Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Confessions of a Rotten Housekeeper

Getting ready to go to Phoenix for ThrillerFest tomorrow, which means scrubbing down the house. Why? So that the friend who so graciously agreed to house & dog sit for us doesn't see what a horribly non-domestically inclined person I am. This further implies forays into the scarier, darker corners of my home.

Hmm...just where did that orange stain in the microwave come from? WTF is that sticky green thing stuck to the refrigerator shelf? Wow, I'd completely forgotten about my secret stash of poptarts - too bad they're three years old. So THAT'S where all of Zuzu's dog hair hides. Ewww, that's a gi-normous dead spider behind the toilet - at least I didn't get bit on the ass while...well, you get the picture (and probably wish you hadn't).

I could make up some lovely B.S. about how I'm busy writing, absent-minded professor, mad genius can't be bothered with the more mundane aspects of life. Unfortunately, it would be just that, B.S. The simple truth of the matter is that I can't stand domestic tasks. Laundry? Well, I've already gone into depth on why I hate doing laundry. Windows? Why bother, the bugs and dirt will be back within the hour. Make my bed? But I'll be getting back in it in another 16 hours or so! Vaccuuming? Too loud, it hurts my ears. Take out the garbage? But then I might have to talk to my cranky neighbor & I don't want him to see me in my p.j.'s. Dust the furniture? But it'll be back in just a few minutes.

Now don't go thinking my house is a complete nasty hovel. I get around to doing most of this stuff, just not, you know, right away. Truthfully, the two rooms that have to be maintained at a reasonable level of cleanliness are the bathroom and the kitchen. I'm hoping the reasons for this are obvious. So if you should make the mistake of coming over to my home unannounced (a major no-no in my personal book of good manners), you can at least count on a clean toilet and food or drink that is safe to consume. 'Cause, you know, a girl's gotta have standards. Whenever I get too down on the state of non-cleanliness of my home, my husband always says something like, "we're not a patch on ...." or "remember when we went to so-and-so's house and you were too grossed out to accept a glass of water?" I feel a little better. Not much, but a little.

The upside to all of this sick-o cleaning is that not only will I have a reasonably clean home for a short while, but it keeps me from obsessing over ThrillerFest. I'm stupid shy and can work up a ragin' anxiety over large crowds of people I don't know doin' the thing I want to be doing (writing & making - sort of at least - a living at it). Just writing about it is making me antsy. Guess it's time to go sweep and mop the kitchen floor before I freak myself out. Again.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Passionate AND Polite?

It's been a hellacious week in the ol' blogosphere. Lots of hot topics, heated exchanges and differences of opinions. I'm all about asking questions and raising issues and engaging in debate. What I'm not so thrilled with is how quickly some of my fellow bloggers resorted to name-calling, leveling unfounded allegations, spamming, and just plain rude behavior. I saw this happen on several blogs and with three or four different topics. I'm not going to list the blogs or the issues, because that's not the point. The point is that there seems to be a trend of poor blog etiquette developing.

What's up with this? Telling someone to shut up because you are frustrated and don't agree with their position on a topic is NOT OKAY. Accusing others of being "industrial butt kissers" because you didn't like how they tried to explain the topic is NOT OKAY. Posting spam on a blog to underscore your disdain for an individual's opinion is NOT OKAY. Resorting to name calling and threats is NOT OKAY. Twisting facts and falsely accusing others of impropriety and then saying it over and over again so that others will believe your lies is NOT OKAY. Accusing someone of attempting to intimidate when they are simply responding to allegations is NOT OKAY. AND TOLERATING THIS BEHAVIOR IS ABSOLUTELY NOT OKAY.

I'm not getting up on a soapbox and pointing fingers here. I've been a total rude-o, and sometimes on purpose. I'm not proud of it. The problem is that while it feels good in the moment, it doesn't usually get me what I'm looking for and it's hurtful to others. When I took a comparative lit. class, I learned this the hard way. There was a debate about whether women are naturally inferior to men and another student (yes, he was a dude) started talking about how men and women were just made differently (genetics argument) and that's how it was. I got pissed off in the middle of the debate (I found his assertions completely outrageous for reasons I won't go into here) and in a fit of self-righteousness said he was "just stupid." After class, my teacher pulled me aside and pointed out that calling people stupid isn't likely to help change minds. He was right. I was deeply embarassed and have never forgotten that experience. I still think the idea that women are inherently inferior to men is stupid, but that doesn't mean I'm going to start calling someone names because I can't keep my temper long enough to present my argument. Besides, that just feeds the stereotype that women are emotional, irrational creatures. I like to think I can balance my emotional and analytical sides.

So what's the thing to do when confronted with rude/out of line behavior? I like to think that most of the time rudeness is unintentional. Pointing out in a polite and reasonable way that someone has been offensive and/or asking for clarification is usually a good first step. And if the ugliness continues? Well, I usually just stop participating in the conflict. Rude-o's look pretty damn stupid if they're spouting off and no one's rising to the bait. Sounds simple, but sometimes it's very, very hard.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. Whew! I feel a lot better now! Here's wishing you all lots of lively and respectful blogging.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fun Stuff & Photos

One of these days I'll have to do a more "writerly" blog entry, but for now I'm all about what inspires me, makes me laugh or is just a great way to kill some time. So welcome to the lazy artist's link-o-rama.

Looking for a daily giggle? Check out Natalie Dee's daily drawings and toothpaste for dinner by her hubby Drew. The two artists also work together on Married to the Sea (which is where I got the Harp Center funny that heads this post). On the naughtier side of things, check out Drew's lego porn. I think the title is self-explanatory. Drop on by. I'm sure everyone will find something offensive and/or hysterically funny at one or all of these sites. These horribly prolific artists put up a new drawing on their respective & collective websites EVERY DAY!! Except for lego porn...but who cares, this officially qualifies them for the lazy artists lounge Overachiever Award.

If you haven't been keeping up with Ask a Ninja, then there's something seriously wrong. No, really. I mean it. When in doubt, ask a ninja. And if you're not satisfied with his answers to your existential questions, then Hope is emo can definitely help you out. Hope is taking on the weight of the words and struggling to make emotional sense of it all. I want to be Hope when I grow up, 'cause she's like deep & shit.

As soon as I figure out how they got posted, I'll get the links up for the Slab City Slam that I recorded a few weeks ago. Also, I finished recording & editing the first chapter of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for Coyote Radio's Bedtime Stories podcast. Again, I've got to figure out how Andrew posted it so I can get the link up.

In the meantime, here are a few photos from this year's Tsunami on the Square. Still waiting on the great and groovy John Seaman to get his much cooler and more professional pics up.

View from The Jersey Lilly's balcony - best seat around for the Art Parade!

Royce Carlson's CadWac Cadillac - a remodeled 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood.

R. Wall and a Mural Mouse at work on a mural painted during the Tsunami festival. R. & the Mural Mice are currently working on a huge mural on the outer wall of The Art Store in downtown Prescott.

A creature from Flam Chen does crowd control before their performance of The Radiance. There were three of these critters on stilts interacting with approx. six other members of the group while The Dambe Project (African Percussion) provided intense drum accompaniment. Flam Chen are currently at Arcosanti finishing up a narrative film called The Fisher's Wish.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Wave in the Desert

This weekend, one of my favorite arts events of the summer is happening. Tsunami on the Square will always hold a special place in my heart because I was there when Jay Ruby of The Carpetbag Brigade started the whole crazy thing back in 1999. He conned my hubby into serving on the first board of directors of TotS, as well as to dress up as one of The Horribles and lead that first parade around the Courthouse Square.

Jay Ruby and Kristen Greco of The Carpetbag Brigade.

Prescott isn't a big town, it's not even a particularly arts oriented town. In fact it tends toward the more, er, conservative side of things. Somehow, though, Tsunami has survived. This year marks the 8th year for the event, and I'm not entirely sure how they've managed to keep it going. Jay's run off to the San Francisco Bay Area with The Carpetbag Brigade, but he left the festival in good hands. He's been gone (and missed!) for three years now, but the wave rolls on.

I love Tsunami because it's kind of like having the circus show up in Mayberry (if Mayberry was in the desert mountains of Arizona). They actually have a Circus Camp set up for the kids prior to the event. The kids who attend get to perform on the main stage the day of Tsunami. There are some new things, like the Art Car parade. My husband will be pulling announcer duties again this year, and I'll be hanging out with him up in the balcony at The Jersey Lilly Saloon. Hey, best seat in town AND I can have a beer while I watch the parade roll by. A new thing is the Art Car that is being raffled off - check out the Aquarolla! I have a feeling I'll be ponying up the cash for my chance to win the great and groovy car!

My favorite part of the festival is Flam Chen's fire show.

The city flipped out the first year - a fire show on the square that famously burnt to the ground way back when? and in the middle of a drought?! Are you freakin' nuts?!!! Well, Flam Chen are pros, all the way. This Tucson-based fire performance group has played internationally, and they are well aware of the dangers of their medium, and what needs to be done to keep it as safe as possible. Needless to say, they won the argument & put on a freakin' AMAZING show. They have become a Tsunami tradition, closing the festival every year. This year, friends from Phoenix are making the trip up to Prescott just for Flam Chen. Like I said, this is my favorite event of the summer, and I think maybe you can see why. If you'd like to see more awesome images from last year's event, check out John Seaman's photo page here.

When I'm sitting here today, staring at the blinking cursor waiting for the words to sort themselves out with the novel, you'll have to forgive me if my mind wanders a bit. Don't worry. I promise I won't run away and join the circus just yet. I've got a novel to finish. But damn, it sure is tempting...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hmmm - What Was I Supposed to Be Doing?

Seems like I've spent the better part of the last week doing pretty much everything but writing. Or at least, not working on the novel. I've done a lot of reading. I've done a lot of thinking. I've done plenty of web crawling, sometimes under the guise of 'research' - though I don't think looking up obscure bands from the early '90's on iTunes really counts, do you? I did a flash fiction piece for the Flash500 game over at Crabby Cows. If you want to check it out, look for Flash500#2. And that was kind of a good thing, 'cause it was a lot of fun and a good learning experience (I'd never done flash fic. before), but it didn't get me any farther along on the damn book. And that's just not okay.

There's been plenty of perfectly valid reasons why I haven't been wading through the draft. Tuesday I started a smoking cessation program (again - wish I didn't like cigarettes so damn much) and the Zyban has turned my head into one giant twitching fuzzball. I currently have the attention span of a gnat and my energy level alternates between super-zippity-doo-dah and sub-sloth. The sad thing is that I haven't even stopped smoking yet (supposed to stop on needs time to build up in the ol' brain). I'm really excited to see what the combo of nicotine withdrawal and Zyban's gonna be like this time around - NOT. And then my husband cracked a root in one of his teeth. He's been cranky and on pain meds since Tuesday. Most people are mellow on pain meds, but he just gets nauseous and pissy. Understandable, but not a lot of fun.

The problem isn't that I don't have good excuses. The problem is that excuses don't mean shit. They aren't going to get the words down, the plot arc completed, the characters fleshed out. I'm 2/3 of the way through the damned thing and it's time to put up or shut up. And here I am, bitching about it on my blog when I should be writing.

So the new plan is this: two hours in the a.m., two hours in the afternoon. Doesn't matter if I write, or I don't. Doesn't matter if it's good, or it's shit, or it's somewhere in between. Doesn't matter how many words I write (really good at playing mind games with myself on this one). Doesn't matter if I sit in front of the computer for the whole two hours staring at the blinking cursor. What DOES matter is that I'll be in place, with nothing else to do but suck it up and spit it out. Okay, that last part didn't quite come out right, but you know what I mean. And that's exactly what I will be doing as

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

M.G. Tarquini Puts World Domination Plan into Effect

Okay, I confess to being a bit of a techno-ninny, but I'm willing to give this html stuff a chance ('cause it's my only real option here...damn you, Blogger!!). So, with fingers crossed, let's see how good I am at following the "simple" instructions for making hyperlinks.

Check it out...Arizona's Ginsu-tongued humorist, M.G. Tarquini, has an awesome short story up at Spinetingler. The word is spreading fast, folks! Even the vivaciously vicious Miss Snark has posted a link to "Domino" here. So what are you waiting for? Go see what all the hype's about! Oh, and while you're there, you can check out my article on the Cornelia Read/Lee Child book signing I attended here, too!

Holy Cannoli! It worked! Thanks a ton to Sandra Ruttan, who took pity on this techno-ninny and rescued my blog from a sad, hyperlink-less existence. Sandra, I think you might have created a hyperlink monster. Guess I should scurry back to the real work, though. Been totally doing other shit today - Hasta Luego!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Random Cow Shit & BSP

My new motto, courtesy of the faboo moo-moo's over at the crabby cows blog. They freakin' rock!!! If you haven't heard about them yet, please take a moment to crawl out from beneath the rock you've been living under & go check them out at

That means now, people!

In other groovy news, the Summer 2006 issue of Spinetingler is up & available for download or online reading. There's an article in there by yours truly about the Cornelia Read/Lee Child book signing I attended a few weeks ago. So after you're done with the crabby cows, check out Spinetingler's short crime fic., reviews, and (near the bottom of the table of contents under the "bonus" heading) my article. You can find it at (Sorry about not having hyperlinks, but I'm still html impaired & haven't taken the time to figure out that shit.)

And that's all I've got for today. The novel's moving forward - just above glacial speed, but at least it's moving. Weirdly enough, I'm having a hard time settling down and getting it out. It's weird because I've got all this energy behind it. Just not loving the focus part. It'll get there. Just gotta get back in the routine!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Ass in Chair

Not planning on putting in much face time on the blogosphere today. Time to put on the Lucinda Williams and get focused on the damn novel. Went to sleep last night turning over potential "what if's" and "why's" and "is that remotely believable's" in my head. This is a good thing. For the past few weeks it's been hard to find time to read, much less think about my own shit. So this zen master of procrastination is putting her ass in the chair, turning up the tunes & tuning out the rest of the world. At least until lunch!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Back to Bidness

It's Double Mocha time!!! Fab coffee mug uncovered in some guy's attic & sold to the good folks at Coffee Roasters. How freakin' 70's can you get?

I envision many caffeine-fueled early morning writing sessions in the near future. As in, starting NOW! Last month had it's moments, but I am so freakin' glad to be back to full-time writing. The whole temp work situation has finally come to an end (insert fireworks & confetti) and I'm finally catching up on all the stuff I had to push to the back burner. Okay, I still have to go do the damn laundry today, and the mound of dirty dishes ain't showing any inclination to wash itself. Still, it's back to Angie-time and that means moving forward with the novel. I am so very, very grateful.

I had a bit of a meltdown a few weeks ago that mainly had to do with the simple fact that I haven't really done fuck-all with the novel since I started working a day job again. I totally lost it, which is a bit embarassing, but the simple truth. I am incredibly lucky to have a super supportive spouse (how's that for a little alliterative magic?) who doesn't think I'm a total wacko. I'm sure all of you artistic types with supportive friends, family members, spouses, lovers, whatever, know what I'm talking about. Just sending out a big blast o' gratitude for everyone, everywhere who gives that smile or hug or word of encouragement to the artist nearest & dearest to their hearts. It's much needed and much appreciated.

And on that sappy note, it's back to figuring out how to catch a killer and make it remotely interesting on the page.