Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Get yer fresh hot Slav!

Friends, we stand (or sit) here on the eve of a revolution. Beginning tomorrow, you will be able to access your daily dose of Ruminating Slav at:


That's right, my little goslings, we've got a domain name registered and thanks to a free 90-day trial, a move to TypePad. We've got a homemade banner, categories, and typelists. Feedback is appreciated, so leave a comment or send an email and let me know what you think. Don't forget to update your bookmarks and blogrolls, and I'll be seeing you on the flip side.

Please me, tease me

Last night after purchasing the Delicious Library software I scanned in 218 books and 52 movies. And I still have six bookshelves to go! I really can't remember the last time I found a Mac application to be so pleasing. Mad props to Kelly and TCW for apparently calling my love for the media organization software before I even knew it existed!
Oh the hours you'll spend gazing at the neat ranks and files of your media empire.

Well put, my friend, well put.

In other news, BK has lost his keys and has gone so far as to actually blame the dog. Honestly, man, that is so cliché. I may not know much, but I'm pretty sure that the dog did not pick up your keys and bury them in the landscaping in the backyard.

Monday, February 07, 2005

For the Mac Mafia

Dudes! Check out what I just learned about on Lifehacker (the newest member of the Gawker empire, and very useful -- I learned how to make a favicon for the Slav last week!): Delicious Library. You can use your iSight to scan the barcodes of your books, CDs, DVDs, etc. and create an iTunes-like digital library of all your media (you can also just paste in the ISBN number). It's so very pretty and so appeals to my OCD-like sense of organizion. I'm actually thinking about plunking down the $40 for it.


It's ten o'clock on Saturday night and I can't see my hands

Saturday night BK and I went to a (!) concert at the Granada Theater on Greenville. Before Bob Schneider hit the stage at about 10:45 (I'll spare you the old-woman bitching about why does it have to be so late, yadda yadda yadda), we were treated to two opening acts. The first band was so completely forgettable that both BK and I thought we might die of boredom as a result of just being in the same room as them. The highlight of that performance was when the lead singer spoke up between songs and told the audience, "We wrote this one for William Faulkner." I'd like to tell you what the Faulkner song was about, but I regrettably sipped back into a coma when they started playing.

The second band -- The Deathray Davies -- made quite the impression, however. As I type this, I am fully aware that I am outing myself as singularly lame. I am sure that all the kids listen to The DRD, and by professing my pre-weekend ignorance of their existance AND by preparing to mock them, I am branding myself as An Old Fuddy Duddy. Still, the following needs to be said, so here goes.

The Deathray Davies weren't bad. Some of their songs were pretty catchy in that 00's rock renaissance sort of way. No, my problem with The DRD centered solely around one person -- the keyboard player. Now, the keyboard player ROCKED, y'all. He had one mean straddle going in front of his keyboard, and nodded his head back and forth in a spectacularly violent fashion throughout the set. His patented move, though, reserved for particularly ROCKIN moments, was an impressive sideways kick with his left leg. So it would be straddle straddle nod nod straddle straddle nod nod KICK and let me tell you, homeboy did not play. The Kilgore Rangerettes would be honored to have him on their line.

But here's the problem: every straddle straddle nod nod straddle straddle nod nod KICK would be followed by one more element of this finely-tuned tango -- the right hand would inevitably wander over to the button that controlled the fog machine and PRESS. Imagine, if you will, every 10 seconds:

straddle straddle nod nod straddle straddle nod nod KICK ... PRESS

straddle straddle nod nod straddle straddle nod nod KICK ... PRESS

straddle straddle nod nod straddle straddle nod nod KICK ... PRESS

It's really not surprising, then, that halfway through The Deathray Davies' set, the entire Granada Theater was filled with a dense layer of smoke, completely obscuring the band on stage. Even we seated lameos in the balcony could not escape the wrath of the keyboard player's right hand. It's a good thing we weren't driving, people, because visibility was LOW.

Right before their last song (hallelujah!), the lead singer remarked, "Man, this fog machine has taken a few years off our lives tonight." So what does Mr. Keyboard do? You guessed it:


Friday, February 04, 2005

"But there's only like 1½ people in the world you're comfortable with besides me"

Having decidedly tired of his mid-morning wakings, BK decided to bite the bullet and buy an automatic cat feeder with a timer. It arrived yesterday, and BK spent some time in the kitchen with Joshua Wanat, putting kibble in the bowl, closing it, opening it, and showing Josh that there's food in there. Joshua, being the gifted kitty that he is, spent the next 20 minutes frantically pawing at the feeder, scooting it around the floor and making a clatter that was, quite honestly, very disruptive of my Alias-watching. PRIORITIES, people. And cats.

In any case, the feeder was set to open at 3:45 a.m. BK reported this morning that he woke up at 4:00 a.m. (I guess old habits are hard to break even when the cat's not actually meowing) and went to inspect the feeder -- it was open but the kibble was still intact. HOWEVER, Joshua Wanat must have eventually found the bounty laid out at his paws, because there was no meowing! All night! No meowing = success! I imagine that what I'm feeling right now is like a fraction of what parents feel like when their kid sleeps through the night for the first time.

I just had the following conversation with my husband on the phone:

BK: We need to do some fun stuff this weekend.

Me: Hey, I did my part. I found the Bob Schneider concert and bought us tickets.

BK: Right! And I think we should go have dim sum with the church group Saturday afternoon.

Me: I don't want to do that.

BK: Why not? It'll be fun. You're always saying how we need to do more stuff.

Me: But I don't want my entire Saturday afternoon taken up.

BK: But you have to eat lunch!

Me: I can just have a sandwhich at home. No, wait a minute, I can't, since Buster pulled the loaf of bread off the counter and ate the whole thing.

BK: Well, let's invite my co-worker Andrew (this is a pseudonym -- do you think dooce has taught me nothing?) and his girlfriend over for dinner.

Me: No, I don't want to do that. He's a creepy Republican.

BK: Come on now, we need to do more stuff with people.

Me: But I'm not comfortable around them. I'd rather just be with you than people I'm not comfortable around.

BK: But sweetie, there's only like 1½ people in the world you're comfortable with besides me.

You see the problem, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Promoting the emigré agenda

Dudes! I finally finished The Russian Debutante's Handbook. It took me weeks to finish. WEEKS, I tell you. I think it may be nipping at the heels of Mists of Avalon in the lists of books it's taken Karo a really long time to finish only not really because for some reason I putzed out like 10 pages before the end of MoA so I guess I can't really claim to have finished it and no I don't know what the hell is wrong with me. Why don't you ask Susanna Clark cause I never did finish her geedee book, either. Whoops.

ANYhoo, back to Gary Shteyngart. Contrary to what you may think, it took me such a long time to finish his book because it was good. He was all being a good writer and shit (Like me! Right now!) and that made it hard to fly through the book like I do with a lot of the slop that crosses my path. Every sentence had a purpose, oftentimes more than one -- clever little inside jokes would be lurking where you least expected them. And lemme tell ya, clever little inside jokes referencing the plight of the post-Stalinist Eastern European immigrant are a not exactly a DIME A DOZEN, PEOPLE.

That being said, I'm not sure if some of the book wouldn't be lost in translation on someone without at least a fraction of those memories and cultural touchstones. If you've read The Russian Debutante's Handbook, or ever do, let me know what you thought.

More of it's funny cause it's true

Do any of Chickenhead's Absolute Bottom 50 Blogs ring true to you?

Pardon me, I have to go cover my shamefully exposed soul now.

Do not watch if easily offended

Thanks, C, for passing that along.

Interesting development at amazon.com

If you go to amazon's home page, you'll see a letter from Jeff Bezos announcing something called Amazon Prime, a $79 yearly membership which gets you unlimited 2-day shipping on most anything you buy on amazon.

What do you think, tender nibblets of the sea? A fantastic opportunity for more immediate consumer gratification, or just another way of getting FLEECED by the man?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The crimes against humanity file: foot fashion

A young lady on a message board I frequent started a thread titled "Is this tacky," and since I am obviously the Internet Judge of Good Taste, I dove right in.

(Official disclaimer: I didn't actually post any of the following on her thread since that would be, you know, mean.)

So it turns out that Miss Thang is just in love with these shoes and would like others' opinion on whether they are appropriate footwear for her wedding dress. I'm going to leave the wedding dress part aside, since that's her prerogative, and will address the shoes on a completely stand-alone basis.


Let's begin with the description of the shoes from the seller's web site. Bolding is mine:
  • Slip into this elagent vinyl thong sandal.
  • Lovely accented with a heart rhinestone design.
  • Clear lucite strap upper for extra style.
  • Polyurethane sole.

If you managed to make it through the egregious spelling and grammatical errors, you may agree with me that the words "vinyl," "rhinestone," "lucite," and "polyurethane" do not inspire confidence when discussing elegance and style. AND HERE'S THE BEST PART. Please enjoy the following excerpts from responses to the thread in question:
  • "they're just lovely and totally classy"
  • "it will look quite lovely"
  • "I love the shoes"

Apparently I have lost my mind because I fail to see the allure of shoes made out of the same material used to make carpet underlay and wound dressings. I am just SO OUT OF IT because I think shoes should be leather and not have heart-shaped designs on them.

But that's not even the worst of it. In her post, the vinyl-shoe-lover wants to know if she can WEAR PANTYHOSE with these lucite beasts. Oh God. I teeter on the brink of a pulmonary embolism every time I see a woman wearing the dreaded sandal/pantyhose combo, particularly the black pantyhose/black sandal pairing.

Thankfully, people seem to have talked the poster out of the pantyhose. HOWEVER, someone helpfully suggested THIS atrocity -- the TOELESS PANTYHOSE (shown here in the knee-high version to enable readers to fully grasp the horror).

Look, America. I know you love your pantyhose. I know you do. But this is really just too much. I am going to take a stand here and say that I think the TOELESS version is even worse than the original sandal/pantyhose combo. You know why? Because it shows me that you've actually THOUGHT about it. You went to the store and carefully selected hosiery that will render the front half of your foot a completely different color than the rest of your leg. CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT??? And then? And then? Then you pair up this ATROCITY with strappy sandals so we can ALL SEE the lovely seam and line of demarkation. YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE.