I went diving last Monday. Actual scuba diving. And had a lot of fun. :) I was a little worried at first; I assumed I'd have difficulty because I have sinusitis, and if you know or have it, then you know what a bitch it can be: occasional hay fever, sneezing fits with sudden temperature changes, crippling headaches. But surprising everyone, especially myself, I took to it pretty well, though I basically had to equalize every 5 seconds. I didn't panic, swallowed water only once (pressing the purge button surprised me with the force of the pressure), and though we were expected to stay no deeper than 10 feet, I got to 25 feet. :) And for my open water dive, we got to go to a wreck! Just a small fishing boat off the shore of one of the smaller islands, with the top portion of the mast sticking above the surface of the water. But underwater it's fascinating. A bush of sea urchins had made their home around the anchor. Corals were beginning to form on the exposed side of the hull, fish swimming all around. I enjoyed the feeling of weightlessness, and just floating lazily around while taking in all the sights. I saw large blue starfish, an eel that scared the shit out of me, clown fish, and all sorts of other fish I couldn't identify (though I saw Dori and Gill from Finding Nemo). It amused me that clown fish are actually pretty aggressive, and defend their homes pretty stubbornly; one bit Neva near her lip. Another, darker fish seemed to be barking at me like a dog. All in all, a lot of fun and a rewarding experience. Thanks to Neva and her family for inviting me along. They're almost all divers, so I was the odd duck. They even went night diving while I-- uh, slept. Neva said it was terrific, though the current was very strong, and it was beautiful when you turned off your flashlight because some of the fish were luminous. Another amusing fact was that she'd bump into sleeping fish who just float around, waking them up with a start.
If you're thinking of diving too, tell us and we'll hook you up with our instructors, Hernel and Joy Castillo, who were very cool and accomodating.
Am going through the first season of ER on DVD. I used to love this show, and probably still would if I didn't gradually disconnect all ties to watching television. But the first season brings back a lot of memories, and I remember learning a lot about structure from the show (especially the episode "Blizzard"), and it was one of the first shows that was almost dizzyingly fast with near-constant dialogue, presaging the arrival of Sports Night and The West Wing. It feels like I'm reconnecting with old friends I haven't seen in a while: Susan Lewis, John Carter, etc… and I'm glad that Neva's enjoying it as well. Best of all, I finally got to see the pilot episode and other episodes I missed. :)
DVD, how I love ya. Neva mentioned to me the other day how DVD was really made for people like me, because I love going through everything, so special features are a very important factor for me in considering whether to buy a DVD or not (especially since they're fucking expensive). So I almost always only buy those 2-disc sets (for films I really love), otherwise the less-than-legal versions can be mighty tempting… I remember when I last had fever I went through all 4 commentaries of both Fight Club and Seven in the same day.
"But that's the beauty of writing. It's all just words. If you can find the right words for a place, you can conjure it out of the air."
I've finished the bulk of The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore. Certainly, if you're a fan of Alan Moore then you'll love the book; it pretty much goes through his entire career. But there's still a lot of questions that editor George Khoury didn't ask, and they didn't go as in-depth into the works and thought/working processes as much as I would've liked. So it's still not the ultimate book on Alan Moore, but it's the closest we've seen. What comes to light is how, amazingly, so much of Moore's material still remains out of print. It's a damn shame. Some of my favorite parts are in the introduction and afterword, which were written by Moore's daughters. Hilarious stuff about what's it like having him for a dad.
"I am primarily a writer. That is what I'm best at. I love to manipulate words, and to manipulate consciousness by manipulating language. That's what I've always been interested in."
And here's a nice little gallery: artistic interpretations of literary figures. All sorts of good art, including a sketch by Neil Gaiman.
Check out Adi Granov's site. Some really interesting stuff. Strikes me as definitely European, of the Heavy Metal/Humanoids variety. I wonder what he'd look like doing interiors. I've only seen covers so far.