Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2227th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3675, January 17, 2008.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:fredpatten@earthlink.net

Denvention 3 in 2008! Anticipation in 2009! Salamander Press #2710


Last Thursday, my sister Sherrill brought me to the LASFS meeting. It lasted longer then usual, due to lots of people having good things to say about Patron Saint Bruce Pelz (and some about Christian McGuire), and a very long auction; we had to leave to return to the hospital before it adjourned. Reviews of Animé L.A. 4 were unanimous that it was a great convention despite the rain providing a "Lake District", and the hotel and its staff having degenerated shockingly since it was the Loscon's venue. The maximum attendance of 2,500 showed up. Chaz Baden donated a $600 financial surplus to the LASFS treasury. Everyone was glad that the Animé L.A. convention would move to the LAX Marriott next year.

I am no longer bothering to record every visit that I make to Sherry's apartment to work in my study there, watch old American movies or animation (including Japanese anime) on Sherry's 42" TV, and to have a better dinner than the hospital kitchen makes. At this time I am going to Sherry's apartment once or twice a week.

On the weekend of the 12th-13th, I wrote and sent out a press release for the Anthropomorphic Literature & Arts Association announcing the closing of the 2007 Recommended Anthropomorphics List, the opening of the 2008 List, and the forthcoming nominations and voting for the 2007 Ursa Major Awards. Part of the details are already announced on the Science Fiction Awards Watch website, and hopefully they will soon also appear on Locus Online, the SF Site, Ansible, and similar news sources.

I will not include the complete release here, but the following statistics may be of interest: The 2007 Recommended List, which may be seen at http://www.ursamajorawards.org/ReadList.htm, includes nine Motion Pictures; seven U.S., one Argentine and one German. It includes fifteen Dramatic Short Work or Series including nine TV series, one individual episode of a TV series, one webcast series, and four TV commercials; six U.S., four British, one Australian, one Canadian, one French, one Italian, and one Japanese. It includes 21 Novels, 38 Short Fiction, 24 Other Literary Work (anthologies of short stories, graphic novels, collections of comic strips, articles, etc.), 10 Comic Books, 82 Comic Strips, 9 Fanzines, 36 Published Illustrations, and 10 Games.

On Monday, Sherry took me to Culver City to meet with Lee Gold at the AAA office there to amend my Power of Attorney form to include Sherry on it. She was living in New York when I had my stroke, but now that she is living in North Hollywood, I want her as well as Lee Gold to be able to act for me in legal matters. We met in the AAA office because it has a notary public there, and the new form had to be signed by all three of us and notarized. Then we went about six blocks to the branch of Bank of America where my bank account is, and filled out more paperwork so that Sherry as well as Lee is authorized to write cheques on my account. Unlike the Power of Attorney that is likely to remain mostly theoretical, a bank cheque has to be written each month to the Golden State Convalescent Hospital to pay as much as "I" can afford for my medical expenses - Medical pays the balance. Up to now Lee Gold who has my Financial Power of Attorney has been doing this, since my handwriting has degenerated to the extent that cheques written by me are illegible; but this has been an imposition on Lee and it makes more sense for my sister to be doing this. Now she can. After all this bureaucracy, Sherry took me to Solley's Deli in Sherman Oaks for dinner.

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I have been informing people about the Orangina "Naturally Juicy" French TV commercial that shows anthropomorphized animals thrown into an erotic orgy by the soft drink, partly as an example of "TV commercials that you can't see on U.S. TV". A fan has replied, "That's nothing; have you seen this?"

"This" is a commercial for Italian TV (made in London, actually) for Vigorsol breath mints. It claims that Vigorsol will not only make your breath smell refreshingly minty, it will make your farts powerful enough to blow out forest fires. And smell refreshingly minty, too. http://www.moving-picture.com/Perfetti_Vigorsol Okay; I would rather participate in a soft drink orgy with amorous animal-women (except for the octopi) than a "my farts can blow out a larger forest fire than your farts" contest. Even if they smell good.

It may be due to the people that I correspond with, but the most indignant complaints about the "Naturally Juicy" commercial have not been about its lewdness but about it being made in motion-capture animation. "Ugh! That horrible motion-capture instead of honest cartoon animation or stop-motion or even regular computer graphics! Burn the animators at the stake! Revoke Happy Feet's Oscar Award!" I do not like the look of motion-capture in movies like The Polar Express or Monster House, where it seems little better than poorly animated-over rotoscoping and makes all the humans look creepy. (I have not seen Beowulf, which really got the we-hate-motion-capture animation fans screaming.) I prefer straightforward live actors in front of blue-screen backgrounds with the fantastic backgrounds matted in afterwards, like in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. But I have no objection to motion-capture used as rotoscope models for well-animated fantasy characters, as in Happy Feet and "Naturally Juicy". I think that some people look at the first, bad use of a technical process and then cannot watch any further use of that technique objectively.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Cover - (DeChancie) This photograph of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue seems to be more widespread in the last couple of years then at any other time since it was taken in 1951.

Death of a Nobleman - (Jackson) A very touching tribute. You make me want to add Donald Hamilton's novels to my list of books to read soon.

De Jueves #1565 - (Moffatts) Unfortunately, as I described last week, I did not care for Bee Movie (or its first ten minutes) at all. Maybe I will try it again later when I may be in a more receptive mood. ## Correction noted about the jacaranda blossoms. The purple blossoms are so overpowering that one tends to forget that they are not the trees' leaves. ## Rotten to the Corps sounds like a good title for a military comedy movie about the Marine Corps. ## The semi-mythical 14th-century court jester Tyl Eulenspiegel was notorious for practical jokes that were designed to be crippling or lethal to lower-class victims, and merely highly embarrassing to noble victims. ## Re. polar bear clubs; I wish I still had that Soviet Intourist travel brochure from the 1970s for Siberia in winter that showed a happy family in swimsuits frolicking in the snow on the banks of some river, along with photos of more reasonable winter sports activities. The current Intourist website for the U.S.A. seems to depict only summer Siberian sightseeing tours.

Oh, All Right!!! - (Lembke) Re. that first Wall Street Journal cartoon, a court fine surcharge to cover the expenses of police car chases seems quite reasonable. I would even make it $10 per mile rather than a flat $10.

Vanamonde #763 - (Hertz) Royal crowns appear in the coats-of-arms of many republics, though usually republics that originated as monarchies such as the Russian Federation. I remember Royal Crown Cola as equally popular with Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola in the early 1950s' when soft drink bottles of all brands floated together in large coolers of freezing water; it was not until later that Coke and Pepsi dominated the cola market. Even more than the drink, I remember the newspaper-advertising comic strip featuring the Adventures of R.C. and his pal Quickie. ## Yes, those were the Japanese teenybopper song lyrics to Beethoven's 7th & 8th Symphonies that I quoted, from memory after having last heard them about five years ago. Fortunately the 2 ¾-minute sequence has recently been posted on YouTube, so I can now cite the lyrics from the subtitles. "Eggs! I grilled them and they burned! Potatoes! I boiled them and they melted! Ah, not the tomato; it's mine! I'll give you the octopus; I hate the way it looks. If I don't boil them, they are still raw eggs! If I don't boil it, it is still a draft beer! Ah, not the eggs; they are mine! Oh, eggs! Eggs!" This is condensed from the complete excerpt with the Tepperish duck. I doubt the eggs referred to are octopus eggs.

Fecal Matter Happens - (Cantor) I will try to remember to ask you next Christmas season about the spectacular display around the corner from your home. Or I will ask Sherry to get the address from you, since she will be driving me to see it. ## If you do not like Beethoven Symphonies that are not conducted by Arturo Toscanini, how do you feel about a hard-boiled private-eye celebrity-cast murder mystery featuring Toscanini as the main victim and Meyer Lansky, Harry Truman, and David Sarnoff among the murderer-villain suspects? It could be considered as an alternate history novel. Tender is LeVine; a Jack LeVine Mystery, by Andrew (Blazing Saddles; Fletch) Bergman, which the L.A. Public Library has.

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