Archive for May, 2007

Mixed reaction

Monday, May 28th, 2007

It cracks me the hell up that Barbie has an RV with a hot tub. Well, it simultaneously cracks me up and weirds me out a little. Well, a lot. OK, it simultaneously weirds me the hell out and makes me a little sad. Yeah. Cracks me up, weirds me out, and makes me sad. That’s about right.

Post-modern playground name-calling

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Our front porch guy told a story about his 1st-grade daughter getting called an “asshole” on the playground by a little boy in her class. She told the teacher, who brought them together and talked to the boy about his use of language, and he promised not to use the word again.

A little later, they were back out playing, and sure enough, the little boy called the girl an “asshole” again. The girl went back to the teacher, who again gathered the two children up and started to admonish the boy, when the little girl contributed her advice for the boy: “You should really try not to be such a bitch.”

Ah ooooh!

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Karsten and I went to the Send B to Beantown shindig last night where there was much karaoke and much too much to drink. But it was crazy fun, which is partly thanks to the people present and, let’s be honest, partly due to the presence of karaoke.

Ivy & The Bloggers perform "Love Shack"

I mean, the karaoke was wicked fun to watch. This is Nashville, after all, and there were some amazing singers in the audience, some of them from our own group. I didn’t get up and sing anything, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything I was really in the mood for. Ginger and I joked about doing a duet on “Don’t Cha” (as in the Pussycat Dolls’ “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me”) but neither of us knew enough of the words to do anything other than read along with the cue screen, which is no fun.

And karaoke is definitely about fun, as Kat Coble amply demonstrated with an enthusiastic performance of “Werewolves of London.” As I said in comments over at Nashville Is Talking,

what I love about karaoke is when folks get up and just sing something fun whether they think they can sing or not, and just belt it out with a big ol’ smile on their faces and get everyone in the audience to love them.

Anyway, as I said, I didn’t sing anything, and neither did several others in the crowd. Chris Wage says he actually sings well, but couldn’t be coaxed to get up and perform. Though he did take pictures.

Chris Wage - the photographer at work

And Jon, despite having been a professional musician and all for years, claimed that he probably wouldn’t have been able to find a selection that suited him. And yet later, at the “after party” at Beyond The Edge, while we all chatted and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” was piping through the outdoor speakers, Jon cried out “You’re all talking as if Alice Cooper isn’t playing right now.” So we quieted down and paid our respects to Mr. Cooper as Jon sang along. It may not have been up on a stage, but hey, he did perform a wee bit. Oh, and we also did a little duet of a medley of Styx songs from the “Kilroy Was Here” album a few songs later when “Mr. Roboto” came on. So yeah, sing-alongs were sort of the theme of the evening.

Anyway, I enjoyed myself immensely, even if I’m paying the price a bit today. And Karsten got to know a few more of the local bloggers, even if Mack mistakenly thinks he’s smarter than Karsten.

(More pictures are up at my “Send B to Beantown” flickr set.)

View from my outdoor office

Friday, May 25th, 2007

View from my outdoor office
View from my outdoor office,
originally uploaded by Kate O’.

This is what I’m looking at as I work right now.

Jusht to shee you shmile

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

[HFBD, huashan">!]

Here’s a new way to measure the length of my commute — today’s was:
So Alive - Ryan Adams
Where Is The Love - Black Eyed Peas
I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack
Just To See You Smile - Tim McGraw
You’ll Think Of Me - Keith Urban

The Tim McGraw song reminds me to ask: is there a name for the linguistic phenomenon where a lot of men with Southern accents pronounce /s/ as almost /sh/? (You know, voiceless alveolar fricative, postalveolar fricative, whatever.) I checked all over the web and couldn’t find any reference to it. The Wikipedia entry on the Southern American English dialect touches on a lot of pretty subtle dynamics of US Southern speech but doesn’t mention that. I just asked two of my coworkers on the way back from lunch and the name one of them improvised was “tobacco jaw.” The theory is that these men don’t move their mouths very much when they speak. Could that really be all it is?

And talking about that reminds me to say: living in Nashville has certainly exposed me to lots of accent variations I’d been unaware of previously. I knew that Southerners could tell the difference between someone with a Nashville (sounds something like “NASH-full”) accent and someone with, say, a south Georgia (sounds something like “JOE-ja”) accent, but before I lived here, they sounded to my ear like more or less the same accent. Now I hear completely different accents everywhere I turn. The guy doing the carpentry on our front steps sounds exactly like Chris Cooper to me — voice, accent, everything — but Chris Cooper is from Kansas City, Missouri and the carpenter dude is from Memphis. That’s 500 miles apart. I bet folks in those areas would easily be able to hear a difference between their respective accents. (Either way, their voices still sound incredibly alike.)

Oh, snap!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Sitening Blog has a code snippet to share. Free for the taking. Any user fallout experienced is almost certainly not their responsibility.

Paging Dr. Jae…

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Would you be more inclined to translate “little disaster” as “kleine Katastophe” or “Katastrophchen,” since our intent is to use it as an affectionate term (as in “Unsere kleine Katastrophe” oder “Unser Katastrophchen”)? Or is there a better translation altogether? I wouldn’t want to miss out on getting the best humor value out of it.

And no paper cuts yet, either!

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

I’m tackling my big paper pile o’ doom. This paper pile actually started accumulating while my dad was sick, and has slowly grown its own gravity field ever since. I’ve paid bills and taken care of enough odds and ends that it hasn’t actually made itself into an emergency, but enough little things went hidden and unnoticed that it has evolved into a problem. I could actually write kind of a serious post about how horrible and helpless it has made me feel for this past year and a half, but instead I’ll just say that I’ve been making an effort to tackle it every weekend morning for many, many weeks, but it rarely looks like I made much progress.

This morning I had a new strategy: to go through every single piece of paper and separate it into smaller piles according to as many categories as necessary, but I had to name the categories, put a post-it note on a file folder with the name of the category, and put each piece of paper into its respective file folder. Once that was done, I took the financial file and immediately went through everything, entering bills in Quicken, writing checks, and what-have-you. That’s done so now I’m taking a little break to check feeds and write this here post.

Next I’ll tackle the stuff to file, which will probably take me until breakfast and then I’ll end up going outside to garden. But at least I have a really scalable system to begin again on it next weekend. Whew.

Garden Guzzle

Friday, May 11th, 2007
Garden Guzzle 2007
Garden Guzzle 2007,
originally uploaded by historicgermantown.

That’s our house in the center background of this picture. We were on the neighborhood garden tour this past weekend.

Clearly, ours was the “work in progress” entry on the tour. ;)

Karsten needs this

Friday, May 4th, 2007

I need to find a way to get one of these for Karsten.

Freebird

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

The bird is free! He (she? How do you sex a chick, anyway? No, wait, smartasses - don’t answer that.) must have made his way out of the wall overnight. He was sitting on the floor in the basement this morning, so I wrapped him in a towel and took him outside where he hobbled into a patch of vinca. I have no idea if he’s injured or just can’t fly yet, and no idea if he’ll survive outdoors, but at least now he’s where he should have been all along.

And I can stop being upset about the poor thing.

Heartbreaking

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

A bird nest must have fallen from one of our eaves down into the wall near the front door. We can hear a bird trapped in the wall chirping repeatedly for help. I ache for that bird. We keep going back and forth about whether to rip the wall open to try to get the bird out, but my guess is that he or she is injured from the fall and wouldn’t survive at this point anyway.

But it’s grisly and it breaks my heart.