Friday, October 29, 2004

I've signed up for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo which sounds kind of like a zippy anime character). It means writing a 175 page (50,000 word) novel between November 1st and November 30, 2004.

From the NaNoWriMo FAQ:

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over talent and craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

This works out to around 6.5 double-spaced pages per day. Which is not all that much (my smallest assignments for school run 2 pages and I have to worry about them being good).

On a side note: it's Halloween Vest Day here at work. One woman has a vest with cartoon ghosts, witches, etc. On the back is a cartoon haunted house and, along the bottom, right above her butt it says "Do you dare to enter?"
Drinking coffee and waking up.

Here's a link to Allerca. And what is Allerca you might ask?

ALLERCA expects to produce the world’s first hypoallergenic cats by 2007. Using patented genetic technologies to suppress the allergen will make an ALLERCA cat the ideal companion for people with allergies.

You can put down a deposit now if you'd like; the completed cats should go for about $3,500.

more coffee please

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I checked out THE STRANGER, Seattle's excellent alternative weekly (Dan Savage is the boss there) and here is a photo spread of easy-to-make Halloween costumes. I especially like the kid dressed as the torture victim from Abu Ghraib.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Greetings to all.

It's Thursday evening. Thursday I go to school from 9 until 3. I check out the library from 3 until 4, get shrunk from 4 to 5, engage in some shopping from 5 till 6 (that one's not on the schedule but I just seem to do that. In the old days my shopping jones used to be taken care of by the library...a big backpack full of loaner things would scratch that itch. The library isn't doing it anymore, isn't doing the jones I mean. About $30, that does the jones.)

Thursday feels like I'm entitled to a treat at the end of it. It's new, this sort of Thursday, I've only been doing them for 4 weeks now and it seems like there ought to be a cookie in the offing.

The planned cookie was tonight's screening of the special THE OFFICE on BBC America. Sadly, it's not bad but I have no problem wandering into the kitchen for extended spells to mash potatoes and I keep getting distracted by the GOURMET cookbook I picked up at the library. Cookbooks are good tv-watching things. I like to keep one open while the tube is on and I flip through it, as though I'm just on the verge of roasting some parsnips in a wasabi-oil glaze. Sometimes I keep a stack of index cards next to me, there on the coffee table and I make lists, lists like "Wasabi powder. Parsnips." that suggest that I'm going to actually prepare the goddamn recipe.

But no, probably not.

Anyway, sitting and eating in front of the tube, glancing at recipes and making notes just isn't doing it for me tonight so I turn to the blogosphere.

First of all, my beloved Alex found a great story about rodents online. I should add a link and make it a proper blog but I'm tired (all that school! all that therapy! all that shopping! all those mashed potatoes) so you are just going to have to take my word for it.

The story was about the custom of eating guinea pigs in Peru...they do indeed eat them and, having been encouraged to develop crops other than, you know, coccaine, Peruvians have spent the past 34 years (the article is weirdly specific about that number) developing a jucier, meatier guinea pig for export to the U.S.

So on one hand I like the incredible optimism of this 34-year-long quest. "The reason others don't eat lots of yummy guinea pig is that the animal is not sufficiently juicy and meaty! Get to work!" Lots of juicy females being bred with meaty males, in hope for that elusive delectable guinea pig.

I should point out that, according to other online explorations (which again are going unlinked due to the aforementioned reasons) I learned that guinea pigs eat their own turds. So I'm guessing their meat is really delightful.

Finally, the story Alex sent me mentions that the Spanish imperialists who conquered spain gave reproductions of classic paintings to artists in Ecuador, encouraging them to reproduce them. They did but in their version of The Last Supper, Jesus and the disciples are sitting down to a feast of guinea pig.

What's not to love about that?

Friday, October 15, 2004

I am very into the Apartment Therapy blog which is sort of a home decor blog.
I don't have cats anymore but if I did I would absolutely make one of these scratching posts. It's such an elegant solution, I can't believe I've never seen something like it before.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Tennessee making news again, this time regarding the Friends of Spring Hill Library flea market, held on the lawn of Spring Hill Presbyterian Church.

From THE TENNESSEEAN newspaper:

Among the dozens of booths set up on the lawn of Spring Hill Presbyterian Church was one vendor promoting personal pleasure toys and intimate products for women and couples.

''The most questionable item we sold was a vibrating bath sponge that looks like a rubber ducky. It's the cutest thing.''

City Administrator Ken York said Hightree will be cited as having violated the city's sexually oriented business ordinance.

The ordinance, which carries a $50 fine, prohibits ''presentation of materials … depicting, describing or specifying anatomical areas'' in places where they can be observed by the public.

love the specificity of that ordinance..."describing or specifying anatomical areas"???

Friday, October 08, 2004

I'm proud, mostly, of being Tennesseean. But sometimes that wears thin. The alternative weekly THE NASHVILLE SCENE has reported on the renovations at TPAC (Tennessee Performing Arts Center).

...what should have been a festive day promoting a collective sense of pride in the arts was a bit marred by the sight of a very conspicuous 40-foot-wide floor mural with several badly misspelled words. The mural, crafted in seven shades of blue terrazzo, features nine quotations about the artistic process.
But the mural takes some artistic license with the spelling of certain words, historical figures and sayings. The goofs include "Napolean Boneparte" instead of "Napoleon Bonaparte" and "concious" instead of "conscious." Then there's the Latin phrase that reads "Arts Gratia Artist," which should actually be "Ars Gratia Artis." Other than that, everything was perfect.

The article does go on to note that, amazingly, they spelled Alexander Solzhenitsyn correctly.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I feel proud of my friend Lillian who ran a marathon on Sunday. I'm proud of her for running the damn thing, of course (and all the attendant training, resisting of resistance, overall rockstar-ness required to do so) and I'm envious of this passage on her blog - such an excellent description of a feeling I've had but never thought to put into words (and I doubt I could have done it this elegantly):

Sunday was what anyone getting up at 6:30am on a Sunday would expect. Dark, raw feeling, all dewy & calm, the way cities can be when they're off the clock.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The NYT has a story today about how the Disney Stores aren't working so well and that they are revamping themselves as being more interactive (you, if you are a little girl, can spend the day doing princess stuff...having a tea party, doing a make-your-own-tiara, etc.)

The story's author tracked down, god help us, Camile Paglia to weigh in on the topic.

"It is a reaction to the hypersexualized environment where young women are expected to dress like strippers or whores.That should not be the standard for a 10-year-old girl."

Whew glad we got that one cleared up.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Greetings from boring-ass Central Florida.

I'm sitting in a ballroom of a Marriott just in case a delegate comes by with a question. Then I will tell them that there's no-one here who can answer their question; try back later.

Anyway, I am making my way through the bazillion news stories I've emailed to myself over the past four weeks but haven't had an opportunity to peruse. I read a great thing in the NYT about Wizmark which bills itself as "the interactive urinal communicator". It's a fancy urinal puck/screen thing that can talk, sing, make flashing lights, whatever when activated by a "visitor".