Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It Can't Be Just Me

Rachel Ray is the Joker, right? Right?

In My Mind, I'm Gone to [Austin]

First, a quiz:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop." [NOTE: I used to. I stopped doing that when I moved to Madison.]

The Midland
North Central
The Northeast
The West
The South
What American accent do you have?

IN OTHER NEWS: The announcement for Fantasy: The Best of the Year is now official. Holy crap, man. That's one hell of a list. Damn proud to be included.

Magical Trevor IV! Guest starring Jim Kraken! Nothing can ever top the original, of course. But still.

Yeah, I don't really have any content. And I'm off to WFC early tomorrow, so posting is not going to happen until next week at least. In the meantime, don't take any wooden nickels, unless you happen to be near one of those discount wooden vending machines that sells small blocks of wood used for carving and/or musical accompaniment in which case a nickel probably isn't quite enough. But keep on reaching for the stars!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In Her Frock Coat and Bipperty-Bopperty Hat

Although I haven't seen an official notice yet, other people have announced it; so I thought I'd let you all know that my story "The Water-Poet and the Four Seasons," which originally appeared at the inestimable Strange Horizons, will be appearing in Prime Books' Fantasy: The Best of the Year, edited by Rich Horton. May I just say WOW. My first reprint! Yay! I can't wait to see the full TOC for this one.

In book news, I just finished Valiant (I know, I know; I'm way behind the curve on this one) and as much as I liked Tithe, Valiant was a step above. Awesome, awesome book. Now I'm reading Hope Was Here. (Yes, I'm still reading Emma, but it's a long book and I need breaks.) I really kind of love Joan Bauer. Her books maybe wrap up a little neatly at times, but her protagonists are so, so wonderful.

It's been awhile since I gave y'all any elephant links of note. This just came out yesterday: elephants know themselves in a mirror. In other words, they are self-aware. I know this is science and all, but I can't help thinking . . . duh? Good to have more evidence, I guess. Also, lots of buzz around this NYT article about rogue elephant behavior, which also points towards elephants as susceptible to trauma, frustration, and despair; not to mention malicious intelligence. Again, not to paint myself as an expert, but this all seems pretty obvious to me based on the reading I've done. F'r instance, they've found that this sort of aggression in young males can be related to the culling or poaching of older bulls in the population; if elder bulls are reintroduced into an area, they act as mentors for the younger ones, teaching them to curb their aggression. But there has been a notable escalation in elephant attacks against humans, as the article notes. Mainly this is true in areas where there's just not enough space for both. Humans think of all land as their own, to cultivate and settle, but there's no universal truth that makes it so.

So . . . is it just me, or does this Borat thing not look in the least funny? I saw him on SNL over the weekend, and on Letterman last night, and at neither point did he make me laugh. (The dude in the background during the SNL open made me laugh at one point, but I'm not sure that counts.) I actually caught a fair amount of Yakov Smirnoff back in the day (I watched a lot of "Night Court"), so maybe it's just that I've seen the material before. So it's conceptual humor, eh? It's not making fun of Kazakhstan, but of the geographically and culturally ignorant Americans who take the act at face value? OK. It seems like a bit of a reach to me, but fine. But while I get the conceptual part, I think they forgot to add in the humor. Peppering one's talk with phrases like "the sexy" and punctuating it with a grinning thumbs-up isn't cutting it for me. I don't know. I'm not really sure why it's rubbing me wrong, but it is.

And finally, I'd like to end on a serious note. Today is Halloween, and you all know what that means. Please, please take all necessary precautions to prevent any undue pain and suffering. I'm speaking, of course, of dogs in costumes. Just don't do it. Pretend your dog is a wolf or some other such beast if you must--imagination is a powerful thing--but do not put him or her in a hat, a wig, or anything with sleeves. Your dog puts up with a collar; asking more is unreasonable and rude. Thank you for your support.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Now get off your churr! I mean "Chair."

Are you, like me, a fan of Bob Dylan? Then you should probably not go here and watch the video. Seriously, don't. You've been warned. (Via Ms. Cadigan.)*

Drinks Friday with Barth, who was in town for a conference. Good talking about starting out as a novelist (you have your copy of The Patron Saint of Plagues, right?) and other things. That, and a visit last week from my pal Keith and his wife Stacy, Semi-Os meeting, and dinner last night with Marianne (tapas and martinis--mmm), makes this past week just about the most social I've been in months. And this weekend is WFC. When I get back from Austin I'll probably have to hide in a hole for a week.

Meghan is worried about Lady Sovereign. I'm not, so much, but I don't want to miss the chance to mention her. Some English MCs get it twisted/ Start sayin' "cookie" 'stead of biscuit . . . Anyway.

Dead Girl. Mike Allred. Dr. Strange. Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio trying to come back from hell. Ant-Man, obsessed with cleaning the carpets of the underworld. Hemmorhoid jokes. 'Nuff said.

*Want context? Twyla Tharp is building a Broadway show around the songs of Bob Dylan. Frelling hell. I've been starting to develop an appreciation for musicals, but this . . . this . . .