April 05, 2005
Your designed identity makes success everlasting
A recent spam subject line - sort of like a fortune cookie message.
I've been laying low. One reason: installing, uninstalling, reinstalling TurboTax and downloading updates. I will move into the world of high-speed internet, someday. I'm wondering if the tax refund might not be better used towards an updated computer, instead of a Tivo or DSL connection. Or I could be practical and pay down some debt. At any rate, first I need to find out if we'll be getting a tax refund.
I read somewhere that if you work towards becoming who you ought to be, instead of thinking about a fantasy life, that you'll be much happier, more content with yourself. That's because you're working towards goals that are someday attainable. Makes sense. Not that we can't dream of having better lives - but if something matters enough, then the dream has to be translated into reality. Action has to be taken, change must be pursued. Maybe you'll find that the dream wasn't what you really wanted. But no matter - it's important to appreciate the pursuit, because sometimes just making it to the next day is its own reward.
I've been putting in some extra time at the office; makes me feel better to get things done. Setting aside things to take over to Goodwill. Reconnecting with friends I haven't seen in a while. Unexpectedly meeting people who read the Armoire. (If I were a superhero, I've done a poor job of protecting my secret identity.) Mundane things, like laundry, making sure I don't skip lunch too often. Thinking, writing, attending my weekly appointment - unloading the junk in my head.
Oh, and listening to Crowded House. Talking to other fans on mailing lists and message boards. We know how strange it is to feel as we do, so it helps to talk to people who seem to understand and are also trying to make sense of the loss of someone we admired.
I'd forgotten, briefly, that I have another personal Paul Hester moment. When the band played in Atlanta in 1994, right before "Sister Madly," the guys got a little playful. Neil hung the microphone over the audience and those of us who dared took a chance to express ourselves. I said "Tell people 'I love you' all the time!" and in response Paul yells out "I love you I love you I love you."
I don't know if it quite came across, but what I meant was that you should tell the people that you love that you love them - tell them those very words, because it's important that they know how you feel. But that was a mouthful, so I ended up saying an abbreviated version. Years later, I had the bonus disc to "The Best of Crowded House" playing on the stereo. I listened, absently, when the sudden jolt of recognition hit me. Wait...that's me. That's my voice! Omigod, that's me! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Suddenly there just wasn't enough air. Then I ran around the room screaming in delight. Fortunately I was home by myself so no one had to witness this firsthand. Then I wrote to the mailing list to share my discovery. This wasn't a moment of bragging - it was just utter shock and excitement, giddiness that out of all the recordings that were out there, that this moment, special as it was to me personally, was also worthy enough of making it onto the live disc. It was so gratifying that people on the List understood. Now that Paul's gone, that moment of brief connection means a little bit more.
It's still important to tell people that you care about them. And it's important to know that life is too short to dwell on the past, to stay in one place, to be afraid of change. I feel like a broken record, but if I say it enough then I'll start to believe it, to really take this belief into my heart and become the person I ought to be.
April 06, 2005
I've been tagged by Zeebah. She has faith that I will actually do this book meme, so I don't wish to disappoint her.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Mr. Darcy, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Honestly, I had a crush on Fitzwilliam when I was sixteen and first read P&P. Colin Firth is not completely responsible for my continued adoration of this initially rude, proud, disagreeable man who turns out to be an honorable, kind, decent, loving gentleman.
Masterharper Robinton, the Pern novels - Anne McCaffrey.
The last book you bought is:
Diane Ackerman - Origami Bridges : Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire
I found a first edition in the bargain bin at Border's. I love her nonfiction writing, especially A Natural History of the Senses. I haven't caught up with her lately, so I hope I'll enjoy this.
The last book you read:
The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner.
This was recommended to me by someone I trust. It's helping me to make sense of things, to come to terms with a situation that has been painful, sad, and disappointing.
What are you currently reading?
Buddhism : A Concise Introduction by Huston Smith, Philip Novak
Actually, I haven't started it yet. I just picked it up at the library.
Five books you would take to a deserted island
Dragonsong - Anne McCaffrey
The Hero and the Crown - Robin McKinley
Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen
Oxford English Dictionary (the single volume that requires a magnifying glass. Then I also could use the magnifying glass to start campfires.)
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Confidential Report - Because if he doesn't, I might trade him in for one of the cats that stare inside through the back door.
Little Toy Robot - This robot likes books and likes to write about what he reads.
April 11, 2005
I've been out of town. Briefly:
-The car was rear-ended, on the way to the airport. No injuries, but the car needs to get checked out. Great. *$%#@! Atlanta drivers.
-My current favorite architecture is Frank Gehry's pedestrian bridge in Chicago's Millenium Park.
-Sin City - big on style - a visual treat, but not so much on the other stuff. But I'm not asking for my money back.
-Taxes have been done. We owe. Ugh.
April 12, 2005
This is to say...I have nothing to say
When having no information is too much information - Why must bloggers keep us apprised on days when they have nothing to say? [Alan Greenblatt, San Francisco Chronicle 4/10/05] Going by the title, I thought this article would take a harder stance on bloggers for posting about having nothing to say, being busy elsewhere, etc. but the author discusses the full spectrum, noting that such posts are the modern equivalent of letters that begin with "I'm sorry I haven't written in so long, but...."
And what's my excuse? I've found another web toy to share. I have pictures to post. Just haven't done it yet. Currently in damage control mode. I'm not sure if I'm putting out fires so much as keeping them from becoming conflagrations as I try to develop better life management skills. Sorry to be obscure, just trying to be mindful of unloading TMI (that would be Too Much Information, not Three Mile Island, which is one of Taco Mac's offerings for hot wings, as well as that nuclear incident from a few decades ago).
April 14, 2005
The Librarian, 2d ed.
The Librarian: Reference Request
The Librarian: Adventures in Cataloging
The Librarian: Lost Archive
[via Solar Flare Thanks to Richard for the link!]
April 15, 2005
So why is it "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away?" Is the world of Jedis and Sith lords part of the universe's past? Is Earth just a backwater planet whose humanoids have yet to achieve serious full-fledged spaceflight?
Why are hairstyles so different in the future (or the futuristic past)? But whether it's Princess Leia or Queen Amidala sporting cinnabuns, this is a significant improvement over the hairspray plastered big hair (complete with poufy high-rise bangs) that middle school and high school girls used to sport. They probably still do, somewhere out there.
Addendum: I never had big hair. I couldn't be bothered with all the effort. My sisters, on the other hand....
Fiery Furnaces at Emory
Thanks to goldenfiddle I found out there was a free Fiery Furnaces concert over at Emory. It was open to the public, but space was limited. So after work, we headed right over to the university to wait for the doors to open. A few students lounged around the activity center; it seemed no one wanted to appear overeager by forming anything that resembled a line. Still, we all got to our feet pretty quickly once it was time to go in the theater.
I'm not very familiar with their music, so I didn't know what to expect. The quiet, low-key woman I'd seen walking around and talking with an acquaintance earlier became this intense, edgy, steely-eyed rock singer.
She was provoked early on. Someone in the front line, right in front of her, in fact, sat on the floor while everybody else in the theater was standing. Some people were so excited they couldn't contain themselves, they were already jumping or dancing around. She had to tell the guy THREE times that no, man, she wasn't kidding, he couldn't sit there, he had to stand up like everybody else. People were being turned away at the door, but apparently this asshat didn't realize he was at a rock concert.
The Furnaces were fantastic. Their set was like a composition. They played their songs without pause, interweaving snippets of longer songs like "Blueberry Boat" between other songs. The set was really polished, really tight. They delivered loud, raucous rock and did not disappoint. Having listened now to the album Blueberry Boat, their live harder punk sound made for an interesting contrast and great performance. The drummer - who else could he be in that tight flashy black shirt with white flowers - was wild-eyed, seemingly possessed as he played. (And significantly irritated with his stool, switching it out and tossing the other one off to the side.) At one point the singer was really fed up with one of their songs. She cut it off just as the drummer was about to keep going. She looked over at her brother on guitar, saying bluntly, "No no no the song is over, that was terrible. Terrible."
During the first encore the singer and guitarist did a few songs without the rest of the band, playing some new material. They're not much for banter - a quick announcement of the next song and they'd begin. Then they left and everybody came back for another brief encore.
As we walked back to the car, we passed the drummer sitting near the loading dock. I said thanks for the show and he thanked us for coming.
Afterwards grabbed a late dinner, some excellent fish 'n' chips. Alas, there was some guy singing covers of Steve Miller and John Mayer, as well as ruining Stevie Wonder songs, accompanied by bongos, cheered on by people at the bar. Talk about a contrast.
April 20, 2005
I read an article about ZabaSearch, a people-finder site. It doesn't say what public data it uses, so it's not necessarily the most accurate. I ran a free search to see what it would generate, and the results were unnerving. It had my maiden name, my birth month and year, current and last address. When you click on one of the addresses, you're taken to a page that offers links to satellite photos, the postal service zip code finder, MapQuest and the Weather Channel. While you can ask to have your information removed, there's no guarantee of complete removal. Personally, I'm creeped out. Granted, they're working with public data of some kind, but the potential for abuse is there.
It's impressive, scary to see what a Zaba search can do [SF Chronicle, via ObscureStore]
April 22, 2005
Today's random question: Is burlesque the new swing dancing? Seemingly out of nowhere, now everywhere. All of a sudden people I know are checking out burlesque shows, and I'm wondering when did this all happen? I know they're happening here in Atlanta too, since I've heard about them from the super-cool girl who does my brows.
My favorite (only) secondhand burlesque experience is courtesy of Clunky Robot, who went to the Philadelphia Film festival. Check him out, surrounded by scantily clad women wearing fish heads. I'm still giggling.
Selective information is misinformation
Democracies die behind closed doors. The First Amendment, through a free press, protects the people's right to know that their government acts fairly, lawfully, and accurately.... When government begins closing doors, it selectively controls information rightfully belonging to the people. Selective information is misinformation. The Framers of the First Amendment did not trust any government to separate the true from the false for us. They protected the people against secret government.
Detroit Free Press v. Ashcroft, 303 F.3d 681, 683 (6th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted)
April 25, 2005
Make your own at storTroopers
April 26, 2005
Personal Coverage Check
If you're a current or potential subscriber to T-Mobile, this is handy: Personal Coverage Check. You can check by a city or specific address to see the quality of signal you'll get when using your cellphone. The results may also indicate where T-Mobile HotSpots are located. Checking my old office address in New York generated a map with dark green, indicating great signal, and many pink dots, indicating HotSpots.
Currently a fan of this service. Recently I called them to consolidate our phone accounts into one plan. The customer rep looked up our records and recommended the best one for us, actually saving us money. The rep was really nice, didn't push anything else, and it was all quite painless.
April 29, 2005
For better or worse, I've rejoined Friendster. Apparently they now offer TypePad blogs (free and paid) and such things as joint horoscopes, which are supposed to tell you how things are astrologically between you and your friend. I'll stick to the basics for now, such as trying to prepare a profile that isn't overblown and yet not completely boring. If you have a profile and care to let me know, send me an email, as I'm not using the nom de plume.
Kung Fu Hustle
This is a fun, funny movie. It's a cross between Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the average kung fu flick. I saw it with a bunch of people last night and we could not stop cracking up. I like this a lot more than the last few martial arts movies that have hit the States, like Hero or House of Flying Daggers which have been beautiful to look at, with some breathtaking action sequences, but far less satisfying storywise. Not that the plot of Kung Fu Hustle is all that complicated, but the film works as both a martial arts action/comedy as well as a sendup of the genre.
P.S. My current wallpaper is Lollipop Girl. There are many to choose from, and they're all quite festive and garish. It's like visual caffeine.