Archive for the 'day to day musing' Category



01
Apr
09

Colored Chalk 7: MacGuffins for Hire

Yeah, right there, the new issue of Colored Chalk. I’m not in it this time, but there are some great writers in there. I’ve not had a chance to read the issue yet, but i saw rough drafts of a few of the stories present. Good stuff, i guarantee.

But, yeah, my story, FireFlies, the only story i was ever certain was going to be published, ended up being my first rejection from Colored Chalk. Such is life. I’m okay with that, though, and it’s currently out there looking for a home. Will link if/when it happens.

As you can tell, i’ve been a bit absent. Lots of stuff going on and i’ve a lot to tell ye, but i’ll have to get to it at a later date. Next week most likely. Dewey’s probably going to call me any minute as he’s now arrived here in Dublin. We’re gonna bum around and then head to Barcelona for the weekend. Should be fun. But, yeah, next week i’ll update everything, tell ye about St Patrick’s Day in Dublin, my trip to Amsterdam and Paris, and this new visit and excursion with Dewey.

Okay, all for now. Check out that Colored Chalk issue! Oh, too, Stephen Graham Jones has a new story out. Click the link on my sidebar and he’ll point you in the direction of it.

adios

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12
Mar
09

I believe in the Devil and he knows my name

I think that’s a quote by Daniel Johnston. Either that or it’s a quote by me that i attributed to him on accident. It always made a lot of sense to me. Daniel Johnston’s a pretty interesting guy, too. Very cool documentary about him called, The Devil and Daniel Johnston. He’s a musician, singer/songwriter that’s been covered by just about everyone in the world, including Tom Waits, Bright Eyes, TV on the Radio, and Beck. When his songs are good, they’re pretty fantastic, but when they’re not good, they’re almost unlistenable.

None of that’s really important, though. Had a bit of a wild night last night and am feeling it today. The devil and the demons are hounding me today. Always do on days like this. A friend of mine has a standup show tonight, which i’m so very excited for. Should be exceptional.

In other news, been watching films and the like. Caught Watchmen a few days ago. I’ve not read the graphic novel, but will someday. It’s an entertaining movie. Zack Snyder pulled it off, i think. There are loads of problems with the movie and things i hated, but, overall, an entertaining movie that’s paced very well. Doesn’t feel like three hours. Terrible soundtrack, though. Or, well, more just terrible use of the songs used.

Last Life in the Universe, there. A fantastic film. I’d seen it a few years ago and could never remember what it was. After searching for the last two years, i finally tracked it down and watched it again. Just glorious. There’s a stillness, a quiet power to the film. The soundtrack is flawless in that every song is absolutely perfect for the scene. A complete contrast to the way Watchmen used the music. But, yeah, this is what i talk about when i talk about perfect cinema. I’ve a real fondness for Asian cinema, too. They do things right. They understand the importance of silence, the gravity of a scene without words. And this film, so much of it is never spoken. It’s glorious. Too, the camera work, so good. That’s another hallmark of Asian cinema, i think. Just beautully shot scenes.

Caught Andrei Zvyagintsev second film, The Banishment, which is as heartbreakingly perfect as his first film, The Return, which has my favorite scene to ever happen on screen in the history of everything.

Trailer there. The film’s flawless, truly. He’s a man who knows the beauty and glory of silence, too. So much of this film is just silence and stillness and you feel the weight of every movement, of every sigh. And i don’t think there’s anyone in the world who turns film into such a beautiful artform. Wong Kar Wai might come close for me, but Zvyagintsev is untouchable. And this is only his second film. So excited for whatever he chooses to make next.

Russians, man, they know things. They do everything so perfectly and so heavily. Speaking of Russia, i found out i can’t make it there. So frustrating. I need to get a separate visa just to enter the country and there’s all sorts of other difficulties involved. Very frustrated.

Something quite interesting happened last night. I fell into conversation with someone who was once quite dear to me, but has disappeared from me in the last three years. Or i disappeared from her. Hard to say for certain. But we talked till the sun came up over in this part of the world. I enjoyed it greatly. She’s a good girl, always has been.

St Patrick’s day starts today. Yeah, i know, but really, it does. Thursday to Tuesday. Gonna be a wild weekend, methinks. Too, been wandering about with Gordon lately and he’ll probably accompany me this whole weekend while i make a fool of myself and get into too much trouble. Wish me luck.

10
Mar
09

Another Voyage Northward

Spent the weekend up in Northern Ireland with the kids from IFSA Butler again. This time, though, i spent most of the time with the new kids who came in January. Most of whom i’d not really met, or at least talked to, until this weekend. Good kids for the most part, they be. But, yeah, the trip was much the same as the previous trip as far as activities and such. I skipped The Black Cab Tour as i had been on it only four months previous. I’d go on it again in another three or four years to check on things. If you don’t know, that tour takes you through the history of The Troubles, which is such an Irish way to refer to that period. I mean, people literally murdering one another in the streets and all they have to say is, ‘Yeah, there’s a bit of trouble up North.’ The cab drivers tell you the history from the Protestant and Catholic sides and drive you through the neighborhoods where it all went down and show you the famous murals.


Two photos there of the murals. It’s an intense part of the world and hard to take. Last time went through it nearly broke me down, cast a shadow all over my head.

We also went on a day tour much the same as last time. We went to most of the same places so i took far less photos, but this time i had my trusty companion, Gordon. He’s a dog who’s had a rough life. A bit of a vagrant, kind of like the tramp from The Lady and the Tramp. I thought it was time he needed to see the world, though i’ve only had him for about a week. Anyway, snapped him posing all over the place.
northern-ireland-two-0571
A nice view of him frolicking in the high, soft grass in front of a beauteous rainbow that appeared. He’s a good pup.

Not a whole lot went on up North. Mostly just shenanigans and hijinx as usual. Bought some new clothes and partied like i was in a different country. Twas a good time.

There were a few things i wanted to do today that i’m probably not going to do because it’s cloudy and cold. An unfriendly day. And Ian, worry not, i’m getting those essays in order. Thanks for the advice, too. Oh, along with that, i finally broke down and bought a mobile modem for my computer so i can actually have the internet whenever i need it and can stay out of the library. I really just can’t work in that environment.

All right, might post again later today as there are some other things i want to jot down, but it’s better to keep these posts focused on one idea rather than ramble in five directions.

03
Mar
09

House Pets

Been a bit sick of late and spent most of the weekend in my room watching House, which is probably my new favorite television show. Might even be up there with Top Chef, and don’t even try to tell me that show’s not the greatest thing to ever happen to your television set. But, yeah, watched two seasons of House in about three days. Basically a non-stop viewing frenzy. And the character House, man, just so great. Someone told me i look like a younger version of him. Maybe that’s true, either way, we’re both funny looking brutes. What i will say, though, is that he’s basically an older, more sarcastic–if that’s possible–meaner, and more drug addicted version of me. Some of you know better than others about my undue propensity to grow attached to people of the fictional type, but, man, House is just a killer. Fits right inside my head like a jigsaw piece. Probably not a good thing, but i like the guy.

But, yeah, i’m a lot like House, i guess. Or he’s a lot like me. Yeah, that way works because i came first and he’s imaginary. But, i mean, he’s really just all of my character flaws thrown together and amplified. The arrogance, the misanthropy, all of it. I’ve better legs, though.

Too, the beautiful miss Burton gave me Animal Collective’s new album, Merriweather Post Pavillion, which is just fantastic. You can really hear Panda Bear coming through on this album more than any previous. Gives it a more polished and dreampop-esque sound. And it’s just oh-so-right. Love it.

Anyway, this headache that i’ve no had for five days is growing increasingly annoying, and i’ve only two more episodes of House until i need a refill. Though, that’ll have to wait until after i get back from Northern Ireland. The headache though, man, these long ones always get me thinking too much. They depress me a lot and make me want to hide underground, away from people and sunshine. Just live in a cloud and float on by. They also make me think silly thoughts like these. Hopefully it’ll leave me alone soon, because, really, it’s hard for me to take these for very long. Makes a brute of me.

Oh, i found some wonderful pictures on the internet that i’m sure are illegal to post on here, but i did it anyway.

icarus1

Just fantastic looking there.

fluid1

Enjoy those.

18
Feb
09

BUKOWSKI SLEEP KARATE

Went to Neil Gaiman last night. He did a reading with Amanda Palmer, who’s a musician i’m not really familiar with. I know she just made a solo album and is also in a band, but i either don’t know or can’t remember what band. There were upwards of five hundred people there, which, if you’ve been to Chapter, which most of you haven’t, you’d realise how amazing that is. They were together because they’re publishing a book together called Who Killed Amanda Palmer, which, i believe, is also the title of her solo album. A very interesting book that’s yet to be released. Amanda Palmer has, apparently, been raking dead photographs of herself for a very long time. That meaning, she poses as if she were dead in them. For each photo, Neil Gaiman wrote a short story describing the death. Very cool.

Amanda Palmer sang a few songs with a ukelele and Neil Gaiman read a few of the shorts. Amanda Palmer played a Cure song that i can’t remember the name of. She also did one of her own. Those were pretty enjoyable. Then, she finished with a cover of Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead, which was really just awful. Horrendous even. I’ll link a Radiohead version of it because i love that song so so so much.

Really, just fantastic.

Neil Gaiman was great, too. I love that guy and he certainly can do no wrong. Such a prolific and imaginative person. I linked his site up above for anyone unfamiliar with him. He writes children and adult novels as well as comic books and films and television series. All of it amazing. I guess you’d call him a fantasy writer, but he’s not your typical kind. He’s very funny and very, just, well, awesome. Kind of like how i’d say Ender’s Game is science fiction for people who aren’t science fiction fans, so i’d say the same for Neil Gaiman’s novels. And American Gods is probably one of my favorite books of all time.

After the reading i met up with my friend Derek who’s quite possibly the nicest man on earth. he bought me dinner and we caught up a bit. i finally gave him the gifts i’ve been holding for him for months. Was a good time.

He actually brings me to an interesting thing that i’m a bit embarrassed about but probably shouldn’t be. Internet socialising is becoming quite widespread and acceptable. most of us, though, still think it’s quite weird and off-putting. i’d include myself in that last category. But Derek is a man i met through the magic of the internet that i’d probably never had met otherwise. It’s a very strange thing for me to know someone before i’ve met them in real life, but such is life and the oddity of technology. I probably never would’ve met him if i hadn’t had such a miserable summer. Because i had no time to hang out with my friends, i spent an inordinate amount of time on the internet and joined two internet forums centred around authors. The Velvet, which is on the blogroll, is one such site which has Will Christopher Baer, Craig Clevenger, and Stephen Graham Jones as a fulcrum. It’s something i never thought i’d do and still think it’s quite bizarre that i do use it, but i enjoy it, to be quite honest. I’ve met some very interesting and awesome people in this way.

But, yeah, the times, they are a-changing. The internet grows and grows and is beginning to swallow our real lives. And now i’ve dipped a bit into that strange world lived over wires and signals.

A bit embarrassed to admit all that, but it’s now a part of my life, even if only a small part. But, hey, you’d be surprised the people you’ll meet over the internet and the things you’ll learn from them.

Too, can’t, for the life of me, get a job. Very frustrating and the money runs short. C’est la vie. We’ll get it done. Somehow.

17
Feb
09

My Bloody Valentine

Not really, nothing bloody about it, i mean. Still haven’t caught the film yet either, which is a sad state of affairs. I mean, it’s a horror in 3d, what more could you ask for? Probably a lot, but whatever. And just because he’s my hero and he writes about such things, linking The State of the Slasher, which is a sequel–yeah, very horror conscious–to this essay. The man knows the genre, just read Demon Theory and you’ll understand everything you need to know about horror ever.

Anyway, this really isn’t about horror movies or what have you. My Valentine’s Day was spent a bit better than most previous ones. Can’t really recall what i usually do. Probably get drunk or go unaware that the made up holiday even arrived. I went to the Botanical gardens, i’ll put those photos up on facebook when the moon shines just right. Found a Mexican restaurant, finally. Very cool stuff. Then, the rest of the night went as many nights go for me and i ended up forgetting my coat at someone’s house and spending lots of money.

Now, though, i need to really start getting on essays and all that jazz. Much work to do and will probably keep my head underground until i get all that ish done. Going to see Neil Gaiman tonight, though. Can’t really turn that down. Too, House is on, so, yeah, there’s that, too.

So, what’s my point here besides being very vague and nondescript in my chronicling? I’ve been living in the past for a while. The musical past, anyway. A few bands that i’ve not listened to for a very long time popped back up on my listening schedule. Mostly on accident, but then it turned into this avalanche of music i listened to back in the early days of high school. Thursday, for example, been listening to them on high volume for the last week.

Cross out the Eyes, there. Yeah, lots of energy and frenetic chords. The drums  here, man, could listen to those for the rest of my life on a neverevnding loop. Love that. They’ve a sound i still seem to appreciate, though i suppose i needed a three or five year break. Their songs remind me of the apocalypse in a really wonderful way. Lyrics, too, are better than i expected. At least for my aesthetic. But, yeah, some intensity in them and i’d probably look just like the lead singer if i had long dark hari. He’s an ugly brute. They’re not all intensity and brutality. I think they’ve a real beauty in them. The apocalypse, yeah, but there’s some hope there in his voice. It’s a different apocalypse than Bone Machine by Tom Waits–which, to me, along with Godspeed is everything when you talk about the end of days.

This song has been brought to you by a falling Bomb, a live video because it’s the only one i could find, but i quite like this song. Beautiful, despite the ugly girl who’s voice is getting picked up in the video. But, yeah, a beautiful, almost lullaby, to the apocalypse.

The Sound of Animals Fighting, too, has come back to me. Lover, The Lord has Left Us is quite possibly the most schizophrenic album ever made. They made it by having all the members play something without hearing what the rest of the song sounded like. Just musicians recording in locked rooms and throwing it all together. It shows, but it’s fantastic. It’s impossible to grab a song that illustrates the way the album sounds, but this song may give you some indication, though it’s as different from the rest of the songs as they are from one another.

St. Brodarick is in Anarctica, can’t really say what the deal is with the video, but it’s the song and that’s what matters. Really a very bizarre band made from members of a lot of awful bands. Just goes to show, that even people from miserable bands, in the right context, can make a memorable and, i’d say, great album.

Those bands, i’m sure they’ve had more recent albums come out, but i’ve not listened to them and probably never will. And, when you revisit the past, if you’re me, you rehit The Blood Brothers for weeks. So, yeah, going there. Especially since those made me think of the world falling apart, who better to listen to than The Blood Brothers? Not the most representative song for their sound, but easily their biggest hit and a song i quite enjoy, even still, so many years later. Really, the only band that still sticks with me so hard from that period of my life.

And this all makes me think of something. How, i believe, you’ll never feel the way you do about things as you did when you were younger. Nothing in your life will ever be as important to you as it was when you were a teenager, specifically a young teenager. They’ll always stick with you. It’s why, even though you listened to terrible music, you’ll still always love those bands. It all means so much because these are the things that are with you when you’re forming your identity, when you’re figuring out the world; they’re what get you through all the sleepless nights, all the heartbreaks, all the fights and fears of being in high school. It’s why you remember your firsts as well.

I still remember the first girl i had a crush on. Her name was Suzie–like that, with the ‘z’ and that might be what made all the difference for me–she had red hair and green eyes. I was in first grade and only knew her for two years, but, man, made me weak in the knees even then. She was the only girl i could never look in the eyes or talk to back then. I even got my first childhood romance kiss–or whatever you calla kiss when you’re seven–from a different girl because i was so afraid of her.

Too, this is why Bukowski–though i don’t think he’s very talented anymore–will always mean so much to me. He got me through a lot of things in my life, all the big things and unbearable things, anyway. And then there’s Rimbaud who’s really the only person i actually consider my hero. He’s everything to me. I’ll not describe him in detail or i’ll be wandering on forever, but his life, his ideology, everything about him; he’s who i admire most in the history of the world. He’s who i would be if i could be someone else.

And i know so many of you have the same connections with something. It may be a song, an album, a book, a poem, a sentence, a smell: it’s something and it’ll always be important to you no matter how old you get or how long it’s been.

You’ve no idea how much i think about things like this. I guess it goes back to memory. Because these things, you never forget them. They’re always shaping you and will always shape you. I’d not be who i am without Bukowski, Rimbaud, Dostoevsky, Johnny Whitney, Akira Kurosawa, Won Kar Wai, Conor Oberst, Isaac Brock, Salvador Dali, and probably many others. And, for me at least, it’s always art. Art in every form. It always shapes me, will always shape me, even when i want to rip it apart and burn it to the ground: it’s everything.

Really, without those guys, i would’ve probably died a long time ago. Not sure why, but i think the world would’ve finally swallowed me whole and all those ghosts that follow every step i take would’ve finally reached inside and shut it all down.

I’m gonna leave you with a cover of a band i quite like by a man i quite like. Not really the best cover, but i’m digging it. I remember hearing this for the first time in ninth grade in my best friend’s basement, jsut staring at the ceiling and knowing, somehow, that everything was going to be all right, that the whole world was out there for me, for us, and we’d take it if taking needed to be done. We were young, forever fifteen, forever afraid, and forever impatient for that next step.

If you’ve time, check out the Elliott Smith cover of that song, too. It’s much better and i’d link it, but i’ve put up enough videos in this post. Take care, all.

10
Feb
09

Death in Dublin

This weekend turned out to not be as bad as i expected it. Though, I was in a foul mood for most of it. I found some good times to fiend on. You know, sometimes things’ll be okay if you let them be. Though, too, this weekend was pretty bizarre, lots of strangeness floating about the city.

The title of this post is another one of my many hidden literary allusions though it really has nothing to do with what it alludes to.

I saw a great film this weekend, The Good, The Bad, The Weird. It’s a South Korean western. Yeah, you read that right. So so so much fun there. Really, the film is just absolutely bonkers. Wild action scenes, frenetic pacing, surprisingly wonderful camera work, and that all important and distinct quality of Korean film: black as midnight humor. Posting the trailer because i think everyone should check it out. Wildly entertaining.

Oh, i found out today i made it into that Vampire Anthology i think i menationed on here. Will post that and the horror anthology when they pop up. Um, i think that’s about it for now.




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