought. I'd forgotten how much I love that film. But it's very strange now, seeing Virginia Hey being someone besides Zhaan. And after The Road Warrior, I played a couple of hours of Kya, managing to stop the zepplin that was making off with all the villagers.

And that was yesterday.

And this is today.

You see where this is headed...
  • Current Music
    Midnight Oil, "Blue Sky Mine"

eBay update

Addendum: We'll be getting lots of stuff up on eBay in the next few days. Most notably, my hand-corrected galley of Murder of Angels. I don't usually sell these, but I figure this way at least one person will read the book with all those disputed commas where they should be. If there's something in particular you want, but don't see listed, let us know or just keep checking back.

Click here for eBay goodness.

I'd meant to tell you all the bedtime story that Spooky told me last night, involving Sophie's deal with a very large wolf spider, whereby she supplies it with juicy, living insect victims in exchange for her life, but Spooky says the story's "dumb" and won't let me. Sorry. She tells me a lot of stories about Sophie. Maybe I'll make a children's book of them someday.
  • Current Music
    the sound of Spooky clipping Sophie's toenails