Sufficient unto each day is the evil thereof

Some not-so-good things, in no particular order:

1. Skidding into the Union Street traffic island in the rain and doing mumblehundredworth of damage to one’s very great friend’s car while he is in darkest Africa saving the world via welding

2. Getting to November 25 with less than 25,000 words of NaNoWriMo under one’s belt

3. Having the sole of one’s current favourite shoes start to peel off

Some mighty nice things, in no particular order:

1. The pleasing facial expression adopted by one’s current favourite shoes as their sole starts to peel off (sort of a cross between Audrey II and a greenlipped mussel)

2. Write or Die, srsly. One can do 1,000 words in twenty minutes

3. Having a boy person friend who allows one to perform minor surgery on him with tweezers

4. Reading one’s blog stats. A few weeks ago the only search terms were related to Angel and Buffy, but recently they have included searches for “steampunk”, “Claire Danes”, and my personal favourite, “streep teas preteen video”

5. Finishing one’s final Pilates certification written exams (total time, about 11 hours)


1. Life, on balance, is pretty much peachy

More things I love about my job

  • I get to drive past Random House Books, which has a pleasing sign out the front, viz:

  • The cars have remote locking and flash their lights — simple pleasures, I know
  • When I am early I can get a tiny burger from Burger Fuel
  • Or a Thai meal
  • Though I have never done so
  • There are actual magazines in the staffroom, with covers and actual words, like North & South and Mindfood and so on, rather than tattered stripped copies of Truth
  • Other staff encourage me to leave humorous messages on the whiteboards
  • I get to sing in the car

NaNoWriMo ploughs ahead

The thing about NaNoWriMo is that it is vital not to stop. Industrious bods who write every single day need only bash out 1,667 words a pop in order to reach their 50,000 by the end of the month. Lazy people who get sidetracked, on the other hand, have a harder time of it: their wordcount goal creeps up and up by the day until they write themselves — or, rather, fail to write themselves — into an untenable situation, and are forced to either give up in ignominy or chuck a sickie and do 18,000 words on the last day of November.

Neither of these is an option that Betty will have the liberty of taking, and consequently Betty has been forced to repent of her previous ways and start writing in good earnest. Fortunately, she has one more week of the cushy cable-watching job, which takes care of writing time on Mondays and Tuesdays; Wednesday nights has been free for the past two weeks, due to the rest of the student group having exams, and so Betty has managed to hunker down in the Borders cafe with a sizable array of other November novelists, which is terribly good for the wordcount; Thursdays afford a certain amount of time between leaving the studio and starting at the third job, which also has some free time built into it, hence all the blogging. Fridays are a little tricky. Tomorrow will include a lateish client, which will mean that writing will only start in the middle of the afternoon. The weekend involves the third job, and plenty of time between client visits and non-clinical notes.

For the readers’ amusement, Betty will hereby enclose the official NaNoWriMo graph widget as of this morning. The red bars indicate absolute slothfulness; the green bits are writing; and the grey bits are writing that actually fulfilled the wordcount. Note that the red bits get added to the wordcount goals in the future. Note also, in case any reader is alarmed, that the wordcount at the time of posting is 19,034, which means that the end is in sight: Betty can do it.

Kinda. I hope. Stay tuned.

FOTD: or, this blog needs a niche, darn it

Other people’s blogs have peculiar habits and agreeable rituals — Wordless Wednesdays, Friday Free-For-Alls, recurring characters, specified topics. My blog, as readers will know, is not so much into this kind of thing. Is it a Pilates blog? Hardly. A Mighty Boosh fanblog? Kinda, but not really. A Buffy-themed cupcake how-to site? My stats say yes, but this was not my intention. I therefore need to start conforming more adequately to the rules of blogging, and I do so now by offering you my very first FOTD.

A FOTD, for the uninitiated, is a Face of the Day: it normally involves posting a photo of one’s makeup, which is usually arty and distinctive, and listing the shades and their MAC equivalents underneath. I can discuss my makeup at a later date, but for now, this is the only FOTD photo I have handy.

The boy person friend took it the other day while waiting for me to get ready. The more that I look at it, the better I like it.

Lolcats Job

Sometimes adaptations are just as good as, if not better than, the texts from which they are adapted. Think of The Man from Snowy River, Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf, all of Rosemary Sutcliff, and O Brother, Where Art Thou. When it comes to the book of Job, which is cracking good stuff, hyperbolic claims of secondary inspiration are not necessary, but take a look, if you will, at this.


In teh land of Uz wuz a man calded Job. Teh man wuz goodz, wif respeck fur teh Ceiling Cat and hated evilz. Teh man hadz seven sunz and tree doters, And lots of mices and camlez and rinoceruseses and servnts and stuff, srsly. His sunz tok turns mading cookies, and they all eated them. And Job wuz liek “Oh noes! Wut if cookies were sin? Gotta pray, just in cases.”

Furst Tess

Teh ayngles wented to seez Ceiling Cat, and Basement Cat wented two. Ceiling Cat axt Basement Cat, “Wher wuz u?” Basement Cat saied “Oh, hai. I’z wuz in ur urfs, wawking up and down uponz it.”Teh Ceiling Cat sez “Has u seen mai servnt Job? He can has cheezburger cuz he laiks me.”

“No wai!” sed Basement Cat. “U just plyin favrits. If u take his cheezburgers, oar his bukkit, he no laiks u no moar.”

Then teh Ceiling Cat sez “Okai, u can take his bukkit, but no givin Job owies.” And then Basement Cat went awai.

Wun day Jobes’ sunz and doters were eateding cookies at teh oldest wuns hoose, And a mans cam to told Job a mesege. “Ur donkzeys and moo cows was eateding tasteh grass And then PKers were in ur hous killin your dudez and ur naminals got stoldz and only i got wai.”

And then anotter mans cam to told Job a diffrant mesege. He sed “Teh Ceiling Cat maids fyr fall from teh skys and it burnded up ur sheepz and moar servnts and only i got awai.”

And thens a moar diffranter mans cam to told Job a mesege. “Sum angry dudez took ur rinoceroseseses and killd moar servnts and only i got wai.”

And then 1 moar mans cam to told Job a mesege. “Ur sunz howse feld over and skwishded evryones. Sry.”

Then Job got upt and shaved and was liek “Gota prey now.”

“Teh Ceiling Cat giv me cheezburger, teh Ceiling Cat takded mah cheezburger awai. I stil laiks teh Ceiling Cat.”

Job preyed to Ceiling Cat and didnt afraid of anyone. Do want.

Knocks your socks off, doesn’t it? I thought so.

Claire Danes plays Temple Grandin and Betty asplodes from the awesomeness

Claire Danes is a good thing. Apart from dying a truly horrible and unforgivably anachronistic death in Armstrong’s 1994 Little Women, Danes’ performances have been mostly quite remarkable: I also remember reading once that she has a trapeze in her loft apartment, about which no more really needs to be said.

Temple Grandin is a good thing to the point of legend. Granted, an air of horrible and anachronistic death does tend to hang about her for professional reasons — she’s a world expert on cattle-handling and slaughter — but her enduring and captivating renown comes from her insight into the autistic mind. In her seminal autobiography Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Grandin chronicles her tumultuous childhood and early adulthood (and Grandin is not a little bit autistic — she’s full-blown, Kanner-sits-down-looking-smug-and-informs-the-parents-that-he-doesn’t-need-to-check-the-manual autistic. You know, if Smokey the Magnificent was the size of a marble Temple Grandin would be forty miles away and bigger than a house: that kind of autistic). Then Oliver Sacks added his own not inconsiderable insight in a book he titled using one of Grandin’s own felicitous descriptions, An Anthropologist on Mars.

Betty heard Temple Grandin speak once, an experience that was up there with the greatest brushes with greatness Betty has ever had (these would include The Lads doing an encore at Parachute against all known rules, and having breakfast with Don Carson while he spoke pointedly about his single and most eligible son, so readers need not fear that they are overestimating the significance of this). There was a rubbish truck outside during the keynote address, and Temple Grandin is fascinated with rubbish trucks, and stopped her talk several times to check out the window; and then she told the story of the flooded library and cried. Betty’s mother personally asked Temple an autism-related question during the break, and Temple answered it straightforwardly, and then walked off. Thrills, srsly.

Serendipitously, HBO (also a good thing: see Wit) are making a movie about all of this, mostly. It will come out in 2010.

Et voila.

Danes as Temple Grandin