July 09, 2002
As of lunchtime, I am now a blogger - such an ungainly word, isn't it? While "blog" is a logical contraction of "web log," the term is about as poetic as a Milk Dud.
I have been inspired by my friend and co-worker Elizabeth, a cyber-guru/reference librarian, who has a blog of her own. Props to Liz for demonstrating the ease and freeform nature of the medium - yes, even a yahoo like myself can now homestead on the 'Net and add to the pile of online driftwood. While I've made my own websites over the years, the creativity and timely upkeep have been lacking - you really need good content! Plus my beautiful paper journal hasn't been updated in forever and I would hate to not write anything down just because I think I should always be writing passages of brilliant, flowing script with my fountain pen. So the aim here is to just get stuff down, though not so personal as to induce a sharing violation. I'll keep such private thoughts just that, which is where the paper journal will remain handy.
I am also indebted to another friend who sends a weekly missive by e-mail to those of us who happened to randomly discover this fact and request membership to his list. He's a minimalist, condensing his days to spare sentences that are nonetheless rich with observation and reflection. I continue to be impressed by what a great match he is for his wife, one of my dearest friends, who knew in her dreams they were meant to be together. (Yes, really.)
I feel a mite shy about establishing a similar practice, so instead I've taken a more roundabout, albeit curiouser route - now my thoughts can be shared with any poor soul who stumbles across this site. I'll just share the link, and people can decide for themselves if associating with me is really such a great idea.
So here I am. Welcome to the Armoire.
July 10, 2002
Got a Gaudi postcard from
Got a Gaudi postcard from my friend Bill, who is jetting about Barcelona. It's good to know that he actually gets away from the too-sexy accounting job. Maybe I'll hear tales of the chicas swooning in his wake, although I'm sure he's really there for the art and culture. Hopefully he isn't having the Whit Stillman experience.
Off to see a movie tonight; there's a theater downtown doing an David Cronenberg retrospective during the next two weeks. Scott's all agog; hopefully I will be able to watch without peeking through my fingers. Heck, hopefully I'll stay awake, since I have the darnedest time staying up late for the movies, whether it's in the theater or at home. O for the endless energy of freshman year. We watched Hannibal last night - ugh - what a waste of time; we had to watch it over two nights because I fell asleep the first night. Wish I had done the same and not bothered to finish the movie.
July 11, 2002
The Oldest Man in the
The Oldest Man in the World was ahead of us in the parking lot at the train station. He drifts...he weaves...nobody knows where he's going (least of all him)! Agony and exasperation abound. But he shuffles off, Scott dashes us to the nearest steps to the platform, I race up the stairs, hurl myself into the open door...SAFE on the 7:32!
My desk counters are stacked high and I've got two carts shoved into my little corner of the library - it's like a twisted librarian version of The Cask of Amontillado. Though it's not her fault, I'm dreading the sight of one of my co-workers lately, because it's her job to bring me the new acquisitions.
Today's capper - my boss sheepishly calls me in, calls me "sweetie" and assures me that my work has been top-notch. But the firm's hands are tied, and so "if" I'm here next year, she'll "fight" for me for a better raise. I'm not sure it even covers cost of living. But I don't spoil for a fight - the market here really stinks, and I remember how hard it was to find a starter job last fall that would help me get a real one once I earned my MLS. Liz and I figured out what our raises mean after taxes...maybe one night at the movies with a soda each month. Better I should just sock the money away, since it's going to be invisible over the next 12 months.
July 14, 2002
Healthy Dose of Fun
Went downtown to play this weekend - browsing for books at The Strand, more David Cronenberg viewing, bumming around the East Village. Met up with Liz and Lauren for southern comfort food at Mama's - garlicky, bacon-y, crispy green beans and fried chicken, with minty iced tea. Ah, bliss. Headed for a viewing of Notorious C.H.O., the new Margaret Cho concert flick. Laughed until it hurt, then cackled and snickered and guffawed some more. The plus of the Margaret experience - the line for the ladies' lounge was really short!
July 16, 2002
One of my sisters was
One of my sisters was attacked by cats while trying to walk the dog. The puppy was actually the intended target – he’s maybe six pounds - much smaller than these cats! Sala scooped him up in time but the cats clawed up her legs, trying to get to the dog. A bottle of Bactine, 50-odd Band-Aids, and much agony later, she took a half day from work to get shots (at which point all the Band-Aids had to be removed, poor dear). The cats aren’t strays – they belong to the neighbor on the ground floor, who lets them run loose even though that’s against the rules. The management says they’ll write up an incident report and send a letter – like that’s going to solve the problem! They told Sally, who lives in the apartment, to call animal control. Um – perhaps if they enforced the tenant rules in the first place, this might never have happened. This is simply appalling.
July 18, 2002
Animal control has been contacted.
Animal control has been contacted. They will write up a report, a citation, and fine the neighbor. They're also going to quarantine the cats and make sure they're not rabid and whatnot. Maybe they'll be permanently removed and then the only remaining animals will be the neighbor's children.
Hard to focus at work today. I'm really excited about my Neil Finn mini-tour - I'm going to shows in New York, Boston, then New York again. Preparations have begun - camera, film, markers for autographs, musical immersion in the Neil/Crowded House catalog, the proper fun and quirky outfit - and learning how to make a proper paper plane. At least since the Crowded House days, if not during the Split Enz era, fans at shows have been making paper planes and sending them onstage. Song requests are usually scribbled on the planes and it's a great whimsy to see them flying onto the stage.
To other people this is just some concert. But there's a real communion between the fans and Neil. He's a great performer, really charismatic and engages the crowd, writes interesting, lyrical songs. There's something about his lovely tenor voice that just generates a marvelous, buzzy stir in your heart. And he's a really nice guy who acknowledges his fans, so of course we adore him right back. My friend Jen doesn't believe me when I say that people will be waiting in line and dash in to grab a spot by the stage and pretty much plant themselves for the night - I've been to shows in Athens (GA), Atlanta, Chicago, Myrtle Beach, and London. Except for the last one, which had assigned seating, every show's been the same - you get there early, you claim your spot, you take turns getting drinks, souvenirs, etc. and you hang out for the duration, including suffering any less than interesting opening acts. (Althought sometimes there have been pleasant surprises on that front.) Maybe when I'm too old for the crush of the crowd then I'll sit up in the balcony or hang towards the back. But for now I want the immersion, to sway in the crowd and bask in the sound and light at the feet of my favorite musician.
Snag in the Itinerary?
The road trip to Boston may be in jeopardy, because her partner in crime has wisely decided it might be better to properly prepare for one's overseas vacation rather than going out of town for a concert the day before leaving. I shouldn't have leapt at the opportunity, knowing the tight timeframe, but we were both optimistic. Hopefully Scott and I can still get the tickets, which were bought on her card. I'm kicking myself for not buying the tickets myself and then there wouldn't have been this issue. We'll sort things out tomorrow. I should brace myself for disappointment, just to be safe. I still have two shows to attend, after all. Several good friends of mine are missing out because Neil's summer tour is bypassing the lower half of the United States. So I need to remember my exceedingly good fortune!
July 22, 2002
Mini-Tour Now in Progress
I'll blog on and on about it later, but suffice to say: BLISS! Two shows down, final show of Neil's tour to go tonight! Only 3 more hours till I can escape the workday and be giddy amongst my own kind.
July 25, 2002
Something really cool happened to
Something really cool happened to Scott yesterday - on his way out of the department, he stopped by the men's room. (No, that's not the really cool thing.) While he washed up, an old man stepped out of one of the stalls and proceeded to wash his hands as well. Scott casually glanced over, and did a double take - the man bore a striking resemblance to John Nash (yes, the brilliant subject of the horrible film A Beautiful Mind). He was pretty sure it was him - there's an international game theory conference going on right now on campus and Nash was giving a talk as well.
So Scott's waiting for the elevator, when Dr. Nash comes along again. He wasn't really dressed up as academics tend to do when attending conferences (blazers, button-downs, slacks). Nash just looked like an old man, dressed in old man clothes. He mumbled something about one floor, and Scott asked him pardon? He said he only had to go down one floor and was considering whether to just take the stairs instead. (For a man his age, forgivable. For a whippersnapper college student, utterly lazy - but it happens. A lot.) But then the elevator arrived and Scott said he might as well. So they rode the elevator together - Dr. Nash one flight down to the Economics department and Scott down to the ground level. By this time he had spotted the name tag on the man's lapel, which said "John F. Nash." The man must've realized Scott recognized him, seeing the odd expression that was first on Scott's face, but neither made any big deal of it. Of course, Scott's gonna tell all his buddies about it.
As an aside, Scott and his department friends were thinking of attending Dr. Nash's talk. They mordantly joked that during the question period they should address questions to the young British man or the little girl or Ed Harris (if you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about - if not, believe me, you're well better off - read the biography instead). That's grad students for you - sick and twisted, which is probably a healthy way to approach academia.
July 27, 2002
Dead tired. I need to
Dead tired. I need to write down my recollections from the Neil mini-tour before the fine points vanish. But we're gonna be chic and urban and go into the city for a screening of Naked Lunch and possibly some Kurosawa/Mifune collaboration - gee, what a shock, another retrospective. I love this town.
Got another announcement from our friends Lori and Dave. The last one revealed their elopement to Hawaii. Now they have their first house. I'm sure I'll be hearing soon about the conception of their first towhead. At least I think I've figured out at last what to get them for a wedding/housewarming gift.
Don't get me wrong - I love to to be on one's announcement list, and I'm absolutely thrilled for my friends. Send me a pretty token of your good news; I save them for the day when I'll actually start my scrapbooks. I'm not so keen on, say, getting pregnancy announcements via e-mail. (Which has happened.)
I feel a twinge of jealousy? regret? frustration? that I'm not there yet and that I now have friends my age who are on-track and living the grown-up life. I've got student loans, scary credit bills, and before I even contemplate being a homeowner or future parent (gah!) I should try, just try, to quit living like a wacked-out college student with stuff everywhere. I have incentive to pare down on our stuff - we could be moving cross-country within the next year. I do not want to be toting boxes of crap that I should've thrown out in the first place!
My domestic porn is Martha Stewart Living. All this stuff I will likely never do, but you get a window into a world with approximate instructions about how to live the Martha life. (Although I must admit I have no interest in insider trading.) At least I know how things could be done - a girl needs inspiration and ideas, some of us more than others.
I want a brownie, the fairy-tale kind of creature who swoops through one's house at night and everything is immaculate in the morning. I guess in the modern world they call them maids, or mothers even. And putting out milk and cookies as appreciation won't cut it. I need to be my own brownie, since a) hired help is not in the budget, b) that would be utterly pathetic for people like us, and c) I'd be way too embarrassed to let them see the state we're in.
The surprise of running into John Nash has worn off for Scott. He keeps running into the man around campus and in the department. The man has been spotted wandering around the floor before going off to his ultimate destination. Can't say it would've been the most exciting experience - Poli Sci is a really bland floor. Maybe because no one accosts him, even though they recognize him, he likes being up there. Or maybe he just prefers the 7th floor men's bathroom to the ones on the other floors.
July 31, 2002
During our foray into town
During our foray into town over the weekend, we also saw Lovely and Amazing. Catherine Keener plays an emotionally stunted woman - her way of dealing with unfortunate situations is by telling people to "Fuck off!" I laughed, sometimes nervously, because I can so relate sometimes. Not that I would really deal with people like that, because that's just not how people should talk to each other - such a word is powerful and aggressive. That doesn't mean that when I'm alone I won't swear like mad.
Scott used to share his office with a German colleague who used the F-word a bit too freely, often to comic effect. "Do I need to study that for the exam?" a student would ask. "Aww, fuck nooo." (Insert breezy German accent.) I don't think he ever quite got that such language isn't generally part of one's public vocabulary - but the rest us giggled like mad. After all, he'd never talk like that in German. I think.
The last of John Nash, I promise. Wired offers an overview of the game theory conference. (Thanks, Liz!)