NaNoWriMo: Log One

The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of November.  Honestly, this is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but I’m going to do it this year. For real! I mean it!

No really, anything I say on this website is a pretty freaking solid promise.

NaNoWriMo is short for… National Novel Writing Month? That’s kind of silly, because it’s International, but whatever. There’s a website where you can sign up and all that stuff, but forget that. I can do this on my own! I don’t need yo’website!

I mean, I say that now, but just wait until all the ideas I came up with over the last two weeks turn into a “novel” short of 20,000 words. I don’t have much to write here, except to declare that I’m doing this, and to drop the title of my little novel: The Phoenix and The Marshall.

It’s going to be a sci-fi tale of two women, with a fairly wild-western premise. That’s the idea at least. I’m going to take a page from George R.R. Martin’s book and do that whole limited-perspective, point-of-view character thing.

And yeah, for somebody who’s declaring that they’re going to write a novel, this is pretty horridly written… but cut me some slack. It’s almost 3AM and I’m too busy listening to Wale to give a care!

What’s Up? (9/4/13)

Week two of this Fall Semester is going by fairly well! I am a bit exhausted, but it’s going well. The exhaustion has nothing to do with class so much as it has to do with having a very significant first weekend here at Pitt. This apartment I’m at is awesome, my roommates are awesome, and  I got myself a pair of pink shorts and you know what? I was right. I do totally look alright in them. I’ve been playing a lot of guitar, and have put in a little over two hours so far over at the Pete using the Rowing Machine. Life is good, so far. There’s tranquility in the mind, maybe not in the soul.

It’s going to be a short entry, but I just wanted to throw something here for the sake of never going a week without posting some sort of content.

What’s Up? (8/27/13)

So my first two days of class this semester have been pretty good. English Literature’s “Forms of Prose” actually seems really interesting, as we’ll be reading lots of memoirs and stuff – and English Writing’s “Intermediate Nonfiction” seems to be more of the interview, longform nonfiction I’ve been writing for over a year now. The Communication classes I’ve had today were “Media and Consumer Culture” and “Small Group Communications.” The “Consumer Culture” class is taught by this British Doctor who seems pretty awesome (he knew what made The Terminator a robot and Robocop a cyborg) and the teacher for “Small Group Comm” looks a little bit like Tom Hanks.

These first two days though have made me feel a little upset at how apprehensive I am about talking to old classmates. I’ve ran into a few over the last two days and I’ve just found myself unable to do anything more than a little “Hello” wave, when what I really want to do is say hello and keep a conversation going.

You know what though? I’m only two days deep, and I shouldn’t be kicking myself already… I tell you what though, seeing all of these college kids in pink and blue twill shorts is driving me crazy. I’d look good in a pair! My shirts combined with those shorts would kick the crap out of those other kid’s shirt-short combos. Gah! Why don’t I have a pair? I might buy a pair, and get a haircut this weekend. Conformity ensues.

What’s Up? (8/25/13)

I’m comfortably settled into my new apartment. Once I get back into something that resembles a groove here I will start posting regularly again. I start class tomorrow, and I need to be ready for that and all it entails – and there’s a number of food stuffs I will need to get my kitchen into order. The apartment is awesome, but moving all my furniture and belongings up three flights of stairs sucked. My arms are still sore.  I’ll put together the final chapter of the first Nuzlog installment this week at least, and you should probably expect another “What’s Up?” this week too – but music reviews will probably be on hiatus again for a while.

Alright, I’m seriously hungry and could totally go for some tuna fish sandwiches so… to IGA I go.

What’s Up? (7/25/2013)

I’m playing guitar again after a painfully long hiatus. My fingers sting from building callus again, and I’m rediscovering my ability to play by ear. Today I improvised along with Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” on my Epiphone Firebird and I was about the happiest I’ve been in recent memory. Since the last time I played guitar I’ve gotten into LCD Soundsystem, so I figure I’ll learn how to play a number of their songs. Also, I have to shine some of the old songs I used to know how to play, like Anamanaguchi’s “Mermaid.” It’s been too long, guitars, and I’m glad you’re back.

In other musical news: Goodness, I’ve never really ever mentioned GlitchFox here before have I? Well hey, I make electronic music under the name GlitchFox and two songs I’ve been sitting on for months are probably close to being ready for public release and whatnot. If you feel like checking out my music, see for my newer stuff and for my beginnings.

Mew’s “Triumph For Man” (1997)

I saw Nine Inch Nails twice in 2009; once at the Jones Beach Amphitheater, and another time at Terminal 5. Mew opened for Nine Inch Nails at the Terminal 5 show, and they were an entirely enjoyable opening band if not a strange warm-up for Nine Inch Nails. I had no idea who Mew was, and I still don’t know much about them – but apparently they were around in the 90’s and so I’m going to go see what their debut album “Triumph For Man” (1997) is all about.

At first, Mew was not doing much for me. Lead singer Jonas Bjerre has a lovely, soft-spoken voice that is muffled out in the first three songs on the album by guitar parts that weren’t blowing me away. I was starting to wonder what the deal with Mew was, until the fourth track “Panda” started to show the band’s true colors. Bjerre’s voice starts to sound high-pitched and childlike in a way that I can really get behind, and the guitar parts divert a bit from their strictly alt-rock ways about halfway through the song, becoming dissonant and stress-inducing. From “Panda” until the closing track “Coffee Break”, Mew’s “Triumph For Man” continues to be an interesting listen.

“Then I Run” got a little scream-ier than I thought Mew would get, “No Shadow Kick” is a funky little track with gibberish lyrics (no, that’s not Danish), “Snowflake” has beautiful string and piano arrangements, and “Pink Monster” is forty-nine seconds of accordion. Tracks four through fourteen entirely make up for any of the first three songs’ shortcomings; and tracks like “I Should Have Been A Tsin-Tsi For You” and “Web” prove that Mew has what it takes to make memorable tracks out of formulaic alt-rock ingredients.

“Triumph For Man” is a pretty solid album, judging from my first-listen gut-feeling. If you can find this album somewhere, it’s worth listening to.

Pacific Rim: The Intellectual Masterpiece

I saw Pacific Rim last night. This latest film from director Guillermo del Toro features giant mechs fighting giant alien monsters, and from top to bottom this thing just seems like downright dumb fun. Cheesy dialogue, predictable moments, just flagrant stupidity in high abundance – but everything dumb about the movie is placed just so perfectly that Pacific Rim becomes a pretty amazingly entertaining film. Whenever I was rolling my eyes at something in the film, a stranger behind me laughed or bellied a deep reactionary “whoa.” I got to thinking that the movie is so careless at times with doing something that might be too dumb, because it certainly doesn’t care about being smart – it cares about being fun. And the ability to pull of the perfect, incredibly cheesy one-liner or “bad-ass moment” is; I think, the calling card of somebody who really, really knows what they’re doing. Knowing just how long to keep a struggle going before pulling something stupid, knowing what incredibly brain-rotting thing to say and when to say it, and my God – choreographing giant mechs fighting giant alien monsters so it doesn’t look like Transformers’ crap, that takes a lot of skill, a lot of vision, and a lot of  intelligence.

Well done Pacific Rim, well done.