Obviously I won't be able to get down to work properly until I leave you a note, so I'm leaving you a note. My nerves are all a-jangle. I'm fully rested and my body knows it, but the biological clock insists upon the available evidence that it's the middle of the night and I should be thinking about going to bed... I am thinking, now, about all the things you don't know about me. Because I haven't told you; because I will never tell you. Setting things down in text inbues them with a certain gravity of meaning, a reality that - events commonly accepted as *real* don't have, for me. If it's written, it must be someone's truth. There are parts of my life that don't deserve that much power.
The power, instead, is given to the next few sentences: I have about six hours to work now, in peace, and I will take advantage of them. At eight I will wash and put on a little perfume, and go in a bulky leather jacket and a headscarf to see la Petite Fleur de Lisieux. She is at the Oratory, and they are holding a vigil for her. I can't bring myself to care for any organized religion, but there are saints who touch me. The ones for whom faith is a warm, human thing, the ones who have had to do battle with themselves. Thérèse is a heroine of the Greater Jihad, if saying that isn't shocking sensibilities: but it doesn't really matter to me *which* facet of the Divine they've dedicated themselves to, in the end. I applaud them for being capable of something I'm not.
Saturday, October 27, 2001 04:47 a.m.
Review, I suppose
Sarah: it's a perfectly lovely layout of Cain. Allow us more than ten minutes? Please? ^^;
Here we go. On the movie front: some time in the recent past (not quite as recent as I would have liked, but what can you do?) I went to see a Barbet Schroeder franco-columbian-production film titled "La Virgen de los Sicarios" - Our Lady Of The Assassins, in English. Which makes it sound rather like something out of Genêt's collected works, and indeed Genêt would probably have liked it. People who are squicked by either homosexuality or violent sociopathy or the combination thereof... won't. (What are you doing here if you are? I *know* this is the All Schuldich All The Time Weblog. Go, get thee to Google.) The story... A writer, Vallejo, returns to his hometown of Medellin to die, figuring that someone in said Columbian hellhole would finish the job he can't quite bring himself to. What he *does* - as life has an odd way of happening - is take up with a seventeen-year-old ex-gang-member named Alexis, straight out of the Genêt-meister's wet dreams with a Madrecita scapular around his neck and a Beretta down his pants. You could probably write the rest, just like I did. (I'd say, think "Vertigo", but that would be merely confusing.) It's about the characters, anyway, so I'll tell you about the characters. There are three...
The writer. An immediately familiar figure. (And why is that, I wonders peripherally. *He's* not out of Genêt. Nabokov? Shares a name with the rather well-known novelist/scriptwriter, so I should probably assume him to be a self-insert. I'll try and get back to you on his books.) Very charming; obviously erudite, cosmopolitan - unlikeable as hell. The boys of Medellin are the obvious sociopaths in this film, but the writer brings his own poison to the mix. He rants, that is. The film is a showcase for his verve, as most of it is walking and talking, and he dishes out in style. All the usual suspects take it - God, the government, the breeders, noisy music, bad grammar, corruption, the inconceivable and pervasive stupidity of Homo sapiens - they don't tell you what his problem is, and we don't want to know. Senseless scenes of carnage only provide him with bitter satisfaction (further fuel for his thesis on the unsalvageability of the world). A pregnant woman gets upset at a man dropping dead literally before her feet; "Nonsense," he tells her, "there are no innocents..." He's better off dead and knows it, but treats suicidal thoughts as a form of wanking. The sort that will never pull a trigger unless the gun's put into their hands, and maybe not even then. The sort that, in Nabokov, always stick around to see the end of the mess they make.
The boy. The boys, rather; there are many. You are given one at first, and made to understand that they are all the same. Beautiful and borderline, with no compassion and rather underdeveloped sense of self-preservation. He'd as soon shoot a man as look at him sideways, which (after the initial shock) proves an irresistable attraction to his S.O. He's also a Marian-cultist with the pure devotion professed by the great unwashed Catholic masses - and Pablo Escobar too. There is a certain sense of innocence there, a mind that's a vessel to be filled. So they walk, and the man talks, and the boy listens with a smile. Occasionally the man starts a random and caustic argument with a stranger on the street, to be settled by the boy at Beretta-point. The perfect relationship: one thought and the other action, tenderness for no one but themselves.
The city. In the first week after our protagonists' meeting they discover they can't stand each other's music, wreak violence on the electronics and take to the urban outdoors. Medellin looks and acts like any other dusty, traffic-congested modern city with a Catholic streak - until, suddenly, homicide. The homicide happens every other minute. By day carjackers wreak havoc at red lights and automatic-wielding gangsters on motorscooters streak down busy streets like avenging angels; they pray, we are told, to the Virgin and St. Jude so that their holy bullets do not miss... By night fireworks go off whenever a "shipment" gets through the U.S. border - "Prices'll be driven down," says the writer - and the crack-smokers emerge to fill the churches with their own brand of incense. The prettiest images of the film come from this last, though they break the headlong documentary rush like a well-applied half-brick. It's the sort of place where people put up signs saying "Do Not Dump Corpses" - and are rampantly disobeyed. I'd chalk it up to the film being hyper/surreal, but I'm assured by all sources that Columbia really *is* like that. Not as disturbed by it as I should be, I suppose; I'm a horribly desensitized soul as long as the blood's not on my hands.
...No conclusion. Or at least not a spoiler-laden one. You know, I've gone on about this film for *far* longer than I intended. It's a novel filmed by an auteur, and I guess it shows. But at least now you know whether to catch it if it comes to an art-house theatre near you, right? ^^; Wait until I get my hands on that nice Inuktitut film that's been racking up awards. Or "From Hell", which is more likely. Depp and opium and Masonic conspiracies, hooray...
Saturday, October 27, 2001 02:08 a.m.
I changed the strip. It may not be readily apparent from this one, but the doujinshika has an obsession with Farfarello and clockwork that borders on pathology. ^^; I think she believes Estet built him up from scratch as a homicidal biped God-hating timepiece; lawd knows they've done weirder, those Swiss...
Nicholas Tse, Luthien's site informs me in passing, is dating Faye Wong. This... is rather disturbing. Not because I dislike either of them, as I'm rather fannish regarding both, but... well. Let's put it this way. Nicholas Tse looks like Squall Leonheart, or damned close. Faye Wong looks like my mother. I mean this seriously - I'd even scan in an old photo of my mother to prove it, if it weren't for the fact that she'd kill me. (Hi, mom. I *know* you read this, save us the denial. XD) You will tell me that Faye is a beautiful woman; I will tell you, so is my mother. Advantage of nigh-on three decades and can't fit either her waistline or her shoes - from the back I look older. It's as well I'm not sensitive to such matters, or I'd be in despair.
I downloaded a bunch of Winamp skins recently. Now, I'm usually extremely picky about the things: as picky as if I were buying a case for a physical stereo, and not just dl'ing a 200kb zip file. God knows I have to look at them more than any person of sound mind stares at their stereo... I even made rules for myself after the last time I cleaned out my skins folder. No skins of anyone other than absolutely *favorite* characters, not more than one skin per character (doubling up allowed if there's more than one character per certain skins), and they have to be the *best*-made skins I can find on the 'net. Middling ones out of the question. This limited me to about, well, three source sites, but I stuck to discipline for quite a long time.
Then the other day I thought about it, and said to myself, "Just who do I think I'm kidding, here?"
So I went on a skin-downloading spree. ^_^; I'm even rather happy with the results, as a number of new and superlative archives have appeared in the interim; and I was after all able to limit myself to a couple of skins per favorite character. Unless I wasn't. The logic behind the available selection is rather more opaque than one would think. I have three skins of Omi I just *had* to download, and not a single usable one of Aya. Finding a truly nice skin of Tsuzuki - as opposed to Hisoka, immensely skinnable - is like pulling teeth. Despite what one might think (or hope), there's really only about two decent colour images of Yue. No Allen. No Zechs. No *Hotohori* (who reset the universe when I wasn't looking?). No Kurama either. No Schu, obviously, m'gonna have to make it myself. Enough Tomoe** that I have l'embarras du choix, no Aoshi. Want Setsuna? There's piles of Setsuna - the perennial Shioul ML complaint - but of Alexiel or Katan? Pish. And so forth. Meanwhile, there's a perfectly nice skin of *Moonlily* out there. One of Gaddes. Ishuca and Blood (dozens). Omeda-sensei. Cain Hargreaves. Higuri You fanart of Van. I swear people skin three-year-old Aestheticism layout illos... not that I'm really complaining about the presence of any of the latter, you understand, but character or series popularity obviously have nothing to do with who gets skinned often and well. So what does?
...To bring the tale to its logical conclusion, at any rate, I put the entire MP3 collection on shuffle and the skins directory on random-on-play, and have been spending the evening alternately boning up on OpenGL ("Here's your assignment - I don't have time to actually teach you the material it's based on, as it's due in a week. Just use the GIMP toolkit! Hee!") and arguing with the 'amp. I mean arguing. The Shuffle Game gives all amps more personality than it needs: mine does all the usual things on occasion (such as pull crack-laden but oddly-appropriate song/skin combinations), but mostly it just likes Random Crossover Hell. "Do you not think that the person on this pretty skin would like to meet the person who owns this theme music?"... It makes me laugh. Quite a lot. But the fact that I think it talks back to me in a Friendly But Stubborn HAL Voice is almost certainly a bad sign for all involved.
Amp: Omi on... Satsuki's chara track. Do you not think that Omi would like to meet Satsuki? Sabina: Omi might like. Not so sure about Tokyo in general. Amp: Power to the software!
Amp: Utena on Nanjou Kouji's "Beast". Do you not think that it would be interesting if they met? Sabina: Utena would *hate* Kouji. Amp: One pointy anime is much like another. Sabina: ...
Amp: Misato on "Piano Black". Do you not think that Misato and Faye would like each other? Sabina: Or annihilate each other coming and going, yeah... Amp: Beer would help. Beer always helps.
Amp: Aoshi on the opening theme of "Generator Gawl". Do you not think- Sabina: Not a word.
Amp: Celes on the ending theme of "Tales of Phantasia". Sabina: What, now it's videogame RCH?
Amp: Rociel on "The Dark Messenger". Sabina: In the world remade according to Remiel's specifications, I suppose. Amp: Or your sister's. Sabina: Or my sister's.
Amp: Tsuzuki on KMFDM's "Megalomaniac". Sabina: ...pfffFFFhahahahahahahahaha! Hee! Amp: ...
Amp: Youji on "Du Hast". Sabina: Software, can you even picture Youji *listening* to Rammstein? Amp: Schuldich could- Sabina:No.
Amp: Kanzaki Hitomi on "Yubiwa". Sabina: You - that was cogent! Amp: I aim to please.
Sabina: ...For cripes' sakes, where do you get off pulling Soujirou on a song called "Mama ga boku o sutete Papa ga boku o okashita hi" -- oh. ...I didn't need that image. Amp: *whistles innocently*
**A word on the usual controversies. I *wish* I didn't have an opinion on the usual controversies, but I always do. It runs like this: Aerith, Tomoe, and Rei. (Well, Misato, really - but if I have to pick between Big Red and Big Blue, I go with Big Blue.) I don't actually dislike any of the obvious alternatives, but they don't press any happy buttons either. I also thinks that anyone who writes LupinxSirius instead of the other way around should be docked points, and that concludes the controversial element for tonight. Just so you know where I stand, and don't have to ask me.
Thursday, October 25, 2001 07:11 a.m.
Cogito ergo blog
A quarter past seven; the second all-night debugging session of the semester but lately concluded to my satisfaction. I write instead of sleeping, because my first class is at 8:30am, and an hour's worth of shut-eye at this juncture would only serve to make me grouchy. Also, I have a computer at my disposal but no bed. (O Humanity - see how the demon of progress has led you astray!) The most wretched victims of this unholy lifestyle are my hair and teeth, both in sore need of a good cleaning. I feel gunky, IOW... In point of fact I have a dentist's appointment this afternoon, and I'll be damned thrice if I show up with my teeth unbrushed. Question de politesse, quoi. I'll probably cut Files and Databases: the notes are online and Merrett's had his pound of flesh from me this week, witness this assignment's highlight which consisted of - a perfect riot this - building a class to represent bits. >_<
...Re-Mi-el, either you or some other hypothetical regular visitor from Bath U's servers made the 10,000th hit on m'log. :P Shall I award you a prize?
I am in a temper now, because I haven't had a proper chat or cuppa with *any* of my friends for two weeks (excluding the times when Erin and I *both* had late handins and so went out to eat together afterward), or touched the PS2 or even *read* anything. I have a movie review that I've been delaying for what feels like millennia. I worked all through today - yesterday - when under normal circumstances it would have been a day to stare out the window for long stretches and scribble poetry. Or, say, the Adventures Of ChibiNeko!Schu And 101 Naughty Things To Do With A Golf Club. (The upside to being able to Draw Your Own is the ability to waste a lot of time without outside entertainment. The downside... is the ability to waste a lot of time without outside entertainment.) In point of fact I did write some poetry, but it's disjointed and not very good. Chances are that's because it's in Japanese, though...
As for ChibiNeko!Schu, etc., I left my pr0ny rakugaki (as I nearly always do) in the library for the janitors to puzzle over. XD In the Schulich Library, come to think of it. They renamed our perfectly good Physical Sciences and Engineering Library recently, and put up several large signs to that effect. Uchi no Schu doesn't want a PS&E library at all (I suspect he thinks engineers are losers), but it's still unnerving late at night when I'm tired and can't spell. There are certain anime characters whom one does *not* want as benefactors of one's alma mater, whatever their charms may be otherwise. Imonoyama Nokoru is quite another matter; he can buy up the campus lock stock and barrel if he likes.
Tuesday, October 23, 2001 05:01 p.m.
Ces jour-ci, oh la la...
The last texts that passed before mine eyes before I went to sleep last night were the last-posted section of Rhysenn's "Irresistable Poison", and chapter 11 of "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice" - upon which I proceeded for six restless and exhaustive hours to dream of specifying a rendering model of Hogwarts with Bezier curves. Woke up at seven a little before the alarm, remembered said dream, blasphemed the world roundly and rose (having no desire to sleep longer whatsoever). Met and complained to the sororial unit as she was in the bathroom brushing her teeth; quoth she, "That was the only dream you had?"
And I had to say, "Urk," because in point of fact it hadn't been: I'd also dreamt Final Fantasy spamfic. By which I mean a FF7/FF8 crossover accomplished by merging SOLDIER and SeeD with a great lot of original characters, never-explain-never-apologize, the action of which mostly involved arguing over who got to room with whom in the barracks. (It also involved a crystal-clear Zax/Seph scene, which in itself is unusual, given that I never dream anything other than het.) Irvine was upset - he'd wanted Cloud for some reason. I proceeded to complain to the sororial unit once more; she gave me a look and said, "Did you read bad fanfics or something?"
"On occasion," I said, "but not *this* particular bad fanfic. Which is what worries me."
Then I went to school and had a midterm, a Matlab assignment hand-in, several classes and (it appears) an extension. Only until midnight, but that's still something. Now I will eat. Ah me, food. Do you know that I have far more vivid childhood memories of the first times I ate certain foods than of meeting people? Shows what my *real* priorities were, I suppose.
Tuesday, October 23, 2001 12:40 a.m.
(This is the sound)
(of Sabina in denial over the fact that she has not the time to blog. I think this week is going to take me past "doable as long as I get off my arse and get organized" into "not humanly doable" territory, which is alarming to say the least.)
I have a good idea for original fic. Well. Sort of. More like an essay. Or possibly a parody. ^^; Tonikaku, it won't be much longer than the prolix-review sort of weblog entry, which is a blessing. Might take a bit of research, but nothing that a run on the usual manga resources won't cover... That to come in December. And: translations!
Mite-mite, Rose has FSS muses! ^_^ I didn't know anyone had FSS muses.
Aisha: you don't?
Monday, October 22, 2001 03:04 a.m.
Lesson of the night
One may on occasion learn from one's Google referrals, whacked though they might be. Witness the search for Snapple and bin Laden. It occurs to me that Gundam Wing is now suspect in content, because of... Quatre. Wow.
In other news... y'all of the little kinks and obsessions and specificities of desire, have you ever stopped to examine exactly *where* they come from? I do. Every once in a while I even figure out the answer. Today I realised (remembered) why I find Catholicism embarrassingly sexy, and also why I seem to be incapable of writing an NC17 fic that doesn't contain a redhead:
My mother had me watch the miniseries version of Colleen McCullough's "The Thorn Birds" with her when I was seven.
...Parents. They have a lot to answer for. ^^;
(FTR, the other sexual models that appear to have traumatized Sabina's sensitive developing mind: the boat scene between Menolly and Sebell in Anne McCaffrey's - "Dragondrums" I think it was, and a Reader's Digest version of a novel about the Wise Men and the Star of Bethlehem that I'm still trying to track down. It would be the soul of prolixity to explain where the sex in *that* was... All het, you'll notice. It doesn't seem to matter that way; the mind performs a mapping and moves on.)
Sunday, October 21, 2001 03:21 a.m.
Dratted operating system
(My Start bar has decided not to display programs today. I have 'Mancy to thank that I'm able to work at all. Which of you girls taught me to use Alt-Tab again?)
Archived. The usual suspects: new MP3s, and an update on NnY - essentially integrating the contents of the defunct #1 Crush into the main site. Forward-looking as I am, I want all my translations on one page... If you haven't ever read my Zetsuai/Bronze Drinking Game, you might wanna. ^_^
Tonight when I got home (after dining out at Le Jardin du Nord, a repast featuring the most heavenly sizzling fried-spinach chicken and twice-fried Szechuanese beef I have had the pleasure of consuming), I found this note from my sister:
Pour Neechan: Eum, je viens de réaliser que regarder 3x88mins de BtVS en une journée n'est pas nécessairement bien pour le cerveau - mais peu importe. [ed.note: she lugged home a yellow canvas bag full of Buffy tapes the other day] J'écris ce message pour te dire que tu DOIS regarder la dernière boîte de la 2e collection, [ed.note: of course I won't skip to the last box, she's being ridiculous] c'est OBLIGÉ!! Alors quessé k't'attends?!
Question: comment Angel peut avoir son propre show si yé mort??? [ed.note: Damned good question. How does he get his own show if he's dead?]
Remarque: pis le gagnant dans tout ça c'est Spike. Ha ha! Je l'savais. Ah ouais, la dernière boîte est cool p.q. ya des flashbacks! Et j'veux dire, YEN A PLEINS!! (Oh-oh, je parle comme M. Landry! [ed.note: incompetent and hated math teacher] SWITCH) Some bits are even Anne Rice-y, in the depressing sense. (As if there were another.) As you may have noticed, I'm not QUITE all there after that, so, um, have a nice night... don't forget your cross...
P.S.: Petrus & Aliana R KEWL [ed.note: from "Sarantine"]
Comments :: Was, I think, the second song I downloaded off the 'net once I found out you could. I think this is one of the best anime anthems ever. Then again, I'm biased, because this is also the Mitsui Theme. ^_^ I nearly wrote a Mary Sue for that boy.
Comments :: Catchy, inflections almost of Latin dance. If you didn't know there was Arabic pop - I think it's Persian but I may be wrong - give it a try. ^_^ I had this on loop while writing that dratted RPG of mine, and it influenced the settei enormously.
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 *^_^*
that time is slipping through my fingers, that there is nothing
I can do to stop it - and that perhaps it is my fault
Credit for this one goes to Tan-chan and her copy of Ja!Weiss #4 (I hail thee O volume of the unbreakable spine). I'd honour the doujinshika as well, if I had any idea how to pronounce her name kanji: she had about a dozen strips in the book altogether, and I liked her style immediately. It's... offbeat. Pointy-scribbly art, slightly wacked sense of humour. Like a college-paper comic - except with Schwartz. :P I didn't get all the jokes, and I couldn't translate all the ones I understood properly, but what can you do. And for some reason, the image of Schuldich and Crawford shopping for jumbo packs of single-ply at Wal-Mart strikes me as *extremely* funny...