Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

What do you do for Halloween? I help scare kids at my best friend's parents' house, because there are never any kids at mine. Most of the kids call it "The Spooky House" so they usually know they'll be scared by someone...or something.

This is my favorite new addition

There are quite a lot of gravestones this year...

This is Hanging Chad. He kicks when a motion detector is triggered. I was co-fashion consultant for this particular project. By the end of the night he also wore a sign that said "Took four pieces of candy" ('cause the kids were told to take three.)

This year two kids were too scared to come into the yard and two cried; the crying was a surprised because timid kids tend not to even come in the yard. The rest of the kids had fun, including my favorite kids from last year (they fell in love with my doll Blix then) who asked about how to make Hanging Chad. They're young teens, mostly girls, and we're tempted to recruit them as scarers when they get too old to trick or treat.
I hope everyone had a good Halloween!

"we are, we are the shaken (shaken), we are the monsters (monsters) underneath your bed!" - Matchbook Romance, Monsters

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

World's Ending

I'm not loving fall so far. It's unseasonably cool, which is kind of depressing after a cool, extremely wet summer. And I'm also worried about getting the H1N1 vaccine before I get the flu, because when I got the flu two years ago I got pneumonia too, and this one is supposed to be leading to that even more often. But things could be worse...

It could be like the reality that encompasses Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood! That would be much worse, because both books are dystopias by Margaret Atwood. Neither are as depressing as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, but they are pretty bleak, anyway.

Imagine a reality where a powerful person could position himself to purposely destroy humanity by the time he's in his mid-thirties, and you're on your way towards understanding the situation of Oryx and Crake. However, even if you read the follow up, The Year Of The Flood, you still won't know why Crake does what he did. As frustrating as that is, perhaps it smacks of realism: we won't exactly be able to question the motives of the eventual architects of humanity's destruction, after all. Instead we are left only with the clues that Crake's best friend Jimmy (also known as Snowman) gives us through a not entirely reliable narrative. You have to forgive him that, being as he's slowly starving to death and alone but for a race of genetically altered, and strangely perfect, beings that aren't quite human though they're decidedly humanoid.

While I recommend Oryx and Crake, it has sadly turned out to be one of those books that is only genius upon a first reading. I reread it just before the sequel came out, and it didn't seem nearly as profound or clever as it did the first time. I've definitely grown a bit older since reading it six years ago, but not enough wiser to account for the disappointment. The Year Of The Flood was slow-going too, and not as good as the original, being filled with characters less interesting than Snowman in the first book. I suppose it leaves the door open for a sequel, but we'll see.

It's a good time for the book to come out, however, given that The Road is about to come out in theaters. Perhaps the movie (and the recession!) will lead to a mini-surge of interest in dystrophic movies and books, who knows? I'd like some recommendations in that area myself.

As for that movie, I'm not sure I'll be seeing The Road in theaters because I'm annoyed that the actor playing "the boy" (neither main character is ever named, just called "the man" and "the boy") is far too old. The director said that he cast the boy as older because it would be too hard to see a child the proper age, which would have been about seven, in such a bleak setting but I think the switch is likely to rob the story of a lot of its power. I suspect such a squeamish director will leave out or heavily edit the two most shocking scenes in the book, which will leave it far too sanitized to do the book justice.

"You burned your bridges, your world is burning down. No one will save you, your ship is going down til the end of the world." - The Sweethearts, End Of The World

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

September Music

I know, it's later than usual, but I have no proof that anyone cares about the music posts anyway, so I'm not going to sweat it.

Afghan Whigs - 66
Bat For Lashes - Sleep Alone
Baxter - Love Again
Black Bone Child - Fill Me Up
Blaqk Audio - No New Tale To Tell (Love & Rockets cover)
Bombay Bicycle Club - Autumn
Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy '94 [Acoustic Mix]
Cold War Kids - I've Seen Enough
Colder - To The Music
Dan Black - Yours
East of Anything - Innocent
Elbow - Grounds For Divorce
Electric Six - Feed My F*ckin' Habit
Electric Touch - Sounds For The Underground
Elliott Smith - Southern Belle
Elysian Fields - Black Acres
Emphatic - Goodbye Girl
Eyes Set To Kill - The World Outside
Fukkk Offf - More Than Friends [Omni's Vocal Remix] (this video isn't for the remix)
Girls Under Glass - The Virtual World
Juliette Lewis - Fantasy Bar
Katerpillar - Lost
Kelly Harper - BoyfrienD
K-OS - Uptown Girl [feat. Emily Haines & Murray Lightburn]
La Roux - I'm Not Your Toy [Data Remix]
Leaves' Eyes - Lovelorn
Letters Vs. Numbers - Forget Everything
Living Things - Oxygen
Manchester Orchestra - I've Got Friends
Manchester Orchestra - Wolves at Night
Mark Lanegan - Where Did You Sleep Last Night (folk song cover, didn't orginate with Lead Belly)
Metric - Gold Guns Girls
Modest Mouse - Parting Of The Sensory
Modest Mouse - Spitting Venom
Monogrenade - Ce soir (Not speaking French, I haven't a clue what this song is about)
Morningwood - New York Girls
New Models - Surrender
Perfect People - They Don't Make 'Em Like You Anymore
Peter Bjorn & John - It Don't Move Me [The Knocks remix] (this video isn't for the remix)
Polvo - Beggars Bowl
Pony Up! - Making More Beneath
Project Jenny, Project Jan - Pins and Needles [feat Fujiya & Miyagi]
Ritche Blackmore - Wish You Were Here
Sam Sparro - Black & Gold
Silversun Pickups - Sort Of
Smile Empty Soul - Don't Ever Leave
Sneaker Pimps - Bloodsport
Sugar Army - Tongues In Cheeks
The Black Ghosts - I Want Nothing
The Builders And The Butchers - Golden And Green
The Color Turning - Me Versus Me
The Dead Weather - Bone House
The xx - Crystalised
Triptaka - Lost & Leading
Waiting for Signal - Mistakes of the Century
White Lies - To Lose My Life
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Down Boy
You Can Be A Wesley - Creatures
Yves Klein Blue - Make Up Your Mind

Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
neither = never heard of them before

"There's times I could run you flat out, just surender." - Your Black Star, The Silent Me