January 02, 2003
Please hold a good thought for Zeebah, whose grandfather left this world yesterday.
January 06, 2003
Good thing I didn't resolve to blog, and do so brilliantly, every day, though a new background was felt to be in order. Have already read one gratuitous Brit Chick Lit novel. (For, um, research.) Will need to balance with something brain-numbingly intellectual. Still need to send packages of presents, which becomes ever more important, given that some of these gifts are calendars.
Recap When Lady Crumpet last parted from you, she was about to embark on a dreamily romantic New Year's Eve date at the oh-so-posh restaurant Vong, courtesy of a precious gift from the Green Llama. Yours truly managed not to spill any of her apple martini or glass of sauvignon blanc all over herself, nor did she snicker, snort, guffaw or chortle in any unseemly manner. Scott looked quite sharp in his new jacket. The appetizers were adventures in taste and texture, the seafood entrees were succulent and herbed. We had tiny pots of tea to go with our desserts, and then there were after-dinner chocolates sprinkled with paprika! Afterwards, we visited Shillak and Silke at their lovely spacious pad across the river, and we came down to earth with a free-for-all game of Trivial Pursuit. Amongst friends, Lady Crumpet could let down her hair and laugh cheekily whilst cracking jokes, sipping champagne and nibbling M&Ms. There were silly hats and noisemakers. We watched the ball drop and then scooted up to the roof to view...well, the fireworks that weren't blocked by the buildings in front of us.
January 07, 2003
To Live and Date in
To Live and Date in New York My current television addiction, a documentary-style show that follows several women around as they navigate the dating scene. (Yes, a real life Sex and the City, which, incidentally, will leave us after the sixth season.) The first series was a hoot, and the second has now begun. Startling statistic: supposedly there are 3 single women for every single guy in New York City.
Bicycle Paintings Why? Because they're charming.
Top 10 Conspiracy Theories of 2002 AlterNet, a site devoted to the promotion of the alternative and independent press, offers a listing of what made us most paranoid last year.
Great Idea, Wrong Show - Don't wanna wait for your life to be over? For $11.95, you can create a CD of 14 songs that made an appearance on Dawson's Creek. If you're having trouble deciding, there are pre-compiled playlists, including Dawson-Joey Moments and Pacey-Joey Moments (depending which couple you liked better). The song listings even tell you the episodes they appeared in, as well as when, such as this description: "Heard in background while Pacey and Joey were talking after Dawson punched him."
January 08, 2003
Looks like the writer William
Looks like the writer William Gibson has just started a blog. About time!
Illegal Art This traveling exhibit (which I just missed, damn it!), subtitled "Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age," tests the boundaries between artistic freedom and intellectual property law. For instance, a cd of copyrighted music (some of which appears without permission) is being given away at the exhibit; it's also available online. The exhibit explores the disconnect between the intent of copyright and the purpose of the public domain, and how defenses of copyright today seem to be more about protecting existing properties whose rights should have lapsed (for instance, Disney and its trademarks for Mickey Mouse), with the result that fewer works are flowing into the public domain, and new creative works are stifled in the name of copyright protection.
Copyright, according to the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 8, clause 8): To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries. Copyright was designed as a protection to reward writers or other artists by allowing them to profit from their works, but also limited in time, in order to promote continued creativity in the form of new works. Currently this period lasts 95 years in the U.S., thanks to the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. The constitutionality of this extension is up for review by the Supreme Court this term.
January 09, 2003
He says he's sorry!
Back in the day, our new Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist, was doing his darnedest to get through ultra-competitive Harvard Med School. Studying anatomy, which included the dissection of cats, was naturally part of his coursework. But the future M.D. didn't think that he had worked on enough specimens. So what did Dr. Bill do? He went to Boston area animal shelters, adopted cats as pets, but then "practiced surgery on the animals." None of them, thank goodness, lived. PETA is up in arms and seeks his atonement. I don't think, however, we'll be getting a rash of Trent Lott-style mea culpas.
I see the validity of animal research, though others will certainly disagree. But it seems to me that at least some ethics are involved, particularly of those who take the Hippocratic Oath, and even more so if they move on to the House or Senate. Frist admits "It was a heinous and dishonest thing to do." Gee, ya think? Sure, people make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. He's apologized, but the action remains heinous. Yet ethically he'll have little trouble curtailing abortion rights or stem cell research in order to please the fundamentalists.
January 14, 2003
January 12, 2002 The
January 12, 2002 The perfect day. The perfect place. An intimate gathering of dearest family and friends. The bride and groom, the best man, the matron and maid of honor all came cross-country, as did some special friends and the groom's family. (Fortunately, the bride's family, the Green Llama, who also dashingly served as groomsman, and most of the guests were local.)
The bride walked in to the theme from Anne of Green Gables. A civil ceremony, during which the magistrate mispronounced the bride's name not once, nor twice, but three times, much to everyone's amusement. When the judge asked everyone if they were in support of the marriage, there was a lingering pause; no one had expected the question or knew if they should speak up. The groom turned and gave an expectant look, at which point the bride grinned as everyone burst into laughter and voiced their approval. The bride dabbed happily at her eyes with her gloves, until slipped some tissue by her resourceful attendants. Fortunately the groom, suited and vested smartly, pronounced her name smilingly and correctly. Though she'd planned and obsessed to an unnatural degree, the bride said "I do" to the judge instead of the groom, placed the groom's ring on the wrong hand, and forgot her bouquet as she walked with her new husband blissfully down the aisle to "Linus & Lucy" (yes, the Peanuts theme).
The newlyweds made the rounds amongst their guests, who were seated at tables named for places from the world of Austen. A brunch reception immediately ensued, generating comments such as "the best wedding food I've ever had!" from several guests. The best man, the maid of honor, and matron of honor gave heartfelt, touching toasts that had everyone by turns laughing and crying. There was the cutting of the cake, a first dance, and as you can see, bubbles were blown as the couple scampered off (into the car, and then once around the block). Later in the evening, most of the wedding party and friends went out for pizza. There was a jukebox, the bride selected "Rocky Raccoon" and nearly the entire table burst into vocal accompaniment.
January 15, 2003
The Supreme Court have ruled 7-2 in Eldred v. Ashcroft (01-618); so the most recent copyright extension passed by Congress is viewed as constitutional. Justices Stevens and Breyer dissented. As it stands, individual copyright lasts 70 years after a person's death; corporate copyright lasts 95 years. Guess we'll see what happens in 20 years when Mickey Mouse et al. come up for expiration again.
In better news, the music and technology trade associations have come to an agreement. The technology group will work harder to support the enforcement against digital piracy, and the RIAA won't seek government legislation requiring locking controls over entertainment devices.
Now if only I could work my CD burner properly! :-(
The scrummy Colin Firth is The Most Attractive Man of 2002.
January 16, 2003
Begun on January 1 of this year, The Diary of Samuel Pepys is presented blog-style, one entry a day, presumably for the next nine or so years. (Pepys' diaries covered the years 1659-1669.) What a wonderful idea by Phil Gyford - I think I might actually get 'round to reading the whole thing in this fashion. In addition, the blog format permits annotations - so we readers can post comments to each entry.
January 21, 2003
A big touristy weekend, which I'm glad not to do too often. But my little sisters came to visit, so I didnít mean to just set them loose in New York City without any guidance. Besides, our mother would've had my hide if I didn't look after them properly, never mind that we're now adults.
We had dim sum in Chinatown at Sweet & Tart - it's kind of hard, though, to order from a text-only menu, as I tend to recognize the dishes I like by sight, rather than description. Wending our way along Canal Street, always crowded, I vaguely noticed the ambulance pulling up to the curb and skirted my way around the crowd. Afterwards my sisters were goggle-eyed: "You didn't see the dead body?!?" Well, no, I'm not a f*cking gawker. In fact, I'm fairly oblivious, whether it's a celebrity or the scene of an accident, or what I apparently missed at that very moment. I asked Scott to corroborate, asking how one would recognize a dead person - apparently the poor man, a homeless person, was just laying all wrong, face down on the sidewalk.
We went to Ground Zero. We should've just headed on to the World Financial Center and had my sisters meet us there, but we waited and tried to ignore all the tourists who were there to see the void, and the mementos left on the fence of St. Paul's, clicking away with their cameras. My sisters wanted to be there, so we took them. But anyone else who comes to visit us will have to go on their own. I won't do it again.
The mood improved in the Winter Garden. Scott and I sat at the top of the pink marble stairs, looking at the young palm trees, people-watching. We eventually looked at the models for the various design proposals. I'm not sure which design I like best - what I want is something expressive architecturally, that won't look dated in 30 years, but at the same time improves the quality of life for the people who live and work here. Is that possible?
Other highlights: dinner at John's Pizzeria, so far our favorite for seriously good pizza in NYC. Afterwards we met up with Jen for a late screening of Chicago at the Ziegfeld, an absolute treat. Sleeping in, going shopping - the rest of the weekend was a big, exhausting whirlwind. I haven't seen my family in over a year, so most of the homesick feelings I had over the holidays have abated. At the same time, I'm glad we have our place to ourselves!
January 22, 2003
It's the 30th anniversary of
It's the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Now that the White House and Congress are dominated by the Republicans, they're going to make further attempts to weaken abortion rights. I don't see how others can justify dictating women's choices for something so intensely private and personal. Abortion isn't a choice to be made lightly, but if a woman makes that decision, no one else has the right to interfere. Groups like NOW and NARAL Pro-Choice America (National Abortion Rights Action League) have ramped up their efforts to raise awareness - a woman's right to choose should not be taken for granted.
What also gets me is that it seems the same people who are anti-abortion are also anti-information when it comes to sex education. Abstinence can only be promoted so much - people need to be informed about how to protect themselves, not only from unplanned pregancies, but from disease as well. Maybe we can convince teenagers and young adults to delay for a time, but come on - people are going to have sex anyway. It's vital that young people know how to take responsibility for themselves, even though parents hate to think of their kids becoming sexually active. Moreover, where's the support for women who choose to have their children, who may end up being single mothers in need of public assistance? These people who rant and rave about the preciousness of an unborn child seem to have little interest in the welfare of single mothers and their children, or the kids who end up in foster homes. It's all connected, folks.
January 25, 2003
Scott and I saw this last night at the WowCafe Theatre, a tiny little walk-up space, with a bunch of folding chairs and everyone cheerfully crammed together. It was loads of fun - an NYU librarian in 1962 confronting espionage and government investigation in libraries. Although things work out in the end, as a librarian she gets rather cozy with the FBI - the main character, Pearl Plotnick, finds sweet librarian lesbian love in the arms of a sharp-as-a-tack agent's secretary. Some easy lesbian jokes tossed in to the receptive audience: "Do you like Humphrey Bogart?" "I prefer Lauren Bacall." The play addressed a very relevant concern today: Freedom of information, the bedrock of democracy, versus national security.
Japanese Smileys Of course, they're way cute! (^_^)
January 28, 2003
State of the UnionThe President
State of the UnionThe President will spin his (speechwriter's) rhetoric tonight. Some may try and cope during the speech by playing a drinking game. Look for massive hangovers tomorrow.
Professional development. One of my co-workers has interviewed for a job at another law library. I've been trying to keep her psyched up, encourage her to see what a great opportunity this would be for her. She would gain so much more responsibility and experience - she could make the transition from paraprofessional jobs to a full-fledged career in librarianship. Zeebah and I agree that leaving would be the best thing for her, although we'd miss her terribly. Why are we so gung-ho for her to move on? Because she's been here for over ten years, the senior librarians condescend to her; she's smart enough to take on more responsibility, but they don't think so and treat her dismissively. Our firm skimps on salaries, raises, vacation - never mind that our boss never lets anyone else take the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas for vacation and constantly sends out emails reminding us to keep our desks tidy. Yes, "tidy," as though we're teenage slobs leaving dirty clothes or dishes all over the place! Granted, this is not a terrible place to work, but it's not a place to invest your career in for decades, either. You get the experience you need, so you can move on to a better situation elsewhere.
January 29, 2003
Lady Crumpet's 2003 Winter Neil
Lady Crumpet's 2003 Winter Neil Finn mini-tour has officially begun!
January 31, 2003
Finn-tastic so far. Good
Finn-tastic so far. Good mix of Neil, Crowded House, Split Enz. A new song, "Love is All That Remains." Hovered afterwards last night by the stage door, chatting with a few others who were braving the chill. The good man himself finally came through the door, in all his lovely glory, wearing a well-cut brown woolen coat. (Speaking of which, his own crowning glory of thick blond hair, graying at the temples, was flippy and cowlicky on top, reminding me of his Crowded House days.) I smiled shyly and wordlessly gave him the promo interview CD I'd gotten, he signed with a black Sharpie, I mumbled my thanks and slipped off giddily towards the subway.
"And don't you just love this life..."