WANTED

WANTED: Subjects for a (extremely limited-edition) bookwork project. Looking for adults who lead mainstream lives during the day – office workers, students, executives, retailers, parents, etc. – who are a part of the goth subculture on their own time. Must provide photographs by March 1. Those who are included in the project will receive their very own copy of the completed work.

If you’re interested, go to http://www.oxfordandleather.blogspot.com for all the details you can handle.  The project’s dedicated email address is oxford.and.leather@gmail.com.


More personally, because we’re all friends here…

You might remember that I took a bookmaking class a while back, and really liked it. Well, I got invited to take the graduate section this semester. There are seven people in the class, plus the professor, and while we have considerably fewer projects to deal with, they’re of a higher caliber.

On the first day of class, I got a brainstorm for a book I really want to do. This is that project – a (mostly) pictorial depiction of people who live a dual lifestyle, in this case, a mainstream/goth lifestyle. It’s not creepy or stalkery or exploitative – it’s respectful, exploratory, and hopefully insightful.

Anyway, if you fit the bill, or know someone who does… please consider helping out. This is one of these things where I’ve hung my hat on other people, and I’m hoping I don’t live to regret it – that enough people participate to make it work. If you’re really into the whole internet community thing and wanted to post my wanted ad on your blog/website/etc., I’d be indebted to you.

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The Naked Truth (found on Neatorama)

Writing takes a lot of focus – here are a few authors who got rid of all sorts of distractions, including their clothes, while writing:

When Victor Hugo [wiki], the famous author of great tomes such as Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, ran into a writer’s block, he concocted a unique scheme to force himself to write: he had his servant take all of his clothes away for the day and leave his own nude self with only pen and paper, so he’d have nothing to do but sit down and write.

Ernest Hemingway [wiki] did not only write A Farewell to Arms, he also said farewell to clothes! The inside dirt is that Hemingway wrote nude, standing up, with his typewriter about waist level. Indeed, there might be a nudist streak in the Hemingway genes: Ernest’s cousin Edward Hemingway opened Britain’s oldest nudist colony, a nine-bedroom chateau called Metherell Towers, back in the 1930s!

Perhaps it’s not so surprising that D.H. Lawrence [wiki], who wrote the controversial (and censored) erotic book Lady Chatterley’s Lover, liked to climb mulberry trees, in the nude, before coming down to write.

James Whitcomb Riley [wiki], America’s "Hoosier Poet," had his friends lock him up in a hotel room to write, naked, so he wouldn’t be tempted to go down to the bar for a drink.

French poet and author Edmond Rostand [wiki], who is best known for his play Cyrano de Bergerac, was so sick of being interrupted by his friends that he took up working naked in his bathtub.

Apparently Rostand wasn’t the only one with this bright idea – Benjamin Franklin [wiki] also liked to take baths. In fact, he liked to take "air baths," where he sit around naked in a cold room for an hour or so while he wrote.

Mystery writer Agatha Christie [wiki], whose books have been translated in 40 languages and outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare, liked to write anywhere, including in the bathtub!

Sources: A Blank Page by Sam Elmore, In The Nude by So Many Books, Literary Life and Other Curiosities by Robert Hendrickson, Dressing to Write by Bibi’s Beat.

WANTED

WANTED: Subjects for a (extremely limited-edition) bookwork project. Looking for adults who lead mainstream lives during the day – office workers, students, executives, retailers, parents, etc. – who are a part of the goth subculture on their own time. Must provide photographs by March 1. Those who are included in the project will receive their very own copy of the completed work.

If you’re interested, go to http://www.oxfordandleather.blogspot.com for all the details you can handle.  The project’s dedicated email address is oxford.and.leather@gmail.com.


More personally, because we’re all friends here…

You might remember that I took a bookmaking class a while back, and really liked it. Well, I got invited to take the graduate section this semester. There are seven people in the class, plus the professor, and while we have considerably fewer projects to deal with, they’re of a higher caliber.

On the first day of class, I got a brainstorm for a book I really want to do. This is that project – a (mostly) pictorial depiction of people who live a dual lifestyle, in this case, a mainstream/goth lifestyle. It’s not creepy or stalkery or exploitative – it’s respectful, exploratory, and hopefully insightful.

Anyway, if you fit the bill, or know someone who does… please consider helping out. This is one of these things where I’ve hung my hat on other people, and I’m hoping I don’t live to regret it – that enough people participate to make it work. If you’re really into the whole internet community thing and wanted to post my wanted ad on your blog/website/etc., I’d be indebted to you.

On the Bedstand

Last night, I started reading a book – Charlaine Harris’s Grave Surprise. Harris is hands-down my new favorite frivolous fictioneer. I especially like her Shakespeare and Sookie serieses. Had to make myself put the book down at about 1 AM – this one isn’t that great, but it’s engaging as all get-out. All of her books are. Much recommended.

Past Few Days

CPR

At work on Friday, I underwent CPR training and am now a First Responder (as defined by my workplace, not by the Red Cross – that’s like 60 hours of training, and I have six). I’ve got basic first aid, CPR, and AED now. It’s funny – in a lot of ways I’m definitely cut out to be an emergency worker of some kind. In emergencies, my adrenaline surge is quick, smooth, and powerful, and I don’t crash afterwards like most people do. I’m really good in bad moments. But on the other side of the coin, I can’t deal with watching Red Cross videos with actors pretending to have broken legs and heart attacks and stuff. Six hours of that stuff and I was about to be sick. Heck, sixty seconds of that was enough for me. Not sure what’s up with that.

 

007

That evening we finally went and saw Casino Royale. Another little-known-fact I could have included in that meme a week or so ago would be that I used to be hardcore obsessed with James Bond. I think it was 11th grade when I really hit my Bond phase. I’d spend hours researching all things 007 – was a regular expert on Aston Martins, handguns, crazy Q-ian technology. I filled file cabinets with photographs, character rosters, plot summaries, even fan fiction (not my own). I watched every movie in order and read every Ian Fleming I could find in our small local library. My enchantment fizzled when I discovered that A. the books weren’t all that good and B. Diamonds Are Forever was the most awful excuse for a movie ever.

 

When I learned Brosnan had abandoned the Bond franchise, I mourned. What can I say? He was the best Bond after Connery that we’d had. (Yes, I’m venturing into controversial-if-you’re-a-geek-like-me country. Welcome!) And when I learned they’d cast blondy Daniel Craig as 007 for the new movie, I raised one very skeptical eyebrow. That, and a busy schedule, kept me from rushing the theater doors as soon as the film came out.

 

Man, am I kicking myself.

 

I’m all torn up inside. This movie was astoundingly good (not, perhaps, compared to an Oscar movie, but definitely compared to other – espeically recent – Bonds). They knocked off all the ridiculous cheesy lines that personally ruined the later Brosnan movies for me and went to enormous lengths to give depth and humanity to everyone’s favorite two-dimensional spy. Craig was fantastic – gorgeous, multifaceted, smart, believable, likeable, hateable, perfect. By the end of the movie I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role, and there was some discussion on the way home as to whether or not Craig’s Bond trumped Connery’s. (Yes, heresy, I know!)

 

But it was So Sad. I’m not accustomed to being sad after a Bond movie. The ending (I won’t go into detail in case you haven’t seen it yet) was sad enough, but I’m just heartbroken by the scene where he’s so furious at being doublecrossed and yet he still tries so hard to save her. That’s a side of Bond we don’t ever get to see again, and now we know why. Ach.

 

Craig is a good actor. Whoever they’d got writing the new Bond scripts is a savior to the franchise. I can’t wait for the next one. From the viewpoint of a reformed Bondomaniac, Casino Royale was pretty much perfect in every way.

 

FESTIVAL

On Saturday we got up early and went to the McCall Winter Festival, an annual event with snow sculpture contests and a Mardi Gras-style parade celebrating, among other things, the town’s resident lake monster, Sharlie. It’s really kind of a totally amazing thing, if you’ve never been – probably doubly so if you live in a warmer part of the country. The snow sculptures, for one thing, are out of this world – you’d be amazed how realistic and detailed they are. Thousands of people show up to watch the parade, where you get beads if you holler and wave your arms – much more practical in McCall January weather than exposing yourself. 🙂 Everywhere you go you see people dressed up like brightly colored lunatics. Kids climb on the snow sculptures and sled down the hill onto the frozen-solid lake; beneath the ice, Sharlie presumably has a helluva space heater.

 

McCall Winter Festival is really more of a visual thing, so I suppose pictures are in order… I didn’t get any good pictures of the really awesome snow scupltures because my batteries died, but there’s a couple that are fairly good.

 

Sharlie1
Sharlie

 

OldPimp
Masks

MaskCar
Fairy

Drumline

Driver

Dancers

Band

AsianDrummers

AsianDancers

Puppy

Sharlie2

Snowcat
Look, it’s a snowcat!

TajMahal

Meredith&Angelica

Kate

Frozen Lake
That’s a seriously frozen lake.

Elephants

 

SUNDAY
In a nutshell, because this is a really long boring post: Had the third “comparative theology” sermon in a series at church (this week was Islam) and took a nap afterwards because I was feeling pretty gross.

 

Admitted to myself that I was hooked on Buffy (I never watched, and then it started showing up on our TiVo, and now I can’t stop watching. It’s such terrible TV, too! The special effects kill me. But I’m utterly entranced. I came in at about the point when Riley leaves the military group, and we’re up to the point where Buffy’s mom has brain cancer and Spike is falling in love with her. I think it’s the utterly unwanted romance storyline that’s really getting to me…)

 

Speaking of finally getting interested in something that millions of people have loved for years, I downloaded a song on Sunday, too. One of the lines is “This bandwagon’s full, please catch another.” If you tell me what song that is you win a cookie.

 

And last night, I started reading a book – Charlaine Harris’s Grave Surprise. Harris is hands-down my new favorite frivolous fictioneer. I especially like her Shakespeare and Sookie serieses. Had to make myself put the book down at about 1 AM – this one isn’t that great, but it’s engaging as all get-out. All of her books are.

Lunch Story

I spent my lunch break at the local fabric store scouting out supplies for an upcoming book project and ended up stuck in line at the cutting counter, needing half a yard of fabric, while the lady in front of me got varying lengths of a dozen different bolts. I stood there, watching my “go through a drive through for a bite of food” time get snipped into smaller and smaller pieces, and wondering What. On. Earth. this woman could possibly be making. She wasn’t just buying a lot of fabric – she was buying the ugliest fabrics in the entire store. Maybe it was a mission of mercy? She was taking the fabric away to be burned, never again to horrify people with taste?

Anyway, I finally got checked out, and was waiting to turn right onto Federal behind – you guessed it – Ugly Fabric Woman in her fancy SUV. Who was, of course, waiting to turn left. And while I sat there in my car, she did turn left – at what really had to be the most utterly impossible time.

The teenage girl in the Sunfire tried valiantly to stop and ended up leaving a lot of rubber on the road in the process, but there was no avoiding the inevitable collision between poorly-driven SUV and tiny sportscar. It was pretty clear that no one was injured, thank goodness, but I was saddened to watch all the cars around them just keep on driving as if nothing had happened. I mean, sure, probably everyone was hurrying to get back to work – but the people right behind the Sunfire couldn’t have known that everyone was okay, couldn’t have known that both drivers were seatbelted and neither was juggling butterfly knives or holding a steaming mocha at the time.

So, with a cross between resignation and “whoo hoo, I don’t have to go back to work yet,” I backed up into the parking lot and got out of my car.

Sunfire Girl restarted her car and pulled into the parking lot, leaving Pontiac confetti all over the road. Ugly Fabric Woman sat in the suicide lane. I approached Sunfire Girl and asked if she was okay, and she tried to get out of the car. Unfortunately, the way she’d hit the SUV, the frame had crumpled over the door hinge and the door wouldn’t open. She climbed out the passenger seat and asked me what she was supposed to do – it was her first accident. I told her that she ought to call the police because of the extent of the damage (her car was likely totalled unless she had awfully good insurance, and the SUV was looking at thousands in body work); she asked me if it was okay that she came into the parking lot, and whether I had a cell phone.

After a bit, Ugly Fabric Woman pulled into the parking lot as well. I asked if she was all right, and she said that she barely even felt a jolt. Sunfire Girl got her mom on the phone and started telling her – in front of Ugly Fabric Woman – that she’d been in an accident, that she’d “hit a woman on Federal” and that both cars “had dents.” (Her mom was going to get an unpleasant surprise when she saw those “dents”!)

I sat down in my car to do some reading while I waited for the police to arrive, and after a moment Sunfire Girl came over and thanked me for waiting. Ugly Fabric Woman was on the phone with someone on the other side of the parking lot, so I took the opportunity to advise Sunfire Girl not to acknowledge blame – even to her mom – in front of the other driver or the police. I didn’t come out and tell her that it hadn’t been her fault, but I told her that it was the cop’s job to figure out whose fault it was and that you could end up getting blamed even when it wasn’t your fault if you said the wrong thing.

The policeman arrived – what is it with cops being really short, anyway? – and asked me who had been involved. I pointed him toward Sunfire and Fabric, and told him I’d witnessed the whole thing. He said he’d be with me and a moment and walked over to Sunfire Girl, who told him what happened (not very clearly – she was obviously rattled). Meanwhile, Ugly Fabric Woman was still on the phone.

He got done with Sunfire and came over to me, took my name and number, and asked me what happened. I told him where I’d been and that from my perspective, Fabric had pulled out into traffic when she clearly shouldn’t have, Sunfire had thrown on her brakes and squealed to an almost-stop, but didn’t have room to avoid the crash. He wanted to know what traffic had looked like, and I told him that it had been pretty solid – she couldn’t have veered into another lane, and they were both lucky that more cars weren’t involved. He thanked me, I told Sunfire and Fabric that I hoped the rest of their day got better, and I went back to work.

I told my boss the story, and she told me how proud she was of me. So that’s where I come to my point (other than telling a somewhat diverting little story): didn’t I just do what I was supposed to do? I’ve always thought if you witnessed a crash, you were supposed to stick around in case the police needed to talk to you. Kind of like if you see someone get hurt and you’re a doctor, you’re obligated to help. Right?

Sigh. Who am I kidding – people don’t even pull over for emergency vehicles anymore.

Lunch Story

I spent my lunch break at the local fabric store scouting out supplies for an upcoming book project and ended up stuck in line at the cutting counter, needing half a yard of fabric, while the lady in front of me got varying lengths of a dozen different bolts. I stood there, watching my “go through a drive through for a bite of food” time get snipped into smaller and smaller pieces, and wondering What. On. Earth. this woman could possibly be making. She wasn’t just buying a lot of fabric – she was buying the ugliest fabrics in the entire store. Maybe it was a mission of mercy? She was taking the fabric away to be burned, never again to horrify people with taste?

Anyway, I finally got checked out, and was waiting to turn right onto Federal behind – you guessed it – Ugly Fabric Woman in her fancy SUV. Who was, of course, waiting to turn left. And while I sat there in my car, she did turn left – at what really had to be the most utterly impossible time.

The teenage girl in the Sunfire tried valiantly to stop and ended up leaving a lot of rubber on the road in the process, but there was no avoiding the inevitable collision between poorly-driven SUV and tiny sportscar. It was pretty clear that no one was injured, thank goodness, but I was saddened to watch all the cars around them just keep on driving as if nothing had happened. I mean, sure, probably everyone was hurrying to get back to work – but the people right behind the Sunfire couldn’t have known that everyone was okay, couldn’t have known that both drivers were seatbelted and neither was juggling butterfly knives or holding a steaming mocha at the time.

So, with a cross between resignation and “whoo hoo, I don’t have to go back to work yet,” I backed up into the parking lot and got out of my car.

Sunfire Girl restarted her car and pulled into the parking lot, leaving Pontiac confetti all over the road. Ugly Fabric Woman sat in the suicide lane. I approached Sunfire Girl and asked if she was okay, and she tried to get out of the car. Unfortunately, the way she’d hit the SUV, the frame had crumpled over the door hinge and the door wouldn’t open. She climbed out the passenger seat and asked me what she was supposed to do – it was her first accident. I told her that she ought to call the police because of the extent of the damage (her car was likely totalled unless she had awfully good insurance, and the SUV was looking at thousands in body work); she asked me if it was okay that she came into the parking lot, and whether I had a cell phone.

After a bit, Ugly Fabric Woman pulled into the parking lot as well. I asked if she was all right, and she said that she barely even felt a jolt. Sunfire Girl got her mom on the phone and started telling her – in front of Ugly Fabric Woman – that she’d been in an accident, that she’d “hit a woman on Federal” and that both cars “had dents.” (Her mom was going to get an unpleasant surprise when she saw those “dents”!)

I sat down in my car to do some reading while I waited for the police to arrive, and after a moment Sunfire Girl came over and thanked me for waiting. Ugly Fabric Woman was on the phone with someone on the other side of the parking lot, so I took the opportunity to advise Sunfire Girl not to acknowledge blame – even to her mom – in front of the other driver or the police. I didn’t come out and tell her that it hadn’t been her fault, but I told her that it was the cop’s job to figure out whose fault it was and that you could end up getting blamed even when it wasn’t your fault if you said the wrong thing.

The policeman arrived – what is it with cops being really short, anyway? – and asked me who had been involved. I pointed him toward Sunfire and Fabric, and told him I’d witnessed the whole thing. He said he’d be with me and a moment and walked over to Sunfire Girl, who told him what happened (not very clearly – she was obviously rattled). Meanwhile, Ugly Fabric Woman was still on the phone.

He got done with Sunfire and came over to me, took my name and number, and asked me what happened. I told him where I’d been and that from my perspective, Fabric had pulled out into traffic when she clearly shouldn’t have, Sunfire had thrown on her brakes and squealed to an almost-stop, but didn’t have room to avoid the crash. He wanted to know what traffic had looked like, and I told him that it had been pretty solid – she couldn’t have veered into another lane, and they were both lucky that more cars weren’t involved. He thanked me, I told Sunfire and Fabric that I hoped the rest of their day got better, and I went back to work.

I told my boss the story, and she told me how proud she was of me. So that’s where I come to my point (other than telling a somewhat diverting little story): didn’t I just do what I was supposed to do? I’ve always thought if you witnessed a crash, you were supposed to stick around in case the police needed to talk to you. Kind of like if you see someone get hurt and you’re a doctor, you’re obligated to help. Right?

Sigh. Who am I kidding – people don’t even pull over for emergency vehicles anymore.