The Atrocity Exhibition [entries|friends|calendar]
Some Kind of Stranger

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Temporarily Clearing the Dust [24 Nov 2008|05:41pm]
[ mood | loved ]

Christ on a Caddy, it's been ages! But some things never change, so here I am posting a list, instead of a more substantial entry about the wonderful worlds of marriage, studying, teaching, fatherhood, etc. Next time. But for now:

Five Books I've Been Reading About, Trying to Imagine What It's Like to Read Them

  1. Mystery Train by David Wojahn

  2. For Ever Godard, edited by Michael Temple, James S. Williams, and Michael Witt

  3. Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard by Richard Brody

  4. Screening Modernism: European Art Cinema, 1950-1980 by András Bálint Kovács

  5. Joy Division: Piece by Piece (Writing About Joy Division 1977-2007) by Paul Morley


On a happier note (happier than longing for books that aren't available here), I so love what April bought me for my birthday. The only thing that bugs me about it is finding the time to settle down and enjoy it. Again...next time.

Thank You, April Collapse )
6 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

Belated Hallowe'en Entry [03 Nov 2008|10:50pm]
[ mood | calm ]

Hope you all had a happy Hallowe'en this year.

He did. Collapse )
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Moleskine Giveaway: Entry #1 [28 Oct 2008|02:57pm]
[ mood | pleased that April's coming home early today ]


Because I love these notebooks.

First Collapse )

Actually, if I win this particular notebook, I'm giving it to April, who used to be a reporter.
5 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

5 x 3 ( + 2) [28 Oct 2008|12:33pm]
[ mood | thirsty ]

Is le nouveau roman really as humorless as Donald Barthelme says it is? Regardless of whether or not this assessment is valid, I wish I had the time to get into him. I'm grateful for this wonderful resource, and I wish I could unearth the tattered but shamefully unread copy of The King I bought ages ago.



When I first heard mention of Repo!, I had no idea it was a "genetic opera." I thus ended up dismayed at the thought of a stage production of Repo Man. I'm relieved to be wrong about this. That said, I am somewhat curious about Repo!...

Speaking of Alex Cox, his latest film Searchers 2.0 promises to be a hoot and a holler.



Movie Edition! Collapse )

* I fantasize about what a Criterion Collection release of this film would look like. They've already released two films by Alain Resnais after all, but until then...
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5 x 3 ( + 1) [21 Oct 2008|03:18pm]
[ mood | ... ]

Five Poems from This Site:

  1. "Do the Dead Know What Time It is?" by Kenneth Patchen

  2. "Metaphors" by Sylvia Plath

  3. "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note" by Amiri Baraka

  4. "Beware: Do Not Read This Poem" by Ishmael Reed

  5. "Why I am Not a Painter" by Frank O'Hara


Five Books I Would Carry Around With Me These Days:
(If my copy of Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks wasn't so bulky, that is.)

  1. JG Ballard's The Complete Short Stories: Volume 2

  2. William Gibson's Pattern Recognition

  3. Gene Wolfe's The Fifth Head of Cerberus

  4. Robert Stam's Reflexivity in Film and Literature

  5. Patrick Fuery's New Developments in Film Theory


Five Reading-Related Items That Fascinate Me These Days:

  1. "The Ski Murders" by George MacBeth (discovered through JG Ballard)

  2. "All the Roary Night" by Kenneth Patchen (anyone know if that's the entire text?)

  3. Robin Peel's Writing Back: Sylvia Plath and Cold War Politics

  4. The Manga Bible

  5. the books of Elemér Hankiss:
    Fear and Symbols: An Introduction to the Study of Western Civilization
    The Toothpaste of Immortality: Self-Construction in the Consumer Age


I want this!
4 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

Here! Come! The Drums! [14 Oct 2008|09:58am]
[ mood | cynical ]

It's already October 14 in this part of the world, but there's no sign of anything...yet.

If you read the original message and the subsequent channellings received by, um, Blossom Goodchild (!), you might indeed want to keep your eyes to the skies, guys...

...but if you're anything like me, you'll probably do so with an attitude wholly different from Goodchild's welcoming arms. Remember Mars Attacks! and V? They, too, came in peace.

So, who do you think the Galactic Federation of Light really are? Leave a comment.

I'm guessing...


Toclafane!
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Link Dump: Light and Fun(ny) [10 Oct 2008|07:22am]
[ mood | crazy ]

Three Web pages that made me laugh this morning:

  1. The Lego Ultimatum

  2. HP Lovecraft's Twitter page

  3. Are You Man Enough?


These days, I'm more a fan of Star Wars fandom than Star Wars itself, so I really enjoyed the following entries from my new favorite blog. Be sure to click on the links at the bottom of each:

  1. "A Long Time Ago In A Star Wars Tie-In Pitch To Pepsi Far, Far Away"

  2. "Vaders Shorter Than A Light Saber [sic] ? Must Be Comic-Con Season"

  3. "Sith Baby at Comic-Con"

  4. "Homebrew Star Wars Alphabet"


You won't know how much fun HowStuffWorks could be until you...

...look under this LJ-cut. Collapse )
release the bats

Mostly SF [07 Oct 2008|04:18pm]
[ mood | geeky ]

Black Cover isn't related to SF at all, despite how it sounds. It IS rather geeky in its own right though, being all about "the search for the perfect little black dress notebook."


British cult SF television Collapse )


Despite how Arthur C. Clarke was British and how Stanley Kubrick lived in England from 1962 until his death, this last bit isn't really British SF anymore:

Remember that superhero I mentioned two entries ago? He has long asserted that he is America (not Captain America though he does wield the mighty shield). I've recently found out that he's no longer just American. He is now or will be...the future of humanity!
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Make 'Im Laugh [06 Oct 2008|03:55pm]
[ mood | cold ]

Some things Cole finds amusing:

  • the sound of Dalek voices, as I've previously mentioned

  • the way April and I squeal in dismay after he dribbles milk on his clothes

  • my irritatingly nasal impression of a horn playing "The Internationale"

  • watching the music videos of David Bowie (this I just discovered today)

  • the main melody of the theme to The Guns of Navarone, which I whistle to him

You'll have to take my word for these, as I can present no evidence to prove my claims.

I can however point you to a video clip of Cole that I put together with an utter lack of technical finesse. I used the version of "The Guns of Navarone" that he knows and loves, the rendition made popular by the Skatalites. My son: youngest Skatalites fan ever!




Tired of my sister's teasing, Cole threatens to clobber her.


Three More Pictures Collapse )

All pictures taken from this album.
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Another Brainspew [06 Oct 2008|10:15am]
[ mood | amused ]

Rub your child on some carbon paper. Then cut up the paper and stick the pieces to the child's body. Question the child as an original. Question the child as a copy. Question the carbon paper as a construction.

That's from the "manual for postmodern childrearing." Translated from Swedish by one Sarah Death (!), the piece is a wonderful source of pithy gems that had me chortling.


Tell your child only short, incoherent bedtime stories that do full justice to cacophony. Stroke its hair and say, "In manuals like these, if you are operating at that level, once upon a thyme there was rosemary and she was sage, she said that they said, but in free indirect discourse, so to speak, informally, you do actually need a bit of spatiality."

The first time I had this much fun with something in the same spirit was ten years ago, when I picked up Life's Little Deconstruction Book.

Aside from listing the first fifty tips for you to read, the rest of author Andrew Boyd's Web site is loads of fun, despite not having been updated since 2002, it seems.



Issue 1 seems an appropriate name for a "publication" that itself has provoked several issues since it appeared on the Web. I don't know about you, but I just love the sheer insanity of the artifact: a 3,875-page PDF with 3,875 "poems" from 3,875 "poets."

That's only the premise, too, and here's the punchline of-sorts:

Said "poems" are not really poems at all but "algorithmically generated content" made to look like poems. Issue 1 is one of several playful little gestures to be found in the blog maintained by these people, appropriately named For Godot.

(And yeah, "gesture" I consider to be an appropriate term in this context.)



Some links of interest:

Le Carre and memoir, greatest superhero ever?, the short story, agnosticism and the fear of death, Tom Ripley boxed set, etc. Collapse )
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Blog Sandwich: Cybermen Bread + Spy Filling [26 Sep 2008|01:43pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

Hilarious, though it of course makes sense if one is familiar with this. I'm probably going back to my old desktop wallpaper again sometime soon, but for now, I've switched to Mr. Pewter and company.



Spooks and Cooks + Good Ideas That Fail + Two Pictures Collapse )



The Cybermen return for this year's Christmas special:


CyberGoth?


I'm so excited, but...what's with the title? Oh. My. God.
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Work and Leisure [23 Sep 2008|04:38pm]
[ mood | exhausted ]

Which of these YouTube clips is unlike the others?

Including Harriet Jones could have helped, I think, although one would have to specify the one who became PM, not the one who became President.

Geeky fanboy pedantry aside, the other clips are great fun, and I'm looking forward to the possibility of this fella doing an "Autons Through the Ages" sometime.

I never thought I'd say this, but the next time I teach the Television Studies course, I'm no longer doing Buffy but the Doctor instead. (Well, that sounded rather naughty.)



That book I was reading? I utterly loved it despite my limited exposure to the program, having become obsessed only with the Ninth and the Tenth Doctor adventures. I vaguely remember watching this many years ago, but vague remembrance is right, because I recall nothing else.

So: Dalek I Loved You I Love You. And so does my son, sort of:

I wish I could present video evidence, but during the times when my mobile phone is not on silent mode, its message alert of "Ex-ter-minate! Ex-ter-minate!" causes my son to laugh. If he's crying, he won't always laugh, but he'll often stop sobbing and start smiling.

As a self-proclaimed geeky fanboy, this is undeniable proof that April and I have been raising Cole right at his early age (just three months come October).



So much is eating my brain these days, but here's a go at choosing just one thing I've been furiously trying to figure out lately: What text(s) do I assign my Information Age students next semester?

Decisions, Decisions... Collapse )

I mean, Fredric Jameson did write a critical essay on the novel that highlighted its many relevant issues (virtually all of which are covered in the Webster), and I really like how it has been described as "a beautiful novel because it is a beautiful way of seeing."
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Book Fair 2008 [18 Sep 2008|05:07pm]
[ mood | alive! ]

...and other matters. But before anything else:


"It's hard to smile with a frog on your head."



I never thought I'd ever say this, but I'm on my way to being sick and tired of all the Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise available these days, mostly knock-offs, which might have something to do with how I feel. That said, this T-shirt design is so cute.



Despite his popularity and his acclaim, I've never read anything by David Foster Wallace. I do have his essay "Ticket to the Fair" as a reading assignment though. It's available online as a PDF, but my copy is from this mind-blowing anthology.



I liked Alex Proyas's film adaptation of The Crow but have little interest in any of his other films...except for Dark City, for which I've always had a soft spot. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how the film's tenth-year anniversary didn't pass without notice:

Pictures, Book Fair Acquisitions, Etc.Collapse )



September 19? Arrr.
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Family Picture + Random Links [17 Aug 2008|03:12pm]
[ mood | restless ]


Click to enlarge.


That shot of April kissing Cole would have been greeting-card perfect, had he not seemed so annoyed at having been caught by my intrusive camera. I guess you can say that I put the "papa" in paparazzi.



Anyway, six links in search of a clicker:
  1. Not really shiny robots but Shining robots.


  2. k-punk's "Rebel Without a Cause" is a thought-provoking essay on the political interpretations of The Dark Knight that has itself generated more than a few thoughtful responses.


  3. "The Living Daylights" by a-ha always plays in my head in the mornings these days. Weird. I mean, I like the song a whole lot, but it's not among my favorite Bond themes. Anyway, here's an extended remix.


  4. Online music magazine DarkRoom celebrates its first anniversary with In the Dark Room, Vol. 1: enough music for two CDs, legally downloadable.


  5. A blog entry about Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box as rock novel, a topic that has fascinated me for some time now.


  6. How do you get 540 comments (and counting) on a single LJ entry? Hold a Neil Gaiman contest of epic proportions.
12 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

Social Networks, Smoking, Surprised Boy [01 Aug 2008|03:31pm]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

In my Communication Seminar courses this semester, we've been talking about Web 2.0, especially the social networking Web sites that seem to most visibly define it.

While I do have accounts in sites like Friendster and Multiply, I'm not really excited enough to go on, say, MySpace or Facebook. I'm just too lazy to remember yet another username-and-password. But...I think I found a couple that might just be worth it:

  • Hivemind
    ("for science fiction and fantasy fans"--while some horror might be considered a subset of the latter, I wish sites like this would actually mention it)

  • Brand New Dad
    (for advocates of standing on one foot as they simultaneously chew glass and play the accordion beside a bonsai tilting towards a southwestern direction)

Maybe I'll have time to join up and fix a profile sometime in between nappy changes, the checking of papers, and all the many other things that have to be done these days.



I last had a cigarette on July 01. It was around half-past six, and I had just finished supper. Two hours and thirty minutes later, April begins active labor. At 5:08 the next afternoon, life is changed when Cole is finally born.

Yes, it's true... Collapse )




"I'm already going to be a month old tomorrow?
No way, dude, no way...no, really?
Whoa...dude...one month. Wow."
9 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

Posting About Fiction In Lieu of Actually Reading Any These Days, Etc. [24 Jul 2008|07:15pm]
[ mood | groggy ]

in order: science fiction, spy thrillers, and horror (of-sorts) Collapse )



I love coffee and Kaffeeklatsche, but coffee-table culture is something else.

Those two pieces--one on film and the other on music--express in a far more eloquent way my longstanding opinions about how a lot of contemporary art cinema and alternative music display very little sense of, for want of a better term, danger.

Another reason why I'm happy about those articles has to do with how tired I am to actually explain my own take on these ideas right now.



I don't have a picture of Cole this time, but I do have a cartoon representation of what I've become these days.

(If I had a WordPress account--and I've been planning to sign up for some time now--I'd be able to access this blog entry entitled "Mombies and the Night of the Living Dad.")

The crazy thing is how this exhaustion (still!) feels so exhilarating and enjoyable at the same time. I think a baby's cuteness works like opium on parents, and that's goooood.
7 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

Cole, Vampires, and Spies [20 Jul 2008|11:40pm]
[ mood | awake ]



I know it looks rather amateurish,
but I have neither the technical knowhow
nor the kind of imaging software
that would have resulted in a better picture.



Holy shit, I can't believe I only heard of this now:

vampires + drama! Collapse )

As weird as it may sound, I think I'll be reading these aloud. In fact, maybe I could read them to Cole, his first bedtime stories, albeit ones he won't understand yet.
7 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

A Quiet Moment in a Restful Sunday [13 Jul 2008|04:24pm]
[ mood | relaxed ]

It's shocking how large a baby can grow in barely a couple of weeks:



I'm sorry, I couldn't resist taking a/that shot, even if the effect is somewhat spoiled by the way his hands stick up in his favorite sleeping pose.

Look, little boys are usually early bloomers when it comes to mischief and playing practical jokes on their fathers, and I just wanted to take what little opportunity I have left to do something like this. Call it a preemptive strike in making fun.

(Or you may say that I shot first, which makes Cole Greedo and me Han Solo. That's the way it happened after all, Special Editions be damned. Someday soon, my boy will call me by a far worse name than Greedo. Ah, but I'm now rambling...so sorry.)


Anyway, thank you so much for the comments, congratulations, and well-wishes many of you left in the previous entry.


For better or for worse, I'm probably going to keep posting more pictures and/or videos of Cole as time goes by, but just to be consistent with how I've been using this LJ:

  1. Aside from various how-to-swaddle-a-baby instructional clips, I've been using YouTube to repeatedly watch the teaser for Quantum of Solace.

  2. I'm still missing Uncle Zip's Window, but I'm so utterly pleased that the Ambiente Hotel is open for business. In other words: M. John Harrison is blogging again!

  3. April is as much a fan as I am, so this never happens between us. Still funny though.
16 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

07.07.008 [07 Jul 2008|09:57pm]
[ mood | paternal ]

As April and I celebrate our first wedding anniversary today, we look back fondly on that special date of 07.07.007 and everything that followed. In particular, we think about '007 turning into '008, about this very special plus-one:



So yes, it's a great day (a great life!). No fancy dinners for April and I, no special events. We're just at home, eating leftovers and indulging in our final (for now) weekly fix. But above all, we're just sharing our love with Cole Anderson Rojales Ty...

...who arrived on our planet last Wednesday, 02 July 2008. He's 6.13 pounds and 19.4 inches of absolute cuteness. (And oh yes, he's rather loud, too.)

You'll see from the links at the bottom that he often sports a rather grim and serious facial expression, but I'm quite sure he'll soon run through the entire spectrum of emotional experience, taking April and I along, too.

Anyway, more details to follow about what it was like in the hospital, but for now:

Welcome to the world, little buddy, and may the rest of the world--at least those who read this--welcome you as well.


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Coming Soon [29 Jun 2008|01:52am]
[ mood | excited ]

"There's an 85% chance you'll be heading straight to the hospital after our appointment on Tuesday afternoon. Expect your son to be born anytime from Tuesday night to Thursday morning."

Actually, to be honest, when our doctor told April that today, her tone of voice wasn't quite so sober. Neither was the way April and I reacted to the news.

(I think it's more accurate to use "Woohoo!" to describe the mood at that moment, which my wife and I still feel right now, of course.)



Although I still manage to escape being crushed by the 9-to-5 grind, it has been rather exhausting for me recently, since I no longer have the free days I used to enjoy.

I've been spoiled by eight years of working no more than four days a week, it seems. Already three weeks into the new semester, and I'm still having a tough time adjusting to a schedule that now demands I step out of the house six times a week.

This tiring schedule is also pre-Cole, of course, and I'm almost afraid to imagine how that will change things. But what my wife just told me right now seems to make some sense to me: "I think Cole will give you an energy boost, Andrew."

Even if my wife and I turn out to be wrong about that, and my life becomes the extreme sport it's threatening to become, it ultimately doesn't really matter in the long run.

He's my son. And he'll be here soon. And I, for one, welcome our new infant overlord.
6 sticky sticky little things| release the bats

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