March 31, 2006

April 1: Folk Music Run Amok

If you happen to be looking for something to do on April 1, it seems to be a night of many folk musicians.

David Mallett
is at the Sounding Board

Tracy Grammer is at Roaring Brook Nature Center

The Nields are at the Iron Horse

Cherish the Ladies is at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center

So, if you are the sort of person with a lot of free Saturday nights ......go see some good music! Tell 'em Judy sent ya!

March 30, 2006

I'm a mom.....

MYA is staying over. I feel very maternal. Off to make hot cocoa and cookies....

March 29, 2006

Food Post


The Wendy's restaurant on Rte 15 / Berlin Turnpike in Newington never fails to impress me with how freaking fast the drive-thru is. Tonight's dinner (spinach and chicken salad) was fast-food cause I did not have time to eat before exercising.



Also, I picked up some Snicker-Doodles at the store. Yum. Old fashioned warm and fuzzies. Stauffer's also has an animal cracker identifer on their website, in case you get into some argument with your life partner about something as trivial as animal crackers. Not that anything like that ever happens around here.....

Spring is in the Air

I let the dogs out this morning and definitely got a whiff of spring. A mild morning. Birds twittering and chirping. Something is afoot. Hopefully we can open up the house soon - its kind of stuffy and closed in.....

No significant work on the "divide-and-conquer" stuff although I'll be getting over to the office nice and early. Time to roll up my sleeves and kick some productivity butt....

My regret for the week: Diane Dimassa was speaking down at Yale last night and I woulda shoulda coulda gone done to see her - but it was at 5 pm, and Zippy had stuff going on, and life has just been a bit too busy. But I really would have liked to have met her and heard her speak.

March 28, 2006

Stuck Stuck Stuck Stuck Stuck Stuck

I have big projects looming. They are mostly started and stalled, and I cannot seem to get them restarted. They include:

* My 2005 taxes (this is mostly just a matter of time, everything is assembled, and I am kind of putting them off until after I squeek out the last billable projects for March and get my end of the month billing done)

* A small MySQL database for a web client / ticketing system. Upgrading the existing system. We sort of had April 1st as a target to start ticket sales.....and its been months since I looked at this. Gulp. Probably not too difficult but its new technology for me....so will take some time to plod through....

* A revision to a large, macro laden Excel spreadsheet that reads and graphs power monitor data. I've got a bunch of the key pieces written, need to clean up one more COPY / PASTE issue (which I think I figured out today) and then sew it all together and clean it up and test it.

* Adding a bunch of images and cleaning up another clients webiste (the images are sitting in my Eudora attach folder like a huge pile of stones, waiting to be moved)

* Put together ideas for a friend's website (long delayed)

Time for my secret weapon - divide and conquer. As I write this I am envisioning a bunch of sub-tasks, if I can break these down a bit, maybe they will be more manageable.

Spring, Fruit, Consumerism

Lot of positive energy in the air. The weather has warmed and this week it truly feels like spring. Sweatshirt / fleece weather. Zippy and I went for an anniversary walk at the reservoir on Sunday and while the trees had not yet budded, I suspect they will be by the end of this week.

Zippy also bought a fresh pineapple over the weekend which we have been munching on. Yum!

Yesterday brought a bit of consumerism - I snuck out a bit early for lunch and ended up dropping some birthday money at Sports Authority (new Ryka's, on sale), Office Max (store closing, I got Zippy an external CD-R/W, and a wireless mouse/pointer for presentations), and Target (personal care stuff)

I think I am gonna try to sneak over to Home Depot and buy some of those clamp on spikes to aerate the lawn, and some grass seed - the back yard is a barren dirtscape....

March 27, 2006

The World of Apu

A beautiful film from India, circa 1959. It's the last part of the "Apu Trilogy" (along with Song of the Road and Unvanquished), but stood alone, and was completely gorgeous as art / cinematography (black and white) as well as its subject - India and the actors.

Hard to say much and not sound like a pretentious film snob, but we really loved it. Sadly, Netflix only has this 1/3 of the triology available; but hopefully the others will be available soon.

Directed by Satyajit Ray, and highly recommended!

March 26, 2006

Drop Your Shoulders

I attended a workshop on myth and masks at the conference by a wonderful woman who also happens to be a yoga instructor. She was leading us (being mostly kids, and two adults) through some stretching activities to start (yoga light) and must have figured I practiced, cause at one point I heard a distinct "drop your shoulders" aside amongst all the youth wrangling, which is a pretty typical thing for me to hear, but it was funny to hear it there.

I kind of wish I had people in my life to whisper things of that nature to me all the time. I had some rough situations this weekend where I was pretty much shooting from the hip, and a few kind words of guidance whispered in an ear would have been appreciated! Perhaps I just need to internalize the voice of a yoga instructor - so that I am able to tell myself to drop my shoulders, or provide other useful advice on an as needed basis!

Catching My Breath.....

Been a long weekend so far. Friday and Saturday were the True Colors Conference - I played chauffer / mom for MYA on Friday, and her friends as well on Saturday. Friday I spend time with my mom, who came down to do a workshop with me (which went well). Very rewarding, but long days. Zippy and I went to the presenters dinner on Friday night which by good fortune placed us at the table with Robyn Ochs who remains one of my favorite people on the planet.

My "find" of the weekend was Romaine Patterson - props to Krystal for the infectious enthusiam which prompted me to go to her workshop. Romaine is....unique - a 21 year old kid when thrust into the media spotlight through her friendship with Matthew Shephard, an incredibly brilliant mind (she conceived and led the Angel Action to combat Fred Phelps), and a real person. She's working for Sirius Radio now, doing a sort of lesbian shock-jock thing (the Derek & Romaine show)

She's also a hottie. Just saying. I bought her book The Whole World Was Watching and got it signed. Did I mention the hot part?

Last night, Zippy and I went to a chanting circle - Zippy has been interested in throat singing, and our host is reknowned as a student of the art and a teacher of same. It was very cool and interesting (and had some connections to my yoga, both in terms of energy and in terms of people). Not sure we are up to being regulars (Zippy has issues in terms of stamina; there was close to three hours of solid chanting, and although I enjoyed it, it's not my main thing) - but it was so wonderful to meet these folks and be welcomed into their space.

I'm sitting here on Sunday morning just trying to catch my breath and get back into my life. I have not jazzercised since last Monday, nor done formal yoga since Wednesday (I did work through some postures on my own yesterday morning). Probably gonna brave the hot class this morning, although it will probably wipe me out. I have a pile of work in my "IN BOX" from taking off Friday, so the week ahead should zoom by, and April is looming large at the end of the week!

March 25, 2006

True Colors Conference

Just knee deep in that so I've not been blogging much.

March 23, 2006

Drum Circle

Zippy and a friend are holding an impromptu drum circle at the moment.

They were supposed to go to a nascent drumming thing at the local community center but I guess they both have been burned too often by its lack of organization and leadership, and got wind that it was gonna be adrift this evening, so they fired up a drum circle DVD (who knew there were such things?) and are drumming along. Zippy has her balaphon and our friend brought along some drums.

While on some level its quite soothing, I kind of need an Advil. I was playing along for a while (and playing the balaphon is pretty fun). The whole "Drum Circle on DVD" thing is amusing - they have a camera mounted in the center of the circle that just rotates, so you get to see all the players - its like having a personal musical posse.... sadly, we degenerated into discussing the hotness, dateability, and clothing choices of the drummers and making up nasty little pet names for them.

So much bad karma, store up we are.

March 22, 2006

Ned Lamont

I just donated $50 to the Ned Lamont campaign. Was listening to Bruce & Colin and a woman called in who said something like "I'm volunteering for my first political campaign ever" and I feel pretty much the same (although I've nibbled around the edges of the various Curry campaigns over the years).

I need to call them back to volunteer - but I keep misplacing the paper with the number and contact, and I will not be able to do much until after the True Colors conference this Friday / Saturday. Tomorrow for sure....

Edit: Just heard Senator Lieberman on Bruce and Colin / WTIC. Argh! I am not sure if I am more offended at his pedantic "you're smarter than that....." leveled at Colin or his thinly veiled threat that without his seniority and various positions of power, CT's share of the pork-pie would suffer. Vote for me or we'll shoot your funding....

Whatever the hell he wanted to do with this media appearance, it was not too effective. I came home and called Rose with Ned Lamont's campaign. I'm on the bus....

And my prediction: Lamont unseats Lieberman for the Democratic nomination. And Lieberman jumps ship (as opposed to jumping the shark) and runs as a Republican.....

#63 - Light Golden Brown



Dye job this morning. Came out pretty well - sort of a plain vanilla light brown, but from experience, as I get some springtime sun, some light / red highlights will kick in.

Recalibrate your fantasies.

Gawker Stalker

This site is a bad thing.

Being friends with a couple people on the "fringes of celebrity" I know how precious their anonymity and freedom to move through the world is. I am always on guard about protecting their privacy - whether its in person, protecting email and phone numbers, disclosing information, or simply giving them space. I am forever worried about whack-jobs and nut-cases. And it seems like it might be just one encounter or bad experience that pushes them off into reclusiveness and misanthropy.

So, Gawker Stalker, from that perspective - bad, very bad.

On the other hand, I am amused to consider how my life might be partitioned into 2 or 3 sentence sightings.

1. Whole Donuts in Newington. She really does not need a cherry donut. Seems to be a regular, the woman at the counter calls her Judy. She likes her coffee with milk and one Sweet and Low.

2. Shield Street post office. I see her there a lot, picking up her mail around 11 am. She never seems to get much, but once in a while she must get money cause she is smiling as she leaves.

3. I was next to her at a stoplight on the Berlin Turnpike - she was driving that maroon Saturn. She had show tunes cranked up and was singing along. Think it was Wicked.... when the light turned green she left me in the dust. What's the hurry. b*tch?

Also, I think the most prevalent phrase in any Jude sightings would be the words "She looked like crap". Just saying.

March 21, 2006

Two of Us

A rare evening where Zippy and I are home; we had a nic edinner (tofu stir fry) and then ran errands (Sears Outlet to look at stoves, CVS for a passport photo for Zippy, gas) and now home. Just hanging out. I was starting to do some tax stuff but got kerfuffled due to different versions of my master expense spreadsheet and punted for the evening.

Bout it - pretty quiet. Time to go play bouzouki.....

Handstands Again

A follow-up to my handstands post - I almost got up into crow on Sunday - was not really trying, it just rolled around in a session and I put my hands and feet in the right spots to work towards it and the next thing you know my feet were almost off the ground. Clearly, my body is telling me its time.....

Am I To Be a Restaurant Critic, Then?

I use Sitemeter on this blog, which means I can access some information about who is visiting, when, and how they got here (all of which is turned over to Homeland Security, thank you very much). Actually, its pretty boring stuff; a handful of regular visitors, some newbies surfing in from the Blogger "Next Blog" function, and an occasional search engine link.

Strangely, the most frequent search is a particular restaurant that we visited back in mid-February. I can imagine the owners of said place asking new patrons "so how did you find us?" and after the 5th time someone mentions my blog (it was a quickie post - complementary but not exhaustive, and certainly not a comprehensive review) getting kind of interested in blogging as a marketing technique. Sheesh. Guerilla Marketers R Us.

Subject to the title of this post, I *have* considered some sort of restaurant critic thing. Not that I have any qualifications other than liking to eat and liking to write, but I think there is room for a sort of "on the down low" food schmooze for we of the slightly less affluent but nonetheless gastronomically adventuruous sorts. Of course, it would take about 12 minutes for a physical description of the Zipster and I to hit the restaurant grapevine at which point we'd get fawning overattentiveness and free appetizers, which would piss us both off. Nah.

March 20, 2006

Equinox!

For those who are attuned to the planet and the solar system and the seasons - today is a special day. Though the temperature still chills and the wind still blows and we are always at risk for a late season snowstorm, there can be no doubt - we survived another winter.

A quick shout-out to Don and Stan and Tim, who were the core of a band named Equinox that I was privileged to play bass with a few times in another life, although surely not during its heyday.

March 19, 2006

Securing your own oxygen mask before assisting others

If you've been on as many airplanes as I have, these words are lodged in your subconscious. We hear them over and over. Never had the opportunity to put them into use, mind you, and thankfully - but they are out there, and in here.

So I was jolted with the realization of how much I concur to hear them used in an essay that touched on taking care of oneself. For too many years I was trying to save the world while my own life spiraled into chaos and woundedness. And today, I watch others lashing out at the powers that be, and struggling to save everyone on the plane as they themselves gasp for breath.

It took me a long time to learn this, but I am glad I did.

Edit: And this morning (3/20) on WAMC (quite possibly the roundtable) during an interview with a woman named Judith Lederman, who wrote a book about dealing with a child with bipolar disorder, she used the same "...secure your own oxygen mask..." analogy (in terms of parents making sure to take care of themselves). Weird.

Spirit Willing, Flesh Weak

Neither of us dressed for COLD and it is COLD today in downtown Hartford - a heck of a lot colder downtown than here in the SW corner. We went to the peace rally, hung out for a while reading the names and saying hi to people, but we really were not up to a bunch of speeches in the wind and cold before the march.

I was the least appropriately dressed but am in better shape so could have braved it, but Zippy (who had both layers and coats and hats and stuff) was also frozen, so we departed as it was getting started.

Nice to be there if only for a bit, wish we had planned better.

March 18, 2006

When I went off to change the world....

"I went to join the revolution but I couldn't find a parking place...."
David Massengill, Don Quixote's Lullaby (Coming Up for Air)

In honor of the anti-war protests in New Haven (today) and Hartford (tomorrow) - I plan to be at the Hartford one, 2 pm, Old State House.

Sadly, the time to prevent this has long past. The damage has been done, in November of 2000, in September of 2001, in March of 2003, and again in November of 2004.

Time to kick out the jams.

I'm Going to Hades, Part Deux

The McPassion

Stick around to the end credits, just cause its a great riffing air guitar song....

Alash in Ridgefield

We took the long drive down to Ridgefield last night to see Alash at the Enchanted Garden Conservatory of the Arts. Hey - I just found an Alash myspace - I think people are so charmed by this group that the geeks in the crowd independently set up these websites and resources for the group. Go to either to get some sounds.....

First off, Alash was incredible. The leader, Kongar-ool Ondar, is a well known and established artist (featured in the film Genghis Blues) who heads up this enselmble and seems to have taken these four young (20's) under his wing - teaching them the magic. It's all very Karate Kid except with Tuvan throat singing. Add in a Fulbright Scholar, living in Tuva, american born translator (Sean) who was charming, cute, cut a dashing figure in his own Tuvan garb, and is himself learning to throat sing (he joined in for the encore) and it was a delightful evening.

And while Alash is wonderfully competant and (I assume) authentic, part of their charm is surely the energy, humor and grace with which they comport themselves. They are delighted to be touring and playing their music, and their delight is infectious.

Broadcast live on WPKN - Cliff Furnald was running around, I semi-recognized him from years ago when I was a WPKN listener and went to more folkie things in the New Haven / Bridgeport area.

An interesting sidelight, a friend from my production work world is an arts community liasons (community theater, events planning) for the Connecticut Folklife Project which brought Alash to this space and I really should look him up and say hello via email. Our paths have not crossed at work in over a year.....

March 17, 2006

A Quick Apology

...to the world and the economy cause I am getting nothing done today....

Yoga, a dentist appointment, music shop, lunch, some light grocery shopping, home, drug store, work, then out to Manchester for an errand, then Jiffy Lube, then back home. Yesterday I got a hair cut.

I posted a PDF for a brochure, moved all the RTF and PDF documents into a directory and updated links, and wrote a little code. But other than that - not much getting done today. I think I'll be able to sneak over to the office on Saturday - and play catch up then.....

March 16, 2006

Too Busy to Post (much)

Just a lot going on. A tuesday meeting with clients left me with a fairly long and diverse to-do list. Lots of little graphics tasks and reformatting and re-coding and the like. A couple of bigger projects to be done by the end of the month, but this week, mostly lots of little chunks.

On the bouzouki front, I've figured out the fingerings, and have managed to play all the way through, Richard Shindell's Are You Happy Now. Fortunately the Zipster likes this song cause I've been banging through it a few times a day. Really, its similar to the guitar in a lot of ways. I like the sound. I need to tweak the neck a bit (strings are a wee bit high) and play around, but overall, I'm really happy with it.

Finally, with the purchase of a 30 Class Card down at Ye Olde Yoga Shoppe, I am officially and unabashedly addicted.

March 15, 2006

Robins and Daffodils

It's springtime in Connecticut. This afternoon, as I was closing the office curtains, I looked at on the front lawn of the building to find 10 fat robins (yes, I counted). The signs are everywhere. The daffodils are pushing up as well. And though today was windy, blustery, and snowy - well, spring's a coming.

In other news, I returned to the office from jaunts to Storrs and Manchester to find my bouzouki had arrived. Complications ensued sicne the bridge was not installed (I wedged it into the right spot, figuring out the right placement via harmonics, and how the heck did I remember / figure out that?) and I've been plucking away at G'ish chords: G / C / D / Em / Bm / A / F. I need to dig out some old songbooks to give me something to mess around with. My fingers are black from the strings, I think I'll need to keep my left hand nails short - I fear my callouses are long gone, but what the heck. It's fun.

I have an instructional DVD en route (from Ireland, no doubt) but I suspect I will figure out a lot of it on my own. That's the fun part....

Mondo To Do

Drove down to Essex yesterday to meet with a client. Nice to have that sort of sit around the table strategizing kind of thing. Being self employed I sometimes feel as if I am working in a bubble at times, so the human contact is nice. I walked away with a to do list and a desktop full of gorgeous aerial shots of a Connecticut tourism mainstay. In any case I got to dress up and play professional, and use the word "effort" as a verb.

After the meeting, I traveled up to Middletown for lunch at O'Rourke's. Being so near to St. Patty's day, I had the Irish Stew - and when my lunch companion (who admittedly, bought my lunch) snarfed my bread, it was noticed and another piece was brought with the admonition "You'll need this for the stew, but guard it this time". Yummy food. We are overdue for an O'Rourke's breakfast, the next time Zippy gets one of those state-employee holidays that nobody else gets I think we are gonna make a quick trip down Rt. 9 for some breakfasty goodness. I was going to pick up a loaf of O'Rourke's bread for home, but Zippy needs the nutritional info (carb counting) and barring that I'd end up eating most of it, which would *not* bode well for weight loss.

Today is gonna be a busy one - work this morning, drive out to UConn for a lunch lecture, and hustle back to greater Hartford for a 2 pm meeting at a high school. I'm 45, I guess I can walk into a high school without experiencing PTSD flashbacks related to either nuns or bullies.

My bouzouki has still not shown up; I am expecting it today. We'll see.

Oh, and I got email this morning from the chef / owner / manager of Hot Basil thanking me for my review. Heh, glad to help. The power of the blogosphere, I guess. Nice of them to notice, I hope things are going well.

March 14, 2006

Handstands

I was doing handstands in my dreams last night.

Not sure what this is appropo of; I exercised last night and my biceps / triceps were a little achey. Maybe muscle memory triggered the dream. There was also something about visiting my old college apartment, and George Clooney (I think he was gay and he and his lover were sharing a couple of yoplait yogurts with me around a swimming pool - don't ask me)

But the handstands were interesting. They were very conscious and I was aware that this was something I could not do in the waking world, so I was really surprised and happy to be able to do them in the dream. I feel like my body is telling me I want to do these. Interesting.

March 13, 2006

If You are on the Left Coast.....


Jane Says:

You're invited to an evening of acoustic music provided by me and my esteemed songwriter buds, as well as Special Guest Bruce White.
We'll each be doing a 3-song set of original songs this Sunday, March 19th at Boulevard Music! Hope you can make it ...


Mark Islam plays at 8:05 pm
Jane Bolduc plays at 9:05 pm
Bryan Tysinger plays at 9:20 pm
Eliot Popkin plays at 9:35 pm

Tuvan Throat Singing

Enough of this throat singing already, If you wanna sing two notes at once
Why don't you do like everyone else
Get a multi-track machine, Lay 'em down separately
Make a little harmony
Maybe a bass track, Like one from the Rolling Stones
None of this long lost art, This archaic stuff
Go out and buy something

Dan Bern / Go To Sleep

The Zipster has gotten obsessed with Tuvan throat singing. She and friends went down to see Alash at Wesleyan last week. She's going to a singing workshop in Glastonbury in a few weeks. And now we're going to see Alash in Ridgefield next Friday.

It's not a new obsession, just a back burner / slow burn kind of thing that has recently flared up. I recall we went to see a Tuvan group doing music to a silent Russian film at Real Art Ways a few years back. I'm sort of interested in it technically and politically, but I'll probably be slightly less entranced than Zippy and our friend. But its all the way down in Ridgefield so I get to drive.

The Station Agent

Quiet a lovely film really. Just a slice of life, with not a lot of serious plot or happily ever after, but a small slice of life and watching things change and evolve without being force fed plot or meaning.

I think we'll keep it around a bit - its the kind of movie I might watch again cause there were lots of little symbolic things that I caught and I bet there are more, and trains figure prominantly in it, so we figure one of our friends with trains on teh brain might want to see it.

March 12, 2006

Best Birthday Ever

Hard to explain. I'm normally not a birthday kinda girl (or rather, a birthday kind of woman, more appropo for someone of my advanced years). The whole cultural birthday party thing is not my speed.

But this year was pretty great. It involved yoga (2x) and jazzercise (1x) and chanting and a great concert and warm weather. There were several good meals. There was leisurely hanging around the house with Zippy. There was a wonderful trip to visit family. Some very funny cards. And coming Monday or Tuesday, the excitement of a new stringed instrument, the first new musical blood in my life in, oh, 20 years. Scary, huh?

Back to work Monday. I am doing some laundry tonight, watching The Station Agent via Netflix.

Ferron Redux

Cross-posted from a message board and violating the cardinal blog rule. So be it, rules are meant to be broken now and then.....

Zippy and I went to see Ferron last night. I know this has all sorts of transphobic, MWMF, Camp Trans, womyn-born-womyn, ickiness surrounding it. So be it, I am an identity traitor. I've loved Ferron's music, covered her songs, resonated long before I dealt with the trans and heard about the politics. I've only heard her at a large folk fest (and I hung out at the campsite and listened from afar that particular night) so I was looking forward to a small space concert.

First off, the place (a small nature center concert series, maybe 150 people) was crawling with queer women. Old ones. Butches and femmes. Zippy commented that it was refreshing to be in that sort of crowd; she finds herself pretty marginalized and ignored by the young'uns. We just do not seem to stumble upon the middle aged lesbian community locally - perhaps because we do not drink, are not in active recovery, do not gambol on the softball field, and do not play setback.

It was an odd space for me. I had a few looks and I was not sure if they were licentious ones or "what the hell is he doing here" ones or curious trying to figure me out ones. Zippy and I were laughing, I think she relished the idea of confronting the lookers about "checking out my girlfriend", not having gotten into a butch fight in a long time. Just an interesting experience. I am so rarely noticed to the point of being "checked out" for whatever reason.

Ferron was awesome, funny in between songs, in good voice and skill level with her beautiful music and words. Zippy and I mostly held hands and cuddled (cause it was the kind of space where PDA's between women were OK) and sang all the old familiar songs.

And finally, she closed the show with Testimony, which includes the refrain:
But by my life be I spirit
And by my heart be I woman
And by my eyes be I open
And by my hands be I whole

She prefaced it with a little talk, along these lines: Back in the old days, if there were men in the room, the women would not let them sing this song. I've watched from the stage as women would glare or even say something; at times I've worried that there might be a fight. But its a funny thing, the word women - cause you have women in there, but you also have men in there. So if you are a man, and you want to sing this for your mother or daughter or wife or sister or your secret closeted lover, or your own inner wild woman, well go right ahead.

Ferron seems to be at a very good place right now. She talked about "hanging up her spurs" and going to work with adolescents. She is playing to small intimate (albeit still devoted) crowds and thinking back somewhat wistfully on a career that saw her playing large auditoriums. She has a new CD out called Turning into Beautiful and is touring, maybe for the last or next to last time.

I am glad I got to see her.

March 11, 2006

All Quiet

Nobody is updating blogs and stuff. DO IT NOW. I need to be entertained and amused by your lives.

Second: Ferron at Roaring Brook. So many lesbians; was really fun - wish we could figure out how to tap into that circle - not even sure that circle exists. Ferron was wonderful - I feel blessed to have gotten the chance to see her before she hangs up her spurs.....

Also Gil and Kate sitting behind us (not lesbians, pretty sure) but nice to see them nonetheless.

Missing: One Buddha Boy

Nepali police began hunting on Saturday for a teenaged boy who some people believe is an reincarnation of Buddha after he disappeared from the site where he had been meditating for almost 10 months.

Theory 1: He became enlightened and transmuted to a different plain of existence.

Theory 2: He had an existential crisis and said "fuck it" and is playing in a grunge band in Kathmandu.

Theory 3: He died. Hell, no food and water since May.

Theory 4: Michael Jackson traded for him in exchange for George Harrison's portion of the Beatle's catalog.

Theory 5: There was no Buddha Boy. He was a holographic projection designed by the Nepal Visitors Bureau to drum up tourism.

A Real Weekend

Not a ton on the schedule. Pretty low key. Unseasonably warm weather. No complaints.

I'm waiting for the Zipster to come home - pork chops on the grill (3 flava's: pepper crusted, cajun, and a milder breadcrumbs and spices. Stir fry all set to go, and some leftover rice being warmed. A nice dinner before we head out to see ::drum roll: Ferron!

Kirtan last night was interesting - I'm channeling birth at the moment. My own birthday of course, plus spring (rebirth), plus news that of a teenage pregnancy twice removed - and contemplating what will happen with that. I'm pro-choice, but seriously would love to see any individual pregnancy carried to term if possible. Life is life. So I'm passing along info on options in terms of adoption. Hell, I fantasize about bringing the young woman into the house, supporting her through her pregnancy, and adopting the kid myself. Freaking getting all maternal and save the worldish.

March 10, 2006

Kirtan....

Just saying....

This Week Screamed By....

Not 100% sure why. I had a doctors appointment. I had lunch with a client. I had yoga. Seemed like every workday had 2-3 hours chewed out of it, and I had a ton of stuff on the to-do list. Friday came too fast.

Next week looks similar - I have a client meeting in Essex, a lunch lecture at U-Conn, a meeting with MYA's school, a couple of appointments (including the much feared hygienist, I have been flossing and brushing and rinsing extra diligently for the past few weeks to ensure I do not get yelled at).

My one client has started churning more reports. I have a proposal out that may involve 4-6 trips down to greater NYC and might catch this coming week. I need to catch up on some long term projects. I need to get my taxes done.

I need a clone. Or a personal assistant. Or a time machine that lets me cram 36 hours into each day.

Edit: Oh, right. I was in NYC on Tuesday for work, left the house at 6 am and got back past midnight. Duh. That killed one day completely and I really did not hit the office til Wednesday afternoon. Duh.

Happy Birthday to Me

Just saying. It's not a BIG one. It's a semi-big-one.

I usually do not celebrate hugely - today will be work, then yoga, then more work, then dinner, and finally kirtan (which is kind of great, on my birthday and all) but for the most part its a normal Friday. Zippy and I will cross paths, but she is headed to a celtic concert tonight.

I did however, purchase (presently en route) a bouzouki which I have been talking about on and off. My family wanted to get me something, so they can contribute if they want.... now to dig up my tuner and figure out what tuning I want and maybe find some books or online resources to help me learn the basics. Between my guitar chops and my semi-demi-hemi-musical education, I can probably get to a reasonable level fairly quickly.

In Praise of Templates

Somewhere in the great database of inappropriately shared personal information, I've been targeted as a person to whom to send tool catalogs. Yesterday, I got a personal invitation from the Handyman Club of America to be a "tool tester" (drills and stuff) in some sort of "tool of the month" scam. Humor (considering my competence or lack there-of in the home repair and renovation department). However, in the envelope was a small plastic drill gauge - and that got me thinking about templates.


I was introduced to templates as a kid - my father was a computer geek in the days of UNIVAC and IBM and DEC, when computers were ensconced in special rooms attended to by high priests and acolytes. We'd go in to work with Dad on weekends. Entertainment would be provided by (a) making punch cards, (b) playing with large rubber bands, or (c) drawing stuff with data-processing symbol templates.

As a geekette myself these days, I have some templates. Not that I use them all that much - I do sketches and quick schematics on the computer - not sure when the last time I drew something out by hand was (unless it some brilliant idea or brainstorm on a napkin, in a restaurant or bar, in which case neatness is not graded).

Anyway, I just like templates. There are all sorts of types - plumbing, math, music, architecture. Lots of computer / electronics. I need to get some more. Here's some ideas:

Lot's of standard choices
Design Your Own - Oh, I am having wicked thoughts....
More choices

It would be kind of fun to do an "art for non-artists" event with lots of templates so people without actual talent (i.e. - me) could create with 'em. It would also be kind of fun to create this huge faux art project based on templates - I am mentally writing up the artist's statemen in my head even as I consider this. Heh.

March 09, 2006

Overheard in New York

....thought yoga was supposed to cure that shit. Overheard in New York.

Impressed? Scared? Amused?

Record Set for Hottest Temperature on Earth: 3.6 Billion Degrees in Lab

Impressed: This is hotter than the interior of our Sun, which is about 15 million degrees Kelvin, and also hotter than any previous temperature ever achieved on Earth...

Scared: They don't know how they did it. One wonders if Albuquerque might one day just turn into a molten slab of fused glass. Oops. Our bad.

Amused: The feat was accomplished in the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. I love the name: Z Machine - it sounds liek something out of a Warner Brothers cartoon or a James Bond villian's arsenal. One wonders if they got the Acme Catalog of impressive scientific contraptions and ordered one. Mom, Dad? Can I get a Z Machine? The French have one. The Japanese have one. PLEASE! PLEASE!

Egg McMuffin

Despite having watched Super Size Me, one of my recent weight loss tricks is a breakfast sammich, a la Egg McMuffin. (I tend to skip breakfast and then eat mid-morning crap)

- One light english muffin (1 point)
- One egg, microwaved in a small pyrex bowl, makes a perfectly round egg with no fat (2 points)
- Couple of spritzes of buttery spray (0 points)
- Optional - Some fat free shredded cheese (1 point)

Yum! I just finished building one and Zippy is having breakfast envy - I should make them for her too....

New Quote

Beware the Ides of March they say, And that's advice I take to heart - Even kings have been undone, And it was all for letting down their guard
- Hugh Blumenfeld, Saxton's River (Rocket Science, 1998)

The quickening pulse

Once more, we step lightly towards spring. The weather bodes warmer and wetter the next few days - we're moving into mud season. I have not smelled the fertile deliciousness of decay yet, but its coming. The Equinox is two weeks hence. (Why some people find this word amusing is a mystery to me.....I think its a nice word - perhaps a bit poetic and archaic, not unlike myself)
When the snow melts you better watch your step
Walking on the shoulder of the road
And the smell fills the air
Of whatever the dogs did there months ago
Even old couples brawl
And the house feels as small as a child with a fever
And it's mudtime in Saxton's River
Hugh Blumenfeld - Saxton's River


Hopefully I can sneak in a full day of work; yesterday was all broken up between sleeping in, stepping out for yoga, and catching up. I have a few reports to get out, an invoice to generate, some long term projects to push through, and a little marketing. March is a crazy busy month, judging by my dry-erase calendar. Not a lot of unwritten days.

March 08, 2006

Ferron!

...is coming to Roaring Brook Nature Center and I just got tickets. I am so happy they were not sold out. I've been a Ferron fan for a long time, but have only seen her once (at Falcon Ridge, which is sort of a different experience) - Roaring Brook is such a great and intimate space.

My birthday weekend gift from the Zipster. I am also doing Kirtan on Friday, with any luck, and MA to celebrate with family on Sunday.

People with More Interesting and Meaningful Lives....

Sam Walker - who appears to be working in country:
I came to Sarajevo to work at the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically for the management section, the Registry, which supports the War Crimes and Organized Crimes sections of the Court.

In the meantime, his blog is really interesting and well illustrated - a good read! Having been to the former Yugoslavia in a past life (a honeymoon and the BVM were involved) its interesting.

Safe at Home

The freelance deity smiled on me; we cleared the strike at 9:20 pm and two of us Nutmeggers hustled to catch the 9:37 to Bridgeport. (the next train was a problematic 10:22, a LONG 45 minutes later) so I actually popped into bed around 12:15. Not too bad.

The MP3 player did its job; although the songs I ripped came out kind of crappy, quality wise, so I need to look at settings, and redo them. I'm all achey from driving, train riding, doing the walking around in NY thing, wearing heels (albeit sensible ones), and sitting in a cramped control area during the show. The Harvard Club meals were typical freelance flat-meat spreads - except the salads were really good, and they cut the crusts off the bread. Much was made of this by we freelancers, who tend to work pro-sports gigs and have a sort of grunting cave(wo)man attitude regardless of our day rate.

The conference was on Bioethics in a Changing World and Harvard President Lawrence Summers opened things up. It had a sort of "Nero fiddling while Rome burned" kind of vibe; while we were busy discussing the ethical ramifications, we fertilized another 2000 eggs that are now in storage*, and oh by the way, we made a monkey-boy, and your tomatoes now are genetically modified to deliver Ritalin - the marketplace, and the scientific community tend to be running fast with this stuff, and a lot of the ethical stuff lies in the DMZ of the abortion debate - so conservatives refuse to engage because any laws might cross-over into support for abortion, liberals tend to back away for the same reasons, and the free-market folks (who usually line up with the right) abhore government intervention. So the marketplace does its thing, and chaos ensues.

Interesting stuff, really.

* The figure of there being 400,000 fertilized eggs in cryogenic storage in the USA was thrown out there, mostly generated by the unregulated IVF industry. In Europe, where stem cell research is legal, but there are legal limits to the number of eggs that can be fertilized for IVF, this is not a significant issue.

March 07, 2006

Bored to Tears

So I'm down in NYC at the Harvard Club to push the space bar of a laptop 9 times to hit 2 slates and 8 lower third keys.

Just saying...

March 06, 2006

Change of Plans

Since I have an MP3 player...I ran over to the office, plugged it in, and am ripping two additional CD's for the train ride: Song & Dance (theme music) and Kate Callahan's The Greatest of Ease. Cause I might need some calming....being NYC and all.

Back at home, I'll charge it overnight, and be good to go! Urban hipster, me.

Commuting in my Blood

Half of my bloodline hails from Long Island. So taking a train into the city is in my genes, the rhythm of the rails resonates with my heartbeat. So it's kind of exciting to be taking Metro-North into Grand Central for work.

Annoying to have to drive down to Bridgeport, but I've had good luck with parking and departures / arrivals there. Annoying to be having to leave the house around 6:15 am, and not expecting to arrive home until after midnight. Fortunate that my destination (the Harvard Club) is just a few blocks from GCC and the weather bodes well.

I like working in NYC. An adventure. I feel urban and sophisticated. I've got a mostly unread New Yorker for the train and will pick up the Courant along the way (although reading the Hartford Courant on Metro-North pegs one as a rube)

If I were smart I would have grabbed my MP3 player and loaded up some podcasts. Nope, been too busy working and stuff. But it is my wont to have theme music running inm my head as I travel - my communiting into NYC theme is invariably Take That Look Off Your Face from Sondheim's Song & Dance.

It's all so amazing, the size and the noise.
Why it's still alive at five A.M.
And that drive in the eyes of New York girls, oo,
I'd like to be one of them.

Sweet Potato Fries

Let me just say that the sweet potato fries at It's Only Natural in Middletown are the closest thing to heaven I have had in a long time. Weight Watchers or not. I ate 1/2 and brought 1/2 home for the Zipster. Yum.

Thanks, Beryl!

The Circle of (Corporate) Life

So Yahoo reports that AT&T Makes $67 Billion Bid for BellSouth

I am *so* confused. I mean, we split up AT&T a bunch of years ago. We shed all the Baby Bells, we ripped Bell Labs out as a separate entity, we pried apart local and state and long distance calling. And now, it's all coming back together, through market forces.

Perhaps we needed to handicap the communications giant for a few years to give things like VOiP and Cable Broadband and Satellite Phones and OnStar and Cellular Competitors and those annoying Nextel phones that the folks in the next office are always talking on loudly a chance to develop. Sort of like thinning the old-growth forests (or letting a forest fire come through) to start another cycle of growth. Or maybe the development of these competitive communications technologies have plowed through monoply fears, so we can let the phone monopoly reform. In a world where people opt out of land lines, maybe its just not so important.

Just weird. I've run the gamut of cell phone providers - SNET, AT&T, Sprint, Cingular (which used to be SNET / SBC, and will probably be AT&T before long). I'm pretty sure I was pissed off and fed up with AT&T at one point in the past. But I've liked Cingular, so even if they become AT&T, maybe they will not act like the AT&T I recall.

Out of character

Well, I went to a local Oscar Party / Fund-raiser last night which was lots of fun. Of course the two cups of coffee I foolishly drank late in the evening caused fitful sleep. I do that sort of dress up fancy, stay up past 10 and party thing maybe once a year. Loyal readers who are looking for local late night content are hereby sentenced to 9 months of boredom for the remainder of the year......

Today I have a client meeting down in Middletown, an afternoon appointment, and possibly exercise. Tomorrow I am off to NYC all day for a production gig.

March 05, 2006

Not an Insomniac

Really, I am not. Even though this is blog post #5 before 6 am today.

My partner Zippy goes to bed early, usually, and particularly early last night. And I usually end up heading in around the same time. So, I got a full and happy 8 hours of sleep, last night. But thats all I can manage - once I wake (usually to feed the dogs and let 'em out), I'm up. So I blog.

New Quote

Everybody's a dreamer and everybody's a star
And everyone's in show biz, it doesn't matter who you are
And those who are successful
Be always on your guard
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard


The Kinks, and their song Celluloid Heroes. In honor of the Oscars this evening. I'll be attending a chi-chi fund-raiser for the local AIDS Resources Coalition.

I always loved this song; used to drag it out now and then on the open-mic circuit. I have a close friend who is struggling with a career in the arts, and I often think of her when I hear this song.

I think its time to crank up the turn-table and flip through four sides of the Kink Kronikles today....

Bush Dogs

This article caught my eye. Three thoughts:

a) The freaking hubris (or ignorant cluelessness, or euro-american-christian-centrism, choose one) of the man and his regime to want to visit a place where his security dogs are problematic. Maybe you could be wise and benevolent gently bow out of such a visit to honor the local beliefs and traditions, rather than pursue a visit for some political or personal. Why not drop off some RU-486 with Pope Benedict in Vatican City while you are at it?

b) As part of a traditional lesbian couple whose bed is infested with several dogs, we're pretty much tainted ourselves.

c) Maybe the Hindu priests can work up a cleansing ritual for the planet once this regime ends.

Underwater Gliders

Some things are just too cool for words. Even though I suspect these things evolved from military drones and are probably co-deployed as military assets, they are still pretty damn interesting.

I'm an engineer, not a scientist. I fix things. I spot flaws. I poke around in basements and back rooms, either literally or figuratively. But reading stuff like this makes me wish I had gone into a more esoteric line of work.

Hey Dad

All these years I figured the only person who shared your name was a basketball player for the Celtics. Who knew?

March 04, 2006

Hot Basil Redux

For some reason my blog is getting search hits from people looking for info on the new restaurant Hot Basil, on New Park in West Hartford. (hi people....)

If that's why you are here, here's a hot link to my posting.

Oh, and mea culpa, the cleaners next door is still pretty crappy inside; the green paint fooled me from outside, but they do seem to be working on it....maybe in time it will come along. Zippy and I spend an unpleasant couple of hours there washing quilts....

Super Size Me

Just finished watching the movie (courtesy of Netflix). I did have a bunch of minor technical complaints. First off, he kept throwing down (mostly) double quarter pounder with cheese sammiches. I mean, come on, you can eat slightly less toxic fat laden things at McD's. Same thing with breakfast - if you try you can eat slightly less fat laden things than a big breakfast with hotcakes. So it seemed (to me) that he was a wee bit over the top in terms of injesting crap.

For the record, I worked at McD's for a long time (1976 - 1982 or threabouts). I to this day have dreams about working an occasional shift (and forgetting to pickup my paycheck). We used to joke that the grease gets in your veins and you become an addict for life. I do think the sensory overload of dipping my hands into the condiments at the "dress" station (before the days of gloves) sort of imprinted on my brain.

I will say that I worked my rear end off at McD's - definitely developed a positive work ethic.

Anyway - great film - and definitely tipping the balance for me in terms of avoiding fast food*. So a good watch!

* Wendy's is not so bad if you stick to chili (high fiber), salad, and an occasional potato. Let's not talk about Taco Bell

Weight Watchers: Week 1

3 Pounds Lighter.

Not a particularly stellar weight loss for the first week of weight watchers, but the week held challenges - I had a cold earielr in the week and there was a snowsotrm (less exercise) and I ended up eating out a lot - Corner Pug (Wed dinner), Rainforest Cafe (Fri Lunch), and Texas Roadhouse (Fri Dinner).

March 03, 2006

Springsteen on PBS

Whoa.....flipped through the channels just now and I came across Springsteen circa 1975 at the Hammersmith Odeon, London.

I first saw the Boss in 1977-78 (guessing) - Darkness on the Edge of Town tour, Boston Garden. We were on the floor but way back.

Happy flashback night.

March 02, 2006

Birthday Blahs

Not that I am particularly upset about my reasonably proximate birthday (it is not a super major decade-ish anniversary, but its meaningful nevertheless). But mom thinks its a biggie, so I am asked what I want. We want to get you something nice (says she).

I am thinking of a bouzouki. I've played guitar for years but it's sort of lost its charm - I'm not much of a singer, do not have the time / patience / desire to become a guitar wizard, and the world is full of bad singer-songwriter wanna-be's. But I was charmed by a bouzouki at a celtic concert earlier this year, and thought it would be fun to learn to play and be slightly more exotic than a beat up Ibanez six-string that I bought new but seems to have become an antique whilst in my possession. Who knew?

Anyway, I found an inexpensive short neck one on ebay. I'm thinking of springing for it and getting my family to chip in (if they want).

What's interesting is that after decades of not really knowing what I want or choosing things I think I should get (or practical things, like for the house), I have come to a place in life where I can be smitten with something (an activity, a thing, a person, a concept) and actually want it openly. It feels positive, like I finally feel as if I deserve good things.

Oh, and for those keeping score at home: Pisces.

Catching Up

Snowing here - I had a 10 am appointment (dry) and when I emerged at 11 am the grounds were covered, roads were slick, and it was coming down pretty hard. Still is. No Jazzercise ::pout::

I blew off the Philly conference cause I am just a wee bit too backed up on stuff - cranked out a bunch of reports today and am set up to get some good stuff done tomorrow. I really should go to the office, fetch a couple of faxes, and do some work at home tonight. Might do that after dinner. Pity about the conference, I wanted to see / spend some time with my bud MB, and I meet some other distant correspondants.

Rants: I'm waiting for two largish checks. One is about 75 days out and is pretty large, I poked the client this morning and its been in her Admin Asst's in box for a few months. Grr....might be another two weeks. As long as it gets here by the end of March so I can stuff my 2005 401(K). The second is an EFT transfer promised on 2/27 and so far MIA; I called the client, ended up in India, and was told it had gone out today. Couple of hours later I get a call back from India, apparently the name on the account bounced. So I gave it to them again (MY NAME dba MY BUSINESS) which was slow work what with the ESL issues. I followed up with an email. We'll see.

One Point Wonders

Things that add up to 1 point at Weight Watchers:

Light English Muffins - 5G Fiber / 90 Calories / 0 Fat
Joseph's Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita's - 5G Fiber / 60 Calories / 1.5G Fat
Something bread-y for a single point? I am so there!
Stoneyfield Farms 4 oz yogurts - 2G Fiber / 80 Calories / 0G Fat
All natural and yummy too!
Sargento Light String Cheese - 0G Fiber / 50 Calories / 2.5G Fat
Mmmmmm! Cheesy snackage!

March 01, 2006

Behind on Stuff

I dunno how, but I dug me a hole at work. My monthly invoicing is usually a slam dunk on the first of the month but its rolling into the second this month. And I have a couple of reports, some web site changes, and finishing up some long term projects all backlogged. Annoying.... I'll probably crank a lot out tomorrow.

Dinner tonight with a friend from OH (Corner Pug - Yum, although the experience will be tempered somewhat by a WW inspired counting of points).

Still waiting for the direct deposit payment to show up. Whine whine.

Chim Chim Cheree

Waiting for the chimney sweep. We're getting ours cleaned (Zippy has been fretting about it for, oh, 2 or 3 years now. We only have a couple of fires per year. But this is one of the long term projects that are getting done this season.

Anyway, I have a 1 pm appointment, and its not almost 2 pm. Grumble.

At 2 pm, I call the place to see whats up. This is attempt #2, #1 fell through since they had scheduled a quote (not a cleaning) and they don't do quotes for chimneys. AND SO YOU SCHEDULED IT WHY?

Oh well. C'est la vie with the building trades. It's a sellers market.

Tracey in Casey (Antarctica)

No particular reason - someone jumped from her blog over here (and probably jumped right back, since her blog / life rocks adn mine is rather pedestrian) and I followed the link back via Sitemeter....

Damn, she looks like she is having an adventure! Great pictures too!

Ash Wednesday

Hey, it's Ash Wednesday (or alternately)

Having stood on a Catholic altar more than a few times in my life, the appropriate verbiage for today is imprinted on my brain "Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return" - usually mumbled incoherently but once in a while you get a priest with crisp diction and a certain drag queen attitude who says it like he means it.

I always like Ash Wednesday, conceptually. Kind of like Gay Pride day for catholics, who were out of the closet for one day - and it provided an opportunity to consider one's mortality.

But in truth, its sort of a nihilist sentiment. You came from dust, you return to dust. Nothing matters. Do whatever you want. I know the official catholic teaching deals with issues of soul and eternity but it all seems rather disjointed.

I much prefer the concept that I am a creature energy and light, and that my body is a garment I wear for some years. My body may return to dust, but I return to the light.

Maybe we should smear glitter on our foreheads and say "Remember that you are a creature of divine light and beauty, and you will return to the source of light and beauty when you shed your garment of flesh and dust"

Oh, and scientifically, since our bodies are more than 50% water, maybe it would be more accurate to use holy water instead of ashes. "Remember, man, that you are water, and unto water you shall return"

I'm going to hell. Sorry mom.

Truth in Advertising

The headline reads Giant Squid Grabs London Audience

Somehow, I wanted more....

Rant and Rave

Rave: Eudora, the email program and specifically its spam filter. I've been a Eudora fan for eons, since I got my second email account and realized Outlook Express could, at the time, only handle one and the fact that I am off-the-grid in terms of Microsoft Outlook is both a sort of snotty geek pride and self preservation in virulent and wormish times. But the spam filter - transparent, easy to use, effective. Rah!

Rant: One of my clients is migrating to direct deposit. Monday morning I arrived to work to find a fax saying "a deposit is being made" as of Monday 2/27 but no sign of said deposit so far. I am sure this will be a good thing long term but I am nervous of some snafu or complication. Gar. I am much more reassured by a piece of paper with a clear plastic window and a PAY TO THE ORDER OF inscribed somewhere therein.