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Last night I saw This Can't End Well ( http://www.thiscantendwell.com/ ) and Victoria and the Vaudevillains ( http://www.victoriavband.com/ ) at the Lost Church ( http://www.thelostchurch.com/ ) which is an absolutely wonderful tiny venue tucked away in the Mission. It seats 50 people, at most.

Both bands were great- I went to see them because I know the violist/multi-instrumentalist and cellist/singer from This Can't End Well, and as noted last post I really need to take advantage of all of the awesome stuff going on in the city. Especially when I know people who are doing the awesome stuff! Also, I love hearing bands with unusual instrumentation, or instrumentation used in a style of music where it's not often seen. This is definitely the first time I've seen a zither and a toy piano used in string-quartet-inspired arrangements of songs that would have worked just fine with rather traditional singer/songwriter guitar-based setups. But were much more interesting and dramatic the way the band presented them.

And V & V were great fun as well, and had a "human statue" performer with them, who during their song "Zombie" (not the Cranberries one) suddenly moved and went zombie, spitting and drooling blood! Even knowing they were a performance art type of band, I had not expected that :-)

All in all a really fun night of really creative entertainment! And in a venue where you're pretty much having a conversation with the artists because everything is so close together.

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Current Location: home
Current Mood: enthralled enthralled

ixat_totep
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So... I haven't posted in a *long* time. One post a little over a year ago. But otherwise a gap of two years. Back then, Facebook and Twitter were just starting to take over the intarwebs. Honestly, I still haven't grasped Facebook. I sporadically remember to check it because people are there a lot. And I could never really get into twitter, despite trying as noted in that post two years ago. But anyway, neither Facebook nor Twitter are good for long, rambling journal entries. So hello LiveJournal! This is a boring post, but I need to vent, and I doubt anyone is still reading this journal anyway :-) Hmm... I should see if anyone on my friends list is still posting...

I am now, finally, after roughly a year of changing plans and addresses, settling into a new apartment (still in the Castro in San Francisco). I was going to find a new housemate after my last one left. Then I was going to buy a place. Then it didn't matter because my next door neighbor did a fuckton of meth and thought we were trying to kill him and he needed to "defend himself" from us, which involved pounding on the front door screaming, climbing into our back yard, etc. Since Crazy Neighbor owns his house, that was my cue to get the fuck out.

So then I subletted a room with friends for two months while our mutual friend was traveling Asia, and kept looking to buy. Then I realized buying in SF is really expensive and the bank is not a good judge of what a "reasonable" monthly payment is. So I gave up on that, and moved into another sublet (this time subletting the whole apartment for five months) while I sorted shit out.

Oh yeah, and the rental market in SF is crazy. I know everywhere else is having a freaking depression, but there's a tech boom going on here. The unemployment rate for tech in the bay area is 3.4%. 3% is considered "full employment". There are tons of people trying to find rental housing. You have to offer more than the landlord is asking. You have to do interviews with landlords after passing the credit and reference checks (I did, and I know at least one other person who was asked to do this). There are bidding wars. It's nuts.

Oh yeah, and during all of this, I decided that the GCD (comics.org) tech and administrative work was eating my life, and quit. And that I was living in SF but hardly taking advantage of it. And that those two months subletting with friends as housemates reminded me that I need to spend more time with people. And my Uncle died, and the number of people who came to his funeral was inspiring (he and my Aunt are/were very outgoing, social people, although I saw them rarely due to them living in Virginia). So. Less time on the internets arguing about comic books, more time spent with people in the city. I can argue about comic books on the internets if/when I'm old, retired, and prefer not to run around so damn much.

Not to mention, I wasn't even having time to read or research comics! Rather ironic, that.

OK, rant finished. No idea if I'll post more or if it will be another year, if ever. But there are often times where I feel like I'm re-positioning my life, and this whole past year has been a big long process of exactly that. Now where do I go from here?

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OK, so I'm re-reading The Invisibles. I'm on the first storyline of Volume 2, where they pick new roles based on elements (air, earth, fire, water, spirit), which they do by drawing colored scraps of paper out of a hat. The roles have been mentioned before, but not really explained. Ragged Robin draws air, which is what King Mob had. So she's the leader now. But apparently, the whole thing where he always wore leather and fetish stuff also goes along with the role (no explanation given). So in the next panel, Robin's all done up in a dominatrix bodysuit and fishnets.

OK, no problem, I remember all of this and it fits what's said elsewhere. Drawing personalities (and apparently wardrobes) out of a hat is par for the course with The Invisibles. But this time I realize something. They had been in upstate New York, but traveled to a tiny native american town in New Mexico just before this. Not the kind of town where you can buy a wide range of clothing, much less anything, um... alternative.

Does that mean everyone packed a fetish outfit just in case they got the "air" role?

Seriously, wtf?

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So... Three years after being introduced with much fanfare, Batwoman finally gets her own feature (and cover) in this week's Detective Comics. For the character who is supposedly DC's most prominent gay character, her profile has been extremely low. Heck, Obsidian gets more panel time. Not to mention Renee Montoya, who has assumed the identity of The Question, is a much better-established lesbian character. Then again, she gets the back-up feature in Detective, which they might as well name Lesbian Comics. It is Pride week, after all.

I'd be thrilled with all of this, except that after years of Batwoman making cameos and being Montoya's damsel in distress more often than anything else, what do we get when Batwoman takes center stage? Do we see the strong character hinted at from time to time? I mean, really, it takes some guts to assume the Batman's symbol, even when he's MIA.

No, we don't. Apparently Kate Kane is from a military family, and her father, whom she addresses as "sir", is supplying her and monitoring her during her superhero adventures. And to top it off, what is driving her? Her feelings as a victim from that time when the followers of the Crime Bible ran a sword through her near the end of "52".

I was hoping to see a strong, self-made woman. An analogue to Batman. I did not want to see some girl running missions for her dad and freaking out over having been a victim two years ago.

What a disappointment.

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Current Mood: disappointed disappointed

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Do they not get that the absolute *worst* thing that we could do is put our fingerprints all over the Iranian uprising? Right now it's a totally home-grown operation no matter how much the clerics point fingers at us and the U.K., and everyone knows it. Us jumping up and down about what's going on over there will do nothing to help the protesters (because seriously, we're not going to send in the army or anything). What it will do is undercut the legitimacy of what's going on over there.

Aren't republicans supposed to be the party of responsibility? Let the Iranians have their own revolution. They're doing a pretty damn good job so far, so unless there's a point where they're going to fail *and* we can somehow stop it, leave them to it! How much more powerful will it be if the Islamic Republic changes from within rather than having us go fuck it up like Afghanistan and Iraq?

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So I gave in and got a twitter account, in the wake of dwineman (an old college friend who now has hundreds of followers on twitter) visiting a few weeks ago. I find myself inexplicably fascinated by it, especially since concise statements are not my forté. Also, I've given up pretending to dissociate "ixat_totep" from my real identity since

1. I keep wanting to refer other random people on the internet to bits of comic book writing I've done here, and...
2. I make a point not to say anything all that horrible in public here anyway. Certainly nothing a dedicated person couldn't find out about me with only a small amount of effort anyway.

So go, look up "ixat_totep" on twitter. You can find out my real name! Aren't you excited?!

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OK, so Safari 4 runs Yahoo mail so much drastically better than Firefox that I think I'll keep it for at least that. But there is no easy way to just add different search engines to the search bar. On Firefox this is trivial. I don't do plugins as a general rule. I get them for major things (like Firebug for debugging web apps). But I don't go for the "let's redo your whole UI in some crazy new way" ones. I like to fix small things, and only those things. Trying to find a way to add search engines led to a maze of plugins, some of which take over the whole known universe, and many of which aren't up to speed with 4 beta yet. And the one that looks best will only support 4 beta on Leopard, which I don't have and have no particular interest investing time and money in. Not until a lot more crap refuses to install than a lousy plugin.

How can Safari get this essential thing wrong? Google must be paying them to not allow anything else without hacks, I suppose. Idiots. Until they fix this or take the Google Chrome approach to the address bar I won't be adopting this in full.

But damn does Yahoo mail ever fly in this thing.

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Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

ixat_totep
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So... Apple has very wisely decided to take advantage of Google's absurdly slow progress on Chrome for Mac OS to put out the Safari 4 beta, which blatantly appropriates as much of Chrome's feature set as possible. It also implements

It's an obvious strategy and one I'm happy to reward. I've flirted off and on with Safari over the years- it looks very nice and loads much faster than Firefox, but I've had trouble getting it to work with Yahoo mail which is a dealbreaker for me- for a while Yahoo complained about it (not Safari's fault) and then more recently would load fine, but would balk when I tried to reply to a message (no, I have no idea why either- didn't bother to investigate, just went back to Firefox).

But Firefox 3 has had some problems on my machine at work (which is Windows, but still it makes me distrustful of upgrading) and it just sucks up ram and gradually slows to a crawl if I leave Yahoo Mail open on Firefox 2 on my Mac. However, so far Safari 4 seems to work much better with Yahoo Mail than Safari 3, and is far more responsive than Firefox of either version. We'll see how well that holds up after a couple of days of running, but I'm encouraged.

Plus it apparently implements the drag-a-tab-to-create-a-new-window feature I wanted a few posts ago. Yay!

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I have decided to start drinking absinthe. I purchased a bottle of Emile Pernot Vieux Pontarlier at my favorite local wine/liquor store (http://www.swirloncastro.com/ but watch out the site plays music- it also makes it look like they only have wine, but they have quite a bit else) and am currently enjoying my first glass (louched with chilled Evian water, because the stuff out of my tap tastes like metals that are almost certainly unhealthy, and unquestionably spoil the taste of anything- I've started brewing tea with it only post-Brita filter).

Anyway, it's quite nice. And a nice compliment to my other recently acquired pretentious beverage habit, Chartreuse. The Vieux Pontarlier is sufficiently good that it does not require a sugar cube, although I've heard it's quite good that way as well- I'll try it as soon as I get around to getting some sugar cubes. But without sugar its both bitter and sweet simultaneously, which I find intriguing. I'm not quite sure I'm ready to go all out and buy the proper glasses, spoons and a louching fountain (a squeeze-bottle of water works quite well). So perhaps it's only at +1 level for now.

But I've been looking for something to sip on in the evenings when it's too late for caffeinated tea and I'm not in the mood for herbal tea. Both absinthe and Chartreuse are interesting and complex enough to savor (really, gin should be as well, but I've gotten so used to it that I tend to knock it back too quickly- I'm not trying to get drunk here, or at least not very). For whatever reason, while I enjoy wine I've never really become enamoured with it. A friend who visited recently, upon noticing the absinthe display in the window Swirl on Castro with the fountain, glasses, slotted spoons, sugar cubes and elaborate bottles, declared absinthe a fetishist's drink. I can work with that ;-)

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http://hoodedutilitarian.blogspot.com/2009/03/stop-hating-on-laurie-juspeczyk-female.html

does an excellent job of explaining why Laurie is a strong and interesting character in the comic, and in the process demonstrates just how badly the movie treated her. This just adds to my feeling that the deep flaws in the movie had nothing to do with big changes, subplots cut, or even the use of exact dialog/narration/visual quotes. The flaws were all in the relentless omission or smoothing over of the fine details that linked things together and gave the book its true depth. And Moore's right- you really can't film that. Certainly not in a just under 3 hour movie.
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