3/31/2004

3/30/2004

A friend turned me on to this blog by a writer. I like it.
I just inputted more than a years' worth of phone numbers and e-mail addresses on scraps of paper that I kept not having time to input. Now I won't have to keep asking people for their address all the time. Hopefully I won't get this behind again. But no promises.
Woke up, got dressed.

"I get a lot of really nice comments about that show. I guess there were a lot more people watching TV back then, and there were only three networks, and we were all 14 or 15 and doing nothing but watching TV and staring at girls. It was a good time to be on TV." -- Jason Bateman, interviewed in the Onion, regarding "It's Your Move."

Well, I was about 12 at the time, but it was still a great show...

3/29/2004

Before, a woman told me that the Lincoln Tunnel was dark during the blackout. She went through the tunnel on a bus going home from work in NY. I said, "You'd think they'd have had emergency lights." She said, "You'd think."
Woke up, got dressed. I have an old diary from when I was about 7 in which, on one page, I wrote, "Nothing happened today." That about says it.

3/28/2004

Incidentally, Jennifer Lopez's doomed character in Jersey Girl is named Gert, and after she dies, they name the baby Gert. An unlikely coincidence cuz that's my main char's name in Square Two. They make fun of the name in Jersey Girl.

Getting out of the subway today, a cop was yelling, "No! No! No! No!" It turned out he was yelling at a guy who was about to bring his pit bull on the train. The cop told him to muzzle it. I didn't even know you could bring a muzzled dog on the train.
I just saw Kevin Smith's new movie, Jersey Girl, and it was wonderful. Every time I see a Kevin Smith movie, I realize how much I've missed him. I love his dialogue, I love his humor, I love his sensibility. It's fun to catch the motifs and scenarios that recur from his other movies, and it's also fun to see how he has evolved since "Clerks" (still my favorite of his films).

The New York/New Jersey tension in the film is interesting and something I relate to. Growing up near the Jersey shore, you pretty much see New York as a scarybusy place that your parents bring you to every few years for a Broadway musical. Completely different world from the 'burbs.

A guy who writes for Newsweek published an interview with Smith in which he keeps asking him picky questions about things the interviewer didn't like in the film. This guy apparently liked his other films but not this one so much. It was a really weird interview; it seemed like the two of them should have just had a private conversation.

J-Girl was a touching movie that made me laugh out loud and sometimes nearly cry. Ben Affleck and George Carlin were very good, and so was the little girl in it. So go see it. Jersey power!
Thanks to author Pamela Ribon once again for sending readers to my blog! My new novel, Starting from Square Two, just came out and got a positive mention in People, and this is the Amazon link. If you want to read about my goofy first novel Carrie Pilby (June, 2003), about a 19-year-old nerdy genius who has trouble figuring out how to socialize and meet people after college, click that link on my homepage. Also, New Jersey is pretty.

3/27/2004

And then there's this one by a just-jilted Brit.
Bored? Look at the new blog titles posted on the left side of Blogger, and see if you can guess if those blogs belong to men or women before looking at the actual blog. It's not so hard. Why must the sexes be so far apart?

Speaking of which, I'm now getting web referrals from a new site, TheAnonymousBlogette. I can't believe the anonymous bloggER actually has a spin-off fan!
Trident wrote back to me with a list of stores that sell their gum in my area. Of course, they avoided my question, which is why there's no cinnamon. But someone told me to just get it at Duane Reade in NY.
I watched Bowling for Columbine yesterday. I can't believe this won the Oscar. The first half hour or so is very good, looking at guns, and then it veers into things like racism and fears in the late '70s (killer bees) that are completely unrelated. Yes, I get that with the killer bees, he's trying to show that Americans have a culture of fear, but the racism is hardly tied in at all. It sort of comes off as Bowling for a Smorgasbord of Things Liberals are Pissed Off About. And yeah, I'm a bleeding-heart myself, but I don't think Michael Moore causes anyone to change sides by making a movie where he throws in 20 disparate elements.

I also don't like the idea, regarding the killer bees and such, that just because it didn't happen, we shouldn't have been afraid of it. I don't like that idea in general; it's important to be prepared than to be caught off guard. Would we have been better off if the killer bees had come, so that we wouldn't have looked stupid? He talks about how there was never a razor in an apple, and says that in the last 40 years, only two kids have died from Halloween candy, and they were poisoned by relatives. Okay, fine, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't be careful on a holiday that flies in the face of the most basic lesson we're taught as tots -- don't take candy from strangers. How many kids have been injured from Halloween pranks? Probably more than have died from them, but Michael Moore has no way of knowing.

The part in the movie about Welfare to Work is very good. But he could have done a whole movie about that. In fact, there are a lot of good points and moments in the movie that, with actual research and more examples from around the country, could have convinced people who were on the fence about changing things. Michael Moore's smartass, taunting actions (like going to people's private homes and offices and demanding to see them) aren't a substitute for the good research and examples he has at the beginning of the movie. They can too easily be picked apart. I admire him for having the courage to shock people, and some conditions in this country are so terrible that we need someone to shock us. But when he just comes off as a smartass or extremist, he is going to just start getting ignored.

Finally, part of the documentary shows how the network news reports so much violence. But doesn't a documentary on gun violence cause fear also? So, do we need good journalism or not?

Well, I didn't intend to ramble on about this for this long. I guess I would like to see him keep doing what he does. On the whole, we need Michael Moore more than we don't. I've seen episodes of his cable show, and they were very good. Anyway, he won an Oscar, so maybe I'm just whining.

On another note, I'm going to be on the radio at 3 or 4 a.m. Sunday morning being interviewed on WOR-AM about my books. I'm not sure exactly what time it will run, or if I will sound coherent, so don't wait up. I'm going to try to tape it.

On another note (2), last night at 3 a.m. I heard two girls who had just broken up with each other having a loud argument. The bars let out at 3 a.m., and that's when I always hear fights. One girl was outside the other one's car, shouting through the window. She wanted to know when she could come pick up her "shit," but she didn't trust her ex-girlfriend because of all her lies. "You owe me for a lifetime!" she yelled. They also argued over who had been calling whom too much. "You called me Tuesday, you called me Wednesday, and you text messaged me Wednesday," the one outside said.

3/26/2004

The fact that I have no cell phone, cable or air conditioning sometimes makes me the object of derision. Like, one friend just wrote:

fancy faux fireplace (alliteration, ooh la la) but no cable. thou art mad, woman. mad, i say!

I might follow this young adult literature blog: http://maslinda.blogspot.com/
Pizza boxes are really hard to throw out.

I got a nice e-mail from someone who read Carrie Pilby and brought it to her therapist to talk about it.

3/25/2004

Where has all the Trident cinnamon gum gone? It's much harder to find than other flavors. I have e-mailed the proper authorities on this, and will get back to you when I have a result.

Blogfan Sam suggested that I save the 20 pages of Novel 3 that I cut, to show off some day if it does well. Well, I'll save them, but I doubt you'll want to read 'em. Sludge from a pretty river is still sludge.

3/24/2004

It's funny when you're thinking about your novel-in-progress, and you suddenly realize it would be better off if you cut out a 20-page scene that really doesn't add anything anymore, and only serves to put in unecessary extra characters and hinder readers from getting to the real action.

You put it in long ago when you thought it would matter, but now it doesn't.

BUH-BYE!

3/23/2004

Woke up, got dressed, etc.

I won't blather about my book at all today. Thanks for putting up with it. Instead, I would like to point out that few people are as talented -- in so many different ways -- as is Wes, as seen on his blog.

3/22/2004

This page is best viewed standing on your head.
I have confirmation that the weekend soaring of my Amazon rank and bn.com rank is due to the new People (dated March 29) -- subscribers got it on Friday. It's a brief mention, but apparently it was enough to push it toward the top...

I'm almost done with the DaVinci Code. I looked at the Amazon reviews on it, of which readers have logged more than 2,000, and some of them made me hurt myself laughing so hard. When something gets that popular, there's always going to be backlash, and so it is with some of these nutty reviews. Some of the reviewers are fighting with each other. Check it out when bored at work.

Reader Brad pointed out that the thing I figured out with the book jacket relates to the freemasons, and reader Jake noted that there's a Random House website for the book that mentions that there are codes hidden on the dust jacket and cover.

3/21/2004

I just heard another annoying On*Star commercial. This one was, "Help I just locked my daughter in the car, and she's choking herself with the seat belt." The On*Star woman unlocked the car remotely. That is pretty impressive, but why didn't the mom SMASH THE $^# WINDOW? Well, maybe you can't do that. Howard Stern spoofed those commercials a few weeks ago...I don't remember exactly what the spoof was, but I'm sure it had peepee and caca in it.
With my mind wandering, as it usually does, I noticed that on the book jacket of DaVinci Code (regrettably still 226 notches above my book on Amazon, ha ha), certain leters are slightly bolded. I wrote them down, and it says, "Is there no help for the widows son." I knew that I couldn't be the only one to figure this out, as this book's been a best-seller for some time, so I put it into the internet. There are some citings, and it's apparently got to do with the Mormons. I don't care enough to look up anything else about it. If you have the hardcover, check it out and you'll see. Anyway, I'm about a third of the way through the book.

I've been more interested in reading stuff related to the documentary Capturing the Friedmans, which I saw a few days ago. Truly haunting and riveting.
My Amazon ranking for Starting from Square Two has been zooming all day, and so has my bn.com. I guess this is because of People, although I'm not 100 percent sure, because I don't know if the March 29 issue is on stands yet. I'll have to see what develops!

3/19/2004

I woke up this morning and it was SNOWING!! I just think that's a riot. Spring begins tomorrow. Just remember, folks, it tends to rain almost every weekend in April around here. Every year, it happens and people start complaining, and they forget that it happened the previous year. April showers bring May flowers.

So my book is mentioned in an upcoming issue of PEOPLE(March 29), which just appeared on Nexus today and was e-mailed to me. It's one of the five spring chick picks...here's what they say!

HEADLINE: Spring's Best Chick Lit;
This spring our top chick-lit picks offer gossipy girlfriends, adventures in dating land, cupcakes (both male and frosted varieties) and other light-hearted fluff that's surprisingly filling.

BYLINE: Andrea L. Sachs

FAT CHANCE by Deborah Blumenthal
CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? by Sophie Kinsella
WEDDING SEASON by Darcy Cosper
WEEKEND IN PARIS by Robyn Sisman
STARTING FROM SQUARE TWO by Caren Lissner

STARTING FROM SQUARE TWO

Gert Healy hates being single because every man she meets is not her husband--or, more to the point, her recently deceased husband. Pals help her with their cockeyed "Rules," such as advising her to sit in the middle seat of air-planes to maximize chatting opportunities. Amid the dating hoopla, Gert bravely finds love the second time around. --A.L.S.

Anyway, that's good.

So you've noticed I haven't been updating the blog much. I've been resting and trying not to be on the computer all the time, and re-analyzing my life (does it ever help?) and catching up on reading.

Does writing save my life, or harm it? Should it have that big a role, either way? It's what I do, it's how I think...and I generally like doing it. So I guess I should consider myself lucky, rather than wondering how life would be different without it. It makes me happy (when it's not driving me crazy) and I can't imagine not doing it. I just have to maintain the proper balance of writing life and real life. That can't be so hard.

3/17/2004

Via Ned Vizzini's blog, a link to celebrity palindromes.
Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

Is it really supposed to snow Thursday and Friday?? What a riot!!

3/16/2004

It's snowing. What a mess!
Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

I finally got to read Why Girls Are Weird. Such fun! The novel came out last summer when mine did, and it centers on a woman, Anna K, who has a very popular blog and starts seeing the things she writes on her blog interfere with her personal life. There's a lot of suspense regarding what happens with her ex-boyfriend, adoring pen pal(s), and family. I was impressed that the family part was well-done, since often a chick-lit author will try to throw in a few family or work episodes to make the book seem more well-rounded, but sometimes fails. In WGAW, it worked. So hats off to popular blogger Pam Ribon. (Hmmm...when she mentioned my novel in December, she sent like 500 people my way. So now I get to send her 2.5 in return.)

3/13/2004

Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

My arm still feels weak, so I won't be blogging or doing e-mail much in the next few days.

A few people have e-mailed me to say they couldn't find Starting from Square Two in bookstores. Sometimes it is put in the romance section. While that keeps the book out of the view corridor of some readers, the nice thing is that it also allows it to be reviewed by the many romance sites. One of them just gave it a very nice review. (Scroll down - it's the fourth book.) They gave it ten out of ten. Thanks!

3/10/2004

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Trivia was packed last night. At least one person answers "Bea Arthur" for a question each week in which the answer is a man.

Due to attempts at shoulder-healing, relaxation, etc., and to encroaching newspaper deadlines, I am going to lay off the computer a lot in the next few days. That means a lack of blogging and not much e-mail answering. Once I start surfing the net, I don't stop. So I'm taking a breather for a few days to see if I can heal better.

In the mean time, let it snow! (Just kidding.)

3/09/2004

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

3/08/2004

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Wes responded to Anonymous' deal-breakers. That's pretty funny. Click the link to (the pretty darn handsome!) Wes after reading Anonymous.

3/07/2004

I forgot to mention that this morning in Hoboken, I saw several women walking down the street wearing green. Which means they didn't change since yesterday...you get my point.
I forgot to mention that it's supposed to snow tomorrow. To all of y'all who complained that it snowed a lot this winter -- that's what winter DOES. And spring is two weeks away, and it will get warmer and warmer as it approaches (except tomorrow). So rejoice that the seasons you enjoyed as a kid have returned, and stop kvetching.

I should update my barometer blog instead of neglecting it.

On the news, they said that a 21-year-old woman who was missing in NY (I've seen the posters up myself) was just found. She was supposed to visit her family two weeks ago but instead somehow ended up at a place in the Hamptons. She's okay, though. She saw an item on the TV news about her and called home. It seems like there have been more missing persons signs up lately than normal, so I'm glad there's one less to fear for.

I watched the '80s movie "Gotcha," which was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. Since it's about the Assassination Game - something people played in my high school that would never fly today - I thought it was pretty cool in ninth grade when it came out, and since it's from the '80s, I figured it'd be needlessly schlocky when I watched it again, but it was only a little schlocky. Probably 'cuz it was from '85 and thus almost into the modern era.
I know that a few women read this who are writers. Glamour magazine is having an essay contest. Send them a personal essay of 3,000 words or less, and you may win $5,000 and a lunch in NYC with an agent, as well as publication of your essay. This isn't a bad way to get in the door.
Anonymous Blogger has an interesting entry today, still on the subject of deal-breakers. He makes Dawn's deal-breakers sound worse than they are, though; really, the main place the two of them really differ is on the entries involving God.

While I'm not religious, I admire Dawn for sticking by her beliefs. I imagine it's tough to be a religious person if you live in NYC and care about music and pop culture the way Dawn does. Many people are scornful of religion, which is certainly an easier thing to be in this neck of the woods than to be religious.
"Your Puppy dream means something or someone is out of control in your life, and the solution may seem way too complicated, but the real solution is actually very simple. Stop over thinking a problem, and the simple solution will prove to be the proper one, saving you a lot of grief in the process.
Please note that there are a million dream interpretation books out there and I haven't read a single one, so I could just be talking out my pancreas.
With a grain of salt, Sam."

3/06/2004

Note that in the puppy pancreas dream, the puppy was perfectly fine doing this and suffered no ill effects.

Today is St. Pat's Parade day in Hoboken. They do it early here so they don't have to compete with other cities (NYC) for marching bands. I went to do my laundry at 9:30 a.m. and the liquor store downstairs was already open. Now the street is full of green silly string. Some people outside are singing, "Livin' on a Prayer." Jersey pride! But the skies keep opening up suddenly, showering everyone with rain, so the revelry is getting washed up.
Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

I had a dream that there was a puppy somewhere who was hungry, but it was really cold or was snowing in in the town in which I lived or something, so no one could reach it to feed it. (It wasn't my puppy; I just knew about it.) So a veterinarian had to call the puppy and give it instructions on how to remove and eat its pancreas, then stitch itself back up. The heroic puppy did so. Later it realized there was a hole in its cage it could have climbed through to go get food. I just woke up a second ago and don't understand how I was buying this whole thing, but while asleep, it seemed completely realistic. I'm thinking that later today I may get on here and erase it, because as the day goes on, I will feel more and more strange that I even though about it.

Last night was my reading in Hoboken, and thanks soooo much to everyone who turned out. Coming to see someone read parts of their book is kind, considering we can all just read them ourselves, but hopefully the Q&A was somewhat helpful or amusing, and there was a little food. So thanks, all.

I am going to see a real dr. on Monday about my shoulder. I think I might go back to bed now to celebrate not having to go to work today. (And to stop using my shoulder to type.)

3/05/2004

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Thanks to Lori for passing along this timed quiz. See how many of the 50 states you can identify. If you can't, you fail 3rd grade and the little bus comes to take you away.

3/04/2004

Woke up. Put on clothes. Went to work.

3/03/2004

An update on the "Gay Penguin" saga...a homosexual penguin wants to run for president. It's amazing that in a society that considers itself modern, it took this long!
Woke up, put clothes on, went to work.

Finally finished revisions to both screenplays. Since I wrote the first draft of the first one three years ago, it was time to get done. It feels good. Of course, now I will show it to more professional folks who may suggest more revisions. But phase 1 (or 2, or 3) is done.

Two doctor's appts today for my shoulder. So I may not blog much again today. Unless I can come up with something really pithy to say.

Well, okay. One thing that really pisses me off. It's happened a few times in the last year (and not recently, so don't think it's you): When someone asks me to pick a dinner or lunch or drinks place, and I say, "Are you sure you don't have a preference," and they say, "No, I don't care, just pick something" and I offer up a place or two, and then they pause and say they don't like those places. So if you say you don't care and that I should pick, don't THEN reject my suggestions, you putz.

3/02/2004

Woke up, put clothes on, went to work.

3/01/2004

Woke up, put clothes on, went to work.

My right shoulder hurts. I think I dislocated it. Too much writing. Must see doctor. Bye.