Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"I am always interested in your... choice of titles."

There is no Holmes but Jeremy Brett, to my eye.  The later episodes are enjoyable to watch, though his performance is slightly, then increasingly, fogged by his illness, thus making them also difficult to watch, at least in comparison to the magic of the Adventures series portrayal.

In The Resident Patient, Brett is without misstep.  His investigation at the crime scene is remarkable in general, but most noteworthy is his examination of the room.  With Watson, Inspector Lanner, and his client watching along with the viewer, Holmes surveys the room for evidence of whatever events transpired in total silence, for a full two and one-half minutes (with angle changes and brief cutaways).  The scene is perfectly performed and paced, especially given that 150 seconds onscreen is an eternity by conventional television standards.  (The celebrated unbroken opening shot of Touch of Evil is only one minute longer.)

A beautiful touch, as the scene breaks, Watson asks if there is nothing Holmes can divulge about the mystery, and a brief moment of bashful bemusement flashes across his face as he remembers that the meanings of his actions are not automatically evident to all conscious beings.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

South of the border.

I love stories.  I am addicted to stories.  When I am high, I have an endless capacity for studying and analyzing stories and a burning drive to create my own.  When I am low, I re-immerse myself in my favorite stories as therapy and comfort.

So it follows that a career in stories makes sense, providing the most likely path toward work that will be self-sustaining and personally satisfying.  No guarantees, but good odds.

Stories have been hard to receive here, at least in the past few years.  Montreal is at best a setting; I have no ear for its voice, or for any particular voice that calls it home.

Stories were within much easier reach in Victoria, though that may have been an effect of being off the job and away from my familiar distractions.  Yet I do feel that there are voices there for me to hear.

Once again, I can't help but think of Victoria as a magical place.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I am walking the cow.

Basic actions are a challenge during this time.  For some time the office has been the only place I approach adequate functionality.  So as I consider my current condition, I think about -- as I so often do -- what kind of symbolic action I can take to shake things up.

Because apparently the start of a new decade isn't laden with sufficient promise on it's own.

Anyway, short of getting a new tattoo (which would be fun), I'm at a loss.  By missing last year's window of change (in other words, by not trusting my foresight of it two years ago), I have left myself in this place.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, because the new target in my sights, which for the first time doesn't feel unachievable, is something of a dream come true, so perhaps closing that window has opened a door.

Meanwhile, I need to focus on finding ways to manage my current daily demands, while preparing for the next stage.  I feel too weak to do this, and finding the strength to at least begin is why I long for a symbolic boost.  As Mark Pauline says, whatever works is legitimate.  But fear of unbalancing my comforting stability keeps me timid.  Meanwhile, not doing so keeps me in a discouraging malaise.

Some days, music helps.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hinterland Who's Who:
National Park Sex Zombies

I was stumbling east down Sherbrooke Street, out of my mind on drugs or alcohol or medication.  I was sort of aware I was acting like a crazy street person, with odd pauses and poses.  I passed by the record shop on the corner and decided to go in and finally buy a Feist album.

Inside, after wandering and browsing a bit, I was distracted by a video screen.  Someone had taken some animation of a character running through red hallways, and set it to a dub mashup of Evil Nine's Crooked and something by Slick Rick.  The animation eventually gave way to something else, but I was distracted by my realization that I was only wearing a towel wrapped around my waist.

Only a few blocks from home, I decided to walk.  But I was accosted by a beautiful girl with long, dark hair, who I apparently knew.  She took me on a different route that led us to a strange set of streets, with quaint European baroque buildings, but constructed in Lego colors, like some kind of theme park.  She had already rented us a room, at the narrow end of a Flatiron-shaped hotel, and sent me there.  The entire room was bed -- narrower at the foot than at the head -- but with windows on three sides the view was amazing.  She arrived, immediately stripped, and we had a lot of sex.

We received a notice from friends and went to meet them -- a tall, thin guy who looked a bit like George Orwell, and a blonde with short hair and a squeaky voice.  We got in our car and headed south, into the national park.  Orwell was driving, and the blonde jumped on the other girl and I -- more sex.  Then sleep.

We were woken up by the blonde, who was now driving.  She had turned the car around in a panic, because something had gone wrong where we were heading, though she didn't say exactly what.  Orwell took over driving again, and the blonde's panic didn't stop her from pushing the other girl and I into sex again.  We got to the unmanned park gate, and headed back to the hotel.

The lobby was run down as though it had been abandoned for years.  It was also full of zombies.  They would see us, lunge at us, then determine we were not fit for eating, which led to the conclusion that we were also undead now.  This suspicion was confirmed by Zombie Barry Corbin, sitting in the corner.

We were making peace with our new status, when suddenly something occurred to me.  I knew Barry Corbin had a variety show in New York.  He also didn't look like a zombie; in fact, a few of the zombies looked and acted pretty much like normal people.

I went up and challenged him directly: your show staff would know if you were a zombie.  So either this is all a hoax, or we're some special type of zombie who is resistant to decay and retains their consciousness, which implies eternal life.  So which is it?

From the look on his face, it was evident I had uncovered what he was trying to hide from us.  He stammered and hesitated.  Then, before he was able to confirm which option was the case, I awoke.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I'll never be the same.

I had some strange job, in a place that was half a laboratory of some sort, and half some old lady's apartment.  Not physically half-and-half, they were just both in the same place.  I think it was in Winnipeg.

I was working there doing some sort of testing of something, because I had quit my other job and needed something to keep me going.  I was making $12 an hour, but the work was boring, and the vibe was weird.  The place was like the rebel ship at the beginning of Star Wars -- modular white molded plastic, which sounds cool, but wasn't in this case.

So I'm gathering up my stuff to leave, and two things happen.  I have trouble getting a book of mine because all the rooms have been taken over by old ladies having baths.  And Hall and Oates are on television playing Scrabble on Oprah (which probably isn't her idea for her new show in real life), but once I mention that Daryl Hall is my favorite singer, the main old woman changes the channel immediately.

At that point I decide I'm never coming back.  When I leave, I'm at the corner of Roslyn and Osborne.  It's a nice summery day, and I decide that I'm not going to subject myself to that sort of thing anymore.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


"Guitar done worthy".  "Girls don't wallgaze". I was told these things in dreams, but I don't know what they are intended to mean.

I don't really know what any of it means.  My dreams have been screaming at me lately, trying to get me to hear something.  But it's like being yelled at frantically by someone in Japanese while they point to an approaching car; are you supposed to get in there immediately, or run away from it as fast as you can?

Last night...

It was winter.  I was somewhere in Manitoba, I think.  I had a truck that carried a lot of stuff I needed, but no driver's license.  I was driving anyway, from village to village, town to town.

I had parked nose-first in someone's driveway, at a trailer park, and was at the front of the vehicle when I slipped in the snow and slid down toward the backyard.  But there was no backyard -- it just sloped down about twenty feet to a cliff, and below that was a long, long drop into barren forest.  A tree just before the edge was all that stopped me.

My left arm was holding something I didn't want to let go, so I had to grab some roots with my right, and pull myself up.  Eventually I was able to reach some fence that offered a better grip, and I climbed back up into the neighbor's yard.

I packed up and prepared to leave, though my truck was now a pushcart, and I headed off into the snow again.

God damned winter.