December 27th, 2009


Vic Chesnutt (1964-2009), RIP

We were acquainted briefly. I was first introduced to Vic by Michael Stipe at (I think) the Manhattan in Athens, Georgia in (I think) 1996. I was drinking a lot in those days, and details are hazy. But Vic was just one of those good things about Athens I took for granted. He was amazing, and beautiful, and brave.

  • Current Music
    Vic Chesnutt, "Chain"
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Cautiously Surfacing

I've just not been up for much in the way of blogging since an especially black mood settled over me on Wednesday evening. It was the gaudy fucking tyranny of Xmas and all the ghosts it dredges up every year (only, this year, hitting harder than I've come to expect). It was my usual depression and the bad dreams and having too much to write and not enough time and energy to get it all written. It was the peculiar homesickness I get for places that never much wanted me around to start with, so it seems odd and masochistic to miss them. It was the way I begin to feel when I do not leave the House frequently enough. It was all of these things, and then the news of Vic Chesnutt's suicide.*

I don't think 2010 can come soon enough, because 2009's been bloody brutal (and there's a popular delusion, that turning a calendar page, or changing calendars, will lead to better times). Anyway, at least I had a nice assortment of sweets and pain pills and benzodiazepines on hand to help get me through the so-called "holiday." I was thinking I'd try to recap the last four days...but I'm not sure I'll do anything but make a mess of it. And it's nothing very exciting. But, here goes:

Wednesday (12/23): I wrote 1,010 words on a new vignette for Sirenia Digest #49, which after monumental dithering and near lock-up, I called "Untitled 34." Truthfully, I've no idea how I wrote that much, as I was in a rage most of the day. It's my first Skogsrå story.

Thursday (12/24): I wrote another 1,074 words on "Untitled 34." The writing was much easier on Thursday than on Wednesday. It helped that I didn't have to fret over the silly artifice of a title. Later, I went with Spooky to the market, and saw that the snow had hardly even begun to melt. Later still, what better way to show Xmas the middle finger than watch Bad(der) Santa (2003) on Xmas Eve? Willie and the Kid and Mrs. Santa's Sister actually lifted my spirits for the first time in days ("Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa!").

Friday (12/25): I usually make it a point to work on Xmas, but this year I figured if the rest of the country can fuck off for no good reason, then so could I. We had an all afternoon marathon (stretching into the evening) of Die Hard films. Seemed sort of appropriate. John McTiernan's Die Hard (1988) is still probably the best of the four, and I was glad to see it has aged so well (despite all the 80s horridness). Not such a fan of Renny Harlin's Die Harder (1990), though. It's a bit of a mess, and lacks much of what made the first film work. But, fortunately, McTiernan returned in 1995 with Die Hard With A Vengeance, which is really rather delightful. There's a great chemistry between Willis and Jackson, plus we get Sam Phillips and Jeremy Irons as villains. I think it's best to pretend that Die Harder never happened. Die Hard With A Vengeance is a far, far better sequel to the original film. Alas, we didn't watch Len Wiseman's Live Free or Die Hard (2007), because we don't have a copy. Oh, we had hot dogs for "Xmas dinner," because, more importantly, it was Kindernacht. Spooky baked gingerbread.

Saturday (12/26): I sat down at the keyboard yesterday determined to finish "Untitled 34," and finish it I did. I wrote a very respectable 1,707 words. Later, we watched Doctor Who— "The Next Doctor" —and Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Somehow, it often seems this is the film that all but defines mine and Kathryn's relationship. Make of that what you will. And it is a comfort film. Also, yesterday I finished reading the paper on Massospondylus kaalae and began reading "The Postcranial Osteology of Rapetosaurus [Sauropoda; Titanosauria] from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar."

Yeah...I sort of made a mess of that. But you should get the gist. I left out all the WoW. We've played a lot of WoW the last few days. We'd decided to forsake the Borean Tundra and return to Dragonblight, but then we wound up fighting with the Tuskarr against the ghosts of sea giants, and that was actually very cool. Seeing Suraa and Shaharrazad, flanked by Tuskarr warriors, charging across the ice towards a line of phantom Vrykul sailors who were just clambering off their boat– exquisite. For that, I can almost forgive the ugliness and mess of Warsong Hold. Then we entered the Scourge's Temple City of En'kilah and the floating city of Naxxanar above it and assassinated Prince Valanar and his two lieutenants Luthion the Vile and Vanthryn the Merciless. After that, we aided in the evacuation of Taunka'le, which took us back Dragonblight and Agmar's Hammer. And...well, lots and lots more. We're now at Level 74, halfway to 75, and finally made it to Dalaran, where Shah's taken residence at the Filthy Animal in the Horde Quarter.

You's been time to make the doughnuts for the last half hour. Sheesh. No one's going to read all this crap.

* Here's a link to Kristin Hersh's eulogy.