Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things that make me feel old: the twentieth anniversary of Joshua Tree. This album accompanied me to Japan for my semester abroad and was my jogging music. At that point in time, in that neighborhood, a white woman jogging attracted a lot of attention. I only saw one other person--a very athletic looking Japanese young man--jogging the whole time I was there. (I needed to jog or I'd have to give up our daily oyatsu office treats.) I'd put my headphones on and it was much easier to ignore all of the staring.

Funny things: A few days ago Alan and I were watching TV and an e-surance ad came on. Alan speculated that there was probably fanfic for the hot main character. Tonight, after working late and with my brain fried, I decided to check it out. I should have known because of Rule 34. Anyway, I found this hilarious: http://kissmesuzy.blogspot.com/2007/04/high-risk-insurancethe-time-is-right.html. It's safe to read through the first few comments, after that read with caution.

Scary things: We saw No Country for Old Men over the holiday and I've found a new scariest bad guy eva! He doesn't have the charm of Ralph Fiennes's Amon Goeth or Anthony Hopkins's Hannibal Lecter, but he made me want to scream at the screen each time he started his little game. A friend said he's had nightmares all week after seeing it. Great movie!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Christopher Barzak Day

Today is the release date for Chris's book One for Sorrow! I first met Chris at the 1998 Clarion writing workshop in East Lansing. I very quickly fell in love with his writing--probably from the first thing of his I read. It didn't matter what story he was telling, I just wanted to sit in my inner tube and float down the river of his prose. But Chris's writing is more than just beautiful prose--he is a marvelous story teller. He takes everyday people and, through a fabulist sleight of hand, lands them on the precipice of the extraordinary. Go check out his book right now! You won't regret it. And, if you haven't read any of his short fiction, you can find a list of them (many available online) on his website at: http://christopherbarzak.wordpress.com/news/.

For other people's opinions of Chris, please see Mumpsimus.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy birthday to my one and only, Alan!

And a belated one to Mr. Barzak!

We had a really lovely weekend at Diversicon with Dave Schwartz, Mark Rich, Martha Borchardt, and all. Got to see Mark and Martha play as Keg Salad again-they need a MySpace page! Listened to two chapters of guest of honor Andrea Hairston's awesome new hoodoo (vodou?) novel which needs a publisher. Chatted with wonderful people about books, writing and movies and got lots of titles to Netflick. Bought lots of used books-not as many as last year-and a big bag of seventies era F&SFs. (The bid was only $1 for them so I had to up it to $2-little did I know there were many more bags of magazines for the auction.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Happy birthday, Ms. Bond! Many fabulous returns!

Friday, June 08, 2007

What I learned over the last two days. 1. The smell of puppy poop is very difficult to remove from your skin when you can't take a shower and use your beloved scrubber until later that night. 2. A squirmy puppy will get its poopy self all over you including your forehead and the back of your neck behind your hair. 3. Six poopy puppies... well, we're not even going to go there. 4. There's nothing like exposure to sarcoptic mange to make you feel itchy all over.

P.S. The puppies are much less poopy and will hopefully soon be mange free.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tired. Sick. Need to go to bed.

Can't stop watching Gambit charge and retreat from the June bug on the living room floor.

June bugs! Summer must be here.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I am the big 4-0 today. Except for the fact that it is a multiple of 10 and so invites some looking at life milestones, it doesn't really have a huge amount of significance for me. Life is very good and the only thing I can complain about is lack of time to do everything I want to do. One thing I am thinking about is getting a tattoo to celebrate. In my twenties, I held off because I didn't know how I'd feel about it when I was 40, 50 or 60. Now that I'm 40, I don't see my attitude changing at all and of course, a tattoo isn't such a big deal these days. My mom surprised me last night by saying she was thinking of getting one, too. (She first got her ears pierced when she turned 40.) My dad looked at both of us and didn't say anything. He's had years to learn that that is probably the best response! At our family get together last night, I did get to tease them both a little about being so old they have a daughter that old.

I've had two days of ice cream cake, gifts, flowers of both the delivered and natural kind (our crabapple tree is in full bloom today) and lots of good food. Sushi is on the horizon. Who could ask for more?

Here was my fortune from lunch today:
Age can never hope to win one whose heart is young.

[This is me sticking out my tongue at the stupid thing.]

Sunday, April 29, 2007

OMG! Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed's dog, Snippy, looks just like our dog, Gambit.



Saturday, April 28, 2007

How could I resist? Doesn't everyone want a Daemon?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Baby squirrels! Last week, one of the vets, Jim, brought in a box with holes drilled in the top and told everyone he was fostering four Peruvian lynx cubs. They were actually baby squirrels found after he'd livetrapped and released the mother out of his attic. It brought back memories of the time when I was 11 years old and tried to raise a baby squirrel who had been kicked out of the nest in the fall. That story did not have a happy ending. Though very sad, it was a good experience--I remember having to get up for feedings every two hours. That little guy was so young (and bald) that we didn't know ay first if he was a squirrel or a rabbit. I had him long enough to see his eyes open and his fur get glossy and full before he got very sick. These guys are already that old. They are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and are starting to get very fluffy tails. They sleep most of the day but are good climbers and pretty active when awake. I'm hoping they've gotten enough of their mother's immunity to make it. Jim asked if I wanted to spend some time socializing them so I took them into my office and had them one at at time on my lap as I returned phone calls and e-mails. One of them climbed out of the box and was halfway up the inside of the my pants leg before I noticed his escape. The box is now secured with a rubber band. I got to feed them with a syringe on my lunch break. Jim had shaved a spot off on a different leg for each of them so we could tell them apart. We had quite an audience watching through my office windows. I don't think there's anything cuter than a baby animal who is still on milk (or milk replacer in this case.) I got to see (and play with) them again today when I stopped by the St. Paul shelter at the end of the day. One of the other staff took two of them to foster so Jim only has to juggle the frequent feedings for two now. Their tails are fluffier and they are a little bigger. I'll try to get photos next time. They were a little too wild for me to handle both the phone camera and squirrel. Everyone else was still on duty and I didn't want to interrupt their work.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Amazing, beautiful, open all the windows weather. I'm actually sitting here in a t-shirt! In Minnesota, in March! Our first thunderstorm was late last night and I was awake to hear it because of a ill-considered, evening mocha. We are supposed to pay for the weather later today with more thunderstorms and the possibility of hail and tornados. Despite that, we are headed to a nearby theater for The Host and later I have The Merchant of Venice at the Guthrie with my family and uncle who is here from Beijing.

We were at Borders last night for some writing time in the cafe and were pleased to see Hal's Ink and Jon Armstrong's Grey on the new book table.

I'm partway through Wizard of the Crow and loving it. I've got Kristin Lavransdatter, recommended by the wonderful Mr. Schwartz, sitting stand by. How can I not love a book that has the spelling right? Over the last month, I've also discovered and developed a fondness for Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

If you have a dog or cat and missed the news of the food recall, you should check out my post at One Tough Puppy right away.

Here's a link:


Thursday, February 08, 2007

So two whole months have passed without a post. I wish I could say it was because I was so busy but, while I was immensely busy (juggling two jobs, travel to Erie to visit Alan's family, frozen and leaky pipes, lots of reading deadlines, city citations and levies,) I was also struggling with some writer's block. It didn't seem right to be spending time on the blog and not doing other writing I was supposed to be doing. I think I've broken through the block -- it was primarily stress induced -- so I can post again.

I've reached the end of my week (at least for the humane society) and have a warm dog cuddled up on the couch next to me. We've been doing a lot of Netflicks watching and I've been reading up a storm. I haven't been able to get to the library so I was browsing through all our books to see what I missed including some free books we brought back from various places. Boy, have I been reading some bad stuff lately! Some things really stood out, though, so I thought I'd take some time to make a few recommendations:

I just finished Kirstin Allio's Garner: A Novel which I loved and highly recommend. (Garner was the LitBlog Co-op's Read This selection for last winter.) It's set in a small town in New Hampshire at the turn of the previous century. The language is lyrical and the characters quirky and unique. I'm going to take another look at at least parts of it because I'm not completely certain I understand what happened in a couple of places but the unreliable narrators are part of the novel's beauty. Allio is definitely someone to watch.

A couple nights ago, we finally watched The Descent and both of us loved it. I've always been addicted to scary movies so most of the time, I'm the one who pushes Alan to watch them with me. Alan was very excited when he heard that Neil Marshall of Dog Soldiers was coming out with another movie. We somehow never made it out to the theater to see it, so we had to wait for the DVD release and then remember to bump the movie up our Netflicks list. If you somehow missed the trailers, the story has a group of women embarking on a caving expedition. It had strong, believable women characters, a very scary setting and terrifying plot twists -- what's not to like? I've been claustrophobic as far back as I can remember and I think that having asthma makes it worse. I'd probably be okay descending into a large caverns despite some acrophobia. The tight spots are a different story, though, and one scene made me hyperventilate and physically sick. (I watched the movie a second time (with one of the commentaries) and I had the same reaction. Even thinking of it makes me panic. Terrifying! It was great! But there's much, much more. Highly recommended if you like chills like I do.

More recommendations to come.