Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eight Things

Oh, my! I've been tagged! Whatever shall I do?

Rules: Give 8 random facts about yourself, then tag 8 more people to do the same thing.

The facts are these.

1. I always eat colored candy in reverse-rainbow order, starting with purple (or brown, if we're talking M&Ms) and working my way up to red.

2. I keep a mental list of alternative careers just in case the wordy writing-editing thing fails me. Thus far: librarian, florist, movie location scout, professional driver on a closed course.

3. My friend Maggie and I like to pretend that we're going to start an all-girl punk cover band called Israel and the Minor Prophets.

4. Top Five Celebrity Crushes, Fall 2007 Edition: John Krasinski, John Corbett, Jon Stewart, Zach Gilford, Lee Pace. Orlando Bloom visits when he has a few days off, but he's awfully busy with all that swashbuckling he does.

5. I hand-wrote most of a novel in the seventh grade.

6. I'm not much into shoes, but I adore cute purses.

7. I am a starboard rower, which means that a) my oar goes to the left, b) I sit in an odd-numbered seat (usually 1 or 7), and c) my right arm is bigger than my left.

8. I used to be grossed out by the Presbyterian tradition of dipping sourdough communion bread in grape juice, but now I like the way it tastes.

I don't think I have a combined total of eight bloggish friends, so: if you have a blog and want to consider yourself tagged, do so. If you don't have a blog and want to consider yourself tagged, well, either or Blogger or Wordpress could probably oblige you...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


How is it that the last section of October is stressful? Every year, there's the Halloween issue, which I've been considering off and on since spring and still haven't settled. I will be that person running around on October 30, looking for legwarmers, a ladybug costume, and, I don't know, a vintage cocktail dress (for the perfect aerobic ladybug lounge singer costume, obviously). And then there's the question that we all struggle with in as we settle into fall: Should I try to write a novel in November?

In 2005, I finished NaNoWriMo in a blaze of exhausted glory, hitting the 50,000-word mark with minutes to spare. Last year I started out with a great idea--based on the true story of my friend's Canadian grandmother and the Mexican restaurant she bought while her husband was in the hospital--but got busy and distracted with Cinema Hype, and petered out around the middle of the month. It was distressing. I didn't and don't really want to put myself through the process of watching a novel not get written.

I'd proclaimed myself finished with monthlong writing contests for the time being, since I'm still writing CH and I'm certainly not any less busy than I was this time last year, but now I'm starting to feel the pull of the NaNo. The posting guidelines for CH are less stringent than they were, so I don't have to post every day. I thought Tim and I might be filming our movie in November, but it looks like January's more likely. I'm fiddling with various TV spec scripts, but that's an off-and-on kind of thing, and it's the wrong season, and maybe Hollywood will burn to the ground before then anyway; I give it a 50-50 shot. And then I start thinking of how much fun it is to have something grandiose and kind of insane (Heh, I just typed "inane," which might also be not-wrong) to work on, and how much I like meeting up with people in cafes to work, and how Chris Baty's silly e-mails are really, really encouraging, and it just makes me want to sit down and write a novel next month. I even saw something this morning that made me think, "Hey, that's a novel!" This may be a sign.

I think I'll do it. Unless I don't. Unless there are certain things that happen on a certain schedule to prevent me (How's that for vague?). Or unless I start to feel like not finishing would be too, too stressful, not in the way that motivates, but in the way that makes me avoid books, words, novel-talk, the computer, other writers, other people, and the real world altogether. See? This is fraught already.


Friday, October 12, 2007


The first knitting project I ever started was a scarf. My mom took me to Mrs. Blaufarb's yarn store on First Street and we picked out a pair of US-8 aluminum needles and two skeins of purple heathered yarn--I didn't know enough to hang onto the ballbands, but I think it might have been Cascade 220. I went home and my mom taught me to knit. I swatched. I ripped out. I swatched some more. And then I started a ribbed scarf. Over a year later, it's about two and a half feet long and still on the needles. I'll finish it someday--I will, after all, need my size 8s again at some point, and putting the scarf on stitch holders counts as admitting defeat--but it's a little scratchy and it doesn't seem very warm, and it's just going to have to be a "someday" project. I've sworn, after getting stuck at the halfway point, never to knit another scarf.

But then I came to work today, and my neck is cold.

I think I'm going to head over to Article Pract later and see what they have in the way of "soft and pretty." I was thinking about a cabled scarf, but then I found this, which is cool and unusual and has an easy-to-memorize stitch pattern. So I'll cast on and start it and see how I feel about it, and maybe it'll end up kooky and so-called, and maybe I'll end up with classic and cabled. Or something totally different. Because, you know, it's not like I have anything else crafty going on, like, say, a pair of green socks, or maybe a cute flowery A-line skirt. And it's not like all of the shows on TV are new and non-knit-worthy right now. So, you know, it's a perfect time for a patterned project! Excellent!

At least my neck will be warm.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What if you didn't have to be dead?: Why I love Pushing Daisies and you should, too

1. No beating around the bush. Ned likes Chuck. Chuck likes Ned. Ned can't touch Chuck, but he lets her move into his apartment, where they bake pies and sleep in twin beds. The end. Or, rather, the beginning.

2. Emerson Cod knits sweater vests and cozies for his handguns and his stacks of money. He doesn't like to knit in public, but he keeps a set of needles in his pocket, just in case.

3. Chuck's clothes. Serious sundress envy, here. Rumor has it she wears orange next week!

4. Lee Pace is adooooorable.

5. It has a whimsical orchestral score and a Gothic narrator.

6. Kristin Chenoweth is Hopelessly Devoted to You. And Ned. And Digby the dog. THERE ARE NO WORDS.

7. It's not like anything you've seen on TV before. Trust me.

Wednesday nights! 8 p.m.! ABC! Experience the adorable weirdness for yourself!

Friday, October 05, 2007

A bird in the hand

I went to the west coast's largest book sale last weekend. I bought a whole stack of books. They're sitting in a stack on the floor of my living room, waiting for the day when I find them spots on my shelves (pending the eternal and theoretical organization of said shelves). That's a lot of reading.

I'm also nearing the end of Lost in a Good Book. So what did I do today? I went to the library.

I was watching the pilot ("Pie-lette", because they're cutesy like that) of Pushing Daisies and reflecting on how much that show feels, to me, like the strange televised love child of Roald Dahl and Alice Hoffman. And all of a sudden, Alice Hoffman was IT. Lush, thick, magic-realism fiction, weird and sweet and just about perfect. And so I'm ignoring the stack of perfectly fine volumes I just acquired and lugging around a hardcover, thick-papered, big-type copy of The Probable Future (why are library books always the biggest books possible? Do none of these people carry books in their purses?). And it's totally exciting. I figure the stack's not going anywhere.