Monthly Archives: September 2008

I forgot to watch t.v. and a belated Fess Up Friday

I’m a t.v.-holic and I’ve been forgetting for weeks now that most t.v. shows have returned from hiatus. Honestly, I’m having fun not watching t.v., not being chained to the boob tube. There’s lots of shows I want to be watching, I don’t think we’ve necessary lost quality. But I don’t want to be told where to be and when any more than I have to be. Don’t have Tivo, so that means I’m going to watch t.v. shows like Bones, which I don’t want to get behind on (my favorite show), online. The studios need to get with it and start counting downloads rather than cancelling quality shows based on out-dated and inaccurate Nielson ratings. We’re still getting our dose of advertising, so what’s the difference? Did catch most of Survivor this Thursday, after forgetting it was premiering till an ex-coworker and always friend reminded me. I’m way behind on House. And I missed How I Met Your Mother, but I’ll rectify that shortly. How does anybody have the luxury of being bored anymore?

From somebody or other, here’s a hilarious video of the mock Sarah Palin Disney movie Head of Skate. Oh watch it and laugh, for ye will.

And my Fess Up Friday reckoning:

9/20 – 1,646 words (finishing 5/I and working on 5/II)
9/24 – 607 words (probably continuing work on 5/II)
9/26 – 1,303 words (finishing 5/II and working on 5/III)

Still lame, but getting better all the time. Let’s see if I can get into better habits and pick up the pace in October before NaNoWriMo kicks off November 1st. That means, I need to write today.

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So sad

RIP Paul Newman. Really wish I’d gotten to meet you, you seemed like a really awesome person and I always loved your movies. I think I’ll watch The Long Hot Summer today in memorial.

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"…and stalk them…"

Nifty little video on agent research.

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Late Fess Up Friday

9/16: 1,092

That’s it. Slightly less depressing than nothing, but nothing to brag on. I’m getting closer to what I want and making some solid realizations. One of which is that I don’t think I’m letting anybody read the book anymore until I finish a draft that I’m happy with. This is so opposite to how I usually work – I thrive on feedback. But, I’m figuring out that with TCB, there are too many cooks in the kitchen and I’m kicking them all out till I finish my masterpiece feast. Just wait till you get to taste it – it’ll be worth it then. Promise.

So my friend Nick Fox, a writer, doesn’t have a website or a blog or anything. He’s amazingly low-tech, with only an email newsletter (in which he often argues with Ernest Hemingway and others) sent out to family, friends and folks he meets on his travels. With his permission, I’m quoting from his most recent (a return to New Orleans on The City of New Orleans):

“There’s something to be said for inefficiency, I think. If I’d flown to New Orleans, I would have been here in a couple of hours. But that’s like entering a time machine. You go through elaborate security measures, you find a neatly ordered seat inside a round capsule, there’s some noise and bumping and a couple hours later, there you are, on the other side of the country. It’s time travel. And it’s not very interesting.

On the train, you wait. You watch the scenery go by. There is the sense of an actual journey to a destination. You do not click your heels three times and say, “There’s no place like Basin Street. There’s no place like Basin Street.” You wait. And if you have to wait three hours at a standstill because of trouble with the line, that’s just part of the deal. And if the rails are flooded around New Orleans due to Hurricane Ike and they have to bring busses up to Mississippi to pick up the passengers and take them the last hundred miles in the rain, then that’s just the way it goes. It’s a journey. And you enjoy this journey.”

I’m passing along a link about Gustav with a picture of Anna West (one of the infamous Baton Rouge Annas) and here’s a link to an interview Nick did with C.J. Hribal (in lieu of a link to an actual, you know, website). Welcome home, mister.

A friend, James B. (one of the roommate candidates) forwarded me a bit of hilariousness regarding Brocabulary. Here’s some funny ones (the source of the forward):

brostalgia – Nostalgia for something you did with your bro or bros. ‘Oh, man, all this talk about keg stands is making me brostalgic.’
duedonym – A name that only your dudes call you. ‘I used to play football with this guy, Kevin. But everyone knew him by his duedonym, ‘One Ball Rosenthal.”
fellodramaMelodrama between fellows. ‘Brody peaced at Stephanie Pratt’s bday to avoid any fellodrama with Spencer.’

friendjamins – Hundred dollar bills, lent to a friend. ‘It’s all about the friendjamins, baby.’
guyamese twins – Two guys who are pretty much inseparable. ‘Can you believe Brad Pitt and George Clooney are doing another movie together? Those dudes are like total guyamese twins.’

And The Magnetic Fields are coming to Atlanta next month, on the 17th. Anyone want to go to the show with me? I can’t miss it, haven’t seen them live yet and they’re pretty much my favorite band. Or one of them.

A friend of a friend of mine rescued an adorable puppy in Baton Rouge. I want to adopt it so badly but can’t, so I’m making it a mission to help find it a home. If anybody relatively close to BR wants this puppy, let me know.

[Thanks to my friend M. and his friend M., the puppy has found a home. Thanks to K. who originally rescued her in BR and to C. for connecting K. and me.]

[M. has informed me that his friend M.’s friends (the new family) have named the puppy Kia. Now there’s a name for “the puppy.” Yay!]

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Political correctness burns me up, especially when it’s worthless

So I’m at a notary public’s office where they do vehicle registrations for the DMV and they had a display of possible license plate choices. One of them read: “Choose Life.” I’m not going to get into my personal beliefs on the abortion issue or attack anybody else’s. But on a very real, rhetorical level, I object to the very way we discuss abortion and our stance on the issue.

PRO CHOICE or PRO LIFE. That’s absurd. ABSURD. AB-S-U-R-D. How can there be two pro sides on an issue? If we’re debating, we’re already screwed. Therefore, many people would have us think that it’s “Pro life” and “Anti life,” but that’s not the issue at all. The issue is about CHOICE, not about LIFE. If I support a woman’s right to choose, I’m therefore pro CHOICE. If you don’t support somebody’s right to choose (and want to pick a DMV license plate to announce that), then you’re really ANTI CHOICE, not PRO LIFE. It’s that simple. Nobody who supports a woman’s right to choose wants to kill babies, is against the idea of babies or new life. We (ahem, they) merely support the idea that a woman should be able to decide. But the pro lifers would NEVER agree to be on the anti stance of this debate and they don’t want to discuss the real issue, which is about choice (do we not live in the land of the free? the “freest” country in the world?) because then people would actually have to THINK about the issue, what the issue really is, rather than make an emotional decision. And it’s hard not to be emotional about babies. That’s biology.

And where’s the pro choice license plate option? So much for separation of church and state.

Then there’s this: Rose McGowan’s comments. When did we get so afraid of people having opinions? Even if they’re different than ours. What kind of an idiot would assume that Rose McGowan’s personal opinions represent the thoughts and opinions of her studio? I mean, I get that it’s for legal purposes. But I just detest this pandering we do to absolute ridiculousness. She has an opinion and it’s a little shocking. And, worst of all, she actually spoke her mind. Reminds me of the link I put up a while ago about Katherine Heigl kicking heiny. Yes, they’re gorgeous actresses. But that doesn’t mean they don’t get to speak their mind, even if their studio does think it’s ill-timed. What great press, though. Hadn’t even heard of the movie and now I have.

I’m getting so tired of people being afraid to argue (even me, y’all). Argue properly in a way that genuinely challenges beliefs, laws, conventions. It’s the truth of all things – when your belief in something has been challenged, it is all the stronger when it passes through. But the truth is we’re afraid our beliefs won’t stand the challenges. And maybe they won’t. Scary stuff.

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Help

I’ve known it, but now I’ve had to sit still long enough to face it. I’m not writing because I’m scared. It could take a book in and of itself to talk about what I’m scared of. But I’m scared. So I’m going to sit here some more and keep trying to not be scared enough to write.

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My oh my

I feel like somebody gave me a bon bon looking at this delicious piece of SNL with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton.

As soon as I saw pictures of Sarah Palin, I knew SNL would be calling Tina Fey and thank lordy for it. Just goes to show you that the ladies have it – SNL, that is. If anything could restore SNL to anything like it’s former hilariousness, it’s Fey, Poehler and hopefully new generations of smart, funny, women.

The bit made me side with Clinton a bit, which scared me. But oh, oh, is it funny (“…and you just glided in on a dogsled wearing a pageant sash and your Tina Fey glasses!” and “…please, ask this one about dinosaurs!”)…

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Toni’s lastest Murderati

Really interesting post from Toni over at Muderati’s site. I’ve had this conversation several times with folks (as a former bookseller) about African-American fiction sections and what that naturally leads to when you think about young adult and any marketing/genre distinctions (in what ways are they helpful, in what was arbitrary).

I especially like her thought about Clarence and the, “I couldn’t write that.” The reading she mentions was a FABULOUS one at Chelsea’s last year with Toni, Clarence and Ronlyn Domingue, arranged as a fundraiser for New Delta Review and also as a way to celebrate these incredible writers. I honestly can’t think of three writers who are more different in their style and their subject matters and I adore them all as writers and as people. They all have in common the LSU MFA program, which might be surprising when you see what they’ve done since their time there. Or it might not be.

Check out their websites and books and see what you think:

Clarence
Ronlyn
Toni

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Curious

Saw this piece that is a curious reversal of our expectations. Sure, we’re used to movies taken from books, but here’s a book, Love Dare, that was written because of a movie (and not a movie novella).

Loving The Frames’ Cry Me a River. What a fun cover.

And more even than the cover, I’m loving the gorgeous fall weather, cool and non-humid, we’re experiencing. Too bad it’s going to leave soon. Humidity always feels so much worse after a taste of a cool breeze.

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Ike

Ike ignored New Orleans, except for flinging some rain and some very intense winds our way (couldn’t drive to BR yesterday because it was so difficult keeping the car on the road, especially on the spillway Thursday night and yesterday morning, it’d only gotten worse). Lots of people in Baton Rouge who’d just gained power after Gustav lost it again.

And Galveston. I can only imagine how that city fares after Ike and I hope they recover as best and fast as they can.

I’ve been hearing from Baton Rouge an old (and valid) complaint, “There’s more to Louisiana than New Orleans!” Hurricanes are an entirely different matter in Baton Rouge. I hadn’t completely anticipated that when I moved to New Orleans. Baton Rouge, before Gustav, hadn’t been hard hit for years. They’d forgotten how to protect themselves and how to recover – Baton Rouge is the most likely place to evacuate, after all! Not the place that gets hit. So we forget how hard it can be brought to its knees. I lived there for seven years and I was shocked, SHOCKED, by the amount of damage while I was evacuated there and as I’ve been going back for work. Downed trees everywhere. Demolished houses on Park Blvd where enormous old oaks with shallow roots gave up the good fight and toppled into houses they’d sheltered for years. The house right next to a former boss of mine, so badly damaged that it made me shake.

It’s entirely understandable why so much attention goes immediately to New Orleans whenever a storm even threatens to go into the Gulf. We’re a bowl, so susceptible to flooding and we’ve never recovered from Katrina completely, never covered from any storm the way that we’ve needed to in order to stand an honest chance against a direct hit. Add in the economics of it all (hello, tourism), we are generally understood to be the cultural center of the state, not that makes us superior, just incredibly important in terms of economics and culture and you can see why, not that that makes it right that other places lose focus. Let’s not forget how Katrina made the world extremely aware of New Orleans’s vulnerability. Nobody wants to see that again…

Anywhere. Gustav and Ike remind us that no, it’s not just New Orleans. We need drastically better protection against these ever-increasing storms all along the coast, especially the Gulf. We need better plans. New Orleans had a handle on it this time… nobody dreamed Baton Rouge would be hit the way it was, but we need to start assuming that anyplace can and will be hit, ferociously and without mercy.

And in the end, there’s always going to be times when there is something we can’t anticipate, can’t protect against. We have to try, but we can’t guarantee.

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