serious

Miscellanea.

"So what have you been doing for the last couple of months?", I don't hear you cry.


Dossing about, mostly, and very relaxing it has been, too. I've been down to Lodnod to see Fiona a couple of times, which was a lot of fun. The more recent time I flew over Glasgow in daylight, which I've never done before - the view out of the window wasn't what I'm used to, because I was by the wing root in an RJ-100, so mostly what I could see was engine. Peering round it to the front, though, Glasgow was all spread out beautifully with its vast array of tower blocks (about 250 of them, I believe, in total), and the Clyde was winding through the middle and off west, opening out as it turned south. I could see Dumbarton, Helensburgh, Loch Lomond, the Gareloch, the Holy Loch, the Cumbraes, Arran, Ailsa Craig, Kintyre . . . it was fantastic. I grew up in Ayr, so it was fascinating and strange to see the area from above. It reminded me immediately and intensely of this drawing by Alasdair Gray.

I must read Lanark soon. My parents have one of his paintings in the house, and have done for as long as I can remember. It doesn't look much like that drawing.

After that, spending a few days in South-East London should have been a bit anticlimactic. But it wasn't. We went to see the Gin Palace at the Garage. You must all go and see the Gin Palace play. They are highly excellent. I had a generally lovely time while I was down, and Fiona was kind enough to claim to have had one also.

Christmas was quiet, at my folks. There were only five of us, as my aunt, uncle and cousin were joined by my granddad in Edinburgh. After that I went to pick Fiona up at her folks' place and back here for a week, before taking her back north to fly south again. Unfortunately her parents aren't mad, homicidal, or indeed unpleasant in any way, which deprives me of the wonderful anecdote I was hoping for. They were, in fact, very kind and friendly. I feel cheated. The universe played one of its perverse little tricks on the way between Aberdeen airport and Edinburgh - in Aberdeen itself, there was a diversion around some roadworks, and it took me right past Myf's parents' old house. I should have expected something like that to happen, really.

I'm also in the process of acquiring a flatmate, dryad_wombat, who'll be moving in later in the week (with, in due course, a cat), and I've got a couple of jobs I really do have to apply for, pain though it is. And last night (Saturday) I went out to a club (Vain) for the first time in a while. It was fun. caveynik was up from the Smoke as their special guest. It was good to meet and speak to him (briefly). He played some very good stuff, too.

[ . . . ]

While browsing the list of records held at emusic, I came across a Rhode Island band called V for Vendetta. I don't know as yet what they sound like (although I'd guess from their website that the answer is "pretty fuckin' odd") but they certainly have a way with titles. Math-Rock Is Not A Four-Letter Word. It's Two Four Letter Words (Me And I'll Rabbit Fou-Fou Battle Identity Politics) is to be found on their album, as is This Song Prefers To Not Be Labeled.

There's a page about the comic here. It has a couple of omissions, obviously, one of them being the "I am the devil" quote, which is (now) easily found to have been one of Manson's gang (there's another version of the same page which has this added). While checking this, I came across this one, from one Richard Darwin :
Ever notice how they have to distinguish between Truth, Justice, and *then* the American Way?

That's harsh. And who is Richard Darwin?



I've also been looking at http://www.scifi.com/scifiction, which has various SF shorts by a wide range of authors, both new and classic, including (by which I mean "the ones I read today were by") Gene Wolfe, Ursula Le Guin and the duo of Cory Doctorow and (your friend and mine:) Charlie Stross. Well worth a look if you have some time free and a screen you can reasonably read stories off.

And finally (for the moment), Oh dear.
  • Current Mood: awake.
  • Current Music: Einstürzende neubauten - Selbstportrait mit Kater
Good to see you back. And yes, if you haven't read Lanark, you most certainly should.

Are you going to be at Wee Johnny's bash on Saturday? If so, I'll see you there. If you don't know about it, ask Andrew. Or, indeed, me.
Fact? Fantasy? What do you mean, there's a difference?
Oh dear indeed. I wonder if these guys have thought through the premise properly, since as well as suggesting that Chomsky and Zimm would have condemned the forces of good in LotR, it does also suggest that LotR justifies war in Iraq, something even George W. hasn't tried yet.
Well, in the case of Iraq, there was no evidence of WMD. In the case of Mordor, the WMD had already been identified and seized, so while it's an imperfect analogy I do see your point.
Lanark
I have a copy if you wish to borrow it and someof his other stuff too.

And, it was alternative new romantic.
It was? Well, you should know.

John, this is Finn. It was her phrase originally. Finn, this is John. You both wear black and go to goth clubs, so I'm sure you have nothing whatsoever in common . . .
Gosh, Andy and I were going to go to that Vain if we hadn't both still been wussing about getting over colds. Eventually we'll be in the same place.
Lanark
I still haven't read it despite it being recommended to me personally by Iain Banks.
Glad to hear you're not dead, although that would have been fairly goth.
? "So what have you been doing for the last couple of months?", I don't hear you cry.

See, I was assuming that the answer to that would be 'shagging', so I didn't ask ;)
should have known
(Anonymous)
I've read Lanark. In Bolivia. My mother took my copy and hasn't given it back. Coincidentally, I also read Consider Phlebas and the Player of Games in Bolivia.

I have several Alastair Gray books. I think it's more Rob's thing than mine although I haven't gotten him to read any yet. Your parents have an original painting?

WRT Sci Fiction--my next-door neighbor Ray Vukcevich is up for a Nebula for a story that first appeared there. It's still available on the archive--it's called "The Wages of Syntax". And for writers, SciFiction is a top market--the pay rate is 20 cents a word, and though the readership is limited, it's a prestigious publication. I'm glad you found it -- and amazed -- the world is so very small.

-X.