Respite

Friendly and attentive readers,

This blogger is headed on a vacation to the White Mountains. Pine cabins, fireplaces, hiking, swimming, reading, and all things non-electric. I depart immediately after a morning Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy matinee, and will not be blogging again for a week or so.

In the interim, visit any of my standing ovationable blogs, and -- if time permits -- visit my applaudable blogs. All are worthy of your viewership or a long read.

book recommendation: The Architect of Sleep

Because the central characters are intelligent raccoons, many may consider this a work of fantasy. In my opinion, it's simply an alternate-universe speculative fiction story with communication as the primary focus.

The first pages snagged me with their smooth, believable style. However, once the back cover of the book loomed closer, I suspected and eventually realized there was no fucking way this story would be completed in one throw. On the last three pages, readers are left with a muddy, confusing, unresolved dangle over the edge of an unknown abyss.

I re-examined the front and back covers. (Although I always look for series-traps, especially when selecting sf or fantasy novels, I doubted myself and re-scanned everything.) Not one hint. No mention of: “First in the Truck series” or, “Book one of …” and, worst of all, the covers contained quotes using the word: book; nowhere was the word trilogy used.

If QT released Kill Bill and neglected to mention it was the first of a two-part film, audiences would have felt like suckers. This is worse. This book is almost a quarter of a century old and Stephen R. Boyett never wrote a sequel (although I’ve — now — learned it may be partially poorly written and just unpublishable). The author has a website where he begrudgingly blames himself for being 'young when he wrote it'). The publisher (Ace) gets much bashing and blame. I blame only the author. I no longer give one hoot why no caveat lector was included on the book cover. He sold an unfinished story. I’ll never pick up another book of Boyett’s. Neither should you.

Consider this the last book in the world worth reading. If there's a planet-wide catastrophic holocaust and you find yourself in an underground bunker with this book: It's not completely useless. You'll need something to wipe your ass with.

Keeper Alert

To provide more timely reviews for Keeper films, (it can be difficult to catch a film at a first-run theater if following bi-seasonal reviews) I will be providing 'Keeper reviews' with more immediacy as well as every six-weeks.

Off the Map (2003) directed by Campbell Scott (Big Night, 1996); starring Valentina de Angelis and Joan Allen: Snaprating=Keeper, RE-ORDER theme (CHARACTER secondary theme). The WFT film Secondhand Lions aspires to become as tightly directed and wonderfully scripted as this insightful glimpse of a precocious 12 year old girl, her family, and friends.


Kung Fu Hustle (Gong Fu) (2004) directed by Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer, 2001); starring Stephen Chow and Qiu Yuen: Snaprating=Keeper, PROBLEM theme. Far more over-the-top than a Warner Brothers cartoon, kung-foolishness fans (who enjoy Jackie Chan movies) will get their fill of giggles while being thrilled by constant CGI-slap-stick, stomp-stick, and crush-stick.

Critique of the Critic

Film critics — both professional and amateur — are, mostly, verbose assholes. Amateur does not mean unprofessional (in this instance) but merely someone providing altruistic film recommendations.


Everyone needs a film umpire; I’m no exception. I suspect, however, that most professional critics are confused as to why they write film reviews. Since the only reason to read a review is to determine if a film is worth watching — there’s only one reason to write them, which is to either recommend a film to readers, or warn them away from one. That’s it. The film reviews I read (and the critics who write them) fall into four categories:


  1. Name Droppers feel the need to prove they really watched the film and also accomplished extensive research afterwards. They pack their rambling reviews with obscure references, titles, famous names, and about a hectare and a half of unneeded shit.
  2. Book Report-ers always include a near-complete description of the entire film. Unless they’re paid by the word, there’s no reason to incessantly blather about details, which have no bearing on recommending or not recommending the film.
  3. Film Snobs believe their ability to construct a complex sentence using non-vocabulary words, somehow improves their review. Bullshit. It only proves they don’t know their readers, or why they are writing. Film Snobs dislike most films and are condescending in their reviews.
  4. Gen Y-ers think the attention span of their audience is as short as their own and, therefore, rant in sound-bytes. They never compare films to others and expect readers to follow their advice without explanation or reason.

My film reviews are constructed to be concisely informative and assist my readers in selecting films. This was extracted from my ‘early spring 05’ review:

Millions (2004) directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 1996); starring Alexander Nathan Etel and James Nesbitt: Snaprating=Keeper, PROBLEM-theme (CHARACTER secondary theme). Etel's adorable quirky-sweetness causes this 'Sleepless In Seattle meets Pay It Forward' to shine above the mass of other British 'found loot' films.
In less than fifty words, my encapsulation of Millons offers the following blocks of information:
  • Title.
  • Year of release. (To avoid confusion with like-named films)
  • Director’s name. (Film makers create consistently — remember your favorites)
  • Previous film from this director. (For those who forget their favorite directors)
  • Main actors. (For those who want to watch their favorite actors)
  • Snaprating. (Best to worst: Keeper, Cheaper, WFD, WFC, WFT)
  • Theme(s). (All films fit into four: Milieu, Character, Problem, Re-Order)
  • Brief comparison. (with others which share its characteristics)

Michael Wilmington, a critic with the Chicago Tribune, utilized over 675 words to recommend Millions. Beginning by awarding three and a half stars out of a possible four (although I can find no explanation for his stars, what they mean, or why nine ranks — with zero as the lowest — are needed), and then in typical Book Report-er style, he describes the entire film in unnecessary detail [“…not millions actually, but 229,320 pounds…more than $400,000…”]. In his twelve paragraphs, Wilmington’s redundancy competes with his personal bias. He cites the director three times and lists Trainspotting as a previous film of his, twice. In Name Dropper style, Wilmington lists unneeded proof of his research [“…ace Dogma 95 cinemtographer Anthony Dod Mantle…”] and provides his opinion as to what was in the director’s mind [“…It’s a fable…a Christian morality play/fantasy about Mammon and the soul of man…”].

Nick Schager, a critic with Slant Magazine, only needed 400 words to label Millions as worthy of two and a half stars out of a possible four (ditto on his explanations). In a perfect combination of Film Snob and Name Dropper (a must, in order to be a Slant employee), Schager trumpets his disdain from his opening [“Sure to be Sally Struthers's all-time favorite film…”] to his close [“…given the devalued state of current Hollywood kid's pictures, Boyle's lighthearted fairy tale nonetheless slightly outperforms…”].


Kyle Smith, a reviewer with the New York Post, (who hasn’t seen many films in his short life) also used a little over 400 words to label Millons as worthy of two and half stars out of a possible four. In strong Gen Y style, Smith throws around a flurry of snippets [“Flashy, messy kids' tale.”], [“…a jittery jumble, a weird Christmas fable…”], [“…a fantasy even less likely than a visit from Saint Nicholas, but never mind] and [“…this enchilada is so overstuffed, it's falling apart.”] but with all his pointless paragraph-sentences, he doesn’t communicate anything of value.

film reviews (early spring 2005)

Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003) directed by Prachya Pinkaew (US directorial debuit); starring Tony Jaa and Petchtai Wongkamlao: Snaprating=Cheaper, PROBLEM-theme (MILIEU secondary theme). Martial arts fans looking for a new face performing non-CGI, non-wired, ass kicking's--in the tradition of Fists of Fury--will be legitimately enthralled by the loosely choreographed roughness and may forgive poor lighting and sophomoric editing.


Robots (2005) directed by Chris Wedge (Ice Age, 2002); voices of Ewan McGregor and Robin Williams: Adult Snaprating=WFC, Gradeschool Snaprating=Cheaper, MILIEU-theme. Very young animation fans will laugh at the fart and butt jokes and enjoy the many first-person roller coaster scenes (done better in Polar Express) but may not catch every rapid-fire gag jammed into this worn-out, retreaded, hick-makes-good-in-the-city script.


The Upside of Anger (2005) directed by Mike Binder (Blankman, 1994); starring Joan Allen and Kevin Costner: Snaprating=WFC, RE-ORDER theme. Fans of the subdued, intense, character, which is consistantly portrayed by Allen (The Contender) will be pleased to watch her banter with Kostner's familiar ex-baseball character in this plodding melange rife with directorial filmic errors.


Millions (2004) directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 1996); starring Alexander Nathan Etel and James Nesbitt: Snaprating=Keeper, PROBLEM-theme (CHARACTER secondary theme). Etel's adorable quirky-sweetness causes this 'Sleepless In Seattle meets Pay It Forward' to shine above the mass of other British 'found loot' films.


Tarnation (2003) directed by Jonathan Caouette (directorial debut); starring Jonathan Caouette and Renee Leblanc: Snaprating=Cheaper, CHARACTER-theme. Fans of What the #$*! Do We Know!? will adore the exceptional editing and soundtrack of this stunning, unique, autobiographical-documentary, which--like an angst-driven, 90-minute expressionist video--plays the emotionally-charged card quite well.


Frank Miller's Sin City (2005) directed by Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon a Time in Mexico, 2003); starring Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Brittany Murphy and many others: Snaprating=Keeper, RE-ORDER-theme (MILIEU secondary theme). Graphic novel afficionados and fans of Pulp Fiction will worship this tight yet over-the-top stagesque rendering and character melange, which moves the 'unique bar' high, so very high.


Downfall (Der Untergang) (2004) directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Experiment, 2001); starring Bruno Ganz and Alexandra Maria Lara: Snaprating=WFD, CHARACTER-theme. Historical film fans will overlook the length and claustrophobic settings of this war movie and applaud Hitler's secretary's perspective of his last few days.


Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) directed by Brad Silberling (Moonlight Mile, 2002); starring Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep: Snaprating=WFD, PROBLEM-theme (MILIEU secondary theme). Jim Carrey fans will enjoy his familiar antics and overlook the weak script in this cute yet unfunny attempt to do what The Princess Bride (a Keeper) accomplished in pre-CGI days.


Schultze Gets the Blues (2003) directed by Michael Schorr (directorial debut); starring Horst Krause and Karl Fred Müller: Snaprating=WFD, CHARACTER-theme. Fans of slice-of-life films depicting odd characters turning over a new leaf, like The Station Agent, may enjoy this 'still-waters-run-deep' film.


The Woodsman (2004) directed by Nicole Kassell (directorial debut); starring Keven Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick: Snaprating=WFC, CHARACTER-theme. Poorly directed, with a simplistic story-line sparse on between-the-lines message, this snapshot would have gone direct to dvd without big name actors (and should have gone direct to cable).


The Chronicles of Riddick (Directors Cut) (2004) directed by David Twohy (Pitch Black, 2000); starring Vin Diesel and Alexa Davalos: Snaprating=WFD, RE-ORDER-theme (secondary MILIEU theme). Riddick fans, and fans of the Blade trilogy, will overlook the grainy CGI, humorous costumes, and campy script to enjoy a familiar suspense in new settings.


Vera Drake (2004) directed by Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies, 1996); starring Imelda Staunton and Richard Graham: Snaprating=WFC, CHARACTER-theme. If fans of PP-BOATS (Period Piece's, Based On A True Story) can overlook Leigh's signature 'garbled dialogue' further confabulated with incessant bleary-eyed whining, they may be intrigued by this moral-legal debate with lack-of-criminal-intent as it's focal point.


Japón (2002) directed by Carlos Reygadas (directorial debut); starring Alejandro Ferretis and Magdalena Flores: Snaprating=WFT, MILIEU-theme (weak secondary CHARACTER theme). Fans of sad characters plodding through a beautiful landscape pock-marked by pain, may be duped (by the misguided belief: "art is difficult to understand") into thinking that the grainy quality, sloppy direction, and weak story are intentional. Bullshit. The fools at Cannes who awarded it are naive for not recognizing it as such.


Ray (2004) directed by Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982); starring Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington: Snaprating=WFD, CHARACTER-theme. Not to down-play Foxx's superb ability, but bio-pic fans will discover this to be just another attempt to make up for plot-shortage by allowing a character's weaknesses and mistakes to dominate and overshadow the life story.


six and seventy

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digital rendering by veach st. glines, creative commons license 2005

seven and seventy

Don't spend money to dry clean your shirt. Instead, donate it to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. They'll clean it and put it on a hanger. The next morning, buy your shirt back for seventy-seven cents. -- Snapperhead misquoting William Coronel


digital rendering by veach st. glines, creative commons license 2005

Doggonit

I'm a Xoloitzcuintli (Xolo), a Mexican hairless dog.

Find out what kind of dog you are at Gone to the Dogs.

rhymen standard-pennant

The herder drives away and kills the wolf, for which the sheep thanks him as a liberator and the wolf denounces him as the destroyer of liberty. Clearly, sheep and wolves will never agree on a definition of liberty, but they also will never agree as to whether the herder should be canonized or damned. -- Snapperhead misquoting Abraham Lincoln

digital rendering by veach st. glines, creative commons license 2005

Pox upon Davecat!

I've seen this meme around for weeks and, of course, mentally disparaged the answers of others while thinking I'd never get the tap. Now that Davecat has (the pox) tapped me, you may disparage my answers forthwith:

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

Fahrenheit 451. (Oh yea? Fuck you, figure out the synchronicity yourself.)

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I've punched the clown while watching anime porn, which trumps a simple crush like, like, ninety.

The last book you bought is:

Jonathan Carroll's Bones of the Moon, at a used bookstore for $4.

The last book you read:

The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick, Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings
, edited by Lawrence Sutin (see 29 March's posting for my review).

What are you currently reading?

The Architect of Sleep, a fantasy about communication and animals, by Steven R. Boyett; and HTML Complete, 3d Edition which is a hard to chew, hard to digest nut-roll.

Five books you would take to a desert island:

Other people's answers to this one always stick in my ass. Five books, doesn't mean: collections, trilogies and libraries. If you cheat on a meme you are just cheating all us other bloggers, you pox-addled pikers!

  1. An Island to Oneself: Six Years on a Desert Island, by Tom Neale
  2. Saltwater Fishing, by Al Ristori
  3. How to Build a Wooden Boat, by David C. McIntosh and Samuel F. Manning
  4. The Ultimate Guide to Small Game and Varmint Hunting: How to Hunt Squirrels, Rabbits, Hares, Woodchucks, Coyotes, Foxes and More, by H. Lea Lawrence
  5. Trapper's Bible: Traps, Snares & Pathguards, by Dale Martin
All you who took shit to actually read for entertainment won't be voting my ass off the island any time soon.


Who are you going to pass this to, (stick to 3 persons) and why?

No one. I don't want the Pox!

Can you Canoe

Two people in a canoe (stop me I you’ve heard this one) paddling upstream…

Even if you grew up on a lake, you may be unfamiliar with some of the finer points of canoeing, so I’m going to explain some things you may already know, but — this is my analogy, so move your eyes along — these specific points are important to the getting-to-my-point part of the gisty overall nut.

The person in the back of the canoe (I’ll defer from going too far, but realize I do know my aft from a port in the ground) steers as well as paddles. The person in the front paddles and navigates. (Because the front has the best view of submerged dangers.) The person in the back — the driver — can easily see on which side the person in the front is paddling; important for steering, because when both paddle on the same side the canoe turns in that direction, and when each paddle with the same strength on opposite sides: it travels relatively straight.

A J-stroke (turning the blade of the paddle away from the canoe at the end of the stroke) can correct the slight turn of the canoe caused by the initial power of the stroke.

Feathering the paddle (at the end of each stroke, turning the wrist so the blade is parallel with the water surface) insures less air resistance as the paddle is brought forward and, more importantly, if the paddle accidentally strikes the water, it smoothly slices through and doesn’t alter the canoe's course of travel.

The front person — the navigator — can’t see how the driver is paddling or feathering. The navigator also can’t see if the driver is using a proper J-stroke, or even if the driver is no longer paddling but is using the paddle as a rudder. The driver, on the other hand, can always tell when the navigator is not feathering, using a J-stroke, or paying attention for submerged objects.

An easy canoe trip is spent drifting downstream. This permits both people to do very little paddling. The driver can steer without much effort. The navigator doesn't have to paddle and can just look out for underwater obstacles. A marriage (eventually I get to it) of downstream drifting consists of: a downstream-navigator, watching the scenery float by, enjoying the knowledge that the driver will steer the canoe without much besides an occasional word of direction, and a downstream-driver, steering haphazardly, paddling only when absolutely necessary, and rarely asking his navigator for guidance.

The upstream marriage is very different. Each person knows they have a hard river ahead and must decide who is best capable of steering and who is going to provide direction. Trust is needed, even before getting in the canoe. A knowledgeable navigator is aware a lazy driver may go unnoticed until the navigator feels the canoe losing distance. A wary driver knows an inattentive navigator may cause damage to the canoe.

It’s always easy at first. No one’s tired. It’s a new experience! The new-navigator doesn’t get distracted by the passing scenery (too much) and routinely calls back, amid strong strokes, “we need to go left here” and “I think we need to stay waaay right of that rock”. At the same time, the new-driver — with strength and proficiency — constantly feathers, and, when the new-navigator paddles on the right, switches to the left; when the new-navigator gets tired and switches back, the attentive new-driver is ready to switch too.

After a while, depending on the canoe, the couple, and their individual stretch of river, each person gets tired (even if they take vacations). It’s a long upstream haul and it never stops flowing.

When the navigator gets tired and stops paddling: A wise driver knows how to paddle and steer alone, asking if the navigator is OK; an incompetent driver criticizes and complains about doing all the work and at times may even go so far as to gripe, “watching for hidden logs is the simple and easy job”.

When the driver gets tired and stops paddling or just steers: A conscientious navigator knows it’s time to kick in some extra effort and J-stroke for two; a selfish navigator looks back and complains about doing all the work.

When the canoe hits an underwater log: An experienced driver knows the sun on the water can blind even the most attentive navigator and begins back paddling; a foolish driver places blame and hollers directions. This incident is further aggravated — with an untrusting couple — if the log was hit when the navigator was looking back at the driver to criticize about a lack of effort. It then becomes a, “see-what-you-did, not-my-fault-you-weren’t-paddling,” back and forth.

When paddling a marriage upstream, both the driver and the navigator must work together. Both must communicate: “I need a break, can you paddle alone for a while?”

If you are presently the navigator and know your driver will see when you stop paddling, so think it's redundant to mention it, you're wrong: tell your driver anyway.

If you are currently the driver and suspect your navigator won't know if you just take a quick rest, you're wrong: tell your navigator first.

Although there are rarely any guarantees on the river of life, there are some certainties: the logs and rocks just under the surface are always going to be there. Canoe partners can't see each other's face, so talking is mandatory...don’t add to the submerged dangers by failing to communicate.

To help ensure your canoe-partner doesn’t notice your canoe trip is no longer what was envisioned at the beginning (when fresh, dry, and still on the bank of the river) a few canoe-rules:

Never take your canoe-partner for granted or treat them disrespectfully. Many canoer’s have the (vastly mistaken) impression that they'll be sharing their canoe with their partner — and will always remain in the same seat position — for their entire life! (All that, ’til death do us part, shite.) It shouldn’t be, but it is, an absolute shock to many canoer’s when they discover their partner wants to stop their canoe trip.

Never act like you have attained a tenured position. The length of time spent in the canoe seems to have a bearing on the ease (or lack thereof) of getting out of it. The more time both canoer's invest in paddling the less willing they become, to get out. This can be the impetus for a ridiculous belief (in one or both) that the invested time itself, somehow guarantees the canoe trip's longevity. As one mistaken idea becomes a boatload — a careless canoer then treats their partner with disdain and acts selfishly, without regard for their responsibilities as driver or navigator.

This eventually comes to an end when someone bravely plunges into the cold water to swim to the riverbank or to another canoe.

I’ve successfully paddled canoes with a handful of significant others (usually as the driver, but I've navigated as well). I steered or navigated those canoes to shore when the trips were over (at times reluctantly, usually enthusiastically). Occasionally I got my feet a little damp. If I had to jump in to get the canoe on the bank, I got my legs soaking wet. I say this because, I’ve done it enough to know the water is not so cold that one can’t take it for a short period.

I’m no longer looking for someone to help me paddle a canoe. I currently share a rowboat with the perfect person to share it with.

Be careful! Not everyone can manage a rowboat. It takes agility, trust, and strong communication. One rows facing the stern, while the other navigates facing the rower and the bow. When switching rowers, after one gets tired, be extremely careful to prevent capsizing. And when the tough spots arrive (as they always do) both people have to row side-by-side, each with an oar gripped in their hands, only able to gauge where they are headed by watching where they've been.

Dawn Begins at Zero Dark-Thirty

Before dawn today, I discovered a blackbird commuter byway running directly over my house. 'Dawn' begins with the full stretch of black starlight touching every rocky and forested horizon and ends with the entire sun visible. 'Sunrise' is the exact moment it crests the horizon.

This morning I watched the entire two-and-a-half-hour process of dawn and graduated from someone who enjoys watching the sunrise, to someone who enjoys the dawn.

The blackbirds of Arizona are a courteous flock. They dribble high overhead, in vague wavering clots of threes and fives; barely discernible from the pitch-blue sky, were it not for their passing between starlight and eye. Conversing in low calls and deep throated bracks — out of respect for the many below them who slumber (of whom I normally am one). I wonder if they are headed to get a better view of the Sunrise, unobstructed by the hills to my east.

Coyote breakfast call. Not more than two hundred meters south of my seat, the mother's low moan is met by the anxious yip and excited yap of her hungry brood. Her pups do not yet appreciate the morning quietude, which comes with age. Their unchecked barks and snarls make me smile; reminding me of a letter to the editor in the local art-zine, several months back.

To the lady who wrote complaining about the incursion of wildlife and particularly the increased number of coyotes on her property, I want her to think about who is encroaching on whom. The ever-growing human population is moving farther out into the forest and wilderness. I’m sorry her dogs were victims. But, it’s us who are trespassing and she and others should know better than to leave domestic pets unattended. The coyote is only doing what comes natural and necessary for its survival.

I wondered if Mom and her hungry ones, quiet now, were having any problems with the taste of Hartz 301 flea and tick spray on their breakfast.

I enjoy reading reply letters to the editor, especially when I miss the initial letter. My imagination fills in the missing complaint:

I want to know why the county isn’t doing anything about all the savage animals that are becoming an increasing threat to the safety and security of our homes and families!! Just last night a rabid pack of coyotes took my two Hungarian pug-nosed Grendlespitz’s right out of my back yard. I tried to do something but by the time I got my slippers and robe on all I found were empty collars on the end of their leashes. Duchess and Sophie were members of our family. I want the county animal control division to do something! As a property owner, I pay your salary with my taxes and want to be able to know that my pets are safe in my yard.

Venus pierces the southeastern sky — being brightly dragged westward by the half-waxing moon.

A meteorite zick. North to South. Slight burn to red, perceptible before it’s image on my retina is forgotten.

The eastern sky is slightly lighter now. As if a light polluting city, like New York or Brussels, was transmorpholated intact, just on the other side of the hill. Many of the small stars — visible just minutes ago on the eastern horizon — have been tucked away, behind the lighter blue.

I woke extremely early to see this and certainly don’t regret my decision. Over the past months I ended my days later and rose — accordingly — progressively later. At first, I thought doing so was because I read in my retirement manual under 'no longer needed:' regular haircuts, shaves, or alarm clocks. But, research divulged the following:

Doctors at Duke Medical Center released a report indicating adult humans naturally require 9.25 hours of sleep every 29.1 hours. The study, which lasted several months, was conducted by placing volunteers in a completely shielded environment and preventing the testees from any external knowledge of time. After a period of adjustment, independent of each other or any external impetus, participants settled into a routine of ‘nights’ between nine and ten hours, and twenty hour ‘days’.

Well, that certainly posed more questions than it explained. Obviously, the human body is not in synch with the earth’s revolution around the sun. Why could this be?

The east is much whiter — now — than any city over the hill could cause. Almost every star above me has been absorbed. The horizon blue is no longer just cerulean. Now, aquamarine fades to the yellow of my mother’s bathroom wall which becomes white at the far edge of the hill.

Venus and the moon share the stage alone, with Venus a dim glimmer of it's hour-ago self.

No more blackbirds. They must have all straggled to work — even those who cut their routine to the minute.

Four doves bank around my head in tight formation. A large loop, they glide through another ovoid and return. The sound of the wind over their wings over my head is sharp and wonderful. Which is the alpha-dove, I wonder. After another lap, they settle on a wire below where the sun will eventually make it’s debut in my small valley.

So my body — which I forced for decades to work an unnatural 16 awake and 8 asleep (which easily became 18+ awake and 6- asleep many...or most days, depending on how truthful I feel) has found it’s natural cycle of 20 awake and 9 asleep. This explains why a few nights ago I went to sleep at three in the morning and got up at noon. But it doesn’t explain why man hasn’t settled to the rhythm of the earth-sun revolution in these short hundreds of thousands of years. It should be obvious. It isn’t.

If I went to sleep when the sun set last night and woke when it rose: I would have gotten twelve hours of sleep. If I naturally want to sleep nine and to be awake twenty, why is the day not twenty-nine hours long? A conundrum. An enigma. A puzzle.

In December, American Scientists working in conjunction with the Histore De La Provinciale Sans Guiffon in Den Hage, The Netherlands, have jointly posited that neither Darwin’s evolutionary theory nor the divine origins believed by Christianity fully explain the arrival of Homo Sapiens on Earth. After decades of research — utilizing the Luxtablinula telemetry radio telescope in Denmark and the Hubble satellite telescope: a small terra-equivalent planet has been observed orbiting around the yellow star TJ761.

This planet — named First Earth — has a twenty hour day and a nine hour night. Theories as to the cause have ranged from a combination of First Earth's avuncular revolution around TJ761; a peanut-shaped planet with an erratic wobble-spin; and a unified land mass. Research is presently ongoing to identify the existence of life on First Earth.

Professor R. G. Jihk, director of the First Earth research team, provided this brief comment:

“It is my firm belief that man was brought from First Earth to Earth in much the same manner, and possibly for similar reasons, as the British first utilized Australia. This would have been over one hundred and fourteen thousand years ago. And once we, the modern day Australians — sticking with that analogy — are advanced enough to blast the modern day Brits back to Stonehenge, as it were, I believe the First Earthians will come back and crush us like the foolish prehistoric detritus we are.”

The sunbeams are hitting the roof of my house now. The trees and homes on the west hillside of my valley are bright in reflected orange.

The doves returned with a fifth squad member. They continue routine circles overhead. I may have identified their leader. As they all land back on the same wire, I watch. If the leader is the one I picked, then she’ll be the first to leave.

She was the last. Maybe my theory is upside-back and the leader is the last one to leave, making sure her flock is off to where she sent them like a good military commander: first one in and the last one out.

The first sun ray — broken between branches and a house on the crest of the hill above — spears me in the eyeball. I squint. The air smells perfect. The warmth on my face is exhilarating. I’ve never done this before — over two hours sitting with myself, paying attention to what nature does every morning and focusing on my inner thoughts.

I recommend it to all. Blackbirds, coyotes, meteorites, Venus and the doves also recommend it. The First Earthians don’t, however, they sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light and find the concept of watching dark become light an abomination.

Don’t be a First Earthian. Be proud. Wake united — set your alarm two hours earlier and watch tomorrow’s dawn with a smile in your heart.

Oh me - oh my - oh, oh wanna-manna pee - oh

Learning something new every day about the shrieking baying fools just beyond the outside limits of the glow from my campfire.

My Mormon name is Vernal Independence St. Benjamin!
What's yours?

entranced exit

All the world's a stage and all of us merely players. We have exciting entrances and entranced exits, and each of us--in our time--play many parts. -- Snapperhead misquoting Shakespeare



digital rendering by veach st. glines, creative commons license 2005

April Foolz

My April Fools joke took a month to set up and now expose...because blog April fools jokes don't have any 'knock-knock' timing.

*Drum roll*

*Flapping of cloth as curtains part*

Scroll down. To: 2 March. The post title is: Sky Photo.

*throat clearing*

I don't have a digital camera.

Instead, it was created in Corel Photoshop using several layers of shaded blue all ending diagonally in the center, at the Phoenix cloud.

This wasn't supposed to be an AFJ on just Carmi. Originally, I thought others might take the bait.

NOW, all you all can chime in with how you allwayz knew it weren't a real sky shot and shhiiiit.

*bowing*

*curtain falls*