Sunday, January 31, 2010

Now With More Snow

Hello, readers.

In non-snow related news, the Seoul Project is moving forward. Have received a "notice of appointment" and a contract and instructions as to where to be and at what approximate time so that I can be taken here and instructed in South Koreaness. Apparently, sometimes, this involves dancing.

Also, Eddie Izzard is hosting the Independent Spirit Awards. Once upon a time, a friend lent me their copy of Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill. "You'll love it," they said. And I did. They also said that each time they've let someone borrow it they never got it back, and would I please return it. This I have not done. It seemed wrong to mess with tradition.

There's a documentary about J.D. Salinger already in the can. Things move so fast nowadays.

And now, pictures.


Saturday, January 30, 2010


Be careful out there, readers.

And also enjoy.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Because I Know You Care

Hello, readers.

In honor of this being the hundredth post on this blog, I will tell you what I found in a closet today.

It was a closet at my Mom's house. There were towels and cherubs and photographs. Also, there were books. Some of them golden books like Hop-Along Cassidy and the Something Or Other, and several having to do with animals getting into adventures that involved underlined nouns.

As it happened, there was this book, Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint, as well. It was written by Jay Williams & Raymond Abrashkin and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats (who, according to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, was the first illustrator to give "the black child a central place in children's literature." A quote, readers, I must say I find ennobling, slightly offensive, and somewhat dubious. Though, after a slight bit of Googling, it seems Keats really was responsible for the "the first major full-color picture book to portray a black child." And also that he was legendary. UNICEF invited him to illustrate their greeting cards.)

I've begun reading it.

Highlights so far include:

The copyrights page, which included this sentence: "It [being the story of Danny Dunn and the Anti-Gravity Paint] may not be used for dramatic, motion-, or talking-picture purposes without written authorization from the holder of these rights." (Emphasis added by me to draw attention to funny old ways people talked in comparison to the very normal way we have of now talking with words like "podcast" or "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien", which will never go out of style.)

And also this description of Danny's friend Joe: "Joe was thin and dark, with a face that was always mournful, no matter how happy he was."

You may wonder why that last bit was a highlight. It's because that melancholic descriptions in children's books are usually a sign that they will be sad and true.

Then again, neither sadness nor truth matter much when you have chapter titles like, "We Have Conquered Gravity!"

Of note, underneath Danny, was a copy of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Also, of note, whereas every other book in the closet, including Danny, had a name and/or doodles written inside the cover, there was no claim to ownership to Ayn Rand's opus.

When I pointed this out to my Mom, she said, "Maybe it's because that guy committed suicide after he read it and nobody wanted to bother with it after that."

"What guy?" I said.

"A guy that went to my high school," she said. "I didn't know him very well."

"Oh," I said.

And there wasn't much to say after that, then or now. Except maybe that closets always have a monster or two, to go along with their anti-gravity paint. That's just how they seem to be made.

Happy 100th, readers.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Mostly True Thing I Made Up

One June, a boy knocked on my window. This surprised me because that was the summer I lived in the sky.

"What are you doing here?" I said.

"The world misses you," the boy said.

"Oh," I said. "Are you the world, then?"

The boy looked confused. "Isn't everyone?" he said.

Happy Friday, readers.


p.s. This post was in honor of this. Maybe I'll write more. It's fun. Only time will tell, and he's notoriously tight-lipped.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's almost cold again.

Hello, readers.

At the moment, I'm sitting at a table outside Panera. I've just finished answering questions about phonetic charts and English pronunciations. This sitting outside would've been a good idea earlier today when it was sunny and pleasant. It turns out I was right to be suspicious, though. It's turned windy and almost cold. My hands aren't thanking me.

In other disappointing news, a friend has pointed out to me that an American Torchwood may be coming to Fox. More Torchwood, after the occasionally controversial, if epic, Children of Earth, isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course. Especially if Davies is in charge. But, you know, Fox is very much like the weather in that it will be all bright and happy and say come on outside and play and then, after you've just begun to enjoy yourself, it will turn frigid and grim and begin to rain. Then it will laugh an evil laugh. Fox, that is. Not the weather. The weather never laughs.

Also, here's another list. It's the top 100 sci-fi and fantasy novels. Feel free to be offended or affirmed at your leisure.

And now, to warmth.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Busy, busy, busy...

Hello, readers.

Busy with certifying myself.

In other news, Zadie Smith gets it, according to the Interstitial Folk. It being that the only proper thing to be in this day and age is something in between and not quite. Here's how she says it:

“Ideological inconsistency, is, for me, practically an article of faith.”

It's from her book of essays, Changing My Mind.

Speaking of which, I just rewatched with my sister the Doctor Who episode, New Earth, that first episode of the new series' Season Two in which a woman kept sticking her mind into other people's minds and making a muck of things. There were a lot of cats in that one. It was lovely.

I wonder if mind swapping has anything to do with Avatar winning best drama at the Golden Globes.

It didn't have a single cat, you know.

Ah well.

Happy bewilderment, readers.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Hello, readers.

Yesterday, I went to a friend's house and played Dungeons and Dragons. Had never played before. We sat in the attic, around a low-table. On either side of us, seemingly placed at random in the attic walls, were two door-shaped things, one small and the other very small. I kept expecting something to emerge from them, but, alas, nothing did. It was the only real disappointment of the evening. Otherwise, it was everything I had imagined Dungeons and Dragons to be, which is to say a group of people sitting around and carving out small stories within a larger story that they don't exactly have control over. Very much like life, really, except that in D&D, I imagine a pair of door-shaped things, one small and the other very small, would open onto a pair of things, horribly wonderful and wonderfully horrible. A marmoset and a velociraptor, for example.

Anyhow, here's a picture of my character, a gnome bard, as he mocks a monster with his dancing.

That's exactly how it happened, too.

In other dancing news, here's the second in my continuing series of videos featuring people in Seoul doing stuff.

And here's another for awesomeness sakes.

And here's the clip what inspired the name of this post. Or, it would be here if I could find a clip of Craig Kilborn's last appearance on The Daily Show wherein he implored all of us to do only one thing, "Dance! Dance! Dance!" Has the interweb failed? I'm scared.

And so it' s time for me to go. Imagine I'm dancing away. It's easier than me actually doing it.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Of Rats and Hopes and Wonders

Hello, readers.

It's looking more and more possible that the end of February will see me flying to Seoul to teach English. It's not technically a done deal, as I've got some certifiying to finish, but I've begun orienting myself to the possibility, which mostly involves looking at food bits like this:

In other news, my super-heroish story, "The Blue Wonder," is flying over at Strange Horizons. I wrote it. You should read it. It's about a man who can fly and stuff.

Also, of note, Hope Mirrlees an author who has a lovely name and many good books which very few people have read, including me, now has a website dedicated to her. Selections from some of her works like, Lud in the Mist, and the entirety of of Madeleine are online. Mostly heard of her, as many have, through Neil Gaiman's blog. No excuses left now not to read her, I suppose.

And finally, but not lastly, Jack Pendarvis, teacher, Believer columnist, Awesome writer, and blog revolutionary, will be part of something called, "The Marginal Arts Festival," in Roanoke, Virginia. Jack is very excited about the mascot for this festival being a giant rat. Considering said mascot is made from, among other things, bicycle parts, wheelchair wheels, an Ubu stick and a rubber chicken, I think we can all agree his response is reasonable.

Happy Monday, readers.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Snow and Things

Hello, readers.

There was snow for a bit, and now it's mostly gone. Nashville freaked out for a similar amount of time, and now things are more or less back to normal. It is a town of many hills and not nearly enough salting vehicles, you understand. It's still a bit funny, though, to watch our weather people covering the imminent snow as though it were an attack of giant lizards.

In other news, 2010 is well under way. Here's a list of new and possibly real things to wonder at:

Thing 1, the almost certainly real Vampire Weekend have their new album streaming at NPR for one more day. Also, here they are on MTV Unplugged. I was surprised, too. I didn't think MTV existed anymore, either.

Thing 2, the possibly real and definitely kind of silly idea of a spin-off to Lost. io9 discusses how Lost: The Next Generation renders satire obsolete.

Thing 3, a story of mine will appear at Strange Horizons sometime tonight, or tomorrow morning. I'm fairly certain this is real.

Also, the final episodes of the David Tennant and Russel T. Davies Doctor Who show were watched by me and Mom. It turns out that Doctors and Davies are very much like snow in that they are here for a while, people freak out, and then they are gone. Was sad to seem them go, but I was also sad to see Christopher Eccleston go and that turned out okay.

Now we have a new Doctor to doubt and worry over and hopefully, eventually, to love and miss when his time comes to melt away. Here's what he looks like now, in his unmelted state.

He looks perpetually surprised, which is how a new Doctor should look. Don't know about the gun. But I trust Stephen Moffat to be scary and sublime. It looks like he's bringing back the Weeping Angels. Don't blink, readers.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Loss, Time, Hope, And Other Nouns

Hello, readers.

It's the end of the year and the end of the decade. I could write something profound here about time and loss and change and the future but I think just listing those nouns should be enough.

If not, though, here is a paragraph of resolutions and thoughts stolen, more or less, from other, sometimes more famous, people.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. Be more awesome. Return to your core values of Jerry Lewis, monkeys, UFOs, and oatmeal. Fight as if your weapons are all Dancing. Drink as if your mugs are Everfull. If you get the chance, close your eyes and pretend you're something you're not, maybe a a three-footed wallaby on Mars or a glowing fish swimming deep in a dark sea. Make something that didn't exist before you made it. Fail spectacularly and often. Live every day like a man in love. Realize you're falling. Realize everyone's falling. Say hello to everyone. Hello, everyone. And, as always, be kind, even if it means being cruel. The world will be the better for it. I promise.

It has been a strange and wonderful year for me, readers, as all years are if you pay attention. It just happens that in this one I lost a car, a grandfather, a father, a cat, and, well, I think I'll stop there, because in many ways, this was the greatest year of all years ever. There's a lot of love out there, readers. Keep your eyes and ears open. No, I don't know how to open ears. You'll figure it out, though, I'm sure.

Happy tomorrow, readers.