Archive for March, 2007

My sentiments exactly

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Screen shot of IMDB daily poll:

Femininity and feminism, and a magazine called Skirt!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

theogeo critiques a new magazine called Skirt! (yes, the banger is part of the title) with which she is obliquely associated:

Tell me you’ve got a publication for strong, successful women and I’ll usually be all, “Okay, right on,” thinking we’ve got a political-minded, informative, thoughtful outlet on our hands. Tell me it’s called “Skirt!” and my brain will start shutting down. Suddenly you’ve introduced fashion and feminine markers into the premise. Not to mention the secondary verbal definition of “skirt,” which means to avoid or work around. It’s indirect; it’s passive.

The whole premise is bewilderingly patronizing. And it’s not like I don’t subscribe to fashion magazines — I do! several! — but I subscribe to them to follow fashion and admire clothing design. I know what I’m getting into when I open a copy of InStyle, and believe me, I don’t read it expecting to encounter thoughtful essays written from a feminist perspective. Those types of publications simply have no credibility with me for that sort of content. But when I want those feminist essays (Bust, perhaps, or Off Our Backs? I admit I don’t subscribe to either — blogs provide me with ample content), I don’t expect to be condescended to with fashion and beauty advice. And here the credibility issue works basically in reverse: include fashion and beauty advice in your progressive women’s publication, and, for me, you cease to be a progressive women’s publication.

This sort of mental partitioning may be uncommon, but I sort of doubt it. That’s not to say that a cross-market magazine (or even cross-cross-market, if you think fashion-feminist-local) can’t work, but this appears to be the reason to undertake such a venture with extreme caution.

Do you twitter?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

I’ve been set up for a while now, but I haven’t really used it. Here’s me. Where are you?

Update: I guess I can say more. When I first set up my account at Twitter, my thinking was similar to others I’ve seen dismiss it: sure I could use it, but what’s the point? But after reading about how much adoption it got at SXSW, I think I may just have to look deeper for ways it can be a useful tool. So color me intrigued.

Is this thing on?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Testing out the IM posting gateway. But content-wise, I got nothin’.

Airport security vs. airport freshness

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Apparently, you can’t pack any aerosols that you don’t spray on your person, so my method lavender air freshener had to go. I gave the can to the two ticket agents, who were only too happy to take it and start spraying behind the ticket counter area. Glad to help.

“I’m your sledgehammer, let there be no doubt about it”

Monday, March 19th, 2007
After one day with a sledgehammer
After one day with a sledgehammer,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

I took this quick pic with my Treo 680 from the driver’s seat of my car as I headed out to work this morning. (Obviously, I left via the back door.) It just barely conveys what the remains of our front porch looks like after one day with Karsten wielding a sledgehammer for about 5 hours. (I wielded it, too, for about 10 minutes. I’m sore. He’s not. Guess which one of us is cut out for this kind of work?)

John H and NiT’s weekend-blogger Ginger dropped by on their way to lunch to admire the progress, and got the tour of our untidy-due-to-frequent-travel house while they were here.

I did take a lot more pictures with the other camera, but I haven’t gotten them into the laptop yet, so I’ll be back with more later.

In the Bay Area next week

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

I’ve been forgetting to mention that I’m headed for the Bay Area next week. I’m traveling without Karsten this time – he’s staying behind to work on the front porch – so I’m especially interested in catching up with friends in the evenings to keep me company! I’ll be arriving Tuesday afternoon and leaving Friday mid-day, and I’m staying in Redwood City. Getting together with friends in the evening Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday would be excellent.

So friends in the Bay Area, if you’re interested in getting together, I’d love to hear from you!

Changing the front of our house and the ever-changing housing front

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Good news – we got our loan to do our front porch / entryway work! Yay! What’s especially cool about this is that when we went into the banks to start the application process, we told them what we thought the value of our house was but we aimed pretty high, knowing that the appraiser would most likely be coming in to say “yep, it’s worth that much” or not. Somehow the numbers got mixed up, though, and the mortgage guy gave an even higher figure to the appraiser, who came back saying it wasn’t worth quite that much, but placed it almost exactly at the figure we originally gave. So in just about two years’ time, our house has increased in value by over 60% of what we bought it for. Not too shabby! Some of that is directly attributable to the appreciation of home values in our neighborhood overall, of course, but the new windows and some of the other work we’ve done were factors in the increased value, as well, so that feels good.

Anyway, this means that our front porch and entryway work can begin in the next few weeks, and the bulk of it should be done by late spring. The only part that will probably have to wait is painting, which will likely happen in the fall. And for the next little while, we’ll have to use our back door only, which will be weird. But I think it’s going to look great. I can’t wait.

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Long overdue trip report: NYC

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

I never did write about the trip to New York, did I?

This was a business trip for me, but Karsten had been talking for some time about wanting to get up to New York to visit some galleries and get a feel for what’s happening in the NYC art scene. So Karsten and I went up Saturday morning and spent the weekend bumming around, and then while I was working Monday through Wednesday, he visited galleries.

All in all, that plan worked out pretty well. The other aspect of the trip was a tour of the many vegetarian restaurants in NYC. We had delicious meals at Teany, Kate’s Joint, both Candle Cafe and Candle 79, Cafe Spice, and a random falafel cart. We also ate with my coworkers one night at Asia de Cuba, which was fun. NYC is definitely a good place to blow your diet.

One random thing we encountered was a huge pillow fight in Union Square. When we came across it, I assumed it was some sort of anti-war protest, but now that I look it up, it appears it was simply a silly event. Maybe I overanalyze things. Huh. It was fun to watch either way.

Pillow fight in NYC

Speaking of things that might be considered fun to watch, through a work connection, we had free tickets to Rent on Monday night. We were appreciative but wary. After all, an employee of mine years ago was a huge fan of the show and, to spread her enthusiasm, insisted once that we all listen to the soundtrack together. Contrary to her hopes, we didn’t fall in love with the songs. We also suspected that, having seen Team America: World Police and their send-up of Rent (if you haven’t seen the movie, their version was called Lease with a song called “Everyone has AIDS”), we’d effectively seen the show. Yeah, I realize it was groundbreaking to have not just token GLBT characters but actual G, L, B, & T characters and all these controversial and socially challenging storylines and all that, but it’s just, I don’t know. I’m not saying I’ve seen and done it all, but I have been exposed to various kinds of Bohemian lifestyles, I’ve had friends with HIV, and I and many other people I’ve known have struggled with not being able to pay rent, and somehow it’s never occurred to me to sing peppy, jaunty songs about it all. So yeah, anyway, we weren’t getting into it and we left at intermission.

Anyway, as we walked along Broadway through Times Square, we heard someone say “What the hell are you guys doing here?” and for some inexplicable reason, we turned around and looked rather than just continuing to walk as if nothing had been said, which would have been a far more appropriate response in almost any urban setting. But it turned out to be one of our neighborhood buddies from Nashville! Weird. So we all went back to the bar in our hotel and laughed and drank and had a good old time until way too late for a school night.

Oh yeah, and the work part of the trip was pretty good, too. The end.

IMDb’s new look

Monday, March 5th, 2007

I for one love the changes so far on IMDb. Their changes make sense, like moving the poster image to the left-hand nav to better integrate it with all the related information and actions for that title. And pulling the recommendations feature onto the details page is smart — I bet people will start really using that information.

What do you think about it?

Money money

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Finally finished pulling my tax stuff together. I think this is the latest I’ve ever let it go. Our tax preparer tends to be a little overwhelmed and kind of slow so I won’t be totally relaxed until I get the papers back and send them off, hopefully with not too big a check enclosed.

On the positive side of money matters, I noticed in Quicken today that I received my first paycheck from my new employer a week or whatever ago, and via direct deposit at that! I mean, it usually takes a few pay periods before direct deposit kicks in, but here we are all set up the first time out! Never let it be said that I can’t find joy in simple things. ;-)