Wednesday, July 30, 2008

quote(s) of the day

if you've ever wondered how the whole thunder-as-dramatic-emphasis-in-cinema thing got started, it was probably with the 1932 film "the old dark house". which i just enjoyed with my morning beverage. (kinda makes it sound like toast)

but the slightly excessive overall dramatic license is part of its charm. and, as anyone familiar with my taste in movies knows, i am down with some excessive overall dramatic license ("i am SICK and TIRED of all the muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!"). i thrive on it, really.

what all this is leading up to are the quotes of the day, courtesy "the old dark house" *insert thunder here*:

1) miss femm: "she was godless to the last. godless!" *insert thunder here*

2) gladys: "i know wind when i see it." *insert thunder here*

these moments made possible by tcm. speaking of which, tcm -- having expanded their definition of "classic movies" of late -- also broadcast the awesomely awesome "spider baby" (imdb has the most info, but tcm has *clips*) in the last 6 mos, which one of my fellow retrofantasma list members has raved about for *years*. now that i've seen it, i totally understand the why it impressed her so. *so* freaky. so very, very freaky. and, hey, turns out that sid haig has *always* looked like that. 1968, 2008, pretty much the same. freaky.

*insert thunder here*

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

whatever happened to baby fly?

so, what have i been doing while my blog gently weeps? well, i'll tell you... although my energy level has been utter crap (there was a lot of inertia and very little leaving of the house for a while there, but i am lucky to have a best friend who knows how to help me through my nadirs: healthy doses of cheeburgers, summer movies, and flight of the conchords), i have managed to: (1) purchase my domain and redirect it to my cafepress store for the time being, (2) set up my amos email (heh), (3) set up my imagekind gallery shop so i can sell my photos framed, unframed, and on canvas, (4) uploaded some new t-shirt designs to cafepress, (5) begun to inventory and evaluate my accumulated antiques and collectibles (so sick of researching esoteric porcelain maker's marks and slogging thru 50 million "RARE!" eBay listings - bleh), (6) see both "hellboy 2" and "the dark knight", (7) recycle, (8) get an A++ checkup at the dentist (i love the free toothbrush thing, don't you?), (9) leave the house several times, (10) assemble a nifty rolling stacking file storage bin for my various and sundry design mags and paperful projects which seem to multiply like tribbles.

ooh, and i almost forgot -- i finally hung up my bat house! (which i've had for, like, a year) i think the solution i devised is pretty ingenious, the challenge being to put the house where it would be safe from predators and get enough sun and not conflict with our hoa covenant. once i found a good spot around the back of my house, i had to figure out how to mount the bat condo without messing with my 1940s asbestos shingles (mmm, asbestos!). in a moment of genius clarity, i stripped an adjustable nylon webbing strap off an old car seat-back map organizer, threaded it through the bat house hanging hardware, and looped it around the center support of some second-floor double windows, securing it inside the room with the buckle that came with the strap. because the strap is flat, it doesn't interfere with the window screens or with closing the windows. bat house is secured, unapproachable except by flying bats, and nothing has been contaminated by asbestos. sweet!

so, really, for a person who could barely get out of bed for a week, i have accomplished quite a bit. i have impressed myself ;-) i vaccuumed too. and threw out the ooky stuff in my fridge. nice, right?

i did fall off the wagon with regard to several of my "must do every day" activites, namely writing a page a day for my fiction project, taking a picture a day for practice, and doing at least one outdoor activity. i also suck as a sibling, having completely flaked on returning my sister's call. doh! sorry! love you! call you tomorrow!

on the upside, it's shark week! i love me some shark week. it comes but once a year. like christmas, but on the discovery channel. i've always been fascinated by sharks -- terrified also, but fascinated. i suppose the release of "jaws" in my formative years is partly responsible (i pity the kids who had to start with "jaws: the revenge". everything after the first film should be erased.). i remember also reading this book about shark researcher eugenie clark (check me out, rocking the feminist vibe even at age 8) as well as every available time-life-esque nature book about sea life, mezmerized by the science of sharks. my brother used to tape long sheets of paper together in order to draw sharks actual size. we were shark junkies.

this is all well and good, you say, but is there, you know, a point? the point is that shark week *rules*, man. it's a happy time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

the reluctant poet

thanks to my dad for sending me the new york times article about the new poet laureate:

Kay Ryan, Outsider With Sly Style, Named Poet Laureate

as a fairly peripheral fan of poetry, i was expecting to glance over the article and move on without real involvement (i know -- a reluctance to commit even to news articles. sad ;-)), but i became intrigued by the description of the poet as an outsider and uncomfortable with the exposure that comes with being an artist (not to mention a laureate something-or-other).

hmmm. *that* doesn't strike close to home or anything. i've only struggled with that... mmm... i don't know... always?

at the same time i have this drive to create and communicate, those actions, by their very nature, expose me to the world. and i can't remember a time when i've ever been comfortable with that. (vulnerability = icky!) the digitalization of, well, *everything*, has expanded and intensified the opportunities of and for exposure. there's really no technology "safe zone" -- once you put your shit out there into the digital ether, it's *out there*. your control of it is limited, at best.

while that's true of any work of creation, seems like it's easier to fake yourself out about it in the analog dimension. you can *see* your acts of insulation in action (you can decide where *not* to show your painting and physically enforce the "no photos allowed" rule. you can dodge that critic lurking by the hors d'oeuvres table or pretend you don't hear your film being discussed by the people in line behind you at the grocery store. you can give your unpublished novel only to people you like, watch as they read it, and take it back). in other words, you can *feel* in control of your work, even though you lost control as soon as another person experienced the work.

the internet is another story entirely. not only is it near impossible to prevent unauthorized use of your work, but you can't control the context either. add to that the fact that the presence means pretty much anyone can track down pretty much anything about you, and you can say "hello!" to your new friend, paranoia.

i had a momentus struggle with my inner security guard before creating a substantial web presence for myself and my creations. how much of my work should i put out there and through what channels? (and, yeah, you better believe i registered everything with the copyright peeps) how forthcoming should i be with personally identifying data? i *still* struggle with that one. and yet, here i am, parading around with a personal blog. am i crazy or what? partaking of crackburgers?

here's my rationalization. if you really want to connect with an audience -- heck, if you want to have an audience at all -- you kinda have to put yourself out there. (i know. i'm as surprised as anyone at this revelation, but there you go.) i mean, what's the point of art if (a) it is not an honest expression, and (b) nobody sees it? furthermore, in my case, what's the point of anything i've done or will do, if i don't believe in it? so i take my intentions seriously enough to go from high income to no income, completely overhaul my life, then hide my light under a bushel? gonna be a wussy poser?

i don't think so. when i think of how long it took me to get here, and all the crap (self-induced and otherwise) i've managed to get through, i know i can't be half-assed now. any suckiness that could ensue can't be more sucky than the years of shitty self-esteem, self-doubt, and crushing depression i experienced when *not* pursuing my writing, photography, and design. (how's that for an endorsement?) yes sir, fear of suckiness can kiss my boo-tay. (oh, a buckaroo banzai moment!)

thus, i am putting my shit out here. gonna tell some stories, post some pictures, and otherwise channel the specialness that has been inside my head all this time.

kay ryan, who resisted her poetry-writing self as long as she could, describes her artistic epiphany as a feeling of “an absence of boundaries, an absence of edges, as if my brain could do anything.... finally i can ask the question: can i be a writer?”

her answer to herself was, “do you like it?”

funny, that was my answer too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

new look and feel - but it's still me

yes, the amosfly blog has a new layout and color scheme. i loved the dots (and the darkness - but that's me ;-)), but i decided i wanted a different sidebar layout.

(so i'm telling you i wanted to improve my site usability, but i know that you know that, really, i just wanted that dr. horrible graphic to stand out more.)

joss whedon fans, rejoice!

it's here! it's finally here! >>

ah, nathan fillion, how do i love thee? you can make me laugh until milk comes out of my nose. and neil patrick harris. with the singing. who knew?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

did you want fries with that?

i feel a t-shirt design coming on.

there is no charge for awesomeness

"Kung Fu Panda". See it. Hilarious. Also some genius animated slo-mo kung fu action. With slo-mo sound effects. Two thumbs up. Would see again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

just dropping by

check this out -- last sunday a.m. i'm surveying my back patio from the second floor bathroom window -- you know, expecting to see the usual post-storm detritus and be reminded, again, that i really should tidy up out there --but instead, there is actual wildlife action. a rather large bird of prey is just chillin on the top fence rail, its legs tucked up under it like a decoy, drying its wings in the sun. the way it was holding its wings out, i thought at first they might be broken... so of course like a geek i jump online to find my local wildlife rescuers (yay, interwebs!). then, secure in the knowledge that i can call in a professional if needed, i run downstairs to get a closer look.

by the time i have repositioned myself, the hawk has repositioned as well. something out there has made it sit up and take notice (and i'm hoping i'm not about to witness chipmunk-icide) but then it sees me all pressed up against the window (they *do* have good eyesight!), which makes it uncomfortable (i can't imagine why), so it flies to a branch.

clearly, the wings are ok. the emergency now called off, i can proceed straight to photo geekdom. i even went out through the front door instead of the back so i wouldn't freak it out.

based on the markings and the impressively long tail (which isn't visible in this pic -- whaddya want? i was excited), i *think* it was a young red-shouldered hawk. so awesome. look at those talons!

living downtown, i don't expect to run into raptors hanging out on the back stoop. really, i'm pleasantly surprised that we haven't wiped out all the native beasties and that we have some coexistence going on. nice!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

attention-grabbing headlines

When you see a headline like "What's a penis worth?", you pretty much have to click on it, right?

Friday, July 4, 2008

independence day?

i guess it's appropriate that i start my blog life today. i recently walked away from a high-paying but soul-sucking tech job. after nine (yup, *nine*) years of the soul sucking, i realized several things. mainly, that if i didn't get out, i was going to die of depression. less dramatic but still critical was the realization that a corporate job -- with its alien culture, made-up language (if i ever hear about "architecting a web site" again, it will be too soon), and non-reality-based, cookie-cutter measurements of "success" -- was quite possibly, not a good fit for me.

let me count the ways:
- issues with authority (especially if it's stupid authority)
- inability to dedicate myself to pointless tasks
- dislike having to teach my boss what my job is
- like having a soul
- believe that creativity can not be quantified
- low tolerance for assholes, idiots, and businesses who never learn from their mistakes
- need naps
- happiest when i can work at my own pace and on only one project at a time (multi-tasking sucks)
- have no regular schedule whatsoever
- like to go outside sometimes, experience things that have nothing to do with computers, emails, the interwebs, or contact with people

so, in this going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket economy, i left. to work on my photography. i'm scared out of my mind, running out of money, and learning at every turn what i *don't* know about trying to make a living as an artist. and yet, i don't regret quitting at all. freaking out (i want to hyperventilate with every report on the economy), but without regret.

i'm a crazy person. soon to be living under a bridge and sending my cats out to hunt for food.

but i am free to reclaim myself and my soul. it's a new life.

let the blogging begin

Oh, look at me... blogging like a -- um, blogger?