Saturday, January 29, 2011

Welcome to Missisauga

My sister sent this to me:

I don't know whether this does more credit to women, Canadians, octogenarians, or the fiscally responsible. I salute you all.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fab Feb Film Fest

Let's face it, February is going to suck. After these glorious January weeks on the West Coast, February is bound to be wet and miserable again, and it will probably be worse where you are. Sure, you've got Valentine's Day, for all of you who like chocolate, and for the few left in the work force who aren't in the service sector, you've got those February holiday weekends. (Go buy something at your neighborhood independent bookstore, or independent anything. Oh, yeah--we'll be open.) But really, what better use of bad weather and a few extra hours than to write a story?

If you think the prospect sounds interesting, as I do, check out At the Bijou. From what I can tell the requirements are pretty liberal, and from my last couple of months of entering these kinds of things, it is all pretty darn fun.

Uh, could anyone give me my prompt?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Up to the Mountain

My friend Susan was hoping to play this piece by Patty Griffin at work today in honor of Martin Luther King, but technical difficulties prevailed. I came home and listened to the You Tube piece, and thought I'd share it. Of course, MLK day is almost over by now, but in a sense this is the kind of thing that it's never to late to listen to.

The sound isn't synced to the image apparently, but just shut your eyes if that bothers you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Judge not, lest...

As a public service, I thought I'd pass along this link that Slate magazine mentioned today. It is the essay the Susan Klebold wrote about her son Dylan, who was one of the Columbine shooters. She wrote it for Oprah's magazine, after declining many interviews. It is eloquent and haunting. We hope that the parents of deranged and violent people will indicate that they in some way are to blame. Certainly they are sometimes the reason. But as seems true here, this is not always and perhaps not even often the case:  

"His adolescence was less joyful than his childhood. As he grew, he became extremely shy and uncomfortable when he was the center of attention, and would hide or act silly if we tried to take his picture. By junior high, it was evident that he no longer liked school; worse, his passion for learning was gone. In high school, he held a job and participated as a sound technician in school productions, but his grades were only fair. He hung out with friends, slept late when he could, spent time in his room, talked on the phone, and played video games on a computer he built. In his junior year, he stunned us by hacking into the school's computer system with a friend (a violation for which he was expelled), but the low point of that year was his arrest. After the arrest, we kept him away from Eric for several weeks, and as time passed he seemed to distance himself from Eric of his own accord. I took this as a good sign."

Apart from the violent outcome, this could well be a lot of teenagers that I know.

For the Slate piece, and the link through, click here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Puddly Awards

Much as it may hurt my own chances, I can't resist mentioning Powell Books Puddly Awards. Vote for your favorite book and you could win some serious book credit. Find out about it here.