Pages

Friday, May 20, 2011

On the Ghetto Garden Expansion

It's been raining the last few days, but before it started in earnest, I was able to build and fill this:

I topped this store-bought version off. If you look real close, you can see some of the stuff I already planted. (Ignore the junk and overgrown, soon-to-be-herbicided grass.)
Then I built, but did not fill, this guy.
All told, the ghetto garden has expanded by five new raised beds this year, some 90 square feet of growing space.

The bonus? These rains proved my regrading project a success. The area where the walk meets the patio didn't get swamped at all.

Great Moments in Sports

The headline says it all:

Kevin Durant makes us feel sorry for Brendan Haywood

Click the link for some pretty good photos.

I have this weird thing I want to do. I want to go to a Nuggets game in another city, and while in theory, I could pick any NBA city, the one I glommed onto was Oklahoma City. It's relatively close and owing to some fond childhood memories and some more recent fleeting ones, I want to go back.

Plus I figured tickets would be fairly easy to acquire and inexpensive. That's probably not so true anymore...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Scary

This weekend, I played poker at a bar and a girl that looked like this sat at my table:
And if that beak wasn't scary enough, she spent all night plucking at this hair she found on her face.

Makes me want to gag just thinking about it.

Infill

Before:
After:
I moved all this dirt Friday and as it turns out, I didn't have to buy anything. I just excavated my compost heap and moved it. All 60 some square feet of it, ten inches deep.

The growing's gonna be good, man.

Blood Meridian

Maybe I'm just a sucker. I've tried multiple times to read something that Cormac McCarthy wrote, not just started to read, but to actually read --cover to cover-- one of his books. I tried to read All the Pretty Horses...and failed. No Country For Old Men...failed. The Road...failed.

Now I try Blood Meridian.

My impression in a nutshell is, yes, there is some good writing here.

But there is also a lot of bad writing, too. Who told you that you can eschew quotation marks? Why can't you resist the urge to get flowery for no particular reason?

Here's an example from page 4:
His origins are become remote as his destiny and not again in all the world's turning will there be terrains so wild and barbarous to try whether the stuff of creation may be shaped to man's will or whether his own heart is not another kind of clay.
Look, you can say "not again in all the world's turning" or you can say "never." It's a taste thing, admittedly, but rather than trying to figure out longer, more elaborate ways of saying simple words, writers should concern themselves with translating experiences into words.

It's a shame because the next sequence, with the preacher and the introduction of the Judge character, is actually quite good.

But I don't think I'll finish reading this book. Maybe I'm just a snob, but every time I thumb to a new page, I find a sentence so disagreeable that I'm not sure I'd be able to.

Example from page 185:
They entered the city haggard and filthy and reeking with the blood of the citizenry for whose protection they had contracted.
Sounds like something Lucca Brazzi would say at his most marble-mouthed.

Later in the same paragraph is this bit of writerly indulgence (with no commas even):
"They rode out on the north road as would parties bound for El Paso but before they were even quite out of sight of the city they had turned their tragic mounts to the west and they rode infatuate and half fond toward the red demise of that day, toward the evening lands and the distant pandemonium of the sun."
I'll admit, "red demise of the day" is beautiful. But "the evening lands" and "pandemonium of the sun?" Don't need it.

Damn you, Ellroy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Werner Herzog Fucked Up My Day

So I'm joking in the headline, but true story...

Werner Herzog's new documentary is playing in 3D at various theaters. It is the only film in recent memory that has requested that we play no preshow loop at all, possibly at Werner's request. (I'm not sure all theater chains are acquiescing...)

Projectionists across the country found this confusing. They're trained like Pavlovian monkeys to start the film during the last frame of the preshow, and if they don't see it, something's broken.

So they call me...

No, no, I say, that's by design. Werner Herzog, though he is putting a 3D film out in commercial release, doesn't want to commercialize his film, or something.

"I'm trying to record thousands of years of artistic expression," I can see him saying, "not trying to sell Coca-cola and potato chips."