Friday, October 31, 2008

Krumping we can believe in.

Please to watch.

Thanks, Mol.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now about my chi.

An added value of having the Brit's dad here, besides all of the tea and interesting chit chat, is that he is an acupuncturist with a PhD in, I think, Chinese medicine. So mention that you may have some malady and he will offer to treat you with gold-tipped needles. I have always been at least moderately intrigued by acupuncture, but never tried it prior to yesterday, I guess because there was never an exceptionally qualified acupuncturist staying in my house when I was having issues.

Anyway, I have this thing, let's call it a twang, in my sacroiliac region, on the left side. It's not chronic or regular by any means, but it recurs enough that I imagine I'm off-balance somehow, that the torque of my stride is enough to pop things out of whack periodically. It usually resolves in a couple days, except for that one time in 2004 where I had it for most of the year. (Uncoincidentally, that was not my happiest of times.) This time I got twanged after a regular old 5K jog. It probably would have been okay, except that then a few days later I almost fell down the stairs, twice, and gave myself some sort of body whiplash by righting myself at the last second. The result is that the twang has twanged harder and more persistently than it has in ages. It doesn't matter how much I stretch; I'm all flexible and bendy and I can't get at the twang.

So the Brit's dad offered to treat me and I said BRING IT. My pulse revealed all kinds of interesting things to him (and me) in the initial phase of the treatment, but what I really want to tell you about is what happened after he placed the first two needles. I was flat on my back with a needle in my right wrist and one in my left foot, and every muscle from the base of my spine around my whole bum to my pelvis and lower abdomen and inner thighs started to twitch uncontrollably, the way your teeth do when they chatter. It felt fizzy, or bubbly, or like a bag of wriggling snakes. It was insane, and deep, like each muscle that had for days been trying to prevent me from moving in a way that would cause me pain had finally been accessed. Everything was zinging around and shaking loose. It wasn't particularly emotional, except for being funny a few times, and incredibly interesting the rest of the time. This went on for at least 5 minutes, maybe 10. It released completely once, and then started up again about 30 seconds later.

You could call me a convert if I had been a skeptic before.

When I stood up and went about my business the twang was still there, but the accompanying sciatica-like leg pain and instability were gone. I felt loose, and still do. This thing is working itself out. And I have a follow-up appointment in two days, which is pretty sweet.

All this is to say that I believe my chi requires further investigation.

I'm certain I should be reporting on other matters as well. I got a haircut and look sort of a like a mushroom head. I think this is one of those haircuts that will take a few days or weeks to calm down--like if I got my school picture taken right now, it would be one of those dreaded "freshly cut" portraits. I've been cooking a lot. I found out my oldest friend is pregnant, which is awesome. It got cold as HAY-ull here over the weekend, but the rest of the week looks okay, which is good for my "bike at least through October you wuss" resolution.

Ace is standing next to the keyboard, quacking.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bittersweet symphony (updated).

Is there a conducting game for Wii or some other game system? I was listening to Rick Steves in the car last night on the way home, and he was talking about some computer simulation in Vienna where you conduct the orchestra, and I thought: nerds would like to do this on video game systems. But by "nerd" I mean a very particular kind of nerd, obvs. It would be a niche market. I think it would be rad. Of course, there would be no way to get style points for your left hand gesticulations unless some sensor thingy was rigged up. Still, music students and wannabes everywhere could get down with some beat patterns and there could be a tutorial about how to do it properly.

Okay, maybe I'm the only one who thinks this would be pretty fun. But it probably has educational applications, especially when it's so hard to get an actual orchestra together to practice with. When I had to take conducting as an undergrad, we practiced with whatever instruments happened to be in the class. There was a pianist, a couple violins, maybe a clarinet, like three singers doing the viola part or whatever needed filling in, a cello, a flute, and a percussionist. It was pretty sad (though really, the saddest thing was practicing choral conducting with this same group of people singing). A conducting simulation would let you get down with an entire orchestra.

You may have this idea for free, since it likely won't make you any money.

ETA: Well damn. I just got this email from my sister Em:
My friend David reads your blog...I don't know why he couldn't just post the comment himself but I am forwarding it to you now.

"You should let her know Wii Music just came out this week and does exactly what she is proposing:"
Maybe if I used a little thing called Google I could have figured that out myself. The game lets you play 60 instruments and conduct, and has ear training games and all sorts of things. Go Nintendo!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Crank calling.

A volunteer from McNasty's campaign left a message on my phone last night. That's fine; that's the job the volunteer signed up to do, and I wouldn't have answered the phone in any case because I didn't recognize the number. But I'm just thinking, where did they get the number of my unlisted cell phone? I do give it out occasionally--to the likes of public radio and television, NARAL and other repro-rights groups, the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, your basic progressive hit list.

I like the idea of their campaign buying up these sorts of mailing lists and wasting their time calling Liberal Bloggers.

I just made another donation to Obama's campaign in celebration.


We have made a household pact not to turn the heat on until November. Right now it's 63 degrees in the house and my nose is cold. I'm working from home today in two wool hoodies and firing up the teapot. Outside, it's gray and drizzly and leaves are falling intermittently, which reminds me of one of my weirdest fever dreams: one leaf, taking an interminable amount of time to make its way from the bare tree to the cold ground.

The Brit's dad is coming for a visit on Friday, so we may have to cave on the heat a week early. On the other hand, English people are used to the cold, the damp, and wonky heating systems. I'll just be sure to bake a lot during his visit.

Other household news includes a slow-draining kitchen sink or perhaps a wack garbage disposal, and a little bit of under-sink drippage, which I can hear as I type. I have tried cleaning out the disposal with ice cubes, a recommended technique, and also baking soda and vinegar (with a chaser of boiling water). The verdict on the latter: delightfully fizzy but ultimately not effective. I don't actually know why it would be, since you put an acid and base together and they should pretty much just neutralize each other and make water and fizz, right? But all the green cleaning tips instruct you to use this combo, so I'm dutifully dumping it in the toilet these days.

Dinner tonight is definitely going to be chili and cornbread. Ace just sidled up to me and is pawing at one of the wool hoodies.

Also, I keep sneezing. That can't be good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More LOLz.

This is killing me softly:

I love everything about it, though maybe Jill Biden should be in the car too. Look at Michelle's face! Look at Joe dancing! The frappuccinos!

I only wish it had a soundtrack.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Etsy shop update.

I added some new stuff to my Etsy shop and marked down a bunch of old stuff.
I also spent my Friday night making drawstring bags. Why yes, I AM a dork, since you were wondering. The basement has recently been transformed into a functional workspace after a painting/revamping project that dragged on for years, and I now have a sewing pod. I was going through my fabric stash and wondering how I ended up with so much stuff, and decided to use some of it up by whipping up gift bags. This gave me a chance to practice French seams and free-form cutting.

If you order something from my shop, it'll arrive packed in one of these bags. Then instead of buying wrapping paper for birthdays and holidays, you can just reuse the bag and pass it on.

Unfortunately I now want to stay in my sewing pod and we have orchestra tickets tonight. I suppose I should take a shower.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Here's the full text of the email my boyf sent me a little while ago:
After me being cranky this morning, do you love me:

(a) More than ever

(b) Less than never

(c) Like someone who’s not that into it, really

(d) Yeah, but shut up and go away

(e) Times three to the power of ‘wanker’

(f) With a strong core built upon knowing that underneath I’m a sweet little monkey who loves his Crispin [editor's note: only one of myriad nicknames]

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here are two new habits I've adopted recently:

1. Washing my lunch dishes at the office. This is so much better than bringing home my crusty Mr. Bento to be dealt with later. In my case "later" usually means "next time I need to pack lunch," at which point: ew.

2. Doing countertop and/or wall push-ups every time I go to the bathroom at work. This is my favorite one because it sounds so ridiculous. But our bathroom is a large one-seater and thanks to a healthy fluid intake, I'm in there frequently. If I do ten or twenty push-ups every time I'm in there, it's going to add up. Hopefully I won't break the counter in the process.

Tell me some of yours.

Also, tell me if you've ever used a soy milk maker. I've had about enough of all these cartons.


From the AP, via Jezebel:
Angelina Jolie was asked if she would vote for Barack Obama because of his international background. She said: "Obama fights for international justice, he wants to militarily intervene in cases of genocide, and close Guantanamo Bay. These are the things that could move me to vote for him, not his roots." Then she tried to adopt him.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Say you have some extra hours to kill while you're in DC for your friend's wedding and you've never been to DC before and you're staying right next to a Metro stop. Where would you go on Friday evening? Sunday afternoon? What about the hours between the afternoon wedding and the evening cocktail hour on Saturday?

ETA: Oh you people are chock full of info. It should be pretty exciting to see all this stuff the weekend before the election.

Yes we can (hold babies).

I love this website.

Yes we can (hold babies).

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Twin Citians, get your pasty asses outside. It's seriously one of the most beautiful days of the year. I just rode to the P.O., then to the bank, then to A Baker's Wife, and then just meandered around the lake and through the parks and neighborhoods for awhile. It is excellent. And now I have a caramel pecan roll to attend to.

Friday, October 03, 2008

So far, I am having one of those obscurely annoying days. It is probably made a bit worse by the fact that I romped all over yesterday and just check check checked things off my to-do list and felt rather invincible. But today, I cannot get started. People at work are sending me irritating emails and calling me in a tizzy about things I don't control. In my musical life, someone who emailed me a question two days ago and hadn't gotten an immediate response called my parents instead of calling me or trying again. Whaaa? And my to-do list, while marked with done-dids, is still quite long. I am glad it's Friday.

I biked again today and I think my face is windburned. It's about 40 degrees when I leave in the morning. At that temperature, the sun really isn't doing you any favors, and the windchill is an important factor. Of course, by the time I leave later today, I could be rolling my jeans up to my knees and wearing a tank top, like I did yesterday. But it's become clear that I need gloves and a neck gaiter. I'll have to dig around in the winter clothes this weekend and see what I've got. It's time to turn the wardrobe over, y'all.

Enough bellyaching. I have a squash-montrachet-veggie kielbasa risotto for lunch. That oughtta be worth something.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Debating games.

I'm pretty relieved that I'm going to be in rehearsal during the debates tomorrow night, but for those of you planning to watch/cringe, these Palin Bingo cards could make things a little bit more entertaining for you.

In other news, we went to see Beck last night. He was rad.

In other other news, we might get up and go jogging before work. This will depend entirely on my ability to get cheerleaderish first thing in the morning. Spare a thought for me.

UPDATE: Fail. The successfully executing a morning run is part of a campaign to convince the Brit that exercising before work will probably change his life. But man I love my burrow at 7 AM. Why is bed so warm and nice in the morning? Why do I enjoy lounging in it even if I am awake? I did bike today though. In a ludicrous outfit.