For so many things, I am. I'm a very happy girl with where life has landed me, with noremarkably few complaints.
It's hard not to love a day when you get to appreciate such luck. Have a nice holiday, everybody.
Updated: Also for "10 Things You Should Know About Twilight." C'mon, guys, let's go see this instead of Bond!
In addition to finally painting the living room*, Christopher had some other good news made formal this weekend. Go congratulate him, even if you don't know what it's for yet!
*Yes, I realize this sentence doesn't quite make sense. Also, no more painting** until spring.
**Pics soon. The living room is "contemplation." Who comes up with these names?
In the OUCH! department, Michael Dirda turns in an extremely entertaining review of Patrick French's new biography of V.S. Naipaul, The World Is What It Is. One of the money quotes:
As Patrick French's nuanced and generous but often dispiriting biography shows, there's not much to like or praise about V.S. Naipaul as a human being. He starts life as a twerp, then fairly quickly becomes a jerk and ends up an old sourpuss. The best overall epithet for him is infantile -- though one shouldn't neglect the claims of such adjectives as whiney, narcissistic, insulting, needy, callous, impolite, cruel, vengeful, indecisive, miserly, exploitative, snobbish, sadistic, self-pitying and ungrateful. Of course, his is, to some extent, the modern artistic sensibility writ very, very large. But even our favorite monsters and divas -- Picasso, Waugh, Callas, Brando -- are never as smarmy and nasty as Naipaul. He can make a spoiled 3-year-old look mature.
Seeing as Naipaul's still with us, and Dirda goes on to (let's face it, aptly) characterize him as "increasingly blimpish, less a cultural scourge than a mean-spirited, intolerant crank," I'm not answering anything without a recognized caller ID for a few days if I'm the critic in question.
I hate it when deadlines attack all at once. I've got a lecture to think out and write, a Dear Aunt Gwenda column to finish, a workshop submission to generate (20 pages of new fiction... I'm thinking now is the time to tackle the big fun SF middle grade thing and we shall see), aaaaaaand something else I'm forgetting. Oh, a Crafty Monday topic to host on our program's private, student-run message board. Plus, you know, reshelving all these books and junk once the front room is Officially Together. (Getting there.) Miscellaneous, etcetera, et al.
But I think this is the last big slew of vicious swarming deadlines for a bit. All to the good, that.
Sadly, and it does make me oh so sad, all the all meant that I didn't have time to do interviews for the Winter Blog Blast Tour this time around. But I'll be linking as it goes all next week anyway, because there's some fabulous interviews lined up by my more industrious, better organized compadres. You would be remiss not to check them.
Now I smell another cup of Kava Stress Relief tea in my future.
Updated: This made me and C howl like monkeys... or puppies!
(Hat tip to Karen, who has definitely earned the new puppy!)
We've spent it eating delish cornmeal strawberry pancakes (the dogs got their Mickey Mouse pancake, per tradition) and singing along with too-loud music (Magnetic Fields, Johnny Cash, and Kristin Hersh, thus far) and painting the front room and some assorted pieces of furniture and reorganizing. Earlier, I finally gave up on the return of VHS* (I was a hold out on cassette tapes too), and tossed all our tapes. A trash bag and a half full of Buster Keaton and weird Houdini movies and many, many fine screwballs and proto-screwballs (all of which, I'm now assured, are on DVD). A technological era has ended. And our DVDs now fit in the glass case that previously held the VHS tapes.
The sad thing about painting the front room (which, to be honest, Christopher is mainly doing -- I'm much better at purging and organizing and prepping than the actual physical labor... especially in a room with elaborate trim!)? Is that it makes me want to paint the living room and the kitchen even more.
See: Home ownership, the joys of. (It is joyous when the painting is done though. But the dogs and cat are nervous and exploration-inclined in the meantime and there are stacks of displaced books everywhichwhere.)
Pictures someday soonish. The great e-mail answering project returns tomorrow, but I've already got ye olde inbox down from 2,000+ to 78 or so.
*I will be insufferable at being forced to give these up if, in the great zombie apocalypse ahead, all we can find for entertainment are VHS players.
Still weepy, still in the good way.
Yes, we can still surprise ourselves. You will find none of the inevitable tempering of expectations here. I'm willing to be surprised a million more times.
That is all.
...except for a couple of quick links:
It took about two hours, but was a great experience. Seriously, if I talk about it too much, I'll get weepy. I've been weepy all day, a combination of nerves and just being inspired by how special this election is.
Anyway, that's the old firehouse we vote in, and the line when we arrived. There's a few more shots at Flickr. Reading material spotted in line: Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn (me!), Eragon by Christopher Paolini (a lady behind us), D'Aulaire's Book of Trolls (the kid with his dad three places in front of us), and there was a creepy yuppy guy in front of us reading Ayn Rand (!) (or at least toting it around with him pretending to read it).
The rest of our evening will be spent dealing with some version of this. Here's hoping.
Updated: CNN has holograms. WTF?
Well, obviously, I think you should.
I don't do a lot of politics around these parts, but Colleen has organized a big nonpartisan celebration of voting. Go throw some love her way and check out the tons of posts she's rounded up on the subject.
I'm not one of those people who believes you've got no right to complain if you don't vote. As far as I'm concerned, that's one of the most awesome things about this country -- you've got the right to complain about anything at any time. (With mainly logical exceptions.) And I sympathize, too, with those people who feel the two-party system doesn't serve them well. All those people who wish there were more options to choose from, options closer to their own personal views. And I'm also sympathetic to those people who have to stand in line for five hours or more, if they happen to live in unlucky, probably swing-state precincts--the great shame of our voting system.
But I don't know that I buy anything as a particularly good reason not to vote. Participation in life, and the world, and, yes, politics is a good thing.
And that's about all I can say without getting partisan. So go vote.
World Fantasy Award winners, that is:
Novel: Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking Canada/Penguin Roc)
Novella: Illyria, Elizabeth Hand (PS Publishing)
Short Story: “Singing of Mount Abora”, Theodora Goss (Logorrhea, Bantam Spectra)
Anthology: Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, Ellen Datlow, Editor (Tor)
Collection: Tiny Deaths, Robert Shearman (Comma Press)
Artist: Edward Miller
Special Award, Professional: Peter Crowther for PS Publishing
Special Award, Non-Professional: Midori Snyder and Terri Windling for Endicott Studios Website
Yay for all the winners, and most especially for Ellen, Dora, Liz, Midori and Terri! Woo!
Your result for Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test...
"Verbal-linguistic intelligence has to do with words, spoken or written. People with verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words and dates. They tend to learn best by reading, taking notes, listening to lectures, and via discussion and debate. They are also frequently skilled at explaining, teaching and oration or persuasive speaking. Those with verbal-linguistic intelligence learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and recall, and an ability to understand and manipulate syntax and structure.
Careers which suit those with this intelligence include writers, lawyers, philosophers, journalists, politicians and teachers." (Wikipedia)
I've been remiss in not posting a link to Vermont Public Radio's excellently creepy story about Anna, the ghost who reportedly resides in the College Hall tower at my grad school's campus. (This was the first I'd heard of this story; I really feel it should be in the promotional materials.)
Anyway, have a listen to Bob the former security guard who admits he's in love with Anna's ghost, and believes he once nearly walked through a time warp she had opened for him. He established this with the help of local hypnotists. Oh, Montpelier, what a wonderful town.
And how much do I love that Bob and Anna's living relatives basically held a seance in the tower at some point? Note to future seance participants: Probably not the best idea to read ghosts their own obits.