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There will be a Poetry & Prose Open Mic at the Writer's Center in Bethesda on April 11th, where I will read a passage from my first novel, Charlinder's Walk.

(Which passage I will choose to share that day, I'm not sure.)
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First: I sent another query yesterday. This one's submission instructions are slightly confusing (does she not want a sample chapter, or does she want the first 10 pages, hmm?) but the FAQs are amusing. Some writers think they are special snowflakes, it seems.

But the real point of the post is: I want more movie recs! What films have been or will soon be released to DVD which I have not yet seen and should see? I've just added Precious, An Education, A Serious Man, Whip It, Jennifer's Body, Slumdog Millionaire, 500 Days of Summer, Humpday and The Invention of Lying to my Netflix queue, and I've been waiting for my turn with The Hangover and Inglourious Basterds for some time now. What else should I put on the list?
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Prop 8 is now on trial. Oh, yes I can blog from it! This is just the tip of the iceberg.
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My family tells me the oddest things about myself.

We have relatives visiting this weekend; my cousin TJ and his wife Michelle came in with their son Markus Wednesday night from Arizona, and my aunt Susie her boy-toy Grant and my cousin Kristi came in from Indiana last night. They're all staying at my grandmother's house. It's not a big house. There's only one bathroom for the lot of them.
I told you WHAT? )
I can has pretty teefs now! )
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A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, conducted by scientists at King's College (London), suggests that the G-spot doesn't actually exist after all.

This is the signal for dozens of Jezebel commenters to retort, "I do SO have a G-spot, you rotten scientists!"

From where I'm sitting, it would be really nice if I could find a link to the study itself; all I can find are blog posts and news stories about it. One such example is at the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8439000.stm

YES WE CAN talk about our naughty parts! )
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I am so obsessed with Lady GaGa's song "Paparazzi," that...I want to see someone do an a capella arrangement of it.

Can you feel it? Would that not be the technical performance achievement of the decade?

Also: if Lady GaGa had appeared about ten years ago, I would have dismissed her as one more specimen of the Spears/Aguilera/Simpson breed and despised her on principle, but since it is not ten years ago, and I am old and traumatized rather than young and sheltered, I think she's brilliant. I'm willing to bet that when she goes outside in plain clothes, natural hair and clean face, nobody recognizes her, and that is the smart way to do pop stardom.

But my point is: Paparazzi, a capella. How many different types of vocal talent would that take?
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I'm really hoping I don't hear back from the literary agent I queried yesterday at least until I get home this evening. Because if I hear from her today, it'll probably be a no thanks. It'll probably be a no-thanks anyway, but if she responds really soon I highly doubt she'll be interested. And if I'm going to hear another no-thanks, I'd rather it not be within 24 hours of the query.

My very first query got a response--negative, natch--after about 12 hours. At the time I thought that was funny, and I might have even gotten another one even faster than that since then, but right now, can she give me more than a day before turning me down flat?

Actually the primary sign of fatigue is probably that I'm going more than a month between queries. It doesn't help that I've gone through so many of the agents I compiled in my list already. So I suppose it makes sense that I'm getting fatigued. But either way it's probably not a good sign that I'm hoping this one waits more than 24 hours before answering.

(And yes I am aware that no news is not good news. There's at least one agent on my list whom I queried in, like, January, and still hasn't responded. He probably won't respond. I get that.)
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...it would be the church in which I grew up, and where my family still attends weekly services.

Last night was their Christmas concert, which was about 20 minutes too long, but: the choir sang "The 12 Days After Christmas." It involves cutting down the pear tree and shooting the partridge. That's just the beginning. It was hilarious.

It is a church with a sense of humor.
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The Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien
1990

Anyone with a passing familiarity with Tim O'Brien's work knows that the author is a Vietnam vet who frequently revisits his war experiences in his writing. This piece starts with the title, literally enumerating the things, both tangible and intangible but mostly of the material, measurable type, that the combatants carry around. This could be incredibly dull in a less nuanced writer's hands, but the literalness of listing all those items, and their respective weights, gives the piece its initial grounding in the quotidian reality of the soldiers' lives. I didn't bother with the arithmetic--I'm almost afraid to break out the calculator and tally up the sheer poundage pressing on any particular combatant's back on a given day. It's the kind of weight where the author will list the ounces of each item, because when you're talking about that kind of weight, every ounce counts. The litany of concrete things, ounces and pounds makes its point to such an extent that the "weight of the world on his shoulders" cliche doesn't need to be voiced and might not even be relevant. The immediate picture it paints is no less valid for its literalness: a picture of young men in varying degrees of innocence and cynicism, carrying untold tens of pounds of armor, weapons, ammo, tools, rations and other supplies around on their persons in all weather, over all kinds of terrain, in the execution of a war they didn't start and in most cases had no choice but to fight.

But actually that's not the point. )
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The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
by Richard Dawkins
Free Press
2009

If I were involved in designing the book jacket for this tome, I would not have put "Bestselling author of THE GOD DELUSION" at the top of the front cover. Not because Prof. Dawkins should feel ashamed of having written that book--he shouldn't--but because it's not an appropriate comparison for TGSOE. He is also the author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and other biologically inclined works. In TGSOE, he honestly intends to speak to people who don't already agree with him, which means he doesn't touch the question of God's existence. He certainly doesn't pretend to be a believer, but he says, at the beginning, in so many words, that he is not writing as one of the Four Horsemen of the Atheist Apocalypse: "This is a book about the positive evidence that evolution is a fact. Is is not intended as an anti-religious book. I've done that, it's another t-shirt, this is not the place to wear it again." With that in mind, I don't agree with the publisher's sticking "THE GOD DELUSION" on the front cover, and I hope it didn't scare away any readers who are ambivalent about the validity of evolutionary theory but would otherwise be curious about Prof. Dawkins's case for it, because it's an immensely helpful book and I would highly recommend that they read it.
The Tree of Life is a big sprawling organism )
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Okay, now I've lost the link, but anyway, 23/6 posted a link to a video clip of The Daily Show involving Will Philips and Mick Foley.

So, I watched the video and posted this as a comment:

THAT LITTLE BOY IS AWESOME. *ahem* Sorry, but the child's erudition and precocity simply demanded an all-caps moment. I want to make Will Philips my best friend and teach him how to use words like "presuppose" in a sentence. That is, IF HE DOESN'T USE THEM IN SENTENCES ALREADY.


So then some other 23/6 fan said:

Alyson, that is one of the most pretentious paragraphs ever written.


Another poster came to my defense, but I still replied:

You can't have seen many pretentious paragraphs.


I mean: what? That's what she calls pretentious? And, am I supposed to apologize for using big words to enthuse over the kid's intelligence? Making use of one's vocabulary is "pretentious" now?

Fuck. That. Noise. Never hide your light.
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Only took me...how long have I been working on this one? Now that I've finally reached the end of DFW's copious footnotes, I can share my Deep Thoughts on it. This will be rather random.

Y'all please excuse me if there are some apostrophes missing in this. I'm using the Eee, whose keyboard is mostly fine but the ' key takes more elbow grease than others.

Spoilage ahead! )
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Last night, I needle-felted a dark red capital A (as in Atheist, though it also doubles as my initial) onto the back of my laptop sleeve, and a Darwin fish on the front, while watching The Matrix.

Now THAT's the way to enjoy a night alone in the house.
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If you are standing in the aisle of a crowded subway car...do not rock back and forth. No matter how much you're enjoying the conversation with your girlfriend. Just find a place to stand and stay there until the train reaches your stop.

If this situation arises, and you bump into me on the backswing, you will find yourself at the center of the subway car's attention. You think I'm not crazy? You think I don't want strangers to see that I'm crazy? Try it, mofo. Fuckin' do it.
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Miers's Law #5: The definition of one's culture hinges not on what one can dish out, but on what one can take.

*whine*

Oct. 15th, 2009 09:33 am
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Tomorrow, Richard Dawkins will be appearing in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is a shlep from my home in the Maryland suburbs, but not a prohibitive one.

And I will not see him.

Aside from the fact that it turns out I still have a job and want to make a good impression at it, I didn't expect that moving house would be this tiring. I just can't find the willpower to take a day off work to drive to Charlottesville and back the day after vacating my apartment.

*pout* I want to sit in the front row and make googly eyes at Prof. Dawkins. (He should probably be glad I don't live closer to Oxford.)
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Richard Dawkins is speaking at the University of Virginia on October 16th.

That is the day after I am due to complete the move out of my apartment.

However, Charlottesville is not all that far away. That is a trip I just might have to make.
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Actually it's not really Metro etiquette at all, but it's built along the same lines.

Basically, my Suggestion of the Day is:

DO NOT TEXT while walking around Union Station!

Find a bench and sit DOWN before you focus on that keypad. Twice, in maybe 20 seconds, I nearly ran into someone tonight because of this. Next time if I DO happen to run into you because you've got your eyes on the phone, I won't apologize. And if you knock me over while you weave all over the hallway, I will make a scene that will haunt your dreams.

Another one

Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:15 am
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Miers's Law #4: Dishonesty is the default position of first-person statements posited in the third conditional.

DFW

Aug. 21st, 2009 04:14 pm
alyson_m: That's my face, in case you're wondering (Default)
I've just begun reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace--and by "just begun," I mean I started on it several days ago, but it's such a long book that I've only now read a very slim percentage of its total.

Thank goodness for the Search function. )

March 2012

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