rahxephon

Movie Reviews

It's been a long time since I've done this! After having taken a laser to the face for the second time (for a frenectomy, it's not as cool as it sounds. The only thing weird about it is that you get to smell burning flesh during the process), I feel all energized to write about the films I've seen! Who knew. Out of the 0.001% of people who have their tissue grow back, I had to be the one. And I was told it was supposed to be three days before it was all healed up, but it already looks all clean and white (new tissue, not infected). The body's ability to heal is amazing. Anyway! Movies.

Ghostbusters (2016)Collapse )

Being Flynn (2012)Collapse )

La La Land (2016)Collapse )
  • Current Music: Another Day of Sun, constantly in my head
rahxephon

Short Reviews of 2016

These are all shorter reviews I posted on Goodreads and forgot to post over here. Most of these don't go into much depth and some are humorous for me, upon remembering that "I wrote that?" (okay, one). Meanwhile, my cat is reminding me it is time to PLAY by chewing on the plastic handle to his Cat in the Hat feather toy. Let's see if I can do two things at once.

Bentley's a Bombay mix, so apparently they love to play into adulthood, create their own games, and like to play both fetch and tag. I know this from experience, walking down a hallway as suddenly this small panther tackled my legs.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie FisherCollapse )

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris BatyCollapse )

The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress by Sarai MitnickCollapse )

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Mari KondoCollapse )

X (3-in-1 Edition) V. 1 by CLAMPCollapse )

X (3-in-1 Edition) V. 2 by CLAMPCollapse )

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah BakewellCollapse )

Fairy Tale Fashion by Colleen HillCollapse )

Zero Waste Fashion Design by Timo Rissanen and Holly McQuillanCollapse )
  • Current Music: Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M'en Vais - Serge Gainsbourg
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2016 in Review

I had hoped to finish Charles Bukowski's Hot Water Music before the end of the year, but ah well. It'll be the first book for 2017. I may even finish Dhalgren or The Scorpio Races this coming year (this is why I shouldn't buy e-books, if I don't finish them immediately, I'll never return to them; I say this even as I buy three non-fiction books on Google Play). And for Christmas, my sister decided to get me started on all things Scott Pilgrim, with the first graphic novel. In color. She also bought me an original copy of Revolution X, because Revolution X is to me what Clash at the Demon Head is to Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Let's not get into what my parents thought, watching me shoot CD discs at cages holding scantily clad women, their sweet little, "Thank you"s as they paraded out. All I can say is that there's one thing my parents have always been assured about when it comes to my sexuality. My entire family has theories about that. What they didn't know was that I loved the game in the same way that I love Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Anyhoo, here's a list of all the best for me this year.

Cause I"m so humble.Collapse )
  • Current Music: Kafe Mania - Deerhoof
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Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

I have mentioned this many times: I am of a curious nature. This curiosity is both a blessing and a curse, in that I have found many strange gems due to my whims (Zazen, Julian Gracq whose last name is always auto-corrected in search engines to Crack, Arthur Rimbaud . . .) But in order to find those gems, one has to wade through thick waters in a deluge of suck. You can't imagine the temptations I face when my job has me unpacking every new shipment and seeing all the new, shiny books. I am especially wooed by the inclusion of artwork within a book - thus, checking out Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare. Yes, I hated City of Bones and wanted to strangle every single character for their apparent lack of sense. But when curious, wade through the waters of suck you must.

When last my book adventures took me into the land of Shadowhunters, I decided that the writing was so rudimentary, I didn't need to read all the other books. I looked up the plot summaries on Wikipedia, which was pretty much akin to reading Clare's work. Only less time spent. In that time, I learned that many of the characters are as opposed to staying dead as Jean Grey, everyone hops around in the love-relationship boogaloo that exists only to make up for the lack of plot in these books, and there was something about a certain character almost being forced to come out to his parents through the use of magic that left a rather bitter taste in the back of my throat. But hey, Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy is told through the perspective of the least damning character of the lot, Simon Lewis.

How bad could it be? (I am giving you an example of how blatant Clare's use of foreshadowing is!)

HELP. SAVE ME FROM THE SUCK.Collapse )
  • Current Music: One of a Very Few of a Kind - of Montreal
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c.c.

2016 in Writing

I haven't produced much content here lately, but I will have usual end of the year stuff as well as a review hopefully before January 1st. I'm reading a book I really hate, one I like due to the writing style, and one I love all at the same time, which as you can probably guess, is kind of weird. (Those books are Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski, The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (and I just heard the news, which is difficult for me to believe that someone as feisty as Fisher could be taken), and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare and several other writers. You can guess which one goes into which category. It's a real mystery.) But before I get into books, films, and music I liked the most this year, it's time for a yearly review of my writing. It's positive this time!

I have received 6 rejections on the same short story so far! That means I only have 94 to go to meet my goal of 100 rejections. I'm serious about this - it brings me great joy to submit and receiving a rejection feels less and less personal and more like I'm in a universal experience that is shared by all writers. Plus another submission means another person just read my work. And I received a rather important rejection letter that told me my writing was very strong. I'm going to print that one out and frame it. To remind myself that there's something right going on in the process between my brain and my scribbling left hand.

I have two other ideas for novels as well. One is the story I've been talking about on here lately, In/Out Out/In (there are a few snippets of it beyond the cut) and the other is one I have to keep secret. For important reasons. I may not even go through with writing it, I'll have to see how I feel. And I didn't finish a first draft for M+I this year, but that gives me something to look forward to for next year!

Anyway, onto the snippets. This is all from 2016.

You ever seen any Alejandro Jodorowsky films?Collapse )
  • Current Music: Spiteful Intervention - of Montreal
rahxephon

And everything's all right

Oh
I'm hoping though
Because I'm learning to cope
With the emotion-less mediocrity

Day to day living

Oh
I can't help being restless
When everything's so tasteless

And all the colors seem to have faded away.

Oh
This is life
This is life
And everything's all right
Living living living living living living living living life.


Daniel Johnston, from Living Life
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rahxephon

Update

I would have written a post today about Daniel Clowes' Patience, but seeing as I was so moved by the story, I decided that I should try and write a review that is worthy of submission. So that I can submit it in the future. If you haven't read it, Patience is excellent and the visuals within it pleased me greatly. The entire aesthetic of the graphic novel pleased me, I was wooed immediately by the cover. Don't be fooled by it, though. There are some rather bleak events within the story.

Speaking of pleasing aesthetics, I have been introduced to this game called Axiom Verge that is so up my alley in visuals that my mouth hangs open with joy when I see undulating organs with a face. There's something wrong with me - I'm aware of this. At one point, limbs sprout out from the walls in a fever-induced hallucination and I was so excited. I love seeing limbs sprout from inanimate things. I used to see it all the time in my dreams, from the time I was a child.

I'm also making more of an effort to watch older animated films I always wanted to see. For that matter, now many of the OAVs and shows I watched when SciFi had their anime Saturdays are now on DVD for my nostalgic joy. Iria Zeiram is high on my list. But I did end up purchasing Mamoru Oshii's Patlabor because I loved Angel's Egg so much, and Satoshi Kon's Paprika. And I may have purchased a film about a train and cats that was difficult to find in the past but is now on DVD.

In terms of other purchases, I took advantage of Polyvinyl's Holiday Sale and bought a bunch of Deerhoof and of Montreal albums, including albums by STRFKR, Architecture in Helsinki, and Shugo Tokumaru. And after listening to all of this, I have to say that I really think I'm ready to add of Montreal to my list of favorite bands, including Deerhoof and The Fiery Furnaces. The first song of the controllersphere is fantastic. I had a feeling that this was what the devil's music sounded like. And I enjoyed it. I remember listening to Nonpareil of Favor over and over and over again, I loved it so much when I first heard it. I forget sometimes just the amount of fantastic music Deerhoof and of Montreal have put out.

So content soon. I'm just all muddled up in submissions right now.
  • Current Music: Spooks in Space - Perrey and Kingsley
ghostworld

In/Out

I often feel overwhelmed by my free time. This is due to the fact that I want to do everything I should and want to do in that time and feel defeated when nothing is completed at the end of the day. What should happen is that I should have certain parameters for my creative pursuits - one hour for sewing, one hour for writing. If I feel particularly more interested in writing, that can take over the day, and vise-versa with sewing. Because sewing is now becoming a very important part of my creative life. I have dreams to fulfill with fabric.

That being said, writing is always the most important creative pursuit in my life. And while I haven't been so great at posting regularly here (2 jobs, plus plenty of hours to pick up, plus a general sense of malaise this year), I love this little plot of internet for myself. Things may be changing immediately at the beginning of the year, too. I may have 1 job instead of 2 (this will be due to good news). Even though I have been told by some of my co-workers at my first job that if I attempt to leave, they will stuff me in a locker. Zooey even came by to visit - so I guess he's not out of my life at all. I need to remember this the next time I think that people just leave and forget about me.

I may not be around much the next two weeks either because I have . . . parties to attend? This is a strange new me. A me who goes to parties and socializes. And even if I do find it overwhelming, I have to tell myself to stick it out. I've been rescued from anxiety by people who know me. Who pull me over to their tables and immediately include me in their conversations. I've been told by people that they're really glad I could come, and they meant it. These are things I never would have heard or experienced in the past because I would find some excuse not to go.

Anyway, if I have a goal for 2017, it's to receive 100 rejections. This will prove to myself that people are reading what I'm writing, even if it ends in a rejection. Rejection is a good thing. It's the universal writer experience. And I always glean some joy out of rejection. Maybe it's my personality. Or maybe I just don't take rejection personally anymore. Who knows. But collecting rejections has made me happy lately.

I've been working on that time travel story, too. It's coming together a little too quickly for me, which is strange. I'm used to working on molasses stories like M+I. The great thing about this story, which I've titled "In/Out Out/In" for now, is my personal soundtrack for it. But this has always been my favorite part about stories. I listen only to Perrey & Kingsley when I write it - a direct contrast from "Phase" and listening to Sonic Youth and Pixies or the motley of weirdness and atonality for M+I. So, here's to future endeavors.

On a particularly silly note, I've always wanted to make a playlist titled "Welcome to my World of Weird."
  • Current Music: Nonpareil of Favor - of Montreal
rahxephon

(no subject)

I feel as though this is the longest break I've taken from this blog. Has it been a month? I think it has. In my defense, I have two jobs, both of which are incredibly stressful in their own right. And there's been a lot of drama and fear about the first one, due to mismanagement of the city. I haven't felt a lick of inspiration in a while and this is entirely due to my personality, where I want to work as hard as possible, even if it means stifling myself in the process. Interacting with people is still quite difficult for me as well.

I haven't written except for small bits here and there. I've tried to focus on sewing more, simply because I keep buying fabric with big dreams and have a stash that is starting to pile up. But I've been discussing it and I'm trying to get back into the groove of writing an hour a day without judging myself too harshly. That's part of the stifling issue as well. Judging my work before its even finished.

I've been really hard on myself lately. I tell myself that I can't even come up with a good idea anymore, why couldn't I be like the me of a few years back? Why can't I think creatively about books? I must have grown stupider over time. But the reality is that I'm always going to be that person - it's just difficult to think with a clear head when you're exhausted and constantly belittling yourself.

I've finished so many books that I haven't had any time to talk about. A couple of memorable favorites were Vanessa Veselka's Zazen and Daniel Clowes' Patience. Maybe I just need some rest. A break. This weekend, in particular, has been very good for me. I've had the past couple of days off and I'll have Sunday off as well, which is time enough for me to recharge.

Until then.
  • Current Music: Plastic Thrills - Deerhoof