Archive for March, 2005

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I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

March 27, 2005

As it turns out, I’ll sleep when the movie’s on, instead.

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8 Hours North, Into the South

March 27, 2005

Last weekend, Brian Glass and I drove up to Harrisonburg, Virginia for a local gaming convention at James Madison University. This was my first chance to drive the Blue Ridge stretch of the Appalachians, and the first time that I’d really seen these older mountains as an adult. I still haven’t seen the South in the thick of spring or summer, but I’m looking forward to it even more now. One thing I really dig about “Back East” is how easy it is to drive through a couple of states and a whole bunch of history. This summer, I hope, will see us doing a lot of driving to the likes of Savannah, Charleston and even just back to D.C.

Strange thing, at least for me: After sitting in a north-bound car for something like eight hours, I got to hear the drawl out of people. (We don’t really hear that in Atlanta.) When I say “the drawl,” I mean on phrases like “I done bought.” So, I’m maybe further South than I really thought.

If you’re at all like me, though, you said, “James Madison was the fourth US President, right?” Then, after that, you said, “Uh… that’s all I got. I’m out.” Well, dear reader, he was from Orange County! (There’s one in Virginia.) James Madison actually was the husband of capitol sweetheart Dolley Madison (I thought about making a Dolley Madison joke, but figured I’d look like a dufus). He was also Jefferson’s Secretary of State and an author of the Constitution-defining Federalist essays. You know the War of 1812? That was him.

Madison wrote, in a note opened only after he’d died in 1836, “The advice nearest to my heart and deepest in my convictions is that the Union of the States be cherished and perpetuated.” Twenty-five years later, the Civil War began anyway.

How quickly we forget.

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Looking Around, Again

March 17, 2005

This week has not gone as I’d planned. My work schedule has been a disaster; I’m behind again. I missed the symposium today, including what must have been some great seminars by Will Wright (The Sims), just because I couldn’t breathe or talk without coughing. Now I’ve got to do 12 hours of work in 10 hours of Thursday before I drive to Virginia for a few days of convention-going fun I haven’t earned. Gah. (I’ll be running a Vampire story at this show, and it’s one I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s essentially Panic Room with vampires.)

In place of a lot of the work I should’ve been doing the last two days, I’ve been generating mucus and reading web sites about mental illness stuff. So now I’m one of those people. What bugs me is a) that I don’t know what I’m looking for when I look at all these mental health sites and b) I feel like I’m reading the same two paragraphs over and over again. That’s pretty lame. Whatever. When I get back from Virginia I’ll have lots of fun! stuff to read, instead of this quota-making, mental illness junk.

Digging through my saved links for something good, to make your visit worthwhile, I’ve chosen to whip out one of the very best sites on the internet, in my opinion. Seriously, if you like archaeology, history or anything about Egypt, this is about the best damn thing you’ve ever seen: The Theban Mapping Project I’ll blab about it later. For now, you should just go read its thorough and colorful articles and marvel at elaborate 3D maps of tombs from the Valley of the Kings — you know, where the pyramids aren’t.

Noise: The Decemberists, “The Tain”

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Gnarled Roots, Nice Pots

March 14, 2005

Here it is 6pm and I’m just now waking up. Also, again with the feeling like crap. I was up most of the night by the sensation of a balloon being inflated and deflated in my ear, over and over. Whatever. Tomorrow is my appointment with the doctor, and the good news is that the trip will still be worth the money, since my ear is now wavering between pain and not-pain with alarming frequency. So, with today mostly lost and my body-clock all backwards, it’ll be crazy trying to get this weird week on track.

The good news is that, despite not having anything of my own to share today as part of my new blog-a-day program, a good friend of mine has provided something for you to do in my place. Debz Nicol — film critic, Beloit alum, ass-kicker, tree-hugger, Texan-turned-Dixie and professional potter — has finally gotten her online store online. She generously and cleverly hand-crafted an assortment of really beautiful candle-pots for our wedding, and even constructed battery packs for the electric lights we stuck inside. Now you, too, can peruse and buy the pots she creates from her studio in South Carolina. She’s good people and they’re good pots, so if you’re the type who enjoys such things, please take a gander and see if you don’t find something you like.

That link again: Gnarled Root Pottery.com

Noise: Beck, “Ghost Range (E-Pro Remix by Homelife)”

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Looking Forward, Looking Back

March 14, 2005

Looking Forward: This week, I’ve got a game design-type symposium to attend, a nine-hour drive to Virginia for a convention, two books going off with much relief to various stages of editing and production, my eighth anniversary (which we’ll be using in place of our wedding anniversary, ’cause it’s a more Shakespearean date), my six-month wedding anniversary (added to beef up the list) and, fingers crossed, a doctor’s appointment.

Looking Back: If my memory is correct, this will be my first non-ER visit with a doctor in nine years. Since my last physical slash check-up, I’ve been into ERs for each of my hands. In college, I broke my left hand by punching a brick wall (though I claimed it had been shut in a door). In my coffeeshop years near the turn of the century, I experienced severe burns on my right hand from scalding coffee grounds (which stick to the skin, so when you try to wipe them away your boiled flesh wrinkles off like a wet washcloth). Good times. Tomorrow, I’ll hopefully get my hearing back and maybe find the answers to various other lingering medical questions that have come up in the last decade.

Noise: The Kills, “The Good Ones”

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Self-Importance, Redux

March 13, 2005

Thought of something else to throw onto the “Stuff I’ve Done That You Probably Haven’t” meme, since I came up a few items short. (Let’s ignore, for now, how pathetic it is to be drawing these meme out over what I imagine will be most of the spring.) The book I’m working on right now has me a bit nostalgic, which brought the following item to mind:

8. Performed Sam Shepard’s play True West in front of a paying (?) audience.

It’s worth noting, though, that I can’t really vouch for that link. It’s just the most informative out of the top twenty on Google. Looks pretty decent, anyway.

Commentary Update
With all due apologies to those of you who’ve been using the Haloscan comments, I’m now removing them in favor of Blogger’s native commenting features. Some comments will be lost, but Haloscan wasn’t hanging on to them forever anyway. Please notice that you no longer need a Blogger account to use these comments (but that a Blogger account is free and quick to get, all the same). Word? Word.

Noise: The Revels, “Comanche”

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Papers Found in an Electric Drawer

March 11, 2005

I just discovered the following images are still on the server from my old c.v. site in 2002. Strange to think, now, that I’ve been tinkering with this site for so long. I have got to get some meaningful shit done. In the meantime, here’s some embarrassingly juvenile art, which I share because I love punishment.