The viability of an 'Aquaman' movie -- I thought about this while swimming last night. There's just something so cool about swooshing your hand through the water, watching the waves cascade through your fingertips. As a kid (and, um, okay, as an adult, too), whenever I was on a boat I'd lean over the side and stick my hand in the blue and pretend that I was shooting water out of my fingertips, controlling the oceans, summoning the dolphins. And such effects are totally cinematically possible, me thinks, and I think it's high time (or is it high tide) that Aquaman got the big-screen treatment he deserves. I mean, c'mon -- the dude breathes underwater. I'm sure with all the CGI available today they could do a decent job of an underwater Atlantis. I'd heard rumors that they're already considering a Sub-Mariner movie -- the Sub-Mariner being Prince Namor, another citizen of that lost city of Atlantis, albeit one featured in a rival company, Marvel Comics (Aquaman's published by DC). That would be cool, too, although Namor is a bit more, well sinister; he's sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes a friend of The Fantastic Four, and sometimes a foe.
What old people say to younger people -- For some reason, maybe it's because I'm teaching again, I found myself remembering what my third year Creative Writing teacher said to us -- that most novelists don't publish a book until they're well past forty, that most writers are depressives and alcoholics, and that it's almost impossible to make a living from writing, so don't even bother. And there I was, young and idealistic and trying to write novels on the side. I don't fault my teacher, who's a good man and a good writer; he was just trying to inject some pragmatism into our veins, which is probably a good thing. But I wonder. When you're young, you don't know shit, and you tend to look at and up to those who do. It's the job of the old to caution the young, I suppose; but it's also the job of the young to disregard such cautions whenever possible...
All the books I want to read -- A new biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger by Laurence Leaner. The new novel by Canadian science-fiction writer Robert J.Sawyer (www.sfwriter.com) A book on the history of baseball I picked up in paperback over here. (I don't like watching baseball all that much, or playing it all that much, but I do like reading about it very much. Go figure. And I like reading about how things work, whether they be corporations or governments or sporting leagues.) A new novel called Mafia Summer by some dude who was TV producer Aaron Spelling's right-hand man for many years, simply because the way that he came across when being interviewed by Larry King, and the story that he told, of his friend who didn't make it out of the streets, in real life and the book, made both him and the book seem humane and true. From Beirut to Jerusalem, by Thomas Friedman, which is about fifteen years old, but I'm hoping that it explains the Middle East situation in a way that is comprehensible to me. And, most importantly, the new John Irving novel, Until I Find You, because, well, it's the new John Irving novel.
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal -- It's supposed to be set up sometime soon, but they've been saying that for years and years, so I'll believe it when I see it. I have the gnawing feeling that the whole thing will take place when I'm gone from Cambodia, which will be somewhat ironic, because I think the tribunal will then put Cambodia back in the news for a little while. (Actually, is that ironic? Maybe not. Must have been listening to too much Alanis, don't you think...)
Whether or not Wayne Gretzky will coach the Phoneix Coyotes -- Because if he does, everytime he comes back to Canada to coach against the Leafs or the Canucks or the Canadiens or the Flames or the Senators or the Oilers he may very well be the first coach who is asked for more autographs than the players. (Because Wayne Gretzky, like Mario Lemieux, is basically God in Canada. If Wayne ever ran for Prime Minister, forget about it. He'd win in a landslide. Probably do a pretty good job, too.)
The fact that it's the beginning of August, and it should feel like summer's winding down, but it's always freakin' bloody hot over here, so there's absolutely no sense of seasons passing, which is kind of neat at first but which gradually, almost insidiously gets somewhat spooky after one or two years -- Self-explanatory.
The way that some strangers don't say 'thank-you' when you 'god bless' them -- Pisses me off.
The essential goodness of Rocky II -- Because each of the characters sacrifices what they want most for the desire of the ones they love: Rocky's trainer, Mickey, who wants nothing more than to see Rocky kick Apollo Creed's ass in a rematch, tells Rocky, overcome with grief at the fact that his wife, Adrian, is in a coma after giving birth, that he will train him, yes, but if he wants to blow it, well, they'll blow it together, the two of them, sitting in church, day after day, praying; Rocky, whose whole essence is that of a fighter, tells Adrian, after giving birth, that if she doesn't want him fighting, they'll figure some other way to survive; Adrian, after hearing Rocky's offer, telling him that there's nothing else she wants him to do but win. They all love each other so much that they give up what makes them happiest for the hope of happiness in the other. Beautiful.