Archive for June, 2004

h1

June 29, 2004

Isn’t Everything After Origins?
So, yeah, I’m still alive. Also, I’m a little girl who can’t get into a car without crying and ruining my make-up, but whatever. Maybe later I’ll give some shouts (hyperlinks) out to some of the folks (peeps) I got to meet and enjoy at the show. Until then and in the interests of time–spare some?–I’ve baked most of the thousands of words I wrote about the show into these nice pictures, which you should let cool before you take a bite. Each is worth about a thousand words and two thousand calories. Eater beware.

h1

June 22, 2004

I thought I’d be brave enough to post this soliloquy as is, but I just can’t do it. It’s too pretentious (please not portentious) to be seen without a goth-defying preamble, which you’re reading now. It turns out, irrational fears make me melodramatic. What this purple prose does have going for it, though, is honesty. So let’s call this a stream-of-consciousness exercise instead of a self-indulgent bout of journal angst. If nothing else, I hope all this bullshit jinxes the other bullshit. You’ll see what I mean.

Combat Fear With This Weapon
Something about the forthcoming drive to Columbus–or, more to the point, the drive back from Columbus–has got me spooked. Afraid of death. Afraid of being crushed until I die in a wadded mess of steel, skidding and sparking along a midnight stretch of Midwestern asphalt. Afraid of being plucked off the earth by headlights and a windshield as I stumble from a wreck and become fleshy shrapnel myself. Afraid of a fiery demise. Afraid of being pinned, sliced, pinched, snapped, or ground against the ground. Afraid of being dragged, thrown, rolled over, smashed, or smeared. Afraid of being done. Afraid of being summarized at a service.

The fear gets into everything. It gets into song lyrics and the way people say goodbye on the phone. It stains photos with the weird tinge that comes from remembering the dead. From wanting more than anything to touch something that doesn’t exist anymore. It gets into your head and hits you with a thick slab of alien oblivion; how awful it must be to be grieved and gone. To get no say. It’s like a pool falls over you, upside-down, and you float weightless in the tugging feeling that you’ve been cheated and the crushing feeling that there’s nothing you can do about it. The oncoming sense that your last days will be held in a distant city that’s not your favorite, among people you like but aren’t in love with. You’re okay while you’re there, but when you leave, you die.

Combat this fear by looking at this past weekend.

Sara, pictured here with a dinosaur, won her first poker tournament this weekend, and earned it. She’s a better card player than I am, with an eighth of the experience, and I love her for it. God willing, I’m gonna marry that girl.

The game, meanwhile, was thrilling, fun, fulfilling; it satisfied like food. Afterwards, Chicago became good Guiness, good cider, bad vodka, old friends, cigarette smoke, poker stories, drunken kisses, steak tacos, city streets.

Happiness is getting a glimpse of the life Marty’s gonna have in his lake-view flat, ninety feet above the city. Happiness is English mead over ice and the clink of clay chips, a red felt table ringed with favorite folks, and big bets over small hands. Happiness is making a stranger laugh in the elevator.

At the gas station, we buy junk food from a smiling clerk. “Are you together?” he asks. “Yep,” we say. “That’s great,” he says. His smile is so big, it doesn’t fit behind the counter.

Life is good, and if that’s all we get, then that’s okay, too.

Noise: Mountain Goats, “Oceanographer’s Choice”

h1

June 17, 2004

Ah, Timing
So I’m downloading a song off of iTunes, eating my break, and scanning a webpage I got off of John Tynes’s site. The page is a run of pictures mocking Nokia’s ill-conceived and iller-fated N-Gage game device slash phone, which one uses as a phone by holding it sideways and, I guess, talking. So, I’m scrolling down the page and enjoying the collegiate existence of all these jolly geeks and the song I ordered finishes its download and begins to play in the background. It’s Loser, by Beck.

Noise:Erin McKeown, “Cosmopolitans” (Tri-Factor Remix)

h1

June 12, 2004

Did You Mean “Huge?”
Hugh Jackman sent me spam porn. Fortunately I got it at work on the Mac, where I can use the preview pane in iApple eMail pRogram and get the funniest part of it. The email reads: “This message intends for adults only. You must be 18 to scroll down.”

Wait just a fucking minute, Hugh. What the hell is that? You can’t send me a picture of a naked lady via US mail and then put it on me to regulate your material for you, and you can’t do it through email either. I’m not gonna be responsible for your shit. How about I call you up on the phone and say, “I’m about to tell you something classified by the NSA, so if you don’t have code-word clearance you’d better hang up or you’re gonna be guilty of leaking state secrets.”

Also, frankly, I’m not sure I understand why you’re using Hugh Jackman’s name to get through spam filters. I mean, my software might buy it, but the spam filter in my brain’s gonna figure it out, you know? I’ve never once receive mail from a Broadway star that didn’t turn out to be about sex.

In Other News…
Turns out humongous isn’t a word. It’s slang. You know what the root of humongous is? Neither does the dictionary. It says “Perhaps blend of huge, and monstrous or tremendous.” That’s the same as “I dunno, maybe huge? Yeah, maybe huge and… is mungus a word?”

I love the word humongous. I love that it comes from us, the peasants. I love that it came into use just because it sounds like it should mean “fucking huge.” That’s cool as all get up.

Today, humongous. Tomorrow, ginormous.

Noise: Frou Frou, “Let Go”

h1

June 10, 2004

Good Exposition, Exhibit A
I loathe bad exposition. I rag on it all the time, though sometimes it’s hard to define. Here is an example of good exposition from The Princess Bride, which SaraQ is watching even now:

INIGO: I’m going to duel him left-handed.

VIZZINI: You know what a hurry we’re in!

Now here is the same exchange written with bad exposition:

INIGO: I’m going to duel this enigmatic stranger with my left hand.

VIZZINI: But, look, Inigo: You’re right-handed. I know you desire a challenge after all your years of preparation for the day you face the six-fingered man who slaughtered your father, but we’re in a hurry here. Besides, you’re an artisan with your right hand. If there were any man who could best you, he’d surely be the greatest swordsman in the land. What are the odds that this guy is that guy? Just demonstrate your prowess and catch up with us quickly. We’ve got to get this Princess to Guilder and describe the plan twice more before some hero shows up to expose the man who hired us.

Noise: “Rodents of unusual size? I don’t think they exist.”

h1

June 10, 2004

Crashing the Nazi Party
Recent footage of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on an Xbox disc was very disappointing. So bad, in fact, that I hoped it was footage from some forthcoming video game starring Sky Captain. Even if the movie sucks, though, I’ll still have Rex Steele: Nazi Smasher to enjoy. Rex is appearing on DVD this summer in his first animated short, “In the Bosom of Terror,” and you’re very excited about it.

h1

June 9, 2004

Omit Needless Words
If it’s possible to be mentored by a dead stranger, I’ve been mentored by William Strunk, Jr. who said:

“Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should
contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary
sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no
unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

–William Strunk, Jr.

This is a favorite quote of mine. Creative Screenwriting‘s daily email people reminded me of that today, and got me thinking. What are words you consider needless, in a philosophical, literal, or humorous sense?

Put it in the comments.

Noise: Nirvana, “Lithium”