June 15th, 2003



I accidentally ordered the score to Forrest Gump rather than the song-based soundtrack. The score, by Alan Silvestri, is just the usual drowsy, vaguely uplifting background music with occasional dramatic leaps--not bad, but nothing I'd have bought on purpose.

Listening to the score to Forrest Gump while watching Pet Sematary 2 changes the tone of the movie in weird ways. A woman climbing the stairs to her death becomes infused with joyous anticipation. Drill attacks, exploding gobbets of flesh, putrid melting faces, all turn strangely poignant. I discovered I could watch the most horrifying things with mild interest and a sleepy, Ozlike calm. Huh.

Edward Furlong is a scary little fucker. Someday we may discover that he supplemented his Hollywood career with a sideline in serial killing.

Oh, and by the way, did you know there is a movie called Porn 'n Chicken? And that it's based on a true story?

The whole KFC 'n QAF evening spent with friends the other night was trendy, I guess, though we didn't know it at the time. But honestly, porn and chicken...that's just not right. Naming it for what it is makes me vaguely queasy. I am going to veto any more chicken. Besides, porn 'n pizza is at least alliterative.

the long dark teatime of the soul

Sundays at five p.m. when you realize you've done nothing productive with your weekend...except buy an iron.


I just finished Minette Walters' Acid Row today over breakfast and coffee. I posted about Walters a while back--I'd found a free copy of Fox Evil on the editorial table at work and was very excited. What I didn't follow up to mention, and feel kind of guilty about, is that Fox Evil was rather disappointing. I mean, it was *okay*, but not especially gripping like many of her other books. But Acid Row was an amazing read, anxiety-producing in the best way. Every few pages I'd be trembling on the verge of tears, because it's one of those books that details mundane, matter-of-fact bravery "in the face of adversity." Intense book. Not a classic mystery--more of a psychological suspense novel, though all her books could probably be lumped together as "crime drama," as one cover blurb describes it.

British crime dramas have changed in the last twenty years. That's my impression, anyway. What used to distinguish British mysteries was that whole locked-parlor, Scotland-Yardy genre that existed in an upper-class bubble. (When "lower" classes appeared, they were auxiliary characters like butlers and such, and even the ones with personalities were taken for granted as part of the background.) Now, though, it seems like most of the British mysteries I read tend toward psychological suspense and examination of social conditions and tensions--class, race. Contemporary British authors often seem more socially conscious than American ones, and have complex views on issues not easily categorized as liberal or conservative.

Of course, all this may just be because my own reading is limited. After looking at my shelves, I realize that the only authors I regularly read anymore--to the point where I may even order new novels in hardback--are Walters, Ruth Rendell, and Reginald Hill. P.D. James started to feel less relevant to me a while ago, as did Elizabeth George (who is actually American). I'm not sure why I drifted off from reading their stuff. There was a lot to like.

I used to read the mysteries of L. R. Wright, an author who always struck me as low-profile (she's deceased now). Her stuff had a different sort of atmosphere that I liked. Canadian! Is there a uniquely Canadian psychology? Can Canadians and lovers of Benton Fraser answer this question? Is Canadiaphile a word?

I've actually devoured metric tons of mysteries, and have read and left behind slews of authors. I am always looking for new recommendations though. I don't entirely understand my preference for genre as genre. Maybe because it's comforting, reading novels that (usually) abide by certain rules?

Okay, I've killed half an hour twiddling my mental thumbs on this subject. God. Why can't I make myself write?


stolen smallville recs

Over in thamiris's journal, svmadelyn recs Billy Swanson by Lenore, whose stuff I've grooved on since Sentinel. She's one of those writers who...um, how to put this. One of those writers who have their fingers jammed into the electrical socket of pure sex. And in this story, besides the hot sex, there's also evidence of an uncanny ear for dialogue and a keen sense of canon--especially in that Clark/Lex Talon scene.

"Uncanny ear for dialogue" -- "keen sense of canon." Writing reviews really makes me sound pretentious. (Or is that *more* pretentious? I don't know want to know. Leave me alone. I'll be in this hole.) This is probably why I don't rec as often as other people.

Anyway. I wandered deeper into Lenore's journal (scribblinlenore) and found The Scientific Method, which just cracked me up, as if by a sphincter of steel.

Um, that's a quote. So go read, okay? so I don't sound too insane.

Svmadelyn also recs Around the World in a Day by hackthis, which was a kind of startling reminder that I *can* feel shmoopy about CLex, even though I've been feeling disaffected about the show itself for half a season.

All of this reading, by the way, was just another clever ruse to avoid writing fiction of my own. And to postpone my need to rise from this chair and go to the supermarket. If I make this dawdling last long enough, I'll have only enough time left this evening to watch QAF and fall yawning into bed.

I really should have gone to the office and worked this weekend, like I intended. Then at least while not having written, I'd have the compensation of feeling virtuous and of having gotten work done.