Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've been reading a lot lately, for school and just because I'm literate. I've always liked to read, and can safely say that books are cool. I got this idea not too long ago to write a book. I don't want to write an epic novel of 2000 pages or more. Just a book, along the lines or style of the late Lloyd Alexander. I liked his books, they weren't too long, and they were fun to read. Along with the story I'd like to include some illustrations, which would make it more a novel/graphic novel and something in between.

In the graphic novel, Arzach by Moebius, the story is described through pictures without dialogue. In a way, I'd like to compliment the details of the story by including illustrations, and at the same time tell a story without dialogue. The reader will turn the page, see a picture and the story will pick up where the illustration left off on the next page.

A novel without dialogue?!! What?! Well.. there will be dialogue. I don't really want to draw the whole thing. I just think that some novels would be better if there were more illustrations included more often. Sometimes pictures can describe more that 200 pages of dense boring descriptions. Think about it.

How often have you read a book and the author describes an very detailed scene only to be frustrated by the limited capacity of your imagination? Or while reading a book you just keep saying, "They should make this into a movie!" That's the idea. Sometimes there are special illustrated versions of books that we've read over and over. There was an illustrated version of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist that was very impressive. Coffee-table versions of books.

That's the idea... I have a feeling this might end up in the bottomless pit of unfinished projects though.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I have to write a senior thesis. I've been thinking about what to write about for a long time now. Supposedly it can be about whatever I want. I just need to get my sources approved and away I go. Some possible ideas for my senior thesis:
  • Greek/Roman Cartography and views of ancient world geography
  • Sub-Roman Britain's early Christians (Pre-Norman Conquest)
  • Printing Press and book production before the Renaissance
  • King Freaking Arthur (man or myth?)
  • Medieval Christian Military orders (Knights Templar/Tuetonic knights)
  • Hernan Cortes and the Conquest of Tenochtitlan
  • Coronado's expedition to locate Cibola (one of the fabled cities of gold)
Any suggestions out there? Anything is possible here. I think that finding primary sources for some of these topics will be hard to obtain, but shouldn't be too bad.

Friday, November 16, 2007


In a continued effort to make my blog more boring - I've decided to talk about a specific document from the 12th century: the Guthlac Roll. The manuscript itself is presently located at the British Library, and it details the life of St. Guthlac, a hermit that lived in eastern England in the 7th century. The roll was made shortly after the Norman conquest of England. Details of the manuscript are depicted in circular form that possibly were meant as templates for stained glass windows. Stained glass windows with artwork similar to the Guthlac Roll can be found in the window of the North Rose at Lincoln Cathedral.

Guthlac was born the son of a local noble, and after being inspired by heroes of old, fought in the army of Æthelbald of Mercia. He became a monk at twenty-four and then moved out to an island where he lived the rest of his life as a hermit. Guthlac gained notoriety as people sought his spiritual guidance, and later gave refuge to the future king of Mercia, who built Crowland Abbey in his honor. The Abbey itself still stands today, though it has fallen into disrepair since the 16th century.

Many details of Guthlac's life come from The Vita sancti Guthlaci written by Felix after his death. Guthlac endured many temptations and hardships during his life, and was rescued by St. Bartholomew from demons that tormented him (see above). He dressed in animal skins, lived off of scraps of bread, and drank a cup of muddy water before sunset. This no doubt attributed to his declining health and illness that accompanied him towards the end of his life. Two Old English poems known as Guthlac A and B from the Exeter Book are possibly based on Felix's work. Both are derived from orally transmitted tales, much like Beowulf, that were of interest to Anglo-Saxon audiences of the time. Much information regarding Guthlac and his sister Pega were lost over time after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
sources: by Alexandra Olsen

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Much to the dismay of my wife, I rented "Seven Samurai" by Akira Kurosawa. Made in 1954, it is considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. 3 hours of black and white, Japanese with English subtitled samurai awesomeness. Kurosawa's work inspired many other movies, many of which were Westerns. I haven't finished the movie yet, but I plan to follow up "Seven Samurai" with some of his other great samurai epics: "Kagemusha", "Ran", "Yojimbo" and "Sanjuro". Awesome.

Oh and I see that Garit finally tricked out his van. Kind of overkill, but I'm sure his science_man_jector would fit nicely inside:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

the pod

Albums in current rotation on the iPod:

1. Pink Floyd: "Animals"
2. Kula Shaker: "K"
3. The Killers: "Sam's Town"
4. George Harrison: "All Things Must Pass"

I've probably mentioned this before, but I was never really one of those 70's rock kind of people. I secretly ridiculed people who wore Floyd/Hendrix shirts to school, because their hippie father or older brother listened to that stoner crap. I was so convinced that synthesizer driven 80's music was the best thing in the universe, that it wasn't until later that I realized that I was listening to the same mundane electronic stuff over and over. What got me into older music was the riff driven guitarists of yore, and awesome percussion that you couldn't fake with a drum machine. I was also interested in the gear and vintage effects pedals that old guitarists used and modified during the early days of recording. Seems impossible that some of the greatest albums of all time were made on a 8 track mixer!

Monday, November 5, 2007


So the Writer's Guild of America went on strike today. Supposedly it'll effect television programs and dump endless hours of reruns on our heads. Night time talk shows are the first casualties, and in a month or two, if this strike doesn't resolve itself, most series shows will run out of new episodes. Tragic.

I'm not concerned. I needed a reason to wean myself away from television. I feel useless every time I slip into a TV coma. I need to get away from the tube and finish the 3 or 4 books I've been reading... cook something, build something, or finish some songs I've been thinking about for 3 years. Whatever.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I'm at work:

I had just helped two women, and their perfume was pretty strong, when a guy walks up looking like he had to sneeze and says, "Whew! That's some strong perfume! you know, I'm really sensitive to that stuff! I quit wearing underarm deodorant a long time ago..."

That struck me as odd.