blog 2nd subtitle caption

- earnest, meaningful and slightly sarcastic -

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Music's latent influence on me

  I've realized that music is quite the propeller of consumer technology. Through the years, because of music people have all kinds of technology in their homes: vinyl records and record players, cassette tapes, CDs, iPods and MP3 players, and one main function of a smartphone and its data connection is to stream music. And that's just in the last 30ish years. Going further back in time, and adding the technology from musical instruments the list grows much longer. Growing up in a music and technology indifferent home (ie mother), I feel doubly missed out.

  My first memory of music was music playing during car rides to school. Usually my mother would have the news on, which was beneficial for my smartypants reputation. To this day, I still get surprised when I am in someone's car and s/he plays and FM station. I feel like this is so silly, like I'm in a movie about American teenagers with James Dean complexes.

  My mother didn't always turn to radio news. Eery Christmas, she'd play her tapes of Christmas-themed music. Some were actual liturgical music, but the one that stood out was the Carpenters Christmas Album. I still remember the cover: plain white background and a cartoon drawing of some people in red sleeping caps. The cartoon style reminds me of Dilbert: same squiggly lines, but more human-like illustration. Like as if you had a caricature portrait done. But in an old-timey style.  Let me find a picture of it. Anyway, the music wasn't really that great. For Christmas music, it was pretty weepy and sad. It felt as if the singer had the Judy Garland treatment--drugs to wake you up, drugs to put you to sleep--and was shaken out of bed and forced to sing half asleep. What made it all the more memorable for the wrong reason was that my mom told me that Karen Carpenter, the singer with the sad voice, killed herself. She wrote her suicide note on a mirror with lipstick: "Nobody loves me." Merry Christmas indeed.

Oh oops, my memory conflated the elements of the picture. Taken from

(to be continued)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Word of the Day: Priapic

adjectiveof, relating to, or resembling a phallus.
"priapic carvings"
of or relating to male sexuality and sexual activity.
"priapic cartoons"
MEDICINE(of a male) having a persistently erect penis.
For example:
A friend posted "the most brilliant company logo" in her opinion and it was a priapic chicken for Dirty Bird fried chicken. The logo features small d and b with an arch over the vertical elements (the priapic part) and on the arch a beak and cockscomb (the chicken part). (Go search it if you care.)

I've had this listed down for Word of the Day for such a long time I don't recall where I first got this word. It's a useful word to have; I like sounding intellectual when I have to insult someone--actually, is "prick" a contractions of priapic? Hm.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The inaugural 20 minute blog.

  This is the inaugural 20 minute blog. In 20 minutes, I will type up all the words in a blog post. I may tinker and ponder with the idea in my head beforehand, and I will allow myself to take a few more minutes importing pictures--because we all know that a (non-technical) blog is unreadable without pictures.

 I have a tendency to shut down when things don't go right. Or don't go my way. Or don't go perfectly the way I had hazzily daydreamed. Including writing blog posts. I fantasize myself being witty yet wise and full of keen observations and insightful comments. Of course putting pen to paper sharpens the fuzzy daydreams into focus and I see that they're just fog.

  Well I suppose they don't have to be just fog if I just stop editing and censoring and muzzling myself into oblivion. Instead what I have to say, even little whims and fancies, becomes an itch I can't scratch that drives me crazy. An itch is just a sensation but its presence feels real.

 Oops, my twenty minutes have been up for a long long time. Basically, I want to post more be they inchoate and incoherent entries.

  And now I leave you with pictures that were distracting me from this entry: J. Crew & Clarks
Gray Grey Gray: I used to have a blog called Everything is Gray. Obviously before that book we shall not mention came out.
Clarks Hamble Oak: They don't look as stumpy as this in real life
I think I'm buying the shoes depending on how they fit tomorrow. I'm figuring out with what to match them without my sexual orientation being questioned by busybodies.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The New York Times Weddings & Celebrations Section

  Once upon a time, I read the weddings and celebrations section of the New York Times religiously every Sunday. Together with Post Secret, it was my Sunday ritual. Sometimes I would wake up earlier than that Sunday's edition, but that mostly happened with Post Secret. Although I more likely  stayed up all Saturday night through Sunday morning but Post Secret had still to be updated when I checked at 2am. 

  I don't read either anymore, though from time to time I check to see if there are good ones. My old criteria for a good weddings and celebrations announcement was type-A, blue-blooded pedigrees: Ivy League degrees; reception at the Pierre or similarly luxurious venue; parents with prestigious titles; and jobs at white shoe law firms or Wall Street investment banks. I remember looking for  "perfect people" among those strangers. Once I identified a bride-to-be. She had an unusual surname, the same as my professor and she did turn out to be my professor's daughter.

  Nowadays I look for a nice touching story. You know, realistic (they are getting married after all) but still romantic. I prefer a couple other than the main featured couple, with the announcement on the longer side but without a picture of the couple. So I can mentally assign them my own imaginary faces. This could be an embarrassing to reveal, but since Sex and the City confirmed this single woman reading the weddings section of the New York Times as a legitimate phenomenon, not really! I'm not alone in this.

  This announcement isn't romantic since it doesn't include the "how we met" story, but it has a subtle Cinderella angle to it which makes it more intriguing to imagine about. The relevant parts are italicized and underlined:

Megan Elizabeth Horn and Kamal Essaheb were married Saturday at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York in Manhattan. Imam Chernor S. Jalloh performed a Muslim ceremony.
Mrs. Essaheb, 34, is a staff lawyer and policy analyst in Washington for Farmworker Justice, a nonprofit advocacy group. She graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and received a law degree from Fordham.
She is a daughter of Eve W. Stoddard of Canton, N.Y., and W. Dennis Horn of Potsdam, N.Y. The bride’s father is a professor of technical communications at Clarkson University in Potsdam. Her mother is a professor of global studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton.
Mr. Essaheb, 32, is a policy lawyer at the National Immigration Law Center in Washington. He graduated from Queens College, and received a law degree from Fordham.
He is a son of Fatna Essaheb and Bouchaib Essaheb of East Elmhurst, Queens. The groom’s father is a Queens-based livery cabdriver.