A few words from Virginia Woolf

Posted in A few words from Lao Tzu (or someone like him) on November 30th, 2006 by bill

“Like a work of art,” she repeated, looking from her canvas to the drawing-room steps and back again. She must rest for a moment. And, resting, looking from one to the other vaguely, the old question which traversed the sky of the soul perpetually, the vast, the general question which was apt to particularise itself at such moments as these, when she released faculties that had been on the strain, stood over her, paused over her, darkened over her. What is the meaning of life? That was all—a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark.

—To the Lighthouse

Poetic spam X

Posted in Spam, wonderful spam on November 29th, 2006 by bill

I thought I was done with the spam glorification…but this one was just too excellent to pass up.

pianist
we decided to return there for the foodgasm worthy pesto sauce!
How are you going to use it?
I actually beat him at mini golf! :::daydream believer:::. :::daydream believer:::.
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Homeworld Diaries—Part 3

Posted in Moving pictures on November 27th, 2006 by bill

hw3.jpg
The Englishman in this photo is not, in fact,
dead, although he certainly appears to be.

In Hollywood, I’m told, 18– to 20-hour days are routine. We weren’t doing anything close to that—more like 12 hours—but still, it got to be a grind. Some of us are not used to rising at the crack of dawn to start loading and unloading equipment. This is what leads to scenes like the one pictured above.

The first day or two, I was too worked up to notice how tired I was. But by Wednesday I was entering a fugue state, and by Friday I was in full-on survival mode, struggling to hold up my end while grabbing a little shuteye between takes. It took me about a week to recover completely.
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Homeworld Diaries—Part 2

Posted in Moving pictures on November 24th, 2006 by bill

HW2.jpg
The assistant director is having a moment.

Life on a film set is a strange mixture of frantic action and abject boredom. People had told me this before, but it wasn’t till Fort Bragg that I came to appreciate it myself. You race around to get the shot set up, and then most of the time you end up waiting: waiting for the actors to be ready, waiting for the light to be right, waiting for traffic to pass, waiting for the fucking sound guy to get his act together.

Thus it is that filmmaking, although often a high-speed, high-pressure activity, allows many moments for quiet contemplation. This is especially true during that one minute out of the day when the F.S.G. calls for quiet on the set so he can record the room tone, i.e. what it sounds like in this particular location without any added noise. It’s only in situations like this that you begin to appreciate just how long a minute can be—long enough to have a dozen different cascading trains of thought, to experience epiphanies and regrets and fantasies and anything else the human mind is capable of.
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Homeworld Diaries—Part 1

Posted in Moving pictures on November 22nd, 2006 by bill

HW1.jpg
Watch out, these woods are infested with film crews.

It was a fine August day when I arrived in Fort Bragg (Mendocino County, not North Carolina) for my first day on the set of the movie that was then called Homeworld-X (it’s since lost the “X”). I had only the vaguest idea of what to expect. The others who were there had already been working together for a couple of weeks, so at first I felt lost, an outsider who doesn’t get any of the jokes.

Fortunately, I was given what may be the best job on a film set: second assistant camera, or to name it more accurately, slate guy. (My only interaction with the camera came during handheld sequences, when I occasionally held it between takes so the director could rest his arms.) This involves kicking off every shot by announcing the scene and take number, clapping the slate, then quickly moving to a safe place out of the frame and remaining quiet and stationary until you hear the word “cut.” Then you update the slate with the new scene or take number, and do it over again.
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Time Flies, and So Do I

Posted in Whatever Else on November 21st, 2006 by bill

Has it really been almost a week since I posted anything? Shocking. I apologize to my legions of readers, but I can give a few reasons why this has happened:

• I love that picture of Tony Danza so much that I wanted to keep it at the top of the page as long as possible.

• I spent yesterday in transit between Oakland and Kansas City, a jaunt which included a long stretch inside a 777 sitting on the ground while a maintenance crew replaced the plane’s starter. This led to a tight connection in Denver, which led to delayed luggage, which led to a basically very long day all around.

• The weekend was occupied with a) a preview of the upcoming hit multimedia property Mankind’s Last Hope and b) many hours on the set of a feature film called Homeworld. Among the things I’ve learned from this experience: The filmmaking, it is very tiring. One wakes up very early, moves around a lot, and spends extended periods of time straining to remain focused while nothing much is happening. Tomorrow I plan to write a bit about my movie adventure; but first, I think, another nap.

Hold Me Closer, (Your Name Here)

Posted in Dancing about architecture on November 15th, 2006 by bill

Tony_Danza.gif

You know the Elton John song “Tiny Dancer”? It goes like this:

Hold me closer, tiny dancer

Well tonight, a certain young person told me that she’d always thought Elton was saying

Hold me closer, Tony Danza

And now I’ll never hear the song the same way again. I’m happy about that.

Where’s Walton?

Posted in Picture du jour on November 14th, 2006 by bill

mn_was417rdmlkmemo.jpg

That’s an easy one—in this picture of the groundbreaking for the Martin Luther King memorial, that’s him at top left, towering over everyone and smirking as Jesse Jackson embraces Andrew Young. The question is, why is he there? Does The Most Annoying Man in Sportscasting History have some connection to the civil rights movement of which I am ignorant? Maybe so; in all fairness, Walton seems like a decent enough sort, aside from his superhuman annoyingness. Maybe he was there at King’s side back in the day, saying things like, “The whole concept of separate but equal is horrrible, Mart.” But still, it seems strange.

And while we’re at it, who’s that on his right, looking aghast? The caption on SF Gate, from which I shamelessly stole this picture, describes her as “an unidentified woman.” Maybe fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, looking spiffy but disoriented in the red tie, knows her. Wait, Tommy Hilfiger? Why and wherefore? Oh, never mind.

Anvil Club

Posted in Whatever Else on November 13th, 2006 by bill

anvil.jpg

We’re all familiar with media depictions of someone—often an anthropomorphized animal, such as a coyote—having an anvil dropped on him. Yet how many of us have any real experience of having an anvil dropped on us, or contrariwise of being the one to drop an anvil on a fellow mammal?

Isn’t this really the problem with our modern world, that we are so detached from the reality of concrete things such as anvils?
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A few words from Steven Wright

Posted in A few words from Lao Tzu (or someone like him) on November 10th, 2006 by bill

“You never know what you have until it’s gone, and I wanted to know what I had, so I got rid of everything.”