May 2002 Archives

And, on an entirely

And, on an entirely non-uplifting note: some snarky relief from all those damn motivational posters.

Mariane Pearl gives birth

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Mariane Pearl gives birth to a beautiful son, Adam.

Best wishes to them both.

(Now if I can just stop crying.)

Ponder this, for a

Ponder this, for a moment or two:

Mark your calendars because TMBG is doing another big, big free show at
Central Park's Summerstage. Returning to the site of our very first show in
1982, we are happy to mark the occasion with a FULL LENGTH free show on the
evening of Thursday August 15. Opening are the Moldy Peaches, and a special
preview of songs from the cast of People Are Wrong! (the rock opera
Flansburgh is producing at Joe's Pub in September.)"

So says the latest e-mail newsletter. Twenty years? Really? It doesn't seem that long.

One really nice thing

One really nice thing about being back at my old workplace is the place that I go to take my breaks. Just a short walk from our building is a park and a river. There are two bridges crossing the river, about 20 feet apart, at the edge of the park. One is a railroad bridge and the other is a footbridge; both have very high walls. Between these bridges is a small forested area that dips down into a little glade on the riverbank. There are large rocks rising out of the river, just high enough to sit on along the bank. The area feels very secluded, with the bridges, trees, and high opposite bank (also tree covered) shielding it from casual view. At the same time, it is public enough to feel quite safe in the daylight....well within earshot and on the path of small boat traffic.

In this little dell, I take my two 15 minute breaks. Sitting on the river, watching the water, canoes, fish, birds, etc. takes me away from even the concept of work. I think of it as a magical spot. 15 minutes of sitting there, and I can return to work refreshed and ready to go. I'd really missed that spot.

Oooooooooo.Lightening and thunder (and a delicious breeze).

By the way, the

By the way, the Brewers did lose 8-7 on Sunday, but it was still a great game. We ate a light lunch in the parking lot (almost a tailgate, but not quite). After they game, we wandered around the lakefront, enjoying Lake Michigan, the fairy-tale wonderful North Point water tower, and other scenes from my old neighborhood (many of which can be seen here).

On Monday, I had a brat at the World's Largest Brat Fest and then saw Spider-Man.

All in all, a very enjoyable weekend.

Great, nothing like a

First day back went

First day back went very well.

Ugh, too hot to blog. Where's that breeze?

In a few moments,

In a few moments, I will be heading in to my first day back at work with grown-ups. Somehow, I feel the atmosphere will be no more mature, but at leastI can stop worrying that someone will burst into tears or that I will inadvertently swear.

In other news, my

In other news, my Iskra 2 is apparently on its way. Goody.

OK. Maybe the Brewers

OK. Maybe the Brewers won't lose, but I'm rarely inclined to be optimistic about that team. They haven't made me really happy since the 80's.

Wow. Last night there

Wow. Last night there was the bridal shower followed by the 30th B-day party. Tonight is the bachelorette party (for the same bride-to-be) followed by a costume party that another of my friends is throwing. Tomorrow I an heading over to Milwaukee to watch the Brewers lose to the Padres. (I got 1/2 off tickets.) Monday, there is the possiblity of a Memorial Day picnic, then off to finally see Spiderman.

Whew! How on earth did so much get planned into one weekend?

Attending the middle school

Attending the middle school at which I taught this week are a set of identical triplet girls and a set of (possibly) identical twin boys.

The triplets are in 7th grade, and still dress alike, apparently at their mother's insistance. I only ever saw them all together once, but there are several classes that have two of the girls in them together. (I've had two of them at a time in several subbed for classes.) I never learned their names, mostly because the other students tend to call them all "Triplet". Very outgoing, mischievious girls. They seem to have good humor, but I am sure they can be overwhelming for the faculty and staff.

The boys were dressed similarly, but not identically. Their haircuts were similar, but not identical. Ditto for their glasses. However, their facial features bore a definate family resemblence. Because of the differences in their hair and clothes, it was hard to tell if they were actually identical, or just brothers with a strong likeness. (I've know twins that were fraternal, but identical looking in the way that siblings sometimes are.) Both boys were in my 7th period class. They sat right next to each other, and proved to be hell on wheels for the hour.

Between the triplets and the twins, my hat's off to the regular teachers of that school. Oi.

Tonight I am going

Tonight I am going to the bridal shower for one of my sister's close friends, then returning home to help celebrate my roommate's 30th birthday. My roommate and another of our friends are both looking to buy houses. Wednesday I discovered that the 6th graders were born the year I started high school.

Why is it that instead of feeling old, I just feel terribly immature?

Well, today was it;

Well, today was it; my last day of subbing. It went just fine, though I accidentally said "shit" in front of some kids.

Yesterday I was had high school graphics. Not only was there a student teacher in the class, but they were all finishing up projects, so I got to spend the day reading design magazines and playing on the net.

The senior class prank was pulled that morning. Thousands of bagels on the school lawn, spelling out 2002 and a big "W" for West. There was also a giant bagel fight, as kids grabbed bagels and flung them at each other.

As to the source of the truckload of baked goods, apparently some students had been dumpster diving behind Bagels Forever for a couple of weeks, and had stockpiled discards.

The birds must have been so happy.

So, I got to

So, I got to watch Buffy last night. I was suitably impressed. Things that I dreaded didn't happen. Things for which I had long hoped did happen. Much was surprising. I think this season's finale has left a fabulous base of plot possibility for next year. Of course, you can't please everyone. Ah well, even at its worst, Buffy is about the best thing on TV these days.

You move with the

OK, yet another confusing

OK, yet another confusing hit to Irving Place. How is this possible? 9 of 1080? Hmroo? To quote Ralfie, "That's unpossible!"

This morning I worked

This morning I worked one-on-one with a very bright 7th grader. Apparently he was in special ed for behavior problems. I was warned several times that phone numbers I should call if he gave me problems. While I was waiting for him to show up, I heard him in the hallway, "A sub? I hate subs!" It did not seem like a promising start. However, we got along swimmingly.

He was working on 8th grade level math. I found myself a little rusty on some of it, but quickly remembered. We worked together through the whole lesson, and got a lot of work done during the hour. The next class period, I was told to let him play on the computer if he had done his work first hour. He immediately began surfing rap sites, like, which led to a discussion of why I thought Ja Rule was far better than Eminem, and how Mary J. Blige was better than either of them.

After a bit, I decided to try and steer this web surfing time towards something a little more constructive and, um, school-related. I asked him if he wanted his own website. He said yes, and I walked him through the sign-up process at Blogger. By the end of the period, he had his first blog entry, and an awesome template. It has its share of spelling and grammer errors, but if he sticks with it, it will give him some good writing excercise, plus he might pick up some html skills. (I am not going to link to it at the moment. Not to comfortable about putting a students name out there. Also, it is still in its infancy.)

After that, he shot hoops in the gym for the last hour before lunch. (He's a good BB player, and he says he is on a city team that is going to Chicago for a tournament this weekend.) Apparently, he goes home after lunch. That's all well and good. I am just a little mystified at his schedule. I never got a chance to ask any of the other teachers about it. It just seemed so non-academic, even for special ed. Such a bright kid, too. One thing I did get from the teachers was that this was apparently an amazingly good day, and that most of them are sick of him by now. *sigh*

Two days left....

Another thing to ponder.

Another thing to ponder. As I kid, I never imagined my teachers having lives. (Well, my parochial school teachers might not have had lives, actually.) I guess they were wrapped in plastic overnight to keep the dust off, and stored in a cupboard somewhere. I dunno. I would never imagine a teacher going to a bar, having a boyfriend/girlfriend, swearing, dressing like a punk, skateboarding, having a tattoo, attending a rock concert, going out clubbing........anything other than teaching. Why, even running into a teacher at a store was an odd and amazing thing.

Now I have been the teacher, and I know the dirty truth. Teachers are people. *gasp* They drink and swear and have sex and get speeding tickets and watch R rated movies and hang out in goth bars or what ever else "shocking" behaviors adults can get into. Given that I live in Madison, I am positive that there is a contingent of teachers who toke up. Sweet Ms. Smith the kindergarten teacher might have a navel piercing, a couple of tattoos, and a leather fetish. Mr. Jones the English teacher might be a skater punk with a fondness for crowd surfing. This amuses me muchly.

I must also insert

I must also insert a grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Tonight I discovered (at 7) that I couldn't watch Buffy, because we couldn't get the signal on on our TV.....well, any signal actually. I'm holding out for a friend's tape, and woe be it to anyone who tells me what happened before I get to watch it.

I am in the

I am in the home stretch for subbing. This is the last week I will be doing it, for this school year at least. Today I taught first grade.

Around 10:30, one little girl was crying hysterically because she though people were being unfair to her. I told her to try to calm down before she made herself sick, and had her sit down for a bit. She said that she wanted to get sick so she could go home.

At this point it was time for recess, and I had duty. I escorted the class out to the playground, with her still sobbing beside me. I started to talk to her in a calm, calm voice, telling her that it was too bad she was crying so much on such a lovely day. I got her to the point were she was actually breathing, and struck a deal with her. If she would go and give playing in the sunshine a try, and still felt bummed out after recess and snack, I would look into sending her home. She walked off and sat down in a small ball on a piece of playground equipment for a minute or two, then came back again, crying once more because no one was playing with her.

It took a few more minutes to get her back to non-hysterical. I got her breathing deeply, and told her a story of when I was in first grade, and would cry in school. I got her to take some deep breaths, and then I took her by the hand. We walked over to the monkey bars, where some of her classmates were playing. I told them that she was feeling pretty bummed, and could use some cheering up by friends. They immediately included her in their game of seeing who could hang from the bar the longest. (She could.) Within a minute, she was all smiles.

It might not have been the way a trained, certified teacher would have handled it, but it worked. It was a far cry from my second ever assignment. I had to talk a crying kindergartener out from under a table, and almost ended up under the teacher's desk, in tears myself. Was that really only December?

Hey, kids! Narc on

Time to go read

Time to go read This Modern World for Tom Tomorrow's take on this from the NYT (sign in required) and theMedia Whores Online follow-up. Read all three, for maximum thought-provokage.

The current administration and its sychopants make me have to bang my forehead solidly onto my desktop, just for a refreshing change. <BANG!>

And I am still creeped out by the Lone Gunmen pilot episode and the fact that I still haven't heard anyone mention it.

Preach on sister! I

Preach on sister! I am not a big drinker. I don't like the taste of most alcohol, and it doesn't do much for me (I get a bigger rush from chocolate). My typical drink is a (good) beer. I'm a born Milwaukee girl, what can I say?

However, I've taken bartending classes. I've tasted and sampled numerous drinks. Some where horrifying (keep the whiskey and the gin far away from me!) and some where tasty. There are so many cool drinks out there that there is no reason to order something stupid and/or order the same tired thing over and over.

B-may has reminded me.

B-may has reminded me. I want a Flat Stanley. If there are any third grade teachers out there, I'd be happy to host one. (Though I guess it would have to be for next year, at this point.)

Wow. How did I

Wow. How did I get a hit from being 286th in a Google search?

Well, I now have

Well, I now have "Look!", the second of my web shows up and running. This time, the theme is objects and sights that we might normally overlook or ignore. Enjoy!

I've been asked if

I've been asked if I see teaching as a lifelong endeavor. I really don't know. There are times when I really love it, and times when I really hate it. Of course, those observations are based on being a substitute teacher, rather than a regular teacher. As a sub you have someone else's kids, someone else's lesson plans, and someone else's curriculum and discipline. As a sub your students and colleagues change on a daily basis, so you don't get to build up relationships. As a sub, the kids tend to think they have a licence to goof off. It is a picture of teaching, but not the whole picture, or even the best picture.

If I wanted to become a "real" teacher, I'd have to go back to school. I don't have any certification beyond my emergency subbing certificate from the DPI. That in itself is a big proposal. While I love being a student, that is a lot of time and money to spend on something I might not really want to do. I'm already having enough trouble paying off my undergrad debts. Also, want I would really want to teach is art. High school art. High school art in a school with decent funding for the art department. Not exactly something easy to get into. Art teaching jobs are all hard to come by. There is stiff competition even for a part time job teaching art in a grade school whose art department budget consists of poster paints, crayons, and a stack of newsprint. (OK, probably nowhere is quite *that* dire, but you never know. This is the US. Education funding is not what is should be. Arts funding is not what it should be. Put the two together....)

I do like kids, and I do like helping people discover new things. I will probably channel my desire to teach into small scale operations, like the Planned Parenthood sexuality classes, or teaching an occasional photo class on the side somewhere.

What I really want to do with my life is create. A friend of mine with a web design company recently told me that creatives are a dime a dozen right now, and that people with technical skill are where it's at. I suppose that's true, looking at the job market. I'm not such an idealistic brat that I will refuse to take a job I don't like very much, in order to pay the bills. The job I will be returning to in a week or so is really a grunt job. I will be a tech-mook in a creative industry, and that is better than nothing. (For those who are unfamiliar with the term mook, think of the extras in movies: the red shirted ensign on the Star Trek away team, the storm troopers in Star Wars, the extra henchmen or soldiers in action movies....they get a bit of screen time, but they will probably be killed off quickly as the plot requires it and usually get no lines. ) I really do even working artists, people who are able to make a living off their art, or at least enough to make it fund itself as a sideline. I suppose I need to either have more talent or better marketing.

I hate renting. I

I hate renting. I hate looking for apartments. I hate moving....every year. I especially hate the doubt that comes in when searching for an aparment. Is this it? Can I afford this? can I do better? Will there be more/better rentals available if I wait a bit? Should I snap something up now? How will I come up with a security deposit?.....I have an application in for an OKish apartment that I've looked at, but I don't really want it. I'm just afraid that I can't do any better.

All of this is being compounded this year by a complete lack of roommates for next year, and the amazing housing prices in the Madison area. I am willing to pay a little more to live in a place that I really like, because I know how depressed I get living in a place I hate. Nothing like spending an entire year hating the idea of having to go home. However, most of the places that I like would be affordable only with a roommate. In this town, nice two bedrooms can be affordable but even horrid, tiny one bedrooms and efficiencies in inconvenient places are terribley expensive. Blah.

I need a roommate. I also should start getting rid of some of my furniture and stuff. I don't have that much stuff in the grand scheme of things, but the less space I need the better. Anyone wanna buy my stuff? I thought not. *sigh* Time to scan the ads again.

I've been having the

I've been having the most wonderful dreams lately. There was a stretch of time when I kept dreaming about substitute teaching. Ugh. Nothing less pleasant than work dreams. I'm there all day, I don't need to be there in my sleep, too, when I'm not even getting paid for it. That seems to have stopped and I've gone back to the cinematic lovelies that I cherish.

I feel bad for people who never remember their dreams, or only dream boring or unpleasant things. It makes it seem as if all that time asleep was wasted. I usually remember my dreams enough to ponder them, go over details the next day, and generally enjoy the little world I experienced in my head. I usually just can't remember my dreams well enough to tell them to others and have them be coherent and/or interesting. That tends to be the way of dreams. I don't think they lend themselves to sharing, no matter how much you may want to.

A couple weeks ago,

A couple weeks ago, I went to the Elvehjem (pronounced like L-V-M) Museum on a Sunday afternoon. I went there all the time when I was a student, and even worked in their darkroom for a semester and a summer. Since graduating and moving out of the downtown, I have gone there a lot less, and I wanted to see what was going on.

One of the special exhibitions was Contemporary Studio Case Furniture: The Inside Story. It featured very cool looking art furniture pieces, many pf which were cabinets.

One pieces I saw made me stop and return to it repeatedly. It was called "Keeper of Memories" by an artist named Brian Wilson. It was a giant, wood and metal angel, with a chest of drawers in the center. It was beautiful and spooky, and made me think of Neil Gaiman's story Neverwhere. Unfortunately, search as I might, I can't find a single link to and image of it, or any info on the artist. I guess the fact the artist has the same name as a Beach Boy might be a factor in hindering me. (Also, there is the possibility that no such thing exists on line at this time. Not everyone is on the Net, though it sometimes seems like it.)

Yesterday, I became "that

Yesterday, I became "that teacher". I was teaching general music, which I love to do, for grades 2-5. However for kids, this was the equation: middle of May+Friday+special class+substitute teacher=we can talk all day. It was a small, echoey room, so the noise got very bad, very fast. Every class had to be settled down more than once, and I still have a cold. By the end of the day, I was still pretty upbeat, but I wasn't ready to take any crap.

The absent teacher wanted the last class to learn the words to, and sing three songs. They sang the first one quite readily and well. They sang it in English and in Spanish. They sang it four times, twice with the words on the CD accompaniment, and twice with just the music. they were pretty enthusistic. I put on the second song, and they sang it once with the words on CD, and did pretty well. They were ready to move to the recording without the words, and they sang along with that one, too. All but four. One boy in the very front of the room was talking to one boy in the back of the room, and two girls in the very back of the room sat with their books held up as a screen, talking behind them.

When they song ended, I told the class that they had done well, but that there were four students who wanted to sing all by themselves. Instantly, volunteering hands shot up. No, no. These students decided to talk while the rest of you were singing. You and you and you and you, come up front and sing it for us. They stood in the front and croaked out a very sad rendition of a bit of the song. The two boys were irritated, but the girls were absolutely mortified. One of them looked like she was going to cry.

As the class was leaving, I thought, "Oh lord, I've become that teacher." We've all had that teacher, haven't we?

Only one week to go. Thank God.

"Pride goeth before destruction,

"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." -Proverbs 16:18

Canadian convicted in the

"Bush Suggests Politics Behind

"Bush Suggests Politics Behind Sept. 11 Questions"

You're kidding, right? It's revealed that you had information of the possiblity of hijackings before 9/11 and you didn't do anything about it, and you are accusing the questioners or being partisan? Somehow, you think that just because there was no way of knowing that the hijacking would lead to something so horrible, it's ok that you never said anything about it? Is it just me, or doesn't it seem like *any* sort of hijacking is something terribly unpleasant, and to be avoided? Um, this is just off the top of my head, but maybe increasing airport security a bit would have been a good idea? Maybe give people the choice of whether they want to fly?

"We didn't think..." That's exactly it.

Some people will really

Some people will really hate this. Some people will find it hysterical. (I suppose a few people might find November of 2000 too long ago to even remember, and won't even get it.) I'd have to say I found it funnier than That's My Bush!

Love it or hate it, there's a lot more where that came from.

Gretchen. My sister. My

Gretchen. My sister. My friend. My frequent, unpaid model. Until very recently, my roommate. The middle child, she is the bridge between my brother and I. She is our playmate and our sounding board. Our confidant and our torturer. (She's the one who borrows all our clothes!)

In her own words:

"A big phony. That's right. I am a kid trying to pass for an adult. A klutz trying to tap dance while carrying trays of steaming spaghetti. A regular Holly Golightly, drinking milk from a champagne glass and living out of a suitcase.

I'm not actually cool, though many believe that I am. I'm a joker, I'm a smoker (well...once upon a time when it suited me) You may wanna ask my close friends about the midnight toker part.....

I even have a fake name. I used to be Gretchen Olson, but now I'm Gretchen Hall. My hair color is bottle-bought. My teeth are fixed up. My boobies are pushed-up. My confident swagger I learned by watching my alter ego.....

Yup, I'm a phony. But I'm a real phony. Proud of who I am and whatI can be. Perfectionistic and critical. I am your best friend and your worst enemy if you don't watch your step. The life of the party. A big dumb dork. A half-demon (also known as a fallen angel). The most beautiful girl in the whole world...OR.. a walking "Before" picture.

This is who Gretchen really thinks she is. But only behind the safety net of a computer screen would I ever tell you this. If you asked me to my face, I would have to say:


And tomorrow, she's the birthday girl.

Yes indeed, GretchyGretch turns 23 this Friday. If you happen to see her, buy her a drink or something.

This is my favorite

This is my favorite photo of my brother. It was taken late last summer while standing on the fire escape of the theater which is his second home. (Not the first time I've taken a photo while battling a fear of heights; won't be the last, either.)

We had a really great afternoon taking his senior pictures. The weather was hot but not too humid. The sky was clear and blue. It was in the middle of a weekday, so there were few people to get in our way. It was still about a week before September 11th, so everyone was pretty relaxed.

My brother and I don't know each other that well. At least, not as well as we each know my sister. I am six years older than him, and I didn't live at home for most of high school. Sometimes it feels like we need to do some catching up. However, we both were raised with a similar sense of humor and an appreciation for the bizarre. We like alot of the same things, and that goes a long way.

Of course, Janson gets along with almost everybody. Amazing as it may seem, that dorky little kid that he once was grew up into one of the coolest people I know.

By the way. Remember

By the way. Remember that vacation time that I didn't get to take last year? Because I was laid off? Because of 9/11?

Guess who's getting her job back? Guess what comes with it?

Boo-yah! Get out the camera, baby. We're going traveling.

Here's a question, if

Here's a question, if you think something is blindingly obvious, do you point it out anyway?

Irving place has been

Irving place has been added to Blogs of Madison. (Warning: it looks funny in Netscape.)

Observation: Today while I


Today while I was driving the last long block to school, I saw two men in the distance. They were large, muscular men, walking side by side. All I could see was their backs. Their stance and stride was purposeful. Their shoulders slightly back, arms held parallel to their hips, as if unconsciously at the ready. They both worn navy blue pants, and short sleeved navy blue shirts. Even before I was close enough for a postive ID, I knew: cops.

From the other end of the other end of the block, two more men walking side by side. They were young and thin. They also walked with a purpose. Their arms swung back and forth with each step, as if propelled by some great force. They both wore black pants, long sleeved white shirts, and black ties. Even before I was close enough for a postive ID, I knew: Mormons.

Mixed metaphors anyone?

Mixed metaphors anyone?

Question: If there is


If there is someone who is so uttery without a clue that the only way they will ever *get* one is to be beaten soundly about the head with a clue-by-four, do you get out the Cx4 or do let them continue to wander in their fog?

(What if that fog is shrouding a ship-sinking iceberg?)

Today might well suck.

Today might well suck. I've gone an gotten myself a split shift. 7:35-11:35 at a middle school, then hop in my car and race to a grade school for 12-4. Not quite sure when I plan to eat my lunch. I didn't think about that when I agreed to it. Something about having my assignment before 11PM seemed attractive at the time.

I've also got a Planned Parenthood meeting this evening at 5:30. No rest for the wicked.

By the way, a few posts ago I used the idea of a toohache as a simile. I think I might actually be getting one. Just what I need.

One more thing....(sleep being

One more thing....(sleep being nigh unattainable with the whole breathing thing)

I've decided that I definately *must* design myself a wonderful background image from the blog. (This when I'm not pounding out the spotted, color corrected scans for the new shows.) I like these colors, but solid colors are just so....solid. Adobe, here I come.

I suppose in some

I suppose in some ways it is wrong of me to look at these kids and think I know so much about them and their futures. Totally presumptuous.

However, I see so many kids, day after day, at so many stages of development. I also know and remember the people that I have encountered in my own life, grade school onward. It seems like the same people over and over. Some of them even act *and* look the same. How is that possible? It has given me a de ja vufeeling many a time. One day it is a boy or girl in kindergarten. Then next day I see what seems like the exact same child in 4th grade, then middle school, then high school....

Maybe I'm thinking about this too much. It's time for bed.

Today the grade school

Today the grade school I was at had an assembly to watch a show choir visiting from another grade school. It was fourth and fifth graders, mostly girls with a few boys sprinkled in. Not a very good choir, even by grade school standards, but it was something to do.

There were two girls that caught my attention. One I hated instantly. She had a passably pretty face, with a familiar expression: "I'm really the best one here." She had a couple of solos, and her voice was good, in that I-wanna-be-a-pop-sensation sort of way. A fourth grade Whitney/Mariah in the making. She also had the choreography down well. This is a girl I have known over and over. Pretty and (moderately) talented, and she knows it because everyone tells her so, especially her parents. She takes lessons. She has fashionable clothing, shoes, and hair at all times. She is an insufferable snot to everyone she meets, and just knows she is better than everyone. The first time I saw her, she was trying to pull the microphone out of another girl's hand, so that she could sing her solo. However, the first girl was still singing her own solo, so the little struggle that ensued detracted from it completely. The first girl did not have a great voice or stage presence, but it was still *her* solo.

The other girl I noticed was the tallest person on stage, and extremely thin--a beanpole, to use the old term. You could see self consciousness radiating from her in waves. The only time she ever let herself go was during the last number, in which the kids put on hats, sunglasses, etc. and sang/danced to "Play That Funky Music". (Yup, Wild Cherry.) When she was hidden behind a costume, she actually had some moves. I mean, she was street. Shimmeying and shaking like she knew what was going on. It made me happy and sad, at the same time.

In the dream, I

In the dream, I was given a ring (which I may actually go out and design for myself) of silver with an inset garnet. Garnet "reportedly also gives its wearer guidance in the night, protection from nightmares" . OK, guidance in the night and protection from nightmares, in a dream. That's a good thing, I guess. (Though I vaguely wonder if it may have been a ruby, which "are believed to protect their owners. Some thought its protective powers were intensified when set in jewelry, and worn on the left side". Also not bad.)

On the New Age-y front, silver is believed to cleanse and remove negative energy. It is also associated with the moon, for what that's worth.

Something to ponder, though not too much. (I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.)

I had a dream

I had a dream the other night that was quite unlike most of my other dreams. It was that rare dream that actually feels foreboding. Usually, in my experience these dreams tell me something that does then happen. The unfortunate part of dreams like this is that, being dreams, they aren't quite specific enough to let you do anything about what's coming. It's like watching a teaser trailer. (I suppose, though, if you *could* do something with forknowledge of the future, it wouldn't really be the future. Paradox, yadda yadda yadda...) As tends to be the case with these dreams, it has stuck with me, like a toothache. It won't stay out of my mind, and I can't figure out whether whatever is coming is supposed to be good or bad. The last one I had turned out to be a little bit of both. That was back in mid-August.


Not gonna give any

Not gonna give any spoilers for those who haven't seen it yet, but woah.

Well, I've got my

Well, I've got my box of tissues, and I'm off to watch Buffy.

I've been added to

I've been added to Blogs from Wisconsin and received a mention on Indigoblog, which is just about the prettiest weblog I've ever seen. If you don't believe me, go look.

I generally dream in

Ask me how much

Ask me how much I don't wanna be awake right now. Just ask me.

Somehow, reading the Street

Somehow, reading the Street Terms: Drugs and the Drug Trade page of the White House Drug Policy Web page gave me visions of very square, middle-aged white men in suits asking each other, "Are you anywhere?" completely deadpan.

Well, now the Brunching Shuttlecocks are ready to pass those street smarts on to you. Find out what I'm really saying.

More quotes than you

Aaahhh. Gave in and

Aaahhh. Gave in and took a puff of albuterol. It really helped, but I am trying to use it sparingly, as that is the last of my prescription, and I am one of the uninsured. (Well, I got dental, so that's something.) I suppose the is always Primatene Mist, but I've heard that the side effects are less pleasant than albiterol.

Oxygen. Nummy.

Need a hobby? Learn

Need a hobby? Learn to lobby.

I must say, being

I must say, being seriously sick so soon after barely recovering from the last round is really wearing down my cheer. The constant struggle to draw a breath is downright depressing when it has gone on for a month. Add a few choice non-physical trials to the mix and it leaves me in a very bleak mood.

Anyone wanna cheer me up?

And nothing says Madison

And nothing says Madison like the UW Marching Band. I love these guys.

I actually auditioned to be in the band. Fresh out of high school were I played mallets in the pit percussion for marching band (yup, never marched). They said that I could play the cymbals, since there was no mallet section. (Eek! Never played the cymbals before. Man, those things are heavy!) I went to one practice. We were out on a field, in shorts, with no instruments. We were drilled in the high stepping that is their trademark. Ugh. Tough stuff, seriously. I ran distance in cross country and track & field in high school. This made those look like pleasure strolls. Not even halfway through the practice, my lungs gave out. I'd already taken my inhaler twice, and could stand no more. I couldn't even begin to imagine doing this in a wool uniform, while carrying and playing a heavy instrument. So, I packed up my stuff and went home.

I settled for Concert Band, which was great fun. I learned how to play the cymbals and more. We also had Mike Leckrone as the conductor 2nd semester. What a guy! (You have not lived until you have seen Mike throw the conducting baton at the euphonium section.)

More State Street fun.

Watching Streets Without Cars

Watching Streets Without Cars today really made me appreciate the city in which I live. It also made me wish that I could afford to live downtown. Alas, I am neither neither a nouvo riche yuppie nor a poor college student, so the rent and parking are out of the question. I did enjoy my days in the student housing ghetto, though.

"There's no crying in

Ok, due to a

Ok, due to a number of factors, my posting has been taking on a somewhat negative tone of late. So, here is a ten positive things post:

1. I already have a work assignment for Monday.

2. I got to see Streets Without Cars today for free, and it was quite good.

3. I found a Korean job posting for one month in summer, rather than a whole year.

4. Bananas are only $0.29/lb at Kwik Trip.

5. My sister really likes her new job.

6. My dental work has stopped hurting.

7. I have dental insurance.

8. I still have most of a chocolate orange (nummy) from Easter.

9. My checkbook is balanced.

10. I am halfway through spotting photos for my new online show.

OK, so none of that is earth-shatteringly grand, but it really is the little things in life that make it good.

Crying out of frustration

Crying out of frustration is generally considered childish and immature.

But sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Tough times for the

Tough times for the little guys. The Miller family is being sued by Miller Brewing. Uzi Nissan, of Nissan Computer Corp is being sued by Nissan Motors. (Both storries by way of Metafilter.) The Yoga Inside Foundation is being sued by Intel. I suppose I should be glad that there isn't a megalithic Olson, Inc. out there waiting to pounce.

I don't have a

I don't have a tattoo. I probably never will have one, either, for the following reasons:

1. I'm a wuss about pain.
2. I'm not big on making permanent, life-altering decisions.
3. They have become trendy, and I hate doing what everybody else is doing.

However, if I ever did get one, I know what I would get, and where.
This image is my logo. It's really a self portrait. I would have it between my shoulder blades, about three inches across, and in black.

Here are some things

Here are some things that I like the idea of more that the thing itself.






*most alcohol, actually



*travel (possibly)


*organized religion




*truffles (I've never had one, but I bet if I did, I'd like the idea more than the mushroom itself)



*formal wear

I'm on Nyquil. So

Well, I'm sick and

Well, I'm sick and it's raining. Happy frickin Saturday.

Dancers that fly. (And

Dancers that fly. (And a pretty web page.)

Why do I feel

Why do I feel like I am getting sick again? Allergies are bad enough, no germs please.

Tonight was ladies night.

Tonight was ladies night. Went over to my friend's house with a bunch of the girls for drinks, conversation and a movie. We watched Say Anything. This always shocked people, but I had never seen it before. There were actually two other people watching it who hadn't seen it either, so I felt a little better about that. I'm glad I saw it. Very good movie. I've decided that what I really want is Lloyd Dobler.

The people who laid

The people who laid me off on 9-13-01 called today, asking if I could come back and work for them a in June.

Now, I was laid off ahead of two people who had not been in the department as long as I (one of who had a tendency to slack off and make costly mistakes). I was also the only person in the department that hadn't used my vacation time--I'd put off taking it so that others could take theirs, and so as not to disrupt the production schedule.

I asked when they wanted me. I was told 6 hr shifts, mornings and weekends. Well. I said, I won't do weekends and I need an 8 hr shift for it to be worth my time. OK, 8hrs, no weekends. Could you work a 6-2 shift. I just laughed. No way in hell. I might work an 8-4 but I won't be very happy. I want 9-5. Ok, we will talk it over, and I'll call you back on Monday.

If they offer it to me on Monday, I am going to demand last year's vacation time and reinstatement of my insurance. Yes, I am being picky, economy blah blah blah, but I feel little loyalty to them now. I did, once. Not anymore. For what they pay to do a phyically demanding and chemically hazardous job (not to mention boring), I could get a number of boring jobs that didn't require heavy lifting. I am making much more than that right now, as a teacher. So I thinkI can afford to make them cough it up.

Basically, they dumped me. Now if they want me back, they had better be prepared to give me a dozen long stem roses and a night on the town. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

Oooooo, shiny. I want

Oooooo, shiny. I want one.

(Though I bet I could have done a far better job with the photography.)

I try very hard

I try very hard to not come across as a shrew. I've been accused of it (oddly enough, by people more negative and harsh than I) and I'd much rather be an upbeat, friendly person. Unfortunately, this leads to a problem. When someone does something that angers or upsets me, how to let them know with out seeming a complete bi-otch? I think this is leading me to become increasingly non-confronational.

The nerve. The absolute

The nerve. The absolute nerve.

I was never Clinton's biggest fan (never voted for him) but ain't it funny how the Republicans got all over him about his affair, yet carried on their own without any twinges of conscience? He who is without sin, and all that. Furthermore, I think it is ridiculous that people get furious at Hilary Clinton for not divorcing Bill. To begin with, is it really their business?

I'd go on, but I have begun to hiccup, and it is past my bedtime. G'night.

Another up note for

Another up note for my night: I already have my teaching assignment for tomorrow. High school english. I really hope the guy left notes. In the 30 second "special instructions" section, he recorded what should happen for every hour. However, that is an entire days worth of lesson plans, including an essay topic, in a 30 second telephone message. I replayed it 10 times, and I still couldn't catch all of it. I guess if he doesn't leave notes, I'll just wing it. Thus are the perils of subbing.

On the upside, my

On the upside, my mouth hurts a bit less. It still hurts to chew, but existing has gone from excrutiating to merely throbbing.

Since I can't chew, I ran out for a milkshake for a late supper. I got to the custard stand just as they closed, so I had to settle for McDonalds. This is a bloody huge shake.

Restless. Very restless lately.

Restless. Very restless lately. Even in my sleep. I wake up and my covers are twisted all over the place.

I wonder if the need to keep busy has a correlation to the fact that it feels like the end of the world is just around the corner?

Ow. My teeth hurt

Ow. My teeth hurt so much I just want to sit and wail like and infant. No one else is home...maybe I will. <wimper>

Well, this morning I

Well, this morning I woke up at 6, got dressed, and lay back down to wait for a call. Around 9, I decided that it wasn't going to happen, so I gave up and started to go about my day. I sat down at the computer to work on Illustrator and check my e-mail. Just before I was about to dail up, my phone rang. I had an assignment. Woo-hoo! (Especially great, because even though I started at 10, I get paid for a full day.)

It turned out that I was with the same class that I was with on the week of MLK Jr. Day. That time, I was subbing for the Special Education teacher that works with the class. Today, I was subbing for the regular teacher, and got to meet the SE teacher. Turns out, she is the sister of someone I worked with at my old job. Small world.

The class was very hyper, and so many of them acted out constantly. There were at least five kids that were almost impossible to control. Mainly, they were craving attention, and it didn't matter whether it was positive or negative, so long as you took notice of them. They were prone to be angry, and constantly on watch for unfairness, rule breaking by others, and assorted slights. There were agruements over steaking and accusations of stealing.

None of them trusted things to go their way. For the math class, there was a system of rewards for work completed correctly, stickers and small prizes. These were several students that had their work ready to be checked over for their prizes as the class was over. It was time for recess, so I stacked their work up and told them that the teacher wold look them over and hand out the prizes during math class the next day. None of them believed me. The little girl who had, back in January, asked all of the questions about the King assassination was particularly doubtful.

These were first graders. It made my heart ache to see that much anger and doubt in children so young. Had life already cheated them so much that they had learned its cruel lessons by 7? Yesterday I had a very troublesome first grader. The teacher told me that this was already his fourth school. His family was evicted so often that he moved from school to school. She said that when I would get upset, he would say, "I don't like this school. I'm going to go to a different one."

I cansee where they are headed. They seem destined to become the sullen and quarrelsome middle and high school students that I see so often. Students who seem to live in a state in-school suspension, and are likely to drop out with 4th grade reading and math skills. I see them growing up and turning out another generation of first graders with names that are not spelled the way they are pronounced and anger in their hearts.

Poverty is the enemy of these children. It is the roadblock that stands in the way of the education they are entitled to receive at the schools they attend. The cycle need to be broken, but how?

I went to the

I went to the dentist this afternoon. There was novacaine, there was drilling. The right side of my face still feels like I've had a stroke, but feeling is starting to return to my mouth. I am getting cranky. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

A smiley face? Jesus

A smiley face? Jesus H. Christ on a crutch. Luke Helder just seems dumber every time I hear about him.

Screw it. I'm going

Screw it. I'm going to bed. They cancall me in the morning.

"There are currently no

"There are currently no jobs available." Curse you, Subfinder voice lady! I wanna go to bed.

Goody! More survey results.

Goody! More survey results. This was the 5th survey in the series. It was taken in January of 2002.
Finish This Sentence in 500 Words or Less:"When I grow up..."

David Johns wrote:

When I grow up, I want to be young, naive and careless.

Carl Klinger wrote:

...... I will most likely be scolded for not acting my age. Of course, I was
scolded of that my entire life, leading one to wonder,"At what age will I
fit properly"? I prefer not to act, but to promote action.

Patti Segerson wrote:

"When I grow up..."

I want to be a grown-up with the heart of a child. I
want to be a wife, a mother and a good friend to all.
I want to make a difference. Someday, hopefully I

Gretchen Olson wrote:

When I grow up....

I'll own a table. A big oak farmhouse table that I can sit my entire family around. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. We can play cards, eat a kids can study or play with modeling clay. This table will get passed around my family for generations, until it becomes known as Grandma Gretchen's Table.

Little Bird wrote:

"When I grow up..."
"I'll be stable. When I grow up I'll turn the tables." Garbage.

Oh, but you said sentence and not quote. So when I grow up I'll be taller and have longer hair and when I move I'll have to carry a footlocker full of all the journals that helped me get over things enough to the point that I could grow up around them.

So, in short, when I grow up I'll be stable. Er. I'll be stable-er.

Katherine Olson wrote:

I want to be 6 years old. (Or at least feel like it.)

Akira Barnes wrote:

"...I want to be happy with my life and the state of the world."

David Meldman wrote:

"When I grow up...I want a good night's sleep and the ability to afford a
consistent supply of scotch."

Anandi Gandolfi wrote:

grow up nothing... It's NEVER too late to have a happy

Kerri Flippin wrote:

When I grow up I want to be an old woman...

(I stole this from Michelle Shocked)

It really burns me

It really burns me when pro-lifers come out as being anti-contraception. Excuse me, but doesn't it make sense to eliminate abortion by reducing demand? Reducing demand by preventing the pregnancy in the first place?

I understand that religious types feel that sex outside of marriage is just plain wrong and should never ever happen. However:

1. There are *gasp* married people who make use of contraceptives to prevent pregancies. Many people don't want and couldn't support more than two or three kids. That is why they call it "family planning".

2. Ok, so you say sex outside of marriage is wrong. You say abortion is wrong. Well, lying, cheating, anger, envy, etc. are also considered sinful. According to my lessons in Christian doctrine, one sin is as bad as another in God's eyes. Pick your battles. Is it more important to you to stop abortions, or is it more important to you to keep everybody in chastity belts. If you could only get one, would it be the lives of the babies, or the hanky panky?

Here's my advice. Let go of the abstinence only thing. Let contraception, and decent sex education be readily available to everyone. Let contraceptives be affordable and easy to get. Encourage their use. Watch the demand for abortions shrink to almost nothing. Some people will choose to abstain. Some people won't. Isn't half a loaf better than none at all?

Whataday. Last night I


Last night I set my alarm for 6am (yuck) and crawled into bed. My teaching assignment was for a 7:45 school across town, meaning that I had to be there by 7:30, and leave my house by 7:15 at the latest.

Around 3AM I woke up coughing and weezing. (I'd like to know when and why my athsma got this bad. For years, I took my inhaler only when involved in heavy excercise (ie. distance running). Sleeping was not weeze inducing.) Took a puff of albuterol, went back to sleep. (Oh yeah, baby. Nothing like a stimulant to help one sleep.)

Woke up in the morning without the alarm. Dim light. It was either very early or quite cloudy. Rolled over and checked the time. Blink. Blink. Blink. Ok, the power seems to have shut off sometime last night. Got up. Checked the watch on my dresser. 7:25. Bloody hell.

I impressed myself. I was dress, teeth and hair brushed, breakfast and lunch grabbed and out the door by 7:30. Let's hear it for adrenaline. I called the school and let them know I was running late and why. I was to have a class on 1st and 2nd graders. Couldn't let them be left unsupervised.

Fortunately, the teacher was going to be in the building all day, doing kindergarten screenings. She took the class through the opening routine. Everyone was very gracious. (There were also sweet rolls in the teachers lounge in the morning, and a very nummy lunch provided to all the teachers that after noon. Ah yeah.)

The class was great, and there wasn't much to do. The teacher and I saw each other a few times during the day. She is retiring this year. She has taught for over 34 years. Seventeen of that was as a sub in this very school district, so she could empathize. Great woman. She also gave me a copy of a Cinderella storybook that I saw and remembered fondly from my own childhood.

After school, I went to a Planned Parenthood meeting. I am going to be (wo)manning an info table at a local farmers' market one Saturday a month this summer. We learned about how to answer questions, sign people up for newsletters, and deal with protesters.

Finally, a nice half hour swim. I love to swim and can backstroke forever. Of course, I have a weird backstroke style, and have never seen anyone else swim like me. But it works, and I can't argue with that. (The usual way makes my shoulders pop.)

Now I just have to battle the computerized bitch on the subfinder line to find out where I work tomorrow.

"Now I know how

I really want to

I really want to be asleep right now; instead, I am struggling to breathe. (When the hell did my ass-mar get this bad?) So, while I am waiting for the albuterol to kick in and allow me some oxygen, I'll tell you about the dream I just had:

I dreamt that I was substitute teaching in a high school. Nothing too odd aout that. However, the students and I all communicated by way of blogging. Some words were spoken aloud, but most of the lesson and discussion took place via words on a screen, commplete with links. I don't remember the logistics of it, but then again, dreams have their own rules for logistics.

It pays to scroll

It pays to scroll through the sidebars. I've just noticed that Irving Place is also linked to in the sidebar of Dreaded Purple Master. Woo-hoo!

By the way, Nevada

Next up: When Art

Next up: When Art Students from Wisconsin Go Bad.

The father of the chief suspect in the string of post box pipebombs says he thinks his son, " just trying to make a statement about the way our government is run. I think Luke wants people to listen to his ideas. Not enough people are hearing him and he thinks this may help." Ah yes, violence always helps. Sure, people hear what you have to say, but will they listen when you've shown yourself to be a violent nutjob?

Here's an idea for any would-be terrorist who "just want someone to listen." Start a weblog. Make it interesting. Put your ideas out in a peaceful, world wide forum. It doesn't cost anything. Blogger is free (as are others), and if you don't have a computer you can go to the library....hell, if you can come up with materials for a bomb, I'm sure you can find some net access. You might have to do a bit of work to get readers (coherent writing, for one) but it will happen eventually. If what you have to say is worth hearing, you can find an audience. It won't hurt anyone, and it won't get you arrested.

"The rambling typewritten anti-government letters left with the bombs were signed by "someone who cares" and threatened other unspecified violence to gain attention.

"The United States strives to provide freedom for their people. Do we really have personal freedom? I've lived here for many years, and I see much limitation," the letters said.

"Do you people enjoy this trend of limitation? If not, change it!"

"As long as you are uninformed about death you will continue to say 'how high,' when the government tells you to 'jump.' As long as the government is uninformed about death they will continue tell you to 'jump.' Is the government uninformed about death, or are they pretending?" "

Personal freedom, you say? Personal freedom is great, but it does not include the right to physically hurt other people. Six people have been injured. What if someone were killed? Uninformed about death? Look at yourself first.

Note: He may go to school in Wisconsin, but he's from Minnesota. Just for the record.

I've got two new

I've got two new virtual photography shows in the works. I hope to have them up by the end of the month. (scanning and coding my little heart out.) If only I had the funds to put together a real life gallery show. Maybe I can find myself some cheap frame alternatives.

Booyah! I got them

Booyah! I got them back. I also changed them from weekly to monthly while I was at it. Looks less messy.

I see that some

I see that some of my archives have wandered off. <grumble>

Escape code heaven.

I've been linked to

I've been linked to by Suburban Limbo! Gosh. <blush> <shuffle>

Today is National Teacher

Today is National Teacher Day. So where am I? At home, having called in sick. Something about getting five hours of sleep and waking up with yet another asthma attack makes you want to stay home.

Wow. Jani Kay is

Wow. Jani Kay is full of sh*t. Not Only is she getting off on the (temporary) attention she is receiving from her plagiarism,

"Monday, May 06, 2002


Oh, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood. I have to just love the attention I have been receiving over these last two days. It pays sometimes to be evil.

So, if you are ever in the mood to get a little annoyed, come and visit this site....he he. It is sure to piss someone off!!!


Death to Tree Huggers :)~

posted by Jani Kay | 11:38 AM "

but she also denies that she didn't credit the stolen posts. She has removed most of the stolen posts from her site (as well as her comments links, so no one can post the truth on her site) but "her" post of Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 8:10 AM, regarding the middle east problem comes verbatim from a Blogatelle post dated April 30, 2002 at 2:35 PM. Jani Kay makes absolutely NO reference to the fact that someone else wrote those words, and there is not a single link to Blogatelle to be found anywhere.

She maintains her innocence with terribly self-righteous and insulting language, "As far as her other fans are concerned, their comments and fan fare means nothing, in fact is was quite an amazing ride down the dark fucked-up alley."I can see why she removed her comments link. I certainly would have something to say to that.

UPDATE: Given how giddy she is getting over the attention people are giving her, I am deleting the link to Jani's blog, as well as a previous post regarding her. If for some reason you are desperate to see it, you can either search for it or go to Blogatelle for the link.

Products for the paranoid.

Products for the paranoid.

(Thanks again to Klinger for that one.)

Here is an idea:

Here is an idea: marriage with term limits. It isn't really a new idea. Year and a day handfasting has elements of this. Orson Scott Card also uses it as a device in Memory of Earth.

Ponder for a moment. Some people get married, and divorce after a short period of time. Some people never get married, but stay in a committed relationship with one partner for a very long time. The marriage contract in a contract "till death do us part." A very long, indefinate time. Some people can't stick it out. There are, however, some advantages to the legal arrangement.

How about a shorter term contract? Maybe a year, five years, or ten? Provide some (though maybe not all) of the legal advantages of marriage, and some of the responsibilities to boot. There would be the option to renew, of course.

Among the effects this could have are:

1. People prone to divorce (celebrities, for example) could marry for a short term, and stick it out. The marriage would end at it's appointed time with far less drama and acrimony. Why divorce if your contract is up in two years? Granted, some people might do it any way, but there is always someone. (Higher costs to dissolve?)

2. People who are hestitant to legally commit to a partner due to fear of lifelong commitment, divorce, etc. could ease into it. (Marriage training wheels?) Some people live together and act like a married couple to "try it out", but no matter how much trying the do, it still isn't a legal, binding arrangements. The accountabilities and benefits are not the same.

3. It would make the whole "domestic partner" benefits issue easier to deal with and prove.

I think this would be a very good idea.

Of course, it is also after midnight, and I should have been in bed hours ago. Maybe I am just on crack right now. I guess I will have to decide that after a good night's sleep.

Bloody hell! It is

Bloody hell! It is currently 11:49 PM where I live. My blog is set to my time zone. So why does the time stamp say it is 5:54:20 AM tomorrow already?

Update: Yay! The time stamp is functioning properly again as of Tuesday morning.

Little is as cringe-inducing

Little is as cringe-inducing as re-reading an e-mail that you have already sent and discovering a major typo.

An e-mail I sent yesterday was trying to ask someone "how" they were, but instead asked them "who" they were. Big difference. Big idiot. (That would be me.)

Now that Irving place

Now that Irving place is starting to get hits from search engines, I am amused by what I am seeing. What does it mean, for example that I got not one but two searches for "whiney the pooh", four days apart? (It's "winnie" by the way.)

If the Gods had

If the Gods had Meant us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates is one of the best book titles I have heard in a while.

Every now and then

Every now and then I dream that I am back in high school. In this dream, I have already graduated college, and am my present age. However, for some reason I have to take some more high school classes. In my dream, the faculty acts just a condescending as high school faculty ever are to their students. As an adult, I am used to getting equal treatment and respect from other adults, so this treatment really pisses me off. The dream usually involves me getting very riled up and starting something....revolution in the halls, etc. ("I wanna run through the halls of my high school, I wanna scream at the top of my lungs...")

So, hearing about underwear checks at a high school dance gave me a similar feeling. People complain that teenagers show their elders no respect. I think a good way to remedy that would be to show teenagers similar respect and courtesy. Teach by example.

Instead, teens are made to open their backpack and lockers, pee into cups, and display their underwear. In 1995, the year after I graduated from high school, it was discovered that officials at my sister's high school had hidden a surveilence camera in the boys' locker room.

Yes, there are issues of safety and security. Isn't it possible to have balance as well?

Currently lusting over John

Currently lusting over John Mayer's voice. (can't get "Your Body is a Wonderland" out of my head.)

I am happy to

I am happy to see that Streets Without Cars is going to playing at the Orpheum next weekend. I missed the premiere on April 19th, but I really wanted to see it. It is a documentary on State Street as a successful and unique pedestrian mall.

I checked out the script on The Isthmus' website. It seems llike a rough copy, full of notes and working commentary. I had to laugh at this direction when Mayor Sue Bauman is discussing busses on the street: "[put a bus on top of Bauman]". I understand what that means, but given how many people really dislike Mayor Bauman (myself included), there was some unintentional humor added.

That reminds me, June 13-18 might be a good time to be out of town.

Absolutely appalling.

Bombs away: Verisign

Bombs away:


Breath-takingly desolate. Those are the two words that best decribe Kandehar. The landscape, the culture, the violence... The only things that could be described as lush are the colors of the burqas.

Nafas, the woman trying to reach her sister in Kandehar to prevent her suicide, repeatedly shrugs back her burqa to see what is happening, and to address those to whom she is speaking. The value of eye contact, of seeing the person to whom you are speaking is emphasized. How do you know if you can trust someone if you never see their face? (Internet, anyone?) Everyone is in hiding: behind burqas and shawls or underneath turbans and beards.

The end of the movie sets like the sun. The resolution is uncertain. Does she make it? Is she trapped forever? We don't know. We can make our own conclusions. Although the answers to the questions are likely to be negative, there is a slim hope that it all turned out OK. This same sort of wan hope is what makes me like the final version of American Beauty better than the earlier scripted version. You can guess what is more likely to have happened "after", but you can still let yourself hope that is all worked out OK.

Maybe I am fooling myself. Life often doesn't work that way. Things frequenty turn out badly. But you have hope, don't you?

Well, the Peer-to-Peer Review

Well, the Peer-to-Peer Review Project is finally up and running. You can check out the review of Irving Place by Julie of Julie's Journal Or you can see my review of The Orbital Death Platform.

The P2P Review Project is not without it's little kinks. Some people never wrote the reviews that they signed up for, leaving a number of blogs unreviewed. Other people (like me) were assigned blogs that were not being updated. Also, some reviewers aren't very good at it. However, the project is a fabulous idea, especially given that:

A. There are so many blogs out there; some good, some bad. It is great to have resources to shine a light on the good ones.

B. The mainstream media has picked up on the "blogging phenomena" and keep writing the same damn article about it, over and over. Who better to review blogs than other bloggers?

The front page of the P2PRP promises that the project is open ended, that that the orginal concept will be expanded. This should help smooth out some of those aforementioned kinks.

Tonight I saw the

Tonight I saw the film Kandehar. I will discuss it further once I have had more time to reflect on it (and some sleep).

There was a very odd moment in the theater. In the middle of the movie, stuff came raining down from above. At first I though bits of the ceiling were coming down (it is an old theater) but it turned out to be tash that someone was throwing from the balconey. Cups and other detritus bounced off of audience memebers and chairs. What made this especially odd is that, to begin with, it isn't that kind of theater in which you expect stuff to be thrown. Besides that, there wasn't anyone sitting in the balconey at the begining of the film. All of the audience was on the main floor. It might have been a theater ghost? The Orpheum is haunted, after all.


I am watching my

I am watching my next door neighbor teach his daughter how to shoot free throws at the hoop in their driveway. She looks to be about 9 or 10. He is very patient, and explains everything thoroughly and carefully. The scene that they have set is very pleasant, in a modern Americana sort of way.

Ouch. Today the mail

Ouch. Today the mail contained not one but *two* pieces of bad news. Not only did I get a "regret to inform" letter from one of the places to which I had applied and interviewed for a job, but my state taxe refund should up, and due to my last idiot landlord being unable to properly follow instructions on the rent certificate I needed him to fill out, my refund was half of what I had been expecting. Still, I guess I should be grateful for that half a loaf.

Whadya mean "mail can

Whadya mean "mail can not be received at this time"? I wanna check my e-mail. Waaaaaaaah! *pout*

Ok, crybaby is definately going to bed now.

Tonight was Gallery Night,

Tonight was Gallery Night, so I headed over to a studio group, and spent a good part of the night wandering through the gallery and studios. There was so much to look at, and so many people to talk to (not to mention so much free food to snack upon) that is really was the high point of my week.

I have been discovering, through Gallery Nightand yesterday's art teaching assignment, that I have an almost physical jones to make art. Not just photos, but paintings and drawings, and sculpture. What I really want to do is immerse myself in the stuff, they way I did for the last two years of college. For two straight years I lived and breathed art. I wasn't limited to any one medium, but was even required to do a bit of this and a bit of that. I had assignments, feedback, fellow artists, time, and the university facilities. They were probably two of the best years of my life so far.

I love art. I love the smell of art and art supplies. I love the organized chaos of art studio clutter. I love making something that no one else has made.

There was a piece of grafitti on a bathroom wall in the art department when I was in school that read, "Time. Space. Money. Pick two." I have none of the above. My "studio" is squished into my bedroom, and will be getting even smaller when I move. Time I could have, if I were able to forgo work or sleep. That isn't true. I could make more time, and I will have to. But it is going to be a close shave. there is a joke. At the moment I am debating the merits of buying food. I guess that is why artists are called "starving".

I think after money, space is the biggest factor right now. Not only do I need space in which to work and keep my supplies, but I also must house art projects that are finished or in progress. What to do with finished work? My apartment doesn't need that much decor. People get a little tired of receiving art presents for every occasion. Selling it seems to be the impossible dream. So I must store it or toss it. Yikes!

I am suddenly realizing how sleepy I am. This entry is becoming more rambling and less coherent by the minute. Needless to say, it will take some thought to sort out my art dilemma. (As with all my other dilemmas I welcome any suggestions.


I had a great

I had a great day, delightfully free of (other people's) bodily fluids. The worst thing I had to deal with was spilt applesauce at snack time.

I must say, there is very little that beats the feeling of a tiny little hand holding onto mine. Those wee little fingers, not even half the size of mine....I am certainly not ready to have kids of my own, but holding hands with a small child gives me insight into why people do it.

Today I will once

Today I will once again be subbing for my favorite group of kids. I love them, and they are so adorable. However, they are all 3 and 4 year olds, so there is a good chance that I may have to deal with bodily wastes for the fourth time in two weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me, as I would really like to have a poo-free day.

Did you ever lie

Did you ever lie down for a quick after-work nap, and wake up around midnight? *yawn* Me, too. I'd better get to bed.

Today I will be

Today I will be teaching elementary school art.

"Brown-Eyed Girl" is currently playing on the radio.

There is hope.

Frequently, when looking at

Frequently, when looking at the search results on Google (Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle) I suddenly hear that anouncer yelling, "Gooooooooooooooal!"

Which reminds me, this story is definately worth a read, and will provide a chuckle or two.

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