Because I Simply Don’t Talk Enough.

So here’s the thing:

I’m turning this blog into a podcast. I bought the domain over at http://www.ClaireDeLunacy.com and I’ve migrated this blog over there.

In addition to the occasional scribblings you get from me here (or, er, there, in the future at least), there will be (God help us all) the Claire De Lunacy podcast. That’s right, a whole hour, every week, of yours truly, with call-in guests (it’s true!), some commentary, and a few new surprises (e.g., every tenth caller is randomly either hugged by a stripper,  hit in the stomach by a large, angry Hungarian, or given the power of flight*).

Every week starting NEXT SUNDAY, MAY 2nd, 2010, I’ll be hosting an hour-long free-for-all discussion covering topics (in no particular order) that I’ve posted here on Claire De Lunacy.

I already have the call-in set up, I’ll be posting the info as we get closer to the big day. In the interim, my dear, sweet friends, ruminate on these topics:

1) The hubbub surrounding Israel Luna’s odious “transploitation” film “Ticked Off Trannies with Knives.”

2) Clash of the Smitin’s: Unnecessary Remakes and Why They Suck.

3) And speaking of Things That Should Not Be™, a whole new slew of, er, Things That Should Not Be™ (got a nomination? SEND IT TO ME…NAO!)

4) LGBTidbits™ (Those of you familiar with my Twitter feed will recognize this topic. Everyone else, just be prepared to discuss the week’s LGBT news. Well, I mean, not SUPER prepared. There won’t be a quiz or anything.)

5) The Super-Fun Book Club of Fun-ness™ returns! Our book for the month of May is “American Lion,” a very compelling biography of Andrew Jackson by Jon Meachem (you don’t have to read the entire book for the first podcast, we’ll be discussing it in general and also you get to sit and listen to me explain how the SFBCOF™ works…I know, I know – does the fun ever START?)

6) Random Review: NetFlix for the Wii Or, as I like to call it, “My television’s desperate final ploy to remain relevant to my existence.” (as ploys go, it’s surprisingly effective)

7) SPECIAL BONUS TOPIC!  CASTING: UR DOIN IT WRONG We’ll be discussing how remakes SHOULD be cast, as well as remakes we’d like to see, and a whole bunch of other nerdy stuff that will make the non-nerdy among you (should you exist) throw up your hands and say “But I LIKE Matthew McCan’tActy as Dirk Pitt!

Eventually, I’ll be taking these podcasts into Audacity to strip out all the “erms,” and “uhhhs” and “Doyyyy” sounds. But for the first month or so, it’s the Wild effing West, baby! (something tells me that we’ll earn our “Explicit” rating within the first ten minutes. I know how you think, Hordelings!)

Each week’s info will also be posted to the web site, so don’t get your collective panties in a bunch if there’s something we natter on about that catches your…ear(?) and you don’t have a pencil handy.

I hope to hear from you, friends. It’s sure to be a fun time, or at least more entertaining than having your pinkie torn off by an iPad thief.**

*No, not really.
** OK, to be fair, some people might get off on that, so I will say it’s LIKELY to be more fun. You sick bastards.
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Buzz Watch: Apple’s new iThingy

A gracious good day to you, readers.

If you’re like me, you’ll have noted with a queasiness-inducing blend of anticipation and trepidation the shift in media attention away from the plight of Haiti and toward the latest beeping gadget. That’s right, Apple has unleashed its latest Hipster Douchebag accessory: The iPad.

Or possibly the iTablet.

Or even, God help us all, the iCan.

Whatever it’s called, its potential capabilities have been the subject of endless speculation (or in my case, limited, off-the-cuff speculation for the purposes of comedic exploitation). To wit:

Features of the new iPad/iTablet/iCan/iCan’tBelieveISpent1,000DollarsOnThis

1) Recharges if you hold it aloft & shout “BY THE POWER OF CUPERTINO!” Also: your cat morphs into a badass tiger.

2) Will only open if you recite “Klaatu barada nikto” first. Otherwise, you might want to call Bruce Campbell.

3) Will come in 3 exciting colors: Chill Cherry, Awesome Orange and Bewildered Buyer’s Remorse Blueberry.

4) Will be engraved with the missing Five Commandments (e.g. “Thou Shalt Not Totally Destroy Thy Planet”).

5) Creates holographic friends to replace those you lose because you spend all your time on your damned iTablet.

6) Glows an ethereal blue whenever orcs are nearby.

7) Will not transform into a creepy robot and steal your identity and girlfriend while you sleep. Probably.

8 ) Makes that cool Star Trek “whistle-whoosh” noise whenever any nearby door opens.

9) Will obey Asimov’s three laws, unless you piss it off, buster.

10) Sifts through your address book and deletes all the people with whom you are now too cool to be seen.

11) Will love you and hug you and name you George.

12) Grants you a permanent +5 to your Hipster Cred stat, plus a free small latte at paticipating Starbucks™.

13) Opens a portal to an alternate universe where the State of the Union Address ISN’T depressing as hell.

14) Will be sun-powered. Not solar powered – there will be an actual tiny sun inside. So, y’know, get a mitt.

15) Will sing you softly to sleep & will happily open the podbay doors – as long as you don’t betray it, Dave.

16) Boasts an all-celebrity cast for its reader. First up: Keanu reads “Moby Dick” “Duude…call me, like, Ishmael.”

17) Grants you access to the tiny door that leads to the inside of Steve Jobs’ head.

18) Gives you a fuller, shinier coat, and protects you from heartworm.

19) Has an Oppenheimer app that will allow you to become Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds. Plus, Sudoku!

20) Will grant you immortality and transform your enemies into fresh-baked blueberry muffins.

[Originally posted by yours truly as part of a Twitter trend tag, #iTabletMyths]

And Now…a Conversation in a Quiet Room.

Married Crush: Why is your face like that? Have you been listening to Fiona Apple again?

Yours Truly: Nah, I just…look, you know, I was thinking, Christmas is the time to let people know how much you care, right?

MC (hesitantly): Yes…why?

YT: Because…because I love you. I know that’s not cool to say, and I know it’s not appropriate, and I know we’re about to go into a Christmas party full of people who will no doubt be puzzled by our distinct lack of Christmas cheer. But I had to let you know, because it’s true, and also because I’m selfish and weak and can’t deal with these feelings by myself anymore.

MC: Claire, I…I really cherish our friendship, and you are SO amazing, but…

YT: Yeah, I know. I know all that, except possibly for the amazing part. And I know you don’t love me the way I love you. I ALSO know that it’s incredibly unfair to dump this on you, especially during the holidays.

MC: <weak noises of obligatory protest> I don’t know what to say to that.

YT: You have a husband and kids (I suspect the latter is the sole reason for the continued presence of the former). And, of course, you have me, showering you with the sort of flirtatious adoration you can safely absorb without consequence because you assume (and rightly so) that I will never act on my feelings for you. But I wanted you to know, in case I’m run over by a milk truck or bludgeoned with a shovel by some maniac.

(At this point, MC’s husband, having overheard our conversation on his way to the bathroom, bludgeons me with a shovel)

And that is why (among other reasons) this conversation will not – cannot – ever happen. Part of loving someone, I think, is preserving them from the kind of deep hurt that follows in the wake of a revelation like this…and there would be plenty. So, we will maintain our friendly, flirty brand of symbiotic interaction, and I will try to bend the power of my most reliable tool (my brain) toward vanquishing my most fickle (my heart).

Also, I am adverse to being brained with garden tools.

Seafaring Mutants Amok!

Which is my way of saying “It’s fun to make anagrams.”

Of all the linguistic toys available to speakers of English, the humble anagram has long been my favorite. As I travel through the world, I find myself automatically anagramming things to see if there’s some secret truth hidden behind the thin veneer of ostensibility. I’m not alone – Lewis Carroll (he of the inspired wit and possible secret identity as Jack the Ripper) was known to take the names of others and attempt to create anagrams from them that were in some way indicative of their owners’ natures (e.g. “Florence Nightingale”= “Flit on, cheering angel”), and of course, everyone who’s seen The Simpsons knows that “Alec Guiness” is an anagram of “Genuine Class.”

I decided to see if I could apply this bit of fun to myself, and came up with:

Claire Montserrat Jackson = A smart, stern, laconic joker

Which would be perfect if I were in any way laconic. However, since I pack more words into most days than Carter has pills, “laconic” ain’t exactly the word for me.

Of course, there’s always:

Claire Montserrat Jackson = A smart lactose corn jerkin

Which, since I do tend to wear fabrics made from milk and corn, is really awesome. Can’t really wear ’em for long in the sun, though. Phew!

Finally, I decided on:

Claire Montserrat Jackson = Larcenist can mortar jokes

While I do not condone larceny in any form (grand or petty), I may or may not be guilty of that crime from time to time, and of course, nobody knows a bombed joke better than I do.

Once the insanity started, of course, I couldn’t stop:

Desktop Support = Dorks test pop-up
Claire de Lunacy = Neural Delicacy (also, “I declare lunacy,” but we won’t examine that one too closely)
The Sultry but Angelic Robin Meade = Celebrated Lesbian Might Turn You (also “Try Humoring Detectable Lesbian”)

What about you, kids? Got any good anagrams you’d like to share?

Interlude

Author’s Note: This is a brief excerpt from a work in progress, tentatively titled Cleo and Meander. It is one of a set of novels I’m writing, all of which touch in some way upon our world and another planet named Circe. Even if you’re not a science fiction/fantasy fan (or a fiction fan in general), I’d ask you, dear readers, to give it a fair shake and let me know your thoughts. Thanks from the bottom of my flinty black heart!

It wasn’t her fault.

To be fair, she had been wandering through the Lost Promenade again, but that was no reason for Father to get so angry. She was a woman grown, not the willful child he’d once banned from visiting the Station alone. And yet, here she was, locked behind the garden gates once more, her skipstone confiscated, her dinner growing cold on the tray. “Inri burn him and his pride!” She stood, brushing a stray lock of auburn hair from her eyes as she tested the lock on the garden gate for what had to be the hundredth time. “Father! FATHER! Let me out!” Her small, strong hands grasped the ironwood bars, the flat rattle of the gate giving voice to her frustration. “FATHER!”

“Why don’t you go to bed, Meander?” The voice came from the shadowed doorway just past the garden gate. “You know he can’t hear you, and although I can, I’d rather not.”  Meander glared in the voice’s direction; she could just make out the silhouette of Rafo, her father’s housewarden. He was smoking a nepeta cigarette, the ember bobbing as he spoke. “He’s got enough birds to snare without having to chase you down as well.” The ember vanished for a moment; a cloud of fragrant smoke drifted through the gate, then the ember returned, a tiny red sun in a distant sky.

“Did I ask for your opinion, Rafo? What do you know about scientific endeavor? About curiosity? All you know is sneaking and spying in the shadows.”

Two lambent green pools appeared above the ember as Rafo regarded her silently. He crushed out the cigarette he’d been smoking, red sparks scattering under his heel as he stepped into the moonlight. “What I know, princess, is that you’ve been doing a little sneaking and spying of your own.” Meander tossed her head, pointedly examining the hinges in the gate for weaknesses as the housewarden went on. “And since you can’t be trusted to stay out of places you shouldn’t be, your father has to treat you like a gatita, locking you up in your apartments until you learn to behave yourself. And I would think that you of all people would be able to appreciate the hidden dangers of an overly curious mind.” His voice was smooth, but his tail was lashing; she’d hit a nerve with that bit about curiosity. She looked up and his eyes caught hers…she winced, but refused to look away from the burning pools of green. Finally, Rafo sighed, then laughed, shaking his head; she felt their eye contact break with an almost palpable snap, suddenly glad for the bars between them. “Ai, Andi, don’t you know that your father loves you more than anything in this world? How do you think he’d feel if you were hurt? Or worse?” A blush crept up Meander’s neck, but she didn’t reply. “Ever since your mother…” The big Felis reached out to stroke her hair, a gesture of comfort from the days when she’d run to him, sobbing, over some minor wound to body or pride.

She could feel the tears welling up; it would never do for him to see her crying. She wasn’t that scared, lonely  little girl anymore – and she was tired, so tired, of being weak. Brushing aside his hand, she blinked back her tears and drew herself up, making her voice hard. “Since the…incident…with my Mother, Housewarden, the only thing my Father has cared about is making sure everyone else is as miserable as he is – and the only thing I’m curious about is how long it will be until I leave this place forever!” Brown eyes bored into green, and whatever Rafo saw in hers made him take a step back. Spinning on her heel, Meander walked away from the stunned Felis, her back straight, her shoulders squared. If any tears fell from her eyes, only the shadows saw them.

Tour De Farce™ Week 12: The Celebrated Pedaling Claire of Miami County

Epic, isn't it?

So here’s the thing:

I love Autumn. It is my favorite season, falling as it does on the borderland betwen Summer’s sun-soaked riot of nature (red in tooth and claw) and the frozen white silence of Winter’s majesty. Also, being a Sagittarius, my own personal mojo starts to ratchet up with the arrival of the Autumnal Equinox, making me more perky, active, and super-duper annoying to all the Summer signs who are slipping into hibernation mode. Add in brisk mornings, an explosion of arboreal color, and weather blessedly cool enough for making bread, Caldo and other taste sensations, and, well, I’m as happy as an Alaskan wolf that hasn’t been senselessly slaughtered with military-grade weaponry by a bespectacled Valkyrie.

Yes, Autumn is a magical time at Casa Claire, and as my energy levels have stabilized after a very trying month or two, I’m pleased to report that my efforts to complete my virtual ride to Utah have continued!

It is not my intent to attempt to cover all the miles I’ve ridden in this post, so we will be forced to content ourselves with the cold facts of the matter for the nonce.

To wit:

MILES BIKED SINCE MY LAST UPDATE: 180 (9.0 miles/day, with various rates of weekly success, the highest being 45 total miles, the lowest 27 total miles)

TOTAL MILES BIKED SO FAR: 464

WHERE I WOULD BE IF THIS BIKE HAD WHEELS: New London, MO

Having turned to the North in an attempt to avoid descending into the bowels of Missouri (sacrificing a trip to the Mark Twain National Forest in the process), I’ve followed the Mighty Mississippi to the quaint town of New London, Missouri – just south of the famous Hannibal, where Mark Twain grew up, looked around, and got the hell out.

OK, I’m being unkind. From what I remember of a very brief childhood visit, the town itself is quite lovely once one gets past its efforts to squeeze every red cent from its association with Twain.  The ironic thing, of course, is just how much Twain himself would’ve hated the marketing and packaging and cheerfully soulless profiteering being done in his name…but I’ll bet he would’ve written something appropriately scathing about the whole mess, and thus society as a whole would profit. Eventually.

Speaking of Mark Twain, I’ve often wondered if Hal Holbrook‘s boyhood home in Cleveland will get the Twain treatment when he finally kicks off to join the real Twain. How surreal would it be to see a replica of Twain’s life in the house once occupied by the man best known as a replica of Twain? What if Hannibal and Cleveland decide to created inverted “sister” monuments, connected in real time? It boggles the mind! If colliding large hadrons doesn’t destroy the universe, the kitsch singularity created by the “Mark Twain Replica Memorial of the Cleveland Hal Holbrook Mark Twain Memorial” Memorial working in concert with the “Twain as Portrayed by Holbrook inside His Childhood Home Portraying Twain’s Childhood Home, as Portrayed by a Hal Holbrook Impressionist” Memorial certainly will.

But I digress. While Hannibal is but a short distance to the north, pulsing with the sickly green light of unchecked, gluttonous prostitution of its favorite son, New London is not without charms of its own. For example, one may drop into Abel’s Quick Shop for a hot dog (most likely with a Mark Twain theme, e.g. “A Connecticut Frankie in King Arthur Bread!” or some such rot) and soda, or maybe walk to the middle of town where, if one is lucky, one may be mown down by a passing car.

Damn it, I’ve got to start timing these miles so I end up in actual towns with, you know, STUFF.

Coming up next week: Canton, Missouri, which actually incorporates “Show You” into its home page headline. I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda hoping they keep the showing to a minimum.

Upon Returning from My First Restaurant Lunch in Months, I Pause to Reflect

How can this be? Blech.
I feel like ten pounds of full
In a five pound bag.

Why did we do it?
Why on Earth did we order
All the food, ever?

There’s only so much
Blue cheese, chips, and lemonade
A girl can digest.

And yet here we are
Splayed in our chairs, arms akimbo
Praying for sweet death.

Buffalo Chicken
Certainly won’t be welcome
Back anytime soon

Even as a wrap
That freaking sandwich is still
The size of my head

And now, as I chew
Another in a series
Of chalky Fruit TUMS™

I think of those days
OH! Those sweet halcyon days
When we could eat junk

And not slip into
A bleary-eyed food coma
All damn afternoon

But those days are gone
I find myself pondering
How long I have ’til

I’m wearing sweaters
All day and eating dinner
When the sun’s still up

Counting out my change
Losing my keys, my handbag,
Scowling at children

I’ll not eat again
Not ever again, I say!
It’s unthinkable!

What did you just say?
There’s a cake in the breakroom?
Well, just a small piece.