March 02, 2006
moi gras (mwä grä’): n. Any occasion when one feels particularly fat, such as when one cannot fit into a favorite pair of pants, or when a previously cute top currently gives one the appearance of a stuffed sausage. Moi gras often leads to declarations of a return to the gym and/or the swearing off of desserts or other calorie-laden foods. In the alternative, moi gras can lead to binge-eating during particular circumstances such as vacations, breakups, or hanging out with girlfriends, or on condition of dieting immediately after such eating. In such cases as these, moi gras may be accompanied by vin gras, the heavy intake of wine or other alcohol.
[French : moi, me + gras, fat]
March 03, 2006
On raiding the Valentine's candy leftovers
One of our vendors gave my department a little bucket of Valentine's candy. Along with the candy there were trinkets. So now I have small purple and pink rubber balls to throw around and a squishy bubble-gum pink rubber T-rex - to squish, I suppose. He's very pink and feels fleshy and clammy. How that spells romance, I do not know.
Claire Campbell, Daniel Clay & Amanda Kapousouz- Eddie's Attic, 3/3/06
There was a fourth performer, Blake Rainey. He.Is.A.Total.Douchebag. This person is NOT worth your money, EVER!
The format was "artist in the round," meaning that each performer took a turn to play a song. Douchebag Rainey was first. He played something, we applauded politely, and then...he suggested to the others they should do two songs in a row on each turn. Then he launched into his second bland, unmemorable song.
As it turned out, this was a sign of things to come.
The heartfelt applause increased with each performance. Daniel Clay, who's studied classical guitar, played spare, deceptively simple songs. When Campbell performed, it was as if she became the characters in her songs. Somehow the discordant notes from her guitar, and her voice, all seemed to work together to create something eerie and beautiful.
We also enjoyed Amanda Kapousouz, who performs as Tin Cup Prophette. She used a loop machine and also played violin. At some point she worked in a xylophone and during another song, an accordion! She has an album that will soon be released, which I will look out for, definitely.
Going into the second round, Douchebag was unimpressed. "Nice band you got there," he mumbled, or some such thing. His songs slowed the momentum that had built, but we clapped, and the energy picked up again as the others performed. During Claire's turn, Daniel and Amanda accompanied her on one of her songs, as they knew each other and had played together before. The music clutched me by the heart and dragged me into itself. It was a sublime moment of musical communion.
A second show had been scheduled for the evening, so before the third round began, the performers were told they had ten minutes left, total. Claire jokingly asked whether they each had a 2.5 minute song to play.
Rainey Douchebag plays again. We clap, politely. Then before Daniel can get ready to play, Douchebag launches into another song! I thought, "Wait, wasn't everybody supposed to play just one more song?" One friend was so angry he got up and left the room. The rest of us, we were too stunned to react as we should have, calling out Rainey on his graceless, petty, shitty behavior. It's another long, repetitive, cliched, crappy song. Just when we thought it was going to end, it goes on for another repetitive verse. Some lame whistling is thrown in as well.
The song ends, and Douchebag plays another song! Yes, a third song! So now the other players have sat in their seats onstage, politely and resignedly, for three whole songs. Rainey's damn song finally ends, and because he hogged the final ten minutes, so does the evening. The disappointment from the crowd was palpable.
After the show, we went up to the others and thanked them for their performances and told them how much we enjoyed their music. It seemed everybody was ignoring Douchebag, as they should have.
One of my friends observed that Rainey's petty revenge was multiple - on the other players, who were far better than him; on the audience, for our liking the other musicians over him; and on the venue, for putting him in a lineup that illustrated his mediocrity.
Seriously, do not support this guy. He's also from a band called the Young Antiques, but because of him, I have no interest whatsoever in their music. There are so many musicians who deserve greater attention, who deserve to play at Eddie's Attic and other venues around town, but it's jerks like these, whose music isn't anything special, who get to have a slot.
March 08, 2006
Recipe via flickr!
March 10, 2006
This week is finally over and I am very happy for that. My brain feels like stretched-out Play-Doh.
Tonight: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Variety Playhouse
Saturday: Going up to Athens with Marco & Wayne to pick up their new pug, Miss Joy, who has not only gained new owners, but an adoring aunt? dogmother? Anyway, that would be me. I am SO excited. The next best thing to having a pug of my own is to have friends who have a pug of their own that I can come visit.
Sunday: Flying Biscuit. Also attending a gathering of people who all share our last name. Distant, far-flung relatives perhaps? I suppose I can always disown them if they turn out to be as "colorful" as the relatives I know about.
March 14, 2006
Someone at work just called me Marian the Librarian.
I was at a vendor presentation about a new product that makes use of news and information feeds via RSS. When the product development guy asked the room full of law librarians if anyone subscribed to RSS feeds, I was the only one who raised my hand. Later, podcasts were mentioned. Again, my hand was the only one that went up.
I suspect that people in the room make use of RSS, more than they realize. I sure hope so.
March 16, 2006
Snow Patrol, The Loft, 3/15/06
Sold out. The line to get in went halfway around the block. There was no opening act. There were posters on the wall and promo postcards everywhere. Snow Patrol's new album "Eyes Open" comes out on May 9. And they'll be back here in May!
The singer had a cold. The bass player's amp blew out near the end, but was rescued. Still a great show. I may have a thing for funny, skinny Scottish guys with floppy hair and holes in the shirt seams beneath their armpits who can sing.
A good live band. And hey, a band who smiles and actually seems to enjoy performing! I was back in the crowd, fortunately situated behind some not-too-tall people so I had a mostly decent view of the show. Snow Patrol played songs from "Final Straw" as well as from their forthcoming album. Definitely liking the new song "Eyes Open." I was also quite happy to hear "Chocolate" which is one of my favorite tracks from the earlier album.
While the bass player's amp was attended to, the singer, Gary Lightbody, did a cover of a Bright Eyes song, "You will you will you will." Liked that - I'll have to track it down.
March 20, 2006
Tomorrow is another day
First thing this morning, my neurotic cat Ginger peed - AGAIN - in the laundry basket that was - AGAIN - full of clean clothes. The day hasn't really gotten any better, especially having found out that tonight's Magic Numbers/Elected show has been canceled.
But I did have a great weekend, full of fun & friends.
Friday: We had Mex with Marco, then swanned over to the private party celebrating the opening of Inman Perk, the new coffee shop over on Elizabeth St. in - you guessed it - Inman Park. It's a cool loft-like space, free wi-fi, tasty drinks and yummy desserts. I am already a fan of the raspberry mocha. And Marco is the first artist to show his work there. His show opens next Saturday - so come check it out!
Saturday: Mellow day. Brunch at Sun in My Belly. Grocery shopping. A long afternoon nap. Dinner at Savage Pizza. A quick dash into Criminal Records for a Snow Patrol ep, but they were out of stock, so I picked up a Magic Numbers cd instead. (It came with a free ticket to tonight's show, which has now been canceled. Oh well.) Then a late late night with Mr. & Mrs. Minch, playing Uno and watching Eddie Izzard on BBC America.
Sunday: Slept in, brunch at the Biscuit. A stop at Full Moon Records, where the clerk gave me a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah poster that he had saved for me. Found some David Bowie and Rufus Wainwright cds. Laundry (some of which must be redone now). Another long nap. Then to Buckhead Diner for dinner with Daniella, who was briefly in town for a presentation. Poor Mr. Arkadin had to sit with a table of instant girlfriends. Holly let me taste some of her crab cakes, and she had a bit of my (shhh) veal & mushroom meatloaf. And then Mr. Arkadin and I split a chocolate cake sundae. I am more plump today than yesterday.
March 22, 2006
I just finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. One of its ideas is that a small change can make a great impact. For instance, the Broken Windows theory asserts that if you take care of problems like lighting, litter, and graffiti, you can reduce crime in a neighborhood - even in a big city. (Gladwell discusses the revitalization of New York City as his example.)
So I'm trying out a few things:
Making the bed. - Not profound, is it? I made my bed as a kid, because I had to. Now I'm doing it because it feels good to turn in for the night and have a pocket of serenity waiting for me in the form of my nicely made bed. I've made it really easy for myself too. There's no flat sheet, just a duvet to shake out, spread out, and tuck in. I've even figured out how to make the bed around the cats. Tabitha wants to be there to "help" while Ginger is perturbed by the disturbance to her repose. I just get them to move to another part of the bed, adjust the duvet and pillows, and then let the cats settle back to their chosen spots. I think they like a fresh-made bed too.
Shining my sink. - I learned about a site called FlyLady that helps those of us without a clue establish a housekeeping routine. Daily reminders, "missions" and testimonials are sent by email. I haven't kept up very well to date but it's not about pressuring yourself, it's about just taking small steps in order to make life easier for yourself. So for the present, I scrub and rinse dishes and set them in the dishwasher so I have a fresh sink, ready for the next use. I use a dishcloth to dry up the sink after I'm done using it. At night, before going to bed, I spritz some glass cleaner and wipe down the surface so it's nice and shiny. The idea behind this act is that by maintaining one small area, you'll be inspired to tackle other areas...eventually establishing a routine so that the household runs more smoothly and your time is freed up to pursue other activities. At the same time, it's not about being perfect - it's about just taking a step, and then another step, and so on.
I feel dragged down by having my home space in disarray. It's hard to relax, being surrounded by papers to file, books or cds to put away, and running out of room for things. (That's a whole other can of worms right there.) I'm too embarrassed to have anybody over for a visit. So for now, I'm just going to do these two little things and see where it takes me.
At work - In my department, there's a little trash can in the printer/copier area, as well as a huge paper recycling bin. Whenever we print to the network printer, there's a cover sheet to identify the owner of the print job. It seems so wasteful, but it is useful when we're all sending print jobs and trying to find our documents.
Now and again I've found my colleagues trashing their cover sheets in instead of recycling them. I don't understand this - the bin is right next to the copier. It's not hard to use the right disposal bin. So far I've just plucked sheets out of the trash can and tossed them into the bin, thinking that would be a subtle clue. I could say something, but I don't want to be annoying to my colleagues - who are all senior to me.
So I just moved the trash can under the small table by the copier. It's still available, just less obvious. And so far the move seems to have worked. I'm now seeing discarded cover sheets in the recycling bin. And it wasn't much work. It just took a little thought and a little action to solve a small problem.
March 23, 2006
Poetry Reading: Sharon Olds
Very late notice. Sharon Olds reads tonight at 7 p.m. at Woodward Academy's Richardson Fine Arts Center (main campus - College Park). The event is free, and the public is welcome.
March 28, 2006
"Bush War Blues"
Billy Bragg recorded a song called "Bush War Blues" - it's available on his site as a free download.
Art or Crap?
"Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston," believed Pro-Life's first monument to the 'act of giving birth,' is purportedly an idealized depiction of Britney in delivery. Natural aspects of Spears' pregnancy, like lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, compliment a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean's head. [Lady Crumpet: All together now - ewwww!]
The monument also acknowledges the pop-diva's pin-up past by showing Spears seductively posed on all fours atop a bearskin rug with back arched, pelvis thrust upward, as she clutches the bear's ears with 'water-retentive' hands.
Local Officer Tickets Driver for Anti-Bush Bumper Sticker
A woman was pulled over and ticketed by a DeKalb county police officer for having a "lewd decal" on her car - a bumper sticker that says "I'm Tired Of All The BUSHIT." The officer told the woman that the sticker violated a county ordinance and wrote a ticket for $100. The woman, Denise Grier, plans to challenge the fine on the grounds that the ticket violates the First Amendment, that she was targeted for her political expression. As she should. The ticket should never have been written in the first place.
Andisheh has a more eloquent post here.
Driver fights ticket for bumper sticker [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
March 29, 2006
The History of the World...On Film
"The Movie Timeline is the history of everything, taken from one simple premise: that everything you see in the movies is true - the real mixes with the fictitious, so long as it's reported in a movie somewhere..." The site accepts contributions to the timeline.
What if this was the only record of our civilization? That's a scary thought.
March 30, 2006
I'll Be Old When I'm Dead
Up With Grups: The Ascendant Breed of Grown-Ups Who Are Redefining Adulthood [New York Magazine] Interesting article. Apparently those of us in our thirties and beyond are still living lifestyles that are more in keeping when we were twenty-somethings. The article is a good read, but I wonder if this is a big phenomenon, or just one that's been "observed" by the media.
How am I supposed to dress, what music is ok for me to listen to? I went through this crap as a teenager, as a twenty-something, and apparently this issue is still with us today. But the difference between when I was a teenager and now is that I'm not going to limit myself because of what other people might think. It doesn't make me cool, it doesn't make me a hipster (heaven forfend), it doesn't mean I'm holding on to lost youth. I just want to experience life as it interests me.
I have a full-time job, I have credit cards and student loans to pay off. Someday I will have a place I own instead of rent. But I'm not dead inside because I'm no longer in my twenties. Does anybody really think like that? That's the kind of attitude one ought to grow out of; that's the mark of being an adult. Being an adult doesn't mean having to be old.
Slightly apropos - a short funny bit from The Onion: Two Hipsters Angrily Call Each Other 'Hipster'