Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sewing Buttons Onto a Bear

Besides writing a story about a zombie, that is what I have been doing since Saturday. I saw in a shop, a bear, completely covered with vintage buttons, a bear that was not for sale, a bear that I found mesmerizing, a bear that would be the answer to all my problems, I was sure. I have many, many such buttons, inherited from two grandmothers and a mom, and although I do use them for various projects from time to time, never have I seen such an inspired and lovely use of these buttons. Just the weight of this small bear sent me to the moon with joy.

I will show it to you when it is done.

I am seriously thinking about opening an etsy shop, although I don’t have enough of an inventory at this time. Not that you have to.

I would also like everyone to know that yesterday I exercised for at least seventeen minutes, and that my body is in moderate to severe pain today. Still, I might just do it again today. I don’t know why.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Thing About Books

I’m about twenty pages from the end of American Pastoral, which I highly recommend, and I realize I should probably wait until tomorrow when I’m done, but I won’t, because I want to say that the thing about books that I just love, good books, of course, that I have loved since I was a kid, is just this way that they have of completely immersing me into someone else’s life. Okay, if you’ve read American Pastoral, you might be wondering why I’d want to be in these people’s lives, but it’s not so much that I get the feeling of living their life, but being – at the party so to speak. I feel like I completely know who these people are, I can see them in my head. And I love the idea that what each reader sees is just a little bit different just because each reader is different.

Once in a while, every now and again a movie does this for me, but part of the problem with movies is that I don’t get to bring my own imagination to it, not in the same way, anyway, and part of the problem, I am convinced now, is movie stars. I go to see Erin Brockovich, I can not help but see Julia Robertskovich. Ever since Me and You and Everyone We Know, I have a little fantasy where all movies in the future will have entirely unknown actors, because for me that helps. I realize that would put a lot of people out of work, and will never happen.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Spazzy Dancing

I’m pretty sure I already mentioned once or twice that one of my new favorite records right now is Twin Cinemas by The New Pornographers. There’s a growing list of music that I’ve been listening to over the last three years, not at all coincidentally three years I’ve spent with Mr. Ben B., in any case, this music is very different than what I listened to before – not quite top 40, but far away from the folky-bluesy girl stuff I was favoring before, and certainly still love. Anyway, I was just listening to the fourth song on this record, waiting for my tea water to boil, and was suddenly possessed to totally rock out. What was weird about this rocking out was that it was without doubt the clumsiest, least rhythmic, fastest, mostly just jumping around and up and down and twisting and hair-shaking kind of dance, one that caused me to lose my slippers and completely lose my breath. It was a dance of unbounded joy, to be sure, and it was also a dance I am glad that no one ever saw and a dance unlike any other dance that ever came out of me. I like to think I have at least a little more rhythm than the next guy. Anyway, I don’t know what’s happening to my musical ear, it has certainly always changed somewhat from decade to decade, but I think it’s a little bit like what happened to my reading about fifteen years ago, when I used to read some hard core Jackie Collins and the like, and then I just didn’t, one by one I got some really great books handed to me and when I didn’t I went out and found them. What I can’t figure out for the life of me is why it took so long. Yeah, I’m not embarrassed about the James Taylor or Beatle records I’ve had since 1975, that stuff always holds up, but does that diminish the fact that when you have people over and they say, Hey, have you guys ever heard of Captain and Tennille? And you are able to walk into the other room and bring back not one but two Captain and Tennille records, which makes your guest laugh so hard for ten minutes and which were your favorites during years of your life when most people were listening to Black Sabbath or Zeppelin or something, anything, with some small bit of teen angst, Foreigner or the Dead. Yes, we all know I was a Billy Joel fan (if we don’t, we will soon, since I’m outing myself in an anthology coming soon), I guess he’s a step in the angsty direction from the Captain and Tennille, but I’ve taken plenty of grief about my Billy love over the years.

Well, there’s more to say about this, but I have stories to grade. Part 2 soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It’s Official: I Am A Geek

Yesterday I watched an entire program about commas, apostrophes, and semicolons, and I loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Worldview – Is There Another One?

Once again I have culled from Billy Mernit’s blog, this time the awesome commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon last year. I have to say, I don’t much appreciate his or anyone else’s being in my head, and especially not his saying what I think about a million times better than I ever could. In any case, this might be my favorite thing I’ve ever read of his.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Surfing With Clooney

Yesterday Ben told me about yet another dream in which he was doing something exciting. I have dreams in which I am lost, late, naked or tortured. I said Your dreams are like Choose Your Own Adventure. This morning I woke up from a dream in which I went surfing with George Clooney, and it was AWESOME. We rode this wave (on the same surfboard – did you know you could do that?) for like, ever. I never thought about surfing before but now I totally want to go surfing with George Clooney.


We watched this movie the other night, based on Walter Kirn’s book, and liked it a lot. It’s basically the story of a family, and apparently the book is largely autobiographical – there’s a great, long interview with Kirn (who also writes for the Times magazine) on the DVD that was good food for writing thought. Also he said he got like seventeen rejections for the book, which I always like to hear. Which is not to say I wish that on anyone, only that there’s always hope.

I Lost The Game of Life Again

But at least this time I was worth six hundred and seventy-eight thousand dollars at the end of it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Oh. Mygod.

How could I not have known? Billy Mernit's blog post this morning led me to www.myheritage.com, because who wouldn't want to know what celebrities they look like? Yes, like most everyone else, I have been told I look like this one or that one over the years, and of course it's always flattering, because who's going to tell a woman they look like Donald Trump or Alice Cooper? Well, now I know the answer. Myheritage.com.

Luckily, I am only a 62% match with Alice Cooper, and a 61% match with Trump, and the rest of the list as follows:
Ashley Olson, 70% (is she the skinny one, or not?)
Elle MacPherson, 67%
Patsy Kensit, 66% (for those of you who remember her)
J.K. Rowling, 66% (because she looks so much like Patsy Kensit!)
Nicole Richie, 64%
Sofia Coppola, 62%
Francoise Hardy, 60% (????)

But the closest match, at 71%... should I make you guess? Or did you already guess correctly? That's right, the celebrity I most resemble is... BRITNEY SPEARS.

Everything is beginning to make sense to me now.

I think, discovering that I look like Britney Spears, Alice Cooper and Donald Trump in the same day is, well, whenever I want to think I look like Elle MacPherson I will just remember that I am still just a few points away from Alice Cooper.

Lung Cancer

I want to be sensitive about this because I am truly saddened by the loss of Dana Reeve, who showed extraordinary courage and grace through her husband’s paralysis, only to be struck with lung cancer a year after his death. Back in my days at ICM, way way back, I had the opportunity to chat with her regularly, and she was very obviously a lovely person – she even tried to help me get a teaching job at one point, and we didn’t know each other well at all. It’s hard not to hurt for their kid, who’s now lost both his parents at such a young age.

What I suspected years ago, after my mother died from this same form of lung cancer, has now come to pass, which is this: until a famous nonsmoker dies from lung cancer, the primary directive for lung cancer prevention will continue to be “don’t smoke.” I concur wholeheartedly that smoking is bad. I’ve witnessed firsthand that kind of lung cancer as well. It’s ugly. But my mom discovered her lung cancer quite by accident, only because she broke her hip, and people don’t tend to get tested for things like lung cancer when they feel completely fine, and are passionate non-smokers as my mother was, and especially when they are sold this message that lung cancer can be prevented simply by not smoking.

So now the media is talking about it, and it’s a little bit of a bummer, because what I’m thinking is that if anyone had actually looked at the statistics, let’s say when some other celebrity died decades ago, they might have talked about it before tens of thousands of people died from it, not just one famous one.

Bitter? A little, but sad and scared is more like it. For sixteen different reasons.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I've Been Tagged

But I am going to take the liberty of adding/modifying some Qs such as “4 places you’d rather be right now” and “4 places I’ve lived in Chicago” because there’ve only been two.

Four Other Places I Have Lived

New York
Venice Beach
Washington, D.C.

Four Jobs I’ve Had In My Life in Chicago

Paper Source (sales, 6 weeks in 1996)
Preschool teacher
College Professor

Four Movies About Chicago I Have Watched Over And Over, For Better or Worse

The Breakfast Club
Wayne’s World
While You Were Sleeping (I may have to write a longer piece about this – this movie troubles me on many levels, but features a lot of Chicago)
Bugsy Malone

Two Places In My House I’d Rather Be Right Now But Can't Because It's Too Cold

in my yard in the hammock
in my attic sewing

Two Chicago Magazines I Read That Seem To Have Conflicting Goals

Chicago Social
Punk Planet

Two Chicago-Themed Shows I Love(d) To Watch

Check, Please

Four Of My Favorite Foods Found In Chicago

beef tenderloin sandwich (before they changed the bun!), Bongo Room
guacamole, Irazu
cupcakes at Milk and Honey
sushi at Mirai

Two Places I Would Vacation In Chicago

The Drake
somebody’s big mansion on the lake

One Place I Have Vacationed In Chicago That Was Pretty Sweet

The Four Seasons

Two Chicago-Based Websites I Visit Daily

She Sells Sea Shells
Tres Hombres

Eight Non-Chicago Based Craft Websites I Am Quickly Becoming Addicted To and That I Check Several Times a Day Even Though I Know They Don’t Post Every Day, Even

Bella Dia
Whip Up
A Bird In the Hand
angry chicken
Paper Forest
Green Kitchen

Three Chicago Bloggers Tagged (because Megan is one and took the other ones I know):

Note to tagees: Feel Free To Modify Questions As Needed or Desired

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Crafty Things

Okay, so here's the thing. I have to work a few things out with the uploading process, clearly, but stick with me.
Here are photos of:
Some pincushions I made inspired by Bella Dia, sitting on my old typewriter.
Fabric I folded neatly, finally.
My sewing "nook" in the attic currently abandoned due to freezingness.


On Why I Haven’t Blogged So Much Lately

Honestly, I don’t know. I can theorize a bit, and suppose that any number of things are keeping me too busy: writing, teaching, crafting. One theory that may hold some credibility is my very, very recent utter boredom with celebrities for the last month or two, but what I haven’t figured out is whether they just haven’t given me enough crazy (Tom, where are you when I need you?) or whether their crazy is just all starting to blend together, or whether I have, as I have been known to do, finally moved on, much much later than everyone else, and have turned my interests elsewhere once and for all. Another theory is that I am but one sheep among the herd in the blogging pasture, and that perhaps something is happening to me, and to my fellow bloggers, unconsciously, which I wouldn’t know about because of the unconscious thing. A shift in the paradigm if you will.

On the other hand, it’s not like I blog exclusively about weird celebrity behavior, and I could be blogging about other things that interest me, of which there are many.

All this to say I have no immediate plans to jump ship altogether, but nor do I have immediate plans for writing every day either.

On another hand, I do plan to post crafty photos soon.

All this to say that I hope you’ll continue to check back regularly until I commit one way or the other.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

R.I.P., Artful Dodger

Jack Wild died today, Artful Dodger and star of H.R. Pufnstuf. I thought he was just the cutest thing, oh, that accent! That spunk! That turned-up nose!

You know you’re old when… Tiger Beat stars are dying.