A geeky girl living in the big city, making her way, the only way she knows how... no wait, that's The Dukes of Hazzard. Who am I again? Oh yeah, a pop culture obsessed writer, publishing person, and occasional nerd. And I'm getting married. I talk about that, too.

Monday, July 31, 2006


Happy little milestone here, from the "I joined a cult" file. Weighing in today at what I think will be my regular meeting (after trying three other times and locations, and 2 other leaders), I lost 11.8 pounds. Woot!

Totally makes skipping the brownies, cheese & crackers, bagels, and chips all weekend worth it. And tonight, to celebrate, I'm going grocery shopping and getting some more fruit and yummy dinner stuff.

One more time: woot!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Catching up quickly

After a rough, sleep-deprived start to the week, I rallied, enjoyed three lovely lunches with editors and friends, played some CoX, watched some tv (including Eureka, which featured this preview of Battlestar's third season, had geekfest last night, and am heading down this afternoon to the Shore.

I also had some tremendously exciting almost-news yesterday, but I don't want to talk about it here in case I jinx it. More soon! (And file that under a HtDaS update.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Muggle's Guide to the World of Harry Potter

Via Bookslut, I was directed to this fascinating disertation on the world of Harry Potter, as written by Pierre Cavanaugh, a guy who never read the books or watched the films, but is pretty good at figuring things out. My favorite part:
Harry Potter's world is filled with goblins and gremlins and elves and dwarves and hobbits and leprechauns and other magical creatures that keep midget actors and makeup artists employed. Sure, they are all short, sprightly, and have pointy ears, but there are vast differences between the various mini-species: goblins, for example, are good, while gremlins are evil. Elves are gay. Dwarves are only useful as an ingredient in super-spicy wizard chili. Actually, all these diminutive creatures are pretty much the same. They all taste good! A popular wizard dish is Shrimpy Halfling Jambalaya. Just take any combination of leprechauns, goblins, elves, whatever, and throw them into a big cauldron. Add some mustard and whatever smoky potions are kept in test tubes and garnish with parsley. Voila! -- a delicious, nutritious meal. Serves six.
Mmmm... Jambalaya!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The invites are in the mail

Just sent out evites to the big annual family shore party, so if by any chance I mentioned this to you, you got all excited about coming, enjoying some music by The Bad Dogs, and being all beach-y, and then didn't get the evite, drop me a line. It wasn't an intentional snub, just a brain fart.

It's in New Jersey on August 12th -- bear that in mind, and your own locations and travel plans when considering a response. I will hear none of your hoity-toity "But I didn't get an invitation!" cries if you live halfway across the country and haven't already told me you'll be in town then.

Monday, July 24, 2006

There once was a horse named Nantucket

Rode me into a tree, I couldn't duck it.
My sunglasses were cracked
Nearly had a heart attack

And there really is no last line to that limerick that isn't dirty. Anyway, yay! Pretty ponies! My back and bum and legs are still a little sore from what amounted to a good 8 hours or so on horseback, over the course of two days this weekend, but it was a load of fun. The whole weekend, in fact, not just the camping/riding.

Friday afternoon we drove up to Estes Park and had dinner in a great Italian restaurant next to a stream, listening to a really good female guitarist play sad songs. Awesome rendition of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," and speaking of cases (I wish!), I had a really nice Honey Wheat beer from the Estes Park Brewery. Though tempted by the fun to be had at the nearby Ride-A-Kart, we settled for some homemade ice cream -- I had lemon sorbet -- and went back to our very 1950s hotel for a dip in the pool.

Saturday, we met our guide and camp manager for our overnight horseback riding adventure, and set off into the mountains! While I didn't have to remember any long-ago English riding lessons to stay on Nantucket, some of the ups and downs of the hills, on rocky slopes, were quite the adventure. I like to think I aquitted myself well. Ok, well enough. Only shrieked once or twice, during the aforementioned "rode me into a tree" adventure, but I stayed on, and Nantucket and I had a meeting of the minds.

Did I say "minds"? I meant "heads". We had a meeting of our heads.

Dinner Saturday night was steak and potatoes and beans and glass after glass of lemonade, before we got back on our rides and headed over the ridge again to our camp, and a delicious cooler of cervezas provided by the thoughtful Brett. ("Oh, you mean BEVERAGES!") Sat drinking with him and Lauren, our wranger, as the sun set and the sky filled with stars. And I do mean FILLED. The Milky Way was spread across the sky above us. You almost didn't have to raise your gaze to see the heavens. Really, truly beautiful. And humbling.

Looking up at a sky of millions of lights, there's no doubt in my mind that somewhere, someone was looking back. Hard to be egotistical under a Colorado night sky.

Sunday, after a fitful sleep on a deflated air mattress, we packed up camp, gave out bags to Brett to take back to the ranch, and rode down to breakfast. Mmmmmm, breakfast. Scrambled eggs and pancakes to die for -- all neatly tallied for Weight Watchers points, but oh-so-worth it. Another short ride back down to the stables, and we bid our ponies goodbye, and headed home to Denver (and CoX's double XP weekend). I flew back to NY late last night and got in at oh-six-hundred (oh-my-god it's early), and after a brief nap, manged a productive day at work. I know, it's a shocker.

Anyway, a good time. If you're ever up in the Estes Park vicinity, I certainly recommend Sombrero Ranches. With rides ranging from an hour to overnight, there's something for everyone (and now I sound like a cliche). Even, if horseback riding's not your thing, beach houses in Mexico. Go! Enjoy! I know I did.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The ever-popular "leaving on a jet plane"

But first... A "HtDaS" update!!

Spoke to my Secret Agent this afternoon, and the two editors from the first round of submissions who are still considering the proposal are sharing it with colleagues to get further reactions. Which is a good sign, but nothing to bank on. The responses to date have been wonderfully supportive, even the rejections, and there hasn't been one consistent response that leads us to think about revising the proposal before the next round. Will probably take a look at it again anyway, though. One of the comments was about wanting to see more of my "normalcy" before diving into the "abnormal" world of MMORPG (I'm totally paraphrasing, those were not the terms used), so I may see about finding a way to ease into the gaming world more slowly, or play up my alt-"Sex and the City" lifestyle pre-CoH. Until then, to keep my spirits up, this reaction from one reader:
Ms. Daniels has quite an entertaining read here! I really enjoyed reading about her romantic travails - she tells her story with humor, wit and panache.
I have panache! Oh yeah -- suck on THAT!

Anyway, as I said, I'm heading out of town tonight so long as Tropical Storm Beryl doesn't delay things (fingers crossed!), and except for a few photo posts when I can get phone service in the mountains, I expect to be incommunicado. When I get back, I promise the full story: "I may be a 33-year-old professional woman, but at heart I'm just a tween girl who loves ponies. Ponies!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My sister warns me

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British secretary working in Paris who says she was fired because her Paris employer objected to her Weblog has provoked an old and New Media storm.

Unmarried mother Catherine Sanderson -- "La Petite Anglaise" to 3,000 regular readers of her Internet diary -- is launching legal action in France, claiming unfair dismissal against accountancy firm Dixon Wilson, British media reports say.

The "old fashioned" firm was never named in her blog. Sanderson, 33, also remained anonymous -- except for her photograph on her Web site.

Now Sanderson claims to have been "dooced" -- the New Media term for getting fired for what you write in a blog after a Web designer lost her job for writing about her job and colleagues on her site, Dooce.com.
Read the full story on CNN, and enjoy the fact that her company probably never had as much bad publicity and/or notoriety until they fired their anonymous blogger.

Oh, that Robbie Burns!

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley.
So true. So very true.

I am sitting at home, hours after I had planned to be at work, STILL waiting for the workmen who were going to start demolition on my bathroom today in order to remove the lovely urine-soaked drywall caused by Crazy Dog Lady upstairs. On Monday, I was told they would start today -- this morning -- and be done in two days. Tell me, oh math whizzes and home repair specialists: when a problem is scheduled to be solved in two days, does that involved the actual "two days" from when it is due to be started, thus taking into account the ridunkulously long delays to actually begin the project, or is it a more ephemeral "two days," suggesting that, yes, it could be finished in such short order, but instead, will drag on endlessly until we actually decide to do some work? Is the calculation based on the actual length of time the project will require, or how many days I will wait until they actually begin?

In any case, after tomorrow I am putting the Keelster on the case, as I'm heading out Thursday night to Denver again, and "stepping off the grid," as they say. Weekend plans include mountains and horseback riding and hot tubs and camping, with a 90% chance of lack of cell phone coverage, and at least two days without email. My hope is that I will come home to a shiny new bathroom -- or there will be hell to pay.

To quote another great poet, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." (Which is not, I was surprised to find out, a Shakespeare quote. Huh. I would have bet money it was.)

TV Time!

Via ***Dave, the latest fun meme that's sweeping the blogosphere! Bold any of the following tv series (serieses?) of which you've seen at least three full episodes.

7th Heaven
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Arrested Development
Battlestar Galactica
Beverly Hills 90210
Boy Meets World
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Bug Juice
Chappelle's Show
Charlie's Angels
Commander in Chief
Cowboy Bebop
CSI: Miami
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Danny Phantom
Dawson's Creek
Dead Like Me
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Desperate Housewives
Doctor Who
Family Guy
Father Ted
Fawlty Towers
Get Smart
Gilligan's Island
Gilmore Girls
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Grey's Anatomy
Hannah Montana
Happy Days
Hogan's Heroes
Home Improvement
Homicide: Life on the Street
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Invader Zim
Little House on the Prairie
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Lost in Space
Love, American Style
Malcolm in the Middle
Married... With Children
Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission: Impossible
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
One Tree Hill
Perry Mason
Power Rangers
Prison Break
Rescue Me
Saved by the Bell
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Sex and the City
Six Feet Under
So Weird
South Park
Spongebob Squarepants
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Teen Titans
That 70's Show
That's So Raven
The 4400
The Addams Family
The Andy Griffith Show
The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Brady Bunch
The Cosby Show
The Daily Show
The Dead Zone
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Honeymooners
The Jetsons
The Love Boat
The Munsters
The O.C.
The Office
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Three's Company
Twin Peaks
Veronica Mars
Whose Line is it Anyway?
Will and Grace

Your turn! (Although, for the record, I'm not sure if this is supposed to show we watch too much TV, or not enough.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I want!

Popwatch has more on the story. So just tell me -- when do I get to have one in my hot little hands?

Get yer culture here!

So, I was reading a bookseller news letter today which talked about how certain sites lure their readers back daily with frequent updates, and one of the non-book-related sites he cited (no pun intended) was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Apparently, every day they feature a new piece from their collection. Today's featured work of art is a steel saber, inlaid with gold, from the Ottoman Empire. See?Pretty. I'm going to add the Met to my side bar of interesting links to check often.

And speaking of my sidebar, I did a little more housecleaning, and moved my favorite authors' blogs to a special section. I still intend to check up on them just as often, and hope you will too, even though they're not on the blogroll. But, you know? They deserve a special place.

And finally, speaking of authors, sad news: Mickey Spillane died yesterday. Renowned as the creator of Mike Hammer, who may be the protypical hardboiled detective, Spillane also apparently spent time in the 1940s writing for Batman, and had a wholly interesting life. Go read about it, and then pick up a book. Try this one, with an introduction by Max Allan Collins.

Monday, July 17, 2006


So, I was home this morning, waiting for the contractor (who will, in fact, tear down my urine-soaked bathroom walls and put up new dry wall), and I caught the landing of the Space Shuttle. Which, in a spirit of understatement, was cool. Sure, it kinda looks just like a plane when it's landing, but the history of our space program -- well, the recent history, at least -- is such that I was watching, on edge, worried that something would go wrong at the last moment, and thus genuinely relieved when everything went well. I remember watching the Challenger explode as a child, and the more recent Columbia (I think?) disaster, and I feel we've all just seen so many movies where the payoff of a tense landing, with all eyes watching, isn't usually a safe and happy one. So I was glad that this time, we didn't need a Hollywood ending. If that makes sense.

So, yeah. Go NASA! I mean, after all, it's 2006. Weren't we supposed to have colonized the moon, or at least gone back there by now?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Stay-at-home Sunday

With nothing on tap for today, and still feeling sick, I lazed the day away: slept in, made some soup, played some CoH, took a nap, etc. Nothing much to write home about -- except for the fact tha I am writing about it. Ah well.

Tried to read some of a manuscript for work, but was very unimpressed. That may PARTLY be because of how I'm feeling, but mostly I think it was just boring. I considered doing laundry, but decided instead to drop it off tomorrow morning. There's not much, anyway, and the way I was feeling the idea of a couple trips to the landromat, half a block away, felt exhausting.

And that's all. Hopefully tomorrow will either be more exciting, or I won't bother blogging about it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Still sick

Well, I'm still sick. Entirely snuffly and sleepy, and I wanted to pluck my eyeball out and dip it in cold water (although I made do with just taking out my contacts). On the plus side, I went to a Weight Watchers meeting this morning with the lovely Alisha, and was weighed as having lost 4.8 pounds. Since Tuesday! Now, I'm not entirely sure some of that wasn't clothing weight, but in any case -- go me! To celebrate, I walked home from the meeting across the park and hit the grocery store, buying some more hopefully-low-in-points food to make -- low cal Caesar salad in a bag, diet soda, a whole chicken to cook tomorrow to have all week, and treated myself to a box of 1-point Weight Watchers popsicles.

Also watched "Princess Mononoke" on DVD, with a mid-movie break for a nap, and then Keeley and I went out tonight with both Ali and Matt, for conversation that ranged from kids' books, roleplaying games, Project Runway, various scars and aliments, and superheroes. Good times.

Now, I think I'm just about ready to curl back up in my still-unmade bed, and go back to sleep. Here's hoping I feel better tomorrow. Or Monday. Soon.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The sniffles

The only thing worse than a cold in the winter is a cold in the summer. And I've got the sniffles. (I literally had to pause to sneeze and blow my nose after I wrote that.) Anyways, after luckily only a half day at the office, I came home, napped, had a little lunch and some fruit -- I'm still being good! -- and vegged out. The whole exercise thing WILL happen, but I want to be healthy first. Although, on that subject, I spoke to my fab friend C., who teaches yoga, and we're trying to arrange a small calss, which I can use with regular classes at NYSC. So -- are any of my NYC readers interested in semi-private yoga classes at a very reasonable rate? Let me know!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

One more post for the day

Via Boulder Dude, the unaired pilot episode of Buffy.

The color's weirdly off, and as most diehard fans know, it's got the wrong Willow, but it's a fun look at the intermediary step between film version and the genius that became the BtVS we know and love.

I think I'm going to need that boat

Was supposed to go see the NY Philharmonic in Central Park tonight, but the rain is coming down in buckets, and our building keeps getting rocked by thunderous rumblings (not, I presume, unlike the one that occurred two days ago a mere 6 blocks away during a ridiculously misguiding suicide attempt). I tell ya -- someone call Noah and start pairing up.

The fun of it all, of course, is that I am still going out tonight. Having moved our mind-expanding cultural picnic in the park to a much-more-like-me Irish bar downtown, I'm looking forward to an evening commute that resembles a triathlon: hurdling puddles at every street corner, dodging clueless umbrella-wielders on a shared sidewalk, and sodden subway surfing. Oh joy!

Got fleurs?

I do, including this cute lil fella. In my favorite little Charles Rennie Mackintosh bud vase. Someday I will add a Mackintosh chair to my possessions. Someday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pirate party!

Tonight, after work, the Keelster and I set sail (not really) on the Frying Pan for the aforementioned Ham-stravaganza celebrating the paperback publication of the first two books in Gideon Defoe's The Pirates! series. there was grog, and comely wenches, and scurvy dogs, and pirate entertainment.

And there was having a couple of beers on the deck of a gently rocking ship as the sun sank to the West, over New Jersey, which also didn't suck.

Today, I joined a cult.

Don't send the deprogrammers yet. It's a good cult. After thinking about it for a while, and recognizing that I need a bit of a hand, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting today. Now, I'm not saying that the leader was a little David Koresh-like, but I will be investigating other meeting locations as well, in case she's my only option at the place near me.

Of course, diet stuff goes hand-in-hand with getting back to the gym, and I LOVE a training buddy, so, any of my NY-based readers -- let me know if you want to hit the gym together! I know I can do the treadmills and the elipticals and the bikes by myself, and I love their Xpress line feature, but I'm hoping to try some classes as well, and those are ALWAYS more fun with friends.

Finally, I have to recognize my tendency to just sit and veg, whether that's with a book, in front of the tv, or on the computer, so I'll be trying to be better about treating those things (well, ok, not really reading, since that's part of my job) as a reward for a workout, for instance. Go to the gym for an hour, and I can allow myself to sign onto CoH. Walk home from work, and I can watch some tv. And I have to email my fabu friend Courtney, who teaches yoga, and see if I can get in on some of that.

So, yes. Cult. And this has nothing to do with the horribly apropos post on Doyce's blog today. I swear.


Daily Candy loves Try. Of course they do. It's fab. Lily's great, too.

I have more to say

But for now, this article on James Marsden being fantastic as the guy who doesn't get the girl in "Superman Returns," continuing on from his role as the guy who doesn't get the girl in the "X-Men" movies. I hadn't realized one of the reasons Cyclops was written off in X3 was because Marsden took the role in Superman Returns.

Anyway, it's interesting.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

My shopping idol, Becky Bloomwood

In her stunning memoir, "Shopaholic Takes Manhattan," Becky discovered an exciting new thing on which to spend money. I quote
I suppose I have been buying quite a bit of luggage recently. But the thing is, for ages I didn't have any, just one battered old canvas bag. Then, a few months ago I had an incredible revelation in the middle of Harrods, a bit like Saint Paul on the road to Mandalay. Luggage. And since then, I've been making up for all the lean years.
So yes, today, after thinking about finally getting my own rolling bag for a while, and lusting heavily after a very expensive bag in a chichi luggage store on Park Avenue, I was up in Westchester at my mom's, hit Kohl's in a search for some picture frames, and fell absolutely in love with a luggage set. It's purple. It was on sale. And it's by a company that makes shoes. I love it. I am now ready to be a true jetsetter.

Luckily, I have quite a few trips coming up. The only down side is, now that I have this nice new beautiful luggage, I have to make sure all my stuff fits in it when i travel. I mean, it's going to be MORE than fine for long weekends, even if I take a week somewhere. But when I go to Europe again on business this fall, and then take a week's vacation? Hmmm... maybe I should go back and get the bigger wheelie bag, too.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Argh! Pirates!!

Today is Pirate Friday. You may not have known this if, perhaps, you were living under a rock for the last few weeks and/or months, coccooned in granite-y goodness from any entertainment news or advertisements (say it like the Brits do "adVERTisments," it's more fun). But it is! Argh! Avast, yee scurvy dogs! So, you're wondering how to celebrate such wonderment as Pirate Friday. It's actually quite simple, with many wise, wonderful and walrus-y options.

  1. Go see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." Admit it, you were going to see it anyway. You looove Johnny Depp (or Orlando Bloom. Or Keira Knightley, although not in her current "skin and bones" look, which I can only imagine is not anorexia but rather her hommage to pirate chic; she just got the whole "crossbones" thing confused.)
  2. Write a pirate story!! And not just any pirate story, mind you, but the missing crab-eaten bits from the new The Pirates! book. For inspiration, perhaps you'd care to party with some pirates? You can!! (although not until July 11th.) The Pirate Captain himself is now featured on my blogroll.
  3. Listen to pirates!! Go on, buy a CD! If you're in the neighborhood of Connecticut (traditional home of many a fine pirate), go to a CD release party TONIGHT! July 7th, at the Carriage House Arts Center in Norwalk. Mmmm... rickets.
  4. Watch a clip from the Today Show. Chose "Pirate Chic You Can Wear", and marvel at InStyle magazine's ability to make pirate chic look cheap, while telling people to spend hundreds of dollars on skull-and-crossbones-decorated booty. Now that's plundering the high seas!
  5. Set sail and shoot someone with a cannon.

You need more? What am I, your cabin boy? Go find them yourself!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Monday-like Wednesday

Back at work, steadily plugging away, very very grateful that the long holiday weekend turns this into a very short work week! Only two and a half days until the weekend again -- well, no, less than two now, since I already survived most of today. And so, in the spirit of survival, a reading recap of the last three days.

1. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray -- Historical YA about a 16-year-old Gemma, raised in India and sent to a cold boarding school in Victorian England after her mother's mysterious death -- an event she somehow witnessed in a vision. Who is Circe? What is the Order? And will Gemma make any friends? I liked this, and had to keep myself from racing through the plot to enjoy the writing. Good, solid YA, that could easily be read and enjoyed as adult literature.

2. Resurrection by Tucker Malarkey -- Billed as a female Da Vinci Code, but much much MUCH more literary and intelligent, this novel also features a protagonist named Gemma reeling from the death of a parent -- this time, her father, whose unexpected demise in Egypt while on the trail of a mystery he promised would change their lives leads Gemma to leave post-Blitz London for the heat of Cairo, and the exciting search for the Gnostic Gospels. So very much better written than The Da Vinci Code, and a more satisfying mystery for being based on actual facts -- the early Christian church's removal of the gospels they deemed unacceptable to their teachings, thus codifying Christianity as a religion with laws, hateful of women -- the very opposite of what the Gnostic Gospels, rediscovered, told Jesus preached against. I finished this on the beach on Tuesday, and it lead to an actual discussionn with my mom about the church. Interesting.

3. Girl in Development by Jordan Roter -- After that heady stuff, I read the frothy and completely forgetable Girl In Development, about a recent high school grad whose uncle gets her a Hollywood internship, where she -- gasp! -- falls in love with the wrong guy, makes some stupid mistakes, makes some friends, goes shopping, and writes a brilliant treatment for a movie. Nothing new, just fun.

4. Salaam Paris by Kavati Daswani -- Then, on the train home last night, I read Salaam, Paris, about a Muslim girl from Mumbai who watches the classic Audrey Hepburn Sabrina, falls in love with the idea of Paris, spurns an arranged marriage, and falls into supermodel stardom on her way towards happiness, with a detour through family disapproval. Again, frothy fun, but well written, with an insightful look into an unfamiliar culture, and a chick lit heroine who doesn't drink, smoke, or believe in premarital sex.

Over the course of the long weekend, I also watched Hustle & Flow, Superman Returns (as noted previously), The Perfect Score, Dark City, the first half of Crash before I turned it off as hateful and annoying, and the cheesy and I think miscast The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold. It's amazing I got anything else done!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Pretty purple posies!

Ok, so they're not really posies, but rather hydrangea. But that's a lot to type out when I'm sending a photo from my phone!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The ancient gnome dance.

Matt, this one's totally for you. Thanks for hosting a swell soiree last night. Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm off to throw some clams at retarded children.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Saw "Superman Returns" last night, as promised, and I have to say, the minute they started playing the theme song, I got chills. I defy anyone of our generation to remain unmoved when that music starts playing. Go on, try it for yourself, but know, it's SO much better in the context of the film.

Courtesy of Rhino Records, via Superhero Hype.