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August 02, 2004

Good Words

Jenica recently wrote about Pessimism v. Optimism. The bit that really speaks to me:

...the ability to spot that darkness, that network of malicious disrespect, is a choice. It's a choice to buy kamagra move into that dark distrustful place. It's a choice to look to find things that I myself don't see. It's a choice to take them personally. Because these two [people] are equally capable of enjoying the moments of small joy, of ascribing the best of motives to the world and of living on the bright side. The trips to examine the dark side, then, are a choice.

And it's a choice I try hard not to make. I don't want to live in the darkness. I don't want to hunt for scraps of evidence to support theories of malice. I don't want to live each day waiting for the darkness to move in, looking for the shadows.

I suppose I do fall into the habit of makingorder kamagra that choice, without even really thinking about it. It's not a happy way to live, being skeptical and cynical about people - thinking that at best they're indifferent; at worst, intending to hurt you. It's a protective strategy, or so I convince myself. That way I can be pleasantly surprised by the kindness of others, the love and joy they share simply by being themselves.

Making such a choice also makes it easier to enage in self-defeating, unproductive, even self-destructive behavior, in little ways and in big ways. Bad habits and poor decisions already interfere with my own life. It's bad enough to be careless with myself, but when my choices hurt other people, it's time to deal. To deal with my life, to engage it, not to retreat within - to hold back and hold out on people.

I've known this for a long time. But it's one thing to know, and another to act. I'm tired of just scraping by on minimal effort, knowing that I could do better. It's time to be responsible for myself, despite the inner voice that mocks me for being, well, a square. Crossed t's, dotted i's, coloring inside the lines - I want order in my life. Maybe because I grew up with a strict, orderly environment I felt I had to blast my way out of that mold, taking kamagra online perverse delight in cramming for exams and doing all-nighters for last-minute papers, leaving clothes on the floor, papers strewn everywhere, paying bills in a scramble. In more important life matters, making poor or less-wise decisions because at least they were mine to make.

But it's more exhausting to pick up the pieces, to recover from the aftermath, than to stay on top of things - and not necessarily as perfectly as possible. It's the doing - and the finishing - that matter. Words aren't always enough, nor meaning well but not following through.

There is gentle progress in the really horrible blowup that happened between me and a friend. There was one difficult, voice-cracking, sob-wracked phone call, an opportune meeting that worked out. Subsequent friendly phone calls to reestablish neglected ties. Making similar efforts to reach out to other friends and family. I spent a good part of the weekend sorting out boxes, readying my office area so I can go through my papers. I'm going to the beach for a week with family, so I'm actually getting ready - laundry, cleaning house - although some of the impetus is that dear Marco is going to come cat-sit for me, and although I tolerate slobbiness for myself, I don't want to inflict that on my friends. When I come back, there will be appointments to make kamagra mastercard with the optometrist, the dentist, the GYN, the veterinarian. I'm also going to find a therapist; again, there's only so much I can inflict on friends and family, and trying to sort things out for myself hasn't been enough. At work I'm going to make the effort to do things as they come, not let the piles of paper stack up so that I'm scrambling at deadline.

Today it's finishing up packing and making cupcakes for the sweetheart who added me to the list for Finn Brothers soundcheck. Waiting in line by mid-afternoon, meeting new enthusiasts and hanging out with old friends. Tonight I will cheer until I lose my voice, enjoying some of the best music I've ever known.

It's all baby steps. Life is a work in progress, sure, but that doesn't mean I can't get things done if I set myself to it. But the point to getting things done is so that I find the time to enjoy life, and fortunately I get to do that this week. I get to go to the beach, splash around in the Atlantic, laze kamagra about in the sun (with SPF and big floppy hat).* See my nephews, including one I'll be meeting for the first time. Eat too much, laugh too much, hug too much, stay up late talking into the night. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Have a good week. xoxoxoxoxo

*Provided Tropical Storm Alex doesn't become Hurricane Alex. I hope I get to go swimming!

Finn Bros. in Atlanta

Finn Brothers in Atlanta 8.2.04 (Click on image for larger version)

2 tickets
1 single-file line started by one crazy Lady C at 3 pm
1 red women's tshirt
1 coffee table book
2 sets of brothers (Tim/Neil ; drummer/bass player?)
12 Loving Cupcakes for Peter Green (I was NOT the only one who brought baked goods)
1 soundcheck (song and a half; "Edible Flowers")
a few blurry digicam pictures
1 phone call to a friend in NYC during the first two songs
2 bird cage chandeliers
3 crystals from a chandelier (given, not taken!)
0 summer tour EP (b/c I was off attempting to swipe a poster from a doorway and missed out)
4 promo cards (not all for me)
1 very, very deliriously happy girl, in addition to a few hundred other fans

You might think that standing three feet away from your personal rock god is the coolest thing ever. Or maybe not. I'm willing to concede points for obsessive dorkiness. The problem as such is that the mike and its stand somewhat obscures your guy. Plus, the stage lights create a halo effect, so it's actually a bit difficult to see the person's face (in my case, it was Neil). Of course I didn't want to be so obviously kamagra online staring all the time, so I'd look over to Tim, who looks really great these days. Snowy white hair, lovely bit of stubble. The man dances like he's possessed.

Lots of new stuff, lots of Split Enz. Bits from the first Finn album, including "Only Talking Sense" which gave me shivers. Some choice bits from Woodface - "Weather With You" and closing the show with "How Will You Go."

Yours, &c., LC at 11:59 PM | Music | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

August 09, 2004

X-Patents Discovered at University Library

Lawyers Unearth Early Patents [NYT] X-patents refer to the first 10,000 patents issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many of these are missing, the original files having been destroyed in a fire in July 1786 - ironically, while a more fireproof building was under construction. Two lawyers, researching the inventor Samuel Morey, discovered 14 of these X-patents in the Dartmouth College Library.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:23 AM | Legal , Librariana | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2004

*Drool*

This, my friends, is a menu. For heaven's sake, one of the choices for Grilled Cheese is gorgonzola!

Sadly, 1500 miles one way is a bit far for going out to lunch for some of us. Guess I'll have to make my own!

[via Kottke]

August 11, 2004

What's Our Status? (Today, Anyway)

Our current status:

Terror Alert Level

The full chart:

Terror Alert Level Chart

[via geek and proud]

Yours, &c., LC at 10:49 AM | Sundries | TrackBack (0)

August 12, 2004

Get Well Soon!

Mike Wolf has been in hospital for a few days. Rest up, dearie.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:54 AM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

Tabitha Goes to the Dentist

Well, the vet. And as someone who wasn't me remarked, "they took out half her teeth." Which isn't so dramatic when you realize that our poor kitty had only two kamagra teeth left to begin with. But the appetite remains the same, and she is still the larger of our two large puddytats.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:47 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

August 13, 2004

Notable Search Strings

I don't believe I've mentioned any examples of searches which point to this site. For July:

    cross stitch and blood feast
    bad lady gallery
    why does a lady confide so much in a guy?
    booty of the week no popups
    exploded view of an armoire
    assclown wallpaper
    discussion about buy kamagra george orwell s politics and the english language
    homemade products to euthanize your ill cat [WTF??? - LC]
Yours, &c., LC at 09:01 AM | Admin | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Azar Nafisi at the Atlanta History Center

Attended a lecture Tuesday night given by Ms. Nafisi, the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. It was fairly broad in scope, for a more general audience. (She had given a lecture to the NY chapter of the Jane Austen Society of North America. I'm sorry to have missed that, as it was said to have been quite good.)

Some of her points (paraphrased): Reading allows us to participate in the "republic of the imagination." The importance of being curious, of seeking knowledge through reading - Alice in Wonderland being an excellent example of literary criticism, of how to be a curious reader. Literature, words as a vehicle for memory. How we crave the things or experiences we are denied - moreover, we desire those things which represent the highest achievements of humanity, particularly when we are most deprived of our humanity. So reading and order kamagra meeting in secret to discuss Nabokov, Henry James, and Jane Austen, among other authors, was a way of remaining in touch with the world outside, of keeping one's spirits alive. Culture isn't what the state dictates - it is what people think, the books they read, the movies they see, the films they watch, the music they listen to, the discussions they have - even if these things must be done in secret and at great peril.

Nafisi meant high culture when she refers to "culture" - at one point she made a small dig at the Da Vinci Code, which was a somewhat risky move given that the book is such a bestseller here in the U.S. Her point was that reading is not, should not be, mere escapism or entertainment. Reading is a way to step outside of oneself, to explore other ways of seeing the world, even (perhaps especially) when doing so puts you, as a reader, at the risk of being uncomfortable. Reading is a way to fulfill and yet encourage the exploration for knowledge. On the drive home we talked about this - reading is escapism if you get exactly what you expected or wanted out of the book. I read Da Vinci Code and it was diverting, but no more - in other words, about what I expected to get kamagra out of it. I read it for my book group, and we had selected it because we just wanted something fun and not too difficult to get into over the holidays.

The lecture was around an hour, with a brief Q&A afterwards. I would have liked to hear more specific discussion about works of literature, but this wasn't the right opportunity for that. I was especially pleased, and surprised, to see the images Nafisi talks about in her book. Towards the end of the lecture, on the screen behind her appeared the two pictures of "her girls" - first wearing the black veils and robes that were necessary to wear out in public, and then the image of the young women in the clothes hidden beneath all that black fabric. Some of the women still wore their headscarves, because that was a reflection of their religious devotion, but they were different scarves, of their own choosing - not regulation, apparently. Such a contrast between two realities - in one image, a sober, anonymous group; in the next, smiling, relaxed, distinctive individuals.

Afterwards there was a line for getting our books signed. A camera crew went around getting soundbites from the crowd; fortunately we were able to demur. When I got up to the table, I could have said how much I enjoyed her book and the lecture, how I wish I could have attended her talk on Jane Austen, how I had gotten my book club to read her book and we enjoyed it very much - but no, my mind went blank and I just said "Thank you."

Gawker Interviews Columbia Librarian

Never thought I'd be writing that. A brief Q&A with Deborah Wassertzug, who works as one of the university's journalism librarians.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:08 PM | Librariana | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 16, 2004

SIBL featured in 'Manchurian Candidate'

Saw the update of The Manchurian Candidate over the weekend. The most notable aspect for me was the use of NYPL's Science Industry and Business Library (SIBL) as a location. Quite appropriate for the film's aesthetic, as that library is quite sleek and high-tech. At one point Denzel Washington, who plays Major Ben Marco, needs a place to hide out and do research. He gets a visitor's pass made (his photo taken and everything) - in order to borrow a micro-tape recorder to listen to some tapes he's found. He also looks up news items using microfilm and Google. We don't see him consulting a librarian for assistance (beyond getting his visitor's pass, which probably wasn't done by a librarian anyway). He does get criticized later for producing material that's supposed to prove the existence of sinister big business/government conspiracy - because he got it from the Internet. So that's at least a nod in the right direction of rigorous evaluation of one's sources, especially online material.

[Note - potential spoilers follow.]

If I'm devoting my response to the film to the brief scenes set in the library, it's because the film itself is otherwise quite disappointing. I'm not categorically against remakes; changes had to be made in order to make it work in the present day. But there's nothing new about ties between big business and politicians; what's terrifying are the power players who are behind the scenes, who aren't the elected officials, who aren't accountable to constituents. This was at the heart of Angela Lansbury's character in the original. Meryl Streep's version of the character, as a senator in her own right, who's already in the pocket of Manchurian Global (now "Manchuria" is the multinational company, the stand-in for Halliburton, as opposed to the threat of Communist control by China), seems more fantastically monstrous, which just doesn't work. Also, the change of the mental trigger, applicable now to both Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber) and Ben Marco (Denzel Washington), is both silly and visually less compelling. We go from the visual impact of the game of solitaire as the trigger device, the connection between the image of the Queen of Diamonds and terrifying mother-figure Angela Lansbury, to a particular recitation of the brainwashed victim's name - the mental change for the Shaw or Marco is shown by the world sudden seemingly overbright to them. The use of the card game as the device had to change, had to be updated, but the new solution seems obvious and clumsy for what's supposed to be the latest developments in brainwashing. These aren't the only problems, just some of the big ones. It's a shame - I really wanted to like this.

August 17, 2004

Wired takes a stand on capitalization

According to Tony Long, Wired News' copy chief:

Effective with this sentence, Wired News will no longer capitalize the "I" in internet.

At the same time, Web becomes web and Net becomes net.

True believers are fond of capitalizing words, whether they be marketers or political junkies or, in this case, techies. If It's Capitalized, It Must Be Important....

It's Just the 'internet' Now [Wired]

Books About Librarians

I'm currently reading The Time Traveler's Wife for my book group. Until I picked it up (there were too many holds on the title at the library, so I had to buy it), I had no idea that one of the main characters is a librarian - at the Newberry in Chicago.

Librarian Career Romances A grad student working on her MLIS presents this site as her online portfolio. The profiled novels date from the 1940s to 1960s, with examples of cover illustrations and brief excerpts. Titles include Kitsy Babcock, Library Assistant and The Loveliest Librarian. From the latter: "The light changed, and Katie walked briskly across the main street. Decidedly beautiful, Katie carried with her that continued air that lovely girls often do. Katherine Anne Dugan had long ago realized that being pretty helped her to be a better librarian, actually stimulating interest in learning and reading."

Finally, books that speak to me and my place in the profession! Can Lady Crumpet, Law Librarian be far behind? On the other extreme...

Librarians in Pornography A survey of "hard core pornographic paperback novels [which] covers 49 books published between 1978 and 1988." Some summaries are available, with brief notes as to the stereotypes. Unsurprisingly, the language is quite explicit. Memepool notes: "When a librarian encounters pornographic novels about librarians, one can only expect a catalog of pornographic novels about librarians will soon follow." [via randomness]

August 18, 2004

U.S. v. Pipkins explains Pimp Code of Conduct

Or as the song goes, "Pimpin' ain't easy." (I don't actually know this song; I know it exists.) A site called Strange Legal Opinions collects "opinions that are amusing or otherwise interesting because of the manner in which they were written, the issues they address, the facts involved, or for any other reason." U.S. v. Pipkins, 2004 WL 1717660 (11th Cir. 2004) is a recent opinion decided right here in the 11th Circuit (for non-legal people, this means the federal appellate court which covers Alabama, Georgia, and Florida). The opinion provides insight into the prostitution subculture, explaining the complicated rules and hierarchies involved between pimps and prostitutes who operated in the Atlanta area. The opinion also mentions an industry training video called "Pimps Up Hoes Down" featuring prominent local pimps who explained, on-camera, the local rules of business to new pimps ("popcorn pimps," "wanna-bes," and "hustlers") and prostitutes ("hoes").

Horrible, yet fascinating.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:46 PM | Legal | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Un Chien Andalou

I ended up borrowing a video on avant-garde film from the library in order to see this, a collaboration between Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali. For the moment anyway, it's available online [RealPlayer, 156 MB].

Yours, &c., LC at 05:00 PM | Film/TV | TrackBack (0)

August 19, 2004

Blondie & Psychedelic Furs 8/20

More of a note to anyone who's interested locally. The concert, the final of this summer series, is this Friday night at Centennial Olympic Park. It's $5 - yes, five dollars - anyone want to meet up? Tickets can be purchased online (with a $1.25 service charge).

Yours, &c., LC at 01:53 PM | Music | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 20, 2004

Really - No, thank you

Typical morning commute. I wait on the station platform, reading.

A man's voice addresses me. "Excuse me, ma'am? Do you have twenny-fie or thurdy-fie cents you can spare?" The guy is wearing a clean baggy t-shirt and clean baggy jeans. He's got headphones around his neck and carries a CD player. Doesn't appear homeless. I shake my head curtly and return to my book.

"How about your phone number?"

I shake my head again. "No, thank you."

Do guys really think this approach works? That women just stand on subway platforms waiting to give out their phone numbers on the basis of no acquaintance, to men who mumble and wear sloppy baggy clothes - in general, let alone on a weekday morning? At least this was a more comprehensive exchange than the one where I'm sitting on a bench at the same station, and the guy says something unintelligible to me. After asking him several times and explaining that I don't understand him (between the mumbling and the Southern drawl) - I figure out that he's asking me "You gotta man?" Classy.

August 23, 2004

Jane Austen, an Introduction

Jane Austen: A Love Story [Need a password? Try BugMeNot] A weekend article in the Washington Post provides a good introduction to Jane Austen and explains why her books remain popular today, even as they are filtered through modern film adaptations and novels like The Jane Austen Book Club (which I liked very much).

Yours, &c., LC at 05:07 PM | Jane | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 24, 2004

The Rounded Toe, Superhigh Heel

roundtoeheels.jpg

From Ballet Flats? Walking Shoes? Nah. It's Round Toes and High Heels. [NYT] -

Forget ballet flats or sneakers or the old-fashioned British walking shoes. This season, stores - from Macy's to Neiman Marcus - are stocked with rounded shoes with four- , five- and even six-inch heels. They are on magazine covers. The shoe salon at Jeffrey, the chic specialty store in the meatpacking district of Manhattan, has a whole pedestal of them, at $380 to $740 a pair. Nine West's version, sold at mid-price department stores, goes for $79.

"It's a round world," said Paul Wilmot, a public relations agent who represents Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta and other designers. "It's clearly a throwback, a retro feel." Mr. Wilmot said he regretted the demise of "the fabulous, low-vamped shoes, as pointed as a steeple top - they make women's legs look great." He called the new silhouette ungainly: "These things are clunkers; they're high-fashion, but they're clunkers."

Maybe so, but the super-pointy toe is not a natural shape for our feet. I have some cute Isaac Mizrahi (Target) shoes, and I don't wear them if I expect to walk much. They're so cute - but they hurt! Of course, I don't really see myself pulling off the sky-high heel. I'm already tottering at two or three inches.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:16 AM | Shopping | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Everyone Is Here

Everyone is Hear - Finn Brothers
(Click for larger image)

The new Finn Brothers album. In stores TODAY. I am so getting it after work.

See the video for "Won't Give In" on the official website.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:19 PM | Music | TrackBack (0)

August 26, 2004

Blood in the Water

When you steal other people's blog entries and insert them into your own blog, adding them to all the other posts you've already stolen, don't be surprised when you're caught. Don't be surprised when we find out the other appalling activities you've been up to.

Ignore the demands to fix this at your peril.

Addendum: Part of me is wondering if some bozo is jerking our collective chain. Maybe this is some kind of sick joke, or bogus performance art. We are getting our information about this person from the Internet, after all. But people's posts are being plagiarized, and they are justifiably pissed off. I guess we shall see.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:40 AM | Blogos | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

'Garden State' Blog

So Zach Braff has a blog relating to his film Garden State. On the official website you can submit your own "Original Moment." In his August 22 post he discusses, among other things, the ending of the film. (Weird - no permalink is available at the bottom of the post; I had to pull the specific link from the "Recent Posts" section.)

Basically, he says that he ended the film as he intended; there was never any alternate ending. Maybe he should have asked me for my opinion. ;) (Sidenote here, but it totally rocks that rawbrick has permalinks for her comments - that is way cool.)

Some of the posts have nearly 1300 comments - do people honestly expect Braff, or the rest of us, to read them all? I wonder how long the blog will stay up, because at some point there won't really be anything more to post as to the movie, right? The guy will be moving on to his other projects and stuff and shit, unless he intends to keep blogging in some fashion, which is doubtful.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:55 PM | Blogos , Film/TV | TrackBack (0)

August 27, 2004

Oooh, Pretty.

Engadget has pictures of the forthcoming Treo Ace/Treo 650.

Dissecting "War on Terror"

An excellent intervew with linguist George Lakoff. Definitely worth the read. For instance:

You've said that progressives should never use the phrase "war on terror" why?

There are two reasons for that. Let's start with "terror." Terror is a general state, and it's internal to a person. Terror is not the person we're fighting, the "terrorist." The word terror activates your fear, and fear activates the strict father model, which is what conservatives want. The "war on terror" is not about stopping you from being afraid, it's about making you afraid. [Emphasis added]

Next, "war." How many terrorists are there hundreds? Sure. Thousands? Maybe. Tens of thousands? Probably not. The point is, terrorists are actual people, and relatively small numbers of individuals, considering the size of our country and other countries. It's not a nation-state problem. War is a nation-state problem.

Lakoff also has a forthcoming new book called Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate, currently available for preorder from the publisher, Chelsea Green (and soon to be available on Amazon and elsewhere).

August 30, 2004

Redacting the Supreme Court

The following quotation is from a Supreme Court opinion - United States v. United States District Court for the Eastern Dist. of Mich., 407 U.S. 297, 314 (1972):

"The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent."
This passage was among those blacked out by the Justice Department from ACLU court filings pertaining to its lawsuit against the PATRIOT Act - for security reasons. Read more about this and see the contrasting passages, courtesy of The Memory Hole.

Justice Department Censors Supreme Court Quote [The Memory Hole]

Yours, &c., LC at 10:39 AM | Legal , Politics | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)