I've been terrible at updating, but I'm finally stabilizing things offline and online, so please come and visit again in a matter of weeks! I am planning to do random posting, with no promises on them, until December, when the blog schedule will apply. I'm very excited to plan the material out for the blog and I hope things will go well.
In the meantime, take care and don't forget to read books!
07 July 2011
This is the first of my webcomics discussion. I figured I would mention the ones I actively read nowadays, as well as other material I always come back to, no matter how long of a time I take a break from them. My opinions of the content are just that: opinions! You're free to agree or disagree at your leisure, or provide an insight that I and others might have not had ourselves before about the material.
Sinfest - (http://www.sinfest.net) - This is one of the first few comics I started reading when I began to have a consistent connection to the internet. (read: own a computer) I also happen to read this on and off - sometimes Tatsuya Ishida, the writer and comic artist, does not update consistently so I find myself stopping when he has not posted for a matter of days. I find this okay: his story arcs are depicted well enough in the strips (often four panels, but on Sundays there is a full color comic with more than that). This webcomic can be very offensive to certain parties, depending on who's reading them, but I take it lightly so I keep reading. He likes to create parodies using other well-known comic strips, such as Peanuts, and uses current events as fodder for the jokes, like happenings with President Obama and Sarah Palin. I'm not going to describe the characters here, it would take too much time, but he has a
A last, very important note on this comic: Please take note of the URL - the wrong URL ending will lead you to the wrong site. You have been warned!
Gunnerkrigg Court (http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive.php) -Start from Chapter One, titled "The Shadow and the Robot," and go from there. If you go to the main site, you will find that it features the most current page uploaded. The story is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; unless there is a pause for one reason or another. When I first started reading this comic, I thought of the structure of J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I couldn't help it. It was the only other work I've read from a UK writer using the same school system (dividing each grade into houses, students remain in the same house their entire school career, the ages of the students when they start, etc.). Tom Siddell, the creator and artist, doesn't give much of his life away on the internet. He does reveal that he has a day job, works on the comic every weekend, and attends conventions, meeting his fans, via his About page on the website and his Twitter. More about this comic: its main character is a teenage heroine by the name of Antimony, who you discover is growing up in a world where there is a clear division between science and magic, literally and figuratively. The art is colored and often multiple-paneled, with each page paced so that you are brought to either a suspenseful moment or a definitely resolution, depending on where you are in that chapter. If you see a detail that you don't quite get on one page, you can bet that he'll be explaining it on another in the same chapter or will bring it back up again with another chapter. A final note: he allows readers to leave comments on the most recent page, but no more than that. So, if you happen to appreciate his work, leave him a comment!
28 June 2011
I've got plans for Bollocks Fic You! blog in the next several weeks. I'm working on a cluster of entries concerning webcomics, an e-book, a debut first issue of a quarterly from McSweeneys, and an anniversary printing of a book, just to name a few. I've also got some ideas for a revamp of BFY's layout, but got to work on the content first at this point.
I'm also planning some storyboarding time for a "webshow" version of BFY, but we'll see if that project is worth doing in the long run.
Anyway, in the meantime, I will be back sooner rather than too much later.
08 March 2011
Having access to the internet does very bad things to a reading list, at least on my part. I kept getting distracted whenever I DID have time to read. I'll be working on that. For one, I finally finished Michael Chabon's Summerland, after having started on it back in DECEMBER. It's a shame that I took this long. The days of reading a book in a day have passed, maybe not permanently but it's definitely been a while.
Summerland was an enjoyable read, to the point that I wish I could keep the copy I was reading. Alas, it is not to be, but I broke my book buying pact and scoured Amazon's sellers for a used hardcover first-edition copy. (Also: Jurassic Park because why not "kill two birds with one stone" when the seller clearly has in their hands a used hardcover first-edition copy of the novel? I feel sorry for Elbert, I truly do, getting stuck with me, a bibliophile growing ever more hardcore even in this age of digital media.) I would like to keep my words on it brief this time:
-if you are a fan of baseball, you may be amused by all of the metaphors that Michael Chabon incorporates throughout his novel (I was amused but I am not a super-enthusiast, I only know the basics of the game.)
-if you are a fan of the end-of-the-world mythologies that exist throughout the world, you may find this book to be a worthy take on them, maybe even feel like reviewing the very stories that the author draws from (I belong to THIS particular group, if there is such one (probably))
-if you like children's books with some serious growing done by the main child characters - there's a few of them
I'm a very new fan to Michael Chabon's work, so any other recommendations of his work are appreciated at this point. I just picked up Summerland without any foreknowledge of the story, and almost assumed that it was about a type of heaven or afterlife, because the word "summerland" has been used as a name for Heaven. With no spoilers, I can tell you that I was very wrong, but I was glad to be wrong.
The second book I'd like to talk about briefly is The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. This book was a New York Times Bestseller and to its credit, I saw several things that might have made it so:
-It has various elements to attract readers from all kinds of backgrounds and interests - the story takes place over the time period when African-Americans were finally given rights and all regions across the USA were adjusting and transitioning to the legal changes, for one; another is the relationship between the child named Lily and of the memory of her deceased mother, and how everyone in the story is impacted by this girl's very mindset concerning the dead
-Again- the relationship between mothers and daughters, except I'm mentioning this again because Lily is a daughter figure to a number of other women throughout the story, and even more intriguing within the story is how outsiders view their interactions because all of these other women are "black" while Lily is "white"
-Bee-keeping! I like honey so I admit, it was kind of THAT detail in the title that drew me to pick up this book. Actually, I think Sue Monk Kidd did a very good job of describing settings and one of the places that I liked to read best concerned the apiary.
-It was a story that was very easy to digest, but still left some room for a reader to think about what might have happened to the characters after the conclusion of the novel.
29 January 2011
Read a wonderfully-written book review on the New York Times website and I hit upon two ideas to write about in a few days, if the schedule can manage. I'm hoping to share my current book wishlist (to read if not to buy) and right next to each title, I'd let you know why I'd read them. The second idea would be to give a glimpse of what else I like to read, in terms of webcomics. After that, I'll see where else it's going to lead.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5
27 January 2011
I already have a deal with myself not to buy anymore underwear this year, since one of my last 2010 purchases rendered my entire unmentionables budget underground, possibly into a few inches of metaphorical monetary permafrost. I have no regrets on this.
But, what I did realize, during a Costco trip over the weekend, was that I had already an ENORMOUS collection of books for someone my age and it's likely to get bigger, never smaller, no matter how many I give away, donate to organizations and charities, and even lose due to loaning out but no returns from family, friends, acquaintances, and enemies (here's looking at you, kid?). I also have no regrets here but what I did start to think about concerned all of my yet-to-be-read copies of literature. Just like when one buys some pieces of clothes and still has tags on them a year later because an occasion to wear them has not yet come around, my book purchases sit on the shelf and wait for me to take them out to read, and wait and wait and wait.
Until now. I realized any more books I want to get, whether it's to be purchased or borrowed from the library, need to wait, because the ones on my shelves are already languishing. I'll take pictures, write endless lists, do anything for these not yet in my possession, just to be remembered, for the day that I can get new books.
Currently, my set up here in California has no rhyme or reason, but at least I know to an extent which books I've read already or started on, and which books I haven't even touched yet. (My collection's not THAT big. Yet.) In New York, before I started yanking books from every which way off for the big move, I had a shelf dedicated for books I had not yet read, another shelf for those that I like to read over and over again, and a shelf where I was giving the books away over time for various reasons (e.g. might not have read the books to completion because I really didn't want to waste my time any further). (I think my parents will be glad when my books completely leave their home, but for now, the majority of them sit in boxes in their closet or remain on shelves in various spots of the house.)
So, with that said, right now, I'm reading the following:
-Summerland, Michael Chabon
I've recently finished:
-The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
-The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
-Forgive My Fins, Tera Lynn Childs
I will be reading (because they're due soon)
-Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
-Seventh Son, Orson Scott Card
I'm looking to write a little review about The Secret Life of Bees when there's some breathing room again on my schedule; for now, I thought I'd just sit on my thoughts about it and go about some other business in the meantime.
09 January 2011
I was working on my writing but multitasking. One thing led to another after chatting with Britta about her interest in film, and now here I am, writing of an experience (out of many, but not that much, considering my age) that I know by now is rare within New York City, and rarer still for those that are outside of the Concrete Jungle.
I want to express my thanks on the internet (haha, I don't find anything wrong with this, considering my heavy editing and the lack of details, thank you very much) for Dr. Weinberger and her intense interest in her students' lives. In my case, I believe she jumped through hoops during a number of lunch periods, to get me to do something for the summer in 2003. (I mean, I think I took up a lot of her time in the first place just by invading her guidance office when I was only a student in her english class, not even one under her guidance concerning graduation and grades.)
During those times, we looked at summer programs listed by the guidance department in a packet. I remember her asking me point blank about my interests, just to get the search started, and frankly, the suggestion of filmmaking (from her) was probably more of a surprise than anything (to me)- I only liked watching them at the time, but sure, why not? Then, after looking at the lists, we made phone inquiries.
Serendipitously, while she was looking for the contact for Columbia U's summer film program for high school students, she ended up getting in touch with NY Film Academy about their program. From what I can remember, it was due to a switchboard mistake. She told me to try talking to these folks at NY Film Academy for a way to help with tuition costs for the program and to not get my hopes up because it was a private company, and she knew that my parents probably couldn't afford their prices out of their own pockets by themselves. I went along with it, I didn't mind, and I THINK I told my parents about what was happening concerning that.
A conversation with the filmmaking school led me to have a little extra work for a particular week. I took a couple of trips down to Union Square where their headquarters are still housed (as of the time of my writing this) and toured it a bit. At the end of the tour, I was asked about my interest within a conversation with the coordinator, and following my response, I was then asked to write a script, no strict format, just a scene. I sent it via e-mail, as per their request. (That script's scene? Well, I can't admit this here. Ask me in passing, if you want; as of now, I don't want to write about it.)
This was where serendipity came in again: Dr. Weinberger and I were speaking of what happened and again, she told me that it was only a chance to take - and maybe we should look up other programs while we're at it? But, sure enough, the coordinator eventually called back and told me that arrangements were made so that it was possible for me to attend a summer session in the city-based location for high schoolers. She was pleased for me and glad, it was something to go on my college application, after all, and would keep me busy.
That summer, I met some really good people and I still keep in touch with one every so often, when we're not busy with our lives. But, actually, besides having attended the program, I'm thinking I'm even gladder to have had Dr. Weinberger that year as an Honors English class teacher in the first place. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have had that part of my memories, experiences, and current knowledge, etc.
I hope you're doing well, teacher.
P. S. A note about a side effect to this experience that might also serve as a warning to those interested in becoming deeply involved in ANY field as a hobbyist or otherwise: While I watch movies, I get drawn into thinking about how they might have shot a fascinating scene and how many times they could have shot it, then how it could have been edited, and it can become a source of annoyance when I drag other people into a dialogue with me about what we had been watching at the time.
P. P. S. If you have NEGATIVE commentary about the teacher, keep it to yourselves or speak of it somewhere else, not here - let's keep it only POSITIVE.