Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Everyone I know is moving to the northwest.
Everyone's also wearing chuck taylors.
Plaid galoshes at the big box store.
Grunge fonts featured at kottke.
The Girls Rock movie (which um, rocked, btw)
Our culture is a culture-regurgitating machine. And since punk and disco and 80's have already been recently spat out, grunge's time may be coming. Puke away, culture. I'll go get my flannel shirt ready.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Experiential Poetry: " Using a complex array of perforations, the pavilion’s surface allows light to pass through creating shifting patterns, which–during specific times of the year–transform into the legible text of a poem." (via kottke)
Why we Pay More. As a writer, I'm interested in how to make a living at writing in a world where text is increasingly free, and easily copied. This article talks about reasons why people will pay more (or, just pay) for things they could get free/cheap. (via cheap like me)
Another Way to Sell Out. Speaking of making money as an artist... how about writing for Lexus? From the website:
For our 2008 original fiction series, Lexus invited nine respected authors to help us tell the story of a young couple embarking on a cross-country journey. Along the way, love, loyalties, and the new IS F are road-tested.(via After the MFA)
And, thankfully, it's not too late to catch Bret Michaels' tour. I bet you're relieved. Happy Sunday!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I also completely turned over the section of the "yard" that will not be a raised bed, and pulled as much glass and trash out of it as I could. There was a sizeable pile when I was done: slivers of glass, spark plugs, tiny pieces of plastic, bigger pieces of plastic (including the remnants of a set of venetian blinds), bottle caps, plastic coating from wires, a couple of unidentifiable rusty metal things, several juice boxes, a sock, and innumerable nails. I know there's more in there, but it's more than 6 inches underground, except for the glass shards, which I know I will keep finding every time it rains. And I pretty much just left the chicken bones, etc., because I figured they were feeding the soil. I was encouraged to find some grubs and worms and bugs (not many, but some) because that means the soil isn't completely dead.
As I was working the next-door neighbor came out to tell me that the reason one corner smells pissy is because the last guy who lived here pissed on it all the time. Also that he used to dump all kinds of things, including motor oil, onto the ground. Sweet. I try not to think about how much of that dirt I inhaled while I was moving it around.
So I raked it all level and put down two bags of cedar mulch (I think I will need two more). It's looking decent, I have to say. Like I might actually want to spend time in it. I can't wait until there are things growing in the beds.
While I was working my friend S from upstate came by to visit and gave me a fashion show with the free clothes she got from the church up the street. And she's lent me an 80's-tastic dress that I might wear to the prom I'm chaperoning next month.
I also got a genuine sunburn and have dirt embedded under my nails. It makes me happy.
*It deserves quotations because the whole thing is maybe 10'X10'. A mini "yard."
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Fortunately I think I have an out of town guest taking up some of that time, and it's school vacation week. And I've created a list of projects for myself:
- build a clothes-drying space in the backyard (something like this that is about two feet wide because my yard, unlike the one pictured below, is about 10X10):
- bottle the apple wine I made in September
- build the raised beds in the backyard for herbs and veg
- go see Girls Rock at The Movies
- use the grill (got some chicken marinating as we speak)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL) is dedicated to a more perfectly spelling union.
This March through May, we, sworn members of TEAL, will be taking a road trip around the country to stamp out as many typos as we can find, in public signage and other venues where innocent eyes may be befouled by vile stains on the delicate fabric of our language. We do not blame, nor chastise, the authors of these typos. It is natural for mistakes to occur; everybody will slip now and again. But slowly the once-unassailable foundations of spelling are crumbling, and the time has come for the crisis to be addressed. We believe that only through working together with vigilance and a love of correctness can we achieve the beauty of a typo-free society.
(via slog)The Wire. Cuz it's like that.
I am a still susceptible to that radical activist lingo... Start talking about Babylon and Empire and I get all, you know, radical inside.
I got this warning from riseup.net, a collective that sponsors listservs, email, etc. and thought I'd share the paranoia.
But this makes a lot of sense to me, since I've just been watching The Wire, and that's exactly what those guys are doing to capture drug lords and crooked dock workers. Oh, jeez, I can't believe I just said that. Anyway, read on, and be sure to wave at the security cameras on your way out the door.
In the waning days of Babylon and empire, what will the US government think up next? According to numerous leaks from the intelligence bureaucracy to the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Wall Street Journal, the government’s new fun toy is the ability to monitor our social networks by tracking, in real time, the patterns of email, phone calls, text messages, and financial transactions. This program is top secret, so you can’t take legal action because you can’t prove the program exists (according to the catch-22 logic of a February 19th US Supreme Court decision).
The Clinton and Bush administrations have said the program is entirely constitutional because it does not involve eavesdropping on the content of our communication. Instead, it focuses on the pattern of our relationships. In this way, individuals are not under surveillance, all of society is. If your social movement has nothing to hide, then what are you worried about? Plenty. This kind of map of our social networks creates a ready made blueprint for disrupting any social movement deemed to be a threat. In many ways, the government knows more about how we organize than we do. This issue is important to all organizers, because much of the world's email is routed through the US.
So, what can we do about it? For starters, get everyone you know to start using an email provider that uses StartTLS. For email, this is the only thing that can protect against the surveillance of our social networks. For a list of StartTLS providers besides riseup see:
What about phone calls, internet chat, and social networking sites? Riseup birds don't have all the answers, but we are working on it. One thing we know, privacy and security are not solved by personal solutions. If we want security, it will take a collective response and a collective commitment to building alternative communication infrastructure.
For more information, see:
"NSA's Domestic Spying Grows As Agency Sweeps Up Data" by Siobhan Gorman. The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2008.
"Listening In" by Seymour Hersh. The New Yorker, May 29, 2006.
"NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls" by Leslie Cauley. USA Today, May 10, 2006.
"Court Rejects ACLU Challenge to Wiretaps." Associated Press, February 19, 2008.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
--Kate Christensen, who just won the PEN/Faulkner award for The Great Man , in an interview on Critical Mass .
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Sunday, April 06, 2008
I'd been not feeling well for about a week on Wednesday when I came down with a strange rash. Turns out it is shingles. I will spare you the health report except to say that I feel like my skin is constantly being rubbed with sandpaper. Daughter was hoping the rash looked like actual house shingles, but sadly, that is not the case.
I've been in near-quarantine since then, venturing out only to get my diagnosis, attend a few critical work meetings. I can give chicken pox to people, apparently. But I also had to take the cat to the vet (he had a giant abscess on his head), pick up the car from the shop (it blew a wheel bearing) and receive some money from my father because of the unexpected expenses above. I've resisted writing about it until now because
On the plus side, I've watched a few more episodes of The Wire and some other movies (28 Weeks Later, Gone Baby Gone, and almost an entire season of Teen Titans courtesy of Daughter) and read a few books (Lemony Snicket's The Carnivorous Carnival, Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret). I also learned to do sudoku.
But I think being in constant pain has actually lowered my IQ. I can't concentrate on anything complicated and I find myself drawn to action movies and talk shows. I watched The View, for crying out loud.*
Anyway, until I have something nice to say I won't be back, so, uh, keep yourself busy with this, and talk amongst yourselves:
*No offense to lovers of action movies or YA books or soduku or The View. Well, maybe View-lovers. But that is all just weirdass shit for me.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
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