Back from over the hills

Thanksgiving with the parents was great. All told we had about 24 people come over to the home of my childhood for dinner. We had 21 babysitters for the weekend, which was spectacular.

Unfortunately, I left my camera at home.

Anyway, highlights of the trip were of course the family and the non-stop eating of very non-traditional Thanksgiving foods like lechon and pancit. Don't get me wrong, though. We did have a turkey and we did have mashed potatoes, but we mostly had some variation of a Filipino/Chinese dish.

Another highlight was marathon stretches of Guitar Hero with the younger cousins. The youngest of my cousins who came is thirteen and the oldest is twenty-three, so they were all thrilled by the XBOX. I had to buy a second guitar controller, but it was worth it.

The lowlights were the actual travel--it took us ten hours to drive to Ontario. We hit very dense fog in the mountains which slowed us to 30mph, and we could barely see 100 yards ahead.

Another lowlight was, unfortunately, the town itself. It's a very different place from where I had grown up--poorer, empty. There's a maximum security prison nearby which wasn't there during my childhood. Consequently, the families of lots of the inmates have moved into town to be near their relatives and it's drastically altered the culture of the town. My folks had their business broken into a couple of weeks ago and there has been a rash of burglaries. Never happened in my childhood.

Which brings me to the other lowlight--I had to pack up all the crap from my childhood room. My parents, as I've mentioned, are moving to Bellingham. They didn't want to touch the stuff in my room because they 1) didn't want to pry and 2) they had no idea what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to trash. Honestly, I'm not very nostalgic for things, so I ended up dumping a lot of things in the garbage. The room's fairly empty now, except for the furniture.


Meredith and I got to take in Quantum of Solace which was a bit more like the traditional Bond films in terms of some elements. Craig's Bond is arrogant, almost joyless, but clearly a physical weapon. I liked the first film with Daniel Craig as Bond a lot better than this one. At least the poker scenes in Casino Royale created suspense. I don't think I ever felt suspense in the new film . . . just disjointed.


It's official. Heroes sucks. It's a victim of bad writing. Seems like the creators of the show don't read comic books. What made the first season great was the various Heroes discoveries of their powers and the human elements--estrangement, uncertainty, discovery, and joy. The last two seasons show a steady decline in the writing.

Here are a list of some problems I have with the show:

Hiro is too powerful and over-relied upon for narration. The time jump thing was novel at first but it's created some problems in the writing. I mean, hell, if he can jump through time AND space, then why can't he just fix everything? At least make his powers debilitate him in some way.

There are too many power absorbers--Silar? Peter Petrelli? Daddy Petrelli? No, no, no. So then what's the point? Marvel does it right with their character, Rogue whose ability causes her great emotional hardships.

God, I'm such a nerd. Let's just say that I was skeptical of the television series to begin with and now in its third season, my predictions for the show are coming to fruition.


I've been in the process of writing multiple series poems. They're all for different manuscripts, I'm certain.

Series 1 = Self Portraits (I've got twelve of these poems)
Series 2 = Simile Poems (I've got about eight of these. Titles have this characteristic: _________ as __________)
Series 3 = Fatherhood Poems (I've got maybe ten of these)
Series 4 = Manong Poems (Fifteen of these poems. Historical fiction poems focusing on a few Filipino migrant workers back in the 1940's).
Series 5 = Dear Empire Poems (Twenty or so in various states. Epistolary prose poems)
Series 6 = Nocturnes (Three poems)
Series 7 = Eschatology Poems (Six Poems)

Series 1, 2, 3, and 7 seem to fit together in a manuscript because tonally they're similar. The POV is the same or can be easily revised so that the POV is consistent.

Series 4 is all by itself.

Series 5 and 6 seem a likely pairing. The Noctures are in third person and very objective while the Dear Empire poems are quite intimate. Perhaps a bridge series is needed.

Looks like three manuscript projects to me. Each project has had its share of some pubs--The poems from series 1,2,3, and 7 have had the most pubs, followed by the poems from Series 4. Series 5 and 6 just had a few picked up in the Summer, so it's a burgeoning collection.

I don't normally work this way, mind you. I'm just finding that my writing energy comes in spurts. I'll bang out a few poems in a series, come back to the series, run out of energy, and start something else.

More on this later in the week as I do a bit of thinking.


Current Spin: Neutral Milk Hotel

Oliver de la Paz