Tuesday, November 6, 2007

No new tv shows? Read a book!

So the Writers Guild has gone on strike and television networks are scrambling to fill the void with what I'll call "classic episodes of a recent vintage," a.k.a. repeats. I'm all for writers getting fair pay for their work in an age where it can be accessed via several forms of media. But what to do in the meantime? Tuning in to BBC America comes to mind. Sure, you have to interpret the unintelligible accents of people speaking (mostly) the same language as us, and the shows are at least two years old, but there's a lot of great entertainment coming out of the U.K. BBC America's new "disclaimer" at the start of every show cracks me up (thanks for the Boston shout-out!). We can use close captioning! Of course!

Another suggestion: read a book. Read several. I have a pile of books designated for "fun reading" I haven't been able to get to since I started grad school this fall. The "hard/boring/perplexing reading" comes first. If anyone out there can wrap their head around Tristram Shandy please drop me a line!

In no particular order, here's a sampling of some of the books I'm dying to read. Perhaps you should be dying to read them too:

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
A murder mystery set in Salem, MA in the 1990s--before Salem's "renaissance." When the matriarch of a family of fortune tellers disappears, her niece and an ex-NY cop must find out what happened.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Fairies really exist. Human boy falls in love with fairy. Movie is made before I can read book but I don't have chance to see it.

The Strange Case of Hellish Nell by Nina Shandler
Bizarre true story of a fortune teller in WWII Britain who accurately predicted the British Navy's movements so often she was arrested as a spy, but tried as a witch under Britain's Witchcraft Act of 1745.

Since there's an otherwordly theme going on here, I'll round out the list with the master of other worlds:

Making Money by Terry Pratchett
The newest in his Discworld series sees the return of Moist Von Lipwig. The city of Ankh-Morpork's benevolent dictator puts Moist in charge of the new Ankh-Morpork mint. And you just don't say no to the benevolent dictator!

Finally, some of my random weirdness for your pleasure/amusement or annoyance. Possibly all of the above:

1) I dressed as a Hogwarts student for Halloween. At work. Technically I was Ginny Weasley because I'm a redhead, but as I was sitting outside on a bench during a break a schoolbus full of elementary school kids stopped at the traffic light. They all called out "Hi hermione!" It made my day.

2) Cops on Segways make me giggle. I'm sorry, they just do. It's all I can do to keep a straight face when I walk past one downtown, but when Salem's finest Personal Mobil Transport brigade showed up on TV I lost it! Every year on Halloween, thousands of people pack the downtown area to celebrate. Everyone comes in costume, and it's a blast. NECN, the local New England news channel aired a piece the morning after Halloween that they had filmed the night before. As the reporter was wrapping up his report, not one, but two Segway cops zoomed past behind him, right on cue, one after the other! It was awesome(ly funny)!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hello Grad School, Goodbye Free Time.

But first, one episode of this season's Dr. Who to go! As the tv screen darkened, we saw Martha running frantically toward a burning London as millions of baby Death Stars rushed toward the city high over her head. Oblivious to the lone human/easy target directly underneath them. The Doctor is now a really old dude, while the Master is crazier/hotter than ever. He's crazy hot! And Jack? He's...just Jack (insert Will and Grace hand motion). Despite all the spoilers I've been reading on line all season, I don't know what's going to happen and I can't wait to find out. I do know Martha joins Torchwood and Donna Noble comes back to be the Doc's companion in season 4. Finally! A non-teenage, non-stick-thin redheaded sistah as companion!
Now, back to me. I've been accepted into a Masters of English program, which means I get to read lots and lots of books and write lots and lots of papers. This semester, I get to read Lottes of Bookes that look lyke this with no Chapters, Punctuation or Paragraph Breaks for Dyalogue. I'll also learn how to write fiction, which is the main reason I'm going to school. My full-time job workload and my part-time school workload mean that I can now kiss the following goodbye for the next 2-4 years:
1. Sleeping
2. Free Time
3. Sanity
4. Knitting, Sewing and Various Crafty Endeavors
5. Reading for Fun (no analytical thinking required)
Of course, it would all be worth it if I had the Doctor as a professor...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'ts Official...I have a clutter management problem.

I also have "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse stuck in my head, but one problem at a time.

Being forced to clean out my bedroom at short notice so the carpets could be cleaned made me take a hard look at how I live my life. I have "stuff" issues. As in, I can't let go of it. It just accumulates, piles up, takes over, and then lays around laughing at me while I try to find the car license renewal paperwork I knew I'd received in the mail not too long ago.

I don't know why I allow clutter to run my life, but my taste in hobbies doesn't do me any favors. I've officially run out of room in all my bookcases. I have so much yarn and knitting crap that I've started storing it in plastic bins from Target, discreetly hidden under my bed. The embroidery stuff is quietly giving the knitting stuff a run for its money. Now that I've taken up sewing as well (sewing machines--what a great invention) it means I'll be buying even more Stuff, and I'll need more space to store said Stuff.

I've made a large dent in the clutter reduction project over the last few days. My floor is now free of any randomly roaming books on embroidery, sewing, Terry Pratchett's Discworld or any and all of Jane Austen's works of fiction. Next phase of the project is Tops, as in the dresser top, desk #1 top, desk #2 top. Desk #2 (more of a drawing table actually) will become my new sewing corner. Look at me, I'm all into the crafts now!

Does anyone else pile up as much crap as me, or am I a total freak? I still can't get "Rehab" out of my head...I'm humming it now for Pete's sake.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

5 Things Not to write on a Grad School Admission Statement

1. I would like to study at your institution because I've been rejected by my first 5 choices

2. I'm sure I'll be admitted; after all, I'm not exactly applying to Harvard, am I.

3. I would appreciate knowing your decision as soon as possible because next week I'm leaving for a monthlong trip to Europe.

(for the English major):

4. If I don't get in, all I can say is, Bummer.

5. Harry Potter rocks!

(As I typed this, I managed to knock the last accessory from my action figures off my desk. So maybe I was the culprit all along....)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

It's Raining Free Books!

I work in the public education system (cue ominous music). Lately there's been a workplace-wide rash of midsummer office clean-outs, resulting in boxes full of books marked "Free to good home" mysteriously popping up.

Two weeks ago, right before I went on vacation, I came across one such box in the building where the English classes are taught. To go to the snack bar in the foyer. For iced tea, honest! Since I'm applying to go back to school for literature/creative writing, I thought that this might be a positive sign! I walked away with a copy of a creative writing textbook. A Free Professional Copy, mind.

Yesterday I was in the building where the art classes are taught. To go to the vending machines. To get bottled water, honest! Sitting on the floor was yet another box stuffed full of old books. When I went over to check it out, I discovered it was full of old books on needlepoint! I was pretty excited because I do needlepoint, and I love buying old (1950-1980s) books on needlepoint. These were all in excellent condition, except for one book by needlepoint designer Erica Wilson, which had water damage. The whole book had its pages all stuck together. I selected three books on cross stitch and needlepoint. There were at least 10 others still in the box. To be honest, this box didn't have a sign on it that said Free to good home," so I may have just swiped a bunch of books from someone who might be coming back for them. I'll have to go down and get some Fritos later on and check to see if the box is still there.

What I'm wondering is, where did the needlepoint books come from? The English texts i can understand being cleared out by faculty members. Someone must have cleaned out at home and brought a box in. Whatever the case, I've scored some free books that I would have paid, oh, three, four dollars apiece for at a used bookstore!

Gripes du jour:

Someone keeps interfering with the Emily the Strange and skeleton boy and girl from The Corpse Bride action figures on my desk. The little pieces like the cat and stuff are missing, presumably knocked behind the desk, only I can't see them on the floor. It's a tight fit to get behind there. Also, my short story got rejected by the literary magazine I submitted it to. As a potential English grad student, let me just say, Bummer.

Doctor Who? Getting better, slowly. I have since pronounced the William Shakespeare episode unwatchable. The (new) New New York episode? Slightly better. My favorite part? Martha's Oh S*** moment when she realizes she doesn't even know the Doctor, really. Well, who does, eh?

Martha: I don't even know who he is (or something like that)
Carjacker/kidnapper girl: So that means our only hope is--
Me: A casual acquaintance?!
Carjacker/kidnapper girl: a total stranger? That's no good.

Ah, but it is good, kidnapper girl. It's very good, indeed.

Tomorrow: the Daleks take over the Chrystler Building. Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Space Rhinos, Bad Extras, & Questionable Science

Last Friday was the (finally!) double header season premiere of Dr. Who in the U.S. More David Tennant hotness, some Catherine Tate wackiness, and some Freema Argeman, uh, newness!
This opinionated post will contain spoilers. These are my thoughts on the first two episodes. And, please, spare me any "it's only a tv show" comments, if you don't mind. Just picture my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. So I will dutifully insert a spoiler space. But I'm pretty sure anyone on either side of the Atlantic who wanted to watch Dr. Who at all has probably seen it by now. Nevertheless...
The Runaway Bride was pretty cool. I like the Dr. Who Christmas specials, and this year David Tennant didn't spend most of the episode in a coma so that was a definite plus. Donna was incredibly irritating and yes, I have to say it, a little thick. So let's review: The Doctor wants Donna to travel with him, but only wants to take Martha along for one ride?

Lance: Even though the Doctor looks at Donna like she's being too cruel, yes, in my opinion, Lance did deserve what he got for betraying her. Hello? He was also sacrificing the entire human race to the mean giant spider lady?!

Racnoss (??) Empress: Mean giant spider lady funny. Maybe it was intentional. most of the aliens in Dr. Who's entire history have been unintentionally funny, so I'm not sure. Whatever the case, she made me laugh. She was waaay over the top, freaky as all get-out, and I loved the 10-packs-a-day raspiness of her voice. I like Sarah Parrish. The portrayal probably wasn't meant to be intentionally funny, but either way, you can tell she definitely had a blast.

Smith and Jones was pretty cool. I love when the aliens are weird/spooky looking. That's why I like the Cybermen better than the salt shakers-I mean Daleks. The heavily armored Judoon were creepy cool in their heavy black spacesuits and 6-inch high Creepers. At first.

There are three things about this episode that I couldn't quite get over. Hint: See title of post.

1) Rhino aliens. Why rhinos? Are they aware they resemble non-sentient earth animals?! Would they flock to all of Earth's zoos in order to free their bretheren, then blast the entire zookeeping staff because "justice is swift?" Would they find Doc Martens more comfortable than Creepers?

2) Bad extras. OK people, imagine you're sitting in a lounge one minute, the next minute, Oh my God, the entire hospital is on the moon! You look out the window. You react. Okayyyy and....ACTION!

The extras reaction to being on the moon made me laugh. I don't know, I just thought they were funny. And Martha? I'll suspend my belief and just accept that she didn't freak out. Cos I can tell Martha is going to kick a**. Girl, you went to the moon and back in a day, yet you're together enough to make it to your brother's birthday party on time? Rock.

3) The Doctor's Revival and Other Scientific Oddities. Now, I'm not a doctor, but if someone dies from a loss of blood, would CPR really be enough to revive them? Wouldn't they need a transfusion? And don't get me started on how the hospital's power supply was still working on the moon. The entire building's removal left a giant crater. So at some point wouldn't all the underground plumbing and electrical lines, etc., have been severed? I'm sure everyone would say, "yes, but the bubble the Judoon created to keep the air in also enabled all the systems to keep functioning." Fine.

I can't wait to meet William Shakespeare!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who! What? When!?

Last night, finally, I received confirmation of something I've been waiting for with baited breath for months: the season premiere of Dr. Who on Sci Fi!! The internet rumor mill had the US premiere of season three starting on July 6th. I saw a commercial last night whilst watching Ghost Hunters, and July 6th it is! Now, I've been a fan of Dr. Who since the early 90s, when, thanks to cable, I could finally catch the classic series on public television. When I was a kid (and I'm not telling you which decade that was) I could make out some of the Tom Baker/Peter Davidson episodes via an extremely fuzzy reception. Remember when the Dr. and Tegan went to Amsterdam?! That was good times...

Fast forward a decade or so and, behold! Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred in all their glorious cable television glory!

Oddly, I was unaware that BBC revived the series until I found out about it via, of all things, a knitting forum! I thought Christopher Eccleston was an odd choice for the Doctor--until I watched an episode. No sooner had the 9th doctor found a place in my heart when, bam, he regenerated. Helloooooo number 10!! I don't know why I find him so irresistible: it could be the suit and Chucks combo. Or is it the vintage overcoat? The sideburns are definitely part of it.

Oh my God! Yahoo music is playing "Make A Circuit With Me" by the Pole Cats. It's been over 20 years since I've heard that song...must rate song..."Can't Get Enough"...There. But I digress.

The Brits (if any read this blog) have already sat through the entire season. In fact, Dr. Who is so popular in Britain that the season finale was screened on giant outdoor TV screens in London because the Gay Pride march was scheduled for the same time and so many participants didn't want to miss it!
So, yeah, next Friday is going to be a big night for me. Yes, I'm aware of how sad that is! "The Runaway Bride" or whatever. There are two things, however, that I find annoying about being an American Who fan:
1) We're an entire season behind Britain. Since I like to peruse the BBC's official Dr. Who website, this means I've completely spoiled every major development, plot twist, guest star appearance, you name it, for myself.. You could say I've "mastered" the art of the spoiler. Those familiar with the classic series will know what I'm talking about...
2) Smug, superior British fans who complain about all the "new fans" on the Sci Fi Channel's Dr. Who forum. Don't you people have enough British forums to post on without lording it (no pun intended. Time-Lording over it?!) over us Yanks? Please remember, classic series Dr. Who viewing for most Americans has been sporadic at best. Please don't flood an American forum with complaints about new fans. Just be glad there are that many more of us!
On an un-Dr.Who-related note:
Two days after my post about McSweeney's big inventory sell-off (see below) USA Today's Pop Candy column ran a piece on the very topic! Is Whitney Matheson stalking me?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Books No Problem. Dr. Who Action Figure? No Can Do.

Lately I've been placing lots of orders with companies across the pond. Those lovely folks in the U.K. are more than happy to send the Anglophilic American a delightful arrray of whatever books, paper goods, foodstuffs and cross-stitch kits he or she may desire. But try to order a Dr. Who action figure? Problem.
Last December I placed an order with amazon.uk. I ordered the Dr. Who 2007 calendar. Then I clicked the purchase button on the Tenth Doctor in Brown Suit (with sonic screwdriver) and held my breath. Success--or so I thought. I was very excited about the prospect of finally having my own Ten action figure in my hot little hands--until I got to the checkout section. The action figure would not go through because of licensing agreements. Only a few European countries outside the UK can order British toys! I guess I should have expected that, but come on: who in the US is going to make any decent Dr. Who products, am I right people?!

Needless to say, I was a tad disappointed. I was further disappointed when I received the Dr. Who calendar. All the photos, except for August, were of all the butt-ugly aliens from each episode. There were a few tiny pictures of the Doctor, one or two of Rose, and none of the supporting characters we came to know and love during seasons one and two. *sob* I miss Jax!

I was so mad I posted a negative review under the "Be the first to review this product!" banner. I was assured the review would appear shortly. Curiously, when I checked in a couple of days later, the "Be the first to review this product!" banner had been put back up. Sneaky!

To wit: Americans can order this:

but not this:
Luckily, my local comic book shop got a small batch of the action figures a couple of months ago. I was thinking of buying the cyberman as well, but I don't want to start collecting a lot of junk again. Though, how cool would a cyberman action figure be in a photo for my knitting blog? He could be shaking his fist at my half-finished sock!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

McSweeney's Needs Your Help!

Rather recently, I became aware of a great independent publishing concern called McSweeney's. Based in San Diego, they publish the literary/music magazines McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Believer and Wholphin. In addition, they publish many many books ranging from poetry to literary criticism to humor. With illustrious names such as Nick Hornby, Dave Eggers, and Amy Sedaris among their semi- or regular contributors, these gloriously designed magazines are a feast for the eyes as well as the brain. Not to mention the ears: The Believer's much anticipated music issue always comes with a CD bursting with fresh talent paired with established acts.

Recently, Mcsweeney's distributor filed for bankruptcy. The publishers took a huge hit and are now struggling to get back on their feet. So by now you're all probably asking yourselves," How can all this suffering benefit me, personally?" Why, you can benefit by visiting McSweeney's in order to take advantage of their inventory sell-off. Almost everything they sell, including subscriptions, is discounted. They're famous for their book bundles and magazine bundles. Right now I'm eyeing the Music Bundle: three past music issues of Believer, three CDs, all for $19.60, reduced from $28. Of course, right before they announced their sell-off, I made my first purchase with them--the Nick Hornby bundle ($15.40, reduced from $22.00).

Please go to their website and check out all the cool things they have. Once you've been there, you'll marvel over the sheer number of indispensible objects they have to tempt the discriminating buyer. After all, what better time than now to finally buy that tee shirt you've been eyeing? You know, the one with a silhouette of a stag riding a motorcycle? (I'm ordering one as soon as I get paid on Friday!)

You're probably wondering how you ever lived without it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Pirates and Ogres and Wizards, oh my!

I've seen two "summer blockbusters" in the past three weeks. I usually wait until crowds thin out a little before going to the movies, lest I run screaming from the theater in the throes of a claustrophobia-induced panic attack. But my overwhelming desire to see Shrek and Pirates made me throw caution--and a small dose of xanax--to the wind!

I went to see Shrek the Third on its opening weekend. For some strange reason, it failed to register in my brain that Shrek is primarily a kid's movie. Yeah, there's nothing like going to the movies alone because you can't find anyone to go with you only to sit in a theater packed with screaming children. Personal highlights: the small boy next to me who kept kicking me; his mother who kept asking me what was happening onscreen and which princess was which because she couldn't follow the plot; the shrieks of laughter (from the kids) every time Shrek said the word "poop," and the theater-wide "AAAAWWWWWW!" when Puss in Boots did the sad kitty face thing. OK, I'm guilty of the last highlight.

I had to sit through a bunch of lame, kid-oriented previews. None of them was Harry Potter. But, sweet merciful Lord, I did get to see the preview for Bratz: The Movie. As God is my witness: if I ever have to sit through anything in which the term "BFFs" is being used without a sense of irony again...

But I loved Shrek the Third. I'd go see it again once the crowds die down.

Last weekend I saw Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. The theater was crowded but there was breathing room! Shrek was still doing a brisk business. Johnny Depp was hot, Keith Richards did a good job in his cameo, and Kiera Knightly kicked butt. Word to the wise: If you go see Pirates, stay through the ending credits. There's an extra scene when the credits are over.

I had to sit through a bunch of lame previews. None of them was Harry Potter. Where are they showing Harry Potter previews? I've seen them online, but nothing beats a big screen and surround sound.

Oh well. Next month I'll go see the movie. On the opening weekend. The theater probably won't be filled with screaming kids, since the story gets darker with each movie/book, but you never know. I'm hoping Voldemort scares them away.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

For Your Consideration

Something interesting I discovered last night: Microsoft Word's spell check flags the word "Kenobi" but not the word "Obi-Wan."


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Feed Your Head, with Fiction and Food...

If anyone reading this is in the Salem, MA area on the evening of Saturday, May 26th, Feed Your Head is hosting a release party for the newest issue of Quick Fiction. There will be readings from the new issue, snacks, live music and raffles. Seventy-five percent of the night's proceeds are being generously donated by the Quick Fiction folks in support of Feed Your Head--an independent retailer offering a variety of zines and other alternative reading materials. Details and directions can be found here and here. Come out and show your support to both these great organizations--Witch City needs to support its businesses to counteract all the witch museums!

The Week of Living Veganously is over. I was able to stick with a vegan diet--with one exception--having cow's milk in my coffee at the office cafeteria, which, predicably, does not stock soy milk. I won't post the entire week's menu, but highlights included whole wheat pasta alio ed olio (garlic and oil, or oil and garlic. But I think olio is the oil); and eggplant cutlets with homemade marinara sauce. Eggplant parm without the parm. I can do this diet occasionally, but I don't plan on giving up cheese and dairy any time soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Urge to Zine

The urge to zine again is slowly starting to take hold of me. I don't know exactly when it started, but slowly the urge to put out a zine of my own has been building and building. The more I think about it, the more I convince myself that I should give it a go. But what to zine about? The answer to that question, and best part of the whole process, of course, is "anything I want." Should I include original fiction, some recipes and the occasional random knitting pattern? Why not! But I'm plagued with some self-doubt. What's the real reason I want to do a zine? It sure as hell isn't the money. I doubt I'd even have a readership. Is it fame? Glory? Indie, alternascene cred? Yes. I've created the term "alternascene." Deal. I don't have anything in particular to write about. And the "personal zine," well, I don't want to get too personal, though, compared to a lot of zines out there written by people who've suffered truly traumatic events in their lives, mine would be a fluff piece.

Would people really want to know what I'm reading, listening to? I like to read about places people live; anecdotes about their hometowns and what's going on. It's sort of like travelling and meeting (strange) new people without leaving my chair. Should I create a nice looking zine in Quark with the neatest illustrations I can manage, or type it in Courier, cut it all up and make it look messy.

Thinking about it waaaay too much. But the reality is, I'm almost 100% sure I've already made my decision. I'll be digging out my Lefty scissors and glue stick later tonight.

Top Five Things I Should Do Tonight Instead of Playing The Sims 2

(In interchangeable order)

1. Clean my apt/bedroom
2. Watch Dancing With The Stars Finale
3. Work on graphics and site to get robotgirlie.com really up and running
4. Start zine (see above)
5. Read something.

What's robotgirlie Reading Now?

Doris: 1991 - 2001

This is an anthology of Cindy Ovenrack Crabb's Doris zine that compiles 10 years of issues into one softcover book. Recreating her line drawings and manual paste-ups, it's a gut-wrenchingly honest read. Cindy invites her readers to share in both the good and the bad events in her life. At times beautiful and poetic prose contrasts sharply with grammatical and spelling errors as Doris types out her hopes, fears, and dreams in one long stream-of-conciousness. Moving often across the country, often squatting or living outdoors, her main desire is simply to keep her tenuous grip on everything she holds dear: her sister, her dog, friends, her projects, her self-esteem, and a place to belong.

She takes joy in finding items left on the curb that can be turned into a makeshift writing desk. She writes at length about family dysfunction. Within the stark cut-and-paste pages of Doris, Cindy does brilliantly what most people can never achieve: She bares it all, body and soul, leaving herself equally open for condemnation as well as praise. But she's not afraid to do it. This book will be with me long after I've turned the last page.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Is Portland Trying To Tell Me Something?

We all know Portland, Oregon is a mecca of vegan restaurants, indie bookstores and alternative culture. But is the city trying to tell me something? Lately a lot of seemingly random interests are converging on this city. First, a link on http://www.theppk.com led me to place an order with a vegan grocery store called Food Fight: http://www.foodfightgrocery.com. Bear with me--I'm too lazy to hit the "Edit HTML" button and type in code. Food Fight is in Portland. Next, I finally dug out Stolen Sharpie Revolution from deep within my pile of books to read. The author and her company are also in Portland. All of this led to Herbivore magazine, based in--you guessed it, Portland.

This is where serendipity takes over. For years I've been talking about starting my own business selling shirts and other things with my designs on it. In the spirit of DIY fellowship, Microcosm Publishing, Food Fight, and Herbivore all provide info on where they get shirts and buttons with their designs produced. See links to the left of this blog. Is this a sign that I should get off my a** and do something? I'm thinking maybe it is.
The urge to zine is slowly taking hold of me again. I had a brief affair with making my own zine back in the 90s and didn't stick with it. To this day I live in fear of the 12-year-old girl who sent me $2 cash for the followup issue that never materialized--my one paid order. I'd say the name of this zine, but this kid is probably in law school by now and has probably been hunting for me for years. Or maybe I'm just being extremely paranoid.

So to the good people of Portland, alterna-scene hipsters or no, thank you for providing some resources for me to a) eat healthier, and b)get a move-on on my DIY dreams. I thank you all via the internet. And if I ever overcome my paralyzing fear of flying, I'll drop in in person to do it. Until then, I can wear my Food Fight tee and tell people I've been.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Week of Living Veganously

I'm going vegan for the week. It's an experiment to see whether or not I feel better or worse after 7 days of giving up milk, cheese, and meat. I've been looking into healthier eating options lately, like vegetarianism, in an effort to improve my overall health. Can animal by-products really be the cause of all my woes? I don't know, but I'm open to alternatives. Lemme just say upfront that I don't plan on being 100% vegan. I'm sorry, and please don't bombard me with hate comments, vegans, but I love the cheese, 'kay?

Isa Chandra Moskowitz will be my vegan guide. Armed with these two books, I've been vegan for over 24 hours now.

black coffee, steel cut oatmeal with Splenda, 1 peach
1 soy yogurt
peanut butter on whole wheat bread, 1 banana
coconut rice with spinach/chickpea curry

coffee with soy milk, steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon
1 peach, 1 Vruit juice box
peanut butter on whole wheat, 1 soy yogurt
1 peach
coconut rice with spinach/chickpea curry (I'll be eating this for 2 weeks cos I made the full recipe)

So far so good. I broke down and bought soy milk and yogurt. The soy milk I can probably get used to, but the yogurt tastes rancid to me. I'm trying a different brand today so maybe it will taste better.

I'm pissed at iTunes right now. How could they N OT have Apples in Stereo or Chameleons UK to download, yet they have Architecture in Helsinki and Alien Sex Fiend? How do they determine which obscure or old and obscure bands to stock? I downloaded Architecture in Helsinki, cos I've heard a few songs on Yahoo radio. But I don't know how I feel about it. I bought the Fingers Crossed lp. At any given time they remind me of Apples in Stereo, The Magnetic Fields, Pizzicato Five, Frazier Chorus...it's weird! Kinda indie, kinda easy listening. It's like, woodwinds are cool! So is brass! Band geeks haven't been given this much hope that they can become rock stars since The Dream Academy! Cheer up, little girl with the wraparound retainer who plays the cymbals! Have hope, awkward little tuba player! This band is not afraid to release their inner band geek, that's for sure.

Since I don't know if I like it or not, it's pretty clear that I obviously don't love it! I do know one thing though: this album will thoroughly annoy anyone and everyone who rides in my car with me when I play it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I Think I Killed Off a Book Club!

Because I seem to be the only person left. Unless...someone else is methodically killing off the book club and I'm next! Nah. I prefer the "I'm a book club jinx" theory.

Two months ago, our local indie bookstore formed a Sci Fi club. Great, I thought, a chance to get out of the house and meet other nerds like myself. Maybe (well, highly likely, actually) they'd be male nerds! The first meeting was great. There were 8 members. Last month, only two people showed up--me and one person who hadn't attended the first meeting. Last week, I was the only person who showed up. What's the common factor in all of this?

Me. Could it be that I'm--gasp--hideous? Sure, I've got a small 'stache going, but who doesn't, am I right, girls?

I read Bridget Jones's Diary this weekend--finally, 11 years after it came out. I don't know why I resisted. I guess I have a visceral reaction to "chick lit" as a rule. I know, I'm a snob.

It was hysterical; Helen Fielding is so right on when it comes to the whole reaching-your-thirties thing, whether she's writing about dating, dieting or depression eating!