Monday, January 31, 2005

Seeds for the garden! I've got my seeds!

What did I get?

sweet peas

collard greens
space-saver cucumbers
two kinds of lettuce (buttercrunch and a salad mix)
french radishes
snow peas
swiss chard
two types of cherry tomatoes

In another few weeks, I'll start the seedlings. How quickly the time flies by.

So far, it's been a nice day off. Pablo came over, and we wandered over to Kelly's Diner in Ball Square for breakfast. On the wander back, I ran into Raphaella who started dressing me down for not being at work. I explained that it was my birthday, and that there was no better reason than that to take a day off from the grind. She gave me a hug and told me that I look more like a kid than a 34 year old. Ended up accompanying her back to Ball Square so that she could drop something off at the tailor's. Of course, since the lady who runs the dry cleaner/tailor shop is Italian, they ended up having a lengthy discussion about (and this is what I could gather) the relatives in Canada, why a jacket would come with the pockets sewn shut, how kids today were fat because they always filled up on bread and didn't eat enough other, healthier stuff and in smaller portions, etc, etc. (Kind of sounded like my Grandma Z at the Broadway Market back when I was a kid). Afterwards, Raphaella apologized for speaking Italian, but I told her that it was good exercise for me, since, though no parlo molto, comprendo un poco, ed amo molto ascoltare la lingua. She said that it was actually hard to understand the dry cleaner lady, as she comes from Sicily, which has a much different dialect from what Raphaella grew up with. Headed home - she stopped by my house to give me some curtains she was going to get rid of (nice sheer panels with a bit of gold embroidery. Will go up in Spring) and I gave her some seeds I picked up for her while down on the cape.

I'm pondering a nap now, and am trying to decide whether or not I should call the doctor about a slight pain in my side. I'm almost certain that it's not my appendix, as it's on the left side (and isn't a reflective pain as far as I can tell.) Heck, I'll probably call the doctor anyways, as I need to make an appointment for a physical, anyway. It's just such a pain to schlep down to Chinatown to have a check up when it's cold out and I just feel like hanging around in the neighborhood.

Call me a cockeyed optimist.

Not having been raised on TV, video games or any expectation of instant gratification, I guess I have a bit more of what's called patience. This isn't the end. It's a step towards it. There's a long way to go in the middle east (and in the rest of the world). A successful vote in Afghanistan can't be denied. The protesters in the Ukraine couldn't be silenced. Now we have these images from Iraq:

-Way to go, Rosie!

(I'm willing to cut the guy in the middle of this shot some slack for his Yankees cap.)


-the above two images are from Cigars in the Sand, a very interesting blog by a guy "on vacation" in Iraq.

(via Fox.)

Of course, there are those who will be calling this election a sham; who will say that the voting is for naught - that they, like the Ukranians and the Afghanis are voting for US puppets. All I can really say anymore on that line of reasoning is that it must be really sad to see evil behind all of this, to not understand the hope, the courage, the strength, the investment in one's future it took to go and assert themselves as all these people have done. We stand to learn a lot from them.
How lucky a girl am I?

For my birthday, millions of Iraqis get to go out and vote for the first time in how long? I can hear the attempts to move goalposts right now, as I type.

Best to them, and a fervent hope that we'll be there for them whenever they need us.
Best definition of fidelity as I can see it.

One Note Samba

This is just a little samba, built upon a single note
Other notes are sure to follow but the root is still that note
Now this new note is the consequence of the one we've just been through
As I'm bound to be the unavoidable consequence of you
There's so many people who can talk and talk and talk
And just say nothing or nearly nothing
I have used up all the scale I know and at the end I've come
To nothing I mean nothing
So I come back to my first note as I must come back to you
I will pour into that one note all the love I feel for you
Any one who wants the whole show show do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ci-do
He will find himself with no show better play the note you know

-original lyrics: Newton Mendonca
-music/English lyrics: Antonio Carlos Jobim

(From one of my birthay gifts from Hal.)

Friday, January 28, 2005

"Charity is Good, but Commerce is Better."

Gave a bit to the Red Cross a while ago, but was wondering if I could do a bit more to help the economies of places hit by the tsunami. My first thoughts went to Starbucks or Peets for their Sumatran coffee and Tealuxe for the teas they get from India and Sri Lanka. Ten Thousand Villages, an organisation that is a branch of Quaker ministry, also has lots of neat things that are 'fair trade.' A store that I walk by on my way to Shelley, my chiropractor, seems to sell a lot of Southeast Asian items. They're called Arawat, and I'll see on Tuesday if they have a website.

Anyway - back to the original premise, here: Truth Laid Bear has a list of other places you can frequent to help Southeast Asian companies if you'd like to help out on the commerce side of things.

I'm a firm believer in buying the fish from the fishermen, rather than giving than giving them fish. It makes people feel useful, productive and helps them to move forward after such beyond my imagination awful events.

Mesmerising, indeed.

-via Manolo.
I Hate eBay.

Warning: Hormone-induced rant below.

I wanted a new pair of birkenstocks. Everybody told me to go to eBay. I found one pair in my size (one pair!). They weren't very pretty, but when you have a man's shoe size, you take what you can get.

Since I don't use eBay much (just to buy yarn and some antique ceramic stuff every now and again.), I had a bunch of information to update with that and PayPal. In eBay, it looked as though the changes took. Since I could not even access my PayPal account to make changes, I just closed it and attempted to open another. No luck. It wouldn't take my credit card number because it was "in use in another account." (The cancelled one.) I'll be d@mned before I get another credit card to facilitate their dysfunction, so I started to try the bank account thing. The notion that these jokers who couldn't coordinate info between open and closed accounts or email addresses (I signed up with the new email address, but somehow stuff was reverting back to the old one) would have my bank information kind of nerved me out, though, so I stopped that process. Decided to forget about the whole incident.

Got an email today for the shoes I attempted to buy earlier this month. Tried again to get things coordinated - but the shoe store uses some German company called "MarketShare" which hooks up to PayPal and won't let me get to the shoes to pay for them because PayPal, in spite of my opening a new account with a new email address, is still sending stuff out to the old, closed address and won't take my credit card info. Finally got disgusted, sent off a nasty email to eBay (who freezes your account for 180 days before closing it - you find this out after you make the two requests to close the thing), to PayPal, and a letter cancelling my order to the shoe store. All this took me roughly an hour to "accomplish" this morning. I am grumpy as all get out and I really want to go on a nervous eating binge. B@stards.


About an hour after I contacted the shoe store to tell them to cancel my order, I got an email back stating that there were several payment options:

1.) PayPal (upon which I'd gone on a lengthy diatribe in my original cancellation note)
2.) Mailing a money order.

I went off on the respondant for that. There is no way in hell I am schlepping out to buy a money order to mail them. I might as well go to a d@mn shoe store in Harvard Square and pay full effing price for the d@mn shoes, as my time (which doesn't come cheap) that I've wasted up to this point has driven up the cost of the fricking ugly hippie sandals to way past what they'd cost in a brick-and-mortar.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Went into Karen's office to get some chocolate and found three CDs of mine that I'd forgotten about. Grabbed them up, put them into my bag, and got to thinking about some great musical opportunities coming up.

At First Night 2005, one of the performances we got to see was a concert by MIT's Gamelan Galaktika. They're playing at Bowdoin College up in Brunswick, ME on the 5th of February, so we'll be paying a visit, I'm pretty sure.

The sounds of the gamelan washing over me got me to thinking of some of my favorite minimalist composers. How serendipitous that the Boston Modern Orchestra Project sends me an email informing me that their next big concert, on February 18th, will feature works by some major minimalists (Adams, Eliot Porter, Cage, among others). Also to note is the April 15th concert devoted to the works of Toru Takemitsu. (I wrote a teeny bit about Takemitu's score for "Double Suicide" being influenced by gamelan here.)

Finally, not related to any of the above things or the CDs in Karen's office, but I'm kind of sad that I'm not going to make it to the Opera Boston performance of Gluck's "Alceste" this weekend. It's my birthday on Monday, and as has been the tradition since I moved to the coast 17 years ago, I'm going to go spend the weekend at the beach. Looking at the Majestic's schedule for the rest of the season, however, I note that there are at least four other performances I wouldn't mind catching. It's been a while since I've heard some good opera (well, since the NEC grad students were replaced by Tufts undergrads next door to me), and, well, I think I'm craving some now.

If waking up to a pretty little nose on your cheek and a paw on your neck isn't enough to make you feel warm, secure and loved, then I don't know what would. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Chilly. I'm shivering. My little Yahoo météo says that tomorrow's high will be 16 and the low will be zero. Doesn't help. I really need to plastic up this little window in my room. Fold laundry, sweep, take a shower, knit, hit the hay. When I get under the quilt, I'll stop shivering. Hopefully no more dreams tonight. I dreamt again last night - this time someone was trying to get into my house. It was after midnight and they kept circling the house, ringing the doorbell, knocking on windows and doors. Of course I wasn't going to let them in; no one I know would come bothering me late at night, and I certainly wasn't going to give entry to a stranger then. I hate it when my brain throws this dream at me because, no matter how many times I check my door to make sure that it's locked, no matter how compactly I try to ball myself up and then burrow me under the covers, I still can't get rid of that awful feeling that someone's going to get in and murder me in my bed.

Groundhog Day

Woke up, made my coffee, showered, got out the door, shoveled a bit, stopped to chat with my neighbor Hank, headed down the street to work. Met my other neighbor and coworker, Sharon, who was cleaning her car. She offered me a ride in; I accepted. Got to work, crunched reports, got let out early. Walked up Cambridge Street to Inman Square to mail my drivers license renewal, continued down the street. (Noted that Cambridge plowing is garbage compared to Somerville's. Many side streets were plowed in by the trucks' wake from Cambridge Street.) Heard a honk; saw Sharon again. She gestured for me to get in with her. I did (promised to bake her a cake for all the rides). She dropped me off at the foot of my street and I headed up to home. Got in, grabbed my shovel to take care of the driveway. (Turns out, the porch and the front walk were done! Raphaella admitted to that. She also baked me some pizelle - anise! My favorite.) Saw Hank again, shoveling. He hollered across the snowbanks and street that this was like déjà-vu "all over again." I laughed; we continued our work. Wished each other a good night (boy, have we been sleeping well from all this physical exertion! Another unexpected benefit: I'm actually hungry! Usually I just eat so as not to pass out.), and made a date for the same place tomorrow morning.

Boston as a whole aggravates me, but I do love my street.

Dana over at Note It Posts is calling it quits. Bien, alors. Ça arrive. Life outside the little box with the keyboard attached to it definitely takes precedence over this virtual world.

Best wishes to her. I'll miss her insight.
Another storm

We're getting something between 6" and 8" today - not nearly as severe as this past weekend's, but still enough to close the office early. Nobody really seems to mind, however, as what we're currently getting is covering up the already appearing skankiness on Saturday's/Sunday's snow.

I'm noting a bit of a carnival air in the office today, too. People seem to be in really good spirits. Noted this even before the word that we were going to be given early release. Karen, my boss, sent me the following:

Schnee is "snow" as in:

Das ist jetzt Schnee [m,sg] von gestern.
· It is all water under the bridge now.

den Schnee [m,sg] aufhäufen
· to drift the snow
· to drift the snow into heaps

eine Menge [f,sg] Schnee [m,sg]
· a great deal of snow

Er räumte den Vordereingang [m,sg] vom Schnee [m,sg] .
· He cleared the front entrance of snow.

Er strahlte wie ein Schneekönig [m,sg] .
· He beamed all over.

Geriesel von Schnee [m,sg]
· soft fall of snow

· frozen snow

Schnee [m,sg]
· snow

Schneeanzug [m,sg]
· snowsuit

Schneeanzüge [m,pl]
· snowsuits

Schneeball [m,sg]
· guelder rose
· snowball

Schneebälle [m,pl]
· snowballs

Schneeballschlacht [f,sg]
· snowball fight

Schneeballsystem [n,sg]
· pyramid sales system
· snowball sales system

Schneebank [f,sg]
· snow bank

· snowcapped
· snow covered

· snow blind

· snow blind

Schneebrille [f,sg]
· snow goggles

Schneedecke [f,sg]
· fleece

Schneefall [m,sg]
· snowfall

Schneefälle [m,pl]
· snowfalls

· The Snow Maiden

Schneeflocke [f,sg]
· snowflake
· snow flake

Schneeflocken [f,pl]
· snowflakes
· snow flakes

· soft fall of snow

· snow flurry

· snow flurries

Schneeglöckchen [n,sg]
· snowdrop

Schneeglöckchen [n,pl]
· snowdrops

Schneegrenze [f,sg]
· snow line

Schneegrenzen [f,pl]
· snow lines

Schneehuhn [n,sg]
· snow grouse

Schneehühner [n,pl]
· snow grouses

Schneehütte [f,sg]
· igloo

· snowily
· snowy

· snowy

· snowier

· snowiest

Schneekanone [f,sg]
· snow cannon
· snowgun

Schneekette [f,sg]
· snow chain

Schneeketten [f,pl]
· snow chains

Schneekettenschutz [m,sg]
· snow chain protection

· snow crystal weeks

Schneekufe [f,sg]
· ski

Schneekugel [f,sg]
· snow dome

Schneemann [m,sg]
· snowman

Schneemänner [m,pl]
· snowmen

Schneematsch [m,sg]
· slush

Schneemenge [f,sg]
· fall

· snow cat

Schneepflug [m,sg]
· snow plough
· snowplow

Schneepflüge [m,pl]
· snow ploughs

Schneeschläger [m,sg]
· eggbeater

Schneeschmelze [f,sg]
· melting of snow

Schneeschuh [m,sg]
· snowshoe
· snow shoe

Schneeschuhe [m,pl]
· snowshoes
· snow shoes

Schneesturm [m,sg]
· blizzard
· snowstorm
· snow storm

Schneestürme [m,pl]
· blizzards
· snow storms

Schneeverwehung [f,sg]
· snowdrift
· snow drift

Schneeverwehungen [f,pl]
· snow drifts

Schneewehe [f,sg]
· snowdrift

· snow white

Schneewetter [n,sg]
· snowy weather

Schnee [m,sg] wird im Winter [m,sg] in den Bergen fallen.
· Snow will fall in the mountains in the winter.

sich durch den Schnee [m,sg] kämpfen
· to flounder in snow

sich durch den Schnee [m,sg] quälen
· to flounder in snow

sichere Schneebedingungen [f,pl]
· safe snow conditions

sich freuen wie ein Schneekönig [m,sg]
· to be as pleased as Punch

Sie verkleidete sich als Schneewittchen.
· She dressed as snow-white.
· She dressed up as snow-white.

so glücklich wie ein Schneekönig [m,sg]
· as happy as a king
· as happy as a sandboy
· as happy as the day is long

so weiß wie Schnee [m,sg]
· as white as snow

zu Schnee [m,sg] schlagen
· to beat up

zu Schnee [m,sg] schlagend
· beating up

Use at your own risk.

Copyright (c)


Don't worry. I won't be quizzing you on this.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Musings on violent crime.

Interesting article on the increase in violent crime (and violent gun-related crime) in Great Britain, which has a 'total' gun ban. (Here's a bit more on the subject.)

Generally, when I've brought the question up in the past, I've not gotten straight answers - only assertions of my ignorance and mention that I'm still more likely to get killed in the US by a gun than in the UK, and what could be worse than death? (I can think of a few things, actually. I'm not going to elaborate here, but ask me sometime.) General observations and the application of Occam's Razor would lead me to believe the problem might possibly be with the ban itself (along with a few other cultural factors).

I live in an urban area, not far from gang territory, in fact. I regularly walk around after dark (sometimes after midnight) and have never been harassed, nor do I fear anything happening. For that matter, and I've been living in this same city for 17 years now, I've never had any aggression against me, in spite of the conventional wisdom that states I live in one of the most violent places in the world and some stats I found here stating that I'm 27 times more likely to be a victim of gun violence here than in the UK. Who knows? Maybe I'm lucky? I honestly don't have any answers to this.
Last night was a very restless one as my brain decided to throw me a thematic dream series. As I roused myself throughout the night, I did note that I felt the same way emotionally - felt inadequate and ill at ease with myself. What am I working over right now? Why am I doing this to myself? Is this malaise due to my frustration at work? My financial situation? My catching up with a talented friend who has been working hard and is now reaping some of the fruits of said hard work? Don't know.

The last of my dreams had to do with planning a party, but not having nearly enough food for all the guests. My mother (of all people) told me that it might be a good idea to at least throw together a pasta so that I could feed people. I remember thinking about how leaving the guests to go to the grocery store would be an insult to injury. My heart started beating faster; I woke up. It's been nearly six hours since then, but I'm still carrying the uncomfortable feeling in me.
Road Rage Musings

To the lady in the Land Cruiser this morning who saw fit to honk at me and shake her fist:

I'm really sorry that I was in your way and and caused an interruption in your phone conversation, but, unfortunately, the sidewalks are not shoveled, and I can't walk very well in hip deep snow. No one else this morning (or yesterday, for that matter) seemed to have a problem with my being in the road, and I've been doing my best to keep to the side so as not to be too much of an obstruction. Perhaps the problem might lie on your side of things. Maybe you don't need such a large car. Perhaps you should not be on your phone while navigating the streets in their current condition. I wouldn't want for you to get into a fiery one car crackup or anything; no I wouldn't. As miserable an example as you seemed to me, you are still one of God's creatures, and I don't have it in me to wish ill on any of them. So...bless you.

Monday, January 24, 2005

This is actually sillier than banning dodgeball.

Note to education professionals: get a clue. I remember a similar initiative in my junior high school back in the day. We all went to some sort of assembly, then were forced to make these cards that said "IALAC." This stood for "I am loveable and capable (of being loved)." Each time someone hurt our feelings, we had to tear a piece of the card off. This exercise was to last a week. I think that my card lasted the afternoon. What did I get out of this? What did anyone get out of this? My experiences in school were somewhat similar to what the genetic experiments in George Turner's frightening (surprisingly not) classic story went through, I'm sure. The "IALAC" initiative did not change dynamics at all. What eventually got people off my back was resolve on my part, plus back up in the form of physical retaliation.

Kids are not going to stop picking on different kids just because of some feel good initiative put together by a bunch of Education PhDs and Sociologists. Schools brutal, kids are brutal. Since this all largely reflects the outside world, perhaps people need to look more into preparing kids for the (harsh and not so harsh) realities of the world that they'll eventually be let loose into. I'm not saying that everyone needs to settle everything with their fists. I'm just mentioning that that's about the only way that certain parts of the population will be made to understand that they're being 'hurtful.'
Les chiffres qui firent partie de mon week-end:

# of movies watched: 41/2. (Sullivan's Travels, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, The Seventh Seal, and selections from one of our favorites.)

# of driveways shovelled out: 3

# of knitting projects completed: 3 (small ones - a pretty cabled hat, a scarf and a headband)

# of inches of snow in Somerville: +30

For the love of God, please shovel your sidewalks...

I know you've got other things to're a busy professional, you were watching the game, whatever. So aren't I and so didn't I, for crying out loud, and I managed to clear out the walks last night. It wasn't difficult, given how light the snow was.

When you decide to not clear your walk out, that means that I and scores of other pedestrians have to walk in the street. We don't like to do this in good weather, given how bad the average Boston driver is. After a storm, it's even worse: the parking bans are generally ignored, so there's only so much plowing that can be done. Narrow streets are made even narrower, and the Upwardly Mobile in their trophy trucks come out in force. Offroad vehicles are great off road but they don't belong in the city - especially when driven by people who don't know how to manage them in inclement weather. There's very little we can do about the skidding Escalades and Hummers except avoid them. Your shovelling assures us safe passage for a bit. So please, please, either clear out the sidewalks or pay the kid across the street to do so for you. It's not just some toothless unenforced law, it's basic consideration for other people's safety, and believe me, we appreciate it.

Our intrepid photojournalist. He'd been talking about photo ops since practically before the storm began. I don't really enjoy the photo shoots, so I stayed home and cleared snow.  Posted by Hello

Broadway after the storm. Amazing to see so little traffic. Posted by Hello

An empty Magoun Square is a pretty rare sight.  Posted by Hello

Heading home to see what the blizzard had wrought Posted by Hello

Somerville DPW doing their darndest to get Magoun Square in shape. Posted by Hello

Confused geese overhead. During my time outdoors, the poor things must have circled the neighborhood three or four times. Posted by Hello

Winter Hill kids taking advantage of the Hill in Winter. Posted by Hello

Somerville's Best coming down my street. Three cheers for the DPW!  Posted by Hello

When the sun finally came out, contrasts were highlighted. Everything was beautiful for a little while. Posted by Hello

Though my snow angel form's a bit off, I think I should get some points for effort. It was very light snow. Posted by Hello

Me sinking after attempting said snow angel. I love this weather! It makes me feel like a little kid in Buffalo back in '77.  Posted by Hello

Back to work after kidding around. The guy in red's my (nifty) landlord. Please note the folding chair in the background. That's how you save your pahking spot in Boston and the surrounding cities. Woe betide anyone who moves these markers and takes the spaces: I've seen cars keyed and tires deflated. Have also seen fist fights break out. People are very proprietary about their street spots.  Posted by Hello

One block down. Though this may not look like such a great plowing job, I'm sure that the someone came by soon after to clean up the street. Somerville did a great job of taking care of us, given the amount of snow we got and the obstacles parked cars pose. Posted by Hello

Around the corner from me Posted by Hello

Look at the interesting geologic formations the wind made on the snow. In the city, the winds were probably about gale-force. On Cape Cod, unofficially, hurricane-intensity (around 70-80 mph). During the course of the storm, it would start howling such that we were woken up a number of times at night. Awful. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 21, 2005

Two Weeks in the Reserves

Fascinating photo essay chronicling the day to day activities of some IDF reservists. Funny, they don't look like SS.

(Aside here - Had a boyfriend in college who used to joke about the worry that I'd drop him to run off with some Moshe in the Mossad. Don't know about that; I would, however consider one of these guys. Goodness.)

-via LGF.
Another Job Perk

Just got the announcement that the free office flu shot clinic's open today.

Seeing as I'm young, healthy, and have already had whatever flu is hitting right now, I don't think I'm going to take them up on it.


I've decided that my word for the day is going to be penury.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Dana over at Note It Posts remarks upon the little marketing gimmick started up by some folks who aren't happy at who one the election. Whatever. At least the money's (reportedly) being given to charity.

What really gets my goat is the inability to just let the election go and get on with one's life. For crying out loud: I was sorely unhappy when Tsongas dropped from the Democratic party race before the 92 elections, but settled for Clinton, for better or worse. Heck, I voted for Gore in 2000. When GWB won (and yes, he did win the election in 2000, despite what you may have heard), I didn't get into a tizzy over it. I didn't threaten to leave the country. I just did what (I think) any mature person would do: shrugged my shoulders, hoped for the best, and moved on. I wasn't exactly thrilled with Bush, but, well, I got over it.

I remember the first time I saw a bit of the resolve that has now characterized the current administration and that was when the US delegates left Durban in 2001. Given what was going on there, I think that it was the best move that could have been made. If it offended European sensibilities, so be it. We've since learned that Realpolitik is only valid if you're Europe. You don't go after sovereign leaders, no matter how brutal they are, unless they're Pinochet. The UN is an organization of "do as I say, not as I do"ers (to put it as mildly as possible).

9/11, of course, solidified everything for me. All the bickering over whether the president should have jumped up and rushed off from the kindergarten class is just silly. He comforted us, he led us. He convinced me, anyway, that he was the best man for the job. I disagree with a good number of things that the administration has done since then, but in all, I'm not unhappy with them.

This is actually the first year I voted for a Republican president, and I note that I neither grew hair on my palms nor was I struck blind after submitting my ballot. Go figure.

There are many opted for the challenger, of course. Based on my first hand experience of his leadership capabilities (I've lived in MA for 1/2 my life)and the incredibly dirty campaign I feel his party ran, I'd have been extremely unhappy if he'd have won. I can, however, say with certainty that I'd have behaved in the same way that I did in 2000. I'd go on with my life with the hope that he'd be better than I was giving him credit for.

With regards to the (sorry, but have to call a spade a spade) sore losers (from Kerry with his nay vote yesterday and his petition to get Rumsfeld canned to these folks to the people who planned on turning their backs to the president during the inaugural parade), I'm reminded of a lawyer friend once saying that there was an advantage to keeping a group emotionally stunted. I also think of the spoiled children I see quite a bit here who throw tantrums when they don't get their way.

Recently, I'd gotten an email from a friend who was exhorting everyone they knew to not leave the country, or if they did, to come back in force in 2008. One of the things that they said in particular was striking: they felt that since they'd never voted for a winning presidential candidate, they entertained the thought that democracy didn't work. I thought about Ann Althouse's post election post along with my experiences, and ended up replying, "democracy doesn't mean you always get your way."


Sad. Very sad.
This sums the Rice confirmation hearings up nicely, from what I've read of the proceedings.
Lileks in the Washington Post!

I picked up Regrettable Food sometime ago. I don't know how else to describe it but that it's made just about everyone who's picked it up nearly wet themselves. Am really looking forward to Interior Desecrations.

While you're at it, take a look at today's Bleat.
Among other things, he tackles revitalizing the evening news format as we know it today:

...Attempting to revitalize the institution of the Evening Sermon is akin to rethinking ocean liner travel at the dawn of the jet age. Scrap ‘em. Put your news division to work on a 24-7 product I can run in a small window on my laptop, fire every reporter who is incapable of ending a story without some glum portentious warning, and get the hell out of Washington. Declare “Des Moines” day for no particular reason and report the hell out of urban Iowa; it’ll certainly be more interesting than another round of Senatorial posturing. Have an internet channel that consists of nothing but a guy walking around New York interviewing people. Have another channel devoted to South American news broadcasts. Aim it all at the internet. Get over yourselves and the Hudson river, and maybe you’ll be a brand again.

Also - a most likely spot-on prediction on the fate of our once subversive music.
Dirty Bomb Threat?

Four Chinese and two Iraqis dumped over the Mexican border in California.
Nuclear material to follow. Of course, there is a single anonymous source reporting this, nothing's been corroborated, and the source isn't coming forward.
Either this is a case of some illegal immigrants screwing their Mexican connection over, so s/he's getting back at them, or things could potentially get a bit warmer than what's considered seasonable here. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Winds of Change has been keeping an eye on what's going on with this.

The big question everyone's been asking, it seems, is "does it all add up?" I don't rightly know myself, given that there's just so little information and it's all being recycled over and over again. One thing I do think is kind of foolish is the notion that this may well be a hoax or whatever, given that they've put the names of the four Chinese people through the criminal databases and this has turned up nothing. How many of the 9/11 perpetrators had criminal records before then? How many current operatives here and abroad have criminal records?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Bad hair day

I don't like doing this, but this morning, I had to leave the house with a wet head. Ali at the Quickie Mart yelled at me for my foolhardiness, given that the temperature was in the single digits and I was still recovering from my illness.
At work, after I'd combed my hair out, I noted how outgrown the layers were and how styleless, flat, blaaah it all looked.

Karen (my boss), told me that the cutest the hair ever looked to her was when I'd had it cut short the week before the big Deer Isle trip last summer. (I have taken to getting a not quite "wiffle" type cut, as there's no running water at camp and it just makes life easier.) Hal (like most men), likes it longer. He's seen pictures of me, in fact, from my old days at the music store, where the hair went down past my shoulders (think old Virgin Records logo).

I'm struggling a bit now as to what to do. Part of me would like to lop all the hair off again, both for the change and for the ease of care. Another part would like to grow the hair back. Like that, I'd have more options: keep the hair long, or make it 'short' by putting it up. Maybe I should keep it longer, too, so that I have the extra protection against the elements.

Decisions,'s not like the free world's fate relies on my hairstyle choice. I'm actually kind of annoyed at pondering so long and hard about such a trivial detail. Any reasonable ideas?
My birthday's still a couple weeks away, but Arija wanted to give her gift to me when we exchanged our belated Christmas presents this past weekend. Among other things, she'd given me two strings of chunky, rough-looking, butterscotch colored amber. This pleased me to no end, as my other necklace, a lovely string of reddish brown round beads met a sad ending in a ravine in Toronto a couple years ago.

I'm told that my new necklaces look like a lei around my neck. I love how lightweight they are. I also love that, if I rub them against my sweater, they'll spark a bit. I'm always wanting to put them into my mouth, as they look so tasty. So far, I've managed to refrain from doing so.

Tall and blonde as I am, I tend to get mistaken for Latvian by other Latvians. There's a considerable number of them here, too, I'm finding out (all the better for me to get some conversational practice in, as Hal doesn't appreciate the novelty of the language he grew up with). In Toronto, for the songfest, I'd have people just come up to me and start talking at me. I'd get what they were talking about maybe like 20% of the time, and I'd not be able to respond. I wonder if they have the same stereotypes of the 'dumb blonde,' as I certainly felt like one. Perhaps I'll get it together enough so that by next songfest (in Cleveland), I'll not be such a dolt.
We're going west to visit Arija sometime in February, I think. She says that when we come, she'll make a klingeris to fête the visit and my (at that point) belated birthday. What an inducement!

Harbingers of Spring:

-The arrival of my 2005 Seed Savers Exchange Catalog

-The fact that it's 4:30 pm (est) and there's still daylight to be seen

-The pretty little magenta primavera that found its way to my desk this week


Okay. That stuff's all I can think of, and it is kind of a stretch, but isn't it a bit of a comfort to know that there're only about eight weeks left until the official start of spring?

Equality for Women's got to start somewhere, I guess.

I wonder about the whole "equal pay for equal work" thing, though.
The Manolo, with his fashion savvy and pithy commentary, makes the Bev wish to cry.

Go check out his whole series of sites.

(-via Wretchard.)
Bureaucrat that I am, I always love hearing the wise pronouncements of other bureaucrats. I love lists, especially. Diplomad has a great top ten list of "favorite lies" (or, how I tend to see it, favorite debunked but still strongly held beliefs).

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

On Seeing Past Their Noses:

Instapundit has a roundup of commentary on that story written by some NYT Girl Wonder that may well have put the lives of Iraq the Model's bloggers in danger.

Wretchard is on a roll with posts dealing both with Sarah Boxer and the media printing (or perhaps even creating) the news that fits their agenda.
On seeing the forest through the trees:

In their zeal to get their message across, they forget to actually report the news.

I remember having a conversation (well, it was more of his talking at me) with a math teacher in the BPS. He seemed so proud that he stormed the President of my university's office years ago. When I asked the reason for this, he said that it was in protest of their too high tuition, of their being an elitist institution. After I mentioned that I had received a very close to full academic scholarship from them, that I knew several kids from Boston who got the same or better deal, and that wouldn't it have made more sense that he perhaps storm the offices of his university (the even more elite one across the river from mine. The one that made headlines for finally doing something that my school did for years: offered a sort of sliding tuition based on a combination of academic standing and financial need.), he had a fit and accused me of lying about my background, because his kids didn't have any such chances offered to them.

My answer to this of course was (and now we're getting to the point of this story) that perhaps if he'd have spent less time being an activist and more time doing the job he was paid to do, his students might have more opportunities open to them.

Those who work in what's now known as the Mainstream Media might do well to heed this advice. Do what you're paid to do. Concentrate on the five w's and make sure your sources check out. You want to be an activist? Do it in your spare time.

Harry has a reputation of being a green thumb. He claims that this comes from knowing which plants will embarass him and avoiding them. In my view, he's being humble, as I've seen him create gardens of Eden from the avocado pits from my lunch and amaryllises found curbside. This orchid was a gift. He toiled over it for a while, coddled it, found exactly where in the house it liked to rest. Finally, last week, his troubles were rewarded. Posted by Hello

My little cousin Jessie the Toboggan-bug. She's going to be a year old in March. My, how fast they grow. Posted by Hello

Monday, January 17, 2005

My mom is starting a new job tomorrow: she's training to be a pharmacy tech.
Best of luck to her; she's had a rough year.
Faisant le Bilan.

Let's see:

Numbers of days off this weekend: 3
Hours slept: 21 (had insomnia on Saturday, so only slept like four and a half)
Number of movies watched: 2 (Beijing Bicycle and Fanny and Alexander)
Number of loaves of bread baked: 6
Number of windows plasticked: 5 (The box said six. I was rooked.)
What the temperature's supposed to go down to tonight: 4
Number of amber necklaces I received for my birthday: 2
Number of knitting projects finished: 2

Sunday, January 16, 2005


It's miserable outside but very comfortable in here. Mamasan's curled up on the new quilt. Just finished off a purple chenille scarf for Arija (Hal's mom) and am putting some last touches on the matching hat (wanted to make a flapper hat, but it ended up looking like a chemo cap). Rachmaninoff's playing Rachmaninoff on WHRB. (Quick! Only one hour left for the orgy devoted to him!) I can breathe a bit better again and I don't have to work tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

What to do when you get to thinking about all the past and present loves of your life and you find that they all bear a strong resemblance to Tintin?

Friday, January 14, 2005


Top Ten Proposed Changes At CBS News:

10. Stories must be corroborated by at least two really strong hunches.
9. "Evening News" pre-show staff cocktail hour is cancelled until further notice.
8. Reduce "60 Minutes" to more manageable 15-20 minutes.
7. Change division name from "CBS News" to "CBS News-ish"
6. If anchor says anything inaccurate, earpiece delivers an electric shock.
5. Conclude each story with comical "Boing" sound effect.
4. Instead of boring Middle East reports, more powerball drawings.
3. To play it safe, every "exclusive" story will be about how tasty pecan pie is.
2. Not sure how, but make CBS News more like "C.S.I."
1. Use beer, cash and hookers to lure Tom Brokaw out of retirement.

-via the niftiest guy in Texas.
What's wrong with this picture?

Where to begin?

We've got Western relief agencies working hard to help people in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami, while the Muslim leaders on Sumatra are busy worrying about Christian proselytizing. The Indonesian government wants the foreign agencies out asap so that they can get back to the all-important business of suppressing a rebellion.

Of course, the UN's right on top of things:

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he would name a special envoy next week to coordinate relief and reconstruction in the 11 countries hit by last month's earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 157,000 people, two-thirds of them in Indonesia.

Annan, speaking to reporters at a conference in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius, did not explain how the envoy's role would differ from that of the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who has been responsible for coordinating tsunami aid.

With regards to that new appointment and what he's going to be doing different from Egeland, I guess if you have to ask, you just don't get it.

I wonder what the Diplomad would have to say about this?

Too funny!

Ann Althouse notes that "blog" makes it into a NYT crossword puzzle.

During a casual conversation I was having earlier, though, I learned that Word 2003's spellchecker doesn't recognize "blog" as a real word.
Looks like the Carnival of the Recipes is up over at Happy Dog! Yum. Even without my being able to taste, this all sounds so good.
Hey, not everybody gets to be an astronaut.

I remember standing at the counter in the music store, looking out the window at what we'd call the "street drama" with one of my coworkers, a clarinettist named Maria. A couple of working women walked by the store and prompted Maria to mention that, with a little less self-esteem, we could make a whole heck of a lot more money than by doing what we were trained to do.

Eventually, Maria joined the Air Force. Myself, well, I talked my way into a field that pays about a living wage. I still joke with the other accountants and my boss about going into business for ourselves, though, as the cost of living here continues to rise. At least I can pay my (relatively minimal) student loans and keep a roof over my head.
"...and all should cry, Beware! Beware! her flashing eyes! her floating hair! Weave a circle round her thrice, and close your eyes with holy dread! for she on honey-dew hath fed, and drunk the milk of Paradise."

Actually, just came in from battling the elements. Gosh darnit, it's windy out there.

(My apologies to Coleridge.)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Interesting Observation

Best of the Web arrived a bit early today, and had an interesting article from the Newton Tab in it:

Why Can't Johnny Add?
Schoolkids in Newton, a Boston suburb, aren't measuring up in math tests, writes Tom Mountain in the Newton Tab. Thirty-two percent of sixth-graders are in the "warning" or "needs improvement" category in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, and school officials are flummoxed:

The school department offered no tangible explanation for these declining scores other than to admit that they have no explanation, as articulated by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Carolyn Wyatt (salary $106,804), "[The results] have decreased, incrementally, each year and continue to puzzle us." She went on to admit that this downward trend is peculiar to Newton and "is not being seen statewide." Again, she offered no explanation, but she did assure the School Committee that her assistant, Math Coordinator Mary Eich (salary $101,399), is currently investigating the problem.

But according to Mountain, it turns out that between 1999 and 2001, Newton adopted an "anti-racist multicultural math" curriculum:

In 2001 [Superintendent Jeffrey] Young, Mrs. Wyatt and an assortment of other well-paid school administrators, defined the new number-one priority for teaching mathematics, as documented in the curriculum benchmarks, "Respect for Human Differences--students will live out the system wide core of 'Respect for Human Differences' by demonstrating anti-racist/anti-bias behaviors."

It continues, "Students will: Consistently analyze their experiences and the curriculum for bias and discrimination; Take effective anti-bias action when bias or discrimination is identified; Work with people of different backgrounds and tell how the experience affected them; Demonstrate how their membership in different groups has advantages and disadvantages that affect how they see the world and the way they are perceived by others . . ." It goes on and on.

"Nowhere among the first priorities for the math curriculum guidelines is the actual teaching of math," Mountain observes. "That's a distant second." It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out why Newton's kids are falling behind.

This is interesting, because Newton is a very wealthy city, and you'd think that sheerly by the amount of resources they have (you want to see amazing - you should check out their library sometime.), their kids would be outperforming most in the state. Of course, if you're throwing your money at academic fads like 'diversity in mathematics' or the 'whole language' approach to teaching literacy, it might not be a problem of not enough resources, but one of poor management.

On my morning wanders into work, I pass Union Square in Somerville. Just outside the square, before you hit the junkyards and chop shops, there's a small charter school called Prospect Hill Academy.
Last year, after the MCAS results came out, a nice little banner went up stating that their 10th graders were #1 in the state for mathematics. How nice! If you take a look at their annual report, you'll find all sorts of interesting things about them, including the student population makeup and the education levels of the teachers. Also found a link to a Boston Globe article (but lost it, sorry) stating that of the nine schools that achieved the highest MCAS ratings, six were charter schools.

This is a complex issue, and I can't just draw conclusions on the fly. Prospect Hill has an admissions process. Newton doesn't. Prospect Hill is smaller, too, than Newton. On the other hand, though Prospect does mention in their curriculum respect for diversity (a good thing - this is an urban school. There are a lot of different people attending and teaching, too.), there seems to be a fair bit more talk on teaching basic skills. I also wonder whether Prospect Hill is a union house and how much they need to answer to the Somerville Public Schools.
Lots of food for thought.
I hate taking medicine.

I do, however, love home remedies when they work and when I can tell that they taste good.

Last night, I got home and found that I didn't have anything but coffee in the larder. Opted for the next best thing for a sickie and broke out the ol' flask:

Hot Toddy

2 oz whiskey or brandy
6-8 oz Very Hot water
1 stick cinnamon
1 lemon wedge
2-3 cloves

Put hot water in cup with whiskey and cinnamon stick. You can garnish with the lemon wedge studded with cloves if you'd like, but since we're sick and not standing on ceremony, just dump it in with the cloves and let everything steep for a couple minutes. If you add a teabag to this mix, I believe it's called a hot Tom and Jerry.


I lived on the side of an Alp for a while (Ri-co-lah!), and, yes, there were all sorts of nice herbal remedies to be found. My favorite of these was the thyme decoction the lady I lived with would give me when I was feeling run down and the Occilo (French version of Zyrtec) wasn't working:

Thyme Tea

8-9 sprigs thyme (can be fresh or dry. I grow my own and dry it, so I use that. If you only have the bottled stuff, about 1-2 tablespoons will do.)

Bring about a quart of water to a boil; add thyme. Keep at a low boil for about 10-15 minutes. Strain, add honey and lemon to taste.

This is feels so good going down, as I believe the thyme has both anaesthetic and antiseptic properties. You can also just boil the thyme and breathe in the steam.


Of course, there's the obligatory chicken soup. Though I love the typical Jewish stuff with the carrot and the matzoh balls or rice, when I'm sick, my favorite is a

Riff on the Vietnamese Fisherman's Soup Theme

4 cups chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 green onions, sliced
1 6" piece lemongrass, crushed, or grated rind of one lemon
1/4 t. hot pepper sauce
2 star anise
2 T. rice wine vinegar, lime or lemon juice
2 t. sugar
1 carrot, grated
1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned. For this, I prefer canned.)
1 lb. chicken boned chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 T. soy sauce
1 ripe tomato, cut in wedges (you can also use canned, though it isn't as good)
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Heat the stock to boiling with the chicken, onions, garlic, lemongrass, pepper sauce, lemon rind, star anise, vinegar and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken chunks are fully cooked through; remove the lemongrass stalk and anise. Add the carrot and pineapple. Cook for another five minutes - until carrot is soft. Add the soy sauce, tomato, bean sprouts and cilantro.

Serves 4 (invalids)
Serves 2 (if you eat it in a proper Vietnamese restaurant sized bowl)

I've had this with with tofu as well as with fish (salmon and shrimp combo to be exact). I think that the chicken's my favorite, though. If I'm feeling run down, I get some of this into me, then go to bed. By the next morning, whatever's been bothering me is generally burned out. If I'm in the midst of a cold, it's often the only thing I can taste.


All of this is pretty quick and easy to prepare; very good for reducing the out of bed time if you can't be bothered to train the guy or the cats to help out.


Hi folks from the Carnival! Feel free to stay a while; mi blog es su blog. Oh, and don't worry..I'm past being contagious at this point.
Well, I'm feeling a fair bit better today than yesterday, that's for sure. It appears to be some sort of cold that's descended into the chest. You'd never be able to tell I'm sick, save for my totally unter-sexy Marge Simpson voice and the raccoon eyes. I think that the coming home to kitty love, feeling really, really sorry for myself, and some good home remedies helped a lot.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"...J'appuyais tendrement mes joues contre les belles joues de l'oreiller qui,
pleines et fraîches, sont comme les joues de notre enfance. Je frottais une
allumette pour regarder ma montre. Bientôt minuit. C'est l'instant où le
malade qui a été obligé de partir en voyage et a dû coucher dans un hôtel
inconnu, réveillé par une crise, se réjouit en apercevant sous la porte une
raie de jour. Quel bonheur, c'est déjà le matin ! Dans un moment les
domestiques seront levés, il pourra sonner, on viendra lui porter secours.
L'espérance d'être soulagé lui donne du courage pour souffrir. Justement
il a cru entendre des pas ; les pas se rapprochent, puis s'éloignent. Et la
raie de jour qui était sous sa porte a disparu. C'est minuit ; on vient
d'éteindre le gaz ; le dernier domestique est parti et il faudra rester toute la
nuit à souffrir sans remède..."

-from Combray

(I tenderly pressed my cheeks against the pillow's plump cheeks which, full and fresh, are like the cheeks of our childhood. I lit a match in order to take a look at my watch. Just about midnight. It's that instant when the the invalid who was obliged to take a trip and who had to sleep in an unfamiliar hotel, awoken by some sort of crisis, rejoices in his perception of a ray of daylight under the door. How happy that it's already morning! In a moment, the help will have woken up, he will be able to ring for them, someone will come to help him. The hope of being soothed like that gives him the will to suffer. Just then he thought he heard some steps; the steps approach, then go away. And the bit of daylight under the door has disappeared. It's midnight; someone just turned off the gas; the last of the help has left and it will be necessary to spend the entire night suffering alone...)

Last night was about this bad. All this afternoon was the same - rolling around in bed, tortured, wanting some relief from that that's got a hold on me. (I'm wondering if it's not the flu that's been going around the office? I wouldn't be surprised. I was next to the only person who'd not gotten it, and I know that due to emotion, the weather, just being plain old worn out, the immune system's taken a battering these past couple weeks.)

Ordinarily, I don't mind suffering in silence. At this particular instance, though, I'm feeling so wretched that all I'd like is a cool hand on my forehead. Un peu de soulagement. I hate feeling so week, so raw. I hate feeling like the only thing I can get the strength up for is to whine. Oh...poor me. Sob.

(And, yes, I realize that I'm much better off than literally millions out there on this cold, cold rock. When I'm feeling better, I'll go back to worrying about them; I'll go back to being functional for them. Right now, though, I need to take time to wallow in how pathetic I'm feeling.)
Virginia Postrel on another great Rochester, NY company.

I remember when Wegmans first started opening up grocery stores in Buffalo. A lot of folks were kind of frightened to go into them, they were so huge. There was, however, and still is something that is so warm and welcoming about them that you want to come on in and stay a while. In high school, since this was one of the only non bars open in the neighborhood, my best friend and I would often just wander around within on Friday nights, picking up recipe cards, smelling air fresheners, etc (part of why I love to read James Lileks's bleats on the Target runs). I'm sure that some savvy manager picked up on the young people visiting, as eventually, they started having little singles events and other little goings on on Friday nights.
The closest experience nowadays to our Wegmans experiences in the 80s would probably be, perhaps, going to the sadly now defunct in the US Moevenpick Marche Restaurants.

Wegmans employed a lot of my friends back then. (Gosh, I remember how excited some of my girlfriends would be whenever Danny Wegman would be slated to visit. He was considered to be quite the catch back then.) From what I hear now, it continues to be one of the better places to work in Western New York. No doubt this has a lot to do with another Rochester company's founder having really raised the bar in employee relations.

Yes! Red Meat for Red Staters!

I've been privy to conversations with a few of those who find this burger to be "food porn" and who've had some serious vapors over it. I'm sure that many of their forebears were putting women into the stocks for dancing, too.

(Check out the ad. Pretty straightforward and to the point. Demographic's down cold. In fact, I'm sure that I've known a few vegans in my time who would have absolutely no objection whatsoever to this campaign.)

-(via Instapundit, mais oui.)
Before I forget:

Really nice soup last night.

I took the last of my black bean dip from the party (about 2 cups), put it in a pan with roughly 4 cups of water. To that, I added some leftover rice pilaf, 3 veggie boullion cubes and a couple of chopped up carrots. Simmered everything until the carrots were soft.

Very very comforting on a cold night.


Yes, I was insomniablogging. Something woke me up very early and wouldn't let me go back to sleep. I'm tired now, and a little achy. Ready to go to bed, but it's time to get up now. Work is going to be a swashbuckling adventure today, I'm sure.
Oliver Kamm is back!

After what seems to have been a good and fruitful trip to Israel, he's again taking to task those who would label those whose taste in the classics (be it the work of a relatively minor composer of classical music or a major figure in Western literature) as elitist.
An intellect, a scholar, a man looking out for the "little guy". Someone who wanted to change his country through "neo liberalism" (and protectionism as well, no doubt.) The media, both in his country and abroad, fawned over him. Funny thing was, people saw right through him and elected someone else. Such is life when your party's at such a loss that it has to choose what it considers the 'least unelectable' candidate.

This Church desperately needs a Reformation.

Okay, I see this, and all I can think of is tithing.

Charles Johnson's back, thank goodness. Guess it was another Denial-of-Service attack. Funny how when you can't win an argument based on logic or good rhetoric, you have to resort to "shutting up" your opponent.

I do hope that they manage to catch the losers who did this.
Something Rotten in Denmark.

Or, more to the point, Sweden, maybe.

Wow. Hal, who's a graphic artist, had applied for a prepress position at the Metro recently after noticing a (fairly rare) position opening in his line of work.
A few days later, the rumor mill at his job was churning about the Metro having a big shakeup around here (they're an international chain of free papers - I've found other 'localized' copies of them in other US cities, as well as in Toronto - always thought of it as a 'USA Today' lite kind of paper you could read during a short commute, and, yes, an alternative to the Herald and the Globe), that a lot of the staff were leaving due to a potential buyout by the Globe. Now, I had told him that I thought it foolish that the Globe attempt this sort of thing, since it was already subsidiary of the NYT and why would they need another foot in here. On further thinking, yes, I guess it would give NYT well, maybe not quite a monopoly on the printed news in this region. Yesterday, on picking up my morning coffee at the corner store, I noted the Racist Comments stuff splashed across the front page of the Herald. First thing that came into my mind was that perhaps we're seeing a typical Boston (ugly) attempt by someone (the Herald?) at scuttling the competition a bit. I don't really know much more than what I've seen in the Herald or Instapundit, for that matter, but it'll be interesting to see how this unfolds.


Curioser and curioser. The Herald's filed an anti trust suit against the NYT corporation. The Herald reports on a shakeup at the Metro, too.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Thank Heavens for Criterion.

Hal and I watched the original Story of Floating Weeds last night. The print was fair to middling, and silent film is so much of a different animal from a talkie, so was a bit of a challenge. In all, though, lovely. About as much of a gem as its remake. Kudos to Criterion for releasing both versions of the film in a set. Kudos to them, too, for commissioning a gorgeous accompaniment (solo piano, after Robert Schumann, as apparently Ozu was a big Schumann fan) to the first film, which, like a lot of silent films, didn't have a dedicated score.
Really difficult past few days.

A coworker we all liked passed away this weekend after a terrible 2004. He died doing something he really loved, and he's back with someone he loved more than anything else in the world. Maybe I should feel sad for him, but I'm not. He's at peace.
I'm used to a certain amount of confrontation with regards to my views on the current administration, the economy, the WOT, etc, and for the most part, I keep my mouth shut. I did get to talking to my chiro today about the CBS forged documents scandal and she said something to the effect of that not being nearly as bad as the President lying about Iraq and getting all those people killed.

Sometimes I just want to go curl up in a cave and hibernate for around a Rip van Winkle duration.

On a happy note, Pablo got me a Weekly Standard subscription for Christmas, and Karen at work got excited when I told her I'd share...
Man, am I out of touch.

Last time I took a look at the German Hit Parade, I think there was some rap tune with the tag line " hat ein'dicke Pulli an" (the DJ has a thick sweater).

This, is apparently the new direction of German Pop. I won't go too deep into this, but the Grueppe 0 movement comes to mind (the post WWII literary/artistic movement that wanted to restart the clock for Germany and included Guenther Grass and Wolf Biermann).


Sorry for the German links. I'll remedy the situation later. Koennen Sie Deutsch? Also...Kein'Problem.

(Thanks, Chum!)

Harry took a walk Sunday afternoon after things calmed down from the Saturday storm. Many complain about the cold, about the inconvenience of life here in the winter. There are plenty of us, however, who love this season as we do the more temperate ones - just for different reasons. Posted by Hello

Sweetened by the frost Posted by Hello

I'm not really sure where this picturesque little bridge is. I'm going to assume that it's somewhere in Watertown. Posted by Hello

Everything started melting almost immediately after the storm. It's refrozen and melted twice, I think, since Sunday. Posted by Hello

Monday, January 10, 2005

Yes, leave it to Burchfield. (sent to me under the header "Monday Morning, Flower")
This reminds me of the snow followed by the rainstorm last week. Who
would ever think a slushy mess could look this nice...leave it to
Happy Monday,
xo, Hal

 Posted by Hello