Click images for desktop size: “A Gift For A Disillusioned Man” by Michael A Parkes I walked to see the lawyer today. The walk seemed long and cold.
Direct consequence of not having a dog with me.
On the other hand I seemed to fall down an awful lot less . . .
I must enjoy falling more than I’d admit to myself.
I think I have discovered the music that goes with cold, snow and ice: 60’s garage, early Devo, and Glenn Gould playing Bach on harpsichord.
They all work pretty well. I did notice that groups like The Outsiders (“Respectable, “Time Won’t Let Me”, “Girl In Love”), The Human Beinz (“Nobody But Me”) and The Choir (“Its Cold Outside”) all seem to fit the mood remarkably well.
They’re all from Ohio.
Devo used to be proud of being from Akron, Ohio . . .
Glenn Gould is Canadian but I’m certain he has played in OHIO!
Sometimes you have to stretch to make an impossible theorem work. The same way that my puppy is from Ohio but she doesn’t really play any instruments. She sings a lot and she thinks its beautiful but that adds nothing to the argument or the rash conclusion I’m about to jump to . . .
Ohio is the home of cold weather music!
That’s not it . . . I think it has something to do with it appears that weather might have a heavier role in art and pop than I’d first considered.
Would Alan Watts or William Faulkner have written in that same turgid style if they’d been reared in the frigid spans of North Dakota? Would James Joyce had written lighter less dense work if he’d lived most of his life in Malibu instead of Dublin?
And this just about leeches the joy out of this worthless topic. It was something to speculate on while I walked, listened and shivered.
Click images for desktop size: “Listen Ms DJ” by Anonymous The meeting with the lawyer was okay. Fine really. I just can’t get past the premonition of doom. Waiting for the next calamity to strike sort of thing. I’ll get over it.
I watched “The Warlords” last night. Its the big deal holiday movie in China – stars Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro. Parts of it were very good.
Andy Lau was typically himself, which, to my eyes means he was great!
Jet Li was a revelation. He plays a rather complex and not very nice guy. In some ways he was a villain, no the villain. But Li managed to convey the desperate emotions of a man and a man with a vision well. He managed to bring some negative traits to the forefront and make us accept them as a part of what drives lesser men to greatness. He’s a coward and a liar and an adulterer.
He is not these things venially. We understand and empathize. We admire Lau, who is all things heroic. Whose rise to greatness is on Li’s shirt tail. Lau never wanted greatness. He only wanted his family and friends to have enough to eat.
Kaneshiro is the tragic figure here. He believes in the greatness of both men. Childishly he believes in truth.
Its worth seeing for sure.
I just got an email. Astonishingly I am not yet out of the Football Contest . . .
My editing tool, ecto, is now at beta 22!
And from MacWorld I want a MacBook Air, the wireless Router and server grade drive and AppleTV II and and and . . .
Click images for desktop size: “Cosmo Girl” by Dim Po In China there is an uproar, a minor scandal. Jet Li has announced he is moving his family to Singapore . . . not to LA, London or Paris, but to Singapore so that he can send his children to a school there.
The Chinese people are very upset with him.
I’ve never been to mainland China. In the times in my life when I was traveling Americans weren’t welcome there. The USA made it as difficult as they could as well.
I’ve always wanted to go there. I’ve longed to see Beijing and the Tennimen Square, the Forbidden City.
I was in Hong Kong when a recent traveller to the mainland told me that the halls of the Shaolin Temple were now carpeted in the cheapest linoleum.
I wanted to see it, to smell the Yangtze River. I wanted to meet the Chinese People and try to understand.
In my childhood the Chinese were presented as monsters, even more terrifying than the Communist Russians.
We nervously “allowed” them to enter the Olympics . . . Nixon travelled there to meet Mao and only returned alive thanks to his wiles, his cunning and grit.
China and Russia were implacable black spots on the globe – sinister environments where we couldn’t breathe the air or survive exposure to their alien sun.
So I dreamed of visiting them often. I studied maps and decided China had to have some waves.
I am often intrigued by the loyalty, the fierce love than the Chinese feel for China. I mean, in LA all the British Pop and Movie Stars have homes, the French stars live there as well as they could. Everyone comes to LA, but not the Chinese. They come to work, to visit, to promote, to make money but they always return. They don’t keep big houses here.
Click images for desktop size: “Jack” by Lawn Elf There are huge areas of heavily Chinese populated areas in the US. They seem to mostly come from the era that was fleeing the communist take over, or they are indigenous from the old wild west days. They are homogenized and a valuable totally cool part of the US. They’re people who’ve kept their own community strong while contributing to society as a whole.
When you talk to the old ones who weren’t born here they will almost always get nostalgic and dream of the day they can return to China. They tell stories of the place, the land and the people, with a rough pride that is not blind to its faults that makes their love more apparent, adamant, tensile and real.
I get sad because I don’t think I’ll ever get to see China with my own eyes.
I’ve been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai. They aren’t China. It would be like claiming to know Mexico because you’ve been to Tiajuana.
Bt and large Americans don’t know enough about there neighbors. I’ve heard permutations too often of “I know Paris. I spent a week there once.”
I hope you get to go there and get to tell me about it.
I’m doing okay.
My blood levels still aren’t where they should be but they’re not scary any more either. Just higher than they should be but not so high as to be fatal. I’m going to go blind, if I live long enough. I’m going to lose all my teeth, if I live long enough. I’ve decided that keeping my levels low will retard the process. I have a little bit of doctor’s advice to back up that assertion. Enough to keep me preoccupied with it.
I really like my One Touch glucose meter. Its easier to use and less harsh on my fingertips (from the blood letting, you know.) Thank you BB KING!!
My broken toe is mending. I took my tape splint off today. It hurts but not killingly so.
I’ve decided to stop studying the site stats so intently. At first I was just fascinated with the inconceivable numbers and stuff. And whenever a location came up in Japan or Texas or LA or some such I’d try and figure out who it was that I knew there and having found the site if they’d write to me and re-establish contact. A brief meeting of old friends as it were.
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Frank Brunner But then all those swirling numbers started to get me paranoid. “This person lives to close! Why are they spending so much time!?!? What are they looking for?!?! ME!?!?!”
Most of the time they’re either searching for Captain America pics, or Bebe Neuwirth . . . I’m not kidding about that last one. She’s the woman who played Lilith on “Cheers”, “Frazier” and the lawyer on the only failed “Law & Order” spin off. She generates an amazing amount of traffic here . . . I should start a fan site . . . or someone who’s a fan should . . .
So with my usual deadhead skills I’ve decided that I’m just going to ignore all those fascinating numbers.
They are perplexing to me anyway. I get three sets. One set says I average about 900 visitors a day! The other set about 800! And the 3rd set, the one I use in the number count at the bottom about 130. I’ll stick with the conservative one.
Of course the numbers on my puppy’s web site make mine look inconsequential at best.
One thing I’ve noticed about the numbers is that a large number of people don’t have wide screen displays. I do so most of the stuff I make, save or collect tends to be wide screen. But I’ve been trying for the past few days to include an SD desktop/wallpaper each day.
Click images for desktop size: “Hardcore Hentai” by Anonymous Just a day.
I miss the snow. I was getting used to it. It all melted and now everything looks just normal. That doesn’t do me much good.
I do seem to be able to avoid falling down quite a bit easier but thats not much off a fair exchange.
Feeling like I was walking in some new alien world everyday was worth the nicks and bruises.
My broken toe is healing. Its a nice mottled purple today. The blackness has retreated. It hurts some but I can walk. My biggest fear is not being able to walk. I guess it equates to most people’s fears of their car breaking down.
As long as my puppy and I can walk I figure we can get anywhere . . . eventually.
ecto, the blogging/posting tool I like is up to beta 20!
Its improving and I almost trust it. Its amazing how many words this app has flushed down the toilet. I doubt if it was ever a loss.
Being a beta tester has a lot of pluses. I’m learning a lot of the power of this tool. Its all simple stuff, but its stuff I probably wouldn’t have ever used. I still don’t use most of what it offers. I don’t need most of that kind of power.
I just like it to help me do the layout, and keep everything from being repetitive xhtml coding. It is doing that okay so far. That makes me happy.
I took my puppy and the big dog who broke my toe for a walk to the store today. I was limping and when you show a big dog a sign of weakness . . .
Having good traction disrupted most of his plans for me.
We met a Belgian Sheepdog mix in the neighborhood. She was being walked by an older woman and we were both excited to meet another black dog face to face! My puppy was prettier . . .
Click images for desktop size: “Pretense Of Innocence” by Mo I like meeting friendly people with friendlier dogs.
At the store I tied the dogs to a bicycle rack, which was tired to a concrete filled 3x3x4 metal box. I took 2 steps away and the big dog decided I was abandoning him. I turned in time to catch the bike rack at my chest and to kick the metal box away before it hit a parked van.
Of course I kicked it away with the foot with the broken toe.
A bystander said, “Hey, you’re pretty fast! Good job!” Turns out it was his van.
I got everything put back in place while holding on to both dogs. I then found a nearby tree and tied them to that. Another bystander said, I hope jokingly, “Do you think that’s strong enough to hold him?”
Other than that its just been a day like any other.
Did watch a movie. Ben Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone”.
I tend not to like Ben Affleck. No reason. The main reason, I think, is that I confuse him with Ben Stiller who I have a strong dislike for.
When I get them straight in my head Affleck reminds me of this guy I know, Kevin.
Kevin worked for me, he was a big burly good looking guy. Quiet in a brutish kind of way but affable enough and not given to a lot of talking.
One day he gave me a nicely offset printed magazine. It was a poetry magazine and he edited and printed it himself.
“None of my junk’s in there. Nothing good enough for this issue,” was all he said when he sort of jammed it at me.
I liked it. A couple of them I still remember. I told him this and he just grunted at me and never mentioned it again. There was just always a new issue in my mail box.
Anyway Affleck’s movie is pretty good. Its too complicated about Boston and child molesters and baby stealing. Dark stuff. Handled darkly.
Everything is intro’d nicely. The acting is all very good. particularly Ed HArris and, of course, Morgan Freeman. But then the plot gets so complicated and twisty that I couldn’t figure out what the movie was trying to say, if anything.
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Hermon Adams It was a manly day.
I managed to do three loads of laundry . . .
With the way my back felt going up and down those stairs took character. A lot more character than I thought I had.
Then to prove how manly I am I trimmed my toe nails.
That took more courage than I thought I had.
I almost gave up but they don’t call me bulldog for nothing.
I keep wondering what age is it where you find grooming and laundry interesting subjects . . .
More to the point does that mean that the next hurdle to crawl under is the one where my fixations will be all about my bowels . . .
On the very plus side I’m responding to the meds. Right now my levels are only 15% off. Which isn’t great but a week ago they were nearly 200% off, so I’m not happy to settle for mediocrity . . .
I got a Christmas card from my old boss yesterday. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. Or if I feel anything about it at all.
It was a nice card. Nice enough anyway, but sent late. I’d be happy if it were just an afterthought. One of those, “Oh, I’ve got two cards left. Who else is in my address book . . .” sort of thing.
If its an attempt to reach out or something more . . . Best I just throw it in the pile, I guess.
The rest of the day was spent being amused by puppies and watching a Yu Wang flic.
Yu Wang is an odd character in movies. For some unfathomable reason they call him Jimmy Yu Wang in some American Press kits. He was a staple, a huge star in Asia before Bruce Lee hit the scene and shook things up.
Yu Wang worked in most of the big Hong Kong films of the time, made them hits – “The One Armed Swordsman”, “The Golden Swallow” and the like. Movies that redefined the Chinese image, and the Chinese role model.
Click images for desktop size: “Irish Lass” by George Petty Unlike the vast majority of Chinese Actors Yu broke wanted more. He wrote and he directed and starred in some major films. Major in that they made money.
Like anyone with a large body of work there are some great semiotics at work here.
His movies hold their crudeness as a virtue. Yu was not a very good fighter or an above average athlete. He was a movie star. So his fight scenes take the guise of crude brutal affairs with lots of blood and lots of energy.
In his most notorious in America flic, “Master Of The Flying Guillotine”, a blind zen monk, proudly wearing golden swastikas, goes around killing anyone with one arm in pursuit of Yu. He also kills anyone who might accidentally be between him and anyone with one arm. He does his killing with a whacky contraption: A sot of hat that h flips over the victims head and then he rips their heads off . . .
The film features a lot of peculiar fight scenes: A yogi who somehow causes his arms to grow to extraordinary lengths and a thai kick boxer with enormous callouses on his shins . . .
It also features one of the most peculiar to Western eyes fight theories ever. “Run away and hide”/
Which really makes sense if you saw the weird carnival of fighters pursuing Yu.
Yu wins the final fight by being more vicious and cynically sadistic than the beheading monk!
What’s oddest to me is the nods to Leone. But instead of making things big, operatic or even portentous, Yu uses the techniques to keep everything down at a carnival like level.
Instead of mythic he tends to create the feeling of venality and coarse survival for its own sake.
In his “masterpiece” “Beach Of The War Gods” Yu’s savage depiction of the Japanese is heralded with techniques and shots lifted straight from Buster Keaton’s the general.
The effect is that of a man with no sense of humor trying to tell us a joke, getting angry when flubs the punch line and then beating the crap out of you.
I like Yu’s cheap non-epics in a fond not quite condescending way. They’re fun and entertaining and there’s not much wrong with that. It just seems off that this intelligent filmmaker seems set and determined to make non-art.
His movies are worth checking out.
Click images for desktop size: “Desert – New Mexico” by Alex Chaquitas In England, every year there was a newspaper debate about the name Boxing Day.
The Sun would say that is was named because it was the day that all the gifts and decorations were boxed up.
The Times would refute it with their own not very interesting genesis of the name.
I think the only important thing is that its an extra day off of work.
I only wish that the irritating pain would take a holiday.
I got a very cool Christmas Present.
Best Friends are a Charity rescuing abused or just lost animals. You can adopt an animal online. They have dogs, cockatiels, horses . . . even cats . . . Its a touching gift. I worry about animals. Mainly dogs and rabbits. But I worry and having one less to worry about pleases me.
There’s a film that I don’t much like, because it is not very good. It is either invidious, naive or inept.
“Year Of The Dog” stars one of those new age Saturday Night Live women. She looks very haggard.
The story is that she has a wonderful little dog who dies suddenly. And her whole world collapses. Then she collapses in a very bitter way.
She’s abandoned by family and friends because she starts a new heartfelt love for animals. The only friend she makes out of all this is a namby pamby self serving intensely sincere hypocrite. Then she starts to steal from her company to fund Animal Rescue Centers, like Best Friends. She adopts an aggressive dog she can’t control and then, through a tragic turn, about 20 other dogs.
When she finds out that her beloved dog died because he had entered her neighbors garage and eaten snail poison she flips out and, unfairly blames her neighbor. She even attempts to kill him.
Click images for desktop size: “Eagle’s Daughter – Sculpture” by Unknown This extreme act gains her the pity of her co-workers, family and friends. She turns her back on them to crusade for animal rights.
Now my biggest problem with the film is that it depicts almost anyone who loves animals as having some serious sociopathic issues. Like only someone who can’t connect with human beings could give a damn about an animal.
In fact it goes out of its way to depict a hunter, who gives an long ineloquent soliloquy about hunting, as the most rational person in the movie.
As the leads compassion grows instead of presenting her commitment to another species as humorous and courageous it shows it as the cause and effect of a deranged mind.
That’s kind of stupid if you ask me.
You can only quote Steve McQueen, “You never had a dog, mister.”
So recovering from Christmas is not as much fun as preparing for Christmas.
I’m tired. I ate too much. I laughed too much.
I loved my dogs not enough.
Now getting prepared for my friend to take a big trip. SHe has to do a months training in a town about two hours from here.
They pick up the tab. Still, even with all my fuzzy friends it will be lonely.
Strange. I’m alone most of my adult life but it will be lonely. Not in a bad way but only becasue I’m “wise and mature”.
Of course she says, “He lives in the past, tolerates the present and forgives a future he deson’t believe exists.”
That doesn’t really contradict much that other people have said about me . . .