November 2002 Archives

The MATC course catalogue for the spring semester arrived today. Depending on availablity by the time I am allowed to register (students in the program get first dibs) I will either be taking Typography (my first choice) or Web Page Design. Truthfully, I don't want to take typography, but I need to learn it if I want to move forward with a career *an* it is a prerequistite for Advanced Computer Graphics. Web page design sounds more interesting, but isn't a prereq for any classes, andI can and will pick alot of that on my own.

Theoretically, I could take them both, because one is a MW and the other is TR, but not only do I not have the money for that, I don't think taking two night classes while working full time would be good for me. I could handle it, but I would be tired and metally unhealthy by the end of the semester. I worked part time while I was going to school full time, and that was pretty exhausting. I'm pretty sure that working full time while going to school half time (I consider 4 classes a full load) would be pushing it.

We shall see.

In other news, there is a dusting of snow outside, and it is damn cold. The holidays make this month bearable, but January through March is torture.

Sunday is December 1st, which is also the start of Advent. At that point I can officially let myself start getting ready for Christmas. One thing that will be great this year is that unlike 2000, I don't have a roommate with allergies, soI can get a real tree rather than a silly plastic thing. Unlike 2001, I don't have a roommate with cats, so I don't have to tie the tree to the ceiling to prevent accidents. I have no roommates at all, soI can have my tree wherever and however I want. Yahoo!

You arse from your elbow: you'd think you know, but do you?

Facing facts, I think I'm in a rut. Not a major rut, mind you, but a rut none-the-less.

Dooce is back! (Well, has been back since September, but I just noticed now.)

Feeling spicy? Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages are a wealth of information on herbs and spices both common and unusual.

Screw this. I'm sick of my archives not showing up after May, 2002. I'm sick of not hearing any response from Blogger about it. I am switching to Moveable Type, as soon asI can get it all sorted out. In the meantime, I'm going to hand code the links.

I saw this over on IndigoBlog, and I am completely fascinated.

Well the Willy Porter/Sonia Dada show at the Barrymore was excellent.

Willy Porter started the night out. I'd never seen him as an opener before, so his set was much shorter than I am used to. Still, he gave a good show, bantered a bit, and (de rigeur for his shows) made a song up on the spot, based on an audience suggestion.

Sonia Dada, whom I had never seen live before, blew the roof off the place. Their set started a little before 9PM and went on till 11:30. They were a very energetic bunch, and seemed to be having fun. Paris, in particular, kept flirting with the audience. He certainly knew how to make the crowd love him.

Twas fun, and I shall definately have to do it again.

(Ok, as far as review posts go, that was pretty lame....blame it on the turkey. I can't think straight.)



Very good dinner. Now I'm sleeeeepy.

Coming soon: the Willy Porter/Sonia Dada concert review....but not tonight, because I'm tired.

I love it when Christian reviewers actually "get it". In this instance, it was while discussing Angel.

First, the Christian faith is a story. Itís the account of Godís gracious dealings with humanity from beginning to end. Itís a story that includes innocence and sin, judgment and grace, alienation and reconciliation. Thereís a thread running though this story, and that thread is the one whom the Seer at Patmos called "the lamb slain before the foundation of the world." If our story is true, it is woven into the warp and woof of human existence. Itís something weíre all inchoately aware of. If Iím right about this, then it makes sense that bits and pieces of this story will turn up in stories that arenít even remotely Christian. This will even be the case with our mass culture, which as a product of the West was shaped by Christianityóregardless of how little either creative types or Christians wish to acknowledge it.

Another thing we need to remember is to look beneath the surface. If all we see is a story about a whoremongering, gluttonous, boozing wastrel who gets whatís coming to him, then weíre going to miss what Jesus was trying to say in the parable of the prodigal son. Likewise, if you canít get beyond the fact that beavers canít talk, mice donít carry swords, and thereís no such thing as faunsóand if youíre suspicious of anything called "magic"óthen the Chronicles of Narnia arenít for you.

--Roberto Rivera

Bravo, Roberto.

If I ever go to New York City, I would love to stay at The Inn at Irving Place because, why not? Of course, such a stay is currently out of my budget by miles, but one can dream.

Neil Gaiman has pointed to a site to which I feel I must also point you. (Especially if you have read American Gods.)

He also has some amusing anecdotes about the progress of his film shoot.

Before choir warm-ups, I went up State Street for some dinner. There were number of things going on downtown in addition to the usual Saturday night crowd, including the WIAA High School Football State Championship. Needless to say, State was crawling with people. I wanted to avoid a repeat of last night's restaurant hell, so I picked a place that, while excellent, would probably not be full of drunkards (and would check off one more restaurant from my Ethnic Food Adventure list)>

Buraka's charming little basement establishment. Buraka serves African food, and has long had a popular food cart on library mall during nice weather. I have never eaten there, though, given that while I was in school I was too poor to buy lunch, and too impatient to stand in the looooooong lines the cart would accrue. Having now eaten at Buraka, I weep for the fact that it took me this long to get there.

I tried the Chicken Peanut Stew, served on injera, an Ethiopian flatbread. The stew was sweet and spicy, but not so spicy as to burn my mouth. The chicken and the potatoes came in large, savory chunks, and the peanut sauce was neither to thick nor too thin. The injera had a pleasant tartness, almost lemony, which wonderfully offset the spice of the stew. I ordered cranberry juice to drink, and was pleased to receive a nice pint glass full of iced juice, rather than the dinky shot glasses some restaurants provide. (I was tempted by the ginger beer, and by the Ting grapefruit soda, but carbonation does not make a good pre-concert beverage.)

The portiona were just large enough to leave me feeling absolutely stuffed, without becoming wasteful. The prices were reasonable, as the most expensive entree is about $10.

The atmosphere was unfancy, yet tidy and well-ordered. Though the space was small and windowless, the table arrangement kept it from becoming claustrophobic, and the lighting was subdued without being dark. The waitstaff was prompt and friendly, and even the music and the other patrons made for an enjoyable dining experience.

I will definately go back, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a change of pace from burgers, pizza, and noodles.

The first Choral Union concert tonight went well. My voice held out, we had a good audience, no major problems that I noticed. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

OK, there was one thing. Holding up my score while standing for two hours made the muscles between my shoulder blades cramp up. There was nothing I could do about this, because I stand in the front row, dead center, and would look damn odd stretching and bending all over the place. By the end of each movement, my hands had fallen asleep. Ouch. That I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

Last night I went to see Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love. We had heard good things about it, and decided to check out the Adam Sandler movie that appeared at cannes. The fact that the same theater was also playing Eight Crazy Night's made the idea seem extra funny.

Well, I can't say that I didn't like the movie. It was certainly interesting, and there were some episodes that were downright amusing.Overall, though, the movie made me tense and was soe strange, noisy, and fast mving that I couldn't for one moment forget that I was watching a moive, and just relax. There was an underlying hyperness to the movie. Not just hyperactivity, but hypertension. I found it fascinating, yet I was eagerly awaiting the end. When that finally came, and the closing credits played, accompanied by bright, squirly colors and offsetting music, I had to leave the theater ASAP. I've never left a movie feeling so wound up.

Upon leaving the theater, my friend and I decided to get some sushi for dinner, to calm ourselves down and relax. So we headed to Takara, which had a very pleasant, meditative atmosphere the one time that I ate there. That was not to be the case last night.

Lo and behold, the restaurant was being overwhelmed by a tableful (and I mean full, there had to have been ten of them) of drunk college guys. They were the most obnoxious customers ever. They were loud, they were foul, they were rude....Remember going to a restaurant, and some one has allowed their much-too-young-to-be-there child cry and scream and run around, with out doing anything to stop them? Well, these men were what those little children grow up into. By the time we realized how bad they were, and that they weren't going to be leaving, our food (which was excellent) had arrived. Every other minute it was "Sake-bomb!!!!" followed by "Woooo!" followed by someone falling out a chair. The "quite" times in between were a stream of obscenities, vulgarities, and profanities. I was amazed that they didn't get kicked out, though the staff seemed intimidated by them. I would have thought they'd at least call the cops.

No one was happy about it. We could tell that the staff were having the worst night of their lives, and I entertained a vision of the entire restaurant ganging up om that table and beating the shit out of them. It would make a great movie scene. But, short of calling the cops, there was nothing anyone could do. There were so many of them, and they were so drunk that even saying anything to them would be asking for trouble. Assholes.

Never-the-less, the sushi was great. I think, though, that I will leave Takara as a place to visit during non-busy periods.

Odd dream report.

This morning I dreamt that a compnay had come out with a peppercorn-scented underarm antiperspirant. Peppercorn? Somehow I can't see that ever becoming a runaway hit....well, other than the fact that wearing it might make other people run away.

I wish this sorish throat would just go away. (Well, not the throat, but definately the sore.) After an enitre day+ of intesive tea and silence, I was able to sing at rehersal this evening. Now, however, I feel rather ragged. This is starting to get me down. I mean, did I do something horrible in a former life in order to merit persistant, recurring upper resperitory infections? Hmmmm?


On the cool things list, my cayenne pepper plant is blossoming. Now if need to see about getting it pollenated, and I may have peppers. Otherwise I just get flowers. Not that getting flowers is a bad thing. I'd have to say that getting flowers qualifies as very pleasant in my book. Come to think of it, I don't have nearly enough flowers in my life. I used to keep flowers on my gorcery list, including them with "produce". Then I moved in with the destructive cats, and stopped in futility. I think I shall reestablish that custom. After all, what better time to keep fresh flowers than when the days are growing short and dark and cold?

I guess it is time to toddle off to bed...after another pot of tea of course.


Care for a controversy?

Now this would be an interesting scenario.

Seriously, John McCain is about the only Republican I can respect. Back in 2000, during the primaries, I was intrigued by him and shocked and appalled to see him lose to Bush (is there a trend here?). I first learned his name in regards to the McCain-Feingold bill, and I liked him then.

By the time the primaries were held in Wisconsin, both McCain and Bradley had pretty much dropped out of the race, which really upset me. Why should voters in New Hampshire and Iowa get to pick whoI can vote for? I voted for Bradley anyway, just because. I had a daydream that McCain and Bradley would get together and run as independents. (Yes, silly pipe dream, I know.) I was extra disappointed when McCain finally gave his support to Bush, though I realized he had to play ball.

The predictions in the article seem like longshots, but I'd love to see it happen. I'd vote for McCain if he wasn't a Republican.

Ask me about my vow of silence.

Yup. This sore throat since I've had since last week (during my vacation thankyouverymuch) still is haning around, and since I have one more choir rehersal and two concerts this weekend to sing in, I am embarking on a new strategy: tea and silence. (Not to be confused with tea and sympathy...or coke and sympathy for that matter. But I won't say no to sympathy....)

I'm taking a sick day tomorrow, though I do have to go in tomorrow to get a flu shot (funny, hey?). The fact that I can barely talk was causing enough problems at work today, and I don't see writing things down all day as an option. I'm not speaking unless I absolutely can avoid it. Tea will be drunk by the gallon; I've got boxes full of decaf herbal tea, I've got honey, I've got lemon, I've got ginger. I also picked up a bottle of a throat spray called "Singer's Saving Grace" which seems to work really well.

My next rehersal is Thursday night, and the first concert is Saturday. Even if by cruel fate I am still down on Thursday, I should definately have a voice again by Saturday night, right?

Knock on wood for me, ok?

Well, I'm sure you've now all read The Misanthropic Bitch all the way through, right? Ok, then, I bring you another site that no one can read without a reaction. (found via Mighty Girl.) As the letters go to show, some people get it and some people don't.

Intrigued by the page, and by the speculations in the letters, I decided to track down the pages origins.

The whois led me to Jonah Peretti. Google led me furtherand further and further.... (You get the picture.)

Interesting things you can turn up on the net.

(BTW the whois search for TMB also led interesting places, but I won't spoil your fun. You can look for it yourself if you are really interested.)

I am soggy and sore and broken and tired.

Somebody hug me.

This morning on the radio I heard something about a list of the top ten drug songs. It was kind of interesting, the bit I heard.

I'll never forget when someone finally pointed out to me the Puff the Magic Dragon/pot connection. I must say, it came as a bit of a shock, but it also seemed crystal clear, once I thought about it. Which is too bad, because I liked it better as a childhood song, which it fits just as well.

However, even though I will conceed that Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is about LSD, I still laugh at the very notion (suggested by one of my flakier high school teachers) that Hey Jude is about heroin. Whatever!

Bitch. Cat. Shrew. All animal words used to describe women's behavior, usually as a derogatory thing.

I can handle being a bitch from time to time, even though it is the most no-no of the words. (Wash your mouth out young lady!) I like dogs. Being a bitch can, at times, mean that I am barking and snarling because I am the Alpha Female and you have just tried messing with my pack, or you've invaded my territory, or pissed in my cheerios. Whatever. Deal with it.

Bitch Magazine. Misanthropic Bitch. (The name does not lie on this one.) The Bitch Test. (I got 32%)

I try to avoid being catty. I'm not a big fan of cats, for one thing. Cattiness usually stems from insecurity. You see someone or something that makes you feel awkward, you out come the claws to make it go away. Granted, somethings are less catty than other. Privately pointing out someone else's extremely bad taste to one of your friends is a little catty. Making a comment about someone else's extremely bad taste to a group of your friends, followed by audible snickers and critical stares is pretty catty. Pointing out someone else's extremely bad taste in public, to a group of friends and strangers, followed by pointing and cackling and you are in need of a scratching post.

Not really catty, justCat Woman.

For my, shrewishness is the ulimate thing to avoid. To me, being a shrew entails shrillness, endless complaining, snappishness, ingratitude, etc. When I hear myself sounding harsh or harping, even if my grievance is legit, I have to make myself step back. Of course, sometimes it is hard to tell if I am beinging shrewish, or if I am just being oversensitive to my fear of being shrewish. Best not to over analyze, or things could get ugly and heads could explode.

The Ultimate Shrew, tamed.

Well, my vacation time and my weekend is coming to an end, and my throat still feels unhappy. It has been suggested that the humidity (or lack thereof) in my apartment might be a factor in how I am feeling. I will definately look into that. At the moment, however, I am still going through a couple gallons of water and tea a day. I think I am starting to make swishing sounds when I walk, from all the sloshing water. *Gurgle*

I am home from a very pleasant evening at my friend's Comedy Sportz workshop show. There was silliness, there was mayhem, and I laughed my ass off.

Now, of course, I am having a hard time sitting, what with having no ass and all....

Oh my. Not only is there Christmas stuff all over the place already (since before Halloween, actually) but I've actually overheard people discussing New Year's Eve plans. Wow. Didn't that stuff used to wait until at least after Thanksgiving?

Still, it made me ponder the whole NYE thing. How often do people start planning over a month ahead of time, just to watch the clock move? (Ok, once a year, but that's not the point.)

Growing up, I had this romantic, glamorous vision of New Year's Eve. (Especially before I was allowed to stay up till midnight.) Based on what I gathered from TV and movies, grown-up would dress up in tuxedos and ballgowns and attend fancy parties with an orchestra. There would be champagne and fancy hor d'oeuvres and plenty of balloons and confetti. Definately confetti. Plus horns and hats and bells..... I would sit at home, watching the ball drop with Dick Clark and drinking egg nog, and I would imagine the day that I would be living that glamourous life.

Now I am a grown-up (or so they tell me) and I don't do any of that. Neither does anyone I know. Most NYE parties I have been to have involved sitting around someone's apartment, chatting on the couch and eating snacks until midnight, then everyne yawns and goes home. They are fun, but certainly not the fantasy. This is Madison, Wisconsin...not exactly swank party central. To quote Lewis Black, "Oh, that's when we drink with hats on." I'm sure there are a couple of those black tie parties around here somewhere, but they are hugely expensive affairs attended by doctors, lawyers, politicians....not my people. Even NYE parties at crummy bars seem to be at least $50 a head, and based on the concept of wall-to-wall drunks. Ew. I'll take a quite roomful of friends over a ballroom of stuffy Republicans or a barroom of obnoxious drunkards any day.

Yet still, the fantasy remains. Something out of When Harry Met Sally or The West Wing. I guess that is why they call it fantasy. Pickled herring anyone?

Blurgh. Still home. My voice is so froggy, it almost doesn't exist. But other than that I feel fine. I don't even really have a sore throat. I'm pretty optimistic about it. I'm not going anywhere today, or even talking ifI can help it. Plenty of fluids and lots of rest, and maybe I'll be fine by Monday night's choir rehersal.

In the meantime, I am continuing my studio project. I'll be so happy once I've got that room together and usuable. I really want to get back into my art.

I don't regret things. Honestly. If you told me that I could go back and change one thing from my past, I might be tempted, but in the end, I'd have to turn it down.

Why? Because, for the most part I like where and who I am. All of the things of the past pulled together to bring me to this point, the bad and the good. Every thing done differently leads to another thing done differently. I am lucky in that the choices and circumstances of my life, while not always postive, have led me to a place with which I am comfortable. Other choices, other circumstances might also have been good. I don't believe that people have One Set Path in life. It would just be Other.

Rather than regret the past, I'd rather learn from it. I can't change the past, so why try?I can change the future, because I haven't gotten there. I will use the lessons as a guide. What worked? What didn't work?

Maybe this is why most of my memories are happy. Nothing to change. Oh, I'm not without sorrow.I can be wistful and bitter at times, like any one else. Overall, the memories I choose to keep are the sweets, the rest are just for seasoning.

How about you?

An early memory:

I'm two or possibly three. I am in my toddler size crib in the nursery room on Irving Place. (White, wooden, with pink and blue animals. The lights are off, but the door is open to the hall. The hall light is glowing white and round. I am standing in the crib, in footy pajama's (or a flannel night gown?, gotta be the footies). I am holding one of my ginghies (gingham dog) by the ear and swinging it in circles while calling "Luna! Luna!" Then my mother, in a nightgown, appears in the doorway.

I don't know why this memory is signifacnt, or if it is at all. I don't know why I was saying "Luna" as I didn't grow up speaking spanish. I do know, however, that it is a memory that has stuck with me in great detail through the years, and that it always gives me a pleasant feeling. Many of my early memories are like that. Specific, yet non-specific. Just a moment in time that has crystalized and remains a source of happiness.

Well, I woke up this morning with the same mildly sore throat that I had last night. I spent most of the day laying about, drinking mass amounts of fluids; mostly orange juice. I had no assignment, so I spent some time working on that logo design in Illustrator. I skipped choir rehersal for the first time. I didn't make much sense to go if I couldn't sing, and I didn't want to get the rest of the choir sick. However, other than the throat, I don't feel sick.

Which brings me to a dilemma about tomorrow. Do I try to get a teaching assignment? It is my last vacation day, then after the weekend it's back to work. Having the week off has been really nice, and I'm realizing, now that I don't have to teach, how uncomfortable subbing always made me. It was a relief to stop. Even though I could use the extra money, it is very difficult to convince myself to spend the day herding difficult children. Maybe this vacation should be just that...vacation. I'm still getting my regular pay after all.

Being poor sucks (she typed on her shiny computer). Ok, that's just being whiny. I guess I am just tired of having to keep such a tight budget and be good all the time. I'm sick of having to justify every damn thing I buy. Boo-hoo. Get out the teeny-tiny violin and play me a sad song, will ya?

Alright, how 'bout I cheer the fuck up, and stopp bringin' yall down?

I'm on a paid vacation!!!!!

There. That felt good.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I am getting sick. That would suck, as I have choir tomorrow, and was also hoping to teach. (No assignment today.)

Well now, I think it's high time I reviewed Coraline and The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, don't you? I must say, I enjoyed them both immensely. So, where to begin? I guess I shall review them in alphabetical order of author, because I certainly couldn't dream of sorting them by preferance.

Neil Gaiman's Coraline was not quite as scary as I imagined it to be. According to Neil, adults seem to be finding the book scarier than children are; I'm not quite sure what this means for me, but I'll take it as a compliment to my inner child. As I read it, I found that it reminded me of Clive Barker's Thief of Always, except that I enjoyed it more than Mr. Barker's book.

Coraline is a child both practical and imaginative. She has been described by some reviewer as a modern-day Alice, but unlike Alice she seems to take her adventure a little more in stride. Gaiman's writing style, using a third person narrator, keeps us viewing the story from the perspective of a girl about eight while at the same time allows a few more sophisticated language choices than an eight year old might make. One of my favorite observations from the book is this:

"Coraline was woken by the midmorning sun, full on her face.

For a moment she felt utterly dislocated. She did not know where she was; she was not entirely sure who she was. It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be."

As Coraline's story begins, she is a bored and frustrated little kid, fed up with the world she inhabits. On her journey into the world of the Other Mother, she uses the skills, tools and love that she has from her own world to meet the challenges. On her return to normal life, her experiences allow her to feel new savor and adventure in her own life and surroundings.

Coraline co-stars people, rats, mice, cats, and terriers.

Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is also a book written for younger readers than the usual Pratchetts novel and also stars Rats, cats, people, and a terrier (there is a mouse, but it just has a walk-on role). Set on Discworld, it is a Pied Piper story...with a twist. (Would it be a Terry Prachett story if there weren't a twist?)

It all starts with a cat...that talks. And rats....that talk. And a kid...who plays the flute. Throw in a girl with a fairytale obsession, a town with a Ratcatcher problem, and you got a story that will keep you turning the pages.

Even though it is billed at Pratchett's first story for younger readers, the only difference I noticed between it and his other work was lack of sexual innuendo and human death. Yet for me, it managed to be evendarker than CoraIine. I must say, I will never look at the Rat King from the Nutcracker the same way again.

It is hard to pick a best line, but I am rather partial to, "The trouble with thinking was that, once you started, you went on doing it."

Both books get a hearty thumbs up from me, and a suggestion that you go buy them.

Tomorrow I start another short spot of vacation time. It's very likely that I will also be subbing again. This is all well and good, as the rehersals for Choral Union are getting intense. We had three hours of rehersal tonight, and will be having two hours each on Tuesday and Thursday this week.

Of course, all this means that am up way too late. Goodnight.

Dammit, why are there never any size nine shoes or boots left on the shelves? Is it a conspiracy? If they are so popular that they get bought up faster than all the other sizes, wouldn't it make sense to keep more size nines in stock than other sizes? I'm just saying....not that I'm bitter.

Personally, I think I own rather a lot of shoes. Part of this is due to the fact that women's shoes tend to be so speciallized that there is no one shoe that works with everything. Part of this is due to the fact that since size nines are so hard to find that when I do come across a pair that I like and can afford, I snap them up (who knows when tce will come again) and keep them until they are so ragged and worn they fall apart. (Then I get them fixed.)

[Note: when discussing a pair of somethign, does one say "it", referring to the entity of the pair, or "them", referring to the multiple?]

Having been pointed to a page of musician jokes, I have been laughing to the point of tears. Some of these I have heard before, but they are all so good (especially if you have been in band, choir, or orchestra at any point).

What's the definition of an alto?
A soprano who can sightread.


An interesting commentary on prejudice can be found here.

It's Friday night and I'm doing the at home thing. I just ate a fabulous dinner, which took me a couple of hours to cook. I made a good beef roast, baked potato, and the best gravy I have ever made. TJoC has revealed the secret to me and the secret is....bacon drippings, and strainer. Mmmmmm.

Now it is time lounge, happy and well-fed, and work on a logo design for one of my friends. I've got a couple of promising scetches in my notebook, but I want to get a few more before I head into Illustrator with them.

Ok, I'm not really one for having my picture taken, but if I ever have myself a family, I think I want to do this. What an amazing chronicle of the passing of time! (And my, are those two older brothers the spitting image of each other for a few years?)

(via Sekimori)

Nice big pot of fresh ginger tea before bed....very calming. Today was a hard day. I'm not quite sure why, though the election results may have been a part of it.


It is Wednesday, and almost the weekend.

My bank statement arrived today, and my checkbook is all nice and balanced.

I am up to the fruit chapter in JOC.

My laundry is clean.

I think I need to find something to do this weekend that will cheer me up and shake me out of my current rut. Lately, I've been feeling very busy, but as if I am not accomplishing anything. Combine that with seasonal ennui, and I am heading for grouch territory. Don't want to go there.

Hmmmm, maybe I should go swing dancing one of these days.

BTW, I find it funny that when the newspeople are giving the referendum results, they say that Nevada voters rejected a move to decriminalize recreational marijuana. They did, but I'd say that the big news was that 39% were in favor of it. That, my friends, is an indicator.

Well, I'd have to say that was damn depressing, overall. It's gonna be a long two years. Listening to the news, it sounds like there was a big Republican get-out-the-vote push, while a lot of Democrats stayed home. WTF?!? If an year would have been a good year for the Dems to do some balls-to-the-wall campaigning and voting, it would be this one. Why do some people only bother to vote in presidential elections?

Argh, I need some good news.

I really like the ballots we use here in Dane County. Very easy to read and use. Tdidates are listed under each section, with a broken arrow next to the name. (There is also a space for write-ins.) You take a felt tip marker and connect the arrow that points to your selected candidate. The names are in a straight list, a spaced far enough apart so as not to confuse them. If you make a mistake, you can get a new ballot. Finished ballots are fed into a machine which counts off the number of ballots it has received. (I fed the machine at my polling place the 457th ballot of the day.) Very neat and orderly. Why the hell doesn't everyone use this system?

One thing is for sure. I realy wouldn't want to have to vote on a touch screen. I think that is unreliable, and there is no paper trail to verify. Who knows what the programmng is really doing? What if there is a glitch? Oy. No thanks.

The new Vicky's catalogue arrived in the mail today. It is a big Christmas catalogue, almost 200 pages. Very luscious.

Last night, I was having a conversation with a male friend on how men and women typically react to problems. Tell a woman about your problem (big or small) and she will likely offer you sympathy and a shoulder to lean on. Tell a man about your problem (big or small) and he will likely ofer you possible solutions. This cancause some friction between the sexes, as a woman will also look for sympathy, and a man will likely look for solutions. Do either and/or both, depending on who I am dealing with, and what I think the situation calls for.

My friend, being a guy, wanted to know the point of offering sympathy, rather than trying to solve the problem. The best I could offer was to compare it to Civil War surgery. Yes, the bullet needs to come out, and the bone must be set. However, a little bit of anaesthetic makes the process a lot less painful.

The trick is knowing when soothing is called for (do they just need to vent?) and when is the time to advice. Best case scenario, do a little of both. Maybe we'll all be a bit happier.

I may have linked to these before, but I've just been reading Margaret Berry's great series on etiquette.

She has also just started a series on women's fashion which looks quite promising.

A friend sent me the link, and it was too bizarre not to share. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Romanian Mint Rubbing Association. That's right, mint rubbing. What else?

*Sigh* So I'm really glad I didn't end up gpoing down to State Street Saturday night. (I probably wouldn't have stayed that late anyway, but never-the-less.) I do know some people who were going to be down there, though. I hope they are ok.

I like alcohol just fine. Drunk people, on the other hand, really bug the shit out of me. Drunken mobs in particular. This isn't the first time that Madison has been inflicted by marauding hoards of drunkards and, sadly, it probably won't be the last.

(I wouldn't be surprised if the biggest instigators and trouble makers were out-of-towners.)

Oh, by the way, Tuesday is election day. Find out about candidates. Find out where your polling place is. Get out, get registered, and vote.

What's that you say? Your vote won't count anyway? The crappiest incumbent politicians count on that sort of apathy to stay in office. Yes, you may just be one vote out of the crowd, but those single votes add up. And as far as the Florida style elections want to make it easier for them to cheat you, then be my guest and stay home, stay silent.

What's that you say? You say that all of tdidates suck? Look into third parties. Look into independents. Pay close attention to what everone is saying, pick the best of the bunch, and then start encouraging better people to try for the job next time around. Whether you like tdidates or not, you have to live with the results.

Today is cold and grey, and I think I need a nap. I also have to go back to work tomorrow. However, in spite of all other facotrs, I am surprisingly uncranky.

Last night I got to be a goblin, and to help build a robot out of duct tape and plastic bags.

I am in the middle of the vegetables chapter in The Joy of Cooking, and I'm going grocery shopping in a little bit. (Mmmm, produce.)

Tonight I get to watch Angel and Firefly with a friend. (Watching tv by yourself is kinda like drinking alone.)

Only a few weeks until Thanksgiving, and my Choral Union concert.

The farther we get into cold weather season, the closer we get to spring. (OK, that one's pushing it a bit, I know.)

While reading a Metafilter discussion today, I came across the Human Clock. It amuses my highly. Go check it out. (Be sure to have cookies enabled.)

Today I have middle schoolers. God have mercy on my soul.

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