Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sorry - is the question how did I get to be so awesome?

So I was trying to figure out whether you call Papa Murphy's in advance to order a pizza or just go pick it up there, right, and I was having a hard time working out which it was from the website, so I checked their FAQs, and it is definitely the funniest FAQs of all time. The questions are like: Your sausage is so delicious! Why? and Your mushrooms are so flavorful! How do you manage to create such delicious mushrooms? and Why is everything on your menu so insanely amazing when other pizza places have menu items that are not insanely amazing?

I swear. That's exactly what the FAQs are like. See?

Heeheehee. Oh, and you know what else awes me with its insane awesomeness? DOCTOR WHO, THAT IS WHAT. I'm watching an episode from the late sixties right now, and it contains a sweet Scottish guy called Jamie, and the actor's real name is Frazer, and he wears a kilt all over the place and is stirred and moved by the sound of bagpipes a-playing. I am in total love with Doctor Who and I want to marry it and have its babies. I feel a bit like - for those of you who have been clever enough to read Forever Rose - I feel like this, when she first reads The Once and Future King:

It was hours later when I put that book down again, and the drumming had stopped and the telephone was ringing and my brain had the sort of dazed feeling you get when you wake from a very vivid dream.

So that's what they were talking about, Saffy and Sarah, and Kiran and Molly and Miss Farley and Daddy and Indigo and Sarah's parents and even the Unlovable Mr. Spencer.


Well, that is just what I feel like watching Doctor Who. So that's what they were talking about, every British adult who has ever been interviewed in modern times. Doctor Who! It is brilliant! Of course they would all be madly in love with it because it is TOTALLY TOTALLY BRILLIANT. Sometimes there are alien cat doctors keeping poor humans prisoner; and sometimes there are Dalek robot-things that want to exterminate everybody; and sometimes there is Sir Lancelot and Madame de Pompadour and the Doctor and Rose have a bet on that Rose can get Queen Victoria to say "We are not amused". YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW WHAT THERE WILL BE.

This is not unlike discovering a new author that I totally adore who has written dozens of books. Like when I first discovered Diana Wynne Jones, only I wasn't old enough to appreciate what a rare and beautiful phenomenon it was. Or when I first decided to quit being a snob and read the Sandman, and there were all ten volumes of it left for me to read. Well, this is just like that. Only way vaster (not better, just more), because there are 751 episodes of Doctor Who in its glorious history, of which 108 are lost, so that's still 643 (is that right? I can't count) episodes for me to watch. Well, fewer than that because I've watched some now. But whatever. There are hundreds!

Which is to say that if I were going to do a Doctor Who FAQ, it would go like this. Why is the Scottish kilt guy so awesome? Why is Patrick Troughton so awesome? Why is Tom Baker so awesome? (Hello, Jelly Babies? Marry me, Britain!) Why are David Tennant and Billie Piper so ridiculously awesome? Why did something so amazing happen as that the Doctor flung a sword up in the air and said that a sword rearranged was words, and when the sword fell back down it was a dictionary? How did anyone think of such a brilliant thing? I want to be able to fling things up in the air and have them come down anagrams of themselves! I want to be able to fling - um - I don't know - flesh in the air, and have it come back down a shelf. That would be amazing. I do not like flesh and I do like bookshelves.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sure, this marriage is going to last

No, well, maybe it will. I'm just being mean because this makes me throw up.

Not all men were so disenchanted, though [with the film of Twilight]. At a midnight screening in Texarkana, Texas, last Thursday, a gentleman dropped to his knee with a ring as the credits rolled. To the delight of the screaming crowd, he asked his girlfriend if theirs might be as enduring and unconditional a love as the one shared by Edward and Bella.

I didn't make that up. I couldn't ever have made that up because it's way too awful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An update on Doctor Who

Sometimes it is pissingly terrifying, and I have to pause it, write a quick complainy blog post about how scary it is, and find out from Wikipedia what's going to happen with those terrifying little kid gas mask zombies that take over wirelesses and typewriters. P.S. It is very terrifying when a little kid gas mask zombies take over the typewriters. I really like typewriters. I don't want them to remind me of little kid gas mask zombies.

However, I do like the new American (suuuure) guy of dubious sexuality. I was worried he was going to turn out to be evil, but Wikipedia says not, so I hope he sticks around for a while. Not like that other guy I didn't like, who joined up on the TARDIS a couple of episodes ago, and then was gone almost immediately.

(I think it's nice when the Brits carry on being proud of the Blitz. Bless their hearts. Yes, Britain, that indeed was your finest hour.)

Edit later to add: The new American guy of dubious sexuality appears to be sticking around forever. I like him because I can depend on him to have his own spin-off show in a bit (hurrah!), and because he is always cheerful, and because he always has a gun. Seriously, the man always has a gun. Historically it's just been Rose and the Doctor relying on their wits to come up with something clever, and you know, that's not bad, they're both very smart, but now, see, now, it's Rose and the Doctor relying on their wits, and also - a gun! And if the Captain ever finds himself without a gun, he just fashions one, MacGyver-like, out of whatever happens to be nearby. It's brilliant. I'm glad Rose brings him back to life.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have suddenly become much more motivated

to watch all the episodes of Dr. Who with David Tennant that there are in the world right now. I am rather fond of Dr. Who. I have only seen a few episodes, but that's because I just haven't had the time to watch all the episodes of the BBC's most recent incarnation of the show. I really liked the episode with the angels where they keep flashing pictures of statues while David Tennant is going "Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back; don't look away; and don't blink" - that episode was well scary but I liked it a lot anyway. And I liked the one in which the Earth got destroyed and everybody was too busy quarreling to notice. It was very Auden-doing-Brueghel-esque.

Well, the reason I bring this up is that David Tennant's tenure (hee, that sounds funny) as the Tenth Doctor is coming to an end, and they're searching for a new doctor. And again, I wouldn't care that much about this - I didn't when I first heard about it - except that I read on Neil Gaiman's blog that they are considering Paterson Joseph to do it! Wonderful Paterson Joseph! I adore Paterson Joseph! I dote on Paterson Joseph! Paterson Joseph would be simply ideal!

The BBC miniseries of Neverwhere has many imperfections, as I will be the first to admit. Hunter is totally weird, and the footage of the Beast is totally silly. However, it also has many perfections (aha, see what I did there?), including Mr. Croup, who is just how I imagined him, and especially including, and here's the point, the Marquis de Carabas. Damn, the Marquis de Carabas was good. And that was Paterson Joseph. I liked him because he was exactly perfect in the part, and I also liked him because, as Neil Gaiman observed, he's not very tall, but he's really good at acting tall.

Anyway, he's the odds-on favorite to be the next Doctor Who. I would love that. I would watch Doctor Who every, every week, if Paterson Joseph were the new Doctor. I would become a mad Doctor Who fan - I've been meaning to do that anyway - and get all the old shows out of the library and see what all those British writers are talking about.

But of course now that I've brought it up like this, they will probably give the part to somebody else. Pooh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This guy I saw at Bongs & Noodles today

So I went to the book shop today to do some thinking about Christmas shopping, and I was curled up in the armchairs by the escalators reading a book I was thinking about getting for someone (only to be sure that it was worthy!). And I saw the totally most excellent thing ever. This old guy who looked just like the chess player guy that happens at the beginning of one of the Pixar movies (I think it was A Bug's Life) came up the escalator and sort of lunged himself onto the second floor, and then he hobbled away into the music section.

And I was sitting reading, so I only saw it out of the corner of my eye, but you know how sometimes you see or hear things and you're not paying that much attention, and then your mind plays back a little video/audio clip of what just happened, and you're all, Something's not right here, so you play it back for yourself a couple more times, and those times you're doing What's wrong with this picture. Well, I was doing that, watching people on the Bongs & Noodles escalators in my mind's eyes, and in my mind I was humming that Sesame Street song about One of these things is not like the other / One of these things just doesn't belong / Can you tell me which HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THAT OLD GUY CAME LUNGING UP THE DOWN ESCALATOR.

He did. I swear. I don't know how he managed it, because he looked totally feeble when he was walking around, but the man went UP THE DOWN ESCALATOR.

You just have no idea how happy that made me. I started laughing, and I tried to pretend it was at my book, but since my book was incredibly depressing and you could tell from the cover, I don't think I was fooling anyone. The old lady next to me was giving me a look of friendly concern, so I said, "Did you see that guy come up the wrong escalator? He came up the wrong one. And he's a grown-up." She said, "No, I didn't see that," and went back to reading her book pointedly. And seriously, nobody had noticed. There were people all around, and they were totally unphased by the fact that that old dude, the one now hobbling feebly around the music section? He came UP THE WRONG ESCALATOR.

It was just like 29 February, when I'm really excited because it has made my life happier, and everybody else is acting like it's totally normal. He was really old! And he came up the down escalator! Just like I used to get in trouble for doing at Bongs & Noodles, when I was much much much younger!

There was also this thirteen-year-old girl wandering around, and she came upstairs and said "WHERE ARE THE REST OF THE BOOKS?" and went downstairs again. In a huff. And I kind of felt it. I really hate it when I go to bookshops and there is another floor, and I'm thinking, oh, wondrous, I will go up there and there will be vast magnitudes of more books. But then I get up there and find far fewer books than I was anticipating. It's such a letdown. That's why that Waterstone's on Gower Street made me want to cry with happiness. It just went on and on and on. I loved it so, so much. Darling, darling Waterstone's on Gower Street. Why can't we be together? Why does the world keep us so far apart?

Also, I saw a guy with a baby carrying around a copy of New Moon, and the baby was cute so I was watching them, and when he caught me looking, he put New Moon in his other hand and turned it around so the cover was facing inwards and nobody could see it anymore.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The best thing about having a regular source of income?

The mad Christmas-gift buying that can occur! I made my crappy-ass week a lot better today by purchasing my very, very first Christmas gift of the season! And I know it's a little early, as my family's buying-stuff-for-yourself embargo has not yet gotten going, but I could not resist, and the gift was time-sensitive. Someone amongst my friends and loved ones is so lucky. They don't even know. The only bad thing was that I was planning not to tell anybody what I was getting for anybody this year, and I had to tell someone about this. There were reasons. Don't question.

But don't worry, everyone else I know! You will all have nice presents! I am planning and plotting and possibly scheming! CHRISTMAS IS AMAZING.

Monday, November 17, 2008

If you're ever feeling depressed

Watch the Colbert Report after the election. I realize that from now on, every single non-rerun episode of the Colbert Report is the Colbert Report after the election - and that is very lucky for you! Because it is very cheering! And not because Stephen Colbert is funny (although that helps) - he says that he could save the country billions of dollars in health care costs with his Walk It Off Program.

Anyway, that's not why. The reason is that Stephen Colbert is happy. His happiness is infectious! He perpetually looks like he's about to burst into joyous giggles. Know why? Because Obama got elected, that's why! And every time I watch the Colbert Report which is rarely because I am rarely up this late, but today I have just finished a draft of my story and I want to work on it more and more and more so that's why I watched the show today, and anyway every time I watch the Colbert Report, it makes me giggle too. Giggles are hovering so close to the surface every time Stephen Colbert speaks, and it makes me feel cheerful.

I mean, yes, okay, I wasn't depressed before. With the story-writing and Christmas approaching and the good election and everything. So the Colbert Report may not be a real cure for depression. I have no way of gauging right now. But if you're already feeling pretty cheerful, it can make you feel even cheerfuler!

Oh. You know what else can make you feel cheerfuler? This, which is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. When she says "hippopotamus" wrong - oh my God. Just watch it. So, so cute.

Why Thanksgiving is troublesome

In the first place, people are always saying you can't start singing Christmas carols until after Thanksgiving. Though this is obvious bullshit I have heard it many a time, even from people who like Christmas. See, but if Thanksgiving didn't exist, they would have to say can't sing Christmas carols until after Halloween, or at a stretch, until after Veterans' Day. That would be obviously better!

Thanksgiving is just a general placeholder for when Christmas things can't happen before. (A syntactically bewildering sentence there.) No Thanksgiving means no unpleasant deadline to which we would have to pay attention. Christmas festivities could begin whenever the hell we want, which they already do for me, but there are just so many people who feel bound by the not-before-Thanksgiving rule.

But I actually started writing this post for a reason that has nothing to do with Christmas, which is turkey commercials. When Thanksgiving gets close people start having these horrible turkey commercials with people doing lots of horrible things to raw turkeys. These commercials are uniformly so incredibly vile that they trigger my gag reflex, and I have to swallow frantically and turn the TV off. NO MORE RAW TURKEY COMMERCIALS. If I wanted to see that crap, I would watch the beginning of Pieces of April. UGH.

...I don't hate Thanksgiving really. It's always nice to get together with the family and eat lots of foods. Especially when there is dirty rice. I just wish people didn't get all hatey about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. I get excited about Christmas way before Thanksgiving shows up.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Emotional lability, for starters

I was driving today, as one does (unless one is tim and does not know how to drive because Jenny has not persistently enough pursued teaching one), and out of the corner of my eye I saw a bumper sticker in Democrat colors. Of course I automatically felt depressed, the way one does when one sees Kerry/Edwards 2004 or Gore/Lieberman 2000 (wow, that takes me back) stickers, which are just sad and awkward after the bumper sticker candidate has lost. But then I looked at it more closely, and it was Obama/Biden 2008, and it was like someone had injected me with liquid happiness. Imagine feeling happy about a political situation in the new millennium.

Then I got back to my office, and something reminded me of my cat, and I burst into tears. Well, not burst into tears. I didn’t sob or anything. I just got very choked up and shed several tears and had to pretend that my contact lenses were giving me trouble. Note: If I start crying in public, I nearly always pretend that my contact lenses are giving me trouble. I am excellent at this and you probably cannot tell the difference between when I am faking it and when my contact lenses are actually giving me trouble.

Today, speaking of contact lenses, I stabbed myself in the eye with the receiver of my desk phone. This hurts more than you might think.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I don't have long arms! I have broad shoulders! I AM NOT AN ORANGUTAN PERSON!

You just have no idea what a relief this is. I have spent a large part of my life being irritated by the way long-sleeve shirts are never long enough for my arms, and subsequently guilty that in spite of my apparently freakishly long arms I can still not touch my toes comfortably.

But that is all crap! I've been so terribly wrong! It isn't about my arms, it's about my shoulders. I have broad shoulders. I needn't have felt guilty at all in those terrible years of P.E. and particularly in yoga, because it's nothing to do with my arms. I just have broad shoulders!

I'm aware this isn't exactly an epiphany, because I have always known that I have broad shoulders. I've just never made the connection between them and the long-sleeve shirts issue, mainly because I try not to think about it. It's unfortunate, you know? I look adorable in long-sleeve shirts, when the sleeves are long enough. They're very slimming, and if the sleeves are long enough to go past my wrists, they make my fingers look long and elegant too. So I would like to be able to wear long-sleeve shirts, but they just end up being so trying, and the elbows stretch out and drive me crazy, and I have to shove them up when I get hot, which is often, and then the wrist part gets stretched out too.

Whatever. My arms aren't freaks. So there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fond Latin memories

I'm translating the Aeneid again, so I can get better at Latin once more. I need to find my old translation that I used to have - it wasn't a very good translation, and I spent a lot of time griping to myself about how much cooler a translation I could do if I felt like it, but it was handy to have around when I got stuck.

Latin is fun. It is lame that I have just spent three, almost four, years without translating any Latin whatsoever, considering how fun and relaxing it is to do Latin translations. When all along I could have been doing Latin translations to wind down after a stressful day, of which there have been many in the past three (almost four) years. When I have had my very nice purple Aeneid just waiting to be picked up and dusted off and re-translated.

My high school Latin teacher was one of the best teachers I ever had, ever. She knew everything about Latin and also about Greek and Greece and Rome. She had so much knowledge. She should get a shiny prize for being the best Latin teacher of all time. I would have stuck with Latin anyway because I really like it, but my Latin teacher made it way much more fun. Plus in junior year, there were only five of us in the AP Latin IV class, and James would sometimes make these amazing white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, and we would talk about strategies for escaping from marauding alligators, and we played Strike-a-Match like fiends. So that was fun.

That said, it is kind of liberating to be translating the Aeneid without my teacher. Because I can just depart from the literal translation if I like my way better. When I was doing the Aeneid on Sunday while driving with my family, I got to the bit where it talks about the saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram, the unforgetting wrath of savage Juno, and I remember doing this bit in Latin class, and I wanted to translate it as the savage unrelenting wrath of Juno, because that sounded cool to me, and my teacher said no. And even when I explained that it would be transferred epithet, a perfectly legitimate literary device used by Virgil on a number of occasions, she continued to not accept this as a translation. But you know what, you know what? I can translate it that way now! That's right! Nobody can stop me! I WILL TRANSFER WHATEVER EPITHETS THE HELL I WANT.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh my God this has been the best week ever

Seriously, this has been the best week ever. I will enumerate the ways in which this week has been amazing.

1. I got a new guitar book and some really nice pens. I know pens don’t sound that exciting, but these are very good pens. One is purple!

2. I got a bunch of new books out of the library. Wonderful wonderful books!

3. I remembered “You Can’t Hurry Love”. I have always liked that song but I have forgotten about it for several years. Now I can play (part of) it on my guitar. "You Can't Hurry Love!" How have I forgotten this song? Hooray!

4. I am getting better and better at reading Tarot cards. Pretty soon people will hire me for birthday parties. I read Tarot cards for half the wait staff at IHOP, and that was great, great, great fun.

5. I wrote a crap-ton of my story, which is getting very very close to being finished. (I mean, a draft. Since I have changed my mind about fifty million things during the time I was writing it, I have to go back and edit out some things and put in some clues and make changes, but having the draft this close to done is wonderful.)

6. I got to go to the Bama game. That is right. I went. To the Bama game. In the student section. We lost but it was a pretty fucking awesome experience. We played damn well (except for Jarrett Lee - not one of his better nights), and there was this one particularly superb play where Trindon Holliday (I love Trindon Holliday more than any other player because he is little and plucky) was running the ball, and he dodged two guys, and then two more of the Bama people ran at him from opposite sides, closing in tighter and tighter, and he flung himself up in the air and through the ever-closing gap between the two Bama guys and he hit the ground and kept on running and it was magnificent.

7. You saw number seven coming. Lucky number seven: Barack Obama got elected! He got elected, he got elected, I have lost track of how many times I have burst into tears watching the TV or listening to the radio, and I have definitely lost track of how often I have heard and said the words historic and inspirational. I have been scouting the stores for a frame that is good enough to frame my now even-more-amazing-than-it-was-before picture of Barack Obama (so far no luck). I feel actually hopeful about the country when I wake up in the morning. I have a great big girl-crush on the fabulous Michelle Obama, coolest First Lady of all time. America is not terrible after all! We are not a nasty biting puppy! We are better than we thought we were! And you know how much he won? He won so much that he could have lost New York and California and still won. If he had lost New York and California, those bastions of liberality, he would still have won! YAY FOR BARACK OBAMA.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lots of sniffles in my future

Every time someone mentions Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement in conjunction with Barack Obama's election, I tear up. Also when they mention Abraham Lincoln and slavery in conjunction with Barack Obama's election.

But hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray! I am so happy! Yay for America! Wonderful America! (Damn, don't know when the last time I said that was.) I themily wore purple today to celebrate.

Edit to add: I'm looking forward to watching the news today! I haven't looked forward to watching the news since, you know, ever. Hurrah!

Edit again to add: Well, except that time Cheney shot that guy in the face. But that wasn't the same as this.

Edit yet again to add: Farewell, Decider. We have not had a good eight years, and I disliked you before it was cool. I have journal entries from very early on in this millennium, to prove it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted!

...Yes, I still love to vote.

Plus, for once, my voting precinct had plenty of signs. For once they are not hiding from the voters. It made a nice change, not to have to fuss at them for failing in their civic duty.

Now with the suspense. I cannot take this suspense. I wish I could look up what's going to happen on Wikipedia like I do with everything else in the world.

I'm sad.

I'm sad because Barack Obama's grandmother died. Poor Barack Obama. He makes me sad about his grandmother because whenever I see pictures of him with her he looks so happy, and when he talks about her being sick he always sounds so so sad.

I read that Catullus poem I love and once memorized for Latin, where he missed his brother's funeral and has to go far, far, far to see the grave place. I like it a lot, and I remember a surprising lot of the Latin. I really, seriously have to get back into reading Latin. It's just that I already have so many activities to do in the evenings - cross-stitching, watching Gilmore Girls, doing Tarot card readings for my stories (this is great, great fun), reading my Tarot book, reading Harry Potter, reading all of Shakespeare's plays, practicing playing guitar, watching Gossip Girl which has taken One Tree Hill's place in my heart, covering books in contact paper - and it makes it hard to find the time to do still more things. But darling Catullus! And darling Virgil! And darling, darling Ovid! And, oh my God, Cicero! Dear, darling, wonderful Cicero, with his beautiful elegant sentence structure!

Okay, that's it. I'm buying some Latin books. I miss me some Cicero and Ovid and Catullus and Virgil. What's good about this is, I'm not taking Latin classes anymore, so I don't have to read any shit I don't want to read. There will be NO MORE Pliny for me, ever. NO CAESAR. And praise our God of Heaven and Earth, NO MORE LIVY EVER IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Vile, vile Livy. When I meet Livy in heaven I will give him the cut direct, and go straight over to hang out with complex-sentences Cicero and exciting-stories Ovid.