June 4th, 2008

ozarque figure

Recommended link; the WalMart controversy...

Quite a while ago, we had a lengthy discussion in this journal about WalMart [indexed at
http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=ozarque&keyword=Wal-Mart&filter=all ], starting with a post where I suggested that WalMart is one of those topics you're careful not to bring up at family gatherings, in the interest of keeping the peace. A major argument against WalMart and the other "big box" chains is that they drive independent stores out of business; that claim seems to be taken for granted. I was surprised, therefore, by an article [thank you, idiotgrrl] in the January 2008 issue of Reason, written by Michael C. Moynihan, that openly questions that assumption. It's titled "Big Box Panic: Americans have been afraid of chain stores for nearly a century, but independent outlets keep thriving." It's long and thorough and detailed, and I found it very interesting; it's at
http://www.reason.com/news/show/123497.html .
ozarque figure

Personal note; what I'm up to...

1. Politics

Last night we ate dinner in front of the tv -- something we do very rarely -- so we wouldn't miss any of the Graduation Day Events of the presidential primary, and we watched right straight through until ten o'clock -- yet another thing we do very rarely. We watched all three speeches, even John McCain's, although I'll admit not paying a whole lot of attention to what McCain was saying. It was worth it, every minute of it. I went to bed a truly happy camper.

2. Weather

I've reached a point where I notice any day that we don't have thunderstorms and a tornado watch, and am trying hard to adjust to the New Normal Weather, which -- obviously -- is going to be all in upper case bold type from now on, with whirling and flickering doodads laid on. I wonder how many people in this country are suffering from chronic weather-stress, one of the common symptoms of which is that every ten seconds or so they look back to see what's coming at them now. I am so grateful to be living in an underground house [an underground house that's thirty feet higher than the river]; it levels the playing field just a tad.

3. Huge Emergency-Rush Project

This one is typical. It has an early September deadline on it, the work involved would -- in a rational universe -- take at least six months to do, and we are still fiddling about while the proposal wends its way through committees and boards and similar truck. I have suggested that I should be instructed to go ahead and start work on the parts that will unquestionably have to be included, and have been told sternly not to do that. "Wait," they're telling me. I may wait, and then again I may not.

4. New Edition of the First Gentle Art Book

My first draft went to my editors on May 18th, and I have not heard one word about it yet. This means one of three things. (1) Nobody has read a word of that draft yet, and maybe nobody will read a word of it for a long, long time. (2) The editors are satisfied with the draft and will want only some minor tweaking and the addition of the "Acknowledgments" thingy. (3) The editors hate the draft and are going to want a total rewrite. Since I have an August 1st deadline on this one, it would be a comfort to know which of those three to expect, but there is not one thing I can do to speed up the process. My agent can of course step in, but that would irritate my editors, and I prefer my editors placid.

Prediction: Around July 25th both #3 and #4 will kick in, both behaving like the New Normal Weather, both wanting everything finished immediately. At which point I would run away from home if I had some other underground house to run away to.

5. Art for Conestoga

There is no way on this tumultuous green earth that I can possibly get my new collage book [see posts at
http://ozarque.livejournal.com/175632.html and http://ozarque.livejournal.com/319115.html ] finished in time for Conestoga in July. It will have to go into the Art Show as a work in progress. I have, praise be, been able to finish some new drawings, and some new crocheted-art items, because I can do those while watching [actually listening to, rather than watching] presidential-primary television...

6. Other Writing

Hah. It is to laugh.

7. Panicky Petulant Postscript

If I don't somehow carve a chunk of time out of my schedule to clean this house properly, things are going to get dire around here. You would not believe the dust and the disarray that surrounds me. At least I hope you wouldn't. If there was a professional cleaning service anywhere nearby, I would most certainly hire it instantly...