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2 conferences this month...

...and already, anxiety dreams. In 8 days, I'll be going to Toronto for the AoIR conference, and then the following weekend, to Ohio for the Feminisms & Rhetorics conference. Last night, I had a dream about AoIR, only instead of being in Toronto, it was on the beach somewhere--perhaps a subconscious fast-forward to Computers & Writing in Hawai'i. I lay down in the wet sand very close to the water, mesmerized by the waves. There was a big, high swing set a few yards from the shore, and I swam out, got into a swing, and swung in tandem with the waves. Later I realized I had forgotten to bring my paper, but that didn't matter; I had missed my presentation because I had been out there for so long. Then I found out that the White Stripes were playing and, as I was trying to find the venue, I woke up.

Water is hardly ever present in my dreams. What could this mean?

I'm pickin' up good vibrations...

Today has been awesome so far! This morning was busy, but as I was getting ready to leave my apartment I listened to my Beach Boys CD. I got a few of those "10 Best" series CDs the other day at Best Buy when I went there for a flash drive. I got Beach Boys, Culture Club, Bonnie Tyler, and Blondie/Pat Benatar. I had a nice lunch of pho with Jennifer and Amy, and I also got this lovely compliment. Yippee!

Ooo, Ooo, Child

Ever have a day when you just don't want to do all those things you have to do? Well, today's like that for me. I just want to curl up in my apartment and watch the movie Riding in Cars with Boys. Eh, for now I'll have to settle for listening to "Ooo, Ooo, Child" by the Five Stairsteps as I get ready to do all those things I have to do. I don't own the Riding in Cars with Boys soundtrack, but I know that song was on it.

I have a case of the Mondays! (If you haven't seen Office Space, see it now.)

E-tail therapy and other tidbits

The other day, I bought a Demeter Fragrance. I have a couple already--Wet Garden and Green Tomato, but this time I got New Zealand. I thought, hey, I've always wanted to go there; I can at least smell it for now. I'll be getting a free Dirt candle too, yay. I like the smell of dirt. I wanted to take some of the Alabama red dirt back with me here to Minnesota, but then I thought about all the microorganisms living in that dirt, and what might potentially hatch. I decided against it.

Besides the New Zealand fragrance, I finally got around to buying those Jean Ritchie CDs I've been meaning to buy for a while now. I got the double album None But One / High Hills and Mountains, which is a collaboration of Ritchie and a lot of other folks. I also got Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson at Folk City because it has the song "What'll I Do with the Baby-o?," and I like it.

WHY are plane tickets to Toronto so bloody expensive?!?! I cannot find one lower than $598.00, and I've searched CheapTickets, Hotfares, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and even that place that won't tell you the time of the flight until after you pay for it, so you might get all redeye flights. Should I just forget it or what? I really want to go to the AoIR conference and present my paper, but that's an outrageous price to pay.

Why will Winamp not generate playlists from my mp3 files? When I go to Misc --> Misc Options --> Generate HTML playlist, it gives me this browser window that says "unknown." Paul is always generating random playlists, and it's cool to see the eclectic mixes that come up. I want to play too!

Whenever I look at the URL for Phlebas, which is "," I sing the URL to the tune of "Detroit Rock City" by KISS. Just had to get that off my chest. :-)

New (used) Music!!!

What a fantastic trip I had to CD Warehouse tonight. Amy and I went to see Winged Migration (great film, by the way--I've seen it two times so far) and afterward, on a whim, I suggested we go look at CDs. I walked out of there very happy with:

  • 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life of...--Arrested Development (after reading Brave New World last summer, I now think that's the best name for a band ever. What an apt, slicing comment on society...and an awesome, talented group of musicians.)
  • Made in USA--Pizzicato Five (a CD I've been looking for for years. I wore the tape out.)
  • Cycle Sluts from Hell--Cycle Sluts from Hell (another tape I wore out!)
  • Sonic Temple--The Cult (A.T.I.W.O.)
  • To Bring You My Love--PJ Harvey (A.T.I.W.O.)
  • and, finally, Madonna: The Video Collection 93-99

Woo-hoo! I love finding cool used CDs, especially ones that are out of print that I never thought I'd find, like Cycle Sluts and Pizzicato Five. Hey, Paul, how do you like these gems? Remember nights at Scott Weaver's apartment listening to Made in USA over and over? :-)

Anne Galloway, calm technology, resistentialism and Bjork

Anne Galloway delivers the sharp content as always:

Calm Technology and Resistentialism
- Today's word from The Word Spy: calm technology. For more on this, see The Origins of Ubiquitous Computing and Calm Technology. And then there is resistentialism ( n. The belief that inanimate objects have a natural antipathy toward human beings, and therefore it is not people who control things, but things which increasingly control people. [Anne Galloway]

After going to the definition of "calm technology," I found this:

calm technology

(KAWM tek.nawl.uh.gee) n. Technology that remains in the background until needed and thus enables a person to interact with it in a calm, engaged manner.

First of all, after spending some time in the south (Mike Keene suggested that there's maybe a southern Clancy and a northern Clancy? Could be.), I'm surprised to see that the pronunciation key is saying "KAWM tek.nawl.uh.gee." Kawm? Tek-nawl-uh-gee? I would have thought it'd be something more like "noll."

Anyway...calm technology remains in the background. Galloway sees a connection between calm technology and resistentialism, "the belief that inanimate objects have a natural antipathy toward human beings, and therefore it is not people who control things, but things which increasingly control people." She says she'll blog more about that connection later, but to show you a little how my mind works, I immediately thought of the song "The Modern Things" by Bjork. The first and last parts go as follows:

All the modern things
Like cars and such
Have always existed
They've just been waiting in a mountain
For the right moment
Listening to the irritating noises
Of dinosaurs and people
Dabbling outside


All the modern things
Have always existed
They've just been waiting
To come out
And multiply
And take over
It's their turn now...

The calm technology has been waiting, but it has agency and hates us. And, in the unsettling words of Bjork, "It's their turn now." We'd better watch out. Paranoid fantasy reminiscent of The Matrix and The Terminator? Sure. What an influence popular culture has. :-) Heh--I'm sure Galloway has something serious and intelligent to say about the connection, so I'll stay tuned to Purse Lip Square Jaw.

New Music and Ennui

Bought three new CDs last night:

  • The White Stripes: Elephant
  • The Donnas: Spend the Night
  • Lucinda Williams: World Without Tears

They all rock. I must admit, though, that the purchase of Elephant was somewhat of a political move because of the band's stance on intellectual property.

Anyway, the music is great, and that's really all I have to say about it...which leads me to the ennui part.

Arrested Development is back together and touring

Should I go see them tonight in Nashville?? I am so torn! My only other chance to see them would be the 4th of July in Milwaukee. I've always loved them and hoped they'd reunite. Remember "Mr. Wendel" and "Tennessee"?

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