November 4th, 2003

elijah

blink

I dreamed of Wesley saying to Giles and Xander: "The histories on William the Bloody are not very detailed about -------. However, the subject headers are detailed and flocculent." And in the dream Giles and Xander stare at him and he adds, "I know how he takes his tea now."

That's almost word for word. And I had to look flocculent up in Webster's. It means fluffy, resembling wool, as in the wool I have stuffed in my head.

Should I really be up at 6:49 a.m.? Maybe I should take another hour to think about this.
elijah

Misc.

1.

I've added some icons and wanted to shout out to lanning and wisteria_, and also flambeau, because I think I got several from them. There are a few others I can't remember the origins of. I am 99% sure that all the ones I've put up so far were all appropriately taken when people posted to offer them. Unfortunately I've noticed that I suffix icon files with people's user names for (a) icons that are theirs, not mine, and (b) for icons that people made and I was saving to use someday. Confusing.

2.

My dream this morning made me wonder how accurate watcher diaries are. So, a watcher is assigned a slayer and records details about her life and, less often, her death. Fine, cool. But the watcher diaries also have vampire histories in them with various amounts of detail. It would make sense for watchers to pore through diaries over a period of time to cull out references to a single vampire and then collect them into one biography-style volume--the history of Angelus, the history of Spike. It's unclear whether this is the case, though. I suppose Giles, in the episode "Angel," could use the term "watcher diary" to refer to some kind of supplemental volume that contains info on various vampires (e.g., "Vampires of the European Continent, 1719-1845"). He certainly has a lot of details--Angel's origins, his movements, hunting patterns, even his tattoo and a picture of a woman he'd once known. And we know that Wes has some very definitive accounts of his movements for certain periods of time.

And yet...how believable is that, if you extrapolate? There might be periods of time where the available info is richer; you can imagine a particular watcher gaining an "in" to a vampire social circle in some way, as a spy, or just being on the spot in the same small town, close enough to tail a particular vampire and record details. (And that must certainly account for a lot of watcher deaths over the years.) But it's less plausible that they'd have a close itinerary of a vampire's movements, month to month, for centuries at a time. At one point Giles says: "There's...no record of [Angel] hunting [in America]." He's talking about a period of over eighty years there. That's not saying much. If you wanted that to *really* mean something, you'd have to posit a network of watchers scattered across America, or watchers in England poring over a century's worth of American newspapers and noting down any report of a killing that resembles a vampire attack, and their work would have to represent a good accounting of which vampires are responsible for which killings. If they had *that* level of authoritative documentation, then saying that Angel has no record of hunting in America carries some weight. But it's highly unlikely they have that kind of info--and if a vamp is successful, a survivor, he's not going to be identified in association with a killing. So all that Giles is *really* saying here is that they've never had a meaningful report reach them to indicate that Angel was associated with a killing. He *could* have gone on a wild decade-long spree at any time, and as long as it didn't reach the attention of the watchers, they'd have no record of him hunting.

I just think that's kind of funny. I mean, it represents how the so-called "facts" we're presented with in canon can fall apart if you look at them too closely.

As another example, when I first watched "Fool for Love," I thought it implied that the story of Spike's "railroad-spike" torture was in fact apocrypha, a distortion of the truth, the truth being that his nickname, William the Bloody, in fact referred to his reputation for bloody awful poetry. It took me a while to twig to the alternate (and probably more sensible) reading, which is that he got the nickname when he was alive and then turned its meaning around by torturing the men who bestowed it on him. But I still kind of like the first reading, because it represents how tiny details of truth can be wildly exaggerated when they get set down as history. You can imagine some Victorian junior watcher interviewing William's contemporaries to get anecdotal material and then turning the very mundane facts of his life into the lurid melodrama of vampire notoriety.

3.

I can't remember what number three was.
elijah

must be tuesday

Am watching Terror Train tonight, the only horror movie that can "boast" a supporting role from David Copperfield. And I assure you, he is truly the most horrific thing in the movie. It also stars Hart Bochner, obscure heart-throb of hard-core slash fans, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

I just finished an excellent book at lunch today, The Death You Deserve. Despite my rec, there's probably only a handful of you reading this who'd jones on it like I did. It's hard to describe. Dark without being dark, sort of the way Buffy is. Thick with brutality, but none of it gratuitous--in fact, the brutality is the very point of the story--and it's not rendered *funny* exactly, but painted with morbid black humor, a kind of dry edge. The main characters aren't by any means perfect parallels to Xander and Spike, but there are some resonances. You've got this snarky writer who gets himself into an ugly pickle and is rescued by an old friend, who is now a hired killer. They share a common bond, their interest in ghost stories, which are a running theme throughout the book. All the ghost-lit references add a lot, including a ten-best ghost stories list, and a lot of quotes from classic horror novels. Also, it's set in Britain.

Here's one of the quotes, set as a chapter header, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: "It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account, we shall be more attached to one another." That doesn't reflect the style of the prose, which is contemporary, but it's a cool quote. There's also a passage where the two characters discuss the horror genre ("Suggested terrors work best"). And I wanted to quote several lengthier bits from the book that capture the strangeness of the relationship, but I'll just settle for this short quote because it would kill me to type it all:
It wasn't that Rawhead felt love for Billy, or even affection. Such emotions were quite beyond him. Imprisonment, betrayal and death had murdered his heart. What Billy awoke in him was a desire to protect. The thought of Billy Dye in danger made Rawhide tense, set his teeth on edge, charged him with an unfamiliar sense of urgency. Billy was part of him.
That makes me think of how Spike might feel about Buffy, Dawn, or--in my AU worldview--Xander. If I'm being a realist, that is, and not a romantic.

I wish I'd bought potato chips at the supermarket.

I reached a nadir in vehicular functionality tonight. Driving a car that can only go about a mile before stalling, with no insurance, with expired tags and expired AAA coverage, a month past my oil-change date, on a partial flat.

I have the updated tags. But they're buried in old mail somewhere. It's all kind of moot, though. When emissions testing comes around in April, my car won't even be able to make it to the nearest emissions testing station. I'm going to have to figure out something before then.

But my friend A. just got a new car! And I'm excited for her. *g* She also gave me Godiva chocolates today, so she gets smooches.

I can't decide if I want to try to write tonight or go back through old LJ posts and index them in memories. Or just sit here and fuck around. At some point though, I need to eat chicken.