Due to the unusual nature of the past week, the Dark Avenger update has been stalled for a little while. Like possibly days.
But at least you know you're assured some sort of update next week!
And the readers' reaction to Adam's Finger Slicing 2006?
"What about the burrito?!"
There's the burrito. He was chiled within an inch of his life.
We're home and he's in fine form. He remembers everything about the surgery and is a bit bummed he missed the mind wipe. The finger in question is swollen and numbed. He keeps poking at it, and I expect I'll find him setting it on fire just because he can. Boys. It'll wear off eventually, and then he'll be sorry. The doctor gave him some decent pain pills and I'm sure he'll start on his House routine later this evening.
I'm going to get a jump on some writing while he watches Brat Pitt beat the crap outta Edward Norton. Fun couple of days.
There have been two goals to today. Clean the house and gorge Adam. We have fallen behind on both.
Oh, it started out strong: I got up and made breakfast (a bagel with lox and cream cheese and a glass of orange juice for him, bacon for me, fresh coffee for both of us, thank you Satellite) and afterwards we trooped off to Target in search of the finest ecologically unfriendly soap scum remover EVER and Tide.
At home, we set about cleaning. Adam vacuumed. I cleaned the toilets (and Kaboom toilet cleaner? Awesome) and then started in on my bathtub. I am so proud of how well the ecologically unfriendly soap scum remover worked, I want to post a picture of my tub, but y'all would be like ...it's a tub.
And I'd be like, yeah, but it's a clean tub! And y'all would be like ...it's still a tub. Um, go you?
I think I will instead bask in Adam's reaction. "Dude. Seriously.
Now, you'd think with all that breakfasting and Targeting and vacuuming and destroying the environment in the name of a yuck-free tub, we'd have a quick break for lunch and then get back to the cleanin'. Obviously, if you think that, you're just an internet stalker and haven't actually met us. First Adam started posting on Miata.net. Then I spotted a possible SWAT situation outside. Oh yeah, that. From what I could glean from an Academy ride along (before a real cop yelled at me to get back inside my house), an alleged drug deal went bad four doors down and there was a little small arms fire. Whoops.
The SWAT team never did show. A couple of ambulances turned up after awhile, but left without a lot of huzzah. My guess is either a firearm was discharged and someone dialed 911, or any injury sustained wasn't exactly life threatening. I doubt anyone died. If that were the case, we'd have the mobile crime lab parked in our front yard, the news babe from Channel 4 doing her stand-up on the corner and Adam making passes at Trish Hoffman.
"Are you telling me we're living in a drug neighborhood?" Adam asked over a sickeningly wholesome meal of roasted chiles and cheese (minus any form of deep frying, so we can't call them rellenos in my book).
"Are you telling me there's any neighborhood in Albuquerque not a drug neighborhood?" I asked.
He considered it for a minute. "Never mind."
And right now, he's reading a Transformer comic and in a few minutes we're going to find a slice of cheesecake for the boy. Maybe next week, I'll finish cleaning the bathroom.
What was the list?"Gym/work/trytocraminsomewriting/home/trytocraminmorewriting/bed" right now, and I don't see the end to the cycle. There are Harriet updates to write, Dark Avenger updates to write, blog entries to update and, at some point, my agent would like me to maybe finish the Dark Avenger novel.
Oh, and the gym.
Oh, and Adam.
I think I have to revise my priorities list.
Now we've decided to put the house on the market. Because we didn't have enough stress, we were missing aggrivation and our blood pressure was just far too low, we decided to sell, sell, sell!
Anyone want a house?
Actually, this has been a long time coming. The house is fine, but it lacks a certain oomph: say a wood burning fire place, or a third garage, a big tub, or any thoughtful design. It is a two story box. A two story box on a corner lot with mountain views, but it's still a box. I blame years of rented rooms and apartment living for clouding our judgement when we closed. Years of apartment living and the upstaris loft. Love
So every so often, I'll say "The next house will really reflect who we are. It'll have built-in bookcases" (and all the English majors just nodded right there).
Adam will counter with "And at least one fireplace."
"A decent kitchen."
"A surround-sound sufficent living room."
"And a master bathroom with a jetted tub and a separate shower."
"An established backyard with a great patio.'
"A third garage with extra workspace."
"And a lift!
And then we'll look around the box and sigh.
But we're finally doing something about it. Puttin' the box on the market later this spring with plans of moving inland a bit. Maybe we'll get totally crazy and move across the river. But first the house has to sell.
Sell. A minor sticking point. Real estate's dropping across the boards; the neighborhood's still new enough that we're surrounded by "built-to-suit" construction on three sides. There are three homes for sale, one for rent and one abandoned within view of the upstairs window.Corner, oversized lot. One Neighbor. Mountain views.
We've got to whip this place into shape for showing: the living room's going to be painted some shade of neutral (gray? pink-gray? Eh?), walls have to be filled with art, all the rooms (and all the books) have to be organized, shades hung and that third, empty bedroom that's been doubling as tire storage for three years has to be repurposed into something like a sitting room or a guest room or something. I don't think the populace is very forgiving of bedroom tire storage.
However, as we talk about improvements, we're suddenly thinking the house might be too nice, that we might not want to move right away. Or we'd move into a house that would require an equal amount of refurbishing. It's exhausting.
Anyone want a house?
Adam, Big Damn Hero that he is, is having a bit of minor surgery on Monday morning. It's nothing serious; just a cyst in his right index finger that with either turn out be on a tendon or on a nerve. "Nothing major," the hand surgeon said. "But there is a chance you could lose feeling in your finger."
Adam doesn't understand what all the fuss is about: why does he have to be given drugs that will keep him awake and sedated, but not let him remember the proceedure? Why is everyone making a big deal about a little cut on his friggin' hand? Why can't he eat after midnight on Sunday?
The last question's the most troubling. He's a thin guy with a fast metabolism. He needs to eat constantly, or he becomes Shakes, the Whiny Unhappy Guy.
It's a real Jekyl and Hyde personality, though I think Mr. Hyde would be more reasonable about the food issue. If he's hungry enough, Shakes will show no qualms in ripping into the throat of an innocent bystander to sate his appetite. He'd actually eat a baby and call it a snack. Shakes? Is scary. We're both kind of worried about sending that guy into surgery.
So we're planning ahead. Sunday will be an orgy of stuffing only rivialed by Thanksgiving for gluttony levels. Breakfast, Second Breakfast. Dinner, Supper, Afternoon Tea. They're all on the menu. I've got to start shopping now...
But Adam's most looking forward to schuduled 9:30 p.m. breakfast burrito from Chilacas. Eggs. Bacon. Cheese. Green chile. "Pop!" he says, because he thinks it's rolled rapture. And he's been very protective of his Final Burrito. Very protective. To the point that when we were discussing plans for Sunday in e-mail today, he brought it up. Constantly.From: Adam Wolf
To: Sarah Wolf
I'm sorry for being a burden. But I'm the one getting cut on. And I don't want to give up my burrito time.From: Sarah Wolf
To: Adam Wolf
Nobody's asking you to give up your precious burrito time.From: Adam Wolf
To: Sarah Wolf
Burrito. Time.From: Sarah Wolf
To: Adam Wolf
Listen to me. It's going to be okay. It'll be an orgy of stuffing Adam, ending with your fabled breakfast burrito of the gods. Jesus. You'll go into the surgery stuffed with green chile.From: Adam Wolf
To: Sarah Wolf
Maybe some of it will ooze out my finger wound.From: Sarah Wolf
To: Adam Wolf
"Sir, he's hemmoraging chile!"
"We need an 80cc transfusion of green chile, STAT!"
"Starting chile line infusion now, Dr. McDreamy."
"Don't you go bland on me, Wolf. Don't you go bland on me today. Dr. Yang, I need an update."
"40ccs administered. Spiciness levels are holding at 90%."
"That's not good enough. Push five ccs of habeñero."
"But sir, that's an experimental spice booster."
"Spiciness levels are at 96%."
"Dr. Yang, you are an intern and I am a seasoned attending. Never question me= when it comes to treating chile hemmorages."
HE GIVES HER THE BLUE EYES OF McDREAMY DEATH!
"I'm sorry sir. I'm from California, I don't know any better."
"Thank you, Dr. Yang."From: Adam Wolf
To: Sarah Wolf
Yeah, we watch too much McDreamy. Also, burrito.
Literary Mama Book Tour!
Literary Mama -- Reading for the Maternally Inclined
Edited by Andrea J. Buchanan and Amy Hudock
Seal Press $14.95
Once again, I'm hosting a blogged book tour to promote "Literary Mama," an anthology comprised of essays and poetry from literarymama.com.
First, I should probably explain how I read. I'm an ADD reader; I can't start on page one and read all the way to the conclusion. I jump around to get a feeling for the narrative, flipping forward, doubling back. And I always read the end well before I actually get there. Yeah, I'm that kind of person. I understand if you just lost all respect for me. Drives Adam to distraction when I open a book at the middle and start reading.
And, when I got my hands on Literary Mama
, I did just that.
But in a funny twist of fate, the first essay I read was by Deesha Philyaw Thomas. "The Girl Is Mine," and I just about cried. Out of all the essays and poetry to read in the compliation, I picked the one about the heartbreak and joy that comes from building a family through adoption.
Here, read it
and then get back to me.
Adam and I are adopting. Did you know that? Not, like, now. The Chinese government won't allow anyone under the age of thirty to adopt, so we have a couple of years at the minimum. Now is for socking a little money away in the "Panda Fund" to cover future fees. Now is for building the strongest marriage possible. Now is for the anticipation the future, anticipating bringing our daughter home, we will be secure in providing the best life for her. And believe me, that life will be filled with love, opportunity and twirl coats.
Our choice to adopt baffles casual aquaintences, neighbors, even our own family from time to time. "You're going to," they start and there's a pause before they manage "...adopt?" In that pause is the assessment of us: we look healthy and happy. What's the deal? We answer: it's just how we want to build our family.
Sometimes, it's not enough explaination and we are counseled to have one of our own before we go the adoption route. We just smile and say we're going to only have one child and that child is coming from China.
And sometimes? We are told that an adopted child won't love us the same as a natural child would; that I won't have the same mother/daughter bond as I would with a daughter of my own. There is nothing you can do there, but pick up a report from the front, like "The Girl Is Mine" and read it for reassurance. The girl will be mine.
Thank you, Deesha.
The DWI problem's become a part of life in New Mexico; seems like everyone knows someone who died in a DWI-related collision or has been in a fender-bender with a belligerant, uninsured drunk. Hell, coming home tonight, I passed a PT Cruiser that had a hard time staying in a lane... any lane.
I don't have any solutions for the DWI to offer. But I do have pictures.
At dinner, I went to the Taco Cabana on San Mateo. As I was parking, I noticed a very large fellow get out of a white pickup, finish his beer and very carefully place it on the ground before going inside.
It's a crappy photograph, because I didn't want to attract the ire of a guy who's been drinking. If you look to the left of the yellow line, you'll see the Bud bottle.
Ten minutes later, I came outside and found another guy, who'd parked in the space with the bottle, kicking it around the parking lot. As I came out, he decided to dispose of it. Instead of pitching it in the nearby trash can, he tossed it into the bushes, nearly missing my car.
(And for the record, he did say, "SORRY!" when I shot him a dirty look. He might have meant it, too.)
I think it sums up the problem. Blatant, flagrant disregard for the law, followed by a careless clean-up, with few real ramifications. And I? Was the complacent population, content to live and let live...or too chicken too call the cops. It wasn't a proud moment.
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What I did at the Journal Last Summer...
Yeah, that's Mayfield. No, you really don't want to know.
The New York Times examines the art of the self-portrait snap
Specifically, the art of the self-portrait snap as posted on MySpace by teenagers armed with digital cameras.
It's Oblivious Journalism 101. After careful consideration, experts agree: it's posing in the mirror, gone digital. But that can't explain the trend. Why, people had cameras as far back as the 1960s! And they didn't stand around moodily-lit bedrooms and take self-portraits! They lied around moodily-lit bedrooms and listened to Beatles records! It was a simpler time!
The implied Boomer envy amuses me most. This, along with the new American Express financial planning campaign, could be the tip of a newer, funnier trend: Boomers facing the cold, hard truth of their own hipness mortality, and the increasingly desperate measures they'll take to move that coveted demographic from 18-35 to 45-60.
"Extreme Fixodent!" can't be far off.
Adam only watched five or six minutes of the men's single skating coverage, and it was of the eventual gold medal winner, but in those five or six minutes, he made his judgement:
"It's like watching every awkward white guy who tried to dance, ever, crammed into one performance. Only with skates. On ice. And questionable fashion choices. And what's with the music?"
Some questions have popped up since yesterday's update. Maybe I'll answer them.Where is this set? Albuquerque?
The hub of the Dark Avenger universe is Duke City. It's an ingenious play off Albuquerque's nickname (the
Duke City), but it's not Albuquerque. It's not New York, or Chicago, or Santa Fe either. It's its own city. Populated with superheroes.Okay, so can these superheroes fly?
Yeah, I've kind of decided to go with regular humans pulling off super feats with awesome gadgets at this point. What's with the chick?
I'm a girl.When do we get more?
Soon. Can we skip the crappy real-life relationship pap you're spewing over in MLGC and just have Dark Avenger and Ruby Minx?
No. But I'm going to try to have a better balance of both.
To that end...
I am drained for time. It's going "Gym/work/trytocraminsomewriting/home/trytocraminmorewriting/bed" right now, and I don't see the end to the cycle. There are Harriet updates to write, Dark Avenger updates to write, blog entries to update and, at some point, my agent would like me to maybe finish the Dark Avenger novel.
Oh, and the gym.
Oh, and Adam.
I think I have to revise my priorities list.
Did you read the Ruby Minx's take on Valentine's Day?
I know you did. And now, you probably want to say something like "Oh, c'mon! No guy could actually be that bastardly!"
Oh, believe me. That was my Valentine's Day (minus the destruction) ten years ago. The guy I was seeing (and there was no way he could just pass it off as "just friends" because, y'know, "just friends" don't do that
if you know what I mean, and I think you do, unless you're my mother, in which case I mean "Monopoly." Hi, Mom!), the guy I was seeing pulled this same stunt. He spent a couple of weeks dropping hints about the perfect Valentine's Day: flowers, dinner, presents. I took off work and sat in my dorm room, waiting for him to show up. Turns out those flowers, dinner and presents were meant to woo a former girlfriend.
So, it can and does happen. Neener-neener.
A valentine story
http://www.sarahwolf.com/avenger/current.htmlThe Ruby Minx Hates Valentine's Day! A special holiday treat from the Dark Avenger universe.
There's going to be a new bakery on Golf Course between Irving and McMahon, in one of those build-it-and-they-will-come strip malls. The space is still vacant, but the sign's up and let me tell you, it's a hell of a business name.
"Say It With Cake."
Oh, the possibilities. "I just slept with your sister." Say it with cake!
"You're going to die in six weeks." Say it with cake!
"I care more about my carpet than my kids." Say it with cake!
Apparently, Adam's the only person who shares my amusement. We're talking about taking a series of photographs of people standing in front of the sign, holding sheet cakes with just awful truths written on them in thick buttercream frosting. Sort of a Post Secret project, but with pastry. "You're too fat." Say it with cake! "I kicked your dog." Say it with cake! "I hired ninjas to kill your family."
Say it with me. Say it with cake.
What would you say with cake?
A couple of readers have written in to ask, "What's a fivehead
And while I'm so glad that I have readers who want to know and understand, well, fivehead. It's bigger than a forehead.
Which was where these readers were like, no, seriously. Fivehead?
I will give you the fivehead. We're only going to do this once. And you're getting it small, because, dude, you don't need to see my broad expanse large as life.That's
a fivehead. Notice the expansive stretch of above-eye real estate. Note the bulge-tastic curvature that gives the head an overall melon appearance. You can do calculus based off my skull. Seriously, I once had a boyfriend find the slope of my forehead (no, I don't know what the results were. I was an English
major, despite my bad grammar).
I can trace the fivehead back to my paternal grandfather. It was given to my father, and he passed it down to me. I'm certain when the Chinese government is hand-selecting the kid to give us, we will go home with a little girl sporting the exact same feature.
The fivehead. It is to be treated with a mixture of fear and respect.
I love my new computer. Did I mention that?
Over at ALOTT5MA,
there's discussion of U2's place in the pop music pantheon, and whether, in fifty years, they will (or even should) be mentioned in the same breath as the Beatles.
To bolster their arguments, posters have been making baseball analogies: U2 is the Ted Williams of music verses U2 is the Stan Musial of rock. The Beatles are Babe Ruth, of course.
I wanted to take part in the dialogue, but I haven't followed baseball in a decade and I've since turne dthat portion of my brain over to collecting pop culture trivia. If I wanted to make my point, I was going to need a new sport. A sport I know. A sport I have passion for. A sport that's obscure in the United States.
I needed Formula One.
I said, basically, "The Beatles are to Juan Miguel Fangio
as U2 are to Michael Schumacher."
Bob E. was kind enough to say "huh?" but I didn't have time to post a better argument. Until now.
U2 are on the same level as Michael Schumacher.
It's an apt comparison. The Beatles and Fangio come out of the same era, while U2 and Schumacher are contemporaries. There will never be a head-to-head competion because of constraints of time and mortality, so we must examine their track records.A bit of F1
Fangio, an Argentinian, won a record five world championships between 1951 and 1958. Many later drivers, such as Ayrton Senna, challenged the record, but it stood for over four decades. With every passing championship season, Fangio's legend grew, and it was postulated as recently as the late 1990s that it would be impossible for a modern driver to tie the record, much less break it.
Michael Schumacher tied the record in 2002 as the first seat driver for Scuderia Ferarri Marlboro. At the time, the racing press argued over the merit of the record; did Schumacher — in his high-tech, pimped out Ferrari — have skills equal to the cigar car-driving Fangio? The discussion continued for another two seasons even as Schumacher amassed an additional two titles to his crown and raising the bar for future F1 drivers.
An answer was most likely given during the 2005 season, when Schumacher struggled with an under-performing car. His only win came during the United States Gran Prix, a debacle that saw only six cars take the track during a tire safety dispute, further damaging Formula One's reputation in the US. He finished out the season in third place, lagging 71 points behind Spanish upstart Fernando Alonso.
Still, the pundits kick around the Fangio/Schumacher comparisons. Could Schumacher remain at the top of the pack in a substandard car? Or were his victories owed to Ross Brawn's assembled techincal team and half-billion dollar budget? Still, it's a futile comparison, because the two men are different animals. Fangio shunned simple safety precautions such as a lap belt;
Schumacher races in a full fire suit, six point harness and a HANS device. The cars have changed, the tracks have changed, the stakes have changed.Apples and Oranges
The same can be said of comparisons between the Beatles and U2. The former built on the Sun Records legacy. The later grew out of the punk movement, a revolt of its own against a more studio-driven sound.
The Beatles will always have the upper hand when contrasted against U2 simply for being the Beatles. If you want to witness a verbal bloodbath, ask two music geeks to debate the merits of Rubber Soul against Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. Ask which is better, "Yesterday" or "Let it Be."
Meanwhile U2 will probably be remembered for the Edge's janglely guitars, The Joshua Tree, and "One" (their most Beatle-esque tune). Most likely, future writers will focus more upon Bono's activisim for Africa than the music that valuted him to international prominence.Might Have Beens
Are they fair comparisons? No. Fangio might have floundered in a modern F1 car. Had he lived, John Lennon could have issued a techno record and bewildered everyone. Or he could have dueted with Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash. Who is to say?
It comes down to loyalties. It becomes a matter of personal preference. Older anti-Schumites will argue, "Back in the day, Fangio..." while the Hornbian music men turned off by Bono's posturing will preface every statement with, "Well, John Lennon."
There is no comparison, no winning. There never was. It is the excersise in futility beloved by geeks and mystifying to outsiders.
Have at it in the comments.
Don't tell Adam, but I'm downloading "Achtung Baby" off iTunes because my copy's 15 years old.
The latest Harriet chapter is live.Clicky.
Yeah, I know.
Maybe I'll get it posted tonight.
O, fair New Mexico
My esteemed employer has been running an essay contest of sorts on the website
. New Mexicans are invited to e-mail a twenty-five word discription of our culture. This morning, local talk radio maven Larry Ahrens forwarded the "You Can Tell You're a New Mexican When..." e-mail that my dad and I bounce back and forth a couple of times a year.
I thought I'd post a few of my not-so-facetious favorites.
- You hated Texans until the Californians moved in.
- You price-shop for tortillas.
- You have an extra freezer just for green chile.
- You're relieved when the pavement ends because the dirt road has fewer pot-holes.
- Tumbleweeds and various cacti in your yard are not weeds. They are your lawn.You have been told by at least one out-of-state vendor that they are going to charge you extra for "international" shipping.
There should be a Harriet update later today, and Dark Avengering later in the week.
Gushing about one's cat is an internet cottage industry. There are the cute stories, the adorable suppositions of what might be happening in their tiny, walnut brains, and pictures. Oh, god. Where would the internet be without the kitty pictures? We'd be down to eBay and porn.
And yet, here I am, talking about my cat.
We have a cat. A single, solitary cat. We call her Cat, because, well, it's short, it's sweet, it's what she is, and the sound "KAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!" just ricochets off the walls in a very satisfying manner. She answers to "Cat." "Cat" and "Kitty" and "Kit-Kat" and very occassionally, "Kissy-Kitty," a name that makes Adam turn inside out.
She's six, this fat lump of black fur and allergies. She prefers me to Adam, the first animal in the history of the world to actually enjoy my company. I like her, too. There's something comforting when she springs onto the bed, crawls across my sort-of sleeping form, kneeds my shoulder into submission and conks out.
Sometimes, she drools on me.
Adam doesn't like to admit any affection for the cat. He makes menacing faces at her when he thinks I'm not looking. He claims to be allergic to her. He's master of the echoing "KAAAAAAAAT!!!!!!", channeling all the rage of Shatner at the end of Star Trek II (that's right, I just made that reference), fist-shaking and everything.
I have a lot of pity for the cat. She's the fourth animal, the only non-ferret creature, ignored, sometimes used as a table
, and horrors of horrors, fed dried cat food. And yet, she's looking over my shoulder right now, purring, trying to worm her head onto the keyboard so I'll be forced to pet her instead of type.
If you put your head up to the monitor and listen, you can probably hear her purr. It's like hearing the ocean in a sea shell, only not.
I know, I know. I need to stop screwing around with the new toy and cough up some new Harriet or a bit of Dark Avenger.
Adam's not a Mac guy.
Even as late as Monday, he was trying to talk me into buying a crappy PC notebook to replace the dead laptop. "Don't buy a Mac," he said, with that patented "I-have-a-degree-in-CS" sneer that they teach in Introductions to Computing Systems. "You'll end up hating it."
I've had to wrestle the iBook out of his control both evenings now. He's fascinated by it. "Do you realize," he said last night after I convinced him to let the book just sleep in peace. "That you're running a system that's completely Microsoft-free? That you're living the geek dream of relying upon open source and an OS not developed by Uncle Bill? Do you know how absolutely jealous I am?"
"Green with envy?"
It's funny how he can make his eyes pop out like that.
He wants to take the computer around to both sets of parents to show it off; he's scheming for a day next week when he can lug it to work and show it off to his boss. And I know him. That "show off to boss" is actually a cunning attempt to score a Mac of his own. Using his Jedi powers of confusion (which is mostly stringing buzzwords and industry slang into sentences into gobbledy-gook that sounds good), he'll probably have his own, faster, better Powerbook by the end of the week.
And how he'll lord it over me. "Look," he'll say. "I have a better Mac. Mine's faster. Mine's better. Mine's prettier. Mine's titanium.
I'm so much cooler than you."
The real vintage stuff