March 01, 2003
Met Zeebah & co. at
Met Zeebah & co. at Company last night to celebrate her tender youth. A great happy hour (actually a couple of hours) - I got several gins & tonic for three bucks each - eminently reasonable. I was definitely in a mellow mood - I can't remember the last time I cracked up so much. Recovering from work, I suppose.
Afterwards, those of who were left went to Crif Dogs, a place that specializes in hot dogs. I had a Chihuahua - bacon-wrapped with avocado and sour cream. And waffle fries, but only because they were out of tater tots (also available with chili and cheese, if you wish). Lots of other toppings are available to customize one's frankfurter. Mmmmm. Artery-clogging bliss - the best way to finish up a round of drinking. I'm so dragging Scott there. Love the logo too - a bikini-clad girl humping a hot dog that says "Eat Me."
March 02, 2003
I've been working on the template, in ways that only I will really notice. Gah!
My geek kung-fu is not so great today. I'm starting to get comfortable using (pasting) scripts, though my current issue has me wishing that I could actually write the script myself. I really like Blogrolling, but I wish that one could categorize the blogs, and display them by type. I tried Bloglinker, which does allow one to assign blogs to categories, but if you want to display more than one category, you still get one combined, unsorted blogroll. There's a cool script by IamPariah, which adapts the Blogrolling sidebar code really nicely. But I don't really want to hide my blogroll - I want visitors to see the blogs I like, without having to make an extra click to generate the sidebar.
So I suppose the most constructive thing I've done is edit my blogroll and limit it to personal blogs, and put the more public oriented ones under my other links. Which didn't need to take up all this time. sigh
Explanatory note: Did you know you can make blogstickers? At some point, I came across Natsuko's blog; it may or may not be real, I don't care. But "the blogging is large!" was too precious a phrase to not slap on a sticker. So there you have it.
March 03, 2003
After my Saturday class Scott
After my Saturday class Scott and I had lunch at the Corner Bistro, where the menu is so basic it's in a frame on the wall. I had the Bistro burger, while Scott went for the chili burger. Carnivores will be awfully happy. Afterwards, we planned for our movie screenings - the new Cronenberg, Spider, starring Ralph Fiennes, and the documentary Lost in La Mancha, about Terry Gilliam's failed attempt to make Don Quixote. Both are definitely worth checking out - we enjoyed them immensely. In between films we browsed at the Mercer Street Bookstore. A tiny shop, but sometimes you can find good stuff. I picked up a beautiful British Folio Society set of the Gormenghast novels. Even before I knew what I held in my hands my eyes glazed over at the beautiful illustrations and presentation - and the set was only $21.95.
A good day, but Scott really needs to buckle down with school, as do I. I at least have a little more wiggle room with my schedule though, not being mired in a doctoral program. Then again, the oh so fat bank account is still not enough to maintain the lavish urban lifestyle.
"STUPIDITY A GENETIC DISEASE"
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by James Watson and Frances Crick. An exhibit has recently been launched here at the New York Public Library. As reported in New Scientist, in a documentary that will be airing in the UK, Watson says that molecular biologists should devise screening tests and gene therapies to address the problem. "If you are really stupid, I would call that a disease," says Watson. Naturally, these remarks have not gone unnoticed in the scientific community.
I'm referring to Miss Evy, not the goofy adults posing with her. These were taken during our recent surprise visit down South.
March 04, 2003
Humming on the walk through Bryant Park
Scott's been spinning a Bee Gees collection of late; I haven't heard this song ("Nights on Broadway") in ages. There's something poignant and epic about it that puts a lump in my throat. Plus it puts an extra ooomph in a girl's stride on this balmy, thirty-odd degree day in New York.Blaming it all on the nights on Broadway Singin' them love songs, Singin' them straight to the heart songs. Blamin' it all on the nights on Broadway Singin' them sweet sounds To that crazy, crazy town.
I wanted to wait until Scott formally accepted and we told our families. Scott has a job! It's a tenure-track position at a state university. So back to Atlanta we will go. Our families are there, or closer to there, and some of our friends as well.
We're really, really pleased. But oh how we're going to really miss being here. We've tried explaining why New Yorkers basically feel like they're at the center of the universe, and how provincial they can seem at times. Or "arrogant" as our friend put it. The mindset that nothing really happens, unless it happens here. There's a bit of truth to that - people who are the best at what they do are drawn here, and driven to try and succeed. We're incredibly demanding, and amazingly, there are all kinds of services to cater to those demands. There's lots of reasons for civic pride, and of course, lots of reasons to be annoyed with the attitude. But we've got it, so we're gonna flaunt it, buddy.
As hard as it can be to live here, as maddening as my commute is from the suburbs, I love this city. I know the City better than my own neighborhood, and there's still so much to discover. I've made good friends, and I'm making new ones, and I'm going to miss all of you. (Our visitor statistics are likely to drop significantly, so we'll have to be the traveling ones.)
But hey, Lady Crumpet is still here, and she's going to make the most of it.
From The Onion. This made
From The Onion. This made me laugh.
Corey Flintoff Unleashes Sonorous, Pleasantly Modulated String Of Obscenities
WASHINGTON, DC - Upon injuring a toe Sunday, Corey Flintoff, newscaster for NPR's All Things Considered, unleashed a string of rich, pleasantly modulated obscenities. "God fucking dammit," Flintoff warmly intoned after dropping a heavy-duty router on his foot while working in his garage. "Stupid fucking cocksucking son of a bitch." Added Flintoff in a lush baritone: "Goddamn motherfucking shit-for-brains. This is NPR." Next-door neighbor Cheryl Thomas, who overheard the tirade, said Flintoff's delivery was so melodic, she was unaware that he was swearing.
March 05, 2003
Ten, the Abbas Kiarostami film
Of late, I'm constantly fine-tuning the blog. I've just joined Weblogs.Com, so if I'm on your blogrolling list, you'll know when I updated if you've designated your settings accordingly. And then you can race here for the latest in onanistic bleating.
Ernie the Attorney talks about the three stages of blogging awareness, but I think there's another stage - becoming an obsessive blogwhore. (Alas, I am only 25%.) Gotta think of something to post today. Has anybody commented? Has anyone sent me an email from the mailto link? Have I been added to anybody's blogroll? Omg, what are my stats? Yay, another user looking for Kelly Ripa and her stupid high heels! Perhaps an intervention is needed ("Lady Crumpet, step away from the keyboard!"). Obviously, I gotta get out more, if only to make the following observation:
Which is worse? Hearing Elton John sing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" or a muzak version?
March 06, 2003
HEY! The Constitution is a
HEY! The Constitution is a living document.
United States v. American Library Association, 02-361- SCOTUS considers the validity of Internet filters in libraries. At issue - whether libraries accepting federal money must institute web filters that not only filter porn, but are so broad as to block useful information - such as health, scientific, social, and political information.
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit chooses not to reconsider the ruling by a panel of its judges that determined the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional, because its current text contains the words "under God," forcing a showdown in the Supreme Court. Note to the President and Congress - not everybody is a Christian, or even believes in a God. Then again, atheists should learn early on that their belief, or lack of belief, is not going to make them popular. Stylistically, the tacked-on phrase creates a big thudding interruption of flow: "one nation, indivisible" v. "one nation, under God, indivisible." "Liberty and justice for all," means all, not just all Christians. (I can't even begin to tell them apart.)
At a mall in upstate New York, a lawyer is arrested for wearing a t-shirt that says "Give Peace a Chance." UPDATE: The mall in question has opted not to press charges.
An airline screening program, under the control of the Transportation Security Administration, would run background checks, such as credit checks, and assign to people a color that indicates their risk level as airline passengers. In today's NY Times an article details how both travel industry and privacy groups object to this program, a plan that Delta will soon test. A boycott is already underway.
Lastly, Dick Cheney has sent a letter to the owner for the satirical website whitehouse.org requesting the removal of his wife's doctored-up picture and fictitious bio. The letter requests that the site should avoid "using using her name and picture for the purposes of trade without her consent." The site owner has referred the matter to the New York Civil Liberties Union.
March 07, 2003
The Science Fiction Book Club
The Science Fiction Book Club has issued a list of 50 of the "most significant" sci-fi and fantasy novels of the past 50 years. Not sure what criteria they used. I'm pleased to say I've read quite a few of them.
March 09, 2003
Ok, so I'm tired of having ads on my page. I'd like to find a host for my blog that's priced affordably, that can use my domain name as the original URL (currently, ladycrumpet.com masks the Blogspot URL), and doesn't suck. (Is it ok that my domain name was purchased from a separate vendor from whoever I end up using as a host?) Interestingly, my provider does not offer a hosting plan for blogs, just for more traditional (bigger) sites, although I do get basic webspace. Just no access to Perl or cgi bins, stuff that I'm somehow going to figure out. (Ha!) I guess the big ISPs haven't heard about the phenomenon of the blog just yet.
So, recommendations? Thoughts? I've checked out the resource listings at Eatonweb, Globe of Blogs, and Dmoz but I honestly don't know what to choose. I know I need at least 25 mb of space, but what else should I consider? And then there's deciding whether to mess with Movable Type or GreyMatter - or some other blog publishing tool. My problem is that I research a little too obsessively, and then go mad because I have too much information to work with. Classic infoglut.
This is a new term; it refers to "mobile blogging," or blogging via phone or handheld or text messaging device or whatever. It can be audio or text. Currently audblog and Blogger, via Audio Blogger, offer audio blogging, which means you can create postings (sound and otherwise) through your telephone. Both services charge $3/month, which is cheap enough, I guess. But I'm hardly articulate in speech; why should I inflict that voluntarily on other people? At least with writing my posts, I've got something of a fighting chance in expressing myself.
Anyway, so mrw did a trial posting over at randomness personified. (Doesn't he have a nice voice?) I figured I would give it a try. My post, via cellphone, is below - another poem I like, "Pocket Poem" by Ted Kooser. If I were inclined to subscribe, that would be how I'd use it - reading a poem to you, instead of pasting it here and violating copyright.
March 10, 2003
The elevators in my office
The elevators in my office building have shiny metal doors that are reflective enough to act as mirrors. This is handy for checking for hat hair, straightening one's tie, secret people watching, things like that. Sometimes at lunch I sit in the cafe downstairs, which happens to be near the monitors for the elevator cams. What a boring job that would be - I'd totally read, except that wouldn't be allowed. I'd wish for something unexpected to happen on the elevators, just to give me something interesting to note. (Interesting, not gross or embarrassing.)
It's a good rule of thumb to just assume the hidden cams are there. I wonder how many people forget, though. At one place I worked, my office mate and I came back from lunch one day and had an elevator to ourselves. Since it was just us girls, she flipped up her skirt and adjusted her pantyhose before I could blurt out that she had just flashed the security desk. The damage done, she just shrugged it off and hoped for the best.
Why, Colin, why?!?
Kartoo - This is a visual search engine; you type in a search and Kartoo generates a map of relevant sites. Very cool.
Pervy Origami - At Origami Underground, learn the art of erotic paper-folding. (Well, the end result, not the process.) And here I was, thinking I was cool because I can fold tiny turtles. [via Gawker]
Dictionaraoke - "This site features parodies of popular songs using karaoke-style backing music with vocals provided by audio pronunciation samples from online dictionaries." [via mrw, if memory serves]
My 100 Things Another day, another meme. I've come up with 100 random bits of stuff about me. Yes, more flagrant self-promotion.
March 11, 2003
At some point I might gather my thoughts more coherently on the subject of blogging versus journalism. I like to blog, I also like to read about the phenomenon of blogging. I'm interested in the various perspectives and responses about it. From what I've read in the official press, there seems to be a bias by journalists towards bloggers, which I find kind of amusing but also annoying. Note to journos: Hey, I don't want your job. Relax. Scott and I had the following exchange - apologies for the length and lack of polish on my part.
On Tue, 11 Mar 2003 11:45:08 Lady Crumpet wrote:
[“All the Useless People” The Intro, Jeff Koyen, NY Press, v. 16, no. 11, 3/12/03]
a new snipe at bloggers: "writers who infest the web"
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 12:22 PM
To: Lady Crumpet
Subject: RE: interesting
I don't understand this piece, other than that somebody made a comment about him online and he's mad about it. It seems like another drop of the undiluted bile journalists (self-styled and otherwise) are spewing about the indignity of having to put up with other people writing.
On Tue, 11 Mar 2003 12:40:54
Lady Crumpet wrote:
It's not like people weren't writing before, in the way of diaries or newsletters before, or putting out websites and blogs now. It's just that the tools and services are there to really put it out there in the world, instead of keeping it to oneself or one's circle of friends, and it's a big phenomenon. CNN seems to have just discovered blogs; it just did a story about blogs; there was even a little poll, and the biggest result was for people who said they would never keep a blog.
People can tell the difference between journalism and blogging. But there are good bloggers out there, and there are also journalists who blog. Is it a competitive thing, bloggers winnowing readers away from the "real" writers, the journalists or "journos"? Is it annoyance with all the hoi polloi now polluting the web with their writing, because only real writers should be able to publish and share their thoughts with the world? Blogging is getting huge, but we'll see how many people stick with it.
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:07 PM
To: Lady Crumpet
Subject: RE: interesting
Yeah, there have always been nonprofessional writers and of those there have always been a lot of bad writers for every good one. Making it easier to "publish" if only online, makes the proportion of good work even smaller. Distinguishing the good from the bad is always difficult.
I think journalists do object to having to compete with other people who haven't endured what they have to get where they are. Someone who set out to be a journalist in the 70s or 80s (or even early 90s)probably didn't imagine that the web would radically multiply the type and number of potential outlets for reportage, commentary, and criticism. That person probably studied journalism in college (where he learned not much other than the mechanics and culture of the media industry,) worked on low/no paying campus or local publications, started a zine DIY, sent out hundreds of spec pieces to legit outlets and got hundreds of rejections (or no responses at all) until something finally worked and they made it in the door. Now, after they've reached what they thought would be a privileged position where their product would benefit from some kind of authority or protected institutional status, a lot of people get their news/commentary online and the work of amateurs who haven't pa id dues enjoy access and circulation (and in some cases attention) similar to their own stuff.
It isn't a question of whether online readers can distinguish between journalism and blogging (or even professional commentary and blogging); I'm sure they can. The question is whether the former is presumed better than the latter. I think if journalists really produced product that was substantially better than what anybody with desktop publishing software or web tools, they wouldn't be having these reactions.
March 12, 2003
There's an exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art going on through March 30 - Romantics & Revolutionaries : Regency Portraits From The National Portrait Gallery. This means that Our Dear Jane will be there, as well as Byron, Keats, and Blake, among others. I've been aware of this exhibit for some time, but time is running short. Jen and I are contemplating a road trip posthaste. As it will be some time before I journey across the water again, I should take advantage whilst Jane has seen fit to allow me a visit.
March 13, 2003
A No Good, Very Bad Idea
What Your Clothes Say About You - "clothing designer Benetton plans to weave radio frequency ID chips into its garments to track its clothes worldwide." Anyone else think we might as well have chips installed in the back of our necks, like Agent Scully? These RFID chips are intended to make it easier to take inventory, as well as to reduce theft. However, anyone who has an RFID receiver can track people wearing Benetton clothing, "including companies that want to sell them their products." So between marketers who want to gather your data and potential thieves who can just scan your house to see if you've got anything worth really worth taking, there's more loss of privacy.
The Next Big Thing
Polyphonic HMI, has devised a technology called Hit Song Science (HSS), which according to its description "analyzes the underlying mathematical patterns in unreleased music and compares them to the patterns in recent hit songs. The new technology can isolate individual patterns in key aspects of the music that humans detect and that help determine whether or not they like a given song." According to a column in yesterday's NYT [The Pop Life by Neil Strauss], several major labels are either using or considering HSS for the analysis of unreleased songs compared against known hits. Thus perfect pop becomes that much more perfected, and commercial music more commercial. 'Cause we haven't got enough out there already.
March 15, 2003
Late late (last) night
Girls' night out in Brooklyn. Dinner at Alma, which left us happily stuffed. Lovely smoky margaritas, chips, salsa and mole sauce, tamales, chile relleno, mole poblano con pollo (the mole sauce contained ground up fruit and Mexican chocolate), and a bit of cheesy rice that was more the texture of risotto. And dessert beckoned us - key lime pie and coconut cheesecake. I'll diet another day.
Then a late screening of The Hours. Now I want to read both Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham's novel. Although I've only seen three of the movies that have a Best Actress nominee for the Oscar this year (Far From Heaven, Chicago), Nicole Kidman is my pick, with Julianne Moore for Best Supporting Actress. (I know, like it matters.)
A quick pint afterwards at a nearby pub, and then a footrace to catch the last hourly train. Alas, I missed it by two minutes, and the next one wasn't running until 3 a.m. Jen, gracious nightbird that she is, gave me a ride home. It also gave us the chance to have one of those good late-night conversations that seem to happen most easily when you're driving down the highway.
March 16, 2003
Back when the administration changed hands in 2001, The Onion put out a satirical article on the president-elect's plans for the country: "Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over." Here's a scary paragraph:
"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, [but] there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."
It's enough to make me laugh, and then cry.
Wait, this is a joke. Isn't it?
Our color-coded alert system may get a new risk level [CNN]. So the feds are considering inserting a level between Red (Severe) and Orange (High) Alert, to make the distinction that there is an even greater threat to Americans because we're siccing war on Iraq and we should be on alert, but not necessarily at the highest alert, because "there is fear that raising the risk to the ultimate warning level would do serious harm to an already-shaky economy."
So will there be a new color for this alert, Orange-Red, perhaps? Or will there be sub-alerts for each color, ranging from Orange-Low to Orange-Severe? This is so infuriating. Tell the American people how severe things are, so we know what we need to be doing, so that we can make informed, purposeful decisions instead of being coddled and told to just go about our daily lives. It's like parents telling their kids everything will be fine, when everybody fucking knows that things are not fine. We would all be better off rallying together to a constructive purpose, to do something meaningful with all this collective anxiety. Instead we're dithering, racing out for duct tape and plastic sheeting, or renaming French fries, French toast, and French kisses, or beating up on the Dixie Chicks for being ashamed that the President is from Texas. (Natalie Maines, the lead singer, has since apologized, when she didn't need to, but fans in the heartland are upset, and country music stations are banning their music when they're about to embark on a national tour. Sheesh. Have some stones, girl!)
March 17, 2003
There's No Place Like Home
Apropos of nothing: In kindergarten I played the part of Toto in our production of The Wizard of Oz. In fourth grade, I appeared in a discofied version of the musical as a Munchkin. I think I enjoyed being Toto more.
If all has gone accordingly, you'll notice that the domain name ladycrumpet.com is alive and well, ad-free at last! Please revise your links accordingly, as the blogspot address will no longer be in use. I have opted to host with Logjamming.com, and for the time being I shall continue to use Blogger for posting. It's entirely possible that I've bollocksed things up. Do be a dear and let me know if there are any problems.
March 18, 2003
"New" Brontë Novella
The London Times has just published Stancliffe's Hotel, the "racy," "witty," and "sardonic" work by Charlotte Brontë. The manuscript, only previously known to scholars, has been in the keeping of the Parsonage Museum in Yorkshire, the rectory where the Brontës lived. Search for the story at the Times site; although there's no easy download, you can print the novella in sections.
Signs of Spring
1. The day's much brighter when the alarm goes off.
2. I broke out the jaunty, tiny checkered-print coat. I'm definitely feelin' the sass.
3. I saw my first geezer of the season sporting a t-shirt, shorts, black socks and dark red loafers.
It's a shame that the rush of blood that tells me spring is nearly upon us is going to be accompanied by the spilling of blood for the sake of cowboy diplomacy.
March 19, 2003
Since yelling at the radio or marking up Dubya's face in the paper hasn't been cathartic for me, I skipped lunch today and got a pedicure instead. Perhaps it's the power of suggestion, since PS at Hands Free recently got one for the first time. A clean well-lighted place I'd seen before and (rightly) assumed was pricey, but what the hell. The poor gal who had to deal with my feet didn't flinch. She gave me a magazine to read and cleaned, trimmed, scrubbed and sloughed away. She slipped my feet into paper slippers and gave me dark red glossy tootsies, then led me to a seat where I could sit idly while the fan blew air over my toes. If I brown bag it on a regular basis, I can then splurge for minor pamperings such as these. And then maybe, just maybe, I can wriggle my toes in the grass at Bryant Park without shame this summer. Assuming the grass hasn't died due to mustard gas or something.
March 20, 2003
The Scream, 1893. Edvard
March 21, 2003
now does our world descend
now does our world descend
now does our world descend
the path to nothingness
(cruel now cancels kind;
friends turn to enemies)
therefore lament,my dream
and don a doer's doom
create is now contrive;
(freedom:what makes a slave)
therefore,my life,lie down
and more by most endure
all that you never were
hide,poor dishonoured mind
who thought yourself so wise;
and much could understand
concerning no and yes:
if they've become the same
it's time you unbecame
where climbing was and bright
is darkness and to fall
(now wrong's the only right
since brave are cowards all)
therefore despair,my heart
and die into the dirt
but from this endless end
of briefer each our bliss--
where seeing eyes go blind
(where lips forget to kiss)
where everything's nothing
--arise,my soul;and sing
E. E. Cummings
Memes are We
Admit it, there are songs that you really love. Why? Is there some particular memory attached to it - something important or trivial, happy or sad - or is it an ineffable something in the music or the lyrics that just smacks you in the solar plexus? Mike Wolf, the fair and beauteous creature at Randomness Personified, came up with the idea and started up a page for submissions. His writeup for Elvis Costello's "Battered Old Bird" is simply not to be missed. I've done a writeup - gee, it's a Crowded House song, quelle surprise. It's more of the standard "this is a song that I loved when I was lonely teenager holed up in my room" type of thing, but I didn't really want to write about how I literally spun in dizzying circles to Sting's "All This Time" when I was seventeen and in serious like with a boy in AP English, even though that's probably more interesting. Well, remotely. So come on people, we're not looking for some lengthy expository deconstruction - just a good story about a song that means something to you. It doesn't have to be something cool - I mean, you know my weakness for the popcorn cotton candy fluff. Then send it to mike[at]mikewolf[dot]net. And yes, I'm blatantly expecting the people I know to ante up.
Run, don't walk
I don't care if you've never read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. You should still read the hysterical piece "I was Jane Eyre (with no nice hats)" by Caitlin Moran. A good cleansing laugh. [Giggly hoots of thanks to Myretta at Pemberley]
March 22, 2003
Hurling for Peace?
Out in SF, there were protesters who staged a "vomit-in" - apparently the point being that going to war is just making us sick. I'm sorry, but noooo thanks. Marching, as people are doing today in NYC, sure. Tossing one's cookies? Gross! Plus, it's stupid, nonproductive, and makes the peace movement look ridiculous, providing ammunition to the yahoos who think that being against the war automatically means you don't support the troops. No, I don't support the administration that trots around the troops to cow the citizenry into submission.
Pressing the Flesh
After protracted negotiations and then the weather conspiring against us, fellow blogger Mike and I finally met up last night, after first becoming acquainted at BABB well over a month ago. Our common interests - blogging, obviously, as well as film, music and some maddening Anglophilia. We are also terribly indecisive and have trouble sorting out restaurant bills. We determined that we must have been standing within several feet of each other at a Neil Finn show at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta in 1998. How funny is that? I think, in spite of the connections one makes online, there's nothing like meeting up in person and hanging out, chatting away and sitting together over dinner and drinks. We're still carbon-based lifeforms and the exchange of information that takes place when you hug someone hello just can't be conveyed through mere text on the screen.
We caught a screening of Laurel Canyon at a certain megaplex near Times Square - but only because the rain was still falling a bit and the showtime was soon. Note: Lots of non-pc language ahead. Frances McDormand is amazing as Jane, the tough and sexy hippy chick music producer who has a rocky relationship with her straight-laced psychiatrist son Sam, played by Christian Bale. Alessandro Nivola was just sex on legs as the singer Ian, who fronts a band including real members from the group Folk Implosion - oh, and his vocals were quite lovely too - both Mike and I observed that the big song in the film sounded like a Coldplay track. His performance lends authenticity to a movie in which music isn't merely some absent-minded consideration. I'm definitely picking up the soundtrack, sucker that I am. Nivola also has a hilarious moment in the pool, passed out and naked on a floating cushion. I'm not in the habit of noticing guys and their asses, but hey, there he was in the altogether, floating by all taut and golden on a gigantic movie screen. Kinda hard to miss, even for me. (Er...is it getting hot in here?)
Kate Beckinsale did strike me as a bit weak - I'm not convinced how her character went from being disciplined doctoral candidate to lost girl seduced by the California rocker lifestyle. I'd heard she'd gotten implants in order to boost her career, so to speak. So I was also distracted by trying to figure out if that was the case, or if she just had the benefit of well-fitted foundations. Yes, ladies and gents, I'm an equal-opportunity gawker, fascinated by the sight of ridiculously gorgeous people and the things they do to make themselves more so. The movie doesn't end the way you think it might, were it totally a Hollywood kind of flick. An excellent viewing.
Afterwards, we headed to Zen Palate for some vegetarian dining and post-viewing critiquing and further nattering away. I had a dish called Dreamland - some sort of pasta with shredded, chewy bits of sweet and sour sauteed mushroom. Mmmmm. Such a healthy place didn't offer alcoholic beverages, so we wandered over to Jack's for some potent vodka tonics and yes, even more conversation, this time accompanied by raucous drunks singing enthusiastically, though unintelligibly. We also pulled out our gadgets - PDAs, digital cams, and the requisite admiration of the portable digital jukebox - it looks like a CD player, but holds music like an IPod. Yes, we totally geeked out and enjoyed ourselves immensely. But all good things.... Late night commuting trains beckoned, so two new friends parted ways on the sidewalk and headed home.
March 23, 2003
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
Got home at three last night. Rolled myself out of bed around six-thirty. Back on the train. A fabulous, gorgeous sunny day in the city. Spring fever is coursing through my veins. I stride down the street, twenty blocks from Penn to 14th, my cotton candy music keeping me bright-eyed and bushy-pony-tailed. More legal research practice in class.
Afterwards, I walked over to Union Square to catch an uptown train. The peace rally was underway, so I stayed awhile to watch. I think I spotted Al Sharpton, although I didn't particularly care. People were intense, but the protest was peaceful. Cops were aplenty, speaking politely to spectators as they urged them to stay on the sidewalks and keep the streets clear. Helicopters hovered overhead along Broadway. There were all kinds of people marching, with varieties of signs. "Axles of Evil" - a placard covered with pictures of SUVs. "Stop Mad Cowboy Disease." "Not Shocked, Not Awed. Just Ashamed." "Peace is Patriotic." Someone wielded a giant pretzel that said "Eat Me, George!" Although the decision makers don't care what we think, the protest was still an inspiring sight, and I felt a little less alone in my thinking. Then I headed uptown for my JASNA meeting for a lecture on the financial history of England during Jane Austen's lifetime.
I met up with my ladyfriends - JenK, Golda and Julie P. We picked up women food at the market - Piroulines, Milanos, cheese, crackers and beverages. Then we gathered around Julie's coffee table to play the board game Pride & Prejudice - yes, based on the novel by a certain Regency era authoress. The object of the game was to get your characters married. We answered questions on the novel - I created some drama by nearly missing a perfectly easy question - collected shillings and tokens along the way, and positioned our characters in and around Longbourn, Netherfield, Pemberley, London, Rosings, the Parsonage, Lucas Lodge and Meryton. Yes, Lady Crumpet spent another day geeking out in another fashion. It was fun, and laughs were all around.
Jen and I walked back downtown, ending up in Midtown. We decided on tapas at Ola - and the experience was literally sensational. Smooth, potent white sangrias washed down the intense flavors of a variety of olives, mackerel ceviche, fried oysters, Cuban pulled pork, and the piece de resistance, a dish called Killer Dates. Jen and I just about died with bliss over this dish: bacon-wrapped dates with some brie, set on a clean sliver of endive, garnished with parsley and jicama. The bacon is incredibly crisp, then you taste the sweetness of the dates, and then there is the light clean crisp crunch of the endive and the rich sourness of the brie. I had to close my eyes and savor the explosion of flavors and textures in my mouth. This is the kind of food that should be filed under Aphrodisiac, it is just that amazing. A cab to Penn, another late train home. Tomorrow, or later today really, I'll be good and do the stuff I'm supposed to get done this weekend. At least I'll try. ;)
A Matter of Utmost Importance
Yes, while war rages on, Lady Crumpet has more vital issues on her mind - what to do with her babelicious tresses. As some of you may recall, my last haircut was - egad! - last August. It's grown out nicely, at least a good five, seven inches past my shoulders now. The layers have helped, so I have more of a mane than a mop on my head. But I'm bored. I've resorted to ponytails when it's not hanging down. So I want to do something different, but I'm not sure how different. It seems a shame to lop off the length, but then again, I'm fairly petite, and short gals with long, thick hair tend to look like Cousin It. Getting bangs would give me a different look but with a similar length. Then again, there are the regular trims for bangs and the growing out period when I tire of them. Also, summer will be coming, and length could be a liability. Gah!
So I found Pollhost, which lets you create free polls. The results are nonbinding, especially since many of you have no idea what I look like. (FYI - short, non-stick-insect, Asian girl with long, thick, wavy-ish black ("dark blonde") hair.) But maybe hearing what you think will drive this inane debate out of my head. Although it's a welcome distraction from more important current events. It's not the most well-designed poll, but the folks at Gallup weren't interested. So have a lark and vote. Thanks!
March 24, 2003
I am pleasantly surprised, more than I expected to be. Nicole Kidman and Adrien Brody, Best Actress and Actor. Chris Cooper for Best Supporting Actor. Roman Polanski, Best Director. (Scorsese actually looked pleased in spite of losing.) Michael Moore, whose speech I'd seen the gist of earlier today and managed to cram onto the air before he was orchestrated offstage. Spirited Away as Best Animated Feature. I didn't think Eminem would win for Best Song, but he spared us both his presence as well as the speechifying by Bono had U2 won. Finally - can someone please give Peter O'Toole a role so he can come back and win an Oscar in the usual fashion? He was incredibly charming and witty, and didn't seem to need bits of paper or a teleprompter to express his appreciation to the Academy.
Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?
Supreme Court Justice Scalia received an award last week for having "consistently, across the board, had opinions or led the charge in support of free speech." He banned media coverage of the event [tv and radio].
March 25, 2003
Breathe In, Breathe Out
At my commuter railroad station, there are now NYPD and National Guard hanging out on the platform in the mornings. Since I live 60 miles from the city, I really don't think they're going to have much to do. But my station is near a regional airport, so maybe that's the reason for the extra serving of security.
Last night, as I waited for Scott to pick me up from the station, I heard two enormous mechanical roars. They didn't sound like your regular commercial aircraft. I think they were fighter jets. I could be wrong, but they were so very loud.
Today I read in the paper that 24-hour air patrols have resumed over the City. I took the subway to work because I ran late and I wished I had my little Maglite with me because besides being stuck in the tunnels the next worse thing would be to have no lights.
There's a tightness in my chest, a knot of panic just waiting to burst forth. It was worse this morning, but I'm ok now. Teeth gritted and eyes glaring, but better now. Just feeling a little pathetic for letting the unknown get to me.
J. Hoberman offers his commentary
J. Hoberman offers his commentary on the Academy Awards in the newest Village Voice: "When Doves Cry: Oscars Declare War on the War."
Michael Moore always makes me cringe; I hate the way he puts people on the spot, even though he's calling their attention to something important. And I knew he was gonna say something and that some would cheer and others would seethe and hiss and I would be squirming at home. But he did remind people that our current president was basically installed by the Supreme Court, that his "fictitious election" should've made him humble enough to realize that as President he's responsible to all of the citizens, not just the ones who line his party's coffers. That getting by with election results the equivalent of a gentleman's C isn't enough of a justification or a mandate for cramming this war down the world's throat. This frat boy theocrat has saddled this country with lost credibility, fiscal disaster, and the risk of terrorist retribution, which will last far longer than his time in office.
March 26, 2003
Results to date
As I can't seem to insert a table into a post, here's the less pretty format of the vote on Lady Crumpet's crowning glory, in case anyone's just desperate to know.
What should I do with my hair? Votes
Get some Bettie Page bangs 27% 3
Get normal bangs 9% 1
Don't get bangs 0% 0
It's too long, go for something midlength 18% 2
Go short - chop it off 18% 2
Keep the length, get a maintenance trim 18% 2
Don't know and don't care 9% 1
11 votes total
As a kid I was a huuuuge fan of Olivia Newton-John. I loved her in Grease, Xanadu, even Twist of Fate. I had this white knitted fringed poncho that I wore when my parents took me to a double feature of Grease and Saturday Night Fever, and towards the end of the movie I was bopping my pony-tailed head with the poncho around my waist, trying to imitate Sandy in her pink poodle skirt. Then my mom made me put the poncho on properly, because it was cold in the theater. Awwww, Mom!
We had HBO in our little apartment in Queens. My dad allowed my sisters and me to watch Xanadu, we just had to cover our ears whenever there were any bad words. Okay, Daddy.
So I now have the song "Dancin'" in my head, the one with The Tubes and Olivia. If you've ever seen the movie, it's featured in the dance-off scene between the dancers dressed in 40s-style garb and the practically alien-looking 80s-clad dancers. I thought the 80s dancers were scary looking; I wanted to dress like one of the 40s girls. Yes, like Olivia. I thought she was so cool, so pretty, in her off-the-shoulder dress and her leg warmers and roller skates, and the ribboned combs in her hair. I guess you could say that Xanadu was my introduction to Greek mythology, since she was a Muse and her father was Zeus.
March 27, 2003
Mark your calendars
Well, I'm really the only one who needs to remember the date: April 12. I just made an appointment for a haircut with Sherry at Kropps & Bobbers. I actually could've gotten an appointment this weekend, but I'm booked up with other activities. I'm excited - I think I know what I want, I just need to find some good pictures. Hopefully the style can be translated so that it looks as good on a petite round-faced curvy girl as it does on a tall waif with big eyes and lips and cheekbones sloped like the Alps. Thank you, all 12 of you who voted, including the snarky person who cared just enough to vote that they didn't know and didn't care. Stay tuned - I'll fill you in after I get the cut.
March 29, 2003
More Squirminess Ahead
Oh boy. Michael Moore's at work on a new documentary, entitled Fahrenheit 911. It's going to explore the business connections between the Bush and Bin Laden families, and how Dubya and his posse are using 9/11 to push their agenda. Moore aims to screen the film at Cannes next year, which would be just months before the presidential election.
March 31, 2003
Fallen off the wagon in terms of blogging. Quelle horreur! (Yes, I'm using what little French I know to spite the ridiculousness of the French-bashing. It's one thing to have issue with their political actions. It's another to rename a basic brunch treat.) So let's see. Work work work. The books and bills keep coming. I've rediscovered ICQ - and it's v. distracting.
Jen and I took the train to New Haven to go see Jane Austen's portrait, done by her sister Cassandra. It's so...tiny. I'm glad I saw it, it's just a shame there isn't a finished proper portrait of her. But I found myself coming back to look at it several times. There was also a first edition of Pride & Prejudice, which was a lovely, lovely treat. When I came across Byron, I found myself unconsciously twirling my hair in front of him. Why hello, George Gordon. The man's appeal remains. John Keats was just a ridiculously beautiful, gorgeous man. Blake looked just as I thought he might - idiosyncratic intelligence blazing from his eyes, a commanding figure more powerful than attractive. Wordsworth's portrait was one of my favorites, apart from the amazing Keats miniature. It's a bit of a shame that photographs have taken the miniature's place as portable portrait.
Brunch at Good Enough to Eat with my new city pal, Mike. The place is cute, sort of farmhouse style, and they sell paraphernalia out the wazoo, including sweatpants with the store's logo emblazoned across the posterior. I had fresh apple pancakes that had a dollop of sour cream. Just the right thing to go with masses of coffee. A shortcut through Central Park, where we spotted our first robin of the spring, a fat little guy just hanging out in the wet grass. The Manet/Velazquez exhibit - crowded attendance but a well-curated exhibit. The weather was a bit awful - cold, rainy. Coffee and cake at some diner, then a last-minute decision to see Bend It Like Beckham. Perfect Anglophile fluff. Mike was properly disturbed that I could pick out Melanie C's songs during the movie (Mel C, aka Sporty Spice).