Saturday, August 07, 2004

CARNIVAL OF SOULS

Back in the early 60's you could make a really awesome horror movie with a great imagination and a couple hundred dollars.
Okay, maybe like two thousand dollars because there is a car crash in the first 30 seconds, but other than that I really can't see it having cost much more than that.
The tone of the film is really well done. I think modern horror could learn a lot from this film in terms of somebody just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time being much more scary than somebody getting their small intestines ripped out and fed to them. It's a film of simple camera tricks, a beautifully terrifying soundtrack, some competent acting, and sounds and images that happen at perfectly jarring moments. It discusses human relationships and the diffuculties thereof (as good horror should) without dwelling on it or hitting us over the head with a message (which is what bad horror too often does.)
I love it and I recommend everyone who hasn't seen it to see it. But be careful. I hear there's one of the crappiest remakes ever made floating around out there. Make sure it's the 1962 Candace Hilligoss version.
And it's so much better than the film that steals its plot twist. You should understand what I'm talking about here when you watch it.
That's really all I had to say about it. It's one of the greatest horror films I know of. And I have an encyclopedic awareness of the genre.

There was another film on my DVD of Carnival of Souls. I'm still figuring out what I'm gonna say about it, so stay tuned.





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Friday, August 06, 2004

And this is my final word on the quiz, but should you decide to take them, please let me know what other creative spellings of composers first names the selectsmart people came up with.

The extra S is for "sexy."




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The leader's one was kind of cool. The composer one made me decide it's time I stopped screwing around and got back to work.




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  • My #1 result for the SelectSmart.com selector, Which Classical Composer Are You?, is JOHANNESS BRAHMS - German - "The Young Eagle"






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  • Here's the news of the past two days from my life.

    Last night I went to the Farmer's market downtown. I'd been meaning to go since I moved up here but I usually got distracted by shiny objects and that would be the rest of my evening. Plus I always figured that it'd be pickup trucks lined up with figs and oranges in crates and, while that's pretty cool, I couldn't work myself up to going.
    There was about a block of farmers with figs and whatnot. Then there were like five blocks of political tables, people juggling motorcycles, lamb on a stick, and booths of jewelry that sold for $50 a piece but you could make at home with some strings and uncooked pasta.
    I went to see the Hiroshima exhibit put on by the Chico Peace and Justice Center (whose work I love in spite of the fact that they still haven't put me on their email list even though I've signed up for it like four times already.) It was really hard to get through that exhibit, but I forced myself because I think more people should force themselves to look at such things.

    This morning I woke up early. Pat and I went to the Enloe Hospital Volunteer used book sale. It wasn't terribly big, but I got some great things by being the first guy there. I was amazed to find, among the same mystery and horror authors I see at every used book sale, a Brion Gysin book. That was the coolest find of the day. I'm selling it for $28.75 if anyone's interested. You should be interested. It's freakin' Brion Gysin. It's The Process, his novel.
    There was also some Kerouac, a book on William Penn, and some other good finds. I'm kind of overstocked in inventory right now. I need to calm down and stop buying for a while before my shelves start buckling again.






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    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    Hey presto! Now you can't look at this page without looking at me.

    I'm very sorry. Somebody should give me a good talking to.





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    try this again Posted by Hello

    here's an action shot that might end up as my profile picture. If I can figure that crap out. Posted by Hello

    Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    I just sold a high price book. No, it's not the $900 true 1st edition of Naked Lunch. One day! One day it shall sell and I'll gloat about it for weeks.
    But the one I sold today still brought in a nice chunk of change. I'm getting a leg up on the pile. Made me not feel so bad about having spent $2.50 on a DVD of Carnival of Souls earlier today (really it was that cheap and I was still feeling guilty for having bought it. And it's one of my favorite horror films. Certainly my favorite early 1960's horror film) right after I bought the sparkly pony for my niece (in different stores of course. Also, as an aside, as a parenthetical, this is a large part of why I try and keep my sorry ass out of stores.) So the money is rolling in again (fingee crossee.) My left arm is flinching in anticipation of the coming tattoo.

    I was thinking of crushes earlier today. There's something great about crushes and something damnable about them as well. I usually have crushes on two or three people at any given time unless I'm in a relationship and then I tend to get really focused tunnel vision. I don't have any real life crushes right now. I have a crush on a fictional character.
    Which is both better and worse at the same time. Better because you're resigned to the fact that there's not a dadblamed thing you can do about it. Worse because you feel even more lonely when you've got a crush on a fictional character.

    I made broccoli in olive oil, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Also brown rice with tofu, flax seed, and loads of habanero pepper sauce. I'm really starting to get the hang of vegetarian cooking. I'm getting pretty good at it. When I first started out I was eating a lot of Boca hot dogs. Now I've figured out how to actually structure a dinner without meat. Neat.
    Sweet.
    Petite.

    I went out to Cafe Flo tonight and there was live music so I didn't get any reading or writing done, but it was nice to sit and sip tea and listen. Then I went for a walk. A homeless girl asked me for some change. I always have that moment when I give away money where I think "Why don't you give it all to them? It's not like you don't have a roof over your head, food from a co-op and DVDs of horror films from the early 1960s." I even had that voice before I read Wallace Shawn. I didn't give it all though. The homeless girl also asked for a hug. That was nifty.







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    Two things:

    The other night, when we had the faucet in the backyard break and shoot water like a hydrant and we had to have the emergency plumber out, we tried to fix it on our own first. My brother tried and failed to turn the water off. My stupid contribution was I figured since the faucet was on the same line as the sprinklers, if I turned off the water to the sprinklers the water to the faucet would stop. I don't know why I thought that would work. Even worse I had no idea how to turn the water to the sprinklers off so I just got in there and started turning knobs.
    We fixed the faucet and now the sprinklers seem to want to run, instead of forty minutes after dark, for about four hours during the middle of the day. So we just turned off the sprinklers until we figure out how to fix what I did.

    And

    I'm totally helpless as to what a six year old niece wants. It was Faithy's birthday yesterday. She turned six. There's a party on Saturday and today I went to the toy store to find her a present. I wandered the pink aisles realizing I was way out of my realm of knowledge. So I called Pat and he said, "Just get her something with a horse. Anything with a horse."

    Like so much of life, sometimes things are much much simpler than we make them inside our heads.




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    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    This is pretty rad too: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3937039.stm

    I was going to post on some of my favorite living writers because I'm a book dealer and for some reason some people seem to think my opinion matters. But I can narrow down what I was going to write by just saying that every man, woman and child should go out and read everything that Caitlin R Kiernan has ever written.

    Okay, maybe children shouldn't.

    Summer's more than halfway over and I'm just now giving you summer reading. That means the burden falls on you to hurry up and read it!

    Other than that, I'm planning on walking around for several hours now because I really have nothing better to do.
    That was all I had to say today.
    So far.
    Just right.






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    Sunday, August 01, 2004

    I promised my recipe for the best hot weather beverage ever. Here we go.



    Best Hot Weather Beverage Ever

    1 lemon, pretty big
    1 finger of ginger root
    about 15 tablespoons of sugar more or less
    1/3 cup of water in microwave safe bowl
    1 bottle of fizzy water (I use carbonated mineral water but regular carbonated water
    works just fine. Don't use soda or I'll never speak to you again.)
    And get out your garlic press and a cutting knife

    Quick! Put the sugar in the bowl of water. Put it in the microwave for like a minute until the sugar dissolves into the water. Then stick that mofo in the freezer while you do some other stuff.
    Get your glasses. Make them big ones. This should probably fill two glasses which is nice if you're in love with somebody. I'm a lonely selfish bastard so I just make myself two glasses. I dream of the hot, sticky day I'll have somebody to share this beverage with.
    Cut the lemon into 4ths. Squeeze two 4ths into each glass. Watch out for seeds.
    This should yield about four or five tablespoons of lemon juice.
    Take the finger of ginger root. Peel it with the knife. You might want to get a grown up to help you with this part. Then cut it into small pieces. Stick the pieces in your garlic press. Make sure you washed out the garlic press really well since the last time you made ricotta pasta sauce. Press the ginger juice into the glasses. I like a lot of ginger in mine. Some people might like less than I do. Like I said I just don't know.
    Stir the holy crap out of it.
    Get the sugar water out of the freezer. Pour 1/2 into each glass.
    Stir the holy crap out of it again.
    Then fill the rest of the glasses with carbonated mineral water and ice (but mainly carbonated mineral water. You don't want it going flat on you halfway through.)
    Sit on your porch in your rocking chair with your rifle across your lap and drink it.
    Thank me.




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    It's been a few days away and I see from my last posting that many of you probably just assumed I became horribly ill. And you were fine about that and didn't feel the need to check in on me.
    Actually I didn't get sick. At least not yet and I still don't expect to (fingee crossee.)
    So now I have some catching up to do. Part of why I haven't posted in the past few days is that my writer's block has shattered like an osteoporotic hip on an icy cement staircase. I've been editing, I'm working on a story idea that owes everything to Rob in New York, and I've got a bigger project perculating in the back of my head that I won't say anything else about because it's still a zygote of an idea. But it's for a very large scale project. That's all I'll say.
    Yesterday was a blue moon. I burned a lot of peppermint oil. That's because I don't know many good established rituals so I like to make up my own.
    I have a film to recommend that I won't review because I have no idea how I would. It's called Russian Ark. It's a 90 minute film that is one continuous shot so you get the sense of a theatrical production or a painting from it. I also got the sense of walking around the place with my real eyes rather than cinematic eyes. It drove the critics nuts, which is another good point for this movie. I won't go into what I got from it because I don't want to taint anything for anybody out there. But it was like nothing I've ever seen and really heartbreakingly beautiful. I can't recommend it highly enough. It was for rent here in Chico so you shouldn't have too big of a problem finding it.
    By the way, I've found another way to describe how big of a town Chico is. Chico is big enough that Coffee and Cigarettes came through town but small enough that I had to go to three different stores yesterday to find ricotta cheese. What kind of a messed up place do I live in?
    Plus I've got over a hundred more books in stock in the past four days. So I've been keeping busy. Keeping off the streets. Don't worry about me. Don't feel like you need to check in on me.


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