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January 2005
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March 2005

hum the theme from "Jaws" while reading


This image says is all, really. The red stuff is a fuck of a lot of snow. Note how it is closing in on Oneonta and resembles the jaws of some toothy beast. The ETA is 4 or 5 p.m. Further updates if anyone cares.

I, for one, am thrilled. I *love* snowstorms. No, really. It'd be even better if we had a fireplace but I'll light a candle or something. We're stocked up on TP and milk. Tonight we have nowhere to go. Could not be better conditions, frankly, and the fresh snow will cover up the ugly, grimey snow that is still on the ground.

In other news, I am starting to think that I shouldn't be allowed in my kitchen ever. In addition to the Great Thumb Hacking of '02, where I took off the tip of my left thumb with a v-slicer, and the Great Polenta Burn of 1998, where I accidentally flung a hunk of napalm like cornmeal onto my bare thigh (It was summer. I was wearing shorts. Pervs.), we can now add the Great Potato Debacle of '05. In a fit of characteristic stupidity, I managed to pour a quart's worth of boiling water onto the tops of my feet, resulting in some nice blisters. Why did I do this? Two reasons: 1) I didn't want to dirty a colander when all I had to do was pour the water off of some cooked potatoes and 2) I was thinking about something else and not really paying careful attention. My bad, totally. Which makes it even stupider because I have no one to pin the blame on but me. I hate not having a scapegoat, dang it.

You'll be happy to know, however, that the resulting pot of mashed spuds was quite yummy. So, there is that.

two things

1) I want Samantha Brown's job, which seems to consist of going to fabulous hotels and staying in them. I'm sure the job has its challenges and requires a certain amount of perkiness that I have never been able to muster for anything, but it would be an awesome gig to have.

2) Teresa Nielsen Hayden (Tor editrix and person I want to knit with) started a discussion about the mother drive-by, a phenomenon that she was surprised to discover both exists and is pervasive. Check it out -- and don't forget to read the comments. The comments are potatoes to Making Light's meat.

nothing profound here.

Given that the Easter season is upon us again, I'd like to take a minute to thank the person who invented robin's eggs, those delightful candy-coated, chocolate-covered, malted-milk oviods that appear every year. I'd also like to curse the same genuises. Every year I eat so many of them I can't get over the queasiness until Easter comes around again.

For the record, I do the same think with those candy corn pumpkins that appear at Halloween. And I used to do the same thing with McDonald's Shamrock shakes, but they seem to have stopped making them and have taking the issue out of my hands.

Also for the record, I didn't realize that Easter was coming up -- we're not exactly religious folk in this little house -- until I saw said candy. The best thing about the holiday is an excuse to make a ham. Some celebrate with a trip to church. Others do it with food.

Anyway, I bring up the robin's eggs because they came in handy when I was stuck on the phone with Time-Warner tech support. See, I'd called earlier in the day to see how much it would be to add the Tennis Channel to our line-up. ($60 a year is more than I'm willing to pay, frankly). The customer service rep discovered, tho, that if we made a tiny switch in our plan, it would save us $10 a month. So she made the change. Which is when the modem stopped working.

I didn't realize this until I'd hung up the phone. I did all of the sensible things that one does. I unplugged everything, then plugged it back in. Nada. I waited a bit in the hopes that it would just go away. It didn't. So I called tech support -- and spent the next half-hour either on hold or explaining to the guy that no, I hadn't actually done anything, that the system worked just fine until I ended the earlier call. I had plenty of time to eat far too many robin's eggs. Now I am woozy. But at least the frickin' modem works again. So there's that.

why I now love Zach Braff

Last night the Hub and I watched Garden State. By the end I was in tears, in a good way. Writer/director Zach Braff has made something that is simple, amazing, potent, hysterical, lyric, romantic and memorable, without ever being too consciously arty or ironic. It should be required viewing for anyone who had a difficult time getting through their mid-20s, which would be most of the people I know who read this blog. If Garden State were a pumpkin patch, the Great Pumpkin would visit it on Halloween Night because it is the most sincere.

I was surprised to discover that Braff and the film have their own blog. I don't know why this surprised me in this era when even unborn fetuses (feti?) have a blog, but, still, it did.

Two more personal tidbits about the flick, then I'll let you get back to more exciting surfing, like looking for naked pictures of Sarah Michelle Geller or whatever.

First, my very own copy of the Garden State soundtrack would make me do my dance of glee and maybe, just maybe, post pictures of said dance of glee. Remember my birthday is in April and it is never to early to send gifts.

Second, on a more serious note, if The Book, which will be published summer 2006, should be a) any good and b) successful enough that someone wants to film it (or acquire the rights, at least), my first choice to direct would be Braff. He'd get the weird mix of dark thoughts and high comedy. I know I am really doing a whole cart-pre-horse thing, given that I should be writing The Book instead of this meandering post. I also know that the odds of a real film ever happening are slimmer than a supermodel during fashion week. I also know that no one gives a crap what the writer thinks.

Still, I just wanted to put it out there. And, now, I have. And, now, back to the salt mines.

for matt r.

W/R/T Hunter S.:

This Cintra Wilson obit from Salon puts it in persepective, I think. Buck up, little camper. While it's tragic on many, many levels, it isn't completely black.

My favorite part from said obit:

"I think it is improper and disrespectful to whine about this suicide. Thompson was in the game for a very, very long time, and I think it is a safe bet that he was never comfortable. This was a profoundly tortured guy, the smoke from whose ears always made a whole lot of exciting colors that we all enjoyed. It was a great brain to watch but you wouldn't want to live in it, I'd aver. He was a butch motherfucker and I'd bet cash he stuck it out significantly longer than he really wanted to. Let's face it, HST was not one for the nursing home -- he'd have just stolen everyone else's barbiturates and hurt people trying to arm-wrestle."

Hard to know what to say.

By now, you know that Hunter S. Thompson died via self-inflicted gunshot to the head. While I've always liked his work, it never reached cult-like status with me, unlike many others. Still, I admire what he did, how he changed the way the world thought about what journalism could do. It's just profoundly sad that he saw this as his only option.

I do wonder where it will end. First Spaulding Gray, which really rocked my tiny world. Now HST. I'm vaguely remined of the string of female poets who offed themselves in the 50s and 60s. Which confessional male prose stylist will complete the trifecta. Who's next?

a wee confession

The Diva is home sick today and sitting glassy-eyed on the couch staring at Rolie Polie Olie. I hestitate to say she's watching it, simply because she doesn't seem to be taking much in, thanks to the decongestant head. As proof that she must not be feeling well, I am working at the computer and not being climbed or pestered or pulled or poked. This behavior should tell you more than my mere description can.

Now would be the perfect time to write a long dissseration about something, but I'm a little out of it myself. Last night was not full of good, restorative sleep for anyone in the house. Despite that, this column by Wil McCarthy about inbred gender differences pegged on Harvard pres Summers ill-advised comments about women in hard science raises my sleepy hackles. I've tried to ignore it, frankly, since the online pub he works for doesn't seem to believe that women actually exist in the world (or, if they do, exist only to fill-out tight latex suits a la Jennifer Garner in Elektra). This quote is McCarthy following his argument that women are good students but not risk takers and men are lousy students but will go for glory reap rewards to its logical (to him) conclusion:

"While it might seem a bit shocking to talk about phasing men down to just 33 percent of the population, this cockamamie plan does offer a number of advantages for both sexes. Women would enjoy a lower crime rate and probably a mellower, less dog-eat-dog society. Men would enjoy having fewer die-hard competitors to deal with, and more potential mates to choose from. Who knows, even harems might make a comeback—something few men would object to. And in purely economic terms, there'd be no surplus or shortage of "men's work" in the world, because the number of men could be adjusted every generation to suit demand."

And while there is a nugget of truth in there, I think he's leaving out a great deal about how women would actually feel about the whole harem thing and how women would respond to not having as many men around. Perhaps in McCarthy's mind, we'd all simply "become" lesbians and perform for the enjoyment of these lucky guys so that we can keep them amused and curb their destructive impulses.

Other parts of McCarthy's argument also hinge on his not knowing a lot about how women operate in the real world. While women may be better students because we aren't under the sway of as much testosterone (his contention), we do still compete with each other, in less obvious ways that may be more damaging than a simple male-style fight. But, since McCarthy is male and therefore unable to see subtlety (yes, I know how biased that is), he may not understand the tensions that are constantly roiling under the working and social relationships women have with each other. We do compete. We do take risks. But not in the ways that men can see. And the best female relationships cut past this bullshit, just like the best male relationships can cut past the need to compete to the death.

Of course, what the heck do I know? I'm female, have a kid (who is *thisclose* to falling asleep) and am therefore unambitious and unable to form a cogent argument.


On another note, the true confession -- I am absurdly excited that the Westminster Dog Show was on last night and tonight. My favorite group -- the Hounds -- will take the stage this evening. I have no idea why I like the WKC show. And, yet, I can't resist. I still miss Joe Garagiola, tho.