Saturday, November 29, 2003

And here's the next collection of Bockhorst Fields scented candles (see Series 1 here). I heard some joker actually made a few wacky candles in New York or somewhere (Gin & Tonic was his most interesting, although gin kind of smells like puke to me. Or maybe it's just hard for me to separate the two), but I have yet to see these:

Pitcher Plant
Ripe Meat
Urinal Cake
Muffin Stuffer
Steaming Patty
Boone's Farm
Marion Berry
Gun Oil
Silky Mushroom
Luscious Melons
Fresh Clipped Fingernails
Broken Home
Teen Spirit
Hair Pie
Candle Scent #82
Mary Jane
New Car
It's alive! ALIVE!

Not to pat myself on the back too much, but I've just successfully completed my first go at major automotive surgery. My Metro died suddenly in the Safeway parking lot some months ago, and while an electrical transfusion kept it alive long enough for it to stagger home to our apartment complex, it finally expired for good shortly thereafter.

But we'd just replaced the battery, which led me to tap my wading-pool-deep knowledge base of cars and conlude that something called an "alternator" might be at fault. So I bought one of those comprehensive Metro fix-it manuals from E-Bay for $9 and found out how to find and remove the alternator. Then yesterday, I drove to South Tucson, to a compact car graveyard run by some good-natured but blatantly shady salvage merchants. They got me another Metro alternator, which cost me an arbitrary $45 (more if I wanted a reciept!). And so this morning, I reattached it, and it seems to work. FrankenMetro is once again squealing with life!

Next operation: brake pads! Ivan, dig me up some fresh pads! Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

And thanks for the job recommendations. And despite the above, I think I've ruled out mechanic. I'm not sure I'm ruthless enough.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

As I was saying...

Very glad about the reported upswing in the economy, even though I know full well that if it continues, the chances of having a Democrat in the White House starting 2005 are somewhere between 0% and 0.00000% (rounded). It may be good for me, though -- I spoke with an inside source in the archaeology field last Friday, who confirmed my hopes that the archaeology market is currently as depressed as a lot of other markets ("hopes" in the sense that I was beginning to think it was just me). I had begun to contemplate other avenues to a career that allowed me to actually make payments on the student loans that led to the degree, but now I've semi-renewed hope for the digging life.

So I'm re-doubling my job search (again), and in the meantime, I'm taking suggestions for new career paths. Medicine? (I've already got one thumbs down from Heather on this one. Counterpoint?) Law? (I can just imagine what Dan "In Ten Years We'll Have One Million Lawyers" LK would say about this idea.) Computer Tech? (They are such fun, aren't they?) Only serious and non-serious replies will be considered.

And I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Caren's aunt -- I haven't met Caren yet, but I do know how it is to lose a relative.

One last thing -- I never realized how cool Terry Gross from NPR's Fresh Air was. Not only does she work over Bill O'Reilly on air, but gets him to lose his cool and make himself look worse than she was making him look. And she has obscure guests who wax eloquent (if obvious) about the Smiths! And last Friday? Stephen King! The geeky girls are the coolest!
"I can't put my finger on this Thumbelina-sized town on a Wednesday..."

There was more here a few minutes ago, but something cybery swallowed it unsaved. I now have a few new frustration bruises. More soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Alright, I'm back. Sorry for the three-week silence -- just not a particularly eventful three weeks. I did, however, try to pump out 50,000 words for the National Novel Writing Month and so far have generated about 6%. Which I'm not tremendously disappointed with, as I was anticipating strong opposition from my GDMFSOB quality filter that has to have its say in every word that makes the trip from my subconscious through my conscious, on its way to my fingertips. I'm making it yield slowly, but I tell you, it's not like when I was a kid. Back then, I didn't care a bit what I wrote. When you're writing similies such as, "like a cowpoke eating a spraycan on a Tuesday" (short story ca. 1986), your narrative inhibitions are minimal.

Anyway, it's making itself into a story of sorts. All interested parties should click here. I think I'm up to about 10 pages. Apologies in advance to devout Christians.

Oh yes, and Liz Phair was really, really great. How could she not be?

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Argh -- the NaNoWriMo thing has begun, and the first day was revealing. Actually, right now is pretty revealing. I'm sitting with an empty beer bottle, and empty can of generic Diet Coke, and an empty mug with a sodden tea bag at the bottom of it arrayed on my desk. And I've been staring at a stark white Word screen, wondering what's going to materialize story-wise on it. There's a corner to be turned here -- I haven't done any real writing in so long, it's hard to knock that little insty-editor off my shoulder and getting the keys flying. And the banana Yankee candle that's been burning for the past several hours isn't doing much but make me wish I had some pie.

I've heard that Stephen King's muse takes the form of a fat guy in a tee shirt, who apparently whispers evil storylines in his ear or something. I've yet to have my muse really take any real form. When it does, I'm kind of hoping it looks something more like Mia Sara, and is much more clever than I am with its fiction. I'm definitely going to have to crank it up tomorrow -- going to see Liz Phair Monday night at a very small venue (same one I saw Dave Wakeling at) -- maybe I can get the issue of whether or not her new album is a shot at a wholesale sell-out or an insidious backdoor subversion of adolescent girls (listen to "HWC" from her latest album for a good "omigod!" moment).