Monday, September 14, 2009

Welcome to Post 160: A no less arbitrary benchmark than any number of rounder numbers like "100."


It's been a while since I've posted here about much.
I've done a fair bit of posting lately on my other blogs. (Though not so much this past week.)
Most of my attention has gone to Confessions of an Asshole Skeptic - a mix of philosphizing about process and purpose, coupled with the excercising of both. It's been fun and I've even had a couple of entries that I'm abnormally proud of.
Along the same lines, my TAM diary - The TAMaz!ng Blog - also got a bunch of attention for a while there, but I haven't written a damned thing in over two weeks 'cause I just got weary of deciphering really muddy audio. But I really ought to get back to that and finish up. Once it's done then I can turn my back on it forever... or at least until next TAM.
The Beast of Bottomless Lake production blog hasn't had much to say lately. We are in an infuriating time where we are waiting for other people to finish up their bits and it just stretches longer and longer. I really wish it were over. I love that project, but it ought to be done by now and the longer it carries on the more it hurts in various ways.
And on top of all that I've got myself involved in the inaugural project of the fledgling pan-Canadian skeptical umbrella organization. For now we are just preparing a group blog. I've got my initial post ready to go, and may do a second one before we actually launch.
That's the blogging.

Today I spent my day - going on 18 hours now - mostly working on two commercials. I had the opportunity to shoot two very low budget commercials for a crown corporation (I'll say more later, but for now it's close to my chest.) For both combined the total cast and crew was six people, and a dog. Yes we broke one of the cardinal rules and worked with animals... and it's a bit clearer why it should be avoided now, though I think we fared admirably. We had very little equipment and even less time. The rough cut of one of them is already complete, and we only started shooting around 9:30 this morning (technically yesterday morning now). Why I am I still awake? At least I have no real commitments for tomorrow.

Friday night Jodie and I went and had a picnic in Stanley Park and listened to Great Big Sea. That was sweet.

For years of my childhood the Leon Uris book Trinity sat on my parent's bookshelf. I always had the sense that it was somethign that I should read. I picked it up in a used bookstore on the North Shore last month. Jodie and I just went wandering for the day and we found ourselves in this crazy store. Our first reaction when we walked in was "Yikes! Disaster area! Leave now!" But the owner saw us walk in and greeted us with such encouragement that it was hard not to at least take a peek. We spent over an hour there. It was a disaster area, but that was part of it's charm. Much of the 'organization' of the books was extremely haphazard. There were parts of the store that could only be accessed by moving stacks of books or climbing over them. (I did neither.) Jodie found a number of books. So did I, but I limited myself to two - despite the awesome prices. I bought a copy of L.A. Confidential, which is not only one of my favourite movies of all time, but also one of my favourite books. I don't tend to keep books, but when a book is 'a favourite of all time' it deserves to be kept. At some point after I've re-read it I should write about why the magic intersection of favourite novel and movie happened with this particular adaptation - it is important to the inclusion of both in that esteemed position. I had another book... can't recall what it was... as my second book (Tailor of Panama made the short list, but I don't recall carrying it around.) until just before we left - I was already at the point of milling about waiting - I stumbled upon a previously unseen cranny. In that hidden nook, there was a copy of Trinity. I had to buy it and answer a decades old call.
It's a monster of a book - over 800 pages. I'm not a particularly fast reader, and lately I haven't had a lot of time to read. For now I'm only nominally past the 1/8th mark, but it is one heck of a read. It's tough enough for any novel to make me cry, let alone do so in the first 100 to 120 pages, but Uris's chapters about the Great Potato Famine are so heart-breaking it's... ...and the words fall short.
I suppose knowing that part of my heritage comes from that stock - people who boarded coffin ships, practically swindled into abandoning their homeland, and being among the fraction who made the crossing of the Atlantic alive only to be given a farm of peat in the prairies... though I suppose it was in a sense familiar and certainly no worse than where they left. And the people who stayed behind... egads... what a nightmare. It's in a sense ironic tha such a religiously motivated people would be put to such random peril that it would be a truly Darwinian challenge - a weeding of the weak, and strengthening of the stock. We who have descended have done so because our ancestors were such complete badasses that they survived a cultural decimation that killed half their numbers.

Half their numbers... Christ.

I am looking forward to seeing The Road this fall. It'll have to be different from the book in order to be a film. I'm very curious to see how it turns out. It had better be as bleakly-hopeful as the book. Half their numbers doesn't tell the... well, the half of it.


A touch of Trinity, and then to sleep... providing that drunken-asshole neighbours don't start hollering again.

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