Monday, July 31, 2006

It irritates me that I'm stuck in Austin six weeks this summer so I can sit around at an internship where 90% of what I do is read and play Yahoo games. Gee, this has been so worthwhile to me as a writer. Mmhmm.

I don't know why I watch SVU. It always makes me kind of sad and misanthropic (more so than usual). Anyways.

So, Dracula samples. "In the Theater," and "The End of Dracula," by Philip Glass.

It's much more difficult to eat Jello out of champagne flutes, but it's ever so much more fun.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Muzaks Wot I am Putting Up As I am Bored:

(mostly instrumentals)

"Baby Monitor," James Newton Howard, from Signs

"What Are You Asking Me?" James Newton Howard, from The Village (this whole soundtrack is gorgeous)

"Shawshank Redemption," Thomas Newman, from The Shawshank Redemption

"Welcome to Jurassic Park," John Williams, from Jurassic Park (this is one of my all-time favorite movie soundtracks; I used to have sheet music for this, but I don't know where it went)

"Mi Mancherai (Il Postino)," Josh Groban

"Méditation de Thaïs," Joshua Bell

(Heh, I actually uploaded a Dracula song from Philip Glass before remembering I'd already put up that whole album and I don't think anyone downloaded it, so. Although if anyone would like a sample, let me know.)
I need to go to a crafty-type place, because I'm almost out of yarn. The closest is WalMart, the nearest location being less than 3.5 miles away from me. To get there on a bus would take almost two hours and three transfers.

WTF, AUSTIN. GOD.

So instead I'll sit around today watching TV, proofreading, and maybe rearranging my bedroom without the help of scale models, mostly because I don't have a tape measurer so can't mock up the appropriate scaled objects. Although I told my mom I was thinking of moving things around, heh, and she was like, Yeah, that's not going to work.

Comments! Because I know that you all have, like, incredibly wordy things to say about this scintillating entry.

ETA: No comments yet. Apparently, all the changes I've made to my own template has confused blogger as to where to put the comments HTML, and it's coming up all weird, so it'll have to wait until I feel like dealing with it. Bah.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

*Shannon hands everyone a note, carefully folded*

"Should I do the comments feature on this blog? Circle Y or N."

"If you circled Y, should I get rid of the tagboard? Circle Y or N."


I love how I can almost always trace my days of feeling rather blue to when I let the apartment get a bit messier than usual. It's like, why am I so down? Right! Cleaned today, and am feeling much better about things in general. It's nice how that works.

I am le sad that Caro is in KC. Oh, the things we could have done! We could have...went to the movies! Then...ate at a restaurant! Then...went to a different restaurant! And...looked at trees! Or cows! OR BOTH!

I want to rearrange the furniture in my bedroom, but that's kind of dependent on the placement of my cable and internet hook-ups. Would it be totally lame to make a little scale-model so I could move things around and see what works?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I typed up this big long post, but by the time I got done with it, even I didn't care anymore, so I'll just sum up: emowhine.

Okay!

I developed this sudden love for, like, folky music. Old school, like, not with singing even, just fiddles and banjos and pipes and stuff. As an example, "Fisherman's Hornpipe," The Chieftains. One of the things I'm looking forward to when I go home is going to the library and checking a whole bunch of CDs out. I do tend to find that when I'm working on the computer and listening to music, instrumental stuff is my favorite, just because I get less distracted by it.

I can't decide if I like this particular perfume sample I have on right now or not. The only person here who could give me an opinion, UT Laura, is allergic to perfume, so I have no idea if I ever smell good or not (or if, indeed, I'm even putting enough on to smell; talking to Laura and how much she's gone through, I fear I might be too frugal in my application).

Yeah, you guys clearly missed my fascinating tales this weekend. Heh, I'm so boring.

Monday, July 24, 2006

IT'S OVER. THE TAPING IS OVER. SMEAGOL IS FREE.

Yeah, my life from Friday on has been et up by the ACL taping tonight. Buying the catering, setting it up, running errands, being bitched at by a personal assistant, hauling bags of ice about; it's been profoundly boring, so I won't go into it anymore than that, but it's been way draining. An example:

I had to do laundry tonight, because I've been putting it off because of this weekend, and I needed clean pajamas tonight at the very least. I put a load in, then later, didn't hear anything so rightly assumed it was done and could put another one in. I found out that I had put wet clothes in the dryer and never turned it on, and put detergent into the washer and ran it without ever putting the dirty clothes in. Yes. The brain, it is fried. Right now, I'm too tired to fold my clean laundry; I'm posting to make myself stay up a little bit longer so I don't end up waking up at 5am tomorrow.

Yeah. I haven't checked anyone's blogs (or clogs) or the boards this whole weekend, so I'll get around to getting back in the swing of things tomorrow.

This is why I decided I didn't want to go into production.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I really need to finish my second draft of the script I was working on last year, but this week I've come up with an idea for a new script and it's EATING MY BRAIN, so I think I'm going to head to Half Price Books tomorrow and pick up some source material, and maybe knock out a quick outline. That way, I get it down, and hopefully can stop worrying it over and thinking about it all the time, so I can get back to drafting.

Also, two days in the apartment without leaving at all? I'm an introvert, and a misanthrope, but I'm not a hermit, and I'm climbing the walls a little bit here.

Alyssa was posting on her Xanga about the power of myth, of old stories just having so much resonance, but she linked it to being expressed through children's literature/film/media. And that made me think about how I feel the same way, only about SF; maybe there's something to SF's use of mythology or mythological iconography/allusive properties and how SF is often regarded as being for kids, or emotionally-stunted adults. Myth can be complicated by lots of detail, but at its heart, most myth is very simple, very straightfoward; while I think that allows a great deal of narrative freedom, I wonder if it's sometimes perceived as instead narrative simplicity, narrative bankruptcy. Like, a myth, or a folk tale, or a children's story, or a comic book - those are all just stories, something to entertain or pass the time; they're not real literature, or film, or art.

I don't know; I don't really have a thesis I'm working on here or anything. But something I tend to think about a lot is genre-bias, and trying to suss out why it exists, and this struck a chord with me, the idea that a story with heavy mythological elements could perhaps be seen as geared towards a younger audience. And I think that might actually be the case. It feels like we're socialized to no longer identify with fairy tales and myths, that we're supposed to start seeking out adult entertainment, and it seems part and parcel with a general de-emphasis on imagination and the fantastic. The Lion King is an incredibly powerful work, but both because of its subject matter - it's a fairly classic Joseph Campbell hero's journey - and its medium - cel animation - it gets relgated to being a children's film. Beauty and the Beast almost transcended that ghettoization - and sometimes I wonder how things might be different if it had won Best Picture - but at the end of the day if you say "animated fairy tale," it's assumed shorthand for, "children's film." The same as if I say, "science fiction space show," it's shorthand for, "geek time."

Which all just seems antithetical to the whole point of storytelling. Because if you're not telling something epic, or fantastical, or mythological, what are you telling? You're telling a story about the everyday, the mundane, the ordinary. And why are those things considered proper entertainment for adults, to the exclusion of other genres or stories? Not that there aren't stories to be found in real life, there are, but it's the way that straight drama is presented as the only viable alternative if you're a real, serious adult that I find distressing.

And when I say ghettoization, I don't just mean, like, awards shows and critical acclaim and the like. I mean, when I'm in class, and I'm reading a Harry Turtledove book with a big dragon on the cover, I get people asking me what I'm reading with barely-disguised disdain on their faces (this in addition to the people for whom leisure reading in and of itself seems to be a bizarre waste of time); I'll be asked to explain what I'm reading and I'm not five words in and I just see people check out, as though they've written me off completely. One of my screenwriting professors at USC fought me all semester when I was writing a SF story; he told me that my writing would never be as good as it could be if I didn't write something that could actually happen, that had real drama, that could really mean something.

That's what it really comes down to. I think the genre bias against both children's films, science fiction, fantasy, really anything that has an element of the fantastic, the magical, or the mythological, comes down to the perception that it's just not real drama. The characters aren't real characters, the situations aren't real, the drama is contrived, in short, the story doesn't have the resonance and the importance that a "real" story would have. When, in fact, it's just the opposite. Those stories are the most real, get at the heart of what it is to be a human the most, because they're the oldest stories we have. I caught up with Battlestar Galactica while I was taking that Greek mythology course last year, and we re-read the Oedipus cycle, and the whole story of Boomer learning what she is, and trying to prevent it, and in doing so creating the very circumstance she was trying to avoid: it's the exact same story as Oedipus. And that's why it's so powerful, because that's what mythology does, it taps into what everyone feels and fears and knows. Mythology, and anything with those kinds of mythological elements, from Lion King to BSG to Harry Potter to Sandman to The Matrix, they all tap into that Jungian idea of the collective unconscious; we all know these stories, they're part of our cultural heritage, and to relegate them to the children's section or assume that only geeks who live in their parents' basements would be interested is to turn a blind eye to the most important stories we have.

So I guess that's my next goal, is to figure out why that is, why there's this need to push away these stories into the ghetto. Is it because they are too powerful? Because they make us think about things we'd rather leave alone? Or is it just the trappings, of animation and talking pigs and flying saucers, that are just too silly and juvenile to be allowed into serious, adult discourse? Either way, it's depressing, mostly because there's fantastic stuff out there that just doesn't get recognized as it should. (Actually, talking on AIM right now with Alyssa about the new animation category at the Oscars, and how that's just dumping animation to the side and guaranteeing it will never make it into the actual Best Pic race ever again; she brought up the same wrt Harry Potter and the bestsellers lists, and the creation of a specific category for children's books. In the face of overwhelming and unignorable success, do you reluctantly go ahead and reward the genre work, like with LOTR, or do you shove it to the side into a ghetto like with animation and HP?)

Pfft. I'm going to watch some Firefly, read some crazy future SF, and research my SF/mythology story idea.
Yay, the BSG S3 preview was on last night, and I'm so glad it's up on YouTube so I don't have to keep rewinding and playing my tape. Oh, it's so pretty and bleak and oh, Roslin. "Our children need to know that some people fought back, and others collaborated."

Chills, people.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I went to my internship today; was there five hours. In that time I:

-picked up mail, sorted it, delivered it; five minutes
-almost got out of my chair to answer the phone, but a producer was in the back office getting some stationary and answered it before me; five seconds
-read library book, did crossword, read old Fandom Wanks; five hours, minus five minutes and five seconds

I'm so glad I'm PAYING to do this for CREDIT.

I think I've become fluorescent-light intolerent. I keep coming home with flaming headaches, and it sort of puts a damper on the rest of my evening, innit?

I was proofreading a vegan cookbook earlier. Dear Lord, how can people eat these things? I could feel the dry heaves coming on just reading some of these recipes and imagining, like, putting them in my mouth and chewing them and somehow finding enough saliva to swallow. It's like when you're a little kid and your mom makes roast beef; I'm never going to be able to swallow! I'm just going to chew and chew and chew and it's never, ever going to go down and in the meantime, I'll have to keep tasting it.

This is the sense memory I had while working on the vegan cookbook. Then again, mayhap vegans get used to it. I quite like roast beef now.
Trailer for The Prestige! Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, they play rival magicians, directed by Christopher Nolan, oh, it's going to be awesome.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Catherine seems to be implying that I am the bringer of obscure, artsy music.

*pulls off glove, slaps Cat across face*

I will not allow my honor to be so sullied, madam!

Ergo, Disney songs.

"A Whole New World," Aladdin. I miss old-school Disney/animation, where they used actual voice artists. You could lose yourself in the characters and not be like, oh, it's Brittany Murphy.

"Out There," Hunchback of Notre Dame. I will, however, make an exception for Tom Hulce, whom I love like...well, I love him a lot. I wish he worked more. *sad face* I love this song; his voice is just wonderful.

"Gaston," Beauty and the Beast. "Not a bit of him's scraggly or scrawny / That's right! / And every last inch of me's covered with hair!"

"Belle," Beauty and the Beast. When I was little, I wanted to be Belle. True story.

"Circle of Life," The Lion King. Confession: The opening of The Lion King always gives me chills.

"Part of Your World," The Little Mermaid. When I was but a child, we had the Little Mermaid soundtrack cassette, and we listened to it all the time in the car. And it was awesome.

(Um, if anyone else has any Disney and/or showtunes, that would be cool. Yes.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

I think I'm getting sick. I can tell because I haven't been hungry, I've had a low-grade headache all day, and I've started walking like Estelle Getty because I've been tired. I hope it's just regular influenza, or maybe a cold, and not some kind of stomach thing. Although obviously, I hope I'm not sick at all, and this is just been an off day.

I finally remembered to watch Numbthreers! It was okay; a little more detective-y than I expected. I thought there'd be more, you know, numbthreering. I'll definitely watch some more, just because there's a real dearth of TV in the summer, but I got the feeling they thought actual math would be too complex for the audience or something, so it was very, "And then I analyzed more numbthreers! And analyzed an equation! And my analyses made me go back to my initial analysis, and I factored in data, and completed the equation, which brought me to a final analysis, which was conclusive. Also, I drew symbols on the chalkboard."

Bernard is cute, though.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I took the bus up to the Arboretum, in Fancypants Austin, intending to do some shopping today. I ended up getting my hair cut, as it's been driving me crazy with its length and general frizziness. Now, it is shorter and smoother, but I'm not really happy with the style. It's kind of...dowdy. Or something. I don't know. I need my blowdryer-wot-is-really-a-brush, but it's at home.

"The Day After Tomorrow," Saybia

Heh, ETA: Haven Icon Set



Yeah, I have no idea why.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I got a package from my mom today, and it filled my heart with joy. She got me a Superman sheet set, which I have only been looking for for the last six years; I guess I just had to wait till a movie came out. They're getting washed right now. Also, some really gorgeous champagne flutes, which made me contemplate going over to the liquor store just so I'd have something to put in them besides...milk and water, which is all I have in the house. Alas, it is too hot right now. Anymore, if I don't have to get out, I don't; I do my errands before 10am. And I got Serenity, which is very exciting. And, of course, the various things I left at home, although I left way more stuff this time than I usually do. It was kind of a sad list. ("My hairbrush, my earrings, that book, my blue polo shirt...the Elizabeth DVD...yarn and crochet hook...I think that's it? Maybe?)

I was doing a perfume swap with someone, because I had two samples that I didn't like, and she says she mailed them to me, but I never got them. It is to be sad. I'm pretty sure that I didn't type my own address wrong, so I can only assume she wrote it down on the package wrong. Alas. No Lightning and Neo-Tokyo for me. :(

"Turn," Travis

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I haven't gotten my archaeology final grade back yet, and last I dreamt that the professor had mailed back the hardcopies to us. In the dream, I got an 85 on the final, which gave me a 95 in the class. But the prof wrote a note saying that she felt the final was more representative of what my grade should be, so I was getting a B in the class. I woke up all, "No!"

Hee. And these random non-film electives don't even count towards our GPA; as long as we pass, we're good.

(Okay, so this song I'm putting up, the file has a little lock on it, but I didn't buy this song, I dl-ed it off some random LJ, so...it should open? I have no idea. We'll see.)

"Smile," Michael Lord

Monday, July 10, 2006

I realized that I never posted about this: I got a job doing online proofreading for a company that digitizes books, magazines, et cetera. It is fairly cool, since I can do it on my own time and at home. But I've proofed a lot of historical romance novels in the last two weeks, and...they make me sad. They all seem to fall under the rubric of the bodice-ripping, rape fantasy, fall-in-love-with-the-scoundrel-who-kidnapped-you genre, and I just don't get.

I mean, I guess I can understand people not liking science fiction for whatever reason, but the characterization there doesn't usually seem to hinge on subjugation and Stockholm syndrome like what I've seen so far. (And I'm well aware that it may very well not be a representative sample of what's all there in the genre, but still. It worries me.)

Anywho, muzaks:

"Somewhere a Clock is Ticking," Snow Patrol
So last night, I dreamed I had sleep paralysis. I didn't actually have it; I just dreamed it. In the dream, I was on my side, and woke up, and there was someone actually spooned up behind me, arms around me and everything, and I couldn't move...and then the dream moved on to something else. But I woke up, and like...dear gods, if I ever hallucinated something like that, I think I'd have a heart attack. Yikes.

"Mt. St. Helens," Mirah

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Okay, so, my life is SO BORING right now. I mean, the most exciting thing that's happened in the last two days is that I made noodles. So, from now until the unforseeable future when THINGS HAPPEN AGAIN, I will be doing one of two things: 1) posting with funny icons I have found on the internets, and 2) posting music.

"Into the Fire," Thirteen Senses

Friday, July 7, 2006

I was going to post about Pirates, but I figure everyone's going to see it, so I'll just talk about the show. Obviously, a very excited midnight crowd, lots of folk in costume. We had a pirate band before the show, and this being the Drafthouse, we had trailers of old pirate movies (Cutthroat Island, The Pirate Movie, The Muppets Pirate Movie, etc), a segment of Spongebob Squarepants, and some clip of Johnny on some Japanese talk show like something out of Lost in Translation. They had a special Pirates menu, and I had a Caribbean Cooler. (Mmm, tasty.)

On top of all that, I had a final today which means my class is over, so I'm looking forward to a nice, restful weekend. Earlier this week UT Laura and I had talked about seeing A Scanner Darkly, but I think we're actually kind of worn out (or at least I am), so we'll see.

I'm listening to my recent downloads of the Pirates soundtrack and the Superman soundtrack. I don't understand why they brought Hans Zimmer aboard, since what new stuff he wrote (aside from the pipe organ bits) were pretty forgettable, and he just copied a lot of Badelt's really iconic themes anyways. I remembered the Superman soundtrack as being more memorable than it actually is; I didn't realize how much the action-y bits relied on either the old Williams theme in its entirety or various take-offs on that theme. (That is such a good theme, by the way. Old school Williams = pwn.) I have a torrent file for the new (relatively) Sigur Ros album that I keep forgetting to download, but hopefully will get to that this weekend.

ETA: The main theme for Superman. Good times.
I'll do a longer write-up later tonight after my FINAL EXAM, but Pirates was awesome, midnight shows rule, but popcorn, chocolate and an alcoholic drink after midnight most decidedly do not rule.

And the Commodore owns all.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Well, Emmy noms are out. Unfortunately, media's already talking about how the exclusion of Lost and DH from their respective Best Series categories are proof that the new system works, ignoring that a) those shows weren't good enough this year to get nominated (based on what I've followed re: DH) and b) the rest of the nominees are pretty much what people expected, with the possible exception of Lisa Kudrow up for BA in a Comedy. So the whole panel thing? Didn't do what they expected. Hell, last night people were still pretty optimistic about Kristen Bell making it in, but no. Allison Janney, AGAIN.

I just want to thank the gods for 24 getting plenty of technical nods, because I don't think I could have handled waking up to, "Grey's leads nomination total." I mean, why kick me when I'm down?

So, clearly this year it's all about cheering for the 24 folk; the show, Kiefer, Gregory, Jean and the tech nods. Also, Will Arnett got in for supporting, which surprised me, especially since no one else from AD did. (No, seriously. What?) And AD the show, obviously. Kate Winslet's up for Guest, GA is up for miniseries, and yay! OMG! BSG made it in for costumes. /delayed onrush of vile bitter sarcasm

It's sad that even though I really expected no less, I still woke up this morning all, Emmy noms! and jumped out of bed to check. At least I didn't wake up at 7:30 like I did last summer.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Why Paper Clip is the Best XF Episode Ever.

I don't agree (Paper Clip is actually pretty far down my list), but I love this person's picspams and this is the first XF one that I think she's done. It's funny and cute. (And made me realize I need to get XF back into my DVD watching queue. I have VM, CSI, Firefly and BSG going right now, along with Netflix movies, and it's a lot of scheduling already going on.)

Monday, July 3, 2006

Bear McCreary has cited Philip Glass as a musical influence (and has used his work on the show), so when I was home in May I checked a few of his CDs out from the library. My favorite one was a score that Glass composed for the original Dracula; it's all haunting, beautiful string quartets, and a lot of it has one of my big music kinks, that of minor key passages broken by major lifts.

I'm trying something new, which is uploading an entire album, so if anyone does download and the file doesn't unzip correctly, please let me know.

Philip Glass - Dracula

In other news, I just have three classes left in my archaeology class. It's been enjoyable, and I've learned a lot, but I'd forgotten how different it was to go to a class every single day. How did I do this seven times over in middle school and high school? It feels completely foreign now.

I don't have any plans for the Fourth, which is upsetting, as it's one of my favorite holidays. I mean, honestly, by plans, I really mean time set aside to sit outside and shoot off firecrackers, but even I would feel slightly embarrassed (or even too embarrassed) to do that in a complex filled with cooler-than-thou college kids. So. There's allegedly a big display going on at the botanical gardens that I might check out, but it's weird not being home.

Sunday, July 2, 2006

I want to marry Brandon Routh.

That's all.

ETA: OMG. Remember Marcus in About a Boy? How he was a great actor and cute in that he's-a-good-child-actor-playing-a-pathetic-character kind of way, yet really wasn't one would expect to grow up to be an attractive young man, especially after hitting puberty, which is tough on child actors?

Damn.