In honor of Friday the Thirteenth, a witch's dozen of fun and interesting things I learned this week:
1. Patrick and Bernice came to visit over the weekend, inspiring us to go down into Baltimore for one of our first real city-exploring excursions since making the move. We wound up eating at a place called Crabby Dick's, where we made two discoveries: first, that they serve a crabcake sandwich that meets with Stacy's approval, which is no mean feat; and second, that jokes about crab balls take a lot longer to get old than you think.
2. Also, Patrick has now got me addicted to Hefeweissen. I'm almost positive this is part of the Dark Romany Plot, wherein good beer is left lying around the gaje's house, tempting him to drink it and thus leaving him open to sinister energies, or maybe just so the caravan can come by and take all his comics and stuff while he's passed out. Or, um, something. Anyway, it will probably work.
3. Speaking of Romany, or, well, Romanians, Andrei Codrescu's NPR commentaries are a sure way to get me to have one of their famous Driveway Moments, as I did the other night when he did this piece on the rising popularity of Mesh Music, which sounds like it's very much my thing.
4. Jim Macdonald - writer, instructor, sf personality and all-around nice guy - has a forum where he talks about writing, and on which he says many fine and wise things. I don't always agree with his opinions on style, but he's always worth paying attention to. (He was certainly nicer to me than he needed to be a couple of months ago when I was being brooding and complex about my fear of rejection on the comment threads of Making Light, which meant quite a lot, considering how hanging around with all those Clever Famous Folk over there intimidates the fuck out of me.)
5. On a related note, I need a rich benefactor. And an extra week of vacation.
6. Department of Well, Duh, Moron: If you're a big lazy slob, and you haven't excercized in a long time, and then you do - it hurts. A lot.
7. What with the definition of marriage, and the ensuing idiotic debate thereon, being in the news these days, Stacy sent me this excellent article, which brings up a number of points I'd been wondering about myself.
8. I got my long-awaited copy of Tom Ligotti and Brandon Trenz's Crampton from Middle Pillar yesterday. I haven't sat down to read the whole thing yet, but after a skim-through, I'll tell you this: it's damn weird seeing the word "motherfucker" in a Ligotti work. I can't wait to hear the CD.
9. Maija has returned to the Blogosphere! Rejoice!
10. I've long been of the opinion that "reality TV" is an oxymoron; in a less charitable mood, I'm inclined to shorten that evaluation by three letters. Nonetheless, Stacy's written up a convincing rec for the current incarnation of The Surreal Life, on the merits of a couple of highly unlikely cast members. Go read.
11. Some people have a lot of goddamn time on their hands.
12. Not content with riding the coattails of the Viking Kittens' success, the Spongmonkeys of Rathergood's Moon Song fame can now be seen on network TV, pimping toasted subs for Quizno's. Among other things, this is making the experience of television more surreal than ever. (I did go right out the next day and get a Quizno's sub, though. Draw from that what conclusions you will.)
13. Finally, I looked at my inbox this week and despaired at how many folks I owe email to. If you're one of those people, I have not forgotten you. Try not to feel neglected, in the meantime, or at least be assured you can probably guilt me into buying you ice cream at some point. Ice cream forgives a great many things, right? Right?