Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: October, 2002

Four Hour Roadtrip To Nowhere

We got lost driving through New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts at one go. One of the post-docs at the lab was going to drive out to Manchester to pick up her boyfriend at the airport and do some shopping at the Asian grocery stores that were apparently clustered there. I decided to tag along to do some shopping too.

However, we ended up in western Massachusetts after an hour and a half. To get back on track to Manchester, we spent about two more hours driving east on back roads. We went through small towns which I would have never had the chance to see (or ever will see again) in my lifetime. There were little kids in costumes and clapboard New England homes. Quaint shops littered the side of the road. The scenic route was by far the most cliched stretch of Americana I’ve seen in a while. By the time we got to Manchester, passed Manchester and got on the wrong interstate that was happily heading into Boston, and then turned back to Manchester again, the post-doc was hyperventilating and her boyfriend was waiting at the airport, worried.

After that, we went on our way to the Asian grocery store (not without a few wrong turns, again), only to find that when we arrived, they had just closed.

Southern New Hampshire, I’m never going to look at you the same way again.

Instead of trick-or-treating or going to the Med School’s annual Halloween Party (besides, I don’t even have a costume this year) I’m going to psych myself up for some midnight typing for NaNoWriMo. That’s right, I’m going to attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Foolhardy? Probably. Worthwhile? Definitely.

In a post dated almost a year ago, I also mentioned that I was doing Nano, but I was also posting my progress over at Writing Sya. I had predicted that I wouldn’t be posting much, but boy was that off the mark!

(Aside: It’s interesting, now that I look at the archives. Two years ago I wasn’t thinking about writing at all–only about surviving a hellish term in which I did all-nighters at least once a week.)

Senate Joint Resolution 552. Found via Googlism. This is embarassing. And I noticed that none of the universities I listed as a prospective school was the one I ended up attending.

Bond. James Bond.

When I was in first or second grade, I was introduced into the world of James Bond. One of the networks was showing one of the movies, Goldfinger, and my Dad was very excited to see it. I got to sit through it and almost immediately I was mesmerized by the action, the dastardly villains, and cool gadgets. It was the first time I was exposed to something other than cartoons and sanitized Disney movies like Pollyanna. Of course, I didn’t understand why the main character was always kissing scantily clad women, but that didn’t detract from the main theme.

But why on earth would my parents let me watch such an adult film at such a tender age? James Bond has violence, sex, and suggestive language. Maybe they thought it was suitable entertainment. Or maybe they sought to desensitize me because I had no inclination of watching rated R movies until Schindler’s List. Or maybe I was just lucky to have parents who didn’t censor everything, after all they never checked up on what I was reading.

Anyways, James Bond has faded into nostalgia for me. Now, I only like the old cheesy movies with either Sean Connery or Roger Moore. The ones with Timothy Dalton were okay, but I felt weird watching them because Dalton scared the heck out of me (I saw him before as Heathcliff in a film adaptation of Wuthering Heights, and boy, did that give nightmares). The newer ones with Pierce Brosnan has only descended to the depths of bawdy.

Other things:
Plumb Design Visual Thesaurus. Word webbing. If I want to get serious with words, I’d use the old fashioned thesaurus in the form of a dictionary. If I want to waste time, I’d check this out.
Portrait of a Blogger. The author’s got it all backwards because the blogs I read can’t be put into his arbitrary classifications.

Tuesday Too:

1. What did you think was on the “other side” as a little kid, and how is it different from what you think is “there” today? (Thank you Leah and Gina)

I was dragged to church when I was little and I hated it. People said things and I could tell right off that they didn’t mean it. I suppose I believed in the cloud and halo myth back then as well as all the Bible stories, but now I simply don’t know.

I’m not one of those deluded scientists who believe in “intelligent design” either. I’m not saying that God doesn’t exist, but if there is a God, I haven’t seen any evidence of him. So my answer again: I don’t know.

2. What’s your mood today? Do you believe in the power of mood rings?

I’m very tired. Not the running up the stairs a couple of times tired, but the hibernating type tired. I want to sleep and wake up next week.

And mood rings are for sissies. What you need is a mood alarm. It’ll broadcast your every emotion to anyone within five hundred yards.

3. Describe your absolute favorite Halloween costume? Did you play tricks on people, even when they gave you a treat?

It has to be the group costume I was in during my first year as an undergraduate. A bunch of friends and I wore the corresponding colors for types of atoms (for instance, it’s generally accepted to make carbon atoms black in textbooks, so the people who were carbon atoms wore black) and tied rope between us to make up the chemical bonds. We were a molecule of sarin or nerve gas. We went around the neighborhood hoping we wouldn’t accidentally knock on the first year chem prof’s door because surely he would have detained us for about an hour lecturing us on our incorrect bond angles. Yeah it was geeky, but we won the contest for the group costume that collected the most candy anyway. And no, I did not play tricks. I’d rather hoard the treats.

This morning I was a bundle of nerves, stumbling out of bed, clattering around the kitchen, running down the stairs, and ultimately forgetting lunch. I pictured myself lurching into a purgatory filled with paperwork demanding phone numbers and addresses of acquaintences I haven’t seen in ten years. And of frowning gray-haired women.

Meeting with advisors tends to do that to a person.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t even a little intimidated. Advisors determine your life because ultimately they’ll shunt you to the tunnel that leads to a job or the one that leads to a cardboard box. (Okay, so the situation wasn’t that dire, but I certainly felt that way.)

This evening was more relaxed. I even managed to peel my eyes from the ground to look at the starless sky while I was walking back home. The black clouds above made me smile and briefly forget about my problems.

Fun stuff (sort of): This site says I’m not a professional private eye. Well, that’s true. I just write about them.
Name Numerology. Your Image Number is 4. And others probably view you as being fairly hard-working and dependable. You like to be seen as a very stable and secure, family-oriented individual. And you’re more than willing to work hard to achieve the security you desire. Hm. Um, er, check please?
Lingerie Barbie. Arg! Stab me in the eye! I think what’s more outrageous is that price tag–and I thought dolls were expensive fifteen years ago. Barbies in general are scary anyway. I tore the head off the first (and only) one I recieved at the tender and impressionable age of three. Legos are the way to go.
How to Use a Ouija Board. Yep, my early Halloween link of the day. Ouija boards always freaked me out. They’re scarier than tarot cards, the I Ching, and ten consecutive viewings of The Exorcist put together. But they’re not as scary as Barbies.

On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have ordered anything from some place that has “pain” in its name (even if it’s supposed to be something else in a foreign language).

Avoid the strong coffee at Au Bon Pain unless you want to lie down and moan about the world falling onto your head for about half-an-hour. I’m beginning to think I’m a magnet for spiked caffeine.

On the other hand, I got to meet a bunch of crazy writers for NaNoWriMo this afternoon. The photographer for Nashua’s The Telegraph also showed up, but the chances of me seeing those pictures and the article accompanying are pretty slim. It was neat to finally put faces to online personalities–in some ways it was comforting. These are ordinary people (most with jobs) who want to write a novel in a month. Not a great novel, mind you, but a novel nonetheless. I now have a real, a concrete, support group and not just a faceless internet void occasionally sputtering comments.

And I was momentarily distracted by the pet store in the mall. I was shocked. They don’t sell cats. Maybe that’s why all the people I know around here are dog people.

Linkage: Janelle from the Nano group mentioned this site as a possible time waster. It looks like a big link fest for members. Hm. Maybe I’ll look at it some more once I get out of this coffee-induced headache.

Some people should be banned from the kitchen. The neighbors set off the fire alarm again.

Sometimes things don’t go well at all and I feel cold. Very cold. It has nothing to do with the below freezing temperatures outside. This coldness is in my head, behind my nose. I’m not numb–because that would imply that I’m emotionless. Sometimes it’s so cold that I feel the icicles forming beneath my eyelids and in my throat. I feel like I’m turning into a flake. I’m scared. Stressed.

I can’t take refuge in sleep. My dreams aren’t exactly frightening, but they have a disturbing quality to them as if everyone and my subconscious are smirking at me. I wake up in the middle of the night, wishing I could see the moon and that my roommates weren’t such night owls.

I think I’ll take a walk to clear my head.

Enough with the dramatics already, where are the damn links?
The Myth of Sacred Writing Time. I’d like to think I write fairly regularly even if I don’t post every word online. I only wish I could write a little more than I already do.
Scandyz. Reminds me of somebody’s banana sticker collection I once ran into on the web.
40,000 Hotel Coat Hangers Stolen. Hahahaha! I think this banished my black mood. I guess I don’t need to take that walk after all.

I looked out the window this morning and saw that the entire world was crystallized in white. And the first thought I had was, “I must be in an alternate universe.”