You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2010.

Good news! They’re finally making The Hobbit, for real this time! Also, Martin Freeman has been confirmed as Bilbo, which I think is fantastic. Richard Armitage is going to be Thorin Oakenshield, which I find mildly disturbing, since he’ll pretty much always be Guy of Gisborne to me and not, well, a dwarf. But it could be cool.

Speaking of movies, 5 Annoying Trends That Make Every Movie Look the Same. I really can’t argue with any of that.

2 Guys, 600 Pillows, by the ever-amusing Rhett and Link.

On TV, we have friends. In real life, we live alone. Eerily true.

So, you guys. I sent out three stories to three different publishers last Sunday, and on Thursday I heard back from one! My very first rejection letter! I’m pretty excited. I think I have an overly romanticized view of the struggling writer, wallpapering his apartment in rejection slips, because I was ridiculously thrilled to receive it. Not as ridiculously thrilled as I would have been, were it an acceptance letter, but I’ll take what I can get in terms of responses. And you know what this means? I can send the story out to somebody else now!

Tomorrow I’m off to the farmer’s market, The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, and the dollar theater to finally see Inception. Coincidentally, I happen to be doing most of those things with a group of some of my favorite people. Awesomeness of the day is assured, kids. Hope your day is just as splendid.

I finally decided that the time had probably come to retire my decade-old, much-taped, much-abused quiver, so I was browsing the internet for a suitable replacement. Holy cow, you guys. I’ve fallen in love. Behold, the perfect quiver. Just LOOK at that thing. Handmade, high-quality leather, sheep shearling to quiet arrow rattle, rave reviews from a host of happy archers, and it’s put out by Three Rivers Archery, the best in the business. I’m practically drooling. Alas, the price bloody ridiculous, but I guess that’s to be expected for the best quiver on the PLANET. At first I thought, “Oh, no way, that’s absurd,” but after drooling over it for several days, it’s becoming…less absurd. Which means I need to walk away NOW. Sigh.

“Take Me Out” by Atomic Tom, live on the NYC subway. Also the very first time I ever thought smartphones were cool.
Listen to “Love Astronaut” by Murder Mystery, and it will be stuck in your head for days.

Smell like a monster, already plastered all over the internet.
Intriguing article on male-female friendships, which I found rather interesting, as someone whose best friends have always included guys.
The Animal Print Shop. I would absolutely put that one of the baby porcupine on my wall.

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, or Tim Burton Has a Screw Loose, Possibly Two.
20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words. Lovely! Swiped from Danielle.

I read The Girl Aviators and the Phantom Airship by Margaret Burnham, which I found at the flea market a few weeks ago for a mere $1. It was a rather cute young adult novel, nothing special to write home about, except that it was written in 1911, just eight years after the Wright brothers made the first successful airplane flight. So in its way, the book is a trailblazer; a pack of kids build their own airplane and fly it around, in the process solving crimes and using all sorts of adorable pre-War slang. Pretty cool for a book based on brand-new technology.

I finally read The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. There’s a story behind that one. From 3 to 10 years of age, I went to the same library almost every day. I knew the place better than my own bedroom, and I had all kinds of literary landmarks that I used to navigate. (Numbers on the spines? Pshaw. My way was a lot more fun.) The Prisoner of Zenda was one of my landmarks, but I never read it because…I don’t know why, actually. I think it looked boring. But I would pass it everyday, and it was familiar and rather comforting to always see it on the same place on the shelf. I remember Onion John by Joseph Krumgold was another of my landmarks, and I never checked that out out either because I thought it would be dull. But I bet I could still walk straight to it in the Bryan, Ohio, library. Anyway, I rather enjoyed Zenda after all these years, and it wasn’t a bit boring, so that just goes to show how ignorant I was as a child. 😛

Oh, and I did read The Iceberg Hermit, and while not quite as enthralling to me now as it was to my 8-year-old self, it was still pretty darned exciting. I didn’t remember that it was based on a true story, which makes it even more incredible. The kid killed two polar bears (after being mauled by one) and survived for seven years in the Arctic. Pretty nuts. At one point he falls in with some Eskimos (descendants of Vikings, the story claims, though that part is rather unsubstantiated), and the story casually mentions that one time while out on a hunting trip, the party had to eat all of their dogs, their sled (which was made of whalebone), and most of their (animal skin) clothes. I’ll have to keep that in mind, if I’m ever starving and have a leather jacket handy. Eesh.

Brace yourselves, folks; this is going to be long!

Wisconsin and Illinois were perfectly lovely, and I had a grand time! We did our traditional climbing at Devil’s Lake State Park and toured Madison and did the olde time photo thing and generally had a blast.

Marcel the shell with shoes on. Stolen from Sarah.
World’s smallest stop-motion character, Dot.
Mattress dominoes!
Where’s Waldo? Apparently this is foreverly old and I’m just now getting to it. Be nice to the slow kid.
Star Wars trilogy recreated in paper.

The Money Tree.
Liquid mountaineering, the new extreme sport. Sadly not a real one.
Is this for real? It can’t be, but they seem so…earnest.
The Great Showdowns. Creepy how they’re all so smiley.
Art from a single sheet of paper.
Supernatural collective nouns.
Jokes with Einstein. Einstein isn’t very funny.

I don’t understand why no one has mentioned the obvious conclusion. The person was flying, obviously.
Six Insane True Stories. Bit of a language warning if you’ve got some pets or kids reading over your shoulder. Stolen from Ian.
Something about tax cuts or earning money or something, stolen from Sam.
Information is beautiful.

Solar beat. Go listen to the music of the spheres.
Email yourself in the future! Almost but not quite like time travel.

The Back Row Hecklers, a movie review blog written by two of my friends.
One-Sentence Stories.
A new audio drama adaptation of The Screwtape Letters.
Recently discovered the claymation British series Creature Comforts. My favorite is the slugs.
“White Knuckles” by OK Go. What do dogs have to do with it? Nothing.
Rainy mood.

I may print this out and hang it in my cubicle. Sadly, I hear most of these daily. “Low-hanging fruit” in particular makes me want to gnaw on the furniture.

A Reader’s Manifesto, stolen from Ian. This is pretty long, but I thought it was quite interesting. It’s a viewpoint I haven’t had much occasion to consider (I’m sure that would change, were I in grad school), but they did make some good points. Guess it’s another example of the pendulum effect: people seem to gravitate towards an extreme, no matter what the subject matter.

It probably sounds pretentious to then launch into a discussion about Walden, but I’m doing it anyway. I finally finished it, after having been distracted by reading half a dozen other books. I found parts of it intensely interesting and thought-provoking, and parts…less so. The extensive discussion on how the ice breaks up on Walden Pond in the spring was one of the latter, as you might suppose. Still, I’m really glad I finally read it all the way through.

I read The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany on the plane to Wisconsin, and it was thoroughly enjoyable! He makes the flowery style of fantasy work…I can see, though, why Ursula Le Guin warned against the perils of Dunsany imitation for aspiring fantasy authors. I can’t think of many people who could keep that style from smacking flat on its face.

I also finally finished Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury, and it was precisely what I needed. I should make a list of books with appropriate times to read them. In need of theological depth? Read C.S. Lewis. In need of inspiration? Read some Bradbury. I think he could make a door handle get fired up about writing. His advice is all thoroughly sound, and so couched that you find yourself thinking, “Yes, yes that’s it exactly!” You’ll want to jump up and write write write the next great American novel.

You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

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