Tuesday, November 29, 2005

another closet scribbler, outed

It was a question of quantity not quality. So I spit out 50k of horrifically, fabulously bad writing. I feel purged. I feel cleansed. Next year, I will attempt it while coping with real life and placing my commas correctly.

(Ah, maybe I should train for a marathon instead.)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

silly superstition, fear, and lego people

My Guy has observed that for one who has been trained as a scientist I seem to make a lot of assumptions. They lead me to jump prematurely to a lot of conclusions. (my own observation) I would add to this that it is odd and quite unfortunate that one trained as a scientist is as superstitious as I am.

There, I have outted myself in these aspects. I am aware of this and I do what I can to compensate for these failings as I take in the world.

Sometimes when I am really tired and feeling out of whack I check in on my horoscope or I take in an online tarot card reading. I am just craving some sense that everything will work out okay. It is a sensation that I so envy you who are optimists.

Last night after recovery from the many little agonies of Thanksgiving, after several sleepless nights (I did not sleep between Thursday and Friday, too much caffeine.) I surfed over to try to figure out my life through runes, the i ching, and a little program that gives you answers to yes/no questions. This particular evening I was told nothing that I want to hear and nothing in any way comforting.

It is inevitable that if I only ask questions to which I want to hear "yes" as the response I have to brace myself for a lot of disappointment with a yes/no answer program, flipping a coin, with a magic 8 ball, and more than that in real life I am likely to hear the word "no" countless times.

When you flip a coin sometimes there is a "Two out of three. Four out of five" impulse. You toss a coin because you think you don't really care what choice is made. The two scenarious are even and you accept either one. But if the result leads to that "two out of three" impluse. You have garnered an important piece of information. The beauty of a coin toss is its ability to help clarify for a person what they really want.

So I got some sleep. I watched a little of "Bowling for Columbine" off and on. I have been struggling to watch this movie for a while. Not because it's a bad movie. I think more because sometimes it is difficult for me to sit down and face hard things. I turn it on too late and I fall asleep. I wake up and watch from the last point I remember. I gotta say we're really lucky to have Michael Moore. He is not afraid to confront people. He is not afraid to ask questions. He is not afraid to be angry. He is not afraid to express outrage. He is not above pulling a stunt to make a point. He is also not above expressing compassion.

His discussion of how fearful Americans are as a people is very interesting. Fear is such a powerful tool with which to manipulate people. More compelling than greed, more compelling than lust, more compelling than even hate. If you are going to herd a crowd especially a crowd of people who are haves, the best tool is fear. Because fear of loss is so gripping. Fear of harm is agonizing.

A little fear is good. It is useful. It will keep you from harm. But at some point, too much fear makes the world more dangerous. Because you get fearful people who interact with each other in the most extreme and least humane ways and the results are really ugly.

I don't have a nice ending or conclusion for any of this. It's stuff that is kicking around my head. All I have is a virtual lego self portrait that I did of myself on the mini-mizer at Chris Doyle's reasonablyclever.com. Doing it cheered me up considerably. (this site was ganked from a livejournal post from azurelunatic)


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

As my relatives like to say when presenting someone with a big meal: "Eat slowly, and eat a lot." I would add to this, "and then pass out."

Friday, November 18, 2005

strictly ancedotal

My parents tell me these stories about a small child that they knew years ago. She was a delightful obnoxious little thing. I cannot believe that we are actually the continuum of one person. Just like I look at pictures of myself up to the age of 5 and am amazed that this photogenic little thing and I are an almost exact genetic match (taking into account occasional accumulated uncorrected DNA damage).

Today over super spicy chinese food my mother told me the following.

My paternal grandmother died when I was seven. She had come from Korea to visit us three years before and I had been her translator at the corner store and whenever we watched television. She, in turn, kept me from trying to wear my pants as some kind of bizarre corduroy turtleneck. On more than one occasion.

My father was making travel arrangements to fly to Korea for the funeral. And I could not understand why. I kept asking my mother why Daddy had to fly to Korea. Why couldn't Grandma come and see us? She would explain that Grandma had died. She couldn't come to see us. Daddy had to go see her. We were never going to see her again. I took this in and 20 minutes later I asked the same questions again. I wanted a different answer. I was a stubborn little thing.

My mother bought me "Charlotte's Web" and read it with me. I cried and cried. I got it. When she asked me about the end of the story I told her that the baby spiders were spinning webs but Charlotte was not because she was dead. My mother went on to explain that that's what happened to grandma. She was dead. She was could not come and visit. That's what happens in life. You are born, you grow up, you live and then you die. My father told me to think about all of Charlotte's children, the little spiders that were going to live happy lives and carry the memory of their mother.

I remember reading Charlotte's Web, crying my eyes out, talking about death with my parents, and coming to an understanding of Grandma's death. I did not know that my mother had turned to E.B. White for help in teaching me this life lesson.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

trapped under something heavy

It's an excellent explanation for not returning someone's phone calls. The phone is very heavy, covered in super sharp spikes and locked in a box filled with pit vipers (very poisonous) and the box is surrounded by laserbeams which if triggered will slice you into deli cheese.

Nah. That's probably not it at all.

I went to www.meatball.com, there are no meatballs. Just a memorial to cats now passed.

I went to www.muffinfilms.com where there are 12 short films that feature muffins. Adorable.

And if knitting is your thang, www.theanticraft.com has the most charming goth craft antifesto imaginable.

Favorite passage: "We're strange girls, tactless and profane in the face of the sacred, obsessed with mortality and the things you find under flesh and over bone." And they have advice on knitting with wire instead of yarn. (link ganked from squeakyweasels)

I finished my leg warmers they are super long and not all that attractive. But they are super warm. Photo to be added soon. My next project is kitty hats in super thick yarn. I am trying to be a good knitter and checking the gauge and what not for a change. Someday I will gather the courage to tackle a sweater. For now, I will stick to the littler projects.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

in the heart of the heartland

I have joked with many people that my blog word count will probably end up being bigger than my nanowrimo count this month. G responded with the suggestion that I weave my acount of the writing process with the thing itself.

In honor of this suggestion I rented and watched "American Movie." It's not the movie that I thought it was. I thought that it was a documentary about the making of a movie filmed by the people making the movie when in fact it is less self-referential.

Wow. It's great. That man has a lot of hustle and incredible bouancy and resilience. He is a force to be reckoned with.

It is reminiscent of "American Splendor." (I find it kind of cool that these movies along with "American Beauty" are so great and have the word American in the title. It surprises me. Does it surprise you?) It is a documentary about an artist struggling with his art in the midwest in relative obscurity. Mark Borchardt perhaps in greater obscurity than Harvey Pekar at the time of filming.

They are not the same by any stretch but both movies tell the very real stories of very real people who refuse to live lives of quiet desperation.

When you watch "Coven," the movie being filmed in this movie it's got creepiness to it (Who would have thought that chocolate syrup would look so blood-like!) and some of those shots of Wisconsin are breath-taking. This man has a eye. He is not all talk and flash. He knows something about what he is doing and will not be discouraged, no matter the obstacle.

I hope he has recovered from the fame and found the funding and a good distributor for his next project.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Things to love

1. New Yorkers

Domystic turned me on to this site.

"Hobo #1: You know what, man?
Hobo #2: What's up?
Hobo #1: Yo, I balls out love opera.
--Houston & 1st"

"Guy #2: I have officially fired you from talking.
--Starbucks, 8th Avenue & 15th Street"

"Lady patient: Yeah, I always hear them calling my name to go back to my room, but I don't ever go.
Guy patient: That's cool. I should do that, too.
--NYU Medical Center, 1st Avenue"

2. the livejournal writing of people who know they should be writing a novel

I went to a few nanowrimo communities and clicked on their friends list. Which offered up what their member are writing in their own journals about their writing. Great stuff.

3. Dibs

dibs le box

Tiny dabs of ice cream that are covered in chocolate and in this case nestle crunches. Each one is a delight, a chocolately bite with a sweet shiver of ice cream at its center. *bliss*

There are other flavors. I impatiently await peanut butter ice cream covered in nestle crunches. And chocolate ice cream covered in chocolate with oreo crumbs in it.

4. www.bookcrossing.com

I have only recently heard about this. The idea is to register a book at the website it is labelled and then set it free. You leave it for someone to pick up or give it to someone you know or donate it. The idea is that whoever has the book can go to the website and report where it is and find out where it has been and after reading the book or after not reading it, set the book free again to continue its travels.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

on the road again

I read "Finding the Open Road" it's a Roadtrip Nation project. For those of you who don't know Roadtrip nation started off as a journey taken by three friends to talk to people all over the country to who love what they do. They wanted to understand the journeys that people took to find the thing that they love which often lead to sucess as well. I was intrigued by this project. Roadtrips are such an All-American experience and right of passage much romanticized in book and film. The conclusion these guys seem to have come to is that The Roadtrip is an experience that more people need to have and be exposed to. So this is what they do for a living now. They are some kind of media and education company that plans and coordinates the roadtrips of kids in their 20's trying to find their way. Some of the book is inspiring and very interesting. The interview with Mark Burnett the creator of Survivor, Eco-Challenge, and Survivor was particularly groovy. And the potato phone exercise is pretty amusing. But I have to say that the 20 day road trip they offer at the end of the the book was dull, dull, dull. I hope that their TV version has more content than what they offer in the book. Cause it was lackluster.

I might try to look up some of the original documentary and book to see if they offer more satisfaction.

I think in part because it would help to have some of these people tell you more about what they do and what it is that they love about their work. Get into the bones of their being. Beyond the generalities and cliches.

I wonder for all the success stories how many people on a similar path have ended up in a not as happy place selling appliances as Sear's. Is a myth being created to make people blame themselves for a lack of acheivement and opportunity careerwise or if this is a dream that we can share and all make a reality. I am a bit daunted by the stories (so many of them sounding so much the same) say about the energy and dedication and hardwork and self-confidence and enterprenurial spirit required to find what you love and live your passion.

Whiel I was disappointed in the last section of the book I am still intrigued with the idea. Still the answer seems to be figure out what you love and do it. And if you can't do it, try something else that is related to it. The number of people who said "I didn't know what I was doing but I just did it anyway," was staggering.

anything to not wrestle with the beast

I have some songs up on purevolume. You can check out my pugly self and hear me bring my genre - meatball folk music to the people.

I recorded the rest of what I have written so far with JE but have heard nothing from him since the recording session regarding whether or not they have been mastered. It feels like a tricky delicate situation. When a friend records you (and not a super close friend) for free how obnoxious are you allowed to be about getting a finished product? I feel really weird about being pushy on this matter for some reason. It's a vibe I get more than anything. So I am talking to D at Backhouserecording about setting up to do a few sessions. Fingers crossed that I don't choke and I get some decent tracks out of it.

BBFK sent me some really cool goodies in the mail. I got bacon band-aids. Too cool. My Guy is trying to injure himself in a way that warrants a slice of bacon band-aid. Last night he kept pointing at his cheek trying to convince me that he had a horrible cut that needed bacon.

It rained something horrible last night so there was no trick-or-treatin'. We made rice crispies and watched a very bad Zombie movie about an infected inmate that infects a maximum security prison. Lots of scenes in which people vomit blood.

My folks tell me and AR confirms that the growing season was not so hot this year. There was not enough rain. My folks went to the Okeydokey orchard to get apples. They call it the Okeydokey orchard because the owner says "okeydokey" to everything they say. (maybe their accents are problematic) But there were no apples to buy. The apples grew to only slightly bigger than golf balls this year so they were selling cider instead of apples. So we have got our rain at the wrong time of the year this year.