Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas/Movies

Are there Christmas movies your force people to watch with you? Every year I'm not happy unless I get my family to watch The Santa Clause 1 & 2. (let's never speak of 3. never). My mom makes us watch Rudolph. Both are great, because when Santa arrogantly says "I guess we'll have to cancel Christmas" you get to yell "Christmas is about Jesus, you smug bastard!" That just might be me, though.

I hope you had a good Christmas too because mine was lovely. I got Vynce to roll his eyes when I mentioned that we'd watched Holidays in Handcuffs twice, and his fiancee said she loves that movie too =) I'm going to buy us each a copy on DVD next year.


"They're lost in Christmas Day." - Sponge, Christmas Day

Friday, December 17, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Let me be frank: if it wasn't for Ben Barnes, I wouldn't bother with this movie series. The movies aren't bad, but...

Anyway, I wish that the awful, terrible island was a lot more awful, or terrible. There was a lot of wasted potential there, though perhaps it might have been too scary for the kids if it lingered.

What I'd really like to read (or write) and see would be something akin to a dark Narnia. A magical land that is really off-kilter and nightmarish. Wouldn't that be more fun? Maybe I can sell the syfy channel on the idea...


"You are still in my dreams, and you're knocking at my door. Nightmares of you creeping in my head. Nightmares of you sleeping in bed. And the way you're whispering my name so slowly..." - Silver Sunshine, Nightmares

Sunday, December 5, 2010

November Music

Despite my computer woes - and as a total aside, I think I know almost enough now to build a computer, not that I would. But I can now repair/replace/install everything but the motherboard, CPU and a hard drive - I did manage to listen to some music in November. List's short, but it is what it is.

Agnes Obel - Riverside
Amanda Palmer - Idioteque along with Creep and Just, Idioteque is in my top 3 favorite Radiohead songs.
Apocalyptica feat Gavin Rossdale - End Of Me
Arcade Fire - Ready To Start you didn't misread, I'm really rec'ing an AF song
Becca - Kickin' & Screamin'
Birds Of Tokyo - Silhouettic
Booka Shade - The Sun and The Neon Light
Call The Doctor - Little Bones
Chumbawamba - Mary Mary (Stigmatic Mix)
Escape The Fate - Issues
Florence & The Machine - Heavy In Your Arms
Green Vinyl Dream - Shelter
Harper Simon - Shooting Star
Hawthorne Heights - Dead In The Water
Hawthorne Heights - Lost, So Lost
Middle Class Rut - New Low
Renfey - Come Down
Smile Empty Soul - We're Through
The Pierces - Love You More
Wolf Parade - Ghost Pressure

As usual:

Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
Neither = never heard of them before


"For you we fill our sails with tales and fables." - Lisa Hannigan, Keep It All

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nanowrimo 2010

November was National Novel Writing Month, and I won for the second year in a row. I reached the word goal on Saturday. Yay! To make things more fun, three of my work friends were also doing it, so we had fun sort of competing with, sort of supporting each other through it. 50,000 sounds like a pretty daunting task for just thirty days, but it works out to less than 2,000 words a day, so it's only somewhat difficult, not impossible. As far as I know all four of us succeeded, so that's really nice too.
This year I wrote a sequel to the story I wrote last year. Well, not "wrote" since that implies it's finished, but I've been working on it since then. You need to keep in mind that the word goal for nanowrimo is set at 50,000 words, but the vast majority of published novels are twice that long. Anyway, I'm 3/4ths finished the story from last year, and knew how it would end, so it was easy to work on a sequel without knowing what happens in that middle bit.

In the first story, Pull, Caitlin makes her living pulling people who died young out of the afterlife, and the Manchester police ask her for her help: there's a serial killer on the lose, and they hope she can talk to the victims to get a lead on the elusive criminal. Oh, and she's in love with a guy in the afterlife who has no interest in being alive again. In the end the bad guy is caught...and Caitlin realizes that she's pregnant, which is something she and Kyler thought couldn't happen because the dead don't reproduce in the afterlife.

Push picks up six months later, with Kyler having crossed over to be with Caitlin and their upcoming baby (and Danny, her foster kid who has her gift). Learning to live after having been in the afterlife since dying at birth causes Kyler more than a little stress, and Caitlin and Danny are also learning to cope because of it. Caitlin herself gets an education in something she's never thought about before: what it's like for the people she's rescued to start their lives over.

Before long the police officer from the first story comes to ask Caitlin for help again: someone has been forcing people who were happily dead back into life. Caitlin agrees to return them to where they belong, but finds out that she can't. Things explode into new tragedy for one of the dead she couldn't help, and Caitlin finds herself sleuthing again, this time trying to figure out why someone like her would be "helping" people against their will.

Ultimately, I'd like to write this out as a trilogy (the next story, Hold, is going to be about the dead not being able to get into the afterlife...for some reason. I haven't thought it out too far yet. It'll upset Caitlin's belief that there are no ghosts, anyway!) and of course get them published. I learned recently that the average age of a novelist being published for the first time is 36, so that let's me angst a little less that I haven't finished a (publishable) novel quite yet. Apparently 12-year-old me deciding I should be published by age 30 was overly ambitious, lol.


"must keep writing if I'm to be better than everyone else" - Jets to Brazil, I Typed For Miles

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Halloween, Thanksgiving etc

Man, not having access to my desktop for more than three weeks means that there's a lot I'd normally talk about here but didn't get the chance to...

Halloween

Normally one of my favorite holidays, it was just okay this year. Halloween night itself went fine, and we scared a whole bunch more kids than usual, which was nice.

What wasn't nice were the halloween activities we tried beforehand. An amusement park when it's only in the 30s and very windy isn't nearly as much fun as when we went to Spookyworld two Halloweens earlier. There was a lot of whining, some mine, and people just didn't have that good a time to justify the cost of the Screamfest tickets. The three haunted houses were pretty good, though, despite needing to stand around in the cold forever to get in. And the rides, forget it. The sort of rides open swung people around, and we gave up after freezing on the ferris wheel, which is much slower. I think we all agreed to do something indoors next year!

And then, even worse, was Ghosts On The Bank, an event put on at the local historical tourist trap. It was advertised as being about, you know, ghosts. So, in that case we went expecting to hear some ghost stories about the Portsmouth area. And instead it was 98% safe trick or treating. I rather doubt many adults would have wanted to go knowing that, but at least it wasn't terribly expensive. Just really disappointing. There wasn't even a single ghost story!

Thanksgiving

On the other hand, I have no complaints about Thanksgiving. I don't really understand the point of this holiday and never have, but I do love turkey, so I count it as a win.

We stopped doing the big extended family get-together the year after my grandfather died my freshman year of college (he died 2 days before Thanksgiving, actually) and I don't really miss it much any more. Once Grampy died, and great-Grammy a few months later, things fell apart when it came to family gatherings. He'd been the force keeping everyone together at the holidays, ever since my grandmother died eleven years earlier, and without him... Anyway, I don't mind the smaller meal now, with just my parents and lil brother. It's kind of nice that no one has to endure a 3 hour drive, you know?

Black Friday

Colleen and I brave the Black Friday crowds every year (the one day of the year when I get up at 4 a.m.), and this one was no exception. It got off to a bit of a rough start, though, when I learned that my deicer doesn't work for crap when it comes to freezing rain. It takes a long time to scrape windows by flashlight.
 
It was fun, but the sales were underwhelming. The news kept saying stores were going to pull out all of the stops this year to get shoppers in, but they didn't have too much on offer that I cared about. Possibly because I've done the bulk of my christmas shopping early this year.
 
Later, in the afternoon, we met up with my dad  at the theater to watch the latest Harry Potter movie. You're shocked, right? =)
 
To be honest, the last book is by far my least favorite, so I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to make part one of The Deathly Hallows a lot more exciting than them sitting around in a tent complaining at each other. It gives me hope that the last movie, next summer, will be decent too. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, they did handle my second least favorite (Chamber of Secrets) fairly well too.
 
Dad and Colleen seemed to like the movie too.
 
And that's all I have to report about the holidays.
 
 
"Careful what you say, oh it's too late now, you've broken my heart" - Class Actress, Careful What You Say

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

October Music

The night before Halloween I went to a rather stupid Halloween event at Strawbery Banks, and came home to discover my computer was off. And from that point on, it stayed off except for trying to start for a few seconds. The power supply (and videocard) got toasted during a power surge. It took me more than three weeks to find, get, and install a new power supply...So October's recs are really late. What can you do? On the plus side, at least two of the videos are only 3 weeks old, so I wouldn't have found you links on the regular schedule.


Anne McCue - I Want You Back
Bad Lieutenant - This Is Home
Ben Harper - Gather 'Round The Stone
Boy Kill Boy - Promises
Brandon Patton - Rockets
Call The Doctor - For Your Leisure
Closure In Moscow - Vanguard
Cobra Starship - Nice Guys Finish Last
Copeland - Chin Up
Dial M For Murder! - NYC (Now You Care)
Feral Children - On A Frozen Beach
Griffin House - One Thing
House Of Heroes - If
House Of Heroes - In The Valley Of The Dying Sun
Johnny Society - I Can't Win
Junk Circuit - Make Me Cry
Ladyhawk - Corpse Paint
Lisa Hannigan - Keep it All (you may know her as the chick who sings with Damien Rice)
Maroon 5 - Can't Stop
O+S - Permanent Scar
Old 97's - Dance with Me
Old Canes - Trust
Orenda Fink - That Certain-Something Spring
Outlaw Nation - Shine
The Tragically Hip - Locked in the Trunk of a Car
Thomas Dybdahl - I Need Love Baby, Love, Not Trouble

As usual:
Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection

Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
Neither = never heard of them before


"When the red light's on, no one's home." - Birds of Tokyo, Silhouetics

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More?

I'd rather use my powers of photo manipulation for evil, rather than good. Good is terribly over-rated, as well as boring.

So which should I do more of next?

:
Retitled (for accuracy) books?



Fake products?



"I used up all my tricks and I hope you'll like this, but you probably won't. You think you're cooler than me." - Mike Posner, Cooler Than Me

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fellow Townies

Please drive more carefully. Yesterday's horrific fatal accident follows hot on the heels of my young neighbor dying in another accident just two weekends ago. And then there are the two people who got ran over in seperate accidents within the past year. Four car-related deaths in less than a year in a town of way under 10,000 people is too many.

So please, don't use your cell phones while driving, and don't drink. I'm tired of meeting sad faces when people ask how well I knew you (I knew 3 out of the 4 at least a little each), no more completely senseless deaths, okay?


"I'm as blue, I'm as blue as the ocean is true, it's just reflections of the sky" - Ryan Adams, Note to Self: Don't Die

Friday, October 8, 2010

September Music

Big Bang - Something Special
Boom Pam - U R Mine
Brendan Perry - Wintersun
Broken Bells - Float
Chew Lips - Eight
Class Actress - Careful What You Say
Cold War Kids - Hang Me Up To Dry
Crystal Fighters - In The Summer
Eagle Seagull - The Boy With a Serpent In His Heart
Feeder - Call Out
Her Space Holiday - The Candle Jumped Over the Spoon
I Blame Coco - Quicker
Jena Rose - Ticket To Bombay
Junk Circuit - Devil Wears A Crown
Kazety - 13
Laura Veirs - July Flame
Laura Veirs - Wide-Eyed, Legless
Les Savy Fav - Let's Get Out of Here
Local Natives - Sun Hands
Menomena - Five Little Rooms
Miami Horror - Moon Theory (Punks Jump Up Remix)
Mike Posner - Cooler Than Me
New Politics - Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
New Young Pony Club - Lost A Girl (if you watch Gossip Girl too, you heard this one 10/4) 
Sleepwalk, a Robot - Astronaut
Stone Sour - Say You'll Haunt Me
Switchfoot - The Sound
The Decemberists - Annan Water
The Epoxies - Synthesized
The Hundred In The Hands - Pigeons
The Rapture - No Sex For Ben
Thieves Like Us - Forget Me Not
Thirteen Senses - Answer
Warpaint - Billie Holiday
Who Knew - Sharpen The Knife
You Me At Six -Stay With Me
Zeigeist - Chasing Your Shadows All Around The World

As usual:


Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
Neither = never heard of them before

I'm not entirely sure who Ben Rama is (other than being a DJ) but I find songs like this one by the Rapture and "Nicky Wire You're a Liar" by Bard of Ely to be entertaining. There's being a rival with someone else in the field, then there's writing a song to trash them...


"Maybe in another life I could find you there. Pulled away before your time,
I can’t deal it’s so unfair" - The Offspring, Gone Away

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Family Tree

...or 8 degrees of separation. I don't have a facebook account (and probably won't unless I date a guy who really wants me to) but my dad does - see also: July 4th, 2009 post - and he's been talking to one of his cousins who is into genealogy. Turns out that our family is related to this guy. In addition to being one of the first governors of Conn, Samuel Huntington was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence. I guess that's kind of cool that someone important springs up in our family tree if you trace it back 8 generations.

Dad said, "I can't wait to tell Vynce!" because he knew that my brother would get a kick out of telling people that he's related to someone famous. I thought the same thing, because that's just the kind of thing Vynce would find funny. He and Joe like to complain that the few times they've ever been stopped by cops is racial profiling (note: Vynce has fair skin, red hair, and blue eyes like I do. Joe is half Cuban but, as a fair blue-eyed blond, looks as Cuban as Cameron Diaz does) because of Joe being half Cuban and the fact that one our great-great grandfather was black and we're 1/4th Latino, not that either of us look it at all beyond me inheriting my great-grandmother's curves rather than the boyish figures common to the Irish women in my mom's family. Anyway, he thinks it's funny, and he's amused by our famous ancestor too.


"You say I'm just impossible, but why should we even try?" - Eagle Seagull, The Boy With A Serpent In His Heart

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flash fiction May

I finally found the picture from May's contest...

The picture to the left and the words "Pandemic",
"Sanctuary," and "Spy" needed to be used to write a 2000 word or less story in sixty hours the weekend of May 14 - 16.

Silver Blues

I ran. My pursuer growled as he chased me, and this fueled my panic as I crashed through the undergrowth. There wasn't enough air to keep me from wheezing, and a stitch in my side burn hotter every step - at least until a tree root tripped me. I landed with a bone jarring impact, but it was soon forgotten when gray fur and sharp teeth boiled over me -


My scream still echoed in my ears as I sat upright amidst tangled sweat-soaked blankets. No neighbors shouted for me to keep it down, and only a full moon stared at me in disapproval. Moonlight or not, the hand that reached for a flashlight trembled in time with my still galloping pulse.

It was silly, I knew I was alone, but I still arched the light into every corner of the room, especially the ones were the sterile glow of the moon didn't reach. Spit dried in my mouth as the beam hit the bulletin board. It was the photo that did me in: a boy on a bike forever captured as he hung in mid-air. An image from before, one happy memory worn at curled, coffee-stained edges, half hidden among leaflets about disease prevention and flyers promising safe harbors.

Slipping out of bed I loosened a mirthless bark of laughter as I thought about that dull tease - sanctuary. Those flyers were old, all from the early days of the disaster. Sanctuary had been one of the first casualties of the blight.

As I stood there and contemplated hard liquor, it had been 270 days since the lupine flu had been discovered, and 241 days since it had been declared a pandemic by newscasters whose doll-like masks of nonchalance had begun to slip with a wildness about the eyes. One had to wonder how many of them were out there now, no longer constrained by studios or uniformly hideous hairstyles.

People, if they'd still dare to emerge from their hidey holes to converse, would have argued about precisely when humanity had teetered at the blink before going over in an Alice-like freefall into utter chaos. Part of this stemmed just from no longer having the primetime lineup to fix internal calendars to, but the rest was because we'd each descended into a private hell on our own schedule.

For me, it had been 63 days.

- Mom and Dad no longer kept up any pretense of being able to stand each other's company by the time the contest rolled around, so I'd been sent as family representative 275 days ago, accompanying Max as he competed in Paris. The appeal of BMX biking was beyond me, but that didn't stop me from cheering myself hoarse. Max won his class and the trip took on the air of a wholesome family film about trying one's hardest and being rewarded for it.

We didn't even realize anything was wrong until we got off the plane at Logan airport six days after we'd set out. Which isn't to say that the French media had covered things up, I simply didn't speak French. Instead Latin had fulfilled my college language requirement. Max used to tease me for not picking a more useful language, like his own barely passed high school Spanish, but the dead language had resonated with me. At the rate we're going, all of them will be dead soon...

Anyway, the airport. There hadn't been anyone there waiting. If you've ever been to Logan, you know it's usually teeming with frayed tempers and poor drivers, but no one greeted the new arrivals. I'd shivered taking in the tile and metal ghost town, at least until Max grabbed my arm and pointed at a TV that babbled on, unaware that it'd lacked an audience.

Men on screen howled as they were dragged to their execution by a foreign government. Given it was all going down in another language I didn't speak, I was grateful for a bulleted list that patiently explained that these were the men responsible for the theft, spies who'd broken into a lab and taken the first thing they could find that was valuable, dooming us all though no one had known it just yet -

A sound. I'd been pacing as my thoughts ran through the same worn grooves, but froze when I thought I heard something outside my apartment door...a canine snuffling, a doggy chuffing, a death threat. Neighbors might not have minded my scream, but had something else been listening? When it didn't repeat, I chanced moving to the chair, drawing up my knees as I sat, and wrapping my arms around them. It almost felt like a hug. Or I was forgetting what human contact was really like. Don't do, just think, I told myself, slipping back into the fractured past.

- Outside the airport there were signs of normalcy, taxis waiting. The driver of ours didn't speak as the tires ate the miles, and gave off the air of someone impatient to return to something more important. Through the windows of passing houses I saw entire families glued to TV sets, and worried about what had happened. What had the executed men done?

I think Max and I both expected our parents to stop fighting long enough to explain everything to us, but the house was empty when we finally got home. We checked every room. At last we discovered a note set on the table. All it said was, "Jessie, Max, take care of each other. Mom & Dad".

My brother's eyes had gone wide just then, and he looked to me for answers. I might have been an adult, twenty-five to his sixteen, but I felt no less Hansel and Gretel abandoned than he did. We never did see them again, and by day 94 we no longer expected to.

I have my theory, as grim as it is: they killed themselves before things got bad. It was a more logical explanation than thinking that a couple that couldn't go without bickering over breakfast had somehow decided to run away together. They'd both been government screws, and I'm sure they'd known which way the wind blew. Maybe I was wrong, and they were together somewhere, a cozy cabin, a white sand beach, laughing up their sleeves. But I doubted it.

Before newsmen no longer wore cheap suits, we all knew something about what happened. The lab those now headless spies had broken into in Babel had been birthed in the US before being outsourced like everything else. Bioweapon, a mistake, a plague waiting for just such an opportunity, no one knew that detail, but what followed? Yeah. Hard to escape that knowledge.

In the wake of the supposed swine flu the year before, preservationists prophylactically objected to the term lupine flu before the name even caught on, even with the clear presence of wolf in the deadly viral cocktail. Someone on talk radio jokingly dubbed it the "K-9 flu" and that's what stuck despite the minor inaccuracy. Back then it was almost funny, but that was when it seemed like the illness that the spies had unleashed was going to be combated with hand sanitizer, face masks (for the most paranoid of germaphobes), and that we'd tough it out as we waited to see how long companies took to produce a vaccine for this flu strain.

Of course, this was before anyone's neighbors grew excessively hairy and developed the disquieting propensity towards chasing prey by moonlight.

The first time Max and I saw the guy next door lope home with a bloodstained mouth (muzzle?) and glazed eyes was the last time either of us went anywhere on our own. Not that it helped in the end -

Snuffing again. Then scratching that reminded me of how joyfully our long dead husky has dug a labyrinth of holes in the backyard. If only it had been Blaze's ghost visiting me. My eyes flew to the door as I considered my options. A bat under my bed, pilfered from Max's little league days, and the gun, of course. I eyed the gun with a bitter resentment. It had been my grandfather's, but the silver bullets had not come with it. So, I'd covertly ordered some, but not covertly enough.

Would the door hold, I wondered as the scratching set up a tuneless percussion, long enough to grab the gun? It did, even though I nearly fumbled it. But then what? Shooting through the door would be foolish, weakening it. But how quickly could it burst though? They had a fluid grace, these wolves at my door. There was nothing to do but check that the gun was loaded. It was. I'd known that, but I'd still had to check. You understand.

- It had been Max's idea to keep moving, but I hadn't done that since ordering the bullets. Being nomadic had been a good strategy, as far as end of days planning went, but the only way to get the bullets was to freeze in place long enough for them to be delivered. And we did need them, that was becoming a surer necessity every day as wolves, wolves who used to be stockbrokers, housewives, and paper boys ripped through the populations of every town, both literally and blood-soaked, and in a figurative sense as the virus passed from person to person, or make that wolf to person...It was hard to know how many people shed their humanity every twenty-eight days because they still looked like us at times, but I think everyone got the sense that the world was drowning in fur, and we'd all soon be like them. Or dead.

People said, when people said anything, that silver bullets worked. But you couldn't pick them up at Wal-Mart or even a gun shop, as many as there still were scattered throughout the northeast. To get the bullets we'd had to order them through a mail-order company, and I more than half feared that a lupine mafia would get wind of our sin, and come for us.

In the end I lost Max to people, not to the wolves.

Turned out that the silver bullet seller's records had been compromised, supposedly without his knowledge or consent. It had been easy enough for the government to hack into things like that, especially with the Patriot Act, a declaration of martial law, the suspension of habeas corpus...we ordered bullets. They came for Max.

Conscription.

I guess they figured that anyone with the balls to hunt werewolves nee neighbors had balls enough to join the US military, even against their will, even if they were sixteen. I begged them to take me too, but lacking the necessary external gonads, they patted me on my pretty little head and promised me that he'd come home safe.

It's been 63 days, seven hours, and 26 minutes since then. And I'm here still, family to come home to. Please God, let him come home.

Behind the door the scratching became more frantic, and I knew that it was coming to a head. If I failed to act, Max would have nothing left, if he survived this unearthly draft. A sliver of wood gave way with a scream of protest, and through the jagged cut one xanthic eye gave me a baleful look, full of the promise of my red, wet death.

I fired.

The End


"We think the same things at the same time. We just can’t do anything about it." - Thom Yorke, Harrowdown Hill

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flash fiction Sept

This past weekend was the second Flash fiction contest, and results aren't in yet on voting, but I thought I'd post my story. If I can find the picture from May's contest, I'll post that story too.

Edit 9/23: Results are in, this story tied for second place.
Anyway, on Friday we were given three words (Auroras, Habitual, Cherished - any form of the words) and the above picture to include in our stories. We then had 60 hours to write a 2000 word or less story...mine came in at 1,999. Here's My story:



Osgood's Machine


"Ben, I need you to drive me to Aurora," Frankie said, not realizing he was about to ruin both our lives with his request that fated day off from school.

"Hmm?" I'd been in the middle of pouring imitation maple syrup onto a stack of microwave pancakes. No one else was home, and I'd failed home ec. "I thought we were going to go see a horror movie tonight."

He attacked his own pancakes with a knife. "I don't mean tonight, I mean today. Now."

"I don't know..." Aurora was way up in Maine, and even worse you had to drive through Alfred with its ridiculous 25 mile in hour speed limit. My dad had fumed about that when we brought Julianne up to the U-Maine campus in Gorham. "It's awfully far."

"Aww, come on, Ben. I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important. It's not like I can drive myself," he pointed out. That was true, he was only fourteen.

"What the heck do you need all the way up there?" I asked, still not really considering whether or not I was actually going to make the trek. Frankie was a good friend, but we were talking about a trip of three and a half hours. Each way. I wouldn't admit it to him, but the thought of a long drive made me nervous because I'd only had my license nine months.

He wouldn't look at me, which was a bad sign. "I promised my grandpa Osgood that I'd get something for him there."

"Why would he ask you to do that? He ought to know you can't drive, so you'd have to rope someone else into it."

"Please?" Frankie was beginning to look a little desperate, and that worried me. Almost as if reading my mind, he said, "It's nothing illegal, but no one else is home today."

"Well great. I'm flattered that you asked because I'm home."

"Do you have anything better planned for the day?"

Not really. I was just glad to be out of school. The only reason I was talking to Frankie at nine in the morning was because he'd slept over the night before.

Against my better judgment, I found myself agreeing to the drive. "Maybe I should run it by my mom-"

"Don't. What's that saying, it's better to ask forgiveness than permission? She might say no."

That should have made me more cautious, but it didn't. Next thing I knew, we were piling into the 2000 Camry that was nominally my sister's, but really mine to use for the year because freshmen weren't supposed to have cars on campus.

"This thing really doesn't have a cd player?" Frankie asked, peering at the dashboard.

"Really. The radio's good, though." If it had really been my car, I'd of saved up for one.

A familiar voice began to coo as soon as he turned the radio on. "Give me faith. Give me joy, my boy, I will always-"

Frankie flicked the dial, and muttered, "Great, soccer Mom music." Over the next thirty seconds I heard parts of a dozen different songs, like an annoying game of Name That Tune. Eventually he stopped on something he didn't hate. "That's more like it." Frankie sang along with the guy rapping, "Late night sex, so wet, you're so tight..."

I cringed, imagining what Julianne would say if she heard those words coming out of the speakers of her car. She was majoring in Women's studies, and had lost her sense of humor.

The drive didn't seem to take as long as I thought it would, and I gradually came to realize that Frankie's habitual stream of talk was doing what he wanted: keeping me from asking what the hell we were doing. Eventually we stopped for gas (I made him pay) and there was a break in his chatter long enough for me to ask, "What exactly are we going to do in Aurora?"

"Uh, I told you, we need to get something," he said evasively.

"Yeah, I got that. What sort of something? And where?"

"It's in an impound lot."

"An impound lot?" I asked, growing alarmed. I'd seen movies that had junkyards in them, and they always seem to contain dogs with a taste for human flesh.

"Don't worry, Ben. My grandfather owns the lot. We won't get in any trouble."

"Is there a dog?" I asked, picturing one with teeth bared.

"Nah, he doesn't keep a dog."

"If this is his business, I don't see why he can't go and get whatever it is himself."

"He's not there right now."

"Oh yeah, where is he then?" I asked, feeling clever. What I didn't expect was what Frankie said next.

"Do you believe in time travel?"

I figured he was just changing the subject. I supposed that it didn't matter where his grandfather was, since we were almost to Aurora by that point anyway. "No, not really. I've read some stuff about how it's not really possible because of time paradoxes."

"But if it was real, when do you think you'd want to go in time?"

The idea of seeing myself in the future came to mind. Being forty, maybe, and seeing if my wife was hot, how many kids I had, and if Julianne ever became bearable to hang out with again. "A couple decades into the future, see how my life is turning out."

"There isn't a time in the past you'd like to revisit?"

"I don't know, maybe. There are a couple of Christmases when I was a kid that I wouldn't mind experiencing again. Why do you ask?" Even though I mostly had my eyes on the road, I could see his expression change. That desperation that had been on his face when he'd practically begged me to bring him up to Maine was back. "Are you all right, Man?"

"He's in 1956." Frankie said so quietly he was hard to hear.

"Whatever," I grumbled. "If you don't want to tell me what this secret mission is about, fine. But don't screw with me."

"I mean it," he insisted with an alarming intensity.

"Yeah, sure."

"When we get there, you'll see."

"What, are you going to show me his time machine?" I asked, starting to laugh. I stopped when I realized that I had accidentally hit on the right answer. "Oh God, don't tell me we've driven all this way so you can show me a fucking time machine."

For the longest time Frankie didn't say anything. Not for miles and miles. I thought about turning around the moment I realized that he had the crazy idea that his grandfather was able to time travel, but by that point Aurora was only ten or fifteen miles away.

Since Frankie wasn't talking, and I'm too prone to day dreaming – at least according to my dad, since he tells me to pay more attention every time we're in the car together – I let myself imagine what it'd be like if Frankie's grandfather really was in 1956 right then. I sort of knew what people dressed like back then, so I imagined him putting on a suit and stealing a hat from a hipster before getting into his fabulous machine. You know, so he'd blend in. I figured that all the women would look like Donna Reed, and everyone would whistle as they walked. The kids would be well scrubbed and wholesome, and you could pick out the bad guys by their slicked back hair and black leather jackets-

"There, up ahead." Frankie's voice sounded raspy, and I wished I'd bought a soda when we'd stopped for gas. His index finger pointed at a sign that said "Osgood's Salvage."

I pulled in, and there wasn't anyone around. "Where do we park?"

"Over by the office." So I did, and we were the only car there.

"So now what?" I asked, climbing out of the car. Peering into the yard, I realized that my sister's car looked a little out of place here. Most every other vehicle in the lot had been made before my parents were my age.

"We're looking for a car."

I followed him into the yard. "What sort of car? There are dozens here."

"It's the only one of its kind, he promised. It's a Hudson Hornet."

"A what?" I knew a fair amount about cars, but I'd never heard of that one before.

"A Hornet. They made 'em for a while during the fifties."

"Naturally. You said he hopped back to 1956, so that makes sense. Does he need a Dodge Charger to get to the late 60s?" I asked, thinking of old reruns I'd watched with my sister when we were little.

Frankie shook his head. "It doesn't work that way."

"Then how does it work?" I asked, trying to keep up with him as he walked by car after car. I had no idea what a Hornet looked like, so I was just looking for cars that might look like the old Chevy my aunt restored. Somehow, though, I didn't think it would be powder blue. Hornet sounded more like earth tones to me.

"Hey, there it is." Frankie said, point to a car a few hundred yards away. It stood next to an old VW microbus with yawning doors.

I grabbed his arm before he ran off. "If the car's here, and if it's his time machine, he can't be back in the 50s, can he?" I asked, hoping that he was going to laugh and tell me that the time machine thing had all been a big joke, and we were just supposed to take something out of the office here.

He went still. "If it's here, then he's back."

"Frankie, what are we supposed to take out of this 'time machine' exactly?"

Instead of answering, he pulled a sheet of paper out of his pocket. "Him. He left me this letter, saying to let him out today, October 18th, 2010."

"Out of the car?"

"Out of the trunk. That's where you sit when you time travel."

Of course.

Frankie held something up. "He left me this key and this letter before he left six months ago."

"Great…" In another second or two we were standing at the rear of an unremarkable old car whose paint was coming off. Osgood's machine didn't look special. It was no Delorean, that was for sure.

I watched silently as Frankie unlocked the trunk, but I was standing back a ways so I couldn't see in at first, which is why I was surprised when he moaned "Oh no" and collapsed to his knees.

"Frankie?" I looked over the top of his lowered head. The inside of the trunk contained a whole mess of electronics. And a desiccated corpse curled on its side. "Is that…" I didn't finish. Of course it was grandpa Osgood.

"He must have gotten stuck in there," Frankie said before dry heaving. "No safety release thingie in old trunks."

I realized then that Frankie thought the dead man had been locked in the car for six months. That didn't make sense, though, not from what I'd learned at the museum and from watching CSI. It took a lot longer than that to make a mummy.

"It didn't work, oh God, poor Grandpa…" Frankie rocked back and forth, holding his head.

Looking past the body, I noticed two things in the trunk. The first was a newspaper, looking brand new, that said it was from October 1st, 1956. The other was a series of numbers that I eventually realized made up a date. The date was October 18th, 2000. He'd misdialed.

I dragged Frankie back to my car, and called the cops. It took hours before we could go home.

Officially the cause of death was listed as an accident, the basic assumption being he'd been trapped in there for six months. Which was fine, if you didn't think too hard about that misdialed date.

The End


"She's not the kind of girl who likes to tell the world about the way she feels about herself. She takes a little time in making up her mind." - Garbage, The Trick is To Keep Breathing

Monday, September 13, 2010

August Music

Sorry for the lateness. But anyway, here are my recs for the month

8bit Pipe - Bless America
All Left Out - I Was Wrong
Animal Kingdom - Tin Man
BettySoo - Who Knows
Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves
Black Lab - Say Goodbye
Black Sunshine - Once In My Life
Customs - Rex
Didorion - Tag Along
Emprise (Canada) - Light Of Day
Eskimo Joe - Sweater
Florence + The Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
Francis Bakin - Cold Snap
Get Well Soon - If This Hat Is Missing I Have Gone Hunting
Ghetto Cowgirl - Thing Like That
HIM - Vampire Heart
Heather Combs - Something More Like You
holloe - Disease
holloe - Level
JaclynRose - only one you love
John Enghauser - Breathe Again
JunkFood - Who's Your Enemy
Kaki King - Life Being What It Is
Kongos - The Way
Law - Brain Probing Relativism
Lucinda Williams - Rescue
Martina Topley-Bird - Snowman
Miike Snow - The Rabbit
Music For Animals - Change Yourself
Music For Animals - If Looks Could Kill
New Fight Scene - Backside of New York
Nine Even - Gone, Comprimise
Prick - Animal
Rachael Yamagata - Accident
Shout Out Louds - You Are Dreaming
Silversun Pickups - The Royal We
Sister Cities - We Don't
Sparky James - She's Not My Keeper
The Hundred in the Hands - Dressed In Dresden
The Ropes - Flimsy
The Rosebuds - Nice Fox
The Rugburns - This Flood
The XX - Teardrops


As usual:
Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
Neither = never heard of them before


"Take the longest day, waste it all away. I can't stand it but I can't do anything." - Toad The Wet Sprocket, Woodburning

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shaveless

When I was a kid, my dad listened to a lot of country music. There was one song he insisted was called "Shameless" but it didn't sound like he was singing shameless. It sounded like shaveless. "I'm shaveless!" the singer would practically shout. Hey, me too.

It's been a little over a year since I stopped shaving my legs on a regular basis. I think I've shaved them four or five times since then. Don't get me wrong, I haven't turned into a hippy chick or anything. Instead I discovered the wonders of this.

I'll be honest, I hate the color pink, which is why I decided to do laundry today primarily because I discovered almost all my clean undies are the pink ones I wear the least - why does virtually every multipack of women's underwear have pink ones? But other than being pink, I like my epilator a lot. To my surprise, it didn't hurt very much when I started using it, and now it doesn't hurt at all. (On the legs, that is. I try my underarms once in a while, but it does hurt, so I'm still shaving there). The ads say you can go up to four weeks without epilating, but neglect to mention that it's like that if you do it for years. However, I need to do it about 1/3rd as often as shaving, so I'm not too het up about that.

The very best thing about using an epilator is knowing that the more you use it, the more damage you do to the hair follicles on your legs. You know what that means, right? The damaged ones can't grow hair. I know someone who has done it for a decade, and she has very little hair left. Awesome. After just a year I've noticed that there's significantly less hair. It's a nice feeling of satisfaction to know that you're defeating an enemy, even if the enemy is leg hair.

Anyway, if you've gotten over feeling like pulling a bandaid off is painful, I suggest you try an epilator like mine out. They're no longer the Inquisition-based torture devices that left women screaming in agony during the 80s.


"If looks could kill she'd be an automatic, watching empty shells raining down on me. It's your blood she spills waiting for another rabbit. In her hands you will beg and plead" - Music For Animals, If Looks Could Kill

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Primary Woes

For reasons I can't quite fathom, the New Hampshire primaries aren't until September 14th. It makes it feel like the parties think the election is no big deal, but it is. On the other hand, I'm still not sure who I'm going to vote for for senate. None of the candidates is a great fit :(

In some ways I'm a predictable Conservative voter: I'm strongly pro-life, weakly pro-death penalty in that I approve of its limited use for multiple murder, I'd like a smaller government and a reduction of earmark projects, I'd like to see more employers of illegal immigrants viciously fined to discourage them...

But I'm also in favor of gay marriage & adoption (the latter of which jives perfectly with being prolife IMHO. If you want to keep babies from being aborted, they of course need good parents. I don't understand prolife people who are against this), and in favor of universal health care. I don't want to vote for someone who might make it so some of my coworkers lose the right to marry whomever they choose, and hey, making health care affordable would be great so I don't want to vote for someone against it either (but don't tell my folks, okay? I avoid the issue when they rally against the idea). These issues together aren't more important to me that the ones in the last paragraph, though, so I'm not about to vote for someone in favor of these but against the rest so I'm unlikely to vote for a democrat. I guess I'll be somewhat unhappy with whomever I do end up voting for.

Sigh.

When are true moderates going to run in either party?


"Everything you say, I am listening, I am all ears. But if you still believe I'm thinking of you, you're dreaming, yes you're dreaming" - The Shout Out Louds, You're Dreaming

Monday, August 30, 2010

Overthinking

I'm a little disappointed that I can't find out the answer to the latest burning question I have for my novel: If a person claimed to be something like a psychic who could find people, what sort of business license would they need in the state of New Hampshire? I found out that if this was VA they'd be classified as a Fortune Teller...

But does anyone really care what sort of business license Caitlin needs in order to charge for bringing people back from the dead? Readers probably wouldn't stop me at a book signing and demand to know what sort of business the IRS classified hers as, would they? Supposing this book is eventually published and does well, would even one person who read it really want to know this detail?

Then why do I get so hung up on the tiniest details like this?! I think my muse is confused. Not always, since I'm over 70,000 words into this project (which in paperback form is 250-280 pages) since November 1st, but often enough to be frustrating. Stop spinning your wheels on the inconsequential, muse!*

* for the record, my muse isn't a chick like these. It's a dude, more like this.


"If you won't save me, please don't waste my time" - Oasis, Falling Down

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

George RR Martin. sigh

I've been doing the 50 Book Challenge every year since it started in 2003. At 23 books read for this year to date, I'm pretty far behind. Why? I read all four books in the Songs of Fire and Ice since January. Now I'm not sure I ought to have bothered. The rest of this post contains minor book spoilers.

I kept on, because...I thought the story would go somewhere. But somehow, four books and thousands of pages later, it hasn't. How can that possibly be?! I should have been wary, what with having heard whispers of what a tremendous asshole a lot of readers consider him (besides Neil Gainman, but I hate half of his books anyway, so why listen to him?) but I was lured in by the rumors that they're making A Game Of Thrones a TV show. So, I read on and on, with the vaguely disquieting sense that the various plots, subplots and sub-subplots should build to something...and I'm apparently an idiot, because even after four whole books, the supposed central theme ("Winter is coming" or maybe "we must band together to defend ourselves against the Others") is still as nebulous and misty as it was in book one. And people have been waiting four years for this to continue?!

I guess I could forgive the guy a severe case of writer's block, though he did say that he'd just be splitting a big book into two (this takes 5 years to do? The other book is supposed to have already been written) but his sins are worse just in the writing front. What's with his need to write the same details over and over and over again? Arya's prayer has been repeated - in full - no less than 47 times. It feel like he's under the impression that we've all suffered head trama so he's doing us a favor repeating things dozens of times, or else is convinced that he's being paid by the word. And those words are far too often in the passive voice. Didn't he take at least one writing class in college? Passive is bad, not something to stride for so your work sounds old-timey. Not to mention that despite the books being unreasonably bloated, there are so many things that are never touched on despite it being natural for readers to what to know about them. For example: when/how did Jon end up in Winterfell? Catelyn is supposed to despise him, so who raised him until he was old enough to ignore?

Other readers might gnash their teeth and wail in despair when they think of Martin's odds of living long enough to finish the other three books, but not me. I don't care if he ever writes another word. He's just not that compelling a writer. If he has better things to do than write, the hell with him.


"Never say that much to me, I guess it feels okay. Sometimes try and draw you out, sometimes but not today" - Faster Tiger, Unrequited

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sucky Indie

Least people think I'll listen to anything...

I hate every song by them I've ever heard:
The Mountain Goats
Animal Collective
She & Him
Taken by Trees
Vampire Weekend
Frightened Rabbits
Brazilian Girls
Box Car Racer
M. Ward
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Dr. Dog
The Go! Team
Passion Pit
The Weepies
The Twilight Sad
Neon Indian
The Black Keys
Scissor Sisters
My Morning Jacket
Grandaddy
Lanterns on the Lake
Los Campesinos!
Owl City
Foster The People
Robyn Hitchcock
Monsters of Folk
Surfer Blood

I hate every song by them I've ever heard...except one:
Andrew Bird
Athlete
Of Montreal
Belle and Sebastian
Fleet Foxes
Angels & Airwaves

"I hear your words, they call my name. I won't go back. You must be out of your head" - Birds Of Tokyo, Broken Bones

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Photos

I feel like posting, but I don't have much to say. So I'll post a couple of pictures I've taken this year.


I think the look on his face is something we can all relate to now and then "oh no, now what do you want?" (and yes, he puts his paws like that all the time)



I like the clouds in this one. They're a strange shade of blue. My eyes are too, come to think of it - just not this color blue. I've tried taking pictures of them, and just about all you can make out is that they're an odd grayish blue-green, so I won't inflict a picture on you.



"You must be an illusion. Can I see through you?" - Minus the Bear, When We Escape

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photo Mishaps

You know that old saying about the best laid
plans of mice and men? Clearly it also applies to amature photographers.

You see, last night I noticed one of these solar lanterns in the yard glowing eerily as its charge was draining down. It seemed like it'd make a good picture. Of course, I wanted a photo with the flash off so it would look spookier. What's scary about a lantern you can fully see?






It didn't take too long before I realized that night photos take forever to expose, and it's really hard to stay still that long. That's why my first attempt looks like this. I suppose it ups the eeriness a bit, but it's definitely not what I was going for.

After a few more attempts that look almost identical, I had an ephiphany: the biggest problem was that I was foolishly breathing. So, to solve that problem, I just needed to hold the camera against me, so it wouldn't move when I breathed. Or maybe not.

Then I thought, doesn't this camera have a couple of nighttime modes? Let's try those out. Well, if I'd been trying to take a picture that said "hey! look out, an angry demon is going to get us!" rather than "look at this neat lantern" this might have been a success.


In the end, this is the best picture I took,and it's not very good because it took so long that the solar battery was more drained that would have been ideal.

In retrospect I might have done better if I hadn't been too lazy to get my tripod out of my car (I have no idea why it was in there) but what's the challenge in that? Maybe later this week I can give it another shot - with the tripod.

Oh well, let's chalk this one up to a learning experience.

"You flirt with disaster but never give in" - The Tender Box, Beautiful Sin

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Music

5 Cent Theatre - Shifting Sands
Amanda Blank - Shame On Me
Ambulance LTD - Sugar Pill
Amy Rigby - You Get To Me
Anya Marina - Whatever You Like (T.I cover)
Arab Strap - Don't Ask Me To Dance
Arab Strap - Infrared
Bettie Serveert - Deny All
Black Wire - Attack! Attack! Attack!
Black Taj - Cold Comfort
Brad Sucks - Look And Feel Years Younger
Brad Sucks -
Making Me Nervous
Brendan Benson – The Pledge this is the only vid I could find, sorry
Cary Brothers - Blue Eyes
Chris Isaak vs. Billy Idol vs. HIM - Wicked Wedding [DJ Schmolli] mp3
Civil Twilight - Letters From The Sky
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Roosevelt Room
Constellastions - Felicia
Copeland – Control Freak
Cruel Black Dove - Isolation
Eskimo Joe - Inshalla
Feist + Ben Gibbard - Train Song
Gomez - Little Pieces
Greta Gaines - Whiskey Thoughts
Handsome Furs - Radio Kaliningrad
Heavy Young Heathens - Drawn From Memory
I Was Totally Destroying It - Done Waiting
Inu - The Bailing
Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan - The Flame That Burns
Junius - Blood Is Bright
Junius - Hiding Knives
Justice vs. New Order - Confused Phantom
Kate Nash - Early Christmas Present
Kathleen Edwards - Back To Me
Kenna - Better Wise Up
Leiana - Nothing=You
Metric - Gimme Sympathy
Micheal Franti & Spearhead - Hey World (Don't Give Up version)
Minto - Tonight I Lay My Head
Moufette - Chew Your Heart
Moving Units - Nail It To The Cross
Moving Units - Wrong Again
Nelly Furtado & Chris Martin - All Good Things
Nine Inch Nails vs. Ace Of Base - She Wants Animals [DJ Tripp & Bass211]
Octoberman - 51
Phantom Planet - Dropped
Princess Superstar vs. Simian vs. Von Bondies vs. Fatboy Slim - C'mon Fuck me [DJ Zebra]
Rise Against - Savior
Rock Kills Kid - I Turn My Camera On
Royal Bangs – My Car is Haunted
Sarah McLachlan - Dear God
She Swings, She Sways - What I Wouldn't Do
Slot - Noon
Solvent – Loss For Words (Solvent’s Compurhythm Remix)
The Butchies - Send Me You
The Cast Before The Break - From The Earth At A Crossroad
The Charms - I Want You Back
The Like - You Belong To Me
The Pillcrushers - Way Down
Thom Yorke - Harrowdown Hill
USS - Neurochemical Warfare Gas Masquerade

You know, I'd love to be able to make my own mashups, but thus far I haven't gotten anywhere when I've tried with various software. There are songs that would be cool to mix together just for the titles - like I could do a mashup of Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine" and The Kill's "Sour Cherry" for "Sour Sunshine."

As usual:
Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
Neither = never heard of them before


"I made an obstacle course out of me. When my laundry is through, I'll tumble with you." - USS, Neurochemical Warfare Gas Masquerade

Friday, July 30, 2010

Your Face Here

At my favorite message board, there are several posters whose backs get up when people ask "am I the only one who..." and they insist that the answer is always no. But over the years I've been told flat out several times that sometimes it is just me. Or just me and Vynce, actually since lil bro and I tend to think a lot alike. A college friend who knew us both once exclaimed, "You are both so funny. What did your parents do to you?!" Uh, I don't exactly know, but both our parents have mental illnesses (as a further aside, the fact that neither of us does fascinates one of our parents' doctors. We're "amazingly well adjusted" if quirky), so I'm sure our unique outlook is a type of coping mechanism.

Anyway...Does anyone else insert people they're not exactly infatuated with yet into their daydreams? (the type of person you're superficially attracted to, but know nothing much about) I don't mean into sexual fantasies, or at least not only, but the dreaming-of-a-happy-future kind be that might mean being successful or having a nice family of your own. Or, you know, revenge fantasies of the "the best revenge is living well ilk" - other not particularly confrontational people have that sort of daydream too, don't they? Pettily showing people up by being happier than them is sort of fun to think about. These day dreams aren't actually about the person who is in them, but they get a bit part in the kind of daydream you'd have anyway.

I tend to think of people like this as "face people" since they're the fantasy equivalent of a cardboard cutout before you get to know them well enough to imagine them do anything other than being there, but I'm pretty sure that the word I'm looking for is avatar. No, not that over-rated ripoff of Fern Gully, but in the Hinduism or computing sense - a representation/manifestation of something, in this case being a representation of Mr. May He'll Do. I've said before that I don't get much out of imagining people I've never met, so I tend to use people I know in real life as props in those mental vacations that help me sleep or get though another boring hour at work.

Sometimes you get to know one of the props better, and that strips them of that status because you lose interest completely, or it moves them into the realm of being in your imaginings because you actually do like them and then they get dialogue and everything.

So, is it just me? It's okay if it is. I expect a lot of guys not to know what I mean since guys I know swear their daydreams aren't as "scripted" as women's tend to be. I asked some what they thought about when they thought about a girl/woman they really liked, and their answers tended to be body-part oriented, which strikes me as bizarre, so obviously YMMV.


"'You know you're pretty good looking for a child.' That was the last time she smiled." - Black Wire, Attack! Attack! Attack!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Guys...

Today's meandering theme is guys.

* I think I should spend a few hours on a dating site. Not because I'm interested in online dating, but because I am really bad at figuring out how old guys are. I figure looking at a bunch of pictures might help. As for why now...So, there's this guy. Well, there are two - I was (am?) mildly interested in one but I'm sick of being the one to initiate all conversation, so I've put that interest on hold. Besides, I'm lead to believe him no longer making an effort to talk to me indicates that he's just not that interested, but I suppose I'm willing to be proven wrong - but anyway, the other one of them is just nice looking, and I've hardly exchanged ten words with him. Turns out he's 23. Argh. Don't get me wrong, I like younger guys, I do. In fact, I actually prefer younger men. But by "younger" I mean 1 to 5/6 years younger. Not ten years younger. I need to improve my guessing skills!

* I'm kind of talking to McDuff again. We're working together for the first time in ages, so it's a necessity. He has a girlfriend now and I'm fairly sure he figured out I'm very much not interested in him, so...hopefully talking to him again will be okay. He's a nice guy, and I'm glad he's happy now.

* I have an interesting new theory, but I don't know if anyone would understand it, because not everyone is familiar with the concept of people being "a season." What season I am was extremely easy to figure out, because almost all redheads are Autumns. If you have red hair because of an MC1R mutation, which means you have fair skin and usually blue or green eyes too, you're an Autumn. If have fair skin but strawberry blonde or auburn hair (to me neither of these is red, but ymmv) or you're a redhead who doesn't have fair skin, you're a Spring. So, most of us are Autumns.... Anyway, the theory is that people are attracted to people who are the same season they are. Nothing turns my head faster than black hair and brown eyes, but I've been attracted to a fair number of guys with brown hair, some with blue eyes, and even a few blonds. And it turns out most of them have been autumns. Vynce's fiancee is an autumn too, and from observation people in couples often just seem to, um, match. But, considering most people don't even know what season they are, never mind the people they're attracted to, I can't really poll people =(


"I'm done waiting for something to be there. I'm done waiting for a new feeling." - I Was Totally Destroying It, Done Waiting

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm Dreaming So Wake Up

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I found myself thinking about one of my two American Lit classes, probably because I handled the book as I rearranged a bookcase, and wondering what happened to a classmate. His name might have been Matt, but I was never clear on that point. Actually, I was also wondering about that weird non-trad who wore ripped sweatpants to class every day too, but for other reasons. Then there were cartoon elephants in the lit book, holding hands...

My brain realized that I was now dreaming and responded by freaking out...which of course woke me back up. Why??? Sleep was the end-game, shouldn't Brain been happy to have gotten there? You know, rather than panicking?


"If I only knew you'd haunt my dreams for years..." - Woodhands, Dancer

Friday, July 9, 2010

Psych!

Out of curiousity, does anyone else wish there were more random psych experiments done on people? With their knowledge and consent, I mean. I had a couple done on me (that I know of for sure. I'm fairly certain that there's one being conducted at work about fluctuating building temperatures and the tipping point of insanity, but I can't prove it) back in college, and they didn't hurt me any. No electrodes involved, or anything, though. Oh, relax. Participation in psych experiments was a requirement for Psych 401.

Anyway, I read about this study a while back - why yes, I do look up scientific studies for the hell of it. you'd worry more if you saw the history of what I've looked up on wiki - that showed that most obese mothers couldn't identify how heavy their children were by comparing said child to a silhouettes other kids; the fail part comes from them picking a lighter kid to match to. I find that facinating.

But you know, I bet people, not just obese moms, are really bad at comparing themselves to other people too. So I'd like for there to be a study to prove or disprove that, by having people run around a room full of other people and pick the person who is most like them in body size and shape. Like a manic game of Memory.

Yeah...I thought it was just me.


"Your skin your bones don't speak for me" - Young Vinyls, Avalanche

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer TV

So...I watch a lot of TV. I'm pretty sure that I own more TV shows on DVDs than movies, and I'm happy with that. When I was younger summers were a vast wasteland of reruns, but this decade is awesome. There are so many summer shows!

As you probably have guessed from old posts, I'm watching True Blood, Design Star, and Last Comic Stand this summer; I'm loving the first more than the other two, but I'm hoping the others will pick up soon. And Hawthorne. And Warehouse 13 started back up again last night. And last week was the season finale of In Plain Sight... Yeah. So I watch a lot of TV even during the summer.

I actually met someone a while back who said "I don't watch TV." And I mentally took a step back, thinking, "wow, if this isn't a joke, I'm not sure we have a future as friends." And I was at least half-serious. How could I convince someone who is anti-TV that it's important to watch True Blood, Fringe, and Primeval?


"Somethings wrong when you regret things that haven't happened yet." - The Submarines, 1940

Monday, July 5, 2010

June Music

This weekend I've embarked on the frustrating task of looking up albums and release years for the few hundred MP3s I have in my collection that have neither. Some are going to remain that way because of my fondness for unsigned/obscure bands...even Musicbrainz Picard is stumped by a lot of them.

Anyway, here are the recs for June.

Arctic Monkeys - My Propeller
Automatic Loveletter - Let It Ride
Courage Call - Change Your Mind
Edison Glass - Cold Condition
Framing Hanley - You Stupid Girl
Fujiya & Miyagi - Collarbone
Greg Laswell - Days Go On
Hamel And St. Croix feat. Jules Mari - Playa *
Hey Willpower - Magic Window
Iris - S. Town
It's Alive - Pieces
Jack's Mannequin - American Love
Killing Caroline - Meridian
Lily Allen vs Muse - Undisclosed Fairness
Lizz Wright - My Heart
Lovage - To Catch a Thief
Lovers + Liars - I'm Not Him
Mendetz - Sofa
Minus The Bear - Dog Park
Minus The Bear - When We Escape
Moloko - Time Is Now
People In Planes - Last Man Standing
Phantom Planet - 1st Things 1st
Poets Of The Fall - Dreaming Wide Awake
Powderfinger - The Day You Come
Rachael Yamagata - Worn Me Down
Sam Prekop - Dot Eye
Static Cycle - Pressure
Taken By Cars - Uh Oh
The Frames - Fake
The Glitterati - You Got Nothing on Me
The Only Children - Hide Your Sorrow
The Story - Gorgeous
The Submarines - 1940 (AmpLive Remix) Is there such a subgenre as neo-bossa nova?The Subways - Girls & Boys
The Used - Empty With You
The Young Knives - Turn Tail
Tommie Sunshine - Party Lights *
Tripdavon - Far From Grace
Twice a Man - Decay
Vedera - Redemption Soon

As usual:
Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
Neither = never heard of them before


* guess what game I eventually got around to playing!


"My hope lies in the future tales" - Broken Yoke, The Way

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July. Meh.


Out of curiousity, do other currently single people find the 4th of July a bit depressing? I know it's not one of the holidays that we're supposed to find lonely, like Valentine's and Christmas to a lesser degree, but... Tonight would be a whole lot better watching fireworks with someone's arms wrapped around me, you know?

sigh.


"If you see something in my eye, let's not over analyze. Don't go too deep with it, baby. So let it be what it'll be. Don't make a fuss and get crazy over you and me " - Jennifer Paige, Crush

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yuck

I'm not sure what's up with the weather today. This morning it was so foggy that I half expected interdimensional monsters to slither out of the mist and drag away passing cars. And tonight the next city over smelled very much like the filter to Ten's aquarium did when I replaced it yesterday. Seriously, I didn't think the city had any swampy areas, so why did it smell like that?

I was thinking about the city as I drove home and didn't enjoy the smell. If I was ever homesick for Taunton MA, I could just drive to the city (which shall remain nameless) a few miles away. It seems terribly out of place in New Hampshire, almost as if someone had towed a few miles of Massachussetts city northward, then allowed it to decay for a few decades.

But what am I talking about? I'm never homesick for Taunton. Here, let me make an exhaustive list of everything I miss about it:

* Seeing my aunt Gerry on a semi-regular basis
* the Galleria mall
* Trucchi's grocery stores
* Well-lit late night drives home from work summers
* WAAF (Did you wonder where my taste for various metal subgenres came from?)
* strained chow mien sandwiches

Yep, that's it. I used to put "Hell" in the return address when I wrote to people during the 3 years I lived there, so...


"I won't rip your heart out" - The Subways, I Won't Let You Down

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ayuh

I've been working on the scenes just prior to the climax of my novel lately. I still need to fill in the 30,000 or so words between where I left off before and the end, but it's going okay. I don't write in order anyway, so this isn't a big deal. Writing scenes one after another just doesn't work for me.

A lot of people misinterpret the classic writers' advice "Write what you know," to mean "only write about things you've experienced," which would make for a lot of dull books. What it really means is "do some research, Stupid." So I have been, ranging from topics like: When does the FBI get involved in a serial killer case? How long does it take to drown? Do lakes have under-ice currents? What would realistically cause a car to catch on fire, but NOT in a Hollywood movie-style explosion? You know, the basics. The one I'm having trouble with is "which ancient peoples believed that the body couldn't be [insert type of altering] if the person was to be allowed into the afterlife?" which is kind of frustrating, because I know I've read plenty of myths of that nature.

And beyond that, I've been pestering people to tell me what turns of phrases they've only heard when they visited New England. You'll note that I haven't asked fellow locals...because people are really bad figuring out regionalisms. Hell, I was 17 before I knew that "wicked" was a regionalism. That was just before Al Gore invented the internet, though. The reason that I've asked is because I'd like for the story to feel genuine to this area. Well, Manchester being the unlikely place for a serial killer aside, that is.

Here are things I need to work into the story:
- Ayuh (obviously). This is already something I had a minor character say, but of course most of the characters wouldn't. It's not like the majority of people use the expression daily.
- Down Cellar. To be kinder to readers, I won't interchangeably use cellar and basement although most of us do.
- Coffee Regular. Which, of course is coffee with cream and two sugars. I don't drink coffee, but even I know that!
- So don't I. Until recently, I never gave any thought to this being confusing. Of course people would know you were making a statement of agreement, right? Right??
- My ghouls. Which, of course, is something little kids yell when they reach the safe place while playing tag. This is another one I never thought about. "My goals," as someone pointed out, probably would make more sense.
- Quarter of [hour] - For reasons I can't fathom, some people from elsewhere find it difficult to determine if this means 15 minutes before or after the hour. I was taught, in school, to speak of time this way, so it seems completely obvious to me that time goes Hour, Quarter Past, Half Past, Quarter Of, but...
- Carriage. The thing with wheels you put your groceries in.
- Bubbler. A drinking fountain
- Breakdown lane - (?) people really call it a shoulder like the road signs do? I'll be damned. I'm also confounded that "sneakers" is supposed to be a regionalism too.
- Bulkie. A round sandwich roll.
- Hot dog rolls, New England style. These have raw sides so you can butter and toast them. And they're not labeled "New England Style" on the packages here - just hotdog rolls.
- Jimmies. Chocolate sprinkles for ice cream.
- All set. I actually knew that people in other regions don't use this expression because a comic did a bit on confusing a waitress by saying it when she asked if he needed something more.
- Seriously? Apparently it's used more here than away. And I do I know people who use it all. the. time.


"I want to hurt you bad, make you paranoid, and say the sweetest things." -Of Montreal, Gallery Piece

Monday, June 21, 2010

I don't like U

So, I was prepared to like U. the commercials are so different and clever with the message of how they actually understand that it's not a fun experience, and I relate to them more than those other kinds, given that I'm not the girliest of girls. Sure, I like candles and flowers, but most people don't see me in a skirt unless I have a job interview or a funeral to attend. And if I was wearing a skirt during that sort of week, it sure the hell wouldn't be white.

But it turns out that I don't like U. First, they smell kind of strange. Not in a perfumed sort of way, but more like an unmaintained beach bathroom way. Most women probably aren't going for smelling like a hobo, so I doubt I'm the only one who finds this off-putting. And second, while the packaging is definitely festive, neon colors lack discretion - I like keeping my coworkers guessing as to why I'm in a bitchy mood, and accidentally flashing one of those sort of ruins the mystery. And who's idea was it to put the blue bullseyes down the center of things? It strikes me as a little bit condescending.

Basically, in the effort to seem different, they have in fact embraced everything that they're railing against. Like the pigs in Animal Farm. Or, wait, more like those girls who come into threads about awful cramps, and are all, "Oh, I don't mind my period. It's only once every 45 days, and I use three tampons a day for three days. I never get any cramps, either. teehee. It must be awful for you." You know what? Screw you. No one wants to hear how easy you have it, and we're all secretly wishing menopause sucks twice as much for you as the rest of us. But you know, at least with those girls I can console myself by knowing that odds are that they're fatter than me, struggles with weight being another issue people get bent out of shape over when people make light of it, and can at least imagine snottily saying "Wow, the average woman wears a size twelve to fourteen and at my fattest ever I was a size ten and I hated it. It must be awful for you" and here...here's a bunch of marketing execs who are probably men anyway, laughing their way to the bank because they tricked us. Assholes.

This rant brought to you by the letters P, M, and S.


"With my aching hand reach for you, burning skin bleed for you. Laugh at it all until you take the fall. My second sight see though you, second skin bleed for you..." - Carfax Abbey, Second Skin