Monday, January 31, 2005
notable quotes from thomas’ homemade valentines:
Boogy with cupid
Feel the love
My q-t pie
You’re the king of hearts
Look’n for love in all the rite places
Groovy—to my best friend varun
3 kisses of fire!
You make me feel good
Celebrate good times, come on!!
You’re the queen of hearts
You’re the girl!
Groove on and get some love in you
Bright lights, big kissies
Be mine groovy Valentine
You’ve got the love feaver
geek corner: found fix for the stupid iTunes burner issue. apparently XP SP2 causes this. i added the little snippet to the .cfg file and presto blammo! it works.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
notes from last workshop
- the husband was too vague
- the kids were too cliched...all kids run around naked, play gameboy, etc.
- the main character should end up with lifeguard
- the husband shouldn't have cancer
- the husband should have worse cancer
- it doesn't make any sense for her to act this way if the husband has cancer
- she should be more worried
- she seems too worried
- baby, baby, baby sounds great, but doesn't make any sense
- baby, baby, baby was perfect
- baby, baby, baby really means that the mom wants to sleep with the son
- what do pools have to do with any of it?
- not enough about pools
- too many pools
- subtle class differences between various pools need to be teased out into large narrative making this very much like that one story by philip roth so forget that
- more backstory on husband
- if she's hag why would lifeguard like her?
- more backstory on betty
- less backstory
- the descriptions of the teenage characters was almost "anthropological"
- otherwise, the story is great and nearly publishable as is
- you're very close
went to church for the first time in a long time. i don't know what made us go. hope springs eternal? an unspoken promise to my dying mom that i'd give it all one last shot? "it" being the buying and selling and repackaging of christ. the boys grumbled about it. this turned out to be jazz sunday, which made lonanne wince. nothing like white folks trying to get down and dirty with the holy fire. we made it through, though. thomas enjoyed his sunday school class and came out with a magnificent drawing of new york city, the ever enlarged sun with its all-seeing eye and a happy christ on the cross floating aimlessly in the clouds. i've no idea what the poor teacher thought, but so small are our expectations, that if this is what an hour each sunday can net us, i'm in for the sermons and the fifteen different prayers and lonanne giving me crossways glances. are you sure? she says. hell no.
Friday, January 28, 2005
i'm glad someone has finally popped the lid off this simmering controversy. girl scout cookies are the tip of the iceberg people.
do you ever have a dream where you're wearing glasses only the glasses are smudged and you can't see anything, but you don't take them off, you leave them on and stumble through your day? yeah, i didn't think that was a dream either.
in the continuing effort to make everything into an action figure, we now bring you egg-monster and other perennial favorites from the last judgement.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
finally broke down and bought a new computer. and sold the old honda. and bought my mom's honda from my stepdad (yeah, you read that right). and got glasses. whew. that's enough consumerism to last another five years for us.
Monday, January 24, 2005
liberals religious? conservatives smart? say it ain't so.
in the category of "i wish i had thought of this for a story and i may still try to rip it off"
get ready for some murderball.
via mike: a different, but equally sad pow story.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
a good overview of the larry summers show trial as well as the latest theories concerning the gender gap. nice closing line too:
Already Summers is being forced to apologize, in the style of a Communist show trial, for sending "an unintended signal of discouragement to talented girls and women." But the best signal to send to talented girls and boys is that science isn't about respecting sensitivities. It's about respecting facts. The only people who don't belong in science, male or female, are those who would rather close their eyes—and yours—than see what's there.
i was talking to kyle the other day about academia and how unattractive any sort of teaching job seemed to me after the mfa program. this could be exhibit A as far as i'm concerned. worse office politics than what i've got now? check. speaking your mind discouraged? check. byzantine bureaucracy? check. irrelevant and trivial arguments [ed note: not that the issue of gender gaps is trivial, but the manner in which the discussion circumvents, ignores or ridicules common sense seems trivial compared to raising your kids, loving your wife, waking up on monday morning, etc.]? check.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
without further ado...
molly a.k.a moxie style a.k.a miss molly a.k.a little miss zealand a.k.a "bet your ass she'll kick it" a.k.a kendo san.
geoff a.k.a 5things a.k.a clip a.k.a "ali g. rodeo prank posting mo-fo" a.k.a buddy holly.
welcome to the left-hand (ed note: navigation. you meant left-hand navigation).
here's another one you snitches. jeez, what am i? some sort of story factory? yes, josh, you are fucking machine. you cannot stop. you're on a roll now. remember antarctica and bleeding words in the snow.
this fog has passed
(ed note: more sparks anyone?)
two words. custard pie. two more words. led zeppelin. one final word. rok!
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
this is now (ed note: you mean finally) showing at the dobie. anybody down for a midnight show?
Monday, January 17, 2005
dammit. i forgot to record this. i guess part 2 is on tomorrow night. and it comes on again friday i think. if you haven't ever seen it, i recommend catching james earl jones in the great white hope as well. it's not great, but it has some great scenes and it's interesting to watch jones so early in his career.
kid o. queer eye for the little guys (and gals).
Sunday, January 16, 2005
i'm not sure why, but i've been fascinated by the maldives (yes, even before the tsunami) of late. they seemed like such a paradise-hunter's paradise, so remote and slight and removed from everything. now, they've nearly been completely destroyed.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
in other news:
a cover-up is still a cover-up
again, there's this unwillingness to concede that cbs news ran a biased news shop. i'm not so stupid as to really believe fox is not coming from a partisan angle. but it seems otherwise intelligent people will tell me that the very same news gives bush a hall pass or the entire media is extremely right-wing. where does this come from? are we reading the same papers and watching the same news? just the other night i watched peter jennings stare into the camera and tell me that the oil rich countries of the persian gulf are trying to do more for tsunami victims, but the controls on muslim charities after 9/11 are keeping the flow of contributions down. i'm sorry, but do you mean to tell me that's not fucking biased? nevermind that america donated 10x what all the arab countries together donated. nevermind that those fuckers would prefer to help the widows of palestinian car bombers (look up the biggest charity event in saudi arabia in recent memory and see where the money went). no, it's our fault. if we only allowed all those terrorist-aiding saudis to launder money through charities, we'd have to put on the pink face for how much they were out-spending us on aid. like they did in bosnia when all their brethren were getting eviscerated. oh yeah, that was us.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
the slashdot of the american combat soldier
"Never travel in a convoy of less than four vehicles. Do not let a casualty take your focus away from a combat engagement. Give your driver your 9mm, and carry their M16/M4. Tootsie Rolls are quite nice; Jolly Ranchers will get all nasty and sticky though."
via kevin: he asks if all japanese are as racist/ethnocentric as this guy. i'd have to say, just as in america, if they are of a certain demographic (wwII males) the likely answer is yes. lonanne's granddad still calls thems japs.
i think the strange thing about living in another country is that you come to realize all the faults of your culture/society exist elsewhere. having been raised in the kinder, gentler jimmy carter america, it takes a bit of de-programming to realize america didn't invent racism. or hubris. i mean, at least we're not trying to take over china and battling russia at the same time, right?
good interview with t.c. boyle. i'm currently reading greasy lake which is pretty damn good. i always associated him with the road to wellville, which seemed like a dumb movie. totally shallow, i admit.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
thomas' christmas presents
a unicycle. lonanne discouraged this immediately, trying to talk him into a cat, while i busied myself with trying to find a unicycle in austin (a herculean task which finally involved having ozone order it for me). by the time i had the unicycle ordered and was patting myself on the back for finding this crazy gift, he told santa he wanted a cat. i'll probably wait a month and try to sell it on craig's list.
a cat. sparks. it paws at the unicycle which sits, untested for fear of death, in the garage.
some sort of game console that plugs directly into the tv. it has old school pac man and galaxia and dig dug. lonanne plays it all the time now. i never realized her prowess at pac man.
a bunch of $$$ that he wants to use to buy a game boy advance. lonanne is opposed to this on principle. she doesn't want him stuck on the couch playing his gameboy and only coming up for junk food. she's looking at it like the maginot line of mindless consumerism. however, it seems *every* kid at his school has one and he's desperately inadequate for not having one. i know how this feels and i'm not sure if i'm better off or worse for not having all the cool gadgets as a kid. we got an atari one time secondhand from these rich folks at the church, but it was several years after atari had already been out. i think i was playing pong while other kids had nintendo. i still feel sorely lacking in the whole gaming craze, as if my inability to properly shoot hookers in grand theft auto: san andreas might translate into a fault of the soul. there are deep currents in this argument and i dare not wade further. the compromise so far has been "yes, but not until your birthday in april" with lonanne hoping he'll forget it and me hoping he can hold out that long.
a handheld yahtzee which i've become addicted to. i find myself screaming out YAHTZEE to thomas when he's not even around. this doesn't help my case for the gameboy.
a remote control airplane. we flew it approx. 10x out at rsp (ed note: royal street provision. for the uninitiated this is a bed & breakfast & catering business that our aunt alice runs up in salado) during the family christmas. it seems the battery will only sustain two flights before it needs recharging.
a nerf football that thomas and i throw to each other nearly every night. again, cheap, common sense toy wins out.
some stinky shit that nadav (ndog) bought as a gag gift. it smells like diarrhea. hilarious. it took us nearly three days to air out our house. expect to find it under nadav's couch soon.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
happy belated new year.
- we stayed out till 4 a.m. new year's eve with kyle, ramona, molly and blair (sp?). too many parties to mention except perhaps the one at cambridge towers. we stood on a concrete balconey, eye level with the capitol, surrounded by gay set designers, sipping expensive champagne while three different sets of fireworks went off in the distance. i admired the furniture while they all tried to guess what sort of creature i was (ed note: gay).
- our cat, sparks, is still with us. we got her fixed last week. the vet took me aside and asked me if i was related to any of the new sweden magnusons. he said he grew up around a bunch of magnusons up there. eight brothers, two dying in car accidents. i told him i thought my great-grandparents on my dad's side came from norway, but i couldn't be sure. he seemed to want to tell me more about these new sweden magnusons. they obviously struck a chord in him, some distant memory. "anyway," he said finally. "you should go to new sweden." then he gave thomas and william lollipops and told them they had a good name.
- saw the life aquatic. once again, lowered expectations = much more satisfying movie experience. all the reviews led me to expect a failed wes anderson pic, but i was pleasantly surprised. it was an enjoyable failed wes anderson pic. i could see some of the flaws (including owen wilson's botched kentucky accent), but i saw them in a sort of loveable light, like the flaws of someone close to you, altogether forgiveable and endearing. i was ready to laugh at nearly every bill murray line. i loved the david bowie songs sung in portugese. even a bad wes anderson film is better than 99% of the pap out there.
- my stepdad brought over a bunch of my mom's journals and pictures. there were pictures from a trip her and my dad took to new orleans that i'd never seen before. there was her first driver's registration card from 1957. there was an invitation to breakfast with brenda lee from 1959. my original birth book. i had blond hair and pale grey eyes. i weighted 8.8 lbs. there's an old super 8 movie. and pictures. hundreds of pictures all stuffed in a box. my mom wasn't much for cataloging pictures. in fact, i imagine she threw away more pictures than she kept. i was surprised she even had these. and, of course, there are all the pictures we gave her of thomas and william. stuffed in a box.
- this sat. is 11 years for me and lonanne. that's a miracle by all accounts (ed note: by which you mean, her staying with you). it's also elvis' birthday.
- no resolutions. either do it or don't. thinking about it, talking about it, planning it almost never works. you get up and do it or you make excuses. put it on a 3x5 card. write (exercise, cut back, move forward) a little every day without fear or favor.
- now without further ado, the banished words list for 2005.