My Night

My darlings, I promise, a nice bit o’ political yawping soon, complete with the spanking of assorted deserving bottoms and plenty to titter at, but tonight I’m trying to finish a bit o’ a scene that’s got me stuck.

So far, in order to avoid accomplish this, I have stared at the scene, twiddled a couple of words in it, moved some research notes from one place to another, and then took a walk in the rain, in the dark, to fondle leaves.  And that was delightful.  Things smelled pretty, and it’s just a little bit of magic, going outside in the rainy dark to walk in a character’s shoes.  I touched a great many leaves on trees, brought some home with me, and then promptly got to work… tracking down the classical music piece that was very briefly played in Mr. Holland’s Opus and was filched for Angelzoom for the song “Lights.”  It’s “Sleepers Awake” by Bach, if you’re curious.  Many thanks to All Experts.

But really, seriously, I’m going to work on this scene any moment now.  Just that little bit, touching an alien leaf, and then I must get on with the really hard work of sketching out the rest in its entirety, complete with long windy background pieces on art and architecture and so forth, because damn it, I want to get it right.  It’s the first trip offworld for Dusty.  It’s important – no, not just that, essential.

And so kicking pollyticians in the arse shall have to wait for tomorrow.  In the meantime, if you haven’t seen Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet, I do recommend it.  And Mr. Holland’s Opus, for that matter.

Now it’s off for some more avoidance before I write the bits that need to be written…

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Still A Favorite

I meant to do actual work tonight, but fell prey to exhaustion, and so the only reasonable thing to do was throw in So I Married An Axe Murderer.  Still one of my favorite movies of all time.  It’s ridiculous in every particular.  Almost as sublimely silly as Austin Powers.

Did I ever mention how I came to fall in love with Austin Powers?  It was back in the days when I hated all things ’60s.  I swore I’d never watch Austin Powers because it looked stupid and was set in the ’60s.  However, at the time, I had friends who had selective hearing when it came to the word “no.”  They also failed to understand “absolutely not,” “over my dead body,” and “if you force me to go to this movie, I’ll never speak to you again.”  I ended up being dragged into the local dollar theatre swearing revenge, and came out screaming “Yeah, baby!” and wondering where one could buy a feather boa late at night in Prescott, Arizona.

The next Valentine’s Day, I had a small industry going at our workplace making Austin Powers bags for the Valentine’s cards we handed around in some misguided attempt to make the workplace more fun.  Well, what else can you do when you’re staring at a brown paper bag but put on it “This is my bag, baby!” in red glitter.

Now I’m going to suffer through The Princess Diaries for no discernible reason, and then I’ll be putting myself to bed with Connie Willis.  It’s not such a bad life.

Grate. Now I’m Crying

So, I finally worked up the courage to watch Spirited Away.  It took awhile to talk myself into it, because when a friend whose judgment you trust says it’s a movie he hated because he knew that nothing else would ever be as good, it makes you worry.  Will you ever be able to watch another movie ever again?  Will your hopes be dashed because this movie isn’t your cup of tea, and can you stand to face your friend afterward and admit that, really, you didn’t think it was all that awesome?  Silly thoughts, I know, but I had ’em.

So, first, an admission: I didn’t like it quite as much as Howl’s Moving CastleHowl’s hooked me the instant it began and kept me hooked throughout.  I remained enthralled the whole time.  Spirited Away took quite some time to get off the ground.  But once it took off, once the characters got their hooks into me and started tugging, I could see what my friend meant.  I didn’t want it to end either.  And I wanted her to look back.

I could say profound things about the hero’s journey and archetypes and the similarities and divergence between Japanese and Western mythology, but I don’t want to deconstruct this movie.  I just want to say that if I can write a novel half as good as Hayao Miyazaki’s movies, I’ll be very happy indeed.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sniffle a bit more and see if I can write anything half as good.  Oh, and budget for every single Miyazaki movie ever released in the US.

Somewhat Famous and Other Stories From The Exile’s Life

Ah, my darlings, I can’t tell you how good it is to be back.  Not that I’m back much – my hands are still healing, so I’m trying to keep repetitive stress down to a minimum.  But I’ll tell you, two days without any typing at all blew leper donkey dick.  Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone and all that.  I’ve missed you.

Thought of you constantly, in fact.  I wanted to tell you all about watching Howl’s Moving Castle and being very moved indeed by it.  The characters delighted me.  It’s been a while since I was truly moved by a set of story folk.  Gave me ideas, it did, and gave me a feeling like I’d been part of something special, and now I’m terrified to watch Spirited Away because it is, by all reports, even better than Howl’s, and considering that after Howl’s every other movie I watched left me saying, “That was so lame compared to Howl’s,” that could ruin me for movie watching for quite some time to come.

By the time my DVR rolled round to Sense and Sensibility, I’d somewhat recovered.  Enough to appreciate it, anyway.  I do love Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Kate Winslet.  Not so much in to the Jane Austen thing, but still, it’s a good movie.  Just nowhere near as good as Howl’s.

See what I mean?

I turned to Connie Willis for comfort on Day One of the No Typing Whatsoever experience, and this turned out to be a mistake.  Not that Blackout is a bad book.  Far from it.  What I didn’t realize is that it is not, in fact, a full book, but half a book.  And the other half won’t be out until October.  And it’s literally half a book: it ends at the end of a chapter.  Now I know how the people who were reading The Lord of the Rings as its various parts were released felt.  Nothing’s worse than getting to what you believe is the end of the book and finding yourself dangling right over a cliff, loose ends flapping in the breeze, not even the minimal comfort of a series, wherein at least a few plot threads are neatly tied up, there’s been a climax and denouement, and all that. 

Argh argh argh.

In other news, I’ve become somewhat famous.  At least, my feet have:

When I saw this submission from entequilaesverdad, the word that popped into my mind was “jaunty.” Also, I don’t know if you can read the bottom book, but it is called “The Joy of Sects,” which cracks my shit up.

I’m now very glad indeed that I had the brainwave that led to me putting The Joy of Sects beneath the Bible for my uncompromising and unashamed stand.  You can see a great many other atheists standing unashamedly and uncompromisingly upon various holy books here, here and here.  Praise be to Happy Jihad’s House of Pancakes for giving so many atheists the opportunity to have so much public fun with fundamentalism!

And I have to admit that cracking Happy Jihad’s shit up really made my day.

Our own dear Cujo did his own blogging against theocracy, and cracked my shit up by starting with a Monty Python quote.  Read the whole thing, not just the Monty Python bit, because his post includes such gems as this:

Most religions require their adherents to believe some crazy things. Christians are supposed to believe that their religion’s founder was tortured and killed in one of the worst ways imaginable, given the technology and medical knowledge of the time, so they could be forgiven for their sins. Huh? This makes absolutely no sense, no matter how you spin it. What makes sense, given what we know of the situation, is that Christ was crucified because people found him annoying and their leaders thought he was a troublemaker.

No doubt, he was insulting the religious beliefs of the time by declaring that he had his own.

Context gives that last line extra luster. 

When you’re done admiring that, go read George’s spanking of morons who declare global warming a myth every time it gets chilly outside.  He explains the difference between weather and climate with an analogy even those right roaring schmucks should be able to understand but probably won’t.

Right, then.  Must go back to resting the wrists and so forth.  Carry on, my darlings, and I shall see you in a bit.

Chick Flick Update: I’m Down With It

I’ve watched so many of these damned things I can’t even remember where I left off reporting.

Right, a few I know I haven’t yapped about: I broke down and bought Love, Actually because they refused to play it on the movie channels.  I enjoyed it, although I wish it could’ve been a mini-series with so many characters. 

Under the Tuscan Sun was an absolute delight.  I do believe I’ll be buying that one.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and the visuals of Italy were squisito.  Which Babelfish swears is the Italian word for delicious.

Just finished watching Down With Love, which had me laughing me arse off.  Of the three, I’ve had the most sheer fun watching that one. 

And I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I’ve developed an abiding fondness for Bridget Jones’s Diary.

If you’re in the mood for something seriously warped, not to mention fucked up beyond all recognition, Virgin Territory is a good place to start.  You’ll never look at a dairy cow the same way ever again.