Archive for September, 2002

Hey, Anne. It’s your brain. Just wanted to say hi.

Friday, September 27th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

This morning as I was brushing my teeth, the word “lepidopterist” just popped into my head. No reason. There were no butterflies or moths in the room, I haven’t seen any programs or read any books on the topic lately, and as far as I know, no one has discussed the subject with me in ages (if ever). But for some reason, my brain just wanted to remind me that I knew that word. You know — just in case I ever feel like using it.

Brains are funny that way sometimes.

More ‘Joy of Cable’

Friday, September 27th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

As I am still quite new to this digital cable package I have, I’m still working my way around the channels, trying to find out what kinds of interesting new programming awaits me. To my utter joy, last night I stumbled across Fox Sports World and they were showing Australian Rules Football! A little happy dance ensued. A bigger happy dance ensued when I realized they would be broadcasting their grand final match this weekend. Yay!! As I am not terribly familiar with either team, in true Packer-fan spirit, I am rooting for the underdog. (Go Magpies!)

Looks like the channel also shows rugby matches. Here I was, thinking I was just going to get to see more hockey this year, and now I find out I’ll also get to see Footy and rugby. Fabulous! Throw in some hurling and Gaelic football, and I’ll be one happy little camper.

Hi Linus

Thursday, September 26th, 2002 | Bloggity goodness | Comments Off

Another new blog added to the lineup in the right nav. Everyone, meet Linus at I Am In Urgent Need Of Advice. Linus, meet everyone (all 7 or 8 of them).

*cheery waves all around *

You will be assimilated. Comply.

Thursday, September 26th, 2002 | You Call This News? | Comments Off

Looks like Louisiana Rep. Billy Tauzin has his undies all in a bundle. He’s released a proposal that would require a complete and total switch over to digital TV by the end of 2006. Know what that means? Unless the TV or VCR you have now receives digital signal, it will be obsolete when the analog signal gets shut off at the end of 2006. Also means a huge chunk of the nation’s broadcasters will need to upgrade their systems, not to mention a whole lot of rewiring by the nation’s cable industry. Oh, and there’s a possibility that folks who don’t have cable or satellite won’t be able to receive signals via an antenna any more, or that folks who choose to receive standard cable instead of the digital package won’t have that option any more (welcome to an increase in your cable bill!). But let’s not worry about all that, shall we? Let’s just rejoice in how much of a boost this will give to the sagging tech industry.

Thanks, guys. Nice to know the several hundred I’ve spent in the last year on a DVD player and a new TV is money well spent. I was really hoping I’d get the opportunity to replace those things — and more, oh joy! — within another 5 years.

Hockey, anyone?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2002 | Again with the hockey | Comments Off

While at lunch yesterday, I saw a guy wearing a Junior Admirals jacket and riding one of those sidewalk Zambonis. It was cute — junior hockey team, junior Zamboni. I had to smile.

Only two weeks until the Admirals’ season opens. Can’t hardly wait. Seems like a million years between seasons when you don’t make the playoffs.

Six billion links for you to peruse

Monday, September 23rd, 2002 | General | Comments Off

Nothing like starting your Saturday with a little filmic bit of a flashback. Went to go see 24 Hour Party People, a film about the Manchester music scene, the Hacienda nightclub, Factory Records and Tony Wilson, this weekend. Now, I’ve never been to Manchester and the little I knew before of the Hacienda was sketchy, but the music… wow, does the music bring back memories of younger days. (Since my family reads this, we’ll just skip the description of some of those memories, shall we?) And the film… well, now as I wasn’t a part of the scene, I don’t know how truthful it all was, but I do know that it was very entertaining. (There’s an interview with Tony Wilson here, if you want to get more of the skinny on that topic.) If it stops at a theatre near you, I highly recommend you shell out the $8 to go see it. It’s very entertaining. Many good laughs, much excellent music and Steve Coogan gives a great performance as Tony Wilson.

By and large, the music I love most comes from two different places during roughly the same era. That era is the late-’70s through the late-’80s, and the places are Minneapolis and Manchester. Those of you who know me don’t need to hear me gush on any more about my love for Minneapolis bands like the Replacements (and Paul Westerberg’s solo career), Husker Du (and the solo careers of Bob Mould and Grant Hart), Gear Daddies (and yeah, Martin Zellar’s solo stuff), Zuzu’s Petals, early Soul Asylum, The Suburbs, etc., etc. Suffice it to say, you just need one glance at the amount of flannel in my closet and the number of pairs of Chuck Taylors strewn about the apartment to realize how great their influence was on me. (The LP and CD collection would, of course, be a dead giveaway.) Thankfully, Minnesota’s right next door, so I was fortunate enough to see these bands often during their heyday.

I wasn’t so fortunate with the Manchester bands, but I did soak up as much of the music as I could while they were on tour or by spending what little cash I had over at Atomic Records. My favorite band from the area, The Buzzcocks (warning: their site will resize your browser & requires Flash), are still one of my top 3 favorite bands of all times. (I’m actually listening to them as I type this.) And Tony Wilson’s Factory Records put out recordings by some of the most cutting-edge bands ever to take the stage, such as Joy Division, Happy Mondays and New Order (and other, less-influential, though still favorite bands of mine, such as The Railway Children and A Certain Ratio).

So anyhow… what was my point? Hmm. Don’t appear to have one. So, before I blather on any more or this further turns into a list of the music I own, I’ll stop. Just go see the film. It will be a very worthwhile two hours out of your day. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (though not much, and only if you really liked Joy Division and don’t know why they broke up), you’ll spend what’s left of your paycheck afterwards, updating your CD collection with music by bands you’d forgotten about. It’s great fun.

I kinda like it better in B&W

Wednesday, September 18th, 2002 | Design-y Bits | Comments Off

This image was linked to by vacapinta in MetaFilter’s 9/11 thread last week. The image really stuck with me, so I Googled it a bit and came up with the following:

It’s by a German landscape painter named Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and its title is “Cloister Cemetery in the Snow.” The original painting is in color, but it was destroyed in 1945 during WWII. (Note: the color in the previous link is approximate.)

It’s funny — a week and one day ago, I had no idea this painting existed. It’s never existed during my lifetime. And now, I’m completely saddened that it’s gone. Oh well. At least someone had the foresight to photograph it.

Is this week over yet?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

Sorry for the lack of text. This week has been a weird combination of being completely busy, time off (during which I cleaned and waited for the cable guy. fun!) and not feeling so good. My coworkers have all been sick and I think I’m fighting off the bug they all had. (Insert rumblings on handwashing and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze here. Grumble.)

On the plus side, I now have cable. Told a coworker that I was gonna plant myself on the couch tonight and watch cable. He said, “Why? What’s on?” I replied, “1000 channels of ‘who cares’!” Ahhh. I once again have access to 24-hour news channels, hockey, the SciFi Channel, a bazillion “Discovery”-type channels and — best of all — reception that doesn’t fade out when my upstairs neighbors walk between rooms! Life is good.

I also got myself a little fun trinket this last weekend. It’s a sort of a charm bracelet, except that instead of dangly charms, you can unhook the blank flat links in the bracelet and replace them with other flat links that have little raised pictures on them. I got myself a little “A” (had to), a flag, a blue star, a football and a crescent moon. It’s all so girlie, but what the heck? Costs less than $10 and it amuses me greatly. (But now I want more charms. Hockey-related charms. They had every other sport…)

Postal goodies and other ramblings

Friday, September 13th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

I got my first postcards through postcardX this week. (Ok, really I got one through the site and one from my mom. In all fairness, though, she did sign up for it, so I guess that counts for something. And she made me a really nice postcard of a watercolor of my kitties. Awww.) The other was a cool, handmade card from John C. in California. Very nice.

And while I was playing around on the site the yesterday, I found a friend of mine from grade school/high school who now lives in Texas. Only 1500 people signed up for postcardX, and I already know some of them. Small world.

Looks like the Madison MeFites had themselves a little get-together last night. Wish I could have made it.

Wish I had more to write about. I’ve been super-extra-hella-busy this week, so I haven’t had much time to play. I’m supposed to be meeting a friend in a little over an hour so we can go see Notorious C.H.O., so I’m scrambling around to get myself away from the computer. I’ll try to find something fun for you all to play with next week. Meantime, have a great weekend.

One Year Later…

Wednesday, September 11th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan, You Call This News? | Comments Off

Not much to say on that topic that hasn’t been said before. MetaFilter’s got a nice thread going on the subject. Props to MiguelCardoso for the great idea. Very tasteful.

Some days, it still seems like none of that was real. Wish that was true.

Sure seemed real enough when I was in NYC in March, though. It wasn’t even the site itself that hit me the hardest (though that was pretty rough), it was the memorials you’d come across. I tell you — the first time you turn a corner and find yourself standing in front of a makeshift memorial at a firehouse, it really brings the whole thing home. Those, and the little paper cranes that line the churchyard fence near the WTC site. So many little cranes. So many cards, so many pictures.

I wish I’d seen New York before.

I still need to get back to D.C. one of these days. It’s one of my favorite cities and it seems like forever since I’ve been there. Even though the magnitude of the attacks in NY was greater, I think I was more worried about Washington, since I have more friends there, and I was immensely happy when I was finally able to get through to my friend Cate that evening to find out everyone was ok.

I’ve managed to avoid the TV and radio today, and with a few exceptions, I’ve managed to avoid most of the Web coverage. And now I think I’ll go home, pop in a movie, fry up a pizza and curl up with the kitty cats on the couch. Maybe I’ll even give them some extra treats. Just because.

So much for my social life

Tuesday, September 10th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

Looks like I’ll be spending more time in front of the TV. The Young Ones complete box set comes out next week! Ooh, how I loved that show. (Actually, I still have all of the episodes on tape. And yeah, they’re on Beta. I’m such a geek.)

The cable saga continues

Tuesday, September 10th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

You may remember my tale of my downstairs neighbor, Tony, and my quest for cable TV. Well, I’m happy to report that after discussions with the landlord and the cable company, the nice cable guy will be showing up next Thursday to rewire the building so I can receive more than a dozen channels, and all of them far clearer than what I get now. (Ooh. Ahh.) Yes, just in time for hockey season, I shall have my cable. Life is good.


Tuesday, September 10th, 2002 | Fun With Teh Intarweb, Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

Ok. Now I’m pissed. I was all excited about this new candy I got at Target over lunchtime — Nestle Creamy Caramel Coffins. They’re supposed to be little coffin-shaped chocolates with caramel inside. But you know what? They’re not. They’re just regular, plain ol’ Nestle Treasures with a different wrapper. They’re not coffins at all. No little handles on the side, no little opening on the lid so you can have open-casket caramel. Nothing. Ok, sure, they’re still tasty, but it’s just not the same. Hmmpf.

I’m also mad at myself ‘coz I was going to post the little punk rock kittens page last night, but I put it off. Well, now it’s on MeFi, so y’all have seen it. Drat. (Warning to those of you with slower connections, that’s a Shockwave file that link goes to.)

Good job, Rocket Science Boy

Monday, September 9th, 2002 | You Call This News? | Comments Off

I found this article about a man’s unfortunate demise last week.

Wow. Wonder if he had any offspring. If not, I think this solidly qualifies him for a Darwin Award.

Another horse

Monday, September 9th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

A little follow-up to my “horse apiece” post from last week. My dad sent me an e-mail that said the following:

The people who say they’ve never heard “a horse apiece” are not from Wisconsin — and Southeastern Wisconsin, at that. They come from places where Bar Dice is not played, like Chicago (or Baja Milwaukee, as it’s better known). In Bar Dice, one player is eliminated in each round, until only two players are left. They then play the best two out of three to see who buys a round. Each time a player loses one of these final three games, they say he has a “horse on him.” If, in the first two games, each player loses, they say it’s “a horse apiece,” meaning that the round is tied, and the next game will decide the winner and loser. Since Bar Dice is so popular around these parts, the phrase became part of our “Milwaukee accent,” and now is used to mean “it doesn’t matter,” or, “I have no preference.” When I joined the bowling league 34 years ago, all of the old-timers were saying it, and they said that their fathers said it before them. The real old guys, instead of saying “a horse apiece,” would just say “piecework”.

So there. (And I don’t even like playing bar dice.)

Is it Friday already?

Friday, September 6th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

Looks to be another busy weekend around here. I’ve got a couple parties to go to, Indian Summer is going on down at the Festival Grounds, Atomic Records is having their big blow-out rummage sale, and the new lakefront Alterra cafe is opening. Never a dull moment around here in the summertime. Wonder how I’m going to fit it all in.

Oh well. Beats being bored, eh?

Guilty pleasure

Thursday, September 5th, 2002 | Life in Czeltistan | Comments Off

This is terrible. I shun these sorts of things, and yet I seem to have gotten sucked right into this one. I’m so embarrassed, but they say the first step to getting over your problem is to admit you have one. So, here goes:

Hi. My name is Anne and lately I’ve been watching reruns of “The Real World.” (“Hi, Anne.”) It’s terrible. I can’t seem to fall asleep at any decent hour lately, so I’ve been trolling around the channels looking for something to watch. Zipped past our local WB affiliate and saw some Dubliner picking on some country hick in an RV. “Can’t be all bad,” I thought to myself and a half hour later, I realized I’d just watched most of an episode of “The Real World.” The next night, there I am watching “Spin City” reruns. They end and bang — there’s “The Real World” again.

So, now I have to watch to see what happens. Yeah, yeah — I know this is some early season of the show so I could easily spare myself the pain and just go to MTV’s site to get the lowdown. But I’m really hoping someone takes a swing at someone else. Besides, the Irish guy is cracking me up (even though, since I missed the first episode, I can’t figure out why they’ve got a Dubliner in the mix. Must live here now or something). Bit of a smart ass, that one.

But that’s it — no more shows after this season. It was bad enough when the show was just some nuisance invading my friend’s neighborhood in Chicago, but now that it’s crept into my life… I feel so…unclean. (Bad MTV. Bad.)

I’m back. Sort of.

Wednesday, September 4th, 2002 | General | Comments Off

This morning, I had all these great ideas of stuff to add. Then the clients got at me and now I can’t remember half of it. Dammit. I’ll just have to think about it tonight and post something in the morning.

Also wasted a good chunk of my post-work computer time researching etymologies of words and phrases. I’m completely fascinated by that kind of stuff. Today’s quest was for the origin of the phrase “a horse apiece.” I’ve been saying it as long as I can remember. A few months back, I said it and a friend of mine turned and looked at me and remarked that THAT must be where her husband picked up the phrase, because she’d never heard it before. So I started asking around. Turns out, a lot of people have never heard it before. Huh. Of course, at this point, I had to know where it came from.

Gotta tell you — there’s not a lot of help out there. Best I could do was the second item down on this page (“Maybe it’s related to…”). Well, at least I know I’m not the only one who says it.

In completely unrelated news, I’m absolutely addicted to that postcardX site I wrote about last week. I’ve already sent out 10 or 12 things and I’ve got a bunch more nearly ready to go out. I don’t know why I’m so addicted to snail mail.

Still, could be worse. Could be as bad as the toast addiction that plagues my brother and me. Mmm. Toast.

Oh, great. Now I’m hungry again.