Sunday, December 11, 2011

November Music

Lots of covers this month, but more that are not.

Autumn's Grey Solace - The Unshakable Demon
Blue King Brown - Moment Of Truth
Cults - Abducted
Curves - If Ever note: not the shoegaze band Curve
Finch - Ink
The Gossip - Are U That Somebody (Aaliyah cover)
John Legend - Rolling In The Deep (Adele cover)
Juliet - Avalon (Thin White Duke Radio Edit)
Kakkmaddafakka - Restless
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl feat. Boy George and Miike Snow - Somebody to Love Me
Metronomy - The Bay
Monarchy Feat. Britt Love - You Don't Want To Dance With Me
New Young Pony Club - Dress (PJ Harvey cover)
Peter Bjorn & John - Second Chance
Philip Selway - Beyond Reason
Say Hi - November Was White, December Was Grey gotta say I like them a lot better post-name change
Sunshine - Today (Is Not The Day)
Tegan & Sara - Northshore does this song make anyone else want to get up and run and/or dance around?
The 66 - Shoot to Kill
The Heavy - Short Change Hero AKA "that song in the Haven Season 1 and Batman:Gothem City commericals"
The Linings - The Way To Do This
The National - Think You Can Wait
The Pierces - You'll Be Mine if you don't like this, we can't be friends
The Pigeon Detectives - She Wants Me
The Rapture - Miss You
The Raveonettes - Forget That You're Young
The Sounds - Something To Die For
Tiger Waves - Funeral March
Tokyo Police Club - Since U Been Gone
Tricky - Kingston Logic
Tricky - Time To Dance
TV On The Radio - Will Do
Villa Nah - Running On
Washed Out - Far Away
We Are The Grand - Save Me
Wiretree - The Shore
Yacht - Tripped and Fell In Love
Yeasayer - Crazy (Seal cover)

As Usual:
Bold = I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic = I've heard other of their songs but didn't like them
Neither = I've never heard this band before

"Don't pretend that you're better than this" - Blue Stahli, Ultranumb

Friday, December 2, 2011

Found Poem: End Game

I've been looking for something tonight, pages of a story I misplaced, and found some old poems  instead. It's been a while since I've written a poem, but I actually published a few way back when. Not this one, though, written all the way back in 2000. And you know, I still like it. I found an old essay too, maybe I'll post it later.

End Game

Suddenly you notice how much
She's pulled away.
Friendly, but barely affectionate
Somewhat quiet
Somehow distant.

Finally the near silence makes you anxious
Until you convince yourself
That it's all part of an elaborate game
To draw your attention:
That old thing about
Absence making the heart grow fonder;
A way to make you worry
About losing her presence in your life;
Something to get you thinking about
What she really means to you;
Or just to drive you crazy.

Strangely, she never thought
About what you might think
Of her plans to revise
Her perceptions of you
Until a spiteful remark
Made her wonder
What you would get
If you got your way.

"How do I get you to feel what I feel for you? I will hold on to you like a fool till my hands go blue. But you don’t want to dance with me. You don’t want to dance with me" - Monarchy, You Don't Want To Dance With Me

Friday, November 11, 2011

October Music

1,2,3 - Scared But Not That Scared
Ace Reporter - Untouched and Arrived
Agent Ribbons - I'm Alright
Alexz Johnson - Look At Those Eyes [The Demolition Crew Remix]
Android Lust - Fell The Empty Mask
Apocalyptica feat. Doug Robb - Not Strong Enough
Armistice - Neon Love
Ayo - I'm Gonna Dance
Azfault - A Little More
Azfault - Goodbye
Back Ted N-Ted - Hookie
Bear Hands - Bad Blood
Beast, Please Be Still - Mastodon March, Smilodon Smile
Birds of Avalon - Your Downtime Is Up
Brand New - Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
Brand New - Sink
Broken Bells - The Ghost Inside
Burden Brothers - Beautiful Night this band's lead singer was the singer for The Toadies
Cage The Elephant - Aberdeen
Cake - Easy To Crash
COLDDRIVEN - Don't  You Know
Crash Kings - You Got Me
Darius Rucker - I Hope They Get to Me in Time well, I do own one Hootie song...
E.S. Posthumus - Nara
Eisley - Smarter
Elliott Smith - Twilight Elliott Smith. sigh.
Eric McFadden Trio - Bury Our Sins
Fujiya & Miyagi - Ventriloquizzing
G. Love - 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Paul Simon cover)
G-Spot - Buried
Infadels - Steady As She Goes (The Raconteurs cover)
John Butler Trio - To Look Like You
Kilians - The Lights Went Off
Kyla La Grange - Vampire Smile I had a halloween theme planned, but I ended up hating most of the thematically appropriate songs...
Metronomy - She Wants
My American Heart - Tired & Uninspired
Soft Moon - Breathe The Fire
Taproot - You're Not Home Tonight
The Boxcar Lilies - The Ghost Tree
The Classic Crime - The Drink In My Hand
The Kamikaze Hearts - No One Called You a Failure
The Love Me Nots - Trouble
The Pale Pacific - Tied To A Million Things
The Rosebuds - Woods
The Veils - The Wishbone

As Usual:
Bold = I have other of their songs in my music collection
Italic = I've heard other of their songs but didn't like them
Neither = I've never heard this band before

Click the "Monthly Music Roundup" tag for 2 years worth of monthly recs.

"This is the last time I will follow you. This is the last time I will follow you at all." - The Cat Empire, Waiting

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This article is why

As someone who is pro-life, I've been snottily asked a few times what I think about gay parents adopting children, and I usually surprise the asker by telling them I'm in favor of it (hell, I voted against a 2010 gubernatorial candidate in the primaries just because he wanted to make a law against gay adoption here in NH. Fortunately he lost). I understand that many pro-life folks are religiously motivated, but I'm not really a religiously motivated about much of anything kind of girl. First and foremost, I want there to be fewer unwanted pregnancies to begin with. And then, if people give their babies up instead of abort them, they need homes. I can't see what about someone's sexuality would rule them out as a good parent, so I don't care the genders of the would-be parents. You (generic you) maybe being uncomfortable explaining to your kids why Meg and Jack have two mommies or two daddies is an absurd reason to make it harder for a child to find a home, so... just no.

Really, articles like this one are why I'm a fan of laws that allow gay folks, both as couples or as single parents, adopt. How could you not be in favor of children finding loving homes like this one?

"They call kids like us vicious and carved out of stone but for what we've become, we just feel more alone. Always weigh what I've lost against what I left. Progress report: I am missing you to death" - Fall Out Boy, I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And...

Monday, October 10, 2011

September Music

Beulah - Your Mother Loves You Son
City & Colour - Fragile Bird
Class Actress - Keep You
Damhnait Doyle - Darkness Round The Sun
David Bazan - Wolves At The Door
Daybehavior - It's A Game
Dead Snares - City Sparks
Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
Eric Anders - Looking Forward to Your Fall
Glasser - Mirrorage
Holana - Dolphins
Intruder - Teeth In Your Heart
Jakalope - Pretty Life love love love this video
jj - Let Them
Jon Fratelli - Rhythm Doesn't Make You A Dancer
Kidney Thieves - Before I'm Dead (Acoustic)
Kye Kye - Knowing This the band's name reminds me of my favorite lemur, the Aye Aye. Doesn't everyone have a favorite lemur?
L.P. - Wasted
Love You Moon - Why Pop Stars Sell Silicone
Mason Proper - Point A to Point B
Matt Pond PA - Love To Get Used
Mister Heavenly - Bronx Sniper
Mona - Listen To Your Love
Mottorama - Far Better (Superpose Remix)
Niki & The Dove - The Fox
Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees - Danse Danse Resolution
Santogold feat. Karen O - Go
Say Hi - Devils if only this band would tell me who to say hi to...
She Wants Chaos - Digital
Soulstice - Color
System Of A Down - Lonely Day
team9 vs. Stereogum - Disturbed Youth
The Barlights - Sometimes
The Grates - Like You Could Have It All
The Grates - Welcome To The Middle
The Gutter Twins - Circle the Fringes I still <3 Greg Dulli
The Loyal Divide - Labrador
The Soldier Thread - Fool
The Streets - Let's Push Things Forward
The Strokes - Machu Picchu
The Subways - It's A Party
The Wealthy West - Love Is Not Enough
The Wombats - Our Perfect Disease
The Wooden Birds - Two Matchsticks
Those Dancing Days - Fuckarias
Toby Mac - Made To Love
Trances Arc - Don't Like Leaving
Trophy Wife - Microlite (Acoustic)
Tuó - Walk With Me
William Fitzsimmons - The Tide Pulls From The Moon

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 don't want to let you go, but it hurts my hands to hold the rope" - Brand New, Sink

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Flash Fic October

This story came to me almost all at once. I hope it makes sense to readers too! As usual the stories must be no more than 2000 words, and they have a photo and three words to "inspire" the stories, which must be written within sixty hours. (I have, oh, 57 to spare, so I have time to revise if necessary.  

Anyway, the words are "Album", "Bizarre" and "Perspiring" and as usual too any form of the words are acceptable. The photo is apparently of some sort of wishing icon in Europe, and that's what ALL of the stories so far are about, so voting will probably be fiece considering how pointed the photo part of the prompt is.  Ready?

The Judas Tree
"We can't," he said, voice throaty and strangled.

Ignoring his protest, she stroked his thigh, making him groan. Clarissa knew that was too close to the full moon to be trying to seduce Chase this way, but a naughty little part of her wondered. What would it would feel like if his bones began to lengthen and he started to sprout fur, to change while insi-

I snapped the book shut with a sigh. The premise had seemed so promising when I read the summary in the bookstore, and I'd thought it'd be just the thing to lift me out of my sour mood. I mean, how could werewolf themed erotica not yank you out of reality? But then, the werewolf just had to be named Chase.

Of course the book was a failure, Chase was my problem in the first place. God damn Chase.

I'd had a crush on him since the 8th grade, and he finally noticed me in 11th. We went to homecoming together, and it felt like all my dreams were coming true. The feeling didn't last, though, because two weeks later, just days after I'd printed out pictures of Homecoming for my photo album, he was caught with Alison McCreary at Ben Long's party.


If he'd only kissed her I might have forgiven him. But they weren't kissing. Even that literary whore Clarissa would have blushed if she'd seen what I'd walked in on.

Chase tried to apologize later, but I didn't want to hear it. I mean, really, what could you say to excuse yourself from accidentally forgetting you were dating someone and screwing another girl at a party? He was now dating her, of course.

After letting myself stew over it for a week or so, I tried to find distractions from it all. In so many different ways, really. None of them worked, though, because I'd almost get to a happy place and then the memory of seeing Alison under him at the party would surface and blot everything else out. Reading urban fantasy porn as escapism was attempt number 67. Number one had been sending that page of my album through Dad's paper shredder.

Maybe it was because it was Halloween, but after the werewolf story, I knew what I had to do. If I couldn't be happy with Chase, Alison damn well wasn't going to be either. Going back inside, full of the pleasant fire of determination, I gathered up my supplies and jumped on my bike.

I knew exactly where I was headed, and I should have done it a week ago, just like Kenna and Hunter told me to. Back when they made the suggestion I thought I was a bigger person than that, but it turned out that I wasn't above revenge after all. A visit to the Judas tree was the answer to my problem.



From a distance the first thing you noticed about the Judas tree was the stump next to the trunk. Part of the tree, actually. Once the tree had been a set of Siamese twins, but one of the trunks had gotten diseased, so someone had hacked the sick half away to save the rest over a hundred years ago. The stump was no mere humble reminder of a tree's better days, though. It had a sinister look to it now, and the coins sticking out of it resembled nothing so much as the raised scales of some prehistoric beached sea creature. It was only as you walk towards it that you noticed that the scales were in fact metal, coins. Malicious offerings.


There were always thirty coins. From what I had been told, and in fact could see on the tree itself, more than thirty people had availed themselves of the Judas tree's dark breakup magic, but if someone took the time to count the coins, there were always thirty. People said that as time went on some of the coins worked themselves deeper into the stump, which was probably true. But how that meant only thirty were visible at a time, I couldn't tell you.


The stump was an ugly thing, when you came right down to it. The living part of the tree on the other hand, was much more lovely. In bloom it had rich pink flowers, but now in October it was bare. People didn't come to the tree to admire the flowers, though. No, it was the bark that was of interest: it held the name of dozens of lovers. Many of the names were crudely carved, but some of the names had a scrolling ornate look to them, as if they had been placed there with a great deal of care. Some of the pairs of names were surrounded by hearts that were quite ironic.


The irony, of course, was that every pair names on the tree represented a couple who did not stay together, which was the tree's spiteful gift to the lovelorn. In my high school, people like to tease couples and tell them that they would they did something to piss the teaser off. A lot of people acted like the threat was hollow, but deep down, I think most people did truly fear that they might come upon the tree and see their name there.


And it wasn't just students, some of the names had been carved by vindictive ex wives, ex-husbands, ex-somethings, stalkers, and shy adults still too cowardly to ever do more than long for the object of their affections to suddenly become available.

As the legend went, you had to do two things: the first was, with malice in your heart, carve the names of soon to be doomed lovers into the bark. The second was to pound a coin into the stump beside the tree as an offering.

When I slipped the coin out of my pocket, it shone in the autumn light, more silvery than it had looked when I'd scooped it off my dresser. No one told me which order you did things, so I took my hammer out and pounded it into the stump. I could almost swear that another coin sank from view while I worked, but it might have been the sun in my eyes playing tricks.

That done, I picked up the knife my brother had given me before he left for college, and examined the tree. I found a bare spot just barely within reach, and began to carve the C first. By the time I was done I was perspiring, and my back and arms ached from having spent that much time reaching up. Chase and Alison's names were neither the neatest or messiest there, and I left with a bitter lightness in my step, satisfied that I'd done the only thing I could to get revenge.


The next morning seemed like any other, at least until I got to school. The hallways hummed with whispers, and I felt happy when I finally heard someone say "Alison." I looked forward to someone blurting out the details of their break up.

But it wasn't to be.

Instead, as I slid into my seat during first period, I noticed that Mrs. Creek looked like she was barely holding back tears. As soon as the last person sat, she sighed and addressed us. "I'm afraid that there was an accident last night. Chase Holt and Alison McCreary were in a car wreck-"

She didn't get any farther than that before someone else who hadn't known about the accident already asked her if they were okay. She shook her head slowly. "They think Chase will be okay, just a few broken bones, but Alison is in Intensive Care. Things...they don't look good."

I sat in class, and wondered if how terrible a person I was showed on my skin. It was all my fault, all because I'd decided that they needed to break up too. Had I been too full of malice when I carved the names? Was the coin supposed to have come afterwards and I'd somehow bizarrely intensified the spell by doing things in the wrong order? That hardly seemed possible. I couldn't be the only one to give the coin first, and no one had ever been hurt, physically anyway, before.

By the end of the day my guilt was threatening to swallow me whole: after lunch Alison's brother had been pulled out of class to go to the hospital "just in case."

We all knew in case of what.


I felt more than half-crazy with remorse by the time I got home. But I had a plan. I was going to fix everything. My parents didn't even know I'd gotten home before I'd darted into the basement for my bag, and left again.

The tree seemed to glower at me in the distance as I pedaled up to it. Had anyone else ever come to take back their misdeed? I thought not, but I had to try. Chase and Alison didn't deserve what I'd done. No one deserved that.

"I'm, um, I've changed my mind," I muttered, not really feeling strange to be talking to a tree.

If it had been a fairytale, the stump would have immediately spit out the coin, and the broken bark smoothed over. But it wasn't, so nothing happened.

"I'm calling it off, okay?" I asked, looking down at the stump. I thought I saw my coin, and tried to pull it out. It didn't budge.

This wasn't supposed to be happening. I poked at the coin with the tip of the knife, and barely felt it as the sharp edges of another one bit into my skin.

"I'm sorry!" I wailed, tears streaming down my face. "I didn't mean it!"

Looking at the tree, leaning over the remains of its twin, I think I finally understood what made people so sure that its curse would work: it was forever separated from its other half, and looked so unhappy. Why wouldn't it inflict that on others?

I shook my head, strangely convinced that the tree was merely trying to distract me from my task. Determined anew, my fingers scrabble against the stump, and I couldn't pry the coin back out. If it was even the right coin. The coin wasn't going to come out, I was pretty sure of it. So I turned to the tree's trunk instead.

Frenzied, I attacked the bark where I’d so happily carved the day before, using my knife to score over Chase and Alison's names again and again. Eventually the knife slipped and gashed my thumb under where that other coin had already cut it. I ignored the pain until the slipperiness of my blood made it too hard to hold the knife any longer. The bark was a smeared mess of lines and a red wetness I didn't want to think about. Maybe it was a good thing, though, a blood offering to show I was serious instead of a mere quarter.

When the knife fell from my aching fingers, I was startled to see that the cuts on my thumb and palm looked almost the same as the C I'd carved the day before. That had to mean something.

By the time I got home, my sweater was red to the elbow, and my mother screamed. I didn't whimper or cry out once on the way to the e.r., though, because I was gone on a feeling of serenity. I'd erased my mistake, and everything would be okay.


Three Days Later

It took seventeen stitches to close my wound, and all I could think about was how white the bandage looked on my hand as I stood in the cemetery during Alison's funeral. It should have been dirty, dirty to match the new darkness in my heavy heart.

The End

"Got my hands full, so full of trouble. There's something evil when it's double" - Starflyer59, Something Evil

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall TV Pilot Report Card

Note: this post will be updated as more shows premiere.

I guess that alphabetical order makes as much sense as any...

American Horror Story: B
This is one of the three shows I was most looking forward to, despite not being much of a Dylan McDermott fan. The pilot had some interesting moments, but so far it also is a bit disjointed. Hopefully the next few weeks will knock out some of the rough edges.

Hart of Dixie: B
You know what the CW has been missing? A replacement for Everwood. This show might just be it. It's kind of cute, and it's always nice to see another The O.C. alum on TV.

Pam Am: incomplete
I bailed after fifteen minutes. I'd heard that this was one of the shows this fall hoping to cash in on the popularity of Mad Men, but you know, I'm not a fan of Mad Men either. January Jones is one of those women, along with ones like Eva Green and Anna Silk, that I find beautiful in a wistful "why can't I look like that?" way, but that's not enough. As for Pam Am, like with Mad Men, maybe I'm just too young to find it very relatable, considering I didn't live though any part of the 60s myself.

Person of Interest: D
If someone had told me that it was going to appeal to the same sort of people who like the Jason Borne movies, I could have been spared the hour I wasted on this one. How can something with action in it be so boring?

Revenge: A
I'll be honest. I will watch anything with Emily VanCamp and/or Nick Wechsler in it. Anything. So, it's happy fortune that not only are they both in this show together, it's a pretty entertaining show to boot. We probably all have revenge fantasies, and it's interesting to see how one might play out if you had both the resources and the ruthlessness required to pull it off.

Ringer: C- I watched the first two episodes, and stopped caring after that. Sure, I own every season of BTVS on DVD, but I was always a Spike fan at heart more than a Buffy one. If this show is really supposed to be noir, it's a pretty clumsy one. I'd much rather watch Brick several more times than try to invest myself in Ringer.

The Secret Circle: B-
I'm still trying to decide how much I like this show. I'll stick with it for now, but I can see myself eventually growing to love or loathe it with equal odds.

Terra Nova: B
It's not as fun as Jurassic Park or Primeval, but I do like dinosaurs, so I'll probably continue to watch until it's prematurely canceled. For a show based millions of years in the past, though, they've been very sparing when it comes to showing us the dinos. And I find it slightly disconcerting to hear a man being called by his last name, which happens to be my first name, so I'm thinking that the whole unisex thing didn't work out as well as 70s-era parents who gave their boys my name hoped...

So there you have it, for now. Once Upon a Time and Grimm, the other two shows I've most looked forward to, don't begin until the end of the month, so check back later. FTR, Grimm is the most anticipated - I've been suggesting a supernatural-themed version of Law and Order for years, and TV won't get any closer to that than this.

"Feel me, completer, down to my core. Open my heart and let it bleed onto yours. Feeding on fever down all fours. show you what all that howl is for." - TV on the Radio, Wolf Like Me

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So far a good week

This week has been pretty good so far. Vynce got married (see last post) on Sunday, and from there:

Sarah Palin has announced that she will not be running for president. Happy days! I'd like for there to be a strong female candidate for president as much as any other not particularly feminist female voter would, but Palin and Bachmann are not candidates I can get behind. They're exuberant, I'll hand them that, but neither comes off as particularly bright. Why must the only potential female candidates spring from the cheerleader contingency of the Republican party? I'd so much rather someone like Rice run. Hell, I'd sooner vote for senator Snowe, even, despite her overly liberal voting record. Anyway, the thought of Palin running made a little part of my soul curl up and die because I could not vote in an election between her and Obama. I just couldn't be part of deciding between the frying pan and the fire, and it'd be the first presidential election I'd sit out since being old enough to vote. Now I don't have to worry about that any more!

And on Saturday, after being awake for 23 hours, I decided to write a cover letter and apply for a part time job that I was interested in. I don't know the hours, but it does pay nearly twice as much as my real job, so it wouldn't need to be many to be good. hyped up on caffeine and lack of sleep (I get more hyper the less I sleep. Thanks, ADHD!) I decided to try some of the "power words and phrases" in the two books I've read this summer about writing resumes and cover letters. Reading it over after I woke up, I couldn't decide if what I'd written was completely obnoxious, or brilliant. Since I was contacted today for an interview next Wednesday, I guess brilliant has it. Wish me luck!

What could make this week even better?
* my favorite TV show getting a 2 or 3 season renewal
* having the publisher's clearing house prize patrol show up
* meeting a tall, dark and available guy (and age-appropriate!) with a high tolerance for sarcasm and a propensity for redheads
* finally finding the missing pieces to novel #1 so the first draft can be completed before Christmas

Hey, you never know....

"Did you want all that you bought? It feels good to destroy. Push it down, let it up. Still empty, it's not enough. Like you could have it all if you had 24..." - The Grates, Like You Could Have It All

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Wedding

After being engaged for more than two years, and changing the date a few times, Vynce and Megan got married today. I'd post pictures of them so you could see the happy couple, but I haven't asked if it's okay, and I don't post people-pictures without permission.

The ceremony was very small, and very sweet. I'm happy for them both. A bit envious too, maybe, but still very happy for them. Megan has been a very positive influence on my brother's life, and I'm glad that he found her because he was kind of wild before he did. Here's to many more great years together.

I'm less happy that my folks have suddenly noticed I'm single, though! God, I don't know how my mother ended up with my father, because her taste in what she thinks would make a good guy for me leaves a lot to be desired. I don't want to be her next project, truly. ::fingers crossed::

"Me and you, And you and me. No matter how they tossed the dice it had to be. The only one for me is you And you for me. So happy together." - The Turtles, So Happy Together <--the wedding DJ didn't know this song when I requested it. Can you believe that?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fair Day

Yesterday was that time again: the Deerfield Fair. We go every year, and it's mostly the same year to year, but why not? How often do you get to pet sheep or look at piglets? It's probably bad to enjoy looking at the cute animals and be an unrepentant meat eater, but I never claimed it was logical to think that they're sweet but not feel bothered about the thought of eating them.

This year they had a Portuguese food stand, which disappointed me a little because they didn't offer Portuguese fried dough. I amused myself by getting my friend to try to pronounce chourico, and she was stymied since it is pronounced nothing like it's spelled ("shu-REES"). I hate to admit it, but it's one of the few words in Portuguese I actually know. You'd think that considering that my great-grandfather, who was from the Azores, lived until I was 11, and my great-grandmother, from Bermuda, lived until just before I turned 19, that I'd know some more. But no, their families were very much "now that we've come to the US we speak English only" so not even my grandfather spoke it. So, all I know is "bless me", "so-so" and slang terms for feces and bugs.

In all, it was a pretty decent day at the fair. It would have been better if I hadn't fallen to the communists the day before and been sore and having to deal with it all, (in deference to male readers I'll just say that 7 hours of walking can do unpleasant things to a menstruating woman, and leave it at that) but what can you do? Mother nature's kind of a bitch, and at least it should ease off considerably before Vynce's wedding tomorrow.

"Promises you never gave, but your eyes have told me so much more." - Intruder, Teeth In Your Heart

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stupid Human Tricks

Apparently a lot of people refer to eyes the color of mine as "blue-green hazel" and the classic hazel as "gold-green hazel" to differentiate between the two. At any rate, my eyes change colors. The default color seems hard for people to decide if they're light blue or light green, and at times they're other shades of blue, green, gray and blue-green.

Generally speaking they change color due to how dry they are (drier=greener), if I have gotten almost no sleep (bright blue-green - people ask if I'm wearing contacts), if I'm upset (darker blues and grays), and what color clothes I'm wearing. So what makes them change is not something I really can control beyond deciding what color to wear. Until now.

A few nights ago I decided to try the tongue cleaning section on the back of my new tooth brush, and it triggered my gag reflex. I happened to look up at the mirror and notice that my eyes looked blue-green for a moment, but it passed. Being someone who is willing to do unpleasant things to herself in the name scientific experiment, I did it again. And I'll be damned, for 3 or 4 seconds my eyes changed to that bright blue-green color before fading back to the "normal" color. Weird. And consistent.

So, that's my new stupid human trick. What's yours?

"You're a goddamn fool and I love you" - David Bazan, Wolves At The Door

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nothing is ever set in NH...

I watched the pilot of The Secret Circle last night, which is about the descendants of the Salem witches, and it got me to thinking about something I've thought of before...Why, of the six New England states, are Massachusetts and Maine the one ones to have movies and TV shows set in them regularly? Sure, I adore Stephen King's Maine so I'm always happy to see something set there (like Kingdom Hospital, or my favorite, Haven) and a lot of the Massachusetts things are connected to witches or Boston, but...wouldn't it be nice to see something set in Vermont? Or Connecticut? Or Rhode Island, but not mob related (well, I guess there's Outside Providence too)?

You know I'm a Massachusetts native, but I've lived in New Hampshire nearly twice as long, and we've had, what, that immediately failure of a TV show about Poland NH and the recent and awful Yellowbrickroad movie to represent the state? That's pitiful.

Eventually, after I publish my Pull-Push-Hold trilogy and they become bestsellers, I'll sell the TV rights to Syfy, and they're say, "Shannon, these books are wonderful. But we want to make one little change. We were thinking that it'd be better if we set the show in Maine...." =(

Speaking of making the books into a show (hey, it could happen) I finally have casting ideas.

Caitlin - protagonist, brings the dead back to life: Alona Tal.
Danny - Caitlin's foster son who shares her ablities: Zane Huett
Kyler - Caitlin's dead boyfriend who just won't living: Sean Faris
Lori - Manchester police detective who enlists Caitlin's help in the serial killer case: Kelly Rowan
Max - the first person Caitlin rescued, now her neurotic ex-fiance: Taylor Kinney
Jasmine - Caitlin's first paying client, sends her referrals from grief support groups: Elaine Cassidy
Reilly- one of the murder victims Caitlin interacts with in the afterlife: Ariel Gade

I haven't decided on who would be ideal to play the serial killer or his unwilling "assistant" yet, but they'd be actors in their mid-to-late 30s.

"Stormed my winter palace but they couldn’t take it" - Santagold featuring Karen O, Go

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Your musical taste kinda sucks

Not you, the specific you reading this blog for some reason, but people in general. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you realize that I listen to a lot more indie music than mainstream, so it seemed like downloading other people's monthly indie playlists would be a good idea. It'd be faster than combing through the music blogs I usually read, so it's a good idea.

But it's not a good idea after all.

I suppose I should have doubted the wisdom of this after taking note of how often bands I hate, like Animal Collective, end up on people's "best of" lists, but surely they couldn't just like terrible bands, right? There's seldom been one of those lists I didn't find some agreement with, so I downloaded a few playlists.

Okay...there are definitely a few great songs on each, but most of them are not diamonds in the rough. They're just the rough. For every song I like, another 10 end up in my reject folder*. For some reason so many of these bands sound the same too, like badly cloned copies of Coldplay recorded at too low a volume.  Don't get me wrong, "Trouble" was a good song back in the day, but do we need a million homages?

They say 90% of anything is crap, but why do you [music playlist complilers] like the crap? Why? Huh, huh, why?

*As an aside, I don't really know why I keep copies of songs I don't like on data DVDs, I just...always have. Once in a great while I go through them and rescue a song or three I've reconsidered, but it's hardly worth the effort. Good thing blank DVDs are cheap...

"I wouldn’t let you spark the fire I’m starting now" -  Tracing Figures, Bury Me

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hatchbacks part II

Back what feels like a million years ago, but was really 2006, I posted about things that surprisingly fit in my then vehicle, a Dodge Shadow hatchback. That car has since gone to the junkyard in the sky, and I hope the vehicle after that, a Kia Sephia, is languishing in what passes as the vehicle equivalent of hell, but my current vehicle is another hatchback, a Nissan Versa. I actually don't like it as much as the Shadow (it's bad to distrust a vehicle with 18,000 miles on it, right? I did already had to replace the tires, though), but it is useful. Around here both hatchbacks and Jeep Wranglers are considered kind of girly, and it stands to reason because guys who tend to want utility buy pick ups or big SUVs. It's practical to have something you can haul stuff around here, rather than pretentious. I think.

I think I had a point when I started this post, sorry. Anyway, surprising stuff that fits in a hatchback. I have a new entry to the list: a 24" dual stage snow thrower. God only knows why the old one was impossible to replace in January, but now that it's time for  Labor Day week sales, they're everywhere. If there's a God in heaven a snow thrower will never be useful in September, even here. Dual stage this time, because in retrospect a single stage one having our winters inflicted upon it was only asking for an early death for it. Poor snow thrower 1.0, it did try so hard.

Some people hate to make a big purchase like this one, a weather dependant one, but I'll tell you, if $500 is the price for not getting enough snow to make this thing useful, it's money well spent. I'd gladly pay $500 a year for mild winters.

"Say you're confused. You want me and you want to hurt me. To beat out the cold that keeps you from having me completely. Say I'm so cold I rip your skin. Brag that I've got a bitterness in my chest where my love should be." - The Shondes, Winter

Monday, September 5, 2011

August Music

Conditions - Illuminati buy
Darker My Love - Dear Author
El Ten Eleven - Jumping Frenchmen of Maine buy if you don't know what JFoM are, google it
Har Mar Superstar - Tall Boy buy I found this song a little confusing until I learned it was written for Britney Spears
Ke$ha featuring 3OH!3 - Blah Blah Blah buy If you aren't amused by her adopted persona, I don't know what to tell you
Some Kind of Giant Mudfish - My Heroin  free MP3 this song is sort of hypnotic
Testing Tomorrow - Revolver
Tracing Figures - Bury Me
Woods - Mad At You

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 holding out but not getting an answer. I'm finding out that cheating gets it faster." - Jimmy Eat World, Get It Faster

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Words That [don't] Work

Let's talk about Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear by Frank I. Luntz.

Apparently this book is being touted on some Fox News show, because my mother recommended it for me given that I'm looking for a part-time job to compliment my "real" job, and probably would benefit from advice about resume/cover letter writing. So, I decided that reading the book couldn't hurt.

It didn't hurt, but it sure didn't help. There are only two types of people who probably got anything out of reading it: people writing political speeches, and people writing commericals. Sure, I now have a greater store of useless triva knowledge of the TV jingle kind, but that's not what I was hoping for. The part that the book jacket says is helpful in everyday situations? That's in one 10-page chapter.

Reading an unhelpful book might not have been so bad if it hadn't also annoyed the hell out of me too. The funny thing is, as someone who votes Republican (though I'm a libertarian leaning moderate) I'm part of the target audience for this book, and I still found the tone unbearably smug. And for someone who thinks he's a maven of words, he jumped all over the place and repeated himself more times than I could count.

Skip this book. It's full of hot air.

"You could be the reason I love. You could be the reason I cry. You could, you could, you could" - Jakalope, Pretty Life

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Come on, Irene

Well, that was no fun.

Hurricane Irene was rather weak by the time she got here, and there are a few storms every year that have higher winds and so on, but because PSNH is such a lousy power company, we got to experience the first multi-day summer power failure in my lifetime. I now know that 60+ hour power failures also suck during the summer, not just the winter. I would have been content going to my grave without learning that, but what can you do?

You know how some people wistfully say they wish they'd been born in another time? Take away the power for a few days, and you'll cure most of their romantic longings for by-gone days. Everything is harder without power, and you really notice how much you depend on heat or cooling when you can't turn up the thermostat in the winter, or put on the air conditioner or a fan in the summer.  I like it hotter than most so it was only slightly annoying to me, but a lot of people suffered in the heat. Plus, you know how in the X-Files episode "Home" Scully told Mulder that he'd fall into a catatonic state if he's without a cellphone for two days? I'm not much better than that without internet access. Since age 18 the longest I've ever gone without checking my e-mail is five days - during, of course, a different power failure...

I feel bad for the folks in Vermont who had no warning that the storm was going to nail them - a lot of them will be without power for days yet, and some have had main roads go so they're inaccessable expect by helicopter...the scary thing is that I can imagine Portsmouth, NH getting cut off the same way if something nailed the bridge (you might be able to get out via route 33, though, I don't remember since it's been a decade since I traveled to Portsmouth weekly). It's hard to believe that this is the best we can do predicting storm movement in 2011. Hopefully they'll be back to normal soon, with roads repaired and the rest of the damage cleaned up.

"I've been crawling in the dark looking for the answer. Is there something more than what i've been handed?" - Hoobastank, Crawing In The Dark

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tick-y Situation

So...back in mid-July I got what felt like the flu, with a temp of 103, extreme fatigue, chills, headache and muscle aches from neck to knee. In 48 hours I started to feel better. Temp went down, only my neck and head ached any more, so I figured I was on the mend. Oddly, my appetite disappeared just as I was starting to feel better that Friday.

But that Saturday I woke up and knew that I wasn't better, and wouldn't be for a while. See, I had a rash on my belly. And it had a faint bullseye for a few hours. Then it spread and swallowed the bulleye up. Mostly it was pink and purple, like my back was the time I woke up to go to the bathroom as a teenager and fell down the stairs.

It sure didn't look like all the pictures on the internet, but I had every single other symptom for lyme disease, so I forced myself to go to the doctor since I know that early treatment has the highest cure rate. The doctor looked at me for about thirty seconds, and said, yup, there's no point in even doing a blood test because that's what the non-bullseye rash looks like. Or rashes by that point - I got a dozen of them in varying sizes by the time the meds kicked in.

The doctor also said nine people came in in one day the week before, so apparently there's an epidemic of it in my town given there's all of 8,000 people here. NH has been between the #1 and #3 highest infection rate the last five years, so it's probably not too surprising...but in a way it is. I always spend a lot of time outside, and I didn't even see the tick that bit me.

I'm through with the antibiotics by now, and the only lingering ill effects are that I'm still more tired than usual (six and a half to seven hours sleep is no longer enough) and I'm still losing weight because my appetite isn't back to normal yet either. It's okay, I could probably lose 20 pounds before anyone got upset about me being too thin.

The moral of the story is this Boys and Girls: if you get "the flu" and then a rash, have it checked out for lyme disease. Only 40% of people get a rash that looks like the ones we're warned about. Apparently a lot of people never get a rash at all. Who knew?

"Lay me up, then heave-ho. You're sick and beautiful. Peel my bandage slowly, it's psychological. You're napalm with novocaine, A kite in a hurricane..." - Artificial Joy Club, Sick and Beautiful

Saturday, August 6, 2011