greygirlbeast: (walter3)
A rare alignment of cranial discomfort. Parallel lines of eye-bleeding hurt. I'm not sure Spooky and I have ever before had multi-day headaches at the same time. But we have now. And it sucks rancid weasel ass through a crazy straw, and it needs to fucking stop. My scalp feels like there's broken glass just beneath the skin.

This is a day on which there must be comments. I won't survive without them.

My thanks to Joah, who sent me a link to someone's list of "The Six Creepiest Abandoned Places." I'd argue the list isn't definitive, but it's still a pretty good list. I'm especially taken with Gunkanjima, Japan and Hellingly Asylum. The latter is genuinely exquisite. I would live there in a heartbeat:

On the sheets and pillow case,
In my bed for heaven's sake,
The devil's dancing until late in my head there.
But I could sleep with you there.
I could sleep with you there.

That's interesting. Firstly, that while thinking of Hellingly Asylum the lyrics to a Catharine Wheel song occurred to me. Secondly, that they apply so aptly to last night's insomnia (which was Nigh Unto Monumental, no sleep until after six ayem) and also apply to my emotional reaction to the photographs (follow the link from the article) of that place. Rabbit hole. Subconscious association. Pink Freud. 5 and 1/2 minute hallways. It's all the same thing in here. Anyway, I loved this bit from the article (about another asylum, one in New Jersey):

Listen, because this is important advice: If you ever start a sanatorium, you need to tear that shit down once you’re done with it. Not repurpose it or leave it empty or something; that is just begging – literally begging – for a group of stupid teenagers to sneak inside of it to have illicit sex, where they will inevitably get murdered by the ghosts of madmen. It’s like a Roach Motel for horny morons. You may as well put an “Idiots Fuck Here” sign out front and start up a mortuary next door; you’d make a killing.

See, I don't get to genuinely laugh – that sort of laughter that makes you hurt yourself – that often. That paragraph made me laugh. Oh, in particular, I was soothed by this photo from Hellingly. I'm not bullshitting you. I'm not being sarcastic. That's just...soothing. I think I look like that inside. If you cracked me open, you'd find that room.


On this day in 1900, Aleister Crowley broke into and took over the Golden Dawn temple in London, providing the catalyst for the demise of the original Golden Dawn.


Yesterday, despite the black mood and the headache, I wrote 1,072 words on "Fake Plastic Trees" while Spooky drew ravens. The story seems to be coming together. After reading yesterday's pages, Spooky said, "This makes me feel so bad. Really, really bad. The complete wrongness of it, of that whole world." I'm taking this as a compliment, because I know she meant it as one.

Intention isn't everything, kittens, but it carries a lot of weight with me.

After working on the story, I wrote an actual Wikipedia entry on Hauffiosaurus, because when I linked to it yesterday there was just a sad-ass, one-sentence stub. That took about another hour.

We saw the latest episode of Fringe last night. Jesus fuck, this show is brilliant. It's gone from a dull first season, all monster-of-the-week nonsense, to sheer fucking wonky universe-warping brilliance. Last night's episode, "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide," has to receive an Emmy nomination. If the Emmy's mean anything (and we already know they don't). This is the first series since Farscape that truly isn't afraid of being as weird as it needs to be, but which isn't just being weird for weird's sake. Pushing Daisies tried to be this brilliant, but was murdered long before it achieved this level of supremely masterful weirdness.

Spooky's doing the tax thing today. Taxes, taxes, we all fall down.

Gods, I just realized I've been wearing the same T-shirt for four days. "Reynolds/Washburne 2008: You Can't Stop the Signal." Dirty fucking nerd. Take a bath and change your damn clothes.

Oh, hello. How long have you been standing there?

You know, for kids,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
On Monday, I learned that "As Red As Red" has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award, as has the anthology in which it was published, Ellen Datlow's Haunted Legends (Tor).


No work yesterday, aside from email. No good excuse. The words were in my head, and the deadlines are pressing in about me. Still, I fucked off to nowhere in particular. Spooky got back from the mechanic (the bill was bad, but less than expected, and we're pretending that faulty crankshaft will last forever), and I realized that I'd not left the house since Sunday. So, I tagged along while Spooky ran assorted errands. For a while, the sun was warm on my face, and there were the first hints of green, and, here and there, blooming things. All traces of motivation and enthusiasm, enthusiasm for anything at all, faded from me. I dozed in the van. I looked through the windows at the shadows along Benefit Street. I ate a handful of jelly beans. On the way home, we stopped at Acme Video (but I'm coming to that).


Last night, we watched Let Me In, Matt Reeves' remake of Tomas Alfredson's Låt den rätte komma in, which, of course, was adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel of the same title. I avoided Reeves' film in the theater, which seemed like the best course of action. I couldn't see the point of it. Even if Reeves' film turned out good, he was still remaking a very new and very excellent film. An endeavor which would be, at best, pointless. And then I learned that the issue of Eli's gender was being removed from the script, which goes a long way towards gutting the story. Eli becomes Abby, and Abby's just a "girl," and all ambiguity is removed. To make things worse, I happened across an interview with Reeves (which I tried to find again, and have been unable to*) in which he was very open about his beliefs that these changes were necessary for the story to be appreciated by an American audience. So, no. I didn't go see it.

I also swore I wouldn't see the DVD.

Regardless, last night, we watched Matt Reeves' film. I tried very hard to judge this film only on its own merits, not relative to Alfredson's. And I failed. But then so does Matt Reeves. Spooky and I often happen upon interesting indie horror films that we'd never heard of, and which turn out to be quite good. Had it not been for the masterful Låt den rätte komma in, Reeves' film might have struck us that way. A pretty good little coming-of-age vampire story. I might even have applauded its grittiness and willingness to take child characters places lots of filmmakers wouldn't have. Instead, Let Me In came across as rushed and disjointed. Even dull. We both actually almost fell asleep.

There are places where the film is a shot-by-shot remake of Låt den rätte komma in, which, again, makes judging it on its own merits difficult. And what was all that business with "Owen's" mother being a religious maniac? I thought, oh...okay...she'll be the one "Abby" bites, the one who lives, then dies in the hospital-room conflagration, having learned she's become the thing she professes to hate, and hey, okay, that might be kind of interesting. But no. Nothing of the sort. Chloe Moretz, who entirely won me over in Kick Ass, radiated nothing of the quiet, innocent threat we saw from Lina Leandersson. And that kid who played "Owen" is about as interesting to watch as a bowl of Cream of Wheat. Is this actually the same actor who appeared in The Road? It's hard to fucking believe. Also, sure, there are more special effects in Reeves' film. Because that's what Americans do. So what?

Verdict: Let Me In is a very mediocre little horror film, if you've never seen Låt den rätte komma in, and if you can set aside the homophobic/transphobic politics that turned Eli into "Abby." But if you passionately love the Swedish film, as did I, and if you expect anything like its depth and Alfredson's marvelous study of mood and atmosphere and character, you're up shit creek. A very shallow shit creek. My advice would be to watch Låt den rätte komma in. It's actually a good film and worthy of your time and attention. To call Matt Reeves' remake unnecessary is a gross understatement.

I never go into a film with the intention of hating it. You know, watching (or reading) something just to earn the rights to kvetch. And I should have kept my promise and avoided this remake.


I've ended the keyboard auction. I realize now that I made the incredibly dumb mistake of putting it up just as taxes are due. Maybe I'll list it again in a month or two. My thanks to everyone who looked in, though, and everyone who spread the word.


Aside from the film, not much to last night but Rift. Selwyn made Level 26. I genuinely wish that MMORPGs would offer you the opportunity to tell whining, cowering townspeople to butch up and take care of their own problems or shut the fuck up. It could add a whole new set of stats. Another sort of reputation rating or something. I often have that reaction, and I was having it a lot last night, as the people of Granite Falls (Telara's answer to Deadwood, I think) asked me to do this and then that menial task. For example, the nurse who was too squeamish to take blood. Um...okay. The Ascendant are these super beings, essentially demigods, and we spend a significant amount of our time searching out lost lockets for mourning widows and putting meat in the tables of people apparently too lazy or incompetent to do it for themselves. Yeah, that makes sense.


And now...well...we'll see.

* I intend to continue looking for it, though.

Postscript: My thanks to [ profile] readingthedark who appears to have found the interview I'm remembering: "Hammer Film's Simon Oakes Promises Scary, Accessible 'Let Me In'". But I may also have read this, which [ profile] sovay tracked down: "Matt Reeves Interview LMI DVD,Talks About Abby's Gender." Both contain equally offensive and idiotic comments.
greygirlbeast: (newest chi)
Too much to say in this entry, or not much of anything at all. The net result is the same.

Yesterday, we read all the way through "A Key to the Castleblakeney Key," my story for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. It's an odd piece, but I am especially fond of it. It was a relief to read the whole thing, and discover that it works.

I did some line editing on it, afterwards, and sent it away to the book's editors.

It was more work than it sounds like.

Stories for Sirenia Digest #58 is next on the list. I have to manage to get this issue of the digest out without Photoshop. The cover will, by necessity, have a new look, which is unfortunate, as I was just getting happy with the look of the covers.

Please have a look at the eBay auctions. The late check got lost on its way from Manhattan to Providence, and taxes have to be paid, and Oregon's coming up fast.

Also, I have to say, I'm less than pleased with anyone who buys a book from us on eBay, then turns around a month or so later and tries to sell it on Amazon at twice what they paid us for it. I will not name names, this time. Next time, I will.

Maybe I'll be coherent tomorrow.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Today is Assembly Day. That is, the day I assemble the monthly issue of Sirenia Digest (spiffy new website coming very soon!). This will be #56.

Yesterday was a long, long, long day. In fact, it didn't end until sometime after 4:30 a.m., when I finally gave up and took an Ambien. I read about Lovecraft and Robert Bloch until I could sleep.

Yesterday, I wrote 902 words and finished Part One of "The Yellow Alphabet." L and M. Both were a bitch, and came only with great effort. Also, I worked on the Table of Contents for the enormous Best of CRK volume (desperately needs an actual title) that will be out from subpress in Spring 2011. Right now, I have a list of 31 stories, which might be about half the book. This thing is going to be bloody huge. Like the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Australopithicines will shudder in its presence.

Also, I spent some time figuring out what the redesigned needs to look and feel like, so my new web guru, Karina Melendez, can get to work soon. Oh, Spooky was of great assistance with both the work on the Table of Contents and the website ponderings (through a crazed haze of pain and crankinss, because she had a migraine).

Subscribers should expect #56 before midnight EDT.

I think I stopped working about 6:30 p.m. But then, after dinner, there was the first episode of Season Eight of Project Runway. Mondo is my favorite so far. I have peculiar soft spots for both Casanova and Jason. I loathe the atrocious Peach Car (a name not even a drag queen could love). I'm also rooting for Sarah Trost, if only because she designed the costumes for the Guild video, "(Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar." I'm still in awe (yes, sarcasm) that this Ivy chick made pants out of pants, argued with the judges, and didn't get the boot. And Tim Gunn is still my boyfriend. Well, one of many.

Later, truly fine rp in Insilico. Thank you, Fifth, Joah, and Urdith.

And, well, I've already talked about having trouble getting to sleep. And here are the current eBay auctions. Please have a look, because I found out yesterday that a check we've been waiting for is going to be several weeks late, and the bloody big heads at the IRS isn't as agreeable as I am about waiting for their money. Thank you.
greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
The warmish weather is still with us here in Providence. Did I mention the warmish weather yesterday? Maybe I didn't. I was able to open my office window and leave it open until after dark (there's even a photo below). We've already reached today's high of 69F. A couple of years ago, if you'd told me I'd reach a point in my life where I'd characterize 69F as "warmish," I might have laughed. Anyway, the cold temperatures return tomorrow.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,395 words on this story for Sirenia Digest for which I still have no title. It's sort of a cockeyed take on "Little Red Riding Hood," and there's not a great deal in the way of plot. I'm not in the mood for plot, only hallucinogenic dreamquest surrealism. I may find THE END today, which means I also need to find the title.

Yes, I know that I said I'd be doing no more interviews for a while, having just finished the one for the South County Independent, but then I was contacted by someone at, who asked to interview me about my interest in World of Warcraft for their "15 Minutes of Fame" series. And I'm too big a nerd to have possibly declined. Also, they did Cat Valente a while back, and I remember envying her such a geeky honor. So, yeah. One last interview. Forgive me. I'm weak in all the right places.

The latest round of eBay auctions is going fairly well, and I thank everyone who's bid thus far. Screw you, IRS, and your goddamn self-employment taxes that take my money to pay for bombs to be dropped on Iraqi civilians while I can't afford decent health care. Which is to say, please have a look.


I was delighted, yesterday, by this story about Maurice Sendak's reaction to parents who are fretting over whether or not Spike Jonez' Where the Wild Things Are will scare their kids:

"I would tell them to go to hell," Sendak said. And if children can't handle the story, they should "go home," he added. "Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it's not a question that can be answered."


Last night, I finally got to see Chris Nahon's recent live-action adaptation of Hiroyuki Kitakubo's short animated film, Blood: The Last Vampire (2000). I'm not what you'd call a huge animé fan, but I am very fond of the original Blood (I haven't seen the spin-off series). When I saw the trailer for Nahon's film sometime back in the spring, the waiting began. Unfortunately, the film never showed on a screen near Providence, or if it did, we failed to notice. I had to wait for the DVD release, and for Netflix to send it from our queue. It's good film, and a great piece of eye candy. Also, Clint Mansell (whom I adore) lends his talents for the soundtrack. I don't think Nahon's adaptation is quite as impressive as Kitakubo's short, but it's very enjoyable all the same. I was a little disappointed with the creature effects, which are rather lackluster and not nearly as interesting as in the original, but Saya's showdown with Onigen almost made up for them. So, last night was sort of like having Kindernacht on a Wednesday (traditionally, it's a Friday-night affair).


And here's the photo I mentioned in the first paragraph, the view from my open office window yesterday afternoon (it's kind of grainy, but you get the idea):

greygirlbeast: (chi3)
Sirenia Digest #5 ought to go out this evening, early tomorrow afternoon the latest. The filing of taxes, and other aforementioned and alluded to work-related inconveniences, are the primary culprit in it's not having gone out yesterday or at some point this past weekend. Life plays havoc with schedules.

There's little to be said for or about yesterday. I waited on expected communications which never came and have still not arrived this morning. I finished with the prolegomena for #6. Finally, about 5 p.m., too annoyed and frustrated to sit here any longer, I grabbed my binoculars and Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds (4 ed.) and Spooky and I headed for Piedmont Park and Lake Clara Meer. I figured I could salvage something of the day. But. No. This is Atlanta. And so we could not find a parking space, so we could only drive hopelessly about, cursing Atlanta's dearth of decent mass transit. Atlanta is the sort of city that looks at a problem like this, that one must use cars to reach one of our largest greenspaces, and decides not that here's another good argument for providing better mass transit, but, instead, that a portion of Piedmont Park should be sacrificed to a gigantic parking deck. I kid you not.

It occurs to me that I'm not really in the mood for journalizing this morning.

Maybe I should stop now and make another entry later in the day. The only other thing I had in mind to mention was that we watched James Cameron's Titanic last night. I'd not seen it but the once in a theatre, and Spooky had never seen it at all. I still think the whole present-day frame needs to go, and I still cannot abide Bill Paxton, but I think that I was better able to appreciate the movie this time. When it was released in 1997, I was still in the throws of my peculiar Victorian/Edwardian Reconstructionism thing and found Rose utterably insufferable. This time, I understood the character, cared for her, and was able to respond to the film as something more than a beautiful (if flawed) eulogy to Edwardianism. I suppose this means I'm making progress. One can always hope.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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