warning: some truth may no longer work
"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time."
-- STEVEN WRIGHT
November 12, 2001
October 31, 2001
Livejournal seems to be down for the moment, so just a quick one to note that I made it back from OVFF in one piece. Had an incredible time, of which you would have read on my livejournal as I updated it over the weekend. Or read it when it eventually comes up again. Goodnight, folks.
October 11, 2001
I actually wrote this as a throwaway, in about 10 minutes, because Merav Hoffman's friend wanted a mythos song to "Dancing Queen". Rob Wynne supplied the title and here it went. I didn't think much of it, but Rob had it put up in his SF webzine and it seems to have garnered some popularity, so I figure - who am I to argue with my public? So it's been added to the list of Mythos Songs. Enjoy.
October 9, 2001
You get the best ideas from #filkhaven. Deb was complaining how her instructor docked her grade for late submission, even though it wasn't her fault - the server she used was knocked out during the WTC collapse. I realized of course, that this meant it was only a matter of time before this excuse (with MP3) started making the rounds...
September 30, 2001
Time to see about that CD for Interfilk, I guess...
Oh, also did a little reorganization on my filk page. It was getting a bit cluttered.
September 29, 2001
September 23, 2001
I was threatening to compose this at Worldcon as a showstopper, but didn't know this perverse little parody was going to explode into a full song. Thanks to Margaret Middleton and Ron Koolman on rec.music.filk for taking my one verse and chorus and running with it.
September 12, 2001
By now, unless you're under a rock, you know about the attacks on the US in New York, Washington DC, and the plane crash just outside Pittsburgh. At this point we don't know how high the casualty count is, but I'm at least thankful that the people I know and care about are safe. Please say a pray for the dead and the hurt, and God help whoever's behind this mess, because there will be payback. Count on it.
September 11, 2001
I've started a livejournal - be warned, it's sporadic, and mostly cranky. But what else is new?
September 6, 2001
I'm back from Worldcon - which was a mixed bag, full of good news/bad news kind of events. Good news: getting together with good filkers and good friends again. Bad news: The convention center was huge - I got agoraphobia just crossing the damn atrium from the centre to the Marriott where the filking was.
Good news: All the filking was really good. Bad news: I got a cold, lost my voice and had to cancel my concert. I still sound like a Dalek.
Good news: The Hampton Inn was cheap and next to the convention center. Bad news: I had to walk four blocks around the center to get to the entrance.
Good news: I packed really light since I was there only for a week. Bad news: The combination lock on my luggage seized up and I had to break it open with my Leatherman - but thankfully I had a spare lock in my bag.
Anyway, so I'm back, and jetlagged. I'm going to call in sick and listen to the CDs I bought. And sulk that it's all over. But hey: OVFF!
August 24, 2001
I've removed my merchandising link on the front page. It's not as if people were buying anything, it looks really ugly with all the dead picture truth and I'm just too lazy to redo the URLs to fit in with the new Cafepress.com reorganization. It's still a cool place to try if you're thinking of creating custom stuff, though.
August 14, 2001
I've updated my Worldcon schedule below (see July 31 entry). CC means it's taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and M means it's taking place at the Marriott, and L refers to the Loew's.
August 9, 2001
The Pegasus Award Nominations for this year are finally officially out. So now I can finally mention that I've been nominated for two categories, Best Writer/Composer and Best Creature Song (for Wendigoes). A listing of the other categories and nominees can be found here, and here's the voting ballot. Winners will be announced at the Ohio Valley Filk Festival at the end of October (where I'm the Interfilk guest, as earlier mentioned). Vote wisely.
August 6, 2001
A note on "Bouncing Potatoes" - it's a classic filk song written by Poul himself, about the infamous dinner at Westercon XIX back in 1966, where, literally the potatoes were so hard they bounced off the floor. Here's the song, and here's the story.
July 31, 2001
I know it's been a while - I've had a little case of filker's block, as well as been busy squeezing in reading about war and stuff in between work. Aside from a couple of throwaway parodies, this is the only new song I've come up with in months.
I first thought of this one while on #filkhaven (the filk IRC channel on irc.us.filknet.org - drop in!) a few months back and realized I had never actually written a filk about Star Trek. Trek lends itself to parody so easily it would be just another funny song if I wrote one, so I decided let's go the other way. I'm a big booster of unsung heroes, so I chose the most unsung heroes I could find, namely, the hapless redshirted security guards whose sole role seems to be to die just to show how dangerous the menace our heroes face really is. Here's to them.
I've also been gearing up for this year's Worldcon. I'm on quite a number of panels this time around - check it out:
Liberty and Other Inalienable Rights: Will Basic Rights Change in the Future?
On: Friday 31 August - 13:00 to 14:00
Participants: Terence Chua, John Pomeranz, Christy Hardin Smith, Lisa J. Steele
Hidden Lovecraft - Mythos in Popular Culture
On: Friday 31 August - 14:00 to 15:00
Participants: Terence Chua, Greg Costikyan, Thomas Harlan, Darrell Schweitzer
Filk: The Horror, The Horror - Songs About Monsters, Demons and Other Nasty Things
On: Friday 31 August - 22:00 to 23:00
Participants: Terence Chua
Performance Workshop: Relating to the Audience
On: Saturday 1 September - 13:00 to 14:00
Room: L4 Congress A
Participants: Monica Cellio, Terence Chua, Kathleen Sloan
Filk: How Do You Find the Good Stuff?
On: Sunday 2 September - 15:00 to 16:00
Participants: Terence Chua, Merav Hoffman, Crystal Paul
Criminal Justice: Different Settings/Different Views
On: Sunday 2 September - 12:00 to 13:00
Participants: Terence Chua, Christy Hardin Smith, Lisa J. Steele
My concert slot is on Sunday at 3:00 pm (at M4 Franklin A). I'll also be performing in the same room on Saturday night during the Pegasus Nominees concert starting at 5.30 pm. All times are EST - See you there!
April 27, 2001
"When the guns haven't come up, and your cavalry's checked by close country or tutti-putti, and you're waiting in the hot, dusty hush for the faint rumble of impi or harka over the skyline and know they're twenty to your one -- well, that's when you realize that it all hangs on that double line of yokels and town scruff with their fifty rounds a man and an Enfield bayonet. Kitchener himself may have placed 'em just so, with D'Israeli's sanction, The Times' blessing, and the Queen waving 'em good-bye -- but now it's their grip on the stock, and their eye on the backsight, and if they break, you're done. Haven't I stood shivering behind 'em often enough, wishing I could steal a horse from somewhere?"
-- Sir Harry Paget Flashman, VC, KCB, KCIE, et al., Flashman and the Dragon, 1985
April 21, 2001
A new song, based on the Flashman Papers books by George Macdonald Fraser. The interested may direct themselves here for more information on the life of Brigadier General Sir Harry Paget Flashman, V.C., KCB, KCIE, et al. (1822-1915).
Pardon the abruptness of this note. Late. Tired. Sleep. *Snorrkkkkkk....*
April 18, 2001
My youngest sister is going to Colby College in Maine in the fall. She's complaining that it's so far and remote, but we elder siblings of course point out to her that Maine is *far* from being the quiet little state it seems to be. After all, ask the inhabitants of Cabot Cove, or Castle Rock. It's always these New England places that hide the multitudes of evil...
April 12, 2001
One of the filk community has ended a relationship and is feeling pretty down about it. I know how it is - I've had my fair share of endings, and it doesn't get any easier. All you really need is time to heal, and this new song is dedicated to all those that just need some quiet time before they can be part of the world again.
April 5, 2001
Got back from FKO - still mildly jetlagged. I had an amazing time at FilKONtario. So much love, support and great, great music. Note to self: next time must bring camera.
Back to the real world and work now. Sigh.
March 21, 2001
Just about to start packing for Atlanta and Toronto (see below). Just before I go, here's a new song for you.
Way back in antiquity, I used to read the British weekly sf comic 2000 A.D. - that's where I first discovered Alan Moore, better known today as the writer of such classics as Watchmen, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, among others.
One of his forgotten classics was a series known as "The Ballad of Halo Jones", drawn by Ian Gibson. Only 3 "books" about Halo Jones came out, and I really can't do the series justice in a quick summary - see here for more information.
Suffice to say, it was one of the best stories running in 2000 A.D. back then, despite it being relatively quiet and thoughtful compared to the other blood-and-guts strips going on in that weekly. Recently, my mind was directed to Halo again - she's like one of those girls you had a crush on when you were a kid and the feeling of admiration never quite goes away. So you sit back, and you reminisce, and let the old feelings wash over you again, smiling a bit. And just as an incidental, a song may come to mind.
See you in a couple of weeks.
March 8, 2001
My vacation (and convention) schedule's been pretty much confirmed for the rest of the year. In addition to showing up for FKO (March 30 to April 1) in Toronto, I'll also be attending this year's Worldcon in Philadelphia (August 30 to September 3) and I've been confirmed as the Interfilk guest for this year's Ohio Valley Filk Festival in Columbus, Ohio (October 26 to 28). Interfilk is the fan organisation that raises funds to transport chosen fans to filk conventions they wouldn't ordinarily be able to attend, and I'm flattered, honoured and proud that they've chosen me for OVFF, particularly given the short time I've been in the filk community. Hurrah!
March 4, 2001
Been a while since I surfaced to write an update. Just to catch up:
My BP's under control with the medication. There was a little hairy incident involving a near-fainting around Valentine's Day which landed me in hospital for a few days. My own damn fault for getting off a squat toilet too fast while my pressure was already low due to the meds. I actually felt fine after a couple of hours lying down in Accident and Emergency, but then my cardiologist showed up and went, "Since you're here, there's a few tests we haven't done yet..." (sounds of various bodily fluids being extracted). Ah well. But like I said, it was my own damn fault and the medication is working.
What's ironic is that around the time I'm submitting to the Army that I should be downgraded for medical reasons, I'm having a renewed interest in things military. I've been a Napoleonic War buff for a few years now, but now I'm steadily expanding my knowledge of tactics and miltary history - a big thing with me now is the American Civil War.
Why's this? Blame the magificent Ted Turner production of Gettysburg. This 254-minute epic completely blew me away with the immediacy and the authenticity of it. Because of that film I blew a few hundred bucks on books about the Civil War, particularly the great trilogy by Michael and Jeff Shaara - Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels and The Last Full Measure - the middle volume of which the movie Gettysburg was based. I'm going to be looking forward to checking out the Civil War museum and parks in Atlanta when I'm off there in a couple of weeks for AtlanTIM. I'm also playing wargames avidly for the first time in my life, and am going to move on to other wars next. But really, like most people, I prefer to keep my involvement with warfare purely intellectual.
I'm also going to be attending FilkONTario in Toronto from 30 March to 1 April. First trip to Canada - hope I'll like the place.
And speaking of filk, here's a new song. Back at Chicon 2000, I was trying to write a ballad about Nicholas Seafort, protagonist of the Seafort Saga by David Feintuch - how he, as an ensign, took over command of the starship Hibernia and brought her safely home amidst mutiny and alien attacks. Bill Sutton wondered aloud that he would really like to hear a song about men who tried to heroically buck the odds and died miserably because really, the universe doesn't take pity on you just because you're dramatically worthy.
I'd just like to note, though, that I'm not knocking heroism. I'm just knocking the convention that spunk and skill will see you through despite superior enemy firepower. Unthinking heroism gets you killed. Superior planning, superior training, superior maneuvering and good firepower gives you the edge, not romance or poetry. Then again, we do like to have our heroes...
Lastly, just to brag, a short amateur film that some friends of mine and I produced and directed has been nominated for a Silver Screen Award at this year's Singapore International Film Festival. More information here.
See you around.
January 21, 2001
On the USENET newsgroup rec.music.filk, someone was asking about songs based on Zenna Henderson's "People" stories. That got me to start re-reading "Ingathering", the NESFA Press collection of the People stories, and after getting past the second story, "Gilead", I wrote this.
The song (and the recording) is a humble offering, a bit simplistic, for anything I can come up with can only be a pale shadow of the poetry, the depth and the emotions contained in Zenna Henderson's stories. I'll probably try to make further attempts down the line as I go through Ingathering again.
Of course, by saying that, I've probably jinxed myself.
January 1, 2001
Ladles and gentlemints, to the most gorgeous FBI agent in existence. I give you Dana Katherine Scully.
January 1, 2001
Happy Real Millennium. It's been an interesting year, all things considered - what with Alfred E. Neuman winning the US Presidential Election, dot.com self-destruction, my divorce coming through, achieving some modicum of recognition for my filk, turning thirty, my high blood pressure and some other stuff I can let you guys know about soon, I hope.
In the next week or so I might just sit down and write out a kind of retrospective of the year that I'll chuck in the journal section. But until then, may the new year, century and millennium see us healthy, wealthy (in all the right ways), and if perhaps wisdom is too much to wish for, may some insight guide us along the way.
Have a good year, all. See you soon.
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