Thursday, September 22, 2005

Toothbrush and Nose Honk

Just a couple of things this morning before I start working.

On the way in this morning, a driver in front of me at a red light was brushing his teeth. I wasn't sure at first, because all I could see was his head moving back and forth. When he tilted his head back just enough for me to see his mouth in his rearview mirror, there it was, the toothbrush, going back and forth across his pearly whites. That was a first for me. I've seen people doing all kinds of things in their cars, but not that. I held off trying to share the song I had learned as a youngster and that we sometimes sing to Ben. "Brush your teeth, round and round. Circles small, gums and all."

The smog was particularly heavy to the south, above Dallas, and it looked like the wind had carried it our direction. Gotta love living in an urban megaplex. Not LA mega -- heck, not even Houston mega, but pretty big nonetheless. We moved Ben from the fresh air of the Ozarks to "air pollution caution level red." There, son, a gift from us.

After I got to work, I heard a co-worker blow his nose. You know how on TV and movies, when people blow their nose it makes a big honking sound, almost like a Canadian goose? Well, this was one of those. I rarely hear those in real life, so it gave me a good chuckle to start the day.

Here's hoping Hurricane Rita doesn't give anyone, much less Katrina survivors, as much trouble as some are predicting.


Edmund said...

Hi Mark,

Just thought I'd drop you a note outside of the SoS comments. I wanted to answer your question, but didn't want to rain on CBB's parade.

For something written under incredible duress based on one page of notes, the work is impressive. CBB has a true gift for detail and description of surroundings from perspective. He is also deft at expressing thoughts and emotions of primary characters. You really feel like you got to know the inner workings of both Darth and Simon.

The thing that frustrated me about SoS was that the context / back story was inconsistent and sometimes self-contradictory. As you pointed out a few days ago, that is a consequence of the way SoS was written. But it still drove me nuts. There is so much more that could have been done, and hopefully the prequel - not written under the same circumstances - will explore them.

For instance, the Something Wicked bit seems to have been thrown in there simply to drop in a book / movie reference, and never to be developed as part of the story.

In the last post we find that the Executives were hanging with TV all along and that they had crystals of his memory. If Jeremiah's stated imperative was to find and destroy the Nightmare Cannon, why didn't they use those earlier? I could go on and on until my head hurt, but instead I'll just shrug and whistle. SoS the experience was great over the last several week. The ending was what it was.

Re: Rita. If you don't have a generator, go buy one today. I've had a microburst land in my back yard, and lost power for a couple of days. Being able to run your refrigerator, some lights, the microwave, and a couple of other items (most notably the sump pump if you have a basement!) makes things much more bearable.

I don't know if you remember the nebula from Star Trek 2, Wrath of Khan. That's what the sky will look like soon in your neighborhood. Beautiful but frightening.

Take care and good luck!

wvf: apunk - I kid you not! ;-)

I almost forgot...FIRST COMMENTER!! WOO HOO!

Mark said...

I appreciate the comments. I know exactly what you mean. I commented quite a while back that I was anxious to see what CBB did with SoS after he had time to go back and revise, as a proper novelist would. I can't tell from the PDF preview on Lulu that he did that at all, but I could be wrong. He's talented, no doubt. I just think it's a shame it seems he's using SoS as another vault to popularity and will only revise-revise-revise on works he feels are more "serious." That's kind of the impression I got, anyway.

Regardless, this could be made into a great screenplay, and that too might have been a reason that he didn't spend time making it into a more perfect novel. In addition to his strengths at putting the reader in the moment, I like the neat little details like that planet where you can't kill any ants, and it works into a fight scene with the bad guys. Very cool.

I suspect that if I had read much science fiction (like many SoS readers obviously have), I would have seen a lot of things that weren't original, but hardly anything is anymore. It's the characters now that drive truly great stories.

Thanks for the storm tips, too.