August 02, 2005
Bridget Jones returns
Hey, I could get behind this.
Fantasy Fashion League Create your dream team of designers. Win points when your designers get mentioned in the news, when their clothes get covers of major mags, or when celebrities wear their designs on the red carpet. It's $18 to join by August 15, $24 thereafter.
League winners are entered in a drawing for...a $1000 shoe shopping spree at Zappos. Each member of the League of the Year will get a "Lolo + Gretch Dahling signature wristlet designed exclusively for FFL!"
This would be a great excuse to "study" the latest fashion mags.
Available on a t-shirt, at least until some lawyers get persnickety.
I used to think Luke Wilson was the cute one, but Owen's sleepy-eyed charm won me over the day he was dubbed "The Butterscotch Stallion." As I explained to a guy friend who didn't get his appeal:
There's a laid-back sweetness to him. He's kinda quirky, kinda oddball, and he's so at ease with himself that it doesn't matter that he's not an obvious pretty boy. He'd tell you what he was thinking and feeling and admit that even if this isn't forever, he's so into you, and wouldn't it be nice to make hay while the sun shines?
August 04, 2005
Bridget Jones, at a premium
Well crappity crap. I checked The Independent to see today's newly-returned Bridget Jones column from Helen Fielding. However, it's for paid subscribers. I'm not really surprised, but I am disappointed. I wonder how many subscribers they'll get who want to read Bridget every week?
August 05, 2005
Links here and there
The results of the 2005 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. [Thanks, Jonathan!]
A student photography project: photographs by Eugene Atget side-by-side with her own versions of the same scene.
Terror terror terror: President Makes It Clear: Phrase Is 'War on Terror' [NYT, 8/3]
George Lakoff: "If you have been framed, the only response is to reframe."
On the agenda this weekend: vintage shopping and whirlyball.
August 09, 2005
Infinite Internet Cats
Internet's Best Friend (Let Me Count the Ways) [NYT, 7/30] A piece on why so many internet projects seem to involve cats.
love is the every only god
love is the every only god
who spoke this earth so glad and big
even a thing all small and sad
man may his mighty briefness dig
for love beginning means return
seas who could sing so deep and strong
on queerying wave will whitely yearn
from each last shore and come home young
so truly perfectly the skys
by merciful love whispered were,
completes its brightness with your eyes
any illimitable star
August 10, 2005
Popular Reading at Guantanamo's Library
AMERICA'S AZKABAN: Harry Potter books and mysteries by Agatha Christie top the list of the most popular reading selections among detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to a prison librarian there identified only as "Lorie."
Future Mac User
My internet access at home has been nonexistent of late. My computer up and decided not to dial up anymore. I bought an XP-based HP desktop from a girl who'd just graduated from GaTech and was leaving the country. She used a cable modem, so she never had to use the regular modem.
I've attempted to install Earthlink but I get connection errors when the software attempts to dial up to Earthlink's servers.
It's been incredibly frustrating. You don't have to be a mechanic to drive a car. Why must you become an engineer just to use your computer?
I'm fed up. I've wasted enough fruitless evenings trying to fix this myself. It's time to seek professional help instead of steaming in aggravation.
Addendum: I do plan to go hi-speed - eventually. Right now I just want to be able to @#$%&! dial up.
Not Just a Party Girl
I don't like reality shows. I don't enjoy seeing people humiliate themselves. I like makeover shows like What Not to Wear and Trading Spaces. I enjoyed Project Runway. But everything else? Just can't do it.
That said, I'm going to 'fess up to being curious about Wild on Tara, which premieres tonight. I feel sheepish, but then again, there is a lot of crap on television that people enjoy. So I should just relax and embrace my share of bad tv.
August 12, 2005
Links of note
A to Z Guide To Online Music Downloads [Largehearted Boy]
Astronaut Self-Portrait [NASA]
The Bacon Show "One Bacon Recipe Per Day, Every Day, Forever"
The Official Site of Marshall McCluhan Despite being dead, Marshall rocks on in the interweb.
August 15, 2005
Color Code is a full-color portrait of the English language.
The artwork is an interactive map of more than 33,000 words. Each word has been assigned a color based on the average color of images found by a search engine. The words are then grouped by meaning. The resulting patterns form an atlas of our lexicon.
August 16, 2005
We stood around with messages from the ether and bobafred to get our copies of Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way signed by the Bruce himself. The guys all seemed to think he needed a haircut, but I thought he looked all right. It was surprising how slowly the session seemed to go, but the man took a moment to actually chat with each person. He asked us both what we did - guess there wasn't too much for him to say about my being a librarian, but no matter. He shook our hands and signed "Stay groovy" in our copy.
Tapas at Fuego with Mr. Ether and Lisa. My particular favorite, the dream dates: bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola. I ate the whole damn plate (all three pieces).
Then we returned for a screening of The Man With the Screaming Brain. This will also air on the Sci-Fi channel next month. There was a Q&A beforehand. Perhaps the best moment was when someone asked Campbell what he thought about PG-13 horror movies and he went on a tear, voicing his strong disapproval. Such movies are simply to squeeze an extra $10-15m by having a more kid-friendly rating at the cost of a movie's quality. He then whipped out a piece of paper with some notes about all the sucky movies that have come out this summer, being remakes of tv shows or movies from the seventies. Good fun. He's a funny guy and has a good rapport with his fans.
August 17, 2005
Etsy - A marketplace "to buy and sell all things handmade." It's still in beta, but it's already operational. Lots of fun, pretty things made by creative people.
August 18, 2005
Harmless Prank or Needless Irritant?
The ministry of reshelving project involves reshelving copies of Orwell's 1984 and leaving behind notecards to indicate where you've reshelved the book. Is it a statement, or a game, or extra work for bookstore clerks?
Interesting how private commercial spaces have become quasi-public playgrounds. We've seen this with shopping centers - the senior mall-walkers and the mall rats who come around for reasons other than shopping. Bookstores (and libraries, for that matter) that create inviting spaces to browse, sit, mingle and have coffee seem to be regarded as extensions of public spaces, perhaps even of our living rooms. The latter is especially true in places where people live in cramped apartments and prefer to meet up in a more common, communal space.
Having worked in retail and being one of those who currently shelve books, I'm simultaneously amused and annoyed. But whatever. *Shrug*
I do wonder though what these kinds of "projects" signify. Meta-play? Like we're children or animals less interested in the toys we have than the discarded packaging.
The easy answer is escapism. Like we're lab rats purposely losing ourselves in the maze because reaching the end doesn't mean anything anymore.
Kylie Minogue Costume Exhibit Now Online
August 19, 2005
Monitoring Atlanta Traffic
Georgia Navigator allows you to keep tabs on current traffic conditions. You can create a personal traffic page to monitor your regular routes. The site also offers email alerts, access for mobile phones and PDAs, as well as separate RSS feeds for traffic incidents, construction, navigator news and navigator alerts(!!!).
And when you're stuck in traffic and need to speak to a live person to find out wtf is going on (be kind, people), they also provide phone numbers, which are listed below:
Speak to a Traffic Management Center Customer Service Representative to obtain real-time traffic conditions.
Cingular, Verizon, Sprint, & T-Mobile wireless customers: dial *DOT
Landline and other wireless carriers: dial 404-635-6800
Toll free: dial 1-888-635-8287
Last but not least, here's some highway construction news regarding this weekend. Apparently this is a press release, passed along to me by an office manager. I don't know if you can sign up for this sort of thing from the website, but there is news on the site regarding this construction. Looks like it's best to avoid I-285 AT ALL COSTS.
Georgia Department of Transportation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 18, 2005
GDOT Warns Motorists to Avoid Construction Delays on I-285 this Weekend
The Georgia DOT is warning motorists to expect extremely heavy traffic this weekend on I-285 on all four sides of the city. In Clayton County, work on the fifth runway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will require up to three westbound lanes and one eastbound lane to be closed all weekend from Clark Howell Highway to Riverdale Road for paving. On the east side, crews will be striping on the northbound side between Glenwood Road and Northlake Parkway. The north side has projects at Buford Highway; at Perimeter Center Parkway between Ashford-Dunwoody Road and State Route 400; and at Cobb Parkway. On the west side, concrete paving will continue between State Route 166 and South Cobb Drive.
"I can say with confidence that if you use I-285 this weekend, you will experience construction delays. It is very important that motorists seek alternate routes and check the NaviGAtor web site (www.georgia-navigator.com) before they leave home," said District Construction Engineer Mickey McGee.
Two other work locations to note are I-20 on the west side and State Route 400 near Holcomb Bridge Road. On I-20 eastbound, two left lanes will be closed from the Chattahoochee River to MLK, Jr. Drive for resurfacing.
On State Route 400 northbound and southbound at Holcomb Bridge Road, up to two lanes will be closed for bridge work from 9:00 p.m. Friday until 5:00 a.m. Monday. This work will also affect lanes on Holcomb Bridge Road over State Route 400.
Motorists should use extreme caution when traveling through the work zones. Statistics show that three out of four work zone fatalities are motorists, not workers.
August 23, 2005
Alice's Adventures Under Ground
August 24, 2005
Google Talk is Here
It's still in beta and requires that you have a Gmail account. It also works as a mail notifier so you won't need the Gmail notify anymore if you've got this.
I'm listed as ladycrumpet, fyi.
Create an audiobook from a dvd
Turn a DVD into an Audiobook [via Lifehacker] This is awesome. Now I can pull the audio from the Pride & Prejudice miniseries and listen to Colin Firth on my iPod, telling me how ardently he admires and loves me...er, Lizzy Bennet.
Why do I suspect that Mr. Arkadin is going to want to do this with Big Trouble in Little China? It's not like he doesn't know the lines by heart anyway.
August 25, 2005
Run Firefox from a USB drive
Why would anyone do that, you may ask. Let's say you're not allowed to install Firefox at your work computer. That perhaps you'd installed it and were told to remove it. An alternative browser available from a thumb drive now becomes pretty darn useful.
It's about 7MB, so it doesn't take too much space on the flash drive. In fact, I'm posting this via Firefox via USB. Thanks to Titus "Cheese Tots" Barik for the heads up (in a conversation which occurred, btw, via Google Talk).
August 26, 2005
Another reason to love Paris
Now you can buy books from a vending machine.
Brawny Man™ Fantasy Footage
The people who promote Brawny paper towels have a great sense of humor. Check out the online greetings which you can watch or send on to your friends.
This vision of the Brawny Man™ is about as real as those guys on soap operas. His name would probably be something like Decker or Roman or Hunter or Chase. (Actually, his official name really is Brawny Man™.)
A Man, a Boat, and the God of Catfish
Back in May, Thai fisherman caught a 9-foot, 646-pound giant catfish in the Mekong River. It may be the largest freshwater fish ever recorded. However, it was the following bit of the story that really caught my eye:
The monster fish was one of just three giant catfish caught in Thailand this year.Not only is there a god of catfish, but there's a shrine to the god of catfish. And the boat did its part in helping the men make their big catch.
Before he headed out on May 1, one of the men who caught it, Thirayuth Panthayom, 29, made sure luck would be on his side. He said he prayed at the shrine of the God of Catfish and begged his boat to help him, "Please, Miss Boat, let me catch something today and I'll sacrifice a chicken for you."
He said he had only been out for 15 minutes when he saw the fish smack the water four times with its tail - "Pung! Pung! Pung! Pung!" It took his crew an hour to pull it in.
I imagine that "Catfish God" probably sounds more poetic in Thai.
Hat Khrai Journal: Truly, It Was a Whopper, but Are There Bigger Fish? [NYT]
August 29, 2005
Sleep-deprived but hearty weekend
My friend marco stayed over Friday night after a pasta and pesto at Little Azio. I recruited his artistic sensibilities for a quick rearranging of the living room, an activity made more pleasant with bottles of Guinness, Anchor Steam, and strong cider.
Rose early on Saturday, dropped marco off at the airport. Breakfast at the Thumbs Up diner - a crowded place even first thing in the morning. Went for the fried catfish & eggs plate, which was really, really good.
Dropped off several bags of clothing at Goodwill. Returned a pair of pants at Macy's. There was nose-pressed-against-the-window-shopping at the Container Store, the Apple Store and Anthropologie. A trip to Whole Foods for some Tiger Chai and Vanilla Ginger Spice Chai ice cream and a fine portion of organic boneless skinless chicken breast.
We went over to Tessa and Dave's to cook dinner together and otherwise hang out. We cut vegetables (broccoli, carrots, onions, snow peas, Japanese eggplant, bamboo shoots), made a red curry sauce, baked tofu basted in the curry sauce, and sauteed the chicken (sprinkled with turmeric and chili powder for color). Served over rice, it was really really good, and I'm eager to try making it again.
A marathon Trivial Pursuit session followed, along with a viewing of Rock & Roll High School and much conversation. There were zany photographs. Sometime around 4:30 am, we made it home for some sleep.
Watching the Weather Channel Sunday morning we learned about the Category 5 status of Hurricane Katrina. Maybe I should call my friend Herman in New Orleans. Nah, he'll just think I'm fretting.
I called anyway. He answered, saying I shouldn't watch so much television. He was getting things together, his plan to bunk down at some university facility. I extended an invitation to Atlanta, and after a brief consideration, he agreed to make the drive, bringing along his cat.
One of the good things about having houseguests is that I make the effort to clean the apartment. So after a nap I clipped shrubbery, scoured and swept, took out trash and recycling. We did laundry, picked up some groceries and extra pillows.
Made it to my book group, where we talked about Choke and ate some great food at Eclipse di Sol. I went for a spinach salad and wild mushroom galette. Also had a lemon mint julep - verrry nice indeed. I kept jumping up from the table to provide directions on the cellphone to Herman, who was only a little lost. (I had given him a wrong turn and had to reorient myself from his perspective.) Fortunately he found the house, Scott was there to receive him, and I joined everyone soon after. Alas, the poor cat was not in a mood to receive visitors, so we did not renew our acquaintance at this time.
I had intended to pick up some beer for my friend, who undoubtedly needed it. (On Sundays you can't buy beer in Atlanta.) There was one bottle of cider left in the fridge, which came in handy. After Herman had settled in and made some calls, we stepped out so he could get a decent burger and brew at the Vortex.
Still tired, but here at work. At least I didn't have to spend my weekend escaping a hurricane.
August 30, 2005
Cats Taking Over the Interweb
Disaster Preparedness for Pets
The Humane Society of the United States provides an article/PDF brochure on this topic. The HSUS also provides a detailed report on what the organization is doing, or have already done, in terms of evacuation and rescue.
Blog Day 2005
August 31, 2005
Gas Prices Have Shot Up
Two pipelines that run through Louisiana and Mississippi and provide gas to Georgia are out of commission due to Katrina. I called my friend Marco, who was out driving after work. He's seen prices for unleaded between $2.89 to $3.99 per gallon, with lines of cars spilling out into traffic.