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3 Months, 12 Books Left…

Book #18 – Rope Burns by F.X. Toole

My girl’s club membership card is going to be revoked soon. According to my "Stupid Book Facts" spreadsheet I’ve only read two books by women thus far this year and here I am admitting that I just finished a book of stories about boxing. I’m reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird next, that’s got to help balance it all, right? Yeah, probably not. Oh well.

From the back of the book:
"F.X. Toole was a trainer and licensed cut man in the world of professional boxing. He was seventy when Rope Burns, his first book, was published, and had been writing and battling rejection letters for forty years. He died two years later, in 2002."

Something to keep in mind next time I’m I bemoan being in this profession a mere 10-ish years with more paper incoming than outgoing.

My edition of this book was put out to coincide with he release of the movie Million Dollar Baby. Toole wrote the short story/novella and it’s included in this collection. And while it is a very good story (and the movie was faithful to it), "Rope Burns," for which the collection was originally entitled, is the crown jewel of the book. Toole weaves the story of a black Olympic-hopeful boxer and his white trainer against the background of the LA riots.

Toole’s writing is solid. He knows his stuff and he does a wonderful job of putting actions into words. From a craft point of view, I’m going to spend some time in the future picking apart his fight scenes. I’m terrible with action and there’s much to learn. My one criticism of the collection was that some of the details surrounding the fight business are repetitive. It was a relief to hit "Rope Burns" which is more about the fighters and less about the fights.

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It’s times like these that I miss Isaac Asimov

Fittingly, Fox’s ‘Fringe’ blurs boundaries of science –

“The point of the show is not to be a classroom film on the state of science and technology,” says series co-creator J.J. Abrams, who is noted for TV’s Lost and Alias. “It’s science fantasy.” The show’s appeal is in the fun it has with science, the liberties it takes, he adds. “We’re trying to entertain people with interesting characters placed into exciting situations, not bore them.”

What really bugs me is that Abrams seems to think that liberties *have* to be taken to supply those exciting situations. And what’s with the term “science fantasy”?  What is that?  More fantastical than science fiction?  That would mean, it’s just fantasy dressed up like science?   Personally, I think there’s way too much psuedoscience in the world already. Wouldn’t it be cooler if a TV show could actually portray science, real science, as interesting and exciting?  (There was the great late ’80s show, Probe, that did a pretty good job of it. Or at least it kept the science less fantastical. Alas, it was doomed to scheduling problems and a short run.) But you see, making sure things make sense in the world you’re setting your stories in is hard.  We’re talking Barbie-doing-math hard.  And it’s a hell of a lot of work.   So, maybe Abrams is smart.  Why on earth put that kind of work into a product the average TV viewer (or book reader) consumes when you can get away with much less?

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I’m psychic, don’t you know…

Despite my joints still feeling like hell on Weds and Thurs, I played ultimate both days.

Wednesday disc was pretty painful. It took a long time to get anything to work well. It was a mixed bag play-wise. Dropped at least one disc and overthrew Casey on one side; completed a couple decent backhands on the other. My backhands are my weakness due to my right-handed-left-eyed-ness, so every time I complete a decent backhand, I’m happy. A not on Weds disc: we’ve been having good numbers, but still no other girls.

League game last night. Inexplicably, on Thursday afternoon, I knew I was going to play savage with Amy. I sort of remembered Kristen saying she’d missed the game. I got a message from Kacie in the morning saying she wouldn’t be able to make it, and at that point I knew. Later in the afternoon, I got an email from Katie saying that she’d injured herself at practice Weds night and won’t be playing either. It would be me with my creaky-ass knees and Amy. Amy’s first game of ultimate was less than a month ago at the pre-league clinic. She was injured shortly thereafter and missed last week’s game. But she played *awesome* last night. I was going to qualify that with "for someone who’s played a handful of games," but really, she played better in the situation than many I’ve played with in the past, damn well including myself. She’s gung-ho and asks a lot of questions. She kept up well enough on D and had energy left to make some nice cuts. I don’t believe she had any turnovers. The other team had four women and probably should have abused us more. I played pretty conservatively and didn’t feel awful afterward, which was my main goal.

Today, I really need to go row. I’m not feeling too shabby, but I think I’ll go for longer work out with less resistance.


One reason why PETA and I don’t get along: They’re whacked! Evidence to support my assertion:
PETA Urges Ben & Jerry’s To Use Human Milk – Health News Story – WPTZ Plattsburgh

Link for Eric to something he might have missed:
A Switch to Turn Off Autism?: Scientific American

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I’ll pass on the excitement…

I was passing through the front room, heading to the kitchen, when I heard something outside my door. Currently, a TV table and cardboard box with Hefty’s old radiator in it are sitting near the door waiting to be taken away. I figured that the wind might have blown the radiator over again or, better yet, the mail man was leaving something.

I did not expect to find a guy crouched down below the landing wall, hiding behind the radiator. He was blond and stocky and wore a bright blue shirt.

"I’m sorry," he said to me, "but, please, ma’am can I come in? There’s eight or nine guys in the neighborhood looking for me." To say his voice was gravelly and hoarse would be to define understatement.

Now, in the past I’ve occasionally done things that I walked away from and thought, "Yeah, as a woman, that probably wasn’t a good idea." Luckily, I’ve known a lot of good, decent men whom I’ve never had to be afraid of. But this situation was a no-brainer.

"No," I said. I think I managed to avoid saying "uh" before it. I was very thankful for my locked wrought-iron-bars "screen" door.

"Can I just come in for a second? If not, I’ll get out of here."

"No," I said a few more times for emphasis and closed my storm door. And locked it.

I was concerned that he might be desperate enough to come through the bedroom window, which was open with the not-wrough-iron-bar easy-as-pancakes-to-remove screen bared. He didn’t. He moved along as he said he would. I didn’t see where he went because I decided the phone might be a valuable thing to have nearby. When I was sure he was gone, I closed the sliding glass window in the bedroom. Moving it makes a bit of noise and didn’t want to attract attention to it.

He was polite, I’ll give him that.

I’m still a bit rattled with the phone next to me and the window still closed. Probably doesn’t help that I’ve been working my way through old horror films as I’m working on rewrites. Eric can’t get home soon enough.

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Gimme a PRO! Gimme a CRAST! Gimme an INATION!

Snagged from friend of a friend tallyhohoho:

Where were was I in…? (with one odd fact)

1978: Three years old, growing up in Omaha. As the daughter of a science fiction fan, I was *heavily* into Star Wars.

1983: 2nd/3rd grade, attending a Lutheran school. Failed my multiplication tables and often had to stay after school for talking too much in class.

1988: Public junior high. Book and science fiction nerd, *heavily* into Star Trek: The Next Generation. Decided on becoming a veterinarian.

1993: High school graduation, summer of working full time at a veterinary clinic, college freshman at UNL. Disenchanted with the crap veterinarians have to deal with (figuratively, not literally), I started college as a biology major with an interest in molecular biology. My college roommate thought I was insane for reading Hamlet before classes started.

1998: Living in Lincoln and working for food service after getting my degree in English lit. Dating Eric and began writing my first novel with his advice. Took a grad class in writing, but was dissuaded from that path when the prof made a fool of himself while trying to make an example of me.

2003: In Tempe, married to Eric. Writing on the Marie novels. Played in my first ultimate frisbee tournament and was given the game disc.

2008: Still in Tempe, still married to Eric. Working on a large scale project that incorporates some of the material from the aborted Marie novels; awaiting publication of 1st novel by small press. First year after giving up ultimate tournaments due to joint health.

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When you’re good and crazy, oooh, oooh, oooh, the sky is the limit!

Here’s the latest from the ASU kid’s blog:
Entangled Continua Β» Apocalypse, Now Evolution

Dark Chocolate: Half A Bar Per Week To Keep At Bay The Risk Of Heart Attack:

From a practical point of view, as the common chocolate bar is 100 grams, the study states that less than half a bar of dark chocolate consumed during the week may become a healthy habit.

I would wonder if the study holds true for dark chocolate with ginger in it, but that’s a moot point. The likelihood of my only eating half a bar in a week is very slim. My rate of consumption for that particular candy is more like half a bar in half an hour.

After saying how good I was feeling yesterday, today I’m pretty creaky. My hands are especially clumsy. The number of typos I’ve made this morning is enormous in relation to how much I’ve actually typed. I’ll be amazed if this gets posted clean.

No disc tonight. We have a crossover game on Thursday instead. Probably for the best considering the state of my hands, but who knows? I might be feeling fine by 6pm.

My goal for rewrites is to hit pg. 326 by Thursday night. Taking into account where I left off Friday, I broke that down yesterday to 62 pages a day. I’m already behind…

Posted in History

Isn’t sanity really just a one-trick pony anyway?

Happy Equinox! The projected high today in the Phoenix metro is a chilly 97 degrees, warming to 101 on Wednesday and Thursday. Autumn is definitely upon us!

Sectionals were this weekend. For the first time since 2002, I was not involved with them in anyway. For the first time since 2003, I did not play in them. This leaves me a little sad. It would probably be worse if Eric had played, but he’s been recovering from a long, niggling injury and didn’t practice at all this summer. And me? I’d have to say that my joints have probably been better for my not playing. In fact, over this weekends I’ve felt really good joint-wise. With walking, “biking,” and “rowing” on Friday and lots of walking on Saturday, I kind of feared a backlash, but yesterday was good and today I’m fine other than my right pinkie having problems again. Looking forward to using the rowing machine again. I’d go do it right now except that the fitness room isn’t open until 10.

Feeling slightly more enthused about Model Species. I’m sure it won’t last long.

### ## ##

Looking Cheap Because of Coupon Clippers:

In a series of studies, the authors found that coupon stigma is real and it transfers to people who are in close proximity to coupon users.

“One implication that arises from society’s fascination with wealth and status is that when consumers engage in behaviors that differ from this view they risk being sanctioned,” the authors explain.

Unfortunately, the view is skewed. People with real wealth are often engage in “cheap” behaviors. One doesn’t become wealthy by needlessly squandering money. But hey, whatever. Now I know that if I want some personal space in the checkout lanes, I’ll put out my “10 cents off when you buy five” coupons.

Vitamin D Receptor Gene Variant Tied to Melanoma – Yahoo! News

BBC NEWS | Health | Double jointed: Curse or blessing?