Books Bought Today

Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis, The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies, Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Went on a jaunt around town this afternoon and stopped in at Recycled Reads, the library’s used-books store that runs primarily on old library books, donations, and volunteers. They actually have a pretty great selection of books, made all the better because everything is absurdly cheap – hardbacks are $2, and paperbacks are $1. I dropped a total of $4 to pick up the books shown above. I was also pleased to discover they changed their hours to make them far more convenient – 12-6 Thursday through Sunday, instead of the previous hours, which were seemingly random.

cathedral for a while

so tonight we had another of our bi-weekly meetings about the show we’re trying to put together. personally, i’ve been impressed that we’ve been actually meeting every two weeks. to me that’s a pretty decent level of commitment – having a core group of people that managed to show up regularly to talk about the same thing. i definitely feel like we’ve had some formless meetings (the one where we basically watched the oscars instead was kind of… less focused), but tonight was good.

for most of the meeting we went over stuff that we’ve been trying to pin down for a while. we’ve now got a tentative date and a tentative venue, but i think we’re all still kind of fuzzy on the actual parameters of this event we’re going to have. we sidestepped that issue by planning a party for three weeks from now. the idea behind the party is that it’ll be sort of a test run for the event itself – we’ll gather people around in a party atmosphere, and then at a certain point in the night we’ll pull everyone into the living room and folks will start performing (poetry, music, theatre, whatever).

the benefit of this particular way of looking at things is that pulling off a party at the yager house is a piece of cake, so taking it to that next level won’t be as hard as it would be doing the same thing in an actual venue.

the other, more palpable achievement of the night was that we picked a name for the whole… thing. the name-picking method was my suggestion. we grabbed a book (“skinny legs and all” by tom robbins) and people took turns opening it to a random page, pointing, and reading off the four words next to their finger. it’s a pretty cool way to get some interesting titles… after we had a list of about 20 good ones, we narrowed it down to “cathedral for a while”, which has a nice ring to it and fits with some of the ideas that we’ve talked about – i like the idea of making art that is both temporary and sacred, and our dada method of picking a title was appealing to all of us.

in closing, here are a few examples that i just pulled from “the demolished man” by alfred bester:

with the galaxy inside
clump of rubbery red
but it won’t help
as a war memorial
a make-believe detective
milk-white eyes disappeared
alleys were patched into
does murder turn the

and from “mort” by terry pratchett:

had a nasty forboding
away from the stranger
i just feel angry
rooftop height would have
he stuttered, trying to
the exact position that
effortlessly pronouncing a row
therefore it is prudent

you’d think with a fancy college education like mine, these sort of things would occur to me sooner

So… you may remember the story of my camcorder. I bought it in the summer of 2003. I paid it off in November of 2004. Three months later, I pulled it out of its case and discovered that the screen had decided that from then on out it would display and record nothing but blackness. Audio came through just fine, tapes played without a hitch, but recording anything new was impossible.

This discovery was, at the time, incredibly frustrating. I had barely used the camcorder, hardly justified the $1000 purchase.

The camera has mostly been a frustrating experience – when I did use it to record anything, it became apparent (I thought) that my old iMac was no longer up to the task of editing. Of course, the resolution to _that_ bit of the story was that it was actually my firewire drive gumming up the works. This meant that although I could edit video, there couldn’t be much of it because of the limited space on my main drive.

When it finally broke, however, that was the last straw. At the time, I contacted Canon customer service to see if they could do any kind of repair. I got the impression, however, that fixing the problem would could about half as much as the camera was worth, and that hardly seemed worth it considering how little I had used it in the first place. I decided to wait until I had some spare cash to worry about fixing it. It didn’t really seem like a priority.

Flash forward to a year later. The camera has been sitting in a drawer, unused and forgotten about. One big change, though, is that I bought myself a brand new computer, one with more than enough to horsepower to edit video. Enough horsepower to edit video without even batting an eye. The first big step had been taken. Now I just had to look into getting it repaired.

This is where one begins to wonder _why I did not think of the following solution a year ago…_

We’ve had some discussions among my group of friends recently about putting together a kind of variety show, with theatre, poetry, music, film, and whatever else anyone can come up with. Thanks to a recent discussion, it finally occurred to me that I should look into getting the camera repaired somewhere else besides Canon.

“Hell,” I thought, “why not check and see if Best Buy could repair it? It’d probably be cheaper that Canon repairing it.”

It occurred to me after some thought that I should probably dig up my receipt to find out whether or not the camera might still be under warranty. This was no small task, considering that my “filing system” consists of five years of random papers stacked on my dining room table, oftentimes topped off by a surly black cat.

At first it was pretty hopeless, but as I was on hold with Best Buy, I started flailing around in the pile to see if I could just find an old Best Buy credit card statement, when what should I find but _the original receipt_!

It gets better from there, however… it turns out that way back in the day I was thoughtful enough to buy the Best Buy service plan, which (much to my surprise) covers my camera for four years. This means that I can get repairs done on the camera… *for free* until 6/6/2007.

Needless to say, I felt pretty silly and pretty happy at the same time. Earlier tonight I dropped the camera off for repairs. I should have it back sometime in a week or so.

And then all I have to do is start making movies again.

oh god

i went to sleep last night at midnight, and woke up sometime around 6am. when i opened my eyes, i tried to look at my alarm clock so i could see what time it was, but for some reason i couldn’t focus my eyes and the clock danced around in front of my field of vision. this was not a pleasant sensation. eventually that settled down and i could see the time, but now my stomach feels awful and i’m trying to convince myself that i do not need to throw up. probably.

anybody have any good explanations for random morning-time dizziness and nausea?

formattin’ the drive

today, on a whim, i decided to reinstall OS X, but with a complete reformat of my hard drive, in the hopes that it would possibly speed things up because it wouldn’t have any of the random shit i’ve installed on it.

i’ve been working on re-installing important programs as they occur to me, but the only difference i can tell for sure is that the main hard drive has 10 gigs free now instead of 4.5, so that’s an improvement, at least. imovie hd still plays video like molasses, unfortunately.

god. i have to work tomorrow. dammit.

can you say “finally”?

after much fiddling about and a general program of procrastination, i have put the final touches on “my portfolio”: also, if you notice, i’ve added a link to it on the upper right-hand side of this page, right below that picture of me. now that it’s “live”, it can be spidered all to hell by google so that the random web visitor has a chance of finding it.

i have a few other possible web design projects in the works:

(1) a redesign of the “iota chapter website”: sure, it’s nice enough, but i designed it when i was first getting the hang of css, and i think i can do it better now. i also want to make it so that the actives might actually be able to update it, since i haven’t been given any information to put on there unless i prod them into giving it to me.

(2) i’m a fan of those programs that keep track of your book collection. the best one i’ve found (and it’s free!) is just called “books”: i’m also a fan of “all consuming”:, but it has a bad habit of being slow, or inaccurate, or down, or just plain difficult. i think i’d like to begin working on a php application that replicates the basic function of all consuming, plus some features from books (the reading list currently on my site is only functional at best). this would be the same idea as movable type versus blogger. part of the reason i switched to mt was because i was tired of relying on a site that might go down without warning.

alright, i’m going to go finish watching “farscape season one”: wish me luck.


alright, so i totally just applied for a job at “UPS”:… things must be getting desperate here. (no shit)

honestly, i’d take anything right now, especially temporary things, if i could just feel good about possibly being able to pay my bills. that would be nice.

also, on a random whim, i re-installed the “page rank extension”: i was kind of curious to see if anything had changed with the pagerank of my site or anyone i’ve been hosting. surprisingly enough, this journal has a page rank of 5, which was the holy grail of page ranks when i was working at “NACQ”:

it still cracks me up that there are businesses out there essentially trying to simulate the popularity of personal journal websites. jesus. in fact, even mark’s website – which hasn’t been posted on in four months, has a page rank of 3. perhaps this system doesn’t actually mean a goddamn thing, hmm?

White Noise

Beau and I had a discussion about how people these days tend to feel completely alienated from their jobs. You do work on one end but never see any concrete reason why you should have done that work. Most people consider their jobs something they “have to do”, something separate from their lives. The thought of such a thing frightens me… why devote 75% of my life to something that means nothing to me just so I can make enough money to have a roof over my head and food to eat?

…Speaking of alienation, there was recently an episode of Malcolm in the Middle on TV that was kind of similar to the last part I read of White Noise… three years ago, was it now? And on top of that, Vince and I watched Office Space on Friday, and it was a better movie to me now because I finally can relate to some of the stuff that happens… These things are random, but it seems like that’s the state of my life right now. Alienated.


Man, I am completely obsessed with this thing:

I’ve found so many completely random things that enlightened me so much, particularly about CSS and other such arcane subjects. And it seems like a trustworthy system right now, because it’s small and relatively obscure… (as in, it hasn’t started becoming the victim of SEO-hungry psychopaths and their link-farms…)