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Showing posts from June, 2007

You must wake up--Paprika

This one's for Matt, maybe B if she ever swings by and maybe Musing.
OMG! Paprika
Just saw it this afternoon--really glad we went to a theater. I've only ever seen SatoshiKon's other works on the small screen.
For anyone else who cares, SK is another anime director (besides HayaoMiyazaki). I stumbled onto him quite by accident because his TV show Paranoia Agent was playing late at night. I would catch a few episodes and then miss some but I was very impressed. Then L'Arc (it all comes back to L'Arc, just deal with it) has a song called Perfect Blue and SK made a film called Perfect Blue that came out around the same time. I still think that Tetsu based his lyrics on the film, but I've found nothing to support that. Anyway, we requested Perfect Blue from Netflix, and we've been hooked. We quickly got Millennium Actress and then caught by chance, Tokyo Godfathers on TV.
With the exception of Tokyo Godfathers all of his films break the notion of reality. In Mill…

Follow up

I wrote that in my head earlier and then I read an audience review of Ratatouille, about how maybe children shouldn't be told they can be anything when not everyone has the same talents.

Maybe I should forgive myself for not being a doctor or a lawyer. Maybe I should forgive myself for not having written a book yet, or maybe accept that I may never write a book. Maybe I should try to do things for pleasure besides video games and see how that feels.

This sort of ties into that post I had about Maddy Gaiman. I just felt enormous pressure as a child/teenager to do great things because I had this "early" talent. I don't know if that pressure was there or if I just felt that it was there. Maybe I should forgive my mother too.

Night Blooming Lilly

I had a small shock this week. I was thumbing through The Phoenix, a weekly free mag. for the young and hip that my husband had brought home and they had a column on new books and there was my college roommate's name. Which is doubly funny because I had just been speaking about her. We got along OK--not great. It even had her picture which I hadn't even realized when I first looked at the article (when I get to a scanner on Monday I'll scan it with a picture of her from college--she hasn't changed much). The book is called What You Call Winter, and it's a collection of short stories about a Catholic town in India. Her name is Nalini Jones (which made us the room of unpronounceable first names and really simple last names). Nalini means Night Blooming Lilly.

Beyond the surprise I wasn't actually as upset as I feared I might be. For one thing, I knew that she'd had short stories published and that she had gotten a book publisher. She did all the &quo…

Four before midnight

To keep up my streak I need to write four posts before midnight.

Fortunately, I have several things I could write about.

In the total trivia category:

I had a bar inserted into my ear. Why, you may ask? Well, why not. I don't have a good reason--mid-life crisis, maybe. A fear of becoming too normal. I mentioned in the 36 things about me post that I had suddenly had the need to get a piercing in my ear two years ago. I wanted this, but chickened out and basically just got the one at the back of the ear. From posts and blogs I've skimmed piercing (and tattooing) can become an addiction. Once the novelty of one wears off, you think, I need another. I just kept coming back to the idea and so have done it. I suspect that it will not fit in with my new company's dress code, such as it is, but I can always wear my hair over it. So much for the neat up-do's I've been wearing, but I can always do that after work. I wanted to do this now because I figure it's go…

Brick

Film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt of Third Rock From the Sun. Written and directed by Rian Johnson.

The dilemma in reviewing/critiquing film, is just that--am I doing a simple review--this film was good and you should see it, or do I want to get into actual film criticism--this film was good in comparison to other films and here's why. The first should have as few spoilers as possible. The second may (depending on the reviewer) lay out every aspect of the plot, thus making it unlikely that you (the reader) will want to see the film any time soon.

I don't worry about this so much with books. If you want to read them, you will probably still read them. Since this film is two years old (and because I've been promising myself that I would try to flex these muscles) I'll try and give a brief critique.

In order to enjoy this film one must, first and foremost, buy into the conceit of the film, which is a film noir set in a modern high school. The characters speak as though they are…

And Now for Something Completely Different

From A Man for All Seasons, by Robert Bolt

Setting - Sir Thomas More has declined to employ Richard Rich, who has just left the room.

Wife: Arrest him!
More: For what?
Wife: He's dangerous!
Roper: For all we know he's a spy!
Daughter: Father, that man's bad!
More: There's no law against that!
Roper: There is, God's law!
More: Then let God arrest him!
Wife: While you talk he's gone!
More: And go he should, if he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?
This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down (and you're just the man to do it!), do you really think you could…

I wasn't going to make this a separate post but...

Blogger has eaten my add on TWICE! TWICE! NAN DE O????

Anyway as an addendum to the below, I realize that that post (and by extension, this one) are only interesting to two of my friends. I am worried that the "non-gay" Hyde wishes to emulate a man who famously said that one of his fantasy's was to be manhandled by British soldiers.

After posting (the fact that this new job has no firewall between me and Blogger could be a bad thing) I was heading home and thought, "Should I listen to Dead or Alive?" (I'd already listened to L'Arc) and listened to this instead for obvious reasons:



Ah, Information Society--most famous for sampling from the Original Star Trek. The album is surprisingly solid, slightly repetitious (no pun intended as there is a song called Repetition) but danceable and well made.

OMG--TOTAL Fangirling now

Remember this blog

http://noveleye.blogspot.com/2007/05/isnt-it-weird-when-its-in-air.html

where I said that Hyde was channelling Pete Burns of Dead or Alive. I haven't searched the L'Arc-o-sphere for a long time, one or two sites where I go for news, but a quick search for something else led to a translation of comments on L'Arc's new single (which I linked to last month) and Hyde SAYS that he wanted to do a Dead or Alive type of song! OMG! OMG! And that he gave it to Yuki to mix (well wanted the Yuki techno treatment). I thought Yuki had written the music the first time I heard it.

Yes, I am a sad fangirl.

Nightmare

Even though I'm pushing my window, and I will be tired (and probably late) tomorrow I really have to write this. I've told two people, and I'm still processing it.
I had a nightmare last night. I have nightmares a lot and so does my husband. We both flail and yell and he's smacked me more than a few times. We also both remember our dreams in general more than many people I know.

You know how in dreams you can be in a completely wild house and yet you know it's your house, or likewise a shopping mall or a school even though they are nothing like reality? This wasn't like that. I was in my apartment and it really was this apartment. The only difference was that there was a dark blue curtain hanging in the doorway of the kitchen at the end of the hall which my husband and I have discussed doing, but have not done. In the dream I was getting ready for work as I usually do after my husband has already left. I was in the bathroom and the light was the same, the layout …

More on lying

Mirror (who is one of the most honest people I know) commented to ask if I've seen Liar Liar. Yes, and love it. It brings up another question--where is the line between telling the truth when asked and over-sharing. Blurting out truths that no one wants to hear. Like hearing that someone is attracted to you either because you are so completely not attracted to them, or because doing anything about the attraction would be foolish and selfish. Or personal secrets and facts.

Is it lying if it is false, but to the best of your knowledge at the time--whether from forgetfulness or lack of self-knowledge or simply lack of all the facts--it was the truth?

First day

Well, I've started my new job. First day went like most first days--setting up the desk, learning the systems, finding out if I could order supplies (I can). I already knew where the bathroom and kitchen were. There was panic that I'm in over my head, frustration that people weren't there to point me in a direction, more panic that I will have to find my own direction and then calm as I simply started doing things.

Come on in, the water's fine.

File under using your education well

I remembered that I have used Je me souviens myself. Back when I was collecting lit. mags., I entered a contest at Rosebud Magazine. I must have been the only entrant because they published all of my entries. It was for titles of Bogus Best Sellers:

Je me tienneun biscuit etje me souviensrien (I hold a cookie and I remember nothing)/Abregerunehistoirelongue, tant pis! (To make a long story short, too late!)--Marcel Proust

Some of my others were:

Hey, You! Put Back My Cheese!--Johnson/Blanchard

Spaghettios for the Soul: 101 Stories of Closed Minds and Crushed Spirits

Chicken Soup for the Psychopath's Soul: 101 Stories that drop the meds and rekindle the voices

The Italian Grandmother: Mange, Mange!--Mario Puzo

Any Day Now the Rabbi Will Convert--Harry Kemelman

Rabbit Takes Viagra--John Updike

The Inscrutables/The Indefatigables (A Two Volume Set)--Henry James

God, I can't stop

Just a follow-up. Neil Gaiman's daughter is writing his blog. She's on the set of the latest Hellboy being cosseted by Guillermo delToro and Selma Blair. She's clearly quite precocious. On the one hand--how cool is that--I'm jealous. On the other, having been a precocious and cosseted child, I wish that people had been more honest with me. There comes a point when you will not be clever for your age--will not be the kid it's fun to humor, but just another adult. I think the whole self-esteem movement is actually making kid's self-esteem worse. I think I would have been better off if more people had said, "You aren't good at this--you have to work at it. This is good for a 12 year old but next year you'll have to do better." I got to rest on my laurels and I never learned to work hard or to fail. This probably won't happen to Gaiman's daughter, but I see it happening to other young people I know. Or I'm just blaming oth…

One more and then I must stop

While in Canada we bought a copy of Esquire.

As it says on the cover, "Some Angie, a little King..what else does a man need for summer?"

So yes, we bought it because of the photos of Angelina Jolie and the short story by Stephen King. We bought it in Canada because my husband was worried that it might actually be sold out by the time we got back (it's not). The three photos of Angie are awesome but the article is terrible. The King is good, but not great.

Anyway, there's an article in it about the concept of Radical Honesty. I think I had vaguely heard of this, but not really looked into it. Basically it's a system/movement started by a guy named Brad Blanton who proposes that we would all be happier if we just stopped lying. All together. Completely.

Not even little white lies to make other people feel better. He says all lies are designed to disguise ourselves. In theory it sounds great, but then, so does communism. A little warning light goes off in my …

And the next point

Jumping ahead for a moment. Looking at the bit on friends in the poem made me think of something I was thinking of last night at my friend's shower. The person throwing the shower has been friends with N since high school. I've been friends with N for 10 years. I mentioned R last month as someone I've been friends with since I was 15--for 20 years now. I've been friends with Red Queen since I was 18, so for half my life but Red Queen is about 15 years older than I am. Likewise with C. Most of my other friends I've had for five or six years.
When I was leaving my job my two female bosses mentioned that they had a core of friends that they'd been with since elementary school. I really can't even imagine that.
I ran away from the people with whom I went to elementary school. Now J is still in the same town where she grew up--went to state college two hours away--probably with all the same people and she's only 30, so it makes sense. But D is 65 and has lived…

On traveling

Like I said I would like to travel more. I wrote this poem in college. I don't think anything has changed except now I'm approaching half of an average lifetime and I haven't added many, but now I've added two countries. My teacher didn't like it, and it is pretty simplistic, but I still like it (although I just tinkered with it).

Scenic Routes

Distances traveled are distances gained.
So I have been in sixteen states. Perhaps
seventeen. Around a third of the way.
Some landed in in planes, or driven through.
A mere in the way distance. In transit.
On the way. And some probed intimately from
side to side. Which brings the number that's known,
well, down to perhaps three. Or four. OK
for under a third of an average life,
or lifespan, because each lifespan, from three
months to one hundred and three--or four--years
is just someones lifetime--no more/ no less.
And I have known, or at any rate, met
perhaps a thousand people, although I've
seen, I think, a million uniqu…

Montreal--Je me souviens (or 4 Chinatowns!)

So we drove to Montreal. About 5.5 hours plus stopping for lunch on the way up. My husband has a cousin there and so had been as a child and teenager. I'd always wanted to go. Now this is going to sound really stupid on my part. I forgot they would be speaking French! I'd have definitely brushed up before I went if I'd remembered. Or at least brought my dictionary. Although if you said Hello to their Bonjour everyone would switch to English. Truly bi-lingual. Lovely. We kept trying to reach his cousin, but they didn't have an answering machine. They had probably gone down to New York.


The drive up was pleasant and uneventful (except for my ears hurting somewhere in Vermont leading to a scramble to find gum). I kept thinking we should get gas before we got to Canada where it would be more expensive--remember that. We kept driving in and out of little showers that would sprinkle the car and then dissipate. Until we were 20 minutes into Canada when the heavens opened up…

The English Language

I wish I were more specific in my speaking. I really do. I go back over these things and realize that an omitted comma has made my sentences vague and confusing.

My husband and I had a funny exchange the Saturday before we went to Montreal. We were running around doing errands including dropping the house-key off with my friend and pet-sitter. On the way there I said that we should get more dog food "...before we go," meaning, sometime Saturday (we were leaving Sunday morning). I had earlier said we should fill the tank with gas before we go, again meaning sometime in the next 24 hours.

Him: What good would that do?

Me: What do you mean? Aren't we close to being out? I don't want to leave M worrying she's going to run out of food.

Him: What? But if we have it, what good would it do M?

Me: Why would we have it? What are you talking about?

What he had understood me to mean was, literally before we go--as we are leaving Somerville and taking to the highway--therefore taki…

The handbag and why it's important

I guess I'll kind of go back to the beginning and work forward. I had been looking for a handbag for ages, but hadn't had any luck. The one I had (1950/60's style clutch with small handle) was showing wear, plus I was beginning to feel the need to have a slightly larger bag. What I wanted was one just like it, only slightly bigger. What I found were all slightly smaller. Or ghastly--with massive buckles and logos. Or outrageously priced. There was a bag I had liked in a Japanese store here that was shaped like a three sided pyramid with sort of backpack handles and a zipper down the middle of one side. Unfortunately it was in kimono silk and I was afraid that I would destroy it in no time. It was also $42 dollars--good for what it was, but more than I wanted to pay.
So I started to design one in my head. The pyramid was funkier than I've gone in awhile, but you can always pull of funky if you say you made it--really. Try it some time. I'm pretty proud of the result.…

I'm baaaccckkk

Just received a sweet note from Musing asking me to return. Thank you. I have not given up blogging--I was just both stressed and away. Felt it was not conducive.

In the past two weeks, working backwards: I attended a friend's girl's night out shower, went to Montreal, had the last day of my old job and made a handbag.

I also watched the end of Basilisk, The Last King of Scotland and Kinky Boots. Kind of blew my diet because of birthday, leaving work treats and vacation. Figured out that if I want to play video-games I must set an alarm clock. My husband was rejected for insurance and I've been trying to figure out what his stupid doctor could have written that would cause that.

That's pretty much it for the personal. Worked on that dress I started ages ago when fighting a cycle of video-game addiction--happy to say it's all done but the finishing. Sorted stuff--my on-going project to weed through the accumulation to get to the essentials, like throwing out old magazi…

Pucca Theme

Changed the picture--got tired of looking of myself, and well, sums up my life policy: Pucca loves Garu
He's a pretty boy
Ninjas eat noodles
Kissy chase, Kissy face
Wham Bam Bam
Pu-pu-pu-Pucca, Funny Love
I realized that I haven't really done a serious essay in awhile.  It's all been personal or nonsense.  I'll have to work on that.

Whenever I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in

You know how I'd pretty much resolved to leave theater behind except in special circumstances and move on with my adult life--i.e. new job, life insurance, investments, etc.?

There was a part posted a few weeks ago and I really thought about going for it--character was my exact age, chance to play a lipstick lesbian, interesting company, but I said no, no, keep going.

EXCEPT, they sent me a personal invite to come audition based on a mass audition I did last year. Of course, they could be so desperate for this part that they are sending it out to every headshot they've ever seen that was remotely close. BCC, don't I love thee.

Leaving that aside, I'm somewhat flattered--it's cool to be personally asked to audition. Of course, it's cooler to be simply asked to take a role, but ...

The real dilemma is that it goes up in October. Right when the new job really hits the fan--conference I put together and run--big conference in Scottsdale that I'm supposed to …

36 Things You Might or Might Not Know About Me (In Honor of My Birthday)

1. I was born in BienHoa in the Republic of South Vietnam (a country which, stupid INS officer to the contrary, no longer exists).

2. I spent the first year of my life in an orphanage. The official story was that I was found on the street, but I've since heard that that is often the "official" story.

3. I lived briefly in St. Louis and then spent my childhood and youth in Grandview, MO, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri.

4. I don't say Missourah.

5. My father opened a bookstore when I was five--it closed when I was 9. It was fun while it lasted.

6. I wanted to act when I was 4.

7. I love to read. I like books better than most people and I read eclectically. I don't read "chick lit" but I do read classics, science-fiction (but I'm very picky), mystery (even pickier) and children's/young adult.

8. My first job was in the local library.

9. I was valedictorian of my high school, but my high school didn't have the valedictorian give the spe…

Carbon Leaf

This is My Song

My name is Luck, this is my song
I happened by when you were gone. Oh well...
I apologize that I could not stay
But I hope good things swing your way
I know they will ... here's your horseshoe
So best of luck to you

From the stable running brave
From the cradle to the grave
This is my day, this is my song!
I am alive .. what can go wrong?
If we're on our way-oh, ok let me know
If we're on our way-oh, ok then, let's go

My name is Hope, Luck just ran out
He said he'd return, without a doubt
(ah, but don't you believe him!)
Oh, I happen to have a message from Love
She told me she knows what you've been dreaming of
My name is Hope, this is my song. When things go wrong (slightly cheesy, I know, but something about it just grabs me.)

Insurance

In that same train of thought. I've been trying to get my husband life insurance for about a month and a half now. For various reasons he's not as insurable as I'd like. He is in underwriting, to use the jargon. I know too many women who's husband died between 36 and 44, suddenly and without warning. It may sound mercenary to think of insurance but I work in the business. A friend (for whom I found work for with the same company) find ourselves in the strange position of knowing a great deal about something we had no interest in knowing and we were discussing that if our husbands died without insurance (and vice a versa) we would have only ourselves to blame. Although I know uninsured insurance salesmen/women. Strange.

What's irrational is my belief that somehow if I get him insured I likewise gain him some protection. Like carrying an umbrella will stave off rain. I went nearly 10 years without apartment insurance and yet in the month between filing and receiving…

Distant grief

A local critic has died of cancer. I didn't know him. I'm sure I met him. He gave me some nice reviews. I feel sad that he's died.

A friend's ex-husband is dying of cancer. I didn't know him at all, but I feel very sad for her and her children.

I remember 9 years ago a friend who was already spending his evenings in chat rooms came into work, shaken that a young teenager he knew on a board (literary I think, not strange) had died and someone else on the board mentioned it. He said he didn't know how to describe his sorrow. Virtual grief?

Overheard

I was buying novelty keyboard buttons--you know the ones that say "Any" and "Eject." I had found one recently that said "Doom" which I liked a lot but graciously gave to my husband and kept the one that said "Damn It." I bought "Oops" and "D'uh" and a couple of others in this little toy store in Newton Center. While I was deciding which ones I wanted there was an elderly gentleman (probably in his 80's) at the counter talking to the clerk. It was clear that they had spoken before. I think they were discussing birds and he was saying that there hadn't been any in his yard and she suggested suet in his feeder. He said he didn't know how to make suet and she said, "Take some bacon grease-" and he said, "I don't eat bacon."
"Well, some burger grease."
"Don't eat that either."
"Well, there are probably some other non-meat based suet recipes on the Internet."

And…

Guinness

Post haircut.

The voice-over work

Actually was very tricky and I did do it well. (This is hard for me to write but I'm working on it). The really great thing is that they said they were going to send me a disc later in the summer with some of my work on it (doing the same for everyone involved--personalized). Which can/will be added to a demo tape. So eventually I could have a link to it and you can judge for yourself. When I heard it was pick-ups I was worried because pick-ups mean doing lines you've already done because something went wrong. It could be you, or it could be technical. I, of course, worried that it was me. It wasn't.

This project is a spoken disc to accompany a text book for high-schoolers. That's already been put together, apparently, with my original recordings. There is also an interactive software component and when they were doing that they decided that they needed more space between each line to break. Now, this is a poem. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelo…

And then things go up again

There is a Simpson's episode where the school closes (again) and Lisa starts to hyperventilate because she hasn't been graded (validated) for 12 hours. Her mother quickly draws a big A on a piece of paper and gives it to her.



I know how she feels.



So, it's been quite a freelancing week. After the disaster with the monster costumes I put together a newsletter for a company I used to work for and did some pick-up lines for the voice-over job I'd done in March. I was thanked and praised repeatedly for both. Now, here's an interesting point about me--I take criticism less well than I'd like, but I also take praise badly. My urge, even here, is to downplay it. Well, yes, they like the newsletter, but really anybody could have done it--I used a Publisher template for heaven's sake and well, it's definitely better than what they used to have, but it would probably embarrass a real graphic designer, etc. I managed to simply say thank you to each of the congrat…