Friday, August 22, 2008

Words and images

While I'm sort of anti-word tattoo, strangely enough (I am generally a word person), some of my best friends favor wordy ink. This recording has a nice mini-spread, which I link to if for no other reason than I know Lulu will like it so much.

For my part, several of my fabulous friends gave me some money toward my next, which Lex is drawing for me. The idea is a hamsa but with a realistic looking hand in graytone and a cartoon-y looking blue eye in the middle of the palm. Probably I won't have time to execute the plan until after I move, but if I could have it emblazoned on my neck/back before I go east for the family get-together, more's the better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The brutality of fact

The Guardian has a nice short piece about Francis Bacon (the painter not the philosopher)--Damien Hirst on Francis Bacon actually:
He talked about the brutality of fact. It's incredibly brave to take that on, to face up to the horror and stare it down. Over and over. I mean, I've made maybe four good pieces and the rest are, you know, sort of happy. He wasn't like that. He was his own worst and best critic. He pushed himself to the edge every time. They give you the shivers, his best paintings. He looks into the room that no one wants to look in. He looks in the mirror and he sees meat. He shuns tenderness. He wants to sleep on a hard bed.

Perhaps it's my moroseness about the impending birthday, but the piece really resonated with me and reminded me of how much I love Bacon, the painter and the meat.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Slavoj, circuit board car, and the Carpenters

Here is a nice triad of yummy links unrelated except that they all came through my magic portal today:

1. The best interview ever(!) courtesy of our friend in Dublin.
Though it's hard to choose, because there are so many good ones, I think my personal favorite line is:

Q: What does love feel like?
A: Like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite,
a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures.

And yes, of course, that makes me think of Gang of Four. What of it?

2. The ultimate geek cars, courtesy of someone's Twitter feed, but I cannot remember whose.

3. The first birthday present I've received this year (thank you, Spence). And yes, this is a passive-aggressive way of letting you know my birthday is Thursday. Feel free to send gifts or simply shower me with admiration and virtual cards. Or not.

Finns and pop

While I am most decidedly a word person, I do like maps. I think they appeal to the control freak in me. I like to think of the world as organized. Here are two that landed in my in box this week.

First, the genetic map of Europe which is explained in the NYTimes article of the same name:
The map shows, at right, the location in Europe where each of the sampled populations live and, at left, the genetic relationship between these 23 populations. The map was constructed by Dr. Kayser, Dr. Oscar Lao and others, and appears in an article in Current Biology published on line on August 7.

Having been to Finland so recently, what this map says to me is, "Yes, the Finns are an odd bunch." (The Times explains that the Finns' oddball genes are due to the fact that their population grew from such a small number of people.)

The second map is the pop vs. soda map from one of my favorite sites, Strange Maps. Really I just offer this one because it's kind of pretty and it gives me an excuse to point to Strange Maps. (And I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago as well and so the pop vs. soda linguistic rivalry is still fresh in my mind.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I wouldn't call it a *fear* of commitment per se...

I think "resistence to" or "skepticism toward" might be better ways of putting it.

Backing up a bit: Last week I moved offices down the hall into a larger, less centrally located office. My old office was right at the top of the stairs by the spot my boss calls "the water cooler" even though there is, in fact, no water cooler there. People naturally stop at the top of the stairs to congregate, and everyone feels rude if they don't subsequently poke their head in my office and 1. ask how my weekend/evening/day was/is, 2.compliment me on my hair/outfit/whatever, 3.ask for my thoughts on Obama/McCain/the Griffith Park fires/the latest Hollywood overdose... You get the picture. Given my naturally misanthropic personality, it's not a good thing. I have worked hard to try to develop my superpower ability to strangle people from across the room, but I have been unsuccessful thus far. So now I am down the hall in a new office that's big and has a nice red wall and is far away from "the water cooler."

Somehow it just felt wrong to move my crappy chair down here. The chair I have been sitting in is the kind of furniture item that you could easily recover from a dumpster. In fact, my old task chair from home was a dumpster discovery, and it was a far better chair than the one I have been using lo-these-many years. So this morning, I went to the office furniture place and sat in dozens of chairs until I found the optimum price-meets-performance keyboard jockeying saddle.

Know that I have been meaning to buy a new chair since I took this job.

Know too that I have worked here since January 2002.

What I realized is that having invested the time to shlep my books down the hall; go through my files to at least some degree and determine what to move, what to toss, and what to archive; and box up all my snowglobes for their journey to their new home, I am now maybe ready to actually settle in here. Ready enough to buy a new chair.

One doesn't want to rush into these things. Yeah.

I remember one time I went to an ACOA meeting (Adult Children of Alcoholics) many years ago, and someone there shared about finally throwing away her packing boxes. After living in her house more than five years, she said, she was ready to think about herself as staying there and not needing to be ready at any moment to uproot. And I was like, "Doesn't everybody keep their packing boxes?!"

I'm not judging...I'm just saying...

Of course, all of this comes just in time for me to move houses next month. (More on that front as there is news to report.)

Friday, August 15, 2008


If you're like me, you're a last-minute citizen when it comes to some local elections and ballot measures. I vote and I try to remain educated, but I usually find myself "cramming" the night before I go to the polls to try to figure out what exactly is on the ballot and where I stand about the initiatives. In California, in particular, I've been challenged because we seem to vote so often. (In Wisconsin, if you know where you stand on Indian gaming rights and spear fishing, you've pretty much covered 75% of the initiatives in any given year.)

So today I came across this new wiki on elections, Ballotpedia, and it looks like it's going to be a real boon for me. I've only just glanced at it, but I was impressed enough to pass it along. Tip o' the hat to Resource Shelf, which remains one of my favorite sources for discovering new online goodies.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Moving pictures! GYWO goes animated

Get Your War On is now an animated series on Yippee. I was going to embed the first episode here, but it doesn't want to embed, so here's the link. Some day I will return to blogging that involves something more than "hey, look at this," but in the meantime, you can check out my post today on Metblogs about the reading I went to Saturday if you're really yearning for some yapping from yours truly.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Site of the day

A sent this link to me with a note that said, "That this made me laugh out loud is indicative of degree of pms, I think."

Oh yes.

It's hard to imagine that malaise and homocidal tendencies can coexist so well in one body, and yet...