Friday, October 31, 2008

6 Random Things - My First Meme!

I've been tagged by fairyhedgehog.

Here goes:

1. I almost always wear jeans. As a student, obviously this fits my lifestyle. But even when I was working full-time, I was pretty much in jeans. I pretty much hate dressing up anymore. This is probably due to the fact that instead of having a nice figure like I used to, I am now a little pear-shaped.

2. I once worked as a dancer in a nightclub. No, not that kind of dancer. We were like the Fly Girls on that show In Living Color—minus the talent and coordination.

3. I only learned to make chili this year. Not that I ever thought it was hard or complicated; I just never got around to learning it.

4. If I could marry a cup of coffee, I would. Coffee and its warmth has given me more comfort and companionship than I can relay here. I'm sort of in love with it, although I'm developing an infatuation with tea. Please . . . don't tell Coffee.

5. I play double bass. A lot of people don't know this about me because I'm rather small. I'm not sayin' it's a mean double bass, but I get around all right for a white girl.

6. I'm becoming nocturnal. It's rather scary for me, a lifelong morning person. Nowadays I'm never up before 8 a.m., and I used to get up at 6. Some mornings I'm not even up before 9 a.m., and with all I have to do now, that's just way too late.

It seems like everyone I know online has been tagged.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I am now signed up for NaNoWriMo under "freddie." Anyone who wants to buddy me is welcome to do so.

I can't guarantee I'll finish this, but I will try.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are the Machines Taking Over?

On Friday, I received two requests to "friend" a couple of (real) friends on Facebook. I clicked the link and filled out the info page to sign up, only to be told "Sorry. You are ineligible to sign up for Facebook." I tried again from the website and got the same message.

Did I somehow offend Facebook? If so, was it the people behind Facebook or the machines? Did they decide I'm not cool enough? Is Facebook . . . two-faced? I thought it was merely odd until I remembered this post and this post.

It's like the machines are deciding to take over.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Page 56

Meant to do this yesterday. From A Heart at Fire's Center . . .

("When they see my name on it they'll throw bricks at you," [Ives] told Herrmann). The dedication remained.

Herrmann began three other concert works between 1936 and 1940, only the nonprogrammatic Nocturne and Scherzo (dedicated to Howard Barlow), written in the summer of 1936, was completed. The other, larger-scale pieces (another cantata, based on the story of Johnny Appleseed, and a "fiddle concerto") apparently never satisfied their creator. For Herrmann, the concert idiom was less rewarding, creatively and financially, than the more immediate challenge of dramatic scoring at CBS. Herrmann would spend most of the 1930s writing short, ingenious cues for radio dramas and conducting the network's expanding (and improving) concert orchestra.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who Needs the Writer's Market . . .

. . . when we have Writtenwyrdd?

A plethora of info and links for genre writers. Go check it out.

A Ship Receding in the Distance

In my mind, or some alternate life, I am a disciplined person who wakes at 5 a.m. and promptly starts my hour-and-a-half yoga routine, which is followed by a half hour of meditation. Then I have my herbal tea and an ultra-healthy breakfast followed by ten hours of joyous composing in which I focus with razor-sharp clarity on my work. I follow this routine with a military-like precision, and nothing—nothing—can pull me away from it.

Real life is much, much messier. I don't follow any real routine these days. I'm totally at the mercy of whatever is due. I feel lucky to get in twenty minutes of exercise. I constantly feel a sense of nervousness (left over from the Year of Hell) that has yet to drain completely away. I feel skittish much of the time (the cough that never went away after I got sick doesn't help). Some days I'm left with only the vague conviction to finish, because I started this venture only to make the second half of my life better than the first. But yesterday was just One Of Those Days that left me feeling like the dream is receding. I felt like a person stranded on a desert island, watching the only rescue ship she's likely to see completely miss her and disappear over the horizon.

But today is a new day. I get to compose to my heart's content. It always amazes me how much a good night's sleep helps my perspective.

With tea in hand, I salute those who are silently or not so silently cheering me on.

Ever onward . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Burying the Cherry

It was my fault. It didn't matter that I'd had the shittiest week on record. It didn't matter that I was bone tired from working extra hours on top of studying and practicing. All that mattered was that I screwed up.

It started off innocently enough. I had just started my shift. A woman came in and asked for a glass of wine to go with her cigarette. I complied and even lit her cigarette for her—the polite gesture of any good bartender. She drank her wine faster than I expected, but she didn't ask for another. She paid and left. Her cigarette still burned in the ashtray. Apparently.

I let the stuff sit for a while. Hell, we were slow, and the people at the table around the corner were so drunk they were liable not to care. After fifteen minutes or so the bartender in me dumped the ashtray and cleaned up the slight mess. That's what bartenders do.

Something's burning, I noticed a few minutes later. I went back to check the popcorn machine, which was frequently left on by all the bartenders on staff. I came out of the office (where the popcorn machine was kept) to find flames shooting up out of the trash can. I mean, almost to the ceiling. I grabbed a pitcher and filled it with water and threw it on the fire. Just then, Jen, from the Heurot (a Vikingesque bar with more than thirty kinds of beers on tap), walked in. "Get the water gun!" she yelled, because this type of thing happened at the Heurot all the time. Together, we got the fire out, although you could probably smell it through the whole hotel by that point.

In my defense, there was no smoke coming from the ashtray. The sneaky cigarette buried the cherry. But that doesn't change a thing. I screwed up. I admit it.

What is the point of this story? You can get lucky even when you screw up.

I'm Still Around . . .

Although my entries are getting few and far between.

Anybody reading any good books lately? I'm reading a biography on Bernard Herrmann, a towering figure in the film composing world (A Heart at Fire's Center). And I'm reading my textbooks and finishing up Schindler's List. Next on my plate for reading for pleasure is . . . well, I was going to try to squeeze in EE's book chat book, but I don't think that's going to happen now. Think I'll try for the one in November.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I'm confused about just how guilty I should feel about participating in NaNo, what with school and all. See the poll on the left. Right, I mean.

EDIT: I don't feel guilty, actually. This school year has been slow, and we don't really have a lot to do yet. This semester is supposed to be easy. But next year is supposed to be hard. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying time to just listen to music. But I'm keeping up the poll because I think it's amusing. I'll be doing more in the future.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reading you a story . . .

If anyone has trouble understanding my dehydrated voice and mumbling mouth, please let me know. I'd be happy to send along some text to go with the reading.

Yes, Mom, I'm drinking lots of water to combat the drunken debaucheries of last night.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Got a little drunk with some of my classmates tonight, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow for my reading. Sorry. Drunk.


I FINALLY got my voting card yesterday, after three attempts at sending the Chicago Board of Elections an address change form. I was getting worried I wouldn't get to vote in this election.

Don't even know if anyone is still reading this blog, but if you are, look for my reading post later today. You can bet your ass it will be a Neil Gaiman novel.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I've barely been online lately because of mouse problems. The old one died a slow, painful, lonely death and is now in mouse heaven, undoubtedly waiting to meet its maker, Bill Gates. Got a new one that is working splendidly.

In minutiae news, I think we're keeping the new kitty. He terrorizes Orson on occasion, but on the whole, everyone seems happy.

I don't know how school is going, so don't ask. I've barely got any grades back yet. This is the most esoteric program I've ever been involved with. However, my lab skillz suck. Fo shizzle.