mercat: (Default)

First off, where have I been? Alas, busy. Trying to get a job/internship, and drum corps. That's pretty much all of it. Trying to catch up on my huuuuuge list of to-dos so I can get back to sitting around and actually posting.


I did see the last Harry Potter movie last night, which was great up until the epilogue, even though I knew it was coming. Because really, their makeup was Not So Hot and I really still dislike Ginny. Despite Chamber of Secrets being my favorite book (BECAUSE BASILISKS), I feel like she really is just an accessory or leftover character after her role in Chamber, and she was Harry's consolation prize because Ron would get the shaft if Hermione ended up with Harry.

P.-the-fuck-S., their kiss was straight-up pandering I-hate-fangirls-and-this-audience-rolling-my-eyes grade ugh. I mean, please.

On the other hand, I thought 7.2 developed very nicely and flowed very smoothly. I was a bit bummed to see Neville didn't get played up more, but then I found out I misremembered THE ENTIRE ENDING OF THE LAST BOOK?! Which was because I read it on tour in '07 (the week it came out! Lucky WalMart stop on that bit) and I stayed up until three or so in the morning, ON THE BUS, reading it. Man oh man. Here's what I thought. Harry gets "killed" and carried back, we see the final little showdown happen and Neville whips the sword of Gryffindor out of nowhere and finishes of Voldy, making him the TWIST ENDING UNSUSPECTED FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECY.

So... I pulled that out of my ass or dreamed it or misremembered everything or just straight up my brain blocked the real ending out?! I DON'T KNOW. Because I am a little pissed that it wasn't Neville, and it kinda seemed like More Glory Harry Didn't Need Because He's Kind of Spoiled and Whiny Like James. Yes. Anyway.

CGI on the brooms = STILL FUCKING BOTHERSOME. IT HAS BEEN A DECADE-PLUS OF MOVIEMAKING, PEOPLE, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, AND YOU ARE TELLING ME THAT PEOPLE STILL FALL FASTER THAN GRAVITY AND MOVE THROUGH AIR FASTER THAN DRAG WILL ALLOW?! WILL YOU FUCKING CUT THAT SHIT OUT ALREADY. Okay then, pet peeve, obviously. (Third one was still the best in that regard despite everyone's boo-fucking-hoos about "uhhhh waaaaah omg the weeeerewoooolf". Shut up. It looked pretty damn realistic. You know why? BECAUSE WEREWOLVES ARE NOT REAL)

Aaaaaand it definitely felt like the end of an era to watch it. And I was a little disappointed I didn't dress up, but I don't have the whole outfit and it would have cost a pretty penny to get a Hufflepuff outfit together, and Huber is a terrible place to hang out (seriously, the crowd was awful-- all fangirly teenagers who cheered when a fucking Taylor Lautner movie ad came on, PLEASE, and no one dressed up well [seriously ghetto central] and there was a girl behind us with a shirt that said "I'M SLEAZY FOR WEASLEY" [classy] and STOP CLAPPING AUDIENCE, WHO ARE YOU CLAPPING FOR.) and et cetera.

But. I miss reading the books already and I want to make a big fort and set myself up with a cooler and a bunch of premade snacks and just read straight through the whole series again. It really is a quality series, despite how much I pick on the movies.

And I do wonder, when will they decide that it is time to remake the movies more true to the books? I seriously fucking miss all the house ghosts and Peeves and all that. And you know they pretty much hired every actor in Britain anyway so it's either going to be American actors (please for the love of god NO) or B-list actors in which case either 1) more production money for sets and CGI or 2) made-for-TV-becomes-a-years-long-television-show. A "miniseries" as it were, but, more actually, a "mega-miniseries".

At any rate. I want to go to Universal Orlando now and GET A FREAKIN' HUFFLEPUFF PIN. I got a Gryffindor one for Christmas from my great aunt, but, alas, I am not a Gryffindor.

True story, when the books first came out my cousins got a little magic-8-ball-style sorting-hat keychain and we sorted the whole family. I still have the list somewhere. Out of something like a dozen people, I was the ONLY ONE to end up in Hufflepuff. Poor Hufflepuff!

Also, in relation to Greek mythology, I suspect that Hufflepuff's "black" color is perhaps iron? Like, wrought iron is black, as is cast iron, and all the other houses have their respective metals: gold, silver, bronze. According to the Greek mythological ages there were the three failed ages, gold, silver, and bronze, and the iron age which resulted in Humans As We Know Them Today. (That is, not Titans, etc.)

As a civil engineer and a mythology aficionado, I APPROVE HEARTILY. (Not the shiniest but we are the strongest? I can deal with that. ;P)

Anyway, um, I think that's all of it. As for other books being made into movies, American Gods is, and I kind of want to refuse to see it, based on the same reasons I refused to see Chronicles of Narnia (it ruins the version in my head). BUT, at the same time, American Gods is REAL PLACES, some of which I have already been to and were in fact the entire reason I got the book in the first place (House on the Rock). So... I am conflicted. We shall see.

Oh, also, I watched the original Planet of the Apes yesterday. It's a shame I already knew the ending, but still, the storyline is sadly relevant to a lot of today's politics and still extremely well done. Well, except for the part where the space crew is two white guys, a black guy, and a white woman, and [SPOILER ALERT] the woman dies in the first ten minutes, and the black guy dies in the first maybe thirty minutes, and the savior of humanity ends up resting on the shoulders of one stuck-up asshole white man who apparently is willing to attack his cagers for their paper instead of signaling with, you know, HAND MOTIONS, the motion of writing or handing him the paper or something. For reals? Sadly. Aaaaaaanyway.

Aside from that, I also couldn't get over how VENTURE BROTHEEEEEERS the whole thing felt, sorry Charlton Heston. Your voice-acting is just tooooo much. (But also, that was the times. I get it. But it's almost a parody of itself, so many years later.)

At any rate! I recommend it nonetheless.

Oh! Trailers attached to HP. Batman was a huge letdown. Sherlock 2 was AWESOME but I can't wait until Christmas, PLEEAAASSEEEE (and where was Stephen Fry?!). Cowboys and Aliens is going to BLOW MY FUCKING MIND. Taylor Lautner makes terrible career choices and sometimes Alfred Molina Satipo does too. The Borat guy, on the other hand, is some kind of mad genius (he's in Hugo, which looks good but odd).

Oh, and Ciaran Hinds was Aberforth, who for a split second I thought was Stephen Fry and was SO CONFUSED, and I remembered how awesome Ciaran Hinds is (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, the second Tomb Raider), and then I remembered I hadn't come up with Alfred Molina's name yet and we were halfway through the movie (DAMNIT SATIPO) and I also remembered that I hate Daniel Craig's American accent (Tomb Raider, the first one). So. Yes. Also I still have not seen the new X-Men, but I did see Horrible Bosses last week and it was okay but really slow to start and not great but maybe rent it if you're bored and looking for a comedy. Why is Kevin Spacey so good at being evil? (LOL Lex Luthor.) Also I still have no goddamn desire to see Captain America. It just looks so lame and STOP RECASTING DC CHARACTER ACTORS AS MARVEL ONES, CAN WE PLEASE. Fantastic Four was awful. I hate Captain America's costume. FOR SERIOUS.

mercat: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Haha, I'm an asshole--I was going to put things like "other than the Big Bang?" or "well stuff like quarks" but I'm in too good of a mood to say that without explanation. So, honestly? No. I'm open to the idea of paranormality, but I've never seen or heard of or experienced a convincing case of it. And you'd think I would have, I'm paranoid like no other.

Alien life, for the time being, to me means things like molds and germs, things I think we might find on other planets. Some day technology may develop enough that we may find another inhabited (read: cultured) world, or their technology may advance enough to find us, but I don't think we've hit that mark yet, and I think that planet (or planets or system of, whathaveyou) is outside our solar system at the very very least. And what, Betelgeuse is the next closest star? Just kidding, I don't know why I keep thinking that, it's Alpha Centauri. Hurr.

Yetis and Nessies I find hard to believe in. And I never really thought about it before, but I suppose I shouldn't believe in ghosts and things anymore if I'm functionally atheist, right? Maybe, I dunno, since I'm technically agnostic.

I did hear some good ghost stories in Hawaii though, about these angry ghosts of warriors, I think, that appear as flames and march up and down the hills, and if you get in their way you are cursed and they will kill you. Hawaiian mythology is ridiculously interesting.

I think, overall, I'm more pulled in by stories of gods and idols and things rather than ghosts and such, but I'm more inclined to think of things along the lines of American Gods. If we dreamed them up, they exist to some extent, and I wonder if they really do exist.

But, for the time being, no, I haven't experienced anything paranormal I couldn't explain.

life is

Feb. 28th, 2008 11:27 pm
mercat: (Default)
Went hiking up to a falls today, it was beautiful.

Also concluded that I really, really need to broaden my comfort zone. =( My life is too dull. I hate being an introvert. I hate being paranoid of everything. There needs to be more chaos. More weirdness. ARGH

83 days until Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! Today's trivia: Indy is portrayed as having taught at both Marshall and Barnett colleges. For some reason Marshall never sticks in my head, though.

Also, Neil Gaiman's book, American Gods, is now free online:

I highly highly recommend this book. It's beautiful.

Also, try running your name through an anagram generator. I got some really awesome results. (I'll have to post those later, though, after I've edited out all the boring stuff.)
mercat: (Default)
So. I'm very tired and and I very much want to go to bed and just post tomorrow, but I do a lot of my best thinking when I'm experiencing extremes... being tired, being very happy, being very excited, being very sad. I wrote something about this early on when I started my blog, not that it's interesting, and not that I am in any way proud of a lot of the stuff I wrote for the first year and a half or so. But I've grown into my tone and whatnot and for now I'm not ashamed of what I posted yesterday (although to be fair when I don't like what I posted originally I still stand by the fact that it was ME and though I may have grown from then I came from that and you have to learn from your mistakes or they're worthless time and you are the sum of all yous, you're not ever definite, not comletely anyhow).

But, to really get into this. I shall start with House on the Rock. When I first went there... I don't know how old I was. I loved the architecture of the house, I know that much. How it was worked into the stone and there was a three (I believe) story library (more like a three story bookshelf to be honest) and there were musician-engineer gadgets everywhere and old things and mysterious things and I don't think I really remembered any of the rooms other than the Transporation Room, which I really don't like that much. (Plus, whatever they're doing to House on the Rock [from now on HotR] now to update it or whatnot... the Transporation Room and the restrooms in the cafe and whatnot...NO. YOU ARE WRONG. More on that later.) But there was something about it that drew me in, was a part of me. I'm trying to analyze that knowing what I know about myself now... sum of who I've been... although if you'd asked me the first time I'd been there whether I saw these qualities in myself, I could have maybe told you one. I mean, you define yourself my creating a distinction between you and other things, or you in relation to other things. I'm not good with ideas, sometimes. If I have an idea I can work the words sometimes, but much more often I just have a feeling, and no way to express it until I stumble upon it. Such as this entry. I suppose it's self-philosophy or somesuch but the only word that comes to mind is Thanatopsis and I know for an absolute fact (thank you, Word Clues) that that is not the word I am looking for. ("These are not the words you are looking for.")

But... something drew me back to House on the Rock. I've never been particularly drawn to Architecture, I mean, at least not until I was thinking about it, and then it's a combination of design artistically and structurally for me, that's how my mind works. I have no idea what I would have done if Architecture hadn't been suggested to me... back then I was so naive and just... transparent. I don't think I had--or at least I can't remember--a good shade of myself back then.

But like I was saying. I had to go back. Which is why I told my mom we needed time to go back last summer, while we were up in Madison for DCI finals. And because I was growing an interest in the house, I was looking on Amazon for books, and this, I'm pretty sure, was after I'd read Neverwhere, which I enjoyed immensely, and I stumbled upon Neil Gaiman's book American Gods. But we're not quite to that point in the story yet, my dear friends.

I am... ha, unsure of how to define this. I am a collector. Of things, or information. I just like to know, to remember, to experience. Now I can define this much better than I could ever before, which I just somehow related to the fact that I was a packrat and my mom wanted me to throw stuff out but everything I did had to be carefully selected to be thrown out or given away. (I had... a white bear? With a yellow balloon? Or dress? I remember giving her away and then crying, later. And now I don't remember her. And this is why I can't give my dolls away. They have personalities, stories, lives I need to know and remember and cultivate. I know it sounds ridiculous but I've already told you a million times my mind works in strange ways. And I'm writing this as much for me as I am for you, if not more. This is so... central... to who I am. Who I was. Who I will be. Or at least, who I see myself as now and project myself as in the future, and the shades of that definition I see in the past.) So. I remember reading tons when I was little. Duh. But if I could get my hands on a good, informationally interesting magazine, there was no stopping me. I'd save articles and pictures and jokes and anything with an interesting design. And by design I so often mean both How Things Work and How Things Look, they are both Design, they are both me. At Nana's I read Good Housekeeping and Better Homes and Gardens (Would you believe how long it took me to realize the line in "Somewhere that's Green" used that magazine? Jesus.) and took out photos of cool gardens or projects or house designs or relationship things or ANYTHING. At the hairdressers' and Gma/Gpa's I'd read Time and Newsweek and especially Readers Digest. And I read almost anything whenever I can.

I am an information whore.

If there's something to be read--perhaps this stems from my self-appointed paranoia--perhaps I can glean some someday-useful information from it. That whole "spy, what if" Bond-like impossibly fictional situation. The reason I know that armadillos are the only other animals besides humans that can get leprosy (although a quick Wiki tells me about three other animals can get it on their footpads), the reason I know that curling your tongue is genetic or that the plastic thing on the end of your shoelaces is called an aglet. Seemingly useless, except in my wishful thinking, of some manner.

So. I collect things. It was mostly information, but then Harry Potter rolled around and my cousins and Laura and I had our little play shops, and having chosen Apothecarist it was the perfect opportunity for me to collect just about anything. Bottles, burrs and baubles. (I swear I didn't force that.) And then Indiana Jones, and I could collect even more strange things, more artifacty things. And then pirates came about, and I know that I collect two things: skills (slash knowledge) and treasures. Really, that truly does sum it up.

And I have been keeping a dream journal (as often as possible... which unfortunately isn't as often as I'd like) for several years, in order to collect the oddities of my brain. Many times I feel uncreative unless happenstance juxtaposition occurs in daily life. But writing down my dreams gives me something to work from. Random "I'm not paying attention in class" doodles often lead to something. Feed your brain, all that jazz, but I like to piece things together into puzzles.

My toys had names and stories and personalities and I don't want to seem crazy here but I still think about all that kind of stuff. Perhaps it's a writer side of me, seeing different stories. My dolls, my muse (which I need to write about sometime... get some more concrete stuff down on it, it's just a tiki at this point), Mercat. She's the me I wish I could be, the me I am in my creation of worlds.

Because that's what I do. I design. I create. How things work. How they look, with Phi, I think, in mind. Rather, in the eye. I don't mathematically draw things out but I will resketch and resketch until they look right and things balance. Art Nouveau is a big influence on that, I think. Or 180 degree rotational symmetry, thank you ambigrams. I really need to get those posted on DeviantArt.

But I mean... I design. My brain has always worked on little inventions, sometimes pointless, sometimes things I see in stores about seven years down the road, sometimes just to see if I can make something nefarious in design to actually crank a gear. And then to make it look like a piece of art at the same time... it's my nature. I try to encompass wholes, and parts, and just understand.

Have I written about how I was the peacemaker in gradeschool? I'm not trying to brag here or anything, I'm trying to explain who I think I was, and it's not narciscism that I'm describing me but reflection. At least I try to make it that. I do hope I'm not being egotistical, because that is a topic for another day and boyhowdy is there so much to say on that lately.

But I mean... I've never been comfortable on extremes. I've wanted middle ground, reconciliation, understand of both sides. It's probably greedy or egotistical but it's human curiosity, I want to know it all.

But I am five miles from my original point.

The designer part of me, and the imaginative-artsy part of me, and the intelligent part of me, and the curious part of me, and the paranoia and the Mercat and the Every Mes that ever were--they've made up what I think I want to do with my life. I've looked at JPI for COSI's Adventure and Cost of Wisconsin for it's Tomb Raider and Disney for it's million mysterious creations, movies and shows and roller coasters and haunted houses.

It's mystery of another world and mystery of behind-the-scenes how-does-that-work (for I am truly a behind the scenes person... the pit rather than the diva is the position I am comfortable recieving compliments in, and probably the only one at that [yet another rainy-day topic]) and a mystery of what-ifs and worlds and anything and everything I know.

I've wanted to create and I've wanted to collect and my world my understandings my stories, and House on the Rock is it.

Alex Jordan, Jr. From his unauthorized biography, he was an asshole. So was Frank Lloyd Wright, I hear. =) So many people whose work I enjoy are either crazy or jerks or something. So maybe that says something about me, I don't know, haha...

But he collected things. And he made things. And he designed contraptions and houses and arranged and did art. It's everything I want to do.

I'm pretty sure I've found it this time. It's more than architecture, more than engineering, more than music, more than piracy or archaeology, more than art, more than writing.

It's creating an entire other world, and it's an idea I've had in my head for a very long time now. I've only just found how to express it.

Okay, too dramatic there. But it is powerful. I'm going to keep on going because a part of me is chiding me for being overdramatic, haha.

So...American Gods, where does this fit in? I read part of a series, back in eighth grade, Neverworld or something, where all these gods existed in a parallel universe all at the same time. I've often thought on that, and I've wanted to write about it, but I haven't had any good, original ideas to make me now feel like I was ripping someone off. (But now I have to create my own world! And a world needs religions, haha, so I am set.) But American Gods just hits the head on the nail. It's one of the best damn things I've ever read, and not just because House on the Rock is in it. That's why I bought it, but this book keyed me in on everything (or at least so much of) what I want to be. What I am. What I'm going to do with what I am, rather. It's about the gods and how the holiest places in America are the places we're drawn to, our silly roadside attractions. Places I have, of late, been so obsessed with. (Americana, House on the Rock... causing me to go into depressions and creative fits and buy books and research and miss and everything--which you can see is why I find things so important.) But... it's true. I am drawn to them, I am fascinated with their abilities to make you wonder... where people have created things beyond your imagination, from their own, their personal portals to another dimension, another way of understanding this life, another aspect you have to try to understand to learn. Because if you don't learn, you die. Body and soul, it doesn't matter. (God, I can see where authors affect how I write. I read Douglas Adams and I'm snarky and random. I read Gaiman and I am prone to fits of blatant authorial truths in the middle of a story. Plus when I'm tired or snugly into a writing fit the words flow in certain thoughtless ways, and I'm sure that has to reflect authors somehow. Which is why if I ever publish a novel I'll have to read it several times after reading certain other authors in order to flesh out my work into the different aspects of who I am. Ah, the difficulties of representing things correctly, something I take into special care to be able to do, or at least I try.)

So... American Gods... some snippets to whet your appetite.

"'You know,' he said, 'I think I would rather be a man than a god. We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do.'"

"'I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mr. Ed. Listen--I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in American is concident with the decline in drive-in movie theatres from state-to-state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destrying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alove and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I live in an empty and godless universe of casual chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things, too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and you might as well lie back and enjoy it.'"


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