|Fri, Dec 6th, 2013 -- 08:01 am|
I AM HOME FROM TEXAS. So that happened.
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Actually the trip had a few hilarious elements, I think the best of which was the Podfic Terror. I was listening to a podfic of one of my own fics (ego, you know) and I happened to fall asleep, which is not unusual for me on airplanes. I woke up to the part of the fanfic where a radio news anchor announces that there's been a small explosion in such-and-such a town, and being on an airplane and hearing someone say there's been an explosions, I woke up fast.
It's good to be home, I guess, even though my home is kind of a mess and has very little food and nobody is here to bring me snacks or blankets and there are no dogs. On the other hand, no dog hair. Man, I'm pretty sure Holstein sheds off the fur equivalent of a good-sized puppy every day.
I'm pretty much totally unready to be an adult again, but I guess I have until Monday to get used to the idea and then, much like my late teens, I will be an adult whether or not I am ready or wish to be.
I'm spending today either in bed or going to Christkindlmarkt, I haven't decided.
|Tue, Dec 3rd, 2013 -- 07:43 pm|
We went to dinner at Red Lobster this evening.
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Mum: Be careful with the menu, apparently that's where all the germs are.
Me: So...no licking the menu, is that what you're saying?
Mum: Just don't smear your hands all over it and then eat with them.
Me: I'm going to rub the menu directly on my surgical incisions.
Mum: We are going to get thrown out of Red Lobster.
I don't know if any of you have been to a Red Lobster recently (or if you're outside the US, ever) but I hadn't been to one in probably ten years. They got really expensive, or so I thought; seafood is pricey but not THAT pricey. But then they actually brought out our food and I realised.
Red Lobster is where you go if you have a powerful hunger.
I ordered a half-plate of crab linguine, expecting maybe a cup, and they brought me twice as much as I would fix for myself at home. Because I was expecting a little cup of pasta, I ordered a skewer of shrimp as well, expecting maybe six or eight. I got an enormous spear covered in shrimp, a JAVELIN of shrimp.
Needless to say, my stepdad is taking a shrimp po'boy to work tomorrow, and I'll be eating linguine probably until I leave for Chicago on Thursday.
|Tue, Dec 3rd, 2013 -- 10:34 am|
Mum had a house cleaning person come to the house today to look at the carpets and counters and give an estimate for cleaning, which I am pleased by not because this place is dirty but because the reason it's not dirty is that Mum spends more time than she should cleaning it. I'm frankly amazed she's willing to allow someone in the house to clean, but whatever helps.
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Anyway, because of this, the dogs are locked in the office, and because of that, so am I. They're barking all over; I feel like joining them in solidarity.
What I am doing instead is posting fanfic. Hooray for random Avengers-based romcoms with large plot holes and mouthy telepaths!
Title: The Best Bad Ideas
Summary: When Clint Barton put on the Captain America costume for a mission, he didn't count on Phil Coulson's reaction. Coulson didn't count on Clint crashing his new team to do something about it.
Here at Dreamwidth | Here at AO3
|Mon, Dec 2nd, 2013 -- 08:57 am|
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Nearly Radio Free Monday!
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I am not doing RFM this week, since I've been busy recovering from surgery, but that doesn't mean people stop needing stuff. Therefore, please feel free to leave comments on this post with links to those in need, interesting news, or "just for fun" items!
Readers, don't forget to check back later today for a more complete view of the comments.
|Sun, Dec 1st, 2013 -- 05:34 pm|
I've been bonding with my parents' dogs lately. Holstein and I in particular have made truce, since he loves to sit on my lap and keep me warm right now, while Longhorn, as much as I love him, won't hold the fuck still.
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They are tiny chihuahua dogs, and a lot of people LOL at that and look down their noses a bit at "little yappy nervous stupid dogs", which are apparently any dog under 30 pounds. I've come to strongly disagree with that. You hear a lot about how these dogs somehow aren't legitimate pets, how they're fashion accessories or whatnot, but I never really felt the need to express that and at this point I definitely don't believe it.
There are people who acquire pets as fashion accessories, who get animals without really thinking beyond "it'll look cute" or "Paris Hilton has one" or something. And some dogs are yappy and annoying. But good training isn't the province of owners of golden retrievers and huskies; any dog is a loud, annoying dog if it has poor training. My parents' dogs are mischief makers; they don't like to sit on command and they sometimes steal my underwear and run around the room with it, but they heel and fetch and are crate-trained, they aren't mean-spirited, and in general they want to please.
Sometimes people say they want "useful" dogs, but I think being a loving companion and being a fellow creature to care for is useful. The idea that anyone who has a dog small enough to travel in a bag with them is using that dog as an accessory is becoming less and less realistic to me the more time I spend accepting the unconditional love of a dog smaller than some pork loins I've cooked. And even if it is true, that's hardly the dog's fault.
I think most people keep pets of any kind in order to feel loved, and people who have pets small enough to carry around with them, to cuddle into their arms and sit on their shoulders, may need to feel love, or to give love, the most frequently. I find it difficult to devalue people who feel compelled to exchange affection that badly.
Our chihuahuas are happy, loving little animals, and they've been very good dogs this week.
Yes they have! Who is a good dog? YOU are! Yes!
|Sat, Nov 30th, 2013 -- 09:46 am|
I'm feeling pretty lucid this morning, which -- despite any appearances -- I have not the last few days. I don't remember a lot of them. Apparently last night I just stood up in the middle of the movie we were watching in the living room and said I had to go to bed, so I did. I guess I knew what I was doing.
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We were watching Despicable Me, which we finished this morning. For those of you who haven't seen it, the hero, Gru, has a bunch of minions, small yellow-coloured guys in goggles and worksuits. Some of the minions have two eyes and some only have one, which FASCINATES my mother. She spent most of last night's viewing and all of this morning's speculating about why.
So far her theories are that the one-eyed minions are babies that grow up in to two-eyed minions; that the one-eyed minions are men and the two-eyed minions are women (I may have laughed a lot about the whole "one eyed minion" thing at this point), or that their jobs are specialized by number of eyes.
She has also called me "happy meal" at least five times, after the line in the movie where a guy yells "Zip it, Happy Meal!" at the child he's kidnapped.
I am feeling the love.
|Fri, Nov 29th, 2013 -- 04:40 pm|
I sat down with my file of photos to post the other day and realised this would be less of a Friday Photo Post than a 2013 Photo Post, given I aparently haven't posted since April.
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But I do have some photos of the year to share! They are behind the cut. It is, of course...image heavy. :D
( Selected Photos of 2013.Collapse )
|Fri, Nov 29th, 2013 -- 09:43 am|
Oh also I have been writing fanfic while on hydrocodone, because I am king of good decisions.
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In this case, in my defence, I had someone else abetting me. :D
Title: Turkey Soldier
Summary: Bucky has a firm policy: never say no to free food, especially on Thanksgiving.
Notes: This is a Coauthorship with the delightful HistoryMiss.
Here at AO3 | Here at Dreamwidth
|Fri, Nov 29th, 2013 -- 08:53 am|
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Maybe I will just never poop again.
I'm sorry, I can't stop talking about this, I've never worried so much about bodily functions. I've never simply not pooped. I don't even feel like I need to. I just haven't, for (doing the math this morning) 90 hours. Which actually doesn't seem like that long when you put it that way. Maybe I am worrying needlessly.
LITERALLY WHILE I WAS TYPING THAT THE SPIRIT BEGAN, AS IT WERE, TO MOVE ME.
Poop achieved. One more step on the road to wellness!
In other news, the dogs have decided I am their new favourite cuddle pillow. Holstein is basically a mobile nap; he's twelve pounds of "allow me to sleep on you". I've held a grudge against him for years beacuse of an incident involving some underwear the first time we met, but he has finally defeated me with napping. He is the best napping partner ever. Longhorn is too young to appreciate a good nap, but he does make a very nice hot water bottle when he's not trying to get me to play Blanket Monster (where my hand under a blanket is a monster he must attack and subdue).
I'm still on drugs so I don't know precisely how coherent I'm being. I keep trying to do all the stuff I said I would while recuperating, like catching up on reading fanfic and comic books, but I literally lack the attention span for comic books. I would be more ashamed of this but have you guys tried to read Superman lately? It's like a German fucking philosophy treatise from the late 19th century. The fucks I give about Krypton's social structure ran out months ago.
And now Holstein wants more naps, so I have to go.
|Thu, Nov 28th, 2013 -- 07:45 am|
My father's mother was a nurse, as was my mother's grandmother, and both of them agreed on the home-wisdom that the second day after surgery -- ie, today, for me -- is the worst. It's not yet eight in the morning and I'm pretty sure this will be the case. I missed a dose of painkiller, I haven't pooped in two days, and my glands hurt.
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The heater turned off accidentally last night, which made for a very cold wake-up, so when I staggered out into the living room this morning I already had one blanket around my shoulders. I got to the couch and scrounged another blanket off the back, which of course attracted Holstein and Longhorn the wonder-chihuahuas. Longhorn is something of a mountaineer; he'll get on your shoulder if you let him, but I couldn't allow him up past my lap. Holstein, who no longer hates me and who has in fact bonded intensely with me in the last two days, couldn't let Longhorn occupy my lap alone. He climbed up too, so I managed to swaddle us all up, which was when Mum brought me a bottle of water and asked if I was okay.
I am okay. I am literally covered in puppies and blankets. As long as I don't move, I should be fine.
|Wed, Nov 27th, 2013 -- 12:31 pm|
As promised, a photo of my gallbladder plus stones. It's not the best photo, being a cellphone picture of a printout, but it gives you an idea. Photo is behind the cut; for scale, the average gallbladder is a little over three inches long, making those stones about marble-sized.
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I think it looks a bit like a barbecue chicken thigh adorned with macadamia nuts. Or maybe they are teeth preparing to consume me from the inside out. Either way, better out than in...
( Gallbladder Du SamCollapse )
|Tue, Nov 26th, 2013 -- 10:35 pm|
This is the first time I've really had proper access to a computer since the surgery, though I've been on and off my phone all day, whenever I thought I could get away with it. It's probably been for the best, since I spent the day oscillating between sleep, food, and television. And peeing. We'll get to the peeing.
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Surgery went fine. The last thing I remember is being positioned under the robot and thinking it was really pretty, like a Chihuly glass sculpture -- I think the initial drug had kicked in by then -- and then I woke up in recovery covered in robot holes and missing my gallbladder.
Everything went smoothly, apparently. My gallbladder was stuffed full of stones, many of which were somewhere between "marble" and "D6 dice" in terms of size. I do have photos but I don't have the brain at the moment to crop and post. Trust me, they are spectacular and horrifying. I grew that! inside of me! Gah!
The worst part so far has been the sore throat from intubation. I mean, the incision sites hurt, but that's to be expected, as is the hangover from the anaesthetic (though pleasantly I did not puke at all). The sore throat, though, just won't seem to go away. I have epic dry mouth, so I'm drinking lots of fluids, but a sore throat is a sore throat, it's just going to take time.
And in the meantime I'm peeing every ten minutes. The post-operative instructions say "Get up and walk around every two hours" and I was like no problem, the constant peeing is taking care of that. I got up to pee twice while writing this. And I'm still drinking water so, more pee to come!
As a gift, before surgery, Mum gave me the best present ever: a Captain America shield pillow. I basically came home, latched onto it, and haven't let go of it except to pee. Transitional object ahoy. Soft, fluffy, perfect transitional object, shut up.
At any rate, I am well, loaded to the gills with opiates, and managed to eat a bit of dinner as well as my body weight in cherry jello. I hope you are all at least as happy as I am and peeing significantly less.
|Tue, Nov 26th, 2013 -- 01:22 pm|
Surgery is done, I'm on the way home. Everything went fine. Wait till you guys see the pictures, it's insane. More later!
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|Mon, Nov 25th, 2013 -- 07:13 pm|
All right kids, I'm off to surgery in the morning. I'll be out all day, more or less. As I've been joking to my family, I'm having surgery with a robot; if I do die tomorrow, death by robot is how I would want to go.
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They find this remarkably unfunny.
Don't cry for me, Blogentina. I won't die, this is a routine procedure done all the time, but if something does go wrong, I have a plan in place so news will reach everyone. Otherwise, expect to hear from me sometime either tomorrow night or Wednesday. I frankly cannot wait to take painkillers again.
Apparently it may snow tomorrow in Austin. I'm not sure if this is some kind of sign. I do love the snow, but the last thing I need is to spend my last pre-cholecystectomy moments scraping my mother off the ceiling of the car when she freaks out over my stepdad's perfectly safe driving.
In the meantime, I'm curled up with the dogs on the bed watching O Brother Where Art Thou. Not a bad way to spend the evening at all.
|Mon, Nov 25th, 2013 -- 06:30 am|
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!
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A quick note before we begin -- my surgery is tomorrow, and I will be recovering the rest of the week, so there will be NO RADIO FREE MONDAY next week. I will make a post where you can leave comments about fundraisers and causes, but there won't be an organised blurb-rich post next week. Thanks, guys. :)
Ways To Give:
twospots linked to a fundraiser for Dew, who needs a double lung transplant. While many of her medical expenses are covered, she still has lots of extra expenses to pay for her care and her lengthy recovery period.
editrx is still raising money to purchase a second hand bookstore in Vermont, and she has two friends who are matching donations up to the next $2500 of the campaign. Now's a great time to support a burgeoning local business, Star Cat Books!
mazily linked to a fundraiser for the Newark Print Shop, who need to move to new, bigger digs after a fire in their old building. The indiegogo is for moving, renovation, and new equipment in their new space!
Twistedingenue on Tumblr has a post up about how to get aid to victims of the tornadoes that hit central Illinois last Sunday, which caused a great deal of damage.
hellotailor linked to a fundraiser for Bang Press, a new press taking on first-time novelists from a fanfic background. It's crowdfunding novels by eleveninches, gyzym, and febricant to get started; I don't think I know eleveninches and febricant personally but I do know gyzym, who is a great writer and whose prose I will vouch for. You can read more about Big Bang Press here and support their kickstarter here.
AgentPaxieAmor linked to a fundraiser to bring MCalc, a gender-neutral and inclusive menstruation calendar and calculator, to iPhone. In addition to being a great cause to support, this is also a nifty-looking tool already available on Android. You can read more here and donate to support here.
schnoogle linked to a kickstarter for "Ever, Jane" an online roleplaying game set in Regency England. It looks fascinating, and it's 2/3 of the way to goal, but it's a big goal and they could use your support.
Just For Fun:
lovessong linked me to more information on the Ronald Reagan Plaque that I posted the other day. This might be the finest news story ever written with a straight face.
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time.
|Sun, Nov 24th, 2013 -- 07:39 pm|
FOUR YEARS IN THE MAKING!
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Those of you who have been on the journal since 2009 may remember Hal Sanitarium, a location caption which popped up on Google Maps just outside the Clark & Division red line station in Chicago. Hal Sanitarium did not actually exist in 2009, and when I went looking I could find nothing about it. Eventually I concluded it was either a "trap location" -- a fake location meant to catch other map websites if they were ripping off code -- or an error in data entry. There was no record of a Hal Sanitarium, or anything like it, at the location.
For quite a while my posts about Hal Sanitarium were the first results that came up when you googled, so I would get a lot of random comments from other people searching for information on the mysterious Sanitarium on the Google Map. It was a bit like the first twenty minutes of a horror film.
Then yesterday, an anonymous commenter found a missing piece of the puzzle. Witness the obituary of Robert B. Hollingsworth, who only deepens the mystery.
Hollingsworth, who died in 1993, was an artist who ran his own ad agency in Chicago -- and then somehow became co-operator of the Halco Sanitarium, an alcohol treatment center which was located just north of Clark & Divison and which closed in 1972. Why a former ad man took over the management of the sanitarium with his mother -- why they were involved in it at all -- are new questions to answer.
But we have a name, now, and a firmer location for the Sanitarium. When I get back to Chicago I'm going to do a little more digging.
If I am eaten by the ghost of a mad inmate of Halco Sanitarium, know that I died as I lived, recklessly and gleefully putting my nose in where it doesn't belong.
|Sat, Nov 23rd, 2013 -- 03:43 pm|
Mum: They're doing a sequel to It's A Wonderful Life. There's a lot of controversy about it.
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Me: I can see that. They did one made-for-tv in the 90s, it was dreadful.
Mum: What was it about?
Me: Clarence showing up in the 90s to help out a yuppie.
Mum: There's your problem. They should do a contest to decide who's going to write it. I bet I'd win.
Me: What would you write about?
Mum: I'd write it about Clarence giving Mr. Potter his comeuppance. Like Scrooge and Marley.
Me: *stunned silence* Yeah, I bet you would win.
You guys want to know where I get my story ideas, it's apparently genetic.
|Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013 -- 04:15 pm|
I am safe in Texas, though given the weather here apparently safe is relative.
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It's colder than usual for Austin at this time of year, which is doing strange things to my parents. I changed out of my traveling clothes and into a fleecy sweater, and Mum immediately demanded to know if I was cold. By the time I had said "no" and then worked out what was happening, she had turned up the heat, lighted the gas fire, and placed a fuzzy blanket over me. I barely managed to restrain her from putting slippers on my feet.
So I am very warm. Also there is a tiny dog sitting on me, pretending he loves me in order to absorb all this excess body heat. Fortunately he's cute, so he gets to stay.
I had a bizarre experience at Midway airport this morning; I was ordered by TSA staff out of the normal-people security checkpoint line and into the Special Rich People security checkpoint line. I was herded off to one side, where it was apprently BACKWARDS DAY. The TSA agent who was walking up and down the line kept yelling things like KEEP YOUR SHOES ON and PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE YOUR LAPTOPS FROM YOUR BAGS and TOILETRIES SHOULD STAY IN BAGS AT ALL TIMES.
I'm telling you after 12 years of being terrorized by the TSA, I and everyone around me was very confused. But apparently we were beta-testing the new streamlined security measures intended to be used for Pre-Check passengers who, for a nominal EIGHTY FIVE DOLLAR fee, can keep their shoes on when they go through security.
Money can't buy you love, but apparently it can magically convince people you're not a shoe-bomber.
I don't intend to sign up for pre-check. Sometimes wearing the funniest socks I can find through the security checkpoint is the highlight of my airport experience. (Sometimes, that highlight is ice cream from Ben & Jerry's in the food court.) If you've never seen a TSA agent double-take at your squid-attacking-a-pirate-ship socks, you haven't fully milked the personal-violation-by-our-government experience.
|Thu, Nov 21st, 2013 -- 10:15 am|
Just a reminder that the Job Fair and Help Fair went on all day yesterday -- if you left a comment anon, don't forget to check back! Also several people did post job prospects in various areas and locales, so keep an eye peeled.
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In other news: FANFIC. It's a birthday gift for Arsenic, and it got a little longer than anticipated. I'm pretty sure she won't mind :D
Do read the warnings, though. This has more potential triggers than usual.
Title: If I Don't Wake Up Dead
Summary: Clint Barton -- subby, ex-carnie white trash, spy -- isn't the kind of guy Captain America goes for. Nobody informed Captain America of this.
Warnings: Descriptions of extreme injury; discussion of control and self-esteem issues; mention of potential eating disorder. Strong themes of domination and submission. Description of semi-traumatic sub-drop.
Here at AO3 | Here at Dreamwidth
|Wed, Nov 20th, 2013 -- 09:16 am|
Welcome to the SAM'S CAFE JOB FAIR! Where our motto is, "Being unemployed is some bullshit. Give me a job."
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I am also running the SAM'S CAFE HELP FAIR, which is in a separate post.
The Job Fair is a chance for both jobsearchers and employers (and those with connections to employers!) to gather, talk, exchange information, and network from the safety of the internet. You can also ask for advice in your field, offer advice to others, and share your work experiences. You can check out earlier job fairs here, for an idea of what goes on.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A JOB...leave a comment! Tell us what you're looking for and where, and what your qualifications are, to the degree that you're comfortable.
IF YOUR PLACE OF WORK IS HIRING...leave a comment! Tell us what the job is and where, and what kind of person you're looking for, again, to the degree that you're comfortable.
Make sure you also READ THE COMMENTS, in case a match is out there waiting for you, or a colleague in your field has also commented and could be a good connection. If you have questions about applying for jobs or interviewing or anything career-related, ask! If you have some awesome advice to give, now's the time to share it!
Feel free to post anonymously if you wish, especially if you're linking to a resume or LinkedIn and don't want your screen name associated with your brickspace identity.
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Sam the Storyteller
|Sam's Original Work
|Other People Can Smell You: A Book About College|
A Small Town Story
A Novel Deduction
|The Dead Isle:|
A Steampunk Adventure
|Dr. King's Lucky Book:|
An Almanac Gone Mad
A Story Of Magic
|Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.|
-- Daniel Burnham
The Egotists' Club is one of the most genial places in London. It is a place to which you may go when you want to tell that odd dream you had last night, or to announce what a good dentist you have discovered. You must not mention golf or fish, however...as Lord Peter Wimsey said when the matter was mooted the other day in the smoking-room, those are things you can talk about anywhere.
-- Dorothy Sayers, The Man With The Copper Fingers
"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all, I know that just to be alive is a grand thing."
-- Agatha Christie
The line between actually very serious and actually very funny is actually very thin.
All over Hollywood, they are continually advising me 'Oh, you mustn't say that. That will get you in a lot of trouble' when I remark that some picture or writer or director or producer is no good. I don't get it. If he isn't any good, why can't you say so? If more people would mention it, pretty soon it might start having some effect.
-- Humphrey Bogart
"At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid."
-— Friedrich Nietzsche
Abby: Is that a guess, or do you actually know where I'm going with this?
Gibbs: What do you think?
Abby: Well, I don't know. That's why I ask you.
Gibbs: Why don't you just tell me?
Abby: So, you don't know!
Gibbs: I want to make sure you know.
Abby: We should play poker sometime.
Gibbs: Yeah we should!
-- NCIS 1.14, "The Good Samaritan"
I am as idle as idle can be: one of the causes you have hit on, viz irresolution, the other being made fully aware that my noddle is not capacious enough to retain or comprehend Mathematics. Beetle hunting & such things I grieve to say is my proper sphere.
-- Charles Darwin
The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.
-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound Of The Baskervilles
Can I read books? Yes. Have I visited every star in the universe? No.
-- Stephen Fry
'I'm sure we can pull together, sir.'
Lord Vetinari raised his eyebrows. 'Oh, I do hope not, I really do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.'
-- Terry Pratchett, The Truth
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
-- HG Wells
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. You are like a pebble thrown into water; you become wet on the surface, but are never part of the water.
-- James Michener
It always seemed to me that those who claim to know that others are going to hell must already be very familiar with the way to get there.
I come in peace, I depart in gratitude.
-- Garrison Keillor
Information is the currency of democracy.
-- Thomas Jefferson
Up to the age of 40, I don't think there was a science-fiction book I hadn't read. I love them because they're a marvelous way — and a safe way, I might add — of saying nasty things about our own society.
-- Sydney Newman
You must believe in it and play it for real. If you don't do that how can you expect anyone else to?
-- Verity Lambert
You need more than a key to get into my ship. You need knowledge.
-- The Doctor
Maintaining integrity as a private detective is difficult; to preserve it for the hundred thousand words of a book would be impossible for me, as it has been for so many others. Nothing corrupts a man so deeply as writing a book; the myriad temptations are overpowering.
-- Rex Stout, The Mother Hunt
Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt.
-- Studs Terkel
I feel good when I am doing it and better than when I am not.
-- John Steinbeck, in response to the question "Why do you write?"
I dunno, this is a really hard job, I gotta come up with five opinions a week.