Month: June 2006 Page 1 of 3

The Story of Goody Two Shoes.

goody two-shoes (GOOD-ee TOO-shooz) noun

A smugly virtuous person.

[After the title character in The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, a children’s book believed to have been written by Oliver Goldsmith.]

In this moralistic nursery tale, Margery is an orphan who has only one shoe. One day, when she gets the full pair, she runs about shouting, “Two shoes!” Eventually she becomes rich and educated through her virtue and hard work.

The word goody was a polite term of address for a woman of humble social status. It’s a contraction of the word goodwife and was formerly used as a title in a manner similar to the current Mrs.

-Anu Garg (gargATwordsmith.org)

Jim Baen Dies.

Jim Baen, sci-fi editor extraordinaire, died yesterday after a stroke.

Harry Potter Dies?

The Guardian passes along a hint that Harry Potter may not make it past the end of book seven, based on something J.K. Rowling said in an interview.

Jesus, Grandpa. What did you read this to me for?”
The Princess Bride

Cell Phone Hell.

I heard at work today that effective July 1, businesses may start soliciting people’s cell phones. Not sure whether this is true or not, but I’ll post the link to the National Do Not Call registry anyway:

www.donotcall.gov

You can also go here to register complaints — but remember, it may take up to 31 days for your registration to go into effect, and that could mean a whole month of that crap.

MDA News.

News from the Missile Defense Agency:

Missile Defense Test Results in Successful “Hit to Kill” Intercept

And here‘s a link to an overview of the MDA. The sphere-thingy is radar.

Johnny Bench.

Somebody asked me who Johnny Bench was today. Major League catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, 1968-1983, according to some the best catcher of all time.

“I want to win, but there’s the grind. There’s so much responsibility for a catcher…My arm feels good. My legs will be all right. How long will I go on? How long can I go on? How long for I want to go on playing baseball? Is this what it’s like to be thirty?”

Basically, I missed out on anything baseball before the Minnesota Twins went to the World Series when I was a kid, and pretty much everything after that, too. But if there’s one baseball player whose name I recognize, it’s his. Because of a line on a Bill Cosby comedy album called Himself:

“And the doctor’s sitting there like Johnny Bench.”

–By the way, that wasn’t the only reference that Mom had to explain to me. I also had no idea why it was so funny that Camilla stood up in the stirrups and told everybody in the delivery room that his parents were never married.

Daddy’s great!
He gives us chocolate cake!

The Hitler vs. Coulter Quiz.

Now, while I do not back liberals wholesale (liberal doesn’t have a dang thing to do with compassionate), I am always quick to despise current conservative leadership. Maybe it’s a knee-jerk reaction, but there you go. That having been said, I had fun amusing myself with the Hitler vs. Coulter Quiz.

I got 9 out of 14 correct. Go me!

(via Sweetney.com)

Night Watch.

I got Lee the Russian horror film Night Watch yesterday. He’s watching it as I type.

He just said, “If you were going to write a Russian horror movie, this would be it.”

Which, from other comments he’s made, is a compliment. I’ll have to watch it later…

Write what you know; know thyself.

I’ve been thinking about the old adage “write what you know,” which, for the purposes of today’s mental tangent, shall mean “write what you love.” Because really, why would you expect anyone to love something you wrote if you don’t? If you’re writing something according to someone else’s opinion of what sells, all you’re doing is teaching yourself to be good at something that someone else is going to be better at, because that person will be adding passion on top of talent.

But that’s not the mental tangent, just the setup.

The actual tangent is that there’s a gap between some of the things I try to write and the things I love to read. I try to sample highbrow literature-type things on a regular basis on the theory that they’re good for me, and they are. What would my life have been like without Sartre? Or Camus? Or the Romantics? Or Thomas Hardy? And so on?

But I don’t love them; I don’t reread them. The closest I get to loving a stereotypically “literate” author is Jane Austin, because alongside all that gorgeous style and wit, THE GIRL GETS THE BOY AND THEY LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

I am also a sucker for coming-of-age stories and overcoming-the-odds stories, especially overcoming-the-odds-with-sass stories. Style is a plus, but a book won’t delight me for long if it doesn’t include one of the old plot chestnuts. I mean, I used to watch soap operas during the day. (The Young and the Restless was my favorite.)

But…it’s been such a matter of pride that I avoid exactly the type of story that I’m a sucker for. There always has to be some kind of complication. I end up liking the things I write, but I don’t love them.

Like most deepish things, it doesn’t do me any good to resolve to go right out and change what I’m doing, but I will keep it in mind and watch what happens…

Baxter Black, Cowboy Poet.

I recommend Baxter Black’s recent commentary on NPR, “Why Not a Court of Average People?

“The only big word [in the Constitution] is ‘enumeration.'”
–Baxter Black.

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