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Thursday, July 31

I've been mulling over a redesign around here. I was thinking simply of changing the colors, but now I'm thinking perhaps a background pattern might be nice. Perhaps one of Dr. Ruth's? What do you think? Which is your favorite? [link via Guavalog]

Holy cow - the internet seems to be acting wonky today - Blogger is down, Jish.nu can't be found, and I'm not getting any email! If you feel like comforting me in this time of sickness and loneliness, you can write to me at enigmatic2u at yahoo dot com, 'cause you know yahoo never ever goes down.

UPDATE: the internet has ceased its wonkiness. Please return to your regular activities.

Wednesday, July 30

Those who failed to oppose me, who readily agreed with me, accepted all my views, and yielded easily to my opinions, were those who did me the most injury, and were my worst enemies, because, by surrendering to me so easily, they encouraged me to go too far... I was then too powerful for any man, except myself, to injure me.

-Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France (1769-1821)

Good morning! Hi there!

I've been avoiding posting lately because I have been 1) tired of hearing myself complain and 2) trying to protect you, my loyal readers, from experiencing the "train wreck" direction this site has been taking lately. You know, where you don't want to look, but you can't not look. Where people checking back here to see what's been going on think "holy cow, is she still talking about that cough?"

'Cause really, that's my whole life these days: Do I wake up coughing? How long after I wake up does the coughing start? Do I cough only when I talk? or does it happen at other times as well? How long do I have to lay in bed, coughing, before I can fall asleep? How many times during the night do I wake up coughing? Again, how long does it take for me to fall back asleep because I can't stop coughing?

After a truly horrid weekend of not being able to sleep or eat because of the coughing, I went to see a doctor on Monday and she is of the opinion that I am suffering from something that is not pneumonia or allergies, but somewhere in between (possibly involving bronchitis). So she gave me antibiotics and cough medicine with codeine.

Codeine.

Now there's a drug that'll knock you on your ass. I thought I could take a teaspoon of this stuff and go to work as soon as I left the pharmacy. Um ... no. This stuff not only suppresses my cough, it suppresses me as well. I get to take two teaspoons before I go to bed at night, and even though I haven't taken any since last night around 10 p.m., I really don't think I'm up to operating any large machinery yet. Which is unfortunate, since I'm out of soup, bagels, and the only tea that doesn't need sugar.

I'll be better soon, I hope, and then I'll be back to talking about my boring-but-not-coughing life. In the meantime, I'll see what I can do about a redesign and some humorous links.

Saturday, July 26

Are you wondering why you haven't heard from me? It's simple, really. I can't talk without coughing (can't do much of anything, actually, without coughing), so I don't talk. Or do much of anything.

Hopefully this will mean relief in the near future, as I'm f*&%ing tired of coughing. And of not doing anything.

Friday, July 25

So yeah, I woke up this morning with an awfully sore throat and a worse cough than yesterday. My voice has settled into serious frog-voice, or sexy voice, depending on your mood. I'd just like to be able to take a deep breath without a coughing fit, thank you very much. Not much else concerns me at the moment.

Unable to leave for the weekend without some funnies, however, here's Rational Danger Girl [via Brad] [also worth checking out the rest of the site], and I can't tell if this is a Star Wars spoof of Run Lola Run, or a Run Lola Run spoof of Star Wars. In any case, I now need to watch Run Lola Run so that I get the joke. [via ChickenOrBeef]

Thursday, July 24

I went to see the play that Jessa's been working on, and I must say that it's a great concept. Given the difficulty of the material, the performers did wonders,* and I would recommend it to anyone with a free hour and a half on any given evening.

Go on!

*The audience participates in casting the actors in their roles for each performance, so all the actors have to know all the parts! (over 80 pages worth of script)

I'm just warning all my friends here - I seem to have (re)developed a cough. There is nothing else wrong with me, no running nose, no fever or aches, just a cough. And it won't leave me alone.

This is also a marker for me, so that should I ever decide it's worth going to the doctor to have it checked out, I can remember when I noticed the cough.

Wednesday, July 23

Another Mirror Project submission!

I find myself with so much to do, both professionally and personally, work-like and fun-like, that I don't want to do anything.

For instance, I have spent so much time getting stuff ready to go today, that now that it's time to go, I just want to surf for a bit before going home. Where's mom to slap my hand when I need her??

Tuesday, July 22

Ever have one of those days when you can't even spell your name correctly? Sucks when you average 20-30 outgoing emails a day.

My most recent Mirror Project submission.

Also, went to the Lit at the Canvas [event link] last night. I'd been by the venue many times, but never had the reason to go in. I'm glad I had the opportunity. My back didn't get along with the couch, but the rest of me enjoyed the performances immensely. Too bad the event didn't even start till 8:30 p.m. - I'm still recovering from the weekend and that's a bit too late for a school night - so I missed the last two performers.

On the other hand, we did get to heard Paul Flores and his wonderful poetry, and Elizabeth Rosner read some passages from her book that I'd be very interested in reading, and Derek told stories that made us laugh.

All that - and the really good hummus - made for a great evening.

Monday, July 21

Learned this weekend:

"Seize the moment" moments don't always work for me.

If you don't get to bed till 4 a.m., set the damn alarm, because you are NOT going to get up in time for whatever you've planned for later in the day, especially if "later in the day" means 11 a.m.

It's better to watch where you're putting your feet when hiking, rather than trying to decrypt the clue and keep up with your companion. 'Cause the twisted ankle just ain't worth it.

I should never be allowed to go 7 hours without food. I become unpleasant even to myself.

Marriage, which some like to trivialize as merely a civil contract or a piece of paper, tends to have a much more profound impact on some people. Especially when they get married.

My phobia is getting worse, I think, and I don't know what to do about it.

Scott and Megan are moving to Seattle. I wish I had gotten to know them better in the year or so that I've been acquainted with them. If that's not a lesson in seizing the moment, I don't know what is.

Contrary to popular sentiment against becoming one's mother, I want to be like my mom when I grow up.

Kevin has posted his eulogy for his dad.

Saturday, July 19

So yeah, nothing like a night out with hip friends at a hip club to make this 31 year old woman feel like an awkward 13 year old girl.

Still, I eventually got over myself and had a good time ... just in time for the joint to close up. Good times, good times.

Friday, July 18

It's funny that here in the Bay area, I am considered semi-literate when it comes to computer stuff. I mean, I know what a computer is, I know how to navigate the internet, I can receive email and then send it back out again without all those annoying headers, and I have a good idea of what error messages to ignore and what error messages you should pay attention to, etc.

When it comes to my family, however, I am the "Techy Daughter." My parents had their DSL kit 2 weeks before I came home for Mother's Day this year, and I found the box had been unopened. I spent most of the weekend setting that up. My brother called me up while I was on my way to dinner with some friends the other day to talk him through setting up a high-speed connection on his computer. My sister calls with random questions about how to do various things regarding system maintenance and stuff.

Maybe it's more about my ability to

Remember the Library Action Figure I mentioned the other day? Well, here she is. Qualifications for super-hero-dom
Name: Nancy Pearl (Yes, she's a real person!)

Occupation: Librarian

Weapon of Choice: The Dewey Decimal System

Mission: To promote and celebrate the written word.

Accomplishments: Director of Library Programming and the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library. Nancy is best known for the, “If All Seattle Read The Same Book” project. This idea of one city reading the same book at the same time has been imitated in cities around the world. She is a book reviewer for the Seattle Times, Booklist, Library Journal, KUOW-FM Seattle, and KWGS-FM Tulsa.

Awards: 2003 Washington Humanities Award, 2001 Allie Beth Martin Award from the American Library Association, 1998 Library Journal’s Fiction Reviewer of the Year.

Education: Masters Degree in Library Sciences from the University of Michigan.

Interesting Fact: Decided to become a librarian at the age of 10.

Books Written: Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason; Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction, 1978–1998; and Now Read This II: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction, 1990–2001.

Favorite Books: Fiction—The Brothers K, The Prince of Tides, Searching for Caleb, The Eyre Affair, A Gay and Melancholy Sound. Non-Fiction—The Best and the Brightest, Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War, Train Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World, The Liars’ Club, Into Thin Air.
She even comes with bonus trading cards and bookmarks.

Thursday, July 17

Why do some people feel compelled to follow up emails with phone calls to tell me they sent an email ... or emails to tell me they've left a message on my voicemail?

Shiver me timbers.
Johnny Depp can plunder my village any day. -- Erin
Arrr.

Happy Birthday Dinah! (wishlist) (e-cards)

Wednesday, July 16

From Jane, a fellow booksnob:
... no snobby book person will ever talk about a Danielle Steel novel and say, "You've got to hand it to her, she has good grammar."
Along the same lines, I have gotten to a certain point in Stiff and I just can't get any farther.

When I read, it usually begins with a meal, the book propped up against whatever I'm using as decoration on my kitchen table, and me trying not to get any food on the paper. Well, a few weeks ago I'd gotten the bit where she visits the University of Tennessee Medical center and mentions something about some(dead)one's fingernails. I don't know what she was going to say about the fingernails, because I couldn't even finish the sentence.

Since then, when I'm looking for something to read (even when I'm not eating), I look over at Stiff, and I experience an ever-so-slight feeling of repugnance that makes me look elsewhere.

Sometimes a vivid imagination is not an altogether good thing.

Monday, July 14

Happy Monday!

Two librarian-related items to discuss today:

1. The San Francisco Mime Troup is doing a show titled "Veronique of the Mounties: Operation Frozen Freedom," which prominently features a librarian. From what I understand, it is a good show, appears to be free, and is playing in the Bay area through September 1.

2. Keri kindly sent me the link to a story about the new librarian action figure. Now, as much we need more action figures of librarians and other good role models, I'm not sure that the stereotype of the shushing librarian needs to be propagated. As the story states,
The company's owner Mark Pahlow says the librarian doll comes holding a new release novel and can tell people to be quiet.

"It has what we call in the trade the kung-fu 'shoosh' arm," he said.

"You push a button on the back and the arm goes up to the chin with a raised finger as though she was saying 'shoosh'."
Ahem. I don't think so. According to Libraryman, this is the brainchild of Archie McPhee.

Sunday, July 13

I went geocaching yesterday with Jish, Amit, Gera, Kevin, Suzan, Jon, Min Jung and Derek. It was an awesome day, we saw parts of the City we'd never seen before, got lots and lots and lots of exercise, and managed to find 5 caches. I am so very very sore, and looking forward to the next group event.

My pictures of the day.

Thursday, July 10

Who says the standard stereotype of librarians is stodgy old ladies in comfortable shoes?
My Antoinette was a librarian. It should have been obvious of course. Librarians are the embodiment of subversively sexy. Subversive sexy is the indigo of the rainbow spectrum of sexiness. It's mystical and elusive. It's a sexy that is so unbearable it is beyond the senses of the average human. It's the sonar of the ocean of sensuality. Like the mythical mermaid sacrificing her voice for a chance at terrestrial experience it threatens to blind you, to drown you if you ever become fully aware of it. It will make you pay for the knowing. Yet, when you become aware of its existence, its draw is so forceful you would sacrifice anything demanded to experience it even once.

When talking about poor countries, we often refer to them as Third World and we pity them. Did you know that there is a Fourth World that ranks even lower than these Third World countries?
... many of the nations of Africa began a death spiral into the worst global pandemic since the Black Death. And America didn't seem to notice.

It shouldn't have come as a surprise. The United States had ignored Africa through most of its modern history. For a while during the Cold War, Washington put the continent on its strategic chessboard. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, U.S. policy-makers again lost interest in Africa.

And that was when the scourge of AIDS struck the continent.

For the price of a movie ticket and a Coke for the 1 billion people who live in the First World -- the industrialized, wealthy nations -- the march of AIDS through sub-Saharan Africa could be slowed to a crawl....

Malawi resides in the Fourth World -- so desperately poor and in such an utter state of collapse that it doesn't even qualify as a member of the underdeveloped Third World.

The aid package to fight AIDS that President Bush signed into law last month will help 12 African countries. Malawi, so small and insignificant, is not among them.
I have a friend who did her PhD research on AIDS and society in Malawi. It's been several years since she spent her time there, and she's only now able to write about it and get her degree, the experience was so depressing.

To avoid being a hypocrite, I won't tell you to do something about it. I won't suggest going there, or sending money, or getting involved. But it is important to recognize that even the poorest people in this country have it much better than anyone in Malawi. So just take a minute and think of these people next time you're paying $10 to see a movie, and $5 for a soda.

Wednesday, July 9

Julien is 6 today! Happy Birthday!

I felt bad for missing Scott's last performance in the Bay area (for a couple of months, anyway) last night, but I bought tickets several months ago to see Fleetwood Mac at the San Jose Arena, so they took precedence.

My rationalization for paying exorbitant amounts of money for shows like this is that they're bands that I love, and have loved for most of my adult life, and they're getting older and I'm getting older and this may be the last chance I have to see them live. And Fleetwood Mac is one band I've loved since I saw them the summer I was 16.

And I'm glad I saw them, really I am. It's too bad they don't have quite the ... something I can't seem to describe, but which totally pulls you into the concert experience, even from seats as far away from the stage as you can get; an exchange of energy and enthusiasm from perfomer to audience and back again ... of other groups that have been around as long as they have. I mean, they were fine and entertaining and I had a good time, but they weren't as extraordinary as I'd hoped they'd be, given their history and popularity. As Jish states,
The tunes were memorable, the atmosphere, lighting, and stage presence was great ... but Fleetwood Mac's music is the type that I would prefer listening to in my car or home, as opposed to being blasted out of loudspeakers at a good old-fashioned rock show.
Stevie Nicks was great - and I loved that they did one of her solo songs. Lindsay Buckingham, who I was really looking forward to seeing, was somewhat disappointing. He had a lot of energy and performed well, but it seemed many of the numbers were just his opportunity to simply "go off" on his guitar, banging on it and flinging it around. I don't particularly enjoy that kind of performance, since it's not so much about entertaining the audience as it is about entertaining himself.

Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were marvelous, naturally.

In any case, it was a nice night spent with good friends, I'll be breaking out my Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac cds tonight.

Btw, does anyone know what happened to Christie McVie?

Gosh, come in to work a little late and I miss all the big news.

Congratulations to Shannon and Edmond - I hope their future together is everything it promises to be.

Tuesday, July 8

Once a year for nearly 25 years, Nicholas Nixon has taken a picture of his wife with her three sisters. An amazing chronicle of the changes they've experienced. [via Riley Dog]

Sarah makes a point about our 20's that I have been coming to terms with over the last few years. Back in the day, when I wasn't always single, I was told not once, not twice, but three times how easy it was to love me.

When a few years had passed without hearing that, I realized why - it was because I had become me. I had opinions, I knew how I felt about things. Gradually, I had become less "pliable."

I'm ok with that.

Hi there. Welcome to Stop 2 on the Virtual Book Tour of the excellent book, Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach.

To give a little taste of what's in store when you pick up this book...
Out behind the University of Tennessee Medical center is a lovely, forested grove with squirrels leaping in the branches of hickory trees and birds calling and patches of green grass where people lie on their backs in the sun, or sometimes in the shade, depending on where the researchers put them.

This pleasant Knoxville hillside is a field research facility, the only one in the world dedicated to the study of human decay. The people lying in the sun are dead.
I recommend it.

Monday, July 7

I have an ex who will be very sad to hear that Barry White, his idol, has passed away. Actually, I'm pretty sad too.

Argh.

What good does it do to buy sugar-free cough drops if you forget to bring them to work?

What kind of friend doesn't send at least a get-well card to her sick friend? A friend who sucks, and then flakes on the brunch she's been invited to by the sick friend. I have to stop thinking about my own problems and pay attention to others.

Speaking of which, I had ice cream and strawberries for dinner Saturday night, and yesterday's total intake included a bagel with lox in the a.m. and a bowl of popcorn in the afternoon. Also, I thought doing some yoga yesterday would help stretch and relax my very sore back, but I was terribly terribly wrong. I feel like crap today.

At least I'm not coughing. As much.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, July 6

In an attempt to get something done this weekend other than finish the 4th Harry Potter book, I'm going through the files on my old desktop computer, the first one I ever had, the one I got in 1996. I can even tell when it crashed and I lost everything, since that's when all my email starts - 1998.

1998. Can you believe it? Seems a lifetime ago for me.

This is like going through old yearbooks, except it's even more immediate, what with the blow-by-blow emails I used to send and receive. I'm reliving relationships that I had forgotten about. That are perhaps best forgotten about. I don't know. Can't stay up all night doing this though. Due to the technology of the old machine vs. the technology of my current laptop, I can't do a straight transfer of material, and I am limited to the storage capacity of a 1.4 MB floppy, so most of this history will be permanently relegated to my past this evening. I think it's for the best.

Friday, July 4

Happy Birthday, United States!

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Also, I'd like to report that I am taking part in the first ever Virtual Book Tour, a project created by the talented Kevin Smokler and is being managed by Susan Kaup.

The book, as I believe I've mentioned before, is Stiff, the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach published by W.W. Norton.

Thus far, it is an interesting book, detailing what happens to people after they die - not in a metaphysical sense, but in a very physical sense. I'm currently stuck at the part where decomposition is explained. I'll let you know how it goes once I get past this.

Thursday, July 3

Happy Birthday, Jay!

I heard the neatest thing on the news at 5 a.m. this morning - police departments in our area (not sure which departments, actually) will be handing out prepaid phone cards tomorrow so that drunk people can call someone to take them home. Not only that, they'll have $10 on them, so that if their first choice flakes on them, they can still call someone else to pick them up!

Wednesday, July 2

Was Monday good for you? If not, it could have been because the Fates were giving us the finger. [via Jessa]

Hey, Jealousy

As you may or may not be aware, I'm not a jealous person. I am a firm believer in wanting what you have rather than having what you want ... or wanting what others have, for that matter.

This is not to say that I haven't looked at someone else and thought, wow, I really like what they have and one day it would be nice to have something like it for myself. As a not-particularly-original person, I rely on the example of others for inspiration in my own life.

Lately, however, I find myself holding certain other people responsible for having things that I want. Even unsubstantial things like the perfect relationship, ambition, or an ordered life. I look at these people and I resent them for having these things that I want so much.

I don't like it.

Tuesday, July 1

Had the first SFBA Mob action this afternoon - given the short notice and the fact that it was the first time, the turnout wasn't bad. In fact, it might be said to have been fun!

Do you live in the SF Bay Area? You should sign up, go on!

Oh, and X2 rocks.

Just when you think you're immune to things like kittens and puppies, someone goes and posts pics of the cutest puppy ever. [Thanks, Jill]

Happy Canada Day, my Canadian friends!

Happy Birthday to Sarah!

Don't read Stiff while eating. I got to the part about the fingernails while eating my bagel this morning and had to switch to Harry Potter.

Don't read Harry Potter when eating breakfast, as you will end up late for work.

A teaspoon of thyme in a cup of hot water makes an, um, interesting tea that will quell a stubborn cough.