29 April 2004

and by bad I mean bad

wow. I just watched the most horrifyingly awful movie ever. Every last bit of it. yum yum yum.

Having finished my last jobbie, and sent it packing to its home in New York City (Park Avenue South, no less!) I resolved to spend the day eating pizza, drinking red wine, and watching crappy tv. Imagine my delight! when I found! The Three Musketeers! on Encore!

Oh, how shall I begin to chronicle how awful this movie was...

Was it the forgotten model playing the role of an actress pretending to act?

Was it the hilarious anachronistic details?

Or perhaps the fabulous delivery of one-liners delivered by Porthos, the once-pirate turned-King's-defender?

Of course, Chris O'Donnell's bland presence was enjoyed by all, as was Tim Curry's always welcome eye rolling, and terrifically expository evilness.

But yes, I think the prize has to go to...

the obligatory Bryan Adams/Sting (yes! a duet! of blandness!!) "theme" song, "All For Love" !!!

oooooohh, such juicy, tasty awfulness... my day is complete.

27 April 2004

more gray than not

The fog hasn't lifted yet. I say that with subdued glee, of course -- glee, because I love the fog, and it is a major reason why I love living here; and subdued because, of course, everything is subdued in fog. Everything is slow, and deliberate, and haunting. My neighbor, walking his dog, seems more fraught with meaning when I peer through fog to watch him do it. The fact that the opposite shore of the lake across the street is concealed from my view seems guilelessly metaphorical. And the recent bloom of forsythia in the back yard is a bright shout of color against the heavy, listless gray.

I lived seven years in Syracuse, New York, a town shot through with gothic grimness, and a town that, historically, experiences fewer sunny days than Seattle. A friend of mine, who, incidentally, still lives there, once made the comment that he loved those densely overcast days in Syracuse, when you felt like you could "reach out and grab a fistful of gloom."

Me too, Tom, me too.

I wish I owned a great sweeping trenchcoat, so I could stride slowly down the street, portentiously.

21 April 2004

bang quote

If you happened to stroll past my kitchen door over the last couple of days, you would have heard a strange thing. Not strange like call the cops, or strange like call the plumber, or even strange like let's crash the party. (I wish.)

It's more like strange I wonder what the hell this chick is doing. And then you would remember that I have a proofreading job this week (the historic romance novel is over, I've moved onto an 18th-century sea yarn, of a classic nature, the title of which you could probably guess, but you know, discretion being the better part blah blah blah...)

...and, continuing to think in this odd, run-on, stream-of-conciousness way (which is, I suppose, a fine way to think, but a pretty sophomoric way to write, if you ask me, unless you're James Joyce, which you're not, so shut it) you think Ah, she's reading aloud into a microphone, vocalising and recording every point of punctuation as she goes. She will then check the recording against the proofs.

It's kind of fun.

And also kind of funny.

quote ah comma ah comma quote says he quote well comma sir comma I can see you're a gentleman apostrophe subbing for t comma and I says you're a fine one semicolon quote

and yes, it did give me a headache after about four hours. (dot)

and I wonder how warped this practice is going to make me in my general reading ! (bang)

I'm guessing pretty warped comma at least for a while comma until I finish the job and get a grip dot

I'll stop now.

(I'm already having restless dreams at night of typos swimming before my eyes, which is probably no different than when I first started cooking professionally about ten years ago, and dreamed I was being chased by thinly sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. The tomatoes collapsed after a few steps, being so thinly cut and full of seeds and air, but the cucumbers stayed alarmingly intact and fought me quite fiercely.)

No really, I'll stop.

19 April 2004

Joan Cusack's cheekbones

I watched School of Rock the other night, under heavy sedation, so I remember little of the actual plot and action. I remember the gal who sang like Aretha, and Jack Black generally being a good, but tamped-down version of himself. It was a good time.

But what really sticks in my head is Joan Cusack (and believe me, it's not the first time...)

I love her. I think she's a scream. And I've mentioned before that I refuse to believe that her brother is anything less than Lloyd Dobbler and Rob Gordon combined (hey, sue me). But I was a little disturbed by how skinny and angular she looked. It fit the character, and looked good, but...

No, now is NOT when I go into some tirade about body image and the responsibility of cool actresses to fight the dominant paradigm. I guess I just miss the little double chin she had in Working Girl, when she told Melanie Griffith, "I may dance around my apartment in my underwear, but that don't make me Madonna."

Am I wrong?

down a peg

So, as far as I can tell, this working from home thing is pretty much all it's cracked up to be. I've now finished one whole job (editing a romance novel), and have barely left the house in five days. Of course, I've made my regular pilgrimages to the post office and the grocery store (buying sudafed figured prominently in my goals of late, but I am happily over that unpleasantness now) and I've taken a long walk every other day or so.

But I have mostly stayed home, reading a trashy romance novel. In excruciatingly exquisite detail. Ya know how, when you're reading for fun, you can kind of skim over the silly, overly expository, tedious bits? Natch, you can't skim over anything when editing... which really isn't so bad.

I'll admit that I've become a bit of a lazy reader in the last decade or so. I've gotten so complacent in my voraciousness that I now realize I skim over a lot of narrative. This lucrative little exercise has helped me to realize that a more careful reading can brighten any text.


Let's just say, I enjoyed reading this historical/fantasy/romance/bodice-ripper a hell of a lot more than I expected to. Part of that, I suppose, is simple gratitude for having such a great way of earning money. But a fair bit of it is truly derived from being forced to read something that I would normally sneer at, and finding joy in it in unexpected ways.

Just thought I'd share.

15 April 2004

when it rains...

Whoa! Hey! I got another job! (These are short-term, freelance jobbies, mind.) Now I'm gonna have to, like, budget my time, and eh, make deadline! Oh, my poor, long-unemployed head spins...

Better order some Thai food.

14 April 2004



I got a job

I got a job

I got a job


(film at 11)

13 April 2004

In praise of the organ grinder's monkey

So here's what I love. I spend all day today fact-checking this enormous document -- a huge list of media contacts, right? All the local and state newspapers, radio stations, and tv stations. And, naturally, I ask to speak with the person that is already listed as the contact person, figuring they'll know the most about, um, themselves. And fer cryin' out loud, do I get attitude? Why yes, I get piles and piles of attitude!

Here I am, trying to make sure that, should something newsworthy happen to, on, or around the rather large organization I'm doing this research for, the news will get to the news distributor, promptly and efficiently. And they're all like, ***SIGH*** I GUESS I have a minute to tell you that you have our fax number correct (which, 19 times out of 20, I DID).

I mean really, folks, these are the people in PUBLIC RELATIONS. One woman even refused to give me her last name (she was the contact person). Another found my phone call to be "highly irregular, " and asked to speak to my supervisor. Most thought I was sneakily trying to ask them for money.

So I stopped asking for the "contact people." I started to gather that the person answering the phone was generally a secretary or an intern, knew the information I needed, and was genuinely thrilled to be allowed to display their competence. These charming folks were far more pleasant, accessible, and *forthcoming* than anyone else.

So there you have it.

Moral of the story: Go Straight to the Bottom.

12 April 2004

a face made for radio

Ah, such goings on...

Saturday was the big housewarming party for WOMR's new home in fabulous Provincetown. the day was centered around a huge auction -- lots of fine art that got sold for great, big, steaming piles of money, provincetown memorabilia, WOMR memorabilia, and reams and reams of gift certificates for local goods and services, like shooting pool for a couple of hours with Sebastian Junger.

Matt and I mingled, hogged the raw bar to ourselves for a while, sipped wine, shmoozed with folks who had previously only been known to us as disembodied voices on the radio (and in some cases, should stay that way...), and bid on meager little items that we could maybe afford... Matt ended up with a T shirt for $10, I got a WOMR apron for $10.

Then we went out to dinner with my brother the vampire, and made all nice-nice with the snooty gay waiters. In a month or two they'll snub us haughtily, but this early in the season, they needed our tips. Vampire-brother (VB) embarrassed the daylights out of me by wearing a plastic bib when he ate his lobster, but I got over it.

Then, after saying goodbye to VB, we ended our evening at a local dive bar where you can actually play pool (pool tables are incredibly scarce on Cape Cod -- and are even outlawed by town bylaws in one town. There we made friends with a young couple that clearly enjoyed each other's charms, and who graciously bought us a round of drinks when our money had run out. We exchanged cards, gabbed about the horror of kitchen work on Cape Cod in the summer, and flirted shamelessly. I think I even winked at one of them on the way out the door. (I know, the horror. winking = shameless hussy. when I think of some of the behaviors I used to catalogue under "harmless flirting"... hoo boy. shudder.)

Then, after the long drive home, we stayed up a little longer, but ultimately crashed out in front of the TV. Matt had been fighting a cold all week, so I naturally picked it up in full force upon waking on Sunday morning, and had to bail on my less-than-enthusiastic promise to my mother to go to church on easter. I really felt like hell, and it really wasn't a hangover. I don't recall ever having blocked sinuses and a sandpaper-sore throat because of red wine followed by a couple of beers.

So I didn't write my new resume yesterday, and I am writing this now to convince myself that I can manage to type it out today. (although I just had to go back and correct about 13 typos in that last sentence alone, so this might not be the right time.) I feel even worse today, and just want to curl up in front of lousy television with a couple of bottles of diet ginger ale and my cats.

Fortunately, I work from home.

worker me: huddo? boss?

boss me: oh my gosh, worker me! you sound awful!

worker me: yeah, I feel awful. Do you think you can, um, get along without me today?

boss me: of course, of course. you just rest, and drink lots of fluids. You'll have plenty of time to finish that big, honkingly complex document tomorrow.

worker me: um...

boss me: and anyway, we don't want you calling people and fact-checking anything when you can't make a sound without making people wonder if you really can't catch a cold through the phone.

worker me: um... ok. thanks?

boss me: now go take some more sudafed. I think the History channel has something on about the history of sharp pointy things though the ages.

05 April 2004

words words words

These last few days have been filled with grossness and bad icky feelings way deep down, mostly of a nature directly attributable to being female and potentially fecund. I won't apologize because God. It's not like it's my fault.

But after copious amounts of red wine and peanut m&ms (the only sure cure I know of, short of herbaceous inhalants, which aren't really my thing), I am on the mend. During that period of time, I also had to complete a copyediting test for a Major Publishing House, which was actually a welcome distraction. I do love thumbing through dictionaries. the things you find! In the space of three hours, I came across a Truth Table, Quine, stubbornness, the two small North Atlantic Islands known as Saint-Pierre and Miquellon, the questionable difference between egoism and egotism, and oh! oh! samovar! samovar! will I ever tire of saying samovar!

Right now I'm listening to our favorite community radio station, which is playing Bob Dylan song after Bob Dylan song, and I just keep wishing it were John Prine song after John Prine song. I could Own My Own Auditory Life, put on my own damn Prine cds, or even call the very friendly dj and make a few pointed requests, but you know. how it is. when you just want to be vaguely grumpy. and dissatisfied. and also ungrammatical. with all of your sentence fragments. already.

And aren't dictionaries great for how they bring the shyest words and phrases out of obscurity, to the bright lights of the top of the page, simply as an accident of fate -- entirely dependent on where the page-break happens, how long each preceding entry happens to be, our seemingly arbitrary custom of pages of a uniform 11-inch length...all of this random eventuality gives us page headings that include phallus and phenacaine, Tamil and tankard,feudality and fibromylagia, arborist and arenavirus. This last, I regret to report, is not a communicable disease made prevalent by live performances of 80's hair bands. dammitalltohell.

02 April 2004



Now, class, as we all know, I went to the Bowie concert in Boston the other day.

I have a few things to say about that.

Namely, this:

1. Polyphonic Spree (I have to get this out of the way, in deference to my lala friend, Acker-Acker-Heart-Attacker) is a bunch of crazy dopey hippies who need a serious wardrobe transfusion, and quite possibly a beat-down. No, reverse that. Definitely a beat-down. Yes, they're fun. yes, they're smiley. Now, go straight to Hell. (i liked how every song was one long extended rock star hook. believe me. and the sign language of 'one, two, fist, heart, whatever...' was also nice. at least, the 13-year-olds behind me seemed to dig it.)

2. Bowie.


a. I had Terribly Awesome Seats. Center, 8th row, because I'm a whore for Bowie.net. So, I spent most of the evening feeling blissed-out by the "I-can-almost-touch-him" aspect of it all.
b. Good God. Are you allowed to be so happy?
c. What the Christ is up with his belt? i love Bowie, but the leather penis has got to go.
d. Five Years.
e. Quicksand.
f. every other terrific song.

Ok, I'm done with the list. here's the thing: I don't quite know how to say
that Bowie was amazingly wonderful, he made the venue seem small and intimate, I've never laughed so much at a rock show, and he made me feel ok with being a total geek.

Other Observations:

I was surprised by the lack of freakers -- yeah, there were some nicely gothed-out kids, and a few Roadies-From-The-Eighties-complete-with-frosted-mullets, but otherwise it was a pretty tame crowd. Which was fine with me, except for the chick sitting next to me who spilled my beer during the FIRST song in the Bowie set, and who then wanted ME to apologize for ruining her stupid shoes. (they were keds. Isn't "ruined keds" an oxymoron?)

The video-screen behind the band was used to great effect, especially in "I'm Afraid of Americans". Love. It.

Gail Ann Dorsey can be my Freddy Mercury any day. Wow.

I loved the stripped-down feel of the whole show, from the lighting, to the lack of props, to the casual attitude of the folks onstage.

And Ben, you should know that i spent every possible second on the T, in the venue, on every escalator, looking for your lovable mug. goddamn you. damn you to hell. where the hell were you?

and, Um. holy Crap.

Bowie Rocks.