Thursday, September 11, 2008

librarian shuffle

sorting iTunes alpha by song title and tracking how far into the alphabet you get each listening session = librarian shuffle.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

thoughts on how to blog

This is, quite literally, a 'note to self'.

I got called out by a couple of moms on the school playground the other day: Will ya get on Facebook already?

Today I read an article in the NYT, linked by Boing Boing, about "ambient awareness"; and it summed up why I've been reluctant to go beyond this blog and into the world of Facebook, Twitter and the like.(I was dragged kickin' & screamin' onto LiveJournal, but only because it's the only way to keep up with one of my friends. And she's on
Facebook now too.)

"For many people — particularly anyone over the age of 30 — the idea
of describing your blow-by-blow activities in such detail is absurd.
Why would you subject your friends to your daily minutiae? And
conversely, how much of their trivia can you absorb? The growth of
ambient intimacy can seem like modern narcissism taken to a new,
supermetabolic extreme — the ultimate expression of a generation of
celebrity-addled youths who believe their every utterance is
fascinating and ought to be shared with the world. Twitter, in
particular, has been the subject of nearly relentless scorn since it
went online. "Who really cares what I am doing, every hour of the
day?" wondered Alex Beam, a Boston Globe columnist, in an essay about
Twitter last month. "Even I don't care."

But then, I can think of the little things that would be fun to have
in those little up-to-the-minute boxes. Updates on what I spritz,
read, knit, listen, cook, eat, ponder. A lot of those little things
get scattered into unconnected boards and sites, or filed away until I
have more time to write a coherent (stop laughing) blog post about
them en masse.

So I might make the little skip-jump over to FB. Honestly, though, I'm
unsure about the amount of setup time. But it's got to be better than
feeling like I'm yelling into a static page, right?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Soundtrack of Your Life: a Meme

Here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. New question - press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool

And my results:

Opening Credits: "A-Punk", Vampire Weekend.
Aye aye aye aye! Nicely enough, this album makes me nostalgic for General Public and other stuff I enjoyed as a teen. It's not quite English Beat.

Waking Up: "Judy, Judy", Archer Prewitt.
Sounds like I need lots of coffee. This isn't the kind of thing I'd usually listen to in the morning, unless it was a lazy Sunday and I had the day off to myself to read and knit. Which rarely happens.

First Day At School: "Conquer Worm", Bill Laswell.
I haven't actually listened to this before, but what a great song title. Does conjure the twitchy boredom of school.

Falling in Love: "Mic Check", Cornelius.
There is no way I was ever smooth when falling in love. Maybe this song is just some nice irony. Or maybe it's about not being able to speak well when I would get a crush.

Breaking Up: "Stuart", the Dead Milkmen.
I don't think I've ever actually told someone that I like him/her because they know what the queers are doing to the soil. And hopefully I didn't sound like that much of a loon during a breakup.

Prom: "Restless Soul". the Proclaimers.
"It drove you on, twenty-five years ago, it'll drive you tomorrow. It can't stop, it'll drive you til you drop, restless soul.... You feel like there's a curse putting you to the test, but you've been blessed.... You're always looking for a place your mind can rest, it's not there, it's not there. So drift away, let tomorrow have today while your dreams take tomorrow..." Maybe this makes more sense as a retrospective. What I actually remember dancing to at my prom was Tainted Love by Soft Cell.

Life's Okay: "Standing in for Joe", XTC.
I'm going to cheat because this is too silly and not fitting with my life whatsoever. But I get something by Konono 1, and then Civilians by Erin McKeown. Ah, "The World's Address" by TMBG. Hmm. Wish I could substitute some other XTC song.

Mental Breakdown: "Sunday", Bloc Party.
Heavy night.... This does sound like driving to the water and moping, which I certainly did. Ah teenage life in New England.

Driving: "Ackee 123", English Beat.
I do remember driving around with What Is Beat in the car, but this isn't on that tape.

Flashback: "Hold Back the Rain", Duran Duran.
I never went through the OMG DURAN DURAN phase that a lot of my cohorts went through, but I did love the albums.

Getting Back Together: "Can You Heal Us (Holy Man)", Paul Weller.
Hang on tight, hang on strong.

Wedding: "Disappearing Song", David Gray.
Wow, um no.

Birth of a Child: "I Need You", the Eurythmics.
Right song title, completely wrong song sentiment.

Final Battle: "You've Got Everything Now", the Smiths.
So apparently I lose and I'm a whiny loser.

Death Scene: "On and On (Acapella)", Eryka Badu.
Peace and lessons manifest with every lesson learned.... Can't you just see this, cinematically. I'm not really cool enough to die to this, but I'd aspire to it.

Funeral Song: "Hail! Men o'War's Men", from HMS Pinafore.
Poor little buttercup, dear little buttercup.... And apparently this causes some snickering. I don't know the plot of this Gilbert & Sullivan well enough to know what's going on at this point in the story.

End Credits: "International Flight", David Snell, on The Outernational Sound.
Boy I somehow end up sounding all sauve. Deeeweeeyyy..... (ya da da di dah) Sauuuuve.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

One of two possibilities

My dad's visiting this week. Interesting things: in the Apple store, the salesperson assumed I was his wife. At the playground today, my friend thought he was my brother.

So either I look like potential trophy wife material, or my facial care routine is so, so fired.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She needs it more than she knows

Patron: Do you have that book, "America's Cheapest Families Gets You Right On Your Money?"

Me: Ah yes (reads subtitle: your guide to living better, spending less, and cashing in on your dreams); ours is checked out. Looks like there are eight copies in our system; they're all out or on hold right now, can I place a hold for you?

Patron: How long is the waiting list?

Me: There are four holds on eight copies, so you'd only be waiting a couple of weeks.

Patron: Nah, I'm gonna head over to the bookstore and buy it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

PMR: The Jesus and Mary Chain, live

Courtney: It sucked. Completely. Total crap.

Everyone else: Holy fucking hell I got to see the J&MC and they didn't pull any bullshit about not play your favorite song. I mean, even Sidewalking. Never witnessed a roomful of people jumping up and down in total glee for a whole show. Nicely incongruous with their lyrics. And my ear is whistling, I always love a show when my ear whistles afterwards.

Not pithy, but who cares.

PMR: The Upsidedowns (live)

Dude needza cape.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

PMR: The Real Tuesday Weld, live

Ahhh, fun show with full band and visuals. Clicky title for his myspace; also go to his regular site to get more of a sense of his visuals.

Tin Pan-tronica!

Sunday, July 06, 2008


So we supposedly have made an agreement that the husband will come home a little earlier one day a week, so I can get to yoga classes.

And now I'm looking through the class descriptions, and the place I was thinking of trying keeps using the words 'juicy' and 'yummy' in their text. Um, ew. Thankfully, I live close to four studios, but most of them seem to like having their advanced classes in the post-7pm timeslot. One of them has childcare, at such short time periods that there is no choice of classes and I'd probably be working during all possible timeslots anyway.

Juicy, yummy, here I go....


facepalm = that moment when you realize you shouldn't have done that....

Today's version is 'I just forwarded an email to a work superior that includes my husband and I calling each other by our pet names.'

My husband emailed me to let me know that he had tried calling me twice at work today. Neither call was answered at the reference desk, but he was also told in the process that (a) I wasn't working today and (b) I must be working at the other branch. Erm, read the damn schedule, receptionist. Especially when I've said hello to you. I had no idea he had called until he emailed - which was unfortunately after closing. Receptionist never mentioned it to me. He was trying to see if it was a good day to bring the kids to visit me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


A birdie told me what you're going through. I'm so sorry to hear about it. I don't have really great words to say except the oft-repeated 'stay strong and hang in there'. We'll be thinking about you.

Monday, June 02, 2008

A balanced collection

Perusing this morning to verify some bibliodata (yeah, I could use WorldCat, but Amazon is more fun). And I spy this title:

Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments

... and it's by once-upon-a-time Clinton hack Dick "Wow did my parents name me right" Morris.

So if you put this in a room with the new Scott McClellan "Oops did I tell you I had my fingers crossed while serving as Bush's Press Secretary" book, you have a finely balanced collection. Jeesh.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

So I woke up this morning and decided....

1) That if Hillary Clinton thinks it's okay to declare victory and claim better electability based on other peoples' racism, she's immoral and has no business being a public servant. The better course of action is to step back, address the social ill of racism while she's in a position to do so, and stop exploiting it for personal gain.

2) Cory Doctorow's new novel, Little Brother, is Young Adult because it's hamfisted. I'm also surprised and peeved at him for portraying a librarian as someone who is okay with the government gathering massive amounts of private data on citizens and mining it in the name of national security. We like data and its possibilities.... but we love our - and our patrons' - privacy. Wanna watch a librarian foam at the mouth? Mention the PATRIOT Act as it relates to libraries. (And for the millionth time, Laura Bush doesn't count.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Meet Saffron!

She came home with us on Friday from the Humane Society, and has already settled in quite well. TJ is, well, okay. A little miffed, but not too mad to cuddle with me.

And she's too girly to call Rickroll.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

PMR: Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland: "4 Minutes"

AKA The Cougar Themesong. Hear those trumpets? Yep, it's the Apocalypse.

Monday, April 21, 2008

What the world needs now...

Is an LOL Cats Steampunk Pirate Band.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Can I Has Steam Mateys. Singing delightful shantys such as "Does You Have a Flavor (tick tock)" and "Oh Hai and Ahoy I Upgraded Your Timex".

Friday, April 18, 2008

So wrong, but feels so right

How wrong is it that I want to adopt a ginger tabby and name it Rickroll?

Never gonna give you up....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another messed up dream

A couple of nights ago I had another broken instrument dream. In this one, I was at a spiritual retreat and participants were encouraged to bring their musical instruments. During a break between sessions, a facilitator started messing around with my sarangi, saying that he had one too. He didn't ask my permission, and he broke my bow. The hair became floppy and useless. I was observing from that strange dream 'I can see what's going on but can't intervene' perspective. Then when we got back into session, he asked me to play as if nothing was wrong.

The facilitator was not someone I knew, and the setting wasn't familiar. I'm just wondering what these dreams mean, if anything. They get me quite upset by the time I wake up, and leave me unsettled for a few days.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

PMR: She & Him (or, erm, Her)

Zooey Deschanel, please give Mandy Moore her day job back.
Mandy Moore, please give Zooey Deschanel her day job back.

Thanks, ladies!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Seventeen Years

Fulfilling a promise made years ago to my sarangi teacher in Pune, I finally got to see Aruna Narayan last weekend!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A ha ha ha!

Really messed up dream

One of those dreams with a whole bunch of rolling random things. Somewhere, a mini fig tree was involved. In another part, I got a job as an extra in some movie and somehow spent time with one of its stars, Kal Penn. I was playing a tamboura, and he snapped its neck off. It was a rented tamboura, and I was going to be on the hook for six hundred dollars for it, so I decoupaged the receipt to my fingernail so I could show him that it was not a trifling amount.

And yes, I woke up thinking, I get to have a dream about Kal Penn, but that's it? He breaks my tamboura? Sigh.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a URL that I should register

Also, I looked at Remy Nicole on YouTube and feel slightly guilty about the PMR below. It's like beating up a girl scout.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Pithy Music Review: Remi Nicole, "Rock & Roll"

This might have been okay waaay back when it was a demo. It has since been overproduced into being the worst thing on the radio. Cringeworthy.

Isms intersecting

The article that this entry's title links to was something I found on Feministing, a blog I read on a daily basis. It was tucked into a weekend roundup of links.

The author describes a situation in which a neighboring airline passenger crossed her boundaries. In the process, she swore at him, which further aggravated the man. In her writing she constructs the incident, including the reactions of the flight attendants she called for assistance, through the lenses of racial and gender biases.

Here's my problem with her argument: she swore at the guy before he 'assaulted' her. I'm using quotes because she chose not to press charges. She then becomes irate with the flight attendants, who tell her she has the option to press charges but it would require her getting off the flight. The flight attendants repeat the fact that she swore at the man. The writer seems to have no consciousness of the fact that her swearing could be construed as verbal assault. Doesn't excuse the male passenger - he had, after she swore at him, grabbed her arm and threatened to slap her - but as he had already left the row before the flight attendants came, and she was not willing to go forward with pressing charges, the flight attendants have no further obligations than to get the plane ready for flight. This includes getting her to calm down and let them do the rest of their jobs. When the flight gets underway, the writer is in tears, and then she gets upset that the flight attendant comes back to check on her. Because that's maternalistic. She's also quite sure that the entire incident happened the way it did because she's Asian American, and not slender.

So... we have a writer, who won't accept responsibility for her words in causing a situation to escalate, and who you cannot possibly approach in any way if you're white because she's going to find fault with your mindset. You're either with her, or against her. Oooookay.

To me, feminism includes believing that your actions and words have consequences. She chose to swear at someone who was approaching antagonistic behavior, and it sent him further down that path. Saying her words had nothing to do with the outcome is like saying that what a woman says shouldn't matter. Which, had she decided to press charges, wouldn't do her so well in court, would it?

I read the story two days ago and it's still stuck in my craw.

In a much less agonizing story, I had a slightly odd intersection-of-race-and-gender incident of my own yesterday. I was grocery shopping, with both kids in tow, and stopped at the fish counter to get some salmon. It's a local grocery chain, not quite Whole Foods, full of hipster types that also fill my neighborhood. I'm mainly paying attention to my own kids and getting the errands done, when a black man comes by and - I wish I could describe this better - kinda waves his arms at me and then tells me he's just picking on me because I'm a white woman and it was "a white woman thing". Um.... I don't know what body language I was using before this happened, beyond putting the wrapped salmon into my cart. I'm far from being the only white woman in the store. He might be the only, if not one of the very few black men in there. He also happened to be a bit flamboyant. It wasn't antagonistic, but it was just weird. I was thrown for a loop. Mainly because there wasn't a darn thing I could do in equal response that wouldn't automatically label me as a racist or a homophobe. Later, as I was putting my items on a conveyer for checkout, he was came up to the front looking for a checkout line. My line was short, but it looked like he was trying to avoid it. I signaled him over and said I was harmless, really. He said something about 'just messing with me because I had a good smile.' I still don't quite get it - maybe he thought I was someone he knew, and then halfway through realized I wasn't, so his gesture fell flat, or maybe I looked 'safe' to play with because I was toting my two biracial kids with me. I can't do much more than chalk it up to Portland randomness at this point.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pithy music review: Velella Velella

Velella Velella: Wheeee! Wheeee! (Not all PMRs are gonna be snark.)

Check 'em here. PDXers, go see 'em at Holocene on 2/28.

Pithy music review: Girlfriend in a Coma

If this wasn't by the Smiths, it would have been laughed off the planet.

Monday, February 18, 2008

"I have been in villages in rural Gujurat! I have been a patient in a hospital in rural Gujurat!"

In planning our trip to Kerala this coming November, my husband has been sweating the details of our itinerary. Which town, which hotel, how many days, how to transport from A to B, etc.

And what he keeps asking me is, am I sure I want to visit his family's rural village?

This is bugging me - not the question of whether or not to go; I definitely want to go and would consider the trip incomplete without going. But my husband, who hasn't been in India since he was 3, seems convinced that village life would take me outside of my comfort zone, even though I have been in rural villages before. I'm also wondering if the fact that his repeated asking bugs me so much indicates that (a) he's reluctant but feels duty-bound to go, and would like an out or (b) I am experiencing "I am soooo into diversity! Lemme show you!" whiteyism.

So I keep telling him, I want to go, I am part of his family and would feel awful if we didn't go. Maybe by the time we're on our way there, he'll believe me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

John McCain wants me to break the law

I am getting several calls a day from John McCain, asking for my vote in Virginia's primary.

These calls are coming to my Oregon home phone number. When we moved, we had the "this number is no longer in service, please call this number...." message direct people to my still-Virginia cell phone number, so we don't know how the McCain folks got our home number. We're also perturbed by the fact that these calls come from "blocked number" or "no data" IDs.

In any event, I can't legally vote in VA's primary, and something - like say, a 503 area code - should have clued McCain's databankers to this fact. But maybe he's that desperate that he's willing to take a chance on the possibility that I am not registered in Oregon yet (which, of course, I am).

Monday, February 11, 2008

Pithy music review: Tu Fawning

Tu Fawning describes the audience, enthusiastically clapping for this. Yikes.

"There are better ways to show one's appreciation for Tom Waits. Sitting alone in a room is one of them."

"A soundtrack to a movie I would stay the hell away from."

Heretical perfume review: Rose Ikebana v. Clarins' Par Amour Toujours

Hermes' Rose Ikebana = Clarins' Par Amour Toujours.

Rose juice with berries and grapefruit. One is designed by Jean-Claude Ellena, Hermes' in-house perfumer, as part of their Hermessences line and thus accoladed; the other is available at the department store and has a heart on the cap and is therefore to be ridiculed.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Took a few moments to walk the baby in a stroller today, in between raindrops. Put on the iPod, which was set on shuffle as usual. It starts up with an old favorite, XTC's Respectable Street. But this was some odd version, and I wonder where I got it...

"Now they talk about ?absorbtion?, in cosmopolitan proportions to their daughters..."

Oh yes. Suburbanites discussing paper towels, or perhaps feminine hygiene products, 'tis the scourge of Britain.

"Now she's talking 'bout diseases, and which ?proposition? pleases best her old man...."

Ok. The real lyric is 'sex position.' Maybe not OK with the BBC.

"Sunday Church and they look fetching, Saturday night saw him ?stretching? over our fence..."

So.... no drunken wretching. Yoga! Your obnoxious neighbor does yoga over property lines!

All part of decency's jigsaw, I suppose - indeed!

Fiddling around my playlist, it looks like this version is from the greatest hits compilation Upsy Daisy Assortment. Cleanliness wipes a lot of the fun from it. Do yourself a favor and make sure you listen to the Black Sea version.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

sweetest thing

On the advice of my music teacher, I picked up a copy of Ravi Shankar's autobiography and musical exercise book, My Music My Life. There is a beautiful new edition published by Mandala, and it features a recent picture of Shankarji, playing his sitar with closed eyes.

My daughter likes to take the book, drape her fingers across the sitar's strings, and kiss Ravi Shankar's face.

swimming upstream

So here's what's going on with me....

Some kind of weird, girl-area pain. It's been on the heels of some other problems, and I finally got another doctor to look at what was going on after my first doctor seemingly dropped me. But it's a case of "you have small abnormalities that shouldn't be causing a lot of pain, so come back in a couple of months and we'll check again." In the meanwhile, I'm on Vicodin to keep on top of the pain, as ibuprofin and other OTCs do nothing.

A friend of the family is in a very uneasy situation, and I can't say much about it publicly, but it has had me and my husband worried sick. We think things are looking up, but not sure yet.

I completely screwed up a work situation - someone had asked me to cover for them today. They asked me in November, and hadn't mentioned it since, and I just plum didn't keep track of it and was gobsmacked by the 'where are you' call this morning. Adding to that, I was in an increased amount of pain today from yesterday's poke-n-prod, and I realized I had one Vicodin left so needed to stop to get a refill or the pharmacy would be closed before I got home. I have been pining for a device that would easily sync calendars with my Mac, and would allow me to update in the field. I time. As it is, I don't utilize my calendar enough because I have to be in front of this machine to see it. Want it in my pocket. It's new cellphone time. You know where this is heading.

I'm also lobbying for the return of a cleaning service. The pain and the medicine leave me very tired, and screw up my sleep, and I can basically keep the toys from completely overrunning the place and the laundry and dishes done and the crumbs swept and that's about it.

Despite the tone of this post, I don't spend a lot of time griping about this condition. I do have fears about where it may be leading, but there is nothing I can do at this point. I'm not getting much reading done, I'm pouring my energy into coordinating a group knitting project at work, into my kids, and trying to stay comfortable. But I don't have much energy for much else, and I feel that it's time to get some help with the daily tasks if I can't get medical relief for a while.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Things I have had to explain to my 6-yr-old

- Many, many aspects of Star Wars, including lots of questions about "Dark Vader" and "Obi Wan Kedobi".

- How that woman got a beard on her chin (yea Portland).

- Why some medical treatments make you feel yucky even if they're doing good things for you.

- Why boys can't have babies.

- How long it takes things to turn to compost.

- Which things will never turn into dirt or compost.

- Who was Martin Luther King Jr.

- Why, if MLK was so important, he wasn't President.

- The difference between primaries and the presidential election.

- Why the gums around a loose tooth bleed just before the tooth comes out.

I've probably forgotten a bunch already. Whew.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

tabla lesson

This was later on Bea's birthday.

medical pet peeve

When you get an ultrasound, and it's not for pregnancy, you're in the room staring at the screen, trying to relate the grainy black & white images to the nice color diagrams you've looked at from medical texts. The technician can tell you what that blob is ("That's your uterus.... that's your ovary.... that's your endometrial lining....") but since that person is not a radiologist, they can't show or tell you what's actually wrong or not-so-wrong. It's another day or two of waiting until your doctor gets back to you with the radiologist's reports. So, you've already seen the images first hand, but you still don't know what's going on.

I know they do this for efficiency, because the radiologist can determine what is going on in much less time than it takes to grab the images, but I do wish they'd just schedule a few minutes of time to hear the interpretation at the end of the ultrasound. Waiting really, really sucks.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Birthday hijinx!

Oh my, I no longer have a baby.