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March 01, 2005

Distraction

You Belong in the UK
Blimey!

A little proper, a little saucy.

You're so witty and charming...

No one notices your curry breath

I wasn't really excited about the results for What Gender is Your Brain? (74% female, 25% male) or What Rejected Crayon Are You? (Nu Phlegm Green) so this had to do.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:25 PM | Sundries | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Another

Ok, I got reeled in by this one too:

LADYCRUMPET
L is for Lively
A is for Animated
D is for Delicate
Y is for Yummy
C is for Classy
R is for Radical
U is for Upbeat
M is for Mystical
P is for Peachy
E is for Edgy
T is for Tame


Yours, &c., LC at 03:07 PM | Sundries | TrackBack (0)

March 03, 2005

Lost in Transit

I really should go to sleep, especially after that lovely glass of red wine.

Am being sheltered for the night by the lovely John and Daniella, after being en route to NYC. When I finally made it to the train station, I knew I was in New York when a nicely Viagra Caps dressed, normal looking woman said "Excuse me, are you interested in salvation?" as if she were asking me for the time. I just looked at her blankly and headed towards the train.

Technically, I've already been saved. When I lived in New York as a kid, my parents finally let me walk to and from elementary school by myself. Once, on the way home with friends, we stopped by the newstand to get some candy, and we were stopped by evangelists. Thinking I was supposed to be polite, I let one of them, a woman, talk me into declaring my devotion to Jesus Christ. Afterwards my friends tried to shake some sense into me - the whole not talking to strangers and all that. Since I got home a little late, I had to tell my mother what had happened, and my dad ended up calling the police. (Yes, really.)

I suppose that it technically counts, but I question the buy Viagra Caps validity of saving somebody who doesn't really understand what it is she's committing to, and when, really, she's only trying to be polite.

Coming into LaGuardia, I was flooded with thoughts of how this was supposed to play out. He's supposed to be there, waiting to pick me up. Knowing that wasn't a thought to dwell on, I raced my way through the terminal, out to Ground Transportation.

I am here to see the Finn Brothers at the Canal Room and at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett. There's an in-store performance at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square on Friday, so I may go to that - might as well be a full-on groupie, right? Otherwise, hanging out with friends, old and new.

Not sure if I'll have much access to a computer while I'm here, or time for that matter, since I'll be doing the real-life thing. But I am considering a revival of my site on Blogger, where I've worked out posting from my cell phone with both audio order Viagra Caps and email snippets. So I may be using this in the future. It's very early and experimental at this point, so no promises.

Off to Bedfordshire.

March 07, 2005

Back

V. tired and v. glad to be back in own bed. If I could be in bed right now, I would be v. happy. But there's that whole employment thing.

More later, hopefully with pictures. The whole moblogging thing hasn't been worked out yet. Posting via cell phone is quite annoying; I'd have to upgrade to a device that's better equipped for web and email. And having heard how often I "um" and "uh" I was too leery to pick up the phone and speak off the cuff. Must remember to write up index cards for my next performance, 'cause otherwise there would have been Viagra Caps mastercard probably lots of silly audio, like "Omigod I just went to the in-store and got my cd and setlist signed and Tim SMILED at me and I was SO happy!" A version of which did happen; I wasn't a scary stalker - on the outside, anyway. But you wouldn't have known that, if you'd heard me squeeing into the phone immediately afterwards.

Ok, more later.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:06 AM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

Soothing the Savage Breast

The original expression from William Congreve:

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
I'm on Finn-related mailing lists, and the following is something I'd written in thanks to people for help in tracking down a copy of one of Neil's shows, and also to try to explain why I love this music so much.

I still miss my friend; it's only been Viagra Caps online a month, almost, since he passed away. I really love that the music of the Finns means more to me than just music. I've found, especially in the last few weeks, that their music has really been a sort of balm for me. Also, seeing them live recently has been an important experience - again for the music, but also for the sense of being taken out of my normal everyday life for a while and being amongst people who really get this music. We bond here through the lists and through the message boards, but it's also really nice to be in the same room, communing with other Finn fans, enjoying the experience of the music together. And when I do have a rough moment, missing my friend, the music also helps me to think of all the wonderful memories about him, which softens the blow of realizing that he's gone.

Again, I want to thank the people who've written to me, a total stranger, to let me know that they were sorry to learn about my friend and sent me good wishes. It means a lot, and I really appreciate people being so kind and taking a moment to reach out. It all helps - thank you.

I guess I could say this music has been soothing to my soul or spirit, although I am not particularly religious, nor do I mean to offend anyone who is. I'm just trying to describe what the music does for me personally, and how I love it on so many different levels. And I'm so grateful for that, and that I can buy Viagra Caps talk about it here, because we're a community brought together by such wonderful music.

And I'd be really mortified right now to try and express any of this to the Finns, so thanks for hearing me out! :-)

Yours, &c., LC at 02:02 PM | Music | TrackBack (0)

March 09, 2005

Small Blessings

I don't know if it's the return to routine, to the everyday, to the Stuff I Have to Deal With, but I've been feeling brittle. Like I just have to think somebody's looking at me wrong and then I have to run away and hide out in a bathroom. And I can't even explain why, not even to myself.

I think I'm just tired too from the hectic pace I was keeping. My back is protesting from several nights of sleeping on futons and air mattresses - although I slept quite solidly and thoroughly enough. I just stopped seeing my chiropractor, so maybe she put some voodoo on me to make me come back.

I'm taking a research class for the next couple of weeks and realized I was double-booked for tomorrow night. Because of my schedule last week I didn't see my order Viagra Caps therapist. Thankfully she has an alternate opening for tonight at 5:30. And the city sighs with relief, safe from one twit, at least for another day...

There are plans for going out with friends Friday night. Looks like we'll be having Ethiopian food for dinner. And then Saturday, if the weather's nice, there's talk of going for a hike by a river.

Actually, I think I know why I'm feeling like this today. Have got to throw myself into my work, make a dent into my backlog. I think too much sometimes, and not enough at others. But today is a good day for not thinking, at least about some things.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:45 AM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

How to Tie Your Shoe

Ian's Shoelace Site is quite thoroughly devoted to showing you effective ways of tying your shoe. Perhaps you don't need it, having mastered the skill in kindergarten or earlier, but some of us (ahem) are still tying our shoes using slipknots.

I'm wearing slip-ons today, so I can't practice just yet.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:47 PM | Sundries | TrackBack (0)

Virtual Bubble Wrap

Virtual Bubble Wrap - For when you don't have any Bubble Wrap® lying around for some zen popping fun. And yes, it does go pop!

Yours, &c., LC at 02:01 PM | Sundries | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

More Fun With Ribbons

At Support Our Ribbons, you can buy alternative ribbon magnets for your car. They also have a nifty ribbon generator so you can create images with your own slogans.

I'd posted about a similar site but they don't offer the pretty ribbon generator.

[via le petit hiboux]

Yours, &c., LC at 04:09 PM | Sundries | TrackBack (0)

March 10, 2005

Worth a Listen

I mentioned this on the Remembered page yesterday, but I thought I'd also point out here: via deano, a web stream tribute of songs the mildly-opinionated mrw liked muchly, as he was wont to say.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:08 AM | Music , Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

Crumpet & the City, Pt. 1

Last Thursday (3/3):

Ride into City. Drop off bag with my friend who's meeting me later for the Finn show, then walk into Central Park, to see The Gates, at least the ones that haven't been taken down yet.

Head downtown. Espy four Japanese girls with cameras trained on the WTC site. Consider the potential for a good meta-picture, then walk on, not wanting to linger.

Meet Zeebah for lunch, touring her library. We eat in her cafeteria with a gorgeous, light-filled view of the harbor. I took in a lot of that view, as we talked about things great and small. That's Z - one of my dearest.

Killed some time, found a funky belt at Century 21, more out of necessity than the need to shop. Then off to Tea & Sympathy for a lovely sit-down with Stuart. I totally missed a potential Lucy Liu sighting, but that's par for the course with me. Good thing Stuart was more attuned and at least got to wonder "wasn't that...?" I went for the cream tea - scones, clotted cream and jam, washed down with a pot of typhoo, while my more health-conscious companion went for a pot of Yorkshire Gold and a creamy celery soup. Although it was our first meeting in real life, it didn't feel like that at all, which pleased me.

Afterwards, scored a pink tweedy scarf on clearance at Mxyplyzyk. Why is it that when I'm shopping for someone else, I always find things for me?

Because it was so bleepin' cold, I ended up in another coffee shop to thaw for a bit. Then worked my way down to the Canal Room to wait in line for the Finn Brothers show. It was about 6 p.m.; the doors would open at 7. In warmer weather the line might have been longer sooner, so I was relieved not to have been so fanatic as to get in line earlier....

Assorted Thoughts

  • Sometimes I wish I could dye my hair hot pink like Gwen Stefani did a couple of albums back. But then I'd have to have a job that would let me get away with hot pink hair. And I'd have to be pretty darn cute like Gwen besides.

  • How do you gracefully say no to some very nice people who assume that you want to give up your entire weekend, again, to hang out in a conference center surrounded by cats with better grooming regimens than your own?

  • Is it worth it to buy a cheap CD player to replace the two I've recently had in my possession (one was dropped, the other was left on a plane, probably never to be seen again)? Or should I put in towards a starter MP3 player while I save up for a better computer so that I can then save up for an iPod?

  • I've never been one to think too far ahead, to plan or dream about my future. I think I need to start having visions of a bigger, fuller life - and then start to pursue that. Otherwise, I remain stuck in the present, which all too soon becomes my past, with not so much to show for it.

  • In case I forget to mention this elsewhere, I have now seen Neil Finn's belly-button and can vouch that he wears boxers. (This is what happens when you don't fully button your shirt, mate. Now the whole internet knows.)

March 13, 2005

Taking a Hike

I forget that the Chattahoochee River really does run through Atlanta. We have parks and lots of trees everywhere, but Atlanta seems less like a city than a vast network of suburban sprawl.

We drove up to Norcross, which isn't very far, although definitely OTP (Outside the Perimeter, or Highway 285), which roughly defines the city limits. On the radio, the news broke that the guy who killed three people at the Fulton County courthouse yesterday had been caught at an apartment complex on Satellite Boulevard. There's possibly a fourth homicide, a U.S. Customs agent, which would bring in the feds. I think the local law & order community is going to be in perfect alignment in handling this guy.

We met up with some folks, Marco, Wayne and Adam. Marco's lumbering, lovey, loping hound came along as well. The forecast promised 70-degree weather, although it was still a mite chilly. Fortunately Marco lent me his spare shirt. We were pleasantly hot soon enough in the bright midday sun.

There was a trail, not much greenery to speak of, it still being technically winter and all. We were communing with nature, spotted hawks, deer (a buck and his harem of does) and herons. And what did we talk about? The new Tori Amos album (not too good alas), the merits or lack thereof(!) of Kate Bush, Desperate Housewives, Dead Like Me, and what kind of iPod I should get. My friend Adam is an Apple-man - to the core (heehee). So he was eager to convert me and we spoke with great animation and obsessive detail, probably much to the chagrin and amusement of everyone else, especially Scott, who's been a captive audience for my obsession in the last few days.

Adam's also one of those people who fills me in on the newest music I should check out. For better or worse, I must be doing a better job, because I'd actually heard of a few of the bands he mentioned, like The Fiery Furnaces and Iron & Wine. Must remember Spoon, though.

I would've totally pestered Mike about all this stuff. I've found myself wanting to call and say "Hey, what do you think about..." before realizing that I can't. *sigh*

About halfway through, we sat down in some shade with our snacks and bottled water. All of us were well-provisioned, maybe a little more than necessary. It wasn't like we were going to be stranded in the wilderness. But we likes our wasabi peas and oranges and sandwiches and trail mix and peanuts and beef jerky, my precioussss....

It was a great way to spend the day, a good reminder of how much I like being out and about with friends. Must do more of that.

To Do List

Feed cats
Writeup of yesterday's hike
Despam Mike's blog
Shower
Breakfast
The office
Target
Whole Foods
Petco
T-Mobile store (?)
The Apple Store (?) (We qualify for an education discount, one of us being in academia)

Yours, &c., LC at 08:30 AM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

Decisions, Decisions

Love this life - don't wait till the next one comes Pouring like a rain of blood to my emotions

Free shipping and engraving if we order via the online store.

Which inscription to choose...both are Neil Finn lyrics, what a surprise.

Addendum: Still haven't bought it yet, but I'm going with "Love this life." So what am I waiting for, then? To come down from my frenzied shopping high, I suppose. It's been a welcome distraction researching my options. But I don't want this to be a whimsical, impulse purchase borne out of an urge for retail therapy. I have been deliberating, too much I suppose. Even to myself I'm thinking "shut up and do it already" - and I know where this particular object falls in the Want vs. Need debate.

Let's just say I want to savor this purchase, fully sober. And I get paid tomorrow, so surely I can wait until then. ;)

Yours, &c., LC at 01:48 PM | | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Ugh

It's pretty sad to have to go into the office on the weekend in order to catch up.

It's depressing when the work you've been doing amounts to absolutely nothing because you can't tell if the discrepancy in the spreadsheet was already there or because you made some colossal error.

[Insert lots of swearing here]

Yours, &c., LC at 05:17 PM | | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 16, 2005

Coming Together Like Voltron

So after several missed appearances, we finally made it to a gathering of bloggers and beer, this time at the Prince of Wales. Although there weren't any nametags or familiar faces, I somehow managed to zero in on the right group of people: messages from the ether, bobafred, Titus Barik, hollismb, and bump. Was most sorry to miss the acquaintance of mingaling, whose dog was unwell. Hope he's better.

It so happened that it was trivia night, hosted by a guy who looked like a refugee from a hair metal band. Our team name: Epileptic Dog, in homage to our missing organizer. We drew upon our combined knowledge of random stuff. My contribution was useless pop culture. I probably shouldn't be so proud of correctly identifying Michael Sembello as the singer of "Maniac" (from the Flashdance soundtrack). But that was six points right there, one of the small successes on the way to our first-place smackdown.

Two surprising random revelations:

Ran into an old college friend who plays trivia there every week once he's done taping his public access film critic show. And lo, he has a livejournal.

Bump lives just down the street from us.

Naturally, I had to get online and put this all down right now....

Yours, &c., LC at 12:31 AM | Blogos | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2005

Andre Norton

Science fiction author Andre Norton dies
[AP via Kansas City Star][Bugmenot for login/pwd]

I've only read a few of her novels, but I liked them very much. (I have an irrational hangup of committing to a whole universe of novels, never mind that I already do this with certain authors.) I didn't know she'd been a librarian, too.

Fortune Cookie

I had a late lunch and picked up some food court Chinese food. You can get a free fortune cookie from the open bin but I normally don't bother. Today I decided to take one.

My fortune: The most powerful are those who have power over themselves.

I wonder if the lottery numbers that are also printed on the slip of paper are just as relevant.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:07 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

Good night and joy be with you all

"The Parting Glass"
words and music Traditional

Of all the money e'er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm I've ever done,
Alas! it was to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all

Oh, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er I had,
They'd wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
That I should go and you should not,
Good night and joy be with you all.

If I had money enough to spend,
And leisure time to sit awhile,
There is a fair maid in this town,
That sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips,
I own she has my heart in thrall,
Then fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:00 PM | Music | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 18, 2005

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

In The Sound of Music, after Rolf and Liesl sing and dance in the gazebo, Rolf gives Liesl a smackeroo of a kiss and she's all dazed and caught in the rain and she can't contain herself any more so she just squeals out a high-pitched "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

I just got my iPod. I ordered it Wednesday, paying for it straight out of my checking account. It shipped out from Shanghai. I thought I'd get it next week, but here it is! I knew exactly what it was when the woman from the mailroom brought me my 0.9 kg package of cubic joy.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Just this morning I ran into Clunky Robot on the train and showed him the case I'd bought at the Apple Store the other night, so I'd have something tangible to hold in the meantime - as well as to have it ready, of course, to protect the iPod when it arrived. Dork that I am, I pulled it out and showed it to him, and he, being an iPod man himself, was quite receptive to my giddy anticipation.

So what am I waiting for? The box is sitting right at hand and what am I doing first? Writing about it here, because I simply can't yet bear to let go of this "before" moment.

I am quite a happy dork. This is not the meaningful, soulful variety of happiness. This won't solve my problems, I know that. I'm doing something nice for myself because I'm tired of being so hard on myself.

love this life
don't wait till the next one comes

Yep, still a dork.

I am nerdier than 29% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

"71% scored higher (more nerdy), and
29% scored lower (less nerdy).

What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

Not nerdy, but definitely not hip."

Oh, the sting....

[via Postcards from Columbus]

Yours, &c., LC at 02:25 PM | Sundries | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you

We're walking out of Mellow Mushroom with our leftover pizza. Just outside is a group of people talking. One of them, a woman, has a dog, a brown miniature dachshund. As is often the case when I'm around other people's dogs, I was all lovey-dovey and squealy, especially when I realized that the woman's husband had another mini dachshund with him.

The little boy dog practically lunged at me with giddy excitement. It might have been because I was holding the box of leftovers. But he was just so adorable and affectionate, trying to climb up on my knee and lick me as I bent down and cooed over him. The other dog wanted in on the lovefest as well and came over, tail wagging just as furiously.

I asked the owner for the boy dog's name. It was Darcy - Mr. Darcy.

No wonder it was love at first sight.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:20 PM | Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

March 21, 2005

Hoist By One's Own Petard

I knew the figurative meaning of this - to be done in through your own design or caught in a trap of your own making - but not the literal meaning. For some reason I thought a petard was a sword, but then I couldn't work out how "hoist" figured in. To lift oneself by one's sword? Huh? I think in my mind I must have mixed up the expression with to fall on the sword, which has more to do with sacrificing oneself for the sake of others. I guess the modern equivalent would be to take a bullet for someone.

Turns out a petard is a medieval-era incendiary device - a bomb. So to be hoisted by one's own petard is to be thrown, or lifted, by one's own bomb - to be blown up. Note that the name for this device comes from the French and also refers to a different sort of explosion: "a loud discharge of intestinal gas."

Falling on one's sword is a messy business, but there's a sense of nobility. In a way, it relates to that samurai business of hara-kiri.

To be hoist by one's own petard, however, aptly captures the lack of dignity and pain that is inherent in being stuck in a mess of one's own making.

What's a petard, as in "hoist by his own ..."? [The Straight Dope, Chicago Reader]
hoist by one's own petard [The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy]

Yours, &c., LC at 05:16 PM | Writing & Language | TrackBack (0)

March 22, 2005

Calling Canada

I have to order a copy of an issue from a Canadian newspaper. The paper's website provides contact information, including various phone numbers. I've checked with reception as well as the person who does the office telephone training. I've confirmed the appropriate mechanics of placing an international call from within the office.

STILL. CAN'T. GET. THROUGH. Arrrgh.

That's right, I have a master's degree, but apparently I can't place a call to Canada. Ba dum bum!

Addendum: I sent an email to Customer Service asking for help. Within minutes a very nice woman wrote back and invited me to call her directly at the paper's office in Detroit. As in Michigan. As in the United States. She was just as nice on the phone. Thank you, Pat from Detroit!

Yours, &c., LC at 11:06 AM | Librariana | TrackBack (0)

March 23, 2005

Just So We're Clear

I'm very troubled about the Terry Schiavo matter. I keep wondering when the right's naked grab for power is going to fall on its face, when people are going to realize just how far we've swung, in large part because of the last election.

We have a system in place. For Congress to dictate to the courts - how is that not a violation of federalism, of the separation of powers? This case has been exhaustively run through the courts. Just because some of us don't like the result doesn't mean the system has failed. There is always a losing side in a court case (see Bush v. Gore.) It doesn't mean congressional and executive activists (that would be people like Tom Delay, Bill Frist, and the President) should write up run-around legislation to get the federal court to intervene. If the Schindlers had had a strong case, then they should have been successful in the state courts.

So the 11th Circuit Court (here in Atlanta) has denied the Schindlers' appeal; they're now requesting a review by a full panel of judges (rehearing en banc). Then it could go to the Supreme Court, if it chooses to take the case. I suppose it would have to, given the bloodcry from the right-wingers. It's appalling how far this has gotten, what a circus this has become. Now we have politicians invading our personal lives and telling us what to do.

In light of this, I've been thinking about putting my legal arrangements in order. (Yeah, we both have worked in the field, so it's ironic that we don't have such things established yet.) I don't want to be comatose, lingering for forty years. I don't want to be a vegetable. If my mind is gone, then I'm gone.

Oh the Hypocrisy

The Days of Our Lives This post at Hullaballoo is worth reading. Here's the beginning:

By now most people who read liberal blogs are aware that George W. Bush signed a law in Texas that expressly gave hospitals the right to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient's family's wishes. It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. Under this law, a baby was removed from life support against his mother's wishes in Texas just this week. A 68 year old man was given a temporary reprieve by the Texas courts just yesterday.
[via messages from the ether]

Yours, &c., LC at 02:17 PM | Politics | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

March 24, 2005

Some Health Care Advance Planning Resources

Consumer’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning - Provided by the American Bar Association, specifically the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, this tool kit provides a series of forms that can help as you consider and discuss with loved ones the issues involved in preparing a living will or other comparable document.

Here are some sites offering forms for living wills that I've come across in reading news articles. I'm sure there are many others. Of course, there's the usual route of seeing an attorney for these arrangements as well.

U.S. Living Will Registry
Aging With Dignity

Here's an example of a Georgia living will. (Thanks to mingaling for the link.)

Yours, &c., LC at 03:00 PM | Legal , Librariana | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 25, 2005

Another Blogger, Another Book Deal

Cindy Adams, the gossip columnist, notes the following as today's example illustrating her tagline "Only in New York, kids, only in New York."

AT Princeton Brooklyn's Jeremy Blackman wanted to write musicals for Jay Kerr, now a voice coach. Then, at Harvard Law, he began anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com wherein he managed to identify the tattered soul of the legal profession. Its contents intrigued the publisher Holt. They e-mailed to see if he would turn it into a novel. Jeremy nailed a William Morris agent and "Anonymous Lawyer," a suspenseful study of life inside a law firm, is on its way to our bookshelves.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:13 AM | Blogos , Books , Legal | TrackBack (0)

Flattened, but it's only temporary

I never wanted very much but the chance to learn from my mistakes
funny how you never learn but know them when they come around again...

This is from an Echobelly song that I learned about from Stuart. You know that expression kicked in the teeth? That's a bit how I've felt this week. I have that sick-stomach feeling that tells me I've just gone around again when I thought I was moving forward.

A few nights ago I went out with my friends Marco and Wayne for some excellent pineapple curry and conversation. They knew stuff was up but left it to me to talk if I felt like it. In the end I didn't, but I knew they were there for me if I chose to say anything. Later I got to chat with Steph, who filled me in on the latest developments in the summit between Mike's cat and Steph's little girl. (Some {{{hugs}}} for you, sweetie.)

There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me

("Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House)

This time, though, I'm wondering if one road has come to an end. I'm not so much distraught anymore as disappointed. Just tired and sad and less hopeful. I don't know if this particular battle is lost for good, but I have to retreat for now. There are things I have to do.

Here's a thought: am I the one leaving or am I being left behind? Is there a difference? Does it even matter anymore? Not really, I guess.

So I can remain here, lying (perhaps wallowing) in the dirt, so to speak, or I can pick up, dust off and get going - again and again and again, as many times as I have to. But now I must direct myself more purposefully, choosing the battles that are worth the fight.

I still have my teeth, at any rate.

March 26, 2005

Devil Cat

No, she's not really evil.
(Click on image for a larger version)

Alison is a sweet wee bit of cat really, even though this cameraphone image would try to persuade you otherwise. Alison belonged to Mike; she's now lovingly cared for by Stephanie. (Thanks for letting me post this, Steph.)

In other feline news, the cat who discovered the bowl of food on the back porch back when Tabitha had her little adventure now comes around regularly, demanding her share of something to eat. She(?) is a large grey longhair, with a collar but no tag.

Yeah, I caved in. She was extremely skittish in the beginning but now expects affectionate pats along with some vittles.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:50 PM | Pictures | TrackBack (0)

March 27, 2005

Paul Hester (1959-2005)

R.I.P. Paul Hester [Undercover]
Crowded House drummer dies [The Age]
Aussie rock legend found dead [news.com.au]
Sadly, the dream is over for rock's joker [news.com.au]

Dear, sweet Paulo. Why? Why?

Crowded House was my very first concert. It was Athens, Georgia, 1991 on the Woodface tour. It was a magical experience. After the show Paul and Nick came out to talk to those of us still milling around. Paul was an absolute sweetheart and both he and Nick signed our flyers. Paul even drew for me his little house with their heads (four instead of three, even though Tim had left the tour by then). My friend Sarah and I gushed, we were so happy to meet them and realize they were really nice guys as well as great musicians. They spoke with some other folks and then just as they were leaving to get on the tour bus, Paul stopped by again, touching me on the elbow as he thanked us for coming to the show and to tell us goodbye. That put me over the moon and I've been in love with the band and their music ever since.

I was at Paul's last show, the one in Atlanta in 1994. We didn't know that at the time, but I did wonder what was up when Neil made a dedication - along the lines of "This goes out to a man that I love, and that's Paul Hester." I don't think Crowded House really could have gone on without him being part of it, even though it was still a shock when the band came to an end.

I didn't know him except through the music and through the shows and this one personal encounter. But he was such a vital member of Crowded House. He brought such spark and wit, such a mix of sweetness and wicked playfulness, along with his consummate musicianship and his wonderful harmonies. I wish he could have found the peace and answers he needed in his life some other way.

My heart goes out to his family and to everybody who knew him and loved him. I didn't think his being gone would affect me so, but I find it hard to fight back the tears. You were a good man, Paul Hester. You were loved and you will be sorely missed.

Here is the full text of The Age article, since it will probably become unavailable before too long:

Crowded House drummer dies
By Patrick Donovan
Music writer
The Age, March 28, 2005

Former Crowded House and Split Enz drummer and TV personality Paul Hester committed suicide on Saturday after a long battle with depression.

A message, sent to Crowded House and Split Enz fan club email lists said: "Everyone, sitting here in the office trying to figure out what to write, we are a bit messed up at the moment. Last night, our mate, and Crowded House drummer Paul Hester, took his own life.

"Over the years Paul has swung the extremes of happiness and sadness, but none of us ever thought this would happen. He loved life too much . . . "

Crowded House was one of Australia's most successful bands of the late 1980s and early '90s. Formed out of the ashes of New Zealand's Split Enz in 1985, it featured Hester on drums, Neil Finn on vocals and guitar, and Nick Seymour on bass.

Guitarist Kev Garant, who played with Hester in the Bay of Pigs, said: "He was considered an absolute world class drummer in the pop field."

As recently as two weeks ago, Hester, 46, was at the Espy in St Kilda to appear in the SBS music quiz show, RockWiz.

RockWiz's Brian Nankervis said: "He could be everything and anything in one go. He had a lightning wit, he could be wonderfully sensitive, clever and unpredictable."

Yours, &c., LC at 12:03 PM | Music | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Love This Life

(Neil Finn)

seal my fate
I get your tongue in the mail
no one is wise
until they see how it lies
love this life
don't wait till the next one comes
pedal my faith
the wheels are still turning round, turn round
and maybe the day will come
when you'll never have to feel no pain
after all my complaining
gonna love this life
gonna love this life ...

and so they threw you in jail
whatever you've done
it was a million to one
and don't you just love this life
when it's holding you down
pedal my faith
the wheels are still turning round, turn round

and maybe the day will come
when you'll never have to feel no pain
after all my complaining
gonna love this life
gonna love this life ...

there's something that you can do
even if you think that I hate you
stop your complaining, leave me defenseless
when you love this life
gotta love this life
love this life though you'll never know why
gonna love this life
gonna love

From the album Temple of Low Men
Lyrics Copyright © 1998 Roundhead Music (BMI).

Yours, &c., LC at 01:21 PM | Music | TrackBack (0)

March 28, 2005

Spring

Besides the change in the light and the healing warmth from the sun that I can feel in my bones, we've also gotten some torrential rain in the past few days. It's the kind that soaks you to the skin in less than a minute, should you lack an umbrella. Even then you don't remain dry when the wind blows the rain every which way.

The thing that surprises me, although it shouldn't, is how you can wake up one morning and suddenly everything's green and beginning to bloom. I love the new spring green of the baby leaves that start growing again on tree branches; I love that contrast of the tender, delicate silky-smooth green with the dark, rough, wet brown of the bark. That's my favorite bit, I think. Even though it's raining today, that just makes the green pop out and makes you notice it more.

My spider plant seems to be willing to recover, despite my lack of attention. I set it out to soak up the rain last night. I'll have to start over with the ivy.

Trying to think about life, about rebirth and renewal, even as I'm reminded once more how suddenly it all can end.

Let Angels Possess You

Crowded House, their first album

This is the cover of Crowded House's first album, simply called Crowded House. I've been reading list emails and board messages. Thank goodness there's a place for fans to talk to each other; it's probably pretty strange from the outside, mourning someone you didn't actually know. A friend of mine even sent me a news link, knowing I was a fan. The power of music to bring us together, I guess.

Addendum: I should clarify. Paul happens to be the one with the wings. Nick Seymour is there to the left and Neil Finn is on the right.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:15 PM | Music | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 29, 2005

How come I never hear you say, "I just wanna be with you"

"Since U Been Gone" - the annual report - In case this needs explanation, it's a PowerPoint-style presentation of that Kelly Clarkson song.

For a really good example of the annihilating powers of PowerPoint, I direct you towards The Gettysburg Address.

Nonetheless, I'm disappointed to have missed David Byrne's "I Heart PowerPoint" lecture, which happened earlier this month. I didn't find out about it until too late. You'd think the guy would put his presentation online....

Yours, &c., LC at 12:02 PM | Sundries | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Additional Living Will Links

The Best Way to Keep Control Is to Leave Instructions [NYT] [Bugmenot] Possibly the most interesting aspect of this article are the remarks from the attorney who worked on the Nancy Cruzan case:

[William] Colby, the lawyer in Ms. Cruzan's case, has no living will. Instead, he has a health care power of attorney.

"I think the clearest statement you can make in writing is the statement of who you want to decide," he said. "The gold standard is to arm that person with what your views and values are."

But if he were to become irreversibly brain-damaged, he said, "I don't have a great desire to control what happens to me then." More important would be his family's peace of mind. "I would just want them to feel they're making the best decisions they can make," he said, "with the least amount of guilt."

This article also mentions several sites that offer living will forms, some of which I've mentioned before, having come across them in other articles. Here are the ones mentioned:

Aging With Dignity - (www.agingwithdignity.org or 888-594-7437) "A nonprofit group that provides the documents for $5."

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization - (www.nhpco.org/ or 703-837-1500) Free, state-specific documents are available for download. I explored this site. They ask for your name and email address and you can choose whether or not to be added to their mailing list. Then you're directed to a series of links so you can select the state document you're interested in.

The Medical Directive
"A Web site for a nonprofit group, www.medicaldirective.org, offers documents for $15 along with detailed work sheets describing possible medical situations for patients and families to consider."

Yours, &c., LC at 12:25 PM | Librariana | TrackBack (0)

Interesting

Between Lawyers - "a new blog on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect." Sounds right up my alley.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:54 PM | Blogos , Internet & Tech , Legal | TrackBack (0)

American Heathcliff, Brooding and Cuddly

David Duchovny has a blog, I guess in support of his movie, House of D. There are even audio posts, so you can have Mulder's voice cooing into your ear about how he'll be the guy walking the streets of Seattle carrying a Starbucks cup.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:10 PM | Blogos , Film/TV | TrackBack (0)

March 30, 2005

Italian Plastic

Paul wrote this song; it appears on the album Woodface. Whenever they performed it, Paul would come out front, center stage, with a snare drum and his brushes. A mike was set up for him and with Neil and Nick on either side, he'd sing.

It's a whimsical, romantic song, with one of the best lyrics ever:

When you wake up with me
I'll be your glass of water

Here's an excellent, detailed personal review of the Finn Brothers show at the Royal Albert Hall from Monday night (2/28).

Yours, &c., LC at 05:42 PM | Music , Music | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 31, 2005

Sesquicentennial: Charlotte Brontė

I had to look up the spelling for that one, and found, to my surprise, that I'd gotten it right. I'm not sure one can say "Happy Sesquicentennial, Charlotte!" because today marks the 150th anniversary of her death. (That's been a big subject here of late on the Armoire. We've gotten a bit Victorian in our fascination, perhaps, but our mindset ought to improve with the onset of Spring. So fear not, lads and lassies, Lady C. shall conquer this bleak mood.)

Some links:

Charlotte Brontė: An Overview [Victorian Web]

Apparently there's a cult of Charlotte; I shouldn't be surprised, nor should I be one to cast stones, given my affection for Austen. This commentary was too emphatic and dishy to pass up:

Reader, I shagged him In the Books section of The Guardian, reviewer Tanya Gold declares her mission:

As the 150th anniversary of her death on March 31 1855 approaches, it is time to rescue Charlotte Brontė. She has been chained, weeping, to a radiator in the Haworth Parsonage, Yorkshire, for too long. Enough of [Elizabeth] Gaskell's fake miserabilia. Enough of the Brontė industry's veneration of coffins, bonnets and tuberculosis. It is time to exhume the real Charlotte - filthy bitch, grandmother of chick-lit, and friend.
Brontė never much cared for Jane Austen. Here are some comments she made in regard to Austen's work. More on this in a moment.

Brontė's Jane Eyre was one of the first literary works that I owned as a kid; I still have my copy, in fact. The librarian I volunteered for at school gave me a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble and I was fully prepared to blow it on a few copies of paperbacks from the Windswept series. (Remember those, girls? The series of supernatural mystery/teen romance novels? Like Harlequin for girls. And yep, I also read the Sweet Dreams series, the Sweet Valley High books, Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. I had to hide all this from my mother, though. I was supposed to be dutiful daughter/super-student with no thoughts of a social life with friends, let alone romantic notions. Really, how silly of me to think that. Although had she intervened, maybe I'd not have filled my head with unrealistic expectations about relationships...or I could have turned out the same anyway.) Anyway...

I did not get the Windswept books. At my mother's "suggestion" I was to choose between two works: Jane Eyre or Anne of Green Gables. Eventually, I did read the Anne books, and I loved them, but at the time I preferred the Gothic cover illustration of Jane Eyre, Romantic Heroine, to the freckled, red-headed cute-but-still-homely Anne Shirley. So grudgingly I went with Jane Eyre, and my parents paid the difference between what the certificate covered and the book's cover price.

I read the book. I loved it. (Yes, Mother, you were right. This was the better book to choose.) I identified with the young girl to whom everybody was most unkind and not the least bit understanding. (Gee, can't imagine why.) But although I enjoyed Jane Eyre - it was thrilling and satisfying, so wonderfully Gothic and romantic, so remote from my everyday life - Brontė's work doesn't hold for me the same deep regard that I feel for Jane Austen's novels. For the most part, her works are "domestic" adventures, not Gothic ones, but there is so much depth in these seemingly shallow stories about society. There is romance, drama, comedy, tragedy, delicious irony and sly wit - it is all there if you are willing to see beyond the surface. Austen is such a keen observer of people; even minor characters come to life. Ignore that these are period settings; the lives of her characters have such modern sensibilities that they can be recognized in our own lives today.

Hmmm. A post about Charlotte Brontė has veered off into a discussion of her arch-rival. Enough of my selling you on these authors. I haven't tried to disguise my favorite, but both are worth reading, if you are so inclined.