Archive for November, 2008

Voulant: paul’s blog….
Voulant: wow
Liephus: dude…
Voulant: i’m still back in september
Voulant: but its insane
Liephus: and it’s all freakin’ UFO Girl
Voulant: i mean
Voulant: yes
Voulant: i seriously think he’s crazy
Voulant: or will be
Voulant: “I had a dream two weeks ago, where I was trying to keep my mirage from waking up. He was in a coffin, and I was with a bunch of people, trying to convince them to help me before it was too late. I was chopping my mirage’s limbs off with an axe, afraid he would wake up and we’d all be jacked. His eyes were open and looking at me letting me know he knew what I was doing. Perhaps what I was doing was futile.”
Liephus: 🙂
Voulant: pauls blog reminds me of the writings Brad Pitt and Ed Norton found in the basement of the dilapidated house in the movie ‘Fight Club’
Liephus: hmm… been years since I’ve seen that movie
Voulant: ah
Voulant: ok
Voulant: its one of my favs
Liephus: it is awesome, just haven’t watched it in a long time
Liephus: November in Paul’s blog is all UFO Girl and random 70s stuff
Voulant: ok
Voulant: i’m still in sept
Voulant: so i have a ways to go
Liephus: with the occassional understandable post
Voulant: haha
Voulant: ‘occasional’
Voulant: haha
Voulant: paul… wow
Liephus: “I get back from my stupid search for the alien critter, and I receive the Mr. Megaphone treatment from UFO Girl. She just made all that stuff up. The big hoot was watching me blunder around in an area of high psychic radioactivity, with malfunctioning killer robots wandering around ready to smash skulls. The excitement of wondering whether I would fall down go boom or get opened like a can of tuna was a blast for her.”
Voulant: WHAT DOES IT MEAN!!!!!?!?!?!?!???!!!!!!!!!!?
Liephus: the funny part about that… it the BEGINNING of the post
Liephus: no explanation whatsoever
Voulant: oh dear
Voulant: haha
Liephus: I can’t wait for his book to come out! 😉
Liephus: we’ll be clueless 5 pages in
Voulant: completely lost
Liephus: I can imagine the IM conversations about it now
Liephus: “Who or what is the main character?”
Voulant: “are they fighting monsters, or aliens, or demons, or just imagining everything?”
Liephus: “Does this guy really have wheels for feet?”
Voulant: “ok.. so is the talking rock -really- a character?”
Liephus: “So… did the good guys win? Actually, who are the good guys?”
Voulant: back to teh blog
Voulant: “I’m driving to the parental unit’s batcave with K, and while we are waiting at the stoplight, we hear bagpipes. I search in vain for the source. It’s coming from the woods, and it sounds like some kind of battle march. Well crumbs that about sums up the times, doesn’t it?”
Voulant: WTF!
Liephus: It made sense, up until “about sums up the times”
Voulant: right
Voulant: exactly!
Voulant: i can see everything else happening
Voulant: until paul imparts upon us what he is thinking
Voulant: then it just goes to s**t
Liephus: rofl
Voulant: haha
Voulant: just sayin man
Voulant: i try to make sense of this crap
Liephus: sometimes you just gotta say to yourself, “Ok, whatever… next post.”
Liephus: sometimes being about 4/5 posts
Voulant: 85%
Voulant: haha
Liephus: maybe his posts are just madlibs that he does
Voulant: borrowing HEAVILY from fantasy and science fiction for nouns and adjectives
Voulant: “____ _____ went to the _____ for some _____ ”
Voulant: Voulant would say…
Voulant: “My friends went to the supermarket for some beer”
Voulant: Paul would say…
Voulant: “Radioactive space slugs went to the starbase in Sector 2.2 for some plutonic mental recharge nuggets”
Voulant: coming up with that gave me a headache
Liephus: lol

I give thanks for my friends on this day, because they know the DEAL.

This weekend I gathered together my disparate containers of tools and spread them out before me.  I meditated on what was before me and considered how little I’ve paid attention to my instruments of illustration.  In my mind, I imagined a fantasy of tearing down the old house and pulling out all the old roots.  I experienced feelings akin to shattering the foundations with TNT while my heart shook from the destruction.  The courage to go through with this comes from seeing other artists doing their work.  Their magnificent work strengthens my resolve.  My inside soundtrack keeps repeating, “Everybody is in the place, everybody is in the place.”

I removed all the junk or tools that no longer serve my purpose.  I threw out some of it.  Others I put away.  All my rubber stamps will have to go in a box with my sticker-stash and mail envelope magic materials.  That project I’ll be returning to.  It’s still forming.  I looked at how low my watercolor and colored pencil collection had gotten.  My marker collection is a joke, I haven’t been serious for twenty years.  The Kohinoor pens have seen better days, and now they’re all jammed with dried ink.  Most of my brushes haven’t been cleaned or checked in years.  My poster board and paper assortment is sub-par and all over the place.  I hardly know what I have.

If I look at myself honestly, this part of my skill is in bad shape.  I’ve been coasting, getting by with abilities from a place in my life that expired a long time ago.  I sit down and get to work.  I make a list of things I need to get.  The pens receive a revivifying soak and creak back to life again, slowly, with much coaxing.  The paper and board get organized, and I cut pieces down or arrange them according to where I think my need is pointing.  My toolbox, which is the nexus of what I use when it’s time for heavy duty work, gets a makeover.  New good luck charms end up in the holding tray.  I’m not riding by the skin of my teeth anymore.  I mean business, the new organization satisfies for now.

K and I head to the Michaels store.  She finds a number of pleasant, cheap goodies to advance her need to be creative.  I find most everything I’m looking for, but it’s hard work.  I don’t have immediate access to a good starbase with everything like I used to.  That’s okay, I’ll make do until I can “plus” my collection forward to where I want to be.  The critical pencils I need I find.  It’s good to have a fresh set of Verthins between the fingers again.  I heat my electric sharpener up so much getting them all ready, I have to take a break.  Things are heating up psychologically I think, and I laugh.  My friends, the people who support and encourage me are at my back in a way I can’t describe.  The new stuff gets put in the toolbox along with the still-relevant old stuff.  I feel like reinforcements are here.  Erasers, fine and heavy blades to cut and scrape the material, and a new brush for heavy saturation.

I get down to working on my cover design, doing preliminary sketches and filling them in.  I cut a line of boards and set them up for several attack runs at drawing practice, all to the measurements I’ll be needing.  I paint more messages from the unconscious and make adjustments to several works-in-progress.  It’s all tightly organized, and I move from one dance to the next, switching tools back and forth.  Before I know it, the old gun-shy jitters are breaking up and turning fluid.  Lots more work to do, and my skill wakes like it’s been in a coma.  The therapy will be tremendous, but I surprise myself as a flourish of line or perspective shines through the cracks.

Something a friend told me back in 1996 comes out of the depths of time to my memory.  “How’s your comic doing?”  I mouth the words to myself, “Nowhere, it’s dead.”  Her response:  “Dreams don’t die.”  Which also happens to be the title of a movie I saw once, about a graffiti artist who leaves the streets behind to become a successful graphic artist by the skin of his teeth.

Another friend says a week ago in so many words, “Hey, what’s that creaking sound?”  I’m reminded of a line from Fruits Basket – “What’s that sound?  It’s the sound of something about to break.”  In Fruits Basket the line refers to a curse and a thousand years of misery coming to an end for real, because it’s already been over for years.  My friend points (in her special way of conversation) to a mailbox inside my psyche filled to bursting with letters, the same message over and over again.

“What’s the use?” I say to myself.  “I wasn’t…worthy.  And I don’t care much for Harry Potter anyway.”  Then the mailbox bursts, and I’m swimming in letters that all say the same thing:  “Try again.”  Another song cues in my inner soundtrack from The Verve:  “You can do anything you want to, all you gotta do is try.”

So yeah 1996 friend.  I was the one that was nowhere, dead asleep from a nightmare that never seemed to end.  I’m waking up and finding out the comic was just a part of what I’m supposed to do.  I didn’t have enough vision yet to see that.

UFO Girl whispers into my inner listening:  Soon you’ll be ready to walk in the center of the saucer.

Flash back to my recent trip to Michaels with K.  The check-out woman at Michaels looks at the materials I’m getting, many of which are a buck.  She makes a comment about how I’m buying everything on the dollar menu.  I’m floored, because she’s referencing my current short duration personal savior.  That guy takes something small and makes it into a story filled with fun.  Yeah, I’m trying to be creative and filled with joy about something that’s my personal insight.  We chat for a while, while K chuckles to herself.  I say I wish I was that creative.  The woman runs my pencil refreshment pack through the checker, looks at them, and says, “You are.”

The external encounter is like I’m getting another flood of letters.  Mirrors and mirrors and mirrors again in my life, and I can hardly stand the shock to my small vision of who I am.  My fear of being struck down for growing to fill the form I inhabit roars loud and hard like a song.

UFO Girl whispers again into my inner listening:  Soon your music quest will find your soundtrack.

I’m listening and readying my instruments for writing and drawing.


I would say living in a haunted house and unable to leave counts as being “up a tree”.  The adventure clues seem to point to a need to go further than ‘spending a night in a haunted house’.  It’s almost like a mystery play, with the experience akin to spending a night in the woods to prove your readiness to become an adult.

But to go beyond the transformative journey implies something else.  I’m thinking of a role as a mediator between the two worlds.  I’m feeling there’s more to it than that.  There isn’t just the shaman or the chief who tells the tribe how to live in harmony with the supernatural.  There’s the fighter who takes decisive action, and the artist who manifests joy.

And there is the idiot who doesn’t belong anywhere.  Who roams to and fro as they please.  Many times the fool is a victim, or a stranger who is not appreciated or wanted.  The dunderhead makes mistakes and messes up despite the best of intentions.

Out of nowhere, I think of Punch.  The beak-nosed, hunchbacked, slapstick fellow from Punch and Judy shows.  I start looking up this character, and it’s as if I’m discovering a part of myself that has been sitting in an attic waiting for me.

For those not in the know, Punch is a character in a puppet show that originated (as far as is known) in Italy, took root in England and became an institution, and was very popular in the states at one time.  The show goes up and down in popularity and goes through changes according to the times.

The show consists of a puppeteer who stands inside a tall, portable, makeshift stage.  The puppeteer manipulates the puppets to tell various aspects of Punch’s story while soliciting responses from the audience.  The show is performed for both kids and adults, with the tone of the show depending on the mood of the puppeteer and the audience.

The puppeteer, called a “professor”, uses a secret technique to give Punch a distinct voice.  Punch is a violent, loathsome fellow who goes about smacking the other characters of the show on the head with a big stick.  Usually to the line of “that’s the way you do it.”  The various characters can include:

  • Judy:  Punch’s wife.  Thus, the show is called “Punch and Judy”.
  • The Baby:  Punch’s infant with Judy.
  • The Policeman:  Tries to arrest Punch for his crimes.
  • The Alligator:  Tries to eat Punch.
  • Pretty Polly:  Attractive woman Punch tries to get on with.
  • The Ghost:  Tries to scare Punch.
  • The Doctor:  Tries to cure Punch of his ills.
  • The Hangman:  Tries to hang Punch for his crimes.
  • The Devil:  Tries to make Punch pay for his crimes.

The show can be quite vulgar, and it can also be goofy fun, depending on how the professor plays it.  I’ve never been one for puppets, but the whole world of Punch seems so darn interesting, it draws me in with the temptation to take it up for myself.

The slapstick (a stick that makes a slap sound when it hits someone) Punch uses to do the other characters in comes forward in my mind.  That must be the arcane stick I was seeing earlier.  There are some schools of thought that Punch is descended from a mystery play from ancient times, and that his story represents moral lessons and catharsis of an incredibly civilized kind.  So it makes sense that the Hek-mail was trying to get that across in a mystical, magical sort of way.

In a psychic sense, the slapstick must be the tool I’ll need to help the monsters.  And it might be what I need to delve into the haunted house.  Of course, it’s Mr. Punch’s slapstick and not mine, and coaxing him into letting me borrow it might prove interesting.  Well, as long as the audience gets a laugh out of it, I suppose it’s all good.

This could get real weird.

There’s a state park where the folks, K and I often go to escape the attack droids and meager-minders.  The park is a little hard to find and get to.  It’s made up of a huge forest by the river with miles of paths.  A devoted group of volunteers maintain the consciousness level there.

The place is a labyrinth, because you can spend hours in the place and hardly see anyone.  As the sun goes down, the place turns otherworldly.  There are a few paths that can lead you into really spooky, scary areas of the woods.

When K and I go, we always take a daypack with plenty of water and snacks, along with a tasty lunch.  We take a first aid kit, a universal tool, emergency raingear, and a compass.  I’ve watched people get into trouble an hour from home, and experienced the outdoors beat down myself a few times.  Hypothermia and dehydration are two hard-core realities even in the land of expanding skyscraper false idols.

I bring this up because I’d been saving the park encounters as a topic for later, but now it looks like current events are pushing this ship front and center.  It occurs to me that while my hikes in the park have been a relaxing getaway from the demands of time and space, I’ve also been living an unconscious exploration.


The latest schematic from the opened Hek-mail shows a labyrinth between two trees between two critters.  The starship crew strains my brain trying to make sense of the symbolism.  After a while, I believe I have a functioning, conscious explanation.

The two critters are guardians keeping out the unprepared, pulling the wool over their eyes for their own protection so to speak.  The labyrinth between the two trees suggests a path between trees – like the park.  At the center of which is a tree.

As a symbol, a tree can represent several things:

  • A gallows.
  • The cross of the crucifixion.
  • An Xmas tree.

It can also be an informal reference to being “up a tree”, or treed.  I’ve been hearing the lines from a song in my head for weeks now, I’m up and down and all around, I’m up a bloody tree.  Going to have to find out the title of that song, but UFO Girl must have played it by unconscious request.

To be in a situation of confusion or embarrassment from which there is no retreat.  Yeah, that sounds like a whole lot of fun.  My experiences in the woods in that state of mind have not been safe.

Tree also has connotations of pledges, truth, and trust.  “Where one waits trustingly.”  Maybe I’m getting the external mixed up with the internal.  I haven’t seen any critters with glowing eyes or scary sharp teeth and claws, so maybe I’ve passed between them.  And the hikes have been a form of doing time in the labyrinth.

Where does the labyrinth lead?  Well, home of course.  At the end of the hike, we all get in the car and return to the struggle.

Which means the center ends up at my home, the haunted house.

Oh, great.

11-21-08 ETA: My aunt Duke says, “Trees appear on shields and are thought to symbolize antiquity and strength.  The fir tree stands for clarity, achievement and energy.  The yew – transference, passage, illusion.  And of course there is the tree of knowledge.  In Teutonic and Nordic culture there is the world tree – where the sacred enters the profane.

The other two symbols – I am going from my gut reaction to the images.  One I see as a phoenix which stands for resurrection, immortality, fire and divinity.  The other reminds me of either a river or a snake.  River according to Jung is water already in motion finding its own way through conditions of external danger to emerge intact and triumphant for union with the sea – implying the longest way around is the shortest and safest way to the sea.  Snakes were often guardians of sacred places.  The Celts believed that if you see a snake on a shamanic journey prepare to shed something in favor of something greater and better.”

Thanks for the info-pumpup, Duke.

015_hekate.jpgI get back from my stupid search for the alien critter, and I receive the Mr. Megaphone treatment from UFO Girl.  She just made all that stuff up.  The big hoot was watching me blunder around in an area of high psychic radioactivity, with malfunctioning killer robots wandering around ready to smash skulls.  The excitement of wondering whether I would fall down go boom or get opened like a can of tuna was a blast for her.

She beams over the right aural frequency to open my Hek-mail, since she’s decided to be a bad sport and randomly do the left thing anyway.

There’s a long dramatic scene in my brain where the Hek-mail uncoils, shifts and turns inside over outside to reveal a burst of rainbow colors that floor my mental sight.  I feel like this has a touch of the Dark Goddess in it.

I have the experience of traveling down a long hallway of rich, dark stone.  There are torches on the walls in the shape of fishes, with weird black-yellow flames burning from their mouths.  Everywhere there are wild dogs with hollowed out eye sockets of soft blue light.  They follow me at a distance, or rest with paws outstretched in nooks and crannies on the sides of the hallway.  They might once have been people, but their energies have now been directed towards the movement of divine purposes.

The hallway ends in a wide, narrow cavern with a lake of cold, clear nectar all along the irregular floor.  The nectar lake glows with a living firefly light of golden green.  I step into the lake at the edges and my feet tingle with the cold stickiness of it.  All around me is a ghostly presence of life-giving sensation.  The cosmic wind of the galaxies is whistling through my hair.  I listen, and wait to hear the message that is coming to me from a mysterious, fantastic power.

My being here is the message, and also the thing I must do.

I leave the cavern behind, and return through the hallway to the world.  For a long while I’m surrounded by a literal darkness of incomprehension.  What was all that about?  As I come to my senses, the thought enters my mind that the monsters are coming, and I’m going to help them come into the world.  To protect them from human beings, and let them have their life too.  The Queen of Monsters has entrusted me with a spark of her strange light, and now I have to get to work.  The monsters need me.  The apparition has come, and there’s no more time to waste.

The image of an arcane stick enters my brain, and a place I have to go.  A state of mind I’d really rather take a pass on.  It appears I’m still on adventure duty.

014_alien.jpgNo luck trying to unlock the sealed envelope at the base of my brain stem.  So I contemplate how the crummy CDs I mentioned earlier have turned out to be total busts.  4 CDs and not one good song for me.  I know it’s a clue, but if I got nothing out of it, then what?

Except there’s one song I remember hearing had a funky beat.  Space Woman by Charlie, which I listen to again.  This time, it stands out.

I’m a spacer woman, don’t you worry ’bout me
I don’t want to hurt you, I just want to love you

Whoa, that’s got to be from UFO Girl for sure.  Turns out the song is from 1983, and is called “Spacer Woman”.  It was a popular tune in Italian Discos.  Weird.  I wonder why UFO Girl has changed her tune, and if the lyrics are meant for me, or my Mirage.  Then again, it could be one of those “We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill” things.  I guess I’ll have to go and find out!

Then I run into She music by way of a livejournal buddy.  I get my hands on several downloadable albums of electronica music galore, and it’s all good.  Well crumbs, looks like UFO Girl is hooking me up after all with the sweet life support tunes.  I was getting worried there.  A kernel of Royal Road Guidance in the malefic.

I get the feeling that UFO Girl can help with the Hekate Headquarters mail, and that I ought to let my Mirage know of her lyrics.  I figure writing a message and leaving it downstairs in the basement will probably work, except I think my Mirage has got me under batwing surveillance now like nobody’s business, just like that boy in Karin the vampire.

That probably means UFO Girl’s got my place bugged with high tech gadgets, or heck she probably has my coordinates memorized and she can dial a direct sensor reading whenever she feels like.  Soon as I think of that, she comes out over a hidden Mr. Megaphone loudspeaker and tells me she’ll decode my Hek-mail if I’ll run an errand for her.

Sheesh, everybody wants something!

I get the feeling if I don’t my music quest will run into a long string of bad no-hits.  At the very least she’ll turn my draft cider into Skid Mark Hooch, and that stuff’s only fit for Plan 9 automatons.

My skull’s innards get a flash image of a bionic alien critter with steel coil springs for legs and a tail, a pincer for a mouth, and an appetite for bamboo shoots.  Apparently, this critter escaped the saucer again, and I have to find it before it attaches its wheel to a human being and starts manufacturing intelligent cotton balls.  The critter’s name is Nine, and while he’s been de-venomed and immunized against human stupidity, his 5715 interface has yet to be adjusted to “neutral”, thus the threat of cotton ball civilization.

Alien critters get lost on this planet all the time.

I drive over to the neighborhood she believes the critter probably landed, something about really digging the vibes there.  It’s chilly, windy, and dark, with shady characters walking around.  I walk up and down the paths, crunching leaves underfoot.  At one point I nearly twist my ankle in the dark. I have no luck finding Nine, and am forced to return to my car in defeat.

Crumbs, I’m zero for two with these weird imaginary characters.

013_appartition.jpgThe superstructure and stress points are all at nominal levels, the crew is happy, and the ship power is fully operational.  Even the Kittee Patrol is at full health.  At the back of my primary cell awareness, though, something is brewing and it smells like trouble.  My brain sensors have been getting a lot of random readings in the local systems.  The subconscious radio is picking up increased activity as well.

I feel guilty and out of sorts, because being a secret party pooper is no fun.  The last thing I need right now is a mood, but then perhaps I’m getting a message that I haven’t quite figured out yet.  Something heavy hangs in the air I’m breathing, as if some gigantic catastrophe were about to erupt from the depths and rip the heads off anyone who isn’t bowing low enough.

An image enters my mind of a selfish mindset as large as the world, wearing a dirty sheet over its shrunken head as it plays recklessly with forces beyond mortal command.  This psychic infection is completely disassociated from the external world, and uninterested in any internal world not based on a fearful, immature image of life.  Any moment this childish thinking will cause a disaster and take everyone it can with it.

Just what I need, a nameless dread giving me the shivers.  I tell the starship crew to hyperport me to the nearest sensor reading that matches the stats we have for the nameless dread.  I’m going to have to take a direct astral reading at point blank range to make anything of this new development.

Zap.  Switching to uncensored habitat mode.

Picking up mass mockery of decent people.  Dirty tricks being performed on valuable prophets.  Mass migration of sanity to folly with imminent beat down masked by phony baloney.  Trusted guardians bearing false seal of approval showing true colors as they maim and loot.  Increase in victim threshold rising to off the scope whir beep.  Massive buyout of worthless junk on unimaginable scale as shutdown systems of life support continue, warning, warning, fuel for fake bribery burnout at critical levels.  All systems on alert for least size resistoids at any cost must destroy.  Reality override, going eegah oh no whoop whoop, have a bite of collapsoid stone age mind spoilage eeyew brrrrrr. Doom alert, doom alert, drinking down mosquito disease cocktail made with hot sauce.  Static, static, shutdown, change channel.

Hello and welcome to the fake friend show…click.  Next channel.

Emergency transmission begins now.  Get off the planet immediately.  All bioplastoids are guaranteed a transfer station at the non-time coordinates listed on your drinking bracelet.  If you are cobalt based, you will need an extraction procedure before liftoff.  Absorb all relevant recordings for procedure at your nearest pyroclastic stability.  All other motility existences must evacuate immediately.  Transmission for non-temporal beings begins now.  Beerrrpabrpbeeprprpbeep…click.  No channel.

Random Gooberz:  “Hey, what are you doing here?”

Me:  “I live here!”


Random Gooberz:  “You’re supposed to be in scene seventy-nine.”

Me:  “I thought sixty nine was a better scene to be in.”


Random Gooberz:  “I’ve heard of choose your own adventure, but this is ridiculous.”


Me:  “Just wait until the juicy parts.”


Random Goober:  “There are no juicy parts in that one.  You bought the wrong volume, you idiot!”

Me:  “Boy is my face red.”


…click.  More channels.  Click click click.  Switching to dial mode…clack.

Finally, someone with half a brain.  Don’t stand there like you need to adjust.  All of us down here in Hekate Headquarters know your quirks.  Here’s the deal.  We need a living person to do some stuff for us down here, or there’s going to be no Charlie Brown Xmas.  Get ready, we’re going to beam you.


The scene here is absolutely unbelievable, average news anchor.  People coming out of the woodwork and firing shots, throwing toilet paper, shouting invectives.  Whatever they can at the 400 foot tall apparition smashing downtown wherever.  I don’t need to tell you the authorities are helpless before this monstrosity, and yet here we have a spontaneous reaction from the public, doing serious hit point damage to what must be the most colossal blunder people have ever made.

Number nine, number nine, number nine.

“Get back to where you once belonged.”

Zid.  Closing uncensored habitat mode.

Hey, I got Hek-mail.

Posts in the hopper, trying to make sense of them. For now, enjoy your meal!

11-11-08 ETA:  My laptop just croaked, probably for good.  Just as I was finished transferring files for backup.  Guess it’s back to the watercolors for a while.  Let’s see what I can get at Dell-dude with some defecit spending!

012_sparksea.jpgWhile I was watching some of the Karin episodes on YouTube, I remembered an anime I saw back in the early eighties called The Sea Prince and The Fire Child.  As luck would have it, numerous bits of it were available on the YouTube experience.  I’d forgotten the details, so it was nice to renew my contact with this rare gem.

In a nutshell, Brother Water (a kind of Poseidon-sea horse dude) and Sister Fire (winged faerie sun fire Goddess) were close friends until Evil Brother Air (a giant octopus) put bad blood between them.  Fire created a magical fire that as long as it burned would keep water and fire separate and at peace (and the air octopus dude in limbo).

Enter the Sea Prince (son of Brother Water) and the Fire Child (daughter of Sister Fire).  They meet each other and fall in love despite the historic enmity between their two parents.

Spoiler alert: Ahrrooo!!

It’s a Romeo and Juliet kind of story, with the two lovebirds dying horribly (in other words, it’s a tragic anime) — fire and water destroy each other, but the two siblings kind of make up so that water and fire can be one again in the reflection of water, even if they can’t be as close as they were again.  The two lovers get to shine as a star in the sky as an inspiration to all other suckers who think crossing the line will end well.

The movie is a beautiful piece of animation, and at times extremely poignant.  There are parts that don’t hold up so well, because the premise assumes nobody figured out evil brother air was responsible and he ought to be the sole one punished.  Of course, where is evil brother air’s earth sister counterpart – wouldn’t he be much better served if he were given a date?  The two siblings could have caused a lot more righteous havoc had they conspired to get the octopus in touch with his own bad blood self.

The movie carries an important message – how much we are in thrall to forces beyond our command, and how much nature moves us against and for each other.  If it’s a tragedy, it’s an acknowledgment of how limited we are and how the only thing moving us forward is the (vain?) hope that things will get better, or that the sacrifices of the past will improve the horrors of the present.

How much of the differences between us are manufactured, with vital clues left out for some personal image of what we want?  The parent-child relationship can turn dangerously wrong and damage people beyond repair.  If only we thought more about the consequences of our actions to our descendants.

And perhaps we should consider what might happen when we project upon others our own inner turmoil.  Much harm, I think, has been done when we let loose our own energies upon the world without care or thought to the effects.  A difficult thing it is to reclaim our own problems and acknowledge that the fault lies with us.

The opportunity came for an All-Saint’s Day hair-of-the-dog.  Almost went to see Count Gore’s hypnosis show but lost main power midway through the day, and that wasn’t enough to convince K to get out and about.  Instead, she dragged me along on one of her sudden hunches.  K’s instincts are good, so when she gets a trail on something I saddle up.

We head over to a used bookstore.  She’s looking for books on how to weave.  Her hunger for knowledge in the use of her loom is huge.  Me, I’m expecting to find nothing.  My instincts aren’t feeling hot, and I’m not on the trail of anything, so it’s a bust I’m ready for.  Which is okay, because even the missions that are failures have to be lived.  You gotta pay the dues.

Turns out I find a couple of interesting things, all clues to what’s goin’ on.  I think the unconscious washes these onto my shore as components for the next thing I’m supposed to do.  I get the feeling that the Dark Goddess must have dropped these off at the used bookstore for burger money.  A girl’s got to eat, and those late night meetings with the struggling artists in need of a vision can wear out the coffee machine.

  • A near-mint condition copy of the 1983 Dungeons and Dragons module Ravenloft. Six bucks.
  • Two DVDs of Karin (episodes 1-4 and 5-8).  Four bucks each.
  • Two CDs of trance techno – Blank and Jones “DJ Culture” and Global Underground “Afterhours” (3 CDS).  Six bucks and nine bucks respectively.

Thirty bucks for some new brain protein chains?  Not bad!

For those not in the know, the Ravenloft module is considered by many DnD people to be one of the best.  Players adventure in a classic style vampire adventure, with all the expected trappings.  What is memorable about the module is some of the techniques it uses to evoke atmosphere and create a sense of player involvement in what happens.  So even though it follows a lot of the typical dungeon-kill monster-loot cycle of DnD, it has features that make every game different and more player-oriented.

I’d heard about Ravenloft recently on my sensor array, but as it’s an old module I’d have to really search to get a copy.  My researches in roleplaying theory and storytelling techniques require me to look into such sources of experimental gameplay.  And here it is, delivered in my lap for my own examination.  However, I also believe the subject matter also relates to my ongoing relationship with my Mirage.  The players are trapped in a nightmare world at the behest of an evil vampire, and they must explore the world to find the answers.  Each step leads them closer to the dark castle of the vampire where all shall be revealed!

No, not relevant to me and K’s situation at all.

I’d already watched the first ten episodes of Karin on YouTube, and loved them.  And here they are for me to watch in the comfort of my own home.  I have to say they hold up well to a repeat viewing.  I’m noticing a lot of things I missed before (always a good sign for craftwork), and I’m enjoying the study of the techniques of storytelling revelation and exploration in the show.

The theme of monsters being victimized by us, as people, is one I’ve been meditating on for a long while.  I also am drawn to the idea of Goddess-on-earth trying to find what the heavens need to survive and continue.  With a normal human dude as her sidekick instead of magical mentor with lotsa knowledge.  It’s always got to be about us.  I’m not so sure that’s a good thing anymore.  Outside, out there, things are looking to us to make things happen.  I’m drawn to the idea that we are the divine being(s’) adventure and that the work to be done involves both poles of the world.

The Dark Goddess wants me to know about this stuff.

When it comes to techno tracks, very often it’s about finding 1-3 singles that can carry you through to another state of waking vision.  My life support always needs new course calibrations to stay on course with the living spirit.  I’d heard Blank and Jones’ track “Nightfly” on Logic Trance 4 and loved it, so I figured I’d give them a try.  The Global Underground has always been a mixed bag for me, but I spotted Killing Joke’s “Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Dub Mix)” on the 3 CD set.  I really liked that song on one of my ambient collections (the name eludes me and I don’t feel like digging it up), so maybe this set will be in the same vein.

I find that when I’m ready for new states of mind, or to examine old ones from a fresh perspective, the music comes to me.  I just find it.  It might be that the music will go along with something else I’m supposed to work on.  I’ve found that the music that most closely approximates my center tends to be ambient (leaning towards dark) with trance techno in the mix.  It’s the only formula that is complex and subjective enough to bring it out.

I don’t know, maybe UFO Girl passed them along.

Already the New Year is here, and the work is afoot!  As Pluto enters Capricorn its time to hold onto your butts.  Thanks, weird beings.