The loving ties that bind

That phrase is from a book I read somewhere once upon a time, after the beginning of high school but before the end of college. I always used to think that it came from Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" series (in particular the final book, "Silver on the Tree"), but no. It doesn't.

I'm having more and more trouble with my writing with every passing week of non-writing (which these days is mostly in the form of posting here; though I've had some successful e-mails lately so at least there's that). It started off with technical issues but now I think it's just inertia. A body of written work at rest tends to stay at rest. And this is a pretty massive body that is completely uninterested in being nudged to action. Which is timely, because now I'm being asked to write more and more for my job.

Partly it's that oft-recurring issue of "why?" Like this. Why am I telling you why I'm having trouble writing? It's not all that interesting: I can't seem to wrap anything up, and nearing the top of my list of pet peeves with published writing is crappy (or nonexistent) endings. Newspapers tend to be the most frequent perpetrators of this crime, and more by chance [1] than anything else (I hope), the New York Times has been seriously annoying me with crap pieces that either don't end well or contain idiotic content.

Anyway. Do you know about the Internet Wayback Machine? It's mostly amazing in that it has mostly recovered mostly everything ever published on the Internet. I was thinking a few days ago about how I first got started reading defective yeti (I still can't remember), and it got me wondering how I ever got started reading all these other sites that I read near-daily to this day, and one of those sites was dooce. And the reason I ever found dooce back in 2004 was because I did a search for something or other and wound up on, which went offline I think in 2005 or 2006, but luckily, the Wayback Machine has proof that I'm not making this up.

I was always a little sad that stella-blue went offline because I really liked her writing, and if I had a way to contact her (I don't think her name was actually stella… if memory serves me correctly, the domain name came from Stella of "A Streetcar Named Desire" fame and the author's favorite color), I would send her a random e-mail thanking her for ever posting in the first place. As it would turn out, because of stella-blue, I found dooce, and because of dooce [2] I found Heather Champ, through whom I found Derek Powazek, and then at CES 2005 when I did promo work with Yahoo! I actually got to meet the latter two, which was a heart-palpitations-and-adrenaline-rush experience I shared three months later with TheNoah when he first IM'd me to tell me he liked my weird little pants piece, and his understanding of my excitement (considering I've never been a Hollywood star-struck type) instantly made me feel more comfortable with him. I would hardly say that TheNoah and I are together now because of events set in motion by stella-blue, but it -is- interesting how life weaves itself together in the most random of patterns.

On an unrelated note, my friend Jason shoots wedding videos for Digs Studio and, inspired by a (very) few others across the nation (possibly the globe, I forget, I kind of tuned out this detail), is revolutionizing the wedding video industry. In that he makes wedding videos that other people will want to watch even when they're complete strangers. I've been watching the one below and it makes me all teary and sentimental every time. If you or someone you know is getting married, I would highly recommend snagging Jason while you can still afford him.

Jenny+Danny from Digs Studio- Jason Roberts on Vimeo.

One of the studios Jason studied with is Stillmotion, based in Canada. My favorite video of theirs so far is a Trash The Dress video, and whereas before I never gave much thought or care to the issue of having a wedding gown, now I want the dress just so I can trash it and have it all on film:

Frances + James TTD – Times Square + Coney Island from StillMotion on Vimeo.

Finally: Whack-a-kitty. Your insides might explode from the cuteness of it all, but it's worth the hours of cleaning up. Really.



[1] I don't read NYT very often, usually only when I click on a link to one of their stories that has either been e-mailed to me from a friend or that I've come across via some other site. And to be fair, I've read some really good pieces from NYT. So I'd like to think that it's just bad luck that the majority of articles I do read happen to ruffle my journalism feathers.

[2] Also very likely because of dooce I am still alive.


I can’t stand the word “blog”, either. I’ve accepted it, but I’ve never been able to warm to it.

I have a ramble in the making that references one of Noah Grey‘s posts, so I thought that in the meantime, I’d spend some time on why I like him so much.

  1. At least two pages, including the one for Noah’s Lark, feature an intricate leaf skeleton, where all the mesophyll has been carefully removed by insects, leaving only a delicate outline of veins. The first time I can remember seeing these– still on the tree, to boot– was when I went out east. I was fascinated enough to stop dead in my tracks upon spotting them, and once it took a great deal of urging to get me to start walking again ("Lora, it’s a leaf that some bugs ate, come on"). I just think they’re so beautiful. Maybe I’m giving the bugs too much credit– after all, they aren’t that large themselves– but it seems like they put so much time and skillful effort into keeping the leaf as intact as possible. So I like that he appears to be as taken by these leaves as I am.
  2. I am quite enamored with his About page:

    Primarily nocturnal and asocial. Mostly harmless, though may appear
    confused and helpless outside my natural habitat; if spotted in the
    wild, approach gently and bring Starbucks.

  3. His photographs are stunning and hauntingly lovely.
  4. His writing is phenomenal. His narrative style is unique in that I don’t know that I’ve come across any other writer who consistently writes in the second-person format. Third-person format is very distant and removed, like watching a play or a movie that you just happened to stumble upon; you don’t really feel involved whatsoever. First-person format has a more intimate feel to it, like the narrator is sitting right across from you and telling you, you personally, their story. But second-person format takes out the middle man altogether. Second-person format is when Whoopi Goldberg says fine, go ahead, and Patrick Swayze goes whoosh right inside of her; instead of hearing the story first-hand from the narrator, now you’re *experiencing* the narrator’s story first-hand. Like a text adventure, except without all the action input prompts inbetween.

And apparently he currently lives in San Antonio, TX. So, sorry San Antonio. If I’d known you were harboring such an exquisite manifestation of artistic talents, I probably wouldn’t have hated on you so much two weekends ago. (Still, though, to be fair: your airport was kind of sucky. Kind of.)

If you’re thinking you should maybe stage an intervention to get me away from all this sugar, you’d probably be right but you’d better hurry because I have $28 worth of Starbursts and Skittles in my kitchen, courtesy of Costco

It’s been a while since I had a good ol’ post for the Fasion category.

(For you newcomers, that’s not a typo. Fuck the "h.")

Anyway. I noticed I’d been getting some traffic from Yoga Coffee Outlook and I couldn’t figure out why. Usually when I get noticeable traffic from one particular blog, it’s because that blogger magnanimously offers his or her readers that list of "Recently Updated Blogs" and there were a lot of people reading that blog right after I’d posted something. I used to get my hopes up and think that someone out there was actually reading MY blog and decided to link to it, and that’s why I was getting the traffic, but no. I never get "Trackback" notifications. Whatever.

I, for what it’s worth, don’t offer that "Recently Updated Blogs" list because I am a selfish whore who doesn’t like to share her readers (all four of you, you are MINE, you got that?). Which isn’t completely true because I do have a sort of blogroll and I do tend to pimp other people’s blogs from time to time, so I guess I’m just a control-freak whore. Either way, I’m a whore, but let’s face it, you wouldn’t want it any other way.

But back to my point, and I swear I actually have one. So I moseyed on over to Yoga Coffee Outlook (which sounds like the name of a Ben & Jerry’s flavor, yum), only to discover, lo! and behold, my blog is a motherloving permanent link in the sidebar.

::commence ego-swelling joy::

Actually, I was more baffled than anything at the discovery, and then, for a while, a little peeved. Blogger etiquette requests that you engage in some sort of contact with another blogger if 1) you permanently link to them and 2) you don’t actually know them in real life, the exception to this being 1) they are an A-list blogger to whom everyone and their mom and their dog and their dog’s mom and their mom’s dog link.

Now, despite that random spike in traffic over that sadly-not-very-funny-to-me-anymore post (which I’m not going to link to because I’m just that disenchanted with it these days, but a Google search on " pants" will take you there), I’m pretty damn far from A-list status. I’m pretty sure I’m not even in the single-letter alphabet, period. Run a few laps around it and maybe that’s where you’ll find me, somewhere in the middle of the HHH-list. (If only I’d taken the hint from my traffic results last year and had written more about dog porn. Fuck.)

So I was mildly offended. This blogger, this woman, this seemingly important person– important enough to have paid! ads! on her blog!– couldn’t even let me know that she was a reader? What the hell?

And then I went to her "About" page and followed the link (I grumbled about that, too. I’m all for the optimizing efficiency bit but when ALL YOU HAVE on your "About" page is a link? That’s toeing the line of ass-smacking lazy). And thought, why does the name "Hibelu" sound so damn familiar?

Because! That is her Typekey name! And she left a comment once upon a time! I remember this because I wrote back to her after I visited and told her I thought the shirts on her site were gorgeous but, frankly, way out of my price range. I have a high disregard for clothes and just sort of throw ’em around like a woman who needs to be put in her place. I didn’t start sorting my laundry until freshman year of college, and only then because my boyfriend kept having seizures when he saw me blindly dumping things into the machine.

Even now, I get lazy about it sometimes and rationalize, "Hey, beige is close enough to purple, fuck it, it’s getting washed." Why spend $70 on a shirt when, under my ownership, it will meet an untimely demise at the hands of spaghetti sauce or barbed-wire fences? I could buy a shirt for $10 that would serve roughly the same purpose (read: prevent me from getting ticketed in public for indecent exposure, though then again, I have seen shirts that my bras can beat in skin coverage) and use the leftover cash to buy more banana popsicles. Do you have ANY IDEA how many boxes of banana popsicles I could buy with $60? A LOT, THAT’S HOW MANY.

I digress. To the point where I’m no longer sure where I was trying to head.

Uh. Oh, right. So, her site, Hibelu, it’s got these really pretty shirts and so for those of you who actually are into looking fashionable (you’re probably one of those weird fancy-schmancy kinds who actually wears makeup, too, aren’t you?), you should totally go over there and give her more business. Or at least go read her blog, and hopefully you won’t be overwhelmed by all the ads (one of which speaks and totally freaked me out because I had the volume way up at the time) like I was, and if you look in the sidebar for my blog and can’t find it, well, I wouldn’t blame her for taking me down after reading this post and thinking I am an ungrateful bitch. Which I’m *not,* but I think I am probably coming across as one right now what with the snarky comments about the "About" page and the ads.

In truth, I am merely in awe. Pretty people who have paid ads on their site will do that to me. (Put me in awe, that is, not make me make snarky comments. The latter, I do naturally, and usually for free.)

Also, I don’t know why I’m in the "Girl Blogs" list. I mean, obviously, YES, I’m a girl (though I have been pointing out to the Internet these days that I VERY WELL COULD BE a 60-something-year-old gross and ugly pervert of a dude) and I really should just be heart-stoppingly floored with delight to be in the same list as Gingerbread Latte and Antonella Pavese, but my greedy, shameless heart yearns to be in the BIG list and then I can write to Mrs. Kennedy and tell her that we are blogroll buddies! And then maybe she will write back and invite me to come visit her and I will fly up the I-5 and scream when I see her and burst into tears (because shit, she is one of the handful of women bloggers who have gotten me through some ugly times with their writing), but then I will get my act together and we will go to Stampa Barbara (does that store even exist anymore?) and I will have to keep refraining from running up to strangers to ask them excitedly, "Do you know whom I’m here with? Do you KNOW who that woman is?? I KNOW, I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M HERE WITH HER, TOO!"

And finally, if you feel utterly compelled to sway me into the world of fashion and think I can totally become a responsible caretaker of silk and taffeta and [insert material that isn’t cotton, here], I wouldn’t say no to this shirt. Medium. (I’d *like* to think I’m a Small, but who am I kidding? A rack like mine necessitates an "M.")