song o’ the day

October 31, 2006

Tapes ‘n Tapes – “Insistor”

And don’t be terse and don’t be shy
Just hug my lips and say goodbye

I went to see this band play in town last night. Before the show I sat behind the doorman and watched all the people coming in. The venue requires each patron have a membership due to the risible state and county alcohol laws, and almost everyone coming in the door had to buy a membership – I guess there were a lot of first-timers coming out to that particular venue for the show. Which made me feel a little chuffed about when I had come in the door and had been recognized by the doorman. Later that evening the owner of the club walked by and grabbed my elbow and said Hello which pleased me to no end. I do not indulge in scenester tendencies much at all, but I must admit it felt nice to be recognized. Guess I’m a local now.

The band played really well, making a sweet, sweet ruckus. They did this song particularly well, building up to crescendos in a way that I liked quite a bit.

just so you know

October 28, 2006

I DON’T FEEL VERY WELL TODAY.

on adverbs

October 27, 2006

I have determined that I do not like the word “fast” very much at all.

I used to be very peevish about poor grammar usage. Well, I still sort of am, but I’ve lightened up quite a bit. I took a linguistics class when I was an undergrad that fulfilled some breadth requirement, it was orthography of American English and was filled with pre-Med students. One of the more interesting opinions the professor in that class gave out was that languages are not, should not be static, that rules of grammar and spelling change over time, and that while it’s good to have rules, it’s not necessary to be so strict about rules that were created hundreds of years ago, often for very random reasons. If people start changing the rules, that’s just how language works, and the rules need to change. Well that opinion made a lot of sense to me. So it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to when people make grammar errors. I make them all the time. Although most of my errors tend to be usage errors.

This is maybe surprising to those of you who know me pretty well, but believe me, I’m much less obsessed than I used to be. I honestly really love language and am fascinated by how it works. I always love meeting people who are good at expressing themselves verbally.

And I still have one little thing that I can’t get over. It’s adverbs. I love adverbs. It is one perhaps outdated rule that I am not ready to give up. It kills me how frequently people use adjectives when they should be using adverbs. And it’s always “fast” that gets me the most. Lots of really smart people around me use the word fast to modify verbs. “She talks fast,” for example. Earlier this week I was attending a workshop at my daughter’s kindergarten about how they are teaching reading and writing to the children. In a book they handed out about writing, the word “fast” was used incorrectly. In a book ABOUT writing! I leaned over to Sean and pointed this out to him in a whisper, and he said that’s just how people use the word nowadays. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d rolled his eyes, because I am certain I bring this up all too frequently.

No! This is one rule I am not ready to give up! Adverbs!

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even like using “fast” as an adjective anymore, preferring “quick” instead.

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In other news, while walking outside last night, Matilda took one whiff of the woodsmoke smell in the air and declared “It smells like sausage!” That’s my girl.

And, my place of employment has a weekly radio show on UNC’s student-run radio station, every Sunday, from 1-2 PM. This weekend is my turn to play music on the show, and you can listen to it over the Internet if you like – WXYC
I’ll be playing soul and R&B for that one hour.

monsters

October 24, 2006

First frost of the season this morning!!!!!!!!!!

I explained September 11, 2001 to my daughters last night after reading the book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. We’d read it a number of times before, but now they are very curious about why the towers are no longer there. So I explained in as kid-friendly language as possible what happened, and then showed them the pictures from the cover of the New York Times that I saved from 9/12/01 (but NOT the pictures inside, especially NOT the one of the person jumping from the building to a certain death). I never save newspapers but I saved that one. We talked about it a while and as far as I can guess they got this out of it – “Some very bad people flew airplanes into the buildings because they wanted to kill other people. And some people are bad, but thankfully most people are good.”

And then Matilda woke at 4 in the morning crying. She came to bed and told me about the scary monsters she saw in her dreams. She’s never really had nightmares before, not the sort of ones that rouse her from sleep. So I’m wondering if maybe that conversation caused it. Unfortunately, it was going to have to come up sooner or later.

And I remembered this morning how I, very largely pregnant, was sitting in a roadside diner with a very small Tallulah somewhere along I-5 on my way back to Oakland from San Diego. They were showing bombings in Iraq on the TVs, and I felt so hopeless. When we were marching in the streets in San Francisco, I knew it didn’t mean anything, that we all had no say in anything, that the war in Iraq was inevitable. But that night the impotence really came home for me. And now we’ve been bombing Iraq for the duration of Matilda’s entire life.

Perhaps you can understand my shock when walking home from the bus stop after work last night I was AGAIN almost hit by a car while crossing the road in a clearly marked pedestrian crosswalk and was AGAIN honked at by the driver of the offending car. Twice in one day is a little ridiculous, I think. And then while eating a snack outside International Delights (despite the fact that it is almost totally Lebanese? food you know it’s “international” because there are murals on the wall of the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge, the Pyramids in Egypt, and…the head of a Native American) on 9th Street in Durham on the way to a show last night, my friend Jason and I were accosted by a drunk man demanding we buy him food. I get very impatient with people on the street’s spiel, they always have a set spiel, so I was trying to direct him to the point by asking him things like, “And what do you want from us?” which he pointedly ignored, talking only to my male friend. I got the distinct vibe he was one of those people who’s not going to take questions from a female. So I got up and walked back inside and told the owner what was going on. After which the man came inside. I felt a distinct moment of menace, but it soon passed.

So what is it about the day yesterday? I swear I don’t have a death wish, nor do I wish to be harmed.

But the show was great. It was Okkervil River, playing at the Duke Coffeehouse. They’re about the most emo I can handle, but mostly a little bit of rock and a little bit of old country. Good stuff. I love the BYOB venues. :)

And I got to sleep in late-ish this morning due to the schools having a scheduled delayed opening. It was fantastic scheduling. The girls and I had a nice morning together. The soundtrack for the morning was: the Pink Mountaintops “Tourist In Your Town,” Okkervil River “No Key No Plan” and “For Real,” Action Painting! “These Things Happen”, Ladytron “Destroy Everything You Touch,” Desmond Dekker “007 (Shanty Town),” Belle and Sebastian “String Bean Jean,” Of Montreal “Requiem For O.M.M. 2” and “So Begins Our Alabee,” and Islands “Swans (Life After Death). And now it’s Employee Appreciation Day at work, and all the students are away on Fall Break, and dang-nabbit, I am really really really brilliantly happy. It really would be a shame to die just now. I’m going to have to be more careful at crosswalks.

I almost got hit by a car this morning while crossing in a clearly marked pedestrian crosswalk. The driver had the nerve to honk at me. This happens once every few months. Some day, I fear, I really will get hit by a car.

I made a grape hull pie last night. One of my goals from the summer of 2005 had been to find a local source for cheap scuppernong grapes so that I could get enough grapes to make such a pie without breaking the bank. I failed at that last year, but quite by accident I discovered that one of the grad students at my new place of employment could bring me some from his family’s place somewhere out in the country. So he brought a grocery bag full of them to me on Monday, and last night I made my pie. I followed Jacques Pepin’s brilliantly simple instructions for making pie crust. The crust was so bloody simple, and so beautiful. You know how sometimes when you make something new, it just doesn’t look right even though you are following the instructions? Well, this looked like pie crust at all steps of the process. It made me happy. I then followed all the instructions to make my pie. It was fun. I took pictures. I had a slice of the pie this morning, and….. I’m pretty sure I did it right, that this is how the pie was supposed to turn out, but it’s kind of….interesting. I had been warned it was an acquired taste, grape hull pie. And it’s true. The children didn’t like the pie at all, even though I’d thought they’d be ecstatic I was serving them pie for breakfast. Matilda – o daughter of mine – was very fond of the crust though.

Nevertheless, it was quite an adventure, making a grape hull pie.

I’ve been looking on the Internet for pictures from my 10 year high school reunion which I attended a few weekends ago. I wanted to find one that showed off my hairdo, because I liked the way it turned out. I told my mom I wanted a bouffant, and she came through for me. Anyway, here are a few pictures of me and assorted other people that I found:

me and one of my best friends, Dominic

me and some other people, including Dominic and Tanya

me and some other people including, yes, Dominic

Somehow Dominic and I ended up standing next to each other in all the pictures. I haven’t written about that trip out for my reunion because, well, I haven’t had much time to write anything, but also because it was really very surreal, and the less processing I do of that the better. Not surreal in a bad way. Just, wow, strange.

song o’ the day

October 17, 2006

Justin Timberlake – “Sexyback”

I haven’t heard a dance song this immediately good in a long time. Thanks Cathleen!

Youtube video (which isn’t very good, but that’s where I heard the song.)