Wednesday, February 28, 2007


This the conversation that has been going on my head lately:
“Hmmm. I don’t feel so hot. Maybe I am getting sick.”
“Nah. I’m not sick. I’m just a little tired. And cold. And my neck hurts a little. And my ears seem a little clogged. But I’m not sick.”
“Aw, crap, could I be sick?”
“No. No. Definitely not sick.”
“Or am I?”

So far, I think I am just feeling a little run down and oogy. But I don’t think I am sick. Unless I do. Then I am.

See what’s going on here? I am making an effort to not make myself sick by thinking I am sick. But then I wonder if that’s such a good idea if I am actually sick.

Oh well. I will take my vitamins and go to bed early and assume it will all clear up by morning and I will awaken bright eyed and bushy tailed…yeah…that has never happened. Not the “awakened not sick” part of it, the “bright eyed and busy tailed part” THAT has never happened. Not a morning person, me. Never have been.

In fact, my mother likes to tell this little story about kindergarten and me. I was in the “morning” class. This was back in the stone age when kindergarteners only went for half days and weren’t yet required to know the square root of 2678 and the philosophic principles of Camus. But much like now, I was not a morning kid. Not by a long shot. So I would wander into school and do what I had to do. One day the teacher asked my mom if I had…something wrong with me. Some that would…make me lethargic until about 10:30 or eleven. Was I on some kind of…medication perhaps? My mom explained to her that I was just not a morning person and the teacher stopped worrying and didn’t ask me to do anything too tricky before 11. No operating the heavy kindergarten machinery.

No, I just don’t like mornings. Garfield and me. Still don’t. And before you go all circadian rhythm on me. I have worked day shifts and I have worked night shifts. I have gotten up at 5 am and I have gotten up at 2 pm. And it never made a difference. I am just not a morning person. But tomorrow…I will still not be a morning person, but hopefully I will be a non-morning person who feels less oogy.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Half dozen.

There was some baking done this weekend. Nigella’s Brownies, which, though delicious, are also terrifying. Who knew that any one food could contain 3 sticks of butter (plus two tablespoons) and six eggs? Not I, my friend, not I. They are good, I will give them that and the two times I have made them for parties, they have gotten a grand reception, but…six eggs. Wow.

Let’s see, what else? Ah, more vegan breakfast muffins. This time made with whole wheat pastry flour to pump up the fiber content and…um…a few chocolate chips for the…antioxidant value…yes…that’s why I put chocolate chips in there. Just a few really.

And I made my first foray into the vegan cupcakes. I gotta say…good stuff. I didn’t know how they would be but I quite liked them. James said something about it being a dryer cake but when I tried them I didn’t think dry, just…differently moist. In fact, they are quite moist, but not in the way a non-vegan cake would be, different texture, but with a tender bite and nice crumb. So yes, the chocolate coconut cupcakes with coffee (faux) “buttercream” (see, I put both the “faux” there AND I put the “buttercream” in quotes to let you know that it wasn’t real butter because that would not be vegan but non-hydrogenated margarine cream frosting doesn’t have the same ring to it and it takes longer to type out…even though I did…and thus rendering my efforts pointless…sigh) frosting…very good. I am excited to try another kind of cupcake.

I watched the Oscars at the yearly party at chez SnarkyDork. I realize that I have been going to this party for…the whole time I have lived in L.A. and I was there where there were only like ten people. Now there are millions. Millions I tell you! Not being a party girl, I pretty much end up in the kitchen chatting with Jodi and whomever wanders through. I had only seen one of the movies and…well, I am just not a movie person, but I am a Jodi person, so that was nice. And on top of that I get to see people that I only see once a year, or sometimes a few times more a year but not all that often either way. So there.

Other than that? Not much. But that seems like enough as I am ready for my nap now.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I know, I know, it’s not original or anything but I have been in a mood for a few days and I don’t feel like working for it. Besides, everyone else is doing it! (Imagine I actually linked to all the people who did it, because I’m not going to because I already told you…in a mood!):

What curse words do you use most?
Oh I use them all. A lot. A real lot. I much prefer the “eff word” over all others though. My husband likes to say things like “mother pusbucket” which I find far more offensive for some reason. He also says “mother of pearl” as a swear, which is not offensive to me, but quite silly. He says that since I am the only person he knows who actually uses “Rats!” as a swear and says things like “Aw gee whiz!” when they get angry, he can say what he wants. It’s true though, I veer wildly from drunken sailor to 1930’s toddler in my swearing.

What’s interesting to me about swearing is the satisfaction it provides. There is a linguistic theory that says that the most offensive swear words, and the most satisfying to say, are those that end with a “hard” sound, like a “K” or a “T”. The softer swear words all end in softer sounds, like and “N”. I have always liked this theory. I think for the most part it is true. Consider the words that are allowed on television now, like damn or ass. Both end in a softer sounds, a sibilant and a…nasal of some sort, and they are, to me anyway, far less satisfying than yelling the word that starts with f and ends with k…you know…FORK!

Do you own an iPod?
I do own a silver iPod mini. I like it but I rarely use it. I would like to get my car wired so I can use it while driving but for some reason, I haven’t done that yet. I do use it a lot when I cook and when someone else is watching something on tv that I don’t want to have to listen to.

What time is your alarm clock set to?
7:20. Ask me what time I get up.

Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?
I don’t like having my picture taken. At. All. But two or three years ago I stopped fighting it and let people take it. Now I find it interesting that a certainly SnarkyDork who gave me grief for years about not letting anyone take my picture says that she doesn’t like having hers taken…yeah, I’M LOOKING AT YOU, JODI!

What was the last movie you watched?
I think it was Pirates of the Carribbean 2: The Re-Pirating…or whatever it was called. It was long. I liked it but I could have liked an hour and a half of it much better. Still, I am always happy to see Bill Nighy. Oh, you thought I was going to Johnny Depp, didn’t you? Yeah, so not my type.

(Oop, since I wrote this the other day, I have watched a weird Japanese horror movie. I think it was called Maronette. It was about dolls. It was really, really bad.

What cd is currently in your player?
Oh…um…nothing illegal, that’s for sure. Nothing like some Jarvis Cocker songs and a Thom Yorke solo thing that I may have…no, nothing like that.

That Thom Yorke album though…wow. I like Radiohead just fine. I loved OK Computer but when everyone was raving about Kid A, I didn’t really feel it (but I should listen to it again and make sure, I suppose) but this solo thing. I really didn’t think I would like it and some of it is painfully shrill…but…I so love this album!

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?
Oh. I don’t like milk. At all. And I never have. I drank it when I was a kid because that was what I was given but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that I have some dairy issues. Look, I can tolerate just about anything, but dairy, it don’t tolerate me. Especially milk. So no. But I like soy milk and I like regular AND chocolate. And strawberry, and coffee, and spice and…I just like soy milk.

Has anyone told you a secret this week?
I don’t think so…maybe. I ain’t sayin’!

When was the last time you had Starcrack Starbucks?
The Day before yesterday. I had a tall brewed coffee with soymilk and one sugar in the raw. It was ok, it did the trick. I was more awake after drinking it. This morning I made coffee in my French press. I used French Vanilla soy creamer and a little bit of sugar in it. It was too sweet. But I drank it anyway.

Can you whistle?
I can and I do. All the time. Although currently I find I am only whistling that Peter Bjorn and John song “Young Folks” over and over. And it’s making me crazy. You know who is a really good whistler? Donovan’s Mama. She whistles all the time. I used to know when she was coming to visit because I could hear her whistling all the way up the stairs.

What are you looking forward to?
My vacation. Which won’t be for like…seven months. Sigh.

Did you watch cartoons when you were little?
When I was little? Yes. Do I watch them now? Yes. I love cartoons. Very much. Surely you are not surprised by that.

Do you own any band t-shirts?
Last night I slept in a Ramones t-shirt. Other than that…I think I have some that I don’t wear. I once had a favorite Sting shirt that was stolen, along with all the other dirty laundry from my car. And that freaks me out. I had a Bryan Adams bootleg t-shirt that I slept in until it fell apart. I never really LOVED Bryan Adams but I saw him in concert twice and someone gave me that shirt and I loved the shirt. My mom, she looooooves Bryan Adams and yes, I took her to see him. And to see Sting. And she took me to see Adam Ant.

My first band shirts were, and I remember this so clearly and I wish I still had them all, Genesis, Split Endz and the Knack. I liked them because they all had long sleeves.

What will you be doing in an hour?
Probably working. Or pretending to work.

What was the last song you heard?
Hmmm, it was something as I drove in to work…I don’t remember. But I do have “Black Swan” by Thom Yorke running through my head. Right now I am listening to Renata Tebaldi sing the Desdemonda part in Otello.

Last time you cried?
About three days ago.

Desktop or laptop?
Desktop at work, laptop at home.

Desiring any new ink?
Yes, since any ink would be new ink. I have a design and a spot for it but I am CHICKEN. I say I will get a tattoo when I turn 40, but I sincerely doubt that I will.

What’s the weather like?
Overcast, chilly and it has been raining on and off.—Wait that was yesterday. Today is blue skies and chilly.

What were you doing an hour ago?
Working. Probably setting up a script.—Again, that was yesterday, today…oh, wait…same thing. Sigh.

How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
Need? About 6. Want? 9. Get? Usually about 7.

Do you eat breakfast daily?
Yes, usually a muffin (homemade and as healthy as I can make them), sometimes some sort of bar or cereal, dry.

What did you do last night?
Made turkey chili for dinner. Read a book while listening to a tv show, talked to my houseguest. Went to bed early.

Do you use sarcasm?
Use what now?

Do you like mustard?
Mustard is fine in small doses. I sometimes use it instead of mayo in my tuna salad.

Do you sleep on your side/back/stomach?
Yes. Although I have nightmares if I sleep on my back and the cat sits on my back when I sleep on my stomach, so usually on my side.

Do you watch the news?
Not if I can help it.

How did you get one of your scars?
Falling of a skateboard. Oh and the little half moon one on my palm is from a bunch of daisies.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


So I was walking down the hallway in the office when all of the sudden this dude comes around the corner in full motorcycle regalia, leathers, gloves, helmet, and, in a testament to my nerdiness what was my response?


Apparently, I did actually gasp and jump because he just giggled and said “Boo!”.

Honestly, I thought “DARTH VADER!” I am not just making some nerdy joke.

I am so lame.

In my defense, I am very, very tired.

Yeah, I know, that’s no defense. I really am a dork.

OH HAY! I’ve been making vegan muffins again. Last week was cranberry almond and they were good, but last night I was messing around. I wanted mocha chip muffins but I had no chocolate chips and I really need something with more protein and staying power and whathaveyou, so I made the chocolate base with some whole wheat pastry flour mixed with the white, and then I put in some cinnamon because cinnamon is good for you and then I threw in some walnuts and…I was afraid. I don’t actually like cinnamon in my chocolate and I wasn’t feeling the walnuts and I was kind of wondering if they weren’t a little rancid and why oh why didn’t I just wait and put some chocolate chips in there and why didn’t I leave out the coffee and…and…

Man, those are some good muffins! Sometimes it just all comes together.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Since lovely people keep asking me, I guess I should say my Valentine’s was pretty nice. Despite the fact that I love the day, and always have I don’t really DO anything on the day. Normally I would give cards to friends and family but this year, I got caught up in other things and I kind of flaked on that. I did give a very special card to my husband featuring a unicorn vomiting rainbows (I purchased the card from here). This ties into the card I gave him last year which I made myself and featured a unicorn farting rainbows. So, you see, I like Valentine’s Day but I am not exactly a romantic.

In fact, when I was in college, my roommate claimed to HATE Valentine’s Day, even though she always got tons of cards and flowers and candy from her various suitors. So, being the nice roommate that I was, I would placate her and enjoy myself by decorating our dorm room with broken hearts and black roses and elegantly calligraphied quotes that said things like “On Valentine’s Day when your love hands you one red rose, ask yourself…who got the other eleven?” and “What better way to commemorate the martyrdom of a third century holy man whose head was chopped off than by eating chocolate from a heart shaped box?” Hmmm. Maybe we should exchange chocolate heads instead. Yeah, not very romantic.

This year was a little stressful. We usually just order a pizza and enjoy and evening together but I am shunning dairy, so we thought we’d pop out for some tacos. But, in a disturbing turn of events, a man decided to throw himself off a freeway overpass onto the road I take to get home. He survived but the traffic was pretty bad. I don’t know his motivations but I hope the fall cleared his head and he’s in a better frame of mind now. Traffic recovered as well but since it took so long to get home, James picked up tacos and we stayed in. I gave him a dozen whoopee pies and he gave me a book of Beatrix Potter’s journal entries, decoded. Did you know she wrote in code? And that she was an expert on fungi? Not very romantic…but very, very cool.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. Not in a big way or anything. I don’t go all out. I make some cards, I buy some cards. Whatever. I just like it. Red is my favorite color, I like hearts, I like chocolate so, you know, it all goes together.

I usually make my own Valentines for friends and family so don’t give me your bitter “Hallmark Holiday” rant. I don’t want diamonds or roses. I just like all the red hearts…and maybe a chocolate bar. I have done some pretty nice cards in the past (but this year I actually purchased one from an indie vendor), sometimes watercolors, sometimes cut paper, sometimes photos…all kinds of things really. And I enjoy it. But my favorite ever Valentine that I gave, that was years ago. And sadly, not to the man I married. And even sadder, the boy I gave it to…didn’t really “get” it. But it made me laugh. It still does. See I carefully painted 12 different kinds of noses. Long noses, snub noses, freckled noses, puppy noses, you get it, and I mounted them on long green stems, wrapped them with florist tape and gave them all lovely green leaves. Then I arranged them in a vase and added a little baby’s breath and proudly presented my valentine with one dozen long stemmed noses.

Well, I thought it was funny.

The one person I know who would have loved that valentine is my husband. But since I had already used that joke on an ill-fated romance, I couldn’t use it on him. Instead, I once sent him a “big ol’ box of looooove” filled to the brim with bad puns and candy. There was a candle with the note about the flames of love, matches with a note that said “I burn for you!”, a coffee cup with a note that said “I love your mug,” tea bags that said “You’re just my cup of tea.” Every bad joke I could think of right down to the penny with the note saying “Don’t ever change. You just make cents the way you are.” (OK, some days I do regret telling him that…). And in return he gave me one of my favorite valentines ever.

It was a Dr. Scholl’s shoe insert cut into the shape of a heart.

That’s right. He gave me his “heart insole.” (Get it?)

There’s a reason I love him sometimes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Just in case.

Now, I love Valentine's Day, (even if I don't love Conversation Hearts) but I do realize that I may be in the minority on this one. So, just in case you aren't feeling it this's a little something to express those less than lovey-dovey emotions.

Monday, February 12, 2007



Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
All of the above. Sometimes I will read a review that makes me HAVE to have a book. Sadly, more often than not, I don’t agree with the reviewer. But I am still a sucker. I do the same with recommendations. Once, my mother was at a craft fair and she happened to mention to some vendor that her daughter (me) liked Shakespeare. So the vendor said “Oh, if she likes that she should read this book! She’ll love it!” My mom told me and dutifully, I sought out the book. I looked everywhere for it, found it had gone out of print, haunted used bookstores and after a year or so, found the series by this particular author, who I am not mentioning by name because when I finally got the book…it had nothing to do with Shakespeare, or the Elizabethans, or anything really. It was a historical romance and it was…not quite what I was looking for. I’m trying to be polite here because I don’t know if I was just so annoyed by the fact that I bothered to track down this book or if it just wasn’t a good book. Still, it was a quest and I completed it. Now I have this set of books that I have only read the first of and I didn’t like it…and that’s not the only time I have done that either. I guess I just like to have a goal and an excuse to go to the bookstore.
And as far as browsing. I am a browser, but I always start with the authors I know and like and then I move out from there. I am attracted to certain styles of book covers and certain fonts and man has that burned me in the past but if you never try something new…you never waste your time.

Lewis or Tolkien?
Argh. Probably neither. I’d like to say Lewis but that would be a…mistruth. I liked them when I was a kid and I still love The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe but I seem to remember getting bored along the way. And Tolkein…well I like The Hobbit a lot but my god! The rest of the books…stop with all the singing!!! I guess for me, both series start really strong but as they get further into the world building, I get a little tired of it all. I have never read any of Lewis’ non-Narnia books but I would like to. I think they both were interesting people and had amazing minds but perhaps, for me, their minds tend to wander a little too far from what originally made them interesting to me.
Does that make sense?

Hard SF or Space Opera?
Probably more space opera. But you knew I like opera anyway. Or how about some Space Oprah? I’d pay for that.
I don’t know if I have ever really read any really hard sf. I guess I would be interested but I don’t really have a background for it. I like steam punk a lot though and, in a sense, that’s hard sf gone old fashioned. Well, if it is done right, anyway. And I like the idea that something is real and possible, like in Snow Crash, which is kind of the precursor to Second Life. Or the kind of cyberpunk stuff that I have read, where it feels like we are only days away from plugging our brains into the internet. So maybe I really like hard sf. Hmmm…

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Neither. I occasionally buy them but I almost never finish them. I get distracted by the one inevitable bad story and get disgusted with the whole thing. Oh this one time (not at bandcamp) I was reading this anthology of splatterpunk stories. OK, first, I can not defend my reading of such stuff. It was there I was curious, which I know is the kind of sentence that gets people in trouble, but somewhere in the middle of this book I became so grossed out by one of the stories that I had to do something that I had never done before. I threw the book away. I didn’t give it away, I didn’t leave it somewhere, I actually put it in the garbage and walked away. If you know me at all you know that this is something I don’t do. But I did. So that pretty much ended my experiments with both splatterpunk and anthologies.

Hugo or Nebula?
I strongly suspect I have read more Hugo than Nebula but I don’t actually know and I am too lazy to look it up. But I am quite sure that China has one a few Hugo’s so...I say Hugo. Besides, Hugo just sounds cooler.
(Hunh, I have just looked up both Hugo and Nebula award winners and I think I have read an equal amount of both, but China, although nominated many times, has not won either.)

Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?
I like my sci-fi like I like my music…NEW WAVE!

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Oh, tidy-ish. Not too tidy but cliffhangers annoy me because what if I didn’t really like the book? You’re not going to lure me into a second purchase just because you can’t wrap up a story.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Night time reading?
I wish it was anytime reading but it’s usually night time. When himself has gone to sleep and it’s quiet. I’ve been making a big effort to wear my glasses more and I think that is helping a lot. My eyes get pretty tired by the end of the day but my brain still wants to read.

Standalone or Series?
Eh, doesn’t really matter to me. (Obviously I am getting bored with these questions…It was so much fun at first!)

Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
Good lord how I dislike high fantasy! I SHOULD like it, but I just don’t. I like fairies and all that crap but man, it bores me. So there!

New or used?
Both. Depends on how freaky obsessive I get about a particular book.
So, if I am getting bored, then I guess you are too so here, do me a favor, and it doesn’t have to be about sci-fi…answer these last few questions. I am always looking for new things to read and I love to get recommendations, even if I end up hating the book. Let genre=whatever genre you like, sci-fi, romance, self-help…whatever, and give me some advice…all three of you…

(And just to be fair, the words in the parenthesis are some of my faves)

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
(The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri)
Favorite genre books read last year (in no particular order)?
(I really don’t want to go into how I didn’t read that many books last year again, but OH! I did read The Scar by China Mieville…damn he gets a lot of love around here!)
Favorite genre books of all time (in no particular order)?
(The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams)
Favorite genre series (in no particular order)?
(Well duh, gotta be Harry Potter…AND the Discworld series AND The Hitchhiker series…AND…)

Friday, February 09, 2007


Here is my original intro to this blog entry when I wrote it a few weeks ago…or a few days, I can’t remember which: “Once again, I steal from Fond of Snape but only because she borrowed it from elsewhere. And I have to admit that I edited it because some of the questions really didn’t apply. But l like doing these things so too bad if you don’t like ‘em!”

But this was a really long survey/meme thing and I started to get really into it and I realized that I was really enjoying answering the questions and thinking about books and sci-fi and the like. Even though I had edited down the survey a bit, I found that I kept coming back and writing longer answers so I’m thinking I may make two posts of this.
I really like to read and, in a good year, which was not last year, I read quite a few books. All kinds really, but I do tend to read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy/horror type things, so I guess I have a lot to say about them. Then on top of it all, I have been (very slowly) watching the new Masterpiece Theatre version of Jane Eyre, which is, in it’s won mind, a horror story. This has sparked some discussion of Gothics vs. Romantics amongst some friends of mine and I have really enjoyed debating the merits and downfalls of both schools of writing which, in a way, are the same. The thing is, I don’t like either of them. I don’t like Jane Eyre, I don’t like the Romantics and, despite being a fake goth, I don’t like Gothic novels. I guess I just like too argue.
So here is part of that meme because I enjoyed answering the questions:

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
A little bit of all of it.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
I like trade paperbacks because the print is just a little bigger but mass market paperback fits in a bag better so I guess it depends on the book. I was thrilled to find a particular book in mass market paperback when I was in England. It ws a really long book and the US had only released a trade size and it just seemed too heavy to carry around. Like that damn Jonathan Strange… book. Ya gotta prop it up to read it.

Heinlein or Asimov?
Hmmm…well, I have read a little bit of both and enjoyed a little bit of both but pretty much I’d have to say…neither. I am much preferring the new era kind of sci-fi/fantasy stuff. Pratchett, Adams and Mieville most specifically but I read a Gibson book that I quite enjoyed and I loved Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I like the kind of steampunk/cyberpunk feeling. But, that said, there is this one Asimov story that haunts me. It’s about a couple whose baby is born into another dimesion and to the parents, the baby is like this blue triangle, but in his own dimension, he’s this beautiful, cherubic boy and his parents are pink circles or something. It’s a really odd story but it freaked me out when I read it.

Amazon or brick and mortar?
Amazon pisses me off. I like the theory but it never actually works in practice. They say they have the book that I want but then they tell me that it’s on back order and it will be 7 days…then 14…then they cancel. I like going to bookstores and browsing around but I often do the research on Amazon.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Ah, I shop at Barnes and Noble(s) but I actually prefer Borders. It’s brighter and airier and just less…clastrophobic to me. But I have a Barnes & Noble closer to my house. Although we have a used bookstore that I like even better.

Hitchhiker or Discworld?
Both. Big fan of both. Think I have read all or most of the Discworld series plus a few others by Pratchett and I know I read all of the Hitchhiker series. In fact, I am totally planning to have a big 42nd birthday party…when I turn 42. And if you don’t know why, you need to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Actually, it is a book that changed my life in a way. I don’t mean to make it sound more dramatic than it is, but this book made me look at science and religion with a sense of humor. But it’s kind of an odd book, you have to have a certain sense of humor to really enjoy it. Me? I love it.

Bookmark or Dogear?
Both, but more likely a dogear. I know, I know, people think that’s bad, but it’s my book and I paid for it and I will do what I want with it. Don’t worry though, I won’t do it in your books.

Alphabetize by author, alphabetize by title or random?
Do what now? Puhleeeeze! Alphabetize? Surely you jest! Look, I have lots of books, and I more or less know where they all are. I don’t know how I know that and I am not always right, but in general…I know. But I am a wandering reader. I think of a passage or a poem and I go to that book and read a bit and then put it away. Just not always in the same place. And there are books in storage. And on the floor and under the bed…but organized? No. Alphabetized. No.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Never ever throw away. Some I keep, some I give away, some I trade in at the used book store. I think it would cause me actual physical pain to throw away a book. I have several that have been near drowned. I’ve kept them. When I was a kid I had an entire shopping bag of books given to me by my grandmother. That was exciting! But then I realized that somewhere along the way a bottle of perfume must have been spilled over the bag. Less exciting. But I kept every single one of those books, even though the smell of them made me queasy. And for the record, I also hate that old book smell. I know, I know, as a reader, that should be like perfume to me but UGH! Hate it!

Keep dustjacket or toss it?
I try to keep it but sometimes it just wanders off. I have a collection of dustjackets collecting dust under my bed.

Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Remove it! NEKKID BOOK! And only once have I ever put another cover on a book. I was reading this book about religion and I got some greasy fingerprints on the cover from my hand lotion so I put one of those stretchy covers on it. Also, I didn’t want to have to talk to certain people about what I was reading. It didn’t work. Suddenly everyone was asking me what that book with the cover on it was. I tried to lie but it’s hard to say “Oh it’s a cookbook,” Or something and not have them ask to see it. Hmmm, come to think of it, I haven’t finished that book yet…

Short story or novel?
Almost always it’s a novel unless it’s Hemmingway (who is better in small doses but is not sci-fi or fantasy but I guess could be fantasy if you want to be a guy who goes out and kills things or boxes…not kills boxes, boxes like the sport. You know?), or Fitzgerald (either one, I like both although some of her short stories might qualify as “fantasy” and actually, so might his…)

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Ooooh. I like both, but by page count I have read far more Harry Potter, but I would like to read the rest of the Lemony Snicket books. I like the books just fine but more than that I like the writer. He’s just damn funny. I heard an interview with him where he talks about the origin of the Lemony Snicket name (look in the Paste podcasts, I think it was there) that had me ROFLMAO….which is not an initialism I have ever used before…I don’t think I will use it again. That just made me feel…dirty.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
When tired. Then lie awake wondering what happens next. Obsessively. Sometimes I have to get up and read more. Sometimes I will just keep reading until the words are a blur on the page. I am bad that way.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Both. I like it dark and stormy but I like my fairytales too, most of which can be pretty dark and stormy. So let’s just go with once upon a dark and stormy night”, shall we?

Buy or Borrow?
Buy. I shouldn’t but I can’t help myself. And I worry when I borrow that I might do some damage and I would hate if that happened. In fact, although I am a huge fan of the CONCEPT of a library, I don’t actually have a library card anymore. I used to spend hours upon hours wandering in libraries but I am such a whimsical reader, I always got annoyed by the rules. Only 3 books at a time? And even when it was 12 books it seemed like too little. 2 weeks and return it? But what if I really like it and I want to stretch it out? Renew? I think not!

So that’s about half. Maybe I will post the rest some other time. Maybe not. I’m weird like that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Swoon Dive.

In a way, the word dive applies to both the park and my story. The park was a little…shall we say…ghetto--but really only because it was a small-time operation. We had pretty rigorous safety standards and I can proudly say that all the stands I worked in ALWAYS passed the state food inspection. OK, well, we may have bribed the inspector with pizza and water ice but we passed and that was all that mattered.

Aside from rides and food stands, the park had entertainment. We had three clowns, an unicyclist, a costumed character and shows. One of the clowns was kind of a bitch, one was always drunk and one…well…let’s just say that I am glad I never did go on that date with him (and let me just take this moment to say that yes, I did work as a clown once and yes, it is as bad as you suspected). The costume for the character was heavy and smelly and there was only one guy tall enough to wear the happy parrot suit. Seriously, it was a happy parrot suit.

Now, the shows…ah, the shows. Well, I think there was a magic show that featured some animals but one night the Lindenwold ALF broke into the park and threw the magicians sound system into the lake. I didn’t even know that the magic show had animals until then so I don’t know what happened. Maybe the bunny refused to come out of the hat? No idea.

But for my money (which was about $3.34 an hour at the time) the best show was the dive show. There was a large (but not huge) tank erected on the side of the lake and Lucky’s Dive Show Extravaganza (or something like that) came to the park. There were three divers, Lucky and son who were more than a little…how do I put this politely? Um…their necks were more than pink? Get my drift? And an Ivy League diving instructor who, not surprisingly, pretty much kept to himself.

Also, not surprisingly, I had a terrible crush on the Ivy-League diving instructor. To be honest, I don’t remember all that much about his looks but he was polite and quiet and didn’t hang with the rabble, which made him all the more appealing. Everyday he would come to the pizza stand and order a small soda. Everyday he would hand me a dollar bill to pay for the soda and everyday I would hand him four quarters in change. He would always look at the change and start to protest but I would just shake my head and shoo him away. This is how a sixteen year old flirts with an Ivy-league diving instructor. Once a week he would have a slice of pizza but that was about the extent of our relationship…as far as he knew. The girls in the pizza stand new better.

I never saw the dive show from the audience’s point of view but since it was near the pizza stand, I could hear the narration. About three quarters of the way through there was some sort of hillbilly shotgun wedding scenario (go figure) and a shot would go off. That was my cue. I would drop whatever it was I was doing; waiting on a customer, making a pizza, scooping a water ice, washing dishes, didn’t matter, and another counter girl would, quite seamlessly, step into my place. I would dash across the pizza stand to the window nearest the carousel and from there I could see him. He would be at the top of the high dive. I don’t know how high it was technically but let’s just say it was about a million feet. He would stand up there in nothing but his trunks, cross himself and then make the most beautiful, graceful, perfect dive into the tiny pool. I would wait until the announcer said, “PERFECT DIVE!” and then I would go back to work. Every day. Twice a day. All summer.

I didn’t moon over the diver. I loved him just fine from afar and he was far too old for me anyway but I was steadfast in my vigil. I was always in place for his dive and I always waited for the “PERFECT DIVE!” to make sure he was all right. He always was.

Towards the end of the summer, on a very busy day, he came by the stand for his daily seventy-five cent soda with the dollar-in-change chaser. The lines were long and everyone was bustling around but of course, the pizza girls made sure I waited on the diver. He leaned through the employee service window for his soda and as I handed it to him he said “You’re gonna get in trouble if you stop work everyday to watch me dive.”


Wednesday, February 07, 2007


My first real job, and by real I mean the kind where you have to file taxes and have working papers if you are 15 and all that, was at an amusement park. Here in southern California, you can’t spit without hitting someone who worked at Disney, or Knott’s Berry or Universal or what have you when they were a kid, but they are not anything like the my place of teenaged employment and it’s not polite to spit anyway.

I worked in a very small, family owned amusement park. How much amusement anyone ever got out of it is debatable but it is the park that my grandmother would take me to when I was just a wee ickle girl. It’s been there forever and in fact, used to be the home of one of the oldest roller coasters and merry-go-rounds in the US. I think the roller coaster is now gone. It was pretty sketchy safety-wise when I was a kid; I hate to imagine what it would be like now. When I worked there I liked to get in a little early and watch the building and safety crews run their daily tests on the rickety old thing. First they would walk the length of the track, up and down the hills. Then they would run the cars, empty, a few times. Then, every morning, at least one guy would have to ride the rollercoaster. I think they took turns. I don’t know how they felt about it but I can remember watching a big, burly guy in a maintenance uniform sitting in the front car, legs stretched out, riding round and round the track. I was always a little bit jealous.

The park was pretty small. I know that over the years it has grown, but only slightly. There are now bigger and better and far more technologically advanced rides. There is a water park taking up valuable parking spaces and I think there are even some big pavilions that house fancy shows but when I was there, well…small town amusements. One rollercoaster, a scrambler, a tilt-a-whirl…the stuff you can find on any midway really. But it was a fairly cheap and entertaining day out. And in the summer, during the season, just after Memorial Day, the tiny park was jam packed with people.

I got my job because I knew someone else who worked there. She worked in the ice-cream stand but I started out in the picnic area. It wasn’t a pretty job and I didn’t like it at all. My first day was spent washing the nastiest pots and pans I had ever seen and cleaning out a sink trap that actually made me cry. My second day was spent serving greasy pork to people at a company event. It was early in the season and the park was only open on weekends. I had decided that the next weekend, my second, would also be my last.

I came to work that second weekend and I was given a uniform shirt. The first weekend I had only been required to wear blue shorts and a white shirt. The shirt was quickly ruined but I guess you have to prove your mettle before receiving a uniform. I got mine the day I planned to quit. I went up to the picnic area and was just getting up my nerve to give notice when they told me they needed me to help out in the pizza stand. I ended up working there for several more years.

The park has been on my mind lately but I am not sure why. Maybe it’s the tiny scars on my wrists that I see when driving that make me remember that one bad day with the deep fryer. Maybe it’s the chilly weather that makes me think of the 500-degree pizza ovens. I haven’t been back to the park since I left and I don’t exactly miss it. I met a lot of people there and all kinds of people. The food staff was mainly high school girls, the management was mainly college boys and the rides operators were mainly…well, I guess it wouldn’t be too far off to call them carnies. It was a weird job but a perfect one at fifteen. We worked hard and we had fun. What more could you ask for? Oh, right…money.

The other day I said that if I wrote my autobiography I would call it, oops but I have always wanted to write a book about the park and the people who worked there and call it Small Amusements.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Blanks, filled in.

Now you know I am not the participatory sort and in fact, I don’t even like people all that much so I am playing along here without playing along.
1. I have never wanted to climb a mountain, shoot the rapids or run a marathon; but I've always thought I might like to nap for more than two hours at a stretch. (Seriously, you should let me try this one.)
2. When I was 9years old, I believed 39 was a good age to get married.(I still think that.)
3. If I was my own best friend, what I would enjoy the most about spending time with Me would be the hilarious jokes and the cool presents; while what I'd find the most irritating would be spending time with someone like me. (I think I have already gone on records as saying that I never like the people I am most like because I don’t like seeing my own neurosis mirrored in someone else. Who the heck wants to hang out with a mess like me? Not me!)
4. If the story of my life up to this point was being published tomorrow, it would be titled "oops." and it would be dedicated to all of those who have ever had to deal with the aftermath of me saying…”oops.”
5. When my time on Earth is over, and the people who loved me are remembering me, it would please me if they said ”She wasn’t so bad.” (Say what you like, I won’t be listening!)

So…I have all these posts half written. I keep thinking of things to write about but getting distracted. I have all this art half drawn but I keep getting distracted. I have the ingredients for all kinds of vegan cupcakes but…you get the picture. But I did finally catch up with “Heroes”(Hell-lllo Christopher Eccleston!) and I did read three whole books in the past few weeks, which is almost more than what I read all last year.

Things are progressing. It’s just that they progress…very…slowly.