November, 2005

I’m off to visit family for Thanksgiving. That should explain my absence for the upcoming week or so. As for my absence for the last week, well, I have no excuse. Take care of yourselves, feel free to spice up the place with interesting commentary, and I’ll be back soon.

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18 Nov 2005, by


So, for a nice change of pace, here’s a host of engaging links:

Roses are Red” (from Emilie Autumn’s site, via Shasticon)

Hilarious conversation on the “Crazification factor” (from Kung Fu Monkey via slacktivist). Lines I especially enjoyed were “John: I am not spotting him eight hundred million Hindus. I call shenanigans.” and “John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US? Tyrone: Does that seem wrong? John: … a bit low, actually.”

New Orleans news : Doing the right thing during Katrina, this mystifying collection of refrigerator graffiti, Chris Rose asks “Are You Nuts?” (answer, if you’re living in New Orleans, you must be) and gives lurch lessons (via Poppy Z. Brite — also check out her pictures of the Lower Ninth Ward). Some people can’t face going back. Cokie tells NPR about surreal things in New Orleans: no children, no black people and at least 4,000 persons still missing. Firefighters from my area that volunteered to help with Katrina report their frustrations with FEMA.

For all my non-cat-loving friends : “Why being into cats is essentially the same as being into psychotic tweakers.” (via Naomi Kritzer)

And because anything labeled “Monkey Math Machine” is cool, read about how semantic congruity may not be related to language.

In dinosaur news, which it is now my business to know, because of Sophia : recently they’ve found a mean croc ancestor with a dinosaur head, Dakosaurus andiniensis, as well as a new small member of the raptor family, Buitreraptor. Both these fossil finds were made in Argentina and “buitre” is the Spanish word for vulture.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden tells a hilarious story from Capclave. Do not read if you are offended by dinosaurs, sodomy, or any combination thereof. The cool thing about Making Light is that when I read entries these days I hear them in the voices of Teresa, Patrick and Jim inside my head.

Of course, I wish I could show all those authors who anguish over their poor amazon reviews this lovely collection of one star reviews (saw this all over place, but possibly at Elizabeth Bear’s LiveJournal first). See? Everyone gets them. Although, I have to say, I’m kind of on board with the guy who hated The Sun Also Rises. Ugh, Hemingway.

I want everyone to know that I, as a woman, am “inclined to be nervous and…happier with change.”

Did you know that all those pretty colored autumn leaves are trees waging chemical warfare? Me neither.

I’m saving this great word to unleash on someone : bullcrit.

Special note for my friend Kostia: You’ve certainly already heard it, but Terry Gross’ interview with Bruce Springsteen was good, even by a non-Springsteen fan standard.

And one more thing, don’t hit your kids. Whether it’s the cultural norm or not, it adversely affects them.

Huh. What do you know. This still isn’t book reviews.

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12 Nov 2005, by

Yes! Exactly!

I read this today on Poppy Z. Brite’s journal :
The only way I have of “explaining” the work is by writing the work. If it’s not in there, then I didn’t know how to say it. There’s no answer key I’m holding back.

Yes. That’s exactly it. I can’t tell people what happened or what things mean, because I’ve already done it in the best way I know how. Anything else I could say would subtract meaning, not add it. At VP, after we’d had our story critiqued in group, people were often given a chance to rebut criticisms. I completely didn’t see the point. When they asked me if I wanted to say something I just shrugged and mumbled something about the work standing on its own merit and if it’s not in there, then it’s not in there. I’m not being coy at all, it’s just that I’ve already used all the best words the best way I can when I was telling the actual story. Also, once it’s out there (which, to be fair, hasn’t happened to me yet) then it’s technically not mine anymore, and my vision of it has no more authority than that of any given person who read it with care and attached meaning to it.

Of course, it’s beyond inane for me to explain why I can’t explain my stories. Navel-gazing of the worst sort. But there you have it.

Also, I note another death in the spec. fic. short market : Sci Fiction is no more. Bummer.

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Because yesterday, during Yoga, I did Wheel pose twice! Not only that, the lady next to me said that she loved doing yoga beside me because she could always peek at me and make sure she was doing things right. Most flattering. Also, I can now reveal that I’ve been riding my bike to and from Yoga. This lasted the whole session (except the two Tuesdays I missed at the end of October). It’s barely a mile, I think, but it’s seriously hilly, so it’s actual work. Now the Yoga class is ended. I’ll take a couple of six class sessions for the rest of the year. Then January will probably be dry, but the class starts up again in February. I don’t know if I can hold up with the biking when the weather starts to get seriously cold but I’m pretty pleased I lasted the whole class.

Urdhva Dhanurasana. Wheel. Go me! I can now sort of manage myself into a pose for about five breaths that I could sustain at will when I was nine, pretending to be a gymnast. Now if I can just get my guts up to start working on my headstands again, I’ll be yogi extraordinaire.

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Friday’s news bulletin : “Olympus” sucks. Terribly broken. Non-functional. One new thing I tried was accomplished so poorly that it was not even registered as an attempt. All kinds of rivet counting going on, as well. And still having the problem where I think I telegraph things blatantly and people don’t pick up on the semaphores. Bear with me while I whinge a bit. This is disturbing to me on various levels above and beyond the obvious fact that, given my druthers, I’d rather write things that don’t suck. But here’s the above and beyond : 1 – this story is important to me (which may be part of the problem, I suppose.), 2 – I’d like to think I’m doing all this cool shiny stuff that I learned at VP, but apparently I’m not, 3 – I want to have faith that the curve of my writing is climbing, you know? I don’t want to think of it like this jagged stock market, prone to rise or plummet without warning. There’s a reason I don’t gamble. Two people have said this is the worst thing I’ve written. One of those two people said “trite”. Prick me, I bleed, and so on and so forth, I’ll spare you the melodrama if you promise to picture it. I don’t have any ambitions to originality, I’m right with the school of people who believe in the limited plots, but I do strive for a certain authenticity, and trite isn’t part of that equation. Bleah.

I have no idea what I’m doing! What’s worse, people have noticed this! I’d so rather have a regular job right now. I didn’t miss the mark, I just did what my boss told me. It was the committee. It was the lack of funding, and proper equipment. It was, uhm, someone other than me not doing their job. Sigh.

News of “Olympus” suckage has completely derailed me from finishing “Lie Down with Dogs”, which bothers me. The two things are not related. I should be able to continue one without worrying about the other. Should, and yet, seem unable to. Completely paralyzed. I am not the story, the story is not me. And yet.

So you know what they say: Try. Fail. Try harder. Fail better. Only today I want a break from failing. So maybe tomorrow.

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I don’t even know how to say it anymore. I wish I could come up with yet another eloquent or at least impassioned plea to my government to stop debasing us with human rights atrocities. I don’t know what’s worse now, that we’re probably doing unspeakable things to people we cannot prove in a court are guilty of any crimes so we hide them in secret prisons, or that this action is defended and called just by citizens of what we once referred to with some authority and dignity as the world’s greatest democracy. Sure, I’ve no evidence that the CIA isn’t handing out balloons and cupcakes at these secret installations, but I can’t imagine why they’d need a special exemption to the torture bill for such bonhomie.

To see further examples of Americans defending the CIA ‘black sites’ and endorsing the torture that likely occurs therein, try the comments on this entry by Real Live Preacher, primarily the ones made by Little Green Friend, RickinVa and the ever popular Anonymous User. I bet these people would not even consider themselves moral relativists. And yet, wishy washy peace-loving me can put my foot down and say torture is wrong under any circumstances whatever. Evil wrong. Not negotiable, and not a single circumstance under which my government can or should do it.

I’m just about ready to scratch this whole country and start over again fresh. Can I get a mulligan? Seriously, I don’t need the country of my adult life to turn into the country of my childhood.

And it’s interesting, isn’t it, how quick all the Eastern European nations were to say “I’m not hosting this party“? It’s looking like maybe Poland, and looking like the EU isn’t happy about that.

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Lucid. Been a while since that happened. Hi Jim MacDonald! He’s a big bear of a guy (if I’d put up my VP photos I’d link) who can both boom and speak very softly, and has the traditional kind heart to go with the big imposing looks.

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3 Nov 2005, by


Huh. Did the new story really just tell me its title might be “Lie Down with Dogs”? Nah. That couldn’t be. Could it?

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