Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Getting Lost

I don't even want to reveal how much time I have wasted as a result of having borrowed season one of Lost from Sarah.

Let's just say she lent it on Saturday and I'm now on disc four. The end of disc four.


This is why I could never be trusted around serious drugs.

But it's great, addictive. I would suggest throwing in a few more tidbits of what people actually have to set up to survive on an island (cf. Robinson Crusoe) cause weird ingenuity is always fun, but that's a minor quibble. For the most part it's madly weird and great and the cute hobbit is especially great: cute, hobbity, and v. funny (cf. diary-reading). And some truly enjoyable backstory twists.

But the most fun for me is not wondering what's going to happen next, but what the writers are going to come up with next and that's actually, for me, the entertaining aspect of this. I've been so story fixated lately that I watch the show going: okay, they have three directions this story could go, which one will they pick? And then they pick something I haven't even thought of.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Situational Irony OR Alanis Morisette Was So Right

Today at work, because I was so grumpy, I started fixating on the number of people to whom the words "please" and "thank you" seem to be an unknown alien language. There were many many many. Including people who couldn't manage to conjure up a "Thanks" to smoothly conclude a phone conversation. I'll admit I let the silence linger to an uncomfortable length and then said "Well, bye" which was not as jerky as saying "You're welcome."

And then someone came and asked me to do something really annoying and said please, like, eight times. And thank you right after every please.

For the rest of you though: is it so hard? I've worked a lot of customer service jobs and I tell you: you be considerate and appreciate me and I'll work hard to make you happy.

If you've never worked such a job, it would do you well to consider yourself fortunate when dealing with people who do have such jobs. There but for the grace of MinWa go you.

Plus, your mom was right about good manners. They make the world go round.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Time to Whip the Caulk Out

All those people who complain about blogs: if you really want to get rid of them, get rid of the necessity of washing dishes and doing paperwork. Then we'll all go outside or fall asleep on the couch, and not live in this faux borderland between getting shit done and wasting time.

But anyway: I came home on Thursday to find that tiny ants had colonized my kitchen. They were taking scenic tours through my pile of bags of Trader Joe's mixed nuts. They were spelunking under the fridge. They were running sporting events along the edge of the rug. And they were hosting full-fledged formal dances under the corner cabinet.

Now, I'm a post-colonialist, myself. I don't take my territory being taken over by other factions lying down. Look what happened in Africa for chrissakes. And my wonderful mother had just bought me a vacuum.

You can guess what happened next. A lot of squishing. A lot of satisfying ant-disappearing acts up the mouth of my fearsome loud Dirt Devil. A lot of spraying vinegar in large puddles on the floor.

Today I bought some poison for them. So far they like it very much.

I also got some caulk to seal up the massive gap between the baseboard and the floor that currently acts as a red carpet into my house for everything on six legs. Though they be many, they are no match for me, for I have access to the hardware store.

Also: Tilda Swinton is to Broken Flowers as Cate Blanchett is to The Shipping News. And I love them both.

Haru Ga Kita, Yo

Silver Rectangular Representation of Happiness

I know you thought I was dead, but I wasn't, I was just in Mexico. I would have told you but I figured if I did, you might break in and steal my typewriter painting.

This is a story of a magic miracle of wonder and delight. Back in February I thought I lost my brother's digital camera. Now, I don't usually lose things. I hardly ever lose things. I have mechanical pencils that are nine years old. But I misplaced this camera. It was while being a still photographer on a film that was all night shoots, so I figured that in my giddy exhaustion I must have left it somewhere and that it would at sometime make its way back to me like a one-legged tin soldier. But I waited and waited and started pricing out replacements.

Then, last weekend, while reaching into a purse-sized bag that I'd be walking around with for two days, my hand touches something in the pocket and there it is. An entire, whole, miraculous camera. Placed there by the fairies themselves.

So I'm still someone who doesn't lose stuff. Smugness regained.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dave Matthews Liked It

Wow, last night's awards were so inspiring.

When Best Picture was announced, I had a moment of introspection, nodding my head slowly and thinking to myself how strange this crazy old world is. I smiled at my friends around the room, one of whom is Jewish and another of whom is orginally from South America and another who is Chinese or something.

Then I drove home, taking care to rear-end as many people as possible en route so I could really come to grips with my prejudices and hidden inner fears. Obviously other people had the same idea because, folks, Los Angeles last night was a grid-lock pile-up of mangled cars and interracial acceptence and love. I felt so cleansed! Then it started snowing, and it was like a white blanket of angelic forgiveness over the city's collective sins.

Thank Christ for folks like Paul Haggis who show us ourselves as we really are.

(PS: And yes, we did all dance in slo-mo. And it was glorious.)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

How To Waste Two Hours

Nothing like some late-night editing to help you find your new favourite website.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


There's nothing like the joy of discovering other people have undertaken to help you prove a point.

Check this out.

One thing I like about art is that the artist is never in control of the image. I used to do a fair amount of drawing with India ink and nib pen because I liked the slightly uncontrollable lumpiness that resulted. Even if I wanted to draw a straight, even line, I couldn't because the ink would clump or blob or run out. But the pictures had a hewn-looking quality to them as a result that had nothing to do with me or what I had originally intended, which was great.

Lately, I've been tearing paper into strips and weaving it back together again and soaking the whole thing in water before drawing on it and the ink yawns across the page and pools in the cracks and even shitty drawings look kind of great.

But even with this non-authorial happenstance, drawing is mostly about a blank page and what you think up to put on it.

Now in film, there is no such thing as a blank page. You must take pictures of things that exist in the real world. All sorts of information is going to leak out from the screen and be picked up by the audience whether you want them to do this or not, whether it's part of the story (or overall effect) or not. Animation is a great way to think about this problem, specifically, the brown couch in the TV room on The Simpsons. What kind of couch is it? New? Worn-down? Velvet? Velour? We don't know. If we did see precisely what kind of couch it is, we could imagine other things about the Simpsons and their world. However, for the purposes of that world, it doesn't matter what kind of couch it is. Generic "couch" and no need to give it any more consideration: it's a couch, they sit on it, the end.

Perhaps this is why scripts that have good structure, yet seem empty of any actual tone or characterisation can make live-action movies of brilliant tone and characterisation. And why books can get away with providing tone and characterisation and sometimes that's it. Or not even characterisation, just tone.

In any case, the experience of watching a live-action Simpsons is oddly creepy, isn't it? Someone has made a bunch of unauthorized (by me, or you, or whoever watches it) decisions regarding the Simpsons' couch and by gum, they're WRONG.