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Showing posts from 2008

I feel so hip...

The Airborne Toxic Event has a station identification spot for NBC! Caught it at the end of L&O last night! They're all crammed in a limo with their instruments like in their acoustic "Does This Mean You're Moving On?"

Shoes at Bush--Important enough to post twice

I'm going to mail old shoes to Bush--I encourage you to do the same.

Some suggested messages:

It's not just one Iraqi, Mr. President.

Over 4,000 dead Americans--nearly 100,000 dead civilians. Injuries for decades to come.

Nice insurgency, Mr. President.

You said we'd be greeted as liberators.

Hey, hey, GWB
There's no saving your legacy.

And my personal favorite:
But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobe…

Music on the radio

Isn't it funny, that one may have a CD/album at home, or even on one's mp3 player, available with a few flicks of the finger, and still be irrationally pleased to hear an old/obscure song on the regular radio?

This evening I heard 'Pulling Mussels From the Shell' by Squeeze and 'Call Me' by Blondie, both of which I can call up in seconds, but instead listened to on air.

No Libs

Driving up to Lowell yesterday I was behind an enormous pick-up truck with a McCain sticker and a vanity plate that said, "NO LIBS." And I so wanted to follow him and ask, "No liberals? No libertarians? No women's lib? No liberation? No librarians? Or just no liberties?"

But I didn't because I'm not that crazy yet.

It's Not Easy Being Green

A couple of months ago I bought at Target a little shopping bag that folds up and fits in one's purse. My husband had been using canvas bags and a large cooler bag to shop for groceries for some time, but I kept finding myself at a CVS or Target buying shampoo or something and having to either shove the item in my purse, carry it out to the car in my hand, or take a plastic bag.

For a little while I would forget I had it until the clerk had already bagged my item. Or I wouldn't say, "I don't need a bag," fast enough or loud enough. Sometimes I would forget to unpack it after buying, say craft supplies, and so wouldn't have it on the next shopping trip. But over time I've used it more and more.

We reused our plastic bags as much as we could already. Using them to line small trash cans, pick up after the dog, etc. But that only postpones their deposit in a land-fill. It's not like I was rinsing them out. Likewise at my job (which does not recycle…

Boycott Black Friday

I hate Black Friday, always have and can't foresee a time when I don't. I mean that number one shopping day, the day after Thanksgiving. This is because I've been in retail and worked it, but fortunately I never worked at a store (as a salesperson) that really did well out of it--people aren't buying fabric on Black Friday.

But now someone has died, and quite frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. And the real horror isn't that this young man was accidentally trampled, but the fact that the shoppers became ANGRY when they were told that they had to leave. I can't even imagine--"Sorry, you died because somebody needed that big screen TV at Walmart prices."

I remember when I was working in visual merchandising and I was decorating a Christmas swag on Columbus Day (and before you wonder why stores have to decorate for Christmas before Halloween, let me remind you that our Macy's put up 52 Christmas Trees and 30 swags, plus numero…

Updates

You will note that I have added both a simple Twitter link (now you can know what I'm doing EVERY MINUTE--aren't you excited?) and a topic cloud which is of course huge shoving my friends blogs way down to the bottom.

But now you can find any post quickly and easily--as can I--except for those I wrote before Blogger added tags... because you know, I should really stop and go back and tag those...

Wow, I didn't know that I wrote about myself so much, but I guess I'm not that surprised.

The Airborne Toxic Event and Franz Ferdinand

We went to a concert last Saturday. I bought the tickets on mad impulse just before my job went into freefall. The mad impulse was because I had only heard one song by the first band at that point. But I loved it, loved it, loved it. So after I had bought the tickets I bought the album and didn't love it on first listen, but it grew on me--BUT I knew my husband wouldn't like it. So I told him to listen to it and the Monday before the show he sends me an email that says, "You were right. I don't like it."

Aggghhhh!!!

But I heard the band live on the radio and they were more amazing live so I convinced him. Plus he likes Franz Ferdinand more than I do. In retrospect he gave in more easily than I expected. Must be the meds.

It was part of a two night show by my favorite radio station called "Miracle on Tremont Street." The second night was The Black Kids (how do they get away with that name?) and Vampire Weekend, and I'm sorry I'm just not that into V…

One shoe down

The really cool job no longer exists--maybe by 2nd quarter.

Trying not to let this discourage me into a deep and immobile funk.

Having little confidence in my present company and even less desire to work hard for them, I am struggling with my happy face.

The Things You See When You Don't Have Your Camera (and where I've been)

One morning last week, as I was walking out to my car, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, the darting shadow of a squirrel, but something seemed wrong--the shadow seemed distorted, like some grotesque Tim Burton squirrel come to terrorize my morning ritual. But no, walking around the tree I could see that the distortion was due to the intrepid squirrel holding an ENTIRE bagel in his mouth as he danced up the tree...

Then, working through the giant rotary (the nightmare curse of New England) I found myself behind some modest behemoth of an SUV wherein every surface was covered with yellow chintz! The seats the headrests, even down to the little useless one in the middle of the backseat!
So I didn't have a camera, and digging for my camera phone with its limited capability didn't seem worth it.

I did have my camera in Scottsdale, AZ where I went for our Summit.



The first picture is of the golf course. The resort was very beautiful--very new, and so shiny that it gave me the eerie …

Blog Action Day--one day late

Some events in my life yesterday put it out of my head (and I'll write more about this soon), but interestingly it ties into an online discussion I ended up on so I'm just going to post that here. It also ties into something I want to post on, and hopefully will this weekend.

The subject was poverty. I'm afraid I don't offer solutions here, just my place in it, and the words of a high school friend I recently reconnected with.


The country has been "socialist" since the 1930's. Social Security, Medicare and other such programs are all socialist and FDR was hailed as a hero for implementing them when the country was in crisis. George W. Bush has just pushed through the Nationalization of the banks to prevent such crisis. That said, I do understand the fear that your hard-earned cash is going to be given to the undeserving poor, but in this country right now there is such a divide between the rich and middle-class that every middle class family is inches awa…

Bike Riding 101

Ten years ago I learned to drive (I renewed my license this year). It took me years and many learner's permits--the written was easy, the fear, not so much. When I got my license, in those far off days before social media made notifying everyone too easy--I sent out a mass email. I also joked that I would learn to ride a bike by 35.

Well, 10 years later I have learned to ride a bike! Missing my deadline by a few years, but I won't hold that against myself. Like learning to drive, it only happened when I paid someone to teach me, despite kind efforts by dear friends. And like driving (and granted, I haven't done that much of it yet) I find I enjoy it very much. I love driving (traffic notwithstanding) and cannot fathom now why I resisted for so long. I still have some of the same fears--the fear more of injuring others, rather than the fear of injuring myself, but I do my best not to ever put myself of others in danger.

With biking, I was more afraid of personal inju…

Since we all need a little humor...

Thanks Red Queen--my favorite is number 4.

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in th…

Engglish words, we got a million of 'em (actual spam subject line)

Dear Beloved American:
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion USD. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gramm, lobbyist for UBS, who (God willing) will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a former U.S. congressional leader and the architect of the Palin / McCain Financial Doctrine, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. As such, you can be assured that this transaction is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me…

David Foster Wallace...

...has killed himself.

I've quoted him often. I picked up Infinite Jest off of some free book shelf and read it a few years ago. It was a frustrating novel but I've quoted the brilliance of certain passages over and over.

And he went to Amherst. And he killed himself. RIP

Proust (ongoing)

I have almost finished the first Volume. Have read a great chunk since last I posted.

Rather on the topic of the last post but one:
Three-quarters of the mental ingenuity and the mendacious boasting squandered ever since the world began by people who are only cheapened thereby, have been aimed at inferiors. And Swann, who behaved simply and casually with a duchess, would tremble for fear of being despised, and would instantly begin to pose, when in the presence of a housemaid.

In his younger days a man dreams of possessing the heart of the woman whom he loves; later, the feeling that he possesses a woman's heart may be enough to make him fall in love with her.

I fear that I do this:
Sometimes, in spite of himself, he would let himself go so far as to express an opinion on a work of art, or on someone's interpretation of life, but then he would cloak his words in a tone of irony, as though he did not altogether associate himself with what he was saying.

And I would like to be someo…

One more on the Human League

Having developed something of a small obsession with them for the last week, I feel I would be remiss to not point out that pop songs aside, in the first incarnation they really remarkable innovators in the field of electronic music--that some of their early stuff sounds better than things being mixed and sampled today and this was in the days when computer storage was reel-to-reel.



I have to agree with many of the posters at You Tube that in some ways the girls ruin it--that several of the songs might be better if they weren't included, but after 30 years I rather doubt that Oakey is going to suddenly remaster everything without them.

In answer to Musing's Question

From some time ago--Self-Deprecating Minds Want to Know

For the most part I presume that people will not take the energy to either like me or dislike me, but will rather be indifferent to me. I do have trouble networking because I have not mastered that fine art of appearing interested and retaining names, faces, etc. (I can do one or the other). My boss, who is otherwise a cad, can appear terribly friendly at those things and still get his own pitch across.

What I do worry about is whether friends really like me. Friends who say they'll email me after some event in their lives is past, but never do. I stress over people turning down my parties--do they really have something else to do or do I give crappy parties. Do I bore them? Annoy them? Do they tolerate me for my talents, but really don't want to spend time with me (this is partially guilt, because I have other friends that I decline invitations from because they bore me or annoy me or tax me or just drain me). So …

Regeneration Tour

Yes, we indulged in nostalgia. On Wednesday we went with three friends to the Regeneration Tour (not to be confused with L'Arc's Regeneration tour after Sakura left)--Naked Eyes, A Flock of Seagulls, ABC, Belinda Carlisle, The Human League. Ah, the 80's live again.

I think I am learning to enjoy myself in the moment. Because I did mind so much that we are getting old and so are they, just enjoyed a pleasant evening.

Naked Eyes I like, but in the way one enjoys some foods. They aren't your favorite foods and you don't search them out, but it's pleasant to eat them when they come up. One of the members died in 1999 so it was just one and a back up band. He was a better performer than I expected. Paunchy but working the crowd despite the fact that the audience was thin at that point.

A Flock of Seagulls is one of those bands everyone remembers because of the hair, without being sure of what they sang. Unlike Naked Eyes I actually seek out Flock of Seagulls music. I h…

Transformers

Is a terrible film (bad use of slo-mo, dreadful signalling music, etc.) that somehow manages to be quite a fun ride. I swear I am getting old, though, because some of the "hand-held" shots were too fast for me.

I'll go with this quote from Roger Ebert:
"It's goofy fun with a lot of stuff that blows up real good."

AND I will say that someone, somewhere (probably a room full of people) put some serious thought into how things transformed, which is pretty impressive for a movie called, oh, I don't know, Transformers. Oh, and it was very, very funny. John Turturro in particular was very, very funny. And one doesn't get to say that very often.

13

Ocean's 13 was quite fun. I really loved Ocean's 11 but it is a boy's club and having women in Ocean's 12 was a mistake. Even though it WASTED Eddie Izzard it pulled together (and Ellen Barkin was having fun).

AND it's so damn meta. Is it just me or was the whole walking through a Toys are Us at the beginning a little too Mr. & Mrs. Smith? Plus the small talk--settle down, have some kids. Heh, heh.

Marketing

I have been contemplating for some time the possibility of creating another blog based on my experiences as an accidental marketer, called either--The Accidental Marketer or Confessions of a Marketing Moron (Vote now). Neither of which is particularly creative, but then marketing is just taking the familiar and repackaging it.

I can't decide if I would show my work there which would open up the possiblity of someone at my job finding it and thus making it impossible to vent, or keep it as a venting plus what I've learned area. If I have any "marketing" aspirations for it, it would simply be to see if others who wear many hats would come and answer my questions, post their own, etc.--way down the road.

Anyway--part of Marketing these days is the place of Social Media, FaceBook, MySpace, Blogger, Linked In, Twitter, and I thought about making this my opening post, but decided it's a little dark for that.

My husband sent it to me. DO NOT WATCH THIS if you are easily of…

And speaking of Gallow's Humor

I want to launch my friend Derek's (it's ok, he uses his own name) blog. I've known Derek for about 10 years so he went pretty high in the list. We met at R&S's annual Halloween party when he and his wife were dressed as dead Heaven's Gate cult members. We knew we were going to like them.

Derek is always fun to speak with (and once won some money on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but don't hold it against him) and I feel it's high time he dumped some of that into a blog.

Check out his mash up of Sexy Beast and Gandhi.
http://www.derekleif.blogspot.com/

He also is learning L'Arc's Ready, Steady, Go on the Ukulele which is a bizarre coincidence and still hasn't told me why.

Guinness is 10!

Happy Birthday, Guinness!

Doctor Who...

DID NOT SUCK! All in all, a very tight ending. One moment that bugged me, but it was in another universe and not really the Doctor, so not really counting, and maybe, just maybe it means that it is the end of Rose Tyler, amen.

It had some nice "human" moments, the gathered group was a little wasted--a problem whenever you have too many people in a story--why you end up with J'onnJ'onzz staying on the space station all the time in the Justice League, or groups being isolated in stories. Someone always ends up twiddling their thumbs. When they (the writers) do manage to really use everyone's talents well--well, it's very exciting.

It posed the interesting problem of which is worse, to have traveled with the Doctor and not to be traveling with him any more or to have traveled with him and not be able to remember it--to have saved the universe and have to go back to being the sad loser you were before the Doctor made you better. Rather like the question that comes …

Eastern Promises

Gah, I could have sworn that I wrote about "A History of Violence" but I can't find it!

A subtle film, for all of the bloody and brutal violence and even those are relatively (for Cronenberg certainly) few. And an ambiguous one. Part (I vaguely remember hearing) of a triptych of films about whether the mark of violence is always on you. In this one quite literally.

Quality is in the ear of the beholder???

Came across this in a newsletter that was sent to me. I'd have stopped a) because I stop for people who play well and b) for people who play music that I like and play it well, but I probably would not have recognized him, and I probably wouldn't have given money.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

I am not at all surprised at the results.

Mad Men and Frank O'Hara

Watched the first episode. More on that as I digest it.

Don was reading Frank O'Hara. I have a small book of O'Hara poems (not the one in the show) which my poetry teacher encouraged me (made me) read because I do not write like him.

I like some of it--and I like it more than I did 15 years ago (how impossible that seems) now.

Poem

Instant coffee with slightly sour cream
in it, and a phone call to the beyond
which doesn't seem to be coming any nearer.
"Ah daddy, I wanna stay drunk many days"
on the poetry of a new friend
my life held precariously in the seeing
hands of others, their and my impossibilities.
Is this love, now that the first love
has finally died, where there were no impossibilities?

-Frank O'Hara, 1956, Lunch Poems

(For Matt, who is NOT writing about coffee and may have thought I had not noticed)

100 days to the election.

On getting it wrong

Heh, so it turns out that this week was not the last episode of Doctor Who, it was the last episode but one. My big rundown on how Doctor Who both does and doesn't have to follow the A to B scenario will have to wait until next week.

Mad Men starts tomorrow, against the end of Foyle's War. Thank God for multiple channel taping.

Signs from my radio

Twice in the last week I've heard 'Every Breath You Take' on one station and flipped to another to hear the end of 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' (The Police--late 70s, early 80s).

Should I be worried that I'm being stalked? Is it a sign that I should stalk someone? ^.^

Today I heard 'Can't Stand Losing You.' Oh, well.

EDIT: Of course, it could be simply attributable to the fact that The Police are back in town next week. Also heard 'King of Pain.' Gotta love 25 year old songs.

So, why do I watch...

what I watch?

Aristotle's Poetics defines the essential ingredients of drama as:
Plot, Character, Theme, Speech, Melody and Spectacle

Greater minds than mine have debated and discussed these points and what they meant in the time of Aristotle and what they might mean in terms of today's drama at length, and will certainly continue to do so as long as there is drama for entertainment. I'm only going to use them as a guideline for what I look for in a story, any story, and here specifically in television shows.

Most of the shows below are character driven. House certainly, Bones and Medium are a small cast of characters, L&O is more plot driven, although in CI the resolution certainly hinges on the characters of Goren and Logan in their respective episodes, CSI can be a mix, although I watched it primarily for Grissom and maybe Warrick, but also for the plot. Since Warrick died and Grissom is leaving I wonder if it will still hold the same appeal as I never managed to be int…

Avatar Rocks

and kicks butt. And was a dark as SatoshiKon in places and as imaginative as Miyazaki in places, and you know I don't say that lightly.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes anime--well, the whole series, but like FMA: Shamballa, it stands on it's own as well.

Oh, and it paved the way for at least one other movie--we shall see if it happens--I mean, once you've saved the world a little adventure to save someone's mother looks like chump change, but I remain hopeful.

Happy Fan Girl dance now.

Shows ending

So, Avatar is ending tonight in a big two hour movie. Avatar is a cartoon on Nickelodeon. It's been running for three years. I'm sad it's ending, but it is inevitable. Ang, the Avatar, is the last air bender in a world where there are benders for the four elements. He already knew air, first season was water, second season was earth and now, tonight, he has to defeat the Fire Lord who has conquered the world. He has to bring balance.

Avatar is an American cartoon made by people who (apparently) love Anime. Really, really love Anime. It looks like anime, it breaks with reality into chibi or SuperDeformed like anime, where in the midst of serious battle a character will have the anime sweat or the throbbing vein on his forehead. I can't find any good pictures of this, unfortunately. It's generated a lot of cosplay which should tell you that it's been embraced as anime. I've dragged my husband into being a big fan of the show. It's well written for children…

Sidenote of interest

Have you noticed how many British actors are playing Americans in shows? It's really an epidemic.

There's most famously Hugh Laurie in House but also Jake Weber in Medium, Linus Roache in Law & Order, Damien Lewis in Life, Jonny Lee Miller in Eli Stone. And those are just the ones I watch and know about because I've tracked all of their pre-America careers.

There was also another Trainspotting alum, Kevin McKidd in the short lived Journeyman (I guess famous from Rome which I never saw). Jack Davenport is in that summer filler Swingtown. Rufus Sewell is going to be in an American remake of a British show (that originally starred Patrick Stewart) called Eleventh Hour. Oddly that was one British show I didn't like, despite Patrick.

In addition, of course, there's the other British remake of Life on Mars which I liked until the ending--wonder what they'll do about that...

Again, I think there are some others that I'm not remembering. Strange to have acto…

On Television

Two of my favorite shows are ending between this week and next. One for good and the other for an extended hiatus. I am rather sad about this.

Mad Men begins in a week--which is exciting but there is something inherently tragic about Mad Men which makes one feel as if one is watching too much Eugene O'Neil.

So, I would like to take this time to talk about what I watch and why.

I watch too much television, I know that. And I realized as I went through things that I can track my life in other people's milestones--the shows I watched, the albums I bought, the clothes that other people designed. I can also track some of my life in shows that I've done, friends that I've had, jobs I've tried--so I'm not so helpless as some.

In this year I've watched pretty faithfully the following:

Bones
House
Medium
Law & Order (which got good again), L&O: SVU (which sucked a bit), L&O: CI (with two detectives for the price of one)
CSI (but NOT CSI: NY or CSI: Miami)
Lost (wh…

On the chessboard

http://redqueenday.blogspot.com/2008/07/art-of-day-is-persistence-it-does-take.html

So after a good week of vacation, where I sorted many things and put away some things IN THE ATTIC...

You will remember that they were working on my roof while I was on vacation. Now, I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but the we have an attic space accessible by a low door. It's not finished, but there are pieces of vinyl on the floor and two lightbulbs and the previous tenants had fastened a bar, about 4 1/2 feet off of the ground, some 10 feet in length and I presume they hung clothes there. So, since closets in old house pretty much suck, I have hung the bulk of my clothes on this bar and use the attic as a walk in closet. The first month or so I covered them with sheets, but as nothing seemed to ever be on the sheets, I had stopped bothering.

Monday morning, first day back going back to work, I go in, get an outfit, leave.

Tuesday morning, step into attic, feel something sort of crunching benea…