February 28, 2004

That's 30 minutes of my life I'll never get back

So last night while I was waiting for "South Park" to come on, I channel surfed for a bit and paused at AMC, because hey, American Movie Classics--they should usually have some good stuff on, right?

The name of that network is a LIE, a foul, deceiving, painful LIE!

I found myself looking at Nicholas Brendon and went, hey, Xander! So I watched. Never again. Not even my Xander-love could make me sit through anything like the last thirty minutes of Piñata: Survival Island (a.k.a. Demon Island, probably because they realized no one is afraid of a piñata).

Yes. You read that right. The monster in this movie was an ancient... demonic... piñata. I'll leave you to consider that for a moment.

Party Favor of EEEEVIL! (Whack! Who's got a delicious candy filling NOW, bitch? Whack! How do YOU like it?)

If I'd seen that thing coming toward me, I would've died laughing long before it ate my head, or whatever it is evil piñatas do. But for the record, in case it ever comes up, burning does not kill evil piñatas. You have to strap a Molotov cocktail to its back. And then hide from all the evil that pours out of it. Just evil. No candy. Sad.

Posted by Lisa at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2004

My desk and the things therein

This started out to be just a "look how cute my cat is!" entry, but then I got a good look at the picture and thought about how representative it is of my life.

pookadesk.jpg

In the top left is my printer, which I couldn't live without. Nestled in front of it is my "model" of the Aughisky, our ship in 7th Sea. Immediately in front of it is a resume, enveloped and stamped and ready to go out the door. (And since I took this picture yesterday, it's been mailed already.)

To the right of the printer is where I've started keeping all my writing books and materials (which cleared off the area Pooka currently occupies). The books present are my new Novel and Short Story Writer's Market, a dictionary, Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin, a book about comet and asteroids (research for a novel), Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, which taught me more about grammar than I ever learned in high school. There are also two journals, four composition books (2 with notes for The Exile's Daughter, one for False Light, and one for assorted notes), my writing "notebox" (the greenish binder), and the first draft of The Exile's Daughter (the blue binder). On top of that are my 90+ notecards on Exile.

On top of my stereo speaker you can see part of a picture of Justin and the wind up seal Dawn and Jason gave me the Christmas before Justin was born. On the computer screen you can see that I was checking my email rather than writing (no big surprise there).

Then of course, there's Pooka, taking up the most space. She's sitting there as I type this, purring and watching my fingers, wondering when I'm going to give up this nonsense and just pet her already.

Underneath you can see the mess that usually lies beneath all of my attempts at organization (although in my defense, that mess has only arrived in the past day or so and hasn't had a chance to be sorted yet), and--on the tray where my keyboard should be, if I had an ergonomic sort of body--is yet another copy of the first draft of Exile, a highly compact traveling copy that Mer printed when she did her comments.

This is where I spend a vast portion of my day, whether actually working or goofing around online. It's a good place. It makes me feel happy. Not a bad way to feel about my only real workplace for the moment.

Posted by Lisa at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2004

Angry

Does anyone remember the last time we tried to enforce a so-called moral code by amending the Constitution?

Well hey, since that worked so well last time, why not do it agai--

Oh wait. No.

Posted by Lisa at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

And in other news

The cry-fest of yesterday seems to be over today. As long as I don't go look at pictures of newly married gay couples or hear "One Moment in Time" any time today, I should be okay.

Also, I found out yesterday that my laptop is irrepairable, unless I want to take it to Gateway support, which I definitely don't. The good news is, I may be able to find a used one for cheap--I don't need fancy, I just need one that can run a relatively recent version of MS-Office.

Please note, I'm sparing y'all a huge rant about the computer repair guy who tried to tell me "No, you bought that laptop in 2002, XP wasn't out in 2001."

(Okay, maybe I won't spare y'all.)

Once I explained to him that that yes, XP was out in late 2001, that I was working tech support at the time and they were training us on XP as early as October 2001, he said, "Oh, late 2001. Yeah. It must've been an early-release version." Whatever. (FWIW, the official launch date for XP was October 25, 2001--yes, I'm a geek who just looked that up.)

I get that all the time. I can think of at least four occasions where I've had a computer salesperson or repairperson contradict me on something I know is right about my own system. Sometimes I get the feeling that I have to work to establish geek cred with these people because I'm a woman. Or maybe it's just a more general geek snobbery that's directed only at customers. (Come to think of it, it might be the latter--cause I know I was taught to assume that the customer didn't know what they were talking about.)

In any case, yeah, no Gateway for me ever again, and for you local folk, if you see a commercial for Mad Mike's computer repair in Brighton, let me tell you, he's not kidding about how socially inept he and his crew are. (Yup, that was Mike himself arguing with me about when XP came out.)

Posted by Lisa at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

Toasters and time machines

I burned an English muffin while making breakfast this morning and all of a sudden I was sixteen again.

The summer before my senior year in high school I worked at McDonalds pretty much full time (and the summer after my senior year, but that's another story for another time). As fast food jobs went, it wasn't horrible. I liked my coworkers (in fact, I liked one of them so much I dated him for nine months--but again, another story, another time), and we spent a lot of time goofing around.

I worked the morning shift usually, 6am to 2pm. One of the regular breakfast customers was an old man named Ernie. I didn't like Ernie much. Every morning, about 7:30am, Ernie would come in, bring his newspaper and his cigarette up to my counter (this was in the days when smoking hadn't been banned everywhere), and blow smoke in my face with his order. His order was always the same: regular coffee, black, and a burnt English muffin. And brother, he meant burnt. I can still hear his voice, one of those raspy, gravelly old-man voices.

Now, Ernie was crochety before he got his coffee under the best of circumstances, but if the folks behind the grill didn't burn his English muffin enough, he'd throw it onto the counter and demand another one. It got to be part of the regular training routine for new people on the grill--"No, he really means burnt, not just dark. Please fortheloveofgod burn it the first time."

I don't know if you've ever smelled burnt English muffin. It's not a pleasant smell. It's not far off from burnt popcorn, but it's much much worse. It's an unforgettable sort of smell--but until this morning's adventure with the toaster, I don't think I've smelled it since I was sixteen. Who knew a toaster could be a time machine?

Posted by Lisa at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2004

I know some of y'all watch Oprah...

I usually don't, but we did this afternoon, to see the results of her Pop Star Challenge. It turns out, one of the men my mom works with is married to the winner, LaShell Griffin. Mom says he's one of the nicest, friendliest people she knows, and this could be an enormous break for the family (five kids!).

As we watched her sing I got weepy again (more on that in a minute). "One Moment in Time" is a horrible, sappy song and it always makes me cry no matter what. Well, I was a little embarrassed and tried to hide the fact that I was crying, until I looked over and saw my mom was bawling too. Then we started laughing. At least I come by my weepiness honestly.

It's good to see someone really nice and deserving win something. I hope she's tremendously successful and they all live happily ever after. :)

(On the weepiness, I don't know WHAT's up with me lately, but it's like I'm wearing all my emotionally-connected organs out on my sleeve. I mean, I cry easier than your average person, but lately I cry at the drop of a hat. It's never sad crying. It's always happy or sentimental crying. I cry at sappy things even while I sit there and think about how stupid and sappy they are. And it's not just a few tears. If I let it go, it'd be all out sobbing. I've been chalking it up to hormones, but I'm starting to wonder.)

Anyway, congratulations to LaShell and her family.

Posted by Lisa at 08:34 PM | Comments (0)

There I go, getting teary again

I stumbled across this a few minutes ago, and can't think of anything simpler to make such a powerful statement.

Electrolite: Our fellow Americans.

(Also, if you haven't seen the pictures from Justly Married that Patrick Nielsen Hayden used, you need to go there too.)

Posted by Lisa at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

Playlist fun

Continuing my long and glorious tradition of seriously schizophrenic playlists, I felt moved to share the current one with you:

"In the Pines" -- The Stanley Brothers
"Down to the River" -- Alison Krause and some Baptist choir or another
"I Am Weary" -- The Cox Family
"O Death" -- Ralph Stanley
"Lonesome Valley" -- The Fairfield Four
"My Immortal" -- Evanescence
"Whisper" -- Evanescence
"Volcano" -- Damien Rice
"Weapon" -- Matthew Good Band
"Invisible" -- Switchblade Symphony

What do all these songs have in common, aside from the fact that I'm writing to them at the moment? I'm not sure. An intensity of feeling, a combination of moods that fits the story I'm writing. Or maybe there's just a perverse part of me that likes pairing up weird combinations of music.

Although I have to say, since I've gotten my hands on Fallen, I think I've written more to Evanescence than any other artist ever--with the possible exception of Loreena McKennitt and Dead Can Dance, both of which I listened to endlessly while writing for Tribe 8.

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd do that playlist meme that everybody from Neil Gaiman on down has done.

Posted by Lisa at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

Is anybody surprised by this?

I'm just surprised that he waited until after he was elected to start promoting this.

CNN.com - Schwarzenegger: Let foreign-born seek White House

But of course, he says "he has not thought about running for president." Right.

The bitch of it is, I'm not entirely sure I disagree with his logic here, I just don't think he's a good one to be promoting the idea, and I definitely would hate to see him as a presidential candidate. Ever.

Posted by Lisa at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2004

Holy shit

Johnny Depp won the SAG Award for Best Actor for Pirates of the Caribbean. Well, this certainly makes the Oscar race look interesting.

Posted by Lisa at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

I should write my Congressperson.

You say "So I ended up tracking down two books on bluegrass history and ethnomusicology via interlibrary loan today. Should be here next week. :)"
Haylon grins, "Interlibrary loan is God."
You say "Yeah, especially when you live in the sticks and the local library has crap."
You say "And ESPECIALLY when you can order up books via a website."
Haylon nodnods!
You say "It makes me feel all powerful and stuff. 'You, boy! Fetch me that obscure book!'"
Haylon cackles!
You say "Of course the image is ruined slightly by the fact that I have to go to the library and pick it up, and that the book is not actually fetched by an attractive subservient 20 year old."
Haylon says "It should be damnit! You're an American! You pay taxes!"

Posted by Lisa at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

Murder ballads and modern perceptions

Just when I'm really starting to explore not only my heritage but how music affects and mixes with my writing, last night while I was channel surfing I came across a show on CMT about murder ballads in country/folk music. There are two things I want to say right off the bat. First: yes, Country Music Television. Overall the show was about ten times more intelligent than anything I've seen on VH-1 and E! lately. Second: holy crap, I want to study enthomusicology now.

In addition to talking about recent "murder song" controversies (which I'll get to in a minute, at length), they looked at the origins of the subgenre, particularly its British/Celtic roots (for example, "Knoxville Girl"--a horrifying song, by the way--can be traced to England, where it's been sung under the name "Hanged I Shall Be", "Oxford Tragedy" and many others with only a change of dialect and location). That in an of itself was enough to get my research nerve twitching, as I've spent a fair amount of time looking into how a lot of my family traditions also carried over from Great Britain to Kentucky.

Then there was the segment on modern "murder ballads" like Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls", the Dixie Chicks' "Goodbye Earl", and Martina McBride's "Independence Day". What I thought was really interesting was all the controversy these three songs caused (and a fourth to a lesser extent, Garth's "Papa Loved Mama"), while at the same time, Johnny Cash was releasing American Recordings to nothing but (admittedly deserved) critical praise, which included "Delia's Gone". Not to mention the long long history of murder ballads in country music that raised little or no real controversy. Certainly not to the same level as the modern songs, all of which were protested and banned.

I tried to figure out what the distinction was. My first thought was that sexism was involved. The first three songs are all about abused women killing their abusers, where traditionally the "murder ballad" includes a man killing a woman sometimes, like in "Knoxville Girl", for no stated reason at all. Possible, but that's too easy an answer.

Then I wondered if the tone was somehow involved: "Goodbye Earl" and "Papa Loved Mama" have a definite element of black humor to them, and "Independence Day" is downright joyful. Maybe, but "The Thunder Rolls" is deadly serious.

Is there a racial connection? You could equate the old-fashioned murder ballad to modern gangsta rap in a lot of ways, and maybe hearing country artists sing about murder around the same time that black artists are taking a lot of heat for it made some people uncomfortable.

I wondered if the controversy came from the videos, all of which depict the violent acts in question. That doesn't fly because the video for "Delia's Gone" would've made Trent Reznor proud, with its images of Johnny Cash burying a model in a shallow grave.

I couldn't figure it out. Why all the controversy now and not fifty years ago when musical men were killing "trifling" women and romantic rivals left and right? I didn't want to just chalk it up to sexism. Is it just a case of venerated traditions and singers being above controversy?

Then I got it. I think it's some of all of the above, but the real difference is in how the perception of the connection between singer-songwriter and song has changed over the past fifty years. Fifty years ago, when the Louvin Brothers sang about killing that poor Knoxville Girl, nobody expected that the original songwriter was speaking from personal experience. Even thirty years ago, when Johnny Cash sang, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" there was the understanding that he was telling a story--maybe one that he related to, but not necessarily that stated his personal position.

Since the 1970s though, with the rise of singer-songwriters who performed songs that were intensely personal, our perceptions have changed. There's no longer much of a sense that someone can write (or sing) a song that just tells a story, but that doesn't necessarily spring from personal belief or experience. So when Garth Brooks sings "The Thunder Rolls" (which was originally recorded by a female artist, who didn't release it), it seems TOO personal. And when the Dixie Chicks sing about poisoning someone's blackeyed peas, it's unnerving. And when Martina McBride sings, "Let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning", it's threatening. Because it might be personal. They might really MEAN it.

(Heh. Did anybody actually read this far?)

Posted by Lisa at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2004

Scandal!

So this boy I know? Totally busted into my stash. Took most of it.

That is one stoned kitty.

Yes, that's catnip (stolen catnip!) covering my black cat, who is clearly having a wonderful time. Pooka's going to get a contact high later when she washes him.

Posted by Lisa at 10:30 AM | Comments (1)

"About a Boy"

I watched "About a Boy" on cable this morning (aren't I productive? Just after 9am, and I've already watched a movie!) and I shouldn't have been surprised at how good it was, but I was. Hugh Grant is far more charming and appealing as a slightly weathered rogue than he ever was as a young stammering nice guy. This only confirms that I need to see "Bridget Jones' Diary".

Between Hugh as a jerk and Colin Firth playing a nice guy (I'm sorry but he will always and forever be Gwyneth Paltrow's creepy husband in "Shakespeare in Love" to me), I could wind up confused, but smitten nonetheless.

Posted by Lisa at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2004

See? Being a grammar nazi pays off!

"I am not trying to be petty here, but it is a big deal ... That semicolon is a big deal," said San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren.

The judge said he'd read the voluminous briefs submitted to him, and had done his own research, reviewing all the relevant statutes. His conclusion, he said, was that the conservative groups appear entitled to get their stay eventually.

But until they write their proposed court order correctly, Warren indicated that he would not order an immediate halt to the marriages of gays and lesbians that continued throughout the day across the street at City Hall.

Posted by Lisa at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

Hick music--again

I continue to be fascinated by the sheer volume of death and despair in bluegrass music. Heck, just pick up the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack. There're at least two songs from the perspective of someone on his or her deathbed ("O Death" and "I Am Weary, Let Me Rest"). Not to mention the pure misery that's hidden behind the more upbeat versions of "Man of Constant Sorrow". The biggest thing I've learned recently is that those selections are fairly representative--particularly in the tendency to mask really heartbreaking lyrics with cheerful-sounding music (check out Flatt and Scruggs' "No Mother or Dad" for a perfect example). I'm trying to understand that. Is it an influence of black gospel? Evangelical Christianity? Both? Or just that life was so rough, dying was something to be anticipated?

Whatever the reason, it's coloring everything I try to write. I've got two "hillbilly" short stories in the works at the moment, and both contain elements of dark and light, mixed in odd amounts, juxtaposed in weird ways. It's an obsession folks. My brain won't leave it alone.

Posted by Lisa at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2004

Gettin' my redneck on

Maybe it's post-Speed Week hangover, but I've had country music stuck in my head all morning. It started last night actually, with Garth Brooks' "I've Got Friends in Low Places". This morning I'm happy to report that things have gotten at least a little classier and that I've moved on to Patsy Cline: "I Fall to Pieces".

No matter how I try to hide it or fight it (and believe me, I've spent a lot of time doing plenty of both), I was raised on country music, and I'm never going to be able to get away from it. Not completely. And by country music, I don't mean this Shania Twain/Faith Hill pop-wannabe crap. I mean real old-timey, shit-kicking, honky-tonk stuff. Even the cliched stuff about getting drunk and pickup trucks and losing your woman (or man).

I don't get my fascination with it either. I mean, as a rule, country music ideology is almost dead set against my own political views (I'd be happy if Toby Keith never said a word in public again, or at least would just quit trying to speak for the rest of us), but at the same time, there's a lot of heart--especially in the old stuff--that just doesn't exist in any other genre of music.

Contrary to what a lot of folks believe, there's good country music and there's bad country music. Country has its share of Britneys and Christinas (although they tend to be a little older), but hey, they've also got the likes of Johnny Cash. As I find myself drawn back into listening to country, it's getting easier and easier to separate crap from gold. Maybe that's a function of getting older, or maybe it's just from being away from it for so long.

In any case, yeah. I'm listening to country again. Sooner or later I know I'm gonna end up with a playlist full of Rage Against the Machine and Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard--and really, there's not such a huge gap between them. They're all singing about the things most people don't want to talk about.

(NASCAR and country music within a day of each other. Lord, I'm losing my liberal intellectual cred here, aren't I?)

Posted by Lisa at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2004

Weekend, and gratituous kittenness

All in all it was a lovely weekend. We went a little housecleaning crazy on Saturday, and I ended up rearranging my desk again. It's a good thing, though. I've finally managed to keep most of my writing materials (books, notebooks, story drafts) close to hand, which means they might get put back in place sometimes, instead of left lying on my desk.

We watched "Secondhand Lions", which I admit, I hadn't really wanted to see at first. It was much better than I thought. It was shamelessly sentimental, and probably even a little emotionally manipulative, but hey, there's swashbuckling! (Here's where I should probably confess to crying like a baby at the ending, but I'll spare you the description of my blubbering.)

Sunday? Well, Sunday was all about the Daytona 500. I've come to accept my fondness for NASCAR. It might always be a guilty pleasure, but at least I can bring myself to talk about it. The race was pretty cool, although being a newbie to the sport, I've had a hard time wrapping my head around the uproar caused by some of this year's rule changes.

There was an uproar of an entirely different sort in our house when Dale Earnhardt, Jr took the lead 19 laps before the end, and then went on to win. I don't think I've ever heard my mom yell like that before (Junior's her favorite). The cats certainly hadn't, and have been cowering from her ever since.

Speaking of the cats, I happened to catch them snoozing in my mom's chair and had to take a picture:

Pooka and Rumpus
Posted by Lisa at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2004

Sweet sleep

It's amazing what a difference a good night's sleep will make. No headache when I woke up this morning, no grogginess. And the scary thing is, the only difference I made last night is that I used a couple of pillows to keep me from rolling onto my back. This is only adding to my suspicions about sleep apnea.

But whatever. I'm rested and alert today, for the first time all week. Whee.

Posted by Lisa at 06:44 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2004

Sleepy and grouchy...

So, Dreamhost sends me email saying that email isn't getting through or is slow because they had a major attack of some sort. So how come I'm still getting spam? Of course, I didn't get Mer's email about Buffy being canceled tonight, or anything else anybody sent me today--but I'll supposedly get it all once the attack has been taken care of. I love Dreamhost, but I'm a little grumpy with them right now.

I'm a little out of sorts with everything tonight. In fact, I'm in my least favorite mindset of all: the one where I think everyone is upset at me about something. There's nothing rational involved here, I just wind up feeling like I've pissed people off. I think a lot of it has to do with my messed up sleep pattern this week. Hopefully things will pass.

That said, I'm feeling a little cautious--maybe overcautious. If things aren't better soon, on all fronts, I'm going to be considerably more worried. After reading last year's journal entries, I know that the sleep problems and occasional bouts of feeling 'out of sorts' can quickly spiral down into something much worse. I don't think that's happening here, but I'm being careful nonetheless.

-------------
Listening: "Law and Order" on TV

Posted by Lisa at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2004

Wake-up Call, or Why Lisa Shouldn't Be Awake at 4am

My cats love me. They love me so much, in fact, that they can't bear to be separated from my conscious and friendly company. Perhaps this is why after about four hours of watching me succumb to the sweet unconsciousness of sleep, they feel it is necessary to wake me up. Because clearly, if I stay asleep any longer I will miss some of their charming and adorable antics. So each morning I am awakened to the sounds of purring in stereo. Pooka nudges at my limp, drowsy hand in a futile attempt to place it on her head, while Rumpus either chews on my toes or paces endlessly on my stomach.

Of course, their deep and abiding affection for me is only one possible reason why they feel the need to wake me up at 4am. As I was trying to go back to sleep this morning (an endeavor I abandoned shortly before 6am), I came up with several possible alternate theories:

--"Are you awake yet? Are you awake yet? Are you awake yet?"
--"Psst. We're planning to take over the world, but we need your opposable thumbs to work the doorknobs."
--"I'm traumatized by tiny glimpses of the bottom of my food dish through all the food piled in it. Can you fill it up some more?"
--"Everybody else is already up, you lazy thing."
--"You're snoring again. Wake up."

So. Very. Tired.

Posted by Lisa at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2004

Snowglobe musings and news

It's been quite a day overall. I finally had my court date for my bankruptcy filing--which turned out to be substantially less taxing than I feared. When my lawyer's assistant called me yesterday to "go over my testimony" I freaked a little. But in truth, I spent about a minute in front of the trustee, answered maybe a half a dozen questions like "What is your name? What is your address?" Then that was it, and I came home.

I drove home in wild, wet, fluffy snow. For all its fury, it isn't covering the roads, nor does it even seem to be covering the snow we already have. From the way the wind is blowing it around, I'm not entirely sure any of it is ever landing on the ground. It's like living in an enormous snowglobe.

Then when I got home, I got a phone call about one of the many, many resumes I've sent out. Finally! I have an interview tomorrow afternoon for a customer service position. A paying job would be nice. The drawback, though, is that it sounds like I'd be answering phones again. I dunno. We'll see. At this point, it's rapidly becoming irrelevant what I'm doing. So wish me luck!

Posted by Lisa at 04:14 PM | Comments (0)

Word of the Day

The Dictionary.com Word of the Day is "bombinate". Here. Let me use it in a sentence for you. "If burninating them doesn't work, we'll bombinate them!"

(Oh okay fine. It really means "to hum or to drone". I like my definition better.)

Posted by Lisa at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2004

"The Mommy Myth"

Wow. Thanks, Mer for posting this:

Shattering 'The Mommy Myth'

I definitely want to read this book. The excerpt made me really think about the ways I've bought into that particular myth, especially as a childless woman.

Posted by Lisa at 05:03 PM | Comments (6)

February 08, 2004

The hunt continues

After stealing a peek at a friend's resume, I updated mine to make it clearer that I have not just been sitting on my ass for the past 8 months. I have to admit, it gave me a real kick to put "freelance author/editor" on my resume and to have a list of publications to back me up. It looks much more impressive on paper than it feels, however. :)

Unfortunately, I think most of the places I apply aren't really interested in having a writer work for them, but at least it looks better than saying I've been unemployed for that long. ;)

Posted by Lisa at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2004

Brand interviews me

Dang. He's good at this.

1. Are you happy? If so, why? If not, what needs to change?

I am happy. It really came home to me while I was converting old journal entries over. I skimmed over most of the journal entries from last year and earlier this year, and it seems like someone else wrote them. I'm happy because I'm not as alone as I was. I'm happy because I'm managing to do something worthwhile with my life, even if it doesn't always look like it to the outside world. I feel useful, vital, active.

2. When will Exileís Daughter be done? Is there any possibility youíre avoiding finishing it at a subconscious level? Will it rock when it is done?

Oh, with me there's always the possibility of avoidance. :)

That said, I don't think I'm avoiding it. Even when I'm not working at a breakneck pace (or even a snail's pace), it's always in my mind, churning around in the background. I can tell, because invariably when I do sit down to work, I manage to resolve problems that had previously seemed overwhelming.

As far as when it will be done... well, I'm shooting for the end of March for draft two. (Which, I know, probably means more like April or May, since I tend to underestimate these things.) How long it takes after that will depend on if I need a draft three or not. Will it rock? I hope so. I definitely think draft two is going to rock more than draft one--and draft one had some pretty rocking bits.

3. Youíre something of a radical in life-choice areas. Youíre a fat activist, you donít believe in traditional models of success or nuclear family independency, and a few other issues. How often do these radical modes of thinking conflict with your hegemonic programming, and how deeply does it disturb you? How do you figure out which voice is right?

You know, I rarely think of myself as a radical. Thanks for the reminder that I am, in a lot of ways. I am constantly in conflict with myself. Sometimes that part of me that still wants to be the 'good' obedient girl I was raised to be whispers that all of my proclamations about size acceptance and non-traditional models of success are just a way to make excuses for the fact that I am a fat 31 year old woman who is unemployed, hasn't finished college yet, and lives with her mother. It's a harsh voice to deal with. And when it does disturb me, it disturbs me profoundly. Those are the times when I feel like a failure, when I feel like the ugliest human on the face of the planet, when I feel like I am worthless, invisible, useless... the list could go on.

But when I am more logical in my thinking, I consider my answer to your first question. I am happy. I have a place within my family, with my friends, a place I belong, where I am needed, and where I am loved. I am not standing still. Not only am I growing as a person, but I'm learning new skills, discovering and utilizing as much of my potential as I can. How can that possibly be considered failure or weakness just because of where I live or what pieces of paper I do or do not have on my walls? How should I, as a person, be lessened because there is more of me than most?

You know, I almost had to look up 'hegemonic programming'.

4. Explain to me, the anti-crafter, what the allure of cross-stitching is.

I am often of two minds about this. On the one hand, what I do is a lot like paint-by-numbers. I follow the designs of others, I'm not doing anything 'original' except maybe in my choice of fabric and framing. But of course, originality is overrated. I enjoy watching something beautiful and even useful come from my hands (come to think of it, for me that applies to cooking as well). There's also something very Zen-like in stitching the repeated pattern of all those little Xs. The movements are soothing. I'd be curious to see if anyone's done any research on this, because I swear cross-stitching can put me into the same sort of relaxed languor that endless games of Minesweeper can. ;)

5. The New and Improved WoD is coming soon. If they do a Changeling reboot, what would you want to see in it? Not see in it?

Ugh. I am so over White Wolf and how they do Changeling. Ultimately, I would love to see the game take a more mythological approach, and to ditch all the "art is KEWL, science is BAD!" crap that fills the first two editions. Likewise, romanticizing childhood can go too.

Brand needs to interview me more often. *nod*

For the few people who haven't seen this before:

THE RULES:
1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Posted by Lisa at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2004

Help!

I need nifty weblog names for my reading, gaming, and cross-stitching blogs. So far I've got a musical theatre reference and an Eliot reference for the titles I have. Got any suggestions for the other three?

Suddenly it occurs to me it might be nifty to have Eliot-themed references for each of the five titles I need (general, writing, reading, gaming, and cross-stitching). So anybody who could give me titles from Eliot for all five would win extra brownie points. :)

Posted by Lisa at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

Because I am too self-amused...

...to wait for you to find it by accident: my 404 page.

Posted by Lisa at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

I should really be asleep...

...but the web design bug has me by the throat. Redesigning has continued apace. I've completely wrapped up La Vie Boheme, and the front page is finished, minus a few working links. I'm extremely pleased with Movable Type so far. And with the design. It makes me happy. :)

As far as posting goes, I'll continue posting here (and probably cross-posting to the new blog) until I have all the syndication feeds set up.

Posted by Lisa at 02:55 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2004

Attention getter

Alan Cumming is on my TV threatening to re-educate America about his penis. You know, I hadn't really been paying attention until that.

Posted by Lisa at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)