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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Not a people person

Made it back safely to New York yesterday with a relatively uneventual trip on Frontier, although -- and I kinda feel bad that this bothers me -- I was roundly annoyed by my seatmate. I love my Ascent membership in Frontier's frequent flyer program. I love getting to board on the first call, and being one of the first few people off the plane when we land. I love my free Direct TV, and my window seat.

What I don't love is when I feel like I have to take up less space than usual because the person in the middle seat feels the need to take both armrests, and wants to rub his oddly hairly little arm up against me. Ick! And then, worst of ALL, he had the nerve to TALK to me!! The shame!

Now, I understand that some people are genial sorts, and I've heard of any number of people who've actually met friends and/or dates on airplanes. Not me. I have my headphones, my iPod, my aforementioned free Direct TV, my books and other assorted reading matter. So seeing all that, Mr. Middle Seat, what gives you the impression I want to talk?

And reaching for my seat button to help me recline? Uh, no. Quit it. Before I go all radical D on your ass. (Yeah, that doesn't actually mean anything. Pretend it does.) I was so annoyed, I considered not raising the window shade when he asked.

Well, not so much "asked" as gestured. After all, I had my headphones on and didn't hear. But that's my perogative, Mr. Middle Seat! I got the window! I have CONTROL!

Rant over.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Also... totally Divine!

Two more articles up on Divine Caroline! Check 'em out!

Bear Foamy and the short story Silver Trees With Golden Leaves, from the first Storyball.

Go, read, leave comments!



Via Neil Gaiman's blog, of course, the Stardust trailer. I can't wait to see this, and am looking forward to rereading the book as well.

In other news... Doyce and I registered for china and crystal! And it wasn't an agonizing event. Hoorah! I had a few pieces from a set that was my great aunt's, but I checked on the Noritake website, and the pattern is discontinued. We decided we didn't want to try to match the plates I had, but rather to go with something complementary, and I'm really excited by what we piked out. Once we had the china, and started looking at glasses, the perfect design just jumped out at us. What do you think?

Our china pattern, Noritake's Aria PlatinumFor tea!
And our glassware, Westerly by Lenox.Or iced beverages!

Kinda hard to find a good image of the china pattern, actually, since it's white on white, but we loved the Art Deco-esque polka dots and squares.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go do some work. No, really!!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Donny Osmond totally rocks it with Weird Al

So, I'm reading my Entertainment Weekly Popwatch blog, and I find this funny little interview with Donny Osmond. Now I, being a child of the 70s, have fond memories of the Donny & Marie show. But I'm truly amazed at the funny when you put Donny Osmond together with Weird Al. Better even than the actual video for Weird Al's new song is the hilarious first take with just Donny and Weird Al. This is a must see!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

His & Hers

Doyce and I have been playing around with a wedding website, and will continue to do so until it's poifect! Then we'll share. Anyway, one of the things on it will be a link to our registries, and I just saw this blog, which I thought was too perfect not to repost.
Here's a snippet of a conversation I had with my fiance this morning:

fiance: when should we start our registry? i definitely want a vacuum, knives, mixer, one nice plate set
mr. monkey: i want a giraffe, a swing set, and some gummy worms
fiance: cutting board, apron
mr. monkey: blow darts, giant bouncy balls, disco lamp
fiance: new sheets
mr. monkey: banana hammocks
fiance: comforter, tupperware
mr. monkey: robots, a tank of gasoline, firecrackers

There should really be a his and her registry.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What I've been up to

My apologies for the lack of postings. I'm doing my best not to have this blog turn into a boring retelling of wedding-related tasks. It turns out, there's a hell of a lot to do to plan a wedding (especially in New York). Who knew?

Ok, fine. Everyone knew. I'm learning too, and have proudly bought my first few bridal magazines, and begun the process of going through them and marking pages I want to go back to, whether it's a hint on how to save money (working on it!), the neckline of a dress I like, or an idea for flowers or some such nonsense that never before seemed important, but is now VITALLY important to my future happiness.

Or so some of the books seem to indicate.

Still trying not to turn into Bridezilla, and very close, I think, to deciding on a location for the reception, as well as leaning towards a church ceremony. It'll make mom happy, and I'll admit, is what I always pictured when I was thinking about getting married.

In other news (yes, I can think about other things!), I was intrigued and a little uncomfortable with Sunday night's Battlestar Galactica. Some folks may not have seen it yet, so I invite a lively discussion in the comments. What did you think?

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Unique design ideas

I always enjoy reading Shelterrific for fun design ideas, but this latest one struck a recently exposed nerve. What say you, Doyce?
Art CodeIt's your DNA fingerprint on canvas in the color palette of your choice. They even suggest side by side portraits in coordinating colors for a high-tech wedding gift! Yeah, let's try registering for that!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Who is this guy?

Whoever he is, he's my Super Hero Lover.

As if!

Via ***Dave


What a ride!

Needless to say, perhaps, for those of you who've been through this or can easily imagine, but it's been a bit of a wild ride these last few days! These gorgeous fleurs came in from MJ, with a card proclaiming "I so knew!". I've talked to family members, friends, coworkers, and everyone, to a soul, has been so happy for us.

Now, we have to get down to the nitty gritty! Trolling TheKnot for ideas of sites, thinking of dates, getting advice from folks who've been there, being astonished by the number of people I'd like to invite (who knew I was so popular? Heh!). I'm trying to take it easy, and not turn into a Bridezilla -- and I make this promise to my readers now, and all my real life friends. The moment -- the SECOND -- you see me inching towards Bridezilla-dom, you feel free to knock me down immediately.

Otherwise, we're already shocked by how much things cost. I'm trolling the blogs at Weddingbee.com for fun, budget advice, but if anyone comes up with others, I'd love to know. Let's make this a group project! The more the merrier!


Monday, March 12, 2007

"Also, I'm having a really great hair day."

Fantastic, stupendous, shiny, sparkling, somewhat exhausting, jam-packed, brilliant weekend.

The short of it: I got engaged.

The long: Doyce got in early Friday morning and came into work with me, was an absolute star helping my colleague and I finish our reorg of the library, after which we ducked out a little early and caught a 6pm showing of "300" at our local Queens movie theatre. I had to cover my eyes at some of the beheadings, but I thought it was a great movie, really stirring, and it made me want a refresher course on ancient history. It seems like some of those old Greek and Roman myths/histories would be really cool bedtime stories to tell. If you're keen on raising bloodthirsty tykes, that is.

After the movie, we had dinner with the roomie and his gal pal, went back to the apartment and tried to shoot each other, while half-watching "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," so I could give Doyce a little reference to all the quotes I keep throwing at him.
-You just keep thinkin', Butch. That's what you're good at.
-I have vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.
Saturday we had a lazy morning and caught a matinee of "Avenue Q," where I pointed out to Doyce the tricks of seeing a Broadway show and not behaving like an out-of-towner. Trick #1: Don't line up outside the theatre. You have assigned seats, people. Everyone's getting in!

We did a little shopping, including some window shopping for jewelry, wherein a certain someone managed to throw me completely off the scent, and after returning home to revive our tired souls with chocolate and change into our dancing clothes, we went out for the anniversary of our first date to Swing 46, where, in a little corner of the dance floor while Double Down played "Fly Me to The Moon," Doyce knelt down and asked me to marry him. I cried, I shrieked, I shook, I said yes. (Of course.)

Sunday morning, we went up to my mom's where I shared the good news and a bottle of champagne, gave Doyce a tour of my hometown and my various places of work, called all my sisters and texted some friends, told the good news to a high school friend when she and her partner came over to visit with their baby, and then cracked open another bottle of champers with my brother and sister in law while they coached their daughter to say "Put me in your wedding."

All in all, a great weekend.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Makes me feel like dancing!

Good thing I'm planning on cutting a rug on Saturday, then!


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tournament of Books

Have you heard of this?
The idea that any small group of people, no matter how intelligent, could emerge from a locked room to declare one book as the year's finest is absurd. People like to say that awards foster discussion about contemporary literature, and that's true. But if that is the real purpose, than let's have a real discussion. Let's make the judging entirely transparent. Let's admit that the nominees were selected arbitrarily (one was originally published in 1988, though rereleased in 2006) and that we chose a number of books as finalists before any of us had even read them. Let's lay bare any biases the judges might have. Let's hear specifically why this judge preferred this book over that one. Let's seed all 16 finalists in an NCAA-basketball type bracket and pit them against one another in a Battle Royale of Literary Excellence!
I just found out about this, but my money (such as it is) is on Brookland to take it all the way, fending off a last minute insertion of whatever crap Dave Eggers' fans pony up. More about it here.


Haven't been to Divine Caroline lately?

Why not? You can read about ALL KINDS of interesting people. Why, just the other night, at a gathering of Divine Caroline writers, I met the woman whose derriere has been named "The Best Butt on Broadway." She's the last remaining original cast member of "Chicago," and you can read what she wrote here about "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Thinking about windows? Read more here, by a professional architect.

Feeling stressed about how much time you have to do things? See what a modern mom does to avoid the space-time continuum. (Ok, fine, I just like writing about the space-time continuum.)

And of course, check up on your favorite ktbuffy. Even more stuff coming soon. Poke around some, won't you?


I have a bone to pick with you, The Gap.

Low-rise tights? Seriously? What use are these?

I thought I could get away with wearing them under my nice trousers in the ridiculous cold weather we've been having these last few days, but then I get that annoying roll down affect, same as when I tried to wear them with a skirt.

So, what gives, The Gap? What's the point?

(I'd link to an example, but apparently, SO MANY people are incensed by this strange phenomenon, the Gap online site is closed.)


Monday, March 05, 2007

More irregular agentry

I've been looking at my pile of queries and material requested, and came across something that I felt begged another "Advice From An Agent" column. It's a pretty simple one, too:

Be ready to send out your material.

If you write a kick-ass query, and an agent requests material, whether it's the first chapter, three chapters, five, or the whole thing, be ready to send it out. Don't query, and then respond to a request with something along the lines of, "Great! As soon as I finish it/finish revising, I'll send it off to you." Be ready to send it out IMMEDIATELY.

When I look at my pile of letters I've requested material on, most of them do get moved into the next pile pretty quickly, as chapters come in. Some, however, sit for ages. I'm not talking about the people who, when I ask for a submission via email, chose to send a hard copy instead. I'm talking about the people who query, then wait weeks or months before sending me material or never respond at all. Now, I can think positive with the best of them, and hope that this means they got another agent to jump on the query and sign them before I ever got to them, but mostly this is just sloppy, poor business sense. Even if you do get picked up by someone else in the time it took me to respond, it does your future career well to send off a quick email, "Thanks for your request, but Agent Q moved more quickly, and I've already signed with her."

Because like an elephant in fancy shoes, I remember things.


Getting back on track!

So I've been on a little plateau with my cult lately, seesawing over the same two pounds for the last two months. Up, down, up, down, I blame everything from the altitude, to cold weather and heavy clothes, to no clothes, a big meal, and even, today -- heavy earrings.

Well, I'm putting a stop to it. I've lost a total of 46 pounds so far, but I have about 15 more to go to my goal weight, and I want to hit that. I also want to wear a bikini for the first time since I was a wee child, and I have a beach trip planned for May.

So I'm getting back on track. No more ignoring my points tracker, no more binges on cookies or bread. When I have a business lunch planned, I'll make sure to have a small breakfast, and I WILL get back to eating more fruits and veggies again, instead of just buying them and letting them go bad in the crisper drawer. Hello, apples and grapefruits and celery!

I also need to start seriously training for the Danskin tri I'm planning on doing in July, which means as well as my NIA classes, I need to get back on my bike, go run some runs, and find a new pool to swim in.

Once I have my weight back in control, I can apply that perseverance to other aspects of my life. More on that soon.


Saturday, March 03, 2007


As Alisha already mentioned, it's gorgeous, practically Spring-like out, and a girl's thoughts turn naturally to... well, if you're me, cleaning. I know, it's flat out unnatural, but there you go. Our cleaning woman is coming again today, so I've done a nice cleaning up of the place, just straightening things up, putting away the last of the "winter" decorations, going through my mail and filing bills and such. I even got all my tax stuff in order so I can start that, and hope for a nice refund, to get my finances back on track. We probably went a little too long between cleanings this time, since I keep looking around and seeing stuff that I'm half tempted to clean myself, but I'll leave it for the lady.

Nice lady. Happy cleaning!


Friday, March 02, 2007

All literary, and stuff.

First, a poem I liked, on the blog of a fabulous children's editor. She's got lots of interesting things to say, if you want to poke around a bit.

Then, last night I had the pleasure of getting very very drunk in the company of famous authors MJ and Scott Westerfeld and Coe Booth, as well as soon-to-be-famous author Sara Beth, at a book party for Leslie Margolis, with special guest appearances by half the correspondents from The Daily Show, past and present. I had a hard time (harder still as the night wore on, and I continued drinking) keeping myself from shouting "C'mon, Corddry!" at Rob Corddry.

But I managed. I'm good like that.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Problem With Blogging

Doyce wrote a long post, well worth reading, that touches on the main "problems" with blogging. I could totally go through his list and tick off my agreement with many of the comments he cites, and share my own experiences.

Like that one time I was put in the middle of a fight with a group of friends, and I blogged that I wish people who had problems with other people would just talk to THEM about it, and not drag me into the middle, and how because of that, I'm no longer talking to half those people?

Or about my rants and raves about work, most of which I shuffled off into fictional form on a novel, but certainly some of which made it into blog form, though I never used names, at least as far as I recall?

Or my overblown emotional outpourings of affection for my fake internet boyfriend, who ending up decidedly not boyfriendly?

Or the fact that when I did become involved in a real relationship, I recognized that I didn't want our friends and families to experience every minute detail of it, and that there were somethings best kept private?

Or that we are all, easily, googlible, and people you've never met before are able to make the connection between your personal, perhaps anonymous blog and your true self?

Or how even some of the links and non-personal articles I post about reveal nothing more than an aspect of my blogger persona, pithy and witty as I hope it may be.

So, right, where was I? Oh yeah, the problem with blogging.

Bottom line: it's not private. I know I don't always think as carefully as I should about how what I might say here, or in a comment on another blog, or on some other forum, under some other name, might get back to me. I hope I don't have this deep, dark, mean core at the center of me, that makes "mistakes" sometimes, deliberately hurting people I care about with the words I choose. I really, really hope I don't. Most days, I try to be nice, Snarky, sure, but that's a kind of love.

For me, there's another level as well, where I'm using this blog professionally, to a degree, while deliberately keeping it away from professional contacts in (one of) my chosen fields. It's a sort of Rubik's Cube, or Mobius Strip, how I try sometimes to keep one side of my life from the other, and other times, dangle dangerously close to all of them colliding. So I can call this my "personal" blog, but I'm not about to post any mean, biting comments about someone I met recently. There are things I talk to my best friend about, and neither one of us post them on our blogs.

Doyce quoted a common problem with blogging, "I hate having to edit myself on my blog. It's MY blog." And yet, aren't we ALWAYS editing ourselves? Think of the words you'd use with your friends that you'd never say in front of your parents, the conversation you have with your sister that you'd never have with your boss -- now imagine every person that COULD be reading your blog, or listening in to your conversation, lurking over your shoulder. If you don't want them to hear, don't say it.

Because the other thing about blogs, or LiveJournals, or MySpace pages -- which I think Doyce touched on briefly, but it bears repeating -- they can live foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. When you win that Oscar, or write that bestseller, or raise that amazing kid and let him have a computer of his own... they can find you.

Yeeks. When I put it that way, I better go look at my archives. I think I use the word "Woot!" way too much for a respectable literary agent.