Monday, October 31, 2005

old vlad had it right

Just in time for Halloween, and my upstairs neighbor watching scary movies for, like, thirty hours straight now. According to a Media Data Corporation report, courtesy of Family Media Guide, impalement is the number one murder method in scary movies. MDC looked at 100 horror movies from the past thirty years, tracking thirteen "gruesome acts and gory details"
bite injury … charred skin … decapitation … decomposition … disfigurement … electrocution …entrails … impalement … protruding object … severed limb … skeletal remains … transmogrification … twisting body part

They counted 1,734 total instances among the 13 unlucky acts. Impalement's the frontrunner with 419 counts (nearly 25%), followed by protruding object (313) and bite injury (305).

There's a lot of this that I find interesting, but I'm trying to sew a costume this afternoon so I'll have to save the analysis for later. But I want to make one point, because I'd already been developing a theory about it. Sure, according to the movies bad guys go for impalement first. But have you noticed how often impalement is the way bad guys die in action films in general? Right off the top of my head, and forgive me if these are spoilers for you, I can think of three movies where a villian dies by falling on something sharp--Spiderman, Shaun of the Dead, and Transporter 2. I had a bunch of others, but I can't remember them right off.

Now this is important: the villians fall onto the pointy things. They are not actively impaled by the heroes. Now we all know that a hero can't actually kill a villian in the final aristeia (please note that I'm using that word here in the sense of a climactic one-on-one battle, not in the sense of excellence); unlike in Homer's time, audiences don't like a story where the hero proves to be as prepared to kill as the villian. Maim, sure. Fold, spindle, mutilate, absolutely.

But for Spiderman or the Hulk or Frank Martin or Jet Li to actually kill their nemesis dead in single combat makes them no better than said nemesis. So the villian has to die through their own hubris, or lack of skill, balance, or willingness to cooperate with the hero (falling from a great height being another big way villians die, usually after letting go of the hero's offered hand). Forcing set designers to come up with endless variations on the fortuitously-placed pointy thing, whether it's a shard of glass in the abandoned warehouse, a twisted bit of metal out at the pier, an ugly modern sculpture in the villian's luxurious lair, or Shaun's garden umbrella stand. Once you start watching for it, it's everywhere.

On that cheerful note, I'm going to pick my way ever-so-carefully across the cluttered floor of my studio back to my sewing machine, with its itty-bitty impalement device. Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2005


This was not the best choice for my bedtime movie, Halloween weekend. I'm doing my best to remember the funny bits, and not so much the entraily bits. If you haven't seen it, it's very funny. The prat gets eaten and the best friend shows his real worth.

Halloween weekend in San Francisco. It's been two or three days solid of sirens, now, and we haven't even had the Castro celebration yet. Friday night BunnySlope and I went dancing, which became more of a production than usual for me. As I wrote to a friend,
I'd planned on wearing jeans, a tank top, and eyeliner; I ended up in a full skirt, boots, a combination of her bra and sheer top, my Afghani dance choker, ring, and earrings, Rajasthani mirror belt, and nearly full performance makeup.

I looked like a red and black Christmas tree. And there's glitter all over the bathroom.
Coming back from post-dancing Thai food, we stumbled over a drunk monk. Clean-cut fella dressed for a costume party, big cross around his neck, Elvis sunglasses hanging from his collar, dried vomit on his habit. It's weird, but I knew right away that he wasn't in the habit of sleeping on the sidewalk, because he was perpendicular to the wall. People who usually sleep on the sidewalk lie parallel to the wall. This neighborhood's a real education.

Anyway, BunnySlope is a very pragmatic, down to earth sort. We'd walked about ten feet past the tourist when she stopped and said, he's lying on his back. We should at least roll him onto his side. So we went back and poked at him experimentally. BunnySlope checked for a pulse. He was large and limp; I didn't think we'd have much luck, but as we were prodding him over he came to and mumbled ten more minutes. We asked him if he had a car. He said yes, named an intersection across the city, and closed his eyes again. Do you want us to get you a cab? If you stay here you'll get rolled and possibly hurt. People walking by offered to call an ambulance. NoizokayI'mokay. BunnySlope put on her schoolteacher voice. You at least need to stay on your side, she told him, if you lie on your back you could aspirate and die.

I'mokayI'llgoinnaminnit. He rested his head on one of those street level window ledges, you know, the ones for the basement windows. She and I looked at each other and shrugged.

Walking away, she talked about her inclination to protect people.

We should have rolled him ourselves, I answered.

Friday, October 28, 2005

there can be only one


Thursday, October 27, 2005

a shout out to czech artistry

Looking for stuff to send Snufkina, I stumbled across this gallery of large-format photos by Ladislav Kamarad, who I'd never heard of. Some breathtaking work here. Check out the snapshots from Patagonia if you like penguins.
miers gets the point

Two days of good news in a row. Now though we get to sweat over what other ill-prepared crony Bush is going to try to foist on us.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

go sheryl!

Sheryl Swoopes has come out. Houston Comets leading scorer and co-founder, Swoopes is the sort of athlete who goes out to have a baby, or an injury, and then comes back to win MVP awards. She mentions that she's not coming out to make a point or anything, she's just tired of having to lie about who she loves.

And she's worried that people are going to tell little girls that they can no longer look up to her. But I'm thinking about all the little queer girls--and boys--who have a new hero. And all the little girls and boys, queer and straight, who are going to notice that she is behaving with integrity, and take it to heart.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2k why?

A moment of silence for the 2000.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

the next generation of laptops

You'll kick yourself that you didn't think of it first. At least I'm kicking myself. And at some point I'll have to try this.
my night at work

I must stop catering. It wasn't even a bad shift, I'm just fed up. Working sick wasn't a hot idea either, but I didn't want to cancel twice in one week. So I took too much pseudoephedrine and powered through a couple of strawberry cough drops and wobbled out onto the floor at Bimbo's mildly altered.

Which will get you a long way there, as the place is kind of surreal to begin with. There are notices in the kitchen that have been there since 1931, all signed "Mr. B" (Busboys, the candle lamps are extremely fragile. Please be careful). There are paintings on the walls of a sexy mermaid (I think the artist couldn't do hands, so the scaly lass always has her arms up and totally concealed by a cloud of red hair). Behind the bar, a tricky arrangement of mirrors lets you watch Dolfina swimming in her "bowl".

I was able to not cough directly onto the hors d'oeuvres I was serving. That counts for something, right?

I have eleven more shifts scheduled through the end of the year. The plan right now is that a) I don't take any more and b) I find some way to replace that income. A is easy; I just keep saying no until my supervisor gets the picture, or we have a talk about it, about why they're not letting me manage anymore and about how you don't let your intelligent empoyees get bored because then they start acting out (ahem). B is a little more of a trick.

Maybe Dolfina needs a backup?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

if you like photography or dogs

You'll appreciate Seamus' find of a stock of glass-plate negatives the family had thought lost to flood damage. He's been scanning them in; the most recent is very unusual for a studio portrait of its time, and very dear.
the lampposts are screaming

Zen for the rest of us. Work-safe, but completely irreverent, and sort of gross.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

what i've been doing as i lay around sick

The fabulous thing about being a permanent absentee voter is that I can vote from home, which I did today. It's much nicer sitting on the bed with all the pamphlets and ballot bits strewn around than standing in line somewhere. Not as exciting, maybe, not so much smell of civic spirit in the air, but you do get the chance to muse over the information.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I hadn't paid much attention to this election--a special one the Governator called--besides noting that my teacher friends were agitating against all of the Guv's ideas. Reasonably so, since he's blaming teachers for the mess our schools are, and pillaging the education budget. But what I didn't know was that the first proposition, 73, would make parental consent for teen abortion the law.

If you live in California, and you weren't planning to vote November 8... let me remind you that a lot is at stake.
my throat hurts too much to laugh as much as i'd like

But that shouldn't stop you. Pulls together some of my more recent themes. And explains why you need to get to SFO so damn early.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

a bright spot for boobs

I've been thinking about breast cancer a lot lately. My mom and I have been talking about mammograms, it came up last night in a short story I was reading, some of my artists were talking about it the other day, I'm newly linked to the blog of a young woman who just had a mastectomy. Not to mention that I think I've gotten to that age where you start to wonder what little nasty you're harboring. If the problem that's going to take you out has already started, but it's so low-key that you can't hear it yet, you know?

Anyway. I'm very excited about this news about a drug that dramatically cuts breast cancer recurrence. It's still being tested, and it's wildly expensive, but everyone involved is talking about fast-tracking approval, so more women might stand a chance (and men--for every 100 women in this country with the disease, there's one man with it--and he's damn surprised). This is really good news.
bone-eating snot flower

No, not me, silly. But an amazing creature found off the Swedish coast. The more science fiction I read, the more astonishing I find the range of Earth creatures--what they look like, how they take nourishment, reproduce, everything. And this one's a lot prettier than the name above--or even "zombie worm"--would suggest.

In other damn, but I love science news, scientists have discovered that they can grow collagen much faster if they remove the water from the starting medium. Cutting down the time from weeks to minutes. Conceivably this would make it possible to grow replacement tissue in the operating room. As the proud owner of grafted tissue, you can see why I'd think this cool. Now if they could just figure out how to do cartilage, and fix my friend True's knees, that would be excellent.

Speaking of snot, I woke up at 5:30 this morning having terrible dreams that I couldn't swallow without pain. And guess what? Awake, I couldn't either. I'd felt this sore throat coming on yesterday, but nowhere near as bad as it was this morning. I used everything I had available--gargled with salt water, made "throat coat" tea, and then had a zinc lozenge for good measure. Gourmet combination, let me tell you. Yuck. At least I didn't have any work scheduled today, and my crepuscular phone voice was enough to convince my catering supervisor that I really shouldn't work tomorrow either, so I'm going to try to ride out whatever this is on the Good Ship Indri's Bed. Ahoy, indeed. Boarding parties bearing soup and ice cream welcomed with open cutlasses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

get cracking on that five foot shelf

Although I can't imagine reading War and Peace on my computer, this is still a very cool little resource.
okay, i've been lying to you

Know how I keep saying I have nothing interesting to report? That is not strictly true; some very interesting things have been going on. But I've been struggling over how to talk about them, or whether I even should, and it's been having a major impact on my blogging. Because talking about what's going on means I have to talk about MonkeyScientist, and today marks a month since we last had any contact with each other. Which is meaningful, considering that for the twelve months before that, the longest we went without even a little bitty email was a few days.

I'm not going to go into the whys or wherefores of that; I've done enough "he said, she said" here over the past couple of years. And I really don't feel like going there anymore--for one thing, it makes me uncomfortable when I read it elsewhere, and for another, well, one of these days we might be on speaking terms again, and I'd rather not waste any of that time dealing with fallout from what I've said here. And finally, the core story doesn't make either of us look good. He's been careful to protect my reputation online, to the extent of not talking about me at all at times when I've wished that he would; while I won't behave the same way, I can try for my own version, and hope I don't fuck up.

All this prelude! The point is that last month I made an incredibly painful choice about how things were going and how I could protect myself and my own interests--something I'd been doing a very poor job of for some time--and while I'm surviving just fine, I'm also realizing to what extent my connection to another person was shaping my life. Even a physically absent person. Perhaps especially a physically absent person. You don't extend as much energy as I have to support a relationship--of any kind--without having that expenditure change your perspective, and what you believe you can have, do, or be. So I'm talking about him, but only tangentially; this is not about what he did or failed to do, but how I cranked myself around to meet what he was capable of.

Which is why, when I started seeing someone else (actually, a couple of someone elses, one from each food group, and yes they know about each other) almost immediately after undoing one of the big knots tying me to Berlin, I was stunned to learn that there were people out there who really wanted and were able to be with me. I'd been forcing the situation with MonkeyScientist for so long that I'd forgotten what it's like when it's easy. I will continue to honor the deal I cut with him about blogging, which means sparing some of the details... except to note that I am a very fortunate person, and grateful for the presence of these awesome people.

Also for Taqueria Cancun, and the Lexington, from whence I just returned, full of hard cider and good cheer for a birthday-having troupemate. A good rehearsal tonight, time with cool women, and a messy chorizo torta! Life is good.

Monday, October 17, 2005

the no-fly list

This is too good. Tip of the uniform hat to Xark.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

what a difference a soundcard makes

When I first found this strange, wistful video I thought it was just an animation showing off what someone did with some mossy sticks. Now with headphones I can hear the atmospheric sounds of Under Byen, a Danish outfit out of Aarhus. They sound a little like Sigur Ros, with Bjork on vocals.

edit: Brian was curious, and I'm procrastinating. Here are the lyrics, translated into English
Outside the plantation / orchard grows
The gentle whisper of the trunks
The edge of the crystals

And the time is crispy
A pigeon with a pounding heart
When one stops and listens

To the dreams of the plants out there
That slips under the hem / seam
And the rustle of the the fabric against the floor

Thursday, October 13, 2005

where would you like to be locked in?

Walking home past my beloved library late last night, I saw a guard making the rounds, checking to see that doors were locked and so on. Which reminded me of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, simply one of the best kids' books ever written. Have you read it? We got a chapter a week read to us when I was in fifth or sixth grade, on Fridays, if we had behaved ourselves that week. I got so fed up with that system (we didn't behave ourselves much) that I found my own copy and read to the end on my own.

Which may have been the point. I don't know, that was a weird year. We lost our "real" homeroom teacher early in the fall, probably to frustration, and then ripped through a series of cowering substitutes, one of whom stood by feebly as Jamal Miller ("he slams your locker door on your fingers because he likes you") accidentally-on-purpose wacked me in the arm with a baseball bat.

Why was a baseball bat allowed in the classroom? Another question I can't answer for you.

But I digress.

"The Mixed-Up Files", if you haven't had the pleasure of reading it, is the story of two kids who decide to run away from home. But they're very methodical about it. Claudia, the older one, comes up with an elaborate plan for she and her brother (who she includes because he's been better about saving money than she has) to go live in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. They get all tricky about hiding out in the bathrooms until the janitors have gone home, they wash out their clothes in the fountain (and raid it for coins, something I always found a breathtaking transgression), they sleep in a fancy antique bed behind a velvet rope, and so on. So it's a book that workes on several levels--one, you get to enjoy their adventures and ingenuity and two, you learn something about the Met.

So I walked past SFPL Main last night, and started wondering how I could endeavor to get locked in some night, and what I would do once I was there. I didn't think about it long because I was hungry, but I did skitter around a little: what about getting locked in Pearl Paint, the three-story art supply place on Market? Or the Asian Art Museum? Or the Exploratorium? Or Green Apple Books on Clement? Mmmmm.

Where you like to be locked in, if you had the opportunity?
tomato smashed with 4x4

And other things shot with a high-speed camera. I like the square of Jell-O making impact--it goes completely flat, and then bounces back to its original shape. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Go read this post of Marc's, about old-time music in Cambridge. You'll like it, and it's much more interesting than anything I have to report this morning. I'm still battling the deadening effects of three days of self-induced sleep deprivation.
not exactly swords into plowshares

But a promising idea nonetheless.

Monday, October 10, 2005

i'm just pleased

That Blogger is finally letting me upload images again.
my brain is sloshing

Today my father would have turned 62. I haven't thought about that as much as I did last year at this time, mostly because I've got two pieces due and I've been listening to thudding Danny Elfman commentary tracks for something like twelve hours straight and I have all the signs of a migraine coming on, which makes thinking about anything besides the fetal position very difficult.

I wonder what he would be reading, now? How far along in his "history of the world" reading project he would be? Maybe I'll read something for him, when my head stops hurting.

Friday, October 07, 2005

the completely frivolous day

I was too tired when I got home last night to put this into any sort of order, but yesterday was the sort of day that makes me wonder if I could ever hold down a "real" job again.

And the defining image has to be my sitting in Dragonfly's chair for nearly three hours, with his Yorkie wriggling around in my lap. As befits a stylist's dog, Laney had a little tiny butterfly clip holding his hair off of his face. He kept dropping the chewed-up bits of fake green bone on me. And at one point I had to throw the smock over him so only my hair got dyed, and not his.

Meanwhile Dragonfly, who belongs to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, was describing how he got tied up in a rope harness at the Folsom Street Fair. I got to see a photo, and admire his cool makeup job (each Sister has to develop a look of her own; Dragonfly is going with yellow and green eyeshadow and Nagel-esque cheekbones marked in red. Being a Sister seems to make him happier and more settled within himself than I've ever seen him, in the years I've known him. I love talking to him about it.

Then modeling to good music at an animation studio where one of the artists remembers me from when I dated BowlCut; we always gossip about the scene, and I always marvel at how wonderful these guys' drawings are. For about a third of the night I was facing a corkboard covered with concept drawings by this artist, which made me itch to go home and draw. I wore my shiny boots and the artists made me look like an action hero. I came home and read Everything is Illuminated (much funnier than expected, and I'm glad I waited until I got back from Ukraine to read it) until I couldn't see straight.

Sometimes I feel like my life is completely off-track. My mother's friends ask her when I'm going to "settle down" and "get a real job", and she fiercely defends me, but the point's been made: I'm on a tightrope. I'm going to be 36 in a couple of months, and according to the annual note from the Social Security Administration, at the rate I'm going I will never be able to retire; the world's oldest artist's model, teachers will call me in when they need their students to meet the challenge of rendering wrinkles on top of wrinkles. Sometimes I think it would be nice to not wake up every morning wondering where the hell I'm supposed to be that day, and in what costume--tux? Theater-going clothes? My skin? I envy friends who don't have to calculate how much ramen a hair appointment equals.

But damn. I get to help and hang out with some talented people. I have moments like last night where I love my work so much I wonder that it's not illegal. And I have more freedom than a lot of people I know.

Days like yesterday are valuable reminders of that.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

gestational agreement

What a term, huh? It comes up repeatedly in the draft of a bill Indiana state senator Patricia Miller (R) is working up. The bill, if passed, will make "unauthorized artificial reproduction" a felony. Yes, it sounds Orwellian to me too. It makes Echidne, who got it from Amanda at Pandagon who in turn got it from Kos, think of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

Now, what exactly constitutes "unauthorized artificial reproduction?" Are you ready for this? Attempting to have a baby using assisted reproductive technology (ART) and donor gametes if you are not married.

Really. One man, one woman. Married to each other. No single women, no single men, no gay couples of any flavor. Non-married people using ART could face a Class B misdemeanor charge ($1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail), doctors performing ART on non-married people could face the same charge, and people who lie about it could face an even heavier one (class A misdemeanor).

There's more. If this bill passes, prospective parents (the term the bill uses is "intended") will need to get a certificate stating that they've been cleared to have a child using ART. In order to get the certificate, you have to undergo the same process prospective adoptive parents do--in other words, a home study conducted by a state-licensed social worker. I used to work for an adoption agency, and let me tell you, this is one serious document. It involves a series of home visits, where the social worker goes around and checks out where all the power outlets are. That kind of detail. Letters of recommendation from people who have known the prospective family for at least x years. Tax returns for the past few years. Written statements from the prospective family on their values, beliefs, activities, and why they're trying to adopt. Background checks. Fingerprints. Criminal record. Everything.

When I first read Echidne's post, I felt like I'd gone down the rabbit hole. Reading the actual document helped, a little, but it's still scary. Because I see what Miller is trying to do, and some of it I agree with. There are measures in the draft proposal that would go a long way towards protecting the parties involved. For example, if a "gestational mother" (surrogate) is unmarried when the agreement is made, and then she gets married, her new husband has no legal claim on the child. The bill would mandate psychological counseling for the gestational mother, which makes more sense to me than just letting her twist in the wind before/during/after delivery. And there are many clauses designed to clarify to whom the child "belongs", which makes sense in light of how many ugly scenes have taken place with people changing their minds and getting into nasty, protracted custody battles (although to the best of my limited knowledge, this is more of an issue with adoption than with surrogacy.)

And I'm not even that horrified by the home study, although I think it puts more strain on people who have got to be pretty miserable anyway, considering the trauma of infertility. Yes, the part about detailing your faith-based activities makes me a little nervous--just as it does when we're talking about adoption. Although in my experience, social workers were much more interested in the prospective family's demonstrated emotional and financial stability than their faith. And, it should be noted, a prospective adoptive parent's marital status is not an issue in many places.

Senator Miller's got an interesting history. A Methodist active in her church, mother of two and grandmother of four, she's authored a lot of bills. One, this year's SB76,
Requires a health care provider to provide a pregnant woman with information regarding the availability of ultrasound imaging and auscultation of heart tones of a fetus before performing an abortion on the pregnant woman. Allows a pregnant woman to view the fetal ultrasound imaging and hear the auscultation of the fetal heart tone before an abortion is performed.

Apparently Miller believes it's the state's job to make absolutely sure a pregnant woman knows that she is killing a living being.

She's also introduced some measures I agree with, such as increasing the ability of the indigent to get hospital care and getting the state secretary of family and social services to get proactive about long term care. It's clear from the list of bills she's either written or sponsored that she genuinely cares about the health of Indianians--from rubella to cheerleading safety to when doctors can prescribe Ritalin. But much of this proposal--besides the way it protects the gestational mother and clarifies parentage--is off-base, and does not support the health and wellbeing of Miller's constituency.

Because she's letting what looks an awful lot like a faith-based agenda get in the way of examining, clearly, how we make healthy families. She's come out and said that the point of this bill is to make sure that only married couples can use ART; she cites research that suggests that the children of married male-female couples are happier than other sorts of children. Has she seen the research that contradicts this finding? That suggests that the children of gay couple, lesbian couples, single parents can be just as happy and well-adjusted?

Truthfully, I wouldn't mind seeing everyone who wants to have children go through something like a home study. Before you brand me a eugenicist, let me clarify: I believe everyone who wants kids should be called upon to examine their life with the kind of care a home study requires. I think it could save a lot of heartbreak down the road if prospective parents had to be able to explain why they wanted kids, how they planned to take care of them, and what sort of network would be in place to support the family. But I digress.

The point is that this is one scary concept, and opens up scarier ones. Miller's trying to help--I believe she really thinks she's doing the right thing to protect kids--but this is an ugly, homophobic, and narrow-minded way to go about it.

edit: Typical. I exert myself to write something a little more complex than the usual navel-gazing or silliness and then it becomes immediately obsolete. As Bob (thanks Bob! Good luck on the job!) has so helpfully noted, Senator Miller withdrew this draft on Wednesday because the issue was proving "too complex". But I will swallow my disappointment at my point being academic in light of the fact that this thing needed to go down, and it did.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

farting lakes!


Monday, October 03, 2005

this material should be approached with an open mind

Bit of a wrangle going on over at Radio Free Mike about an article the editor recently sold to Der Spiegel on Intelligent Design. If you're concerned about what your children are learning, perhaps you would be interested in some warning stickers for their textbooks.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

the tipping point

We're really not supposed to accept tips. I learned this in my orientation, lo those many years ago when I began catering for the only company of the original six that I would stick with. No tip jar on the bar, no tips for bringing people their coats at coat check. Thank you very much, but your host has taken care of us is the line we're drilled to use.

But sometimes a guest is insistent, and then what? I remember being told that we shouldn't resist to the point where we were creating a scene or making the guest feel bad or awkward. Sometimes it is better to graciously and discreetly accept the proffered tip. But it's rarely an issue.

Last night, it was an issue. I suspect in part because a lot of these guests either don't get to many weddings, or are used to cash bar weddings, which puzzles me. At first people didn't believe it--free likker! Once they got they idea, though, my god. I haven't poured that much vodka in a long time. And the party was a long one. Is everyone drinking one drink and then breaking their glass? asked Film, who was bar manager, because we're going through glassware as though they were.

And people kept throwing money at me, some of which I was able to deflect, some of which I was not. And we got tipped out officially at the end of the night, which is also very rare. I'm feeling all wealthy and stuff. And the guests were really, really nice, which always makes the evening easier. Many of them were openly gay, and many of them were openly tattooed, so I felt like I was serving friends. There was only one visibly inebriated, older guy, who kept leaning on the precariously balanced bar (I mean, the damn thing was on wheels, if that gives you an idea) and asking me if I was a dancer, if I was happy, if I believed in life after death, how I'd managed to find a way to be happy. Near the end I started to worry that he was going to become a Problem, especially as guest after guest tried to pry him off my bar and he snarled them away, but Film caught on and moved me to a task out of Drunk Guy's sightlines, so no awkward scene.

Twelve hours, though. Fortunately I'd seen the mischievous BunnySlope the night before, so I was feeling pretty charged and generous, ready to pour as many vodka tonics as were requested of me. I also learned how to make a Manhattan. A grandfather drink! said the orderer, who--I'm duly embarrassed--had to talk me through it because I'd forgotten to study my cheat sheet this week. And I developed a new, froofy pink drink built along the margarita line in honor of a perfectly flaming guest who was calling me dear by his second vodka-and-soda. And I got to shimmy as I shook, Coyote Ugly in a tux, to the first decent wedding dj I've heard in years.

So, a good night. Absolutely drained now, and I fear I won't be able to move when I wake up, but it was so wonderful to realize both that I was honestly happy... and honestly enjoying work.

I also want to mention two tasty reads: Final Vinyl Days by Jill McCorkle and The Good Life by Erin McGraw, both short story collections. What is it with apparently-Celtic-heritage female writers this week?