Friday, December 30, 2005

NM suggested i take this quiz. how boring am I?????


1. Did you have a new year's resolution this year?: Most likely it was to lose weight and to do a better job of keeping the house tidy (which is not the same as clean, btw).
2. Who kissed you at midnight?: I was home in bed, sick with bronchitis.
3. Did it snow where you live?: Not on NYE.
4. Have you ever been to Times Square to watch the ball drop?: No, and you couldn't pay me enough to be there.


1. Who was your valentine?: ah, none this year. Actually, i did get a couple of emailed valentines from listeners.
2. What did your valentine get you?: see above.
3. When you were little, did you buy valentines for your whole class?: Of course, didn't everyone?


1. Are you Irish? No.
2. Did you wear green on St. Patty's Day?: No.
3. What did you do for St. Patty's Day?: I think i was in austin. Where I always have fun.


1. Do you like the rain?: no
2. Did you play an April Fool's joke on anyone this year?: No.
3. Did you get tons of candy on Easter?: Not tons, but I did get some.


1. What's your favorite kind of flower?: lilacs
2. Do you like the spring? Of course, it means an end to winter.
3. Finish the phrase: "April showers bring...": merlefest
4. What would you think of as a spring color?: lilac


1. What year did you graduate from school?: college 81, grad school 82.
2. Did you go on any vacations last June?:I was in australia at the start of the month.

1. What did you do on the 4th of july?: Was in LA, and watched several fireworks displays from the hills of Altadena.
2. Did you go on any vacations during this month?: Yup, to LA. And to Boulder at the end of the month, but that was also work related.

1. Did you do anything special to end off your summer?: Hmm. I was somewhere. Where? I'll get back to you on that one.
2. What was your favorite summer memory of '05?:Lots of small good ones. The hikes in boulder, the ferry in Sydney (but technically, that was before summer).
3. Did you go swimming a lot in the summer?: just a few times.
4. Did you go to the beach a lot?: No beach this year. Though i did hit the beach in Australia in the spring.


1. Did you attend school/college in '05?: no.
2. Who is/was your favorite teacher?: Ever? Mrs. Goldstein, fourth grade. Sam Bass Warner, History, college.
3. Did you like fall better than summer?: no, i like it hot.


1. What was your favorite halloween costume ever?: Probably one of the punk years.
2. What's your favorite candy?: chocolate.
3. What did you dress up like this year?: Nothing.


1. Whose house did you go to for Thanksgiving?: My sisters. And i did 70% of the cooking.
2. Do you like stuffing?: Yes.
3. What are you thankful for?: My family, my health,my friends, and that I am employed, doing something I love. (that's not to say I love everything that is associated with my job.) And that the heat is on Ken Tomlinson.


1. Do you celebrate Christmas?: Yes.
2. Have you ever been kissed under mistletoe?: of course!
3. What did you want this year for christmas?: nothing in particular. And everything.
4. What's the best present you ever got for christmas?: as a tot, I loved the year I got an easel from my great-aunt the painter. (the rest of the family was a bit stunned)
5. Do you like cold weather?: No!
6. How would you rate your year on a scale of 1-10?: 7, better than average, but nothing outrageously wonderful happened.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

only 468 dollars later, I have heat.I guess that large check is just training for what's to come.
Let's see, next week I need to shell out the first half of my thousand dollar crown (for tooth, not head), and then about 275 for new lenses in my sunglasses. a week or so later, the balance of the crown is done. Which means I will have spent a third of my HSA before the 15th of January! Let's hope the first month of the year is the most expensive.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

words to live by today:

chickens don't clap.

Monday, December 26, 2005

who knew?

REKIII's latkes were the hit of Christmas.

i believe a nice time was had by all. no fighting. Most head home today, though 8 of us will be around to enjoy the half-price dinner at Roberto Donna's Galileo tonight. Sure to be a wonderful meal.

Me, I'm off the clean up a bit. The furnace guy shows up tomorrow.

Thank god I've got all day to tidy up!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

i was happy to come home, til i saw it was 45 degrees. In the house.

I managed to get the heat back on after switching off the thermostat, and then turning it back on. Called the emergency number, who told me the system usually kicks off after three failed attempts at something.

But, it's warm and toasty now...and has cycled on and off, so perhaps I can go into the office today, and spend tomorrow waiting for the repairman.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

greetings from sunny (!) and mild london. My brief sojourn is just about over, and it's been a good week. Didn't spend too much money, didn't exhaust myself, and can't really remember what the hell I did.

When I was in Australia last spring, I came to the conclusion that Australians consumed more alcohol per capita than any one else I'd observed. I'm revising that opinon after this trip, returning the Brits to their previous first place ranking. Amazing quantities being consumed....especially last Friday, the traditional XMAS holiday party day/night.

Oh, here's something to remember: a lovely lunch at St Johns. We went to the Spitalfields branch for an early lunch Sunday. Full of swells, it was. Not us, mind you.

Ah well, back to the grind tomorrow. Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

jeez, who turned the heat off out there? it's 16 degrees!

I'm off to london this evening, where it's a balmy (and i almost typed blimey!) 45 degrees. Was to fly via ORD...which allows for a bit longer nap on the o'nite flight, but weather concerns has me back on the dulles nonstop. It's a 747, and cheers to me, I was able to keep my upgrade and get an upper deck seat.

I guess that's to counteract the news I got from my (wonderful) dentist this morning...happy holidays, I'll need a thousand dollars or so from you early next year for a crown. But hey, I shouldn't complain. My teeth are in good shape, thanks to the good dr. (who told me to stay away from stale scones this trip. And pretzels.)

Off to pack. trying to not take the kitchen sink, this time.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

as a sometimes cranky fff (fairly frequent flier) I found this article from the Austin Statesman fantastic. Print off copies, and hand 'em out to all you know.

Travelers rules to live by.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Will you allow me to suggest a gift for the discriminating music fan on your list?

Please consider "To Kate, a benefit for Kate's Sake" It's a collection of 15 songs by top alternative-country and roots-rock performers, recorded to benefit Kate Kirk, a three-year-old girl living in Nashville, Tennessee. Kate, and her six-year-old sister Caroline, both suffer from a rare genetic disease. Tragically, by the time Caroline was diagnosed, it was too late for her, but Kate has been approved for a potentially life saving bone marrow transplant.

Her family needs to raise an estimated 150-thousand dollars to pay for the transplant. Their plight reached Garry Tallent, bass player of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, who came up with the idea of producing the star-studded album with performers including Jeff Black, Steve Earle, Buddy and Julie Miller, Raul Malo, John Prine, Joe Ely and more.

Trust me on this one ---even if you don't recognize those names, you'll find something to like on this CD. And it's for a good cause: all the royalties go to the Children's Organ Transplant Association, and to "For Kate's Sake."

you can purchase this from the fine people at Paste.

You could also check itunes, I'm not sure if it's there.

this is not me.

It's a photo from the Washington Post website. But it gives you a pretty good idea of how things look in DC today.

it's friday, and dc is digging out from beneath some very wet and icy snow. I was up, out, and shoveling by 630, done about an hour later, and in the office about an hour later than that. It's very quiet today, most folks deciding to burn leave and stay home.

But i'm off to london next week, and will find myself with only a week or so of leave left when i return. I like to have more stockpiled, just in case a wonderful trip falls in my lap.

As crazy as dc gets in winter weather, I believe we're doing better than my frozen friends in Austin. The high there yesterday was in the mid-20s, and everything seems to have been shut down.

And, as it is Friday, it means another column from Alex Kapranos in the Guardian.

I'm enjoying these. His writing is quirky, though a bit lofty at times. Another friend can't stand it...she thinks it unseemly (and embarrassing) for a rock star to write a food column in a newspaper. Makes him look soft, not dangerous. A bit twee, perhaps.

In a way she's right...but the reality is many of the musicians i've worked with are quite literate, sometimes eloquent. The songwriters usually turn out to be pretty good storytellers. Most could probably helm a newspaper column without too much trouble. Asking for a weekly column might be a bit much, however.

And I'm not sure they'd be able to get down and dirty with the partridges, or whatever Alex is plucking for dinner in this column.,16525,1663416,00.html

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Everyone knows i heart anthony bourdain, but're breaking my heart here.

Discovery Channel has just started selling Tony's "No Reservations" series. You'd think that'd be cause for celebration. But it's not. Two reasons why:

1. Discovery is selling these by the two-episode disc, at 22 bucks each. Why not a set of the entire first episode for a list price of 35 most TV shows?

2. Runtime is listed as 1 hour 40 minutes. Which means no extras. No outtakes of Tony being absurdly charming as he chokes down more putrified shark. Or dashingly bad-cute as he does just about anything. Boring. Why bother?

I can't decide if they're being cheap, or stupid.

oh christ, it's picture day and somehow I didn't lose 25 pounds overnight. And our photographer can't figure out how to light people, and when I ask for a headshot, i get a shot with head, shoulders, chest and waist.

Would it be too rude for me to ask for the photofiles, and then send them off to Maria, who's a pro, and can photoshop to even out the skin, and maybe a get rid of a circle or two? If this is to be the photo they use for the next eon, I'd like to look human. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's true - - necessity is the mother of invention. I proved that yesterday, when I had a rather large (6) group paying a visit to the studio. I needed to get water from my third floor office to the second floor studio...but couldn't find the bottle I usually use for that task.
I was also feeling too cheap to go to the cafeteria and buy a new one.

SO, i stood there for a few minutes, staring at the seven empty glasses. I really didn't want to go two by two, nor did i want to use up a favor by asking one of my co-workers for help on this one.

I stood in the hall, looked up and down, and suddenly noticed one of those plastic USPS mail buckets. I grabbed it, and walked down the hall, glasses in hand. Filled up those seven glasses at the cooler, placed each inside the bucket, and then wisely took the elevator downstairs. I shared the ride with one guy, who seemed quite amused at the contents of the bin.

The guests were pleased, and able to sing without drying out. And they also laughed when I said "some days I am so smart I just fall in love with myself all over again."

We were joined in the studio by a documentary filmmaker. I studiously ignored him. Nice chap, exactly what i'd expect of a friend of Kissy's.

oh, did i tell you it snowed yesterday? Perfect timing, as I had to race out to drop the car off for service. I get nervous whisking snow off the convertible top, so I'm pleased I had a coupe to deal with this morning.

Photos to follow. If i can figure out the photo software that came with the new camera.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I was just looking at my itunes. Weird.

who's there? Three of America's best AND least known songwriters are there in spades: Tom Russell, Loudon Wainwright III and Butch Hancock. A lot of Joe Ely, too. Oh, and Jon Dee Graham. And Alejandro Escovedo. Dave Alvin and Darrell Scott also show up multiple times. James McMurtry, too. Let's see, you could say it's mainly full of wonderful songwriters with some connection to Texas who may be losing their hair. (I think Darrell is the only one both in total control of his follicles, and without a Texas connection)

And I seem really go for guys named John. They're all there: hiatt, prine, Jon Dee Graham, and Cash --with and with out June. John Starling. Solo, and with the Seldom Scene. Fantastic when he was singing with John Duffey. And I can't leave out John Cowen---on his own, or with New Grass Revival, and even the Skykings. And then there's also John McEuen, and John Fogerty.

I'm a multi-generationalist when it comes to the Wainwright clan---Loudon (my second favorite guest of all time...third visit was the best), Sloan, Martha and Rufus are all there.

And both Tim and Mollie O'Brien show up. As a brother-sister duo, solo artists, and Tim with Hot Rize, of course.

But just when you think you've figured me out: I turn out to be a Franz Ferdinand completist.

I'm so amused!

i have been catching up on TV, thanks to all the wonderful dvd's that are available...and all the wondeful airplane trips that give me the time to watch. I've been viewing the first season "arrested development" in order, as opposed to catching an episode while in austin, and another a month or two later in Santa fe. Beside allowing me the correct the timeline, it's letting me truly enjoy the fabulous-ness that is Liza Minnelli as Lucille 2.

She's wonderful---in teeny, tiny little doses.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

greetings from the cheery admiral's club at IAD. I am on my way to Chicago, and then back again this afternoon - - - all a part of my quest to retain premex status on UAL for 2006. My trip to London on the 14th will cap it, and then I can stay home the rest of the year. (what rest? two weeks?)

Of course, ORD is supposed to be affected by snow this afternoon. That's what I get for gambling and betting on comfort (767), rather than taking a smaller hop somewhere else.

This status thing irks me, though not enough to quit playing the game. In fact, I'm already brooding about the fact that my aa status will slip to gold by the time i go to SXSW in March...which means I'll likely be flying aa in coach during the busiest time of year in and out of texas. Spring breakers flood the return flights, making it very, um, cozy. I can "challenge" my way back to Plat...but not until I drop to Gold at the end of Feb. Which doesn't really give me much time before my mid-march trip. Of course I can use my march trip to jump start that challenge...

Stop it. How dull. who cares about ff status, except those about to lose it, or gain it?
I'm off, full back pack on shoulder. I've got the computer (to watch the rest of arrested development season 1), a book (the new joyce carol oates), the Post, People, and the blanket I'm knitting for debbie the poodle. (don't tell, it's a secret)

By the way, Debbie is not MY dog.

Friday, December 02, 2005

a few days ago, I wrote that perhaps I should become a meteorologist. I meant psychic.

why? Because I will be proven right in predicting that the productivity of women aged 40-65 will drop precipitously this afternoon between 3 and 4 pm. You know, the ones who were in college and grad school, or home with small children in 1981 or so.


Rick Springfield is returning to General hospital this afternoon. Remember, the soap had an audience of about 11 million during the years that Dr Noah Drake reigned. They (we've?) all grown up now, but I would bet that many will be curious enough to tune in, or TiVo, just to see how he looks.

And I'm not the only one thinking along these lines---the New York Times is, too.

Edited to say: i will not be among those flicking on the TV this afternoon. I never bothered to hook up the one in my office. I'm sure one of my old palies will come out of the woodwork to tell all.

c'mon, give me some penguin photo love. Are they not the cutest? Maybe you'll like the solo shot from the previous trip better.

or this photo of the tune up for an after dinner jam. 10 points to anyone who can identify a fiddler.

"If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

I think that was the motto of my j-school. Perhaps my j-grad-school, not my undergrad.

I used the phrase in conversation yesterday, when I was talking with a co-worker about a story.

So it was kind of eerie to read that, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune today, "It's -30- for New City News Service, which in journalism parlance means the end of the story."

The same article states "City News was a respected training ground for many of Chicago journalism's best-known bylines, including columnists Mike Royko and Michael Sneed, and for novelist Kurt Vonnegut. Countless other workaday journalists learned their craft abiding by the news service's legendary mantra of skepticism: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

City News was a rarity, a news co-op, founded in 1890 by the five daily papers then publishing in Chicago. But over the years, all but the Trib and Sun Times shut down...and then the Sun Times pulled out, leaving this co-op a mon-op (Well, not exactly, but it sounds good when you say it).

Local broadcasters will feel the pinch, it looks like the vaunted Day Book will no longer be produced, and producers will have to find their own events to cover.

-30- (haven't used that in years, but it just feels right)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

and since you've's a photo. taken with my old camera, a nikon 5700. From my most recent to trip to australia.

Please don't steal my adorable fairy penguins. Get in touch, and I'll share.

hmm. an alleged reader says they'd rather hear what I'm whining about, rather than all the things i find cute and entertaining. (alex excepted, I think)

Really? My cranky thoughts? Today they're revolving around why my skin is breaking out. Maybe a result of my facial?

and the fact that the huge 767 i'm flying to chicago on saturday mornings seems to have not one business seat left for moi. Usually i wouldn't consider upgrading a stupid 600 mile flight, but it is a 767, and i can plug in the computer and watch the rest of arrested development. Or "japanese story," if i'm feeling a bit more intellectual.

Of course, I should just bring along the blankie i'm knitting for debbie the poodle. Oops, don't tell debbie, it's a surprise.

oh, goodness gracious. Happy chrismahanukwanzakah to you.

I heart richard branson. I met him once, you know. At SXSW, right before Virgin records hit the US. What a smart, charming, funny guy. Lovely to talk with.

This ad campaign almost makes me want to buy one of his phones.

One of the ads features several “holiday minorities” (Hindu Santa from the website, Buddhist Cowboy, and Jews) conducting a telethon; also working the phones is the somewhat frightening Gay Elf.

I have a feeling these ads will bring more laughter overseas, than in the US. We are so easily offended.