Monday, November 30, 2009

Well, that was kind of pointless

So, um, congratulations if you did well at National Novel Writing Month. I didn't. I didn't find it motivating at all after the first couple of days. Not only that, but whenever I felt like writing something else, I'd think, "I better work on my NaNoWriMo instead," but I wouldn't work on that either, so I'd end up writing nothing at all. OTOH, I did think about my story a little more, I wrote a little, and I came up with a couple of good ideas, so I guess there is that.

Anyway, I suspect I'm not alone, because when I googled "nanowrimo fail," it came up with 833,000 hits. lol. Or, sigh.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans and resident aliens!

Happy Thursday, everyone else!

Thursday haiku: whatever

indifferent, i
would say 'whatever' if i
cared enough to talk

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The best (?) anti - gay rights quote ever

From Utah state senator Chris Buttars:

"I meet with the gays here and there and they were in my house two weeks ago. I don't mind gays, but I don't want them stuffing it in my throat all the time and especially in my kid's face," said Buttars.


Thursday haiku: stone

her tears wet my face
like rain on cold stone, falling,
leaving only stone

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (11/16/2009)

All exclamation marks edition!

You realize, of course, that this means war!

Not many people can make depression funny, but Eric Snider can!

Britain's burgeoning ex-Islamist movement!

Why gay marriage, getting high, and going to Cuba will soon be legal!

What I love about YouTube

I like YouTube because it has fun videos on it. I enjoy "Charlie the Unicorn bit my finger" or whatever as much as the next person. But that's not why I love YouTube.

I love it because you can read a book that describes a life-changing moment -- watching Patti Smith play "Land" and, especially, cover Hendrix's "Hey Joe" on The Old Grey Whistle Test, a performance that

was brilliant. It was soul stirring, it was magical, it was everything that you ever hoped you'd witness, every time you paid your money and went to see another new group. Chills down the spine, goose pimples on the arm, tears in your eyes. Fuck whatever was on the show tonight, fuck whatever local nonsense the music papers were hyping this week, and fuck the modern literary world's aversion to hyperbolic cliche. Because this was it. This was the future.

You can read that, and then you can find that performance and watch it. You can read something like this:

There had to be some kind of alternative to living in the same run-down housing as your parents grew up in, to working the same dismal job as your grandfather worked, and to eating the same flavorless food every dull, featureless day. But when you turned on the radio, what did you get? The same music you'd been hearing every day for years without end....

Then you heard Patti Smith and you knew there was some alternative, there was some relief. Listening to her was like watching palaces fall and old documents burn, cities collapsing in great clouds of rubble, and an entire way of life being put to the sword. But it was not murder, it was a mercy killing, and, once the dust had settled, they would be rebuilt and replaced, by something new, by something that we created, the youth of the day, the kids on the street.... "Hey Joe" was the demolition crew. We were the builders who would move in once it was finished.

And then you can watch it:

Until YouTube, until 2005, just four years ago, that was impossible. You'd read the book and you'd think, "I wonder what it was like?" and that would be the end of it. But no more. Thanks to YouTube. That's what I love about it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (11/12/2009)

The Fast Times at Ridgemont High class has its 30-year reunion. (I went to elementary school with the two guys in the photo.)

Why health care reform is constitutional (and a technical version). h/t: Ezra Klein

On misguided nostalgia for Bush's style over substance

A moving account of what it's like to be gay and Mormon. And an excommunicant. And married to another man. And to still believe in the church.

Thursday haiku: pure sunshine

there is sunshine in
my soul today. hate, like pure
sunshine, in my soul.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (11/11/2009)

Do businesses hate their employees? Yes.

Marine reservist beats Greek Orthodox priest with tire iron because he thinks he's a terrorist. The beard and caftan will do it every time.

how to write badly well: Learn about syllepsis, then refuse to stop employing it

Atheist bus ads and billboards: a compilation

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (11/8/2009)

Reasons to be cheerful, despite Prop 8 and Question 1: support for same-sex marriage has declined since 2003 - 2004 in only one state (Utah -- go figure). More importantly, age is the strongest correlate for supporting same-sex marriage or not. The younger a person is, the more likely s/he is to support same-sex marriage. In the 18 - 29 age bracket, over 50 percent support gay marriage in all but 12 states. More states have 60+ percent support than have under-50 percent support. Barring some sort of unforeseen ginormous backlash, it's only a matter of time until this demographic replaces older anti - marriage equality elders in sufficient numbers to legalize same-sex marriage. (Of course, that won't help the people who've already been waiting for decades. But still.)

A very interesting article about the nature of the swine flu and flu in general

I like girls who play rough, but there's such a thing as taking it too far

A bigot is just a bigot, not necessarily an awful human being.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Jon Stewart on the conspiracy against Glenn Beck's internal organs

I have a hard time understanding how anybody can take one of these guys seriously. (And I don't mean the one on the comedy channel.)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

(h/t: Tom the Dancing Bug)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (11/2/2009)

The surprising beauty of portraits on gravestones.

A beautiful, sad, memoir about male and female Mormon missionaries in Taiwan. (h/t: Letters from a broad).

I can totally relate to this post by John Elder Robison. I absolutely cannot do the "smile on command" thing either (or figure out the proper spacing from other people). That's why I use this picture as my "official" one. That's not my best smile, but it's definitely my best someone's-taking-my-picture-so-I-must-smile smile. It's the best smile I can produce in that situation.

And, appropriately enough, I suppose, Christopher Walken performs Lady Gaga's "Poker Face"

Sunday, November 01, 2009

First sentence

Here's the first sentence for my NaNoWriMo novel:

In a hole in a ceiling there lived a Ninja.

Only 49,990 words to go. (w00t?)