Sunday, October 30, 2005

Time for the Insanity to Begin

Yep. It's that time again. It's almost November. Now, to most people, November is the beginning of the holiday season. Halloween is just the tip of the iceberg. A harbinger, if you will, of the excess to come.

For me, however, November means one thing. It's novel writin' time! Yep. One novel in thirty one days. It's a great way to drive yourself crazy, actually. I have managed to get through it once before, and wrote a completely egregious novel that I would be horrified if it ever saw the light of day. Really. It's terrible. This year though...this year I had a really good idea. I'm not going to reveal it here, however, until I've started writing it. But I am excited about it.

Some of the ground rules for Nanowrimo, at least my ground rules, are:

1. No reading back - it just leads to attempts to revise instead of writing
2. Set aside a specific time during which to write
3. Concentrate on the writing while you're doing it - don't make half-assed attempts with the tv on, with internet connectivity, etc.
4. If you're feeling the flow, don't stop yourself. Because then you're buying yourself some space for;
5. If you can't get anything down, it might be better to abandon the attempt for the moment. Hopefully, you've bought yourself some time by following rule 4.

Additionally, I usually have a good opening sentence of paragraph worked out in my head so I have something decent to lay down to get me started. Prime the pump, so to speak.

So, I will make an effort to post my progress here, and sort of talk about the process, but please forgive me if I disappear or write short posts. When I'm at the point where I have an excerpt I'm happy posting, I'll direct you to it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stop the Madness

Really. I mean it. It has to stop. Now.

Wait. Did I mention what I was talking about? No? Okay. I'll say it. Gaucho pants. Yes. Gaucho pants. Now, I don't care that they're trendy and were on all the catwalks in Milan last year. I don't care that perfectly reputable stores and brands are marketing these frankenstein creations. I don't care that you think they look kicky with boots. They don't. They're abominations.

I'll come clean. I did have a pair of gaucho pants. When I was about nine. In third grade. Yes, they were denim. I begged and begged for them, and damn, I thought I was the shit in them. And I wore them for a year, and then they went out of fashion. Thank god. But I know...nine.

I see perfectly respectable women in my building wearing gaucho suits. Trotting along in their pointy toe pumps (a rant for another time, because GOD they look uncomfortable, not to mention making someone with a size ten shoe size look like Sideshow Bob), and their...gaucho suits. I spotted a pair on The Apprentice last week, and no, it wasn't the fashion forward Alla who was wearing them.

I want to go to these women and ask, "Oh my god, did the dry cleaners shrink your pants?" Because that's what it looks like. And I'm honestly not sure which kind are worse: the ones that pretend that they're pants that, oops! accidentally got cut off at the knee, or the ones that are flowy and try to pretend that they're also skirts. I will say this, they all look bad on everybody. I realize that seventies fashions are back in, but really, this is one trend that could have gone unrevived, and I would have died a happy woman.

I mean, seriously. Capris I can deal with, but what's next? Jodhupurs?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pathetic Admission

I'll admit it. I hate AOL, but I love their ads.

You may chastise me as you see fit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Update to Wallace and Gromit

Well, this just sucks for Aardman Animation. Imagine having your life's work go up in flames. Though I admire Nick Park for saying that yes, it's terrible, but it's not like it's on the scale of the Pakistan earthquake. So kudos to someone in entertainment with a sense of scale.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cracking Good Film

Well, Friday night I went to see Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. And it was awesome. I just love the Wallace and Gromit films. I find them so clever, the plays on words and the visual references are so wonderful. The animators get so much expression out of the clay model faces, espcecially Gromit, who can convey more emotion in a cocked eyebrow than most real people can with actual lines. One of the things I love most about the films (and I suspect that most people feel this way) are Wallace's inventions. They're elaborate contraptions that rely on a well placed kettle, sleeping in the correct position and never, ever gaining any weight. One of the things I loved about this movie (and the shorts) is that they are uncompromisingly British. The characters have a very distinctive look (especially the town vicar, with his cloud of white hair and bushy eyebrows), the houses with their gardens are quintessentially British, and the language, for the most part, has been retained. From what I read, the only word they replaced was "melon" for "marrow." I also loved the rabbits in the film. They're up there with the seagulls from Finding Nemo. Only they have more expression.

It was well worth waiting for for five years. Stop action can be so tricky - it's either cheap and creepy (pretty much every Christmas special ever made between 1964 and 1970), or it can turn out like this: charming, quirky and amazing.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Parker Stevenson! Shaun Cassidy!

Ah, I don't know what I'd do without Television Without Pity. I really really don't. Especially since they've chosen to recap one of my favorite childhood shows. Yes. Miss Alli has recapped an episode of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. I had such a huge crush on Parker Stevenson when I was a kid. Shaun Cassidy was okay, but Parker was da bomb!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Unmarried Moms Need Not Apply

This new proposed law from the Indiana State legislature I'm not even sure I know what to say to this. Beyond the fact that it will be almost impossible to enforce (and what's to stop people from going out of state for infertility treatments or surrogacy or in vitro? If you can afford these treatments, you can afford to go to Chicago to get them.), who are they to say who can and cannot reproduce? It's an outrageous law, and it will certainly have unforseen and unintended consequences. I simply do not understand the amound of energy being put toward regulating women's bodies and lives through legislation. It's very very bothersome to me. As the end of this blog says, why do people put so much time and effort into trying to regulate how other people act? You can't legislate stuff like that. It's so intensely private, you know? And what if you get pregnant by accident, and it's your boyfriend, or a one-night stand? Do they force you to abort? How in the world are they going to enforce any of this? With privacy laws as they are, how can they prove how someone got pregnant? It's...jaw dropping.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Collection of Miscellany

First off, a worthwhile site to check out is Drink at Work. Very silly, and short.

Second off, I'm sick. I made it through work today, but at about 2pm I was really thinking that this was just not a good idea. I made it through the day, but it was tough and pretty unproductive. Adding to my misery is the fact that I can't taste anything, so everything tastes...well, sorta like cardboard. Diet Coke? Yuck. Coffee? Double yuck. Cold food? Nope. Not interested. About the only thing am interested is soup. I'm not a good sick person, in case you were wondering. I'm a little grumpy. Because I'm pretty sure I picked this evil virus up in New York. Oddly, my horoscope before I left for my trip told me to avoid hotel bedspreads. I pretty much did, but I can't help but suspect.... Coincidence? I think not.

That said, my trip to New York was actually very nice. I went up on Saturday and stayed with my cousin Kyle and his fiancee Tracy. The weather on Saturday was absolutely beautiful, so we took the train down to the village and just walked around for a couple of hours, window shopped, walked through a street fair, and took in the atmosphere. Kyle managed to trip off a curb and hurt his ankle, but he seemed okay.

We stopped at an Italian restaurant and had some pretty good appetizers. Sunday Tracy went for a run while Kyle and I went up to the Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park. It's pricey, but totally worth it. We managed to take two tours, one was a highlights tour of the collection (it's a pretty small museum, so you pretty much see everything anyway), and the other was a garden tour. In fact, that was the coolest thing about the whole museum: the fact that they had about four cloister gardens, which they use to demonstrate both the social use of the cloisters and to give a historical view of how gardens were planted and what they grew. It was actually very interesting.

Sunday was also the day that I was revealed as an evil influence. Whenever I'm with Kyle, something bad happens to him. It's like we have bad cousin karma. Which also translated to the weather (humid, hot and cloudy), and then communicated to Tracy, who had a bad blister and then hurt her leg because she tried to avoid running on the blister. I try to keep my evil under wraps, but I was exposed.

Monday we checked out the UN and also took the tour (Kyle's big on the tours, in case you couldn't tell, there). That was sort of interesting. I'll say this about the UN building: it's like stepping back in time to 1960. The whole building is powder blue with very sixties style seating. You can tell they tried to make it very modern, but in doing so, totally datd themselves. But I admire their mission. I wish they had more power and weren't so hamstrung. After that we walked up to Central Park and walked all through the Park, up to the statues of Alice in Wonderland and Hans Christian Anderson, Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields and the Imagine Circle. So that was all very cool.

The rest of my time? Meh. I was in a meeting for work, and it's not very interesting, except I learned a little more about folksonomies, such as, which...interesting. Not practical from a structured professional point of view, but a cool toy.

And the evil overcharging Hilton? Made me sick...