Wednesday, July 30

Road & Rail

[Road & Rail]

Yet another reason to avoid airports. I always get searched. Now let's watch them dismantle my Hello Kitty Polaroid and my PDA.

Tuesday, July 29

Cyborg Liberation Front

[Cyborg Liberation Front]

Aaaaaarrrrrrgggggh

[Aaaaaarrrrrrgggggh]

Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. You can't use bulletproof_bra2003@yahoo.com because I've lost the password.

Actually, I must have used something that I never use, because I've guessed so many times the account has been locked. I also messed up on the "What's the name of your pet?" question, which is very odd. I usually use the same pet name.

Soooooooo, if you sent me anything at bulletproof_bra2003@yahoo.com I did not receive it, and I cannot retrieve it. If you'd like to resend or contact me in the next few days you may use helloduckykitty (AT) yahoo.com or my work address.

I did have a long conversation with Comcast Customer Service yesterday. It seems that I've definitely lost all of my emails and my address book. I'm unsure whether I'll even get any of my email IDs back from Comcast, and they cannot guarantee that I shall. Testy. I'm a little testy. And being at work, I can't even scream [too loudly] or get liquored up [too obviously].

Monday, July 28

Technical Difficulties

[Technical Difficulties]

I'm having problems with my email. That is just another part of the move that hasn't gone smoothly. Until this is straightened out, I may be reached at work —if you have that address— or at bulletproof_bra2003 (AT) yahoo.com. Or, you could always call.

I am quite unhappy about this.

Friday, July 25

Move Update

[Move Update]

I am in the shopping phase of my move. The way to force myself to get new furniture was to create a crisis by getting rid of the old furniture before/during the move. [I shudder to think of how much more traumatic the move might have been had I not done that!]

So far, I've gotten the mattress and box springs. I'll be getting some organizational supplies, curtains, linens and various tchotchkes this weekend. Next weekend is shelving and storage and side tables. The following weekend is couch and rugs. At some point, I'll also need to get the table and chairs for the kitchen, but honestly, those aren't as high on my list.

[NOTE: I shan't be updating frequently for the next several days. I'd taken off four days from work for the move, things are a little harried at the office and it's recommended I keep my nose to the grindstone for a bit. And, at home, I have no access. Although I have moved, my cable service hasn't. And, they won't be able to connect it in my new apartment for another week. I shall attempt to refrain from whining about this.]

Monday, July 21

Games & Emotion

[Games & Emotion]

Isn't life the game that Geoff Cohen is wishing for?

On to more packing.

Friday, July 18

Moving Everything

[Moving Everything]

I decided that since I was moving all of my physical stuff, I'd move some of my virutal stuff as well. I deleted a semi-fictional blog and moved to those digs. Hope it isn't too confusing for you.

On to more packing.

Je Suis Addicte

[Je Suis Addicte]

Self-reflection while moving —or— "Hi. My name is Crystal, and I'm a product junkie."

Let's look at the highlights in the toss pile thus far . . . .
  • $ 148 = 37 tubes of lip balm at about $ 4 each

  • $ 84 = 3 tubes of shu uemura mascara basic at $ 28 each

  • $ 56 = 7 other tubes of mascara averaging $ 8 each

  • $ 60 = 5 tubes [3 brands] of liquid eyeliner at roughly $ 12 each

  • $ 387 = 43 tubes of lipstick conservatively averaging $ 9 each

  • $ 115 = 23 bottles of nail enamel averaging $ 5 each
Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh.

Wednesday, July 16

Moving Chaos

[Moving Chaos]

I'm sitting on the floor on a few pillows, wearing a heather grey wifebeater and a tanga, drinking Chardonnay out of the bottle and eating pepperoni slices out of the plastic container. The computer is on a filing cabinet. The keyboard and monitor are on an ottoman. My apartment looks like a frat house during finals week after a bunch of chicks from Belize left suddenly without their lingerie, shoes or makeup. Chaos. Utter fucking chaos.

Packing for this move is not going to be easy.

If you are bored and not easily disturbed come on over. I need the help. Oh . . . . . bring smokes. I'm almost out.

Monday, July 14

XBox | Wonders of Geekdom

[XBox | Wonders of Geekdom]
It is a battle that involves many of the ethical and legal issues facing the technology and media industries at this digital moment. What rights do consumers have to tinker with products they own? How far should companies go to protect their intellectual property? What happens when the desires of consumers conflict with the business models of companies they patronize? Who gets to decide just what a particular product may be used for?
If it's mine I should be able to tinker with it any way I wish.

[Use cocosmusings [AT] comcast.net password crystal if you've not signed up at NY Times.]

Insta-Critic

[Insta-Critic]

What music do you prefer? I'll play with this one more later.

Sunday, July 13

Patience | The Divine Stickman | Implicit Attitudes

[Patience | The Divine Stickman | Implicit Attitudes]

None of the voice mails supplied the previously mentioned sought-after information. Nor did any of today's emails. Alas, we learn patience by practicing.

This afternoon, I was able to finally clear something up. I had been wondering about it for some time, but kept forgetting to ask. Richard the Divine Stickman is indeed Zack's tattoo.

While exploring The Vortex of Skrochocracy [parent site for the Stickman] I found a link for Project Implicit.
Project Implicit represents a collaborative research effort between researchers at Harvard University, the University of Virginia, and University of Washington. While the particular purposes of each study vary considerably, most studies available at Project Implicit examine thoughts and feelings that exist either outside of conscious awareness or outside of conscious control.
And, well, you know I had to try it.

My results:
Your data suggest a strong preference for COKE relative to PEPSI.
Yup. Coulda told'em that. I've passed that friggin' taste test.
Your data suggest a slight preference toward the New York Yankees relative to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hmmmmm. Interesting. I think, perhaps, I am just more familiar with the associated images of the New York Yankees. I don't know that I could have told you anything about Arizona Diamondbacks logos, colors or anything before this.
Depending on the magnitude of your result, your automatic associations may be described as 'slight', 'moderate', 'strong', or 'little to no preference'. How implicit associations affect our judgments and behaviors is not well understood. Also, the score described above may be influenced by a number of variables including your familiarity with the categories and the particular items used to represent the categories. As such, the score should serve only as an opportunity for self-reflection. Future research will clarify the way in which implicit preferences affect our thoughts and feelings.
Well, I am always looking for new opportunities for self-reflection. And, apparently I can do this over sixty times!
The topic of this task was randomly assigned to you from a list of over 60 topics. You are welcome to complete as many sessions as you wish, and every session will be a different topic than the last.
Ah well, I'm certain my more interesting implict preferences will never come to light in this manner. I'll just have find other reflection aids for those.

Good Afternoon

[Good Afternoon]

I haven't even had a morning beverage yet. The email communication center page says "Good Afternoon!" on it. Yeah. It's morning to me you fuck. Six voicemail messages according to my phone. Six. But I was in the mobile-phone black holes of the ImprovOlympic and the Redhead for much of last evening so I don't know who called [no signal = no caller ID] and apparently, none of the calls arrived in the middle. I think they're all going to have to wait until I have at least half a cup of chai.

I'm going to have to wait:
  • to hear from Rosie about the baby name. A new little bundle of joy was born on Thursday, July 10th at 4:44am. He weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces [much smaller than his older brother, John Peter, had been]. As of last week, his tentative name was Nicholas.

  • until tomorrow to find out about an apartment in Logan Square. I hope it works out. I really need to get moving on this.

  • for an update from Jeremy about the reading he had from Imaginary Year in Tucson last night. [If it happened . . . . apparently, one hell of a storm hit at the time of the reading.]
Alas, I shall patiently wait to be better informed. Oooooh. The kettle is screaming. Time for chai.

Saturday, July 12

Quotes for Today's Mood

[Quotes for Today's Mood]

I had been in a mood. I had been searching for a quote. I had been thinking that my mood, my view toward life's complications in general might be expressed by this:
odi et amo
quare id faciam fortasse requiris nescio
sed fieri sentio et excrucior

— Catullus

Then, I went to Daily Zen and saw this:
Don't be surprised,
Don't be startled;
All things will arrange themselves.
Don't cause a disturbance,
Don't exert pressure;
All things will clarify themselves.

— Huai-nan-tzu

I don't know why it made such a difference, but I feel ever so much better.

Thursday, July 10

Bubblegum Ska

[Bubblegum Ska]

Don't ask me how this happens . . . . . We're going to the House of Blues tonight to see Reel Big Fish. Pity I shan't be wearing a tube top while listening to their famous ban the tube top.

Jenn says the last time she went she went directly after work —all suited up— and all the little ones thought she was a promoter. Funny. That's an angle I've never worked.

Wednesday, July 9

WMD?

[WMD?]

Okay okay okay okay okay. I may be a little late on this one, but . . . . if you haven't already:

Go to Google. Type weapons of mass destruction in the box and then click on the I'm feeling lucky button.
Really.
Right now.

How did I miss that? Why didn't anybody tell me?

[Okay okay, it's more fun if you do it yourself, but, if your're feeling lazy, click here.]

Related | 404: I'm a little embarassed by the amount of time I spent watching this one.
Related | WMD: Were we mislead?

Almost Four Hours Later

[Almost Four Hours Later]

Yup. I accomplished precisely nothing. Oh well. Here are some of the sites I visited instead of cleaning and sorting laundry:Alas, it's time for bed.

BBC on Bush's War Justifications

[BBC on Bush's War Justifications]
Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic, and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man.

— Mark Twain


To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.

— George Santayana


Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

— Sir John Harington

Sorry, I 'm too sleepy and weary of all this to formulate a lucid personal comment.

Tuesday, July 8

In honor of Wireless Etiquette Month

[In honor of Wireless Etiquette Month]

I shall ask all of you . . . . have I been rude? I turn my phone off [or at least, turn the ringer off] in restaurants and movies. I usually leave the ringer off when visiting friends, and when I don't I usually tell them I won't and why [I'm expecting my mama to call, Keely's out with a couple of rowdy ex-bouncers, etc.] beforehand. Apparently, though, there are other issues. People are peeved at our talking in the grocery store. But, I'm usually not very loud [no reminder of the drunken call, J] and everyone else is talking there anyway.

So, again, I ask . . . . have I been rude to any of you directly? Have I been any more rude to random passers by with my wireless phone than I would have been without it? Am I rude in general? Do you secretly wish to cause harm to my phone? Are you sure you like me at all? Is the phone just an excuse for your growing disenchantment? Okay, okay, I'll admit it. There are a few cab drivers that have heard a little more than they should have heard. But, how, I ask, how would they remember? I mean this is a big city, and I couldn't have been the most striking fare of any day even after he heard me talking about . . . . okay, maybe a few might have remembered.

[Thanks to Keely for the info, I'm not sure I would have noticed. The whole awareness month thing kinda gets to me.]

Adds to Ads

[Adds to Ads]

I was on the way home this evening after having a cocktail with Keely. I was at the westbound bus shelter just west of Wacker on Madison. The ad on the inside of the shelter was the print version of this Venus Passion Pink Razor ad where four chicks in pink swimsuits are riding in a convertible. I noticed that there were small white stickers on each of the chicks. Here's what they said, clockwise from the top left:
  • Low-potential/high achiever.
  • Takes money for oral sex "Because it's not really sex".
  • Brushes three times a day. Never flosses.
  • Puts cheap liquor into empty Chivas bottles.
I thought it was pretty funny even though I own three Venus razors: the original, the crystal clear and the passion pink.

Guest Movie Review

[Guest Movie Review]
About "The Recruit": Don't waste your $$ renting it or your time watching it. You'd spend both your time and your $$ much more wisely learning how to repel off your balcony. You also wouldn't be NEARLY as bored. Perhaps more injured, but not as bored. Seriously, if it's a choice between that movie or "Senior Citizen Survivor: The Mall" take the Survivor show every time.

— Keely

Acutally, "Senior Citizen Survivor: The Mall" kinda scares me . . . . .

I want a Wiki and I want it now

[I want a Wiki and I want it now!]

Actually, I haven't a clue for what purpose I would have a Wiki. [Some of you must have more interesting possibilities than I.] Perhaps I'm just feeling out of it and underinformed because I’m not currently Wiki-ing.

Or maybe I want to ask random strangers, "Where do you Wiki?" Sometimes, it truly is all about how the words roll off the tongue.

Audio Cuisinart

[Audio Cuisinart]

From this article at the NY Times. [If you don't have your own login, you may use "cocosmusings (AT) comcast.net" password "crystal".]

Looks like it might be fun.

Monday, July 7

Heat Rant

[Heat Rant]

It was so fucking hot today . . . . it wasn't possible take in sufficient liquids to make up for the sweat. And, I was stuck in the apartment [one small over-worked window AC unit just doesn't cut it] all day: from 8am to noon for the cable guy [internet access has been out for almost two weeks] and from 11am to 5pm for the gas meter reader. I had intended it to be a work-from-home day, and even brought sufficient work home to do, but wasn't able to function appropriately. I'll take it as a vacation day. I don't need the guilt I'd have from claiming otherwise.

I was out of smokes this morning, so of course, I left a note for the cable guy saying that I'd be back in 5 minutes. Nope, he didn't show while I was gone. I got stuck in a thunderstorm while I was gone. In a white tank top. Of course, the rain lasted only while I was out and didn't do much to cool things off.

The cable guy got here just before noon, and I was on the porch dismantling a piece of furniture with a rubber mallet. I found this activity therapeutic, even in the heat. I lead him inside, and he tells me he thinks he already knows what's wrong. He then hears that the TV is on, and says, "isn't the cable out too?" I tell him that it hasn't been. So, after testing my modem, he looks through the wiring in the apartment and figures out that there are separate feeds for the TV and internet. Then, he tells me that the reason my access has been out is because one of their auditors must have cut the cable assuming it was an illegal feed. Apparently, because the TV and internet were arranged at different times [there wasn't cable internet access available in this area when I first moved in] the second installer routed an entirely new cable. And, because there were two cables running into my building, and there was only one subscriber, the auditors unceremoniously cut it. According to dude, they don't always note when they've done this. I'm still peeved about that. Now, it all runs from one cable, so I guess I'll lose the TV too the next time the auditors make a round.

I really wanted to take a shower after the rain incident, but I needed to wait for the meter reader. He never showed.

I've taken two showers since. And I think I'll take another one now, perhaps while guzzling some chardonnay over ice out of a plastic cup. Don't laugh until you've tried it.

Sunday, July 6

Watching the Watchers II

[Watching the Watchers]
Annoyed by the prospect of a massive new federal surveillance system, two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are celebrating the Fourth of July with a new Internet service that will let citizens create dossiers on government officials.

The system will start by offering standard background information on politicians, but then go one bold step further, by asking Internet users to submit their own intelligence reports on government officials -- reports that will be published with no effort to verify their accuracy.
Interesting.

Saturday, July 5

Knot Language

[Knot Language]

Incan knots. Fascinating.

Dear God, We Almost Lost One

[Dear God, We Almost Lost One]

I hope they're thorough in determining the cause.

Sadness

[Sadness]

I was feeling rather melancholy anyway. And now, to learn that Barry's gone. Verily, I am blue.

Friday, July 4

Culture

[Culture]

This week's Newsweek features the article XXX-ceptable which touches upon the growing American acceptance of hard-core porn.
Bill Asher [president of Vivid Entertainment Group] makes a living lucrative enough to send his 16-year-old daughter to one of Los Angeles’s most expensive private schools. And he's not at all intimidated by the school’s other parents— lawyers, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, even Andy Garcia. "It’s not seen as an odd thing that I’m a pornographer," he says. "They know what I do, and they talk to me about it, it doesn't faze anyone." When he drops off his daughter at her friends' homes, he says, parents open up to him. He estimates that an amazing one quarter of them have asked him for work. But what stuns him most are the reviews he gets. "They talk about my movies like you’d talk about Julia Roberts," he says. "They say, 'My favorite is Jenna Jameson,' or whatever. A lot of the women will say they’d like to see more plot. It’s nice to hear the advice, but it always feels strange to me to have someone's mother give you her take on our porn movies.
Fascinating. I have never had a problem with porn as a genre of entertainment. Obviously, there's good porn and bad porn just as there's good and bad of every other genre. Hell, I find much of the news more disturbing than porn in general.

I have been asked how I justfy my pro-porn stance with my feminist nature. Quite easily, acutally. And, I am not alone. The last feminist orginization to which I belonged is Feminists for Free Expression.
Feminists for Free Expression (FFE) is a group of diverse feminists working to preserve the individual's right to see, hear and produce materials of her choice without the intervention of the state "for her own good."

FFE believes freedom of expression is especially important for women's rights. While messages reflecting sexism pervade our culture in many forms, sexual and nonsexual, suppression of such material will neither reduce harm to women nor further women's goals.

Censorship traditionally has been used to silence women and stifle feminist social change. It never has reduced violence; it has led to the imprisonment of birth control advocate Margaret Sanger and the suppression of such works as The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, The Well of Loneliness, and the feminist plays of Holy Hughes.

There is no feminist code about which words and images are dangerous or sexist. Genuine feminism encourages individuals to choose for themselves. A free and vigorous marketplace of ideas is the best guarantee of democratic self-government and a feminist future.
Enough for now. I need more coffee.

Good Sign | Bad Sign

[Good Sign | Bad Sign]

It's all in how we interpret the signs, isn't it?

The Geek Test

[The Geek Test]

My score?

33.53057% - Total Geek

Wow. Who woulda thunk it?

[Link from Ray.]

Wednesday, July 2

Coco's word of the day

[Coco's word of the day]

Disingenuous
Dis`in*gen"u*ous | adj.

1. Not noble; unbecoming true honor or dignity; mean; unworthy; as, disingenuous conduct or schemes.

2. Not ingenuous; wanting in noble candor or frankness; not frank or open; uncandid; unworthily or meanly artful.

So disingenuous as not to confess them [faults]. --Pope. -- Dis`in*gen\"u*ous*ly, adv. --T. Warton. -- Dis`in*gen\"u*ous*ness, n. --Macaulay.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Tuesday, July 1

American Girl

[American Girl]

I wholeheartedly agree with some of the 13 things to love about being an American in July's Glamour:
# 2 — The belief that "there's no place like home" and that really great red shoes can get you there.
# 5 — California surfer boys.
# 10 — Pie.
# 13 — No matter where you are, you're never that far from a taco, an egg roll, a sari, or a polka.
I'd like to be wearing some really great new red shoes whilst eating pie and watching surfer boys polka. That sounds like a party.

[Yes, okay, I realize the confession is redundant, but: "I've been reading the trashy girl magazines."]