you haul 16 tons…

So, on friday it’ll be two months officially since I got a paycheck. I am getting unemployment, and they gave me a BIG list of websites to look for work on.

For anyone who might benefit, here it is:

Do or Do not. There is no try

When I was about 14, I fell in love with satin pajamas. Actually, I fell in love with the idea of satin pajamas.

I didn’t see them anywhere, I just thought about how pretty and nice they would be.

Buying them was not within my reach. You have to understand, we did not place the purchasing of new clothing from stores within our grasp. It was part of how we dealt with being poorl; just don’t even entertain the idea of wanting something you can’t have. Buying new clothes was outside of what we could do, so why think about it?

This was before I was able to make my own money, so I didn’t even think about finding out what it would cost new. If we wanted clothing that didn’t appear in the hand-me-down closet that our church kept, we would have to make it.

I found the satin on sale, a beautiful champagne color, and then I found the pattern. I worked hard on it. I’d never made a shirt with a yoke, and many other things.

It took a long time, but time was the only thing I had too much of. In the middle of it, I was talking to an excellent seamstress from our church about the double french seams I was trying to do.

“Don’t you think that satin is a very difficult fabric to work with?”

The idea had never once passed through my mind. Difficult? This was the only way to get the pretty pajamas that I wanted. It was not a matter of difficult. It was a matter of possible.

I am very binary that way. Can it be done? Yes or No? Difficult is not on the map. Not for me. And not for most of my family, come to think of it.

Consequently, I tend to bite off a lot. Then drive myself into the ground trying to do it.

Then again, I also manage to do some amazing things.

I am staggering right now under the difficulty of writing the book that I am trying to write. Sure, when I first thought of it, I just thought of the whole. I thought of the finished product, some vague notion of this story.

Now, I am in the details of it. I am staggered with the enormity of the subject. I tell everyone “It’s a book contrasting the religious tyranny in America with the political tyranny of Russia, and it tracks how the main character comes away from her tyrannical religious upbringing at the same time that Russia is trying to come out from it’s political tyranny.”

Honestly, I think even Shakespeare would have been a bit staggered with that subject matter. YES, it’s true. It really happened. No way could I write this if I hadn’t lived it. It is too big to make up. I believe that it would be a very good book to have in the world, to show up how that kind of thing happens, and that it happens to all of us.

But wow. This is a huge project. And ME, I have to make it the first book I write. No baby steps for me. I have to start with Mt. Everest.

Man on man.

Well, some day, somehow, it will be done. I kind of feel like I am halfway up this mountain, and it’s too late to turn back now. But I just realized how hard it is, and that I might not be up to the task.

But someway or another it will have to get done.

HOOO boy

thoughts from the road

So, I am on a trip. I decided take a trip down the road UP north.

I always say “Go down to see you” from whatever place I am. People will correct me. “You’re coming up to see me”

Whatever. I always call it down.

Anyway, I came out here to hit up an old professor about book writing/publishing ideas. She was awesome. Gave me a big chunk of time and really talked with me. She didn’t know any agents to sign me (one can hope…oh well), but she gave me some great ideas and feedback. Plus she had a very cute cat.

It’s so great to go on a trip for ME, not for the stupid law firm. GEEZ, those trips…they took so much.

I’m glad to be able to see who I need to see and think lots of thoughts about what I am trying to accomplish with myself.

I am finding that corporations offer a lot of infrastructure that individual persons don’t get, though. The B.ig F.irm (BFLF) offered me a hotel, usually a fancy one, when I would travel. They would also give me an internet connection.

Don’t really miss the hotel. I am honored to discover that I have lots of friends who love me and are excited for me to sleep on the guest bed/couch.

They love me! 🙂

But DAMN! internet is vital. I am at the library right now. In my own town I know where to get jacked in. Here, I can’t find a spare wireless connection to save me…I know they are here, but if I don’t have a connection, how do I look them up to find them?

Anyway, it’s been a great trip, now that I renewed my library card (act casual and pretend it’s no big deal that you don’t actually LIVE in Mountain View when you renew) and paid my overdue fees ($5.60 all told).

It’s interesting. The Mt. View library card had a smartchip in it. I remember those being introduced back when I worked at Visa International (up the road..San Mateo). NOW they are in the library card. Yay for technology!

They let you be online for 90 minutes, but you can also load the thing up with money to buy copies or print pages off the ‘net while surfing.

Good handy little thing, that smart card.

Well, I am sure this is of very marginal interest to you, my readers, BUT I just spent the last hour clearing off 1500 spam comments
from my webpage here. I felt like posting something, and it’s my page so there.

I wish the spammenters would leave me alone. SIGH But it’s the price I pay for leaving the door open for comments on this space.

I appreciate comments from readers very much, so it’s worth it.

Have a great weekend, folks, and let me see if I can cook up the next episode of Miriam for you by monday.

Is anyone paying attention?

Since I’ve been at homr during the daytime, I’ve gotten familiar with daytime TV programming. But I have cable, so I’m not stuck with Jerry Springer.

I’ve really gotten into West Wing. They show it on Bravo. Let me explain, I’m not the kind of person who sits still and watches TV or movies straigt through. I like to have it playing while I do other things.

So, Bravo has been playing the same set of episodes of West Wing for a while. I catch snippets as I’ve been writing and emailing and doing other things.

Chris declares that he hates the show, because it always takes place in the dark. I ignore him, and he goes into the bedroom to watch the history channel on the occasions I refuse to relinquish the remote.

Anyway, I was getting confused about what was happening. And right about this same time, my friend Jenn started talking to me about how she liked the show. This whetted my appetite.

I wanted to dig in and figure this show out. Break out the library card! the LA county library has the first two seasons of West Wing avilable on DVD.

So I’ve spent the last two days…okay, including today, three days, wathing 22 episodes. I’m on the last episode.

Watching them all in order, and paying attention, has dramatically increased my respect for the crafting of the show. Oh, and hey, the WRITERS are impressing me.

Thr pilot itself was bombastic. The characters that I had already come to know from reruns were not really the people I had come to know. They were new, and not really who they were yet.

But watching the show in order…There were stories that had been started, then laid to rest, then brought up again. It was like a nice tapestry.

And they have this device, where they say, “Previously on the West Wing..” and then they take clips from other episodes that give you the setting of what you are supposed to think about before they go into the current episode.

Very smart. They respect the viewers to follow what is happening over time, and yet they still give the Cliff’s Notes for it.

Smart. I am very impressed. I liked the show before, but now I am a real fan. It made me want to go to a chat board and talk about the different characters and the way the story evolved.

But I realized quickly that discussion of that sort was not the kind of thing you’d find on an internet chat board. And really, it’s in season 6, I’m late to the game.

And I thought about what the people who do the show were dealing with a vrey distracted audience. Their craft would not be noticed by people who maybe tuned in once a week. Most people who encounter the show would not be able to grab onto the good stuff they were putting out there.

And it made me feel a small sense of kinship. I have this blog, that is not usually paid too much attention to. My audience does not read everythng I write.

This is not to say that I am crafting this graffitti board. But I sometimes think about putting more effort into it. Maybe even spell-checking.

Sometimes I think about writing long posts with links to prove certain opinions I feel strongly about. And then I think, It would be a waste of time because no one reads this blog.

But then again, they do. I have upwards of 50 readers a day. Why they heck anyone would read this stuff, well…Hard to say, if they were total strangers.

I do know that my homemade popcord recipe is consistently in the top 10.

But anyway, I was inspired that the writers took so much care to make the show good, even if noone was going to notice.

Who’s left to change the world?

The 60’s changed the world, and all those goofy hippies who did it had babies.

I’m one of those babies. And I’m 32 now. What’s left for me? I watched by parents really do the stuff that the hippies-cum-yuppies bragged they did. They really went all over the world and changed wherever they went.

Not that I approve of their methods necessarily. Now that I’m as old as they were when they did some of their revolutionary stuff, I just think, “there must have been a better way.”

But then again, it’s tough to change the world. Not many people are trying any more. There lingers a desire, maybe a reminscence of once having been a revolutionary. Starbucks sprays that scent around all it’s stores. It doesn’t have any substance, it’s a synthetic aroma.

Another hippie-revolutionary nostalgic institution…NPR…Their very tone of voice is soothing. It makes me think they are all open-minded, well-educated, fair and balance citizens.

And yet. They are not. I repeatedly find them to be increasingly uninterested in democracy and more interested in the democratic party.

What kind of revolutionaries are they?

So here’s my new beef. NPR has fired a guy for giving an opinion that the Museum of Modern Art in New York finds embarrassing.

Shame. Turn in your card, National Public Radio. You have tromped on journalistic integrity and free speech. Your very existence is supported by our government AND the listeners who send in their 10 bucks a month because you are supposed to be free from corporate advertising alliances.

Sell Outs.

Daytime programming

So it’s coming up on the two-month anniversary of my last day at work. I confess, I have come a long way. A long way from the hippie credo of my no-tv family.

There is a lot of choices on my cable network. It took at least a month to be totally sick of everything on TV. At last, I am availing myself of my boyfriend’s DVD library. And when I want to see something in color, the LA library let’s me have them for free.

So I’ve been watching a lot of movies. The trick to watching movies, for me, is to watch ones that you’ve seen before. Because I just want it on while I’m doing other stuff. Folding laundry, writing, emailing, taping packages.

But that means I have to see them the first time. So here are the movies I’ve watched lately:

Meet John Doe
One Fine Day
Lust for Life
Intruder in the Dust
Muppet Movie

When I list it out like that it seems like a lot. I don’t usually watch that many movies.

Movies are a lot different from writing on paper. And paper writing is what I’ve been doing. So, I want to appreciate the movies and understand them for what they do.

I want to understand what they do, so I can learn to do that do, but also to do what only writing can do.

People are very used to movies, and they expect excellence from them. That’s changed what people expect from books too.

I think movies show external action, dialogue and visual images very well. Obviously!

But books can pop open the heads, show the thoughts and the psychology of the characters in a way that movies cannot. And books can carry a scope that is much larger than the two hour time frame of a movie.

Even if I were the master she was, I can’t write like Jane Austen. Things have changed. The dendrites and synapses of readers have realigned themselves and I have to use a new roadmap.

It’s exciting, I tell you.