Electricdaisy Productions :: Nikutai no Yume

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 Song :: Terra In Black [ download ]
 Artist :: Ailsean (orig. Uematsu Nobuo)
 Genre :: rock instrumental
 Comments :: Final Fantasy remix mini-theme. This came off one o' those rotating MP3 sites, so I don't know the original provenance - but boy, it's Narshe on Stratocaster. I can get behind that. :P

Song :: Sexsession of Witches - Porno-esque remix [ download ]
 Artist :: Virt (orig. Uematsu Nobuo)
 Genre :: *snerk*
 Comments :: I *think* this is off Rpgamer. It's... well, what it says. Sounds like a porn film shot in Ultimecia's Castle. XD There's a ficbunny here somewhere - or maybe you shouldn't listen to me.

 

Last watched :: "The Godfather", Part I, II *and* III; Basara ep.1-5 raw

Currently listening :: Iwao Junko, "Scarlet"

Currently playing :: ...

Currently reading :: Martin Amis, "London Fields", James Ellroy, "L.A. Confidential"

Profile

name :: Sabina

age :: hatachi ^_^

appearence :: [ natsuyasumi ]

sibling :: [ imouto-chan ]

domicile :: Montreal, where it snows in April, 16-yr-olds barhop and large bookstores carry manga in French

birthplace :: Shanghai, the city where they'd do anything (as opposed to Beijing where they'd say anything, and Canton where they'd eat anything ^.~)

alma mater :: McGill University

occupation :: RPG storyboarding, unpaid coding, website tweaking

indulgence :: novels, manga and anime, fanfiction written and read, MP3s, sleeping at odd hours, alcohol, mooching food, cooking

sign :: Pisces ascendant Venus + Metal Rooster = nasty chimera critter

keirsey :: iNTp (Engineer)

colour :: on me, lilac, violet, forest green and black; on others, whatever brings out the shade of their eyes and the highlights in their hair ^_^

perfume :: citrus / fruity floral (ex. Yves Rocher Orchidée)

flower :: intense, fragrant and seasonal (apple, lilac, magnolia, peony)

jewelry :: silver anklet

gem :: amethyst (birthstone), opal, moonstone, cat's-eye agate

season :: summer

animal :: Felis domesticus (a terrible misnomer). I live to be happily downtrodden by that privileged species :p

voted (by guy-pals) :: Washu

voted (by gal-pals) :: Crawford

guardian angel :: Tzaphkiel

anime series :: Berserk, CLAMP Campus Detectives, Card Captor Sakura, Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Gundam Wing, Legend of Galactic Heroes, Rurouni Kenshin, Slayers, Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Trigun

manga series :: Angel Sanctuary, Basara, Five Star Stories, Fushigi Yuugi, Blade of the Immortal, Slam Dunk, X, Yami no Matsuei, Yuu Yuu Hakusho, Zetsuai/Bronze

ficcing series :: AS(?), FF7(and the rest?), FY, GW, Trigun(?), WK, YYH, Z/B

music :: Bran Van 3000, Nick Cave, Cibo Matto, Leonard Cohen, DEEN, Melissa Etheridge, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Gackt, Garbage, Globe, Guniw Tools, Oliver Haze, Kanno Yoko, Laruku, Gigi Leung, Lili Fatale, Sarah McLachlan, S.E.S., the Tea Party, Teresa Teng, Two-Mix, Uematsu Nobuo, Utada Hikaru, Faye Wong, the Yellow Monkey and various singles 'n' soundtracks

books :: [ partial list ]

non-alcoholic :: bubble tea, Coca-Cola Classic, Brio (viva Italia!), hazelnut coffee, peach Snapple, chai latte, pink grapefruit juice, green tea absolutely anything

alcoholic :: rum-and-Coke, gin-and-tonic, Irish cream, dark sherry, warm sake, Alsacian rosé, Hungarian white, gold tequila, merlot, cassis in sparkling wine

happy :: to know that one is living a moment of intense perfection; the sensation of drowning in beauty. Also, getting a favorable blurb on your work from a writer you yourself respect *^_^*

sad :: that time is slipping through my fingers, that there is nothing I can do to stop it - and that perhaps it is my fault

Contact

ICQ :: 67820805

AIM :: WingPetronia

Layout

From a Japanese film called "Otogirisou" (St. John's Wort), scanned out of the FantAsia film festival booklet. The film was pretty run-of-the-mill, but the atmospherics of the house were wonderfully creepy. ^_^

Archives

24/07/01 - 07/08/01
16/07/01 - 23/07/01
09/07/01 - 15/07/01
01/07/01 - 07/07/01
21/06/01 - 30/06/01
19/05/01 - 19/06/01
22/02/01 - 17/05/01
17/12/00 - 14/02/01
07/11/00 - 16/12/00

Other Blogs

apocrypha of st.heero (Suze)
basic black (Priya)
bishounenink [ Joy | Tenshi ]
encircled (Charmian)
handbasket (Talya)
joliefolie (Lu-chan)
keieru
kelemenopy (Thea)
in the tradition of lunatics (Sarah)
signal 11 (Erin)
sisyphus descending (Soma)
technomancy
velvetpaws (N-san)

Pitas.com! 

 

Sunday, August 19, 2001
03:34 a.m.

Thoughtfully surprised

Money's starting to come in. The government sent me, wonder of wonders, a tax return that I deposited like a good girl (too chicken to cash it despite having no spending money on hand for a month now). And there *may* be another website contract heading my way - fingers crossed. ^^;

Finally coming to a consensus with the game team. I don't mind washing my hands of their "major changes" - better for me, actually, since it was a rushed job that I'm itchingly unsatisfied with, and I won't have time come September to play script doctor ^^; - but they're not paying me enough for what they want out of me. I want *them* to wash their hands of my manuscript proper, so I can do an unconstrained re-write and keep my options open... Legal tussles. O_o Such very grown-up issues we're getting involved in these days. All around me it's entry-level jobs and graduate studies and second-hand cars and moving out of the parents' house. I feel rushed and bewildered and mentally three years behind, which come to think of it is how I felt all through adolescence in comparison to friends. What sort of upbringing *did* my parents give me? They should never have let me skip second grade. ^^;

Now excuse me. I have more website work to do. ^^;;

Saturday, August 18, 2001
08:04 a.m.

Continued replies

Charmian: glad you like "Blade of the Immortal". ^_^ And it's a damned good localization job too, relatively speaking - the Chinese version isn't cut-and-paste with the panels, but the English translation has heaps more verve. This is one series I'm actually following with bated breath.

FoR: never finished watching it. Manga pretty but I don't have the petty cash to blow on renting shounen by the tankoubon. ^^; Liked it mostly, but it was one of my pre-Kenshin pre-Utena shows, and already my judgment passed ran "not a sop for the intellectuals among us". XD The golden gleam in memoriam seems to be the little kid Kaoru. (...I have this Faunlet Complex, sometimes it acts up. The first time I initiated contact with Fandom ever was when I wrote Talya asking her to mail me and Tania her FoR shota-smut, on the QT and very hush-hush - man, those be the days. Now I just fail to blink at anything. XD)

And as for Gundam Wing, dear to my heart, I never could get it to make sense. The ideals put forward are *just* that alien to my mental makeup - and anyhow Relena's speeches are so true-to-CNN they put me to sleep.

Bishounen (more to the point, 'bishie') is never going to lose its supremity, I wouldn't fight for that one. XD But then, AMLA starts up neologisms all the time. 'Yaoista' actually seems to be catching on in certain circles, although usage is limited by the inherent elitist connotation of the word (like 'fashionista' not 'barista'). As for the ML itself, I confess I wonder what "Aestheticism Mailing List B" is, if there happens to be one. ^^; Aesthe-Announce, perhaps?

Saturday, August 18, 2001
06:52 a.m.

Readings et al

Reading James Ellroy - "L.A. Confidential" - imbibing his stylistics willy-nilly, and remembering Martin Amis's dissection of said stylistics (gerunds, present participles). XD Better book by far than any of his others I've read. The sheer tangled scope of the *plot* is breathtaking: the novel runs 500 pages because every piece of information is repeated two dozen times, and that out of pure narrative necessity. They made a movie out of this... that wasn't NC17 and six hours long? Kudos. ^^;

(Found a bazillion potential 404s to fix on Tomodachi, except the one D tells me I'm faulting for. Mega hmm...)

W2: Katan should be back, no? (Book 10. Post sob-story little girl sent down for the cannibalism rap, post Sevi the Masked Wonder's hotshots in Rociel's pad with sleeping gas and grenades, post The Scene between Katan and Rociel right after. Don't think anyone can miss that one. XD) As for summaries, save links to here and here, there's scripts up to Book 11 and chapter-by-chapter spoiler write-ups for far, far beyond. You don't need mine, Remiel does'em with more poetry than I would. :P

Sarah: commiseration. :/ I've been following. You still have dial-up and mail, though, right? Any chance on less expensive hosting? Your sites would be a loss to good reading.

Friday, August 17, 2001
03:06 a.m.

The drought

Broke the record set in 1957, but ended tonight. The clouds did roll right over behind the strobes in Centennial Park, just as the sky was dimming; but it hadn't rained for four full weeks, even the weeds in the city lawns were the colour of hay, and not a one of the geriatrics nodding and clapping from their folding director's chairs believed it would rain. They wouldn't have been there else. (Proportion of small Chinese girls to Jewish seniors at a free outdoors klezmer concert in the heart of the Yiddish retirement enclave of Côte-Saint-Luc? Damned small. My father infects us with oddball tastes in music.) In fact it didn't rain. But about an hour ago I realized I could hear raindrops splattering on the roof tiles... Had to take down the security system and open the window to confirm: big, splooshy, intermittent drops by the sound of it, wetting our new-painted balcony. It's pleasantly cool, but very humid. A novelty. It's been a dry *year*.

Whit-Two (Whit As Well?): that's not really hell. That's just your normal garden soul-processing underworld hades. Hell is... well, I see you've just met Astarote. XD Satanic version of Mt. Rushmore is coming up.

And yes, Rociel does drop out of the picture for the longest time (but we the fandom think it has to do with Katan and the rose-petal bath), and yes, there are *way* too many characters (but try to remember the pointless conversation with the scaley flying dragon all the same). ^^;

Suze: tone markings, please. Mandarin w/o them is a little like reading the old sort of Hebrew that doesn't come with vowels. ^^;;; ("A type of sweater connection of a fox. No, wait, that can't be it...")

Reading Martin Amis: "London Fields". The man's a stylist all right. His prose is one extended nervous twitch. For the first dozen pages I was afraid it'd throw me off inhospitably, keep me on the surface like some awful Gundam Wing smutfic that tries too hard on the vocabulary front. Didn't do that, it turns out... but the process is exhausting, because he's a fastidious pen poking with writerly schadenfreude at things that make people go 'ew'. (Like Marmaduke the baby from hell, who's 'ew' all over - not least because hating babies, even fictional babies, is an automatically squeamish experience for this reader. The problem isn't that I can't do it, it's that I *can*.) In fact his main character is a writer who pokes at unpleasant people with the savage delight of having found another subject to exploit in his - well, you get the idea. A third of the way through and the thought of plowing through the rest... :/ It's a page-turner in its way, but it doesn't promise to be an uplifting experience.

(Winamp just shuffled up a Nanjou Kouji song and I'm hearing Muraki-sensei. Could tonight get *any* creepier? Don't answer that question, world.)

Somehow with all that dissertation on pronunciation yesterday I forgot my real point. It was this: 'yaoi' is a damned ugly word, like most acronyms, Japanese or no. They've been saying half-heartedly on AMLA that we should use 'BL', which is what all the Chinese and half the Japanese use anyway, and has the added advantage of being English and utterly transparent in meaning. ('Boy's Love'. How's that for an acronym?) One could always pronounce it Japlish katakana-style if one craves the veneer of exoticism... But the fandom will take a pass on the easy choice, of that I'm well aware.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001
09:18 p.m.

Bored, bored

The Birdcage folks are over, adorable blonde Lyonnaise granddaughter appended. Lots of dessert. Remember how I bought and ate a pound of cherries a couple of weeks ago? Well, my parents bought *ten*. -.- One of these nights I will boil and purée and whisk myself cherry-brandy sorbet, since our fridge is l33t enough to freeze Coke into slush-in-a-can; not tonight, however. My mother made me sand and paint part of the balcony this morning before I headed to bed, which with the guests arriving at six gave me all of *thinks* three and a half hours of sleep. Considering that I had delusions of grandeur re my ability to stay awake and attempted to watch "Basara" with my sister. ^^; She'd read the first couple of volumes in Chinese, so she didn't need me translating the raw tape for her... which is just as well. I was too busy squicking at the whips-and-chains scene in episode 5. Odd. Manga didn't provoke the same reaction - don't know whether it was the sudden full-colour-and-seiyuu-ness or just that I've been, er, "contextualized" by reading up to #16. T_T

(Shuri's cute in the anime, though I had to blink before I remembered how *evil* he was at the inception. ^^; Really. It's a brillant solution to a thorny problem: one always needs a Tamahome but Nakago's the cool one, so why not portmanteau the two? Saves chara design expenses, and all your angst comes tied up in one compact package. :P)

Suze: as Erin points out, most girls I know say 'yah-oy', whereas I (unreasonably) say 'yau-oy'. (I am kau / hear me muu / I taste good / on BBQ!) 'Yow-ee' makes me twitch, alas, but that's because its use is reserved in my social circle for fanboys who wish to mock the genre. XD I should - and can - pronounce it with the right accent, since I have twenty-four credits in Japanese language behind me, but I don't bother to railroad my pronunciation into another language unless I have to deliver whole sentences in that language. It breaks the flow. For that same reason I say "Szechuanese cooking" the same way everyone in North America says it - that is to say 'seh-shwang-nese' - even though I can pronounce it perfectly well in Mandarin ('shih-tzuan', far's my Wade-Giles extends). This is no light matter: my gran's from Szechuan, and as all men know, Granny's cooking is sacrosanct. :P

In general I'll try subconsciously for the accent of whomever I'm talking to. This becomes quite humourous when I venture south of Mason-Dixon, or (French-version) into rural Quebec. I find it difficult to reproduce accents textually, though, which is why Wolfwood makes me scratch my head. The kansai-ben's an integral part of the character and Hayami Sho's performance - and as wacky as it's normally played in anime, it's a beautiful dialect to be intimate in - I watched a lot of Kizuna @ sjcon - all warm and easy and slow tonal-music drawl. I don't know if Irvine speaks kansai in the Japanese release, but he should. :P

It seems wrong *not* to try for some English equivalent in-fic, especially since Ball o' Sand is supposedly anglophone in the first place. However, any attempt by lil'Chinese-Canadian me would result in some unholy fusion of Dubya and Scarlett O'Hara, and that I categorically refuse to burden the world with. Let the real Southerners do their job. XD

Wednesday, August 15, 2001
05:37 a.m.

To everyone who's mailed me in the past week

I'm *so* sorry. ^^; I've been letting the messages pile up, while I entertain guests and marathon the "Godfather" films with my family. (Over three days, so that the Corleone saga merges into a single nine-hour movie in the head. I think Coppola intercut with violent death every ceremony and sacrament known to R.C. - except the Last, ironically enough. ^^;) I've also been writing. That eliminates everything else. I suspect the number of words I'm able to produce in one 24-hour period is finite: either it goes toward the current story, or... it doesn't.

At least the fiction itself is proceeding well. It is, upon consideration, not the longest piece I've written; merely the longest that is not easily publishable in five-to-seven-page installments. *Certainly* the longest that follows the Nikkatsu Studios poruno-roman format (complete artistic freedom, one sex act every ten minutes). :P See how self-defeating: I've leant heavily on the "screen treatment" aspect in my conception of tBD, but that only serves to turn it into a forum for my taste in film as well as pulp literature. It makes for the kind of movie they'd show at FantAsia, IOW, not the multiplex nearest you, so perhaps it's just as well C. and S. aren't live-ac. They're disturbing enough as personifications of contrasting tendencies within my own character. ...Because that's what they are of course: the source of my alarm at any intimation that they should *talk* to me. It would be entirely too schizophrenic.

Read through the first volume of Waley's "Genji". It's an atmopheric novel, delicate sensibilities, near-modern quirks of narration. Waley (I suspect) gave Murasaki's prose an Austen-ish savour that I find terribly charming, though I agree with my father that the original must be more reminiscent of classic Chinese novels than any Western equivalent... Plot's incidental from a "serious-minded" perspective. It's all about beautiful young people with more active social lives than thee or me, and great taste in poetry to boot. Or so *I* say anyway. You know how that works: Genji thinks the poems of Bai Ju-yi terribly affecting, and so do I, therefore Genji is a paragon of le bon goût. :P I may not wear twenty-two silk robes in winter or paint my teeth black, but damned if I didn't sniffle over "The Lay of Everlasting Wrong" like any Heian court butterfly.

Sarah: it seems I never assimilated the more overripe flights in Nin's prose. I know they were there - I've never attempted her diaries for that reason, certain that they would be chronicles of wretched excess - but I've forgotten all except the passages I happened to like. A selective mind is a wonderful thing. :P

Oh, and I didn't dream I was Tsuzuki again. I dreamt I was *Subaru.* Circa TB, silly hats and exorcisms and all. My subconscious is really pushing it, methinks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2001
07:13 a.m.

Going to bed, yes indeed

I will see if I dream of being Tsuzuki again. I must identify with him, or something. (Nothing untoward happened. I spent all my time trying to decide between sugary Asian drinks - pocari? lychee tea? canned coffee? - in the convenience store. ^_^;)

I think I'll log a long entry when I get up again. I'm not in a writing mood...

Monday, August 13, 2001
06:21 a.m.

Contrariée >_<

NBCi won't let me ftp-upload to my accounts anymore, the bastards. >_< Can't even put up a 'this site has moved' page for EDP. Grr...

Did some detail work on my various sites instead. NnY needs a new layout, dammit... And I need to filter some of the B-film noir out of this fanfic o' mine (and likely some of the Ian Fleming too), because it's getting ridiculous. Jesus, speaking of pastiche. ^^;

Monday, August 13, 2001
02:41 a.m.

Doing a bit o' config

D - thanks for the webmail! (And hope you had fun, all ye lucky wretches who were at Otakon. ^_^)

Some scans for the Quebec Studies people now, and then my dad's website needs a disclaimer. (And my *sister* needs to learn the fundamental tenets of text navigation, the brat.) Then perhaps to play with blogger... And then three chapters of C++ to do. Slowly. ^^; My brain is a soup of original-flavour C and Java, thanks to "the Harvard of the North", and so easily confused it's pathetic.

Sunday, August 12, 2001
01:59 a.m.

The last note tonight, likely

Charmian: Americans do have a cultural take against pastiche, yes. There are other cultures - the traditional Chinese one, say - in which pastiching the masters of painting, calligraphy, poetry etc. is what one *does*. Attempting originality implies that one has the bollocks to consider oneself a master, if nothing else. :P That and some odd trace of the renascentist atelier in my subconscious makeup makes me far more tolerant of plagiarism than I suppose I should be. It doesn't provoke any sort of automatic indignant response in me. I'm not even certain it would provoke one if it were *my* work being plagiarised. (One weakness of mine is a marked tendency to lose interest in the tangible benefits of a project that I began out of interest, once the work itself is done. I sweat blood over my stories, and once they're posted I barely feel that they belong to me at all. It took me six months to claim the prize I won in the AMLA fanfic contest, and I would never have gotten around to it if I hadn't come face to face with the actual people involved. ^^;) There are clever and stupid ways to go about it, of course, like everything else in this world...

(The alchemical wedding and miraculous birth! XD Dear saints above, woman, I'm lucky I wasn't attempting to consume a beverage at the time of reading. The holy figures of the twins!)

Speaking of renascentist atelier, check out this site: the Art Renewal Center. Read their mission statement and see if your eyebrows don't rise. I'm not absolutely certain what I think. I'd be the first to admit that my taste in painting runs to the Pre-Raphaelite in both senses of the word - not to mention the Orientalists, Maxfield Parrish, etc. - but there are works of 'modern' art I'm fond of too, and Bouguereau rates pretty high on my kitsch-o-meter whether I will it or no. ^^; OTOH I fully agree with the principle of providing young artists with classical training. It's how I was raised, obviously, but I believe in learning *how* proportion and perspective work before trying to do away with them. :P

(Found this site, incidentally, because my *father*'s listed. He wouldn't disagree with their stated philosophy - his attitude toward non-figurative painters is a benign, I'll-just-be-over-here-doing-my-thing tolerant amusement. Now if they'd only learn how his name is spelt... >_<)

Sunday, August 12, 2001
01:16 a.m.

Omphalos-gazing notes on YamiEi

Remember the piccies with Tsuzuki in the bridal veil in vol.4? (Yes, you do. Everyone I've seen read the thing burst into laughter right then and there.) Well, the mystery is solved: Christian women in Nagasaki use a piece of filmy lace as a head covering in just that way when praying in church. Local colour, you've gotta figure - though I wasn't able to determine from the journalistic photos whether the priest had to have one too.

In a not-so-deeply-obscure-and-Japanese piece of cultural reference, I have to wonder what Hisoka was doing reading Snorri Sturluson in vol.6. XD Old Norse gods and heros? A new reference for the Yami no Matsuei universe, anyway.

D: thankee for liking the layout. And lor', but I'm glad I'm not the only one who assigns character voices. ^^; I can't remember any others of mine that are specifically identifiable at the moment, except for Julia being Faye Wong of course.

Saturday, August 11, 2001
11:27 p.m.

All right, fic. I mean it XP

Comes between the 06/10 and 06/09 entries, in that order (the whole followed by the 07/01 entry, and damned little beyond that apart from me alternately promising fic, chickening out and complaining about my production being sub-par. -_-;) I promise that it makes more sense if read in order. Saints above, but I wish I had entry link.

This is *not* what I was working on today, in fact - I've nearly slogged through the Eikener party - but I re-read this part and realized it didn't suck nearly as badly as I'd thought. So you get something to read. :P

********

"Not on the floor, Baba," the bartender warned. "Christ, will you look at this joint? You see her," he said to Crawford, "she won't hear a word against him. He could be her grandson if she weren't Russkie." Crawford concentrated on folding his paper carefully.

"Does he come in here often? This Schuldich boy."

"You seem pretty interested, mister." Crawford shrugged, expressionless, and after a moment the bartender did too: a ponderous shifting of stance as if casting off a weight.

"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, I guess he does. If you—" he broke off. "Shit. Speak of the devil and he shows his horns."

Crawford followed his gaze. A boy – not much more than mid-teens – had just pushed through the door of the bar, and was making his way toward them with a smile on his face. He was slender, dressed simply in a black, long-sleeved shirt and black jeans; he looked nothing like what the bartender had implied. Red hair cascaded over his shoulders, glowing in the dimly electric light. A couple of the punks lifted their heads to watch him pass, their conversation dying with the constant background clank and rumble of their game. The room was suddenly very quiet.

He was halfway across the floor before recognition hit Crawford, accompanied by an odd sensation in the pit of his stomach.

Danger.

He brought up his mental shields, wary, but no preciser vision came. Schuldich did not even glance his way as he slid onto a stool between him and Baba. The bartender tilted his head questioningly, but the boy shook his head.

"Not tonight, Pietr. I'm just dropping by... Hello, darling," and he threw a careless arm about the old woman's shoulders, dropping a kiss on her cheek. She swatted at him irritably, muttering, but her watery eyes were dull and tender with the alcohol. Schuldich smiled at her and propped his elbows on the bar. One of the punks wandered up and asked the bartender for a refill, and the man turned away to draft another pitcher.

It was only then that Schuldich shifted, pinning him with eyes of a strange feline green, and Crawford realized he'd been staring.

"You must be visiting," he said. "Like Amsterdam? Have you been down to the waterfront yet?"

"Only once, a long time ago," Crawford answered without missing a beat. The exchange sounded natural: his talent had warned him before the code phrase actually fell from Schuldich's lips, time enough to hide surprise. But his mind was racing. It could not be coincidence. After all this time (memory rose of a sudden, insistent - warm unexpected lips)—

What was he doing here?

"Then you have to," Schuldich said. "The sunsets are beautiful. The colour of blood."

"You know each other?" asked the bartender.

"We've met," Crawford said. "Briefly."

"I'm afraid I don't know what you mean," Schuldich said.

*Berlin,* Crawford thought at him deliberately. *Fraulein Eikener's soirée three years ago. You tried to sit in my lap while I was standing.*

Schuldich shrugged, not quite looking at him. "I could have forgotten," he added.

There was a brief silence. Crawford drew on his cigarette, trying to think. There was a man expected, a regular, but if he'd been ferreted out by Flores—

"Schuldich," he said eventually. Schuldich. Schuldig. A German word. Guilty... "First name or last name?"

Schuldich laughed. "Have you been talking about me, Baba?" But Baba was huddled over her drink, no longer responsive. Schuldich glanced up at the bartender, who held up three fingers and shook his head. "It's a name, herr—Crawford, isn't it? First name or last name?" Before Crawford could answer he reached over and plucked a cigarette from Crawford's half empty pack. "Pass me a light?"

Crawford reached for his lighter automatically. Schuldich smiled a little wider around the filter, leant over the corner of the bar and touched the unlit end of the cigarette to Crawford's own. He inhaled and it caught, glowing cherry red for a moment before Schuldich leant back again and blew out the smoke.

"Thanks," he said. The bartender made a soft, disparaging sound between his teeth, but Crawford ignored him. Schuldich's hair had brushed against his cheek in passing, and the afterimage of the half-imagined contact tingled on his skin. He was suddenly certain there would not be another informant tonight.

Pretty poison indeed.

"Can we talk here?" he asked, for the form. Schuldich gave him a look that struck him as indulgent.

"Sure," he said. "Sure, if you want to, herr Crawford. Or we could-" he made a vague gesture— "take a walk."

Crawford could sense the bartender's attentiveness beneath his apparent disinterest. He did not rise to the challenge. Let the man assume: Crawford would not lose such a find again. His heartbeat quickened with an unaccustomed anticipation.

"A walk, then," he said.

Schuldich smiled.

Baba never looked up as they left.

***

Smoke rises languidly from the smoldering butts in the ashtray. The man flips through the stapled document, moistening the tip of his finger at every third page. Forward, forward, back. "The subject," he says finally. "Did the two of you engage in sexual relations?"

His voice is dispassionate. Crawford closes his eyes for the check, reflexive by now. The man floats behind his eyelids in a full-color stereogrammatic approximation of reality, hijacked from the room by a helpfully photographic visual memory. He has stopped shuffling through the report, and is watching Crawford with a certain bored professional alertness. Crawford reopens his eyes.

The man is flipping through the stapled document. Smoke rises, languid, from the ashtray beside him.

The woman leaning against the file cabinets in the corner turns her head, glancing from one of them to the other. Crawford betrays no reaction. They would have shielded the house, but that would only amplify the psi energy inside. Perhaps that was the intended effect. The woman's sober pantsuit bespeaks an Institut empath, a progressive-model, dark-eyed lie detector.

He cannot stop the visions yet.

The Institut scientists considered them useless: hallucinations his mind induces upon itself as sensorial packaging for the extrasensory information it is unequipped to process. They weigh dead on his reaction time. Much more efficient if he can accept the knowledge for what it is, so Crawford trains toward their elimination. He knows one day the future will only have to whisper, mystery-less in the intimate space between action and reaction, and he will understand.

And surely he is strong enough for the inevitable madness, if even Schuldich could-

"The subject," the man says, looking up. "Did the two of you engage in sexual relations?"

********

Saturday, August 11, 2001
07:35 p.m.

Eating chocolate pocky

And writing. For Those Of You Just Joining Us, 'writing' = 'dead to the world' until I stop. Not to worry. (Thought: what if I tell y'all to check back before midnight for new fanfic? Would you take the bait? :P)

It's very hot. Been very hot for *weeks*. No rain. I love the heat, but then I have central air conditioning at home, which makes a lot of difference.

Friday, August 10, 2001
06:18 a.m.

Nearly a hundred hits yesterday?

O_o I must have been particularly apposite somewhere. I want to pursue the character voice discussion - something about kansai-ben and the futility of attempting/not attempting to convey its nuances in English - but I'm too tired. So this can wait until I rise again this afternoon. ^_^;

Been mailing Jeanne over Basara. Somewhere along the line I developed the itch to write an essay "In Defense Of The 14-Year-Old Fangirl". PH34R the sleep-deprived Sabina!

Thursday, August 9, 2001
06:22 a.m.

Look, it's creepy! ^_^

I awayed with the cute. Love my new scanner...

Thursday, August 9, 2001
01:57 a.m.

All hail soulpuppetry :D

I was going to chip in with a few sour and cutting words of my own - something to the effect of, my characters don't talk to me much because, y'know, galley slaves never talk much to the fellow cracking the whip at the prow - but I like Mooncalf's version better. ^_^ (Aug.7 entry, 'cos she dunna have entry-link either.)

It's not *quite* as simple as that, of course. People who have gotten detailed c&c from me may remember comments to the effect of 'I feel awful for dictating to you regarding voice but the X in my head wouldn't say that'. What that really means is that I can't picture - *audibly* picture, so to speak - X saying these words in X's voice and still sounding like X. And I'm always picturing, because I turn stories into movies in my head; that's how I conceptualize them. But then it gets muddled, because what the heck is X's voice? Miki Shinichirou or Koyasu Takehito? They don't speak English. ^^; So am I modeling a meta-Miki-san voice in my head that speaks English, or did I really pull all this out of thin air? And what if I'm writing FF7? Harry Potter? And so forth.

Only thing I can tell is that it comes case by case. Youji-in-English sounds awfully like the guy in Technomancy's song, "88 Lines About 44 Women". Rufus-in-English is Jude Law, but Rufus-in-Japanese (yes, I *do* need one of those, I read dj) sounds like Sasaki Nozomu in what Remiel calls spoiled-prince mode. Professor Remus Lupin sounds like... a meta-construct of Miki Shinichirou speaking in British English. XD And so forth. So they *don't* normally say anything unless I request dialogue, or unless I'm very tired and my brain is cycling through holding patterns, but I can't make them say *anything* I want. Not consciously. It has to be within reason. What I give is the context. Like an improv director: "All right, Schu, so now you're in the club and you're trying to probe him for information and uhh, yeah, say something! Camera!"

...I'm going to change the subject now, because my 'process' is starting to look weirder than soulbonding. @_@ Um... you know, it turns out that Asagi's seiyuu is Sasaki Nozomu. Which is oddly appropriate. When he first showed up I thought 'Dilandau', because of the troupe he commanded of prettyboy royal guards in girly uniforms. And then he got rid of those, and called in the Botanicals - deadly ninjas who teleport into his bedroom at scheduled intervals. XD There are four of them: Ranmaru Umewaka Muratake and Kikune, which is why I call them the Botanicals (it makes more sense if you're a kanji reader ^^;). Three boys and one girl. The first two don't have much personality apart from being cold-blooded spy/assassins, but the leader - Muratake - is a nice-but-stressed bishounen who actually spent his first few appearances stopping various members of the Tatara Band from bleeding to death. ^^; And then, later on, you get Kikune. Who is the girl. And the youngest. And perky. And gung-ho about the work. And who tells Sarasa this: "I'm in love with someone too, he has long straight black hair and he's good-looking and strong and nice, and all this time I just wish..."

And I sort of went, "oh... my... gawd." T_T

I can't look at the girl without thinking she's Elena with a dye job. Goes to show the sort of lateral thinking that fires up sometimes.

Thursday, August 9, 2001
12:30 a.m.

Too damned good to be true

A quote from my "Anthology of 20th Century French Theater", with regard to Hippolyte-Jean Giraudoux's "Électre":

[...]Électre's verbalized violence seems here again to have "awakened the gods," with the final result that justice is done but the city is lost. The gods are described by Égisthe as great sleepy powers, so serene, so ubiquitous, that they become unconscious: "Ils sont inconscients au sommet de l'échelle de toutes les créatures comme l'atome est inconscient à leur degré le plus bas. La différence est que c'est une inconscience fulgurante, omnisciente, taillée à mille faces, et, à leur état normal de diamants, atones et sourds, ils ne répondent qu'aux lumières, qu'aux signes, sans les comprendre." This conception is not as bizarre as it may first appear. Isn't something like that involved when we hesitate to formulate a fear or shout our joy, just in case we should arouse something up there? Many of us unconsciously believe in a fate which pays attention to us only insofar as we signal to it. In any case, Giraudoux's gods respond to human signals with such lavishness that they annihilate scores of innocents.

I do have a point. My point is this: boy, I should *not* have spent all that time yesterday fiddling with a blogger account for someone else, all the while congratulating myself loudly on using pitas because it never goes down. Because, y'know, there ain't nothin' *there* to take down. XD

(I've been thinking of setting up a livejournal or a blogger account, for the ficbits. It's awkward not having entry-link or comments for that. Still, it's something that can wait...)

In other news, I've been invited to be a panelist at Yaoicon. Boy, I guess I *am* a respected yaoista. O_o The problem with this, of course, is that I'm not going. I *wish* I were, but west coast? This summer? Not happening. Maybe next year. ^^; At least I was able to prove to my parents that the scanner's problem was hardware, so they bought a new one. Let's see how fast we can get a new layout up.

Charmian, poke thy head here awhiles - Umberto Eco made a direct textual reference without citation in "The Name of the Rose". ^^; He lifted a passage from Suger Abbot of St.Denis's De Administratione (circa 1144 a.d.) and rewrote it into dialogue - the scene where the Abbot describes to his visitors the richness of the renovations made to the church, I believe. It's instantly recognizable if you know the source, but how many dorks out there have read both Abbot Suger and Umberto Eco? Besides me? ^^; Mind you, the good Abbot is domain most public, and when I came upon this I mentioned it to Remiel - who said that if *he* were a twelfth-century monk and found out someone had ensured the survival of his words to the general reading populace eight hundred years later, he'd be in the chapel lighting candles for said someone's benefit, and attribution be damned. And you know what? He's absolutely right. So it's not an identical case. But it just goes to show the issue isn't cut-and-dry, even to this minimal extent. Makes you wonder how many other monks - and their translators! - the good Dr. Eco cribbed off of, for one.

My father co-opted my Murasaki Shikibu. But I'm reading Genêt! Genêt *play*, that is - "Les Bonnes". It would make more sense staged, for various reasons, but the writing is strong. And I read Sartre's "Huis-Clos" ("No Exit" to Americans, "In Camera" to Brits), which is the play the line "Hell is other people" comes from. It's literal, btw. Sartre's vision of Hell is a self-serve station. :P