Thursday, July 16, 2009


Moving On...

At 5:15 yesterday morning, with Alexander's cat and three suitcases in tow, Sarah left town, leaving me standing in the middle of an airport terminal watching the last connection to Us Three catch a plane out of my life. I hugged her outside of the gate, kissed her cheek, and then turned away and didn't look back.

And it's that just what life is, too? Not looking back.

It's sad now to think of all these wonderful, ecstatic, passionate, heartbreaking things we did together and I'm the last one in town to pass by those places we frequented and smile at the memories. In a city that so feeds our nostalgia, I'm the only one still partaking of the meal. There were good times and I'm sad to see both of them go. It's weird to watch the people who were, for a brief period of time, your entire world leave and start making new worlds far away and complete absent of you.

Still, I think I'm good. When I climbed back into the car with Sarah's mother and drove back to the empty apartment, void of most of her things, I thought I was going to cry but I didn't. In a way, I'm ready. I'm ready to leave the part of them that was Us Three in the past, and have that time be nothing more than sweet nostalgia.

Us Three was nice, but I think moving on is nicer.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

People Who Amaze Me #1

Rick Hansen. He’s a Canadian Paraplegic athlete who in the mid 80s did an around-the-world tour to raise awareness for those with spinal cord injuries—The Man in Motion Tour.

Try and say that’s not awesome.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can anyone tell me...?

So, in my continuing search for an agent for my novel, I’ve discovered two things: 1) this search is hard and 2) a different definition for literature.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of literature as more of an umbrella term for novels, poetry, novellas, etc. Literature is writing. And, yes, I might bend that idea a bit to say that literature hints at some higher standard of novels, poetry, novellas, etc, but still.

Would someone please tell me what agencies mean when they say “we accept fiction and literature”? What’s the difference? Where’s the split? Is there a word count, or some way to measure vocabulary in a way that divides normal fiction from literary fiction? Do I have to sound like Jane Austen when I write? Because, I’ll be honest, she bores me.

Can anyone answer this for me? How do we define literature?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In the Words of my Brother #2:

"Hey, Ani, what's an OB/GYN?"

What?! What?!

I effin’ love Primeval. I caught it for the first time about a week and a half ago. And I’m almost caught up now because I’m just that awesome. I’ll be honest, I was a bit shocked when the second episode I saw was (SPOILERS! SPOILERS! Highlight to read) Cutter’s death. I literally spent the next five minutes going: “What?! What?!” Still, I’ve kept watching every weekend and love it.

I will tell you, that I loved watching the stories, action and characters progress. It was just a really great program. Which is why I’m completely and totally annoyed that it’s been axed. Not only was it just getting good but series 3’s cliffhanger was amazing and I was totally excited to see what happened next…and now I never will.

What. The. Heck. Un-freaking-fair.

Obviously, my two looooonng months as a photocopy b*tch at a local film company did teach me something about drugged-up directors, pissy special effects guys, sweet stunties, guys from transpo who flirt endlessly with you, whiny actors, intimidating actors, dailies, call sheets, taking phone calls and the ever-important concept of money affecting quality and ability to create. From what I understood of the article…there just wasn’t the dough to keep making the show and I probably wouldn’t even be this bothered if it hadn’t been for the series finale.

I hate not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s frustrating. As a writer, I commend the finale, because it’s something that I would have written if this was mine to write. It was excellent and exciting and you didn’t really know who to cheer for more—Abby with Connor or Danny chasing Helen? When the scenes cut back and forth I had a tendency to shout “No! What happens! Go back!” so that’s good.


Each character came into their own, but still I’m depressed. Are we really only left to the mercy of fanfiction writers to know what happens to our intrepid heroes? What was Sarah’s idea? What about the little do-hickey that Helen dropped? And most importantly, how did Mr. Connor “I think I broke me ankle” Temple climb a tree?

Actually: I can answer that one. I’ve always been a tree climber, so I went out to test if it was possible to climb a tree with only one leg. It is, but you need well-placed branches to hoist yourself up on, otherwise you’re screwed.

So, to anyone who’ll listen: Please do something. Write a novel, make that American movie, do something because I just want to know what happens as do millions of others, I’m sure.

C’mon, ITV, wasn’t there another show you could have cut instead?

In Which I Reveal My Gangsta Soul

Hey, yo! This is a shout-out to all my home-skillets out there in the sci-fi tv ‘hood. Holla back, geeks, y’know we love you! To my boys: D-Jackson, Connor Temple and the Lone Gunmen. Peace!

We all know that geeks don’t get the respect they deserve, cuz they’re out there bustin’ their ass for our heroes with the guns and their slick moves. Holla to the geeks, cuz you and I—we the same. We come from the same backgrounds and watched the same things. We are alike—you and I, geek. You represent who I am, who others are, and you do it well, dogs.

So, holla boys. Power to the geeks!

Ani Out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In the Words of my Brother:

“Everyone thinks in Scottish accents.”


He was in my dreams last night, moving with the crowd who prowled the milky-white outskirts of my fabricated reality. His hair was long, his clothes pale, but even in my dreams I can pick him out of a crowd. He stopped, just for a moment, and turned to look at me. His face and expression was empty, revealing no emotion, but his eyes—oh, his terrible eyes—held so much that I think I might have stopped breathing, just for a moment. He didn’t say a word and a moment later he was pushed along by my dream-crowd.

I didn’t move. I didn’t run after him. I just stared and watched him fade away into white.

When I woke up, I ached. I felt the impulsive need to call him up and clutch that bit of Japanese-made plastic and wires and ask, “Alexander, you remember that day when I came over and instead of doing dishes like I said I would, we ate lemon drops and watched The Day the Earth Stood Still? That was nice.” And “Do you recall when you and I fought in the middle of the library and I made you cry? That was awful, but I miss that.” I wanted to do that, but I didn’t, because his number had changed and I promised him a long time ago that I’d only call if I really needed something.

Maybe he needed to hear that, but I don’t think he’d want it.

Alexander is not my ex. He was my friend, but I don’t know the word for him now. In autumn of 2007, he was dating my friend, Sarah. We bonded over sci-fi television, we could complete each other’s sentences, we laughed at the same jokes. If I didn’t think he was such an idiot, I would have probably dated him myself.

Alexander, Sarah and I spent the better part of a year and half with each other. We were seventeen and eighteen and taking our first foray into the big, bad world. We were defying convention: him a Catholic, she a Jew and me a “she’s-just-Ani” and we thought we were just oh-so-cool and original for doing so. I remember sitting in the piano practice rooms, curled up behind the door in the dark and watching them desperately mashing their lips and noses together, writhing strangely on the carpeted floor as the room temperature grew warmer and began to smell more like Alexander’s cologne and incense.

It’s funny how much I believed that this perfect feeling would last forever. I felt like I belonged, like I was watching something amazing grow, both in our friendship and in their relationship.

Of course, things don’t work like that.

Life happened in a flurry where we laughed and danced and sang and stayed out late and got a little bit drunk and lived like this was it, that we only had these years of youth and they would go stretching on forever and ever.

I recall one night after a concert, where we went rushing down the street, singing oldies and I felt so happy. Life was intoxicating! And they took my hands and we went rushing across the empty street against the light, and leaped off the curb and for a just a moment, when I looked up at the night sky, it felt like I was flying.

Gravity, though, is a law of nature and I hit the ground a few months later as our friendship crumbled and Sarah moved downtown and Alexander left the country for a while. I still saw Sarah every Saturday and one day, sitting in a little room by ourselves I asked her why she looked so pensive.

"I’m worried about Alexander.”

“Why?” I asked.

She said she didn’t know, that there was something different in the way he spoke to her. That he was definitely depressed and that something had happened. And because Alexander and I were so very alike, I knew, but I didn’t dare say what I thought had happened out loud.

Alexander is impulsive and impervious, sad and easily manipulated and they used that against him as he drank himself into a stupor at the back of some club where he didn’t speak the language. They pushed him down and made him do things he’d never do—terrible, half-recalled things that haunted his dreams the same way he haunted mine.

I couldn’t get a firm enough grip on the action, on that moment and that idea, to feel anything about. I was grasping at emotions that I didn’t understand, desperately going through the emotions of anger and grief of what my once-friend had lost. Still, I couldn’t begin to understand, except in my dreams, where he turned and looked at me in a crowd, in a milky-white fog and for a moment I stopped breathing. For just a single moment, I had a tiny scrap, an iota of emotion and understanding that nearly broke my heart.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Suspense Junkies Anonymous

Hi, my name is Ani, (audience: hi, Ani) and I’m addicted to suspense.

I guess it started when I was a kid, with the terrible cliffhangers attached to the commercial breaks of the old Wild Wild West TV show. With every commercial break I would wonder: “Oh, will West make it out this time?” and there’d be a glorious tightening of something in my chest, just below my sternum and I’d revel in that suspense.

I seek it out in film and literature and read/watch those suspenseful parts over and over, trying to suck all the delicious amounts of fear—the good kind of fear—out of it. I watch/read it until I don’t get that feeling anymore and have to move on.

Beyond this, I have a friend who hates suspense and insists I tell her what things are going to happen while watching television (example: Is the Cyberman gonna wake up?) which I just don’t get. How can someone not enjoy that tightening feeling? What’s wrong with suspenseful moments? Aren’t they fun?

Friday, May 22, 2009


Yesterday, Dad phoned me up while I was sitting at the computer and bashing my head against the desk, hoping I could somehow force inspiration through violence. “Hey, do you want a birthday present early?”

“Yes, please!”

I knew it could either be one of two things: a more compact phonograph or a typewriter, because these are the things he was hunting down for me.

Somehow I never expected the beautiful, lovely Underwood No. 5 that he sat down in front of me and, after telling me which do-hickey did what thing, he leaned over my shoulder and insisted I write: I love this typewriter on it. Which I did.

I’ve named the typewriter Gertrude. I’ve never loved an inanimate object so much as I’ve loved as this No. 5.


I love you, Gore Vidal

I love you, Gore Vidal. You speak quotations that are wonderfully true and incredibly amusing. Never will I need to quote anyone else but you, dear beloved Gore. You give us many gems of written word:

The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.

It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.

Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.

In writing and politicking, it's best not to think about it, just do it.

Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise

Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.

Write something, even if it's just a suicide note.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wherein I Reveal My Geeky Soul

To fully appreciate my mind set whilst reading this, please turn on Blur, preferably either the song “Girls and Boys” or “Song 2”.

I’ve been on a Doctor Who kick for the past week and some. It’s such a fun and campy show, and classic. The show, since being resurrected by Russell T Davies in 2005, elevates its actors statuses to that of house hold names.

I originally got into the show in summer 2007, though I’d caught glimpses of it before that didn’t interest me. Mostly because of Christopher Eccleston’s more brooding take on the classic character. Anyway, I was on vacation with my family, godparents and best friend—who that day was annoyed at me. So, I sat down, and with nothing else on except Deadliest Catch, I began watching the Doctor Who marathon on the Scifi Channel.

And I fell in love with it.

Oh, yeah, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t immediate. I had to get used to it. But David Tennant’s Doctor’s energy is infectious and makes the show fun. It initially reminded me of younger Michael Shank’s character of Daniel Jackson, though please don’t ask me why. Perhaps the glee surrounding new and different cultures and things.

I recently had the pleasure of watching Doctor Who with a child. Namely, a nine-year-old boy called Quinn, who during ‘Blink’ bit both of his thumbs, hid his eyes, pulled at his dirty, tangled hair and cried, “Don’t blink! Don’t blink!” at the computer screen. It was terribly fun and I suddenly understood that whole “hiding behind the sofa” thing.

Recent Googling of our late Doctor’s name (by now I assume EVERYONE knows that Matt Smith is the new Doctor) came up with some excited comments all over the internet about him being interested (and apparently everyone else being interested) in him being The Riddler in the next Batman flick.

And here comes the confession: I am quite possibly the only person left on the planet (nay! the universe!) who has not seen The Dark Knight. It’s on my to-do list. On top of this, I am a child of the nineties and when you say Riddler, I say Jim Carrey…and spandex (shiver). I always disliked his version of the Riddler as I can't help but think of the character as a bit of a tranny in all that glitter.

I have trouble seeing comic books as anything beyond campy, fun junk food for the mind (and I grew up surrounded by a lot of Superman and Star Wars comics). So this new rise in comic books films and also Nolan’s ability to turn campy comic villain into full-blown, frightening, multi-facetted, three-dimensional characters with the ability to do the worst things is a bit unnerving for me.

Let me be clear: I think Tennant would do a brilliant job, as well as the other rumored pick, Johnny Depp, though he’s a bit overused these days. I think I’d only be able to say “that’s Johnny Depp”, not “that’s The Riddler”. I think Tennant’s manic energy he puts into the Doctor could easily be manipulated to make a very scary Riddler, but I wonder if the Riddler (along with the Penguin) might be too camp for these new Batman films. Though, if you would have told me that commercials featuring The Joker would frighten two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you.

So, here’s hoping that I like The Dark Knight when I watch it because a) I’ve just been informed by my brother that it is un-American not to like it and b) I think I might agree. Here’s also hoping for a gangly, Scottish Riddler.


Friday, May 1, 2009


I told the map on my wall last night, "I am f*cking conquering you!"

It didn't beleive me.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bröderna Lejonhjärta (The Brothers Lionheart)

So, I feel like blogging about this despite the fact that it isn’t inside my usual blog-subjects. But—oh, well.

So, I’ve been a huge Astrid Lindgren fan for a long time. It started out with Pippi Longstocking and watching all the badly-dubbed old movies where Pippi somehow has a Brooklyn accent (go figure) and Annika sounds like she has a perpetual cold. Despite this, I wanted to be Pippi when I was a kid.

So, I’ve been meaning to read The Brothers Lionheart for a longtime, but the trouble with that is I can’t find it at my library and also I’m a purist. I don’t believe in changing characters’ names and such when they are translated out of one language and into another. The fact that Skorpan is named Scotty in the English books irritates me no-end.

But I digress: I watched Bröderna Lejonhjärta last night…in Swedish (with my limited knowledge of Swedish) and loved it. So, Bröderna Lejonhjärta is the story of young Karl “Skorpan” Lion and his older brother, Jonatan (in the book they’re ten and thirteen, in the movie they’re like ten and twenty). Skorpan is dying slowly of an illness and to quell his brothers fears Jonatan tells him stories of Nangijala (or Nangiyala in the English version), the land beyond the stars where all stories come from and where you go when you die.

While Jonatan is out one day, they’re house catches fire and Jonatan races inside to save Skorpan. He gets his younger brother on his back and jumps out the window in an effort to save him. Skorpan lives, but Jonatan dies in the fall.

A little while later, Skorpan dies of his illness. He wakes up in Nangijala and finds Jonatan there, fishing, and then they have a great time together and are happy and it’s all very lovely. But all is not well in Nangijala! The evil Tengil has taken slaves of the people, forcing them to build his castle and is keeping them in fear with a big dragon named Katla (built in England for 100,000 Swedish crowns and looking kinda corny, but whatever this movie was made in the 70s). When Orvar, the leader of the resistance movement Jonatan is part of, is captured by Tengil and imprisoned in Katla’s cave, the brothers set out to free him and save Nangijala.


Okay, the movie can be looked at as a straight-up children’s movie, except for all the death. The book itself was disliked by some because of its dark themes and its use of suicide (I’ll get to that in a bit). Though, apparently, Astrid Lindgren said that she got the quickest and most excited response from this book more than any of her others.

So, in the end, the brothers go to destroy Katla after beating Tengil. Jonatan calls it to him with the horn that Tengil used to control it. And…it breathes fire on him. So, yes, they are able to defeat Katla, but Jonatan is injured. At the campfire that night, Jonatan tells Skorpan, “Katla burned me. I’m becoming paralyzed. I can’t feel my legs and, soon, I won’t be able to feel my arms.”

Sidenote to reader: Dragon burns make you paralyzed. Also, my online translator is crappy, so these translations aren’t spot-on.

Skorpan: Won’t you get better, after you rest a few days?

Jonatan: This isn’t something you better from. [pause] Do remember the fire?

Skorpan: I never forgot it.

Jonatan: Remember when we jumped out the window, and I came to Nangijala [i.e: died]? I was thinking we could do that again, off that precipice over there, to go to Nangilima.

Skorpan: [blahblahblah something about the spirit of Nangijala] Then I will do it, like you did for me, so it’ll be like-wise.

Jonatan: Do you dare, Skorpan Lionheart? [or perhaps: Dare you, Skorpan Lionheart]

So, yeah, they jump and as they’re falling Skorpan shouts: “I see it! I see the light, Jonatan! It’s Nangilima!"

I really like this movie, despite the fact I had no idea what people were saying most of the time. You really didn’t need the words. I understood that the brothers really, really loved each other and I got that we had to save Orvar and that Tengil was bad and Katla was fearsome.

In the end, I really was moved by the fact that Skorpan chose to sacrifice himself, like Jonatan did for him in the beginning, so that they’d be together in Nangilima. I disagree with the critics who argue that this makes it seem that suicide is okay, because that’s not the point. The point was that they loved each other, and that love trumped everything, so that nothing else mattered. I think that’s an amazing thought, an amazing point: love is better than life. If goes beyond our own selfish desires. I love that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fortress of Solitude?

These caves can be found in Mexico. I first saw this photo in a National Geographic article. I think they're amazing. Somehow, though, I can't help but be reminded of the Fortress of Solitude.

Council of Nicaea

Last Shabbat, my good friend Sarah got into a “heated debate” with her mother and brother over the Council of Nicaea. At the time, I was completely lost and hating that feeling, I spent the weekend educating myself.

Here’s what I learned:

The First Council of Nicaea has some weird stories moving around it. The most common one being that during the time of this Council they mucked about with the books of the Bible, adding things, editing things and generally moving things around as they please. I was intrigued by this idea of man manipulating faith, and decided to hit the books.

The first thing I did was find English translations of historical writings dating from the period of the Council. You can find them on this page (scroll down until you reach the Historia Ecclesia). I found that lots of cool people were around that time, writing about the Council. Like Socrates, for example. I found that all the writings went along with the letter that the Council wrote when they first began the meeting.

Here’s what they did at the Council: they set up a lot of rules (my favorites have to do with castrated priests and standing while praying), set up Easter and kick this guy Arius out of the Church.

Arius and his followers, the Arians, believed that Yeshua (Jesus) wasn’t with God in the beginning. He was just born and was pretty dang cool, maybe a bit cool than the other prophets, and that’s it. This idea didn’t swing with the Church, to say the least, and he was found a heretic.

The first mention of any changes being made comes from a preface in the Book of Judith inside of Jerome’s Latin Bible. The interesting point is, Jerome didn’t write his Latin Bible until years after the Council, and wasn’t even present.

So, where does this rumor come from?

Well, six years after the First Council of Nicaea, Constantine ordered fifty Bibles to be drawn up for the use of the Churches. He wanted this Bible to please both the Pagans and the Christians, perhaps hoping to unite the people of his kingdom. For this task he called upon Eusebius.

Eusebius was a fan of this guy called Origen who believed in the truthfulness of the Apocrypha. He used Origen’s letters and commentaries to help him put together the fifty Bibles. Two of these Bibles survive today, the Codex Vaticinus and the Codex Sinaius. They both use the Apocrypha as part of the whole and have some verses and chapters omitted.

Perhaps this is where the rumor starts? Perhaps where people begin to question the fullness of the Bible? Really, we’ll never know for certain. Far too much information has been lost. If you are interested in what I believe, then I believe that God is perfectly capable of making it so the books he wants us to read available. I think that, at the moment, the Apocrypha are wonderful accompaniment pieces to the Bible, and bring more meaning to other texts. Are the God-inspired, though? I don’t know.

Whether you believe the Apocrypha to be God-inspired or not I don’t think matters terribly, because all of us are trying to reach the same goal of living a Christ-like life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Little Wisdom from "Get Smart"

(while they watch an atom bomb explode)

99: Oh, Max! what a terrible weapon of destruction.

Max: Yes. Y'know, France, Russia and Cuba all have those weapons. We should demand they get rid of them!

99: What if they refuse?

Max: Then we'll have to blast them! Its the only way to keep peace.

I thought it was amusingly ironic given the circumstances of today.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I love Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

I've watched this film more times than I can count and I never stop loving it. It's Jimmy Stewart's acting (which isn't really acting at all because you could tell me he was Jeff Smith and I'd believe you); it's Jean Arthur's Sanders being so damn vulnerable and touch all at once.


The only trouble with this film is it gets me excited, it gets me riled and it always leave me with lofty expectations of the American government. I always end up standing while watching it, or pacing the living room, like some deranged person. I get angry about the awful, underhanded people and get restless towards the end, with the filibuster. And when the movie ends on their happy note, my hopes are dashed because we can never have anything like that as long as man governs, because man is a creature of greed.

I guess, in the end, I am most bothered by the fact that nothing quite works this way in the real world. With the happy endings and politicians admitting the error of their ways. If I thought I could do a good job, I would try to be the real world [female] Jefferson Smith. I can't be clever enough, though, or neutral enough, and no one will ever be that good.

It's a crying shame.

Where are the Jefferson Smiths of this world?

An Introduction Before The Meaty Stuff

So, blogosphere, I've began a blog. And, yes, I know it's so very 2002, but no matter. I'm an opinionated person who lives under a rock and needs some place to vent. So, let's get one with it:

I am Ani Lark Morn. I like:

girls in white dresses with red satin sashes
art that isn't modern
henna designs
writing, writing, writing

animals, mostly the cuddly variety
the ocean

summer sports
Jim Croce
The Beatles
vintage fashion
Katherine Hepburn
Cary Grant

bright colors
old Polaroids
my mediocre vinyl collection
the smell of sandalwood
hot tea
Mary Pickford films
Nickolodeon shows
that part of concerts where everyone pull out their cell phones
and being content.