Month: December 2008 Page 2 of 5

My head is spinning

I know this probably is not news to anyone, but it just hit me: DECEMBER IS CRAZY!

We’ve been to three holiday events for Andy’s work, we did our early Cincinnati Christmas last night, and we’re going to two weddings this weekend. My hand hurts from writing out driving directions: home to wedding #1 to reception #1 to home to aunt’s house to wedding #2 to reception #2 to aunt’s house to airport (me) and Andy’s house (him). Ah!

And let’s not talk about holiday gifts, or cards, or anything, because I totally don’t have any for anyone. It’s got nothing to do with the economy, although I suppose that could be a convenient excuse…

Anyway, I’m going to go hide under the bed until February (because January will be crazy too) but my plan is to have a new episode of Twenty-Somewhere on Monday as usual. In the meantime, the NYT reviewed Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, and I’m intrigued. I loved Blink.

Gladwell’s latest book, “Outliers,” is a passionate argument for taking the second version of the story more seriously than we now do. “It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes. “Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”

I have been told as much before, and I agree: talent alone won’t do anything for you. You’ve gotta work hard and take advantage of opportunities too.

Diane tells me she’s almost done reading Outliers and we can see a recap/review of sorts on iluv2read soon. (No pressure, Diane.)

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Foto Friday: A nerd in all her glory

Yesterday was a sad day for nerds everywhere: Majel Roddenberry, widow of the creator of Star Trek, passed away from leukemia. She played the quirky, sex-crazed mother of ship’s counselor Deanna Troi (a fellow halfie and my favorite TNG character). Now that I think about it, my first understanding of the word “awkward” comes from Lwaxana Troi’s scenes with Captain Picard… In particular, one episode titled “Ménage a Troi.” o_O

In seriousness, Majel Roddenberry did a wonderful job working with her husband Gene to promote the various Star Trek enterprises (pun intended, haha) and the various social and political messages they carried. And after his death, she admirably continued his legacy, even reprising her role as the computer’s voice in the forthcoming Star Trek “relaunch” movie.

In her honor, here’s my best picture of me as a nerd, at least that was readily available:

NERD ALERT 001

Check out the big round glasses, Star Trek 30th anniversary hat, Starfleet Academy XL t-shirt, and big baggy jeans. All topped off by a backpack purse!

Yeeeeah, I was rockin’ back in middle school. I mean seriously, can you believe I didn’t get my first boyfriend until I was a senior in high school? What’s wrong with men these days?

It’s okay. Thanks to the Roddenberrys, I have hope for the males of the future. ;)

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A different kind of food for thought

Lately I’ve been banging my head against my keyboard for a variety of reasons — the server move and upgrade, a JBU redesign, MY NOVEL o_O — and I just wanted to say that Sabra Classic Hummus has gotten me through it all.

10oz Classic Hummus High Res

This is the best store-bought hummus I’ve ever had. It’s rich and creamy, as advertised, and that happens to be the way I like it! Sabra is a little more expensive (Andy the businessman tells me) than some of the other brands, but you know what? You just can’t skimp on some things, and pureed chickpeas is one of them!

(Also: computers, digital cameras, and gestures of affection.)

Please note that this is not a paid endorsement. No, my friends, this is pure and innocent love. However, if Sabra wanted to reward me for broadcasting said love, I would gladly consider money, or a lifetime supply of hummus, or some delicious combination thereof…

ANYWAY. [stops drooling and daydreaming] What gets you through those stressful days?

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My brain is mush, so let’s peek into other people’s…

First thing’s first.

Administrative Whatnot: I have successfully moved servers and upgraded hosting plans. There was only one casualty [snickers at Alex] but some collateral damage was expected and is acceptable. The transition was more or less seamless, thanks to the great support team at Dayana, but please let me know if you encounter any problems or something still looks wonky. Appreciate it!

# # #

Now. I’ve had a bunch of writing quotes in my drafts area forever. Because Andy got home from his business at 1:30 am last night (thanks to weather delays and a driver that almost killed him on the highway!) and then Riley had, erm, bowel issues at 5 am, I’m just going to leave these nice quotes here for your enjoyment while I go pass out try to make the most of my day despite my zombie-like diminished mental capacity.

(Please, no Geico-like retribution from zombies, okay?)

Therese Walsh has a fun analogy for the writing process:

Maybe writing is like crayon rubbings. Do you remember those? Stick something textured beneath a piece of paper, then use the flat side of a crayon to reveal its many intricacies. Rub hard enough and long enough and over the entire paper, and you’ll see a very clear likeness of whatever lies beneath.

Diana Gabaldon talks about learning your own best work methods, and inspiration vs. perspiration:

Writing successfully is a matter of figuring out how your own brain works, and doing that—not trying to adopt someone else’s methods. And in all honesty, I think an observant person would learn much more from extensive reading of novels, than reading how-to-write books. Remember though, that the only thing that counts is getting words on the page. Anything that allows you to do that is the right thing to do.

Mind, writing depends on hard work and having a routine of some sort. It should go without saying that one doesn’t just sit around waiting for inspiration (I mean, really—do ballet dancers wait for inspiration? Cello players? Athletes? CPA’s? Why in God’s name do people think artists do that? First, you work; then the magic happens.).

At at the same time, there really is a mysterious element to what we do. We aren’t spinning straw into gold; we’re making something out of nothing at all.

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Just you and I defying gravity

Growing up, I listened to a lot of musicals. My parents are huge Andrew Lloyd Webber fans, and the tape (yes tape, not CD) of his greatest hits was the only music the three of us could agree on for road trips. (Well, that and Olivia Newton John, hahaha.) Plus every time I spent the night at Alex’s house, we would fall asleep to the soundtrack of whatever musical her father had just taken her to see in NYC — Les Mis, Fiddler on the Roof, Cats. I loved them all, but I hadn’t gone to see an actual musical in years. Not until Wicked last year.

Wicked was fabulous. Over a year later, I still have “Popular,” “For Good,” and my favorite, “Defying Gravity,” on my current iTunes playlist. For those of you who don’t know, it’s based on a “meta-fiction” novel that tells the story of the Wizard of Oz from the wicked witch’s point of view. I hadn’t read the novel before seeing the musical, nor have I since, but after this (9-minute) interview with author Gregory Maguire, I really, really want to.

[Edit: Sadly the video has been removed from CNN.com.]

After hearing in Gregory Maguire’s own words the deep, deliberate thought that he put into the story, it makes total sense to me that this would become a hit, in any form. And though it’s fiction — haha complete and utter fiction, obviously — it’s really interesting to see how certain themes parallel his own life.

I can’t wait to read the novel. Heck, the whole series!

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