Briefly hospitalized

Incidentally, I'm now home after having been hospitalized for 24 hours. Most tests were normal. Condition improved. Further details later, at end of work-up, if warranted.
  • Current Mood
    aggravated aggravated

The oldest whore on the beat

During the last meeting of the Nameless, we had some brief talk about writing fiction with an eye towards saleability. Do we call such a writer a prostitute? Or do we call them 'published'?

I lean towards the latter, but the question is not easily answered. It has clearly bothered many writers over the years.

I was reminded of it when I ran across this passage:
Joseph L. Mankiewicz, whose writing and direction of the backstage comedy-drama All About Eve provided us with another Hollywood high-water mark, and whose creative control over his own work should have suggested he might consider himself a kind of artist, turned the very idea into the setup for a self-deprecating punchline. "I am never quite sure whether I am one of the cinema’s elder statesman," he said, "or just the oldest whore on the beat."
—from a review by John Podhoretz in The Weekly Standard, of a new book by Sam Wasson about Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

Night of the Living Dental Dead

The result of a root canal is a zombie tooth. After my last root canal, the ranks of zombie teeth in my mouth just rose to five. Scary.

I took both amoxicillin and Vic0d1n. Amoxicillin causes diarrhea. Hydrocodone causes constipation. The result was a state of blissful equilibrium, their side-effects fighting each other to a standstill.

I have seen the first sign of autumn. On the black walnut trees that ring my house like lonely sentinels black walnut trees, here and there on their palmate leaves, a single leaflet has turned yellow. Not many, yet, just a scattering over each tree.
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    indescribable indescribable
markets, money

I can still read the writing on the wall

I've been watching a grain index ETN, JJG, bounce off an invisible bottom at around 33 for the past year and a half. A couple of months ago it started to rise sharply. Now I discover why. It's wheat. Wheat futures are soaring because Russia has been experiencing the worst drought in 100 years. Wheat fields are actually catching fire and burning.

Yesterday Putin announced that all wheat exports until the end of the year are canceled. Even existing contracts are not being honored. Near term wheat futures were up limit yesterday.

My beaten and bruised MON Jan 11 and Jan 12 LEAPS, also known as the Long Call Position of the Sorrows, have actually started to wake and move. Is it too much to hope that my SSW and DSX might also benefit? If the Old World can't buy wheat from Russia, it must buy it from overseas, and they don't ship wheat in airplanes.

I am buying AGU, CF, ADM, POT, and CAT at the open. On margin.
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    hopeful hopeful

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is a drama-comedy about a Casper Milquetoast of a character, Walter White, a nerdy middle-aged high school chemistry teacher, who through accident, cleverness, courage, and desperation, winds up as a methamphetamine drug lord.

The show has had three seasons so far, with a fourth scheduled. I've watched the first season. Breaking Bad is often fun, but not quite as good as it should be. Timing and pace are frequently off. Setting alternates between Walter's conventional suburban life and the drug-addled underworld into which he plunges. The drug-addled underworld is colorful, violent, exciting, and has great music and brisk editing. Walter's suburban life frequently drags. Teachable moment: the way to depict dullness is not to be dull.

The writing is not quite as clever as it should be. When a drug boss to whom he is trying to sell meth asks Walter his name, Walter replies, "Heisenberg." Sorry, that joke was stale decades ago. Dialog is frequently uninteresting. One-line jokes are stretched to fill a ten minute scene. Conflict often seems trumped up to fill plot dead time.

I notice from the Wikipedia entry that the show has won several Emmys, and that critics have raved about its acting, writing and editing. Acting, sure. Writing and editing? Nope, sorry.

One annoyance: the director opted to shoot indoor scenes with hand-held camera and no Steadicam. Result: shots constantly jiggle around the frame. Irritating and distracting. Lay down some tracks, please.

The show excels in set and costume design. It's sort a Queer Eye for gangsta learners and student meth users.

I had an overdose patient in the ER a few nights ago whose sartorial style reminded me a lot of Jesse Pinkman, a meth cook who goes into business with Walter. His hoodie was a LV-style print featuring dollar signs, skulls, hearts and guns. Here's a photo of his hat:

Breaking Bad definitely has its moments, but there's too much clumsiness and too many blown scenes to wade through to get to them. I'll be skipping the second season, and heading back to anime for a while.
  • Current Mood
    bouncy bouncy

Smoky Violet

I'm shopping for smartphones. No, I don't have one yet. Get off my lawn.

Browsing the Verizon Wireless website, I notice that the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8530 smartphone in Black is rated by users 3 1/2 stars. The BlackBerry® Curve™ 8530 smartphone in Smoky Violet is rated 4 stars. Same features. Same price. Same phone.

Well, that does it. I'm re-naming the POV character in my current wip 'Smoky Violet'. I'm titling the novel 'Smoky Violet'. I may name the character's home town 'Smoky Violet', and their favorite anime or Touhou character 'Smoky Violet'.

This is going to be a challenge, because the character isn't a stripper or a porn star, and is, well, actually sort of male.

But dammit, it's a tough market out there, and I need every edge I can get.
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    determined determined

Nostalgic for the future

In the future, all women will be hot. So will all men.

Okay, so this is a trivial observation. But consider: genetic engineering is going lickety-split. In the not-too-distant future, we all may be able to choose what we look like. And who wouldn't choose to be hot?

Will we all look like pulp SF covers?

See, the definition of 'hot' isn't stable. It changes with every generation. Fashions of body and face change with glacial slowness, far, far more slowly than clothing fashions. But they do change.

If there had been pulp SF covers in Tokugawa Japan, the future's girls with guns might have looked like this:

But in two hundred years, the meaning of 'hot' has shifted a good bit.

I don't know what those LA police recruits (previous post) are going to look like in 2200. I wouldn't be surprised by anything. They will look back on today's Cosmo covers and advertising art, and think the people depicted look as strange and alien as a ukiyo-e courtesan.
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    nostalgic nostalgic