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baby, it's cold outside

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
weather: Okay, I know that it's not officially winter for another month, but man is it COLD. And our first bout of freezing rain is on the way. I guess it's good to get it over with, but I have to say I am not a fan. Snow is great, I don't even mind hail, plain old rain is to be expected, but freezing rain is a bastard!

TV: Gilmore Girls -- ARGH! it's like a grotesque reflection of its former self. Even Emily and Richard didn't help. Paris and Doyle didn't help. Marty??? Luke? Mandate?? What the hell?

Veronica Mars: Oh, Veronica. I like this show a lot, but I found the mystery this time around to be very unsatisfying and the "frats" and "feminists" were really getting up my nose with their stereotypical assholery and stridency. Veronica as a character remains complicated and fantastic, however. I wish Mac had been on more.

quote: "you're acting like your own Wicked Stepmother." Said to me yesterday by the career counselor I saw in October, who is now helping me get my shit together for grad school. It was one of those things that I knew vaguely in the back of my head, but hadn't articulated. (this came up in the context of "are you making sure that you're still doing creative things? because that's really important for you to do." to which I replied "yeah, except sometimes I don't let myself because I know I should be doing all this other stuff.")

the golden feather of truth

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Monday, November 27, 2006
Last wednesday I went to see the Quest for Immortality Egyptian exhibit at the Portland Art Museum with Blondie. I wasn't going to go because I thought the whole thing was a blockbuster art-show shakedown. If I'm a member, I shouldn't have to pay again, etc. etc. But... she had an extra ticket and I do love me some ancient egyptians, so as you might imagine my principled stand evaporated almost instantly. The exhibit was quite nice, if crowded. I'm not sure that it is worth the non-member price of twenty bucks, though. But maybe I'm demanding a lot of twenty dollars.

One of the highlights for me was learning more about the goddess Ma'at, who rules over truth, justice and balance. I wasn't very familiar with her, but they had several very fine representations (including the one pictured here) and I became enchanted with her golden feather of truth. Ma'at administered the test you desperately needed to pass if you intended to get anywhere in the Egyptian afterlife. All internal organs were removed except for the heart, which was left in the body to be weighed against the feather of truth. If your heart was heavy (with evil deeds, for example) you were SOL.

Speaking of organ removal, I learned how they fit the big old liver into one of those smallish canopic jars -- think beef jerky/fruit roll-up -- they let it dry out a bit and then rolled it up and shoved it in! I also found it interesting that while the heart was left in the body (for feather measuring), the brain was yanked out through the nose and thrown away. Some days when my brain is giving me trouble, this seems like the only sensible approach.

Another highlight was the Tomb Room. (I think it had a different name, but I don't remember what it was. The Tomb Room would make a great theme bar!) They have recreated the tomb of Thutmose III, which was very cool and dark with paintings on all the walls floor to ceiling. I particularly liked the gold outlined stars on the ceiling. As we moved from room to room throughout the exhibit, there was a little boy and his dad right in front of me. That little boy wanted no part of the tomb room. It was much darker than the previous exhibit space, and he took about 3 steps in, then stopped dead in his tracks and demanded of his father "is this an elevator?" and refused to go any further. I'm not sure how he got through it, since I became distracted when Jeremy Irons started talking in my ear (no, I was not having auditory hallucinations, he was the narrator of the audio guide). The room was decorated entirely with illustrations about Ra's journey through the underworld each night from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. (Speaking of the EBotD, this was a book that gave me nightmares from grades 2-4. When I was that age we lived in a really small house. So small, that my dad kept a lot of his books on ancient egypt in the closet of the bedroom I shared with my sister, including the sinister sounding Book of the Dead. Much like Joey having to put Little Women in the freezer on Friends, I had to put a blanket over it so the Ancient Dead Egyptian Magic wouldn't do god knows what to me while I slept. Which reminds me of a similar story about Dad overestimating a 5 year old's readiness to watch Bela Lugosi's Dracula, and how I saw vampires in the wood grain of my bedroom door for a week of sleepless nights afterward. But I digress...)

The exhibit was great, and this is the only west-coast stop. I wouldn't say it is the finest egyptian exhibit I've been to, but the Tomb Room was unlike anything I'd seen before and gave a really great three dimensional sense of what things would look like, instead of just seeing them flat under some glass. They had some really fine representations of Osiris, too. I wish it weren't so expensive -- I can't help but think this is the sort of thing people should be able to see as easily as possible and not just if you have twenties falling out of your pocket or are fortunate enough to have a friend with an extra ticket. I know the cost of mounting these exhibitions is prohibitive, but... well, I don't know. There should be a better way.

they're terrific!

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Saturday, November 25, 2006
they're terrific

Leftovers have ruined me!! I swear, I had this great idea for a blog post this morning when I was out walking, but once I got home and had a piece of pie (pecan) and some caffeine (diet coke), I became a jittery mess and all of my brilliant ideas departed. Yeah, I'm quite sure that's what happened... it was good pie, though.

Since that great idea is lost to me now (seriously, it was fantastic!), I will instead share with you some links that have brought me joy in the past few days:

I quite enjoy Meg Cabot's blog -- it's funny, she's generous with encouragement for young writers AND she totally loves her work and her fans. Particularly hilarious (at least to me) was this recent recreation of Tom and Katie's wedding with captioned photos and scientology vows. If you have made some crazy commitment to not laughing, do not follow that link. However, if you don't mind seeing Posh Spice's name taken in vain, do click!

This is THE BEST recap of everything that has gone horribly, hideously wrong with the Gilmore Girls this season. Also with captioned photos -- I guess I'm in a captioned photos place today. (via fluxblog, which I enjoy reading daily.)

Poking around on Pitchfork I found the previously unknown to me GUEST LIST feature. I love lists! I particularly love this list by Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, and not just because he gives a shout out to Snood and to the Blur record I probably listen to most.

I love reading Jane Espenson's blog. That she was one of my favorite Buffy writers is what got me to her blog in the first place. What keeps me coming back, though, is that she's funny, generous, encouraging and SO KIND to her audience without ever being condescending. The emphasis is on writing spec scripts for television, but a lot of her advice is applicable to any kind of writing. A recent link from her blog led me to this post over at Bootstrap Productions. It is also kind, funny, encouraging and well worth reading.

In short, I love the internet!

unrelated side note on the perfidy of Macy's department store: Macy's is trying to kill me. Or, allowing that perhaps they do not have their entire advertising department devoted to constructing ads based solely on that which I despise, I am just unlucky. A shitty Beatles cover selling department store jewelry? TORTURE. [my thoughts on Beatles songs in advertising and the objectionable quality and philosophy of mall jewelry may appear at a future date.]

ask me another

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I was organizing a bookshelf and found a fun book my mother gave me as a gift a few years ago. It's called Ask Me Another: The Question Book and is made up entirely of general knowledge quizzes. The best part is that it was published in 1927! It's like old school Jeopardy and trivial pursuit, but without buzzers, dice or questions about Melrose Place. What was common knowledge then may not be of any relevance today, but it's still interesting to see what WAS general knowledge 80 years ago.

Here's a bit from the author's forward (why aren't forwards this fun anymore?): "The sole purpose of this book is to provide entertainment by giving an opportunity to test one's knowledge in competition with others. Most of us take our mental equipment rather for granted. Usually our friends have somewhat the same range of interests as ourselves, and, in the ordinary course of events, no chance occurs to find out how broad our knowledge really is. Here, one can match up against worthy competition and experience the thrill which comes of improving one's score by finally dragging forth a reluctant and protesting bit of information from some deep recess of the mind where it has lain hidden until a frantic search at last reveals its hiding-place."

... and so on. There are over fifty general quizzes (each consisting of 50 questions), plus some specialty subject quizzes and a "super quiz" in the back. Scores of various famous personages are put at the top of each quiz so you can see how you measure up, I suppose. In General Quiz Number Three, Dorothy Parker beat the socks off of Davis Cup winner William T. Tilden II!

For fun and possibly making yourself the scourge of the Thanksgiving table, here are some questions (chosen at random by me) from General Quizzes Number One and Two.

1. What style of writing did the early Babylonians use?
2. What is a centaur?
3. What product is advertised by the slogan: "Four out of five get it before they are forty"?
4. Who is the best known Indiana poet?
5. Who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?
6. What was the "Tweed Ring"?
7. What British music-hall comedian has since become most prominent in American moving pictures?
8. Who wrote Lorna Doone?
9. What is a paynim?
10. Who is generally credited with having introduced tobacco into Europe?
11. Name three well-known German composers whose last names begin with the letter "B."
12. Name the most commonly used make of tractor.
13. What is the longest river in Europe?
14. Who was Solon?
15. For whom was the month of August named?
16. What phantom ship may be seen off the Cape of Good Hope in stormy weather?
17. What is a bittern?
18. For what words to the initials "e.g." stand for?
19. What is the Latin derivation of the word Fascism?
20. What promontory near Spain belongs to England?

by the time you read this, I will have black fingernails

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Thursday, November 16, 2006
This Regina Spektor video is not only charming, but stylish. I heard the song for the first time this morning and I was immediately taken by it. She demonstrates here a sweet and light touch with for excavating and examining her own (or at least the protaganist of the song's) romantic impulses. Big emotions can be so consuming; fewer people than you'd think have got the talent to convert all of that into something not only approachable but still recognizable. It's no small gift. And it LOOKS really good, too!

The messages/questions I'm taking away from the video (because I guess I just can't watch it and be done with it) are:

your own head will drive you crazy. -- I knew this already, but I always like to have it confirmed from outside sources.

black nail polish on short nails looks cool! do it even though it will come off in a day. -- well, it turns out I didn't have black, so I'm sporting a really really dark wine color (Hollywood and Wine from OPI). I need to get some black and do it right.

I wonder if the whole album is good? -- I am still wondering this! I bet it is.

Is that guy a reformed mime, or is that the only black/white shirt they could find? -- this remains unanswered at this time.

I can't believe I forgot...

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This was meant for my TV post below, but I forgot! It is one in my continuing series (starting now) of Brilliant But Misunderstood Ideas.

Okay, here it is -- let's take two of the most irritating capital R Romantic couples in literature, and make them live in a house together for a yet to be determined amount of time. First, we have that fun-loving well-balanced pair, Cathy and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Excellent already, right? I mean, nobody will have to prompt them to chew the scenery. THEN, because you know they'd all get along like a house on fire (and maybe actually SET the house on fire), we add those wacky star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet from, well, Romeo and Juliet.

There would be some awkwardness at first, of course, as they meet and settle into their Ikea decorated MTV-style house. The usual tussles over who gets which room, on-screen arguments with the producers over how often Romeo's posse can come over and the problems with the hounds that Heathcliff brought. They can't just chew the furniture like that, you know? What do you mean, you don't know what housebroken means? Drama, drama!

Within the first 72 hours, perhaps over a disagreement about the coffee maker or who loves the most ardently, Heathcliff accidentally smothers Romeo with the brace of dead puppies that he brought from home, ("I only meant to silence the boy..." brood, brood, brood; yeah, yeah, yeah.) Cathy clutches the bodice of her white lawn nightgown before running wild-eyed around the property in proper gothic-lady-in-distress mode. Some lightning would be good. Maybe the house should be in the middle of a lightning farm. Yeah! Juliet drags Romeo outside to mourn his loss where the light is better and gets struck by lightning. She is instantly killed, but Romeo is revived. Heathcliff comes outside to brood or walk the dog or something, Romeo sees him and falls down dead again. Heathcliff shrugs and searches for Cathy. Maybe some wordless crying out to signal his Inner Pain. He finally finds her standing on the edge of a dramatic cliff (the edge of a volcano is just too much, isn't it? what about a dramatic cliff hundreds of yards above a murky lagoon filled with binding weeds and ravenous underwater creatures?), and they are both killed by pianos dropping out of the sky. Really heavy pianos.

the end.

filling in a ticket in her little white book

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006
1. the gingko leaves are impossibly beautiful, yellow, and all over the ground right now.
2. My hair is long enough to pull into a ponytail again, and it's making me insane. I guess I should be glad it's not growing inward, like the Tick's evil mustache. Arthur, my mustache is touching my brain!
3. I am no longer sick, but wellness brought my insomnia back. Or maybe it's just no nyquil that brought my insomnia back. This is something I must ponder further.
4. it's possible I ponder too much.
5. If someone were to try to determine the kinds of jobs Americans hold by watching TV, they would determine that we are a nation of crime scene investigators, cops, lawyers, and doctors. Nobody does anything else! Well, there are two (network) shows I can think of that feature writers, but in one of them the writing is secondary to finding a hairdresser in Alaska. I realize the reason for this -- those other professions provide easy episodic adventures... I mean, there's always someone doin' crimes that provide the bodies that need to be crime scene investigated, and if they're not dead they get to go see a doctor, and then they can sue...
All of which brings me to...

Some Things I've Been Watching, Lately

Carnivale season 2: got this from the library. I liked season one for its dust-bowl atmospherics and magical ambiguity. The lack of a strong narrative thread didn't really bother me; I liked being introduced to the different people that made up the Carnivale, I liked the sort of Twin-Peaksian weirdo meandering mysteriousness of it all. However, as much as I want Clancy Brown to be my personal Read To Me slave (his voice!), I found his storyline somewhat tedious. I get it, he's EVIL, but wears priestly garb. No, really, stop beating that hooker and giving lascivious looks to your sister... I GET IT. No more visions of blood, I beg you! You really are evil!

The show was slow-paced, but that was okay. Season two... well, the whole first episode was spent explaining who was good (Ben Hawkins) and who was Evil (not you, Brother Justin! I never would have guessed) -- because apparently watching Ben Hawkins heal a little girl so she could walk and watching Brother Justin mind control a pedophile weren't clues enough! They took away all the ambiguity, there's nothing going on, and four episodes in I find myself really hard pressed to care. This may go back to the library before Brother Justin finishes getting his EVIL TATTOO (because he's just not evil enough without it, I guess). Deadwood's got it all over this show -- it has the atmosphere (no implied magic, though) AND a freaking STORY! (and a lot of grey areas, which are always interesting.)

Bringing Up Baby: I've seen this many times but it's getting to be winter and I was lacking Vitamin Cary Grant, which this has in abundance. (If you like screwball comedies and haven't seen this, you should correct that RIGHT NOW. Seriously, this very instant.) I love this movie. My sister and I still do the "I was born on the side of a hill" lopsided my-heel-is-broken walk any time we're standing anywhere even slightly uneven. I thought my heart was full of maximum love for Bringing Up Baby, that there was simply no room to love it more, but I was wrong! The day after I re-watched it, I listened to the DVD commentary with Peter Bogdanovich while I was working on a project. Not unlike the grinch, my heart grew three sizes with extra affection. He pointed out a lot of technical "that's all one shot!" type stuff, but it wasn't just that... maybe it was for the tidbit that when Cary Grant says "I don't like leopards." he really means it.
(disturbing side note: when googling for images, I came across a review that not only gave this movie a mere two stars, but also mentioned Freddie Prinze, Jr. The world has gone mad.)

Grey's Anatomy: What do you know? It's a hospital soap! My problem with this show is that I find the title character to be whiny with an over-large sense of entitlement and virtually no humanizing factors. "She makes bad decisions" is supposed to be the thing we all relate to, but I find wanting to shove her giant lollipop head through the drywall to be a barrier to caring at all about what happens to her. Of the core group of doctors we met in the first season (many of whom I initially responded to), right now I only like George, the insecure nerd doctor. (Other original doctors included: ambitious do-anything (but secretly soft) doctor, the pretty baking (but secretly smart) doctor, the asshole doctor (with occasional secret stabs of humanity, and I'm sure a big ol' pile of Secret Pain), the crusty attending with the heart of gold, and brilliant (but jazz playing) surgeon.) Of the current group, I like Dr. Addison Shepherd (the estranged wife of Meredith's Dr. McDreamy). Addison also makes bad choices, but I feel for her. Also making the cut is Dr. Torres (who is in love with the insecure nerd doctor and has a host of other issues and problems. I think I like her because she looks like she might carry out my fondest Meredith-through-a-plate-glass-window wishes.) I enjoy the show, but wouldn't fret if something happened and I couldn't watch.

Bones: Angel's on TV!! That's pretty much my summary of this show. Their attempts to sex up the workplace have been annoying, but not painfully so. For example, Hodges and Angela?? He was uptight super paranoid bug nerd scientist last year, and this year he's suddenly Mr. Smoove Lover Man? Other examples include new boss Cam, who is an ex-lover of Boothe's (Angel). Not only is she an ex-lover, she's an autopsy person so they can take now juicily take apart new dead bodies in addition to the old ones. Because there are just not enough dead bodies on television.

Gilmore Girls: I am so torn on this one! The rational part of my brain says that not every show was meant to go on for unlimited seasons and maybe they should have stopped after year five or so. On the other hand, I do still get pleasure from watching it, but I'm pretty sure that I'm letting my early fondness color what's currently going on. For just ONE of many examples, Lorelei is back with Christopher. I like this new Christopher, and am not opposed to them getting together out of some Luke loyalty or anything... but, well, he was a complete irresponsible asshole (with a heart of gold) before, and now he's perfect. (That Funny Face date would be hard to beat, for example.) Maybe it's not intentional, or maybe I'm reading it wrong, but the way things seem to be shaking out is that he is worthy of Lorelei only now that he has "people crushing money." This show never dealt with class issues in a really heavy handed way, but I appreciated how they would sort of angle toward them. (Class is one of the last big unspoken issues in America today, IMO.) That Lorelei left an elite background and made her own life was a big deal. Now it seems like she can't escape her upbringing. To the manor born, to the manor you shall return! (don't get me started on formerly interesting characters like Lane getting the shaft!)

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: This show is problematic. I want to like it more than I do -- I like talky television and movies. A lot. Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night was one of the best half-hour series on television, and I don't remotely care for televised sports. The concept of this show is inherently interesting to me. How a live television broadcast goes together (I was a SNL fiend at one point in my life) should not be boring! And yet I feel about this show the same way I felt about the short-lived Love Monkey (which was set in the music business) -- it has so much potential, but spectacularly fails to live up to it. Is there no future for non-cop/lawyer/hospital shows?

The good parts: I love Matthew Perry in this role. He is not Chandler-y at all, and I think his romance with Harry is interesting, as is his friendship with Danny. I like that they have attempted to create a conservative Christian character who is not a complete nut job. I like the built-in tension and layers of Matt and Danny coming back to a show that they were forced out of years before. I like that they are not back entirely of their own free will. I like that we see the trickle-down pressure effect and the realities of having to serve 100 masters to just get the show on the air.

The main drawback is the endless speechifying. There are great huge monologues about the history of comedy, the folly of war, the arrogance of hollywood, the reverse-arrogance-that-is-just-as-arrogant of the rest of the country, Christians aren't really so bad, irrresponsible media, why can't we all just get along, etc... which are mostly well written and worth hearing, but they're dropped in like huge crates marked soap-box arriving by parachute -- you can see them coming from miles away and when they've landed there's a mess to clean up. Another thing: none of the sketches are funny. Don't show us the show, just show us how you get to the show! That being said, I will continue to watch until they cancel it, which seems somehow inevitable. They can release it on DVD with Love Monkey and do a special educational "What Went Wrong" audio track.

(this is in no way a complete list of my television habit)

Burlesque {and the New Bump-n-Grind}

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Sunday, November 12, 2006
by Michelle Baldwin #31

Here's another title from the backlog. I found this browsing in the library waaaay back in July. I wasn't looking for the burlesque section specifically (that's the 792's, stage productions for you dewey decimal fans) but was in the general 700's art section because occasionally some wonderful thing will leap out of the stacks at me.

What does the word Burlesque bring to mind? Feathers and spangles? Yeah. Tassel twirling? Certainly. The Simpsons episode Bart After Dark, where Bart breaks a window and ends up working the door in the Springfield Burlesque house? Yes! Gypsy Rose Lee? Of course! (a friend worked for Gypsy way back when, so I always look for Gypsy.) This book had no mention of the Simpsons, but the other areas are amply represented.

Baldwin gives a great overview of Burlesque and its place in entertainment -- both historical and modern -- from early British dance hall to the "Golden Age of Burlesque" during the 20s-30's to the modern revival. How can you not enjoy reading chapters that feature Sophie Tucker, Mae West, and the words "hoochy-kootchy"? Christina Aguilera could learn a thing or two about saucy but not too complicated double entendres from these early chapters.

One of the things that appeals to me about the idea of burlesque is the cheekiness factor. There is a sense of sexy fun which seems to be missing from most modern half-naked entertainment. Let's take music videos for example: there are often half-naked people, but they usually look dead-eyed and vacant as they grind their way through choreography designed to highlight enormously out of proportion fake breasts. On the other hand, tassel-twirling makes me laugh. It's so absurd, but strangely celebratory.

Speaking of big fake boobs, many modern burlesque troupes, while certainly more tattooed than their predecessors, take pride in having members who have not been surgically enhanced; i.e. no boob jobs! I think there's a whole generation of people growing up now who have no idea what natural breasts look like (or natural teeth, or non giant lips, or bumpy noses...). I just don't understand how something that looks like half a coconut forced under the skin is considered attractive, but I digress...

Many performers make their own costumes, design their own routines, make their own posters... so while yes, they are shaking what their mama gave them on stage, it is done with deliberation and specific intent by the artist herself. I guess this is why burlessque dancing doesn't seem demeaning to me, whereas music video hoochie dancing does. (I readily acknowledge that whether or not something seems demeaning to me really doesn't matter outside of my own head, since I am not the arbiter of these things.)

The early days of burlesque were all about comedy and sexiness combined. Comedians would come on between acts, not unlike a variety show (think the Muppet Show!) except with more spangles and exposed flesh. The natural outgrowth of this model brought the stars of the striptease like Gypsy Rose Lee, Lili St. Cyr, and Ann Corio. (I love this quote of Corio's opinion on what she saw as an unfortunate reliance on gimmicky props by other practitioners, "Corio felt that a good teaser had no need for gaudy props. 'A woman's greatest asset is a man's imagination.'" Which goes to show that it's the same as it ever was as far as how much is too much, I suppose.)

Lest you think the whole book is an historical overview, it's not. Baldwin spends a lot of time looking at the range and depth of the new burlesque -- from the old variety show model to acrobatics to the elegant "peelers" to song and dance cabaret to performance art, and so on. There is also time spent on exploring the difference between modern stripping and burlesque. (There are heated feelings and opinions about this, as you might imagine.) I particularly enjoyed reading the trade-specific vocabulary: peelers, teasers, baggy pants comics, tassel-twirlers. Also it's hard to beat the the names of the "classic burlesque stripteases such as the fan dance, champagne bath, birdcage and spider web." Like most language specific to a subculture that one is unfamiliar with, it all seems so exotic and evocative. If you have any interest at all in the subject, I think this is a very good book to start with.

These bottom two pictures don't have much to do with THIS book, but in the course of looking for photos to illustrate this post, I found these, which had to be included. Gypsy Rose Lee wrote a murder mystery called The G-String Murders (old paperback photo below). The picture I really love, though, is the one of her writing it. I know it's a publicity picture, but I adore the piles of paper all around her!

5 good things

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Thursday, November 09, 2006
My creation

I was going to make two lists, one good and one bad, but I'm still in a pretty good mood post-election, so I will accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, at least for this post.

the Huzzahs:

1) The Senate, the House and no more Rumsfeld. This is several orders of magnitude better than anything else on the list, and that's the truth.

2) I finally added some things to my brand new etsy shop! I had these crazy stamped/colored domino magnets hanging around and wanted to make more, (because they are FUN), but didn't really feel like I could with two boxes full of mostly finished ones taking up space. Anyway. I'll be putting a link on the sidebar and adding more things soon.

3) it did not rain most of the day.

4) I remembered that I have Nyquil and will be taking it right after I eat. Sweet fake minty medicated oblivion! (but only after food. Feed a cold, right?)

5) the library levy passed! Hooray! Multnomah county has the busiest library system in the country, yet they still have time to be wonderful.

election day!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Except I voted yesterday. I realize that there are lots of good and convenient reasons for Vote by Mail (or in my case, Vote by Dropping off Ballot at Library), but I miss voting in a polling place. I felt like I was participating instead of doing paperwork. Oh, well. At least we don't have those infernal Diebold machines!

So, in the spirit of democracy (or something), here's another video! This one is for the Decemberists' song 16 Military Wives, which amuses me for many reasons, including the following: Colin Meloy is practically MADE OF HAM, he's so hammy in this (I especially like the evil hand-rubbing and the palpable aura of arrogant assholery), the captions, it looks like the Model UN debate scene from Rushmore (not an accident, I'm certain), academy students in their 30's, "let's put on a show!", and that it was filmed right here in sunny old Portland -- the outdoor scenes are an accurate representation of what it looks like from about dec. 15 through march. (maybe the secret to enjoying the rainy season is to dress like you're in a Wes Anderson movie.)

This video was made early last year or late the year before. (around the time of "freedom fries" and people honestly believing they would find WMDs in Iraq -- I never believed it, most people who will read this never believed it... and YET.) Anyway, I do believe this video has continued relevance to our situation, since we still seem to be the asshole bullies of the world. There is hope! We can leave GWB alone in the hallway buried to his neck in election returns! (granted, it would be easier if more states had paper ballots...) I know these are only midterm elections, but it's what we've got to work with.

(I promise, no more videos this week. This one is best if you hit play, then pause and let it load all the way before starting it.)

god knows (you gotta give to get)

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

This video is charming, as is the whole El Perro del Mar album!

Bonus: since it is animated, the normal issues with jumpy youtube syncing do not apply.

In less charming news, I think I have a sore throat. I mean, I know I have a sore throat, but after a day of hoping it was just some flukey sinus thing that would go away, I have pretty much resigned myself to drinking lots of fluids, taking lots of sore throat drugs, and going to bed early and REALLY HOPING it will go away.

beep beep, beep beep, yeah!

| On
Friday, November 03, 2006
one of my favorite trees
about trees:
This tree is one of my favorites at the park. (other people have favorite trees, right?) This photo was taken about 2 days after the leaves were in Peak Marvelous Color because.. (vain confession) I don't take my camera unless I'm wearing a jacket since it looks really stupid and lumpy shoved in the pocket of my pants. Anyway, what my little camera did not capture was how lovely it looked with the leaves floating softly to the ground.

a note on the weather:
thanks to the time change, it now gets dark here around 5. Since it is also now The Time of Rain, it seems dark even sooner. This is so depressing but I must find ways to overcome it, or it's going to be a loooong winter.

something I'm gonna do:
set up an etsy shop. I've got all this stuff I've made sitting around getting dusty and keeping me from making more, so maybe I will unload it on the unsuspecting public! (this is something I've been considering for months. It would seem that I have a long idea incubation period, except on those rare giddy occasions when I don't.)

something for me to remember:
The GRE is not a black-hearted entity bent on the very destruction of my soul. It is merely a standardized test. (or IS it????)

scientific survey:
According to a scientific survey conducted today (with a witness -- that's what makes it science, baby), 2 out of 3 Magic 8 Balls say that I do NOT rely on the advice of the Magic 8 Ball too often. I guess one could say, "well, they would say that, wouldn't they?" but that a little paranoid, even for me. The holdout was the Lemony Snicket 8 Ball, which as you can imagine, is not too optimistic. Outlook Gloomy is typical, Depressingly True is good news.

this morning I was loading some songs I'd downloaded into iTunes, and found I had another Planningtorock song. Hooray! I recently went bananas for one of their songs (used it in my Spooky mix), so finding that I had another was a delicious surprise. I decided to go read up on the band and see what was what ... and lo and behold, the band is actually ONE WOMAN. I totally thought it was a dude! I'm usually good at figuring these things out, but to me it sounded like a guy singing up high in typical glam style -- but no! Anyway, it adds another layer of weirdly wonderful on top of what was already pretty weird and wonderful. According to the AMG, the moods for this band include: literate, playful, irreverent, freewheeling, theatrical, quirky, witty, sophisticated, dramatic, ironic, stylish and campy. If any of those sound good to you, you should check it out!

currently reading:
The Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose. Such an interesting angle on the complicated ways we humans go about things. Throw art and desire into the mix and all those complications go into an entangling machine and get even more complex. I still have 5.5 muses to go, so maybe everything gets tied up in a neat bow by the end. (I have my doubts, however...)

the OC:
Ryan is cage fighting! CAGE FIGHTING!! I know I am supposed to be sad about all his guilt and dead Marissa baggage, but the idea of Seth (SETH!) trying to talk him out of the cage and back to the pool house just makes me laugh and laugh.