athelind: (hoard potato)
Everyone has their quirks and aesthetic preferences, and I always strive not to, as they say, "yuck someone else's yum" -- but I must admit to a recurrent artistic theme in fan art that unsettles me. This is not to assert that artists and fans should avoid this theme, but, rather, to excuse myself in advance if my absence, lack of response, or sudden, shrieking departure might demand explanation.

I must confess that as a small child, I was deeply disturbed by the creepy surrealism of old cartoons of the "rubber hose and black bean nose" era -- the Fleischer Brothers were notorious repeat offenders, but the studios of Messrs. Disney, Warner, Goldwyn, et al., were by no means innocent. That style of art and animation has never been "cute" in my eyes; in fact, it is indelibly associated with a queasy frisson of eldritch horror that even the works of Mr. Lovecraft only seldom elicit.

As a result, when Sonic the Hedgehog resurrected the "rubber hose and black bean nose" style in 1991, my stomach lurched.

Thus, when I am browsing the various art sites I frequent and see Sonic-based art ... I never click the thumbnail. When, in my wanderings around the tawdry wastelands of Second Life, I happen across some hapless individual wearing an avatar in the Sonic style ... I go the other way. Very quickly.

It is, I assert, no reflection on the quality of either the art or the individual. It is wholly the style itself.

It is not so much an "Uncanny Valley" as an Unholy Abyss.


Oddly, the faux-retro stylings of the Animaniacs and their ilk don't disturb me at all. Despite their superficial resemblance to the antediluvian antecedents of animation's Golden Age, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are proportioned, rigged, and animated in the modern fashion.
athelind: (tell it like it IS)
I wonder how much of my disinterest in the zombie trend and its associated media and phenomena stems from having substantially more contact with dead things than most modern urbanites and suburbanites?

You want a lasting visceral reaction, spend some time working with a sea lion carcass so foul and decayed that seagulls won't eat it anymore.

That'll take some of the charm out of dressing up like a rotting corpse for a flash mob.


athelind: (Warning: Existential Threat)
A rooster starts laying eggs, and not one person, either in the main body of the article or in the comments, even mentions the potential for a catastrophic biohazard.

Alas, the comments are closed on the original article, so it falls to Your Obedient Serpent to spread the alarm!


athelind: (big ideas)
I am ... off, this morning. I don't know if I'm still fighting off the vestiges (or a relapse) of last week's cold, or simply reeling from the aftermath of a night full of stress-anxiety dreams. I've got that fuzzy, light-headed feeling, so it's entirely possible that the former induced the latter, and the answer is "all of the above".

St. Paddy's or not, I probably shouldn't have had that beer last night.

The dreams ran through the night, I think, or at least through the last bit of it, but the real roller coaster hit after I woke up, looked at the clock, thought, "Oh, hey, time to get up" -- and promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. That hypnopompic state seems to be kind of a sweet spot for memorable dreams for me -- to my dismay, this morning.

This one combined major adrenaline-stressors ("Those cars are going the wrong way -- in my lane!!") with minor irritations in such a way that every time I came close to waking, I backed off and retreated back into sleep, because I was somehow associating all that anxiety with the waking world.

This is not to say that I don't have some cause for anxiety in my waking life these days, but when I finally did surface, I wasn't reacting to any of that. I was disoriented and shaken, but that was due to the rapid-fired combination of narrowly-averted accidents, police encounters, car trouble, bicycle problems, and gods-know-what-else that were bouncing around my brain.

Sublimation? Maybe.

More probably, given my current mental state, it's the aftermath of that cold.

I think I may start setting my alarm in the mornings -- something I haven't bothered doing much since moving to the evening shift at the game store almost a year ago. Most people find "sleeping in" to be a luxury, but I've always been the sort who likes to get up and dive right into the day -- ideally, because I have something structured to do and get out of the way. When I do that (as I did on Sunday), I'm in great shape. Rolling over and catching more ZZZs does nothing good for me -- it just makes it harder to get moving, and -- frankly, it underscores the lack of focus, direction and purpose in my current existence.

Which just makes it harder to overcome that lack.

Besides, I don't want to have to fight with the Hypnopomp anymore.


athelind: (Default)
I am ... off, this morning. I don't know if I'm still fighting off the vestiges (or a relapse) of last week's cold, or simply reeling from the aftermath of a night full of stress-anxiety dreams. I've got that fuzzy, light-headed feeling, so it's entirely possible that the former induced the latter, and the answer is "all of the above".

St. Paddy's or not, I probably shouldn't have had that beer last night.

The dreams ran through the night, I think, or at least through the last bit of it, but the real roller coaster hit after I woke up, looked at the clock, thought, "Oh, hey, time to get up" -- and promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. That hypnopompic state seems to be kind of a sweet spot for memorable dreams for me -- to my dismay, this morning.

This one combined major adrenaline-stressors ("Those cars are going the wrong way -- in my lane!!") with minor irritations in such a way that every time I came close to waking, I backed off and retreated back into sleep, because I was somehow associating all that anxiety with the waking world.

This is not to say that I don't have some cause for anxiety in my waking life these days, but when I finally did surface, I wasn't reacting to any of that. I was disoriented and shaken, but that was due to the rapid-fired combination of narrowly-averted accidents, police encounters, car trouble, bicycle problems, and gods-know-what-else that were bouncing around my brain.

Sublimation? Maybe.

More probably, given my current mental state, it's the aftermath of that cold.

I think I may start setting my alarm in the mornings -- something I haven't bothered doing much since moving to the evening shift at the game store almost a year ago. Most people find "sleeping in" to be a luxury, but I've always been the sort who likes to get up and dive right into the day -- ideally, because I have something structured to do and get out of the way. When I do that (as I did on Sunday), I'm in great shape. Rolling over and catching more ZZZs does nothing good for me -- it just makes it harder to get moving, and -- frankly, it underscores the lack of focus, direction and purpose in my current existence.

Which just makes it harder to overcome that lack.

Besides, I don't want to have to fight with the Hypnopomp anymore.


athelind: (AAAAAA)
Desired Title.

My "Desired Title" is "Lord Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Buckhounds, Lord High Auditor, Coroner, Archbishop of Titipu, Groom of the Back Stairs, and Lord High Everything Else", but I'll settle for "Lead Cartographer: Mars Terraforming Fleet".

I mean, what the frak? Who cares what they're called? Is someone looking for a "Hydrographic Technician" going to blow off my posted resume because I have "GIS Specilaist" listed?

One of these sites basically hijacked my resume submission to somewhere else, and then demanded that I fill in their extra blanks before I could change the (really obnoxiously obvious) password they sent me; I'm tempted to put some sarcastic title there just to blow off steam.


(They also have a "delete resume" button, which I'm tempted to hit. Am I gonna get anything but spam from http://hotresumes.com?)
Update: I hit it.
athelind: (Default)
Desired Title.

My "Desired Title" is "Lord Chief Justice, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master of the Buckhounds, Lord High Auditor, Coroner, Archbishop of Titipu, Groom of the Back Stairs, and Lord High Everything Else", but I'll settle for "Lead Cartographer: Mars Terraforming Fleet".

I mean, what the frak? Who cares what they're called? Is someone looking for a "Hydrographic Technician" going to blow off my posted resume because I have "GIS Specilaist" listed?

One of these sites basically hijacked my resume submission to somewhere else, and then demanded that I fill in their extra blanks before I could change the (really obnoxiously obvious) password they sent me; I'm tempted to put some sarcastic title there just to blow off steam.


(They also have a "delete resume" button, which I'm tempted to hit. Am I gonna get anything but spam from http://hotresumes.com?)
Update: I hit it.
athelind: (YAY)

The Florida legislature has approved religious-themed specialty license plates.



They didn't get to see them before the vote, but here's a pic:



Tasteful, aren't they?

That big gap in the middle makes coming up with appropriate personalized plates a challenge that we rose to meet.

Cut for tasty, tasteless sacrilege! )
And now it's your turn!

That's what Comments are for!


athelind: (Default)

The Florida legislature has approved religious-themed specialty license plates.



They didn't get to see them before the vote, but here's a pic:



Tasteful, aren't they?

That big gap in the middle makes coming up with appropriate personalized plates a challenge that we rose to meet.

Cut for tasty, tasteless sacrilege! )
And now it's your turn!

That's what Comments are for!


athelind: (hoard potato)
Remember my post about the Real-Life Arkham Asylum, in Danvers, Massachusetts, which was being turned into luxury condominiums?

Well, last week's issue of Batman Confidential was the final chapter in Yet Another Retelling of the Dark Knight's first encounter with the Joker -- or rather, in this case, what happened after the Joker was in police custody. After causing multiple deaths while in custody, under guard, and in chains, including the death of at least one judge, the authorities were at a loss with what to do with this pasty-skinned sociopath. They couldn't put him in with the mainstream prison population, and they couldn't remand him to conventional psychiatric care.

As Gordon and the D.A. (a pre-acid Harvey Dent, I believe) were having this conversation, a television in the background showed a news story about a certain old hospital being converted into condominiums.

One of them says, in disbelief, "Can you believe this? Didn't they used to experiment on patients there? Who the hell would want to live there?"

On the next page, it's announced that the state has used eminent domain to reclaim the property, which was going to become a special facility for extremely dangerous psychiatric cases.

athelind: (Default)
Remember my post about the Real-Life Arkham Asylum, in Danvers, Massachusetts, which was being turned into luxury condominiums?

Well, last week's issue of Batman Confidential was the final chapter in Yet Another Retelling of the Dark Knight's first encounter with the Joker -- or rather, in this case, what happened after the Joker was in police custody. After causing multiple deaths while in custody, under guard, and in chains, including the death of at least one judge, the authorities were at a loss with what to do with this pasty-skinned sociopath. They couldn't put him in with the mainstream prison population, and they couldn't remand him to conventional psychiatric care.

As Gordon and the D.A. (a pre-acid Harvey Dent, I believe) were having this conversation, a television in the background showed a news story about a certain old hospital being converted into condominiums.

One of them says, in disbelief, "Can you believe this? Didn't they used to experiment on patients there? Who the hell would want to live there?"

On the next page, it's announced that the state has used eminent domain to reclaim the property, which was going to become a special facility for extremely dangerous psychiatric cases.

athelind: (Eye of Agammotto)

Archaeologists Find Mayan Hell; Provide Plot of Mummy IV



It's like some kind of pulp adventure tale: deep in the Yucatan jungles, there's a flooded cave complex that the Mayans believed was the entrance to the Afterlife, Xibalba. Scuba divers have, slowly and carefully, explored the caverns and found vast, air-filled chambers filled with temples.

This is right out of Call of Cthulhu -- and I don't mean that in a good way. I mean that in a "Do Not Call Up What You Cannot Put Down" way.

It's cool, yes... but pretty damned creepy. I mean, we're talkin' LifeGems level creepy. The Mayan afterlife is not a happy place; "Xibalba" means "Place of Fear".

We're talking Hell itself, people. They've found Hell. This is not the start of any happy movie; Brendan Fraser wisecracks are the best we can look forward to here.

If I were given to Omens and Revelations....

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] halfelf reminded me that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012!

Okay, now I'm really creeped out.

Found via BoingBoing.
Coincidentally, I spent the morning reading pages at http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/ -- also found via BoingBoing.

athelind: (Default)

Archaeologists Find Mayan Hell; Provide Plot of Mummy IV



It's like some kind of pulp adventure tale: deep in the Yucatan jungles, there's a flooded cave complex that the Mayans believed was the entrance to the Afterlife, Xibalba. Scuba divers have, slowly and carefully, explored the caverns and found vast, air-filled chambers filled with temples.

This is right out of Call of Cthulhu -- and I don't mean that in a good way. I mean that in a "Do Not Call Up What You Cannot Put Down" way.

It's cool, yes... but pretty damned creepy. I mean, we're talkin' LifeGems level creepy. The Mayan afterlife is not a happy place; "Xibalba" means "Place of Fear".

We're talking Hell itself, people. They've found Hell. This is not the start of any happy movie; Brendan Fraser wisecracks are the best we can look forward to here.

If I were given to Omens and Revelations....

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] halfelf reminded me that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012!

Okay, now I'm really creeped out.

Found via BoingBoing.
Coincidentally, I spent the morning reading pages at http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/ -- also found via BoingBoing.

athelind: (big ideas)
Okay, now, this is one for the list of Places To Go Because Of Their Literary Connections:

The Avalon Danvers Apartments in Danvers, MA.

What the Avalon web site doesn't mention is that this lovely, mid-19th Century "castle" used to be Danvers State Hospital, a mental institution. Originally built to be a pleasant, peaceful setting to help treat the mentally-ill degenerated over the years into an overcrowded bedlam, complete with lobotomies, electroshock treatments, and cemetaries with numbered graves. It was also the setting of Session 9, a horror movie I now have to hunt down.

The blogger who was so cheerfully disturbed by the graveyard and the movie also failed to mention a few delightful facts about this place:
  • It sits on Hathorne Hill, where once stood the residence of one John Hathorne, the "hanging judge" of the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Danvers, you see, was once known as "Salem Village" (to distinguish it from nearby "Salem Town") -- and much of the drama of said trials played out right there.
  • Danvers was mentioned several times in the works of H.P. Lovecraft, both by its real name and as "Arkham Sanitarium".
  • HPL's "Arkham Sanitarium", in turn, inspired Denny O'Neill to incorporate "Arkham Asylum" into the Batman Mythos.

That's right, kids. Live near Boston? You can rent an apartment or buy a condo in Arkham Frakkin' Asylum!

I am so using this in the Legacy 2020 game. Asylum full of lunatic supervillains? Overused to the point of tedium. Yuppie condos built on the former site of an asylum full of lunatic supervillains?

Creeeeeeeepy.

athelind: (Default)
Okay, now, this is one for the list of Places To Go Because Of Their Literary Connections:

The Avalon Danvers Apartments in Danvers, MA.

What the Avalon web site doesn't mention is that this lovely, mid-19th Century "castle" used to be Danvers State Hospital, a mental institution. Originally built to be a pleasant, peaceful setting to help treat the mentally-ill degenerated over the years into an overcrowded bedlam, complete with lobotomies, electroshock treatments, and cemetaries with numbered graves. It was also the setting of Session 9, a horror movie I now have to hunt down.

The blogger who was so cheerfully disturbed by the graveyard and the movie also failed to mention a few delightful facts about this place:
  • It sits on Hathorne Hill, where once stood the residence of one John Hathorne, the "hanging judge" of the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Danvers, you see, was once known as "Salem Village" (to distinguish it from nearby "Salem Town") -- and much of the drama of said trials played out right there.
  • Danvers was mentioned several times in the works of H.P. Lovecraft, both by its real name and as "Arkham Sanitarium".
  • HPL's "Arkham Sanitarium", in turn, inspired Denny O'Neill to incorporate "Arkham Asylum" into the Batman Mythos.

That's right, kids. Live near Boston? You can rent an apartment or buy a condo in Arkham Frakkin' Asylum!

I am so using this in the Legacy 2020 game. Asylum full of lunatic supervillains? Overused to the point of tedium. Yuppie condos built on the former site of an asylum full of lunatic supervillains?

Creeeeeeeepy.

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