Friday, April 11, 2008

Okay, Last Arm-Twisting

Still sabbaticaling until a better head state strikes.

Meantime, be sure to check out my friend Jim's new tunes and glowing press blurbs.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Going Old School

There used be be a time, in the not-too-distant past, when I eschewed my traditional stack of books and couldn't focus enough to finish even one, if I were so inclined. I spent most of my energy on short-attention-span tasks that required less patience for a quicker payoff: obsessive seeking and acquiring of new music, web surfing ad nauseum, blogging to post the output and thoughts of the aforementioned web surfing.

These days, I'm feeling weary. I flip impatiently through the shuffle on the iPod. The Motown sounds too earnest and heartbreaking, the Stooges too harsh, the country too twangy. I recently sat down to do a great purging of music that was currently annoying me, and by the end of process, I realized doing so would whittle the store down to half. And following the campaign ins and outs, the Iraq updates, the congressional hearings requires a processing ability I don't care to muster.

So, I got a giant stack of novels, with a heavy emphasis on psychological thrillers. I've got some fascinating clothing-history books. I'm thinking of new patterns. I might take a class in cooking, sewing, or something else. I've got the journal back out, and I'm revisiting writing of various types, possibly of some really bad poetry.

All of which is to say, I think I'm going on sabbatical into the nondigital world. Possibly when I have something interesting to say or show la vida Laura (finished woodwork, say, or, another bird--alive or dead--in the basement), I'll bestow it on the five of you.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Here We Go Again.

Yes, this nonsense is all the rage again. Obviously, a hospital declaring that they did not refuse to treat a patient is the authoritative source on whether they, in fact, didn't treat the patient. No self interest involved there.

It's like Al Gore is back again!

Someday I Will Go To a Different Fabric Store

But, cute!

I think this is what people used to do with flour sacks--101 different dresses.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quote of the Day

When things were more civilized:
[Edna] Chase was one of New York's legendary editors. A stickler for clarity, she argued that if she could not understand something, how could her readers be expected to? Her rejection letters made the toughest writers wilt and she demanded propriety at all times. After a young editor tried to commit suicide by throwing herself under a subway train, Chase remarked when the woman eventually returned to work: "We at Vogue don't throw ourselves under subway trains, my dear. If we must, we take sleeping pills."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Where's the Job Description for That Person on Antiques Roadshow Who Knows All About the Vintage Clothes?

I'm not exactly unaware of the practical implications of this sort of thing, really--school time; age factors; limitations of my own vis-a-vis lack of drawing ability; a tiny, hyper-competitive field limited in geographical range (but somebody's coming up with all that mass-market, off-the-rack stuff, right?). Anyhow, with regard to that last point, I definitely am wary of leaping into yet another field where the major job opportunities are in about two cities.

And my thinking on this is so nebulous, anyway, that I wasn't necessarily thinking "design" per se, just something to do with clothing, preferably vintage, and maybe preserving or researching same. Mainly, I'm trying to figure out options that exist, and I think my vocabulary on this is limited.

I haven't even gotten to landscape architecture and design (although, again, I think legible renderings are a necessary function; although, true, the one thing I know how to draw is a tree). Aren't I good with the greenery? And wouldn't it be kind of cool to learn about all kinds of plants and what conditions they prefer?

Yes, I know, I should get a career counselor. But all the tests I've taken pretty much point to the same place. Did you know I'm well suited to be an editor or a writer?

I think the solution may be to just be an accountant and be done with this whole need to Learn, Be Expressive, and Make a Difference. Creativity can be left to one's own time and take a variety of forms, right? Bah.

This Had Me Scrutinizing the Interactive Map for My Personal Bad News

This article on the impact of home foreclosures on neighborhoods is unsettling. What's happening in some areas of the country experiencing high rates of foreclosures is that properties are not actually being seized by the banks, because the banks don't want to assume responsibility for taxes. This, naturally, leads to abandoned properties and blight.

I live next door to an empty house with newly peeling-off gutters and a disappeared for-sale sign (someone plucked it out and tossed it, unceremoniously, into the back yard), so this provides me nightmare scenarios.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Please Stop Helping Me.

A friend of whom I'm very fond not infrequently attempts to help along my prospects with the men by, for example, pointing out, in a loud voice and with accompanying poking and prodding in my side as we're walking down the street, any poor schmuck aged 15-50 who may happen to glance in my direction ("did you see him??? He was totally checking you out!!!"). If we're in a store and the poor salesman happens to speak to me, there's much eyebrow raising and dramatic gestures for me to join him feet away so that he can proclaim how said salesman is flirting with me. I think he is twelve.

But the nub of the matter is that he may have made my future mead samplings cripplingly awkward. I'm afraid the 20-something liquor store guy may have observed one of these scenes and now thinks I'm a cougar.

That, my friends, cannot be borne.

Birthday Festiveness Plus Toby Sighting

Happy Friday, and happy birthday, Mom! Plus, Toby's confereeing as we speak. Random music:

1. what do i get, the buzzcocks
2. the skin of my yellow country teeth, clap your hands say yeah
3. house in my head, sons & daughters [just bought this cd: love it]
4. spare-ohs, andrew bird
5. rock the house, gorillaz
6. when the sun goes down, arctic monkeys
7. the judgement, elvis costello and the imposters
8. the dress, blonde redhead
9. tennessee whiskey, george jones
10. rich woman, robert plant and alison krauss

bonus song that's making me happy this morning: bunny ain't no kind of rider, of montreal.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Random Music Thoughts

I have it on good authority that these guys are good: "more innovative than the Beatles," I believe was the phrase.

New Gnarls Barkley! My copy's en route at this very moment.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Sage Wisdom from One of the Bright Lights that Brought Us the Iraq War

It's baffling how Iraq got so screwed up.

[Dougas] Feith boasted to Sands that back in 2002, he "was really a player" in ensuring that Gitmo detainees would not receive Geneva protections. But when Sands asked him "whether, in the end, he was at all concerned that the Geneva decision might have diminished America’s moral authority," Feith got nasty:

He was not. “The problem with moral authority,” he said, was “people who should know better, like yourself, siding with the assholes, to put it crudely.”
You remember this guy, no?
Tommy Franks, who led the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, has been much quoted as calling Feith “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth,” apparently for ideas he proposed to Franks and his planners.

Signs You Are Officially Old

I yelled at some kids to get offa my lawn this morning. I was, however, missing the lawn chair to shake with emphasis.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I lack thoughts of any sort, as the sum total of the energy of my being is currently directed toward resolving my (early!) mid-life crisis and fighting the employer powers that be. Well, more like mustering the requisite passive aggressiveness to counteract their passive aggressiveness. Links:

Want to see a real-life spontaneous musical and the bewildered people witnessing it?

Real men bowl. Well. Which Obama obviously doesn't. So he isn't. No word on whether Wii counts.

This is so how Jurassic Park happened.