Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Pirate Day Fragments

I've been too scattered to put together a proper post, so a few blog mcnuggets:

- It's Talk Like a Pirate Day! Yarrrr!

- My Mom informed me that Viagra is great for African Violets. I choose not to devote too much thought to this.

- The Boy (Incredulously): Daddy, you're even smarter than me!

- Actual exchange a few nights ago at dinner:
The Boy: I don't like salmon. It tastes like fish.
DD: Salmon is fish.
The Boy: eeeewwww!

- (As The Girl continues to make faces at us at the dinner table, because we laughed at the first one)
The Wife: You know, she thinks you'll let her get away with it because she's so cute.
Me: She is so cute, and I will let her get away with it, but that doesn't make it right.

- The Sunday New York Times had an article about the singer Diana Krall, in which she was described as “a strapping five-foot-eight.” I can't get past the word “strapping.” What, exactly, is that supposed to mean?

- Overheard in the hallway: “they said it was intent to distribute, but that's such bullshit. It's mine!”

- I've also overheard three references to ratemyprofessor.com in the hallway in the last week, and I don't spend that much time in the hallway.

- The Ford Motor Company is circling the drain, largely because it's getting its clock cleaned in the small car segment. The Ford Focus, its only entry in the small car segment, sucks. Ford owns Mazda. Mazda turned a profit last year, based in part on the award-winning Mazda3, a small car that competes seriously with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. My annual suggestion to Ford: why don't you ask Mazda how they do it? Since YOU OWN THEM, they HAVE TO TELL YOU. This strikes me as preferable to going broke. This ain't rocket science.

- Thinking out loud: Mazda3 hybrid. I'm just sayin'...

- Whatever happened to Gary Sandy, from WKRP in Cincinnati? He had great hair; now he's gone.

- For that matter, whatever happened to Ann Jillian, from whatever the hell is was she was from?

- I'm thinking of trying my hand at national novel-writing month. Since I don't know jack about writing fiction, I'll rely on the blogosphere for guidance. Which premise should I use?

- A bodice-ripper set among the decadent aristocracy of, well, let's call it England
- A thinly-veiled allegory of the Bush administration
- A murder mystery set in a graduate program suspiciously like my own
- An arch science-fiction comedy
- An annoyingly self-referential eat-its-own-tail pomo piece, like Charlie Kaufman
- A picaresque romp through suburbia, highlighting the all-too-human failings behind the vinyl siding
- A classic updated, with key characters made gay
- An Iowa workshop special, with well-off white people musing conflictedly over maiden aunts who drink too much
- A sin-fall-redemption story about a prostitute who – here's the twist – has a heart of gold
- An edge-of-your-seat thriller about a secret agent who looks suspiciously like Ben Affleck teaming up with a marine biologist who looks oddly like Scarlett Johansson to fight an evil madman who looks vaguely like Fred Dalton Thompson before he sets off a bomb that would destroy Los Angeles.

Scurvy swabs of the literary public, I await your wisdom! Yarrr!

Yaaahr, har har! Avast, ye scurvy swab. E'en in writin', I be piratical this day. Me parrot, perched atop me shoulder smells of cheap rum, and me Honda Civic be ready to drive to the leeward side of Tortuga! Aahr!

Re: Diana Krall. "Strapping," in her case, means "really hot." They mean to imply something like "Amazonian." But, as you know, the real meaning in that context is "really hot." Mmm...Krall...

Re: Ford. But there's so much profit to be made in SUVs, and they're so easy to make, since they're made like crap, whyyyy do they have to retool for the low-profit sensible car market? The SUV craze will last forever, right? Right? Right? Ahem. SUVs have kept them afloat for the last few years. Like ABC when it rode Who Wants to Be a Millionaire real hard for a while, they bet their entire company on a fad. Now they're paying for it. They need to make major institutional changes; the rise of the SUV helped them hold off making the tough choices for a while. Now they can't hide anymore. D'oh.

Re: NaNoWriMo. I have two bits of advice. The first is based on what I've heard from others, the second is based upon my own experience last year writing my own "masterpiece." (cough)

First, don't plan too much ahead of time. If you focus too much on "getting everything right," you'll never finish. I went in armed with exactly zippy and came out fine.

Second, whatever you write, make sure it's entertaining to you personally. If you try to write something Important rather than Fun, it'll become a chore. Considering how many words you have to throw on paper to make it happen, you have to keep it fun. Think of it like creating your own relative. Do you want to spend time with Uncle Herb, the glowering patrician with the alcohol problem who likes to talk about The Problem With Kids Today, or Uncle Steve, who keeps making artificial fart noises using day-old vegetables? Or someone else entirely? Don't get hung up on quality. Write what you personally find fun.

NaNoWriMo: Vampires. Sheesh. Also, something with cats. Perhaps vampire cats, solving mysteries. In a bleak northern Midwestern city. With an ex-cop who has recently beendumped by his wife, and has an autistic child and a beautiful but doomed suspect who will turn out to be involved in a world-spanning conspiracy to hide the truth about the Assyrian Tablet. Which guards the gate to Faerie (Assyrian Faerie, mind you), where sophisticated long-haired pirate-shirt-wearing rock star immortals plan nefarious romantic stuff and....

Oh, shoot. OK, vampire faeries. There. Sewed that loose end up.

Where was I?

"I have recently broken the DRM on my entire DVD collection. Arrr/pwned."

If you dost include catz in your vampire novel, remmebr the first rule of fiction--"Never kill a cat."
NaNoWriMo: I say you write the murder mystery set in a grad program like your own. You aready know the characters and you can have lots of fun getting them to do what you want - thus making it easier for you to write and keep up with daily.
a bodice-ripping scifi mystery, set in a grad school, but also a thinly veiled allegory of the Bush administration. ;)
strapping means she has broad shoulders, is my opinion. not skinny little pokey ones, which look supposedly delicate and feminine. I'm 5'7 and have the same problem. girls shirts just do no fit at the shoulders.

arrrrgh, they be scurvy folk who think females don't have arm muscles.
How about a bodice-ripper of a murder mystery set in a graduate program suspiciously like your own (except in poli sci, if that's not your specialty so you could get in some healthy Bush-bashing) with gay key characters?

I'd buy it.
I could be mistaken but I believe that Ann Jilian died of breast cancer something like 16-20 years ago.
I'm not going to google it to find out. I just recall a classmate being oddly mournful over it all.
per wikipedia, you are mistaken. she beat breast cancer 20 years ago, but dropped out of show biz to raise her son about 15 years ago.
Yarrr. It be pirate day; write about a scurvy seadog.

But of the choices offered, I say "A bodice-ripper set among the decadent aristocracy of, well, let's call it England" (ooh, sex!) or "A murder mystery set in a graduate program suspiciously like my own" (ooh, therapy!). With a vampire thrown in for luck. Yo ho, where's me bottle of rum?
So I had to look up Gary Sandy. Has several "official" websites (www.garysandy.com). Best I can tell is he doing theatre along with some TV guest shots. Was touring in "Best Little Whorehouse" with Ann-Margaret a couple years ago. I always liked his character on WKRP...
I'm voting arch science-fiction comedy, but I guess it's too late...
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