October 21st, 2009


"...back over a year, and in and out of weeks, and through a day."

It has now been twelve nights since last I took Ambien to sleep. The first week went rather well, but the last three mornings, I've started having trouble sleeping again. However, I refuse to go back to the pills. Instead, I've been getting up, playing WoW (Shaharrazad in Outland, garnering reputation with the Scryers) and listening to Sigur Rós until I'm sleepy enough to go back to bed. Morning before last, I was up until 4:45 a.m., and only got six hours sleep. This morning, I was only up until four, and got closer to seven. Seven I can function on, though I prefer eight.

It's much easier to cope with my insomnia in the autumn and winter and early spring, as I'm not having to race absurdly early sunrises.

On Monday, I finally managed to make a solid start on a new piece for Sirenia Digest #47. I'm not going to divulge titles or word counts just yet, because I'm still a tad skittish about it. But the words are coming again.

If you've not already, please have a look at the current eBay auctions (proceeds to help offset the goddamn taxes). Good stuff. I can't believe that no one has yet bid on the Japanese edition of the Beowulf novelization. It's a gorgeous little book. Anyway, thanks.

Today, Ursula K. LeGuin turns 80. And I have just learned that Vic Mizzy, the man who wrote the theme song for The Addams Family television series, has died at 93.


Yesterday evening, we made a late matinée of Spike Jonez' adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. And it is a brilliant, brilliant film. Utterly and completely. Sendak's book (published in 1963, one year before my own birth) has always been one of my favorite children's books. And now, it is a truly amazing film. But, the catch is, I think, that it is an amazing film for adults, about being a child. And I think far too few people seem to appreciate the need for such films (and books). Stories about childhood intended for adults. What? Are we just supposed to stop thinking about what it was like growing up, being a kid, thinking and feeling as kids think and feel? At any rate, there was virtually nothing I didn't love about the film, so I can only gush in awe. That Spike Jonze and David Eggers managed to fashion such a fine screenplay from a 338-word text astounds me. It's not a job I would even have attempted, but they've accomplished the task with aplomb. The Henson Creature Shop has worked a wonder. And the voice casting is wonderful, as well; I especially appreciated James Gandolfini as Carol. Beautiful cinematography by Lance Acord, and Karen Orzolek's ("Karen O") music is spot on. I was extremely pleased that the wild things were permitted to be wild things, that they were not domesticated, that Max was not domesticated, in pursuit of a fatter box-office take and a more "family-friendly" movie. So many have wasted so much breath debating whether or not this is a film for children, or a film appropriate for children, when it needs to be seen and appreciated not as something intended for a particular demographic, but simply for what it is. I have never seen a film like this, and I was deeply and profoundly amazed by the sights and sounds of Where the Wild Things Are. I am quite certain this one will wind up on my "Best of 2009" list at year's end. It's a frightening, joyful, sad, hopeful, surreal romp. A wild, wild rumpus, indeed.

Now, it's time to take platypus in hand, and make the doughnuts.