greygirlbeast: (Default)
Please comment, kittens. I just spent almost three hours on this bloody entry.

"Deny your pettiest of foes the satisfaction of defeat, or even of recognition, by consigning them to oblivion." – Old Sith Proverb (even though I just now made it up). Then again, as Brown Bird reminds us: "We file down our fangs on the bones of our foes." It's a damned conundrum, it is.

This is going to be a long entry, I think. Because, firstly, there's yesterday, and then, secondly, there's Ridley Scott's forthcoming Prometheus.

Yesterday, we finally left the house about two p.m. (CaST), and headed south and east to Conanicut Island and West Cove (~41°28'46.27"N, 71°21'40.50"W), nestled in amongst the ruins of Fort Wetherill. Longtime readers will recall this is one of our favorite destinations. It seemed a fitting place to spend Yuletide. Speaking of tides, as the new moon is Saturday, and we had a storm on Wednesday night, the last high tide had been very high, indeed. All the way back to the treeline. Therefore, all manner of interesting things had fetched up on the shore. When we visit West Cove, we're always most interested in mermaids' tears (beach glass) and the bones of gulls, cormorants, and other birds (and mammals, but mammalian bones are rare). I try to ignore the profuse plastic litter, mostly left behind by the summer people. I try to imagine the shoreline pristine, but it's hard when you know:

Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

- or -

Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Anyway, by my admittedly casual estimation, the tide must have stranded hundreds of rock crabs (Cancer irroratus), along with all manner of other Mollusca and Crustacea, many of which I've never before seen at West Cove. There were the remains of numerous genera of crabs and lobsters (including Limulus, Homarus, Libinia, and the aforementioned Cancer), pelecypods (including Mytilus, Ensis, Aequipecten, Mercenaria, Spisula, Crassostrea, and an as yet unidentified cockle), and gastropods, mostly slipper shells and periwinkles. I found a few interesting bird bones, and we collected some nice bits of glass. The sun was brilliant off the water, until banks of low clouds rolled in towards sunset. It was warmish, in the fifties Fahrenheit, except in the shadows. When the sun slipped behind the clouds, the temperature dropped into the low forties within minutes. I sat and listened to bell buoys and the slap of the surf, trying to calm myself for many days to come. As soon as we'd arrived, we climbed a large granite promontory and tossed a single sprig of yew into the dark waters of the cove as an offering to Panthalassa. We saw three ravens and a very large murder of crows, but, oddly, only a few seabirds, a few gulls that swept by overhead. Despiute the fact that I took a pretty hard fall in the rocks (and have the bruises and aches to show for it), it was a good (indeed, a bow tie) day at the sea. We headed home about 4:56 p.m., and I dozed all the way back to Providence. Winding up our celebration of Cephalopodmas, we watched the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society's excellent adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu (2005) and Robert Gordon's It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955).

At least the first day of winter has come and gone, and now the days will grow longer.

Yuletide 2011 )


---

Yesterday, I saw the first official "teaser" trailer for Ridley Scott's forthcoming Alien (1979) prequel, Prometheus, to be released in June 2012:



It must be understood that I've been waiting for this film for many years, even before Ridley Scott ever decided it would be made. Perhaps before he even considered it might ever exist. Few mythologies are more important to me than the Alien mythos (excepting those silly AvP tie-ins), so...well, it's gorgeous, this trailer, and the cast sounds brilliant, and I was pleased to hear that Giger was consulted and at least marginally involved with the production, and the news that Marc Streitenfeld has scored the film. That said, Scott's decision to shoot the film in 3D is abominable, and has left me deeply disappointed and a little sick about it all. Yes, he's following some of the processes used in Avatar, a spectacle that manages to be marvelous in 2D, and I can only fucking hope that the same will be true of Prometheus. It's not like I can boycott this film. But, like Scorcese's decision to do Hugo in 3D, I can only shake my head in disbelief and say that Ridley Scott knows better. Even watching the trailer, you can see those "coming at you," pandering-to-3D shots that so compromise good (and great) cinematography.

It is, at best, a wait-and-see situation. But it's one I await with regret and a heavy heart. When our greatest directors resort to gimmicks beneath them, what are lovers of film to do? Turn away from the future of cinema and be grateful for its glorious past? In this instance, and despite what Scott may be saying, the decision to go with 3D was almost certainly one based on heavy pressure from 20th Century Fox. We'll wait and we'll see.

Dreadful,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Better late than never. Well, that's always been a dubious adage, but whatever.

I begin to see a trend. When I was writing The Red Tree I became, in some sense, Sarah Crowe. When I was writing The Drowning Girl, I became India Morgan Phelps. And now that I'm writing Blood Oranges, I find myself becoming Siobahn Quinn. No, this didn't used to happen.

Yesterday, as predicted, was spent pulling the Digest together, writing the prolegomenon etc. Finding the cover image, and the ending for the back page. What the fuck is wrong with LiveJournal that is doesn't fucking know how to fucking spell "prolegomenon"? Anyway, I also took care of some last minute details regarding Two Worlds and In Between, which goes to the printer any day now.

Red Bull and benzodiazepines. Two great tastes that go great together. Oh, look! LiveJournal can't spell "benzodiazepines," either. Ah, the brilliant internet.

Hot Outside, here in Providence. Well, hot for Providence.

Good RP in Rift last night. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] stsisyphus. You guys don't know what you're missing. If we're gonna let these computers ruin our lives, and change what it means to be human, we might as well have some fun with it, right?

---

Just back from a matinée of Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens. And I loved it. Almost unconditionally. You know what I said about how we need B-movies? Well, it's true. But this film unexpectedly transcends a category I expected it to fall within. It's simply a good movie. Maybe not great cinema, but a good movie. And, right now, I'll settle for that. The cast is marvelous, top to bottom: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford (who actually does more than play Harrison Ford), Clancy Brown, Olivia Wilde, Keith Carradine, etc. Someone was mouthing off on IMDb about (Oh, it can spell "IMDb"!) this being the "worst idea for a film ever." It is nothing of the sort. Why assume alien invasions would always come in the present (or, perhaps, the future)? Anyway, as to the central premise, to quote Stephen Hawking:

If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet.

A point which is touched upon in the film. The Native American bit, I mean. Obviously, the subject of the film is an alien race seeking to exploit the Earth, and willing to commit genocide to do it. Wait. There has to be another word, one for wiping out an entire, particular species to get what you need. Sure, the end result is extinction, but there ought to be a word for the process. Ah. Extermination. That will do.

Anyway, yes. A very, very good, fun, and moving film, working both as a Western and an SF film. I recommend it unconditionally. Unless you're too jaded for the fundamental concept and go into the theatre needing to be convinced. Here we are now, entertain us. If that's your attitude, save the price of admission and stay home. But I give it a solid two thumbs up.

---

I think Frank the Goat is feeling better. Now if someone would just teach him how to spell.

Up to Here,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Very, very cold in Providence today. Currently, 25F, though it feels like 12F. I can feel the cold in my bones (especially my lousy, rotten feet). I'm hoping snow comes soon. Somehow, snow makes it all easier.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,703 words on The Drowning Girl. Now that it's finally begun, after numerous false starts, it seems as though this novel is bleeding out of me. A torrent, it seems. I've been writing it to Clint Mansell's soundtrack to Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain (2006). I love both, the film and the soundtrack, but in 2007 I made the mistake of writing that Beowulf novelization to the soundtrack, which rather spoiled the music for me. So, now I'm taking it back, as They are wont to say.

What else was there to yesterday? I didn't leave the House, but I'd not expected to do so. After the writing, my hair was washed, as it badly needed washing. We listened to more of A Wrinkle in Time, as read by the author. There was another story from [livejournal.com profile] blackholly's The Poison Eaters, this time "Rock Breaks Scissors." After dinner, we watched Michael Winterbottom's Code 46 (2003). I'm not even sure how I missed this film, all these years. I've been an admirer of Winterbottom's since The Claim in 2000. Anyway, it's a wonderfully soft-spoken sf film, all light and glass, fluorescence and desert sunlight. It's the sort of science fiction that doesn't dwell on the technology at the center of its plot, but focuses, rightly, on the characters. I very highly recommend it. Currently, it can be streamed via Netflix.

There was more WoW, but after the insanity of Tuesday night, there was also moderation. We played through a new chain of Forsaken missions with Shaharrazad and Suraa, wherein Sylvanas (my Dark Lady) leads her troops against an alliance of the Worgen of Gilneas and human men from Stormwind. I'm not going to drop spoilers, but it's some of the best stuff I've ever seen in WoW. All in all, I have very few complaints so far about the expansion. There are so many improvements. For one, their writers have either learned to write, or they've hired actual writers. There's not much that can be done about the poorly thought-out tangle that is the game's lore, but at least the writing's improved (and some of it is very, very funny). I think my major disappointment with Cataclysm has been the design of the Worgen. Though some great conceptual designs were considered by Blizzard, they finally went with a design not much better than the anthropomorphic cartoon animals of furry slash fic/art.

Yes, it really is that bad. Especially the female Worgen. It's this huge sour note in an otherwise (so far) amazing expansion. It's all the more a shame because the Worgen starting area, Gilneas, is so beautifully realized. Yo, Blizzard! You've actually managed to make werewolves less scary and less threatening than the frackin' gnomes! Sheesh. You had the chance to do this right, and you blew it. Fortunately, the rest is pretty damn cool.

Also, Hellscream called Sylvanas a "bitch." Which rather sealed my disgust with the new warchief. Hopefully, Thrall will be returning from his time spent communing with the elements very soon, and we can be rid of this tiny-headed asshole before the Horde is in utter shambles. Yes, I do sound like a raving fangirl waiting in line at San Diego ComiCon. My roots are showing. Sometimes, it happens.

Anyway...time to make the doughnuts.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
I'm on a lot of pain medication right now, and it does very little to improve my typing and composition. So, I'll try to make this short. The dentist will pull the tooth on Monday. And I still have all my wisdom teeth, thank goodness. I don't exactly know why that's relevant. My wisdom teeth, I mean.

I have always said that I want to age gracefully, allow Nature to take its course, and so forth. But, right now, I feel so old and frail and thin...I'd gladly accept the gift of a spare seventeen-year-old body (and of either sex, for that matter).

Yesterday, I was in too much pain to work, though I need to be editing "The Collier's Venus (1893)." Between the pain and the meds for the pain, I can't trust my judgment. So, we went to a matinée of Scott Derrickson's remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. I had some vague hope it might not suck, even though these remakes rarely go well, and even though Scott Derrickson has never made a decent film. I still had hope. It springs eternal, as they say. April is the cruelest month. And so forth. And, please remember, as I've said before, I really, really hate not enjoying a movie, especially one I've paid to see. I take no joy in disliking a thing. I'm not the sort who goes into a threatre with a chip on my shoulder, "Here I am, now entertain me." But there's no missing the plain, sad fact that this movie is a mess. Really, it's hardly better than the crap the Sci-Fi Channel churns out. Keanu Reeves is even more wooden than usual. Jaden Smith is one of the most annoying children ever filmed. Jennifer Connelly and John Cleese try, but there's so little to work with, you can see the futility in their eyes. Kathy Bates alternates between seeming as though she's in another movie entirely and giving one the feeling that she's about to start laughing at the lines she's been asked to deliver. There's far too much CGI, and it's substandard CGI, at that. But, in the end, despite a somewhat encouraging first half hour, the film flails about, lost and directionless. This could have been something incredible. But no one bothered to tell the director and screenwriter that it's a story about an alien whose job it is to decide whether or not mankind survives, and not a story about a conflicted, weary mother and her unruly stepchild whose father died in Iraq. And that Gort is not a mass of nanites. The film finally just...well, stops. It certainly did not leave me with the feeling that humanity had earned its reprieve. My advice, avoid this one like the plague. Don't even wait for the DVD. Watch the Robert Wise original from 1951, which is dated and naive, but at least it knows what it's trying to say. Watch the original, and be content with that.

Also, when the hell did movie theatres become recruiting offices for the National Guard?

After the movie, we drove down to Spooky's parent's place in Saunderstown. Her dad's away on Vashon Island in Washington, doing anthropologist stuff, and her mom wasn't at home. So we talked to Spider (the cat) and watched the enormous full moon rising over the winter-stricken farm.

Back home, we watched Addams Family Values (1993), which is aging better than I am, and then played WoW until we reached Lvl 41.

And now I feel a little woozy, so I think I may go lie down for a few minutes.

x6

Jul. 3rd, 2008 10:53 am
greygirlbeast: (vlad and mina)
Today is mine and Spooky's 6th anniversary. And we both forgot until this ayem, when I remembered. We met, face to face, while I was MCing Convergence 5 in New Orleans in 1999 (ah, goth love), and thereafter we began spending a lot of time together. But we didn't really hook up until this date in 2002. That's the date from which we count the anniversary. We have no especial plans, having forgotten that today is our anniversary. But we might think of something. We shall see.

Oh, and Hubero lost a tooth last night. Which is a relief. Siamese are prone to pre-mature tooth loss, and he's had an upper incisor dangling by a thread for days, making him cranky. Spooky didn't want me to pull it, and I didn't want to pay a vet to do it. Fortunately, it has taken care of itself.

As predicted, no writing yesterday, and, as predicted, we went to see Wall-E (my first Rhode Island theatre movie, by the way). We went down to Warwick, knowing that the Providence Place Mall would be infested with surly teens who make bad, noisy audiences. We were able to make the 12:10 pm matinée, and discovered that movies are actually a dollar cheaper per ticket in Warwick than Atlanta, which surprised me. Anyway, my thoughts on the film, behind the cut, for SPOILERS:

Wall-E SPOILERS )

Very, very windy today. 20 to 30 mph. But it's helping to cool what threatened to be a very hot day. It's presently 84F, with an expected high of 85. Only 78 in the house. Dr. Munõz has not been rolled into my office, even.

Not much else to yesterday. After the movie, we stopped at Newbury Comics and picked up the latest from VNV Nation (Judgement) and Lisa Gerrard (The Silver Tree). The former is very, very good, but the latter is sublime. I was very well behaved and did not buy the Movie Maniacs Bram Stoker's Dracula action figures, even though I've been wishing someone would do them since 1992. Even though they were priced ridiculously cheap at $10. I am not buying more action figures, as I've no place to keep many of the ones I now own. Back home, I began reading the next chapter of the Triassic book. We hung some more pictures. We watched The Devil's Rejects for the fifth time. And then, late, I had some very excellent Second Life rp in Toxia (thank you Omega, Cerdwin, Joah, Bellatrix, Abigel, and Larissa). The godthing that Nareth died to grant entry into the world — call it Labyrinth, Eris Discordia, Paradox, Contradiction, Azathoth — was claimed by the Omega Institute and taken from the Pit and the company of the Shadows to the library, where it has been given sanctuary while the OI tries to figure out what's to be done with it and whether or not Nareth can be resurrected. But, the atomic structure of its insufficient body is decaying, burning out, and it knows that fate dictates the Lady Omega will slay it. [livejournal.com profile] blu_muse took some nice screencaps, which you may see here. Click on them for larger versions. This is certainly one of the best storylines I've been a part of in SL, and it makes me long for the dear, imploded Dune sim. So does Lisa Gerrard.

Okay. The platypus declares I've said enough, so it's back to the salt mines with me.
greygirlbeast: (tentacles)
I have to admit that I'm kind of excited about a number of upcoming "big budget" sf films, including:

The new version of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend...

...and The Invasion...

...but mostly, I'm thrilled at what I've seen of Danny Boyle's Sunshine.

Meanwhile, before I seek that which is bed, here's a pretty little something:



Tomorrow, kiddos.

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greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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