Thursday, September 30, 2004

Craig took a mental health day off yesterday. Maybe he should do so more often! I came home to the wonderful scent of something Italian having been baked. When I entered the kitchen, I found a calzone waiting for me, along with a bottle of yellowtail (trink mich!) and a glass. How sorry I was that I'm currently abstaining from sugar, bread, wine. Posted by Hello

(image by Marcio Melo)
Speaking of Wild Women:

Big, Soviet Era Propaganda looking girl that I am, I found this post heartening:

I don't know why women think men want obedient women. What this guy wants is not submissiveness but resistance. A worthy sparring partner in the battle of life!

How many times have I been called mannish? Unladylike? Too many to name. I usesd to feel like I was in drag when I wear a dress. A fake. Gosh, I remember being told by an ex boyfriend that our relationship was the closest thing to a gay relatiionship that he could ever conceive of being in. Gosh darnit.

Self-acceptance is helpful. It is nice, though, when someone comes along who isn't intimidated or turned off by a girl who likes boy things, who isn't afraid to debate, who is taller than he is, who, gosh darnit, doesn't feel that Sex in the City is 'like, so totally' about her.

I wish the guy who posted this the best of luck in finding an equal (or maybe even a never know).

I wish this guy the best of luck in his quest.

Awful tension headache this morning. Or is it allergies? I really can't tell anymore. My eyes are gummy, ich fuehle mich ein bisschen verschlucht...but my jaws are aching, my neck is stiff and my shoulders hurt. Is work causing me to start grinding my teeth again? Advil time. Seems to work better (and not bother the tum so much) if I take it with the morning caffeine dose.

On a good note, however, I did wake up with a very beautiful, raunchy, fun song in my head:


Não conheço seu nome
ou paradeiro
Adivinho seu rastro e cheiro
Vou armado de dentes e coragem
Vou morder sua carne selvagem
Varo a noite sem cochilar, aflito
Amanheço imitando o seu grito
Me aproximo rondando a sua toca
E ao me ver você me provoca
Você canta a sua agonia louca
Água me borbulha na boca
Minha presa rugindo sua raça
Pernas se debatendo e o seu fervor
Hoje é o dia de graça
Hoje é o dia da caça
e do caçador

Eu me espicho no espaço
feito um gato
Pra pegar você, bicho do mato
Saciar a sua avidez mestiça
Que ao me ver se encolhe
e me atiça
Que num mesmo impulso
me expulsa e abraça
Nossas peles grudando de suor
Hoje é o dia de graça
Hoje é o dia da caça
e do caçador

De tocaia fico e espreitar a fera
Logo dou-lhe o bote certeiro
Já conheço seu dorso de gazela
Cavalo brabo montado em pelo
Dominante, não
se desembaraça
Ofegante, é dona do seu senhor
Hoje é o dia da graça
Hoje é o dia da caça
e do caçador

Hunting Trip

I don't know your name
or whereabouts
I guess your trail and smell
I set out armed with teeth and courage
I'm going to bite your savage flesh
I cross the night restless and troubled
And wake up imitating your cry
I get closer to your burrow
And when you see me you taunt me
You sing your crazy pain
Water bubbles in my mouth
My prisoner bellowing her race
Legs debating each other and her fervor
Today is the day of grace
Today is the day of the hunt
and the hunter

I stretch out in space
like a cat
To catch you, animal of the wild
To satisfy your half breed eagerness
Which, when it sees me, huddles
and provokes me
And in the same impulse
expels and embraces me
Our skins stick together with sweat
Today is the day of grace
Today is the day of the hunt
and the hunter

From an ambush I spy on the beast
Soon I'll strike an accurate blow
I already know your gazelle torso
Angry horse mounted bareback
Dominating, she doesn't
lose her inhibitions
Breathless, she is mistress of her master
Today is the day of grace
Today is the day of the hunt
and the hunter

-Chico Buarque

(Listening to it now as I write.)

Interesting bit of trivia on Buarque: his grandfather was the Brazilian "Webster" in that he conceived the first strictly Brazilian Portuguese dictionary.
Wordsmithing evidently ran in the family.


Oh my word! Would you believe that the headache's all but gone away now?
Amazing what a little rythmic music about encounters with wild women will do for you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Another great idea from Karen:

Instead of Halloween candy this year, why not Halloween toys?
She brought in the latest Oriental Trading Company catalog (fun, cheap party favor junk in bulk!) and we spent some time doing the numbers. I'm pretty certain that I could set up the neighborhood kids with some nice, fun little goo gahs for about what it would cost to buy a bunch of candy at CVS. Maybe even for less. I'd have more fun picking the stuff out, too.

Now, to get a move on with the costume. (Remember last year's CD drive? Didn't have enough then, but most certainly do, now. I can either knit myself a wig from some violently colored Salvation Army acrylic yarn, or buy one for $5 from the Trading Company...go go boots are another matter entirely, though.)
I do think that this post that I found in this week's Carnival of the Vanities, though a bit screedy, sort of fits in with Oliver Kamm's critique from last week of the ENO's Don Giovanni.

No coherent message to impart? Just shock 'em, then.
I'm sure that under normal circumstances (meaning, I had a whole day to myself), I'd get the apple processing done in a day. The inability to stand for long periods of time, combined with a flurry of other things to get done and a double-sized harvest have protracted things a bit, though.

Monday night: picked through, cleaned and cut up the fruit. I do believe the malic acid may well have worn off my fingerprints!

Last night: made juice. I have quite a bit of that gorgeous, pectin-ey, sweet, pink stuff that is just aching gel. Also have a huge amount of fruit pulp left over. It's not so pretty, but has a great body to it. This year, I may well make apple butter instead of sauce. We'll see how we feel about it tonight.

Pablo came over with Boston Chicken and kept me company. He read from a book of Hawaiian myths he picked up on vacation. I've never heard any of these stories, so they are a treat to keep the mind occupied with. I've particularly enjoyed the stories of Kama Pua'a the Pig Child and Maui the trickster.

Also broke out and listened to the soundtrack to the film Genghis Blues. I'd forgotten how good the music was from this, and it's making me want to see the film again. Great story. Unfortunately, it came out at around the same time as Buena Vista Social Club, so did not get the exposure it deserved. It's a much better film, in my opinion (and the music is more interesting - not to say that the musicians in Buena Vista Social Club are slouches - no! Just personal preference.) I just think that Tuva isn't nearly as fashionable as Cuba, so not as much of a buzz over it. Guess it also helps to have a big studio budget, Ry Cooder as your tour guide, and Wim Wenders as your director.
Not at peace last night. Weather? Maybe. The driving rain woke me up at around four this morning. I tossed and turned a bit, lay there listening to the pitterpatter on the roof, windows, leaves, sidewalk, street. Finally, at around 5:30, said to myself 'to heck with it,' and got up. Two (big) cups of coffee and some seriously overdue email later, here I am. I think that I'll last till about noon ish, then will just keel over onto my keyboard. That's the thing about 'running numbers' for a living. It can be very calming in good circumstances. In others, sleep-inducing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Over the past couple weeks, I've gotten some thoughtful commentary on a couple of my scribbles. I followed along the ID thread of one of them and found Something interesting. Do go take a look at it. There's a fair bit to what he has to say, and I get the feeling that, like with me and a whole lot of other people, he's struggling with the choices he'll have to make this upcoming November.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Got the word that my little brother is moving to Los Angeles in a couple weeks. I really enjoyed having him in the same state as me and was hoping he'd stay for a bit longer. A better job beckons, and all of this brings him and his wife closer to their desert, ocean with rideable waves and geodesic domes. He's going to be in Northampton for another week or so - if you see him (he works at the Army Surplus place on the main drag) - go say hi to him, buy him a cup of coffee. Wish him the best. He deserves it. Tell him his sister will miss him; she will. A lot. Posted by Hello

My Monday Morning Flower turned out to be a whole bouquet this week. Arija's garden was awash in blue this time around. Posted by Hello

I don't see how this past weekend could have been any prettier. Western Massachusetts, even as it becomes more and more commercial/gentrified/obviously a disneyland for the wealthy, is still beautiful in the fall.  Posted by Hello

Friday, September 24, 2004

Understanding the Code

Generally, I just say that I'm a Bat Mitzvah short of being a neoconservative.
Tokyo Rose running for president?

I'll keep saying this: I speak French, my dad served in Vietnam, and you know what?

I still can't stand Kerry.

I've read Kerry's response to Allawi's speech at the UN the other day - calling him everything but a liar. I've read what Kerry's sister's been saying about allying one's self with the US - as a member of a 'fraudulent coalition.' Disgraceful.

A bit on 'Tubby' Riefenstahl's latest venture.

Now, before reacting by calling me a fascist, censoring thug, answer this: Isn't attempting to demoralize the troops considered treason?

I never really had a 'crush' phase growing up - no movie stars, no musicians really ever did it for me. I liked a football player in high school for a bit, but grew out of it pretty fast.

Guess I was always just more into the AV guys.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

What a lucky girl I am.

A rotten day at work faded away a bit on getting home. My emotional state and quality of life took a jump when I found Raphaella waiting for me with a plate covered in a big, blue linen napkin. "You're late again. This is too late to be having dinner, but go eat while the food's still warm."

Low carb whole wheat pasta covered with her homemade, from the garden sauce: tomatoes, a combination of hot and sweet peppers, bay leaf, basil, oregano...simmered all afternoon. This must have been put in the oven, as it was slightly dry and there was a fair bit of melted cheese over it.

I wanted to cry. Raphaella makes the best pasta sauce in the world. She's such a good cook. I have to learn some of these recipes direct from her.
After reading Oliver Kamm's review of this revival of Mozart's Don Giovanni, I got to thinking about something Hal said to me regarding a number of works we saw at an exhibition of local artists, in Provincetown, MA. So many of the artists had incorporated various body fluids/excretions into their works that he declared that the new 'subversive' media would eventually be acrylics, oils, watercolors, etc.

I've always been annoyed by two things here: First the use of shock to compensate for a lack of technic, creativity, originality. Secondly, the defense (which range from clueless to downright insulting) or excuses made for this sort of work by the groups that support it.

I have always considered art as not just to challenge the mind but elevate the spirit. Would I have made the decision to go to college rather than business/secretarial school without my La Musique to contemplate at the Albright Knox? Probably, but I do know that what I knew of Matisse and the Fauves had considerable impact on my tastes and the disciplines I did manage to get some formation in. I'd like to think, too, that that minx in blue holding the guitar is a model for my personality and comportment to a certain extent. Heaven help me if they'd ever decided to replace this work with something like Serrano's Piss Christ.

When groups claim (like the ENO) that they are trying to move away from the 'stuffy, middle class, boring' image of certain artforms (in this case opera), that they are trying to make these forms 'more accessible' to people, I wonder first, who has the image of opera of being stuffy and boring? Perhaps the people in the organisation making these statements? I also find it incredibly insulting, this notion that the art needs to be dumbed down with sex, scatology, drugs, whatever to the level of the philistines that they are trying to get to fill the concert hall. I wonder if they have any idea as to how detrimental all of this is to their cause.

Raphaella was by the other day to tell me that the Lupus Foundation of MA's annual walk around the Charles is this coming Friday. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, like rheumatoid arthritis, and chances are, you know someone who has it. If you're free on Sunday, why not go take a walk with them. If you can't make that - you can always send a donation via the website.

As Raphaella put it: 'If you give something, I'll be happy. If not, well, I'll be sad, but I'll get over it.'

Monday, September 20, 2004

Just a couple posts on "Rathergate" - in no particular order.
(Am wondering how long it will take for the DNC folks to a.) deny any importance b.) blame Karl Rove for all this.)

What Have Blogs Wrought? - Jonathan Last in the Weekly Standard

Armchair Critic's take on the now (in)famous defense the documents.

For those of you worried about the Swift Boat Veterans's 'smears' against Kerry:

a gallery of "Bush = Hitler" allusions, complete with screen shots.

And you still can't figure out why I'm saying that it's not so much a question of wanting Bush to win, perhaps as believing with all my heart that the Democrats need to lose a heck of a lot more than the Republicans at this point?

Films this weekend?

The Lady from Shanghai
Smiles of a Summer Night
A Midsummernight's Sex Comedy

All the making of tidbits from the second DVD of the Master and Commander
box set.

Got very little knitting done, as the films were so engrossing.

I found the visuals in Lady from Shanghai particularly breathtaking, and Frank O'Hara's monologue on the shark frenzy to be both funny as all get out and horrifying. Maybe it was the claustrophobia, the sense of strangulation despite the airiness and sun-drenched scenes, perhaps the theme of a voyage that made me recall and really get the urge to see Night of the Hunter again.

What can I say of Bergman's comedy born of misery Smiles of a Summer Night except that it was a gem? There was just a wonderful balance in this - between comedy and darkness, young love and more mature, realist relationships. Spare, but important soundtrack, a wonderful theatricality (verymuch a comedy of manners in the style of Molière), and a sort of drunkenness brought about by the midnight sun. Goodness, I want to be Eva Dahlbeck when I grow up. If I grow up.

Midsummernight's Sex Comedy was great Woody Allen in an uncommon bucolic setting. Its inspiration came from the Bergman film, but, though lovely - I thought it a fair bit too disorganized, contemporary despite its late victorian era costuming.

Master and Commander? Well, seeing the making of materials further confirmed to me what an amazing piece of work this film is. I can't wait to get into it again. I wish it were possible to see it on the big screen again, gosh darnit.

Comfort me with apples...

Did the annual pilgrimage to my two little crabapple trees over on McGrath. Since we were about a month earlier than we were last year, I could have easily collected twice what I did, just didn't want to overdo things. There's only so much jelly/butter/sauce a girl needs.

A number of passersby stopped and asked us what we were doing, what we were picking. I explained that though the fruit from these trees was no good raw; that in fact, you could get sick on it. If one cooked the apples in a decent amount in sugar, however, it was delicious. I wonder if there will be competition next year?

In my pantry sits a Vinfen toteful of happy apples that will need to be washed, stemmed, quartered. Somehow this week, they'll be rendered into juice, cooked into jelly, run through a foodmill, and then spiced into applesauce. It's a fair bit of work, but very easy and pleasant (to me, anyway).

Simple Tart Apple Jelly

Wash, cut off stems and blossom ends, then quarter apples.
Place in a pan with enough water to reach top of fruit.
Cook, uncovered until fruit is soft. Put the juice through a jelly bag (2-3 layers of cheesecloth). Cook juice with 3/4 to 1 cup sugar until reaching jelly stage. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. *Don't cook more than four cups at a time.*

Not the typical New England Apple Picking Experience. If the guy who honked and yelled "Hey, whaddya pickin'? I WANT SOME!" is reading this - Sure! Come on over. I've got plenty. You've just got to help clean them. Posted by Hello

Some of those feral Mystic River beauties Posted by Hello
My Monday Morning Flower

We have our issues, we do. But one thing that he knows about me is that I'm definately not a 'dozen red roses' type of girl. Enough? Of course not. It is something, though.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Along with my calcium chews, glucosamine tablets and stylish new knee brace, I picked up a copy of Glamour magazine. It was probably the combination of the long line at the CVS, along with the tiredness and generally feeling of going to seed that allowed the insecure girl in me to think that the list format on the magazine cover would make me pretty and thin and happy or something. Ashley Judd on the cover(did you know that she's an Activist? Golly, I can consume her product without guilt knowing that She Stands For Causes.) wearing a pretty purple dress that I'd never have the body for (ever) may have played a role in convincing me as well.

Far from being ashamed for having wasted my $3.00 on this bit of gloss, I think that I am much happier for having picked it up. Now I have first hand knowledge of just how lame, shallow and silly it is, and when I warn folks off of it, I can do it with confidence. I wonder how long before it follows in the footsteps of Mademoiselle?
Slowly but surely that knee's getting better.
Picked up a new knee brace yesterday - something a bit less bulky, obtrusive, less like the torture device I've been having to wear for the last couple weeks.

On Thursday, I get to visit my doctor to see what he has to say about matters.

I'm sure that I'll be out and about, hiking and running (training for that marathon?) in no time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Question of the day:

Do I:

a.) walk out?
b.) say something unpleasant, leave, don't come back tomorrow?
c.) cry?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

James Lileks got canvassed last night by another DNC volunteer:

Had another DNC canvasser the other night. Very young. She read from a piece of paper. She wanted my help to defeat Bush, and said that with only 55 days until the election it was clear that the Republicans would stop at nothing and we are out tonight to (squint, doublecheck word) encourage your support. Then she handed the board for me to sign.

“Why?” I asked.

She stared at me. “Tell me why I should vote for John Kerry,” I said.

“I’m - new at this? And I –“ she looked over her shoulder for the other canvasser. “I had some paper, but I gave it away.”

“Tell me what you believe,” I said. “Tell me what you feel in your head and heart about John Kerry.”

Whereupon she said that the War in Iraq was wrong and was “killing all those innocent soldiers,” and someone the other day said that if we didn’t elect him Bush would have another 9/11, but she didn’t know who said it.

“But tell me why I should vote for John Kerry,” I said. Gently, mind you. With a smile.

“I don’t know,” she said.

I said I would think about it; I thanked her for her time and closed the door.


Myself, I've yet to hear any convincing argument for Kerry. I've asked, too. Believe me, I have. If you can just give me a good reason or series of reasons why I should vote for him, I will take what you have to say under honest consideration. And I'm not talking "Republicans are Evil Money Grubbers who work for Big Oil." Or "Bush Lied, People Died." You claim to be so much more nuanced, intelligent, educated, better than the opposition - you can come up with better arguments. I want to hear them.
Clarification, please?

What sort of rhetorical device is the term wingnut?

Another morning commute in Somerville:

Union Square in front of the former Asian American Bank and Trust: a loud series of honks. I note that there is a van pulled over on the side of the road and a station wagon behind it, honking away. The driver of the van gets out of his car yelling, "You know me? YOU KNOW ME? Is there SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY CAR? What's WRONG with MY CAR? HUH? You got a beef with me? You think you know me?" Walks over to the station wagon, whose owner is still laying on the horn. "You got a beef with me? You think you know me? I'm Sean. Did you hear that? I'm. Sean. Now you know me. What the f#@! is the matter with my car? What the f#@! is the matter with my car?"

I just walk by, not turning around: Nothing to look at. Nothing to see. Mind my own business. Move along.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Instapundit has a great post here on a climate of fear regarding expressing one's political beliefs in America. The second post he links to is wonderful - I really admire this one woman's openness given her background and where she's from. Given where I'm from and what realm I work in (Cambridge/Somerville, work in not for profit), I've learned that it's just easier to keep my mouth shut rather than try to express myself to people who not only will not listen to me, but who seem to think that a valid rhetorical device is to call someone with a differing point of view 'Nazi' or 'Fascist.'
Okay, don't tell anyone, but I walked to work today. The weather's too nice out, I'm fatigued from lack of exercise, I'm sick of the cane, I'm sick of long skirts. (I have such nice legs, darn it...and there are only a few more weeks left to wear the short skirts.) Happily, the knee didn't pull or burn or get loose. It managed pretty well, in fact.

Maybe I'll go out looking for either a flesh colored bandage or a smaller brace later on. This silly blue/black leg-length thing matches with nothing I own and I'm sick of the bondage fetish jokes.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

This weekend's numbers:

13 - jars of marmalade I put up this weekend
2 - films during which I got to sit back and enjoy a taste other than English
(Goodbye Lenin! and Jet Lag)
2 - pretty new skeins of yarn I bought (both from the Classic Elite factory
store in Lowell, MA)
3 - other knitters I got caught up in 'knitting porn' with
10 - ripe tomatoes I picked off my plants tonight
11 - herbs included in the bouquet garni I picked today (parsley, dill,
chive, mint, basil, oregano, thyme, anise, tarragon, rosemary)
1 - scarf made
2 - more weeks I have to wear this blessed leg brace
12 - hours until I have to be at work

That's it for tonight. I'm wiped out.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Every day is a gift. Even today.

I'm not going to go on at all about 9/11 anymore right now. There are other people who are far more eloquent than I memorializing - please take a look at what they have to say.

What am I going to do today? Go out and enjoy the sunshine, the cool, breezy, almost mid-september day. (9/11/01 was a gorgeous day, I remember that. I recall going outside to get some air that morning, marvelling at the nearly cloudless sky, and then almost passing out.) This is one of my favorite times of year, and those bastards who sucker punched us then are not going to take that away.

If my leg is up to taking me there, I may try to catch some of the Sts. Cosmas and Damian festival in East Cambridge.

I'd also like to hit the Salvation Army in order to find a vase for a birthday gift (a literal bouquet garni for a friend who's an avocational chef), as well as to see if I might have as good luck clothes-wise as I did last weekend.

Of course, there will be a knitting project to complete, beautiful mossy green marmalade to gaze at (I have 13 jars of the gorgeous stuff stacked on my counter.), dessert-making for a barbecue tomorrow, and a choice of two films for tonight's feature. (Buñuel's Obscure Object of Desire or Bergman's Seventh Seal.)

Best wishes to you all on this gift of a day. I wish you either mindful enjoyment or a bit of ease from the pain if you lost someone near to you.

To Brooklyn Bridge

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull's wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty--

Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
--Till elevators drop us from our day . . .

I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;

And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced
As though the sun took step of thee, yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,--
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky's acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.

And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon . . . Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,--

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path--condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City's fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

-Harte Crane

Image by Bernhard Klingenberg

Friday, September 10, 2004

He's probably best known for his brutally honest (straight speaking enough to be called racist and zionist, of course) reporting on the middle east. Take a look, though, when he writes on things pertinent to his livelihood.

Also, check out the folks at Powerline, who've been in the news a fair bit, and Hugh Hewitt's site. Apparently, he had expert witnesses on his radio show last night - and he had no problems revealing their names.

Plus, much more on Instapundit and a Bleat on the 'creative destruction' of Old Media.

Update: As a correspondent has pointed out, an alternative viewpoint on this issue can be found over at Daily Kos. (Charles Johnson's response can be found here.)

For more from Johnson on this subject, just keep scrolling. (I think that has a post giving credit where credit's due to Atrios.)

Hey Blog!

Happy Birthday!

I remember this time last year feeling pretty down and out over how we'd seemed to forget so quickly (or even had started denying the existence of) 9/11. My starting this journal then was a way of exorcising the demons of frustration and anger at the petty bickering that's taken the place of debate right now.

Today, we are still at war and we will be for a long time to come. Though I'm not sure how I feel about all the current administration's moves either domestically or internationally (yes, dissent in the form of raising intelligent questions and offering viable alternatives is patriotic. Lying, smearing, slinging mud and stifling debate are thuggish), I have a heck of a lot more confidence in them than in any of the opposition at this point. This little outpost has been a wonderful place for me to collect my thoughts as well as sort out what I've been seeing and hearing.

Hopefully my experience here will continue to be the 'kid in a candy store' one. I'm looking forward to continuing the writing exercise as well as meeting folks who don't mind helping out a girl who's not so knowledgable about things, but who wants to learn.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Some things that caught my attention today in the news:

What Motivates the Angry Left? by Alan Bromley in today's Opinion Journal.

Instapundit has tons on what looks like yet another big media scandal - this time, Bush National Guard documents that are looking more and more like forgeries. For those of you into forensic typography (no, they did not have Microsoft Word back in 1973. Come on!), there's lots to chew on.

Oliver Kamm going to town yet again on Noam Chomsky's particular means of distorting history and context. Again, please take a look at more of what Kamm has to say this week. He is on a roll and all of it's excellent - from media bias to the old antisemitism vs antizionism trope to an article on current Tory leadership troubles.

Belmont Club has an amazing week as well. I think that this article on the moral vacuum of the Left and what it could be filled with. This one actually complements Bromley's article above, and a good amount of what I've seen on Mark Steyn's site this week.

Finally, please take a look at the latest article up on Independent Women's Forum regarding a 'feminist' state of emergency.


Well, just have to sew up the spicy striped sweater and have just about finished the body of the big, olive green rollneck pullover. Moving right along!

A friend is having a birthday this Sunday, so I thought I'd bring her either a little shawl or pretty scarf in dark blue Homespun. She loves blue and this stuff is like sapphires. It's also soft, easy to care for and pretty lightweight.

I've decided that, instead of buying new yarn for Christmas gifts this year, I'd use what I have. My stash is crowding me out of house and home, so this is kind of necessary.

Movie Night!

West Coast Video was having quite the sale this past weekend: 50% off all previously viewed DVDs in a certain price range. Hal picked up two:

Uncle Saddam
Man Without a Past.

The first was a documentary pieced together from footage shot by a French director way before 9/11, with narration written by writers from "Kids in the Hall." Interestingly enough, the production company is the same that put out the Dolomite films. It was interesting as a sort of historical perspective - footage of the gassing of the Kurds, much talk about Saddam's Republican Guard and other units being the most powerful force in the region, the certainty of WMD. Aside from that, did not care much for the film. It seemed that the images were placed (with a fair bit of filler) to follow the narrative. Also, though I understand that it was a low budget film, it did look cheap.

The second film, Man Without a Past, was the story of a welder who is attacked and left for dead after arriving in Helsinki from an unknown location. This one affected me viscerally in much the same way as the Dogme 95 films did. There was the sense of people in hopelessly awful situations who choose to make the best of what they have, a sort of hopefulness along with surrender to fate (represented by the incredible Socialist bureaucracy that seemed to be mocked time and time again?) Details that appealed very much to me were the lighting (that weird summer night light you only get up in the northern lattitudes) and the music (Something that made me recall the Scandinavian rockabilly I'd heard on an 'HRB orgy once, mixed with tango. Had heard once that Finns were crazy about the Tango; it's a new fad.) Kaurismaki's film so reminded me of the final short piece in Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth that I had to look it up to see if he'd worked in that production. No - but I did note that Jarmusch does admire him.

Hal picked up a copy of the HFA's latest schedule. My word, what a treat. Between the Surrealist series, the Satyajit Ray and the Aldomovar, I won't be seeing the light of day these next two months.
Tiring few days trying to keep off the leg, manage the pain and be productive at work. I don't know that I'm managing all three particularly well, but am trying.

Frances is making her way through New England right now. The day has been awfully muggy, with rain in the morning. At the moment, there's a fresh breeze knocking things like empty garbage cans around. My windows are open, but not much is entering. Oh for a good cross breeze!

Tonight's iTunes presentation is musica clasica suramericana - Ginastera's Tres Danzas Argentinas is bringing back such memories in my fingers! Particularly the Graceful Girl Dance.

Started some lime marmalade tonight. It's a two day process, so I figured I'd better get a leg up on things now. Scrubbed, seeded and cut the ends off six small limes and four lemons. Cut all of this into small bits and measured how much I had. Added three times the volume of fruit in water, and set everything to soak overnight. Tomorrow morning, I'll cook this mixture down for about 20 minutes and allow it to soak again until I get home from work. Then I'll add the proper amount of sugar (3/4 cup per cup of fruit), cook this down and jar it.
Don't know how it'll turn out, but I do know that the current soak has filled the kitchen with a wonderful green smell. Yum.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Had one heck of a weekend:

Got to see Pablo off on his first major vacation ever. He won a trip to Hawaii, that is, accomodations only, but had to come up with airfare, etc. It's okay - he can afford it. Anyhow, I'm in charge of the kitties (Antonio and Trouble) until he gets back. This will be interesting, as I had quite the action/adventure weekend. As a result, my mobility is seriously reduced. What fun, though!

Friday night was catch up with everyone I know. I'd been so out of contact these past couple months and am only now feeling up to the task of physically pressing the buttons on my old-school analog land line phone (from my dorm, for pete's sake!). Saturday - breakfast at Kelly's with Pablo, some wonderful scores at the Salvation Army with Hal (beautiful beautiful knee-length circle skirt made of peacock-colored silk. Based on the craftsmanship and the notions, I'd say it's probably from the 1950s-early 1960s. Will look wonderful with maybe a ballet or boatneck sweater. Also got a pretty silk blouse of varying shades of pink and a good, plain white blouse.), then out to dinner with Pablo to help him calm down.

Sunday - aaah, Sunday. Monadnock, yet again. As it seemed pretty crowded, we chose Cascade and Pumpelley again to cut down on riff-raff sightings. The descent was white cross - not a difficult path at all. I guess my head was in the clouds, or something, though, as I managed to trip and fall on my left knee. Made it back to the car, then up to Keene for what seemed more like pennance than dinner. Then home.

Yesterday - the knee was hurting so much that I ended up in the emergency room at Somerville Hospital to get it checked out. I tell you, if you have to go and punch a hole in yourself, get sick or break something - this is the hospital to end up in. I was processed through pretty quickly and the staff were nice as always. (Heck! Some even got one or two of my jokes!) Nothing broken, just probably some seriously stretched to torn ligaments in my knee. Hopefully a week in the damn brace will be all I need on that. If not, well, who knows.

Getting to work will be interesting - will take much longer than usual, I'm sure. Will I be riding the bus or gimping along? We'll see when we get out the door.
(The suspense is killing me.)

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Tired, went to bed late, now getting up late.
I'm too darn old for this sort of stuff.
Need my coffee and shower.
I've absolutely no desire whatsoever to schlep these tired bones into the office.
Especially since I know someone who's taking a 'mental health' day to climb Monadnock.

Sigh, eh bien, continuons.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"...I am the Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valleys. As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste..."

-Solomon 2:1-4
 Posted by Hello
Talking about cars inevitably leads to talking about bumper stickers.
Recently seen around town:

"You say tomato, I say f--- you!"

"Drink that beer: there are sober kids in India!"

"Drive it like you stole it."

Pablo would like to get one made to put on the street cleaners that says:

"My other car is a Zamboni."

(I really like that one.)

Any other funny ones out there?

More Apropos Taglines for Popular Cars

Jo started it, I'm running with it. If you've any suggestions, please drop a line.

Hummer: "when you absolutely have to look like an a$$hole."

Volvo/Saab: "What? Look at my Sierra Club bumper sticker. I'm a Democrat. How could I possibly be an a$$hole."

Audi: "Schneller, Dieter. I have tickets to see Kraftwerk in Duesseldorf tonight."

Prius: (i) "I don't need to belong to the Sierra Club. I own a Prius."
(ii) "I'm better than you."

Kompressor: "I just paid a boatload of money for something that looks like a Civic."

Scion: "My favorite movie's Princess Mononoke."
Recently, got to talking with my coworker one cube warren down, JoAnn. She was mentioning a Hummer owner/driver tendency to look like an "a$$hole." Now, my whole take on driving/car ownership in Cambridge and Somerville is, hey, come on. This is the city, you're all supposed to be environmentalists or something. How's about practicing what you preach? I've been living pretty happily without a car now for 16 years and do not foresee buying *anything* other than a new set of innertubes for my bike so long as I'm here.

Anyway - as there do seem to be quite a few hummers around here, I got to get a good look at them. You know what? I think that JoAnn might be onto something. Whether they be your typical office worker guy, a fifty-something woman, a teenaged girl, they seem to be driving while talking on a cellphone or doing some other activity that requires more attention than one can safely give while driving in the city. And yes, if you are driving while talking or otherwise engaged, you look like an a$$hole.

This isn't limited to hummer drivers, though. I think that some of the worst and nastiest drivers I've dealt with on my morning and evening commutes are Saab/Volvo drivers, followed by Jetta or Passat-driving 'creative talent.'
It's largely these folks who make my morning/evening walks into work the 'baby sea turtle commute' that it is.

I'm liberal, but not that liberal!

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for anyone to protest this big business working to reduce competition and squelch small businesses. After all, it's not like they're Wal-Mart or Microsoft, or anything.

A more likely scenario would be Volvo owner indignation at Tom and Ray's 'questioning of their patriotism.'

Darnit. Had to pry the eyelids open with a crowbar this morning.
Throat's all scratchy, too. I'm hoping that I don't have to play "Bureaucracy Under the Influence" again today. Garnering amusement by reaching through the haze and touching coworkers' noses is really disturbing. It also annoys me to have to ask for rides home because I know I'm in no condition to walk.

Am kind of bummed out, man, because it's Hell Week in Boston (August 31 is when most all of the leases end) and I've not been able to go out on Trash Night. You'd be amazed what people will throw away here. My apartment is furnished almost entirely with curbside castoffs (also known as 'ground score'). Since Pablo's sister Anna Maria has just moved here, she needs stuff. Wanted to find her some basics.
Maybe tomorrow. We'll see.

Since I'm going to be here for the weekend, I guess I could see if there's anything good at yard sales or the Salvation Army...but paying for what I can get for free just seems so...dirty, maybe?