July 01, 2004
Disable Autorun on your computer
Have a CD that won't seem to play on your computer? Disable the autorun feature.
How Strong is Your Type-Fu?
Check out this Letters Game. It starts out slow, but speeds up quick.
So we're having Mexican with Marco. When the waiter arrives to take our orders, he tells me conversationally "You look just like this guy - I can't remember where I have seen him, but the hair, the face, everything - you look just like him, like you are his brother - er, sister."
I mention that I only have sisters, so we are no relation, this random guy and I. Scott tries to save face for me, asking the waiter jokingly, "Well this is a pretty guy, right?" But the waiter was suddenly uncomfortable, perhaps realizing the awkwardness of the moment. Maybe he didn't want to admit that the guy of whom he spoke was on the pretty side. Or that the guy wasn't particularly pretty, and therefore, neither was I.
I am no great beauty. I know this. My mother once said that I was plain, but as long as I took care of myself, I would look OK. (Thanks, Mom. I guess.) So I've never had the illusion of being able to coast through life on my looks - hence my descent into books and nerd-dom and a wiseass personality. Never mind the tremendous insecurity of wondering if I can ever be good enough.
But it was a passing conversation; I know ill will wasn't intended - it was just poorly expressed friendliness. We were hungry, the food was good, and we got to hang out with Marco. It was generally a good evening. Sure, I'm kind of embarrassed, and yes, my pride is a bit stung, but I couldn't not write about it. Otherwise how would you know the outrageous things people really say to each other, and think nothing of it?
July 02, 2004
No Rest for the Overwrought
I haven't been sleeping well. I do sleep, it's just not been restful. The workings of a guilty conscience, I guess. My dreams haven't offered peace or resolution. I don't remember them well, just snatches here and there. Getting a virus on my cellphone. My internet browser freezing up; something to do with Autorun and the Russian mob taking control of my computer. I'm in a tiny, elevated room, looking through a doorway, and watching a Madonna concert in the distance. Then I'm looking down through the doorway, and Madonna is smiling up at me beatifically from the floor below. She has dark hair and is dressed in bright filmy gauzes like a Hindu goddess. She's in a wheelchair with light gray tires, like the kind on a dirt bike. She offers her pale, bejeweled hand - in grace, benevolence, forgiveness? - I don't know, but I take her hand into my own, like a supplicant.
I've always had a soft spot for Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise. Before Sunset follows up with the characters nine years later. A passage of interest from A. O. Scott's review in the NYT:
Can't these people just get to the point, you may find yourself wondering, stealing a glance at your watch. Can't they just say what they mean? Can you? Language, after all, is not just about points and meanings. It is a medium of communication, yes, but also of avoidance, misdirection, self-protection and plain confusion, all of which are among the themes of this movie, which captures a deep truth seldom acknowledged on screen or in books: people often talk because they have nothing to say.
I feel I can express myself more clearly in writing. But then there's not the give and take of conversation, the interaction of speaking in real time, of communicating with another person. But it can be hard to say what one means, especially if the subject is difficult, when something important is at stake. But what matters is that we try, because words aren't always the only things that can be expressed. Sometimes there aren't words. But there are still ways to talk to people about what we think and how we feel.
July 08, 2004
On Persuasion, Friendship, Affection, Arguments & Disputes
From one of the early conversations between Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, with an interjection from Mr. Darcy's good friend, Charles Bingley:
"To yield readily -- easily -- to the persuasion of a friend is no merit with you."
"To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either."
"You appear to me, Mr. Darcy, to allow nothing for the influence of friendship and affection. A regard for the requester would often make one readily yield to a request without waiting for arguments to reason one into it. I am not particularly speaking of such a case as you have supposed about Mr. Bingley. We may as well wait, perhaps, till the circumstance occurs, before we discuss the discretion of his behaviour thereupon. But in general and ordinary cases between friend and friend, where one of them is desired by the other to change a resolution of no very great moment, should you think ill of that person for complying with the desire, without waiting to be argued into it?"
"Will it not be advisable, before we proceed on this subject, to arrange with rather more precision the degree of importance which is to appertain to this request, as well as the degree of intimacy subsisting between the parties?"
"By all means," cried Bingley; "Let us hear all the particulars, not forgetting their comparative height and size; for that will have more weight in the argument, Miss Bennet, than you may be aware of. I assure you that if Darcy were not such a great tall fellow, in comparison with myself, I should not pay him half so much deference. I declare I do not know a more aweful object than Darcy, on particular occasions, and in particular places; at his own house especially, and of a Sunday evening when he has nothing to do."
Mr. Darcy smiled; but Elizabeth thought she could perceive that he was rather offended; and therefore checked her laugh. Miss Bingley warmly resented the indignity he had received, in an expostulation with her brother for talking such nonsense.
"I see your design, Bingley," said his friend. -- "You dislike an argument, and want to silence this."
"Perhaps I do. Arguments are too much like disputes. If you and Miss Bennet will defer yours till I am out of the room, I shall be very thankful; and then you may say whatever you like of me." [Pride and Prejudice, Vol. I, ch. 10]
July 09, 2004
Update: The correct lyrics.
You grew up ridiní the subways, running with people
Up in Harlem, down on Broadway
You're no tramp, but you're no lady, talkin' that street talk
You're the heart and soul of New York City
And love, love is just a passing word
Itís the thought you had in a taxi cab that got left on the curb
When he dropped you off at East 83rd
Oh, oh, oh (Oh, oh, oh)
Youíre a native New Yorker
You should know the score by now (You should know by now)
Youíre a native New Yorker
("Native New Yorker" - Odyssey)
I'm in town for a few days, hosted by the swell Mike Wolf. On my list of to-dos:
1. Attend the latest BABB.
2. Visit with some of the ladies of Pemberley.
3. Shop! (Hello, I am a girl.)
4. Visit one of my favorite bookstores in the world. (That would be The Strand.)
5. Oh yeah, the reason for my last minute decision to come up here: Tom Stoppard's Jumpers. Again, thanks to the illustrious Mr. Wolf for snagging tickets to one of the last performances before it closes.
6. Because I can't stop with just 5 things. Another spur of the moment decision - a visit to Bliss.
I'm sure there's more, but some things have to be left to chance.
July 12, 2004
Late to the roundup game, as I had little time to sit at a computer over the weekend and got back to ATL late last night, but here I go anyway.
Siberia is aptly named - a bar perilously close to the tourist masses in Times Square. I guess technically I count as one of them, only visiting for the weekend as it was. But I attempted to be a fabulous creature rather than a wallflower and had the great pleasure of meeting or becoming reacquainted with: the triumvirate of cohosts - Mike, Daniella, and Ken; many lovely, funny, sparkling, bubbly, witty gals - some of whom I've read or heard good word of but had never yet met: Kambri Crews, A Girl Named Bob, Dahl, This Fish, Krissa, Smitten, A Picture of Me, and Stephanie Klein. I seem to have met more of the women than the men, but shout-outs as well to Jesse and Tales From the City (who jammed the jukebox with lots of Donna Summer).
Other highlights - getting conked on the head by Daniella's gorgeous silver and jade bracelet as she was swung about dancing (vodka tonics always go better for me with a mild concussion, I should think); Krissa's hysterical story about the "brother-fuckers"; discussing the merits of bikini waxing and the problems of brown-ink tattoos with This Fish and Miss Krissa (was that informative enough for you, Mr. Wolf?); Kambri's tale of being put on the spot by her boyfriend while doing a sketch for the first time in several years. There followed an unofficial after-party of dinner with the co-hosts, of which I became the unofficial hostess (being the most sober), and which I promptly flubbed - our first choice for Thai being a non-wheelchair-accessible restaurant. But another place was found, spring rolls and entrees were consumed, washed down with glasses of Singha. The happily tipsy Daniella and I split some mango and sticky rice for dessert, and then we all wended our way to our various trains - some rides more pleasant than others (more on that later).
July 13, 2004
Spiderman, the Musical?
Wonders, or at least oddities, never cease. From today's Lowdown by Lloyd Grove [NYDN]:
Spidey on stage?: Award-winning "Lion King" director Julie Taymor is apparently in negotiations to stage a Broadway version of "Spider-Man." Yesterday at the Ischia Film and Music GlobalFest on the Italian island off Naples, Taymor revealed that she's talking about a stage adaptation of the famed cartoon strip - which has already produced two hit movies. She said a Broadway production, if it happens, is two or three years in the future.
Checked out Spiderman 2 a few weekends ago with the usual suspects, and it was a pleasure to watch something that was both fun and really good. I know one has to lower her expectations when it comes to summer movies, but it's nice not to think of a film as "well, that didn't suck."
Alas, that was not quite what I got out of seeing King Arthur with some of my New York gal pals. Clive Owen, royally yummy. Check. Ioan Gruffudd speaking in his natural Welsh accent, dashing and pretty and fighting with two swords. Most assuredly a check. We even have Stephen Dillane as Merlin, but blink and you'll miss him. Blue paint isn't so hot on him as it is on Keira Knightley (Guinevere, Warrior Princess - how many times is this quip going around?). And I even thought the battle over the ice was kinda cool - under-ice camera shots and all. I'm not so up on the history to know what's been flubbed or made simplistic, but overall it just struck me as very drab. I think what appeals to me about Arthur, as the literature has shown, is the legend, the mythology, the romance that has captured people's imaginations for centuries. King Arthur is the story of the birth of England, but in this rendering of the story, we seem to be going for a faux History Channel/CSI recreation of what might have really happened. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
That said, I knew what I was in for, so I don't really have an actively hostile opinion about it - except on one point. Where was the hot love scene? Where was the bodice-ripping, the breaking of furniture? Some howls of ecstatic pleasure would have been nice. But no, we just have some timid kissing and Guinevere's hand guiding Arthur's up the outer length of her thigh. Surely Arthur has had some experience with women? No chemistry or heat, whatsoever.
Terror Spam, a Redundancy?
Update: title corrected, as I couldn't think of the right word at the time.
There's the usual vile porn or erectile dysfunction or Nigerian scam subject headers. Some surreal stream-of-conscious ones too. Now we have terror spam. Currently being cleaned out of my junk mail folder: multiple copies of OSAMA STRIKES AGAIN.
I'm not equating spammers with terrorists, but I think it's safe to say we hate both groups with equal vehemence. If spammers can find our in-boxes, why can't we find this madman? Yeah, I know, that's not a valid statement, but both situations are maddening and frustrating because it seems there isn't enough will to get things done. In my more tin foil hat moments, I wonder if we'll get an October surprise: "look, look, we found him" blah blah blah.
Hmmm. Maybe this is Republican spam.
July 14, 2004
Check out the Forbidden Library - a personal site that compiles listings of banned and challenged books deemed dangerous for the weak minds of children (or those with childlike minds). While the American Library Association does provide its annual list of banned or challenged books, this site offers cited annotations - examples of actual communities that have had issues with a book, as well as the apparent reasoning for demanding a book's removal.
The font is on the dark side though. I don't think it would hurt the site's aesthetics to change the font color or make it slightly larger in order to be more accessible to readers.
July 19, 2004
Nothing like being away for a couple of days and finding 1026 items in one's spam folder. And that's just one of my accounts. (Note to self: must consolidate accounts now that we have fabulous gmail access.)
Have pictures to load, moments to write about before time slips away. V. tired but now it's time to get caught up. If only I could afford to be idle.
Miss Manners on Blogging
The Key to Discreet Gossiping [Washington Post, 7/18/04]
Wired has an article about blogger burnout.
Into the Blogosphere An online collection offering a scholarly treatment on the subject of weblogs.
For some reason I had it in my head that I began the blog at the end of this month. Turns out the Armoire is ten days into its third year. Oops.
I was hoping to unveil a new layout to celebrate, but I'm nowhere near finished. Soon, though.
This year's goals: to focus outwardly; to resist negative impulses and try to be mindful of what I'm writing. To get the site fully cleaned up.
We'll see what happens.
July 20, 2004
Rhymes with Mitch
I wonder if superheroines ever have trouble finding the right bra that a) goes with their sleek skimpy outfit (e.g., no errant straps peeking out); b) offers serious lift and shaping, and that is also comfortable to wear; and c) is pretty and sexy, instead of paying tribute to the double-barrelled sheaths worn by cafeteria ladies of yore.
See also: Which Marvel Superhero Are You?
[via Catalogue Blog]
Stolen Book Leads to Car Chase
So a guy steals a book from the library at Syracuse University. There's mention of the 10-minute car chase, and the helicopter that takes over and follows the guy home. Important details to note, sure. But how come the article doesn't tell us what book was stolen? [via Obscure Store]
July 21, 2004
On the Fritz
My Palm IIIx (yeah it's a dinosaur) has been willful and dodgy in the last few months, despite being lovingly housed in its Kate Spade case. It's backed up, but the screen resolution has gone to purgatory. The most immediate problem is that I need to write down my passwords before the Palm completely fries.
I'm a month away from being free of my cellphone contract. What I would love is to go from having - and carrying - both a handheld and a mobile and go straight to a combo device. The object of my technolust? The Treo 600.
Bah! Guess I'll be scoping eBay for a cheap used Palm.
Addendum: As much as I would love to, I can't justify shelling out $500 for the latest, shiniest thing. (Though I do love the shiny things.) I'm getting a refurbished Handspring Visor Edge (in blue!) that will tide me over until I'm ready to commit to a smartphone. So next month, the issue will be just whether or not to stay with AT&T or move on to another carrier.
July 22, 2004
9/11 Commission Report
Available as a single PDF (7MB) or in multiple, smaller PDFs. Also available in print, from the GPO (Government Printing Office) or through bookstores.
July 23, 2004
Too Good to Be True?
So even though I've updated my address with the registrar, I continue to get mailings from my grad school forwarded from my old address. Most of the time they end up in the "circular file" - though getting my diploma was a big plus.
Last night I got what suspiciously looked like a check. Couldn't be, not from the seriously expensive grad school with the maddening, aggravating administration. (Note: Really liked my department. Couldn't stand to go rounds with the registrar, and even worse, the bursar's office, which has earned its place as one of the innermost levels of hell.)
But it was a check. Made out to me, accompanied by some cryptic description. It's enough to buy a smartphone, or put towards a Marc Jacobs bag, or even cover most of next year's trip with the ladies of Pemberley (in Sonoma - ooooh). But between student loans, the credit cards I lived on and the paltry NYC salary that was somehow supposed to cover two people, this would be a shovelful towards Lady Crumpet's Big Ass Debt (LC-BADTM).
Now I need to call the school to make sure this isn't a mistake. 'Cause boy do I want to deposit that dough, pronto. But I don't want to be hassled if and when the school decides they want the money back because they fucked up.
Ugh. I hate being responsible.
The Sum of All Fears, Color-Coded
WTF? I just got my new Marta card, and it has the damn homeland security color code scheme on it. So now every day when I commute next month I have to look at this thing. Why don't we just do away with the blue (Guarded) and green (Low). We will never be at those levels. We seem to veer between yellow and orange, especially when it seems politically convenient. When I was in New York it was always orange, even when the rest of the country was at yellow. So does this chart even mean anything?
Atlanta Soundcheck Full?
Apparently fan club members are being allowed into the Atlanta soundcheck for the upcoming Finn Brothers show. How the hell did I miss the announcement for this?
This is nowhere near the real problems that other people have. I know this. But I am already pissed about my stupid Marta pass and now this is just a bit more stinking poo on the pile. Arrrrgh.
You are The Mad Hatter
One thing is for sure- you're as mad as a hatter.
You have an obsession with time and if tea time
were to ever cease, you would probably be even
What Alice in Wonderland Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Somebody Stop Him
If you even think of touching Crowded House or Neil Finn, I'm coming after you, Shatner.
July 24, 2004
'Cause I Am a Material Girl
A few weeks ago I dreamed about having an audience with Madonna. Tonight I actually do. My sister scored unused corporate tickets at work, so we'll be seeing her from a suite. (And yet, dork that I am, I'd trade this for getting into the Finn Bros. soundcheck, because I'm a greedy girl when it comes to matters Finn.)
Better get dressed. Can't look shabby for an evening with
Addendum: A fabulous night. The air conditioning was off, so as to provide good air for Madonna's voice. Even though our group had gotten there first, the other group in our suite insisted that their tickets meant that we should give up the front row where we were already seated - even though there were no numbers on the seats. Don't worry Madam Who Dances Like a Cow. My sister has your name, and her boss will be calling you on Monday and provide you with a new orifice.
But yes, nonetheless a great evening with my sisters and a friend. Madonna was gorgeous and in good singing form. The set design and the use of giant video displays was dazzling. Highlights: "Deeper and Deeper" as a sultry lounge act, tango-style dancing included. "Don't Tell Me" with M and her dancers nattily dressed like Chicago characters via London - and yet doing the hipster cowboy moves from the video. M in a kilt and rocking out with her bagpiper in full regalia for "Into the Groove." A sweetly sung "Crazy For You" as a dedication to her fans. And yes, she did "Material Girl" and made us sing along. As if she could stop us. Although the people in the suite on one side of us seemed to be made of stone - no whooping, no standing, no dancing. (Why did you bother to come?) Also notable: a cover of "Imagine" accompanied by images of suffering Third World children - though there were images of smiling children by the end, and a Jewish boy and a Palestinian boy walking with their arms around each other like best friends into the sunset. People cheered when Lennon's photo came up.
July 27, 2004
Civil Service, My Foot
I placed an order for documents to a state department last Friday. Hand delivered. The order was accompanied by a cover letter requesting that we get a phone call when the material was ready, so we could send over a courier. We never got the call, and the package was shipped out. Yesterday. We have the package now, so it's fine. But I guess my cover letter was merely useful for showing off our letterhead.
The letter also requested certification, which the department doesn't do. So guess who gets to call the department's legal counsel to try to request it yet again? Why is this my province, and not the attorney who requested these documents, or his paralegal? *sigh*
I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.
Addendum: Had to leave a voicemail. Rats!
By turns elated and abashed
So yesterday I learned two things:
1. I recently whinged about not knowing about the Finn Brothers soundcheck and missing out. As a librarian I should take full advantage of available resources, and I should have joined the message boards at Frenz much, much sooner. Like, a month ago. But the fan club liaison read my message to him from the tour bus and came through for me. So I'm on the list now. I'm trying to decide if I should get him a T-shirt or bake him cupcakes. Would that be ironic, considering the cutting scorn of a certain song written by Neil and Tim?
Oh, right. Yeah, I'm a lifetime member of the official fanclub, which covers everyone from Split Enz, Crowded House, the Finns, and the offshoots and progeny (quite literally, because Neil's son Liam has his own band Bechadupa). Scoff if you like, but I'm getting into soundcheck.
2. I got my Handspring yesterday and had to mess with it for hours because of a heart-stopping "Fatal Error" message. Attempted various methods for resetting the device, which involve pushing buttons on the one side and fitting a paper clip into the tiny reset hole on the other side. Simultaneously. Turns out some of my third-party apps weren't playing nice with the Visor's op system. I was able to load the most important stuff - my address book and my password program. And then I began to load the third-party files piecemeal. At some point I realized that the batteries to my old Palm was nearing empty, so I put in some new ones in order to beam stuff as needed. But even bleary-eyed, I could see that the screen resolution was no longer wonky. That's right, ladies and gents - the IIIx is working! I may have to do a hard reset because I can't get to the digitizer screen with my stylus, but it looks like it's not dead yet. I guess it's not so bad if we become a 2-PDA household. Then we can play Pong!
July 28, 2004
That Pink Panty from 'Lost in Translation'
I'm sure there's a screen shot of the opening image of Scarlett Johansson's luscious bottom in that translucent pink panty, but I haven't been able to find one. Plus, I felt dirty searching for it.
I read in Jane magazine that the panty was created specifically for the movie, but now it's available to us non-starlets. (Not the original, obviously!) It can be found at the Erica Tanov shop in NYC (212.334.8020). It's the "Sonja" style in Nectar.
And with this post, we have inaugurated a new category at the Armoire: Shopping! I can't believe I haven't done this before.
Other fashion moments in Film
We are now in possession of the first season of Wonder Woman on DVD - the one that's set in the 1940s and the bad guys are the Nazis. One of my favorite episodes from when I was a kid was the one where Diana Prince has to go undercover. She goes from wearing her navy military skirted uniform, to this dazzling white halter dress and coordinating shoes, and she dons a curly, bobbed, red-headed wig. And, oh, the shoes. There was a closeup, and they were white and strappy and had cute little bows. I think the style was a wedge heel. Naturally dopey Steve Trevor does a double-take.
I recently saw Before Sunrise, in preparation for Before Sunset. I don't know that the film has aged well for me, but I still have tender feelings for it. Anyway, Julie Delpy wears a simple ring on her index finger. A huge oval olive-green stone in a silver setting. Dramatic because of the size of the stone and yet it's not ostentatious because it isn't some gigantic dowager ring. I've already been in pursuit of a fun, funky cocktail ring, so seeing that ring made watching the movie again a productive experience.
July 30, 2004
I'm sure there are other collections or lists out there. But here's the one I've found so far.
Not bad for twelve bucks.
A touch of glamour, a touch
of zing! whilst shelving.
For a soiree in the stacks.
Books are my cocktail.