July 2nd, 2003

Reborn - Yamamoto CHIBITA

The Endless Almost-Essay

Where aefallen proves that not only does she get onto bandwagons late, but also that she cannot even ascend said bandwagon well. She is currently sitting on the step that leads to this particular bandwagon.

In other words, I’ve bought The Sandman Companion, by Hy Bender. (Lateness of my step up the bandwagon is proved by the date this book was published, which was in 1999. Still, it’s all new to me.) Which states that it features “In-depth interviews with Sandman writer/creator Neil Gaiman”.

It does more than that, really. Bender’s writing what is an excellent introduction to the Sandman series. (Well, if you like your introductions with all the spoilers in. Which I do, as I like to know how everything ends.) He prefaces the interviews with a summary of the events in the particular book, follows with an analysis of the elements and plot developments in the story, and ends with the interview with Gaiman himself. This is interspersed with interviews with the artists who drew for that particular installment, or extracts which expound on the themes (oh, how my Literature teachers hated that word) and references in the series. (Like a really interesting cookbook. Oh no. Now you know what else I read.)

One thing I really like about Bender is – wait, there’s more than one. His obvious passion for the Sandman series comes across very clearly. Another is the detailed research he puts into his interviews. You don’t get stock questions like, “So, when did you start writing?” You get questions that show that this man has really been looking into everything Gaiman’s done so far, everything that’s been said about Gaiman, and best of all, Bender’s been looking into Gaiman’s influences. Bender knows what he’s talking about.

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I would like to say that I like the Ramadan version of Dream quite a bit better than the versions.

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Oh, and speaking of Merv:

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*is stoned by legions of Sandman fans*

The art was more of a barrier than a bridge to Gaiman’s work, for me. I have a better feel for concepts. Gaiman, give me your words. They are more than enough for me to create a vision of your worlds. (And he wrote Sandman in concept. Other artists [with a lot of his help] drew the pictures.)

I devoured this book with more enjoyment than with which I’d read his comics. I respond better to ideas than to images. I know for a certainty that I would (rather childishly) have disliked Merv the Pumpkinhead on sight, if I’d seen the art. But my first encounter with him was through the words he spoke, the words that Gaiman wrote for him. And I liked him upon hearing what he had to say about Dream and existential angst. It was only later that I saw what Merv looked like, and I was grateful that I’d seen what he was before I saw what he looked like.

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Also, there were times when I could barely make out the words due to the font in which they were printed. I know this probably doesn’t count for my reluctance to really get into something as wonderful as the Sandman series, but I find my enthusiasm for anything rather tempered when I’m struggling to make out what it’s even saying.

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Though I’m extremely interested in acquiring “Fables and Reflections”. Why?

1. Werewolf Tale. (Honestly reminded me of Faol. I have Ratal on the brain.)
2. Robespierre. And Orpheus’ singing head. I have to see his song. Read, I mean.
3. I want to see what’s so beautiful about Ramadan, which is apparently the most popular of the Sandman stories. I saw some of the art – it’s lovely. The minarets of Baghdad – just as intricate as St. Peter’s Basilica. And that (I suspect it’s just that particular panel) in black-and-white. But the story doesn’t hook me all that well, so far, except for the ending. But that one’s a real kicker.
4. Two words. The Chibi Endless. Waiiiiii… And the description of Dream tripping over his own robes and Death attempting to restrain her giggles – priceless. And there are two pages of this?!
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Reborn - Yamamoto CHIBITA

This, as someone more famous than I said, feels ill-advised.

Last thing I cooked - sausages. And I fried them with sugar. It's a trick I learnt from ranchelle. ^_^ I was rather startled when I heard of it, as you probably are, but I tried them and they are good! ^_^ Only I tend to put a little too much sugar for a little too long, and it looks like a sugar-coated sausage lollipop - but I will try! *puts on best earnest smile*

I conclude that ranchelle still does it better.

I believe I'll be going to the UK. Shall now have to refuse NUS. I actually want to turn up for the first two weeks of school, but my mom thinks it's a bad idea. She thinks I'd be better off staying at home, cause those weeks are gonna be a waste of time. Seeing as how most of it is going to be orientation, I kind of think she's right.

But then I think of how horrifically my mind has atrophied since the End of the A-Levels, and I rather think I need the work. My concentration span for Things I Have to Do is absolutely abysmal.

My mom was just saying today that my apartment in the UK is gonna be tiny! (Student hostel, what can I expect? ;) ) So she says that I should get practice in sleeping in small quarters - by sleeping in my bathroom.

Went out with my aunt, mom and brother to Orchard today. Had slipper lobster (really tiny crayfish) in tomato cream sauce linguine. I wish I could cook crayfish that well ;) My mom tells me it's practice, but I have the sinking feeling that my practice will involve an awful lot of wasted food. *hides behind the garbage disposal* A Cool Station's opened in Takashimaya. It's selling Rose Bubble Tea. *laughter* And Blueberry Ice. ;)

I Think the Information Below Is Useless.

As you may have heard, the $1.99 shops have gone bankrupt. The Watsons in Takashimaya is now considerably expanded.
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