Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend . . . harumph

At my folks for Thanksgiving, though they haven't seen much of me, as I tend to scurry off upstairs to work on my final project - a five-minute scene of a play by . . . I think it's Eugene O'Neill's play based on a Euripedes play. I don't know the titles of either, but they both have incest, matricide, betrayal, and general murder. I missed the incest part at first, and couldn't figure out why the actress was rubbing all over her "brother's" chest. Eventually I figured it out. Sometimes I'm slow, but I get there all the same.

I oscillate between hating the piece and liking it. I get frustrated because I know what I want to do, but what's in my head is grand and creepy and what comes out is tiny, quivering, shaky - and, believe it or not, too pretty. Or at least that's the way it seems in the thick of it. I suppose that's just the creative process.

It's been a peaceful Thanksgiving, otherwise. I didn't get to spend much time with my niece, but the school stuff just couldn't be ignored. During Christmas I hope to remedy that.

Other than that, I'm eating too much and drinking too much caffeine. But I FINALLY bought a pair of running shoes - Kohl's had a great sale - and some running clothes. Warm ones. So I hope to get back to that, however slowly and stilted, once we return to Chicago.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cat Pic and Missing Keys

He may be a beautiful cat, he may be affectionate and a bit of a show pony . . . but he is diabolical.

This morning I woke to find THREE keys missing off of my laptop. I found one, (S), but the other two (E and F) are still missing. No doubt Gatsby (you might as well know his full name) batted them under the refrigerator or oven or somewhere equally unreachable by human hands, the little bugger.

I didn't notice any of this last night, when I came home from class after a long day. This morning I wondered why my computer was at an odd angle on the kitchen table, where I study, but I didn't think too much of it. I don't have Word on the iMac yet, so the laptop is where I'll write my paper. I've got an extra keyboard, but still . . . that's more I have to carry home to my folks' for Thanksgiving break. Grrrrr. No doubt he exacted his revenge after being subjected to my caterwauling (pun intended) on the double bass on Monday night.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Not only is there a 76% chance my cat is plotting to kill me,

What are your chances of surviving a bear attack?

Cribbed from fairyhedgehog's blog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I think G. has decided he likes me. It's official. When a cat comes into your room early in the morning and sleeps on your stomach, he likes you. Never can I walk by him without him begging for attention. I try to do this on the sly, but of course, every time I turn around, there's Orson . . . glaring malevolently at me.

I've changed the topic of my film history paper three times now. And this time the instructor doesn't even know it yet. Researching like crazy. I'm off to take a bath while I read my latest article on the Hollywood blacklist during the Red Scare. May include Elia Kazan, may not. I mean, how much effect did he have by naming names, anyway? HUAC already had its claws deep in Hollywood by that point, anyway. But still, I suppose they needed the formality. And the fact that he was willing . . . I don't know. I'm on the fence.

As you may have guessed, I've all but completely given up on NaNoWriMo. I may try to churn out something over Thanksgiving, but . . . I'll probably need a break. Next year for this doesn't look good, either. Sigh. I miss the days when I could read what I wanted, when I wanted. On the other hand, life isn't so bad right now . . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh Yeah . . . 20 inches, baby

Hah. You probably thought that was going to lead to some porn thing. Bow chicka bow bounw.

I took the plunge and bought equipment for home use, so I'm hoping that the extra time I'll now be able to put in will help me out in lab class, which is by far the hardest class I have. (Lab is the class in which we learn the software composers in the film industry use. I am NOT mechanically inclined, I'm finding.)

But I'm excited about the computer, actually, as it is a brand, spanking-new iMac that came with a free printer that (so far) actually works. 20-inch, crystal-clear display. Runs beautifully. I'm waiting on the audio interface and the MIDI controller (the keyboard, for all you non-geeks) to arrive. Next semester I'll probably pick up the mixing monitors (speakers) and a new set of headphones.

What does all of this mean? This means, instead of walking six blocks to the station and waiting on a dark, wind-swept platform for the train every day of the week this winter, then walking another three blocks when I exit the train (also every day of the week this winter), only to sit in a rather cold studio at night when I'm already tired from a full day, I'll be able to stay at home and work in my slippers during the day, sipping me tea from me very spill-safe, lidded mug. Ahoy.

I can't find my MS Word disc that I had to load MS Word 2004, though. I've become quite certain this apartment hides things when I need them, only to toss them back out from the Portal of Beyond when I don't need them anymore.

Time to go finish up my term paper rough draft on my trusty 12-inch G3 (iBook).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Book Purchasing Poll

Over the last six months, there are books I've been tempted to purchase, but have held off until better days.

Well, my friends, better days have come, if only temporarily. To the right is a poll in which YOU get to pick Freddie's next book(s).

Any other suggestions are welcome in the comments.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Hah. You probably thought this was going to be a post about Prop 8. (The fight is not over on that, by the way.)

But this post is about something far more bizarre: A man in Japan wants to marry a comic book character.

This leads me to wonder. What literary character would you marry? Let's keep it to literary characters, which includes comic book/graphic novel characters. Any character in a book. How about that? Maybe next post we'll talk about movie characters.

I'll tell when you tell.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It Was a Night to Remember . . .

So it turned out D had tickets to President-elect Obama's speech in Grant Park last night. I couldn't see Obama or even the screen, but I heard most of his speech clearly (and for me that's saying a lot!).

What amazed me the most was how polite everyone was. Cities are known to swallow up a person's humanity, and Chicago is no exception. You walk by the homeless guy without digging in your pocket for change, telling yourself you're going to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. And of course five minutes later you forget that promise. Preoccupied, you get on the train without first waiting for other passengers to exit. Indeed, most gatherings in Grant Park result in at least a few "F&%$ youse!"

Last night was different. A feeling of goodwill infused the crowd, and not once did someone move or bump into me without saying "Excuse me" or "I'm so sorry!" (I did the same.) No one fought. No one argued (that I could see) with police officers. Everyone was polite and respectful, smiling and happy. I saw two women embrace a tree in a playful acknowledgment of being "tree huggers."

This is the way it should be.

It's difficult to convey all the things I felt. Optimism for the first time in months. Awe at the number of people who attended the speech, and the way everyone treated each other. Mostly I just felt lucky to be this close to such an historic moment. It was beyond cool.

Yeah, I'm an Obama supporter. You can think I drank the Kool Aid if you want.

But it's not Barack Obama's words ringing in my ears this morning, but those of Kyle Cassidy, words which convey—I hope—the sentiment of our time, and words I don't think you can argue with no matter which side of the fence you reside on:

Be a force for good.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tomorrow, tomorrow . . .

Okay, so tomorrow I expected to be in class all day, but Obama will be in Grant Park. Right next to my school. So Columbia did the natural thing and canceled all classes after 3 p.m. Which means I get to loiter outside the park (I hope). Couldn't get tickets, and couldn't donate any money to win any. Ah well. I feel lucky to be so close to what is sure to be an historic event. Really exciting! Especially since nothing like this ever happens to me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Word Count

The NaNoWriMo site is taking forever to let me log in, so I'll probably do a periodic word count here.

So far I'm at a paltry 857 words.

I've already abandoned the Dirk Beefhead novel. Too much of a one-trick pony. Writing hard-boiled crime fiction might be fun, but it takes time for me to come up with similes and metaphors that fit the style and actually sound humorous.

I've started a different one that I think will be a children's book. Not youngish kids, but around twelve. That's not YA, is it?