Wednesday, May 27, 2009

what i've learned so far this week

what a week! i've been busy late into the night every night this week. and i thought i'd share a few things that i've learned along the way....
  1. writing a whole 40+ page magazine more or less by yourself is not easy.
  2. it's best if you never, ever let yourself think of it all at once (because it turns out that's quite breathtakingly paralyzing), but instead keep thinking of it in individual articles/items in a checklist. small, digestible chunks, in other words.
  3. even if you think of it in individual pieces, it somehow does end up all fitting together, because it's all coming from your brain.
  4. when you do a series of interviews on similar topics over several days, you should really type out everything from your notes after each interview. this will help you immeasurably later. (note to self: follow this advice in the future. for. sure.) if you don't, they can become jumbled up in your head and in your notes and take a whole lot longer to write into a coherent story.
  5. a smooth stone, held in your hand occasionally for strength, helps your concentration.
  6. chill/lounge music in the background is also good for concentration.
  7. you will wake up in a cold sweat at 5:12 a.m., worried about whether you're ever going to get it all done.
  8. you will get it all done.
  9. you have to accept that some of it is good and some of it is dross. (dang, that is a seriously harsh word when i think about it.) but the fact is that there's only so much you can do to sex up propellers, hull coatings and propulsion systems. 
  10. thrusters, on the other hand, are by their very nature, sexy as hell.
  11. i thought briefly that i had lost my rock when i took sabin to the dentist, but after an only mildly panicked frantic search, i found it in the car. and felt very relieved. note to self: keep track of the damn rock.
  12. a woman in england apparently kept the body of her mother in her freezer for 20 years. and i thought i was bad about cleaning out the freezer. i wonder if she had a special freezer dedicated to just that or if she kept food in there too.
  13. jane fonda has been rendered unrecognizable by plastic surgery, but she's still sharp and funny (thanks david letterman (and TV2Zulu for broadcasting you when it's time to make lunch)).
  14. there are people who are my age and who have children the age of my child who do not spend any time at all in cyberspace and yet they still think they exist. imagine that. i could not, however, verify their actual existence since i was unable to find them online.
  15. those people who can't speak the language of blogging, facebook, twitter, flickr, linked-in, plaxo, tumblr, and social media in general are being sorely left behind and will undoubtedly soon divide off the human branch, like neanderthals. i mean, they can hardly even participate in a normal conversation.
  16. in a fit of madness desire to inhabit a physical presence within my local community, i volunteered our house for a parents' party for all of the parents in sabin's class. sadly, we have nothing in common with them other than the fact that we managed to produce offspring at around the same time. and since the party is at our house, we won't be able to slip away. however, i did manage to make sure that the party will have an ABBA theme, so if i'm dressed as Agnete, eating a shrimp cocktail, and sipping a cold martini, i will no doubt care less.
  17. i found my "U." it was in the basket with all of the DS games.
  18. my light, bright dining room is a good place to work.
  19. the pope has an iPhone. this means one of two things--either the iPhone is SO over or it's the only phone where you can get a direct line to god. if you were so inclined. which i suppose you are if you're the pope.
  20. some people strongly fear being different or standing out or putting their 7-year-old on a trans-atlantic flight all by herself. i thought i feared those people, but i'm actually grateful for their existence, because it makes my existence more unique. and it always comes back to me. now would you please hand me my tiara?
what have you learned so far this week?


will said...

The Pope may have an iPhone but who would call him? A brace of bishops? A cage full of cardinals? A nest of nuns? No, he has a phone but I bet it sits silently unused next to his Magic Eight Ball and Atari Pong game.

Cyndy said...

To celebrate your accomplishments, I am going to go and tackle a hallway/room/laundry area that is in desperate need of attention (your hallway x10). If you can do all 20 things on this list and still write about it, I can do this...(sans pictures)

Magpie said...

I kind of love #19, even though I believe that there is no god.

I had a pig's tail in my freezer for a long time, but I gave it to a seven year old boy.

Meri said...

And if all else fails, take rock from #5 and bash forehead. Then stop and enjoy absence of pain.

julochka said...

Bill--magic 8 ball. that's classic!

Cyndy--wow, i was trying to be funny, not really to inspire. :-)

Magpie--me too (tho' it did give me pause on whether my iPhone was still cool or not) i once knew a guy who had his toe which he had accidentally shot off in a display of stunning stupidity in his freezer. probably still has it...

meri--believe me, it crossed my mind. however, it was a bit small for that. i would have needed a larger one.

jane said...

this is a great list. can you hear me laughing? besos-jane

Izzy said...

I hear you, tiara girl... =) I fell off my chair reading #16, lots of luck with that endeavor.

Liz Fulcher, The Fragrant Muse said...

House clearing suggestion for #16:
"Hey everyone, looky here..our photo album of family vacations! All ten years worth!"

rxBambi said...

I'm so glad you found u! Of course it's with the DS games. Sounds like my house. I love my iPhone and it loyally remains attached to my hip. I don't care if the Pope makes it uncool. Plus, although I'm having a religious crisis at the moment I do believe in God and would actually like a direct line. What's the damn number?
Any party where you get a martini is a good one. Besides you could always excuse yourself and go hide in your master closet. That's what I'd do. With said martini.
This morning I decided to buy my sister some of your stones. Watch for me.
I love your blog. seriously. major blog crush. Are you blushing? I am. TMI?

rxBambi said...

Oh and thanx for the new vocab word. I'm not usually a fan of smelting, nor am I a fan of the waste product from molten metal. I liked that one the best :)

Unknown said...

Julie, I love your list, specially the bits at the beginning because they totally take me back to when I was a journalist, and didn't transcript my notes on the same day! Nightmare!
And, OK, you have totally ruined the iPhone for me... although I'm still getting one for my birthday in two weeks (just before blog camp!)!

McGillicutty said...

I have learned that there is more stuff rambling around in my head than I have time to get into the blogggggg!!!! I am taking sneak peaks at work... really a big no no. So I will try and save it all up and write something spectaclier when i get home. Love, love, love your stuff... in a totally platonic way!!! Ali.

McGillicutty said...

p.s. forgot to mention about the Queen getting an iPod from Obama... Uhh??? yeah.

julochka said...

jane--glad it made you laugh. i needed to laugh after all of the work of the recent days.

izzy--happily, it's not 'til september, so i can psyche up/sew a fabulous costume/make plans to be in outer mongolia.

HRH TFM--i was thinking of just running the entire contents of iPhoto (all 25,000+ pix) as a slide show on the projector in the garden.

bambi--i'm afraid i haven't got god's number, but i did need a letter from him once. that's how you get a fulbright. :-) and dross recently crossed my radar in another context, so i had to share it. :-)

B--don't let the pope having an iPhone ruin it for you..after all Ali says that Obama just gave one to the queen and Obama's cool. :-)

Ali--it's totally addictive. when i'm actually in the office i have to make great effort to stay off too. and thanks for that info on Obama and the queen!

Unknown said...

Whew! My face hurts with smiling for so long.
#1...need some guest writers?
Love # 2. I'm writing my novel that way.
And really does come together doesn't it?
#4-Good lesson to remember. I'm always doing that...not typing out things immediately after an idea burst...things get a little fuzzy and mixed up.
#5 I have one! It's true it works. It reminds me to be still. 'Cause that's what I painted on it. "Be Still and know that I Am."
#6 I listen to ambient music, Jazz whatever doesn't have lyrics...cause I'll listen to the lyrics and start singing, which always stops my writing process.
#7 I live this one daily.
#8 I sometimes don't get it all done...but who cares...I'm the only one who get's uptight and wigged out.
#9 Yep...what the heck are sex up propellers?
#10 You gotta be talkin' about watercraft.
#11 Whew!
#12 My teenage sons make sure the freezers contents are rotated frequently. Hey who left the empty ice cream carton in there??!
#13 I love stuff that makes me smile! JF does that for me.
#14 I know, pretty soon I'll be teaching Cyberspeak as a Second Language. CSL certification will be necessary.
#15 Yup.
#16 Hope you learned your lesson.
Martinis make the world a better place!
#17 Oy Vay!
#18 And drink a Martini with some yummy appetizers.
#19 It's only because the screen is easier to see. Texting's a bitch when you're that old.
#20 This list is freakin' long.

Lorac said...

Glad you made it back from the depths of catalog writing! You must feel "Marvelous Darhling" And also glad you found your stone. It is a piece of you know! Find a safe shelf to store it on until it is needed again.

julochka said...

kim--wow, thanks for doing a whole list of your own! and yes, you might say it was watercraft. rather large, complex ones.

lorac--i'm afraid it wasn't a catalog. :-) i'm thinking i need to be sure i'm wearing something with pockets.

Extranjera said...

So now i have to envy the pope. Damn you.
Me and him already had this good agreeing to disagree thing going and now I hear the P hast the iP.

Like, now I like feel like really pissed.

I need it to blog. What does he do with it? Send up fake white smoke, to keep everyone on their toes?

julochka said...

ext--i think the P is probably using the Tweetie app to keep the cardinals appraised of whassup...and of course updating his FB page...

Hit 40 said...

WOW!!! Way to be random! I did not know you had it in you.

It started all serious...

then you just threw it all out there!! My favorite #16 - just because they breed at the same time!!! LOL SO TRUE!!! I have little in common with the other moms.

Extranjera said...

Also, love the powerbeads!

julochka said...

hit40--you didn't know i had RANDOM in me? wow, you haven't been around long, eh? ;-) i'm all about random. in fact, that's pretty much all i've got.

and as for #16, husband was a bit ahem, disappointed in me for volunteering our house for the party. i actually did it sarcastically originally and then felt i had to pretend i had meant it b/c they weren't getting my sarcasm. my mouth, getting me in trouble. :-) but it's not 'til september, so outer mongolia could always come thru in the meantime. :-)

paris parfait said...

Well done, you! As for No. 2, that is the only way I could get through writing my book - otherwise, yes, absolutely overwhelming. And 9 is right too - I struggled with that one during my newspaper editor days. 10 -Yes. 13. I find it very disturbing when so many actresses are having plastic surgery - Cher is really looking scary and even Sharon Stone has apparently succumbed. She looked completely different (but not horrible) at the Cannes Film Festival. But what is the appeal of those frightening stretched and shiny faces?? I just don't understand it. 14 and 15 are true, sadly. The world is moving on, except for certain Republicans.

Sorry I haven't been visiting much lately, as I've been overwhelmed (at first, paralyzed) by too many projects at once. I really appreciate your comments about my photos and the reflections book (as we speak, working on one w/ French pub.) and exhibit. You can't imagine how much of a much-needed boost those words were, on that particular day. Thank you so much! xo

Sarah said...

That is an epic list to end all lists. I especially love the update on the 'u" situation as I was looking for it too. And the pope thing. Oh and #20. Well, darn it, I just loved the whole thing. And people NEVER get sarcasm which is my only way of conversing, which in turn has made me very excited to meet you and EXT since we are total sarcastic sisters.

And, EXT, I almost spit out my pop when I read the "P has the iP." I actually snorted I was laughing so hard, which I think freaked out my new co-worker (yet another man to the already man infested office.)

Extranjera said...

VEG - Snorting out your Ps could be a sign of H1N1 (I'm only now catching on... That's what Africa does to you...)

Sarah said...

EXT: I still prefer swine flu. It makes it sound stupid, like it is. Although I sneezed an epic sneeze on the bus the other day (Allergies damn you!) and the lady sitting beside me got up and moved. Which was WAY hilarious. It's not like I got any on her or anything.

Extranjera said...

VEG - still a little hazy on all of them animals... But also appreciate the power of a good cough up of something.

Space and leg room.

I don't like to share my row on an airplane with anyone (since I fly monkey, unlike julochka, whom I now understand much better after staring at the privileged people glaring us plebes down from upstairs fancy shmancy lounge at CPH airport).

Huh? What do you mean I'm commenting on HER blog?

julochka said...

Tara--i'm very happy that my comments were well-timed for you... your pictures (i was a bit behind as well) were a well-timed mental beauty break for me and re-started my thinking that day so i could go back to my work, so perhaps it was a moment of mutual inspiration. :-) i love those!

VEG--glad you liked the list. and that you get the sarcasm. too bad you weren't there when i got roped onto the party committee. at least i got the ABBA thing in last evening, I could see on their faces that it was a bit out there for them, but they couldn't really argue since it's my house. ha!

and i don't think you've got H1N1 (sorry, with 27 million pigs and only 5 million danes, we're outnumbered, so i'm uncomfortable with the whole Swine thing already). but i think those public sneezes come in handy--i had one at baggage claim the other day. plenty of room to grab my bag from the belt.

Ext--i kinda like the time-lapse of places like africa. are you finding finland to be the same ;-)

julochka said...

ext--wow, that was like simultaneous posting. :-)

which upstairs lounge are you referring to? the SAS one or the Diner's one over in terminal 2? b/c i'm in the SAS one, but i never go over there by the part where i could look down on the masses. i stay at the back. mostly b/c it's closer to the wine. in Oslo, tho', i look out, but that's only b/c the gold lounge is at the back and it's really quite small. and even worse, you're looking out at the domestic gates, which means people who aren't even on an international flt. oh the horror...

julochka said...

ext--forgot to say thanks on the beads--those are molly's magic beads. :-)

oh, and i think the pope/iPhone thing has caused me to lose a follower. oh well, i think it was worth it.

Sarah said...

EXT: I have never been outside of the cattle, sorry, coach area of the plane. Apparently, I am not good enough for business class. But maybe it's better cause I have more people to grab on to when the plane starts bouncing in turbulence.

Julochka: Yep, a good sneeze is refreshing, and a great way to get a seat on the bus. Especially if I stumble a bit and hold my head after, like some kind of lunatic.

Extranjera said...

Are you suggesting that Finland might have caught up to 1999. I don't think so. Fanny packs are alive and well.

I'm sort of sad you didn't see me wear my pajamas onto the 1 hr flight?

Char said...

1 - i had forgotten what it's like to really organize something. turns out i'm still good at it.
2 - some country roads are not photogenic.
3 - lemon pie holds up well as a breakfast food.
4 - pugs can be snuffly if they sleep directly at your feet.
5 - box fans provide wonderful white noise to sleep by.
6 - you can oversleep, even if you have no place to go.

Sarah said...

Julochka: I also wanted to compliment you on your ring. I have a big ring (not as big as yours but big) and don't have the guts to wear it. But you have inspired me and maybe I will tomorrow.

The pope is controversial - maybe it was my comment on snorting while laughing at the pope/iphone comment. Sorry.

Sarah said...

EXT: fanny packs elicited another snort laugh. I think new co-worker is hastily packing up his bag to get away from me.

Extranjera said...

VEG - Me neither, me neither... only 10 cm seat for my 1 meter ass. Thus is destiny.

julochka - I'll say it. Pope's not good publicity. Pope's kinda suspect.

Now you'll probably lose even more, but then at least you'll have me to blame.

Silver lining?

Extranjera said...

VEG - Big rings are the shit (sorry, was i allowed to swear on your [julochka's] blog. Can't remember, so I'll go ahead and do it anyways).

But, I'll say you rock regardless!

Sarah said...

EXT: OK, it's official. Have swine flu from all the snort-laughing which has also led to co-worker being afraid of me, which actually could come in handy. 1 meter ass was latest snort-laugh worthy comment. Especially because my ass is approximately the same. I was trying to figure out my weight last night as it translates from kg to lbs and I actually laughed and said my drivers license was lying to me when it said 59.0 kgs. When, in 1985?

And I always thought that the Pope was suspect too, especially given the fancy shoes he wears.

julochka said...

VEG--no turbulence in biz class. and there are windows and fresh flowers in the bathrooms. i won't go on, i'll have to write a whole post about it.

thanks on the ring--it's my "obama won" ring, you know. i was in manila at the time and bought it for myself to celebrate his victory.

ext--we're done with the pope now, right? i don't like the dark circles around his eyes. silver lining is that whoever stopped following was probably a homeschooling mom with a ginormous gas guzzling SUV and one of those "what would jesus do" bumper stickers. was just discussing with TB earlier that we don't mind seeing them go.

oh oh, bye-bye more followers. and i hang out with lesbians all the time--ones who are married! because you can do that in DK.

how did we end up here?


char--i love your list! i want a pug. and i'm so making that lemon pie. as soon as i figure out of i can use digestives instead of graham crackers.

Extranjera said...

VEG - What kind of man can wear that much white? I mean really, who does he think think he is? Some sort of ambassador from the big G?

julochka said...

i'm afraid ambassador from the big G is exactly who he thinks he is..

and we haven't even covered his HATS!

i did kinda always like pope john paul's popemobile. but i don't know if this one uses it..

wait, weren't we off the pope now and onto lesbians?

Sarah said...

I actually cried the day Obama won. It meant that maybe the American voting public wasn't so bad after all. I mean, two terms of idiot (sorry, Bush) was a little much to take here in Canada, AKA America's Hat.

Go gay marriage go! The more the better, I say! (oops, there go 3 more)

And, Jesus would smite you down for driving a tank, oops, SUV that uses more dinosaurs, oops, gas, than could power the ENTIRE earth when Jesus was around. Or not.

Sarah said...

Oh, I am behind...yes, he THINKS he is the right hand man of the big G, but who knows. The God Delusion is a great book btw, totally goes into this stuff (oh, sorry, 4 more probably just left). I was reading it one day when living in purgatory (that would be Windsor, ON), which is a very religious town, and this lady on the bus, who, no joke, crossed herself every time we passed a church and had rosary beads permanently in her hands, was giving me the stink eye the whole time.

Extranjera said...

Instead of writing something that will bring me the wrath of hundreds of THEM (home schooling, SUV driving weirdos - yup, know exactly what you mean) I'll just go to bed now.

have to wake up hubby to get him to brush his teeth anyways (he is waiting for me to just read this 'one last thing'.

Am done with the pope and fresh tomorrow to move onto other suspect religious fanatics.

julochka said...

i went to windsor, ontario one day. we were bored and wanted to go to places ending in O, so we hit toledo, ohio, ontario. and the reason it sucks--right next to detroit.

i got interrogated by the border guards on the way back, they asked what i had bought. i held up a packet of sunflower seeds and a coke. the woman said, "you drove to a foreign country for that?" yup.

Extranjera said...


Busg = bad, unless we're all lesbians in which case bush is good, yes?

really now going to bed.

Extranjera said...

Not Busg, but Bush. Although still as bad.

McGillicutty said... DIGESTIVES!!! you have no idea how I miss them. Don't care about Pope comments.. that's no reason to leave you :0(
VEG - I recently had my driver's lic renewed and that damn guy at the DMV or whatever it's called ADDED 20 lbs to my weight and I didn't ever notice 'til later!!! now that's worthy of a WTF no matter who's blog you're on.
Much lovies... Ali.

Sarah said...

EXT: See you tomorrow. Say 'night to hubby!

Julochka: Yes, we call Windsor Detroit South. It sucks for many more reasons than that, but it would take me too long. Maybe I will post on it sometime.

I once drove to Washington State (3 hours) to get Jack-in-the-Box sourdough burgers. So I totally get it.

julochka said...

i think we are all sorry about bush.

Extranjera said...

Sorry about. Not ever sorry to. Unless again it is a bush of different kind, and i think I'm very tired now.

Bed. I mean it.

Cyndy said...

Dammit! I really wish I had taken a moment to read your response before embarking upon the laundry/hallway/someday-to-be-library room. It was not that I misunderstood your sarcasm--just wanted to have a list of to-dones-ta-das, also.

Room still in disarray, but I can finally get from one side to the other and the kids have enough clean laundry to last the rest of the month (yes, I realize that June is just week away, but I also know that it is Wednesday, so I am ahead of the game a bit).

Had to stop for a little league game, but returned to 63 messages from today's 3 wisest women, jet set maiden magi who live in different parts of the world but follow one star: a lesbian pope who wears only black (which coincidentally matches her blackberry) who only plays golf on Sundays while drinking tomato wine. Did I miss anything? Oh, yes, she wears dentures because she doesn't have any teeth.

Don't worry about losing your followers, ladies. There simply isn't enough hours in the day to respond to them all anyway...

(sorry about the long comment--must be the bleach...)

Pattern and Perspective said...

Haha. I was reading Julie's comment to Extra regarding lost follower who probably had WWJD bumper sticker. haha. Cracks me up. My bf's staunch Catholic and would probably hate the Pope comments, but I'm not so I don't care. He's just a guy like everyone else, but exalted by everyone else so whatever.

I don't follow people, except on blogs and twitter and flickr I guess.

I have to say I totally voted for Obama and never voted for the Idiot as Veg puts it. (my bf did, what's that say?)

julochka said...

oh cyndy--sorry about that--i forgot all about comment subscriptions! and it sounds like you've subscribed on all of the mad blogs, b/c i don't think we covered the tomato juice here. i got kinda mixed up as to what was going on where. and due to vow not to drink wine during the week, i wasn't even drinking! that madness was just the real thing. i love your summary tho', that was excellent! thank you for that!
and hallway as library, i like the sound of that as well.

P&P--i think in the upper midwest there are lots of those relationships with one Repub & one Dem. i guess it just means not really being able to talk about politics and perhaps canceling out one another's votes. i'm more interested in how you voted on the whole Al Franken/Republican guy race. :-) is that solved yet?

Elizabeth said...

Number 16, thanks for that one, it made me laugh out loud. But I can see your learned a lot this week. Hold on there is probably some more.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

I've learned that sometimes it's better to bite your tongue and say nothing at all..a huge challenge on mt part.

I have the same issue as you do with my son's classmate's parents. Besides having kids the same age, we have nothing in common. I've tried, but it just wasn't meant to be.