Sunday, October 31, 2004
I’m going to redo my blogroll to include other NaNoWriMo bloggers, so if you want me to include yours, please let me know and I’ll give you some linky love.
Or, if you’re already on there, and you’d rather not be, now’s the time to tell me.
Friday, October 29, 2004
Of course when I post things like this, I only end up with more hits for these strings.
The latest interesting google search strings:
> > >Dispose of the dog pooch Los Angeles
> > >The Smell of Fiction
I wonder if they stayed or got disgusted and left.
LA Blog’s LA Insight was conceived by lil’ ol me. Mostly because I know we all have stories. Man, do we have stories.
1. Have you ever been ticketed for a moving violation?
Yes. Once. Running a red light. Going down Beverly Blvd. through Beverly Hills to work back in ‘96. He got me dead to rights as I blew through a stoplight that changed from yellow to red.
2. Have you ever been able to talk your way out of a ticket (just getting a warning)?
I was stopped one other time, New Year’s Eve in (I think) 1988 up in Arcata, CA. I was on my way to a party by myself and sat at a stoplight (one of only two in town) and when it turned green I went. A cop was sitting opposite me in the left turn lane and swung a U-ie and pulled me over. He said I ran the light. I was just puzzled (honestly puzzled, not talking my way out of it or anything) and said, “Why would I sit there through most of the cycle and then blow through it? It obviously turns green on my side before yours because of the left turn lane.” He kind of stammered and asked if I’d been drinking (I didn’t drink back then.) and sent me on my way.
3. Have you ever fought a traffic ticket?
Nope. I’ve wanted to fight parking tickets before, but it seems that the law of diminishing returns dictates that my time is worth more than the price of the ticket.
4. How did you fulfill your traffic school requirement?
I went to Chocoholics traffic school over at Rose’s in Venice. The teacher was an ass (we got into an arguement about gun laws), but was an otherwise painless experience.
5. Have you ever gotten a parking ticket? Did you fight it?
I’ve gotten two parking tickets in the last 13 years. I didn’t have a car before then. One was for parking the first week I lived in LA in Venice - the meter had NOT expired, yet the meter maid insisted that we’d already parked on that block (we’d not, but I suppose it was easy to confuse my light blue Camry with the 22 million other light blue Camrys back then). The other ticket was in Glendale for an expired meter. I’m paranoid about getting parking tickets so I try really hard not to get them.
6. How much do you think youíve spent in your lifetime on tickets?
Both parking & that one moving violation including the fee for traffic school - probably $500.
7. Have you been ticketed in other cities/states/countries? How does that experience compare?
8. If you had it to do all over again, whatís the one thing you would have done differently when it came to a run in with The Man?
Well, I think that running that light was probably good for me. It’s good for everyone to have a little dose of the system if you don’t hurt anyone else.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Today’s smell is matches.
There was a blackout here at work today. Almost two hours. Now, it being daytime, we had no trouble making our way around until the lights came back on. But the bathroom has no windows and therefor not natural light. So we lit a candle and put it on the shelf in the bathroom. It was one of my nice scented ones. But of course the overwhelming smell when you first light it is the sulphur from the matches.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Tonight I raced home from work because the sky looked rather clear. However, the clouds were hugging the horizon and I couldn’t quite catch the moonrise.
I did get a few shots off while testing the camera of the full lunar eclipse.
I’m still hoping to get a few more. We’re in totality at the moment, so I’ve got another hour or so to catch a clearing in the clouds, but it’s raining again.
Today’s smell is brought to you by the commissary.
Today’s smell is French Dip. Which here on the lot was always French Dip and was never called Freedom Dip. (I actually don’t know if that’s true, but it sounded good.)
First, they have cloacas (only one opening for eggs, urine and feces to pass).
Second, males have venomous spurs.
Third, they lay eggs.
Fourth, they have some freaky genes going on. Nature reported that “a platypus has five chromosones determining sex, not one - like the rest of the species in the world.” That’s like some alien stuff going on. It’s not like it’s a non-mammalian thing to do, it’s like it’s a non-earth thing to do.
Of course Nature also reported that hobbits used to live in Indonesia.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Okay, I went to Amazon today. Usually the front page has something to do with stuff that I browse or buy.
Today the front page had something else. Philips HeartStart Home Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
First of all, who named that thing. HeartStart? Please!
Second, external defibrillator? I hope it’s external. I hate the anal ones. Or worse, the ones where you have to crack open the chest. Although that one comes with a carpet cleaner.
Third, what have I been browsing lately that led them to believe that this was something I’d be interested in?
I like to do stuff to spur me to complete my novel. Chris Baty suggests this in his book and on the NaNoWriMo website.
Signing up for group blogs and blogrolls helps me quite a bit. Especially when I check my webstats and see that I’ve been getting referrals from other pages.
But I’ll just pretend that everyone has high hopes for me.
EDIT: I had the URL down for nanoblogmo down wrong (I put blogpsot.com instead of blogspot.com) which apparently takes you to a mega site of bible study which I can only assume took the domain name because of the inadvertant traffic.
Today’s smell was fabulous. It’s a smoky barbecue. I don’t know who was barbecuing, but I loved the feel of walking to my office, navigating puddles and that scent wafting by.
I wanted leaves to kick or be scattered around in the breeze. But this’ll qualify for a nice way to start the day, too.
Monday, October 25, 2004
Today’s smell came to me before getting to the office.
Today’s smell is bleach.
Yes, bleach so strong as to make your eyes water.
I don’t know why my back yard smelled like bleach, but that’s how it was today.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
As it stands right now, this is what I’ve got:
Title: An Alphabetical Order
Genre: Literary Fiction (Light Humor?)
Story: Main character finds that her lack of success in life is caused by her unfortunate name. It’s not a bad name, it’s just always left her in a bad position. So she researches how some successful people were helped by their name (the letters they begin with, not too uncommon, not too ordinary, not too ethnic, but not too whitebread). She changes her name and changes her life. Or maybe it doesn’t change her life at all.
As you can see, I haven’t even picked out a name for her yet. I’ve got a long way to go.
Friday night at the Coffee Table was the first meet & greet for the Los Angeles group for NaNoWriMo. I was really surprised at how many people showed up (I think my tally was 19) and that they came early and stayed late.
I forget the tenuous excitement the kids have when they start the process. I know how important the social aspect is. Meeting other people makes it real.
I also signed up today for NaNoBlogMo, which is Blogger’s listing of nanoblogs. I’m sure I qualify, because here I am, blogging it for the FOURTH time.
Just for new folks, I don’t put my novel in the blog posts itself. As the month starts you’ll find a pdf file on the left that will have my current progress. Come by in December and it’ll be a whole novel. To go along with the three others over there.
In other news, I’m going to go out and try to write a play today. They’re much faster to type than those novel things.
Friday, October 22, 2004
“As a new transplant to Southern California, I’m very intrigued by earthquakes. Having never experienced one, I have no idea what they’re like—or how to prepare (or if I really need to).”
1) What sort of earthquake preparations do most people have?
I have a box where I keep a first aid kit, some extra food, some extra dog food, a couple of flashlights (which always seem to get taken from the box and never replaced) and a battery powered radio. I try to keep at least a case of drinking water on hand, but I’ve been failing miserably at that in the past few months. The hot water heater is braced. I try to close my cabinets and closets tightly. I keep at least a quarter tank of gas in my car at all times. I always have a little cash on hand.
2) Have you ever lived though a big quake?
3) Which ones?
I was also in several larger ones when I lived in Humboldt County. The biggest was something like a 7.1 (August 1991 and there was a swarm of 6s before and after) although the epicenter was about 40miles away from where I was. It was the first time I was in a quake that made me duck under a table. I was in a burrito place by campus and the big plate glass windows were not just vibrating, but undulating. They didn’t break though.
4) Does anybody really have earthquake insurance?
My neighbors do.
5) Do you?
6) How bad would things have to get for my apartment to come crashing into the ground?
Hmm. I don’t know what sort of geological formations are below your building and what sort of structure you’re in. Most of us found that those apartments that had the garages at ground level and apartments above didn’t do well. Do you live in one of those? I’ve always been skittish about living in the flats. I prefer bedrock.
But as Northridge proved, you don’t have to be close (Santa Monica was hit really hard) and you don’t have to be in an old building.
When we first moved to LA, we had a little apartment in Sherman Oaks (Moorpark and Woodman). It was a rather new building (‘89). We moved 18 days before the quake to Silverlake. The building was yellow tagged after the quake and had to be completely gutted before the residents could move back in, and it took over a year.
7) If I don’t anchor the bookcases to the wall, are they really going to fall over and kill me in my sleep?
That’s another hard call. I don’t have anything on my walls in my bedroom and I’m grateful for it. In the ‘94 quake most stuff on shelves came off. Even in small temblors I’ve had stuff fall off the walls. I’ve seen people’s houses after quakes where the bookcases have come down, and trust me, it’s not a mess you want. (Of course none of my bookcases are currently anchored.)
8) Are you fearful, anticipating, or indifferent to coming quakes?
I am anticipating them. I can’t say that I was scared by the ‘94 one, but certainly alarmed. I took it very seriously. I had a geology class my freshman year of college and it was pretty much about earthquakes and the professor said something like, “if the power goes out, you know it’s the big one.” So when the ‘94 started, I just thought it was another San Andreas like Big Bear and I sat up in bed to ride it out. But when the power went out and the transformers started blowing up ... um, that was the sign that this was something big. In all honesty, I’m fascinated by them. If there is any natural disaster that I’m scared of, I think it’s tornados. And I’ve been in those.
Today’s smell is brought to you by the commissary.
Now that things have dried out, the smells are back.
Today it seems like there’s a lot of prep work going on in the kitchen and there’s an overwhelming scent of freshly chopped onions everywhere.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
When I was a teen and lived in Pennsylvania there were days like today. Crisp days with puffy clouds. Days with high school football games.
My brother and I would climb on our bikes and pedal out to the orchard up at the edge of town. We would buy a quart or maybe half gallon basket of jonathan apples.
I had a jacket at that time a Woolrich hunting jacket (we called it the dead rabbit jacket because it had a pocket for small dead game) and we would take the apples out of the basket and stow them in my jacket and ride back home.
We’d go to the football games and wander around and eat apples. I wasn’t terribly interested in the game, it was something to do. I don’t think I ever sat in the stands and actually watched it. (Come to think of it, the Mechanicsburg team was division champs or something.)
Jonathan apples are the best. First of all, they’re deep red, not that fake red of delicious apples. Glossy and wonderfully round instead of upright. Great streaks of yellow or orange on one side. Crisp and juicy and tart.
I can’t find good jonathans here in Los Angeles. They’re always tiny ones. There’s a new hybrid called jonagolds, which are good, but not the same. The orchard that we used to buy apples at is gone now. It’s a housing development. That’s how you know you’re old. When trees that were younger than you were cut down to build houses.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
You know I have that other blog that I don’t maintain much. That spambiguity. Mostly I invented it because I thought the word spambiguity was cool.
But I digress.
found via omouse.
You know that old saying, any club that would have me as a member, is not a club that I’d be interested in joining.
Well, I think this is one of those cases that only cements my feelings for WalMart. They are not going to carry Jon Stewart’s “America (The Book)” because of the doctored nude photos of the supreme court justices.
They will, however, carry the book on their website. Because Walmart really isn’t about censorship, they’re about inoffensiveness. Right.
Today’s smell is brought to you by rain.
Today’s smell is wet dog.
I’m not sure if the smell is actually coming from wet dogs or not, I suspect not. I think at the office it’s a combination of wet sawdust, damp carpeting and rancid paint.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Berries, piles and piles of fresh berries.
The rain has still washed away the commissary smells. So right now all I smell are the blueberries and strawberries in my fruit salad.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Today’s smell, brought to us by the copy room/kitchen is burnt toast. The rain seems to have washed away the commissary smells.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
In what seems to be speedy fashion, NASA has announced what they believe to be the cause of the crash of the Genesis spacecraft in the Utah desert. The capsule was supposed to deploy a parachute and as the craft floated to the ground, it would be snatched from the air by a helicopter with a hook.
I had suspected it was gravity, but this sounds much more likely.
I’ve finally grown up and gotten my own domain name.
I have no idea what that means.
Anyway, eventually this blog will migrate to the new domain. Which means changing my url, I have no idea who a smooth migration works, and I’d hazard a guess that it doesn’t go smooth.
I believe I have two choices, I can keep this blog here and just start a new one over there. Or I can just move this one, lock, stock & barrel over to the knew domain, which leaves no forwarding address or anything (as I understand how blogspot blogs work).
So, stay tuned. I’ll probably give you some notice.
Oh, and the new domain is ... typetive.com. It’s going to take a few days for the domain to propagate. So you may or may not see anything there right now.
I saw a play a few years ago by Kira Obolensky called Lobster Alice. It was about the time Salvador Dali came to Los Angeles to make an animated film for Walt Disney. It was based on a true story.
Salvador Dali was comissioned to make an animated film called Destino, based on a Mexican ballad of the same name. The play was very interesting, but the allure of the actual film, which was never finished during Dali or Disney’s lifetime is even more intriguing.
Well, apparently it was finished ...um, and nominated for an Oscar. I have no clue what rock I was under earlier this year. It must have been the rock without The Hollywood Reporter or internets or something. (And it was a bit of a story, too.)
It’s showing this weekend in NY at the Animazing Gallery. What’s worse, it seems it was showing last November at the Arclight. Grrr. It’ll also be in Florida for a while, but I can’t see myself going there just to see a movie.
There’s talk of it coming out on video and I’m keen to see how it turned out.
Friday, October 15, 2004
No, not the Man I’m married to.
First of all, I’m of the same opinion. If I watch a debate (and we really can’t call them debates, since they’re not debating, they’re just exchanging disjointed expanses of talking points) I’d like to think that the debate is the be all and end all. And when it’s done, the viewers are supposed to MAKE UP THEIR OWN DAMN MINDS. The spinning and talking heads telling us what we witnessed is irrelevant.
Here are some choice quotes as Stewart appeared with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.
Jon Stewart believes that the media is dropping the ball. I’m inclined to agree.
But the just don’t get it. Maybe part of it the hubris of Carlson and Begala that they think that there’s some sort of kinship - that these folks who sit on the outside, the pundits are at the same as the comedians, which is so not true. Stewart has risen to the level of Aristophanes as far as I’m concerned.
Jon Stewart looked horrible. I don’t watch the show often enough to know how the format works, but Begala and Carlson were wearing makeup. They had good lighting, smooth, even and of course suited to their skintones. Stewart looked like he just got off a redeye. A little unkempt, pale, splotchy and certainly not made up. The light was harsh and he seemed a little squinty at times. Is that part of the program on a regular basis?
The interview concluded with Begala trying to get the interview off of them as a topic and back to how Stewart can make it oh, so funny. Asking him which candidate will give him more material.
Jon Stewart just put his ass out there, put his heart out there as one human being standing on the train tracks of big media to challenge the way things are being done, the mindset of the news. And they just wanted to know how he thinks up all those funny things.
Today’s smell is fresh books. (I wasn’t in the office today, so we’ll have to take a smell from home.)
Today my books came from my publisher!
I have two pieces in The Best Men’s Stage Monologues of 2004. Edited by D. L. Lepidus and published by Smith & Kraus. I’m quite honored, I’m in great company with David Rabe, Israel Horowitz, John Patrick Shanley, Anna Deavere Smith, David Lindsay-Abaire and Richard Dresser.
Unfortunately, the way it works with these anthologies I only get a flat fee instead of royalties. But I’m grateful for the exposure and the company. I’m looking forward to seeing them in bookstores, too! That’d be probably the coolest thing ever, to go into one of those big chains and be able to find myself in the stacks.
I just have one right now. The lovely beagle & springer spaniel mix/mutt named Beckett. She’s probably about 11 years old now.
2. How did you and your pet(s) find each other?
The Man and I specifically wanted a beagle mutt like I had when I was growing up, so we went to Long Beach to the Beagles & Buddies rescue league. She’s bigger than a regular lemon beagle, which I liked. She was horribly sick when we got her (distemper) and we certainly saved her life that day when we took her home. She never would have made it a whole week in the kennel being that sick.
2. Dog owners: What’s your favorite place to take your canine for a
Our driveway. It’s long and she loves to play fetch with handballs.
I consider Robin’s cat nearly ours, she’s inside/out. I believe she’s rethinking the outdoor thing based on the most recent coyote sightings. Of course I think Dorothy is pretty damn smart (she seems to spend a lot of time on top of cars) and can take care of herself.
4. Every pet owner needs access to a good veterinarian? Where do you go when
Gateway Animal Hospital on Los Feliz just south of San Fernando Blvd. We’ve been seeing Doctor Jimerson since we got her and figure he’s some sort of vet/god for saving her life.
5. During any extended stays away from home, do you get a friend to care for
Always a pet sitter. I’m afraid to give you recommendations because then you might take them away from me. As bloggers go, Will & Jay have sat with Beckett before. For emergencies we’ve relied heavily on our neighbors.
6. Had any close contact with some of L.A.‘s native wildlife?
She caught a mouse once. And there was that time she got skunked. And that other time she got skunked. We now know to not let her off leash, even in our own back yard, after dark. Of course the skunks don’t know that they’re not supposed to be in our back yard in the daylight.
7. Good or bad, what’s your most memorable childhood animal encounter?
When I was in the fourth grade my mother was taking me and my sister to ballet class. It was all the way in Akron (we lived in Munroe Falls). When we drove past the B&K Rootbeer Stand, I saw a grand male lion in a cage being towed behind a truck. I turned to my mother and told her there was a lion at the root beer stand and I hoped he’d be there on our way back so we could see him. My mother turned and looked back, but didn’t see him. Everyone made fun of me for the rest of the day. The next day in the Akron Beacon Journal there was a picture of a lion in a cage being pulled by a truck in the parking lot of a local store.
8. What’s the funniest and/or most frustrating thing your pet does?
She barks a lot. But most frustrating I think would have to be when she plays with her ball she really likes to chase it or push it under the couch and of course can’t get it out. She’ll obsess about it. You can try giving her another ball, a ball you think is identical, but she wants that ball.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Today’s smell is brought to you by the commissary and my nose.
Today’s smell is enchiladas.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
You ever wanna know what I look like? (Oh, readers three who have never met me in person.) There’s an interview up on NaNoWriMo.org with a teensy little photo down in the lower left. It’ll only be there today. You snooze, you lose.
For all those who haven’t heard yet, November is National Novel Writing Month.
During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.