My weblog has fallen into disrepair because I no longer work in front of a computer all day long. I do not mean to imply that when I did hold that particular job I actively sought interesting stuff to add to "Writer's Block." But looking up (or really, "googling") information on books and faculty and academic research always led to other neat-o websites that I could not help but note, and usually read.

These days I have no way to stumble happily upon great websites; instead I use the internet as a glorified dictionary. My browser bookmarks reflect the ephemera of various short-lived obsessions and hobbies, such as where Lali Puna are playing, info on Rug Hooking Magazine, and downloads of Indian Movie Music. My latest interest is "how to smoke a pipe." My kinesiologist tells me that my body doesn't mind tobacco, but hates the paper in cigarettes so I should use a pipe instead. A thoughtful friend gave me a new corncob pipe and some screens, but I have no idea what to do next. Can I use American Spirit looseleaf tobacco in a pipe, or do I have to get that stringy sweet-smelling pipe tobacco? Is it true that you're not supposed to inhale? (As if!) The What You Need to Smoke a Pipe page at www.pipes.org somewhat useful, but it doesn't say anything about screens or inhaling. I need a crotchety uncle or grandfather to show me the ropes and someday, when I'm showing promise, give me my very own pipe tool with a little miniature shovel and tamper and cleaning nail. Or maybe I should just order a hookah from Turkey.


So far the novel-writing thing isn't working out. Instead I seem to be heading directly into middle aged-ness. For example I am listening to an inordinate amount of Harry Connick, Jr. (he really sounds like Mel "The Velvet Fog" Torme!). And I finished Shirley Maclaine's Hollywood autobiography (Danny Kaye was such a romantic--I just KNEW it!) which was, like me, more introverted than racy. I have seriously considered buying things online like movie soundtracks (the soundtrack to Grease, for example), and bath salts (Batherapy comes in 20 pound buckets!). The metal-studded belt doesn't seem to be keeping me as young as micro-liposuction might (I read about this in Vogue--maybe I'll get a subscription in my downward spiral towards total mediocrity!).

Perhaps I am still getting used to my new lifestyle. I am only working three days a week now, leaving a healthy and mind-bogglingly long chunk of time to accomplish my goal, which is to make money by doing it myself. What is "it" in particular? If novel-writing doesn't pan out, I may go into the craft business--people from New York City seem to like New England themed items like hooked rugs and chunky mittens. I could make them at home while listening to audiobooks and sell the results for $20 per square inch. However this has been my first week of having four days off in a row; I have spent most of my new free time doing laundry.

I spent two weeks in October on a "detox diet," following a Gaia Herbs program that involves swallowing both a fiber mix and an herbal extract capsule twice a day, and also consuming only soy products, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and green tea. During the two weeks I did nothing but bitch and moan and find new ways to eat tofu, but by the end I really felt a terrific INNER ENERGY coursing through my being...I felt calm and resilient and in order. Then I started a two week retox founded on wine and cheese and beer and coffee and croissants, and now I am just as cranky and conflicted as always. Woohoo!