30 December 2012

Desk Calenders and Dilemmas

Let me start off with the dilemma first, since I wish to record it here to remind myself. (Do I really want to, though?) My grandmother's visiting, her eye hurts like hell, and since she's visiting, we don't have insurance for her, meaning that this morning my dad took her to General Hospital, where (hopefully) they see her. :(

Now, unto happier matters. Desk Calenders. I spell calenders in that way because I spell in a fairly idiosyncratic way. "Leader" as "leder", lots of things in a British way, "limericks" as "lymerics" (thanks to a friend of mine), and much else. I like writing in a very different sort of way. And spelling is no different.

For the past 3 years, I've had a day-to-day desk calender, the kind you tear off every day and see something new. I've had Jeopardy Clues and Answers, and brain teasers. This year I didn't get one for Christmas so I decided to buy one off of Amazon. It wouldn't be the same. I am used to waking up and shuffling to the shelf where I have the calendar in its spot and tearing off the day before.

Now, the question remains: which one to get? Not Jeopardy, not brain teasers -- after the brain teasers last year, I decided to go a bit different and get something new. And it was there I found The New Yorker cartoons calendar, I had to act. The cover showed a police lineup -- ar, I can't explain it. It's awesome.

I eagerly await my calendar, though, thanks to the post-Christmas sluggishness, even if I ordered the calendar quite some time ago -- it shall arrive on 4th January. I don't mind. As long as I get it. And get to enjoy the cartoons and wit these clever artists use. I have great reverence for artists, because I have no artistic talent whatsoever.

And it doesn't stop there. I choose the best ones -- the finest Jeopardy! answers and trivia, the funnest brain teasers -- and save them in a small box, in fact a box where I used to store hatpins (don't ask). And it's a great way to look back. I don't like writing on them -- that was the main problem with this year -- and so I just rely on my acute memory to remind myself what the hell I was doing those days. I'm rather good with memorising dates, after all...

It's all a tradition, and one that hopefully I shall continue into my adulthood and middle-aged years.

To the next!

26 December 2012

A Writing Activity For the Ages

I've decided my New Year's Resolutions some days ahead of time. One involves my wonderful Moleskine!

For 2013, I will be keeping a fictional journal that I will write in every couple of days or so. The idea is to take a general character and setting and over the months and weeks, develop that character into something great and literary by this time next year.

I can also add problems and conflicts or resolve them. Since it's a record of a life, the trouble is keeping it too mundane. The first month or so will involve mainly exposition and then conflict, et cetera.

I'm not sure what premise to use. I have 3 really good ones at the moment.

I. A Victorian doctor discovers how to raise the dead -- but one wonders if it may be tied into his dark past as a doctor in a lunatic hospital? This story leaves plenty of room for suspense and dark comedy. I started writing something similar to this last year, but never finished. I had about 20 entries in that one.

II. A Bohemian writer in the early 1900s, in Paris, suffering from a broken heart, among other things. He finds a special message in the unlikeliest of places. I particularly like this one because it leaves room for exposition and the writer's thought process. Somewhat based off Moulin Rouge?

III. Detective in New Orleans. I haven't developed this one at all but that's the only idea, pretty much. Based off the song "Ravella" and the epic Anne Rice books.

Let's hope I can keep true to this resolution and come January 1st, begin to write this illustrious tale and make it something I'm proud of.

To the next!

25 December 2012

My Mindful Moleskine (Or, What This Blog is Really For)

Joyeux Noel!

I've gotten several of my Christmas wish list items, including that pocket watch. Tick, tick, tick.

I got a Moleskine pocket notebook. I've been looking forward to one lately, because I love collecting journals-notebooks-stationery to write on. Problem -- I never know what to write. I am worried I will destroy the page, or worse, the book.

So, that begs the question, what to do? Write stories? Not bloody likely. I edit too much and my stories have more strikethrough lines than words. A journal...I hate my own thoughts.

Then I thought, that's what I do on here anyway. Dictating posts to myself. What started as a friends project where I could communicate to people from life, since I am vehemently against Facebook -- has turned into a silent springboard for ideas. My friends took a look and went back to their blue screens with blinding white text and grey lines. Forever alone...

Now, I don't mean I'm a misanthropic emo who hates the world. I love the world. Most aspects of it. Well, half the aspects. 25.4% the aspects..? Well, the point is, I am just a reserved individual. Which is why I'm keeping this as my journal until when I see fit to close it.

In the occasion someone from the real world adventurously stumbles upon this barren wasteland of text, poetry, ideas, jumbled mishmash of thought -- Bonjour. Now please be silent while I sing "The Transformation Into Marlene Dietrich" in my head.


And that is why this blog is so awesome.


18 December 2012

Mail Call!

It's that time of year again.

My mother just came up to me holding my Christmas list. "Which of this stuff do you want?"
"Um, how about all of it?"
"I checked it on Amazon. What is "pocket watch"? What kind?"
"Oh, yeah."
Sighing, I scroll down the page, looking for the watch I saw some weeks ago. I suppose I should explain.

For the past couple of years, my mother lets us pick our Christmas presents from Amazon or eBay or wherever. Whatever we want, as long as it's equal to $50. (But sometimes we go over, like $55, but it's okay.)

So I'm looking at the selection of watches. I don't find the one I like but find a cooler one.
"OMG THIS IS AWESOME!" Bronze, finely polished, interlocking gears, only $25...compared to some companies *I'm looking at you, every single Chinese company that advertises on eBay that sells their watches for upwards of 250*.

So you can imagine my ecstasy as I had the items I wanted (a Moleskine pocket notebook and a CD album were the other listed items) and it all equaled 52 dollars. We press "Order", and...




What the...
The company was in some far off European domain (miraculously not China or India, which is what the time would be explained for.) But why? Why must it take more than 6 weeks for a watch to head to my little corner of California?

I know, I know. Express rates, second class, regular airmail, time zones, jet lag, lack of funds, lack of time, lack of energy, lack of coffee, lack of sense. All the usual stuff. If someone ever comes up with those tech-future stuff that the Jetsons, Fringe, and other sci-fi from the past advocate that involves you getting something RIGHT AWAY, then please let me know.

So hurriedly I cancelled the order and chose my second pick -- a watch that is actually quite decent and is wound-up to move. Amazing. I sound querulous -- but honestly. It'd be awkward to receive a gift on Candlemas rather than Christmas. Which reminds me...I must start making candles as gifts for those who call themselves my parents. :)

To the next!


08 December 2012

Fringe Recap of Season 5, Episode 8: The Human Kind

I love Fringe. And while it's getting kind of late to review it (it ends in about 6 weeks), I can still review it, can't I? So, review and recap.

The Human Kind

Plot: Olivia meets up with Anil, the Resistance head. He gives her weapons, info -- and an Observer wire, identical to the one Peter stabbed in his head. He wants it to be studied.

Elsewhere, Peter (henceforth referred to as Peterver) is setting up his Truth Tables when Windmark arrives. Just before he sees him, Peterver disappears and revels in Windmark studying him.

Astrid liberates the eighth tape in the Plan To Defeat The Observers Tape Series. They must go to a town called Fitchburg and recover a large electromagnet. Olivia walks in with the wire. She tells them everything about Peterver and the wire. She gives it to them to study.

Olivia decides to go by herself to find the magnet because she needs to be proactive. She makes her way to a scrapyard and finds a small group of people there. She meets Symone, an interesting woman. Simone tells her that she's been waiting many years for someone to come with the magnet -- and it comes with a truck. While she waits to get diesel fuel for the truck, Olivia talks with a girl named Darby. Darby tells her that Olivia's is a fugitive with a bounty on her head and that people wanna turn her in.

Peterver stalks Windmark. While stalking him he hides in a random building. Windmark appears and they fight so dramatically. If there is one thing I love about Fringe, it is the amazing action that can take place in such a short amount of time. Only about a minute, but teleportation, jumping into thin air and disappearing...Peterver switching places with Windmark's lackey and killing him...after the fight, Windmark tells him that he is not the only one watching futures. Windmark has also been stalking Peterver, of sorts. He shows Peterver Etta's last thoughts. Peterver disregards it and disappears.

Walter and Astrid find that the more the wire is in the brain, more brain activity happens. With more brain activity, the brain grows outwards to accommodate higher rational thought, destroying the areas of feeling and -- wouldn't you know it -- hair growth. Peterver walks in and needs sutures from the fight. Walter wants him to stay, to take it out...Peterver won't have any of it. He leaves.

Simone comes with some water, and Olivia doubts it, thinking that it's a sedative because she mistrusts them. Simone says her people are wrong, and tells her about faith and hope. Olivia's doubting her, until Simone says she's an oracle -- she sees flashes around people. She knows Olivia drives at night, and has Etta's bullet. She attributes her powers to God and nature, but Olivia doubts it. Olivia calls her an anomaly -- she knows Simone's an anomaly because she's one herself. The fuel arrives and Olivia bades goodbye. Simone tells her that she has faith in her.

On the way home, Olivia is stopped by an accident up ahead. She gets out -- and two men knock her out. When she wakes up, she's in a warehouse. Typical. The two men plan to sell her out to Reward Wire -- the bounty system Darby talked about elsewhere -- and then Olivia escapes using Etta's bullet, a roll, and some paper.

Peterver plans to send Windmark off to his death. Olivia arrives as Peterver stares atop a high building. They talk and debate emotions and feeling. Peterver needs to kill Windmark the following afternoon snad avenge Etta. Olivia, crying, tells Peterver that emotions are the one thing they don't have -- and they need hope. Simone's words spark at last. Peterver stares at her and remembers Etta's last image. With Olivia's pleading, he produces a pocketknife -- and cuts out the Observer wire, making him Peter again.


Fringe is doing a spectacular job with emotions and action...but they've really dug themselves in deep. There are too many questions unanswered.
What of the plan? I keep losing faith in it every time a tape is found because the object is always something random. A magnet, some rocks, a sheet of paper, a radio...
Walter was really getting around, wasn't he? He met and conspired with a lot of unknown people during the invasion...Of the top of my head: The Masseys (503), Simone and her mom (508), "Donald" (503, 506), and the Bald Kid (506).
Who is Donald? That's the big one weighing on my mind -- that and who the Observers really are. I think it's Bell's alternate universe self.

Name your theories and comments below!


06 December 2012

Sing For Your Lives!

On this date in history...

I will be performing in front of the entire school (well, more like assorted parents/students/teachers/random-ham people who wander in wondering what this is) in the choir concert.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not in Choir, and don't have the slightest intention of being in choir in future. But my Lit teacher made me join and while originally dreading tonight, now I'm embracing it. I love the stage. I'm in drama. I love acting. I can emulate over 15 accents. I do monologues. In fact, soon I'll be doing a dramatic soliloquy of the mad Dr. Heinrich Faust in front of 3 classes. Fun.

Tonight I'll be presenting a holiday poem I spruced up for the occasion, entitled "The Author's Christmas". So, that's what going on tonight. While I listen to Red Balloon, by the ever-dramatic group of Vagabond Opera, I get more absorbed in the stormy events of tonight, to coin a poetic phrase. That song is so dramatically amazing. It sounds something out of a storybook.

"In the year 1873, Dr. Xander Gerrymander ascended the heavens in his marvelous red balloon. There, to ponder the cosmic verities, sail above the blue, and see the stars.
There, he took his sweetheart Nell, and together they danced bouyantly above the blue. Until one day, she was lost to him.

So he's still there today, searching, seeking, in his marvelous Red Balloon."

All that is in the first 35 seconds. Not even song. The song itself is a work of masterpiece, unsurpassed. Currently my favorite second, I love VO. Farewell Kabarista, Ganef, Tango 'Til They're Sore, Welcome to the Opera, Bei Mir, Ich Hob, and The Transformation into Marlene are their best songs.

But I must bid adieu now, as I go on to other (questionably) righteous pursuits. I'm making a birthday card for my father. He's 40 today.

To the next!

05 December 2012

Fog, Fogg, Fog...

It's winter here in SoCal. We don't get snow, or hail, nay -- we get fog. And lots of it.

So, obviously, the best thing to so since no one in their right mind would go outside (unless, of course, it was snowing or raining candy or something like that) is to read. So that's what I've been doing.

I like December, but especially those foggy-rainy days like this morning because it gives me a chance to sit in bed, type this, and read. In the past hour I've read snippets from Around the World in 80 Days and The Great Gatsby. I've read both of these excellent books, and so should you, if you're reading this.

The Great Gatsby is particularly interesting. All about unattainable love, and things of that sort. Fascinating especially is the epigraph, because it was written by Fitzgerald himself, which is somewhat odd:

Then wear the Gold Hat, if that will move her-
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too.
Till she cry - "Lover, Gold Hatted, my high bouncing lover!
I must have you!"

That is excellent courting advice. :P If anyone comes up to me asking advice on how to get a date (which I've had to suffer through three times -- ah, the pains of being a well-known smart aleck) then, I'm giving that absurdly hilarious advice.

In other news, I shall be performing in the school choir tomorrow. I'll be reciting a poem I wrote for the Holiday season. I'm not scared. Why should I be? I love the stage. :)
But the timer rings, the car awaits. I must now bid adieu.

To the next! -Rob