Friday, January 16, 2009

Just an explanation. I wrote something on this blog instead of my own and then tried, in my lame and ineffective techno-idiot way, to move it to mine which I later, because of some cosmic miracle, was able to do, but only after I actually deleted it completely from this blog and thought I'd lost it forever. So...if you use Google Reader--and thank the heavens for Google Reader because that's where I found what I'd thought I lost--it appears on The All-New Foblog in Google Reader but not on the actual blog itself. So there. Easy explanation, right?

So you're not crazy. It isn't here anymore.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wrapping up a whirlwind tour

Lucas Cranach's Adam and Eve.

I thought you might all be interest in knowing that you have been taught.

In my zippyzipfast eight-day teach of Greek Myth and the Bible and their echoes in modern literature, I have used, among other works, the following:

Mr Fob:
    "Abraham's Purgatory (for our discussion of Abraham and Isaac)

    "Deus ex Machina (part of the test)

    "Genesis" (for our discussion on Adam and Eve)
    "Original Sin" (for our discussion on Adam and Eve)

    "I Study Barnett Newman's Adam (1951) (for our discussion on Adam and Eve)

William Blake's Adam and Eve

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Highlights from the first-ever vFob (beta)


Yesterday, we beta-tested New! vFob technology, ie, the future. Here are some highlights:

    Herr Fob: Okay, should we rock paper scissors?

    Theric: How?

    Herr Fob: We can all type rock, paper, or scissors at the same time, when I say...

    Tolkien Boy: scissors

    Theric: Oh. I wasn't looking.
    I suck.

    Tolkien Boy: Or, your'e paper.
    So, it's a tie.

    Theric: Rock
    (I used a random number generator)

    Tolkien Boy: OKay, I'm last

    Theric: Sorry, Tolkien Boy

    Tolkien Boy: You two slug it out
    I'm not

    RockTheric: rock

    Herr Fob has left

    Theric: Where'd Herr Fob go?

    Tolkien Boy: sigh
    I knew this would be difficult

    7:39 PM Herr Fob has joined

    Theric: Naturally.

    Herr Fob: I can't hear you.

    Tolkien Boy: Hear me?

    Theric: Who, you?

    Herr Fob: Now I can hear you. That was weird.
    What happened with the rock paper scissors? I got cut off about then.

    Theric: We were tied.
    I already did my second, so you go.

    Herr Fob: rock

    Theric: tie

    Herr Fob: rock

    Theric: paper

    Herr Fob: You win

    Herr Fob: I have the naked woman open and am ready to start reading.

    Theric: I really don't know what's best. That sounds like a fine plan.

    Tolkien Boy: Are we all on Naked Woman?

    Theric: Yes.

    Herr Fob: Yes.

    Tolkien Boy: I'm done reading.

    Herr Fob: I'm not, but you two can begin talking if you want

    Theric: Go for it.

    Tolkien Boy: I wanted a whiff of corruption about the woman.
    As sex is, right?

    Theric: Allegedly.

    Herr Fob: I don't mind that she's not scary ahead of time

    Theric: Well, nakedness is also supposed to be a symbol of innocence, right? I think I'm looking for an ambivalence: is she naked because she is a venus flytrap or because she is innocent.

    Tolkien Boy: But you haven't made her ambivalent, you've made her funny.
    For example, the rainbow brite T-shirt

    Theric: I can see the funny in it.

    I really want yall's opinion on the jumprope rhyme.

    Tolkien Boy: Oh, I liked that quite a bit

    Theric: I'm trying to get a grip on the problems with the naked woman.

    Theric: So what are your objections?

    Tolkien Boy: Just wanted to make sure I was speaking alone.
    Theric, response?

    Theric: I was just scanning the doc.

    Herr Fob: Can you see my edits?

    Tolkien Boy: Or mine?

    Theric: no

    Tolkien Boy: A scene of "I'm more mature than you" would probably work.
    Theric: "I'm more mature" might do it.

    Herr Fob: I agree

    Theric: Tolkien Boy?

    Tolkien Boy: I don't think that would be a good/important thing to do, actually.
    Because I don't think that's the fundamental difficulty.

    Theric: What do you perceive that worry to be?

    Herr Fob: Naked women.

    Tolkien Boy: At the moment, I suppose adulthood.
    But that seems so tame. I expect different from you.

    Theric: I think adulthood only seems prosaic to us. The other girls start wearing their barrettes. Why? They want a piece of that power.

    Tolkien Boy: I suggest, though, that your readers are going to be adults.

    Theric: Well, yeah. I guess.

    Herr Fob: But the characters aren't.

    Theric: Can you imagine workshopping this with 10yrolds?

    Herr Fob: That's why I'm here--to be the 10yrold

    Theric: I have that problem with this sort of thing. I'm most interested in uncertainty, but uncertainty has an uncertain destination.

    Herr Fob: I'm uncertain about that.

    Tolkien Boy: Yes. And the genre of your piece is screaming "it's scary to grow up and be adult and have orgasms". It just doesn't really deliver that.

    Herr Fob: Shouldn't it be "it's exciting to grow up and be adult and have orgasms"?

    Tolkien Boy: No, scary. That's the genre.

    Theric: I can't believe you guys. I though you at least wouldn't see a naked lady and think "sex"----

    Tolkien Boy: Porn is the exciting one.

    Tolkien Boy: Right. "Her breasts, not contained by her rainbow brite T-shirt..."
    We're gay. Not oblivious.

    Herr Fob: I'm oblivious.
    But naked=sex, regardless.

    Tolkien Boy: Remaining questions, Theric?
    It's just something to pay attention to. He knows what he did.

    Herr Fob: ANd I hope he's ashamed.

    Theric: Meatloaf joke doesn't work?

    Tolkien Boy: Nope
    Didn't get it.

    Herr Fob: Totally not.
    Still don't.

    Tolkien Boy: Still don't.

    Theric: Man. I always have jokes like that.

    Tolkien Boy: Care to explain?

    Herr Fob: We love you anyway.

    Theric: Lunch lady serves principal meatloaf; He says "Smells like summer vacation"; Haha.

    Tolkien Boy: I read it, I just didn't get it.

    Herr Fob: Ha. (Doesn't deserve a second one.)

    Theric: Yeah, my first comment disappeared too. It's a good method but a little sketchy at times.

    Herr Fob: Anyway.
    I'm listening.

    Theric: Okay, I'm ready.
    Actually, I liked (sometimes) responding to Tolkien Boy. (He's fast.)

    Herr Fob: He is.

    Theric: I mean I liked responding to Tolkien Boy sometimes.
    Not all the time.
    Not like I ignored him the other times.

    Tolkien Boy: Huh?
    Why don't you like me?

    Theric: I'm sorry you had to hear it this way.
    Man, chat is tough!

    Tolkien Boy: Why? You don't like me. What do you care how I hear it?
    Okay, what's going on?
    Are we talking about Herr Fob?

    Herr Fob: Yes.

    Tolkien Boy: (sometimes)?

    Theric: Who knows.

    Tolkien Boy: Responding?

    Herr Fob: But haven't started.
    I'm waiting.

    Tolkien Boy: Theric?

    Theric: My first comment isn't helpful:

    Herr Fob: Patiently, I might add.

    Tolkien Boy: Your diction shades into biblical from time to time.
    Especially at the ends of speeches/conversations.

    Herr Fob: Okay, I'll keep an eye on that.

    Theric: The recap helped a lot.
    Tolkien Boy: This was your comment?
    Keep going.

    Theric: Oh, okay. Sorry. I'm easily distracted when there's more story left to read.
    I don't have any large, overarching comments, probably because this is just part of a larger whole.

    Herr Fob: Understandable.

    Tolkien Boy: Or incestous?

    Theric: !

    Tolkien Boy: I just wanted to see if I could spell it still.

    Herr Fob: It should be truly friendly.

    Theric: Ah, he's the gay guy. (needed that stereotype help)

    Herr Fob: Everyone is the gay guy in this story.

    Tolkien Boy: SOmething you might want to watch, actually.

    Theric: Yeah, that's a good point. I felt like he was older mostly.

    Herr Fob: Okay.

    Yay! Rainbow!

    Theric: If it's the first time we meet him, maybe some visual cues? Besides the boyish smile, I mean. George Clooney has a boyish smile. It doesn't really indicate age.
    Herr Fob: Will do.

    Theric: The passive-aggression implied in the "nice" sister was compelling. I'll want to see that gun used before the curtain closes.

    Herr Fob: Will do.

    Tolkien Boy: Kind of a ratcheting up of dangerous liasions, so to speak?

    Herr Fob: She's not a ho.

    Tolkien Boy: Theric, share your thoughts about the action segment.

    Herr Fob: Did you read the action segment?

    Tolkien Boy: Oh, you didn't?

    Theric: I'm halfway through it. It's off to a good start.

    Herr Fob: I didn't.

    Theric: Shall I excuse myself?
    Go finish?

    Herr Fob: But I'm happy to hear your thoughts.

    Theric: I'm happy to. I'm almost done.

    Herr Fob: If Tolkien Boy did, then I suppose we should all be on the same page.

    Theric: I'll be back then. Carry on.

    Tolkien Boy: No, I'm just curious. I don't read action scenes, and this one seemed--I'm not sure how to say it. As if the thought of the action were happening before the action, if that makes sense?

    Herr Fob: Good question. Q: What does "shift here" mean?
    YOu mean her flying off?

    Tolkien Boy: Yes. GOes back to their relationship. IF my sister just flew away, I'd be flabbergasted.

    Herr Fob: That's a valid concern, but honestly I don't think about audience so much when I'm writing.
    I'll worry about it later if I need to.

    Tolkien Boy: I won't squelch the creatie you.
    I'm on the floor and can't type well.
    Well, as I say, I never write action.
    Nothing ever happens in my stories.
    Which is why Theric is so invaluable to you.

    Herr Fob: Are you at home?

    Tolkien Boy: No, I'm in my office.

    Herr Fob: Yuck.
    (for you, not because of you)
    I would never say such a thing.

    Tolkien Boy: what purpose do the fights serve, do you think?

    Herr Fob: The specific fights or fights in general?

    Tolkien Boy: the fights in your story.

    Herr Fob: What purpose do you think they serve?

    Tolkien Boy: I asked you first.

    Herr Fob: But I'm the author--I'm supposed to shut up and listen.

    Tolkien Boy: We've never behaved that way and we're hardly going to start now.

    Herr Fob: (letting you win this one...)

    Tolkien Boy: Or we can let Theric tell us about his observations.

    Herr Fob: I would like the fights to provide a challenge

    Tolkien Boy: So, character development?

    Herr Fob: Ideally, yes.

    Theric: I've observed that if you let Dark Chocolate covered Chile Spiced dried Mangos sit in your desk for three months they sort of lose their zing.

    Tolkien Boy: They're about her character, not about what's happening.

    Herr Fob: Loss of zing'll do that to you.

    Theric: I think they're having that effect; they're putting her deeper into a mire that she'll have to work out from later.

    Tolkien Boy: Which is great, but it puts you in opposition to your genre.

    Theric: I disagree.

    Tolkien Boy: So, you say it's more narrative, Theric?
    I will concede to Theric's observation.
    As I don't write action.

    Theric: I mean, I agree with it's against the popular idea of superhero stories, but my favorite one's are thought-heavy.
    Define "narrative"

    Tolkien Boy: A story
    often told by one or more narrators.

    Theric: But it seems like you're saying action is in opposition to narrative?

    Tolkien Boy: I'm saying that it seems like the action is more about character development than story development.

    Theric: I.E. plot development?

    Tolkien Boy: sigh

    Theric: I think that's a good thing.

    Herr Fob: Is there a concern that plot is missing from this chapter?

    Theric: But I'm almost always character-centered.
    (Or at least I think I am.)

    Herr Fob: She's just a conversational narrator, talking to the ether.

    Tolkien Boy: sometimes it seemed very meta-narrator
    so maybe something to think about

    Herr Fob: Will do.

    Theric: Sometimes it didn't work for me too, but usually it was okay.

    Tolkien Boy: Good development throughout.

    Herr Fob: Thank you.

    Theric: I mean, really, all first-person narration is inherently unrealistic.

    Tolkien Boy: True enough.

    Herr Fob: Especially first-person present tense

    Tolkien Boy: I wrote some of those. They were great.

    Theric: I'm waiting to learn more about his motivations. I don't get him yet. It's not a problem, I just don't know what to make of him yet.

    Tolkien Boy: He's gay.

    Herr Fob: Isn't everyone?

    Theric: Apparently.

    Tolkien Boy: But one of those attractive angry gays
    quae cum itae sint
    Any further questions?

    Herr Fob: Nope.

    Tolkien Boy: Beef.

    Theric: Haha!

    Tolkien Boy: ANd women can kind of shift in and out of it.

    Theric: Luckies.

    Tolkien Boy: Being more led by their emotions, you know.

    Herr Fob: It's more fluid with them.

    Theric: Or gross, depending on how you read it.

    Tolkien Boy: Depending.
    Men depend.
    Women are fluid

    Theric: Okay, I think i've said my fill.

    Herr Fob: Your mom is fluid.

    Theric: I'm ready.

    Herr Fob has left

    Tolkien Boy: For what reason(s)?

    Theric: It seems to me that.....
    Here's a polygamy metaphor:
    Most people thought that those horny Mormon men wanted multiple wives to sate their appetites.
    I don't think its sexual , but what is it? Some sort of concentration-camp bonding? I'm not sure.
    It works, but it's heavy with questions.
    But I don't think that's a problem for something of this length,
    (What the beck happened to Herr Fob?)

    Herr Fob has joined

    Theric: Ah

    Tolkien Boy: Welcome back.

    Herr Fob: Yay, I'm back.
    I read it as there is something sexual

    Theric: I can accept that. For several reasons. It just wasn't my leading theory.

    Herr Fob: They love each other.

    Theric: Platonically?

    Tolkien Boy: As pets.

    Theric: "Love" is getting vaguer on me

    Tolkien Boy: Romantic-without-lust? Is that possible?

    Theric: Idk

    Tolkien Boy: Well, for the purposes of this story, it is.

    Theric: Can it be longterm?

    Tolkien Boy: Yes.

    Theric: So they have the only "helthy" relationship?

    Herr Fob: Is it important for you that the reader know it's not sexual?

    Tolkien Boy: It doesn't seem too healthy to me.

    Theric: Well. Maybe not. But it seems more honest. Ish.

    Tolkien Boy: Yes, they at least admit to each other.

    Herr Fob: Because you've established that they're hiding someting, and the idea of romance-without-lust is so foreign to most people that I don't think many will get it.

    Tolkien Boy: I'm okay with that being part of the question, though.
    Because the story is about sex, marriage, and love.

    Herr Fob: My biggest question until I got to the end was how these relationships were formed--who was together first.

    Tolkien Boy: Which is a good question, relative to the dog concept
    who has the real relationship?

    Theric: Yes.

    Tolkien Boy: why does he need to only be able to get sex from them?

    Theric: Sorry, I was referring to something earlier
    I'll answer your Q now.

    Tolkien Boy: Or whether they're doomed to disaster.

    Theric: If Joe doens't "love" them in a meaningful way, but only needs them to get his fix, he will eventually stumble onto another means of penis insertion. But if he can't do that elsewhere (or does "love" in some deeper fashion), then he needs them more permanently.

    Tolkien Boy: Oh, I see.
    I said that badly.
    His love is meant to be portrayed as a more pragmatic than romantic love.

    Theric: Well, of course. I just don't really get a sense that he loves them --- I get the sense that he owns them --- which brings me back to my title interpretation.

    Tolkien Boy: Yes.

    Theric: It may have much to do with my own life experience. Who knows. How did you interpret the title, Herr Fob?

    Herr Fob: Hm...
    I hadn't given it much thought before reading your interpretations.

    Theric: I should;ve asked before the copy and paste

    Tolkien Boy: lol

    Herr Fob: I think the romance-without-lust thing is very important to this all, and a very interesting idea besides, and you'd do well to establish it more clearly in the story.

    Theric: (Off topic: I kept changing my mind: Starbucks or kitchen table?)

    Herr Fob: I was picturing Starbucks.

    Tolkien Boy: Cafe is stated therein

    Herr Fob: Yes.

    Theric: You see what a close reader I am.
    The eavesdroppers must love them.

    Theric: Opening sentence, "they"?

    Tolkien Boy: They because they're all dogs.

    Theric: Rephrase, pelase?

    Herr Fob: But who brought it up?

    Theric: Ah. Okay.
    Yes, to F's Q.

    Tolkien Boy: lol

    Herr Fob: Could it be "The subject of dogs came up"?

    Theric: Okay., Good.

    Herr Fob: Yes, please.

    Theric: Yeah, with the "they" thing I'm not sure if that's easily managed. It might be more trouble than it's worth.

    Tolkien Boy: I suspect most people will just blip past it.

    Herr Fob: I did, but now Theric brought it up and I won't rest until I know who brought it up first.

    Theric: Maybe could you have them express their love without a physical touch at the end? That might help remove the sex question some.

    Tolkien Boy: Yes, but I need them to ahve something to hide from Joe

    Theric: Sic, 'em, Herr Fob!

    Herr Fob: Now I'm a dog?

    Tolkien Boy: that doesn't look like "friend"

    Herr Fob: A secret love note?

    Tolkien Boy: Yeah

    Theric: I know, I agree. But as a straight guy, handholding a girl is woot! step one, right?

    Tolkien Boy: Or balloons

    Theric: ha!

    Herr Fob: A condom?
    Oh wait, no sex.

    Tolkien Boy: I believe they call them "bases", oh, straight one

    Theric: lol

    Theric: Well, handholding's probably like a sacrifice bunt, if you must know.

    Tolkien Boy: You think everyone I write is a werewolf. Or a vampire.

    A werewolf or a vampire. Herr Fob: That's becasue they are.

    Theric: They're not ?

    Tolkien Boy: I'll cut back on the teeth and the smile. I'm always writing horrible scary smiles into my stories.
    there'll be something else
    birdlike tilt to his head, no doubt. Another favorite of mine

    Herr Fob: What if they exchange a "romantic but not sexual look"?

    Theric: Yeah. He kind of scared me. I thought he was capable of violence.

    Tolkien Boy: Who isn't?

    Herr Fob: Perhaps with a footnote to clarify.

    Tolkien Boy has left

    Theric: "Sort of platonic in a superintimate kind of way."

    Herr Fob: The jerk.,

    Theric: Yeah, jeez, I just got off a good line, too.

    Tolkien Boy has joined

    Tolkien Boy: Or a photo of them not having sex.

    Theric: lol

    Herr Fob: lol

    Tolkien Boy: Are we all still here?

    Theric: I am.

    Herr Fob: Yes.

    Theric: Any other Qs?

    Tolkien Boy: Good.

    Herr Fob: Amen.

    Tolkien Boy: Yes.

    Theric: rip

    Herr Fob: Yes?

    Tolkien Boy: But

    Theric: I refuse to believe it's bad.

    Tolkien Boy: I suspect it's actually pretty good.

    Theric: But I'm sympathetic.

    Tolkien Boy: I'm just sick to death of it.

    Herr Fob: That's understandable.

    Tolkien Boy: Well, my coup de grace is her talk with God.

    Theric: We're wrangling over type issues, etc.

    Tolkien Boy: Our fruit, honey.

    Theric: Yes.

    Tolkien Boy: It's half yours.

    Theric: It's a good one.

    Tolkien Boy: I'm a fan of that one.

    Theric: Not to leave you out, Herr Fob, or anything, but, well, we're awesome.

    Herr Fob: You are.

    Tolkien Boy: It's important to me.

    Theric: Me too, I hope.

    Tolkien Boy: No, that's safely contained.

    Theric: adios

    Herr Fob: Good luck.

    Theric: Run along, sick cowboy.

    Tolkien Boy has left

    Herr Fob: Good night.

    Theric: I'm going to go bruch my teeth.
    Er, brush.

    Herr Fob has left

    Theric has left