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Archive for March, 2012

Holy cow I’m in love with this. It’s like listening to the past. And the best? It’s truly lovely and haunting. Sometimes people are beautiful

Looks like we’ll be playing in a bit of mud tomorrow. My friend/ride Charlie says I have to bring a towel if I want a ride home because, as he says, “I know how you play.” I’ll also bring my camera because I always like to get a few shots of the beginning and the end of the season because that tends to be where the fun’s at. If there’s enough mud, and the opportunity presents itself, I might even try a slide. We shall see…

Today I may actually have some compelling things to offer that may make you think a bit. They may even shift your views. Hopefully that shift doesn’t hurt, you or anyone else…

First, it’s back. Dragons and naked folks and all. Who knew when the nerds I used to work with threw this gigantic tome of a book at me a few years ago I would be watching that geeky mythology play out in an amazing little program? Here’s a cheat sheet to catch up.

I like this site a bunch but I don’t think I agree with this. But let me tell you why…I get that everyone has to have these amazing stories to tell what with all these self-imposed microscopic views into our lives afforded by social networking. Hell, Foursquare’s only purpose in life is to brag of one’s exploits and adventures. And one result of this modern all-consuming need to prove adventure is that we have begun to develop this idea that if we don’t immediately sense the “wow” factor that the thing is not worth doing. Ahem. I don’t know about you people but some of the best shit I’ve done in life I started out apprehensive about. So, maybe the key is to find the “wow” factor in WHATEVER you do and in WHATEVER you like. I mean, we can’t all be these guys. And some of us have no desire to be and would like to be left alone to be cool with that. Just a thought.

Pinterest, you’d interest me if you could combine your idea with something like this. And figure out a way to get around copyright law. Ahem.

Fascinating. Fast and efficient or lacking in sophisticated thinking?

Long but good. You have to be careful with Vanity Fair as it has a bit of agenda, which would be fine except it doesn’t want you to believe it does. I think this piece is a bit oversimplifying the issue and it reads like a preface to a document that follows talking about the wonders of net neutrality, but it’s still fairly informative of the major players in the game. I’m in the middle of a book called Reamde — quite good, very long, nicely written, exceedingly dorky — and there’s one part where the protagonist is discussing a multi-player video game of his creation (the game is actually the background for the action) and an organic war that has developed between players around the world — those who have kept the original color-palette (dubbed The Earthtone Coalition) and the new hackers who have created their own color-palette for character clothing etc. (The Forces of Brightness). I keep meaning to write a long excerpt of parts of this book. This was one part that I earmarked to use but I left the book home today. (Because it’s huge. But I’m still not getting an e-book. Not yet…) because the programmers and developers and game backstory writers are trying to figure out how to deal with the FOB hack and they slowly become aware that the “good” and “evil” designations don’t work. These opposing sides are just “others.” And that’s all they need to know. That’s what this simplification of this issue reminds me of. That seems dangerous thinking to me. Again, just thoughts…

This music should get you ready for Spring and the summer to come…

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Did I cry? Why yes, yes I did. And I have to leave work and go get a cup of coffee so the boys don’t see…

I’ve been actively involved in a sort of “self-help” programming mindset for the past year or so; actually, longer. Since I moved to DC in fact. If you know me, you know I balk at all things that smack of feel-good, new ageism. But actually training your brain to leap to the positive just seemed to have some inherent benefits, even if it didn’t actually increase the number of times the desired result was manifested. I reasoned that being optimistic would lead to — well, optimism. And that’s generally a better, healthier way to feel. And essentially, this is what my program involves. Simply being an optimist. Focusing on the positive outcome rather than the negative, believing the desired result will materialize as opposed to the undesirable. That kind of thing. It takes some doing — I was raised by fatalistic pragmatists after all. Oddly, and as an aside, the parental units also managed to be fairly optimistic and become rather successful in their individual pursuits. What can I say — my gene pool is complicated. In any event, I’ve been doing some thinking about the kind of woman I want to be — I’ve had many different examples to use as cautionary tales — and I’m pretty sure that the women I most admire tend to just be pleased with life. To the degree that they do not feel the need to be covetous or jealous or demanding or simpering or nasty to other women or ball-busting to men or willing to take part in any kind of behavior intended to cause discomfort or pain to other people just trying to find a place to walk through life. Ultimately, I like the maternal thing we women do. That being said, most parts of my life facilitate this kind of optimism. I have reason to be hopeful in generally every area. But, as my friend Bay reminded me recently, there seems to be one area that is problematic. Because of this, I tend to focus on it, trying to fix it so I can feel at ease about it (and it doesn’t matter what “it” is. We all have our challenges.) And so, perhaps the way to feel optimism about a situation that seems to have a layer of — man, I don’t know, ill-will? — is to recognize that if it’s a situation that requires me to feel less than optimistic, it is not a situation I want anything to do with. At all. For example, I was trying to figure out how I was going to get to our ACC/SEC tournament this weekend — I don’t trust my car — and I just wanted to make sure I hitched a ride with someone who is hilarious. (Thanks Charlie) Because that’s the head space I need to be in. From here on in and forever more. If you can’t bring it — and I mean within reason. Obviously, if you need my help that’s a different matter…– then please carry on. Take your misery elsewhere. I have no need of it here.

Okay then, that’s off the chest. I’m trying to finish up so I can get out to a softball meeting downtown at our sponsor bar to help the boys out since neither of them can make it — even though they yell at me and make me cry all the time I STILL come through for them. (kidding boys). And that’s all I really have today. I know. Yawn. I’ll be back to thought-provoking soon…maybe…

Till then, here are two things that interested me today.

Awesome. I do love the English.

This just creeps me out.

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For the brothers

So, yesterday I had all these great things I was thinking about writing but today happened and now they’re all gone. I think one of them was an observation that calamari is just the young sophisticate’s version of fried chicken and how I prefer fried chicken but that I rarely make it because it leaves a film of grease on your kitchen that’s hard to get rid of. Also, I think I wanted to talk about how this incredibly attractive guy who was in his mid-30s totally — and gently — hit on me. He was Greek — born there in fact — and spoke a little of the language for me. Yowza. But, being kind of painfully shy (you can laugh but it’s actually kind of true), I didn’t walk away with any contact information and am a little self-conscious about giving it out. But I know where he works so maybe I’ll go back there someday soon…I just liked how he said my name…Also, I think he was Greek Orthodox, which is pretty close to Eastern Catholicism, which is interesting.

But here’s something. I’m totally with Louis C.K. on this one. The man is…just…well, the young Obi Wan for starters…

Lookie what I got:

I have a thing with peace lilies because my brother Drew gave me one once that lived for several years and through several moves. They are lovely, no?

Anyway, several things prompted me to convert some of my Rush tracks to MP3s so I could be mobile and listen to perhaps the greatest traveling music of all time. Limelight is one of my top five faves, btw. So, in the absence of anything more thought-provoking, I give you Geddy Lee and the boys. Total nerd rock. I need to wear my Rush t-shirt more often…Also, I’ve always loved the Moving Pictures album cover. The brothers played this stuff a lot. I miss them.

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Gonna try and crank something out here in the space of about 10 minutes because I’m crazy with the busy and I have a lunch thing at 1 with a friend, hopefully somewhere outside and near a plant store because I want to put something on my office windowsill. I miss my plants. I had to leave them all behind when I moved to the mean streets. Heh. Anyway, I had another moment where I got right with something: I do not like to be around people who force the meanness out of me. I don’t enjoy calling people out and bursting their bubbles. I like to let people swim in the warmth of their emotional and mental safety nets. But there are people who just force your hand sometimes and I think the only responsible thing to do is to avoid too much contact with them. My pops puts it in a succinct way: “Some people just like to fight, although they might call it ‘compete’. If you have business to conduct with them, you do it quickly. The key is limiting their influence.”

True dat.

So, things, as usual…

I’ve been thinking about this notion of choice, particularly how it relates to the argument for pro-choice and I think I have something figured out that, unless someone offers better information, is pretty well where I stand: if it’s your choice, then asking someone to provide information to you to convince you to make a decision one way or another is disingenuous. It is YOUR choice. (If that’s where you come down on it.) So, asking for input is just manipulation — I would think as a way to levy control, as is usually the case with manipulation — and that’s a pretty distasteful and selfish game to play when trying to decide whether or not to bring life into the world. Just a thought.

This looks utterly fascinating.

The Trotter sent this to me yesterday and I think it’s so funny that the king of whining is talking about how people are whining. Hey Bill, remove the beam from your eye man because:

I made these last night because I had all the ingredients on hand — including the Tequila, because that is how I roll. I hadn’t made these in at least a year and Good Lord the salsa…

I’ve been thinking about old Ty Cobb because baseball is upon us and the man gets a nasty rep, likely deserved, but he was pretty much the greatest to ever play the game (no disrespect intended toward Roy Hobbs.) At the tail end of college, Tommy Lee Jones, the actor, was in Athens, Ga. filming the life story of the man and he happened to walk past a now-defunct coffee shop — which you can still see here on the corner of Broad and Jackson — and he saw me sitting there studying some Shakespeare and began to engage me in conversation. He said he had studied some Shakespeare in his day (yeah, at Harvard where he got a degree in English and played football. Sigh) so we had a nice little late Spring chat. Here’s the deal — he was dressed in character. So I feel like I met Ty Cobb. I’ve never seen that movie though. I think I will this weekend.

Your music. Dammit I love this song. It gets me primed for some happy hour-ing later with some folks downtown. Either The Hamilton or Penn Quarter. Come see us.

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Stuff and nonsense

Hey yo. Many things to speak of today, but nothing revelatory I don’t think. Just a few snarky comments here and there to alleviate the almost daily broken heart I suffer from being somewhat of an empath in a frantic world. And don’t apply a positive connotation to “empath.” Always a good idea to draw a distinction between empathy and sympathy as my Pops always says.

Anyway…

Nice. Still bums me out that they had to create all this girl-power/sexual tension between Starbuck and Lee Adama, and that they got rid of Balthasar [UPDATE: sorry, his name was COUNT Baltar. Sometimes my memory is kinda spotty…] as a character. But Baltar was a nice replacement and the chick Starbuck pulled it off with just enough cheek. I just liked the best-friend thing between the original Starbuck and Apollo and the fact that Starbuck was kind of slutty as a guy. The 70s were just like that. Bonus points for Immigrant Song.

See, I told you they played dirty as hell. Incentive for hitting out of bounds is lame in an already very dangerous sport. Suck it Payton.


Yeah, I’ll be going here for sure.

There’s something about this piece that made me a little uncomfortable. I think it’s because I can’t figure out why Ezra Klein is all of a sudden saying that he’s certain that Ryan and Romney aren’t evil freakin’ bastards who are trying to make the poor pay for the deficit because they enjoy it. Are you a Greek bearing a gift Mr. Klein? Oh, I see, the men are okay. It’s their evil association and adherence to their “party” we have to address. Very Orwellian. I mean look, yes, the plan is a cut to entitlements. But, as I understand it, Ryan’s plan will ultimately give a whole chunk of change back to Medicare while Obama’s plan — wants to eliminate that program, yes? So, um…Furthermore, my guess is that the delivery of most of these services won’t actually change, there will just be fewer employees to administer the programs. If any of you have ever worked in a government office you’ll understand when I say that salaries to people who sit around and do very little are actually something that can be cut quite easily with no bother to anyone. Anyway, here’s another take on it. Inform yourselves…

Yep. This looks cool.

Okay fine. Atheism post. Sorry because it’s exceptionally mean. But it’s also hilarious. Money quote: “Ultimately, my biggest problem is with people who make an effort to proselytize their non-beliefs or non-practices. You don’t eat meat? Ok scoot over, let me eat it. You don’t drink or use drugs? My friend Keith does, i’ll pass this to him. You don’t believe in organized religion? Cool. I don’t believe in playing racquetball, find me a racquetball playing dickhead right fucking now. I’m not sure why, but I gotta set that guy straight.”

This is why I try to apologize all I can to the sibs.

Holy cow I was crying yesterday when I ran across this. Absurd.

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Something occurred to me this weekend as I was lying in bed Sunday trying to remain completely still and Jedi mind trick some cereal into a bowl, will some milk into it, and then float that bad boy down the hall — without spilling anything — into my waiting hands bathed in early morning sunlight and the glow of The Family Channel. Softball practice reminded me that there are a lot of muscles I don’t use regularly. Anyway, getting into the Jedi Mind Zone gives you some epiphany time while you harness the force and something hit me like a ton of bricks: I do not have to be happy for douchy people who have good fortune. My whole life I’ve been told to be the bigger person, try to be happy for people when good things happen to them even if maybe you’re going through a rough patch. Mostly, I agree with that. I think that’s wise advice to avoid becoming bitter or Gollum-like in general. My precious.

Buuuuuttttt…that is only necessary when you’re dealing with GOOD people. Letting yourself be envious of the awesomeness in a good person’s life is lame. But jerkwads who spend their days being jerky and waddy all simultaneously and stuff, who feel it necessary to smugly gloat about their good fortune (exacerbated by this weird effort to appear as if they really could care less. Yuck.), who brag out of one side of their mouth while talking in bullshit, socially conscious tones (“I care about the little people who will never, never have the opportunity to do the things I do. But I care that they won’t.” Or something.) from the other…yeah, bump them. I do not celebrate your good fortune. Because actually, through your eyes, anything good becomes shite. Because you’ll never actually really appreciate it, not in any meaningful way anyway, because it’s all about showing off what you do, not really being in the moment and thanking God for how lucky you are. At least that’s my suspicion. I’ve been known to be wrong. But I don’t think I am here. I have complete faith I am not. Funny — I wasn’t expecting to have faith about that, but there it is.

So, great family who tried to teach me to be a good and kind person, I thank you. I think maybe I’m fair but that’s the best I can do. But I feel no happiness for the asshats of the world. I should clarify: I feel no rage or envy or enmity either. Just a vague amusement. That shouldn’t make me sad, should it?

Anyway, Miss McClain gave me the freedom yesterday at dinner to feel this way. She thinks her family is possibly comprised of kinder people than she in the same way I do. So it was nice to have someone forgive me that weakness. I needed it. Also, she proposed a trip to London and Paris toward the end of the year. And, well, I think I want to go. I told her I’m not the world’s best flyer but generally do okay with a few drinks and some sleep. When I went to Europe last time I was with a cool friend named Susan who just walked me through what to expect. She was funny and I had this weird moment where I realized if we went out we could possibly go out laughing and I was cool with that. An opposing circumstance was a return trip from NYC with an ex boyfriend who just made fun of my nervousness and called attention to it until people were staring at me either with pity or contempt. I ended up quietly in tears until the nice man in front of us took pity on me and engaged me in conversation to take my mind off the turbulence, both outside the plane and next to me in the form of some stupid and hateful behavior. Why I’ve given these people more than a little bit of my time is the great mystery of my life and I’d like very much to figure it out. Before I die with one of them looking over me with fake concern.

Anyway, Lauren says she’d probably just go to sleep on me, which works because then I wouldn’t have the added guilt of making someone else crazy. And I would like to go back to both of those cities…Let the saving begin…

So, here are a few pictures from the weekend. Nothing fabulous, just moments in time. I also have this post on atheism that made me laugh so hard but I don’t know how much I feel like irritating people today. I’ll save it for when I’m feel particularly Southern and saucy.

Got to hang out with my friend Walters for the first time in a while. Love this kid....Also, flip cup in DC is just a thing. I don't know why...

That's my friend Eva in the Leprechaun shirt. She pronounces it "leprakin."

Green. And good.

First and hopefully only softball injury. It doesn't look all that bad but it was swollen up to the point I thought it might be broken. It's not but I took the opportunity to whine nonetheless. I'm told it's just what I do. Whatever.

Z helping with the Jedi Mind Trick. He's better at it.

Someone was listening to this on Spotify and I got drawn in, which usually happens with Ben Folds…

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Hi! Alright then, the dance teacher — who I seriously feel like I’m cheating because we get to train with someone of his caliber for pretty cheap — is teaching us like 30 second increments of a 12 minute dance that he actually performs with his company. Now, we of course come nowhere close to perfecting it but he is actually teaching us the choreography and let me just say I have bruises on my knees, a new one in the middle of my back, the ball joint where my thigh bone connects to my hip socket feels like it’s been repeatedly popped out and then popped back in and my coccyx still aches from balancing on it for ab work. He tends to refer to us as dancers — “Alright dancers, now slowly contract and roll up…” I love that class.

I’m hoping to make class again tomorrow but I may not because we have our first softball practice down on Ohio Drive tomorrow morning. Woot! We actually have our pre-season ACC/SEC tournament the last weekend of March at a Coast Guard base about 20 mins down the road. That base sells $1 beers. It tends to be a good time and none of the games count so we can just sort of relax and try not to get beamed in the head because you have to be careful about mixing beer and softball.

Let’s see, what else…Oh yeah, the sacred drinking holiday happens tomorrow as we all know and I’m pushing for this:

Hell, I might make a point of it.

Anyway, i have nothing thought-provoking today. There are days when I don’t want to think. “I just want to be,” as Crash Davis puts it in Bull Durham. That’s today. And hopefully for the rest of the weekend. I simply cannot wait to throw the ball around and then maybe head to virginia for a St. Patrick’s party — or maybe I’ll stick close to home and find a low-key pub. Or maybe I’ll stay in and spike a bunch of coffee with Bailey’s and just relax. Whatever happens, it’ll be a good. And then maybe I’ll swim laps again on Sunday before church. Or maybe I’ll finally take a friend out for her birthday dinner. What a wonderful thing to be pleased with all options. I need to be grateful for that in a better, more expressive way.

Okay, digressing and offering diversions:

Man, this should be cool to see. I’m reminded of this. Happily reminded.

Hmmmm…

No. Draw the line somewhere people, please. Jesus.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

This is good and funny. It’s the result of this. There are plenty of money quotes in here but this is my fave: “The Empire is one of the galaxy’s largest and most important oppressive regimes and it is too integral to galactic murder to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of Yoda College that I can no longer in good conscience point menacingly and say that I identify with what it stands for.”

Beautiful.

“You’re cool.”

The Coach and I like to talk about polls…

Thanks Mr. Gill.

Finally, I’ll be making this at some point this weekend — perhaps sans barley; not a huge fan — and trying to make a version of this Guinness brownie I picked up earlier at Nickels and Scheffler.

It’s important to keep the drinking holidays sacred. Happy Irish Day folks.

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