Friday, May 25, 2007

30 Years Ago In A Drive-In Nearby...

Hard to believe it's been 30 years today since Star Wars first premiered. I remember, vaguely, the first time I saw it at the old Starlight drive-in here in Waterloo, which would have been the summer of '77, though not necessairly May. I was only 2 1/2, but obviously it made an impression. The totality of the SW universe that George Lucas invented is at this point, somewhat overwhelming. I think if you melted all the action figures that have been produced to date, you'd have enough plastic to manufacture a plastic planet. But it's not the cons of SW I want to touch on today. It's the pros. I am a geek. GEEK. I am a Star Wars baby and I am proud to be one. I make the lightsaber sound. I can imitate both Yoda and the Emperor and on (drunken) occassion, Chewie. I imitate that sound X-Wings make when they streak past when I'm really bored and no one is looking. And I studied Latin, the classics, mythology and Joseph Campbell because a cheesy popcorn movie motivated to seek out the pieces that made up the whole. I wanted to be an astronaut because of Star Wars. I live and die for space geekiness because of Star Wars. Do I write because of Star Wars? I don't think so. Do I want to write cool, crazy space stuff because of Star Wars? You betcha'.

May the Force Be With You peeps.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Secret History Of Moscow



A while back I mentioned that Kat sold her novel The Secret History of Moscow to Prime Books. Somehow I forgot to post the fantastic cover, which has been on her site for a little bit now. You can also pre-order the book at Amazon and get your copy first when it comes out in November. Congrats again to Kat, who knows how to cheer a mopey writer up when he gets rejection slips from a girl and an agent on the same day. Perscription: blimps. Everything is always cooler with blimps.

Monday, May 14, 2007

No One Puts Baby In A Corner

So last night was interesting. It began at the pub, as Saturdays often do. Then it migrated to Kings & Queens, where a pretty righteous 80's prom revival was going on. Lots of mousse and gel, polos and ankle braclets. And music. All the best 80's music. But I drank way too much. Because I had a green straw and green straws meant you got a dollar off your drinks. Which were often a dollar.

I woke up today with the appropriate hangover. Nevertheless, I hung out with my mom for Mother's Day, found time to ride my bike (after being run off the road yesterday - my leg looks like I was involved in some shark-biting incident) and even began a new short story, my first in ages. It started pretty accidentally, with one line that blossomed into this voice, into this idea and five pages later I was writing something new. And I'm pretty excited about it. I spent a long time trying to consciously break out of the mold I sort of made for myself in the last couple years, and I got very frustrated. Also, I got nowhere. Now it seems to be happening on its own.

I also heard from my friend Mandy for the first time in a while. She's doing well in Portland and making quilts. Check them out.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Maybe This Time

Power-sharing begins today in Northern Ireland, and maybe finally so does peace. Cloum McCann remembers the Troubles as a teen.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday Sun

It's rainy and Sunday, so:

Saturday seems to be comic book day now. Yesterday happened to be Free Comic Book Day, but that was merely a bonus. There was a new issue of Joss Whedon's triumphant Buffy Season 8 out, and more than that, it was the one where Willow finally comes back. How did I wait four days to go and get this issue you ask? Will power. Never let anyone tell you I don't have any. Good thing I didn't wait any longer - I got the last issue they had. I didn't see it anywhere on the wall and meltdown was in progress until my cousin Matt averted disaster and located it. Whew.

Issue #3 was very good, shocker, but maybe not as good as #2. There wasn't enough Willow for one, but it's early. The shockers are shocking, the twists and turns are neverending and it feels like a story that needs to be told, which is pretty damn good for a TV show that's been off the air for a few years. A story that lacked urgency, or any sense of cohesion, was Spider-Man 3, which we took in after collecting our free comics (limit of 4, joy-killers. Whatever. All I wanted was Peanuts, and I got one).

Spidey (SPOILERS) was entertaining. It was big and exciting and I enjoyed a lot of it. The Sandman storyline was excellent. Thomas Hayden Church was perfect. The scene in which he tries to reform from the sand as a man after his 'accident' was probably the best scene in the films. The Harry/Goblin part was basically what I figured, but took a weird detour that didn't quite work. Venom... Venom himself was cool. The storyline introducing the suit did not work, and they had so little faith in it a half hour or more goes by from when it lands on Earth to when it finally does what it's supposed to. 'Dark' Spidey was fun, but the alien symobite angle fails and what would have made more sense, to me, would have been to intergrate it more into the revenge theme of the film. What if the symboite had been some research project of OsCorp? What if Harry inflicted it on Peter as a means of revenge, of ruining his life as Peter did Harry's? What if Peter lost himself to a mask as Harry's father did and Harry finally saw the truth? Venom could have been a movie on his own; Peter could have freed himself from the suit and Eddie Brock could have inherited it as he does in a great scene, and then come back to haunt Peter. But they don't do that. They cram Venom in to a bloated film for a fatal four way and blow him to smithereens. Alrighty.

Anyways, it was fun. It's worth seeing for the Spidey-strut alone.

Friday, May 04, 2007

In The Movie Version

In the movie version, Ben's talk with God happens in an all-night dinner just before the last call refugees show up to soak up their drunk with pancakes and eggs.

In the movie version, I have where I'm supposed to be and who I am figured out before the age of 32. 30, even. 30 would be cool.

In the movie version, what I write sounds like it does in my head.

In the movie version, Michael Keaton plays me. Apparently.

In the movie version, I do not sit at my computer and think of clever blog posts to expedite the awareness of my malaise. I do not watch Scrubs as if it is going out of style when I get off work because I'm too tired to work on my book which is like having an overgrown child that won't leave the house.

In the movie version, I do not get up and check my email first thing in the morning to see if the agent or the publisher has written back to tell me they like my book and would like to publish it very much.

In the movie version, I'm dating a much younger woman. It has to be a somewhat faithful adaptation, I mean, c'mon.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's Like A Van Gogh Painting





The New Horizons space probe - destined for Pluto - made a pit stop at Jupiter a couple months ago, and beamed back a whole series of grogeous images of the planet and its moons. I live for this stuff.