Thursday, July 29, 2004

Shaken, not stirred

Wow, I had a crazy experience today.  My mom threw on a concert dvd for a group called bond; they are a string quartet who play with a back-up band.  It was like watching the Spice Girls playing classical music.  These women dressed as provocatively as Britney Spears, sashayed and strutted like Madonna, and gyrated like the women at Mary's Club (8th and Burnside, Portland, OR).  Whew!  The sexy Asian cello player played her instrument standing up, and it looked just like a pole dance.  Only it sounded good.

Somethings are just too weird for words!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Author's Redemption

Thanks to a good friend's comment to the previous post of the day, I will push on deeper into the heart of blogdom! 

Needless to say, today's blog will be devoted to writer's block.

Writer's block is a monster that strikes the heart (or head) of everyone, no matter what they claim, and no matter what their business.   The block hits painters, surgeons and housewives alike, but writers have given the beast the most press.  And beast it is.  Nothing hurts worse than the pain of words that do not come when you summon them, or that won't allow you to pin them to the page.  Nothing makes you feel more like a failure, empty, shallow, mentally deficient.  It's the ultimate blow to the ego.  In fact, I postulate that it's the ego that fertilizes the seeds of writer's block. 

Ego spawns most of the monsters afflicting writers.  Inconsistent voice--oh, that's a story killer, born from the writer's inability to negate her own presence.  Wishy-washy characters--a deadly phenomenon hatched from the writer's lack of commitment to her creations.  Inappropriate pacing--a vicious story-sucking leech, hatching from the author's failure to face difficult situations.  All of these come from fear, self-consciousness and laziness:  the ego's children.  When the ego takes control of a writer, her words are picked off like virgins at a dragon convention.

To write--to truly write, to capture a message and pin it viciously to the page, giving it no mercy until it has fully surrendered its meaning--a writer must set aside her ego.  Self-consciousness must be annhilated.  Only then will she find the strength to push aside her blocks and errors to create real art.

But how to do that?  How does a writer inculcate a fighting spirit, incredible courage and the moral authority necessary to really make a good piece of literature?  Easy--the same way a soldier does.  Go to boot camp:  keep writing and find somebody to really kick your ass until you are as tough as nails and mean as a snake.

If anybody out there is listening, I'm looking for a drill sergeant of the writing business.  Somebody who will make me do pencil pushups till my fingers bleed.  Drop me a line!

Blog depression

Man, I read my friend Erin's blog and get all depressed.  My blog is just so ... lame.  I've gotten one comment so far, and and I just know that there's nobody out there reading this stuff.  Maybe I will just delete it.

Feedback anyone?

Thursday, July 22, 2004

In the Minority

Wow, I just saw "Minority Report" last night (I know, I know, I am so far behind the times!) and I've got to say, it blew my pants off.  Talk about an awesome movie!  I really had a hard time believing it was Spielberg or Tom Cruise.  I don't usually like either of them, but this film was great.  It did play up the action a little too much for a fairly cerebral concept, but for Hollywood, not bad.

Anyway, check out pkd for more about the cool man behind the movie.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Goggling saves the day

I am so happy!  For a while now, I have been struggling to figure out the difference between the two varieties of  "dandelion"around here.  Everyone I've talked to swears the skinny-stemmed, stinking monsters invading our lawns is dandelion, but it bears little resemblance to the fat-stalked plant of my childhood.  Of course Google saved the day!  Turns out the fat-stalked plant is truly dandelion, but the pernicious weed in our yard is lesser hawkbit, a sort of relative.

What did we do before we had the Internet in our living rooms?  How did anyone settle these kinds of debates?  How did anybody know what anything was?

Thank goodness we're online!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Hot in the citahh!

Okay, it is weirdly warm here on the Oregon coast, and I'm going around sleeveless.  I can't quite decide if I should shave my armpits.  I mean, they don't look too bad, but I'm starting to feel like a hippy.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

had a fun night last night in ash valley, out at grandma treetoad's place.  it was wonderful--we got to catch up with some old friends.  best of all, though, was just spending time in her yard.  the whole set-up is like the oregon country fair, full of earthy, hippie magic.  it was really neat.
fiona loooved the geese!
it all just reinforced my dreams/plans to live in a little space on the fringe of society with a lot of plants and animals, a la tasha tudor

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Just wanted to say that garage sales in tiny rural areas ROCK.  I found an entire box of 1970's era patterns for $2!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Worse news

First of all, on the gay rights front, one of my stupid senators is supporting this amendment, the idiotic Mormon *%#$&!. I used to like Gordon Smith, but if he votes for this, I swear I will never vote for him again! Grr!

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you think it's bad news that gay people are losing one of their rights, wait until all of us lose one of the fundamental rights we have: the right to vote. That's right, folks--according to the radio news yesterday (dunno the actual source, but I think it's the AP), Homeland Security has announced that due to the danger of terrorist attacks, they are prepared to shut down the November elections. That's just in case of emergency, mind you, not a given, but the fact they're even *THINKING* about this steams my brains. I suppose they're really just trying to scare people away from voting. If that Bush bastard gets to stay in office four more years because of this evil scheme, I will be the first to move to Canada!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Amendment considered

I've been thinking about Bush's little homophobic amendment, and while it's pathetic, it's also a pretty keen piece of work. See, Bush doesn't care if this thing goes anywhere--and trust me, he expects it won't. Big Dick, the most powerful man in America, has a lesbian daughter, and he quietly squashes a lot of anti-gay material. So Bush isn't really trying to ammend the constitution here.

What he is trying to do is lead Kerry out. Kerry is screwed no matter what he says about this thing. If he agrees with it, he just totally cut off a good chunk of his voting base. If he disagrees with it, the moderate Republicans who happen to be religious nut-jobs and/or homophobes are going to burn him. And he can't get elected without getting those moderates to support him.

Bush also gets the sweeeeet bonus of rallying the conservative Right around him--they are the people who get hard-ons over anti-gay legislation, and now they will LOVE Bush a lot, and not think about their lost Enron pension funds. This is crucial. After all, unlike the radical left, these people vote.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Good morning, America, I love ya!

Wow, I feel super-cool! Someone has linked to my blog--admittedly, it's my friend Erin, but it's still cool.

Okay, so you know you're too dialed into current events when you're looking at the carton of half and half, and instead of 'homogenized,' you read 'homosexual.' Yes, the Prez has me bummed out. Nobody I know can get married, not if he has his way. And while I don't even *believe* in marriage, lots of people do, and they should get to tie the knot if that's what fills their heart with joy, damn it all! So anyway, it looks like I'm going to be making some phone calls this Monday. Sigh. Why can't the fucking government just take its nose out of our business?

Or for that matter, our library records?

Anyway, the book project took a bit of a nose dive after we went to see Fahrenheit 9/11. My brain is way too wrapped up in politics to concentrate on my novel. Of course, it doesn't help that I keep doing awesome stuff like having barbecues and going to the Oregon Country Fair! Now that was righteous! The energy, the passion, the fun, the naked people! Hooray!

THere was a kid at the fair singing about how he dreamed of a better country, one that was pretty much like the Oregon Country Fair, all the time. He was sitting on a bicycle-powered stage, singing his heart out with his friends, surrounded by a lot of people in cool hats. Now that's an America I can really get behind!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Library days

I was just thinking about how cool it was when I was a kid and the bookmobile came out every 2 weeks. The whole town came together in the 3 hours it was there. Everybody mobbed the van, pouring over the newest novels and magazines. We got out of school to go in. I remember spending hours pouring over books there, checking out hundreds of books to get me through the long interim period.

It's always amazing to me, the amount of books they fit into such a small space. The shelves were full to the brink, books lashed in place to make it around the corners of twisty rural roads. Somehow, there were always enough books to satisfy all of us and still leave some on the shelves.

Someday I'm going to write a story about that magical bookmobile. Because I believe they did use magic to fit the whole world in that little bus. I know they brought it to me.

Friday, July 02, 2004

911 degrees and climbing

We drove into Eugene yesterday and saw Fahrenheit 9/11. We waited outside for about an hour to make sure we got tickets--the Bijou has been selling out a lot. Most of the stuff in the movie is in his book, "Dude, Where's my country," which I'm reading now, but it was still a good movie.

A lot people say Moore is just preaching to the choir with this film, but I think that's actually a good thing. His target audience is made up of the kind of people who don't vote, who need to be seriously stirred up and empowered. If any of those folks are motivated by the movie to even go to Moore's webpage or read his books, they're going to feel empowered, and they're going to vote, and they will make a difference in this election. I think Mike is doing something important here.