Monday, December 31, 2012


Yes, the dizziness has gone into day 3.  Yes, I did finally let my mom take me to the doc.  No, this didn't really yield any useful result - *and* it was a horrible, miserable, unnecessary experience.  Followed by a trip to the grocery store so I could find something other than toast to eat ... and I ... apparently bought $68 worth of sandwich fixin's, dog food, and - erm - yogurt.

Never shop while dizzy in the head, fella babies.  I *still* feel like I have no food in the house.

Because, seriously - sourdough, ham, and cheese - just not doing it for my appetite right now.

Yes, I am an idiot.

Happy New Year to all.  I'll probably be in bed by nine.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Angry Sick

Day two of this (or even day three, really - if we count the attack on December 4) and I am just sick with frustration at the lost time of this weekend.  Getting NOTHING done.  Just pasted lamely to my couch.  I need a bath - but sinking that far down means getting UP again ... and up is very, very, very bad indeed, with the dizziness.  Never mind that this was a mini vacation I'd hoped to enjoy with friends, and is instead a whole lot of lost productivity and physical misery.

This all also nixes the likelihood of my going out and having fun tomorrow night; proximity to quite this much lassitude and wooziness reduces the attraction of loud music, crowds, and certainly staying up late.

I just wish I could get cleaned up (myself *and* the house - which is ugh right now), dressed, and out for a simple run of errands.  Maybe tomorrow.

For now, I am sick and tired of *toast*.  Blah.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hell, Oh Kitty

Ten meclizine in my gut has but dented the severity of this whirling illness - and perhaps not even that.  I'm still so dizzy that, trying to put the harness on Pen earlier, I ended up in angry, miserable tears because she was distressed by my distress, and was leaning on me to be in close.  When a dog with enough size, who is frantically wagging and wiggling, leans on you when you are dizzy:  that is hell.

I did get her out, though, and she is on her tether, so it's me and Gossamer.  He seems to be largely behaving in my illness, but he has several times used me as his high ground for games of King of the Mountain with Penelope.  He has also apparently discovered what a soft place to stand a breast can be.  But at the moment, he's harmlessly stowed alongside, sleeping like me at my worst.

I'm nauseated this time, which along with a headache is contributing (along with my whinging and, it may be admitted, very shrill frustration) to making this instance of hell far worse even than the first time, which is the worst sick I've been in what feels like a long time.

So happy times at the ranch today.

Times it SUCKS to be alone.  Times it feels so profound.

Hell II - If I Boogaloo, I HOPE It Kills Me

I have been struck once again with labyrinthitis.  Just cannot express how angry and frustrated I am at having to endure this hell TWICE in less than a MONTH.  It makes you want to die having it once.  A second bout with dizziness this severe, and all I can think is how this is not fair.  I am utterly disgusted.

Have dosed with meclizine (hey, turns out I have a non-drowsy supply; didn't find that blister pack last time) and gotten the pets fed and dog out for a wee.  That she chose to come inside and poo is my own fault; I didn't go out with her and she needs to venture at least as far as the front yard for that event.  That I believe she's already eaten the result is just not contemplatable in my state.

And so we nix the idea of getting together with the charming Cute Shoes, or my friend T who still hasn't met the babies.  Of balancing the checkbook.  Of loading up all those clothes and getting them donated.  Of getting, essentially, ANYTHING done.  No writing nor querying either - typing even this is awful, but I'm angry enough to be stubborn and spit out an ugly post I should probably think better of but am too mad to clam up.  In some ways, maybe the sleepy-meclizine would be better.  Because the un-sleepy kind, unless it CURES me, doesn't make these things magically doable.

Seriously.  So mad and so utterly physcially miserable death would seem like an improvement.

Gah.  This isn't any fair at all.

Friday, December 28, 2012

"Anna Karenina"

On Christmas Eve, a friend and I saw the new "Anna Karenina" and I followed up by streaming Leigh's 1948 turn in the role as well.

Wikimedia Commons
Cover page, 1878

2012's outing does a very fine job of conveying the real toll of the situation, and indeed the foolishness of the risks taken.  Being made outside The Code period, too, it is able to handle certain things honestly (in a couple of scenes, frankly more honestly than I would, say, want to recommend for my nieces - ahem), but for a contemporary telling it is remarkable how well it conveys a social horror many today simply cannot know nor experience.

I was surprised to discover how archly theatrical the new production is, as well.  This works in the story's favor, and oddly enough is not distancing.  It also serves a self-consciously visual, lush, almost sensually lustful production.  The thing is GORGEOUS in every detail.

The cast, too, are excellent.  While at times the two "romantic" leads make you want to just shake them for their decisions (and I feel might be young, particularly Knightley), the entire rest of the film is peopled with remarkably well-rendered characters.  Very engaging.

Leigh was exactly at the point a woman should be to play Karenina - mature, but having lost not one scintilla of her fascination nor beauty.  But she is in a production constrained by the morality police of the time, and
the tension suffers as a result of what could not be said.  Yet the 1948 does improve crucially on the 2012 in one detail - the meddling messenger friend to Alexei Karenin.  This production makes crystal clear the sexual tension between this woman and Karenin, and that unrequited parallel to Anna's sin deepens the story to its benefit.

Leigh and Sir Ralph's telling also benefits from its economy in some ways.  Working within constraints can enhance a story, and it's possible over time I'll come to find the 2012 more excessive than exuberant - but I would say, its first watching doesn't feel overblown given its own terms.

Both are good storytelling, lovely in different ways (seriously, the theatrical contrivance of the new production is very overt; the magic is that it is not distancing).  I expect I will get the DVD when 2012's is available, but probably not Leigh's.  As moviegoing goes- recommended.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Let's Not Do the Time Warp

With Tom Cruise and The Governator both premiering new films within like a month of each other - it's almost like the eighties just will not end.  Much as I enjoyed the 80s, these ... gents' ... filmic ouvre were no part of that.  Sort of like the politics of the era, it was more "in spite of" than "because of" Tom and Arnold.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Today has been less an exercise in housecleaning than in house-emptying.  Yes, three loads of laundry (and apparently I can still dress just fine with that much out of commission - itself a commentary on the excess of a single-person homeownership situation ...) - but a nice stack of trash and recycling out and to-go-out.  For some reason, during a period when I was selling a lot on eBay, I developed a mini obsession with keeping EVERY box in the house, which means the entire dormer nook in the front of the guest room is stacked with useless cardboard.  RECYCLING IT.  I'll never ship that much to my brother, and - everything this year I was planning to sell on eBay I have decided to give away.

The Jones sheath dress I wore only one time (for my confirmation at church, actually).  Someone needs that, and I'm self-conscious about the slit in the back of the skirt.  I am never going to wear it again.  It goes.

My aunt's leather trench.  I miss her deeply, I loved her so much - but as an artifact goes, this one is not a beloved memento, it's just an ill-fitting vintage piece I'm cheating some very cute (short-armed) girl out of rocking to pieces.  It goes.

The quilted tapestry jacket with marvelously soft, long mongolian wool trim.  It's adorable - but it's too trendy for me.  Its sleeves, also, are a bit slim for my granny arms.  It goes.

The SIZE SIX London Fog trench my mom and dad bought me 24 years ago (I still remember where, remember the day, remember we went to a show that night; I remember how that coat fit when I cinched in the belt).  But it is a size six - and I am not, and don't even want to be.  It goes.

The beautiful red wool suit I bought last time I was unemployed - and have never worn even one single time. The heck - that's several inches of closet space.  It goes.

Even the flattering twinset mom bought me two or three years back.  It's comfortable - but I really have worn it as much as I will.  It's *just* outside my real preferred style.  So.  And the satin blazer I've gotten more than my bargain-money's worth out of.  The wonderfully soft, velvet-trimmed suit jacket my coworkers have never seen because I busted the back seam out of it once (and I thought that jacket fit fine) - which, though it's been beautifully repaired, I fear to wear for doing that again.  Good grief, it goes.  The skirt that wasn't a set but that goes with that, I should give up too - need to get that one out of the closet.  I haven't worn it in too long.

The jewelry I never wear.  The pieces from mom.  The one or two miscalculations from eBay, too.

The amount of stuff going out of this house - I already have two HUGE shopping bags of stuff out in the trunk as it is, and the list above is on top of those things, and will cram the trunk chock full - is pretty serious.  It will feel good.

On top of this, I've done a lot of just organizing.  The guest room, for two months, has been a riot of clean sheets waiting to go back on the bed my friend used when she came for the JRW Conference in mid-october, of summer clothes not put away, of Christmas decorations and their boxes, of the hair moved for the tree's spot in the living room.  It's oppressive, living in a house otherwise sort of nice, but knowing THIS ROOM was lurking silently upstairs.

It goes.

If these things don't go, I will be mired in them.  And so much of it would be so nice for somebody else.

The edifice of cardboard boxes - well, maybe they will just be nice for the Earth, for me to take them out of the realm of waste and excess ...


Christmas, of course, will bring More Stuff into the house - but one great advantage of middle age is that every year there is less of that to manage, for me.  Heh - some years, hardly anything at all ... but that is an amusing set of stories for some other time.  *Grin*

So it is the right time to lighten my home's load.  Just yesterday I resisted the temptation to buy a new sofa for *such a deal* (seriously - nice, clean, comfy piece, and I'd have paid $55 for it).  But I don't need to take advantage of every deal out there.  Today I am gladder to have the sofa already here.  Another day, it will be time to let it go, to find a new/old one in its place.  But not this week.

Today is my day of solitary worship - steward to the material blessings given me.  And part of that is knowing when to give those blessings to others.  Tonight, I will revel and relax, nothing more than a bath and early bed.

Tomorrow, one last piece of shopping, then a friend for the evening.

Christmas Eve - for the first time, perhaps, ever - I have taken time off.  Time with another friend, and probably the nighttime service, a joyous celebration.  The exquisite sound of my priest's voice, singing.  Her love, all our love.  And, yes - Christ.  A worship in fellowship.

Then Christmas day, just me and the fur-bearing kidlets, relaxing (... heh ... ?) at mom and my stepfather's house.  I plan to make my dad's coffee cake.  We'll eat, we'll open gifts, we'll laugh and share and just be, pretty quietly.  It is a small holiday, just the three of us.  Penelope and Goss will liven it up I am sure.

Then home.  A quiet night.

And back to the real world.

Merry Christmas from the Wee and Timorous Beasties

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012


When I was fifteen or twenty (though those ages seemed far apart back then, they don't make much odds to me now in my old age), I had a brief period of time when I said "massive" if something seemed good to me.  Yes, Virginia, Paris Hilton did not invent the would-be-catchphrase-now-defunct phenomenon.  Today, for some reason, twenty-five or so years after its demise, the word bubbled out of my wee, paltry little brain, and popped at a good point in the day.

This week has been spent making every effort to do my job, and - on two extremely key tasks - being utterly unable to.  The real kicker is that the two things I have been unable to do (reconciling my purchasing, and creating a new hire ID) are STUPIDLY quick and easy jobs ... and it is now officially a week I've spent trying to manage each of them.

Thank technology.  Due to an UPGRADE (raise your hand if you've ever been functionally screwed by tech improvements which set you back by decades, kids!!), my computer has instituted the silent treatment against key sites and tools.  Fantastico.

And so, jobs which should be the smallest part of my day, but which are (I may have noted this ...) fundamentally important tasks, have (a) remained incomplete, in one case and - vastly more humiliating and frustrating still - (b) been done by OTHER PEOPLE.  Yes, the extremely competent woman whose responsibility it is to herd an entire resource system's worth of card-holders has personally, twice in a row (we have to reconcile daily at year-end) managed my transactions.  Now, this has been a total of five items in two days - yet it is disgusting to me to put my work on ANYONE else's desk.  And mortifying to put it on hers, of all people's.

The beat goes on, with my finally gaining access to the ID system today, which I suppose is good news.

As to the accounting side - I have called our help desk (their scripted instruction is to reach out to the very woman who's been stuck doing my job twice now - and, not for nothing, but she is also working from home and managing not only the holidays but a family hospitalization as well - so I'm EXTRA happy to be another problem for her).  I have called her, of course.  She has been extraordinarily generous, competent, forbearing, and as helpful as humanly possible in the face of inhuman technology and its inscrutable faults.  I have reached out personally and directly to one of the tech guys at my site, who has also been generous - but, being alone on deck here, he too is stretched miles too thin.


Five bluebirds appeared outside the office window while I was rebooting, after yet another workaround attempt (it did not work).  I watched them in wonder - bluebirds aren't typical around here in any case, but I don't know that in my life I've ever seen so many at once.  At one point, three of them aligned with almost revoltingly excellent composition in a tree by the lake.  A bloody Christmas card, that.  Or maybe Chanukah, actually!

I remembered my dad telling me not to let the bluebird of happiness poop on my windshield.  And remembered the random little rubber bluebird eraser or toy he found some time in the year or so before he died, and gave to me (long since petrified, but indeed still around).  Dad was someone who could find the bluebird of happiness, maybe attracted it - more likely, just preferred his perceptions calibrated to the good.  If I am a lucky human I'll someday be half as wise and half as sanguine as he.  If I am exceptionally lucky and blessed ...


The reason this blip on the dizzying readout of linguistic quirks I have adopted and abandoned through my life happened to repeat is this - frustrating as this past week has been, with roadblocks and embarrassing offloading, toward the end of the day I looked around and found that some of the most important things on my desk have been eliminated, and not by throwing them at other people either.  It's a hopeful uplift I have hopes will inform tomorrow and next week, making the new year a little easier.

Bluebirds and all ... it's the little things, sometimes.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Alec Shane sent me a rejection on Friday ... but I've also done this, so the beat goes on.  Interesting note from an agent on Twitter this weekend, so I'll be researching her!  And the list isn't exhausted yet, and there will be revisitations of certain pre-revision queries.  I have some interesting ideas about hopes for the new year.  We shall see - but maybe 2013 will be the year it gets representation, and even sells.

We shall see.  It's getting to be time.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Grief Highjacker

This is the phrase my brother used when he said something to me about having a powerful response to the events of yesterday's news here in the U.S.  I don't want to post about that devastation, because this is not a current events blog, and because out of respect and a perfect lack of comprehension there is NOTHING I could possibly compose which could be worthy to say and which would not in some way be about me, my feelings, my perspective, which is utterly irrelevant to the mourning of the families and friends of those lost in Connecticut.

I pray for peace, not only for those so brutally bereaved - but between us, within our broken, desperate nation - and for those who, without it, turn derangement and rage into punishment for the rest of the world.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Self awareness is key for anyone who doesn't want OTHER people to be aware of their faults *for* them.

If you get there first, you can do something about it.


Okay tree is up, lit, even my old string of lights is re-fused and working now.  Animals curious, but not misbehaving badly.  But Penelope is being a complete loon.

When my elder niece was very young, the family lived in Hawai'i.  When she ate poi, she became sleepy.  I'm thinking I want to get some poi for my dog.  Because drugging her would be extreme - but wow do I wish she would lose the habit of wigging, particularly when large trees and electricity are so prominent in the living room!

Buffy Frustrates Me ...

... as do my Christmas lights.  $33.88 with shipping, two BRAND new strings, I plugged them in and got 45 seconds of light.  I spent that much because these are supposed to be the "one bulb goes out, the rest stay lit" - but NONE are currently lit.  Gah.  Stupid freaking Christmas lights.  (The inquiry is in, yes with the eBay seller.)

But while I am cleaning and putting up decorations, I'm watching Buffy.  Once again, I am struck by the artificial and irritating elasticity of her intellect/education.  In one moment, she says to Xander, "Thank you for the Dadaist greeting" because that is a funny reference.  But three minutes later, he says something about going on reconnaissance and she wrinkles her nose and asks "where we paint and make pottery and stuff" and he has to explain, "That was the *Renaissance*" ...

Because Buffy is selectively dumb, for excessively weak and dumb jokes.  *Sigh*

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Felt Like Freedom

Mojourner, speaking as someone who *was* a punk - and on the subject of dancing like you don't give a hang who's watching.  Because that is what dancing is for.  I'm struck (not for the first time in his remarkable explorations of the punk scene he let me spectate from time to time) at how clearly, how freshly, I remember some of these faces.  The spiky mullet in front.  The fro to one side.

What he describes comes back, too.  The chicken fights, the on-the-spot made-up dances, the getting on stage.  He hasn't mentioned the time he was one of the "aweem-awep" dudes for a spontaneous rendition of "The Lion Sleeps" - and, in fact, how frequently spontaneous classics like that came up.  Sometimes sped up to 78 (as Mo said recently, an hour or so could hold thirty-eight thousand punk songs - or something far funnier, frankly, but to that effect ...).  Sometimes screamed, sure.  But sometimes, and not infrequently, pretty much in their original arrangement.  The guys on those stages were musicians, after all, as much as rebels.  Sometimes, rebellion could be performed with respect for music unlike their own.  Punk had a lot more taste than exclusively for irony, and it's easy to forget, in the post-'net world which has come to so intensely depend on snark - not everything even the strident anarchist had to say back then was said with a sneer.

Anyway, amazing photos once again, and remarkable memories I am enjoying very much.

(Also of note:  "history, brought to you by women."  In and of itself, a fascinating phenomenon of the dynamics of - at least "our" little corner of - punk.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

That is Not a Pubic Hair on My Coke

Once again, in the "we did not invent (fill-in-the-intellectual/cultural/sexual-blank-here) yesterday" department, we have a really fascinating look at women's body hair (and its absence) through the centuries.  As, during this election year of misogyny (BUT THERE IS NO WAR ON WOMEN ... even as, at this very writing, Cantor tries to maim the Violence Against Women Act), we learned that "vagina" is not a dirty word, for today's post we'll have to accept that "pubic" isn't either.

The idea that there was a pre-modern era of “anything goes” in terms of normative bodies is a commonplace.  --Jill Burke

No Supreme Court justices were harmed, nor even sexually harassed, during the production of this post.  (As to Cantor:  only certain women are worthy of any protection at all - and we all know who the privileged are in this scenario.)

The Quote

Following up in a way on the Historically Accurate Sexism post, I want to take a look at the single sentence from my research - found years ago, actually, while working on "The Ax and the Vase" - which forms the basis and informs the context for Novel #2.

The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.    --Medieval Kingship, Henry A. Myers

I've been calling the thing "Matrilineage", for the record - though I have zero attachment to this title, and would surmise no agent nor publisher in the world will go for it.  As I get more into the work, a new one may present itself.  And in any case, not all titles are allowed to stand (I will even accept it if "Ax" is changed).

The novel will follow the lives of Audofleda, Amalasuntha, and perhaps Matasuentha.  Audofleda was the sister of Clovis I - so it is perhaps obvious how I came across her.  She married Theodoric the Great, the Ostrogothic king who killed Odovakar - famed, himself, for putting an end to the Roman Empire.  Unlike "Ax", this work will focus on female characters.  It also isn't told in first person, which I am relishing quite a bit.

The quote above goes beyond much of the wisdom of research I've found up to this point, in that it takes the snapshot of "ass-kicking Ostrogoth women" and puts a frame on a greater context.  Amalasuntha bore the grandson of Theodoric, and when that child died, she became queen regnant in a time during which, shall we say, if not sexism, a certain lack of feminine monarchical opportunity marked the period.  Ama was educated, no beauty, a great nonconformist, and a woman with her own mind.

So the challenge not to write a Mary Sue is fascinating.

And the quote above is my guidepost.  Her education is irrelevant to everyone around her.  Her ABILITY is irrelevant.

But she is the child of Theodoric, and was mother of a king.

Her charisma will, I suspect as I work to build her character (at this point I am still in her teenage years), build on the same basis as her father:  Her Amal royal heritage, her lineage, her right - not by gender, but by charisma of the blood - is the glue by which she binds herself to the throne.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Austerity Costing Posterity

The bitter cost of what the 1% has done to the whole world's economy goes far beyond a few miserable poor folks' incessant griping.

We're losing world history now, because archaeology and preservation are no longer worthwhile to governments in economic straits.  Imagine the prospect - 40% of Italy's sites ALONE are at risk today.

Scholarship, culture - the world must bite the dust, because the wealthy of the world refuse to break out the Pledge and a dustrag.  It is revolting.  And it is the stuff revolts are made of, not for nothing.

Historically ... Authentic (Sexism)

As much trouble as I have, as an author, with anachronistic Mary-Sue feminism, there is a flip side to the coin.  This is a good post about how counter-productive it can be to lean on "but history was sexist" as an excuse to write chauvinism instead of *character*.  I'm madly in love with the graphic, too:
Not to mention this quote:

History is not a long series of centuries in which men did all the interesting/important things and women stayed home and twiddled their thumbs in between pushing out babies, making soup and dying in childbirth.  --Tansy Rayner Roberts

It's as true of histfic as it is of fantasy, the authenticity of an overarching principle is (a) not necessarily beyond question, but (b) no reason to sacrifice *writing*.

NPR, Voice of the Tea Party

Lately, I keep noticing a completely bizarre and biased tone on stories NPR is airing.  Thursday night, it was the piece about how Camden, NJ is falling apart 100% thanks to the wildly overpaid and prone-to-outrageous-absenteeism police force.  A more ludicrously anti-union and anti-worker piece of propaganda I can't even think of right now, it was deeply mystifying.

I can think of MANY occupations which are objectively overcompensated.  "Cop" is not one of those.  Maybe the mixed these public servants up with "CEO", another job description of three letters and starting with a C ... ?

Punk Nostalgia

This post is going to be a bit of a bouillabaisse of memories - mostly really my brother's, but he was nice enough to share a bit with me back then.  He and I have been enjoying - of all things ... - "good times" memories of that least of all "aww"-inspiring things, the hardcore punk scene of the early 80s.  And yet, if not "aww" - there are some very good feelings with these memories.  (For me, the surprise and excitement of cool stuff shared with my bro.  For him, a youth not spent wearing alligator shirts and worshiping Reagan.)

Kind of loving my brother's memories.  I won't go back to edit the post about being at White Cross shows, but here is the vid that woke me from the malaise of my illnes:

It'd be impossible for me to go back to that time and place, even as sick as I was on Tuesday, and not feel some resurgence of the energy they held.

The POV of the video camera (I still can't get over someone having such a rare and expensive thing at one of these shows!) is pretty much exactly where I would have been.

Mojourner has more to say about those days here and here.  He also appears in the Mini Mag I linked before, but I ain't sayin' which dude with attitude he was.  Though he does match one of the guys in this vid!  Maybe he collected all his archival fame in one night (apart from that White Cross album cover he was on - I'll tell you this time, he was the guy in the striped shirt).

There was an immense amount of anger at that time, but what people may not understand is that it was not a scene of menace and cruelty.  The anger was a shared thing, binding kids deprived of privilege (and those of us who had a little bit, but hardly lived in Reagan-era Greed-is-Good-ness or Dynasty wealth), expressed in voices raised as loud as those who were socio-politically very very small could be.  But within the scene, there was a lot of laughter, much loyalty and trust.

I showed up at these things wearing what I hoped was ironic and cool - a pink CIA t-shirt given to me by a relative who at that time, oddly enough, was an expert on the Russkies and (though no more on the Blake Carrington level than my brother and I) had a lot more interest in Reagan - and a hippie-ish white flowered prairie skirt, with little black cotton Mary Janes.  Amidst the Marks-A-Lot'ed jean vests and black tees, nobody was mistaking me for one of them - pink and white!? (though, for the record, yeah, it was pretty intentional; apparently my nonconformity among nonconformists began earlier than I've ever really thought about) - but they were nice to me.  The guys there would have protected me from any harm - if it had actually been likely, in the not-so-wilds of our downtown of that era, danger were really likely.  But the circle of punks, spilling out of the bar and up the block to that 7-Eleven, was big enough to contain, and cohesive enough not to break.  Nobody broke inside - nobody wanted to - and in that group it was safe.

I probably learned a lot which still serves me today.  I frequent a very different scene when I get out socially, but the effect is in its way similar.  Outcast and underprivileged people might seem scary on their margins, from the mainstream, but the marginalized keep an eye out for those they claim, and those they welcome.

Sure, the force of a brother who didn't exactly invite violence and violation to his person - nor his sister's - had its power.  But the fact was, the larger dynamic within that angry and alienated world wasn't one of anger nor alienation actually aimed inward.  The anger was never with those sharing it, and so the dynamic was of the adopted-erzats-gang-family variety popularized in everything from The Outsiders to Penelope Spheeris' "Suburbia" (itself a veritable goldmine of who-was-whom and pop-cultural trivia of a remarkable variety).  So that anger, that terrifying rebellion and defiance, was not the attractant - it was the repellant.  Stay away, preppies, stay away, established authority, stay away if this scares you.

But, if you come in, you'll be in for some laughs, the shows, the friends, the people.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Big or Little, It Doesn't Matter ...

... it's what's inside that counts!

How am I going to even TRY to resist?  Even as a Trek nerd, LeVar's BEST role ever.

Letters to a Young Lady

Here's a great post from The History Girls, including some quotes from a surprisingly long-lived perennial seller of the late 18th/early 19th century, and a bit of commentary I can't disagree with either.  If I actually worked in this period, it'd make pretty amazing research and character building material.

Button Fly ...

I can admit, it's entirely true that American Duchess, Isis' Wardrobe, and Isis' Toilette are my new addictions.  For the inimitable Cute Shoes, here's a follow up on the details of late 19th-century button boots.  I love the scalloped fly, but the rounded toe on the 1910-15 boot is the best shoe shape.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I'm moving slowly but remembering all these hardcore acts I saw back when my brother let me hang around with him and his friends.  Honor Role, YFA, Graven Image, Pledge Allegiance - even just the local legend, Dirt Woman ... who looks so YOUNG to me now.  Terrifying!  Names of the bars - I love the name Going Bananas.  Need to open a place called Going Bananas and be the old lady everyone finds inexplicable.  Don't I?


Yeah, possibly the illness talking.  Must be time to stop flipping my way down memory lane.  It's already run me into pics of The Exploited (gah) and Henry Rollins.  That cannot be good for my poor brain.

Would it be un-punk to cite and RVA Mini Mag as sources for this lot of pics?
For the record: INKWELL DESIGN LLC
Howzat for punk, man?

I Have Achieved ... Toast

This morning, I woke with some dizziness, and thought (as I am wont to do), "I will try to sleep this off and go in late."

The luck, it has not been quite so good.  Much of this day, I've spent sleeping the sleep of attempted-escape, but with an unfortunate lack of oblivion.  I used to get this sick in college - labyrinthitis isn't unusual for me or for my mom, but today has been the worst attack I've had in memory.  It's a miserable thing - something like the 24-hour death, but at least without any actual biological eruptions.  Only the hideous spinning and lassitude.

So my point is, it's taking a pretty hefty inspiration for me to get on my laptop at all.  I got on this morning to email my management, when it became clear going in late wasn't an option, and left the thing sleeping most of the day.  But a little while ago - I achieved toast.  Eating is helping more than I would have expected (so now I am irked I didn't try it sooner - but, so it goeth).  I also turned on Netflix, and wouldn't you know my luck - we're up to "Space Seed" on the TOS ep count.  Ahhh, Khan, you are perking me up.

However, that is not enough to make me turn to Blogger and attempt to type (which ain't easy, dear readers - I had to correct three typos in the word "Blogger" alone just now).  No, THAT took the interruption to TOS I found when I opened two emails from my brother.  I won't post the vid unless he gives permission - but, thanks to The Wonders of Teh Intarwebs, he came across the most astounding piece of our history.

My brother was the cool sibling, but for whatever reason (and, what's odd is, I don't know that parental pressure actually played into this) he actually included me sometimes in outings with his friends.

This of course is how I SAW ALL THE COOL CONCERTS.  Including perhaps the White Cross show now archived, and which he found online.  Minor Threat.  The Exploited (not even one iota cool - tools to the last minute of their obnoxiousness, those posers).  Ten Thousand Maniacs (yes, with Natalie Merchant - and the source of my first internet meme, actually, though the worthwhileness of digging through that link is dubious).  Even some arena tours - my very first was The Clash's Combat Rock tour, the same week they appeared on SNL with Little Opie Cunningham (who drank a BEER on live TV!  Woo!) - and second was Bowie.

Granted, that second one was only Serious Moonlight - but kids, I saw Bowie live from the front row of a General Admission show, so shut up until you can outdo me.  (And when you do I will not care, because braggin' rights, as fun as they are, mean remarkably little to me.)

Watching the vid of the White Cross show, I could remember so clearly the space of that little dive.  I never drank, and couldn't even smoke successfully, back then.  My brother was sufficient presence to keep me from misbehaving with boys, not that I had any very great urge to misbehave, as many crushes as I liked to have.  I remember the girls, even when I was only sixteen, asking me how I got so pale.

I wasn't one of them - I was a privileged little girl playing with the cool kids, riding on the coattails of my brother.  But they were sweet.  I remember the Andys.  I remember a girl named Honey.  I remember the night we left a show at one or two in the morning, I had something like 73 punks in the backseat, and maybe three bicycles, I was at the wheel ... and my brother meowed at a police dog in the cruiser next to us.  The officer had just come from a homicide and wasn't finding us hilarious.  But I got no ticket, to go with my healthy dose of Official Sternness.

But watching that clip, it was the SHOWS that came back, so strongly.  Mr. X has, over the ten years of our acquaintance, occasionally "warned" me, of his music, as I came to absorb it, that it might be a little hard or heavy for me.  If he watched that clip it might be clearer - knowing I was consuming this life from the age of sixteen - why I go "aww - that's cute" when he does that.

The music and atmosphere may no more be truly extinct than any of the "why when I was a child" memories any old fart uses to disparage The Present compared to one's own Past.  But punk - that Punk, the actual real stuff - has certainly been beaten to near death, emblem of long dead fashion for so long even the emblematic BS is now out of fashion itself.

Look at the people.  There's one guy with a standup mohawk, and I can tell you he almost certainly didn't wear it twice, or went on to become either goth industrial or (more likely) yuppie.  The people who were THERE, the regulars at shows - you can see them.  Guys in jeans with fairly boring short, or cropped, hair.  Ordinary shirts, or none at all.  Just guys.  Sweating.

The whole POINT of punk - real punk - was to reject fashion and affectation.  These guys couldn't afford leather jeans, and would not have worn 'em.  The one common style was army surplus (REAL - not insanely expensive Doc Martens; which came along to make money well after punk itself was dead) combat boots.  Other than that, jeans.  Torn, not torn, probably blue, maybe written on.  White tees, black tees, button ups, whatever.  A shirt that fits.  Maybe one that doesn't stink.

It'll stink by the time the night is over.

The guys got in the mosh pit.  It wasn't a systematic swirl of violence, particularly.  It was intermittent.  The guys could fight, I'm sure, but I really don't remember it.  The only bloodshed I ever recall at a show was when that utter twit of a lead singer for The Exploited SWUNG HIS MIC (of all disco-tastic, foolish show-boy rockstar idiot-hole flourishes, really) and hit his own bass player in the face with it.  I think the guy lost a tooth.  And the singer was a tool about it.  Jerks.

That bar was used as the location for a polka bar in the Robert Preston film "Finnegan Begin Again."  I remember watching that movie obsessively, dying every time RP and Mary Tyler Moore danced in that brick-lined punk dive.

It eventually became a coffee bar, at least in the 90s.  It may still be one, or may be a cafe' - it may be a dang Starbucks or a McDonald's by now.  But, then, it was the dark place I was exposed to coolness so potent that, almost thirty years on, I can see this post has gone far beyond my ability to really function.

I'ma finish watching the clip.  Finish watching "Space Seed".  And, someday, maybe I'll come back and tell all you kids about when I was not a middle aged cat (and dog) lady.

But first, another little lie-down, becuase hell if staring at this screen isn't killing me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

This Is Our ... Culture ...

Ford Not Prefect

A good post on the relationship one man has with his truck - but, really, I just love the title.  Heh.


The American Duchess on one more thing we didn't invent in the 1960s.  Elastic gussets for your boot.

American Duchess sells this boot


Four ibuprofen in, and the headache so bad the pain has me nauseated is only getting worse.  I see an early night tonight.

Which is probably not going to be true.  Which is a shame.

"Tomorrow is Yesterday"

Starting off the day with some Star Trek, it's the first ep on 20thC Earth.  I don't feel like logging on to Twitter, so shall make my inane observations here, for my own entertainment.

  • I think this is the first time in my chronological viewing of TOS where I've seen the "blank screens" looking wrinkled.  Oops!
  • Question to self:  "Self, is there a particular statement in the fact I am watching Star Trek instead of going to church ... ?"
  • Ahhhh, the sexist "personality of a woman" issue with the computer.  Le Sigh.
  • Did Scotty really just say "everything's jury rigged" ... ???
  • Ethics be damned, we've got an episode plot to resolve!


The way things appear to be going in my tum, and with some sdubby codjesjun, once again there shall be no church for me this morning.  I don't feel Actually Sick (there is a line drawn by my mother in my mind, heart, and soul, only beyond which do I stop feeling guilty for calling in sick), but two things prevent fellowship - one, the prospect of having to dab through an hour and a half or so of time I'd rather be dignified, and two, the what-if-I-am-sick transmissibility issues.  Catholic-lite is no less rife with opportunities to hand over your germs than the full-calorie Church, one of those times the human-soup of existence opens the door to sharing.

Though I intinct instead of sipping, the obvious vector of course is the Eucharist,where we all get to share wine in succession.  But there's also The Peace, which is the part we all reach out and touch, shake hands, etc. (though we had a moment of polite greeting in the denomination of my childhood, it never involved looking at more than maybe two people, and certainly no physical contact).  The full minute or two or three of Peace-ing is a far more engaging sport!

So no for me again this week, but yes I believe to some housecleaning.  As this was my worship for many years before I found fellowship, so it remains, and though usually I don't do it on the actual Sabbath day anymore, it's hardly inappropriate to take it to this day.

But first ... a little TOS.


Gossamer and Penelope just had a gentle snoot with each other.  Good lord, I die of cute when they do that.


I got to use the word glum on Friday and it made me so happy I negated myself.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

*Eyebrow* At My Stats

550 hits today, mostly from Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.  Odd, that.  Odder - usually bots don't go to my pages; the excerpts etc. - but today, two and three hits apiece to all of those pages.

I find this not a gratifying uptick, but a depressing sign that even the one indicator of actual human visitation (hits on those pages) is no longer reliable.

*Blah* for monster day stats.