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Aug. 25th, 2016

how i sold my soul


Mar. 20th, 2014

not just star struck, it's something more

I just tweeted something about a person I admire greatly. She favorited the tweet. Now I want to cry.

Nov. 25th, 2010

happy thanksgiving

 Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the doorknob broke)
When you asked me how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can’t read too good
Don’t send me no more letters, no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row

-- Bob Dylan

May. 30th, 2010

i have no idea what's going on here

LiveJournal seems to have changed. I can no longer access my friends page, which means I'm missing a lot of good posts.

Jul. 28th, 2009

aw shit

And I mean that literally. You know something is up when I post over here for the first time in more than a year! I just got the test results back from a stool sample I sent in, and it came back positive. I'd say the odds are roughtly one in five hundred thousand that anything serious is wrong, but as far as I can tell, the positive result means I'm going to have to have a colonoscopy. Based on what I read about that procedure ... aw shit.

Jun. 25th, 2008

all the books i haven't read

From batdina:

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (I'm assuming we have to read the whole thing, so I'll say no)
7 Wuthering Heights
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (see The Bible, above)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt (I forget, which probably says something)
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (see #63 above)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

How pathetic that I've only read 26 but have a PhD in English. I only loved three. I don't intend to read any of the ones I missed, either. There needs to be more non-fiction on this list.

And, since my favorite book isn't on the list:

101 The Plague - Albert Camus

May. 14th, 2008

can't get this out of my mind

And for some reason, I feel like it would be disrespectful to talk about it on my main blog, so here I am.

I saw the victim's sister on TV last night, crying and talking about how he loved his three kids and how he coached a lot of sports teams and how much he meant to the kids who played under him. It really got to me ... this woman, when she was little she was quite a handful, she knew how to give me the business, and when you don't see someone very often, you forget that they've grown up, and there she is on TV, a grown woman grieving over her dead brother.

Then a friend came from down the street ... they'd had a party going on down there yesterday, I hadn't thought much about it, but my friend said it was the victim who'd gotten it started, came by in the morning with some meat, said let's fire up the BBQ and play some dominos, and the party was on, right there in the front yard. Later he had to go pick someone up ... he called while he was gone, said he'd be back in five minutes ... he never made it back.

I was talking to my son a bit ago, and he said he felt bad for me and Robin, because this kind of thing is outside our sense of the world, and he's right, but I worry about him, too, because he feels like shit about this but he's also kinda fatalistic about it, and it's sad to me that murder can become something, not exactly expected, but unsurprising.

I really don't have anything to say, but I wanted to say it anyway.

May. 13th, 2008

people suck

A few hours ago, we got a call from our daughter. Someone she grew up with had been murdered ... best as I know, she was much closer to mutual friends than to the victim, but it clearly was very hard on her. She called her brother, a bit closer in age to the man and probably closer to him as a person as well ... he later called and checked in, too.

I wanted to know more, so I checked SFGate and found a brief story about the event. I noticed that there were more than 60 comments already. I made the mistake of wondering what kind of comments would there be about a very recent story about a shooting, and started reading the comments.

Some were generic "Berkeley sux." Some conflated Berkeley and Oakland and said "Oakland sux." Many referred to the victim as a thug ... this was when he had yet to be identified to the public. But they assumed. Someone who knew him said he was a father of three ... someone else said, in essence, who cares. Finally, someone dug out an old news story about the victim, quoted it, and said he got what he deserved.

Frustrated, I posted my own comment, explaining that the victim was a friend of my kids, that I understood the desire to mouth off since I do it all the time myself, but that, given the number of people I know personally who are grieving right now, I was ashamed to read the comments.

On SFGate, you can give a thumbs up/down to individual comments. Within three minutes, I'd gotten a thumbs down from someone.

Apr. 17th, 2008

danny federici, r.i.p.

Well early in the morning the cannoneer cried
"I seen the sailor's warning in the western sky"
Well mountain man, if you can, cut me down a fir tree
Branches full of candlesticks for baby and me

And my darling cried, she said "Honey, the weathervane
lately it's been pointing the way to heaven
Scatterbrains, scatterbrains, watch out where you fall
Champagne, champagne, a round for all the old choir boys
They're busting off the altar chasing Dinah through the hall
They're bustin' off the altar chasing Dinah through the hall"

Mar. 11th, 2008

an idle quote to remind myself i have an lj

Every morning at that time, we went to Bodo's Bagels and split a three-cheese sesame. They always played a mix tape of Rolling Stones tunes there, and I found it immensely comforting. The first song was "Sitting on a Fence," an acoustic ballad with Mick and Keith singing about how stupid people are for falling in love and settling down. I was amazed at how soothing their voices were, two brash and pretty young mod boys, harmonizing so confidently about how people who stay together are suckers, and laughing at them. And they're right -- what could be scarier, stupider, than staying together? How else could you totally guarantee that you would always have reasons to be terrified? "Sittin' on a Fence," that was the life for Mick and Keith. (The crazy thing is, Mick and Keith are total hypocrites -- they've been a married couple longer than my parents. If Keith really believed in "Sittin' on a Fence," he'd be Jeff Beck, who never gets trapped in a situation he doesn't control, and hasn't made a decent record since he quit the Yardbirds.)

-- Rob Sheffield, Love Is a Mix Tape

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