Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A. Rey Has a Website

I know... it's long overdue. But you may now, at last, visit me at http://www.areypamatmat.com.

Feel free to comment where commenting is available, and let me know what you think. The very first post has some very special news, so check it out!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Goes Around

On the 7 train home from work, there were actually a bunch of seats. I stood and waited till everyone who wanted one got one. Luckily for me, there was still another left after that, so I lowered my bag from my shoulder and plopped down.

Of course, there were reasons that this seat was left empty. To my left, was a leg-spreader (you know, those guys who think they look more manly if they spread there legs, when really what happens is you see how little junk is in their package); to my right, two plump ladies decided that in order to continue their conversation, they had to turn sideways and take up three seats between them.


Whatever. I got myself into the 1/3 of a seat left by the plump lady, and cozied my leg up to the spreader. If this is how they want it to go, that's fine by me.

Within a few seconds, leg spreader started to freak out. I mean, how gay was this? Instead of being deterred by his body, I actually just plopped right down and TOUCHED HIM. He was butt cheek to butt cheek with a dude!!!

Thirty seconds later, plumpette started flapping her arm like a wing as though I was invading her space, when really all she had to do was face in the right direction and everyone would fit.

I fucking hate these people.

At the next stop, a seat across the way freed up. Do I stay and continue to piss off my companions? Or do I just jump over so I can relax through the rest of my commute? I opted for relaxation and hopped across the aisle, admittedly a little saddened that I couldn't continue fucking up spreader's and plumpette's evening. And then it happened...

A big, fat, dirty, smelly man wedged his ass down between them. They ousted skinny, l'il ol' me and got goddamned Boss Hogg to take my place.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Climbing Up to the Light

I've been in a deep, dark pit of not writing. I haven't written regularly for about three or four months now, and that's a really long time for me. It's not that I haven't been writing at all -- I've been able to come through in a pinch. But it's the regular writing that really counts. That's the stuff that keeps you on your toes, keeps your craft sharp, and is in the end the really fertile stuff.

So I made a pledge last week that starting yesterday I was going to write everyday again. To start out I'm counting totally low pressure writing, including blogging, Yelp reviews, whatever -- just as long as I write something that comes from me.

Hopefully, you'll see a bit more of me on here, then, in the next few weeks. Since, honestly, this is about as low pressure as it gets!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

10 BToItM #7: I "Heart" Huckabees

I've written about it on this blog before, but the reality is that one post doesn't even begin to exhibit the role this movie now plays in my life.

When I'm sad, depressed, bored, or feeling aimless, I "Heart" Huckabees is what I pop into the DVD player. That blanket truth thing -- even though I hear it and meditate on it in yoga all the time -- watching it be communicated and play out dramatically in this movie... it amazes me every time. And when Albert Markovski and Brad Stand are shown to be exactly the same (in the blanket truth of things, I mean) that's not just the magic of movies. That's life, man. Like, yeah. Totally.

Huckabees makes me wish that comedies aren't so divided up into stupid, ironic, smart, satirical, and whatever other categories of comedy there are right now. Because this movie is all those things, and I could watch it over and over and over again.

And I do.

Dawn in the bonnet whispering, "Fuckabees!" Gawd... brilliant.

Friday, January 22, 2010

10 BToItM in the 00's, #8: X-Force/X-Statix (2001 - 2004)

Oh, Peter Milligan. How many times have I blogged about you here? Or mentioned your characters? Or told a friend that you were the best comic book writer EVER? Well, it's time for one more.

While my favorite book of Milligan's (and, honestly, my favorite comic series of all time) is and forever shall be the mid-'90's Shade, the Changing Man, it was X-Force and X-Statix that got me to look at superhero books again after taking about 5 years off from comics. I had been picking up a book here and there during my time off, but usually only because they were written by Peter Milligan.

X-Force/X-Statix took all the superhero conventions and shoved them into a mad, mad world almost on par with the post-modern, mad, mod, poet god landscape of Shade. Can you believe how many people died in this sucker? Can you believe the almost-Princess-Di plot? Can you believe the best homo non-couple in comicdom, Vivisector and Phat?

To see Mr. Milligan play fast and loose over and over again with what is taboo in superhero land, while simultaneously chipping away at capitalism, celebrity, and cultural consumption is such a treat. I'm just sad that it ended prematurely and that it seems like the characters he created were just weird enough to never appear in the Marvel Universe again. I, for example, would love to see a Vivisector romance. As you all know, I've got a thing for nerds, and what could be hotter than a Harvard-educated, mutant, werewolf?

Friday, January 08, 2010

10 BToItM in the 00's, #9: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Speaking of unreliable narrators, Nick Guest takes the cake.

As he moves quietly into the life of the Feddens, he makes such sensible, sympathetic, and human observations that you might think '80's conservatives didn't mind having a homosexual in their midst. You might think they were wonderfully fun, darling people. You might even think that Nick himself is a wonderful person just like you or me, and you might start thinking you'd do exactly the sorts of things he would do, if you were in his place.

Wouldn't you?

What I liked most about Alan Hollinghurst's latest novel was that I actually became an unreliable reader. I really felt for Nick and the other characters in this book, even though I knew what awful, hypocritical people they were. Sometimes they didn't seem that far off from me, and maybe the things they did really weren't that bad... right?

And then that ending comes and smacks the sense back into me.

It's been awhile since a novel has taken me into itself that much and that well. It wasn't just a casual read. This one actually worked me over and worked on me, and just writing this blog entry is making me want to read it again.

And don't think you can just get the BBC adaptation and know what I'm talking about. Although I enjoyed it, I found myself less able to have empathy for the people on screen, because I could see who they were. I didn't get a chance to imagine them more rosily, the way you can when you're reading a description and abstractly constructing the scenes in your head. Pick up The Line of Beauty and get lost in it. It's worth it.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

10 BToItM in the 00's, #10: Porn Blogs

Are they true? Are they false? Do I care? My dick sure doesn't. Nor does my imagination.

I'm not talking about blogs that show you a bunch of naked fellows for you to click on so you can be transferred to some professional or amateur or pro amateur site and pay money. I'm talking about those brave souls who have been creating online diaries about who they fuck and when and how.

Aside from the sheer titillation provided by these sites, they also supply endless fascinating questions of authorship on the Internet. To me it's utterly irrelevant whether the people who write these blogs exist -- fiction or non- they can still perform their function. But the idea of all these unreliable narrators either confessing personal secrets or weaving elaborate alter egos is sometimes more titillating than the porn itself. For me, it all started with The Great Cock Hunt and Completely Naked. Unfortunately, both of those boys have retired and are now just posting pics of cute men, but check out their archives, 'cause it'll all be new to you! My readership got a little dirtier with Matt and Dan's Sexual Adventures and a little cleaner with Afterthoughts on a Whirlwind Journey.

What's that you say? That last one isn't a sex blog? No. It's not, but it's still a porn blog. Reading the private, inner thoughts of a closeted Christian struggling with his attraction to men (Whose love will he pick Jesus or another man's? Will he realize that it's not an either/or decision?) is totally pornographic. Totally.

An honorable mention -- totally connected to the porn blog thing -- is the book The Sluts (2005) by Dennis Cooper. It's an amazing piece of fiction that is as much about identity on the Internet as it is about sex and fantasy.

Oh, the 00's

Everyone's making Top 10 lists for the (observed, although not actual) end of the decade, which makes me go, "I want to make a Top 10 list, too." But of what? All the movie buffs are doing movies. The music folks are doing pop songs. The theater folks are doing plays. I'm not really an expert on any of those things, and although I am a self-professed media junkie, I sort of seek out specific things within each media. I don't do broad overviews of a particular medium like the people who compile those other lists. That makes me feel like I have no "right" to really evaluate the 10 Best [Whatever], since I haven't seen enough of whatever to make such a judgment.

So. What to list?

Since this is my blog, and the whole point of the blog was to track influences on my writing and other related interests, that's what I'm going to list: 10 Best Things of Interest to Me from the 2000's. Both vague and specific. Like the blog itself. And so...


We'll do them one at a time over the course of this week.