miércoles, 26 de septiembre de 2007

Happy Halfaversary

Daily Cabal is six months old today!

For the past six months, we've posted a microshort every day of the week (baring three days with server troubles) and the readership keeps going up.

My thanks to Kat Beyer, Rudi Dornemann, David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Luc Reid, Jeremiah Tolbert, Edd Vick and Trent Walters for letting me be part of a wonderful team, critiquing my stories and teaching me some grammar. Special thanks to Jeremy, who's done all the work on the site and Rudi, who is the informalish organizing motor in this jig.

Wish us many more months of short-shorts. Now, go read.

martes, 25 de septiembre de 2007

Shimmer Pirate Issue

The preview of Shimmer's Pirate issue, edited by John Joseph Adams is here. It looks awesome.

Sean Markey is responsible for the music, which in my humble opinion kicks ass.

domingo, 23 de septiembre de 2007

Apex Raffle

Check it out. For just one buck, you can bid on the copy edited original manuscript of Titan signed by Ben Bova, signed books by OSC, Geoffrey Girard, M.M. Buckner and Kevin J. Anderson among others, and lots of other goodies, including in-depth crits of your stories.

Oh no! I think I've paid for a stripper

A friend of a friend contacted me about this girl's birthday. They're organizing a gift for her and they wanted to know if I'd be in for 15euros. The plan was to buy her a mobile phone and a ski jacket (nobody shells out like that for my birthday!) I thought it a bit expensive but agreed. That's when they told me they're also getting her a stripper.

"Un stripper?" I asked, notice the "un" Spanish pronoun denoting "male". As in "a male stripper".

"Yes, he's a very nice guy. A real hunk."

Thank god the little light bulb in my brain turns on before I say something. I repress the urge to giggle.

"You won't tell her, will you?," this girl says. "It has to be a surprise."

I reassure her and hang up. I've just been conned into buying someone a male stripper.

To top it all off, I thought this girl was gay.

sábado, 22 de septiembre de 2007

Bak

Yesterday Eko celebrated her birthday and half invited us to dinner at Bak, a Chinese restaurant just off Plaza de los Cubos.

Here's a pic of the food after the locust had fallen upon it. The food was awesome and the plates generous. We gorged.

Eko insisted in paying about half of the meal and we tried to arm wrestle her out of it by singing happy birthday, which she hates. It didn't work. Then she paid for drinks and no amount of "Happy Birthday", "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow", David, the Gnome, Fraggle Rock or Oliver and Benji soundtracks managed to convince her. Someone even started singing in Japanese. Nothing. There's no understanding generous people.

jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2007

Graduation

It's over. I had my graduation ceremony last Tuesday. It wasn't an altogether crummy affair even if it was held in the parking lot. Two of the speeches were good: the one given by a fellow graduee and the one by the teacher that we'd chosen for the occasion. The other three speeches ranged from tedious to borderline clumsy. The rector of the University managed to sound condescending (by implying that we don't feel the need to be grateful to our teachers) and bore us to death.

A thought: maybe 85% of the people who graduated from Medschool that day were women--how come both the speech in representation of the students and the imposition of the muceta were given to men? The sad thing is that these two things were voted for by us, the students. This means most women vote for guys. I know, not very surprising. I'm also pissed at myself because I didn't vote thinking, "what the heck, they're not going to chose someone I like". Yeah, stupid reasoning.

Afterwards, the fun started. The University, in a show of generosity, managed to suply the students and relatives with enough booze and not enough canapes. Luckily, we had reservations and we promptly dumped our parentals and went off to have a Mexican dinner with liberal amounts of sangría and beer.

A couple observations from the party:

1. Serving food around a hoard of dancing semi-drunk graduates must be hell. I could tell from the waiters' faces. They did a damn good job, though, and only three dessert dishes were broken in front of me (multiply by the square footage of the room to calculate the number of dishes that were broken but I didn't see). On these three occasions, the waiter attempted to push out of his way a dancing female. Come on, waiters, you should know better.

Never invade Russia in winter, never get involved in a guerrilla war and never ever push a dancing female out of the way. She will almost certainly swerve in an unpredictable direction.

2. I finally learned what all those cheesy Spanish Movida 80's songs are for--they're for dancing the conga! (Needless to say, serving food around conga-dancing people is tantamount to dishicide)

3. It doesn't take much to persuade five drunk young men in a room full of girls to take off their clothes to the soundtrack of "Full Monty". It might be a tad more difficult to get them to stop before the truth (or lack of it) is exposed.

4. In a desperate gambit, an organizer of a party might get the idea to tell everyone to climb up on their chairs and dance. This accomplishes three things:
1st: since people are standing in their seats (literally), it makes picking up dishes a lot easier
2nd: it serves as a natural selection of sorts of those who really shouldn't have any more sangria.
3rd: it wrecks havock on the plastered ceiling.

5. One cannot want to leave a party before 6am. If you do choose to leave around 1am like I did, at least have a decent excuse (headache in my case, the music was way too loud).

martes, 18 de septiembre de 2007

An Alternative To SFWA?

Lisa Mantchev threw a few ideas to the wind a couple weeks back about creating an alternative organization to SFWA or fixing the one we have. Those threads are closed for the moment, but Mary Robinette Kowal has set up an interesting poll.

Take a second to answer the questions. The stats are revealing: most people eligible to join SFWA in one category or another are choosing not to do so, mostly because of perceived ineffectiveness of the organization or lack of info as to what exactly it does.

I don't feel informed enough to give my opinion on the inner workings of SFWA (I am not a member and I don't yet qualify for active membership). What is painfully evident is that their public relations department sucks.

lunes, 17 de septiembre de 2007

Robert Jordan is dead

I've only read one of his novels, which I stole, along with a couple others, from a British pub in Rue Mouffetard, last year when I was living in Paris. I used to go there with Richard. We'd drink 3 euro pints of piss-water beer, talk and read. Since I went back often, I finished most of the books on site, but the Robert Jordan one was just way to long.

Before I left France at the end of the year, I put most of the books back, plus a couple I'd bought which I didn't want to take with me.

Whatever you think of Robert Jordan's writing, it's evident he changed the fantasy scene in addition to establishing a Guinness record for longest saga ever that will be impossible to crack (not that I think anyone should try)

The last book in the series was in the making. I wonder who will finish it.

viernes, 14 de septiembre de 2007

Things You Learn When Your Parents Leave Home For The Summer

1. Despite what Mom always says, a body can live happily on pasta and sardines alone.

2. Chicken can taste off even before its expiration date.

3. The person who thought of covering the off taste of meat with spices and hot sauce was a genius.

4. A philosophical question, akin to the one about the tree in the forest: if a room is locked off for two months and nobody witnesses the slow sedimentation of dust, does the dust still make dust-bunnies?

5. The lawn and punk green hair may look alike, but there are some subtle differences. Hair that isn't cut in, say, three or four years, reaches its maximum length and doesn't grow any longer. Neglected lawn, on the other hand...

6. An empty fridge is the mother of invention.

7. It is always too late to cook.

miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2007

Daily Cabal is back up

Thanks to Jeremy Tolbert's superpowers, the Dialy Cabal is back up, at least the main page. We can't post new content (that will still take a while) but in the meantime, why don't you check out our archives? Chances are you'll find some yummy microfiction you'll enjoy. And yes, this means we didn't lose the database after all. It's all there.

I don't understand computers, which is obvious to anyone who knows me, but I'm going out with a computer engineer and I can sort of understand the work Jeremy has put into getting Daily Cabal up so fast. My thanks to Jeremy: don't know what we'd do without him.

domingo, 9 de septiembre de 2007

Daily Cabal down

Daily Cabal, the microfiction blog in which I participate, is down due to technical problems. Jeremy Tolbert, fellow contributor and site admin, says that it's either due to a massive hardware failure or a hack attack. Either way, it'll take a while to get back up, specially since Jeremy is working frantically on some other dozen sites that were hosted in the same server.

It's unlikely that we'll be able to retrieve our archives. It looks like we'll have to rebuild them from backups.

Sorry about this.

sábado, 8 de septiembre de 2007

Pickpocket? on the train

I posted this this morning in Liberty Hall. Right after the encounter, I didn't feel cool to post it on a non password protected site. A few hours later, that seems silly.

Judge by yourself. Here we go.

I've just been in a strange situation.
I was coming back home from my boyfriend's this morning. I was sitting on the train with this shady guy in front of me who was reading a free paper. He looked emaciated and had tracks on his arms. Another shady character was sitting across the aisle. In case anyone cares, the first guy was probably South American. The second's racial background was difficult to ascertain, but when he started talking it was obvious he was Spanish.

The first guy drops the paper and starts nodding off. I pick up the paper and start reading. The guy scuttles off to the window seat to sleep propped up against the window. He leaves a backpack unattended by his side.

The second guy picks up the backpack, removes a metal (silver?) cigarette case from a pocket and replaces the backpack by the first guy's side.

I start wondering if I haven't just seen a robber stealing from a junkie. I don't know what to do. The train is full of people, so my safety is more or less guaranteed. On the other hand, I remember the old Spanish saying: he who steals from a robber deserves a thousand years of forgiveness. This is none of my business, but I decide to butt in.

I look at the second guy. He gives me this blank stare.

"Is that yours?" I ask, pointing at the backpack.

"Yes"

"Then why are you keeping it over here?"

"I'm with that guy," he says pointing at the first guy. The first guy doesn't wake up. "Does it bother you?"

"No. Not at all." Ok. I hadn't considered this, I admit, but these two hadn't spoken a word to each other since they got in and I haven't caught any body language cues that they're together either.

"Are you from here?" The second guy says, referring to the suburbs.

"No," I lie, "I've come to see friends.

We get to my stop and I get off.

My question is: do you think these two were together? do you think I just saw someone stealing from a junkie? Do you think I was wrong to butt in?

There are other questions that bother me. The second guy looked odd but, would I have done the same thing if he were a nicely dressed old lady? What about a well dressed Spanish student? My guess is "no" to the first question and "yes" to the second, but I'll never know.

What was the junkie doing with a metal cigarette box in the first place?

Synchronicity

I found out about synchronicity yesterday, reading Jetse de Vries' blog for info on the the final selection of Interzone's May slush (my story "Slow Stampede" is on HOLD, so being me, I return for updates more than is resonable).

Today I found out that sacredmime from Liberty Hall has got a story accepted by The Town Drunk. If you've read my previous post, you know that my story "Master Yung" has sold to OG's Speculative Fiction. The strange thing is that sacredmime and I swapped these two exact same stories for revision for a Liberty Hall polish-contest thingy. It's kind of strange that they're being bought at the same time.

jueves, 6 de septiembre de 2007

Sale! Master Yung to OG's Speculative Fiction

OG's Speculative Fiction has agreed to publish "Master Yung", one of my few straight SF stories.

"Master Yung" will be in this issue of the magazine, coming out on September 15th.

This is my second sale to OG's, the first one is due to appear in the anthology Forbidden Speculations.

sábado, 1 de septiembre de 2007

Spam attack

Minor crisis,

I joined one of those stupid online groups for sharing pics and stuff and unknowingly send invites to my whole address book (including editors, yeah, it was that bad). I'm kind of pissed at the software, because they only showed me three contacts but I must have approved them to send spam to all my contacts, even those who weren't already in the network.

What makes this worse is that, in this case, the spam was sent by a stupid person (ie me) instead of by an Internet robot. What a foolish way to start the day.