Tonight I caught the last part of The Matrix (there is no spoon). Ya know, without sound Keanu seem so much better as an actor. Silent films, I tell you.
September 2002 Archives
Tonight I caught the last part of The Matrix (there is no spoon). Ya know, without sound Keanu seem so much better as an actor. Silent films, I tell you.
I saw M. Night Shyamalan'sSigns yesterday. A very satisfying movie. (The website's kinda fun, too.) Similar in certain respects to The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable but not so much so as to predictable or stale. There was a strong tension throughout the movie that was only marred for me twice; once by an ill-cast cameo decision and once by an unconvincing news bulletin. (Fast breaking news doesn't generally look like a news magazine documentary.) While I don't think it will be up for awards the way Sixth Sense was, I do recommend checking out this movie.
I also realize that I am something of a philistine, etiquette-wise, when it comes to sushi. I'm learning, though.
(Of course, one can note that the etiquette for sushi eating is a little more relaxed in little old Madison than it would be in New York or Tokyo. We're all philistines round here. :)
Review time! I've hit two more sushi places. One of them was a little disappointing. The roll was very ricey, and the rice was a little mushy. There wasn't a whole lot of flavor. However, I am willing to give the place another chance, as it has been recommended to me by several people. (I'll tell where it is after I've eaten there again.)
The second restaurant was Takara, a new Japanese restaurant on State Steet, which scored as Madison's second favorite sushi spot in the Isthmus this year. The atmosphere and the waitstaff were wonderfully pleasant. The decor was quite a contrast to the very servicable yet 70's look of the gyro place that used to be in that location. The bowl of miso soup I was given was as good as any I've ever had, with nice big chunks of tofu. The soup was served quite hot, too. I had to take off my glasses to eat it, as the steam kept them fogged.
I ordered a reverse roll of tuna, cucumber and avacado....my usual. (I've decided to always try the same roll at each new place first, so I have an even basis for comparison.) For me, the perfect size for a piece of sushi roll is large enough to provide a filling mouthful, but not so large as to be awkward. The pieces were a nice size and very attractive. Within the roll, the fish was in generous, juicy chunks. Just the right amount of sesame seeds adorned the outside of the roll. Mmmmmm.
While I ate, I watched some of the other patrons enjoying their meals. A group of three seemed to be having quite a feast. As I was about ready to leave, they were just receiving a boat full of sushi. I couldn't tell how many rolls were involved, but I was impressed.
I would definately go back again, and would also recommend Takara to others. One note: the restaurant does not take checks, and will only accept credit cards for purchases over $19. If you are like me, only having soup, tea and one roll, be sure to have cash on hand! (It doesn't pay to become too dependent on debit cards.)
<sigh> Why couldn't I have been called for jury duty now instead of two years ago?
I am having a love/hate relationship with my stove. I love the rotisserie, and it is cute as hell, but it has ruined two cakes on me now. The thermostat is off by about 150 degrees, and that seems to vary. Keeping a constant temperature requires constant vigilance. Tonight I seriously felt like Polly Pepper. I made a cake from scratch, and the end result was rather extra done on the edges, and saggy in the middle. Argh!
Seriously, if and when I ever get a home of my own, I want one of these in it. I need two good wide sinks, plentiful counter space, and a gas stove with a large oven. Maybe a convection oven, since I'm in fantasy mode.
Ok, I probably couldn't afford one of the really fancy kitchens, but it would be nice to have a say in how my kitchen works. If something needs fixing, I don't want to have to beg to get it fixed. I have lived in seven apartments in the past eight years, and only one of them had a really satisfactory kitchen....and even that had issues. (New stove, but electric.) I've had tiny stoves, cup-sized sinks, stoves with bad thermostats, stoves on an uneven surface (try baking a cake when all the batter runs to one side) and kitchens with no counter space of which to speak.
I guess I'm spoiled. I don't have to cook on a woodstove...or chop the wood for one either. Still, someday...sigh.
My apartment smells like molasses. I made molasses taffy tonight. Very sticky process, but a might tasty result. (Just watch out for those fillings!)
Ever since I was a kid, I've had a major fondness for Brer Rabbit Molasses for no other reason than the rabbit. How's that for successful advertising?
Would I be terribly pretentious if I started writing cheque for check, colour for color, theatre for theater, etc? I already spell blond as blonde.
Sometimes I can be very stubborn. My parents are to thank/blame for this. Often this can be a stumbling block, but on occasion it is a good thing. Like when trying to get a fair shake from customer service.
Today, I discovered that something had changed on my cellular calling plan. Something that shouldn't have changed, and *wouldn't* have changed if things had been explained to me properly when the change was made. I spent quite a bit of time on the phone trying to clear up the problem.
The first person I talked to, Jessica, was helpful and apologetic, but couldn't do much for me. I could have accepted it when she told me that what I wanted couldn't be done.
"Not can't," I told her, "won't. You might not be able to at you level and I understand that. But someone can. Please let me talk to your supervisor."
Next I talked to Sean. He was also polite and helpful, and could offer me a little more than Jessica could. Still what he was offering still was not what I was looking to receive. He told me that what I wanted couldn't be done.
"Not can't," I told him, "won't. You might not be able to at you level and I understand that. But someone can. Please let me talk to your supervisor."
Sean connected me with Fu. Fu had already heard my story from Jessica and Sean, but he asked me to tell it to him myself, which I did.
"Look," I said after explaining what had happened,"I'm not asking for much. I know what I am asking for is possible. Whether or not I get it will determine whether I keep my service with your company when my service contract expires next month."
Guess who got what she wanted?
I am a terrier. I am a goddam pitbull. Look out business world, here comes Katherine.
I just have to say, "OW!"
I pulled a muscle in my lower back at work today. Did I do this lifting a heavy box? No, I did it while sneezing. How stupid is that? All day long, I got to be in major pain because of the after affects of one stupid sneeze. I'm hone now, and the Lortab is helping (and making me sleepy). One problem: I'm a twisty sleeper. Tonight is gonna be fun.
It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time! (Yes, I know it's old.)
Personally, my favorite thing to do with peanut butter is to spread it on a graham cracker. (Always Skippy Super Chunk, thank you very much.) On top of the peanut butter goes a sprinkling of chocolate chips. Into the broiler for about a minute, till it all gets nice and melty. Eat it with a cold glass of milk and you've got the best snack ever. Total comfort food.
I just got done watching the DVD of The Sixth Sense. Still very scary, even though I know when not to jump now. The DVD had some very nice bonus footage as well. I really appreciate it when work goes into making an all-around package with a DVD release, rather than just the movie. The deleted scenes and the "rules and clues" were especially fun. I may have to rewatch Unbreakable again this week, too.
I still haven't caught Signs but that will happen eventually. Summer is not so much a movie going time for me, when there is so much to do outside, that you can't do in winter. (Probably why they release so much crap in the summer.)
Beautiful days, these dying days of summer. Autumn starts on the 23rd, so there is now only one weekend left of summer. Yesterday (Farmer's Market day) was fitful and pouty. The sun came out for a little while, but mostly the weather was cool and wet. Today was golden. The sun was out and the wind was light. The air was warm, yet cool enough to allow physical exersion without all the sweat. I thought about getting in a last swim, but it was a wee bit too cool for me to sit poolside between laps, so I opted for a long bike ride.
I decided to further explore Warner Park, and was delighted to find an assortment of outdoor treasures: hills, bridges and trails. I took advantage of my mountain bike to follow some of the non-paved trails, and was rewarded with a grand view of the entire park at the top of a ridge. I also glimpsed a deer running through one of the prairie-like fields. The fenced in dog run was filled with activity, and the colorful park shelter hosted a large family barbeque. Biking past the lagoon, I stopped for awhile to watch the nesting pair of sandhill cranes wander nonchalantly across the grass. Beautiful birds!
What more can one ask for in a day? I just hope next weekend matches this one. There are still a few things I wanted to do before the end of summer.
So which is worse: having a great big detailed map and not knowing where to go or knowing exactly where you want to be, with no idea of how to get there?
<memo to self: use oven mitts when turning off the rotissere. the switch gets really hot. ouch!>
At this very moment, there are fresh chocolate chip cookies cooling on a rack in my kitchen. At this very moment, there is a cornish game hen spinning and sizzling in my oven's rotisserie. Yum and yum.
I've noticed that there are a number of people that seem to come here frequently, but leave no comments. Hi there. Nice to see you all. If I put in a guestbook, would you sign it?
I am such a dork about the telephone. Seriously. I love getting phone calls...well, not from telemarketers, but who does? However, ask me to dial out and I get nervous. Business calls send me into a cascade of "ums" and mile-a-minute delivery. If I get an answering machine, I tend to either hang up or ramble for ages. Calling friends and acquaintances is even more nerve-wracking, for some reason. I often have the feeling that my call is interupting something vital, and that I had better hang up as soon as possible.
Case in point: This morning I was volunteering at the Farmers Market, and there was a group doing capoeira at the capital. It was very cool and had quite a crowd watching. I thought to call up a friend who lives nearby and does capoeira, to pass on the new item. As the phone was ringing, I suddenly thought, "Oh god! It's Saturday morning! What kind of a jerk calls someone at this hour on a Saturday? Aaaaaargh!" Too late. The phone was answered. Panic. "Stammer stammer blurt. That's all. Gotta go bye." Oy. I think I was actually blushing as I put my phone away.
Google tells me that I'm not the only one who doesn't like the phone, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a phobia in my case (I'm not afraid of *getting* calls.), more like major aversion paired with terminal dorkiness.
One of these days I'll just paint a big "L" on my forehead and save everyone the trouble.
Argh, my eyes. I've been color correcting and spotting old family photos since around 8. I think it's time to call it a night, don't you?
Question: Why am I so bloody hungry all the time? I swear I have the metabolism of a baby bird.
I need to edit more. Both in my writing and in my speech.
Content: What am I saying? Does this need to be said now, or am I just making noise?
Clarity: What do I mean? Are others able to understand my intent?
Brevity: Brevity is the soul of wit. Am I just rambling?
Too. Damn. Many. Words.
Part of me would also like to go as The Lady Door, from Neverwhere but I doubt anyone would get it, either.
Mary Culhain <shiver> This story scared me to the bone when I was a kid, but I don't think Mary Cluhaine would be a successful costume. (No one would get it.)
I am in a tizzy about what I should be for Halloween. Yes, there is time but it *takes* time to do this stuff right. Especially when you have no budget for it. Argh!
That was a long post. Feel free to browse on past.
I simply didn't have time to blog yesterday. I might have otherwise. I avoided the media coverage. (Not owning a TV makes that easier.)
A flash back to September 11th, 2001:
Irving Place the blog didn't exist yet. My blog at the time was a sad little specimen whose name I will not invoke.
I woke early, earlier than I would have otherwise, it being a day off for me. My roommate was knocking at my door. "They've bombed the Pentagon and the World Trade Center." I lay sleepily in bed for a few moments, considering rolling over and going back to sleep. The world could wait, and my pillow was soft.
My curiosity got the better of me, and I stumbled downstairs, where Brian was trying to get our dinky little TV working with a borrowed antenna. The scene that greeted me was one you all know. I don't remember if the second tower had been hit yet (it probably had) but I remember the smoke. I was awake then, no question. Going back to bed was no longer an option.
The sky was so improbably blue, and the smoke was so black. None of the commentators made sense.....they were in shock and had only sketchy info as it was. All we could do was watch. Then the collaspe. Then the other collapse. Then the rising cloud of grey that enveloped the island. Outside, our midwestern sky was clear and free of planes.
Part of me screamed that it wasn't real. Part of me screamed that our government was behind it or that even if the government didn't do it, our foreign policy led to it. Most of me was numb.
Brian went to work. Gretchen went to work. I had nowhere to go. I was on a 4 day week, due to economic hard times at work. I got on the internet and went ot the message board I frequent. Many of the posters I knew lived on the coast. Many lived in DC or New York. One worked at the Word Financial Center. Messages were posted, people checked in and sought news of each other. Details were exchanged. For hours, that was the only human contact I had. I thought about going in to work anyway, but decided that wouldn't be a good idea.
Got got tired of staring at the words onscreen, and I went to the back porch, where I fell asleep in the warm September sun. I dreamt of the images on the TV screen and the words on my computer screen.
I had to get out of the house, so I drove to the Red Cross and joined the throng of people giving blood. I hate giving blood, but I always did it anyway. This time around, the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach was no different than the sick feeling I already had. The crowd chatted, watched the news reports, made quiet phone calls to loved ones. We gave, though we knew (deep down) that none of those who were in the buildings when they fell would be needing any blood. We gave anyway.
My pint taken, I drank the lemonade and ate the cookies and went home.
My friend Anandi had been battling cancer since the spring, and was finally nearing the end of her course of treatment. She was well enough to go out, and we had been planning on attending the regularTuesday night Pat show, which she hadn't been to in a long while. I called her up.
"I doubt that there will be a show tonight, but even if there is, I can't think of going."
"Me neither. Would you like to get together for coffee?"
We met at Perkins. We ate, we drank, we talked, we made shaky jokes. We took comfort in the presence of another person. She told me how her treatment was doing. I told her about my frustrating crush on a co-worker. We hugged and went home. Sleep took forever to come.
The next day was when I started to cry. I hadn't cried the day before. "Brown Eyed Girl" on the radio got the tears going. Then it was off to work.
It seemed strange to be going to work when the world had just ended, but it was good to be around people again. I gathered more details. Learned of the box cutters. (We use them all the time at work, and one of our sales women used to carry one in her purse when she flew to tradeshows...you never know when you will need to open a box.)
The next day, the 13th, the weather finally seemed appropriate. It was grey and chilled and raining. Just before noon, my supervisor asked me to come with her to see *her* supervisor. I was laid off. I wasn't the first and I wouldn't be the last, but that didn't make it hurt less. From that point on, I was balancing personal hurt with national tragedy. It was a strange and alien feeling and very sickening. My self-pity felt petty in contrast with what had just happened, but I felt it anyway.
I got through it. I moved on. I kept living.
Fast-forward to yesterday:
I woke early, earlier than I would have otherwise, to the sound of plane from the airport so near my apartment. I lay in bed and listened. No roommates this time, but my radio came on in time for the moment of silence to mark the first plane's impact, followed by a rendition of God Bless America.
The sky was improbably blue, but there was no smoke to mar it. I went to work, the same work as last year. Back again. After work I made dinner for a friend. We talked about advertising graphics and music and pretzels. This day also ended with hugs, this time filled with more sweetness than bittersweet. Sleep came easily.
Ooooo! "may describe vague dream if awakened" at stage two. Interesting.
(Ok, really going to bed now.)
Ah-ha! Night terrors. Most nights. Generally about 20 minutes after falling asleep. That's me! And all these years I thought it was just something little kids had. I also get sleep starts.
Of course, I also fall into a dream state very quickly.I can wake up from a 15 minute nap and remember a dream I was having. Given that the first REM cycle isn't supposed to start till 90 minutes into sleep I'm not sure what this means. I tried to take part in a sleep study once a couple of years ago, but I couldn't fall asleep...hows that for irony. (Hey, you try falling asleep hours before your bedtime, covered in electrodes, in a lit room, in a hospital bed, with all sorts of noises and too much air conditioning....)
(Off to bed now...)
Parking ticket. $30. Ugh.
I'm going to contest it, but damn lot of good that will do me.
Diet soda is yucky. I don't care what anyone says, I hate artificial sweeteners. (If I need to limit my sugar/calorie intake, I just drink *less* soda, thank you very much.) They always make my teeth feel funny and slightly metallic.
Someone brough a 2L bottle of diet A&W rootbeer to my housewarming party. It never even got opened. Yesterdaty I had a taste for something fizzy and non-alcoholic, so I pour myself a glass. Foolish girl! Down the drain it went. Nutrasweet, besmirch my house no longer!
Here at IrvingPlace.net, we strive to assertively coordinate low-risk high-yield content while continuing to dramatically fashion quality leadership skills in order to solve business problems.
Hmmm, when you can't find a recipe for something, you've just got to make one up. Wish me luck.
I have a feeling that something good is on its way. Trying not to jinx anything, though.
Button, button, who's got the button? After my great-grandfather's funeral (when I was a wee little midge), my mom got my sister and I playing "button, button, who's got the button?" to keep us occupied while the adults talked. My great-grandmother kept a box full of all sorts of buttons, large and small, through which I liked to pour when I visited her. She let me have some of them, which are quite beautiful. So often we don't think about buttons until on falls off a shirt or coat, but some are truly works of art.
I never used to think about type. Typeface, fonts, layout....I didn't give it much thought. Lately that has been changing. I am increasingly aware of these design elements. I even have discovered that there is a font that I loath on sight. IfI can afford it, I plan on taking a course in typography at MATC next semester.
For those of you who are typographically inclined, All Good Things Typography is a nice clearinhouse of information. abc Typography is a "virtual museum of typography" with a fairly straightforward layout. The Cavendish Gallery of Print and Typography is a little fancier, with neat Flash graphics (though the non_Flash version has more stuff).
In other news, I auditioned for the UW Madison Choral Union again this year. This time, I actually made it. I'm so buzzed. Being in the summer band made me realize just how much I've missed being involved with organized music. I auditioned for the CU a number of times, both as a student and as a community member, but the closest I'd ever gotten was to be listed as an alternate for the alto section. This fall, the piece that will be performed is Mendelssohn's Elijah. Rehearsals start next Monday.
Portalwisconsin.org is a great place to explore some of Wisconsin's arts and cultural resources.
Collage Town: Gallery of Collage and Photomontage
Neat stuff. I'm inspired.
Labor Day was a good one. The storms were over by the morning, and the sun was out in the afternoon. Comfortable warmth, low humidity, and an azure sky: that is just asking to get outdoors.
Given that there are only a few weekends left in summer, it was time to take one of the summer's longest bike rides. The wind was against us for the first leg of the trip, but the ride was pleasant. Lukifer and I visited Tenney Park and the Tenney Park Locks, toured the back roads of Maple Bluff, and found ourselves in Warner Park watching a beautiful pair of sandhill cranes.
Returned home, fired up the grill, and topped off the weekend with a little cookout. I tell you, as long as the weather lasts, I am going to make every moment count.
In other news, I made a cake.
The cake is fluffy and golden and thorougly cooked and all that a cake should be.
I baked my cake in my oven. The one that was burning things.
I have a thermometer now, and I think my streak of bad kitchen luck is over. Yay!
Saw Love's Labors Lost at American Players Theater last night. It was an excellent performance of a mediocre play. (Yes, W.S. wrote some stinkers.) Granted, I knew that going in, so I wasn't disappointed. There was some excellent acting, and even though a great deal of the dialogue deals in puns and references that don't translate well from Elizabethan England to 21st Century US, it was quite funny. (I imagine watching this play now would be similar to watching Disney's Aladdin 100 years from now. It would be funny, but so many of the pop-culture references would be lost.)
James Ridge (Berowne), Jim DeVita (Don Armado), and Matthew Tallman (Boyet) were in top form. Colleen Madden (Princess of France) and Tracy Michelle Arnold (Rosalind) led the women in battle of banter. Newcomers Christopher Marshall (Costard) and Paul Hurley (Moth) added much to the hilarity.
It was a beautiful night for a play, too. Warm yet mild, and not too buggy. The thunderstorms that rolled in last night didn't hit until I was safely home and tucked into in my little beddy-bye. Take that, rain!
My toenail polish is *exactly* the same color and shade as the background of Indigoblog. Weird.
The Dar Williams concert was fantastic. They always are. Peter Mulvey opened the show, and he has a new fan in me. I've seen his name, as playing the area a lot, but though I'd heard good things about him, I'd never gotten to a show. I will now.
We started off the night with dinner at Weary Traveler Free House, which besides having the most delightful name of any restaurant of which I have ever heard, had good food at a great price.