Thursday, June 30, 2005

no, not geeking type, "greeking" type

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nunc lorem mi, dignissim quis, gravida non, euismod non, dolor. Integer viverra velit et neque. Vestibulum ornare.

Yeah. I don't know what that means either. In lieu of an explanation click here

So, remember, if you need a text placeholder (fer instance, you want to post but you can't think of anything to say) you can go to lorem Ipsum and get some latin whatnot to keep the place warm for ya.

bits and pixels to burn

Tonight, I proctor an MCB exam. In policing the room to discourage cheating inevitably I will offend a defensive but honest person.

Sitting the Killer laptop under a very strong heatlamp for several hours seems to have done the trick. It is up and running. *hoooray* (BBFK told me about a friend of ours who ran her cell phone through the dishwasher and got it to work again by throwing it in the oven! If only all of life problems had such clear solutions.)

According to (as of this morning) the reanimated Zombie dog is the most-discussed news story. This they determine by the number of websites that link to a particular URL. It probably says more about who reads The Drudge Report and less about a universal interest in zombie dogs. *I feel like a hype lemming, an infodupe. Now sell me some of them diet pills I keep hearing about on the hifi! Want to transfer money to my bank account from yours in Angola? Great!*

MP turned 22 yesterday. G threw him a big party with mucho grillage, stiff margaritas, and a kiddie pool. I don't know why kids in their early 20's waste time feeling old. I didn't bother feeling old until I turned 29.

Maybe it correlates with how many stupid things you have done by what age - how much "living" you've done. If you do all the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, bad decisions, and foolish adventures early on ... you have a lot to look back on at an early age. These things become old hat and you begin to enjoy simpler things like waking up without a hangover next to someone you recognize. Or maybe it has to do with the number of your illusions that have been dashed by a reveal of the man behind the curtain.

Tweety is now using the bed as her personal upstairs litter box. And we ( My Guy, Kitty, and me) are sleeping on the futon. I am starting to think that free will is an illusion and that my life bends to the whim of my pets.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Kitty is fascinated with water. She stands the edge of the tub and rubs against the shower curtain while you are showering. She loves to dip a paw into a glass or cup to play with whatever liquid in inside. And then she loves to knock it over and run from the spillage. This is has been the ruin of many a library book and today, My Guy's Laptop.

She knocked over a huge tumbler of water that was on the coffee table next to the laptop which was on and plugged in.


He says he gets the "Blue Screen of Death." He is letting it dry.
I feel just terrible about this.

Knowing nothing, I wonder : if the water caused the machine to short (which it probably did, all over the place) what kind of damage did it do? Would it affect what was on the hard drive? Is anything salvageable? Is the machine fried?
There must be someone who can extract the contents of his hard drive (They do it on TV all the time!)
Has he just lost 2 weeks of work? (He backs up the contents of his laptop onto his desktop computer.)
And the Killer Laptop?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

new favorite word

The usage that I have encountered is to steal: grab + yank = gank.

It's not a nice word, but it sounds great. Try it out.
Gank, gank, gank.

When I was young my parents took me with them to a dinner party. The eldest daughter of the host decided that she was too cool to hang out with me. I sat in her room and entertained myself with her stuffed animals. The best one was a plush stuffed penguin which I ganked at the end of the night. After some negotiation, I was persuaded to release it to its rightful owner in exchange for a stuffed penguin of my own. (No meaningful life lessons were learned here.) My parents were very embarassed. Hers were very amused.

reanimation, zombie dogs, and Disney

(cross postage)

My Guy pointed out this article about researchers who have found a way to revive dogs that have been clinically dead (no heart beat, brain waves, or breathing) for 3 hours.

The work was done at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Safar Center for Resuscitation Research.
Its founder and namesake seems to have been a pretty interesting guy - ( his life and his obituary)

Other work at the same institute have found a way to induce a hibernating state in mice.

Which leads to the obvious question, does this mean that we will someday get Walt Disney back? There are urban myths told that Walt Disney was put in the deep freeze when diagnosed with lung cancer. According to The Straight Dope this is not the case. Walt Disney died and was cremated. *RIP* But according to Cecil Adams other folks have banked on the cryonic dream and had themselves frozen. And perhaps it was not in vain.

It sounds like science fiction but who knows? Being able to revive people from strokes with little or no brain damage sounds like a great thing. But on speculating these kinds of projects out to their greatest reanimating potential I can't help but think that in the words of Kenny Rogers: "you've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em."

to the best of hidden intentions

in maximizing utility
one explores the space of every possibility
and perhaps the most effective means to the best ends are harsh.

if i do not know what is meant

if i cannot decrypt the intent
i will judge by the means

why consider intentions
that only after the fact are mentioned?

to some winning is enough of rarity
that how the game is played is everything.

hat check

So I was at the GAP and I saw this hat.
hat fence

Which I immediately fell in love with and had to take home with me. Not only would it protect me from the sun,
I imagined that it would make me look like this:

not so much:



I was walking down the street wearing the hat and a guy on a bike stopped and wanted to recommend really good sunscreen to me. He assumed that I had some kind of horrible skin disorder. Why else would I be seen in public in a hat like that? My Guy laughs everytime I wear it. I think he's a little embarassed to be seen in public with the hat. I should put on the hat, big sunglasses, wrap my arms and legs in gauze, and walk like a mummy. =)

{Ms. Hepburn brought to you by:}

Monday, June 27, 2005

the truth about your education dollar

Some teachers are very good: knowledgeable, competent, caring, wise, creative, inspiring. Others hire the likes of me to write your exams at the last minute after a night of mushroom fajitas with extra sour cream and vodka drinks. I have until 2pm to write the kinds of questions that challenge the young minds and mold them into the doctors of tomorrow. That prove without a doubt that they understand why MacConkey Media is both differential and selective.

end of an affair

My love affair with the summer movie is over for this particular summer. My resume reads as follows:

Hitchhiker's Guide - really likeable.
Crash - decent.
Revenge of the Sith - painful.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith - passable, not as much on screen chemistry as the tabloids would have you believe. Vince Vaughn was a delightful.
Land of the Dead - decent.
Bewitched - very disappointing.

I have not been to the theater for a very long time. And when I entered the theater every preview was promised a world of adventure and delight. On actual investigation, no so much. And that Ben Folds song keeps running through my mind "Give me my money back, give me my money back, you bitch." I should have waited for the DVDs.

Friday, June 24, 2005

cat vs cat update

13 days into our socialization project, Kitty and Tweety are still not getting along. Kitty has doubled in size preferring to eat Tweety's fatty delicious food to her own. So now Tweety gets fed on the desk while I feed Kitty in the Bathroom.

They hiss, chase, and scuffle. Tweety keeps to the higher ground when she can.

Kitty, who I have always considered to be the sweetest cat, a little Kitty Buddah, is in fact a fight-picking, trash-talking, mean little shit starter. I heard the sounds of a tussle the other day and ran out to find that Tweety has a long scratch on her nose and while Kitty insists that Tweety must have slipped off the desk and scraped her own nose, I think we all know who did it.
My chubby little baby has embraced the dark side. =(
Everyone assures me that with time it will all work out. I sure hope so.

solar sails

pasadena star news article on the project
ecommerce times article on the outcome

My condolences to the Planetary Society and to the Russian Space Agency. I hope that you have plans underway to launch Kosmos 2 because we need dreamers and instigators who step outside what we know that we can do and attempt what we only imagine.

the planetary society website

inexplicable wants.

I don't know why this lyric would pop into my head but it has.

"All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Lots of choc'lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin' lots of 'eat.
Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?"
-Alan Jay Lerner and Frederic Loewe

I wish I had an enormous overstuffed armchair in a overly air conditioned room. With a really big Coke Icee and a bowl of cashews within reach. And a totally engrossing 800 page summer read.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

California Dreamin' pt.4

The reception was here:
They have two big fancy silver samovar lookin' things. One with fresh brewed iced tea and one with fresh squeezed lemonade both complimentary.

The reception had a live band. One of those wedding bands that can play anything oldies, swing, jazz, lite rock, rock, blues, but have clear easy listening tendencies. At one point the stepmother of the groom shouted out a request for "Somewhere Out There" and without missing a beat they broke right into it. Sadly there was no chicken dance, no electric slide, no hokey pokey, and most disappointing for me - no Sir-Mix-a-lot. But this was an immense relief of everyone who comports themselves with any level of dignity.

Chatting with the other wedding guests was cool. I sat next to PC's cousin J who is just starting grad school in neuroscience. We geeked out big time. I met B and D. They are retired in Palm Springs and are an impressive and lively pair. They have travelled all over the world. They volunteered with the Red Cross for years, traveling to disasters all over the world to offer assistance. They were in New York to deal with 9/11. They are now looking for a new project because they feel that the Red Cross needs to get more young people involved, new blood not just new blood donors.

The whole thing wound down pretty early to a group of say 7 people who sat and talked while drinking the last of the champagne.

It is the first wedding in a while that I have attended and really enjoyed. I am ashamed to admit this because it reflects the fact that I am a bittter stereotypical unmarried woman in her 30's. That sometimes I am self-centered and can't shake my self-involvement enough to focus on being happy for others. It's great seeing my friends get married. I am always genuinely happy that they have found someone to love and share their lives with. It's a big deal and very much a cause for celebration. But there is something about a wedding that is different from other social occasions. That is excessively couply. It's just not as much fun without some kind of social anchor - be it a quasi-date, a posse of friends, or a proper date. I tend to clam up in these kinds of social situations. But I go. I will make every effort to be in attendance. Because it is beautiful to see two people make a committment to each other to share a life. And the ritual, the ceremony, the chicken dance, the bouquet toss - there is something comforting and beautiful about it. Even as the girl who usually gets seated at the "Random social outcast" table, cause that table is as much a part of the wedding experience as anything else. ;D

And because a wedding is happy, beautiful, and hopeful - full of possibility and the future, like that line from the Simon and Garfunkle song:
"Let us be lovers we'll marry our fortunes together..."

California Dreamin' pt.3

So the next day was the wedding. A small wedding, traditional, readings Corinthians, Genesis, vows, very nice homily, beautiful bride.
It was at:
And here she is:
The best man sang, beautifully.

Allow me to present PC and FC:

I remember having a conversation with PC long ago in which he said that he wanted his wedding to be a solemn and happy occasion.
And it was.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

California Dreamin' pt.2

Palm Springs is this weird mix of old and new. With spanking new yuppie in stucco buildings adhering to strict design guidelines a block away from buildings that must have been very swanky in the 50's that have not survived the years so well. Gated communities with access to excellent golf courses. And dingy motels that have weekly rates.
I was tempted, but I did not stay here:
I stayed here:
Definitely not the Ritz. And the Ice machine that my room was supposed to be right upstairs from was broken. =(
Still, my room had one of those big mirrors that makes you look skinnier than you really are which made dancing along to the VH1 top 20 countdown much more enjoyable. As I attempted to learn some new dance moves from Shakira and Gwen Stefani.

The rehearsal dinner was a fabulous fusion cuisine buffet affair which has me dreaming about coconut chicken on skewers with mango salsa. And it turns out that ripe blackberries are the perfect fruit for chocolate fondue. The chef was this burly guy who gave cooking advice to everyone there. The bride and groom were very relaxed. They actually seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I met FC (the bride) for the first time ever and PC as happy as I can ever remember seeing him. It was a scene from "PC, this is your life" as I met his friends from high school, college, MBA, and working years. We all talked about the various travel adventures that PC has told us about and reminisced. PC did not have a bachelor party so to make up for this some of us took him out to the Village Pub. Which was 10% sailors, 70% young people with tatoos and tiny outfits, 20% old foggies like us. It was a very tame night. We teased him about some of the women that he had been smitten with. Sound of Music Barbie. That's all I'm saying on that subject. PC's friend BF regaled us with many a story of sex and scandal on Capital Hill. It was at that point that I remembered that I was surrounded by staunch Republicans and would be for the rest of the weekend.

California Dreamin' pt.1

Sadly, the important pictures from my trip are hopelessly blurry and the silly pictures of stuff like the curb and my feet are fine. My hands are not steady enough for the amount of time needed to get the picture right. Must get a proper digital camera...

Okay, so I got up at 3am and drove to Indianapolis
to fly to Los Angeles and drive to Palm Springs for PC's wedding.

Yahoomaps did not do me so well this time. The exit numbers on many a highway have changed! And the maps you get are zoomed in too far or zoomed out too far to be of much help if you get lost.

ATA would not let me use the self-service kiosk to get my boarding pass. They claimed that there was another person with my name on the flight and they needed to take my driver's license and check in the back to see that things were kosher. I keep asking myself what I did to become special. But on the flight back I was no longer special. *shrug*

It occured to me on my flight that I do not know what to do in case of an earthquake. This thought is compounded with news of earthquake activity in the area in the previous week. I wish knew what we were flying over 'cause I don't know where this is:
or what this is:

My Guy and I just saw the movie "Crash" the ensemble LA movie about race and traffic. It was decent with a good soundtrack. But as a result I was terrified of driving in LA: the accidents, the traffic, the LAPD. So the guy at the rental agency was able to snow me into getting tons of insurance and other ridiculous pricey package features. It sounds great when they offer you an upgrade (for safety) but it means that you will pay a lot more for gas ($42 to fill the tank compared to my usual $22 here).

Driving on the highway is LA is strange. Nobody can speed because there's too many cars and someone is always puttering in the fast lane at 50 or 60 mph. There's a lot of people tailgating. The tailgaters offer an added complication as traffic speeds and slows for no apparent reason. No one uses their blinker because the element of surprise is so valuable when you are trying to change lanes. Highways merge and divide and with each change in the road there is traffic. The last traffic jam of the drive was a three fire engine, four ambulance, moving people on stretchers very bad accident.

When you get far enough from LA you can finally speed (speed limit's 70). And as you enter Palm Springs you realize that you are in the desert.
There are signs warning of rock slides and:
There were windmills everywhere! Acres and acres of them on mountains and by the highway on the one side of town. Very cool!

Monday, June 20, 2005

radio props

I just got back from PC's wedding in Palm Springs, CA. More on this and pictures to come. There was a lot of driving on this trip. Which means lots of radio scanning. I just wanted to give a shout out to KUCR 88.3FM the University of California, Riverside Station for bringing personality, musical diversity, and awesomeness to their corner of the universe.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I took the test and here's what I got

Blogger's Block and the BHAG

I keep starting posts that get saved as drafts and never posted. This is my third try. Getting stuck on your own blog? How ridiculous. My mind has been a blank, my fingers have been still, no words. Blogger's block? Paul Simon (the songwriter) says that there is never a time when you have nothing to say, there are merely moments when you are afraid to say it. It is the fear that you have to overcome when you are blocked. Alternatively, you are not ready. That is why you are blocked. Your words are not done cooking. How does one overcome acts of self-censorship? Is it time to send a postcard to postsecret?

On further reflection I wonder if it is that I cannot hold a thought in my head long enough to articulate it. {even to myself, in my head.} Things flit by me barely registering in my peripheral vision. When I was a kid I could concentrate very hard on one thing for long periods of time. I turned my attention to one thing and the whole world melted away. Alas, those days are gone. I hear that the adult attention span is about 15-20 minutes. For me it's about 8. It is unlikely that I can reach my BHAG*(Big Hairy Ass Goal) if I can only concentrate on it for such short bursts of time. Maybe I killed too many brain cells this past weekend and the rewiring in my head is taking a while. I swear to you that I used to be smarter.

*the BHAG I went to KW (now KG)'s wedding. And there I met WA who told me that turning 30 was the best thing that ever happened to him. He had accomplished things. He was clearly not a kid anymore so people took him seriously. He felt that he could focus in on his BHAG (Big Hairy Ass Goal) and know that he possessed the skills necessary to attain it. Plus when he got up and looked in the mirror he could say to himself: "Hey! I look pretty good for a man in his 30's." {Other male friends of mine (the late bloomers, not the jocks) seem to feel similarly. They feel that their teens and twenties were spent at the mercy and whim of the girls they knew but they were finally coming into their own. They had more confidence, more money, more character, and felt that the world was their oyster. As a woman of the same age, I kick myself for not recognizing and taking advantage of that asymmetry of youth. I was so concerned with gender equality and being respected for the content of my character that I did not "leverage" the 15 years of my rosy glowing youth.}

I vacillate from having too many BHAGs to having none at all. JD laughs at me because so far my ridiculous projected life plan over the next couple of years looks like this:

1. finish writing and then defend my thesis
2. alter all of my t-shirts (and some other clothes) to actually fit me
3. record an album with the charming fellas at postcard productions
4. book two or three low key shows to play in town before leaving
5. start a non-profit foundation that funds projects that combine innovation and sustainable living with a particular slant towards applying innovation to improved and sustainable living in developing nations. Because it is not that all the world's problems are insurmountable it is that we require greater imagination and courage in facing them.
6. find gainful employment at home.
7. move home and read an intensive course of philosophy with my dad for 6 months to a year while so employed
8. do 6 months of volunteer work abroad with either an archaeological dig or an endangered species conservancy project.
9. Start a syndicated radio talk show project devoted to science. Sort of a popularization of Nature News with a blend of new breakthroughs, the strange and bizarre, witty banter, science education and "how things work."
10. open a very small store called the poet's corner that sells only poetry.
11. open a philosophy store next door that sells philosophy books and has a staff of philosophy graduates willing to sit with you for an hourly rate to discuss your existential crises, challenge your current world view, and help you better understand your place in the universe.
12. find an actual respectable and reasonable way to live, love, and work.
13. write a book.
14. have a kid

Yeah. And I have blue prints for a unicorn ranch. I know. Clearly, I need to shed my foolery and focus in on item 1. and item 12. in 8 minute increments.

Monday, June 13, 2005

babel fish, the beta version?

I have been clicking to the "Next Blog" on blogger lately. I come across sites that are in other languages that offer a google translation of their text. I tried it out on my own words. I took:
"No bloodshed. No ear loss. They even have an occasional moment in which they stop staring at each other and seem to relax a little bit."

Which after google translates it from english to french to english to spanish to english comes back as:
"No bath of the blood. No loss of the ear. They even have awhile occasional he, where they stop watching mutually and they look like small to facilitate."

Okay, I took the time to mangle it. Could be worse. But I do wish I could actually read the Blog de Magda cuz it looks cool.

Cuando se habla o se escucha hablar de sexo o de relaciones sexuales se da por asentado que hay erotismo; de igual forma, entramos a una página con desnudos y creemos que es una "página erótica".
When it is spoken or it is listened to speak of sex or of sexual relations one occurs by based that eroticism are; similarly, we entered a page with naked and think that it is a "erótica page"
My best guess:
When one speaks of, or listens to talk of sex or sexual relations ... (uh, something like: eroticism is unavoidable) ... in same way that one opens a page to nudes and thinks that it is a page of erotica.

Must learn some languages....

Update on the cats and such

No bloodshed. No ear loss. They even have an occasional moment in which they stop staring at each other and seem to relax a little bit.

Things to do:
get driving directions between LAX and Palm Springs for PC's wedding
pay bills
call around about the cost of radio ads for Community Shares
suck it up and go in and look at my data

The local independent bookstore celebrated their anniversary by having a 20% off of everything sale and JD, K and I went. K and I did our best to not buy anything and each walked out with one book. Hers had her laughing to the point of snorting and doubling over. JD got three books and some magazines. As I am fixated on the uncertainty of my next step and a self-help junkie, I got "How to Get Any Job with Any Major:" by Donald Asher. I had an insensitive jerk moment in which I pulled a book out of K's hands and started reading it myself. I didn't realize that I did it until she pointed it out! I was a very bad dog.

JD and her guy had a tiff about the clutter at their place. I am not alone in my struggle with clutter. Me, JD, and K are all wrassling with this problem of too much stuff and not enough space. I went to a local store run by Habitat for Humanity called Homeworks. I am trying to talk myself into taking some things over there. I wish I was a real collector with stuff that I could take to the "Antiques Roadshow." I would express amazement at the projected auction value of my collection of framed Bazooka Joe bubblegum wrappers while insisting that I wanted to keep them as a reminder of my Uncle Gerald. But I just have utter crap.

My Guy made fabulous guacamole yesterday. The avocado is a beautiful fruit. *yum!*

Sunday, June 12, 2005

saltines and lots of water. analegesics and caffeine.

While I would like to say that partaking to the point of pukery provides valuable life lessons like: don't drink that. or moderation is the wisest course. or know when to say when.

These are excellent lessons that I have yet to manage to pick up on. I will say that the hangover the next day is certainly a reminder that the human body has its limitations and a certain fragility. And that it is important to remember this and be kind to yourself.

me, a kiwi?

You Belong in New Zealand

Good on ya, mate

You're the best looking one of the bunch

Though you're often forgotten...

You're quite proud of who you are

Saturday, June 11, 2005

More fun than a bag of cats

My Guy and I are introducing our cats to each other again. Tweety and Kitty are sweet chatty loving cats. It seemed obvious to me that they would have many a conversation of their own curled up on the same chair. All evidence so far is to the contrary.

We brought Tweety to my place and they were immediately hissing, growling and batting at each other. After four days of crouching, hissing, growling, near confrontations and out and out confrontations I couldn't hack it anymore and Tweety went home.

This is round two at My Guy's house. His place is a studio loft. There is nowhere to hide. Unless you are Tweety, in this case crouching under the futon growling works great. Meanwhile Kitty is perching on ledges with a very steep drop. She likes to jump up and perch but sometimes she slips and falls.

We have left the two of them alone in the apartment. Hopefully, we will not return to blood and fur everywhere and our cats will each have the rightnumber of eyes and ears.

soapbox rambler

I got an email from a woman I met recently inviting me to a party. *Oh!* This party is a fundraiser to help her attend a conference overseas. *Gah!* Don't get me wrong, she seems very cool and her paper topic is very cool and the opportunity fabulous. But this keeps happening to me. It would appear that the new people I meet are only interested in me as a fool easily parted from her money. =P


For the most part I have not given the digital divide, the consideration that I should. But it has been brought home to me in two ways.

The first was a conversation that I had with the bass player from Triple Whip. She said that an indy label owner advised that her band needed to have a strong "brick and mortar" presence. The idea being that it is not enough to have all the love and press the internet can offer you. To be 'fo real your CD has to physically be in places where people can buy them. Bringing home the fact that there are people who are not hooked into the internet who buy CD's.
(Besides which, some of us like to wander through the bins while we gossip with our friends and rave about the albums we love. Distribution is important.)

The second was at the Media Reform Conference in St. Louis. I went to the "Media Activism 101" session and was struck by an ancedote from one panel member about a cafe in a poorer primarily latino neighborhood where it was considered a major thing that the cafe had wireless internet but the only people in a position to use it were college students who brought their laptops. Most of the neighborhood was without a computer. This was coupled with the fact that at this session and every other session that I attended the catch phrase was : "For more information/to contact us you can go to our website -" Which leads me to wonder what a person is missing out on if she is not hooked into the web and alternatively what do people on the web miss out on due to the absence of folks who live primarily in the world of "brick and mortar." It becomes increasingly serious when you consider that a lot of government agencies (at least in the US) are doing more and more of their work through the internet. Yes, I know that you can get a desktop computer at Shoparooville for $400-$800 which doesn't seem like much and you can spend invisible plastic money to get it. But even that is out of the reach of some. Your movement, your message, your music needs to reach non-virtual folks. It must have a material reality.


Where else does this rambly rambly go? In the event that more people get their shoparooville computer and want to get on the internet, it costs.

According to, communities throughout the US are working to develop low-cost alternatives to DSL and cable internet. In response companies that provide internet services are trying to pass HR2726 through Congress the "preserving innovation in telecom act" that will prevent state and local governments from providing telecom, information or cable service in places where a corporation offers a similar service. They are trying to pass a law to protect themselves from competition from local governments. After all the talk about how the private sector is better than the government at everything I am amused to see telecomm businesses quaking in their slippers about the threat that community groups and local governments pose to their profit margins. This is not a nuanced pitch by any means, but hey, if this chaps your hide click here. (Yes, there is a typo in their e-letter but hopefully your congress person will still get the idea.) If not, well go send SBS, Verizon, and Comcast a valentine. I'm sure they would love it.

(in true biting the hand that feeds me fashion I am posting this from wireless to DSL provided by SBC. Maybe the companies would argue that they need to amass more capital to put into research for greater technological advances. Hell, I don't know. I've got the one side of this story. Drop me a comment with the other. But please be kind.)

And yes, I know, by posting this I am not getting the word out in brick and mortar fashion. But maybe we can make the internet more affordable and accessible for the time when all the brick and mortar folks do get their computer.
And yes, this last part of the ramble is parochial and specific to one corner of the world.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Gun Shy

In 34 years of being alive, I have had four roomates, a string of boyfriends, but only one live-in boyfriend.

I have to say that living with BB was the least romantic thing I have done with a man. The place was a wreck with just me and having two of us made it exponentially more disgusting. My socks everywhere was a problem but *whew* his socks were everywhere and they stank to high hell. He never did the laundry. He washed the dishes one time while he lived with me and flooded the kitchen doing it. He would ask me to feed him and then complain about what I cooked. He was a lovely cook who dirtied every dish and pan in the house and never cleaned up. He never paid for a single utility or contributed to the rent. He was extremely critical of me "for my own good, to help me grow as a person" and always went on about how all the girls at work wanted to have sex with him (he said that he was just being honest with me). There was not enough laughter or forgiveness to get us through this. Eventually he moved into his own place and broke up with me so that he could start having coffee (and sex) with these fascinating women.

There were moments when we were in bed and the cat was curled between us that it felt like domestic bliss. Like something beautiful that we shared. But mostly it sucked.

My Guy and I are planning to move in together at the end of the summer and the echoes of my past are making it hard to look to the future. Now that we have agreed that this is going to happen I am having flashbacks to bad old days. It has been many years since I last tried to live with love and I am a little scared about it. I want it to be a good thing. We have a different chemistry and a different relationship. I think it will be a good thing. I guess, mostly, I don't want it to be the new least romantic thing that I have done with a man.

freshly pressed

The domestic task that boyfriends frequently request of me is the ironing of dress shirts. Ususually last minute before a thesis defense or a talk or a presentation. There are a few domestic tasks that I can do - ironing does not happen to be one of them. I live my life wrinkly and I like it that way. Ironing the darts and pleats in shirts, figuring out how to do the sleeves ... I am bewildered. From talking to my mother it occurs to me that the proper use of starch might help in the ironing arena, though I have no clue how this is done. There are many mom skills that I wish I had like knowing where stuff is:

"Mom do you know where the ---- is?"
"Have you checked under the ---?"
"Thanks Mom!"

pity party

I wish I were a stronger person.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


I am doing that lazy-link thing. In my defense this one is pretty cute.

Store Wars

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Roadtrip with the Milkman of Human Kindness

If you're not doing anything on June 11th, you might want to ride your bike naked. The FAQ on this site is just ... great.

Yesterday I drove up to Chicago to pick up My Guy. I was an hour late b/c I was stuck in city traffic caused by four accidents (one in the express lane) and much congestion. And so our big beautiful reunion after a 10 day separation was him being withdrawn and bored and me being a testy scary bitch for most of the ride. Yes, love is a many splendored thing but the reality of traffic, the airport and a two hour ride home didn't take on the gloss and glow that it would in the movies.

BB used to say that I don't get hearts and flowers because I don't inspire hearts and flowers. I used to think he was just being a prick. On further reflection it's true that I like flowers in the garden and pictures of flowers more than cut flowers that wilt and die in a vase. Hearts are a different matter. While I am very cynical and skeptical. I love me some hearts, not cookie cutter hallmark mass produced ones, the ones that are unique to you and particularly for me. (ok, actually I like the cookie cutter ones too. mmmmm cookies ...)

*where was I?*

Rather than cope with rush hour traffic we stopped in Chicago for a sandwich and drinks at a charming yuppie bar with deep deep couches. I got to walk by the Double Door! *Hee* The venue that hosts many many of the bands that I have never heard but would like to see. It was like walking by a celebrity. If we had passed the Metro too my heart would have burst.
He suggested that we stay in Chicago for the night. But we then realized that we both had reasons we needed to return to Urbanana. =P

Driving up to Chicago I shared the ride with a double CD of the Best of Billy Bragg. I am in love with the song "The Boy Done Good." It makes me think of RB and her transatlantic romance. I want someone to write me a love song in where he refers to me as "a little black cloud in a dress." (Must I Paint You a Picture) The songs about class and unions and fascists and the evils of globalization, I was expecting, the soulful sad love songs, I was not prepared for.

"If you love me, why dont you show it?
If you hate me, why dont you let me know it?
Why dont you just pick up something and throw it?
You just sulk"
-Billy Bragg

This blog is kind of a retread. old news, old music, old movies. I'm an old lady. It takes me forever to get through my list of things to do. And you can imagine that if I am just now getting to Billy Bragg I won't be getting to the "next big thing" for a few decades.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

the contents of thought balloons

These are the things tangled up in my head. They are my meager offering for the day. Today it's hamhanded ham sandwiches: all broad generalizations, soapbox rhetoric, and paranoia.

I just saw a documentary about Argentina by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis called "The Take." I don't know how to accurately describe it. In Argentina some workers, who were laid off, refused to stop working. They "reclaimed" their abandoned factories and worked collectively to resume production and reenter the economy. There's more to it than this. It is about people trying to rebuild their lives not with capitalism or communism or ideology rather through grassroots collectivism. Or as Ben Franklin would say "If we do not hang together, we will all hang separately. We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

France voted down ratifying the EU constitution and the Netherlands did too. Expressing a frustration and dissatisfaction with if not globalization than with European Unionization. I don't know why but this disconnect between the ruling folks in Europe and those they claim to serve fascinates me. How often are people given such a direct way to express themselves? And how often do they take it? This disconnect I suspect exists in our country on any number of questions but rarely finds an outlet. I hope that the result of France and Netherlands is something more productive than trying to ram this down people's throats or sneaking it under their noses.

While it is true that there are jobs in this country that American citizens do not want to do. I don't think it follows that this is because they are lazy and unwilling to do difficult work. Maybe it's because an illegal immigrant can take a job that pays very poorly and support his/her family overseas while an American citizen can take that same job but not be able to support his/her family (barely be able to support him/herself) here. An American citizen might not even get that job because they would report poor working conditions and inadequate wages.

There is a relationship between culture and identity. Identity and politics. People will tell you that guns and money matter while the arts are useless. That painting and sculpture and music and theater and dance are superfluous. They will treat popular culture (television, movies, hip-hop, punk, metal, rock, computer games .. you name it) as merely a means of marketing, a way to manipulate you into drinking more branded beverages. Bull pucky. Art inspires the emotional connection of identity and the means of participation in culture. You become a tribe through shared stories, songs, experiences, philosophy, history, mythology. You stand with your tribe, fight, feed and die with your tribe. To me, that's political identity. Corporations and marketing people call it brand loyalty.

Years ago, JV and I had conversations in which we speculated about whether it was possible to truly understand the human mind. I thought it might be possible to draw box defining its outermost boundaries and then gradually work inwards. The marketing people, advertisers, sociologists, and psychologists are doing just that. Sometimes not for the public good as evidenced in Martin Howard's book: "We Know What You Want : How They Change Your Mind" (disinfo link, amazon link) (It's more a series of charts and quotes, less of a book, really.)

Domystic has a post about Dr. Thomas Butler. Perhaps there is more to this story that I do not know. I am sure he's a very smart scientist. But the guy should not have waived his right to have an attorney present. Know your rights and Never waive them. I don't care if you are innocent and neither do the authorities. When you are detained by the police or by the FBI or by other US authorities ask for an attorney and shut the hell up. Those words represent your rights, they represent laws that exist to protect you. If you waive your rights, you have surrendered your protection under the law. They may ignore your rights and take them away, you can do nothing about that. What you can do is insist on your rights and refuse to surrender them. This story makes me afraid to be in science. It does not make me feel safe in the homeland.

The Supreme Court ruling on medicinal marijuana is being described as a ruling in favor of the power of Congress over the rights of states. I keep trying to envision a civil war being fought over the legalization of medicinal marijuana. It seems unlikely. =)

I met T at FnB. He's a train riding punk most recently from Pittsburgh. He told us about FreeRide in Pittsburgh. Sustainable living through biking.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

achieving true lameness

After the fest I was starving and went to the grocery store for a frozen pizza. I went to a different store and while wandering through the produce section found that green leaf lettuce was 80 cents cheaper! I gathered my purchases in an act of total dorkiness drove to my regular store to do some consumer fact finding. I walked the aisles and compared the prices of everything I just purchased. Everything was 10-50 cents more expensive at my usual place. Everyone else is there buying liquor or beer. It's Saturday night yeee haw! And then there's me, clucking my tongue at the price of block cheese.

My Guy has been gone for almost a week and besides nights of poor sleep, I have been holding up really well. We have been together long enough and been through enough together that I do not jump to the conclusion that an uneventful phone conversation is a sign of the beginning of the end. I know that he is coming back to me on Tuesday. (I am his ride.)

But I left the grocery missing him horribly. Not only because my weekend has been reduced to this. But also because I always drag him with me to the grocery (Which he hates. He is not motivated by hunger in the quite the way I am.) And because he would not have let me go on my consumer reports spy mission. And because I laugh picturing him thinking about what an incredible square I am as he reads this.

filmic dependency

I went to the Third Annual Filmic Dependency Film Festival. I'm not clear what Filmic Dependency is but curiosity sent me out there. It's a two night fest put on by Mongoose Productions. The Architecture Building has an outdoor amphitheater layout on one side. They point an LCD projector at one side of the building, have two speakers set up in the front and play DVDs. You bring out a blanket and lay on the grass and watch movies. Maybe snuggle with the one you love. It's a cool setup.

As with many things unusual, this one requires a certain patience. {My Guy and I saw this opening band Gomez. Their set was shaping up to be pretty boring and then My Guy stepped out to smoke a cigarette at which point they busted out some really decent songs - only to revert to mediocrity when he returned. This happened for each of three smoke breaks and he still does not understand why the crowd on the floor was so psyched to see this band.}

The first night I went by myself. They showed black and white short films. A few silent films. A few of those educational films from the 50's. One made for GM called "Round and 'round" which was basically capitalist propaganda. One called "duck and cover" aimed at teaching school children what to do when an atom bomb is dropped. I left before the second half (I don't know why. I guess I felt antsy.) which was films from the internet. (I'll bet it was cool. I wish I had stayed)

The second night I dragged B with me. {B is 18 and very lonely right now as her best friend Z is gone for a month. I am not an adequate substitute for her other self but since we are each at loose ends (My Guy is off visiting his family) I insisted that she accompany me) The first half was films from SIUC. They were on the whole pretty bad. Some clever ideas with poor follow through. B got bored and sleepy and asked me to take her home.

I went back for the second half which was films by Sam Adler with Mongoose productions which were cute, more mainstream. Mostly it was parodies of television. One of them was a very funny sendup of Elimidate called Dismissadate in which a self-absorbed himbo named Brad has to choose between a hottie named Amy, a guy named Brad, a dog, and a Broom. I have never seen a man kiss a broom with such passion. And I hope to never see anything like that again.

The Best of the Fest was the last film entitled "The Cause." It was a documentary of an empassioned protest on campus for "the cause". The soundtrack was a Jimi Hendricks-like guitar instrumental. People are wearing plain white t-shirts and holding up blank poster board which they point to saying: "This tells you everything you need to know about why we are here!" They make empassioned speeches about their outrage and the impact that "the cause" has on the world. They march down Green Street and across the Quad. They shout and chant and pass out blank leaflets. They bring people in and invite them to join, ask them how they feel about "the cause." And it's spot on. It like every rally or protest that I have been to in this town. Except with a better turnout and more enthusiastic participants. Uncanny. Hilarious. And very discouraging. You never find out what "the cause" is or if there actually is one. Which I find devastating. If you take out the slogan all protests are the same. If you are not informed. If you don't care about the cause for protest it's just a crowd of weird angry people holding up blank signs.

Like the end of "The Sleeper" when Woody Allen has sucessfully stolen the Leader's nose assuring that the revolution is sucessful and he tells Diane Keaton that years from then they will be plotting to steal Erno's nose (leader of the revolution.)

Such that one film argues that social change is not really change because human nature does not change. The other film suggests that protest does not persuade in quite the way it once did.

If this is the case "What is to be Done?" My goodness, what a downer this post has become.

Uh ...
at any rate take any opportunity to see movies outside and snuggle with the one you love.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Had too much caffeine today

In most parts of the country the opening of a Starbucks would bring much rejoicing. But in our wood of the neck folks see it as a sign of the apocalypse.

I had this unsubstantial idea: Are there people in the world for whom it is not enough to be loved - people who need to be loved for the reasons that they love themselves?

Spent too much time reading Roxy Liao's Blog. She's a Taiwanese animator who came to the US for school. Her posts were links to really cool or funny or strange websites ( a fair number of which have disappeared. A web presence is an ephermal thing.) , charming short notes ( which might inspire me to brevity ), and these adorable cartoons of herself describing her mood or situation. She has decided to end this project and move on to other things. Thanks for sharing your life, Roxy!

Friday, June 03, 2005

And the verdict is ...

I LOVE being wireless.
However I suspect that the baristas at Paradiso don't appreciate me loitering here all day over one cup of coffee.


Do you ever feel like you are forgetting something you need to do?
Something that you have promised to take care of?
There's something moving in my blind spot.
I just can't tell what it is...

I hate that feeling.

Paul Giamatti

Can I just say that I really really like Paul Giamatti? I think he's amazing. If he were a French actor he could get those straight up leading man roles ( You know how those french films are with their funny looking leading men and their cool elegant leading ladies). But as an American actor he occupies a different kind of space. I am glad that he is working.

American Splendor and Sideways were both amazing. American Splendor in particular shows that he is not merely a foil to other characters but has the presence to fill the center of a story.

What clinches it for me is this movie called "Duets" I saw the other night. It's an ensemble piece with three storylines about unhappy people who karaoke. Giamatti is a man clawing to escape from his life of quiet desperation. He has snapped and on his wild ride he picks up Andre Braugher, an ex-convict just released from prison. This storyline is a rocket that blasts through this little slice of life movie and rips it up. Not at all what the cover of the video box would lead you to expect.

it went over like a fart in church

I just think that expression is funny. =)

K left me a voicemail pointing out that my posts are too damn long to read.
I will not argue this. Just pass me the Walt Whitman Parsimonious Editorializing Award and be done with it. (WW was known when editing to lengthen his pieces)

And that I have been blogging a lot. Again, no argument.

On reflection I realize that I transferred energy here from my livejournal to do both of these things: write interminably long posts and do so with higher frequency. Mission Accomplished!
I bought a wireless card today. Tomorrow if I post, it will be through the ether.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

to blog or to zine

first misdirection
I see the Indigo Girls every chance that I get. I have seen them twice in town. Once at the Performing Arts Center. The sound quality surpassed any other venue it was so good my heart was cracking my chest with happiness. At some point in the night they were chatting and said that they had not seen each other for a few months (busy living their lives I guess) and were trying to recall the last time they hung out before that tour. They had gone to see an artist called Fallon ( who I have never heard of) and they said that she was so amazing. They were blown away. Made them want to throw in the towel, she was so good.

second misdirection
I gotta say I kick myself for having discovered the DIY concept and culture so late in my life. Zines fascinate me. I don't know their history or their etiquette. As a person who shops in malls and loves ear candy, I am probably not welcome in their networks. I am not counterculture enough. I have sampled only a few zines. The Mediageek Zine volumes 1 and 2. Very informative. The Self-Defense Zine vol 2 inspiring and informational. The Low Hug one-shot zine Laundry Basket - delightful. I have not even dipped my toe in the water. B is working on a zine. She is separated from Z for the summer and is putting a zine together about what happened in her life while Z was gone.

third misdirection
I consider zines a descendent of the pamphleteering of Thomas Paine.
Self publication can be more than an act of vanity it can be truly revolutionary.

fourth misdirection
I have a penchant for walking and reading at the same time. The streets of Urbanana are not busy and I can generally do it without tripping, crashing into things, or getting hit by cars/bikes/people/dogs/low hanging branches.

When I went to the Media Reform conference in StL I forced my company onto a group of zinesters from Chicago at an end of evening mixer. They were aloof, mostly interested in hanging amongst themselves. I was overly ingratiating, a slobbery St. Bernard among cat people. I did this mostly because my crew was too tired to talk and because the lull at a table makes me nervous.

One of them, a fella named Andrew gave me a copy of his zine, livingProof. I skimmed it at the table and was impressed. Yesterday I read it cover to cover.

I was walking and reading LivingProof. Home to work, work to home. I was not merely impressed, I was floored. He does what I want to be doing, thought I was doing, but clearly am not. I feel like Amy and Emily at the Fallon concert. If I was not so addicted to this electronic process of pulling my pants down and hanging my ass out the window, I would hang up my hat and take up a more sensible pastime like knitting or stamp collecting.

Let me offer you an exerpt that he will probably sue me for posting if he finds out about it. *shhhh*

"These are the things I am: I am both a college student and a corporate slave. I am both a smoker and an abstainer, an omnivore and a vegetarian, a slob and a neat freak. I am both miserably single and contentedly in love. I overspend and conserve money, eat too much Taco Bell and cook dinner at home four times a week, love my 1991 Hyundai Sonata and rely solely on my chartreuse ten-speed for transportation. I am simultaneously past and present in these pieces, myself and someone else who is also myself. I get lost in the space/time continuum, breaking dimensional boundaries at an unprecedented rate. Sometimes I forget entirely which present is the real present, and let old worries long buried fill my head. Sometimes I feel like an entirely different person."
from Living Proof #4

This whole idea of being yourself now and yourself then. The process of writing and analyzing a memory as time travel without the physical paradoxes commonly there associated. Delicious.

I am the gushing groupie. I also hate the bastard for being so damn good. He has a website living proof. There are more samples there. To get the whole deal however, you must offer green.

Here we come to the divide between the zine and the blog. The material presence and the monetary exchange. Zines cost something. A person worked hard to make her words a physical presence. A tree dies so that you can hold someone's words in your hand. Where blogs are electrons on a screen. Content ("content") provided from unseen sources delivered with a type and a click. A zinester might ask you to compensate him for his efforts and you must agree to the exchange to read. While a blogger might put a paypal link on her site, but who's going to pay for what they can get for free? Unless you make it a subscription service.

A zinester asks for a demonstration of committment before giving it up where a blogger gives it up to whoever clicks by.

The internet makes it easier to do the things you love: self-publish, record and share music and there is a chance for greater access to more things. A chance for a wider audience. But there is the nagging question (not for me, the hack, {I do it for the frequent flyer miles.} but on behalf of others) We live in a world in which we must work for a living - what happens when people won't pay you for the labor in your labor of love?