Friday, July 28, 2006

Fuck Cancer. Again.

My friend Linda Dyer died tonight. She fought breast cancer hard for way too many years, and I think more than anyone expected. She went through jobs, health insurance, many apartments, many really crappy treatments, and a whole lot of exhaustion. And through it all, she was luminous. High-spirited. Beautiful. A real gem of a human being.

I was not on vigil with Linda in her final days. In fact, I have not seen her since she started to go downhill in the last few months. Not because I didn't want to; just that she was busy, I was busy, and we always seemed to find each other when we needed to. When I think about time spent with Linda, I think about her being a fun and caring babysitter to my son until she lacked the energy to do it anymore. I think about helping her move into her in-law apartment down the street, just as she was starting to fight her disease, none of us really knowing where it would take her.

I think of running into her at Zazie, her coming from a chemo treatment and me in my 11th week of pregnancy with Tea. She was one of the first people I told, and we had breakfast together that day, both of us eating pancakes and fighting nausea for, sadly, entirely different reasons. I think about her joining our very earnest writing group and wowing us with her effective and spare prose poems. She was a writer for the sake of writing and I always appreciated that about Linda. It doesn't always work out that way for a lot of us and she kept it real for me.

They tell me she was not in pain when she died. She was at peace. She was surrounded by many friends in real life and many, many virtual friends in spirit. Me included.

I miss you already, Lin. I knew this day would come, but that doesn't make it any easier. Peace and love.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Fun with's spreading like a virus, I tell you. My friend Kristen tells me that she tried it with a photo of her baby daughter Kate, and got...

Louis Pasteur!

I tried to tell Kristen that it is an auspicious honor in our society to resemble the father of bacteriology. She is not buying it.

You know, Louis Pasteur tried it with his daughter and she looked just like Christina Ricci. Who knew?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Try and Put this Book Down... won't be able to do it. It's impossible. Try, the debut novel from Lily Burana, has that all-too-rare combination of beautiful, delicious, writing and an actual plot. She perfectly captures Wyoming, rodeo culture, cowboys, and the tentative, aching first days of true luv. I stayed up until 1am last night reading it--my ass is dragging this morning and it's all your fault, Lily.

I'm not just blowing sunshine on this book because Lily is my pal and a brilliant writer. It's a really terrific read. I am a tough customer and I am really digging it. I wish I could churn out a novel like this. But does anyone really want to read a 350-page tome detailing the wacky misadventures of a San Francisco mom and her neurotic dog? Apparently, yes.

Oh well. I need to find a new hook. Anyway, read Try, this year's perfect beach book and then some.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Joss Whedon Rocks

If you haven't seen footage of Joss Whedon giving a speech at Equality Now's awards banquet, it's pretty much the best speech I've seen, ever. This speech is the one thing that made me feel great in an otherwise crap week. Not only is it brilliant, but to my trained eye, Joss looks like he's ad-libbing the thing. I am in awe.

For the uninitiated, Joss Whedon is the creator of some really kickass entertainment, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, Firefly, Angel, and other great stuff. His shows are filled with wit, emotion, excitement, provocative themes, and strong characters, both female AND male.

The dozens of misogynistic fuckheads working in media and entertainment right now could take a page or twenty from his book. Anyway, great, great, speech, Joss. Please marry me, or be my cool boss, or be my best friend, or something.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Craigslist, Hoosier Style

The all-knowing, all-purpose Craigslist now has an outpost in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. This cracks me up for so many reasons. For a week, my husband, who assumes that every resident of Indiana hunts squirrels and thinks Larry the Cable Guy is a laff riot, has been forwarding me Missed Connections and Rants and Raves from the Bloomington site.

The thought of a "missed connection" in a town as claustrophobic as Bloomington is to laugh. From my experience, a MC on Craiglist Bloomington would look something like this:

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk
Reply to:
Date: 2006-07-02, 5:45PM EST
Julia Lynn McCullough, of the brown house on Winslow Road, you walked past me at the IU game on Saturday afternoon. Don't think I didn't smell that cigarette smoke in your hair and on your jacket, young lady. I really don't think you should be hanging out with that Andrews girl--she is such a bad influence. I think she is on drugs, are you on drugs too? I will be calling your parents tonight. They are such nice people and I really I have no choice, I'm only doing it because I care about you and them and I'm concerned. By the way, why did you break up with that nice Joe Smith? He is so handsome and such a good athlete and you know, his dad makes a lot of money. You could do a lot worse, dear.
(Note that Joe Smith is a. a flaming homosexual, and/or b. deals coke to grade-school kids)

It's not that bad. But there are some good ones. Some of my favorites:

need a threesome baaad ;) - mw4w - 22

Reply to:
Date: 2006-07-02, 5:45PM EST

hi! my bf and i are looking for single female to have a threesome w/. his birthday is next week and i want to surprise him!!! pref. an asian girl but will consider other types as long as u r hot!! LOL. this is a one time thing i'm ONLY doing this for his bday!!! -kim

Hilarious because first of all, despite the world-class university, Bloomington is a really. small. town. My dad probably bought bagels from these people last week. And second, they actually posted a PICTURE.

Who posts a picture for a threesome ad on Craigslist? (Although, hey, they're cute! I'd do 'em.)

Gotta love this one, too:

Where can a nice looking guy go to get a good bj in this town?

Reply to:
Date: 2006-07-09, 12:02AM EST

Where's the best public place to get a good blow job in this town? I don't care if it's from a man or a woman.

Depends on what you are looking to gain from the experience, sir! If you're a sucker for Hoosier tradition, try the Well House, or the center line at Assembly Hall. There's nothing like those red banners waving to enhance a good BJ. If you want maximum exposure, try the Courthouse Square on a weekday! And if you want to freak the shit out of some proper Bloomington matrons, a table at Peterson's bakery at noon. Tell 'em I sent you. Happy hunting!

Another gem:

I hate this fucking town

Reply to:
Date: 2006-07-02, 4:53PM EST

I hate the fucking immature girls (and they are GIRLS, not women) in this town who care only about looks and how much shit their parents will buy them.

I hate the idiot east coasters who walk around this campus like they own the place because they come from money.

I hate people from Indianapolis. First of all, everyone within an hour of the damn place claims to be from "the city" when they're from a suburb. Second, they think it's a real city. Go to New York, Chicago, hell, even Boston or Miami. Those are real cities. They have sports teams that don't consistently choke too.

I hate the illegals and foreign exchange students who choose to live here but refuse to speak English.

I hate the rednecks here who also barely speak English.

I hate the Goddamn university bureaucracy that shoves diversity down our throats just to make themselves feel good.

I hate the fucking professors who don't actually teach anything but still walk around with an unwarranted sense of accomplishment.

All in all I hate this fucking town. If I didn't need a degree (which I now know doesn't prove you know jack shit) to get a job I would never spend a minute in this town and after I'm gone next year I will never come back. Nor will IU ever get a cent of my money. Fuck this place.

Can't really argue with that one.

And finally, the quintessential Bloomington post:

The new big building by Dicks at the Mall

Reply to:
Date: 2006-07-09, 9:13PM EST

Does anyone have any idea what the big building near Dicks Sporting Goods is going to be over at the mall? There is no signage yet, and I am just really curious! Thanks.
Totally loving that there is a place actually referred to as "Dicks at the Mall." Huh-huh. Uh-heh-heh-heh. (Let's pretend they didn't clarify that it's a sporting goods shop.)

Followed by the quintessential Bloomington response:

re:The new big building by Dicks at the Mall

Reply to:
Date: 2006-07-09, 9:41PM EST

Not sure but hopefully it will be a strip club.
A perfect complement to Dicks at the Mall. Finally they're putting some useful stuff in there. Beats Chick-fil-A any day.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Damn You, Daniel Radosh

I love Daniel Radosh's blog. It's everything a blog should be--a great mix of personal narrative, opinion on hot topics, and hilarious ridiculousness (like his June 14 entry--Richard Scarry meets Samuel L. Jackson. If you have kids under age 6, this is the funniest motherfucking post you've ever seen.) In short, it's what I try to do with my blog, except he does it so, so much better.

Radosh is responsible for my latest Internet time-suck obsession. lets you upload your photos and their face recognition software will find your closest celebrity likeness. By "closest," I mean "barely related in any way whatsoever." Hey, you wear glasses! Benjamin Franklin wears glasses! You're practically twins!

Not since LinkedIn has there been such a wonderful Web time-waster. Of course, I had to do the whole family. First, Rick:

And his celebrity doppelganger:

I think I speak for all of us when I say: WHO? (sorry Gheorghie.)

I prefer our own self-selected celebrity likeness, chosen long ago:

Am I right or am I right? Then there's me:

Bad hair day, just woke up, I'm so much cuter in person, etc. and so on.

My celebrity twin?

Granted, this is probably the most flattering photo of Martina Navratilova ever taken. Still, damning with faint praise. That's like saying, "You look like Janet Reno at her hottest."

How about the kids?

A nice coincidence, since we just finished the first Harry Potter book and movie.

Finally, Tea:

Oh dear.

Mommy's little sex kitten. I get Martina Navratilova, and my 14-month-old daughter gets the sexiest woman in history. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?

I tried to do Vito, but there were no matches. C'mon, MyHeritage, you can come up with some of the most random matches ever, but you can't find a lookalike for my dog? You're slacking.

Personally, I think he's a dead ringer for Al Pacino.