squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
The LOST series finale begins in about 90 minutes. I am looking forward to it... I do not believe it will answer all my questions, but I am still hoping for a satisfying 2-2.5 hours of tee vee. Once LOST is gone, there will not be much active on TV I am interested in. Fringe, Mad Men and a couple comedies and cartoons I think, plus random History Channel stuff. It's good. One thing I've liked with LOST I can't articulate well is, I've enjoyed running into other people who like the show over the years.

I was trying to think of all the questions I have that might be addressed (there is an interesting list here). Off the top of my head there is the question of Walt and why the Others were so interested in him. Somewhat related, just what if any benefits did the Others get from their devotion to Jacob (which, it seemed a little like Jacob might not deign to deal with them much but then some of them seemed a little superhuman, where did that come from?) Did Jacob heal Locke and Rose or was that 'the Island' working? Who built the Temple and the Statue? What was the story with Richard's visit to Kid Locke, where he treated him like he might be the next Dalai Lama, then got mad at him? Why did 'the numbers' make Hurley win the lottery? (and, I think I had some other questions around the numbers... it's hard to even remember some of the mysteries at this point) Why did Jacob tolerate the Dharma Initiative at all?

Then some of the things brought up at the link above such as the food drops and the death-in-childbirth stuff. And just what is the Island with its magnetic fields and movement and time travel and other anomalies... the way it couldn't be approached or departed from easily.

Then with the 'sideways timeline', I find myself wondering how Otherton still got built, yet the Island is sunk; when did things diverge and how, and did this keep Jacob from meddling in the lives of Locke, et al, and is that why their lives are seemingly happier?

Anyway the show hasn't really let me down yet, other than it did feel like they had a couple seasons that could have not happened and not affected the overall story... yet I still enjoyed watching them. So that's kinda what I am hoping for tonight, just an enjoyable time. I fully expect the finale to create more questions than it answers, since that's what LOST does.
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
Finale or no, it is a mistake to expect LOST to stop being LOST.

stay awake

Apr. 1st, 2010 11:26 am
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
We hosted a little event at my office last night. I was stocking the refrigerator for this when the new heart art on a Diet Coke can caught my eye. "Tom Gauld", I says, and I was right. It wasn't quite so rattling a moment as coming face to face with Dan Clowes art on OK Soda cans in a Texas supermarket in the middle of the night back in '93 but it was still nice to see.
squamous: (Default)
I took my car in to the Toyota dealership for maintenance today. Just routine stuff. It wasn't quite due for any work yet but I had a coupon that was going to expire on 4/2, and the rear end was feeling a little off to me in some turns, so I figured I'd go ahead and get things taken care of. I arrived at the dealership a little before 9 and turned the car over to a guy named Joe. He said it would probably be a couple hours, and I told him I was going to walk somewhere to eat but would be back.

Maybe this was my mistake, I walked to a nearby McDonald's and had breakfast there, and finished a book I'd been reading. I drank coffee, which is often bad medicine for me. Today I think it definitely was a bad idea. But going to the McDonald's, perhaps that was my error.

Around 9:45 I walked back to the dealership and saw my car parked in the 'exit' line. I thought oh great, it's already done, I'll be out of here before 10. I didn't see Joe anywhere and I needed to pee; I checked my phone and saw he hadn't called yet so I went to the restroom then walked back to get my car. Except, it was no longer there. I went and found Joe and asked if my car was done, as I'd seen it by the exit. He said the cashiers might know, he could check in a bit. I volunteered that I could do that and walked off to ask the cashiers. The cashiers paged Joe. I said OK, never mind, I saw it by the exit so I thought it was done but, I guess not. Let me know when it is ready please, etc.

I went into the waiting room and started a new book and had been reading for about an hour when Joe showed up. Nothing wrong with the car. OK, great. I paid the cashier and was told my car was around the corner. Except, the car wasn't around the corner. I went outside, looked around, couldn't find it. Went back in the building and waited. No car. Finally I went back to the cashier - hey, my car's not there, do you know where it would be? This was apparently something that is unheard of, and it seemed to take them 15-20 minutes to register there was an actual problem, and to finally decide they needed to fix it. They couldn't find the car and after awhile were asking me if there was anything maybe hanging from the rearview mirror that would help them pick it out.

Finally someone digging around in keys and paperwork discovered that the key to a car that had been loaned out was actually still there. They called the person who should've had the key and discovered that they had taken my car. They got the person to agree to bring the car back.

I think of myself as having some hothead tendencies, but in reality I'm not sure I lose my temper all that much. It occurred to me I needed to control my temper in this situation, as I don't have a lot of practice being angry with people and might not do it well. But, I was both pissed off and stressed out, and didn't really know what to do. I imagine it was clear I was both livid and agitated but I think I was fairly controlled about it. The manager talked to me and made the kind of apologies I hate having to make all too frequently where I work - this has never happened before, we'll change our processes because of this, I'm really sorry, etc. He gave me a coupon for a free tank of gas and an oil change. Hrm.

Then, I had to wait around a half an hour or so, fuming and worrying, til the idiot that took my car returned with it. I say 'idiot' because, look - my car is clearly someone's car, not a loaner or rental car. It's 8 years old and while the outside looks pretty decent, the interior is quite lived in. My gloves and scarf were on the backseat, my ipod cables in the front seat, for heaven's sake. The glove compartment, arm rest, and trunk are all full of stuff. I am pretty good about seeing other points of view but god damn, no one with any brains at all would've thought this was anything but another person's car.

So then of course I'm thinking if you're clueless enough to drive off in my car, what else did you do? Did you drive in low gear on the highway? With your stupid brain, what kind of damage did you inflict on this car I've managed to keep in pretty good shape? Did you run over someone?

The manager guy walked me to my car and I couldn't see for sure who had taken it although I had a couple suspects. I know that the culprit was short as well as stupid due to adjustments they made to the mirrors. I'm sure to the manager it was slightly silly, me all bent worrying over my eight year old car and my trunk full of diet soda. But you know, fuck you, I overpay you for work on the car because I want things done right, not so you can let some random asshole go joyriding for the morning while I waste time in your waiting room.

I feel like I can't go back to this dealership. Not that I made a scene or was unreasonable, just that it feels like when something such as this occurs, the smart thing is to not give the fuckups another chance to create problems. Of course there is probably no other dealership anywhere convenient to me but, we'll see.

So that's kind of been my day, being angry and then trying to get over it and worrying about my car and wishing I'd been able to spot the person who took it so that I could maybe understand why their actions seemed reasonable to them. And maybe a little glad I didn't see them since I might have not been able to resist venting. It is bad sometimes to feel like you've got a right to be angry. I guess I got a little story out of it though you can see what I've made of that.
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
I have been listening to Occult America by Mitch Horowitz lately, mostly on the way to or from work. I love it, the stories of the various personalities and movements it covers are just fascinating to me. Really illuminating.

I also am using the small holiday to get caught up on some comics reading. I've read the two recent Jacques Tardi books from Fantagraphics and was somewhat less excited about them than I wanted to be (tho I still love his art). And I am reading, finally, The Bottomless Belly Button and Asterios Polyp (wow). I've also got The Art of Steve Ditko at hand; paged through it and liked the selection and oversized art.

And speaking of finally, I liked Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell a ton when I first started reading it years ago, but set it aside for some reason and while I have frequently considered returning to it, until recently I kept choosing some other book instead. I do not know why. It won the toss up not too long ago though and I got right back into it and generally found it completely great. I also went on to read Ladies of Grace Adieu, though I had read most of those stories some years back.

The new Nuggets set, Where the Action Is!, is pretty exciting so far, though I've only made it through the first disc. I can't help liking groovy hippie music, I am from that time. I'm also listening to the latest KGSR Broadcasts CD, which is always a highlight of the holiday season.

And then I 'might' go see Avatar, sometime. Probably.
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
I'm excited about a couple books I've gotten my hands on lately. First, Pim and Francie: The Golden Bear Days, by Al Columbia. Holy cow. I was really smitten with Al Columbia's creeped out 'Max Fleischer goes to hell' pieces in the long-ago Zero Zero anthology. This stuff had this perfect, perfect old black and white cartoon look to it, with some sepia tones and a genuinely disturbing silent horror film vibe running throughout.

I guess there are plenty of skilled artists producing unsettling work that you could see in Juxtapoz or what have you but, among the comic artists I knew I felt like there was something pretty special, if scary, about Al Columbia's comics. Maybe it was like listening to early Husker Du, when some pretty harmony came out of the screaming and trashing and noise it seemed sweeter than it might otherwise. These fragments of naggingly familiar cute cartoon characters amid ghoul haunted nightmare streets were thrilling in more ways than one.

Columbia has been kind of elusive so far as I know (stories abound), and this is his first book. It's an absolute grimoire - cryptic, hypnotic, dark and deep. The cover seems soiled, and once you crack it open, what is seen cannot be unseen. The book is ostensibly a series of abandoned stories and standalone images but, a kind of story keeps trying to emerge, over and over, as you turn through the pages. I'm glad to have it after all this time and eager to show it to at least one friend.

Then I've been reading Magic Mirrors, a collection of John Bellairs' fiction for adults. This volume contains not only one of my all-time favorite books, The Face in the Frost, but also the tragically 'uncompleted fragment' of a sequel to that book, along with two other early works. Bellairs is mostly known for his gothic horror stories for young adults. I first discovered him through the authentically scary The Figure in the Shadows, back in the '70s sometime. I can still remember staying up all night reading The Face in the Frost when I was in middle school.

I really, really like Bellairs. He's witty, erudite, humane, and has a real knack for throwing a scare without giving the whole game away. Lots of suggestion rather than over the top grotesque horror. How I wish he'd finished The Dolphin Cross. Oh well. It is a defining trait of mine if not an actual trademark to always be greedy for more. Anyway I think I'll go by the library today to pick up a couple of his YA books that I've never read.

Oh and I finished Under The Dome by Stephen King. I know this phrase will seem comical when applied to Mr. King but, I felt like it was 'King Lite', a work clearly intended to be a television miniseries (and also, clearly, some kind of reaction to the Bush-Cheney presidency). It was OK and I liked it for the most part while reading it and I'll spare you my further criticism (of which I had some, possibly not that valid, mostly to do with depth of characterization and motivations).

And P.S., it's Little Paintings time again. The Little Paintings book is still, alas, indefinitely postponed so far as I've heard. You can read more about the theme of this installment in the series here.


Oct. 10th, 2009 10:17 pm
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)

I do not read Playboy, not even for the pictures, but this is funny.

Pete Mullen

Oct. 4th, 2009 02:38 pm
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)

Love it. Feel like I've been looking for 'fantasy art' like this by a modern man for awhile now.
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
Comedy Central has picked up Futurama for 26 new episodes

Wow I can't believe it. I am a big, sympathetic fan of the series and I thought the recent direct-to-DVD movies were a pretty mixed bag. BUT, I will happily watch more of the show and hope for the best.
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
Undercover At An Evangelical University

'He enrolled in nearly every core class each Liberty student is required to take: Old Testament, New Testament, History of Life — a creationist biology course — and Evangelism 101, a course that instructs students on converting nonbelievers.

Just converting to an evangelical student was awkward enough for Roose. One day he sat down to a test that featured a true-false question: "Noah's Ark was big enough to accommodate various species of dinosaurs."'
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
Just a note to alert you that I've discovered Jackie Earle Haley is an actor who is capable of being creepy as hell. Were you already in possession of this information? I saw Little Children last weekend and the guy gave me the heebie jeebies and strong discomfort right through my dusty TV screen. I didn't know who he was but learned he also played Rorschach in Watchmen, just beaming out that nasty psycho vibe like he was born for the part. I have also read he is going to be Freddy Krueger in some remake of Nightmare on Elm Street that is coming up. I have no faith in the modern horror filmmakers but this guy certainly has the capability of bringing to the screen a Freddy Krueger who should not be viewed under any circumstances.
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
spoiled up for you real nice

Read more... )
squamous: (Default)
'Also, this February, HARUKI MURAKAMI, a Japanese novelist received grand prize from the Jerusalem Book Award, and this is what he said in his speech to received this very controversial award:

“ Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg…..Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: it is ‘The System.’ The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others…..I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it. The purpose of a story is to sound an alarm to keep a light trained on The System in order to prevent it from tangling our souls in its web and demeaning them. I fully believe it is the novelists’ job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories------stories of life and death, stories of love, stories that make people cry and quake with fear and shake with laughter. This is why we go on, day after day, concocting fictions with utter seriousness.”

Sorry for the long quote. But I wanted to share this with you all, as we were deeply encouraged by it.'


Apr. 13th, 2009 01:03 pm
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
...and sorta hypnotic... via Phil R. on Facebook:

makes me want to watch the cartoon, which I'm not sure I've ever done
squamous: (Friends of Sluggo)
Art for Ah Pook Is Here, an unfinished graphic novel collaboration between William S. Burroughs and Malcolm Mc Neil. "Originally conceived as a graphic novel in the pictographic format of the surviving Mayan codices, the project --eight years in the making-- consisted of over 100 illustrations by Malcolm McNeill, 30 in full color and about 50 pages of text." Trippy.

Also please "dig" Jordan Crane's dynamite cover for Uptight #3.

Bonus for PC users: the Insomniac Elf video game. I am not able to play it. :(


Apr. 2nd, 2009 09:19 am
squamous: (golem)
"In a Sufi fable, the elephant fell in love with a firefly, and imagined that it shone for no other creature but he; and when it flew long distances away, he was confident that at the center of its light was the image of an elephant."

For years I've been trying to remember where I first read that. It's from Ghost Story by Peter Straub. Now I wonder if there is an actual fable.


Apr. 1st, 2009 11:41 pm
squamous: (cyclops on mountain)
"...the artist’s current project involves a set of paintings depicting her having sex with each of the Presidents of the United States in sequential order." That would be Justine Lai's Join or Die. Behold.
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