Thursday, 29 December 2005

Shitty Science Fiction Movies

Last night I watched The Matrix: Revolutions and The Last Starfighter. They are both pretty shitty science fiction movies, but each had their good points. For example, Neo’s line about continuing to fight because he chooses to do so was the high point of the movie for me since I wrote something sort of about that back in the day and cited a similar example from the Tao. The rest of the movie sucked.

The Last Starfighter was pretty fucken dumb too. I was 3 when it was released. I do think they need to bring back those short sport shorts that Catherine Mary Stewart was wearing. I can live without the plasticene alien prosthetics, though. Oh yeah, and the evil alien antagonist? Least. Intimidating. Ever. Someone call the intergalactic wahmbulance on that dumbass.

Don’t watch either of these. This has been a public service announcement. Tonight I watch Grand Illusion.

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

New Lists

Earlier this year I finally finished a book list from the Science Fiction Book Club, and since then I’ve been searching for another list to cut my teeth on. I’ve finally settled on one. I’m going to watch every movie issued on DVD by The Criterion Collection. To easily keep track of this, I’ve made a page listing the current spines and the dates I’ve reviewed the films. Three or four are already listed. I’m actually already ten percent done, as I’ve seen a lot of the Japanese films, noir and some of the French New Wave stuff on the list [30 all told]. I figure if I watch one movie a week, I’ll finish the list sometime in the next six years.

I’m also considering that I might start to read all of the literary collections provided by the Library of America, which is a non-profit preservation publishing company. I’ve looked over their catalog and it seems to be a quite varied selection of American literature, much of which is unfamiliar to me. If I start working on that list and have a goal, I’ll be much more likely to buckle down and read some Herman Melville or William Faulkner. I believe they only have about 155 spines in their current catalog, so I think I should be able to go through that in a similar amount of time as the Criterion list. I must be crazy.

Monday, 26 December 2005

Loot!

Loot!Here is a picture of my Christmas loot. If you click on it you’ll go to my Flickr page where you can read the detailed notes I left on the photo. Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?


Friday, 23 December 2005

Poem Research

I’m trying to write a poem about Birkenau that combines a sort of infernal glee on the part of the Nazis and infernal terror on the part of the Jews, Roma and homosexuals in their power. This is very hard, and made harder by the fact that I’m trying to use the arrangement of the words to indicate the intimacy caused by this madness. Coupled with the fact that I have no detailed knowledge of either Nazi ideology and indoctrinization or the functioning of a concentration camp from a prisoner’s point of view; this is an exercise in empathy [on all sides] that is currently beyond my capacity. Library, ho. This is the first poem I’m actually going to have to do research on. Any book recommendations from y’all?

Thursday, 22 December 2005

The Town Fryer

I received my Birthmas present to myself last evening. The Sony DSC-N1. You can read some exhaustive and excellent reviews here: [1 2]. Basically, it is an 8MP point-and-shoot that is the size of a pack of cards [it literally fits in my palm] and has a 3″ LCD touch-screen on the back that gives access to all the menu items. It has nice bells and whistles [although the paint program it comes with is stupid] but not a bunch of different knobs and toggles to access them. I’ve only taken 4 pictures thusfar [my memory stick hasn’t arrived yet] and only used the auto functions [which isn’t going to last] but I’m digging its portability, speed of use and adaptability. But I’m supposed to be reviewing a restaurant, not a camera.

The Town Fryer in Cleveland, OH

I visited The Town Fryer because that was where the December Cleveland Weblogger Meetup was being held. I chucked a ride on yonder with Steve “Rookie of the Year” Goldberg for a bite before the meetup started shindigging. The Fryer an unassuming place, used to be Chung Wah’s Chinese and still has the sign on the wall. They got a nice jukebox full of good ole southern rock and roll and blues and a decent selection of beer. Lonestar but no Dixie. I had me a Pacifica, which was okay but nothing to write home about. Steve ordered him a mess of fried pickles which were pretty good, although I don’t reckon I could sustain myself through a whole plate of ’em.

For my dinner I ordered half a pound of fried catfish with green beans and cheesy grits. I was gonna get green beans and johnnycake, but decided against the corn bread for reasons of gastrointestinal capacitation. Now I hadn’t had fried catfish in a dog’s age, since I was about knee-high to something short and had caught it my own self while fishing with my daddy or grandpappy on Brookville Reservoir. I was a bit timid at that age, especially about them stingers that the mudsuckers use to protect theirselves, so when I caught a channel cat I’d make someone else unhook it.

After my meal, [which I still haven’t gotten too, I hope you notice] I started to remember that catfish and me have a special kind of relationship. After I eat a catfish I usually dream about being a catfish and even start thinking a little bit like a catfish. It really ain’t no surprise. If you talk with a catfisher I reckon they can all tell you some tales about how unnatural and magic they can be. Catfish is special. So after my half pound of delicious battered catfish, I did in fact dream of being a catfish and being nice and comfortable in some warm river mud. Here’s one of my favorite poems by Richard Brautigan about a catfish.

Fried Catfish

The meal itself was delicious. For $7.95 I got a half pound of farm-raised catfish and one side. I got a side of green beans and ordered and extry side of cheesy grits, just to see how they compared to my own. The catfish is dipped in Cajun-spiced batter, deep-fried and served with a mild and tangy mustard sauce. Beer and catfish go well together. I was too young to know that last time. The half pound was about two and a half catfish. The green beans was cooked with bacon and a bit of molasses and was swimming in the juice. Quite tasty, and I would have loved to have more. The cheesy grits weren’t so good. A bit clumpy and not very hot, but still quite edible.

By this time I was pretty darn stuffed, but I couldn’t go home without dessert. I could have gotten me a deep fried Twinkie, some Lemon Squares or some homemade banana pudding with Nilla wafers, but I opted for the deep fried Oreos. Nine of ’em for $5. I asked for a big glass of milk to warsh it all down with, and got it. I ate me 7 of them Oreos and gave two away. They were pretty darn good, the cookie part gettin’ all soft and hot as a result of the fryin’, and the batter being tasty in and of its own self. I think I prefer a deep fried Snickers bar, though, truth be told. Other stuff on their menu includes Red Beans and Rice with Andaouille Sausage, Fried Sweet Potatoes and Fried Macaroni and Cheese.

All this food resulted in me being stuffed like a prize winnin’ hog, and sweatin’ grease like I was that same hog roastin’ on a spit. I had a hard time with the shut-eye and even woke up extry early because I was so full. I’m still full, now. I’d recommend the Town Fryer as a good place to go for downhome, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it food and fixins. You probably don’t wanna go if you’re vegetarian though.

Fried Oreos. This is blurry because I haven't tweaked my camera yet.

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Mischanneling Jack/Zen

Power corrupts because it is so difficult to obtain. When someone has struggled to gain power and finally succeeds, they often spend the rest of their time trying to hold on to it. What can get lost in the shuffle is the reason for seeking power. Ironically, power as a means to its own end is impotent on a personal level because it is based on external control.

Empowerment, on the other hand, is not for its own sake, maintains its strength from inside itself and is obtainable by everyone. The ability to be, without struggle, without context, is to be empowered. Then you can do anything.