Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Romantic Musings 2

I’m really getting into the prose part of the course. Looking at the reading list there isn’t a lot of it, but there is some pretty damn nifty stuff. Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria isn’t overly interesting…but Paine’s Rights of Man.

“There never did, there never will, and there never can exist a parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controuling posterity to the ‘end of time’, or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or shall govern it.”

THAT is the kind of language that spawned things like The Declaration of Independence. Which, I have to say, is some of the best writing to come out of the American government since…well aside from Kennedy’s Rice Stadium moon speech, its about the only American government document I really like. Its WORTH reading, just for the language.

I just love the language used here. Its got this poetic feel to its formality, it flows and it really speaks to the modern ideals we have today. It just…I dunno. I like the sound of it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My current reading list:

Not including the two novels a week I need to read for school:

The Scar (by China Mielville) [already about a third of the way through, but stopped becuase of massive other reading]
Incubus Dreams (by Laurell K. Hamilton) [just came out in paperback, I'll read it becuase its an Anita Blake novel...I have not heard good things however]
The Gods of Mars (by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
A Warlord of Mars (by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
The Return of Tarzan (by Edgar Rice Burroughs) [noticing a trend yet?]
Double Solitaire (by Melinda Snodgrass) [Wild Cards novel 10]
Declare (by Tim Powers)
Elric of Melnibone (by Michael Moorcock)
Dirk Gentley's Holistic Detective Agency (by Douglas Adams)
Further readings from: The Illustrated Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conana Doyle) [an on again, off again book that I've read everywhere, including the UK...what fond memories I have of reading those stories in main dining area of the Eagle and the Child...]

My reading has pretty much been set, lol. Ah well. At least I'm well stocked.

Well, that's it for MY money!

In the last three weeks I've bought...a lot of DVDs. So cutting down my spending by two thirds for the next month to pay it all off. Still, its been good. Got Farscape Season 4 and the third season of CSI on sale at the Hairy Tarantula this weekend. Grabbed Carnivale and the second season of Dead Like Me for cheap at Futureshop. And got a whole bunch of cartoons off Amazon. That's it. I'm done. Its back to RPGS and comics for now. The only DVDs coming out that I want are Farscape season3 (so I can understand season 4...don't ask), and Batman Begins. Not a whole lot else that I want comes out till December.

Still pondering my Halloween costume. Most superhero plans have gone down the toilet. I need to start trolling the Army surplus stores for a gas mask. I still have a month to figure out how to go as Wesley Dodds.

"Let evil men fear the Sandman's dark dream".
(I even figured out how to build a gas gun)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Romantic Period Reflections (part 1 it 30)

This is not a column. This is not for my pleasure. This is a university assignment. Once a week I am required to make a journal entry for my Romantic Period Poetry & Prose course. ENG308. I do this for marks. My blog is the best place for it, since I'll actually remember to update. Please, bear with me on this. Ignore it if you will. I should be posting more regularly anyway.

Anyway, we're two weeks into the course. Its not too bad. As I've stated previously, the Romantics are my favourite folks in one of my favourite periods. There's something about their work that really shines a light onto the soul of the time. You just don't see poetry like that these days.

What's really getting me at the moment is the use of sonnets which aren't...I dunno. When I hear sonnets, I think Shakespeare, and I think strict metrical form. These sonnets ain't that. They're mixing things around. They're not sticking to a strict formula, and that's what makes them so good, and frankly that's what makes them BETTER than my namesake's. Its using a structure but altering it to serve your purposes.

Plus...Keats wrote a literary review of Chapman's translation of Homer. In the form of a sonnet. Now THAT is journalism.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


The folks over on the ENGINE were talking about scripts without words that went along to songs. Well, I didn't want to write an epic, but here's my little six page, 955 word script to go along to Chris de Burgh's "Spanish Train".



Five horizontal panels.

Panel 1

A desolate train yard in twilight. The moon is shrouded by clouds. There is only a single train in the station, an old European coach. Maybe three or four cars long, with an old train lantern on the end of the last car. The station itself is three stories, and all the windows are dark.

Panel 2

Close on the train, smoke coming out of the stack on the engine. The conductor can be seen through a window, a gaunt man with a cap pulled low over his face. Thin lips, sunken eyes, and a sharp nose. His skin color is indeterminate and washed out by the light of the engine’s furnace.

Panel 3

Same distance as panel 2. The train, pulling out of the station. Its about halfway out of the panel, moving off to the right. The station is still dark.

Panel 4

The lantern on the end of the train is a little speck on the right hand side. The station is still dark.

Panel 5

The train is gone. A single light appears in a third story window. There is a sign that the train was previously covered up. White and dirty, old, with block letters reading “OLD SEVILLE”.


Four panels. One row of two, with a pair of horizontals under it.

Panel 1

GOD. He’s in his mid twenties, with slicked back black hair and a curling black mustache (like the villains in Western movies), wearing an old, worn white linen suit that’s a little too baggy for him, like he lost a lot of weight since buying it. A few beads of sweat sit on his brow, and his green eyes are blood shot. He’s holding a hand of four playing cards (all with some absurdly simple pattern on the back). His thin lips are set in a clench of nervous desperation.

Panel 2

DEVIL. In his late 30s, starting to go bald, with a faint crown of blond hair and a five o’clock shadow. He wears a nice black tuxedo. His jaw is square, his nose slightly hooked, with dull blue eyes and a faint ragged scar across one cheek. His mouth is set in a perpetual sneer, showing off a gold capped front tooth. His eyes are on his cards, which he holds with great ease.

Panel 3

Horizontal view of GOD’S cards, with DEVIL’S black silhouette blurred in the background. GOD’S holding queen, jack, nine, and the ten of spades. It is notable that there don’t appear to be any chips on the table. There is, however, a revolver and a gas lamp sitting beside it providing most of the light.

Panel 4

DEVIL’S cards. He has three aces and a king. GOD’S white silhouette is in the background.


Six panels. A long horizontal, a row of two, and then a row of three.

Panel 1

Wide shot, from the side, of the table. Its small and square, with DEVIL on the left and GOD on the right. There’s a pearl handled revolver sitting on the table with a brass gas lamp sitting beside it. Sitting at a chair in the middle of the table facing the reader is the DEALER, an old man in old, worn bed clothes and a bushy white beard. He looks sleepy, and rather bewildered. There’s a deck of cards in front of him.

Panel 2

DEALER, sliding a card to GOD.

Panel 3

DEALER, sliding a card to DEVIL.

Panel 4

GOD lifts the edge of his card to look at it. We cannot see it.

Panel 5

GOD’S face. There’s a glint in his eye. One side of his mouth quirks. His teeth are gritted.

Panel 6

GOD’S hand: the new card is an eight of diamonds. He has a straight, but not a straight flush.


Seven panels. Two rows of three, with a horizontal on the bottom.

Panel 1

DEVIL accepts his card.

Panel 2

DEVIL lifts the edge of his card.

Panel 3

DEVIL places the card in his hand.

Panel 4

Outside the train station, the light on in the window.

Panel 5

Same as last.


Panel 6

Same as last.


Panel 7

The table, back in the room. GOD and the DEALER are face down on the table, blood pooling around them. DEVIL’S hand of cards is laid out on the table.


Nine panels.

Panel 1

The train station.

Panel 2

Close on the station platform, on an old wooden door. Wan moonlight paints it as a faint outline.

Panel 3

Light spills around the edges of the door.

Panel 4

The door opens.

Panel 5

DEVIL stands in the doorway, holding the pearl handled revolver.

Panel 6

DEVIL closes the door behind him.

Panel 7

From behind DEVIL looking across the tracks into the moors. The engine of the train is starting to come from the left of the panel.

Panel 8

The train passes in front of DEVIL in a blur of speed.

Panel 9

The train stops. There’s a single lantern set beside a door to the darkened interior of the train.


Five horizontal panels, like page 1.

Panel 1

Long shot of the train from the station perspective, as DEVIL steps up to the door of the train.

Panel 2

DEVIL closes the door of the train behind him.

Panel 3

The train begins to pull away from the station, showing the moors behind it.

Panel 4

The train, receding off to the panel’s left.

Panel 5

From the back of the train, a sign on the back lit by the train’s back lamp: SOMERSET.


Scary Go Round

I think I have a new favourite web comic.

Scary Go Round is wonderful for reasons that transcend it simply being British. Its hilariously weird science fiction, with cute women who have amusing dialogue. Its just some genuinly great stuff. I think having been in the UK for a bit helps. I get some of the jokes that I probably wouldn't get otherwise. Plus putting humorous British accents on the characters is just damn fun.

Go read it. Amuse yourselves.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

YOU are on the Global Frequency

Dear god.

Sweet mother of holy God.

I saw...I saw...this guy I know (no names) has the unaired pilot. He let me watch it.

Its beautiful. I could weep.

This is the purest piece of comic book-turned-TV I've ever seen.

Its god.

Friday, September 09, 2005

School supplies. Check. New DVDs. Check. Allergies...goddammit. Check.

I apparently have allergies. Don't ask how I've failed to realize this before. They just manifested this week.

Itchy, dry, red eyes. Dry throat. Runny nose and sneezing. The pharmacist put me on anti-histamines. Amazingly, they seem to have some effect. Not much. But some. I'm immune to most common shelf drugs. Including, as I once had the horror of finding out, certain kinds of topical anaesthetics. Painkillers do not work on me. Up to, and including, Tylenol with codine. So needless to say this Aerius stuff is...only mildly effective. At least my eyes don't feel like tiny vermin are living at their edges anymore.

See, I only have one actual allergy that I'm aware of, and that's drugs that involve sulfer in their composition. Which causes me to break out in full body hives (fun!). I have no food allergies. I have no drug allergies. But apparently there is SOMETHING in the air at this point in time that's murdering me. Damned if I know what it is. Might be ragweed.

Ragweed. Mother says you're good for me. But I'm no good for you. Thus the course is clear! Ragweed...must DIE!

Ahem. Sorry, channeling Stewie.

In other news, I moved into dorm a few days ago. Settling in. Work is nuts, since its Film Festival weekend. But should calm down soon. I can literally only work three days a week anyway, so by and large my nights and days are safe.

Things are otherwise going great. Something is gestating at the back of my brain. An idea. Not 100% sure what it is yet, though. Its...something. Something genius-like. Await. And beware.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Wicker Man, Carnivale, Kingdom Hospital

The Wicker Man is the strangest movie I've seen in a while.

I'm not sure half the time whether its supposed to be a murder mystery, a horror movie, a semi-documentary, or a porno. There's gratuitous amounts of nudity in it, far, far more than would be allowed in film today (...weird, that the movie is over 30 years old and has more nudity than movies today). Its not just that its nudity...its that its full frontal female nudity. And I don't think its done for sheer shock and titillation value. its...weird.

There are some GREAT lines, though. I forget most of them at this time, lol, but I think I'll go back and post some of my favourites once the movie's done and I can rewatch parts.

Not a movie I'd buy, but its interesting. Weird, and somewhat disturbing. I'm a bit of a prude, and religions where the phallus is a central symbol just kind of weird me out.

Now, Carnivale, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game. I'm buying this show. its stupid expensive. I mean just ludicriously stupid expensive. But its good. Its damn good. Its got the sort of stories I'm looking to tell with my weird western manga, with a slightly more pacifistic twist. Slightly. And Clancy Brown as the evil preacher. How could you go wrong?

I borrowed Kingdom Hospital from my good friend Steve Illot. Its the American remake by Stephen King of the Danish show, The Kingdom. Now, I'm a big Kingdom fan. It was wonderfully creepy, slightly humorous, and the director made the devil horns sign at the end of every episode. How could you go wrong?

King diverges quite a bit. There was no talking, man-eating anteater in The Kingdom (notably becuase there are no anteaters in Denmark...just like there are no elephants). There was a giant infant who grew into a horribly mutated manhood, though, which King failed to include.

"Damn hick scum!" was an amusing line given by Dr. Stegman, who was an analogue to Dr. Stig Helmer on Kingdom, who got up on top of the hospital every episode to scream "Danish scum!" Similarly, most of Stig's personality was kept, including his hate of Hook (who IIRC was called Wolfe on the original show), the malpractice lawsuit, and everything else.

Its a different show. But its fun. Its well done and kinda classy. Antuibis is the BEST animated animal of all time. Especially his teeth, which each seem to be attached to their own muscle, so they vibrate and writhe. Its nifty!

End movie reviews.

A Week of No Updates

Its been a damn lazy week.

I've done virtually jack all. Seen some friends, gone out for dinner, went to a play, and generally just sat around on my ass and got used to the time zone again.

It seems that no sooner do I unpack than I'm set to repack. I move back into dorm tomorrow, so I suppose summer is officially over.

Ah well. Its been a good haul.

There'll be pictures of my new cane in the next day or two. It really is quite lovely. My new top hat, to.