Tuesday, November 30, 2004

In a fight between a manticore and a hippogriff who would win?

That's the pressing question of the day. Kevin called me up today and asked if I wasn't feeling well. I told him I had a malaise of the spirits. It's good to have someone who will listen to that sort of talk.

I felt like I spent the whole entire day trying to understand the point of view of people who irked me. Someone was sure that we had somehow inserted content into Google that they didn't want there. Someone else asked me who I was and when I said he was responding to a virus and gave directions, rather detailed, on how to clean up his computer and prevent opening them in the future told me that he knew it was a virus but was just checking and he replies to all of them like that.

I simply cannot imagine feeling that I am so bloody important that I can waste the time of everyone who is unfortunate to have their address spoofed by some damn fool virus. It boggles my mind and it irks me.

So Kevin made me laugh and then said that surely in the contest between the manticore and the hippogriff the hippogriff would win. I feel so much better now.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

An Island In a Pond

Chris asked if he could buy an island from eBay. This is what I found. BEAUTIFUL 23 ACRE ISLAND PARADISE. The funny thing is that it is an island in a pond. Must be a pretty big pond.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Comics week and going blind

I've spent nearly all of my free time this week reading. I read some JD Salinger and some Clive Barker but mostly I have read comics.

I read all my X-Files and my Gremlin Troubles, a couple of Sinnamons and a whole slew of Batmans of various kinds. Now I am reading my Elfquest books. Right now I am reading Rebels. This is the most engrossing thing I've read this week.

It's funny because I hear people talk about comics growing up and how people had to wait for comics to grow up before they could read them again. I was never fond of DC comics as a kid. I liked Marvel but really just Spiderman and Conan. I liked Spiderman because he is human and he has so many problems. I could relate.

I went form him to Elfquest and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and other independent/underground comics when I was sixteen or so. I had story and myth in my comics long before I discovered Sandman, no offense Neil, you know I love you, I'm just sayin'.

I think the reason I am so determined to reread all my comics by the end of the year is that my vision is failing again. I keep losing big chunks of the sight in my left eye. I supposed I will call Dr. Risamondo who will say my eyes look great and then I will what? Cry? Yell? Pluck out my eye and let her look through it and see what I am talking about? I don't know what to do but I've upped my medicine to 1500 mgs a day and that's not working. I would like someone to fix me, please.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Seymour An Introduction

I love this story. When Buddy Glass says "I'm stuck with the usual survivor's conceit that he's the only soul alive who knew the deceased intimately" he is spot on. The words "You didn't know him like I did" run through the heads of everyone left behind, It's so true.

Today msn.com had an article about the most dangerous city in the US. They say it's Camden NJ. I didn't bother reading the article. After all that's where Dan died. What more do I need to know about the dangerousness of the place?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Disinformation in action

It's fascinating to watch the way rumours start and facts change and reform before your very eyes when you have a little society right there in front of you. Because I work behind the scenes at the Mortgage Grapevine I know a little too much about what goes on. Sometimes it's hard because I know that the same person is really hateful and really kind under two different names. When I get requests to ban the hateful persona I know the same person complaining would be terribly upset if the persona they liked couldn't post anymore.

But what's really interesting is the way these sort of myths happen. I was just looking at a thread saying that there is no new server and maybe we will get one when the company is sold. The company was sold on the 8th and as I told the person who posted, via email, we did get a new server and the motherboard was fried and the whole thing went kerflooey when it was first booted up. Webmaster posted the same thing but somehow this thing about no new server carries more weight.

I saw something a couple of months ago that said that we had a huge server crash and lost all the titles to the threads. I have no idea where that one came from but I'm sure plenty of people believe it,

The really amazing thing to me is the myth of this highly annoying person who was finally banned for disrupting the flow of the Vine. Several times a week someone says this guy was banned for posting ads. Now mind you he has been gone for more than a year but I guess they need something to talk about.

The fact is this guy used to do things like post the word stop eleventyseven times infinity in a row. Andras had made the mistake of making a list of threads this guy posted in and the banned guy used to repost that list into threads where people said he didn't contribute. The thing is the list was something like 27,000 links long and on dialup sitting and waiting for that to load when it served no useful purpose was a kind of hell. I'm surprised people didn't simply go and lynch this guy. Those are just a couple of the things he did. I've only ever warned two people for disruption in the entire history of the Vine. And yet the other members of the community are totally convinced that the final warning, which I posted, was for posting ads.

So when I see people talking about how the prison abuses in Iraq mean nothing and I wonder how they can say such a thing after reading what I read I have to realize that humans have the ability to totally reinvent what they see and hear and read very quickly. Aren't people amazingly great?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Matchstick Men

I read the book Matchstick Men today. There is a lot I liked about it but I didn't like the ending. (Big surprise, right?) I thought the final con was really telegraphed in advance and made nearly the entire book feel contrived.

I don't think I ever said that I absolutely loved the ending to Blue Shoe. It was a little sad but it worked perfectly for me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

And I'm back

I got terribly depressed this afternoon. You know that depression where you can't even move because you feel so rotten. Cul said he thought it was not being at Fiddler's Green anymore depression. I think it was brought on by catching up at Riverbend and the Real Live Preacher's blogs. Of course Riverbend's was much more depressing but Preacherman got me down for totally different reasons.

I was thinking that is it. I am so far behind in my NaNoWriMo and I am too sad to write. And then I thought about the story Neil read us Friday night and how he says the cure for depression over events is to make Good Art so I opened my book and I wrote a thousand words. I'm particularly pleased with the bit about the cold clear voice and the animals dying from dehydration and hypothermia.

Chris and Jeff and Stu are downstairs writing and singing a song about how they could be the softest paper towels in the world. Someone is playing the flute and someone is playing the guitar. I'm very blessed to live in such a creative space.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Good news for people who love good news

I'm taking a break now as I am leaving in a few hours for Fiddler's Green. I will be way behind on the novel when I return but we will have happy fun dancing times so it's all greatly marvelous.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I think not

This article at msn.com disturbs me.

Block the pleasure centers in my brain so I might lose five or ten percent of my weight? What a wretched idea.

I love my pleasure centers and I believe if I take care of them they will take care of me.

I bet you a gazillion people are going to sign up for this drug though. When the guy talks about the epidemic that needs to be treated he must mean the brainwashed masses who think a size two means too big.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Annoying writing problem

I'm really struggling with this book. I don't just mean all the normal struggling of trying do the improbably by writing 50,000 words in a month where I am going away from the computer for several days, or a month in which I struggle with a brain trauma, I mean a problem that I think has been brought on by writing scripts.

I have trouble writing in the past. Screenplays are all present tense. Miami slaps Gilbert with her beaded evening purse. He laughs, tries to kiss her, and runs up the stairs. I like that style of writing and after writing three features and some shorts in the last four years I tend to gravitate to it naturally and I have to force myself to write in the past, like so:

She had a sudden insane urge to grab her computer and keep it safe. She took a step towards it and then KERASH BANG BOOM the front door came flying off its hinges and there was Glenda armed with the biggest guns Xodiac had ever seen.

Now that I am on page 69 I am getting over the problem of tense and am having a big problem with he said she said. When you write a script you get to put the character's name over their heads, so to speak.

You're acting like a fishwife.

Instead of

Xoda fluttered her eyelashes as him. "I declare Carl if you aren't just the soul of romanticism."

"He does all right." Luci gave him a squeeze. "Now let him finish pretending to be your big brother."

It's not hard when you've got two people talking but in many of my scenes I have three or four people talking. I don't want to say Xodiac said every single line but I don't want the reader to get confused either. It's very hard for me. Maybe I should err on the side of too many identifiers. After all it could only help my word count, right?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Skipping Christmas

I saw a commercial for a film called Christmas with the Cranks, or maybe Kranks, I don't remember. Apparently that terrible book by John Grisham that I read recently, the one called Skipping Christmas with the racist comments and storyline that made no sense to me, is now this movie.

It also appears that the whole thing was meant to be a comedy. Here I thought it was some weird little moral essay about fitting in with your neighbours and someone thought it was funny. I thought it was one of those whatsits, tip of my tongue, like Pilgrims Progress, one of those.

Come to find out it's secretly knee slappingly funny. So secretly I never once smiled or laughed.

* * * *

I'm still down about 2000 words on Bare Minimum. I've got 12,400 so far. It's bizarre to feel so guilty and behind over such a terrific word count. It's actually really great for seven days writing, a full time job and planning a trip that I can't afford to do properly.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

No Mom, really, it doesn't look that bad

I took everyone out for a haircut today. I am slightly disturbed by the fact that I change the oil in the van more often than I cut my hair. It's not like I am particularly diligent about changing the oil, it's that I have only gotten my hair cut maybe twice this year.

I like to give my money to small local businesses so we tried a little family owned barbershop. I guess I neglected two important rules. No, make that three.

1) Make sure the person cutting your hair speaks English well enough to understand that trim my bangs doesn't mean cut off every bit of my hair with any curl to it until my hair is almost the shortest in the family. A family of me and three boys mind you.

2) Look at the person cutting your hair and see if you like their hair. I thought someone else was going to do my hair and once my glasses were off I couldn't see a thing. Come to find out the woman who cut my hair seems to be some sort of gremlin/troll/hair god creature who doesn't look at all real and has gonk hair if I ever saw any.

3) Don't get your hair cut right before an important event when you haven't got the money to get it recut if you hate the results.

When I looked in the mirror after I cried. I can't even express how terrible I looked. It was like a bowl cut that you might find on a drowned rat.

Later my hair fluffed back up and some of the curl came back and I decided I would be able to go outside before a year passed and I felt bad that I never said a word to her beyond "It's so short!" and I felt even worse that I didn't tip her.

But you know when your kids can't even look at you after a haircut you do have a problem.

* * * *

I'm about a day behind where I would like to be with NaNoWriMo. I've got 10,240 words. Really I should be pleased. It's been very difficult for me to write so much with this brain thing going on but I have persevered. I'm pretty proud of myself for writing so much in just a few days. Go me!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Not much done today

Today was a constant struggle to get anything done. I was feeling sick all day but I managed to get all my work done and take care of quite a lot of annoying financial stuff after work. The end result is I only wrote about 700 words towards Bare Minimum. I like the scene so that's all good.

I also spent a fair amount of time researching different ways to get to Fiddler's Green. The temptation to drive is great but I am worried I'll be so fagged out after the drive I won't have any fun at FG. I plan to have loads of fun.

The train looks very good but the logistics are complex.

There is one plane left for a cheap amount but it doesn't get there until less than an hour before we're all meant to go off to dinner so that is out. I'm thinking it's going to be the bus for Cullen and I.

Yes, yes I should have bought plane tickets ages ago but we weren't sure if Cul could go and I've been broke for some time. So here we are just about out of time and I'm working hard to work something out.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Research for Bare Minimum

I started a thread at the Grapevine right before I started my writing for Bare Minimum. I wanted to write the scene where someone comes in with two machine guns and started shooting the place up but I know little about guns so I asked.

It's kind of funny how many useless responses I got. I looked at some other guns on the page Mac referenced and I found one that is more like what I was imagining.

This part of the description is deeply terrifying:

For stationary use in prisons or during riots on the streets, ILARCO provided dual and quadruple mounts for American-180

The idea of someone just shooting 1200 - 1500 rounds per minute into a riot or a prison makes me dizzy and sick.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

By the skin of my teeth

Big thanks to Will Shetterly who posted this quote:

In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns." Raymond Chandler

precisely when it could do me the most good. I knew I needed to write a crime scene today for Bare Minimum and I was worrying about it until I read that and then it worked itself out a bit more.

I am not sure how I hit my goals today. We had some shocking family news today and I had a hard time putting that out of my mind enough to write. I don't think today's work is very good but it is meant to be a first draft and I did get the words down so I'm going to be happy with that and go to bed. Tomorrow I hope to discuss stem cell research and how that phrase has come to mean something totally different.

And damn and blast those states that voted to ban gay marriage. As they say in junior high, that's totally gay!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

He makes me so mad I could just puke!

It's good when you can find the bright side of a tragic, life threatening, debilitating ailment. When I get really upset I start throwing up. I had a rough conversation with Aetna today when I tried to figure out why my FSA wasn't paying for Cul and Cam.

Then Chris and I went out to vote and that went pretty well except someone gave me crap for missing the 2002 election. I missed it because I spent almost all of October in the hospital. This lady was saying I should have gotten an absentee ballot. I told her when you're in ICU they are usually thinking about stuff like are you breathing not are you voting. But over all it was not bad. Lines earlier in the day were taking about two hours to get through but we were only there for about fifteen minutes.

After work Chris and I went over to the Goodwill so I could get a new lamp for my room and so we could get some books. We got an awesome lamp with a weird little locking glass case and one with starfishes on it for Cam and one for my room which is kind of high tech. I found two torchieres and a bookcase I wanted but I didn't have the necessary 44 dollars so maybe I'll find them again in a couple of months.

The check out guy was really snotty. I mean really. Just talking to him I could feel myself getting sicker and sicker and sicker. Finally he said something so rude that I ran out and threw up in his parking lot. Next time I'm throwing up on him. I'm just sayin'

* * *

2000 words for Bare Minimum at great physical expense. I am dead tired. I need to post it and get relax. Tomorrow I will probably write more drama and danger than I ever thought would go into this book at all. It's still weird how it all changes on me so quickly. Okay I am so tired I am likely rambling.

Monday, November 01, 2004

NaNoWriMo Day One

Wow that was interesting. I spent the last couple of days writing notes for the opening sequence of the book. Then when I sat down to write tonight I wrote something totally different and my female protagonist, Xodiac, is very different from what I had imagined.

It's odd to me how often I will start a project and it will turn into something new on page one.

So far I owe thanks to Kevin for giving me the idea in the first place, not that he did it on purpose but still, and to Cullen who helped me out when I said that Xodiac's character wasn't going to work with this story line. He gave me a plot point idea that will spin her around and set her off in a new direction. If I were writing a script I would think I have about 20 pages to play with before she has her big life change but as it is I am at sea. I guess it will just happen when I think I have established her existing situation enough.

Right at 2000 words today according to Word.

Come Back Little Sheba

I'd never seen this film. One of the kids accidentally kicked the TV while we were having a talk and Shirley Booth's voice sounded familiar so I started watching trying to place her. She sounded like the woman in I Don't Want to be a Homosexual by the Dead Milkmen.

Cul wanted me to turn the movie off and I could see his point. It was like it was Requiem for a Dream v 1.0. I could see no good coming from the situation and sure enough it was terribly sad.

The only positive thing I could say about the message of that film is that everyone who thinks it is terrible how easily we divorce today should watch that movie. Nobody should be trapped in a living situation like that.