Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year of What Now?

I'm reading a lot of posts from people detailing everything they got done this year. I feel like I spent the entire year being bombarded by germs and fending off ever increasingly bad injuries.

I spent the first half of the year coughing so much I passed out frequently. It took several doctor visits, trips to urgent care, a hospital visit, a nebulizer and some steroids to finally knock it back under control.

Then my hair fell out and only stopped about three weeks ago, after more than two thirds of it came out, clogging up half the appliances in the house, like the vacuum and the laundry equipment.

Two weeks ago I took my Akita to the vet, along with my ginger cat, and he got so excited he sprained my wrist. It's not even that he pulled really hard - my hand must have been at a funny angle. The next day I popped the tip of my pinkie finger out of the socket, on the opposite hand.

This was ridiculous enough but then on Christmas Eve I fell in the bathroom and dislocated my left shoulder and banged up my knee pretty severely. I am hobbling around and my leg has a massive bruise. I also had to get a cortisone shot in my shoulder, to calm down "extreme inflammation" in the rotator cuff and the bicep. The bicep was a surprise as I didn't realize it was injured.

My insomnia kicked up into high gear. Instead of falling asleep around one, I fall asleep around four many nights. Even worse there are several nights each month where I never go to sleep at all, which effectively keeps me in the house as I won't drive if I haven't gotten a decent amount of sleep. If it weren't for naps after work I'd be a mess.

So here's hoping 2011 brings less pain and coughing and more sleeping.

Things I accomplished -

Bought a house.

Took in some homeless kids when their parents lost their home. This is an ongoing situation but the kids are back with their parents and hopefully things will be okay.

Adopted a kitten that came from a hoarding situation and mostly have been successful in taming him. He was never really wild but he wasn't terribly interested in people, just wandered around looking goofy. Now he comes to me and actively wants to be petted and he purrs, which is nice. He also likes to be on my bed and watch our pet rats. If I scratch his head at the same time he's in heaven.

Adopted an Akita from animal control. Chris taught him to tolerate the cats, although he does try to chase them back over to their side of the house, he's gotten to where they can drink out of his water bowl without him freaking out. He's a great dog but we have to watch him for toy, treat and food aggression. Not that he has a problem with us taking these things from us but he hates it if I offer the cats one of his treats. They don't want the treats or his slobbery tennis balls but he has to accept that they get to have them if they want. Akitas can be quite aggressive and territorial so we work on these things daily.

Wrote a script in April that I really like.

Had a splendid NaNoWriMo and wrote another ten thousand words of the manuscript during December.

Sent a query letter to an agent, which is not a big deal but is for me as I tend to overthink these things and never get around to doing them.

I just sent out another short story to a publisher I really like. I was hesitant to send to them as they have a long wait time and I don't like my work tied up but finally decided it was worth it.

I looked at tons of art this year. I don't think a day went by that I didn't look at at least one piece online, often from an artist new to me. I follow some museums on twitter and have been exposed to loads of new work.

Wrote another year's worth of my weekly entertainment column.

Kept up my saving money website, although that's been a little haphazard lately.

And finally I survived the loss of yet another computer, this time with a fried hard drive. Resolution for 2011 - find an awesome backup system.

Happy New Year to everyone and may the new year bring nothing but joys and blessings.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Party In Bushwick

My son Chris is part of a group throwing a big New Year's Eve party in Brooklyn. They've gotten some good press, including Flavorpill but the nicest writeup as far as I'm concerned is the New York Times.

ARIEL PINK For starters, the night is called Inverted Cosmos NYE 2011. Add to that the fact that the headliner is Ariel Pink, who’s specialized in shambolic psychedelia for almost a decade. And the flier (which advertises laser and light effects) is rendered in a gothic tie-dye naturalistic style. It all adds up to one big, spooky, hippie party. Based on his excellent 2010 album “Before Today,” though — which demonstrates a fluency in, and possibly even an affinity for classic song structure — Mr. Pink might be ready to move beyond the mystical vibes in 2011. In that case, zone out while you can. With Outer Limits Recordings, Autre Ne Veut, Steve Summers and others. At 8 p.m., 234 Starr Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn;; $19.99. JON CARAMANICA


Is this why they're called confidence men?

Is it all about the confidence? Derren Brown uses plain paper to pay for goods. Notice his key words as he hands the money over.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas!

Don't click this link if you don't like breasts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No internet?

I went to the hematologist/oncologist yesterday for my three month visit (everything was groovy, even my PT/INR for once) and met a couple of charming older ladies. They wanted to steal my coat, which I bought online at the end of the season last year for like twenty bucks. They liked that it was wool and especially liked the pink plaid trim, which is the reason I bought it.

One of them said she didn't have an internet at her house and the other one said she would get her son to show her how to shop online. They seemed just as impressed that I had made a successful purchase online as they were with the coat itself. They were just as cute as buttons. The younger was 82 and I didn't catch the age of the older one.

They were also worried about Cam, who was keeping me company. The trouble with going to the cancer center is everyone assumes someone in your party has cancer and they were worried it was him. They were quite pleased that we were there for my esoteric clotting disorder.

Today was my first day back at work after a week off and I'm kind of exhausted. During the busiest part of the day when I was getting new stories to post every couple of minutes I wondered how in the world I did it. Did I forget some secret for staying on top of all of the sites and newsletters?

I have a million presents to wrap but today is probably not going to be the day I do it. I'm not quite sure how we ended up so close to Christmas. I feel like it was the fifth like two days ago...


Sunday, December 19, 2010


More from Sojourner Truth, from a speech she made called Ain't I a Woman? She made this speech in 1851.

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
Full text of the speech can be found here.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Title Says it All

Creepy Hidden Mother


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance

I love the text on these cards Sojourner Truth sold to support herself.

I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance

They sum things up brilliantly.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

What now?

I got my beautiful Akita Mal from animal control in June, when we bought our house and finally had a garden. I also adopted a long haired kitten called Captain Jack, who is currently suffering from the heartbreak of static electricity, which makes his tail look ridiculously huge.

Mal had a cough when I got him and my vet thought it was likely bordatella, which is endemic at the animal control. I imagine it would be extremely hard to get rid of with all the animals coming in from all over, many of them have had no previous vet care.

I took Mal in for his lepto shot, and also brought George the ginger cat for his distemper and rabies. But I also wanted Mal checked for this recurring cough, which gets better then comes back again. I mostly hear it when he's eating and then it goes away. Very occasionally it kicks in when he's super excited. It's a very deep woofing cough and I always think he's choking but by the time I get to him he's fine.

If it was a new cough his doctor would think it was bordatella but since it has lingered for months, vanishing and reappearing, it might be one of those m infections, maybe myco? I can't remember the exact name. So we are going to give him antibiotics for two weeks and see how he goes.

Because there a couple more choices. If we were in North Carolina, where my vet is from, the number one option would be lungworms. How gruesome is that? By the way, if you can't sleep don't get up and start looking up lungworms. The images will give you the willies.

And then since I have also had a cough and a sinus infection literally all year long and scheduled for a CT scan next week, my second of the year, we both might have MERSA and be reinfecting each other. How's that for a charming notion? With dogs MERSA usually shows up in the skin so thankfully that one is not likely.

Because Mal was a stray we don't where he was born and will do the treatment for lungworms if the antibiotics don't make him feel better. His trachea is swollen and irritated and that's why he's coughing when he's eating. Luckily he feels pretty good most of the time.

If none of these treatments work we have to move on radiology, trachea wash, etc so I'm hoping the meds work. I spent almost five hundred at the vet today, what with George's blood work, flea and tick preventative meds and heartworm pillies for Mal and don't want to start getting into exotic treatments. I'll have to get a second job or mortgage or something...


Saturday, December 11, 2010


This is wonderful and has my favourite werewolf - Russell Tovey.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Regency Version

I've seen most of these clips during my recent foray into Masterpiece classics. In fact part of three of Emma is waiting on my DVR right now. The gentleman who plays Mr. Knightley is also on Dexter this season, which makes it a little weird.


Saturday, December 04, 2010

Stories that don't go anywhere

Have you seen the commercial on Soapnet about Sonny, Brenda and Dante on General Hospital? I don't watch the show myself - I did in the early 80s with my grandmother until she died, then again in 2002 with Danny until he died; I'm sure you see the pattern and why I'm not inclined to watch it anymore.

Anyway, the commercial has this song from the video I'm embedding and it's about one character finding out about a secret the other two kept. Its a great ad as there is lots of drama and conflict and the song bits work nicely, so nicely I looked the video up.

The video is terrible. Nothing happens. There is no story and no character development. There are some emo people and they sit around and long for something and a couple of them walk around but that's it. The most dynamic thing happening is a bird takes off.

Of course music videos don't have to tell a story but this one seems to want to and doesn't manage it. When a commercial for a soap opera is more compelling than the actual video maybe you're doing it wrong.



One out of eighteen people that have viewed this video don't like it. I can't imagine why.


Friday, December 03, 2010

Pooping on the Beach

This is probably the oddest thing I've seen today. It's postcards of a famous French person pooping on the beach in 1898. I have no explanation. NSFW, or at least most works.


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hooray for Shaun Tan!

The first time I saw Shaun Tan's work I was gobsmacked. Beautiful and odd; it's something that I find soul satisfying and speaks deeply to me. So far I've loved every piece I've seen, although I haven't seen that much.

He's been working on a short film called The Lost Thing for the last eight years and the Guardian reports it has been shortlisted for the Oscars. This is so exciting! You can get more info and see the trailer here:


Let's fire the writing staff

You may have heard the rumor that the entire writing staff of the Walking Dead has been fired and the showrunner is planning to hire a couple of freelancers and write the whole thing himself. What does this mean? Can it be done? Didn't Aaron Sorkin already do this? Kay has all the answers. A must read if you're interested in television writing.