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Hey, remember that dog I rescued from a street corner back in March?

Yeah. He still lives here. His name is Maxwell I guess.

he doesn't really like having his picture taken but that doesn't stop me from trying. )
The "new baby" excitement of an addition never really happened, since my acceptance of ownership was just a long slow process of giving up on finding him a home. But he's pretty much a world-class sweetheart so I'm happy to have him here. I'm not much of a dog person, honestly, but we're doing our best for each other. He likes it when I squeak that toy at him. He hasn't quite figured out how to squeak it for himself, though.

Um. He's not a genius.

But he's mine, and I love him.


Sep. 18th, 2008 09:51 am
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I won't cross-post all the beautiful eulogies I've read this week; if you're curious, Nick Mantias over at the Howling Fantods has a pretty complete page set up to keep up with the flood of them.

The one I've liked the most so far is Laura Miller's over at Salon. Miller did one of the better interviews with him post IJ back in 1996, asking what I felt were all the right questions (or at least some of the right questions; it's not a long enough interview to nail him down on all of them). Her eulogy this weekend touched for me on the essence of his work, the essential question of empathy and how difficult it is. She articulates a few things about his work that I've always argued, albeit much more poorly:

a few of Miller's quotes )
I have not yet been able to brave McSweeney's, which is currently posting memories from anyone who had contact with him. But I will say it was a comfort to see that Timothy McSweeney is as devastated and as lost as I feel. It really is bizarre psychic territory, to mourn a person I never met but who affected me so profoundly. What do you do to process a grief like that? Hodge thinks I need to write a eulogy myself, though he seems to have an inflated sense of my status as a Wallace fangirl (it does no good to tell him I am one of many; he thinks I might well be the archfan and thus have a responsibility to the internets to write something brilliant). But I'm not sure what I'd say that Miller hasn't said better, and I'm not sure I can eulogize right now anyway. I'm still doing the Kubler-Ross shuffle.

Anyway...thanks for all the patience and concern in the past week, I love you all. I am doing OK. I have mail for a few of you that has been deferred on account of me being a big old mess but hopefully it'll be on its way shortly.
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I'm too baffled and angry to eulogize. Language does collapse at a certain point, the map and the territory too intertwined. I feel certain he'd have something interesting to say about how, living in a country that embraces such a culture of celebrity, we still have no codified ability to mourn the death of someone we don't know, even when that someone has been so important to us. But I can at least say goodbye.

I'm sorry you were in so much pain.

I'm sad that the courage and compassion of your writing couldn't sustain you the way they've sustained me.

I'm angry. I feel guilty for being angry, but there it is. I feel like I've been peddled a lie. All the hope, and wisdom, and nourishment that I've accepted from your work (from you, because wasn't that the agreement, that no matter how cerebral you got you'd always stay human and involved behind the language? should I not have trusted a metafictionist?) look so shabby to me today and I hate you a little for making them that way.

I'm chagrined. All your fictional suicides are so ridiculous, I figured your scorn would keep you safe. But I should have known better than that.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry you were in so much pain.
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In some ways, I don't think it's fair to hold Bristol Palin's pregnancy up as an emblem of her mother's backwards sex-ed policy. That bump is between Bristol and her baby daddy, and I can only imagine the poor kid is already experiencing enough shame and misery without being dragged into the spotlight and held up as an indictment of willful ignorance.

But really, I despise abstinence-only education so very much, a part of me is happy to indulge in a spiteful smirk. Of all the violence inflicted upon a woman's body, the witholding of vital health information is the most reprehensible. Ignorance, lack of education, and misinformation were used to keep women subjugated for centuries already and I for one am done with that bullshit. While I myself am passionately pro-choice, I can empathize with a pro-life position; but I can't even imagine a position where you would keep girls so in the dark they haven't the tools needed to avoid that situation in the first place. Here is a piece of information that might be helpful to policy makers: teenagers are willful, and simply telling them not to do something typically does not yield great results.
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is mah birfday where r caek, dammit!?
more cat pictures
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Poll #xxxx Awesome or Lame
Open to: all, results viewable to: all

Would a My Little Pony tattoo be awesome or lame?

awesomely lame

Would it be awesomer if the My Little Ponies were battling dragons?

Only if the Ponies were also wearing armor.
I'm still going with lame.

Bonus Question: Which Pony?

Cotton Candy
All of the Above





a notice

Aug. 12th, 2008 10:25 am
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I have three weeks left to finish all the writing I can this summer. As a result, I'm weaning myself away from livejournal for a little while. If anyone wants to talk to me, e-mail me directly--zenithblue@gmail.com. I'm still here, and not so busy I don't want to hear from people--I just can't keep up with my friends list right now.

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Dear Jennifer Dawn Graham:
I made this for you. Yes, you. See, it says on the bow. Happy birthday.
Christopher Nolan

Dear Heath:
I don't want to sound selfish, but I will never forgive you for dying so young.  Not just because there will be no way for anyone to follow your Joker, ever, but also because you were one of the most talented people in my generation. I hope you are doing well wherever you are.

Dear Aaron:
Bad. Ass.

To Christian:
I knew you were destined for greatness the moment I heard you singing "Santa Fe."  And no, I'll never let you forget it.
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Going to Alaska, where the temperature high for all next week is...wait for it...sixty five degrees fahrenheit!

*Does the happy dance*

I'm planning to wear black all week. Hodge mentioned that I will be complaining about the cold by the end of the first day, but that's all right. Vacation is all about new and exotic things to complain about. Besides which, in the cold you just put more clothes on. I'm actually hitting the legal limit of things to take off down here.

This will be my first summer trip home to Anchorage since 2002. I'm really quite excited--more so than I've been in a while. The last three or four winter trips home I've been increasingly unhappy. I love seeing my family but honestly, it's a few days of Christmas fun followed by a house-bound, dark, depressing, miserably cold week of isolation, since I'm too much of a chicken to drive on the ice. So this year for the first time I'm weaseling out of the Christmas trip, and as a result I'm getting a for-real vacation to Alaska rather than a parental-visit to Alaska.

In other news, I'm a wretched and negligent friend. I missed 2 birthdays this month. Two! One of which is a birthday of a person with whom I previously lived for six years! Also, I owe about four of you snail mail of various stripes, and I have been super-erratic about commenting on journals. You know I love you all, and sooner or later my love will overcome my pitiful flakiness. I promise.
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This Tuesday the 8th of July, PBS will feature The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez, a film by my fellow Michener compatriot Kieran Fitzgerald. It's a documentary about Esequiel Hernandez, a seventeen year old American citizen who was shot by Marines in a Texas border town in 1997. None of the Marines were ever prosecuted for the crime, nor were they officially reprimanded in any way.

It's an amazing film, featuring interviews with Hernandez's family, with most of the Marines  who were involved, and with several high-ranking officials who were either involved in policy or critical of policy during the late nineties. Kieran has done a fantastic job at giving a complete and even-keeled dissection of the complexities of this tragedy. I absolutely recommend you check this one out, especially given that we're currently in process of re-militarizing our borders. Check your local PBS listings for times.
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Much of the movie was spent singing, very quietly:

"Indiana...Dr. Jones...Indiana...Dr. Jones Jones Jones..."

...to the tune of John Williams' music. I believe this joke (if you can even call it that) was started a few years ago when [profile] drawgirl, [profile] hplovescats and I were busily writing Indiana Jones: The Musical! while tossing back tequila shots. Sing it through once and you'll never be able to hear the theme song again without muttering our perfect lyrics under your breath. 
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While playing "Moonage Daydream" on Rock Band:

[profile] drawgirl: Is this from his Ziggy Stardust period?
me: Well. Given that it's a song about gay alien sex...
[profile] drawgirl: Oh yeah.

Rock Band is a game that perfectly understands and embraces the most important parts of having a real rock band: 1) Coming up with vaguely obscene band names, and 2) Buying your rocker new cute clothes. So far our X-Box contains band names like the Bints, Bad Panty, the Barackers (that one was [community profile] junkyard's idea), the Anatomically Correct Dolls, and V-Jay D-Jay. It's also possible--even likely--that the "character creation" module has seen more use than the actual game play itself. But there are tattoos to place upon your Barbie Doll Rock Star! And like twenty hair-dos!

And yes, we have done other things besides play X-Box since [profile] drawgirl got here. We also watched a bunch of TV and played Dungeons and Dragons.
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1. [profile] drawgirl is here. WOOT. Bring on the Mexican martinis.

2. New Janet Frame story--posthumous of course--in the New Yorker. It's incredible.

3. Muppet Show soundtrack on repeat in my vehicle.

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I'm not saying I didn't love Muppet Babies as much as the next six-year-old, but was anyone else ever creeped out by Nanny? Specifically the implication that the Muppet Babies were locked up in the nursery and never went out into the rest of the house? What the hell is Nanny doing with ten-plus muppet infants locked in one room of her house? Whose Nanny is she? Where are the muppet parents? Is this some kind of black market muppet baby ring? 
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Once again had a screaming fit in the car when I heard the recent bullshit attempt to deny veterans proper care.

I'm glad the Department of Veteran Affairs has stepped in to insist that this one rogue administrator has nothing to do with their official policy. I'd love to believe them but given the Walter Reed scandal, and the institutionalized neglect and denial that plagues military mental health care, I've gotta say I'm feeling a little thin on trust these days.

Is it sick for me to say I'm almost glad we lost our family's Iraq War soldier, rather than see him come home broken and violent and unstable? To see him come home with a sense that to be a man one must suck it up and never ask for help?  To see him come home and raise a son into a paradigm where pain and suffering signify nothing more than weakness? Yes. It's sick for me to say that. But it's a sick fucking world, kids. It's a sick war, and a sick military, and above all a sick country. Here's hoping we can get our hands on some kind of moral penicillin in the near future.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.
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So now that I'm finished with my semester, I can get started on the real work. My program offers us a certain amount of money towards "professional development," which we can take for almost anything--conferences, production costs (for the playwrights and screenwriters), or summer writing projects. I've taken some summer money so I can get a jump on the novel. Here we go.

Thing is, the money is very generous, but I'm in the unfortunate position of having $17K in student loans that come out of deferral the instant my semester ends. As in, now. So the money I got from the Michener Center is going to be quite thin, and I'm in the process of tightening my belt. Anyway, the point is, I have a small list of the same 5 cheap meals I've been eating on and off during various harsh times for the past decade (baked potato, egg stir fry, eggs and toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, spaghetti and sauce), and I'm looking for new suggestions. What's your favorite easy-to-make, money saving meal? Post it here and earn my gratitude.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I like to eat vegetarian as often as I can. And the meal suggestion doesn't have to be totally dirt cheap--I'll splurge on things like fresh veggies a couple times a week. Thoughts?
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Motherfucking finished.
Screw your rules, I'll use as many syllables as a damn well want to.
Because I am too tired to count.
And also because I am fucking rad.
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Four pages to go.
Ass chafed from brick-like words.
Anyone have lube?

Please don't judge harshly;
Poop metaphor's all I have
Left in broken brain.


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