Sunday, March 29, 2009

Art and the Backyard

I've been fighting a stomach virus since early Friday morning, and today was the first day I felt something resembling better...which really sucks, because this was the first weekend off I've had in a month, and I missed my friend's birthday party last night. But as I said, I felt somewhat better today and wanted to get out for a bit, so I went to the McNay Art Museum. I curse myself for forgetting my camera, but here's a link: It was nice to see works by some of my favorite artists like Monet and Van Gogh, as well as some really cool stuff like an old pew carved with a gargoyle and a minstrel on the armrests...I promise to take my camera next time!

After the museum trip, I picked up some stuff for the backyard. I'm going to have my own Villa of Monsters soon at this rate. ( Original Villa of Monsters info here: )

This Moon is from Guatemala, by way of a local statuary shop. It was a cool little place, with dogs laying in the shade and trotting about to get petted by shoppers. There's tons of Suns around at garden shops, but this is the first Moon I've found that appealed to me. I enjoy the daytime, but there's something mystical about the Moon, shining its light down at night, be it full, half, or crescent.

This cat I picked up at another stauary place near my house. Like the place I got the Moon at, it sells pots, statues, fountains, and other such stuff from Mexico. I got this last Sunday to give Doyle the Gargoyle ( thanks to Jodi for the name, you have a prize coming ...remember the contest?) company. The cat and Doyle soon got more friends...

I went to yet another place today that had a plethora of yard decorations and statuary, and picked up a trio of goodies. First up is Pan, who seems pretty content to hang out in the backyard playing his appropriate critter for the Beast's backyard, I think.

I saw this majestic little beast and I couldn't pass him up. The place also had some bigger lions, which I may go back for later, but for now, this guy will do to help Doyle protect the yard.

This plaque is called Old Man Wind. I liked the painted version of it because it reminds me of Winter, plus the bit of color is nice.
I hope everyone out there is doing well...I'll leave with some pics of my trees in the backyard...they're getting leafy!

Take care!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wrath and Rain

Somewhere, on one of the Nine Worlds, The Thunderer is angry,
His eyes glowing ,his beard and hair bristling with sparks,
As his rage darkens the skies above him.

His lips form into a cruel smile as his hair whips in the wind,
His laughter booming like the thunder bursting through the clouds,
Amused that the Giants before him dare challenge him.

The Giants pause in their advance, cowed by the lightning and fire that falls from the sky,
Realizing that they may have made a dread mistake, but knowing it's too late
For retreat or surrender to the Thunderer.

The Master of Storms raises his hammer, smouldering and burning,
Pointing at the giants, roaring his battle-cry, his chariot goes forth,
Pulled by his huge, black goats, Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher.

Not a single Giant escaped the Thunderer's wrath, not a Troll or Goblin lived,
All met their doom, by hammer, by hoof, by chariot-wheel, by lightning and fire,
By tooth and by crushing fist, Hel's halls were filled.

Here, in this One of Nine worlds, the skies were dark, and the thunder rolled,
The rain fell , and the winds blew from the North, the only evidence here,
Of the battle that took place on the plains of Asgard.

The Beast's Movie Cave-El Topo

Today was, for most of the day anyway, a grey, rainy one...perfect for a movie! I watched El Topo (1970), the first Midnight Movie, directed, written , and starring Alejandro Jodorowski. I'd heard it was strange, and it was not lacking in the weirdness department. The only other film by him I'd seen to date was Santa Sangre(1989), which also was heavy on the weirdness...which is fine by me.

(Looks kinda like Yellowbeard here! )

El Topo (The Mole) is the story of a gunslinger on a quest for spirituality and God, essentially. The film is full of strange imagery, incorportaing Catholocism and Eastern religions as well as other symbolic images into a bizarre cinematic experience. There is also a good-sized helping of sexual themes, as well as violence, with pools and streets literally running red with blood at times( in the DVD extras, Jodorowski says "You cannot make a mystical picture without violence").

The film is full of striking images, such as the beginning, where El Topo has his son bury his first toy and his Mother's picture, his son standing with the monks he has left him with, the aforementioned streets of blood, a crucified dead goat, a collapsing tower, an underground city of deformed people, not to mention the look of El Topo himself, clad all in black. The backgrounds where the movie was shot are nothing less than beautiful,too.

It's supposed to be a shocking film, and I suppose it was back in the day, but I didn't find it all that shocking...I've seen a lot of strange films. I guess I could have done without El Topo's son running around with no pants on, though. It definately is a weird and bizarre movie, to be sure. I do like a surreal film now and again, although it may not be to everyone's tastes. If you're used to straightforward narratives and over-explained storylines, this isn't the movie for you. Also, I suppose some may find the religious imagery offensive, as well as the sex and violence. For those looking for a different viewing experience, though, El Topo might be an interesting change of pace.

The film has been unavailable on DVD or VHS for years. The director and the producer had a falling out 30 years ago, thus holding up the release of the film. They recently patched up their differences, and now it's been remastered on a nice DVD release with a sharp image transfer.

If you have a craving for a surreal, spiritual, violent, mystical cinematic experience, check out El Topo.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bath Day

My best friend Odin was in dire need of a bath , and since the weather has been warm of late here in Texas, I got out his pool and bathed him outside, since he likes to play in the water.

And to represent the feline members of my pride/pack, here's Loki, laying around like a big loaf.
I hope everyone's weekend was good!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trees and Cats

I planted a few trees last weekend. There's two silver maples in the backyard, and a Shumard oak in the front yard. They aren't really trees yet...they're more like sticks at this point.

The oak has some leafy buds growing on it already.

My cat Raven, who was sick a while back. is doing fine now. Her fur is starting to grow back where she was shaved for her IV and ultrasound. Raven is the shorthaired cat in the pictures. The longhaired rogue is Pict. If you took Errol Flynn, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li and distilled them into feline form, Pict would be the end result...amazing physical feats, swashbuckling antics, and physical comedy are his forte. He also has a mean right paw. The striped guy in the one picture is Loki...he's the laid-back cuddlebear of the bunch, although he does like to challenge Pict for the World Heavyweight Feline Championship title now and again.

I hope everyone is having a good week. Take care!
'I studied Silence to learn the Music, I joined the Sinful to regain Innocence'-Nightwish

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Night Walk

I like going for walks, especially at night. The world looks different at night, even your own street. It's cooler at night, and generally quieter. You may see things you wouldn't see or notice in the day. I also like seeing the Moon and stars overhead as I make my way through the neighborhood. As much as I enjoy blue skies and sunshine, I like the black cloak of Night and the light of the stars and Moon better.

'I will rise up from the Chaos, I will rise up from the grave,
A brother to the Darkness, a master to the slaves"- Manowar

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day At The Movies With The Beast-Watchmen

I saw the film Watchmen today. I'm a big fan of the graphic novel it's based on, and I initially wondered if a film of it would be any good. Well, I did like it, quite a bit, actually.

The film tells the story of heroes and former heroes in an alternate 1985. The government has outlawed masked vigilantes, and most are either retired (like NiteOwl and Silk Spectre), or working for the government (like Dr. Manhattan and The Comedian). One hero, Rorscharch, still operates on the streets, and he gets involved when The Comedian is killed. A mystery is there to be solved, and a conspiracy to be discovered, all with the shadow of nuclear war hanging overhead.

I liked Watchmen...the costumes and effects were great, and the acting was well done, especially Rorscharch, played by Jackie Earl Haley. Rorscharch was one of my favorite characters from the book, and Haley brings him to scary, uncompromising life. The film stays very close to the original book...this is a very adult look at superheroes, and there is violence, sex, and other adult situations, so this is definately not a kid-friendly flick. The one major difference from the film and the book is the ending...purists may not like it, and I have mixed feelings abut it myself, but all in all it's pretty faithful to the source material.

If you're in the mood for a dark tale of very human superheroes, check out Watchmen. I give it four out of five clawmarks.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Life In Song Titles-Manowar Version

On Josephine Damian's blog (see bloglist to the right for link) , she had a meme where you answer certain questions with song titles by one artist or group. Here goes my version, with titles by the Kings of Metal, Manowar.

1.Are you male of female? All Men Play On 10

2. Describe yourself. Animals

3.How do you feel about yourself? Heart of Steel

4.Describe where you currently live. House of Death

5.If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Valhalla

6. Your best friend is: Odin (my dog!)

7. Your favorite color: Black Arrows

8. You know that: Today Is A Good Day To Die

9. What's the weather like? Black Wind, Fire, and Steel

10. If your life was a TV show, what would it be called? Fighting The World

11. What is life like to you? Fight Until We Die

12. What is the best advice you have to give? Carry On

13. If you could change your name, what would it be? King ( or Warlord)

14. Your favorite food is - Pleasure Slave :)

All hail Manowar!

Monday, March 2, 2009

'I Am A Brother to Dragons and a Companion to Owls"

The title of this entry comes from Job 30:29...I had read it years ago, and I knew it was Biblical, but couldn't remember what book it came from or in what context. Job says this when talking of his suffering as a pawn in the game between God and Satan, I believe. I always liked this sounds good, and I've always liked owls. My brother has always liked dragons, and he got a tattoo of a dragon claw, so in a way I am brother to a dragon as well. My Mother has always liked owls, too...she has a good-sized collection of owl figurines she's recieved over the years, many from myself.

All this came to mind as I went on a walk tonight with my friend Nicole. As we passed the elementary school in the neighborhood, she pointed and said, "Is that an owl?" I looked up at first, expecting to see one in flight. Instead, I saw just the opposite...there was a large, dead owl laying in the parking lot of the school. We both felt bad, but I suspect I felt even worse, given my connection to them. I almost took a feather from the owl, as sort of a shamanistic token, but I chose to leave him be instead. I'm sure someone will remove him , probably before the kids arrive for school in the morning.

Somehow this all makes me think of my Mother, my Grandmother that just passed away, and my brother.

I hope that the owl is flying somewhere beyond this world, his wings stretched against a night sky, eyes gleaming in the moonlight.