Sunday, July 5, 2009
In the meantime, I must ensure all the albums on my iTouch have the correct artwork. This is a matter of critical importance. I may lose sleep. I am playing at sarcasm here, but I am layering it too thick because it is sarcastic sarcasm. I may actually lose sleep. These are two problems: a) my tendency to layer the funny to the point where it isn't funny; and b) the losing of sleep.
The orchestral nonsense reflects the character's epiphany. The piano rock is because the epiphany must be followed by song and dance. The piano rock has a long way to come. The bass line must be swapped out for a live track. The lyrics have yet to be finalized. The melody is even sketched at this point, not finalized either.
Even though so much of it remains unfinished, it feels awful good to be working on one of my burning obsessions for actual credit.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
That made me laugh. Saw it linked by gwenners via Twitter.
Fireworks crackle outside my window. I massage Renoise into compliance. Stop bleeding harmonics into every other range, silly piano arpeggios! Out comes the EQ panel to regulate you.
What's this on the White House lawn? Foo Fighters? Alas, I am distracted once again. Back to work!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Really, it's some sort of freak miracle that I didn't die in a pileup on the turnpike on the way to my exams. It's even more of a freak miracle that I didn't die hours later on the way back when the turnpike was jammed with a honking swarm of metal and plastic.
If I were an actuary selling myself life insurance, I would include a clause about not paying a dime if I fall asleep doing fifty in a Corolla. Because, really, I've had more honest brushes with death due to the combination of cars and sleep deprivation than due to anything else. It's stupid and ridiculous and irresponsible and all sorts of idiocy and also self-inflicted which is the alienating bow on top. (cue a high bell ringing clear and long) Ding! Emo done, go to sleep.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Come and participate, they say. Share with us your pretension. Share with us your self-sabotage and your quirk.
You know not what you ask, I say. Loose this demon and know regret. Revulsion shall ensue. Divert the elderly attention. Hide your sons and daughters. Ready the blinders and kill the volume. They'll never know what hit them.
It occurs to me I do more than hammer cheesy triads. It occurs to me to conceal this thought; dedication is uncool. The fact remains: I love to rip off The Bach. The fact remains: procrastination is my greatest skill.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
In other news, the musical is getting off the ground. I've song sketches for everything and the lyrics are coming. My project method is coming into focus thanks to my Capstone course which forces me to maintain structured tiers and milestones.
However, my other courses are falling behind at an alarming pace. I fear I am setting myself up for another psychotic week of unsleeping exhaustion and hackery. This is, of course, my way. Procrastination is not just a bad habit; it's a philosophy.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A) I don't advertise my presence,
B) Her having a laugh at my expense assumes she is interested enough to read a couple posts. (I am not that interesting.)
C) Her having a laugh at my expense also assumes she remembers anything about me other than my occasional buttheadedness. (My personality traits are negative.)
It occurs to me I am writing here when I should be doing homework. This is finals week. Saturday is the deadline. I have close to 10 hours of DVDs to watch, about 500 pages to read, and 7 assignments to write by Saturday. I will probably skim the material and grind through the assignments as fast as possible. The fact remains: it is an idiotic amount of work, especially in light of the fact of my full time employment and 90 minutes of commute per day. It is the height of lunacy for me not to be hammering out assignments this moment, and yet here I sit tapping away at this blog I haven't updated in 2 months.
I could at least be catching up on emails. I have many awaiting me which I intend to answer. I could also be writing music. I have pages full of lyrics, chord progressions lifted from Franck and Irving Berlin. I even a slew of covers that fit my voice nicely. I could arrange those.
Instead I waste time here and read HuffPo. Woe is me. I implore sympathy for my self-sabotage. Even my irony is ironic. Ignore the stupidity of me. I am posing at posing. A half hearted copy of a half hearted copy repeated ad nauseum. If you haven't rolled your eyes and browsed elsewhere, you will be annoyed by the time you reach this sentence.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Life has happened a lot lately. Work-related stress has spilled everywhere. I am grateful to have a job, but it is not an easy living. Some evenings I feel a little like Westley in The Princess Bride when he's strapped, writhing, into The Machine and the Six-Fingered Man tells him, "I've just sucked one year of your life away."
It's a weird year for me. A momentous year, to be sure, but the weirdness has skyrocketed in equal measure to the gravitas.
Friday evening at work I broke into hysterical tears. It was just that kind of day. My boss valiantly tried to cheer me up, but I couldn't stop crying until I drove 40 minutes home and Hillary cooed and put Victor / Victoria in the DVD player. It's impossible to cry in the presence of Julie Andrews.
Then yesterday morning I was splayed on an exam table for five hours as a technician electrified my hair follicles. An acoustic cover of Bittersweet Symphony played over the PA when the doctor came to anesthetize me. I disintegrated into a stammering blushing mess.
In the afternoon I watched NASCAR for 20 minutes as I waited to use the women's room in New Hope. After the first 10 minutes I noticed the men's room was vacant. I spent the next 9 minutes wondering if I should use it, or if that would cause the weirdness to compound upon itself over and over until New Hope suddenly became a weirdness black hole. In the last minute, I wondered if that had already happened. After all, New Hope is already a strange and fabulous place.
In the evening I left a meeting before I wanted because Hillary was undead-tired. She needed a real bed and not a car seat. So I took one for the team, grumbled a little about it, apologized for grumbling, and that was that.
Today I sang Happy Birthday to a dear friend and left shortly thereafter to see my voice teacher. We had a great lesson and made significant progress. She was wonderful, generous with her time, and didn't bat an eye when I explained weekly visits were beyond my budget so could we do bi or triweekly?
Tonight I sit before a glowing square, typing a sketchy blog post when I should be writing homework or printing Cole Porter or Hoagy Carmichael or Noel Coward or Scott Joplin sheet music because that is my music of obsession for the moment and I wish to learn it. Again.
You see, I played the piano a lot as a child and greatly annoyed everyone with rhythmically incorrect versions of The Entertainer and The Maple Leaf Rag and Fur Elise and other fabulous music which I hated then but love now. And now all I can do with the piano is plink and plonk and hammer out triads like there's no tomorrow and play the occasional descending chord progressions I stole from Bach.
Alas I must away to bed. Tomorrow I will put my Target gift cards to good use and feed one of the following obsessions: Gene Kelly, Julie Andrews, Alfred Hitchcock, or Bob Fosse.
For good measure:
Friday, March 6, 2009
This is a miserable way to live.
I should restrain from this sort of ruthless self-flagellation.
I should accept myself as worthy of love, shoulders and all.
I should laugh away the negative and stride through life
with unshakeable confidence,
with invulnerable self-possession,
with cocked hips and a smile.
Instead, I withdraw. My inability to measure up to my own standard paralyzes me, terrifies me, whittles my verve to splinters.
No one could succeed at anything with Cowell riding shotgun in their mind.
I won't succeed at anything until I kick the bastard out.
Kicking him out in 3 … 2 … 1 …
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"Hello," I say. "I understand you wish to make a change to your account."
A female voice in my ear mutters under her breath. "Great. Did he transfer me to a machine? It sounds like--"
"I am not a machine, ma'am," I say.
"Oh, no?" she asks. "You sure sound like one."
Monday, March 2, 2009
Help. I was supposed to dance off the calories of dinner, but I lost my head in the internet hole instead. Fall down. Go boom.
An emotastic transgender nursery rhyme:
Now I lay me down to bed
Lover kiss me on the head
Anesthesia slowly dripping
Water music softly skipping
Clever handed doctor winging
Pebbles on the pool of time
I must away to dance off the dinner calories. Wish me burn. Howler doll? Indeed. Or perhaps the whole droll mess of it.
Lord! Hell, ow.
Doll her low.
I am such a dork.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
In order: meh, like it, love it, LOVE IT. The last on the right is wicked awesome. Consider me inspired. Topshop Unique goes on my mental checklist of win.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Meh. Let it develop.
Eliza Dushku's future may not contain Emmy awards, but she's hardly the worst actress on television. As Echo, her job is mainly to change clothes a lot and look pretty. No problem there. The role so far calls mainly for vulnerability. She has no problem with vulnerable either.
Topher (Fran Kranz) is the archetypal witty boy genius who always turns up on Whedon shows. His job is mainly to manipulate imaginary technology and deliver all the best lines. He seems stamped from the template of the Trio in Buffy's Season 6. Since Whedonspeak has been rampant in popular culture for the past decade or so, Topher's dialogue doesn't have the shock of the new in the same way as Xander's dialogue, or Andrew's dialogue, or even Mr. Universe's dialogue.
Bennett (Tamoh Penikett) is supposed to be the badass agent on a maybe phantom quest. His job is mainly to channel Mulder only angry. And without humor. He's the nerdy version of Elliot Stabler.
Langton (Harry Lennix) is the father figure full of weighty angst. He is the story's emotional grounding wire. He must make us believe. Lennix's presence in this kind of role of a good open for the future of the show. He is a fine actor. I have seen him in theatre.
While it is true the pilot episode was homogenized and explainy, it served its expository purpose quite well. I have heard complaints that the nature of the Dollhouse was revealed too early. But the show was never marketed as a big mystery like The Matrix (“What is the Matrix?”) or Lost (What the hell is the Island?). Mysteries are well and good, but Dollhouse is not about the mystery of the Dollhouse. The premise has been a selling point from the beginning. It has been a way to capture eyeballs. The question, “What is the Dollhouse,” may haunt characters within the show (i.e. Bennett), but it was answered for the audience in the promos.
The argument could be made that maybe Fox should have marketed Dollhouse as a mystery all along. Maybe they should have kept it under wraps for the past year and taken draconian measures to prevent leaks and so on. Maybe that would be the best way to simultaneously engage Joss's existing fanbase while intriguing new viewers. It's hard to know, seeing as two episodes into the series, we still don't exactly know what it's going to be about. Is that a bad sign? Maybe. We'll see. We don't know enough yet.
For now, we only have a few clues. The Alpha seems like our first Big Bad. Or is he a misunderstood white hat? Time will tell. As the plot unfolds, it seems necessary for Echo to become more and more self-aware. At some point, she will probably escape the Dollhouse, probably with the help of Ballard. Then the show will be Whedonized Dark Angel, which sounds pretty good to me.
The first two episodes have not tenderized my brain with awesome, but I am reminded that Buffy and Firefly took a few episodes to win me over. I will give Dollhouse the same chance. Will anyone else? Answer that question and you know the future of the show.
For the Rockefeller Center comedy crowd, the Republican Party is the gift that keeps on giving. Jack McBrayer and Tina Fey's careers will have afterburners as long as Jindal and Palin are in the public eye. Moreover, they will inoculate the country against far-right revivals. It's hard to get elected when you're reduced to a caricature. Just ask Gerald Ford.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Dear Governor Jindal,
Reality says hello. It says it missed you. It asks, how do you like your illusions? Prodded or shattered?
They said you would be hard to parody. They were wrong. For the remainder of your political career you shall be known as Bobby the Page. Kenneth the Jindal. SNL will make a killing, impersonating you.
And to think, at one time I was afraid you might contend in 2012. Now I hope you contend. I beg you, Bobby Jindal, please run for president. If you or Palin are the Republican Party nominee, Obama is assured a second term no matter what catastrophe may befall him in the first.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Picture for a moment John McCain and Sarah Palin as superheroes in a bad Japanese monster movie. Picture them in the worst 80's kaiju schlock you've ever seen. Picture them as low rent Power Rangers in blue and pink costumes.
Watch as a gigantic donkey man-creature with glowing red eyes stalks onto a cheap soundstage: a 1/8th scale model of some cartoon version of Washington DC, complete with the Capitol, the White House, and the Washington Monument. The creature roars and stomps around the city, crushing houses and cars at random. It stomps on over to Congress and vomits up a horde of baby monsters. Some cackle and slither into the Senate and the House, trailing blue slime in their wake. Others scatter into the city.
One of the creatures slithers down a street and and into a house where an overweight man is sitting on a couch and watching NASCAR. He is two cans into a six pack, and one of his hands rests just beneath the waistband exposed by his unbuttoned pants. He sees the creature and shrieks.
An old soldier and an aging beauty queen walk together down a nearby side street. While discussing tax cuts, they hear the shrieking man. They give each other looks of alarm and run into a convenient pair of phone booths. They emerge, clad in sparkly red spandex outfits with masks and capes.
On his chest, the old man has “John” in military stencil script above an outline of Arizona. On hers, the beauty queen has “Sarah” in pink cursive above an outline of Alaska. Together, they sprint into the house with the threatened man. They shoot red lasers from their eyes at the slimy blue donkey-spawn. It dances in alarm and vanishes in a misty puff.
John and Sarah exchange high-fives and the rescued man offers beers in gratitude. John dribbles his beer on his outfit a little, but Sarah helps him with it. She leans in close and dabs his chin with a napkin. John puts an arm around her, ogles her bosom, and winks for the camera. The rescued man brandishes a plunger and gives thumbs up. The moment is interrupted by a violent rumble outside. Sarah and John look each other in the eye and dash theatrically out through the door.
They arrive in the street to see the donkey man-creature has made off with the Washington Monument and is wielding it as a club. It smashes a few buildings, bleats, and stomps toward the White House. More slimy blue donkey-spawn leap from out its mouth and slither away to cause untold havoc.
John and Sarah point to conspicuous rings on their index fingers. Instead of jewels, the rings have matching elephant symbols. John and Sarah nod and dramatic music booms from somewhere. They strike hero poses and shout in unison, “Magical Maverick Powers, Unite!” Then they slam their clenched fists together, connecting the rings.
A flare of multicolored light bursts from the point of impact. Mist spills into the street around them and coalesces into a gigantic robot elephant-man. Inside its eyes are John and Sarah, working levers and spinning dials. The robot elephant strikes a hero pose, then flies off under power of rocket boots. It lands, arms folded, directly in the path of the donkey man-creature.
The donkey man-creature bleats a challenge to the sky. It rears back and swings the Washington Monument at the robot elephant-man's torso. The robot elephant-man catches the full force of the strike and is knocked clear over to the Vietnam Memorial. Trees sway and foliage flattens from shock wave.
The donkey laughs a herky-jerky laugh and resumes its path to the White House. The elephant rises to its feet, shakes off the effects of the club, and lifts the Vietnam Memorial from out the crumbly earth. It sounds a trumpet blast from its robotic trunk and hurls the Memorial like a boomerang.
The Memorial whirs across the burning city and strikes the donkey man-creature upside the head. White sparks shower from the point of injury. Part of the head falls away, revealing inside a tall thin black man with a turban on his head and a copy of the Quran strapped to his back. He works levers and turns dials, and curses alternately in hood slang and arabic. His multitude of donkey-creature minions emerge from the Capitol wearing suits and grinning. They hurl a massive barrage of acorns that blot out the sky.
Cut to a close up of John and Sarah panicking within their robot. Arcs of electricity dart around the control room and the screen shakes left to right.
VOICEOVER: All looks lost for our tax cutting heroes! How will they escape? Find out next time on Maverick Sentai Fever!
I flip a lock of hair from out my eyes and admire the glittering sliver on the table between us. Tiny metal rectangle, pearlescent one end, black at the other. "That's what I want," my voice says, "I want to feel this way forever."
"It'll pass," he says and sighs.
"That's the point."
"I mean the feeling that you want it to last. It'll get old."
"You'll get over it," he says. "Everyone does. For now, just relax. Enjoy the ride. Don't let's lose our heads and do stupid shit as we peak. That's what I'm here for, right? I'm your sitter. Just relax." He folds his arms and nods to emphasize this last part.
I sigh theatrically and lean back in my chair. Cutter softly laughs and shakes his head. He looks away.
I snatch the sliver from the table and slot it.
"You don't get it, kid," says Cutter. "The loop won't break. Anyone punches that ticket, they ride in circles 'til doomsday."
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Now I am keeping an eye on the broadcast and my partner's mother is telling me about Jackman's performance as Peter Allen and showing me videos of him in Oklahoma! from ten years ago. One is embedded below. Seriously, it's Hugh Fever tonight in our household. I am being antisocial by blogging instead of chatting.
Now I've gone and bought The Boy from Oz album. I'll burn a disc to play for Mom and load it on my Touch. This is, of course, ridiculous. I have a new obsession. Mom says hers is an old obsession and it came to her even before she saw X-Men because she follows theater and knew about the Oklahoma! performance.
Anyway, I hate you, Hugh Jackman, for being charming and talented and ambiguously sexual.
Oh, did they gave out awards too? Something about a quiz show in India? Kate Winslet gushing all stunning and genuine? Meryl Streep, the Grand Dame of Cinema, presiding in the front row and smiling with approval? Gerundize my presence with the icy parts of particles. Let me end before I turn to dada anymore.
The chrome factory stood monolithic amidst a wasteland of skeletal trees and cracked clay. Red brick pillars belched plumes of black that darkened the sky.
The factory had a rectangular entryway. The shadow of an emblem was smeared along a girder overhead. A new logo was painted beside it: a blue and white smiley face with red stars for eyes.
A rusty escalator led the way inside. At its base, a walled pen miles wide was filled to the brim with humans. They had arranged themselves in orderly lines. Many discussed the greatness of the factory. Their enthusiasm was nearly uniform.
A young woman in shabby clothes approached a line sideways and cut toward the front. An older woman caught her by the elbow and squawked in protest. Others gave their strength and flung the young woman aside. She tumbled in the dust and clambered away. The older woman smiled and moved ahead of her helpers. A yellow daisy on her hat fluttered in the wind. A dozen people now stood between her and the escalator. She was minutes away now.
“Do you know what happens in there?” she asked the man in line before her.
“Not really,” he said, “but everyone says it's great.” He was forty-something and clean shaved. He wore a white dress shirt over blue jeans. Sweat stained his armpits, but he did not stink. The smell of the yard overpowered everything.
“I haven't met anyone who knows yet,” said the woman. She frowned and looked over her shoulder. The younger woman had rejoined the line some distance behind. She's cut in front again, the older woman thought. At least she hasn't cut in front of me.
“Maybe nobody knows for sure. We'll know when we get there,” said the man, and scratched his afternoon stubble. A buzzer rang and another person, a little boy, stepped upon the escalator. It lurched into motion and carried him twenty feet to the top where he disappeared behind an automatic metal door.
“Oh well,” the woman said. “We stand united in ignorance, I suppose.” She giggled and twiddled a button fixed to her purse strap. The button was printed with the starry eyed logo.
A second voice says, “No, I am.”
A third voice says, “Lies.”
“You're both imposters,” the first voice says.
“Are you joking?” asks the second. “I can't tell if you're joking.”
The third says, “It's impossible that I'm not Charlie Kaufman. I grew up awkward and wrote a movie about John Malkovitch.”
“Those memories are false,” says the first. “Someone implanted them with a brain portal.”
“This is a joke, right?” the second voice asks. “Someone is joking. The punchline will arrive and everything will make sense, but we'll be terribly embarrassed.”
“You're wrong,” says the third to the first. “I implanted those memories when I lived them. Go away already.”
“You're the one who's wrong,” says the first. “I remembered those things until someone erased them. Now I'm a sad puppet with a typewriter.”
Echoing sound of headscratching.
“Wait,” says the second voice. “I'm confused.”
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I found this video while doing research to polish up my student article about the LHC for a family member. While I wrote, the notion occured to me that the economy blowed up real good around the same time the first beam tests were completed. This means that the LHC start-up knocked the world into a parallel dimension where economic failure is common. When it restarts this September, we must pray that it knocks the world back into the dimension with the good economy. That way, we can all live fat, happy, and in debt up to our eyeballs.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
So if you ever hear me describe new art I love, new music, new anything, don't believe me. Whatever it is, I listened for thirty seconds and then put on Morning Sci-Fi or Haunted or I'm Not Dead. I read for twelve pages and set it down and forgot about it. I'm a shameless liar; a blatant manipulator; a cranky diva. I'll tell you not what I like, but what I want you to think I like, because I like the idea of me liking it.
I want you to think I'm quirky and fun. Don't let me fool you. I want you to think I'm cultured and sane. Don't let me fool you. I want you to think I'm the kind of woman who listens to the Future Sound of London and Samuel Barber and Aimee Mann. I want you to think I'm the kind of woman who watches Mulholland Drive and Repo Man and Singing in the Rain.
I lie. Half the time I even lie about lying. Believe me at your peril.
In the town, a clinic
On the steps, a woman
With wild eyes, her head
In her clutching hands
Her weary lover has brought her to be healed
Please, God, let this mind be sealed
For a time at least shield me
From myself let my self be concealed
astride their loophole to offer us the rope of Lenin.
Bear ye witness to Armageddon.
What goes up must fall down, down, down,
Tumbling from towers in silvern torrents:
credit derivatives (undifferentiated);
collateralized debt (which is wealth);
and contracts for the future (for there is none);
Phil Gramm, philosopher king, has struck the sentry dead.
Phil Gramm, philosopher king, has turned our gold to lead.