Have a great weekend.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I got a rejection last night. When I saw it in my email box, it didn't phase me because though I knew it was rejection, I'd honestly forgotten I'd even submitted to the publication and thus, clearly didn't hold much stock in it.
Then I opened it. It was for a literary magazine that has a rather nice policy of having several reviewers read submissions, supposedly 'blindly' and then when you get rejected/accepted, you get to see their comments. I've never had this before. I had entered a short story of which I was proud. It was more literary than my usual efforts. Granted, it hadn't taken me too long to write but then, my best stuff never does.
I want it to be so much more. I've always said before that I'll appreciate it more when I do have success but the whole process is so brutal that I'm beginning to wonder if I'll be able to make it to that point. Apparently what I think is good writing isn't, it's merely mediocre. It's times like this when I feel that my grip on my dream of being a published writer is precarious at best. I'm not fond of clichés , but I'm forced to think of the one of the tree falling in the forest and nobody hearing it; does it still make a sound? As a writer, if I write a novel and nobody reads it, am I still a writer or just someone who puts words on a page?
I don't know. I don't want to think that. I think if I did, I probably wouldn't be trying to rationalize it in a blog, a place where I am, in fact, still writing. I'm going to try to keep going because, in all honesty, I'm not sure what else to do.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that say's I'll try again tomorrow." - Mary Anne Radmacher.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I also had an email asking if I was "Job Less". Yes, not jobless but Job Less. I'm wondering if they're asking if my job is less than it used to be, perhaps I've been downsized and I'm looking for more responsibility. Personally, I don't think that's going to catch on because most people are always looking for less job responsibility with more money. Fortunately, if I feel like I am Job Less, I can earn $1680 weekly TipingAt Home. I'm thinking they might need new typers actually because the ones they have don't seem to be able to spell typing nor use the space bar.
I suppose it is a little suspicious that she has to get the money out of South Africa so quickly. I mean, isn't she the Deputy Minister of Safety and Security? She seems to be afraid that if the money is discovered all of her assets will be seized and her life will be in danger. Seems to me she should have some pull with the government there. Of course, maybe I should just trust her. She gave me her email address and everything. Of course, she didn't say why she picked me to save her money. I mean, I know I should just be thrilled that I'm going to be $6 million richer but I must know, why did she choose me? I couldn't even get any one to pick me for dodgeball teams in high school and now this nice lady, mother of three, wants to give me $6 million?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
It does sound crazy when I type it out but, I'm telling you, it's never failed to work. It's not like I'm actually talking out loud to them. I only do that in places where I know people won't see me. No, I just let it be a thought process between us. I've learned some fascinating things about my characters that way.
I suppose to a non-writer, that really does sound a little mental. After all, if I create a character, I should know everything about him/her already, right?
Not for me. I think I've explained before that I never really feel like I create the characters. They just sort of find me and they're the ones that guide my story. I tried hard to steer my last novel but my main character just didn't change the way he was supposed to and I ended up with a different version of my novel than the one I'd originally planned. The one that I did finish was better, it was twistier, darker but also ended much differently than the novel I'd set out write. I think that was the moment when I truly did realize that I don't control my novels, the characters do. I like that.
So, the question is, do I still keep up the ever-necessary quest to find an agent, stalling future writing in hopes that my past writing will get notice or do I take a break and write something new, riding out the storm of this nasty economy and hope that publishing takes an upswing and agents are more willing to read unpublished author's work?
I think I'll see what happens. I'll keep my mind open to new characters, new music, new ideas and, when I'm ready, I'll start a new novel. I think that's the best I can do. I'd say I was holding out to win the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award but, as I've said, that's a crapshoot, something for me to do with a finished novel rather than a place to truly pin my hopes and dreams. It's just another unanswered question like those queries I sent to agents; I never thought I'd want to be rejected but better that than no response at all, I suppose. I always was a creature who liked closure.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I am now a registered Ohio driver.
Naturally, this was a fun experience. As with all beauracratic agencies, I had to wait. I had to wait a long time. During this time, they had a TV with a show called "The Doctors." Did you know that you can change the shape of your chin in five minutes with a simple injection? Me either! Of course, when the injections were performed and the results demonstrated, the poor girl who wanted a new chin merely look like a thousand bees had stung her and it looked pretty weirdly shaped but she did say she wanted to look different so I suppose she did get her wish.
They didn't ask for my SSN.
I think I might have frightened the lady a little. She meekly said, "oh, ok," and took a look at my temporary card. I left the DMV with two Ohio plates. Of course, they don't fit in my nice frame anymore 'cause apparently they put the dates on the bottom of the plate which is covered by a frame but I will not complain. Not today. You see, I rule triumphant! I now have legal plates.
I better not speed, huh?
Still, I had seen "Slumdog Millionaire" and really enjoyed it so I did have some interest in the nominees. Also, I decided to invite a friend over so we could have a Snarky Oscar Party which is the absolute best way to watch the Oscars.
The ceremony was its normal long, drawn-out self. I think they tried to condense it this year but it was still a little too long. I mean, really, do we need a recap of all the films that came out this year? Do we really need to remember that "The Love Guru" even existed?
I liked Hugh Jackman as host, mostly because I like Hugh Jackman. I think they took a little too much advantage of the fact that he's a singer/dancer because wow, they made him sing and dance. The opening number was ok but the one in the middle of the show with Beyonce...well, we could have done without that overblown chorus line. I was a little disappointed that Christian Bale wasn't there because that would have been awesome but it wasn't bad anyway.
Anyway, I'm not actually planning to dissect the ceremony. More, to bring up a complaint that has been irking me for some time. At the end of the ceremony, they showed clips from movies that will be released in the coming year. One of those clips was for a movie intitled "State of Play" starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and a slew of other big names. For those of you who've never heard of it, it's a remake of a fantastic BBC mini-series of the same name. It starred Bill Nighy, James McEvoy, John Simm and some other good British actors.
There's been a rumour for years that Hollywood has run out of original ideas, that's why they keep doing remakes. I don't buy that for a second. I think Hollywood has become lazy. I think they don't want to take a risk on something new because they can remake something that's already been a hit once. Of course, these remakes rarely are the smash hits they're supposed to be. Anyone remember "Psycho"? What a lackluster remake that was. Vince Vaughn, normally a good actor, could not replace Anthony Perkins and it turned out to be a joke.
I even had a problem with the remake of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Kiera Knightly that was so critically acclaimed. It was...ok. I get that it was a nice condensing of the book and that Kiera played a decent Elizabeth Bennett. However, I still say the BBC/A&E mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle wipes the floor with the movie version.
I know, I know, TV mini-series aren't the same as going to the movies to see something on the big screen. I agree. Yet, nowadays, in cities like L.A., it's getting to be about $14 to watch a movie in the evening. Around here, it's up to about $7, I think. Add concessions and drinks and it's easily at least $20 for a night out. When you pay that type of money for entertainment, you want to be entertained. You want to see something amazing. Most of the time, you aren't.
I'm not a fan of remakes. Sometimes a story/movie is re-imagined and though the story remains, the remake is something new, something different. That, I can live with. Yet it's movies like "State of Play" that bother me. It may turn out to be a good film. However, I don't want to see it because I love the BBC version. If that version had been, say, German and they were remaking into an English language version I might be able to deal with it but that's not the case. It's also not the case that the British accents are the thick ones, the ones that are hard to understand for unfamiliar ears. No, it's a perfectly great mini-series that is now, most likely, going to be a mediocre movie. I mean, seriously, Ben Affleck is in it. He has his uses in Hollywood but acting really isn't one of them.
I still don't get the "State of Play" remake just as I didn't get the "Pride and Prejudice" one a few years ago. If the original isn't broken, it shouldn't need fixing in a remake. I do think there are exceptions. Take the U.S. version of The Office. I confess, I was horrified when I heard they were remaking the British one. Yet, really, they weren't remaking it. They were re-inventing it, making it work for American audiences by breathing new life into it. The premise is the same but it's different. I don't hold out such hope for "State of Play."
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I am here to tell you that I firmly belive that, perhaps, the DMV is the portal to hell. Every time I have to go, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, to try to be nice so that they will be nice in return. Unfortunately, trying to be pleasant at the DMV is a virtual impossibility. They might as well leave a sign above the door that says "Abandon all Hope, Ye who Enter Here."
You see, today, I had to go to the DMV. You'll probably remember from my earlier post this week that I've been waiting for my vehicle title to arrive in Ohio so I can register my car here. Well, the good news was my title had arrived from California. So, upon my discovery that the DMV is open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on a Saturday, I was overjoyed to think that perhaps I would no longer have to worry about getting pulled over or even arrested for driving with expired plates.
This was not to be. I got up early, navigated through freezing rain and slick roads to go to the DMV. Last night, I had pulled up the list of what I needed. I made sure I had way more than the required documents, just in case. The primary form of ID that the DMV needs to register you is a driver's license. Then, the secondary form has to be something that verifies your social security number. So, they list things such as: Employer ID, Health Insurance Card, Credit Card and Tax Form. So, I took all of those things along with my green card and my passport.
So, imagine my dismay when the extremely rude lady at the desk tells me that none of those will work because the social security number is NOT printed on any of my ID cards. I pulled out my tax form. "No," she says, "That's not from the government." So I show her the fact that it's a 1040 form, it has my social security number on it, that I actually was smart enough to bring forms from several years and from both Ohio and California. No, still not enough. Apparently, the tax form to which they're referring is that old-fashioned paper booklet that they mail to you with a label on it.
Now, in case you haven't noticed, we're in an economic crisis. We are all encouraged to do our part for the environment thus we're encouraged to do everything online, especially our taxes. I have e-filed for at least the past five years as have the majority of the working world, I would venture to guess. While there are people who still sit down with their cheap-paper booklet and a pencil, gathering their W-2's, I don't think there are too many. I did my taxes with H&R Block, the only form I have is the one I took to the DMV. It's the one that was filed, the one that the government approved to give me my refund so why isn't that good enough?
I argue this with the lady for several minutes. She talks to her co-employees who all adamently say no, that will not work, it MUST be the paper form that I'm mailed. So I show her all of the cards I have. None of them will help because they don't have my SSN on them. So I say, still somewhat politely, that nowadays, identity theft is so rampant that it's not really a good idea to print the SSN on identifying documents. She shrugged. She said I could use a credit card but it had to have my SSN on it. WHO IN THE WORLD HAS A CREDIT CARD WITH A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON IT??????
So, then I try another method. I show her the credit application and the subsequent approval that allowed me to buy my car in the first place, it, too, has my SSN on it. Nope, not one of the listed documents.
By this point, I was angry and upset. The website does not say anywhere the the SSN must be displayed, only that I had to bring documents that would show my identity. You may wonder why I didn't just show my Social Security Card. Sadly, I don't have it. I know I need to replace it but I haven't had chance because, you see, my plates have expired on my car and I have seriously been trying for two months to fix that.
So, I ask the lady if there's anything I can do to make it legal to drive my car. I was told I can get a temporary 30-day plate. Nope, for this, I have to have my social security number. By this point, I was livid and trying very hard not to pull a Christian Bale on her. So I said, "so...you're telling me I should drive illegally, even though I'm doing everything I can to be a good citizen." She blinks and said, 'Sorry. You could borrow a car." If I hadn't been so upset and thinking quickly, I should have asked to borrow hers. Of course, that would be illegal since I wouldn't be insured but I get the feeling she wouldn't care.
So, by this time, I was upset and just plain infuriated. I understand that people have to do their job. I understand there are always rules to follow. I understand that there are policies and procedures. Yet, sometimes, people are helpful anyway. Take, for example, the employees of airlines who have to man the desks during bad times at airports. They deal with angry, delayed customers. With these employees, I always remind myself that it's not their fault the planes are delayed or cancelled and though it would be easy to yell at them, there's no point. Being nice to them always works to my benefit because they're just doing their jobs.
The DMV is different. I seriously do think the employees there are trained to be as vague and rude as possible. Even when I pointed out that neither the list I had nor the list on their website said that an out-of-state driver's license was worthless as far as using it for a primary identification purpose. Their list does not state that I had to have a booklet from the government in order to use my taxes as ID, it does not say the credit card has to have an SSN on it. Even when I pointed out that nobody uses them as an ID number anymore, that did nothing. The horrid lady even suggested I bring in medical records. Great idea! Because I want the DMV people to have that kind of information about my life! Also, they all use MEDICAL RECORD NUMBERS now, not SSNs!
Obviously, I am angry. I am also still driving illegally. Apparently, if I get a copy of my school transcripts (official, of course), I can use those. I have them somewhere in a box in my apartment. I've also been told to go get a new Social Security card. Um, yes, I will...once I can drive the distance without being paranoid about getting pulled over. It's a catch-22.
So, after my experiences today, I can safely say that Reaper was onto something. The DMV is, perhaps a portal to hell.
The DMV has wondered why their reputation is so bad. It's because the attitudes and helpfulness of the employees are awful. Seriously, at the moment, you'd think they'd be happy they have a job when so many of the people they deal with aren't that fortunate. But, alas, I don't think this is the case. If I were being my normal, non-angry self, I'd say that maybe the employee helping me was just having a bad day. However, I don't think that was the case. I know they have a job to do, I know they have procedures but when their procedures are so fuzzy anyway and they won't bend an inch.
And so, I will try again on Monday, Official School Transcripts in hand. I know they have my SSN on them because that used to be our student ID numbers. Wish me luck...
Friday, February 20, 2009
I think it's time to admit I'm a grown-up, an adult. Eek. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I've been living like a kid. My bed is a grown up bed, not some princessy, curtain-draped wonder. I cook. I clean. I even occasionally do my own laundry. I act like an adult, I've just never really felt like one.
You might wonder what spurned this revelation. Well, in all honesty, it was those blasted Jonas Brothers. You have to be somewhat familiar with them. They're the hot teen band; you cannot go into Walmart without seeing their stuff displayed by the Hannah Montana merchandise. I think there are three of them, they're Disneyfied boys, prettied up to get the girls screaming and they play that bubblegum rock that makes your teeth feel like it's going to fall out of your head with the sweet teen-ness of it all.
I will say that even when I was a teen, it's doubtful I would have liked the Jonas Brothers. With my generation, it was New Kids on the Block or, as they're so fondly known, NKOTB. I despised them in high school. I was annoyed at their popiness, their irritating sickly ballads, their clean-cut looks and their horrible choreographed dancing. I was into the hard rock stuff, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Def Leppard, Cinderella. Well, that was until I suddenly started listening to showtunes and I became a complete an utter nerd but I've already told you about that.
Bad idea. I thought it was awful. It was a shiny-happy version of high school and not one that I remembered. I knew it was Disney but wow, was it Disney, the dimples, the shiny hair, the happy ending...give me that in a cartoon form, change the characters into monkeys or something and I might like it but not with those insipid kids with their flat-ironed hair and trained-from-birth singing voices.
Yet, you'll notice, I still cared enough to pick on it, to make fun of it. I would never mock the fans of it unless they were over the age of 16 but you get the point, right?
Those Jonas Brothers are just a sign of the times. They're a safe transition from pre-teen to teenagerness. Yet, to me, they're just there. I don't even groan when I see their posters the way I do with the two leads from Twilight because the kids like The Jonas Brothers and let 'em have their music.
(Of course, the Twilight thing might be because every picture I see of Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart looks like they've been smoking something they shouldn't have. Seriously, want a visual picture of 'stoned', look at the latest cover of Entertainment Weekly.)
I suppose it had to happen sometime, I had to come out of the closet and admit I was a grown-up, no matter how many times I watch or read Harry Potter but I just didn't expect it to happen so suddenly and without my knowing it was going to happen.
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I also wondered who really runs around a corner to punch the air in excitement when she's about to have sex with a good looking man. Also, where are these brilliant, beautiful, broody men who seem to be waiting for the right misfit girl to come around the corner and fall in love with them?
Then I realized that I was just musing about romantic comedies, I was also musing about chick lit books. If you haven't read any of them, you may be unfamiliar with the genre. Yet think of books like Bridget Jones' Diary, or Confessions of a Shopaholic, or any book you see in a bookstore with hot pink on the cover or a pair of legs with fabulous shoes on the feet or a pretty girl obscured in some fancy modern art way. They're usually books about single women seeking their prince charming. I confess, I enjoy reading these books sometimes. Some of the authors are actually very good writers: Marian Keyes and Jennifer Weiner come to mind. Both of those authors manage to take what could be a fluffy story but deepen it, make it more real, wound it a little and give it scars.
I do sometimes wish I did live in a chick lit book. I'd love to meet my Mr. Right, to banter with him wittily instead of blurting out sillyness, bordering on a stutter. I'd love to go to glamourous functions and somehow be able to afford a $500 pair of shoes (although, knowing me, I'd probably go to TJ Maxx for the shoes and use the rest of the money for bills). I'd love to just know he's Mr. Right and not mind that he might be a workaholic and that he has an ex-wife who looks like Cindy Crawford. I'd like to not mind that he has flaws and be able to ignore them because otherwise he's perfect, the way he is in the books.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I think I've been complaining a lot lately. Whether it's a book that irritated me (yes, I'm talking to you, Story of Edgar Sawtelle), a movie or just the general blahness that hits in the deep winter months, I feel like I've been too negative.
So far, I'm doing ok with that. I'm ultra paranoid though. I have this picture in my head of a police car getting behind me and then I panic and suddenly turn off, my tires squealing as I do so. Then I get followed by the police and they pull me over and take my car away. Naturally, I think if I don't do anything ultra-obvious like, say, flee from the police in a dramatic manner, I might be ok. I can actually be quite rational in these situations.
My first few years in L.A. were spent commuting from "The Valley" as it's known. I used to take the 101 and drive by the Hollywood sign daily, the Capital records building, the sights that look so glamourous in photos but border on seedy in real life. Then when I moved, I took the 1o freeway from a different valley. This commute was more boring but I had to pay more attention because the freeway split three times before I made it to my destination. Only a couple of times did I forget to split, finding my way into parts unknown and quickly turning around in case I got more lost.
Just as long as when I look in my rearview mirror, there aren't any police.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
For me, it's my writing. I haven't written anything new in a while. I've been editing for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA). That was pretty fun but once I was done, I was done. I've been lurking on the boards and there are some people out there who are nuts about editing. Even after they'd submitted their entry, they were tweaking until the final deadline. Some people even want to know if the contest administrator's can open up the process again once finalists have been selected so they can tweak a little.
Personally, I have a bit of an issue with this. I know the contest is for new writers, unpublished writers, writers who haven't had luck with traditional routes of publishing. I know that the desire to have a perfect novel is driving, it's demanding, it can obsess you. No novel will ever be perfect though some have come close. I know the need to edit can be strong. Yet, at some point, you have to stop. Like any other submission whether it be to agent, publisher or magazine, you're supposed to submit your best effort. You don't submit to a magazine and say, "oh, hey, I rewrote this section of my story, I'd like to submit it again, please", do you? Well, maybe you do but you shouldn't be doing that because chances are the editor will say "why did you bother submitting in the first place if it wasn't your best effort?" and they'll reject you.
Yet I can't. Not at the moment. And I don't know why. I have ideas but nothing seems worth spending the time on. I should just write through it like I have in the past, push through the block. I've never truly believed in writer's block because there are tricks to getting through it. The block I have right now is my own making. I've let the stress of life get in the way and now it's fixed fast in my path. I need to find a way to ignore it and then the block will go away.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thus, I went into Valentine's Day (or, as some of my slightly more bitter friends call it "Single Awareness Day") with a positive attitude. I had a lovely day, I treated myself to a movie, went grocery shopping and then came home to relax. I chose to watch a perfectly dreadful movie while I was relaxing. Of course, I didn't know it was dreadful though given that it was based on a Nicholas Sparks' novel, i did have my suspicions. It was Nights in Rodanthe. I rented it because I like Richard Gere and usually like Diane Lane. Little did I know that even those two can't save a syrupy plot. Also, if you're familiar with Mr. Sparks' writing, you will know that he likes to make people cry by killing someone. I would like to point out to Mr. Sparks that he's used this technique one too many times by now and I'm onto him. I did not cry, in fact, I was irritated because halfway through the film I thought, "I wonder which one will die." I probably spoiled it for you. I'd say I'm sorry but, honestly, I'm doing you a favour. Really. You want a romantic movie? Watch An Officer and a Gentleman, Love Actually or Casablanca.
You may wonder why I kept reading. Mostly because I promised my mother I would. You see, she read it and felt like she 'didn't get it'. She didn't get the Hamlet aspects which is no way her fault. So I said I'd read it. I did. It's just that halfway through, I started feeling like I did when I move apartments. You know the feeling, right? It's like, in the beginning, it seems like a fun idea, you find a new place and you can't wait to move in. Then you realize that you have to pack. In theory, that always seems easy. Then you start doing it. Halfway through the first room, you realize exactly how much work it's going to be and you sort of want to abandon ship and stay where you are but you know it's too late, you've already committed. Yet every box you pack after that realization takes forever and ever and by the time you're done, you're exhausted and you're trying hard not to think about unpacking all those boxes.
Yes, for me, Edgar Sawtelle was like moving house. I thought it'd be a good new book. Then I started reading and the further I got, the harder it seemed to get through but I'd promised to read it and, truth be told, wanted to see what the fuss was about. Now that I'm done, I'm exhausted and feel like it took forever. I will not be rereading it. I think Stephen King said in his glowing review that he was envious of someone who picked this up for the first time because it was such a rewarding read. Also, he would be rereading it. Good for him.
Yet, then again, so was Breaking Dawn and you know how I feel about that. I suppose I can just hope that I'm ok the way I am and that, one day, I'll have my books out there in the world for some blogger to criticize on the web like I'm doing right now.
It's a vicious cycle.
Friday, February 13, 2009
I'd like to say I'm one of those people who sneers at the day and wonders what the point of having one day to declare your love when, technically, you should be doing it year round. And, in a way, I am one of those people. Yet, as always seems to be the case, I don't see it in black and white and so I do understand why February the 14th is special for people.
I have to confess, I think I've had maybe two Valentine's Day's in my life where I've been in a relationship. They were during college and both years, it was the same relationship. Those were good days, days in which I felt spoiled and lucky and appreciated having a boyfriend. Since then, my timing has sucked. I've never actually been in a relationship on Valentine's Day. Seriously. I've either just stopped seeing someone or...there never was a someone.
However, these days, I don't look on Valentine's day as a disappointment, a constant reminder that, yet again, I'm single on this day. Instead, I look at the other 'loves' I have in my life. I have great friends and a good family. Normally, I try to be on the ball and send friendship Valentine's cards. If I'd have thought about it, I would have sent some to my nephew's and nieces. Yet, this year, the day slipped up on me and I haven't had a chance to send them. That makes me feel bad but it doesn't mean that tomorrow, I won't be thinking of them all and appreciating them.
I also intend to make the day special for me, to remind myself of all the reasons that I do enjoy being single. I love to go to the movies alone because it's relaxing. I will make something nice for dinner and I will take a nice bath, probably with candles. Just because I don't have anyone to send me flowers, it doesn't mean I should look on a day that is all about love with disdain. I had intended to drive to my parent's this weekend and spend the day with my family but due to, um, a slight problem with expired license plates, I'm a bit afraid of being pulled over. So I'll stay local and try to dodge the police. I've already had one incident with them since I've moved, I don't need another. Next week, I should be able to get new plates because FINALLY the lienholder on my car sent the title to the state of Ohio. I've only been trying to get it for over a month.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I walked outside in the wind. I was going for my weekly Lost viewing at my friend's house. She lives in the same apartment complex as me and it takes about five minutes to get there. The wind was so strong I had trouble standing up straight on the way there, it took my breath away literally. It's amazing how spooky a dark and stormy night really is. I tend to have an overactive imagination anyway and in the dark, shadowed, windswept world, there were plenty of scenerios that crossed my mind.
At one point, I passed a motorcycle. It's been covered harmlessly with a tarp everytime I've passed by before. Last night, however, that tarpaulin seemed alived, rattling and billowing and forming shapes that my mind decided should be alarming. At one point, out of the corner of my eye, it looked like a giant dark wolf was watching me.
After I'd watched Lost and was walking back to my building, the wind blew behind me. I felt as though an enormous hand were shoving me quickly towards my destination, urging me forward to get me out of the night. I wasn't about to argue. It was probably my imagination but I liked the idea of being assisted through the darkness, away from whatever twisted and turned in the wind. That piece of roofing was still tapping but seemed to be looser.
I let that giant hand of bluster push me home quickly. After witnessing my GPS seemingly become possessed by dark forces on Saturday of last week, I wasn't taking any chances.
I didn't tell you about that, did I? Last weekend, on my way to Jungle Jim's, I stopped at a carwash. It was a warm, clear day, the snow had all melted leaving a film of grime and salt on my car. I decided to clean Car off. The carwash was was about a mile from Jungle Jim's. Now, in my car, I have two of those cigarette lighter plug thingies. In one, I have an iPod transponder that allows me to play my iPod through my car stereo. In the other, located in my glove compartment, I have another, into which my GPS was plugged. My GPS has no connection to the outside, no antenna; nothing to get wet.
Everything seemed normal. I love carwashes and this was one of those nifty ones with a track that takes you through without you having to drive. That was fun. When I drove out of the carwash, I turned towards Jungle Jims. And that's when I heard it, the dark voice of a possessed GPS.
You know those reel-to-reel tape things they had back in 'the old days'? And how you could speed them up so that everyone sounded like Alvin and his chipmunks or slow them down so Satan himself seemed to be speaking to you? Yes, the latter is exactly how my GPS sounded. Suddenly, the simple directions of "turn left onto Dixie Highway" sounded significantly less like directions and much more like a threat.
You might think I was alarmed. Well, actually....yes, I was. However, I decided to try to take control of the situation. After all, I was driving a car. Panic would have been bad. Instead, I talked to GPS and said something along the lines of, "um, Satan? Is that you? Would you mind giving me my GPS lady back?" GPS did not obey. The super-slowed, deep and ominous tones of my new GPS guide continued to try to guide me. He's a bit hard to understand, actually. He sounds like he's got an entire set of pool balls in his mouth. I knew where Jungle Jim's was at this point but I wasn't about to have my GPS lady taken down by this odd newcomer.
So I did the only thing I could think of. I unplugged my GPS and turned it on and off. After a few moments, my GPS lady was back. I don't know if I managed to banish the demonic posessor but he seemed to have gone. I won't say that I'm not wary of him coming back but at least I can understand my GPS now and I don't feel...wrong for listening to it giving me directions.
Of course, it did make my drive more interesting, I will say that. I think it might be fun to actually program GPS units to have different voices. I know some of them can do different accents and speak in different languages but it might be fun to have, say, Batman give you directions. Better yet, it'd fun to program personalities into them so that maybe if you went the wrong way, Christian Bale could yell at you and tell you that taking a wrong turn was f***ing distracting. Now THAT would be awesome.
But I digress. What's new? Anyway, back to my original musings. It's still windy this morning but it's just strong gusts, not a howling windstorm. We lost power for about a minute, long enough to make me have to reset my clocks but no long enough to be more than a nuisance. Even with all the rain we had yesterday, my GPS is sounding like her old self which is interesting given that the last time my car was that wet, she, um, went away. She's been back for a while but I tell you, the next time a demon takes over my GPS, I'm recording it somehow, just to prove I'm not crazy.
I always need a little proof of that.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Then the storms gets closer, rain begins to scatter onto the ground, the rumbles get louder and the storm suddenly overhead. The rain begins to pelt down, furiously. The thunder turns to a crash overhead, the lighting so quick and sudden that your eyes take in its bright aftermath rather than the lighting flash itself.
It made me wonder if those deer knew something about the storm. It reminded me of those cartoons in which at the first sound of thunder, the cartoon animals of the woods and forest make for cover to sit out the storm. Maybe those deer know that we're in for a tumultous day.
I like a bit of turmolt in my weather. As I said yesterday, there are some days where you feel like you're running in place and you just want something to happen. It's almost like I want to throw the elements that make up my normal day into the air to have them scatter like those pick-up-sticks that we used to play with as kids. I don't want the elements to change but maybe to rearrange, to make something new out of something old.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I don't think this means it's spring though. Not yet. The grass has reappeared now the snow has mostly melted and it's still that dull, tired brown of winter. The newness of spring still waiting to reveal itself. There are also still patches of snow that loom in the shade. They're melting and, as they do so, the cold of the snow collides with the warm of the air and a hazy mist hangs between snow and sky. It looks like something from a fantasy novel, as though you'd step into the snow patch and be taken to an alien place, a world that exists seperate from ours.
Don't you wish, somedays, that you could do that? I have, even since I was a child. I read books about made-up-lands that appeared at the tops of trees, lands that existed on the other side of wardrobes, worlds where vampires existed, brutally and romantically. Even as I'm older, I still like to read books that take me away, books like Harry Potter where magic truly exists. I'm old enough to know it's all fiction but young enough that sometimes I wish it wasn't.
I think the days that it's easiest to wish that are the days where we feel like we're stuck in a rut. For me, it's when my job isn't exciting and I feel that a trained monkey could do it. Sometimes it's a day when I have the hope of romance only to have it dashed by the reality of emotional baggage. It's also days when my email account holds rejections from agents when I was so certain that one of them would at least want to see more of what I can do. It's days when I sit down to write and all that flows is a regurgitated version of someone else's work rather than an original, extraordinary idea of my own.
Maybe there's a lesson to be learned there.