felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
It hasn't been my best day, but far from the worst. Work was pretty quiet, mostly because they're installing new computers and a new server so we weren't able to work for twenty- or thirty-minute stretches. One of my co-workers made a fudge cake, and I got a signed card from everyone.

I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow. I'm at a critical point in my writing, and I'd really like to have a full day to work at it. Eight pages left on the heavy edit, and I probably won't have a chance to finish it before Tuesday. After that, I have a couple of short edits planned.

Still not entirely satisfied, but I like it better than anything else I've written so far.

I'm reading American Gods right now, and I'm about one-third of the way through. I also finished Death Note, which is one of the best animes I've ever seen. I'll put up a review sometime when I have the time.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Yeah -- on a somewhat more cheerful note, this scene of two women dancing is probably the most beautiful sequence in all of anime:

It's from Revolutionary Girl Utena, of course ^_^
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Yeah, the book I was so eager about -- The Soul Beneath the Skin -- is starting to become tedious. The first two chapters were wonderful. They were about volunteerism and the much lower levels of violence in the gay male community than in the general public.

The third chapter, though, is basically the author's attempt to graft his own particular sexual fetishes and relationship styles on to a general gay cultural identity, as if these things were interchangeable.

I rather resent non-monogamy made to sound as if it is the proper choice for gay relationships. The author is extremely dismissive of monogamy -- along with the usual obnoxious quips that protray monogamy as somehow a neurosis that treats people as objects. He also treats S&M and public sex as somehow defaults for us. That's not my life, and shouldn't be some sort of requirement for being part of the community.

Sadly, this is the longest chapter thus far. I'm only halfway through the book, but it's turning much more into something about "skin" than "soul" -- which would be a far more radical conversation to be having. So far, there's been hardly anything about queer spirituality, which is what I was really hoping for.

On the other hand, I'm watching what may be the best anime I've seen thus far, in terms of sheer artistic brilliance. Death Note is very dark -- what you'd expect of a series about a boy who gets the power to kill anyone, anywhere in the world so long as he knows their real name and has seen their face. He decides to use that power to cleanse the world of violent crime.

It's an old story, but done very originally.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I just finished Kingdom Hearts I. I have to admit to admit I avoided this one for awhile -- Disney makes me squeamish and even a Disney-Final Fantasy crossover made me worry.

Review of Kingdom Hearts, spoilers included )

For those with no interest in video games, I'll just mention that there's a black squirrel here in Verdun, living in a tree on fourth avenue.

This is significant -- Montrealers are always fascinated by black squirrels, and often tell me that there are no black squirrels in Montreal, that you only find them at Oka, or up in the Laurentians, etc.

I've nicknamed him Kokki. Fans of 12 Kingdoms will know why ^_^
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
A few things:

As of this morning, I'm two-thirds through my massive edit of my novel, hoping to be 70% through it by tomorrow morning.

I'm slowing down my posts to my other blog, making them once-a-week on Sundays. The stuff I'm doing is too research-intensive to do well in such a short time -- I've have 25 years of criminal indictments to go through at the archives by next post.

I'd also like time to relax and do fun stuff (like playing Kingdom Hearts).

For the anime group, I assume we're still meeting tonight at my place? I'll be here, in any event.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Queer History

I came across Jim Egan again in One of the Boys, talking about his experiences as a gay man in the military in World War II.

This man is everywhere in Canadian queer history. From about 1949 to 1962, he was the Canadian gay liberation movement, writing letters to newspapers and so on long before anyone else, before the lobby groups and legalization.

In 1997, he won the biggest court battle ever for queer people in this country -- making discriminatory laws against us unconstitutional. Because of him, it became illegal to discriminate against us for housing and jobs, for pensions, etc -- and the precedent he set made same-sex marriage possible.

Sadly he never lived to marry his partner of 51 years, Jack Nesbit. He died in 2000.

And Wikipedia has no article on this guy. I was astonished. When I have more time, I'll do more research on his life so I can write a proper one.


We finished Gankutsuou yesterday. I haven't read The Count of Monte Cristo, which this anime is based on, so I can't say for sure what was in the original. But if it doesn't have a space alien destroyed by the power of true love (in the form of a guy-on-guy kiss), like the anime did, then it ought to have.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Gah. Starting today, I'm working the next six days. I kept my birthday free, but that's about it. I'm going to be quite worn out by then.

Oh, well. Beltaine was fun, even if we didn't do much -- just got together and got caught up (none of us have seen [livejournal.com profile] foi_nefaste in ages). But I guess that's what the holidays are for.

Still enjoying One of the Boys: Homosexual in the Military during World War II, though I'm reading it slowly. And I'm looking forward to Gankutsuou tonight -- the grand finale. I guess holding out for a happy ending is pretty pointless, though.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

I realize I haven't been talking about my writing much lately. It's going well -- I hit 200 pages today on my re-write, or about 106,000 words.

I feel bad, because everyone's cheering me on, and so I feel guilty whenever I start again with a major overhaul. I think my roommate and a few close friends are use to it, but I worry it'll annoy others.

Every re-write is exponentially better than the previous version, so I am making progress. This version is light years better than the previous, so I'm happy about that. At the same time, I worry that at this rate, I may never get this done.


Gankutsuou is getting better. The giant-robot battle yesterday helped. I was worried that this version of The Count of Monte Cristo was severely lacking in giant robots. I feel Dumas would agree.

I suspect there's a lost manuscript of The Three Musketeers with giant robots in it. They make everything better.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

From an article on CBC where Margaret Atwood lashs out at the Conservatives for trying to kill the anadian arts scene:

"They [the Conservatives] basically just hate us. You know it’s people who have never seen any arts in their own lives — they would rather not have gardens, they would rather have parking lots. They just think it’s a frill probably."
Like for everything else worthwhile, the Conservatives have slashing the arts. Our own literary festival in Montreal, Blue Metropolis, lost $150,000.

Atwood focused her article on the economic benefits of the arts in Canada. It's sad art is reduced to defend itself on such a level. Since our society's lost the ability to see the bigger picture -- something the arts help us to do -- nothing can be defended except on the grounds that it brings in money.

Societies should not be run for profit. They exist to promote a larger, more holistic kind of human happiness and security. Art is the lifeblood of a society, embodying and transmitting its values, helping it to see itself, drawing attention to its problems, and healing its wounds so we don't keep repeating the same stupid and costly mistakes over and over.

If art was a money-losing proposition -- and in this country, it's not -- it would still be more vital than a lot of things we waste money on.

Social Life

Just wanted to make sure with the anime group that we were meeting same time, same place for Psychedelic Gay French Vampire Wednesday...? Nothing else has changed but the day?
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

Yesterday was the 200th anniversary of the British beginning to phase out slavery in their Empire. Our Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, made a speech about it yesterday.

They weren't the first to outlaw slavery, and Upper Canada (now southern Ontario) became the first place in the Empire to begin the phase-out more than a decade before. Yet in 1807, Britain was the most powerful nation on Earth, and when they decided to shut it down on their own ships, that was a major turning point.

In other political news, Quebec votes tomorrow and I dislike all three front-runners. All three are centre-right parties, though two pretend to be left-wing during elections even though one of them is led by a former Mulroney Conservative, and the other one by a man who signed Québec Lucide.


Things were quiet today, after a rushed and unpleasant week (my parents were in town, and they used up most of my time around work and NDP functions). I am keeping up with my writing, though little else. I still haven't heard back about the exam I wrote a week ago.

Not much else to report. We are watching a new anime, now -- a retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, except the count is now a gay vampire living on the moon, and he now has a kick-ass spaceship.

They must have felt this was too prosaic for anime fans, so they spiced it up by giving all the characters psychedelic outfits with patterns that shift as they move.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I really should be reading Moby Dick. I'm fairly prepared for my exam next Friday -- I was already prepared the first time around -- but more material would always help.

Still, there's only so much I can read about the differences between methods of rope-tying between British and American whaling ships before I flee to YouTube and anime.

Only of interest to Fullmetal Alchemist Fans, and anime fans in general. Otherwise, nothing to see here. Will contain spoilers and severe psychological trauma. )
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Gah. I don't have many bad days at work -- I like my job -- but I definitely had one, today.

One teacher managed to make 65 errors on a single page of a single week's attendance -- which means she entered every bit of information for every student and herself incorrectly for a week, excepting her initials. Actually, I'm a little surprised she got her initials right.

She's very nice, but I think Oliver Sachs could get a book out of her math skills and memory.

In better news, I'm back up to a steady 2000 words a day again, and the novel is coming together better-structured. I'm worried about giving daily progress reports after having disappointed people last time.

Plus, I got to hear [livejournal.com profile] jenjoou coin the term "baby-infested armour" last night. Context available upon request.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
The worst of my two exams is over. The test was really difficult, but I think I did well on two of the three essays, if slightly incoherent. There were only four of us in the room, including a friend of mine.

I found out after the test, though, that it shall be marked by Bina, the program's most extreme postmodernist. I've been avoiding any class with her name attached to it, mostly because they're about postmodernism, and not really about the books studied in those classes.

Now I have to read a few thousand pages for next Friday. Right now, I've reading a very, very sincere 700-page novel by Rohinton Mistry about an unusual friendship that strikes up between two upper-class Parsis and two Hindu untouchables.

It's a good (though thorough) novel. But I really just want to watch anime right now, and I've got "Cloud Age Symphony" stuck in my head (Grainy video with SOUND here).

Anyway, we're considering a party and a D&D game next week, after my last exam (probably the last of my academic career, ever). The game will probably be Sunday, as per usual, but I'm happy to take suggestions for the party.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So it's been a quiet day. Got a little editing done -- I may hit the one-quarter mark today -- and some packing done. The big move is a week from tomorrow.

We've been watching a sweet and silly anime called Princess Princess. It's about three 16-year-old boys at an all-boys school who are bribed by the student council into dressing up as girls because the lack of girls is a serious drain on morale.

Sometimes, when watching an anime, I try to picture what it would look like if done on North American TV. With this one, it's just not coming. I don't think US cartoons have had any drag queens since Bugs Bunny hung up his wedding dress.

Practical things: it looks like all or most of us can play D&D this weekend, but the question is where? Matt doesn't want to have it here because our appartment is nothing but a giant mass of boxes right now.

Any ideas?
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
It hath now been hours and I'm still trying to figure out how an intelligent, well-educated francophone employee of a major federal government ministry could have thought that the standard English word for "les gens" was "the gigolo."

I can only assume it's the result of a prank by a malicious English-speaker. I'm not really allowed to point out people's mistakes during these placement tests, so I couldn't actually ask her.

I also wonder how many times she's written "gigolo" in place of "people" on government documents. If you get any government documents with the word "gigolo" in it where the word "people" should be, you know I've spoken to that woman.

So, yeah -- it was an interesting day giving English-as-a-second-language placement tests.

Another breakthrough in my editing has put me about one-fifth of the way through my major edit.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

I thought I was on the mend, but I had to come home dizzy from work today. It was still too soon after the surgery. I hope I'm not coming down with a fever (my doctor was worried).


I flew off the handle yesterday when I discovered that hole in the government records. Turns out it's not something Harper's been plotting, but a procedural void. All four parties are responsible -- I don't think they even realize that their votes aren't being recorded in some circumstances.

I'm going to present an emergency motion to the NDP's convention in September. This procedural hole is fairly easy to fix, as soon as politicians notice the hole is there.

Even if Harper isn't responsible for the hole in the records, with his attacks on the press right now, we need accurate government records to keep track of what all the parties are doing. This is the worst time to have gaps in the records, and so far there's been a gap for every single vote this year on a government bill.

General Geekery

Everyone who's ever seen Neon Genesis Evangelion is actually required to go here. Yes, that's the law. I checked.

I'd issue a spoiler warning for everyone elese, but I think they'd all just be lost.

I love Evangelion. But it is really pretentious. I think I'd hate it as a book. Too James Joyce.

Maybe if Finnegan's Wake was done as an anime, it would be more enjoyable. If Joyce had giant cyborgs, badly-done quantum mechanics, and homoerotic subtext, I'd like him more.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I present to the thermonuclear warhead of annoying, the postmodern mime (from Linda Hutcheon's book):
"The very walls of the traditional museum and the very definition of art come under fire in the performances of Albert Vidal, for instance. His "The Urban Man" is a kind of anthropological performance ritual in which Vidal spends five hours a day in a major public place in a city (Miami's Metro Zoo or the Place d'Youville in Quebec City) offering to passers-by an "exhibit" of postmodern man about his daily business."
What is "postmodern man's" daily business? Deconstructing his groceries? Turning office memos into historiographic metafiction? Informing his boyfriend/girlfriend that love is a bourgeois concept and a construction of language, and that the "I" in "I love you" is a signifier that cannot be tied to a signified beyond language?

Oh well, there are reasons to be happy. I finally polished off more than 8 pages yesterday on my writing, though I've hardly done any today. Plus there's Advent Children to look forward to. And there was a gorgeous gay guy sitting next to me this evening in the internet place, so that made me happy :)

As for work, wish me luck. I'm going to be leading the placement test tomorrow, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. I even have a one-member "team" to help me with the interviews.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Probably the only people who care about this already know, but as [livejournal.com profile] seal7told me, Final Fantasy Advent Children is now out.

This will make up for having the wade through all this PoMo crap this terms.

Also, I've written nearly 7 pages today on the new novel, and I'm half finished a new short story.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
First, some news stuff:
  1. Canada will soon have a new Governor General named Michaëlle Jean. Most people in English Canada have never heard of her, though she's well-known enough in French Canada. Most of the comments have been good, but a few of the letters at the CBC and The Globe and Mail show that racism and sexism are alive and well in this country, unfortunately (Madame Jean is Haitian). Apparently, the fact that Canada has had two women of colour in row for GG indicates some kind of pandering political correctness, according to some of these people. The post has been held for 126 out of 138 years by men, and 132 out of 138 years by white people.

  2. And speaking of unloved minorities in high places, the Crown Prince of Qatar -- the man groomed to be the next Emir -- was caught in a barfight in a British gay bar with his boyfriend. Qatar, as I understand it, is an absolute monarchy, except that the monarches are required to follow Sharia law, which prescribes death for homosexuality. No word on whether the 25-year-old prince can return to Qatar and not be afraid for his life :/

And now, for personal stuff, which is a lot more cheerful:
  1. First, congratulations are in order to [livejournal.com profile] snowdaemon for her permanent residency status. She'll make a great addition to the country.

  2. My writing continues apace. I think I'm coming out of one of my worst slumps, now, and I'm working on far too many pieces at once.

  3. I think everyone's a go for Gravitation tonight. Just so we're on the same page, 8pm tonight, at [livejournal.com profile] foi_nefaste's, and I'll be bringing the video (episodes 7, 8, and 9 tonight, I guess...?)


felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

September 2011

11 12 1314151617


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios