Monday, October 30, 2006

Whoopee Cushions and General Madness

NaNoWriMo kicks off on Wednesday. The 7th Annual Day of the Dead show happens a week from Saturday. What the hell was I thinking?!!

I spent the weekend scouring the internet for sound clips, shopping for sound effect toys - including a whoopee cushion & a cap gun/shotgun, gathering supplies for the ofrenda*, making flyers amidst great amounts of cursing, cleaning the studio (and my oven!!!), and as an extra bonus, plotting my NaNoWriMo novel. Yeppers. I have lost a ton of sleep and most of my hair, and it ain't even close to being over. Did I mention that the hubster, who normally handles most of this crap is going to be in Tucson until the end of the week? No? Well, he is. Now I gotta go put together the playlist for the cd going to the VIP guests at the show & cut down some quarter sheet flyers before I make dinner. And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine. A nice brie with fresh fruit would be lovely...

*An ofrenda is an altar for deceased loved ones. I'll go into this more in a later post for those of you who aren't familiar with El Dia de los Muertos...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mad Cows

While searching for animal sounds to make a composite barnyard animal sound effect, I came across this. Somebody was having a leetle too much fun...

Back to frantic running about to get ready for Day of the Dead, but before I go...
Mindy is a big whiney baby when she feels she isn't getting enough attention, so please visit her blog and offer up any dream interpretations you think of. The sillier, the better. Happy now, Madame Ginsu Tongue?! Sheesh.

And many thanks to the Crabby Cows for the shout out. Much appreciated.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!"

As in "time? I ain't got not stinkin' time." And I really don't, so here are a few cool places to go if you're doing the ol' clicky-clicky this weekend.

Edward Registrato has some cool new photos up here. Then again, his blog is just chock full o' great photos and interesting photo techniques.

Wanna read a bio on Kom Eddy Kat, slated to make his big-time debut at this year's Day of the Dead Dinner Show? Well check it out here.

Dink always has something fascinating to talk about, as do Granny J and Arizona Babylon.

This weeks nasty food and beverage award goes to Dana Bunion. You'll have to see it to believe it. Those damn L.A. people are just sick, sick, sick. And a lot of fun. Go figure.

On the non-food sick-o L.A. front, check out L.A. Noir. I can never figure out whether to laugh or cry and often find myself doing both when I read these painfully true crime accounts.

In keeping with the noir/halloweenie vibe(okay, a halloween hot dog ain't that noir), check out Anne Frasier's gorgeous cemetery photos (no, really, I mean it) here and here. Her blog's just cool in general.

There are lots of other cools places that I'm too tired to remember off-hand. So poke around and go visiting the other people hanging out on the blog-o-sphere today. We've got some amazing folks here! Besides, I've got a champagne hangover and a helluva lot of stuff to do, and I'm just no fun this weekend. So, y'know, go play.

*FYI, Andrew did NOT get a hairdryer. I'm holding off until the REALLY BIG NEWS comes. So give me another 6 months to a year and then he can have his stupid hairdryer (sans 80's hairstyle, though).

Thursday, October 26, 2006

How Soon Is Now?

Much running about to be done today - the Day of the Dead Show is just around the corner & I've got a ton of stuff to take care of. Most of that stuff is just the boring crap like running to the print shop to pick up the tickets, posters & flyers. Followed by phone calls, cleaning out the studio (I went there today and it's pretty messy...boys don't like to clean up after themselves!). The rest of my errands are of the oh-god-we-still-need-to-eat-gotta-grocery-shop variety. Somewhere in the mess I MUST get the flippin' outline done. Characters are good. Premise and setting are good, but dammit, I need outline done or NaNoWriMo is going to be above and beyond the insanity I can tolerate. My life is so glamorous.

On the plus side, the hubster is back from Tucson and we're gonna have a little Angie gets published for the first time celebration. Andrew wanted to know where his hair dryer was and I had to remind him that it's a short story that's getting published, not Carrie. He still wants one. When I pointed out that he doesn't have enough hair to even use a hair dryer, he informed me that he was more than willing to grow big, bushy 80's hair to justify owning one. Um, eww!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Snoopy Dance Time!

Superduperfab news today - I placed in Spinetingler's Cozy Noir contest! Which means, (drumroll, please) I'll have my very first story published in the Winter 2006 edition of Spinetingler.

How freakin' cool is that? Well, I'll tell you. It's pretty damn cool. This marks a series of firsts for me. First piece of fiction longer than a flash that I've completed, first short story written, first contest entered, first publication cred, first monies earned by my writing. Yowza! But wait! There's more! I'm also the totally stoked winner of a copy of Duane Swierczynski's The Wheelman and an ARC of his new book The Blonde.

The hubster just pointed out that I forgot to mention the title of my short story. So, for those of you who wanna know, look for Big Pussy Gets Whacked in the Winter issue of Spinetingler.

If this isn't cause for the Happy Dance, then I don't know what is. So in that vein, here's the awesome original OK Go video. I just love these guys!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stylin' Obits


'What will your obituary say?' at
I blatantly stole this idea from Dana's blog. It's kinda funny because I've been thinking about obituaries lately. No, no, my writing dilemmas haven't sent me over the edge (yet). It's just that every year for the Day of the Dead Dinner Show program, Christian comes up with bizarre obits for all the Coyote members. He & Andrew think it's morbidly funny to come up with new ways to kill us all off. One year I committed suicide as my final project at the Sylvia Plath School of Poetry. Last year my obit read thusly: "Angie Johnson-Schmit has recently been voted 'High Priestess of the Damned' and spends her spare time raising an army of the undead with which to take over the planet." The obit writer (aka Christian H. Smith, comic genius) went on to wish me luck in my venture. Unfortunately, Bruce Campbell put an end to my plan for world domination. I'm still waiting to find out how I died this year. I'll let ya know when I do. Hopefully Bruce won't be around to interfere this time.

Friday, October 20, 2006

From the Junk Drawer

I'm not suggesting that I'm writing about junk here - just a lil' o' this and a lil' o' that. And no, this is not actually one of my junk drawers. Although I admit to having more than one, I'm not quite willing to put photographic evidence of my pack-rattery on the web.

First of all, those naughty Bunion ladies are at it again. E. Ann Bardawill's "The Miracle Manilow" is not to be missed. I'd never imagined myself as a bookie with an abacus, but in an infinite universe...

The cantankerous Maisie McAllister has posted the conclusion to her rant on "Historical Blindness" over at the Day of the Dead blog. Worth checking out if you like that sort of thing. On a side note, I'm hoping to put up the Day of the Dead show after the event. Since it will be a live recording & there's no way to know what will happen in terms of sound & recording, I'm not promising, though.

I'm still not sure what I feel about this, but I've signed up for NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month for those of you who have no idea what the hell I'm talking about). Mostly I'm just hoping the structure will help me get off my ass. I'm not even sure what to expect, but I'm gonna give it a shot. 50k in 30 days...sounds like a recipe for a lot of crap writing, but if it helps me get half-way through the first draft, so be it.

Still waiting on Kim (fab artist of this year's t-shirt design) to get me a photo and final bio. I do know she's been working on getting her website up and running. You can see the start of it here. Not much to look at yet, but her Four Flowers mandala is pretty awesome - click on it to see a bigger image.

And that's all from today's edition of The Junk Drawer today. I've got to go make sure the Bunions stay out of the liquor cabinet at least until after 5pm. I dunno...if Bardawill's any indication, it's not looking good.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Invisible Blog

Damn you blogger!!! Your evil computer science geeks turned my blog INVISIBLE!!! Okay. Probably not deserving of the freak-out I had about it, but disconcerting nonetheless. I love the freebie-ness of blogger. I loathe the constant and less than charming quirkiness, though. You know what I'm talkin' about. Inability to post comments or photos, super-duper-stupid slow uploads at random intervals, and oh, yeah. RANDOM INVISIBILITY!!!

Um, did I mention that I managed to spill most of the mocha my sweetie brought me this morning? All over my f*#%!n' cream colored sheets? Good morning, now hustle your ass out of bed, rip off the sheets and race them to the bathroom to rinse out the coffee before it STAINS. Shit. My husband has promised to only bring me beverages in bed in sippy cups from this day forward. So forgive me if I'm more than a little harumph-esque this fine Thursday morning.

Good ol' Maisie McAllister has an informative post up over at The Day of the Dead Dinner Show. Some interesting stuff about Crest Top's history and the town's similiarities (or lack thereof) to Prescott, AZ. I think dear Maisie is just getting warmed up for her appearance in "The Devil's Apprentice" at Coyote Radio's upcoming show.

In other local news, Granny J. points her readers to Edward Registrato's truly spectacular photo blog, Vision in Time. I have to say that these are some of the best photos I've seen anywhere - you MUST check out the Night Views and Landscapes gallery and Coyote Safari. Yes, yes, I have a thing for coyotes, but these photos are just splendiferously awesome.

And now I've got to go do some laundry before the chocolate & espresso manages to permanently set in my sheets. Dammit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Illin' with the Coyotes

Been a little under the weather, but I'm hoping the copious quantities of vitamin C, echinacea tea, and plain ol' water will kick this bug's butt. So not much of interest going on. Unless you count scratchy throat and lack of energy as interesting. In which case, I suggest you get a life, stat.

About the only thing that was truly cool this weekend was Coyote Radio Theater's first rehearsal/read-through of the scripts for the Day of the Dead show. (Just a warning - totally goofy/scary photo of the hubster on the Day of the Dead blog.) Most of the scripts worked really well, and I'm starting to get excited about the show. Nervous, yes. Lots of work to do. But excited, 'cause Christian and Andrew have written some very funny shit.

The main piece is a three-parter called "War of the Squirrels." It features (you guessed it) super-smart, mutant evil squirrels who stage a take-over of the fictional town of Crest Top, AZ. The key to the success of their invasion is convincing the Arizona Shakespeare Society to break into the local bank (seeking to fund the visionary performance of Hamlet on the Hindenberg). Um, yeah. And comedy ensues.

Some of the other pieces include "Komeddy Kat," featuring a feline stand-up comedian about to debut on the Jade Lennoman show, and "The Devil's Apprentice," an historical tall tale also set in Crest Top, AZ. A few shorter pieces include "The Apocalypse Update" (title is self-explanatory, yes?) and "A.L.C.C.A" (After Life Credit Counseling Agency) a sketch based on the idea that it's not your good deeds that gets you into heaven, but your credit rating.

So I'm kinda excited. I get to do some interesting voices - a hyper hairless chihuahua, St. Patricia (patron saint of angry, dateless women who is filling in for St. Peter at the Pearly Gates), Katherine Kingsley of the Heritage Fundamental News Network, a cowgirl, and the host of radio show 'Creation Science Friday,' Myra Plato. Whew! So, yeah. That's been about it for me. Kinda sick, practicing funny voices, and late night ironing. That's been my life for the past 3 or 4 days. In case you were wondering...

Friday, October 13, 2006

I love YouTube

I freakin' love YouTube.
Here are 2 of my favorite short vids for the Romanian pop song "Dragostea Din Tei" aka the Numa Numa song. Here's a translation of the lyrics (courtesy of one of the comments section in one of the videos):

Hello [on a cellphone], greetings, it's me, an outlaw,
I ask you, my love, to accept happiness.
Hello, hello, it's me, Picasso,
I sent you a beep [cellphone signal], and I'm brave [or strong],
But you should know that I'm not asking for anything from you.
You want to leave but you don't want don't want to take me, don't want don't want to take me, don't want don't want don't want to take me.
Your face and the love from the linden trees,
And I remember your eyes.

Check out Numa Jesus

and my personal favorite

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I went to Flagstaff yesterday and had the rare treat of hanging out in not one, but two different coffee shops where I didn't know a single soul. Most of the time I love running into people I know and chatting, but sometimes it's nice to be completely and utterly anonymous.

The hubster and I had breakfast (yummy homemade quiche for me & a breakfast burrito for him) at Macy's way, way early in the a.m. A little later on I headed over to The Campus Coffee Bean, where I spent almost two hours in solitary bliss scribbling away long-hand. Dear god I delete (scratch out!) almost as much as I leave on the page. At least with the computer I don't have to see all those scribbled out sections. On the other hand, I have evidence of all the work instead of thinking "crap! I've written for hours and only have a page and a half to show!" Now I can say "crap! I've written for hours and have ten pages to show, but only a page and a half that are usable!" Ah, joys of hyper-caffeination...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Artists and Writers (of all kinds)

Been a bit discombulated lately. Nothing horrible, just having focus problems. Like...I've got 3 wips and can't decide which one to work on. Mainly because nothing is really kicking my ass and demanding attention in terms of "ooh! write me! no, no, write me!" The only things demanding attention (and an ass-whuppin') are the spiders. It's that time of year. You know, the time when all the damn creepy crawlies decide that it would be much more comfy to spend the winter someplace warm and cozy. Like my house. My husband insists the critters are just trying to encourage and inspire my writing a la Charlotte's Web. Yeah, he's Mr. Bright Side. I wouldn't mind, but the little bastards ALWAYS seem to find me and bite me. Usually when I'm asleep. So it's spider smacking season again. Like I said, nothing truly horrible. Just really flippin' annoying. So I'm not gonna talk about that whiney spiders-are-invading-my-home-and-the-writing-is-sucktastic crap.

Nope. Instead, I'm thinking about artists and writers. Mostly I'm thinking how grateful I am for their existence. These are the people who create art, books, poems, and performances that (not to get all Mushy-Marsha Marshmallow here) open my mind and feed my soul. Mr. Bright Side wrote a great post about why the comedy writer and the poet should be friends. I thought he made some pretty good points, although he took a while to get there (sorry, dude). And then there are folks like this cranky, lefty desert-dwelling artist who write well and take the most incredible images from nature. I double-dawg dare you to look at his photos and tell me your heart doesn't expand just a little. Um, except for maybe the photo of the guy at the political rally holding a poster that says "Bush the Lying Turd." Hey, I said he was a cranky lefty. But keep scrolling and you'll see what I mean.

Then there are artists like Juanita Hull (her paintings are cool, but her sculptures are what I adore) and her husband, metal artist Royce Carlson - his welded steel gates are amazing. I'm also a fan of Granny J's. She takes beautiful photos of art and nature & other cool stuff in Prescott - I really like her style. In the performance arena, I've made no secret of my love for Tucson-based fire artists Flam Chen, or for the stilt-astic theatrics of The Carpetbag Brigade (miss you guys & wish you'd come back to Prescott for a visit soon!).

I'm not even touching on folks like Arizona Classical Theater, the good folks at The Raven Cafe who bring in so many cool bands and musicians, or the tons of local musicians. And I guess that's the theme here. These are all people who do the life thing AND the art thing. And best of all, I've gotten to experience ALL of these artists, poets, performers, and writers in my little mountain town. Most of them still live here. I don't have anything really deep and/or meaningful to say here...just extending my gratitude and an invitation to those of you who want a break from the yuck/doldrums that everyday life can sometimes bring. Check these cool people out, and then take a minute to see who's lurking in your community. You might be surprised. Okay, okay, if you live in NYC or LA (what's up with the whole initial thing, anyway?) it might not be such a big deal. But today, in my corner of northern AZ, I'm happy to know I'm breathing the same air as some truly amazing folks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vacuums, Vagaries & Violence

Ethel was busy, so she sent her (slightly better dressed) evil step-sister, Hattie over. Don't let Hattie's apparent joie de vie fool you, though. A black and sinister soul lurks beneath that smiling-while-dancing-with-a-vacuum mod/hipster facade.

Hattie doesn't mind that I'm writing. Au contrair! She thinks it's a fabulous hobby, wonderful fodder for the cocktail party scene. But Hattie thinks I should really wash those dishes first. Cluttered sink, cluttered mind and all that. And oh my, the bathtub certainly could use a good scrubbing - maybe let those cute little scrubbing bubbles work so you don't have to! She doesn't seem to understand that those little scrubbies have gone the way of Mr. Whipple. Or that I don't give a flying rootie tootie about the soap scum today.

Aargh! I'd shove her into the refrigerator, but she'd just point out that I need to clean out my veggie bin. Bitch. I think I'll unplug the phone (sorry, not available for coffee and/or conversation today) and lock up all the cleaning supplies. Take that, oh evil mistress of cleaning doom...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The-Force-of-Nature Strikes Again

Amazing how much I missed out on with a mere week away from the web. For one thing, I totally missed out on the Crapometer...AGAIN!!! Not to mention that Miss Ginsu Tongue The-Force-Of-Nature M.G. Tarquini was referenced over at Miss Snark's Snarkania Quiz. Check out question #3 and you'll see what I'm talking about. And, of course, Spinetingler got a shout out as the answer to said question #3. I LOVE it when writers & mags I dig get some props!

And here I am, moaning and groaning over my recalcitrant brain's insistance on remaining on vacation. I DID write yesterday, but ended up deleting all but the first 4 sentences of the three pages I wrote. Suckosity in the extreme. Must resume grumbling over the keyboard in a more productive manner.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Coyote Radio's Day of the Dead Dinner Show

Yep, I've been a bad, bad blogger. Honestly, I needed to take some time to chill. I'm glad I did. My little OCD brain required some down time and taking a break from all things techie really helped. Also, I've had massive headaches all week. There's been a prescribed burn just up the mountain from my house - 100 acres a day for five days - and I just found out they're burning another 2 to 4 days west of Prescott. Yuck. I know the forest needs it. I'm glad to be able to live in the mountains and worry just a little less about a major forest fire next year, but the smoke is killing my sinuses. Wah!

Lots of good stuff going on, though. One of the best (and most time consuming) projects is Coyote Radio Theater's annual Day of the Dead Dinner Show. We're going back to the Smoki Museum for this year's show - kind of fitting as we did our first three Day of the Dead shows there. Two local chefs will be cooking for us - Miguel and Tony from The Raven Cafe. Should be a cool event with good food, some mordida music, a poem or two and then a radio theater performance - "The War of the Squirrels" as the centerpiece plus a few shorts & GlobeCo product commercials. For more blah, blah on the event & to keep up with things as they develop, check out the Day of the Dead Dinner Show blog I set up for the guys.

My dear friend Kim did the artwork for this year's t-shirt. I think it looks extra super-cool-and-groovy and am really pleased with the whole shebang. She totally rocks, and if she ever gets off her butt and sends me a bio & website info, I'll post it here. Kim's a truly talented artist chick & we were lucky to have her work with Coyote this year.

Been grooving to The Replacements. It's weird how music is often connected to specific times in my life. This particular album kept me company during a very odd and difficult one. Not the happiest time, but these songs kept me sane & occasionally even happy. Nice to have them again. Thanks a bajillion, Anne!!!

Speaking of Anne, I read Pale Immortal last week. Dear god, that book's not a page-turner, it's a page-ripper! I haven't raced through a novel like that since Neil Gaimon's American Gods. Characters, story, pace - all really, really good. Weirdly enough, it was the little things that made me fall in love with the book & force myself to slow down. You know, stuff like...high school kids learning how to knit, the bits of musical name-dropping, description of the local diner. She writes teenaged kids pretty damn well. You can check out the Pale Immortal link above for a sneak preview of the first 2 chapters, book trailer, extra stuff...

For all of those writerly folks who went to B'Con...well, I'm still green with envy, but glad to hear that so many of you had a good time. And for those of you in the blogosphere who have been living under a rock & haven't seen/heard/read about the cool new stuff going on over at The Killer Year, go check them out. Also take a few minutes and check out their blog. Writing (as we've all heard too many times before) is a solitary process. But when debut writers band together, it makes my little solitary heart go pitter patter. Yes, yes. It makes good business sense. The coolest thing, though, is that writers are pulling together to support each other. Then ITW got on board, and it's taken Killer Year to the next level.

And now it's time for me to do the thing I haven't done in over a week. Yep, not only did I not do the blog thing, I didn't touch the writing. And I'm really excited about diving back in. If I'm not around the blogworld as much as usual, just know it's because I'm back to the writing thing AND I've got a shitload of stuff to do to get ready for the Day of the Dead show. You know, rehearsals, tickets, t-shirts, decorations, ofrenda, etc. I swear I'm not carving 12 pumpkin centerpieces this year...just don't even ask. This is our 7th year (I think), and while I've learned a lot about how to make the event run relatively smoothly, I know it's going to be stupid busy. So that's it from this lazy artist/writer lady. Wishing you all (and me too!) happy writing!!!