You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

It is the day of emotional extremes. One of my short stories is going to be published! As in I will actually be paid for it! I got an exceedingly complimentary acceptance letter, which was timed wonderfully; I received a particularly nasty rejection letter a couple weeks ago, and I wasn’t discouraged, exactly, but, well. I soared on the acceptance letter high for a couple hours, until I went to H and R Block to figure out this year’s damage, what with being a contractor and all. That was the single most depressing evening of 2011 so far, that’s certain. SELF EMPLOYMENT TAX IS DIABOLICAL. Discovering the ins and outs of that was a fairly enraging experience.

Today I spent the afternoon with Sam, apartment hunting, and we found a lovely place that will suit our needs admirably. We sign the papers tomorrow, but we won’t be moving in until April 8th, which also suits my needs (and my lease term) admirably. All will be well in the end.

Egypt.

Don’t date a girl who reads. Found by Danielle.
Dancers Among Us, a photojourney in NY. Mild nudity in the header.
There is something terribly poetic about being born in a tree and never letting your paws touch the ground.

Edgar Allan Poe crime show? Horrifying or brilliant, it’s so hard to tell sometimes.
The BBC is starting a new scifi series called Outcasts. Also potentially brilliant? It’s early days.
Mal Solo, quite possibly the coolest t-shirt known to mankind.
Then again, this one ain’t bad either.

Ryan vs. Brandon 2!!! So…these dudes may or may not be my heroes. I’ve been avidly following their Youtube career for some time now, eagerly awaiting the next film. Kudos, gentlemen. Kudos.
Gene Roddenberry’s original pitch for Star Trek. He makes up his own version of the Drake equation right off the bat! Oh, Gene. Your awesomeness knows no bounds. Wait wait. USS Yorktown? Well. Glad you relegated that name to another ship. Also, I’m making fun of your typos.

“Quelqu’un m’a dit” by Carla Bruni, found by Rachael.

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I turned 24 yesterday. Break out the walker, the knitting needles, and the crossword puzzles. Actually, I hate crossword puzzles, and I’m terrible at knitting, but the walker could be cool. To celebrate, my family came up and we went to Tangerine Cafe. Then we hung out at my apartment, where they gave me my birthday gift: a blender and a whole bunch of fruit. Perhaps they’re trying to say something about my eating habits, no? Anyway, I made a fruit smoothie today and didn’t dice any fingers, so I call that a success.

Other plans for the beginning of this week include checking out the newly remodeled art museum tomorrow with friends and going out to dinner with a pack of comrades on Monday. Promising beginnings!

Eek! A male! Interesting article that makes a very valid point.
Five Emotions the Internet Invented. I cannot disagree.
Then and now, Shanghai. Sounds like the first line of a haiku, actually.
Conan Doyle estate approves new Holmes novel. Unless this is based on hitherto misplaced, previously unpublished notes by Doyle himself, this is pretty much just fanfiction with a cute little estate stamp of approval on it, which means nothing in terms of whether it will be worthy of the Holmes legacy. But yes. I’ll probably read it anyway.

“Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous. Music to make you want to be a little young and a little stupid.
“Don’t Look Back” by She and Him.
Inspiration in the parking garage.
So you’re sitting there with your girl, having a drink, when her ex comes over and starts a ruckus. What do you do? Cello duel, obviously. Why the heck am I not dating a cellist?

Check out A Wrinkle in Time at the 90-second Newbery Film Festival. As Sarah says, probably done by home schoolers. Clearly too awesome for any other explanation.
My Cardboard Life, found by Ian. Yes. It’s a webcomic about a cute piece of cardboard.
Fascinating.
If only everyone saw you the way your dog does.
If only you saw everything the way an arrow does.
Oh that’s cute, look, two clowns doing handsprings–HOLY FRIJOLES WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

So, I finished The Aeneid at long last. Having now read that, The Odyssey, and The Iliad, I think it’s safe for me to say that while I enjoy the ancient epics in moderation, they’re not quite my cup of tea. I liked Aeneid better than Homer’s works, actually, but I really have trouble getting into Greek mythology. Which is weird, considering my love for mythology in general, but I think there are just too many gods, half-gods, quarter-gods, etcetera, and they’re all annoying.

Someone, somewhere, sometime ago recommended Them by Joyce Carol Oates to me. I have no idea who, so I don’t know at whom to be miffed right now. I know Oates has won various literary awards and is supposed to be really good, but…ugh. I’m maybe 150 pages in, and so far it’s sordid in a terribly dull way. It’s not shocking or anything, it’s just very blandly ugly. 500 pages of that may be more than I care to suffer through, but I’ll at least give it a bit longer to get its act together.

Been a bit of a frustrating week at work, but hey, it’s the weekend! I have no plans whatsoever, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it. Last weekend was perfectly lovely, as I got to spend the day with good friends, many used bookstores, and lots of delicious food. Now my groaning bookshelves and meager bank account tell me sternly that I am not permitted to go on another bookstore trawl for several months, but boy howdy it was worth it.

Been a rather amusing week for the internet, I must say. Check out all of the marvelous things below!

The frontier is everywhere.
NASA lets us in on the good news that there is a naturally occurring source of antimatter! (NASA also said something about the zodiac this week, but no one cares about that.) I predict lightning strike deaths will skyrocket as Star Trek fans everywhere race outside during storms to devise ways of building matter/antimatter reactors to power warp engines.
The sun rises two days early in Greenland. How cool would it be to live in a place where you can legitimately say, “The sun rose two days early this year”?

Aviator wing desk. When this page loaded, I yelled, “Ahhhhhh!” and threw my hands in the air. That is how cool it is.
Beautiful Tardis doorway.
Stargate and Amok Time cakes? I may just ditch my pie allegiance for that.
Living Works of Art. This is going to freak the heck out of archaeologists in a couple hundred years.
Low-impact woodland home. Of *course* this is Wales. Makes a lot of sense, although I’ve heard that straw insulation can cause major mold problems over time.

Strange things television writers evidently believe about smart people.
Six unbelievably gutsy WWII fighter pilots. You know, other than the fact that just being a WWII fighter pilot was a pretty gutsy move.

Flooding in Toowoomba wipes out an entire parking lot full of cars. The typical American version of this video would involve a lot of cussing, but these Aussies just murmur, “Oh my!” and gasp in polite horror.
The Alphabet by Alessandro Novelli.
The hound has the blues.
One year in two minutes.
A little girl’s performance of the national anthem at a hockey game doesn’t go quite as planned. You will smile.
If I were going to commit a crime, I would hire this guy to be my distraction. Once he gets going, no one will be paying attention to anything else.
Bird song whistles.

Combine snow-shoveling and the Death Star, and this is what you get.
Come to the Dark Side. We have fantastic cookie jars.
“Three Minutes,” a short film. Fairly disturbing concept, but includes a wicked lightsaber duel.

If you thought the only thing Bjork and karaoke had in common were a lot of K’s, well, you’d be wrong. Bonus points to the Iceland’s strange one for covering Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
“You Always Make Me Smile” by Kyle Andrews, featuring the world’s largest water balloon fight. That guitar will never the same again.

I finally finished up The Wing-and-Wing by James Fenimore Cooper. I have been sorely disappointed in much of my reading material of late. You would *think* that one couldn’t possibly go wrong with a tale of French privateers on the high seas, written by the author of The Leatherstocking Tales. And, sadly, you would be wrong. Wing was quite dull, involving long digressions by petty Italian officials and a hopelessly dreary heroine, if I may use the term loosely. She spent the majority of the novel trying to convert the aforementioned French privateer to Catholicism. I smelled a martyr, and figured she would either kick the bucket or end up in a convent by the end of the novel. Spoiler alert: the French privateer kicks the bucket in most anticlimactic fashion (darn it, Raoul), and isn’t even permitted to die in peace, as the heroine harasses him about the state of his soul right up until he dies. She then…*drumroll*…goes into a convent. Sigh. When the most interesting things about your characters are their names, you have a problem, Cooper.

I also finished up The Language of Bees by Laurie King, which was *also* disappointing. What is your deal, folks. Don’t tempt me with promises of a fascinating premise and then not deliver! It was left in a bit of a cliffhanger, and my pathological need to “find out what happens” in every story I start means that I will likely suffer through the sequel when it comes out, but I won’t be happy about it. *grumbles.

And now I really, REALLY am going to finish The Aeneid, I promise. I set it aside months ago, and I hate doing that to books, but now I’ve finished everything else that I’ve started. You have my undivided attention, Virgil. Let’s go found Rome.

This week of intense productivity made up for the astounding lack of constructive achievement last week, I think. I love that feeling of accomplishment; I think if everyone realized how fantastic it was, a lot more would get done in the world. Now if I could just figure out a way to be done with this nagging cough, I’d feel REALLY accomplished. At this point, lung removal is looking like a pretty decent option, but I’m fuzzy as to how one disposes of organs legally. Or illegally. But I guess selling one’s lungs on the black market is pretty unethical if they’re clogged with mucus.

Had a depressing realization the other day after tallying up all of the books I read in 2011. I read 64, which I suppose doesn’t sound too awful, except that it’s the smallest number of books I have read in a year since I turned 7. I think I’ve found the answer: SLEEP LESS, READ MORE. 😛

Growing is forever.
Photography from the first solar eclipse of 2011.
Detroit in ruins. Detroit is certainly the saddest city I’ve ever visited, and it’s probably the only city in America where they could have filmed I Am Legend with no CGI. Well, other than for the zombies.

Star Wars: the baroque version.

Utterly adorable: a father-daughter cover of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

I was driving home from visiting my parents last weekend, and a huge chunk of snow fell off of an overpass and smashed into my windshield. Since I duck and generally freak out when a leaf hits my windshield, you can imagine my reaction, but fortunately I confined the spastic evasive maneuvers to my lane, and everyone lived to see another day! Don’t you love happy endings?

I managed to catch some kind of hellacious virus, so much of the last week has been spent clutching a Kleenex box and watching frankly frightening amounts of Doctor Who and The Big Bang Theory. All told, not the worst way to spend one’s time, but I’m hoping this coming week will be more productive.

Every time it snows, this is what I do.
Hey guys, what would it look like if we stuck a camera on the end of a sword? Pretty much like that.

Geeky snowmen.
10 Very Good Reasons Why You Should Grow a Giant Beard.

“Wait So Long” by Trampled by Turtles, a band I’ve recently discovered.

It is definitely time to pop some popcorn, ladies and gentlemen.

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.

my read shelf:
Stephanie Ricker's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

A Storytelling