Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Thanks for the tips, folks
|Clark Gable You scored 9% Tough, 28% Roguish, 38% Friendly, and 23% Charming!|
You're a pretty interesting guy, all man but approachable and friendly.
You like the lovely ladies, but you're also a real stand up guy with a
true sense of honor and duty. You're respected by most men, although
they probably wouldn't trust you alone with their girlfriends and even
wives. Women find you intriguing, drawn to your playful sense of fun
and true-blue core. You think most women are rather silly, but strong
dames with smarts really turn you on, and you tend to marry them.
Leading ladies include Claudette Colbert and Vivien Leigh, women who
find you somewhat charming but a little dangerous. |
Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Dancing with Snoopy
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
T-lady is back
- Anemic sentences, thanks to dependence on 'was', 'was (verb)ing', and other abuses of the verb to be.
- Overuse of em dashes, semicolons, and ellipses.
- Poorly handled speaker attributions. I'm a saidist (my characters will occasionally shout, murmur, or whisper, but they usually just say things, and never ever ever do they aver, proclaim, hiss, or growl their sentences). Nevertheless, my attributions often suck.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
A dose of mindless fun
Jump for joy
Friday, August 26, 2005
It's a classic
Truth is stranger than . . . well, you know
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Couldn't help myself.
Curses, Tarantula Lady!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Hateful Heroes and Heroines
"They have none of them much to recommend them,'' replied he; "they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters."
Sure, this is thinly veiled 'telling', but it succeeds nonetheless in building sympathy for all the Bennett sisters (What do you mean, 'none of them much to recommend them' -- what kind of father is that?) and Lizzy in particular. We're also told that Lizzy is 'quick'. Soon enough, we see that quick wit in action.
To cross genres (big time), think about the 'Deliverator' opening in Snowcrash. (Amazon has their 'look inside' function enabled, in case you're interested.) Stephenson introduces Hiro Protagonist as a determined man of action with a sense of humor to burn. Hiro's focus on delivering his pizza before the deadline tells us all we need to know.
That said, I confess I never felt too much empathy or sympathy for Hiro. His smugness put me off. The female lead, YT, had a lot more going for her in the empathy department.
One last point. (D) You can get a lot of mileage if your character appears full of mystery. Here, I'm thinking about the opening to Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Here's how Conrad introduces Marlow:
Marlow sat cross-legged right aft, leaning against the mizzenmast. He had sunken cheeks, a yellow complexion, a straight back, an ascetic aspect, and, with his arms dropped, the palms of hands outwards, resembled an idol.
What's the first thing out of his mouth?
“And this also,” said Marlow suddenly, “has been one of the dark places of the earth.”
They're on the Thames, for cryin' out loud. The last thing the stodgy Brits on the boat with Marlow want to hear is a comparison of London to the Congo -- yet that's the whole point. What the hell is Marlow thinking? What's on his mind? Out with it, already!
Okay, I've blathered on too long. (I haven't even gotten to Janet Evanovich's introduction of Stephanie Plum in One for the Money.) Now it's your turn.
Review of Analog, October 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Why I won't be sleeping tonight
On a sharper note,
The Top 100
1. CITIZEN KANE (1941) I first saw this in college because I thought it would help me get into Wendy's pants. No go. So: does it deserve the number one spot? Naw. It's an interesting experience, and I did base one of my characters off Kane, so I guess I don't totally hate the movie.
2. CASABLANCA (1942) I based a whole book off this one (Karakoram, which may never see the light of day). That should tell you something.
3. THE GODFATHER (1972) Leave the gun. Take the canoli. (Oh, how I love that line.)
4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) Watch it, as I first did, with a room full of lesbians. You'll never want to see it any other way.
5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) Seven Pillars of Wisdom without the homosexuality. On a serious note, this is one of my favorites. This is Peter O'Toole's best performance ever.
6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) A film to see for cultural literacy's sake only. I can't see any other redeeming features.
7. THE GRADUATE (1967) Why couldn't I have had a Mrs. Robinson?
8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
9. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
11. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) Saw it. Don't remember it.
12. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) This one is FUN from the first scene.
13. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) Easily one of my favorite war movies.
14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
15. STAR WARS (1977) You already know how I feel about this one.
16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) Didn't make a big impression.
17. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951) Ditto.
18. PSYCHO (1960) Tritto. Boring, actually.
19. CHINATOWN (1974) I love so much about this movie it ain't funny. Let's start with Nicholson's line, "I cut myself shaving."
20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975) Saw it with GF v1.0 in high school, and I've never watched it since. Neither one of us was impressed.
21. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) Oh, don't get me fighting with my wife again over this. I thought it was a snore.
23. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941) Own it and love it. Hey, I subscribe to the Rara Avis list serve, so that oughta tell you something.
24. RAGING BULL (1980) Saw it once, never again.
25. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) I liked it when I first saw it. That was before I developed an allergy to Steven Spielberg.
26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) OH YEAH! Put this one on my top 5 list.
27. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) Feh. Like I'm interested in some hood's sexual problems?
28. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) Saw it with GF v1.0 in high school. At the time (and now), I felt it compared unfavorably with Heart of Darkness. Judging it on its own merits, it's not bad.
29. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948) I don't need to show you no steenking badges. (I love this movie, but I probably just misquoted it.)
31. ANNIE HALL (1977) Hmm. I think I saw this one with GF v1.0, too. I liked Christopher Walken's schtick, and I loved the bit where the kids in 1st grade are telling what they did when they grew up. Surreal. Since 1980-something, I've been allergic to Woody Allen.
32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974) Great stuff. You broke my heart, Fredo! And don't miss the fan fic-turned-movie, The Freshman, with Brando playing Don Corleone yet again.
33. HIGH NOON (1952)
34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) Strangely, this made little impression on me.
35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969) I've only seen bits of this.
37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
38. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) Read the book.
39. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) Chick flick. I don't get it.
40. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) Not bad, as Hitchcock goes.
41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
42. REAR WINDOW (1954) One of my favorite Hitchcock films.
43. KING KONG (1933)
44. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915) And this is on the list why?
45. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)
46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) See it, as I did for the first time, with a half dozen feminists. Remember to rave about it afterwards in front of them. (I love this movie, can you tell?)
47. TAXI DRIVER (1976) Clinically interesting flick. Travis Bickle descends into paranoid schizophrenia. Why doesn't anyone ever point that out?
48. JAWS (1975) A hateful, silly movie.
49. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
50. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) Hey, I stole a scene from this for my novel-in-progress. I love this movie.
51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)
52. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) Sand does not make a great lubricant. Nuff said.
53. AMADEUS (1984) Silly laugh, silly movie.
54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) Aw, shut your von Trapp.
56. M*A*S*H (1970) I barely remember this.
57. THE THIRD MAN (1949)
58. FANTASIA (1940) Only worthwhile so you can better appreciate the jokes in Allegro non Troppo.
59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) I like the Griffith Park scenes. Reminds me of my childhood. I also enjoy seeing Mr. Howell in a frilly apron. How much more obvious can you get?
60. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) I liked it pre-Spielberg allergy.
61. VERTIGO (1958) Feh. As an ear, nose, and throat doctor, I object.
62. TOOTSIE (1982) Double feh. Good concept, lousy result.
63. STAGECOACH (1939)
64. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) Major league FEH! The worst first contact story ever.
65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) If you haven't seen the original Lecktor movie, Manhunter, see it. (Yes, that's the original spelling.) Brian Cox is 100 times creepier than that scenery-bulimic, Anthony Hopkins, and Tom Noonan's Frances Dollarhyde achieves levels of poignancy unmatched by any villain in any movie EVER. Name me someone who even comes close.
66. NETWORK (1976) Not very memorable.
67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) I have to admit, Angela Lansbury's character inspired my novel's #1 baddy. Even Frank Sinatra couldn't bring this movie down. The movie that inspired about a dozen Outer Limits teleplays.
68. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
69. SHANE (1953)
70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) A highly overrated chase scene. Feh. Hackman has done much better movies. Why is this movie on the list?
71. FORREST GUMP (1994) And why is this movie on the list? A film about an idiot?
72. BEN-HUR (1959)
73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)
75. DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)
76. CITY LIGHTS (1931)
77. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) Cool movie, but I remember Lords of Flatbush better.
78. ROCKY (1976) I can't believe I saw this.
79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)
81. MODERN TIMES (1936)
82. GIANT (1956)
83. PLATOON (1986)
84. FARGO (1996) I love William Macy in this.
85. DUCK SOUP (1933) Why aren't there more comedies on this list?
86. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
87. FRANKENSTEIN (1931) More brains! Fine movie, but Young Frankenstein is better.
88. EASY RIDER (1969)
89. PATTON (1970) Dove that I am, I still find this flick compelling. My dad took me to see it when I was eight!
90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)
91. MY FAIR LADY (1964)
92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951)
93. THE APARTMENT (1960) I have a dim memory of this one.
94. GOODFELLAS (1990) Ditto.
95. PULP FICTION (1994) Every generation needs its Deliverance. This is ours. Squeal like a pig!
96. THE SEARCHERS (1956) One of my favorite Westerns, but there have been better ones. Why isn't Sergio Leone represented on this list? Once Upon a Time in America. Need I say more? Okay: High Plains Drifter.
97. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
98. UNFORGIVEN (1992) See my comment to #96. Not a bad film, but not on my top 100 list.
99. GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967) What's up with Sydney Poitier's girlfriend in this movie? Is she brain dead? Aside from that, I've always considered this movie a guilty pleasure.
100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
Sunday, August 21, 2005
The Gorjun is Free
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Editing update, and a snippet
- I've begun line-editing my manuscript. Status: 12.5% done.
- Four loads of laundry.
- Two loads for the dishwasher.
- Cooked a ham, candied yams, and eggplant parmigiano.
- Went to the gym. Thanks to the summer cold, I'm out of shape again, but I still managed a 25-minute workout.
- Trip to the grocery store and drug store.
- Run through the text, correcting all major errors and omissions I've thought of during the writing process. DONE.
- First hard copy edit. Catch all the little shit, and the big shit, too. (Such as Karen's comment from a few minutes ago: "Why don't the Kirbys just return to their lander when the mugwasps fly in?" Um . . . because I really, really want them to head down into the spider caves?) 12.5% complete.
- Second run-through on the text, this time making the changes in computero which I've penciled in at step 2. That's when I'll be adding and deleting scenes.
Friday, August 19, 2005
SF love triangles
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The place to be
I got me a guest map.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Lester's Tantric Sex Guide for Teens
Monday, August 15, 2005
- any temperature over 75F feels unbearably hot to me,
- my patients threaten me if I use any syllables in the word 'vacation', and
- have I mentioned recently how far overbudget we are on our remodel?
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Walken in 2008
I'm an angel. I kill newborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. And occasionally, when I feel like it, I tear little girls apart. And from now till kingdom come... the only thing you can count on... in your existence... is never understanding why.
Catherine: Go to Hell! Gabriel: Heaven. Only Heaven. At least get the zip code right. Catherine: It's all the same to you, isn't it? Gabriel: No. In Heaven, we believe in love. Catherine: What do you love, Gabriel? Gabriel: Cracking your skull.
And if that exchange doesn't get your vote, nothing will. Disclaimer: over at the Huffington Post, they're still trying to figure out if this is a hoax. D.