I’m going to have to find a new way to wake up

My iPhone is my alarm clock. My ringtone is a snip from The Pixies “No. 13 Baby”. When I use the clock app as alarm, it also vibrates. But the vibration starts about half a second before the Joey Santiago guitar bit. So, Buzz. Shred. Wake. And then it occurred to me that the sound of my electric toothbrush is in the same key as “No. 13 Baby” – go to 2:28 in the video and let it play for a few seconds.

I’m sure that all sounds completely insane, but there you have it. I think I need to find a new way to wake up.

Collingwood lights

If you’re in Northern Virginia, you’re going to have to get yourself on over to 1601 Collingwood Rd, off Rt 1 in Alexandria (park across the street in the retirement home and tune your radio to 88.1) and see the light show. When I have more time, I’ll post a video. 

Discovered through Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights, this really isn’t tacky in any way. Thoughtful and actually beautiful. 

The fleas are wagging the dog

Personally, I really admire Blake Gopnik at the Washington Post for trying to be reasonable in a culture that is mostly not reasonable — see Blake Gopnik – Reaction to National Portrait Gallery’s ants-and-crucifix controversy — but it seems entirely pointless. I don’t mean it’s pointless to try to be civil. I mean it’s pointless to try to be reasonable with inherently and determinedly unreasonable people. Continue reading

Shelf Unbound

At the risk of pissing off a very good friend… I’ve known Margaret Brown, publisher AND founder of Shelf Unbound since 1992, when, just after Second Son, my second novel, was published and I had moved to Houston. I walked into a BookStop store to see if they had my novel. She was clerking there — sort of between jobs — and did the customary, ‘Can I help you?’ thing. I showed her my novel. She read it [said she] loved it, and then hand sold the remaining copies, and tried to get the big corporate daddy to send them more. They could have sent her 100 and she would have sold them all. They wouldn’t send her any, if I recall correctly. Forward thinking. She left there for a job as an ed asst at Southwest Art, and left there as editor in chief. She’s been at another magazine in Dallas for the last eight years and is now all in with SU. Continue reading


The other night a friend and I were upstairs at my house looking at possible solutions for my odd closet situation. I have an old Cape Cod sort of house and a previous owner kicked up the roof in the back, but the front still has the dormers and seriously angled roof. In the front, I have closets that are sort of hard to use and we were talking about what I could tear apart and redo.

We were walking down the stairs when there was a clunk in the living room. I said, “What was that?” Trusted advisor said, “I don’t know.”

It was about 9 P.M. Turned out it was the mail. That is, the USPS-type mail, being delivered around 9 at night.

We were standing near the door (it has a mail slot) talking about how weird it was that the mail was so late. Trusted sensiblist was in the middle of a sentence when something else pokes through the slot. I headed for the door and went outside.

The carrier explained that my mail had been late for the last several weeks (i.e., no earlier than 6:30 P.M., but rarely that early) because the route that my house used to be on had been eliminated, and folded into another. It was at the beginning of the first route. Now it’s at the end.

The route elimination decision had not been made at the local level, but at some other, higher bureaucratic level.

I asked the guy if he got overtime. He said that, yes, they all got overtime. Okay, I get it that the USPS needs to cut costs. Must cut costs. But eliminating routes and then paying overtime seems stupid.

Tell me that I’m wrong.


Can a “comedy” show affect an election?

Yes, The Daily Show is just a fake news show. And no, I’m not going to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I live close enough just to hop on the Metro and go. But I’m not the rallying type, for the most part. Might watch it online, though.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show: 9/16/10 in :60 Seconds
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

The thing I’m wondering, though, is if this will have any effect on the elections next week. Yes, the Huffington Post is providing buses. But it is more Oprah’s (go to 7:57) support (her interview with him) that I find interesting.

I tend to think tat Stewart is right. There are a lot of people who are really sick of the cowardly, win-at-all-costs mentality that prevails in Washington—which leads to the kind of idiocy we’ve seen in the last two years.

I don’t really think that the rally will do anything for a specific electoral district. But I do think it might affect turnout. That can only benefit the Democrats.