"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Damn the torpedoes!

This phrase came to mind and I did a little checking to find out its origin as my knowledge of the history of warfare is somewhat incomplete. (Speaking of knowledge, thank heavens all I had to do was take the California Bar Exam and not the new test for U.S. citizenship. What kind of messed up questions are those anyway? "What is the rule of law?" "What is self-government?" Huh? These are the kind of questions that require an answer that is either a precise one-liner from page 128 of your high school civics text book, or a dissertation examining the Federalist Papers and 200 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence. Or maybe I've got it all wrong, the Bush Administration is just asking prospective citizens these questions in sincere hope of actually finding out what the answers are.)

ANYWAY, Damn the torpedoes--Full speed ahead is attributed to (then) rear admiral David Glasgow Farragut in the Battle of Mobile Bay. In the Civil War era, what we would call mines were called torpedoes. After the U.S.S. Tecumseh was destroyed by a mine, Farragut decided to charge through the minefield anyway to Union victory. We've been watching the Ken Burns "Civil War" series, but we're not quite that far along. Stonewall Jackson just died and Pres. Lincoln is (still) trying to find competent leadership for the Union army. Now there was a man with a hard job.

I thought of Damn the Torpedoes! because I was feeling low yesterday with this head cold and the marathon on Sunday, and a trial on Monday while we're at it, feeling like I had no energy or motivation, and totally annoyed with myself because it's just a stupid cold, why not suck it up like (almost) everybody else does and pretend I don't have it and go about sharing my germs with the world? I really just wanted to stay in bed. I had to go to work for part of the day and felt very whiny the whole time, and annoyed, and like my head was not attached to my body but not in a good floaty-detached-head way. One of my friends in Sacramento emailed about our plans for the eve of the marathon and I emailed back with some of my whining. Then she emailed and said "You have 4 days to kick it!" and I thought, hey, she's right. From then on my spirits have been better even if my head is stuffy. I'm sure it'll clear out after a few miles anyway. DAMN THE TORPEDOES! RAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Thanks for the pep talk, H. See you at 5.5.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

allergique pt II

I came home from work a bit early today hoping to get a jump on this cold. I went to the co-op to get some supplies and felt a craving for some kind of soup with roots in it so I bought a turnip and a burdock and a piece of ginger. I have eaten turnips before but I can't remember when I last purchased one, if ever. I am glad they exist, and that there is enough demand for them to create supply, because I guess you never know when you'll want one.

(There were other things in my stew as well...though it turned out to be very thick, more like a risotto. The brown rice was very absorbent.)

Monday, November 27, 2006


Funny, I felt fine all the long weekend and within an hour of arriving back at the office I started having the sneezy sniffly thing. My boss was sick over the holiday and I felt like maybe I was trying to fight something off early last week / week before but whatever it is I think it lives at work. I should have stayed on holiday. It was a day when I just felt like I shouldn't answer the phone and the intuition was good, nearly all the messages I got were from clients who don't have an open or current case with me but who left very long, repetitive, semi-coherent and alternately teary and enraged-sounding messages that would have been even longer, more rambling and energy-sucking conversations. If there were some way I could play you a sample without violating all the codes of professional ethics, I would. It is amazing what people will pour out to a stranger or near-stranger. Folks have many troubles, sometimes of a legal variety, sometimes not.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy birthday to Marilynne Robinson

Garrison Keilor already mentioned her in today's Writer's Almanac on NPR (which is how I found out it was her birthday), but I feel that she can't be mentioned enough. Plus she is originally from Idaho so it's tempting to try to claim her has a relative.

I read C's copy of Gilead back in April and since then I've been sort of evangelical about it, even to the point of lending out C's copy a few times (with her permission). I should get my own, and two or three to give away. I made my mom buy one though I don't know if she's had a chance to read it yet. I hope she will very soon. Then I hope my dad will read it too. And all of my siblings. And my grandparents, and my aunts and uncles and cousins, and so on. And my bibliophilic friends who haven't read it yet. You know who you are. It is a very quiet book, our hero is not a hardboiled investigator of crime or a secret agent, but rather an elderly minister living in a small town in Iowa writing his thoughts and recollections to the son of his old age as he anticipates that he won't live long enough for his son to know him well.

As another reviewer put it: "[N]early every sentence demands to be savored....There has been much talk lately about a religious divide in this country. Gilead, then, may be the perfect book at the perfect time: a deeply empathetic and complex picture of a religious person that is also gorgeously written, and fascinating."

After I read it, I thought, if I could only read one more novel before I die, I would read this one over again.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

...new york in June, how about....?

We got a save-the-date card in the mail today for the wedding of a childhood friend / former SF roommate of C's who lives in Brooklyn with his girlfriend and they've decided to wed June 9. At first I thought, well, C should go by all means. But she seems to want me to go with her, and now she can't pry me away from my search for the ultimate sweet NYC B&B deal. Or perhaps something affordable yet culturally significant; i.e. the hotel referred to in Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust" as "that crummy hotel over Washington Square." Or something in Chelsea for the "morning" with the first thing one sees being the sun outside the window, etc. etc. If I keep this up C may change her mind about wanting my company on the trip...it was already suggested once or twice today that maybe I didn't need to sing a song for every other word she said. I have sort of a musical Tourettes sometimes, the songs in my head create pressure and they have to come out. Probably the last thing we need is to choose lodgings based on a musical reference. That pretty much rules out all of Harlem on account of the ermines and pearls that I won't wear.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

ran for food

Map of the course in Bidwell Park
Participated in the inaugural "Run for Food" this morning, benefiting the Jesus Center. You can read about it but essentially, the center provides meals to anyone who is hungry, and shelter for women and children in an adjoining facility, "Sabbath House." So combine a great cause with the chance to start Thanksgiving off with a little calorie debt and I think we have a very successful new Chico fundraising tradition before us.

I tend to take running and my effort in timed events somewhat seriously (right down to the intestines that always freak out before a race)...but after I finished I watched other people come in for awhile, all ages of people, and almost everyone broke into a crazy all-out sprint near the finish line, and I realized this is a kind of playing after all. I felt so warmed to see all these people outside on a crisp sunny Thanksgiving morning, running like we're all going for an Olympic medal! Sometimes people are so sweet and funny you don't know whether to fall down laughing or crying over them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

learning about age-appropriate toys

We had a small visitor today, S., who came along with her parents to watch football and have good snacks, and I was very eager to see that she enjoyed herself. It didn't really occur to me that pulling the detachable limbs off of the Monty Python "Black Knight" doll we have in the living room and exclaiming "Ow!" was anything less than a delightful way to entertain a child. I would have found it pretty amusing, I'm sure, but maybe age 2 is a little bit early to develop a sense of black humor. I was pleased when she took the doll and pulled off one leg, but she seemed hesitant to dismember it any further, despite encouragement from her parents. About that time we all decided maybe the Black Knight wasn't her cup of tea and let her return to playing with the nice dolly whose arms and legs don't come off (yet).

When I was little (though older than S.) I used to remove the head of my dolly but usually only when it was medically necessary to do so, and I always put it back.

finding the inner urchin

I was moved to do a little research after watching an episode of "Lost" last night in which Dr. Jack uses a sea urchin spine as a needle to give Boone a blood transfusion, and feeling a bit skeptical about the whole concept because I thought sea urchin spines were barbed--not exactly something you'd want to puncture a vein with even if you are as manly and able to endure pain as Dr. Jack. Of course, simultaneously with the blood transfusion, Claire was having her baby in the middle of the jungle with apparently no medical equipment of any kind, I'd like to see Dr. Jack do THAT. At least the birth was more plausible than the sea urchin needle. And I can't find anything that suggests sea urchin spines are hollow as portrayed in the episode. I can suspend a lot of disbelief as long as a TV show or movie doesn't blatantly lie about known facts of the natural world. For example, if there are mutant sea urchins on the island who evolved razor-sharp, hollow, barbless spines due to their exposure to mysterious radio transmissions, that's FINE. But don't just go harvesting any old Pacific urchin and telling boldfaced lies about it.

Meanwhile I discovered that we (humans) have a lot more in common with sea urchins, genetically speaking, than we have with fruit flies. This article says that 70% of urchin DNA has a human equivalent but I'm not sure where they get that figure, elsewhere in the article it said 7,000 or so bits out of 23,000 that they identified from the urchin genome matched human DNA. Maybe I should suspend my disbelief about the math in this article as well.

Friday, November 17, 2006

here's to free & untrammeled

The Susan B. Anthony quote came via Adventure Cycling's (link at left) Bike Bits today. Just reading it sort of makes you feel like the wind is in your face.

We had a live band at the LSNC party last night playing danceable "oldies" from the 60's - '80's. I found out that the Pretenders' "Back on the Chain Gang" was on their set list and I asked them before they went on if they would maybe let me sing it. A perk of being one of the organizers of a private party, I suppose. They were very friendly and indulgent about the idea. So I got to be Chrissie Hynde only without the fender telecaster and vegan activism for 3 minutes or so. (Don't get me wrong, as they say, absolutely nothing wrong with vegans as long as they don't too forcefully obstruct my path to the food dish.) I couldn't really hear much in the monitors, so I just hoped that I was mostly in tune, but Ce and others said it sounded good and she was pleased that I even put some movement into my performance (rather than the deer-in-the-headlights style I tend to exhibit).
Just in case you get us mixed up, I've labeled the photos. The distinctions are quite subtle, I realize.
For example, Chrissie Hynde's birthday is September 7, 1951 and

mine is September 6, 1972. Also she's originally from Akron and I'm from Centerville but our states are both 4 letters.

The slideshow was successful too; a number of the old-timers who featured prominently in the photos were at the party and so far no one has threatened to sue us or demanded that I destroy all the copies. Truth is an absolute defense to slander, after all.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Of plant / human hybrids

After some long nights I have finished the slideshow project for the big office fundraising event, which is tomorrow night. One of the quaint things about living and working up here is that I have somehow achieved techie quasi-guru status in the office. These people haven't met my family. A coworker attending the conference in Sacramento with me remarked "You really like your electronic devices." Yes, yes I do. though I pushed the learning curve with this movie thing. I didn't want just a bunch of still images at 5 seconds a pop...I wanted a soundtrack and titles and the "Ken Burns" effect and cross-fade transitions. I had immense faith in the ease and intuitiveness of working with Mac software I hadn't really ever used before. I am older and wiser now but I think I came up with something pretty cool considering I didn't know what I was doing. Now I'm looking around for something else to make a movie about. My camera can take several seconds of .avi footage at a time. As much as I love Ken Burns I would like to branch out from the slideshow experience. I wonder if you could fit enough slides into the slideshow and have them change quickly enough to do 30-second or so animation pieces.

Great, I really had this expansive void of time that needed to be filled with another hobby.

Don't let the fact that I'm typing this fool you, I'm approaching semi-vegetative. Better rest up since I'll need to be one of the charming hostesses for the party tomorrow night. Among my duties is the calling of the winning raffle numbers (and pushing the button on the DVD player to show my "movie" a couple times during the evening). Tomorrow, Chico; the day after tomorrow, Sundance.

plot thickens

This is an issue that's hard to feel until it kicks you or someone you know in the teeth, but since more and more people are being kicked in the teeth, maybe it's not so hard. I'm talking 'bout the health insurance industry, having recently spent 7 - 8 hours in a conference on medical debt. I have a goodly number of elderly clients who are or have been dragged through collections because they couldn't pay their medical bills. Having some kind of insurance is not necessarily always helpful either. I learned about something that hospitals have called a Chargemaster. This is the list of the highest most detached-from-any-reality prices that they have made up for any given procedure. It is different from the actual "Cost" which is the amount the hospital has negotiated with various insurance companies and government safety net programs, the amount the hospital will actually be paid for the procedure. The "charges" have skyrocketed since the 90's with no relationship to anything other than that hospitals figured out they could gouge the government for procedures that are reimbursed at a percentage of the "charge"--for example, wouldn't you rather have 80% of $100,000.00 than 80% of $10,000.00?

California recently passed (takes effect in January) some better protection for consumers including self-paying consumers...the hospital can't charge lower income uninsured people an amount greater than the Medicare, Medi-Cal, or workers' comp rate, along with some brakes on the collections process.

So that's good. But health insurance as a for-profit industry is hurting and / or killing people and small businesses and nonprofits. My nonprofit org has been scrambling to figure out how to deal with yet another 30 - 40% hike in premiums this year. Last year they dealt with it by giving us a $2,500 deductible. One proposal this year is to have us start paying full price for office visits (currently we have a $30 co-pay). Seems like that would really discourage anyone from going in for preventive care. Thanks, I'll just wait until I'm pretty sure that I'm dying. We pay for this?

It is all about profiting at the expense of public health and security, cutting benefits (maternity care is often one of those items on the insurance companies' chopping block) and increasing the revenues. This can't go on. I think Phillip Morris and Wal-Mart have more integrity at this point than the health insurance industry. At least I can make choices about smoking and shopping but I'm just not empowered enough to perform most surgeries at home. Maybe creative solutions are out there and we're not as helpless as it feels like we are. I don't know where the breaking point will be, maybe campaign financing reforms will have to happen first, but I tell you this is the next big revolution that has to happen.

Also, I think that there is a scene in my novel in which some people appear to set themselves on fire in front of the brand X insurance corporate headquarters. Not really a solution (other than they no longer have to pay premiums and it takes care of any preexisting conditions they may have had), but sort of cathartic to think about. Especially since not a whole lot has been happening in the novel in terms of a storyline.

Monday, November 13, 2006

good morning america, howareya

Since I'm here working on the slideshow (going better, but waiting for some slides to finish rendering yet again), and since the novel writing isn't exactly flowing, I thought I'd mention that we so enjoyed our jaunt up to Westport with the folks (or rather, we enjoyed being there, perhaps more than the process of getting there) that we started saying things out loud such as, "What if we lived in Ukiah?" C asked "What's in Ukiah?" with a tone of genuine curiosity as opposed to a tone of "that is not a funny joke."

Well, the list of things in Ukiah wasn't the longest list, exactly, but at the top was the 1.5 - 2 hr drive to the house in Westport. Also in Ukiah they have a Co-op, an organic brewery, a Buddhist temple, and a bookstore. They have a Legal Services outpost, though another component of the out-loud daydreaming involved what kind of private practice I might like to have and who would be my fabulous, efficient office manager. We still have some equity to build and work to do where we are. But maybe it'll happen some day. On Hwy 20 a few miles west of Willits there is a spot (one of many such spots up there) where we looked out and saw nothing but tree-covered mountains. Based on that view you'd hardly believe the world had any other people in it. Always brings to mind the statement of St. Exupery's Little Prince, looking out over an arid mountain expanse and declaring that the world was altogether dry and pointed.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Of tiny outbursts and their benefit

Perhaps since I'm still not very fast at some things, whenever we change the sheets on the bed and flip the mattress and replace the mattress pad (you don't really want to know how infrequently I would perform any or all of these activities if not for the domesticating effects of my partner) I always, ALWAYS get stuck with the intractable last corner of the mattress pad that is obviously too small for the mattress at that point. Usually I can coax it on before reaching my frustration threshhold.

However today I think I was pushed over the edge by the hours I spent trying to put a slideshow together in iMovie; when I added transitions between the slides so one would smoothly fade into the next, it started making the slides themselves shorter and shorter until they were fractions of seconds in duration. Then going back trying to make the slides longer again resulted in others getting shortened. OK, so I probably don't know what the hell I'm doing, and my poor little PowerBook is stuffed to the gills with music, and this slideshow is supposed to make its public debut at a very fundraising event for Legal Services
(side note: my dad and I discussed the possibility of splicing Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves" into the slideshow soundtrack as it somewhat reflects the attitude of the establishment toward legal aid lawyers, and has a clear fundraising message, i.e. feeling that one must dance, etc for 'the money they'd throw.'

and, thus we see that the mattress pad was obviously the last straw. After at least 4 - 5 attempts to attach my corner, I roared and clenched my teeth and clenched my fists and stomped my feet in a circle. It felt very satisfying to do this. Then C came over and fixed the mattress pad. There is a trick, which she demonstrated, of bending the mattress to your will, and then it is much easier. On the multimedia front, iMovie may have bent me to its will as I'm thinking now that I don't really need transitions between every single slide. No foolishly consistent hobgoblins here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

training hangover

We arrived last night at the house in Westport where my folks had grilled up some Alaskan salmon and sautéed chanterelle mushrooms in garlic butter, and baked potatoes with sour cream, and a couple trays of sushi from the high-end grocery store in Fort Bragg, and some sparkling juice, and it was all good. They said it was part of the ongoing celebration of the old bums getting swept out of of office and the new ones having a crack at it. Unfortunately, though not too surprisingly, the ancient senator Hatch of UT was not dethroned. I think he's been in office since shortly after I was born. Maybe that's why he keeps getting reelected, too many people in UT can't imagine the universe configured in any other way. In Dantés Inferno one of the lower rings of hell was filled with people who had no imagination either. But that is a discussion for another day.

Anyway, ate very well and slept well but woke up feeling like maybe a light-duty truck had run over me while I slept. This is a good sign, clearly it could have been a much larger truck so I'm doing pretty well. The run yesterday was intended to be the last long one before the marathon so I should have ample time to recover. Meanwhile I'm working hard at replenishing those calories I used up yesterday. We stopped at a gas station in Willits last night and I got back in the truck with a Dr. Pepper and a small bag of mini Nutter Butters and a yogurt smoothie, and C suggested maybe I should focus a bit more on nutrition over just stuffing myself with carbs. What did she think the yogurt smoothie was for anyway? I just needed a little something to tide me over until we got to the house and had dinner about an hour later. I said, in my defense, But Dean Karnazes Eats Junk When He's Running and she pointed out that I'm not Dean Karnazes. I knew it wasn't a good argument anyway since he literally eats the junk food WHILE he's actually running all night, since 7-11 is the only place open. He says that at all other times he has a very healthy diet. So the bottom line is that I'll have to come up with a different rationalization. Pass the jalapeno potato chips and the ibuprofen please.

Friday, November 10, 2006

miles 17 & 21

What I can anticipate based on the 21 miler this morning. You've all no doubt heard or experienced "the wall" in its sundry forms; I talked myself through it at mile 17 by thinking of a suitable metaphor this morning. Happens to be a Star Trek metaphor, apologies to folks who are strictly old-school Trek and aren't familiar with this phenomenon. Mile 17 feels like my body is the Starship Enterprise and the top half is the saucer section, which is trying to detach from the bottom half in order to save all the innocent civvies and families with children on board, because the bottom half, though typically the chief propulsion area, either must create a distraction or has already been partly blown up, or both.

I didn't have time to think of a good 21-mile wall metaphor because that was the end, the engines canna take na more cap'n. But I'm sure I'll think of one during the actual marathon and I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

dansez, dansez, dansez-vous

Now here's a band
I could happily follow from town to town. We loved the CD we have, "Hang on Little Tomato" and realize that we've been grossly negligent in not having their first CD "Sympathique." C posted about them, and maybe only didn't mention they are divine to behold because she posted before we went to the show. Almost torture to see them in a venue where I couldn't stand up to dance though. Fortunately we were traveling on foot so I was able to relieve the pressure somewhat by dancing home to the music still in my head. NPR clip from a couple years ago has some good music selections if you need to be introduced.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lapses in judgment

perhaps caused by recent shifts in power, or the loud whooshing sound of defense secretaries resigning, dunno...but one thing I do know is that one minute I pulled up to the gas pump, turned off the engine, thinking I'd just keep listening to the song on my iPod playing through the stereo while I pumped the gas, and the next minute I was standing outside my locked truck.

Not just any gas pump, but the Texaco Food Mart on Grand Ave & 3rd in Oroville. Where I was treated kindly and granted use of the store phone after one of the last remaining payphones in the western U.S. ate my $0.50 (cellphone in the truck), where I was on hold with Better World roadside assistance for 10 minutes while the lady tried to figure out whether Oroville, CA was actually a town with paved roads as well as tow trucks, where about 20 minutes later the tow truck guy came and I confessed my sordid history in the sentence "Last time this happened the guy had to use one of those inflatable things to pry the door open." He replied, "Really? Didn't he have a magic such-and-such?" (or maybe it was a "wonder tool") holding up a benign looking variation on a slim jim, and I said, "well, I guess not," though it looked identical to whatever the guy had tried to use 6 months ago when we were at Donner Memorial State Park. I guess in Oroville they really know how to handle a slim jim or whatever this particular tool was called. I only wish that when you call, say every 6 months or so, for roadside assistance to get you back into your vehicle, they could drive something slightly more discrete than a bright yellow flatbed tow truck with flashing orange lights to help you.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"good samaritan" from the Upper East Side

A pro Kenyan runner dropped out of the race with stomach problems, got lost and was freezing in his skimpy running outfit until someone felt brave enough to actually help him. Having spent a little time in the City and having been inspired by the NYC Marathon even though I've never participated in it, and feeling a little biased against the entire Upper East Side the dwellingplace of people who have way too much money for their own good, this NY Times story (note: an ad may pop up when you click, just click "skip this ad" in the upper right corner--if you click on the ad, you might get lost and have to be rescued by the nice lady in the picture) is the kind of news I wish we got a little more often. I think it is helpful, even transformative, to be reminded of our capacity for kindness.

Monday, November 06, 2006

all fun and games until age 35

When I got to work this morning the secretary paged me and said Congratulations! I left the race yesterday before the times were sorted out and apparently I placed first in my age group (the 30 - 34 year old women). Slight discrepancy between what I saw on the clock as I passed it and the official posted time, but I'm not going to quibble about those 3 seconds (maybe I hesitated right at the finish without realizing it?). The results were in the Chico Enterprise-Record. However it looks like starting next year and possibly for the next 15 or so, the glory will be a lot harder to come by unless I can knock a couple more minutes off my time. Meanwhile I am basking, in case you hadn't already sensed that I'm somewhat pleased with myself, in the new and strange idea that I'm kind of FAST.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

10K PR, 0:47:37

A fast, familiar course through the park at the annual Almond Bowl 10K this morning. Just checked last year's post on the race and I improved by almost 3 1/2 minutes from last year's 0:51:00. Some women from the Sports Club women's triathlon / running group were there; I haven't been training with the group because participation is not free, and you still have to pay entry fees for any & all events on top of that, and they work out at times when I'm not so inclined to be working out. But, there are some awesome 40 & 50 (and even 60)-something athletes in the group; if I were more motivated and weren't spending any last bits of disposable income at the hardware store, then no doubt I would really learn to fly if I stuck with their group.

Anyway, I finished ahead of them today (at least the women I recognized) so I don't feel like I'm too disadvantaged in the running department. No way would I be able to keep up with those 40 & 50-year-olds on a bike though. One of the times (er, the only time) I did that Wednesday night bike ride last summer I caught them because somebody had a flat and everybody had stopped to show support. Seeing that matters were well in hand as I rode by, I started pedalling as fast as I could to make the most of the opportunity but most of them still passed me a few minutes later.

I did some research on marathon time predictions based on 10K results and it looks like I'm in range to finish in 4 hours or less. One month from today I'll be recovering from that effort, gobbling special marathon recovery foods such as "E.R.T." which stands for Enchilada, Relleno and Taco with a side of rice and beans. Or maybe a mushroom cheeseburger with garlic fries and a chocolate shake would work. Or maybe all the above. Recovery is a multi-day process, after all.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

50,000 words by November 30?

I found out today that it is National Novel Writing Month Why not? Maybe I could bring a tape recorder on my training runs for the marathon and dictate my draft (ok, not very likely). Starting today I would have to write almost 2,000 words a day to reach 50,000 by the deadline. Huh. Well, sounds a heck of a lot easier than running 100 miles through Death Valley in July. What Would Dean Karnazes Do?

I really like the "NaNoWriMo" logo though...a runner with a big javelin-like pencil. It sort of all fits together. I learned of this indirectly from our friend 'Stine of Seattle who sent a link to a perhaps more realistic option, National Blog Posting Month, wherein one makes daily blog postings. I don't know, the speed and volume of the novel thing would force me to throw perceived quality to the wind which is probably the only way such a project would ever get started. A very bad, messy 50000-word attempt at a novel would be not so different from some of the marathons I have participated in. As my violin teacher told me once when I had bumped into the wall of mediocrity and was trying to decide whether I wanted to commit to climbing over it, "Just think about all the people in the world who can't play the violin at all." Soon after that I took up the guitar instead. But I digress.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

the holiday spirit gum

Just trying to change the dress-down legal services culture, at least for one day out of the year. Due to the glue used to attach the facial hair I was not able to smile but a clenched jaw seemed right for the character, and I could still talk on the phone without any problem, so I was able to tolerate it until we went out to dinner that evening and I was trying to eat a Reuben sandwich. At that point the very small dainty bites I had to take definitely didn't seem right for either the character or my actual personality so I gave up on the glued-on 'stache and drew it on with the eyebrow pencil for the rest of the night. Maybe not as lifelike but far more comfortable.