Monthly Archive: March 2004

Mar 30

Tickets acquired

Well, we’ve booked the tickets for this summer’s Europe trip.  Last summer was southern Germany, Switzerland and France; this summer is Germany (middle bits) and Amsterdam.

I love this part of the trip — ticket-booking stress is gone, and now I get to figure out what looks fun, where to stay, etc. etc.  Whee!

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Mar 25

(No title)

I saw The Passion of the Christ the other week, and now I’m sure I’m going to hell… I couldn’t get “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” out of my head during the crucification scene.

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Mar 24


While (I just stopped myself from saying “whilst,” even though I like it better) writing what I’ve taken to calling a “nasty-gram” at work (aka a “cease and desist”), I had the opportunity to use the word “dilemma”, formerly a source of great spelling angst to me (delimma? dilemma?).
…that is until one day I realized that “dilemma” was really “di-” (two) and “-lemma” (mathematical assumption) put together to make “dilemma,” which means (in my really fudgy definition way) “two alternatives”. Or, as Mirriam Webster would have it:

Main Entry: di·lem·ma
Pronunciation: d&-‘le-m& also dI-
Function: noun
Etymology: Late Latin, from Late Greek dilEmmat-, dilEmma, probably back-formation from Greek dilEmmatos involving two assumptions, from di- + lEmmat-, lEmma assumption — more at LEMMA
1 : an argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives against an opponent

I love personal etymylogical breakthroughs.

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Mar 24

This weekend

Three major things of note:
(1) Friday night I “secret shopped” Rockfish.  They compensate you for your meal, and in return you fill out a *very detailed* report on everything (food, service, cleanliness of tables, outdoor lighting, you name it).  I think I’m pretty good at that sort of thing (noticing details and presenting them in a coherent written format), and what the heck?  a free meal’s a free meal, right?  In addition, this one was fun because we got to award a “gift certificate” to the server if she met all the criteria, which she did.  So fun all around!

(2) Saturday afternoon, my friend Heather and I threw a “girl’s afternoon out” thing.  Basically it involved eight women, four pounds of cheese, two pounds of chocolate, at least 5 bottles of wine (maybe more) and fire.  Yes, Fondue Forks for Everyone!  It was an interesting mix of people and ended up being a complete hoot.  We’re going to try to do another one soon, with perhaps some craftiness added in, as it turns out that a (surprising?) number of us knit, make jewelry, spin, scrapbook, sew or make cards.  Or all of the above.

(BTW, I’m trying to learn the lesson here that this — the throwing of casual events — doesn’t have to be incredibly stressful, time-consuming or expensive.  Yes, it took some time to put together and there was cost involved, but sharing the work with someone else made it ever-so-much easier.  And, of course, I was stressed, especially at the beginning when people were first showing up, but for no real reason, as it all was good!)

(3) Sunday night was my friend Kim’s birthday shindig.  As originally scheduled it was to have been a Saturday night get-your-groove-thing-on, adults-only party; however, due to Kim (and Tim, her hubby) needing to be out of town Saturday night, it got shifted to a more mellow, pot-lucky bring-the-kids Sunday evening thing.

First and foremost, I had a wonderful time.  T/K’s friends are, to a (wo)man, charming, intelligent people, whom I really enjoyed talking to.

With that important statement clear, I’ll admit:  it was *weird* and disorienting.  Not only was I (get this) the ONLY single straight person there, I was also the only one without child(ren)!  Me and my friend Kenny from high school and his partner David were the three representatives from the land of childrenlessness. 

Now rationally I know that the majority of people my age are married, and of those, a majority probably have children by now.  That being said, some of my most immediate friends don’t have kids and at least a few are still single (getting fewer by the day, but that’s another story)** and I don’t regularly attend play groups or shop for groceries in the middle of a weekday afternoon*, so it’s pretty rare for me to see “the majority” in action.

So, honestly, it was a little disconcerting to all-of-a-sudden be dropped into a whole different demographic.  Honestly, I felt a bit like the Freakishly (/Childless) Single One — again, through no fault of anyone at the party, but just because I was the exception not the rule.

Anyway — maybe more on this later, but for now, just the observation.

** For example, the Saturday girl’s thing ended up being 2 single, 4 married, 2 married+kids.
* Not that all women with kids are stay-at-home moms, but more that many of the folks with free time to shop during weekday afternoon are likely to be stay-at-home moms (who would remind me of the “majority state” of things).

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Mar 18

(No title)

They Might Be Giants -> Mono Puff -> Violent Femmes – > Sonic Youth -> Radiohead -> R.E.M.

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Mar 18

regarding musicplasma

Ok, so I’ve been futzing with it to see if I can get from A -> B, where A is a band/artist I like and B is a different one.  Started with R.E.M. and so far have been able to get to the land of prog rock (YES), (Gillian Welch), classic rock (the WHO), classic folk (Joni Mitchell) and “punk rock” (old school — Violent Femmes).

I cannot find a way from R.E.M to They Might Be Giants yet, but I’m going to cheat and reverse-engineer it.

Then I have to see if I can get to Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds (or maybe England Dan and John Fold Coley) from TMBG.

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Mar 18

Oh my heavens

This may be the coolest music-thing ever (via CuriousGirl):


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Mar 16

Clever (IMHO) solution to pet peeve

My favorite new music magazine, Paste Magazine, sends out a sampler CD every month with 20+ complete tracks.  This is a huge bonus, and makes the subscription worth it in and of itself, as far as I’m concerned.

The only bad thing is that the track listings are *on* the CD, which makes it sort of difficult to type them in during the ripping process (and putting them in after is a bigger pain) since you can’t see the listings when the CD is in the drive.

My ever-so-clever solution is to scan the front of the CD, then stick it in the drive.  Ta-dah!  I can read the track names *and* rip the CD.  Yah me.

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Mar 16

Per Absolutely Vile’s request

The Psychedelic Furs are currently on tour and getting ready to make their way across the US! To get the skinny on what cities they’ll be playing, visit — and while you’re there, add your email address to the mailing list to be notified when future tour dates are added.
(brought to you by franklyvulgar)

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Mar 15

eeee-yikes! This is me:


… Nearly everybody has been mentally tortured at one point in their lives by an “earworm” — a tune that keeps repeating itself over and over in their heads.

The research also indicates that people who get the most earworms tend to listen to music frequently and have neurotic habits, such as biting pencils or tapping fingers …

My most recent “earworm” is the song Careful, by Guster, thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, LJC. Over and over. I had to download it from iTunes with my free Pepsi cap. I listened to it (I am not joking here) at lest 10 times in a row Thursday night. I looked up the lyrics, so I could sing along while listening to it ten times in a row Thursday night.

It is a really good song, though. :)

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Mar 15

Weekend Edition

Friday night was crazy, but everything ended up working out just fine. I had intended to go out with my friend Phil, but just as he and I were heading out he got a call from another friend of ours from high school, Steve. Steve and his wife MargEva are good friends with Laura and Jonathan (whom I also know through the Duke Talent Identification Program, where Jonathan was an instructor and I was a resident advisor in 1990). Since Jonathan’s step mom is affiliated with Duke, they often end up with basketball tickets, so Steve was calling Phil to ask him if he’d like to meet up with the rest of them (MargEva and Laura) to go to the ACC Tournament. Phil kindly said “oh no no, I’m going out with Gina,” but right after he hung up I told him not to be rediculous, that this was the ACC Tournament and fer-cryin’-out-loud he should go already. So he called Steve back, and Steve came over to Phil’s house to fetch him (bonus for me, since I hadn’t seen Steve in a while either).

Meanwhile back at the ranch — I’d gotten a call earlier in the day from my friend Elizabeth, whom I’ve known since I worked for her at The Limited during summers in college. She’d wondered what I was up to that evening, but at the time, I already had the Phil-related plans. So, after I talked Phil into taking the b-ball tix, I called Elizabeth back and ended up meeting her for a late dinner at a Japanese steak house, which was wonderful. It had been far too long since we’d seen each other, and it was great catching up.

See, I told you it all worked out.

Saturday night was all about fun! First, Meghan came over to Jeff’s house, where I presented her with her birthday presents: a little japanese siilly toy I’d bought for her at Giant Robot last time I was in San Fran; a 50’s style apron I’d sewn for her out of two pink and cream prints (must get photos!); and a necklace I’d made of thin leather cord, amazonite (I think?) and various shades of blue glass beads, which for once, I didn’t match exactly (as painful as that was for me), since Meghan’s not into matchy-matchy things.

Then we went out to Rockfish (mmmm! fish & chips!) for her birthday. We also got in a wee bit of QST (Quality Shopping Time) at Nordstrom’s, where Meghan scored not one, but two!, nifty belts. (Aside: that’s one whole area of fashion that I completely miss out on. I *never* wear belts!).

After dinner (eaten completely without poundage guilt over the fish-and–chips, I might add…it was that kind of evening), Meghan and I headed over to our friend John Santa’s house for his monthly music jam. John is a music producer and knows *tons* of pickers and players and singers… and once a month he gets a crowd of them together to just play.

John had been worried about a small turn-out, and had even considered cancelling, but we ended up full-to-overflowing! We even had four singers, which was incredibly fun. Virginia and Ruth have very strong lead voices, so Meghan and I harmonized on most things. (Meghan’s also got a fantastic lead voice, but she was not feeling up to it Saturday night). Ruth also brought a lot of new tunes to the party, and Meghan and I had a blast singing two of our favorite Tift Merritt songs, Trouble Over Meand Virginia, No One Can Warn You. And though this is a song I’m not particularly fond of, the four part harmony on To Know Him is To Love Him was amazing.

Didn’t get home ’till 1:30. Slept like the proverbial log. I got up, watched a bit of the barbeque show on PBS, got showered went to meet Steve (see paragraph 1, above) and his darling daughter Eleanor for lunch Sunday morning (ok, it was still Sunday morning to me). This was the first time I’d met Eleanor & she’s a real charmer.

After I got home, Jeff and I toook the bike out for a long spin since it was such a pretty day, ending up at Maple View Farm Creamery for ice cream. Poifect! It was pretty amusing to me, as it was 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon and the place was packed! I’d have thougt that all the parental units would have said “no, you’ll spoil your dinner”, but there was a line wrapping all the way around the inside of the place. I had cookie dough and butter pecan, and I did, I admit, spoil my dinner a wee bit. Jeff and I ended up makign soft tacos at about 8, when we finally were a bit hungry again. Iron Chef and Whose Line and bed followed.

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Mar 10

Tree meme

This one is surprisingly accurate:

You are boisterous and affectionate. You are the
kind of tree that takes nothing sitting down,
and is always ready for an adventure. You like
to see everything that goes on around you. You
like the warm weather, but you flourish when
the nights tend to grow slightly colder. You
are someone who likes to extend your days into
the night hours because you never want to leave
anything unfinished. You love an audience when
you do things and you like to show off
sometimes, but others admire your attitude. You
fear past mistakes coming back to haunt you,
but try to live day by day. You admire the
strength of others and try to find the same in
yourself. When you leave this word, you want to
make an impression so that you’ll never be

What’s Your Inner Tree?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Mar 05

(No title)

> From: ndukwe magnus []
> Sent: Friday, March 05, 2004 9:57 AM
> To:
> Subject: Dear Normal; your assistance is needed!
> Dear Normal,
> This contact is tantamount to an unflinching desire to
> establish a long mutual family/business relationship based on
> trust and mutual understanding.

Obviously this is standard issue Nigerian prince scam… but it’s obvious they didn’t know who they were sending it to… “Dear Normal” Bwah ha ha!

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Mar 04

Safety Freaks

(Prompted by a comment that Sarah made in my journal:)

There are two kinds of people in this world:  the unpluggers and the not.

The unpluggers are the ones who, convinced that the curling iron/toaster/hair dryer/electric skillet will, of its own volition, take wing and land in the nearby sink full of water, electrocuting or at least severly harming everyone around, feel compelled to unplug any small appliance after every use.

The “nots” are people like me who assume that appliances, despite their sometimes seeming ability to be ornery, are not mobile and have no capacity for flight without assistance of a human sort (or maybe a large pet).  And since we’re not planning on throwing the curling iron/toaster/hair dryer/electric skillet into the sink, we don’t worry about it.

Which are you?

Do you unplug small appliances after using them?
Why, of course I do!  At any moment my toaster may wing its way to the sink, causing damage and despair.
No, of course not.  My curling iron knows far better than to go traipsing off towards the tub.
I don’t have any small appliances.  I live under a rock, and have unruly hair and raw bread.

Free polls from

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Mar 04

Confucious Say:

She who waits on the unplugged toaster will be late for work.

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