Saturday, January 13, 2007

Random lists, Sancho Panza and Scooby Snacks

Cloudage viewed from 5th and Wilmot

National De-Lurking Week, or whatever it's called, has not been a stellar time for two-way communication here at the Outpost. Aside from the usual winter doldrums and the fact that I didn't even mention the delurking thing until now, it may be because I've mostly been trying to communicate with pictures rather than words, and so haven't elicited many words in return. Worse, I've mostly been obsessing about my Mâvarin characters, a topic that's probably of limited interest outside a small circle of beta readers and close friends. Someday people outside that circle will care about Rani and Carli and the rest, but that day has not yet arrived. First I need to sell the books to a publisher, and then they have to go through the whole publishing process. When Heirs of Mâvarin hits the bookstores, then I can reasonably ask the fantasy fans among you to care about Fayubi and Cathma.

It's also true that I haven't been writing many tour de force blog entries of late, being distracted with Wikipedia, Madeleine L'Engle and the whole Tor submission situation. Tonight is no exception. It's 4:45 AM already. I'm going to post a few pictures, explain the title of this entry, and then go the heck to bed.

In reverse order, then:

Scooby Snacks

I'm somewhat embarrassed to report that Tuffy, always a finicky eater, really seems to like Scooby Snacks. John bought them for her after she started burying a large proportion of her dog biscuits in the mud in the back yard rather than eating them. My objection to these latest treats, aside from the higher cost, is that I've never been fond of Scooby Doo, either the show or the character. Tuffy, of course, has no idea who Scooby Doo is, or that the green biscuits are shaped like ghosts, the brown ones like Shaggy. That's probably as it should be.

As for my own culinary experiments, such as they are, I finally went to Delhi Palace today with some people from work. I resisted for a long time, because my last visit to an Indian restaurant, in London in the early 1990s, did not include much food that I found at all palatable. I'm such a coward when it comes to food adventures! But today's buffet was just fine - not wonderful or even splendid, but reasonably pleasant and a nice change.

Ernie Sabella and Sancho Panza

In the course of my wanderings on Wikipedia tonight, I took a look at the article for Ernie Sabella and ended up working on it for at least an hour, pulling up web sites as research and adding a bunch of info to the entry. Who is Ernie Sabella? you may be wondering. Well, I'll tell you. He's this guy. He was in the Quantum Leap episode "Catch a Falling Star," playing the dual role of Manny (a smalltime stage actor) and Sancho Panza (as seen in Man of La Mancha). He did a batch of NyQuil commercials back in 1994, appeared in his friend Nathan Lane's short-lived sitcom Encore! Encore!, and sat naked on the subway in an episode of Seinfeld, a show I personally hate. But you probably know him as the voice of Pumbaa in The Lion King, its sequels and its spinoffs. He's also been on Broadway, where he played Sancho on stage several years after doing so on QL.

One of the things I wanted to add to the article was a screen capture from the Quantum Leap. So I pulled out my Quantum Leap Season Two box set, and quickly got thoroughly annoyed with it. The CDs are two-sided and barely labeled, and there are no special features at all on the disc containing "Catch a Falling Star." This is a major, important episode. It should have had a commentary and interviews. But no, they didn't even get the facts right on the one-sentence episode description. Grrr. But I watched the episode anyway, and I got my screen captures. I even went to the Sancho Panza article and added a section about MoLM, since the article didn't even mention that the character had ever been anything except the Cervantes novel.

L'Engle at Random

When I checked my Wikipedia edit count, I was up to 1694, six edits short of being able to update my little box to claim "over 1700 edits." (The update itself would be 1701, you see.) I thoght I would do a handful of quick and easy edits, but instead I spent a few hours on one edit for the article on Random House. Various people had made half-hearted attempts to mention some of the companies and imprints that are part of Random House these days, but it was ill-organized and highly incomplete. I took a chunk of listings from their web site and turned it into a partly-annotated list of divisions and imprints. It needs work, but it's a start.

As I did my research for that, I noticed belatedly that a L'Engle book I special ordered recently, The Ordering of Love, was featured on a page for Shaw Books. The weird part about that was that this used to be Harold Shaw Publishers, but not it's part of Random House. When did that happen? Random House now owns about all the publishing companies and book imprints you've even heard of, and a bunch that you haven't; but I don't recall ever seeing that one on the list before. It means that L'Engle is getting to be about as much a Random House author as a Fararr, Straus & Giroux one. FS&G publish all the novels in hardcover, and that's the edition I prefer except for the whole let's not-wreck-the-expensive-book thing. The Shaw imprint means that a bunch of her non-fiction and poetry is now Random, along with all the paperbacks.

5:45 AM. I may not have entertained you with all these nearly-random ramblings, but say hi anyway, willya? Meanwhile I'm going to bed.



julie said...

I've been a terrible lurker this week. Too many things on my work plate since Thanksgiving. I've always said that freelancing is feast or famine...

Barbara said...

Hi Karen,
I haven't commented for a while but I have enjoyed your posts and always enjoy pictures. Your journal is always the first one I look at when I get on line.

DesLily said...

wow you're the first i know of who doesn't like Scooby...humm, well maybe Tuffy knows something you don't? lol..

Sarah said...

Three comments:

1. I don't like Scooby Doo either.

2. I LOVE Indian food; it's fabulous stuff.

3. I saw Ernie Sabella play Sancho in Man of La Mancha on Broadway. That was a very good show.