shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


So much pie. Too much pie.

More tomorrow.

I'm thankful for you, and you and you and you. You know who you are. Or I hope you do.

More tomorrow. After all, I did find out from one of Christopher's relations who shot JFK and what's up with Roswell. This new-fangled technology just makes it so they can't hide the truth.

Happy Thanksgiving.


The last day of a work week is always a good day. You can quote me on that. It may be busy beyond belief, completely annoying and infuriating but you still don't have to go to work tomorrow. And that's a very good thing.

I just got back from a wonderful lunch. Nice roasted tomatoes and a chicken kabob in this bizarre new restaurant that has a full Persian menu and a full American continental menu, not to mention people smoking tobacco (?) out of a giant Persian water pipe. And I got to see a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. And then, walking back up the street to my car, I passed the ballet place, which always has the most amazing display windows. (Forever, or close, they had these wonderful suspended tutus and that was it.) Right now they have a Christmas tree, decorated all in delicate ballerinas. It's made much cooler by the fact that none of the ballerina ornaments quite match, and the tree's kind of ratty and old.

Not to mention the fact that Lou Reed was singing "It's a Wonderful World" off a new kids' album when I got back in the car. WRVG has got to be one of the best radio stations in the country. I consistently hear brilliant music on there, with no regard to marketing category or even the song just before. It's like god's own radio station. Like having someone give you a great mixtape every day.

Michael Jackson wishes he could shop like a normal person. We all wish he could, too. Unfortunately, the man-thing Glove Monster seems completely unaware that he is NOT a normal person. And I'm pretty liberal about the kinds of movies kids are old enough to watch when. But even I think those poor kids are too young to have memorized Spiderman, if only because of the grisly fight scene near the end. (Up till that moment, the movie has a different tone, the action swooping and clean. I think the shift is a miscalculation, but I'm nattering on...) Maybe the kids think they're superheroes and they really don't want to give up their Spiderman scarves. If that's the truth, maybe it's the best thing that could happen to them and they'll grow up to fight crime. Or maybe they think they're ghosts.

(Murder by Numbers is not as bad as you think it is. Imposter is much worse.)

Dan Rather is also insane, but in kind of a lovably daffy way. Senate staffers nosing around where they don't belong can be good. Don't tell John Travolta about this; he'll make another movie. (What am I thinking? John Travolta can probably do this with his mind.)

Stephen Hunter says Treasure Planet is good. Which makes me happy. He didn't care much for Solaris, but I still have high hopes. And there's always the Clooney Factor.

I expect tomorrow's entry will be all sentimental and junk, what with me having so much to be thankful for. I'm not being sarcastic there, which is kind of interesting in and of itself. But probably only to me.

Be well. Travel safe. Sleep tight.
Oh, and don't worry about the earnestness, Susan Marie. It's the regret that always gets you in the end.

Okay, so that didn't really mean anything, but it sounded like it did.


As I was signing in this morning I noticed the following blog in the recently updated list: "Always Look On The Dark Side of Death." I bet this guy lives in south Florida and is the life of the party. What do you think?

Also on my way here to update this morning, I saw a breaking news story about the arrest of five men in England in connection with the shoe bomber case. Five guys. Came up... With that plot... Five of them. It took FIVE of them. Feeling pretty confident in law enforcement intelligence until I realize it took several months to locate them.

So, the ever-vigilant Alan pointed me to a Fox News story about the Glove Monster and family's visit to the zoo the day after the -- "Hey, Liza, look over there!"-- baby dangling incident, which has a picture of little miss Paris. I have to say I fully agree with the sage child phsychologist quoted in the article who notes that placing a towel over a child's head can have serious problems. But really, it's going to be kind of hard in this case to blame the towel, isn't it? Poor, creepy kid.

My favorite story yesterday is about the island off the Sicilian coast that may resurface for the first time since the 1800s due to all the recent volcanic activity. It's an interesting story and you should definitely read it, all about the competition to claim it last time, and hey, some divers have even gone down and planted an Italian flag already just in case it comes up again... But really, I can't help wishing that the people who realized this will probably happen hadn't told anybody. But then, I can be evil.

It's very rare that I actually think about living in Lexington and feel great about the city itself. Oh, I like it here just fine and it's surrounded by absolutely beautiful landscape and history and there are things I do really love about the city -- but I don't think about them often. Over the weekend, a fundamentalist preacher from Kansas came here to stand outside several churches with ugly, ugly signs in protest of two fathers who recently had quadruplets with a surrogate mother. The fathers' Catholic church, which they're devout attendees of, christened the babies a couple of weeks ago. Which was when this fundamentalist preacher realized he needed to come here with his ugly signs. People here didn't really think much of his ideological grounds, which is giving me a rare warm fuzzy for the city of Lexington.

And now, off into the day, which has already featured cold coffee because the coffee maker accidentally got set to brew immediately last night instead of brew at 5:55 and a forgotten cell phone and another trip out into the cold to take it (really, that was no big deal). But there's a new Buffy tonight, so that's gotta mean something. Good.


Monday, Monday... Bleh.

Had to get that out of the way. There's this certain something in the air this morning that assures me this is going to be a hell week. Yeah, I know, only three days of work -- but. I can feel it. They're going to be a really bad three days. Maybe I'm wrong. I've always found assuming the worst can lead to pleasant surprises. (Or, to be fair, the confirmation of the horrible, but at least you're expecting it.)

Yesterday was a good day. One of those beautiful, too-warm late autumn days that really is a gift. We left our jackets inside, mostly. Had a nice brunch. Went to the comic shop. (Y: The Last Man -- if you haven't started reading this, do so immediately.) Came home and got George the Dog, Poster Boy for American Values, and made him very, very happy and very, very tired by taking him for a nice ramble around the trails at the University of Kentucky Arboretum. It's a lovely stretch of greenspace right in the middle of Lexington, and yesterday we discovered that there's a nice little wooded trail dogs are allowed on. Yay!

After that we decided to blow off the pretentious coffee shop and stay home on the couch. We watched Death to Smoochy, which was wayyyy better than I expected. It's not a cult classic, but it may be better than some of them. I thought it was funny and if nothing else it's worth watching for the climactic ice show featuring Ed Norton in a purple rhino suit surrounded by his team of little people and a woman with a Viking horn that looks more like a unicorn horn glued to the middle of her head. (Yeah, I know that last sentence needs some work, but it's a blog for chrissakes. Editing must be minimal.) If I had to diagnose what doesn't work, I think the flick philosopher gets close, though she's a bit less forgiving than I am. Of course, it's pretty obvious from her review that she's been forced to endure a lot more hours of Barney than I have.

Then we talked to Gavin for a bit (on the phone, not telepathically), watched about 30 minutes of the Cameron Crowe John Cusack, Ione Skye commentary track over Say Anything, and decided we were slouching toward bedtime. (If you've suspected in the past that Ione Skye's not really all that smart, well, you're probably not wrong. She did admit to hanging out with the Zappas a lot when she was a kid.) Talked to Richard for a bit before sleeping (again, via phone, not telepathy) about Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill and other stuff.

But really, I think we're all just glad that everything's right with the world because Graceland has accepted that, yes, it depends on the kitschiness of strangers to survive. Have a better Monday.


For the record, I (Christopher) find one transition in the post below confusing. When Gwenda writes that "...he went to work, voluntarily" she's referring to me (the boyfriend) not George (the dog).

And I'm not going to write at the coffee shop, I'm going to read comic books. Or possibly finish The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman. I highly recommend this book, which can be read in several ways. The best way to read it is to remember that the character Justis Blake is the moral and spiritual center of the book. And the best dancer.
Behind me, Christopher is making "Six Million Dollar Man" noises as he swears he'll be ready to go before I've even started typing this. Ha! He'll just have to wait. I'm not the (only) one who slept till 11 this morning.

We're headed out to brunch and then to the coffee shop to pretentiously write in public. And somewhere in there, we'll take George the Dog, Poster Boy for American Values, to the park.

Yesterday he went to work, voluntarily, because he's trying to hit some kind of hours worked record. He says he had to some paperwork. You be the judge. When he finally came home yesterday afternoon, I went to the library and figured out how to use it. Owing to an incident where my 8th grade academic team checked out a bunch of books in my name on HIV (and one bizarrely called The Ice Cream Sundae Incident, which I believe may have been Choose Your Own Adventure) and then never took them back, I was banned from checking things out. I swear I didn't even have the books! And yet, they sent me photocopies of the check-out cards every so often and I'm pretty sure I owe them about $200,000 in late fees. (Interestingly enough, just the amount they need to build their new library building.) After that, I was always vaguely afraid to go to any library, that lights would flash and sirens would go off. I also have a life-long aversion to registering for or picking up any kind of card. So....
The library's a new playground for me. One that I'm currently in love with. Yesterday I got three fun books and four research books and spent a good portion of the day there.

Then we went to a nice Cajun dinner and to see 8 mile. I do recommend the movie, but mostly because of the woman sitting in front of us. She referred to Eminem as her "husband" -- which disturbs me, that he actually has female fans who fantasize about dating him after hearing the wife-killing song. But anyway, she was very vocal throughout the movie, particularly during the raunchy sex scene when she shouted out, "Oh yeah, baby, show it to me now!" After the movie was over, she turned around to apologize to us and we assured her she was our favorite part of the movie. All I can say is, I did enjoy it, which further cements Curtis Hanson in my mind as a gifted director. The script did a good job of addressing cliches head on without making a big noise about it. Better than I expected, much.

And now Christopher's glaring because he really is ready so I gotta dash. Peace out, as they say in the movies.


It’s kind of amazing when you think about it, that beauty pageants still exist. But they do, oh they do. Oh wait. Did I say beauty pageants? I mean scholarship competitions. Ahem. At any rate, it’s even harder to believe that 105 people are dead in Nigeria, with 500 more injured, all because of Miss World. That selfish bitch. Oh wait, they haven’t chosen the lucky lady yet; you know, one who gets to be the proud face of the biggest beauty queen body count ever. And really, it’s not even her fault. Blame the press.

(Admit it: you’d buy an album called Beauty Queen Body Count.)

Or just let Liza Minelli spin it, like she’s spinning the Glove Monster craziness. I don’t see anyone “dangling a baby” she says. Stop the presses: Liza Minelli is blind. Or under the man-thing’s thrall. Either way, I say we stop asking her opinion about stuff. Okay?

But, in better news, we’re actually producing less trash (um, maybe) and Peter Gabriel’s still trying to save the world, or at least give a fuller picture of it.

# # #

There’s a river of loss flowing overhead. Some of the things in it were taken, some went willingly and some we decided to give. I can’t really see what’s on the other side of what’s been lost yet, not clearly. I wonder if sometimes lost things are given back, and I don’t know. I don’t really think so. Loss changes the people on all sides of it and the way back is always harder. So much is being carried away on that river right now and I wish it wasn’t. Mostly because I have to stand here, watching, feeling useless to change the damn course of trajectory.

Rest well, Loki. I wish I could have known you, luckiest of dogs.

I’m thinking of a Charles Simic poem now.

Read Your Fate

A world’s disappearing.
Little street,
You were too narrow,
Too much in the shade already.

You had only one dog,
One lone child.
You hid your biggest mirror,
Your undressed lovers.

Someone carted them off
In an open truck.
They were still naked, travelling
On their sofa

Over a darkening plain,
Some unknown Kansas or Nebraska
With a storm brewing.
The woman opening a red umbrella

In the truck. The boy
And the dog running after them,
As if after a rooster
With its head chopped off.

Have a good weekend, everybody.


Well, it's nearly Friday. Yesterday was a busy, busy day of the kind that makes your head whirl, your shoulders ache and your sleep solid. Much better now, but a little sad because I had to miss the free showing of the rock and roll ukelele documentary a local filmmaker who is big buddies with the Coen Bros. made. It looks fabulous and I hope I get to see it someday, over, under or in earshot of a rainbow. (Oh, c'mon, it's never too early for an Oz reference. Live a little.)

Chris McLaren, of the Frozen North and the way too smart for anyone else's good, has pointed out something that's just brilliant. I'm sure you've all seen the photo of M "Glove Monster" J dangling the baby from the balcony by now, but have you considered its visual and thematic resonance with the Goya painting of Saturn?

Of course, I really should lay off and let bygones go by because it was a "mistake." He just got "caught up in the moment." Excuse me? Yeah, I know when I'm in a hotel room (and Germans are cheering below... stay with me people...) and I walk out onto a balcony I usually have to fight not to get caught up in the moment. Balcony-walking-out-on is a heady vibe, friends; I think we can all agree on that. Those poor children. Given silly names and forced to wear towels and scarves over their heads. Someone please take them and sell them to a good home in a third-world country. Somewhere they can get a decent upbringing.

Did I mention I'm really glad it's almost Friday? Oh, I am.

(Do not watch The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. It's not good and you won't like it.)

The Solaris marketing people are geniuses by the way. How do we sell a science fiction movie that's a remake of one of the longest and um, most challenging films of all time? Naked George Clooney. Makes sense to me.

I meant to put these up yesterday but didn't get time. From the Washington Post, three things of interest: black holes and supernovas are linked (which makes intuitive sense to me, as they tend to be so in life as well); nice feature on the man who couldn't stop taking buses; and the Magazine Reader reviews the new Zine Guide(none of us are mentioned).

Have good days and swirly thoughts.


It is evening now, nearly time for the feather bed to open its slinky arms, but I suppose you've seen the news:

crazy is going to see just how crazy it can get.

OOOOkay. So, the article I didn't post about Michael Jackson dangling a baby off a balcony in Germany was the Associated Press one, because it wasn't nearly as snarky as that one from E-"don't forget the"-! But. But. But. The AP story has this beautifully clueless and measured quote from a United States child abuse agency wherein the remarks are prefaced by, "Although it does not appear the child is harmed..."

Excuse me? Sometimes I wonder if the pretty letters I'm reading are the same ones everyone else sees. "Although it does not appear that the child is harmed"?

Lesson: If you are a famous science experiment, zombie, or robot under remote control it's okay to dangle your tiny wiggling baby over a balcony to perhaps arouse the bloodlust in your German fans. It's okay as long as you don't drop the baby. This makes sense in what capacity?

And actually, the part I find most deeply offensive, because really the dangling the baby thing is just scary (have you seen The Video? Scar-Y), is that apparently this nine month old named Prince Michael II's nickname is -- get ready -- No. 3. That's right. The third child (who know one knows the maternity of) is nicknamed No. 3. Oh yes, No. 3 has a bright future ahead of him. I can just see it now. As long, of course, as he doesn't fall.

The behavior of human beings, or um, things that look remarkably like human beings, never ceases to amaze me. And actually, I hope it stays that way because I'd be really fucking worried if I just kind of shrugged when I saw the white-faced nose-disintegrating glove monster of vision dangling a baby with a towel over its head out the window. At least the crowd stopped cheering. That's something.

There were going to be other links, but the feather bed, it calls...

Goodnight, safe sleeping and no glove monster dreams.
Good morning, Shanghai. (I hope that didn't conjure up random images of Madonna for anyone.)

Mostly just links to interesting stuff today. This is going to be one of those weeks, but I just keep trying to focus on the fact that next week is just three days of work. I'm trying not to think about the fact that those five days off will largely be spent on the road schlepping places to eat large amounts of food and be awkwardly social. Ah, the holidays, I have such...mixed feelings for them.

There are some absolutely amazing pictures of the sun circulating, the most detailed ever taken. The photo gallery is a must-see. Isn't it wonderful that something we take so for granted, that's so far away but that enables our very existence can still be so new to us? Happy sigh.

And then of course, there's the credit card companies sideways attack on porn. I'm no fan of credit cards, but I have to say, there's poetic justice in here somewhere. And lots of happy wives who won't have to deal with "Now, honey, I don't know where those charges came from" talks every month.

(Sometimes I feel like a shill for big corporate media.)

But here's another New York Times piece, this one a bizarre profile of Saddam Hussein's portrait painter. And still another piece, this one by Amy Bloom on why her new book about cross-dressers, transsexuals and the intersexed is nonfiction. (I'm really interested to read this actually, because of the rumor that she was really unhappy with the edit of her article that ran last spring in the Atlantic Monthly that dealt with the same subject matter of the book.)

And, last but not, least, this one's for Gavin. I hope you knew about this in advance.

I'm off for another day of rootin' tootin' office-style non-fun. Please don't ever ask me about that last sentence. Now go read 32degrees and feel good about things.


Top of the day to you. (Or again, bottom or middle of the day to you.)

A few days ago I was saying that Michael Jackson should be immediately given to science for extensive experimentation. But after reading about Jacko's latest court appearance I'm pretty sure he's already either a scientific experiment or a zombie. In either case, this is pretty good evidence that any behavior is now acceptable in our society. Repeat after me, Mikey: "I am no visionary. I am no visionary. I am a creepy-faced richer-than-god glove monster. I am no visionary." Okay, maybe he was a visionary, back in the '80s. But then, weren't we all? Besides, once you start saying vacantly "I'm a visionary." to counter court charges against you, well, you're kind of a Visionary Has-Been.

Must get back to writing this week. The real kind. I have two stories to finish and send out, a script that needs to be polished and the YA book to get back to. Vacation is officially over.

And Mr. Barzak is really the guru. I swear.


Hello, robot babies. (I don't know what that means. Don't ask.)

No musings of any kind really, despite or probably because of my vow to make a "real entry." This was one of those weekends where nothing really happened, and I'm okay with that. It was gray and cold and wet outside, and the traffic was horrid when we did go out. And sometimes nothing happening just makes up for too much happening. Yes, I know that makes no sense whatsoever, but it's true, trust me.

And now it's Dread The Week Ahead time. Sunday night and me and a little chardonnay in a little Flintstones glass (classy, huh?). Christopher's already in bed, not sleeping but catching up on all the comics we picked up this afternoon, and George the Dog is asleep, squinty-eyed and dog-smiling at the end of the bed. (There would be a cute picture of George there, so you could go awww, but um, someone deleted all the pictures of George off his hard drive when he got a shiny new CD-Rom drive.)

We should dance more. We should dance as much as Chris Barzak. I'm jealous of how much he goes dancing. I vow to dance more, and also sing more karaoke so I can be a better back-up singer on Love Shack in the future. I always give my nephews books, too, dearie, you're exactly right. This year I think I'm getting them tickets to the children's theater or something like that. Too many toys rot out your brain. Unless you're adult like us, of course. (Coming soon: a rant about PG-13 and parental monitoring of violent or dark content.)

What we did do yesterday was go have lunch at the bookstore cafe, get snootied at by the bookstore clerk when we tried to turn in some books for credit, buy some early x-mas pressies for people who shall remain nameless, and decide not to go to the movies because I had a raging headache from all the social, holiday madness-style contact. But that was just fine, since we had four new Netflix movies AND had picked up the extended director's cut DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring. Oh, yes, you must see. Every second of added footage is wonderful. I like this version of the movie much better, many more things given significance, characters filled out a bit more, and just more story. Yes, very satisfying. And I want to go to New Zealand.

(Do not watch The Sum of All Fears; it's bad and you won't like it.)

No deep or pretentious thoughts except the one I kept thinking of a lot this last week. Which is to be kind to people. Be as kind as possible, especially to people who mean something to you. Because maybe change is inevitable and evolution is just going to happen and you'll lose some people on the way, guaranteed, but you don't want to give them scars or take on any new ones yourself if it can be helped. Not unless you have to. Yes, scars are important. I have a good friend who always says that she doesn't trust people without wrinkles or who always look the same, year after year, after 10 or 20 years, because, "There's no life on that face." Life does things to you, it's inevitable. I suppose being kind just means being careful about what it is your life does to other people. And to yourself. So, kids, be kind. It's never too late to start. (Quantum physics says so. Probably.) This isn't directed at anyone and it probably isn't even right. It's probably just more bullshit. But bullshit is comforting and that's all this is. Don't take offense. Just: be kind.

It's taking everything in me not to delete that right now. It feels stupid.

But isn't that what this is all about? Risking public stupidity?

Have a good week.


You know what I love? Albums that you know so well you can go years without listening to but when you put them on you find yourself singing along, still knowing the music inside and out, without even thinking about it. What was I listening to? Crank by Catherine Wheel. (Or is it The Catherine Wheel now? I can never keep track.)
Rick Bragg articles are always a cause for celebration. (As are his books.) There's one in the New York Times right now about a long-time New Orleans panhandler who can imitate a host of greats. Go forth and read. It'll make you feel better about the world, in all its strange sad wonderfulness.
Sorry for the broken link and no time to fix it. The Stephen Hunter reaming of the new Harry Potter movie is here.
Good morning, afternoon, or goodnight. Or in between times. For whenever you are here, grasshopper, I am...not. Fridays do strange things to my head, especially after weeks this long. And I'm really looking forward to a busy day of compiling facts about scary terror agents and the like. I realize I have just been kind of nattering on this week and the one time I wasn't that turned out real well; but this weekend I promise to try and do some real entries. But then, promises like that aren't really promises, are they? Maybe I'll do some better entries this weekend.

I'm definitely going to look at impressionist art, and if you can't blog about that, well then...

Just a squib of a headline on the way here saying that American bases in Afghanistan are under attack. I haven't read the story yet, so I don't know what's going on. That pesky al-Quaeda just won't let us turn our lonely eyes to Iraq quite, will it? The situation is always more complex than the spin. I wish people would remember that more often. Or, more precisely, I wish more people would remember that more often.

But of course the real current event of the day is the Michael Jackson testimony flap. That's right, the Gloved One With the Mostest was shocked and horrified -- as were those of us who looked at the damn thing -- at the photograph published of him at the trial. I don't even know what the trial is about. I skipped that part of the account. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Michael Jackson is the strangest human(?) specimen out there. He really should be given to medical science for immediate experiments to determine his true nature. All in favor? That's what I thought. Put your hand down, Elephant Man; dead people don't get to vote.

Most of the reviews of the new Harry Potter movie are saying it's better this time. The special effects are higher quality and the kids fit their roles better. (Disclaimer: I read three-quarters of the first book and stopped. Thought the first movie was ho-hum but enhanced by full theater of children clearly in thrall.) But the only critic I really trust (or read), the practically divine and infinitely snarky Stephen Hunter, just hates it, in most hilarious fashion. Read the review even if you're going to love the movie no matter what. The bit about Daniel Radcliff turning into k.d. lang cracks me up.

And then there's our Big Scary Government. This one is making the rounds so you might have already seen it. And Salon has a new column on mysteries, though the reviewer doesn't seem that thrilled about any of the books reviewed in this installment.

That's it for today. Go play outside if you can.


So, about this tape that government analysts are trying to determine whether the voice saying horrible things on it is Bin Laden or not. This voice I.D. would take about two seconds on TV. Sometimes I hope they're lying to us. How many samples of his voice do they have, a bazillion? And it took more than an hour? I know geeks with gear from radio shack that could do this quicker. (Well, I don't actually know them, but I know they're out there.)

This week has been years long. I swear. Christopher's had to be at work at 7 a.m. all week (and next week too from the sound of things) and he's just beat. And I'm just beat. Please let them hire someone who likes to get up reallllllly early.

Buffy was good this week, but I know at least a couple of people who might read this who missed it, so no commentola yet. Let's just say I'm trying to pretend the ending didn't happen. Or didn't happen like it looked.

During the Alternative Award Banquet luncheon at The Local Irish pub in Minneapolis, some of us talked about the recent theories shooting around about the increase in autism in certain parts of the country, treatment options, etc. We'd read articles. Now, there are new articles, that I wanted to make sure nobody that likes to read articles missed: autism piece in the New York Times Magazine and an opinion piece on treatment two days later.

Also from yesterday is this story about a guy who stole 2,999 normal things from his local library and got caught when he gave in to temptation and stole that Milton Berle exercise video. Or something like that. And then there's the Mystery Link. You see, I copied this URL for when I had time to blog and now I, uh, have no idea what the story is about. So, for fun and mystery follow this link.

Have a good day everybody.


Good morning, ladies and germs. Sorry 'bout that, don't know what got into me.

I meant to post this link yesterday, but never got around to it. There's a big, infuriating article about the Death of Southern Literature over at the Washington Post. Lee Smith, and others, seem a little bewildered by the logic at work. The reporter, however, had his mind made up. Guess he never heard of Andy Duncan or Terry Bisson. (Or Christopher Rowe. Hi, sweetie!)

Last night we didn't go see Jonathan Carroll read. I felt really guilty about it, pertinent spines glancing woefully at me from every bookshelf, but we were both just too tired. (Wouldn't Pertinent Spines be a great name for a band?) I hope there were lots of people there. Instead we watched our new favorite show, the Ultimate Survivor, this Canadian reality show about a group of athletic people traveling to the Arctic Circle. More on that some other time.

Talked on the phone some. Drank some nice Australian chardonnay.

I spent a lovely hour or so reading the limited edition chapbook of Alex Irvine's story "Down in the Fog-Shrouded City," that we picked up at World Fantasy. A beautiful, wonderful story that actually offers hope, a rare thing in fiction these days. Nicely done, Alex. You can buy a copy from Wormhole Books. I can't recommend it highly enough and the chapbook itself is a highly beautiful object.

Been listening to yo la tengo's and then nothing turned itself inside out. That's probably enough said.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


So, I've been thinking about what I expect from the people in my life. Last night had a tangent in a conversation about how most of us prefer our fiction to be complex, but when it comes to our lives we want things simple, motivations easily ascribed.

And it turns out what (I think) I actually expect from people are things that get a bad wrap as being simple but are actually amazingly complex. I want them to be good and, failing that, to be honest. Really the rest is negotiable. I could natter about my definition of good, but it's early, too early for that.

# # #

I have the day off, but there's so much to be done it doesn't really feel like a day off. (For you non-daily-grinders, it's Veteran's Day.) In fact, people that know me well would probably be troubled by the fact I'm up at 7 on a day off. I admit I'm a little perplexed myself. Don't worry, I'll nap later.

Been making my way through the stories in Polyphony, and really enjoying the ones I've read so far. I really liked Leslie What's story/novel excerpt (Of course, I can't actually find my copy of Polyphony right now, so I'm not going to try and get titles or name-spellings right); but I have to say it reminded me both of Stacey Richter's wonderful story "My Date With Satan" and a recent story in Rosebud about going on a date with the Creature from the Black Lagoon. And Christopher remembered another story like this. I wasn't aware it was a burgeoning little subgenre, but there it is. Really enjoyed Carol Emshwiller and Andy Duncan's contributions, of course, but also liked the two "first publishes" stories. Well done antho.

Of course, Karen Joy Fowler's story in Conjunctions is freaking brilliant. Although I was a bit sad to find out there is an actual Adventures of Link videogame. I was so hoping there was an alternate universe out there where Kelly Link and her station wagon battle the Forces of Doom by criss-crossing the interstates of the continental U.S. For special episodes, there could be trips to other countries that involved driving on the other side of the road. I bet the A-Team would license it's theme music. Yay! (This is why I don't get up early on holidays.)

I think that's all for now. Go read Kristin's blog. It'll make you feel better about things, I promise. (Kristin: You know this means you have to update, right?) I am off to bathe, finish that goddamn fairy story once and for all, maybe start a polish of the time story, clean the house, pay the electric bill and maybe, just maybe go see a movie.


There is no cure for the common cold, why there's a website about it I don't know. I guess this proves there really are people obsessed with everything.

That's about all I have to say right now. Go hug someone you love.


World Fantasy feels like it happened at least a hundred years ago. Say...was that a kiss? seemed very well-received--and btw, for those contributors who haven't gotten their money or their copy yet, both are coming soon. Review copies to follow for, duh, reviewers. (A coworker just came in and chirped, "The trees are lovely." Oh-kay.) It was great seeing many, many great people though, and buying excellent reading material. Speaking of which...

Read Gary Wolfe's essay in Conjunctions this morning. The nongenre genre story, eh? Listen very carefully --

Is that Dave Truesdale's head exploding?

I kid. Good essay, definitely worth reading.

I felt like I needed something interesting, something fun for today, so I searched what is obviously the coolest word ever: curiosities. Curiosities. Let it roll off your tongue, or at least around your mind. It's a wonderful word. It can be used to describe so many things, almost all of them fascinating. You've got your curiosities of biological nomenclature. Your curiosities of cartography and just in general. But then there are the true curiosities, like the Everly Brothers Curiosities or freaky cats. There's a whole world full of curiosities out there, and that's a pretty damn good thing. This message brought to you by the brighter side of things.

I thought enough today of that Liz Waldner poem The Calculus of Readiness to go look it up. I don't think you have to register to look at it, but if you do, it's worth it. Having a notebook at the Academy of American Poets is a good thing. Remember, "I would not call the stars generous."


Oh, yeah, Gavin did a Say...was that a kiss? page. Go buy.

Also, Gavin, snazzy redesign, but the shopping link is going to guidelines for LCRW.

Oh, and buy LCRW issue 11, too.
Thanks to Chris McLaren for Terrifica.
To whoever picked Christopher's jacket up off the floor at the bottom of the stairs and crammed it into the space behind the basement door, in between the heating system:

Thanks for picking it up, but would it have killed you to walk up the damn stairs and put it on a hook in the closet?

Sorry if I sound bitter, but we spent the better part of yesterday wondering if Christopher would have to be irradiated by security to get home or if we'd get home at all, since his jacket was missing and his ID was in the pocket. In the end, I stood on the stairs and used my the psychic power to find lost things that comes with the double x chromosome and found it just before we left for the airport.

That's really all I have to say just now, on anything. It is good to be home, but there's too much gray and it's just the home part that's good. Started reading White Apples by Jonathan Carroll; I'll leave the oddly appropriate comments for now.

Go check out In the Binary Alleys of the Lion's Virus at poetry daily; it's a poetry sort of day.
Well, it appears that was all just an ftp problem.

Today is a packing day. And an airport day. Maybe there will be time to watch a couple of episodes of The Office in there somewhere. And have a sauna.

Then home. It will be nice to be home.

It was great to see everybody, but it will also be very, very good to be home. I hope you all made it to yours safely, and that the path wasn't too rugged.


Maybe I spoke too soon. As nothing I put up before I left showed up. Trying anew...