In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How To Make Me Regret Not Paying Attention in Physics

When I saw "Space Camp" starring Leah Thompson as a plucky but arrogant amateur pilot and Kelly Preston as a flighty genius, I knew what I was meant to be: an astronaut.
Sadly, I found math and science terribly boring. Gertrude Stein, upon being encouraged to stay in med school -- think of the women! she was told, being a pioneer for her gender in the field -- said to those making the entreaty: "You've no idea what it is to be bored." I did, Gertrude, I did. So I shelved my dreams of space flight.
Unlike Gertrude, I did not become a famous lesbian writer in Paris. Instead, I became a non-famous hetero writer in DC. But I did once play violin in a lesbian rock band so she and I share that, at least. That and a low tolerance for boredom.
This is all getting to a point.

Imagine my envy/delight at this incredible project: father and son send an I-Phone up to space in a weather balloon, and get a recording of the whole adventure (plus their I-Phone back). Brilliant, clever, inspiring, well-executed, and it opens the mind to all sorts of possibilities. I coulda done that had I only paid attention in physics. Dammit. check it out - perhaps the most wonderful thing you'll see all day:

(and here's the embarrassing admission part, which I only just realized. Space Camp, the quintessential kids' movie -- it included a sentient robot, a motley mix of multi-talented kids Who Ovecome Adversity and Steven Spielberg's wife -- didn't come out till 1986. I was a freshman in COLLEGE and I saw it in the MOVIE THEATER. That is what kind of a nerd I am.)

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