I get to work at home all day tomorrow like a real grown-up editor, so I'm taking this evening to remove any possible distractions from my all-day editing session -- that is, I'm washing my dishes, scrubbing the bathroom, sweeping the floor, and now, updating my blog.
Meet Feral Cheryl! "This 34 cm vinyl doll runs barefoot, dreadlocks her hair with coloured braids and beads, wears simple rainbow clothes, has piercings and a range of tattoos, and even a bit of natural body hair. . . . Her motto is "Live Simply, Run Wild". Her only accessories: a bag of home grown herbs, a sense of humour and a social conscience."
(No comment on those herbs. Or the tattoos, for that matter.)
Here's a cool baby name wizard that charts the popularity of your name in an interactive Java line graph.
The conservative newsletter Human Events asked a panel to choose the "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries." #1: The Communist Manifesto. #2: Mein Kampf. #4: The Kinsey Report. #7: The Feminine Mystique. #10: Keynes's General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. Communists, sex, feminists, tax-and-spend liberals -- all common conservative bugaboos, as far as they go (though the fact that they condemn the government running up deficits and our $8 trillion debt while they support George W. Bush is a hypocrisy of the first order, albeit entirely typical). But the longlist includes Silent Spring. Silent Spring, for heaven's sake! These people are actually for poisoned air and water! I wish we could open up a hole 100 years in the future to an alternate dimension where there's never been any environmental movement at all, shove these panelists through, and see how they like it. Take that, Phyllis Schlafly.
On a similar note, I considered adding the following quote to my quotation file recently:
"A democracy requires...embracing the vast diversity of humanity, and doing it with humility, listening as best you can, not just to those with high positions, but to the cacophonous voices of ordinary people, and trusting those millions of people, keeping out of their way...The word we have for this is 'freedom.'" -- Ronald Reagan
I loved the "vast diversity of humanity," the "humility" and "listening," the "cacophonous voices," all of that, but the "keeping out of their way" gave me pause because Reagan meant it as let's-negate-environmental-controls-and-call-it-populism, not genuinely keeping out of Americans' private business. And the doubletalk of that made me uncomfortable, which made me dislike the quotation (Quote #213: "A fact is not a truth until you love it" -- John Keats), which kept it out of the Quote File. Which is okay, because I didn't particularly want Ronald Reagan in there anyway.
I interviewed two editors from American Cheerleader magazine today as part of a feature for our book Blister. They were quite adamant that cheerleading is a sport worthy of everyone's respect, and when you see how hard those women work and how athletic they are, I certainly agree; but I have to say they aren't helping themselves be taken seriously when they have a section called "Beauty and Style File" in their magazine.
(And having made that comment, I immediately think "So okay, Cheryl, do you mean strong women aren't allowed to be pretty, to worry about their hair or nails or how they look? Or that women who do shouldn't be taken seriously -- in which case you shouldn't be taken seriously?" And that's not what I mean. But I don't think a women's basketball or volleyball magazine would be concerned about "cute colors for fingers and toes" at those sports' camps. . . . Lord, Phyllis Schlafly doesn't need to worry about us feminists taking over -- we're too busy self-analyzing little things like this.)
I've recently started to read a smart literary-life blog put out by one Maud Newton.
Lisa sent me to this cool aura test: http://www.auracolors.com/test.htm. I think I was Sensitive Tan or Sensitive Blue -- whichever one scores almost exactly the same in both thinking and feeling.
My mother's last full-time day of work in the Missouri school system was yesterday -- in other words, she retired! But no one believes my mother can actually stay retired and not be running something, so we're just saying she's never going to work full-time for the Missouri schools again. Next week she participates in a three-day, 60-mile breast-cancer walk in celebration of her retirement and memory of my grandmother.
All right, to bed for me so I can work well tomorrow. Hope all's well with all of you!