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October 01, 2002

The other night I dreamt

The other night I dreamt that I was in a thrift shop which offered a free bag with the purchase of a goldfish. So I managed to pick out a big fat fellow in a wee baggie for a dollar, but for the life of me I could not decide among the vast array of choices. There were handbags, phone cases, messenger bags - I was so frustrated and indecisive that I woke myself up. It figures - even in my dreams I must obsess over the bag that's just right.

TextArc offers an alternate way to look intagra at literature. It takes a text file, say of the novel Emma, and generates a visual representation of the text. The most important words fall in the center; others are scattered about. You drag your mouse over the ovoid of text and can highlight words and see zigs and zags connecting words to other words. The site's main example is Alice in Wonderland, but a library of texts from Project Gutenberg are available which can be viewed as TextArcs.

Got Spam? Yes, you've longed to flog those miscreants who buy intagra bombard your inbox with all kinds of offensive drivel. Express how you really feel - Torture a Spammer! Apparently the most popular combination is to see the porno chick attacked by flying killer monkeys.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:33 PM |

Two for Tuesday

1. When you're tired, do you embrace sleep -- either by napping or calling it a night -- or do you fight it and stay awake?
I fight sleep tooth and nail. I resent that there's so little personal time order intagra in my days - my commute is a real time-suck, I have work, school, stuff that needs to be done at home. If I was a good girl and really did everything I was supposed to, I would have no life. So I go out anyway, knowing there's the long train ride, or stay up with Scott to watch one of our Netflix picks. Big surprise that I have trouble making it through the whole film. The past two nights we saw Unknown Pleasures and Chihwaseon at the film festival and I kept nodding in and out of consciousness. It's so frustrating - I wish we had 36-hour days so that I could do everything and have a life. But just today Zeebah put it this way: "You can sleep when you're dead." And so I'm gonna slog on.
There are times when I do go for the power intagra mastercard nap, which usually coincides with being in the middle of a paper that I'm trying to get through. As long as it's short, it gives me an excuse to step away from the computer screen and come back with a clearer head.

On the other hand, I fight waking up. You get so comfortable, you're warm and nestled, all snuggly - and then it's time to get up again?

2. Do you have any funny sleeping rituals or habits?
Sometimes a leg stuck out over and around the blanket. We set out a little soft fuzzy blanket that the cats like to sleep on. However, one of our cats, Tabitha, has decided she really likes sharing my pillow and has been sleeping above my head. Hence, lots of pillows, so I can shove her onto one of them when I'd like to hog my own, thank you very much.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:45 PM | Memes

October 02, 2002

Is it just me, or is it hot in here?

For those who thought Jane Austen really ought to given us a more climactic ending to Pride and Prejudice, Penelope Smythe-Featherstonehaugh has thoughtfully obliged us with Passion's Proud Prejudice. Bravo, HP! Truly Sick and Wicked.

We've all seen the reviews for the Nimbus 2000 (they're no longer up, so that's why no linkage) and its popularity with the kids. But here's something even Samantha from Sex and the City might find a little too cute for her - the Hello Kitty vibrator.

Played hooky tonight. Met up with Andrew & Mark, some dear friends whom I like to think of as my adopted British uncles (we met courtesy of a dear friend who actually is one of their nieces). Bought tickets for Urinetown and had a lovely supper. Delicious, potent buy intagra cocktails, a fine bottle of Portugese douro, which was new to me, and hearty helpings of Feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. It's a dark, rich, hearty stew, incredibly flavorful. You pour it over rice and we had garlicky shredded spinach and sprinkled bread crumbs and bits of orange and spicy sauce over it. Serious satisfaction.

Urinetown was a great experience, in spite of the fact that at points I did nod off, being again (!) tired and feeling the effect of fine drinks and food. This was especially bad, because being right in the front row probably made it a bit more obvious. The work challenges order intagra the idea of what a musical should be and uses conventional elements of the musical to entertaining, satirical effect. The lyrics were well done - no throwaway lines that I could tell. You do get the sense of its fringe festival origins, and Mark & Andrew were of opposing opinions as to the quality of the musical - Mark, musical theatre writer/performer extraordinaire, was most enthusiastic. Andrew, however, also nodded off for reasons other than fatigue, I suspect. ;) Always a treat to be in the middle of one of their debates. (I already miss you - come again soon!)

Yours, &c., LC at 04:03 PM |

October 04, 2002

Jerry Falwell steps in it

Jerry Falwell steps in it again. Big time, as the Cheney-parlance goes. In an interview with 60 Minutes he says, ''I think Mohammed was a terrorist'' and that the Islamic prophet was "a violent man, a man of war." There's probably lots of room for him to stick both feet in his mouth since there's so little brain up there.

More fatheaded fundamentalism. An established, respected Iranian actress faces arrest for kissing the forehead of an Iranian director when she presented him with an award at a film festival over there. The director intagra online himself says she kissed him as "a mother kisses her child" but under Iran's Islamic law, any physical contact, even a handshake, is forbidden between unrelated men and women.

I find it difficult to take any religion seriously today.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:57 AM | | Comments (2)

The Friday Five

1. What size shoe do you wear? 6, 6.5

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own? 25, I think.

3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)?
Slides, because you can slip in and out of them easily. But I ought to get pedicures more often when I wear the open-toes.

4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite?
Black mary jane shoes with a chunky heel by Nine West, although I can't remember the style name at the moment. They're pretty, go well with dresses and are fun for (pathetic attempts at) swing dancing.

However, my dream shoe, my madeleine of shoes, is an Isaac (by Isaac Mizrahi) shoe. (I wish I could find a picture online!) Rounded toe mary janes, with pretty, spindly heels, in a beautiful deep 1940s sort of red (also available in black). At $195 they're not impossible, but highly improbable. I'm told I should order intagra at least try them on. I fear they will be completely divine and I will further obsess, or they will totally not work for me and thus force me into the depths of despair.

5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes?
Around $60. Outlets and sales are the way to go, although I long for the chance to wear Manolos or Jimmy Choos. Although where and with what I have no idea.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:59 PM | Memes | Comments (1)

October 07, 2002

Gone

Arts & Letters Daily, a wonderful blog devoted to all things A&L, is no more. The parent company has filed for bankruptcy and the website is going up intagra mastercard for auction later this month. The editors are moving on to other projects. The archives are still available, although who knows what form the site will take when it's been sold off.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:19 AM | Blogos

October 08, 2002

Why do I do this? Why?

I'm not completely an idiot. It's just one tiny casual paper briefly discussing the complex and difficult issue of the evaluation of digital libraries and describing an actual digital library. But here I am in the middle of the night, sucking on cold coffee and hearing the snores of cats and husband in the background because I have to be this colossus, this great intellectual giant, instead of just putting it down and not giving a rat's fanny.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:17 AM |

Welcome to the world, baby girl!

In the last few days some of my dearest friends have just become new parents. I found this out at work via email, after nearly choking on my bagel. Everyone is well, and I'm so glad for certain exceedingly happy grandmothers having digital cameras! I get to call in a little bit while they're still nesting in the maternity ward.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:02 AM | | Comments (1)

October 10, 2002

First, some fireworks, because new

First, some fireworks, because new babies deserve fireworks. And just because.

"A memory-impaired neighborhood." On NPR we heard the announcer reading the corporate sponsor messages, including one for an assisted living community which had this unintentionally hilarious tagline.

There was a full-page ad in the NY Times today for The American Spirit Tower. Even though I've seen other models and artist illustrations, this particular rendering jolted me. For the first time it really sunk in that something new is going to be built downtown. There's a certain route you can take along the edge of Brooklyn where you're just driving along and then suddenly 'round the bend there's lower Manhattan gleaming at you across the river. The impression with the towers was always breathtaking - like seeing mountains. Now the view is anonymous, as if the tip of the island belonged to any old cityscape.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:39 PM |

October 11, 2002

The Friday Five

The Friday Five

1. If you could only choose 1 cd to ever listen to again, what would it be?
Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House w/ bonus live disc (which I can be heard on, if you know where to listen)

2. If you could only choose 2 movies to watch ever again, what would they be?
Pride & Prejudice (with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth)
Sense & Sensibility (with Emma Thompson)

3. If you could only choose 3 books to read ever again, what would they be?
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

4. If you could only choose 4 things to eat or drink ever again, what would they be?
Food:
arugula salad with stilton, honey-glazed pecans, slices of granny smith apple, dressed in vinaigrette
potato pancakes with sour cream
my parents' pad thai
toasted crumpets slathered in butter and lemon curd (of course!)

Drink: water, wine, tea, and coffee (with cream and sugar)

5. If you could only choose 5 people to ever be/talk/associate/whatever with ever again, who would they be?
I just can't. I'm too grateful to have more than five people whom I care about and who might actually feel the same about me. But if I had to choose only one person, then my choice has already been made. [That would be my husband, in case he's reading this and I have to spell it out for him. ;) ]

Yours, &c., LC at 04:56 PM | Memes

October 13, 2002

I just reread my Friday

I just reread my Friday Five and realized #1 might have scored rather high on the Narcissus scale. No, I don't listen to the bonus live disc in order to hear my loony words of love shouted from the audience. Just that the album has a special place in my heart because it captures such a precious personal moment. Officially! What's ironic is that I gave the disc a couple of spins before it sunk in that my voice was on it. When I did, I started to hyperventilate and had to rush to the mailing list and giddily declare myself to my people. (We're very good at rooting for each other.)

Lady Crumpet's social calendar continues in high gear. Friday night - casual dinner at Tommy's with Scott and some colleagues (buds, really) from school. Pints of brew and Scrabble at the Kountry Korner. Lots of political science posturing - at some point I just faded and took a nap in the car. They're all really fun, cool people to hang with; and yet at times I feel dorkish - not quite smart enough, not quite cool enough. It's nothing that anyone has said or done or at all conveyed, but the sense (or lack of) is there in my head nonetheless, probably to do with just being around real academics.

Saturday - rolled out of bed at some point. Got ourselves going and opted to drive to the city - our last film festival screening, Monday Morning. We hoped afterwards to make a party thrown by some of the faculty all-stars, so we braved city traffic. The mojo that seems to work for me in conjuring taxi cabs and invoking subway trains apparently does not extend to finding free street parking. So we gave up and I pointed Scott to a parking garage - the privilege for which we were charged parking fees, sales tax and parking tax. Bummed around downtown for a bit - it's been steadily finely drizzling, so a good day to tackle the bookstores. Good finds at Twelfth Street Books and the Alabaster Bookstore (whose moody tortoiseshell cat is named Houle). Happily came across The Female Quixote (read by Austen more than once!), New Cardiff (since made into a movie that will star Colin Firth), and 84, Charing Cross Road.

Monday Morning ran a bit long but was lovely. We made it out of the city - a bit tricky, but my mental geography isn't quite as vague as I thought. Got to the party, which was still in full swing and just about all of the department was there. A fine array of sophisticated drinks and nibblies and I actually managed to chat with people. I sort of go into manic giddy mode, trying to ask questions, stuff my face, swig some drink, lest I fall into wallflower mode. I guess that's part of the social contract, trying to come up with interesting conversation and being an interested listener, getting people to talk about themselves. I can listen better than I can talk. Alas, ended up playing Anne Elliott, trying to keep one of the more depressive personalities from just standing alone and being ignored. But at some point a man has simply got to help himself. Or get counseling.

Today's agenda: Get started on next project so as not to lose ridculous amounts of sleep the night before it's due. Find a portable external CD burner. Head to Brooklyn to see Secretary and celebrate Jen's upcoming birthday. Get home at a somewhat reasonable hour, since I still have to report for work tomorrow.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:02 AM |

October 15, 2002

Feel Good Story of the Day

Kitten freed from "sticky black goo" Whoever adopts this adorable scrapper might consider naming it Macadam (Mac for short, maybe Tar Baby as a nickname). A name both apropos and a palindrome. (Props to Obscure Store for the link)

Dialect Survey. This is a detailed survey run by some linguistics profs and students at Harvard. At 122 questions it's a bit lengthy, but you can answer the questions at your leisure (free registration required). Apparently the site's gotten lots of hits since its brief writeup in the NY Times, so the dialect maps are currently unavailable. Well worth doing.

I've got the Sesame Street tune Ladybug Picnic going through my head this morning, though I never knew all the words until now. I wish this were available on CD! The next best thing, however, is a video collection, Sing Yourself Silly!

Yours, &c., LC at 01:17 PM |

October 18, 2002

Not my usual Technicolor show-stopping

Not my usual Technicolor show-stopping self the past few days. But hey, it's time for The Friday Five!

1. How many TVs do you have in your home?
2 - a little one in the boudoir and a bigger one that I bought when one of my old bosses was cleaning out his apartment in order to combine it with his place upstairs.

2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week?
Too much. Hardly ever "live." We tape everything and then try to catch up.

3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children?
Sure. Parents shouldn't use the tv as a babysitter all the time, tempting as it is. Kids shouldn't have their creative energies stunted, they should be made to run around and play. (Of course, I'm such a winning example.)

4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Sex and the City (Last year I also managed to keep up with ER, but I couldn't let myself get hooked this season. I'll just wait for the DVDs.) The season's barely begun and we're already behind.

5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like?
Oh boy. Mostly British. All of the Jane Austen adaptations. As Time Goes By. Horatio Hornblower. The collected works of Colin Firth, Jeremy Northam, and Ewan McGregor. Other stuff, like Max Headroom, Buffy, Angel, X-Files, Star Trek (but only through Deep Space Nine). Rock 'n Roll Jeopardy with Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray as the permanent contestant. On the homemaking front: Trading Spaces. Katie Brown. Naked Chef and Nigella Bites. Martha Stewart's various shows. And the mushy reality shows on TLC - A Wedding Story, A Dating Story, A Makeover Story. Oh, and all the stuff that's good for me, like most of the lineup on Turner Classic Movies.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:14 PM | Memes | Comments (2)

October 21, 2002

Another weekend sacrificing academe. Our

Another weekend sacrificing academe. Our stint at the film series Scary Movies: 30 Years of Horror began with Prince of Darkness. I'd seen the movie before but still got spooked and jumpy. It's embarrassing enough, but even more so when one is surrounded by a bunch of horror filmsters who might laugh if anything at what's onscreen. Scott wishes he could still have the fun of being scared at the movies - I'd gladly give him my share. We also caught God Told Me To and Evil Dead. I'd seen the former on video with Scott - it's not a typical gory horror movie, more a thoughtful detective story with horror elements. The writer/director, Larry Cohen, did a q&a about exploring political ideas in his movies; he seemed like a cool, practical, laidback kind of guy. As for Evil Dead, I'd look everywhere but at the screen, or I'd conveniently close my eyes when the sound went suddenly quiet. I could open my eyes once the mayhem was in progress.

Sunday, I met up with Zeebah for the walkathon in Central Park. A beautiful day for a walk, although I could have done without the high schoolers cheering us on every couple hundred yards. I don't feel this great accomplishment for just walking, although I did manage to raise some money. Afterwards, caught Jen's fabulous housewarming, kept busy heating up sundry appetizers and topping off glasses of champagne (managing a few swigs and nibbles myself, of course); again, I wanted to be useful instead of trying to be brilliant in conversation. Came home, crashed on the couch, and at some point Scott sent me to bed. I was so tired I have no recollection of this.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:47 PM | Film/TV

October 23, 2002

What time is it on

What time is it on Mars? A Martian day is 37 minutes longer than a Terran day. Even so, I'd probably still be late for the train.

Having had such a good experience with the walkathon, I'm now on day 3 of walking to work from the rail station. It's a 25 minute brisk New Yorker walk. After navigating Seventh Avenue in my Nine West dress boots the other day, I decided to clash with my wardrobe and bring out the dreaded white sneakers. Not the most winning look, but my feet will thank me.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:20 PM | | Comments (1)

How to scare a librarian

Our current Secretary of State has gone the way of many folk in believing too much in the all-encompassing power of the web.

On getting people more interested in the Department of State's website: "Let's get it to the point short of being improper where people want to go see what's on the State Department website every morning." Just short of improper, but let's not get too crazy here.

On the value of non-electronic reference works: "I told my staff: 'I no longer have any encyclopedias, any dictionaries, or any reference materials anywhere in my office, whatsoever, I don't need them. I've stopped using all reference materials because you don't need it. All you need is a search engine.'"

Maybe he doesn't, but that doesn't speak for all of us. I hope that when necessary his office actually has to call the librarians at the Library of Congress now and then for assistance. Here's the full text of the Secretary's remarks. (Thanks to librarian.net)

Yours, &c., LC at 09:43 PM | Librariana

October 25, 2002

Rate My Kitten - For

Rate My Kitten - For an instant dose of unbelievable cuteness.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:40 AM | | Comments (1)

October 27, 2002

Lady Crumpet has longed to

Lady Crumpet has longed to spruce up the Armoire. Most particular thanks to J.L. Bartlett at Wayward Intellectuals for graciously allowing the use of the background.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:57 PM | Admin | Comments (10)

October 29, 2002

My Uncle David's brother Doug

My Uncle David's brother Doug (David isn't really my uncle but he and his wife have been, or used to be, friends with my parents since before I was born). One summer the lot of us were visiting for a nice long bout of smalltown coziness ("everything is five minutes away from the house!"). David and Doug were partners then in a jewelry shop, and we all stopped by to say hi. I forget how it was that everyone else wasn't around - maybe they took a stroll around the mini-mall or they were looking around the shop, but for a few minutes Doug and I were just hanging out on a mall bench. Doug is quiet where David is ebullient, so it was a while before he started to talk. We'd never met before, he said, but he'd always, always heard about my family, and me in particular. I was like the daughter my aunt and uncle never had, David spoke of me so proudly and enthusiastically. Doug said he felt like he knew me, and he knew that they cared for me very much. I felt my throat get thick and blinked my eyes a lot.

Just as he finished, David and the rest of my family showed up. As we said our goodbyes, I hugged him impulsively (surely curious to the others). I knew then that I needed to try to be worthy of my uncle's unstinting love always.

I don't know just how bad things really were to be worth the rift, but my parents are no longer speaking to my aunt and uncle. (Last I knew, David and his brother weren't on good terms either.) I couldn't invite them to the wedding because it would have pained my parents so. I haven't even told them yet because I don't know how to explain it without hurting them. I guess I can't, and it will only be worse the longer I wait. As far as my family's concerned, we're all supposed to cut ourselves off, which is utter rubbish. I have these physical pangs, as if a part of me really were missing. I've got to make contact. I'm not sure I'm the one who can bridge the gap between them and my parents, my own status with my family on its own fragile footing, but I don't have to participate in this stupid drama.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:30 PM | | Comments (1)

October 30, 2002

Aw, shucks

Thanks to everyone for the comments about the Armoire's makeover. I'm all warm and fuzzy! I shall endeavor to make your visit worthwhile.

Thoroughly tired but happily mired in Victoriana, researching the brief but brilliant career of Aubrey Beardsley. Here's a small but high-quality image gallery.

One of my classmates, who chose Lewis Carroll as her subject, pointed me to some neat sites:

A Lewis Carroll Home Page - Wonderfully, playfully obsessive; for instance, did you know there's font of Carroll's handwriting?

Charles Dodgson (Carroll's real name) was a mathematician at Oxford; he loved the number 42. And 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything according to Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker's books. Everything you ever wanted to know about the mighty 42: Deep Thought.

And for the edification of the Green Llama, more than you wish you know about William Morris. And here's a lovely gallery.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:00 PM | | Comments (2)

October 31, 2002

Hello, world!

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the wee darling, Miss Evelyn Ruby.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:42 AM |

Thievery!

An article about a company essentially using its patents to squeeze money out of small e-commerce sites. Only a matter of time before they try to go after a big site like Amazon.com - but maybe they won't, because the patents might actually get challenged in court and thrown out. In the meantime, smaller companies who can't afford the litigation are being strongarmed into paying "license" fees or making settlements. Check out You May Be Next, an advocacy site which explains the details of this horrendous abuse of intellectual property rights.

This calls to mind the BT case, which involved BT suing over its patent for hyperlinks, and demanding licensing fees from ISPs (which would have certainly passed the cost down to consumers).

Yours, &c., LC at 01:49 PM | Legal

It's the sixth anniversary of

It's the sixth anniversary of my first date with Scott. A mutual coworker had to unload some tickets for Beauty and the Beast and I invited Scott to go with me. It wasn't totally settled in my mind that we were dating - I was in that nebulous zone, where I still wasn't quite sure how I felt about him. Then during intermission he bought me a rose, which led to more emotional discombobulation. Although we'd been going to movies for the past month or so, I'd forcibly thought of it as simply two people going to films none of our other friends wanted to see. But we decided that this was the official day because it was when I really began to examine the flutteriness I was desperately trying to ignore.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:33 PM |