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September 29, 2005

Old Enough To Be My Mother

And now a shoutout to my Mom, who's celebrating her mumble-mumbleth birthday today. In my role as Dutiful Son, I'd give her a call to give her best wishes, but unfortunately she's not at home. She and Dad are currently tooling around in scenic New England, exploring. They take these sorts of trips every six months or so, it seems. Italy, Prague, Old England, Australia, New England. Quite the travelers, they are.

I could call Dad's cellphone to say hi, but that would only make them worry that something horrible had happened, and they should come home at once. So I won't.

In other news, this is fairly accurate for me, although with some different shows. Truly, life was easier when TV sucked.

Reading: While waiting for various recommended books to come to me, I've been making do with the collected works of David Sedaris. In this case, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and currently Naked. Well, not right now. I'm typing here.

Update: I return home to find a 21 day personal rejection from GVG. Also, Lisa is recording Night Stalker for me.

September 25, 2005

My Brain Hurts

For those of you seeking a new way to cudgel your gray matter, why not try matching it against a few Sudoku? Think of it as a crossword puzzle for the mathematically inclined.

My weekend has been just fine. For breakfast we had poached eggs & toast, with Earl Grey tea. All we'd need to make it any more British would be marmalade and baked beans. I called my dad to wish him a happy birthday. It's a milestone for him, the three quarter century mark septuagenarianism (I told you my brain hurt!). Did the laundry, but ignored the lawn.

The week ends, the week begins.

Reading: Blade Dancer, by S. L. Viehl. Also, Himalaya, Michael Palin's latest travelogue. Himalaya is a Sanskrit word, meaning "The Abode of Snow". There's truth in advertising, I'd say.

September 23, 2005

Slacker Friday

Now, for your Friday amusement: entertainment from the brains of other humans, stolen from the blogs of other humans! Woo!

* Really cool music video for the song "Jed's Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)," by the band Grandaddy (via Mssr. Orrill)

* Jonathan Carroll's short story "Home on the Rain" (via Mssr. Strahan)

* Shoot the UFOs flash game, from GlobZ. Charming graphics.

Reading: Well, nothing at the moment. Which leads me to the question, What Should I Read Next? Thoughts?

September 21, 2005

And People Say I Have Too Much Time On My Hands

My sweetie sent me a link to this guy's reviews on Amazon.com. Apparently he has some...uh, interesting opinions.

On Scent Shield Hunt Mate Easy Off Face Camo:

This is perfect for stalking prey in the forest, but perhaps a few more colors would be great, for other enviroments. I think a taupe would be great for blending in with vinyl siding, a deep red for pressing up against brick walls, or a pale blue and white combo, for remaining undecected while peering in through a window as the pale flickerings of a family (used to be your family but now just a family, any family, no more connection to you than to any of the other thousands of faces you pass by everyday and oh Jesus) watching television.
On the Sealy Posturepedic Encompass Fiber and Foam Extra-Firm Support Standard Pillow:
Don't get me wrong, this pillow works great for sleeping at night. In fact, I've gotten the best sleep of my life thanks to this pillow. At least, the best sleep as far as comfort for my neck goes.

But what if you start to realize the reason you can't sleep the whole night through isn't some "neck problem" but that indeed, the problem might be deeper and run more to WHOM you're sleeping next to?

Which is why I'd just say that I think this pillow who benefit with some small handholds on either side, in order to make it much easier to press it down firmly for a period of at least five minutes. Because I found my hands cramping after a minute or two.

On HON(R) 310 Series 4-Drawer Letter File, Black:
Perfect for hiding away from the "boss lady" until the "morning gin breath," goes away.

I'm hidden inside one right now, in fact.

SHHHH, here she comes.

Zounds.

Currently Reading: The Gun Seller, by Hugh Laurie. Yes, that Hugh Laurie.

September 20, 2005

This Just In

Forgot to mention this yesterday, in the wake of the nautical nonsense, but I got a 28 day short personal rejection from Strange Horizons. My manuscript made them giggle, not buy. Tragic.

Hmm. I just got a SPAM with the subject line, "See All of the Golden Girls!" Fortunately it's not a porn link.

September 19, 2005

Avast, Ye Scurvy Dogs

Ah, 'tis one o' me most favorite days o' th' voyage: Talk Like A Pirate Day! Or in this case, Type Like A Gentleman o' Fortune Day! Woo--I mean, arr! An' jus' in time too, as I`ve had t' spend a wee time deletin' scurvy spam trackback clingin' t' me backside like barnacles. Th' miserable sons of a biscuit eater.

Reading: Thud!, th' new Terry Pratchett. I be havin' t' agree wi' Jay, here: lots an' lots o' weird typos, which can only mean the'r proofreaders ought be keelhauled.

September 15, 2005

Love And Hate

Sorry I've been absent. Not much to say. I'm slowly writing a story about pirates and mermaids and a devil captaining a ghost ship. Not sure where it's going, really. Well, it will be about love. How, I'm not yet sure.

Just finished a "how to do research in the library" to a Comm class. I get compliments from students about my library instruction sessions (the ones who don't like 'em don't bother to complain; they just drift off to sleep). One of the students told me afterwards that my presentation was more like a performance, that I was lively and engaged and obviously not working from a script and that I've just got the right attitude. All nice things to hear.

But the reason why I'm so lively is because I'm really, really nervous. And when I get really nervous, I can't hold still. I pace back and forth, talk faster, and start cracking wise. I'm not working from a script because I could never remember it; too nervous. I could probably never do a panel at a Con because I'd want to leap out of my chair, and I bet the other panelists wouldn't let me take the mike along. I hate, hate, hate doing presentations, and yet I'm told I'm good at them. So they keep making me do them. It's a cruel world.

Reading: Magic for Beginners, by Kelly Link, and currently Red Moon and Black Mountain, by Joy Chant.

September 09, 2005

Bashed

In writerly news, a 149 day rejection from Bash Down the Door and Slice Open the Badguy antho.

In other news, I joined one of them online social networks that are all the rage with them college kids, for no other reason than I could (seems faculty types can play too, which is a bit creepy if you think about it). At the moment, the only thing I have done with it is poke one of my editors. I'll be curious to see if she notices. Also, I've learned that The High Lord Apocalypse is a professor in Poli Sci here on campus. Oh, sure. But does he have tenure?

Now then: "Cease the bickering! I am indulging the exotic whims of a beautiful princess and must not be distracted."

September 08, 2005

Sub Aqua

     'There,' said Malvesti sadly. 'Look at that.'
     Von Igelfeld stared down at the water. Malvesti had taken a torch from the wall and was shining it down on to the surface of the water, just below which he could make out the beginnings of a bookshelf and the spines of books.
     'I can hardly believe it,' he said. 'Were you unable to do anything to save the books?'
     Malvesti looked down at the water, as if willing it to retreat.
     'It happened without our realising it,' he said. 'Very few people ask for those books, and months, even years can go by with nobody going downstairs. Then, suddenly, an archimandrite working in the library asked for a work on Church Slavonic, and there we were...Now, if you see the mark s.a. on a book's catalogue card, you know it means that it is sub aqua. It is very sad.'
--Alexander McCall Smith, "Death in Venice"
Portuguese Irregular Verbs
Harrison County Library System, Gulfport: The Gulfport library is still standing but gutted. The Biloxi Public Library had 8–12 feet of water; the building is standing but the contents are lost. The Margaret Sherry branch in Biloxi is OK. The West Biloxi branch lost an AC unit, but the building is OK. Information about D’Iberville, Division Street, Orange Grove, and Pass Christian branches is still sketchy.
from Mississippi Library Commission's assessment
of known damage to libraries as of Tuesday
ALA's Hurricane Katrina News
You want to donate books? Greg's got info on how to send books to kids staying at the Astrodome Houston is apparently buried in books, so some alternative book destinations are provided. Jason's got info on an Amazon program called First Book. And from the ALA:
We have just learned that a Louisiana Library Disaster Relief Fund has been established, and monetary donations to assist school, public, and academic library restoration efforts in Southeastern Louisiana can be sent payable to:
LLA-Disaster Relief
421 South 4th Street
Eunice, LA 70535
Presumably similiar funds will be set up for Mississippi and Alabama in the near future, depending. You can also just send cash to a reputable charity.

(I find my mood seesawing wildly, after reading things like this. Frankly, I want to vomit with rage. Posting this, however, is slightly more practical. And not as messy.)

September 07, 2005

Musta Picked Up One of Those Pamphlets

A lightning one-day rejection from Lone Star Stories for a poem. Zooma zoom!

Also, from across the pond: the tale of a cat that went for a walk and came back a Socialist. Some kind of pinko, anyway.

September 06, 2005

Shake That Metal Money Maker

Copper tempts robots into the evils of dancing. On the other hand, it's unlikely robots would have to worry about going to Hell. Except for Robot Hell, I guess.

Reading: Why People Believe Weird Things, by Michael Shermer. I'm still in the first chapters, so I'm just guessing the answer isn't "because it's fun."

September 03, 2005

Tick

196 day rejection from Book of Dark Wisdom. So noted.

September 02, 2005

Open To Interpretation

Max Cannon clearly questions the requirement of narrative flow in our work.

September 01, 2005

Best Quote On The Situation To Date

Say what you like about casting blame for the unfolding tragedy in NO, the bare facts of the matter are these: America suffered a serious attack on Sept. 11, 2001. That was four years ago. I think we had all assumed that in the meantime a lot of wargaming and disaster-mitigation planning and homeland security gearup had been going on. If this is what the Federal and State governments are going to come up with when the suitcase nuke goes off in D.C., then we are well and truly fucked.
--Belle Waring, John and Belle Have A Blog
Good morning, America, how are you?
Don't you know me, I'm your native son,
I'm the hell they called the city of New Orleans
And I'll kill five hundred more when the day is done
--"The City of New Orleans," 2005 Revision

The Mongering of Fear and Fuel, Part II

People, it seems, are panicky idiots (requires an annoying subscription, which can be dodged through the use of a BugMeNot login):

Tammy Crowe of Dallas was waiting in line at a gas station in Lithia Springs when she saw another motorist pull a gun.

People had been waiting for a half-hour and were edgy when a man in a bronze car cut off a motorcyclist, Crowe said.

" 'Hey, wait a minute. I've been waiting here,' " the motorcyclist admonished the line-breaker, Crowe said. The two men began arguing.

Then the man in the car pulled a handgun out of his pocket, Crowe said. "It was big."

A gas station employee yelled, "You want to go to jail?" and pulled out a cellphone.

The man put the weapon away and said he wanted to get back in line.

"No," the employee said. "Leave." He did.

This happened roughly twenty miles from where I live. There's another story about somebody filling up 55-gallon drums. Not someone from a trucking company, but just a guy. Clearly some folk are expecting to dance the Apocalypso any day now.

Idiots.

The Wisdom of A Cartoon Squirrel

Ladies and gentlemen, Foamy the Squirrel on Hurricane Katrina. Warning: he is an extremely foul-mouthed little fella, so put on your headphones if you're at work or in the presence of small children with ears that hear everything and minds that would soak up these words like a sponge. Unless, of course, you're preparing said child to appear on the Jerry Springer show.

For those of you so moved by Foamy's remarks that you wish to donate, might I once again suggest one of these reputable charities?

Oh, and in a related note: can someone tell CNN I'm not ever clicking on links called "See video of corpse recoveries"?

Pimp The Self

My story "Matilda," is now up online at Lenox Avenue for your reading amusement. Afterwards, feel free to swing by their blog and make commentary.