August 26th, 2008


The hole in the hole in the sky.

Yesterday is an utter blur of sleepless delirium. I tried to write. About 3 p.m., though, I looked back over the 250 or so words I'd managed on "The Z Word" and realized that it wasn't going where I wanted it to go. And that I was far too bleary to get it to the place it needed to be. So I gave up and set work aside for the day. I'll finish the story today. Last night, I was in bed by 12:30 ayem. Spooky read to me a while, and I was asleep by 2:30. Eight hours sleep, and I feel much better today. Two more nights like that, and I might have my shit together again. Too much stress lately, too many meds, and far too little sleep.

Yesterday, I did read the "Season Six" Angel graphic novel, Angel: After the Fall—— well Part One, as Part Two doesn't come out until next month. I'd really wanted to love it, but I was unimpressed by Brian Lynch's scripting, and totally unimpressed with the artwork (and you never know if the problem is the pencils, the inking, the color, or some combination thereof. I could blame Franco Urru, but it's possible he delivered good pencils that were ruined in inking). Regardless, a big disappointment. I'll still read Part II, if only because I can't stand to leave a story unfinished, but, truthfully, right now, I think the alley scene at the end of Season Five was a far better conclusion, if this is the alternative. I have become a Whedon fan, and I know he could have done better than this.

After dinner, Spooky and I watched Richard Brooks' brilliant adaptation of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood (1967). Wow. Somehow, I'd managed never to see this film, which entirely baffles me. That I'd never seen it. Conrad L. Hall's chillingly bleak cinematography was superb (I wish directors still understood the inherent power of B&W), and Robert Blake's performance was Oscar caliber.


nightwitch wrote, "I have a theory about music, that most people's favorite music is centered around the period when they were children and teen-agers. Not that people don't like other era's, but that 'their era' is the music they always come back to, and most enjoy. Do you agree or disagree?"

This might be true for many people, I don't know. I only know it isn't true for me. My favorite music is spread out all over the place, from the late '60s (The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, etc.) all the way to the present (The Decemberists, The Dresden Dolls, VNV Nation, Sigur Rós, etc.). I might have a slight favoritism going for the early '90s (I was in my late twenties/early thirties), and I could probably point to another "favoritism" period beginning around 2003 and still going strong (which, I think, is the result of "indie music" being forced to become independent again). For my part, I see the pop musical period during my teenage years (1978-1983, let's say) as especially disinteresting, and it wasn't until college, when I discovered "college radio," that this seemed to change for me (say 1985 or 1986). R.E.M. and Kate Bush were revelations, and I found them both, belatedly, in '86.

Though admittedly half awake when I did that Billboard music meme yesterday, something seemed very, very not right about what I was seeing. Mostly how the composition of the chart seemed to change so dramatically in the late 80s/early 90s, and how, at this same time, it became more conservative, less diverse, with fewer acts holding on to the number one slot for longer periods. Of course, the answer is simple, and soon occurred to me. It begins in September 1988, when Billboard began its "Hot Modern Rock Tracks" (originally called "Modern Rock Tracks") chart. And if I look at this chart, suddenly it all starts making sense again. Yesterday, I was asking Spooky where the hell R.E.M., The Cure, Nirvana, and NIN were (among many others), and the answer is, the "Modern Rock Tracks." The sudden change in the charts in the late '80s does not reflect a true shift in the sorts of songs that became most popular with Americans, but, rather, it reflects a sudden shift in the way that Billboard measured that popularity.


As for the Howards End sim, the terraforming continues. We now have 25 people signed up for the rp, and 8 builders (some of whom are also on the rp list). Which is to say, it's coming along right on schedule. I've started trying to keep most of the H.E. business in Second Life, keeping people posted on developments via group notices. We have room for a few more rpers, so if you're interested, let me know. And my thanks to scarletboi for his nonlinear recollection that I'd chosen to name the paranormal research group the Roanoke Society, because now I have. We will begin having build and rp meetings sometime in the next week or two, though the actual rp likely won't begin until late October, at the earliest. We have all of College Hill to build first.


Okay, hairy eyeball from Herr Platypus, so I better wrap this up. Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and be advised that you can now pre-order A is for Alien from subpress, and that it would be very, very helpful if you also order a copy of the mass-market paperback of Daughter of Hounds. Sonya and Eric are trying to lure me and Spooky away to the beaches of Maine this weekend, but if that's going to happen, well, miles to go before I sleep.