Watched the debates last night. Was anyone else secretly hoping Mr. Leher would ask the blog bounty question?
On with the silliness:
- "Never wear your best pants when you go to fight for freedom": And other...wisdom at Weird Fortune Cookies - [LF]
- Are You Psychic?: Yeah. Me neither. - [RoS]
- Not At All Topical, But Amusing Nonetheless: Christmas in Middle Earth. These are my favorites.
- How Much More Would You Pay?: Reemco products. I would love to see infomercials for some of these. - [GL
Today is Date a Geek Day. So dust off your best pick up lines and make with the geek love.
(And in case anyone was wondering, according the Geek Test I am a "Major Geek." I'm just saying.)
I have had many conversations lately about life expectations (our own and external), chosen paths, and future desires; about the idea of wanting, mis-wanting, and the pressures and pitfalls we all face in search of the thing or things that will make us, at long last, HAPPY.
Personally, I don’t have a one thing. I don’t even have many. Yes – I have desires. I want to travel, I want to write (and be paid for it), I want to go skydiving and inspire passion and eat a great deal of exquisite chocolate and argue deep ideas late into the night over wine and discover new smells and colors, I want to dance under the sky somewhere foreign and exotic and ask difficult questions and try to find the answers. But I don’t want to do these things because I believe they will make me happy or bring me contentment. I want to do them because as best I can tell life only happens once, and I don’t want to waste it.
And frankly, tomorrow, I might want to do something else entirely. That's just the way I am.
Happiness and contentment - for me – are states of mind, not states of being – and like life itself, not static things. Perhaps it’s because I’m not goal-oriented (I’m much more Let’s-see-where-this-takes-me) but I can’t imagine a series of circumstances that could occur that would find me content and happy for the rest of my life.
1. Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied.
Say I did find myself content with my life at 31. What then would be the point of doing anything with my remaining (hopefully many) years? What would stop me from simply sitting down, smiling, then waiting to give up the ghost?
I realize my way is not everyone's way. And have known people who strove for a particular goal (career, spousehood, parenthood, etc) convinced that it's aquisition would bring about peace of spirit and peace of mind. I was, in fact, once enganged to a gentleman whose only goal in life was "to be like everyone else." He had a mental checklist of how "everyone else" lived their lives - a home, a wife, some kids, the same family vacation in the same location every year - and was convinced that with those things his life would be complete.
Why we did not stay together is no mystery. How we got together still boggles the mind.
I don't know if he ever found those things, and if he did, I hope they made him content and happy. It does seem to me that there must be people who find happiness and contentment this way, else this goal-oriented way of living would have gone by the wayside long ago.
I just know it's not for me.
I seek experience, not Nirvana.
Yet I was still surprised when not long ago, a reader pointed out that based on the style and content of my prose, I seemed to be a "malcontent".
I admit I bristled at the label; it evoked images of wrinkle-browed, surly, violent individuals who skulked through life with permanent frown lines and dark, beady eyes. Was I giving people the impression that I regularly hit the milkbar with my droogs (after a night of the ultra - violence) - and then went into work the next day and stubbornly refused to do what was asked of me?
And now, I must wonder, what is it about my societal and social training that immediately made me equate "malcontent" with "antisocial". Why shouldn't I be both restless and social? Why couldn't I be both dissatisfied and happy?
I say one can.
It was suggested to me that malcontents are people with a higher IQ - and are therefore more likely to strive for bigger things and ask more questions - and because they ask more questions and have a more difficult time finding satisfaction, they have a higher rate of suicide and substance abuse.
I don't know if the first half of this statement is necessarily true (although I do think it something we malcontents like to tell ourselves). However, I will concede that without malcontents - without those who can't just be happy with how things stand - we would have no scholars - no scientists, and no art. We'd be at a social and cultural stand-still.As for the later half - well - we've all heard the statistics on artists and suicide and overindulgence. It all has to do with how we cope with the struggle of being social outsiders - observing, recording, exploring, and judging; but never quite being accepted or accepting.
If the deluge of targeted marketing and daily water cooler conversations I face daily have convinced me of anything, it is that my personal aspiriations and dreams are not in line with those in my age/income/education/geographic bracket. As I wander through the army of SUVs in the parking lot of my office building and try artfully to avoid conversations about reality tv, I know, without question, that I will never be "one of Them." And that I don't want to be.
But if our society is designed to cater to Them, how can I truly be happy? How can any malcontent?
Because we don't need Them. We may need love and society and commeraderie and security - like anyone (we're are human animals, after all)- but we don't necessarily need Their approval or judgement or definition of how to be.
I can't speak for everyone, of course, but I will tell you how I go about being a happy when surrounded by the supposed contented:
- Make friends with other malcontents. Despite what you may think, there are an awful lot of us out there. And we have some really interesting (if perhaps, esoteric) conversations. And we're almost guaranteed to confuse, impress, or frighten your parents and more status quo friends.
- Accept that being smart or different or willing to tread the unmarked path does not necessarily make you a superior human being. This will not only make the "norms" easier to talk to - but you might find if you let your guard down they too can be fun to talk to - and that some of the more pedestrian pursuits are actually quite enjoyable.
- Accept that being smart or different or willing to tread the unmarked path does not make you an inferior human being. No matter what the TV tells you.
- If you don't like what you're doing, change it. (This is easier than you might think. It is, of course, not as easy as complaining about it. If you'd rather just complain about it, good on you. It's all about priorities.)
- Do what you enjoy. With people you enjoy. Just because you aren't "content" with life shouldn't mean you can't have a good time exploring it.
- Allow yourself to be happy. Why buy into Their idea of the suffering, starving artist? It may sound a little new - agey - but I operate under the personal philosophy that just because I may not be happy about something in my life (my job, a relationship, etc) it doesn't mean I should allow that permeate the whole of my life. Also - I just like being happy better than being unhappy. So I decide to be happy as often as I can.
- If they don't like it, screw them.
- Express yourself. Read, write, dance, paint, create. Even if you have no talent for it.
- Try new things. How will you ever know what will bring you joy otherwise? You might even find something that will bring you contentment. And then you too can be amused and confused by people like me.
I've decided to proudly adopt the mantle of "Happy Malcontent." In fact, I think it would make a grand blog name - and if I didn't already have several blogs going (I don't know why. Let's say it's a gemini, multiple facets thing, shall we?) I would start the Happy Malcontent blog immediately. And we could all talk about what we do to combat our restless, unsatisfied natures.
I'm always looking for suggestions.
My heart (or is that my hormones?) are all aflutter.
Please install one of these in my local gym.
Then I might actually use that membership I pay you for every month.
Last night, as I lay in bed thinking through an idea* I will post about later this week, I decided if, when I at long last shuffle off this mortal coil, I discovered that the afterlife is populated with ghostly forms floatly blithely through the ether - one of the first things I'm going to do is look up Houdini and ask him what the heck is taking him so long.
I then conceded that perhaps when one has an enternity to float through the ether, the human measurement of time is probably inconsequential.
Or maybe Houdini when got to the after life, and all the ghosts whose hauntings he spent his lifetime debunking lynched him, and now force him to perform miraculous feats of escape** twice daily (three times on Saturday) - and he simply couldn't make it for the seance.
(I know this post isn't much substance, but I wanted to put up something for Alex the Girl, as she worries if I do not post first thing in the morning.)
*Strangely, this idea has nothing to do with magicians, escape artists, or death.
** Because if Jacob Marley was right, then they clearly have plenty of chains lying about the place.
The Watchow Amazon Wishlist RSS Update + Amazon One-Click Ordering = A Depleted Bank Account.
I am one-clicking myself right into massive debt.
First off: It's Banned Book Week. For the love of humanity - go expose yourself to some ideas that other people have decided you aren't smart enough to handle. You don't even have to leave your computer.
- Monday Morning Quiz: And you know it's book related. - [TBF]
- Reading Doesn't Have to Take Forever: There are Very Short Stories, 50 Word Stories, 55 Word Stories, 70 Word Stories, and stories told in 100 Words or Less.
- You Can Find Literature in the Most Unlikely of Places: An Unsolicited Commercial Love Story. I must keep surfing so I can know how it ends! - [ErB]
- Should Have Done This Years Ago: A reverse case mod I can support (so long as you don't do it to *my* computer) - [DBF]
- Because Some People Don't Want to Read, But Just Look at the Pictures: Some photoshop fun with bugs put in place of everday objects: Bug Swap 5 (Sarcas-sis, skip this one. Trust me.) - [BoingBoing]
Met up with L. and Vis Major for drinks1 before trundling over to see David Poe at the Tin Angel (a nice, intimate live music venue). The concert itself did not begin until 9PM2, and there were two opening acts, so needless to say, we didn't hasten our way to the club. We did head over in time to catch Richard Julian, the second opening act's, entire set. Despite my inpatience for the headliner, I warmed up to Richard Julian fairly quickly. He was charming, in a dorky way, and many of his songs seemed to be plucked out of scenes from my own life3. I sense a CD purchase in my very near future.
David Poe finally made it on stage at 11PM4, and despite some technical issues played a great, albeit abbreviated, set He played most of the songs I hoped to hear, including You're the Bomb5, Blue Glass Fall, Childbearing, and closed with Deathwatch for a Living Legend (which for some reason I keeping of that as something Leonard Cohen wrote - which I hope Poe would take as a compliment). All in all, a very pleasing evening.
Life Lessons Learned:
- Some one who has had a bottle and a half of Chimay Red (the 750 ml) should not be the one trying to pour drinks. Especially in the dark. (Sorry, Vis).
- I am officially an old lady. I had to have some coffee before the show, just to stay up late enough to see the entire thing.
- There is something comforting in the fact that despite our diverse histories and social structures, almost everyone can find commonality - recognize something of themselves - when appreciating the arts. It is one of the things I love about the arts - literature and music especially - this ability to sense ourselves in the experiences of others.
There is also something a little depressing in this, as it may mean that I am not nearly "unique snowflake" I have come to believe myself to be.
Either that, or singer/songwriters are stalking me.
- Don't make Friday night plans that will mean you getting home after 1AM if you have plans for Saturday morning that require you to get up at 6:30 AM.
- You're the Bomb in person is the sexiest live musical performance ever. (With the possible exception of being sung to in bed. There is something about a bedside serenade that sets the heart a flutter. If I could manage to have Poe serenade me with You're the Bomb while I was tucked in bed, I would have to reconsider every getting up in the mornings.)
Went to the Renn Faire with a gaggle of people; including Super Tarzan, Feanor and Poppy. The weather was gorgeous, and the Faire was redolent with pseudo-historic, decadent cheesiness. That Queen Elizabeth sure does throw a great party.1
I love the Renn Faire, because it is essentially an all day, fully immersive PANTO performance, and as you all know I can't resist the siren song of anything where I can shout, huzzah, and hiss at the baddies. When there is publically encouraged hissing involved, I can easily overlook the barrage of historical inaccuracies.2
Because I am easily prey to these kinds of things, I promised myself beforehand that I would not purchase any silly trinkets, but rather reserve my faire market spending to foodstuffs (including the pre-requistie Giant Turkey Legge), wine (as it is held at a winery), a wine stopper (so I can drink wine at home without feeling the need to have the whole bottle at once), and maybe, just maybe, one of those floral head wreaths with the ribbons, because it would suit my Halloween costume.
I hadn't been there 10 minutes before I had purchased and donned a pirate hat and accompanying bandana stamped with the famous flag of my ancestor, which I proceeded to wear for the remainder of the day. (I also considered an eye patch and/or hand hook - but managed to stop myself.)3
I am grateful that my friends let me hang out with them anyway.
Incidentally, I *did* managed to get the wine stopper, although I didn't purchase any wine. I suppose I'll just have to make it up to one of their other events..
Life Lessons Learned
- It's good to be the Queen; everyone bows when you enter the area, and if you're the hostess, your side always wins. (note to self: hasten world domination plans.)
- Interactive, immersive theater is a exciting and freeing; there should be more Renn Faire type events that encourage adults to rediscover what children already know - playing "make believe" is tremendous fun.
- When given a choice between "being a grown-up" and "wearing a silly hat", I will choose the silly hat. Every time. And be happy about it.
Today is the one day in the next seven where I had not scheduled anything for myself1 (this upcoming week is jam packed - a dinner engagement, two concerts, and some of my regularly weekly happenings - so don't expect much blogging) and looked forward to sleeping in and spending a indolent day playing The Sims 2, to which I am incurably addicted.
Here is what I accomplished: bought and put away groceries, cleaned, watched tv, read a book, did dishes, took out the trash, spoke on the phone to family and friends, met in person with friends, cooked, wrote and checked email.
All these things are possible in The Sim universe - but I in fact did them, in real life. Shocking, I know. I am not entirely certain what came over me.2
And now that it is after 9PM, I am going to do one more thing you can do in the SIMS 2 - which is play the Sims3. (Seriously. The game is out of control.)
Life Lessons Learned
- Your date book is your friend; but will remain useless if you do not check your schedule once you've put it in.
- Although doing these things in real life is much more satisfying and enriching than doing them in Simville - it does lack the Simlish charm of being able to do every life's task in one's pajamas.
- I can not resist the call of games. After all..all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And I surely don't want to hang out with Jack.
- I Wish I Could Use the Whip: Indiana Jones and the Lost Treasure of Pharoh - [BH]
- Umm...What?: Univited: The Quest for the Red Diamond. Strange, demon-infested game. Although I did enjoy the soundtrack. And there's even a prize for winning. (Sort of).- [I4D]
- Don't Panic: The old Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game has been illustrated for your playing pleasure (and yet, I am certain I will still die in the Vogon hold). - [GTA]
- Who's Your Hero?: Tell the world here - [FL]
- Like a Scary, Scary Pet: The Gravity - a concept for a lamp that jumps up and turns itself on when you come into a room. I want one. And I fear them. - [BB]
Some insight from the Defective Yeti:
"Leroy 'Encyclopedia' Brown lives in the fictional Idaville, Florida, where his father is chief of police. Whenever a case arises (often one that is stumping his father), Encyclopedia Brown swings into action, assisted in his investigations by his friend (and "muscle") Sally Kimball."
...And check out the dates. The first Encyclopedia Brown book ("Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective") was published in 1963, with "America's Sherlock in sneakers" aged about 10 or so; "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," meanwhile, was released in 1974. So, conceivably, they could be about the same person. At some point in Encyclopedia's teens, Bugs Meany might have convinced him to join The Tigers, and after that it would have he abandoned his career of do-gooding for the rough-and-tumble life on the streets. Maybe by the age of 21 he was six foot four, had moved to the 'ole south side Chicago, carried a .32 gun in his pocket for fun, and was called "Treetop Lover" by all those downtown ladies.
It's certainly possible. I mean, look at what happen to those kid actors from "Diff'rent Strokes."
Behold: The Simple Syndicated Amazon Price Tracking from Watchcow, or Why My Bank Account May Soon Be Empty.
Basically, Watchcow will transform your Amazon Wishlist into an RSS feed - which will alert you of the current Amazon price, the current used prices, and a price history. Which means now I will always know when the things on my wishlist go on sale. In fact, I ordered three used items when my RSS feed updated this morning.
I think I'll have to spend some time updating my list...
What I Have Learned from Getting MY Cable TV Re-Activated:
- All of the world's major problems have been solved. I have deduced this by the fact that science (apparently) no longer needs to waste its time on solving the world hunger crisis or curing fatal diseases, and has been able to focus its efforts on developing important cultural innovations such as Tupperware that can be closed with a single finger, and refrigerators with built-in televisions. This is such a relief! Now when I am too exhausted from having to use an entire hand to close my inferior storage containers, I can then collapse into my kitchen chair to snack and watch an expose on the American weight epidemic and how it is largely due to over-eating and too much sedentary activity. Go science!
- There is no longer any differentiation between consumer advertising and entertainment. This is best showcased in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, US and UK editions (which I adore - but let's face it - it's an hour long parade of products wrapped loosely in schaudenfraude) - but can also be evidenced by the fact that commercials, by and large, are more entertaining than standard programming.
- Every single person in Great Britain has one or both of the following:
- A shed and/or attic bursting with paint samples, yards of fabric, various types of lumber, and perfectly good furniture just sitting around collecting dust and waiting for a designer to come and make home improvement magic happen.
- A shed and/or attic bursting with priceless artwork, rare collectibles, and perfectly good antique furntiure (which they have always thought was "just junk really") just waiting for an antiques dealer and his adorable friend to come over to value and sell it for them so they can go on fabulous holidays.
Now the antiques I can almost justify - Great Britain is an elder statesman as countries go - and many families have been there a long time. It's likely enough that things will gather in attics and basements and evenutally become valuable. (Here in the States, I imagine many of us will have to wait until JC Penny and IKEA pieces reach antique status before we can hope to earn more than a sawbuck for the mildewy contents of our basements and crawlspaces.) But combine that with all the DIY gear they all seem to have I can come to only one conclusion: Great Britain is a nation of packrats. It's time to let go people. (And lucky for you, there's a show for that too.
- Soon every station on television will show reality programming exclusively. Even VH1 (which I used to depend on to, oh, I don't know, show music videos) has a schedule jam-packed with them. (The Surreal World really hurts my brain. And David Coulier - oh! how the goofy has fallen. (I betcha Alanis has a voodoo doll of him somewhere that's responsible for getting him this booking.) Of all the house mates, he was the one I was most surprised to see. Well - the second, really. I was most surprised to see Flavor Flav in the house - but only because I was under the misapprehension that he had left rap music behind to join the choir etheral. (Maybe I was thinking of his music career?)
I'm pretty certain that in the future we will all have our own reality tv shows - a la The Truman Show (imagine the meta-show-possibilities when we start making reality shows about the behind the scenes people who make reality shows - oh, the mind reels!)
I actually toyed around with the idea of trying to pitch a reality show that would involve a network paying for me to travel around the world and do whatever I wanted - like the inverse of The Simple Life - but then I realized this would involve my being on a television reality show. Would I really do a reality show if it meant I could realize my travel dreams? Does my self-respect really have a price? Hmmm.
- Television is, in fact, the devil. (How else does one explain that I can find myself watching it for hours on end when there is (a) nothing entertaining on and (b) I have better, more interesting things to do?
*It's not being on TV itself that bothers me - I'd happily host a show like Rick Steves' Europe or those Michael Palin travel shows;....it's the explotive, intimate nature of reality television. I prefer to be in control of the myriad of embarrassing ancedotes in my life and how they are revealed to the world. AND to choose my own soundtrack (which today consisted largely of Chicago, BareNaked Ladies and Deirdre Flint) thankyouverymuch.
- Monday Morning Quiz: This week's quiz is in honor of my recent aquicition of The Sims 2. Seriously, don't be suprised if you never see or hear from me again. (Running other peoples lives is so much more entertaining than running my own!)
- Now Will You Take Me Out of This Huge Pile of Horse Feces: Newton's Apple - because a little education never hurt anyone. - [BDC]
- Portland: A fairly zombie tolerant city. - [DRT]
- If Loki Were a Monkey: This would be he. This monkey is both hysterical and badass. I want one. - [Swiped from Davy]
- If Thriller Had Been About Video Games and Not Horror Movies: I bet it would have look a lot like this: Legend of Zelda - [RWS]
It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day! I hopes ye be celebrating!
Here be a few things to get ye in the mood:
- Because The Internet Loves Badgers: Atomic Badger Racing - [LF]
- It Makes Me Feel All Warm, Fuzzy, and Swash-buckly Inside: LucasArts Soundtracks - [LS]
- They're Designed for Children, So Of Course They Stymie Me: Sliding Block Puzzles, without the inconvenience of having to handle any actual wood. - [JWB] . Also, try Peg Solitare.
- If You Want to Play a Text-Based Adventure, Turn to Page 72: Why waste time working, when you can Choose Your Own Adventure? - [BC]
- Entertain Your Co-Workers: With elaborate hand shadows. - [M]
- Because It Wouldn't Be Friday Unless I Posted Some Strange Video Thing That Made Your Head Hurt: Big Wet Doggy - [GB]
- And If You Really Don't Want to Do Any Work Today: Click here. (I was going to put this first, but I figured that if you started playing Flash Tetris, you'd never even look at the rest of the links. - [Thanks, Nobi, for giving me yet another place to spend all my time online!]
If you value your well-being, do not send me a greeting card for this... holiday.
Or my "domestic robot" will kick your sorry butt.
That is all.
I swear, the longer I live alone, the crazier I get.
I should start by explaining that, despite my laid-back nature, there are two daily events that bring out the latent anal - retentive in me:
- Leaving the house
- Getting ready for bed
Both are fairly standard events, but in order to combat an overactive imagination that likes to focus the worst-case scenario - I find myself - both morning and night - running through an extensive checklist before either sleep or egress may be had. Did I leave the sink running? Is the coffee maker off? Is the oven off
It is nothing short of a miracle that I ever successfully leave the house.
Going to bed is even worse, as on top of the above tasks - I have to make sure my apartment is a fortress against any psychotic maniacs who are obviously just waiting outside until I turn my lights off. ('Cause you know, they are scared of the lights. Any six-year old can tell you.)
Actually, the following psycho-proofing steps are more about warding off the creepy-crawlies that haunt the over-active imagination in the wee-small hours when the house moans and groans then actually stopping the random serial killer - but don't tell my subconcious. So far, I seem to have it fooled.
- Step One: Make sure I have locked the door. Ignore the fact that everything the lock slides into place, a little voice in my head thinks, "Well, there are 15 more seconds it will take me to escape if the killer is already in the house."
- Step Two: Make sure all closet doors are closed all the way. This stems from a nightmare I had as a child where an alien - looking disturbingly like the aliens on the cover of Communion - repeatedly grew out from the back of my closet and hovered over my bed, just barely touching me.
**Since then, sleeping with the closet door open has been - challenging.
- Step Three: (If having just been out to see a horror movie and the blood is still adreniline charged) Push All the doors in the apartment open until the doorknobs touch the wall. This ensures that no one is hiding behind them.
And now the newest part of my bedtime repetoire - recently added - and the one which makes me fear I have finally cracked:
- Step Four: Check Behind the Shower Curtain: I can't for the life of me imagine what it is I think I am going to do if I find someone there. Blush and excuse myself? Hand them a towel? Ask if they're going to be long? (I kind of like to imagine that it is Jason Vorhees, mask and all, standing there in the far corner under the showerhead, and that when I open the curtain he hangs his head, embarrased, and raises his knife-weilding hand in an apologetic half-wave before trundling dejectedly out of the tub, down the hall, and out of the apartment..)
I mean, it's ridiculous. I know it's ridiculous. It's all of it, ridiculous. But there I am, night after night, peering around the opaque shower curtain corner before brushing my teeth.
So, if you are a serial killer, there's one place less you can safely hide. And if you're not - well - don't be entirely surprised next time you come by if there is a large, sword-shaped hole in my shower-curatin.
You know. Just in case.
* I check this even if I haven't cooked anything. For days.
** I try not to think about the fact that I had the dream in 1978 - the year my family moved into that house - and the Wendy Stieber book didn't come out until 1985 and what that implies. I'm sure the aliens aren't controlling my brain. Much.
***True embarrassing story follows: Once, many years ago, while Pop Culture Boy was away at some conference, I attended a late-night horror movie with Lyn, my horror movie going partner. I came home to a dark apartment exhausted, giddy, and totally riding that post-thriller high.
After first locking my front door (will I never learn?) I preceeded to open all the interior apartment doors just to give myself peace of mind. Bedroom - clear of monsters; bathroom, psycho free; den....DEN....
Door got stuck halfway.
Now, had I been watching myself in a darkened theatre, I would I been trying to will the idiot girl to leave the apartment, maybe get a security person from the lobby, or call the police. Better to be alive and embarrassed then dead and right?
Of course not. I did what anyone else would do. I told myself there was nothing there, to stop being silly, and then just to prove to myself there was no-one there I got my sword (I have a few, actually), and thrust the point between the hinges.I only wish I were kidding.
Imagine my shock and horror when it got stuck in something.
And my horror and relief when (after I got the courage to turn on the light and actually look) that that something turned out not to be a superhuman killing machine possessed by the devil, but rather a copy of the local white pages that had been thrown carelessly onto the floor.
If they ever make a horror movie about my life, I will clearly be playing The Girl Who Was Too Stupid to Live.
I have a head cold, which is making my body very tired and cranky.
In order to function, I've pretty much had a steady infusion of caffiene. This has, in turn, made my brain very zippy.
Tired body + zippy brain = Sarcasmo is more broken than usual today.
Just wanted to give you all fair warning.
Oh, yeah - this is also my excuse for any unstructured, ridiculous blog posts over the next few days. (Still looking for a good excuse to explain all the other unstructured, ridiculous blog posts that preceeded said cold.)
That is all. Go about your day.
(You know who you are.)
I have been asked to tell you that Backwards City Review's first issue of will be coming out in November, and is accepting submissions for their second issue.
So go submit already.
Speaking of poetry, I went to the season kick-off reading of the La Tazza reading series (largely populated by this talented bunch) Saturday last with A. & A.. Both poets were quite good (I'd include their names, but I don't have them on hand at the moment. Hopefully Philly Sound will do a review) - but the reading was a bit unusual - as the second poet - an spirited reader, was continually cheered, cajoled, and well, heckled by her "friends" at the bar.
Now, I'm all for literary enthusiam, but a poetry reading is not a sporting event.
* I felt particularly badly for the reader, as the unnatural exuberance of her companions clearly made her uncomfortable.
Me drink more coffee now.
* Although I dare say more people would show up if it ended with a cage match. (I'm very into the idea of ending things with cage matches at the moment. Presidential debates - Cage Match. Fight for the new Keith Partridge (I can't believe this is really a show) - Cage Match. Two cars show up at an intersection at the same time. Cage Match.)
Frankly, I'm a bit off the Star Wars thing at the moment, pursuant to the egregious and unecessary changes on the upcoming DVDs - but I just couldn't pass the following up:
I mean, let's face it; Bobba Fett is sexy (even in game form). And when he rocks out, he's even sexier...especially when he shakes his bounty boo-tay.
I'll apologize now for writing "bounty boo-tay." That was all kinds of not right.
The video, however, totally is.
It makes me aware of frivolous things I want.
Like this. (Warning - this site has irritating music.)
Curse you, Gizmodo. Curse you.
- Monday Morning Quiz: Tasty!
- The Future is Unavoidable: See, robots do want to take over the world, starting with the office of President. I bet I know what party Trotwood is registered for: The American Robocratic Party; and frankly, I say they have a good chance. Just listen to their platform:
We asked 1,024 registered voters to choose if they wanted our country to be more "Awesome" or "Full of Losers." Americans overwhelmingly chose "Awesome." The past is dirty and full of oppression and disease. The future is clean, bright, shiny and full of robots. The future is Awesome. Americans want to be Awesome. The evidence is incontrovertible.. Kinda hard to argue with that. - [B]
The Robocratic party stands for a strong America. Most of our members were built in foreign lands by under-paid, unhappy workers but we came here to share in the American dream. Electric-Americans deserve to have a greater hand in deciding the future of this great nation. We are the future. The future is unavoidable.
- How Quick Are Your Reflexes?: Squares 2. Catch the black. Avoid the red. Get down and funky with the soundtrack. - [LF]
- Peccable Should Ignore This Post (Lest We Never See Him Again): But for all the rest of you puzzle lovers, Collective Detective seems like a pretty cool deal.
Collective Detective is a community dedicated to group participation in immersive games, puzzles, and mysteries.. In fact, this could be quite dangerous for me too.
- The Question is Could I Limit Myself to That Few?: You can say a lot with 100 words.
- Remixed: W. "sings" Sunday Bloody Sunday. I tell you,it's just not right. [WIGB]
- Pretty, Disturbing (or Pretty! Distubring!): Escher 2 Blowout from Worth 1000.. [JWB]
- Boolean Guessing?: Image Quiz gives you 3 chances to guess the search term for the displayed images.Can range from the terribly easy to the strange and obscure. [JWB]
- Sure, You Beat the Boss, But Did You Listen to Him?: Name That Game: identify classic video games based on their sounds. [MV]
- What's Lurking Around the Corner?: Maze game. Click the monkeys to play and watch your step! (trust me here) [TB]
- Because You Never Know When You Might Need One The Official Random Chicken Site, "here to serve all of your Random Chicken needs". [JWB]
I've played around with it a bit, and have decided I am going to begin migrating my photoblog and moblog to Flickr (Sorry, Feanor. I'm sure you're disappointed, but I simply don't have your patience or drive to do my own content management. Oh - speaking of which - Feanor and Poppy finally have their own blog. You should all read it.)
It will take me a bit to get everything moved over - but I will let you all know when it is up and running. In the meantime, if you are on Flickr, let me know so I can add you to my contacts and check out your pics. Also - if you would like an invite to be included on my Friends and/or Family list let me know. (Most of my pictures will likely be marked public - but there may be some that will be restricted to friends and family only.)
Now - to find me a good new digital camera.
This weekend I re-watched How to Murder Your Wife, an old-favorite of mine. And it made me realize something that had been lurking in the back of my brain for sometime. When I am fully-divorced - that is good and truly single - what I really want is a man.
A man's man.
A gentleman's gentleman.
Sigh. You dirty-minded philistines.
To be fair - one can't blame this desire entirely on Jack Lemmon & co. Cary Tennis' recent column and my longtime love of Wodehouse certainly has done it's part. It's just that watching How to Murder Your Wife made me face certain facts about myself, confront my true life's calling:
To be a writer? Certainly. Indubitably. That is not to be questioned, nor helped. But I can not be merely a writer, I must also be a writer who is a gentleman of leisure.
Think of the benefits! An apartment in New York, a flat in London, a cottage in the country and a townhouse, oh...somewhere townhousey; waking at the crack of noon; idling my afternoons at The Club (where I can dine, swim, read the paper, smoke and drink liberally, bash about with a host of chums who all have strange and embarrassing nicknames; and where no one could bother me if I did not want them to) until the evening when I could really let loose and shake off the stress of the day. The life of a bachelor is so the life for me.
And, lest we forget, the piece de resistance, the valet: someone to mind my manners, run my home, ensure my schedule is kept, launder and press my shirts, match my socks, smile indulgently at my romantic indiscretions with the wrong sort of person, protect me from the pitfalls of matrimony, chill my martini glass, watch my diet, have dinner on the table with the appropriate wine, go on wacky adventures with me, get me out of impossible jams, and generally manage all those pesky responsibilities thingies so I don't have to be bothered with such trifles.
No doubt some of you have spotted a few flaws in this otherwise brilliant plan. For starters, I am not independently wealthy. I'm not even dependently-wealthy. This, I'll admit, is a bit of a sticking point, but I don't believe it is insurmountable. Money, I hear, is out there to be had. ((Donations readily accepted, of course). And although money does not bring the breeding and familial history it take to be a true gentleman, it can be fairly persuasive in that area.
No, the real sticky wicket is, not to be indelicate, my breasts, in so much as I have them. It's tremendously difficult to be a gentleman of leisure when one is a woman. (I mean - how does one handle the locker rooms at the club for a start?) And this throws the valet issue into a terrible tizzy - as any valet worth his salt would never serve a woman - why think of the indiscretion of an unattached woman having her own man! Even in these enlightened times, it is simply not to be borne.
You might be thinking, "But Sarcasmo, why not be a lady of leisure? Surely that is just as good. Isn't a lady's maid just as useful as a valet?"
And if you are thinking that, then "fie" and "pish posh" I say to you. (I'd say something stronger, but I am hoping to land a valet, here, and it would do me no good if he thought I were an ill-mannered brute. It's bad enough I'm American, after all.)
Just as I've read my Wodehouse I've read my Austen (in fact, I am reading Mansfield Park presently.) - so you'll not be fooling me. A lady of leisure wakes early, walks often, does excessive needlework, reads improving books, and spends her time between doing good works and trying to land a husband. No debauchery, no funnily monikered chums, no club, no smoking, and no wacky adventures. And the lady's maid? She's all about complicated hairdos, elaborate dresses, corsets (!?!), and uncomfortable shoes. You'll not find a bon mot or colorful story escape her lips. And she'd certainly never help me out of a jam or approvingly disapprove of my life choices. What, I ask you, is the fun in that?
No, I stand firm on this; A gentleman of leisure it is.
For any potential valets out there - I realize I am of the female persuasion - but please don't let that put you off. I prefer trousers to skirts, enjoy a good hat (but would not argue about wearing a white one if you wisely disapproved), have a fondness for masculine furnishings (consider this chair, which I desire terribly for my library), eschew floral niceties, would not think to question your judgement in the kitchen, and (perhaps most importantly) wouldn't run off and marry some woman who would come in and undo all you've done to make my life as it should be.
I would consider a female valet I suppose (although that's not entirely cricket - but then who I am to throw stones?) - so long as her creases and wit were crisp, her anecdotes were timely and amusing, her coffee was exquisite and her knowledge of current events and historical and literary minutiae was unparalleled.
And she'd have to let me call her Jeeves. It's only fair.
Jeeves, if you're out there do write presently, or leave your card. I am sure we can find a mutually suitable arrangement (once I've gotten the "independent means" bit down, of course).
And if any of you are tired of your valets, please feel free to send them my way.
My life could use a good tidy.
I spent much of the holiday weekend with Sarcas-Mom (She of Interminable Patience and serious Sewing Mojo) - working on the newest addition to my Dracula's Ball aresenal in anticipation of the Halloween edition. My fingertips are full of pin-pricks, and my eyes maybe permanently crossed, but I am proud owner of a very-nearly-finished, hooded, charcol-grey, velvet cape with a burgundy satin lining.
It's very purty.
Now, I realize that it is just barely September - and still quite warm - but I've already had it on several times. You know, just around the house. I have always wanted such a cape (I blame a proliferation of Hammer Horror films and Grimm's fairy tales in my mis-spent youth.) And now that I do have one, I am determined to find excuses to wear it as often as possible.
This is where you come in people. I need you to make with the operas, harvest balls, French Lieutenants, and other cape-appropriate events.
Also - someone should have a slumber party; I've been having the strange desire to go to one. I am possessed with the overwhelming urge to hang out with a large group of people while wearing lounging pajamas.
The slumber party can be cape-optional.
As if the state of the union, civic duty and political passion weren't
enough of a reason, now registering to vote could get you href="http://sf2646.VOTEorNOT.org" target="_blank">$100,000.
And if you win, I could win, which just makes things even better.
- A Living Doll: Make your avatar with Eluai's Candybar Doll Maker. (Honestly - my hair would look like that...you know...if I ever got out of bed early enough to style it properly in the morning). - [Swiped from the avatar-making master, Babyraven]
- Quiz it!: This week's quiz.
- Ok...This is Pretty Lame, Actually: But I'm just so amused by the dancing Professor Snapes. And let's be honest. Alan Rickman is damn sexy. - [MV]
- At Least She Got an A on Her Term Paper: Cassandra's boyfriend has been seduced by a witch, and has decided to..er..battle the forces of evil and save her love from the clutches of the coven by...posting her story (which she has conviently recorded in short quicktime movies) on the Internet. Interesting in a student-project kind of way. (Here's a word of advice, Cassandra - it's hard to maintain a sense of credibility and drama when you've got a Creepy Sites banner smack dab on your front page.
- "Now Play William Tell": and other Undesirable Lunchboxes from Something Awful. [AAG21stC]
- I Guess His Fever Got Out Of Control: Kill the Pacman - [I4M]
- Well, This Could Have Saved Me Oodles of Reading Time in My Teen Years: (perhaps then I would have had a "normal" social life? Nah. Probably Not) Condensed Sci-Fi Books
- Swearing...It's Not Just for Heathens Anymore: Bible Curse Generator. My favorite so far: "Take heed, thou Amalekite dog, for you will be pursued into the mountains by sex-mad baboons!" - [JWB]
- Dance Off!: Whachagot?; it's like Simon - only with breakdancing. - [D]
- Do You Have What it Takes to Become Royalty?: Can you be the Falafel King? (I, alas, cannot. Apparently, I can be the fly king.) - [SN]
- Does Meeting Celebrites Make You Nervous?: Try picturing them in their underwear. (Somehow, I think this would make my specific celebrity paralysis worse rather than better.)
- Remind Me to Start Checking IDs When I Start Dating Again: Because judging by how poorly I guessed in The Age Project, I am likely to find myself arrested one day.
Jedi Academy opens in Romania - [S]:
"We have meetings and lectures, and we dress like Jedis, but this is no longer enough. We'll soon learn how to handle the light sabres in academy classes.
"The academy is open to everybody. There is a quiz with 100 questions that will cover even the darkest aspects of the Star Wars phenomenon that needs to be done in 24 hours. Anyone who passes quiz will have a place in the Jedi Academy."
Part of me would really like to go...if only so I could list it in the "Education" section of my resume.
And, you know, become an accredited light sabre master.
Could it be that the SETI@Home project discovered something? (Via Sean Bonner)
Note to self: Always, always, always remember to send Batman a birthday card; or else he might crash my party - [NGJ]:
A 6-foot-tall, 275-pound bearded man crashed a children's birthday party in Oak Forest...When the owner of the home asked the man who he was, the intruder replied, "I am vengeance. I am the knight. I am Batman." Then the man went into the kitchen, cut a piece of birthday cake, took it into the living room and ate it.
Maybe he was just cranky because the Batmobile was in the shop. Or maybe he just wanted some cake.
Every one in a while I stumble across something online that makes me wonder if it is intentionally painful - or just some giggle gone horribly wrong.
This is one of those times:
Apologies in advance, especially to Rianna and Sarcas-Sis..and well, anyone born before 1987.