Monday, July 25th

The Terror in the Park

Listening to: The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
Current mood: relieved

I have just now barely escaped a horror the likes of which has shredded the minds of stronger ones than I into delicious strips of sanity jerky. The name of this monstrosity? Ballet in the Park. Now, I like to think that I'm a relatively sophisticated and cultured chap but ballet... ballet to me is mind-numbingly dull at best and when it involves a "hoedown" routine the likes of which makes Oklahoma look like Shakespeare... ok well, like Marlowe anyway... Johnson at least... would you believe Congreves? but anyway when that happens, the only response I can summon is to jump onto my skateboard and ride screaming off into the night as quickly as possible. Luckily I preserved the strength of will not to look back. Horrible things always happen to people who look back in those types of situations.

It's just a lucky that I was only there for the pre-ballet picnic with Lynnea and her mom and friends and wasn't actually planning on staying for the ballet itself. I was originally planning on being social by at least hanging out and reading, but I changed my mind at the last minute since I figured I could get more reading done at home. Really just the whole shared embarassment aspect of ballet dancers in cowboy attire dancing around to "Pop Goes the Weasel" and the like was just too much. I was just sitting there screaming internally "Get some dignity already!" Now as always, I'm being hyperbolic, but wow, that could not be less my scene. Heck, after that I don't even mind posting on the sidebar that I'm starting the 3rd Harry Potter book. I mean, reading trendy children's novels might be a bit of a vice, but it's nothing compared to dressing up like a cowboy and prancing around like an idiot in front of hundreds of people.

Matt on 07.25.05 @ 08:30 PM PST [link

Sunday, July 24th

Financial Freedom

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: jovial

Ah, another weekend has bitten the proverbial dust. It's been a good one though. The most salient event of the weekend was a visit from none other than my friend Nate from Fremont. It was loads of fun having him up and we gave him the southern Oregon tour: took him to a couple of the tastier Ashland eateries, went up to Crater Lake, the Rogue Gorge, Natural Bridge, and Mill Creek falls. Outdoorsy stuff mostly. It was only too bad that he couldn't stay more than a day. Plus all that hiking around practically killed us yesterday. But it gave me a good excuse to loaf around and finish that Lovecraft book today.

Speaking of which, I was noticing early on in reading it just how sickeningly much a good deal of my fiction prose is copying Lovecraft's descriptive style. Not his style in the describing the creepy, but rather what he does when he's giving those soft etherial, dream-like outdoor descriptions. Like say at the opening of "The Tomb" or (where I noticed it) near the beginning of the "The Colour Out of Space". I'm sort hoping that now that I've noticed it I can cut it out except when I want to invoke that mood, because thus far it seems like I have trouble not writing etherial stuff. But on a side note, those who watch the sidebar for my reading choices: I haven't picked my next book yet so it'll still be up there until tomorrow or the next day.

On another note, for my birthday a couple weeks back my parents ordered me a shiny new Wacom tablet (the 6x8 Intuos3 for those that are interested). UPS however, appearently decided to take their time in getting it up here, so I didn't actually get the thing until Friday. So I've been playing around with it off and on over the weekend. And tonight as I was messing around with it, I happened to notice a $10 bill lying on my desk and it gave me an idea... If I could just trace it well enough, why... any financial problems I might ever have would be solved. So I laid the bill down on the tablet and just 30 seconds later...

Um, don't copy this though. That would be uh, counterfeiting or something.

Yes sir, I expect the moneys to come rolling in any second now. Just don't tell the gover-mint though, they might get mad.

Matt on 07.24.05 @ 11:56 PM PST [link

Wednesday, July 20th

Red Letter Day

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: way excited

Yep, you read it right. I, of all people, am way excited. What could elict such an utter surfeit of emotion in one such as me, you ask? Basically, the day I've been waiting for since March has come at last and sitting next to me as I type this, its shiny black surface resplendant with love and beauty, is my long-awaited Playstation Portable (purchased much to Lynnea's chagrin). Man oh boy this thing is sweet. I've only got Lumines for it at the moment but I think that will keep me sated for the next couple of weeks at least. And that's not even the whole of today. I also got eat really good sushi for dinner, went to a book signing by Bruce Campbell, got to hang out with our good friends Eric and Kathleen, and found out that squid jerky is really really good. Yep, it's been a high quality day.

Meanwhile, since the last time I posted, which happened to be way too long ago, I've turned 26. Which seems like it's starting to get me into the I'm-too-old-to-not-have-really-ever-done-anything range. I'm sort of hoping that it will act as some kind of impetus to get me actually working on some projects instead of just playing around with them and then dropping them like usual. Well, I can dream, can't I? Anyway, I'm really quite sure that there are other things I've been meaning to blog about but I just remember that I need to... um... *cough* play another game of Lumines *cough*. Important business, that.

Matt on 07.20.05 @ 01:22 AM PST [link

Friday, July 8th

Cheating at Solitaire

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: ok

So I ripped off a Mike Ness album title... What are you gonna do about it? Besides, it's apt. Once again I'm shirking my scholarly duties (as laid out by my self-written schedule) by doing a blog post when I really have no reason to do one. Not to say that I ever have a reason, other than, um, hmm... Because-It-Is-There? That doesn't sound like me. Must be me some sort of psychological thing. I'm hoping for something Jungian. Ah, but I digress. So basically what happened was that I finished The Artificial Kid (which I guess I liked... I was really not expecting the direction it took, which has completely thrown off my conception of the book) and it was time to put a new book on my sidebar so I said to myself, hey I should do a blog post about my book selection and thereby make it so I'm less than a week behind on my writing (because it's summer and all I want to do is sit around playing old Super Nintendo games and the inexplicably addictive Princess Maker 2).

The book I chose could also be classified as cheating. Although most of my books (at least lately) are chosen for leisure as opposed to intellectual development, I've long been known amongst my colleagues as a strong devotee of Lovecraft. Why not just eat a bowl of frosting while you're at it you might say. But, this is not just Lovecraft. It's annotated. Actually I've already read the introduction and the first half of "The Rats in the Walls" (which scared me half to death the first time I read it, all those years ago) and really S.T. Joshi's mini-biography and notes really make it that much better. I think I need to track down a copy of his H.P. Lovecraft: A Life at some point, that sounds like a good time.

So yeah, there you have it. In summation: I like Lovecraft (and Joshi) and this post is worthless. Or if you're of a certain bent: No, no cheese at all. I was deliberately wasting your time.

Matt on 07.08.05 @ 01:37 AM PST [link

Sunday, July 3rd

Batman Snarks

Listening to: nothing
Current mood: food-stuffed lethargy

So... like I promised a few hours ago, Batman Begins. It was uh, well it was definitely a fun movie, and definitely the best Batman flick yet made. But it wasn't quite the Aronofsky directed adaptation of Batman: Year One were we pitched awhile back. Actually it was probably more fun than that would have been, but still. Basically I liked the whole thing except for a few nits which I will attempt expound upon in a way wherein I intend to be humourous but instead come across as awkward. I'll try not to spoil anything plotwise. Um, if you haven't seen it and don't want to hear anything about it like the fact that Scarecrow is secretly Batman's illegitimate former roommate - whoops. But you get the point.

Nit #1 - Explosions. Really pretty much nothing ever explodes in real life. At least it's rare. I think it's especially rare for buildings to explode. Even if they have some amount of gunpowder in them, that doesn't mean the entire structure will explode all over the place. Unless they accidentally used bricks made entirely of solidified gunpowder but I don't think that would be up to code. And even if you're a ninja I bet you don't want the Building Inspector on your ass. Furthermore most electronic devices don't let out massive clouds of fire when they break. Maybe you'd get a few sparks but not much else. I mean it might make life a little more interesting if people's walkmen (or iPods?) routinely exploded when they broke, but as it is you rarely see anybody running around screaming and punching a flaming blob of plastic attached to their hip. Though when you do, it's always hilarious.

Nit #2 - Shaky Cam/Jump Cuts. I know that it's the hip style in Hollywood right now to try to capture the essence of a fight scene by shaking the camera around a whole lot and doing lots of really quick cuts. But you know what? It sucks. You can't tell what's going on. In such scenes I usually find myself sitting there thinking, "Huh, I guess something is happening. Maybe once all this shaking and whatnot is over I'll be able to figure out what it was." Now, this isn't a Batman-only snark, but it was certainly guilty (see the fight on the train).

Nit #3 - Hollywood: STOP TRYING TO GIVE BATMAN A LOVE INTEREST. HE DOESN'T REALLY HAVE ONE. Yes, Spidey does, Supes does, Wolverine has a few, but Batman pretty much doesn't. Please stop trying to invent one for every movie. Especially one who knows his secret identity.

Nit #4 - Christian Bale looks silly in the Bat suit. There, I said it.

But that said, that's all I can really think to complain about. The cinematography was good, the acting was mostly pretty good, plot was alright. And the fact that they somehow used a magical machine to suck Jim Gordon out of comicbookland a drop him in the movie is cool enough to earn it an Anti-Nit. Actually I don't even know why I'm bothering to write this since this review by Tom Spurgeon really sums it up perfectly. So go there and read that if you're interested.

Matt on 07.03.05 @ 09:14 PM PST [link

O Monday, where now thy sting?

Listening to: Prefuse 73 - Surrounded by Silence
Current mood: post-insomnia

So I just popped in the new Prefuse 73 record I picked up yesterday and after less than a track and a half have already managed drive Lynnea from the room. I guess she just can't bug out to the funky beat or something. Anyway, it's sunday afternoon again but this time it doesn't count due to the three day weekend. As Tim would say, I loves me some three day weekend. As much I'm not entirely a fan of the 4th for what should be obvious reasons (such as the rampant jingoism and the often required time spent outdoors in the heat with relatives) I'll take a three day weekend any day of the week. Um, you know, as long as it's the weekend since that's the only time it works.

Right, so anyway, I think we're gonna go see Batman Begins in a little while which should be fun. I'll probably post back with my take on the movie later. So why did I post now you ask? I will refer you to the three (soon to be two) empty checkboxes under the "Writing" section of my weekly to-do list (which I guess I can't really refer you to since it's a piece of paper sitting on my floor). Actually other than reading most of the list is blank for this week, I guess it'll be a slightly busy evening tonight. Speaking of reading I'm currently on The Artificial Kid by Bruce Sterling which is a strange but fun book filled with decadent weirdos. It's a good time if you're into that sort of thing.

Anyway, that's it for now. I think I'm gonna go find out if I have any electrical tape and if I do I think I'll attempt some soldering iron burnination. Don't ask.

Matt on 07.03.05 @ 02:19 PM PST [link