Archive for March, 2010

Why Does The Sun Shine

Another awesome song from Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants.

(Just a little hint for my family – I’d really really love to get this album for my birthday!)


[Blue+Diablo.jpg] Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border and wound up in Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover, and her “gift”.  Corine, a handler, can touch something and know its history – and sometimes, its future.  Using her ability, she can find missing persons – and that’s why people never stop trying to find her.  People like her ex, Chance.

Chance, whose uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep, needs her help.  Someone dear to them both has gone missing in Laredo, Texas, and the only hope of finding her is through Corine’s gift.  But their search may prove dangerous as the trail leads them into a strange, dark world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies – and black magic…

Ann Aguirre’s debut novel Grimspace blew me away, and I’ve enjoyed all her books since.  Blue Diablo is the first in the Corine Solomon urban fantasy series and has a slightly different flavour from her sci-fi Sirantha Jax series.

When I first read Blue Diablo, I had just realised how unlikely it was that so many people in books get help when they need it, from people who don’t need to put themselves out to give it.   Ann Aguirre neatly explains this as Chance’s luck causes coincidences all the time (not always a good thing), and Corine always needed to know why someone was helping them. 

I liked the unusual setting of Mexico and the US border, and that Chance and Corine both find themselves out of their depth.

To be honest, our chances don’t look good.  We’re light on manpower, firepower, and every other kind of power.

I do wish we could have seen Chance and Corine’s original relationship in action instead of being told about it via remembrances and comparisons to their behaviour now.

It’s possible that I’m disapointed that  Chance and Corines’ relationship wasn’t resolved in one book, when I know romances in an urban fantasy series always takes several books.  I know ex’s can cause complicated mixed up emotions that aren’t at all logical, and certainly in Corine’s situation, it’s unsurprising her emotions swing.  I felt that their relationship was moving through some sort of growth and minor resolution but the last third to a quarter of the book derailed that and moved it backwards.

I had a strange feeling of let down at the end of Blue Diablo.  I felt that the stakes got so high and then everything was OK.  No long term consequences, no-one risked too much and lost it.  All saved, all still friends and talking (except Corine and Chance whose relationship is still up in the air)  And Corine’s final words didn’t ring true for me at all.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed Blue Diablo and am looking forward to seeing what questions will be answered and what new questions will be raised in the sequel Hell Fire which is released in a week.

Clean Me

from Dweebist

Dancing Eyebrows

I wish I could wiggle my eyebrows now…

Random Quotation

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
Forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;
Begin it well and serenely
And with too high a spirit
To be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Superhuman Tape Measure Skills

More Carved Crayons



Diem Chau has used crayons to carve the 12 symbols of the Chinese Zodiac.  More photos and close ups can be found here.

My symbol (the Snake) is carved from a deep green crayon, my favourite colour!

You might also enjoy Carved Crayons

Summer At The Beach

The spirit of summer in stop-motion animation – three ads were made by Sixty40 for Australian pay tv channel TV1.

The other two ads, Sausage Party and Celebration, can be seen here.

A Favourite Poem

The Tyger by William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

(I love the rhythm of the words in this poem, the way it makes the most sense when I let the words flow though me, and the beautiful, terrible images it conjures up.)

Infinite Teddy Bears

A cheerful and surreal animation by Cyriak.