Didn’t we do this back in 2008?

typed for your pleasure on 6 November 2012, at 8.32 pm

Sdtrk: ‘On through the night’ by Blues control

As I missed the opportunity to perform my civic duty before my workday, as a lot of people more clever than I did, or even to make use of the absentee ballot to vote days ago, I had to get round to the polls after work. I predicted having to fight post-work traffic — incidentally, I managed to score a new job; more about that later — but it only took me 55min to get from my workplace in downtown Detroit to my local voting centre in the suburbs, which impressed me greatly. In fact, the entire process only took an hour! Admittedly, it might’ve taken less than that if 1) I’d gotten into the A-L queue, instead of the M-Z one I was idling round in for ten minutes, and 2) if I hadn’t gotten all OCD in trying to fill in those bloody circles. But it’s done! Incidentally, I was voter No.835 in my precinct.


The spider necklace didn’t help with my vote, but it certainly didn’t hurt

If you voted, well done! If you didn’t, get the fuck off the Internet, go back in time, and do so.
May the best man win, of course, but as fellow iDollator bbbjjjttt remarked, ‘I woke up this morning in the USA. Hopefully I won’t go to sleep tonight in the Republic of Gilead.’ Fingers crossed, people

UPDATE (11.55pm): Looks like the 47% did it, baby *subtle but proud fist pump*

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Negligence / Ageing

typed for your pleasure on 15 November 2009, at 3.45 pm

Sdtrk: ‘I see, so I see so’ by Broadcast and The Focus group

Earlier today, I peeked through the blinds outside, and checked my calendar, and it appears that yes, it’s about time for the Q4 Davecat Writer’s Block! Which would explain why I’ve not written anything, really, since the last two posts. Technically speaking, ‘Micromoscow‘ doesn’t count, as I completed that in the summertime, and ‘Answer the Question, Mr A. Rorschach‘ was actually started round this time last year. I’ve always said that we here at Deafening silence Plus work at tectonic speeds; people chuckle and think I’m kidding, but it’s no joke, more’s the pity.
And I’m sure you’ll ruefully note that there wasn’t any ‘Any Doll/Synthetik news…?’ entry for last month? That’s cos I was simply out of it as far as writing, to be honest. It was literally a case of there was so much to report on, that my brain just kinda shut down due to information overload — a lot happened that month as far as affictitous companions, and I couldn’t effectively tackle it. So what that means is that you’ll get reports on breaking news that get reported several weeks after the news broke! My saving grace is that most of the people that read ‘Shouting etc etc’ aren’t involved in either the iDollator or technosexual communities, so it will genuinely be news to those of you who aren’t. Yessir, that would be a cop-out answer!

Now to other ephemeral bits of interest that aren’t embarrassingly late! Today, one of my favourite personalities would’ve turned 79 today, the eerily prescient writer JG Ballard.

The American Dream has run out of gas. The car has stopped. It no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies. No more. It’s over. It supplies the world with its nightmares now: the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Vietnam.
— Interview in Metaphors No. 7, 1983

Coincidentally enough, his birthday happens to fall one day after the birthdays of two other people I’m keen on. Turning a distinguished 70 years of age, you’ve got Wendy Carlos, the musical prodigy who revolutionised the use of analogue synthesisers, particularly through the albums ‘Switched-on Bach’, and of course the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A clockwork orange’; and, as SafeT put it, being in 37 years of operation would be yours truly.* I’m loping closer to 40, and that’s freaking me out. But I’m sure when I’m loping closer to 50, that’ll freak me out even more. I am lucky, however, to have friends and family that love me, and a very patient audience!
What’ll I do in the meantime, however? Get my head down, and get back to writing

*In the interest of full disclosure, he’d gotten my age wrong. The sentiment still stands though, I’m sure

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Micromoscow

typed for your pleasure on 2 November 2009, at 9.30 pm

Sdtrk: ‘House of Kaya (Jim O’Rourke remix)’ by Merzbow

Remember that article I’d written highlighting New York City in miniature? Well, Soviet-era Russia did the same thing for Moscow, back round 1976.


‘New York is now small? Bah! There is no smaller city than glorious tiny Moscow!’

This is a Moscow city scale model. It is back from USSR times, when Soviet leaders had a little craze on making such epic compositions. It was ordered from an artist Efim Deshalyt in 1976. The size of the model exceeds 400 sqft. [...] After the Soviet era ended, exhibition started loosing the interest among visitors, it attracted only foreigners, travellers to Russia from USA, Europe and other countries. It has been said that some museum workers even wanted to destroy it because it “takes too much space and electric power”.
taken from this site

Apparently it’s for sale as well. Current asking price: $3 million USD. Hmm.

Wouldn’t it be something if somewhere, in the vastness of that HO-scale city, there was a couple endlessly walking the streets, trying all the doors of every building, wondering why none of the cars will start or go anywhere, periodically shouting to see if anyone will help them, and yet receiving no answer? And when they finally do encounter people, they’re all gorgeous-yet-motionless women that all have the same three faces? That’d be pretty wild.
Wait, hang on — the, ah, ghost of Rod Serling has just phased through my front door, and wants to have a word with me about something

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Bunthorne or Postlewaite?

typed for your pleasure on 16 October 2009, at 6.48 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Shoplifters of the world unite’ by the Smiths

Today marks the 155th birthday of a man whose rapier turn of phrase deserves to be an even greater inspiration to not just those who write, but anyone who uses language, Oscar Wilde.

‘Now art should never try to be popular.
The public should try to make itself artistic’

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Chirp chirp / Truer words were never before spoke

typed for your pleasure on 28 September 2009, at 5.38 pm

Sdtrk: ‘F for fake’ by Wallpaper

*flips through stack of papers* According to my records, it seems that I’ve been using Twitter, the microblogging service everyone loves to hate, for exactly one year, which is a surprise to me as it is to you, more than likely. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d get that much use out of it! But it’s not a bad little service if you use it right, apart from all that timewasting I manage to do with it, when I could be writing legitimate posts. Ah heh.
It’s actually connected me with more than a few fab individuals with similar interests; or, at the very least, people who are willing to put up with me going on about how I’ll be joining the lads for another tokusatsu-watching session, or whatever videogame that’s captured our collective fancies that eve. Also, I like to view my Twitter feed as like the secret Davecat Fan Club newsletter of sorts, cos with it, I can share stuff with my followers that might not necessarily get posted to ‘Shouting etc etc’, or, thanks to this blog’s WP-to-Twitter plugin, they’re always the first to know of any new posts that get published, which they can ignore at their leisure.

One of the personalities I follow is actor and writer Stephen Fry, a man who has been likened to a contemporary Oscar Wilde due to his breezy and witty approach to things, wrote a post to his blog in defence of Twitter:

The clue’s in the name of the service: Twitter. It’s not called Roar, Assert, Debate or Reason, it’s called Twitter. As in the chirruping of birds. Apparently, according to Pears (the soapmakers presumably – certainly their “study” is froth and bubble) 40% of Twitter is “pointless babble”, (http://is.gd/2mKSg) which means of course that a full 60% of Twitter discourse is NOT pointless babble, which is disappointing. Very disappointing. I would have hoped 100% of Twitter was fully free of earnestness, usefulness and commercial intent.
the rest of the article is here

Twitter does a rather good job of conveying information and ideas in a pretty expedient and fun manner. You can keep your Mybook or your Facespace; I’ll stick with the birds instead.

Speaking of Wilde, yes, I’m reading my copy of ‘The Soul of Man under Socialism‘ again, as it’s a fantastic essay. Also, I’m in need of new books.

A great deal of nonsense is being written and talked nowadays about the dignity of manual labour. There is nothing necessary dignified about manual labour at all, and most of it is absolutely degrading. It is mentally and morally injurious to man to do anything in which he does not find pleasure, and many forms of labour are quite pleasureless activities, and should be regarded as such. To sweep a slushy crossing for eight hours on a day when the east wind is blowing is a disgusting occupation. To sweep it with mental, moral, or physical dignity seems to me to be impossible. To sweep it with joy would be appalling. Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt.

Try to tell me he’s wrong! Try to tell him he’s wrong! The answer is simple:
you can’t

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Busy busy lazy busy

typed for your pleasure on 11 June 2009, at 2.06 am

Sdtrk: ‘I’ve changed my plea to guilty’ by Morrissey

Just a heads-up to friends and regular readers of ‘Shouting etc etc’ in general: as the Good People of National Geographic will be descending upon Deafening silence Plus at the tail end of this week-end, I’ll be busy prepping the place, as well as the Missus. Why am I noting this publically, you say? Basically, I’ve been delinquent with responses to people here, and on compatriots’ blogs, and, well, Emails, various messaging programmes, phone calls, telepathy, carrier pigeons, etc etc, and I don’t want anyone to feel as if I’m ignoring them, cos that simply isn’t the case.
So next week, I should be theoretically be back up to speed. Whatever that speed may be, exactly. Heigh ho!

One question: anyone know the best way to get blood stains out of carpeting? We’re talking a couple of stains about four feet wide, on a kind of putty-coloured carpet. As much as I’ve been scrubbin’, they just won’t disappear!
Err… y’know — just out of curiosity’s sake

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Larry Dallas stole my Sharpie

typed for your pleasure on 20 May 2009, at 3.14 am

Sdtrk: ‘The luckiest guy on the Lower East side’ by Magnetic fields

You might recall earlier that I was torn between attending this year’s Motor City Comic Con and not attending this year’s Motor City Comic Con, as it was a case of my finances running aground versus my desire to see Julie Newmar and a fifth of the cast of ‘Three’s company’. Luckily, my tax return cheque made the whole thing possible! Thanks, the Federal Government! I only thank you on average once a year, so you’d best appreciate that.

I sped out to the venue roughly three hours before it was due to close, as I kinda wanted to make a tactical strike on the place. It was just myself; Zip Gun had other obligations (attending the opera), SafeT hates comics (they killed his family), goshou was busy assembling a weight bench (with his mind), and Mari had to put a deposit on her new apartment (with her mind).
After arriving a wee bit after 3pm, I bought my ticket and entered the hall, which was already teeming with people. Not thirty seconds had passed when I was spotted by Mark Dudley, a friend of Mike’s, who had a table in Artist’s Alley, and was standing in line for some dodgy free popcorn. We chatted for a bit, doing the catch-up thing, then I took off when he finally got up to the register. Two minutes after that, I ran into another bloke that I’d not seen in almost a decade! We exchanged current Email addresses and spoke of the recent Gundam series, as he’s as big as a Gundam fanatic as I am. Then I made my leave again! Fifteen minutes, and I hadn’t even visited my first vendor booth!

So as I was on a tactical strike, due to being on a budget, my mission purchase-wise was to pick up the remaining five volumes of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (a ‘taut psychological thriller’). My other objective, of course, was to get some autographs from famous individuals. As I neglected to get a programme, I kinda wandered aimlessly towards the back of the con, where I ran into an additional two friends of mine that I really hadn’t seen since highschool. How is that possible?? Sonja and Sue were juniors when I was a senior, cos the circle of miscreants that Monti and I ran with back then was mostly composed of people that were one grade below us. Don’t ask how, but the dynamic worked rather well. We chatted for a bit, doing the catch-up thing, etc. They were primarily there to hang out and shop, although Sue wanted to get a photo and autograph from Carrie Fisher, but that idea was summarily shot in the face when they learned that her autographs were priced at $200. Ah hah hah hah. Who exactly is this Carrie Fisher person, and what has she done to warrant this kind of extortion?
Several hugs later, we went our separate ways, after which I spotted Monti, who was working (read: knitting) at the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers booth on both Saturday and Sunday. As she wasn’t extremely busy, she decided to wander the con with me and take in the wildlife, but just as we were about to leave, Sonja and Sue appeared again! Cue more hugs! Sonja had laughingly told me that after our first meeting, someone had asked her ‘was… was that Davecat you were talking to?’ Ha! Monti half-jokingly suggested that I get a table of my own next year. Hmm…

Soon after, Monti and I made our way to the Media Guests area, where, seated at a corner table facing the cafeteria, was Julie Newmar. She had a Comic Con staffer with her, and was speaking with some bloke in his late forties. Julie Newmar.
Now, as the ‘My living Doll’ DVD box set doesn’t yet exist, weeks ago I attempted to find something related to the series on eBay for her to sign. Unfortunately, the only thing on offer was a baseball card-sized card, that the seller was letting go for about $20. Zip Gun hepped me to a place online that sold reasonably priced 8×10 publicity stills, so I bought one and waited for it to arrive. And waited. And waited. Needless to say, it didn’t show up, so before I left for the con that day, I brought a blank notebook for her to sign, as I figured it was better than nothing.
I approached the table with a ‘Hello, Ms Newmar!’ She responded with a coquettish ‘Hello, my dear,’ which is pretty much what you’d expect her to say. As the bloke had her pen her signature to a Catwoman still, I’d noticed a sign indicating AUTOGRAPHS $20 / PHOTO SESSIONS $30, and I’d thankfully noticed a still from ‘My living Doll’ was on offer, as the photo I’d purchased online was Julie clad in a towel. A moot point anyway, as I didn’t have it with me. The fan thanked her and made his leave, and I moved in for the kill. I told Ms Newmar that I really enjoyed her work, particularly in ‘My living Doll’, which she seemed to appreciate. She reiterated what I’ve been hearing all over: they’re still trying to locate the masters for the rest of the series, so they can clean them up and release them to DVD. She still doesn’t look too bad for her age, I have to say! Plus, she seems fun to hang around. Be sure to let me know when you’re in SE Michigan again, Julie; we’ll hook up!


‘to Davecat, fondly, Julie Newmar’

After thanking her profusely, I met back up with Monti with a huge grin plastered across my face. Julie Newmar.
We walked some more through the Media Guests area, flanked by a passel of celebs on either side — the Soup Nazi from ‘Seinfeld’, Erin Gray from ‘Buck Rogers’, Felix Silla from ‘Buck Rogers’, a couple of Playmates from ‘Playboy’, the Honky Tonk Man from ‘wrestling’, etc. It was a bizarre confluence of celebrities, if you stop to think about it.
Back in the dealer’s area, we nipped into a booth that sold manga, where I grabbed those volumes of Monster that I needed, with the exception of the volume before the final one, as it was out-of-stock. DAMNIT *slams fist on table*

As it was approaching 5pm, we made one more pass through the Media Guests DMZ, so I could collect my signatures from (part of) the cast of ‘Three’s company’. Seated from left to right at three separate tables were Richard Kline, Joyce DeWitt, and Priscilla Barnes. Coincidentally enough, the Soup Nazi was to the right of Richard Kline, which was an opportunity missed.
As Janet always was my favourite roommate, we went to Joyce’s table first. She greeted us warmly, and y’know, she looks almost exactly how she looked during her heyday. And they might’ve saddled her with a low chair, as she seemed pretty tiny! It’s common knowledge that television adds three and a half feet to a person’s height. I told her that she was one of the primary reasons that I came to the convention, since her public appearances post-’Three’s company’ are rare, and she mentioned that Priscilla drags her out to cons every so often, as she’d been doing the hermit thing lately. ‘Nothing wrong with that!’ I replied. Joyce chose to sign my book in pen, as opposed to using the Sharpie I offered, so the ink wouldn’t leak through to the other side. Janet always was the practical one.
Next, we sidled over to Richard Kline. As he was speaking with another fan, I’d noticed he was idly drumming a fistful of Sharpies against the tabletop. He seemed a bit tired and/or distracted, to be honest. I’d passed him my Sharpie, and as he was taking that and my book, he’d asked if Joyce had charged for an autograph. ‘Err… no,’ we responded, thinking he was joking. Richard scribbled his signature and handed my book back, saying, ‘There ya go — there’s your freebie’. The actual payment: one Sharpie. I wisely decided against pressing the issue.
Right before I got round to Priscilla Barnes’ table, Monti said she’d be back, as she wanted to get her own photo op in with John Schneider of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ fame. Now, she actually had a con staffer with her, collecting money for autographs, which is something that neither Joyce nor Richard had, so, cheap as it sounds, I kinda lucked out there. As it turned out, I ended up spending my last $20 getting Ms Barnes’ autograph, but as I’d said before, how many opportunities like that come in one’s life? She looked chilly — she had her cardigan wrapped round her shoulders, and actually refused a handshake, as she didn’t want to give me her cold. Well, she did play a nurse, after all… I told her that I’d always enjoyed watching ‘Three’s company’, despite my friends thinking I have awful taste, as I’d grown up with the show, and it was the equivalent of comfort food. ‘That’s an interesting way of looking at it,’ she remarked.


Door status: KNOCKED UPON

So after my own brush(es) with stardom, I reconvened with Monti, who had had her own brush with stardom, in the form of Bo Duke (read more about it here). We agreed that it was a pretty good day overall, and I left her with her GLAHW compadres. Brushes! Stardom!
Will I attend the next Motor City Comic Con? I dunno; who’ve you got showing up?

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the Wednesday Recommendation 01: Shaun of the Dead on September 23rd, 2004

Err, ah, Happy New year! on January 2nd, 2005


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