proustbot: (liz)
We have German cockroaches in our kitchen. They are small, black, and tenacious.

"'sall right, guys," I find myself mumbling as I stumble through the dark kitchen at six in the morning. "Everything is a-okay. I'm just going to turn on this light switch here, and then I'm going to close my eyes until the count of ten, and by the time I open them, you're not going to be scuttling across the counter/floor/wall in that terrible six-legged manner, okay? All right?"

Unfortunately, German cockroaches are not real good at directions.

ETA: And now, after the good work of our exterminator, they are quitting the kitchen to wander drunkenly throughout the house. Awesome.

ETA2: Killed one. The bastard.

Walden, Taltos, and Point of Honour )
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has narrowly lost a referendum on controversial constitutional changes.

This is surprising on two counts: everyone was expecting Chávez to win this referendum, and Chávez himself is handling the defeat with unexpected grace and tranquility. His term does not end until 2013, so he will have the opportunity to reintroduce these measures down the road, but there is no denying that this unexpected success has energized the opposition groups. The result implies that the majority of Venezuelan voters are increasingly disenchanted with their president's rhetoric, and Chávez will need to shore up his support base before he tries again.

In short, Chávez cedes the position of "International Leader Most Likely To Be Vilified in the Western Press For Dubious Voting Practices" to Vladimir Putin for this week.

Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille, Brothers in Arms, and The House on Mango Street )
proustbot: (Mendou Shutaro)
According to a review I read last week, every sentence of a certain South American novel resounded with "Latin rhythm." (The novel, which I've read, has nothing to do with music and does not have rumba beats issuing from its pages.) I can't help thinking that arbitrary cultural stereotypes are an enormously lazy choice of critical rhetoric. Do people ever talk about the maple-syrup qualities of Mordecai Richler or the geisha-like grace of Haruki Murakami? No? Trite and meaningless, you say?

Teckla, Gaudy Night, and The Amulet of Samarkand )
proustbot: (Default)
[After a group of high-pitched trick-or-treaters left our door, we heard them run across our yard, shouting, "WHOOOOO!"]
BROTHER: "What was that?"
ME: "It was their war cry."
BROTHER: "Yeah, but they weren't really dressed for a war cry."
ME: "What were they dressed as?"
BROTHER: "...fairies."

False Colours, Lord of Light, and Yendi )
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
I am a writer. I spend my days kneeling in the muck of language, feeling around for gooey verbs, nouns, and modifiers that I can squash together to make a blob of a sentence that bears some likeness to reason and sense. Imagine my ecstasy when I come across a hard, clean, bright, shiny number. Behold this gem of precision, perfect in its clarity and radiating mathematical reasonableness and arithmetical sensibility in every direction. I am free at last from the slime of words. Are shadows stretching their spectral arms to embrace the decline of day? Do vespers sound their quotidian knell? Does the gloaming echo with prelude to the nightingale's descant? No! The sun sets at 7:56, and shut up.

--P. J. O'Rourke, "I Sing of Fizzy Fluid Retention," The Atlantic (November 2007)

Chicana Falsa, Slaughterhouse Five, and Jhereg )
proustbot: (clint eastwood)
Yesterday, I stepped on a bent sewing needle, half an inch of which pierced the ball of my foot. There was not much blood when I pulled it free, although I now feel periodic pulses of achy soreness from the foot. When I come down with lockjaw, the Internet has dibs on my good things.

A Farewell to Arms, Brokedown Palace, and Daily Life in Spain in the Golden Age )


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