IT'S BEEN ONE OF THOSE DAYS/WEEKS/YEARS
Without going into specifics -- I don't even know if I could -- I'm having computer problems. Problems involving a "corrupted file." Problems with a crazy mouse. Problems accessing Outlook Express. Twice this week, I've been on the phone with techs, hours each time, trying to correct the problems. What a friggin' headache.
There must be something in the air -- maybe in the stars? -- because I'm not the only one beset with predicaments.
8 A very loud Customs Official-ette was waiting for Rush at Customs: This incident has taught me. I had a golf trip planned for Spain in August, and I have canceled it. I am not going to involve myself with United States Customs for the next year and a half until this so-called probationary period evaporates. I'll tell you, the election cycles of '06 and '08, especially '08, I think it's going to be one of the most vicious and filthy of our lifetimes, and I know I'm going to offend some of you Customs people out there with what I'm going to say next, because I know most of you are... In fact, this was the first one I've ever encountered like this, but it takes one time and I've got red flags up, and I'm not going to put myself in a position of being framed.
8 From those paradigms of compassion ... Mean-Spirited Left Hated Lay More Than Zarqawi: Not even Saddam Hussein or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi have gotten the kind of treatment that Ken Lay gets today in the Washington Post.
Chris discovered that Ken Lay had ties to the Kerrys
8 Mac Ranger explains On how you kill a Presidential bid
8 And now for the coup de grace ... Where is Suri?: Three months after her birth, Baby Suri, is still unseen, even by the family’s closest friends.
Of course, the Superficial has maintained – tongue in cheek? – that the TomKat baby was a scam all along.
8 Okay, this is really the coup-est of graces ... NBA Player Watching Porn, Drunk Before Crash
THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BROTHER ALGORE
Apparently not everyone is overwhelmed by the gospel according to Brother Algore.
Minister calls Al Gore hypocrite: "Former vice-president Gore talks about alternatives but in the meantime he hops on his private jet and he hops on his vehicles," he said.
Will major motion picture stardom spoil Al Gore?: I mean, the man is a movie star now. If he runs for president again, he won't even think of it as a campaign. He'll think of it as a publicity tour.
As to his movie ... #62 An Inconvenient Truth
GET MARRIED IN OCTOBER
Today is our 38th wedding anniversary. DogMan was almost 32, and I was just 18. We married three months to the day, almost to the hour, after we met. Being July, the weather was sweltering. I would have preferred October, but my father was dying, and it was important to me that I was married before he died. I've often thought about renewing our vows -- in October -- but long ago decided that once was enough and DogMan agrees.
We married on my Grandmother B's 57th wedding anniversary. On her wedding day the temperature was 105* -- in the shade. My mother still has the clipping from the newspaper. That was in 1911. Algore would probably claim it was global warming; my grandparents chalked it up to summer.
I don't have a picture of my grandparents' wedding, so I decided to post one of my parents on their wedding day in 1946. They were smart; they wed in September when it was cooler.
My brother and sister-in-law chose December 22nd, primarily because he had just completed basic training and was due to be transferred to Georgia. Everyone was worried he would be shipped to Vietnam, but he ended up in Manheim, Germany, as an MP.
Zappa and his first wife chose August. Naturally, being August, it was 90+ degrees, and this was an outdoor wedding. Nurse G followed suit with an August wedding -- also outdoors and also 90+ degrees. Both weddings were lovely but hot hot hot. Zappa and his second wife (and last, I hope) tied the knot in January -- in a blizzard.
We usually don't do anything on our anniversaries, mostly because it's just too hot and/or humid. So if anyone is thinking about getting married, think about October.
THE 4th OF JULY
Cindy Adams' column on America is witty and anecdotal, but hurry as the link will be timed out by midnight.
SPIRIT OF U.S.A. ENDURES ALWAYS: I'M thinking July 4. I'm thinking 1776. I'm thinking patriotism. I'm thinking when all Americans were united in loving and supporting their country.
WWII. 1942. A True Story magazine article headed "Movie Stars Honor and Serve Our Country." It featured Pvt. Mickey Rooney, who took basic at Fort Riley, Kan., and was in the European theater of operations. Besides latrine and KP duties like everyone else, he did jokes for the guys like, "You know what a troop train is? A bunch of compartments separated by crap games."
Before I began blogging, I worked at a shoe store, and we used to get quite a few Canadian customers who bought stacks of shoes. Apparently shoes are expensive in Canada, and their draconian sales tax doesn't help, either. It appears that the tax tide is turning up north; if only our elected pols here would do likewise.
One small step for taxpayers ... One giant leap for Canada: There is no evidence that the $4-trillion or more spent on social programs in the past 40 years has improved the lives of Canadians by anywhere near enough to justify the programs on a cost-benefit basis. It seems reasonable to think that $4-trillion thrown randomly into the air from street corners would have done as much good simply through trickle-down effects.
I know the GST rollback is piddling -- hardly worth all my excitement. Still, it marks a change in philosophy about who's in charge, whose rights are paramount -- those of government or individual citizens.
I've been saving this link just for today. Here is Mr. & Mrs. Media Matters' little Parker in the patriotic Old Navy onsie I bought him. Since they posted this picture, they've posted more recent ones, so scroll around over there. Btw, Mrs. MM is now back to work while Mr. MM is Mr. Mom :~)
MY FIRST "FICTION CREDIT"
On January 4, 2000, my first story was "published" online at Zinos.com called Good Buy, Charlie. I was young(ish) and naive; I thought that that one pub credit would be a stepping stone for more published credits. After five years of no such luck, I returned to Zinos.com and "published" By The Book. I say "published" because I have a feeling that they'll upload most things you submit, so I don't consider them published credits.
I'll admit that I don't write very much, partly because I blog. Blogging definitely interferes with writing, so I haven't been agressively seeking publication, especially with new material. Writer's block doesn't help, either. And the market for short fiction is not that great.
In February, 2005, I started blogging a book of my short stories called Briefs and Other Unmentionables. It now has ten stories, including the two mentioned above. ("By The Book" is a longer version, and better, at my short story blog than the one posted at Zinos.com.)
Last July, Escape Pod, an online site which does podcasts of scifi stories, bought one of my stories. I was paid $5. It may not be a lot, but it was the first time I actually earned any money with my fiction. I was told to expect my story to be up by mid-autumn. I checked often, sometimes daily, but nothing. I e-mailed them after the New Year to inquire, saying that if they had lost my manuscript I could send another. Or if they had decided against it, then okay. And still no reply. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I came to the conclusion that they looked at this blog and decided they didn't like my politics. (I've noticed leftward leanings over there.)
So imagine my shock to find an e-mail from them this morning with this explanation:
I just wanted to let you know that Stuck In An Elevator With Mandy Patinkin has just been released as a flash feature on Escape Pod.
I won't be surprised if you'd given up on us by now -- sorry about that. We've held onto your story far longer than any other, and for a pretty dumb reason: I kept trying to find someone who could co-narrate for this with a passable Mandy Patinkin impression. That's much harder than it sounds -- Patinkin's voice is distinctive for its
_understated_ tone. I went through a few tries (including one really bad attempt at doing it myself), and then we had a time crunch and stopped producing flash for a while.
When I picked it back up, I decided to forget that whole approach, and had the entire story read by a competent female narrator (Mur Lafferty, of the Geek Fu Action Grip podcast). In this context, not trying to sound exactly like Mandy Patinkin works a lot better than trying badly, and having just one reader makes for a smoother narrative flow as well.
I hope you enjoy the reading -- and I'm sorry again for taking so long to put the story out! Thanks very much for sharing such a fun piece with us, and I hope you'll consider sending us more in the future.
YEE-HAW!!! You can also read it at my story blog, but I hope you enjoy the podcast. The site allows you to leave comments, too (hint hint).
IT WAS WORTH THE TWELVE BUCKS
I think DogMan tried to give me a coronary.
A real one this time.
How?, you ask.
He took me to the movies.
And not just any movie, a (gasp!) chick flick. The man who at one time considered Patton to be the only movie worth his time and money took me to see The Devil Wears Prada.
“DogMan, I’d like to see ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ and I was wondering if you had any interest in it?”
“Sure. What’s Prada?”
“Y’know, a fashion label -- shoes and accessories mostly -- like on ‘Sex & the City’.”
I was fully prepared to go by myself and was flabbergasted that he not only wanted to go, but that he didn't flinch a muscle when he shelled out $12 for our tickets.
“You didn’t say yes so I’d mention you in my blog, did you?”
“Why not? Your readers adore me.” There were about ten of us in the theater, which is not bad for a Sunday afternoon theater in Painted Post, NY: Nine women and DogMan.
8 About "The Devil Wears Prada": very funny, although the ending is treacly and predictable. Streep was absolutely brilliant as Miranda Priestly, the Devil herself. I heard that she played it like a man instead of like Anna Wintour of Vogue, on whom her character is based. Jaaaay-zus, talk about exercise! Those poor drones, whose jobs were to cater to Miranda P., literally ran themselves ragged. And they only had 15-minute lunch breaks.
My favorite line: "You eat CARBS!"
Not to mention the explanation of sizes:
"Size 4 is the new size 2, and size 2 is now 0."
"I'm a size 6."
"The old size 14."
Nicole Richie would fit right in.
THE FIRE & BRIMSTONE OF BROTHER ALGORE
Oh, sweet Jesus, how can we be so blind?
Yesssss, brothers and sisters, there is trouble on this earth. Time is running out! and only Brother Algore can save us.
According the Brother Algore: "[Bush] planted the seeds of war. He harvested a whirlwind ... And now the corrupt tree of a war waged on false premises has brought us the evil fruit of Americans torturing and sexually humiliating prisoners who are helpless in their care."
Aside from torture and humiliation, you know how much Algore loves trees. So when you hear Brother Algore, think of the future. Think of Brother Algore and Sister Tipper leading us.
8Speaking ofCarnivàle, could this be the reason it was canceled?
A Los Angeles writer who helps aspiring screenwriters learn their craft has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Home Box Office and the creator of HBO's offbeat fantasy-mystery series "Carnivale." Jeff Bergquist claims that the series contains "remarkable and substantial similarities" to a novel that he had been working on since the 1980s.
In his suit, Bergquist seeks monetary damages as well as an injunction preventing HBO and the producer from distributing or exhibiting "Carnivale" or any additional projects based on "Beulah" without Bergquist's consent.
In May, HBO decided not to renew "Carnivale" for a third season.
We loved that show. It was one of our all-time favorites.