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December 2003
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February 2004

a request

Does anyone have a VHS/DVD copy of the "Bring on the Night" episode of season 7 of Buffy that they'd be willing to let me borrow briefly? I'd take care of your shipping costs and also chip in a shiny trinket or two.

Here's why I'm asking: Last semester I did an in-class exercise with my Comm 100 students where we compared how language choices indicate dozens of neat things about the language user. Since I teach in a nifty "enhanced" classroom, which means that I can display websites and play video/DVD/CD, I used Branagh's Henry V St. Crispin's Day speech and Buffy's version of same from the aforementioned episode. Only, I never found a copy of the Buffy speech and had to draft two poor souls to read it in front of the class. This semester, it'd be nice to be able to play it and, so, the request.

In case you are as lousy at episode titles as I am, the speech goes thusly:
"I'm beyond tired. I'm beyond scared. I'm standing on the mouth of hell, and it is gonna swallow me whole. And it'll choke on me. We're not ready? They're not ready. They think we're gonna wait for the end to come, like we always do. I'm done waiting. They want an apocalypse? Oh, we'll give 'em one. Anyone else who wants to run, do it now. 'Cause we just became an army. We just declared war. From now on, we won't just face our worst fears, we will seek them out. We will find them, and cut out their hearts one by one, until The First shows itself for what it really is. And I'll kill it myself. There is only one thing on this earth more powerful than evil, and that's us. Any questions?"

If you have it and can share, gimme a shout.

well, poo.

To quote Gawker:
Recently-depressed monologist Spalding Gray was reported missing on Sunday. If you see a slightly deranged-looking older man ranting on the streets of Soho, please don't throw nickels at him; society wants this one back. So keep yer eyes peeled -- we hope this finds Mr. Gray well.

Well and warm, one hopes. It's going to get mighty chilly out there. And to be Pollyannaish and lemonade-from-lemonish, when he makes it back I hope he writes about it.

Full story, such as it is, here.

I suck! And other true tales.

So I have this whole week to get another chapter or two knocked out on the book project. This shouldn't be a problem. A week is a very long time. I know where I'm going and, while I'm not overly certain how I'll get there, I know it'll all work out. Problem is, I don't want to see where I've been. If I don't look at any of what I've already written, it can still exist in one of those Schrodingerian bubbles where I don't yet know hif it's alive or dead. But if I look, then I'll know, and I know the news won't be good. So I don't want to look. But I have to, eventually. And so I try to forge ahead and remain blissfully oblivious to what's sitting in the file next to the piece I'm working on. I know it's there, tho, waiting.

So I post to the blog, in the hopes that it will offer some relief. It doesn't, really, except I feel like more of a whack-noodle for doing so. Is it too early to start drinking? Feh.

(An aside: Play with Schrodinger's cat!)


Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing. . . . Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

--E. L. Doctorow via Cory Doctorow.

friday five (on saturday)

Fionna asks:

I've just finished reading a book about Arctic Exploration from the 1860s to 1926, and have started another one about the truth behind the myths about pirates. What both these books have in common is that I get to relive some of the adventure stories I used to love as a child, whilst still pretending I'm being all scholarly and grown up. So my Friday 5 question is:

Given an unlimited budget, the ability to travel through space and time, and a guarantee that you would return in the full of your health, which 5 adventures would you like to join in? They can be real adventures, from fiction, on other worlds, or a time and place you would really like to witness first hand.

Ah, adventure. Right now my life's big adventure is waiting to see if the water pipes in the crawlspace cracked from the cold during the night. Those that lead to the kitchen are frozen like popsicles. We have fans and heaters blowing on 'em and are hoping for the best. I am keeping half an ear out for the sound of gushing water. Gushing water would be bad. Call it a small adventure.

For big adventures, these would be my choices, in no particular order:

1. Will already took one of mine (which is what I get for being late). A trip or three on the Gay Deceiver in Heinlein's Number of the Beast. I would, however, not be keen on having sex with people I'm related to, but the excursions themselves would be fun.

2 and 3. Any of Miles Vorkosigan's impressive jaunts, courtesy Lois McMaster Bujold, or Vlad the Assassin's adventures, courtesy Steven Brust.

4. It would have rocked to have accompanied Michael Palin on any of his trips--but the one that I'm most enamored with is his first, when he went around the world in 80 days.

5. On a smaller scale, Frances Mayes' adventure in Tuscany is something I ponder quite a bit, despite how cliche it's become.

Other fivers on the left list.

Knoxville laughs.

I can hear the chuckling now. There may also be some finger-pointing and general mocking. This a.m., when I left the house to take the Diva to day care, it was -14 degrees outside. The instant I walked out the door, every last bit of snot and mucous on the inside of my skull froze like a popsicle. Last time that happened was when I was in high school, oh so many years ago, and would wait outside for the bus on ass-cold mornings. It's a feeling you never really forget. Today, eventually, I'm going to have to go back outside to run some errands. The weather folk are saying we may, if we're very, very good, make it up to a balmy zero by the afternoon. I am simply a-tingle with anticipation.

I want to kiss Anne Lamott

A pregnant friend asked me the other day how on earth you're supposed to raise a baby, and what came to mind at first was a general approach to anything difficult, to getting one's writing done every day, for instance. You take really short assignments, one passage at a time, write shitty first drafts, remember the fertile richness of messes, failures and mistakes; breathe, ask for help, tell the truth.

I couldn't actually think of anything specific to share with her on pregnancy and parenting that didn't also apply to writing -- after all, both are elective courses in Earth School, and not things that everyone needs to do in order to feel fulfilled. But if you insist on doing either, you start where you are, and you let yourself do it poorly, you study the work of people you admire, and after some time, you'll get better, and be insane for shorter periods of time.

For the full piece, go here. There will be an ad. Deal with it.

It's all in the thumb.

Who knew our simian friends could be so dang handy? Monkey-picked tea for everyone!

In other news, the very handy hubby managed to install our dishwasher (had to cut a hole in the cabinetry for it and everything) with minimal cursing and only four trips to the hardware store. So far--*knock wood*--no electrical fires or floods. We shall now dirty dishes with abandon. Ain't the 21th century grand?