Archive for January, 2010

(un)Peacefully at Home

January 26, 2010

As I do practically every day, I was whining to someone today about how lazy, unmotivated, and procrastinatey I have been feeling in regards to my writing. Since the beginning of the year (and if I’m going to Honest, probably a good bit further back than that), I’ve been slacking, big time.

Part of it is that I’m afraid to jump back into the Novel. The one that I love. The one that needs some MAJOR pacing work. The one that essentially needs me to attack it with garden shears and elmer’s glue until it resembles something readable.

Last night I had an engagement that didn’t get me home until about 10, but after that, I felt motivated. Maybe not motivated to face the Novel, but motivated to surf writing blogs, anyway. I wandered over to the divinely inspiring Paperback Writer and sifted through some of her sub ops postings. I found five calls for short fiction that I was ready to answer. If I can’t jump into the big project, I should at least be able to jump into a shorty fun project, yes? They’re all still up in another window, actually, still waiting for me to pick up the damn phone.

I hate excuses. Mostly because I have a ridiculously productive sister that manages to hold down a more-than-full-time stressful job, run a home chock full of dogs, cats, and wives, write up to 3 novels simultaneously, and knit a fair isle cabled lace sweater dress for conjoined twins all at the same time. While playing the ukulele with the other hand. Bitch.

But okay, putting the super-human sister aside, I do kinda have reasons for not writing right now. I have strep, for the fourth time in a year. Hopefully the antibiotics will kill it or the tonsils, they’ll be a-coming out. My work’s going a bit nuts, what with being a non-profit in a struggling economy. I just got called back to the railroad. I’m interviewing about 6 people a week for my roommate spot. I have volunteer hospice training on Saturdays this month, my pub quiz team expects me to be there every Monday, and other random nights are committed to V-Day and the Vagina Monologues. Plus there’s all the fun concerts, steam-punkery, birthday parties, baby showers, and game nights that I hate to pass up.

Oh geez, am I really going to publish this? Wah wah wah, my life is just so full of things I like right now. Poor me.

What’s the point here? Oh right, why I’m not Writing. I just… I love writing, I really do. I’m just finding it hard to decide which of the other things should be sacrificed. If I was really a Writer, I’d be sacrificing sleep, finding some way to fit it in. If Writing was like breathing to me… Well, it’s not. I’m not a Writer, I’m just a writer. And it’s gettin’ shelved, at least for today. And fuck if I’m going to feel bad about it today.

I’ll come back ’round. I always do. Writing’s not like breathing to me, it’s like laundry. I won’t DIE if I stop for a bit, I can put it off for a month, two if I buy more underwear, but eventually, I’ll get ‘er done. And oh, the purring happiness and satisfaction to be found in clean, warm clothes.

Next month. This month, I’ll be dirty and happy in steampunk gear, yelling about my vagina to a room full of railfans.

Riot Rainbow Grrrls

January 15, 2010

I have a frighteningly huge collection of books I haven’t read. There are reasons for all of them.

First, there are the books that I rush through and read like crazy. These include: YA, regency romances, suspense, and fantasy mass-market paperbacks. The fun, easy, happy books. The ice cream. Yes, I read those first. Just like I eat dessert first, if given the option. These are the bulk of my bookstore purchases, since I tend to race through them.

Then there are the GOOD books. The Rushdies, the big fat trade paperbacks that you have to chew solidly through. They’re worth it, but they take some time, like a good filet mignon. I tend to collect these, but I hesitate to jump into them. It’s a commitment, and one that I’m embarrassingly rarely ready to make. I’d rather eat a quick bowl of ice cream.

And then there are the tapas. The rare books that you can dip into and out of at will, having a bit of this, a bite of that. I love these ones, because they make me feel like I’m reading really good shit, without the commitment. My favorite one of these at the moment is my Punk Planet collection, interviews with really fucking interesting musicians.

I started the one with Kathleen Hanna tonight. The bit that inspired this post was actually a single line in the intro, a bit about how conventional media and conventional girls groups felt threatened by the Riot Grrrl movement and Bikini Kill.

I’ve always kind of walked the fine line in between conventional and non. In high school, I was an honor student, it’s true. I also smoked pot out behind the theater, and ditched class in my VW bug. Even then, I loved the contradiction I was living and never saw a reason to choose one path or the other.

Even earlier, when I was in 6th grade, I received an exclusive invitation to be a part of the International Order of Rainbow Girls. I was flattered. I was tempted. I dithered for days. They did some pretty awesome stuff, and I was totally into their mission statement. In the end, I decided to decline. My reasoning? I had to wear a long skirt (ankle-length) to the entrance interview. Ignoring the fact that I only owned jeans at that point in my life, I was immediately mistrustful of any group that required me to dress as a conventional “Girl.”

So Rainbow Girls? F# you, if I can’t also be a Riot Grrrl at the same time. F$ you if you can’t understand that I can be both at the same time. The old ways are changing, and you can’t deny that shit.

Oh yeah, and by the way? I’m totally drunk while I write this, as I had friends from the non-profit I work for and college dorm friends over to play board games tonight. We had vodka tonics, talked about hallucinogenics, played Taboo! and made dates to go rock climbing tomorrow. Fuckin’ rock on. Variety rules.

Et wah la

January 14, 2010

After a little googling, I’ve determined that there was a serious lack in the interwebs. As far as I can tell, no one was actually compiling some of the fabulous and ridiculous translation fails from voice recognition programs.

Et wah la. VRPoetry was born. Someone had to do it. So send me your best Google Voice garbles, your weirdest translation errors… Or just call me a lot, so I can get a few more on tap.

EDIT: Okay, there is a tumblr blog. But there’s only three entries, so it doesn’t count.

Saipan, 1985

January 13, 2010

I have a boonie dog, a dog I affectionately named Boonie. I’m not real inventive sometimes.

I spotted her at a dog adoption fair in Alamo Square years ago, and kinda froze. She looked JUST like the dogs from my childhood. The ones that ran out of the jungle, the boonies, from time to time, and that the Americans on the island just couldn’t help adopting. Like these guys, Molly and Peanut:

Dog, tree, island

Rachael rubbing Molly's stomach

They were pretty spazzy dogs, as I remember, but pretty awesome, too. Most of the boonie dogs snarled and ran off if you got to close, but a few of them were just as sweet as can be and desperate to be pampered pups. I ran into those pics last week, rejects from our Saipan kodachrome days, and I was reminded again why Boonie caught my eye.

You know, Boonie.

Lucky girl. Happy 4th Birthday, Boonie!

(and, funny enough, she poses just like Molly used to in that second photograph, when Rachael rubs her tummy. Real ladylike.)

Over there!

January 12, 2010

Oy. As if I actually updated this thing enough to warrant it, I’ve been tempted into creating a new blog, a completely separate photo blog.

I can’t help it! WordPress keeps doing shiny and cool things… This duotone theme has the background changing color to complement your photo! How nifty is that? Anyway, so I’ll be posting my pics over here now. Sorry to be a pain in the rear, but I love new shiny things.

I almost forgot…

January 12, 2010

Demonstrated Chicken Loan.

Somehow I left that out of my Speech Recognition Poem. Not sure how, that’s one of the best parts!

Speech Recognition Poetry Slam

January 11, 2010

Hey, it’s me.

I’m calling so late.
I think,

parts.

I guess,

i’ll just keep an eye.

And

But

I can’t remember what happens when your Daddy to do.

Gimme moves.

I think it’s better ad.
Well, stupid,

and okay.

Hope you’re doing.

I’ll grab a Mike

that next recall right.

Talk to you?
Bye bye.

How sad is it that I’ve never been able to write poetry, but given just one day, Google Voice comes up with the strangest straight-from-a-zine authentic shit? Damn it. Technology is totally building a better human. That shit had soul.

Cable Car Museum, SF

January 9, 2010

LetMeIn, originally uploaded by jujuwiz.

Today, in remembrance of Emperor Norton and the day of his death, a slew of us donned funny hats and inspected the cable cars. It was a grand, grand day.

Somewhere in the new year…

January 6, 2010

I am heartily tired of everyone cheerily talking about how 2010 is already looking so much better than 2009!! : )   ; )  !!! emoticon, emoticon, etc….

Okay people, first of all, you’ve only had, like, a week. Not enough time for you to mess it up yet. And secondly, it’s not been so cheery for everyone, so shut it!

Shoot, is there a “don’t blog while grumpy” rule? Maybe there should be. Oh well, screw it.

I’m not sure if it’s the seasonal blues, long-phase manic-depression, or just a stressful time of the year at my work, but I always find myself blue and cranky around this time. It usually starts a little later; I love New Year’s Day, and I always try to spend it doing a tiny bit of everything I want to do throughout the year. Usually that includes a wee road trip, cooking a great dinner, writing, getting lost, taking the dog for a run… This year I stayed in bed. Until January 4th. Watching Dr. Who and Torchwood marathons.

Now normally, I think taking a little time to do nothing and sit on my ass is a good thing, especially when I’m stressed from work and exhausted from holiday festivities. But this was different. I was desperate to DO something, to make something, to knit, take a photo walk, get lost, trespass. And the longer I did nothing, the more frustrated with myself and depressed I became.

I think I’m clawing my way out. I started small, posting a load of stuff on craigslist. Easy, can be done from the safety of my bed. But once the crate had sold ($40 bucks, rock on!), I had extra space. I had to move the filing cabinet into that space, but it had the Christmas tree on it, so I had to take that down, and put Christmas stuff away, and that started me thinking about what else I could get rid of, and before you know it, I’ve got a box of things heading for Goodwill, a rug waiting to be picked up on the curb, and $40 to spend at Michael’s for hat-making supplies. I’m thinking folded velvet, with fobs, and a hinge on the top where a little sparrow pops out. I think that’s totally do-able.

Maybe my creative aspirations are a bit lofty. But every once in a while, I meet them. I finish a novel. I carve and paint a decorative niche. I knit a sweater. And I’m never happier as I am when I’m working towards them. I just need to remember this, and stop thinking that sitting on my ass is what I want.

So. Despite my resolve to never resolve anything, I do have a resolution. No TV for a month. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. And I might just get something done this month!