Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crazy Time

Last two weeks of semester now. CRAZY TIME.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. I did. I took the day off. The next day, Friday, I took my niece to a movie and then that afternoon it was back to work.

As for the movie, we saw Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was weird and . . . bad. Stop motion animation complete with actors' facial expressions digitally rendered into fox faces complete with the odd moral that it's okay to steal as long as you're a wild animal did not really do it for me. Granted, only one of my ears was working during the movie, so I could be wrong. But I won't watch it again just to see. Rarely do I have the reaction that I want to tear my hair out during a movie, but I certainly had that reaction during this one. Humor fell flat, music was in lots of wrong places - not to mention the wrong style of music was used in the right places, and I'm pretty sure I recognized a few Apple/Logic Pro loops in there. Not good. But Niece the Younger liked it (she LOVES animation in film), so that's all that matters.

Other than that, I've basically been gorging on food and working. Now that the Christmas season is officially here, I will soon be starting my yearly re-read of Dickens's Christmas stories.

What are YOU doing this weekend??

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pictures to Warm Even a Grinch's Heart

So this year, I'm not exactly been in the Christmas spirit. Feeling pretty Grinchy. I still plan to keep a few of my traditions: visiting my family, re-reading Dickens's Christmas stories, and eating enough for two people, but this year there doesn't feel like a whole lot of celebratin' to be had.

In fact, now that I have a cold, it's a fight just to keep my chin up. But tonight I saw something I've never seen in Chicago. It was corny as hell, but it made me smile, and I hope it makes you smile, too.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I've gotten a couple of spam comments on previous posts, so I've had to turn on comment verification. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Made the Cut

Hah - made the final cut in Stuart Neville's Ghost of Belfast contest. Voting has started and ends Saturday, November 21 at midnight. The instructions don't explicitly state you're to vote via twitter, but I'm interpreting that's the way you're gonna vote.

You're gonna vote, right??

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Anyone into Photography?

So I have this idea for a "coffee table" book (which I put in quotation marks because I'm not sure if that's exactly what I mean, but something like it).

Who's into photography? I don't have a camera, but with all the jobs (that hopefully won't fall through), I should have some money to purchase one soon. Anyone know of a good, professional-quality camera that's light and easy for a beginner to operate? Winter will be on us soon, and I want to start snapping pics when that hits. Thanks!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Woo Hoo

Seems I have an abundance of work - too much - if nothing falls through.

But too much is better than too little - or worse, none at all. So . . . happy and busy and ready for coffee.

In other news, I scored my first 10/10 in Lab. But the instructor is leaving at the end of the semester. He's applying to MIT, and I hope he gets it. (He's brilliant, and that's not a word I toss around lightly. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if he's a member of MENSA.)

Annnnd, I am indeed visiting my folks for Thanksgiving, which is nice. Looking forward to watching Coraline with my niece, if she hasn't seen it. I haven't seen it, actually, so I may have her watch it with me again, if she has. Also looking forward to hanging out with my parents and talking politics. And hanging out with friends, one of whom I've known since the eighth grade. I've also reconnected with quite a few old friends on Facebook, so maybe I'll get to see them, too.

Been having some trouble compositionally with my process, but I'm beginning to plan more, so it's not as messy. My composing process, I'm finding, can't be anywhere near as messy as my writing process. In my writing process, I just sort of dive in and write. In composing, I have to set up the instruments in Logic Pro, watch the scene, map out where the biggest dramatic hits are, and then write everything out by pencil and paper before entering anything into the computer. In my last couple of cues I didn't do that, and ran into all sorts of technical trouble. Tempo-wise (how fast they were), they were a mess. The tempo was all over the place. I'm not going to go into some long, drawn-out explanation here. Suffice it to say I went overboard with one of the features in Logic Pro and turned what could have been a decent cue into a mess. Sigh. Ah well - the prof is letting me re-do it as long as I hand it in Monday.

And here's the other thing: someone bought an article I wrote. Yes, it was an article on comparing RV insurance providers, but still. (If you need your RV insured, e-mail me. I know just who to call.) I feel more like a writer now.

So . . . back to work. Major project due Thursday and I'm late late late. Plus re-writes due Monday, and there's an extra job around which to schedule.

Also, I just want to thank those of you who stop by the blog and kindly share words of encouragement. Really helps when I get the blues. I know I don't visit your blogs nearly enough. I hope, once I'm done with all this work, I can catch up.

And to those of you doing NaNo this year - GOOD LUCK!!! Can't wait to hear/read some excerpts!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Working . . .

. . . for now.

That is all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Did I Just Step Onto the Set of a Remake of Midnight Cowboy?

Tell you what. It was Freak Central tonight on the way home from school. I think I'm a little traumatized.

One guy was so drunk (or high) it took his girlfriend three stops to drag him out of his seat and to the door of the train. They finally stumbled off, and he was clutching her like a drowning man holding on to a life preserver. Hope they didn't fall off the platform.

Still looking for work. Things keep falling through, and I'm really at a point where I just don't think I'm going to make it. I'm trying, I really am. I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Project Fill-in-the-Gaps fiction - update

This is an update of my Project Fill in the Gaps, on which I'm doing abysmally. But I've managed to get a few books in:

1. Underworld - Don DeLillo
2. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
3. The Mountains of Madness - HP Lovecraft
4. The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
5. The Jungle Books - Rudyard Kipling
6. Peace - Gene Wolfe
7. The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
8. Emma - Jane Austen
9. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
10. Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
11. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
12. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
13. The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula LeGuin
14. The Dispossessed - Ursula LeGuin
15. The Odyssey - Homer
16. Iliad - Homer
17. The Complete Plays - Christopher Marlowe
18. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
19. Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway
20. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
21. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
22. A Swiftly Tilting Planet - Madeleine L'Engle
23. A Wind in the Door - Madeleine L'Engle
24. Many Waters - Madeleine L'Engle
25. Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
26. All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
27. The Crossing - Cormac McCarthy
28. Cities of the Plain - Cormac McCarthy
29. The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe - Edgar Allen Poe
30. The Golden Ass - Apulieus
31. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
32. The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
33. The Yiddish Policeman's Union - Michael Chabon
34. Dandelion Wine - Ray Bradbury
35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
36. The Marathon Man - William Goldberg
37. Friends of Pancho Villa - James Carlos Blake
38. Master and Commander - Patrick O'Doyle
39. The Stranger - Max Frei
40. The Greek Myths Vol. 1 - Robert Graves
41. The Greek Myths Vol 2 - Robert Graves
42. Watchmen - Alan Moore
43. Little Big - John Crowley
44. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke
45. The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
46. The Female Man - Joanna Russ
47. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
48. Grendel - John Gardner
49. Lush Life - Richard Price
50. American Tabloid - James Ellroy
51. The Maltese Falcon _ Dashiell Hammet
52. The Wolfman - Nicholas Pekearo
53. Perfect Circle - Sean Stewart
54. Daughter of Hounds - Caitlin Kiernen
55. Low Red Moon - Caitlin Kiernen
56. Paradise Lost- John Milton
57. Dante's Inferno - Dante
58. Lud-in-the-Mist - Hope Mirrlees
59. Daemonmania - John Crowley
60. The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales - Brothers Grimm
61. The Wizard of Oz -L. Frank Baum
62. The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
63. Beowulf
64. The Aeneid - Virgil
65. Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
66. The Mutual Friend - Frederick Busch
67. One Thousand and One Arabian Nights - Various
68. Glass Soup - Jonathan Carroll
69. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
70. The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories - Jeffrey Ford
71. Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones
72. Perdido Street Station - China Mieville
73. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1 - Arthur Conan Doyle
74. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol 2. - Arthur Conan Doyle
75. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
76. House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
77. Persuasion - Jane Austen
78. The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing
79. The Good Terrorist - Doris Lessing
80. Summerland - Michael Chabon
81. Werewolves in Their Youth - Michael Chabon
82. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
83. Rebecca - Daphne De Maurier
84. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
85. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
86. The Somnambulist - Jonathan Barnes
87. The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Charles Dickens
88. Drood - Dan Simmons
89. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
90. The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
91. Anno Dracula - Kim Newman
92. House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
93. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
94. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
95. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
96. 1984 - George Orwell
97. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
98. 2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
99. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
100. Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut
101. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold* - John Le Carre

Added because it's a classic and I can't find anything I want to take off the list.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Odd Jobs

It's amazing to me how the days slip by so quickly now. I've been in near total neglect of this blog. Ah, well. There are only so many hours in the day.

I'm still searching for work. A little has come my way, but I need more, so I'm still spending a lot of time applying. What has come my way are people who would love to work with me and are excited about collaboration, but don't have the money to pay me. And I'd love to work with them, too, but unfortunately some of those things will either fall to Low Priority or fall by the wayside altogether. The reality is I just need more paid work. I don't really care what it is at this point.

When I say I've applied for some odd jobs, I do mean odd. I've even applied to write a college student's term paper.

Shut up! I need the money! : )