I haven’t a clue what kind of dragonfly this is.  No matter.  Even if I can’t identify the big beast, I can at least share these photos, all of which were taken at the family farm on Saturday.

Thick clouds offered little help with the lighting situation, therefore you can assume the color is somewhat tainted by overcast skies.

Still, the large monster was quite photogenic and approachable—as are all dragonflies if they’re comfortably perched and you don’t move quickly.  Mom even took a moment to pet it while it sat there basking in sunless shadow.  It never flinched.

Both of us snapped several photos of it, undoubtedly invading its personal space in the process, yet it cocked its head only once or twice as it sized us up and decided we were neither a meal nor a threat.

A dragonfly (206_0688)
A dragonfly (206_0685)
A dragonfly (206_0686)
A dragonfly (206_0694)
A dragonfly (206_0693)

Desperate search

Ever had one of those days when you went looking for something you must have, something you absolutely can’t be without, and promptly discovered you have no idea where it is, let alone if you still have it?

Today is just such a day.

What am I looking for?  My car insurance paperwork, of course.

The registration is up for renewal and I need that information to complete the online process.  When I looked in the car for the legally required documents, however, I came up with nothing.

Surprise the hell out of me!

I have no idea how long I’ve been driving around without it.  I have no idea where it is.  I’ve searched high and low, above and below, and have overturned just about every piece of furniture I own.  And still I have nothing to show for it.

Sure, I have the policy paperwork.  That was filed carefully where it belonged.  But the paperwork that goes with the car, the stuff I have to show to renew the registration, get a loaner or rental, get it inspected, or when I’m pulled over for something?  That has gone the way of the dodo.

I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I do know I’ve been skirting about the town sans one bit of the legal paperwork I’m required to have in the car at all times.


So I’m turning the house inside out and upside down in hopes I might yet stumble upon this most essential bit of flimsy paper.  Somehow I think I’ll be calling the insurance company tomorrow begging and pleading for another copy to be mailed to me with the utmost hurry. . .


It will either be very interesting or very disappointing, very good or very bad.  What?  A movie to be released on January 18, 2008.

Heralding from J.J. Abrams, creator of the television series Lost, the as yet unnamed feature appears ready to offer something even I, as an avid monster movie fan, have long felt we needed: a new and heretofore unheard of and unimagined monster, one with a story overflowing with creativity and secrecy.  Abrams is the man to offer that, I think.

Codenamed “Cloverfield” for the street on which Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, maintains an office, and also called 1-18-08 for obvious reasons, this ambitious project stems from something he said at Comic-Con, to wit:

I just want to say, I want a monster movie. I want a great monster movie. I wanted a monster movie for so long.

And I was in Japan over a year ago with my son, who’s eight, and all he wanted to do was go to toy stores, so I know he’s my son. And we went to all these stores and there were still all these Godzillas everywhere. And what’s better than Godzilla?

And I thought, we need our own monster, like we need a monster movie. And I thought not like King Kong. I love King Kong. King Kong is adorable. And Godzilla is a charming monster. We love Godzilla.

But I wanted something that was just insane, and intense.

And so we started making this movie, and we’re making it for you right now, and it’s almost done shooting.

If you’ve been to theaters lately to see “Transformers,” you’ve undoubtedly seen the viral teaser trailer for this new flick.  If not, you can see it at Apple’s site or, if you don’t have Quicktime and don’t want to download and install it, you can see a not-as-good-quality version at YouTube.

Now, given the trailer, how do you think things have progressed?  Well, we’re talking about J.J. Abrams, so you can safely assume the mystery has only deepened.

For example, look at the movie’s official site.  You’ll notice it contains only a flash animation with some photos.  If you move the photos around so that one is dragged away from the others, you can bring it to the top and see it clearly.  But there’s more.  These are clues to the movie, of course, and what you see is not all that you get.  Try dragging a photo to the top of the stack and shaking it back and forth.  It will flip over to reveal what’s on the back.  There are more clues hidden in the messages you find that way.

Interesting, eh?  It’s just like Abrams to deepen the confusion and expand the obscurity with every new piece of information.

In fact, the next bit of the puzzle doesn’t come from the trailer or the official site; instead, it came from gift bags Abrams gave away at Comic-Con to those people who got in line to see the man himself.  Inside those bags was an additional tidbit of light cast into an utterly dark room: a tee shirt.  But not just any tee shirt.  It was a Slusho! tee shirt.

What in hades is Slusho!?  You can visit the company’s site and read through the history and other information, but essentially it’s a fake drink made from a newly discovered substance found at the bottom of the ocean.  You need only see the official movie poster to realize his new monster comes from the ocean.  Put two and two together and you get. . .  Well, another question full of clues that lead to yet more questions.  In fact, if you read all the information available on the site, from history to customer comments, you walk away with more information, not all of which is clear or immediately helpful.

(By the way, he originally released four posters, each with the same image, and each with a different title: MONSTROUS, FURIOUS, TERRIFYING, and BARBAROUS.  I doubt any of those are the real title of the film.  Think of the man, one whose reputation hinges on deceit and ambiguity.  He could surprise me and use one of those, yet I seriously doubt that will be the case.)

And he’s not done yet!

The various characters from the movie have started showing up on MySpace.  There are seven at present and they’re only talking to each other: Jamie, Rob Hawkins, Lil, Beth, Hawk (a.k.a. J.J. Hawkins. . .), LenaDia, and Hud.  Are these part of what can only be described as a brilliant marketing campaign?  I think so, but only time will tell.

By now I assume Paramount is wetting its collective pants.  The approach to introducing this film is nothing short of magnificent genius.  Already there is such buzz and intense focus on it, what with finding all the clues and various outlets for information, that the intertubes are literally gushing with conjecture and discussion.  The movie’s still six months away!

I’m watching with intense focus the continuing saga of this movie’s pre-release hoopla.  As long as they keep going the way they are, there should be overwhelming interest in it when it’s released in January.  Let’s hope the film lives up to the hype.

[additional note: you can see more information, at least speculation on what’s available, at Cloverfield News, Wikipedia, Nonsense, and Cloverfield Clues, not to mention a great many others I’ve either not mentioned or not found; and while we’re on the subject, I’m thinking there are more sites from J.J. that deal with the movie; they’ve just not been found yet]

Don’t sniff the light!

I heard that in a movie once.  Or was it “Don’t go into the light!”?  I can’t remember which. . .

A close-up of Grendel's nose as he soaks up some sunshine (205_0550)

That’s Grendel takin’ a little siesta in the bit of sunlight we saw a few days ago.  Such occasions have been rare, of course, but are increasing, so all of The Kids take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.

Oh, and here’s a wider shot demonstrating he was indeed being a lounge lizard, a couch potato, a carpet kitty if you will.  Or, in the parlance of those in the know, he was being a typical feline by locating and hogging the available warmth from sunshine.

Grendel trying to take a nap in a bit of sunshine (205_0546)

Out of the picture

I journey tomorrow to the family farm.  I feel this trip will be anything but normal given that Wylie will trek with me.  It would be weeks before another opportunity presents itself for me to dedicate a weekend to this jaunt, so this weekend it is.

But I’m dog-sitting.  I can’t very well leave the poor canine home alone, so he’ll accompany me.

It could be a rather interesting day.  Wylie’s not the concern, mind you, and neither is Snoopy, the resident pit bull.  My concern is Rascal, the still-a-puppy blue heeler who thinks herself the queen of East Texas.  And she’s quite the trouble maker due in no small part to that attitude.  So we shall see how it all works out.

As for the other animals, from cats to cows and rabbits to fowl, not to mention a great many creatures in between, I have no worries at all about them.  Wylie loves animals and is a most gentle soul.

My camera will be tagging along for the ride as usual.  With Wylie in tow, I’m uncertain as to what opportunities I can take advantage of for some casual photography, but I’ll do my best.

I should be back online Sunday at some point, give or take plenty of rest after such a long day.