Friday, October 31, 2003

Posts will be even more sporadic if not nonexistent until next week.
Enjoy yourselves.
I'll be having a ball.

Tying up a few loose ends before I go away for the week. Pablo's got the animals. Have to do some packing. Decide what books and knitting to take with me. Oh yes, and what clothes.

I think I'll take the Bartlett's cranberry and peat colored yarns. Also the stripey project.
For books - I think I would like to take along the Debord book that I found incredibly cheaply at Schoenhof's. I have a love and hate relationship with Schoenhof. On one hand, they've got everything a polyglot girl could ever want. On the other hand, she's got to get a second job to afford it. Could not believe what they wanted for the Levi "What Happened to Daniel Pearl."
Should eventually pick up volume two of the Tocqueville. Make. Mental. Note.

So..."La Société du Spectacle." Check.
"The Death of Outrage." Yes, then I can leave it for Dad to read.
How bout "American Political Tradition," as well. Richard Hofstadter.

You can quiz me on all this when I get back. Snort.

Clothing's much easier to pick out. Jeans. A sweater. A few tee shirts. Maybe something black as well. Comfy shoes.

Okay, all set.

Quiet Halloween this year. No one really dressed up in the office. A few people complained about there being no 'spirit' there this year. Guess that that's what you get when you either lay off or fire the all the 'spirit' committe members.

Had maybe two dozen kids come trick or treating. Strange, as it is a Friday and the weather's nice. Put out a teeny jack o' lantern anyway. Hal got a few nice pictures of it. Maybe eventually I'll share. He said that it looked like something I would make. Something I'd sketch.

My Halloween card was pretty nasty: an image of the ducks' heads he needed to photograph at the viet namese market in Lowell. One of the few images I've had to toss.

Was a day of pain otherwise. Had a horrible migraine that lasted most of the afternoon. Je plâne maintenant. The pain has gone away and now I am just tired. If you were to hook me up to an ekg, I'd be flatlining.

How to express the tangibility of absence of something? I'm right now touching the left side of my face: fingers slide from my eye to temple to cheekbone to neck as if to make sure that they did not disappear with the pain. I am my pain, the body and the feeling are intertwined. I cannot imagine existing without it. Feeling me not feeling pain and not being numb is very strange.

Thirty spokes join one hub.
The wheel's use comes rom emptiness.

Clay is fired to make a pot.
The pot's use comes from emptiness.

Windows and doors are cut to make a room.
The room's use comes from emptiness.

Having leads to profit,
Not having leads to use.
Wu chih i wei yung

Or something like that.
(Tao te Ching, Steven Addiss and Stanley Lombardo translation)
Raging headache, lots to get done.
Oh well. Got some good book recommendations:

La Societe du Spectacle - Guy Debord. I was looking for this on As I don't really have much truck in French Literature or Philosophy after say 1950, this should be interesting. Be interesting to see the relation he has with Situationalist International.

In Defense of Elitism - William A. Henry, III.

This one might go well with some of the Thomas Sowell that Pablo's been reading. I'll have to check it out.

By the way: if you get a chance...please!...check out this site:

Day By Day

Love the edginess, love the humor. Kind of reminds me of "It's Grim up North London" on a good day.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Aah, to be so in touch with and accepting of the destructive side of my nature...
Gosh Darnit!

Andrew Sullivan is all man. Glenn Reynolds is a 'metrosexual' (a la Howard Dean?). They're all filtering their writing through the Gender Genie.

I ran three different texts through - two with more than 500 words, one with less than 500 words - and on all three occasions, the Genie has unequivocally declared me a male. I can assure you that I am *all* woman. A strong woman, yes. But all woman. It's getting me to think, though, on all the times guy friends and ex loves have either accused me of castrating all the males in my life or have said that their experiences with me have been the closest they could imagine to being in a gay relationship. Maybe I'm missing my calling? Maybe I need to be reassigned? Gosh, I hope not. I know firsthand how tough it is to change gender with the HMOs.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

So, what do you think of the new look? It's taken me some time, but I've finally gotten around to posting links, tinkering with the template, etc. The whole goal of this exercise, aside from giving me a creative outlet and and just venting a bit, was to learn a bit more about HTML and web publishing in general.

I finally got around to doing some of this cleanup work after having read a post over at Instapundit about female bloggers. I am a female, dag nammit. I am a blogger, too, I guess. It will be a long time, if ever, before my writing ever reaches the level of that of my heroes, but I can try, gosh darnit. And I can start by learning how to link properly and stuff.

Enjoy! Or not. Please do let me know, though. I live for feedback. Really!
Who all takes film to be developed anymore?

Snort. I am so-o-o-o analog.
Did I mention my new thing? This weekend, I broke out my little $20 Target special camera and started taking pictures of Hal taking pictures of stuff. I think I could really go somewhere with the whole statement/schtick of the artist as art, and art really only being a big ol' referential feedback loop. What do you think? Maybe I should get a hobby? Another hobby? A boyfriend? Another boyfriend? I can't wait to get the film back from the drugstore.
Oh, what the heck:

"To Niagara in a sleeper, there's no honeymoon that's cheaper...and the train goes we're gonna shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo!

Some day the stork may pay a visit with a little souvenir...just a little cute 'what is it,' but we'll discuss that later - just a little bit later!

For a little silver quarter, we can have the Pullman porter turn the lights down we're gonna shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo!"

I know all the words to "Erie Canal," as well. S'part of my cultural heritage, you know. Wanna hear them sometime?
Lots more to ruminate over regarding the Somerville elections.
My landlord gave me some more food for thought.
In some ways, this is a fair bit more interesting and exciting than the national/international stuff.

And I have to find an absentee ballot, too, as I won't be here for the voting day!

"I'll go off to get my panties, you go home and get your scanties...and away we'll go! Off we're gonna shuffle...shuffle off to Buffalo!"
Sorry to be missing you all lately. Back injury, attempts at piano, attempts at knitting, and processing those lovely apples pilfered? scavenged? around the Mystic. We now have fifteen jars of the most beautiful ruby colored jelly in the larder. Since I decided not to use commercial pectin, I cut the sugar requirement by almost half. The results: !zing! tart flavor, richer coloring, a slightly runnier consistency. Happily, too, all the jars sealed.

The shoe drops

Have walked by the Prospect Street Site twice a day for several years now. Before 9/11, my thoughts were, oh what a nice job they did cleaning up a cinderblock building in a not so hot part of the city. After 9/11, I wondered what could be going on there - but good, indoctrinated Cantabridgian that I can be, I immediately chided myself for racism and intolerance. Over the last year and a half, my thoughts turned to wondering if anyone was looking into the funding and other goings on at the ISB and when the shoe would drop regarding that.

It totally doesn't surprise me that the Globe (NYT subsidiary) wouldn't have much of anything if anything at all on this. I haven't heard much of anything regarding this on NPR, either, for that matter - but that could just be my sporadic listening habits.

It's really upsetting to see my...our goodwill abused like this. I don't like having to look with mistrust at my neighbors. At the sweeties (illegal, it's been admitted to me. The advantages of being a francophone) who'd give me a box of beignets Dunkin' avec mon cafe matinal. Or at the gentlemen who for the longest time would escort me to my street from the T in Eastie.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Gosh darnit! I need to remember to take care of my apples!
Nice weekend, what with that extra hour and all. Finished a sweater, finished a cuff/scarf thingy, worked on another sweater.

Ate lots of good food: I picked up Korean for Friday, Saturday we cooked, Sunday, we brought back Vietnamese takeout from Lowell. Was so pleased! Found a nice little market that carried, among other things, my favorite tamarind candies. They are a gel of tamarind mixed with sugar, salt and chili pepper for a serious !hup! kick. Be careful of the seed in the center, though!

Climbed Wachusett on Saturday. It was so nice to get out, even if it was about as crowded as the Foxboro parking lot before a Pats game there.

No deep thoughts or great insights at the moment. Just sort of winding down before hitting the hay. I wish my neck and shoulder would stop hurting me so. I need to remember to get an absentee ballot for the mayoral election, as (I totally forgot!), I'll be in Buffalo on Election Day. I think that that's it for now.

I'm tired, I hurt. I should go to bed so that I can be better equipped to handle tomorrow. And tuesday, not to mention wednesday...thursday...friday.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

What is it about me that seems to attract certain types of pathological personalities? I'm not talking about my friends, mind you. Some of my friends I sought out, others sought me out, it worked, we choose to stay together. I'm talking about the ones who will tend to latch on to you for whatever reasons. Depending on the circumstances, you can either attempt to dislodge them from your life and get some rest, or you may have to continue to bear them and their attentions. If only because you have to not 'rock the boat' and/or your work depends on it.

Been having troubles with someone like that for a while now at work. A couple weeks ago, things came to a head and it has become unbearable. In a nutshell, I was friendly with the person because I was friendly with his predecessor. I think that for whatever reasons, he took it the wrong way. I don't think that he deals well with other people, and it seems that he's out of his league workwise. As a result, he exploded at me over a work matter. I've taken steps to minimize my contact with him as much as I can. The wandering around my cubicle certainly has diminished, but the remainder of it turned into lurking and making funny faces at me. The last straw came when I was attempting to get a part of my job done, and he made my life very difficult for a week before I called in others to help me get my issue resolved.

One supervisor said that it was my problem, that apparently I cannot work with this person. Clearly not if I'm going to get my head bitten off because he cannot handle his job. My Fearless Leader has mentioned that this all has 'gotten personal.' Of course. My visceral reactions to verbal abuse are personal - certainly if I were someone else or I had time for a couple years more of therapy, I might be better able to grin and bear it. I cannot help it if I get sick from this sort of thing.

I really resent the accusation of the one supervisor. It's really a good thing he never went into rape counselling or anything like that.

I don't like to have to deal with people at all much less on a working level if I am constantly sizing up interactions by whether or not I can physically defend myself against them. As for whatever thoughts might be on their side, I can't help those, and I really don't care what they are. I just want to get my work done and get through my day with a minimum of aggravation.

This has been a trial physically, as my neck, which I had adjusted just this Tuesday, is now totally contracted on the left side. It feels solid as a board right into my back. Even slight movement on that side is agony.

Most of my day at work was just awful. My comforts came after I left: in getting home, in the affection from my Mamasan, in knitting with a bit of my 'silk garden' yarn (beautiful combination of raw silk and wool - hand dyed.), and in the incredible jouney involved in making my way to dinner at Bickford's on Broadway by way of Malden Center, courtesy of !Pablo!.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I have this theory. It's kind of crazy, but it does make a little sense if you know the person involved.

I think that my fearless leader is the next evolution of humanity. Sort of like those value added creatures in the science fiction story "Brainchild," by some Australian guy whose name escapes me at the moment.

You know, if we're homo sapiens sapiens v.1.0,
She's homo sapiens sapiens v.2.0 at least.

Bed now. Good night!
Girl kitty's angry at me for hacking at her hair mats. She struggled so much I nipped her with the scissors. I keep forgetting that cats can be a lot like the current crop of Democrats: they don't understand cause and effect. They can't seem to get that what gets to them may be the result of poor decisionmaking or incorrect actions on their part. Anyhow, Ampersand clawed the heck out of me. I put some peroxide on me and her and am just letting her calm down for a bit.

Need to go to bed.
Still on a Felt kick. Most of their stuff is just so effing brilliant it's beyond the ken of mere mortals. Or maybe it's just crazy and whacked out and makes absolutely no sense whatoever. (Kind of like me on a serious dearth of shuteye.)

Broke out the other albums. Cranked up the ol' Victrola and hollered along to "Primitive Painters" from "Ignite the Seven Cannons:"

I just wish my life could be as
strange as a conspiracy I hold out
hope but there's no way of being what
I want to be dragons blow fire angels
fly spirits wither in the air I'm just
me I can't deny I'm neither here there
nor anywhere oh you should see my
trail of disgrace it's enough to scare the
whole human race I don't care about
this life they say there'll be another one
defeatist attitude I know will you be
sorry when I've gone primitive painters
are ships floating on an empty sea gathering
in galleries were stallions of imagery

Just finished the cap on one of the sleeves of my soon to be new creamy aran sweater. Got to hit the hay.
Regarding throwing people under buses. If you're going to do so, please make sure that you have the right schedule. Makes is so much more effective.
Was not feeling well at all today. Went to bed way too late last night. Found myself in that state of exhaustion where you can no longer feel your nose, you're so numb. Left work early to go home and rest.

Just as I was leaving, my fearless leader said something that had me nearly crying from laughing so hard. In re some politicking being done by the next layer of management (who, but for a fair bit of bungling while trying to throw underlings under buses, would make the Borgias look like poster people for Family Values), she just sort of shook her head and mentioned that they were like "two dogs heading for the same tree." Last one to get the leg up wins.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Can I be needing another vacation this soon? I am feeling so, so, needing to be away from the office. Home, back in Buffalo, up north, anywhere but here.
Tonight was another quiet night. Looked at my Britten and Poulenc, banged the Hanon out. Had a glass of merlot and knitted away. The cream-colored sweater made of the acrylic fake aran is looking nice. Nice and plain. shouldn't be too heavy, either.

Why am I so tired out? Change in weather? General malaise? I'm becoming increasingly disappointed with people around me. From my best friend's loss of rhetoric after law school (response to my question about how civil liberties were so in danger nowadays: "I read the Constitution!"), to another lawyer friend's stunningly inane reference to Arnie being Hitler and his smashing rhetoric (on my stupidity, shallowness and blindness) on my response to that. What the heck are they teaching in schools nowadays?
Why should I put myself in hock another $20,000-$40,000 for this sort of foolishness? Surely not pure credentialism.

Listening to this beautiful album that Hal gave me. Was he just being nice, or did he know that he'd completely melt my frozen heart with a gift of a bootlegged "Train Above the City/Pictorial Jackson Review" album? Gosh.

Am feeling much better now. Much much better.
Combination music, merlot, chiropractic, getting this all off my chest, I guess. Good night.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Whoa! Get a load of the crap that tries to call itself formatting tags in my posts.
Love using this thing on a windows machine.
I promise I'll get the stuff fixed tonight. Really!
Some numbers that made up my weekend:

Five skeins of fake aran that knits up to 2.5 stitches per inch.

Three trees worth of free apples. (How bout them apples for ya?)

One lovely wander around the Mystic preserve.

Two classics on GBH 44 (Sabrina and That's Entertainment II)

Four new old books from the Davis Goodwill:
*Rants - Dennis Miller
*The Death of Outrage - William J Bennett. Hey, if can suddenly go from looking beyond Bill Clinton's 'dalliances' to trying to smear Arnie for doing far less than oud former president, I can read and accept the tarnished moralist's work. His gambling problem doesn't make him any less of a writer, as far as I'm concerned.
*The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 - Gordon S. Wood
*a random, dated book on scholarships for graduate study. What the heck. Maybe I can do some playing up of the woman thing. Wonder what it would be like to perform the whole oppressed female schtick.

Almost quitting time. Can't wait. Home, quiet, knitting, two kitties.

Aah, more food for thought amongst the rank and file at the office today.
The scent of my decidedly unusual tea wafts above the cubicle walls, mingling with cries of "who the heck is making beef jerky!" or "smells like someone's burning leaves!" Yes, folks, I found my stash of Lapsang Souchong in the larder.
Borrowed the boss's teapot and brewed away.

Some will complain about noxious odors, but my whole maintenance is that if we have to deal with obnoxious noises, folks can deal with my drink of choice at teatime. Sorry, but I'm not too sorry.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Well, now that I don't have four hours of baseball a night to keep me busy, I guess I can start this up again. Aah well. I think that that's prettymuch the universal feeling around here. Yes, pitcher's hubris, combined with poor management decisions make for a 'curse.' we all can get back to life and have a good night's sleep.

The weekend was a nice one. Very low key. Apple picking in the Mystic River Reserve.
Bit of a wander over to Davis Square today. Ran into the 'Cat Lady' over at the Goodwill. You know her, she's the one who says that she's a geneticist and tortures cats. She was harassing folks at the store for something and a police woman came in and removed her.

Saw some actually edifying TV tonight, bless PBS. "That's Entertainment II" and "Sabrina." (the original one, not the Harrison Ford one.) Glorious chick fare, that one.

Have given up on making the CD dress, since it's nearly Halloween and I've not nearly enough discs. Have decided on the second choice quick and dirty outfit. I think I'm going to be a funky angel. Anyone have a California Angels cap I could borrow?

Back to knitting for a bit. Then bed. Goodness, I'm not looking forward to work tomorrow.

Happy Monday, anyway.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I laughed my behind off this morning while listening to NPR. Someone in Boston interviewed Billy Crystal about the pennant race. According to him, if the Sox and the Cubs were to both make it to the Series, this would be an unprecedented event. It would be a World Series that would not be won. He figured that come seventh inning stretch, there'd be a plague of locusts to stop the game or something.
Sorry for the no shows over the past week. My bit of time outside of work has been coopted for piano, knitting and baseball. I'd like to think that I'm getting somewhere in two of the three realms.

Did a quickie poll around the office to see if my shaving my head would help the Sox. A couple people said that I'd never know until I tried. One woman looked at me and emphatically said, "no."

Politics? Well, we've gone from Bush = Hitler to Arnold = Hitler. Ooh, that was a stretch. There are so many who think that they are just so clever over that one.
Mark Steyn has a great article regarding that. Check out his website:

The article I'm referring to is about CNN Coverage. It should be one of his more current ones. There's plenty of other good stuff there to take a look at as well. So, do give a look.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

So, Arnold's in. The Sox are in the Bronx tonight.
I made peach jam last night. Have been practicing a lot (Britten nocturne and a lovely little waltz by Francis Poulenc). It's nice to have something to get totally absorbed like that, but I fear it's taking its toll on my back and left arm. Guess I'll have to get the chiro to look into it.

I'm trying to find a sweet little poem that Bill Littlefield (sports commentator - has a wonderful show on NPR called "Only a Game") recited in his commentary this morning about Sox fans. It was really a gem.

You should see the headlines here - "What Curse?" the Herald, with a big, full page picture of Babe Ruth. The home front will *not* be quiet or calm tonight, as I live below and next to some who go beyond mere fandom...should be fun while it lasts.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Hey, what ever happened to Felt?
Two things to remember:

1.) Have to find a copy of Virginia Postrel's "The Substance of Style." I've heard lots of chatter about it from the pundits that I enjoy reading. Thanks the wonder of cable TV in the motel room, I got to see a talk she gave about her book on CSPAN. Fascinating.

2.) Henri Bernard-Levi I think his name is? Contemporary French philosophe who got the nail on the head when he characterized the post 1968 generation of intellectuals as being brought up on "Marxism and Coca-Cola." Gotta look up more on him.

Goodness, that's sooo beautiful. Explains pretty well, too, why Che Guevara tee shirts will always be great sellers. Forget about content, forget about even reading. It all just looks good. To quote Virginia Postrel - "I like it and I'm like it!"
Quel weekend! Let's see: Friday, dinner with Hal and his mom. Lots of good food. 'Heaven's manna' for dessert. Stories about Latvia. I have a beautiful silver amulet with all sorts of fertility-evil eye-protective symbols all over it.

Saturday: rain rain, more rain! Took a duck tour. This is my fourth one. First one that I've ever been on that was driven by a colonial era guy in a tricorne. First one in which I've gotten to hear 'the State House is a fine example of the Federalist Style.' or 'Richardsonian Romanesque.' Have I ever mentioned what a fan I am of the duck tours? If you ever decide to come to Boston and are going to have anything to do with me while you're here - chances are you will be forced to submit to one.

Saturday evening: back to Leverett with Hal's mom. Would have been nice to keep her here a little longer. Maybe we'll get her back soon.
Found a motel (the Scottish Inn! Complete with thistle in the logo and a wicked glottal stop when I'd shout it.) that was cheap, family-owned, clean enough, close enough and had a cooler full of beer and wine. Headed over to visit Hal's dad, who happens to be in town for a bit. Was amazed to see the Sox win one...go Sox!

Sunday: Breakfast, a couple farm stands, Northampton. Visited with my little brother. Hey, he's looking good, is doing honorable work, is happy in lalaland. Kind of giving em hell like I try to do here in my little corner of the 'celebrate diversity but not with my daughter' world. He mentioned something about that whole 'impeach Bush' culture that really warmed the cockles of my heart: "It seems to me that it's the more privileged and entitled kinds that are complaining about stuff when things really aren't too bad."

Hear hear.

Dinner at a nice chain restaurant that we like to visit on our way back down Route 2. Home now.

Tired out. Glad to be home. Glad to be still and quiet for a bit.
Calming down to "The Pictorial Jackson Review," one of the first things I received from Hal. One of the little signs that he's perhaps way too hip for me and a bit of a renegade to boot. Sigh.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Glad to get back. I feel a bit less unfocused.
I have a lot of work to do. He looked at the fingerings on the Britten Nocturne, changed some. Assigned me specific ways to practice...metronome markings, too!
Lots of Hanon. Vitamins, all of it.
It's good to have some direction, to have some discipline.
I go back in a couple weeks. We'll see then if I can handle a second piece.

I like him. He'll probably be very good for me. Different kind of good from Miriam's good.
Piano lesson this afternoon. Going to meet my friend Ruth's teacher, Kevin, during lunch break. Wish me luck!
I've brought along some 'comfort food' pieces - couple volumes of "Mikrokosmos," my Baerenreiter collection, my collected works of Satie...we'll see how this is taken. Don't know much about him, but I do know what Ruth generally works on. We sort of have different tastes. Anyhow, more later on this.
Hal's mom is back from Riga. Very nice to see her. I don't know how she takes me, as I can be a bit, well, much. I really enjoy spending time with her, though. Hope that's apparent.

I think we'll be in the western part of the state for the weekend - taking her home, then perhaps seeing Hal's dad who happens to be in town. Maybe even see my little brother. We'll see. Should be a glorious weekend weatherwise. All autumnal and stuff. Western MA is the best place to be this time of year.

"A New History of Art"

Interesting critique in the WSJ culture section. I think that I might like to take a look at this new art history book. It will be refreshing to read a text that has the boldness to inject subjectivity in an area that is strangling itself in a sort of feedback loop. Though I don't have a problem with modern art per se (those of you who know me and know my particular tastes understand this), I do have a problem with the contemporary trends in music, art, literature/writing that leads to meaninglessness to all but the 'happy few' - the academes who have created the hothouse atmospheres. The ones who seek only to 'engage in dialogue with other artists.'

Okay. I just spilled a cup of chocolate all over me. I'm a bit spastic and I'm sort of frothing at the mouth. Take my words with a very big grain of salt. But do read the article.