Rob Vincent dot net

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July 11, 2006

OMGKittens!

Rob @ 4:01 AM

I just blundered upstairs to raid the fridge, and noticed a cageful of unexpected kittens in the bathroom. A grey one and a black one, which Fina informs me are provisionally named Fidel and Stalin respectively. Apparently my family just took them in. It seems that a friend of my mom has a male cat, who went out and knocked up some lady cat, who then disappeared leaving the male to take the kittens home.

A deadbeat mother cat. What a concept.

Hitchhike, one of the two grumpy old cats we've had for ages, is none too pleased with the situation. I split a piece of leftover roast lamb with him while we thought matters over. A houseful of four cats again.. I'm pretty sure the most cats we've ever comfortably had at once was three, with the fourth getting constantly smacked around by the others or just going nuts until we gave her away. But, we also had a dog in those days. Who knows?

EDIT: The final names for the little creatures are Che (grey kitten) and Stalin (blick kitten.) Phear.

July 9, 2006

Space Filler

Rob @ 10:37 PM

OMG Space Minutes!

Witness my latest mad experiment: random mixes that each last exactly one minute.

You can check them out (in reverse order) riiight about here.

I expect to post at least one or two of these per week.

Leave comments! The new pages are all naked from lack of comments.

July 8, 2006

Neatness

Rob @ 1:49 AM

Did the 2600 thing today, which was neat. I managed to give away all but one of my first set of Space Mutiny badges, which is neat.

It feels strange that the con is in two weeks. I have a feeling it's going to be an unusual one. I'm not presenting anything this year, at least officially, but I am pimping PLA in a big way, and will be loaded with CDs and other goodies to give away, so definitely catch up with me if you'll be there. I also have a few ideas for something to sully the spare track with, should they have one available.

I should be able to get the new series of tunes on SM started up over the weekend, and I'm also looking to release another issue of my long-forgotten zine sometime soon.

July 5, 2006

Independence

Rob @ 11:46 PM

As I suspect is the case with most of you, when I'm reading a novel and get drawn into the story, my imagination puts faces and voices to the characters on the printed page.

Where those faces come from is usually arbitrary, with the notable exception of characters with established human faces behind them. In spinoff situations such as my beloved Doctor Who novels or the Star Trek books I used to follow, fans already know how Mr. Spock or Sarah Jane Smith looks and acts.

But with the unhindered characters who spring first from literature, the imagination is given total free reign. One is free to draw completely pure conclusions based on the text's subtle clues of what Mr. Pickwick, Captain Nemo, Yonderboy, or Lord Vetinari are like.

Well, that's the concept, anyway. In practice, certain outside influences are prone to invading. First and foremost in our modern society are the actors who have played the characters in adaptations. In some cases, the image of theactor fits surprisingly well with the character on the page; imaginary Jeff Goldblum will always be my personal Ian Malcolm whenever I reread a "Jurassic Park" book. And my mental Basil Rathbone always fills in well as Sherlock Holmes, though I refuse to picture him wearing the deerstalker.

Far more often, though, it becomes distracting. Stephen King once wrote how it's nearly impossible for any human to read "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" after seeing the 1975 film of the same name, without picturing a madly grinning Jack Nicholson as Randle Patrick McMurphy. This can become aggravating, as the character is often referred to explicitly as a redheaded Irishman. At best, your mind stumbles over the narrative a bit. At worst, you end up trying to compensate with some horrific hybrid mental image of a pale, ginger-haired Nicholson. The film is a good film, but it messes with your ability to simply enjoy the novel free of preconception.

There is another, more insidious imagination-jammer than Hollywood actors, though, and that's when I suddenly find myself casting people I know in real life into the roles of characters. I generally try to avoid this, but sometimes it just happens, forming a firm picture in my head before I have a chance to think up something better. Many a character in my library has been "played" by my friends, family, old teachers, coworkers, or whatever. I do fondly remember a novel in which the villain that was defeated by Doctor Who looked and acted a lot like my grumpy old boss from a toystore I pulled overnight shifts at one Winter. That guy owned that role.

However, sometimes this gets even more aggravating than I know how to deal with. The particular case I'm dealing with at present, the germ that started me ranting on this whole situation, is a paperback I randomly swiped off the shelf for bus-ride material. It's "Independence," one of the old novels based on Quantum Leap. It's based on a show I loved in its day. It's got a neat storyline. It involves the history of Long Island, where I live. It takes place during the Revolutionary war, a historical period which I find interesting. I haven't read it in about ten years, so the plot twists are mostly new to me again. It's got all the ingredients for an enjoyable read.. apart from one thing.

When I first read this, I was dating a girl who shall remain nameless. She bore a passing resemblance to the book's description of one of the major charaters in the novel - the female love interest, no less - and before I knew it she was happily sprawled on my mental casting couch with a contract for the part.

Shortly after I finished the book, that relationship ended sourly, and I experienced my first grownup heartbreak. (Not because of the book.)

And now, I'm trying to reread that book. However, despite the fact that I haven't seen or spoken to this girl in a decade and have no desire to, I can't remove her face from the character. And it's seriously interfering with my reading.

Can anyone recommend an imaginary plastic surgeon?

July 4, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Rob @ 1:47 PM

My sister Jo just called me to wish me a happy Fourth of July. From our conversation:

Rob: Today is, of course, the day when we celebrate the anniversary of aliens blowing up the White House.

Jo: Yes, it's important to remember that day. It was a sad day. Kids today don't know how it was back then, they don't know anything about horror.

R: Indeed.

J: Thank God Will Smith was there to save the day.

R: Yes, the Fresh Prince saved us all.

J: You don't see Bell Biv DeVoe doing that shit, do you?

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