Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes vol. 37

Still hosted by Conversion Diary, which is the reason I now regret giving back my parents' XM radio.

1.       It’s been so long since I’ve done these that I’m tempted to just tear down and start over. That happens kind of a lot. I’ve made several attempts to restart the series, but I kept getting distracted while deciding what to include and then forgetting to finish. I do most of these at work, you see, so when an actual, you know, assignment comes across my desk I kind of have to drop blogging and do it. Often that leads me to other things I need to do, at least one of which will make me want to walk out the door and start that rattlesnake sanctuary I’ve always dreamed of. If nothing else, the temperamental printer or my stroke-inclined computer will be sure to do the trick if they think I’m enjoying myself too much.

2.       Still working on finding other jobs (around Michigan now: no longer moving to Texas). I just applied to one that I really hope I get, but I won’t say anymore because I highly doubt I will (lack of retail experience, you see). It does, however, encourage me to look more into that particular field for other possible jobs, because I think I’d really like that sort of thing, and might be pretty darn good at it. More later.

3.       Writing wise, I’m slowly slogging my way through The Order of the Rattlesnake: a book about a secret society of knights battling witches in the modern day. The idea behind it was partly because I wanted to try my hand at a young adult book (so of course it features horrible murders, heavily-implied rape, and sociopathy, because apparently I have a horribly dark imagination) and partly because of a comment I found on John C. Wright’s blog (highly recommended, btw). I don’t remember which post is was from, but it ran:

“But I have to say, what I’ve found is that the ideas [in modern fantasy] mainly boil down to “They say witches are evil – BUT THEY’RE NOT! They say vampires are evil – BUT THEY’RE NOT! They say werewolves are evil – BUT THEY’RE NOT!” and so on.”

And so I decided “I’m going to do the complete opposite: I’m going to make this about knights vs. witches in which the witches are actually every bit as bad as they’re made out.” We’ve had quite enough of these “OMG! Vampires are totally innocent victims!” stories: time to start nudging things back a bit. My witches are really evil and magic is a very bad thing.

4.       This has been a really staggering year for film-industry deaths: Shirley Temple, Bob Hoskins, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall (the last of the Golden Age Hollywood stars), and now the mighty Richard Kiel. Kiel is, of course, most famous for playing the beloved Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker: one of the two essential Bond henchmen (the other, of course, being Harold Sakata’s Oddjob), though he had many, many other roles during his long career (several of which ended up on MST3K). His most famous role apart from the Bond films was probably as the intimidating alien in the classic Twilight Zone episode To Serve Man (“That sounds encouraging!”). Like many actors famed for playing bad guys, Kiel was by all-accounts a good-natured soul and was a fervent evangelical Christian. As something of a cinephile, I’ve always had especial fondness for working actors like Kiel, and his intimidating presence will be missed. May eternal light shine upon him, and may he rest in peace.

5.       Problems I don’t think normal people have: I’m in the market for a gas-mask, but I can’t find one that will fit over my glasses. I plan on checking out a nearby Army surplus store to see what they’ve got (Why am I in the market for a gas mask? You read the same news I do, right?).

6.       I note that some people seem to consider the Charley Chan movies racist. I’m really not sure what hateful racial stereotype is advanced by having a courageous, polite Oriental gentleman travelling around the world out-witting predominantly white opponents.

7.       Sign on the entrance to REI: “Service animals only.”
Me: “You can’t bring animals in here! This is an outdoors store!”  

Vivat Christus Rex!