Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Quick Post About Snakes

Is it funny or creepy that Sam Jackson is doing both Snakes On a Plane and Black Snake Moan this year? Me, I always go for both creepy and funny, why limit myself?

In reading notes in the original S.O.A.P. post at I find your lack of faith disturbing, I was extremely pleased to read of a possible zombies on a plane film. Three words - Best Idea Ever.

And I wish I had gone to see X-3 just so I could see all these great trailers, Snakes on a Plane, new Superman Returns and who knows what else. Cullen saw it but he can't remember what he saw. Kids today!

Is it just me or is this super creepy?

She said the people there are at least as aware of evil spirits as she is, and they are prepared and organized to do something about it. She learned this when she saw a man leaving hurriedly, his eyes black with rage. She thought, "Oh, oh! There's a dark one!" -- and noticed that one of the ushers was also watching that man. The usher spoke into a cell-phone or hand-held radio. Two men and two women intercepted the man before he got to the door, and spoke with him. After a bit, he went with them. She asked the usher where those people were going. He said, "To one of the private rooms, to pray for deliverance."

From this site.

To pray? Ya think?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

All I Wanted Was One Little Requirement And He Didn't Give it to Me! Just One Pepsi!

Take a look at this article. It's about some guy who walked across the US to try and figure out what was bothering him. Kind of extreme but you know, whatever works right? Except that it didn't work and he's being accused of cheating and who knows what else. For instance someone says he didn't lose as much weight as he said he did. What a thing to focus on; hardly anyone tells the truth about their weight for one thing.

But anyway this is the part that floors me:

He began his walk in April 2005 with those emotional burdens and a marriage on the rocks with his wife ready to divorce him.

"The walk had to happen in order for the divorce not to happen," said April, 33, who devotes her days to home-schooling the couple's two children. "They're connected; they can't be separated. It didn't happen the way it needed to happen."

April, who is featured in the film, says the media attention engulfed her husband, swelling his ego.

"The only thing I had was a requirement and expectation of him to exert himself physically and to have time and introspection to come up with a value system of his own," said April. "Something that would bring us closer as a family."

Now, she says that didn't happen and wants the divorce to go forward.
So here's what I imagine happening. She tells him to get out, she can't stand him anymore, the marriage is over and he panics. "But honey, I'll do anything to stay with you. Anything at all, I'll swim rivers, climb mountains, I'll bring you the sun and the stars and the moon, why I'll even walk across the United States for you!"

At that point she gives him a tired look and tells him fine, walk across the country and she'll reconsider.

That's all I'm saying.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Reminder about scam literary agents

You may recall that I blogged about the list of twenty worst literary agents recently and included a link, or maybe more, I don't recall exactly. Based on the behavior of a certain Barbara Bauer, I have decided to repost the list in its entirety.

This is the list of people you want to avoid. A friend of mine already had dealings with some of them but luckily escaped with all of her cash intact.

  • The Abacus Group Literary Agency
  • Allred and Allred Literary Agents (refers clients to "book doctor" Victor West of Pacific Literary Services)
  • Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
  • Benedict Associates (also d/b/a B.A. Literary Agency)
  • Sherwood Broome, Inc.
  • Capital Literary Agency (formerly American Literary Agents of Washington, Inc.)
  • Desert Rose Literary Agency
  • Arthur Fleming Associates
  • Finesse Literary Agency (Karen Carr)
  • Brock Gannon Literary Agency
  • Harris Literary Agency
  • The Literary Agency Group, which includes the following:
    -Children's Literary Agency
    -Christian Literary Agency
    -New York Literary Agency
    -Poets Literary Agency
    -The Screenplay Agency
    -Stylus Literary Agency (formerly ST Literary Agency, formerly Sydra-Techniques)
    -Writers Literary & Publishing Services Company (the editing arm of the above-mentioned agencies)
  • Martin-McLean Literary Associates
  • Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
  • B.K. Nelson, Inc.
  • The Robins Agency (Cris Robins)
  • Michele Rooney Literary Agency (also d/b/a Creative Literary Agency, Simply Nonfiction, and Michele Glance Rooney Literary Agency)
  • Southeast Literary Agency
  • Mark Sullivan Associates
  • West Coast Literary Associates (also d/b/a California Literary Services)
Please note that the site also warns there are many more, these are just the worst. Please be careful out there.

I have so much more to say but I'm dead tired. Sadly that's what kept me from posting this earlier last week, exhaustion and a PTC flareup. Still I suppose it's not too late.

Memorial Day

My family and my kid's family is chock full of people who served in the military. A sister, a brother, my grandfathers, most of the male relatives on my kid's side of the family (yeah they are those Lees), etc.

I was an army wife for awhile, Chris was born at Letterman Army Military hospital and his dad went off to Honduras when he was three weeks old and then on to Korea for thirteen months when Chris was six months old.

I've known people who died during their stint in the service.

We live fairly close to the Naval Academy and Cul and Cam's dad is currently in the National Guard.

Yesterday Chris gave blood during the Heinlein memorial blood drive (he is the only one in the family who is old and well enough.) Heinlein of course was a graduate of the Naval Academy.

Thank you to everyone, those who serve, those who have served and those who serve by supporting those who serve.

Home From Balticon

I'm back from con and catching up a little on my email. Last week I was so busy I didn't have a chance to read anything or write much at all. In an email from WaPo I find this rant by Tom Shales.

Now the reason I mention this is because I attended a panel yesterday (I think it was yesterday, it all blends together) called something like What is Darkness Without Light, why are there more demons than angels in art? In that panel Pyrocanthus, who does fabulous panels about art, specifically one about colored pencils, said that the one trend that really disturbs her in today's culture is the trend towards hipster irony. When you only care about being a hipster ironist (ironoclast?) you can't ever say you like anything or get excited about something or be hopeful, etc. and she asked which of us was willing to make a pledge that we would actively work to promote the good in our art or writing. I did raise my hand, I think my work, even the darkest, tends to try and bring some order out of chaos and in my column I work very hard to stay positive. If I don't like something I generally don't talk about it. There is so much good stuff out there to talk about, why dwell on something I don't care for or that doesn't click?

So today I see this rant, it doesn't deserve the name review, by this guy and he says this:

The boy, played by Shane Haboucha (gesundheit), evokes memories of the telepathic tot in "The Shining" in that he has some sort of psychic simpatico with the sinister spirits at large.
And then he goes back to his dreary little world where everything is horrible and his only fun is bashing everything. I mean he finishes his style column.

So here we have a grown man, who looks at least as old as I am, possibly older, who gets paid to do this for a living, who feels that making fun of a child's name is cool? Was talking about the kid's acting (which I thought was decent) too difficult? Shoot even talking about his appearance would be sort of acceptable, we do tend to do that about actors, but no, he chooses something that is absolutely beyond this boy's control and mocks it in what can only be called a grade school manner.

But really it's even more than that. There is a certain amount of pressure on actors to change their names to something glam or that fits certain narrow parameters, look at John Wayne for instance, and for this boy to keep his more interesting surname is brave and to be commended, not run down, right?

If that is hipster irony it's not my cup of tea.

And yes I know I have made many a snotty remark in this blog, this whole post is probably yet another but I'm not doing it for a living and I'm not pretending that I'm a critic and that my words should influence what you watch on TV tonight. If they do influence your TV watching habits I'd probably tell you to turn it off and read a good book or go for a walk under the stars instead.

Oh comments about Balticon so far? Best. Con. Ever. But then aren't they all? But really super fun happy dancing times, we all had such a blast and now are exhausted.

More later as I recover.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

What do you do for a headache?

I've had a godawful PTC headache since Thursday night. It was at it's worst Friday, a ten on the old one to ten scale, down to an eight or a seven today. I don't know what you do when your brain feels like it is bleeding but I took a bunch of narcotics and phenargan (throwing up with one of these headaches, especially when you're falling out of bed as I was this morning will make you pray for death), read comics and ate ginger cake. It worked a little, as I said the pain is twenty or thirty percent better than it was.

Here's hoping for even better tomorrow so my poor overworked boss doesn't have to do my job also...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Barbaro - Saddest Race for Me Since Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure

I'm in shock over Barbaro's injury during the running of today's Preakness. I picked him for the Derby and was rooting for him today. I had just finished saying that he is so beautiful and fit I would love to have him for a dressage horse, but of course that wasn't going to happen in this lifetime. Then he broke from the gate early and I had a terrible feeling his race was over but certainly didn't expect him to get pulled up.

I'm very sad for his jockey. He did everything he could to pull Barbaro up safely but it must really hurt to know that every step your horse is taking is agony.

They were able to keep Barbaro still until the ambulance could get there so at least the injury wasn't exacerbated by him panicking.

I sure hope he can be treated.

I also feel kind of bad for the winner. I just didn't care about the rest of the race.

I find it mildly amusing that the crown prince of Dubai, owner of Bernardini, didn't make it to the race. I can't understand why royalty doesn't want to drive through a crackhead infested neighborhood in Baltimore to watch his horse race...

Monday, May 15, 2006

What's the big deal? It's just a million dollars in lost revenue.

I was just poking around the Bonnaroo website and was surprised to see that they have decided to reduce the festival capacity by ten thousand visitors. Let's see, one hundred dollars a ticket times ten thousand comes to, why one million dollars. That's an astonishing sacrifice. I think it will enhance the experience of the attendee but you don't often see a better time carrying more weight than a million bucks.

In fact Cullen and Cam recently went to Six Flags and Hershey's park respectively. Cullen rode no rides and Cam rode three I think. Most of their time was spent waiting in lines - Cullen spent something like four hours waiting for a ride that kept breaking. And they probably paid a hundred bucks for these trips between the two of them.

I was thinking if it came down to it I would almost rather go to a virtual amusement park, if they were really realistic, because I can't bear to spend the entire day waiting on line.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I'm working on a project I am hoping will bring in a little money for the CBLDF. It's kind of funny, five years ago it would be a breeze but with my current brain it's also mindcroggingly difficult.

Oh the sacrifices we make for the causes we support.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Egg on My Camera

I had a bad brain day today, complaining to Cullen that an egg was walking on my camera when I meant an ant on my computer. I was very blocked for words most of the day, even having trouble writing, which is usually easier than talking for me. I keep having to go back and fix words as I type this.

We went over to the community college to enroll Cullen so he could take some math class that will allow him to take calculus his senior year at his high school. While we were there I talked to a really terrific woman in the advising department who is also in charge of disabled services and she said if I get my doctor to fill out a form then I can get help with this math class I need to graduate. She said that includes things like more time for taking exams.

She was extremely encouraging. I started college when I was sixteen, have a ridiculous number of credits and a pretty good GPA (it was 3.46 before I got sick and flunked this math class) and I have no degrees to show for it. To graduate from the community college I need one math class. I took a class Andras calls math for poets and flunked it. I was supposed to take the final for that the on the fourteenth of May 2002 and then I had that car accident and Dan died on the 13th. So I took an incomplete but when I tried to finish the class I flunked.

So then about two years ago I tried to take college algebra and had to drop out because my eyes were so bad I couldn't even see the exponents and I simply couldn't do the math.

The advisor is suggesting I take a math class for elementary student teachers because she said that it builds on stuff I learned a long time ago and hopefully I can make new connections to old pathways. Pretty neat and I didn't even ask her for this advice, I was just checking to see if I was still one class away from graduation.

So that was pretty encouraging and as my sister Julia points out they have tutors who will drag me kicking and screaming through the course. Maybe I could graduate with my two year degree 27 years after I started college...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Buy this for me, save me the cost of paying a neurosurgeon!!

Just in time to save my insurance company thousands this beautiful trephination kit goes on sale at eBay!! What incredible timing! What a fabulous way to connect with our historical ancestors who did upon occasion drill holes in their head to get closer to God.

Just think, I can be more spiritual and get rid of the extra fluid in my head at the same time! A win-win situation!

Here is the link!


They cleaned most of the surface rust for me? How kind!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The David Hasselhoff One-Two Punch!

For the full impact of this little show you need to read this article first, which starts out:

David Hasselhoff has complained to museum curators after finding his photo absent in a collection of memorabilia about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

And continues with this classic gem:

"After my appearance I hacked away at pieces of the wall that had the black, red and yellow colours of the German flag on it. I kept the big piece for myself and gave the smaller pieces to colleagues at Baywatch."

It's tempting to say something about sharing and how our mommies are supposed to teach us to give away the biggest piece to others, but I'll pass and let you get right to the piece de resistance, this absolutely amazing video of Mr. Hasselhoff singing Hooked on a Feeling. I'm not sure what I like best about this project, the floating above the motorcycle, the bizarre fur rippling in the wind, taking a bite from a large, intact fish or the smug "Hot damn, I am SEXY" expression on his face but then do I really have to pick only one favorite thing?

(Links courtesy of Cullen who keep running across them while looking for something else. What? I wonder.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Google ad humor

I'm reading the Hunting of the Snark and there is a google ad for Maritime Injuries over to the side as well as one for ships sunken , apparently readily available on eBay. I'm hoping the Maritime Injuries are not offers to sustain them but rather to assist in recovery from them but you never really know, the interwebs are wild and wooly places.

I finally finished my column, golly what a trial that was. Oddly I wrote about five hundred words for AgentOasis last night in maybe twenty minutes but struggled for three days over an 850 word column.

I found something that said that M. Night Shymalan is doing Life of Pi (very exciting news) but then it looks like that is a mistake and I can't quite figure out what is happening with Pi.

There is so much going on this weekend, Kinetic Sculpture Race, Sheep and Wool Festival, An American Haunting opens (I think) as well as the film by Daniel Clowes about the art student (Art School Confidential? Could that be right?) And of course we have the run for the roses. There will barely be time for anyone to catch their breaths!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Slow Writing Today

I worked on my column for three hours tonight and have less than three hundred words to show for it. That's kind of frustrating. It's not like I was spending my time researching either, that can use up loads of time, most of it was actively trying to get words down on the screen.

I did learn some cool things about efforts that various musicians have made towards making life better for fellow artists who were hurt by Katrina, that was pretty neat and heartwarming.

A Line to Pick Up a Chemistry Chick

(courtesy of Cullen who came up with this during Chemathon over the weekend)

Hey Baby, are you made of free potassium because everyone in the room reacted to you.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Where Are the Midwives?

Here is a WaPo article about a serious dearth of obstetricians in Japan, leading to the proposed separation of women from their home for the last month of pregnancy. It's hard enough being pregnant and worrying about the delivery and the health of the baby without being uprooted and sent away, possibly without your family or other support system.

With Japan stridently opposed to large-scale immigration that could alleviate the problem, the obstetrics crisis has raised serious questions about how this country can continue to operate the world's second largest economy and cover the costs of its huge elderly population. One in five Japanese are 65 or older.

What about small-scale immigration? What about importing health care workers from countries that can afford to lose them? How about taking some of the doctors that have had to retire here in the US because of rising malpractice insurance, pay their insurance for them and set them up in Japan? Oh sure, that's a naive and simple suggestion, I know that, but heck it is a starting place anyway.

I am baffled by the complete lack of discussion of midwifery in the article. Not even on word? Are there really no midwives at all in Japan? That would be suprising and sad. I've been really pleased by the spread of small birthing centers here in my local area.

I'm well aware that a midwife can't handle certain emergencies but a good midwife can deliver a baby in most situations and quite frankly midwives are generally more caring and compassionate, exactly what these isolated mothers to be need. Not only that but they could free up the scant obstetricians for the true medical emergencies.

My heart goes out to these women and I hope someone helps them, sooner rather than later.