shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


i hate mornings

How much does it rock that the Lexington airport has wireless now? Quite a lot when you are so tired your head feels like it's swimming through gunky eye junk and it's twenty minutes till you can board and snooze. Hard to believe this is almost when we get up normally, but it's really not fair having to get up at all when the clock says 4 before the little dots. Just not fair.

Let me see if there's something profound in the news this morning...

Apparently, reading Harry Potter gives kids headaches.

Afghan beauty queen shocks countrymen.

And I think that's it. I'm gonna eat my croissant.


last gasp for this stop

Well, this is the last update until probably next Wednesday. So, have a happy, happy, happy Halloween all. If I owe you a response to e-mail, I'm really sorry that I didn't get around to it this week. All is busy. Next week, I promise.

Picked up the Say...'s. They look good. Contributor and subscriber copies will go out as soon as we return.

And now, a couple of links I didn't get around to putting up yesterday.

Fun vampire dinosaur theorist story, that is more serious than it has a right to be.

Also, don't miss the Seigfried and Roy Built This City rendition in the Washington Post.

I know this is a minor thing, considering the loss of life and property, but it just occurred to me that many children in California will not get to wear their costumes or go out trick or treating. The year they missed Halloween, it will be in their memories. Stay safe, you guys near the fires, and I hope you continue to be safe in your homes and not evacuated.

The receptionist at my hair salon's child has decided he's going as a koala bear. But he's going to be a "Scary Koala," as he's decided they are vicious man-eaters. I love that.

See you on the other side of the museums and drinking (I have my list: Spy Museum look out!). Or see you there.



So, the Say...aren't you dead? proof looks really good. What, punk? Did you think it wouldn't? Did you? Punk?


The cover is very nice and autumnal and All Hallows Eve-ish.

Christopher pranked the evil gubernatorial campaign this evening when we got home (great fun, that) and he wants me to tell everybody who might have elections going on this week that might be going out of town, say to the World Fantasy Convention, that they should vote absentee. Rock the vote! as Madonna said, so long ago.

Oh, and yes, we'll be at World Fantasy. I have confirmed that we have memberships (even though we're not on the list) and something else too, something very strange. I go to look at our itineraries today, for the flight we booked many weeks ago, and I had to ask myself: Who did this? Surely it was not I? Surely I would not be SO FREAKING INSANE as to book a flight that leaves at 6:40 AM. Surely I would not. And yet, there it is. Gremlins. It's the only answer. I will fill the bath tub in readiness for them.

Many other little things... The Washington Post had a nice long feature about Eddie Izzard that made my morning. There's nothing new for people who know anything about Eddie! in it, but it's still a really nice piece.

And then there's Michael Dirda on the late lamented The Far Side, deluxe edition that just came out. If there's a windfall, this is what my mother's getting for Christmas. I miss The Far Side and she does too.

And to turn back to more depressing politics, a nice column by Molly Ivins answering charges that all the liberals who have books on the bestseller lists are Bush-haters. I appreciate the sentiment but think I do hate him, even if I don't have a nonfiction book about it on the bestseller list.

And also, just for grins, something that will make your skin crawl the way Ari the Flea used to, it's an excerpt from a press "gaggle" with McClelly the Liar, Liar Pants on Fire:

11:21 A.M. (L)
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll add one thing. I looked into that last question. I read the report. So I just wanted to add to it -- on Knight-Ridder that you asked about, so we'll just close it off on the gaggle.

All right, I looked into the report about the Knight-Ridder article where it had an unnamed senior administration official saying that the President didn't want to see any more unnamed senior administration officials quoted in articles. And I can tell you that there is no truth to it -- only on the condition that I am an unnamed senior administration official.

Q Are you on the record?

MR. McCLELLAN: That was on background. (Laughter.)
11:22 A.M. (L) END

Sometimes a sense of humor is a disturbing thing.

Oh, and Christopher wanted me to point you to the link to cute dog pictures here.


"quentin tarantino makes his women wild and mean"

Well, Say...aren't you dead? is at the printers, so keep your fingers crossed. Lots of little problems this time, but let's just sing a song of hope. Things get very complicated with trying to prepare files for the printer sometimes, especially when they have mucho graphics. But, I still have faith that everything will turn out well, even though we're using a different/new printer to save time and having to trust them on a couple of things. Happy thoughts.

The designer and I stayed up till midnight whittling our fingers and minds to the quick, so I was a zombie all day and did not get to work on the Norton rewrite. It's coming along though. I will finish it before we leave and get copies of scripts in the mail to those they've been promised to. Yes, indeedy.

The death of June Carter Cash's daughter Rosie is strange and sad. If you haven't heard it, then you should immediately go out and buy June's next to last (I think) album, Press On, which is completely fabulous but in particular for the song to her wannabe starlet granddaughter, "Tiffany Anastasia Lowe." A sampling of lyrics (as is the post title):

"Tiffany, girl, go find an earthquake, go jump into a crack/Just don't let Quentin Tarantino find out where you're at."

You can trust me on this one. It's just a brilliant, beautiful record.

And of course, don't miss the Washington Post's also strange and sad story about the closure of the last great traveling sideshow, today. It seems unfair that the classic sideshow has to die in Tampa, or anything else really.

We got into a conversation about Carnivale with my granny earlier, and she informed me that, "It used to be just like that." To which Christopher said, "People coming back to life, using magic, blind psychics, etc." She said, "Yes, and I'll tell you something else, those men would line up to see those girls dance."

You hard it here first, folks. Carnivale may be a true story.


and thens...

Got a catalogue in the mail today that is the best catalogue ever and I only wonder how I got on the mailing list for it. The business is called Heifer International, and the catalogue gives you the option of giving the "gift of goats" -- or many other animals, to developing countries in someone else's name. This seems like a really worthwhile thing, and also, how often can you buy someone a goat or a llama (or a share of such) without them getting really angry with you? Never, in my experience. And since we're near the holiday season, I thought I'd throw it out here.

The cover is really phenomenal -- it features Susan Sarandon holding two llamas by their halters and smiling as if she's about to be beautified, as CNN would say.

We went up for a quick bite to the new designed to be a neighborhood bar and getting there Buddy's (named after a dog the owner found outside the building the restaurant's in now). Enjoyable, and you'll be happy to know that Larry King seems to have been able to move on enough that he doesn't have someone related to the Roy mauling on every single night.

And I just signed up for a research survey from UK because I always feel sorry for people cold calling for this kind of thing and say yes. Plus, they basically show up with a laptop, I fill out a quiz on it and then they pay me $35. Can't beat that with a stick.

Brain hurts from script polish.


hello, curses my old friend...

Two nights in a row, the goddamn hippies woke me up in the 2 a.m. hour. Last night, when I thought my head would explode with the bad juju I was sending through the ceiling, I woke up Christopher (who can sleep through anything, except me saying, repeatedly, "I fucking hate that hippy") and sent him upstairs to tell them to quiet down. The Mistress Hippy came to the door, as always, it's never him... him with his half-stoner, half-Italian accent blurting out inanity, and said, "Drumming? What drumming?" I sent Christopher because I would probably have pushed her down. All hippies are weeble wobbles, they wobble but they don't fall down. It's true. They knocked it off. We shouldn't have to tell them to knock it off. Grrrrr.

I think I'm going to have to write a story in which someone up there dies. And also a nasty letter and leave it in their mailbox. And also get a long stick, with which I can bang on the ceiling during their vampire hours throughout the weekend. Please, let this person be kicked out soon.

I feel much better now, thanks. At least I got to have a nap this afternoon, after only working a half-day due to an annual check-up doctor thing. I am fine and alive, just as I suspected. These are good things to be reminded of, when they're true. Fine and alive.

The Magazine Reader has a piece on the magazine for people who run haunted house attractions. You can buy used ones! Who knew?! The magazine is called Haunt World Wonderful.

Must go work on script polish now, as making it to the Nicholl quarterfinals has yielded an unexpected number of people requesting the script. Yet another little work I wish I hadn't put off.


fireflies put your mittens on

There's a chill in the air. Undeniably. But subtle and sometimes disappearing altogether. It makes for a lot of turning the heat on, then off, then the air on, repeat indefinitely. Oh well.

Say... progresses. Oh yes, we really do always ram up against our deadlines, don't we? It's going to be a really fine issue though.

Not much to say, but I've been trying to keep up with thing, so here I am keeping up with it. Starting fiddling with a story I started in March today. I think I like it, but I'm not convinced yet. Am getting ready to send the YA to a few people for thoughts, comments, reactions, etc., after Mr. Rowe gave it a "go ahead and send it bill" even though we've been too busy for him to finish it (he's refusing to read it in front of me, even though I will totally not ask what part he's at every five seconds, I promise). He's almost there and says it's good and not the kind of thing that needs to be razed and rebuilt block by block before it ever sees the light of day. I hope he's right. Ah, doubt, the writer's second curse.

Speaking of which, some old school writing advice that bears repeating at Holt Uncensored. Looks like an interesting site, though I hardly agree with her on some of the examples she holds up as don't-do-this's in that piece.

And do any of you ever listen to Danger Theater? I usually forget but am always glad when I remember.



mystic shivers

That felt as hard as any slammed-to-the-gils workday. And all we've really done is laundry and grocery shopping. It was a lot of laundry. It was very stuffy. In fact, the discarded Sunday newspapers were really the only good thing, and maybe the cute basset hound that came in toward the end. I knocked over a small child and it didn't even make me feel better. (Kidding, sheez. He sort of knocked himself over on my clothes basket.)

The grocery store was just filled with people who have some sort of impediment to shopping either speedily or normally. Children that actually chase you back up the aisle with their cart to their mother's horror. A slight club foot convention. And lots and lots of college students. (My favorite overheard tidbit: "Well, how long's that good for?" "Oh a coupla days at least." "I don't think I'll cook in the next few days, so I prolly shouldn't."
It took far longer than it should've.

And I think I'm going to have a nap now. Something tells me this is directly related to our horrible, doomed upstairs neighbor. Last week he joined some sort of CD club, in some sort of mildly transparent scam he's probably going to get nailed at and have to give up a year's supply of pot sculpted to look like his first-born child. Apparently, most of the CDs were vintage Bob Dylan. Yes, I was awoken to crashing and throwing of shoes and (to me the most overrated of BD's canon) "Like A Rolling Stone" on repeat. Yes, I hate the upstairs neighbor. Grrrr. Before it got to the point of going up and yelling at them, it stopped. Just before.

Anyway -- Mystic River is both one of the most faithful film adaptions of a book I've ever seen and one of the most successful. It's really quite good, full of stellar performances, unflinching and with the feel of reality to what is a fairly operatic story. Sean Penn and Marcia Gay Harden are AMAZING. So's Tim Robbins. Kevin Bacon doesn't have quite as showy a role, but is also quite good (his character's story in the movie doesn't quite work as well as the others). I wish I hadn't read the book before I saw it. Because it's so similar (only two real departures to the way things are portrayed that I can think of, and neither of them changes the substance of what happens) to the book, I really just found myself missing Dennis Lehane's sharp writing. They do an excellent job in the movie of portraying the inner lives of the characters through dialogue and action, but... One of the best things about the book is how well Lehane does character and how skillfully he dodges around different POVs. So, see the movie then read the book. Or if you've already read it, see the movie and enjoy it.

One of the things I liked best about it is that the people were allowed to look like people would in that fictional neighborhood; the extras looked like real people. The wardrobe and make-up were perfectly chosen.

Good movie.

Now, how 'bout that nap.


decisions, decisions

Well, our plan was to go down to The Dame and see Cracker sing country music, but you know, it'll be smoky and icky and we'll smell like smoke and ick when we come out. So, now we've decided to go see Mystic River instead. (I highly recommend the book.) I can't wait until the smoking ban overcomes the petty legal challenges against it and takes effect. Then I can go out to bars again. It's not that I mind smokers, not at all, it's that I mind going to bars and having to dry clean my jacket and launder the sheets because they smell like smoke after we sleep in them. I mind feeling like I'm in a barbecue pit.

So, there.

Anyway, I was just going to post that Gavin's updated Christopher's chapbook page with the wonderful blurb from Terry Bisson. I'm going to paste it in here too, for those who don't follow the link:

This smart, sleek, scary little book is all about strange arrivals: girls coming up out of their graves, giants from their junkyards, dragons from their river beds. Add Rowe himself-- striding out of the Kentucky hills into the sunlight of literature's regard. And he looks good doing it.

Isn't that a great blurb?


bits and starts

Because it didn't feel right to follow my papaw with "Kentucky Boy Finds Two-Headed Snake!" yesterday, I'm posting it today. I love the fact they named it Mary Kate and Ashley and am bothered by the fact that the "expert" who has custody thinks he can ride the two-headed snake that won't -- or can't -- eat straight to the Letterman show. Like that'd be so great anyway. This is someone who truly needs to get a life. Finding a two-headed snake is a novelty, and yes, it's a cool thing, what it is not is a life-changing event. Unless your life really sucks snake eggs to begin with.

This is unless, of course, you happen to study two-headed snakes for your living. Fascinating National Geographic piece about someone who does just that here. This is the kind of line women get in movies, when they ask the comedic yet kookily romantic male lead in the bar what he does for a living. Then they throw a drink in his face. Ah, so misunderstood! The call of el snake-o del duo cabezas. (Yes, I know that's probably not right; my Spanish is woefully bad.)

And also, in other animal-related news hijinks: coon hunters are weird. Especially the ones at this big championship thing that story's about. My favorite line is this (though the family event/values stuff is great too):

Vendors sold everything from deep fried Oreos to "coon hunters wife" T-shirts to hunters in camouflage and knee-high boots.

Now, the way that sentence is worded, it sounds as if there are hunters in camouflage and knee high boots for sale. And perhaps there are. To coon dogs, who are overly competitive and don't have masters.

"I'll take the guy in the John Deere cap!"

"Thank you, Mr. Coon Dog. Seen any Red Ferns lately?"

"Very funny. I don't get that one all the time."

# # #

I think the right-headed men and women in California should start a Grope the Governor! campaign. Yes, it would require touching him, but they could wear big plastic fake hands. Just think of the look on his face. It'd be brilliant. Hey, they could train kids to do it on Halloween.

I'll be here all week, folks.


laid back days and sonny crockett nights

I don't know what that means, so don't ask.

Shelley Jackson's cover illustration for Christopher's chapbook Bittersweet Creek is lovely, beautiful, perfect and amazing. Yes, all of those things. And why yes, you can pre-order from that link.

There's a giant bird that's been swooping through the perfect autumn skies outside my building at work for the past few days. Some people say it's a buzzard. But I don't think they're looking close enough. I was in a meeting adjacent to the big windows it particularly likes to swoop outside and couldn't stop trying to figure it out. No one else notied. I'm going to try and get a digital picture tomorrow. I will ID this bird!

I've taken to calling it the Godzilla bird, for it is huge and fierce looking.

The poems and stories (and comic) in the new Say... are really, really great. I love them all. And they feel very good together, thematically. I can't wait to see the issue all of a piece.

Greg van Eekhout's journal post about hair cuts got me thinking about my Grandpa Summers. Or Papaw Summers, which is what I mostly called him. There's a tendency, sometimes, to become more formal in death than we were in life. He was a barber, at a classic barbershop with the pole out front, and two other men with big green chairs that rose or sank according to the height of the person who sat in them. He had a little room off their bedroom at the house, with a chair in it and a sink and crackly yellow linoleum. It was where people came from around home, who didn't go into town to get their hair cut. I have great memories of sitting in that room and eavesdropping on the conversations he had with these men (always men; he used to claim he could cut my hair, but I never let him near it). I can't remember the details now, not many anyway, but they were great conversations. I remember the rhythm of them more than anything, like weather or seasons, rising and falling, like the chair maybe. And the crisp whip of the cape at the end, coming off and dumping their hair all over the floor. He never made my Granny Summers sweep up.


the exact best answer

There are certain questions to which there's only one best answer, and it's hardly ever one you anticipate in advance.

Example. You call up a friend to ask for a desperately needed ride to work because your car is behaving like a wheezing, arsenic-poisoned old man and the mechanic can't de-arsenic it until the weekend. Friend's answer: well, yes would do, very nicely. But even better is, we actually happen to have an extra car right now and you can use it; hell, it needs to be driven anyway.

Our friends rock.

Car trouble sucks.

These are true things. And they balance each other out.

Well, the money part still sucks.


sidewindy wind storms

Gales gusting up to 40 mph on a normal day, when the rain has stopped, may seem a tiny quirk of the weather if you just lived through a hurricane but here in person, it's pretty cool. The combined noise of the gusts bouncing off the buildings and messing with the trees sounds like a combination between a waterfall and the warp speed noise. You know, the warp speed noise, the noise that in movies and television indicates a ludicrous spacecraft of some kind is accelerating to warp speed.

You also get some interesting hits when you put wind storms into a search engine. For instance, the first hit is Chapter Ten: Wind-Storm in the Forest" from the Sierra Club's John Muir exhibit. Then there's the Kaze Arashi Ryu Wind-Storm School of the Classical Samurai Warrior Arts. Say that five times fast. Then there is something really scary with American flags in the background that say "America Rocks" and it's an event called "Party in the Pasture" -- but I'm afraid to link to that lest anyone who clicks get put on a watchlist (who isn't already). There's a blog with a nice wind storm poem here. And, lastly, because I could seriously do this forever, there are amazing photos of wind storms much more potent than this one.

Isn't the internet just a big ole junk heap of fun?

I've had a headache pretty much constantly for the last two days, and keep noticing annoying typos creeping into my correspondence. I'm also behind on email again, so if I owe you a reply it'll be a day or so.

I've got to write something else.

Christopher got a killer blurb from Terry Bisson for his chapbook. Yay!

That is all for now, said the Zephyr-lite.


Say... aren't you dead?

Without further ado, here is the list of contents for the upcoming issue of Say... (3, for those keeping count), in alphabetical order:

Season of the Beasts by Barth Anderson
What We're Going to Do Next by Jennifer Rachel Baumer
Choosing Donal by Marjorie Fergusson
Water-child Jizo by K. Bird Lincoln
Swathes of Grass by Mark Rich
The Other Dandy Washington by Justina Robson
Vanishing by Lori Selke
Kouros by Sonya Taaffe
That Which Does Not Kill Us by Scott Westerfeld

The New Girl by E.L. Chen

Smoking With Karl Marx in Toulon, 1996 by Kevin Carollo
Tiny Business by Clayton Couch
This Smallness of Scale by Clayton Couch
Counting by Cindra Halm and Josh Sundberg
Dead Metaphors That Just Won't Die by Maryann Hazen Stearns

moving pictures

So, if two counts as lots and lots, we did in fact see lots and lots of movies yesterday. Yay!

And both of them were good. Double yay!!

I liked KILL BILL, VOL. 1 much more than I went in expecting to. I'm actually glad to know that there are still movies full of gratuitous vilence that I can like; I was a bit worried by how off-putting I found the violence in UNDERWORLD. But if this is glamorized violence, it is also cartoonized violence, and not the kind of violence that is going to convince human beings watching it they should run out and do that. The limited use of guns is a plus. There's a high body count, and yes, it's violence at its unapologetic limit, but the movie acknowledges the moral construct in which those who suffer violence willingly participate. It makes a difference. I don't want to get into spoilers, but I'll say this, that there's a scene very early on that makes it clear that The Bride understands the potential cost of her vengeance, that I much appreciated as part of the story.

Other than that, it clicks along, the most successful western version of a Hong Kong action flick that I've yet seen -- it gets that stuff right and managed to have the same gleeful sense of invention that the best HK movies do. I came out of it wanting to see part two, and saying that while Tarentino can be a bit obnoxious (or at least he comes off that way), there's not another director I can think of who could pull off with such ease the structure and style of this movie without it feeling like a pretentious hex bag.

The other movie we saw was the delightful and Preston Sturges-esque (high praise, that) INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, directed by the Coens and (mostly) scripted by them too. Although, I found this felt less like a Coen bros. movie than any before, which makes sense. It still works, and it's still a very enjoyable romantic comedy. One of the best I've seen in years and very much in the grand tradition of romantic comedies. Clooney can carry that off. He's excellent. Zeta-Jones does well too, certainly holds her own, but I did wish the female lead had been a little bit more talented at physical comedy (although the part as written/played here didn't require it). But, a minor quibble. Delicious. Clooney wears a kilt at one point. Did I say delicious already?

I smell lunch.

(I should have a TOC for the next issue of Say... to post very shortly. Christopher's trying to reach our esteemed poetry editor, who he's pretty sure is out ice fishing or polka dancing. Or not.)


lost boyfriend

Somewhere in this library, Mr. Rowe is looking at books or magazines, or some such. I do not know where, though I have looked.

So, instead I"ve got a stack of new books I don't need, having returned the eight I had. (Most of which I read, thank you very much.)

Holes is quite good, if you haven't seen it. (The book is quite good, too, of course.) Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voigt are both deliciously fun.

My hands are tired, or I would type more. I think we'll go see movies today. Lots and lots of movies.


squibs on Arnie

Infinite Matrix has some hilarious reactions to the guberna-tron of CA.

The Washington Post also had an interesting little editorial piece on how Ahnuld's last name is a problem for headline writers, since it's far too long to fit in standard column width. I can think of some alternatives to be standardized and I bet you can too.

I think I'm almost done talking about this (for now), but I will say that during discussions with a prescient person we were talking about how some people -- mostly pundits -- seemed to be confusing Bill Clinton's behavior toward women with Ahnuld's. We finally agreed on what I see as the key difference. Bill Clinton's behavior toward women stems from the fact that he likes them, some might argue too much. Ahnuld's stems from the fact that he dislikes them, thinks they are toys, and wants to squeeze them like little kittens. I'm not holding my breath for Ahnie to give anyone nearly as qualified as Janet Reno or Madeleine Albright a job in his administration.

And yes, I realize I'm comparing him to a president. Must. Stop. Madness.


who is that masked girl?

George and I went down by the protests for a bit this afternoon -- Dumbya was in the proximity... I fought the urge to wear my new kitty cat Halloween face mask. Nor did I have time to make the sign I wanted to for George -- "Golden Retrievers Against Bush."

My favorite quote in the only news story that's circulating about them right now is this one from a veteran:

It's the Department of Defense, not the Department of Imperial Adventurism.

Did the guy steal that from elsewhere? I like it nonetheless.

Michael Moore's book was everywhere on the way home from SF, prominently displayed in each and every of the approximately 400 Books and Such's that I passed.

incomplete verisimilitude

It's nice to be home. I never managed to adjust to the time difference and instead coped with a horrid case of jetlag the four days I was gone. It was a reaction that had no obvious correlation to the _actual_ time difference, so I'm blaming the melatonin I took the first two days. It actually made for an interesting slightly queasy trip. I had two good meals and picked at stuff the rest of the time, and there's something about seeing Chagall on a slightly loopy empty stomach, feeling like you're treading through pudding, that really complements the experience of falling into the paintings themselves. A beautiful exhibit, though I'm still wishing the Arbus had been on.

The best part of my trip, as with most good trips, was the fine company I managed to keep. I've found just about anywhere rocks if you're seeing and talking to and having dinners with amazing and interesting people and San Francisco's pretty damn cool on its own. So, I had a lovely trip. Thank you to those who entertained me, for you were all immensely entertaining.

Sad about Ahnuld. I really thought maybe that wouldn't happen. Oh hell. I completely thought it would happen, but still kept hope alive. The good news: he can never be president. Now he just needs to do something he's rarely been able to in his professional life before: hire good writers and a good supporting cast.

Can I tell you how much the Lush products sing a little tune of greatness? Really, go order some for yourself and/or your sweetie now. There's a website and you're industrious enough to find it so I don't have to go grab a link.

I managed to rein in most of my shopping tendencies, so really I just have lots of yummy bath products and books. Read the new Lance Armstrong book by accident on the way home yesterday (it was a pressie for Christopher), and the title really sums it up -- EVERY SECOND COUNTS -- which is right. Every time I think I don't really like Lance Armstrong, I think about him in a different way. The book made me like him more. Oh, and I got some cheap DVDs and the Thorns CD at Rasputin's. Got Cosmos Latinos and Jincy Willet's brilliant, hilarious new novel WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD at Borders, plus the new Believer and Realms of Fantasy. (Finished DAYLIGHT by Elizabeth Knox on the plane, and it's a straight up gothic vampire novel that's beautifully written and highly recommended. It will be in the mainstream fiction section of your library or bookstore.)

I think that's it for now. I'm fading, still exhausted, and I have to get to work.


kiss me, I quit smoking

I have the best view ever. I doubt there's a better view in the hotel. This is what happens when you make sure the cute Asian boy at the front desk knows you had the Journey from Hell to get here. I can see mountains and a big swathe of city AND water. There are window banks on two sides. The view makes me want to dance around. I left the curtains open while I slept last night so I could enjoy the twinkling lights and the big old gibbous (I think) moon at the invariable three hour intervals I woke up because of jetlag and too much open bar.

I just got back from the Lush store (thank you, Heather, for your kind blog that reminded me there is a Lush store here). My hands smell all Lush-y now. I want the perfume. They're getting a new shipment around 5 and I will be going back.

On my way back from the Lush store, I ran into Gray Davis. No, really. Though it took me a minute to recognize him and to figure out what the throngs in navy blue tee-shirts were shouting (No recall!). They had a pretty damn good gang of pipers leading it. Then I had a very French ham and cheese, with lots and lots of butter. (Saying butter in that sentence is kind of redundant, but still...)

Someday, I will talk about the horrible cab ride to another airport yesterday morning, with the meanest, most karmically damaged woman in the world, who doesn't have a clue she is these things... Or the Amish (?) women at the airport.

But not right now. Oh well. Gotta dash.


up up and away

Well, I'd better pack first.

The coffeeshop is a very interesting place to be doing the e-mail catch-up (yay, wireless) and the blogging and the rest of it. However, there is some concern associated with accessing a network that refers to itself as "bigpimpin"--I'm pretty sure I got sleazy IMs from someone bearing that name when I was still on AOL. Now, I am blissfully unaware of how all this AIM stuff works.

I am all ready, except for packing. Emails have been sent, dates have been set, plans manufactured and schedules printed out. Now I just have to take the melatonin and try and pretend getting up at 5 to go to the airport isn't going to suck ducks, as I once altered graffiti to say.

Christopher looks antsy. They're playing Queen and the Muttonchop Guy is headed our way. Time to go!


anyone can cook aloo gobi

We watched "Bend it Like Beckham" tonight, which is of course lots of fun, and far more interesting than any other sports movie you've seen oh, this decade.

But that's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the best DVD extra I've ever encountered. It's a little cooking show with the director, Gurinder Chadha, making aloo gobi with her mom and aunt watching and critiquing her every single move. Absolutely wonderful.

There's a little feature article here. Personally, I think Gurinder knew how to make the dish before, just not _quite_ like her mother makes it.

Also worth a look is the completely excruciating post-music video footage of David Beckham and Spice Girl singing horribly, and I do mean horribly, the "Hot, Hot, Hot" song like everyone else in the cast did multiple times. Beckham looks MISERABLE in a very Frankenstein's monster kind of way. And he barely opens his lips. And he has a terrible voice. It is kind of an insane thing to watch--his own version of hell playing out before your eyes while people giggle. Needless to say, the Spice Girl can't sing either.

(pointless note: I think one of the many butcherings of my name over the years has had to be Gurinder.)

big stack of paper

Or could it be magic? I don't know. I finished the tidying of the manuscript (for now) and put in page breaks before chapters and printed the whole thing out and then Christopher and I stopped at Kinko's and got the 316 page thing comb-bound so it would be easier for him to read. I almost got sucked in by it a minute ago. It's infinitely pick-up and readable, with the nice comb-binding, instead of a huge stack of paper you hope you don't drop and get out of order. And it cost less than 5 bucks. Can't beat that with a stick. (The key here is to take in the 316 pages and just pay for the binding and cover. Otherwise, it would have been around 30 dollars, which isn't nearly as awesome because it isn't nearly as cheap.)

Anyway, one generous soul has already read a chunk of the beginning and now an erstwhile soul will read the whole thing. then said generous soul will get the whole thing, along with a couple of other generous souls, who will then tell me how to make it the best it can be. Which is what I'm aiming for.

At this point though I'm just amazed that (I think) all the continuity errors are fixed, knots tied up, set-ups paid off, and, not least, it has a beginning, middle and an end. And I like reading it. That's a big thing, because I wanted to write a book I'd like to read, and especially a book I would have liked to read when I was a tween/teen. I will be happy if I've achieved that in the end. And you know, publish the thing.

I don't like talking about this stuff on the journal. It feels too... self-aggrandizing. So, I will stop.

And go get a self-aggrandizing 30 minute back rub from a professional who can save my wrenched neck from consulting manuscript at odd angle, then typing in words, repeat a hundred times.

Those of you I owe email to will be getting it tomorrow, as I do all the fun preparing for the trip to San Franscisco. Interestly, karmically, enough, just had a script request for my San Francisco script. Strange tidings are afoot. Yet another big stack of words (though not nearly so big) must be printed.

Ahnuld can not be understood. End this phenomenon. Where is the horse and the rider? You know, the one with the grudge and the gun?


you can't clink on someone's head!

(But you can clink on glasses!)

land of good taste and sane politicians

Do not vote for Ahnuld. Please, do not. Read the LA Times story. How can you vote for Ahnuld?

To steal a phrase from someone else today, if seven buses ran over Ahnuld I would be asking, where's the eighth bus? Anyone that can get that confused about the difference between degrading and playful -- must have taken a lot of steroids.

So, in better news, a wonderful package from Canada arrived with, like all such packages, many lovely goodies inside. Yay for the North! And one of the books has a dwarf in it and is described as Alice in Wonderland for adults. There's a nice story about Peter Dinklage, in the NYTimes, speaking of Alice in Wonderland. Actually, I'm really looking forward to "The Station Agent."

What else? I loathe Celeb It's supposed to give you fun names of people you'd marry but it's not fun. The people are people you've never heard of. And even when you make yourself 10 years older, the people are still people you've never heard of but suspect you wouldn't like. (Except for Wil Wheaton.) You suspect they may be child actors or porn stars or former members of boy bands. But you're too scared to look. Don't go. You're going to go, aren't you? Don't say I didn't warn you.




Robin McKinley was charming and exhausted. There was something she said that I wanted to remember to post here, but forgot. I didn't realize she and Terri Windling were roommates long ago, but it makes perfect sense.

The thing I wanted to post was something about how as a writer you have to come to terms with the fact that you will never be as good as the story deserves. The story will always be better than you can write it. So you do the best you can and go on. Something like that, only more succint and witty.

Her local escort was extremely shrill and bossy; wonder how long she'll keep that job? I'm thinking shouting, "Use the microphone!" repeatedly at an author when she says she hates microphones, even though she does need one because no one can hear her is extraordinarily bad form. (We were in the front row and couldn't hear.) There's always a nice way to suggest these things.

Sunshine is an adult's book definitely, but it seems to me that many kids just moving up to adult books or in the 12-14 range are going to talk their parents into Sunshine and LOVE it. This has to be a good thing. It's a good book.

Got to her website and show up if she's hitting your town. You could do worse for an hour than to ask questions and hear her answers. She talks a lot about her husband, which is refreshing in the face of so many people who can't or don't seem to naturally talk about those things.

little miracles

like whether this template change worked.

The glass covering over the light fixture in the bedroom fell yesterday. This is an old place and has fairly high ceilings. It could have broken all over the place. it could have hurt or scared the bejeebies out of George. Instead, it fell right on the corner of the bed, neat enough to make me wonder if we have a ghost. Especially after that five bucks disappeared a couple of days ago.