Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Mold

Last night it hailed for an hour; today the school announced it was going to have to close a dorm and redistribute 40 students due to toxic mold. Meanwhile, I bumped into the tech director for the school radio station before my show tonight, and he invited me to take any CDs I wanted from the free stacks in the glass-walled second studio. What he didn't mention was that the whole thing reeked of must and mold. Must have been swamped quite some time ago. Now my nose is all stuffed up, my eyes swollen, my head large; when I blew my nose a few minutes ago, there was a streak of blood in the tissue.

I did find some gems among the toxins: Michael Franti and Spearhead; Rickie Lee Jones' new album; an EP of Vida Blue remixes; Kasey Chambers' The Captain, which I've been meaning to pick up for a while. And an Andrew W.K. sampler. But I had to leave almost as many behind, stuck with redgold rustmold to their colorful paper inserts.

I needed it. After a morning deadweighting my arm panning shots of students working at whiteboards for the coming-soon-to-theatres-near-you A Day In The Life Of The NMH Math Department, I managed to garble my way through an entirely unplanned and incoherent short presentation on my trip to Bangladesh in front of the whole faculty meeting this afternoon, then proceeded to get frustrated at the supermarket when Darcie and Willow kept moving on without me. Even Friendly's and a bath with the baby didn't cheer me up.

My back hurts. I was "on" from seven this morning to just after midnight. I haven't even thought about writing progress reports yet, though we'll be away when they're due so I better get going on them soon.

It's the end of the term, and we pretty much all fall apart here. This place is falling apart around me; I am falling apart around this place. Things fall apart; the center does not hold. Damn, my throat hurts. Playlist follows.

Bob Dorough -- Too Much Coffee Man
Trey Anastasio -- Cayman Review
Andrew W.K. - She Is Beautiful
Ween -- Bananas and Blow
String Cheese Incident -- Drifting
The Rembrandts -- Making Plans For Nigel
Trout Fishing In America -- Happy That You're Here
Eddie From Ohio -- Quick
Patty Griffin -- Change
Cesaria Evora -- Sangue de Beirona
Albert Pla -- El Lado Mas Bestia de la Vida
Joss Stone -- Fell In Love With A Boy
Jazz Is Dead -- Scarlet Begonias
Dan Hicks -- The Piano Has Been Drinking
Erica Wheeler -- Song For A Winter Night
Indigo Girls -- Romeo and Juliet
Girlyman -- When I Fall
Nickel Creek -- Spit On A Stranger
Ben Folds -- Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Vida Blue -- Most Events Aren't Planned
Natalie Merchant -- Weeping Pilgrim
Be Good Tanyas -- House Of The Rising Sun
The Del McCoury Band -- Rain And Snow
Blind Boys Of Alabama -- Amazing Grace

posted by boyhowdy | 1:08 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 17, 2003

They Can Dance, Too!

After a dance ban of over 140 years, students at Wheaton College can finally dance.

Why not Monday Mosh in their honor? See below for more!

posted by boyhowdy | 10:01 AM | 0 comments


The Monday Mosh: All You Have To Do Is Dance

It's been a nice relaxing weekend. Who wants to hit Monday without an energy boost?

Mosh to a song that never fails to crank you up.

Don't forget to leave a link or fulltext answers in the comments below so we know you were here.


How To Monday Mosh: What could be simpler? Dance around just 'cause it's Monday, and then answer three questions in your blog or in the comments below:
  • What song did you mosh to?

  • What did you step on / bump into? (Bonus points for breakage)

  • Why did you stop?

posted by boyhowdy | 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Backroom Reunion



Beloved Commonwealth, how I learned from thee.


Past the redgold dining room and the open copper kitchen, through the dishroom and down the stairs at the back of the Del Raye in Northampton is a tiny furnished room with mirrors on the walls and a crisscross winerack along the back.

This evening, it was host to a regional reunion for The Commonwealth School, the tiny prep-school-in-a-brownstone -- yes, that's the entire school there in the picture -- most notable for highly competitive collegiate placement, sending 10% of graduates each year to each of several Ivy League schools, where I attended my last two years of high school. 15 people crammed into this tiny room, ate gourmet pate and oil-soaked toasted sesame breads and scallops in sauce, drank Steel Rail Pale Ale and some surely-decent red wine, and met strangers. With an average graduating class of 30, that’s not such a bad turnout; however – do the math – it’s only three Harvard-bound seniors.

Talked shop to a computer science prof from UMass, talked Marlboro to a couple of more recent Commonwealth grads who had gone on to there as well; said my name when asked to; overall, managed successfully to small talk my way through two hours. The only one I knew there was William Wharton. Once tweedcoat classics teacher, now still young but graying Headmaster, I remember Bill most because, on the cusp of Headhood in my senior year, it was he who refused to listen to the voice of adolescent reason, choosing instead not to back down from the definitive ruling that, no, the word suck was not to be allowed in the school yearbook, because it called up graphic images in the mind. (As a compromise, I and the other two senior editors put a photograph of a burning Fiske’s Guide To Colleges on the back page with a tiny caption: The pictures and expressions employed in this yearbook do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commonwealth School. At the time, this seemed bold and creative; looking back, it does seem a bit adolescent.)

Maybe I've been immersed in independent school life for too long. Seeing Wharton from the prep school teacher’s side – comparing the good old alma mater with the boarding school near-competitor which has been my everything for 6 years – he looked good, austere but not too stiff or formal. The kind of guy I’d give money to, I think. And the place really is worth sustaining. But I still think suck is yearbook-appropriate.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:30 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 14, 2003

My Baby Is A Punk Rocker

Home relatively early today after a fine final Media Literacy class discussing the ends of education-as-media and media-as-education accompanied by about thirty bucks worth of cookies, doughnut holes and Mountain Dew. While Darcie picked up clothes from the laundry before it closed, Willow sat with me in the rocking chair and read Curious George And The Bunny, also known around here as hop hop hop hop. She seemed pretty happy to recognize that George was playing hide-and-seek when he covered his eyes (un...too...thee!), and happier still to be pulled around her hardwood bedroom floor on an extra cloth diaper (wheeeee!). So rewarding to have Darcie walk in on such a gleeful father-daughter moment.

Ironed some pants when Darcie returned, nominally so I could attend the otherwise bland-and-unworthy-of-mention all-school required speaker event tonight (J. C. Watts, black Republican ex-Congressman from Oklahoma). Once I got dressed, however, I found everyone else dressed up, too. Turns out we were going out to dinner, and I didn't even notice, but to be fair, I'm pretty oblivious most of the time; it's why I'm called boyhowdy, as in "hello...howdy...boy, are you even still on this planet?"

The Tavern, the new restaurant in our tiny hardly-a-town, is more subtle, more romantic, more deep reds and candles and less barn and local art than its predecessor. All dolled up and the first ones to arrive, the three of us had a lovely supper: homemade cream of broccoli soup, a caesar side salad starter, half-rare duck breast in raspberry puree; fresh breaded fish and french fries for the baby, though she much preferred the duck, and an excellent london broil for Darcie. Willow said "thank you" to the waitress without prompting as she brought each course, admired the wall-clock (tik tok tik tok!), and talked about the ice cream insistently until it arrived, from which we learned an important parenting lesson: it's better to let the ice cream be a surprise, because pre-toddlers don't really understand "soon."

On the drive home, just for fun, I cranked up the CD for Andrew W.K.'s She's So Beautiful, a song I have grown to love even though it's a bit off-genre for this pop-newgrass-folkie. Suddenly from the backseat came a deedle-deedle-deedle, and a head-thrashing in the rearview mirror. Her arms flew like a go-go girl. We laughed and laughed, but it was no fluke; three minutes in, her head was still rocking back and forth like a toofast metronome, and the smile kept getting wider and wider. When the song ended, she demanded more.

We went home and cranked up the stereo and, still in our formalwear, the three of us thrashed and moshed around the apartment, stopping occasionally to grin at ourselves looking silly in the dress-up alcove mirror, until we were all tired out. Who would have thought that Willow would love Andrew W.K. so much? Sure, she loves to dance, but she's never done it for so long or so hard. My little girl makes me so proud.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:38 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Errata

After a second look at what's on top of my bedroom dresser, I find that my memory is a bit off. Here's an updated list, with updated items listed first:
  • A dozen finepoint pens of various colors and brand.

  • One of those maple-leaf-shaped glass tourist bottles of locally-made maple syrup.

  • One rock of unknown origin.

  • Last week's issues of the New Yorker and Newsweek.

  • A half-a-bread-loaf-sized green paper box (no, I have no idea what's in it).

  • My graduate school diploma, still in its green cardboard folder-thingie; also, right behind it, my City Year graduation certificate, circa 1993.

  • A handful of hair scrunchies in light blue cotton, maroon silk, and shimmery black.

  • A brown half-glazed decorative ceramic bowl full of change, hair ties, shirt buttons, collar stays, and matchbooks from random recently-visited restaurants.

  • One folded pair of clean Eddie Bauer stonewashed classic cut jeans that should probably be in the bottommost drawer but haven't made it there yet.

  • A wooden-framed picture of my father and me, both heavily sunburned from a sunny day off the coast of Mount Desert Island in Maine, holding a plate of freshly-caught mackarel.

  • Some other equally-important photos I can't remember. (and that would be why I can't remember them, I guess).

  • The ancient cordless phone that we had to take off the bedside table because the baby kept calling people.

  • A plastic bag filled with crumpled newspapers from Bangladesh once used as packing filler for a set of paper mache ducks. (oops -- looks like the cleaning lady threw it away!)

Also, have you seen The Meatrix? Thanks to a much-missed Azra, who I really should contact more often, for passing it along.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:04 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

NMH Class of 1977 Yearbook Quote Of The Day

I have a right to know what I think.
-- Amy L. Lowrie, whoever that is.

Yeah, it's another slow day in the Information Commons. And the yearbook stacks are right there...

posted by boyhowdy | 1:05 PM | 0 comments


Wednesday Is Memeday!
meme n (mëm): A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. From the Greek mimëma, something imitated, from mimeisthai, to imitate.

Meme1. What's On...Right Now? asks: What's On your bedroom dresser Right Now?, which is a hard question to answer from work, but let's see...
  • A brown half-glazed decorative ceramic bowl full of change, hair ties, shirt buttons, collar stays, and matchbooks from random recently-visited restaurants.

  • One folded pair of clean Eddie Bauer stonewashed classic cut jeans that should probably be in the bottommost drawer but haven't made it there yet.

  • A wooden-framed picture of my father and me, both heavily sunburned from a sunny day off the coast of Mount Desert Island in Maine, holding a plate of freshly-caught mackarel.

  • Some other equally-important photos I can't remember.

  • The ancient cordless phone that we had to take off the bedside table because the baby kept calling people.

  • A plastic bag filled with crumpled newspapers from Bangladesh once used as packing filler for a set of paper mache ducks.

  • Some other stuff, surely. But you get the idea.


Meme2. Wednesday Whatevers, a new one for me, asks...

1. What's your favorite winter activity?
Driving through fat-flake snowstorms late at night with the high beams on. Totally mesmerizing.

2. What is your favorite season and why?
Summer. It's a close call, but I think T-shirts and folk festivals and long late days just barely beats out the colors and crisp air of autumn and the new life of Spring.

3. Would you still go to school if you didn't have to?
Yes, as student or as teacher. But not so damn early in the day.



Meme3. Lulu's Lines is another one previously unknown to me; based on the premise that "words are precious" -- i.e. that the start of a sentence can lead off in different directions depending on the person’s perspective at the time -- Lulu offers a pair of weekly "triggers" and asks us to finish them in our own way.

Trigger 1: Would I consent...

Hmm. Sounds like a sonnet's start, iambs and all. How about this:

Would I consent to walking hand in hand
across the sodden ground before our feet
with you, and stop beneath a tree, and stand,
and kiss you there, and make a day complete...

...something something something. Ew. Anyway...

Trigger 2: I believe that...

...that poem sucked. Note to self: no more poetry first thing in the morning.



Thanks, as always, to iampariah's memeslist, without which we'd all have to work much harder. No thanks to the half-dozen Wednesday memes out there which haven't yet posted today's question -- I was hoping for a longer list, here, and there are some good ones out there, but what can you do.

posted by boyhowdy | 8:54 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Not News

First, that students aren't using information technology responsively. Second, that USA Today thinks this is news.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:37 PM | 0 comments


Duh.

Too tired, I guess. Brain's not working.

There's something behind the walls, in the corner where the dog sleeps on blankets under the table. It -- the something, I mean, not sleeping on blankets -- makes her nervous. I can hear her scratching at it.

My legs hurt from the tension and the up-and-down of an especially annoying workday with which I will not bore you, except to note that, according to a newScale poll via Newsweek's Survey of Surveys this week, it takes an average of 3.3 people to screw in a lightbulb at a large company.

Other than that, I've got nothing to say.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:31 PM | 0 comments


If It’s Monday Night, It Must Be Tributary

It’s getting cold: below freezing at nights and the cars covered in frost from dusk till dawn. The frost melts in the sun quickly on the windowpanes; they fog and drip behind the changing table as I iron the folds out of my khakis over coffee in the morning. Some day soon they’ll be too iced over for Willow to wave to Daddy as he drives off in the morning, and it will be winter and bare, frozen fingers and white from here to the other side of the silent river valley. For now, it’s just chilly, the air sharp like snow, the throat dry.

The coyotes wake us up at night. We keep the cat inside, where he sleeps on a basket of sweaters, or sometimes on the t-shirts in my bureau drawer.

Willow was up at four this morning, napped just an hour while I was gone; you’d expect she’d be tired, but there I was at seven, then eight, then eight thirty, still in the playroom. Her language and her self-hood have brought her to the cusp of a new role in my life; where yesterday we watched her (and watched over her) in play, now we simply hang out. She wants to talk to us, to play with us, to bring us into her world as much as we want to help her experience ours. She asks us to do things as much as we ask her to do things. And, in the words of Martha "what do you mean, I can't paint my jail cell in subtle tones of salmon and eggshell?" Stewart, It’s A Good Thing.

Tonight’s radio show playlist follows, as always. I almost didn’t make it – Willow didn’t go to bed until almost nine.


Tributary 11/10/03

Bob Dorough – Too Much Coffee Man
Phish – Wolfman’s Brother
REM – Stand
Beck – Devil’s Haircut
Joss Stone – Fell In Love With A Boy
Skavoovie and the Epitones – Subway Joe
Spacehog – Senses Working Overtime
That song with the chorus that starts "I would like to hold your little hand…"
Natalie Merchant – Soldier Soldier
Bert – The National Association of "W" Lovers
The Gourds – El Paso
Girlyman – Hey Rose
Brooks Williams – Birth Of The True
Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem – Cocktail Swing
Rusted Root – You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Suzanne Vega – Book Of Dreams
Joss Stone – Some Kind Of Wonderful
The Salesman and Ernie – Would You Like To Buy An "O"?
Glen Phillips – Have A Little Fun With Me
Ben Folds Five – Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Natalie Merchant – Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow
Lucy Kaplansky – Ten Year Night
Ernie and Bert – The "R" Machine
Mark Erelli – Take My Ashes To The River
Bruce Cockburn – Blueberry Hill

posted by boyhowdy | 12:45 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Monday Mosh!

After a weekend of relax and meander, Monday is too often chock full of hurry up and wait, mostly while seated. The meeting couldn’t go any slower. A short walk to lunch leads to a long wait for food. From the traffic on the drive to the office to all that butt-tingling time at the desk, it’s all about the sitting down. With a tip o’ the hat to mrs_fezziwig, we proudly present this week’s memetheme:

Mosh from a seated position.

Bonus points will be granted for choice of seat (comfort and style) and for creativity in incorporating the chair itself into your Mosh routine.

Ready? Go. (Leave comments below.)


How to do the Monday Mosh:

As always, participants answer three questions in their blog and then post their results and/or a link in the comments below.

What song did you pick, and why?
What did you step on / bump into? (Bonus points for breakage)
Why did you stop?


I’ve already done mine, if you need an example. Or there's always the Moshrules.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:20 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 08, 2003

A Blast From The Past



A repackaged childhood


After a full day of cleaning with a cranky, snotty, and finally-asleep baby, and in the midst of a nostalgia kick prompted by an impending course in Modern American Popular Culture, fed by an interest in the workings of memory both personal and cultural, and substantiated by a mind prone towards kitsch and memorabilia, following a last minute cancellation due to illness last week, we finally managed to host my best-friend-from-third-to-ninth-grade and his live-in girlfriend this evening.

Tonight was our first official try at friendship reclamation after ten years of a total lack of communication (throughout which, every few months, my mother continued to ask so, do you ever hear from Eric?): pastries and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the kitchen over reminiscence and catch-up while our ladyfriends looked on, a look at the eerie total lunar eclipse from the precarious fire escape in the finally freezing cold, and finally a few hours of chat over an excellent red wine they brought from the Brattleboro Food Coop. They're both teachers too, so we had plenty to talk about; things clicked; and I look forward to doing it again.

In other news, Willow's language development has transcended the noun, moving on to the phrase. She asks before sharing her cookie with the dog (Willow cookie? Zellie cookie?), and sings the entire alphabet song, albeit in gibberish after the first five or six letters; she even knows the difference between the alphabet song, Twinkle Twinkle Litlle Star, and Baa Baa Black Sheep, which seems pretty mature to me, given that all three songs have the same tune. Today she even said "thank you, Mommy" when Darcie gave her juice. Of course, when I gave her a coop-brand cheese puff later in the afternoon, she said "thank you, Mommy" to me, too, so she doesn't seem to have separated the name from the concept yet for some of those longer idea-chains. But it's a start.

Oh, and when shopping for the possibly feverish baby the other day, Darcie chose to buy one ear thermometer over another because it came with a CD of Sesame Street alphabet songs she knew I'd like. Now I have this lovely tune stuck in my head:

Would you like to buy an "O",
Circular and sweet?
"O" looks just like a donut
Really good enough to eat
It'll cost you just a nickel
(A nickel!)
Shhh! (A nickel?) Riiiight...
So buy the O and
Take it home tonight


Other fave and now newly-recovered songs from my childhood include C is for Cookie, Bert and Ernie fave La La La (recently covered by Barenaked Ladies on the highly-recommended For the Kids) and that Bert-led song from The National Association of "W" Lovers, though the Elmo version of ABC-DEF-GHI isn't as strong as the Big Bird version I remember. Have I mentioned that I love my wife very much?

posted by boyhowdy | 11:37 PM | 0 comments

Friday, November 07, 2003

From The Department Of Thank God The BBC Said It So I Don't Have To:

Playing simple computer games at the office could improve productivity and job satisfaction, research suggests.

Of course, here I am at work, blogging while I'm on hold with the DMV, at a desk invisible to anyone who might need me, because I'm not allowed to have a phone out in the library Information Commons, where I could be actually working while I was on hold. So what else to do but blog, and play minesweeper, and listen to ads for the DMV website where I got the phone number in the first place?

Oh, wait. I'm not very satisfied, and not doing my job productively. Hoorah for the BBC, but they seem to be wrong.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:54 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Oblogatory

One challenge of blogging – a primary reason so many fall by the wayside, I think – is that you feel obliged to repackage your day, and find that perfect kernel, even on days when you don’t really have anything to blog about. I don’t know about other bloggers, but I find there is a part of myself that is constantly alert behind the brain, self-monitoring for the blog, evaluating the random tidbits and thoughts that cross the synapses for humor, relevance, interest, and above all, that amorphous quality we might call blogability. It's tiring. It makes me feel verymildly anxious about the world once it's been a few days and I haven't found just the right subject yet.

And it never goes away.

There’s a part of me that knows it’s okay to take a day off from blogging, rather than muddy the ether with thought even I don’t really want. Folks will forgive me. I will forgive me. Nobody cares, really.

But there’s a part of me that knows that the potential for caring isn't entirely divorced from the issue of posting frequency. Interest wanes quickly in a digital world. I've done it myself – if a newly found blog isn't updating as often as I’m visiting, I don’t bother going back as often. Some, to be sure, are still worth a peek every now and then, just to catch up; my habit now, in fact, tends more towards the catch-up-on-a-week-of-otherblogsallatonce, skim-and-skip perusal than the daily visit of other blogs. I project this tendency on the blogging community, of course, Knowing other bloggers through blogs, I assume commonality more than I should, perhaps, but can you blame me? Though the plural of anecdote isn't data, like most of us, I have to assume that other people are mostly like me, or I'll go mad with loneliness.

And so, we blog, sometimes, when we have nothing to say.

At some point today, I read half an article (found via fark) about what would surely be the first classic rock radio station to adopt an all-90s format, and thought I might have something to say something about the rapidly collapsing distance between a time period (say, the nineties) and nostalgia for that time period.

But the bon mot never came. I don’t, really, have anything to say here, at least nothing coherent, cohesive, cogent, new. I’m tired, and it’s not worth blogging about today, though on some less tired days, perhaps over a vacation, it might have been worth the effort. Which is just to say:

My apologies. It seems as if there will be no blogentry today. Please come back tomorrow, when perhaps I will have found something worth sharing with the bloggiverse.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:33 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Down In Fraggle Rock



Muppets on acid, says VH1's Remember The 80's


It's pouring outside the empty library, and I can't get the Fraggle Rock theme song out of my head. Could be because I'm getting a bit sick of watching the same nine Muppets tapes over and over again with Willow, I suppose. But it might be because I'm just feeling old these days, missing my adolescence all over again, thinking about nostalgia as a cultural phenomenon for my course next term.

Unfortunately, all the Fraggle Rock videos at amazon.com are out of stock -- permanently, I'd guess. Quizilla seems to think I'm Red, when I always thought of myself as mostly Wembley, with a little Mokey thrown in for good measure. And other than a couple of pics, some old scripts and rare musical cheatsheets, and those old PVC Fraggle-in-a-vegetable-vehicle Happy Meal handouts from the late eighties, there's not much in the way of content at the otherwise well-intentioned Unofficial Fraggle Rock Site.

Like all nostalgia searches, prompting the memory proved elusive, perhaps reinforcing the sad truth that the past is best preserved in mind, idealizations and all. Still, it was fun to have a few moments of peace in an otherwise drab day to search the universe, and stir the cobwebs from that deep unused segement of my brain reserved entirely for Doozers, Madame Trash Heap, and the odd postcard from Uncle Matt in Paris. As an added bonus, here's some wise words from Boober:


If you find a flat pebble, throw it in the air and you will have all the pebbles you want for the rest of the day.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:59 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Mymy Meme

My favorite meme (well, except this one) has honored me by featuring my suggested weekly memetheme. The least I could do would be to take it out for a spin myself:


What's On the tip of your tongue Right Now?

Figuratively: The name of that guy who wrote that book I read in Kate Ratcliff's American Studies course up at Marlboro College. You know, that book. The one by the theory guy. I've been trying to remember his name all week. Argh -- what the hell was it? It's been on the tip of my tongue so long it's giving my front teeth cavities.

Generally: Pretty much everything, given the right context. I get performance anxiety when talking to people in all but the most public of settings; it tends to cut off the blood supply to that brainpart which otherwise monitors outgoing messages for stupidity. I once actually said "Yeah, but you can't escape the "stink" of IT" to my department supervisor in a department meeting.

Literally: An under-roasted pumpkin seed caught behind a molar. Also, of course, taste buds.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:42 PM | 0 comments


Why I (Still) Love Customers Suck

Post 3533701: As overheard by Alyssa, Pottery Barn retail wage slave.

Xerox Box Man
Note: I never interacted with this man, but I was subjected to him, so it counts.
XBMan (on cell phone):it's in the basement, in a Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
No, a Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
Let me spell it for you...X-E-rox.
A Xerox box.
No, not like "rocks" like "rox," with an X.
No, there's an X at the end.
There's an X at the end and at the beginning.
A Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
In the basement...A Xerox box.
It says Xerox on the box.
It's a Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
A Xerox box.
It's a big....box. And it says....Xerox.


Customers Suck is the only Livejournal community I read regularly. It's inconsistent in quality, grammar and syntax and, due to its retail focus, skewed more than most online community spaces towards the adolescent. But as a window into the way we all look at our worst consumer-ego moments, it's priceless; once or twice a day, it makes me laugh out loud. Not too shabby for a little whine in the wilderness.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:59 PM | 0 comments


Is There Anybody Out There?

Late autumn, low wind. Headlights illuminating the otherwise dark. Under the mostlybare trees the road disappears in redgold fire. One ragged bearded guy on a bike in the center of town; otherwise, no cops, no cars, and hardly a light in sight during the drive home from Tributary, your ten to midnight Monday night musicmakers here on WNMH 91.5 fm.

The show itself was quiet, too. Only two callers, both regulars, both within five minutes of each other: Molly called with the correct answer (Pink Floyd) to tonight's trivia question (Name the original performers of "Wish You Were Here"), and then, at 11:20, after missing a first hour that was pretty rockin if I do say so myself, Nora called with a request for "something rockin'." Not even a word from Foster, the weird guy who lives locally and calls fake addresses. (Oh, and I suppose you belive that it's just a coincidence that his address and our phone number are identical?)

Shaw and I were the only ones to Monday Mosh. The site got 60 referrals from iampariah's memelist, so I know the fish are out there. But no one's biting.

EricJ isn't even reading blogs anymore.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know who your friends are. But late at night in the valley's dark shadow, under a half-starred night, being "here" feels so alone. Leave me a comment, won't you?

As always, tonight's playlist follows.


Tributary 11/03/03

Bob Dorough -- Too Much Coffee Man
They Might Be Giants -- Fibber Island
Richard Thompson -- Kiss
Eddie From Ohio -- Old Dominion
The Biscuit Boys -- Ramblin' Fever
Grateful Dead -- The Race Is On
Patty Griffin -- One Big Love
Manu Chao -- Me Gustas Tu
Keller Williams -- Vacate
Acoustic Syndicate -- Pumpkin 'n Daisy
Cake -- Manah Manah
Les Claypool's Frog Brigade -- Locomotive Breath
Jethro Tull -- Living In The Past
Donna The Buffalo -- Seems To Want To Hurt This Time
Kris McKay -- Wish You Were Here
Johnny Cash -- Desperado
Spin Doctors -- Jimmy Olsen's Blues
Tony Furtado Band -- I Ain't Got No Home
Jourma Kaukonen -- Waiting For A Train
Zoe, Pieta, and Constie Brown -- Ella Mae
Suzanne Vega -- The Queen And The Soldier
Sarah McLachlan -- Blackbird
Patty Larkin -- Have A Little Faith In Me
Norah Jones -- Come Away With Me

posted by boyhowdy | 12:40 AM | 0 comments

Monday, November 03, 2003

Why, Fly?

There are gnats, ladybugs, houseflies and wasps in the house again after two days of almost summery heat. One stingy thingy actually got me on the belly yesterday, and the big red lump it left behind itches like mad.

To top it all off, no one's doing the Monday Mosh but me and Shaw.

Wassup with all that? It really bugs me.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:11 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Monday Mosh!

Yes, folks, it's that time again. In keeping with the new and improved Monday Mosh concept, today's memetheme is:

Mosh to a song you've only recently heard for the first time.

Ready? Go. (Comments below.)



How to do the Monday Mosh:

As always, participants answer three question in their blog and then post their results and/or a link in the comments below.

What song did you pick, and why?
What did you step on / bump into? (Bonus points for breakage)
Why did you stop?


I’ve already done mine, if you need an example. Or there's always the Moshrules.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:35 PM | 0 comments


Food, Family, Friends

Met up with Darcie's parents yesterday morning at Memorial Park playground in Brattleboro, where I used to spend summers as counselor for the local Head Start camp. The baby -- a toddler now, I suppose, at almost 16 months -- didn't so much climb and play on the wooden structures as squat on the upper platforms, absorbing the new perspective only height can bring a small one. Also sand-sifting and a short gleeful stint on the swing, followed by a visit to the mini covered bridge, which Willow deserted to walk shamelessly into the stream below, getting her pant cuffs soaked.

She walks right up to other kids and stares at them shamelessly; you can practically see the mind growing.

Afterwards a short trip through Bratt's quaint downtown area. Picked up a six of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (the gold standard of Microbrews) and some healthy snacks at the food coop; got dalmation rubber boots for Willow and two dress-for-work vests from Keri, who Darcie and I know from our Shakepeare in the Park days six summers a go, at the vintage clothing store in town.

Then off to the day's prize: the Top O' The Hill grill, best pit barbecue in a hundred miles (sorry, locals, but its true), closed for the season with an all-you-can-eat private party, and thanks to Neil's creds as a regular we were invited. Ribs, chicken, brisket, pulled pork and pork roast in mustard sauce; gumbo, jumbalaya, paella and beef stew; homemade slaw, beans, cornbread and rice on the side; orange cream soda and fresh local cider in the ice tub. The rub, for once with sauce optional, was sampled dry; I found it excellent and just spicy enough. The pulled pork and other "wet" dishes fresh and meaty and not too sauce-heavy, just like I like 'em.

Back home, after napping off the food coma, we checked the answering machine to find that our dinner guests -- an old childhood friend, complete with live-in girlfriend, now moved local who we bumped into at the People's Pint down in Greenfield last week -- had cancelled, so the three of us watched Bend It With Beckham, a lighthearted romp with a nice international pace and flavor, while we ate the fresh cream horns and cream puffs we had aquired for company, because those pastries with real cream in them may be the best kind, but the cream turns quickly to butter in the fridge if you don't eat them in the first day or so.

And then, this morning, woke up with groaning still-full stomach to find out Dad's surrogate father-figure David had finally passed away after a week in the hospice. Might go to Long Island for the funeral tomorrow. Certainly couldn't eat breakfast today.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:40 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Halloweenblog: Hello, My Name Is Jesus


Orange goes so well with the site colors, doncha think?


Cobwebs and pumpkin faced goons on every porch, in every corridor; chocolate pudding cakemash with candy corn and gummy worms in it at supper; students dressed as Fat Elvis and Dilbert, pirates and angels, devils and catholic schoolgirls (or I suppose they could have been porn stars in catholic school girl uniforms). As for me, though I decided to start with a tie for a parent meeting this morning, by eleven I was letting the now over-a-foot-long hair down, changing surreptitiously into sandals, and the good old burlap and belt, behind the circulation desk. So help me God, I was Jesus this year again, and if I do say so myself, it was, as always, a huge success.

It feels a bit like cheating to go out into the world as Jesus. I mean, I'm practically the son of God already: I'm Jewish; I've already got the long blond hair, the beard, the blue eyes and the semitic hook of the western conception. I make a goddam awesome Jesus, scarily so. But more, I love to push the Politically Correct button more than most, and isn't Halloween supposed to be liminal, anything-goes, a day of topsy turvy? Kids laugh and tell me I "look good" (we are all good, my child); I got a roomful of laughter when, without thinking, I said "bless you" to some kid who sneezed; the kids on the bus gave me a standing ovation when I gave them a benediction as I passed. So what if a few old fogeys on faculty were a little bit uncomfortable. A decade after God's voice endorsed Hebrew National hot dogs, nothing is sacred save in context. In the realm of the post-postmodern, iconography doesn't mean what it used to, and they'll just have to get over it.

The hardest part is deciding whether or not to go with the stigmata. So far, I haven't had the guts. But the sunglasses were a big hit this year, and made folks less uncomfortable than the crown of thorns did three years ago. I'm thinking next year I might add a machine gun. Y'know, like After 2000 years Jesus is back...but this time he's really pissed. Or maybe just a name tag. If you're gonna run the risk of defiling someone's sacred symbols, you gotta keep it simple.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:27 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Backblogged

Life is about as hectic as it could be these days; while I have a short moment in the media center and the students are all in class, here's a quick catch-up just for you!


Item: Due to some shifts in who can teach what at the administrative level, I've been asked to teach a full-credit course in Modern American Culture this Winter term in our trimester block calendar (course description here; scroll down to HIS 321 for details). It's late in the game to begin planning for a course I've never taught before; bookorders were due weeks ago, and the guy who designed and used to teach this course left the school last year and hasn't returned my emails, so I'm coming into this a little nervous and unprepared.

Although I'm excited about the opportunity, and honored that the History department chair thought that I was the only one here out of a teaching pool of 175 who could teach the course well other than himself (despite the fact that I teach media, not American Studies, my undergrad degree is in American Studies and Sociology, and that plus the communications and pop culture work I do now is a good platform for a primary-source course in the evolution of American values since 1945). But because I was only really given enough time in my schedule to teach the class, not to prepare and grade, it was very tempting to say no. It was, apparently, more tempting to say yes. Expect plenty of blogging of curriculum ideas and course dynamics over the next months as I settle in.

* * *

Item: The miracle has occured: in the past weeks, Willow, now fifteen months, has begun to show me the kind of affection she once reserved for her mother and the dog. I've gotten kisses (on the lips!) while waking up for the past few mornings; yesterday she insisted on eating lunch in my lap instead of her highchair at the dining hall table, all the while pressing her face into mine, looking around at my teaching peers across the table, pointing to my nose and saying "Daddy! Daddy!" as if proud to tell the world she loves me. I love her so much, and it hurt so much to be ignored for so long, but trust me, new and future parents, it's well worth the wait.

* * *

Item: Evenings here have been a bear this week. Monday night radio show after a four-to-five 9th grade history class presentation of how stereotypes (Muslim/Arab, Terrosist, the "other") are reframed in the popular American mind and media in moments of cultural crisis (9/11); Tuesday night Professional development Committee meeting where, as Chair, I'm leading this year's sabbatical proposal review process; last night duty in the dorm. Tonight's the last minute for college rec letters for those increasingly numerous kids applying early action to the bigger schools and Ivies. Tomorrow I have to meet an alum in the auditorium after work to show him how not to use CD-played music in the ancient and acoustically poor space, followed by trick-or-treating with a kid too small to really appreciate it. In each case, this is after an 8-4 day of instructional work with teachers and students in and out of their classrooms, not to mention my Media Literacy class, which has been meeting online in AIM this week to explore the phenomenon of the Second Self a bit. Will the pace ever slow down? See item 1 above for a pretty solid No, and Item 2 for a pretty good reason why that sucks.

* * *

Still to come in the days ahead: Halloween (I'm thinking Jesus again, since I already look like the Western conception; the question now is: stigmata or no stigmata?). Thanksgiving break, and some as-yet-undefined meal with an ever-more-extending family group. A slight blog redesign. The bat in the attic. And, finally, pictures of this summer's expeditions to Bangladesh and Alaska. I promise. I just need a minute here, okay?

posted by boyhowdy | 9:03 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

What's On...Right Now?

Darcie just went shopping this morning without asking me what I needed this week, and missed some pretty serious items. So I was totally ready for this week's What's On Wednesday memetheme, what's on your grocery list right now?

I should note, of course, that we live at a boarding school, and tend to eat in the dining hall most nights, so our shopping list is often snack-heavy and meal-light. That said...here's what's still on the list:
  • Fresh ground Green Mountain French Roast coffee

  • Original scent aerosol Right Guard

  • Starbucks Mocha Frappucino

  • Halloween candy (d'oh!)

  • Sponges

  • Paper towels

  • Dark socks (okay, this morning's lack of clean socks could have been solved by doing laundry, but I do need more dress socks)

  • Lays potato chips (no flavor or ridges, just plain, regular chips in a yellow bag, thanks)

  • Other snack food I can't think of right now


Disclaimer: Our fridge and cabinets are pretty full, as is my schedule. I may have missed one or more of the above items in my fruitless blurry morning search for coffee today; if so, Darcie dear, I apologize for jumping the gun.


[UPDATE 10/30/03 8:40 am: Guess I jumped the gun; although the above items were still on my list as of last night, Darcie had a fresh cup of coffee ready for me when I emerged late for work this morning. Also muffins. Mmmm.

Guess that's what happens when I'm too busy workin' to check in -- the list gets outdated even while I blog it. Ah well. I suppose, technically, the above list was still my own, it was just sadly out of date. ]

posted by boyhowdy | 11:04 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Geek Chic

You might be a geek if you think this parody of those ubiquitous Microsoft version comparison thingies comparing new features in Microsoft Office 2003 to those of previous versions should be blogged immediately, but you've bookmarked it on the wrong computer, so you have to wait three days before you find where you bookmarked it.

It's a good one, though. For example, c.f. new Office 2003 Managing Word Documents feature Word Selection Enhancements, in which...
It's even harder to select less than a single word. Select two letters and the whole word is highlighted. Select a word and the whole sentence is highlighted. Select a sentence and a word in a random document on your hard drive is deleted.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:18 PM | 0 comments


The Sonic Q-tip That Is Tributary

Drove down to New Jersey Saturday night to visit my brother, an MFA student and teacher of painting at Rutgers. After finally seeing his studio – I’d describe his current work, but then I’d have to shoot you – we stayed out far too late barhopping with his art school cronies, holding down the pool table to the cheesy techno remixes of eighties songs on the badly beaten radio in the corner of Doll’s Place while a Green Party rally band played awful tooloud metal under our feet up against the bar and the electronic trivia games.

Nominally, of course, we were there for the wedding of a second cousin. My parents joined us, though my sister was too emeshed in vet school applications to attend; the four of us knew few folks there, and pretty much stuck together, off to the side, during what must have passed for New Jersey party music – mostly throbbing-beat medleys of half-familiar disco songs -- finally sneaking out early while everyone was distracted by garter-throwing.

On the way home, passing over the Tappan Zee what had been a fairly decent Calypso radio show began to fade. The ride home is a blur, mostly – a solo five hours peering into the dark and rain – but I seem to have a faint memory of a long stint of top forty, marginally better than giving up on the radio altogether, somewhere between White Plains and Hartford.

It was a weekend of pretty awful music, actually. By the end, my aural palette needed a good scrubbing. Thank goodness for the radio show and, an added bonus, a sweet live version of Divided Sky, one of my favorite old Phish tunes, from the station’s overnight computer-generated radio feed the way back home again. Tonight’s playlist follows, with cover songs starred.


Tributary 10/27/03

Bob Dorough – Too Much Coffee Man
Phish – Golgi Apparatus
Oysterhead – Oz Is Ever Floating
Barenaked Ladies – Be My Yoko Ono
Dar Williams – Are You Out There
*Alana Davis – 32 Flavors
Domestic Problems – I’m A Line
String Cheese Incident – Latinissmo
*They Might Be Giants – Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
Sheryl Crow – Strong Enough
Charlie Parker – Ko Ko
*Negativland – Over The Hiccups
Negativland – Sycamore
*Bobby McFerrin and Yo Yo Ma – Flight Of The Bumblebee
*Jazz Is Dead – Scarlet Begonia
Keller Williams – Anyhow Anyway
Mickey Hart – Down The Road
*Indigo Girls – Uncle John’s Band
Susan Werner – Time Between Trains
*John Cale -- Hallelujah
Marc Cohn – Mama’s In The Moon
Alison Krauss – Forget About It
Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem – Finland
Shawn Colvin – Shotgun Down The Avalanche
Nickel Creek – Smoothie Song
*Dixie Chicks – Let Him Fly

posted by boyhowdy | 12:44 AM | 0 comments

Monday, October 27, 2003

The New And Improved Monday Mosh
Now chock full of thematic goodness!

Drove to NJ yesterday and then back again tonight – ten hours over two days in a car with no CD player. As the miles passed and the static stations waxed and waned I flipped the dial from calypso and folk, speed metal and Gregorian chants, cried at This American Life and secretly sang along with Queen at the top of my lungs. Ah, radio.

This week’s theme: Mosh to a song you love to hear on the radio.

Have fun, kids. We’ll be back next week with a brand new memetheme.


How to do the Monday Mosh:

As always, participants answer three question in their blog --

What song did you pick, and why?
What did you step on / bump into? (Bonus points for breakage)
Why did you stop?


-- and then post their results and/or a link in the comments below. I’ve already done mine, if you need an example. Or you can check out the Monday Mosh Memerules.




posted by boyhowdy | 12:29 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Our Friend, The Policeman

A relatively short dinner-and-drinks night on the town with old college friend Hayley, her husband Peter, and their three year old Linnea last night to kick off a busy weekend: Jack (my grandfather’s brother) and his wife May impending any minute now, a drive down to New Jersey this afternoon to visit my brother and attend a cousin’s wedding the next day. Gonna be a busy week, with no blogging expected from now until the Monday Mosh meme kicks in again at the week’s beginning.

Though we don’t see them often enough, Hayley and Peter are about the closest thing we have to peers-in-common out there. Young parents, community-grounded; preferences for coziness, wood furnishings, and local organics; one child each, both girls. Hayley and I went to college together, but she also attended the prep school where I teach, and she and Darcie grew up less than ten miles from each other, while both Peter and I grew up in Bostonian suburbia. But the way we sustain our commonality puts us at opposite end of a spectrum of sorts – while I have long hair and teach, Peter, once a bakery owner, now close-crops his head and polices Battleboro for a living. Not as distant as one might think, though: we spent a good deal of time comparing notes on pay and benefits (his are much better, and not just because of the excellent overtime opportunities in an understaffed department) and comparing anecdotes, and it turns out resident teaching shares an awful lot in common with small-town police work.

Peter does overnight shifts almost entirely in order to have the most time for his family, so part of the end-early reasoning was his own 9:30 start time. But moreso, the kiddies got cranky quickly, and weren’t happy trying to share. It’s okay – a nice night with no pressure to stay up late was afterall a good thing, timely and needed, to prepare for the stress of family and the days ahead. See y’all Monday, folks.

posted by boyhowdy | 3:10 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Second Self, Updated

Rooraaah Mew Crumbs, whose legal name change from Andrew Paul Johnson was the subject of a rant I created in response to an article in a body modification magazine someone posted on fark, linked to my rant, and, because all his friends wanted to see the cool article I wrote which mentions him, my new hit counter became swamped with references from his blog (in fact, my own site actually crashed for a short time due to the overwhelming number of hits).

The plethora of hits from his blog prompted me to check it out. Not only did I find a very cool copy of his actual legal namechange form there, and a commendation for Matt's comments on my original rant (which, if you remember, was a comment on an article I found via a comment about it on fark), I also seem to have triggered something on Mr. Crumb's hitcounter, or perhaps the delay was just coincidental; either way, this is how Mr. Crumbs ended up sending me a pretty nifty email thanking me for mentioning him and for entertaining his friends, which prompted a thanks from me to him in return for being subject and for the hits, which just generally turned into an all around thanksfest after a while.

I know that's all pretty confusing, but there isn't really a better way to explain how I and Mr. Crumbs, once a subject of my cyberrant, actually "met," albeit virtually. But I can report that he's pretty cool.

One of, oh, about four hundred thousand things about the Brave New (Digital) World that I find fascinating is the way in which, to be crude about it, publishing and interpersonal connectivity seem to be growing towards each other. Time collapses in on itself -- a series of events and exchanges, information-and-dissemination, that might have taken months before, if indeed it happened at all, cascades in a matter of hours. In this case, I think the nuts and bolts, as well as the possibilities inherent in the phenomenon, pretty much speak for themselves.

Moral: If you blog it, they will come.

posted by boyhowdy | 9:50 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

This Should Be Obvious

So obvious, in fact, that I wrote this last night and then decided not to post it after all. Alas, a series of headlong days and short-shrift night coupled with the wife and child's absence -- they're off to her parents house to petsit for the next three or four -- have left me too busy to blog. I therefore bow to the weight of convenience, and post the real blogthoughts that evoked last night's mini-thought on the same topic (i.e. blogs); I ask only that you recognize the following as a first draft not worth polishing, and forgive, in advance, redundancy, rhetorical messiness, and redundancy.


Making Public The Lost Segue

I read Alex Halavais’ post-conference report on the informatics of blogging, I’ve been thinking about blogs, and I’ve had a beer. Here’s one reason why blogs matter in my own solipsistic blogworldview.

Blogs make public the act of segueless writing.

You might say they democratize it, or universalize it: by offering us a powerful yet relatively simple tool for / knowledge pools of the ability to create, publish, broadcast, and read to so many of us, they bring a David Lynchian postmodernism to the everyman, much like writing brought us realism and narrative as we recorded and rerecorded our stories.

Though we agree, you and I, about the relevance of blogging conferences and books, the straw men that profess and promise utopia through blogging are nothing new, and hardly worth dismissing anymore. We’ve heard it all before, for every new technology – the naysayers and the promisers, the yeas and the nays; we can put down our straw men, and move on unencumbered.

Sure, the mass spread of realism did not suddenly lead to mass empowerment. It did not transform the world; was symptom, not C-change. Expecting blogs to transform the universe is similarily both true and false: blogs only contain the force of change in that they are (one of) the transformed. Where the ability to record the real brought little more than the illusion of empowerment in re-ordering the world, as if the act of documenting was an act of ownership, the blog merely follows the overall trend, and asks us to own the world through dis-order.

But blogs say something about us – the very fact of them has real meaning. For example, where Alex points out that blogging requires technical skill not really held by the average member of the population, I’m currently watching a younger generation grow up with it. The rising numbers and the integration of blogs into the daily habits of even a twentieth of the total population can, perhaps, be used as a mark of technological literacy – say, once the number of bloggers reaches the same overall percentage of the culture once represented by journal-keepers, diary-writers, and secret-keepers.

But change…yes, now, we sure see change coming. Haven’t we learned by now that the good and bad in changes is what we make of them? When everyone can write, and those who want to saturate the environment do so – when technical stumbling blocks and a lack of basic literacy fade in re: the computer, as they did before, with the written language – then blogging will still not be transformative. But why so many people willingly shifted the way they use…well, blogs, yes, but pretty much any technology…what it means to us, what it signifies. Ay, there’s the rub.

posted by boyhowdy | 11:54 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Bee-log

How do you explain this blogthing to people who look at you like you're from Mars, or cyberspace, whatever? Technically correct definitions are technically correct, but they don't have the eureka effect for the not just unitiated but also relatively clueless. I keep having to say it's like a journal, except online; for teachers, this can mean not having to take journals away from diarists when it's time for grading, and the ability to make commenting entirely unobtrusive, and the ability to make connections between the subject of your thought and the thought itself, and the ability to use pictures to show what you mean (oh, yeah, and then there's the peer thing).

But I'm thinking when someone pronounces it that way, they're not ready yet.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:10 PM | 0 comments


Woodsmoke and Snow

Cloudy; the night is dark between the streetlamps. Last night’s coyotes have grown silent, their voices dampened sans moon. On the end of her leash the invisible dog rasps in the chilled air, tugs like a fish nibbling on a deep sea line, sniffs woodsmoke and snow. A distant sky glow marks nearby Greenfield, where everything’s long closed but the neon stays on all night, illuminating the highway and the sky to the south. Otherwise, from here tonight looks like...nothing.

This morning the world burst forth from nothing, too. Not just the darkness of sleep, although that, too – I mean to say here something vivid and sensory about the way I sat in the car for a couple of minutes waiting for heat to burn the frost off the windshields and mirrors before driving off into the New England morning fog, the reds and golds of the last few trees to lose their green around me, the road rustling. I mean to say it, but the night is already close, closing around me, as I move towards that littledeath sleep once again. It’s hard to stay focused. It’s harder with the vision fading, the first sense opening up the others for that briefest moment before total end-of-day shutdown.

Tonight’s radio show playlist, then. And, soon, the light rasp of breath on the next pillow over, the finger touch of our daughter between us reaching out in sleep, the weight of the smalldog on my calf under the velvet coverlet.


Tributary 10/20/03
with cover songs starred


Bob Dorough -- Too Much Coffee Man
A Tribe Called Quest -- I Left My Wallet In El Segundo
Rusted Root -- Rising Sun
*Santana -- Oye Como Va
Barry White -- Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Baby
Habib Koite -- Batoumambe
Cesaria Evora -- Tchintchirote
*Sarah McLachlan -- Dear God
Tori Amos -- The Wrong Band
*Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise -- It'll Come To You
Ben Harper -- Steal My Kisses
Eddie From Ohio -- Monotony
Erin McKeown -- Queen Of Quiet
Bela Fleck -- Throwdown At The Hoedown
Girlyman -- The Shape I Found You In
*Nickel Creek -- Spit On A Stranger
Jack Johnson -- Rodeo Clowns
*Patty Griffin -- Stolen Car
Barenaked Ladies -- When I Fall
Dar Williams -- Bought And Sold
*The Wayfaring Strangers -- Man Of Constant Sorrow
Allison Krauss -- Down In The River To Pray
*Gillian Welch -- Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
*The Bobs -- Golden Road
Bobby McFerrin -- Baby
*James Taylor -- Walkin' My Baby Back Home
Phish -- All Things Reconsidered

posted by boyhowdy | 12:55 AM | 0 comments

Monday, October 20, 2003

The Monday Mosh

I've noticed a lot of hits from the various meme-aggregators out there last Monday, especially I Am Pariah's eminently useful memelist. Though I flaked out and missed my own meme last week, I do think there's potential here, so I figured it's time to restate the Monday Mosh meme (so people know what it is) in the hopes some will take the MM Challenge. Admittedly this meme is looser than some, though -- so after you try it, please take a moment to offer your collective opinion about possibly tweaking it just enough to make it interesting.

So. In summary, the Monday Mosh is designed for Mondays. It's a meme, so it's supposed to get you thinking, and prompt a little blogfodder, but unlike most blogmemes, the Monday Mosh requires more than just thought -- it also asks you to do a little dance, make a little love, and get down a bit, a kind of panacea for what is often considered the worst day of the week. Here's the deal:
How To Do The Monday Mosh

1. You dance around your house/office/car/place-where-music-happens to a song of your choosing.

2. You answer three basic questions about your experience:
-- What song did you pick, and why?
-- What did you step on or bump into? (bonus points for breakage)
-- Why did you stop?


3. You post the answers in your blog.

4. You leave either the text you pasted into your own blog OR a link to your blog in the comments below.

5. Theoretically, people then go to YOUR site to see what your answers were. Except your site is really cool and interesting, so they stay awhile and your readership grows.

Seems simple, doesn't it? Here's my own Monday Mosh for the week:

What song did you pick?
Mano Chau -- Me Gustas Tu. That song's been in my head all week for no good reason. Que hora son, mi corazon?

What did you step on / bump into?
An unbatteried cordless phone that Willow had been playing with, and some blank purple post-it notes. No breakage or tearing, but some crumpling.

Why did you stop?
Parents impending arrival -- they were coming up to a friend's housewarming party, but showed up here first for a delightful light lunch and some grandchild play.

That wasn't so hard, was it.

Now you try.



Postscript: Save The Meme! This meme is, as I mentioned before, a work in progress. It gets many hits, but no takers other than Shaw, myself, and occasionally mrs_fezziwig. In the hopes that there is indeed potential here, have begun to wonder if real memes need their own page, though originally I resisted the idea due to the unchanging nature of this particular memequestion; opinions here would be useful if you've got 'em. Also, I'm taking votes on whether the meme would be more fun / more effective if I offered a different focus each week (for example, one week we might ask for you to pick a song randomly off the radio, or mosh to a song that's been stuck in your head, or even mosh to your secret shame song -- that song that you love but would never be caught dead buying or downloading). Whaddya think?

posted by boyhowdy | 12:01 AM | 0 comments
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