Dave Matthews’ “Crash into me”

I’ve had this Dave Matthews’ album forever ( Crash ). I had seen him in concert at the H.O.R.D.E festival before I bought the album. I like him live, and I eventually bought the CD.

I hadn’t listened to it in a while, so when I saw it in my collection I grabbed it. I remember I liked it, but it was a vague memory.

The whole album is good, really. I love the fact that he uses horns! More horns, we don’t hear enough horns anymore.

But after hitting track three, I remember why I have a fuzzy memory about the album.

That song…”Crash into me”…Oh man…I LOVE that song…wow…SO much. It’s like chocolate.

Like really good chocolate
your favorite kind
Left in a bowl on the coffee table
Full

I can’t help but go back and back.
I try to get through the album and then I just go back to hear that song. It has this melt-me effect. It sort of turns me into a loose slithery heavy-lidded person.

WHICH I REALLY SHOULDN’T BE WHILE I’M AT WORK.
but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, I thought I would share that.

Maybe I’ll do another review later of other chocolate-type songs. I know I have a few of them.

There nothing like a little competition

I’ve been posting almost everything I put on here on Blogcritics lately. Eric Olsen, the founder and nagger of blogcritics has this list of the side bar of top posters. To my surprise, I was on it. I was on the top 20! I had no idea.

WELL, I am not one to lose ground. I started making a huge point of posting on that site. I’m now number 7.

I am very inspired by things like that, measures of how I’m doing.

It’s been fun, just making myself post.

I decided that I should stop worrying about being perfect, and just kick out reviews. I think it’s actually improved my writing. Imagine!

I have also been spending a lot of time reading other people’s entries, and commenting on things.

People comment on my stuff there, too. I get very few comments here, mostly because I get very few visitors here.

What can I say?

But there, I got TOTALLY flamed for my Catch 22 review. Imagine! People can be rude.

And we’ve been having a big ole discussion about the top 100 novels list.

Makes me want to publish more lists.

But it also makes me feel like I have to be careful. I don’t like being flamed. But that’s the risk you take when you put your stuff out there. Not everyone is going to like you.

I still like doing it. It’s worth it to me.

War Protestors–What are they good for?

I am a huge fan of peace. Destruction, oppression of peoples, killing, people getting hurt or going hungry are usually part of war. I don’t want any of those things to happen to me, and I don’t want any of those things to happen to ANYBODY.

However:

Those sorts of things happen outside of war, too. And war can be necessary.

Not everyone agrees with me. I have been friends with Mennonites who believed that it was never ever right to take another human being’s life.

“That’s is God’s right alone,” they said.

“But what if a criminal were holding a gun to your wife’s head, and you could step in and kill him before he killed her?”

“I would have to let God take care of that. It’s wrong to take a life.”

I’ve lived with Quakers who had similar beliefs. I think that is a beautiful thing. I have tremendous respect for their determination to live by their values. I’m sure the world is a better place because they are in it.

I myself would blast the living crap out of anyone that threatened my loved ones. I would be so angry that someone was trying to hurt them.

This is so much of what I hear from peace protestors, too.

ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY

whoa.
Back it up, people. What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?

I like peace. I WANT to be on your side. My heart says, Don’t hurt people!
But the wiser grown-up part of me also knows that it takes hard measures to set things right after they have gone wrong.

And something has gone wrong. Saddam did stuff he shouldn’t do.

So did America.

So did the U.N.

And what do we do now? We can’t go back in time and make a better choice. We are now, we are here, living with the consequences of everything that went before.

What type of consequences do we want to live with in the future? The consequences of war? Or the consequences of not-war?

I say not-war, because I am not sure that the state of things in Iraq were what I could call peace.

Or the state of things in America.

I am not sure about it. I don’t know. I wish I understood. I wish that I had been reading things all along and learning about the situation before it had come to this.

Now, it’s come to this. And what am I to think? War is not a good thing. What can we do to not have war?

How can I know what is the most important?

I can’t devote my whole day to studying it out. Most people in America cannot do this.

BUT!

We have thought of that. This smart for-the-people-by-the-people place I get to live in, we came up with freedom of speech, and then later came up with University systems. We, taxpayers, pay to have people sit around and study important things out so they can get back to us and tell us.

Sometimes, it is in the form of a classroom, this telling us. But when something is so broadly important, I think that these people that I pay to study things should get the information out to more people.

I’m not saying tell me what to think, but laying out the options might be nice.

I feel very let down by the people who are supposed to be our intellectuals.

I think they are not doing their jobs.

Tenure was set up to give professors the security to be daring in their thoughts, to reach farther than others might with safety. I think its a good idea.

But all those people are not putting it out there.

Give me a break! If I can get 4 spams of Michael Moore’s stuff, why can’t someone whose opinion is vastly more informed give me an email that makes some logical sense?

This was first made clear to me with the “Not is our Name” petition that went around the ‘net after September 11.

The statement is one of great weight. I want to resist the bad things they talk about.

But I was not given one shred of evidence of the things they accused the government of doing.

If it is happening, why don’t they point to it?

We are only told to “resist.”

Oh, wait. We are also told to post little globes everywhere.

I feel betrayed. Many of the people who signed that list are people I admire.

Why haven’t they given us a better argument?

Truth shouldn’t be difficult to prove. The fact that no evidence is given makes me wonder if it’s true.

Citizen 13660

13660 was the number given to the author family as they were inducted into the japanese internment camps.

This book is unusual, different from any other book I’d read because it was highly illustrated. Mine Okubo wrote the book about her experience in a Japanese internment camp. She is a talented artist, and naturally, she didn’t stop being a talented artist in the internment camp.

What’s with camps? Concentration camps, gulags, internment camps…It seems like the WWII era was all about camps. Everybody had to have one.

Okubo made drawings of the things that happened in the camps. She starts the book before the camps, a really dramatic place to start. She lived in the San Francisco area and was just about her business. It was hard for her to believe that the camps would be happening.

But they did.

She drew herself into almost all the drawings. The pictures are very cartoon-like, and have the same sort of impact as a comic book. THe expression on her face (it’s hard to draw the right expression!) tells so much about the story. Her writing is very factual, Since the story is so dramatic on it’s own, she doesn’t need to get on a soapbox about how she felt or how it was wrong or what should have happened.

It’s a great book. It’s probably a really great book to give to Jr. High students or high school students to learn about history. Because the book is presented plainly, and with a lot of respect for the reader. You are definitely allowed to make up your own mind.

I am far more interested in history when I can associate a story with it. This book does that very well.

The Professor and the Madman

This book is mostly about the Oxford English Dictionary. The title is talking about the relationship between one of the main editors and one of the main contributors who happened to be in an insane asylum.

Honestly, I’m not sure that I would have been excited to read a whole book about those topics separately, but together I think it really worked.

I didn’t know about the history of dictionaries before I read this book. I knew that the OED was the biggest dictionary, but I didn’t really understand why.

Now I know. THey set out the catalog and define every single word in the language. Oh my god! And without computers!

So it took a lot of volunteers to do it. That’s where the madman comes in. W.C. Minor had killed someone in a delusionary state, and ended up in an asylum for the criminally insane.

But he was a highly educated man, and wanted to help out this dictionary project. He had a lot of free time.

For me, one of the most poignant things about this work is the practical story of how to live productively under the constraints of mental illness.

I hate it when I’m sick. I have all these things I wish I could do. But my body is too weak for me to run around and do them. I feel like my body has let me down.

I can not imagine how frustrating it would be to not be able to rely on your mind. I have to be honest, it scares me. Maybe that’s part of the stigma of being insane. People are afraid it might happen to them.

But it’s not fair to the people who suffer under this difficulty. We, the rest of the community should be compassionate and help the people who have this problem.

The Hours, especially the movie, kind of deals with mental illness too.Virginia Woolfe talks about her struggles to find fulfillment and balance in her life and yet protect herself from her own mind’s machinations.

Minor found this incredibly great outlet, working on the dictionary. He was a great asset to the work, and left behind a marvelous legacy. It would be wonderful if other mentally ill people were able to do the same.

The book was a really quick read, and very informative about dictionaries. The story of the madman Minor made it really more personal too.

You are so money!

My super cool and smart girlfriends came over to visit for the weekend.

One of them had to visit her brother. She was going to surprise him by showing up at his party unannounced.

But my other friend had never been to Hollywood. We had to go all over and see the walk, and browse the hooker shoe stores and vintage clothing shops.

We kept seeing places that were in the movie Swingers. It turns out that my favorite club The Derby is in it.

So, now I have to rent Swingers.

For the times…

The Theory’s method of signing out made me think of this.

I do hope for peace.

This is my favorite
MIR-
The russian (and generally slavic) word for peace. If you write it like this:
MUP
It looks closer to the cyrillic letters.

I like it because the same exact word, same exact spelling, same exact pronunciation means
WORLD

So,
MIRA MIR

or
MUPA MUP

means “peace for the world”

mirnyy
or
MUPHUU

means
“peaceful”

this is the name of the town in Yakutia, Russia that I lived in for a year.
It was peaceful, and I am grateful that it was peaceful when I was there, in 1992.

Moscow had just been less peaceful.

That is my personal favorite word for peace.

Mir, mira mir, dla vcex

peace, world peace, for all.

Lookit all the books!

Someone just posted reference to the 100 best novels in the English Language from the 20th Century.

Here is the list. Conveniently, the webauthor included links for a lot of the books. Thank you!

This is a neat list of books. I’ve read a lot of them, but maybe I’ll try to read some more of them.

I don’t think I agree that these are the hundred best. But “best” is a highly subjective word.

Let’s just say they are good, and maybe I’ll use it as a guide for some new books to try.

A good definition

My new blogfriend, NathanNelson, wrote a great post about what blogs are and where they came from.

I know that a lot of my readers (hi mom!) have asked me about the word blog and been quite confused by my explanation.

I think if you’re confused, you should go read Nathan’s Post.

It might clear a few things up.

MORNING!

You know, I’ve had to be at work at 7 a.m. every morning this week. That’s not so unusual, but today I have to stay until 6 p.m. or even later.

I thought I would drive my car.

Driving at quarter to 7 in the morning is kind of nice, traffic is light, and it’s pretty. Usually I get to the parking lot and think, “I could have left even later.”

This morning was going to be a little tough; i had two video conferences to launch at the exact same time, on two different floors.

Launch time was 7:30, so I was glad to be getting to work early.

In my pretty car, listening to the first broadcast of NPR’s coverage of the bombings of Iraq, I pull onto the 5. ooh. Backed up. I listen to the traffic report, and nothing is mentioned.

Typical. They never talk about where I am. I guess that means traffic everywhere else is WORSE.

I am hopeful that when I pull onto the 110, the traffic will be faster.

I have a lot of time to cherish this hope. It’s 7 a.m. before I get on the 110.

There are a lot of very pretty wildflowers at the exit right now. I got to examine them in detail.

I also thought about the fact that I had no back up for the two conferences I needed to start this morning. NO one else was in today.

I made it to my parking space at 7:30.

RUNNING up to the elevator, my cell phone rings. It’s the New York site. “Murphy!” my tech says. “Someone has pulled all the cables out of the back of the video unit! I don’t know how to put them back!”

I tell her I”ll call her when I get up the room. On the elevator, I try to figure out which conference is what, and which one that New York room is involved in.

Clever tech, she figured it out by the time I got up to the room. With just a few minor adjustments, she was up and ready.

She says, ” I don’t know WHO would have done this, they had to get all the way behind the equipment to pull it out.”

“Michelle, ” I said. “It’s terrorists.”

Next on the list:
Find those folks who didnt show up and/or didn’t turn on the equipment. THere seemed to be a lot of them this morning.

I have to check on the other room, the one located a floor below. I dash off to the elevator and punch the button. I feel a little silly, thinking I should have just taken the stairs. Just as I start to try to think about where the stairs even are, the elevator opens, and I jump in.

It’s the wrong elevator. I figure that out when the doors close and I drop fast to the ground floor.

So I rush out, get on the RIGHT elevator, and move into the next room.

My cell rings again: “we don’t like the conference room we are connected to. We want to move to another one.”

Fine, okay, just tell me which one.

*Ring*

“Um? hello? I think I’m supposed to do something with the video?”

“Yes, you are, actually. Would you mind going to the room that you were supposed to be in a half hour ago and turning on the equiment? Thaaaaannnkkksss..”

“Half an hour? I can’t do that…I turned the TV on…”

“Yes, but you do need to turn on the actual video conference equipment. Do you know how to do that?”

“I guess…”

“Okay, why don’t you do that, and I’ll talk about showing up for the half-hour set up later..Okay? GOOoood.”

Now they are set up, rush back upstairs, get that one set up. Oh look, the main speaker is completely blocked by a chair positioned in front of the camera. But before I can tell him, the introducer guy starts in:
“Okay, let’s get started already…”

when he pauses, I have to jump in.

“Hello, this is Murphy Horner. I’m the Video Conference Administrator. Could the persons in Silicon Valley just step around the table and move the chairs directly in front of them and the camera? I’m sure the folks in this conference would prefer to see more of you, and less of the chairs. Thank you.”

They were good sports, they moved the chairs.

Shwew.

Thank god.

I’m finally set up.

I walk downstairs, very slowly, waiting for the adrenaline to seep out of my body.

Yikes.

What a morning!

I’m gonna eat my yogurt now.