Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dear Charlie:

On this last day of a sweltering, mind-numbingly hot July, I really just want to add two links to my repertoire.

The first? Mwahahah! I've dragged another friend kicking and screaming into the blogosphere!

I introduce you to Pesh's blog -- Nikra Wood. She only has a couple of posts so far, but run on over and give her a read...and a reason to keep posting. *grins* One of these days, she's gonna be all published and you can say you know her when, ne?

The second? Lots of fun!

It's BG's Anonyblog -- a brilliant scheme to allow people to anonymously post things they'd never post in their own blogs. With the news reporting that people are losing their jobs and writers getting rejected because of blog faux pas, this is a safe place to rant or gripe or whine or simply to say that thing you're dying to say about that relative/boss/family reunion/[insert other annoying person or situation here] that you've been biting your tongue about forever.

Go forth and blog, all ye minions of the blogosphere. Be fruitful and update your links lists.

And for God's sake, try to keep cool!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Dear Charlie:

So Dave, Pesh, Edy and I all went bowling last night. We've been talking about going bowling since...oh...February. Heh. Just now got around to it.

I'm glad we went. It was LOTS of fun. I started to re-earn my nickname by starting out with two gutterballs in a row, but then I started getting a little better. I even broke 100 once! Woo-hoo!

But I'm still terrible. Heh.

Anyway, I hadn't been bowling in a good six or seven years, so it was fun to revisit. Plus, some old friends from college showed up...and I didn't recognize one at first...which made me feel like shit because it's just wrong for me not to at least recognize a face, ne? But anyway....

*sheepish*

Dave is one of those GOOD bowlers who knows what he's doing. He scored like 130+ on average. Edy is pretty good when he gets down to it. He got two Turkeys on the night -- that's when you get three strikes in a row, in case that's not a universal thing. Heh.

Me and Pesh? Heh, we're two peas in a pod. We have flashes of brilliance -- she'd get strikes like no one's business and I started picking up spares like I actually knew what I was doing -- but we're basically social bowlers and nothing more.

Woo-hoo!

Can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Heh, we got a downpour. Just like someone popped a water balloon, except it lasted longer.

And I -- like the child I suppose I mentally am -- went outside to run around in it. *grins* It was lots of fun. It was raining hard enough that I was soaked through before I even got to the back yard.

Which is where I realized that I was wearing a white t-shirt.

*facepalms*

Good grief. Needless to say, my intended long jaunt in the rain turned into a quick walk back to the front door. I just did a once-around the house, where I'd planned to be out for a while.

*sheepish blush*

Luckily, all the neighbors were inside. Good grief.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bizarro Sidebar, Take 2:

I'm sure BG will get a HUMONGOUS kick outta this....


uni
You are Form 3, Unicorn: The Innocent.

"And The Unicorn knew she wasn't meant to go into the Dark Wood. Disregarding the advice given to her by the spirits, Unicorn went inside and bled silver blood. For her misdeed, the world knew evil."

Some examples of the Unicorn Form are Eve (Christian) and Pandora (Greek). The Unicorn is associated with the concept of innocence, the number 3, and the element of water. Her sign is the twilight sun.

As a member of Form 3, you are a curious individual. You are drawn to new things and become fascinated with ideas you've never come in contact with before. Some people may say you are too nosey, but it's only because you like getting to the bottom of things and solving them. Unicorns are the best friends to have because they are inquisitive.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


I'm not sure what's funnier: that it's a unicorn or that it's so darn true!

Bizarro Sidebar:

Does anyone else find this...weird?

Putting to Flight

I don't really know what to say....

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Dear Charlie:

I have now nicknamed my dial-up internet connection "Lucille". As in:

Ya picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille....

*snorts*

Damn thing drops me at the worst possible times! Like, oh...just when I hit the "send" button on e-mail or the "publish post" button here or...you know...anytime I friggin need it!

But on a brighter note, thanks to Pesh and Edy, Dave and I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night. It was WONDERFUL.

Now, I'm a big fan of the first movie. I love Gene Wilder, and I adored the childish fun of his Chocolate Factory, combined with the very real dangers of over-indulgence and spoilage.

But this....

You gotta hand it to Tim Burton. He has such incredible vision. Even if you hate a movie he puts out (which I never have), you have to admire his sets, his characters, his taste for the bizarre. I mean, if nothing else, Charlie's house was...so telltale.

Here, in this city where the buildings are Victorian straight (with Burton's panache, of course), you have this tiny, rickety hovel that's slanted so desperately to the left. It looks as if the cold winter wind has just blown on it so hard and so long that it's ready to give up the fight and just stay that way. No...now it looks as if it's fighting not to fall over.

And that's just it. Charlie's family is fighting not to fall over. It's perfect.

That's just Burton's touch, though. He takes everyday things and makes them his own.

The Factory is treated much the same. At one point, one of the children asks, "Why are so many things in here so pointless??" Without missing a beat, Charlie whispers, "Because it's candy. It doesn't have to have a point."

And over his shoulder, Willy Wonka smiles.

Ah, there's another little gem -- Willy Wonka himself. Johnny Depp may be the most talented (and understated) actor of his time. He gleefully throws himself into every part he's given. Sure, he's ageless and looks the same as when he popped on the scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street a few decades ago. Sure it's very obviously Johnny Depp in each part, as he has such a distinctive look.

But each character is so very different, so very distinct. Each character is miles away from the one before it. Edward Scissorhands, Hunter S. Thompson, Cap'n Jack Sparrow, the guy in Secret Window, Ichabod Crane...Willy Wonka.

He inhabits Willy and makes him his own. And the resulting character is so wickedly offbeat, so delightfully evil-goodnatured....

Heh, once in a while, you surprise an expression on his face that makes you wonder if he didn't plan for such bizarre things to happen and if he maybe didn't have a much worse fate in mind for his foolish guests. I love it.

Plus, there's more story to this one. Usually, this falls on its face. Sometimes, things don't need to be explained, don't need to have a reason. Like candy, some things don't need a point.

But in this case, the extra story is just...perfect. It's good stuff to know, and it enriches the movie. It makes it more than a story about a boy who's fallen since birth, only to land on his feet seemingly by chance. It makes it a universal story about people, about life itself -- both the good and the bad...and how the bad can make some good and how good people sometimes get far more than their share of bad.

Oh, yeah. It's good for kids, too. Heh.

OH! I nearly forgot! The Oompa-loompas!! God, the Oompa-loompas! They're GREAT! They're worth watching the movie, just for them!

*falls over laughing*

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Dear Charlie:

I know I'm not one of Your favorites. I know I'm even not welcome in Your House. But I could use a little attention. Please.

It's a good prayer, isn't it?

Yes, I bought Constantine the day it came out. Yes, I know they'll put out a "special edition" with tons of features in a few months, as this one doesn't even have commentary except on the deleted scenes.

And yes, I still adore this movie.

Part of it is irreverant, yes...but the message -- dark and sarcastic as it may be -- is pure. And I don't care what anyone says.

Keanu Reeves is perfect in this part.

It's not "Neo goes to church". John Constantine is anything but the savior of humanity. He'd far rather save himself. Heh.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Another Monday, another slue of applications. Oi.

On a much brighter note, I went by the Post Office today and mailed off a submission for a short story anthology this morning! Woo-hoo! This submitting thing is getting WAY easier!

The anthology is called Thou Shalt Not, and it's open until July 31, if anyone else is interested. It's a collection of dark crime and horror stories that deal with the 10 Commandments. How cool is that? My story was puked from my brain immediately upon reading that description. Heh. If I'd read down a little further to which Commandments still needed stories, I might have tried a different one.

But, I cranked out a 2500-word doozie about worshipping a false god. Sis, wanna read it? Heh, I had Pesh read over it to make sure I didn't make any stupid, obvious mistakes (I printed page four like 6 times because of stupid typos because I don't ever use smart quotes and the editor requires them, heh), but other than that, no one's read it. I kinda wanted it gone before I could stress about it, ne?

Heh.

But anyway, this anthology pays 5¢ per word [6¢ if you manage a flash fiction of 1k or less] for fics under 4k. And it's a PRINT anthology! Nothing against e-publishing at all, but I'd love to have something published that I can hold in my hands without having to print it from my own computer, ne? *big grin*

So, can I get some crossed fingers?

Oh, and the funny part? I came across that anthology while looking for a place to send a story I wrote a long time back for another anthology that went belly-up. *facepalms* I still have to look for that one.

AND I sent the wonderful editor at Xodtica two short stories -- one for the website and one for the July issue. I hope she accepts them! I know I sent the one for the website a long time back, but the editor's been having some e-mail and computer troubles, so she asked me to send it again.

And what prompted this gigantic submission spree? I honestly can't say. I just had some stories floating around on my computer, dying to get out. I guess I just finally had time to do something with them. And the TSN story just popped out of my head in a single evening, and I had it packaged up to mail the next day. Of course, that day was Saturday, and by the time I quit printing out page 4, it was already too late to run it to the post office. Oi.

Anyway...so I'm hoping for some good news from any of them! And now...back to that archive page to find some place to send the story I actually went there to place. Heh.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Funny Sidebar:

Heh, I'm watching The Tonight Show -- and those of you who know me know that I don't watch TV often and watch talk shows even less frequently [except Late Night with Conan O'Brien...I love him!] -- because I wanted to see Johnny Depp talk about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I have adored that movie since I was a kid, and I honestly can't wait to see what the delightfully devious and catastrophically creative Tim Burton did with it.

Heh.

Anyway, Mr. Depp was witty as hell, and then Eva Mendez came on. *grins* I like her just fine -- she was great in Out of Time with Denzel Washington and in Hitch with my own adored Will Smith [who reminds me of my brother back when he was cool] -- so I kept watching. And just as her time's about up, she suddenly gets real serious and says she'll go home and Google these sports guys to which she'll be presenting awards tonight. And I quote:

"I love Googling!"

Heh. Let's just see what she comes up with when she Googles herself tonight. *laughs* As if my humble little blog is SO high on the Google list! Ha!

God love ya, Ms. Mendez!

*grins*

Anyway, I had a GREAT writing day today! I overcame a major sticking point -- you notice I don't call it a block -- and cranked out three pages in maybe two hours. Heh, not my BEST writing record ever, but hey. It's pretty damn good for having stared at the same two paragraphs for a good four days before that.

And it's stuff I'll keep, which is even better. Woo-hoo!

However, I gotta hit the sack. I'm crossing my fingers for a call from either Edy's boss or from Penmac tomorrow, and I wanna be able to drag my sorry ass out of bed when that phone rings. *grins* Plus, I already have ideas spinning in my head for the next scene.

I really, really don't want to quit for the evening, but I gotta-gotta SLEEP.

*grins*

Damn! Just as Conan's coming on! Heheh....

Dear Charlie:

That made me feel really good about myself.

I just went by Penmac to apply for that job Edy's trying to help me get. I filled out all the forms and such -- Penmac is a temp agency, and a pretty professional one compared to the other agency I visited when I first quit the law firm -- and just turned them in a moment ago and talked to the employment counselor lady.

First, they really liked my handwriting. I mean really. The lady called over the two other ladies in the office to exclaim over it. "It's looks like it's printed off! It's so neat!"

Heh, it's a little thing, but....

Anyway, then she was impressed with my work history and all the neat little Xs I'd made on the skills list sheet. Heh. I have to admit that there were more on there than I expected. Some whole sections were X-ed. Didn't know I knew that much stuff.

Then...she was impressed with that damn typing score. *rolls eyes* "You don't see that very often." One of the other ladies, eyes wide: "I've never seen it."

Then, there was kind of an informal interview of sorts -- talking about jobs and people and what I wanted to do and such. Just being personable and laying down the rules of the place and what to expect -- both what they expect from me and what I can expect from them. I told her that I'd applied there because the job I wanted went through their company, and she told me to wait while she called them immediately. And I quote:

"Hi, this is Linda over at Penmac. I have a very nice lady here who says you guys have or will shortly have an office job opening. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Well, she has a friend who works there who says I need to talk to Scott. Uh-huh. Yeah, she says it may not be advertised yet, but she wanted to get a bid in for it early. Mm-hmm. Uh-huh. Oh, well, she's very qualified."

You know, with the last, stifling year or two at my old job and with the last three months of trying almost every day to find a job and having at least ten jobs fall through [some at the last moment]...I kinda forgot that I'm good at stuff. I forgot that I was excellent at my old job, that I worked well there, despite the conditions. I forget that I'm personable and imminently employable. I forget that I'm smart and willing to work hard and that I can do both with a smile that just seems to make people happy.

The employment lady sure did start smiling a lot more once she looked at my resume and talked to me for a while.

It made me feel good that this lady had no doubt that I was immediately employable. It made me feel good that she just kinda smiled up at me when she said that "very qualified" part -- emphasis on the very. Hell, it even made me feel good that the whole office coo-ed over my handwriting.

I...forget that I'm not useless. Today was a good day, and it's not even lunchtime yet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Still no word from the hospital. However, I've heard from others that it can take like 3 weeks to hear back from them. Geez. Mind you, most of those "others" found other jobs in the meantime. I wonder if that's the hospital's way of weeding out the uncommitted?

At any rate, I'm still applying and sending off that résumé. I try not to put all my eggs into one basket. Plus, Edy [Pesh's husband] said he'd put my name in for an office job where he works. He just started, so he was understandably kinda hesitant to plug either me or Dave, but their office girl is quitting, and here I am just ready and willing to work! So....*crosses fingers*

Heh, Patton Oswald [sp?] cracks me up. I'm watching an old half-hour comedy short he did a loooong time back. Dave taped it off back when we were still in college, I think. It's hilarious. It's killin' me.

On the writing front, I haven't done much on my trilogy over the past week -- other ideas reared their ugly heads, and I tinkered with an old fantasy novel I've promised myself would be a fun "sophomore effort" if I ever get a freshman effort published. I think it'll be a great way to defeat the Curse of the Second Book, since it's amusing and good and exciting and -- best of all -- already at least half-written. Heh.

Of course, that's TOTALLY getting ahead of myself. Especially if I don't work on the trilogy, let alone climb the insurmountable mountain of getting it published.

*snickers*

Anyway, I did fix a point of view thing -- I had a character's POV after I'd initially wanted it, so I went back and put it where it belonged, heh -- and moved the story further along, which is good, but other than that, I really haven't worked on it.

...

Actually, I guess I have worked on it. I mean, that was like 5 pages, single-spaced. That's around 10 pages, more or less, of manuscript. Sure, I can usually do that much and more in a day and that's been over the course of a week and a half, but it's progress! Why am I beating myself up for not working on it??

*shakes head*

I'm a nut. I'm sure I didn't actually have to tell anyone that. Heh.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sidebar, Take Two:

Well, the relaxing vacation post will be put off another day. It hardly seems right to talk about how great a weekend I had with terrorists bombing our excellent allies overseas.

To my British friends -- and thank God you're all okay and that I was able to check on you all today -- we won't leave you alone to face this travesty. You supported us when we needed you most and have stood beside us in our fight against just this type of terrorism. You will be avenged.

I only hope we can catch these assholes quickly so you guys can extract your just vengeance.

Until then, I and everyone I know will be praying for you all. Love you!

Sidebar:

I'll blog about my wonderfully fun and relaxing vacation tomorrow. Tonight, I'm on a mission.

See, I just found out yesterday that Hank Stram -- a name any Chiefs fan and almost any football fan will recognize -- died on the Fourth. At first, I was devastated. I felt as gut-punched as when I found out that Reggie White had died.

Then, I considered. It's a terrible loss to football, of course, but the man had been a legend in his own time. That's so rare. He lived a full, long life. He died a good man, even after all the fame.

That's once-in-a-lifetime rare.

So, in tribute, I found a few sites to commemorate the legendary Hank Stram.

This one has both a quote from the man himself that just makes me smile -- "I've lived a charmed life. I married the only girl I ever loved and did the only job I ever loved." -- and several fond quotes from Len Dawson. Beautiful stuff.

This one has memorable quotes about Mr. Stram from notables around the league and from the people who knew him best. Some of them nearly made me leak.

This one is just good will and loving memory. Good stuff.

And this one...well...this is the one I read first and the one I keep returning to. A fitting tribute from the Chiefs to the man who started it all.

God love you, Mr. Stram, and may the angels who smiled upon you and cheered your good fortune in life escort you safely home to eternity.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Still no word from the hospital. *chews lip* I seriously told myself not to get my hopes up this time, as I'm kinda tired of promised jobs falling through at the last minute. However, I did get my hopes up.

I hope said hopes weren't misplaced. Luckily, I never put all my eggs in one basket, and I sent off 2 résumés the very day I received the first call to set up the interview. Maybe one of them will pan out, too/instead. *shrugs*

So, it's 4th of July weekend. I love the 4th of July. I absolutely adore things that blow up.

Heh.

I usually go to my best friend Kristi's house for this holiday weekend. We usually have filet mignon that I get at the local butcher shop -- and oh, my GOD, are they GOOD -- and set off fireworks both days and all that good stuff, heat or no heat. Unfortunately, since I'm still not employed, I really can't afford to go down there.

I hate to tell her that, though. She's such a sweetheart that she'd offer to pay for gas. I love her to death, and I'd almost take her up on it just to see her and keep the tradition, but she has TWINS, and I refuse to batten on her and Sean's good nature when they already have so much responsibility.

So, I'm hitching a ride with Pesh and Edy to Pesh's family cabin on the river. Dunno which one. I've been there once before for a nice day out in the boonies right after I quit the law firm, and it's lovely down there. She's been trying to talk me into going to their 4th of July gathering literally for months.

Now, I normally hate to impinge on other people's family holiday stuff. However, I've already met a lot of her family, and they, too, asked Dave and I to go. It was her mom that really clinched it, though. She just said, "You're coming."

How can we argue with that?

So, we're packing up and headed to the river tomorrow for some fireworks and food and fun. Good enough.

I'll go see Kristi as soon as I have guaranteed income to replace the ridiculously expensive gas in my tank. *sighs* Love you, Kristi, and I'll see you soon! I promise!

And thanks, Pesh, for giving us a place to blow stuff up this weekend that ISN'T across the street from a cop!

Heh.