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  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

...but for me, this is what I call life, as the song goes.

Apologies in advance to those whose RSS readers I'm about to break.

1
I submitted a story to an online magazine that I usually get an average response time (read: rejected) of a month. This time around, they've held it for almost three. So I email the mag, thinking that they've rejected it and their message got caught in my spam filter, seeing as they've published the issue that I submitted the story for during their last reading period. Turns out, the tell me that they're "still considering it." I think I'll chalk this one up as the first non-rejection letter I've received, eh?

2
Currently reading:
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THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY & HORROR has Chuck Palahniuk's "Guts," but that's not the reason I got it. I noticed in the table of contents a very short story by Joyce Carol Oates called "Stripping" which was included as an example of her darker fiction. I'm ashamed to say that I really didn't know she did "darker fiction."

Kelly Link's MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS was just released on paperback, so I just had to have it. I don't know why I continue to torture myself by reading her stuff. Talk about total discouragement. I read her stuff and ask myself, "Why do I even bother?"

I've been neglecting my own advice and been leafing through RUN WITH THE HUNTED: A CHARLES BUKOWSKI READER. From the parts that I've read, the editor John Martin seems to have carefully selected certain material in a way similar to the way zoos are designed to keep the patrons at a safe distance from the more vicious animals. Maybe I'll actually pick this one up soon to innoculate myself because I'm finding myself wanting to read more and more of his prose.

3
Currently Listening:
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Relative newcomer Christian Scott and his band blend their artistry into something accessible in REWIND THAT. In other words, it's not always about "swing" but rather "the groove," whether they're dealing with swing, R&B, or even rock grooves (see also most stuff by Lonnie Plaxico or Jacky Terrasson).

BROWNIE: THE COMPLETE EMARCY RECORDINGS OF CLIFFORD BROWN is literally a jazz master-class in a box, complete with false starts and alternate versions of songs and solos. This may sound pretentious, but that statement alone should separate those who would truly appreciate it from those who might have a casual interest but not want to invest in a 10-CD box.

There's no way I could turn my nose up at Toto's FALLING IN BETWEEN if I actually shelled out cash for CHICAGO XXX. And, not just because of the James Pankow horn arrangements, either. It's great music. Trouble is, you could level the same criticism (though some would call it praise) on Toto. One could say that someone cryogenically froze Toto back in 1989 and revived them in the studio to record this album.

4
I'm still getting adjusted to my new fall schedule at The Big Red School on the Hill. I come in later, but then I'm the last one to leave to close the Joint. There's potential in this schedule except for two things: (a) My bad nocturnal habits are creeping back in. Since last Thursday, I've gotten less than 8 hours of sleep a night, which is a long string since I've started this new sleep hygeine thing. (b) There's no longer any real time for dinner between the end of my day and any evening physical activity (in this case, yoga).

5
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I've managed to introduce The Wife to two more BBC gems that she'll enjoys, CHEF! and MONARCH OF THE GLEN. I haven't seen CHEF! in quite a few years. It's main character has all the traits I admire: arrogance, bile, the ability to hurl carefully-chosen insults, and a heart (even if he won't admit it).

MONARCH OF THE GLEN, I swear, is almost the BBC Scotland version of NORTHERN EXPOSURE, not necessarily being wacky and zany, but because of its cast of eccentric characters. Not to mention the big stag featured at the end of the opening credits, in lieu of a moose.

6
There is no...number six.

7
Now...to the grind.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

If blogs had social workers, this one would've been forcibly removed from me. Here's my attempt at making amends.

1
Let's see, the sleep thing is going well. I should be in bed now but the heat wave makes that difficult. They say the ideal sleeping temperature is around 65° F. Unfortunately, icicles start forming on The Wife's nose at that temperature. But hot is hot and it's just been plain ridiculous.

2
The playlist on my mp3 player has songs from the following albums. Hey, screw you--I can't help it if they get me and keep me in the mood to write.

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It might have to do with the fact that these albums share a lot of the same musicians. People tend to forget that the members of Toto were and still are the best studio musicians around.

3
The Big Red School on the Hill finally fixed their errors on my health insurance coverage. I--that is, The Wife and I--finally have the correct health, dental, and eye coverage that I signed up for. Everything's credited, paid, and backdated. Still, after all that, I hope we don't have to really use any of it...except for a dentist. It's been too long since I've been to one.

4
Sorry, but this has just been on my mind, lately.
When you get caught
Between the moon and New York City
I know it's crazy but it's true
If you get caught
Between the moon and New York City
Best that you can do
Best that you can do
Is fall in love

-Christopher Cross, "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"
5
Somewhere, I think I've raved about Charles Bukowski's BURNING IN WATER, DROWNING IN FLAME. I also think I've mentioned the fact that a friend, when he heard I was reading that, said to me, "I read some Bukowski once. I decided I just wasn't mentally healthy enough to handle it." Well, sure, the poetry isn't exactly uplifting Maya Angelou stuff and he makes Raymond Carver seem like he's on anti-depressants by comparison.

But then I leafed through a short story collection of Buk's called TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS (which is actually half of a collection, no longer published in its entirety, titled ERECTIONS, EJACULATIONS, EXHIBITIONS AND TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS--Hm, I wonder why?). My impulse was to buy it, but something told me "No, sit down and read some of it first."

Yes, it's every bit as gruesome as one would expect. Crude, too, but honestly so. You could call some of it "prurient," "twisted," and "sick" but it's not there (I don't think, based on my cursory reading) to shock--and that's actually part of the problem. It's the presentation of "Yes, this is the sick and twisted everyday life of some sick and twisted characters" that makes it hard to swallow. Maybe one day I'll grow up enough to handle it, but not before I've gone through a few more volumes of Buk's poetry (and god, there're a lot of them).

6
There is noooo...number six.

7
Coming soon (when I feel like pulling the camera back out): Productivity pr0n!
...or should I say, "Bi-Weekly?"

I have no idea what this means since I don't watch LOST and it's now too far gone for me to spend the time catching up. It doesn't help that both times I tried to watch it, I saw the same two episodes.

You scored as Kate. You are Kate! Even with your spotty past of bank robbery and trouble you are a known as a nice girl who loves adventure. You are one of the guys and will always volunteer to go exploring.

Kate

69%

Shannon

56%

Boone

50%

Sawyer

44%

Jack

38%

Michael

38%

Sun

38%

Locke

31%

Sayid

31%

Charlie

19%

Claire

19%

Which "Lost" character are you?
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