August 02, 2002
Safire's Definition of "Blog"
From William Safire's discussion of "blog" (New York Times Magazine, 7/28):
Blog is a shortening of Web log. It is a Web site belonging to some average but opinionated Joe or Josie who keeps what used to be called a ''commonplace book'' -- a collection of clippings, musings and other things like journal entries that strike one's fancy or titillate one's curiosity. What makes this online daybook different from the commonplace book is that this form of personal noodling or diary-writing is on the Internet, with links that take the reader around the world in pursuit of more about a topic.
Hmm. "Average but opinionated?" I realize that Safire's playing with the phrase "average Joe" and perhaps simply refers to anyone with a yen for filling the blogosphere. Yet we know not all bloggers are up to the expression of interesting and articulate opinions (let alone valid ones). I can't help but wonder if Safire is having a bit of a dig at us, especially since he later mentions his lack of interest in blogging himself. Maybe this Josie is simply reading the text too closely and should stick to her average opinions.
Another cool link from Liz:
Another cool link from Liz: Dictionary of British Cultural References. Must do more of my own reading and surfing so as not to rely all the time on friends to keep me informed.
Liz and I are the Librarian Twins today - we've donned matching slate blue 3/4 sleeve button downs from Old Navy, plus we have our edgy thick-framed glasses. It is providential that I did not choose to go with black pants and opted for light beige slacks, else the Look would have been complete. We have agreed to consult on our wardrobe choices in the future lest people think the library requires uniforms of its staff.
August 05, 2002
On NPR there was a segment about Thoreau, since the anniversary of the publication of Walden is upon us this week. The commentator doing the story kept pronouncing his name as if she were saying "thorough." But then she'd pronounce it the way most of us have heard it when she'd say "Henry David Thoreau." I realize this is a small matter to be so rankled by, but it was truly obnoxious. So I check around for confirmation of the correct pronunciation, and damn it, she's actually probably saying Thoreau as "thorough" properly.
I had so wanted to be right. Still, I just don't know if I can bring myself to say his name that way. I just...can't!
August 06, 2002
The heat wave has finally
The heat wave has finally broken. My mood instantly lifted as soon as I stepped out of the office during lunch. The day felt clean - light, bright and sparkling, while a cool breeze brushed my face. The city seems to have magically transformed from a grimy, aging, surly town back to the clean, modern, bustling Metropolis.
The mayor has announced the city's plans for 9/11. It's a Wednesday, which likely means a work or school day for most of us, probably both for me. I would rather spend it with Scott, visiting friends and family. Or strolling through Central Park, napping in the sun on the Great Lawn. I don't want to be glued to the television and relive the horror - especially since the networks and cable channels will broadcast it all over again. I guess just by getting on with the business of life we're doing our little bit to moving forward, to keeping democracy going, to stimulating the economy, blah blah blah. We should not forget our fellow people's pain, especially those who've lost someone. It's going to be a long, hard day.
August 07, 2002
Make the early train, putting
Make the early train, putting me into the city around 8:30. It's such a gorgeous day and I have the time, so I walk to work instead of taking the subway. So I'm in brisk urban mode, when Old Navy looms into sight. I know there's a zip cardigan on sale that I've been eyeing, so I dash in and by 9 am I've come out with that and two shirts that were also on sale. While this is a plus for my wardrobe, it's time to reign in the impulse shopping, although as any girl knows, if you find something great, you have to get it in several different colors.
The walk to work was refreshing - if I continue this, I might actually be getting the exercise I need! Of course this would involve leaping out of bed at 6 o'clock in order to get the day off to a proper start. But fabulous weather in this fabulous city is certainly an inspiration.
Swarming, cell dancing, time-softening, drunk
Swarming, cell dancing, time-softening, drunk dialing and smart mobs. Apparently this is some of the new slang that's arisen to describe pop culture particulars of cell phone usage.
I'm guilty of cell dancing - which occurs when people have arranged to meet at a certain place but can't seem to find each other. The same for time-softening - instead of always making fixed plans, I'll call when I've made it into the city and then work out when and where I'm supposed to be. Or I'm running late because of work, the train, etc. and I call while en route to let someone know that I'm running late, which softens the blow of being late, because you gave notice. (Of course, I need to be better about punctuality so that I don't need to make such calls in the first place.)
Oftentimes I leave the phone off, only turning it on because I'm going to meet with my friends later and they may need to let me know what's going on. I have a good cell plan now, so I can afford to make long distance calls to friends and family. Yet I haven't fully embraced the possibilities of talking with people all the time - I don't want to become someone who answers the phone no matter what. What's the point of voicemail then? I have text messaging too, but haven't become hooked on that either - not a big deal occasionally but costly if you become hooked on it.
August 08, 2002
Can we all say stereotype?
As I was shelving books and tossing superseded volumes, I had a jarring realization. I'm working in a library. Wearing glasses. And a sweater. With my hair shoved up on my head. At least my glasses, though they have thick black frames, are Village cool. And I'm donning my cool zip cardigan, a fitted v-neck, cropped pants and chunky green shoes. Not quite Parker Posey in Party Girl, but certainly not Frau Librarian either.
August 13, 2002
There's now a separate page for archives, as well as a comment interface. Getting closer to a finished look!
Went to Atlanta to throw
Went to Atlanta to throw a baby shower for some of my dearest friends. I was a co-hostess, really the junior one, having flitted into town for the weekend while my partner Amy did all the legwork and came up with fantastic ideas for the rubber ducky/bathtime-themed event. I was happy for the chance to do even a little something for our friends. Fortunately there are some tasks that can be accomplished even from hundreds of miles away.
Friday - Shower preparation. Sally took the day off to hang out with me and help with our various tasks. I got to see her new puppy, all 11.5 pounds of him - absolutely adorable! Hanging out with Amy and her ridiculously agreeable kids was a blast. We bought flowers, we bought food, we chopped and whipped and dipped and stirred. I now know how to make chocolate-covered strawberries, which is quite possibly the most work I've done in a kitchen. We also went over to the church to decorate the room where the shower was to be held, sprinkling confetti, draping tulle and sunflower garlands, and arranging the seemingly endless varieties of rubber duckies. Amy is truly a Shower-Throwing Queen.
Saturday - My friend Mark and I seemed to drive all over Atlanta running last-minute errands. It was great to see familiar faces, there was lots of laughter and conversation, and the baby shower gifts elicited lots of oohs and awwws. One of the really cool presents was a recording of Old English childrens' songs, including something about Oliver Cromwell being dead and buried. A great, fairly relaxed, happy time had by all. Afterwards, Mark and I went on the town - edamame and noodles at Doc Chey's, then insanely good ice cream at Jake's. I had honey fig - the honey tastes as though it came straight from the beehive and there were whole frozen figs in my scoop of delight. Mark had the Key Lime Piescream, which contained actual chunks of pie. We'd hoped to catch either Rain or The Fast Runner, but the showtimes didn't work out for us. The downtime with Mark was a much-needed diversion, since I was spending what little other time I had with my family.
Sunday - more hanging out with my family, then dim sum to celebrate my parents' upcoming 30th anniversary. A quick stopover at Amy and her husband's house for a post-shower gathering with everyone, then it was off to the airport, and back to my sweetheart.
Final thoughts - Okay, so for three days straight, I've been surrounded by baby-oriented people, including grandparents-to-be, several pregnant women and their husbands, a two-year-old, and a five-month old and their parents. And Sally basically treats her puppy like a baby, so that counts too. Still no baby pangs, even seeing how my parents are with the puppy (so just imagine the response a grandchild would generate). I'm not sure if I should be concerned or relieved. But it was definitely a family-oriented weekend, which includes both the family you're born into and the people you choose for family.
What does Kelly think? Who gives a f*ck?
There's an ad in the arts section for a novel, For Better, for Worse. It happens to be a Reading with Ripa selection. (Kelly Ripa, soap opera actress and morning talk show co-host). It looks like a book I'd take to the beach, yet another in the line of chick lit (20/30something heroine has great friends and seeks Mr. Right but in the meantime drinks/smokes/shags Mr. Wrong like mad). I really don't care what Kelly likes, but I'm not gonna pull my hair over it either. What irks me are the ratings: "Fun: 5. Humor: 5. Easy to Read: 5."
I know not everyone is in the mood for Anna Karenina. But do grown people really need to be told that a book is easy to read? Just look at the cover!
August 15, 2002
Neal Travis, one of the few really good gossip columnists out there (he wrote for the NY Post), died from cancer yesterday. I'd wondered why I hadn't seen his column online in the past few weeks - I assumed he was on vacation. What I liked about his work was the quality of his dish interspersed with calling people on their outrageous, offensive or immoral behavior - that being rich, famous, and powerful didn't excuse one from being a decent human being. R.I.P.
August 16, 2002
In today's Wall Street Journal,
In today's Wall Street Journal, there's an article about fall fashion trends, including "librarian-length" skirts (the hemline falls a bit below the knee). Also, pants with actual waists instead of bellybaring hiphuggers are coming back - hurrah! Naturally, the attractive model in the accompanying photograph looks sharp and classy, yet still manages to exude that hot librarian aura - long, glossy hair, dark, thick eyeglass frames, a fitted argyle sweater, a pin-striped librarian skirt, and for further sassiness, tiny, pointy high heels. (Just cue some raunchy music, and she'd only have to whip off the glasses and toss her hair around to get the fantasy going.) The article advises to look to old Katherine Hepburn movies for inspiration, which is a really great look, particularly if you're tall, slim and have amazing bone structure. Which of course is totally me.
August 19, 2002
Every 40 seconds, a blog is born
Newsweek has an article on blogging (8/26 issue), noting that a new blog is created every 40 seconds.
A very good weekend. Scott and I roamed about the city on Saturday - we caught the monthly record show uptown and found some serious music booty, including a live Stevie Wonder 2-disc set (Scott's) and a live John Denver 2-disc set (that would be, um, mine). My purchase was particularly thrilling, if unfashionable: 28 songs for $8, or a whopping $.28/song. Other great finds - a Sarah McLachlan b-sides album from a few years back for $5, as well as the new Morcheeba album (finally!). We also caught 24 Hour Party People, a really cool, fun film about the rise and fall of Factory Records and the origins of Brit punk, New Wave and rave culture in Manchester, UK.
Sunday - Brunch at Elephant & Castle - bowls of latte and eggs benedict on potato pancakes. Jen presented me with souvenirs from her trip to England - a National Trust tea cosy covered in cats, and a great, goofy "Tea Belly" mug - naturally for my next cuppa. A stop at the fine Myers of Keswick, from which we emerged with wedges of Stilton and cheddar, crackers and Twiglets. By then the heat was too oppressive to even contemplate the subway, so we cabbed on up to our friend Karen's jewel box of an apartment. A partial viewing of a documentary about British aristocracy, then Gosford Park, accompanied by the screenwriter's commentary. Karen was the perfect hostess - draughts of iced tea, crab mixture on crackers, tea sandwiches and a divine raspberry tart. Eventually off home to Dear Husband, who is most understanding, or at least tolerant, of my descents into Anglophilia.
August 22, 2002
Edwin Morgan, Poet Laureate of
Edwin Morgan, Poet Laureate of Glasgow, has written The Welcome, a paean to libraries. The occasion - the opening of this year's IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) conference in Glasgow earlier this week. According to the press release, "The verse is a tribute to the knowledge contained in libraries and to their continuing relevance in the age of digital information and cyberspace." Be sure to scroll down towards the bottom to find the poem and several annotations.
August 23, 2002
Vanity alert - There are few things in life that can be so quietly thrilling or horribly demoralising as a haircut. Happily I belong to the former category. After finding consistent rave reviews on CitySearch I threw my hopes into Rumor Salon. Paying top dollar for getting one's hair done seems frivolous, but I couldn't live with bad hair - I'd either have to make a stink about getting it fixed, or if I couldn't trust them, just go to a real place to get it fixed anyway. (The scary thing is, this isn't even top dollar in this town.) I've had a couple of really good hairstyles in life, and that's because I went to a salon instead of SuperCuts. But honestly, I think this is the best haircut I've ever had. The stylist, Hanako, looked at my pictures torn from magazines, looked at me, and figured out what would work with my hair, my face and my proportions. I wasn't asking for anything crazy, but I wanted interesting edges and layers - not just the plain, hang-down heavy hair that I've been growing out for months. She actually found waviness in my hair - it now feels lighter and has movement. But the best part - she gave me a hairstyle that's made to air-dry! I can dash out of the house with wet locks and sport fabulous tresses by the time I get to work.
What's also cool about Rumor is that everyone is super, super-friendly. No snotty salon attitude at all. The whole experience - this is how it's supposed to be!
August 25, 2002
If you're going to call at 3:37 in the effing morning and I answer the phone, at least have the decency to say who you are, instead of just saying "Hi!" And please try listening when I suggest that you may have dialed a wrong number; don't indignantly ask "Who is this?" when you won't even tell me who you are or what number you are trying to reach. And please - is a small apology for mistakenly calling, for causing momentary dread that something horrible had happened to a loved one, too much to ask, instead of hanging up on me?
Lady Crumpet is off to the beach for a few days, in order to test out the efficacy of the new hairdo whilst she frolics in the surf. Ah, bliss!
However, I must note my recent theater experience: a revival of Private Lives, starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan. Noel Coward has a rather knife-edged take on love, doesn't he? Rickman is absolutely delicious and sexy, his ennui and flippancy dripping with acid in every line. Near the end of the first act, when they discover that they are both on honeymoon with their new spouses in the same place, Elyot and Amanda are about to confess that they remain as in love and in hate as ever. Duncan, who won a Tony for her role, has her arm stretched out, her palm flat on Rickman's tuxedoed chest, trying to keep him from getting closer, but not actually breaking the contact by dropping her hand. The characters are still trading lines, and I suddenly notice a strange sort of angle in the line of Rickman's legs in relation to his feet, which haven't moved since her hand reached his lapel. And I realize, watching them, that he's leaning against her hand, and her arm isn't so rigid and straight anymore - it was a perfect, physical mutual gesture illustrating the tension between these two former lovers, whether to resist or give in to each other. And their portrayal of the characters' intoxication with each other in the second act is just tingling, even though their silk pajamas remain entirely in place as they by turns woo and stab at each other, trying to make things go right this time around even as they fall into the dynamics that tore them apart before.
August 29, 2002
Thanks to Cordelia at Civility
It figures that I go online briefly to check email, pay some bills, read some message boards and blogs, and now it's 105 minutes later because I'm searching for the perfect Blogsticker. Good thing I found it (check under "Credits"), because now I have less than 3 hours of sleep before it's time to get up and going on the next phase of vacation. Guess I'd better keep any sleepless surliness to myself and slurp on the caffeine!