Saturday, March 31, 2012

Laid Out Like Lox in Front of the Television

I was thinking last night (loxed out with bloody Harlan Hollywood style Justified and wish fulfillment Nikita (and then we’ll be in our beautiful spacious safe house on the beach with computer access to everywhere in the world, and then we'll be in a super luxury hotel in Moscow where we will not be jet-lagged but instantly ready to do martial arts in our stiletto heels!”).

Andy calls the other one JustiFRIED. The other show, Nikita, has a soft heart– it’s presented as a positive quality if one of the trained killers decides to let someone live, and there are a lot of flashbacks to six years ago when the bad guys actually helped the good guys, how sad, what has happened to us?

The two shows balance out the corniness for me: In Nikita everyone looks like they’re constipated as they suffer over who has to die, and in Justified (as in most of testosterone t.v., and all of Elmore Leonard’s novels, for that matter) everyone has a cute curled eyebrow and a crooked smile as they blast out someone’s brains. Usually a bad guy’s brains, but then all the best characters in Justified are bad guys.

It's an actor's paradise: they’ve got this great blue eyed bleached blonde sadist plus the always delightful Walter Goggins as Boyd Crowder with his fists in his jeans jacket pockets enjoying his verbal play with other criminal elements. Anyhow, as I said, the actors all look like they are having the time of their lives. The women actors less so, now that old Mags Bennett is gone.

I have fun with these, but certainly don’t claim anything more than dulling a speeding brain.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Assertive Daffodil

Spring is too early, but it sure smells nice. It's really just now time for daffodils and forsythia, but all the pink stuff's out, magnolia trees, cherry. They tell me that Branch Brook Park in Newark with its cherry tree lanes is two weeks early. You want to shudder in horror, but this is real too,and white and pink meeting over head on the suburban streets, the fragrance, the cool air, rain clouds pulling away. Lovely lovely.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Means Planting Peas!

It's Saint Patrick's Day and I have lots of old stuff in the garden from fall (mustard, lettuce, corn salad, bok choi, etc.), and today I planted peas and also arugula, radishes, cilantro, turnip greens and some more pease, closely planted, for sprouts. Everything but the peas I put under my new plastic cold frame that I managed to construct all by myself ("some assembly required..." yeah, right). I know we're supposed to be freaked by the weather, but it's such beautiful day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Smashwords Versus Paypal???

There has been a really interesting censorship dust-up between and Paypal. Smashwords is a little company Hamilton Stone Editions and many other small publishers use for free conversions to e-books. They have, along with literary publishers like HSE, a huge number of magnificently awful self-published books- from MY FRIEND THE ANGEL to really rough sex porno. The wildly successful Amanda Hocking started self-publishing on Smashwords before getting picked up by St. Martins for two million dollars or something.

Anyhow, Smashwords is so democratic it's ridiculous.

Then Paypal threatened to stop working with them if they didn't get rid of some of the rougher sex books, and the CEO Mark Coker did a lot of negotiating-- and apparently won. See .

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Back from West Virginia

Andy and I just got back from West Virginia. We took my mother home to Shinnston, beautiful dry weather: The hill sides were all tan and bleached green folds and rolls with the ridges edged by trees just beginning to be touched by red tips. There was one patch of snow near Frostburg, Maryland, in a dimple in the side of a hill, facing north....
I could have stayed longer in some ways: smelling old home, watching my mother settle into the place where she is a minor star: everyone in the grocery store hugging her! Walking round giving "puperoni" snacks to the neighbor dogs. Very cute.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Donald Payne Died This Morning

We've just had news of the death of Congressman Donald Payne, one of the real good guys in Congress. He wasn't our member of congress, rather next door in Newark and parts of Maplewood I think, but he was a big supporter of the Community Coalition on Race, the local integration organization that I've been a part of for fifteen years. He always came out for our events (attended our most recent Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January), and was a great fighter for everyone's rights: Darfur to Northern Ireland. Very sad.
Here's his web page with the announcement.
Reminder to all of us: grit your teeth and undergo your colonoscopy.
However serious your commitment to doing good in the world, however much you have attained, you need to be alive and healthy.