November 17, 2004


I had an unusual dream last night. Please adjust your definition of the word "unusual" to reflect that this is a dream we're talking about; in this context, poisoned peanut butter and big, scary kittens are perfectly usual. That's just it, really. I rarely dream about real-life-plausible situations, and when I do they rarely play out as they would in real life.

I was sitting next to someone who had just handed me a hypodermic needle. The implications of that were perfectly clear to me in the dream with no background, so I won't bother to explain them. I had pushed up my sleeve and was gazing thoughtfully at my arm, then at the needle I was holding, then back to my arm, then back to the needle. I examined the bluish veins under my skin, poked them with my fingers, prodded, gazed some more. The person I was with was hanging around nonchalantly and not paying too much attention. I was... considering. I twiddled the syringe between my fingers, sat back, and looked around. Eventually I shook my head and set the needle aside. I get panicky if I even have a little too much to drink, I thought. I'd better not.

Then I woke up.

I guess it's nice to know I can trust my judgement in my sleep, although you'd wonder where the question came from in the first place. And now, a confession. Chris, I still have your copy of Sick Puppy that you loaned me three years ago and told me to send back as soon as I finished it. I do have to point out that I haven't finished it yet, so I'm technically doing what you said. I just started reading it a week or so ago and yes, it's fantastic. I'm pleased enough with it to forego the angry rant I was considering writing about the stupid shit with Desie's ex-husband's goddamn piercing fixation. I'm still fondly fantasizing about gluing those two pages together, but don't worry. You'll have your book back in good condition soon. Honest.

What glue? I'm not holding any glue.

Posted by dianna at November 17, 2004 11:24 AM

I'd forgotten about it, but I'm glad you're enjoying it. And the fact that I forgot doesn't mean you can glue any part of it (what glue?), nor does it mean that I don't want it back...

...whenever you're done with it.

Also highly recommended:
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.

Posted by: Chris at November 17, 2004 01:52 PM

I second, most strenuously, his book recommendations. Also: Death of Vishnu, by Manil Suri, and Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer. If someone can explain why I keep typing "but" when I mean "by", I'd love to hear it.

Also! Dude! Are you going to be in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina
de Los Angeles any time soon? Let me know. Ahora.


I wish I could speak better Spanish.

Posted by: Arianna at November 17, 2004 07:27 PM

Shit. It's actually El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula. I don't know how I could have forgotten the porciuncula, which is one of the greatest words I've ever heard. Try saying it over and over in your best Spanish accent; you'll see what I mean. Did you know you can type the word "greatest" with one hand? It's true!

Ooh, giddy-tired.

Posted by: Arianna at November 17, 2004 07:32 PM

I can also type my last name with only one hand.




Greatest Bersbach

Greatest Bersbach ever!

Posted by: Chris at November 18, 2004 12:33 AM

Yeah, but you're supposed to use your left hand to type the h, you cheater. Didn't you ever take a typing class? I didn't! I did, however, have a "Mario Teaches You to Type" computer program, which was awesome; I wasn't allowed to have Nintendo (surprise, surprise), so this was the closest thing I could get to a video game.

Posted by: Arianna at November 18, 2004 07:36 AM

You mean your right hand? Yes. Your right hand, because those goddamn ergonomic keyboards that I hate so much have the H on the right-hand side and I used to do the H left-handed until I was forced into submission by the keyboard hegemony.

Damnit, there's absolutely no part of my name that gets typed with one hand. I'm going to type this entire sentence one-handed anyway, just because. Ha.

Posted by: Dianna at November 18, 2004 07:47 AM

Ah, but the beauty of typing my last name with the left is that the final letter - the h that you're so bent out of shape about - involves a whole flourish across the body. You start with the b, head up and right to the e r and back to the left for the s. Then you fake right for the second b, swish back to the a with the pinkie, then gather it up moving right to the c, finally springing over to the h and bouncing off with the aforementioned flourish, which, if executed properly, should carry your left hand all the way up near your right ear.

Of course, if you're feeling saucy, all of this should be preceded with a tap on the good ol' caps lock key.


It's a beautiful thing, really.

Posted by: Chris at November 18, 2004 08:47 AM

No, it's no good. It keeps coming out as "bersbaxg" and then I smack myself in the nose.

As for Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, I'm unsure. I will probably come down there for a couple of days to visit some family members, maybe around Christmas? Katie and I are still negotiating who can go where when. It's unlikely to be a long visit, though.

Posted by: Dianna at November 18, 2004 09:16 AM

Gotta work on your follow-through coming off the a.

Posted by: Chris at November 18, 2004 12:34 PM

"The X President" by Philip Baruth. Because you're not hardcore unless you read hardcore.

I'm trying hard to refrain from totally sci-fi recommendations. The aforementioned book is definitely a mix of casual sci-fi and politics.

Also excellent is "The Road to Mars" by Eric Idle. It's a fascinating dissertation on comedic forms cleverly disguised as an Adams-ish sci-fi romp. But less silly. Adams is entirely too silly.

Posted by: poot at November 18, 2004 02:23 PM

Oh god. Please, no sci-fi. I burned myself out on sci-fi and now can't actually finish a sci-fi or semi sci-fi book to save my life. In the last year I've started and abandoned The Forever War, Kiln People by David Brin, the Urth of the New Sun books by Gene Wolfe, and The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. This is in addition to the Uplift War books, Zodiac by Neal Stephenson, and god-only-knows-what-else that are still sitting on my shelf without me having read a single word of them, because I can't bring myself to even want to start them. No more sci-fi.

I'm probably even missing something from that list. Jacob? Fill in the other things you've made me feel guilty about borrowing and not reading?

Posted by: Dianna at November 18, 2004 03:11 PM

Whoever's recommending your sci-fi isn't using enough lube.

Metaphorically speaking, that is.

Neal Stephenson of course is a challenge for anyone, sci-fi fans included. I skipped parts of the Cryptonomicon. That's akin to comparing it to Infinite Jest. Forgive me, Mr. Stephenson sir, but reading five pages about the protagonist eating breakfast cereal MAKES ME WANT TO HUNT YOU DOWN.

Just think to yourself- "dissertation on comedic forms, written by a member of Monty Python." That's lube-a-licious. And the dissertation is written intra-story by a robot.... who looks exactly like David Bowie.

David Bowie is *super* lube-a-licious.

I mean, without the book turning into a Will Smith vehicle, this is about as smooth as you can get.

Ooooh, if it's sci-fi you're resisting, check out "Vampires" by John Steakley. Good read, and will replace his other, "Armor" in a pinch. Because the latter is sci-fi, and we can't have that.

Posted by: poot at November 20, 2004 07:59 AM