Panel 1: Mail! Oh boy, I bet it’s from one of my friends- look at that cute envelope!
Panel 2: Glitter… What did I ever do to them? The cute envelope was full of lies and falsehoods 🙁
In this three-star assignment, I was to show a change of emotion in two panels. I wanted to use some pop culture and incorporate the “Send Glitter to Your Enemies” guy. Imagine getting what you thought was a nice letter from an old friend, only to learn that you are their enemy! On top of all of that, you now have to clean up all this damn glitter. It sucks to be you.
I used my phone’s forward-facing camera and the headphones as a cable. My neighbors let me borrow their glitter (art kids amirite), and I used my roommate’s envelope. My side table caught the glitter, and only 5% fell into the air, never to leave.
I sing under hot lights all night, I can’t look oily! I’m the backbone of the whole place, imagine if Frank Sinatra came in one night and saw me looking anything less than perfect? I would be ruined.
Darlin’ if you’ve ever been backstage, you would know why I need perfume. All kinds of grease and greasy people.
Long nails rip up long gloves somethin’ awful, and the lounge takes it off of my check! Slimy business, I tell you.
Defined lips are a must, unless you want to look washed-out. You wouldn’t want me to be washed-out, would you?
Eye Pencil and mascara
Eyebrows and eyelashes are almost as important as lips. They frame your whole face!
A lady’s unprepared if she goes out with anything less than 30 Bobbi pins. Who knows when a dashing stranger will need to pick a lock?
It’s always good to have a spare, in case the ones you’re wearing get a run or you spend the night away from home…
Do you know how cold it gets at night? Forty degrees in the winter! They also protect me by hiding my fingerprints should I ever get swept up in shenanigans.
That’s definitely a real smoke. Not bubblegum wrapped in paper. Nope.
I take notes, sometimes, of people who come to the bar. There’s one ol’ man who could be working for the Cubans. Or, maybe he just lost a few teeth. But it could be the Cubans.
I keep a whole $5 with me when I go out, in case I have to bug out and pay for a cab or a room.
I want to be ready for my big head moment- You know, where the music gets real loud and the stars come together and the camera zooms in and all you see are their giant heads kissing? Movies don’t show the bad breath, though.
Just in case. In case a button falls off, or a seam pops, or I have to stitch someone up.
You know, after looking through my bag without my permission, it would be even ruder to ask how I fit it all in my purse.
For a mandatory three-star assignment, this was pretty fun. I had to think of what Delia would carry with her, why she would keep everything. I tried to be as period-realistic as possible and use my vintage makeup cases. Unfortunately, vintage gum isn’t readily available. I also practiced writing in Delia’s voice, trying to in down her accent. New Orleans and Louisiana are very interesting because of the huge differences in dialects even within the city. There’s uptown/French Quarter, which is a lot like standard english but drops the ending “r” and “g” consonants, and the “Yat” accent which is a lot like a Brooklyn/NJ sound. I see Delia as having a moderate Cajun accent, slow-speaking. Some of it would have been trained out into standard English during vocal instruction.
Here, I just laid out everything on a side table I had and laid it out nicely. I didn’t have any cigarettes, candy or otherwise, and my smoking neighbors all use e-cigs, so I made one with an index card and painter’s tape. I took the photo with my phone.
I don’t like reading very much, and I especially hate reading when I dislike the characters. I also hate Hemingway. Honestly, the majority of my week was spent just trying to get through the literary tumors of this week’s readings (except for The Shadow. That was great). Writing, especially creative writing, is a challenge for me. I can do it, but it’s not fun.
Anyway, let’s run through the week, shall we?
I read and responded to three readings, and hopefully my opinions of them are quite clear by now. It was rather easy to write the analysis post, though, since I could just list reasons why I disliked them. If you’re interested, I wrote an alternate ending to Postman that I think is even darker than the original. In the future, I hope against hope that we won’t have to climb another literary monolith as unpleasant as this week. If I could describe my feelings as a smell, they would be that one foul spot near Jepson and the ITTC.
I also wrote a character dossier introducing Delia LaSalle. This brought me back to my roleplaying days in middle school. With Delia, I didn’t want another boring character. There are hundreds of femme fatales and hard-boiled detectives out there, so I wanted Delia to be a comedic character. She’s still noir in that she’s a bit pathetic, but she’s definitely darkly comedic. I look forward to using her and injecting a little life into this game. I wrote out the recipe for Bananas Foster, her favorite food, in haiku form.
As far as my blog goes, I already had it fairly customized. I did change the header image to be more noir-y, but I already had an about page and all of the recommended plugins installed. I’ve also been moderating my comments every day.
I also commented on two characterintros, but my comments may not have been approved yet. I retweeted Leanna’s SUPER RELATABLE GIF
Honestly, I thought that this assignment would be easy to knock out. That was my main motivation. I mean- it takes 20 seconds max, right?
I read through the tutorial/tips on the assignment page before actually doing the assignment. Or, rather, what I could read because the domain went into disrepair. But, it said to use paper rather than typing so that’s what I did. I used google’s timer (which has the worst alarm noise ugh) and wrote in pen on an index card. I then flipped it over and did a ten-second drawing on the blank side.
Melt butter, low heat
Two tablespoons unsalted
Ten inch iron pan
Quarter cup sugar,
Brown, melts with spices on stove
Allspice and nutmeg
I like it “to taste”,
But allspice and nutmeg ground
Half spoon each is good
One shot of liquor
Banana, then simmer it.
Cook two bananas
Cut in half lengthwise
For one minute on each side.
Move fruit to the dish.
Add three shots dark rum.
Set it all on fire! Ignite!
Add a spoon of Zest.
Pour syrup over
The bananas, serve with
Crepes, nuts, or ice cream.
I decided to do bananas foster for this haiku recipe, because that is Delia LaSalle’s favorite food! This is the recipe I use myself when I make bananas foster or caramelized bananas at home. It uses extra alcohol and spices. I like to serve it over ice cream or waffles- yum! I thought that this would be an appropriate assignment to relate to Delia, because she enjoys cooking and lives in the culinary heart of the south. When the rest of America decided that eating all-white food (mashed potatoes, vanilla pudding, cream of potato soup, gelatinized tuna) was trendy, the NOLA region stuck by its roux and rice tradition.
Here, I used notepad to write again so that I could refer to the original recipe. Pages is a headache for simple writing like this.
We went a little way, and then she stopped. “Frank, I feel funny inside.”
“Here, hold on to me.”
“Oh, Frank. Maybe I strained myself, just then. Trying to keep my head up. So I wouldn’t gulp down the salt water.”
“Take it easy.”
“Wouldn’t that be awful? I’ve heard of women that had a miscarriage. From straining theirself.”
She lay there, and I towed her by the shoulder strap of her bathing suit. I began to give out. I could
have towed her a mile, but I kept thinking I had to get her to a hospital, and I hurried. When you hurry in
the water you’re sunk. I got bottom, though, after a while, and then I took her in my arms and rushed her
through the surf. “Don’t move. Let me do it.”
That was the hollowest “okay” I had ever heard.
I ran up to the place where our sweaters were and got the car key out of mine. I ran back down to where she was sitting and wrapped both of them around her unresponsive frame.
“Frank. I’m bleeding”
I looked down, and sure as anything there was a small puddle of blood where she sat.
We drove silently all the way to the hospital. I thought I could see Cora crying, but she didn’t let anything on. It wasn’t until we got there that she said a word.
“My name is Cora Chambers, I’m pregnant and bleeding”
“Has the bleeding stopped?”
“Alright, I’ll call the doctor to be right with you. Have a seat, try not to move.”
We sat down after the doctor said the kid died, and Cora looked at me like she’d seen war.
“This is what we deserved, Frank.”
“Now don’t say that, don’t you dare.”
“But it’s true. We took a life, so the universe took one back.”
I couldn’t reply- I knew she was right. Besides, there was too much silence that day already.
“I think you should go now, Frank.”
“What? Cora, I love you. I was going to stay and work the diner, that’s how much I love you.”
“You should go hunt for pumas with that girl. After all, you’re a dirty tomcat and she’s a real hell cat, you’ll get on fine.”
“Go. I don’t want to see you. You’re no good, Frank.”
She was right.
I thought that the ending to Postman was ridiculous and completely unbelievable. The laws of that universe simply vanished and everyone got their “divine retribution”. I wanted Frank and Cora to suffer in a way that would make sense. In this ending, they both remain alive, but even more miserable than when they started. They have money, Cora has the diner, they got married, everything should have worked itself out- but it didn’t because life isn’t fair. Things can’t go back to normal anymore, and Frank and Cora’s relationship has felt its greatest quake.
I blended some of the original text into this ending, in order to have a cleaner transition between canon and alternate. I used notepad to type everything together, because it was short enough that I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of Pages updating every time I opened it.
French creole, tall, average build. Conventionally attractive, but not anything out of the ordinary. Long black hair, deep set green eyes, a small gap between her front teeth. Enjoys wearing a full face of makeup. When singing, she wears a stereotypical long dress with a slit up the sides and elbow-length gloves.
Born April 13, 1936 in Louisiana, Delia LaSalle is a lounge singer and small-time voice actress. She is unmarried with no children.
Delia grew up surrounded by sounds. Saxophone players in the street, jazz in the air, but most importantly, radio plays. She admired the hard-boiled detectives and their ladies, to the point of idolatry. When she was 8, she decided that she would make her life as close to these stories as possible. She studied music and became a lounge singer, hoping to rub elbows with the detectives and criminals she had heard of.
Unfortunately, she’s a terrible femme fatale.
Delia is extremely forgetful. She drinks apple juice in a scotch glass because she doesn’t like the taste of alcohol, and carries a cigarette holder with candy cigarettes. She has an incredible sweet tooth and prefers to eat dessert before the entree. Her jobs bring in a decent income, but she can’t afford unnecessary luxuries. She isn’t hysterical enough to be a nervous broad, collected enough to be a mysterious woman, or rich enough to be anyone else. She lives her life trying hard to be something she isn’t, and ends up stumbling over herself.
Her talents include cooking, singing, and making uncomfortable comments. Her favorite meal is bananas foster with coffee. She enjoys listening to the radio, reading A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, or watching The Lady from Shanghai.
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE: I hated everyone. I hated the disjointed writing style, the lack of imagery, the choppy dialogue, but most of all I hated the story itself. Cora is an ungrateful, unlikeable character who is matched perfectly with “trampy” Frank. In reality, they’re both asshats who are terrible to each other. However, major noir themes are present here. Cora could be loosely described as a femme fatale, though that’s pushing it. There is clear misogyny “I’m just your dumb baby”, xenophobia “I don’t want no greasy babies”, murder, drinking, detectives, blackmail, good cop/bad cop, doublecrossing, and a slew of poorly described situations.
THE SHADOW: Okay this one was really fun. I was able to find the original radio play online, and the addition of sound effects and voice actors really brought the story to life. The embedded advertisements actually made me want to buy Blue Coal- The Shadow’s sponsor. This dialogue was far more natural, with likeable characters, such as Dr. Evans and The Shadow himself. This steal deals with murder and betrayal, but it seems more lighthearted as a whole, like a family would gather around the radio and listen to The Shadow’s adventures.
THE KILLERS: Let me preface by saying that have always hated Hemingway. I think that he is a pretentious writer whose works have no meaning- like modern art that people pretend to understand to seem cultured. It’s a black square on a white canvas, there’s nothing deep about it. The Killers takes place almost entirely in a diner (see a trend?) where two ~scary looking men~ are waiting to kill a mark. The man ends up not appearing, and the men leave. The previously captured man goes to the target in order to warn him, but there is nothing that either of them can do. That’s all. This heavily uses irony and hopelessness, because I felt hopeless trying to get through this drivel. 1/10.
I would have to say that this bootcamp week wasn’t too rough. I already had twitter, wordpress, and soundcloud accounts. Flickr and gravatar were easy to join and operate, though YouTube was a headache. I had to go through and validate 3 different emails before I could do anything. The biggest headache I had was recording, editing, and uploading my introduction video. The first recording was on photobooth and I didn’t know how to export and transfer the file to iMovie. Yes, I’m aware that this is possible, but I didn’t know how to do it at the time. So, I rerecorded my introduction on iMovie and cut it together. This was rough- I could never get the jump cuts tight enough, so there were about 15 seconds of awkward silence and stammering in the video. My lovely film-editor boyfriend came over and showed me how to enlarge the clips and show the audio, and within 20 minutes I had a painfully cringy video replaced with a shorter, more polished one.
As fas as noir goes, I’m actually a fan of the “modern noir” genre. I’m a regular subscriber of Welcome to Night Vale, and years ago I followed the webcomic Problem Sleuth- a subversion of the text game and noir genres. I submitted Gone Girl as my more serious noir example, and PS as a bonus. I’ve also gone through the Amazon Prime list of noir films, and I’m excited to peruse those titles. Personally, I love the visual decadence of scenic and character designs in noir.