Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Technological Jungle

For the past week I've been lost in a deep forest of USB ports, ethernet cables and power surge protectors. I've been trapped under a heavy stack of "read this first before you attempt to install" directions. I've been caught up in hour-long conversations with Tech Support people in India, the States and Lands Unknown.

But I'm back.

I made it through a multitude of dark, unmarked, serpentine paths at Best Buy, Office Max and Circuit City. I left a breadcrumb trail of flashdrives so I could find my way back to the lit parking lot at closing. And I returned to my house with a new desktop PC, a high-speed Internet connection and a vow not to venture into such foreign territory again for as long as my "new," January 2008 technology holds out.

According to all reports, it's already outdated.

Never mind. I'm home again. Safe in my tiny office. Ready to resubmerge myself into the online world. And ever so thankful I survived the journey it took to get back here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tagging and Reviewing

Maureen McGowan (http://maureenmcgowan.blogspot.com/), wonderful writer of women's fiction, tagged me for this Random Meme. Maureen's manuscript The Miseducation of April Hillson is a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. Way to go, Maureen!! Stop by http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00122GTIC, read a free excerpt from her book and leave a quick review...if you do, you could win big bucks from Amazon just for posting.

Since Dona Sarkar-Mishra (http://donasarkar.blogspot.com/), who's book How to Salsa in a Sari is being released this month (YEA!!!), already made me do this Meme in the fall, I'm not sure how interested you'll all be in reading further weird facts about me...but I do have at least seven more :-).

The rules of this MEME:
Link to the person who tagged you.
Leave a comment on their blog, so their readers can visit you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your blog.
Include links to their blogs and let each of them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here goes...

1. I once snorkeled in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, cut my leg on some sharp coral and, immediately afterward, saw a shark. I still hear Jaws music in my head when I think about that moment, even though the shark in question turned out to be "totally harmless" according to the guide.

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a hilarious novel and rereading passages from it makes me feel like I'm about fifteen again. I love the description for the drink "Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster."

3. Although I've tried every real drink from an "Almond Joy Martini" to a "Chocolate Soy Latte with Whipped Cream," my favorite beverage is actually...bottled water. So boring, I know. But if my doctor ever reads this blog there's no way he can accuse me of not being health conscious.

4. I have the world's most awesome brother. Seriously. I must've done something very nice to someone powerful and extremely devout in a previous life to get a sibling like him.

5. Painting used to be a hobby of mine, despite the fact that I'm dreadful with oils and not much better with watercolors. If forced to choose a medium, I go with acrylics every time.

6. I've never been to Japan, although I've always wanted to visit. One of my good friends during high school and college is Japanese (we met in the States as AFS exchange students), but she now lives in California. One of my good friends now is American and is living/teaching in Japan until May of 2009. I've heard from him that the sushi there is fantastic.

7. I'm still not a total rule follower and can't bring myself to "officially" tag friends who may not have time to do this Meme right now. However, if I were to say to Eliza and L.A. Mitchell, for instance, that I'd love to read some random facts about them, would that be applying too much pressure? Or, perhaps, if I were to tell SPJ, Joyce, my cousin M., J.B. and Brettski that--even though they don't have blogs--I'd be really curious to know what they'd say...would that be coming too close to "tagging" them?!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jane's Back!

For reasons too numerous to list, I love my local public library. Last night, I was given yet another excuse for my adoration: The new bookmarks were in!

Why was this a cause for such delight?

Because of the happy info (that I was previously unaware of) written ON the bookmarks! Austen lovers everywhere will cheer because--drumroll--beginning this Sunday night on PBS, Masterpiece Presents "The Complete Jane Austen." YEAH!!! All six novels! New adaptations! (Not for all of them, though...the P&P they're planning to show is the one featuring our beloved Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy...but it's no hardship watching him again.) And there's also this: "a new drama based on Austen's own bittersweet love life." Can't wait to see it! (My apologies for the excessive use of exclamation points above, but I'm SO excited!! Let's all drink some tea to celebrate. :-)

Here's the schedule:
Persuasion--January 13th
Northanger Abbey--January 20th
Mansfield Park--January 27th
Miss Austen Regrets--February 3rd (this is that "new drama" they were talking about)
Pride and Prejudice--February 10th to 24th (they wrote "to" not "&" so I believe P&P will be in 3 parts, also to be shown on the 17th, but check your local listings to be sure)
Emma--March 23rd
Sense and Sensibility--March 30th & April 6th

It's set for 9pm ET/PT (8pm CT) and their website is www.pbs.org/janeausten, if you'd like more information.

Off now to clear my calendar for all upcoming Sunday nights until spring...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The More Things Change

So as not to unleash my horrendous French on you, I made sure to look up this famous phrase for grammatical accuracy: "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose." I have no idea how to add in the two special French accent marks here--the squiggly (cedilla) under the c in ca or the tent-ish thing (circumflex) above the first e in meme--but, foreign symbols aside, it means "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

So true. Especially in this time of New Year's Resolutions. Mine, incidentally, are always the same: Write more, eat less. I know this because I was cleaning out a desk drawer and found my journal from 2001. Same exact resolution. Which, I've decided for the first time, is actually a good thing.


Because, when looked at in its most positive light, is there ever a time when I don't want moderate, healthy eating to be one of my vows? Is there ever a year when I don't want to strive to write more new text? And I have other, more family-oriented goals, too, which I don't even claim as "resolutions" because they're already such a cornerstone in my life: time with my husband and son, private chats with my good friends and close family members, moments alone to reflect and dream...

Maybe I have the same resolutions every year because my priorities are, essentially, unchanged. I want to spent quality time with those I love, I want to take better care of myself and I want to write stories I believe in.

Which means I'll probably be saying the same things in 2080 (should I be so fortunate to live that long :-) as I am in 2008. Guess I'll just have to deal with this marked lack of originality later.