All Under Heaven

This evening I saw Yimou Zhang's film "Hero." It's an excellent piece of story-telling, infused with a classical interdisciplinary spirit. Even though the unity (peace) vs. diversity (chaos) dialectical ideology is conspicuous, it barely distracted from the aesthetic of the narrative. I really enjoyed that the climax was both existential and hermeneutical. Highly recommended. And if you come away not "getting it," at least you'll have enjoyed the groovy soundtrack.

Speaking of heroes and dialectics, Smallville season four premieres 22 Sept. It'll be a ridiculous shame if they get carried away with trying to re-teenify the series, dropping the darkness and mythology in favor of standard WB superficiality.


Will This Be The End Of Monkey-Boy?!

Today at work, we narrowed in on the infamous villain. We had our suspicions, but he really gave himself away, when in an attempt to flirt with a new cafe worker, he said tomorrow he would bring her some stickers. "Stickers?," she wondered. Being such an odd encounter, she mentioned it to a manager and me on a smoke break. "Did he say what kind of stickers?!," we hollered back. Well, he hadn't said. But we think we got our man.

You see, for the past six months or so, someone has come into the bookstore each day, gone to the men's restroom, stuffed the toilet full of paper towels, and plastered the underside of the toilet seat with monkey stickers.

One time is annoying, but sort of funny. Every day for a month is aggravating. Every day for six months is an insane outrage. The only thing we were sure of: this fellow has a lot of monkey stickers.

And, oh, what a clever little monkey-boy he was. But now he's going down.


Killer Burrito

Saturday evening I met up with Josh and Beth. Josh is soon off to Iraq to do some teaching. I am very impressed with his Arabic writing abilities. Beth is as industrious as ever, and will soon be running a half-marathon.

On the way home I was famished. Against my better judgment, I stopped at the late night Taco Bell drive-thru. I swore off of fast food ages ago... but every once in a while I remind myself why. So I was up half the night with fever and shaking. Did everyone who ate there that night get food poisoning, or was it just me?

In other consumer news, I'm trying a new handrolling tobacco by Mac Baren. They make an American blend and a Halfzware, which I'm enjoying. It's quite new, so you might not see it around just yet. Former Douwe Egbert's Drum users should give it a try.


Things Trivial, Things Profound

So I'm back with a trace more tint to my skin. The threat of a tropical storm soured the weather in the middle of the week, but we got a few beautiful days at the start and finish. I was motivated to buy my first pair of sunglasses since the seventh grade. They make me look tough.

Although the storm sent them home early, I did get to meet my great-uncle Jimmy and my Dad's cousin Jack. I heard some good stories and learned about that side of the family for the first time.

On a global note, things still look disasterous in Darfur. While most news-reports give the impression that the situation arose without previous history in February 2003, the fact is that northern Sudanese Muslims* have been attacking the southern Sudanese since 1955 and have taken about 2 million lives. Like many on-going conflicts, it has a long history. Visit Frontline Fellowship to find out more.

update: BBC info on Darfur conflict & Sudanese civil war


Last Blast Of Summer

The youngest brother is back in town for a spell. Last night Gary, Jeff, and I went out for drinks. It's been a long time since we were all in one place. Later in the evening we were pleased to meet some members of Fluid Movement who are doing a show at the Pagoda.

Anyway, this next week I'll be with the family down in the Gulf for a reunion. Apparently my paternal grandmother's brother will be there. The last remaining relative of that generation on Dad's side. I'm looking forward to it.

I'm bringing along my latest fiction purchase: McCarthy's "Outer Dark." I read his Child of God some time ago and really enjoyed it.

I also want to mention the Evan Runner "Lecture Project." I'm re-reading his extant lectures and taking notes on them. If anyone wants to join me, send me an email or leave a comment and we can compare notes.