Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Code in my Nose

I stayed home sick yesterday. I caught a nasty cold that started Monday afternoon. The symptoms are winding down today so I'm at work, trying to take the recommended dosage of Cold-eeze.

Finally, I'll leave you with some better (and more sanitary) news. You'll notice that there's a new book in my sidebar. The author is my friend's husband! His book is actually one of three that come out this fall whose authors are friends of mine. I suddenly feel like a little book groupie - I can't wait to have him sign my copy! And some of you know that I NEVER buy books. The Last Town on Earth is about a small town in Washington state that quarantined itself during the 1918 flu epidemic. The genre is right up my alley! I keep seeing parallels between it and the last book I read - The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. There are a lot of references to the union movement around the turn of the century and the wandering lifestyle of many marginalized working men who moved from town to town trying to earn money in various dangerous industries. It only arrived yesterday but since I was already home sick, I jumped right into it. I highly recommend it despite the fact that I'm only 1/4 into it.
These are the other 2 books I'm pimping*:

*Thanks to MikaJ for starting this.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Melodious Geography

I've been struck this week by two songs about geographic locations.

This one is about my quirky little state: "Rhode Island is Famous For you" (the mp3 is linked on that page). You might notice that the song actually says very little about RI. It somehow manages to say a bit about every other state, while leaving RI extremely vague. But I find it endearing because of the cute melody and the sheer number of times she sings the words "Rhode Island."

The second song says loads about a place that I'm not at all familiar with. It's by Neko Case and sadly, I found no references to its lyrics or an .mp3 link after googling the crap out of it.
So, I decided to jot the lyrics down myself so that the next person who hears this song and wants to know more about it can find this blog entry. Note that this is my break tonight while working on cover letters. Is it Friday yet please?



Fast-forward to 30 minutes after I started transcribing the lyrics. I noticed that MS Word was trying to correct the spelling of the song's pivotal word: Takoma. It preferred that I spell it "Tacoma". I guess I should take this as an indication of the amount of time I've lived in Washington. "Tacoma" looks silly to me, whereas "Takoma" - of Takoma Park, MD, for instance - looks much better.
And now you see why my google search for Neko Case and Takoma was fruitless.
Now that you've patiently read this far, I'll reward you with MY transcribed lyrics sans Word spelling corrections:*

Thrice All American
by Neko Case and her Boyfriends (from Furnace Room Lullaby)

I want to tell you about my hometown
It's a dusty old jewel in the South Puget Sound
Well the factories churn and the timbers all cut down
And life goes by slow in Takoma

People they laugh when they hear you're from my town
They say it's a sour and used up all place
I defended its honor, shrugged off the put downs
You know that you're poor, from Takoma

Buildings are empty like ghettos or ghost-towns
It gives me a chill to think what was inside
I can't seem to fathom the dark of my history
I invented my own in Takoma

There was nothing to put me in love with the good life
I'm in league with the the gangs guns, and the crime
There was no hollow promise that life would reward you
There was nowhere to hide in Takoma

People who built it they loved it like I do
Their was hope in the trainyard of something inspired
Once was I on it, but it's been painted shut
I found passion for life in Takoma

Well I don't make it home much, I sadly neglect you
But that's how you like it away from the world
God bless California, make way for the Wal-Mart
I hope they don't find you Takoma

* in the hopes that the next time some schmuck like me goes to search for these lyrics, she/he actually learns of the truth before wasting a bunch of time with headphones and fast typing.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Post without a Title...almost

Remember when Thursday night was the BEST night for TV? I'm still a die-hard Friends fan so it's probably not surprising that I loved the Thursday night TV lineup.
I bring this up because Thursday was my favorite day this week. It beat the other days hands down, thought it had nothing to do with TV.

First happy thing: I finally applied for another job. I decided 2 weeks ago that I have to buckle down and proactively do the job-hunt thing. Did I mention that I'm frustrated with my job? Yes, well, I am. The phone-answering, mail-gathering, pdf-ing, coffee-brewing, grunt work daily grind is kind of getting old. And its not what I had in mind when I was working on that degree.
SOOO, I've been passively reviewing but in the last 2 months I've only applied to 2 jobs. I'm not going to get anywhere on that timeline so I'm trying to set aside time every other night to devote to the search and the miserable task of writing cover letters. I DETEST them so much. I don't think anyone else I know complains about them as much I do. I spend the whole time trying to think of deep ways of describing how impressive the work I do is and why I'd be an asset to the National I'm Going to Save the World Organization....but here's the catch: if I actually thought that what I was currently doing was that amazing, I probably wouldn't be trying to get a different job. So it pretty much dooms me to creating sentences that are borderline white lies. I go from assisting with proofing letters in real life, to "preparing documents for national distribution" in the cover letter. That's not right. But I think that's how other people "play the game".

The OTHER happy thing on Thursday was that I finished my clapotis!! It was pretty touch and go though for awhile. I had to borrow OldandBusted's leftover yarn from her already finished Clappy. I parked myself at Stitch-n-Bitch and got to work on the final decrease rows, keeping the ball of yarn in the bottom of my bag so I wouldn't be tempted to stare at the shrinking pile and worry if I could finish. I was actually ok with the idea of finishing it w/ a flat end in the event of a yarn shortage. But of course, the closer I got to the final pointy bit, the more I wanted to be able to finish it properly. The girls kept reaching in to feel how much yarn was actually left and just repeated that I should keep on trucking. Just before 10 they were all convinced I had enough to finish and said they wouldn't leave until I did. No pressure there though.
In the end, not only did I have enough, but there are about 1 1/2 yards leftover! OldandBusted, I'll drop that in the mail for you ASAP. ;)

I have to cut this post short. I'm off to help celebrate a couple birthdays!
Since I opened with a picture from E*s trip to Peru, I'll close with one as well. Ah, symmetry.