Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm A Star!

In truth, I still have to scenes to finish (they are only half done),
and the finale which is completely blank.
I'll write them tomorrow.
I expect they will be abbreviated versions of what will happen in the next draft,
placeholders for the next round of writing.
Then I'm going to take a month off
- from this novel, not the other one -
to start my research.

That's right, I wrote a novel before I did the research.

But I've written over 50,000 words this month.
I rock.

Special thanks to Kathleen, and Anton-R!

Oh, and Weyerhaeuser, for laying me off in the worst
job market ever -
so much time, and so little money equal
fifty thousand words.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Captain Kirk's Compensation issues

A screen shot from Star Trek: TOS.

Capt. Kirk obviously feels his own equipment is inadequate to the task. I wonder what Spock would say? (Suggestions welcome.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good Summer Reading (circa 1875)

He's dead, Jim!

I just finished reading the first half of that classic novel, "The Somnambulist and the Detective" by Allan Pinkerton. Yes, the Allan Pinkerton for whom the Pinkerton National Detective Agency was named. Allan moved here from Scotland with his bride, began as a private detective in Chicago in 1849 or 1850, eventually met up with some muck-a-mucks (click the link if you want details; I'm not going to repeat a Wikipedia article), popularized such detective tricks and shadowing (tailing, following) and what we would now consider undercover work, and eventually put his name on a series of fictionalized accounts of his career (rumor has it they were ghostwritten).

The story begins with a young bank clerk being killed and a bank robbed. This all takes place somewhere down south; most of the evidence is overlooked by the locals, since it leads to the best friend of the deceased because class matters in 1850 Mississippi, and the best friend, Mr Drysdale, is of the best of families. But ol' Pinky, who is called in as a last-chance attempt to catch the killer/robber, is a cranky Scot, he is, and he dinna care fer a man's standing in the community. After examining clews, weighing evidence, and sucking down mint juleps galore, he trots back to Chicago, and formulates a plan so cunning that you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. A large, inefficient, clunky weasel.

Next we know, a widow (Mrs Potter), a man of means (Mr Andrews), and a young carpenter (Mr Green) descend upon this small town. All are operatives of ol' Pinky - oops, I should have said spoiler alert. Now y'all will know how the story ends.

Their job is to figure out how to get a confession from the murderer Drysdale. Mrs Potter (not her real name) befriends the innocent wife of the alleged murderer...

Hard-boiled female detective schmoozes up innocent housewife can see the evidence for yourself. In fact, this heartless undercover agent fakes an injury to infiltrate their household - a shameful pretense of being dependent upon the kindness of strangers. Indeed!

"She's suffered severe trauma, Jim!"

Mrs P starts smearing blood all over their home in the middle of the night in order to freak out the suspect. Talk about the house guest from hell...

Meanwhile, Messers Andrew and Green (not their real names) plot to drive Drysdale insane, in case Mrs P's imitation of "The Shining" doesn't work. (Okay, okay, this book came before "The Shining".) Mr Green looks like the deceased, so they dress him up to look like, well, a zombie in order to freak out the suspect even more.

"He's undead, Jim!"

And it works - but only some of the time. Our alleged murderer gets up and wanders in the middle of the night to the locations where he has buried the stolen money, and doesn't notice the zombie during his late-night strolls.

"He's the living dead, Jim!"

At this point, I know, you're hoping for a zombie war, or perhaps a face-off between a zombie and, say, a nosferatu. No such luck, dear readers. If the title hasn't already given it away, he's sleepwalking! Yes, sleepwalking. Wow! And FYI, that's a large, flat rock that our sleepwalker is holding. He's not wrestling with an alien life form or anything. Sorry.

By now, Drysdale is in hysterics. No southern belle could out psychosomatic him at this point, and I mean it. For instance, every time he finds the blood smeared in his room, he faints and says that he is weak from loss of blood... but he hasn't really lost any blood. So why is weak and faint - hysteria? Nerves? Guilt? A secret opium habit we're never told about?

No matter. They've succeeded in making him crazy. And yet, he still won't confess.

From what I can tell, the operations of these three detectives has probably taken three to six months. Honestly, if all his cases were this labor-intensive and drawn out, there is no way Allan Pinkerton would have become the rich, worker-hating lawman that he became.

Anyway, Pinkterton returns to the south, and gets together with everyone to plan one last attempt to coerce a confession from this dude without using a waterboard or lynch laws. Mr Green gets into his zombie togs again, and hides in the bank - the scene of the original crime. They arrest Mr Drysdale and take him to the bank. (If you're like me, you feel like you're suddenly in an episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies", but you're not; hillbillies could not afford Pinkerton's fees back in 1856.) I'll let the lovely illustration show you the moment when they break the killer:

"Dammit, Jim, I'm a murderer, not a doctor!"

Ah yes, they just don't confess like this anymore. And look at Mr Sourface McMustache in the background (just to the left of Drysdale) - stern and judgmental. That's a level four glare of disapproval. If it had been a level five, Drysdale would be a heap of ashes or a puddle of goo on the floor.

Eh, I give the story a C, mostly for being brief and having some lovely illustrations. The plot was ridiculous - but not as ridiculous as "The Ghoul", a book which I will review in loving detail someday. If you're not going to be a realistic mystery, you should go all out for crazy, over-the-top thrills, which "The Ghoul" delivers. The second half of the Pinkerton book is a tale entitled, "The Murderer and the Fortune-teller". If it's any good - or if the drawings are the least bit entertaining - I'll let you know.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why I always travel with my knitting - even to the grocery store!

Always Keep Your Knitting Near!

by Shannon on April 8, 2009

One bright spot in the news about the recent Italian earthquake: a 98-year-old woman pulled alive from the rubble spent her time knitting and crocheting while waiting to be saved.

From the Telegraph:

Maria D’Antuono told rescuers that during the 30 hours she was trapped, she occupied herself by knitting and doing crochet. The stone house where the 98-year-old was buried under her bed in the village of Tempera, was a scene of devastation having completely collapsed on one side.

Let this be a lesson to you — always keep your knitting nearby, you never know what might happen and it’s good to be prepared!

{NB - The earthquake took place in Abruzzo, the same region my grandfather was from. It must be something genetic that compels us to be near knitting at all times!}

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How The Unemployed Spend Their Saturdays

  • I had a knitting project I wanted to finish.
  • I have neither cable nor fancy new converter rabbit ears setup thingy to watch broadcast TV.
  • That leaves me with streaming video.
  • hulu.
  • And TJ Hooker.

This show debuted in my last year of college. I did not see many episodes during its short (I think it was short) run. I do remember a few things about it – bad 1980’s clothing (there was a reason I was a punk), baaaaad acting (with William Shatner leading the pack), horrible scripts which seem to involve violence to scantily clad women.

Watching the five episodes on hulu, my memories were refreshed – and it was worse than I recalled.

If you’re going to watch just one episode (and I really think you ought to, particularly if you’ve been wishing you were 30 years younger), I recommend the pilot episode. Here are some frame grabs (I’m not very good at these, but I think they’ll do the trick):

Here’s Adrian Zmed busting a move on the dance floor. And we’re talking busting a move. He’s the rookie who becomes Shatner’s partner for the rest of the season (or longer – told you, I didn’t watch the show much).

Talk about your disco infernos - this guy would have to be a disco pyromaniac!

Next shot is of a deceased gang member. Notice the colors he’s wearing.

Far as I know, there would have been only one group in California in the early 1980’s who would have chosen lavender for their colors. And the name of the gang on the TV show made me wonder if one of the writers was trying to get something over on the audience (consider – The Purple Stallions). Perhaps they thought the Lavender Stallions was more obvious than they cared to be, but with the gang colors they were sporting, anyone under the age of 40 would have guessed.

{I really want to make some comment about purple helmeted warriors of love riding the purple stallions, but I can't think of anything clever enough for posterity.}

Final shot is of one of the characters in tight short shorts at the squad picnic.

For god’s sake, please please please – I don’t care how tight your arse it – nobody come to the MDC picnic in this outfit!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm not going to write extensively about this; I'm just going to ask my readers to please please please read as much of it as you can. It gets REALLY good in the later sections. He's about to be rich, after all. {Watch him become really rich - probably through some swindle - but still...}

I don't know why the sound of phrases such as the one below don't appeal to me from a prospective mate - there must be something wrong with me:
I would love to find a woman who herself is a leader (but I do not require that she be a leader)... and I am referring to her being a leader in the world, NOT the leader in our Love Dance. In our Love Dance, she surrenders her exquisite femininity to my powerful masculine lead and lets me FEED her with the energy she needs to be powerful and effective in ALL that she does in the world.
Needless to say, if this is what's out there for single girls, I'm most likely to remain single for the ages.

Note to Noisy - he doesn't like 'rock 'n' roll', so there would be no Butthole Surfers played in his home. How boring!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Got so distracted by the idea of diaper-wielding zealots that I forgot to post today's jammy cam - check out the cool rock!

Looking for Work

Some of you may know that I recently interviewed for a job. Sad to say, I did not get the job. I attribute this in part to my failure to wear my kick-ass boots - the ones that say, "Hire me or else."

However, in my long hours looking at weird photos on the internet (I'm unemployed - I've got those long hours to waste), I did come up with a look I think I may use at the next interview - it's sure to get me hired!

If one of these women showed up for a job interview, would you dare tell them "No"? In fact, I think all admin should consider this basic attire for the job. There is historical precedent:

And of course friends are always helpful with suggestions for ways to earn money. Here's what some of my tech friends are doing since they were laid off:

I'm looking for a nice piece of that plastic-coated poster board for my own sign (it's Seattle - it rains - I don't want to have to make a new sign each day or week) - "Will Control Your Documents for food or a roll of quarters for laundry - Thanks!"

As long as I don't end up in a diaper listening to bible verses, I'm okay.

Play by FoxSaver®

A Plea to my Friends

In today's news:

TOLEDO, Ohio - A man held a woman captive in handcuffs and an adult diaper for three days while he read Bible passages to her, police said.

Troy Brisport, 34, was charged with kidnapping and felonious assault. Bail was set Tuesday at $400,000.

He picked up the woman Wednesday night in Detroit after she told him she had nowhere to stay, and brought her to his home in Toledo, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) away, police told The Toledo Blade newspaper.

The woman told police that after she fell asleep Brisport handcuffed her wrists and ankles, gagged her, undressed her and put her in an adult diaper, then read Bible passages, said police Capt. Ray Carroll.

She apparently was not sexually assaulted, Carroll said.

However, court documents alleged that Brisport tried several times to suffocate the woman using a pillow and blanket.

I sent the following plea to one of my friends, but I figure I better send it to everyone - consider it insurance:

If I end up homeless, please let me put up a tent in your backyard. I'll work for shower and laundry privileges, and I'll sit in my tent with my iPod on loud when you want your private time in the yard, I promise. I don't want to end up in a diaper listening to bad recitations from the Bible. Please.

{The text was changed to protect the names of the innocent.}

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Marblemount - January 2009

I recently went up north to help out some friends who were living on generator power and wood-burning stove for a week due to serious mudslides. I took some lovely photos; it was so quiet, with the main road blocked, there was almost no traffic. Only the sound of the occasional generator here and there. These are photos taken whilst driving (woo hoo!) or walking around on State Route 20 when there was almost no traffic.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's, folks!

First, flowers from a friend:

Gifted in advance of, and not because of, Valentine's Day - but still, lovely to have some roses here next to the futon. Lovely colors and scents to brighten up the weekend. And nice to have someone think of giving me flowers - thank you!

Next, a box of gifts from a knitting pal - our first anniversary, in fact. We had our first swap VDay last year, and had so much fun (and got on so well) that we've had quarterly swaps ever since. Chocolates, yarn, booze, and a book on lace knitting:

So I spent an hour cruising the internet for knitting patterns for my yarn...okay, more like 2 hours. That's why I recommend Valentine's Day swaps for knitters, single or no. And Gypsygirl, my swap mate, is appreciative of my unemployed status, so I didn't need to spend extravagant amounts on yarn or other goodies. Knowing that I'll be doing swaps during the year allows me to look for mark downs on yarns and books. And then there's the Daiso $1.50 store in downtown Seattle - that place absolutely rocks! Much, much better than American dollar stores, I actually find some useful, crafty things there - and non-crafty, too! See, the Japanese like their cheap stuff from China, too, but they still want quality and a pleasant aesthetic, so you get much nicer things there. And if you're willing to spend $5 you can get some super fun vintage Japanese tunes! Anyway, Gypsygirl still raves about the onion bag I gifted her with back around Halloween, all courtesy of the fine folks at Daiso!

There were many vintage valentines being sent around on Ravelry (don't bother even clicking the link unless you knit or crochet). Some of them had very interesting images, and got me pondering what message they would convey in the 21st century.

I really liked the following image:

But notice the shackle this poor fellow is wearing - an indication of a co-dependent relationship, at the least, if not some sort of serious top-bottom relationship (don't click unless you want TMI).

This must have been intended for the Lawrence Welk generation - lucky for you, I'm too lazy to link this to some really bad accordion music (which I've got in spades).

Here's one for the person concerned with global warming - or hot flashes - or some sort of hemorrhagic fever:

Do you know anyone who's into steroid use? This one's for you, A-Rod!

I hope this little girl got a raise in her allowance:

Mind you, I actually like the Post Office. They're far from perfect, admittedly, but if you've spent as much time arguing with UPS as I have, you'll understand why I like to go postal.

Anyone who has known me for very long knows I appreciate things piratey; and I'm not some poseur who thought they were cool only after Johnny Depp donned his eyeliner. I was a pirate for Halloween a year or two before the first movie came out. However, even I have to wonder exactly what message you're sending your sweetie when you've got a heart (theirs? yours? the last person you got in a bar fight with?) on your dagger.

"Arrrrgh, lassie, them wot don't dates me be the lucky ones," he seems to be saying. You know, I'm going to bet on the bar fight scenario - he's wearing a sword, so I bet he cut his enemy's heart out with his eating knife. What a little terror this laddie is!

For the next one, I'm just going to say "Lumberjack Song" and leave it at that.
Now, now, before you make that joke about Idaho, where men are men and sheep are scared, remember, I'm a knitter - I like wool - I like sheep only in a completely platonic sense. Okay, I do appreciate lamb when cooked nicely, and of course, there are some fine sheep cheeses out there - but they won't let you shear them if they think they'll end up in a curry when you're done.

You're on the Titanic. You're lucky enough to obtain a life preserver and hope like hell that the North Sea (or wherever the hell they were - no, I don't care, I'm not looking it up) doesn't freeze you to death before you're rescued. I'm pretty sure the word 'nice' wouldn't be how you'd describe your life preserver.

Hey, I like kitties. Nothing snide here, just a cute kitty.

In the 21st century, if you use the words "horn" and "butt" in a valentine, you know it's all about teh booty call.

The next one's for you, Noisy:

This last one is just weird. Is it the heart-ball? Is it the kid's big arse? He looks like he could be doing 'roids with A-Rod...I dunno, but it definitely bothers me.

Happy VD, everyone!