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So even though I missed a few days, my self-imposed challenge to blog every day for two weeks has been a success – between Sept. 16 and Sept. 30 I posted 14 times.

Best day for traffic was Sept. 21, when I published The View From the Council Chamber. New readers, however, soon realized that they could expect little in the way of political commentary and a lot in the way of knitting, dogs, self-centred musings about pregnancy, and other things of interest mainly to me and me alone, and so did not stick around.

Anyway, I fully intended to post yesterday and the day before, but Friday I was engaged on Important Adult Business and forgot, and yesterday I came rather dramatically down with a cold. Seriously, I was feverish, dizzy, seeing starbursts, and generally feeling very ill. If I had posted yesterday I imagine it would have been very Lovecraft-y and incoherent. Fortunately I followed my midwife’s advice – “If you feel unwell, see if it goes away after food, water, and rest; if not, call me” – and am much better. I still feel very scattered, though, as some siding for the refinished back room arrived and is currently taking up half the living room, and that plus two days of neglect have caused a sort of clutter explosion that I’m not up to dealing with yet. I find myself making detailed plans out loud about very basic things – “OK, I’ll put the sheets in the wash now and take them to the laundry to dry when the stock pot is on for dinner” – confusing Madeline a good deal.

But on the positive, my replacement DealExtreme tablet arrived on Friday, so at least I’ve been able to make snide blog comments while lying in bed with a fever.

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I considered writing a post called “The Sexual Politics of White Christmas”, but those things always come off better in my head than on paper or out loud, so no. As always, getting a little out of your comfort zone is always creatively fruitful, and for the past few days I’ve been doing things I don’t normally do – watching TV, watching Star Wars movies, hanging out in the country with intermittent Internet access, taking videos of my dogs chasing balls over endless fields, etc.

Novelty gives you ideas is because new experiences cause new reactions. Even if the experience is mundane and dull the reaction – before the novelty wears off and the stimulus becomes normal – is something interesting. And today I did something I haven’t done in a long time: I re-read a book I’ve read many times before, Bill Bryson’s Notes From a Big Country.

More personal ramblings after the jump.
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Remember how I’ve been mulling over giving up on trying to break into the opera world and building up my own thing?

I’m on it. So much so that I’ve started a new blog just to talk about it.

Plan C: The Blog
is where I’ll be talking about my new ideas, posting works in progress, asking for feedback on what I’m working on. I’m planning on posting there about twice a week (I’m planning on posting here every day again as well).

I haven’t posted much yet, just a general discussion about why I’m doing this, but I’ll post links when I put up new stuff. But don’t worry, I plan to keep this blog just as frivolous and time-wasting as it is now.

For example, did you know that you can buy a Hello Kitty toaster?

I won’t post anything more, but if you’re bored, google “unusual hello kitty merchandise” and you’ll find some weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird stuff.

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People, we need to increase the traffic around here.  It’s pathetic.  Since the “be really good and attract an audience through your writing, consistency of posting, and original thought” route is obviously off the table, I’m going to go with the “throw out a list of inflammatory statements and/or buzzwords and hope for the best”.

Come to think of it, I might as well throw them all out at once.  The flame war of all against all:

– GUN CONTROL!  BAN HANDGUNS NOW!
– Orly Taitz
– Anything about HIV (this can be from the “God is punishing teh gayz” or from the “HIV doesn’t exist/isn’t really a problem/was created by the Illuminati in a lab and is being spread via vaccines to control us all” angle – up to you)
– “My grandfather wasn’t a monkey!  Genesis IS Science!”
– Women are people and have the same rights to bodily integrity, personal self-determination, and respect as men do.  Discuss.
– Children NEED to be spanked.  Spare the rod, spoil the child.
– Male circumcision*: for or against?
– Anything about animal rights (OMG you bought a dog that is EXACTLY like buying a slave whaaagarrble)
– Grammar: kids today, wont use apostrophes!
– “Pat Buchanan isn’t a racist – OBAMA is the reeeeeeeaal racist!”**

Quality trolling only, please.

*UNBELIEVABLE flame bait.  I know this from personal experience.
**You think that’s a joke, but I believe Glenn Beck has said pretty much exactly that.

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It passed unnoticed.  I forgot entirely.  It was on July 27, 2008 that I started this blog.  I’m not going to go all sentimental and write “What I’ve learned from blogging” or anything like that, but I thought I should note it nevertheless.

So I will invent a self-indulgent blog meme.

Search the following words on your blog:
– plural
– pride
– goo
– basset hound
– excellent

Pick one random sentence from one of the posts dredged up by the keywords, and link it back to the original post.

Then you should tag people, but I probably won’t do that.

Here we go:

Plural:

…when you try a creepy line on a woman and she turns you down, it isn’t necessarily because she’s a cold-hearted bitch… (link)

Pride:

He doesn’t understand birthdays, of course, and has celebrated his mainly by sleeping through it… (link)

Goo:

…taking peoples’ booze away in this situation is just asking for revolution… (link)

Basset Hound:

Tags which actively decrease blog traffic: aww, criticism, jesus, lazy, meta, opera –
market research is *EVERYTHING*. (link)

Excellent:

…if they do strike…moonshine may be the only way…(link)

OK, enough, enough.  If anyone is still reading this, let me be mushy for a moment and thank you for allowing me to become part of your brain for just a little while.  It’s been fun.  Not that I’m stopping or anything – I plan on continuing to blog until telepathy evolves.

Onwards.

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I’ve been tagged!  Thanks to Jack Sender.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT OBSESSION?

Hmm.  Podcasts.  I listened to all 33 episodes of “Evo at 11” last week, for example.

DO YOU NAP A LOT?

I am almost incapable of napping.  I have to be UNBELIEVABLY exhausted to sleep during the day, like jet-lag or no sleep at all the previous night exhausted.  I am, however, very fond of lying down and doing nothing for long stretches of the day.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU HUGGED?

Person?  My husband.  Creature?  My dog Gus.  He likes to be hugged.

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

I’m not sure – I’m really busy with lessons cancelled because of Easter today, so I might get something on the road.  Or I might wait until after rehearsal and have chicken wings.  I’m not picky.

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU BOUGHT?

Jesus…that would have been on Thurdsay…Pants.  I needed nice pants because I was singing the national anthem at a hockey game and since I’ve lost about twenty pounds since Christmas none of my clothes fit me.  It’s either pants or alcohol.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

Right now?  The audio podcast of “Democracy Now”.

I told you I was obsessed with podcasts.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEATHER?

I like the fall, when it’s about twelve degrees and overcast and you can smell winter coming.  I also like the very beginning of spring when the air is still crisp and the little purple crocuses start to come up.  I don’t like very hot or very cold weather.

WHAT’S ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE?

My nightguard.  A copy of Cloud Atlas.  I think the EEE is on it right now, though I haven’t used it in a week or so.  Ummm…probably some earrings.  At night, a water bottle.

SAY SOMETHING TO THE PERSON WHO TAGGED YOU:

How do you manage to keep four blogs up to date??????????

IF YOU COULD HAVE A HOUSE TOTALLY PAID FOR, FULLY FURNISHED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU WANT IT TO BE?

Ooo, good question.  New York, but about forty years ago.  Or maybe Paris.

FAVOURITE VACATION SPOT?

I have been on a total of four vacations as an adult; I would have to say Germany, because that’s where two of them were, so I must like it.  Nice biking trails and cheap beer.  What else do you need?

NAME THE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.

Sleep.  Leisure.  Music.  Dogs.  Carbs.  I would say alcohol, but I have successfully lived without it in the past and will do so again.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE IN YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW?

A letter of offer for me to sing Zerbinetta with a major opera company.  Or a small one.  Or Ariadne Auf Naxos – On Ice!.  Again, I’m not picky.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TEA FLAVOR?

I’m more of a coffee person, but there’s a really nice almond tea Celestial seasonings puts out.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET RID OF?

I’m going to take this two ways: personally, about ten pounds and a penchant for laziness; globally, unthinking wastefulness and overconsumption.
IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOR THE NEXT HOUR, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

Back to bed?

No, seriously, I would say a little coffee shop in New York.  It’s just off the Bowery, around the corner from a little hostel I stay in when I go there, on a beautiful little Noho street.  It’s cheap and the wireless is free, and in the summer you might see Natalie Portman pass by, going shopping.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BECOME AS A CHILD?

In this order: a paleontologist, an actress, a mystery novelist, a concert pianist, an opera singer.  Still working on the last one.

WHAT DO YOU MISS?

I miss the sense of time lasting forever that children have – that long summer days felt like they’d never end.  Now I feel like time is constantly slipping away from me.  I also miss not having to support myself financially, but oh well.

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?

I just finished a truly awful mystery novel by Linda Fairstein and haven’t started a new book yet.  I should really go back to Cloud Atlas.

WHAT DO YOU FEAR THE MOST? (Andrea’s question)

I have lots of fairly petty fears – food poisoning, sudden death, bankruptcy, being wrongfully arrested for a crime I didn’t commit, social humiliation – but I think my biggest fear is that I’ll never achieve what I want to achieve in life, never reach my full potential.  That’s what keeps me going and makes me stretch myself and do things that make me uncomfortable, but that I need to do to do the things I want.

FAVORITE MOVIE THIS PAST YEAR? (Joanne’s replaced question)

2008?  Wall-E.  2009?  I actually haven’t seen a new film this year.  Isn’t that unbelievable?  Unless you count Smokey and the Bandit. I watched it on Sunday.  Best film of 1977!
FAVORITE BOOK YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR? (Joanne’s question)

Eminent Victorians.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WERE A WRITER?

Am I writer?  OK, I guess when I was about nine.  I won an award for a poem I wrote about a strike killing another bird.  Really.  It was probably unintentionally hilarious, like everything else I write.

My question: IS IT TIME YET?  No, that’s no good.  IF NOT NOW, WHEN?  No, scratch that.  OK: DO YOU THINK BRAS ARE ACTUALLY NECESSARY, OR JUST THE 20TH/21ST CENTURY VERSION OF THE CORSET?

My answer to that one is “It depends on the size of your boobs.  As I lose weight I lean more to the latter.”

Now let’s see if I can look in my magic mirror and find eight people to meme…

I see Joey Devilla.  I see Justin Beach.  I see Alex Eddington…he doesn’t really blog anymore, but I think he’ll like it.  I need to look at my blogroll…ok, now how about Absolutely Miles Away , Scot, Nathan and Dana, Lirone, and that’s all I’ve got.

Wow, that was a massive meme.

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…does this depress you a little?

Note items 2 and 4 - and 3, come to think of it

Note items 2 and 4 - and 3, come to think of it

Now I have always loved me some lolcats.  And I know it’s Sunday and nothing ever happens on Sunday.  But WordPress is the biggest blog portal in the entire world (or at least the second biggest).  And two sites from the Cheezburger Empire are in the top four??????

This is a crime, and not just because serious things happen in the world all the time.  (I was going to link to a different bad thing with every word in that sentence, but I figured we all know that and I don’t want to bring anyone any more down than they are already.)  It’s also a crime because the loldogs have been slighted once again.

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