Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tarot Card

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.


Ordinarily I would say that this card does not apply to me, that the tarot card quiz was wrong, but here I sit, still giddy from completing nanowrimo, and my pessimistic nature seems to have gone on holiday.

I found this test over on Tammara's blog. You should visit her as she does not lie, she is indeed both mighty and sublime. I owe her a special thanks for her gentle prodding throughout the month of November.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I DID IT!

The title of my novel is "Should The World Fail To Fall Apart" which all you Bauhaus fans will recognize to be the title of Peter Murphy's first solo record. The subtitle is "Not If You Were The Last Man On Earth...And Now You Are" which was a suggestion made by the lovely and brilliant Aushra when I tried describing the plot to her. The everchanging plot. I think I went through at least three completely separate plotlines this past month. I learned a ton doing this and I am feeling overwhelming pride at succesfully writing 50,000 words in less than 30 days. Yeah, some of it is total crap and I will probably just disassemble it and use the good bits here. Tomorrow I will write a post detailing my thoughts on this experience and musing on what I have learned from it. But, for now, I am savoring my victory.

Woohoo.

Is this what people feel when they run marathons?

Another Day, Another Quiz


Which John Cusack Are You?


This is a funny quiz for a number of reasons. The first being that we all love John Cusack. By "we" I mean you, me, and everyone you know. Seriously, do you know anyone who doesn't love at least one character John Cusack has played? Find me that person and I'll bet they just haven't seen Say Anything or High Fidelity or any of the other films that people quote incessantly at one. In fact, the person who does not love John Cusack probably does, in fact, love John Cusack, but they hate having the notable lines from John Cusack's films constantly said to them by people who want to seem hip and cool.

The other reason this is funny is because my brother, Jeff, has freely admitted that he has patterned his life on John Cusack characters and has told me (with a straight face and not a touch of irony) that other people have told him he is so much like Lloyd Dobler and/or Rob Gordon and he then recommends I watch the movies because I will see what they mean. Because, he assumes, that I just must not have seen Say Anything or High Fidelity because I have failed to make the appropriate observation that he is so much like the protagonists of the films. To be fair, it has been a couple of years since he has said anything like this, but you know, as his older sister, I am required by law to bring up stuff like this every so often. It's my revenge for him calling me fat when I was a teenager.

So now that I have the "embarrass my little brother" portion of the post out of the way, I can make my own admission: when I read the book High Fidelity, I felt an affinity with Nick Hornby's main character and said something like "I am just like him, except not from London and a girl," to Fred (the book was set in London, whereas the movie was set, and filmed, in Chicago). We were on the beach in Cancun at the time and I think he just assumed the sun had made me slightly addled. But, like, now I have this online quiz to confirm my earlier statement (and, for what it is worth, I have a pretty alright record collection).

Oh, and for people who are looking for contest clues, no, John Cusack is not on the list.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Boys, Who Would You Rather Snuggle Up To?"

The stunning size 12 model branded 'too fat' for TV competition

Models are supposed to be walking hangers, so is it any surprise that the girl who most resembles a wire figure would be praised by the industry? Yep, if the judges had been making the decisions, the girl with the curves would have been out, but "mother-of-one Miss Hunter triumphed when viewers voted her to the top female slot in the contest."

I am furiously typing away, trying to get the last 6,000 words written before Thursday night. I am happy to have done nanowrimo, but I don't know if I will do it again next year. We shall see.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown is on television tonight. Yay!

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Roddy Frame, Birth of the True, London, 2nd June 2006

Despite the lack of synching between the audio and visual on this video, I found myself singing along and kicking myself for not travelling to London to see these shows this past spring.

I first heard this song twenty-one years ago. Just watching this makes me feel thirteen again.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Contest

So a few months back, I had a contest here in my closet. Then I moved and was swallowed by my own stress (which is like a Robyn Hitchcock record, but you can't dance to it. At all. Not even goth dancing.)

But I never forgot about the contest. Really.

For a long time (i.e. up until the very last day) it looked like Heather would win. I mean, her story about dating Satan had both Fred and I cracking up, and she gets extra points for taking Satan to church and him using that as proof of his Satanic-ness. It reminded me of the Rolling Stone interview with Anton LaVey where he claimed to have been responsible for the death of Jayne Mansfield (because on the day Jayne Mansfield died in a car accident, he was going through magazines and tore out a picture of Marilyn Monroe, realizing afterwards that there was a picture of Jayne printed on the other side and he had ripped off her head). Heather's tale inspires the grown up in me to shout "why did you date this boy? DTMFA!" which only adds to the humor value of this all.

Of course, there were problems with Heather winning. She is a real life friend and she doesn't tune in unless I ask her to. I had to wonder if I was just favoring crowning her the winner of my first ever contest because she would like whatever I gave her and I wouldn't have to pay any postage costs.

But.

Then.

I got this email from Stuntmother:

I once met a guy who told me very seriously though not making eye-contact) that he had been taught to make love by a woman and that no one who tried him was ever satisfied by anyone else again.

I once was friends with a girl who yelled at me for no reason one night and then cried and said she had been raped the evening before. Only after I had raised campus hell and got the police involved, therapists, friends and teachers, did she say she had been lying and that it was really her step-father. No, her boyfriend. No, it was an uncle. I never did get the story right. If there was one.

I once met a man who claimed he used to know how to fly but had forgotten.

I did in fact know a girl who was allergic to water. Whenever she showered,she'd come up in an itchy rash. So every day then.

I once met a girl who claimed she had sung back up for Prince before he was formerly known as.

I once knew a girl who said she was so thin she had to buy all her clothes in the children's department.

I once knew a boy who said he knew a girl with three breasts (we were very young at the time but it freaked me out).

I once knew a woman who said she had crashed the Queen's Birthday Party. She might have, really. She was that sort of woman.

I once knew a girl who said she could pull the pain out of my just-broken wrist and put it in the bedpost. I don't know if it helped because I was too spaced on codeine tylenol and marshmallows to tell.

I once knew a woman who said she had great stories to tell but when it came to the crunch, she couldn't remember any of them. Oh wait. that's me.


So I knew, in my heart, that Stuntmother was the winner. Which opened up a whole 'nother box of anxiety for me. I like Stuntmother. I am honored to be part of her blogging world. I think everyone should go and read her blog multiple times a day. What if she didn't like what I sent her? I couldn't send her a black dress because, unlike in real life, you can't go around asking for people's measurements in cyberspace without people thinking you are a pedophile, even if you are asking an adult. It appears I have given away all the yarn with which I can bear to part with at this time. Stuntmother's nanowrimo profile says no music. Which leaves me with books. Lots and lots of books. But what if she has already read the book I send or, even worse, thinks less of me for sending it to her?

I am sad to say that all this led me to pretend the contest never happened. Which was wrong and I apologize to all of you.

After reading Stuntmother's most recent comments, I have come to the conclusion that I am being a big 'fraidy cat. Look at all her favorite writers, it is as if she raided my bookshelves when I was asleep. The title of her nanowrimo book gives me the shivers. We both have a yen for Neil Gaiman and Jeremy Irons, which makes me think we might run around the Humanities Festival giggling like schoolgirls. In fact, thinking about Stuntmother reminded of this passage from C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of The Dawn Treader
Neither could speak to the other and in a moment the Sea Girl dropped astern. But Lucy will never forget her face. It did not look frightened or angry like those of the other Sea People. Lucy had liked that girl and she felt certain the girl had liked her. In that one moment they had somehow become friends. There does not seem to be much chance of their meeting again in that world or any other. But if ever they do they will rush together with their hands held out.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest. I appreciated every story you generously shared and promise that if I steal it for a story (I am starting to panic that I won't get to 50,000 words in the next seven days) I will give you credit. Stuntmother, please email me your address.

To those who are desperate to receive a prize from my closet, do not despair. I am currently having another contest of sorts and the answers are all here in my blog. Really, they are. And to those who say they are not interested in a book, keep in mind that the winner will also, eventually, get a post like this written about them. You may not want the books, but who doesn't want the love?


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The List

I realized, last night, that I cannot come up with five people for my list. You know what list I'm talking about. THE LIST.

Hey, I just read Wikipedia's description. I was never told my five were set in stone, for all eternity. I mean, how is this possibly fair? There are so many factors which can cause one to change the makeup of the list. People grow old and die. New celebrities are made every day (every time a bell rings, just like angels) and old celebrities do things which causes them to become less attractive (how many people have crossed Tom Cruise off their lists over the past 18 months?) Most importantly, our tastes change. Not in big ways. I mean, I find the same things attractive in a man now as I did when I was 25; I like height, hair, skinniness, sweetness, good humor...oh, and he better be smart. But in very subtle ways, my tastes have evolved. For example, David Bowie and Jeremy Irons were both on my list when I was 25, but now, eh. It isn't that I find either of them less attractive, just that neither of them are so appealing to me now that I feel they deserve a spot on the list.

So here I am and I can only think of two celebrities I would even put on the list. Two, and they aren't even that famous as celebrities go. And just as I am about to wonder if this is a sign that motherhood has eaten my sex drive or if I really have grown old, I realize that David Bowie and Jeremy Irons are the only two people I can remember from my list of nine years ago. Maybe I'm just a very focused, monogamous sort of girl, even where the list is concerned.

Who is on your list?

Can you guess the two who are on mine? (I'll send a book to the first person who gets the right answer. Which reminds me, I will update you all on the results of the contest from months ago.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Was I Supposed to Throw a Party?

The 100th post to this blog came and went without fanfare. I guess I will have to make it up to this blog by doing something really over the top for the 200th post.

I have a tendency to downplay the significance of events in my life and the lives of the people I love, only to find out that other people get angry about my lack of celebration. For example, we didn't have a huge party for Julian's first birthday, because we figured since it was the week before Thanksgiving, why go to the effort of a gigantic party for someone who isn't old enough to care about such things, might as well save our strength for when he gets to be around five and wants to invite the whole school. However, we found out later (nine months later) that our failure to have a party for Julian's first birthday made my mother sad. Apparently, she ran into an old neighbor, a woman who is renowned for her ability to deliver the veiled insult to which you cannot reply, who implied that she (my mom) was a bad grandmother for not making us throw a party. The Poisonous Ex-Neighbor Lady was on her way to buy a very expensive cake for her grandchild's party, but she only brought up the grandchild fifteen minutes into the conversation after my mom asked her if either of her sons had children. My mom may not have been able to force us to have a party, but you can't talk to her for one minute without her bringing up Julian, so I ask you, which one of these ladies is a better grandma?

People talk about the mommy wars, but no one considers the warfare between grandmothers.

Yes, we tried to explain that she shouldn't listen to the Ex-Neighbor Bitch, but the damage was done. Mom decreed that Julian would have a party.

Can you tell how annoyed this makes me? I mean, I love parties and all, but Julian is only two, he doesn't have many friends to invite, so it will just be a party for the grown ups. Also, it is the week before Thanksgiving, doesn't it seem a bit silly to go to all this effort when we will be having to go to all this effort and seeing everyone in less than a week? I mean, as I said, it would be different if Julian cared, but he would be happy if we just sang Happy Birthday to him and let him blow out candles, he really doesn't need an event to be the center of attention. At least his birthday doesn't fall after Thanksgiving because, I have been told, that would mean we would never want to throw him a party.

It bothers me that people seem to believe that the success of our parenting would be reflected in the size of a party we throw for our toddler. As if it isn't the size of your heart, but the size of the cake which counts.

But if it makes my mom happy, we will do it. And if it makes the evil Ex-Neighbors shut their yapping mouths, all the better.

For those interested in following my nanowrimo progress, click here

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Yes, But

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?


That is all well and good, but I still can't seem to write a novel (nanowrimo word count: 13,440), and that is the yard stick by which I measure my abilities right now. Still, it is nice to know my brain hasn't completely turned to swiss cheese.

Friday, November 10, 2006

No Surprises


Which HP Kid Are You?

Nanowrimo update: 12,800 words

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Procrastination

NaNoWriMo update: I have written 800 words today. I am procrastinating now.

I went over to Karrie's blog and read the article she recommended. It's about the escalation of cool, how in order to be a "cool mom" in today's world, you kindof have to be a "bad mom" and I found myself thinking that I am a good mom and a cool mom (even if those are mutually exclusive terms).
Sometimes we have to sit with that uncertainty, and, instead of thirsting for the cool breeze, surrender ourselves to the heat.
That was the last line of her article.

I think about how much I have been fighting completely surrendering to motherhood, how I still have all these hopes and dreams, leftover from my own childhood, which I feel I have to achieve before I can really be a good mother, that until then, I am just a highly accomplished actress playing a role, but deep down, I know the truth.

A Quick Update

NaNoWriMo count: I wrote 31 pages (longhand) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I would feel better about this if so much of it wasn't, um, how do you say? oh, yeah, crap. Yesterday, I read a book instead of writing on the plane home. Anyway, I have no idea how many words I have written, but I changed some crucial plot points and think I need to spend some quality time with my characters. I thought about getting friends of mine to improvise little chunks of action with me (i.e. I would give them their character breakdowns and we could see what might happen) but then I thought that was probably cheating and I wasn't sure if I wanted to give them any opportunities to offer artistic commentary at this early date.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Verbose and Verbosity Enfleshed

I wrote another 300 words this afternoon. Of course, I only have the bare bones of plot, but as y'all know, I'm the sort of girl who never says in two words what can be said in twenty. What is the point of speaking the english language if not to revel in all these words we have? We don't usually consider ourselves a subtle people, we speakers of the English tongue, but look at all the different words we have for wet. Or fast. I could do this all night. However, I must pack as we are going away for the weekend (to a resort no less). I will not be blogging and I will be writing my NaNoWriMo project in long hand. Which may rein in my verbosity a little bit.

Of course, we have so many words for some things, and really no words for the act of love (because there are some things for which frack just can't do justice.)
Kitten Poster Megastore!

My apologies for not posting this sooner, but I have been trying to resist You Tube's siren call. However, I have found myself singing this all morning, so I must share the love.

Now that I have set it up, I fear that posting random videos will be my way of blogging for the month of November.

NaNoWriMo Word Count (for those keeping track): 1,502

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