At MPOW I have two e-mail accounts to tend: my personal account, and a general library account. We use the latter for All Employee announcements, ordering from vendors and I tell students to e-mail me there if they can't remember how to spell my name.

This account attracts spam, and I've gotten used to that. When I checked today, though, I got a surprise. Classmates dot com has a reunion planned (for either the 10th or the 19th, the messages have both dates listed)!

Now, I've been close with my prep school librarian, and I'd like to think that my former students would enjoy seeing me at a reunion. But the library itself? I'm guessing that might be difficult to arrange. Or perhaps... ok, doubtful, but perhaps... there's someone out there who's name is Library.

If you know him/her/it, tell them about the reunion.


Notable Quotes

Breuer gestured to the bouquets of fresh-cut flowers that lay before many graves. "In this land of the dead, these are the dead and those" -- he pointed to an old untended and abandoned section of the cemetary -- "those are the truly dead. No one now tends their graves because no one living has ever known them. They know what it means to be dead."
When Nietzsche Wept, Irvin D. Yalom


The dreaded SPOILER issue

I've blogged about spoilers before, and I basically come down on the side of "if you aren't keeping up with the series, don't read/look at posts/articles about the most current issue/volume/movie".

But, as ALOTTFMA points out, there's also the question about Real Life: if a story is based on real events, can one really spoil it? In other words, did anyone not know that the Titanic sank? or, in literary terms, that Nixon resigns at the end of The Final Days?


Links Galore


Definition difference

Tonight, Thing One and I ate dinner with a fire in the fireplace as a background. He was in charge of building the fire, while I was in charge of cooking the dinner.

Shortly after starting the fire, Thing One asked about the flue. I told him "push it forward." He did, and the fire alarm went off.

So, readers, here's the question. When I said "push it forward," I meant "push it away from you." Thing One says that "push it forward" means pushing it towards yourself.

Which of us is right?


Do I have a life?

Saw this over at The Little Professor and decided to play along. The rules are: If you've seen more than eighty-five of these, you have no life.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
( ) Joe Dirt
( ) KING KONG which version?
( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
( ) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
( ) Flubber Orignial version only
( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
(x) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
(x) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
( ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
(x) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremacy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled both versions
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
( ) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Boss's Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
(x) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
( ) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
( ) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
( ) x-Men
( ) x2
( ) x-3
( ) Spider-Man
( ) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
( ) The Little Mermaid
( ) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Kippendorf's Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old-virgin
(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
(x) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
( ) Highlander
(x) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
( ) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
( ) Hook
(x) Chronicle Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) The Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
( ) The Matrix
( ) The Matrix Reloaded
( ) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatri
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
( ) Battle Royale
( ) Battle Royale 2
( ) Brazil
( ) Contact
( ) Cube
(x) Dr. Strangelove
( ) Enlightenment Guaranteed
( ) Four Rooms
(x) Memento
( ) Pi
( ) Requiem for a Dream
(x) Pulp Fiction (does the tv version count?)
( ) Reservoir Dogs
( ) Run Lola Run
(x) Russian Ark
( ) Serenity
(x) Sin City
( ) Snatch
( ) Spider
(x) The Sixth Sense
(x) The Village
( ) Waking Life
( ) Zatoichi
( ) Ikiru
( ) The Seven Samurai (but it's on my to-watch list)
( ) Brick
( ) Akira

56. Whew! According to this, I have a life! (BTW, if any of these seem a little "odd" for Lazyviewing, blame the Things).

I'm tagging Thing Two. And any one else who's interested.


Last Minute Book Ideas

For those of you who haven't quite finished your Holiday Shopping:


16 Things Meme

Ellysa tagged me for this, saying I was a "blogger extraordinaire". Hmmm... don't know about that, but thanks for the compliment. As for "16 Things You Don't Know About Me", that's a little complicated. I mean, so many people know me in so many different ways that it'll difficult for me to come up with 16 completely new, unknown things. My sister will know some (ditto my cousins)... friends may know others... etc. So, to name this meme correctly, it's "16 Things, Most of Which You Didn't Know About Me"

--I hate my middle name.

--When I was younger, the only pets I had were goldfish. They each died within a week of my getting them. (I've had better luck with the cats!)

--I grew 8" one year, and have only grown 2.5" since then.

--I had two boyfriends in Kindergarten. I haven't had two boyfriends since...

--I once served 14 straight points in volleyball. That's the only thing I could do in volleyball.

--I used to slide down the banister in my grandfather's house.

--I once had an art show at the local museum.

--My first Nancy Drew book gave me my one and only wake-up-screaming nightmare.

--I learned to solder when I was 6.

--My favorite fudge recipe can be found in Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.

--I have a calculator named Fred.

--I started wearing glasses in 4th grade. My first pair with pink "cats-eye" glasses.

--My cat Howard was named after a guy I worked with at Circle Rep. They both cocked their heads and held their paws/hands the same way.

--I used to collect dolls from foreign countries.

--In 8th grade, I learned I read 1000wpm. This was at the start of a speed-reading class. I never finished that class.

--Until the summer of 1972, I could read in a car.

I'm tagging Cam (because she's always on the lookout for a good meme), KRodd (just because), K (because she remembers my first pair of glasses), Ernie Cox (because he has nothing else to do with his time) and Katarzyna Agarwal (to spread the wealth around a little).


Things that make you go whaaa????

I like listening to music on my way to and from work. Thanks to my parents, I have an iPod car jack. The problem is that once I get within a certain distance of NYC, there's too much interference and I can't listen. So I turn to 1010 WINS.

Recently, on my way home, there's one point in Pocantico Hills where the 1010 WINS signal is weak - don't ask me why it's why it's weak in the evening, heading north while it's fine in the morning heading south. The point is, it's weak, ok? And another station bleeds in. You can hear both stations, with random words, phrases or sentences mixed with the others words, phrases or sentences, sometimes both at once.

I've been listening hard, trying to figure out where this other station is coming from. Tonight: success. I heard the call numbers of the other station. They're CFRB, 1010 Newstalk. Out of Toronto.


New Blog Alert

This one is the Book, Cook & Hook Nomad's blog. How can you resist reading about someone "Eternally looking for the perfect book, the perfect recipe and the perfect yarn"?

Oh: there's the occasional Scotch recommendation, too.


Is it me?

This is the time of year when we exchange cards, expressing love and care and good wishes to our nearest and dearest. And to work colleagues, employees and clients. I don't doubt that the cards sent to the latter group are sincere, but sometimes... Here's the text of one card, received at MPOW
I'm honored to set aside my regular work at this time of year to send you a heartfelt note.
Yes, yes, a lovely sentiment. I'd have been a little more touched if 1. it had been addressed to me, not "To My Friends and Customers" and 2. if it had been handwritten.

Bah Humbug? Or am I on to something?



Earlier this year, I announced that I'd not made any New Year's Resolutions, I'd set goals. Things have gotten better in many areas, and now I'm thinking about 2009's goals.

The major, overall goal is repatterning. What's that? It's breaking old patterns of behavior, belief, etc. It's taking small steps rather than saying "as of now, I'm no longer going to do/say/eat xxx" in some massive, radical shift.

Some of the patterns are ones that I've been aware of for some time - health-related ones, clutter-related ones, and relationship-related ones. Some are ones I've been concerned about, but aren't patterns... yet. There are things I think might become patterns that I'm not sure I want to get into, and now is the time to reconsider.

Some of these are based on things that I know about myself, and some are based on watching others in my life and saying "hmmm - I don't like that trait. I wonder if I'm developing it." (or, conversely, seeing a trait I do like and would like to encourage in myself). It's not always easy to take an inventory of these things, particularly when you see something unpleasant in others that you fear is growing in yourself. That's why it's small steps, because those are manageable.

The good thing about goals is that you can embark on the great experiment at any time. I'm choosing my upcoming five-day weekends to start. Just for that weekend, I'll exercise twice and eat healthy. Just for that weekend, I'll unclutter a box or a closet. And if it doesn't happen Weekend One, it can happen Weekend Two. Etc. It's a GOAL. Not a resolution.

Watch this space.


(ok, not so much of an imponderable as a WHA??? but I don't have that category)

Yesterday I pre-ordered the fifth (and possibly final) book in the Percy Jackson series. As I was finalizing the sale, Amazon let me know that
This item might not arrive by Dec. 25. If you want it before that date, upgrade your shipping options
(I'm paraphrasing slightly).

Here's the thing: the book isn't due to be released until May 8. I know it's an auto-generated message but still... do you think I could get it before Christmas if I upgraded to Next Day service?


Even danah boyd's doing it

Doing what? Turning off:
No email will be received by danah's ornery INBOX between December 11 and January 19!

For those who are unaware of my approach to vacation... I believe that email eradicates any benefits gained from taking a vacation by collecting mold and spitting it back out at you the moment you return. As such, I've trained my beloved INBOX to reject all email during vacation. I give it a little help in the form of a .procmail file that sends everything directly to /dev/null. The effect is very simple. You cannot put anything in my queue while I'm away (however lovingly you intend it) and I come home to a clean INBOX. Don't worry... if you forget, you'll get a nice note from my INBOX telling you to shove off, respect danah's deeply needed vacation time, and try again after January 19.

It's sick, twisted, and counter to the always-on culture that we live in. But gosh darnit, it feels mighty fine to come home fret-free. And this will be especially important for this trip because, starting January 19, I will begin my new job at MSR - w00t!
Since danah's one of our leading lights in understanding social networking and youth culture, all I can say is I hope the message spreads.

Congratulations, danah, on taking a break. And if she can do it, why can't you?



Today I went to do some shopping and to pick up my Christmasholiday card stamps (the Nutcracker is better than the cross-stitch from last year, but not great). *

While I was on line, a man came in. Two women followed, loudly berating him for parking in the only handicapped space. He kept saying, "I am not the driver, it's my daughter, she's a grown woman of 25" and they kept insisting that he could have told her to park elsewhere. Shortly after, a woman with a cane entered - someone that probably had a handicapped permit, yet was unable to park near the door due to this "grown woman's" selfishness.

I exited, and went up to the car. After this girl rolled down the window (or is it "lowered" in this age of electronics?), I explained that she wasn't parked properly and that the woman with the cane was prevented from using the space set aside for her; the response was "I'm waiting for my father." To which I retorted, "He isn't disabled" and walked away.

I hear about how communities are losing their tax base through foreclosures and bankruptcies. Why can't they start making up the difference by targeting these people? Surely a blast of ticketing and fining for "nuisances" would go a long way to increasing the coffers and create a more civil society.

* I still send out cards. While some may say that it's irresponsible (all those trees and carbon emissions!), to me it's more irresponsible to neglect the little niceties in our lives. And what's more nice that getting a card that says someone cares and wants good things for you? Remember, it's the little things.


I'm an old fogie

Some things are just ingrained in us, I suppose: slang from our youth, songs that were Number One Hits from our formative years that no one now would listen to (but to which we, of course, know all the words), team cheers, etc..

Yesterday morning I was chatting with a colleague. She had asked the Middle School faculty to provide her with the title/artist of at least one song that had meant something to us when we were young. It could be off the first album you really owned... the song playing when you first danced with your first true love... whatever. I'd given her three, one from my grammar school days, one from prep school, and one from college.

I asked her what she was planning on doing with this information? Was it to be a "guess which colleague liked ____" game? Or was she making a mix tape?

At this, she burst out laughing and said, "Yes, back in the day, when we were young, it would have been called a mix tape. But now, in the 21st century, we use CDs."

Since she's younger than I (ok, ok, only by a few months), I informed her that at my advanced age, it was permissible to use older terminology when the mind didn't remember the newer. And that when she got to be my age, she'd understand.

Still... I'm an old fogie, aren't I?



I just can't bring myself to blame the start of the Holiday season for the bus driver stabbing or the Wal-Mart death or the Mumbai horror, but I can't find any other reason. Can you?

What happened to peace and love and goodwill to all man?


Corrupted by pop culture

Tonight on my drive home, I saw Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon in conjunction. I live far enough from NYC to not have a huge glare from all the lights obscuring the view. It's truly remarkable.

However... is it just me, or does it look like a frowny face? Makes me wish I were in Australia :)