November 19, 2013
A Petsitter Request in 5 Easy Steps
1. Pretend you want to take someone out for a midnight snack when really you are flanking them to pet sit. For a week and a half. Over Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Camping at your place. Alone. With two dogs who have to go out five times a day.
2. Forget to inform the accompanying child she is supposed to be pleasant to support this flank maneuver instead of responding to any polite rejoinder with a death stare before silently going back to texting.
3. Open with “Will you be in town for Christmas?” — which sounds like someone is about to ask you over for a nice Christmas dinner before they say, Great!, you can pet sit! For a week and a half! 24 hours a day! Over Christmas and New Year’s Eve!
4. Scream “You owe me money!” if someone says camping at your place for a week and a half alone over the holidays might be a problem.
5. Yell, “You just want to party!” when YOU want to party for a week and a half in France. What the fuck is up with your friend wanting any free nights over the holidays? Wow is she a Bitch!
*Cinderella was not a handbook on how to treat friends.
November 18, 2013
Probably this is only hilarious to me. It is actually kind of a catastrophe but still hilarious to me.
[This may be because "catastrophes" historically for me involve brushes with death but I consider the "brushes with death" catastrophes mostly comedic too so my "catastrophe" meter is skewed.]
[Wait, back up, catastrophe therapy kickstarter project yay!]
Here is the new workshop shirt close up:
I wore that shirt at AFF. Other workshoppers wore that shirt at AFF.
Tell me if you see the problem.
Nobody did until today.
I am so cracked up.
*I’m sending out new shirts to everyone who bought the wrong shirt. Also I’m framing the wrong shirt.
November 17, 2013
I would like to say :::Lizard on the Doorstep::: is the only chance encounter I have had with an inanimate object in which I mistook an inanimate object for an immediate threat of the antisocial animal variety.
This would not be true.
Age 7: When asked to take the trash out after dark, mistook a discarded chair and couch in the dumpster for bears.
Age 8: When crawling under house foundation [don't ask, it is an eight year old thing] mistook mattress entrails for pack of attacking tarantulas.
[One reason my step-father will always be endeared to me is, he returned from each above emergency site saying things like "they did look like bears" and "that did look like a herd of attacking tarantulas."]
[Also he was totally right they did.]
Flash to Now: Going out onto balcony after dark for a smoke, mistook oak leaf of unusual size for alligator lizard.
In my defense, there have been a LOT of incidents that totally did involve living creatures of questionable hospitality:
Also in my defense I have had a lot of non-reported antisocial animal encounters:
•Swarmed by usually-brine-shrimp-eating-not-max-eating spiders at the Greater Salt Lakes —
[I hope never again to find myself stripping on a public boating dock shouting, "Hit me with the hose!"] —
•Attacked by an innocuous twig that wrapped around my ankle and tried to bite me —
[yes, snakes do fly] —
•Escaped 350+ pound pigs trying to eat me —
[technically that was a lot my fault I should not have been in the pigs' yard on that farm but still, death by 300 pound pigs does not look good on a tomb stone] —
•Chased by an antisocial goat —
[yeah yeah yeah everything trying to hit you with horns looks big and aggressive when you are three but still, mental scars, people, mental scars!]
•There was a standard poodle who lived in a house on the way to school when I was in first grade and that damn poodle chased my bike every day on the way to school —
[I have a scar on my wrist still from the day my bike's chain fell off changing gears and that damn poodle finally caught me and took me down.]
[Also, no matter how many times your kid mistakes couches in the dumpster for bears after dark, (ONE TIME!), maybe listen when your kid tells you every day a dog is attacking her on the way to school --- that works out better than the day the school nurse calls saying your kid is all messed up from a bike crash and dog attack.]
TALLYING UP THE LIST here as well as events to remain unmentioned [yes unmentioned and they will REMAIN UNMENTIONED TOO] I’m going to say there were more antisocial animal encounters than inanimate object encounters.
Also that oak leaf of unusual size totally had it coming.
November 16, 2013
An unusually large lizard on the doorstep when opening the balcony door at night:
Rule #1: Block entry because once the lizard is inside, it is going to be hell to catch and put outside again.
Rule #2: If you have spent any formative years in alligator lizard country and are wearing only socks when facing off with a lizard on the doorstep and that lizard is six inches long and two to three inches in girth, Rule #1 changes to “give the lizard the immediate right of way” because any alligator lizard that BIG can sever a toe or Achilles tendon if you are unwary enough to stick your little sock clad foot in front of his face.
Rule #3: Rules #1 and #2 do no apply if you are actually facing off in the dark with an oak leaf of unusual size.
PS: In the dark oak leaves of unusual size totally look like ginormous lizards. Also there is a house key in there for scale you doubters.
November 16, 2013
STATES STILL TO GO: As of November 16th, 2013, we have 4 states to go before Christmas. I am not sure we will make it, but my partners in crime are optimistic. [Crazy partners in crime!) If you can nail one of these states you are a hero:
*There are asterisks or questions marks next to states people say they are picking up.
*We still have one total dead zone: North Dakota. Oh North Dakota how you mock me.
*Delaware is shady as fuck too.
November 15, 2013
It’s kind of stupid. I’m not sure why anyone would follow up, say, I dunno, on a 2001 September attack in 20013 in November on a completely different day. Really? 12 years later? In a different month on a different day. Not that that is just bad marketing follow through. But, ultimately, completely stupid. Nobody waits 12 years to follow up. You are probably safe, Los Angeles. Unless your government wants to fuck with you. I’m pretty sure no terrorists are this marketing impaired. But the government? Pretty sure it is.
The internet warning says warnings are going out from Anonymous. People are talking. On one hand saying Anonymous is full of crap. On another hand saying, This is some government conspiracy to put info out there under the Anonymous handle to discredit Anonymous. And then there is the third hand, (nice to have three hands, right?), If Anonymous did just uncover and make public a 9-11 type attack, the fastest way to discredit Anonymous would be to just not do the attack.
Sucks to be you, Los Angeles, in the cross fire, in this discussion. Since, if you live in Los Angeles, this is not exactly an intellectual discussion, it is a question of whether or not you are going to get blown up tomorrow going into work.
I wonder sometimes how all of this turned into an “intellectual discussion.”
It’s not an intellectual discussion for me. I was born in Los Angeles. So were my parents. So were some of my grandparents. You’re not talking about, Oh I just happened to be there, when you talk about blowing up Los Angeles to me. You’re talking about blowing up my grandparents’ headstones.
What people are not saying —
Los Angeles has already been hit. It is an insidious hit, but it’s a hit. Japan blew up and is spewing radioactivity into the Pacific and the airstream that is hitting the West Coast of the U.S., every day, and there’s a dog pile of radioactive flotsam from the Japan tsunami wake washing up all along the West Coast.
No one’s even talking about that effect on Hawaii, which was in the direct path of the first wash, but people at some point will have to start talking when thousands of pounds of radioactive flotsam hits shores from Baja to Seattle.
Also you have to consider the Hudson Current, which runs north to south from Alaska to Mexico unless there is an El Nino in effect, and then runs backwards, from Mexico to Alaska. Which means even places that shouldn’t be in the path, like Alaska? Are going to get hit.
Once upon a time after 9-11 some students and I in a chat room were talking about, if 9-11 were on purpose and a little more organized and insidious?, what would the next hit be.
We mapped it out.
So far that map is pretty accurate. But we missed some stuff. We thought Seattle would go before Los Angeles. Seattle has a for shit sea wall, bad bridges, a lot of political misbehaving in terms of funds, and is the easiest physical infrastructure to take down after New Orleans. But —
We just were not imaginative enough.
We never imagined someone would take out the entire Pacific Rim by blowing up Japan.
November 13, 2013
I just realized in a random conversation something I never snapped to before.
Texas is the only state in the U.S. I have returned to, to live in, besides California.
I have lived in a lot of states. I lost count of interstate moves around interstate move number seven — and I keep going home to California. Move out. Move back. Move out. Move back.
The ONLY other state I have ever returned to is Texas.
I should fear Texas like I fear the astrological sign Taurus. Huge life altering events have happened to me in Texas. Not all good.
Texas is a pattern I never saw before.
A blind spot.
I don’t have a lot of blind spots.
When they show up they are usually huge.
===>>>where the artwork comes from:
that is from the texas experiment: ethnography
November 12, 2013
And funny to me I have to share it.
Also I am not even going to tell you how many “Now I’m pissed off” blog posts are in the Celluloid Blonde archives that I never pushed “publish” on. But they are in there.
[Thanks to Ana Maria Montoya for sharing it.]
14 Ways to Tick Off a Writer
~by Rebecca Makkai
~originally published on Ploughshares
“I love throwing rocks at tigers in the zoo,” you say, “but now that the weather’s cold, I need an indoor activity.” Look no further. Writers are fun and easy to annoy. Minimum effort, maximum rage. Try these 14 simple tricks, and you might never need to pay for the Large Cat House again.
1) Go on Amazon and give the book one star because “the plastic wrapping was slightly ripped when it arrived from the seller.”
2) Ask what the new book’s about. After the writer answers, say, “Oh, that sounds exactly like that T. C. Boyle book that came out last year. Have you read that? You have to read it! Yours sounds exactly like it!”
3) When interviewing an author on the radio, make sure to give the wrong title for her book. Just wrong enough….
November 11, 2013
People are fighting over being Plan B in Banksy.
And Plan C.
They’re telling me that, in personal notes. “I want to win Plan B! No Plan C! I can do it! I am the one!”
In my entire life, I have never fought for anything less than Plan A.
November 11, 2013
A martial arts class once, and the ancestor master from China was there.
There is a serious hierarchy in martial arts, and this man was THE ancestor of the classroom I was in.
I was a baby in that class. It was Wing Tsun.
Someone showed me how to do a move. I tried it. And got it wrong.
The master tapped me hard on the clavicle and said, “Learn.”
Here’s something I notice about writing instructors in the US.
We don’t tap someone on the clavicle after the first mishap and say, “Learn.”
We repeat ourselves about five times going in in the hopes they’ll get it right the first time and then, we cajole them after they get it wrong and repeat.
And repeat again.
I wonder sometimes what would happen if I just punched someone in the clavicle and said “Learn.”
I’m pretty sure my students would say I already do this.
But I really don’t.