Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I've been really cranky lately. I think I've snapped at Cowboy at least once a day for over a week. And I can't blame it on PMS anymore either. I'm not entirely sure what my problem is. Like my favorite State Fair song says, "I am starry-eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightengale without a song to sing." I'm intermittantly grouchy and I don't know why.

It's not like I haven't been writing enough, because I have. I've just finished a short story that I submitted to an e-zine contest (more about that if I actually get into the e-zine). I'm working on my novel quite a bit--just passed the 50,000-word mark, which was my original goal nearly 3 years ago when I embarked on that mad journey. And I've got two other short stories in the works, one fanfic and one not.

It's not like I haven't been stocking my Creative Reservoir either. I have. I just read Robert Ludlum's amazing The Bourne Identity, and I've watched my usual amount of movies and tv eps. I've been listening to some great music, especially my new Bobby Darin cd, "Live at the Desert Inn." So it's not like I've been drawing from my supply without replenishing it, which does sometimes give me the widgets.

Nope, I'm just broody. I've got what Stephen Maturin calls the Blue Devils, and I can't seem to slay them.

Either it's a quarterlife crisis, or I'm starting to feel the effects of all that overtime Cowboy's been putting in. Maybe I'm just craving attention, and since I'm not getting the warm and fuzzy kind as much as I'm accustomed to, I'm lashing out in hopes of at least getting some reproachful complaints.

Maybe I should just go the way of Kay from Men In Black and start jumping up and down, waving my arms and shouting "Eat me! Eat me!"

Maybe I need chocolate. And more Combat!. Could be Combat! withdrawl--haven't watched an ep in over a week. Maybe I'm just jonesing for a Saunders fix. But Cowboy's napping on the couch right now, and I don't want to disturb him.

On second thought, maybe I do...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Evil Corporate Spambots Attack!!!!! No, not the latest headline from the hotsheets. It's what's happened to my blog: they keep commenting here, leaving moronic advertisements. So, alas, I am forced to put a little word-verification thing up, which means you have to type in some cryptic numbers and letters before you can comment here. Sigh. Sodding spambots.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hey, guess what? Suddenly, magically, I'm down to 145 lbs again! And I haven't even been dieting! I've just been sticking to my One Sweet Per Day rule, and boxing. This is my ideal weight! I haven't weighed this since I was a freshman in college! I hadn't checked my weight in like 2 weeks, but it'd been steady around 150 for f-o-r-e-v-e-r. And suddenly, whamo!

I think I'll just indulge myself in a little Dance of Joy around the Crypt now...where's Numfar when I need him?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cowboy is teaching me to box! I've always wanted to learn to box, ever since I was a wee girl watching the Rocky movies in my family's darkened living room while eating pizza and drinking that rarest of treats: soda. My brother and I actually had an inflatable Mickey Mouse punching bag when we were little, the kind with sand in the bottom so it would bounce back up when we hit it. Alas, it quickly acquired a hole that refused to remain patched.

But a couple months ago, Cowboy got some books from the library and started teaching himself how to box. Just for exercise, you understand. You see, he's always trying to get me to exercise. I was doing really well with my yoga for about six months, doing it at least 30 minutes 3 times a week. Then I went on jury duty, and never really got back into yoga after all that disruption. Then Cowboy came up with the brilliant idea of combining violence with the exercise. Perfect! Once he'd learned the basics fairly well, like the stance and things like that, we went out and bought a punching post thingie and bag gloves for each of us.

So now he's teaching me to box. I'm still working on my stance and jabbing, that's all. But we've learned something rather interesting: although I'm ordinarily right-handed, when I box, I'm a southpaw! We found out because, when he started teaching me the stance, I kept reversing my feet because I felt off balance. And he'd tell me, "No, no, the right heel has to be ahead of the left toes." And I'd complain, "But I'm gonna tip over!" Also, I kept wanting to jab with my right instead of my left. So finally we switched me around to see if doing things the other way would work out, and it did! Weird, huh?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A List of Things That Irritated Me Today
(Brought to you by PMS)

  • People who hum during the opening run-thru of a hymn during's so distracting...
  • People who sing or hum while they're's just wrong...
  • Bad Country remakes of good non-Country songs...especially if I'm forced to listen to them on the radio at work...
  • People who confuse 'infer' with 'imply'...especially in written, published works...
  • People who ask me what book I'm reading, then ask "Is it any good"?, you moron, I'm reading it cuz it sucks...
Where, oh where, is my Mallet O' Understanding?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Do you know what I love about making Cobb Salad? The leftover Blue Cheese. I love cheese in general, but Blue Cheese remainders particularly delight me. They're moist and crumbly, and I have to lick my fingers often when I eat them, so as not to waste one sour morsel. Cowboy is in the kitchen, whistling "Prima Donna" from The Phantom of the Opera and finishing the Cobb Salad, like the good little House Elf he is. And I sit here with my tiny clear plastic container of Blue Cheese, searching out the final morsels with diligence and glee. Life is good.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

My Top 20 Favorite John Wayne Movies

20. Big Jake
19. Hatari!
18. Angel and the Badman
17. Red River
16. McLintock!
15. The Horse Soldiers
14. The Commancheros
13. The Quiet Man
12. El Dorado
11. The Flying Tigers
10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
9. The Sands of Iwo Jima
8. The War Wagon
7. Chisum
6. Hondo
5. The Searchers
4. North to Alaska
3. Rio Bravo
2. Operation Pacific
1. The Sons of Katie Elder

NOTE: This is not my list of John Wayne's best movies, it's a list of my favorites.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm not ordinarily creeped out by things in my actual life. I mean, I can get scared by horror movies--unless they involve vampires, or are made by M. Night Shyamalan or Alfred Hitchcock. Those just give me a good woooooooooo while I watch them, and don't seriously freak me. But real life, stuff that actually happens to me and not stuff I read or see on tv/movies, doesn't scare me easily.

But yesterday something gave me the biggest wiggins I can ever remember having. Cowboy and I like to go 'graveyarding' (some call it 'graveyard rambling')--we walk through graveyards and look at old headstones, neat monuments, etc. We've done this ever since we were first dating. Yesterday morning, after church, we stopped at a big cemetery here in Ruralburg to wander for a bit. It's a cemetery I hadn't been to yet, altho Cowboy'd been there before. So we strolled around, looked at some cool monuments and headstones, and circled a neat Gothic-looking chapel built in 1940.

And then we found this tiny little mausoleum/crypt. It had a little door with a window in it, and then on the back wall opposite that door was a stained-glass window. I was just looking at the odd cement architecture of the building, but Cowboy looked through the window in the door and said, "Gaaaaaaaaah! There's a head in there!" And sure enough, silhouetted against the window in the opposite wall, were a man's head and shoulders! I let out a screech myself, and ran out of the shadow cast by the mausoleum, back into the safe sunlight. I do not know what it was--and I'm not sure I want to. Was the man embalmbed sitting upright? Is it a statue to his memory? Or did someone have a really warped sense of humor and have a statue put in his crypt to freak out people that looked inside?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I love learning about the WWII era. I love reading history books about it, people's memoirs, fiction set in the period, and of course, watching movies and tv shows set in that period.

Last night, I saw an amazing movie: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). It's about three guys fresh out of the service who all live in the same town and struggle to readjust to civilian life. I didn't know they made movies that frank on the subject right after the war! I thought they were all glossy and upbeat, like White Christmas (1954).

I grew particularly fond of the character 'Homer Parrish', played by real-life veteran Harold Russell. Russell lost both of his hands in an explosion during the war, and was trained to use these incredible hooks. He's absolutely amazing! You'd have to see it to understand, I can't explain it. Anyway, his character was such a sweetheart, and I was afraid through most of the movie that he was gonna commit suicide.

This movie, especially Homer Parrish's story, made Born on the Fourth of July look like a bowl of self-pitying, self-righteous mush.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tonight I finished reading John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth by Michael Munn. It's the first biography of John Wayne I've ever managed to finish reading. I don't usually read biographies of celebrities that I admire, because too often they end up ruining my idolization by waving all sorts of dirty laundry in my face. In fact, up to this point, the only celebrity biography I'd made it through is Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee by their son, Dodd Darin. (I own that particular book, and now also this one about the Duke.)

I think the difference between these two books and the other celebrity biographies I've tried--and failed--to read is that these are written with real love and/or respect for the people they're describing. Michael Munn actually met John Wayne in the 70's, and his description of the time he spent in the Duke's company is especially touching. The book basically details John Wayne's whole life, from birth in Winterset, IA, to his death in CA. Munn discusses every movie the Duke made, and makes extensive use of interviews with others that worked on those films, letting them tell the story for him. Through these first-person reminiscences, we get to see different sides of John Wayne's personality down through the years.

For instance, here's something Lee Marvin told the author about a conversation he had with John Wayne on the set of The Commancheros:
"Duke said to me, 'I think there's a great part for you in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.' I said, 'Which part would that be?' He said, 'Liberty Valance.' I said, 'Who's the man who shot him?' He said, 'Me.' I said, 'Duke, if anyone's gonna shoot me, I can't think of anyone I'd rather be shot by.' And he was as good as his word." (pg 231)
Munn also writes about the Communist plot to assassinate John Wayne, which I hadn't heard about before. It seems pretty credible, and although I can't link you to any text from the book concerning it, here's something in another book that gives you a general idea. I was anti-Communist before, but now...whooo, they tried to kill John Wayne! At least three times! Yeeeeahhhhh. I think I'm gonna go burn anything remotely red-colored in my closet...

Anyway, it's a great book, and I kinda want to just start reading it over again right away. I enjoyed it that much!