Thursday, December 23, 2004

Holiday Hours

If you notice an unbearable absence of posts over the next 10 days or so, please forgive me. Blame it on the holidays. Blame it my upcoming trip to Chicago for my Grandma's 90th birthday celebration. Blame it on the remnants of moving into a new apartment, or the preparation needed for a proper Chrismukah-Festivus type of party, or Law & Order reruns. Or, blame it on the government (that's what I usually do.). But don't say I never gave you anything. Because I am giving you this. And, as previously promised, here is the playlist from Super Fantastic 2004. Enjoy!

I am Stretched on Your grave by Sinead O'Connor
Lovely Rita by The Beatles
The Dead Only Quickly by the Magnetic Fields
It's All Right to Cry by Rosey Grier
Government Center by Jonathan Richman
Exquisite Dead Guy by They Might Be Giants
He Needs Me by Shelley Duvall
Surfer Girl by Cub
My Wandering Days are Over by Belle & Sebastian
Everybody's Talkin' by Leonard Nimoy
Shattered by the Rolling Stones
Town & Country by Chris & Tad
Suzanne by Dan Bern
No Other Love by Perry Como
I Cried for You by Rosemary Clooney
Vincent Van Gogh by Jonathan Richman
Beast of Burden by the Rolling Stones
Kissing the Lipless by the Shins
Palisades Park by the Ramones (thanks, Dad!!)
Common People by William Shatner
It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career by Belle & Sebastian
A Hazy Shade of Winter by Simon & Garfunkel
Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burnin' by the Bad Livers
For You Blue by The Beatles
Sandra in Short Pants by Chris & Tad
Heaven is No Place for Me by Laura Cantrell

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Question of the day

On what was this city built? You know the answer--come on, sing along!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Happy Holidays from The Planning Shop!

The Planning Shop held it's annual Holiday Lunch today. We enjoyed a fabulous feast at PF Chang's, including an order of The Great Wall of Chocolate for dessert. How could we not? True to form, our annual Holiday Party won't be held until sometime around March or April.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Lobster and Bacon Sandwich

Those are the four words I would use to describe Minneapolis, if I had to do so. The combination of vacation in Minneapolis and a gnarly case of strep throat have kept me from functioning properly for the last week. But you can't get rid of me that easily! I'm back, and swallowing no longer makes me cringe!

As you can tell from the picture, Minneapolis is cold. It actually snowed Sunday night! But apparently, it got much, much worse, as Ira sent me this the next day:

Screw that! I like boots and scarves and stuff as much as the next guy, but I also value my sanity which, as it turns out, requires the daytime temperature to be at least 15-20 degrees above freezing in order to operate as advertised.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Gopher State

Tomorrow I'm off to Minnesota, The Land of 10,000 Lakes--supposedly, the state with more miles of coastline than any other state in the Union (excellent trivia tidbit)--to visit these lovely people. In a serendipitous merging of weekend vacation plans, we will be enjoying the company of this lovely person as well. Unfortunately, we won't be visiting the Spam Museum. Still, I would put money on us spending more than a healthy amount of time at the Mall of America, in all of it roller coaster and peak-holiday-shopping-season filled glory.

Pray for us.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A Boy and His Dog, with a little help from Google

This has got to be all over the web by now, so I'm sure many of you have seen it already. But for those of you who are starting to feel the winter blues, or for a certain friend who had a particularly awful night last night, or if you just need a good cry (the happy kind), here's the story of Mikey the dog and the boy who found him.

Monday, December 06, 2004

A glorious weekend in the Land of Port

I'm back from weekend getaway number one. Having spent the weekend visiting my old college chums, I've come to realize that perhaps seeing some people once every five years just isn't enough. It's funny, because they might look different, or maybe they've gotten married or bought a house, or they've got a dog you've never met, but they're absolutely the same person you remember from living in the dorms or late summer backyard bar-b-q's. Case in point: Adam.

Sure he may have less--much less--hair than I remember, but I'll be danged if that's not the exact same Adam as I've had the pleasure of knowing since college, day one, when we met in the cafeteria.

It's important for me to remember those times when the most important thing in my life was finishing that paper on the role of Minoan pottery in 19th century Swedish folklore; when home was half of an 8 ft. X 12 ft. room with 2 shoebox-sized closets and a bed that doubled as a couch with the help of bolstered cabinets attached to the wall; when dinner was a bowl of Coco Puffs and a big-grab sized bag of Cheetos, washed down with a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke. As I slowly adopt the belief that my car runs better when the outside is clean, and I start to remember to get my oil changed on time, as I can now understand the value of delaying material gratification in order to assure financial security (sort of), and I feel a great deal less anger when the cops hassle the homeless guy sleeping in the park across the street from my apartment; as I become a bonafide adult, it's very important for me to remember that once upon a time, I wasn't.

Thanks to Adam, Liz, Galina, Dedi, and Shane for reminding me!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Music to bowl by

A few weeks ago when some friends and I went hyper bowling (the crazy style bowling-ball-sunk-into-a-pedestal version seen here, not the lame version), it was decided that we each needed a theme song. I chose I Get Around by The Beach Boys as my theme song because it seemed to improve my ball rolling skills (I was up against some very stiff competition and needed all the help I could get.). I didn't intend to keep the theme song for very long, but it continues to stick with me. Especially when I've just had my car washed.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

World AIDS Day

First off all, I have an excuse. I haven't posted to Deborah's Den since last Wednesday because of Thanksgiving (duh) and three cardboard-box-filled days of moving. But I am now officially unpacked, officially done waiting for the phone guy to fix the jack, and officially less crazy. I promise.

Question: How many helpful guys does it take to move a dresser from my second floor apartment to the curb?

Answer: Three. Three helpful guys, and three cheers for Max, APV and Winfield!

I thought that World AIDS Day would be a good opportunity to blog about Klaus Nomi. Those of you who have heard of him know that he was a rising talent in the New York City new-wave-synth-pop club scene. You can hear his delectable mix of pop and opera right here. With friends and fans like David Bowie and the B-52's who knows what might have become of his falsetto-infused performance art, complete with German accent and beat. Tragically, he contracted AIDS--back in the early 1980's, when it was still called GRIDS--and died in 1983. Here is an interesting website which talks briefly about his long-lasting effect on popular culture. He shares the site with his countryman and fellow popular culture icon, Andre the Giant, so look for the Klaus Nomi info on the second half of the page.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Here, I got you this website.

There is so much cool stuff on the internet. There's even more useless stuff, to be sure, but for someone who likes true crime and forensic dramas, for someone who collects snowglobes and miniature landmarks, for some who, when asked about the current administration, thinks not of GW, but of President Bartlett, the internet is a glistening gold mine of tasty nuggets. And there are wonderfully ludicrous tidbits around every corner (case in point, the North Pole Web Cam.). Here is another great example of the overflowing bounty of stuff and things harvested from the web that is world wide: a photo essay of celebrity mug shots. Be sure to look at all 17 of them--the only really sad one is the one of Michael Lookinland.

Marquee Maddness

I just got my film back, so here are a couple of LC-A shots from San Antonio and beyond.

There's nothing quite like a Greyhound Bus station. Endless photographic possibilities.

I'm not much of a Pops fan, but I do love a good marquee.

Even though you can't see the actual lettering on the Mission Thrift marquee, I love how the whole structure appears to be on fire. Disco inferno!

Monday, November 22, 2004

While sitting in traffic

There's nothing like a 40GB iPod on shuffle song mode to get you through your morning commute. This little gem, which I had all but forgotten about, came on during the ever-present Marsh Road backup, and has been flowing pleasantly through my head ever since.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

National SFD Day

I forgot to mention that today is National Scarves for Dogs Day.

I swear, she hates me. And rightly so.

Festive Optics

A shot from Halloween. Rhonda and I attended a cocktail party at the rotunda at city hall in San Francisco, sponsored by the Executive MBA Council. This was the social event for the conference we attended that weekend. Sporting tiara's and Rhonda's red and purple boa, we were the only two out of the whole 400 person group in costume!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Home again

My super cool dad came through big time, and emailed this mp3 to me. One more change to the holiday cd mix playlist never hurt anybody.

Below: A peek inside my Entre Ed Forum experience. It was a modest conference so no fancy, flashy, in-line booths. A nice table with our books and brochures, and my lap top to demo the Electronic Worksheets and PowerPoint.

It was a nice conference. Small and focused, with many determined and passionate people--the entrepreneurs of tomorrow are in good hands!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Saturday in San Antonio

Wow, what a neat city! The people here seem very friendly and willing to point me in the direction of their many squashed-penny machines, and the downtown area is cute and filled to the brim with tacky souvenirs (is there any other kind?).

This is me, remembering the Alamo.

In HemisFair Park, I found The Tower of the Americas, a distant relative of the Space Needle. The park and tower were built for the 1968 World's Fair. Now, the gift shop is locked up. But from the top of the tower, I could see many parking lots and hotels, and a freeway. And buildings.

This giant head sculpture was near the entrance to HemisFair Park. Hooray for giant head sculptures!

Yes, I did come here to work. On that note, I'm off to the booth. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Deep in the heart of Texas

Well, in a few hours I'll be on my way to San Antonio, Texas for the 22nd Annual Entrepreneurship Education Forum (this year's theme: Fiesta Entrepreneurship!). I've got high hopes for this conference; there are lots of sessions and events involving local entrepreneurs. It's good to mix up the learning, lectures, and product/materials examinations with real people and conversations about their experiences.

This will be my first out-of-town conference since I got my new digital camera, so expect plenty of action packed updates!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

For the Love of Bowling. And Hats.

Do you ever think about what you would like your funeral to be like? How about your obituary? My friend, Miriam, posted a bulletin asking a bunch of her friends what song they would like to have played at their funerals. The answers ranged from sweet ("Perfect Day" by Lou Reed) to unavoidably cheesy ("Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen) to absolutely perfectly fitting ("Don't Stop Believing" by Journey).

Sure, I think about my obituary, my legacy, what I want to leave behind to my friends and family. In what way do I live my life so that the space created by my eventual passing will reflect the true meaning of me? I aspire to this obituary from yesterday's Palo Alto Daily News:

"Michael Fau, a native of Redwood City who lived there his entire life, has died at the age of 55. Born April 28, 1949, Fau loved bowling and hats."

It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I've lived in a number of places, and plan to live in many more, would never aspire to live in Redwood City, and intend to live well past the age of 55. But how simple. How eloquent. How meaningful and admirable and perfect. He loved bowling, and he loved hats.

Maybe I'll request that my obituary be a haiku.

Deborah Kaye has passed.
She loved her dogs and Scrabble.
We'll miss her muchly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment, or How My Obsessive Quest For A Song By The Ramones Lead To Many, Many Pop-Ups.

It was last night. I was looking for a song on the internet, so I went to iTunes. I wanted to download The Ramones' cover of Palisades Park. But the song wasn't on iTunes. They had about 250 songs by The Ramones, so it seemed as though the entire discography was available, but no Palisades Park. I was darn near positive that the song was on the album Ramones Mania, because that was the only Ramones album I had in high school (being the greatest hits type of music listener that was at age 15), and I had remembered listing to this song in high school. But the absence of the song from the iTunes offerings caused me to think twice. Three times, actually. You see, I embraced iTunes and the Music Store so quickly and so fully that I now tend to trust iTunes before I trust my own memory. Sure, I remember listening to The Ramones sing Palisades Park with my old high school friend Gill. Sure, I remember the super quick beat behind the carnival-themed bridge between verses. Sure I do...don't I? Well, maybe I'm mistaken, if Apple doesn't have it how can it exist? Don't worry, I haven't fully resigned my soul and free will to the Man. I called Gill, who now lives in Boulder, Colorado (the centennial state), to verify the existence of this song; to sort of act as a witness that I wasn't an absolute fruit loop. So I was half right. The Ramones did indeed release a cover of Palisades Park, but it was on the album called Brain Drain, which, as luck would have it, is not included in iTunes' Ramones repertoire. So I wasn't going to be able to download the song, but at least I wasn't crazy!

By now, I was on a mission. Having proven the existence of the song, I would now own the song. I would find an mp3 of the song, pay for the song, and download it to my precious, still-new, cute little computer. But it had to be an mp3, or at least not a Real Audio file. I've been burned by Real; the songs I bought from them wreaked major havoc on my iTunes, iPod, and CD-burning lifestyle. Big time. So I googled and clicked on links googled some more, trying to find a site on which I could BUY the song. Yes, pay real American dollars (or at least enter my credit card number). I wasn't looking for file sharing for free music, I just wanted--nay, needed--this song.

And then I made a really bad decision.

I clicked my frenzied little way to a Russian mp3-selling website that claimed to have the song--my song. Of course, I didn't get the song there, but I did get a freaking ton of spyware, adware, datamining-ware, and crapware installed on my innocent little computer. It's taken me a good 3 or 4 hours, as well as the downloading and installing of an additional ad-ware busting application (Spybot S&D just couldn't get all of them!), but I think (I hope!) I've finally gotten rid of the last of the intrusive pop-up generating programs. Holy crap, what a mess I made. What a baaaaaaaaaaaad decision.

It's not simply about me being obsessive. I mean, sure that's part of it, but I have a genuine need for this song. This year, I'm, er, reappropriating my friend Julie's annual holiday gift-giving idea: I've created a mix CD to distribute to my family, friends and well-wishers. A very special, thoroughly thought-out, emotion-filled, and super fantastic mix CD! And it had a space reserved on it for Palisades Park, written by one Mr. Charles Barris--former host of The Gong Show, and author of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which became one of the best movies ever. You can plainly see why this song had to be included on the mix CD. But sadly, today was my deadline to stop futzing with the playlist and track order and start designing labels and jewel case inserts (last year's holiday mix CD lost out to laziness and procrastination).

Long story short: Obsessive quest. Bad decision. Lots of pop-ups.

I'll post the super fantastic holiday mix CD playlist here after I've given them out--don't want to ruin the surprise.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

13 days...and counting

For those of you awaiting the DVD release of the first season of one of THE best TV shows ever made (no, not Sabrina, the Teenage Witch--although Melissa Joan Hart is right up there among my favorites, the series has yet to be released on DVD. But perhaps this is something we can change...), you'll be pleased to know that less than 2 weeks time must pass before Home Movies Season One ships. My paper chain grows shorter each day.

I love this shot. Me and my trusty LC-A, tinting the world pink. Or green. Or whichever color we dang well please. Just try and stop us! We'll smear peanut butter on your car windows.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ah, the splendor: Globes of Snow

I'm running out of space for them on my desk, so this configuration may soon change, but here's a look at the current snow globe collection.

Of course, the prized Fargo globe.

If I could capture this scene, make it tiny and plastic, and put it in a snow globe, you know I would: Nanna gives Brian some tail.

Isn't it s a lovely office? Seaport Green to some, Maalox Green to others.

Friday, October 29, 2004

It's been a blog day's night

Wow, I can't believe I've let my blog go for this long! I could blame it on the fact that I've been getting over a cold for the last week. Or that I've been very busy at work. Or plenty of other things. But I won't, because I'm a responsibility taker. My blog-less week has been of my own doing--or rather, my own lack of doing.

But it's not like I've been doing nothing. The Planning Shop has been buzzing all week! We've been working on our editorial calendar, which can be excrutiating. We're a small group of people with huge ambitions, so the actual planning process is always tough. Tough and necessary. We always work our way through the process and come out of it stronger, more motivated and more focused that before. It's therapeutic.

I've also been preparing for 2 conferences that I'll be attending in the next couple of weeks. The Executive MBA Council is holding its 2004 annual conference in San Francisco this weekend, and Rhonda and I will be there. It's a fantastic opportunity to meet many of the professors who teach classes using our books, and to hear about their experiences first hand. Also, it gives me a great opportunity to do some market research: find out what's missing from our customers' curriculum, what they would like to see more of, things like that. I think it's really important to remember who your customers are, and to make the time to speak with them. Even more important: listen to them when they speak. If you're fortunate enough to have access to the people who support your company, and they're considerate enough to share their thoughts and opinions with you, the worst mistake you can make is to take that for granted. Attending entrepreneurship educators' conferences allows me to do my job well and to serve my customers in the most appropriate and effective manner. Plus, I get to travel. Next month, I'm headed to San Antonio, TX for the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education's annual forum. Oh, and there will some Alamo to be had, as well.

Rhonda knows all about the fringe travel benefits like the Alamo. When you spend a few days in a different city, you often get to see things like the Space Needle or the John Hancock Building...or an alligator. Sure, there may be time for sight-seeing in between speeches (if you're Rhonda) or educational sessions (if you're Deborah), but traveling is tough and tiring and time consuming. And sometimes you miss out wonderful things that happen back home. Rhonda experienced this loss first hand this past Monday when she was giving a keynote speech in Jackson, MS. Sure, she may have had the opportunity to visit The Eudora Welty House, but she missed out on the arrival and inaugural playing of my Ethel Merman Disco Album. Poor Rhonda!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Please keep Marge away from extreme temperatures and out of direct sunlight, don't cha know!

It's here, it's finally here! The Fargo snowglobe that I won in an eBay auction 2 weeks ago is here and sitting on my desk for all to enjoy. Well, at least for me to enjoy. And I'm pretty sure that Brian is enjoying it as well. You can read more about this particular obsession here.

Monday, October 18, 2004

A Day in the Life of The Planning Shop, Part 1

Who among us hasn't wondered what happens behind the scenes at The Planning Shop? To quench your collective thirst for knowledge, please enjoy the following photographic representation of a typical-ish day at The Planning Shop (granted, this was last week when the weather was still stellar.):

This is our beautiful building in downtown Palo Alto. The changing colors of the ivy is amazing; no picture could do it justice. Throughout the day, we get 2 kinds of visitors: the kind who bring boxes and take boxes away, and the kind who ask, "Is this the Chamber of Commerce?" It was once the Chamber of Commerce, but hasn't been for a while. This is now the Chamber of Commerce. Between the people asking for maps, the people thinking they're arriving at a meeting, and the random crazy person, sometimes it makes me want to keep the front door closed. But the sunlight and fresh air are totally worth the interruptions.

Hunter-gatherers, each and every one of us. At approximately 4:00 pm, everyday, one of us will walk the block and a half to Long's to procure chocolate and diet soda for everyone. Nanna likes to come along, of course, especially when the street is ripe with squirels. And lately, it's been super ripe.

I'll post part 2 eventually. I can't say when, but I can say with some amount of certainty that it will feature our fax machine, my snowglobe collection, the halloween decorations, and Arthur's famous pig-in-a-pencil-gripper sculpture. So don't touch that dial!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The last two weeks before daylight savings time ends

Well, after what seemed like a year-long summer in San Francisco, the yucky weather has arrived. It started raining today, and it isn't supposed to stop for at least a couple of weeks. Bleh! And come Halloween, there will be even less light in which we can attempt to enjoy being outside. Aw, nuts.

Of course, just as the it starts to rain, I got some pictures back from last weekend, during which we drove the new convertible across the Golden Gate Bridge and up into the hills by Stinson Beach. So now, as I glance out the window at the darkened and overcast sky, I can turn fondly to my blog for comforting images of dogs and people frolicking, and of massive landmarks shining in the sun against a brilliant blue sky...and you can, too!

Ah, the glory and majesty of the Golden Gate!

Ah, the glory and majesty of Ozzy's head sticking out of the convertible roof.

Friday, October 15, 2004

The new kid on the block

Mmmm, toasty...they got a pepper bar! (If you never saw that wonderful commercial, you can play it in this article. Wonderful.)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Safety Fashion

When Ozzy rides in the convertible, he needs to protect his poor little eyes from rocks and debris and what not. Hence the ultimate cuteness ahead:

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I'm a travelin', lady...

Two of my best friends moved to Minneapolis, MN last month. Yes, I'm heartbroken. Yes, I'm so totally lonely. And yes, when I go visit them, you'd better beleive I'll be stopping here.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

My alternate personality gets no respect

Two things have been bugging me all day. The first was learning that Rodney Dangerfield died yesterday (also, learning that he was born Jacob Cohen was mildly off-putting). The really strange thing, though, is that in this article about Mr. Dangerfield's passing, there's a quote from Teller of Penn & Teller. That's just not right.

The other thing that's been bugging me all day is the whole Chris Gaines thing. What was Garth Brooks thinking? I mean, come on now. A soul patch? Seriously.

One thing that so totally has not been bugging me today: "Has Been," William Shatner's new album. But it's been buggin the hell out of Rhonda, I tell you what!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Someone's in the kitchen

I don't cook much. I like to bake, but not so much with the cooking. That's why it was a super big deal when Leor and I cooked dinner last night for 5 members of our familes (his folks, my folks, and my brother Paul who was in town from Brooklyn to watch the A's lose.). Among other things, we cooked this Wasabi Chicken, oh my lord it was tasty. So if you're feeling kitchen happy, and you're looking for an excuse to open the sake you got as a housewarming gift nearly a year ago, this may be the recipe for you!

Friday, October 01, 2004

Screw the wizard; let's get frogurt

So we went to see Bill Gates give a talk at the Computer History Museum this afternoon. Except for that our invitations neglected to mention that instead of actually seeing Bill Gates, we would be sitting a room down the hall from where Bill Gates would be speaking, and we would be watching him on a TV monitor. A black and white monitor, with bad focus. Feh!

After unsuccessfully trying to convince one of the Microsoft secret service guys that we should be in the other room, the one that actually had Bill Gates in it, we went out to the parking lot and vandalized all of the Prowlers and Ferraris. Then we went for frogurt to pacify Arthur who was beginning to cry.

We're off to see the wizard...

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, September 30, 2004

A great big cheer for 8 big years!

This week, my dog Nanna celebrated her 8th birthday!

OK, she didn't do all that much celebrating. I suppose we spearheaded most of the celebratory activities. But she did turn 8, and she received a new shiny red Kong! Yay, Nanna! Here's to 8 more years!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Shake, Rattle & Roll

So about 25 minutes ago, we had an earthquake. I don't usually feel earthquakes, but I sure felt this one: 5.9! I was sitting at my desk, and I started feeling nauseous, and then Arthur and Brian both pointed out that one of the potted plants by the door was shaking. Having attended K-12 in Bay Area public schools, I immediately dove under my desk and clasped my hands behind my head: duck and cover! (Note to self: train the dogs to dive under a table or desk and stay there when the command "Duck and cover" is given...) The fact that my body responded with a queasy sensation before I had any clue that anything was going on caused me to contemplate the whole thing about our bodies being 98% water, and how that relates to tide tables, gravity, motion sickness, all that stuff.

Monday, September 27, 2004

And I guess that was your accomplice in the woodchipper.

First of all, Ozzy's doing fine. He seems to be back to his normal self: naughty, but endearing.

I spent some time on the internet over the weekend trying to track down a snowglobe that I wish I'd purchased when I saw it 6 years ago at a Tower Records but didn't. A limited edition special release of Fargo on VHS was being sold with an equally as limited special edition Fargo snowglobe. Apparently there were 2, but I only saw (and uncontrollably covet) the one with the over-turned car and Marge leaning over a dead body in the snow. The other has the wood chipper scene, which would be super fantastic to own as well, but for now I'm keeping my eyes on the prize. I did find 2 for sale on eBay: one with the current bid at $35.00 (totally reasonable), but the water in the globe "is a pale shade of yellow," and one for $9.95, but with no water at all (these aren't the refillable kind either.). But I'll keep looking...

However, I did find this handy guide to one of my all-time favorite roadside attractions.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Show us those pearly whites

The root canal was a success! Ozzy went from this:

to this:

Thanks, Dr. Holmstrom! Thanks, Stacey! The therapeutic cuddling will now commence.

Ozzy's trip to the doggie dentist

Today my precious baby Ozzy dog is getting a root canal. Poor guy broke one of his teeth (one of the pointy front top ones) and now he has to get it repaired. So he's spending the day at the friendly neighborhood animal dentist.

Here's the Oz in the exam room, looking fearfully up at the stainless steel table top. Actually, he's probably wondering why he hasn't been fed any breakfast yet, and when exactly breakfast will be served. I'll pick him up this afternoon, and I'll most likely spend the evening cuddling him while the anesthesia wears off.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

C'mon a my house

I'd like to officially invite everyone to take a gander at my Lomohome. This is where I upload, organize, and in some cases animate my lomographs for all to enjoy! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Creative genius, and Swedish to boot!

"I love her and she loves me, and we hate each other with a wild hatred born of love." -August Strindberg

Ever since I studied existentialism in high school, I have loved August Strindberg. He possessed that same intense Nordic perspective--combined with just the right amount of absinthe and alchemy--that drew me to Edvard Munch and Karin Boye. His outlook on life and the world was, in my eyes, equally as bitter and contemptuous as it was exhilarated and reverent. Besides, we share the same birthday.

My minor field of study in college was Swedish Language & Literature, and I read many of Strindberg's plays, short stories and essays. Though I really found myself drawn to his paintings and photographs. He painted a number of dark, brooding landscapes; canvasses thick with densely layered oils. His photographs were mostly self portraits and role exploration, and always make me think of Cindy Sherman and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. There's a real voyeuristic tone there,but it's more comfortable because the artist is inviting--if not demanding--you to take a look. Maybe it's my delightfully eccentric sense of humor. Maybe it's my notoriously short attention span. Personally, I like to think that it's my deep sense of respect for Strindberg's written and visual arts that make it so very easy for me to enjoy this link that was randomly stuck at the very bottom of a They Might Be Giants newsletter... After all, what good is anything in life if you can't poke a little fun at it every now and then? This is just one more way to enjoy the melancholy prose of a Scandinavian Superstar--with Flash animation!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Reunited (and it feels so good!)

Huzzah! My lovely Lomo is back where it belongs!

BBQ at Crissy Field last Saturday with Max's workmates.

Fall into the Gap: shopping for slacks. The Gap's current ad campaign with Sarah Jessica Parker makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable. I told this to the sales girl, and she agreed.

The awkward and uncomfortable ad campaign didn't stop me from buying this smart new jacket.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Guilty pleasures. So very guilty.

First of all, I hope everyone had a pleasant and productive Talk Like A Pirate Day yesterday. I know I did. I must have said "aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" like 57 times.

Actually, I spent a good chunk of Sunday afternoon on the couch. I like to devote a bit of time each weekend to catching up on the week's animated series that I have Tivo'd. These consist mostly of half-hour gems from the Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block of cartoons. Goodies like The Family Guy (once cancelled by Fox, it has enjoyed such success on Adult Swim that it has now been uncancelled), Futurama (score another one for Fox), and my absolute all time favoritist show ever, Home Movies (also recently cancelled, and I say it's a CRIME against humanity). Of course, once the new season of The Simpsons starts, we'll add that sucker to the list as well. Oh, and the one weekly show with actual actors as opposed to cartoons in it that makes the cut: Arrested Development (you go, Fox!). Hey, congrats on that Emmy, guys!

But the real story here is what came about as I was preparing to watch the aforementioned parade of quirky and intelligent animation. When I turn the TV on, there's this guide screen with which I'm sure you're all familiar (it accompanies any sort or digital cable or satellite service subscription in order to make your viewing time more enjoyable and productive.). So the guide is tuned to somewhere near the lower 200's, where the only things worth watching are Court TV and Fox Sports Net (when it's hockey season...don't even get me started on that right now.). But apparently there's also a channel dedicated to soap operas, and apparently, for certain shows, they run all 5 of the previous week's episodes on Sunday afternoon. Back to back.

Not many people know that I used to watch Days of Our Lives. It was a long time ago, back in the glory days of the late nineties. I was a senior in college, and the stress of school just pushed me over the edge! I found solace in the 3 pm time slot on NBC, and soon became hooked. I had to keep watching, had to find out if Sammy would be found innocent--she had been jailed for the murder of Franco, for which she had been framed by her ex-mother-in-law, of course. Of course. I simply had to know if things would ever be OK between Bo and Hope, despite that dang Billie Reed and her delusional love for Bo. I HAD TO KNOW what Stefano had been using John Black and Hope for when he had them brainwashed for all those years in Europe! Of course, after college ended, and the real world began, I ended my 6 month love affair with Days (it doesn't take long to get super addicted, believe you me.), and soon forgot all about Victor's coma and Nicole's fake marriage to Lucas. I forgot all about Roman's undying love for Marlena, and Marlena's undying love for John Black, and John Black's undying love for his eyebrows.

Until yesterday.

One week's worth of episodes may not seem like much, but it was enough to keep me on the couch--well, at least in vicinity of the TV in the living room--for five hours yesterday. Of course, my boyfriend is out of town. He would never stand for the monopolization of the only TV in our apartment by these particular fictional characters in this particular fictional town (now video games, that's another story...). And I wouldn't do that to him, not unless he really deserved it. I haven't set my Tivo to record Days of Our Lives. Yet. I still relish my freedom from daytime drama. But I have a feeling that this guilty pleasure may be back every now and again. Just to say hi.

Friday, September 17, 2004

New Tech Toys

Hooray for me! This week, I got a new computer. I've begun to travel more for work, so when the time came for me to get a new computer, we opted for a laptop. And not just any laptop, but a super fantastic Sony Vaio! I swear, this thing weighs less than a bagel (the toasted kind, with cream cheese, tomatoes and capers.). And it's got this new monitor technology called XBrite, and I'm pretty sure that this is how they do it: the people at Sony have hired hundreds of thousands of tiny little creatures, and they each have one of those purple-ish blue-ish lights that you sometimes find on after-market, souped up Honda Civics. Behind my laptop's screen, there are a couple hundred of the little guys, shining their crazy reflective super bright lights through the screen, so it's, like, 100 times brighter than any other computer screen you've ever seen before.

Or maybe they've developed some sort of reflective synthetic material, who knows.

But it's an awesome computer and I'm just thrilled to pieces about it. Not that my old computer wasn't great, but it was needed elsewhere. Poor Brian's been using the world's slowest computer forever, and he was about ready to kill someone...and I sit nearest to him. So he has taken possession of the Dell desktop, and I don't think I've ever seen his smile so big! And then Arthur's got a new iPod, so he's on cloud 9. And Rhonda's test driving the NEW new Sony Vaio laptop--the one that's so light it actually floats--so we're a technologically happy company this week. *sigh*

Oh, yes: my replacement LC-A should be here today...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Blog Neglect

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted to my blog. I suppose that it's a good thing, as it means I've been too busy working and talking to actual people.

Actually, my camera broke a few weeks ago, and I'm waiting for it to be fixed. Yes, the shutter button on my precious, precious LC-A just popped clean off, and I had to send the whole thing to Brooklyn for repairs. As it turns out, I'm much more of a visual blogger than I am a verbal blogger. After all, you know what they say about a picture being worth something or other.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Getting in touch with my feline side

Did I mention that I have cats? Poor things, they're so often overlooked. But full of love and fur--and more than a little spite--just the same.

Up top is Milhouse, a feisty little devil also know as "Pure Evil." He came from the back of a pick-up truck in the parking lot of a mall in Eugene, Oregon one hot summer day in 1998. The orange guy below him is Cassidy, who sadly passed away in January of 2002. He was adopted from the San Francisco SPCA in 1991. He was chosen because the pound had dubbed him "Pizza Man" and had thusly placed a small name tag bearing said monicker on his cage. Being the 15 year old girl that I was at the time, I had a tremendous crush on a boy who delivered pizza: obviously, a match made in heaven.

Miru is the oldest of the pack, dogs included. He's a 9 year old fluff ball who likes to eat house plants and flowers. He also likes to hunt rubber bands, clothing tags, coasters and other household items all night long--oh yes, and he finds it absolutely necessary to shout about it when he's caught the dreaded twist-tie. He is, as I said, fluffy, and a bit on the pudgy side, hence his nickname: "Fatty fatty fat fat."

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

That's 42 in dog years

Ozzy used to be teeny tiny!

His 6th birthday is coming up next week, and now he weighs close to 65 pounds.

But he's still my baby dog. And once he was made to wear a space helmet.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Friday, August 27, 2004

Greetings from the land of Garibaldi, the West Coast Swing, and the Desert Tortoise! Find Yourself Here.

If you're like me, when you meet people from other states, you like to greet them with trivia about their home state. I prefer the state motto, but sometimes (especially when the motto is in Latin) I go for the state nickname. For instance, when I met Joyce from Connecticut, I remarked, "Ah. The Nutmeg State." When I talk to my friend Dedi on the phone, I say "She flies with her own wings." Dedi lives in Portland, Oregon. For my Canadian chums, I'll employ their nearest National Hockey League affiliate. When Jean from Drummondville, Quebec called the other day, he was greeted with friendly salutations of "Jean from Quebec! Home of the Montreal Canadiens! How the hell are you?" We were both quite pleased.

If you're like me, everyday you get just a little bit older (as portrayed perfectly in the They Might Be Giants song Older.). And as you get older, you may not be able to keep all 50 state mottos and 50+ state nicknames (not to mention the state birds, flowers, songs and mammals!) ready and available at the forefront of your mind. Plus, with all of the phony top ten list-esque state slogans going around, it can be tricky to differentiate them from the real ones. Never fear! This State Insignia website will help.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Hello, Lomo

Meet my newest passion: Lomography. It's amazing what a wide angle Russian lense can do to your world.

Even APV's old Honda Civic looks exciting with a little help from Lomo.

Indian food in Lower Haight will never be the same!

A little post-lunch break with Nanna...

One of the many beautiful historic buildings in downtown Palo Alto, this one is right across the street from our office.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Sarah Vowell on Thanksgiving

I recently read Sarah Vowell's newest book, The Partly Cloudy Patriot (she's my favorite author, along with Daniel Handler.). I just love to conjure up her distinct voice in my head as I read her books--she also does radio commentary on This American Life. I found this passage to be extra insightful, and I thought I'd share:

"Our great-grandmother Ellen passed through here (Ellis Island) on her way from Sweden. We watch a video on the heath inspections given to immigrants, walk past oodles of photos of men in hats and women in shawls. Though no one says anything, I know my father and mother and sister are thinking what I'm thinking. They're thinking about when we moved away from Oklahoma to Montana, how unknown that was, how strange and lonesome. I read a letter in a display case that says, 'And I never saw my mother again,' and I think of my grandfather, how we just drove off, leaving him behind, waving to us in the rearview mirror. And here we are in New York, because here I am in New York, because ever since Ellen's father brought her here, every generation moves away from the other one.

"It is curious that we Americans have a holiday--Thanksgiving--that's all about people who left their homes for a life of their own choosing, a life that was different from their parents' lives. And how do we celebrate it? By hanging out with our parents! It's as if on the Fourth of July we honored our independence from the British by barbecuing crumpets."

How the...? What the...?

A joy to behold, someone has finally created a web page of classic films shown in 30 seconds, and re-enacted by bunnies. Honestly, it's about damn time.

And once you're bored of that, feel free to satisfy your voyeuristic tendencies in the greater, whiter North with the North Pole webcam! Also a joy to behold.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Arrrrr, ye land lubbers! Pieces of eight!

I've had to post a link to this site everytime I've had a blog (yeah, this isn't the first time I've done this whole dedicate-an-entire-website-to-myself thing. I swear I'm not (much of) an egomaniac.). So here it is, the official What's My Pirate Name? website.

Yours Truly,
Mad Prudence Rackham
"Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!"

You may also refer to me as Dis Oakengoat.
"You're a fearsome Viking, but you aren't completely uncivilized. The other Vikings make fun of you for that. You have a thirst for battle, and tend to strike first and think later. You might be able to hold your own on the battlefield, but you're no 'berserker'.

You might grumble a bit at the lack of amenities on board a Viking longboat, but you can handle it. Vikings make fun of you all the time. Not always behind your back, either.

You have a fairly pragmatic attitude towards life, and tend not to expend effort in areas where it would be wasted. You sometimes come off as a bit of a snob. Vikings are not snobbish people -- they either like you, or they kill you. Try to be more like a Viking."

Click here to find your Viking name (I did, after all, minor in Scandinavian Studies in college. Always did love a good Icelandic Saga.).

Friday, August 20, 2004

Now THAT'S patriotic!

Actually, it's the Captain America costume that I wore for Halloween last year when we went to the Hotel Utah to see the Extra Action Marching Band. My friend Ira's mom made it! I guarantee that this was the only time in my life that I've ever worn a spandex bodysuit.