Expatriot Act

The university of these days is a collection of books.

31 October 2006

Remember Me? How could you forget? It rained silver coins the night we met

One of the best parts of having to work on Halloween is listening to Halloweeny music on the iPod. Started off the day with the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds live album, then segued into probably my favorite Philly group of all time, Ink & Dagger.

I think I can say with a fair amount of certainty that Ink & Dagger was the best vampire hardcore band ever. If you like The Refused, you can thank I&D for making them possible. I have a ton of pictures from the times I saw I&D but they are analog so I don't have a scanner. God I love Ink and Dagger!

After listening to both bands I'll probably move on to some Murder City Devils and who knows what else. Ink and Dagger also penned my favorite song about Philadelphia:

Twisted pretzel logic
You're cracked like the Liberty Bell
Have you ever been to the city of hell?

My diagnosis? Philadelphia psychosis.

(Billfee I think you would like them, you should check them out).

Dare to be Scared

Hello Guys and Ghouls on this most holy of unholies and my favorite day of the year. I'm a little brought down because I didn't manage a real costume this year thanks to Grad School (like THAT'S important!) and I didn't get to go to a big crazy costume party this year. Still when I saw a man on the subway this morning with 12" horns sticking out of his head it brought a big, evil grin to my face.

Besides all the fantastic & terrible horror movies on TV, that chill of mischief in the air, and all that candy, I love reading the little stupid Halloween stories in the news today (most of my favorite stories when I was a journalist were done around Halloween time...a standout would be when I went on a hunt with the Jersey Devil Hunters). I came across this little nugget today, which claims that Halloween is just too scary for kids:

It is the adults who should be afraid this Halloween. Not of ghouls and goblins, but of permanently scarring their children.

In a recent study of six- and seven-year-olds in the Philadelphia area, Penn State psychologist Cindy Dell Clark found that most parents underestimate just how terrifying the holiday can be for young kids.

First of all, parents are always permanently scarring their children, I don't think Halloween is to blame. Secondly, Philly kids are tough! They can handle a little emotional scarring all in the name of fun. Remember that 7-year-old who chewed her way out of a kidnapper's captivity, broke out of the basement where she was kept, and ran to safety? Yeah, she was from Philly. No Jon Benet's here. Represent Philly, your kids are tough as nails. They can handle a handful of peeled grapes without pissing their pants.

Plus (and I've gotten in weird heated arguments over this in the past) the best fun is scared fun. One of the many reasons horror films are so great (not that there are very many actually scary ones as of late). I remember being a kid, gripping on to one of my friend's arms, running wildly through the entire length of a haunted house, screaming and panting and laughing and falling over at the end. (Out of curiosity I just googled that friend, and see that he's a Johnny Cash style country singer and I'm not at all surprised. In high school he signed his home recorded CD for me saying that he'll remember our haunted house adventures when he's rich and famous. Not sure if he's famous or rich, but he's definitely a touring musician so bully for him!)

Anyway I like being scared just as much as I like being scary, so here's a little boo for you:

Me and my friend, Halloween birthday boy Charles, from last year. I'm silent film Cleopatra. I'm not quite sure who he was supposed to be.

24 October 2006

Poet's Corner: Demetri Martin

Since I was posting some poetry yesterday, I thought I'd post some more (but very different). Above is Daily Show Trendspotter Demetri Martin. First of all, yum. Secondly, on his website he has two poems. The first is an absurdly long palindrome...far longer than "racecar." The second I thought some of you Pennsylvanians might appreciate. Snap your fingers together for Demetri Martin's "All of the Words on a Bottle of Rolling Rock Beer in a Different Order."

women, your ability to operate
extra tender
springs from birth
good machinery comes
as your contents
cause enjoyment

cash, beer, a car...rock and rolling?

during "it" the general warning:
"we may risk pregnancy
according to old problems."

your refund from the goverment
for alcoholic beverages?
not ok.

refund this premium beer surgeon,
because premium beer impairs taste.
A drink! To the tribute of health...
to the pale alcoholic.
Rolling, glass tanks of beverages rock this lined mountain.
should the defects
of consumption
drive me...

or you.

Latrobe, Latrobe, COL, CT, DE, IA, MA, NY, VT, CA, MI

As awesome as this poem is, Rolling Rock still sucks.

23 October 2006

Irish Eyes Are Smilin'

The Scholars

BALD heads forgetful of their sins,
Old, learned, respectable bald heads
Edit and annotate the lines
That young men, tossing on their beds,
Rhumed out in love's despair
To flatter beauty's ignorant ear.

All shuffle there, all cough in ink;
All wear the carpet with their shoes;
All think what other people think;
All know the man their neighbor knows.
Lord, what would they say
Did their Catullus walk that way?

William Butler Yeats

Thought this was kinda funny, looking forward to this weekend, I just hope I can accomplish all I want to do before I leave. Pittsburghers, am I going to need to wear my winter coat? I'm a total wuss when it comes to the weather. I am looking forward to some foliage on the drive through PA.

Today was the first day in Philadelphia that I came in from lunch and my nose and cheeks were all pink with cold. Because of this weather all I want to do is read poetry, drink tea or coffee, and wear scarves. Unfortunately I am obliged to do a lot more than that. I wish I had my camera with me, I would go take some photos in Rittenhouse Square, maybe some other time this week. Fall!

16 October 2006

Procrastination Station

Guess who hasn't really started writing the paper that's due tonight?
Guess who has a big presentation at work tomorrow that she also didn't start?
Guess who is in an inexplicably good mood despite all this?

I think part of the good mood might be that I'm finalizing some birthday plans, and I decided for my 25th anniversaire I'm going to go balls out. I'm talking multiple parties, over the course of weeks.

First up: a sleepover! All girls and gay dudes, all silliness, November 17
On my actual birthday (December 1), I'll be in NYC on tour with Adam Arcuragi and crew! Can't wait to be on tour for a long weekend!
The week after, my actual birthday party, to which I will invite practically everyone I've ever known. It should be real fun.
I'm also planning to do a small, dressed up New Year's at my house again this year, on the menu: vegan French. Mon dieu!

So I pretty much have amazing and fun plans nearly every weekend from now until after New Years. Holy hell!

L'aventure commence...

13 October 2006

She says I'll Throw Myself Away

To go along with my Josh Homme post, I figured I'd post the Queens of the Stone Age video for Go with the Flow, which is definitely visually one of my favorite music videos of all time.

Oh and for the FastTrackers...

I almost forgot, my friend sent me a link to Target's Naughty Librarian Costume, in case any of you FTers are still looking for a costume for Pittsburgh (Justin, I'm looking at you, haha.) Personally I like my version better.

For $60, I hope the tits are included.

How Do I Afford my Rock-n-Roll Lifestyle?

I ended up having a really fun time last night. I went to The Shack and had dinner, Debbie met me there and we talked a bit which is always nice. She invited me on a mini-tour with Adam Arcuragi around my birthday to NYC and possibly points north (she said I could blog the tour, haha!), and I'm psyched about that idea, so I think I might push the impending b-day party dealy a week. I'm getting kinda excited about all my plans and such (more in a bit).

My friend Candice had scored free tickets to see Joan Jett and asked me to come along. So Candice met me and we went to T-Mom's for a beer, then to the TLA. I got there and was flabberghasted that the marquee said the Eagles of Death Metal were opening for Joan Jett. Wait a second, I thought, isn't the object of my creepiest desires, Josh Homme, in that band? Oh and I have a VIP pass?! Uhhh whoa!

(Yes I realize he's totally not really good looking, but he's so sexy! And that voice! Swoon.)

Then I walked in and over to the bar area, hoping we didn't miss them so I could drool over Homme's dirty gyrations and honeyed voice, and who is the first person I see? My friend Sal! And then Robby! YAY. So we hung out for a bit and Eagles of Death Metal came on. Now I admit, I know nothing about them other than Josh Homme had something to do with them. The singer/guitarist had red hair like Josh, but was skinnier and had some super creepy Hessian facial hair. Oh no, I thought, Josh, why would you do such a thing? But when he sung I knew there was no way in hell that was him, and I WISHING I had an Internet connection or something to figure out what was up. Did Josh quit the band at some point? Well, the dear Internet told me this morning (thanks Wikipedia: teacher, mother, secret lover) that Josh IS in the band, he DRUMS for them, and I didn't even see/notice the drummer! Sal said when I was going on about Josh he walked behind me, looking for the stage door, but I think he was talking about the singer. Fuck. Oh well, guess my rockstar fantasy will remain unrealized.

Joan Jett was pretty cool, although some of her new songs are god awful, and Candice seemed really less than enthused the entire set. Although, mon dieu, the body on Joan Jett! The woman is 48 years old and has the butt of a 20 year old... in those leather pants and vinyl top, she's hot as all get out, which every lesbian in the joint noticed I'm sure (and trust me, there were a lot of them there). When she played, "I Love Rock n Roll" Candice was ready to roll (out the door) but then I heard the beginning strains of "Ah-ahh" and grabbed her arm from halfway down the stairs...CRIMSON AND CLOVER. Fuck I love that song so much, one of my favorite songs of all time, her cover is especially good, and at this point I was kinda drunk so I swayed and sung CRIMSON AND CLOVAH, OVA AND OVA...oh hells yes.

This morning I felt a touch hung over but I'm generally OK, drinking coffee and lamenting my near miss of my creepy rockstar boyfriend. Maybe I will listen to Joan's cover of Crimson and Clover, then some Queens of the Stone Age, and melt into a giant puddle. Hopefully I can reconstitute myself in time to go to the dentist this afternoon. Did I mention my dentist's first name is Axel? I am so rock n roll.

11 October 2006

Song the Sinner Sings

Our boy Adam Arcuragi is the cover story for the City Paper music issue that comes out tomorrow. Deb told me last night and I'm so proud/psyched for them. Debbie is only mentioned in passing though, and she does so much work for the band I think she should have gotten a bit more mention. Still it's a great article.

My favorite bits:

*Almost compulsive use of the word "fuckin'"

*"You listen to old gospel recordings, those don't have fuckin' drums," he notes. "But it's rhythmic. Handclaps and things like that. And just the percussion of someone's voice; a cappella groups, they don't have a drum kit. But some of them are so evocative of rhythm that you can't help but tap your foot."

To him, the human voice is the most effective instrument for pulling a listener in. "It's the sound of your compatriots. It's the sound of your brother and your sister."
I do like the drums, but I totally agree with this, which is probably why I like Adam's music so much.

*"Look at the Philadelphia music scene right now," he says. "It's phenomenal. It's one of those great moments in time. I mean, everything is cyclical based on time, place and people, as the Sufis say, but sometimes the cycle is just right and everything comes into congruence so that there's a confluence, right? A coming together, so that everything lights on fire."

Still, as much as he envisions Philly 2006 as comparable to the height of the Ming dynasty, or Paris in the 1920s, or Madchester, he wishes for something more unified than competitive, a crosstown camaraderie. "I just wanna get everybody to get tighter and just hug more and high five more, and smile more."
(See Stef, it's all about Philly right now. Philly is the new black.)

The pictures are fun too! I particularly like this one.

Right on.

10 October 2006

C is for Cash

This blew my mind!

Johnny Cash on Sesame Street.


A Hallowed State of Mind

Despite the warm weather, it is definitely October and I'm starting to get into the Halloween spirit. I've been watching more horror films than usual (have Rocky Horror Picture Show coming next on Netflix, which is always a treat), have the above spider brooch on its way to me in the mail, listening to Bauhaus, and just generally feeling pretty wicked...awesome.

I'm feeling much, much better today. Super caffeinated (thanks maple macchiato!) and hopefully motivated to do some schoolwork tonight (or at least dye my hair, or clean, or something!) Sadly my Ulysses reading group is cancelled for the evening because everyone else is now sick, but it's ok because I'll have time to re-read chapters 2 and 3 without annotations (maybe even aloud, it seems to beg to be read aloud).

Also, a propos of nothing, I'm deeply offended that the Netflix bot recommended a Carlos Mencia DVD for me. As if! That bot, while usually very good at recommending things for me, just totally FAILED Information Retrieval.

09 October 2006

Blame the Cold

Just updating to let you all know that I'm not entirely dead. On the rare occasion I get a cold, it usually only lasts a day or two, but we're going on a week and a day here, which is some sort of record for me (which is why I can't stop whining about it!). I had a nice weekend in Baltimore despite being totally ridiculously sick the whole time, and today I'm back at work, trying to catch up, and I'm super weak and exhausted and high on caffeine and Dayquil and sushi. I brought my laptop to Baltimore but didn't check the boards once, I am a very bad grad student this week. I do know that we have some sort of assignment due today that for 2700 that she gave us Friday (evil!) and there's a paper due for 2002 next Monday, which I should really start soonish because I seem to be slow as molasses about everything since I caught the plague.

Tonight I have to read chapter 3 of Ulysses for my book group tomorrow, do that assignment, and try to coax myself back into the land of the living. I bought fuzzy slippers today on my lunchbreak; I'm tempted to put them on at my desk. Alas it is only 2pm on the Monday of my discontent and I have much to do before I can get home and get comfortable. Until then my body parts will take turns hurting and I will periodically emerge out of cold medicine stupors long enough to send journals all over the country. Joy. Rapture.

05 October 2006

Library Marketing

Read on a blog today that made me laugh:

Waiting for a bus in downtown Seattle, I see a disheveled and possibly deranged man with an enormous duffle bag sidling down the sidewalk, stopping to bellow "Are you going to the library?!" at each and every person in turn. Most ignore him until he moves on, but some -- out of compulsive politeness, or because they have somehow mistaken this raving for a sincere query -- begin to reply "No, I'm waiting for my --" at which point the man cuts them short with an impassioned and spittle-intensive "GO TO THE LIBRARY!!!"

I dunno. Call me cynical, but I just don't think Seattle's literacy program is all that effective.

That made me smile through my choking, hacking cough that is making me want to barf. Oof.

02 October 2006

My Karma Ran Over my Dogma

To quote Lucille Ball, wehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I am sooooo sick! Fuck. I have like, 3 ailments going on at once, I will no doubt have to cancel a presentation I was set to give tomorrow, I might not even be able to drag my ass in to work tomorrow (I barely got here today). So why this subject heading? Because I took a sick day last week when I wasn't sick to have Justin show me around Temple's library, and now that I am sick, I have all these meetings scheduled and such and can't go home! Whine whine whine whine.

On the upside, I think I found a site similar to Librarything that could solve all of WKDU's cataloguing woes, name'a Squirl. Looks pretty perfect to me. I'm in talks with them right now about how much it would cost to host a collection of our size, since it's past their upper limit. Could be much easier than I originally anticipated.

I guess I better get ready for these hellish meetings. Uhhhh kill me.