July 3rd, 2006

chidown

Don't paint the sun anymore.

Two days of silence. Things have been odd around here, the last three days, and I've not been up for LJ/Blog. Tonight, we've been watching the Twilight Zone marathon of the Skiffy Channel. So far, I've made it through four of my favourite episodes — "The Invaders," "Night Call," "The Masks," and "The Midnight Sun." But, I must confess that the commercials are about to do me in. They're rather spoiling the whole thing, between some foolishness about new evidence of Atlantis, ads for Eureka and frelling Stargate SG-1 and sundry other bits of crap, breaking in every twelve minutes or so to remind us that Rod Serling has gone the way of the non-avian dinosaur. These days, we get Stan Lee and a superhero reality show.

This afternoon, I played the Final Fantasy XII demo, and it was wonderful enough to make up for the dreadfulness of Radiata Stories. All is forgiven, Square Enix. I think it's going to be a great game. Now, if I can only make it to September.

If I happen to owe you an e-mail, I apologise for the silence and will try to write tomorrow.

setsuled used a marvelous phrase a couple of days back, which I'd meant to mention earlier — "the glamour of dull." To place the phrase in context, he was remarking on the blandness of Kate Bosworth and wrote, "But the kids really go for the glamour of dull these days..." Indeed. Just turn on MTV or check out MySpace, for example, and you will be half-blinded by the glamour of dull, which I think is my new favourite phrase, and I shall use it 'till the cows come home. So to speak.

I have managed a little reading: Angela Carter's "The Scarlet House" and "The Smile of Winter," the first bit of a new piece by sovay which, I hope, will be appearing in Sirenia Digest in August. Also, we watched the remake of The Hills Have Eyes and lots of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

And I hate the new "limited-edition" strawberry ice cream Skittles.

And with any luck at all, these random comments convey nothing whatsoever of my current state of mind.

Please have a look at the latest eBay auctions. Note that Spooky's put up some clothing she's been meaning to auction, literally, for years. Some nice stuff. A black velvet dress that's great, if you're into the whole Gothic Lolita thing. Which I am, as it's a superb antidote for the glamour of dull," those elegant Gothic Lolita kids. Too bad I'm presently stuck here in Atlanta instead of wandering the streets of Tokyo. Oh, and there are books, as well. Don't forget about the books. Or poor, poor Snapdragon. Iggy and Sweet William are trying, doing their best to be brave, but I can see that her impending departure is wearing on them.
chi2

A July of Flowers (Contd.)

I'll begin this entry with a quote from Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul: The plants that are closest to you are those from your childhood; those are the ones you truly love. I read that and immediately it rang true. Well, more or less true. Certainly, many of my favourite plants species are those I grew up with in dear ol' Leeds (Alabama, not England — a pity) and Jacksonville (FL). For instance, morning-glory, kudzu, magnolia, the dwarf crested iris, colicroot (star grass), sea oats, daisy fleabane (one of my very favourites), dwarf dandelion, Queen Anne's lace, primrose, purple loosestrife, and so forth. Some of these grow in the northeast, where I hope to eventually relocate, but others do not. I fear I will miss them.

Anyway...

I took Ambien last night, and I'm pretty sure some crucial portion of my brain remains blissfully unconscious. I must have dreamt of flowers.

Today is mine and Spooky's 4th anniversary. Today, we are four. She proposes that we celebrate by taking crayons and colouring upon the walls. It's unlikely I'll think of anything more appropriate or enjoyable.

To my general relief, the Daughter of Hounds CEM did not arrive on Friday when I was instructed to expect its arrival. With luck, it shall not arrive today, either, as I'm in no humour to entertain it, scarred and defaced as it will be by some copyeditor's eager pen. Perhaps it will not come for many more days. That would be a blessing.

What did I think of Alexandre Aja's remake of The Hill Have Eyes? Well, it's undoubtedly a brighter, shinier, more expensive film than Wes Craven's original version, but throughout there is a persistent sense that a remake was simply unnecessary. The test-site visuals were a nice touch, though they never really seem to gel with the greater part of the film. The soundtrack was superb. The make-up effects were, on the whole, inevitably impressive. I think perhaps this film is most interesting, though, as a comment on exactly why so much of the rest of the world has come to hate Americans, here in the early part of the 21st Century. Of course, it was made by a French director, and no, the French are no angels their own selves. In the film's opening moments, I found myself instantly detesting the gun-toting, gas-guzzling, Jesus-worshiping family, as white as the desert sky, as they proceeded to listen to the nice inbred man at the gas station and drag their great silver behemoth of a trailer down a nameless dirt road and into the wasteland. I decided then and there I'd have no choice but to root for the mutants. And I tried, but found them at least as loathsome as the tourists they were busy preying upon, simply a degraded mirror image of their prey, and so I resolved to root for the surviving dog, instead. The problem here isn't so much the loathsomeness of Americans, per se, as the loathsomeness of Humanity. For all their macrocephaly and cleft lips and cannibal appetites, there's little to distinguish Aja's mutants from the nice white family on their way to San Diego. Human gluttony is human gluttony, which might be one of the film's messages that's been overlooked in the French bashing and baiting and the whining about excessive gore and violence (really, people). It would have been nice, I think, if the director might have concentrated a little more on the latent fairie tale aspects of the script as aspects of fairie tale: the stolen child, for example. In the end, I was surprised to find myself sympathizing with one of the mutants, Ruby, and one of the lost family, Bobby. Of course (SPOILER), Ruby dies protecting the insufferable token Democrat, and we can only guess that Bobby will go on to years of trust-funded therapy, followed by a ruthless, NRA-supported campaign to hunt down and exterminate radioactive troglodytes everywhere to protect other lost white families dragging their privileged carcasses through places they ought not be in the first place. But it was certainly worth a rental, unless you've a low tolerance for gore, violence, dust, and unspeakable sadism, in which case you'd probably be best off watching something else.

Please do have a look at the auctions. Cool clothes from Spooky. Books by me. And let's not forget Snapdragon. All proceeds go towards our train fare and our first "vacation" since summer 2004 (though it will be a working vacation) and the preservation of the final scraps of my sanity. Today, anyone using "buy it now" to purchase either the limited edition of The Dry Salvages or The Five of Cups will receive a free signed copy of the Silk trade paperback. From now until midnight (PST). Thanks.
chi (intimate distance)

Addendum: Another Near Miss & Etc.

As a high priestess of the Immaculate Order of the Falling Sky, my thanks to seph_ski for passing along this link: Earth avoids disaster as asteroid comes as close as moon. It's a shame about 2004 XP14. She could have gotten the party started with a proper bang. Still, our psychokinetic tractor beam is being perfected for April 13, 2029 (I'll be -25, presumably) and Apophis. All hail the Neozoic. We will be ready. Anything twixt now and then is icing on the cake.

Meanwhile...

Lately, mevennen seems to have all the best memes (behind the cut):

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