October 2002 Archives

Some changes to Irving Place. BFTS is no longer updating his blog, so out of the daily read it goes. However, taking its place is The Homeless Guy. Enjoy.

Total trick-or-treaters to visit me in my family oriented neighborhood: 2. Kids just don't come to apartment buildings.

Oh well, more candy for me.

Today is my little brother's birthday. As of today he is no longer a teenager. Rock on, Janson. Happy Birthday.

Tonight I could be going to a big-ass Halloween party at the Orpheum. It was way cool last year, and I know that is where my sibs will be. However, I think I am going to be a stick-in-the-mud and pass on it. Why? Driving. Drunks. Not that there will be people DUI (though there might be). There will, however, be hoards of drunk people walking around downtown. I don't relish the idea of driving amid hoard of drunken, costumed revelers. Hell, driving my creaky old cocharro at night ain't really fun on regular nights. If I could walk to the party, it'd be an entirely different story. I miss living downtown.

(OK, I don't miss the super high rent or the insane landlords, but isthmus living had its points.)

Is it weird to read two blogs in a row talking about the Sidekick?

I really don't know what is up with all my "pot posts" lately. However go Canada!
Is Canada worried? Not for the moment. At a recent news conference a reporter asked Canada's justice minister: "Do you care what the Americans say to you?" The justice minister, Martin Cauchon, replied: "I will look into the matter And I'll do what's good for Canadian society."

Oh the pain!!! My city's only decent commercial radio station is playing Creed. Why are they doing this to me? They never used to play Creed, yet suddenly "Arms Wide Open" keeps assaulting my ears. They are way too good for that crapola. Off goes my radio. Creed gives me cramps.

Well, no sub assignment today. On the one hand it sucks to not be earning all that extra money. On the other hand, it is so nice to just have Time Off. Valuable stuff, time off, and not to be taken lightly.

Do you hate clowns? I know I do.

Did you ever see something that was in terribly bad taste, yet made you laugh anyway? This picture did it to me.

Speaking of commercials that piss me off, the anti-marijuana one is pretty bad. What do we have? A teenage couple on a couch at a houseparty. They are passing a pipe back and forth, and getting pretty baked, especially the girl. Eventually, the girl is slumped on the couch and the boy starts reaching into her shirt. Cut to an image of his hand setting the pipe down on the table, while we hear her voice, off-camera, mumbling "No, no." The text on the screen reads, "Marijuana can impair your judgement. Harmless?"

Among my thoughts after seeing this ad on tv;

Who's judgement? His? Hers? Both? To me, there seems to be a bit of blame-the-victim mentality going on here. If she had used better judgement, she wouldn't be date-raped. Secondly, substitute the pipe for a beer can. Is it good for kids to be drinking? No. Is it good to drink to excess? No. Does being drunk make date-rape ok? No. Is responsible alcohol use by adults demonized the way marijuana is? No.

This, of course, brings up the point that we don't really teach kids about responsible alcohol use. They are told not to drink until they turn 21, and not to drive drunk. When they turn 21, they are supposed to magically know how to consume responsibly. (Just like adults, responsibly married of course, will suddenly know everything there is to know about sex.) We all know how well that works. UW-Madison may be a drinking school with a football problem, but it isn't just underagers getting smashed in this town.

Here's a radical concept. Instead of demonizing these things, teach young people how to use them responsibly without trying to scare them. Scare tactics don't work.

Other anti-drug ads that bug me:

Is it loaded? Nah. *BANG! Again, that could just as easily be an anti-alcohol ad, a gun control ad, or an anit-stupidity ad. Instead in claims marijuana as the cause for shootings. Look at a Google search for accidental shooting marijuana. Most of the accidental shooting mentioned were by police. Hmmmm.

There is another ad, a radio spot featuring a stoned-out babysitter and her boyfriend, but I can't find that on online right now.

I'm not a pot smoker, but I do know that it can be used responsibly. I am highly in favor of cutting out the bullshit.

I am pissed. Absolutely livid.

I woke up at around 6AM today, to a call telling me I was assigned to sub as a Special Education Assistant, at a grade school with no parking (the school itself has only a few assigned spots, and all parking in the area is two hour parking only). The assignment was from 9:15-1:25. I accepted the job, and planned to get to the school at 9, as subs are supposed to arrive 15-20 minutes before their assignment, and stay 30 minutes after.

At about 8:30, I called the school office, on the suggestion of the substitute handbook, to inquire about the parking situation. The secretary informed me that I should have been at the school at 7:30, regardless of the assignment time, and proceeded to be snippy and abusive about it. She told me that I would have to show up immeadiately and stay to to very end of the teaching day. As far as my car went, I would have to go out and move it every two hours.

No thank you. The car moving would be bad enough, but I am not prepared to accept abuse from school secretaries. I called the sub office and cancelled the assignment. From now on, that school is off my list of places that I will teach. (I know one other sub who had a miserable experience there.)

Of course, this also means that I suddenly have no teaching job today.

Oh! I read Coraline tonight. I think I am going to read it again before I review it here. I also want to read The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, and review them together.

Goodnight, kiddies!

Well, I had a teaching assignment today: grade school phy ed. I taught K-5 with another teacher. Ordinarily, there are two gyms for the classes to use, but the main gym floor was recently sanded and refinished, and hadn't finished drying, so the classes doubled up. What made this interesting were the age combinations. We had 3/4 and K, 5 and 1, and 2 and 1. First and second grade together worked the best, of course. The third and fourth graders were pretty good about helping the kindergartners. The fifth graders also helped the first graders, but there is that slight attitude change between fourth and fifth grade that made them a little more whiny about it.

While in the teachers' lounge for lunch, I overheard a few teachers discussion Wellstone's death, and the general state of affairs today. One of them was giving serious consideration to the idea that Wellstone was assassinated (an idea I have heard a number of times these past few days) and the others didn't seem to think it was outside the realm of possiblity. They contemplated the shady, sleazy, and criminal pasts of the members of the current administration. Much of what they said made sense.

Now, I will withhold judgement on the whole "he was murdered" thing. On the one hand, small airplanes in freezing rain aren't really the safest place to be. On the other hand, what better circumstances for sabotage and a cover-up? I have no evidence, other than what I am told in the news. However, what stuck with me was the fact that these weren't stoned college students or wacked-out conspiracy theorists sitting at a computer screen. These were sweet little grade school teachers, eating lunch in a homey little room filled with "READ" posters; totally normal, everyday America.

I think something is coming.

Case in point, I want all of my archives to show up, and they aren't. They are on the web, but they just don't update on my front page past May, even though they should.

I'm playing around with my template again. Of course, Blogger will probably turn this into a a big pain in the ass. At this point, sheer laziness is the only thing keeping me from switch to MT.

Thanks to a hit from someone looking for "Turdy Point Buck CWD", I now have a link to the actual lyrics of the song in the commercial (which, oddly enough, just played on my radio). Have I mentioned how much a hate that ad?

Goodnight. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

Oooo, one more link before bed. Something a co-worker sent me.

Remember those children's books where the pages were split, so you could join different heads and bodies together? Those were fun. So is this.

I, too, have been seduced by the lure of the grape tomato. Yum.

BTW, I now possess copies of both Coraline and Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. I am giddy with anticipation.

Sunday I enjoyed the extra hour as it should be...snuggled up in bed.

Monday I spent the first part of the (vacation!) day lolling about in a delightful patch of sunshine on my living room floor. Then I made my first ever batch of potato pancakes, which turned out fairly well considering that it involved me frying something in oil.

Tuesday I really should get myself a teaching job....this of course means that I need to shut off the computer and trundle off to bed.

Since I just returned from choir practice I give you singing horses. (click to make them sing)

I find this both ridiculous and cute. Enjoy!

Very good weekend. Saturday night I attended an outdoor Halloween party in the country, which featured a bonfire. Despite temps in the low thirties, I was quite warm, between the fire and my warm, woolen "newsies" costume.

Sunday night I watched Angel and a tape of Friday's episode of Firefly. It was a really good episode, and the more I see that show, the more I like it. I've given up on ST: Enterprise, so Firefly gives my my sci-fi fix. I really hope Fox doesn't do the stupid thing by cancelling it before it has had time to get on its feet. If you like the show, too, you may want to check out Firefly: Immediate Assistance.

Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone killed in plane crash, along with his wife, daughter, three campaign workers, and the pilot and co-pilot.

How terribly sad. Not only has MN lost a great senator, but so close to the election that there is now great turmoil and confusion. They can't do a Carnahan. MN law requires his name to be struck from the ballots and a replacement picked by Nov. 1. Some people have already voted via absentee ballot (I'd never vote so early, personally) and any who voted for Wellstone basically get invalidated.

I hope that this hasn't thrown the race to the Republican. I can't see that happening, since Wellstone was ahead in the polls, but you never know.


I am not a coffee drinker, but I love tea. However, I know that anytime I order tea in a restaurant or coffeeshop, basically I will be getting a very expensive DIY drink. Hello! If I wanted to make it myself, I could have stayed home for it. Sometimes it is enough to make me consider carrying my own teabags, and just ordering hot water, as they will give me that for free, and I'll do the same thing with it.

This had me giggling but now I've got the song stuck in my head.

By the way, I thought this week's Buffy was very moving.

Radio ads are getting on my nerves lately. There are the "shave-aholic" woman and the "don't wait, consolidate" guy, plus hordes of other commercial-commercials. However, my two BIG annoyances at the moment are both non-commercial commercials.

The Wisconsin DNR has a radio spot in its CWD campaign that bugs the shit out of me. It is based on the "Turdy Point Buck" song that is a popular novelty song on certain radio stations this time of year. Two guys with overdone "Yooper" accents sing about hunting deer to help combat CWD, calling it the "crying whining disease". At one point they rhyme "fry 'em" (as in cook venison) and "prion". ("I ain't scared of no twisted little prion.") The whole thing is pretty moronic, though I'm sure someone finds it amusing...at least the person who made it. I think it comes off as pretty insulting and lame. <:shudder>

The other ad that has been getting to me is for the Potawatomi's media campaign against cyanide mining in northern Wisconsin. The thing that bugs me about these ads is that they make "environmentalist" seem derogatory. Lots of "I'm against these mining practices, but I'm not an environmentalist because I'm on the school board and run my own business, so don't even try to call me one." Whatever, people. The more people get shy away from and flinch at words like "liberal" and "environmentalist" (along with "feminist" etc.) and act as though they are negative, the more they become so. Stand up for yourselves, for cry-ai! Say, "Fuck-yeah I'm an environmentalist, wanna make something of it, punk?"

Went to the They Might Be Giants show at the Orpheum last night. Much fun was had, and many old friends were run into.

I was rather ambivalent about Eyes Adrift, the opening act. Not my kind of music, and I certainly wouldn't seek them out, but neither would I go out of my way to avoid hearing them. (Of course, no opening act has ever surpassed the first TMBG opener I ever saw: Soul Coughing.)

The two Johns and three Dans played a lot of music from their new childrens album (No!), as well as some trusted classics. Nothing from John Henry, so I didn't get to conga to "No One Knows My Plan". Also no "She's An Angel", but they did play "Dead" and "Birdhouse" and tons of others that are garanteed to have me dancing.

The audience demographic was quite varied. Ages ranges from 8 or so to 40's (about the same age as the Johns are now). Hard to believe the band has been around for 20 years now. I first came across them in 1993, while working on the stage crew for my high school production of Arsenic and Old Lace. Flood and Apollo 18 were the albums of choice for the crew, and I still firmly associate those albums with that time.

Y'all can have your Weezer, TMBG are the godfathers of geek-rock.



By the way, I am now addicted to Guess the Dictator and/or Television Sit-Com Character, which I also discovered on Metafilter.

Look out, Canadians! (More story links and commentary to be found here.)

There are things to be thankful for. When my car battery died this evening, it died while I was still in the alleyway, rather than in the street. I had both my cell phone and my AAA card. The weather was neither wet nor bitterly cold. The coolest person in the world was available and willing to drive me home after choir rehersal.

Yup. Car battery. Died. While in motion. Fun.

My big adventure included discovering (after waiting 45 minutes) that for some reason AAA had sent the tow truck for me at Main Street in Deerfield. Deerfield? What? Who the heck said anything about Deerfield? Madison. M-A-D-I-S-O-N. Oy.

I also was reminded that most people are basically nice, and will stop to offer assistance.

To the person who got here Googling for "torture teeth fillings sexual women", all I have to say is, EW!

I would like to state for the record that I really do love Blogger....as a concept. I doubt I would have started blogging without it. However, there are some problems that jsut are not getting fixed; namely the missing archives, the frequent template errors, and the constate posting delays. None of these problems seemed to be around when I first started this blog, but they have been plaguing me since this summer. is starting to look better and better.

Two pictures I did way back when in lifedrawing class. I recently rediscovered them, while sorting through my college portfolios. (Good lord, I have a lot of stuff!) These are both very quick little sketches, and very strange, yet I have a strong fondness for them. A funny thing that I have noticed: my personality tends towards the sunny side of things, yet my artwork tends to be a little darker.

In the corset picture, the model was nude. The bondage gear was added because it was fun to draw. If I recall correctly, I did the red and blue washes first, then added the pen and ink when it dried.

The bathtub image was due to my fondness for odd materials. The model really was posing in an old bathtub. Our professor was usually encouraging the class to try different materials. (One of her favorite media was cattle markers.) For this picture I drew on a that day's copy of the Badger Herald with pen and ink, black crayon, and white correction fluid.

On the downside, I currently have icy cold hands (my thermostat *swears* that it is 70 in here) and a raging headache behind my right eyeball. On the upside, my icy hands make for a grat cold compress!

Someone in my building is playing a woodwind instrument. I believe it is a clarinet; it has that sonorous alto quality. They aren't playing any particular song, just scales and assorted excercises, but the tone quality is good, and I am quite enjoying listening to the music wafting through the halls. I wonder if anyone in the building enjoys my occasional forays into marimba?

A very cool Neil Gaiman story, courtesy of the folks at Dreamhaven.

So yesterday I read a BBC article about the Vatican rejecting the US Bishops' plan to deal with pedophile priests (or paedophiles if you're British). It menioned and quoted the plan as calling for the removal of priests for any offenses "Past, present or future." Future? Is the RCC into pre-crime? However, when I went to the BBC site today, that article was nowhere to be found. It had been replaced by a similar, but different article with out the quote. I wonder if it has been removed entirely (was the quote inaccurate?) or if it I just can't find it. Maybe it has been cached somewhere. I suppose that is one aspect of the internet that is both a strength and a failure: things can disappear just like that.

If anyone finds it, let me know.

Ewwww, creepy!

(be sure to move your cursor around)

Mmmm, yummers. Last night I did some experimenting in the kitchen, and came up with a snack that is kind of a halfway point between ready made, store-bought and homemade. I took a tube of store-bought crescent rolls, and filled them. On half of them I placed a spoonfull of raspberries jam on the dough before rolling up the triangle. On the other half I placed chocolate chips on the triangle as I rolled. Once baked they were absolutely marvelous, and I will definately have to do that again. It would make a great brunch sweet.

BTW, I took my car in today to have the coolant leak checked on. Apparently, my car has a leaky front timing cover, and they estimated about $500 to repair it. Yipes! Needless to say, I still have a leaky front timing cover.

(Anyone wanna buy me a new car? Yeah, I figured not.)

Time for me to yaddle about Buffy. Four shows in, it is looking like a really good season. There is a lot of talk about this being the last season, but I'm not going to speculate. What I do know is that there is a lot of good stuff going on.

I am particularly thrilled about the Spike plotline. He's been a fascinating character from his very first appearance with Dru, back in the days of the Annoying...er...Annointed One. Each season brought out new and interesting aspects of his character. There is a slow transformation from "The Big Bad" to a reluctant ally, to an earnest protector of a young girl (Dawn), to an obsessive, rejected lover, to a broken, crazy vampire with a soul. (Move over Angel.) During season five, we got a glimpse via flashback of William the Bloody when he was a human. Shy, stuttering and sensitive....you can start to see Spike's mannerisms as a vampire come from, as he rejects and overcompensates for these character traits. We've also seen the level of evil and destruction that he has wrought through the years.

When we first met Angel, he had already been reunited with his soul for years. There was a brief period with out it, and some angsty recovery time following, but we never saw the "vampire with a soul" going through his intitial agony. Besides which, Angel (as Liam in his human years) was an insensitive, self-centered, thick-headed lout. With Spike we are getting to see all the turmoil and agony. We get to see an insecure, sensitive soul returned to the body of a violent demon.

Up to this point on Buffy and Angel, Angel has been the unique vampire with a soul mentioned in a number of prophecies. Well, he is no longer unique, and the newcomer is the vampire who is his grand-childe (vampirically) and his rival. At his worst, Spike was bad news. Still, even without a soul he was able to make choices that could be considered "good". The potential is amazing.

I am a big fan of rememption; both in real life and as a story theme. Joss Whedon seems to be a fan, too. I'm glad to see it.

Good lord, I am rambling. Time for bed.

While looking at "Blogs of Note" today (I rarely go to the Blogger homepage these days) I came across The Homeless Guy. Very cool site; a blog by a homeless man in Nashville. (Let's hear it for public libraries!) Apparently it has been mentioned in USA Today, and has stirred up a bit of controversy. People have strong feelings about homelessness. It's a good read, and I suggest checking it out.


I've always wanted to ride the Merrimac Ferry, so I was a little freaked this morning to hear that the ferry was being closed and auctioned off. I was quite relieved to discover that they are simply replacing the boat with a newer model next spring. Still, it was a reminder to me that putting things off might lead to them not happening. I have until Novemebr to get up to Merrimac and ride it this year.

Well, a friend loaned me three new CD's to listen to this evening. I've given my reviews for the first two, and now it's time for the third.

Peter Gabriel's Up album was alright. It neither grabbed me nor turned me off. I played it twice, just to be sure, and came to the same conclusion both times. I honestly wish I had more to say about it, but not being a professional album reviewer, I'm not going to bother reviewing an album that didn't impact me very much.



In my goal to become a better all-around cook, not just a baker, I have decided to read The Joy of Cooking cover to cover. Okay, I may not read every single recipe, but this cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes. There are wonderful articles on nutrition, meal planning, ingredients, cooking methods, etc. It really is a wealth of knowledge, but so far I've just been using it as a hunt and peck guide. I think of what I want to do, and then I look it up in the book. That method is all well and good, but what about the things that I wouldn't have thought of before reading them? If I read about one chapter a day, I will be through it in just over a month.

I have also fallen in love with The Cook's Thesaurus. I am a big fan of alphabetical lists ofthings with pictures and descriptions.

(BTW, did I mention that among all those spider plants I am fostering, I was also given a little potted cayenne pepper plant? It is really cute, and has a lot of peppers on it. I guess that means it is time for me to stop being such a spice-wuss.)

Aimee Mann also has a very solid album in Lost in Space. More longing and loneliness, this time very much accentuated by the cover art; a mini-comic book by Seth

For me, Mann's voice has always evoked a feeling of late-night confession in a dive bar. On this album,I can almost see her at the corner of the bar, whisky in one hand, cigarette in the other, telling the bartender about Guys Like Me.

I also think I have found my new road trip song in Humpty Dumpty.

Aimee Mann is among the throng of amazing artists that are coming to town in a too short period of time. I'd love to see her, but when it comes time to decision making and ticket buying, I may have to pass. (Doesn't mean I won't try to win tickets.)



Two words: Tammy Baldwin.

I'm really bummed that I don't any time to become actively involved in her campaign, because the other guy is really scary.

I would also like to add that the visualization program that comes with Apple iTunes is simply stunning.

UPDATE: I just wanted to add that I wrote that sentence before searching for and adding that link. The use of the word "stunning" is pure coincidence. So there. Thank you.

I will now join hoards of other reviewers and state that Beck's new album, Sea Change is a friggin masterpiece. It also sounds so unlike all of the Beck that I had previously known (and liked) that the first time I heard a track, I had to check to see if it was the same guy. (I mean, it isn't as if there isn't already one other Beck-named recording artist out there. There could be room for one more.)

Musically, it has a great deal of subtlety. I think it would make excellent chill-out listening. It certainly has strains of melancholy running through it...actually, it seems to be running through strains of melancholy. However, that sadness isn't the variety that automatically brings the listener down. The music has too much energy for that. It makes me think of the sad songs of Patsy Cline or Hank Williams Sr. The loneliness, longing, and regret are bundled with catharsis, bringing it above the level of the standard "I'm so sad" pop song.

All in all, I think that those who got in to Where It's At back in 1996 will find the same artist, despite the changes. Those who found his earlier work silly or pretenious might wish to consider giving him a second listen. They might be pleasantly surprised.

As an added bonus, the cover art is pretty sweet. All four different versions.

It has my recommendation.



I'm trying to stay off of the "pay attention to the shootings" bandwagon, but this quote caught my eye:
``Please rest assured, when we have something we are confident the media can help us with, we will use that,'' Moose said Sunday. ``It is a fine balance, but we do understand the power we have with the media in the 21st century, but we also know that we must use that appropriately.''

Wise man.

<wonders what Dept. Squirrel is up to, and if anyone has looked into the whereabouts of Boris and Natasha.>

<I'm going to get smacked for that joke, aren't I?>

Sweet Jesus! Reasons to drive carefully in poor visibility conditions.

When I was living in Milwaukee, we drove that stretch of road many times. My prayers are with the victims and their families.

I have just become a foster parent....

...to about 20 assorted houseplants, mostly spider plants. My apartment is a little crowded right now, but by god, I will have the cleanest air!

I have no idea why all of my archives aren't showing up on my list. They are all there if you hand type the url. (I clicked on the May link, then substituted the _05_ with the number for whatever month I wanted.) Bloody annoying. I'm starting to give Movable Type serious thought.

"Waaaah! He's picking on me!"

I couldn't leave this one alone. It just seems so petty. Dude, no matter what they may have been trying to imply:

A. You wore those clothes.
B. You ran the beauty school.
C. You filmed the TV spots.
D. You were the one with the questionable finances.

You made the choices, and now you have to live with them. Don't whine about getting caught in your tacky old 80's clothes and whine about character assassination.

No pity. Bwah-hah-hah!

Word I am growing to love: cromulent.

(God bless the Simpsons.)

Bumper sticker that made

Bumper sticker that made me laugh aloud:

"Come the Rapture....can I have you car?"

Congratulations, Jimmy Carter. Honestly,

Congratulations, Jimmy Carter.

Honestly, it's about time. People may not have thought much of him as President, but he certainly has been the best former president we've got. I think his problems as president came from the fact that he is a Statesman, and he was surrounded by politicians. There's definately a difference, and we could use more statesmen in the country right now.

From the article:

"In a situation currently marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must as far as possible be resolved through mediation and international co-operation based on international law, respect for human rights, and economic development," the citation said.

Speaking of no money....

Speaking of no money....

Not having any can really make you prioritize. Walking the poverty line forces you to seperate "need" from "want".

Now, I certainly can't claim actual poverty while sitting in my lovely apartment, typing thesewords onto my shiny iMac. Is there such a thing as upper-lower middle class? If there is, I am it. Decent housing and paying off my debts are the top of my budget priorities. After that comes paying the regular, unavoidable bills. Next is buying food and gasoline. Once all of that is out of the way, I may have a few pennies left over to buy the extras. This is when the need/want factor gets confusing.

Most of my "needs" are covered in the top priorities. New clothes? Clothes are a need; however if you already have clothes that fit and are servicable, though rather old and boring, they are demoted to "want". Step-stool to reach high places (might apartment is full of the): need or want? Flour and sugar storage bins: need or want? Tea kettle (rather than heating water in a pot or in the microwave): need or want? CDs, books, concert tickets, "treat" foods; all of these are definately wants. I am trying to visualize my budget like the food pyramid. Housing and debt payment (student loans et al) are the bread group. Monthly bills like electricity, heat and phone are the fruit and veggie groups. The want/needs are the dairy and meat groups, and the want/wants are like fats, oils and sweets--use sparingly!

Realistically, I have an overabundance of stuff and a full larder. I have health and dental insurance. I am rich by the standards of much of the world. Yet I envy those who can afford more. Why? It is time to rejoice over what I have, and continue to pare down my list of "needs" and "wants".

Though right now, what I really need is some sleep. Good night.

Speaking of my car,

Speaking of my car, it is being extra fussy lately. There are several things which may need fixing soon, which worries me, since I have no money with which to do the fixing. (A typo briefly rendered that "no money with which to do the fixing" which is also true...) On the other hand, it has been acting like it is on the verge of a breakdown since last August with no major incidents. <knock on wood> Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Metaphors. Some cars are


Some cars are terribly high maintainance; finicky little sports cars that require special high-grade gas, hand buffing, auto mechanics with doctorates..... My car is also high maintainance. It is a 1990 cocharro that requires that at least gallon of coolant, and a wrench be kept on hand at all times. (It also requires Mardi Gras beads, pukka shells, and a Virgin of Guadalupe air freshener hanging from the rear-view, a working cellphone, and a current membership to AAA.)

Some people are high maintainance, and just like cars, there are two types. Sports car people act like their mere prescence is a gift. They need to be wined and dined and flattered. They are rock stars, divas, and CEOs. The people who are like my car cling. They need constant reassurance, praise, and approval.

God, please keep me off the high maintainance list.

Escher in Legos. Neato.

East Wash, viewed from

How does one choose

How does one choose a martial art? Looks? Philosophy? Function? Star/Peer appeal?

I'm trying to make my own decision, looking into some of the styles that are out there. Do I wanna be like Buffy? (Well, sure who wouldn't? I'm just not sure Tae Kwon Do is for me.) One of the coolest people I know practices Capoeira. I love to watch it, but I have a feeling my knees would never approve.

Yes, there are many arts that I (memo to self: you are not allowed to say "get a kick ot of" in this sentance) enjoy as a spectator. However, I think I need to learn a method that is lower impact and mostly defensive. I have already been giving a lot of thought into T'ai Chi, but Judo and Aikido also appeal to me. There are places in Madison to learn all three of these disciplines.

The question then becomes one of time, money, priorities. So many things I want to do, so little time do them. Isn't that always the case?

I've been having a

I've been having a hard time blogging lately. There are so many horrible things happening that I just want to throw my head back and start screaming. I've never felt more helpless or useless in regards to world events. It is hard to find words to adequately address all these feelings. Fortunately, my personal life is far less bleak, just more....personal.

If my posting is sporadic of late, it is not so much a case of writer's block, as a case of wishing to avoid blogerhea.

(Not that I imagine anyone out there is hanging on my every word, breathlessly awaiting my next post....yeah, that'd be the day. A sad day.)

The Suburban Limboist sums

More adventures in fry-cookery

More adventures in fry-cookery tonight. This time I attempted batter-fried eggplant. I'd say the result was about 50/50. I ate until I was stuffed, and that was about half of the (small) eggplant. It was also the half that looked edible.

I love to bake, andI can boil, broil, grill with competence. Frying, however, makes me nervous. So much timing, so much painful grease splatter, so much mess, and so much potential for fire. Pancakes aren't a problem, and I'm usually ok with eggs. Deep-frying is my big challenge. Sometimes I nail it, but I have so much to learn. I don't think I'm ready to attempt doughnuts or rosettes yet.

Someday, I will rule the kitchen....dammit.

I'm starting to think

I'm starting to think that it is time for a redesign. I've been a little busy lately, but I'll get on that soon.

Dammit. More publishing problems,

Dammit. More publishing problems, and my archives are acting funny.

Thinking of Dylan has

Thinking of Dylan has reminded me of some books I loved in grade school. Granted, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit was written two years before I was born, and a lot of the details dated it, but the sentiments it expressed spoke to me. It is really nice to see that Paula Danziger's books are still popular with middle and grade schoolers. Gives me a feeling of continuity.

Simple Twist of Fate.

Simple Twist of Fate.

Probably my favorite Dylan song ever.

Dial L for Loser.

Dial L for Loser.

For the second year in a row, I have now put my little black book through the washer. Last year I washed it in August. At least I made it to October this time. I was able to salvage the appointment section for the next few months. All the pages with upcoming appointments and activities are more or less intact; though soggy, fragile and very pale. The phone numbers and addresses from the back of the book are gone, but many of those have been entered into the address book in my e-mail program, and/or my cell phone.

What makes me really sad is the loss of the birthday pages. They have been pretty much obliterated. Some birthdays I know by now and also appear in the address books of 2000 and earlier, but any that I learned in the last two years are now just so much lint for the trap. If this means I will be forgetting your birthday...Happy Birthday!

No matter how many times you remember to check your pockets before doing the wash, it only takes one slip to gain a pile of shredded paper.

I really hope that

I really hope that computer screen technology improves in the future to the point that looking at the screen for an extended period won't cause so much eye stress and/or headaches. I have a lot I want to blog about right now, but looking at my computer is making me achey. I guess I could write it out long hand, and type it in later, but how unfun does that sound?

I'm Running for Congress.

I'm Running for Congress.

Well, I'm not actually, but Greedytv.org allows you to experience a virtual run for congress...sort of. They make a really good point.

This morning, I dreamt that I was working on raising signatures for a recall of G. W. Bush. The recall campaigners knew we would need an enormous amount of signatures, and that it probably would't work, but that we had to make a point anyway. Is it even possible to recall a POTUS?

Work has been rough

Work has been rough this week. Today and Monday were especially hard. I'm taking a sick day tomorrow.

I do have a legit physical excuse for calling in. During the course of the day, running around and trying to get everything done on time time, I managed to hurt both my left knee and right foot. Try limping when both legs are in pain; not a pretty sight. I don't really feel that more vigorous stair climbing tomorrow would be a good idea.

However, I also think tomorrow is a mental health day. I need to not be there. I love my job, I love the company I work for, I love the people I work with, but there are some situations that are really frustrating me at the moment. I don't know whatI can do to change them, and they aren't going to go away on their own. I'd rather not become a cranky, bitter person to my co-workers, so a bit of breathing space to heal my body and my mind is just what the doctor ordered.

Just one day.

Sitting in a Madison

Sitting in a Madison WI sushi restaurant this evening, I started writing the new Neverwhere novella, HOW THE MARQUIS GOT HIS COAT BACK, in a blank book for writing in that some nice person gave me at some point. It was not a happy experience, as the book turned out to be shi-shi enough to have little bits of flower petal in the paper, which might be okay if you're writing down your dreams in a thick felt pen, but which combine with a scritchy fountain pen to render the whole thing more or less illegible from the off. Which is rather irritating. I may see ifI can find a thicker-nibbed fountain pen and darker ink. Meanwhile, I have learned all about how many pockets the marquis has in coat, and about the things that got lost in them...

Argh. How frustrating to know that I live so near this terribly cool person, whose writing I greatly admire, and that I will probably never actually know him as anything more than words on a page or screen. I am but one Neil Gaiman fan in a world full of Neil Gaiman fans. Sure, I could meet him. (Well, actually I have met him.) However, I feel way too "stalker fan" about making an effort to get to know him. I certainly will not be hanging out at the court house this week. If we are meant to met, it will happen naturally. The same thing goes for Dar Williams and all the other "famous people" that I'd love to know personally. I guess I'll just have to get famous myself. All famous people know each other, right? &;t:snicker>

On the other hand....a new Neverwhere story! WOOOOO!

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