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Thursday, January 22, 2004

meant to write a lot and do laundry tonight. got generally distracted by many things, not the least of which being catching up with Chica Beanie.

she's back from the Wild West! whoo hoo! it was lovely to catch up with her, and hear about her vacation. also spent some time talking with the love of my life about everything and nothing. as it should be.

(also? my upstairs neighbors appear to have acquired a poodlekeet. it seems to be a puppy like device that sounds like a parakeet imitating a dog, and it runs nonstop. for. hours. on. end. yeah. i'm thrilled, too.)

so in place of something meaningful, some miscellany. to wit: walking to my car in the garage tonight, there was a pair of socks in an empty parking space. no car, no hint how they got there. just two socks, rolled up in that odd insideout sausage thing that some people do, lying neatly next to each other. huh. looking back at them as i walked on past, i thought "someone has cold ankles tonight." yeah. i didn't say my thought processes made sense. ;)

oh, and i love that Google had a monkey logo today for Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year

two other things that have entertained me recently: one, finding someone else as addicted to Carmex as i am, and who is far more eloquent. mmmm.... Carmex. two, Michal's take on who runs the alphabet.

also - brian, i'm not sure if this is it (will keep hunting), but it's at least an interesting article on The Shrub's psychological profile.

off to watch some bad TV, and toddle to bed. sleep well, everyone.

:: scribbled at 11:02 PM ... ... o

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

maybe i'm not political/politically aware enough because i get sidetracked easily by little things.

to wit: my first thought when i witnessed that little display of emotion on Dean's part the other night?

'wow. i don't think i've ever seen his upper lip move. huh.'

:: scribbled at 3:50 PM ... ... o

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

truly, some days i am an idiot.

one of these days, i'll be able to get in touch with jen without anyone getting hurt. :/

updated to say: it just shouldn't be that hard; there are phones and email, they are not new technology, they should not baffle me. on the other hand, it is possible to have too much technology. i've got a small piece of info in each place, and no one place where all my ways to get in touch with people i know lives. and this, my friends, is why i gave away my Palm Pilot. i couldn't take another gadget. perhaps i erred... because at least that could be synched, right? but synched with what - all the other gadgets? gah! give me an old fashioned, paper based address book any day.

:: scribbled at 5:30 PM ... ... o

so, i'm watching the cable talking newsheads last night, curious to find out what happened in Iowa. also, i hope to rectify my ignorance.

i've always known that New Hampshire is the first primary. if you win that, you have a shot at being President, but if you lose, you'll never make it. hey, we all know that, right? so what is this caucus thing, and what's the big deal?

well, the news coverage (and Jon, of course) last night only told me a little bit. people show up and divvy into little groups, after coffee and cookies? and if your group isn't 'viable', you have to find new friends to play with? what is that all about? sounds more like a mish mash of Red Rover and the worst gym class you were ever in, if you ask me. and the viable groups get to convince you to join them by doing things like standing on chairs and shouting? huh. certainly puts the 'action' in democracy.

feeling like i'd missed a civics class way back *let's not discuss when*, i hunted around a bit to find a good, brief description of all the hooha, and found Mickey Kaus's article, The Four Votes of Iowa - What Brokaw and Jennings won't tell you about the caucuses. i'm okay with the bias, largely because he seems to be my kind of guy. (of course, if you're truly dedicated (unlike me), you could read the entire manual for the Iowa caucus (link to .pdf file), which probably has less opinion in it. i'm just not that focused.)

anyone know of other good reads on the caucus process? better yet, ever taken part in one?

:: scribbled at 4:48 PM ... ... o

interesting article over at Holt Uncensored about the fundamentals of writing.

entitled The Ten Mistakes, it's a good refresher on good, clean writing. i know for me, there were a few direct hits. and the author points out that good writing always matters:

From email messages and front-page news in the New York Times to published books and magazine articles, the 10 ouchies listed here crop up everywhere.

note to self: stop using empty adverbs. absolutely.

:: scribbled at 12:37 PM ... ... o

Monday, January 19, 2004

there are two news stories i've been following for the last week or so, and it struck me today that they balance each other.

the first is the steady stream of images and data coming back from the Mars rovers. i looked at the first images, and thought 'eh. flat. red. so?' but the more i thought about it, the more impressive it is. it really wasn't all that long ago that we got the first images from the moon, in black and white. that we now have the technology to send a remote controlled exploration unit to Mars, to pick and choose what we want to see and do there, to be able to react to conditions we couldn't predict - that's amazing.

there was a great segment on NPR the other night, where they were interviewing kids at the National Air and Space Museum to see why they thought we should go to Mars. man, some of those kids... 'it would make a great vacation spot!' 'we'll find all kinds of new materials, maybe metals.' 'it might be really cold there.' (how that last is a reason, i'm not sure.)

there was also a good segment, maybe last month, talking about the technology involved, and why it's so much more difficult to send people to Mars than the moon. [i'll see if i can hunt down the link, but for now, it's just what i can recall.] basically, the scientist was saying that everyone is asking why we can't send people instead of a remote control car. 'technology evolves a lot faster than the human body. oddly, we still need as much air as we did 40 years ago.' heh.

the other story that caught my eye was Spalding Gray going missing. i first heard of him years ago, when Sex and Death to the Age Fourteen came out. i thought his stories about growing up, and dealing with puberty, siblings, shame, family, curiosity, and (i think it was in that book) flaming farts were brilliant. not only that, i felt some sort of kinship to him. it's an odd thing about being a public figure: people learn some little fact about you, and feel like they know you, or share something in common with you. we do this to all sorts of people - sports stars, authors, musicians, actors. for me, with Spalding Gray, there was a family association. he grew up roughly in the same part of Rhode Island where my mother's father had lived at one point as a child. how this meant i had anything in common with Gray, i don't know. but i loved knowing that about him.

i also got to meet him, once, briefly, in a stuttering fannage sort of way. he was performing his latest monologue here in town, at a theatre i don't think i worked at yet (chronology is a bit hazy for me there). i brought my copy of Sex and Death, and waited, nervously, out front of the theatre. (i was pretty sure that was the only way in and out.) half an hour after the curtain came down, he came striding out (god, he is tall), in a hurry to get somewhere, and i skittered out, thrusting my book and a pen at him, 'wouldyousignmybook ilovedtheperformance godimsureeveryonetellsyouthat ohyouresokind thankyoufortheautograph', palms sweating the whole time, sure he wouldn't stop.

and now he's gone missing. i've read that he's struggled with depression off and on for years, and that an accident a few years back didn't help. i've also read that he has a family, a wife and child, a brother and relatives, looking for him. here's hoping he comes home safely.

:: scribbled at 9:18 PM ... ... o

unconscious mutterings:

Berry:: dolls (weren't there some Strawberry Muffin dolls, or some such nonsense, about a million years ago?)
Fiendish:: imp
Bar:: none
Frank:: incense
Bend:: o-matic
Fanatic:: religious
Belch:: fart
Flagrant:: misconduct
Burden:: of proof
Flimsy:: saran wrap

:: scribbled at 3:43 PM ... ... o