Notes from a LiteraryVixen

Snarks and Randoms for Your Enlightenment.

Unplugged? Unsettling. June 28, 2008

Filed under: Randoms — theliteraryvixen @ 10:15 pm

Sure, I knew that I was a product of my generation, but it wasn’t until a recent gift hunt that I realized just how dependent on technology I actually am.

It has gotten to the point where being disconnected from the Internet for more than 12 hours is actually physically unsettling. I NEED to check my e-mail. I NEED to reference and cross-reference things with the Holy Trinity of Daily Fixes: Google, IMDb and Wikipedia.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, please allow me to clarify: I do not spend hours and hours trolling the Net for random sites. Neither am I a gamer, unless you count my ongoing rounds of Scrabulous with friends (which is more of a fun “task” really, similar to sending an e-mail, as the rounds go back and forth as people log-in. No chatroom coordination is necessary).

But, while I don’t need to be logged-on for long, I get a bit twitchy if I can’t log on at all.

Cementing my own perception of this addiction was my recent trolling for a very specific item. I was looking for a vintage piece as a birthday gift for my father – who is in the running for the coveted “Most Difficult Person to Find a Gift For” Award. I knew exactly what he was looking for, as he had run across it once and had neglected to buy it . . . and has been kicking himseelf for it ever since.

So, I checked with eBay, I checked with Google. I modified my search strings over and over. I checked again and again for a month solid. But there was nothing. Not a trace of the elusive piece. Anywhere.

This was disconcerting. This has never happened to me before. I felt as though my most trusted friend, my ROCK, had let me down.

I have been an online shopper for years, looking for what is sometimes the truly random. From out-of-print VHS and DVDs, to bootlegs of an 80’s TV show that will likely never be released for home viewing; from discontinued lipsticks and fragrances to Japanese imports . . . all have been found, if not purchased (depending on my value of the item, compared to what the market would bear). But to not find even the slightest shred of validation that the sought-after item exists? Unheard of. It’s like finding a hole in the fabric of my life. A void of information which SHOULD exist.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I would never survive as a pioneer.

Hell, I’ve never even made it through an entire game of Oregon Trail.


Psychiatric Screening. June 21, 2008

Filed under: Philosophy,The Arts — theliteraryvixen @ 1:43 pm
Tags: , ,

I am a big believer in CinemaTherapy.

If I’ve had a tough day at work, or a tough day in general, there is nothing I would rather do than drive straight to the local theater and spend the next two hours in the dark, shared solitude of the local cineplex.

And so that’s what I do.

Seeing a movie in the theatre is almost magical for removing yourself from those stressors you just can’t shake. Something about the sensory deprivation of the dark room, the unavailability of your life, the inability to control the timeline . . . all of these add up to completely making you forget the outside world.

It’s completely different from watching a movie on DVD. First of all, not being in your own home removes a lot of temptation – and not always good temptation. Watching DVDs at home for me often means multi-tasking: reading my junk mail, painting my nails, folding clothes, surfing the Internet, etc. I lose the total focus that the cinema provides. With DVDs at home, too, there’s always the ability to pause or rewind, which removes some of the urgency of paying attention the first time. And, oftentimes, if I’m watching at home, I’m watching something from my (rather extensive) collection. Another reason that I can juggle four or more streams of thought at the same time.

The freshness of the plot, the inability to deal with other things, and the relentless forward movement are such a great way to decompress.

For quiet reflection, I also love reading. However, even that pursuit cannot compete – with books, I can always let my mind trail off (as often happens when stressed) and end up reading the same paragraph several times, or find myself a page or two forward without understanding how I got there, having to reread things I should have already processed . . . had I truly been paying attention.

I know there’s still a bit of a weird stigma about doing things alone in public – dining out, seeing movies, etc. – but, honestly, it’s really good for the soul. It’s calming and refreshing. If you haven’t already, give it a try sometime! It may just be the smoothing your rumpled nerves have been asking for.


Breathtaking (but not in the good way). June 17, 2008

Filed under: Randoms — theliteraryvixen @ 6:31 pm

“Congratulations, it’s a . . . . baby.”

Let’s start this post with getting one simple fact out of the way. Clear the air, so to speak. Here we go (deep breath!): Not all babies are cute.

It’s not a popular sentiment, and some people will never dare admit it, but come on. Denial is healthy for no one.

Anyhow, now that we have that out of the way, I have a theory to share. I believe that adorable babies have no chance of being attractive adults.

Cute babies, and even VERY cute babies . . . sure. They can ostensibly grow up to be very pretty people. It is the ADORABLE babies that end up weird-looking.

“Why?”, you ask?

Well, the very features that we prize in babies – short, wide faces, huge eyes, small, pouty mouths – don’t exactly grow and stretch when the rest of the child does. When the head grows, and the body stretches, the disproportionate scale which works in their favor during their youth – that pushes them over the boundaries of cute, into the “Awwwwwwwwww!” territory –  turns on them.

It’s just a theory at this point. You may feel free to try and prove me wrong. But so far, I stand by it.


Water, Water Everywhere. June 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — theliteraryvixen @ 9:12 pm

The tides were against me this weekend.

Or, if not the tides (seeing as I live nowhere near an ocean), then SOMETHING watery was ticked at me.

Starting with Friday morning, when the water heater in my building was blown. It was a cold shower for me, in which I refused to wash my hair under that arctic spray.

As it turned out, we received notice that the water heater would not be fixed until Monday afternoon. Ewwww. Three DAYS without hot water? That was just not going to work for me. So . . . what’s a girl to do? Did I manage to find my inner pioneer woman and heat some water stovetop for washing my hair?

[Pffft.] Please. I drove to my parent’s house and enjoyed hot water and cold air conditioning all weekend, of course. The pioneer spirit is weak in this one.

Actually, I was already slated to dogsit for them on Saturday night anyhow. I just extended my visit by one day so as to enjoy the modern luxury of heated running water.

But that wasn’t the only water-based inconvenience of the weekend. Mother Nature let loose an onslaught of rain, flooding much of Southern Wisconsin. There were mudslides, road closings, tornado sirens and other signs of impending doom. Luckily, neither my condo nor my parents’ house was affected by this as, honestly, I’d rather just move than deal with the aftermath of flood damage. But it certainly cramps a girl’s social plans!

As I write this, the hot water heater has been replaced, the state is drying out, and the frizz on my cranium is calming. And life is, once again, returned to normal.

But, please, everyone – don’t go around doing any rain dances in the near future. Okay?


The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging. June 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — theliteraryvixen @ 8:14 pm

Blogging used to be a lot more fun.

When I first started writing these, it was back in my MySpace days. A blog was just an account feature which I fooled around with one day. And then I realized that I could have all the therapy of journaling with all the immediate gratification of web stats. And then I was hooked.

I wrote about anything that struck my fancy, from admirations of the season to play-by-plays of my film fest weekends, to movie reviews and more. I told of personal dramas with friends, cleaned up enough to be nigh unrecognizable, but still . . . personal.

Oddly, this blog, which has dealt with a lot more emotion than my previous entries, is not extremely personal. Very little of it is about my everyday life – it has ceased to be situational and become philosophical.

That’s all fine and good, but why? Why the change? Why has blogging become less fun and less frequent?

I realized today that by merit of switching over from MySpace to a “real” blog – swimming in the deep waters, as it were – I’ve felt that most of the little stories that are so fun to write about (the pithy observations, the snarks, the randoms) have all felt too inconsequential to belong on a blog.

Which is ridiculous.

It’s a BLOG for God’s sake! Everyone and their grandmother has one! Just because you’re on a larger platform does not mean you have a larger audience. Write about what you know and love and feel – the people who care about that care about these things as much as, if not more than, your metaphorical ramblings!

I do love a metaphor, though, and seek the meaning to and patterns in everything. So those will likely not stop. But I won’t let that stop me from reporting small things like the fact that I saw three bunnies today or that I have fallen in love with Espresso Vodka, or that I have already killed one mint plant with my incredibly brown thumb.

After all, life is short and our lives are small. If you can find joy in the ephemera, why not share it with others? Even if there’s no great life lesson to be learned, there is value to sharing ideas and thoughts . . . and snarks and randoms.

So, hopefully, you’ll be seeing more frequent updates on THIS blog. Even if it doesn’t change your life, hopefully it will make you smile . . . wryly, at the very least.