Monday, September 26, 2005

Just figured out what it is about Chad Kroeger's singing that's so dead-sexy. It's the way he treats vowels. I'm listening to "See You at the Show" (he's the lead singer of Nickelback, FYI), and it struck me that he draws out vowels in a very unique way, like he's unwilling to let them leave his mouth. He hangs onto them a little longer than most singers would, and it just comes out all caressing and seductive.

Speaking of Chad Kroeger, I wish I had a better picture of him to put here, because he's my ideal Sirius Black. Whenever I'm reading the Harry Potter books, I always envision Sirius as a dark-haired version of Chad, all skinny and lanky and slightly sinister. Not that I don't love Gary Oldman, but he's not who I see in my head when I imagine Sirius.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I haven't posted much in the last few days because I am spending most of my free computer-time trying desperately to finish my first novel. I want to have it done by the end of October, because in November, I'm actually going to try doing NaNoWriMo! If you're not familiar with that term, it stands for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth. The basic premise is that in one month, you write a 50,000-word novel. And considering that my first novel is at 56,000 words right now and it's taken me 3 years to get that far, I'm undoubtedly mad to try NaNoWriMo, but that's okay...I've been insane for years, and known it.

Actually, what's going to make NaNoWriMo completely psychotic for me is that I'm going on vacation on November 22, so I actually have to write 50,000 words in about 20 days, not 30. Because I'm going home, and I know I won't have the time or the inclination to work on it when I'm home. That means I have to do something like 2,500 words a day. Zounds!

So anyway, it's not that I've dropped off the face of the earth, it's just that I want to finish my first novel before starting my NaNoWriMo novel. Make sense?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I finally named my bike. Actually, I named it a week ago, but I didn't want to blog about it until I was sure I'd found the right name. Dragonfly. It came to me when I was pondering how to decorate the tote bag I'd just made for it.

See, I have this passion for making stuff. I particularly like to make new stuff out of old stuff. So in this case, I took an old pair of my jeans that had many holes in them, several in places that prohibit me from wearing them in public anymore. I cut off the top of the jeans, just below the back pockets, and sewed up the part I'd cut, making a nice bag. Roomy enough to carry 6 videos or medium-sized books, or lots and lots of dvds and cds. Since most of my solo bike trips are to the library or video store, I figure this is a good way to measure the size.

I knew I wanted to decorate it with some sort of beaded design on the front, so I started looking through my beadbox for inspiration. And inside my beadbox I have some little metal charms left over from when I was made a similar bag a couple years ago for my mom to carry her teacherly books to and from school. One of the charms was, you guessed it, a dragonfly. And I started remembering how in highschool, Freestargirl loved butterflies, Jewels loved ladybugs, and I kinda liked dragonflies. And then it came to me: not only would I do a beaded dragonfly on my totebag, I'd put the words "Fly with the dragons" on the other side. And that is when I realized my bike should be named Dragonfly.

The bag is working out really well--I've used it several times now. I attached it by the belt loops to my handlebars with pieces of suede lacing (my family calls the stuff 'yang', but I don't know if that's its real name or just another of our weird terms for things), and it's very handy. Especially all the pockets.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Quote of the day: "The job of the federal government is not to prevent idiots from making stupid mistakes; you cannot be free and still expect to be free from the consequences of your decisions."--Philosopher Poet (aka Flying Squirrel) on his blog...

I heartily agree.

Er, I mean, Arrrrrrr!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Don't forget that Monday, September 19, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Check out the official website for more details. Arrrrr!

Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm reading a book by Stephen King! As you probably know by now, Gentle Reader, I do not ordinarily read books by Stephen King. They scare me. I don't enjoy being scared, except by vampires, Alfred Hitchcock, or M. Night Shyamalan. Or Vincent Price. Or Christopher Lee. Or Edgar Allan Poe. Anyway, I've tried reading horror books/stories by Stephen King a couple times before, and never particularly cared for them. I've seen 5 or 6 movies based on his writings, and only really liked Secret Window and The Green Mile.

But I'm really enjoying this book! What is it? On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. He's got this great sense of humor, and his quirky musings on his childhood have really captured my attention (I'm only about 50 pages into it so far). I got it out of the library because Noumenon sent me a link to a couple pages from it on, in which King discussed dialogue, which is something I really focus on in my own writing.

It will be worth reading this book, for me, if only for this little section about watching mainstream movies in the 1950's and 1960's, found on page 45:
"They were boringly wholesome. They were predictable. During The Parent Trap, I kept hoping Hayley Mills would run into Vic Morrow from The Blackboard Jungle. That would have livened things up a little, by God. I felt that one look at Vic's switchblade knife and gimlet gaze would have put Hayley's piddling domestic problems in some kind of reasonable perspective."
Love it! Altho I really like The Parent Trap, the idea of pitting the bubbly blonde twins up against that menacing hood Artie West is deliciously intriguing...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Must gush for a moment about the sweetness of Cowboy! I got home this morning from work, and he announced he got me a present. Guess what he got me? My very own 1-year subscription to Writer's Digest!!! I buy it every few months, maybe 4 times a year or so, when an article catches my interest in the grocery store and I don't want to just surreptitiously read it and then put the magazine back.

Well, Cowboy decided it would be cheaper just to get a year's subscription than have me buy them at the stand now and then. Isn't he sweet? Okay, yeah, sure, he's cheap...but sweet too!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I have started a new writing regimine. It's sort of inspired by Dkoren/Lanyn's mention a while ago (I think on her blog, but it coulda been in an email to me) that she keeps a record on a particular calendar of how many words she writes every day. It's also inspired by an article I was reading in Writer's Digest at the grocery store the other day, that talked about the importance of making yourself write every day, even if it's just a little bit. In that article they mentioned that Hemingway himself often only wrote 400-500 words a day. So I thought to myself, "I'm about half as good as Hemingway, so I'll start out trying to write half as many words a day!" So my goal is now to write at least 200 words every day, on one of my many projects. And on my 'weekends' I have to write at least 1,000 words in the two days. So far I've stuck to it too (but then, I only just instituted it on Tuesday). In fact, on my three days off this week (I love holidays!), I wrote more than 4,000 words! Just makes me feel good to know I've accomplished something, you know? Oh, and by the way, this posting happens to be 232 words long! Just so you have an idea how little I'm actually making myself write...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Do you know what it means when you look down at your bare foot and wonder why there is an empty banana peel draped carefully across it? When the plastic 20-oz bottle of Coca-Cola on the desk in front of you has only about 3/4 of an inch of liquid left in it, and you're the only person in the house? When somehow the Metallica cd you remember just cranking up a moment or two ago now sounds an awful lot like Rob Thomas? When that apricot-scented votive you picked up on clearance for a quarter last night is now a puddle of peachy wax in your favorite votive holder?

It means you're Hamlette, the Dame, and you've just gotten so involved in the story you were writing, you lost track of a couple hours of your life.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I bought a bicycle last night! It's a Huffy Cranbrook, and absolutely amazing! I fell in love with this bike when it first arrived at work last fall. Since the area I stock is right across from the bike rack, I got to see it quite often. I love it for its classic, sleek curves, the way it looks like a bike from the 1950's. Other things I love about it:
  • Pedal-brakes (aka Coaster Brakes), not handlebar-brakes
  • Single speed
  • Lots of chrome
  • Cushy wide seat
  • Wide, swept-back handlebars so I can ride upright
I think the brakes are my favorite feature, other than just how it looks. I rode Cowboy's bike and my mother-in-law's bike a couple times, both of which have those newfangled handlebar brakes, and once I nearly got hit by an SUV because I forgot how the handlebar brakes worked and tried to stop by jamming the pedals back. Naturally, that didn't work, and I had to swerve really quickly to avoid the SUV, and subsequently nearly ran into a parked car. Which is why I won't ride in the street like the crazed Cowboy anymore, I will only ride on the sidewalks.

So anyway, with gas prices being nuts like they are now, I decided it was high time I get a bike for my in-town errands, like running to the library a couple times a week. And so I got my bike. But wanna know the really cool thing? It was on clearance! We only had 3 left in the store, and instead of paying $79 for it, I got it for $50!!!

Ahhhh, if there's anything sweeter than getting something you've wanted for months, it's getting it on sale!

But now I need to name it. It's about the color of a Carolina sky in the winter, so I was thinking of something like "December Sky"...but with all the silver reflective tape I'm putting on the spokes and stuff, it looks kinda spooky, so I also thought of something along the lines of "Carolina Phantom". Hmm.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Is it just me, or are we experiencing a dearth of good romantic comedies lately? I just got back from Must Love Dogs, which I expected to like, because after all, who can resist the combination of John Cusack and puppies? Well, fine, I suppose there are plenty of people who can resist that. After all, the world is full of curmudgeons. But I am not one of them! I love John Cusack, I love dogs...I should love this movie. Right?

That's what I thought. And honestly, if there had been more puppies and more of John Cusack stalking about in his swooshy long black coat...and less Diane Lane curled up in a comforter sipping tea and looking exotically frumpy, I probably would have loved the movie. Or even if there had been more Stockard Channing and Christopher Plummer. Or if John Cusack had at least gotten to be happy for more than five minutes here or there. I mean, I love broody boys, don't get me wrong. After all, who's the pathetic girlie who swoons over Angel every chance she gets, right? Really, if John Cusack had just walked back and forth in front of the camera for 90 minutes, wearing that long black coat, grinning shyly now and then...I'd shell out $7.50 for that.

But this movie had a serious shortcoming: too much dithering. No one could decide what they wanted! Even John Cusack's character changed his mind several times. At least we had some good character development in this one, not like My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the bridegroom never got to move past Nice Guy Who Understands. But the pigheaded blindness of the female character in Must Love Dogs was on a scale of Julianne Moore in Laws of Attraction. Couple that with about eighteen Awkward just got messy. And did I mention John Cusack spent too much time off-screen?

My point is this: what happened to really great romantic comedies? Where did they go? Where's the Sleepless in Seattle, the While You Were Sleeping, the You've Got Mail for today? I mean, since What Women Want, Someone Like You, and I suppose Bridget Jones's Diary, I haven't seen a decent new romantic comedy. Why? Have they all been made now? Are we doomed to drivel from here on out?

Oh yeah, other big drawback for Must Love Dogs: Dermot Mulroney. Blech. The crooked smile works for Harrison Ford, not for you buddy. You just look conniving. I suppose that's okay if you want to play untrustworthy cads for the rest of your life.

Also, why is it so hard to find pics of John Cusack in the sexy black swoosh coat? I wanted to link to at least one.

Sigh. I suppose this is why God gave me Combat!, isn't it. So I can come home to my brand-new dvds of Season 5, curl up in my purple "Love me, love my sergeant" t-shirt, and savor a brand-new-to-me episode. At least some things in my life can be depended upon to satisfy.