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21 March
inspiration returns
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F-Word.org is up at last! Zaedryn is my queen.


Another queen: Judy's little girl critter. I know, I fear children, but I love when parents are good and smart. Love it so much that I think you, reader, need to go love it, too.

 

and just to show they're behind the times...
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CNN does a brief feature on Uncle Tupelo. Relax, they're not back together or anything. It's just an article about their 89/93 album.


At least they called the band the "Fathers of Alt Country." That makes the article worth reading.

 

19 March
diversity in feminism
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The question(s) I posed to the We Have Brains collab this week: Is feminism inclusive of different types of people, in your opinion? If not, who is responsible for changing it, and how should it change? What responsibility do women, as the majority of feminists, have to include and/or educate men? Whose responsibility is it to ensure groups are included in the debates over feminist issues?


I practice something I'll call "dude, what are you smoking?" evangelism. That means, roughly, that I feel a sort of obligation to respond to misinformation.

but wait! there's more


 

demographics (an unoriginal post)
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I almost never read metafilter, but I did today, and I saw something interesting (which I'm sharing on the basis of my assumption that you don't read mefi, either): Where does your zip code fit demographically?


The wild inaccuracy of the assessment for my zip code probably has something to do with the diversity of the neighborhood, straddling one of the richest and one of the poorer communities in the city. So I was curious. It appears breakdowns are also available by census block, which would explain why we (on the poorer side, also near an older population) largely receive direct marketing offers for things we would never, ever buy. We get direct marketing targeted at bilking older people.


Anyhow, I thought I'd gather a little more information. I'm curious. If you are, too, you can read the breakdowns of MicroVision segments or PRIZM clusters. Intriguingly, the MicroVision calculation for my area seemed to weight the poverty of my zip code higher than did the PRIZM one.


And if you're really curious, you can also read the (slightly old) book, published by Claritas or browse some less sales-oriented background information.

 

15 March
friday five (pets)
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The Friday Five. And your little dog, too.


1. What's your favorite animal?

I like ladybugs and ants. They're fun to watch, have interesting habits if not exciting personalities. And cats.


2. What pets have you had in your lifetime?

Cats. Lots of cats. Excluding kittens (from one cat who kept getting pregnant), there have been 11. I also had goldfish (that didn't last long) and a newt I rescued from one of the cats and released into the wild after his limbs all grew back.


My parents have three golden retrievers, with a rotating fourth (foster dogs). I'm not sure whether they count as my pets, since I'd moved out of the house by the time the dogs moved in.


3. Is there any specific pet that you've wanted but never had? Why?

When I was little, I wanted to keep a sick baby rabbit that we found in our yard, but it died. It was so tiny, it fit in my little hand. And it shook constantly; it was a sad, scared little rabbit.


4. Are you allergic to any animals?

Dogs. I'm very allergic to dog dander and all animal hair (and my parents started collecting the hairiest dogs ever as soon as I moved out, hmm...). I'm also allergic to lanolin, which I guess makes me allergic to sheep, too.


5. Do you have any 'pet' pet peeves (your pets or others')?

That is the silliest phrase I've seen all day.


One of my cats knocks over the water bowl. Constantly. We thought it was a weird accident of the way she drank water until we got a second cat and (during the period when you keep the two separated) I watched her march into his room and deliberately smack his water over every morning.

 

14 March
blog[things that aren't made of skin]
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Eris just reminded everyone (being the participants on inez's design discussion board) that BlogSkins is open.


Ick. What a horrid name for something! As if I'd want to put my blog in a sack made of skin. Ick. But, if you can get past the unfortunate name someone gave templates/designs/etc ages ago (or just edit it out in your head), it's a fabulous site for people using Blogger. It got me off my ass to convert a few of the likely candidates from my diary templates to blog format. Can you spot them in the Blog[edited]s list?


Of course, the rest of us, non-Blogger-users that we are, just have to make our own templates. Unless a certain other Windows-loving remote-posting blog tool started offering a similar service.


Not that this impacts my greymatter-using self, anyhow, but I would at least make templates for that certain other blog tool if someone built a convenient template-posting system.


I'm just saying.


Speaking of which (er, or not), will someone other that people who develop blog-publishing tools please post some news at Blog Control? It's getting awfully boring over there; I can't find anything to make snarky comments about.

 

12 March
for the girly girl in all of us
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Doesn't everyone enjoy tasty lipglosses and cute vintage accessories?


What, everyone doesn't? Okay, that's true. But if you do, check out Primp, a blog about all that silly girl stuff, but without a lot of disturbing assumptions about women. Basically, it's like a fashion magazine without the scariness. Good source for new and interesting shopping links.

 

10 March
i started a collab!
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I was reading this month's topics from the If project and Ampersand, and I started thinking how much I wished there were still a collab for feminists like at the old khunt.net.


So, I started my own.


We Have Brains. It's for feminists and really anyone with a brain. I'm planning on having topics every 2 weeks, and managing it with a notify list. So, go join. Comment on posts. It'll be, well, not necessarily fun, but interesting. And, I hope useful.

 

08 March
friday five (home)
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1. What makes you homesick?

My parents' (pending) move to another state. It reminds me of all the things I won't be able to do, nostalgic places that won't be a convenient visit anymore.


2. Where is "home" for you? Is it where you are living now, or somewhere else?

The beach. Pretty much any east-cost-US coastal town feels homey to me, even though I've lived away from water for five years.


3. What makes it home for you? People? Things?

Smells, mostly.


4. Where is the furthest you've been from home, miles-wise?

Roughly 2600 miles (other side of the country) to Los Angeles, when I was in college.


5. What are your plans for this weekend?

Catching up on some web stuff: starting this we have brains collab (join it!), finishing a diary design, starting a diary design, applying the new design to the rest of this site, and trying to get moveable type installed on somegirlsdesign.com. Also going to the movies and kicking off our search for a new apartment.


Q is for the Friday Five.

 

little technical triumphs
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I had to drive for a meeting yesterday, and everything I saw just seemed amazing. Then I came home, and my mind kept translating things into disgusting, mismatched textures.


Somewhere in there, I ended up with a new site design. At least, I think it's a new site design. For now, it's implemented on the journal. I even added images for the dates, so I could see days as words. My favorite thing about the design is the mismatched letters and sections (the main nav, on your right). It seems somehow perfect for a picture inspired by dadaists.


I think I actually get greymatter now; I've had all these little triumphs with it lately. The image thing, and getting it to display my monthly archive not as a stream of text, but as a list of links to individual entries (that was the thing that made this least useful as a journalling tool). These little triumphs are about as technical as I get.


I'm glad of all the content management tools. If it weren't for them, I'd have a pretty but very dull site, mostly just a design portfolio (of sorts). But currently, I'm particularly glad of greymatter (and not just because getting moveable type installed on somegirlsdesign is continuing to be a vast and pondersome pain in the ass).

 

06 March
marlowe was always more intriguing
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We all know I don't always pay enough attention, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I got to Salon's bit on the new movie "Much Ado About Something" a couple of days late. People react so strongly to ideas that Shakespeare might not be what they think he was.


Honestly, who cares? I suppose you have to care if you insist on thinking of Shakespeare as the greatest writer ever, but was he (or were they)? Most of the case for Shakespeare-as-uber-writer seems built on his use of language, which assumes the language used in those plays/sonnets is somehow superior. What makes that language better than, say, Susan-Lori Parks' organic-sounding text?


I won't deny that the plays are well-crafted, but a nicely crafted plot is hardly considered enough for a modern writer. Look at Stephen King, master of the well-crafted plot, considered little more than a pulp novelist. Is he misclassed? Perhaps.


Point being. Shakespeare is only the best because Shakespeare is assumed to be the best, and that assumption proliferates, passed from teacher to student until Shakespeare becomes the totem of ivory-tower academia. And the rest of us, outside the towers, just assume that what we're told is true. At least in America, where we're very good at that (honestly, who can spare the time for an opinion on everything?).


I'm intrigued by the film, of course, just as I've been intrigued by Marley-the-character (really, who isn't?). Whether Marlowe was Shakespeare or no, he was and interesting and mysterious character, and that makes for entertaining literary history. There's more about the movie in the links, following the review, here.


But. For the record. I'm not terribly fond of Marlowe's plays, either.

 

05 March
you're invited (or not)
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If you happen to be in town on April 13, and I like you enough to tell you my address, I'm having the annual April party then. You'll get your invites soon.


This year it's not just a celebration of all things me (we get enough of that at birthday time, anyhow); it's a celebration of all things prom. Yes. It's a prom party. I've even enlisted a band with no web presence.


I'm just that dorky.

 

adventures in footwear
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I have to say, I can't believe anyone would choose to wear trouser socks instead of, well, socks.


They're deeply disturbing. I wore, for the first time in my life I believe, trouser socks yesterday. On account of I was wearing trousers. [There's no attractive word for that article of clothing, is there? Pants. Slacks. Trousers. No wonder I so rarely don them.] I wore these so-called socks thinking they'd be not unlike knee socks, which I like. But thinner, and therefore more comfortable. This was my hypothesis.


But no. They have a habit of making your calves feel, not like you're wearing something over them, but like they're encased. Little calf sausages.


Today I'm not doing much better. I got an adorable pair of mary janes while visiting the family last weekend. Given my choice, I'd wear these barelegged or with knee socks (or even those little white lace-edged socks I made the actresses in my play wear once, the ones we dripped fake blood on), but it's cold, and I work in a corporate office, so neither of those options works. Instead, I wore neutral hose. [Again, something there is no attractive word to describe. Maybe there's a lesson in this?]


I don't buy these often, but I recall liking the control top ones, just as I like control top tights. They stay up better, aren't prone to that rolling down your tummy effect. But these hose. These are extra-strong control top, which appears to mean they have a stubborn streak. They clearly would prefer to roll not only down my tummy but right off my body entirely.


The things we'll wear. You have to wonder why.

 

04 March
personality tests
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I am in love with this blog. And I don't just say that because it supports my personal belief that the Colorgenics test suffers (or benefits) from the Barnum effect (tell someone anything general enough about himself, and he'll believe you're psychic).

Still. I don't buy the PTypes test, largely because it relies on the subject's ability to accurately report his/her behaviour and the impressions of others, versus the Keirsey/MBTI reliance upon the subject's preferences.

In other words, the PType test seems heavy-handed. I'm intrigued by the concept, particularly the association of mental illness with types (but what is it used for?), but very much suspect the questions need to be re-written. Plus, as it appears many have noticed, there really isn't a one-to-one match between the PType thing and the MBTI. Again, I suspect it's a result of the questions, but it could also be a problem with the way results are phrased.

Anyhow, liked the blog. Nice list of other blogs, too. And, in defense of the PType thing, I found I liked blogs written by people of both my supposed PType and my MBTI type.

 

03 March
referential
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In the movie (and book) Hearts in Atlantis, the word slutty gets used in proper 1940s-50s fashion. To mean "sloppy", not "promiscuous".


And I'm positive this is Stephen King's nod to Barbara Kingsolver, who spends fully a paragraph of one of her High Tide in Tucson essays on the subject. It's subtle, but seemed so obvious to me after just finishing Kingsolver's book. Which makes me wonder how many of these little references I might find, if only I were more well-read.


Know any good referential bits like that? I'm sure I've missed plenty.

 

01 March
friday five (vacations)
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I almost forgot...


1. What's your favorite vacation spot?

I honestly have no idea. The last place I've been always seems like my favorite, until I go somewhere else. I think I just like to go places. Maybe I should get out more?


2. Where do you consider to be the biggest hell-hole on earth?

Albion, Michigan. It's just dirty and urban enough to smell bad, and just small enough to be tacky.


3. What would be your dream vacation?

I love roadtrips. That aside, my money-is-no-object vacation would be a few months in Asia, staying in posh, unusual places.


This is creepy for a Friday Five, but I also feel like I need to see Hiroshima. Like the idea of war isn't clear in my head, and it should be. I'm not sure that's a dream vacation, but it's something I need to do.


4. If you could go on a road-trip with anyone, who would it be and why?

I think I've said before that Allison would make an excellent road buddy. And my best girlfriend. Or my boyfriend. Basically, anyone who can drive whimsically, sleep late and be prepared for whatever.


5. What are your plans for this weekend?

Heading slightly south to visit my parents (who are moving out of the house I grew up in three months from now).


Do your Friday Five. And drink 8 glasses of water a day.

 

in case of doomsday, break glass
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it turns out there really is a secret government.

the boys always thought (in college, when you're especially likely to think this sort of stuff) that the secret government must be in the strip mall around the corner from the outlet mall. really, the power went out around town all the time, but never at the shopping center with the subway. lots of black lincolns parked there, too. obviously evidence of the secret government at work.

update: are people really that surprised to find that there are protective bunkers and such for members of the government? i mean, cold war! not that long ago. at lunch this afternoon, we saw a news broadcast that exclaimed doomsday plan! which, of course, made us think that some horrid plot had been discovered. but no! it's an anti-doomsday plan, as it turns out, again referencing the secret government.

you have to wonder. does the word doomsday actually appear in the plans? who thought to bring that word up?

maybe the problem is that the news media are trying to avoid either a) more bad news from the west bank or b) finding anything substantial to criticise in the bush administration. i don't think they're actually in cahoots with the conservative side of politics. rather, i suspect, based on their reactions to the cbs anthrax scare last year, that the people who write and report the news are terribly, terribly emotional. and if they had to confront injustice, hopeless efforts at peace (i just typed peach, thought you should know) or anything else of substance, they would never be able to stop crying.

i understand. i've felt that way too, sometimes.

so, next time you're thinking my god, how much do i really care about the wife of the olympic national committee head, think about those poor newspeople. and remember, they're doing everything they can to keep from crying.

 

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