Today there's a wicked fierce thunder storm pounding Boston, and my mother told me not to use any appliances or a phone while there's lightning in the neighbourhood. I always imagined that if I did pick up the phone during a storm, a huge ball of fire would leap out of it and bounce around the room, like in Tintin and the Seven Crystal Balls. As I write this on an index card for later, safer transcription, I am using the "5-seconds-per-mile" formula to count how close the lightning is striking. According to my calculation, it is now...ZERO MILES AWAY.


I know in advance I'm not going to get anything "useful" done tonight because my pal KG is coming over for dinner. It's so hot out my lip balm has melted. KG has promised to buy me ice cream. Here's an easy recipe, bachelors:
Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
-boil 1 pound of pasta--the kinky kind is better than the straight kind.
-thaw a little baggie of tiny (i.e. cheap) frozen shrimp, or open & drain a can of those weird little salad shrimp.
-get one of those 6 ounce containers of pesto. Trader Joe's sells cheap ones, and so does Bread & Circus sometimes. (Additional note: As of 2002 I would not pay more than $2.99 for 6 ounces of pesto. When you find it at this price stock up--it freezes well and is nice in sandwiches.)
Combine these three ingredients.
If you like add some sundried tomatoes (soak in the hot pasta water), a little cream, chopped-up artichoke hearts, bits of sauteed chicken, extra parmesan, steamed broccoli, whatnot.
I hope to post some of the already-published Bachelor's Kitchen episodes on the discontent site soon. Just as soon as I have several weeks to spare.
P.S. A great mp3 to get you cooking: http://www.craphound.com/peVdmr.mp3


I'm about to run off to the country for the weekend but I have to mention my latest distraction: Henry Jenkins (MIT Prof) has written an article called "Quentin Tarantino's Star Wars?: Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture." It's an interesting article, but the best part is the list at the bottom of the page...links to insane Star Wars fan cinema like "Kung-Fu Kenobi" and "Trooper Clerks." I have had to stop viewing these at work because I kept suspiciously laughing while looking at my monitor.


So I'm moving to the country in the fall. My two main goals are to find a sweet place to live where I can have a garden and to get myself a dog. I have always fantasized about having a dachshund, and am continually trolling listings of dachshunds for adoption at the Dachshund Rescue Web Page, Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue, and Dachshund Rescue of North America. Of course this is all entirely premature because if I found the perfect beast, I wouldn't have anywhere to put it until September. But I can spend this intervening time getting to know the breed, investing in chew toys, and having my clan's tartan made into a wee dog coat...


Saturday? Great! A whole day to write. It's a cold, rainy Saturday--the best kind. But first, I must clean my room. I must do some laundry. I must make a list of errands:
*Staples: get new ink cartridge, plastic file-box, cardboard magazine holders.
*Bread & Circus: organic vegetables, fancy cheddar, hummus, olive oil.
*Mall Discount Liquor: retsina so I can offer a glass of w in the evening.
*library: return Marie Antoinette book and get out five other books about French history (fortunately my phases are short-lived, otherwise I'd be reading The Garden of Eden again and despising adjectives.)

I sit down in front of the iMac. I open a Word document. I look out at the street. I look at the screen. I look at the street. I look at my sewing machine, which I have cleverly set up next to the iMac so I can switch from one machine to the other by moving my chair two feet. While I haven't been working on discontent I have found time to sew three shirts, two dresses, and four pairs of boxers. One of the dresses was a 1954 "Vintage Vogue" dress & bolero set that really impressed me with features like a pleated lining, encased buttonholes, and POCKETS. It made the McCall's and Simplicity patterns that I'd been using look wicked cheap.

A big part of sewing addiction is finding the right place to buy fabric. In downtown Boston, I highly recommend Winmil Fabrics on Chauncy street. It is by far the least scary and gross store in the fabric district, and they sell cotton for $3.99 a yard. They also have nice 60" bolts of dupioni silk in cool colors like flame and fuchsia and cornflower. For even cheaper cotton--like for making boxers or easy blouses--there's a Jo-Ann's near the Burlington mall that totally rocks. Also a good place to buy clusters of fake grapes or a glue gun or large quantities of vinyl if you're feeling super crafty. Finally, the Fabric Corner in Arlington has more cool cottons from about $8.99 up. They specialize in insane prints like desert hares among the cacti or knights posing before castles or southwestern vegetables. As a result the place is popular with the equally insane quilting & slipcover sets--hardy opinionated sisterhoods that can verge on carnivorous when closing time draws near. Overhead while standing in line: "...it was covered with cats playing in a jazz band. They were wearing shades and one was sitting on a stool so it could reach the bull fiddle. It was so funny! Totally adorable!" Yeah.


I like failure because it's easy. Also it can be disguised as other things, like procrastination, mysterious illnesses, or even industry ("I didn't do it yet because I've been REALLY BUSY.") Trying something is hard, and if you fail after trying, that's even worse. Think of all the work you've done, only to fail. Compared to that, going ahead and accepting failure right away is a cinch.

I'm always heartened by that part in Whit Stillman's "Metropolitan" where Charlie calls Fourier's utopia a "failure" because it ceased to exist, and Tom immediately replies that everyone ceases to exist, but not everyone is a failure. Of course Nick is my favourite character in that movie, and his take is even better: "I've always planned to be a failure anyway, that's why I plan to marry an extremely wealthy woman."

Really, in geologic time, is it that bad that a tiny 20-page zine is two months late? I should just stop berating myself and get to work. Except I really feel like pouring myself a Genny Cream Ale, aptly described on BeerAdvocate.com as a "good beer for a buck."


Today I did not work on the comic I'm writing about cheese. Since I can't think of a way to draw cheese forty different ways, I'm planning to take pictures of cheese in different positions and settings and then fool with them digitally. However I have not done any of this. Instead I am reading the biography of a flightly blonde from Austria who married well but met with a bad end because she was just pig-headed.