Effing Genius

True Words

Jenny Davidson’s been my fitness hero* this year, with all her triathlon training and fabulous posts about it. Today she has a wonderful post remembering a friend who died and talking about how she will remember him when she swims. In it, she says:

To earn the approval of a magically good teacher by hard work rather than by talent is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.


(And, Jenny, I’m still terrified of clipping in; maybe someday. For now, I’m sticking with yoga, which often feels dangerous enough.)

*In addition to Christopher, that is, who’s been pulling 200 mile weeks on the bike lately.

Pretty Tape


Excellent clear tape art (via Karen and Cat Rambo, practically simultaneously).

In unrelated news, I moved all my RSS feed subs over to Google Reader yesterday, as part of an ongoing effort to have Google control every aspect of my life. (It just feels less creepy if I pretend it’s intentional.) Bloglines has been superbuggy lately and not catching updates so quickly. Anyway, after a brief adjustment period, I’m really liking the Reader interface — especially the ability to read all the new messages in one column, using the space bar to travel between entries. Sweet.

Two Things I Love

1. Brotherhood 2.0. So very, very funny. And you just don’t know how far it will escalate: today Sutter Home, tomorrow _____. That is one scary blank to fill!

2. Jason Sizemore has put Christopher’s story "The League of Last Girls" up as a zipped PDF. Go read it. (Some of the horror reviewers seem to be finding it confusing, but I actually think it’s one of his funnier, more straightforward — yet creeeeepy — stories. So, penny for your thoughts.)

Two True Things

1. Maud rips Malcolm Gladwell for his apparently quite idiotic Enron piece. (I’m not sure I can stomach it, from the excerpts. And I’m more than willing to take her word for it, based on some of the other stuff he’s peddled lately.) Brava, dah-link:

A friend points out that Gladwell’s piece is the inevitable result when a writer who has — literally — made a career out of hailing superficial first impressions and banal fads as the height of human endeavor tries to reckon with serious wrong-doing that has serious real-world consequences.

2. Callie on how much it sucks to go back to the grind after time for more writerly pursuits:

I am not alone, I suspect, in my loathing to leave this state behind and plunge back into the world of work and clients and deadlines and the required pacifism, patience and forced pleasantries that will ensue.  After two weeks of reading & writing, I’ve developed a routine that I’m loathe to change. I’ve begun writing in a way that has inspired more writing. I’m not eager to fiddle with the state of things.  But I’ve got no choice.

Drinking With Miss Universe

Mr. Cavin shares the rules for the Miss Universe Drinking Game:

In honor of tomorrow’s popular intergalactic aesthetic talent event, the Miss Universe Pageant, here are the rules of the eponymous drinking game, a time-tested ritual. First, it is necessary for each player to choose a contestant from the outset (it is routine to either pick a woman representing a favored country or to just shout out "her!" during the national dress parade, the first televised event). This Miss will be your chess piece as the game advances, her performance dictates your scoring. It is important to have a contestant in play; you might need to pick another one if your first choice fails to make it into subsequent rounds. I would very much like to choose Miss Japan, whose costume is the traditional "Samurai Stripper Robot." Sunshine always takes Miss Venezuela, who will be dressed as "Spiegel Matador."

The actual rules follow.

We will be playing along here in Kentucky (home of the recently Project Runwayed Miss USA, who has not a chance in hell), and with champagne to boot.

All Dolled Up

IsonsThis morning, our local paper has a big profile of the fabulous daredevil Sunshine Ison’s amazing parents Cecil and Bet’s place, specifically focusing on Cecil’s fabulous dolls:

The first and most unsettling thing you notice about Cecil and Bet Ison’s Rowan County yard is the baby dolls.

Lots of plastic dolls, or parts of dolls.

Oh, how many nights have I spent there cattily watching beauty pageants and eating ice cream? About a year ago, I realized Sunshine’s probably my oldest friend; we met when we were 16ish at Governor’s School for the Arts. (And now, Erin’s in that category too, since I discovered she became Queen of Louisville and Poetry and we reconnected.)

So this article makes me very happy. There’s a multimedia thing with Cecil talking even. And mention of Bet’s unbelievably beautiful, complicated quilts (if no pictures). Check it. You won’t be sorry.

OH, and related, Sunshine has two great poems in the latest LCRW, "The Posthumous Voyages of Christopher Columbus" and "And If They Are Not Dead, They May Be Living Still." Order now.

Just a Reminder

Of why Tod Goldberg rocks:

Moral decay of our culture. Let’s examine that for just one moment, here on the day a crazed zombie with a taste for human flesh pushed itself from the earth to save our souls. Baldwin believes that porn is ruining our culture, whereas Bio-Dome did not? Whereas Half-Baked made the world safe for the children? Whereas The Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas edified God? (Of course, the Flintstones do make a persuasive argument that dinosaurs lived concurrently with modern man.)

That would be Stephen Baldwin by the way, otherwise known as Sleazy McBaldwin.

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