Archive for May, 2008

We’re well preserved!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

We’re well preserved!

Originally uploaded by Kate O’
(Thanks to Busy Mom for the subject line. :) )

Not sure why this didn’t post to my blog when I posted it to flickr. That whole “post to flickr and your blog at the same time” function is kind of sketchy, I find.

The moment we’d been waiting for finally arrived, and our house won a preservation award from Nashville’s Historical Commission. We genuinely didn’t think we’d win, sitting at the ceremony watching all the other winners be presented, with projects far bigger than ours. But when they called out our names, we sure weren’t going to turn the plaque down!

Karsten is thinking of wearing it on a chain around his neck. He says he’s busted up enough concrete around here to have earned it, and I quite agree. But in all likelihood, it will be as it is intended: mounted at eye level next to our front entrance. In this picture, I am holding it approximately where it will end up.

Sex and the City opening night / Girls Night Out

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Sex and the City opening night / Girls Night Out

Originally uploaded by Kate O’

This is madness — the line to get into the theater itself wraps around the lobby — and this is only Franklin, Tennessee. Can’t imagine what things are like in Manhattan tonight. Yikes!

Now they tell me!

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Did you know that there are substances called “goitrogens” which can inhibit the production of thyroid hormone and, the theory goes, contribute to the enlargement of the thyroid?

Maybe you’d heard of this, but it’s news to me.

And what’s more, there are two main types of foods that are most associated with goitrogens and, consequently, with thyroid disruption: soybean-related foods and crucifers.

Get it? Tofu and freakin’ broccoli, two of my favorite foods. Oh, hardy har har, universe. That’s a good one.

Now, I realize I’m doing research on the interwebs, and that my findings are therefore suspect. And I do recognize that most of the sites that talk about goitrogens make it clear that most people would have to consume “excessive” quantities of these foods before their effects would be likely to cause problems.

But, well, I do eat a LOT of soy-based products — I’m a vegan, after all — and I LOVE broccoli. I could eat it all the time.

It’s just very interesting, you know? And it just reinforces that thing my mom always used to say: everything in moderation, some things not at all. Because weirdly, even things most people think of as very healthy can cause trouble in large quantities.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make a soy-and-broccoli-less dinner.

So the doctor tells me…

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

I may have to have my thyroid removed.

More tests to do, but that’s the likely upshot.

I guess I better enjoy my thyroid while I can. Alas, dear thyroid, I hardly knew ye.

The ’stache is dead; long live the ’stache

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

From Macleans, a poem in memory of John Oates’ mustache.

My favorite stanza?

Hall was tall, he was blond
He could sing in falsetto
But John Oates’ soup strainer
Helped fill up his bed-o

The death of a child is always “tragic,” I guess

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

I started to use the term “tragic” in the subject of this post, but then realized it seemed redundant to describe a child’s death that way.

Found on Shaun Groves’ blog, but he’s quoting the Tennessean:

One of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman’s six children was killed this afternoon when she was struck by a car said to be driven by her teenage brother in the driveway of the family’s Williamson County home.

This is just an awful story. I truly feel for the Chapman family.

My family was having dinner one night when I was a kid when we heard some loud and strange noises outside. Yelling, maybe? And then sirens nearby. We all left the table to go out and see what might be happening. Two doors down, the neighbor dad had been working on a car in the driveway and it was up on a jack. The youngest girl, maybe 4 years old, was playing near the car, and the youngest boy, maybe 6 or 7 — close to my age at the time — had climbed in through the open driver’s door and shifted the car into gear, nearly injuring his father, and crushing his sister to death. My mom held me back from viewing the scene once she took in what was going on, so I was spared having to see her body being taken away, but it all remains vivid and gruesome in my memory.

I recall also that the family moved away shortly thereafter. I’m sure there were myriad reasons, but it has always struck me that it would be impossible to imagine what changes in a family when a young child dies.

All of that to say: while I don’t pray, I will definitely be thinking of the Chapman family, and I will be hoping they come through this intact.

links for 2008-05-20

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

links for 2008-05-18

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

links for 2008-05-17

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

links for 2008-05-15

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Apparently, we grow bored with merely gourmet coffee

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I’m going to some shindig on Thursday featuring “microroasted artisanal coffees.” Really? “Microroasted?” I was aware of the home roasting trend (I started to call it a craze, but I think that’s overstating the case) but hadn’t run across the term “microroasted.” I’ve actually largely given up coffee (truly, you wouldn’t believe how much caffeine I’d been consuming and for how many years of my life) but this I just gotta see.

Should I write a song about it?

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Stumbled across a good post by Frasier Smith about what makes a song hit-ready. I think this is the songwriting equivalent of “get rich quick” schemes to the average Joe, or of “Good to Great”-style books for business. And yes, I’ve thought a lot about the topic myself.

Smith talks about various elements in hit songs that make their lyrics and melodies memorable, universal, and instantly appealing. Certainly those are elements worth striving for, if pop hits are your goal — and they are ours.

But one of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is the importance of writing for me. I’ve always done this, to a degree, but at times I’ve strayed a bit into unfamiliar territory in the hopes of writing something that more people would connect with. Imagine me writing, for example, a song with NASCAR allusions. I’ve tried it. It sucked. I won’t do it again (I promise).

And I just don’t believe it’s necessary to deal with the unfamiliar. Some of my favorite hits are the ones that seem broadly appealing and universal, but which have lyrics that appear specific about the writer’s own life. I’ll cite “She’s My Kind of Rain” as an example, even though its merits are often contested in songwriting circles. I’d cite other examples but I’m about to board a plane. Let me just assert that they are plentiful.

Moreover, I’m finding that the more I strive to write about the most universal topics in the most universal way, the less motivated I am to write them. Maybe that’s a “duh” kind of realization, but it hadn’t sunken in yet after all these years of writing. I think I’ve got it now.

So for me, the question of what to write about is “whatever I’m thinking about.” And then I guess I’d hope that I’ll sometimes stumble across universal themes. That makes it pretty simple, huh?

links for 2008-05-06

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

After Quicken?

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Web-forward people, particularly iPhone users, what’s the next thing after Quicken? Mint? Wesabe? Quicken online? I’ve tried all of these, and I have some complaints about each. Quicken no longer affords me the convenience it used to before I had an iPhone, when I used Pocket Quicken on my Treo to record expenses as I transacted them and could sync them up back at my laptop whenever. Now I have a stack of receipts piling up and no motivation to do anything with them, but I miss the granular visibility I used to have into my finances when that system was working well for me.

So what now?