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Monday, February 28, 2005

WOAH I am so fucked. I thought the midterm paper exams for my virtual courses extended into next week. Turns out the last session is this Thursday. I have to cover five weeks of American History and the US Political System between now and then. Thank God I started on history over the weekend. However, I am still screwed. Shit!!! This will be my last blog entry between now and Friday, barring something really amazing occurring.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I want George Hurrell to take my picture. Unfortunately, he's dead. Maybe I'll buy a sepia filter on eBay, rig together a boomlight, and have some fun trying to do it myself.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

A friend and fellow master control operator on ETS has a new online shop which proves what an amazing interest she has in WWII German uniforms. And no, she is not a Nazi!

Nachrichtenhelferin Uniforms and Accessories.
Fascinating stuff. You must admit that uniforms have never been as good as they were in Germany in the 1940's.
Should I cut bangs? I'm thinking of cutting bangs.

[edit] I've had them before ...

They were sometimes a pain in the arse (see examples of unruliness in top right and top left corners), but I kind of miss them. I don't know. I'll mull it over some more.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Woe! I have been selected to test for my yellow belt in kung fu, but I can't make the test date because it's opening night of The Glass Menagerie :( :(

I love theater a great deal. The only advantage regular jobs have over theater is that you can usually miss a day of drudgery at the office without feeling like you're cheating yourself, ruining the work of at least a dozen other people, and possibly letting down the entire world. Of course, the fact that boring and meaningless office jobs DESTROY MY SOUL kind of balances that out, so theater it is.

Oh well - I guess I'm doing kung fu for the the sake of doing kung fu, not so I can wear pretty colored belts. I don't know if there are any alternatives to the test date yet because I didn't have a chance today to tell the teacher I couldn't make it. We'll see what happens.

In good kung fu news, a beginners' weapons class is starting soon, so I will have a chance to start learning some really cool-looking moves. In bad news, it will cost an extra $25 a month. Time to start searching the house for more eBayable goods.

Today's lesson really kicked my arse. In fact, my buttocks are right sore from all the kicking. I thought I was going to pass out several times.

I have updated my links page ...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The NIN news made me forget to eulogize. Or at least post a quote.

We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world -- a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us ... No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we'll kill you.

Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid rich kids like George Bush?

They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us -- they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis.

And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. fuck them.

-- Hunter S. Thompson. Possibly the only person in the world who could write stuff like this without me thinking, "Oops, Godwin's."

He went out the way he lived. Good for him. Rest his soul.

I can't stop listening to the leaked songs. I am going to be delighted with this album. I'm also rather delighted because I need to study a protest song in my English class in a few weeks. I know just the one I want to examine.

I think I may have jumped the gun in interpreting "the hand that feeds" as the millions of poverty-level providers who feed, clothe, and gas America. More likely, that line refers to Republican party leaders feeding their supporters their beliefs and stances (and a few pointless tax breaks). Supporters "on their knees" are thus no better than brainless pooches taking commands from their masters in exchange for a few Scooby Snax.

On Monday night, I -- GODDAMIT that eBay commercial with the toy boat just came on the television and made me weepy. Does anyone else feel the uncontrollable urge to cry when they watch it? Something about the sound of the glockenspiel and the expression on the man's face. Here, I found a copy of it online. Watch it if you haven't seen it and tell me how abnormal I am. Waterworks! Every time!

What was I trying to say before? I'll start again. On Monday night, my starring scene in Two Front Teeth was shot. I totally wrecked my voice. My throat was a raw mess to begin with, and I pushed it too far with the crazy Evil Elf voice, yelling lines such as "Fuck yourself!" and "You fucks! You sick fucks!" Now it hurts to breathe. No singing for me for a while.

I did get to keep my teeth, though! My Halloween costume is set for years to come.

I am so worried about college. The procrastination must stop. It must.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Line Begins To Blur.

There are things I said I would never do
There are fears I can not believe have come true
For my soul is too sick and too little and too late
and myself I have grown to weary to hate

The more I stay in here
The more it's not so clear
The more I stay in here
The more I disappear
As far as I have gone
I knew what side I'm on
But now I'm not so sure
The line begins to blur

There's somebody on top of me
I don't know I don't know
Isn't anyone stopping me
I don't know I don't know
I won't try and hold my breath
I don't know I don't know
Just how far can I go
I don't know I don't know

As I lay here and stare the fabric starts to tear
It's far beyond repair
And I don't really care
As far as I have gone
I knew what side I'm on
But now I'm not so sure
The line begins to blur

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I am spinning in a vortex of Nine Inch Nails madness.

If you've been to The NIN Hotline lately, you know that someone from the set of the new Nine Inch Nails' video for their soon-to-be-released single The Hand That Feeds stole a poorly recorded copy of the song and leaked it to radio stations. Naturally, Trent is livid, but despite agreeing with his outrage, hell, the cat's out of the bag. I may as well listen to it.

It's so danceable!!! I'm involuntarily shouting "OOP OOP! OOP OOP!" and jumping like a raver during the synth solo. On first listen, it sounded a lot like British altrock to me, but after a few (dozen) repeats, I've decided it's definitely Nine Inch Nails taking a wonderful pop-oriented new direction.

I want to get completely wasted and dance my arse off to this song. It's been so long since I've been clubbing :(

It's also very political. Lyrics from the horse's mouth:

you're keeping in step
in the line
got your chin held high and you feel just fine
because you do
what you're told
but inside your heart it is black and it's hollow and it's cold

just how deep do you believe?
will you bite the hand that feeds?
will you chew until it bleeds?
can you get up off your knees?
are you brave enough to see?
do you want to change it?

what if this whole crusade's
a charade
and behind it all there's a price to be paid
for the blood
on which we dine
justified in the name of the holy and the divine

so naïve
to keep holding on to what I want to believe
i can see
but i keep holding on and on and on and on

will you bite the hand that feeds you?
will you stay down on your knees?

My quick-off-the-mark analysis here.

And you know something weird? The vocals at end of the song remind me of Sting or Dire Straits or something.

I like it.

Which is lucky, because Matt and I are going to COACHELLA! I am in eternal debt to Clark, who is taking over my class assistant duties at Popcorn Hat for a day so I can skip town with my neglected husband and see the band that brought us together. (BLEUGH! Sorry, cheesiness made me gag. Mmmm, delightful taste of phlegm.) I can't wait to see NIN, but for this gig I'm more excited about meeting up with internet friends, many of whom I've never seen in the flesh before. Matt hasn't caught NIN live at a giant festival, but I went to the Big Day Out in 2000. I'm saving all my ningasms for their venue tour later this year.

ARGH, we have The Hand that Feeds on repeat, and I just heard the synth solo again. WHERE ARE PILLS!? I WANT PILLS!@!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

There are no words to express how happy I am this moment. Usually, the late movie at WHP is something really awful, like ... Christ, I can't even remember the names of the movies I've played in the last six weeks, they've been so bad. But this week ... CARRIE!! I am in seventh heaven.

If only I didn't catch it on AMC less than two weeks ago. Oh well, Carrie always bears repeating. Can you believe Sissy Spacek was 27 when she filmed this movie?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Judgement has been entered against Kelli Harman!

Matt wasn't awarded every penny he deserved (he didn't bring a copy of his e-mail conversations which would have proved that he and Kelli Harman had agreed on his itemization on the last invoice), but he still won most of it.

This is all the more beautiful in light of Kelli Harman's "I'LL SEE YOU IN COURT!" threats eight months ago.

Now we just need to get the money from her. And considering she is, in my experienced opinion, a crook and has reneged on payments before (to the Attorney-General, no less), it might be difficult. But I'm sure we'll manage. Hell, she drives a BMW Z3, and judging from the e-mails I've been receiving, she hasn't stopped milking wannabe models; she's hardly bankrupt.

As much as I'm slightly disppointed that the judgement isn't as much as we wanted it to be, I'm delighted when I consider the flip side: since Kelli chose to behave like a dick, she doesn't even have anything to show for the $1,500 she's been ordered to pay. Matt took the website down a few weeks after declared she wasn't going to pay his invoice, as per the contract. So she's going to be $1,500 out of pocket for nothing! I love it.

I have a sore throat, and I'm feeling very sorry for myself over it. This week, I started seriously practicing singing, and now it hurts to sing a note. Why is it that every time I jump into singing, I get some sort of throat malady? Does too much singing all at once leave the mucus membranes in my throat open to infection? Or is it some sort of mental self-destructive self-esteem problem?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

This thread on ETS was a lot of fun to participate in. In fact, I'd say my posts in that thread were my main focus of the day yesterday. This is especially tragic given that it's now almost quarter to two in the morning, and I still have to finish a Shakespeare paper.

(It's a pretty easy paper, though. I'm just procrastinating for the fun of it.)

Yesterday morning, I spoke to a group of kindergarten students at the Harrisburg Academy about Australia, since they've been studying the country all year. Apparently I'm a "natural" at teaching six-year-olds; still, I can't see me volunteering to become a kindergarten teacher any time soon. Maybe if the procreation instinct kicks in at some point in the next twenty years, I could become a kindergarten teacher to help stave off the desire to multiply.

I kid. The kids were fun to talk to. Something rather bizarre happened during my presentation, however: a voice over the loudspeakers announced, "Mr. Gray is in the building," causing a teacher to turn out the lights and everyone to hide themselves under tables and bookshelves out of sight of the doors and windows. Apparently, the announcement is a signal that there is an intruder in the building. It was only a drill, but it was unnerving, to say the least, particularly since I just saw Bowling for Columbine again in my English class last week. I find the thought that children are routinely being taught what to do when a gun-toting maniac enters their school mildly terrifying.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Apres un Reve
Gabriel Faure

Dans un sommeil, que charmait ton image
(In a dream, charmed by your image,)

je revais le bonheur, ardent mirage.
(I dream of happiness and a beautiful mirage.)

Tes yeux etaient plus doux, ta voix pure et sonore.
(Your eyes were so gentle, your voice pure and clear.)

Tu rayonnais comme un ciel eclaire par l'aurore.
(You shone like the sky, lit by the sun.)

Tu m'appelais et je quitte la terre pour m'enfuir avec toi vers la lumiere.
(You are calling my name, and I leave the earth to escape with you towards the light.)

Les cieux pour nous entr'ouvraient leurs nues;
(The sky, for us, opened its clouds)

splendeurs inconnues, lueurs divines entrevues.
(showing us unknown splendors and glimpses of divine light.)

Helas! Helas, triste reveil des songes!
(Alas! Alas, sad endings to dreams!)

Je t'appelle, o nuit, rends-moi tes mesonges ...
(I beg you, o night, return me to your illusions ...)

Reviens, reviens radieuse,
(Return, return to me, o radiant one.)

Reviens, o nuit mysterieuse.
(Return to me, O mysterious night.)
It's link time!

My first accepted submission to PoE News. *sigh* I am so heartburstingly proud.

Market Square, Harrisburg, Pa. - B&W Silent Film
The production was shot in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on 24-26 December 1896. One of seven copyrighted films shot in late 1896 for presentation at the Bijou Theatre in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The films were purchased by a competitor when Edison’s Projectorscope left Harrisburg before the films were finished. The films were shown on 13 and 14 January 1897 at the Grand Opera House in Harrisburg.
The film isn't on the website, but news of its existence has piqued my interest, and I would love to lay my hands on a copy. My ongoing quest continues to develop some small fondness for Harrisburg since I'll be here for a while yet.

Autofellatio and Ontology
Yes, seriously. I found this site while researching the ouroboros. I ... I never considered the possibility of such a creation myth.

Remind me to get myself interviewed by this guy at some point in the near future.

The Aes Sedai-Ouroboros-Infinity Snake Ring
How do you tell when you're a complete fucking nerd? When the serious thought crosses your mind that you need this ring. Hey, it would totally go with my dragon's fang tattoo. Look! Here's another one.

Here are some pictures of Slow Andy that I found while I was searching for something completely different.

Ouroboros pictures through the ages. None of them look like something I want tattooed, though. The only thing I know for certain at this stage is that the eye of the serpent will look something like this:

I just saw an awful Diet Coke commercial, and suddenly I was possessed with a wild desire to go disco skating. Is that so wrong? I haven't skated in years.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The near future is going to be crazy busy. I haven't done any study all term for history and government, so my midterms are going to be hell if I don't figure out a way to get motivated and/or organized before then. I have a deep sense of dread that cramming these courses isn't going to be as easy as my delusions suggest.

Additionally, I met with a director in Lancaster on Thursday, and there's an exciting possibility that I'll be starring in a wee indy film later this year. More details as they become concrete.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What is it with me and Mozart?

I think I might have some sort of pathological mental disorder. I was just listening to Vado, ma dove? as I drove home from shopping, and suddenly I was consciously overwhelmed with a desire that has simmered in some diseased corner of my brain since I was six years old: I want to screw Mozart's brains out.

I don't know why my insane sexual desire for a man 200 years dead flared up on the way home just now. Vado, ma dove? isn't exactly one of his most passionate works. I don't even know why the desire is there in the first place, but I've been plagued with it for going on 18 years now. Something about his music triggers an ache that somehow translates itself in my head to MUST ENGAGE GROIN IN PHYSICAL VICINITY OF COMPOSER.

I felt it when I was six, though not in such explicit terms. I was learning the Sonata in C (K.545) when I was consumed with prepubescent lust. You'd think I'd have grown out of it by now, wouldn't you?

When I listen to Wagner, the arousal is far more general. Mozart, on the other hand, just makes me want to root Mozart. I MUST LEARN TO HARNESS THIS POWER AND USE IT TO RULE THE WORLD. What else can I do?

I'm sick, sick I tell you.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Monday, February 07, 2005

I somehow missed seeing this image on the Two Front Teeth website until today. It's a nice close-up of the cankerous fangs.

Well, thanks to some wacky behind-the-scenes goings on which I can only guess at, I'm off composition duty on Henry V for the moment. I guess that gives me some more spare time! Spare time in which I have so far auditioned for a short film in Reading. I didn't give the most sparkling audition performance of my career, but I have night-shift at WHP to blame for that. Christ, was I zonked. God, I think I nearly ran into someone on the drive there. And when I got home, I was crazy. I think I still am, a little, even after sixteen hours sleep. Poor Matt. I hate that my schedule affects me so much, because my sleep-deprivation must affect him badly too.

I've asked him to design a tattoo for me. I've been thinking of getting an ouroboros around my right-thigh (high up, sort of like a garter) for a few years now, and I haven't grown out of the idea, so I assume it's a keeper. However, I have no idea how to implement it, or what I really want it to look like. Then suddenly, I remembered that Matt can draw. Duh!
Musician, broadcaster Karl Haas dies at 91

They say the death of an old man is no tragedy. But I just heard the news on NPR (accompanied by the Pathetique Sonata, of course), and I got weepy and had to pull over.

I grew up with Karl Haas on the radio. I remember listening to Adventures in Good Music in Brisbane when I was 12 years old. I was already knee-deep in classical music, but he engendered in me the desire to dive into deeper waters. I loved playing Guess the Composer most of all.

Thank you, Mr. Haas, from a long-time listener.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Hooray! I just received my first real (i.e. not secured) credit card in the mail from Chase. It's a Platinum Mastercard with a whopping $200 limit. Yes, that's the right number of zeroes. My non-existent credit rating is so depressing, but at least I'll be able to start building it again now.

I just activated the card over the phone. WOW, I hope I never have to deal with Chase's customer service ever again. I have never faced such aggressive hard-selling of a bullshit insurance plan. ("For only $0.79 per $100 owing, you can choose not to pay your credit card bill for up to two years in times of financial hardship." For Christ's sake, what a load of crap. I have a $200 limit, you moron.) The guy actually started talking over me in an attempt to get me to agree to enrol. He made it sound like it wasn't optional, and it was only after I repeatedly yelled at him to forget about signing me up that he backed down, with a trite parting word: "This is a one-time offer, you know. You probably won't be able to get this offer again further down the line." Sheesh. Sorry, I'm not stupid enough to swallow bullshit so you can pick up your commission. You should have listened to my "I'm not interested" before you launched into your spiel, instead of talking over me and insisting upon reading the brochure aloud.
Last night I had a dream that my English teacher gave me a B on my next assignment because of a spelling error. Which just goes to show you that sometimes voicing your troubles doesn't take a load off your mind, it just makes the load sink deeper into your subconscious.

Wow. Matt just e-mailed me with this news: my transcription of Something I Can Never Have, which I whipped up during my Saturday night shift at WHP (I was putting off my Shakespeare assignment) received 9,372 downloads in one day. That's more than five times the number of hits this blog gets in a month. Yay!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

"Extending the war into Iraq would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Exceeding the U.N.'s mandate would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

From "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam"
by George Bush [Sr.] and Brent Scowcroft, Time Magazine, 1998
Quick break from studying for my Spanish exam to complain:

Oh fan-fucking-tastic. I have one of those completely unfair English teachers who thinks it's fun to give smart people lower marks to make them work for an A, despite the fact their 'B' work is miles above the quality of 'A' work from other class members. We had to write an op-ed piece last week. I think it was worth approximately nothing in the scheme of our final grade, but I did a fairly decent job. I wrote about an article she gave us dealing with consumerism. I mentioned in my editorial:

One point Kulman doesn't explore at all in her article is the responsibility of corporations for out-of-control consumerism in America. It's ironic that many large corporations have taken it upon themselves to act as our moral guardians, protecting the ears and eyes of America from “obscenity” through self-censorship of their broadcast or stock, yet they often act immorally in their manufacturing processes and their effect upon the landscape of America.

In the margin, my teacher writes:

This is unclear. Can you offer an example of show in what ways this happens? How does Walmart do it, if they do? This accusation must be substantiated concretely.

Well, for a start, this is a goddamn OPINION PIECE. It's ONE AND A HALF PAGES LONG, a length I reached only after heavy bloodletting. And - here's the funny part - I didn't mention Walmart in connection with self-censorship anywhere in my article. Yet, she immediately thought of Walmart in her comment. Gee, I wonder why. Could it possibly be because censorship of Walmart's products is COMMON KNOWLEDGE? Not to mention the censorship of broadcasts by television stations after the FCC scandal last year (Maybe you heard about it? Something to do with Janet Jackson, I think). Do I honestly have to spell all this out in a very short editorial piece aimed at educated adults?

And again:

The mythical image corporations have carefully created with the billions they have saved through these dubious practices [sweatshop labor, etc] distracts us from these realities.

Her comment?

Again, offer a concrete example.

WHAT? What do you want me to say? "For example, [insert any major US clothing company here] has saved billions of dollars making their products in third-world sweatshops. They spend those billions creating a mythical image of their company through advertising." That seems a little goddamn redundant, doesn't it? I'm writing this editorial for people who read newspapers, not for remedial elementary school students.

So I got a B. And the comment:

Good work, Melissa. The essay is good, but I know you can raise it to exceptional.

Telling, isn't it? God, I hate teachers like this. Ms. Renzo, I wouldn't be doing your class if I didn't have to to satisfy my degree's retarded general education requirements. If I could get away with not doing first-year English classes and skip straight over to second year creative writing, I would. But since I have to, I would appreciate it if you would give me a mark based on the standard for the class, not on your expectations of me.

Really, I'm just pissed because there's a girl in my class who was also in my class last semester. I talked with her a week ago, and learned that she also got an A for English 101. The punchline is that I read her essays during peer reviews, and they were atrocious. Why? Why, God, why?
Anyone feel like reviewing an old Tears for Agnes track?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Whoops. Yesterday Matt and I went out to Parson's birthday dinner, and since I didn't have any pockets in my coat, I gave Matt my keys and wallet to look after. Of course, I forgot to ask for them back afterwards, so Matt left for work this morning with them. I can't get to my Shakespeare class or my kung fu class. I can't even go to the post office to pick up his Korg MS2000! Woeful. I guess I should try to get some work done or something.
Heh. Matt and I just noticed this morning that the Notice to Defend that Kelli Harman filed in our district court claim against her has actually been continued till next week. So our day in court isn't today, but next Wednesday. Gosh golly, I hope she coughs up the $2,000 she owes.

In amusing anti-Kelli news, I have received a number of e-mails from disgruntled Harman Agency models who have been Googling Kelli's past because they suspect they have given their money to a crook. I have been more than happy to pass on the articles from the Center Daily Times and the press releases from the Attorney-General. Maybe one of them will start up another Attorney-General campaign against her.

So, if there are any other models from the Harman Agency out there who feel wronged by Kelli Harman and would like to get in touch with other wronged models, shoot me an e-mail, and I'll discreetly give you some contacts.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Woohoo! I sent them an e-mail, and they fixed the spelling error. Bah, I'm so anal.

So, somehow, I managed to get through the weekend from hell. Day Down Under was fun, although I was so tired later in the afternoon that every time I put the didge to my lips, my head swam. Children asked me lovely questions, such as "Do Australians live in houses?" and "Are Australians scared?" (When I asked him, "Of what?" he just looked at me like I should know.) A kindergarten teacher from the Harrisburg Academy is going to book me to come in and speak to her class, which is learning about Australia this year. And the head of exhibits at the Whitaker Center is impressed enough (almost worryingly over-impressed) that he'll probably have me back some time.

I couldn't sleep on Sunday night either, as I had a paper to write for Shakespeare class which took me entirely too long to finish, thanks to a nicely sauteed sleep-deprived brain. I'm trying not to think too hard about the Richard III quiz we had in Monday's class. It's not worth enough marks to really worry about anyway, but since I had slept for a total of 7 hours since waking up on Friday morning, my ability to compose a decent sentence or remember simple facts was severely impaired.