Monday, 31 January 2005

Spenserish Weekend

Had a pretty relaxed and uninspired weekend. Graded my Grade 9 exams and finished my Grade 10 grading. My Dad came over and made my front door weather-proof, which was needed, as snow tracked in on the carpet in front of it wasn't even melting, due to the chill draft getting in. Several people called me that are always good for mental stimulation, which I always need more than anything else. I read three of my old Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" novels today, and one yesterday. I baked corn muffins and had steak with mushrooms in a honey/garlic sauce and the last of a bottle of Piat D'Or.

Friday, 7 January 2005

Chipping Away at the Mess

This weekend I bought some more cheap DVDs of old Hammer House Of Horror films. Christopher Lee as Dracula, Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, and so on. I'm really into those ever since I bought a two-disc set of 8 Hammer films. 
     These cheap horror films (with unconvincing rubber bats on visible string) have more characterization and dialogue than any modern blockbuster movie could ever think of. It's because they aren't going so damn FAST that they have time for good stuff like that. They aren't streamlined into a vacuous little wisp of vapour, so they have room to breathe and be solid and somehow more real, despite the rubber bats. They aren't Shakespeare, but they're light-years closer to Hamlet than the latest Hollywood offerings. 
      For some reason I wrote a whole 4-page thing about being a teenager in high school for my kids at school to read sometime. I rewired my telephone connection. The trouble in my apartment was that there was only one telephone outlet, and it was by the door. I needed Internet access all the way across the apartment in a different room, and was running wires everywhere. I bought wire and those little clips with a nail in each to hammer them into the wall along the moulding to make it look tidy. I bought a video switching box so my VCR can record (and display on my TV) signal from my DVD player or my computer with the touch of a switch. This means I can play my computer's stock of mp3s through my stereo in the next room, watch movies that are in my computer on my larger TV and so on. 
     I moved my filing cabinet (and the mixer board that sits on it) into my bedroom behind the door, from the living room where it made little sense to have it before. I bought an internal battery for the music keyboard a friend has loaned me for years and managed to replace it. It took some disassembling of the keyboard inside before it could be replaced, but it's all back together. The instrument voices aren't labelled now, but I can access them all. I started moving my piles of unpacked boxes all around and bought some stacking shelf-crates and so on. This allowed me to unpack my boxes of CDs and store them in the closet. I moved some boxes out of the way so I could put a bookshelf where they'd been piled. I took two end tables, two stools and a thing my cat wasn't sitting on out to my parents' for storage. This cleared up more space than you'd think. 
     While at my parents, I talked to them as a violent thunderstorm went on. My father is proof-reading the religious writing of an old guy who wants to publish a book of it. My father did something he's never done before: he asked my advice repeatedly about his proof-reading, asking about proper semicolon use, archaic uses of dashes--which the guy seems to use instead of brackets--and the like. 
      I came home with a bag of Hallowe'en candy my mother insisted I rescue them from eating all of. I hadn't gotten any on Hallowe'en, so I was happy, though now I'll eat it all myself. 
     I planned some very fun English class stuff and have plans for more. It seems I'm putting a lot of effort into planning stuff for them that is more fun than the already-prepared stuff I've inherited in the course from teachers now retired. More fun for them and for me. I put my new giant Middle Earth map (Lord of the Rings) on the wall in my bedroom. I have plans to hang my framed degrees and pictures next. I need to find where I packed away my nails before I can do that. 
     Joel was over Saturday evening. We looked at and laughed like little kids. Superdickery is a site with a collection of comic book covers that seem strange in this day and age, either because they now sound like they have a sexual or drug meaning, or because they follow the usual "Why is Superman acting like a dick to Lois/trying to kill Jimmy?" marketing ploy. A villain vigorously punching a bent-over Spider-man right in (up) the anus (with a huge white "impact star") had us both in stitches.
Robin flying-tackling everybody with his face buried in their buttocks amused us as well. Childish, perverse, silly and a waste of time? Sure, but laughter seemed to be good medicine, at least for me.
   I cooked supper, and then marked a bunch of student writing while listening to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and Animals albums playing from my computer through my stereo.


It's the New Year and I'm still trying to get full-time work, pay bills, find ways to not be alone all the time, and buy DVDs of old TV shows that I like. Haven't worked on my album for a bit. Need to get back at that. I find when I slack off for months on that, when I get back to it I'm full of ideas. I did record a surprisingly good demo of a song that is not on the first album (it's on the second one). The weekend before Christmas was spent in a lovely apartment in New York with most of my favourite people in the whole world there. The latest DVD was Magnum, P.I. Season One. My buddy told me "Magnum P.I. is a show about a guy in his thirties that was shipped off to Vietnam and never had an adolescence, so now he's having the perfect one. Hot car, girls, great place to live, and no bills or responsibilities. He doesn't own anything and is broke all of the time, but he has this perfect adolescent fantasy of a life." I think he's right. Here's a pic of me with my niece:

The Arcade Cabinet is Done!

The control panel needs to be attached and the stuff put in, but the cabinet is done.