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The Sherlock Holmes Knowledge Test

SUPER Sleuth
You've solved the mystery...or not ! You scored 88! No foolin' you...So here's what I say:

Your new name:
Sherlock Holmes
New Address:
New mission:
Dismantle all potential...

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Sleuthpoints
Link: The Sherlock Holmes Test written by filmguru22

I wrote a chapter of my dissertation on Sherlock Holmes, so that's why this quiz, though semi-irrelevant to the usual topics of this blog, caught my eye.
(yes, a dissertation. it was another life, back then)

If you haven't read the Sherlock Holmes stories, by A. Conan Doyle, I strongly recommend them. They're mysteries, and full of clever twists and turns. Start with a story collection, not a novel. The stories are better, by far.

Patrick Jones at the YA Authors Cafe

Come one
Come all
to the YA authors cafe!
To participate in the chats, go to
and click the chatroom icon to enter the chatroom.
The next one is:

Tuesday Nov 8
8:30 p.m. EST, 5:30 Pacific.

Guest Host Marlene Perezwill lead a chat on upcoming trends in young adult literature with special guest Patrick Jones. Patrick is the author of Things Change, a 2005 "Quick Pick" for reluctant teen readers. His new novel Nailed comes out in Spring 06. He travels the country training librarians and teachers on best practices for Connecting Young Adults and Libraries.

What Punctuation Mark Are You?

You scored 23% Sociability and 58% Sophistication!
There's no denying that you have a certain flair. You don't mind being around others, especially your little brother, the hyphen, but you rarely emerge except when needed. You respond well to those who know how to treat you, but have only contempt for those who don't--you tend to embarass them every chance you get. Your only enemy is the colon--he will sometimes try to move in on your turf.

Link: The Which Punctuation Mark Are You Test

Despite this test telling me I am antisocial and unsophisticated, both of which are very possibly true but I don't like to hear about it anyhow, it informs me that I am my FAVORITE punctuation mark. I love the dash. Love it love it love it.
This is a fun test with a good range of outcomes and clever questions!
-- E (note the dash!)

Gayle Brandeis's BIRDfriend List

If you'reDeadbirds If you're a writer, you should definitely check out Fruitflesh, by Gayle Brandeis. It's a thoughtful guide to writing, specifically for women. With fruit meditations!

Anyway, Gayle is also a novelist and fellow member of the GCC, and The Book of Dead Birds won the Barbara Kingsolver Bellwether prize when it first came out in 2002. Now it's in paperback -- and Toni Morrison (Toni Morrison!!!!!!) said the novel "has an edgy beauty that enhances perfectly the seriousness of its contents."

The Book of Dead Birds centers on a young woman, Ava, whose mother was a prostitute in Korea who married a white American soldier, only to be abandoned by him in the States when she gave birth to a baby with dark skin. Ava tries to come to terms with her mother's difficult past while finding herself and volunteering to help environmental activists save thousands of birds poisoned by agricultural runoff.

Gayle, magically clever woman that she is, wrote us BIRDfriend List instead of a boyfriend list! That zebra finch is cuter than pretty much any guy I've ever met, that's for sure.
Anyway, it's lovely reading, and gives you an idea of her gently humorous, thought-provoking style.


The Birdfriend List
by Gayle Brandeis

I've had crushes on plenty of birds. Not romantic crushes—I haven't wanted to kiss a bird, or marry one. I'm not that much of a freak. But certain birds have made my heart soar. Here are a few:

1. The myna bird at Tally Ho restaurant in Evanston, IL. I met this bird when I was in utero. My pregnant mom was standing in the lobby of the restaurant when the bird, in a cage by the hostess stand, said to her "I know what's in there!" And it was me! That same bird liked to flirt with my dad. It would say "Hi there" in a very throaty voice that always turned my dad's head.

2. The little yellow bird that used to sit on the balcony railing of our fifth floor apartment when I was a girl. I never found out what sort of bird it was—an oriole, maybe?—but I was always excited to see it there. I was sure it came just to visit me.

3. The baby chicks in the incubator at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. That and the coal mine were my two favorites exhibits at the museum. I could stand in front of that incubator for hours, watching a hole form in an egg shell, watching a beak emerge, watching the wet bird force its way out. Another incubator was full of chicks who had dried off, puffballs of yellow. I wanted to touch them so badly.

Zebrafinch4. Zebra finches, the only pet birds I've ever had (before I found out I'm allergic to feathers.) We bought a pair when I was 10, and named them Romeo and Juliet. Then Romeo laid an egg inside their bamboo cage, and we re-named them Romiette and Julio. I loved the birds, and was so excited to see their little blue eggs. Their story ended in tragedy, just like the Shakespeare play, though--they pecked their babies to death. It was very traumatic (as crushes often can be).

5. Robin red breasts. My parents told me that robin red breasts were the first sign of spring. I was always excited to see them hopping around in the dwindling snow.

6. The birds who have used my dad for target practice. My dad must have a bullseye on his head. Birds love to poop on him; they seem to have a real sense of humor. It has provided hours of entertainment (especially when we were at Disneyworld, and he thought someone had sprayed hot mustard all over him.) Birds have it in for my dad; he's also been chased by a turkey. My son seems to have inherited the bullseye; he has been the target of several droppings already.

7. Crows. The biker boys of the bird world. I was always a little scared of them, especially after I read a story about how they could be a sign of death, but I've always felt drawn to them, too. West Nile Virus wiped out our local crow population a couple of years ago, and I missed them tremendously. I'm very glad to see their slow return.

8. Red tailed hawks. Birds of prey are plentiful in Southern California, but it's always a thrill to see them spreading their wings over the freeways.

9. Pelicans. Ever since writing The Book of Dead Birds, which features a lot of pelicans, I've had very warm, almost maternal, feelings for the strange pouched birds. We live down the street from a park with a small man made lake; for the last couple of years, pelicans have been making it their winter home, and it's such a delight to be their neighbors. I also have crushes on the Canada geese and snowy egrets that hang out in the park, too. The ducks are more like good friends than crushes.

10. The wild parrots on our street. Six parrots have moved into a redwood tree down the block. It is such a rush to see a flash of green over my head. They make me feel wild, myself, and isn't that what a good crush should do?

P.S. Here is Gayle's blog!

Another Narcissitic Meme

Borrowed from writer Debbi Michiko Florence, who did it several days ago, here is...
the four things meme! (edited a bit for my own convenience)

my itty bitty saucepan (for everything)
Bobbi Brown lipgloss (color: Cherry)
the coffee maker (needs no explanation)
email (I might be an addict)

Grease (it is so fabu)
Annie Hall (makes me laugh and seems so true)
Moulin Rouge (I saw it twice in the theater, even)
Cabaret (one of my first-love movies)

aerobics teacher (fun but got injured)
talent agency assistant (nightmare)
birkenstock salesgirl (really fun, but smelly feet)
pre-school assistant (hilarious)

I don't watch any TV shows regularly. If really pushed, I might admit to an occasional Sex & the City rerun. I watched The Sopranos on DVD.

Bell, my agent's assistant, my agent, my editor's assistant (answering machine only). It was a business-y day yesterday.

travel more widely (problem is, I want to travel IN STYLE)
take cooking lessons (you know, this I could just DO, instead of wishing)
write a Broadway musical (I have tried, more than once, but not succeeded yet)
live in the country (I'm working on it)

I am sadly poorly traveled. But:
Culebra (tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico -- heaven)
Bath (the most incredible travel experience, because I love Jane Austen)
Washington DC (fascinating)
Martha's Vineyard (peaceful)

Last year I was a butterfly. Before that, I had not dressed up since 1986! But in the far ago past I have been:
an avocado
a bat
Pippi Longstocking

bull dogs
all of them have joyful spirits, in one way or another

all veg, and no canned mushrooms:
black olives